Benefits of Practice of Shabd
The practice of listening to the Shabd brings a number of beneficial results. The Shabd is a storehouse of power. It is the essence of wisdom. Those who are connected with It and are sustained by It are true sons of the Lord. The Shabd cuts all the bonds of the soul and leads to its salvation. It is the bread of life which descends from Sach Khand (the True and Imperishable Region). Those who partake of It, become immortal and attain everlasting life. Those who engage in the practice of the Shabd need no outer light like that of a lamp or the sun or moon, for the Light of lights appears within them.
The Mind is controlled by the Shabd and is rid of Lust and Anger: The mind is not controlled by millions of other efforts. It is very difficult to subdue it. It cannot be conquered by outer practices such as recitals and austerities, rites and rituals, rules of hygiene discipline, pilgrimages, fasts or alms-giving and charities. It is very hard to overcome the mind.
In the Ramayana, the sage Vashisht says to Lord Rama thus:
If some one should say that he had lifted up the Himalayas, even though it is impossible, I would believe him for a moment. If he should say that he has drunk the whole of the ocean, even though it is impossible, I would believe him. But if he should say that he has controlled the mind, I would not believe him.
Just as a spark sets fire to a heap of hay and reduces it to ashes in a moment, so also are the stored sanskaras (tendencies) created by karmas of previous births burnt up in a trice by listening to the Shabd. Just as a deer is enraptured by the sound of a drum or a moth, seeing a bright light, sacrifices itself, similarly does one attain bliss on hearing the celestial music of the inner Shabd.
The mind is fond of pleasure. But it gives up its ramblings when it gets delight of the inner Shabd.
The mouse-like mind is incapacitated, by drinking the mercury of the Name of the Lord.
There is no other way to still the mind except by listening to the divine Sound.
The mind is not stilled without the Guru's Word.
Asa M1, 415-8
The mind is kept absorbed in the Shabd. This is the most pious deed one can do.
Ramkali M1, 908-5
Through the practice of the Shabd the turbulent waves of the mind subside. The Shabd calms the waves of the mind; it then easily merges in the Shabd.
Sarang M3, 1233-13
Without realization of the Shabd the mind continues to rove sometimes in the skies and sometimes in the nether-lands.
So long as the mind does not realize the Word, one moment it flies to the skies, and the next it sinks to the underworlds.
Prabhati M1, 1345-13
By listening to the Sound all worldly bonds and external attractions are removed. The mind gives up its base desires, and one conquers the five enemies – lust, anger, attachment, greed and pride. When the soul gains release from these passions, it soars upward to the spiritual regions.
Becoming fear-free with the eternal Lord in his mind, he plunged the spear of Guru's Word into his heart, he shattered the citadel of the five – Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Ego.
Swayya M3, 1396-3
It is by praising the Name thru the Guru's Word that one is dyed in detachment. He conquers the five enemies. Fruitful is such a song.
Shalok M5, 1425-1
According to Kabir Sahib, he then becomes engrossed in contemplation of the Lord.
He burns the five sins and is attuned to the Lord.
The Shabd is a remedy for the disease of Egotism: The entire world is suffering from the disease of egotism and cannot get rid of it without the Shabb.
All the world is suffering from egotism. It cannot be cured save through the Word.
Bhairon M3, 1130-7
Egotism is an incurable disease, but the Lord has placed its remedy within man. If the Lord bestows His Grace, then alone can one practise the Shabd as directed by the Master and destroy egotism.
This ego is a chronic disease, which yet can cure itself with ease, when Grace from Lord descends. Through Guru's Word the soul ascends, from self thus gets release.
Asa Var M1, 466-18
The Guru's Word is the only antidote For the poison of egotism.
Bhairon M3, 1133-12
Oh Nanak! the Shabd burns away egotism.
Basant M1, 1189-2
Shams-i-Tabriz also says that release from egotism can only be gained by the practice of the Shabd.
When you hear the sound of the drum, He releases you from egotism and envy. You suddenly hear the call of love, and it releases you from the miseries of life.
Happiness and Peace are gained through Shabd:
All the world is running about in search of happiness and peace. The bodily pleasures are momentary and are ever-changing. Whatever pleasure is felt through the senses is due to the attention of our mind being concentrated on the objects that give rise to the pleasure. That alone is our own pleasure, which is felt as a result of stilling the mind. The sense pleasures are like a dog that crunches a bone. Its mouth bleeds and it enjoys the taste of its own blood but thinks that the enjoyment is from the bone.
The soul is conscious. How can it ever derive pleasure from unconscious things? It can be really happy only on uniting with super-consciousness. The Shabd of the Master is a current of super-consciousness.
Whenever the soul touches It, it experiences true happiness.
The Guru's Word leads to joy and peace. The devotee of God is never in pain.
Asa M3, 361-4
There is coolness in the Shabd that makes both body and mind very peaceful.
Within me rage the fires of passion, bless me with Guru's Word that I am cooled. My body and mind are immensely comforted, and rid of my maladies, I sleep in peace.
Kalyan M4, 1326-1
It appears as if those who practise the Shabd drink the ocean of coolness.
He who contemplates on the Guru's Word, becomes an ocean of coolness. His egotism is killed, and release is obtained.
Malar M1, 1275-2
When the soul contacts the Shabd, it is comforted and merging in the Lord, it attains bliss.
In the meeting of the Soul with the Shabd is peace. Imbued with the Lord one is in bliss.
Sri Rag M1, 62-4
By the practice of listening to the Shabd, pure eternal bliss which is imperishable is obtained.
Attuned only to the Shabd, one abides in bliss day and night. He who meditates on the Guru's WordObtains great bliss, blessed is the ever-happy bride; who is filled with the love of her Lord.
Asa M5, 370-16
Many other benefits result from the practice of the Shabd. Desires, hopes, cravings, attachments and delusions are destroyed.
The fire of desires is quenched by the Shabd which washes off the sense of duality, the natural way.
Gauri M1, 222-15
The Shabd burns away all our hopes and desires and one dwells on and repeats only Lord's Name.
Asa M1, 413-19
The Shabd burns all attachment and delusion; it makes one dear to the Master, and one's body and mind are in bloom.
Basant M3, 1173-18
A man is never alone when he realizes the Shabd. Whether he is at home or anywhere else, his Lord with His Divine Music is always with him and is calling him back to his original Home. By practising the Shabd all diseases, vices and sins are removed; lust, anger and the other passions do not get a foothold; one becomes very pure and completely detached. Shabd is the support of life and death. The fear of death is banished. At the time of death the devotee discards his body just as one casts aside old clothes.
Through the Power of the Shabd one is freed from the cycle of birth and death. The misery caused by Kal and the fear of death end. The difficulties of the inner path are resolved; the karmas of millions of births are destroyed; and one crosses the ocean of worldly existence.
By the practice of the Sound, light appears within and the lotus of the heart blossoms. One realizes his true Self and attains the state of dying while living. He transcends the domain of the three attributes and time. He goes into trance in the Void, and the tenth door opens. He learns the sign of the Lord's door. He is dyed in the hue of the Lord, and true devotion and divine bliss arise within him. He is honoured in the Court of the Lord. He attains salvation and realizes the most blissful state.
He then dwells in his original Home and is absorbed in Truth. He realizes the Lord and becomes happy here and hereafter.
Those people who are without the Shabd are in a pitiable condition. They continue the round of the cycle of eighty-four. They are beset with doubts and suffer privations at the hands of the king of death every time they die. They forever remain miserable and helpless. The waves of the ocean of Shabd are surging in each one of us. Those who drink of its waters are no longer troubled by thirst or hunger and gain eternal life.
This was the water of life that Chirst offered to the woman of Sychar at the well so that by drinking it she might quench her thirst for ever. It has also been described as the Bread of Life, by eating which one's hunger is fully satisfied.
The Shabd is that medicine which is the panacea for all ills.
The Name is the panacea for all our diseases.
Gauri M5, 274-18
The Gurbani says that if we do not search for the Shabd and our inner eyes are not opened and if we do not hear with our inner ears the true voice of God, what use is our human life?