Thanks to the world famous physicist David Bohm, neurophysiologist Karl Pribram and author of the book The Holographic Universe Michael Talbot human knowledge is now inching towards the fact that the world is a holographic entity, that is, everything in it is interconnected as a whole. Which in simple and related to our question here means that this is a world in which what you do for yourself you do for the world and what you do for the world you do for yourself. So in the light of the above explanation the very question of whether one came to liberate the world or oneself becomes redundant.
The holographic understanding of the universe has further led enterprising transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof to the concept of holotropic mind. Holotropic mind in simple refers to the mind which is evolving towards the whole in steps. And which if true will naturally culminate in the experience of the whole, the One, which in fact the mystics of yore have been having rather directly since long thanks to their evolutionary ripeness at one cultural cycle level or the other, and which is in fact the experience undergone by Baba Nanak when he is said to have drowned in the river Kali Bein as already explained in a previous post.
While there is a wide difference between the intellectual understanding of a mind approaching wholeness as above and experiencing it directly which then is rightly called the experience of Self, One or God realization, even of Deus Factus Sum (I have become God) there is no doubt that when one has it directly then there does not remain any separation between oneself and the world. He then rightly proclaims like J.Krishnamurti, "I am the world!" This being the case finally with Nanak as well, the question of his coming to liberating the world or himself further becomes meaningless.
One cannot overemphasise the fact that socalled scientific or rational understanding of it takes one nowhere near its real understanding. Science in its efforts at arriving at Grandunification or Theory of Everything is in fact trying to arrive at this very experience but which in simple is as impossible as arriving at infinity by multiplying 2x2x2x2.....Why even simple people of Nanak's time used to say "Nanak jani jan hai (Nanak knows everything,)" simply because Nanak had arrived at this place of "Theory of Everything" directly and simple people practically being most near to the Primal Innocence intuitively knew it.
Anyway, coming back to the question of Nanak's way of liberating the world, Nanak now being one with the world as explained above, his way now rather became "what he did the world did and what the world did he did." I explained it earlier as, Nanak did nothing on his own, he was just to flow with the flow, he was just to go where things at the very moment would take him by falling-into-place on their own.
Reducing this strictly to the question in hand we may say, in Nanak liberating himself the world liberated itself and in the world liberating itself Nanak liberated himself.
Things are though still beyond it, where even the world as we know it may not exist not to talk of its being bound and in need of liberation by somebody. But let us leave those realms to Nanak and his bani's lines Sochian soch na hovei cannot be known by thought) more so since writing about them will take us far beyond the specific scope of this blog and move over to the next question regarding Bhai Bala.
*Picture at the top: The front cover of Michael Talbot's book The Holograhic Universe.
Others from left to right: David Bohm, Karl Pribram, Stanislav Grof
To be continued...