BEING CHILDLIKE: BAAL-BUDHI

Adopting the innocent mind of a child, I have found Peace.(sggs 214).
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An infant's mind is unconditioned for it is not influenced by the world. Such Pure mind is free of imprisonment from false ego - lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, delusion, jealousy, lust, selfishness, fear, desires, stubborn mindedness, pride, confusion, conflict, fear, grief, repression and death. As an infant, we all were born with such a Pure mind! However, afterwards, while growing up, we were programmed and trained to identify with the feeling of "mine, mine!". In the process, side by side, false ego gets developed as we grow from infancy to adolescence. It then gets firmly-rooted after we marry and entangle in the achievement of various worldly desires. The moment physical ego becomes stronger in us, we become prisoner of cravings, fears and delusions. Consequently, the world-appearance looks real to us. And we take this body-frame to be our true Self.

Such conditioning results in false self-identifications with the time-bound consciousness, resulting in contamination of the state of Pure Being. The scriptures tell us to abandon this "burden" of false self-identifications with the time-bound consciousness if we wish to retrace our steps back to the Original State - the state of egolessness or desirelessness, Timeless Awareness or Intact Consciousness, Mool...

  • ਜਉ ਲਉ ਪੋਟ ਉਠਾਈ ਚਲਿਅਉ ਤਉ ਲਉ ਡਾਨ ਭਰੇ ॥ ਪੋਟ ਡਾਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਭਏ ॥: Jayu layu pota ....: As long as I walked along, carrying the load (egotism, love of Maya...), I continued to suffer. (But) O Nanak! meeting (Realizing...) the Perfect Guru (the Perfect Aatam-Giaan, Gur-Giaan, Upadesh of the Gur-Shabad ...), I unloaded myself and became Fearless (sggs 214).
  • ਜੈਸੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਉਦਰ ਮਹਿ ਤੈਸੀ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਭ ਇਕੋ ਜੇਹੀ ਕਰਤੈ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਣਾ ਤਾ ਜੰਮਿਆ ਪਰਵਾਰਿ ਭਲਾ ਭਾਇਆ ॥ ਲਿਵ ਛੁੜਕੀ ਲਗੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਮਰੁ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ ॥: Jaisee agni udar mahi taisee baahari Maya...: As is the fire within the womb, so is Maya outside. The fire of Maya is one and the same; the Creator has staged this play. According to His Will, the child is born, and the family is very pleased. (After birth) Connection (absorption, ਲੀਨਤਾ, etc., from the Mool) snaps, and (the child) becomes attached to desires; (thereafter) the script of Maya runs its course (ਮਾਇਆ ਉਸ ਉਤੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਜੋਰ ਪਾ ਲੈਂਦੀ ਹੈ). (sggs 921).
  • ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਪੂਰਨ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਟੇਕ ॥: Baal budhi pooran sukhadaataa Naanak hari hari tek: Waheguru is the Giver of Perfect Peace to the people with Baal -Budhi (innocent-minded); O Nanak, God's Name is my support (sggs 714).
  • ਮੇਰੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਡੂਬੇ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਮੁਏ ਗਵਾਰਾ ॥: Meree meree kari kari doobe khapi khapi muye gavaaraa: Continually claiming,  "mine, mine", the mortals are drowned; the fools waste away and die (sggs 380).
With the feeling of "I, me, mine, you" arises the confusion, in which we keep making one error: we take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. In other words, that Divine Substance which is in us, we take to be outside us, and what is outside (the world of gross objects) we take to be in us.
  • ਮਾਧਵੇ ਕਿਆ ਕਹੀਐ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਐਸਾ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੀਐ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਤੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Maadhve kiya kaheeyai bhram aisaa. Jaisaa maaneeyai hoi na taisaa ||1||Rahaaou||: O Lord, what can I say about this illusion; what we deem a thing to be, in reality, it is not like that ||1||Pause|| (sggs 657).
  • ਘਰ ਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਬਾਲਾ ॥: Ghur hee mahi preetam sadaa hai baalaa: In the Self is the Eternally Young Beloved (sggs 126).
  • ਦਸ ਮਾਸ ਮਾਤਾ ਉਦਰਿ ਰਾਖਿਆ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Das maas maataa oudhar raakhiaa bahuri laagee Maya: For ten months God preserved you in your mother's womb, and then afterward you became attached to Maya (sggs 481).
  • ਏਹ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਲਾਇਆ ॥: This is Maya, by which (1) "Hari" (Mool) is forgotten; (2) (worldly) attachment is born, and (3) the love of duality is set (sggs 921).
Looking at it from an another angle, the mind and its projections are external. But, due to our faulty vision (Haume), we take them to be intimate. Consequently, we believe the world to be objective, while its entirely a projection of our psyche. Is there a way out of this dense forest of delusion? As revealed in the Gurbani, the way out of this time-bound awareness is to go back to our Original Nature — Mool...
  • ਪਾਇਓ ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਰੇ ॥: Paaio baal budhi sukhu re: Adopting the innocent mind of a child, I have found Peace (sggs 214).
  • Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and and become as young children, you will by no means enter into into the Kingdom of Heaven (Bible, Mt 18:3).
Thus, although the man was born with Intact Consciousness ("Saabat Soorat"), however, with the expression of Vaasnaas or ego-sense, he ended up being a limited body-mind-intellect, from which arose the perceiver of objects, the feeler of emotions, and the thinker of thoughts. To put it otherwise, when we were born, our consciousness was adorned with the Intuitive "Ease" (Sahaj). But, because of the forgetfulness of our True Unconditioned Nature, we have become "dis-eased" (diseased)! The Gurbani puts it as follows:
  • ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥: Naapaak paak kari hudoori hudeesaa saabat soorat dastaar siraa: Purify what is impure, and let the Lord's Presence be your religious tradition. Let your Intact Consciousness be the turban on your head (sggs 1084).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸੇ ਲੂਟੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਬਤੁ ਭਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Manmukh soi rahae se loote gurmukh saabat bhaaee hae (sggs 1024).
How can the Jeeva (individual being) get out of this "diseased" condition? By reverting back to its initial state of Intuitive "Ease" or Baal-Budhi; declare the scriptures. Also, the scriptures urge man to think himself out of this "diseased" condition; for nobody else can do it for him! To put it in other way, one's sustained self-efforts are essential for success.
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵ ਤਰੇ ਤਜਿ ਮੇਰ ਤੋਰ ॥: Gur sev tare taji mer tor: Serving the Guru, one is carried across; he abandons any distinction between 'mine' and 'yours' (sggs 1170).
  • ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਚੂਕੀ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Dubidhaa chookee sahaj subhaai: Duality ceases with Intuitive Ease (sggs 1247).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਸਹਜ ਸੇਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ॥: Gurmukhi raam naam jap hirdai sahaj setee ghar jaaeeai: As Gurmukh, meditate on the Naam in your Heart, and you will return Home (i.e., Original Nature) with Intuitive Ease (sggs 1127).
  • ਸਗਲ ਉਦਮ ਮਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਭਲਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜੀਅ ਸਦਾ ॥: Sagal uddam mahi uddamu bhalaa. Hari ka naam japhu jeeya sadaa: Of all self-efforts, the best self-effort is to persistently engage in Naam-Jap (Understanding the Gurbani's Giaan...). (sggs 266).
Ball-Budhi denotes Sahaj Avasthaa, the state of Intuitive Stillness. Self-realization is nothing but attainment of Sahaj Avasthaa. The mind in purity is the the Joti Svaroop (Mool...) . As the mind of an infant remains in Sahaj Avasthaa, abidance in Baal-Budhi is nothing but abidance in the Pure Self. In other words, being childlike means Being oneself. This joy of Being — Timeless Awareness — gets disintegrated as over time our awareness becomes time-bound.
  • ਧਨ ਬਾਲੀ ਭੋਲੀ ਪਿਰੁ ਸਹਜਿ ਰਾਵੈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਧਾਤਾ ॥: Dhun baalee bholee pir sahaji raavai miliaa karam bidhaataa: The soul-bride who enjoys (remembers) her Husband in Sahaj (natural state of Being, state of Wisdom...) with a childlike innocense, meets the Creator (sggs 568).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੁਖ ਬਾਲੇ ਭੋਲੇ ॥: Prabh milio sukh baale bhole: I have met God through innocent faith, and He has blessed me with Peace (sggs 1307).
Since the Pure Self is unchanging, man's True Nature, Sahaj, is also unchanging — it is Sahaj at birth, it is Sahaj during his entire life, and it remains Sahaj even after the destruction of his physical body (death). Therefore, Realization of Baal-Budhi is to know that we never were without It! Then who shattered this state of Natural Being in us? It is the rise of false ego-sense (Haumai) that caused Its disintegration!
  • ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਸੇ ਤੁਧ ਹੀ ਜੇਹੇ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਬਾਲ ਸਖਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: Jo tudh sevahi se tudh hee jehe nirbhaou baal sakhaaee hey: Those who serve You, become just like You; O Fearless God, You are their best friend from infancy (sggs 1021).
  • ਇਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੁਤਲਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਦੁਸਟੀ ਪਾਈ ॥: Ih sareer Maya kaa putlaa vich hayumai dustee paayee: This body, the puppet of Maya, is infused with evil ego (sggs 31).
Ball-Budhi is the state of perfect detachment (Bairaag). However, with the rise of false ego, we become attached to world and its gross objects (Maya), and forget our True Nature in the process. To link back to Baal-Budhi, therefore, is to develop the attitude of detachment, which is the key to Realization of Spiritual Consciousness. Worldly attachments and inner renunciation are incompatible. It is only when the mind becomes totally detached to the attractions of the world that Spiritual Unfoldment can result. Worldly attachments will fall away on their own accord when the mind attains the necessary detachment with the practice of Jap. But the onus of actively engaging in Spiritual life is on the individual and there is no alternative to self-effort (Shabad-Vichaar...).
  • ਬਾਲ ਸੁਭਾਇ ਅਤੀਤ ਉਦਾਸੀ ॥: Baal subhaai ateet oudaasee: With a childlike, innocent nature, remain detached, turning away from the world (sggs 1076).
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਤ ਸੀਤਲ ਮਨ ਭਏ ॥ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਲਤ ਸਗਲ ਦੁਖ ਗਏ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਮਨਿ ਭਏ ਅਨੰਦ ॥ ਰਸਿ ਗਾਏ ਗੁਨ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ॥੧॥: Uddam karat seetal man bhaye ...: Through the sincere efforts (of joining the Saadh Sangat), the mind becomes Peaceful. Walking on the Path (of the Saadh Sangat), all pains are taken away (i.e., pains do not affect). The mind becomes Blissful by chanting the Naam, the Lord's Name. Lovingly singing the Lord's Praises, Supreme Bliss is obtained (i.e., ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿਆਂ ਮਨ ਵਿਚ ਆਨੰਦ ਹੀ ਆਨੰਦ ਪੈਦਾ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ) ||1|| (sggs 201).
Ball-Budhi also characterizes the state of complete inner surrende. But, what is surrender? It's the relinquishment of our falsehood or ego-mind! With the relinquishment of the false ego comes the Baal-Budhi. For instance, a mother puts her infant where ever she wants to; the infant does not know anything for he is in a state of complete surrender. He is left sometimes in the bed, sometimes in the crib and sometimes on the ground. She administers her milk knowing the infant's needs. Simply put: assuming the attitude of Baal-Budhi is to surrender to God's Hukam (Will or Divine Law).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਸਾਰ ਕਰੇ ਹਮ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਬਾਲਕ ॥: Har jee meree saar kare hum har ke baalak: The Dear Lord takes care of me; I am the child of the Lord (sggs 1101).
  • ਮਨੁ ਬੇਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸਿ ॥: Mann baechai satgur kai paas. Tis sevak ke kaaraj raas: (One who) sell his mind (ਭਾਵ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਕਰ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ-surrenders his ego-sense, Haumai, self-will or ਮਨ ਮਤ, etc.) to the Satigur (ਜਿਸ ਦੇ ਪਾਸ ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਹੈ: knower of Truth...), that humble servant's work (the purpose of life, etc.) becomes fitting or complete (he becomes Gurmukh, Jeevamukat, Enlightened, Realized...). (sggs 286).
Baal-Budhi is transparency, Pure Truthfulness. It also signifies humbleness. It's devoid of duality (Doojaa Bhaav): there is no feeling of "likes" and "dislikes" in it. Also, like the Divine Spirit, an infant sees everybody with an even vision. Just as the infant is not under the control of Maya's three Gunas, similarly, the Divinity is also beyond the three Gunas — Saatav, Raajas and Taamas. God is in none other than the Sahaj Avasthaa, so is the infant. That's why after Realizing the Self, the man becomes like an infant!
  • ਸੁਧ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਲਕ ਲੀਲਾ ਵਿਚ ਵਿਹਾਵੇ ॥: Sudh na hovai baal budhi baalak leelaa vich vihaavai: Child's wisdom cares not for anything and he passes his time in joyful activities (Vaar Bhai Gurdaas).
All we need to do is to set right our ideas of ourselves. So long we perceive the ego-center, there exists the sense of individuality or separateness between the mind and the Self. Where the mind's perversions have ended, there the mind ends, and rebounds back to its Original Nature, Baal-Budhi.
  • ਧੰਨੈ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਬਾਲ ਬੁਧਿ ॥: Dhannai seviaa baal budhi: Dhanna served God, with the innocence of a child (sggs 1192).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਦਿਲ ਸਾਬਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਤਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਾਂ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥: Kabeer jaa kee dil saabat nahee taa kaou kahaan khudaai (sggs 1374).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org