ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥
ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥:
Manu marai dhaat mar jaai. Bin man mooye kaise hari paai. Ih mann
marai daaroo jaanai koi. Manu sabadi marai boojhai jan soi (sggs 665).
Divine Instructions of the scriptures reveal to us that annihilation of the Mauaic mind is must for linking with the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...). A scary thought and a doubt is likely to arise in our mind as we read this. Naturally, upon reading this, one may ask: "If the mind is destroyed, then, would I be a living or a dead person? Even if alive, with dead mind, how will I experience the external world of names and shapes? How will I gain knowledge of worldly objects? How will I remember my experiences? How will I transact and live in this world?" Who would be willing to put efforts to reach such a state of "no-mind"? Why one would desire such a state of existence in the first place? One may become overwhelmed with such and many other fearful notions, thoughts, questions, and doubts. Nonetheless, as the Gurbani indicates, filthy mind (Mayaic, conditined, egist, etc.) and the Truth (ਸਚ) cannot coexist.
Scriptures assure us that there is no need to become fearful, because destruction of the mind does not mean smashing the brain with a sledge hammer! Then, what is really meant over here by "destruction" or "annihilation" of the mind, and how one can go about reaching there?
Necessity For Mind's Annihilation
In essence, false ego distances man from his Divine Nature (Joti-Svaroop). It's the seed of the deluded mind whose projection are passions and emotions. We are repeatedly reminded of the fact that the culprit behind man's all troubles is this deluded mind, whose diseases are not only devastating but also subtle, thereby, invisible to our physical eyes. In nutshell, defects of a deluded mind can be summarized as follows: impurity, restlessness, veil of ignorance, duality, etc. Eradication of these defects is called "annihilation", "killing" or "destruction" of the mind, without which it's impossible to reach the mind's substratum (Adhar; pronounced Adhaar) and link the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...).
Our thoughts (ਫੁਰਨੇ) constitute our mind. In the bewildered thoughts of a worldly man are mighty Bikaars like lust, anger, greed, etc. These all constitute the mighty internal and external foes of the contending mind. The Gurbani declares that total annihilation of the mind is alone victory. The complete discarding of it is alone Bliss (Anand), Yog, Intuitive Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Bibek-Budhi...), etc.. Thus, sacrifice of the mind is the greatest sacrifice.
What is mind? We need to solve this riddle before attempting to find the way to reach the state of its "annihilation". Mind can be looked at as an instrument. Just as an engine or a bulb can not function without electricity, similarly, the mind can not function without Spirit. It is enlivened by the Spirit, otherwise it's inert in itself.
Thus, looking at the mind-body relationship, mind can be identified as the driving instrument in this physical body. If we look at the entire picture, this material body is like a car, an individual is the passenger in this car, intelligence is the driver, the senses are the horses, and the mind is the driving instrument. If the mind is in complete control of the Spirit, the individual Jeev will be the enjoyer in the association of the mind and the senses. On the contrary, if the mind is not in the control of Spirit, the Jeev will be the sufferer.
Our bodily senses are directed by the sense objects; sense objects are directed by the mind; the mind is directed by the intelligence; and the intelligence is directed by the soul. However, the mind is so restless, turbulent, obstinate, and strong that it often overcomes even one's own intelligence. An analogy given by the great spiritual-scientists is that of an acute infection that may even surpass the efficacy of the medicine.
Can one capture the blowing wind? Not possible. It's even more difficult to capture the restless and turbulent mind, which is always in the state of flux, ever changing, ever tossed around, going hither and thither. How can one annihilate such mighty phantom? Not so easy. It is of no surprise that the mind has been addressed thousands of times in the SGGS!
Our mind has two aspects. One aspect is to recognize objects perceived by the senses. Then, it helps to remember, experience and understand such objects. This aspect of the mind is very useful to us as it helps us to experience the outside world. Thus, it enhances our life. However, it is the second aspect of the mind that binds us to the material bondage. The second aspect of the mind is to brood over the perceived objects, creating feelings of likes, dislikes, desires, lust, anger, delusion, attachment, greed, pride, jealousy, etc. Thus, mind's this aspect (duality or Doojaa Bhaav) becomes the source of our sufferings and sorrows.
To better understand these two aspects of the mind, we can look into the mind's faculties and modes of its action. Mind is a coordinating instrument which has four faculties called Antahakaran or inner modes of action. These four faculties are Manas, Chitt, Budhi, and Ahankar (pronounced Ahankaar).
The faculty of Manas receives and registers impressions through the senses of smell, taste, hearing, seeing and feeling. Its main function is to receive and taste. Chitt is that faculty which takes notice of the form, beauty, color, rhythm, etc. It receives most of its impressions through the eyes. Manas and Chitt enjoy what they have been trained to enjoy, and automatically rejects what they do not like. It then passes on their findings to Budhi for final judgment.
The Soul uses Budhi or intellect as its chief instrument of thought. For this faculty to produce thoughts, it has to be empowered by the Spirit. Its function is to discriminate and decide. Its judgments and decisions are then passed on to Ahankaar for execution.
Ahankar accepts findings and decisions of the other faculties, and executes its mandates. It also is the sense of "I". When this sense of "I" applied to this false material body, it becomes false ego. When one understands that he is a Spirit Soul or "Joti-Svaroopa", then individual comes to his real sense of "I". In other words, Ahankaar is that faculty of the mind which, when perverted, becomes egoism (Haumai).
When these four faculties are in complete purified state (no Mayaic thoughts, ਫੁਰਨੇ...), then the individual identifies himself with the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...). When these faculties become distorted by delusion, or when they become vitiated and perverted, the sense of duality (Doojaa-Bhaav) and evil instincts (Bikaar) evolve — feelings of likes and dislikes, desires, lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness and stubborn mindedness, etc. Under the influence of any or all of these evil passions, mind runs wild in ten directions, out of control.
From this discussion, it becomes apparent that the mind withdrawn from the objects of the world of matter and senses sees itself as Pure Consciousness, which is the Vision of the Reality (Self-realization). Using this fact as a springboard, we can dive deeper to explore the real substratum of the mind. Knowledge of the substratum would reveal that there is no such thing called mind!
The mind is nothing but thoughts-stuff (ਫੁਰਨੇ). Since thoughts are transient, we recreate our mind every instant. Due to continuous flow of thoughts, it is always in the state of flux; thus transient. These thoughts could be of gross objects, feelings, ideas, and concepts. All these thoughts are the result of the "I" thought. Therefore, "I" thought alone is the mind. It is so because no thought will rise or exist without the knower or the subject of the thought. For example, in the thought "I know this is a computer", the computer is the object of the thought and "I" is the knower or the subject of the thought. Countless thoughts of innumerable objects in a perpetual flow is called mind. We try to calm the mind by controlling the flow of these thoughts. We are unable to get much success by other means other than the Shabad-Vichaar, because the flow is very turbulent and swift.
Where does the "I" thought come from? What is the source of this "I" thought? The "I" thought comes from false ego or Ahankaar (Haumai) — the notion of doership and enjoyership, that is, I am the doer or I am the enjoyer. From where does the Ahankaar come from? It comes from the ignorance of the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...). By removing this ignorance the Ahankaar is destroyed. Destruction of the Ahankaar is the same as destruction of the mind. Thus, when the substratum or the support of the mind is inquired into, the superimposition ("I" thought) gets destroyed and the Support (Mool) alone remains!
Thus, in reality, there is no such thing as mind! Because, the mind (thoughts) being in the framework of time and space, is false. The reason all religions, paths, or systems exist is this phantom called the mind. And their sole purpose is to eliminate this phantom — false ego (Haumai)! The Gurbani wants us to become the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...) and annihilate the mind.
Minding The Mind: It's Annihilation
In essence, the destruction of the mind really means the removal of the ignorance of one's Mool (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...), not destruction of the perceiving aspect of the mind, by which we transact with the world. Once the seeds of ignorance are roasted in the fire of the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Bibek-Budhi), it never makes comeback. The snake and the snake-hole, both get destroyed, once and for ever. Now, the question is how one can go about destroying this ego-sense (Haumai), which is the product of the ignorance of the Mool (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...)?
Mind is slave to routine, customs, and habits. Once mind becomes accustomed to a habit, it then likes to go on doing it. Eventually, habits become like "grooves" in which actions run. More a habit is indulged in, it becomes much easier for the mind to run in that groove. After more repetitions, it begins to enjoy it. After that, the mind never wants to leave these beaten grooves or path. Some of these grooves are the results of impressions of our past lives, and some are the results of actions of this life.
Once a desire comes up, the mind becomes agitated and finds no peace till the desire is fulfilled. In order to fulfill a desire, the first thing mind does is it brings itself into the action and then establishes a groove or habit. Once a groove is established, like a locomotive, it does not leave the track (or groove ) on which it is set. All this is because man feels that he can gain everlasting happiness from the fleeting material objects! Thus, the gain or loss of objects becomes the source of joy or unhappiness. However, happiness is not the nature of objects but of the subject: It is the nature of the Mool . We, due to ignorance of our own Essential Nature, search happiness in material objects, thereby creating problems and sorrow for ourselves. In the state of annihilation, the mind link back tha its Mool, and does not run after external objects, accordingly, it becomes Silent, Peaceful and Blissful!
When the mind is fixed on the Name or Shabad-Surti, it can not do anything but act as a Friend. In the absence of Shabad-Surti, it will act as an enemy. Therefore, the Gurbani teaches us to utilize the mind to elevate ourselves to reach the top, that is,link with the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...). Unless one can control the mind, there is no hope for elevation. Simply put: The mind attached to sense objects is our enemy, and the mind detached from the them is our Friend.
In an unrestrained condition, the mind is like a camel or horse without the guiding string, or a ship without a captain, or an elephant intoxicated with wine, or a monkey stung with thousands of scorpions. The mind will always do what it is trained to do. Our body is like a chariot, and the mind is the driving instrument. For example, if one tells this mind to take him to a spiritual assembly, it will take him there. But if one asks this driver to take him to a liquor house, he will end up there! Thus, the Gurbani thunders that whosoever struggles with his mind will abide in the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...)!
Many expressions have been used in the Gurbani that indicate mind's "annihilated" condition such as killed-mind; the state of egolessness; Pure Consciousness; transcending of Maya; the state of no-mind or thoughtlessness; the state beyond duality (Doojaa Bhaav); purified Heart; Fourth State (Chauthaa Pada); Turiyaa Avasthaa; opening of the Tenth Gate (Dasam Duar); awakening of Kundilini; the state of Jeevanmukta (living liberated); the state Intuitive Wisdom; Spiritual Silence (Sunn Samaadhi); Self-realization; the mind that is purified, cleansed, subdued, surrendered (to God), undisturbed by external forces, still, controlled, dead, unwavering, steady, peaceful, fixed (on God), happy, calm, Blissful, in tune with the True Self, quiet, and conquered.
The mind linked with the Mool within (ਮੂਲ-Source, Origin, Reality...) is Enlightened. When there is a sun, darkness has no scope to stay there. Similarly, the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan...) is like a sun; when we keep the Gurmat in our mind, the darkness of Maya with its dualistic principle has no scope to enter in that mind and corrupt it.
— T. Singh
Updated on Friday, August 31, 2012 3:32 PM (PST)
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