REMOVE MIND WITH MIND

The (lower) mind is reconciliated with the (Higher) Mind,
and the ego's wandering ways come to an end (sggs 227).
Through the Gurmat (Guru's Teaching), the sickness of my ego has been dispelled,
and my pain (of ਹਉਮੈ or egotism) is over and done; the knowledge (Giaan) of my
(True) Identity has consumed my identical identity(false identity, ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ) (sggs 78).
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Yes, in essence the Gurbani is urging us to remove the mind with the mind. Sounds like a paradox. But it's not. Aatmaan in its True Nature or Unconditioned State (Joti-Svaroopa) is the Witness Conscious. With the rise of the false ego-sense (Haume), when our True Nature gets contaminated by the ego's corruption, it is called the mind or Jeeva (individual being). When this contamination (Haume) is eradicated, one reverts back to his True Nature (Soul-Consciousness) again. Thus, the lower (conditioned, corrupt, undisciplined, material or worldly consciousness etc.) mind is removed with the Higher Mind (Untainted Consciousness). In other words, according to the Gurbani, one's mind can be refined or mended. If left unchecked, the ego-mind is like a poisonous tree, whose seed is unripe ego (Haume), thoughts (Phurne) are branches, and Kaarmic actions are fruits. Through the Haume, it then indulges in sensual objects, making man stroll in ten directions like a street-dog, causing his spiritual downfall in the process. As a thorn is removed with the help of an another thorn, and as poison is antidote to poison, similarly, the Gurbani says that the deluded mind (lower thoughts or tastes, ego, duality, evil passions, Vaasnaas, Haume etc.) can be removed with the Higher Mind (Higher Thoughts or Taste, egolessness etc.). That's why the Gurbani says, "Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well". When the deluded consciousness ceases to be, then the Pure Consciousness (mind's True Nature) shines forth. The Gurbani says that he alone is Sage who annihilates (kills) his mind. Mere subduing of the mind will not do the trick. Because, the subdued mind will always come back, but not the annihilated mind. Therefore, the lower mind must be totally annihilated with the Higher mind.

  • ਮਨ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਚੂਕੀ ਅਹੰ ਭ੍ਰਮਣੀ ॥: Man te manu maaniaa chookee aham bhramanee: The (lower) mind is reconciliated with the (Higher) Mind, and the ego's wandering ways come to an end (sggs 227).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਨਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥: Nanak man hee te man maaniya na kish marai na jaayi: O Nanak, through the (Higher) Mind, the (lower) mind is satisfied, and then, nothing comes or goes (sggs 514).
  • ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੂਆ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਪਿਰੁ ਰਾਵੈ ਨਾਰਿ ॥: Man mahi manooyaa je marai taa pir raavai naari: If the (lower) mind within the (Higher) Mind dies, then the Husband Lord ravishes and enjoys His soul-bride (sggs 58).
  • ਮਾਣਕੁ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਸੀ ਸਚਿ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਕਤੁ ॥: Manak man mahi manu maarsee sach na laagai kat: The Divine Jewel within the (Higher) Mind annihilates the (lower) mind; thus attached to the Truth, it does not wander deluded again (sggs 992).
  • ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਉਲਟੋ ਮਰੈ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Man mahi man ulto marai je gun hovahi naal: The (lower) mind turns inward, and merges with the (Higher) Mind, when it is with virtue (sggs 935).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: Mann marai ...: When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped. Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can God be found? Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind. The mind is conquered through the Shabad; this is known to the Lord’s humble servant only (sggs 665).
  • ਆਪਿ ਮੂਆ ਮਨੁ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥: Aapi mooaa manu munn te jaaniaa: When the false self (ego) dies, the mind comes to know the Supreme Mind: the Pure Self (sggs 153).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਭੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Houmai deeragh rogu hai daaroo bhee isu maahi: Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well (sggs 466).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਇਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਥਾ ਆਪੁ ਆਪੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਖਾਧਾ ॥: Houmai rog gaiaa dukh laathaa aap aapai gurmati khaadhaa: Through the Gurmat (Guru's Teaching), the sickness of my ego has been dispelled, and my pain (of ਹਉਮੈ or egotism) is over and done; the knowledge (Giaan) of my (True) Identity has consumed my identical identity (false identity, ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ) (sggs 78).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Binu mann mooye kaise hari paai: Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can God be found? (sggs 665).
  • ਸੋ ਮੁਨਿ ਜਿ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਾਰੇ ॥ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥੧॥: So muni ji mann kee dubidhaa maare. Dubidhaa maar braham beechaare ||1||: He alone is a Sage, who annihilates his mind's duality. Killing his duality, he contemplates God. ||1|| (sggs 1129).
This is why it is said that one's mind can be his best friend, and the same time it can be one's worse enemy too! It is the cause of bondage and the resulting sorrows, and it is also the cause of Freedom (Mukti). Clearly, the mind is powerful and wonderful instrument. In other words, if utilized properly the same mind can take one closer to his True Nature (God), and the same mind if utilized improperly can dump one in a mire of worldliness! The mind is one and the same, it all depends on how we chose to conduct and channel it. The freedom of choice is in our hands. We also have the liberty to chose lots of excuses for not channeling or guiding it in the right direction. How we can tell right from wrong or truth from false? The Gurbani says by using the "Viveka" — the discerning intellect. It is the power of discrimination between the Real (Sat or Truth) and unreal (Asat or false). In short, Viveka is to know the Best Way. On the other hand, its absence is darkness of ignorance.To put it otherwise, without it, one is unable to discriminate between the eternal (permanent) and the ephemeral (impermanent). This subtle sense of discrimination helps one to know the difference between Sat & Asat (truth and falsehood). Thus, a person with discrimination knows that the Absolute Reality alone is eternal (Sat) and that everything else in this material world being in the framework of time and space is temporary (Asat). That is why the Gurbani says that without Viveka, this precious human life is a waste. How can we attain it? This Divine quality can be developed in the spiritual or Holy Company (Saadh-Sangat). The person with Viveka is called Gurmukh (Pure or egoless being) in the Gurbani.
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਸਕਤੀ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਚ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲੇ ਜਉ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਤਉ ਤੀਨਿ ਲੋਕ ਕੀ ਬਾਤੈ ਕਹੈ ॥੩੩॥: Ih manu sakti ih manu seeou. Ih mnu panj tatt ko jeeou... (sggs 342).
  • ਸੋ ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥: So dhanvanta jis budh bibek: He alone is wealthy who possesses discriminating intellect (sggs 1150).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ॥ਬੂਝੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੁ ਸਭਾਗਾ ॥: Boojhai boojhanhaar bibek. Boojhai boojhanhaar sabhaagaa: Only one with discriminating intellect understands it. Very fortunate is the one who knows this (sggs 285).
  • ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: So jan ralaaeiaa naa ralai jis a(n)thar bibaek beechaar: Those humble beings who are filled with keen discriminating wisdom and Self-inquiry -- even though they intermingle with others, they remain distinct (sggs 28).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Gurmukh giaan bibek budh hoi: The Gurmukh is blessed with spiritual wisdom and a discerning intellect (sggs 317).
  • ਬਸੰਤੁ ਹਿੰਡੋਲ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਰਾਜਾ ਬਾਲਕੁ ਨਗਰੀ ਕਾਚੀ ਦੁਸਟਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਪਿਆਰੋ ॥ ਦੁਇ ਮਾਈ ਦੁਇ ਬਾਪਾ ਪੜੀਅਹਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੋ ॥੧॥ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤਾ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਦੇਹੁ ਮਤੀ ॥ ਕਿਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਪਾਵਉ ਪ੍ਰਾਨਪਤੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਬਨਾਸਪਤਿ ਮਉਲੀ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਪੰਡੈ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਚੰਦੁ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਦੁਇ ਘਰ ਹੀ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥ ਰਾਮ ਰਵੰਤਾ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਇਕ ਮਾਈ ਭੋਗੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਲਖਣ ਜਾਣੀਅਹਿ ਖਿਮਾ ਧਨੁ ਸੰਗ੍ਰਹੇਇ ॥੩॥ ਕਹਿਆ ਸੁਣਹਿ ਨ ਖਾਇਆ ਮਾਨਹਿ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਹੀ ਸੇਤੀ ਵਾਸਾ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਦਾਸਨਿ ਦਾਸਾ ਖਿਨੁ ਤੋਲਾ ਖਿਨੁ ਮਾਸਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੧੧॥: Basant Hindol Mahalaa 1 ||. Raajaa baalak kaachee nagree dustaa naali piaaro...: Basant Hindol Mahalaa 1. The king (mind) is just a boy (immature: filled with the flow of thought currents), and his city (body) is vulnerable; because the mind is in love with his wicked enemies (evil passions and intents). Mind has two mothers and two fathers (duality: two mothers are intellect and ignorance or Maya, and two fathers are Pure Consciousness and deluded consciousness or egoism); O Pandit, reflect on this ||1||. O Pandit, teach me how can I obtain the Lord of my life-current? ||1||Rahaou|| As the fire is hidden within the plants which bloom; the ocean (of evil passions) is hidden in this body. Both the Divine Light ("sun") and the Intuitive Peace ("moon") dwell in this body; but, O Pandit, (since your mind is flooded with the flow of wicket inclinations) you have not obtained this Knowledge and understanding ||2||. One who knows the All-pervading Lord, eats up the one mother -- Maya. Know that the sign of such a person is that he gathers the Divine Wealth of Compassion ||3||. The mind lives with those who do not listen, and do not cease from gratifying their senses. Prays Nanak, the slave of the Lord's slave: this mind is so fickle that in one instant it is huge (or strong), and the next instant, it is tiny -- weak ||4||3||11|| (sggs 1171).
The mind being the false consciousness, it's the illusion or phantom. As it hides the Truth, it's also called liar. Just as waves are movement at the surface of the ocean, the mind is movement at the surface of the pool of the Infinite Consciousness. It is the thoughts-stuff ("Phurne"): the continuous flow of thoughts just as a river is continuous flow of water. Without water, no river exists. Similarly, without thoughts, no mind can exists. When the thoughts flow one after another uninterruptedly, there is the apparent illusion of a mighty, powerful instrument called the mind. The river is characterized as fast, turbulent, slow, calm, clean and muddy if the waters in the river are fast, turbulent, slow, calm, clean and muddy, respectively. Similarly, the mind is said to be agitated, worried, anxious, stressful, vulgar, clean, pure and calm if the thoughts are agitated, worried, anxious, stressful, vulgar, clean, pure and calm, respectively. In other words, as the waters are, so is the river; as the thoughts are, so is the mind and the individual (Jeeva).

The Gurbani gives us hope and tells us that the mind can be reformed if one wants to reform it. That is why there is so much emphasis in the Gurbani and many other scriptures on control of the mind and the senses. Because it is only by self-control that one can develop dispassion or detachment (Bairaag), a necessary Divine quality for Self-realization. Detachment or dispassion is the absence of distractions from sense cravings. It is the knowledge that the external gross objects are not the source of eternal joy. Thus, Bairaag is the absence of sensual attachment to accepting things for one's own sense gratification. In other words, detachment from all mundane objects (unreal) and attachment to God (Real) only constitute Bairaag. Thus, only when there is detachment can one embark on the Gurbani or scriptural study by which Self-knowledge can be attained. Unless the mind is free from the turmoil created by sensations (false ego-sense or Haume) it cannot grasp the Divine Teachings (Gurmat). An open mind that rises above dogma, preconceived notions, doctrines, sects and creeds is necessary in this regard.

  • ਮਨ ਸਮਝੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਆਵਾਇਲੇ ॥: Mann samajh shodd aavaaile: O mind, reform yourself, and forsake your aimless wandering (sggs 862).
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਝੂਠਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: Man kaa jhoothaa jhooth kamaavai: The man of false mind practices falsehood (sggs 948).
  • ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥: Mann vas dootaa durmati doi: The mind is in the control of evil passions, evil intent, and duality (sggs 222).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗ ਨ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: Bin bairaag na shootas maya ||1||: Without detachment, Maya cannot be gotten rid of (cannot be liberated from Maya, etc.) ||1|| (sggs 329).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਜੁਆਲਾ ਜਗੁ ਜਾਰਿਆ ਸੁ ਜਨ ਕੇ ਉਦਕ ਸਮਾਨਿ ॥੧੭੫॥: Kabeer manu seetal bhaiaa paaiaa braham giaan. Jin juaalaa jag jaariaa s jan kae oudhak samaan ||175||(sggs 1373).
  • ਮਨੂਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਰਤ ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨਾ ॥: Manoo-aa dolai dah dis Dhaavai bin rat aatam gi-aanaa: The mind wavers and wanders in ten directions, without loving devotion and Self-knowledge (sggs 1013).
  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Mamaa man sio kaaju hai man saadhhe sidh hoi: MAMMA: (The mortal's purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline the mind; by doing so, Understanding is attained (Understanding of the Formless or Niraakaar - Nirakaar dee Budhi, Soojh, Samajh...). (sggs 342).
  • He who has not controlled his mind and senses can have no reason; nor can such an undisciplined man think of God. The unthinking man can have no peace; and, how can there be happiness for one lacking peace of mind? (Gita).
  • Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind (Ramana Maharshi).
  • This ego is hell (Jalaluddin Rumi).
  • All notions exist in the mind. Annihilate the mind with the mind. Purify the mind with the mind. Destroy the mind with the mind (Yoga Vasishta).
The Gurbani says that the mind is made in the True Image ("Joti-Svaroopa") of God or the Infinite Consciousness. What it means is that initially the mind in its Untainted State is a Cosmic Mind, until we come in contact with the worldly consciousness then it becomes conditioned. From a practical standpoint, what it means is that originally God (with His True Image) must have given the man his Divine Qualities as well - truth, harmony, patience, forgiveness, purity, selflessness, love, goodwill, compassion, kindness, contentment, knowledge, mercy, humility, even-mindedness, broadmindedness, peace, joy, faith, moral excellence, discerning intellect, temperance, self-confidence, forbearance, devotion, modesty, sympathy, fearlessness, and so on. But our "Joti-Svaroopa", the Original state of our True Being, is not clearly seen all the times. It is not clearly seen when we let the wall of our false ego stand in the way. When we overcome this false ego-sense, we become one with our "Joti-Svaroopa". A person is good or bad (in our relativist consciousness), depending upon to what extent he has been able to eradicate his false ego and manifest the godly Qualities or Divine Nature in him. Hence, as repeatedly reminded by the Gurbani and the wise men, to manifest our "Joti-Svaroopa" through every particle of our being and live a Divine Life must be the goal each one of us has to set for himself.
  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5||: Thus says Nanak - O mind! Your "Saroop" (your own, True State) is "Joti" (Divine Light)! Recognize your Mool (Source, Origin, Reality...) ||5|| (sggs 441).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥: Tat niranjan joti sabaaee soham bhed na koee jeeo: The essence, the immaculate Lord, the Light of all - I am He and He is me - there is no difference (sggs 599).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਹੰ ਹੰਸਾ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਤਿਸੈ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥: Nanak soham hansaa jap jaapahu tribhavan tisai samaahi: O Nanak, chant the chant of "Soham hansaa" - "He is me, and I am Him." The three worlds are absorbed in Him (sggs 1093).
  • ਤੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਮੋਹੀ ਤੋਹੀ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਕੈਸਾ ॥ ਕਨਕ ਕਟਿਕ ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਜੈਸਾ ॥੧॥: Tohee mohee mohee tohee antar kaisaa. Kanak katik jal trang jaisaa ||1||: You are me, and I am You—what is the difference between us? We are like gold and the bracelet, or water and the waves ||1|| (sggs 93).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raamu Raam mahi aatamu cheenasi Gur beechaaraa (sggs 1153).
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੁਭਾਉ ਸਦਾ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਵਸੈ ਅਤੀਤੁ ਅਨਰਾਗੀ ॥੫॥: Man kaa subhaou sadaa bairaagee. Sabh mahi vasai ateet anaraagee ||5||: The mind's (Innate or True) Nature is ever to remain detached. (Becaues, it's Original Source - ਅਸਲਾ - is That Lord who is Himself is free from the influence of Maya; and who is) Detached, Dispassionate and dwells within all.||5|| (sggs 1129).
Realizing the Higher Mind (Self-realization or onee's True Nature) means freedom from material consciousness (Haume). Once the seeker has developed his Inner-Purity, the mind grows richer in its receptivity, alertness, comprehension, and in its power of apprehension. Such a mind becomes fit for plunging into the study of the Gurbani and scriptures, and thereby, appreciating the Higher taste of selfless Love. Through the sincere practice of attaching our attention to the Higher Taste (Divine or Gurmukh lifestyle), one can certainly detach from the lower tastes (Manmukh or worldly lifestyle). Thus the mind can be refined. Therefore, the Gurbani repeatedly remind us it is important that one is aware of the power of one's mind and seek consciously and diligently to mend it.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀਐ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਈ ॥: Gurmukh houmai maareeai manu niramal hoee: The Gurmukh conquers his ego, and his mind is immaculately pure (sggs 230).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੁਏ ॥: Manamukh fir fir houmai muey: The Manmukhs die of their egotism, over and over again (sggs 1177).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: Manmukh agiaan duramat ahankaaree: The Manmukh is ignorant, evil-minded and egotistical (sggs 314).
  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: One who kills this (duality...) is a Sooraa — Spiritual Hero (sggs 238).
  • ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਨੈ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: annihilte your desires, and struggle with your mind (sggs 1021).
Only a Spiritual Hero (Gurmukh), with a sword of Intuitive Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan) can cut the mind's throat. But such person is said to be very rare: one out in millions and millions. Why only one in millions and millions actually become a Spiritual Hero succeeding in conquering his mind? Why not all of us? What is it that hold us back? According to the Gurbani and other scriptures, the reason we are unable to conquer the Jagat (material world) is our unwillingness to struggle with the instinctive mind. Consequently, we end up struggling with the Jagat instead. Struggling with the Jagat means attachment to "Kanik Kaamini" — "lust and greed" or Maya. All religions and spiritual practices exist because there exists this phantom called mind. When the mind is conquered, it becomes "no-mind" — the state of egolessness or desirelessness. We can establish a strong alliance with our mind's foes (all evil passions etc.) by becoming a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), says the Gurbani. It is the Gurmukh who can continuously keeps his mind in check. Like the snake-charmer, he also never lets the snake of his mind act loosely or independently.
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Ih man marai daaroo jaanai koi: Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind (sggs 665).
  • ਇਸੁ ਤਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਖੈ ॥: Is tann mahi munu ko gurmukh dekhai: Rare are those who, as Gurmukh, look within their bodies, into their minds (sggs124).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਮਲਾ ਰਗੜੈ ਲੁਝੈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੁਝੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੁਝੈ ॥੪੬॥: Manmukh kamlaa ragarhai lujhai. Gurmukh hoyi tis sabh kish sujahi. Nanak Gurmukh mann siou lujhai ||46||: The Manmukh (material being) drives himself crazy struggling with worries and stubbornness. But those who become Gurmukh understand everything (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇ ਹਰੇਕ ਭੇਤ ਨੂੰ). O Nanak, (the one who) becomes the Gurmukh struggles with your own mind (ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਲ ਟਾਕਰਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਰਹਿੰਦਾ ਹੈ) ||46|| (sggs 1418).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੀਆ ਸਿਰਿ ਮਾਰ ਵਾਦਿ ਖਪਾਈਐ ॥: Manmukheeaa siri maar vaad khapaaeeai: The problem of the Manmukh's (a material being) head is this: he is consumed by conflict (sggs 420).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਅੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਤਿਸ ਨਉ ਠਉਰ ਨ ਠਾਉ ॥: Manamukh manu tanu andh hai tis naou thour na thaaou: The minds and bodies of the Manmukhs are filled with darkness; they find no place of inner Peace (sggs 30).
  • ਮੂਰਖੁ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਆਖੀ ਸੂਝੈ ॥ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਰਸੁ ਨਹੀ ਕਹਿਆ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਬਿਖੁ ਕਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਜਗ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ॥੬॥: Moorakhu hoi n aakhee soojhai ..: That person is a fool who does not see (the All-pervading Lord...) with his eyes; whose tongue is devoid of the (Naam-) Ras (ਨਾਮ-ਰਸ, Taste of Naam...), and who does not understand (the Gurmat, Gurbani's Teaching...). Intoxicated with the poison (of Maya), he argues with the world ||6|| (sggs 414).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: One who reads, while attached to duality, does not understand. He struggles for the three-qualitied Maya (sggs 127).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Giaan kharragu lai mann siou loojhai manasaa manahi samaaee hae ||3||: Taking up the Sword of the Spiritual Wisdom, struggle with the mind, and (all Mayaic desires, thoughts, ਫੁਰਨੇ, etc., ) born of the mind are contained in the mind (ਮਨ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਮੁੱਕ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ). ||3|| (sggs 1022).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸਾਚਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥: Lovingly center your attention deep within upon the Shabad (sggs 931).
It is paradoxical that the majority of human beings fritter away their entire life in pursuit of sensory joys, which are short-lived, while they hardly aspire for Self-knowledge (Aatm-Giaan), which will give them eternal bliss. Even realizing this irony will go a long way in enabling a person to keep the spiritual objective in mind while engaged in the world. The senses are turbulent by nature and they distract the mind when one practices self-control. So it is with sincere and determined self-effort that a spiritual seeker must master his mind and senses and meditate (Naam-Simran) on the Higher Self (Pure Consciousness). The mind becomes dull and dim (lower) on account of the spiritual ignorance of our True nature as "Joti-Svaroop". Higher mind is the empty mind: simply the mind free of the mystic ego, selfishness, narrowness, attachment to desires, "I-am-ness", all other evil passions etc. It is the mind stripped of all agendas or concepts or wanderings. It is intuitvely balanced mind. The Gurbani says that only such mind is fit for devotion (Bhagtee).
  • ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mani mailai bhagti na hovaee naamu n paaiaa jaai: With a filthy mind (filth of Haumai...), Bhagti cannot be performed, and the Naam cannot be obtained (sggs 39).
  • ਧਾਵਤ ਕਉ ਧਾਵਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਜਿਉ ਤੇਲੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਇਓ ॥: Dhaavat kaou dhaavahi bahu bhaatee jiou telee balad bhramaaiou: the mind runs around chasing the fleeting objects of the world, in all directions, like the ox around the oil press (sggs 712).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਭਈ ਮਤਿ ਮਧਿਮ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥: Antar agiaan bhayee mat madhim satgur kee parateet naahee: He (Manmukh) has spiritual ignorance within, and his intellect is dull and dim; he does not place his faith in the True Guru (sggs 652).
  • ਹੀਰੈ ਹੀਰਾ ਬੇਧਿ ਪਵਨ ਮਨੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ ॥: Heerai heeraa bedh pavan manu sahaje rahiaa samaaee: When the Diamond of Divine Knowledge pierces the diamond of my mind, then the mind restless as wind is easily absorbed into Sahaj — one's Natural State of Being (sggs 483).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mann marai dhaat mar jaai: When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings stop (sggs 665).

Since a Gurmukh is very rare, it is not possible for the majority of people to renounce the worldly consciousness (lower mind) to pursue the goal of spiritual life. But, at the same time, we cannot neglect this objective, as the very purpose of human birth is to realize God and thereby put an end to bondage. So we all have to find a way that will enable us to follow the spiritual path amidst our worldly preoccupation. For such spiritual seekers, the Gurbani's advice is meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran), seeking the spiritual or Holy Company (Saadh-Sangat), Shabad-Vichaar or Self-inquiry, Kirtan, diligent study of scriptures, daily introspection, and so on. When milk is allowed to set to become curd, it can then be churned to get butter. Unlike milk, butter will not mix with water; so also the mind, which is trained this way will not be distracted by the world. In other words, we should have the conviction that only God is eternal and everything else fleeting. Hence, spending an entire lifetime in the frivolous pursuit of worldly goals and amassing wealth become self-defeating, as the sense-pleasures one gets through them are transitory.

  • ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: Man merae naam ratae sukh hoi: O my mind, attuned to the Naam, you will find peace (sggs 38).
  • ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Mann mere gurmat karanee saar: O my mind, follow the Gurmat and practice excellent conduct (sggs 559).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥੩॥: Sadh sangat mil budh bibek ||3||: Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, the discriminating intellect is attained ||3|| (sggs 377).
  • ਮਾਣਕੁ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਸੀ ਸਚਿ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਕਤੁ ॥: Maanak man mahi manu maarsee sach na laagai kat: The Jewel (of Naam) within the mind annihilates the mind; attached to the Truth, it is not broken (sggs 992).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿਆ ਤੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Gur te manu maariaa sabad veechaariaa te virale sansaaraa: How very rare are those in this world who, through the Guru, annihilate their minds, and reflect on the Shabad—Self-inquiry (sggs 1125).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਗੈ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਰੈ ॥: Ihu manu jaagai is mann kee dubidhaa marai: When this mind is awakened, its duality ceases to be (sggs 1129).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org