ਕੁਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਹਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਦੁਖੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥੧੧॥:
Kusangati bahahi sadaa dukhu paavahi dukho dukhu kamaaiaa ||11|| (sggs 1068).
By Maya's own way, Mayaic activities are a source of
perplexity for all mortals. These perplexities are like wild forest fire that
somehow blazes without being set by anyone! In many Shabad, we have the
Gurbani's account describing the pathetic condition
of living entities caught in the vertex of material perplexities. The good news
is that the Gurbani also guides us as to how to get Free from such perplexed
People in material perplexities are called in Gurbani
by different names. Some of these names are Kusang (bad company), Saakat
or Sakat ( pronounced Saakat ), Manmukh (self-willed, material being...), Aatam-Ghaatee (self-murderer),
Chor (thief), Mayadhaaree (Maya-stricken or mammon worshipper),
Bimukhan (nonbeliever), Jhooth or Koor (false or fake),
Pasoo (beast), non-devotee, mind-centered, demon, idiot, fool, animal,
and so on.
Unlike mortals, the Lord remains unaffected by the Maya's perplexities. Similarly,
His Gurmukh are also beyond the reach of Maya's far reaching tentacles. Other
than that, everything else is Maya-stricken, hence untruth or false. Apart from the
association of the Satt within (ਸਤ- Truth) or the Gurmukh; everything is Kusang: False or bad association.
- ਸਾਕਤ ਮੂੜ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਬਧਿਕ ਵਿਚਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਫਿਰੰਦੇ ॥: Saakath moorr Maya ke badhik vichi Maya firahi firande: The foolish Saakat are held captive by Maya; in Maya, they continue wandering, wandering around (sggs 800).
- ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਦਾਸੀ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧ ਅਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਨਿੰਦਹਿ ਨਿਗੁਰੇ ਪਸੂ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੨॥: Thaakur shodi daasee kaou simarahi manmukh andh agiaanaa.
Hari kee bhagti karahi tin nindahi nigure pasoo samaanaa ||2||:
The blind, ignorant Manmukhs (self-willed, material beings...) forsake their God (Mool), and
dwell on His slave Maya. They slander those who perform Bhagti (i.e., trying to understand the Gurbani...);
they are like beasts ||2|| (sggs 1138).
- ਮਨਮੁਖ ਸੇਤੀ ਸੰਗੁ ਕਰੇ ਮੁਹਿ ਕਾਲਖ ਦਾਗੁ ਲਗਾਇ ॥: Manmukh setee sangu kare muhi kaalakh daagu lagaai: Whoever associates with the self-willed Manmukhs (i.e., Kusang), will have his face blackened (stigma, ਬਦਨਾਮੀ ਦਾ, he will lose his Giaan and Bibek-Budhi...). (sggs 1417).
- ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਕੇਰੀ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਸਨਬੰਧੁ ॥:
Manmukhaa keree dosatee Maya kaa sanabandhu: Friendship with the material beings
(Manmukhs-self-willed...) is an alliance with Maya—illusion, ignorance, and so on (sggs 959).
At the time of birth, an infant's mind is more Intact, selfless, etc. But, with the passage of time, it loses all that on account
of all sorts of bad association (Kusang). Just as a rain drop which does
not have any impurity of its own, but when it comes in contact with the ground
or dirt, it becomes contaminated. Also, a piece of paper does not have any smell
of its own, however, when the same paper is used to wrap fish or fragrant flowers,
gets the smell of the object it is associated with. Similarly, man is affected
by the association he keeps.
How can we turn away from associating with Kusang
or Saakat? And how can we retrace our steps back to link with
the Mool within (Source, Origin...), the True Association? In this context, this Gurbani Reflection
will attempt to reflect on the following aspects of Kusang:
- Definition of Kusang
- Mental condition of Kusang
- Attributes of Kusang
- Activities of Kusang
- Turning away from Kusang
A Saakat or Manmukh is a person who has
forsaken or forgottenNaam or Shabad (Aatam-Giaan...). Also, such person
does not understand the Shabad, Hukam (Divine Order), purpose
of life, his relationship with the Mool within (Source, Origin...), and the Way of a spiritual
life. Consequently his deluded mind acts in cynicism.
According to the Gurbani, thus, anyone who has not realized
the Shabad or Naam (Aatam-Giaan of the Gurbani...) alone is Manmukh
or Saakat. Opposite to Manmukh is Gurmukh.
- ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਹਿ ॥: Se manmukh jo Sabad n pachhaanahi: They alone are Manmukhs who do not realize the Shabad (sggs 1054).
- ਤੇ ਸਾਕਤ ਚੋਰ ਜਿਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਮਨ ਤਿਨ ਕੈ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਭਿਟੀਐ ॥੪॥: Te saakat chor jinaa Naamu visaariaa man tin kai nikati n bhiteeai ||4||: Saakat / thieves are those who have forgotten the Naam (Giaan...) ||4|| (sggs 170).
A Manmukh, regardless how advanced he may be in
material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in Divine Qualities.
On the contrary, any person who practices true Bhagti has
all the Good Qualities which are found in the Gurmukh.
Everyone is either a servant of Maya or a servant of Parameshar.
Those who serve Maya are called Manmukh or demons, and those who serves
Parameshar are called Gurmukh or Divine.
Having understood the definition of Kusang, we
will now look deeper into mental condition, attributes, and actions of such
individuals. We can use this insight as a tool for self-analysis; to determine
to what degree a "Kusang", "Saakat" or "Manmukh"
is present in us.
Mental Condition Of Kusang
Because of Manmukh's cynicism, his existence fosters
demoniac activities in the society such as cheating, swindling, larceny, untruthfulness,
bribery, lies, quarrel, disagreement, deceit, cynicism, hypocrisy, duplicity,
misinformation, hatred, conflicts, fanaticism, communalism, differences, animosity,
destruction, killing, and so on. According to the Gurbani, the mind's disease
is its duality (Doojaa Bhaav). A Manmukh is a burning example
of such mind.
A Manmukh's life is dominated by his strong bondage to material consciousness,
far away from the Spiritual discipline (Aatam-Maarag). Due to his physical-consciousness,
his mind becomes flickering, turbulent, restless, obstinating, and very difficult
to control. Consequently, it falls pray to mental diseases which are subtle,
thereby invisible to our material eyes. The foremost of these diseases is the
ignorance-born false ego (Haumai). The projection of this false ego are diseases like
lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, jealousy, enviousness, hatred, animosity,
duality, fear, selfishness, quarrel, slandering of others, lower quality thoughts,
aggressiveness, cruelty and unfeeling to other beings, wickedness, prejudices,
cheating, lie, corruption, fraud, hypocrisy, deceptiveness, etc. And we are
tormented by these diseases, day and night.
Mental ailments, in turn, give rise to many bodily diseases. Fortunately, the
bodily diseases finish with the death of our physical body, but no the mental
diseases. This is how the Jeeva
(individual beings) get caught in the vicious
cycle of repeated suffering.
Attributes Of Kusang
- ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਬੇਮੁਖੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਦੀਨਾ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਜਨਮ ਭਰਮਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਜੂਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੀ ਐਸੀ ਹੈ ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਸਗਲ ਬਿਪਰੀਤਿ ॥੨॥ ਜੀਉ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਜਿਨਿ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਧਾਰਿਆ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਮਨਹੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਆ ॥੩॥ : Tisu siou bemukhu jini jeeou pindu deenaa...:
unfaithful to the One, who has given them body and soul. He wanders through millions
of incarnations. ||1||Rahaaou|| Such is the lifestyle
of the Saakat; everything they do is evil. ||2|| Within their minds,
they have forgotten that Lord, who created the soul, breath of life, mind
and body ||3|| (sggs 195).
- ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਕਉਡੀ ਬਦਲੈ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਰਤਨੁ ॥ ਛੋਡਿ ਜਾਇ ਤਾਹੂ ਕਾ ਜਤਨੁ ॥ ਸੋ ਸੰਚੈ ਜੋ ਹੋਛੀ ਬਾਤ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਟੇਢਉ ਜਾਤ ॥੧॥ ਅਭਾਗੇ ਤੈ ਲਾਜ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਪੂਰਨ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਨ ਚੇਤਿਓ ਮਨ ਮਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਕਉਰਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮੀਠੀ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ ਨੈਨਹੁ ਡੀਠੀ ॥ ਕੂੜਿ ਕਪਟਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਰੀਝਾਨਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨਤ ਜਨੁ ਬਿਛੂਅ ਡਸਾਨਾ ॥੨॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਝੂਰੈ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਦਾਤਾਰੁ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਕਰੈ ਗਵਾਰੁ ॥੩॥ ਸਭ ਸਾਹਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਾਹੁ ॥ ਵੇਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ॥ ਮੋਹ ਮਗਨ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਗਿਰਹ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਰੀਐ ਤੇਰੀ ਮਿਹਰ ॥੪॥੨੧॥੩੨॥: Ramkalee Mahalaa 5 || kouddee badalai tiaagai ratan ...: Ramkalee Mahalaa 5. In exchange for a shell, (Saakat) gives up a Jewel (of the Lord's Name). He tries to get what he must give up. He collects those things which are worthless. Enticed by Maya, he takes the crooked path ||1||. You unfortunate man — have you no shame? You do not remember in your mind the Ocean of peace Pooran Parameshar ||1||rahaaou||. Amrit (Naam) seems bitter, and poison sweet. Such is the Saakat's condition, which I have seen with my own eyes. He is fond of falsehood, fraud and egotism. If he hears Naam, he feels like he ahs been stung by a scorpion ||2||. He continually yearns for Maya, and he never chants God's Praises in his mind (and/or) with his mouth. The Lord is fearless and formless; He is the Great Giver. But you do not love Him, you fool! ||3|| God, the True King, is above the heads of all kings. People are intoxicated by emotional attachment, entangled in doubt and family life. Nanak: they are saved only by Your Mercy, Lord. ||4||21||32|| (sggs 892).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਮੁਠੇ ਦੁਰਮਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਲੁਟਾਇਆ ਬਿਖੁ ਸਿਉ ਰਚਹਿ ਰਚੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਦੁਸਟਾ ਸੇਤੀ ਪਿਰਹੜੀ ਜਨ ਸਿਉ ਵਾਦੁ ਕਰੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥: Saakat muthe durmati Hari ras na jaanann. Jini amrit
bharam lutaayaa bikh siyu rachahi rachann. Dusta setee pirharee jan siyu vaad
karann: The Saakat are defrauded by
their own evil-mindedness; they do not know the sublime essence of God. Those
who lose the Ambrosial Nectar or Amrit (Naam), through doubt,
remain engrossed and entangled in corruption. They make friends with the wicked,
and argue with the humble servants of the Lord (sggs 854).
The attributes of liquor include intoxication. It ruins the user by destroying
his brain through its addiction. The quality of bad company (Kusang)
is no less deadlier than the liquor. The liquor or drugs effect one's mind in
a subtle way. Because of its subtlety, the user in the beginning does not realize
its damaging potential. Nonetheless, ultimately he comes to a point where he
feels "dead" without it. In other words, the liquor and the addict become one
and the same. Similar to liquor and drugs, the attributes of bad company also
influence one's mind in a very subtle way. The effects of bad company are so
subtle and deadly that one can not even judge that he has fallen into its influence.
Why is it so? Because of unwise or deluded mind, one is unable to admit that
the bad company has changed his mind and that he is fallen as a result of that.
As the saying goes: One becomes the company he keeps."
To make us recognize Kusang and beware of it, we
are provided with its numerous attributers throughout the Gurbani. Some of these
attributes include: disliking for Truth; mental delusion due to doubts; identification
with the feeling of "I, me, mine, your"; lust, anger, greed, attachment, and self
pride; jealousy and enviousness; hatred; selfishness; lack of contentment and
satisfaction; material hankering and lamentation; lack of mental control; restlessness;
falsehood; self-centeredness; spiritual ignorance; life full of quarrel and contentions;
dividing nature; lack of faith; extrovertedness; engrossment in rituals; unhappiness;
attitude of "taking" instead of "giving"; affinity for unholy
actions; lack of self-discipline; duality (Doojaa Bhaav); mental agitation;
rat-race; always begging for material things from God; complaining nature; finding
faults in others; unable to bear pains and sorrows of life; love worldliness instead
of God; corruption; engaged in larceny, swindling, bribery, cheating, plundering,
stealing, mental speculations, material logic, atheist thinking, deceitful and
cynical nature; and so on. Opposite to these are the attributes of a Gurmukh
- ਸਾਕਤ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ਕੂੜੈ ਕੂੜੀ ਪਾਂਇ ॥: Saakat sach n bhaavaee koorrai koorree paani:
The Saakat do not like the Truth; false are the foundations
of the false (sggs 22).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਨਰ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਜੀਵੀਜੈ ॥੭॥: Saakat nar ahankaaree kaheeahi bin naavai dhrig jeeveejai ||7||:
The Saakat, faithless cynics, are called egotistical; without the Name, their
lives are cursed ||7|| (sggs 1325).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਮੂੜ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਬਧਿਕ ਵਿਚਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਫਿਰੰਦੇ ॥: Saakath moorr Maya ke badhik vich Maya firahi firande: The foolish Saakat are held captive by Maya; in Maya, they continue wandering, wandering around (sggs 800).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਹਰਿ ਰਸ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਕੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥: Saakat har ras saad na jaaniaa tin antar houmai kanddaa he: The Saakatdo not know the Taste of the Sublime Essence of the Divinity; because the thorn of egotism is embedded deep within them (sggs 13).
- ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਜੈਸੇ ਸਰਪ ਆਰਜਾਰੀ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਜੀਵਹਿ ਸਾਕਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਬਿਸਾਰੀ ॥੧॥: Bin simran jaise sarap arjaaree. Tiou jeevahi saakat naam bisaaree ||1||: Without God's meditation, (mortal's life is) like that of a snake. This is how the Saakat lives forgetting the Naam (Giaan) ||1|| (sggs 239).
Because of his egotistical mentality, the Gurbani compares a Manmukh with
a bamboo tree. For instance, a bamboo tree growing near a sandalwood does not
pick up sandalwood's fragrance; it is too tall and proud. As Kabeer
Sahib puts it, the bamboo gets drowned in its egotistical pride. No one should
get drown like this. In other words, even though the bamboo dwells near the sandalwood
tree, but it does not take up its fragrance or humbleness and gets ruined.
- ਕਬੀਰ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਬਡਾਈ ਬੂਡਿਆ ਇਉ ਮਤ ਡੂਬਹੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਚੰਦਨ ਕੈ ਨਿਕਟੇ ਬਸੈ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਸੁਗੰਧੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੧੨॥: Kabeer baans badaaee boodiaa iou matt doobahu koi. Chandan kai nikate basai baans sugandh na hoi ||12||: Kabeer, the bamboo is drowned in its egotistical pride. No one should drown like this. Bamboo also dwells near the sandalwood tree, but it does not take up its fragrance ||12|| (sggs 1365).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਬੈਸਨਉ ਕੀ ਕੂਕਰਿ ਭਲੀ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੀ ਬੁਰੀ ਮਾਇ ॥ ਓਹ ਨਿਤ ਸੁਨੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਜਸੁ ਉਹ ਪਾਪ ਬਿਸਾਹਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੫੨॥: Kabeer baisnou kee kookar bhalee saakat kee buree maai. Oh nit sunai Hari naam jas oh paap bisaahan jaai ||52||: Kabeer, even the dog of a devotee is good, while the mother of the Saakat is bad. The dog hears the Praises of the Divine Name, while the other is engaged in sin ||52|| (sggs 1367).
Activities Of Kusang
The Gurbani affirms that the lifestyle of material beings
is such that everything they do is evil or ungodly. In other words, individuals
with Manmukh mentality do only that, by which filth or material pollution
stick to their mind. As mentioned in the Gurbani, a few of their activities
are briefly summarized as follows.
Manmukhs take great pleasure in finding faults
about other people. Our ego or ignorance never let us admit that our faults
are no less than others. As a result, we never see any weakness in ourselves,
but we never stop finding faults in others. As oppose to a Manmukh,
a Gurmukh always picks on his own faults and, by recognizing his own
faults, he then tries to eradicate them. On the contrary, by contemplating on
the faults of other people, a Manmukh brings about his own downfall by
(1) increasing his own anger, jealousy, enviousness, ego, vanity, bigotry, self-assertion,
etc., and (2) thus rendering his own intellect and actions faulty. In essence,
a Manmukh is critical of other people's faults, where as a Gurmukh
is critical of his own faults. The Gurbani reminds us that there is no need
to look for faults in others because we ourselves are full of them!
Manmukhs like to blow their own horns to show to
the world that they are the most spiritual or religious persons in the town or
community. To this end, such Saakat likes to boast about his devotion and,
thus, he likes to make a show of his piety at organized religious places. Also,
he loves to perform religious rituals in public; he will do anything to hold titles
in the religious organizations; he wants the whole world to know if he gives any
charity, etc. Thus, he makes himself a stinky reservoir of self-pride.
- ਹਮਰੇ ਅਵਗੁਣ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਹੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਾਰ ਬਾਰ ਹਰਿ ਗਣਤ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: Hamare avagun bahut bahut hai bahu baar baar Hari ganat
n aavai: My demerits are so many and numerous.
I have sinned so many times, over and over again. O God, they cannot be counted
- ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਬਹੁ ਭਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਮਤਿ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥ ਸਾਧੂ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਜਾਸਨਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਈ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਦੇ ਚੇਤਹਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਅੰਤਿ ਗਏ ਪਛੁਤਾਈ ॥੩॥: Aapas kaou bahu bhalaa kar jaanahi Manmukh mati n
kaaee ..: The Manmukhs see themselves as being
very virtuous; they have absolutely no Understanding (Aatam-Giaan...) at all. They indulge
in slander of the humble spiritual being; they waste their lives away (without Giaan...), and
then they have to depart. They never meditate on the Lord's Naam, and in the end,
they depart, regretting and repenting ||3|| (sggs 601).
As the saying goes: like attracts like. Similarly, Manmukhs
attract Manmukhs. One with Manmukh mentality has no genuine interest
in associating with the Gurmukh.
- ਸਾਕਤ ਜਾਇ ਨਿਵਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਕੂੜਿ ਕੂੜਿਆਰੇ ॥: Saakat jaai nivahi gur aagai man khote koor kooiaare: The Saakat go and bow before the Gur, but their minds are corrupt and utterly false (sggs 312).
- ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਅਤਿ ਊਜਲਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਾਇਆ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜੈ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਈ ਭੇਖੀ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਇਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੩॥: Hari Nirmal ati oojalaa binu gur paya n jaai. Paathu parrai n boojhaee bhekhee bharami bhulaai. Gurmatee hari paya rasanaa hari rasu samaai ||3||: The Lord is Pure and Luminous; without the Gur (the Gur-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, Wisdom, etc.), He cannot be Realized. (Those who merely) read (scriptures - ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਪੁਸਤਕਾਂ ਦਾ ਨਿਰਾ ਪਾਠ) cannot understand (this secret); the "Bhekhee" (those who thus merely read disguised in religious garbs, deceitful pretenders, sham, false, impersonator, etc.) become more deluded by doubts. Through the Gurmat (Guru's Teachings, Shabad-Giaan, Gur-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, etc.), the Lord is always Realized, and (one's) tongue remains permeated with the Sublime Essence of the Lord (Naam: Aatm-Giaan, Wisdom...). ||3|| (sggs 66).
Manmukh misuses his senses by engaging them in activities harmful to Spiritual
progress. For example, he uses is eyes to see objects and read subjects that are
adverse to Spirituality; he uses is ears to listen to subjects that are also adverse
to Spirituality; he uses his speech to talk about such subjects; then he uses
is mind to think and brood over these subjects that are impediments to devotion.
Brooding over such things infatuates his intellect and mentality.
- ਮਿਰਤਕ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਭਗਵੰਤ ॥: Miratak kaheeahi Nanakaa jih preet nahee bhagavant: He is likened to a corpse, O Nanak, if one does not Love of the Divine (sggs 253).
- ਸੰਤਾ ਸੇਤੀ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਵਿਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਏ ॥ ਦੁਲਭ ਦੇਹ ਖੋਈ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਜੜ ਅਪੁਣੀ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾੜੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥: Santaa setee rang n laae. Saakat sang vikarm kamaae.
Dulabh deh khoee agiaanee jarr apanee aap upaarree jeeou ||3||:
- ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਦੁਸਟਾ ਕਾ ਵਾਸਾ ॥ ਭਉਦੇ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਮੋਹ ਪਿਆਸਾ ॥ ਕੁਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਹਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਦੁਖੋ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥੧੧॥: Doojai bhaai dhusataa kaa vaasaa. Bhoude firahi bahu moh piaasaa. Kusangati bahahi sadaa dukhu paavahi dukho dukhu kamaaiaa ||11||:
The evil people live in the love of duality. They wander around, totally attached and thirsty (of Maya). They sit in Kusang and suffer forever |11|| (sggs 1068).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਰੀ ਮਰਉ ਕੁਸੰਗ ਕੀ ਕੇਲੇ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਜੁ ਬੇਰਿ ॥: Kabeer, I have been ruined and destroyed by bad company, like the banana plant near the thorn bush. (sggs 1369).
Engaging in Spiritual discussion and argument with a non-devotee
is also a Kusang. There is a tendency on part of Manmukhs to get
engaged in such discussions and arguments with sincere aspirants. However, the
scriptures advice the seekers to refrain from such temptation. The danger here
is that, due to the stubbornness or fanaticism of the Manmukh, an immature
aspirant may become agitated and loose his mental calmness in the process.
In the 19th Paurree of the Bani popularly know as Asa Di Var - pronounced Aasaa Dee Vaar - Baabaa Nanak says:
- ਮੂਰਖ ਪੜਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲੈ ਜਾਤਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: Moorakh parrahi Sabad nahee boojhahi
Gurmukh virlai jaataa he ||15||: The fools read (e.g., Gurbani),
but do not understand the Shabad. How rare are those who, as Gurmukh, understand
it ||15|| (sggs 1053).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਸੋ ਥਾਇ ਪਾਏ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥੨੬॥: Gurmukh bolahi so thaai paae. Manmukh kishu thaai
n paaee ||26|: One who has become the Gurmukh, what he speaks is approved (by the Guru/God). What the Manmukh says is not approved (ਪਰਵਾਨ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ). ||26|| (sgss 758).
- ਮਨੁ ਮੈਗਲੁ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਦੇਵਾਨਾ ॥: Manu maigal saakat devaanaa: The mind of the Saakat is like a crazy elephant (sggs 415).
The Gurbani compares Manmukh's activities at religious
places with that of a stork and a crow. For example, a Manmukh goes to
a religious place for his own selfish and greedy agenda. Therefore, his sitting
at a religious place is no different than the stork's phony Samaadhi (meditational
- ਮੂਰਖੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਨ ਲੁਝੀਐ ॥੧੯॥: Moorkhai naal na lujheeai ||19||: Don’t argue with
a fool ||19|| (sggs 473).
The pastime of a Saakat is to create troubles in
the family, organization, group, religion, community, etc. The thorn of egotism has punctured his heart so deep that he perpetually burns
himself in anger and envy, and becomes like a half-burnt wooden log!
- ਇਕਿ ਅਪਣੈ ਸੁਆਇ ਆਇ ਬਹਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ਜਿਉ ਬਗੁਲ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਈਐ ॥੩॥ ਬਗੁਲਾ ਕਾਗ ਨੀਚ ਕੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਾਇ ਕਰੰਗ ਬਿਖੂ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਈਐ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੇਲਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਹੰਸੁ ਕਰਾਈਐ ॥੪॥੪॥: Ik apanai suaai aai bahahi Gur aagai jiou bagul samaadhi
lagaaeeai. ||3|| Bagulaa kaag neech kee sangat jaai karang bikhu mukh laaeeai. Nanak mel mel prabh sangat mil sangat hans karaaeeai ||4||4||:
Some come for their own selfish purposes (motives), and sit before the Gur; they pretend to
be in Samaadhi, like storks with their eyes closed. The stork and the crow like the lowly association. (Even if some come for their own selfish purposes to the Gur) but after leaving they feed on
a carcass of poison (Maya). Pray Nanak: O God, unite me with the Sangat (True Association...), United with the Sangat, (from stork and the crow) I will become a swan - Hans ||4||4|| (sggs 881).
In order to gain power or recognition, a Manmukh
will pretend to be the real friend of people. In truth, he is friend of nobody.
His mentality is such that he likes to keep the society torn apart. Because
of his demoniac activities, a Manmukh has no time for True Sangat,
Naam Simran, or Jap (Understanding of the Gurbani...). Instead, he loves gossip,
slandering, hurting those who are Good, feeling good about stealing
from others, and so on. A Manmukh likes to be served by others all the time; for he believes
only in "taking" rather then "giving".
A Manmukh is a stubborn fanatic. Due to his mental
ailment of duality, he creates frightening concepts such as a separate God of
Muslims, a separate God of Christian, a separate God of Sikhs, a separate God
of Hindus, so on and so forth. To him a Sikh soul is different than a Christian
soul or a Hindu soul or a Muslim soul, etc. Thus, a Manmukh sows the
seeds of hatred, animosity, and dissatisfaction in the human society. Accordingly,
the world history is soaked with wars, holocaust, innocent blood; all in the
name of religion and God. In this fallen condition, the Manmukh commit mistakes through their
Mann (mind or thought), Bachan (speech or word), and Karma
(body or deeds).
Turning Away From Kusang
- ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਰਸ ਕਸਹਿ ਲੁਭਾਨਾ ॥: Man bach kram ras kasahi lubhaanaa.: In thought, word and deed, he
(the puppet of Maya) is attached to the sweet and tangy flavors. (sggs 487).
- ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਨਹੀ ਗਾਏ ਯਹ ਜੀਅ ਸੋਚ ਧਰਉ ॥੧॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Man bach kram Hari gun nahee gaae yah jeea soch dharaou ||1|| Gurmati suni kashu giaan n upjio pasu jiou udar bharaou: In
thought, word and deed, I have not sung the Lord’s Praises; this thought worries
my mind. ||1|| Despite listening to the Gurmati (Shabad-Giaan, Divine Teaching of the Gur-Shabad, etc.), (if) no spiritual wisdom (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਸੂਝ) wells up within (me); (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
Why do we need to turn away from Kusang? Based
on the Gurbani's Wisdom, it is clear that the Kusang causes perversion
of the intellect. In turn, the perverted intellect brings Spiritual downfall
of the individual being. Accordingly, the first thing a seeker needs to do is
to set his intellect or vision right. For that he needs to turn away from the
bad association (Kusang). As indicated in the Gurbani, the one who keeps the company
of the Kusang is like feeding himself on the carcass of poison (Maya)!
We are warned by theGurbani that even a few moments
of Kusang can mean an irreparable Spiritual loss to an aspirant. However,
in spite of such stark reminder, most of us keep living all our lives with Kusang;
thus inflicting an unimaginable amount of Spiritual damage on to us! Therefore,
the Gurbani reminds us that every moment passed in God's forgetfulness (i.e.,
Kusang or Manmukh life) should be felt like Soul's death and,
Therefore, the Gurbani reminds us
that Kusang (on'e own Mamukh lifestyle or otherwise) is responsible for man's Spiritual downfall (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਬਰਬਾਦੀ). Having said
that, it should not come surprising to us as to why the Gurbani has laid so
much emphasis on avoiding as well taking "roundabout turn" from Kusang.
In order to make us appreciate the damaging potency of Kusang,
the Gurbani has compared it with common worldly objects such as soot, garlic,
and a black blanket. For example, if we touch a vessel stained with soot, some
of the soot is bound to stick to us. Similarly, if we come in contact with garlic,
we can not avoid its smell. By washing a black blanket, can we make it white?
- ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਜੇ ਕਾ ਪਾਰਿ ਵਸਾਇ ॥: Saakat Sang na keejaee piaare je kaa paari vasaai. O Dear! As far as it is in your power, do not associate with the Saakat. (sggs 641).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਰਿਐ ਅਧ ਵੀਚਹੁ ਟੂਟੈ ॥: Saakat siou mukh joreeai adhveechahu tootai:
Friendship with the Saakat is false-dissolved half-way (ਤੋਵ ਨਹੀ ਨਿਭਦੀ) (sggs 811).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਦੂਰਹਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਭਾਗਿ ॥ ਬਾਸਨੁ ਕਾਰੋ ਪਰਸੀਐ ਤਉ ਕਛੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਦਾਗੁ ॥੧੩੧॥: Kabeer saakat sang na keejeeai doorahi jaaeeai bhaag.
Baasan kaaro parseeai taou kish laagai daag ||131||:
Kabeer, do not associate with the Saakat; run far away from them.
If you touch a vessel stained with soot, some of the soot will stick to you
||131|| (sggs 1371).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਕਰੀਐ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਅੰਤਿ ਕਰੈ ਨਿਰਬਾਹੁ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਨਾਹੁ ॥੯੩॥: Kabeer sangati kareeai saadh kee anti karai nirabaahu. Saakat sa(n)g na keejeeai jaa te hoi binaahu ||93||: Kabeer, associate with the Holy (within), who will take you to Nirvaana in the end. Do not associate with the Saakat; that would ruin (your Spiritual Life and peace) ||93|| (sggs 1369).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਐਸਾ ਹੈ ਜੈਸੀ ਲਸਨ ਕੀ ਖਾਨਿ ॥ ਕੋਨੇ ਬੈਠੇ ਖਾਈਐ ਪਰਗਟ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਦਾਨਿ ॥੧੭॥: Kabeer saakat esaa hai jaise lasan kee khaan. Kone baithe
khaayeeyai pragat hoyi nidaan ||17||: Kabeer, the Saakat
is like a piece of garlic. Even if you eat it sitting in a corner, it becomes
obvious to all ||17|| (sggs 1365).
- ਸਾਕਤ ਕਾਰੀ ਕਾਂਬਰੀ ਧੋਏ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਸੇਤੁ ॥੧੦੦॥: Saakat kaaree kaambaree dhoi hoi n setu ||100||:
The Saakat is like a black blanket, which does not become white by
being washed ||100|| (sggs 1369).
We all are making mistakes from the time immemorial. In addition,
we are overpowered by the charming
Maya. This is the pathetic state of conditioned
Jeeva (individual being). Can we escape from it? Yes. By abiding constantly
in the Divine Teaching (Aatam-Giaan...), we can escape it. In other words, if we are sincere
in our pursuit of the Truth, then there is a way — take a roundabout turn from
all types of Kusang. Are we willing to bite the bullet? Choice is ours.
After taking a roundabout turn from the Kusang, where
do we go? According to the Gurbani, we must go and join the Satsang, the
True Association. That's where the inner transformation from Manmukh to
Gurmukh takes place.
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਗੁ ਕਾਜਲ ਕੀ ਕੋਠਰੀ ਅੰਧ ਪਰੇ ਤਿਸ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਪੈਸਿ ਜੁ ਨੀਕਸਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੨੬॥: Kabeer jag kaajal kee kotharee andh pare tis maahi.
Haou balihaaree tin kaou paisi ju neekas jaahi ||26||: Kabeer, the world is
a room filled with black soot (ignorance, Maya...); the blind fall into its trap. I am a sacrifice
to those who are thrown in, and still escape ||26|| (sggs 1365).
- ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਉਲਟੀ ਰੇ ॥: Ulatee re man ulatee re. Saakat siou kar ulaee re ..:
Turn away, O my mind, turn away. Turn away from the Saakat. (sggs 535).
- ਛਾਡਿ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਮੁਖਨ ਕੋ ਸੰਗੁ ॥: Shaad mann har bimukhan ko sang: O mind, do not even associate with those who have turned their backs on the Lord (sggs 1253).
- O Lord, you may send me to hell if you like, but
never let me have association with an evil person (Tulsi Daas).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਪਲਟਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਤੀ ਸਾਜਿ ਸੀਗਾਰਿ ॥: Gurmukh hovai su paltiaa Hari raatee saaj seegaar: The one who has become the Gurmukh, turns away (from Maya...), and makes the decoration of being imbued with the love of the Lord (Aatam-Giaan...). (sggs 785).
- ਸੁਰਤੀ ਕੈ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਲਿ ਕੈ ਉਲਟੀ ਨਦਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੀ ॥: Suratee kai maaragi chali kai oulatee nadari pragaasee: Following the path of Intuitive Awareness, one turns away from the world (Maya), and one's vision is Enlightened (sggs 1329).
- ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਉਲਟੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਤਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੨॥: Gur parasaadee ulatee hovai giaaan ratan Sabad taahaa
he ||2||: By Grace of the Gur-Giaan, one turns away from the
world (Maya), and attains the Jewel of Shabad (Naam) ||2|| (sggs
- ਐਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਬਰਨਿ ਨ ਸਾਕਉ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਮੇਰੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਧਰੀ ॥੧॥: Eso Hari ras baran n saakaou Gur poorai meree ulat
dharee ||1||: Such is the sublime Essence of the Lord, that
I cannot describe. The Perfect Gur (Giaan...) has turned me away from the world (Maya)
||1|| (sggs 823).
- 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).
— T. Singh
Saturday, February 4, 2012 2:13 PM