OD IS INSIDE BUT THE MIND IS OUTSIDE

God is hidden deep within each and every heart (sggs 1351).
When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped.
Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can God be found? (sggs 665).
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The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) time and again reminds us that God is within. This may lead to the following question: "If that's the case, then why He is not seen or experienced by the majority of us?" It's because the mind of the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) is not inside! It's extroverted: unceasingly wandering outside. Here the mind is referred to false ego-sense or Haume, Mayaic consciousness, delusion, "I-ness", thoughts-stuff (Phurne), and so on.

The majority of us do not live the Gurbani (or the Gurmat); as a result we unavailingly look for God in external images, pictures, religious books, demigods, goddess, tangible and physical things, habitual reading or hearing of the scriptures, music (Raag-Raagni), and so on. The Truth is very Subtle, Pure and Sublime; hence, it cannot be caught by such mental circus of ours. Only those "rare" ones who have become the Gurmukhs can catch God inside! For the rest of us, although God is said to be inside, but He yet remains aloof!

Why the mind of the majority of us is not inside? As the Gurbani reveals to us, free to escape through the nine gates or 9 openings of the body's defiled senses, our mind wanders in all directions. Defects of such a wandering mind include "impurity", "restlessness", and the "veil of ignorance". Without removing these defects, it's impossible for the mind to go within and look inside.

  • ਚੰਚਲ ਮਨੁ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਕਉ ਧਾਵਤ ਅਚਲ ਜਾਹਿ ਠਹਰਾਨੋ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੋ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਮਾਨੋ ॥੨॥੩॥: The restless mind wanders in ten directions; (whoever) has made it still and stable, says Nanak, consider this type of person to be Liberated. ||2||3|| (sggs 685).
  • ਨਉਮੀ ਨਵੇ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਅਪਵੀਤ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਜਪਹਿ ਕਰਤ ਬਿਪਰੀਤਿ ॥: Naoumee (denotes the ninth day of the lunar cycle): The nine holes of the body (sense organs) are defiled. (They) do not try to understanding the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Gur-Giaan...) and act contrary (to the Naam). (sggs 298).
  • ਨਉ ਦਰ ਠਾਕੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਰਹਾਏ ॥ ਦਸਵੈ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਏ ॥: Naou dar thaake dhaavat rahaye. Dasavai nij ghar vaasaa paaye: Those who close off the nine gates, and restrain the wandering mind, come to dwell in the Home of the Tenth Gate (sggs 124).
  • ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹ ॥: Janam janam kee is mann kayu mal laagee kaalaa hoaa siaah: The scum (i.e., impurity) of so many births is attached to this mind and it has become pitch black (sggs 651).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਦੂਰਿ ਪਈਆਸਿ ॥: Antar agiaan dukh bharam hai vich parradaa door payeeaas: There is ignorance and pain of doubt within, like a separating veil (i.e., veil of ignorance) between the man and God (sggs 40).

It's not that God is only inside. He is also outside, equally - All-knowing and All-powerful - omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.. But to realize Him as such, He is first needs to be realized within. From there the search can expand without. For seeing God in all things (including within) and knowing all beings as one's own Self is Realization. The body is called the field (Khet) in which actions and other events take place. The Wise proclaim that the Self (the knower of this field) resides within the body and watches the activities as a witness taking place in it. However, in ignorance, the True Self within is identified with the physical, emotional, psychological and intellectual activities of the body. When the distinction between the field and the knower (Joti-Svaroopa) is perceived with perfect clarity, one's Pure Self checks itself from falling into the trap of ignorance that makes it confound with the body's activities. Therefore, the real change can only come from within. Otherwise it will be like placing the cart in front of the horse! As God is beyond words and beyond the mind, whiteout realizing Him inside, He cannot be realized outside. The Gurbani says that this requires conquering one's own mind.

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: Antar baahar eko jaanai: Know the One Lord, inside and out (sggs 943).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਈ ॥: Gurmukh joti nirantar paaee: As Gurmukh, I found the Light deep within (sggs 939).
  • 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 dhaat mar jaai...: 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 (sggs 665).
  • ਸਰੀਰਹੁ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਲਹੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਵੇਗਾਰਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥: Sareerahu bhaalan ko baahar jaaye. Naam na lahai bahut vegaar dukh paaye: Those who search for the Divine out side the body will not receive the Name; consequently, they will suffer the terrible pains of sense-slavery (sggs 124).

Thus, as indicated by the Gurbani, the mind full of wanderings (Phurne) is ignorance (lower mind); devoid of wanderings is the Self (Joti-Svaroopa or the Higher mind). In other words, we can eliminate the lower mind (negative thoughts) only by filling it with the Higher or positive thoughts. This way, there will be no room left for wanderings. Hence, a real seeker closes the flow of the mind by closing the gates of the body (i.e., by purifying the senses). The Gurbani repeatedly reminds us that the mind is a clever trickster that stops you from being aware of our True Nature (Joti-Svaroopa). To conquer is to keep watching it and let its wanderings pass by just like the sights during a train travel. They are not the destination.

  • ਮਾਝ ਮਹਲਾ ੩ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਗੁਫਾ ਮਹਿ ਅਖੁਟ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਸੈ ਹਰਿ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਆਪੇ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੈ ਆਪੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਆਪੁ ਵੰਞਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਵਣਿਆ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਹਾ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆਵਣਿਆ ॥ ੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ਖੁਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਮੋਲਕੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਏ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੨॥ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਸਚੁ ਨੇਤ੍ਰੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲੀ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਿ ਸੋਭਾ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥ ਸਰੀਰਹੁ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਲਹੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਵੇਗਾਰਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਘਿਰਿ ਆਇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਥੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਸਚਾ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਬੈਸਿ ਸੁਥਾਨਿ ਸਦ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੫॥ ਨਉ ਦਰ ਠਾਕੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਰਹਾਏ ॥ ਦਸਵੈ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਓਥੈ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਵਜਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥ ੬॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਆਨੇਰਾ ॥ ਨ ਵਸਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਨ ਚੂਕੈ ਫੇਰਾ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਹਥਿ ਕੁੰਜੀ ਹੋਰਤੁ ਦਰੁ ਖੁਲੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰੈ ਭਾਗਿ ਮਿਲਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਤੂੰ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਲਾਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੮॥੨੪॥੨੫॥: Maajh Mahalaa 3 || Is gufaa mahi akhut bhandaaraa ...: Maajh Mahalaa 3. Within the cave of heart (inside the body), there is an Inexhaustible Treasure. Within this cave, the Invisible and Infinite Lord abides. He Himself is hidden, and He Himself is revealed; He is realized through the Guru’s Shabad. ||1|| I am a sacrifice to those who enshrine the Amrit Naam, the Name of the Lord, within their minds. The taste of the Amrit Naam is very sweet! Through the Guru's Teachings, (one can) drink in this Amrit. ||1||Pause|| Subduing egotism, the rigid doors (of ego) are opened. The Priceless Naam is obtained by the Guru's Grace. Without the (Guru's) Shabad, (no one can ) obtain the Naam (Amrit). By the Guru's Grace, it is implanted within the mind. ||2|| The Guru has applied the true ointment of spiritual wisdom to my eyes. Deep within, the Divine Light has dawned, and the darkness of ignorance has been dispelled. My mind has surrendered (its ego illusion); now my light has merged into the Cosmic Light; and I am blessed with the Glory of the Divine Realm. ||3|| Those who look outside the body, searching for the Lord, will not receive the Name; they will instead be forced to suffer the terrible pains of material slavery. The blind, Manmukhs (materialists) do not understand; but, by becoming Gurmukhs (Spiritual beings) when they return once again to their own inner being, then they find (Naam) within ||4|| By the Guru's Grace, the True Lord is found. Within your mind and body, see the Lord, and the filth of egotism depart. Sitting in that place, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord forever, and be absorbed in the True Shabad. ||5|| Those who close off the nine gates, and restrain the wandering mind, come to dwell in the Home of the Tenth Gate. There, the Unstruck Melody of the Shabad vibrates day and night. Through the Guru's Teachings, the Shabad is heard. ||6|| Without the Shabad, there is only darkness (of the love of Maya) within. The genuine article (Naam) is not found, and the cycle of reincarnation does not end. The key is in the hands of the True Guru; no one else can open this door. By perfect destiny, He is met. ||7|| (O God) You are the hidden and the revealed in all places. Receiving the Guru's Grace, this understanding is obtained. O Nanak, praise the Naam forever; by becoming the Gurmukh, enshrine it within the mind ||8||24||25|| (sggs 124).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org