There are three values in the very being and the life of an individual &- the principle of thoughts (also called Mann or mind) the principle of speech (also called Bachan or word) and the principle of action (also called Karma or deed). This trio — Mann, bachan, karma or the mind, speech, action or the thoughts, words, actions etc. — produce the beat and music of our lives. The real "Tap" (Tapa, Tapas or austerity) is to bring about a physical, vocal and mental unity by letting actions, words and thoughts become one. As indicated in the SGGS, the great soul (Gurmukh) is one who has been able to enjoy this harmony between the three principles of one's being and life. To the contrary, if thoughts-words-actions are in disarray, then a person cannot be considered a Gurmukh (a great soul or a man of Perfection). Therefore, the SGGS teaches cultivating threefold unity of thoughts, words and deeds. Such unity destroys all the distinctions made by the body-mind-intellect personality (i.e., Haume). Upholding the ideal of Dharma, the true devotee never thinks, speaks or acts in such a way as would cause harm to others.
In the case of the majority of us (over 99.9 percent category), however, generally what happens is that these three attributes are in disarray. That is to say, we do not say what we mean, we don't do what we say, and our words and actions are not in sync with our thoughts. This mendacity is said to be the root cause of conflicts, tensions, wars and violence in the world. If our thoughts are not in unison with our words and deeds then the strength of our creativity is diminished. In contrast, if we can bring about unity and harmony in all these three attributes and have them accolade each other instead of oppose each others, they blend into a concord to put up a greater momentum, resulting in increased creativity and peace. Thus, bringing these three aspects - thoughts, sound and physical vibration - into unison is the ultimate goal that must be achieved by all of us as indicated in the SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib), here and now. Let's briefly look at each of these three elements separately.
1. Thoughts: there are well-known expressions that go like this: as a man thinks, so will he become or as you think, so you become. Thus, clearly, our thoughts have great power over our life. These simple expressions which all the wise ones agree on, is at the core of true understanding as to how our thinking affects who we are. Scientists through their experiments tell us that everything in the physical creation vibrates at a certain frequency on a molecular level. The human brain is no exception. The human brain's waves can be classified as Beta (13-30 Hz or 13 to 30 cycles per second), Alpha (8-12 Hz), Theta (4-7 Hz), Delta (5-4 Hz) and Gamma (40-60 Hz). They feel these waves can travel as far as light! In other words, one's energy or potentiality becomes centered where one's awareness is focused. Perhaps this is what the SGGS means when it states ("Jehee surit tehaa tin raah"). Therefore, if we intend to change our life or the world in a positive way, the first thing we need to be aware of is our thoughts and, and what thought-energy we snuff out in the world. Because our tongue utters and our body acts as is our awareness or mentality.
Simplicity, mind-control, detachment or non-attachment, discrimination (Viveka-Budhi), introspection (acceptance of one's faults and wrongdoing) with moral courage etc. are important in regard to the mind. Non-attachment is when the mind and the senses become unaffected by the objects of the world and remain indifferent to their attraction and repulsion. The mind (false ego-sense or Haume) hides our true Self; therefore, the mind can be described as a veil. It is a veil of ignorance, for it hides one's True Nature (which is "Joti-Svaroopa"). But, the mind, itself, is tied down by the sense organs, and the sense organs are attracted to the enchanting objects of the mirage-like world, and get bound by them in the process. Therefore, the SGGS asks us to gain control over sense organs. For this, the practice of detachment is recommended, without losing track of our secular liabilities and duties. Discrimination (Viveka-Budhi) is the ability to distinguish between the right from the wrong. The world around an individual will not become good until his mind becomes good!
2. Speech: there is also a famous expression that goes like this: you will condemn yourself from your own mouth. There is also a famous verse from the Bani popularly know as Asa Di Var - pronounced Aasaa Dee Vaar - that says "Nanak fikai boliai tanu manu fikaa hoi" (meaning is provided below). Just like our thoughts, spoken words (human speech) are also indicated to have a certain frequency vibration varying between 90 Hz and 300 Hz (lower frequency indicates a low voice and the higher frequency indicates a high pitched voice).
To link with God, the Gurbani asks us to wear "three robes" - sweet speech, humility and forgiveness. Thus, speech is a very important quality of any person. It is said that a fool is undiscovered as long as he does not speak. The SGGS indicates the speech to consist in speaking words that are sweet, absolutely truthful in all times, pleasing, peaceful (cooling and soothing), beneficial to others, not agitating to others, regularly reciting the Divine Word, and so on.
3. Deed: there are familiar expressions in this regard as well: "what we do to others will come back to us", "what goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sow". In scientific terms, it's similar to the famous expression by Newton, many have heard plenty of times - For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It simply means if you do something wrong, you will pay the price. This is the infallible Law of Karma that holds everyone responsible for what he is or going to be. So we have no one else to blame for the way we live at the present moment but ourselves. If our life is one of mental distress and unenlightened existence (the Manmukh or materialistic lifestyle), it is because we have sown the seed of foolishness, selfishness or ignorance. To the contrary, if we live a life of eternal Peace or Happiness, it is because we have sown the seed of Bliss (the Gurmukh or spiritual lifestyle). The SGGS urges us to examine as to what are the deeds that we are doing and are they in line with the true intent of our thoughts and words?
When we examine each of the three elements, we are promised success in any endeavor. As you can see each element involves frequency, by bringing them in line we can increase the momentum. This process of bringing these aspects in line also involves looking at our emotional, physical, and spiritual makeup, which is part of the original Chi that is talked about in Chinese medicine. When looking at each aspect of our family makeup, we are urged to eradicate patterns that do not fit into the potential state of Perfection (the Gurmukh Lifestyle). The SGGS indicates that when one of these three elements is in disarray, the other two automatically go berserk. Our actions spurred by our weaknesses take us even further away from God, deadening the mind to the ultimate goal of God-realization.
Since in the case of the majority of us, our current thoughts, words and deeds are far from reaching the state of Perfection, we can follow the spiritual practices shown in the SGGS. As indicated in the SGGS, thoughts, words and deeds can be harmonized and spiritualized by concentrating on spiritual life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) of meditation (Naam-Simran, Jap etc.), spiritual Company, and so on. Such spiritual life helps purify the mind, which in turn helps purify thoughts, words and deeds .
First, they are not meant to be used in a negative way as it will only harm the individual and the society at large. Therefore, the scriptures and the Great Souls ask us to use them only in a positive way. If not, then how do we expect the real changes in our life or in the world to be what we desire? In other words, we are urged not to choose or think, speak and act wrongly. From all such choices, the rest of our individual character eventually follows. If the mind entertains negative (Ashubh) thoughts and wishes wrong, this may eventually come to expression in one's words and deeds as well. This is also unity of thought, word and deed, but it is not the positive or right kind of unity. Consider this little story. Once a wise man was teaching his grandchild about life: "A constant fight or battle is going on inside me", he said to his grandchild. "It's a terrible fight between the solders of two armies. One of the two armies is the evil — it's solders are lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride along with their numerous variations such as envy, stubborn mindedness, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, superiority, self-doubt, selfishness, the feeling of "I, me mine", and so on. The other army is the good — it's solders are truthfulness, contentment, Knowledge, joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion, faith, forgiveness etc. This same fight is also going on inside you and inside every other person."The grandchild thought about it for a moment and then asked the grandfather, "Which army will win?" The wise man simply said, "The one you feed!"
Second, in any case all notions (good, bad etc.) are in the sphere of the mind. Accordingly, the scriptures ask us to ultimately transcend this mind (or conquer, annihilate, kill etc.) altogether; for God or the Real World is beyond the mind. This may lead one to the following question, "well, then why even bother about good thoughts, good words and good deeds?" As stated earlier, good thoughts, good words and good deeds go a long way to create inner purification essential for transcending the mind. Conversely, negative thoughts, words and deeds will only further embellish one's inner "filth" or pollution! There is a famous verse of the SGGS — "Mani jeetai jag jeet" (the meaning is provided below).
— T. Singh
Updated on Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:35 PM (PST)
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