ਸੂਤਕ – Sootak

The Gurbani tells us that the entire world is burning with Sootak (ਸੂਤਕ)! In fact, according to the Gurbani, all birth and death are in Sootak.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੂਤਕਿ ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੀਜੈ ॥: Nanak sootaki janami mreejai (sggs 413).
  • ਸੂਤਕੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਭਖੈ ਜਗੁ ਖਾਇ ॥: Sootaku agani bhakhai jagu khaai (sggs 413).

What is this Sootak? Who is stained by Sootak? How can Sootak be eradicated? Who is free of Sootak?

What is Sootak?

Sootak (ਸੂਤਕ) => pollution of the mind, impurity of the mind, love or hunger for Maya attached to the mind, filth (contamination) of Bikaar, conditioning of the mind, doubt (Bharam) of the mind, duality of the mind, defilement, ਪਰਮਾਤਮ ਨੂੰ ਵਿਸਾਰ ਕੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਾਂ ਹੋਰ ਹੋਰ ਨਾਲ ਪਾਇਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਪਿਆਰ, ਮਨ ਦੀ ਅਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰਤਾ…

  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ॥: Man kaa sootaku doojaa bhaaou (sggs 229).
  • ਸਭੋ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੈ ਜਾਇ॥: Sabho sootaku bharamu hai doojai lagai jaai (sggs 472).
  • ਸਭੋ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਜੇਤਾ ਮੋਹੁ ਆਕਾਰੁ ॥: Sabho sootaku jetaa mohu aakaar (sggs 29).

According to the Gurbani, for example, Sootak of the mind is greed (i.e., Bikaars, hunger for Maya…); Sootak of the tongue is falsehood; Sootak of the eyes is to gaze upon the beauty of another’s woman and wealth; Sootak of the ears is to listen to the slander of others, and so on.

  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਕੂੜੁ ॥ ਅਖੀ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਰੂਪੁ ॥ ਕੰਨੀ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਕੰਨਿ ਪੈ ਲਾਇਤਬਾਰੀ ਖਾਹਿ ॥: Man kaa sootaku lobhu hai jihvaa sootaku koorhu. Akhee sootaku vekhnaa par triyaa par dhan roopu. Kannee sootaku kanni pai laaitbaaree khaahi. (sggs 472).

Who is stained by Sootak?

First off, the Gurbani tells us that Sootak is everywhere (“ਸਭ ਹੀ ਥਾਇ”-Sabh Hee Thaai ).

  • ਸੂਤਕੁ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਥਾਇ ॥: Sootaku jali thali sabh hee thaai (sggs 413).
  • ਕਰਿ ਸੁਤਕੁ ਮੰਨੀਐ ਸਭ ਤੈ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਹੋਇ॥: Kari sootaku manneeai sabh tai sootaku hoi (sggs 472).
  • ਸੂਤਕੁ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਜੇਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਖਾਹਿ ॥੩॥: Sootak bhojanu jetaa kichhu khaahi (sggs 229).
  • ਜਨਮੇ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਮੂਏ ਫੁਨਿ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਸੂਤਕ ਪਰਜ ਬਿਗੋਈ ॥੧॥: Janame sootaku mooe phuni sootaku … (sggs 331).

The Gurbani tells us that so long we remain Manmukh in this world, Sootak will never leave us alone. Simply put: A Manmukh is a self-willed, doubt-ridden, attached to Maya, separated from his Mool, has no true understanding of the Gurbani…

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥: Manmukhi sootaku kabahi n jaai (sggs 229).

In other words, without the Naam, the Gurbani tells us that world become stained with Sootak:

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਜਗਿ ਛੋਤਿ ॥: Binu naavai sootaku jagi chhoti (sggs 413).

How can Sootak be eradicated?

Although Sootak is everywhere in this Mayaic world, however, the Gurbani tells us that Sootak can be eradicated by giving up the Manmukh lifestyle through the Naam (Hukam, Shabad, Gurbani, Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge…).

In other words, Sootak can be washed away by the Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan or Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani – Gurmat) of the Gurbani churned through the Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਏਵ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਉਤਾਰੇ ਧੋਇ ॥੧॥: Nanak sootaku ev n outarai Giaanu outaare dhoi (sggs 472).
  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਤਿਨੈ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੩॥੪੧॥: Kahi Kabeer raamu ridai bichaarai sootaku tinai n hoee (sggs 331).

Who is free of Sootak?

The Gurbani tells us that those who have become the Gurmukh are free of Sootak:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੩॥: Naanak jinhee Gurnukhi bujhiaa tinhaa sootaku naahi: O Nanak! By becoming the Gurmukhs, who Understand (the Truth, Reality…), are not stained by Sootak. ||3|| (sggs 472).

Now, who is the Gurmukh? In nutshell, opposite of the Manmukh, a Gurmukh is the follower of the Truth (“ਸਚ”) or Gurmat (“ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ”, the Gurbani’s Giaan or Wisdom, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੈ…); he remains detached in the midst of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਚ ਉਦਾਸੀ); he is Mool-realized...

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