It’s good to have a healthy body.
But, a healthy body is not enough. A healthy mind is also needed to guide it properly.
The instrument of the body — no matter how healthy or strong it may be — can only serve its purpose best when guided by a Wise and Virtuous mind. Thus a thoughtful mind is essential to handle the body properly, else it’ll be like a ship without a captain, or like a “loose cannon”…
A man under the control of the outward motion of his empty or spiritually ignorant mind becomes like an animal if he thinks the demands of his senses (physical demands) are supreme.
Four things are said to be common in animals and a sense-blind person with an unhealthy mind: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Having the belly filled and empty mind is nothing but the animal nature. The effects of such conditioned consciousness are so overwhelming that we remain in body-consciousness till the death of the physical body. As a result, we never get to take off from the levels of falsehood and selfishness into the heights of realization of our Mool (Root, Source, Truth, Origin, Jot…).
- ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥: Those who do not understand their own Mool (Source, Origin, Jot…); they are beasts and they are cattle (i.e., great fools of animal intellect-ਡੰਗਰ ਬੁਧੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਮਹਾਂ ਮੂਰਖ)! (sggs 751).
- ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥: Kartooti pasoo kee maanas jaati: They (those in love with Maya, etc.) belong to the human species, but they act like animals (sggs 267).
Thus, since the body is an instrument in the hands of the mind, it can not serve its purpose well if it is guided by a vitiated mind — a mind that is weak (or empty), sense-blind, selfish, corrupt, deceptive, unrighteous, untruthful, fearful, Bikaar-ridden, doubt-ridden, ego-ridden, poisoned by ill thoughts-stuff, lacking the Divine understanding, etc.
The Gurbani says that our mind is “Jot Saroop“, true image of the Divine Light (some other scriptures also indicate the same). What it means is that we are the extension or part and parcel of the One Divine Cosmic Power (ੴ ), endowed with the Divine Qualities such as Truth (Sat), fearlessness (Nirbhaou), without enmity (Nirvair), beyond time (Akaal), beyond birth and death (Ajoonee), and so on. Our soul is endowed with all these Divine Qualities. We are That, not this gross body. The physical body is fleeting, but not the soul.
- ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! Your “Saroop” (nature, identity…) is “Joti” (Divine Light). (O mind!) Recognize your Mool (Source, Jot, Origin…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
However, our doubt-ridden mind has veiled these Divine Qualities. The purpose of human birth is to awaken these Divine Qualities within by removing doubts so that we all may know and understand our Divine status (Jot Saroop). If we do not strive to reach that Goal of the human birth, than there is no difference between us and the animal. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) in nutshell.
The history reports many people have reached the level marked by the Gurbani. The case in point is Baba Nanak, Bhagats, and many more throughout the world. They all added to the glory of the mankind.
The Gurbani urges us to strive to reach the highest level of Spiritual Perfection (Janam Padaarath). Nobody can stop us but ourselves. Any unselfish person is an asset to human society. Call such a person by whatever name you like, he pursues unselfishness and truthfulness without worrying about the consequences.
Today the world is full of danger, threat, conflicts and weapons of mass destruction. Because the mind of the world leaders (religious, political and otherwise) are full of selfishness, corruption, frauds, deception, hatred, animosity, greed, anger, fanaticism, etc. Their bellies are full but the minds are empty. If these leaders have the mind filled with Truth, there would be love, generosity, goodwill, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and peace in the world.
- ਅੰਧਾ ਝਖਿ ਝਖਿ ਪਇਆ ਝੇਰਿ ॥: (Entangled in worldly entanglements, a mentally) blind and bewildered gets involved in turmoil (tumult, strife, row, etc.). (sggs 1287).
- ਮੈਲੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡਾਇ ਕੈ ਈਸ ॥: Rulers of the universe are filthy (corrupt…). (sggs 1158).
Science has made tremendous progress to make people’s life comfortable, at least physically or materially. In that regard, the man has come a long way. The bellies are getting filled like never before. But, unfortunately, the mind is getting vacant like never before.
- ਰਸ ਕਸ ਖਾਏ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਵਧਾਏ ॥ ਭੇਖ ਕਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਹਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਰੀ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੦॥: Who fattens up his body eating tasty delicacies, and wears religious robes but does not live to the Gur-Shabad (Divne Wisdom, Divine Virtues, Hukam, Naam…). Within (him) is the terrible pain of the disease (of Bikaar, Haumai, spiritual ignorance…), and always remains permeated in the night-soil (of Bikaar…). ||10|| (sggs 1058).
- ਬਿਨੁ ਵਖਰ ਸੂਨੋ ਘਰੁ ਹਾਟੁ ॥: Without the stock (of the Naam-Shabad, Hukam, Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues, Truth…), the store of the Heart is empty (sggs 153).
The Gurbani urges the entire mankind to fill the mind as well. In nutshell, the filled mind is mindfulness, heightened awareness and wisdom (the Gurmukh nature), etc. Such full or healthy mind is wise, discerning, thoughtful, purposeful, intuitively balanced, unselfish, unconditioned, focused, far-sighted, connected to its True Nature within (Mool), and so on. Furthermore, such healthy mind is free of narrow-sightedness, fear, Bikaar, doubt, Haumai, hunger for Maya…
Such mind filled with the Divine Wisdom can lead to dwell deeply in the eternity of the “now” (mindfulness, Hukam, Shabad, Naam, Divine Qualities…), and brings about a true shift in our awareness from being infatuated by egoistic postures and constant obsession with objects of desire and material pleasures. Also, true and constant mindfulness makes us aware of what is going on within and around us; it makes us see the same Divinity in all beings; it enables us to handle daily unforeseeable or unpredictable eventualities of a conditional and impermanent world; and it develops undivided remembrance of the Universal Truth.
- ਸੋ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥: He alone is (truly) alive, in whose mind abides That (Truth…). (sggs 142).
- ਮਨ ਕੀਆ ਇਛਾ ਪੂਰੀਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥: Desires of the mind (Spiritual Awakening…) are fulfilled (when it remains) filled to overflowing with the Shabad (Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues, Naam, Hukam…). (sggs 34).
Thus, the purpose of listening/reading the Gurbani is to awaken the Divine Knowledge, and Divine Qualities within. If that does not happen, then, the Gurbani thunders forth the following warning in very stern terms:
- ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Listening to the Gurmat (Shabad-Giaan, Teaching of the Gurbani, etc.), (if) no Spiritual Wisdom (understanding of the Spiritual Life…) wells up within; (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
- ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥: Those without Virtue (ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ, Truth, etc.) are stained by the filth of Maya (sggs 367).