Combat Against Own Self

The gurbani urges us that – day and night – we must combat against our own self (ਮੰਨ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਧ ਲੈਣਾਂ, ਵੱਸ ਵਿਚ ਕਰ ਲੈਣਾਂ, ਕਾਬੂ ਕਰ ਲੈਣਾਂ, ਜਿੱਤ ਲੈਣਾਂ…).

That is, the Gurbani asks we must constantly struggle with our own mind (Haumai, false ego-sense…).

  • ਅਨਦਿਨ ਆਪਿ ਆਪ ਸਿਉ ਲੜੈ ॥: Anadin aapi aap siou larrai: Day and night, fight against your own self. (sggs 344).
  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Mamaa man sio kaaju hai man saadhhe sidh hoi: MAMMA: (The mortal’s purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline the mind; by doing so, Understanding is attained (Understanding of the Formless or Niraakaar – Nirakaar dee Budhi, Soojh, Samajh…). (sggs 342).

The ultimate reward of combating against one’s own self is that one gets to know oneself. As a result, the Gurbani indicates that one gets to Realize the Divine “Jot” within (ਆਪੁ ਆਪ ਤੇ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਤੇਜ ਤੇਜੁ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥, sggs 857).

In fact, the Gurbani’s Sooraa or Beeraa (“ਸੂਰਾ”, “ਬੀਰਾ” -Brave, Spiritual Hero, ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਵੀਰ…) is he whosoever can bring the mighty wall of the Aapaa Bhaav down (ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ, Haumai…).

  • ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਨੈ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: Manasaa maar manai siou loojhai: Subdue your desires, and struggle with your mind (sggs 1021).
  • ਬੀਰਾ ਆਪਨ ਬੁਰਾ ਮਿਟਾਵੈ ॥: Beeraa aapanu buraa mitaavai: A brave (person-ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਵੀਰ…) eradicates his own evil (evil nature…). (sggs 258).
  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: Jo isu maare soee sooraa, sggs 238.

In fact, The Gurbani tells us that one is crazy (ਪਾਗਲ) without recognizing his true self. Because, it is by knowing the true self one comes to know the ONE (IKK).

  • ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥: So baouraa jo aap na pachaanai. Aap pacchaanai ta eko jaanai ||4||: Man is crazy without knowing himself (Mool-realization…). When he knows himself (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, the Reality of his Being, his True Nature, etc.), only then he comes to know the One (All-pervading Truth). ||4|| (sggs 855).

Only a Spiritual Hero, with a sword of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Divine Knowledge) can cut the Aapaa Bhaav (Mayaic mind’s roots…). But, how can one go about becoming such “Sooraa” or “Beeraa”? Without applying the Truth of the Gur-Shabad, how can a Sikh hope for any Spiritual Unfoldment? According to the Gurbani, mere talk, mere reading of the gurbani, or mere Bhekh (religious garbs, symbols, etc.), etc., will not do the trick! In nutshell, the Gurbani urges us to take up the Sword of the Giaan of the Gurbani (Naam, Shabad-Vichaar, Aatm-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Gurmat, etc.) and conquer the mind.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Giaan kharragu lai mann siou loojhai manasaa manahi samaaee hae ||3||: Taking up the Sword of the Spiritual Wisdom, struggle with the mind, and (all Mayaic desires, thoughts, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਖੋਟੀ ਮਨਸਾ, etc., ) born of the mind are nipped within the mind (ਮਨ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਮੁੱਕ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ). ||3|| (sggs 1022).
  • ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਛੁਟੀਐ ਜੋ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਜੂਝੈ ॥: So hari saranaaee chhuteeai jo man siou joojhai: Who struggles with his mind, and takes the Refuge (of Hari), (he) alone is liberated (from the fear of death…). (sggs 1090).

The Gurbani indicates that it is by becoming the Gurmukh (One established in Gurmat…) one can continuously keeps his mind in check. Like the snake-charmer, he never lets the snake of his mind act loosely or independently.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੁਝੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੁਝੈ ॥੪੬॥: Gurmukh hoyi tis sabh kish sujahi. Nanak Gurmukh mann siou lujhai ||46||: But those who become Gurmukh understand everything (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇ ਹਰੇਕ ਭੇਤ ਨੂੰ). O Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh struggle with your own mind (ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਲ ਟਾਕਰਾ). ||46|| (sggs 1418).

The next question is: how can we become the Gurmukh? As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, one can become the Gurmukh by attaining the Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, ਤਤ ਗਿਆਨ…) through the Shabad-Vichaar, and living it in daily life.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥ (sggs 1006).

It is the Shabad-Surti (Naam Consciousness, Aatam Giaan….) that can roast the Aapaa Bhaav (ego-mind, Haumai…)! By removing doubts, ignorance, or delusions, it sends the mind back to its Spiritual Nature, which is its Original Home (Mool, Source, Origin, Jot…).

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥:When someone understands the Shabad, then he wrestles with his own mind; subduing his desires, he merges with the Lord (sggs 113).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨੇ ਸੋ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: He alone is a spiritual hero, who believes in the Gur-Shabad (sggs 1023).
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਗੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਵੇੜ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਲੀਓ ਗੜੁ ਜੀਤਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The commodity of the Lord is locked in the fortress of Maya; through the Gur-Shabad, I have conquered the fortress ||1|| Pause || (sggs 1295).
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