Those in the technical world are very well familiar with the concept of “debugging”.
Since the Gurbani is timeless, we can apply the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani for debugging the mind at any time!
Towards this end, to debug oneself, the Gurbani emphasizes daily introspection — self-examination, self-analysis, thinking about one’s own thinking (ਸੋਚ – Soch), etc., with the idea of debugging yourself.
Competing on the field of the body (“Khetu”, “Dhartee”) are two opposing forces: discriminating intelligence (“ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ” – Bibek Budhi) and the sense-bent mind. The wicked impulsive mental and material tendencies are the offspring of the sense-blind mind. On the other hand, the Soul’s Pure Virtues are the offspring of the discriminating intelligence.
- ਇਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਕਰਮ ਕੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਥਿ ਮਥਿ ਤਤੁ ਕਢਈਆ ॥: This body is the field of action; by becoming the Gurmukhs, constantly churn (the Gur-Shabad) and obtain the Essence (of the Divine Wisdom or Tatt-Giaan). (sggs 834).
The field of battle of these contending forces is the human body with its physical, mental, and Soul-faculties; the field on which all activities of an individual’s take place. On this battlefield, daily war is raged between the soldiers of the Soul’s pure discriminating tendencies and the uncontrolled activities of the ignoble, wisdom-blind mind.
Thus, every moment in life, there is a Spiritual and psychological battle going on between the Soul-Nature and the blind sense-infatuated mind under the delusive influence of the false ego-sense (Haume).
The question is: How can one review and know the outcome of this ever raging battle? In other words, how can one go about determining who won the battle — the Good or the evil? The process to analyze the results of this battle between the Good and the evil is termed “introspection”, etc.
The Divine Wisdom or Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani represents the power of impartial self-analysis and discerning introspection for the aspiring learner (Sikh). The Gurbani teaches us that this power of one’s introspection can and must be invoked to review the conflicts of the daily life in one’s instinctive mind to determine the favorable or unfavorable outcome.
Therefore, the Gurbani stresses the necessity for a thorough introspection in daily life so that one may clearly discern which force — the good or the evil — has won the daily battle. “Good” being that which expresses Truth, Virtues, and Wisdom and attracts the mind to its Mool (Source, Jot…) within. And “evil” being ignorance, delusion, doubt, Haumai, etc., that which repels the mind from its Mool.
Human beings have two kinds of temperaments — some are introspective (the Gurmukhs), and the others are extravagant (the Manmukh). The mind dedicated to extravagance is a bad bargain. Attracted to the external features of the phenomenal world, they are practically asleep to introspection. But those who have developed introspection are as grave as the sea!
Called in the Gurbani (SGGS) by many terms such as “Manu Khoji – ਮਨੁ ਖੋਜਿ”, “Khoju Dil – ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ”, “Aapaa cheenai – ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ”, “Aapu Vichaari – ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ”, “Mann Kee Patree Vaachanee – ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ”, etc., introspection (or debugging oneself) is the ability to stand aside, observe, search, inquire, and review without any prejudice the conflicts of the day in one’s mind to ascertain the favorable or unfavorable outcome.
To put it otherwise, it’s the impartial self-analysis or questioning by which one analyzes his thinking, actions, etc., and assesses the strengths of the opposing armies of his Good and evil tendencies.
- ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: O human being, search your own heart every day, and do not wander around in confusion (sggs 727).
- ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: To read the horoscope of the mind is the most Sublime Sukh (joy, peace, comfort, hapiiness…). (sggs 1093).
When the mind is carefully studied with the power of introspection consisting of a pure discriminating reasoning (Bibek Budhi), patient and vigilance, it reveals to us our defects, shocking crookedness, perversions, and weaknesses (i.e.,”ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ: Antari Malu” – inner garbage). In the beginning, knowledge of this inner Bhangaar will not be pleasing to one’s false-ego-sense at all (Haumai)!
Nonetheless, since the mind is the cause of our Mayaic bondage and freedom from it, the Gurbani urges us for continuous searching or impartial introspection and analysis of the mind.
- ਆਪੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥੪॥੭॥: By searching and searching (his Mool within), Kabeer merged (in his Mool). ||4||7|| (sggs 1159).
In nutshell — in order to win the battle of life — the Wisdom of the Gurbani teaches us to turn the extrovert or the outgoing mind around, and turn it within (i.e., introvert). The Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani teaches:
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਾਤਉ ਉਲਟਿ ਪਰਾਵੈ ॥੫॥: (Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) turns the outgoing mind around. ||5|| (sggs 414).
Now, per the Gurbani, who is sure to win this battle or game of life and who is sure to lose it? Per the Gurbani, a Gurmukh (The follower of the Truth, Wisdom of the Gurbani…) is sure to win this battle whereas a Manmukh (opposite of the Gurmukh) is sure to lose it.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਤਾ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥੧੭॥: Becoming the Gurmukh, (one) wins (the battle of life) whereas a Manmukh loses it. ||17|| (sggs 310).
Thus the Gurbani challenges us to become the Gurmukh. With the Gurmukh-hood comes the true understanding.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) understands his own self (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ. spiritual Lifestyle, etc.). (sggs 162).
The relativist mind is always engaged in wild wanderings (ਫੁਰਨੇ – Phurnae). However, with the aid of subjective introspection one can find what his mind is up to at a particular moment.
Such impartial self-analysis can be performed many times a day. Particularly, every night, prior to retiring, one can sit calmly and ask his intuition whether his Spiritual faculties or his physical inclinations of temptation won the day’s battle between Good and bad habits.
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
And this self-development or self-rediscovery (self-improvement, self-unfoldment, etc.) is accomplished through the Shabad-Vichaar, not through any other pursuits.
- ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
- ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhi sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).