O Wandering Mind! Come Home

The Spiritual Knowledge (Brahm-Giaan) of the Gurbani is meant to annihilate body-consciousness (Mayaic-mind, Haumai…) and jolt us into Mool-abidance (Source, Origin, True Nature,  Joti, Gobind, Raam, Hari, Allah…).

But this will not happen until we gain insights into the disorder created by the conditioned thinking (Soch) of the conditioned or “Pardaesee” mind (strange, wandering, alien, outsider, foreigner, ਥਾਂ ਥਾਂ ਭਟਕਣ ਵਾਲਾ…).

  • ਮਨੁ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਜੇ ਥੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ॥੭॥: If the mind becomes a stranger (to its Mool, within), then all the world becomes a stranger to him. ||7||(sggs 767).
  • ਅੰਧੁਲਾ ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਖਿਨੁ ਆਵੈ ਤਿਲੁ ਜਾਵੈ ॥: (Ignorant or Spiritually) blind, low class (conditioned, Mayaic, filthy, imagining…) wandering mind, comes for a moment and departs in an instant (sggs 731).

Hence, the Gurbani asks us to bring this “Pardaesee” or wandering mind Home!

  • ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਵੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਆਉ ਘਰੇ ॥: O my dear stranger mind, please come Home! (sggs 451).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥: (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts (sggs 102).

Here, “Home” is the Inner Home — Heart, Mool, Spiritual Center, etc., within.

Once the wandering mind liberates itself from the outer domination and traced it’s steps back to its Mool within, it’s said to have come Home. Understandably, the Gurbani never gets tired of reminding the mind of its Reality.

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! Your “Saroopu” (nature, identity…) is “Joti” (Divine Light). (O mind!) Recognize your Mool (Source, Joti, Origin…) ||5|| (sggs 441).

Now, the question is: Why does the mind become “Pardaesee” in the first place? Let’s find the answer from within the Gurbani.

  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਘਨੇਰਾ ॥: This mind is so much in love with Maya (sggs 1038).
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ॥: Sootak of the mind is the love of duality (sggs 229).
  • ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਾਕਤ ਦੁਰਜਨਾ ॥: Those who are separated from their Mool (Saakat, Mayadhaaree, Manmukh), within their mind is the disease of ego (Haumai). These perverse wander strayed in doubt and ego (sggs 1424).

Hence, by its very nature, the Mayaic-mind is a wavy and wind-like, thus restless. Due to its hunger or love for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ, ਮੋਹ), naturally, the mind dances to the tune of Maya. A mind attached to Maya (Bhav Saagar) becomes a sick and weak mind. Such mind creates movement — desires or thoughts-stuff (imaginations, fancies, Phurne-ਫੁਰਨੇ, etc.).

In nutshell, duality (Doojaa Bhaav) is the pollution of the mind (“Sootak“). As the iron is destroyed by its own rust, similarly, a person is ruined by the rust (Sootak) of his own mind.

Furthermore, the Gurbani compares the wandering mind with a camel. The habit of wandering around is peculiar about the camel. Similarly, the camel-mind wanders around as well.

  • ਕਰਹਲੇ ਮਨ ਪਰਦੇਸੀਆ ਕਿਉ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਇ ॥: O my wandering, camel -like mind – (think) how will you meet Hari (Mool…) which (takes care of you like) Mother). (sggs 234).

The deluded mind’s projection are Bikaars (lust, etc.). Such crooked mind distances us from our own true self which is Joti-Saroop, concealing it by superimposing names and forms.

  • ਸਭ ਮਦ ਮਾਤੇ ਕੋਊ ਨ ਜਾਗ ॥ ਸੰਗ ਹੀ ਚੋਰ ਘਰੁ ਮੁਸਨ ਲਾਗ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: All are intoxicated with the wine (of Maya, Bikaar…); no one seems to be (spiritually) Awake or Aware. Thieves (Bikaar – lust, etc.) from within them are plundering (the Divine Wealth of Virtues from their Heart-) Home. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1193).

In nutshell — according to the Gurbani — the mind wanders because it has abandoned, deserted or deprived itself of the Divine Wisdom. And, it will keep wandering until it gets dissolved in the Divine Wisdom like a salt-doll gets dissolved in water! Lack of Wisdom gives rise to relativist consciousness or false ego-sense (Haumai), which creates confusion or psychic disturbances. Everything is only subsequent to this modification of the consciousness.

  • ਮਨੂਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਰਤ ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨਾ ॥: Without being devoted to (absorbed, pleased…) in “Aatam Giaan” (Spiritual Knowledge), the mind wavers and wanders in ten directions (due to hunger for Maya). (sggs 1013).

The “Pardaesee” or the wind-like wandering mind will get established in its Heart-Home (Nij Ghar) within once it has become frozen!

When in liquid form, water spreads around in every direction. But when water is frozen and thus becomes ice, water stops running around, moving around, or spreading around. Not only that, when water is frozen into a block, it serves as a seat!

Similarly, in order to arrest the “Pardaesee” or wandering mind, the Gurbani urges us to freeze the mind! Only then the Truth is realized and one gets rid of ignorance, doubt, Maya, or wrong identity, and one realizes his Original State ( “Joti Saroopu-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ“)!

But how the wavy and turbulent mind can be frozen, arrested, settled? Specially, when it’s on fire — The fire of Maya’s hunger (desires, Trishnaa, doubts, Bikaars – lust anger, greed, etc.)!

  • ਇਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਜਲਤਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਸੀਤਲ ਭਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥੧॥: This world is burning; this comes to be seen through the Gur-Shabad. O Nanak! Those who are attuned to the Shabad practice Truth and became pacified (ਠੰਢੇ-ਠਾਰ). ||1|| (sggs 643).

One cannot live in a house of ice wearing the robes of fire! Can he?

  • ਹਿਵੈ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਪਿਰਾਹਨੁ ॥ ਕਵਨ ਗੁਫਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਅਵਾਹਨੁ ॥: The House is made of ice, (Jeeva is wearing the) robe of fire! Which is that cave, within which (Jeeva) may remain stable? (sggs 943).

The Gurbani shows us the Way out — the Gur-Shabad is like ice (“ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ”), which can cool the mind with Aatam-Giaan (Gurmat, Teaching of the Gurbani, Wisdom or Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani…).

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਬਲ ਅਤਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਦੀਜੈ ॥: The powerful fire of Maya (desires, Bikaars…) is raging greatly within (Jeeva-individual beings); (O Raam!) Give (me) the ice-cold Gur-Shabad (so that the raging fire of Maya may be quenched). (sggs 1325).

Hence, according to the Gurbani, the sure and common sense solution is this: Since the mind is being plundered without the Divine Knowledge, the Gurbani asks us to fill this vacuum with the Divine Knowledge, obtained through the Shabad-Vichaar!

  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ॥: (a Gurmukh) by the Grace of the Gur (Giaan, Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…), remains dead (from Maya, Haumai, duality, Bikaar, doubt…) while yet alive, (consequently, his) mind becomes content in itself (i.e., does not wander around). (sggs 647).

Hence — according to the Gurbani — it’s only the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom…) that can freeze or stabilize or purify the doubt-ridden mind (“ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ”, sggs 469). There is no shortcut.

  • ਸਾਗਰੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: By Vichaar of the Gur-Shabad, the ocean (Bhav-Saagar or Maya-ocean that’s burning with the fire of Bikaars) becomes calm or cool (sggs 1274).

The Gur-Shabad helps us resolve the riddle! Through the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad (Divine Knowledge, Aatam-Giaan, Gurmati, Naam…), the mind settles down, and becomes firm and composed (ਅਡੋਲ, ਟਿਕਾਓ ਵਿਚ, Sahaj…). Free of Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), the mind so purified in its thinking and behavior and actions becomes fit to transcend Bhav Saagar (Maya…) into Sukh Saagar.

  • ਸਚੁ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਚੇਤਿ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਜੀਅੜਿਆ ਪਰਦੇਸੀਆ ॥੩॥: Says Nanak – O my stranger mind! Remember the Truth. ||3|| (sggs 439).
  • ਤਜਿਓ ਰੀ ਸਗਲ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਧਾਵਤੋ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਥੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (I have) renounced all Bikaar. (Now my) wandering mind has become steady and stable. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1271).
  • ਛੈਲ ਲੰਘੰਦੇ ਪਾਰਿ ਗੋਰੀ ਮਨੁ ਧੀਰਿਆ ॥: Those established in the Heart are Dheerajvaan, and only they go across (Bhav Saagar, Maya…). (sggs 488).

So the Gurbani asks us to keep investigating the mind, until it has entered its “Khorr-ਖੋੜ” (“cave” of the “Heart”,  Mool or Joti Saroop…) and stays there!

  • ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਬਸਤ ਰਿਦ ਮਹਿ ਖੋਰ ॥: My Beloved lives in the cave of my Heart (sggs 1121).
  • ਖਖਾ ਇਹੈ ਖੋੜਿ ਮਨ ਆਵਾ ॥ ਖੋੜੇ ਛਾਡਿ ਨ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵਾ ॥: KHAKHA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): When the mind (who has realized Giaan or spiritual Knowledge) comes to remain in the “Khorr” (of Heart, Mool, Jot-Saroop, ਅੰਤਰ-ਆਤਮਾ ਰੂਪ ਖੁੱਡ ਵਿੱਚ, etc.), (then) it does not leave this “Khorr” to wander in the ten directions. (sggs 343).

Hence — according to the Gurbani — ONLY that person can become a Sikh who has brought his mind Home and makes it follow the Divine Life. In other words, Sikhi is to dispel the darkness of ignorance by applying the Divine Wisdom “ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ — Giaan Anjanu“. Accordingly, the Wisdom of the Gurbani repeatedly reminds that hypocrisy and pretense cannot take us closer to Divinity. Only the purity of our mind can do so.

  • ਹਠ ਮੰਝਾਹੂ ਮੈ ਮਾਣਕੁ ਲਧਾ ॥ ਮੁਲਿ ਨ ਘਿਧਾ ਮੈ ਕੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦਿਤਾ ॥ ਢੂੰਢ ਵਞਾਈ ਥੀਆ ਥਿਤਾ ॥ ਜਨਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਤਾ ॥੨॥: I have found the Jewel within my Heart. I was not charged for it; the Satigur gave it to me. My search has ended, and (my mind) has become Stable (ਟਿਕ ਗਿਆ). O Nanak! I have won or gained benefit of “Janamu Padaarathu -ਜਨਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ” (the Treasure of Spiritual Birth…). ||2|| (sggs 964).
  • ਮਨ ਖੁਟਹਰ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਸਾਸੁ ਤੂ ਮਹਾ ਉਦਮਾਦਾ ॥ ਖਰ ਕਾ ਪੈਖਰੁ ਤਉ ਛੁਟੈ ਜਉ ਊਪਰਿ ਲਾਦਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O defective mind (flawed, deceitful, ਖੋਟਾ ਮਨ), no faith can be placed in you; you are very intoxicated (with Maya). The donkey’s leg-chain is only removed, after the load is placed on his back (i.e., similarly, O mind, you can free yourself from fetter or bondage of Maya by loading yourself with the Divine Wisdom or Brahm-Giaan). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 815).

In nutshell, the Gurmati’s edict is : Until the mind has realized its True Nature or Originality, it will NOT abide (ਟਿਕਨਾ).

  • ਜਉ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਤਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੨॥੧੦॥: Now that I have known (understood, Soojh-Boojh, Naam, Brahm-Giaan, Divine Knowledge…), then is my mind tranquillized (propitiated, yielded, stabilized …). ||2||10|| (sggs 656).
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