Part 13: Stubborn Mindedness

Destruction of Stubborn Mindedness (ਮਨ ਹਠ):

Stubbornness is repudiated (Khandan) by the Gurbani. A stubborn person is a person of blind-mind (Manmukh). So the Gurbani time and again hints us to destroy stubborn mindedness, before it destroys our Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਛੀਜੈ ॥: Manahathi Karam kare so chheejai: Whosoever acts stubborn-mindedly, his (spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) is weakened. (sggs 1059). 

The Gurbani wants us to eradicate our stubborn-mindedness. But it’s not so easy! Because, first of all, from the very childhood we are systematically led into believing in stubborn-mindedness and stupid practices and rituals (Mayaic Karamkaand) totally repudiated in the Gurbani. From the childhood we have been listening to the Gurbani’s meanings, or interpretation from the Mayadhaarees (duplicate, stubborn minded persons – the Manmukhs devoid of Gur-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan…). Consequently, the majority of us (99.9 percent category) have no clue as to what the real or true Sikhi or Teaching of the Gurbani is.

Maya is stubborn and persistent; so is Mayadhaaree who persistently lives a life of Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, etc.). Prisoned in the fortress of ignorance (of our Real Source – Joti-Svaroopa), Maya has shut its stubborn doors on us; consequently – in the darkness of ignorance – we cannot see the Light (of Aatamaan). Since our stubborn mindedness does not allow us to plant seeds of Wisdom (Gur-Giaan) here; we will have nothing to show for in the world hereafter.

Caught in the love of duality (division, two-ness, Doojaa-Bhaav), thus, we have forgotten the treasure of the Naam-consciousness (Gur-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, live by Hukam…). Instead, we attach our worldly consciousness to the foul-smelling pile of “filth”, which is transitory, like the fading color of the safflower. In stubbornness (Mann-Hatha) we wander in ten direction; continually spinning around, like the potter’s wheel.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਜੋ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਾਵੈ ਬਗੁਲ ਜਿਉ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਲਾਵੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੇ ਧਾਰੀ ॥: Mannhathi jo kamaavai til na lekhai paavai bagul jiou dhiaan laavai Maya re dhaaree: One who acts (performs religious acts, etc.) through stubbornness is of no account at all (his actions are of no avail); (because) like a crane, he pretends to meditate, but he is still stuck in Maya (i.e., he is Mayadhaaree ) (sggs 687). 

This brings us to the following question: How can the stubborn-mindedness (conditioned consciousness, ignorance, foolishness…) be destroyed? As indicated in the Gurbani, we can shun stubborn-mindedness by replacing it with Shabad-Vichaar (Gur-Giaan, Knowledge or Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, Gurmat, Hukam…).

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਰਿ ਲਘਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਵੇਦਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Gursabadee hari paayeeai hari paar langhaai. Mannhathi kinai n paaio pushahu vedaa jaai: God ithat carries us acrosss (the world-ocean) is attained through the Gur-Shabad. Through stubborn-mindedness, none have found Him; go and consult the Vedas on this (i.e., the ancient scriptures also confirm this) (sggs 86).
  • ਮਃ ੨ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਤਰਫ ਨ ਜਿਪਈ ਜੇ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਘਾਲੇ ॥ ਤਰਫ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਤ ਭਾਉ ਦੇ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ॥੪॥: M: 2|| Mann hathi taraf n jipaee je bahutaa ghaale. Taraph jinai sat bhaaou de jan Nanak Sabad veechaare ||4||: M: 2. Stubborn-mindedness will not win God to (your) side, no matter how much it is tried. O servant Nanak, God is won over to (your) side, by offering Him your true motives (love, devotion, etc.), and contemplating the Shabad ||4|| (sggs 787). 

Just as a blind cannot see a garden of beautiful flowers, just as a drunkard cannot be instructed in the subtleties of spirituality, just as hair cannot grow on a tortoise’s shell, just as a dead cannot get up and run, just as a lotus cannot grow on a rock, and just as there is no oil in the sand grains, similarly, the stubborn mindedness is not conducive for Bhagti or Naam-Simran: Gurmat, Shabad-Giaan… The Gurbani challenges us to constantly struggle with our mind, and become the Gurmukh (the person who has Realized Truth, ਸਚ, Hukam, Shabad-Giaan…).

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਮਤੀ ਬੂਡੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਚੁ ਸੁ ਤਾਰਿ ॥੧॥: Manahathi matee boodeeai Gurmukhi sach su taari||1||: Through the intellect of stubborn-mindedness, (one) is drowned (in this world-ocean); one who becomes the Gurmukh is saved by the Truth. ||1||. (sggs 20).
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