Rusted Mind

The Gurbani says the mind of a Jeev (individual being) is rusted. What is this rust?

This rust is indicated to be none other than the mind’s “Sootak” – impurity, corruption, filth, hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ), Maya’s dross, Mayaic efforts, ignorance, Doojaa-Bhaav or duality or Dubidhaa, doubts (ਭਰਮ), Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, attachment, ਜੰਗਾਲ, ਮੈਲ, etc.), egotism (Haumai), and so on.

On account of the mind’s “Sootak“, it behaves rusted, or it has become “Manoor” (ਮਨੂਰੁ = ਸੜਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਲੋਹਾ, ਲੋਹੇ ਦੀ ਮੈਲ, rusted, rusty, etc.). In other words, the mind’s nature has become like a corroded or rusty slag, iron-dross (ਮਨ ਇਉਂ ਸੜਿਆ ਰਹਿੰਦਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਸੜਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਲੋਹਾ), etc.

  • ਤਨੁ ਜਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਮਾਟੀ ਭਇਆ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਮਨੂਰੁ ॥: Tanu jali bali maatee bhaiaa manu maya mohi manooru: (When burnt after death) The body is burnt to ashes; because of its love of Maya, the mind becomes rusted. (sggs 19).
  • ਧੰਧੈ ਧਾਵਤ ਮਨੁ ਭਇਆ ਮਨੂਰਾ ॥: Dhandhai dhaavat manu bhaiaa manooraa: Chasing after worldly affairs (Mayaic efforts), the mind has become rusty. (sggs 1047).
  • ਪਾਪ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਨੂਰ ਸਭਿ ਲਦੇ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਡਰਾਵਣਾ ਕਿਉ ਤਰੀਐ ਤਾਰੀ ॥: Paap bikaar manoor sabhi lade bahu bhaaree. Maaragu bikhamu daraavanaa kiou tareeai taaree: (Those who are) Loaded with a heavy load of Paap, Bikaar; (for them) the path of life becomes arduous and dreadful (consequently, for them) it becomes difficult to cross (this Maya-ocean or the ocean of worldliness). (sggs 1248).

What’s the remedy? The Gurbani provides us with the sure cure.

The remedy is cultivating Aatam Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom) through the Shabad-Vichaar, and then living by this Gurmat (Aatam Giaan -ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ). In other words, it is the Storm of the Giaan (“ਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ”) that will totally blow away the mind’s rust.

  • ਜਿਸੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਤ ਅਨੰਦਾ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨਹੁ ਜੰਗੀਲਾ ॥ ਮਿਲਬੇ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਬਰਨਿ ਨ ਸਾਕਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਰੈ ਪਰੀਲਾ ॥੨॥੪॥੧੩॥: Jisu simarat mani hot…: By whose Simran (ਸਿਮਰਨ: Remembering what was forgotten through the Gur-Shabad or Gurmat; with this Inner Understanding/ਆਂਤਰਿਕ ਸੋਝੀ the mind Awakens to its Mool within, then), the mind abides in Bliss, and the rust of the mind is removed. O Nanak! The exaltation of meeting (That), which is beyond measure (ਪਰੇ ਤੋਂ ਪਰੇ), cannot be described. (sggs 498).
  • ਭਇਓ ਅਨੁਗ੍ਰਹੁ ਮਿਟਿਓ ਮੋਰਚਾ ਅਮੋਲ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਲਾਧਿਓ ॥: Bhaio anugrhu mitio morachaa amol padaarath laadhio: With the Divine Mercy (upon me – ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ, Mercy of the Divine Knowledge or the Spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad), the rust (of the mind, the fortified front of ignorance of the mind…) is removed, the priceless Padaarath (Naam Padaarath, Giaan Padaarath…) is attained. (sggs 530).
  • ਦਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਉਮਤਿ ਖੜੀ ਮਸਕਲੈ ਹੋਇ ਜੰਗਾਲੀ ॥: Daru seve oumati kharree masakale hoi jangaalee: Standing at His door, His followers serve Him (i.e., by singular minded serving the Mool within with Naam or Giaan of the Gur-Shabad); the rust (of the mind) is scraped off as the Masakal (scraps off rust of the rusty iron). (sggs 967).

In other words, it’s living the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Divine Life based on the Gurmat – Aatam Giaan of the Gurbani) that will remove the mind’s rust.

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਆਰਸੀ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਖੈ ॥ ਮੋਰਚਾ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਜਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਸੋਖੈ ॥ ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਏ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥: Ihu manu aarsee koee Gurmukhi vekhai …: This mind is like a mirror (or looking-glass, through which one can see his Mool, Source, Originality, Authentic Nature, Jot-Svaroop, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ, etc., but); hardly any by becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being…) sees himself in it. The rust (of ego or Haume, Maya…) does not stick to (the mind of him who becomes the Gurmukh and) burns his ego (and, with ego burnt, he can see himself through this mind-mirror). The Unstruck Melody of the Bani, the Pure Shabad resounds (within the Gurmukh); through the Gur-Shabad, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in the Truth ||4|| (sggs 115).
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