Ten Widows

Out of ten physical senses, the five sense-organs are of knowledge or perception (Giaan Indriyas — eyes, years, nose, tongue and skin), and the five sense-organs of action (Karam Indriyas — the genital, anus, mouth, hands and legs). Man engages in the world of gross objects with his sensory faculties and the pleasures they afford only make him desire for more and more. But it’s not possible to satisfy desires. Accordingly, we are repeatedly asked by the Gurbani to learn to control them.

The Gurbani asks us to make these ten senses widow.

  • ਦਸ ਨਾਰੀ ਮੈ ਕਰੀ ਦੁਹਾਗਨਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਏਹ ਰਸਹਿ ਬਿਖਾਗਨਿ ॥ ਇਨ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਹਮ ਗੁਰਿ ਰਾਖੇ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੫॥: Das naaree mai karee duhaagani …: I have made widows of the ten sensory organs (I don’t engage in sense-gratification anymore). The Guru has told (i.e., the Gurbani’s Giaan has revealed to me) that pleasures (sense-gratifications) are the poison-fire (that brings death to the spiritual life: ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). Those who associate with them fall into lower region (of consciousness, degradation or downfall of Spiritual Life – spiritual death, ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ, ਅਧੋਗਤਿ…). By attuning me to the Lord, the Guru (i.e, the Gur-Giaan) has saved me (from the sense pleasrues) ||5|| (sggs 1347).

But how can one go about making these ten senses widow?

Mind is the “husband” and the ten senses are its “wives”. The mind is the center of all activities of the senses. Thus, when the senses become attracted toward their respective sense-objects, the mind becomes the source of all ideas of about sense-gratification. Thus, the mind and the senses become the repositories of desires (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ-ਪਿਆਸ).

To make all senses “widow”, the mind must be “killed” (or “conquered”)! This is why the Gurbani urges Spiritual aspirants to “struggle” with their own mind, and keep it engaged in Shabad-Vichaar so that the mind develops a taste for Spiritual life. If this advice of the Gurbani is followed with unshakable determination and sincerity, in course of time the mind will lose interest in hedonistic pursuits of the senses and become oriented to the Goal of Mool-realization. The mind stands “conquered” (killed or liberated) when it sees the Truth (ਸਚ).

  • ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: Manni jeetai jag jeet: If you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world (sggs 3).
  • ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥੨॥: Manu jeete jagu jeetiaa jaan te bikhiaa te hoi oudaasu (sggs 1103).
  • ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ॥: Manu tanu jeeti sabadu lai laahaa (sggs 699).

Death of the Haumai is the death of the mind. So, the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukh and conquer the mind by killing the Haumai.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥: Gurmukhi manu jeetaa haoumai maari (sggs 946).

When, by becoming the Gurmukh, one makes his senses widows, he sees without eyes; he hears without ears; he walks without feet; he works without hands; he speaks without  tongue…!

  • ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥ ਪੈਰਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਚਲਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਹਥਾ ਕਰਣਾ ॥ ਜੀਭੈ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਇਉ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰਣਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਕੈ ਤਉ ਖਸਮੈ ਮਿਲਣਾ ॥੧॥: Akhee baajhahu vekhanaa vinu kanaa sunanaa. Pairaa baajhahu chalanaa vinu hathaa karanaa. Jeebhai baajhahu bolanaa iou jeevat maranaa… (sggs 139).

Seeing without eyes! Hearing without years! Walking without feet! Working without hands! Speaking without a tongue! This is the state of a “Jeevan-Mukta” — living liberated or living dead. Also called the Gurmukhs in the Gurbani, this is the state of those Mool-realized beings who have conquered their instinctive mind – who have become “Ik Mann Ik Chit”. Simply put, it’s the state that rises within upon getting rid of the burden of false ego-sense (Haumai).

  • ਜਿਨ ਜਪਿਆ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਲਥਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥: Jin japiaa ik mani ik chiti tin lathaa haoumai bhaaru (sggs 302).

Not easy: It’s like swimming upstream; chewing steel balls with the teeth of wax; racing along the razor’s edge…

  • ਮੈਣ ਕੇ ਦੰਤ ਕਿਉ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Main ke dant kiou khaaeeai saaru (sggs 943).
  • ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ ॥: Khanniahu tkhee vaalahu nikee etu maaragi jaanaa (sggs 918).
  • ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਮੁ ਮੁਰਗਾਈ ਨੈ ਸਾਣੇ ॥: Jaiase jal mahi kamalu niraalamu murgaaee nai saane (sggs 938).

The Gurbani assures us that it’s all possible through the Gur-Giaan, Gur-Upadesh, or Gur-Teaching!

  • ਮੈਨਦੰਤ ਨਿਕਸੇ ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਸਾਰੁ ਚਬਿ ਚਬਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥੩॥: Maindant nikase gur bachanee saaru chabi chabi hari rasu peejai (sggs 1324).
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3 Comments On This Post Join the Shabad-Vichaar ...

  1. Karamjeet Singh

    Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!

    Intense and deep. Your pieces are becoming more and more densely Gyaan-packed.

    One Husband-Mind and ten Senses-Wives. And the task is to kill the Husband. Difficult …. almost impossible because one needs Husband’s help and all these ‘wifes’ are so much ‘desire-fulfilling’……. But Gurbani has laid-out the way -this ‘Khanniahu tkhee vaalahu nikee’ Maarg.

    Thanks again for sharing your reflections on Gurbani.

    Deep regards

    PS ( A couple of words are missing in the following lines the the word eyes is missing and the words he hears without are missing too … please edit if possible )

    When, by becoming the Gurmukh, one makes his senses widows, he sees without years; walks without feet; works without hands; speaks without a tongue…!

    Thanks

  2. Andrea Kaur

    wonderful article, simply explained, easy to understand, and life times to achieve…………… bahot dhanvaad for this!

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