What is the use?

Impure mind is synonyms with the presence of false ego-sense, Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, etc.), negativity, or evil inclinations, and so on. The Gurbani repeatedly stresses that it’s of no use to practice meditation or Simran with the “filthy” mind (conditioned mind).

  • ਸਾਪੁ ਕੁੰਚ ਛੋਡੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਛਾਡੈ ॥ ਉਦਕ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਬਗੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਾਡੈ ॥੧॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਕੀਜੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਜਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਜਬ ਤੇ ਸੁਧੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਅਪਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Saanp kunch shodai bikh nahee shaadai. Udak maahi jaise bagg dhiaan maadai. ||1|| Kaahai kaou keejai dhiaan japannaa. Jab te sudh naahee mann apnaa ||1||Rahaaou||: The snake sheds its skin, but does not lose its venom (from within). The heron (standing in the water) appears to be meditating, but it is concentrating on the water (to catch a fish). ||1|| Why do you practice meditation or chanting, when your mind is not pure? ||1||Pause|| (sggs 486).

Also consider some more verses below, in which the Gurbani repeatedly asks us:

  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਜੀਵਨ ਕਉਨੇ ਕਾਮ ॥੩੦॥: Kahu Nanak bin har bhajan jeevan koune kaam ||30||: Says Nanak, without meditating on the Lord, what is the use of this human life? ||30|| (sggs 1428).
  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Naam binaa kiaa giaan dhiaan: Without the Naam, what is the use of spiritual wisdom and meditation spiritual wisdom (that is used in ਗਿਆਨ-ਚਰਚਾ, scholarly discussions, etc.) and meditation? (sggs 905).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਤੀਰਥ ਭਰਮੀਜੈ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਚਾ ਕਿਆ ਸੋਚ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥: Antar mail tirath bharmeejai. Mann nahee soochaa kiaa soch kareejai: By wandering around at places of pilgrimage with filth (Bikaars) within, the mind does not become pure. There is so use of performing ritual cleansings (ਤੀਰਥ- ਇਸ਼ਨਾਨ ) (sggs 905).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਜਾਣਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ਕਿਆ ਤਿਸੁ ਚਜੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ॥: Gur kaou jaan n jaanee kiaa tis chaj achaar: If knowingly (one) does not know the Guru, then what is the use of their lives (their lifestyle, ਜੀਵਨ-ਢੰਗ, etc.)? (sggs 19).
  • ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਾਚੇ ਕਿਆ ਤਾਸੁ ॥: Punn daan changiaaeeaa bin saache kiaa taas: (One) may perform good deeds (such as) giving donations to charity, but without the (meditation or Simran one the) True One, what is the use of it all? (sggs 56).
  • ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਤਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਗੁਮਾਨੁ ॥: Tirath naataa kiaa kare mann mahi mail gumaan: What is the use of bathing at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, when the filth of stubborn pride is within the mind? (sggs 61).
  • ਬਿਪਲ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਪਹਿਰੇ ਕਿਆ ਬਨ ਮਧੇ ਬਾਸਾ ॥ ਕਹਾ ਭਇਆ ਨਰ ਦੇਵਾ ਧੋਖੇ ਕਿਆ ਜਲਿ ਬੋਰਿਓ ਗਿਆਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਸਮਝੁ ਇਆਨਾ ॥ ਜਤ ਜਤ ਦੇਖਉ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਪੇਖਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਲਪਟਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Bipal basatr kete hai pahire kiaa ban madhe baasaa …: (Many people) wear various robes, but what is the use? (Many people) live in the forest, but what is the use? What good does it do if a man burns incense before his gods? What good does it do to dip one’s body in water (at some place of pilgrimmage – ਕਿਸੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਆਦਿਕ ਦੇ)? ||1|| You ignorant idiot: understand the Unseen Lord. Whatever you see, you will not see that again (i.e., everything in this Mayaic world is changeful – nothing remains the same), but still, you cling to Maya. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 338).
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3 Comments On This Post

  1. Impure mind is synonyms with the presence of false ego-sense. Thanks for this wise teaching.

  2. I agree with Gurbani entirely. The conditioned mind cannot practice…

  3. Thanks Laura. The Gurbani says:
    ਦਾਨਸਬੰਦੁ ਸੋਈ ਦਿਲਿ ਧੋਵੈ ॥: Daanasband soee dili dhovai: One who cleanses his own mind (i. e., the one who eradicates his own mind’s conditionings) is Wise (the person of Viveka-Budhi, discerning Intellect, etc.). (sggs 662).

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