O servant Nanak, amongst millions there is hardly any mortal,
who attains Divine meditation (sggs 219).

One may ask, "Where does this figure of "over 99.9 percent" comes from?" It comes from the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), which provides us with an estimate of conditioned souls in our human society. It also reveals to us that those individuals who truly abide in Truth in their mind (the Gurmukhs) are very "rare". Out of thousands and millions, one may endeavor for Spiritual attainment, of these hardly one knows the Reality in Truth. This means that over 99.9 percent people simply live in a state of mental delusion! This is to say that only less than 0.1 percent (numeral "one" divided by "thousand" or "million") of the people are truly interested in real Understanding, spiritual Wisdom or Transcendental Knowledge! The Gurbani affirms this as follows:

  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਕੋਊ ਭਜਨੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Jan Nanak kotan mai kou bhajan raam ko pave: O servant Nanak, amongst millions there is hardly any mortal, who attains Divine meditation (sggs 219).
  • ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਊ ਨਾਰਾਇਨੁ ਜਿਹ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Kotan mai Nanak kou narain jih cheet: Rare is the one amongst millions, who enshrines Divine in his mind, O Nanak (sggs 1427).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਈ ॥: Gurmukh viralaa boojhai koee: How rare is that who as the Gurmukh understands (sggs 224).

There are four principles common to human beings and animals - animals eat, sleep, defend and mate. Similarly, over 99.9 percent of humans are also merely engaged in these animal propensities namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. In this abominable condition is the heinous show of false ego-sense and ignorance at its best! Also called Manmukhs, slumbering in the state of ceaseless "sleep" of Maya, we ("over 99.9 percent" category) get kicked by our mental wanderings all day long. The reality is that the majority of us (Manmukhs) chose to practice falsehood (Jhooth), not the Truth (Sach Dee Kamaaee).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: Gurmukh koee sach kamaavai: How rare are those who, as Gurmukh, live the Truth (sggs 1344).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਝੂਠੋ ਝੂਠੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: Manmukh jhootho jhooth kamaavai: The Manmukh practices falsehood, only falsehood (sggs 363).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥: Manmukh andhe sudh na kaaee: The blind Manmukh have no understanding at all (sggs 118).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੂਤੇ ॥ ਅਪਣਾ ਘਰੁ ਨ ਸਮਾਲਹਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਜਾਲੈ ਦੁਖੇ ਦੁਖਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: Manmukh haumai maya soote. Apnaa ghar na samaalahi ant vigoote. Par nindaa karahi bahu chintaa jaalai dukhe dukh nivaasee he ||15||: The self-willed Manmukhs are asleep (i.e., unaware of the ultimate purpose of life, etc.) in egotism and Maya. (From Bikaars) They do protect their own Homes (Heart etc,), and are ruined in the end. They slander others, and burn in great anxiety; they always live in pain and suffering ||15|| (sggs 1049).
  • ਤਿਹੀ ਗੁਣੀ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਸੁਤਾ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ॥: The world is asleep in the three-qualitied Maya and doubt (Bharam); it passes the night of its life sleeping (sggs 920).

The Gurbani groups all human beings in two classifications - the Gurmukhs or the Spiritual Beings (Self-Realized Mahaatamaas etc.), and the Manmukhs or the materialists (unenlightened or Haume-beings). As such, these two terms appear again and again in the Gurbani. As some other terms, these two terms also appear to have been widely misunderstood. Some define them based on one's own fool-o-sophy, rather than the Wisdom of the Gurbani. The bottom line is that the majority fall in the category of "over 99.9 percent", and less than 0.1 percent (numeral "one" divided by "thousand" or "million") fall in the category of the Gurmukhs. The Gurbani uses the term "rare" ("Viralaa", "Koee" etc.) for them, because they are "rare" in this world indeed! Some may consider themselves in-between these two. But, so long any amount of Manmukhtaa is present in one, no matter how little, the Gurbani does not seem to qualify one as the Gurmukh. The Gurbani does not indicate little bit of Manmukhtaa mixed with little bit of Gurmukhtaa is equal to the Gurmukhhood. According to the Gurbani, those (Gurmukhs) imbued with Truth do not have even an iota of the filth of falsehood. Thus, either we are in the "over 99.9 percent" category or in the "less than 0.1 percent" category.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੰਸਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: Guraamukh sansaa mool n hovee chintaa vichahu jaai: The Gurmukh does not have an iota of skepticism or doubt; worries depart from within him (sggs 853).
  • ਸਾਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸਚੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਰਾਈ ॥: Saach rathae sach anmrit jihavaa mithhiaa mail na raaee: Those who are imbued with Truth - their tongues are tinged with Truth; they do not have even an iota of the filth of falsehood (sggs 1127).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Guramukh aapanaa manu maariaa sabad kasavatee laai. Mann hee naal jhagarraa mann hee naal sath mann hee manjh samaai: Applying the Touchstone of the Shabad, by becoming the Gurmukh, the Gurmukh conqueres his mind (prevents it from falling in love with Maya, etc.). He fights with his mind (its evil inclinations: ਬਿਕਾਰ-ਬਿਰਤੀ), he settles with his mind (make his mind understand), and he becomes immersed (in the auspicious nature of) his mind (sggs 87).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਹਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨੁ ਚੜਿਆ ਦਸਵੈ ਆਕਾਸਿ ॥: Gurmukhi antar sahaj hai manu charriaa dasavai aakaas: Upon becoming Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), Intuitive Poise (Sahaj) awakens within; then his mind ascends to the Tenth Plane - Dasam Duaar (sggs 1414).
  • ਅਪੁਨੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਸਦਾ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਈ ॥: Apune satgur kaou bali jaaee. Gumukh jotee joti milaaee: I am forever a sacrifice to my Satguru. Who becomes the Gurmukh, (the Satguru) blends his light (consciousness, ਸੁਰਤਿ, etc.) with the Divine Light (sggs 362).
  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਮਨਹੁ ਤਜਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: Aap pachhaanahi Sabadi marahi manahu taj vikaar: (The one who has become the Gurmukh) realizes his own (True) Self; he dies in the Shabad, (and through the Shabad) he banishes Bikaars from his mind (sggs 430).
  • ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥: Se manmukh jo Shabad na pachhaanahi: They alone are Manmukh who do not realize the Shabad (sggs 1054).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਰੋਗੀ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Manmukh rogee hai sansaaraa: The Manmukh is sick and diseased (with evil passions) in the world (sggs 118).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥: Manmukh andhe sudh na kaaee: The blind Manmukh have no understanding at all (sggs 118).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: Manamukh bhulaa janam gavaai: The mistaken Manmukh (one in material consciousness) wastes away his life (sggs 363).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਰਾਏ ॥੪॥੩॥: Nanak manmukh bandh hai gurmukh mukati karaae ||4||3||: O Nanak, the Manmukhs remain in bondage (with hopes, desires, etc. They become hurdles on his Way); the Gurmukhs are liberated (From these) ||4||3|| (sggs 559).

Manmukhtaa is negativity - Bikaars or negative propensities of the Haume-mind such as Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Ahankaar and their numerous variations. If one identifies with any or all of these, he or she naturally falls in the "over 99.9 percent" category. Our ego-mind may not agree with all this and find it a bitter pill to swallow, but that does not change the Truth revealed to us in the infallible Gurbani.

  • ਜਗੁ ਬੰਦੀ ਮੁਕਤੇ ਹਉ ਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਗਿ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਆਚਾਰੀ ॥: Jag bandee mukate haou maaree. Jag giaanee viralaa aachaaree: The world is held in bondage; he alone is emancipated, who conquers his ego. How rare in the world is that wise person, who practices this (sggs 412).

— T. Singh