Camel-Mind

In order to instruct, explain or persuade us (ਸਮਝਾਣ ਲਈ), the Gurbani has used all sorts of examples of our world around us, including many animals.

However, the Gurmat (Giaan, Wisdom, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…) is not meant for camels or other animals! Neither are the Gurdwara congregations (or any other religious congregation for that matter) meant for camels or other animals!

It’s for the human mind for learning and mends!

When the Truth that has not been personally experienced, one can not grasp it directly. However, with the help of examples, analogies, similes, allegories, metaphors, figurative or mystic representations and illustrations, idioms (ਮੁਹਾਵਰੇ), etc., the Truth becomes relatively easier to grasp. Such methods have extensively been used in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

From ignorance comes the perception of individuality (false ego-sense, Haumai…).

As indicated in the Gurbani, unaware of the purpose of life, a SaakatManmukh-Mayadhaaree passes life gratifying senses, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.).

Consequently, he ends up doing everything contrary to the the  Gurmat.

On account of doubts (Bharam), he entertains the wrong notion that his material body is his Mool (Source, Origin, Jot Saroop, True Nature…). This false or mistaken identity is the seed of mental delusion, whose nature is conceptualization (ਮਾਇਕੀ ਫੁਰਨੇ…).

Being slave of the sensory apparatus, a Saakat-Manmukh-Mayadhaaree’s emotional attachment to the sense-objects makes his mental conditioning more and more dense.

Such sense-blind mind who unaware of its Jot Saroop (True Nature…) is likened to a camel.

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੇਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: O my dear beloved camel-like mind, take care of the Light (Giaan Knowledge…) that dwells within the body (sggs 235).

The habit of wandering around is peculiar about the camel. Similarly, the mind of a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree wanders around as well.

Those who search for their Mool  at places other than their inner Home are compared in the Gurbani with a wandering street-dog, or with a deer who is unaware of the musk-scent present in his body but roams around searching for it in the bushes…

Under the negative impact of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, selfishness, ignorance, etc.) the mind also wanders around like a camel. Despite the repeated suffering, the worldly attachment is so strong that iy does not want to give it up.

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲੇ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਭਵਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭਾਲਿ ॥: The Treasure (Naam) is deep within, O camel-like mind, but you wander around outside in doubt, searching for it (sggs 235).
  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਅਤਿ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਆਇ ॥: O camel-like mind, you were very pure (i.e., Jot Saroop…); now the filth of egotism has come and attached to you. (sggs 234).
  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਤੂੰ ਮੀਤੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਾਖੰਡੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਜਾਇ ॥: O camel-like mind, my friend; abandon hypocrisy and greed. (sggs 234).

Another thing that is peculiar about the camel is, while wandering around, it eats thorny bushes or thorny trees (e.g., ਕਿੱਕਰ, etc.) even though they make its mouth bleed!

Similarly, the mind of a Saakat-Manmukh-Mayadhaaree indulges in sense gratification even though his body and mind suffer because of it!

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੀਆ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਫਾਥਿਆ ਮਹਾ ਜਾਲਿ ॥: O camel-like mind! Become Vichaarvaan (ਵਿਚਾਰਵਾਨ, thoughtful, Reflective, Bibeki…), the Manmukh are caught in the great net (of Maya…). (sggs 234).
  • ਪੰਚੇ ਰੁੰਨੇ ਦੁਖਿ ਭਰੇ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥੧॥: The five senses (of knowledge – eyes, ears, etc.) waste away through the love of duality; full of pain, they pine away. ||1| (sggs 19).

The Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle) based on the Gurmat is the path that leads inwards, where all wanderings or searching ends.

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਇਕ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣਾਇ ॥: O my dear beloved camel-like mind, listen only to the Teachings of the Guru (Gur-Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 234).
  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਤੂੰ ਚੰਚਲਾ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਛਡਿ ਵਿਕਰਾਲਿ ॥ ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀਆ ਤੂੰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: O camel-like mind, you are so fickle; give up your horrible cleverness. O camel-like mind,  preserve (your) Jewel of Wisdom and fortunate. (sggs 235).

Hence, the Gurbani asks the camel-like mind to become the Gurmukh (the follower of the Truth-ਸਚ, Wisdom, Virtues…).

  • ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਗੁਰਿ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: O camel-like mind, assent (consent…) the Guru, become the Gurmukh, and act (as instructed by the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom...). (sggs 234).

8 replies on “Camel-Mind”

Thank you T. Singh ji, as usual I enjoy reflecting on your very thoughtful write ups and find them extremely helpful and informative. For me, your train of thought as expressed through these blogs provides an opportunity to ask many questions to myself not to negate what you are saying rather to learn from what you are saying. Here are two observations for you and for your readers to reflect:

1) You write and then interpret: “ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿਆਰਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੇਹੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥: O my dear beloved camel-like mind, take care of the Light (Giaan Knowledge…) that dwells within the body (sggs 235).”

Your interpretation raises a very basic question and therefore the confusion that it prompts.

In this Gurbani pankti – who is this, who is saying “ਮੇਰੇ” and is giving advice to “ਮਨ”?

I don’t know the answer but would guess ….could it be “Budhi”?

Then this raises another question: what is this construct ( the so called Budhi) and does it come about?

Unless we understand who is this inside us speaking to ਮਨ ( as per the above Pankti); we can not understand the true essence of the powerful message embedded in this Pankti.

2) ਅੰਤਰਿ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਮਨ ਕਰਹਲੇ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਭਵਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭਾਲਿ ॥: The Treasure (Naam) is deep within, O camel-like mind, but you wander around outside in doubt, searching for it (sggs 235).

You also write “Being slave of the sensory apparatus, a Saakat-Manmukh-Mayadhaaree’s emotional attachment to the sense-objects makes his mental conditioning more and more dense.”

We also know that there is nothing more powerful than Naam (ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਆਗਾਸ ਪਾਤਾਲ ॥ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਆਕਾਰ ॥
ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਸਭ ਭਵਨ ॥)

If Naam is so powerful then how come (as you write above in your interpretation) Naam becomes so weak in the presence of the “sensory apparatus” that the “sensory apparatus” is shown to have more influence on “ਮਨ” than Naam.

Does it make sense? Not to me!

I think the message of this pankti is not as you put it.

Guru Fetah!
Paramjit Singh Rana

Thank you brother for taking the time to write. But, sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Nonetheless, as our lives are interwoven (One Jot in all …), we all are together on this journey, learning from each other. As a beginner student or learner, I’m learning along with you. So, if you know how to say the Gurbani’s meaning more clearer or accurate, please enhance our understanding.

In desert, a camel becomes joyous and happy seeing a green vine. Loves eating it! With this example, the Gurbani teaches us to become established in Wisdom, Bibek, Virtues, True Nature or Jot Saroop, Mool…:

ਹਉ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਪਲੁ ਰਹਿ ਨ ਸਕਉ ਜੈਸੇ ਕਰਹਲੁ ਬੇਲਿ ਰੀਝਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Haou hari binu… (sggs 369).

‘Gurbani’ is a deep ocean of knowledge. With demonstration of numerous examples of our world around us, ‘Gurbani’ Guides the Mankind. Now this depends upon the person He/she wanted to be a Gurmukh or Manmukh.
What we see in Sikh society,, most people are struck with examples in stead of knowledge given in the particular ‘Shabad’ to make us under stand the deep sense of ‘Gurbani’.
Thanks veer jio, you are doing a brilliant Sewa for mankind.
Thanks.

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