Combat Against Own Self

The Gurbani in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) urges us that we must combat against our own self day and night — we must constantly struggle with our own mind (Haumai or false ego-sense, vices/Bikaar…).

  • ਅਨਦਿਨ ਆਪਿ ਆਪ ਸਿਉ ਲੜੈ ॥ ਸੁਰਖੀ ਪਾਂਚਉ ਰਾਖੈ ਸਬੈ ॥ ਤਉ ਦੂਜੀ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਨ ਪੈਸੈ ਕਬੈ ॥੬॥ : Friday: (By living the divine Virtues all the time) make the good earnings (of divine Bhagti, Virtues, Wisdom…) the support of life. Within your being, confront your very own base self everyday. Subdue the base five (Bikaar) and keep them grounded. Only then will you not entertain any other (delusional) notions. ||6|| (sggs 344).
  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਸਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੩੨॥ : MAMMA: (The mortal’s real purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline or control his mind; by doing so, Spiritual Understanding (Soojh or Samajh of the Formless or Niraakaar…) is obtained (and thus life’s real purpose is realized). Kabeer says (that the real work of a person) is with the mind alone. (For he) has not met anything like the mind! ||32|| (sggs 342).

The ultimate reward of combating against one’s own self is that one gets to know oneself — one realizes his/her True Nature, the Divine ‘Jot‘ within.

  • ਆਪੁ ਆਪ ਤੇ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਤੇਜ ਤੇਜੁ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ : By reflecting within, I have come to know my own self and my light has merged in the divine Light. (sggs 857).

In fact, the Gurbani’s Sooraa or Beeraa (‘ਸੂਰਾ’, ‘ਬੀਰਾ’ – Brave, Spiritual Hero) is whosoever can bring the mighty wall of the Aapaa Bhaav down (ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ, Haumai…).

  • ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਨੈ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ॥ : Subdue your desires, and struggle with your mind (sggs 1021).
  • ਬੀਰਾ ਆਪਨ ਬੁਰਾ ਮਿਟਾਵੈ ॥ : A brave (person-ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਵੀਰ…) eradicates his own evil (evil nature…). (sggs 258).
  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ : One who kills this (i.e. duality) is a Sooraa — Spiritual Hero (sggs 238).

Those who become Enlightened (Gurmukh mindsets) chain their ever-flowing desires. They successfully combat against their own selves and becomes immortal as they unite with their Jot Saroop within.

  • ਬਹਤੀ ਮਨਸਾ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਬਾਂਧਿ ॥ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਸਭ ਬੀਸਰਿ ਜਾਹੁ ॥ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਅਮਰ ਫਲ ਖਾਹੁ ॥੧੦॥ : Keep your flowing desires (pulsating from the senses-ਸਰੀਰਕ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਿਆਂ) restrained. Discard all your avarice and obsessions. When you reform yourself thus, you will live from eon to eon. You will acquire the fruit of immortality. (sggs 342).

In fact, The Gurbani teaches us that a person is crazy without recognizing his true self for it is by knowing the true self one comes to know the ONE (ੴ).

  • ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥ : Man is crazy without knowing himself (Mool-realization…). When he knows himself (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, the Reality of his Being, his True Nature, etc.), only then he comes to know the One (All-pervading Truth). ||4|| (sggs 855).

Only a Spiritual Hero, with a sword of Spiritual Wisdom can cut the Aapaa Bhaav (Mayaic mind’s roots…). But, how can one go about becoming such ‘Sooraa’ or ‘Beeraa’? Without applying the Truth of the Guru Shabad, how can a Sikh hope for any Spiritual Unfoldment? According to the Gurbani, mere talk, mere reading of the Gurbani, or mere Bhekh (religious garbs, symbols, etc.), etc., will not do the trick! In a nutshell, the Gurbani urges us to take up the Sword of the Guru’s Giyan-Wisdom and conquer the mind.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥ : I fight to overcome the desires of my mind with the double-edged Sword (Kharag) of Wisdom (of the Satguru). ||3|| (sggs 1022).
  • ਸੋ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਛੁਟੀਐ ਜੋ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਜੂਝੈ ॥ : Who struggles with his mind, and takes the Refuge (of Hari), (he) alone is liberated (from the fear of death…). (sggs 1090).

The Gurbani holds that it is by becoming the Gurmukh (One become established in Gurmat…) one can continuously keeps his mind in check. Like the snake-charmer, he never lets the snake of his mind act loosely or independently.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੁਝੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੁਝੈ ॥੪੬॥ : But those who become Gurmukh understand everything (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇ ਹਰੇਕ ਭੇਤ ਨੂੰ). O Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh struggle with your own mind (ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਲ ਟਾਕਰਾ). ||46|| (sggs 1418).

The next question is: how can we become the Gurmukh? As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, one can become the Gurmukh by  becoming Enlightened through the internalization of the spiritual Message contained in the Guru Shabad and living it in daily life.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: I Adopt the spirituality of the Shabad (the Gurmukh-Hood State of the MInd), the Contemplation and Enlightenment of its (i.e. Shabad’s) Essence eliminates my false ego-sense. (sggs 946).

It is the Shabad-Surti (Naam Consciousness) that can roast the Aapaa Bhaav (ego-mind, Haumai…)! By removing doubts, delusions or ignorance, it sends the mind back to its Jot Saroop, which is its Original Home (Mool, Source, Origin).

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥ : When someone understands the Shabad, then he wrestles with his own mind; subduing his desires, he merges with the Lord (sggs 113).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨੇ ਸੋ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ : He alone is a spiritual hero, who believes in the Gur-Shabad (sggs 1023).
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਗੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਵੇੜ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਲੀਓ ਗੜੁ ਜੀਤਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : The commodity of the Lord is locked in the fortress of Maya; through the Gur-Shabad, I have conquered the fortress ||1|| Pause || (sggs 1295).

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