Conquer the Mind, Conquer the World

Mani jeetai jag(u) jeet(u)’ (‘ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ’, sggs 6) are very popular and often quoted words from the Gurbani, which essentially indicates that if you conquer your own mind (own Soch-ਸੋਚ or thinking), it is as if conquering the material world!

Once we have learnt and mastered the technique of controlling thoughts, actions and reactions, emotions, etc. of our own mind, know that the world is won!!

  •  ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗੋ ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਸਿ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ॥੧॥: He alone is called a ‘Sooraa’ (hero, warrior…), who is elated with the Divine (Virtues, Wisdom…) in this age. Through the Perfect Satiuru (Wisdom of Truth), he conquers his soul (mind), and (his mind) overpowers all (his bodily senses). ||1|| (sggs 679).

This will require us to be Aware of our own thoughts every moment, alert of our own reactions every moment, keep check on our own mind’s movements, etc.

  • ਫਾਹੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਮਿਟੇ ਗਵਨ ਫਤਿਹ ਭਈ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤ ॥: When one conquers his (own) mind, victory (Fatih-‘ਫਤਿਹ’) is obtained; (Maya’s) snares are cut (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਦੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੱਟੇ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਨ); and one’s (Mayaic-ਮਾਇਆ ਪਿਛੇ ਭਟਕਣਾ) wanderings cease. (sggs 258).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: When the mind (is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped. Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can ‘Hari’ (Mool, Truth, Jot, Wisdom…) be realized? Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind. The mind is conquered through the shabad (Upadesh, Wisdom, Giaan…); this is known to ‘Janu’ (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…). (sggs 665).
  • ਮਨੂਆ ਜੀਤੈ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਿਹ ਸੂਰਤਣ ਵੇਸ ॥: Manooaa jeetai hari milai tih sootan ves (sggs 256).

In short, conquering the mind simply means eradicating the negative impact of the false ego-sense (Haumai) and its faults (i.e., Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.), doubt (Bharam), Maya’s hunger (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੂੱਖ), duality (Doojaa-Bhaav), ignorance, conditioning, wanderings (‘ਧਾਤੁਰ ਬਾਜੀ’),, and so on. It simply means to go beyond one’s own worldly consciousness (Soch-ਸੋਚ) or material nature (i.e., Manmukh-nature, Saakat-nature, Mayadhaaree-nature…).

  • ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਵਿਤਾ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ਗਇਆ ਮਨੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਜਿਤਾ ॥ ਤਹ ਜੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਅਨੰਦ ਰਸੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਿਤਾ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one become the embodiment of) all True Contentment and purity. Deception and wickedness departs from within (who become the Gurmukh), and he easily conquers his mind. (As a result) Divine Light and Bliss are manifested there in his mind, and he loses his ignorance (sggs 512).

In other words, when the mind sees itself as Jot Saroop (i.e., its True Nature), the material world (Maya) is said to have been conquered! This victory brings lasting Bliss (Aanand), Peace, Happiness, release from Sansaar or repeated suffering, etc.

  • ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥੨॥: Conquering the mind is (as if) the world is conquered, (because, only by conquering the mind, one can remain) detached from Maya. (sggs 1103).

Why is it necessary to conquer (annihilate) the mind? The worldly (Mayaic, conditioned…) mind is clever at counting, but worse at paying attention to what really counts!

  • ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੁਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੨॥: (One who) has forgotten (his) Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…), (he) wastes away his life. ||2|| (sggs 664).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without subduing the mind, Bhagti cannot be practiced (sggs 1277).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can ‘Hari’ (Mool, Source…) be realized? (sggs 665).
  • ਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਰੈ ॥: Maya can not be conquered without annihilation of the mind (sggs 1342).

However, the Gurbani reminds us that a very ‘rare’ one (the Gurmukh, Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) knows how to conquer or annihilate the deluded mind:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧੦॥੧॥: O Nanak! Someone (rare) by becoming the Gurmukh understands (this matter) by abiding (the Guru’s) Shabad in (his) mind. (sggs 842).
  • ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਤਾ ਖਸਮੈ ਕਾ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥: Obeying Hukam, one becomes acceptable, and then unites with his Mool within (Source, Jot Saroop…). (sggs 471).
  • ਮੁੰਦਾ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਤੁ ਝੋਲੀ ਧਿਆਨ ਕੀ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ॥ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੁਆਰੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ॥ ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਮਾਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: (O Yogi!) Make contentment your ear-rings; make hard work your begging bowl and bag; and remembering (that one day this body will turned into ashes) the ashes you apply to your body. Let (the remembrance) of death be the patched coat you wear, let the body free of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.) be your ‘Kuaaree Kaya’ (i.e., ‘Kuaaree Kaya’ = remaining FREE of Bikaar), and let trust (conviction, confidence or faith in Hukam) be your walking stick. See the brotherhood of all mankind as the highest order of Yogis. Only by obeying the Hukam can the mind be conquered. And, for the one who has conquered the mind, there is nothing left to conquer in the whole world)! (sggs 6).

According to the The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), then what is the spirituous ‘medicine’ to conquer the mind? The Gurbani declares that the mind can be conquered or annihilated by applying the Wisdom or Upadesh of the Gur-Shabad:

  • ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: The mind is conquered through the shabad; this is known to ‘Janu’ (Daas, Gurmukh, Bhagat…). (sggs 665).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥: Applying the Touchstone of the Shabad, by becoming the Gurmukh, the Gurmukh conquers his mind (prevents it from falling in love with Maya, etc.). (sggs 87).
  • ਧਾਤੁਰ ਬਾਜੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਈ ॥: stop your mind’s restless wanderings through the Shabad (Upadesh), and the Naam (Wisdom) will come to dwell in your mind. (sggs 909).
  • ਸਬਦੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀਐ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: Through the Shabad, egotism is killed and the illusion of Maya dispelled. (sggs 67).
  • ਲਥੇ ਸਭਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਨੀਸਾਣਿਆ ॥: Through the manifestation of the Shabad, all Bikaar run away (i.e., lust, anger, greed, etc.). (sggs 1291).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥: When the Shabad abides within, the darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 798).
  • ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥: Sachai sabadi man(u) maariaa… (sggs 1284).

Thus, with the sincere and earnest Shabad-Vichaar or churning the Gurbani arises the Wisdom within.

  • ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar…) is the Teerath (because of this) Spiritual Wisdom arises within. (sggs 687).
  • ਸਬਦਿ ਮੁਏ ਮਨੁ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਮਾਰਿਆ ॥: Sabadi mue manu man te maariaa (sggs 796).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਖਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਚਵੇ ॥: Those who have become the Gurmukh reflect on the Gur-Shabad and daily live by the divine Virtues. (sggs 1114).

With the Grace of the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, the mind’s Soch or thinking stand conquered. And, consequently, the eternal Happiness (‘ਕੁਸਲੁ’) is experienced, within!

  • ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਗੁ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਜਿਤਾਨਾ ॥੮॥: By the Grace of the Wisdom (Grace of the Gur-Giaan…), who conquers the mind, he conquers the world. ||8|| (sggs 1089).
  • ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਉ ਗੁਰ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਖੇਲਹਿ ਸਮਤ ਸਾਰਿ ਰਥੁ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਲਿਵ ਰਾਖਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਿ ॥: Through the Guru’s Door (i.e., Guru’s Wisdom), You have conquered the world; You play the game even-handedly. You keep the flow of your love steady for the Formless. (sggs 1391).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਗਤਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਘਰੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, the mind is conquered, and the State of Liberation is obtained in (one’s own) home. (sggs 26).
  • ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਿਲਾਇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਾ ॥ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੁਸਲੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ॥੬॥: Man siou man(u) milaai … (sggs 231).

According to the Gurbani, such person who has conquered his mind’s duality or doubt is the real SOORAA (hero, warrior, brave, ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਬਹਾਦਰ, ਬਲੀ, ਯੋਧਾ, etc. – Gurmukh):

  • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਲੂਝਹਿ ਮਨੈ ਸਿਉ ਸੇ ਸੂਰੇ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥: Those ‘Jan’ (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…) who struggle with their minds are ‘Sooraa’ (braveheart) and “Pardhaanaa”. (sggs 1089).
  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: One who kills this (i.e., duality) is a Sooraa — Spiritual Hero (sggs 238).
  • ਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਇਕੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਰਾਮੁ ਗੁਣਹ ਵਸਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਬਹੁ ਚਿਤੈ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਸਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ॥੨॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਮਾਇਆ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕਾਮਿ ਬਿਰੂਧਉ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਠਾਇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਰਸਨ ਰਸਾਇ ॥੩॥: As long as the mind is under the control of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed attachment, pride…), evil intent, and duality, till then (the purpose of life of becoming One with Rabb is not accomplished. Through the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, the mind is sated and becomes one with its Mool within. ||1|| The Formless Raam (i.e., Mool)  is under the sway of Virtues. (The mind) that effaces its self conceit, reflects on its Mool. ||1||Pause|| The misled mind thinks much of perversion (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.). (As long as) the mind remains astray, the burden of Bikaar accumulates on it. When the mind is propitiated, it realizes but Rabb (Universal Energy…). ||2||   The wandering mind (coming under the influence of Maya) goes (again and again) to the house of Maya. Entangled in lust (i.e., Bikaar), it does not remain steady. (To escape from the influence of this Maya) O mortal! Join with ‘Hari’ (i.e., Mool) through remembering Naam. ||3|| (sggs 222).


  1. The Mind has to be kept very steady in order to experience your consciousness.
    Goal is to elevate this consciousness to the supreme consciousness.

  2. Thank you Bhai Sahib Jee for sharing the Shabad-Vichaar!
    In the Gurbani, the Mayaic or dooubt-ridden mind is repeatedly comared with animals like elephant, monkey, dog, camel, frog, and so on.
    • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ (sggs 1087)
    • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੧॥ (sggs 646)
    • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਮਨਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥ (sggs 158)

  3. If MUN is an ELEPHANT then it can be tamed and controlled thru the stike of the WORD of OF GuR.
    MUN needs to be DEEP coloured with HARiNAAMu thru repeatition of NAAMu like a man colouring the thread.

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