Conquer the Mind, Conquer the World!

The Gurus and Bhagats were not only God-Connected Within, they were also excellent communicators, poets, and presenters. They effectively used idioms / metaphors to explain very complex spiritual ideas. Hence impregnated with spiritual Wisdom and suggestions, numerous idioms can be found in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

Since the entirety of the Gurbani is for the Mind, idioms / metaphors etc. express the subtlety of the spiritual experiences of the Gurus and Bhagats. They draw the reader’s attention, Awaken the defiled senses, magnify and boost the Message of the Shabad.

Thus idioms / metaphors etc. capture subtle nuances of spirituality and create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a new way, improve understanding, and so on.

Also, in order to impart the spiritual Message of the Shabad, all 35 composers of the Bani who are included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) have used terms that were already within the use and within the psyche of people of the time. However, they have used these terms as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but explicitly with new meanings and understanding to fit the new spiritual paradigms of Sikhi or Gurmat.

Mani jeetai jag jeet’ (‘ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ’) are very popular and often quoted words from the Gurbani (SGGS), which commonly are translated to suggest if you conquer your own mind you conquer the world.

It simple means if one is ruled by the mind, then he/she is a king. To the contrary, if one is ruled by body, then he/she is a slave!

Hence, the Gurbani of the SGGS is All about conquering one’s Ownself — if one conquers his/her own mind (own Soch-ਸੋਚ or thinking), it is as if if one has conquered his/her own material world and related inflictions!

  • 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 Godly contentment your earrings, hard work your begging bowl, and contemplation (on Naam: Wisdom/Virtues) ashes that cover your body. Such diligence enable a life time (ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ) of liberation from vices (free from inflictions of vices or Bikaar– ਕੁਆਰੀ) and the spirituality (or Way – ਜੁਗਤਿ) of unflinching faith (ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ) in (Divine Virtues). (Let Divine Virtues, universal brotherhood) as the highest spirituality for all of humanity (be your ‘Aaee Panthi‘ sect-ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ), by controlling your mind you can Win (ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ) the command or dictates of our sensory world (ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ). (sggs 6).

The spirituality of the Shabad (Message, Advice, Guide Direction etc.) is for the self.

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

  • ਜਾ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗੋ ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਸਿ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ॥੧॥ : In this world, he who is imbued with God’s love (Widom / Virtues) is called brave (Sooraa‘, spiritual hero etc.). The one whose Satguru (Wisdom-ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) is perfect, conquers his mind and (his mind) overpowers all (bodily senses). ||1|| (sggs 679).

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

  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥ : (With the blessing of Shabad or Naam – Upadesh, Wisdom), a person’s mind annihilates (the negative impact of Haumai, Bikaar), its turbulent wanderings cease to be. Unless the mind remains unaffected (by the negative impact of Haumai, Bikaar), one cannot attain Union with ‘Hari’ (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop etc.). Rare is the one who knows the medicine which, by using it, he annihilates the mind (does not accept the negative impact of Haumai, Bikaar). (‘Rare’ person attuned to the Guru’s Shabad – Giyan or Wisdom) understands that the mind attached to the Guru’s Shabad is untouched by the negative impact of Haumai, Bikaar), this is known to ‘Janu’ (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…). ||1|| (sggs 665).
  • ਣਾਣਾ ਰਣ ਤੇ ਸੀਝੀਐ ਆਤਮ ਜੀਤੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਨ ਸਿਉ ਲਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋ ਸੋਭਾ ਦੂ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਣੀ ਮਿਟਾਇ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਉਪਦੇਸ ॥ ਮਨੂਆ ਜੀਤੈ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਿਹ ਸੂਰਤਣ ਵੇਸ ॥ : Nanna: That person alone wins the battle of life who wins over himself. One who destroys his Haumai (false ego-sense) and duality becomes a renowned warrior. Following the perfect Guru’s Giaan-Wisdom, the person who eradicates his false ego-sense and remains unattached to the worldly distractions while still living (i.e. living dead), conquers his mind like a warrior and realizes God within. (sggs 256).

In short, conquering the mind simply means eradicating duality and the negative impact of false ego-sense and its faults (vices or Bikaar lust, ager, greed, attachment, pride etc.). It simply means to go beyond one’s own worldly consciousness or material nature (i.e. Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree Unenlightened mind).

  • ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਵਿਤਾ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ਗਇਆ ਮਨੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਜਿਤਾ ॥ ਤਹ ਜੋਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਅਨੰਦ ਰਸੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਗਵਿਤਾ ॥ : The follower of the spirituality of the Guru’s Shabad (Gurmukh-Hood Mindset) is totally in Godly Contentment and of immaculate character. Deception and wickedness departs from within, and he easily conquers his mind. There (In such a state of mind), the Enlightenment and the essence of Bliss are manifest, and ignorance is eliminated. (sggs 512).

In other words, when the mind sees itself as Jot Saroop (i.e. its Original Nature), the material world (Maya) is said to have been conquered! This victory brings lasting Bliss (Aanand), Happiness, release from mind’s 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 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).

According to the The Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS, then what is the spirituous ‘medicine’ to conquer the mind? The Gurbani’s Advise is that the mind can be conquered or annihilated by applying the Wisdom or Message 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 ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ : The Gurmukh (enlightened/Guru Shabad-Oriented being) kills his mind utilizing the yardstick of the Guru Shabad. He battles with his mind, he settles with his mind, it is within the mind he remains absorbed. (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 (i.e. Enlightenment), the mind’s thinking stand conquered. 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).


We often see Sikhs greeting each other saying: Waheguroo Ji Ka Khaalsaa. Waheguroo Ji ki Fateh (ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ).

Literally, Fatih (‘ਫਤਿਹ’) = Triumph/victory…

This term ‘Fateh‘ (ਫਤਿਹ) is also used in the SGGS for triumph/victory that needs to be achieved on one’s own deluded mind, which is gone strayed from its Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…). The Gurbani says:

  • ਫਾਹੇ ਕਾਟੇ ਮਿਟੇ ਗਵਨ ਫਤਿਹ ਭਈ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤ ॥ : By conquering or controlling the mind, triumph over vices/Bikaar is obtained, traps/bonds of Maya are cut, and its (Mayaic) wanderings cease to be. (sggs 258).

Without conquering of the mind, there cannot be victory (Fateh-ਫਤਿਹ) over the world. In other words, victory over the mind is victory over the world!

Now, the question is: how one can one go about securing ‘Fateh’ on one’s own mind?

The Gurbani says that one can do that by Internalizing the Shabad (Enlightenment: Gurmukh Mindset).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਰਖਿਆ ਉਰ ਧਾਰਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰਿ ॥ : The Gurmukh (Enlightened Mindset) conquers his mind by killing his Haumai (false ego-sense). The Gurmukh has realized God within. The Gurmukh has won over the world by eradicating the fear of death. (sggs 946).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੈ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਏ ॥ : By becoming the Gurmukh (i.e. Enlightened state of the mind developed by Internalizing the Enlightening Message embedded in the Guru’s Shabad), remain absorbed in the Creator. (sggs 942).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਚੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਭੀਜੈ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥੬੯॥ : By becoming the Gurmukh (i.e. Enlightened state of the mind developed by Internalizing the Enlightening Message embedded in the Guru’s Shabad), a rare one contemplates on the Essence of the Creator-Connecting Shabad. By becoming the Gurmukh, one realizes the Creator-Connecting Baanee. By becoming the Gurmukh, a are one accords the exceptional Creator-Imbued Mind. By becoming the Gurmukh, one Realizes (the Creator) Within Conscience (Nij Ghar). By becoming the Gurmukh, one internalizes the Way towards Creator-Realization (Within the Conscience-Nij Ghar). Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh, Realize the One Creator through the spirituality of the Shabad. ॥69॥ (sggs 946).

Thus, by conquering the mind, one conquers the world.

As defeat (Haar-ਹਾਰ) is opposite of victory (Fateh), similarly, a ManmukhMayadhaaree-Saakat is opposite of a Gurmuhkh. Accordingly, a ManmukhMayadhaaree-Saakat always faces defeat (Haar-ਹਾਰ).

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਾਰ ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਸਦ ਜੀਤਿ ॥੪॥੧੬॥੧੮॥ : A Manmukh loses the game of life and the a Gurmukh always wins. ||4||16||18|| (sggs 867).
  • ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਇ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਜਿਣਿ ਗਏ ਹਾਰਿ ਗਏ ਸਿ ਠਗਣ ਵਾਲਿਆ ॥ : Those who are imbued with Your Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) win (the game of human-life), while the cheaters lose it. (sggs 463).

Some Related Posts:


  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.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. * = required fields. Comment Policy.