Gurbani tells  that our fight or struggle should be with our own crooked mind (i.e., thoughts, habits, ਸੁਭਾ…), NOT with the body-frame (ਸਰੀਰ)! This is the Gurmukh Lifestyle (the Divine Life).

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੁਝੈ ॥੪੬॥: O Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh struggle with your own mind (ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਲ ਟਾਕਰਾ). ||46|| (sggs 1418).

“Sitting down or standing up”, a worldly mind (the Manmukhs, Saakat, Mayadhaaree…) behaves with wickedness. That is, its thinking (Soch), habits and the resulting actions are directed by crookedness or meanness (Kutiltaa or Kameenagee (ਕੁਟਿਲਤਾ, ਕਮੀਨਗੀ)

  • ਬੈਠਤ ਉਠਤ ਕੁਟਿਲਤਾ ਚਾਲਹਿ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਗਏ ਅਉਰਨ ਹੂ ਘਾਲਹਿ ॥੩॥: Sitting down or standing up – i.e. all the time – (those devoid of Bhagti, their) ways remain crooked. (These people) who have ruined themselves also ruin others. ||3|| (sggs 332).
  • ਚਲਤ ਕਤ ਟੇਢੇ ਟੇਢੇ ਟੇਢੇ ॥ ਅਸਤਿ ਚਰਮ ਬਿਸਟਾ ਕੇ ਮੂੰਦੇ ਦੁਰਗੰਧ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਬੇਢੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Why do you walk crooked ways? You are nothing more than a bundle of bones, wrapped in skin, filled with ordure (excrement, etc.); you give off a rotten smell! ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1124).
  • ਕਹਾ ਨਰ ਗਰਬਸਿ ਥੋਰੀ ਬਾਤ ॥ ਮਨ ਦਸ ਨਾਜੁ ਟਕਾ ਚਾਰਿ ਗਾਂਠੀ ਐਂਡੌ ਟੇਢੌ ਜਾਤੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O mortal, why are you so proud of small matters (of fleeting life)? With a few mounds of grain and a few coins in your pocket, you are totally puffed up with pride (mind’s crooked behavior or lifestyle). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1251).

Aptly, the Gurbani compares the crooked human mind with the dog’s tail, which always curls –  the mind acts crooked, stubborn, fanatic, and wanders around due to the Spiritual ignorance (Durmat or corrupt intellect, doubts, delusion, false ego-sense or Haumai, duality, etc.)!

  • ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛ ਜਿਉ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਸੂਧੋ ਕਹਿਓ ਨ ਕਾਨ ਧਰੈ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਜੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਤ ਜਾ ਤੇ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਰੈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Like a dog’s tail, this (greedy mind) does not become straight (i.e. remains unrepentant towards temporal indulgence); it does not attend to (any Advice, Teaching, ਸਿੱਖਿਆ…). Says Nanak, forever meditate on the Naam and your affairs (the ultimate purpose of life, etc.) will get resolved. ||2||1|| (sggs 536).
  • ਸਾਕਤ ਸੁਆਨ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਲੋਭੀ ਬਹੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਆਪਨ ਸੁਆਇ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਬਾਤਾ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੬॥: Saakat (those separated from God…) are said to be very greedy like dogs; they are full of too much filth of wicked intellect. One who talks excessively but to suit ones own interests; how can such a person be trusted? ||6|| (sggs 1326).

In addition to dog, the crazy and crooked nature of the human mind is also compared in the Gurbani with the behavior of many other animals. For example, camel, elephant, frog, monkey, stork or crane, fish, deer, buffalo or donkey, and so on.

  • ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: That mortal who lacks the Gur-mantra (Guru’s counsel, advice, Wisdom, Upadesh, ਸਲਾਹ), cursed and fallen (depraved, polluted…) is his life. That wicked person is a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, a snake (in this very life, here and now, not after death). ||33|| (1356).

The Gurbani tells us even if crooked or mean people leave their country and go overseas, they will take their wickedness with them – their slumbering mind attached to Maya follow them wherever they go! Just look around and see what’s going on in the Gurdwaras throughout the world. In most part, they are controlled and run by the crafty management committee members, Pujaaree groups, Baabaa-Vaad or the Deraa-Vaad

  • ਪੂੰਅਰ ਤਾਪ ਗੇਰੀ ਕੇ ਬਸਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਅਪਦਾ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਤੇ ਨਸਤਾ ॥ ਦੇਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪਰਦੇਸਹਿ ਧਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਚੰਡਾਲ ਨਾਲੇ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ॥੪॥: You worship fire (ਧੂਣੀਆਂ ਤਪਾਂਣਾਂ) and wear saffron colored robes. Smitten by calamity (distress, trouble…), you run away from your home. Leaving your country, you wander in foreign lands. (But your Mayaic mind) brings the five pariahs (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.) with it. ||4|| (sggs 1348).
  • ਕੂਪੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਾਦਿਰਾ ਕਛੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਬਿਦੇਸੁ ਨ ਬੂਝ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਆ ਕਛੁ ਆਰਾ ਪਾਰੁ ਨ ਸੂਝ ॥੧॥: As a well is filled with frogs, (but those frogs in the well) know nothing of the world (outside the well); just so, my mind, infatuated with the poison (of Maya), understands nothing from one side to the other. ||1|| (sggs 346).

The so called scholars (ਅਖੌਤੀ ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ or Pandit) are the worst of all. No wonder, throughout the Gurbani, scholars are called “fool” (“ਮੂਰਖ”), “ignorant”, etc.! For they sell their knowledge; and they have thus reduced the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…), Sikhi, or Dharma to a mere mundane business (“ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਵਾਪਾਰਾ”, “ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ”, ਧੰਧਾ, business…). Fittingly, the Gurbani tells us not to take anything at face value!

  • ਮੂਰਖ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਜਤਿ ਸੰਜੈ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Educated fools do tricks and give arguments, (but) their only love is to amass wealth. (sggs 469).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਨ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬੇਚਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਈ ॥੩॥: (O mentally blind! You) sell knowledge (learning, etc.) for the sake of Maya; your life is totally worthless (sggs 1103).
  • ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥: For the sake of bread, they perform melodiously (sggs 465).

Furthermore, it’s not that the mind of crooked and mean people don’t know the difference between right and wrong! They do! However, on account of their mean thinking, they can’t stop behaving this way.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: O Kabir! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits (sggs 1376).
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੁਭਾਉ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੈ ॥: Every one acts according to his mind’s nature (habit, disposition, inclination…). (sggs 1167).

How does this wickedness arise in people? The Gurbani answers as follows:

  • ਰਾਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਹਮ ਤੇ ਬਿਗਰੀ ॥ ਸੀਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਜਪੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਕੀਨੀ ਹਉ ਅਭਿਮਾਨ ਟੇਢ ਪਗਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (O Divine!) Preserve  me, The wrong (ਬੜਾ ਮਾੜਾ ਕੰਮ) I did is that I have not cultivated Good Nature, Dharma and Bhagti (Naam, Shabad-Vichaar…); I am proud (arrogant, conceited…), and I have taken a crooked path (crooked lifestyle). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 856).
  • ਵਾਟ ਨ ਪਾਵਉ ਵੀਗਾ ਜਾਉ ॥: (Without the true Shabad-Vichhar, Giaan, Gurmat…) I don’t walk on (the right) Path; I follow the crooked (wrong) path (sggs 354).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਟੇਢਉ ਜਾਤ ॥੧॥:||1|| (A person) enticed by Maya, takes the crooked (wrong) path. ||1|| (sggs 892).
  • ਬਾਵੈ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਟੇਢਾ ਚਲਨਾ ॥ ਸੀਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਅਪੂਠਾ ਬੁਨਨਾ ॥੩॥: (Because of deeming false as true, we) walk crookedly (i.e., we take the wrong, crooked path of Bikaar). (Thus) leaving the Straight Way (i.e. abandoning the Gurbani’s Path of Truth, we), weave backwards (ਜੀਵਨ-ਤਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਪੁੱਠੀ ਬੁਣਤ) ||3||. (sggs 185).

As indicated in the foregoing verse, this crookedness arises in us on account of falsehood or Haumai. False ego-sense (Haumai) exhibits faults such as lust, anger, greed, etc., which give rise to crookedness. The problem with the Haumai is that it cannot coexist with Naam (Wisdom, Truth, Virtues…).

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਵਿਰੋਧੁ ਹੈ ਦੁਇ ਨ ਵਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਇ ॥: False-ego-sense (Haumai) is opposed to the Naam (Giaan or Wisdom); the two cannot coexist (sggs 560).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬਸਿ ਪੰਚ ਕਹਾ ਮਨ ਚੂਰੇ ॥: Without overcoming the five (thieves: lust, greed etc.), the mind is not annihilated. (sggs 1140).

The Gurbani tells us that without eradicating mind’s Haumai or falsehood, we cannot become the Gurmukh (the person who lives by the Gurmat (Wisdom, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS).

  • ਰੇ ਮਨ ਡੀਗਿ ਨ ਡੋਲੀਐ ਸੀਧੈ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਧਾਉ ॥ ਪਾਛੈ ਬਾਘੁ ਡਰਾਵਣੋ ਆਗੈ ਅਗਨਿ ਤਲਾਉ ॥ : O my mind! Don’t wander on the crooked path (of Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.); take the Straight Path (i.e, the Path of Truth, Wisdom, Virtues). (Instead, if you Wander on the path of crookednes…) behind is the tiger (i.e., tiger of Bikaar within that destroys divine life – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ), and ahead is the pool of fire (i., fire of desires, Trishanaa…). (sggs 1410).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Internalization of the spiritual Message of the Shabad (the Gurmukh-Hood State of Mind) burn Haumai (false ego-sense). (sggs 942).

The Gurbani also tells us that the crookedness can be eradicated through the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom, Virtues…) – living the Gurmukh Lifestyle through churning the Gurbani.

Clearly, the Gurbani is written for the human mind that needs to change its bad habits, bad thinking and bad actions, here and now, not after death.

As medicine is for the alive people not for dead, similarly the Wisdom of the Gurbani is for the minds of the living people, not for animals, not for stones or dead people. It’s the mind that has been shut up and confined, as a chick in an eggshell (of doubt, Karamkaand, ignorance, Bikaar or demerits, religious paraphernalia, and so on).

  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾਟੀ ਕੁਟਿਲਤਾ ਕੁਠਾਰਿ ॥ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਬਨ ਦਹਨ ਭਏ ਖਿਨ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਪਰਹਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Within whom) the Raam (Naam – Shabad, Gurmat, Wisdom, Virtues…) has cut down the crookedness with the stroke of the axe (of the Naam…), from within (him) the forest of doubt is burnt away in an instant, by the fire of the Divine Naam (..). ||1||Pause|| (sggs1225).
  • ਮਨ ਕਮੀਨ ਕਮਤਰੀਨ ਤੂ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਖੁਦਾਇਆ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਚੀਜੁ ਮੁਝੈ ਦੇਹਿ ਅਵਰ ਜਹਰ ਚੀਜ ਨ ਭਾਇਆ ॥: I am”Kameen” (mean, crooked, wicked…); O Divine! You are Benevolent (Gratuitous, Kind). Please, bless me with this one thing (i.e., Naam: Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…); everything else is poison, and does not tempt me. (sggs 1291).


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