Dandout Bandan – Come with Mind Straight as a Stick

Gurdwaras were supposed to be the center of learning spiritual education (i.e. Sikhi) — internalize the Enlightening Message embedded in the Guru’s Shabad. However, it seems as that purpose have taken the backseat!

Nonetheless, we are asked by the Guru (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) to come the the Guru with untwisted mind or intellect (straight as a ‘Dandaa-ਡੰਡਾ’: stick, staff or rod) — no crookedness, trickery, deception, corruption, fraud, Jhooth or falsehood (ਝੂਠ, ਕੂੜ), Pakhand etc.

  • ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਾਰ ਸਰਬ ਕਲਾ ਸਮਰਥ ॥ : With the mind straight as rod, pay obeisance to the Omnipotent Creator (Hukam: Cosmic System-Rule-Law). (sggs 256).
  • ਨਮਸਕਾਰ ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨਾ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਾਰ ਜਾਉ ਬਾਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : With the mind straight as rod, I pay obeisance Creator (Hukam: Cosmic System-Rule-Law), dedicate the mind to Him. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 820).

True ‘Namaskaar‘, bowing or obeisance to the Guru/Creator is to live daily life by divine Virtues:

  • ਬੰਦਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਬੰਦਨਾ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਰਾਇ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : To traverse a life of divine Virtues is to pay obeisance to the Creator. (sggs 683).
  • ਤੁਧਨੋ ਨਿਵਣੁ ਮੰਨਣੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਉ ॥ : To accept/live by Your Naam (Wisdom/Virtues) is the true bowing or obeisance unto You. (sggs 878).

SGGS says straitening mind is a greatest ‘Punn’!

The SGGS teach us that the greatest ‘Punn‘ for a person is to straiten his/her mind like a ‘Dandaa‘ (a straight stick) — become free of Bikaar (i.e. lust, ager, greed, attachment, pride, and their numerous variations). This is said to be the greatest ‘Punn‘ in the SGGS!

  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਨਗਰੁ ਬਹੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਖੰਡਲ ਖੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖਤ ਲਿਖੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਮੰਡਲ ਮੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਅੰਜੁਲੀ ਪੁਨੁ ਵਡਾ ਹੇ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਡੰਡਉਤ ਪੁਨੁ ਵਡਾ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Meeting my Guru (i.e. Shabad, Upadesh or Message) shattered the hold of lust (worldly desires) and anger (i.e. all Bikaar) over me. My efforts towards connecting with my Guru destined my mind into realm of Godly Union. ||1|| (Hence, O mortal) show respect to the Guru (Shabad), it is an act of great ‘Punn‘. Straighten out (the mind) like a stick — become free of vices or Bikaarthis is (also) an act of great ‘Punn‘. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 13).

Fake ‘Dandout Bandan

But, in a display of Pakhand or hive mentality (ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ), many prostrate to the Guru — lay stretched out, flat on the ground face downward.

  • ਪੂਜਾ ਅਰਚਾ ਬੰਦਨ ਡੰਡਉਤ ਖਟੁ ਕਰਮਾ ਰਤੁ ਰਹਤਾ ॥ ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤ ਬੰਧਨ ਮਹਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਨਹ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਇਹ ਜੁਗਤਾ ॥੫॥ : A person may perform Poojaa, pay obeisance, do Dandout Bandan (ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨ), practice the six religious rituals; however remaining indulged in false ego-sense (Haumai) he falls in mental traps and does not realize God by these methods. (sggs 642).

As we will see later, this is not the ‘Dandout Bandan‘ (ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨ) recommended in the SGGS.Such fake ‘Dandout Bandan‘ (ਡੰਡਉਤਿ ਬੰਦਨ) of the crooked mind is unavailing, because such mind is something inside and totally different on the outside (Pakhandee):

  • ਦਿਲਹੁ ਮੁਹਬਤਿ ਜਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸੇਈ ਸਚਿਆ ॥ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਿ ਕਾਂਢੇ ਕਚਿਆ : They alone are the true lovers of God, who love Him from the core of their Heart. But those, within whose mind is something other than what they utter are called the fake or unfaithful lovers. ||1|| (sggs 488).
  • ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ ॥੧॥ : (Some) read holy texts (Paath — ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨਾ), and contemplate the Veda. (Some) practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath. (But, with these practices, one) cannot escape from the five (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), and is all the more tied to ego-intellect. ||1|| (sggs 641).

The SGGS debunks that sort of hypocrisy (Pakhand). Because none of the tricks of our deluded mind will work for they all are in the purview of Maya and worldly calculations (ਗਿਣਤੀ ਮਿਣਤੀ). Therefore, instead of purchasing the Guru/God, the Gurbani Teaches us to offer our mind — surrender one’s false ego-sense (Haumai), self-will (ਮਨ ਮਤ, ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ-Aapaa Bhaav etc.).

  • ਸਤਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੇਵਾ ਪਵੈ ਸਭ ਥਾਇ ॥ : The ‘Sevaa’ or service of the Creator-Connecting Satgur (i.e. Shabad Vichaar) is challenging because it requires ultimate submission and relegation of the Self. The Omnipresent Creator Within is realized upon realizing the spiritual Message Within the Shabad; whence one’s ‘Seva’ (Shabad Vichaar) bears fruit. (sggs 27).
  • ਮਨੁ ਬੇਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸਿ ॥: (One who) sell his mind (surrenders his ego-sense, Haumai, etc.) to the Satgur (who has the Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ), that humble servant’s work (the purpose of life, etc.) becomes fitting or complete (he becomes Gurmukh, Jeevamukat, Enlightened, Realized…). (sggs 286).

Conditioned, Mayaic, Bikaaree or Haumai (false ego-sense) mind is called crooked, twisted, trickster, deceptive, corrupt, fraudulent, false, Pakhandy, crafty etc. Because the nature of such a crooked mind is to remain curled, crooked, twisted, or coiled like a snake or a dog’s tail.

  • ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛ ਜਿਉ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਸੂਧੋ ਕਹਿਓ ਨ ਕਾਨ ਧਰੈ ॥ : Like a dog’s tail, this (greedy mind) does not become straight (i.e. remains unrepentant towards temporal indulgence). (sggs 536).
  • ਏਕ ਭਗਤਿ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕੈ ਨਾਹਿ ਮਨਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਨੋ ਤਾਹਿ ਤਨੁ ॥੪੪॥ : That person in whose mind is NO Bhagti for the One Creator; Nanak, deem that person is living the life like a hog and a dog; even if in a human body. ॥ 44 ॥ (sggs 1428).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਭੁਯੰਗਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਬਸੈ ਮੰਤੁ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਬਿਓਗੀ ਨਾ ਜੀਐ ਜੀਐ ਤ ਬਉਰਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੭੬॥ : Kabeer, a person who feels the pangs of separation from God, as if a snake resides in his mind, does not respond to any charm of vices or Bikaar. One who is separated from God, does not spiritually survive; even if he survives, he seems insane to the world. ||76|| (sggs 1368).

True ‘Dandout Bandan

The mind that behaves like a dog’s tail is the one that remains immersed in worthless religious rituals, unmeaning rites, outwardly superficial Mayaic show of religion and spirituality, Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride; and their countless variations), and so on.

The SGGS urges us to straighten this conditioned mind which remain twisted like a dog’s tail. The SGGS tells us to bow down and pray to the all-powerful Creator within with the mind that has become straight like a Dandaa.

The SGGS teaches us that the real bowing down (Dandout Bandan) is not done with the physical body-frame.

  • ਸੀਸਿ ਨਿਵਾਇਐ ਕਿਆ ਥੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਕੁਸੁਧੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੧॥: What can be achieved by merely bowing the head, when the heart remains resorted to falsehood (i.e., nothing is achieved!)? ||1|| (sggs 470).

Then how the real bowing down (Dandout Bandan) is done? The Gurbani’s emphasis is on the Inner bowing – bowing to the Mool (ਮੂਲ) within by becoming ‘Sachiaaraa’. Because, as the Gurbani says:

  • ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥: How then can I become God-Realized being within (‘Sachiaaraa‘)? How can I remove the obstacle of my non-realized state within? O Nanak! (The way to realize Creator within is to) remain within the confines of His Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…) and abide in Sahaj, as (Creator and His Hukam) is contained with us. ||1|| (sggs 1).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥: (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts (sggs 102).

This ‘ਜੁਗਤਿ‘ (Jugati – way, tact, skill etc.) is given to us in the onset of the SGGS — the mind has to become straight like a Dandaa.

  • 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 mind becomes straight like a Dandaa only after it has been annihilated, controlled, conquered by BECOMING THE GURBANI — ‘Sachiaaraa‘.

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥: The Satgur’s Bani (the God-Connecting Shabad-Guru) is the embodiment of the Creator; (therefore) BECOME THE GURBANI (to Realize the Creator). (sggs 304).

Just as a snake becomes straight only after its death, similarly, the mind becomes straight like a Dandaa only after it is killed.

So long there is an iota of life left in a snake, it will still remain coiled and not become straight. Similarly, if there is any crookedness (Mayaic consciousness, false ego-sense and its Bikaa) left in the mind, it will NOT become straight like a Dandaa.

Only the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS can keep the mind straight.

  • ਕੁੰਭੇ ਬਧਾ ਜਲੁ ਰਹੈ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਕੁੰਭੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: As the water remains confined in a pitcher, (just so) the mind is restrained by the Spiritual Wisdom. But (as) the pitcher cannot be shaped without the water, (just so) there can be no Spiritual Wisdom without the Guru. ||5|| (sggs 469).
  • ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੋ ਰਾਮ ॥: With Gurmat (Wisdom of the SGGS), the mind abides in its own Home within (Nijj Ghar), and through the Shabad (the mind) become attached to the Divine (Naam: Wisdom, Virtues…). (sggs 568).
  • ਸਚਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੇ ਨ ਵਿਛੁੜਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ : The Glory of those who realize the Creator Within is Permanent; (The Creator) has come to reside Within their Conscience. (sggs 27).

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