The Gurus and Bhagats were not only God-Connected Within, they were also excellent communicators, poets, writers, and presenters. They effectively used idioms / metaphors to explain very complex spiritual Messages. Hence, impregnated with spiritual Wisdom or 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, draw the reader’s attention, awaken senses, amplify the Message, capture subtle nuances of spirituality, they create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a new way, improve understanding, and so on.
The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) shows a profound understanding of the human life and its myriad dimensions.
As we are taught by the SGGS, there are ‘five lions’ (i.e. Bikaar) and ‘ten wolves’ (i.e. SENSES or Indriyas-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀਆਂ) reside within each person.
- ਪੰਚ ਸਿੰਘ ਰਾਖੇ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਮਾਰਿ ॥ ਦਸ ਬਿਘਿਆੜੀ ਲਈ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥ ਤੀਨਿ ਆਵਰਤ ਕੀ ਚੂਕੀ ਘੇਰ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਚੂਕੇ ਭੈ ਫੇਰ ॥੧॥: (As I abide in ‘Prabh’: Mool or Jot Saroop or Original Nature…) ‘Prabh’ killed the five tigers (from within me: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride). The pressure of the ten wolves (i.e. the 5 SENSES of acquiring knowledge + 5 SENSES of action) has also been removed from within me. The three whirl-pools (i.e. three qualities of Maya) have stopped spinning (within me). In the Association of the Guru (Giaan or Wisdom), the fear of the transmigration is also gone. ||1|| (sggs 898).
- ਦਸ ਪਾਤਉ ਪੰਚ ਸੰਗੀਤਾ ਏਕੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਥੇ ॥ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਵ ਦਿਖਾਵਹਿ ਸਭਹੁ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ਭਾਖੇ ॥੩॥: (Within each individual – Jeeva – are) the ten actors (i.e. ten SENSES) – the five sensory organs and the five action organs – dance to the five types of music playing together within as perceived by the five sensory organs. They all put on their own shows (ਕਲੋਲ), and speak in different languages (rouse different desires, ਕਾਮਨਾ, reactions in the body/mind). ||3|| (sggs 884).
- ਸਤੀ ਰੰਨੀ ਘਰੇ ਸਿਆਪਾ ਰੋਵਨਿ ਕੂੜੀ ਕੰਮੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਲੇਵੈ ਸੋ ਦੇਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਖਟੇ ਦੰਮ ਸਹੰਮੀ ॥੨੯॥ : The seven companions (SENSES: two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth and one sex organ) always create commotion in his mind for the sake of short lived worldly pleasures. He earns lot of worldly wealth but remains miserable because whatever he earns, he does not share with others. ॥29॥ (sggs 1412).
These ‘five lions’ (‘Panch Singh-five lions’) are the lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, and their numerous variations. They become powerful evils when their negative impact dominates a person’s mind.
These ‘five’ are called by various names in the SGGS including ‘Panch Singh’ (five lions), ‘Panch Chor’ (five thieves), ‘Panch Janaa’, ‘Panj Doot’, ‘Panj Mahaabalee’, ‘Panch Sikadaar’, ‘Panj Dusat’, ‘Panch Sakhee’, ‘Panch panihaaree‘ etc.
Like a lion, they torture their pray! These are man’s inner garbage (i.e. Bhangaar).
Since these are the negative pulls of human nature and very powerful and destructive, the Gurbani also calls them ‘Sikadaar’, ‘Mahaabalee’ and so on. Hence not easy at all to control the apatite these ‘five’!
These ‘five’ also have their numerous variations such as enviousness, stubborn mindedness, selfishness, deception, wickedness, falsehood, corruption, bigotry, hatred, insecurity, desires and fears, discontentment, intolerance, revenge, unforgiveness, unhappiness, and so on.
- ਪੰਚੇ ਰੁੰਨੇ ਦੁਖਿ ਭਰੇ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥੧॥: The five relatives (the five senses of perception) weep and wail painfully, and waste away through the love of duality ||1|| (sggs 19).
These ‘ten wolves’ (‘Das Bighiaarhee-ਦਸ ਬਿਘਿਆੜੀ’) are man’s ten senses (Indriyas-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀਆਂ ) — eyes, ears, nose, tongue (mouth), and skin makes five senses of acquiring knowledge (Giaan Indriyas). Similarly, the genital, anus, voice (mouth), and hands and legs make five senses of action or work (Karma Indriyas).
The SGGS also calls these ‘ten’ by various names including ‘Das Bighiaarhee-ਦਸ ਬਿਘਿਆੜੀ’ (ten wolves), ‘Das Naaree-ਦਸ ਨਾਰੀ’, ‘Indray Dasay-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਦਸੇ’, ‘Das Indree-ਦਸ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ’, ‘Das Paataou-ਦਸ ਪਾਤਉ’ etc.
In the wild, wolves are known to have an ever-present natural predator behavior to ‘mouse-pounce’, involving the chasing and capturing of their pray. If not checked and controlled the senses, one becomes a slave of these senses. This sense-slavery then drags the human mind down to the animal nature.
The senses (Indriyas-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀਆਂ ) are liken to venomous serpents. Like snakes, the senses do not like to be restricted. Rather, they like to act not only loosely but also without any control. A spiritual seeker or learner (i.e. a Sikh) needs to be very strong to control these serpents of senses — like a snake charmer, who never allows his snakes to act on their own. Such person is called the ‘Gurmukh‘ in the Gurbani.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਗਾਰੜੂ ਤਿਨਿ ਮਲਿ ਦਲਿ ਲਾਈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇਈ ਉਬਰੇ ਜਿ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੨॥: Some ‘rare’ who has become the Gurmukh knows the ‘Gaarurr’ Mantra (that neutralizes the poison of Maya-snake); he has trampled her (Maya) and destroy its influence or affect. Only those who remain absorbed in Truth are saved. ||2|| (sggs 510).
First off, the Gurmukh’s mind is not vexed in passions. Second, he does not let his senses act independently. Like a snake charmer, the Gurmukh never allows his senses to act on their own for he leaves his senses (i.e. snakes) ‘without fangs’!
Thus, a person who has become the Gurmukh, his senses are directed by his dictation or plan.
Man engages in the world of gross objects with his sensory faculties and the pleasures they afford only make him desire for more and more. But it’s not possible to satisfy desires.
Accordingly, we are asked by the Gurbani to learn to control them. In order to accomplish that, the Gurbani asks us to make the TEN SENSES ‘WIDOWS’!
But, how can one go about making the senses ‘widow’? What does it really mean?
In short, mind is the ‘husband’ and the ten senses are its ‘wives’. Since the rebel mind is the center of all activities of the senses, when the senses become attracted toward their respective sense-objects, the mind becomes the source of all ideas of about sense-gratification. Thus, the mind and the senses become the repositories of uncontrolled Mayaic desires (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ-ਪਿਆਸ).
- ਏਕੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਹਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ॥ ਦਸ ਨਾਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਰਿ ਦਸੇ ਸਾਦਿ ਲੋੁਭਾਈਆ ॥ ਏਨਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਮੋਹੀਆ ਨਿਤ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਭਰਮਾਈਆ ॥ : In this one body-temple there are five thieves (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride) who are always doing evil (these five thieves have taken over the mind-elephant). (On one side) the mind is alone, (with it) there are ten senses, these ten are entangled in (the taste of Maya). They are fascinated by this fascinating Maya (for this reason) they are always wandering around. (sggs 1096).
As wife becomes widow upon death of her husband, similarly all senses become widows upon death of the mind (killed mind, annihilated or conquered mind etc.) !
Succinctly, when the mind stops engaging in sense-gratification, the senses become ‘widow’.
- ਦਸ ਨਾਰੀ ਮੈ ਕਰੀ ਦੁਹਾਗਨਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਏਹ ਰਸਹਿ ਬਿਖਾਗਨਿ ॥ ਇਨ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਹਮ ਗੁਰਿ ਰਾਖੇ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥੫॥: I have made widows of the ten sensory organs (i.e. I don’t engage in sense-gratification anymore). The Guru (Giaan or Wisdom) has told me that pleasures (of the senses or sense-gratifications) are the fire (which brings death to spiritual life: ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). Who associates with them goes into the low abyss (i.e. fall into lower region of consciousness, spiritual death – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). The Guru has saved me (from the sense pleasures) by attuning me to Hari (Mool, Jot Saroop, Wisdom, Virtues etc.) ||5|| (sggs 1347).
Thank you Lt. Col . Mohan Singh Rendhawa Ji. Very inspiring! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog.
some suggested reading:
For more, you can search the SGGS for keywords like ਬਿਕਾਰ, ਵਿਕਾਰ, ਪੰਜ, five, etc.
Sardar T Singh Ji I have been directed to your blog in my search for the techniques to become a jeevan mukth. I was inspired by a shabad I heard recently Jo Jo dise so so rogi. I was looking for a cure for the rog that I have as a human. Unfortunately, I am 74 only now I discovered this. My entire life in visiting Gurdwaras has been futile because no one thought me how to cure these rogs. I would like you to help me develop a series of short talks with relevant quotes from Gurbani to conquer the 5 thieves. My knowledge of Gurmukhi Is very limited So please help me with more quotes if you have any on how Gurbani tells us to create widows of the senses and how to put the 5 thieves in PRISON The mission is to attain liberation while still alive Jeevan Mukth
Thank you brother, R. S. Arorra Ji for your reply and kind words. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!
I have been trying to deeply understand “akkhi bajho vekhna vin kanna sunan….”. This blog shines a illuminating light on this dhur ki bani, and I feel blessed to have read this. Wahguru ji has blessed you with sukcham dristi and the desire to share, and you and all of us are blessed for it. Carry on T. Singh ji. Thankfully
Thank you Tejinder (TJ) Grewal Ji for your reply. Spelling corrected from ‘years’ to ‘ears’. Thank you for pointing it out.
Thank you for this. one spelling mistake. Years should be ears.
Thank you sister Baljinder Kaur Ji for your reply.
Very grateful for the explanations! Thank you Vir ji 🙏🙏
Thank you Sethi Ji for your reply.
Thank you Roop Ji for your reply and kind words.
We are so blessed to have you T Singh Ji. I wish we all stay as the unwavering awareness and devote this birth to that. I wish we all shine in that as that.
Just Love to you T Singh Ji.