Flow of Desires

The Gurbani tells us to restrain (ਬੰਨ ਕੇ, ਰੋਕ ਕੇ ਰਖਣਾਂ) the flow of our desires (Kaam, hunger for Maya…) that flow out from all our senses.

  • ਬਹਤੀ ਮਨਸਾ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਬਾਂਧਿ ॥: Bahatee manasaa raakhahu baandhi: Keep your flowing desires (pulsating from the senses-ਸਰੀਰਕ ਇੰਦ੍ਰਿਆਂ) restrained. (sggs 342).

Why is it essential to stop the flow of desires? Because, as indicated by the Gurbani, the sensory world can never give us any real satisfaction or Peace. As the pyre burns a dead body, desires (hunger for Maya-ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ…) and spiritual ignorance (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਬੇ-ਸਮਝੀ) burns the body alive, within!

  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਤਨਹਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Agiaanu trisanaa isu tanahi jalaaae: Spiritual ignorance and desire burn this human body (sggs 1067).

The Gurbani indicates desires are wounds (“ਚੋਟ”) of the soul. And it is only by killing desires one can link with the Truth (ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ sggs 120).

But how can we put stop (ਬਾਂਧਿ, ਬੰਨ੍ਹ, ਰੋਕ, ਡੱਕਾ, ਰੁਕਾਵਟ…) to this flow of desires?

If we need to restain the flow of a river, we build a dam or embankment across it to control it.

Similarly, Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) indicates that we can build an embankment (ਬਾਂਧਿ,ਬੰਨ੍ਹ, ਰੋਕ, ਡੱਕਾ, ਰੁਕਾਵਟ, dam, support…) of the Gurbani (Bibek-Budhi, Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani) around all our senses and mind in order to stop the flow of desires from them.

In fact, the SGGS tells us that Parameshar (the Lord) has given this Gurbani to all of us as a “Bannaa” (“ਬੰਨਾ”, ਬਾਂਧਿ, ਬੰਨ੍ਹ, ਰੋਕ, ਡੱਕਾ, ਰੁਕਾਵਟ, dam…) to do just that – to stop the flow of desires or Bikaars emanating from all our senses (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਰਾਹ ਵਿਚ ਡੱਕਾ…).

  • ਪਰਮੇਸਰਿ ਦਿਤਾ ਬੰਨਾ ॥… ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥: The Universal Energy has given the Support (of Giaan or Wisdom to stop the flow of desires, Bikaars, etc.)…  The Baanee (of Truth, Wisdom, Virtues…) has come from within (ਅੰਦਰੋਂ); by applying (its Wisdom and Virtues to daily life), all anxiety is eradicated. (sggs 627).

Therefore, the Brahm-Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan…) contained in the Gurbani is applicable to our daily life.

In this way, for a Sikh, the entire Gurbani is the ‘Rahat‘ – Divine Hukam (ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਦਾ ਹੁਕਮ; ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਦੀ ਮਰਜੀ; ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਦੀ ਆਗਿਆ; ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਦੀ ਰਜਾ, etc.). Hence, the Gurbani is not an ordinary poem or song; it is the Divine Word.

  • ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਜਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਤੀਤੈ ਸੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥: Permesar ke duaarai ji hoyi biteetai su Nanaku aakhi sunavai (sggs 373).

Accrdingly, in the SGGS, the Baanee is called “Nirankaar” (i.e., the Formless Lord), Truth, Amrit, and so on.

  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Vaahu vaahu baanee nirankaar hai tis jevad avar na koi (sggs 515).

To understand and actuate this “Bannaa“-Support (ਬੰਨਾ ਰੂਪ ਬਾਣੀ), we are urged by the SGGS to thoroughly Realize the Aatam-Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Gurmat, Hukam…) of the Gurbani by engaging in the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, and then constantly living it (i.e., making the Prachand Giaan or Wisdom of the Gurbani the Way of life – the Gurmukh Lifestyle)!

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ Gurmukhi sabadu kamaaeeai Hari vasia mani aai: By becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being…), practice the Shabad (Divine Naam, Gurmat, Aatam Giaan, to live according to the Shabad-Giaan, ਸਬਦ ਕਮਾਣਾ, etc.), and the Lord will come to dwell within the mind (i.e., the mind becomes Stable in its Mool within, ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮੇ ਟਿਕ ਜਾਂਣਾਂ, etc.) (sggs 67).
  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Parriai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Bin boojhe pasu bhaye betaale: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6||: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਅਮਲ ਜਿ ਕੀਤੇ ਦੁਨੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਆਏ ਕੰਮਿ ॥੧੦੦॥: Freedaa amal ji keetai dunee vichi Dargah aaye Kammi ||100|| (sggs 1383).

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