Frozen Mind!

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 addressed to the Mind, idioms / metaphors etc. express the subtlety of the spiritual experiences of the Gurus and Bhagats, draw the reader’s attention, Awaken senses, capture and amplify every nuance of spiritual Message of the Shabad, they create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a proper and new way, improve comrehension, and so on.

Frozen mind

Since man’s rebellious or deluded mind is responsible for man’s all troubles, and Freedom (Mukti) from them, the Gurbani asks the mind be frozen, Here and Now!

The frozen mind simply means the mind that has become calm and composed, still, peaceful, chilled, undisturbed, unwavering, intuitively stable, strong, abiding, poised, free of doubts, free of Maya‘s hunger or attachment, firm, courageous, still, Sahaj, Original (Jot Saroop), untainted or unconditioned (free of false ego-sense or Haumai), annihilated etc.

Such frozen mind is fully submerged in the ice-cold and soothing Shabad — ‘ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ’, ‘ਹਿਵੈ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ’, ‘ਹਿਵ ਧਾਰ’, ‘ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲ’, ‘ਹਿਵੈ ਘਰੁ’-ਰੂਪ, ਠੰਡਾ, ਸੀਤਲ, ਬਰਫ ਜੈਸਾ ਜੰਮਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ, ਅਡੋਲ, ਟਿਕਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ, ਧੀਰਜਵਾਨ!

When water is frozen and becomes ice, water stops running around, moving around, or spreading around. Not only that, when water is frozen into a block, it serves as a seat aswell.

Similarly, in order to arrest the wandering mind, the Gurbani urges to freeze it! Only then it will realize the the Creator within and be free of ignorance of its Original Nature (Jot Saroop), doubt, wrong identity, hunger for Maya etc.

The delusion of the world-existence attains expansion by its repeated affirmation.

  • ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ ਅਰੁ ਸੁਪਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥: (Watching this ‘world-Leelaa‘) People think that our attachment with the worldly things is everlasting; but the reality is that all these things are false illusions (Mithiya) as seen in the dreams. (sggs 485).

The Gurbani calls Maya Dolai (‘ਡੋਲੈ’) — which constantly wavers about, roams about, wanders about, swings about, unstable etc. like wind (‘Pavan‘). The fickle mind attached to this wavering Maya oscillates as well (i.e. wavers, wanders hither and thither, imagines, fancies, roams, whirls, unstable, restless…), and cannot be trusted!

Fittingly, the Gurbani calls it ‘Pavan Manu-ਪਵਨ ਮਨੁ’, meaning the wind-like unsteady mind!

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧੀ ਮਨੁ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਤਿਹ ਸੰਗ ॥: Maya wavers many ways, the mind clings to this (Maya, also wavers many ways). (sggs 258).
  • ਹੀਰੈ ਹੀਰਾ ਬੇਧਿ ਪਵਨ ਮਨੁ ਸਹਜੇ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਈ ॥: Just as a smaller diamond becomes valuable when attached to a bigger one, similarly a wind-like (i.e. fickle) mind attuned to Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) becomes ‘Sahaj’ (Natural State of Being, Giaan-Avasthaa or Enlightened, calm and stable). (sggs 483).
  • ਮਨੂਆ ਪਉਣੁ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਸੁਖਵਾਸੀ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਸੁਖ ਭਾਈ ॥: O brother! If wind-like (i.e. wandering) mind rests even for a moment in the Bliss giving Naam, (such detached) mind enjoys the Divine Bliss. (sggs 634).

The implication is that the mind clinging to unstable Maya cannot focus and cannot earnestly Reflect on the Gurbani (Shabad-Vichaar) and Realize its Mool (Source, Jot Saroop....).

In other words, if the Gurbani is Reflected upon with an unstable mind (full of hunger of Maya), one cannot fully extract the Butter of the Tatt Giaan or Wisdom from the Gurbani.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਇਆ ਡੋਲਨੀ ਪਵਨੁ ਵਹੈ ਹਿਵ ਧਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਬਿਲੋਇਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਖਾਇਆ ਅਵਰ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਹਾਰ ॥੧੯॥: O Kabeer! Think of this Maya as a vessel for churning milk, the cool breath (of Naam in this vessel) is, as it were (churning stick. While living in the midst of Maya, who have learnt to churn this milk) they (i.e., the Bhagat, Daas, Gurmukh, Jan etc.) eat the Butter (of Wisdom…), while others just keep churning (No gain – nothing to show for). ||19|| (sggs 1365).

Hence, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS asks that the mind be arrested or frozen!

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਹਿਵੈ ਘਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਤਿਹ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਅਮਰ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਨਿਐ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥: The Guru is the Giver of Naam; the Guru is the sublime source of peace (House of ice: calm, cool, peaceful etc). The Guru is the Light (the divine Wisdom) of the three worlds. O Nanak, everlasting wealth of Naam is obtained from the Guru. When we Internalize Naam, we experience Sukh or peace. (i.e. the wavering mind becomes ice-like: frozen, unwavering, peaceful, ‘ਹਿਵੈ ਘਰੁ’…). ||1|| (sggs 137).

Mayaic mind is on fire, how can it be frozen?

The Gurbani shows us as to how this can be accomplished by dipping the mind in the Shabad-Vichaar. For the Gur-Shabad is like ice (‘ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ’) that cools the mind with Wisdom.

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਬਲ ਅਤਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਦੀਜੈ ॥: The powerful fire of Maya (desires, Bikaars…) is raging greatly within (Jeeva-individual beings); (O Raam!) Give (me) the ice-cold Gur-Shabad (so that the raging fire of Maya may be quenched). (sggs 1325).
  • ਗੁਰ ਹਿਵ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਬੁਝਾਵੈ ॥: (O Yogi) Gur-Giaan (Gur-Wisdom) is cold like ice (cooling, soothing, that) puts out the fire (of the mind — desires, Trishnaa, Maya…). (sggs 411).
  • ਇਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਜਲਤਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਸੀਤਲ ਭਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥੧॥: This world is burning; this comes to be seen through the Gur-Shabad. Nanak, those who have Internalize the Message of the Shabad became peaceful (‘ਸੀਤਲ’). ||1|| (sggs 643).

However, the Gurbani tells us that the Mayaic mind is on fire! 

Idiomatically / Metaphorically speaking, one cannot chew iron with teeth of wax! Also, one cannot live in a house of ice wearing robes of fire! 

  • ਮੈਣ ਕੇ ਦੰਤ ਕਿਉ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਗਰਬੁ ਜਾਇ ਸੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਿਵੈ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਪਿਰਾਹਨੁ ॥ ਕਵਨ ਗੁਫਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਅਵਾਹਨੁ ॥ ਇਤ ਉਤ ਕਿਸ ਕਉ ਜਾਣਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਵਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥੪੫॥ : How does one undertake Genuine spirituality without Enlightenment? (Idiomatically / Metaphorically speaking: its akin to chewing iron with teeth of wax!). What is that spirituality which removes the egotistical pride (i.e. Bikaar)? (How does one undertake genuine spirituality) with a mind that is physically detached but senses full of desires? (Idiomatically / Metaphorically speaking: its akin to live in a house of ice wearing robes of fire). How (then) does one create a mindset that is (detached and) free from desires? Where (then) and into what should mind be knowing immersed (so that one can be detached and free of desires)? What should the focus of the mind be and into what belief should one immerse oneself (in order to undertake genuine spirituality)? ॥45॥ (sggs 943).

Baabaa Nanak answers:

  • ਹਉ ਹਉ ਮੈ ਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਖੋਵੈ ॥ ਦੂਜਾ ਮੇਟੈ ਏਕੋ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਜਗੁ ਕਰੜਾ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਗਾਵਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਗਨਿ ਮਰੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ॥੪੬॥ : (Genuine spirituality requires the) extrication of sense of self-centered hubris or false ego-sense from within. (Genuine spirituality requires the) adoption of the One Creator and elimination of spirituality other than relating to the One. Spiritual Life is impossible in a self-willed and unenlightened state. To undertake genuine spirituality is to Become the Shabad (by Internalizing the Shabad, one can chew genuine spirituality which is difficult or hard like iron). (To become the Message of the Shabad is to) Realize the One Creator Within and Without. Nanak, the flames (of desires) die only when the Satgur’s (the Shabad’s) will is carried out. ॥46॥ (sggs 943).

In a nutshell, the Gurbani (SGGS) Instructs to put out the mind’s fire, and freeze it with the spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad.

  • ਸਾਗਰੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: By Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad, the ocean (i.e Bhav-Saagar or Maya-ocean that’s burning with the fire of Bikaars) becomes soothing cold. (sggs 1274).
  • ਚੰਦਨ ਚੰਦੁ ਨ ਸਰਦ ਰੁਤਿ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਮਿਟਈ ਘਾਂਮ ॥ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਥੀਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਪੰਦੜੋ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੨॥: The (mind’s) burning cannot be dispelled at all by the coolness of the sandalwood (paste), the moon light, or the cold season. O Nanak! the mind becomes cool only by Understanding the divine Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…). ||2|| (sggs 709).
  • ਕਲਿ ਤਾਤੀ ਠਾਂਢਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਉ ॥: Contemplation on God’s Naam provides soothing comfort to mortals in ‘Kali’ (State of the mind) suffering in the intense heat of vices or Bikaar. (sggs 288).

Through the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, the mind becomes firm and composed (Sahaj, ਧੀਰਜਵਾਨ, ਅਡੋਲ, ਟਿਕਾਓ ਵਿਚ…) and goes across Bhav Saagar) to rest in Sukh Saagar.

  • ਛੈਲ ਲੰਘੰਦੇ ਪਾਰਿ ਗੋਰੀ ਮਨੁ ਧੀਰਿਆ ॥: The mind established (in its Mool or Jot Saroop within) becomes Dheerajvaan (courageous, composed…) and crossing over the worldly ocean of vices (Bhav Saagar). (sggs 488).

Such stable mind is like gold — one can saw-cut a bar of pure gold from any place, it will be just the pure gold!

  • ਕੰਚਨ ਵੰਨੇ ਪਾਸੇ ਕਲਵਤਿ ਚੀਰਿਆ ॥੪॥: (You can) cut gold from any side (it will be the same pure gold). (sggs 488).

In a nutshell, the frozen mind (stable, cool, ਅਡੋਲ…), united with the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, enjoys the Union with its Mool (Source, Jot)! When the perception of diversity (duality or two-ness of the mind…) is attenuated, the mind shines in its own Original Glory — Jot Saroop.

Yogis went astray!

This is where Yogis made mistake and went astray (ਕੁਰਾਹੇ ਪੈ ਗਏ, ਟਪਕਾ ਜਾਂ ਚਕਮਾ ਖਾ ਗਏ).

INSTEAD OF FREEZING THEIR MIND BY DIPPING IT IN THE SHABAD (Naam, Wisdom, Virtues…), Yogis immerse their body-frame in icy water in order to break it! This delusional thinking (mistake, error, deception) of Yogis is explained by Baabaa Nanak as follows:

  • ਇਕਿ ਪਾਲਾ ਕਕਰੁ ਭੰਨਿ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਜਲੁ ਹੇਂਵਹੀ ॥: Some (Yogis) in the dead of winter, break the ice and immerse themselves in freezing water (endure cold water). (sggs 1284).
  • ਫੂਟੋ ਆਂਡਾ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਕਾਟੀ ਬੇਰੀ ਪਗਹ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਨੀ ਬੰਦਿ ਖਲਾਸੁ ॥੧॥ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ ਰਹਿਓ ॥ ਤਪਤ ਕੜਾਹਾ ਬੁਝਿ ਗਇਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਸੀਤਲ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : (With the grace of Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) my mind is Enlightened and (as a result, now) the eggshell of doubt (Bharam, delusion) has been broken. The Breaking of the Eggshell was the Liberation of my Shackled (Mind). My Cycle of spiritual birth and death (Aavan Jaan-ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ) has Ended. The Flames (of doubt) Are Extinguished with the Guru‘s spiritually cooling Naam (Eternal Giaan–Wisdom / Virtues). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1002).

The Gurbani says it’s the man’s mind responsible for his troubles (‘ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ’).

Having said that, it’s the mind that needs to be frozen, not the body-frame! It’s the mind that need to be stilled, not torturing and burdening the body-frame with rituals (Karamkaand), religious robes or paraphernalia (‘ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ’)! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ)!

Ending note

Consider the following beautiful verses of  Bhagat Fareed Ji:

  • ਕਤਿਕ ਕੂੰਜਾਂ ਚੇਤਿ ਡਉ ਸਾਵਣਿ ਬਿਜੁਲੀਆਂ ॥ ਸੀਆਲੇ ਸੋਹੰਦੀਆਂ ਪਿਰ ਗਲਿ ਬਾਹੜੀਆਂ ॥੬॥: Katik koonjaan cheti daou saavani bijuleeaan. Seeaalae Sohandeeaan Pir Gali Baaharheeaan : The swallows (migratory birds) appear in the month of Katik (fall-season), forest fires in the month of Chet (summer), and lightning in Saawan (rainy season), and during winter season, young brides look beautiful while hugging their bridegrooms. ||6|| (sggs 488).

The spiritual Message of the foregoing verses can be summarized as follows:

  • Mayaic desires appear in the doubt-ridden mind as the migratory swallows birds appear in the month of Katik (‘ਕਤਿਕ ਕੂੰਜਾਂ- Katik Koonjaan‘) and forest fire in the month of Chet (‘Chet Daou-ਚੇਤਿ ਡਉ’), and lightning in Saawan (‘ਸਾਵਣਿ ਬਿਜੁਲੀਆਂ-Saavani Bijuleeaan‘).
  • However, as the lightening strikes in the rainy month of Saavan (‘ਸਾਵਣਿ ਬਿਜੁਲੀਆਂ-Saavani Bijuleeaan, similarly, when the lightening of the Divine Wisdom strikes the mind it becomes Enlightened — it becomes Original (Jot Saroop).
  • The mind that has become so stable, still, cool and collective (‘ਸੀਆਲੇ ਸੋਹੰਦੀਆ-Seeaalae Sohandeeaan enjoys the Divine Union with its Mool within (‘ਪਿਰ ਗਲਿ ਬਾਹੜੀਆ-Pir Gali Baaharheeaan
  • All this is beautifully captured in the foregoing verses by Bhagat Fareed Ji:


  1. Thank you Manvinder Ji for taking the time to respond! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    According to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), the entire Gurbani is “Brahm Beechaar-ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰ” (Reflection on the Ultimate Formless or Niraakaar Reality – Aatam-Giaan, Divine Wisdom, Spiritual Knowledge, ਪਰਮਾਤਮ ਦੇ ਮਿਲਾਪ ਦੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ).

    Therefore, the Gurbani speaks at the level of the mind or soul (Aatmaaa); NOT at the level of body-consciousness (Maya…).

    Hence, the Gurbani asks NOT to take the Gur-Shabad to be just an ordinary song (“ਗੀਤੁ”). But, “Brahm Beechaar”!

    • ਲੋਗੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਇਹੁ ਗੀਤੁ ਹੈ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥ (sggs 335).
    • ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥: Nanak speaks the “Brahm Beechaaru” (sggs 1138).

  2. I must be very uneducated..very offensive in terms of following our religion..your blogs are full of knowledge and teach a real meaning of gurbani..I still have a question in mind..Can i attain gurbani teachings even though i am a clean shaven..Would it be a biggest obstacle for me to make my mind understand the truthfulness of Gurbani..I am just curious and will look forward to your view point on that..
    Manvinder Singh

  3. Satkar jog T. Singh jio
    Your site and blog are a good source of knowledge for the truth seeker. Keep serving the mankind!!!
    Dr. Gurpreet Singh
    (student at Sachkhoj Academy)

  4. Thank you Bhai Prince jit Singh Ji for taking the time to respond!
    Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    Dear veerji can I have some more links on SHABD.

    I am not sure if I understand the question. You mean Gurbani posts on Gur-Shabad? If so, All posts on this blog are on Gurbani – over 350 posts.
    Or do you mean posts with specific tags such as “Shabad”? If so, try these tags:

  5. Dear veerji,
    The still mind/frozen mind is our sehaj state, devoid of any chatter totally dipped in …SHABD…that’s our permanent abode, here the mind lies immersed…. in …..shabd….hence shabd is no mind or frozen mind. Dear veerji can I have some more links on SHABD.

  6. The Sehaj Avastha is very well defined in above article……………The Mind which is in peace and love will feel the presence of Love……………Wahinguruji Bless everybody with this experience………………..

  7. I enjoyed reading Frozen Mind. I liked the manner of integrating the sub-themes of Gurbani. Looking forward to more of such integration.
    Warm Regards

  8. Stop identifying with the mind. Be here and now , which is the only home we have. Stay at home always. Lots of love bhai Sahib Ji.

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