Frozen Mind!

Since man’s wandering 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 like the house of ice, 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.  — 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!

Similarly, in order to arrest the wandering mind, the Gurbani urges to freeze it! Only then it will realize the Truth and get rid of ignorance of its True 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 Leelaa) the man believes worldly objects (ਪਦਾਰਥ) to be True (permanent, etc.), but they are like objects (ਪਦਾਰਥ) seen in the dream (i.e., untrue) – ‘ਮਿਥਿਆ ਭਰਮੁ’ (Mitthiyaa Bharam) (sggs 485).

The Gurbani calls Maya Dolai (‘ਡੋਲੈ’) — constantly wavers about, roams about, wanders about, or swings about (unstable, etc.), like wind (‘Pavan‘). The 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 ॥: When the Jeev- diamond pierces the (Parmaatam-) Diamond (i.e., when the mind connects with its Mool within), the wind-like mind is easily absorbed into Sahaj (Natural State of Being, Giaan-Avasthaa or Enlightened State, ਅਡੋਲ ਅਵਸਥਾ…). (sggs 443).
  • ਮਨੂਆ ਪਉਣੁ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਸੁਖਵਾਸੀ ਨਾਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਸੁਖ ਭਾਈ ॥: O brother! If the wind-like mind comes to rest in Peace, even for an instant, (such real Bairagee mind) abides in the Peace of the Naam (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.

Hence, the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS…), asks that the mind be arrested or frozen!

  • 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).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਹਿਵੈ ਘਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਤਿਹ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਅਮਰ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਨਿਐ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥: The Guru (Inner-ਅੰਤਰ ਗੁਰੂ) is the Giver (of Naam – Wisdom…), the Guru is the House of ice (calm, cool, peaceful, etc. – not influenced by Maya), and the Guru is the Light of the three worlds. O Nanak! The everlasting Padaarath (i.e., Naam Padaaraath => Giaan Padaarath is obtained from Him). By accepting (Guru’s Giaan, Wisdom…), Sukh happens (i.e., the 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. O Nanak! Those who are attuned to the Shabad practice Truth and became pacified (ਠੰਢੇ-ਠਾਰ). ||1|| (sggs 643).

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

One cannot live in a house of ice wearing robes of fire! Can he?

  • ਹਿਵੈ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਪਿਰਾਹਨੁ ॥ ਕਵਨ ਗੁਫਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਅਵਾਹਨੁ ॥: The House is made of ice, (Jeeva is wearing the) robe of fire! Which is that cave, within which (Jeeva) may remain stable? (sggs 943).

The Gurbani’s solution is: Put out the mind’s fire and freeze it with the Divine Wisdom or Brahm-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad, obtained through the Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਸਾਗਰੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: By Vichaar of the Gur-Shabad, the ocean (Bhav-Saagar or Maya-ocean that’s burning with the fire of Bikaars) becomes calm or cool (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 (1) sandalwood (paste), (2) the moon (light, and the (3) winter season. O Nanak! It only becomes cool by understanding and remembering the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…). ||2|| (sggs 709).
  • ਕਲਿ ਤਾਤੀ ਠਾਂਢਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਉ ॥: Kali taatee thandhaa hari naaou (sggs 288).

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

  • ਛੈਲ ਲੰਘੰਦੇ ਪਾਰਿ ਗੋਰੀ ਮਨੁ ਧੀਰਿਆ ॥: The mind established within (i.e., Mool or Jot Saroop) becomes Dheerajvaan (firm, courageous, composed…); only they go across (Bhav Saagar, Maya…). (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 nutshell, the frozen mind (stable, cool, ਅਡੋਲ…), united with the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, enjoys the Union with its Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…)! When the perception of diversity (duality or two-ness of the mind…) is attenuated, the mind shines in its own Original Glory.

This is how 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, Truth…), 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 winter break their body (i.e., they sit on water that is) ice cold and frosted (sggs 1284).
  • ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ ਰਹਿਓ ॥ ਤਪਤ ਕੜਾਹਾ ਬੁਝਿ ਗਇਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਸੀਤਲ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (My mind’s) wandering (for Maya) is now ended. The fire (of Trishna, Maya...) is extinguished within him to whom the Guru gave the cooling Naam (Wisdom, Truth…). (sggs 1002).

The Gurbani says it’s the man’s mind responsible for his troubles (‘ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ’). As such, it’s the mind that needs to be frozen, not the body! It’s the mind that need to be stilled, not torturing and burdening the body with rituals (Karamkaand), religious garbs or paraphernalia (‘ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ’)! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ)!

Desires appear in the doubt-ridden mind as swallows appear in the month of Katik (‘ਕਤਿਕ ਕੂੰਜਾਂ- Katik Koonjaan‘) and forest fire in the month of Chet (‘Cheti Daou-ਚੇਤਿ ਡਉ’). 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 cool and collective (‘ਸੀਆਲੇ ਸੋਹੰਦੀਆ-Seeaalae Sohandeeaan‘) or the mind that has become so stable and still (‘ਹਿਵੈ ਘਰੁ’-ਰੂਪ, ਠੰਡਾ, ਸੀਤਲ, ਅਡੋਲ, ਟਿਕਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ, ਧੀਰਜਵਾਨ, ਗਿਆਨਵਾਨ…; i.e., frozen), enjoys the Divine Union with its Mool within (‘ਪਿਰ ਗਲਿ ਬਾਹੜੀਆ-Pir Gali Baaharheeaan‘). All this is beautifully captured in the following verses by 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 (sggs 488).


  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 ॥: People think that the (Gur-Shabad) is (an ordinary) song, but it is a “Brahm Beechaar”. (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)

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