Gurbani Says Investigate the Mind

The Gurbani asks us to (Spiritually) inquire into this mind (“Khoj-ਖੋਜ” = search, investigation, exploration, quest, finding examination, inquiry, and so on). Since the Gurbani is timeless, we can apply the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani for debugging the mind at any time!:

  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥: O brother! Let someone search this mind (sggs 330).
  • ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: O man! Search your own heart every day, and do not wander around in perplexity (distress, trouble…). (sggs 727).
  • ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The greatest happiness comes from reading the horoscope of the mind (i.e., reading your own mind’s state or condition). (sggs 1093).

Why trace the mind? Because, the Gurbani says that only a “Maramee” can understand the mind [“Maramee-ਮਰਮੀ” = Khojee (“ਖੋਜੀ”), who engages in Spiritual Inquiry, who knows the purport or import or mystery or the secret meaning, ਭੇਦੀ, ਮਰਮ ਨੂੰ ਜਾਨਣ ਵਾਲਾ…]:

  • ਮਰਮੀ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਜਾਨੈ ॥: One who is “Maramee” understands the mind. (sggs 342).
  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Mool, Original, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684).
  • ਮਨੁ ਖੋਜਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Manu khojat naamu… (sggs 1128).

Man has to daily face his instinctive mind. From the time man wakes up in the morning till he goes to bed in the night, he remains connected to his mind and remains under the control of it. In addition, this deluded or wandering mind is said to be ignorant or immature for it’s in love with enemies (i.e., lust anger, greed, etc.) and hates his friends (Virtues like Truth, mercy, compassion, wisdom, Dharma, etc.). Hence, the Gurbani urges us to investigate and understand this fickle mind.

  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਸਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੩੨॥: MAMMA: (The mortal’s real purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline or control his mind; by doing so, Spiritual Understanding (Soojh or Samajh of the Formless or Niraakaar…) is obtained (and thus life’s real purpose is realized). Kabeer says (that the real work of a person) is with the mind alone. (For he) has not met anything like the mind! ||32|| (sggs 342).
  • ਰਾਜਾ ਬਾਲਕੁ ਨਗਰੀ ਕਾਚੀ ਦੁਸਟਾ ਨਾਲਿ ਪਿਆਰੋ ॥ ਦੁਇ ਮਾਈ ਦੁਇ ਬਾਪਾ ਪੜੀਅਹਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੋ ॥  ੧॥: The king (mind) is just  immature or ignorant, and his city (body) is vulnerable; because the mind is in love with his wicked enemies (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.). (the mind) has two mothers and two fathers (duality: two mothers are intellect and ignorance or Maya, and two fathers are Pure Consciousness and deluded consciousness or egoism); O Pandit, reflect on this ||1||. (sggs 1171).

The Gurbani is a powerful antidote to unawareness (Manmukhataa, state of sleep paralysis…). The Gurbani urges us to examine the mind by becoming the Gurmukh (one who understands the Gurbani, adopts it, and practices it…).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਮਨੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਸੁਣਾਏ ॥: One who becomes Gurmukh examines his own mind, and instructs others. (sggs 1059).

Thus – as the the Gurbani tells us – the Gur-Shabad is the subject of searching (ਖੋਜ), understanding (ਬੂਝ, Samajh, ਸਮਝ, ਸੂਝ, etc.), and practice in daily life through constant Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: When someone understand by Searching (“Khoj”), and engages in Vichaar (Reflection on the Divine Virtues, Wisdom…), then (he) crosses over the “Bhavjal” (Bhav Saagar or dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

Hence, “Khoj” leads to “Samajh” and “Boojh”. Which, in turn, leads to the stage of “ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ – Budhi Badalee” – transmutation of the conditioned mind (Mayaic Budhi (Haumai or false ego-sense, worldly intelligence or  wisdom, etc.).

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਈ ॥੩॥: Who merges in the Gur-Shabad, comes to Understand the Lord. ||3|| (sggs 160).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋਈ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਣ ਕਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥: One who becomes the Gurmukh, he Understands (the Divine). Uttering (the Divine) Virtues, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in the Divine Virtues. ||1|| (sggs 110).
  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer! (Wisdom) has taken away my (worldly) intelligence (ਅਕਲ). With this altered intelligence, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).

In nutshell, the Gurbani’s Soojh-Boojh or Bibek-Budhi tells us that the mind, in its True Nature, is Joti-Svaroopa. In other words, when we unbrokenly dwell in that knowledge (“ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ”), we are not the instinctive mind that we know of – we are other than  that. Staying aloof and remaining untouched with the Divine within, we continue to delve in Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.).

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਖੀ ਭਇਓ ਉਡਿ ਉਡਿ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਜੋ ਜੈਸੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੋ ਤੈਸੋ ਫਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥੮੬॥ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਖੋਜਤੇ ਪਾਇਓ ਸੋਈ ਠਉਰੁ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਫਿਰਿ ਕੈ ਤੂ ਭਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਤਾ ਅਉਰੁ ॥੮੭॥: O Kabeer! The mind becomes like a bird (as bird flies in different directions in search for food, etc., similarly) the mind soars and flies in ten directions (i.e., wanders around chasing mirage, desires, sense objects, Maya, etc.). According to the company (a man) keeps, gets the similar reward (i.e., acquires similar thinking or Soch, qualities…) ||86|| O Kabeer! (Through living a life with Wisdom, divine Virtues…, I) have realized That Place within (i.e., Nijj Ghar, Jot Saroop…) which I was searching. What I called ‘someone else’ before (i.e., whom I used to consider separate from me before, now I) have realized I’m That. ||87|| (sggs 1369).

When not with its Mool, the same mind (wandering mind) is the thoughts-stuff. And this force of the thoughts-stuff continuously flows, which means the imaginations or words (thoughts or ਫੁਰਨੇ, “ਖਿਆਲੀ”) continuously rise as the agitated or restless waves on the surface of the ocean (“ਲਹਰੀ”, “ਤਰੰਗ”…).

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮਮਤਾ ਪਵਹਿ ਖਿਆਲੀ ॥: Maya-attachment drops (Jeeva) in thoughts (imaginations, fancies…). (sggs 993).
  • ਜਿਚਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਹਰੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥: As long as this mind is tossing around (in waves of Maya etc., that person remains) caught in too much ego and pride (sggs 1247).

Clearly, the Gurbani is not the subject of mere reading as in Akhand-Paath, Nit-Nem, etc.; or mere words (ਨਿਰੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ), or mere counting beads (ਮਾਲਾ ਫੇਰਨੀ), and so on. In other words, mere reading and memorizing, mere words or talks, mere counting beads, etc., wouldn’t accomplish the Gurbani’s aim unless adopted and practiced.

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
  • ਆਖਣੁ ਸੁਨਣਾ ਪਉਣ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਰਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: (So long) the mind is in love with Maya, listening to spiritual discourse is like the sough of the wind (in one ear and out the other). (sggs 24).
  • ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥: The searcher (Seeker-ਖੋਜਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ) grows (in Spiritual or Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ), and the arguer (Mayaic debater, quarrelsome, ਝਗੜਾਲੂ, etc.) annihilates (or ruins his Spiritual or Divine Life). O Gur Kartaaraa (Divine Wisdom…)! I am a sacrifice to you (sggs 1255)

Now, in nutshell, what’s the purpose of reading scriptures (Paath — ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨਾ)?

According to the Gurbani — not according to the illiterate and corrupt Pujaajee — the ONLY purpose of reading the scriptures (Paath — ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨਾ) is Awaken Bibebk Budhi within (discerning intellect, logic, commonsense, Wisdom-ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Virtues-ਗੁਣ, etc.). Such Bibek-Budhi bestows upon us Joy, Peace, Bliss (Anand), abidance, thinking free of Bikaar, (i.e., lust, anger, greed, etc.), and so on.

  • ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ ॥੧॥ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਮੈ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ ॥ ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (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|| My dear! I have performed many such rituals, but the Divine (Wisdom, Virtues…) is not realized by these methods (ਤਰੀਕੇ). (Forsaking the ritualistic practices or methods) I have dropped down weary at the Divine-door (Giaan-Guru, True Wisdom) and pray for the grant of Bibek-Budhi (discerning intellect…). ||Pause|| (sggs 641).

In nutshell, the mind that does not understand the Divine Naam (Shabad, Divine Wisdom, Hukam, Law of Nature, Virtues, Truth…) is captive to delusion, resulting in its cracked or divided state (duality). By understanding the Naam, it remains steady and permeated in its Mool (Source, Jot…) within. Through “Khoj-search” via Shabad-Vichaar, mind’s doubts are eradicated.

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਰਮ ਭਉ ਭਾਗੈ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, doubt and fear are dispelled. (sggs 1070).
  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੁ ਮਤੁ ਕਤ ਜਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਢੂਢਤ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਘਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਘਟ ਮਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥: O my mind! Remain steady (within) and do not wander around outside (searching for Amrit-Naam, Amrit-Giaan, Sukh or Happiness or Anand…). By searching around on the outside, you will only suffer great pain(for the remedy is within, not outside); Amrit (that will make you Happy…) is found Within the Heart. (sggs 598).
  • ਲਾਖ ਕੋਟਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕੇ ਬਿੰਜਨ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਨ ਬੂਝੀ ॥ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੋਟਿ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ਬਸਤੁ ਅਗੋਚਰ ਸੂਝੀ ॥੩॥: Through corruption, one may obtain thousands and millions of enjoyments, but even so, his desires are not satisfied through them. Remembering the Naam (Divine Wisdom, spiritual knowledge…) millions of lights appear (Prachand Giaan or Wisdom), and the imperceptible (to the senses) is understood. ||3|| (sggs 497).

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