Gurmukh and Manmukh

It is repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani that there are only two different mentality-groups  living together on earth: the Gurmukhs and the Manmukhs. The Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukhs. Why?

Because, only by becoming the Gurmukh one can Realize, Know, or Understand the Divine Light ( “ਚਾਨਣੁ”, ਜੋਤਿ-ਰੂਪ, ਜੋਤਿ ਨਾਲ ਸਾਂਝ, Light, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, the Truth, and so on).

And, without becoming the Gurmukh, one remains a Manmukh – which is opposite of the Gurmukh.

According to the Gurbani, a Manmukh is “Mugadhu Gubaaru” (ਮੁਗਧੁ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ).

Mugadhu” (ਮੁਗਧੁ) = unwise, stupid, ignorant (in darkness), silly, foolish, deluded…

Gubaaru” (ਗੁਬਾਰੁ) = perplexed, filthy (inner filth: Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, etc.: lust, anger, greed, etc.)…

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਗੁਬਾਰੁ ॥: The Gurmukh Knows the Divine Light, while the foolish Manmukh gropes around in the darkness of ignorance (sggs 20).

Now, why the Gurmukh is in ਚਾਨਣੁ (Divine Light, Giaan, Wisdom…), and the Manmukh is in darkness (of ignorance)? The Gurbani answers that the Manmukh is asleep (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ-unaware of the Divine Life…) in the love of Maya, while the Gurmukh being established in the Divine Light (Giaan…) remains Awake (in the Divine Life and remains Aware of Maya-ਮਾਇਆ ਵਲੋਂ ਸੁਚੇਤ).

  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਸੂਤਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਗੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਿਆਨ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਜਾਗੇ ਜਿਨ ਨਾਮ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥੧॥  The Manmukh is asleep, in love and attachment to Maya. The one who has become the Gurmukh by contemplating Spiritual Wisdom and the Divine Virtues remains Awake. Those beings who love the Naam, remains Awake (ਦਿਮਾਗ ਦਾ ਖੁਲ ਜਾਣਾਂ – don’t fall asleep to Maya’s attachment). ||1|| (sggs 160).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਲੋਕੁ ਸਮਝਾਈਐ ਕਦਹੁ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਪਇਐ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਫਿਰਾਇ ॥ ਲਿਵ ਧਾਤੁ ਦੁਇ ਰਾਹ ਹੈ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਜੋ ਇਛੇ ਸੋ ਲਹੈ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦ ਭੁੰਚੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਮਨੈ ਜਿ ਹੋਰੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਲੁਝਣਾ ਜਾਸੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ : One may try to counsel a Manmukh but that person can never be made to understand. Even if a Manmukh is mixed (among the Gurmukhs), still (by nature) he does not mix with them and wanders under the influence of his actions. There are only two paths (in the world) contemplation (i.e. focus on Naam) and wandering (i.e. mind’s attachment to Maya); one acts on by the Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature or ਨਿਯਮ). By becoming the Gurmukh, applying the Touchstone of the Shabad (Wisdom, Naam, Upadesh…), the Gurmukh kills his mind (conquers his mind by annihilating false ego-sense, its attachment to Maya etc.). He fights with his own mind (to give up its evil inclinations or Bikaar and when they are given up), he settles with his mind (on how to lead life by Naam and then) remains absorbed in the mind itself (i.e. keeps other ideas away and leads life by Naam). When the mind naturally complies with the True Shabad, it gets whatever it wishes (i.e., it achieves the aim of human life through living by Naam, Shabad, Hukam). Ever drink in Amrit Naam by carrying out actions as Gurmukhs. Rather than own mind, the one who quarrels with others, he wastes his life. (sggs 87).

Thus, the Gurmukh is the Enlightened one (living liberated or living dead, the follower of the Truth, Divine Life…).

The Manmukh is the opposite of the Gurmukh (mentaly blind, ignorant, bound, the follower of the untruth or falsehood…) (ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਝੂਠੈ ਲਾਲਚਿ ਕੂਰਿ ॥: Manmukhi Janam gavaaiaa jhoothai laalach koorr, sggs 854).

Thus, according to the Gurbani, being a Gurmukh or Manmukh is not a question of heredity, family of birth, ancestry, race, region, social status, caste, creed, education, titles, religion, or any peculiar external appearance of a person; it is a question of whether one has Realized the Shabad (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa, Source, Truth, Reality, Aatam-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan…) or not.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝਹੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਣਹੁ ॥:  By becoming the Gurmukh, Understand and Realize (the Reality, Truth, Mool…) through the Shabad. (sggs 1041).
  • ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਹਿ ॥: They alone are Manmukhs who do not Realize the Shabad (sggs 1054).

Indeed, to become  a Gurmukh is like standing in a fire without getting burnt!