Mind Knowingly Commits Demerits

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the Jeev (individual being) – driven by Maya’s love or hunger – is brimful with demerits (ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ = defect, fault, mistakes, blemish, Bikaar, etc.). Bloated with false ego-sense (Haumai) it does not think straight.

In the same breadth, the Gurbani tells us that the the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ) also abide within the Jeev (individual being), as well.

  • ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but Virtue dwells within him as well. (sggs 936).

Two things are clear from the above verse: (1) demerits (ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ) are foreign, man-made, external, unnatural, un-inherent, etc. (2) On the contrary, the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ) are native, inherent, natural, already present within, etc. Why? Because Rabb, the Treasure of Virtues, is ever present within the Heart (as our very Mool, Source, Jot Saroop etc.).

Then, how does the Jeev (individual being) end up brimful with demerits (ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ)? The Gurbani provides us with an authoritative answer as follows:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: Kabeer, the mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What is the use of that lamp (Giaan-Wisdom) if we fall into the well (of ignorance, Maya, vices or Bikaar) even with that lamp in our hands? (sggs 1376).

In the foregoing verse, the Gurbani indicates that our mind knows everything (i.e., right and wrong, Truth and untruth, Real and Unreal, True and false, fleeting and Eternal, merits and demerits etc.), but, still, knowingly it commits mistakes (ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ = demerits, defect, fault, blemish, Bikaar, etc.).

In the same breadth, the Gurbani asks us that what’s the use of having a Lamp (of Giaan or Wisdom…) in hand, if the person holding the lamp is still going to fall into a well (the well of ignorance, Maya, Bikaar, ਅਉਗਨ / ਬਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਖੂਹ ਵਿਚ…).

The Gur-Shabad is the Lamp (Giaan or Wisdom…) given to us, that shows us the right Way so that we don’t fall into a well of ignorance, Maya, Bikaar…

But our Maya driven mind does not listen to the Inner Voice (ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਵਾਜ) of its Mool (Source…). In other words, the Mayaic mind overrules the Wisdom of its Mool (Source…), and as a result, ends up committing and accumulating demerits within.

  • ਹਮ ਅਵਗੁਣਿ ਭਰੇ ਏਕੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਛਾਡਿ ਬਿਖੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਈ ॥: I am overflowing with demerits; I have no virtues at all. I abandoned the Amrit (-Naam: Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom…), and I drank poison (Maya) instead. (sggs 1406).

The Gurbani tells us that the majority of us follow this tendency of the Maya-ridden mind (i.e., Mayaic inclinations, nature, habits, quality, temperament, etc.).

What’s the remedy according to the Gurbani? As repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani, the remedy is to remove the ‘filth‘ of the mind through the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, and living the Gurmat (Aatam Giaan-ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ).

  • ਕੂਟਨੁ ਸੋਇ ਜੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੂਟੈ ॥: That  alone is ‘Kootan‘ (ਕੁੱਟਣ, striking, thrashing, beating, etc.), who pounds down his mind (i.e., assesses, appraises, introspects, surveys, searches, tests, measures, etc., his mind to mend it or annihilate it…). (sggs 872).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਮੂੰਡਿਆ ਨਹੀ ਕੇਸ ਮੁੰਡਾਏ ਕਾਂਇ ॥ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ ਮੂੰਡਾ ਮੂੰਡੁ ਅਜਾਂਇ ॥੧੦੧॥: O Kabeer! (You have) not shaved your mind (remove the mind’s ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ = defect, fault, mistakes, blemish, Bikaar, etc.), so why do you shave your head (i.e, what’s the use of shaving the head to look like a Saadhoo, etc.)? Whatever is done, is done by the mind; it is useless to shave your head (i.e., without removing the mind’s filth, it’s useless to shaving the head to look like a Saadhoo…). ||101|| (sggs 1369).

In nutshell, according to the Gurbani, all the Virtues (ਗੁਣ) and the Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ) is in accepting the Divine Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature etc.).

  • ਮਾਨੈ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਭੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਿਆਨ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਾਵੈ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੫੬॥ : (Spiritual success is the) Realization of the Divine Virtues and Internalization of His Hukam. Nanak, the spirituality of the Shabad provides the Honor (of Realization) within my Conscience. ॥56॥ (sggs 944).


  1. Thouroughly enlightening. We purposely resort to the demeritorious path when we are fully equipped with the brightest torch of Gur-Gyaan.

    Keep up the task of exemplary and inspiring education. Regards.

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