In order to instruct, explain or persuade us (ਸਮਝਾਣ ਲਈ), the Gurbani has used numerous examples of our world around us, including many animals.

However, the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS…) is not meant for deer or other animals! Neither are the Gurdwara congregations (or any other religious congregation for that matter) meant for deer or other animals!

It’s for the human mind for learning and mends!

However, what we see in Sikh community today, most people are struck with examples instead of the Wisdom (Giaan, Bibek, Knowledge…)  given in a particular Shabad to make us understand the deep sense of the Gurbani.

It’s like holding on to a finger that points to fruit on a tree. If you want to go pick the fruit and taste it, then you must let the finger go!

When the Truth that has not been personally experienced, one can not grasp it directly. However, with the help of examples, analogies, similes, allegories, metaphors, figurative or mystic representations and illustrations, idioms (ਮੁਹਾਵਰੇ), etc., the Truth becomes relatively easier to grasp. Such methods have extensively been used in the SGGS.

From ignorance comes the perception of individuality (false ego-sense, Haumai…). As a result, we end up passing life gratifying senses, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.).

The mind so conditioned (i.e., the “filthy”) is also called “black deer” in the Gurbani.

  • ਤੂੰ ਸੁਣਿ ਹਰਣਾ ਕਾਲਿਆ ਕੀ ਵਾੜੀਐ ਰਾਤਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਬਿਖੁ ਫਲੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਚਾਰਿ ਦਿਨ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਾਤਾ ਰਾਮ ॥: Listen, O black deer (i.e., the depraved, wandering mind)! Why are you so attached to the orchard (i.e., objects of the enchanting world)? The fruit (of this orchard) is poisonous, it taste sweet for only a few days, and then it turns painful (it brings spiritual death). (sggs 438).
  • ਸਚੁ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਚੇਤਿ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਰਹਿ ਹਰਣਾ ਕਾਲਿਆ ॥੧॥: Nanak says. O black deer – O mind! Understand the True (Naam: Wisdom, Virtues…), otherwise you will end up spiritually dead. ||1|| (sggs 439).

As indicated in the Gurbani, our mind has been accumulating Malla (Bikh, Sootak; inner filth, inner dirt, inner scum, inner pollution, inner impurity, falsehood, duality or Doojaa Bhaav, Bikaar…) over and over again. Covered with the countless layers of this Malla, our mind has become “pitch black”, and as a result, it is unable to see its own Illumined State (Mool) or Divine Nature (Jot Saroop).

  • ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹ ॥: The scum (i.e., impurity) of so many births is attached to this mind and it has become pitch black (sggs 651).
  • ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਕਾਜਲ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਦੇਹ ਸੁਆਹਿ ॥: The whole world is (like) a store-house of lamp-black; (whosoever becomes attached to it, his) body and mind are blackened with it. (sggs 64).

As a result, the Gurbani says that the Lamp (of Wisdom or Giaan) within has become filthy.

  • ਮਾਧੋ ਅਬਿਦਿਆ ਹਿਤ ਕੀਨ ॥ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਦੀਪ ਮਲੀਨ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Maadho (i.e, Universal Energy)! (Man) is in love with ignorance. (As a result, his) Lamp of discerning intellect (ਪਰਖ ਵਾਲਾ ਦੀਵਾ – intellect that can discriminate between right and wrong…)  has become dirty (i.e., dim or hazy). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 486).

The mind’s “filth” that has made it “pitch dark” include doubts, Haumai, Maya, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, worldly attachment, pride, and their countless variations such as enviousness, stubborn mindedness, hatred, animosity, fear, selfishness, falsehood, quarrel, slandering, cruelty, wickedness, prejudices, Jaat Paat, cheating, hypocrisy, lying, deceptiveness, etc.).

With a fantastic example of deer’s attachment to hunter’s bell which becomes the cause of deer’s death, the Gurbani Guides the Mankind:

  • ਕਾਮ ਹੇਤਿ ਕੁੰਚਰੁ ਲੈ ਫਾਂਕਿਓ ਓਹੁ ਪਰ ਵਸਿ ਭਇਓ ਬਿਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਦ ਹੇਤਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਡਾਰਿਓ ਕੁਰੰਕਾ ਉਸ ਹੀ ਹੇਤ ਬਿਦਾਰਾ ॥੨॥ ਦੇਖਿ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਲੋਭਿ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਉ ਲਪਟਾਨਾ ॥ ਅਤਿ ਰਚਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਨੋ ਅਪੁਨਾ ਉਨਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਸਰਾਪਰ ਜਾਨਾ ॥੩॥: Lured by sexual desire, the elephant is trapped; the poor beast falls into the power of another. Lured by the sound of the hunter’s bell, the deer offers its head; because of this enticement, it is killed. ||2|| Gazing upon his family, the mortal is enticed by greed; he clings in attachment to Maya. Totally engrossed in worldly things, he considers them to be his own; but in the end, he will surely have to leave them behind ||3|| (sggs 671).

On account of its “filth”, a conditioned mind searches for “everything” outside. Although the Gurbani repeatedly reminds the mind that everything is within.

To demonstrate this truth, the Gurbani gives us an another wonderful example of deer who is known for searching for musk (Kastooree) in the bushes. In reality, the musk is stored within the deer’s own body, but in illusioned, he keeps searching it outside.

Similarly, the SGGS tells us that even though the Amrit (Naam: Giaan, Wisdom…) dwells within our body, we keep searching it in the gross objects of the outer world!

  • ਵਿਣੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਜਿ ਹੋਰ ਥੈ ਧਨੁ ਖੋਜਦੇ ਸੇ ਮੂੜ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥ ਸੇ ਉਝੜਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭਵਾਈਅਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਝਾੜ ਮਿਰਗੁ ਭਾਲੇ ॥੧੫॥: Those who search for this Treasure (of the Naam) outside of the body, in other places, are foolish and inharmonious. They wander around in the wilderness of doubt, like the deer who (not knowing that the musk is ever present in his own body) searches for the musk in the bushes ||15|| (sggs 309).
  • ਘਰ ਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਭਰਪੂਰੁ ਹੈ ਮਨਮੁਖਾ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਕਸਤੂਰੀ ਮਿਰਗੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਭ੍ਰਮਦਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ॥ : The Amrit of Naam is overflowing within every human being, but the Manmukh (Unenlightened being) does not realize it. Just as a deer does not recognize its own musk-scent (which is located within its own body), and wanders around deluded to find it outside. (sggs 644).

The Gurbani uses an another superb example of deer’s illusion or delusion (“ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ”, mirage,) to Awaken the Wisdom in the Mankind.

This mirage analogy appears time and again in the Gurbani urging us not to get attached and run after this ‘mirage’ like world appearance, which appears to be real to a deluded mind.

  • ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਜਿਉ ਜਗ ਰਚਨਾ ਯਹ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥: Reflect in your mind and see for yourself that this world play is like the thirst of the deer – mistaken for water, who runs towards the mirage in the desert (humans tempted by the world-play also run after it). (sggs 536).
  • ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਗੰਧਰਬ ਨਗਰੰ ਦ੍ਰੁਮ ਛਾਯਾ ਰਚਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿਹ ॥: Misled by the wicked intellect, (mortal) assumes an illusory image of a city, mirage, and the transitory shade of a tree to be real (sggs 1356).
  • ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਜਿਉ ਝੂਠੋ ਇਹੁ ਜਗ ਦੇਖਿ ਤਾਸਿ ਉਠਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: This world is false like the deer’s delusion (mirage). (As a deer chases after mirage and dies chasing it), similarly, (the Maya stricken person) on beholding this world runs after it (and suffers – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ) ||1|| (sggs 219).

Last but not least, the Gurbani Teaches us how deer trained by hunters trap their own kind. Similarly, the crafty trained leaders (rulers, officials, ਹਾਕਮ) trap their own fellow human beings dishonestly (ਬੇਇਮਾਨੀ ਨਾਲ).

For example, consider how people get cheated and plundered by the so called learned and clever Pujaare sytems — self serving Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc.

  • ਹਰਣਾਂ ਬਾਜਾਂ ਤੈ ਸਿਕਦਾਰਾਂ ਏਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਫਾਂਧੀ ਲਗੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਫਹਾਇਨਿ ਅਗੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥ ਸੋ ਪੜਿਆ ਸੋ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬੀਨਾ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਕਮਾਣਾ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਪਹਿਲੋ ਦੇ ਜੜ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਤਾ ਉਪਰਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਛਾਂਉ ॥: Deer and falcons of hunters are TRAINED to trap their own species, the government officers who are called the LEARNED ones (also act like the trained deer and falcons of hunters). Because these government officers (who are meant to aid welfare of people), trap and exploit their fellow human beings; (indulged in corruption) these crafty government officers do not find place ahead  – they are disliked by people and rejected. He alone is learned,
  • Pandit and Wise who complies with Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) and guides people to do so. At first, a tree takes root underground only then it grows big enough to provide shade, likewise ONLY that learning / education can do good to fellow human beings which is rooted in Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) – ‘Sach Dharma. (sggs 1288).

How can this filth” – that has made the mind black be removed? According to the Gurbani, it can only be removed with Wisdom (Gurmukh Lifestyle). No cleverness or tricks will work!

  • ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥ ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥: Water cleanses my stained physical self (external body). Soap cleanses my stained garments. (Beyond the stained physical self or the garments) my intellect is stained by vices. The cleansing of which (i.e. intellect) is by imbuing in Naam (Wisdom / Virtues). (sggs 4).

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  1. Satkar jog gurmukh T. Singh ji
    First of all i bow to such digitally gurmukh web sites by visiting which i feel as if am having a darshan of a bhrahm-gyani and getting the divine knowledge (shabad-vichar, gurmat-vichar, atam-gyan, tat-gyan, gurbani-reflections ) from him.
    Our main aim of life (janam padarath ) is to attain that resonance frequency(anahad-nad, shabad-dhun,Naam) where frequency of black dear mind (mann di ichha/hukam/bhana) meets the frequency of chit (antaratma/akaal purakh di ichha/hukam/bhana) taan andar Gagan Damama apne aap hi vajega te asi vi ‘ik’ da hi roop ho jawange.
    I am extremely thankfull to from where ii get the link of which has made me speechless and quenched my thirst for searching the truth about gurbani.
    Charan charan gur ek painda jai chal satgur kot painda aage hoe let hai…

    Asli sikh bano te sikhi kamao because “SIKHI SIKHYA SHABAD-VICHAR”
    Gurbani di vichar(reflections on gurbani) karke tat- gyan lena hi asli sikhi hain te ohi alsi sikh/gurkumh te khalsa hai.
    Gurpreet Singh

  2. Thank You for commenting on this post and for your kind words!

    As our lives are interwoven (One Jot in all …) , we all are together on this journey, learning from each other.

    As a beginner student, I am learning along with you.

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