Stubborn Mindedness – a Mental Disease

According to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), STUBBORN MIDEDNESS — Mann Hath (ਮਨ ਹਠ) — is a Bikaar (i.e., ਅਵਗੁਣ: demerit, flaw, defect, fault, blemish etc.).

Fittingly, the Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom of the SGGS strongly rejects stubborn mindedness — a mental illness or psychological disorder.

  • ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਬਪੁੜੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਗਵਾਰ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਹੋਹਿ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥: The wretched fools do not know Hukam; they wander around making mistakes. They perform deeds (Karamkaand etc.) stubborn mindedly, (but stuck in Bikaar) are always ruined (disgraced, ਖਜਲ ਖਵਾਰ etc.). (sggs 66).
  • ਅਨਿਕ ਭੇਖ ਅਰੁ ਙਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਮਿਲਿਅਉ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: No one can realize (divine Union) by all sorts of religious robes, religious-debates (ਧਰਮ-ਚਰਚਾ) and meditation with stubborn mindedly. (sggs 251).
  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਸਭ ਥਕੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਭੇਖ ਕਰਿ ਭਰਮਦੇ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥: No human being has realized (divine Union) by the stubbornness of the mind, (consequently) all (such stubborn beings, finally) get tired of acting (stubborn mindedly). (sggs 593).

Stubborn mindedness is essentially pigheadedness! A pigheaded person finds strength in stubborn mindedness. The Gurbani also calls such person foolish, hypocrite (Pakhand), fanatic, spiritually weak, ignorant and so on.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਛੀਜੈ ॥ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਭੇਖ ਕਰੇ ਨਹੀ ਭੀਜੈ ॥: Whosoever acts stubborn-mindedly, his (spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) is weakened. (Such person) wears a lot of religious attire, but (by doing so his mind) does not get soaked in the divine love. (sggs 1059).

In short, a weak, foolish or ignorant mind is a small, close, narrow, unreceptive, unwise, inflated with false ego-sense (Haumai) etc.

Such foolish mind is always restless and obstinating. A stubborn-minded person lets his (or her) stubbornness dictate his daily life and ultimately gets himself ruined, as well as hurts others!

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਵਿਗੋਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Forgetting Hukam: System,-Rule-Law of Nature, ਨਿਯਮ…) man acts in stubborn mindedness and is ultimately ruined. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 356).
  • ਇਕਿ ਹਠੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਨ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਏ ॥: Many people die in stubbornness. But such a person (who dies in stubbornness) does not appreciate (human life). (sggs 496).

A stubborn person does not use his discerning intellect (or Bibeek-Budhi). Instead, he uses his inflated false ego-sense (Haumai), foolishness, stupidity, ignorance, narrow-mindedness, fanaticism etc.

  • ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ਸਿਉ ਮਸਲਤਿ ਛੋਡੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਇਹੁ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਹੋਡੀ ॥: I have abandoned my association with the false ego-sense. The Guru has told me that this (egotism) is foolish and stubborn (i.e. it makes a person foolish and stubborn). (sggs 1347).

Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree do not understand or live the Gur-Shabad (Upadesh, Wisdom).

  • ਸੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਜੋ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਪਛਾਨਹਿ ॥: They alone are Manmukhs who do not Realize the Shabad (sggs 1054).
  • ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਅਤਿ ਅੰਨਾ ਬੋਲਾ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਸੁਣਈ ਬਹੁ ਰੋਲ ਘਚੋਲਾ ॥: One who is attached to Maya is (spiritually) very much blind and deaf (to the Gur-Shabad…). (In such conditioned state), he is unable to listen (i.e., don’t pay attention…) to the Shabad; (but, in love or hunger of Maya) he makes much uproar and tumult (ਰੌਲਾ-ਗੌਲਾ, noise, chatter, etc.).
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਕਉਰਾ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮੀਠੀ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ ਨੈਨਹੁ ਡੀਠੀ ॥ ਕੂੜਿ ਕਪਟਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਰੀਝਾਨਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨਤ ਜਨੁ ਬਿਛੂਅ ਡਸਾਨਾ ॥੨॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਝੂਰੈ ॥ …: Amrit (i.e., Divine Naam) seems bitter, and poison sweet. Such is the condition of Saakat (one separated from Truth), which I have seen with my own eyes. He is fond of falsehood, fraud and egotism. If he (i.e., Saakat — separated from Truth) hears Divine Naam (i.e., Divine Knowledge, Giaan…), he feels like he has been stung by a scorpion ||2||. He continually yearns for Maya… (sggs 892).

Stubborn mindedness, thus, is the lack of Wisdom, Soojh Boojh or understanding, clarity, attention, alertness, earnestness etc. It is the result of lack of awareness.

Furthermore, Stubborn mindedness is synonymous to the state of self-will, selfishness, falsehood, foolishness, unbelief, affliction, hardness of Heart, impenitence, heinousness, fanaticism, crookedness, evil-mindedness, mental-weakness, immaturity, false-ego-sense of the raw or undisciplined mind.

In short, a stubborn person may be aware of thinking, feeling and acting but is unaware of his True Nature (Jot Saroop).

Hence, the meaning and outcome of stubborn mindedness is totally opposite of  Sahaj Avasthaa or Sahaj Maarag of the Gurbani (Sahaj => Natural State of Being, Giaan-Avasthaa or the state of Wisdom…).

  • ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਅੰਧਾ ਬਹੁ ਕਰਮ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਕਾ ਦੋਰਾਹਾ ਹੇ ॥੯॥: The ignorant (of spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਤੋਂ) and blind (in love of Maya – ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਵਿਚ) cling to all sorts of rituals. They stubborn-mindedly perform these rituals, and are consigned to repeated suffering for the sake of poison (Maya), they act in greed and possessiveness; and duality of evil-mindedness. ||9|| (sggs 1055).
  • ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).
  • ਮਨਿ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਈਆ ਸਹਜਿ ਨ ਲਗੋ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਸਬਦੈ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ॥: O mind! You have no conviction (of Truth, etc.) and you have not embraced love (for the Truth) with Sahaj (Natural State of Being, Wisdom or Giaan-Avasthaa etc.). You do not enjoy the sublime taste of the Shabad – what (is the use of) singing Praises stubborn-mindedly? (sggs 549).

Hence, instead of being attached to the STUBBORN MINDEDNESS, the Gurbani asks the mind to abide in the Shabad (Naam-Amrit, Upadesh, Wisdom…) and thus unburden itself by removing this foolish and devastating stubbornness.

  • ਬਿਨਸਿਓ ਢੀਠਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਵੂਠਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਲਗੋ ਗੁਰ ਮੀਠਾ ॥: With Amrit (-Naam) abiding in my mind, stubbornness (of my mind) is gone, the Guru‘s Shabad seems dear to me. (sggs 671).
  • ਚੂਕਾ ਭਾਰਾ ਕਰਮ ਕਾ ਹੋਏ ਨਿਹਕਰਮਾ ॥ ਸਾਗਰ ਤੇ ਕੰਢੈ ਚੜੇ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਨੇ ਧਰਮਾ ॥੩॥: The load of (consequences of my evil or negative) deeds is ended, and (I am now) free from the influence of (evil or negative) deeds. The Guru (Giaan or Wisdom) has caused (me) to live by Dharma; and (I have) crossed the world-ocean (i.e. Bhav Saagar) and reached the other shore (i.e. have become living liberated…). ||3|| (sggs 1002).