Stubborn Mindedness – Getting Rid of

Stubbornness is rejected (Khandan) in the Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). A stubborn person is a person of blind-mind (a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree). So the Gurbani time and again urges us to destroy stubborn mindedness (ਮਨ ਹਠ), before it destroys our Divine Life (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ).

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਛੀਜੈ ॥: Whosoever acts stubborn-mindedly, his (spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ) is weakened. (sggs 1059).

Hence, aptly, the Gurbani wants us to get rid of stubborn-mindedness.

However, it’s not so easy! Because, first of all, from the very childhood we are systematically led into stubbornly believing in anti-Gurmat traditions or practices and useless rituals (Karamkaand).

From the childhood we have been listening to the Gurbani’s meanings or interpretation from the Mayadhaarees-Mamukh-Saakat (duplicate, stubborn minded, crafty or illiterate paid clergy — those devoid of Gur-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, Gurmat or the Wisdom of the SGGS…). Consequently, the majority of us (99.9 percent category) have no clue as to what the real or true Sikhi or Teaching of the Gurbani is.

Maya is stubborn and persistent; so is Mayadhaarees-Mamukh-Saakat who persistently lives a life of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.).

Prisoned in the fortress of ignorance, deceptive Maya has shut its stubborn doors on us; consequently — in the darkness of ignorance — we cannot see the Light (of Wisdom). Since our stubborn mindedness does not allow us to plant seeds of Wisdom (Gur-Giaan) here and NOW; we will have nothing to show for the future.

Caught in the love of duality (division, two-ness, Doojaa-Bhaav), thus, we have forgotten the treasure of the Naam-consciousness (Gur-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, Wisdom…). Instead, we attach our worldly consciousness to the foul-smelling pile of ‘filth’, which is transitory, like the fading color of the safflower. In stubbornness, our minds wander in ten direction; continually spinning around, like the potter’s wheel.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਜੋ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਾਵੈ ਬਗੁਲ ਜਿਉ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਲਾਵੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੇ ਧਾਰੀ ॥: One who acts (performs religious acts, etc.) through stubbornness is of no account at all (his actions are of no avail); (because) like a crane, he pretends to meditate, but he is still stuck in Maya (i.e., he is Mayadhaaree ) (sggs 687).

This brings us to the following question: How can the stubborn-mindedness (conditioned consciousness, ignorance, foolishness…) be annihilated? As indicated in the Gurbani, we can shun stubborn-mindedness by replacing it with Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਰਿ ਲਘਾਇ ॥ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਵੇਦਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: (Hari-Naam that) crosses Jeev over the (world-ocean) is realized through the Gur-Shabad. Go and ask (religious books like) Vedas, (they also say the same thing that) no one has found (‘Hari’) through stubborn-mindedness (one can understand ‘Hari’ only through the Gur-Shabad). (sggs 86).
  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਤਰਫ ਨ ਜਿਪਈ ਜੇ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਘਾਲੇ ॥ ਤਰਫ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਤ ਭਾਉ ਦੇ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ॥੪॥: Stubborn-mindedness will not win (Rabb) to (your) side, no matter how much it is tried. O Jan Nanak! (Rabb) is won over to (your) side, by offering your true motives and Shabad-Vichaar. ||4|| (sggs 787).

Just as a blind cannot see a garden of beautiful flowers, just as a drunkard cannot be instructed in the subtleties of spirituality, just as hair cannot grow on a tortoise’s shell, just as a dead cannot get up and run, just as a lotus cannot grow on a rock, and just as there is no oil in the grains of sand, similarly, the stubborn mindedness is not conducive for Bhagti or Shabad-Vichaar.

The Gurbani challenges us to constantly struggle with the mind, and become the Gurmukh.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਮਤੀ ਬੂਡੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਚੁ ਸੁ ਤਾਰਿ ॥੧॥: Through the intellect of stubborn-mindedness, (one) is drowned (in this world-ocean); one who becomes the Gurmukh is saved by the Truth. ||1||. (sggs 20).

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