Stubborn Mindedness – Examples

As indicated in the Gurbani, some examples of stubborn mindedness(ਮਨ ਹਠ) are as follows:

Stubbornly – Bathing in cold water early morning, sitting in wilderness to perform penance, making pilgrimages, bathing at the so called sacred ponds (Srovars or Sar), mechanical reading of scriptures without understanding them, applying the so called ceremonial religious garbs and symbols to the perishable body, worshipping images and embodied beings (But-Prastee and Aadam-Prastee), fasting, making vows, standing naked in the water, enduring hunger and poverty, sitting cross-legged, stubbornly practicing ritualistic postures and austerities, standing on their heads, making offerings and sacred feasts, intense meditations with the body upside-down, performing external worship services, making donations to charity in ignorance, performing fire sacrifices, clean shaving the head or keeping long hair, performing fire sacrifices, carrying ceremonial walking sticks, digging wells and pools, asceticism, observing celibacy, abiding in detachment as Udaasees, being naked renunciates, applying patch on the mouth, wearing patched coats, practicing occult powers, remaining always awake (no sleep), bathing at holy places of pilgrimage, practicing untouchability, remaining secluded, thinking wise in one’s own mind, plucking the hair out of heads, afraid of cleanliness and drink in filthy water and beg endlessly and eat the garbage which others have thrown away, spreading manure and suck in rotting smells, smearing bodies with ashes, renouncing or asserting faith in family, having begging bowls hanging from waists and keeping fly-brushes in hands, practicing austere meditation and live on roots and fruits, living at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, wandering all across the earth, practicing celibacy, wear religious robes for show, singing melodies and hymns without true love, practicing rigid meditation, practicing self-discipline, speaking of liberation like yogis, and so on. The Gurbani thunders forth the declaration that Reality cannot be won over with such stubborn mindedness.

  • ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਕਰਿ ਉਪਾਵ ਥਕੇ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸਹਸ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਕਰਿ ਰਹੇ ਮਨਿ ਕੋਰੈ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਕੂੜਿ ਕਪਟਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਜੋ ਬੀਜੈ ਖਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥੩॥: Mannhathi kinai na paaiaa kari upaav thake sabh koi ..: No one has found God by (rituals, etc. done through) stubborn mindedness. Aall grow weary of (such empty) efforts. (Those who) try thousands of (such) clever mental tricks (in stubbornness) the raw and undisciplined mind does not absorb the Color of the Lord’s Love (Name, etc.). By falsehood and deception, none have found Him. Whatever one plants, so he eats ||3|| (sggs 39-40).
  • ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਭਰਮਦੇ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨਿਓ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥: Lakh chaouraasee bharamade mann hathi aavai jaai. Gur kaa sabad na cheenio phiri phiri joonee paai ||2||: (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਮੋਹ ਵਿਚ ਬੱਝੇ ਹੋਏ ਜੀਵ) in stubborn-mindedness, people wander through 8.4 million incarnations. They do not realize (recognize, understand, etc.) the Gur-Shabad; they are reincarnated over and over again ||2|| (sggs 162).

At the time of Baabaa Nanak’s Journey on this earth, all types of Mann-Hatha (stubborn mindedness) were prevalent in the society. He repudiated all of them and declared that one cannot realize God by such foolishness. He gave us the Shabad to understand the folly of stubborn mindedness. But, surprisingly, rituals based on Mann-Hatha still are practiced by the Pujaaree group (priest-class) at the religious places, as well as in personal life by the majority of us on a daily basis! Further, interestingly enough, in spite of repudiation (Khandan) by the Gurbani, the term “stubborn mindedness” has made its way into the Sikh Ardaas (holy prayer) as well! For example, the portion of the Ardaas that was later composed and added by the Pujaaree group reads: “…Hatheeaan Japeeaan Tapeeaan jinaa…”; here the use of word “Hatheeaan” (meaning one with stubborn mindedness) appears to be in direct contradiction with the Gurmat: Shabad-Giaan (NOTE: This is not a criticism of anything or any entity, but instead, a specific point intended to foster a true spiritual understanding of the Gur-Shabad)!

Since all types of Mann-Hatha are rejected by the Gurbani, it is obvious that either many of us don’t believe in the Gur-Shabad or don’t understand it! Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਉ ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਅੰਨੁ ਨ ਖਾਹਿ ਮੂਰਖ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹੋਈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਧੀਜਈ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਵਧਹਿ ਕੈ ਲੋਅ ਖਪਿ ਮਰੀਜਈ ॥ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘੀਜਈ ॥੧੭॥: Pourree || Sachaa alakh abheou hathi n pateejaee …: Pourree. The True, Unseen, Mysterious (God) is not won over by stubbornness. Some sing according to traditional Raag, but the Lord is not pleased by these Raag. Some dance and dance in perfect beat, but this is not the way of worship (either). Some refuse to eat; (tell me) what can be done with these fools? (i.e., how can it be explained to them that the Truth is not realized like this, etc.). By such acts, their thirst (desires) greatly increase; (consequently) nothing (done in stubbornness) can bring them satisfaction. Somany are tied down by rituals; they hassle themselves to death. In this world, the true profit (of Naam) comes by drinking in the Amrit Naam, Name of the Lord. By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) attains (the Bliss of) Bhagti (devotion) of the Lord ||17|| (sggs 1285).
  • ਮੁਹਿ ਚਲੈ ਸੁ ਅਗੈ ਮਾਰੀਐ ॥੧੨॥: Muhi challai su aggai maareeai ||12||: One who stubbornly follows his own mind will suffer ahead ||12|| (sggs 470).

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