To hammer Wisdom (Giaan) into our deluded heads., the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) has used examples of days, months, nights, seasons, jungles, mountains, caves, rivers, ocean, trees, planets, stars, sky, animals, birds, insects or worms etc.
It is not that the Gurbani is written for months, seasons, jungles, mountains, caves, rivers, ocean, trees, planets, stars, sky, deer, elephant, crow, dog, birds, worms etc. NO, Bani is not written for them. They are just used as examples to make human mind stop living this human life like these animals, worms, birds etc. In other words, these examples have been given to explain the human mind which is inflicted with five terrible defects (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride; and their countless variations) – what hope is there for humans?
In addition to many animals, the crazy and crooked nature of the human mind is also compared in the Gurbani with the behavior of many birds, insects or worms, crow, parrot, vulture, moth, bumble bee, etc. For example, consider the following Shabads:
- ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕਉ ਦੀਨਾ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਰੋਗਿ ਮੈਗਲੁ ਬਸਿ ਲੀਨਾ ॥ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਰੋਗਿ ਪਚਿ ਮੁਏ ਪਤੰਗਾ ॥ ਨਾਦ ਰੋਗਿ ਖਪਿ ਗਏ ਕੁਰੰਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਸੋ ਰੋਗੀ ॥ ਰੋਗ ਰਹਿਤ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜੋਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਰੋਗਿ ਮੀਨੁ ਗ੍ਰਸਿਆਨੋ ॥ ਬਾਸਨ ਰੋਗਿ ਭਵਰੁ ਬਿਨਸਾਨੋ ॥ ਹੇਤ ਰੋਗ ਕਾ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਰੋਗ ਮਹਿ ਬਧੇ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥੨॥ : Mankind is afflicted with the (mental) disease of false ego-sense (Haumai). The disease of Kaam (lust…) overwhelms the elephant. The moth is consumed by the sight of a light or flame. The deer is lured to its death due to his affliction of the sound of the bell, ||1|| Whosoever is seen (in this world) is afflicted with disease. Only my Satguru (Shabad, ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ), the true Yogi, is free of afflictions. ||1||Pause|| The fish gets caught (in the hook) due to its tongue’s affliction of tasting. The bumble bee perishes due to its affliction of smelling flowers. The entire world is caught in the malady of attachment. and bound in the three modes of Maya, their vices or Bikaar keep multiplying. ||2||(sggs 1140).
- ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਮੀਨ ਭ੍ਰਿੰਗ ਪਤੰਗ ਕੁੰਚਰ ਏਕ ਦੋਖ ਬਿਨਾਸ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਦੋਖ ਅਸਾਧ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਕੇਤਕ ਆਸ ॥੧॥: The deer, the fish, the bumble bee, the moth and the elephant are destroyed, each for a single defect [ardent desire to hear sound (deer); fish: desire of tongue or taste (fish); desire for smell (bumble bee); desire for seeing (moth); desire of lust (elephant)]. So the (mortal) who is filled with the five incurable defects (i.e., lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride) – what hope is there for him? ||1|| (sggs 468).
In other words, it’s the restless and rambling ego-mind that is born and dies every moment while transacting with the outside world —sometimes with dominant dog mentality; sometimes with dominant pig mentality; sometimes with dominant donkey mentality; sometimes with dominant crow mentality; sometimes with dominant snake mentality; sometimes with dominant elephant mentality; sometimes with dominant deer mentality; sometimes with dominant camel mentality; sometimes with dominant monkey mentality; sometimes with dominant frog mentality; and so on. The Gurbani makes it very clear:
- ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: That mortal who lacks the Gur-mantra (Guru’s counsel, advice, Wisdom, Upadesh, ਸਲਾਹ), cursed and fallen (depraved, polluted…) is his life. That wicked person is a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, a snake (in this very life, here and now, not after death). ||33|| (1356).
The projection of this false ego-sense are subtle diseases like lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride, including their numerous variations such as jealousy, stubborn mindedness, enviousness, doubts, animosity, duality, hatred, fear, quarrel, slandering others, selfishness, lower quality thoughts, aggressiveness, cruelty, wickedness, prejudices, madness of Jaap Paat, cheating, hypocrisy, lie, deceptiveness, and so on. These mental ailments shape our thoughts and resulting actions, which, in turn, shape our life or fate. Like jackal, we thus get caught in the self-created web of our own mental ailments.
An example of silkworm may help understand it better. A silkworm spins a silk cocoon around itself. Upon completion of the cocoon, the initial step in manufacture of the silk is to kill the insect inside the cocoon. This is done by throwing the silkworm (and its cocoon that it has spun around itself) into boiling water or an hot oven. Thus, a silkworm shapes its own fate and destiny by weaving silk around itself.
- ਤੁਮ ਮਖਤੂਲ ਸੁਪੇਦ ਸਪੀਅਲ ਹਮ ਬਪੁਰੇ ਜਸ ਕੀਰਾ ॥ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੈਸੇ ਮਧੁਪ ਮਖੀਰਾ ॥੨॥: (O Maadho – Rabb!) You are (beautiful like) the white and yellow threads of silk, and I am like a poor (silk) worm (who dies after separating from the silk-cocoon it spins around itself). O Maadho! (May I) remain attached to your True Company (Sat-Sangat, Sadh-Sangat…), like honey bees (remain perched) in a hive of honey. ||2|| (sggs 486).
- ਭਗਤ ਜਨਾ ਕਾ ਲੂਗਰਾ ਓਢਿ ਨਗਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਸਿਰਪਾਉ ਰੇਸਮੀ ਪਹਿਰਤ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਈ ॥੩॥: (O Brother! Even if you) get an old ragged blanket form a Bhagat (Gurmukh, Daas, Jan…), wearing that you don’t have to worry about getting naked or losing honor. (However, Even if you) get silky Siropa from a Saakat (one separated from his Mool), by wearing that honor is lost. ||3|| (sggs 811).
Similarly, we also weave the cocoon of Haumai Maya (false ego-sense) around ourselves. By doing so, we create all sorts of troubles and suffering (Dukh) for ourselves. Since faults of false ego-sense (Haumai) are vices or Bikaar, any deed done in Haumai only increases our Bikaar (also spelt ‘Vikaar‘) — lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride; and their countless variations!
- ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਹਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ : Bhagti cannot be performed in duality (in love with worldly temptations etc.). Haumai Maya is a toxic poison, it ruins one’s spiritual life. (sggs 161).
- ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਤੀਰਥ ਕੀਏ ਬਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਧੇ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਰਕੁ ਸੁਰਗੁ ਦੁਇ ਭੁੰਚਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥੨॥: rituals such as fire worship, sacrificial feasts, and pilgrimage performed in false ego-sense increases Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride). This the basis for repeatedly experiencing the Hell and Heaven in life here and now (at the level of the mind). (sggs 214).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਇਆ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਤਜੈ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੩॥: As a Gurmukh (a Mind Enlightened by the Shabad), one embellishes his mind; and removes Haumai (false ego-sense) and Vikaar from within (sggs 665).
In short, depending upon our mindset (Soch), we are what we think!
- ਜੇਹਾ ਵੇਖਹਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਵੇਖੁ ॥੧॥: As we see, similar becomes our mental form. (sggs 466).
- ਜਾ ਕੈ ਜੀਅ ਜੈਸੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾਨੈਗਾ ਸੋਈ ॥੪੫॥: Says Kabeer! According to the intellect (Budhi, ਅਕਲ…) within the mind, so does one come to understand. ||45|| (sggs 343).
- ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੁਭਾਉ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੈ ॥: Every one acts according to his mind’s nature (habit, disposition, inclination…). (sggs 1167).