Gurbani’s Sooraa – Braveheart

Literally — in a worldly sense  —’Sooraa’ (ਸੂਰਾ) means a brave person (hero, mighty warrior, fearless fighter, ਸੂਰਮਾ, ਬਹਾਦਰ, ਬਲੀ, ਯੋਧਾ, ਮਹਾਬਲੀ…).

However, in material life, depending on one’s perspective, a person who appears to be a Sooraa to one may be a murderer to another!

Thus, the term ‘Sooraa’ could have different meanings in different contexts.

Some call themselves SOORAA based on their physical strength, blowing themselves up, killing innocent people, oppressing the destitute, terrorizing the weak, enslaving and ruling others, dying in the battle field, and so on.

Also, called Sooraa are those who are falsely pumped up and hyped up by the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree groups and the Pujaaree system in order to kill others and then get themselves killed in the process, all in the name of their religion and manufactured god!

None of the above is the Gurbani’s Sooraa!

  • ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਭੇੜਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਭਿੜਿ ਸੂਰ ॥: (God) is not won over by fighting and dying as a warrior in battle i.e., by becoming a martyr or Shaheed (sggs 1237).
  • ਸੂਰੇ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਨੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਪਚਿ ਜਾਵਹਿ ॥: They are not called heroes, who die of egotism, suffering in pain. The (egotist, ignorant…) blind ones do not realize their own selves (i.e., True Nature, Jot Saroop, etc.); in the love of duality, they rot. (sggs 1089).

Nonetheless, The ‘Sooraa’ of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is a spiritual warrior or Hero who is brave enough to fearlessly fight or struggle with his own depraved mind, corrupted with Bikaar (i.e., lust, anger, greed…). Eradicating Haume (egotism) from within, he conquers his mind in the process.

  • ਜਿਨਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਮਾਰੇ ਪੰਚ ਸੂਰਬੀਰ ਐਸੋ ਕਉਨੁ ਬਲੀ ਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਪੰਚ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰਿ ਗੁਦਾਰੇ ਸੋ ਪੂਰਾ ਇਹ ਕਲੀ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Who has seized and conquered the five powerful fighters (i.e. Bikaar)? Is there anyone strong enough? He alone, who conquers and defeats the five demons (i.e., Bikaar), is perfect in this world. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 404).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸੂਰਾ ਵਰੀਆਮੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਦੁਸਟੁ ਅਹੰਕਰਣੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ॥: O Nanak! He is a brave warrior, who kills (conquers, annihilates…) his vicious ego from within (sggs 86).

Stilling of the false ego-sense is also considered becoming living dead or living liberated (Jeevan Mukt) — as if one has died to the world while still alive. Such person becomes unaffected by the likes and dislikes (i.e., duality or two-ness).

  • ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥ ਇਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੈਰੁ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੨੦॥: If you desire to play this game of Divine Love with Me, then step onto My Way putting your head on palm. When you place your foot on this Way, give up your head (false ego-sense), do not be afraid or shrink ||20||. (sggs 1412).

The deluded or wandering mind is Maya, and Maya is the deluded or wandering mind.

Simply put: that which dwells on duality and thus has separated from its True Nature (Mool, Unconditioned Consciousness, Jot Saroop, Truth, etc.) is mind. Also called veil, wall or curtain, it is that mountain of smoke which stands between an individual (Jeeva) and his Essential Nature (i.e., Jot Saroop). The Gurbani’s ‘Sooraa’ brings this mighty wall of the duality-ridden mind down.

  • ਜੋ ਇਸੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: One who kills this (i.e., duality) is a Sooraa — Spiritual Hero (sggs 238).
  • ਇਕਿ ਮਨੂਆ ਮਾਰਿ ਮਨੈ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝਹਿ ॥: Conquering the mind (i.e. Bikaar), some continue struggling with the mind. (sggs 1046).

In this context, the word ‘Loojhahi‘ is very significant in the foregoing verse. It simply means to struggle, control, subdue, subjugate, gain mastery over, conquer, wrestle or annihilate. To put it otherwise, the Gurbani urges us to eradicate this dysfunction.

  • ਜਾ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਗੋ ਇਸੁ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਸੋ ਕਹੀਅਤ ਹੈ ਸੂਰਾ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਜਿਣੈ ਸਗਲ ਵਸਿ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ॥੧॥: In this world, he who is imbued with God’s love (Widom / Virtues) is called brave (Sooraa‘, spiritual hero etc.). The one whose Satguru (Wisdom-ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) is perfect, conquers his mind and (his mind) overpowers all (bodily senses). ||1|| (sggs 679).

Mere knowing of the mind’s enemies (Bikaar, etc.) is not enough. Because, to know them is one thing, however, to overpower them is another. Then, how can they be overpowered?

By becoming a Gurmukh, says the Gurbani. It is the Gurmukh who can continuously keep his mind in check. Like the snake-charmer, he never lets the snake of his mind act loosely or independently.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੁਝੈ ॥੪੬॥: O Nanak, (the one who) becomes the Gurmukh, struggles with own mind (ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਲ ਟਾਕਰਾ…) ||46|| (sggs 1418).

As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, by practicing the Shabad with concentration, love, feelings, etc., one can become the Gurmukh.

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਚਉਪੜਿ ਖੇਲਣਾ ਝੂਠੇ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਹਾਰੈ ਸੋ ਜਿਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੫॥: Man is playing the game of false ego-sense (Haumai) with the dice of falsehood and self-conceit. The whole world loses (the human life); he alone wins, who reflects on the Gur-Shabad (Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom…). ||5|| (sggs 422).

It is the Shabad-Surti (Naam Consciousness, Untainted Awareness, the state of true Wisdom, Virtues…) that can roast and fry the ego-mind, reducing it to ashes! By removing delusions, it sends the mind back to its Spiritual Nature, which is its Original Home, within.

  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨੇ ਸੋ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: He alone is a spiritual hero, who believes in the Gur-Shabad (sggs 1023).
  • ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਹਾਬਲ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: Through the Shabad, one becomes brave spiritual hero (sggs 1060).
  • ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੂਰਾ ॥: Practice teaching of the Gurbani (Gurmati), become spiritual hero and emerge in the Shabad (sggs 1043).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੂਰਮੇ ਬਾਹਿਆ ਬਾਨੁ ਜੁ ਏਕੁ ॥ ਲਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਭੁਇ ਗਿਰਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਪਰਾ ਕਰੇਜੇ ਛੇਕੁ ॥੧੯੪॥: Kabir, the Soorma Satigur has shout an Arrow (of the Wisdom) at me. As soon as it struck (my mind), I fell to the ground (become humble, egoless…) and a hole was made in the Heart (i.e., my mind got pierced with the Wisdom). (sggs 1374).

Thus, to become a Spiritual Hero and fight with the sense-bent mind simply means NOT to let the mind become extroverted. To realize this goal, we are urged by the Gurbani to live rightly the Divine Values to ensure a noble pattern for our life (“ਕੁਲਵੰਤੁ”).

Second, by honest introspection, we are asked to detect our mind’s wrong tendencies and eliminate them through constant and deliberate self-effort.

Hence to become a brave Spiritual Hero is not a question of physical strength or outer appearance (i.e., religious paraphernalia, symbols, ਚਿਨ…) of a person, it’s a question of defeating the ego-mind (Haumai) and becoming the Gurmukh, here and now!

  • ਗਗਨ ਦਮਾਮਾ ਬਾਜਿਓ ਪਰਿਓ ਨੀਸਾਨੈ ਘਾਉ ॥ ਖੇਤੁ ਜੁ ਮਾਂਡਿਓ ਸੂਰਮਾ ਅਬ ਜੂਝਨ ਕੋ ਦਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਸੂਰਾ ਸੋ ਪਹਿਚਾਨੀਐ ਜੁ ਲਰੈ ਦੀਨ ਕੇ ਹੇਤ ॥ ਪੁਰਜਾ ਪੁਰਜਾ ਕਟਿ ਮਰੈ ਕਬਹੂ ਨ ਛਾਡੈ ਖੇਤੁ ॥੨॥੨॥: When the divine Wisdom Enlightened the mind like a battle-drum resounds in the sky, aim is taken and the target (mind) is struck. The brave warrior (mind) jumps into the battlefield of life to fight against vices or Bikaar. ||1|| He alone is known as a spiritual hero, who fights (with vices or Bikaar…) for the sake of Dharma (i.e. righteousness, Virtues…). He may be cut into pieces (harmed in every way), but never deserts the battlefield (of his life — never gives up fighting against his own vices or Bikaar, and never gives up fighting against social evils such as injustice etc.). ||2||2|| (sggs 1105).

Hence, before one steps on the Way of the Gurbani, the Gurbani asks to ‘first’ accept death (‘ਪਹਿਲਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਕਬੂਲਿ’) of the false-self.

  • ਪਹਿਲਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਕਬੂਲਿ ਜੀਵਣ ਕੀ ਛਡਿ ਆਸ ॥ ਹੋਹੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕੀ ਰੇਣੁਕਾ ਤਉ ਆਉ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥੧॥: (Message from God) O Mortal, first accept death (of your false ego-sense) and give up longing for worldly desires (selfishness etc.), become humble like the dust of the feet of all, only then come to Me. ||1|| (sggs 1102).

When all the senses of knowledge (Giaan-Indrae) become Wise or Virtuous with the  Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…), this is what happens:

  • ਗਗਨ ਨਗਰਿ ਇਕ ਬੂੰਦ ਨ ਬਰਖੈ ਨਾਦੁ ਕਹਾ ਜੁ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ਮਾਧੋ ਪਰਮ ਹੰਸੁ ਲੇ ਸਿਧਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਬਾ ਬੋਲਤੇ ਤੇ ਕਹਾ ਗਏ ਦੇਹੀ ਕੇ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਹਤੇ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੋ ਨਿਰਤੇ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਥਾ ਬਾਰਤਾ ਕਹਤੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: From the ‘Gagan Nagar‘ (i.e. mind, brain), not even a drop (of bad thought…) rains down. Where is the ‘Naad‘ (noise of vices or Bikaar — lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), which was contained in the mind? (This is all the kindness of) the Divine (Wisdom / Virtues) that has destroyed all Mayaic tumult of my mind. ||1|| Where have (vices or Bikaar) gone that were attached to the mind? They  (i.e. vices or Bikaar) used to dance in the mind (Mayaic dance), and always talked about body-consciousness or sense-gratification (where have they gone now?). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 480).
  • ਸਜਣ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਲਿ ਮੈ ਚਲਦਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ਚਲੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਥੈ ਲੇਖਾ ਮੰਗੀਐ ਤਿਥੈ ਖੜੇ ਦਿਸੰਨਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Virtues – ਗੁਣ) alone are my friends, who (always) travel along with me; and where the accounts are called for (i.e., wherever I’m in trouble, my Virtues) appear standing with me. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 729).

The Gurbani asserts that such brave (Sooraa) cannot be frightened by anyone!

  • ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥: Whosoever frightens none nor is afraid of (threats of) anyone; says Nanak, listen, O mind! Call that person a Giaanee (a Wise person, spiritually Enlightened). (sggs 1427).mind! Call that person a Giaanee (a Wise person). (sggs 1427).


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