However, living consistently everyday by internalizing the Enlightening spiritual Message of the God-connecting Shabad (SGGS) we can also unload the garbage mind, declutter it, or even avoid it from being overloaded in the first place!
- ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਇਹ ਜੁ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸਿਹਰੁ ਮੇਲਾ ਦਸਤਗੀਰੀ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O mortal, search your heart/mind everyday, then you would not wander around perplexed (confused, worried, distressed, anxiety-ridden etc.). This world is like a magic show; there nothing to be gained in it (through being perplexed etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 727).
- ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ : O brother, someone should search own mind (try to explore his/her own mind). (sggs 330).
That said, in order to enjoy human life, the spiritual Message embedded in the SGGS teaches necessity of consistently unburdening / unloading the mind of mental garbage. This requires sincerity and willingness to take the Message contained in the Shabad and then apply it to daily life.
- ਰੇ ਮਨ ਮੈ ਤਉ ਛਿਨ ਛਿਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਾ ॥ : O mind! I make you understand every moment. (sggs 340).
That said, as science makes human life easier and comfortable (ਸੌਖੀ), similarly the spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani in SGGS helps us becoming good human beings making life worth living Blissfully (Anand), Joyfully, peacefully, Happily, and so on.
- ਹਉਮੈ ਮੋਹ ਭਰਮ ਭੈ ਭਾਰ ॥ : Egotism, attachment, doubt and fear are loads. (sggs 292).
- ਹਉਮੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਲਦਿਆ ਅਜਗਰ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ : Haumai or false ego-sense is poison (that brings death to divine life of wisdom and Virtues), (man’s) mind remains lured by this (poison of Haumai), and remains loaded by this heavy dragon (of Haumai). (sggs 1260).
- ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਰਮ ਰਤ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਭਾਰੁ ਅਫਾਰ ॥ : Acting in egotism, people carry the unbearable load (252).
- ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਅਤਿ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ : Attachment to Maya is ignorance; it is terrible and very heavy load (sggs 509).
The faults of this self-centered, ‘chronic’ mental illness of false ego-sense (Haumai) are numerous, of which the most talked about are the ‘five’ — lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride. In addition, these ‘five’ have numerous variations such as stubborn mindedness, jealousy, doubts (Bharam), falsehood, corruption, slandering, crafty cleverness, and so on.
- ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੁਚੁ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਉਠਾਵਹਿ ਭਾਰੋ ॥ : You practice greed, avarice and great falsehood (i.e. all Bikaar), and you carry such a heavy burden (sggs 154).
- ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਬਿਖੁ ਬਜਰੁ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ : The burden of lust, anger and corruption (i.e. all evil passions) is unbearable (sggs 1187).
- ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਗਾਰਬਿ ਅਟਿਆ ਗਾਰਬਿ ਲਦਿਆ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ : O mind! (Now) you are covered with pride, loaded with pride, you will depart (from the world), (sggs 441).
- ਬਹੁਤੁ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਆਗਲ ਭਾਰਾ ॥ : Through clever tricks (performed in the love of Maya), the weight (of Bikaar) is only piled on more and more (sggs 178).
- ਅਣਹੋਦਾ ਭਾਰੁ ਨਿੰਦਕਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਧਰਾ ॥੩॥ : The slanderer always carries on his head (i.e. the mind) the burden (of Bikaar) that was not there before. ||3|| (sggs 1145).
The resulting stress, anxiety, worry, and overthinking going around and around and around in head are what is called ‘mental load’. While one can’t completely do away with them, what we can do is dealing effectively with the triggers to ensure we create a life full of bliss (Anand). Enticed by wants and driven by fear and greed etc., we relentlessly keep on gathering all sort of stuff, landing up with an excess of burden, thus overloading our mind.
- ਮਨਮੁਖ ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਵਿਗੂਤੇ ਲੋਭ ਲਹਰਿ ਨਾਵ ਭਾਰਿ ਬੁਡਈਆ ॥ : The hypocritical Manmukhs (followers of their perplexed mind) are ruined by doubt; their heavily loaded boat (of life – loaded with Bikaar…) sinks in the waves of greed (sggs 834).
- ਗੁਣ ਛੋਡਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਲਦਿਆ ਅਵਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਵਣਜਾਰੋ ॥੩॥ : Forsaking Virtues, (the wicked person) has loaded (himself) with the poison of demerits; he keeps trading with demerits (in his entire life in this world). ||3|| (sggs 580).
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਕਿ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਪੜਹਿ ਉਠਾਵਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ : O Pandit! Reflect on this mind (of yours). (Instead of reflecting on your mind) whatever you read is just carrying the load (of egotism on your mind). (sggs 1261).
Mental traps to catch ignorant or foolish human minds include, but not limited to, religious Karamkaand (rituals), Pakhand, religious robes, religious paraphernalia (Bhekh), vices or Bikaar, Haumai or false ego-sense, Maya-Jaal or Bharam-Jaal, self-serving Pujaaree (clergy) etc.
- ਨਾਵਨ ਕਉ ਤੀਰਥ ਘਨੇ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਪੂਜਨ ਕਉ ਬਹੁ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਛੂਟਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਛੂਟਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੪॥੧॥੬॥੫੭॥ : O crazy mind! There are so many places of pilgrimage in which to bathe, and so many gods to worship. Says Kabeer! O crazy mind, there is no liberation like this; only by serving Hari (Mool, Truth, Wisdom…) will you find liberation (from doubt, Maya…). ||4||1||6||57|| (sggs 335).
- ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਇ ਕਹਾ ਸੁਚਿ ਸੈਲੁ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ਬੰਧਨ ਕਾ ਮੂਲੁ ॥ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਵਿਆਪੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਭਜਨ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਪੂਲੁ ॥੨॥ : The stone (stone-minded or foolish man) cannot attain (spiritual) purity by bathing at the Teerath (so called Pilgrimage centers). Millions of such religious Karamkaand (Pilgrimages etc.) is the cause of of traps of false ego-sense (Haumai). Without Uniting with Hari within (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop), these (prescribed religious Karamkaand on the human head) are useless (sggs 1149).
- ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ਹਉਮੈ ਬੰਧਨ ਕਮਾਏ ॥ : The human being remains lost in the delusion of the three qualities of Maya, and thus only accumulates the shackles of Haumai or false ego-sense. (sggs 604).
Religious rituals (Karamkaand) promoted by the self-serving clergy (Pujaaree) is blinding by nature. With the Wisdom of the Gurbani (SGGS) available, no Sikh (students or learners of the SGGS) should fall in Pujaaree’s trap. In a nutshell, the self-serving clergy burdens our minds and thus making life difficult (ਔਖਾ).
- ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥ : The clergy of the Muslim faith was corrupt, the Brahmin was murderous and the Yogi Un-Enlightened. These three (clergy) had become the root cause for the spiritual wreckage and desolation that mankind had come to endure. (sggs 662).
These burdens have turned human life into a horrible battlefield. As a result, everybody seems to be an enemy.
However, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS Guides Sikhs to consistently debug the mind and unburden it. If we don’t wish to remember the advice of the SGGS then we are sure to get ‘exploited’, cheated, ‘plundered‘ or ‘robbed‘ in life.
- ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਵਾਚਣੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੂ ਸੁਖੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The greatest happiness comes from reading the horoscope of the mind (i.e. reading your own mind’s state or condition). (sggs 1093).
The negative impact of false ego-sense is self-centeredness — it’s the mind’s constant noise of ‘mine, mine’. Therefore, it hungers for attention, name, fame, power, prestige, and self-glorification. Due to the pull of cravings, it will misappropriate, steal, loot or take everything from the world. It’s manifestations are very subtle, therefore, not easy to guard against.
- ਸਾਦਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਲਾਦੀ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੇ ॥ ਦੋਸੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਰਣੈਹਾਰੇ ॥੩॥ : (Mind) remains loaded or preoccupied with worldly tastes (desires or cravings etc.), attachments, and egotistical pride. (For this) no faults can be assigned to the Creator. ||3|| (sggs 389).
- ਮਾਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਜੋ ਅਧਿਕਾਈ ਵਿਚਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਪਚੈ ਪਚੀਜੈ ॥ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਮਹਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਬਿਖੜਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਭਾਰਿ ਲਦਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥ : Those who are entirely in love with Maya, rot away in Maya (consumed by the hunger or desires of Maya…). (For such person) the Spiritual ignorance becomes darkness and (in that darkness, he) remains strayed on the path (of his life, because he ever remains) loaded with the load of egotism (sggs 1326).
Thus, the negative impact of ego-consciousness makes us commit misdeeds. It only destroys. But we do not realize the destruction because its working is very subtle. We carry the load of this destructive consciousness all our life. In the process, we start believing it to be real as our Original Nature (Jot Saroop). It thus hides the Reality and deceives us believing in falsehood.
- ਜਉ ਲਉ ਪੋਟ ਉਠਾਈ ਚਲਿਅਉ ਤਉ ਲਉ ਡਾਨ ਭਰੇ ॥ ਪੋਟ ਡਾਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਭਏ ॥੪॥੧॥੧੫੯॥ : As long as I walked along, carrying the load, I continued to suffer. (But) O Nanak! Meeting the Perfect Guru (i.e., Realizing Aatam-Giaan, Gur-Giaan, Shabad-Upadesh…), I unloaded myself and became fearless. ||4||1||159|| (sggs 214).
As we age, our false ego-sense also grows stronger and subtle. We thus get accustomed to living in a limited cocoon of ego-mind, unaware of the disastrous consequences like a silkworm that spins silk cocoon around itself, unaware of the consequences.
- ਮਹਾ ਬਜਰ ਬਿਖ ਬਿਆਧੀ ਸਿਰਿ ਉਠਾਈ ਪੋਟ ॥ : (Man) carries on his head a load that is like ‘Bajjar‘ (horrible, etc.), ‘Bikh‘ (poison of Bikaar, perversions, etc., that kills man’s spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ ਲਿਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਬਿਖ ), and Biaadhi (diseases-mental ailments, etc.) (sggs 1224).
- ਕਾਲਰ ਪੋਟ ਉਠਾਵੈ ਮੂੰਡਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਡਾਰੈ ॥ ਓਢੈ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਕਾਜਰ ਮਹਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਝਾਰੈ ॥੨॥ : (Man trapped in vices is like) carrying a load of saline earth (vices) on his head and casts away the Amrit of Naam out of his mind, and is like wearing clean clothes and sitting in a room full of soot; then he tries to shake off soot from his clothes again and again. ||2|| (sggs 1205).
We humans have the choice right here, right now
The Enlightening Giaan-Wisdom of the SGGS strengthens our mind. By constantly bringing the mind back to the spiritual Message embedded within the Shabad – right here and now – the mind becomes free to approach life to be of benefit (Laahaa).
In life, we humans have a choice — either we can chose to unburden ourselves here and now, or we can choose to carry it around longer and keep suffering. The Gurbani in the SGGS indicates a mind so loaded is akin a donkey — the beast of burden.
- ਜੋ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਰਨਾਗਤਾ ਤਿਨ ਨਾਹੀ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਤੁਮ ਤੇ ਤਰੇ ਆਲਜੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੨॥ : O God, all those who realize You (within) do not carry any load of vices/Bikaar. People belonging to high or low status swim across the ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences (Bhav Saagar). ||2|| (sggs 858).
To end it right at this moment will need willingness, courage, watchfulness, determination and constant discipline. Because, a mind in grips of Haumai Maya is a great trickster and a liar which can not be trusted. By attaching us to the enchanting objects of the mirage-like world, it hides the Truth from us and makes us chase ‘pie in the sky‘.
- ਰਤੇ ਇਸਕ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਰੰਗਿ ਦੀਦਾਰ ਕੇ ॥ ਵਿਸਰਿਆ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇ ਭੁਇ ਭਾਰੁ ਥੀਏ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Those who are immersed in the love of Rabb and imbued with the divine vision (they are the real human beings). But those who have forgotten the Naam are just a burden on earth ||Pause|| (sggs 488).
- ਫਰੀਦਾ ਭੰਨੀ ਘੜੀ ਸਵੰਨਵੀ ਟੂਟੀ ਨਾਗਰ ਲਜੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਸਜਣ ਭੁਇ ਭਾਰੁ ਥੇ ਸੇ ਕਿਉ ਆਵਹਿ ਅਜੁ ॥੬੯॥ : O Farid! (See, whose) beautiful body-vessel has broken and the subtle thread of breath has snapped? Those brothers (who are being transgressors in life) remain mere burden on the earth, they will not get this time of human birth again. ॥69॥ (sggs 1381).
The SGGS tells us that without getting rid of the crushing burden of false ego-sense, one’s mind will have no Freedom from its repeated suffering in life and will be unable to link with its Original Nature (Jot Saroop) within.
- ਜਿਨ ਜਪਿਆ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਲਥਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ : Those who have understood (Hari or Mool, Hukam…) single mindedly, the burden of their egotism (Haumai) has been removed from their mind.(sggs 302).
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਾਣੀਐ ॥ : A person who lives by the true Wisdom (‘Satiguru‘: true Wisdom or ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) enjoys the Joy of being connected with Hari (or Bliss of being connected with his Mool, Jot Saroop, Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…). (sggs 149).
One thing is for sure — the SGGS asserts nobody else can carry our mental load! It so because each one of us is responsible for his/her actions and consequences.
- ਰੇ ਮਨ ਤੇਰੋ ਕੋਇ ਨਹੀ ਖਿੰਚਿ ਲੇਇ ਜਿਨਿ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ : O my mind, no one will carry your burden (of misdeeds…) (sggs 337).
- ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਬਹੁ ਚਿਤੈ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਸਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ : The misled mind thinks much of perversion (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.). (As long as) the mind remains astray, the burden of Bikaar accumulates on it. (sggs 222).
Becoming Gurmukh (Enlightened)
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਫਰਿਓ ਭਾਰੁ ਅਫਾਰੁ ਟਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : The Immaculate (free of Maya) Naam is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh; (as a result, his) unbearable load (of Haumai, etc.) is removed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1013).
- ਫੂਟੋ ਆਂਡਾ ਭਰਮ ਕਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਕਾਟੀ ਬੇਰੀ ਪਗਹ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਿ ਕੀਨੀ ਬੰਦਿ ਖਲਾਸੁ ॥੧॥ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ ਰਹਿਓ ॥ ਤਪਤ ਕੜਾਹਾ ਬੁਝਿ ਗਇਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਸੀਤਲ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : (With the grace of Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) my mind is Enlightened and (as a result, now) the eggshell of doubt (Bharam, delusion) has been broken. The Breaking of the Eggshell was the Liberation of my Shackled (Mind). My Cycle of spiritual birth and death (Aavan Jaan-ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ) has Ended. The Flames (of doubt) Are Extinguished with the Guru‘s spiritually cooling Naam (Eternal Giaan–Wisdom / Virtues). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1002).
Once the mind is unburdened of the ‘crushing load’, it becomes light (‘ਹਰੂਏ-Harooay‘), fit to cross over the Bhav Saagar (the ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences); while rest of us just keep chasing mirage!
- ਕਬੀਰ ਬੇੜਾ ਜਰਜਰਾ ਫੂਟੇ ਛੇਂਕ ਹਜਾਰ ॥ ਹਰੂਏ ਹਰੂਏ ਤਿਰਿ ਗਏ ਡੂਬੇ ਜਿਨ ਸਿਰ ਭਾਰ ॥੩੫॥ : Kabeer, if the boat is old, and it has thousands of holes (it ultimately sinks in the ocean, however, from among the travelers) those who carry light load (‘ਹਰੂਏ ਹਰੂਏ’) swim across, while those who carry the (crushing) load, drowned (i.e. this human body is like ship carrying a crushing load of numerous vice/Bikaar. Only those who do not carry the load of vices/Bikaar on them – Gurmukhs – swim across the ocean of worldly temptations, but those who carry a crushing load of vices/Bikaars) on their heads drown in this worldly ocean of temptations and their corrupting influences). ||35|| (sggs 1366).
- ਲੋਭ ਵਿਕਾਰ ਨਾਵ ਡੁਬਦੀ ਨਿਕਲੀ ਜਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਿੜਾਏ ॥ : My boat was sinking under the weight of greed and Bikaar, but it was uplifted when the Satguru implanted the Naam (Giaan-Wisdom / Virtues) within me (sggs 443).
In this context, consider the following anecdote from the life of Baabaa Nanak. This little story gives us a glimpse into Baabaa Nanak’s state of no-ego (leadless mental state, lightweightness – utmost humility etc.).
According to the story, in 1530 Baabaa Nanak with his companion Mardana went to the city of Multan that was known for its many fake sants, gurus, Pirs (Sufi priests), and Fakirs. They were afraid of some true one coming in their town and disillusioning crowds that worshipped them. Baabaa Nanak and Mardana stopped by in a garden located by the side of a river outside the town. Because of his intensive traveling, Baabaa Nanak was well known there. Worried of Baabaa Nanak’s presence there, it is said that the head of the spin masters (Pir Bahauddin of Multan) sent an emissary to meet Baabaa Nanak with a bowl of milk completely filled to the brim: too full to have another drop. Symbolically implying that (1) the town was already full of Pirs and Fakirs and that there was no room for more; (2) therefore he was not welcome there; (3) so he should move along. Baabaa Nanak knew the implication in the offer made! As a rule, a person like Baabaa Nanak has no conflict or friction with anybody. Hence, instead of boasting about himself, it is said that in utmost humility, Baabaa Nanak plucked a jasmine flower from the garden and gently placed it on the surface of the milk and returned the bowl to the Pir. The jasmine flower was a symbolic message in return, meaning that there was still room for one more – he would float as lightly as the flower and give fragrance to all of them. The Pirs and the Fakirs, finally, allowed Baabaa Nanak to enter the city. He gave them a sweet discourse. The proud and arrogant Pirs came to their senses and learnt humility.
- ਮੇਲਿਓ ਬਾਬਾ ਉਠਿਆ ਮੁਲਤਾਨੇ ਦੀ ਜਾਰਤਿ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਅਗੋਂ ਪੀਰ ਮੁਲਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਦੁਧ ਕਟੋਰਾ ਭਰ ਲੈ ਆਈ॥ ਬਾਬੇ ਕਢ ਕਰ ਬਗਲ ਤੇ ਚੰਬੇਲੀ ਦੁੱਧ ਵਿਚ ਮਿਲਾਈ॥ ਜਿਉਂ ਸਾਗਰ ਵਿਚ ਗੰਗ ਸਮਾਈ ॥44॥ : Leaving the fair at Achal Vatala Baabaa went on a travel to Multan. At Multan the Pirs came forward holding a bowl of milk full to the brim (which means Pirs in town are already in plenty). Babaa took out a jasmine flower from the side and floated it on the milk (which meant that he was not going to put anybody to trouble, or cause any conflict and friction). It was such a scene as if the Ganges were merging into the sea. ||44||. (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 1, Paurree 44).