Unburden the Mind

In order to enjoy human life, Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) points out necessity of consistently unburdening or unloading the mind.

To that end, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS guides the human mind, provided Sikhs (seekers or learners) are willing to take it and then, more importantly, live it in daily life.

That being said, as science makes human life easier (ਸੌਖੀ) and comfortable, similarly, the Wisdom of the Gurbani makes human life Joyful Blissful (Anand), easier, peaceful, Happy etc.

Crushing load

The negative impact of false ego-sense (Haumai), along with its various faults, is identified by the SGGS to be the great crushing burden we carry around in life.

  • 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 following ‘five’ Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride. These ‘five’ have numerous variations. Some of these variations of are 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).

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 or baggage.

Pujaaree (clergy) burdens human mind BUT the Gurbani unburdens our minds

Strengthening of this negative impact of false ego-sense (Haumai) is done by the crafty, paid clergy (Pujaaree).

  • 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).

Thus mental traps to catch ignorant or foolish human minds include, but not limited to, religious Karamkaand (formalities, rituals), path of Pakhand, religious paraphernalia (Bhekh), Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.), Haumai or false ego-sense, Maya-Jaal or Bharam-Jaal (traps of illusion, delusion, deceptions …) 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 Karamkaand is blinding by nature that are promoted by the selfish and illiterate paid clergy (Pujaaree). With the Gurbani available to the Sikhs (learners of the SGGS), no Sikh should fall in their trap. If we don’t wish to remember the advice of the SGGS then we are sure to get ‘exploited’, ‘plundered‘ or ‘robbed‘ in life.

These burdens have turned human life into a horrible battlefield. As a result, everybody seems to be an enemy.

In a nutshell, paid clergy burden our minds and thus makes our life difficult (ਔਖਾ), BUT the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS unburden the mind.

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 such cravings, it will misappropriate, steal, loot or take everything from the world. It’s manifestations are very subtle, therefore, not easy to guard against.

  • 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).

The more we hoard or gather the burden or baggage, the greater is the impediment to detachment.

Thus, the 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 True Nature (Jot Saroop) to be false. 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).

When we grow up, our egos also grow 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).

We all have the choice

In life, we have a choice — either we can chose to unburden ourselves here and now, or we can chose to carry it around longer and keep suffering. The Gurbani says one thing is for sure — nobody else can carry our mind’s burden! The Gurbani indicates that a mind so loaded is akin a donkey — the beast of burden.

  • 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).

To end it right at this moment will need courage, watchfulness, determination and constant discipline. Because, a mind in grips of false ego-sense is a great trickster and a liar. By attaching us to the enchanting objects of the mirage-like world, it hides the Truth from us and makes us chase the illusion.

  • 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 burden of our egoism, there will be no Freedom from repeated suffering and no chance of linking with one’s True Nature (Jot Saroop), within.

Baggage of false ego-sense can be shed by understanding (Bibek, ਸਮਝ…) the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, and then applying it to daily life!

  • 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).

Becoming a Gurmukh

A Gurmukh is a truly unburdened person. So the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukhs.

  • 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).

False ego-sense (Haumai) and Wisdom or Virtues cannot coexist. Hence the Gurbani time and again urges us to unburden ourselves. Thinning of false ego-sense with the ‘cooling Naam’ (Giaan or Wisdom) helps unburden the mind of unnecessary load.

  • 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 Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) there is enlightenment in the mind, the egg of doubt (Bharam, delusion) is broken (i.e. my mind is free from doubt now). The Gur (-Giaan or Wisdom) has cut fetters (of my attachment) from my feet, and set me free from the bondage of attachment (to Maya). ||1|| (My mind’s) wandering is now ended (i.e. my mind will not go astray in life again). The hot cauldron (the fire of Trishnaa or Maya ; mind’s restlessness…) has cooled down; the Guru has imparted cooling Naam (Giaan or Wisdom). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1002).

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