The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us it’s necessary to consistently unburden the mind in life.
The SGGS identifies the false ego-sense (Haumai) to be the great crushing burden we carry around in life. All sorts of perversion or Bikaar (lust, anger, greed…) are the faults of this ‘chronic’ mental illness of Haumai.
- 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).
- ਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਇਕੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਰਾਮੁ ਗੁਣਹ ਵਸਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਬਹੁ ਚਿਤੈ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਸਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ॥੨॥ ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਮਾਇਆ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕਾਮਿ ਬਿਰੂਧਉ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਠਾਇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਰਸਨ ਰਸਾਇ ॥੩॥: Till then the mind does not die, and till then the job (i.e., Mool abidance) is not accomplished, as long as the mind is under the control of evil passions (Bikaar), evil intent, and duality. Through the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, the mind is sated and becomes one with its Mool within. ||1|| The Formless Raam (i.e., Mool) is under the sway of Virtues. (The mind) that effaces its self conceit, reflects on its Mool. ||1||Pause|| 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. When the mind is propitiated, it realizes but Rabb (Universal Energy…). ||2|| The wandering mind (coming under the influence of Maya) goes (again and again) to the house of Maya. Entangled in lust (i.e., Bikaar), it does not remain steady. (To escape from the influence of this Maya) O mortal! Join with ‘Hari’ (i.e., Mool) through remembering Naam. ||3|| (sggs 222).
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.
To end it here and now 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.
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.
False ego-sense is bondage, ignorance and the living hell. Our identification with the gross body (body consciousness) that has turned our lives into a battlefield, where there is no pure love, compassion and humility. As a result, everybody seems to be an enemy. It’s the mind’s constant noise of “mine, mine”.
False ego-sense is self-centered. 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).
- ਹਉ ਹਉ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਰਮ ਰਤ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਭਾਰੁ ਅਫਾਰ ॥: Acting in egotism, people carry the unbearable load (252).
The faults of this self-centered false ego-sense (Haumai) are numerous, of which the most talked about are the following ‘five’ demons: lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride. These ‘five’ have numerous variations. Some of these variations of are stubborn mindedness, jealousy, doubts, falsehood, corruption, slandering, and so on.
Enticed by wants and driven by fear and greed, etc., we relentlessly keep on gathering people and things, landing up with an excess of burden or baggage.
Burden or baggage, the more we hoard or gather, 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.
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.
- ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੁਚੁ ਕੂੜੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਉਠਾਵਹਿ ਭਾਰੋ ॥: You practice greed, avarice and great falsehood (i.e. all evil passions), 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).
- 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).
- ਕਰਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਵਿਥਾਰ ਘਨੇਰੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਪਇਆ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਮਹਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਗਾ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਲੇਵਹੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਇਆ ॥੬॥ (O crazy man) you act in corruption (ਬਿਕਾਰ: lust, anger, greed, etc.), and put on ostentatious shows, but without awareness of the Shabad, you have fallen into confusion. You are afflicted with greatest pain from the disease of egotism. Following the Gurmat, you can be rid of this disease. ||6|| (sggs 906).
A Gurmukh is the truly unburdened (Awakened) person. So the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukhs. Divine virtues and false ego-sense cannot coexist. Hence the Gurbani time and again urges us to unburden ourselves of egoism. Thinning of false ego-sense makes room for Virtues and mental purity.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, egotism (Haume) departs from within. (sggs 230).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੀਐ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਈ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, the egotism (Haume) is killed, and (consequently) the mind becomes immaculately Pure (sggs 424).