Our minds are heavily conditioned, fragmented, and deep in contradiction. The Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom Guides us to reverse this whole process of chaos and conflict to a state of Wisdom, simplicity, naturalness (Sahaj), and order – Freedom from the false.
The Gurbani tells us that we all act according to the nature (i.e., inclinations, habits, qualities, dispositions, etc.) of our mind.
- ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੁਭਾਉ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੈ ॥: Every one acts according to his mind’s nature (habit, disposition, inclination…). (sggs 1167).
When veiled by ignorance, such mind is led by Mayaic instincts and impulses rather than reason or the Divine Wisdom (Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani). Such mind attached to Maya is a sick and weak mind. It craves for formulations, definitions, formulas, ideas, concepts, and always eager to squeeze Reality into verbal shape.
- ਮਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਹਾਥਿ ਬਿਕਾਨਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The mind is sold out in the Maya’s hands (sggs 710).
Corresponding to such conditioned mind is its own order, command, dictates, whims, inclinations, acceptation, desires, fancy, imaginations, ideas, notions and concepts…
- ਮਗਨ ਰਹਿਓ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੈ ਨਿਸ ਦਿਨਿ ਛੁਟੀ ਨ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥: (What can I say about my wretchedness) night and day (I) remain immersed in Maya, (consequently) the filth of (my) mind could not depart (sggs 718).
The mind being the thoughts-stuff, the worst pollution to the body is bad thoughts. As repeatedly indicated in the Gurbani, the remedy is to remove the “filth” (perversions, faults, demerits, false ego-sense (Haumai), hunger for Maya, ignorance, doubts, duality…) of the mind through the Shabad-Vichaar. Thus, clearly, the whole idea of reading/listening/studying/contemplating the Gurbani is to arrest this extroverted (divided, scattered, ਬਾਹਰਮੁਖੀ…) mind and to turn it Inward – toward its Mool (True Nature, Source, Originality, Jot Saroop…).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਇਉ ਉਤਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਇ ॥੨॥: O Nanak! This is how the filth of the mind is removed – burn away the ego through the Shabad. ||2|| (sggs 650).
- ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (The Spiritual) Collyrium of the Wisdom is recognized through the Gur-Shabad (applying it Mool is realized). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 221).
The Gurbani tells us that – driven by Maya’s love or hunger – the mind is brimful with demerits (ਅਵਗੁਣ / ਅਉਗਨ = defect, fault, Bikaar, etc.). In the same breadth, the Gurbani also tells us that the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ) also abide within it!
- ਅਵਗੁਣੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਹੈ ਗੁਣ ਭੀ ਵਸਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (The mortal) is overflowing with demerits, but the Divine Virtue dwells within him as well. (sggs 936).
Then, how does the Jeev (individual being) ends up brimful with demerits? The Gurbani provides us with the authoritative answer as follows:
- ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: Kabeer, the mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What is the use of that lamp (Giaan-Wisdom) if we fall into the well (of ignorance, Maya, vices or Bikaar) even with that lamp in our hands? (sggs 1376).
In the foregoing verse, the Gurbani indicates that our mind knows everything (i.e., right and wrong, True and false, fleeting and Eternal, etc.), but, still, knowingly it commits mistakes. In the same breadth, the Gurbani asks us what’s the use of having a Lamp (i.e., the Light of Aatam Giaan, Divine Wisdom, Virtues…) in hand, if the person holding the lamp is still going to fall into a well of ignorance…
But our Maya driven mind does not listen to the Inner Voice (ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਅਵਾਜ). The Gur-Shabad is the Lamp (Giaan, Divine Wisdom, Virtues…) given to us, which shows us the right Way so that we don’t fall into a well of ignorance, Maya, doubts, falsehood, Haumai…
In nutshell, the Gurbani says the mind must be driven by the Shabad, NOT Maya! As the water remains confined in a pitcher, just so the mind becomes stabilized by the Divine Wisdom (Brahm-Giaan). Thus, to know the Formless Mool (Source, Jot…) is the true Wisdom.
- ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: The mind is conquered through the shabad; this is known to “Janu” (Daas, Gurmukh, Bhagat…). (sggs 665).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: Kabeer manu seetal bhaiaa paaiaa brahm gian (sggs 1373).
- ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai… (sggs 469).