We Try Purchasing Satguru Instead of Selling Our Mind

How do we try to buy the Satigur or God? For example (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Donating gold, silver, money etc.
  • Donating expensive Rumaalaas, Palkis, Chandoaa etc.
  • Conducting elaborate Langars (of food to outdo/impress others).
  • Building expensive Gurdawara buildings.
  • Performing Akhand Paaths without listening or paying attention to what’s being read.
  • Doing Paaths or Nit-Nem in a mechanical, robotic, or machine-gun manner – without understanding.
  • Burning incense, worshipping pictures, performing Artis etc.
  • Displaying Bhekh (religious garbs, religious paraphernalia).
  • Counting beads-ਮਾਲਾ ਫੇਰਨੀ- etc.).
  • Dhaarmic rituals or Karamkaand.
  • Performing ritual pilgrimage and ritual ablutions, etc.,
  • False prostrations or bowing (ਜਗਾ ਜਗਾ ਝੂਠੇ – ਲਾਲਚ ਦੀ ਖਾਤਰ – ਮੱਥੇ ਟੇਕਣੇ), …

The Gurbani in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) cares less for all this mental circus of ours. These false practices of Bipar-Vaad has been critiqued, debunked and rejected by Nanak.

Just listen to any Ardaas being performed at any Gurdwara or Deraa. Pay attention to the list of mundane or trivial demands in that prayer. This is all Maya-Jaal, totally contrary to the Enlightening Message of the Guru Shabad. Then isn’t it a distortion of the Gurmat? For Golak (money)? Consider this verse (many more like this) of the Gurbani:

  • ਵਿਣੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਿ ਮੰਗਣਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਦੁਖਾ ਕੈ ਦੁਖ ॥ ਦੇਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਭੁਖ ॥: O’ God, to ask for anything other than Your Naam (Shabad, Giaan-Wisdom, Virtues etc.) is to invite the worst pains and sorrows for ourselves, therefore please Bless me with Your Naam, which may make me Content and the yearning of my mind for the love of worldly pleasures goes away. (sggs 958).

In other words, none of the tricks of our instinctive mind will work, because they all are in the purview of Maya.

Instead of purchasing the Guru or God, the Gurbani Teaches us to sell our mind — surrendering of false ego-sense or Haumai, Aapaa bhaav-ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ, ਮਨ ਮਤ etc.

  • ਕਰਿ ਪੂਜਾ ਹੋਮਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵਾ ॥੩॥: Worship the Undying Divine, offer this mind unto Him. ||3|| (sggs 614).
  • ਕੰਚਨ ਸਿਉ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਲਿ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੀਆ ਹੈ ਮੋਲਿ ॥੧॥: (Raam – Mool) cannot be obtained by giving gold equal to (one’s) weight. (But, say Kabeer, I) have bought (i.e., Realized, Experienced, etc.) Raam by giving my mind (Haumai, ego, etc.) to Him ||1|| (sggs 327).
  • ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਉ ਪੂਜ ਚਰਾਵਉ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੪॥: Dedicate body and mind and offer as Poojaa. By the Grace Of the Gur (-Giyan-Wisdom), realize Niranjan (Universal Energy that is Untainted, or beyond Maya’s influence…). (sggs 525).

Put plainly, to sell the mind simply indicates to mend the mind, to turn it away from Haumai (false ego-sense) and it vices/Bikaars, to mend the mind (‘ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ’ – Budhi badalee sidhi paaee,  sggs 339), and so on. This essentially is to control, annihilate, or conquer the mind by turning it inwards to its Jot Saroop (Source, Truth…).

  • ਮਨੁ ਬੇਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸਿ ॥: (One who) sell his mind (surrenders his ego-sense, Haumai, etc.) to the Satigur (who has the Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ), that humble servant’s work (the purpose of life, etc.) becomes fitting or complete (he becomes Gurmukh, Jeevamukat, Enlightened, Realized…). (sggs 286).
  • 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, then step on the Way to me after completely shedding your false ego-sense (Haumai). One should step onto this path (of Love) only when one is ready with complete surrender (of false ego-sense) without any hesitation. ||20|| (sggs 1412).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਸੋਈ ਆਖੀਐ ਜੋ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰੇ ਉਤਾਰਿ ॥: Nanak, he alone is called a Sevak (Daas, Bhagat, Gurmukh…) who completely lets go of his false ego-sense (Haumai). (sggs 1247).

To the contrary, as indicated in the Gurbani, most of us try to purchase the Guru/God (e.g. gold-plating Harmandir by king Ranjit Singh, and so on) is to turn the mind towards Maya (falsehood) instead of the Enlightening Message embedded in the Guru Shabad.

  • ਕਨਿਕ ਅਸ੍ਵ ਹੈਵਰ ਭੂਮਿ ਦਾਨ ॥ … ਤਉ ਭੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਵੈ ॥: (you may) give away gold, horses known as excellent steeds, and land;… but even so, the filth of (your) ego will not depart. (sggs 265).

According to the Gurbani, the way to serve the Guru is by internalizing/accepting and living the Enlightening Message contained in the Guru Shabad. As follows, the Gurbani in the SGGS reveals to its Sikhs (students, learners) the nature of the Guru’s Service (‘Gur Ki Sevaa‘).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੭॥ : Undertaking the deed of controlling my false ego-sense (Haumai) and Enlightening myself with the spiritual Message within the Shabad (Shabad Vichaar) is service (Sevaa) of the Guru (ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ – Gur Ki Sevaa). ॥7॥. (sggs 223).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਮਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : If the Guru’s teachings are enshrined in the mind, then the false ego-sense (Haumai) and worldly desires would still.  ||1||Pause|| (sggs 22).
  • ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਹਰਿ ਆਖੀਐ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਖੈ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰਿ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਸਉਪੇ ਆਗੈ ਧਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਮਾਰਿ ॥ ਧਨੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੋ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਹੈ ਜਿ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਹਾਰਿ ॥੩॥ : A person who keeps the Divine Principle enshrined within his Heart is said to be the ‘Sevak (Daas, Bhagat, Gurmukh…). Surrendering mind and body to the Divine Principle within, he eradicates false ego-sense (Haumai). As a Gurmukh (Enlightened, Guru Shabad-Oriented), that person never gets defeated by vices/Bikaar. ||3|| (sggs 28).

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