What Is Karma?

In the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), the term Karma appears with the meaning “action”. In addition, at some places, it also appears to indicate religious or Dhaarmic Karamkaand (rituals), and grace or Nadar (Karam from Farsi language).

The mind is the only perception, and perception is movement in consciousness. The expression of this movement is action ( Karma ), followed by fruition (ਫਲ).

In other words, there is no division between the mind and action (Karma). Before it’s projected as action it arises in the mind. Hence, Karma is nothing but the movement of energy in consciousness and ultimately bears its own fruit (ਫਲ). Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨ ਕੇ ਕੰਮ ਫਿਟਿਆ ਗਣਤ ਨ ਆਵਹੀ ॥: O Nanak! Wicked are actions of the mind, (these actions of the mind) cannot be counted (sggs 789).
  • ਮਨੂਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਦੂਤ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੋ ਪਾਏ ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਨਾ ਹੇ ॥੭॥: Keeping company with passions (lust, anger, greed, etc.), the mind wavers; and obtains (the fruit – ਫਲ) of its actions. ||7|| (sggs 1028).

Whatever the mind thinks of, the organs of action strive to materialize. Hence, again, the mind is Karma (action). — the two are like the flower and its scent. Before it is projected as action it arises in the mind. Hence, actions are the louder expressions of thoughts. When such actions come to an end, the mind also comes to an end (ceasing of desires, thoughts-stuff, imaginations, fancies, Phurne).

When the mind’s wanderings stop (wanderings of lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, falsehood, jealousy, stubbornness…), there is no action! Such mind is called “conquered, annihilated, killed…”, or “frozen” in the Gurbani. Conquering the mind or the world (Jagat or Sansaar) simply means to go beyond one’s own worldly consciousness or material nature (i.e., Manmukh-nature, Saakat-nature, Mayadhaaree-nature…). In other words, when the mind sees itself as Jot-Saroop, the material world (Jagg or Jagat, Maya, Bhav Saagar) is said to have been conquered! This victory brings Bliss (Aanand),  Sukh (Sukh Saagar, Peace, Happiness, Joy), release from the reactionary actions…

  • ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥੨॥: Conquering the mind is (as if) the world is conquered, (because, only by conquering the mind, one can remain) detached from Maya. (sggs 1103).

But, what is mind? In deluded (agitated, restless) state, when the mind is veiled by doubt (Bharam), ignorance, two-ness, etc., the same consciousness views diversity and identifies as such, it’s known as the mind. In nutshell, the mind is just thoughts-stuff (Phurne-ਫੁਰਨੇ). In other words, Karma is no other then one’s Soch (thinking).

When the mind is firmly established in the conviction of a certain perception it is known as intellect (Budhi).

  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਮਨਸਾ ਕਰੈ ॥: Budhi follows the order of the mind (sggs 832).

The SGGS says the intellect must Awakened to Giaan (Knowledge). When the the mind ignorantly and foolishly identifies itself as existent separate individual, it is known as egotism (Haumai). When it abandons unbroken spiritual inquiry (Shabad-Vichaar…), allows itself to play with countless thoughts (Phurne) coming and going, it is known as individualized consciousness.

Thus, when Infinite Consciousness or pure Awareness in a moment of self-forgetfulness viewed itself as the object of perception, countless concepts arise. Our lives are full of concepts. If we like particular concepts, we pass them on to others around us or ram them down their throat.

Our activities arising from the false concepts are also false. If the cause (i.e., false ego or Haumai) is wrong, then the effect must be automatically wrong as well.

Baabaa Nanak says this mind is not only “Karma” but also “Dharma“!

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਕਰਮਾ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਧਰਮਾ ॥: This mind is “Karma”, and this mind is “Dharma” (sggs 415).

Established in Aatam-Giaan (Wisdom, Virtues, Naam, Shabad, Hukam…), when the mind acts through the undivided consciousness (Jot Saroop, Mool, True Nature…), it’s “Dharma”. Such pure mind is free of the ignorance-born tendencies and therefore realizes Self-Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Brahm-Giaaan…).

To the contrary, when it acts in divided consciousness (independent doer or Haumai – ego), such action is known as “Karma”. This vision of division is the product of ignorance. With countless manifestations, such tainted mind punishes itself by its own tendencies and restlessly “wanders in the ten directions” (“ਧਾਇਓ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਇਓ ॥”).

To put it otherwise, when the mind is conscious of the truth (Sach-ਸਚ), it’s established in Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Dharma…). On the other hand, when it moves in the wrong direction towards greater forgetfulness (of its Mool) and deeper involvement in fancies, then becomes tainted or impure.

  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਧੰਧੈ ਬਾਂਧਾ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: Entangled in worldly affairs (Maya), this mind creates Karma (sggs 1176).
  • ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲੋ ਬਹੁ ਚਿਤੈ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥: Manu bhoolo bahu chitai vikaaru (sggs 222).

In other words, it’s the same mind that can take one to his Mool (Source, Jot…), and it’s the same mind that can take one away from his Mool too! Clearly, the mind is responsible for our material bondage, as well as our Liberation from it. Trapped in bondage (Maya, Bikaar…), we do not let go Haumai (false ego-sense) and its devastating faults ( lust, greed, anger, etc).

  • ਜਿਉ ਕਪਿ ਕੇ ਕਰ ਮੁਸਟਿ ਚਨਨ ਕੀ ਲੁਬਧਿ ਨ ਤਿਆਗੁ ਦਇਓ ॥ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਕਰਮ ਕੀਏ ਲਾਲਚ ਸਿਉ ਤੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਗਰਹਿ ਪਰਿਓ ॥੧॥: Like the monkey with a handful of grains (in the narrow-necked pot – ਦਾਣਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਭਰੀ ਹੋਈ ਮੁੱਠ) will not let go (grains) because of greed (even he knows he is trapped!) – (just so), all the deeds committed in greed ultimately become a noose around neck (more trapped in Maya). (sggs 336).

In nutshell, wicked mind = wicked Soch (thinking) = wicked Karma.
And, pious mind = pious Soch (thinking) = pious Karma.

Four things are common in nonhuman animals and a sense-blind human having an unhealthy or empty mind: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Mind infatuated with Bikaar (lust,anger, greed, etc.) is not only restless, it also behaves and lives like animals while alive (ਪਸੂ ਵਿਰਤੀ-animal nature) — functions primarily on instinct, not much reasoning or discernment (Bibek Budh).

In nutshell, separation from Truth (Sach) = Animal-Joon-Life-nature

  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥: (Those in love with Maya, etc., although they) belong to the human species, but they act like animals (sggs 267).
  • ਪਸੂ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਖੜੁ ਖਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਦੇਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣੇ ਆਦਮੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਜੀਵਣ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇਹਿ ॥੩॥: (Even though humans are known to be superior to animals, birds, etc., but) beasts have merits, as they eat grass and give milk. Without the Naam (Truth, Wisdom, Virtues…), the mortal’s life is cursed, (because forgetting Naam) they perform (worthless) actions. ||3|| (sggs 489).
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੁਤਾ ਦਰਿ ਫੁਰਮਾਨੁ ॥: O Nanak! A human being is a human in shape and name only; (but) by conduct he is a dog (greedy, selfish, corrupt, etc.) – this is the Divine edict. (sggs 350).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੂਕਰ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਲੋਭੀ ਬੰਧੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੬॥: Without remembrance (of Wisdom, Virtues..), one is like a mad dog. The greedy, Saakat (one separated from the Truth) falls into entanglements ||6|| (sggs 239).

So, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib reminds us that “Whatever is done, is done by the mind” (“ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ”). For the entire universe is within the mind!

Thus, when the mind knowingly commits mistakes, then it reaps the fruit of its own Karma! Babaa Nanak reminds us:

  • ਜੇਹਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੈ ਕਰਮਾ ਸੰਦੜਾ ਖੇਤੁ ॥: (Body is the) field (of man’s Karma); whatever (he) sows so does (he) reap (sggs 134).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: O Kabeer! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits (sggs 1376).

Ocean with depth gets calmer and quiter. However, violent waves arise at its surface due to disturbances created by the wind. Stronger the wind, stronger the disturbance and higher the waves at the surface. If there is no wind, there will be no waves. Similarly, mind is nothing but waves on the surface of the Ocean of Pure Awareness (Mool).

Disturbance or waves created by Maya (illusion) subside when there is no confusion between Reality and appearance!


    1. Mind is nothing but waves(Awake,Dream,D Sleep) on the surface of the Ocean of Pure Awareness(Turiya)……but ocean is never still, can it be compared to 4th state,,,TURIYA ?

      1. Thanks Prince Ji!

        In the SGGS, there is the instruction for the mind to get established in the Turiya Avasthaa and Chauthaa Pada (Fourth State) — Aatmak Avasthaa (ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ) beyond the influence of the three qualities of Maya. For example:
        • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਛੋਡਿ ਚਉਥੈ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥: O mind! Renounce the three qualities (attachment to Maya),and focus your consciousness on the Fourth State (sggs 603).

  1. Thanks Veerji for your auspisious replies and suggestions. Your Blog is so knowledgable and Divine that it must be helping many like us.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

  2. Thanks T.Singh Veerji and Prakash S Bagga Veerji
    for your kind replies over my above stated doubt, in continuation to the discussion, I want to more elaborate my doubt to get its full flash resolve.
    Bhai Saabji, I am getting confused with the word free will of performing actions/any karma, free will says we are free to perform our desired actions, but this is not true every time as I asked in my above comment in many circumstances in our life we want to do some good things may be for society or for our personal relatives (father, mother, sister or anyone who are in need) but we are not able to do so (due to our own limitations social, financial, or any other personal) and we feel our hands are bound to perform good deeds/karma or actions, then WHO is responsible for that as again these are external factors which are holding us to perform good Karmas and similarly we all should accept and say this also that sometimes we go to do some good but happens something bad.
    WHY is this so, as this cannot be our Free Will, and if we are not able to perform our actions freely then how they are labelled as Good or Bad as I am acting always under effect of some external cosmic power.

    I am having much Respect and Shraddha for Gurbani as it is the true Light in Universe.
    But these real life questions deviates me many times and I got confused again and again with my small mind.

    Please try to understand the intent behind my question as in words we cannot explain the complete emotions.
    Looking for reply from everyone who finds its answer useful.

    Sat Sri Akal

    1. Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji .

      The Gurbani (SGGS) speaks at the level of the mind or soul.

      Accordingly, throughout the SGGS, we are asked to mend our mind, that is, change our thinking (Soch-ਸੋਚ).

      Because it’s one’s thinking that translates into actions (Karma), behavior, conduct….

      Further, the Gurbani’s Parmaatam is NOT vengeful or partial. He is without animosity (“Nirvair”), Merciful. In fact Actions Are The Louder Expressions Of Thoughts.
      Then why some are closer to Him and some or not?

      The Gurbani says it because of one’s own “Karanee” (conduct, Kartoot (ਕਰਤੂਤ), Aacharn (ਆਚਰਨ), Aachaar (ਆਚਾਰ), behavior, performance, action or deed (ਕਿ੍ਯਾ, ਕਰਮ, ਕੰਮ)…).
      • ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੇ ਨੇੜੈ ਕੇ ਦੂਰਿ ॥: Karamee aapo aapanee ke nerrai ke doori (sggs 8).

      Thus each one of us is responsible for his/her own actions.

      If kill somebody, I cannot tell judge that God told me to do so. Can I? That will be a total nonsense. If I do misdeed, I must regret it later (“ਪਛੁਤਾਣੀ- Pachhutaanee” ). So, I better not kill somebody!

      Here is the Gurbani’s edict:
      • ਜੋ ਮੈ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੀਜੈ ਅਵਰ ਜਨਾ ॥: Jo mai keeaa so mai paaiaa… (sggs 433).
      • ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਆਪੇ ਪਛੁਤਾਣੀ ॥: Karmee aapo aapanee aapae Pachhutaanee (sggs 315).

      Hence, through the Gur-Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan, Gurmat, Shabad-Vichaar …), the Gurbani urges us to build the fence of true Dharma around.

      For my personal answer to your inquiry (instead of repeating myself), my suggestion is please re-read my article again and also all my replies again. Everything you read on this site is based on my understanding of the Gurbani.

      If you still have doubt, my conviction is one should read Gurbani himself, and try to understand its deeper meaning — NOT SUPERFICIAL meaning. When we understand the true meanings of the Gurbani, it stretches the mind and opens it up.

  3. Sat Sri Akal T.Singh Ji
    Sir , I am having a great doubt in my small mind/soch regarding our Karma/Actions. Sir everyone says perform good deeds (actions) to achieve joy/fruits in life, my question is ‘Is performing good deeds/actions or karma in our hands solely or it too get affected by some external power (God), reason behind the doubt is that our actions in daily life are mostly influenced by our life situations (halaat) like family circumstances where we born either rich or poor, our father, mother attitudes towards life, our brother, sister, spouse, what kind of work (dhandhaa) we do and so many such factors which are completely out of our control as we have not got our mother, father, family rich or poor by choice, we got it from God’s wish and that has a direct impact on our present life actions, then how can we are sole responsible to perform Good or Bad Karma/Actions?
    Sir hope you are understanding my doubt. Please guide.

    Gulshan Singh

    1. Thank you Bhai Sahib Gulshan Singh Ji for taking the time to respond to this post! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

      Wicked mind = wicked Soch (thinking) = wicked Karma.
      And, pious mind = pious Soch (thinking) = pious Karma.

      So, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib reminds us that “Whatever is done, is done by the mind” (“ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮਨ ਕੀਆ”). For the entire universe is within the mind! Thus, when the mind knowingly commits mistakes, then it reaps the fruit of its own Karma! In other words: Whatever is in the Mind Comes Forth.
      • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: O Kabir! The mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What use is it to have a Lamp (i.e., the Light of Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom…) in his hand, if the man still falls into a well (ignorance, Maya, Bikaar, ਅਉਗਨ / ਬਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਖੂਹ ਵਿਚ…)? (sggs 1376).

      So, the Gurbani tells us that the man himself is responsible for this calamity – he cannot blame anybody else for it. We harvest exactly what we sow in the field (“Khet“) of life or body. Simply put: Man tears up his own roots.
      • ਜੋ ਮੈ ਕੀਆ ਸੋ ਮੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੀਜੈ ਅਵਰ ਜਨਾ ॥: Whatever I did, for that I have suffered; I don’t blame anyone else (sggs 433).
      • ਪਾਇ ਕੁਹਾੜਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗਾਫਲਿ ਅਪੁਨੈ ਹਾਥਿ ॥੧੩॥: ||13|| An imprudent (senseless, inattentive, stupid, ਲਾ-ਪਰਵਾਹ…) strikes his own foot with the axe by his own hand ((ਭਾਵ, ਆਪਣਾ ਨੁਕਸਾਨ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਕਰ ਲਿਆ). ||13|| (sggs 1365).
      • ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥: As is (beings’) awareness, so is (their) way (sggs 25).
      • ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਇ ॥: As we plant, so we harvest and eat (sggs 25).

      Hence, the Gurbani teaches us personal responsibility (ਜਿੰਮੇਵਾਰ)., it does NOT make us irresponsible!!!!!
      • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath – Praan) With own hands (with self-efforts, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ: Shabad-Vichaar …), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).

      Understandably, the Gurbani tells us the mind must get established in Giaan – spiritual Wisdom or spiritual Knowledge. Because, according to the Gurbani, it’s only the Giaan that can arrest or secure the mind.
      • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind (ਉੱਚੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ-to raise the Consciousness to the High Plane, one) ought to study Divine Knowledge (ਉੱਚੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਵਾਲੀ ਬਾਣੀ…) to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).
      • ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai… (sggs 469).

    2. There is a Sabab in Gurbaanee in the context of Karma worth pondering as
      ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ॥ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਣਾ ਸਰਬ ਰਜਾਈ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਚੈ ਜੇ ਕਰਿ ਸਕੀਐ ॥ ਆਪਣਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਜਿਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਉ ਰਖੀਐ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਤੇਰੈ ਵਸਿ ॥ ਅਸਾ ਜੋਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੇ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਮ ਸਾਕਹ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਬਖਸਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਕਾਰੈ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਹੇ ਕੋ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਧੁਰਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥ ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਕਰਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਭ ਸਾਜੀ ਕੋਈ ਛੇਵਾ ਕਰਿਉ ਜੇ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਲਿ ਤੂੰ ਬੁਝਾਵਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਿ ਰੋਵੈ ॥੩॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਹਉ ਆਖਿ ਨ ਸਾਕਾ ਹਉ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਨੀਚਾਣੁ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਹਰਿ ਬਖਸਿ ਲੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਰਣਾਗਤਿ ਪਇਆ ਅਜਾਣੁ ॥੪॥੪॥੧੫॥੨੪॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 736}

      Although every word of this Sabad conveys a deep meaning but a line as ਸਭੁ ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਪੇ ਕਾਰੈ ਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਹੇ ਕੋ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਜੇਹਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਧੁਰਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ makes very clear how any Sikh should understand the cause n effect of Karmas.

      1. Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji for the quote.

        The Gur-Shabad you quoted above gives us an inspiration (impetus, ਪਰੇਰਣਾ) to abide by the Law Of Nature (HUKAM, BHAANAA…). In other words it’s giving an impetus (ਪਰੇਰਣਾ) to become Hukamee Bandaa (ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬੰਦਾ)!

  4. The best KARMA as per Gurbani is given in a quote as
    ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਸਿਰਿ ਕਰਮਨ ਕੈ ਕਰਮਾ ॥
    Hari Keerati Saadhhasangati Hai Sir Karaman Kai Karamaa ||
    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਇਓ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਪੁਰਬ ਲਿਖੇ ਕਾ ਲਹਨਾ ॥੮॥
    Kahu Naanak Tisu Bhaeiou Paraapati Jisu Purab Likhae Kaa Lehanaa ||8||
    SGGS ji pp642


    1. Thank you Veer Ji for taking the time to respond.

      • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: MAMMA: (The mortal’s real purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline or control his mind; by doing so, Spiritual Understanding (Soojh or Samajh of the Formless or Niraakaar…) is obtained (and thus life’s real purpose is realzed). (sggs 342).

  5. Veerje, To put it otherwise, when the mind is conscious of the truth (Sach-ਸਚ), it’s established in Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Dharma…). On the other hand, when it moves in the wrong direction towards greater forgetfulness (of its Mool) and deeper involvement in fancies, then becomes tainted or impure…………is this direction of mind has any thing to do with, the vital breath (prana) ?

    1. Thank you PRINCE jit Singh Ji for taking the time to respond!

      The SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) says that “We are human beings of one breath”. That is, our “ਮੁਹਲਤਿ” (ਮਿਆਦ or duration) is just one breath. In other words, the length of a human’s life can best be measured by the breath.
      • ਹਮ ਆਦਮੀ ਹਾਂ ਇਕ ਦਮੀ ਮੁਹਲਤਿ ਮੁਹਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ॥: We are human beings of one breath and we do not know the duration (term, limit, etc., of our life) and the moment of our departure (i.e., death). (sggs 660).

      So without breadth human life ends:
      • ਸਾਸਿ ਗਇਐ ਕਾਇਆ ਢਲਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: When the breath is taken away, the body crumbles into dust (sggs 1256).

  6. Ang 1402 line 9.(ਕਵਲ ਨੈਨ ਮਧੁਰ ਬੈਨ) … who is ਮਾ ਜਸੋਧਾ

    1. First off, it’s NOT written as “ਮਾ ਜਸੋਧਾ” in the Gurbani.

      Instead, the correct wording is “ਮਾ ਜਸੋਦ”!

      My understanding is that the Gurbani speaks at the level of the mind. And, according to the Gurbani, our mind in its True Nature is “Joti Saroop-ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ” — the true image or true state of the Divine prior to the movement of the false ego-sense (Haume).

      Having said that, the entire Gurbani Glorifies the Divine Glory (ਜਸ).

      This is “ਮਾ ਜਸੋਧ-Maa Jasod” ~ Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, Giaan of the Gurbani, Bibek-Budh (discriminating intellect) of the Gurbani…

      This is what our mind/soul (Jeev) is supposed to take and eat from the Gurbani.

      This will become more clear by considering the words that follows “ਮਾ ਜਸੋਧ-Maa Jasod ” — “ਦਹੀ ਭਾਤੁ ਖਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ-Dahee bhaatu khaai jeeou”

      According to the Gurbani, what’s the “ਭੋਜਨ-Bhojan” (Food) of the Gurmukh, Brahm-Giaane? The Gurbani answers: his “ਭੋਜਨ-Bhojan” (Food) is Giaan, Divine Wisdom, Divine Knowledge.
      • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: Brahm Giaanee kaa bhojanu giaan (sggs 273).
      • ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ॥: Giaanee giaanu kamaavahi (sggs 71).
      • ਭੋਜਨ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਹਾ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ॥: Bhojan Giaanu mahaa rasu meethaa (sggs 1032).

      And, again, according to the Gurbani, what are we supposed to do with this “ਭੋਜਨ-Bhojan” (Food), which is Niraakaare (formless)? The Gurbani’s answer is that our mind/soul is supposed to eat this Niraakaaree Food!!

      • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਖਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਭੁੰਚੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥: Jae ko khaavai je ko bhunchai tis kaa hoi oudhaaro (sggs 1429).

      This is “ਦਹੀ ਭਾਤੁ ਖਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ-Dahee bhaatu khaai jeeou”!!

      Bhul Chuck Maaf Ji!

  7. SIr, is there any difference between ਹਉਮੈੈ (please explain this word for me) and ਹੰਕਾਰ ?

  8. Dear T. Singh,

    Thank you for your post.
    I have a question: in the SGGS I read “All mortals act according to their per-ordained destiny”. Is this a reference to Karma?

    1. Thanks Peter Jansen Ji for taking the time to respond!

      The SGGS also indicates that the One who ordains is also sitting within everyone!!
      So the Gurbani demands: Help yourself to realize the Ultimate Purpose of the human life.
      For example, if I am hungry, I have to eat food myself. I cannot ask someone else to eat food for me.
      Similarly, if I want to get married, I cannot substitute someone else to take the ” Phere” for me. I have to do it myself.
      Similarly, if one wants to realize his Mool (i.e., the purpose of life), one has to do it himself. Accordingly, the Gurbani Teaches us that one has to resolve his own affair of his own life himself, through his own efforts (Shabad-Vichaar to obtain the Amrit of the Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…). Thus the Gurbani’s Divine Wisdom (Brahm Giaan) not only makes man Hari-like but also avers that this great privilege has got its own severe responsibilities!
      • ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥ (sggs 474).
      • ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਖੋਜਹਿ ਸੇਈ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਹੋਰਿ ਫੂਟਿ ਮੂਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੨੦॥ (sggs 911).
      • ਆਪੈ ਜਪਹੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਜਾਪ ॥੫॥: Aapai japahu aapanaa jaap (sggs 343).
      • ਜਿਨੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਗਏ ਮਸਕਤਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥: Jinee Naamu dhiaaiaa … (sggs 8).

      To this end, the SGGS urges everyone to “search” and “search” (Spiritual Inquiry via Shabad-Vichaar) “ownself”.
      • ਆਪੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਕਬੀਰਾ ॥੪॥੭॥ (sggs 1155).

      In nutshell, the SGGS does not teach or encourage people turning to fatalistic behavior and beliefs.
      • ਏਕ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਜੇਹਾ ਭਾਉ ਤੇਹਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ (sggs 602).

      Renouncing fatalism is applying self-effort (Uddam, etc.) in Spiritual Unfoldment (Shabad-Vichaar…).
      • ਉਦਮੁ ਕੀਆ ਕਰਾਇਆ ਆਰੰਭੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥: (sggs 399).

      1. Thank you for your extensive reply.
        The words from Kabeer Ji are very inspiring to me:
        Kabeer, go out to meet the holy man; do not take anyone else with you.
        Do not turn back – keep on going. Whatever will be, will be. (SGGS, 1370)

      1. Sir, could u please tell me…..HAR JIYO NIMANIYAN TU MAAN(shabad/Kirtan) is located on which AnG of Guru Granth Sahib ji ?

        1. Dear Maninder Ji, that Shabad – ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਨਿਮਾਣਿਆ ਤੂ ਮਾਣੁ ॥ – is on Ang 624, line 15 of the SGGS.

    1. Thanks FD Ji for taking the time to respond! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

      In this day, this is a most timely observation.

      The fact is that the Gurbani observed this truth centuries ago!! But unfortunately, the most of the people who run Gurdwaras, the priest-class, exponents, etc., are not interested in bringing out the truth of the Gurbani. For their main interest is making money (Golak)!

  9. ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਿਹਕਰਮ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਕਾ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਧਰਮ ॥ ਕਾਹੂ ਫਲ ਕੀ ਇਛਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਛੈ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਚੈ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 274-7): Performing good deeds, he does not seek rewards. Spotlessly pure is the religion of such a Vaishnaav; He has no desire for the fruits of his labors. He is absorbed in devotional worship and the singing of Kirtan, the songs of the Lord’s Glory.

    1. Thanks Kirpal Singh Ji for taking the time to respond!

      • ਸਾਕਤੁ ਲੋਭੀ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੂੜਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪੈ ਮਨੁ ਰੂੜਾ ॥੩॥: The mind of a greedy Saakat (one who is separated from his Mool) is foolish. The mind of (that person who) has become the Gurmukh understands the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom, Virtues…) and thereby is Beautiful (i.e., linked its Mool…). (sggs 415).

  10. Great Explanation…………….Our Thoughts Decide our Destiny or Karma………….Thanks Sir

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