Saturday, November 25, 2006


Simran 10

“When the mind is polluted, worship is not possible
and Naam cannot be obtained”

In the previous parts of this series an in-depth discussion has taken place on the various aspects of 'Simran'.

Just as abstinence is necessary for a complete cure of physical diseases, or a system of protection is needed to keep a machine in running order, - similarly the travelers on the spiritual path too, need many forms of abstinence for the very subtle / sublime spiritual 'efforts' needed for simran. If we remain unconcerned or irresponsible about these abstinence, then our attention cannot focus on ‘Simran'. We will continue to superficially imitate the action of doing Simran of just make a show of it.

1.1 Just as a wayward who asks the way, but does not take a step in that direction,
How can he reach the kingdom of the Beloved by just talking alone.
1.2 Just as someone asks the doctor a cure for his disease but fails to act on
the prescription, how can his disease be cured and how can he experience peace.
1.3 When asked, she says she is married, but her actions show that she is not virtuous.
With the heart so full of sin, how can she ever expect to please her spouse.
1.3 Singing or listening or sitting in meditation with eyes closed, supreme
bliss is not achieved by those who do not put into practice the teachings of
the guru in their daily life.

Our mind is very restless and gullible. “A moment of conversation with someone and you get convinced.” Similarly our mind easily succumbs to outside influence and becomes 'hot' or 'cold'.

Over numerous births we have been influenced by external factors. By regularly focusing on those thought (thinking about them often) they have become entrenched in the store of our subconscious mind. When some external stimuli triggers the system, the heat from some previous depraved mental attitudes surfaces, from the deepest recesses of the subconscious mind and under its influence, we turn helpless and deed - bound we become victims of degrading tendencies

just like:-


fights and quarrels
hatred and envy

falsehood and fraud
forcibly acquiring

tension (tug of war)
comrades in stealing

black smuggling
physical pleasures

fashion conscious
slander - backbiting

unnecessary daily involvement
wasteful debates-criticism

bad etc.

Every one, according to his mental map or environment, unknowing meditates or does simran of these tendencies. By continuous repetition/recalling of these tendencies the habit gets ingrained and slowly it thrusts, penetrates and diffuses into our life and becomes a part of it. Thus our behaviour, character or personality becomes polluted and repulsive. As a result of this polluted and repulsive behaviour and character, our homes, in fact the whole world atmosphere, experiences its evil and bad influences. This is the reason why there is an increase in anxiety, enmity, opposition, wars and quarrels.

To clarify this daily life’s routine, the following suitable analogy (e.g.) can be given:-

Alcoholics, (or any other addict) by drinking alcohol daily over a prolonged period, find that its evil effects thrust penetrate and diffuse into their body, to the extent that the effect of alcohol seeps into their veins and arteries and they become a form of alcohol (called alcoholics). Whatever he thinks, remembers or does, he is under the negative influence of alcohol. In his life, the effect of alcohol
is so pronounced that he becomes an embodiment of alcohol.
Such a seasoned alcoholic can think of nothing but alcohol. His condition can be likened to putting a riddle to one who is hungry. His only answer can be "food." Even if he imitates and tries to do some thing, he does it under the deep influence or 'stamp' of alcohol.

Thus, if we do not stop abstaining from evil mental tendencies, until then, inspite of practicing rights and rituals, worship and paath etc., we can make no physical, mental or religious progress.

3.1 Having been smeared with the filth of pride, the world suffers pain. The filth of pride is attached because of worldly love.
-By no means can this dirt of ego be washed off even though one may
bath in hundreds of religious places of pilgrimage.
-By performing rituals in various ways, double the amount of filth
attaches to man.
This filth is not removed by acquiring knowledge. Go and consult the
Divines. 39

If a patient has the habit of eating sugar, and the doctor tells him abstain from sugar, but the habit-driven sugar eating 'patient' continues to eat sugar secretly or under pretext, then his disease instead to reducing will become worse.

In the same way, we are being carried away in the stream of some previous materialistic system, and to change or to abstain from it, we

do not seem to remember it.
do not seem to see the need for it
seem to have no courage
do not seem to make any effort.

That is why, it is a common complaint of seekers that while doing simran, the mind does not focus.
Instead of practicing abstinence from negative low tendencies or vices, we dwell on the vices of others that is taking delight in talking ill about others. In this way we search into the mistakes of vices of people and small and enjoy its stench thereby causing our mind, feelings, intellect to become all more polluted.
This is not enough
Low thoughts

polluted thinking
repulsive behaviour
revenge - vengeance
jealousy - envy

etc. - by constantly focusing on these, we are creating numerous case files in our heart. When, through some remembrance, his/her file opens, then such poisonous fumes appear, that our mind burns in anger and hatred. Within the deep recesses of our heart we have carefully nurtured many such poisonous and polluted files.

What a painful thing it is -that the heart, which was suppose to be filled with the Infinite Lord’s pure naam, shabad, love, relish and joy, is instead carefully habouring the rubbish of repulsive thoughts. How can the pure naam and shabad reside in a heart that is filled with such polluted desires?

4.1 Farid, the farmer plants the kikar tree and expects the grapes of bijour. 1379 (When ones actions are negative how can one expect positive results)

4.2 When the mind is polluted , worship is not possible and the Naam cannot
be acquired. 39

4.3 The mind is polluted. The Naam is so pure. How can there be union?
4.4 He wears the religious garb but practices not TRUTH.
Though he claims, he cannot get close to God’s mansion. 738

Such a mind - led (controlled) life is similar to that of snakes because snakes, day and night burn in their own internal poison and whosoever appears near them ,they too are burnt and singed with this poison.

4.5 To live without Lord’s simran is like burning in fire even though ones
life may be as long as that of a snake. 712

Thus, regarding ourselves as pure, good and faultless, and regarding others low or bad and keeping our nose high while shifting through their vices, is the result of our stubborn ego.

As opposed to this,

Gurbani advises as a follows

5.1 I am not good, no one is bad
Prays Nanak , He the Lord alone is man’s saviour. 728

5.2 Kabir, I am worst of all, other that me, all are good.
Whoever realises this, he alone is my friend. 1364

This mental abstinence is one easy and practical way - and that is, whenever a negative or bad thought about someone, appears within us, at once say
let it be
never mind
so what
leave it
forget it
and immediately let the thought go.

Such a sublime (pure) behaviour can only arise out of 'forgiveness' a divine virtue. But we are totally ignorant of this virtue as if this message of 'forgiveness' is for someone else! We regard it our right to reply the 'brick with stone' and slowly this becomes our habit causing enmity, hatred, tension, fights and quarrels to increase.
Since the beginning, the Gurus, Prophets, holy people and saints have provided guidance to man to disregard the faults/defects of others - in other words 'be forgiving'. Some have advised to forgive 3 times, some 7 times and some 70 times.

But the glorious Guru Nanak felt that man is forever trespassing (making mistakes)

5.3 Man can never be released from his writ (account of his deeds) since he keeps erring all the time.
O Merciful One take mercy says Nanak and ferry us across safely. 261

Children are forever making mistakes, but the mother’s motherly love disregards all the child’s short-comings continues to love him.

In the same way, we are children of God, and being our spiritual Father and Mother, HE too because of his in built behaviour, does not take into account our dereliction and faults and continuous to forgive us. If the Eternal Lord were to focus on our faults and sins, that is take stock of our deeds, then we can never ever hope for salvation from the “ hell of worldliness”.

But where the Lord is ‘ever forgiving and merciful then it is essential for us too, to acquire the following divine virtues which are going to help us when we do simran.

* Never keep the company of anger
* Reflect within your own self
* Do not keep ill will for others in your heart
· Return good for evil

* Avoid hearing ill about others
* Share divine virtues
* Let us free ourselves from vices and move on
· Be merciful and forgiving and love man

* No one is an enemy and no one a stranger
* Act like a guest in this life
* Be proactive not reactive
* Eat to survive
* Reduce sleep / lethargy
* Speak little
* Remain detached etc.

But when we look around at the environment in the world, the following things will emerge and stand out in the daily life of the world:

1. All are happy to receive but few find joy in giving.
2. The learned who theorise are many but those who practice are few.

6.1 Rare in the world is the man of knowledge who has character (practices righteous action) 413

3. All are prepared to feed themselves but rare is the one who feeds (others).
4. All are able to detect the defects in others but rare is the one who is aware of his own short-comings.

5. All are prepared to criticise the short-comings of others rare is the one who bears the unbearable ( ignores what he sees and unhears what he has heard)

6. All can speak harshly and superficially but rare is the one who speaks
7. All can talk ill (about others) but rare are the ones who feel happy on hearing others talk ill about them.
8. Many are prepared to do bad, but few are those who are prepared to do good towards the bad.
9. All are prepared to show anger against people but only a few will practice ‘Never ever allow anger to keep your company (instead) look deep down into your own heart.’

10. All are capable of tying the knots of jealousy and doubt but only a few practice
‘Don’t keep ill will against others in your mind.’
11. Many are prepared to cheat but only a few act honestly.
12. Procrastinators are many but rare are the ones who discharge their responsibility and duty.

13. All are prepared to poke fire. Only the rare one will put the fire off.
14. All are prepared to hurt (break the heart’s mirror). Rare are the ones who will patch it.
15. All can dampen someone’s high spirits but rare is the one who will uplift the ones with sagging spirits.

The thing is on all sides there is the pressure of negative worldly tendencies or vices. Trapped by the mind we are day and night we are living the life of “falsehood reigns supreme O Lalo”. In this way we can fool ourselves and people around us, but we can never escape from the razor sharp edge of Dharamraj. Under the influence of ego and stubborness, we lose both this world and the next and again and again struggle in the cycle of coming and going. (births & death)

We do supplications (ardas) to obtain forgiveness for our numerous vices, but we are not prepared to forgive the faults of others even once. We are ever ready self appointed judges to pass judgement on other peoples faults, but when someone exposes our faults, we take offence and express anger.

In creation everything is changing - only the Infinite Lord and His Hukam (will) is unchanging/ permanant.

In such a changing world, each and every being is undergoing a change and change takes place according to the environment and the society that we live in.
Which ever being is a manmukh (follows the whims and fancies of his mind) through the company of evolved souls
he can become a gurmukh (one who follows the path shown by the guru without question). As opposed to this, through keeping negative or bad company, man can slip from the level of a gurmukh to a lower mental level. That is why it is essential to protect oneself and abstain from baser tendencies or avoid negative company.

To protect oneself from the influence of negative company, it is advantages to keep the company of gurmukh pi-aa-res or spiritually evolved souls. By turning our back to the sun we cut ourselves from its virtues and instead replace them with the uncertainties of darkness. By facing the sun on the other hand, the sun’s virtues like light, warmth, life, joy etc. are easily accessible and the back is automatically turned towards darkness. Exactly in the same way by keeping the company of spiritually evolved souls, the baser worldly tendencies or the filty of negative company gets lesser and lesser and in its place appears the urge, joy and encouragement to do simran.

8.1 .O my friend hear the glory of the society of saints.
The filthy is washed away, millions of sins are dispelled and mind becomes pure.809.

8.2 Through the saints society the Lord abides in man’s mind.
Through the company of saints all sins flee away.
Through the association of saints one acquires the immaculate way of life.
Through the society of saints one comes to embrace love for the One Lord. 1146

8.3 Standing up or sitting down meditate on God and enshrine affection for the saints company.
O Nanak, when the supreme Lord abides in man’s mind,
he is freed of his evil intellect. 297

8.4 Abiding in the society of saints, all sins hasten away.
If man is imbued with Lord’s love, then he is not caste into the womb ((he is freed from the cycle of births and deaths.) 811

By keeping lthe company of spiritually evolved souls and by doing simran, our life undergoes a change and divine virtues automatically surface in the mind. We abstain from the filth of worldly vices and by guru’s grace, our worldly orientated life changes and becomes guru orientated. Gurbani has this to say about a guru orientated life :

8.5 Those gursikhs are doubly blessed who hear the guru’s counseling with their ears. 590

8.6 .Blessed is that gursikh who serve the satguru by meditating on the Lord’s Name. Forever I pay my respects to that gursikh who lives by the Will of the Lord. 563

9.1 -The Guru’s disciple, who with every breath and morsel contemplates on my Lord God, he becomes pleasing to the Guru’s mind.
-He on whom my master becomes merciful, to that disciple of his, the guru imparts his instruction.
-Servant Nanak asks for the dust of the feet of that Sikh of the Guru of the Guru,who himself contemplates on God’s Name and makes others contemplate too. 305/6

On one hand divine virtues like


service orientated
etc. are present and manifest themselves in the divine world.

On the other hand, in the materialistic world,


` anger



selfishness / self-interest
hatred / duality
pain / conflict

-are vices that are in the forefront and exert a powerful experience.

If we wish to withdraw from the materialistic world to gain entry into the divine world, then every aspect of our life style like

life’s direction
will have to change.

To bring about this important change in life, the company of gurmukh piaares (spiritually evolved souls) or the sadh sangat is the only indicated and effective way.

As we continue to be in the company of the sat- sangat (evolved soul) our attitude to life will change and so will the mind orientated deeds. To take such spiritual flights we have to empty ourselves and be like Kabir who says “ No one is mine and I am no ones.” It is only by being empty that we can detach ourselves.

Everyone knows how to get entangled in the me-mine state, but to be free from the eternal prison of materialism, we have to keep the company of Gurmukh piaares who practice the advice / sermon of detachment. They mould their life according to the precept “Those who know how to leave (this world) why should they amass (things of this world)” only they successfully free themselves from the “false deeds and attachments”. But such blessed gurmukh piaares are rare indeed.

10.1 (The evolved souls) are few and not many. The rest are (involved) in a show and wrangling in this world. 1411

An example of such a gursikh’s life of detachment and simran:-

Some 60 years ago in a gurdwara in Rangoon , Burma, I met a Sindhi Sikh. Quietly he used to do sewa
and satsang in the gurdwara and earned a livelihood through honest deeds. All other time he spent in redeeming his life by doing gurbani paath and simran.

He would get up in the ambrosial (early) hours of the morning and after paath and simran he would go to the gurdwara to benefit from the satsang. He used to prepare his own simple food. After food, he would move through the town pedaling (selling) from his bundle of clothes. To sell his clothes he never used his voice to proclaim his sale, instead people knew of the arrival of the cloth seller from the sound his iron yard made as it hit the road. To proclaim his presence with the mouth would mean interrupting his simran.

When a customer called him, quietly he would untie his bundle and show the clothes and give the price. When some customers asked for reduction or tried to bargain he would immediately tie up his bundle and walk off. He explained that bargaining too interfered with his simran.

11.1 When one forgets the Beloved even for a moment, what kind of worship is that?
A person whose soul and body are cool with the True Naam, no breath of his goes in vain. 35

Slowly the area folks realised that his price is reasonable and they stopped bargaining with him.

He explained that when his sales reached the point where he had made a profit of 2 rupees, he would immediately return home. In this way he remained ‘detached and absorbed in the Lord’s Simran.

Talking briefly about his unusual life style, he said that he was from the state of ‘Sindh’. His family was then living in Sindh. For his daily needs he needed one rupee and his family back home too, needed one rupee daily. For this reason he had to earn two rupees daily by pedaling the clothes.

As soon as his earnings reached two rupees, he returned home from pedaling and immersed himself in the true cultivation of simran.
12.1 God’s wealth is the true capital. Only some rare one understands this.
He alone receives it, O brother, to whom the Lord destines. 319
12.2 They who cherish love for their Lord, their souls is ever attuned to God.
Meditating and ever dwelling upon the Beloved, they live and they gather God’s Naam. 725

He was content with his patient and honest earnings. He had no yearning to accumulate materialistic things. His constant yearning was for the cultivation of Naam or simran.

When he was asked how he came about with this realisation of such ‘gurmukh life’. He replied that he got this gift from his mother’s lullabies of Sukhmani Sahib.
In his life, Gurbani’s advice

‘By ‘saying’ I live, by ‘forgetting’ I die.’
‘To be a Gurmukh (you must) remain detached.’
‘Such servants are rare in this world.’
‘By contemplating on the Shabad one remains detached.’

has found permanent acceptance and he was cultivating this in his daily life.

12.3 Blessed, blessed are the bankers who deal in the trade of God’s Naam.
The Sikh peddlers come, and with God’s Naam the Guru takes them across.
They alone serve the creator O Nanak on whom is God’s Grace. 313

In this way to convert human life from

bad to good
polluted to pure
materialistic to divine
painful to peaceful
mind orientated to guru orientated
can be achieved by

abstaining or remaining detached from worldly vices
cultivating or accumulating divine virtues

is absolutely necessary - only then can our mind penetrate within ,and unite with ‘simran’.


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