Since beginning-less time, our mind has accompanied us; the physical body changes from birth to birth and life to life, but mind is an old hand at the game. It makes us dance to its tunes and when we live without awareness, we find ourselves at the mercy of this untamed mind which can inflict great pain and misery upon us. When mind becomes our master, we find ourselves utterly helpless. We get swept away by seething emotions, and caught up in control trips or power trips, all of which leave us in great conflict and turmoil.
Mind can be likened to a vast all-pervasive ocean, though in comparison with Parmatman, it is still very tiny. Does it exist within us or outside of us? Both. It is like a nebulous haze through which we occasionally glimpse something more permanent, more eternal. When we start to become aware of our thoughts, we find that watchful vigilance brings thoughts to a standstill. Thoughts simply stop, as if the scorching torch of awareness has burnt them up completely. This utter silence of mind reveals to us our first glimpse of divinity.
Everything is contained in mind itself, so all our religious concepts, preferences and beliefs too are contained within the boundary of mind. An untrained mind is always in flux; it is never steady. Our thinking changes daily, if not hourly – it depends on such varying things as our moods, the weather, the social and political climate of the day, our neighbor’s behavior and so on! Sometimes something appeals to us greatly and sometimes we ourselves discard it. Many a times, a person seems very dear to us but at other times, we disdain to look at his face. These mental fluctuations show us how unsteady our mind is. There is hardly any consistency, if ever; in fact, we simply do not know how to be consistent.
There is a brighter side too. Our mind can also be a great friend, an ally in times of need. But this is only be possible when we train the mind and develop our positive qualities with patience, perseverance and understanding. Reading or studying religious scriptures can be very helpful and inspiring, but our spiritual journey actually begins when we start seeking the source of our mind. Else, it can be compared to reading a railway timetable from cover to cover, but reaching nowhere!
Like a computer, everything that is fed into the mind and senses is processed and then there is an output, by way of reaction or response to that stimulus. If we know how the mechanism of mind works, we can create a beautiful design with this very mechanism. Therefore, wise men over the ages have always exhorted us – “Man, know thyself!”
The golden words of Guru Nanak Devji mentioned in this profound discourse point us in the same direction. While elucidating their meaning, Gurumaaji puts great emphasis on why we should search and seek our own true essence. It is only when we have rediscovered this real identity of ours that we are truly accepted by Parmatman, God.