Desire & Hope/ਆਸਾ ਤੇ ਮਨਸਾ


Mar 12, 2009
DESIRE & HOPE/ਆਸਾ ਤੇ ਮਨਸਾ


Desire is a longing for contentment of something. Hope is desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment. Both can go beyond a mere wish, request or petition for an object. One may covet, crave or lust for it. It may not be easy to gratify the feeling or passion one may have developed for it. In an unsatisfied state, one is not able to enjoy and be contented but can loose faith in a selfish supplication. Guru Nanak and Guru Amardas call both entrapper and enticer in Raag Sorath and Raag Bilawal:

ਆਸਾ ਮਨਸਾ ਬੰਧਨੀ ਭਾਈ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਬੰਧਕਾਰੀ ॥

Āsā mansā banḏẖnī bẖā▫ī karam ḏẖaram banḏẖkārī.

Hope and desire are entrapments, O Siblings of Destiny. Religious rituals and ceremonies are traps. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 635-8

ਆਸਾ ਮਨਸਾ ਜਗਿ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥

Āsā mansā jag mohṇī jin mohi▫ā sansār.

Hope and desire entice the world, and the whole universe. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 851-3

But desire is also the key to motivation. It demands an unrelenting determination and commitment in the pursuit of one’s goal. They not only lead to success in one’s pursuit but excellence as well. Guru Amardas in Raag Asa says both to be created by the Creator;

ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਚੂਕੈ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਿਐ ਹਯਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਨ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਆਸਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਤਿਸ ਨੋ ਜਾਨ ॥

Ėhā bẖagaṯ cẖūkai abẖimān. Saṯgur sėvi¬ai hovai parvān. Jin āsā kīṯī ṯis no jān.

By Akal Purkh’s devotional worship, egotism is eliminated. Serving the True Guru, one becomes approved. So know the One, who created hope and desire.-----Guru Amardas, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 424-2

A desire can set off a chain reaction in the thought process -- as soon one desire is fulfilled another emerges. There may be complete calm in the mind in between two of them. At that moment one may be free from all thought, neither love nor hate. Between the two mental waves of thought there is the possibility of complete serenity. Animal desires of man cannot be suspended for long. Nor can they be fulfilled except temporarily. A person who desires material things rather than virtues is always poor.

ਸਾਧੋ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਗਹਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ਚੰਚਲ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਯਾ ਤੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਈ ॥

Sāḏẖo ih man gahi¬o na jā¬ī. Cẖancẖal ṯarisnā sang basaṯ hai yā ṯė thir na rahā¬ī.

Holy Sadhus, this mind cannot be restrained. Fickle desires dwell within it, hence the mind cannot remain steady. -----Guru Tegh Bahadur, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 219-11

Mind reflects the collective conscious and unconscious processes in an organism. They are manifested in thought. Its intellectual or rational faculty understands, remembers, conceives and thinks. Mind also causes us to feel, judge and desire. It also determines the state of one’s spirituality. Without consciousness and mind, thoughts do not exist. Mind is the tool of consciousness and depends for its existence on our experiences. Experiences are registered by consciousness. And without consciousness there is no experience. Mind forms thoughts. Without thoughts, mind cannot exist. Hence it is often said that mind and thoughts are the same. They are interdependent. By controlling them, one can achieve the loftiness of life spiritual or otherwise.

ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥

man jīṯai jag jīṯ.

Conquer your own mind, and conquer the world. -----Japji, AGGS, Page, 6-17

It requires an active effort on the part of the seeker to be blessed by God’s grace so he or she can control the mind, and succeed in Naam Japna with concentration and focus on It.

ਮਨੁ ਬਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਪੂਰਨ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ ॥

Man bas āvai nānkā jė pūran kirpā ho¬ė.

Only the Lord’s Grace can permit control over mind.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Thiti Gauri, AGGS, Page, 298-17

Mortal does not die. Only his biological body with all its earthly desires dies. A desire for spirituality may awaken in a person. This desire is not of this world, it belongs to the Creator. If a man develops it he starts feeling not only the attributes of his body, but those of the Conscious as well, which is a part of the Creator's Attributes within Higher Self. Unfortunately mind is like a wild elephant that does not stop running after useless material desires.

ਆਸਾ ਮਨਸਾ ਮੋਹਣੀ ਤਾਮਸੁ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਬਲਦੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤੇਲੁ ਪਾਇ ਕਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਅਗਿ ਬੁਝਾਵੈ ॥

Aasaa Manasaa MohaNee Taamas Tisnaa Shaant Na Aavai, Baldi Andar Tail Paaey Keo Man Moorakh Agg Bujhavai.

Hopes and desires always attract his mind and being guided by evil propensities he never attains peace. How could a self-willed extinguish fire by putting oil on it?
-----Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 15, Pauri, 9 -5 & 6

One cannot get every thing one wants but one can learn to control the mind. He can step outside the endless cycle of desires and aversions. One can learn not to want all that comes to mind. He can recognize his desires but not be controlled by them. ----Buddha.

Man can control his mind so that the spiritual desires suppress the desires of the body. Mind can then completely associate itself with the Consciousness. Man may then come to regard death of his body as its shedding of a skin. With this perspective he can gain spiritual wisdom of Naam contained in AGGS.

ਮਨ ਕੀਆ ਇਛਾਂ ਪੂਰੀਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਸਦਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਕਰਣੈਹਾਰੁ ਪਛਾਨੁ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਮੁਖੁ ਊਜਲਾ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਬਿਨਸਿਆ ਤਜਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥

Man kī▫ā icẖẖāʼn pūrī▫ā pā▫i▫ā nām niḏẖān. Anṯarjāmī saḏā sang karṇaihār pacẖẖān. Gur parsādī mukẖ ūjlā jap nām ḏān isnān. Kām kroḏẖ lobẖ binsi▫ā ṯaji▫ā sabẖ abẖimān.

The desires of the mind are fulfilled, when the Treasure the Name of Akal Purkh, is obtained. The Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts, is always with you; recognize It as the Creator. By Guru's Grace, your face shall be radiant. Chanting the Naam, you shall receive the benefits of giving charity and taking cleansing baths. Sexual desire, anger and greed are eliminated, and all egotistical pride is abandoned. -----Guru Arjan, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 46-4 to 6

Desires such as sex, food, wealth, power and knowledge are fulfilled through the body -- through its five senses. They can also be satisfied by fooling the human mind. This can be accomplished by sending signals through the electrodes (10 ਇੰਦਰੀਆਂ ) attached to human body and stimulating the five senses. Such is the power of the mind when controlled.

ਮਨੂਆ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵਦਾ ਓਹੁ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਵਿਆਪਿ ਰਹੀ ਅਧਿਕਾਈ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਨਿਤ
ਸੰਤਾਵੈ ॥

Manū¬ā ḏah ḏis ḏẖāvḏā oh kaisė har guṇ gāvai. ḏrī vi¬āp rahī aḏẖikā¬ī kām kroḏẖ niṯ sanṯāvai.

The mind wanders in the ten directions - how can it sing the Glorious Praises of the Akal Purkh? The sensory organs are totally engrossed in sensuality; sexual desire and anger constantly afflict him. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Vadhans, AGGS, Page, 565-3

There are ten kind of sensuality or Indri (ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ). Five of these are related to knowledge and the other five are related to the five senses.

Pleasure centers can be directly influenced by sending the same signal they receive from the sensory receptors. Pleasure is the result of release of chemical neurotransmitters by the brain cells. This release can also be the result of stimulation caused by meditation, food, sex, drugs or social esteem. Brain cells release Dopamine and or Endorphine. Opiates flood and bathe the neurons of the right ventral tegmental area. They also impact prefrontal cortex involved in memory and emotion. Stimulation by the above-mentioned activities causes pleasurable feelings of joy, while the amygdale, associated with fear, is temporarily inhibited. These pleasures are the result of attachment to Maya of three qualities.

ਮੋਹ ਕੁਟੰਬ ਬਿਖੈ ਰਸ ਮਾਤੇ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਗਹਨ ਗਹੇ ॥ ਮਿਥਨ ਮਨੋਰਥ ਸੁਪਨ ਆਨੰਦ ਉਲਾਸ ਮਨਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਸਤਿ ਕਹੇ ॥

Moh kutamb bikẖai ras māṯė mithi¬ā gahan gahė. Mithan manorath supan ānanḏ ulās man mukẖ saṯ kahė.

Mortals are intoxicated with attachment to their families and sensory pleasures; they are held in the grip of falsehood. The false desires, and the dream-like delights and pleasures are called true by the self-willed. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 406-15

When the five senses are stilled and when the intellect does not stir in between two thoughts, then one can enjoy the tranquility of mind. During this pause. One can reach the highest state of spirituality. This requires subjugation of the lower instincts of lust, anger, attachment, pride, and greed. One can then letting God in one’s life. He can begin to develop godly instincts of truth, contentment, compassion, faith and fortitude. With the eradication of duality, peace of mind and serenity can be sustained and enjoyed.

ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਆ ਕਿਲਬਿਖ ਕਾਟਣਹਾਰਾ ॥

Mansā mār ḏubiḏẖā sahj samāṇī pā¬i¬ā nām apārā. Har ras cẖākẖ man nirmal ho¬ā kilbikẖ kātaṇhārā.

Conquering my desires and duality, I have merged in celestial peace, and I have found the Naam, the Name of the Infinite Akal Purkh. I have tasted Its sublime essence and my conscience has become immaculately pure; and my sins have been destroyed by Akal Purkh. -----Guru Amardas, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 603-18 & 19

This state of Celestial Peace is the Stage of Sahaj or bliss/ 4th state or (ਤੁਰੀਆਵਸਥਾ). The body becomes only a means for the spiritual advancement in this exciting experience. Compared to this great spiritual delight, small transitory physical pleasures are of little value.

ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥

Bẖa¬ī parāpaṯ mānukẖ ḏėhurī¬ā. Gobinḏ milaṇ kī ih ṯėrī barī¬ā.

This human body has been given to you to meet the Creator of the Universe.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 12-6

ਕਬੀਰ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮੁ ਦੁਲੰਭੁ ਹੈ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਬਾਰੈ ਬਾਰ ॥

Kabīr mānas janam ḏulambẖ hai ho¬ė na bārai bār.

Kabir, it is so difficult to be born in human body; it does not just come over and over again. ------Kabir Slokes, AGGS, Page, 1366-1


Only by acknowledging and accepting who is at his core, one becomes self-contented. One can learn to be satisfied even when one is not perfect in all areas of one’s life. One need not be perfect in any area of one’s life to be contented. Through such understanding one can better appreciate and even love oneself just as one is. Then one begins to exude a quiet confidence that can open new doors in life. One becomes free of unnecessary desires and disappointments.

Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, and have few desires. -----The way of Lao-tzu, 531-604 B.C

ਧੀਆ ਪੂਤ ਛੋਡਿ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਆਸਾ ਆਸ ਮਨਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਰਈਆ ॥ ਆਸਾ ਆਸ ਕਰੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਰਾਸ ਸੁਖੁ ਲਹੀਆ ॥

Ḏẖī­ā pūṯ cẖẖod sani­āsī āsā ās man bahuṯ kara­ī­ā. Āsā ās karai nahī būjẖai gur kai sabaḏ nirās sukẖ lahī¬ā.

The Ascetic renounces his daughters and sons, but his mind still conjures up all sorts of hopes and desires. With these hopes and desires, he still does not understand that only through the Word of the Guru's Sabd does one become free of desires, and find peace.-----Guru Ramdas, Raag Bilawal, AGGS, Page, 835-11

Virinder S.Grewal
Williamston, MI