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Manmukh And Gurmukh


Jul 15, 2004
I have been thinking of writing some of my thoughts but didnt get the time, I finally got some time, it helps me also to sort out .. Here are some of them, Ill appreciate if you comment..

I have come to these conclusions in my life..

The only seeming way to be a gurmukh is one has to hate pleasure, comforts, sukh and love cherish pain uncomforts dukh.

This happens only when one has gone through the rounds of maya, and has acquired this discriminative understanding (vivek) through experience.

Step by Step this all happens through Guru ji's Mercy.

At every step one has to take the "most difficult path" in life, and be fully alert, As Guru ji says in Anand Sahib.

One has to sell his/her mind to the Guru and start hating comforts from the very core of his/her being, and again this comes through discriminative understanding when one is truly convinced 100% of Guru ji's Teaching and the confirmation gotten through one's own experience in life.

This will lead one to the stage of mannai or the faithful, This state cannot be described, the faithful is an instrument of Guru ji, and the faithful enjoys complete freedom.

All throughout this, one has also to make sure that one does not call attention to ownself as the doer, and it is Guru ji doing everything.<br /><br />
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Jul 13, 2004
Instead of hating anything... I would say... it is more relevant to consider good/bad, respect/insult, sadness/happiness, rich/poor etc etc with no difference. Guru Sahib says .. these are all the same! Dookh sookh is mann ki birtha...


Jul 15, 2004
Thanks for the reply, I agree with you. To reach that stage, thats why there is a need to earn pain and not comforts... which would finally result in becoming detached
Jul 10, 2006
Thanks for the reply, I agree with you. To reach that stage, thats why there is a need to earn pain and not comforts... which would finally result in becoming detached
What do you mean by earning pain. Could you please give an example in your life of what you would do.

For example; If in this life, Waheguroo gave you a very comfortable life. Would you deliberately abandon it.?


Jul 15, 2004
As long as comforts are pleasing to us in our mind, we do not remember God.

It is true that people do pray like this "Thank God for the comfortable life", and in this way they do remember God, and live a happy life till death.

But this is not true rememberance.

As long as comforts are pleasing to our mind, we are following a way of life which is pleasing to the mind (manmukh), We cannot remember God truly.

Kabir ji says, Without killing the mind, Devotional Worship is not performed.
Because as long as the mind is alive, it commands "you"
"You" are Gurmukh, and you follow the Guru's Hukam Only, Not the "Mind" (Man mukh)

So we have to make sure , that we are not pleased with comforts. That's why we have to earn that pain.

if you try to keep earning comforts that will be sweet poison for "you", and nectar for manmukh's happiness.

That is why you have to earn such a pain, that is poisionous to the "mind"
to Kill it.

So Sell/Kill your mind and offer it to the Guru.

After the mind dies, All attachment to good or bad, to comfort or pain dies, to love or hate, to all the opposites dies, Only pure bliss remains in the very core of your being. The person becomes detached within.

Guru Amar Das ji has said that in Anand Sahib.
andrahu jin kaa moh tutaa tin kaa sabad sachai savaari-aa.
From within those whose attachment is broken, those are adorned with the Shabad, the Word of the True Lord.

kahai naanak ayhu anand hai aanand gur tay jaani-aa. ||7||
Says Nanak, this alone is bliss - bliss which is known through the Guru. ||7||
This alone is bliss... All other comforts are illusory like...

the bumble bee is greedy for the flower's fragrance; finding it, he traps himself in it.
The deer, entranced by the sound of the hunter's bell, runs straight to him

if you are living a comfortable life, still earn that pain which kills the mind.

That is why devotees pray like this :
"God , Thank you for this Comfortable life, but also give me such a pain, that becomes medicine for me"

dhukh dhaaroo sukh rog bhaeiaa jaa sukh thaam n hoee ||
Suffering is the medicine, and pleasure the disease, because where there is pleasure, there is no desire for God.
Jul 10, 2006
I rather ask for "buiD ibbyk" (budhh bibaek) then pain.

For the real Gurmukhs, they are already suffering the pain of separation from the divine-light.

As for comforts, we are advice to have a balanced life, i.e. not have the "more more" attitude in anything ranging from food, sleep, pursuit of wealth etc etc.
Jul 10, 2006
This Shabad is by Guru Amar Daas Ji in Raag Maajh on Pannaa 128

mwJ mhlw 3 ]
maajh mehalaa 3 ||
Maajh, Third Mehla:

inrguxu srguxu Awpy soeI ]
niragun saragun aapae soee ||
The Lord Himself is Unmanifest and Unrelated; He is Manifest and Related as well.

qqu pCwxY so pMifqu hoeI ]
thath pashhaanai so pa(n)ddith hoee ||
Those who recognize this essential reality are the true Pandits, the spiritual scholars.

Awip qrY sgly kul qwrY hir nwmu mMin vswvixAw ]1]
aap tharai sagalae kul thaarai har naam ma(n)n vasaavaniaa ||1||
They save themselves, and save all their families and ancestors as well, when they enshrine the Lord's Name in the mind. ||1||

hau vwrI jIau vwrI hir rsu ciK swdu pwvixAw ]
ho vaaree jeeo vaaree har ras chakh saadh paavaniaa ||
I am a sacrifice, my soul is a sacrifice, to those who taste the essence of the Lord, and savor its taste.

hir rsu cwKih sy jn inrml inrml nwmu iDAwvixAw ]1] rhwau ]
har ras chaakhehi sae jan niramal niramal naam dhhiaavaniaa ||1|| rehaao ||
Those who taste this essence of the Lord are the pure, immaculate beings. They meditate on the Immaculate Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||1||Pause||

so inhkrmI jo sbdu bIcwry ]
so nihakaramee jo sabadh beechaarae ||
Those who reflect upon the Shabad are beyond karma.

AMqir qqu igAwin haumY mwry ]
a(n)thar thath giaan houmai maarae ||
They subdue their ego, and find the essence of wisdom, deep within their being.

nwmu pdwrQu nau iniD pwey qRY gux myit smwvixAw ]2]
naam padhaarathh no nidhh paaeae thrai gun maett samaavaniaa ||2||
They obtain the nine treasures of the wealth of the Naam. Rising above the three qualities, they merge into the Lord. ||2||

haumY krY inhkrmI n hovY ]
houmai karai nihakaramee n hovai ||
Those who act in ego do not go beyond karma.

gur prswdI haumY KovY ]
gur parasaadhee houmai khovai ||
It is only by Guru's Grace that one is rid of ego.

AMqir ibbyku sdw Awpu vIcwry gur sbdI gux gwvixAw ]3]
a(n)thar bibaek sadhaa aap veechaarae gur sabadhee gun gaavaniaa ||3||
Those who have discriminating minds, continually examine their own selves. Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, they sing the Lord's Glorious Praises. ||3||

hir sru swgru inrmlu soeI ] sMq cugih inq gurmuiK hoeI ]
har sar saagar niramal soee || sa(n)th chugehi nith guramukh hoee ||
The Lord is the most pure and sublime Ocean. The Saintly Gurmukhs continually peck at the Naam, like swans pecking at pearls in the ocean.

iesnwnu krih sdw idnu rwqI haumY mYlu cukwvixAw ]4]
eisanaan karehi sadhaa dhin raathee houmai mail chukaavaniaa ||4||
They bathe in it continually, day and night, and the filth of ego is washed away. ||4||

inrml hMsw pRym ipAwir ] hir sir vsY haumY mwir ]
niramal ha(n)saa praem piaar || har sar vasai houmai maar ||
The pure swans, with love and affection, dwell in the Ocean of the Lord, and subdue their ego.

Aihinis pRIiq sbid swcY hir sir vwsw pwvixAw ]5]
ahinis preeth sabadh saachai har sar vaasaa paavaniaa ||5||
Day and night, they are in love with the True Word of the Shabad. They obtain their home in the Ocean of the Lord. ||5||

mnmuKu sdw bgu mYlw haumY mlu lweI ]
manamukh sadhaa bag mailaa houmai mal laaee ||
The self-willed manmukhs shall always be filthy cranes, smeared with the filth of ego.

iesnwnu krY pru mYlu n jweI ]
eisanaan karai par mail n jaaee ||
They may bathe, but their filth is not removed.

jIvqu mrY gur sbdu bIcwrY haumY mYlu cukwvixAw ]6]
jeevath marai gur sabadh beechaarai houmai mail chukaavaniaa ||6||
One who dies while yet alive, and contemplates the Word of the Guru's Shabad, is rid of this filth of ego. ||6||

rqnu pdwrQu Gr qy pwieAw ]
rathan padhaarathh ghar thae paaeiaa ||
The Priceless Jewel is found, in the home of one's own being,

pUrY siqguir sbdu suxwieAw ]
poorai sathigur sabadh sunaaeiaa ||
when one listens to the Shabad, the Word of the Perfect True Guru.

gur prswid imitAw AMiDAwrw Git cwnxu Awpu pCwnixAw ]7]
gur parasaadh mittiaa a(n)dhhiaaraa ghatt chaanan aap pashhaananiaa ||7||
By Guru's Grace, the darkness of spiritual ignorance is dispelled; I have come to recognize the Divine Light within my own heart. ||7||

Awip aupwey qY Awpy vyKY ]
aap oupaaeae thai aapae vaekhai ||
The Lord Himself creates, and He Himself beholds.

siqguru syvY so jnu lyKY ]
sathigur saevai so jan laekhai ||
Serving the True Guru, one becomes acceptable.

nwnk nwmu vsY Gt AMqir gur ikrpw qy pwvixAw ]8]31]32]
naanak naam vasai ghatt a(n)thar gur kirapaa thae paavaniaa ||8||31||32||
O Nanak, the Naam dwells deep within the heart; by Guru's Grace, it is obtained. ||8||31||32||


Jul 15, 2004
Thanks for your replies, bibek budhi is important.

I want to discuss this topic more with you and with others if they wish to contribute.

Its not the physical pain or suffering, being poor, undergoing hardships, difficulties that im referring to be asked in the prayer, but it is that gift, that im asking from God, you can say medicine, which you can also say bibek budhi, through which I follow Gurbani and not the mind.

Manmukh does those things that are pleasing or comfortable to the mind, this mind is also based rooted in "haumai/ego".

But for gurmukh, there is no mind for him. Or there is no wish for him, He follows gurbani, which is "hukam".

When there is no mind,
then who chooses right or wrong, easy or difficult, pleasure or displeasure,
so there is also no haumai left in us

This state is acheived through the kindness of the Guru,
when we start absorbing in gurbani,
when the words of gurbani are becoming sweet to our mind,
then we start to be one with hukam.
there is no separation,
because there is no haumai, there is only one hukam, and the one who directs all.

Now if you understand, i had originally opened this post, because i believed that if we tried to earn those things that are unpleasing to the mind, then maybe we can stop the control of mind on us,

everyone looks for things pleasing to mind, none that does not please the mind
but what happens is hukam, only that Which God wishes happens.

So my discussion is this, what if we earn those things, that do not please the mind,
we might be able to come closer to hukam, and give defeat to the mind.
But as I m realizing more and more, it will be through Guru's Grace, that what will inspire us to earn things that are not pleasing to mind.

our destiny is to follow the hukam, good or bad, right or wrong, this does not matter.

Let me know what you think.


Mar 17, 2005

Perhaps we need to look at these definitions of Guru Mukh and Manmukh within the context of Gurbani from a psychological prepective and not an exoteric view.

Many of us are confused and ignorant about what the mind is. We too have been so heavy influenced by the philosphy of descarte and shankya, that we see all through the eyes of dualism, mind and matter, etc.

To keep things simple, we should look at the following terms:

Sikh - Learner ( who learns? what facility within you or I actually learns?)

The basis of Gurbani is to allow one to EXPERIENCE an INNER transformation, NOT an external transformation.

If we conducted a simple experiment of just closing our eyes. What do we see? No matter what you see, you notice that there is a "seer" within that is experiencing the experience of black or darkness. Try and find this "seer".

No matter how hard you look, there is always the "seer" or observer trying to observe itself.

I would define the darkness that the seer experienced as the content within the mind, and the seer, the consciousness that is aware of the content.

Manmukh is when we identify with Content of our mind, i.e thoughts, emotions, feelings etc while Gurmukh is idetifying ourslves with the seer of the content.

Gur = that which takes you from darkness (ignorance or not knowing) to a state of knowing. What inside YOU allows you to experience the experience of knowing? You will find that its the "seer" or observer that resides within your mind.

There are many references from Gurbani that illustrate this, Maan tu Jot saroop hai, apna mool pacha. or Antar Gur Ardana .....etc.

It is only though introinspection that one discovers that Gurmukh and Manmukh are infact opposite ways of self identity.

This require refined thought and is contrary to our normal concept of the term Gurmukh and Manmukh. If anyone wishes to explore this further, please feel free.

I have included a recent article I wrote that contains some refrences to Consciousness:

Prof Devinder Singh Chahal writes ..."However, it is very clear that
consciousness is the result of collective action of millions of neurons
and reactions of some chemicals produced in the brain"
I would like to contest the statement above, consciouness is does not
appear to be a by product of chemical nor neuroactivity in the brain. Even within this particular disipline of science, the problem of Qualia
cannot be addressed. It is akin to the work of Crick and watson re DNA,
the many have discovered the nature of DNA, yet were unable to
discover "life" within those chemical.
Additionally, although every individual experinces their own self,
including scientist, in the study of mind, brain and psychology
consciouness was not acknowledged and actively dismissed as having "no
place in the study of mind, brain and psychology", in the pursuit of
my reason for contesting is that such generalised statements may
mislead us in the pursuit of "truth" and prevent us from learning, i.e.
being a Sikh.
As the beautiful Zen story illustrates,
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a
university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain
himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and
speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

There is NO clear undersanding about consciouness, in fact, the Hard
problem of consciouness does not seem to go away. (David Chambers). The
hard problem being the Qualia of experience. The hard problem of
consciousness was formulated by Chalmers in 1996, dealing with the
issue of "how to explain a state of phenomenal consciousness in terms
of its neurological basis" What determines the quality of experince,
the depth, the understanding, etc.
I would suggest that consciouness is beyond the grasp of man, i.e.
Perhaps the understanding and in particular our "emotional attachment"
to this concept should be explored.
If Guru is understood to be a process of moving from a state of not
knowing to a state of knowing, Gu (Darkness, ignorance) Ru (Light,
knowing, knowledge), then perhaps we can explore what within us is
moved into a state of knowing?
What "knows" within us?
Being conscious implies to know.
Those who may have had experinces of mystical states would recognise
that one quality of such a state is "timelessness" and "Complete
Awareness". By complete I mean, contentless, yet clear & pure.
jis tay sojhee man pa-ee mili-aa purakh sujaan.
Through them, understanding has entered my mind, and I have met the All- knowing Lord God. Guru Arjan Dev p 43
tooN daanaa beenaa saachaa sir mayrai.
You are All-knowing, All-seeing and True, O my Supreme Lord. Guru Nanak Dev
antarjaamee parabh sujaan.
God is All-knowing, the Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts. Guru Arjan Dev
There are numerous references that illustrate "God" as being all
knowing, i.e. Conscious -

It is the notion of "I" hau-mai - referencing-self, an illusionary
identity that is "lost" leading to such states, leaving a sense of
knowing without sujectivity, objectivity and experince as being
distinct, but synthesised in ONE.
'Consciousness is not an object. It is hereness itself. Our minds are
usually involved with an object that appears and disappears in the
hereness, and because of that, we overlook the nature of hereness. Pure
consciousness is what these words appear in, what all bodies appear in.
It infuses all words and bodies, and it is conscious of itself, and it
is you. In your recognition of yourself as pure consciousness, you
awaken to yourself. Normally, when we speak of consciousness, we are
referring to particular states of awareness - being aware of something
or not being aware of something - rather than the awareness itself.'
It appears that our (Sikhs) emotional attachment to the understanding
of Guru, prevents or hampers us in gaining a deeper understanding of
both the process and qualitative experince of Akal. Should one change,
develop, deconstruct, reconstruct their understanding it allow one
to "experince" Karta-Purkh ( Creative consciouness)
Some references that may assist in moving this discussion forward.
sabh meh jot jot hai so-ay.
Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light.
Guru Nanak Dev p 13
panch bhoot sach bhai ratay jot sachee man maahi.
The body of the five elements is dyed in the Fear of the True One; the
mind is filled with the True Light.
Guru Nanak Dev p 20

jah daykhaa tah rav rahay siv saktee kaa mayl.
Wherever I look, I see the Lord pervading there, in the union of Shiva
and Shakti, of consciousness and matter, Guru Nanak Dev, p 21.
jotee jot milaa-ee-ai surtee surat sanjog.
When one's light merges into the Light, and one's intuitive
consciousness is joined with the Intuitive Consciousness,
Guru Nanak Dev p 21
tab lag mahal na paa-ee-ai jab lag saach na cheet.
As long as Truth does not enter into the consciousness, the Mansion of
the Lord's Presence is not found.
Guru Nanak Dev
gur charnee sadaa chit laa-i-aa.
I focus my consciousness on the Guru's Feet forever.
Guru Amar Das
gur parsaadee ko virlaa boojhai cha-uthai pad liv laavani-aa. ||1|| By Guru's Grace, a few come to understand; they center their
consciousness in the fourth state. ||1||
Guru Amar Das p 129
a-ukhaDh mantar mool man aikai jay kar darirh chit keejai ray. O mind, there is only the One medicine, mantra and healing herb -
center your consciousness firmly on the One Lord.
Guru Nanak Dev p 156


Jul 15, 2004

Perhaps we need to look at these definitions of Guru Mukh and Manmukh within the context of Gurbani from a psychological prepective and not an exoteric view.
Gurmukh is one who is embodiment of Guru's words/Teachings,
Manmukh, one who follows the mind, own wishes.

Gur - Guru ; man- mind , mukh - facing, words, direction

Regarding my discussion, I have realized that God is beyond both opposites, easy or hard, He is only obtained through Gurprasad. Our duty is to accept his hukam.

Many of us are confused and ignorant about what the mind is. We too have been so heavy influenced by the philosphy of descarte and shankya, that we see all through the eyes of dualism, mind and matter, etc.
I have not read these people
If your referring to shankaracharya, I have not read him, but I heard he has totally ignored duality in his writings.


Mar 28, 2006
Gurmukh- Bhagat- a person situated at the platform of Transcendental Consciousness, possess qualities like: Self-realization , Sahaj Avasthaa , Spiritual Silence , Divine Knowledge, Humility, contentment, Mercy and Forgiveness, Unshakable faith in God, Self-discipline, Righteousness, Discriminating intellect, Endurance, Contentment, Truthfulness, Sense of selfless service, Compassion, and all other endless Divine attributes. He/She sees God in everything, everyone and everywhere. Hence a Divine Soul…..

Manmukh-Sansari- A Manmukh is the total opposite of a Gurmukh. A material being who does not have natural inclination for Spirituality. Manmukh’s life is governed by Lust, Anger, Greed, Material attachment, Self-conceit, Envy, Stubborn mindedness and all the other faults. Hence Full of Egotism, Cravings and Evil passions........

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