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Talking Stick

Conquer The Mind ... And You Have Conquered The World
The Talking Stick Colloquium # 71





The mind of the faithless cynic is like a crazy elephant.

It wanders around the forest, distracted by attachment to Maya.

The gurmukh seeks, and finds his own home. ||1||

Without the Word of the Guru's shabad, the mind finds no place of rest.

Remember in meditation the Lord's Name, the most pure and sublime; renounce your bitter egotism.

Tell me, how can this stupid mind be rescued?

Without understanding, it shall suffer the pains of death.

The Lord Himself forgives us, and unites us with the True Guru.

The True Lord conquers and overcomes the tortures of death. ||2||

This mind commits its deeds of karam, and this mind follows the dharam.

This mind is born of the five elements.

For the sake of devotional worship, he dwells at the Guru's Feet.

Nanak is the humble servant of the slave of the Lord's slaves. ||9||8||

[GGS:415] - Translated by Sant Singh Khalsa



We paused last week to examine Bhagat Tirlochan’s oft-quoted passage that has conventionally been translated in terms of reincarnation and transmigration - a source of some concern during our discussion.

The dialogue that ensued raised some questions that I wish to pursue this week as a starting point into a discussion on munn or the mind.

There appeared to be a general consensus that gurbani, being poetic in its expression, should not be taken literally, but rather, viewed figuratively when applicable. Bhagat Tirlochan’s use of reincarnation terminology was much like the Gurus' use of the common idiom - to get their message across to the general populace.

I am, of course, quite sympathetic to such a view and my general slant on gurbani generally follows that spirit. But I wonder  sometimes if there aren’t pitfalls that we should watch out for?

In trying to avoid literalism, are we risking the other extreme - relativism? I use the term not so much as moral relativism but the view that differing points of view have equal validity.

There are passages in gurbani that don’t lend themselves so easily to such a metaphoric treatment.


Last week, I alluded to the concept of munn (loosely translated as the mind) in gurmat, hoping that someone would pick up on it. This week I would like to re-visit munn - for a variety of reasons.

First, because I think that it is often confused with the soul - atmaa(n). This was in evidence during our discussion where a reader (or two) talked about the soul reincarnating. Is it the soul/ atmaa(n) or mind/ munn that perhaps passes on?

Compared to the word atmaa(n) or its variations, the word munn is used much more frequently and seems to me to hold the key to the discussion we began last week. All gurbani aims to teach us how to master our munn.

The passage this week is from Guru Nanak and describes the munn as having a dual nature. Let's examine the nature of munn - its origin, nature and characteristics.

It would be worthwhile to consider the similarities and differences in how the concept of munn in gurmat differs from the Vedantic or Sankhya or Buddhist view.

What is the relationship of munn to the soul/ atmaa(n)?


December 26, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: Ravinder Singh (Westeville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 26, 2011, 9:40 AM.

To reiterate my motivation in bringing the mind (munn) to the center of our dialogue: Apart from its centrality and importance in Sikhi, which makes "munn" a desirable topic in its own right, I would like to suggest that "munn" may be the continuum that progresses from one form of life to another. Let's see how this proceeds. More in a bit.

2: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, U.S.A..), December 26, 2011, 12:39 PM.

Guru Nanak: "sachahu orai sabh ko upar sach aachaar" [GGS:62] - 'The highest of all is Truth. But higher still is Truthful Living.' Chinese philosopher Confucius said: "It is not Truth that makes man great but man that makes Truth great." Although confucianism became the official ideology of the Chinese state, it has never existed as an established religion.

3: R. Singh (Canada), December 26, 2011, 2:40 PM.

"Reincarnation" is an age-old prop to keep people in line and keep them doing what they are shoved into doing, so that the power-hungry and the greedy can control and rule, with tall promises of a better future in the next life. This is a delusionary loop, remedied through understanding and imbibing the Guru's shabad. If there was indeed a heaven waiting for us in the after world, there would've been a long line of people rushing to get there by all means. Without the munn, there would be no perception, no sensory input or output. The 'soul' would not be perceived as a separate entity, so controlling the mind one can get out of this delusion, and a delusion it is. What are the chances of a glass of water being recovered intact from the ocean it has merged with?

4: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), December 26, 2011, 4:27 PM.

The human mind is so fickle that it has great difficulty processing right from wrong.

5: Kanwarjeet Singh (Franklin Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.), December 26, 2011, 4:53 PM.

Just as a student in school learns the arts and sciences at his/ her level, so is a Sikh learning and understanding gurbani at his or her own level. Gurbani speaks to us seekers at the maturity level of our understanding. Personally I think the atmaa(n) is nothing but cosmic energy which is all around us. We need the munn (satellite dish) to connect with this energy. Just as a dish focuses the beam of light/ sound, etc., so does the munn (mind/ heart, whatever you want to call it - the rational part of the brain, if you please) connect to one's atmaa(n), i.e., energy. As I understand more about what the Gurus tried to teach us, my understanding has been that the 'Waheguru' they talk about is nothing but our collective consciousness. This consciousness has all the abilities to protect us, guide us, warn us and resides right within our own subconsciousness.

6: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), December 26, 2011, 10:00 PM.

My understanding about the terms used in this discussion: 1) ATAMaa ... A basic fundamental unit of divine matter as a source of creation which is present in every creation of the universe, living or non-living. This is nicely explained in message #5 by Kanwarjeet Singh ji. 2) MUNN ... This is referred to as vibration or vibrations of the atamaa(n). We learnrn from gurbani about the real form of munn as being JOT SAROOP. 3) SOUL ... Jeev-Atmaa(n) is the soul. Here, jeev is the reference of any thought associated with atamaa(n). From all of this, we see that it is ultimately the munn which is active every time. It is the most agile invisible within any form. And in the human form, it is the munn controlling the whole thought process of different and varied characteristics. So, the message of gurbani is primarily directed to keeping the munn in its real form og jot.

7: Ravinder Singh (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 27, 2011, 12:37 AM.

To R. Singh ji: I am not entirely convinced that the answer is quite as black and white as you seem to make it out to be. Yes, indeed we must look to the Guru's shabad; but not everyone interprets the Guru's shabad alike. There is a sizable number of people who interpret them differently from you and I. Are they mistaken? Who is to judge? There are many shabads (too many to cite here) where the Guru has painted a rather hellish future for the manmukh. Are they spinning yarns to keep us in check? Of course not. I am trying - among other things - to encourage a little philosophy, by which I mean love of wisdom or a sense of proportion. There is much about Life that we know nothing about, that is not visible, but is real. A good posture to adopt, in my view, is to admit that there are things we know nothing or little about. Reincarnation may be one of those things. Who knows what is on the other side.

8: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), December 27, 2011, 4:47 AM.

I accept - I have no capacity to understand God - so I blame God for everything and praise God for everything.

9: Devinder Singh (India), December 27, 2011, 6:02 AM.

To the materialist/ scientific view Life seems only an operation of matter, mind an activity of Life, and it might seem to follow that what we call the soul or spirit is only a power of mentality, the soul a fine form of Mind, spirituality a high activity of the embodied mental being. This view takes into account an evolutionary ladder over time beginning with matter. The mystic poet Jalaluddin Rumi also takes an evolutionary view, albeit with a difference in this poem: "A stone I died and rose again a plant;/ A plant I died and rose an animal;/ I died an animal and was born a man./ Why should I fear? What have I lost by death?" He thus talks of the evolution of an identifiable individual over several lives through rebirth. Gurbani also talks of rebirth. What is it, then?

10: Devinder Singh (India), December 27, 2011, 6:12 AM.

What is it that is reborn? Is it mind or soul? The mind is but a step in this evolution. So we must discard the view that "munn" may be the continuum that progresses from one form of life to another. That brings us to the difficulty at #3 where R. Singh asks: What are the chances of a glass of water being recovered intact from the ocean it has merged with? What is being alluded to here? The mind or the soul? What merges with the ocean?

11: Devinder Singh (India), December 27, 2011, 6:28 AM.

The atmaa(n) in the vedantic view is coexistent with the source and eternal. The jiv-atmaa(n), on the other hand, is what takes birth. It is a representative or 'essence' of the atmaa(n) that is mutable, while the Atmaa(n) above stands immutable, is unchanging and eternal. The jiv-atmaa(n) grows from life to life by drawing on the soul experience from each life. It is on an evolutionary curve, seeking perfection, having descended into the ignorance for that purpose. That is the way the Supreme knows itself entirely, i.e., also as ignorance since the jiv-atmaa(n) is the divine essence descended into the ignorance.

12: Devinder Singh (India), December 27, 2011, 6:45 AM.

The Buddhist view is slightly different. There is reincarnation, but it is not an identifiable entity that reincarnates. The birth is that of a non-identifiable individuality that descends into life from the universal energy and on completing the life mission merges back into the universal energy. This is more like the mind of vedanta that on the death of the individual merges back with the universal mind. The individual mind here (in vedanta) does not carry over to the next life. There is therefore not a continuity of personality from one life to another. Each time it is an entirely different personality that manifests for the purpose of the new experience that is to be gathered. At a more advanced stage of experience gathering the story can change a bit. That may explain the remembrance of past lives as a bodhisattav by a Buddha since the Buddhists do not have the concept of a soul or atmaa(n).

13: R. Singh (Canada), December 27, 2011, 7:06 AM.

Ravinder Singh ji: So we do agree reincarnation is speculation, i.e., in the realm of the unknown? However, through the ages, it has been promoted as fact. Seeking is our natural condition. When we stop and fall into the trap of fear, we give up our capacity to inquire, and remain fearful and static. Gurbani advises that we open our mind, and learn while we can with our munn at our disposal. The fear of death prompts various theories to cope with it, but clarity about it causes one to learn to "gurparsadi jeevat marae". We need to delve into why we need to accept death while still in our state of 'being'. That takes care of all past philosophical speculations about helplessness in 'reincarnating'. If we had lives upon lives to do so, why bother, right now, based on the premise that we have no dearth of time on our hands? "maati maati hui ek/ jyoti sung jyot ral jaaye" - how does munn survive merging in the 'jyot' which is not subject to our physical laws and perceptions? Interpretations according to munmutt will not take context of references into account, and will not take off one's own coloured glasses, and tend to be scared of shedding the old and worn, therefore the interpretations will be varied. The question arises, are we seeking guidance? If so, then why are we resisting taking it? Does it matter if we win or lose and argument or for how many past centuries a belief stuck and how many clients it produced, for what matters is getting to the Truth. If we are seeking in gurmat, then it is not for us to focus on what anyone else thinks or says.

14: Devinder Singh (India), December 27, 2011, 8:16 AM.

But in seeking there is doubt always, for doubt caries you to the next step. The munn is the ladder that aids the seeking. It is the aid to inquiry.

15: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, U.S.A.), December 27, 2011, 9:33 AM.

This is a very interesting discussion. There is one more word, "chitaah", which is also used in gurbani. E.g., "chitaah undar sabh ko nadri hait challynda". I would like to request some of the Sikh scholars to please throw some light all these terms, including chitaah.

16: T. Sher Singh (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada), December 27, 2011, 10:32 AM.

"Conquering the mind", for me, has meant a continuous reminder of its limitations, and staying within the boundaries of common sense. Like the child-like monkey, the unbridled horse or the crazed elephant, the mind gets the silliest when it is trying to fathom God and all the mysteries that emanate from 'Him'. I have been taught by those I respect and admire that yes, there is life before birth, and yes, there is life after death. What that may be, however, has not been disclosed to us, and no amount of chatturaayee (cleverness) will get us anywhere. Our Gurus have been very clear - they couldn't have been more unequivocal! - our role in life is to live in the present, and do our best. And NOT pre-occupy ourselves with matters that have no relevance. I worry when we drift into navel-gazing and start playing mindless mind games, when we know - or ought to know - that any theories, definitions, categorizations, etc. we can come up with, amount to utter nonsense. The terms we use - atmaa(n), munn, jeev, jot, etc. - are mere handles while we are groping in the dark. The dark begins to turn into light when we learn to let go the handles and surrender to the unknown. 'Naam' then comes with grace, not through dissection and analysis. As long as we cling to the handles, we remain static and in the dark. I have learned that Truth for me is to be found in living, not reading about life in obscure vedas or google or wikipedia and then interminably pontificating over esoteric nonsense.

17: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 27, 2011, 11:23 AM.

Thank you all, and Sher, for chiming in. A word of caution here. We need to distinguish between pre-occupation, as in fixation, which is morbid, and a healthy engagement with perennial questions or philosophy. Without philosophy, we are no better than well-fed pigs! The reason to engage in discussion of this kind is to see our limitations - that is the beginning of vismaad (awe and wonder), a quality that is absolutely essential in Sikh teachings. If, after repeated discussions, we find ourselves still holding on to our positions, then we've become caught-up in "chatturaaee." We should, instead, be reminded about how little we know and foolish we are in fastening onto beliefs - one way or the other. To be continued.

18: Ravinder Singh (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 27, 2011, 12:42 PM.

Why, specifically, did I raise the issue of munn in relation to reincarnation? Because my reflection on gurbani will, on occasion, lead me down a path that leads to a precipice beyond which is the abyss of the unknown. I don't know what is beyond, but I am intrigued. And so it is with munn (or mind, for convenience). Take this passage from gurbani: "janam janam ki is munn ko mal laagee/ kaalah hoah siyaahu" - 'The mind has been soiled black by the corruption of life after life' [GGS:651]. What is 'janam janam' here? Even as a metaphor it means forever, endless. And how does the mind purify (cleanse) itself? Another reference: "purab karam ankur jab pragde/ bhateo purukh rasak bairaagi/ mityeoo andher milat har naanak/ janam janam ki soyee jagee" [GGS:204] 204. How would you translate/ understand this?

19: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), December 27, 2011, 12:45 PM.

It is essential for us to know the intrinsic meanings of the various references in gurbani.

20: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), December 28, 2011, 8:04 AM.

Here's a philosophical exercise - ask a Sikh man or woman out on a date - ask the question: How does the mind purify (cleanse) itself? Get candlelight, flowers, great food and ambience - the answer will unfold naturally. Discussing philosophy with a bunch of strangers in cyberspace is freaking SAD.

21: Ravinder Singh  (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 28, 2011, 10:45 AM.

Well, it seems like this discussion is veering off in directions unexpected - which is fine. In my opinion, we are doing very well indeed as a cybersangat, given the nature of our subject and the constraints we work under. To Manjeet ji from Singapore: I love the idea of candlelight, flowers, good food with the right companion; it may not be mind cleansing, but can be mind altering. But I do not share your view of us (on this forum) being strangers. We are all brothers and sisters in Sikhi, fellow seekers helping each other out. BTW, I have a special fondness for Singapore and things Singaporean, having spent the first 11 years of my life there!

22: Jaipreet (New Jersey, U.S.A.), December 28, 2011, 12:38 PM.

This is an interesting discussion. I think you feel the presence of God when you love his creation: "jin prem kio tin hi prabh payo"! Bulle Shah says: "rab da ki bhaane, edhro(n) putna te ohar laana". I think feeling the presence of God is a state of mind that comes with doing good deeds, mastering your senses and tuning in to a sehaj avastha. Like gurbaani says: "munn toon jot saroop hein apna mool pehchaan" And, "munn re prabh ki saran bichaaro."

23: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), December 28, 2011, 11:14 PM.

Here's what happened on my date. My friend Jagjit Singh ji and I decided the mind is not dirty and set a resolution for 2012 - for us to continue to meditate on "aad guraay namay jugaad guray namay satguray namay." Jagjit made a healthy meal for us to enjoy in his garden of flowers and moonlight and I presented him with a painting that should last longer than both our lifetimes.

24: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), December 29, 2011, 11:11 AM.

"The dirt (impurity) of so many lives is attached to this mind and it has become soiled" [GGS: 651]. In gurbani mental "impurity" is also described as mayl, bkh, kucheel, paap, kasudh, sootak - inner filth, dirt, scum, pollution, etc. According to gurbani, our mind has been accumulating this mayl for many births, covered with the countless layers of filth, thus it's unable to see its own illumined state or divine nature (jot-saroop). This impurity consists of the mind's duality (dooja bhaav): lust, anger, greed, worldly attachment, corruption, pride, envy, stubborn mind, hatred, animosity, fear, lying, cruelty, quarrel, falsehood, selfishness, slandering, wickedness, prejudices, cheating, hypocrisy, deceptiveness, and their numerous variations. To remove this impurity, gurbani urges us to use this life in devoting it to God and selfless karam. Specifically, we are urged to do uddam (self-effort), inner inquiry (aatam-vichaar or shabad-kKamaa-ee), becoming a spiritual being (gurmukh), engaging in unbroken meditation (naam-simran), chanting God's glories, keeping company of 'sat' (Truth) within, without practicing detachment, etc. Gurbani also says we cannot remove the impurity by wearing of religious robes, outer show of religion or spirituality, ignoble qualities, giving charity and alms in ignorance, making pilgrimage to the so called sacred shrines and ritual bathing in their waters, reading of the scriptures, Naam-lessness, material consciousness (manmukhta), and other worldly entanglements. Gurbani has many verses on such impurity and how to be rid of it.

25: Gurdev Singh Bir (Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 30, 2011, 12:59 AM.

The munn is receptive and reactive. It absorbs what it interacts with and hence is buffeted by the environment it is exposed to. Keep in mind that the environment is very influential with the five passions it is armed with. The Guru intends to tame it's chanchal (michievous) nature to a nehchal (serene) state. Whereas it is buffeted around like a leaf in the storm of maya, the Guru wants it to be unmoving and rooted like the oak tree, to the point where it eventually recognizes its essence (mool). With the Guru's grace, the gurmukh graduates (trained through naam simran) into the strong soldier who has subdued this mad elephant. The mind stops being ignorant, not fooled by outer appearances or false prophets. This is the nth dimension the Guru wants us in, wants to see the pure lotus unsoiled by the polluted water around it. The mind stops its fascination with its environment and evolves to be in fascination (vismaad) of the source.

26: Prakash Singh Bagga (India), December 30, 2011, 6:14 AM.

Comment # 25 is an excellent description of the way munn is to be nurtured. But we learn from gurbani that this is possible only when munn gets connected with the Satgur.

27: Devinder Singh (India), December 30, 2011, 9:07 AM.

The munn in gurbani covers a wide range of meanings from emotion and instinct to intellect and spirit. The 'jot saroop' refers to subtlety or light.

28: Ravinder Singh (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 30, 2011, 9:13 AM.

Since we are approaching the end of this discussion, allow me to share some of my thoughts on this subject. I will try and keep it short and simple. First, a word of caution: The terms reincarnation/ transmigration, etc. invite strong, often knee-jerk reactions, either for or against. Philosophical discussions are not just esoteric stuff like some of you have suggested. They force clarity in thinking which is essential to get rid of our own biases (we all have biases). Without clear thinking, we can do harm without even being aware of it. Are we all on the same page when we use a term like reincarnation? Or 'munn' and 'soul'? Probably not. More to follow.

29: Gurnam Singh Gill (Michigan, U.S.A..), December 30, 2011, 5:23 PM.

I agree with R. Singh(#3, #13) that reincarnation is a hypothesis which has been repeated so often over the centuries that it got seared on the Indian psyche as an established truth. Before I comment on this subject further, I would like to remind readers of two important points about gurbani. Firstly, it is written in a language that had virtually no literature prior to Guru Nanak. Some of the words used in the common vernacular may have a very different meaning in the larger context of gurbani. Secondly, it is, as others have reminded us previously, written in poetic form. And now, for interpretation of 'janam-janam' (# 18): it means it took millions of years of evolution for the humans to emerge in the present form. We also know very well that our animal nature ('mal') lies just below the surface. Again, 'purab karam' can be explained as the evolutionary changes that occurred in our DNA (genes) which, combined with nurture, eventually determine what sort of person one is going to be or could become. The theme of evolution, to me, is apparent throughout gurbani. In fact it is urging us to evolve in this life towards becoming a 'sachiaara'. As for the mind, it cannot exist without a functional brain and the formation of memories. A good example of the dissipation of mind is seen in a person who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. In the beginning, the short term memory is impaired. As the degenerative disorder progresses, mental impairment spreads until the patient can no longer recognize his/her self. The mind fritters away. With the technical advances which allow us to understand the functioning of the brain better, a lot of the old hypotheses could be put to test or rest.

30: Devinder Singh (India), December 30, 2011, 9:57 PM.

To further Gurnam Singh ji's thesis (#29), do we have individual minds or do we draw from a common source much like an electrical gadget drawing power from an electric line? And at #18 above, one could say the effulgent light of the 'self' is covered over the janam janams by the ignorance of self (mind) that is cleansed by living in the present, disassociating with the sense mind or meeting one who has so cleansed himself.

31: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, U.S.A..), December 31, 2011, 10:57 AM.

Going through the various comments, the point arises whether or not Sikhism accepts the view that life is sinful in its origin, that is, at the time of birth? If so, what rites or rituals will eliminate them? If not, then how did the past karam come into existence? Obviously, these are riddles that shake us to come out with some philosophy!

32: Ravinder Singh (Westerville, Ohio, U.S.A.), December 31, 2011, 11:41 AM.

Thank you all for a very stimulating discussion, although in a direction that was not necessarily intended. Perhaps the convener could have done a better job at framing the questions. Sometimes the discussion gets ahead of itself and it is best to go with the flow. A lot more could be said and perhaps a lot more needs to be said on this subject, but the constraints of this forum limit us and have to be respected. Again, thank you for participating. I hope we will continue this melding of the minds in 2012. Happy New Year.

33: Yuktanand Singh (MI, U.S.A.), December 31, 2011, 3:27 PM.

You can take a horse to water, but ... But the last two topics of this year failed to discuss gurbani's unifying survey of munn (an extremely broad term used in gurbani for the Sanskrit 'antahkaran') and its pivotal role in our life's outcome. Instead, people used science to justify their opinion that everyone merges into Oneness after death. "Sunn gallaa akaas kee keeta(n) aayee rees" - meaning: 'This is as if the insects were trying to imitate the sky.' I saw no virtue in interfering. But I was intrigued by several other remarks, particularly, that literally speaking gurbani does not mean what it says, its context is now outdated, the mind resides in the brain, and that reincarnation is just a term used for expression of genes in our progeny. Thank you! Finally, I feel free to be more licentious for the remainder of my life since, hopefully, I have no more progeny to express the genes of my new lifestyle. Happy New Year, everyone!

34: Manjit Singh BaraPindia (Canada), January 01, 2012, 1:30 AM.

Regarding post # 18: The situation that can develop where one does not feel that one does not know what lies ahead. Gurbani says that the comings and goings continue, that the consciousness "engages and disengages" with the form of joon till the image of the self imprinted in the deepest layer of the munn becomes clear enough not to obstruct the flow of awareness showered by naam. At that stage, it all depends on the grace from Waheguru/ Akal Purakh. This image of self can not be changed by mere thought. Thought must be acted upon to make any impression on the consciousness. (Thought is a sar-gun entity. Basically a thing that needs energy for its existence is sargun. Thought comes into existence when shakti/energy flows through the fibers in the brain. Awareness, on the other hand, can be sargun or nirgun, depending upon where it is with respect to naam. For thought to turn into a part of awareness, it must jettison its energy by doing an act that makes an impression on the consciousness, thus changing the image of the self imprinted there.) A nirgun entity is not affected by energy. The nirgun state does not have any concept of length, space and time dimensions - the dimensions that are needed for the shakti/energy to exist.

35: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), January 01, 2012, 8:58 AM.

Wishing you all a new year of happy blessings.

36: Nirmal Singh Nilvi (Texas, U.S.A.), January 01, 2012, 9:25 PM.

Being out of town, I am joining at the tail end of this discussion. Munn is the most influencing, critical and driving force within us. Besides five life sustaining emotions normally driven by munn, it has its own free-wheeling tendencies and swings ranging from wild and crazy to serious and dangerous. If left alone, its legendary ability to transform inner desires and urges with wild swings and at wild speeds can drive us nuts. Fortunately, it is amenable to training, guidance and taming. Hence the advice in every religious, cultural and geographic corner to know one's mind, and train/direct it to stay within desired, manageable, comforting and beneficial boundaries to survive and live a purpose-filled and flourishing life. Sikh Scripture and Japji in particular are the best and rich sources in learning and training/taming the mind and rendering it to be the most beneficial driver in one's life. In Sikhi, we have a most inspiring quote: "munn too(n) jot saroop hain apna mool pehchan". Those of us who ignore this basic advice miss many opportunities and actions that could have turned life into something different. I seriously doubt that our mind has anything to do with the soul, reincarnation or other similar ancient views/concepts. We are all born with a mind that is raw, fresh, ready and eager to learn, as witnessed in any baby. Quick review of many views offered here appear to have veered off to soul/reincarnation and other side aspects, instead of focusing on the mind's influence in developing purpose, quality, goodness and accomplishments in this life.

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The Talking Stick Colloquium # 71 "

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