Qualities of a Manmukh

Bhagta Ohri and Jaapu Vanshi were of Khatri background. When they met Siri Guru Nanak Dev jee, they were extremely pleased and happy. They pleaded before Guru Sahib, “Ones who are spiritual candidates, get delivered because of Gurmat Vidya and Gurmat divine knowledge but what would become of us, who are totally uneducated?”

Siri Guru jee replied back saying that if they were to give up Manmukhi Karma and earnestly serve the Gursikhs, they would be saved this way.

Naturally, they asked Guru Sahib to explain the salient features of Manmukhs and Siri Guru jee responded saying that there are 4 main qualities of Manmukhs:

Irkha (Jealousy): Manmukh wishes to own up everything and is not happy if others too gain something. They become jealous and unnecessarily burn inside when they see success of others. There is a saying in Punjabi. A jealous woman wants her neighbor to get hurt. She says, ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਂਵੇਂ ਦੋ ਮਰ ਜਾਣ, ਪਰ ਗੁਆਂਢਣ ਦਾ ਇਕ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਮਰ ਜਾਵੇ। (I wish to see the son of my neighbor die even if it means that two of my sons will die for it). This is the extent a jealous person can go. A jealous person is willing to hurt others even at the double cost to self. A person who cannot bear the good of others always burns inside. How can such person who is burning from inside, chant the Holy Naam and how can his mind become stable? To wish that they should possess all good qualities and possessions and to feel upset seeing someone else with good qualities or attainments is the first quality of a Manmukh.

Akrana (Ego): When a Manmukh sees someone inferior in qualities and wealth, he gets peace of mind and is extremely pleased. He does not stop at just being happy but at first opportunity, he makes fun of others who may be of lower intelligence or less wealthy. He forgets that intelligence or wealth are gifts of God and He can give them to anyone or take them away from anyone. A Manmukh gets proud of superficial and temporary possessions. The day comes when he has to get embarrassed in front of people he had been mocking all life. To mock someone who is inferior in health, wealth or other qualities is the second salient quality of a Manmukh.

Ninda: When a Manmukh sees someone superior to him in qualities and possessions, he not only gets jealous but also slanders such person. When one cannot rise at the level of someone better, then one tries to bring that person down to one’s level. This, according to their evil intelligence, can be easily done by slandering that person. By slandering they are not able to reduce the persons status but it does give them some satisfaction. They don’t realize that slandering is a very big sin that destroys many good Karma. It should be avoided at all costs. To slander someone superior in wealth, health or qualities is the third salient feature of a Manmukh.

Hath (stubbornness): A manmukh infected with this disease tries to have everyone toe his line i.e. agree with him. If someone does not agree with his opinion, he gets very upset and tries his best to get him to agree and convert. This is not applicable only in worldly affairs but also in religious matters. If such Manmukh is a religious person, he will try to convert everyone to his set of beliefs. To try to preach Dharma to others is fine but to impose your beliefs on others and to coerce them into agreeing and converting to your beliefs is a Manmukhi Karma that should be avoided.

Siri Guru jee stated that to shed the above stated qualities of a Manmukh and to serve Gursikhs believing them to be beloveds of your Guru pleases the Guru and such person attains emancipation from this world. Of course, these qualities are to be practiced along with the required Karma of chanting Naam and reciting Gurbani.

May Guru Sahib save us from Manmukhi qualities and bless us with Gurmukhi qualities so that we may please Guru Sahib.

The above is based on Bhai Mani Singh jee’s Bhagatmala.


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