Meaning: noun: Monkey.
ਮਰਕਟ ਮੁਸਟੀ ਅਨਾਜ ਕੀ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਲੀਨੀ ਹਾਥੁ ਪਸਾਰਿ॥
ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਸਹਸਾ ਪਰਿਆ ਮਨ ਬਉਰਾ ਰੇ ਨਾਚਿਓ ਘਰ ਘਰ ਬਾਰਿ॥
markaṭ musṭee anaaj kee man bauraa re leenee haath pasaar.
chhooṭan ko sahsaa pariaa man bauraa re naachio ghar ghar baar.
O crazy mind! (See that) the monkey stretches out its hand and takes a handful of corn (from a pot, but then) unable to escape, it dances at the door of every house. – Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib, 336
Message: A monkey’s greed leads it to being captured by humans and thereafter to remain as their slave. One of the methods of capturing a monkey in the olden days was to put grain in a narrow necked pot. The monkey would put his hand in easily to grab a fistful of grain but is unable to get it out. He refuses to release the grain and hence gets captured. His greed makes him a slave and he has to dance for his master from door to door for the rest of his life.
Bhagat Kabir uses this example to illustrate how humans can similarly fall into a trap as a result of their greed and then be forced to suffer for the rest of their life. Greed is defined as the inordinate love of money and material possessions and the compulsive behaviour that is driven by the need for more and more. A greedy person is never content. There is never ‘enough’. It makes a person vulnerable, irritable, and prone to anger and the list can go on. Where there is discontent, negative thoughts destroy our peace.
The choice is ours. We have the power to discern. Do we let the “crazy” mind have its way or do we try to discipline it through spiritual awareness.
ਜਿਉ ਕਪਿ ਕੇ ਕਰ ਮੁਸਟਿ ਚਨਨ ਕੀ ਲੁਬਧਿ ਨ ਤਿਆਗ ਦਇਓ॥ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਕਰਮ ਕੀਏ ਲਾਲਚ ਸਿਉ ਤੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਗਰਹਿ ਪਰਿਓ॥
As a monkey with a handful of grain does not let it go due to greed and is trapped, so, the deeds committed in greed ultimately become a noose around our neck. – Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib, 336
Etymology: From Sanskrit markaṭ (ape, monkey).