10. Bandgi – Waging War Against Maya

 kar ba(n)dhae thoo ba(n)dgi jichar ghatt mehi saahu ||3||
O human being, do (bandgi) loving worship on the Lord,

as long as there is breath in your body. ||3||


SGGS 724


Bandgi means ‘loving worship of the Lord’.


Why do we do Bandgi?


Why do we need to do Bandgi?


And what exactly is doing Bandgi like?


These are some very important questions which we need to understand in a little bit of depth in terms of divinity and spirituality.


We do Bandgi to :


·         get out of the cycle of birth and death,


·         to clean us up from inside,


·         to cure us of all the mental sicknesses,


·         to win over Panj Doots (5 Thieves) and all the desires,


·         to win over Maya (mammon) completely,


·         to win over our mind,


·         to clean our soul up so that we can meet the Almighty,


·         to obtain salvation,


·         to be able to see, speak, hear, deliver and serve the Eternal Truth,


·         to be one with Akal Purakh,


·         to become a Sant Hirda,


·         to obtain and achieve all the qualities of Akal Purakh,


·         and once you become Jivan Mukt then serve others, help others to obtain salvation.


There are some other by products of doing Bandgi:


·         It makes our daily life cleaner and smoother,


·         brings inside peace in our daily routine,


·         keeps our mind balanced,


·         we don’t get excited,


·         we get the mental strength to deal with the ups and downs in our daily life


·         helps us to deal with the sorrows we face in our normal life,


·         it keeps us aware of not to speak or do untruthful acts or deeds,


·         it makes our conscious clear and clean,


·         we don’t hurt anybody,


·         our efforts are directed to do everything truthfully,


·         the obstacles in our daily life are minimized


·         everything starts to fall in the right place for us,


·         we don’t get angry towards others,


·         our heart becomes kind,


·         we become humble and earn humility,


·         our character becomes cleaner,


·         we earn respect in the family, friends and society,


·         our wisdom gets better and better,


·         we start to understand the divine wisdom and put it in to practice in our daily life,


·         and slowly and slowly we keep on marching closer to the Almighty.


We are very fortunate to be born as human beings in this life of ours.  The human life is very precious, it is very difficult to get, because only in a human life we can do Bandgi and get advantage of all the above narrated benefits. The basic purpose of human life as described in Gurbani is :


·         to achieve salvation,


·         to meet the Almighty,


·         to be one with Him,


·         to merge with Him.


All the human deeds, actions and reactions are performed under the control of and due to five human senses: seeing, speaking, hearing, touching and smelling.


These five senses operate under the direct control of human mind. 


The human mind gets all the directions from the human wisdom.


The human wisdom is the worldly wisdom, the wisdom that operates under the influence of the three attributes of Maya:


1.        Tamo :  DARKNESS


These five enemies of our soul reside inside our body, they are also called the Panj Doots (5 Thieves that steal our inner energy “amrit”).  


·         Kaam (Lust)

·         Krodh (Anger)

·         Lobh (Greed)

·         Moh (selfish Attachment)

·         Ahankaar (Ego). 


In addition to these attributes which are called mental sicknesses there are a few others –


·         Nindya Chugli Bakhili (Slandering of all kind),

·         Raj (Kingdom, worldly positions brings ego in us),

·         Joban (Youthful Beauty that promotes the feeling of lust ),

·         Dhan (Money cause of greed and corruption),

·         Maal (Material things cause of greed and corruption),

·         Roop (Beauty of the opposite sex causing attraction of mind and bringing in feeling of lust),

·         Ras (Tastes of the tongue)

·         Gandh (Smell that distracts your mind with a feeling of lust) ;


2.        Rajo : DESIRES


Asa         – hopes

Trishna –  longing

Mansha – desires;


3.        Sato:  GOODNESS


·         Daya (Kindness & forgiveness),

·         Dharam (Religious Acts),

·         Daan (Charity donations- Dasvandh donations),

·         Santokh (Contentment),

·         Sanjam (Patience, Humbleness, Humility).


Some people take the literal meaning of Maya as only money, which is not true, the divine meaning of Maya is described as these three attributes.


In Gurbani Maya has been called :


·         the darkness,


·         the scum,


·         the mud we are living in,


·         the Nagni – snake cobra sitting on our head at all the times ready to bite.


You can at any time do a self evaluation of any deed you perform and you will find that all your deeds fall under one of the above attributes of Maya.   Only a Sant,  a Sadh, or a Braham Gyani or a Puran Khalsa is beyond these attributes of Maya.  Only the one :


·         who has merged in Akal Purakh,


·         who has a Puran Jyot Parkash inside,


·         who has reached the Param Padvi,


·         who has completed inside pilgrimage,


·         who has win over the mind and Maya,


·         who is living in Puran Sachyari Rehit,


·         who is living in Sach Khand,


·         who sees, speaks, hears , delivers and serves the Eternal Truth


is beyond these attributes of Maya.


The entire world operates under the directions of the Maya. As long as we keep on following our own wisdom, we will be under the dire influence of Maya; and mind it and take it for granted as long as we are operating under the Tamo and Rajo attributes of Maya, we will never be able to achieve our objective of human life, which is Jivan Mukti – Salvation.


The salvation is beyond these three attributes of Maya.  Salvation is not operating under the influence of the Maya but to win over Maya and be beyond these three qualities of Maya. Salvation is nothing but to liberate our soul from the shackles of Maya.  It is the Mukti from Maya, and it can happen only by eliminating our own and worldly wisdom.  Eliminating our own mind and bringing the five human senses under direct control of divinity and follow the divine wisdom.


Where as two qualities of Maya (Rajo and Tamo) are anti divinity, the third quality (Sato) is pro divinity and this quality of Maya helps us move towards salvation. The Sato quality of Maya helps us defeat the other two and reach a level where we can receive the Gur Parsaad – Eternal Blessings, and move on to the path to Sach Khand, do our Bandgi and be one with Almighty.


So for moving towards salvation and get all the other benefits in our current life as explained earlier we will need to wage a war against the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya with the third quality – Sato on our side.  As we practice and perform under the influence of the Sato quality of Maya we keep on winning and winning and winning.  When we reach a stage when we receive the Gur Parsaad our progress in winning the war against Maya becomes much faster.  When a concerted effort is made on a constant and consistent basis then success is bound to come.  Eventually we will be able to win this war against the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya, and reach the salvation stage, the liberation stage, and liberate our soul from the Shackles of Maya.


The important thing is to understand what weapons we should be using and what weapons will help us the best and very effectively to fight against the Rajo and Tamo enemies of ours and win them in a very efficient manner. The most important thing in the commencement of Bandgi is to develop a complete and full belief, commitment, trust and faith in the Gur, Guru and Gurbani.  The higher the degree of trust, belief, faith and commitment the easier and faster it will be to win this war against Maya.


The first and the foremost weapon is the Naam; concerted, consistent and constant efforts on Naam Simran will bring the best rewards.   This is the highest service of Almighty: Prabh Kaa Simran Sabh Tey Oonchaa.  Read first Ashtpadi of Sukhmani Bani for the benefits of the Naam Simran.  Guru Arjun Dev Ji has very kindly presented all the benefits in the First Ashtpadi of Sukhmani Sahib.


Naam is the highest Hukam of Akal Purakh, Gurbani says everything else except Naam is false (Kood), which means everything else, all the other deeds are untrue (even the true deeds are not rewarding unless we do the Naam Simran).   If we do do the Naam simran, Naam Amrit takes us through the internal pilgrimage which is the highest spiritual and divine pilgrimage.  When the Naam Amrit comes inside our Surat – mind and Hirda then only we can complete our inside pilgrimage. 


Naam Simran opens the inner spiritual doors (Bajjar Kapats) including the tenth gate (Dassam Dwaar).  Naam Simran activates the seven centers of spiritual energy in side our body which are called as Sat Sarovar in Gurbani.  This brings Naam Amrit inside our soul and mind, and helps us go through the inside pilgrimage.  The real and the divine pilgrimage which takes us closer to the Almighty. 


Naam Amrit is the Dori, the rope which when held and used for climbing up this path to the eternity will lead us to the Ultimate. 


Naam Amrit is the ladder that takes us in to the Sach Khand, means that makes us completely truthful from inside and outside.  It makes us single vision, fearless, kind, humble, sacrificing, loving, helping others and brings in us all the divine qualities.  And when this starts to happen then all the mental sicknesses of Maya start to leave our body, mind and soul and eventually our soul and mind is liberated from the shackles of Maya.


Wherever there is Naam there is no effect of Maya, the soul and mind, which is drenched in Naam Amrit becomes so stable that can’t be distracted by Maya at all.


Naam Amrit is the Gur Parsaad and is defined in the very first line of Gurbani – which is called the Mool Manter: Ik Oankaar Satnaam.


All the other religious actions and deeds, the true deeds, which form a part of the Sato quality of Maya brings us closer to the achievement of the Gur Parsaad, and when we have accumulated enough of these truthful deeds and by virtue of our religious actions and deeds, we are blessed with the Gur Parsaad; the real Bandgi starts after the achievement of the Gur Parsaad.


In fact the man is responsible for building his own destiny, whatever we sow today we will reap at some point later in this life or in future lives.  Whatever we have sowed in our previous lives, we are reaping today, so if we sow only good deeds, truthful deeds, Sato deeds, and sow Naam by doing Naam Simran, we are bound to finish our account of all the bad deeds of the past and eligible for receiving the Gur Parsaad.  


And once we receive the Gur Parsaad and then commit ourselves completely to the Gur and Guru, surrender ourselves completely to the Gur and Guru, then we are bound to keep on going up and up the spiritual ladder and we will be able to beat the Maya and win over its Rajo and Tamo qualities.


Therefore, until the time we reach a point where we will receive the Gur Parsaad, we should


·         keep on accumulating the Sato Karams


·         keep on praying for the Gur Parsaad


·         concentrate on our daily life activities and try to make them as truthful as we can,


·         watch all our actions and deeds and make sure that they are not prompted by any of the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya


·         engage ourselves in continuous prayers, repeated prayers during the day and night time asking for forgiveness of the untrue deeds or the deeds performed under the Rajo and Tamo qualities of Maya during our day to day life,


·         slowly and slowly our behavior will start to improve, our actions and deeds will start to become more and more truthful and eventually we will become completely truthful.


Practicing Gurbani in our daily life is also very important, it brings in us :


·         humbleness,


·         humility to  kill our ego,


·         a sense of forgiveness that will diminish our anger,


·         love for our family as if they are Gursangat, that will relieve us from the selfish attachment,


·         loving and respecting everybody as Sangat will eliminate Moh from our inside and convert it to pure and pious love for the entire creation and will bring a single vision ness in us,


·         kindness that will relieve us from the greed for the money and selfishness,


·         giving Dasvandh to the Guru will relieve us from the attachment and greed for money and worldly possessions,


·         contentment and not craving for worldly things will bring our desires under control,


·         restraint from slandering anybody else that will remove hatred from our inside and will develop a sense of respect for everyone in the society,


·         looking at our own bad qualities and not pointing fingers to others will make us realize how bad we are and what do we need to do to improve ourselves,


·         earning poverty of inside – Garibi Ves Hirda will make us Nimana and will bring humility inside our soul and mind,


·         considering ourselves lower than everybody else will bring humbleness in our mind and soul,


·         helping poor and giving charity donations will bring kindness in side us,


·         placing Gur, Guru and Gursangat above everything else and developing unconditional devotion and love for them will bring tremendous spirituality inside us.


The practice of these weapons described above and the golden rules cited above will help you win the war against Maya without much difficulty.


Dassan Das