Day 15: The four states of mind


By Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh | SIKHI STUDY | OPINION


ਰਜ ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥

Raj Gun, Tham Gun, Sath Gun Keheeai,  Eih  Thaeri Sabh MAAIAA. (Pg 1123, SGGS)

Meaning: All the three states of mind – Rajo, Thamo and Sato – are under the grip of MAAIAA  which has been created by God.

ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥

Chouthhae Padh ko jo Nar cheenai tin hee PARAM PADH paaeiaa.

PARAM PADH means the highest state of the mind.

Meaning: Only when one reaches to the fourth state is he free from the grip of maaiaa (also spelt as maya) and is released from bondage.

Gun or Guna are attributes or qualities which define the character of an individual in the different states of mind.

1) Tamo Guna is the lowest category. This mind is in total darkness and is very ignorant. A person who has this state of mind is very lazy, has no motivation and is totally selfish. This mind is full of desires and lives without awareness and has no conscience. He has the potential to harm others in order  to fulfil his desires. This kind of person is a danger to society.

2) Rajo Guna: A person in this category has an intellect. He is full of energy, motivated and works hard for himself and his family but has little concern beyond that. He is egoistic and arrogant.

He thinks his duty is only towards himself and his immediate family members. He accumulates a lot but doesn’t share it with others.

3) Sato Gun: A person in this category is spiritual and has wisdom. He has a high level of awareness. He goes beyond himself to help others. He has divine qualities of sharing and caring. He manifests  these qualities in his everyday life towards all of Nature, plants, animals and human beings. But he has not completely free himself from the grip of maaiaa yet.

4) Chouthaa Padh is the fourth state: In this category awareness reaches the peak and the grip of maaiaa is gone. His life force energy then merges  with the Life Force Energy of the Universe (God). He has succeeded in releasing himself from bondage and is liberated forever.

Every human being has a potential to evolve to this state of liberation in this lifetime with the help of the Gurus teachings.

Maaiaa was created by God but how does it manifest itself in our lives? Guruji answers the question on Pg 921 of Sri Guru granth Sahib (SGGS).

ਜੈਸੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਉਦਰ ਮਹਿ ਤੈਸੀ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥

Jaisee AGAN oudhar maih thaisee baahar maaiaa.

Agan means fire. Oudhar means the womb of the mother.

ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਨਿ ਸਭ ਇਕੋ ਜੇਹੀ ਕਰਤੈ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥

MAAIAA AGAN sabh eiko jaehee Kartai khael rechaaeiaa.

Khael means play.

In the 2 line above Guruji says: When the foetus is growing in the mother’s womb, it is exposed to great heat which can adversely affect its wellbeing. If it manages to escape this heat in the womb and comes out safely, it has to face another kind of fire in the world outside the womb. This is the fire of the 5 vices.






Both the fire inside the womb and the fire in the creation outside the womb are equally destructive and both have been created by God Himself to test our strength. This is the play of God. In any play there are always positive and negative elements. To make it interesting God has created both negative and positive elements.

Maaiaa is the negative element. What does maaiaa do? Guruji tells us what maaiaa does in the Bani called Anand Sahib:

Eaeh maaiaa jith Har visrai Moh oupjai bhaao dhooja laaeiaa.

MAAIAA does 3 things:

1) Har visrai: It separates us from God who created us. As soon as the baby is born it gets separated from God and starts crying because of pangs of separation.

2) Moh oupjai: To feel secure again the baby starts attaching to the family and possessions.

3) Bhaao dhooja: Bhaao means love. Dhooja means the ‘other’. What is the other? GOD is ONE. The ‘OTHER‘ is the whole of creation.

As soon as the child is born, the link with the Creator is broken and the child slowly falls in love with the ‘OTHER‘ that is the creation.

Many of us get burnt in these 2 fires mainly due to ignorance of this reality. Those who succeed with the help of the Gurus message are able merge with God again and attain PEACE, HAPPINESS, JOYFULNESS and BLISS.

Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh is a Malaysia-based Gurbani enthusiast. This is an edited version of her regular articles shared within a circle of fellow Sikhi seekers. The articles appear on Mondays and Thursdays.

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.



Day 14: Bondage of maaiaa (Asia Samachar, 10 Sept 2018)

Day 13: Banee, Guru and shabad vichaar (Asia Samachar, 6 Sept 2018)

Day 12: Sweetness and humility (Asia Samachar, 3 Sept 2018)


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