The yogis often refer to the freewheeling, erratic nature of the mind as the ‘monkey mind.’ A scattered mind creates scattered habits. Commanding the mind and stilling its chatter are considered keys to yogic discipline and are a direct source of mental health.
Throughout the years, Yogi Bhajan has repeatedly stressed that it is imperative to have a clear relationship with the mind. In innumerable lectures, he has referred to a single line in the 28th verse of Japji Sahib — Man jeetai jag jeet. This line translates simply as “By conquering your mind, you can conquer the world.”
The mind is given to you to serve you, not to control you. This is why his main message has been to meditate, recite the Shabad Guru, and do sadhana — so we can conquer the mind. All the academic degrees, material achievements, and trappings of success will not give you self-command and self- mastery. Such things only come from mastery of the mind. Mastery of the mind comes from a regular spiritual discipline and practice.
A shabd should be recited 11 times a day for a minimum of 40 days to experience its power. Recite in Gurmukhi, Gurmukhi transliteration or English, both are beneficial. However, reciting in Gurmukhi allows you to better access the power of the mantra, and as the words are recited in proper Naad, or sound current, the tongue hits the meridian points on the upper palate, effecting a change in consciousness. Work carefully to pronounce the words properly (editor’s note: the Sikh Dharma International Japji App is a pronunciation resource).
The 28th pauree (verse) of Japji Sahib, which contains the line Man Jeetai Jag Jeet, is said to unite you with God. These lines contain perfect instructions for how to live your life. When we recite these words, it is exhilarating to realize that by simply mastering one line of instruction—for example, being centered in the center of your being—many of our problems and frustrations will fall away.
28th Pauree of Japji Sahib
Mundaa santokh saram pat jholee dhi-aan kee kareh bebhoot.
Khinthaa kaal ku-aaree kaa-i-aa jugat ddanddaa parteet.
Aa-ee panthee sagal jamaatee man jeetai jag jeet.
Aadays tisai aadays.
Aad aneel anaad anaahat jug jug ayko vays.
May you wear the earrings of deep contentment.
May humility be your begging bowl and the shawl in which you carry your belongings.
May being centered in the center of your being be the ashes that cleanse you.
Wear the patched coat of Death.
Keep your body pure, like a virgin.
And may the staff that holds you upright as you walk along your journey be the constant remembrance of Spirit within you.
Let the highest and best company be the company of all people.
Conquer your mind to conquer the world.
I bow to the very act of bowing to Thee, oh Divine One.
Beyond Time Beyond Color Beyond Sound.
Beyond Form and Containment.
Age after age, You are the One.
– English translation by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur
View this article as it originally appeared in Aquarian Times in the Summer of 2004
Dev Suroop Kaur is an accomplished musician, recording artist, and Lead Trainer in the KRI Aquarian Trainer Academy. From the deeply contemplative compositions in her recordings Sahej and Narayan, to the hip, edgy beats of her chant-rap album Kundalini Beat, Dev Suroop Kaur offers an extraordinary range of styles to invoke the experience of the Divine Spirit. Blessed to study and work directly with Yogi Bhajan for most of her adult life, she gratefully shares what she has learned – and continues to learn – about how to love, work, and live better in the world. She deeply enjoys training students and teachers of Kundalini Yoga in the science of Naad Yoga, conscious communication, and how to access the beauty and power of their personal voice. She currently lives with her husband in Espanola, New Mexico. Dev Suroop Kaur is an ordained Minister of Sikh Dharma, is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer (E-RYT 500) through Yoga Alliance, and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Claremont Graduate University.
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One thought on “Conquer Your Monkey Mind”
Kirtan Ajeet Kaur says:
Thank you, I really needed this. Sat Nam