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Essays on Sikh Values
Essays on Sikh Values

Sikh Missionary Society: Publications: Essays on Sikh Values:



Senses - Instruments of communication

Indarian - the tools of information.

There are ten organs which are the tools of body for it to function so that the mind can manifest itself. These are grouped under the name of Indrian. There are five Karam Indrian (for working - action), and five Gian Indrian (for information). Some count Mind as an extra Indri, and it is the projection of brain. Desires arise in the mind and these are main operators of Indrian (senses). When desires make Indrian to operate, these become dynamic or active. On the appeasement of desires, Indrian settle down and become passive or static.A. KARAM INDRIANFunctional Organs. These are the tools of action of the body and execute the commands of the brain.

    Hands - Two, to carry out the commands of brain to work.

    Feet - Two, to move the body; walk, run, etc.

    Tongue - It is to communicate through speech and express the mind. The tongue is mentioned for this purpose but in fact, the voice is produced by the voice box (Larynx) in the throat. Tongue, palate, mouth (Lips and teeth) and nose modify the sound from the sound box in the throat to change it into speech and hollow bones in the cheeks magnify it. As well, the tongue helps in eating and also tells taste.

    Outlet of urine - body waste. Urethra and sex organs go together. The old literature does not make a clear mention of the reproductive (sex) organs.

    Anus - To expel the body waste.

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Sensory Organs. These are five in number, and are instruments to send different information to the brain for it to make the body function. These are extensions of the brain which has extended its nerves to these organs to collect and transmit information to it. These are sensory tools of body.
Eyes - two, to see.
Nose - one, to smell.
Ears - two, to hear.
Tongue - as the organ of taste.
Skin - to transmit the sensation of heat, cold and touch. Bones transmit the sense of vibration, and these are included with the skin. Perhaps, the role of bones was not understood in the ancient times.
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The mind is perceiver and abode of desires

The mind is projection of brain. It is enjoyer of sensations, and some consider it the Eleventh Sense. The brain is the organ which is main instrument of the body to process and coordinate all sensations transmitted to it by the five sense organs, and send appropriate instructions for the body (Karam Indrian) to react in the required manner. These senses keep the mind bound down to the body.

Indrian are projection of the mind, and it (mind) can directly by itself see, hear, taste, smell and feel, independent of Indrian. Senses are meaningless if the mind is not oriented to them. Disconnect the mind from Indrian and the mind comes to a stand still. For controlling the mind, Indrian (Indris) need to be controlled. This is what the Gurbani lays stress on - control of Indris to control the mind and vice versa.

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The ancient literature mentions the pair of Indris.
  1. Nose and Anus come from the earth-factor - Prithvi-Tanmatra (earth essence) -
    1. Nose comes from Sattvic i.e. refined (subtle) essence of the earth.Anus is derived from its (earth's) Rajasic i.e. gross (Ego) portion.
      These two are the least troublemakers and come under control easily.
  2. Tongue (Taster - taste) and Genitals are derived from the water-factor - Jall-Tanmatra (water essence) -
    1. Tongue comes from Sattvic - refined, factor.
      Genitals are from Rajasic portion - gross factor (ego).
      Both of these give taste - enjoyment, and activities of both these organs go hand in hand. Type of food taken influences the activity of the sexual organs. Eating habits and sex are most difficult to control. Here, Tongue is the organ of taste.
  3. Skin and Hands are from the air-factor - Vayu-Tanmatra (air essence) -
    1. Skin comes from its Sattvic - subtle part.
      Hands from Rajasic - gross portion.
      Skin feels and demands (desires) and hands provide it.
  4. Ears and Speech are from ether-factor; Akas-Tanmatra (ethereal essence) -
    1. Ears are derived from the Sattvic factor of ether.
      Speech comes from Rajasic - crude, portion.
      They are counterparts in their functioning. Ears and speech, both are needed for the development of each other. Here, Tongue is a speechmaker. In fact, the voice box produces sound, and tongue modifies i.e. changes it into speech.
Eyes, Ears, are entrance-doors (forms and sounds), and Genitals, Anus are exit-gates of the body.

The organ of sight is a close associate of the organ of taste and these both are friends of the organ of smell.The body organs should be put to their natural use, and not be abused in any way. It had recently been found that the hypothalamus was enlarged in homosexuals, and homosexual tendencies were proposed to be caused by this enlargement. This should not be correct. Homosexuality might have led to the enlargement of hypothalamus (habit formation).Now, we take up the concept of Indrian - senses, in the Gurbani, the Sikh Holy Scripture.

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Sense Organs - General

ieMdRI vis sc sMjm jugqw ]
eMÜI vis sc sMjm jugqw ] vasse sach sanjamm jugt.aa
Control over desires (lust) is the right discipline.
ds ieMdRI kir rwKY vwis ]
qw kY AwqmY hoie prgwsu ]
ds eMÜI kir rwKY vwis ]
qw kY AwqmY hoE prgwsu ]
D.ass indr;ee kar raakhaae vaase
t.aa k.aae aat.maae ho-e pargaaus
One who controls ten senses, gets enlightenment.
mn kw sUqku loBu hY ijhvw sUqku kUVu ]
AKI sUqku vyKxw pr iqRAw pr Dn rUpu ]
kMnI sUqku kMin pY lwieqbwrI Kwih ]
nwnk hMsw AwdmI bDy jm puir jwih ]
mn kw sUqku loBu hY ijhvw sUqku kUVu ]
AKI sUqku vyKxw pr iqRAw pr Dn rUpu ]
kMnI sUqku kMin pY lwieqbwrI Kwih ]
nwnk hMsw AwdmI bDy jm puir jwih ]
Mann kaa soot.aku lobhu haae jehvaa soot.aku koor.u
Akhee soot.aku vaekhan.aa par tr;iaa par dh:ann roopu
Kannee soot.aku kanne paae laait.baaree khahe
Naanak hansaa aad.mee badhae: jamm pur-e jaahe
The mind's pollution is greed, lies are pollution of the tongue.
Pollution is seeing with lust other's woman and three charm .
Pollution of the ears is listening to backbiting.
Nanak, the man without compassion goes to hell.
sd bilhwrI iqnw ij sunqy hir kQw ]
pUry qy prDwn invwvih pRB mQw ]
hir jsu ilKih byAMq sohih sy hQw ]
crn punIq pivqR cwlih pRB pQw ]
sMqW sMig auDwru sglw duKu lQw ]
sd bilhwrI iqnw ij sunqy hir kQw ]
pUry qy prDwn invwvih pRB mQw ]
hir jsu ilKih byAMq sohih sy hQw ]
crn punIq pivZ cwlih pRB pQw ]
sMqW sMg auDwru sglw duKu lQw ]
Sad.d. baleharee t.inaa je Har-e kathaa
Poorae pardh:aan je nivaavhe pr;abh mathaa
Har-e jassu likh-he bae-ant.t. soh-hae sae hathaa
Charan puneet. pavitr; chaal-he Pr;abh pathaa
Sant.aan sang oudh:aar saglaa d.ukhu lathaa
I am in appreciation of those who listen about God.
They are superior who bow to the Lord.
The hands that write His praise, are great!
Really clean are the feet that take to His path.
The company of saints saves and removes all afflictions.

Sense Organs - Specific Eyes

idRst roig pic muie pqMgw ]
idRst roig pic muie pqMgw ]
D.r;ist rog-e pach-e mu-e
Allured by sight, the moth gets destroyed (by light).
ey nyqRhu myryhu hir qum mih joiq DrI
hir ibnu Avru n dyKhu koeI ]
E nyyZhu myryhu hir qum mih joiq DrI
hir ibnu Avru n dyKhu koeé ]
Ae,hu maeraehu Har-e t.umm mahe jot.e dh:aree
Har-e binu avaru naa d.aekh-hu koee
O my eyes, He blessed you with sight,
do not behold anything other than Him.
nwd roig Kip gey kurMgw ]
nwd roig Kip gE kurMgw ]
Naad. rog-e khappe ga-ae kuran:gaa
Attracted by sound (call of a hunter), the deer lost its life.
hir ky nwm ibnu iDRgu sRoq ]
hir ky nwm ibnu iDRg sRoq ]
Har-e kae Naam binu dh:r,ig sr:ot
The ears that listen not about God, are wretched


bwsn roig Bvru ibnswno ]
bwsn roig Bvru ibnswno ]
Basan rog-e bhan:war binsano
The fondness of fragrance kills a moth.
(Smelling a flower all day, the moth does not fly away,
gets enclosed by its petals with the setting sun, and dies).

Tongue - Organ of taste

Tongue as a sensory organ
sw rsnw jil jwau ijin hir kw suAwau n pwieAw ]
sw rsnw jil jwau ijin hir kw suAwau n pwieAw ]
Saa rasnaa jall jaou jin-e Har-e kaa suaaou na paa-eaa
May that tongue get burnt that fails to taste the name of Lord.
ijhbw suAwdI lIilq loh ]
ijhbw suAwdI lIilq loh ]
Jehba leelat. loh
Fond of taste, a fish gets hooked.
Namdeo 1252-10

Skin - organ of touch

rUp suMdrIAw Aink iesqrIAw ]
hir rs ibnu siB suAwd iPkrIAw ]
(dyKx qoN CUhxw aupjdw hY)
{p suñdrIAw Aink eÆZXw ]
hir rs ibnu siB suAwd iPkrIAw ]
(dyKny sy CUhnw mnqw hY)
Roop sundariaa anik ist.tariaa
Har-e rass bin sabhe suaad. phikariaa
Even the sight of charming women is nothing,
if you are away from the name of God.
(An attraction leads to touch).


icq ismrnu krau nYn Aivloknu sRvn bwnI sujsu pUir rwKau ]
mnu su mDukru krau crn ihrdy Drau rsn AMimRq rwm nwim BwKau ]
icq ismrnu krau nYn Aivloknu sRvn bwnI sujsu pUir rwKau ]
mnu su mDukru krau crn ihrdy Drau rsn Aimq rwm nwim BwKau ]
Chit. simranu karou naaen avilokanu sr;avan baanee sujasu poore raakhou |
mann su madh:ukaru karou charan dh:arou rasan Amri;t. Raam Naame bhaakhou
Keep God in the mind, behold Him with the eyes, and keep the ears filled with His praise
Keep His feet in the mind, make it (mind) bumblebee of His feet, and with tongue drink the nectar of His name.

Functional Organs


mn bc kRm pRBu Apnw iDAweI ]
mn bc krm pRBu Apnw iDAwe ]
Mann bach karam Pr;abhu asnaa dh:eaa-ee
Remember God with your mind, speech, and deeds.
(Think of God, recite His name, and do good deeds).
(The hands do the deeds).
AwT phr kr joiV iDAweIAY ]
AwT phr kr joiV iDAweE ]
Aath: pehr karr jor.e dh:eaa-ee-ae
Remember God with folded hands (humility).
pwv suhwvy jW qau iDir juldy sIsu suhwvw crxI ]
pwv suhwvy jW qau iDir juldy sIsu suhwvw crxI ]
Paav suhaavae jaan' Tou dh:ir-e seesu suhaavaa
Blessed are the feet leading to God,
and the head is blessed at His feet.
crx punIq clih hir mwrig ]
crx punIq clih hir mwrig ]
Charan. puneet. chalhe Har-e marag.
Enchanting are the feet that take Your path.
aUTq bYTq sovq iDAweIAY ]
mwrig clq hry hir gweIAY ]
aUTq bYTq sovq iDAweIAY ]
mwrig clq hry hir gweAY ]
Ooth:at. baaeth:at. sovat. dh:iaa-ee-aae
Marag chalat. Har-ae Har-e gaa-ee-aae
Remember God while standing, sitting or sleeping.
And remember Him while walking.


As an Organ of Speech -
hy ijhvy qUM rwm gux gwau ]
hy ijhvy qUM rwm gux gwau ]
Hae jehvae toon: Raam gun. gaao
O my tongue, sing the praise of God.
AwT phr ijhvy AwrwiD ]
AwT phr ijhvy AwrwiD ]
Aath: pehr jehvae aaradh:
O my tongue, remember Him all the time.

Reproductive Organs

sex (lust), sexual organs.
pr iqRA iqAwgu krI bRhmcwrI ]
pr iqRA iqAwgu krI bRhäcwrI ]
Par t.r;ia t.iaag karee br;hmchaaree
One who shuns the other's woman, is a celibate.
ibMdu n rwKih jqI khwvih ]
ibMdu n rwKih jqI khwvih ]
Bind.u na raakh-he kahaavahe
No self (sex) control, and calls himself (herself) a celibate.

Organ of Defecation - anus

Referred to as something abhorrent.
ivstw kw kIVw ivstw mwih smwvY ]
ivstw kw kIVw ivstw mwih smwvY ]
Vistaa kaa keer.aa vistaa maahe smaavaae
A worm of dirt (excreta) stays in dirt.
ivstw AMdir vwsu hY iPir iPir jUnI pwie ]
ivstw AMdir vwsu hY iPir iPir jUnI pwE ]
Vistaa an:d.are vaasu haae Phir-e phir-e joonee paa-ae
One who delves in feces (excreta, evils), keeps reincarnating.
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