Majnoo literally means crazy. Other synonyms for this word in Indian languages are Divaana, Baura, Baawra, Pagla, Paagal, Kamla etc.
Even though the word Majnoo means Divaana but in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu, this word is used for such person who becomes crazy in love. Mostly, Majnoo is associated with such male lover who goes crazy over infatuation with a female.
The most famous worldly Majnoo has been a person called Qaiz who became crazy in love with a girl called Laila. He became so crazy that he left his home and really became a crazy person and soon people forgot his real name and everyone started calling him Majnoon-e-Laila which means Majnoo of Laila.
If an ordinary worldly person hears this story, he is probably inspired and loves it but when a Gurmukh hears about the plight and fate of Qaiz, he feels sorry for Qaiz but also knows that while the love of Qaiz may have been sincere and genuine but his object of love was false. He wasted his human life in love of an idol of flesh and blood.
There are two types of Majnoos out there – Majnoos of Waheguru and Majnoos of Laila.
It's okay if worldly people are Majnoos of Laila but when we find a Gursikh looking person become a Majnoo of Laila our heads are lowered with shame. We are not going to bother about non-Sikh Majnoos because they don't concern us but our worry is for Sikh youth (males and females) who are increasingly imitating their Western peers and acting out like them by getting involved in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.
Here is a brief conversation between a Sikh youth who became a Majnoo and a Gursikh who was trying to dissuade him from committing a mistake and becoming a Majnoon-e-Laila:
"If I don't get married to her I will die" – Dear brother when you took Amrit, wasn't the understanding that your life was now not yours but Guru Sahib's? This was the whole idea of giving head to Guru Sahib. If you are so eager to die, there are worthy causes for dying. Why die to get married to an idol of flesh and blood?
"But my love for her is not physical; I love her soul" – What are you talking about brother? Your love is not with her body but with her soul? Have you seen your own Aatma (soul) yet? Then how did you manage to see her soul and fall in love with it? Save yourself if you can. This relationship has already put a black stain on your White chador of Sikhi. If you still don't wake up, you will fall further deep in this trap of Maya. Wake up and realize that your relationship with Guru Sahib takes precedence over everything else.
"What I meant was that my love for her is purely platonic (without Kaam)" – Dear brother, this human life was not given to us by Guru Sahib to have Kaamic love or non-Kaamic love. Anything that can possibly break or weaken our relationship with Waheguru, should be avoided. If she is meant to be for you, then by the work of Waheguru, you will get married to her. When the time for Anand Sanskaar arrives, you will get married. Don't go around hunting for marriage partners like Western people.
Gurmukhs realize that everything that is visible is false and nothing in this world is true. They fall in love with the creator of this world - Waheguru - by chanting his Naam day and night. They fall in love with Naam and the Giver of Naam – Satguru. Gurmukhs too are Majnoos. They are Majnoon-e-Allah i.e. Majnoos of Waheguru.
Bhai Nandlal Ji has put forward a very interesting Pankiti:
ਗੋਇਆ ਦੋ ਜਹਾਂ ਰਾ, ਬ-ਜਵੇ ਨਾ ਸਿਤਾਨਦ।
ਮਜਨੂਨੇ ਤੌ, ਕੈ ਆਸ਼ਕੇ ਲੈਲਾ ਬਾਸ਼ਦ।
(Goya (Bhai Nandlal Ji) does not place the price of two worlds equal to even a seed of Jau. Why would your Majnoo O Waheguru, become an Aashiq (lover) of a Laila?)
Bhai Sahib is asking a question – why would Waheguru's Majnoo become infatuated with a Laila? Laila here represents a girl (or a boy in case of girls). One heart is capable of having only one lover. Once the heart is taken by one lover, it can't be taken away by someone else. One heart, in one lifetime can only truly love one personality. A Gurmukh's heart is already taken by Waheguru. There is no chance that a Gurmukh would lose his heart to a worldly lover.
Coming back to Bhai Sahib's question why would a Waheguru Ji's Majnoo be Aashiq on a Laila? The question can be answered with another question – Why would someone who is in love with Truth, fall in love with False?
Below are some examples from history that highlight the high moral characters of Gursikhs.
One of the incidents that highlight the high moral character of Puratan Sikhs, took place during the 1700s, and involves a Muslim girl of Lahore royal family that fell in the hands of a Jatha of Singhs under the command of Sardar Baghel Singh. Sardar Ji in those times was in his prime and a very handsome young man. On the other hand, this Muslim princess whose name I can't remember now, was known for her good looks. She was accustomed to getting attention for her good looks. Anyone who looked at her once would look at her again as is the natural reflex. At first when she found herself amidst the sworn enemy of her family – the Singhs, she was terrified. But when she noticed that Singhs were not even looking at her, she got a bit surprised and upset too. She couldn't understand why no one was looking at her and why her beauty was not found to be attractive here. She was safely escorted back to her parents but before that she got an opportunity to talk to Sardar Baghel Singh. He explained to her the high moral standards set by Guru Sahib. She got very impressed hearing all this. Such was the character of Singhs, in olden days. This incident has been very beautifully captured by the superb writing of Sardar Sadhu Singh Hamdard the former editor of Punjabi Ajit in India. I read this when I was a child.
An English woman wrote a very interesting incident concerning Master Tara Singh. Master Tara Singh was very young at that time and was travelling on a train. Across from him a beautiful young English woman was sitting. She had been accustomed to attention from men but she was surprised and very impressed to see that not once did Master Ji try to take a glance at her. So impressed was she that she actually wrote about this incident. Such was the high character of our leaders in the past.
Bau Mal Singh Ji, one of the closest companion of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji was serving in 1st World War in Belgium. During the evening time, he was sitting on a bench when some women sat near him. The started conversing with him and at some point asked him if he liked them. They had other intentions for Bau Ji but they did not know that Bau Ji was not an ordinary person. He was a player of high spiritual states. Bau Ji responded by saying that surely he liked them. They were very pleased to hear this. The next moment Bau Ji said that he liked them like his sister and daughter. They were shocked to hear and fled uttering unintelligible utterings.
Bhai Arjun Singh Ji was a companion of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji. Bhai Ji was a very great soul. When Bhai Sahib was arrested, he too was arrested by police and they asked him if he knew Bhai Sahib. His response was very interesting. He said, "what to talk about me, the three worlds know Bhai Sahib". The police released him after keeping him in detention for couple of days. He knew not what fear was. He worried not about anything. He stayed in the divine state of Naam all the time.
One day, he was submerged in the divine colours of Naam that he wandered unintentionally to that part of the city where flesh trade takes place. He was young and handsome and as is the custom of flesh trade bazaar, the working women there started calling and seducing him. At that point Bhai Ji got aware of his surroundings. He was not a normal person like Ajamal who was hit by Kaam when a young prostitute had just looked at him provocatively and this way lost his whole life to Kaam. Bhai Ji were very accomplished Gursikh and right away he was hit by immense bairaag. In full bairaag, he in a loud piercing voice started doing kirtan. Imagine what chaos would have occurred in this bazaar at the sight of a Gurmukh doing kirtan. The hearts that were burning with the fire of Kaam were extinguished in an instant. The women who just a moment ago were trying to seduce Bhai Ji, fell at his feet. Their hearts were purified by the effect of Gurbani kirtan. They beseeched and they implored to him to save them from Kalyug. Bhai Ji stayed oblivious and when they continued their imploring, Bhai Ji freed himself from them and hurriedly left the place. Before leaving he declared that only they will be saved who accept the amrit of Sri Dasmesh Ji. Such was the character of Gursikhs of those times.
If we notice a Gursikh, who has taken Amrit of Guru Sahib and becomes so attracted to the member of opposite sex that he (or she) can only think of her and can't live without her, then surely such person was never in love with Guru Sahib. Every now and then we hear of a Gursikh brother or sister, shamelessly declaring that he or she will die unless he or she marries such and such person. How did a Gursikh end up at such stage? Wasn't he an Amritdhari to begin with? How did he violate such a strict order of Guru Sahib of considering other-women as mothers, sisters and daughters?
Our youth now-a-days has reached such state that it has no hesitation or shame before openly communicating with the members of opposite sex. Today they start chatting with someone, tomorrow they start sharing their problems with each other, the day after tomorrow they develop feelings for each other and soon they are going out. Even at Kirtan Samagams where countless Gurmukhs are engaged in praising the true Lord, some of the misled youth are overcome with Aashiqaana feelings (Amorous feelings). The high, impregnable character of Khalsa youth has taken such a beating. Today if you look around, you can count on your fingertips such individuals who have not been stained by entering into relationships before marriage.
The Internet has really shrunk the world. Today, if something occurs in the Sikh community in one country, it quickly spreads across the globe. If a young male or female commits an act of transgression, then the reputation of such individual is stained for life. Once one's character gets stained, it's hard to build it back.
Gursikhs must rise above the Maya of this world and maintain strong Khalsa character. The time of marriage and the partner for life has already been chosen by Waheguru. So relax and stop hunting for your life partner on your own. A Sikh youth who keeps strong character, keeps Sikhi Rehat is always in demand as far as marriage is concerned. A youth who starts hunting for a life partner on his own, soon gets his character stained and before he or she realizes, it's too late.
No one is saying that we should become a segregated society like the Muslims and keep Purdah and don't talk with each other at all. What's required is to know our limits. Far too many Kaam-related mistakes are being committed by our youth because of their proximity to members of opposite sex.
May Guru Sahib do Kirpa and enable his Sikhs to keep a strong moral character on which Guru Sahib can be proud of.
If we really think of it what is Kaam? Kaam is the attraction that our mann (mind) feels looking at the body, the physical body of the opposite sex. What is this attraction? It is really weird if you think of it. This is one of the purest and rawest form of haume. Pure Haume it is because this emotion triggers in for the physical body of the opposite sex. Higher the feeling of Kaam, heavier the Haume is in oneself.
The jiv is jyot (illuminated being) but under the spell of Haume it thinks that it is the physical body and that by possessing the body of the opposite sex, it will get pleasure. Under the illusion of maya, the jiv thinks that by coming in touch with the body of the opposite sex, it will find pleasure. How can jyot saroopi jiv, get anand if it's body touches or comes in contact with the physical body of the opposite sex? This is a very bizarre sensation that is felt because of haume.
To get a more clear understanding, imagine that this body that we have, somehow starts thinking that it is not the human body but is the clothes it wears. Now imagine how stupid it would be to think that when the clothes of this body touch the clothes of body of opposite sex, the clothes feel pleasure. It's like feeling anand if the clothes of our body touch with the clothes of the body of opposite sex. How can our body derive anand if it's clothes touch clothes of the body of the opposite sex? Same way, how can the jiv that is Atma roop derive pleasure if it's body touches the body of opposite sex? It is the illusion of haume that causes this pleasure.
Here is what Sri Guru Ji states about Kaam in Gurbani:
ਹੇ ਕਾਮੰ ਨਰਕ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮੰ ਬਹੁ ਜੋਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮਾਵਣਹ ॥
ਚਿਤ ਹਰਣੰ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਲੋਕ ਗੰਮ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਸੀਲ ਬਿਦਾਰਣਹ ॥
ਅਲਪ ਸੁਖ ਅਵਿਤ ਚੰਚਲ ਊਚ ਨੀਚ ਸਮਾਵਣਹ ॥
ਤਵ ਭੈ ਬਿਮੁੰਚਿਤ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਮ ਓਟ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਰਾਇਣਹ ॥੪੬॥
Addressing Kaam, Sri Guru Panchmesh Pita Ji say, O Kaam, you control the jiv and make it reside in hell (Narak Bishraamang) and then make it wander in various life forms. You control the jivs and your reach is in the three worlds of creation. You destroy the Jap-Tap (Bhagti) and Sheel (good character) of jivs. You give very little pleasure to the jivs but in return of that little pleasure you give, the jivs lose their wealth, you make them chanchal i.e. unstable. Whether the creatures are great or small, you reach all of them. In the last pankiti, Sri Guru Ji address Kaam, "O Kaam, the jivs get liberated from you only when they reach Sadh-Sangat i.e. the sangat of Guru; therefore O Nanak, take refuge of Waheguru Narayana".
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