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Conquer Your Monkey Mind: Man Jeetai Jag Jeet

By Dev Suroop Kaur Khalsa

One summer evening, I went to a captivating one-woman show called I Worry. During the first act of the play, the actress expounded upon the nagging confusions of our current American moment. In a frenetic and hilarious style, she highlighted the impact on our mental state of being constantly bombarded with troubling information and scary facts and events that we can’t control. The audience could certainly identify. While holding up a copy of the New York Times, she commented that there is more information in one issue than the average 17th century villager would be exposed to in a full lifetime. No wonder we worry.

Wouldn’t it be a welcome state of mental health to release all that worry and exist in a calm, content, and contained state? In the closing moments of the play, she shared her solution—let go of control, relax, be in the moment. Yet how many times have you tried to do just that?

By mustering up our will power and saying to ourselves, “I will not react” or “I will not think that way,” we usually find that the mind flits right back to the thoughts we tried to eradicate. Clearly, the application of will power alone will not still the constant chatter of the mind.

The Monkey Mind

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 is considered a key to yogic discipline and is a direct source of mental health. Throughout the years, Yogi Bhajan repeatedly stressed that it is imperative to have a clear relationship with the mind. In innumerable lectures, he referred to a single line in the 28th pauree(verse) of Japji Sahib[1]: Man Jeetai Jag Jeet. “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 Yogiji’s main message was to meditate, recite the Shabad Guru (guiding sound of wisdom), 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. And mastery of the mind comes from a regular spiritual discipline and practice.


A Shabad should be recited 11 times a day for a minimum of 40 days to experience its power. Recite in English or in Gurmukhi[2] transliteration, 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.

The 28th pauree 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 read and 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—all our problems and frustrations will fall away.

28th Pauree of Japji Sahib: Man Jeetai Jag Jeet

Mundaa santokh saram pat jholee dhi-aan kee kareh bibhoot

Khinthaa kaal ku-aaree kaa-i-aa jugat dandaa 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.

Pronunciation Guide

Short Vowels:

A      like the ‘a’ in about

I        like the ‘i’ in bit

U       like the ‘u’ in put

Long Vowels:

            AA      like the ‘a’ in want

            AY      like the ‘ay’ in say

            AI        like the ‘a’ in hand

            EE        like the‘ee’ in beet

OO     like the ‘oo’ in food

O         like the ‘o’ in go

AAU     like the ‘ow’in cow, or the ‘o’ In God

Dev Suroop Kaur delights in sharing the pure practicality of nurturing a successful and deeply authentic life. An accomplished musician, recording artist, and Professional Level Trainer in the KRI Aquarian Trainer Academy, she strives to guide students to their own empowered authenticity. 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. She enjoys training students and teachers in the science of Naad Yoga, conscious communication, and how to access the beauty and power of their personal voice.


[1] Prayer written by Guru Nanak

[2] Language used for recitation of sacred songs and prayers