Manmukh literally means "to follow one's impulses or desires".
The Gurmukh sings the praises of The Guru, the Manmukh sings the praises of the Gurmukh.
The word Manmukh consists of two parts: Man and Mukh. Man means "one's rash thoughts or one's own desires" and Mukh literally means "face", so the full word conveys the message "One who follows whichever way hys impulses lead or go"; "one who does as hys desires dictates". The Manmukh is attached to worldly desires, material wealth, worldly allurements and sensual enjoyments. Hy is a 'rash'inal being as opposed to a rational being. Hys desires and hys needs are unlimited.
To be a Manmukh is to follow one's own desires without love for anyone else. When a Manmukh regards someone else it is with hostility. A person who is self-centred is called a Manmukh. The opposite of Manmukh is Gurmukh, which means a person who follows the teaching and life-code as narrated by the FSM. Hence, a Manmukh is a material being (egoistic or attached to worldly things) as opposed to a spiritual being. The person with materialistic attachment believe that everlasting happiness is attainable only in acquisition (i.e. ownership) and the subjugation of these objects. In other words, a Manmukh is ruled by and is conditioned by pleasure of hys five senses and hys rash thoughs. Simply stated, a Manmukh is an ego-centric person whose actions are controlled by the following urges and desires: lust, anger, greed, material attachment, self-conceit, envy and stubborn mindedness, with their numerous variations.
As a result, hy has no belief no understanding of Actuality, Logos, or Hukm. Consequently, hy has no understanding of the ultimate purpose of life, hys relationship with the FSM, and the way of the FSM. In this madness and illusion and "I-am-ness", hy cultivates the life of a faithless cynic called "Saakat" — an unwise and an untrue being.
A Manmukh stands in the presence of knowledge, sometimes before it, some times behind it, never does hy chase after it.
Those who serve Maya are called Manmukhs. Thus, a Manmukh regardless of how advanced hy may be in hys material qualifications by education or cultural status, lacks in Divine qualities; consequently, is not aware of the Supreme Actuality that is contained within hym. Such individuals fail to attain Spiritual Perfection or Intuitive Understanding of the FSM; for their intellect is dimmed by material contamination. They hate holiness for it gives aid and comfort to their enemies.
A Manmukh lifestyle is full of the detrimental qualities in a person and rejection of the advantageous. Such lifestyles are void of humility, contentment, compassion, love and spiritual wisdom.
The symptoms of being a Manmukh include but are not limited to: egoism, ignorance, selfishness, duality, bondage, evil-mindedness, falsehood, violence, untruthfulness, doubts, superstitions, uncontrolled senses, identification with the feeling of "I, me, mine, your", lust, anger, greed, attachment, self pride, self-conceit; superstitious, jealousy and enviousness, stubborn mindedness, hatred, fanaticism, conflicts, lack of contentment, material hankering and lamentation, lack of mental control and inner peace, self-centeredness, being full of quarrel and contentions, lack of faith, ritualistic, unhappy, always interested in taking instead of giving, affinity for bad association, lack of self-discipline, mental agitation, unceasing wandering (rat-race), begging material things from God, complaining, finding faults in others, unable to bear pains and sorrows of life, love for material world instead of the Self within, corruption, fraud, larceny and swindling, bribery, cheating, lying, plundering, stealing, fond of mental speculations and material logic, attachment to material world, deceitful nature, fearful, unceasing desire for sense objects, cynicism, hypocrisy, always wanting to control the world, always wanting to be appreciated, unceasing hunger for name and fame, love for titles and honor, divisiveness, prejudices, cruelty, bigotry, unnatural diet, indulgence in worldly pleasures, illusion, delusion, wrong identity, stupor, obstinate error, love of Maya or appearances, crookedness, animosity, and so on.
According to TOoHNA, being a Manmukh is not a question of heredity, family of birth, ancestry, race, region, social status, caste, creed, education, titles, religion or any peculiar external appearance of a person; it is a question of lack of wisdom, self-evaluation, unenlightened existence, an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest, egoism, ignorance, hypocrisy, bondage, mental delusion, body-consciousness, mistaken identity, and so on.
“O chosen people, O self-elect, one who does not publicly affirm his Guru is not a good person; he loses all his profits and capital. People used to chant and recite the Shaastras and the Vedas, O Nanak, but now the Words of the Perfect Guru have come to be the most exalted of all. The glorious greatness of the Perfect Guru is pleasing to the GurSikh; the self-willed manmukhs have lost this opportunity.” (WMOM p 304)