AHAMBUDHI

Those in Ahambudhi are inflicted with the most
serious chronic disease of Maya (sggs 502).
Good deeds done in Ahambudhi are swept away,
like the house of sand by water (sggs 211).
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The term "ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ" - "Ahambudhi" - basically refers to the ego-intellect. Since intellect is the faculty of the mind, it in essence stands for the ego-mind or personal ego (Haume). Faults of the ego are lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride with their numerous variations such as enviousness, stubborn mindedness, selfishness, untruthfulness, unrighteousness, corruption, slander, arrogance and so on. These are the forces of the instinctive mind, whose driving force comes from one's cravings of sex, money, power, fame, food, clothes etc. It thus binds one to the "corrupt pleasures" of sense-objects through Maya (illusion, duality etc.), because the senses and the intellect of such person are outward bound. Ahambudhi is intolerant and destructive. So it barks: "my viewpoint alone is correct and all others are wrong." In reality, however, the majority of us use our Ahambudhi for everything. In the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), actions (Karma) performed in Ahambudhi are likened to the " most serious chronic disease" and the "house of sand". So what's the use of holding on to such faulty reasoning and intellect? Unless we eradicate it, it's the greatest barrier to one's peace and spiritual enlightenment. As a result, the Gurbani urges us to "forsake" any dealing with one's false ego-sense.

  • ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ਸਿਉ ਮਸਲਤਿ ਛੋਡੀ ॥: Aham-mev siou masalat shodee: I have forsaken the advice of my ego (sggs 1347).
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਹੁ ਸਘਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਹਾ ਦੀਰਘ ਰੋਗੁ ॥: Ahambudhi bahu saghan Maya mahaa dheeragh rog: Those in Ahambudhi have the most serious chronic disease of Maya (sggs 502).
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਨੇ ॥ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਬਾਲੂ ਨੀਰਿ ਬਹਾਵਨੇ ॥: Ahambudhi karam kamaavane. Grih baaloo neer behaavane: Good deeds done in Ahambudhi are swept away, like the house of sand by water (sggs 211).
  • ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ ॥: Paath parrio ar bedu beechaario nival bhuangam saadhe. Panch janaa siou sang na shutakio adhik ahammbudhi baadhe: They read scriptures, and contemplate the Vedas; they practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath. But they cannot escape from the company of the five (i.e. all evil passions); they are increasingly bound to Ahambudhi (sggs 641).
  • ਲਲਾ ਲਪਟਿ ਬਿਖੈ ਰਸ ਰਾਤੇ ॥ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦ ਮਾਤੇ ॥ ਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਹਿ ਜਨਮਹਿ ਮਰਨਾ ॥: Lalaa lapat bikhai ras raate. Ahambudhi Maya mada maate. Iaa Maya mahi janamahi maranaa: LALLA (a letter of Gurmukhi alphabet): People are entangled in the love of corrupt pleasures; in Ahambudhi they are drunk with the wine of Maya. In this Maya, they are born and die (sggs 252).
  • ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਨ ਭਜੈ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਜੂਐ ਜਿਉ ਹਾਰੈ ॥: Gobind na bhajai ahambudhi maataa janam jooai jiou haarai: Intoxicated with Ahambudhi, one does not meditate on the Lord of the Universe; he loses his life in this gamble (sggs 1205)
  • ਜੋ ਜੋ ਕਰਤੇ ਅਹੰਮੇਉ ਝੜਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਪੜਤੇ ॥: Jo jo karate aham-maeou jharr dharatee parrate: Those who indulge in Ahambudhi crumble and fall to the ground (sggs 317).
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Ahambudhi makes us forget the Truth; for it's the veil of darkness (ignorance) - the sense of body-consciousness, duality, separateness, "I, me, mine"; self-centeredness and narrow-mindedness; planning for one's own happiness; brooding over sorrow and possessiveness; etc. It sticks to the mind just as the grease, Ghee or oil sticks to the pot (Bhaandaa) they are stored in. As per the Gurbani, our minds are "overflowing" with this Ahambudhi. Most people today are blinded by Ahambudhi. If not careful, more we read and study, and more we indulge in empty rituals (Karamkaand) and cleansing techniques or pilgrimage, more this filth sticks to the mind. No wonder the so called "intellectuals" are full of Ahambudhi! They are usually good at stirring up conflicts, arguments and controversies! Egoistic intellectual mind is constantly preoccupied with deluded thoughts. A greatest enemy of intuition, such mind is inhibitor to Bhagti (devotion), and has strong stranglehold on the Jeeva (individual). The one deluded by Ahambudhi is called " Manmukh" in the Gurbani.

  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮਨ ਪੂਰਿ ਥਿਧਾਈ ॥: Ahambudhi mann poor thidhaaee: The mind is overflowing with the greasy dirt of Ahambudhi (sggs 200).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਦਰੁ ਨ ਭਾਲਨੀ ਮੁਠੇ ਅਹੰਮਤੇ ॥ ਚਾਰੇ ਕੁੰਡਾਂ ਭਵਿ ਥਕੇ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤਿਖ ਤਤੇ ॥: Deluded (cheated, etc.) by self-conceit, the Manmukhs do not search within their own selves. (Due to) burnt by desire (of Maya...) within, they grow weary wandering in the four directions (sggs 1093)..
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਪਰਬਾਦ ਨੀਤ ਲੋਭ ਰਸਨਾ ਸਾਦਿ ॥: Ahambudhh parabaadh neeth lobh rasanaa saadh: He is constantly entangled in Ahambudhi, conflict, greed and tasty flavors (sggs 810).
  • ਜਹ ਜਾਨੋ ਸੋ ਚੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਭਏ ਆਂਧੇ ॥: Jah jaano so cheet na aavai ahambudhi bhaye aaandhe: Blinded by Ahambudhi, wherever (Jeevas) go, they do not think of the Lord (sggs 402).
  • ਜੇਤੇ ਰੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਏ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਲਾਏ ਘਰ ਕੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਇਕੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ॥: Jete re teerath naai ahambudhi mail laai ghar ko thaakur ik hil na maanai: In spite of the many places of pilgrimage for people to bathe in, their minds are still stained by their Ahambudhi; the Lord is not pleased by this at all (sggs 687).
  • ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਤਾ ਅਹੰਮੇਇ ॥: Buraa bhalaa na pashaanee vanajaariaa mitraa manu mataa ahammei: You do not distinguish between good and evil, O my merchant friend-your mind is intoxicated with Ahambudhi (sggs 77).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਦੁਖਿ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਹਿਆ ਮੇਰੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਕਰਤ ਵਿਹਾਵਏ ॥: Mayaa dukh mohiaa houmai rohiaa meree meree karat vihaave: Caught by the pain of Maya, provoked by his ego, he (Manmukh) passes his life crying out, "Mine, mine!" (sggs 690).

Hence, through intoxication with Ahambudhi, Maya torments us. By attaching one to the Sansaar (this material world, the place of repeated suffering) through Maya, Ahambudhi consumes one's lifetime, losing his heart and faith. Purified Ahambudhi gives clarity of Vision. Therefore, Ahambudhi needs to be purified or annihilated of its defilements and negativities (Bikaars). It means we need to lighten up. Purified intellect is the tool for the intuition. As spiritual Bliss (Anand) cannot be experienced by Ahambudhi, it needs to be replaced with Viveka-Budhi (discriminating intellect) rooted in the spiritual principles.When the intellect is correctly used it's the Wisdom.

  • ਕਾਟੇ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਤਿਮਰ ਨਿਰਮਲੀਆ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਗਾਸ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ॥: Kaate agiaan timar niramaleeaa budhi bigaas bibekaa: I have cut away the darkness of ignorance and become immaculate; for my discriminationg intellect has blossomed forth (sggs 1209).
  • ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਕਰਤੇ ਬਹੁ ਸੰਜਮ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥: Karam dharam karate bahu sanjam ahambudhi manu jaario re: Those who practice religious rituals and strict self-discipline - their they re blinded by Ahambudhi will consume their minds (sggs 335).
  • ਬਿਆਪਤ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥: Biaapat ahambudhi kaa maataa: It (i.e., Maya) torments us through intoxication with Ahambudhi (sggs 182).
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਸੁਚਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਿ ਇਹ ਬੰਧਨ ਬੰਧਾਨੀ ॥: Ahambudhi sach karam kar ih bandhan bandhaanee: One may perform religious deeds, but his mind being Ahambudhi, he is bound by these bonds (sggs 242).
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਾ ਛੋਡਿਆ ਸੰਗੁ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਾ ਉਤਰਿਆ ਰੰਗੁ ॥: Ahambudhi kaa shodiaa sang || Kaam krodh kaa utriaa rang ||: I have forsaken the association of my Ahambudhi. (As aresult) the love of lust and anger has vanished (sggs 1147).
  • ਰਹਿਤ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਅਲਪ ਮਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥: Rahit bikaar alap Maya te ahambudhi bikh tiaagee: He (who is lovingly absorbed in the Lord's Name)
    is rid of sin and corruption, and detached from Maya; he has renounced the poison of Ahambudhi (sggs 1217).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਿਆਗਤ ॥: Brahm giaanee ahambudh tiaagat: Brahm Giaanee - the knower of Truth - renounces his Ahambudh - egotism (sggs 273).
  • ਛੇਦਿ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਮੈ ਚਿੰਤ ਮੇਟਿ ਪੁਰਖ ਅਨੰਤ ॥: Shed ahambudhi karunaa mai chint meti purakh anant: Destroy my Ahambudhi, O Merciful Lord; dispel my anxiety, O Infinite Primal Lord (sggs 508).
  • ਚਰਣ ਰੇਣੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥: Charan ren gur kee mukh laagee || Ahabudhi tin sagal tiaagee ||: I have applied the dust of the Guru's Feet to my face, which has removed all my Ahambudhi (sggs 187).

How? The Gurbani says that the Salvation " comes only through the Naam, the Name of the Lord". Furthermore, the Gurbani recommends cultivating humility and seeking and keeping the Holy Company (Saadh-Sangat or Satsang) to "tear down the mound of frightful Ahambudhi". In nutshell, eradication of Ahambudhi is the question of becoming a Gurmukh (spiritual or egoless being).

  • ੜਾੜਿ ਕਰਤ ਸਾਕਤ ਗਾਵਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੇਹ ਹੀਐ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥ ੜਾੜਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ੜਾੜਿ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥ ਨਿਮਖ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਮਝਾਈ ॥: Rraarr karat saakat gaavaaraa || Jeh heeai ahambudhi bikaaraa || Rraarraa gurmukh rraarr mittaaee || Nimakh maahi Nanak samajhaaee ||: The foolish, faithless cynic picks arguments. his heart is filled with corruption and Ahambudhi. RARRA (a letter of Gurmukhi alphabet): For the onr who has become a Gurmukh, conflict is eliminated in an instant, O Nanak, through the Teachings (sggs 260).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Guramukh giaan bibek budhi hoi: The Gurmukh is blessed with Viveka-Budhi (sggs 317
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬੰਧਨ ਪਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਛੁਟਾਰ ॥: Ahambudhi bandhan pare Nanak naam shutaar: He (one in ego consciousness) is bound by his Ahambudhi; O Nanak, salvation comes only through the Naam, the Name of the Lord (sggs 255).
  • ਢੇਰੀ ਢਾਹਹੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥: Dheree dhaahahu saadhsang ahambudhi bikaraal: In the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, tear down the mound of frightful Ahambudhi (sggs 256).
  • ਸੰਤ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਮ ਰੰਗ ਕੇਲ ॥ ਆਗੈ ਜਮ ਸਿਉ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਮੇਲ ॥ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਾ ਭਇਆ ਬਿਨਾਸ ॥: Sant kai sang raam rang kel || Aagai jam siou hoi na mel || Ahambudhi kaa bhaiaa binaas ||: In the Saints' Congregation, play joyfully with the Lord, and you will not have to meet the Messenger of Death hereafter.Your Ahambudhi will be dispelled (sggs 891).
  • ਸਭ ਕੀ ਰੇਨ ਹੋਇ ਮਨੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਜਾਵਹੁ ॥: Sabh kee ren hoi manu meraa ahambudhi tajaavahu: Let my mind become the dust of all; may I abandon my Ahambudhi (sggs 1120).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥੩॥: Sadh sangat mil budh bibek ||3||: Joining the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, the discriminating intellect is attained ||3|| (sggs 377).
  • ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮੋਹ ਮਨ ਬਾਸਨ ਦੇ ਕਰਿ ਗਡਹਾ ਗਾਡੀ ॥: Ahambudhi moh mann baasan de kar gaddahaa gaadee: I dug a deep pit, and buried my Ahambudhi, emotional attachment and the desires of my mind (sggs 671).
  • ਮਾਣੁ ਤਾਣੁ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਹਤੀ ਰੀ ॥ ਸਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋਹਾਗਵਤੀ ਰੀ ॥: Maan taan ahambudhi hatee ree || Saa Nanak sohaagavatee ree ||: Who who eradicates the self-conceit, power and Ahambudhi, O Nanak, is the true soul-bride (sggs 739).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org