FROG PHILOSOPHY

ਕੂਪੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਾਦਿਰਾ ਕਛੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਬਿਦੇਸੁ ਨ ਬੂਝ ॥
ਐਸੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਆ ਕਛੁ ਆਰਾ ਪਾਰੁ ਨ ਸੂਝ ॥੧॥:
Koopu bhario jaise daadiraa kashu desu bidesu na boojh.
Aise meraa manu bikhiaa bimohiaa kashu aaraa paaru na soojh ||1||
:
As a well is filled with frogs, (but those frogs in the well) knows nothing of its own
country or other lands (outside the well); just so, my mind, infatuated with corruption
(trapped in the well of Maya), understands nothing about this world or the next ||1|| (sggs 346).
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With the awakening of the Divine Grace within, when we wake up to real Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan), humility takes place, followed by the Realization of the Truth or the Mool (Source, Origin, Jot...). The mind's foolishness is realized only after a person rediscovered this Truth. Until then, we all suffer from "frog philosophy". And no one is proud of his foolishness!

A frog who has lived all his life in a well knows nothing about the existence of the land or world outside the well. He always thinks in terms relative to the well. Because of his limited faculties, experience, logic, etc., he has no capacity to think otherwise.

Similarly, as indicated in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), the man with his corrupt mind and contaminated senses (Mayaic Budhi or intellect) is unable to know this world or the next. 

  • ਕੂਪੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਾਦਿਰਾ ਕਛੁ ਦੇਸੁ ਬਿਦੇਸੁ ਨ ਬੂਝ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਮੋਹਿਆ ਕਛੁ ਆਰਾ ਪਾਰੁ ਨ ਸੂਝ ॥੧॥: Koopu bhario jaise daadiraa kashu desu bidesu na boojh. Aise meraa manu bikhiaa bimohiaa kashu aaraa paaru na soojh ||1||: As a well is filled with frogs, (but those frogs in the well) knows nothing of its own country or other lands (outside the well); just so, my mind, infatuated with corruption (trapped in the well of Maya), understands nothing about this world or the next ||1|| (sggs 346).
Analogies, similes, allegories, metaphors and figurative or mystic representations help one understand the subject matter better. They have been extensively used throughout the Gurbani to drive the Divine Message into our head. By using frog as an example, the Gurbani helps us understand very important points such as:
  • Mind's foolishness
  • Rituals
  • Devotion
The terms such as mind's foolishness, ignorance, darkness, false ego, mental blindness, etc., are essentially synonymous.  A mind in control of senses rather than the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) is a foolish mind. Such mind is so restless, turbulent, agitated and strong that it often overcomes even one's own intelligence. Thus, a mind ignorant of the Mool (Source...) is like an acute infection that may even surpass the efficacy of the medicine!

A false ego driven mind is always in the state of flux, tossing, changing or going hither and thither. Such mind enveloped with duality (Doojaa Bhaav), is declared by the Gurbani to be unfit for gaining Divine Knowledge. A person with such "filthy" mind always thinks that he knows the best and that everybody else is just a fool; or his way of living is the best and that all others are inferior; or that the way he looks at things is the best and those who don't look at things like him are no good; and so on. The Gurbani compares a person with such sense infatuated blind mind with a frog!

  • ਮਾਰੂ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਬਿਮਲ ਮਝਾਰਿ ਬਸਸਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜਲ ਪਦਮਨਿ ਜਾਵਲ ਰੇ ॥ ਪਦਮਨਿ ਜਾਵਲ ਜਲ ਰਸ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਦੋਖ ਨਹੀ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਦਾਦਰ ਤੂ ਕਬਹਿ ਨ ਜਾਨਸਿ ਰੇ ॥ ਭਖਸਿ ਸਿਬਾਲੁ ਬਸਸਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜਲ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਨ ਲਖਸਿ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਬਸੁ ਜਲ ਨਿਤ ਨ ਵਸਤ ਅਲੀਅਲ ਮੇਰ ਚਚਾ ਗੁਨ ਰੇ ॥ ਚੰਦ ਕੁਮੁਦਨੀ ਦੂਰਹੁ ਨਿਵਸਸਿ ਅਨਭਉ ਕਾਰਨਿ ਰੇ ॥੨॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਖੰਡੁ ਦੂਧਿ ਮਧੁ ਸੰਚਸਿ ਤੂ ਬਨ ਚਾਤੁਰ ਰੇ ॥ ਅਪਨਾ ਆਪੁ ਤੂ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਛੋਡਸਿ ਪਿਸਨ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਜਿਉ ਰੇ ॥੩॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਵਸਹਿ ਜਨ ਮੂਰਖ ਆਗਮ ਸਾਸ ਸੁਨੇ ॥ ਅਪਨਾ ਆਪੁ ਤੂ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਛੋਡਸਿ ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛਿ ਜਿਉ ਰੇ ॥੪॥ ਇਕਿ ਪਾਖੰਡੀ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਰਾਚਹਿ ਇਕਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣੀ ਰੇ ॥ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਸਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਰੇ ॥੫॥੪॥: Maaroo mahalaa 1 || Bimal majhaar basas niramal jal padaman jaaval re. Padaman jaaval jal ras sangat sang dokh nehee re ||1|| Daadar too kabahi na jaanat re. Bhakhas sibaal basas niramal jal Amrithn lakhas rae ||1|| Rahaaou || Bas jal nit n vasat aleeal mer chachaa gun re. Chand kumudanee doorahu nivasas anabhaou kaaran re ||2|| Amrit khandd doodh madh sanchas too ban chaatur re. Apna aap too kabahu na shodas pisan preet jiou re. ||3|| Pandit sang vasahi jan moorakh aagam saas sune. Apnaa aap too kabahoo na shodas suaan poonsh jiyu re. ||4|| Ik paakhanddee naam n raachahi ik har har charanee re. poorab likhiaa paavas naanak rasanaa naam jap rae ||5||4||: Maaroo mahalaa 1. In a pond's (Sarovar, etc.) clean water, both the lotus and the slimy scum (pellicle like stuff that grows in the water) are found. (Although) the lotus flower lives with the slimy scum and the water, but, in their association, it remains untouched (i.e., ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਦਾਗ਼ ਨਹੀਂ ਲੱਗਦਾ). ||1|| O frog, you can never understand. (O fog!) While you dwell in the clean water, but you do not appreciate it (ਸਾਫ-ਸੁਥਰੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਕਦਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਣਦਾ). (Instead) you eat (only) the slimy scum (in that clean water). ||1||Pause|| (O frog) you dwell continually in the water; (but) the bumble bee does not dwell there, (but stile) it is intoxicated with (the flower's) fragrance from afar (it sucks flower from the top and enjoysthe essence). ||2|| In the (udder's) milk, (sweetness like) sugar and honey Amrit is gathered, (but) like the love of the tick (attached to the udder) for blood, (o frog) you can never escape your own inner tendencies (you do not see how the lotus lives in the water, but you happily eat the slimy scum!). ||3|| The foolish people live with the Pandit, the religious scholar, and listen to the Vedas and the Shaastras (but still remains fool, and do not give up their nature of foolishness). [Similarly, O frog (here the hint is towards our ignorant and crooked mind)] You can never escape your own inner tendencies, like the tail of the dog (that always remains crooked). Some are hypocrites ( ਪਾਖੰਡੀ) ; they do not absorbed with the Naam (Shabad-Vichaar, Giaan...). Some (fortunate) are absorbed in the Feet of the Lord (i.e. Naam). Says Nanak! chant the Naam with your tongue (i.e., keep Truth-ਸਚ-on the tongue...), you have received this predestined (Daat or gift of the Naam). ||5||4|| (sggs 990).
Even though a frog may be living in a clean water with lotus flowers; however, he loves to eat the mud and filth only! Similarly, the senses of a foolish person, even though he may be living with pious and wise people, loves to consume the mud of selfishness, falsehood or corruption only.

The difference between a frog and a lotus flower is the same as between a Manmukh (material being...) and a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...). That is, a Manmukh is a frog, while a Gurmukh is a lotus flower. 

Although a lotus flower lives with water and slimy scum, but it remains untouched or unpolluted. This is the characteristic of a Gurmukh who, while living in the midst of Maya, remains untouched. He is free of frog philosophy. On the other hand, a frog eats slimy scum even though he lives with the same water and the lotus! This is the characteristic of a Manmukh; who thinks, speaks, acts and eats in a way that is destructive to the society as well as unconducive to his own Spiritual Unfoldment.

  • ਐਬ ਤਨਿ ਚਿਕੜੋ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮੀਡਕੋ ਕਮਲ ਕੀ ਸਾਰ ਨਹੀ ਮੂਲਿ ਪਾਈ ॥: Aib tan chickro ih man meedako kamal kee saar nahi mool paaee: (So long) there is the mud (of Bikaars: lust, anger, greed, etc.) in the body, and this mind is the frog (that dwells in that mud), (such) mind cannot appreciate the lotus (that grows in the mud) at all (the mind cannot understand God that dwells within) (sggs 24).
A mind polluted with skepticism or doubts (Bharam) gets involved with empty rituals, superstitions, superficial or external show of religion, and so on. Why he does that? Because the unmeaning rituals aid to increase the fire of his false ego; making him more phony, foolish and sense-blind in the process. All sorts of religious ceremonies, rites, rituals, garbs, etc., are performed solely to satisfy the evil emotions of a foolish mind. Accordingly, such phony acts are rejected by the Gurbani as God can not be pleased or known by them.

For example, men of deluded mind, go to bathe at the pilgrim places; hoping that their demerits and mistakes will be washed off, leading them to liberation (Mukti). The Gurbani asserts that such fools may get their body washed off all right, but they end up accumulating twice as much of mental filth! Therefore, in this context, the Gurbani compares the ritual of taking bath with the frog of water.

  • ਸੰਧਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਾਤ ਇਸ੍ਨਾਨੁ ਕਰਾਹੀ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਭਏ ਦਾਦੁਰ ਪਾਨੀ ਮਾਹੀ ॥੧॥: Sandhiaa praat isnaan kraahee. Jiou bhae daadur paanee maahee ||1||: Those who take their ritual baths in the evening and the morning (and think that by doing so they have become pure, they) are like the frogs living in the water ||1|| (sggs 324).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਨ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਤੀਣੇ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਅਯਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਪੂਜਹੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੀ ਦੇਵਾ ॥ ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਵਣੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਲ ਕੈ ਮਜਨਿ ਜੇ ਗਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਮੇਂਡੁਕ ਨਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਮੇਂਡੁਕ ਤੈਸੇ ਓਇ ਨਰ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੋਨੀ ਆਵਹਿ ॥੨॥: Antar mail je teerath naavai tis baikunth naa jaanaa ...: With filth within (ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਮੈਲ), even if one bathes at sacred places of pilgrimage, still, he does not go to heaven. Nothing is gained by trying to please others (seeing you bathing at sacred places people may think you are Bhagat, religious, etc., but) — the Lord cannot be fooled (for He is knower of all the hearts). ||1|| Worship the One Divine Lord. The true cleansing bath is Gur-Sevaa (through the Naam). If salvation can be obtained by bathing in water, then what about the frog, which is always bathing (always remains in water)? As is the frog, so is that mortal; (without the Lord's Naam, Giaan...) he is reincarnated, over and over again ||2|| (sggs 484).
If one wants to enter Transcendental Abode, there is a qualification to be met — he must be free of material bondage (Maya).  According to the Gurbani, the practice of Shabad-Vichaar is said to be the powerful cleansing process. It helps cleanse the mind and body by purifying its nine holes or "gates" (two eyes, two years, two nostrils, one mouth, urinary aperture, and one anus). Once the dross of the mind is so cleansed, then we become qualified to enter the mystic "Tenth Gate" or Turiyaa.

Purification of the senses means the ceasing of their material demands for sense-gratification, and opening of the Tenth Gate means becoming linked to the Mool within (Source...).  The Gurbani reminds us repeatedly that, without Bhagti (thoroughly understanding the Gurbani...), this precious human life will be wasted. Consequently, one will take birth and die in sorrow and delusion, again and again. Hence, according to the Gurbani, a person lacking Pure Love of the Mool (Source...) is no better than a frog.

  • ਮਨੁ ਭੂਲਉ ਭਰਮਸਿ ਭਵਰ ਤਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਲ ਬਿਰਥੇ ਚਾਹੈ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਮੈਗਲ ਜਿਉ ਫਾਸਸਿ ਕਾਮਹਾਰ ॥ ਕੜਿ ਬੰਧਨਿ ਬਾਧਿਓ ਸੀਸ ਮਾਰ ॥੨॥: Man bhoolau bharamas bhavar taar ...: The mind, deluded by doubt, buzzes (wanders) around like a bumblebee. Through the holes (senses organs) of the body, the mind desires to indulge in worthless passions (Bikaars). It gets trapped like the elephant gets trapped by its own lust; who is held tight by the chains, and beaten on its head. ||2|| (sggs 1188).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org