1. The scum (i.e., impurity) of so many births is attached to this mind
and it has become pitch black (sggs 651)
2. The tossing mind wanders in ten directions (i.e., restlessness) —
it needs to be pacified and restrained (sggs 685)
3. There is ignorance and pain of doubt Within, like a separating veil
(i.e., veil of ignorance) between the man and God (sggs 40).

False ego distances man from God. It's the seed of the deluded mind whose projection are passions and emotions. The scriptures repeatedly remind us that the culprit behind man's all troubles is this instinctive mind, whose diseases are not only devastating but also subtle, thereby, invisible to our material eyes.

In order to diagnose mind's diseased condition, reflection and contemplation on it's mysteries are needed. Crookedness of the deluded mind can be grouped under three defects or faults: (1) "impurity", (2) "restlessness", and (3) "veil of ignorance". Without removing these defects, it's impossible to reach the mind's Substratum (Adhaar), the Pure Awareness.

  • ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਾਲਾ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਆਹ ॥: The scum (i.e., impurity) of so many births is attached to this mind and it has become pitch black (sggs 651).
  • ਚਚੰਚਲ ਮਨੁ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਕਉ ਧਾਵਤ ਅਚਲ ਜਾਹਿ ਠਹਰਾਨੋ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੋ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਤਾਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਮਾਨੋ ॥੨॥੩॥: The restless mind wanders in ten directions; (whoever) has made it still and stable, says Nanak, consider this type of person to be Liberated. ||2||3|| (sggs 685).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਦੂਰਿ ਪਈਆਸਿ ॥: There is ignorance and pain of doubt within, like a separating veil (i.e., veil of ignorance) between the man and God (sggs 40).
First, let's take up the defect of mental "impurity". This defect is also known by many other names such as Malla, Bikh, Kucheel, Paap or sin, Kasudh, Sootak; inner filth, dirt, scum, pollution, corruption, falsehood, etc. As indicated in the Gurbani, our mind has been accumulating this Malla for many births. Covered with the countless layers of this Malla, thus, it's unable to see its own Illumined State or Divine Nature (Joti-Svaroopa).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥: The mind is polluted by the love of duality (sggs 121).
  • ਮਮਨੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Mann mailaa sach nirmalaa kiou kar miliaa jaai: The True Lord is Pure; (so long the man's) mind is impure (with Haumai, Bikaar, etc.); he cannot meet (Truth or the Lord) (sggs 755).
What does the defect of Malla consist of? The mind's Malla is duality (Doojaa Bhaav): lust, anger, greed, worldly attachment, pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, hatred, animosity, fear, falsehood, selfishness, quarrel, slandering, cruelty, wickedness, prejudices, cheating, lying, hypocrisy, deceptiveness, and their numerous variations.
  • ਮਨ ਕਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ॥: The pollution of the mind is the love of duality (sggs 229).
  • ਜਗਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ॥: Jagg haumai mailu dukh paaiaa mall laagee doojai bhaai: On account of the filth of Haume (egotism), the world suffers in pain. Because of the (love of Maya), the filth of duality sticks to the world (sggs 39).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੈਲੇ ਮਲੁ ਭਰੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥: Manmukh maile mal bhare haumai trisanaa vikaar: The Manmukhs are polluted. They are filled with the pollution of egotism, cravings and evil passions (sggs 29).
  • ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥: Slandering others is putting the filth of others into your own mouth. The fire of anger is the outcaste who burns dead bodies at the crematorium (sggs 15).
  • ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥: The Qazi tells lies and eats filth. The Brahmin kills (inflicts pain to souls: ਆਤਮ-ਘਾਤੀ...) and then takes (cleansing) baths (ਤੀਰਥ-ਇਸਨਾਨ). The Yogi is (mentally or spiritually) blind, and does not know the Way. These three are the fetter of destruction (of the society, people...).  ||2||(sggs 662).
  • ਮਮਤਾ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਉਤਰੈ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: When the filth of attachment and possessiveness depart, the mind becomes pure (sggs 558).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਏ ॥: By greed within, mind becomes filthy, and one spreads filth around (sggs1062)
  • ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਏ ॥: Man slanders others, and pollutes himself with his own filth (sggs 88).
How can the defect of Malla be removed from the mind? Before knowing what can remove the Malla, let's find out what cannot remove it. According to the Gurbani (sggs), that which cannot remove Malla includes wearing of religious robes, outer show of religion or spirituality, ignoble qualities, giving charity and alms in ignorance, making pilgrimage to the so called sacred shrines and ritual bathing in their waters, reading of the scriptures, Naamlessness, material consciousness (Manmukhtaa), and other worldly entanglements. The Gurbani says:
  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: kartoot pasoo kee maanas jaat. Lok pachaaraa karai din raat. Bahri bhekh antar mal Maya. Shapasi naahi kashu karai shapaaiaa: They (ਮਾਇਆ-ਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਵ - those in love with Maya, etc.) belong to the human species, but they act like animals. Day and night, they make show (ਲੋਕ ਦਿਖਾਵੇ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ). Outwardly, they (those who act like animals) wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya. They cannot conceal (their inner filth with outwardly wearing religious robes) (sggs 267).
  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥: Those without Virtue (Truth, etc.) are stained by the filth of Maya (sggs 367).
  • ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਅਨੇਕ ਨਾਵਣ ਕਿਉ ਅੰਤਰ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵ ॥: How can giving donations to charities and countless cleansing baths wash off the filth Within the heart? (sggs 243).
  • ਮਲੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਧੋਤੀ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਇ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਦੇ ਦੂਣੀ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਗੀ ਆਇ ॥ ਪੜਿਐ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: This filth of egotism cannot be washed away, even by taking cleansing baths at hundreds of sacred shrines. Performing all sorts of rituals, people are smeared with twice as much filth. The filth is not removed by reading. Go ahead, and ask the Wise ones (sggs 39).
  • ਅੰਧਾ ਭਰਿਆ ਭਰਿ ਭਰਿ ਧੋਵੈ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਲਹੈ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਫੋਕਟ ਸਭਿ ਕਰਮਾ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਜੀਗਰੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲੈ ॥: The spiritually blind are filled with filth and pollution; they may wash, but the filth Within will never depart. Without the Naam all their actions are useless, like the magician who deceives through illuions (sggs 1343).
  • ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗਿ ਮੈਲੇ ਮਲੁ ਭਰੇ ਜਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਭਗਤੀ ਭਾਇ ਵਿਹੂਣਿਆ ਮੁਹੁ ਕਾਲਾ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਇ ॥: Those who do not have the Naam in their mouths remain filled with pollution throughout the four ages. Without loving devotion to God, their faces are blackened, and their honor is lost (sggs 57).
  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਜਾਏ ॥: Outwardly, man washes off the filth, but the impurity of his mind does not go away (sggs 88).
How can the mind be freed from the defect of Malla? To remove the Malla of countless births from the mind, the Gurbani urges us to use this life for loving God and doing selfless Karma. Specifically, we are urged to do the following: Uddam (self-efforts), Inner Inquiry (Aatam-Vichaar or Shabad-Kamaaee), becoming Spiritual Being (Gurmukh), engaging in unbroken meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran), chanting God's glories, keeping company of the Sat (Truth) within and without, practicing detachment, etc. The Gurbani sums it up as follows:
  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਲੁ ਖੋਇ ॥: Remove the Malla of Hayume (ego) by loving God (sggs 391).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਮਲੁ ਖੋਈ ॥: O Nanak, the True Name washes off the pollution (sggs 228).
  • ਮਨੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਮਲੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਖੋਇ ॥: By becoming Gurmukh one becomes immaculate; the Shabad washes away his filth (sggs 1170).
  • ਸਗਲ ਕ੍ਰਿਆ ਮਹਿ ਊਤਮ ਕਿਰਿਆ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਲੁ ਹਿਰਿਆ ॥: Of all religious rituals, the most sublime ritual is to erase the filth of the dirty mind in the Company of the Holy (sggs 266).
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਮਲੁ ਖੋਵੈ ॥: In the Company of the Holy, the filth of sin is washed away (sggs 274).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥: Without the Shabad, the Malla is not washed off; through the cycle of death and rebirth, man wastes away in misery (sggs 29).
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਪਣਾ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਧਨੁ ਖਾਟਿ ॥ ਸੰਤਸੰਗਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਣਾ ਮਲੁ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਟਿ ॥: Make the self-effort, and chant God's Name. O very fortunate ones, earn this Wealth. In the Company of Truth, Satsang, meditate in remembrance on God, and wash off the filth of countless incarnations (sggs 48).
  • ਆਸ ਅੰਦੇਸਾ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਇਉ ਮਲੁ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Remove hopes and anxieties; the pollution will go away (sggs 57).
  • ਕਥਾ ਸੁਣਤ ਮਲੁ ਸਗਲੀ ਖੋਵ ॥: Hear Sermon, all filth will be removed (sggs 104).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਤਾ ਮਲੁ ਜਾੲ ॥: Serving the Satguru, filth and pollution are removed (sggs 116).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਸਦਾ ਬਗੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੈ ਪਰੁ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਜੀਵਤੁ ਮਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਚੁਕਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੬॥: Manamukh sadaa bagu mailaa houmai malu laaee. Isanaan karai paru mail na jaaee. Jeevat marai gur sabadu beechaarai houmai mail chukaavaniaa ||6||: The Manmukh (self-willed, materialistic, ego being, denier of truthful living ...) will always be filthy crane (Manmukh is like a hypocrite crane -ਬਗਲੇ ਵਾਂਗ ਪਖੰਡੀ); he is smeared with the filth of ego. (He) may bathe (ਤੀਰਥਾਂ ਉੱਤੇ - at shrines of pilgrimage, etc.), but filth (of his ego - ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀ ਮੈਲ) is not removed (by doing so). One who dies while yet alive (ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਵੱਲੋਂ - liberated from Haumai), and contemplates the Shabad (ਸਬਦ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਟਿਕਾਈ ਰੱਖਣਾ), is rid of this filth (of ego) ||6|| (sggs 129).
  • ਹਰਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਈ ॥: Meditate on God every day, O my Siblings of Destiny. Thus, the filth of millions of incarnations will be taken away (sggs 195).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਜਾਇ ॥: In the remembrance of God, the filth of the mind is removed (sggs 263).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵਹਿ ॥: Overcoming self-conceit, wash off filth with the Shabad (sggs 413).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਵਡੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਜਿਨ੍‍ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਹ ॥: O Nanak, blessed, blessed and very fortunate are those who, through the Gurmati, with the Naam, wash away the filth of their hearts (sggs 493).
  • ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਦਿਖਾਏ ਤਿਤੁ ਨਾਤੈ ਮਲੁ ਜਾਏੇ ॥: God has shown that the Gur-Shabad is the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage; bathing in it, filth is washed away (sggs 753).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਕੁਸੁਧ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਲੁ ਲਾਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਧੋਵਹਿ ਤਾ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਧੋਪੈ ਤਾ ਹਛੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਮੈਲੀ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ਹੇ ॥: That body which is stained with the filth of egotism is false and impure. It may be washed a hundred times, but its filth is still not removed. But if it is washed with the Shabad, then it is truly cleansed, and it will never be soiled again (sggs 1045).
  • ਕੋਈ ਗਾਵੈ ਕੋ ਸੁਣੈ ਕੋ ਉਚਰਿ ਸੁਨਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਚਿੰਦਿਆ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Some sing, some listen, and some speek of God. The filth and pollution of countless lifetimes is washed away, and the wishes of the mind are fulfilled (sggs 1318).
The next defect "restlessness" is also indicated by many other terms such as Taalaabeli, Chanchal, Dhaatur Baajee, Utha Chaltaa, Dhaavat, Dhaat, Naataa, Vikshepa, Lahree or tossing, turbulent wanderings, etc. Our mind's restlessness is caused by our identification with the world of plurality (Doojaa Bhaav) and our wrong assumptions that we can gain unending satisfaction or happiness from it.
  • ਜਿਚਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਹਰੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਹੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥: As long as this mind is tossing around (in waves of Maya etc., that person remains) caught in too much ego and pride (sggs 1247).
Driven by this faulty vision, the mind like a mad street-dog ever whirls in vain far and wide among objects of the senses. It's tossed about among "likes and dislikes". Following its companions of desire and fear, this dog of mind preys on material beings (Manmukhs) as vultures on carcasses. The "restless" mind can be compared to a drunkard monkey who at the same time has been stung by thousands of scorpions! In the state of "Dhaatur Baajee" it will flint in a moment from one corner of the world to the other.
  • ਮਨੁ ਚੰਚਲੁ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਫੁਨਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਸਾਚੇ ਸੂਚੇ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਭਾਵੈ ॥: The restless mind repeatedly runs after unstable things. The Pure True Being is not pleased by the mental filth (sggs 222).
  • ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥: The mind is in the control of evil passions, evil intent, and duality (sggs 222).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਮੁਈ ਨ ਮਨੁ ਮੁਆ ਸਰੁ ਲਹਰੀ ਮੈ ਮਤੁ ॥: Maya is not conquered and the mind is not annihilated; the waves of desire in the world-ocean are intoxicating wine (sggs 992).
The Spiritual Scientists tell us that the Inner Happiness (Anand) is directly proportional to the mind's steadiness. Thus comes the need to eliminate the defect of "restlessness". According to the Enlightened Beings and the scriptures, this defect is removed by Devotion (Bhagti), Naam Jap, concentration, control of breath, meditation, etc. The Gurbani says:
  • ਸੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਬ ਤੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਮਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਇਆ ॥: By the Grace of the saintly souls, I meditated on the Name of the Lord. Since then, my restless mind has been satisfied (sggs 189)
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਚੰਚਲ ਮਤਿ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਰਾਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਜ ਭਾਗੀ ॥੩॥੧॥੧੯॥: Kahu Kabeer chanchal mati tiaagee. Keval Raam bhagti nig bhaagee ||3||1||19||: Says Kabeer! I have renounced my restless intellect. (Now) only the Lord's Bhagti (worship, devotion...) is my lot ||3||1||19|| (sggs 327).
  • ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਾਧ ਪਾਈ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਨੁ ਚਲਤੌ ਭਇਓ ਅਰੂੜਾ ॥ ਅਨਹਤ ਧੁਨਿ ਵਾਜਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਵਾਜੇ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰ ਰਸਿ ਲੀੜਾ ॥: In the Satsangat, I found the Holy, by great good fortune; my restless mind has been quieted. The unstruck melody ever vibrates and resounds; I have taken in the sublime essence of the Lord’s Ambrosial Nectar, showering down (sggs 698).
  • ਧਾਤੁਰ ਬਾਜੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਈ ॥: Restrain your restless wanderings through the Shabad, and the Naam will come to dwell in your mind (sggs 909).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਜਨ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਅਕਥੁ ਕਥਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥ ਉਠਿ ਚਲਤਾ ਠਾਕਿ ਰਖਹੁ ਘਰਿ ਅਪੁਨੈ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੇ ਕਾਟਣਹਾਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੧੬॥: Har kee bhagati karahu jan bhaaee || Akath kathahu man maneai samaaee || Uth chalataa thaak rakhahu ghar apunai dukh kaate kaatanhaaraa hae ||16||: Worship the Lord in devotion, O humble Siblings of Destiny. Speak the Unspoken Speech, and the mind will merge back into the Mind. Restrain the restless mind within its own Home, and the Lord, the Destroyer (of pain), will destroy your pain (sggs 1031).
  • ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਧਾਤੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਮੂਏ ਕੈਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਇ ॥: When the mind is conquered, its turbulent wanderings are stopped. Without annihilating (conquering) the mind, how can God be found? Rare is the one who knows the medicine to conquer the mind. The mind is conquered through the shabad; this is known to the Lord’s humble servant (sggs 665)
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਅਰੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਤਤ ਸਿਉ ਤਤੁ ਮਿਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਸਚਿ ਸਚੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਇਕ ਚਿਤਹਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਵਸਿ ਕਰੈ ਪਵਣੁ ਉਡੰਤ ਨ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਕੈ ਵਸੈ ਦੇਸਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੁਝਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਲਿ ਮਾਹਿ ਰੂਪੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਕੀਅਉ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲ੍ਹਿਉ ਸੋਇ ਭਿਖਾ ਕਹੈ ਸਹਜ ਰੰਗਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੀਅਉ ॥: In deep meditation, and the spiritual wisdom of the Guru, one’s essence merges with the essence of reality. In truth, the True Lord is recognized and realized, when one is lovingly attuned to Him, with one-pointed concentration of consciousness. Lust and anger are brought under control, when the breath does not fly around, wandering restlessly (sggs 1395).
The third defect "veil of ignorance" is also known as veil of illusion, veil of doubts, veil of falsehood, veil of Maya, veil of egotism, Avarana, and so on. Other terms used in the Gurbani for "veil" are screen or curtain (Parhadaa, Patal, Paali, Chhaurh) and wall (Bheet).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਪੜਦਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਭੋ ਜਗੁ ਸੋਇਆ ਇਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਿਉ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥: Antar alakh na jaaee lakhiaa vich pardaa haumai paaiaa. Maya moh sabho jag soiaa ihu bharam kahahu kiou jaaee ||1||: The Unseen God dwells within (the Jeeva - an individual being), but (the Jeeva) cannot see (understand, comprehend, etc.) This; (because, within the Jeeva) is the veil of egotism. In emotional attachment to Maya, all the world is asleep. Tell me, how can this doubt (of the Jeeva's) be dispelled? ||1|| (sggs 205).
When the Soul descends into body consciousness, it comes under the influence of cosmic delusion called Maya. So deluded, it descends into Avidya (individual delusion or ignorance) which creates false ego-consciousness. Thus, when deluded and tempted by Maya, the Soul becomes the limited ego called Jeeva (individual being), which erroneously identifies itself with the finite body-frame and worldly objects. Once so confounded with the limited body consciousness, the Soul can no longer express its omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. Because of imagining itself to be limited, the Jeeva suffers; just as a king, who agonizes to have become a beggar in his dream! The ignorance, thus, becomes a veil between the Jeeva and its Spiritual Nature, the Soul Consciousness.
  • ਹਉ ਹਉ ਭੀਤਿ ਭਇਓ ਹੈ ਬੀਚੋ ਸੁਨਤ ਦੇਸਿ ਨਿਕਟਾਇਓ ॥ ਭਾਂਭੀਰੀ ਕੇ ਪਾਤ ਪਰਦੋ ਬਿਨੁ ਪੇਖੇ ਦੂਰਾਇਓ ॥੩॥: Haou haou bheet bhaio hai beecho sunati desi niktaaio. Bhhanbheeree ke paat paardo bin pekhe dooraaio ||3||: (O my mother, I) hear this that the Lord dwells near (within, in my heart, etc.). (But) the wall of egotism and pride separates us. Like the wings of a butterfly, there is a veil between (Him and I); without being able to see Him (due to the curtain of egotism), He seems so far away ||3|| (sggs 624).
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਪਟਲ ਪਟਲ ਹੈ ਭਾਰੀ ਘਰੁ ਘੂਮਨਿ ਘੇਰਿ ਘੁਲਾਵੈਗੋ ॥ ਪਾਪ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਨੂਰ ਸਭਿ ਭਾਰੇ ਬਿਖੁ ਦੁਤਰੁ ਤਰਿਓ ਨ ਜਾਵੈਗੋ ॥: The veil of Maya is thick and heavy, a whirlpool which destroys one’s home. Sins and corrupt vices are totally heavy, like rusted slag. They will not let you cross over the poisonous and treacherous world-ocean (sggs 1308).
  • ਮਲ ਭਰਮ ਕਰਮ ਅਹੰ ਮਮਤਾ ਮਰਣੁ ਚੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਏ ॥ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਅਨੰਦ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ ਲਪਟਾਵਏ ॥: I am stuck in the filth of doubt and egotistical actions, and I try not to think of death. In ignorance, I cling to the pleasures of woman and the joys of Maya (sggs 458).
  • ਨਰਪਤਿ ਏਕੁ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਨਿ ਸੋਇਆ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਭਇਆ ਭਿਖਾਰੀ ॥ ...: Narpati eaeku singhaasani soeiaa supane bhaeiaa bhikhaaree (sggs 657).
Other names for ignorance are active mind, Maya and Ahankaar. Since the instinctive mind itself is ignorance, there is no ignorance outside the mind. Just as the clouds veils the sun from our vision, similarly, the cloud of ignorance acts as a screen between us and the Reality. The scriptures tell us that we cannot realize God (the real Self) so long we have the least tinge of this ignorance. Therefore, they urge us to burn the veil of ignorance by the fire of Spiritual Wisdom. The Gurbani says:
  • ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਤਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ (sggs 490).
  • ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ (sggs 1).
  • ਸਹਸਾ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਇ ॥ ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥ (sggs 591).
  • ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗੁ ਜਿਉ ਜਲਹਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਜੋਤੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕਟੇ ਕਿਵਾੜਾ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਹੋਈਐ ਜਉਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥: As the waves of water merge again with the water, so does my light merge again into the Light. Says Nanak, the veil of illusion has been cut away, and I will not go out wandering any more (sggs 102).
  • ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ਹੈ ਭਰਮੈ ਕੇ ਛਉੜ ਕਟਿ ਕੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਧਰੇਹੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਏਹੁ ਲਾਏਹੁ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਰਖਹੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਸਚਾ ਨੇਹੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਐਥੈ ਸੁਖੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਰਖਸੀ ਅਗੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਕੇਲ ਕਰੇਹ ॥: The Lord is ever-present. He rips away the veil of doubt, and installs His Light deep within. God's Name is Amrit (Nectar) — take this healing medicine! Enshrine the Will of the Satguru in your consciousness, and make the Love of the True One your self-discipline. O Nanak, you will be kept in peace here, and hereafter you will celebrate with the Pure Being (sggs 554).
Elimination of mind's defects leads to its purification. Therefore, the experience of the Men of Light and the esoteric Knowledge of the scriptures ask us to earnestly study and analyze the mind, rise above its temptations and deceptions, make it steady, dissolve it in the Divine Essence by engaging in constant and intense reflections on the Shabad (Vichaar), fix it on the Shabad-Surti (God Consciousness), and thus remove the menacing body consciousness. All other activities are said to be mere babbling in ignorance and egoism!
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਉ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੈ ਸਚਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਲੁ ਖੋਹੁ ॥ ਹੋਹੁ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਅਗੈ ਮਤ ਕਿਛੁ ਆਪੁ ਲਖਾਵਹੇ ॥ ਆਪਣੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਜਗਤੁ ਜਲਿਆ ਮਤ ਤੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਵਹੇ ॥: Within the intellect are ignorance and ego; through the True Shabad, this filth is washed off. So be humble, and surrender to the Satguru; do not attach your identity to your ego. The world is consumed by ego and body consciousness; see this, lest you lose your own self as well (sggs 441).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਰਸ ਰਾਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਬਹੁ ਨਾਟਾ ॥: Without absorption in Divine Essence, the mind wanders endlessly (sggs 226).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਲੇਖੈ ਇਕ ਗਲ ਹੋਰੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਝਖਣਾ ਝਾਖ ॥: O Nanak, only one thing (the Truth) is of any account: everything else is useless babbling and idle talk in ego (sggs 467).

— T. Singh