ਨਵੇ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਸ੍ਰਵਹਿ ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਾ ॥: Nave shidra sravahi apvitraa:
The nine holes -senses - pour out filth (sggs 998).

Material body by itself is inert (ਜੜ). It comes to alive only after enlivened by the Spirit Soul (ਚੇਤਨ), the Mool. Without which this body is nothing more than 9 holes in the flesh and bones! Also called gates or Darvaaje in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), these holes are two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital, and one anus. Looking at it from an another perspective, eyes, years, nose, and tongue (mouth) combined with skin makes five senses of acquiring knowledge (Giaan Indriyas). Similarly, the genital, anus, and voice (mouth) combined with hands and legs make five senses of action or work (Karma Indriyas).

  • ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੋਟੁ ਹੈ ਦਸਵੈ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਰਖੀਜੈ ॥ ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ਨ ਖੁਲਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਖੁਲੀਜੈ ॥ ਅਨਹਦ ਵਾਜੇ ਧੁਨਿ ਵਜਦੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਣੀਜੈ ॥ ਤਿਤੁ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਨਣਾ ਕਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਆਪੇ ਰਚਨ ਰਚਾਈ ॥੧੫॥: Naou darvaaje kaaiaa kotu hai dasavai gupat rakheejai. Bajjar kapaat n khulanee gur Shbadi khuleejai. Anhad vaaje Dhuni vajade gur shabadi suneejai. Tit ghat antar chaananaa kari bhagti mileejai. Sabh mahi ek vartadaa jin aape rachan rachaaee ||15||: The fortress of the body has nine gates; the tenth gate is kept hidden. The rigid door is not open; only through the Shabad can it be opened. The Anhad Dhuni or the unstruck sound current resounds and vibrates there. It is heard by the Shabad. Deep within the nucleus of the heart, the Divine Light shines forth. Through Bhagti, one meets the Lord. The One Lord is pervading and permeating all; he Himself created the creation ||15|| (sggs 954).

The Gurbani (and other ancient Indian scriptures) reflects on this subject matter. Why? To a person with corrupted senses (ignorant or Manmukh), this human body is the source of suffering. But to a person with enlightened senses (Spiritual Being or Gurmukh), this body is the vehicle of Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge), thus the source of Bliss. Hence, we are urged by the Gurbani to chew the steel-balls: strive to conquer the mind and senses. As the Divine Knowledge is beyond the reach of the Mayaic mind and senses, it arises only when the mind and senses cease their desires for corrupt passions.

Unfortunately, under the spell of Maya's delusive energy, most of us have these holes (or senses) defiled. The result is confusion in the Jeeva (individual being) which sees itself as embodied in this world of names and forms. Consequently, one perceives Indivisible as divisible, Infinite as finite, Illimitable as limited, Nameless as name, Changeless as changeful, Undivided as divided, Total (Saabat) as fragmented, True (Sat) as false (Asat), Permanent as impermanent and Formless as form. Due to this seed of individuality (false ego), we are unable to rightly understand the reality of this material world (Maya) as well as the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...).

  • ਕਾਚ ਕੋਟੰ ਰਚੰਤਿ ਤੋਯੰ ਲੇਪਨੰ ਰਕਤ ਚਰਮਣਹ ॥ ਨਵੰਤ ਦੁਆਰੰ ਭੀਤ ਰਹਿਤੰ ਬਾਇ ਰੂਪੰ ਅਸਥੰਭਨਹ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮੰ ਨਹ ਸਿਮਰੰਤਿ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਨੰਤਿ ਅਸਥਿਰੰ ॥: Kaach kotam rachant toyam lepanam rakat charmanah ...: This fragile body-fortress is made up of water, plastered with blood and wrapped in skin. It has nine doors (gates, ਗੋਲਕਾਂ), but (the doors have) no shutters (ਦਰਵਾਜ਼ੇ ਦੇ ਤਖ਼ਤੇ ); it is supported by pillars of wind (the channels of the breath). The ignorant person does not meditate On God; because he thinks that this body is permanent (sggs 1354).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਅਰੁ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਇਹ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸਿ ਲਪਟਾਧੇ ॥: Kaam krodh ar lobh moh ih indree ras laptaaye: Man's senses are beguiled by sensual pleasures of lust, anger, greed and emotional attachment (sggs 403).
Mind is the ringleader as it sits on top of all. Free to escape through the corrupted holes, the deluded mind limits the Truth, and binds the beings to bondage of worldly hallucination. Thus, all senses with their respective demands, coloring or covering (impurity) are unable to understand the Divine Name or Shabad (Aatam Giaan).
  • ਦਸ ਪਾਤਉ ਪੰਚ ਸੰਗੀਤਾ ਏਕੈ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਾਥੇ ॥ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਹੋਇ ਭਾਵ ਦਿਖਾਵਹਿ ਸਭਹੁ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ਭਾਖੇ ॥੩॥: Das paataou panch sangeetaa ekai bheetar saathe. Bhinn bhinn hoi bhaav dikhaavahi sabahu niraaree bhaakhe ||3||: (Within each individual - Jeeva - are) the ten senses as the dancing girls, and the five passions are as the chorus; they sit together within the one body. They all put on their own shows (ਕਲੋਲ), and speak in different languages (rouse different desires, ਕਾਮਨਾ, etc.) ||3|| (sggs 884).
What is the language (coloring or impurity) of each of these senses? For example, the coloring of the tongue is falsehood. It is asleep, in its desire for material tastes and flavors. When the tongue is impure, its speech is also impure. The ears are also asleep, listening to rubbish like slanderous stories of others. The eyes are corrupted too; gazing upon the unholy and the beauty of the material objects and wealth of another. The sexual organs are corrupted with never ceasing lust as well. Thus, the instinct of pleasing the senses corrupts one's entire sensory apparatus.

Consequently, through the corrupted sense of sight, man lusts after material objects; through the corrupted sense of hearing, man craves to hear the slow poison of flattery and other sounds that rouse his material nature; through the corrupted sense of smell, he is enticed toward wrong environments and actions; through the corrupted sense of taste, he is lures to consume such food and drink that destroy his physical and mental well being; and contaminated sense of touch lusts him for indulgence in physical comforts and lust.

In other words, fascinated by Maya, the mind is asleep. Our body has two sets of sensors — the sensor of nerves, and the sensor of sensory apparatus. The sensor of nerves keeps our organs, limbs, and muscles functional. The sensor of sensory apparatus keeps our brain informed of the outside world of sight (eyes), smell (nose), taste (tongue), touch (skin), and hearing (ears). While the feet are corrupted by walking on inauspicious path, the hands are corrupted with unrighteous actions. The anus is filthy to begin with!

  • ਜਿਹਬਾ ਜੂਠੀ ਬੋਲਤ ਜੂਠਾ ਕਰਨ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਸਭਿ ਜੂਠੇ ॥ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਕੀ ਜੂਠਿ ਉਤਰਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਅਗਨਿ ਕੇ ਲੂਠੇ ॥੨॥: Jihvaa joothee bolat joothaa karan netra sabh joothe ...: The tongue is Joothee (impure, etc.), and its speech is Joothee. The eyes and ears are all Joothe. The Jooth of the sexual organs does not depart; the Brahmin is burnt by the fire (of the false pride of being Suchaa Brahmin) ||2|| (sggs 1195).
  • ਮਨੁ ਵਸਿ ਦੂਤਾ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੋਇ ॥: Man vas doota durmat doi: The mind is in the control of evil passions, evil intent, and duality (sggs 222).
  • ਮਿਥਿਆ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਸੁਨਹਿ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਹਸਤ ਪਰ ਦਰਬ ਕਉ ਹਿਰਹਿ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਪੇਖਤ ਪਰ ਤ੍ਰਿਅ ਰੂਪਾਦ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਭੋਜਨ ਅਨ ਸ੍ਵਾਦ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਚਰਨ ਪਰ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਕਉ ਧਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਮਨ ਪਰ ਲੋਭ ਲੁਭਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਤਨ ਨਹੀ ਪਰਉਪਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਬਾਸੁ ਲੇਤ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਸਭ ਭਏ ॥ ਸਫਲ ਦੇਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਲਏ ॥੫॥: Mithiaa sravan par nindaa sunahi ...: False are the ears which listen to the slander of others. False are the hands which steal the wealth of others. False are the eyes which gaze upon the beauty of another's wife. False is the tongue which enjoys delicacies and tastes. False are the feet which run to do evil to others. False is the mind which covets the wealth of others. False is the body which does not do good to others. False is the nose which inhales corruption (ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਵਾਸ਼ਨਾ). Without Understanding (ultimate purpose of life - ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਦਾ ਮਨੋਰਥ, etc.), everything is false. Fruitful is the body, O Nanak, which takes to the Lord's Name. ||5|| (268 - 269).
Thus, the polluted holes or senses cause us into the pitch darkness of spiritual ignorance. Here is step-by step analysis of our spiritual descent which reveals that our brooding over objects of the senses cause attachment to them. From such attachment, lust or craving develops; from unfulfilled lust or craving, anger arises; from anger, mental delusion arises; from delusion comes bewilderment or loss of memory of the true Self; the loss of such memory causes loss of intelligence or the discriminating faculty (Bibeka-Budhi); upon loss of intelligence or discrimination, one falls down into the material consciousness; which, in turn, brings annihilation of spiritual life.
  • ਨਵੇ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਸ੍ਰਵਹਿ ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਾ ॥: Nave shidra sravahi apvitraa: The nine holes -senses - pour out filth (sggs 998).
Thus, without meditation (Jap or Naam-Simran-understanding the Aatam Giaan of the Gurbani through the Shabad-Vichaar...), the cavities of our ears are nothing but two snake-holes, and the speech of our tongue is no better than the croak of a frog. The eyes that do not long for the Divine Vision (Darshan) are like eyes on a peacock feather, totally inert. The mind or head that does not surrender to God is mere burden on this body, the hands that do not serve the Divine are hands of a corpse, and the feet that do not walk on God's Path are like immovable trees. The heart that does not melt with Love and Devotion (Bhagti-understanding the Gurmat-Aatam Giaan) is nothing more than a piece of rock.

As the Gurbani says, impure tongue (that does not utter Sach-Truth) ought to be burnt or cut out, bit by bit; the ears which do not hear the Sound-current of the Shabad — those ears might just as well be plugged; and the eyes which do not see the Holy: those eyes are miserable. In a corrupt body, evils such as lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment, false pride, mental stubbornness, and enviousness foster and become very powerful within. As the old age approaches, all senses become weak, exhausted, and finally dead. The Gurbani asks us the obvious question: "O blind man, what have you obtained by coming into the world?"

  • ਬਾਵਰੇ ਤੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Baavare tai giaan beechaaru na paaiaa. birathaa janamu gavaaiaa ||1|| Rahaaou ||: O mad man! You have not obtained Spiritual Wisdom (Giaan) and Vichaar (Shabad-Vichaar...). You have lost this birth in vain ||1||Pause|| (sggs 793).
A ship with holes is bound to sink. Similarly, a body (ship) with impure senses (holes) is bound to doom. How can we plug these holes? Or, to put it otherwise, how can we render our senses purified and sanctified? By meditating on the Divine Naam (Shabad-Vichaar, Aatam Giaan); says the Gurbani. There is no other way!
  • ਨਵੇ ਛਿਦ੍ਰ ਸ੍ਰਵਹਿ ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਬੋਲਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਤਾ ॥: Nave shidra sravahi apvitraa. Boli Hari Naam pavitra sabh kitta: The nine holes -senses - pour out filth. Uttering God’s Name, they are all purified and sanctified (sggs 998).
  • ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥ ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥: Bhareeai hath pair tanu deh. Paanee dhotai outaras khaeh. Moot paleetee kaparr hoi. Dae saaboon layeeai ouhu dhoi. Bhareeai Mati paapaa kai sangi. Ohu dhopai naavai kai rangi: When the hands, feet and the body are dirty, water can wash away the dirt. When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine, soap can wash them clean. But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin (acting opposite to the Hukam, living devoid of Gur-Giaan…), it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Divine Name (to live in Hukam, Gur-Giaan, Divine Virtues…) (sggs 4).

Once the senses have rid of their psychological conditioning and filth, the Gur-Shabad enters directly into the innermost core of one's Being, just as a sharp knife pierces through a soft bar of butter. Such a Self-realized seeker (Gursikh, Gurmukh) can control all senses at will, because he never let them act independently. Through constant practice, he is able to control them according to his own plan.

When all the gates of the body are illumined by the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad), the manifestation of the Goodness or Purity can be experienced within. In the Pure Heart, one can see things in their proper perspective; one can hear things in their right perspective; one can taste things in their right perspective; one can feel things in their right perspective; and so on. In essence, one becomes cleansed inside and outside.

  • ਉਸਤਤਿ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕਰਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਤਿ ਬਿਉਹਾਰ ॥ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਰਸਨਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਉ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਕਰਿ ਲੇਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਸਭ ਸੰਗੁ ॥ ਚਰਨ ਚਲਉ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥ ਮਿਟਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਜਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਬਿੰਦ ॥ ਕਰ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਮ ਸ੍ਰਵਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਥਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਊਜਲ ਮਥਾ ॥੨॥: Ustat man mahi kar nirankaar ...: Praise the Formless in your mind. O my mind, make this your true occupation. Let your tongue become pure by drinking the Amrit (of Naam). (By doing so, your) soul will be forever Peaceful. With your eyes, see the God's wondrous play (the play of the world, Leelaa, ਜਗਤ-ਤਮਾਸ਼ਾ, etc.). In the Company of the Holy, all other associations (other attchments, etc.) vanish. With your feet, walk on the God's Path. Sins are washed away, chanting Naam, even for a moment. So, do God's Work with the hands, and listen to His Sermon. In the Lord's Court, O Nanak, your face will be radiant (ਸੁਰਖ਼-ਰੂ ਹੋਣਾਂ) ||2|| (sggs 281).
  • Sarva dwareshu dehesmin parkaash upjaaete. Giyanama yadaa tadaa vidiyaat vivradham satvamm iti utaa: One may know that the mode of Goodness is prevalent when the Light of Wisdom shines through all the gates of the body (Gita 14.11).
The body endowed with purified mind and senses does not subject the man to their evil temptations. This inner Purity protects him from being extroverted by not allowing doubts, and false perception or fear to invade him. Once brought under control, to the Wise (the Gurmukh) the mind is an able commander of the senses, obedient servant, and a good counselor. Simply put: the body with Pure mind and Pure senses does not get entangled in Mayaic efforts.

The ultimate aim of human life is to realize the mysterious Tenth Gate (Mool within) which lies beyond the external nine holes of our body fortress. Within this Tenth Gate, dwells the Primal Being, detached and unequaled. This unknowable reveals Himself to those who discipline the nine gates of their body. One attains Immortality by controlling pulsating desires and fear; and by forgetting all selfishness and possessiveness. Eliminating egoism — lust, anger, greed, attachment, false pride, enviousness and stubborn mindedness — one is liberated from the nine gates, and becomes situated in the Tenth Gate. Thus, whosoever bears the unbearable, controls the nine holes of the body, worships and adores the Mool within with his breath of life, and gains stability in his body-wall. When the senses are turned ("closed off"), then the Jeeva (individual being) rests in the real Self, where there is no holes or outlets!

  • ਨਉ ਦਰ ਠਾਕੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਰਹਾਏ ॥ ਦਸਵੈ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਓਥੈ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ ਵਜਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੬॥: Naou dar thaake dhaavat rahaaye. Dasvai nij ghar vaasaa paaye ...: Those who close off the nine gates, and restrain the wandering mind, come to dwell in the Home of the Tenth Gate. There, the Unstruck Melody of the Shabad vibrates day and night. Through the Guru's Teachings, the Shabad is heard. ||6|| (sggs 124).
  • ਨਗਰੀ ਏਕੈ ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਬਰਜਿ ਰਹਾਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਛੂਟੈ ਦਸਵਾ ਦਰੁ ਖੂਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਨੁ ਖੀਵਾ ਭਾਈ ॥੩॥: Nagaree ekai naou daravaaje dhaavatu baraji rahaaee || Trikuti chutai daswaa daru khulhai taa manu kheewaa bhaaee ||3||: There are nine gates or 9 openings (these are: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital, and one anus) to the one city of the body; restrain your mind from escaping through them. O brother! When the knot of the three qualities of Maya is untied, then the Tenth Gate opens up (Mool-Realization...), and the mind remains intoxicated (in that State of abiding in Mool) ||3|| (sggs 1123).

— T. Singh