Bhangaar – Mental Filth

The Hukkaa (or Hukka, hubble-bubble, ਹੁੱਕਾ…) smokers, after each smoking session, empty the burnt tobacco and coal from the Hukkaa’s Chilam (the top head part or bowl that holds the coal and tobacco during the smoking session) in a small nearby pit.

They also use this pit as a spit-container to discard their spit while clearing their throats during the smoking session.

Literally, this pit (that collects waste…) is called Bhangaar ( ਭੰਗਾਰ ).

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਹੂਆ ਤ ਕਿਆ ਭਇਆ ਮਾਲਾ ਮੇਲੀਂ ਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਬਾਰਹਾ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਭਰੀ ਭੰਗਾਰ ॥: O Kabeer! What good is it to appear like a devotee of Vishnu, and wear four Maalaa (rosary)? On the outside, you (pretend to) look like pure gold (i.e., pious, holy, pure, Mahaatamaa…); but on the inside, you are stuffed with filth or Bhangaar (Bikaar: i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their numerous variations…). (sggs 1372).

Here in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), Bhagat Kabeer Jee is comparing those who wears all sorts religious robes or religious paraphernalia etc. with Bhangaar (ਭੰਗਾਰ) if on the inside they are full of inner garbage (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.).

  • ਪਤਿ ਵਿਣੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਸਤ ਵਿਣੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਜਤ ਵਿਣੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਜਨੇਊ ॥ ਨਾਵਹੁ ਧੋਵਹੁ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਚੜਾਵਹੁ ਸੁਚ ਵਿਣੁ ਸੋਚ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੬॥:(O Pujaaree) you may bathe (at the so called Teerath and apply a mark to your forehead, but without practicing truth no purification of mind can happen. ||6|| Forgetting Rabb, what is the meaning of Poojaa? Without truthfulness, what is the benefit of this self-discipline? Without chastity, what good is ‘Janaeoo’ (thread-ਜਨੇਊ)? (sggs 903).

In other words, Bhagat Kabeer Jee is saying that what’s the use of one’s external display of religiosity if on the inside one is full of fraud or the filth (‘Mail-ਮੈਲ’) of negative impact or dominance of Haumai (false ego-ense), vices and Bikaars which blinds us to Wisdom or Virtues and our Original Nature (Jot Saroop) etc.

Haumai (false ego-sense) or Bikaar in themselves are not bad. We all have them!

Then What’s BAD or NEGATIVE about them?

What’s bad is their negative impact — when they become DOMINANT (ਹਾਵੀ).  When they dominate one’s mind or when they become the mind’s hobbies, then they cause damage!

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਪਾਈ ॥ : (Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) has created ego (Haumai) and Maya within (the creation…). (sggs 1044).
  • ਤੁਧੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਪਾਈਆ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਹਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਰਹਿ ਬੁਰਿਆਈਆ ॥ : This world is a game created by Hukam (i.e. System-Rule-Law of Nature) in which human beings are afflicted with ego (Haumai). In this one body-temple there are five thieves (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride) who are always doing evil (these five thieves have taken over the mind-elephant). (sggs 1096).

Removing their negative dominance or negative impact will require sincere efforts — the Guru’s Wisdom (Soap-ਸਾਬਨ) will have to be rubbed on the mind then the ‘filth-Mail-ਮੈਲ’) of the mind will come off.

  • ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥: Our intellect or Wisdom is full of cheap / bad / inferior thoughts. It can only be cleansed (internal cleanliness) by the Love of the Divine Naam (i.e., this thinking of superstitions, delusions, hypocrisies, ਮੰਨਮੱਤੀ, ਅੰਨਮੱਤੀ, ਮੂੜਮੱਤੀ ਸੋਚ or thinking can be removed from the mind only with the Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom). (sggs 4).

In other words, this ‘filth-Mail-ਮੈਲ’) will not go away by itself. Also it will not be removed by doing Raam Raam‘, ‘Waheguru Waguru’, counting beads or mere seeing and bowing down in front of SGGS as the illiterate or corrupt Pujaaree advocates people to do.

  • ਹਰਿ ਆਰਾਧਿ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਰੇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਿਓ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: I don’t know how to meditate on God. I just keep repeating God’s Name over and over without adoration (Pakhand, show off, pretense etc. ). By this show alone (pretending) people have named me Raam Daas, servant of God! (sggs 612).

In short, mere talk, mental trickery, useless rituals (Karamkaand), or show of religiosity etc. will not do the trick.

Most of us are only vaguely aware that we have a burdensome false ego-sense or Haumai, vices and Bikaar.

It’s rarely we glimpse our obsession with self-importance. The Gurbani indicates that in order to sow the sublime seed of Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) in the body-field, we need to clear it of the weeds: inner garbage or pollution – Bhangaar (ਭੰਗਾਰ).

  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: Although; human in name or creed, but actions are that of animalistic nature. But day and night he exhibits or shows off to people (that he is a human – ਬੰਦਾ)! Outside (on his body) he wears religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya. However he cannot conceal the filth of his mind with (outwardly wearing religious robes, cunningness, pleasing people etc.). (sggs 267).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰਤ ਭੇਖੀ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥: Acting in egotism (Haumai), wearing religious robes, (Mool) is not known (i.e, Realized). Rare is (the person) whose mind, by becoming the Gurmukh, becomes accustomed to Bhagti ||1|| (sggs 226).

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) emphasizes on the inner Purity. Purity means transparency to Truth, and the Purified Vision means Pure Heart or mind.

In the purified Vision, there is no negative impact of Haumai (false ego-sense, or the garbage of vices or Bikaar). On the contrary, in the impure vision there is division in consciousness (dualityDoojaa Bhaav).

When the mind turns towards its Jot Saroop (Original Nature), it abandons its mistaken identification with the fleeting body-frame.

In other words, true inner purity is the absence of negative impact of false ego-sense (Haumai) and it faults such as lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their numerous variations.

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! You are embodiment of Pure Light (Pure Consciousness, Pure Nature, Original or Real Nature, Wisdom, Virtues – Jot Saroop …)! Recognize your Mool (ਅਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, recognition of mind’s Original or True Nature – Jot Saroop…) ||5|| (sggs 441).

The Gurbani (SGGS) asserts meeting the Guru (Shabad, Upadesh or Message we all can shatter the hold of Inner Bhangaar or garbage on our mind.

  • ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਨਗਰੁ ਬਹੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਖੰਡਲ ਖੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖਤ ਲਿਖੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਮੰਡਲ ਮੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Meeting my Guru (i.e. Shabad, Upadesh or Message) shattered the hold of lust (worldly desires) and anger (i.e. all Bikaar) over me. My efforts towards connecting with my Guru destined me into realm of Godly Union. (sggs 13).
  • ਦੁਇ ਪੁੜ ਚਕੀ ਜੋੜਿ ਕੈ ਪੀਸਣ ਆਇ ਬਹਿਠੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਦਰਿ ਰਹੇ ਸੁ ਉਬਰੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਜਬੁ ਡਿਠੁ ॥੧॥ : Joining together the two grinding stones, a person sits down to grind the grains. Nanak, I have seen this wonderful play: just as the grains which stick to the central axle escape from being crushed, similarly, those who remain attuned to God are saved (from the worldly vices or Bikaar etc.). (sggs ).