DON'T TOUCH THEIR FEETThe one who lacks spiritual wisdom sings religious songs (for the sake
of earning bread). The hungry Mullah turns his home into a mosque
(or he goes to mosque for the sake of earning bread). The lazy bum
has his ears pierced to look like a Yogi. Someone else becomes a
panhandler, and thus loses his self-respect. Someone calls himself a
guru or a spiritual teacher, while he goes around begging for bread —
don't ever touch their feet. One who truthfully works for what he eats, and
gives some of what he has — O Nanak, he knows the path (sggs 1245).
As indicated in the Gurbani, some of the qualities of the Mayaic life include spiritual ignorance, deception, fraud, lies, cheating, corruption, falsehood, misinformation, covetousness, hypocrisy, and so on. Consequently, what we see or hear is covered with worldliness; thereby must be taken with a grain of salt — lots of grains of salt! The Gurbani puts it like this: "what we deem a thing to be, in reality, it is not like that."
- ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਾਨੁਖੁ ਭਇਆ ਜੋ ਨਾਹੀ ਸੋ ਲੋਰੈ ॥: Agiaanee maanukh bhaiaa jo naahee so lorai: (Under the pull of the sweet Maya) man has become ignorance (he has lost his intellectt, etc.); he looks for things that do not exist (forever - things that are impermanent, false, ephemeral, etc.) do not exist (sggs 212).
- ਮਾਧਵੇ ਕਿਆ ਕਹੀਐ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਐਸਾ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੀਐ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਤੈਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Maadhve kiya kaheeyai bhram aisaa. Jaisaa maaneeyai hoi na taisaa ||1||Rahaaou||: O Lord, what can I say about this illusion; what we deem a thing to be, in reality, it is not like that ||1||Pause|| (sggs 657).
- ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਘੋਰ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਰਾਹੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Kalijug mahi ghor andhaar hai manmukh raahu na koi: In Kalijug, there is utter darkness; the material beings cannot find the way (sggs 1285).
- ਇਸੁ ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ॥: Is kalijug meai karam dharam na koee: In Kalijug, no one is interested in good karma, or Dharmic faith — truthfullness or righteousness (sggs 161).
- ਕਲਿ ਕਲਵਾਲੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਤਵਾਲਾ ਪੀਵਤੁ ਰਹੈ ॥: Kali kalavaalee maaiaa madu meethaa manu matavaalaa peevat rahai: Kali is the bottle of wine; Maya (illusion or worldiness) is the sweet wine, and the intoxicated mind continues to drink it in (sggs 350).
Nowadays, if a person due to his crooked ways does not fit in the society, or if someone does not have any qualifications to pursue any other vocation, or if someone is just lazy to work and earn his living becomes a Pandit or Pujaaree, Mullaa, Bhai or Granthee, Padre, Rabbi, clergyman, cleric, preacher, Guru or spiritual teacher, Yogi, Sant or Saint, Swami, Raagee, Paathee, prophet, and so on! A well paying business indeed, wherein there need not be any investment and therefore, it is a safe activity of "all gains and no loss"! Also, there is no need to toil.
Baabaa Nanak cautions us not to ever touch the feet of such hypocrites; because they are not what they appear to be. Not to touch their feet simply means not to accept, approve, encourage, support or glorify their crooked ways. In other words, it simply means to beware of false prophets, and not to become a victim or a part of their corruption. They will harm you, for a blind cannot lead another blind. One unlighted lamp cannot light other lamps.
As explained in the verses that follow, such fake people adopt religious factors and features only for the sake of "bread", not for spiritual cause. Also, they are lazy for they live in a sense of weakness. They expect others to take care of all their needs. Their motto is sex, money, name, fame, power and status.
- ਵਾਇਨਿ ਚੇਲੇ ਨਚਨਿ ਗੁਰ ॥ ਪੈਰ ਹਲਾਇਨਿ ਫੇਰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸਿਰ ॥ ਉਡਿ ਉਡਿ ਰਾਵਾ ਝਾਟੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਵੇਖੈ ਲੋਕੁ ਹਸੈ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾੜਹਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Vaain chaelae nachani gur. Pair halaain faeran sir. Udi udi raavaa jhaatai paae. Vaekhai lok husai ghar jaae. Rotteeaa kaaran poorahi taal. Aap pashaarrahi dharatee naal: The disciples play the music, and the gurus dance. They move their feet and roll their heads. The dust flies and falls upon their hair. Beholding them, the people laugh, and then go home. For the sake of bread, they perform melodiously. They throw themselves upon the ground (sggs 465).
- ਅੰਧੇ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਪਾਰਖੂ ਕਲੀ ਕਾਲ ਵਿਡਾਣੈ ॥੩॥: Andhhe kaa naao paarakhoo kalee kaal viddaanai ||3||: (sggs 229).
- ਅੰਧਾ ਆਗੂ ਜੇ ਥੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਪਾਧਰੁ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਮੁਸੈ ਮਤਿ ਹੋਛੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥: Andhaa aagoo je theeai kiou paadhar jaanai. Aap musai mati hochheeai kiou raah pachhaanai: If a blind man (blindede by the love of Maya, etc.) is made the leader, how will he know the way (right path of life - ਜੀਵਨ-ਸਫਰ ਦਾ ਸਿੱਧਾ ਰਸਤਾ - etc.). (Because of) his inadequate understanding (ਹੋਛੀ ਅਕਲ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਨ), he himself is being plundered (by evil inclinations - ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਹੱਥੋਂ - etc.); how will (the one who follows such a blind leader - ਉਸ ਦੀ ਅਗਵਾਈ ਵਿਚ ਤੁਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਵੀ) know the way? (sggs 767).
- ਆਪਿ ਨ ਬੁਝਾ ਲੋਕ ਬੁਝਾਈ ਐਸਾ ਆਗੂ ਹੋਵਾਂ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਧਾ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਦਸੇ ਰਾਹੈ ਸਭਸੁ ਮੁਹਾਏ ਸਾਥੈ ॥ ਅਗੈ ਗਇਆ ਮੁਹੇ ਮੁਹਿ ਪਾਹਿ ਸੁ ਐਸਾ ਆਗੂ ਜਾਪੈ ॥੨॥: Aap na bujhaa lok bujhaayee esaa aagoo hovaan. Nanak andhaa hoyai dase raahai sabgsu muhaaye sathai. agai gayaa mihe muhi paahi su esaa aagoo jaapai ||2||: I do not understand myself, and (yet) I try to show others the way. Such is the leader I am! O Nanak, the one who is blind shows others the way, and misleads all his companions. But, going hereafter (ਅੱਗੇ ਚੱਲ ਕੇ), he will be beaten in the face; then, it will be obvious, what sort of leader he was! ||2|| (sggs 140).
Generally, many people — specially of Indian origin — when they see somebody wearing saffron or claiming to be a Holy man, they fall on his feet. He may be a first-class thief under his outer covering, but nonetheless he is revered! Because, in ignorance, people readily accept anyone who says "I will show you God", or who says "I am God". Instead of searching the Truth ourselves, we accept such rascals who come along claiming to be Holy or God. Such "Thugs" and swindlers are pullulating nowadays every where in the world. If one is not alert, he can be easily distracted, cheated, trapped and snared into their net of corruption. Baabaa Nanak is asking global-mankind to be on the alert — this is what he means when he says, "don't touch their feet". Instead, we are urged to search the ever present Transcendental "Feet" within our bosom; where we can constantly touch them, day and night!
The Divine is All-pervading equally. Call Him by any name you like; He does not object! Since Divine essence is man's very Being, the Divine "Feet" — Unconditioned Consciousness, Soul-nature, Name-consciousness, Shabad-Surti or God-consciousness — abide within the core of man's Heart, or "Spiritual Center". Baabaa Nanak urges us to go within and touch That "Spiritual Feet". That is Mool-realization.
- ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਬਸੇ ਰਿਦ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸੁਭ ਲਖਣ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਕੀਨੇ ॥ ਭਏ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਪੂਰਨ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਮਨਿ ਚੀਨੇ ॥: Gur ke charan base rid bheetari sabh lakhan prabh keene. Bhaye kripaal pooran paramesar naam nidhaan man cheene: God's Feet abide within my heart; God has blessed me with the qualities of good fortune. The Perfect Transcendent Being became merciful to me, and I found the treasure of His Name within my mind (sggs 618).
- ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: Naamu japat Hari charan nivaasu: By Naam Jap (Understanding the Giaan or Wisdom of the Gurbani, one) dwells in the Divine Feet Within (ਮਨ ਦਾ ਟਿਕਾ). (sggs 1150).
But what's the way to get there? To know the way, Baabaa Nanak asks us to do the following: Truthfully and righteously work for what you eat (Dharma Dee Kirat Kamaaee); selflessly share with others (Vand Shaknaa); and meditate on the Divine (Naam Japnaa). If one so lives a Spiritual Life, Baabaa Nanak says, "he knows the path".
This is to say that, if a so-called Sant (or saint) does not engage in righteous labor to earn his living, he is a thief. Because, if he does not work to earn his honest living then their is no question of him sharing with others! In other words, if one is devoid of "Dharma Dee Kirat Kamaaee", he will remain devoid of the practice of "Vand Shaknaa"! In turn, in the absence of both "Dharma Dee Kirat Kamaaee" and "Vand Shaknaa", he cannot honestly practice Naam Japnaa! Now perhaps we can appreciate as to why Baabaa Nanak thunders forth the following declaration:
- ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੀਤ ॥ ਭੁਖੇ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਘਰੇ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥ ਮਖਟੂ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਕੰਨ ਪੜਾਏ ॥ ਫਕਰੁ ਕਰੇ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਗਵਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੀਰੁ ਸਦਾਏ ਮੰਗਣ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਲਗੀਐ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥: Slok Ma: 1 || Giaan vihoonaa gaavai geet...: Slok Ma: 1. The one who lacks spiritual wisdom sings religious songs (for the sake of earning bread). The hungry Mullah turns his home into a mosque (or he also goes to mosque for the sake of bread!). The lazy bum has his ears pierced to look like a Yogi. Someone else becomes a panhandler, and thus loses his self-respect. Someone calls himself a guru or a spiritual teacher, while he goes around begging for bread - don't ever touch their feet. One who works for what he eats, and gives some of what he has - O Nanak, he knows the path ||1|| (sggs 1245).
— T. Singh