ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ - LOGAN RAAM KHILONAA JAANAA
IS GOD A TOY?

ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥:
Maathe tilku hathi maalaa baanaan.Logan Raamu khilonaa jaanaan< ||1|| (sggs1158)!
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Pretending to be religious or spiritual, some wear peculiar religious robes, some apply ceremonial marks to their body, some hang ceremonial symbols to it, some keep unshorn hair while others shave their head clean, some go naked while others wear dear skin, and so on. However, devoid of Truth (Sach-ਸਚ), their conditioned minds are filthy; for they are attached to deceptive Maya (illusion, ignorance, false ego, delusion, wrong identity, etc.). Obviously, in their guile, such people take the Lord to be merely a toy or a plaything!

  • ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥: Maathe tilku hathi maalaa baanaan. Logan Raamu khilonaa jaanaan ||1|| (sggs 1158)!
  • ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ ॥: Bahu bhekh keeaa dehee dukhu deeaa (sggs 467).

Whatever we see is Maya (illusion or "that which is not"). It clings to this material world like a serpent. Because of the mind's attachment to this Maya, one becomes extrovert, selfish, greedy, envy, superstitious and doubt-ridden (ਭਰਮੀ). Consequently, he does not get to Realize his Mool (Source, Origin...).

On account of such deluded state, man begins to believe that he can attain God by merely going on pilgrimage, parrot-like reciting or memorizing of scriptures, keeping uncut hair, shaving head, keeping Jataas or matted hair, wearing a Dhotee (loincloth) in certain style, wearing a special short, hanging a sacred thread or a sword or a dagger on to the material body, drinking a sweetened liquid called Amrit or Charnaamrit, wearing a rosary around the neck, wearing rings, covering head with piece of a cloth or wearing a headgear, putting a mark on the forehead and other parts of the body, wearing peculiar religious dress, performing Nitnem or five Namaaj, attending sermons at organized religious places, keeping Akhand-Paath of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (uninterrupted reading), hiring Raagees or preachers to perform in one's house, sacrificing innocent animals in the name of religion and God, renouncing the world, wandering in jungles and mountains, living in caves or secluded places, observing fasts, abandoning family-life, keeping mum, performing rituals for material gains, praying for mundane objects, becoming a religious fanatic, serving or following swindlers in religious garbs (Saints, Bhais, Raagees, Baabaas, Gurus, Parchaaraks, Yogis, Swamis, and so on), thinking oneself religiously better than others, keeping and maintaining the illusion that one can hide his actions from God, hating and killing people in the name of religion and God, applying ashes to the body and torturing it, using religion for gaining name or fame, calling oneself a saint or Bhagwaan, cheating and stealing on the name of religion, wandering naked, covering mouth with a piece of a white cloth, performing magic like tricks to impress upon unsuspecting people, performing meditation or Jap and Tap like a heron does, bathing in specific ponds or rivers, giving charity or donations, building temples, taking initiation, baptizing, performing circumcision, the list goes on and on. The Gurbani concludes:

  • ਕਾਹੂ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਧਰਮਿ ॥: Kahoo jugati kitai n paaeeai Dharmi (sggs 274).
All such rituals have been rejected by the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) and many other true scriptures as God cannot be pleased or approached by them. Why? Because rituals make people atheist; for they give rise to blind faith and superstitions, resulting in increasing the fire of false ego-sense or ignorance. To put it in other way, religious rituals cannot help in attaining Spiritual Realization.

However, spiritually blinds practice empty rituals and phony beliefs because they think the Supreme Lord is just as foolish and ignorant as they are. Without the True Naam (Aatam-Giaan...), as the Gurbani says, wearing religious robes, applying ceremonial marks or hanging objects to this perishable material body are like decorations on a dead body! The Gurbani thunders forth the declaration that, without the Truth (ਸਚ), there is nothing in this world that can render us pure fit to Realize the Mool within (Source, Origin...).

  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਮਿਰਤਕ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ ॥੨॥: Naam bina jetaa biouhaar. Jiou mirtak mithiaa seegaar ||2|| (sggs 240).
  • ਭੇਖ ਅਨੇਕ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਬੁਝੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਉਪਾਵ ਦਰਗਹ ਨਹੀ ਸਿਝੈ ॥: Bhekh anek agani nahee bujhai. Koti upaav dargah nahee sijhai (sggs 269).
  • ਜੇ ਜਾਣਸਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਫੋਕਟ ਨਿਸਚਉ ਕਰਮੰ ॥: Je jaanasi Brahamam karmam. Sabhi Fokat nisachaou karmam (sggs 470).
The Gurbani thus roars that the ritual practices bind people in more and more egoism; which, in turns, veils our Mool (Source, Origin...). Without knowing the True Nature of the our True Self, one cannot know the Nature of God. Without knowing the Nature of God, one subjects himself to repeated spell of useless beliefs and rituals. Once caught in these "Fokat" or worthless practices, man forgets the Truth that he is Pure Consciousness (Joti-Svaroop). The consequent is spiritual blindness, bewilderment and delusion of the mind. Through such material conditioning or self-limitations, followers of different religions begin to think that if you do not believe in their particular religious rituals or ceremonies in their peculiar way, then you are nonbeliever and can not attain God-realization. As a result, many people have made God look like nothing more than a toy or a plaything! Apparently, as the Gurbani says, such people have no clue about the true Nature of God!
  • ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤ ਬਧੇ ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ॥ ਮਿਲਿ ਪਾਥਰ ਕੀ ਕਰਹੀ ਸੇਵ ॥: Karam karat badhe ahanmev. Mil paathar kee karahee sev (sggs 324).
According to the Gurbani, God is Agmaa (inaccessible), Agam (unreachable or unapproachable), Apaaraa (unrivaled or incomparable), Agochar (incomprehensible), Alakh (invisible), Abhevaa (inscrutable), Beant (infinite), Athaahaa or Agaadh or Agaah (unfathomable), and so on. On the contrary, the mortals are said to be silly, foolish, ignorant and meritless. Still, we mortals go to the extreme to make the Supreme Being the subject of our mental speculations and material logic; thinking that God can be accessed, comprehended and approached through our useless beliefs, rituals, and garbs! As this is not enough, we judge others as good or bad based on such useless ("Fokat") beliefs!
  • 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 (sggs 267).
Truth is beyond all kinds of Bhekh (religious wearing). This is why scriptures proclaim that a Bhekdhaaree can never become liberated. On the contrary, owing to his Bhekh, he subjects himself to repeated pains and sufferings caused by his own such ignorance. The Gurbani thunders that without knowing the Truth, one can not Realize the Mool (Source, Origin...).
  • ਭੇਖ ਵਰਨ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਖੇਹ ॥: Bhekh varan deesahi sabhi kheh (sggs 352).
  • ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹਤੋ ਮਹਲੀ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥੨॥: Bhekh dikhaavai sachu n kmaavai. Kahto mahalee nikiti n aavai ||2|| (sggs 738).
  • ਭੇਖੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਨ ਲਭਈ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਚੀ ਸਿਖੰ ॥: Bhekhi prabhu nalabhaee vinu sachee sikham (sggs 1099).
  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਕਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਉਤਰੀ ਘੇਰੇ ॥: Baahri bhekh karhi ghanere. Antar bikhiaa utree ghere (sggs 372).
  • ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੋਨੀ ਥਾਕੇ ਭੇਖੀ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥: Pari pari pandit monee thaake bhekhee mukti n paaee (sggs 440).
  • ਜੇ ਜੇ ਭੇਖ ਸੁ ਤਨ ਮੈਂ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਨ ਕਛੁ ਕੈ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥: Je je bhekh su tan main dhaarai. Te prabh jan kashu kai n bichaarai (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth, page 140).
Fanaticism comes from ignorance (illusion, delusion, false ego, Maya, mistaken identity, etc.). According to the Gurbani, one can not practice spirituality if he is under the spell of fanaticism. This is the reason Baabaa Nanak rejected any and all religious wearing as well as fanaticism. Instead, he instructs us to only stick to the Holy Name (Giaan...).
  • ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe ||1|| (sggs 843).
This is the heart and soul of Baabaa Nanak's teaching. However, as the history of the world religions reminds us, after a Spiritual Master is gone, his real teachings become forgotten or corrupted when they fall in the hands of greedy and selfish who want name and gain (Golak-money).

As revealed by the Gurbani, God can not be Realized through empty religious ceremonies, rituals, rites, Bhekh, phony beliefs, absurd doctrines and frightening concepts of God.. Why?  Because it is impossible to achieve a complete God-realization by such means. They are solely performed to satisfy evil emotions of ignorant men. Such practices are empty of good vibrations, and are of no help to others. In the words of Vivekananda:

  • There may be a thousand radii but they all converge at the one center, and that is the realization of God. Something behind this world of sense, this world of eternal eating and drinking and talking nonsense, this world of false shadows and selfishness. There is that beyond all books, beyond all creeds, beyond the vanities of this world - and that is the realization of God within oneself. A man may believe in all the churches in the world; he may carry in his head all the sacred books ever written; he may baptize himself in all the rivers of the earth - still if he has no perception of God, I would class him with the rankest atheist. A man may have never entered a church or mosque, nor performed any ceremony; but if he realizes God within himself, and is thereby lifted above the vanities of the world, that man is a holy man, a saint, call him what you will ...

A burning example can be given of Baabaa Nanak when he was asked to wear a so called sacred thread around his body. He emphatically rejected even to wear a thread! Because he knew that one cannot obtain union with God by such absurd beliefs. Now, just imagine how the same Master can recommend others to wear some kind of marks, symbols, or peculiar wearing around their body; or suggest them to live by some "Fokat" beliefs and rituals! The fact of the matter is that he spent all his life helping people around the world to become free of such inner "filth" of ignorance. But, it seems that people are back to square one! Here is what Baabaa Nanak has to say about putting so called religious symbols and garbs on the body.

  • ਦਇਆ ਕਪਾਹ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸੂਤੁ ਜਤੁ ਗੰਢੀ ਸਤੁ ਵਟੁ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਜੀਅ ਕਾ ਹਈ ਤ ਪਾਡੇ ਘਤੁ ॥: Daiaa kapaah santokhu sootu ... (sggs 431).
  • ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Adhik tiyaas bhekh bahu krai (sggs 352).
  • ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਲਾਗੇ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਬਿਚਰਹਿ ਅਨਿਕ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬਹੁ ਖਟੂਆ ॥ ਭਸਮ ਲਗਾਇ ਤੀਰਥ ਬਹੁ ਭ੍ਰਮਤੇ ਸੂਖਮ ਦੇਹ ਬੰਧਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਜਟੂਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਸਗਲ ਦੁਖ ਪਾਵਤ ਜਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਬਢਾਇ ਸੂਤ ਕੇ ਹਟੂਆ ॥ ਪੂਜਾ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਕਰਤ ਸੋਮਪਾਕਾ ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਥਾਟਹਿ ਕਰਿ ਥਟੂਆ ॥੨॥੧੧॥੨੦॥: Uddamu kari laage bahu bhantee ...(sggs 1389).
Clearly, it seems we are sinking back into the same swamp from which we were freed by Baabaa Nanak (i.e., the filth of rituals, doubts, ignorance, selfishness, fanaticism, mental concoctions, delusions, corruption, etc.). This is generally what happens when the teachings of a Master become forgotten or corrupted by the selfish agenda of selfish people. We will take a few examples from the Gurbani to see how people can become prisoner of their phony beliefs and rituals.

Some believe that God can be pleased only by keeping long or matted hair. On the contrary, some believe that He can be pleased only by clean shaving the head. Obviously, owing to Dubidhaa (duality), all these people have taken God as a plaything. If the emancipation can be attained by keeping long hair or shaving the head, then all those animals in the jungle should be able to do so because nobody ever cuts their hair, or a sheep who does get trimmed!

  • ਮੂਡ ਮੁੰਡਾਏ ਜੌ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਭੇਡ ਨ ਗਈਆ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥: Moond mudaaye jo sidh paayee. Mukti bhed na gayeeyaa kaayee (sggs 324).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਇਕ ਸਿਉ ਕੀਏ ਆਨ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਭਾਵੈ ਲਾਂਬੇ ਕੇਸ ਕਰੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਘਰਰਿ ਮੁਡਾਇ ॥੨੫॥: Kabeer preeti ik siou keeye aan dubidhaa jaai. Bhaavai laambe kes karu bhaavai ghararri mudaai ||25|| (sggs 1365).
  • ਵਾਲ ਵਧਾਇਆਂ ਪਾਈਐ ਬੜ ਜਟਾਂ ਪਲਾਸੀ: Vaal vadhaaiaan paaeeai barh jataan plaasee (Bhaai Gurdaas, 33-14-2).
  • ਮੂੰਡੁ ਮੁਡਾਇ ਜਟਾ ਸਿਖ ਬਾਧੀ ਮੋਨਿ ਰਹੈ ਅਭਿਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਮਨੂਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਰਤ ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨਾ ॥: Moond mudaayi jataa sikh baadhee moni rahai abhimaanaa. Manuyaa dolai dah dis dhaavai bin rat aatam giyaanaa (sggs 1013).
  • ਨ ਜਟਾ ਮੂੰਡ ਧਾਰੋਂ ॥ ਨ ਮੁੰਦ੍ਰਕਾ ਸਵਾਰੋਂ ॥ ਜਪੋ ਤਾਸ ਨਾਮੰ ॥ ਸਰੈ ਸਰਬ ਕਾਮੰ ॥੫੧॥: Na jataa moond dhaaro. Na mundraka savaaro. Japo taas namam. Sarai sarab kaamam (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth, 140).
  • ਮੋਨ ਭਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਮਾਨ ਤਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਭੇਖ ਸਜੇ ਨਹੀ ਮੂੰਡ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥ ਕੰਠ ਨ ਕੰਠੀ ਕਠੋਰ ਧਰੇ ਨਹੂ ਸੀਸ ਜਟਾਨ ਕੇ ਜੂਟ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥ ਸਾਚੁ ਕਹੋਂ ਸੁਨ ਲੈ ਚਿਤ ਦੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੀਨ ਦਿਆਲ ਕੀ ਸਾਮ ਸਿਧਾਏ ॥ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਯਤ ਹੈ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲ ਨ ਭੀਜਤ ਲਾਂਡ ਕਟਾਏ ॥੧੦੦॥: Kanchan siyu paayeeai nahi tol. Man de Raam leeaa hai mol. Kanth na kanthee kathor dharai nahoo sees jataan ke joot suhaaye. Saach kaho sun lai chit dai binu deen diyaal kee saam sidhaaye. Preet kare prabhu paayat hai kirpaal n bheejat laand kataaye ||100|| (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth, 111-112).
Some claim that one must wear a Janeyu (sacred thread), sword or a knife or a dagger, loincloth in certain style, waistband (Camarbandh), ring, rosary, list goes on and on. What does the Gurbani (sggs) say about all of this? According to the Gurbani, for example, Baabaa Nanak also wore a sword; but his sword was none other than the Absolute Truth (ਸਚ), and he secured this sword in a scabbard made of Noble Virtues (ਗੁਣ)! Further, the Tenth Master compliments the First Master by declaring that God Himself is the sword! About the Janeyu and ring, Baabaa Nanak says that his Janeyu is the Spiritual Wisdom, his ring and the rosary are the remembrance of God's Name, and contentment is his Camarbandh (waistband)!
  • ਤਰਕਸ ਤੀਰ ਕਮਾਣ ਸਾਂਗ ਤੇਗਬੰਦ ਗੁਣ ਧਾਤੁ ॥: Taskar teer kamaan saang tegband gun dhaat (sggs 16).
  • ਸਚ ਕੀ ਕਾਤੀ ਸਚੁ ਸਭੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਘਾੜਤ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਅਪਰ ਅਪਾਰ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਸਾਣ ਰਖਾਈ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕੀ ਥੇਕੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Sach kee kaatee sach sabh saar ... (sggs 956).
  • ਤੀਰ ਤੁਹੀ ਸੈਹਥੀ ਤੁਹੀ ਤੁਹੀ ਤਬਰ ਤਲਵਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਤਿਹਾਰੋ ਜੋ ਜਪੈ ਭਏ ਸਿੰਧ ਭਵ ਪਾਰ ॥:Teer Tuhee saithee Tuhee tabar tarvaar. Naam tihaaro jo japai bhaye sindh bhav paar (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth, page 1356).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਮਨੁ ਹੈ ਧੋਤੀ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕੁਸਪਾਤੀ ॥: Kaaiaa Brahma mann hai dhotee giyaan janeyoo dhiaan kuspaatee (sggs 355).
  • ਕਮਰਬੰਦੁ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੨॥: Camarbandh santokh kaa dhann joban teraa Naam ||2|| (sggs 16).
  • ਹਰਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਉਰ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਕਾ ਦੂਖੁ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ॥੨॥: Hari maalaa ur antar dhaare. Janam maran kaa dookh nivaarai ||2|| (sggs 388).
In truth, when a person dies all external things attached to his his body fall off or get burnt before the body. The Soul (Consciousness) departs without them. Only thing that helps the Soul hereafter, therefore, is the Divine Name. Hence, the Gurbani urges us to make use of this body for churning the Gurbani to extract the butter of Giaan from it.
  • ਸਿਖਾ ਕੰਨਿ ਚੜਾਈਆ ਗੁਰੁ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਥਿਆ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਮੁਆ ਓਹੁ ਝੜਿ ਪਇਆ ਵੇਤਗਾ ਗਇਆ ॥੧॥: Sikhaa kanni charraaeeaa Gur brahaman thiaa. Ohu Muaa ohu jharr paiaa vetagaa gaiaa ||1|| (sggs 471).
In a futile bid to catch God, many regularly get up early in the morning to bathe (Ishanaan or Ishanan) in cold water. They preach that if you do not follow this ritual, than you cannot find God. According to Baabaa Nanak, all these people are nothing but a bunch of ignorant fools. Instead of focusing their consciousness on Naam and thereby cleansing their mind, they focus it on external cleansing. As a consequence of such foolishness, people end up accumulating more mental "filth" in the process! Whenever there is a mention of Ishanaan (bathing) in the Gurbani, it refers only to the inner Ishanaan bathing in the inner pool (Sarovar) of the Divine Name or Shabad located within.
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਲੋਭ ਬਹੁ ਝੂਠੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਵਹੁ ਕਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥: Antari mailu lobh bahu jhoothe bahari naavahu kaahee jeeou (sggs 598).
  • ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥੧੩॥: Ehu sareeru saravaru hai santahu ishnaan kare liv laaee ||13|| (sggs 909).
  • ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਨਾਵਣ ਚਲੇ ਤੀਰਥੀ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੈ ਤਨਿ ਚੋਰ ॥ ਇਕੁ ਭਾਉ ਲਥੀ ਨਾਤਿਆ ਦੁਇ ਭਾ ਚੜੀਅਸੁ ਹੋਰ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਧੋਤੀ ਤੂਮੜੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਿਸੁ ਨਿਕੋਰ ॥ ਸਾਧ ਭਲੇ ਅਣਨਾਤਿਆ ਚੋਰ ਸਿ ਚੋਰਾ ਚੋਰ ॥੨॥: M: 1|| Naawan chale teerthee man khote tan chor. Ik bhaaou lathee naatiaa dui bhaa chreeus hor. Baahar dhotee tumree andar vis nikor. Saadh bhale annaatiaa chor si choraa chor ||2| (sggs 789).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਕਰਹਿ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਤਾ ਧੋਤਾ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥: Manmukh mughad kare chaturaaee. Naataa dhotaa thaaye na paaee (sggs 114).
  • ਭਾਈ ਰੇ ਮੈਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜਲਿ ਨਾਇ ॥: Bhaaee re mailu naahee nirmal jali naai (sggs 57).
Many self-appointed saints and Baabaas (and their followers), Sikh and non-Sikh alike, fanatically cook their own food; using their separate kitchen and utensils! Although they preach and attend congregations at private and organized religious places, but refuse to eat food from the Langar (common kitchen) or share their own cooking with rest of the Sangat. Apparently, when it comes to God and Spiritual matters, such idiotic people do not know the difference between the ear and the elbow! According to the Gurbani, whosoever engages in such absurd practices is a fanatic, ignorant or Manmukh; because he does not understand the true meaning of the Gurbani.
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ ਛੁਰੀ ਵਗਾਇਨਿ ਤਿਨ ਗਲਿ ਤਾਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਭਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਓਈ ਸਾਦ ॥ ਕੂੜੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਕੂੜਾ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਕਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੂੜੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥ ਮਥੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਤੇੜਿ ਧੋਤੀ ਕਖਾਈ ॥ ਹਥਿ ਛੁਰੀ ਜਗਤ ਕਾਸਾਈ ॥ ਨੀਲ ਵਸਤ੍ਰ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਮਲੇਛ ਧਾਨੁ ਲੇ ਪੂਜਹਿ ਪੁਰਾਣੁ ॥ ਅਭਾਖਿਆ ਕਾ ਕੁਠਾ ਬਕਰਾ ਖਾਣਾ ॥ ਚਉਕੇ ਉਪਰਿ ਕਿਸੈ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ ਦੇ ਕੈ ਚਉਕਾ ਕਢੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਉਪਰਿ ਆਇ ਬੈਠੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ॥ ਮਤੁ ਭਿਟੈ ਵੇ ਮਤੁ ਭਿਟੈ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਅੰਨੁ ਅਸਾਡਾ ਫਿਟੈ ॥ ਤਨਿ ਫਿਟੈ ਫੇੜ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਜੂਠੈ ਚੁਲੀ ਭਰੇਨਿ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ॥ ਸੁਚਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਾ ਸਚੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੨॥: Maanas khaane karahi nivaaj ... (sggs 471-472).
Some believe that wandering naked would help them find God. If this was the case then why haven't animals of the forest found emancipation? Yet there are some of us who believe that wearing a deer skin will do the trick. Well, if this was the case then all deer of the forest should have attained liberation by now! Some believe that one may be saved merely by celibacy or applying a religious mark to the forehead. If this was the case then why haven't the eunuch (Khusaraa or Hijarhaa) obtained the Supreme Being? Some believe that one has to be born in priest or Brahmin (Pandit) family to become eligible for attaining liberation. Well, if this was the case then why haven't a priest or a Pandit came through different way from their mother's womb then rest of us? Obviously, under the spell of Spiritual ignorance, all these people believe that God is merely a toy! The Gurbani repudiates all this nonsense and reminds us:
  • ਨਗਨ ਫਿਰਤ ਜੌ ਪਾਈਐ ਜੋਗੁ ॥ ਬਨ ਕਾ ਮਿਰਗੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸਭੁ ਹੋਗੁ ॥੧॥: Nagan phirt jo paayeeye yog. Ban kaa mirg mukti sabh hog ||1|| (sggs 324).
  • ਜੌ ਤੂੰ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਤਉ ਆਨ ਬਾਟ ਕਾਹੇ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥੨॥: Jao toon braahman brahmanee jaya. Tayu aan baat kaahe nahee aya ||2|| (sggs 324)?
  • ਬਿੰਦੁ ਰਾਖਿ ਜੌ ਤਰੀਐ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਖੁਸਰੈ ਕਿਉ ਨ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੩॥: Bindu raakhi juo tareeai bhaaee. Khusarai kiou n param gati paaee ||3|| (sggs 324)?
There are essentially two categories of people. People belonging to the first category are those who are God-centered, and are called Gurmukh (Giaanee...). The second category entails those people who do not believe in God, are called Manmukh. People belonging to this Manmukh category are those who pretend or show as they are religious or believer but they are not, thus Pakhandee or hypocrites. Most of the people in the world (over 99.9 percent) belong to the latter categoriy. In the Gurbani, the Manmukhs or Pakhnadees are compared to a prostitute's child who does not know the name of his father. Practicing hypocrisy, such people become prisoners of their phony beliefs, ceremonies, and rituals. As a result, they become emotionally attached to the worldliness and suffer. Thus, they get consumed in the flames of fire they set themselves.
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਿਆਚਾਰ ਵਧਾਏ ਮਨਿ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਕਰਮੁ ਕਪਟ ਲੋਭਈਆ ॥ ਬੇਸੁਆ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਬੇਟਾ ਜਨਮਿਆ ਪਿਤਾ ਤਾਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦਈਆ ॥੬॥: Kari kari kiriaachaar vadhaaye mani pakhand karamu kapat lobhaeeaa. Besuaa kai ghari betaa janmiaa pitaa taahi kiaa naamu sadaeeaa ||6|| (sggs 837)?
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲੇ ਭੇਖਧਾਰੀ ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਤਾ ਹੇ ॥੮॥: Manmukh bharam bhoole bhekhdhaaree ant kaal pachhutaataa hai ||8|| (sggs 1052).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Gurmukh hovai su giaanu tatu beechaarai haoumai sabadi jalaaye (sggs 946).
Kirtan, Bhagti and Naam, Jap are essentially synonymous and relate to thorough Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) of the Gurbani. Many wearing all sorts of religious symbols and garbs on their body sing Kirtan, but their minds are occupied in swindling people as we see daily at organized religious places.Singing of Kirtan for making money as we see at these places does not constitute Kirtan. That is a mundane business. Singing of the Holy Name as talked in the Gurbani is meant for Viaakhiaa (ਵਿਆਖਿਆ: ਬਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨੁ, commentary, explanation, interpretation, definition, annotation, elucidation…)! The external, selfish, dry and mechanical Kirtan is unavailing. The true Kirtan is interna. As the Gurbani roars, the mystery of the Gur-Shabad is grasped only through it's proper understanding. If Kirtan, reading, and hearing does not manifest into such Intuitive Understanding, then, as the Gurbani says, we are no better than a donkey!
  • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਬਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨੁ ॥: Andinu Keertanu keval bakhyaanu (sggs 281).
  • ਇਕਨਾ ਨਾਦ ਨ ਬੇਦ ਨ ਗੀਅ ਰਸੁ ਰਸ ਕਸ ਨ ਜਾਣੰਤਿ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਬੁਧਿ ਨ ਅਕਲਿ ਸਰ ਅਖਰ ਕਾ ਭੇਉ ਨ ਲਹੰਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤਿ ॥੨॥: Iknaa naad n beda n geea rasu ras kas n jaanant. Iknaa sudh na budh na akal sar akhar kaa bheyu na lahant. Nanak se nar asal khar je bin gun garab krant ||2|| (sggs 1246).
  • ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਉ ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਨਚਿ ਨਚਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਅੰਨੁ ਨ ਖਾਹਿ ਮੂਰਖ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹੋਈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਿਵੈ ਨ ਧੀਜਈ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਵਧਹਿ ਕੈ ਲੋਅ ਖਪਿ ਮਰੀਜਈ ॥ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜਈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਅਸਨੇਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘੀਜਈ ॥੧੭॥: Pourree || Sachaa alakh abheou hathi n pateejaee ... (sggs 1285).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰਾਗ ਸੁਆਦ ਅਨ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਭਗਤੀ ਜਾਗੇ ॥ ਅਨਹਦ ਸੁਣਿ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੭॥: Gurmukhi raag suaad ann tiaagai. Gurmukh ihu manu bhagti jaagai. Anhad suni maaniaa Shabad veechaaree. Aatamu cheen bhae nirankaaree||7|| (sggs 415).
Many spend their entire life in a rituals of dry and mechanical reading and memorizing of the scriptures, thinking they have comprehended and reached God. In fact they do not even get near that state! As the Gurbani asserts, the Lord can not be approached or comprehended by mere reading and memorizing scriptures. The Gurbani further declares that the pride of satisfaction experienced from gaining such knowledge blinds man from seeing God.
  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: parhiai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa (sggs 148).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • ਪੜੇ ਸੁਨੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਸਹਜ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥: Parre sune kiaa hoee. Jaou sahaj n milio soee ||1|| (sggs 655).
There is a nice little story to the effect that one of the disciples of Kabeer Sahib asked his permission for visiting the pilgrim places and take ritual bath in their so-called holy rivers and ponds. Kabeer Sahib gave his disciple a gourd and asked: "Please bathe this gourd where ever you bathe". The disciple did exactly that — where ever he bathed in the so-called holy waters, he also bathed the gourd. Upon his returning from the pilgrimage, he gave the gourd back to his Master, Kabeer Sahib. In turn, Kabeer Sahib handed it over to the cook in charge of the Ashram's kitchen with the instructions: "Please cook this gourd and serve it with the next meal to all devotees". So he did. However, as we know that the gourd is poisonously bitter, no one could eat it. Kabeer Sahib wanted to make the point to his immature disciple that, as the gourd did not shed its bitterness by bathing at all of the holy places, similarly, the mental "filth" cannot be washed off by bathing at such places. If someone thinks otherwise, obviously he as no clear concept of God.
  • ਹ੍ਰਿਦੈ ਕਪਟੁ ਮੁਖ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਝੂਠੇ ਕਹਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਸਿ ਪਾਨੀ ॥੧॥ ਕਾਂਇਆ ਮਾਂਜਸਿ ਕਉਨ ਗੁਨਾਂ ॥ ਜਉ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਹੈ ਮਲਨਾਂ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਲਉਕੀ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਈ ॥ ਕਉਰਾਪਨੁ ਤਊ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੨॥: Hirdai kapat mukh giyaani. Jhoothai kahaa bilovas paanee. ||1|| Kaaiaa maanjas kaou gunaa. Jaou ghat bheetar hai malnaa. ||1||Rahaaou|| Laoukee athsath teerth nhaaee. Kaouraapan taooo n jaaee ||2|| (sggs 656).
  • ਨਾਵਣ ਚਲੇ ਤੀਰਥੀ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੈ ਤਨਿ ਚੋਰ ॥ ਇਕੁ ਭਾਉ ਲਥੀ ਨਾਤਿਆ ਦੁਇ ਭਾ ਚੜੀਅਸੁ ਹੋਰ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਧੋਤੀ ਤੂਮੜੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਿਸੁ ਨਿਕੋਰ ॥ ਸਾਧ ਭਲੇ ਅਣਨਾਤਿਆ ਚੋਰ ਸਿ ਚੋਰਾ ਚੋਰ ॥: Naawan chale teerthee man khote tan chor. Ik bhaayu lathee naatiyaa duyi bhaa chreeus hor. Baahar dhotee tumree andar vis nikor. Saadh bhale annaatiyaa chor si choraa chor (sggs 789).
The Gurbani indicates that the complete absorption in Divine Love, Naam or Shabad, is the only Real Nectar; for it gives one Immortality. However, under the spell of delusion, some believe that drinking some sort of sweet liquid is the only True Nectar. The Gurbani emphatically rejects this kind of beliefs, ceremonies, practices, and rituals. The Gurbani tells us exactly what the Real Nectar (Amrit) is, and how we all can obtain it Within.
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਮਨੈ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਪੀਤਾ ਰੰਗ ਸਿਉ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕਉ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਆਦਿ ॥੧॥: Nanak Amrit manai maahi paaeeai gur parsaadi... (sggs 1238).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਕਲਿ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਨਿਧਾਨਾ ਸਾਧੂ ਪਾਹਿ ॥: Hari kaa Naam Amrit Kal maahi. Ih nidhaanaa saadhoo paahi (sggs 888).
  • ਗੁੜੁ ਕਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਧਾਵੈ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਸੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ਭਾਠੀ ਭਵਨੁ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਕਾ ਪੋਚਾ ਇਤੁ ਰਸਿ ਅਮਿਉ ਚੁਆਈਐ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਬਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਤਵਾਰੋ ਨਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਸਹਜ ਰੰਗ ਰਚਿ ਰਹਿਆ ॥: Gurh kar giaan dhiyaan kar dhaavai kari karni kas paayeeyai. ||1|| Bhaathee bhavan prem ka pochaa it ras amiyu chuaayeeyai. Baabaa man matvaaro Naam ras peevai sahaj rang rachi rahiyaa (sggs 360).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਾਖੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਪੀਵਤ ਹੀ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਭਇਆ ॥: Gur kee saakhee Amrit Bani peevat hee parvaan bhayiyaa (sggs 360).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤਾ ਮਨੁ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਸਿ ਰਸਾਲ ਰਸਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਰਵਈਆ ॥: Hari kai rang rattaa man gaavai rasi rsaal rasi Shabad ravayeeyaa (sggs 835).
  • ਜਪਹੁ ਤ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਨਿਰਾਫਲ ਕਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਈਟੀ ਹਾਥਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਫੁਨਿ ਨੇਤ੍ਰਉ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਰਸਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਤਬ ਮਥੀਐ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪਾਵਹੁ ॥੨॥: Japahu taa eko Naamaa. ||1||Rahaaou|| Avar niraphal kaamaa. Ih mann eetee haath karahu phun netrayu need na aavai. Rasnaa Naam japo tab matheeyai in bidhi Amrit paavahu ||2|| (sggs 728).
Engrossed in evil-mindedness and skepticism, many practice the violent restraints in a futile hope to know God. For example, some bathe in cold water early morning, some sit in cold and icy conditions to perform penance, the ascetics absorb in asceticism, many read the Gurbani (and other scriptures) without paying any attention to its real meaning, the celibates practice celibacy, the Udaasees abide in detachment, people keep reciting scriptures without understanding their true essence, some remain naked renunciates, many apply patch on their mouth, some wear patched coats, many practice occult powers like magicians, some remain always awake, many bathe at holy places of pilgrimage, many go without food, those believing in untouchability never touch others, there are hermits who remain secluded and never show themselves, many think themselves wise in their own minds, some pluck the hair out of their heads, those who are afraid of cleanliness drink in filthy water and beg endlessly and eat the garbage which others have thrown away, some spread manure and suck in rotting smells, some keep their bodies smeared with ashes, the renunciates renounce their families, some have their begging bowls hanging from their waists and their fly-brushes in their hands, some go to forest and practice austere meditation and live on roots and the fruits they gather, some live at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, some renunciates have shaven-headed and some long or matted hair, some have wandered all across the earth, some discipline their body and the mind which runs around in ten directions, the Sanyasi (pronounced Sunyaasee) wanders around at sacred shrines of pilgrimage with mindless anger still within, the temple dancers tie bells around their ankles to earn their living, others go on fasts and take vows, the religionists wear religious robes for show, some sing melodies and hymns with their minds focused on corruption, some practice rigid meditation, those calling themselves wise practice spiritual wisdom, some practice self-discipline, the Yogi speaks of liberation, the householders assert their faith in family life, and so on. The Gurbani thunders forth the declaration that Sahaj Avastaa or Union with God cannot be experienced  through this circus of mental activities.
  • ਜੋਗੀ ਜਤੀ ਤਪੀ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਬਹੁ ਤੀਰਥ ਭ੍ਰਮਨਾ ॥ ਲੁੰਜਿਤ ਮੁੰਜਿਤ ਮੋਨਿ ਜਟਾਧਰ ਅੰਤਿ ਤਊ ਮਰਨਾ ॥੧॥: Jogi jatee tappee bahu tirath bhramnaa. Lunjat munjat moun jataadhar ant tayu marnaa ||1|| (sggs 476).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਨੀ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਅੰਧੁਲੇ ਅਵਰੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥: Nanak Naam na chetnee agiyaanee andhule avare karam kaamaahi (sggs 648).
While there are some who think and take God as a spare wheel! Such people when inflicted with a serious illness, economical or legal problems, and so on, start showing up at religious places. Once the problem disappears, their religious mood also disappears like horn of a donkey! God is not a spare wheel, a toy or a plaything. As long as we consider Him as such, our condition will be of the person on a tiny boat in the mid-ocean, tossed by dreadful waves, with death staring him in his face.

In the name of religion and God, the list of rituals goes on and on. Since they are all Karamkaand (worldly entanglements), the Gurbani rejects all of them outright. For material gain and name, it is the selfish, ignorant, idiotic and crafty Pujaaree group (priests-Bhai, Ragi, Brahmins, Mulla, etc.) responsible for the existence of all rituals and false show of religion and Spirituality. There is no place in the SGGS for them! The Gurbani puts an end to all such worldly nonsense as follows:

  • ਜਪਹੁ ਤ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਨਿਰਾਫਲ ਕਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Japahu taa eko Naamaa. ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 728).
  • ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਰਾਗੀ ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜੋਗਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਸੋਗੀ ਕੀਤੈ ਰੋਜਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ...॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਸੁੰਨਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਭੇੜਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਭਿੜਿ ਸੂਰ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਕੇਤੇ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਧੂੜ ॥ ਲੇਖਾ ਲਿਖੀਐ ਮਨ ਕੈ ਭਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੀਜੈ ਸਾਚੈ ਨਾਇ ॥੨॥ : Mahalaa 1 || N Bheejai raagee naadee Bedi ... ||2|| (sggs 1237).
  • ਤੀਰਥ ਕੋਟ ਕੀਏ ਇਸਨਾਨ ਦੀਏ ਬਹੁ ਦਾਨ ਮਹਾ ਬ੍ਰਤ ਧਾਰੇ ॥ ਦੇਸ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਕਰ ਭੇਸ ਤਪੋਧਨ ਕੇਸ ਧਰੇ ਨ ਮਿਲੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਆਸਨ ਕੋਟ ਕਰੇ ਅਸਟਾਂਗ ਧਰੇ ਬਹੁ ਨਿਆਸ ਕਰੇ ਮੁਖ ਕਾਰੇ॥ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲ ਅਕਾਲ ਭਜੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਅੰਤ ਕੋ ਅੰਤ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ਸਿਧਾਰੇ ॥१०॥२५२॥: Tirath Kot keeye ishnaan deeye bahu daan mahaa brat dhaare. Des firio kari bhes tapodhan kes dhare na mile Hari piyare. Aasana kot kare ashtaang dhare bahu niyaas kare mukh kaare. Deen dayaal akaal bhaje bin ant ko ant ke dhaam sidhaare ||10||252|| (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam granth, page 88).
Facing west, muslims perform five Namaaz (prayers) a day. Most of them have no clue as to why they do it! The Master's idea behind the five Namaaz was that his disciples should attain and live by the five Divine qualities — corresponding to the first Namaaz is truthfulness, second the honest earning, third charity in God's Name, fourth pure intent and mind, and the fifth God's admiration and praise. Now, perhaps one can appreciate how worthless it is to keep performing Namaaz without acquiring these godly virtues!
  • ਪੰਜਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਾ ਵਖਤ ਪੰਜਿ ਪੰਜਾ ਪੰਜੇ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਹਲਾਲ ਦੁਇ ਤੀਜਾ ਖੈਰ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥ ਚਉਥੀ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਜਵੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਨਾਇ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਲਮਾ ਆਖਿ ਕੈ ਤਾ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਣੁ ਸਦਾਇ ॥: Panji nivaajaa vakhat ..: (sggs 141).
  • ਦਖਨ ਦੇਸਿ ਹਰੀ ਕਾ ਬਾਸਾ ਪਛਿਮਿ ਅਲਹ ਮੁਕਾਮਾ ॥ ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਖੋਜਿ ਦਿਲੈ ਦਿਲਿ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਏਹੀ ਠਉਰ ਮੁਕਾਮਾ ॥: Dakhan desi Hari kaa vaasaa pashimi Allah mukaamaa. Dil mahi khoji dilai dili khojahu ehee thaur mukaamaa (sggs 1349).
The same principle can be applied to daily reading or hearing of various Banis (Nitnem or Paath), or any other scripture for that matter. The Gurbani never tires of reminding us that mechanical or parrot-like reading or hearing of the Gurbani will not bring much benefit. As Baabaa Nanak declares in the Gurbani:
  • ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਗਡੀ ਲਦੀਅਹਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਭਰੀਅਹਿ ਸਾਥ ॥...: Slok M: 1 || Parri parri gaddee laddeeahi parri parri bhareeahi saath ... (sggs 467).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਏਕੁ ਸੁਧਾਖਰੁ ਔਹੁ ਸਗਲੀ ਝਾਖ ਝਖਾਈਐ ॥: Boojhai naahee ayk sudhaakhar oh saglee jhaakh jhakhaa-ee-ai (sggs 216).
  • ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਃ ੩ ॥ ਪੜਣਾ ਗੁੜਣਾ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਭਿ ਪੜਿ ਥਕੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥... Parhnaa gunanaa sansaar kee karr hai andar trisnaa vikaar ... (sggs 650).
  • ਕਿਆ ਪੜੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੀਐ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨਾਂ ਸੁਨੀਐ ॥ ਪੜੇ ਸੁਨੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਈ॥ਜਉ ਸਹਜ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੋਈ ॥: Kiaa parheeai kiaa suneeai ... (sggs 655).
  • ਸਨਕ ਸਨੰਦ ਅੰਤੁ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਬੇਦ ਪੜੇ ਪੜਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਸਹਜਿ ਬਿਲੋਵਹੁ ਜੈਸੇ ਤਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਤਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਲੋਈ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਮਟੁਕੀ ਮਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੰਜੋਈ ॥੨॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਬਿਲੋਵਨਾ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰਾ ॥੩॥: Sanak Sanand ant nahee paaiaa. Bed parre parri brahame janam gavaaiaa ||1|| Hri ka bilovanaa bilovahu mere bhaaee. Sahaji bilovahu jaise tatu n jaaee. ||1||Rahaaou|| Tanu kari matakee man maahi biloee. Is matakee mahi Sabad sanjoee. ||2|| Hari kaa bilovanaa man kaa beechaaraa. Gur prasaad paavai amrit dhaaraa ||3|| (sggs 478).
  • ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਣ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ਪਾਠ ਪੜਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਰੀ ॥: Moorakh andhe trai gun sevahi maya kai biuhaaree. Anadari kapat udar bharan kai taaee paath parhahi gaavaaree (sggs 1246).
  • ਚਿਤੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਿਰਿ ਲਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੋਲਨਿ ਪਏ ਰਵਾਣੀ ॥: Chitu jin kaa hiri laiaa maya bolani paye ravaanee (sggs 920).
People on Hajj are asked to perform a ritual of sacrifice which involves slaughtering of innocent animals. How cruel! God cannot be pleased by killing an innocent animal, for it's not the animal responsible for your sins, but you! Apparently the idea of the Master was that his disciples should sacrifice their egoism, worldly desires, pride, attachment to material objects, envy, corruption, greed, selfishness, lust, anger, unrighteousness, and so on. Does this happen? Very rare indeed! On the contrary, the person who has performed Hajj has more pride than the person who did not! Why is it so? Because the real teachings of the Spiritual Teacher have been either forgotten or have become corrupted.
  • ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਕਹਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਖੁਦਾਈ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Jayu sabh mahi ek Khudaai kahat hau tau kiyon murgee maarai ||1||. Mullaan kahahu niaau Khudaaee. Tere mann kaa bharam na jaaee ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 1350).
  • ਸੋ ਜਾਗੈ ਜੋ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਮਰੈ ਅਵਰਾ ਨਹ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੩॥: So jaagai jo tatt veechaarai. Aap marai avraa nah maarai ||3|| (sggs 1128).
  • ਰੋਜਾ ਧਰੈ ਮਨਾਵੈ ਅਲਹੁ ਸੁਆਦਤਿ ਜੀਅ ਸੰਘਾਰੈ ॥ ਆਪਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਅਵਰ ਨਹੀ ਦੇਖੈ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਝਖ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥: Rojaa dharai manaavai Alahu suaadati jeea sanghaarai. Aapaa dekhi avar nahee dekhai kaahe kayu jhakh maarai ||1|| (sggs 4 83).
  • ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰੈ ਕਿਆ ਹਜ ਕਾਬੈ ਜਾਂਏਂ ॥੪॥: Dil mahi kapat nivaaj gujaarai kiaa haj kaabai jaanye ||4||: If someone has deception (or hypocrisy) in his heart, what good is it for him to utter prayers, and go on pilgrimage to Mecca? ||4|| (sggs 1349).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀਅ ਜੁ ਮਾਰਹਿ ਜੋਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਕਹਤੇ ਹਹਿ ਜੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥ ਦਫਤਰੁ ਦਈ ਜਬ ਕਾਢਿ ਹੈ ਹੋਇਗਾ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੯੯॥: Kabeer jiya ju maarahi jor kar kahte hahi ju halaal ... (sggs 1375) .
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਦਿਲ ਸਾਬਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਤਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਾਂ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥: Kabeer jaakee dil saabati nahee taa kayu kahaan khudaayi (sggs 1374).
Christians and their clergy will tell you that the only way to God is through Jesus! If you do not follow him then you go to hell, and you have no hope to get into the Kingdom of God! The clergy of the Judiasm claims they are the chosen people of God! Muslims and their clergy will label you "Kaaffir" (infidel) unless you are a Muslim — a "Kaaffir" does not even deserve to live! What a cynical view of the Spirituality, God and matters related to Him! As we can see, it is equally embarrassing for the rest of us (Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhist, Jains, etc.) as well.

The reason the Pujaarees (the priest groups) are able to fool people is that most of us are ignorant of the Holy Word of the scriptures ourselves. As a result, we set ourselves to be cheated by these professional con artists; and we set ourselves to become prisoners of worldly nonsense, walled in by our own ignorance of the Holy Word. If we want to set ourselves free from this fortress of ignorance or corruption, all we have to do is walk out of this self-constructed prison of phony codes, beliefs, rituals, and ceremonies. Like the Buddha says: "None hold you, but yourself".

  • ਸਮਝੈ ਸੂਝੈ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸਾਚਾ ॥: Samjhai soojhai parh parh boojhai ant nirantar saachaa (sggs 930).
The All-pervading Consciousness is to be understood as distinct from, and beyond the physical equipments constituted of the body, mind, and intellect. As rituals, beliefs, religious robes, etc., are the play of only material vehicle made up of the body-mind-intellect apparatus, God is beyond their reach or apprehension. Why? Because the body can't comprehend the Infinite Reality because He is not the object of senses or perception; the mind can't either because God is not the object of emotions; and the intellect can't comprehend as well because God is not the object of cognition.
  • ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Aapu beechaare su giaanee hoee ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 152).
The Supreme Reality is robed in Divine Shakti (Power) and Beauty. To see God in that Beauty, we need to replace our Spiritual ignorance with deep Love (Bhagti). The Gurbani says we need to keep in mind that the Naam abides in the heart of the Gurmukh only. Useless ("Fokat") beliefs, rituals, ceremonies, and peculiar wearing do not matter. This is the essence of the entire religion.
  • ਸਗਲ ਮਤਾਂਤ ਕੇਵਲ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਭਗਤ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥: Sagal mataant keval hari naam. Gobind bhagat kai manni bisaraam (sggs 296).
  • ਸਗਲੇ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਜੁਗ ਸੋਧੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨ ਪ੍ਰਬੋਧੇ ॥: Sagle karam dharam jug sodhe. Bin naavai ih man na parbodhe (sggs 913).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org