"... SO THE WORLD IS DROWNING"

No, no, this is not the time, when people know the way to Yoga and Truth. The holy
places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning (sggs 662).
<><><><>

Just look around what's happening in the world! Selfishness, hatred, divisions, sectarian violence, wars, conflicts, deception, untruth, etc., are on the rampant. World history is witness to the slaughtering of countless innocent people in the name of religion and God.

The world seems to be drowning indeed! Then it should not come as a surprise to read or hear the SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) declaring:

  • ਕਾਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਤ ਕਾ ਢਬੁ ॥ ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥: Kaal naahee jog naahee naahee sat kaa dhab. Thaanasatt jag bharisat hoy doobahaaiv jag: No, no, this is not the time, when people know the way to Yoga and Truth. The holy places of worship in the world are polluted, and so the world is drowning. (sggs 662).

As a matter of fact, these places have become dens of mammon worshippers.

The SGGS emphasizes on Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan). Why? In nutshell, we have to have spiritualSpiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan) if we really want to taste Spiritual Awakening to the greatest extent possible! Therefore, if our devotion or Bhagati does not give rise to thorough Understanding of the Gur-Shabad, then that devotion or worship is blind and thus nothing but an another form of ignorance. As indicated by the SGGS, in such a deluded state of the mind, we cannot "know the way to Yoga and Truth".

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥: Giaan heenam agiaan poojaa. Andh vrtaavaa bhaaou doojaa: Bereft of Spiritual Wisdom, (people) worship ignorance. In the love of duality (in love of Maya, their) conduct or behavior (keeps them mentally blind or ignorant of their spiritual life). (sggs 1412).

Due to the greed, selfishness, ignorance or lack of true wisdom, corruption at the holy places was profusely widespread when Baabaa Nanak came into this world. The Pujaaree Group (priest class: Brahmins, Pundits, Mullaas, etc.) is corrupt by nature. Corruption by and of the Pujaaree Group is pretty vividly described in his Shabads (For example, see Aasaa Dee Vaar and many more Shabads throughout the SGGS). To awaken the Pujaaree Group of all religions, and to awaken the masses from the slumber of corruption and ignorance, he traveled in every direction of the globe to give people a helping hand.

  • ਪੜਿ ਪੁਸਤਕ ਸੰਧਿਆ ਬਾਦੰ ॥ ਸਿਲ ਪੂਜਸਿ ਬਗੁਲ ਸਮਾਧੰ ॥ ਮੁਖਿ ਝੂਠ ਬਿਭੂਖਣ ਸਾਰੰ ॥ ਤ੍ਰੈਪਾਲ ਤਿਹਾਲ ਬਿਚਾਰੰ ॥ ਗਲਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਲਿਲਾਟੰ ॥ ਦੁਇ ਧੋਤੀ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਕਪਾਟੰ ॥ ਜੇ ਜਾਣਸਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਫੋਕਟ ਨਿਸਚਉ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਹਚਉ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬਾਟ ਨ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: Parri pusatak sandhiaa baadam ...: (Brahmin) reads (religious) books, say his prayers, and then engage in debate (with others); He worships stones and sit like a stork, pretending to be in Samaadhi. With his mouth he utters falsehood, but he presents (that falsehood) like precious ornaments; he recites the three lines of the Gayatri (a Mantra located in the Rig Veda) three times a day. Around his neck is a rosary, and on his forehead is a sacred mark; he keeps two loin cloths, (and at the time of prayer) he (covers) his head with a cloth. If (this Brahmin) knew the nature of God, you would know that all (his) beliefs and rituals are in vain. Says Nanak, meditate with deep faith (only this Way is beneficial); without the Satgur (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Knowledge of Truth...), no one finds (this) Way. ||2|| (sggs 1353).
  • ਲਖ ਚੋਰੀਆ ਲਖ ਜਾਰੀਆ ਲਖ ਕੂੜੀਆ ਲਖ ਗਾਲਿ ॥ ਲਖ ਠਗੀਆ ਪਹਿਨਾਮੀਆ ਰਾਤਿ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਜੀਅ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਤਗੁ ਕਪਾਹਹੁ ਕਤੀਐ ਬਾਮ੍‍ਣੁ ਵਟੇ ਆਇ ॥ ਕੁਹਿ ਬਕਰਾ ਰਿੰਨ੍‍ ਿਖਾਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਆਖੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਸੁਟੀਐ ਭੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਤੁਟਈ ਜੇ ਤਗਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੋਰੁ ॥2॥: Lakh choreeaa lakh jaareeaa..: (The man) commits thousands of robberies, thousands of acts of adultery, thousands of falsehoods and thousands of abuses. He practices thousands of deceptions and secret deeds, night and day, against his fellow beings. (This is man's inner condition, but look at his external display) The thread is spun from cotton, and the Brahmin comes (to the home of his host) and twists it. The goat is killed, cooked and eaten (by all attending the ceremony), and everyone then says, "Put on the sacred thread." When it wears out, it is thrown away, and another one is put on. O Nanak, if the thread had any real strength (that can strengthen the soul), it would not break. ||2|| (sggs 471).
  • 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).

This was the rotten condition of the society when Baabaa Nanak came into this world. Are we better of today? Not really! Probably worse!

Who is responsible for the pollution (falsehood, corruption etc.) at the holy places or institutions of religions, etc.? The majority of us — the over 99.9 percent category. As indicated in the SGGS, the majority of us (if not all) are greedy, selfish and ignorant (i.e., Manmukhs). Baabaa Nanak indicates that, when we get up in the morning, dogs of all sorts of desires, avarice, and corruption also wake up within us and start barking!

  • ਏਕੁ ਸੁਆਨੁ ਦੁਇ ਸੁਆਨੀ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਭਲਕੇ ਭਉਕਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਬਇਆਲਿ॥ਕੂੜੁ ਛੁਰਾ ਮੁਠਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਧਾਣਕ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥1॥ ਮੈ ਪਤਿ ਕੀ ਪੰਦਿ ਨ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਹਉ ਬਿਗੜੈ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥: Ek suaan due suaanee naal..: One dog (of greed) and two bitches (desires, avarice, ਆਸਾ, etc.) are with me. In the early morning, they (rise and) constantly bark (constantly engage in corruption, etc.). Falsehood is my dagger; through deception (ਠਗੀ), I eat the carcasses (of others wealth-ਪਰਾਇਆ ਹੱਕ, etc.). O Creator! I live as a wild hunter (ਭਾਵ ਭਯਾਨਕ ਅਤੇ ਨੀਚੁ-lowly and scary). ||1|| I have not followed good advice (of Yours - ਨਸੀਹਤ, ਸਿਖਿਆ), nor have I done good deeds (ਕਰਣੀ). I (ever so remain) deformed and horribly disfigured (ਡਰਾਉਣੇ ਵਿਗੜੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਾਲਾ) (sggs 24).
  • ਝੂਠ ਵਿਕਾਰਿ ਜਾਗੈ ਹਿਤ ਚੀਤੁ ॥: Jhooth vikaar jaagai hit cheet: The mind is awake only to falsehood, corruption and attachment (sggs 153).
  • ਬਿਖਿਆ ਬਿਆਪਿਆ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: Bikhiaa biaapiaa sagal sansaar: The whole world is engrossed in corruption (sggs 328).
  • ਗਜ ਸਾਢੇ ਤੈ ਤੈ ਧੋਤੀਆ ਤਿਹਰੇ ਪਾਇਨਿ ਤਗ ॥ ... ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥: Gaj saadhe tai tai dhoteeaa tihare paain tag. Galee jinaa jap maaleeaa lote hath nibag. oi Hari ke sant n aakheeahi Baanaaras ke thug: They wear loin cloths, three and a half yards long, and triple-wound sacred threads. They have rosaries around their necks, and they carry glittering jugs in their hands. They are not called God's Saints — they are thugs of Benares (sggs 476).
  • ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਨਿਤ ਪਰ ਦਰਬੁ ਹਿਰਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਚੁਰਾਇਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਤ ਕਰਹੁ ਰਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇਆ ॥: Bhalke uth nit pardarb hirhi Hri Naam churaya. Hari jiyu tin kee sangat mat karhu rakh lehu Hari raya: They rise early in the morning, to cheat and steal from others; they hide from God. O Dear God, let me not even associate with them; save me from them. (sggs 1244).

Does not matter which country one travels to, and regardless of the religion one practices, the common theme people talk about is as follows. Mr. so and so seldom worked in his life. But he lives in an expensive house (he has more than one house!); he drives the most expensive car; his children attend the most exclusive school; so on and so forth. How he could afford all this? Well he is the employee or he is in the committee (of Gurdawaaraa, Mandir, Masjid, Girja, etc.)!

Let's face it, the majority of us (if not all!) attend the place of worship or practice devotion in hope to fulfil our desires (worldly and celestial) and passions. We perform worship to make a businesslike deal with God. Most of the time (if not all the time!), the charity we perform is done in such a mindset. There is an ancient proverb in India, which goes something like this: "where the greedy people live, there the con artists will never starve!"

The Gurbani's edict is that charity must be performed with discerning intelligence. Otherwise — if performed ignorantly or foolishly — the effects will come back to haunt you! One cannot escape the effects. When performed unintelligently (lack or absence of spiritual Wisdom), the act of giving inflates our false ego-sense or Haume (selfishness, false pride, stubborn mindedness, envy, attachment, lust, greed, anger etc.). It is this false ego-sense which then begins to think that by giving it has become noble or virtuous. The Gurbani alerts us as follows:

  • ਅਕਲੀ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਕੈ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ  ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹੁ ਏਹੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥੧॥: Aklee parh kai bujheeyai aklee keejai daan. Nanak aakhai raah eho hor gallan saitaan ||1||: One should read (Bani) with intelligence, and then understand its real essence (i.e., assimilate it). Also, one should use intelligence in giving charity. Says Nanak, this is the True Path; other things lead to Satanic life ||1|| (sggs 1245).

Whenever the money is offered to unworthy people and unworthy places for the unworthy cause, we can be sure that money will be utilized for nefarious activities to spread trouble or corruption in the society or in the world. It's like casting pearls before a frog or a crow! Thus, unintelligently or imperfectly motivated givings "lead to Satanic life". Wealth in the hands of a fool is worse than the poverty of the learned. One of the things the Gurbani wants us to bear in mind is that the Undeceivable Divine Presence that is ever present within cannot be fooled by our mind's trickery!

  • ਮਨ ਮੂੜੇ ਦੇਖਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੁਆਮੀ ॥: Mann moorre dekh rahio prabh suaamee: O foolish mind, God is watching over you (sggs 616).
  • ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਜੇਤਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥: Isanaan daan jaetaa karahi doojai bhaai khuaar: People take their cleansing baths, and give to charity again and again, but they are ultimately consumed by their love of duality (sggs 34).

Due to the corruption (greed, selfishness, lust, attachments, passions, desires, etc.) of our own minds, Pujaarees (the priest group) are able to spin us. So long we are willing participants (due to the corruption of our own greed and desires), they will continue doing what they are best at. We must remember one thing: if we want something as sublime as the Lord and want it cheaply in the form of a "ready-made" package (businesslike deal), we put ourselves in a position to be cheated by the religious con artists!

The author remembers this story from his childhood. He heard it from his father. It may sound like a joke, but it's a true story. In his village in India, there lived a Paathee (also spelt Pathi: a professional reader of the SGGS).

One day a man from the neighboring village visited him and said, "Someone has died in our family. We would like to hire you to do a Sahaj Paath in his memory".
"Sure, I am available", said the Paathee (Sahaj Paath is also called Sadhaaran Paath in villages).
"How long it would take you to complete the Sahaj Paath?", inquired the potential client.
"About couple of weeks", replied the Paathee.
"But, unfortunately, we do not have that much time. We have only couple of days", said the potential client.
"In that case, I can sell you a Keelee-Tang-Paath (ਕੀਲੀ-ਟੰਗ-ਪਾਠ)", said the Paathee.
"What is the Keelee-Tang-Paath", inquired the customer.
"You see, in my spare time, I do Paath (also spelt Path) at my home. When done, I tie a knot in a towel and hang it on a Keelee. In nutshell, it's a Keetaa Kraaiaa Paath (ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਾਇਆ ਪਾਠ): ready-made", explained the Paathee (for those who are not familiar with this Punjabi word "Keelee", it's a peg driven into the wall for hanging clothes, etc).

How absurd! If this sort of corruption/falsehood existed in the older days, just imagine what might be going on in this digital and wireless information age!!

It's not that the Gurbani is only telling Brahmins, Kaazi, Mullah, or Pundits not to practice falsehood or corruption, it is also urging Sikhs as well! Surprise, surprise!

If a Sikh practices falsehood than why wouldn't a Brahmin be helped along with his corruption, or a Muslim or a Christian or a Yogi with his? The fact of the matter is that the Gurbani's instructions are Universal; including Sikhs as well. Apparently, the foolish Paathees and their foolish clients don't pay attention to what the SGGS says (there are many more such verses in the SGGS):

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by studying scriptures, but through understanding, is the God's Mystery revealed (sggs 148).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6||: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: One who reads, while attached to duality, does not understand. He yearns for the three-qualitied Maya (sggs 127).
  • ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਣ ਕੈ ਤਾਈ ਪਾਠ ਪੜਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਰੀ ॥: Dealing with Maya alone, the blind fools remain subservient to the three qualities of material nature (i.e., Rajo, Tamo, Sato). With deception within, the fools do Paath (reading of sacred texts) to fill their bellies (sggs 1246).
  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Despite listening to the Gurmati (Shabad-Giaan, Divine Teaching of the Gur-Shabad, etc.), (if) no spiritual wisdom (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਕੁਝ ਭੀ ਸੂਝ) wells up within (me); (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
  • ਸਮਝੈ ਸੂਝੈ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸਾਚਾ ॥: Samjhai soojhai parh parh boojhai anti nirantar saachaa: If one understands, realizes and comprehends what he reads and studies, in the end he will realize that the True God dwells deep Within his nucleus (sggs 930).
  • ਕਿਆ ਪੜੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੀਐ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨਾਂ ਸੁਨੀਐ ॥ ਪੜੇ ਸੁਨੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਸਹਜ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥: Kiaa parheeai kiaa guneeai ...: What use is it to read, and what use is it to study? What use is it to listen to the scriptures? What use is reading and listening, if (Truth ) is not naturally (spontaneously, Sahaj ਤੌਰ ਤੇ, ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਤੀਜੇ ਦੇ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਦੇ ਤੌਰ ਤੇ, etc.,) realized? ||1|| (sggs 655).
  • ਚਿਤੁ ਜਿਨ ਕਾ ਹਿਰਿ ਲਇਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਬੋਲਨਿ ਪਏ ਰਵਾਣੀ ॥: Chitu jin kaa hiri laiaa maya bolani paye ravaanee: Those whose consciousness has been lured by Maya, keep reciting mechanically (ਫਰ ਫਰ, ਉਪਰੋਂ ਉਪਰੋਂ, ਤੇਜੀ ਨਾਲ...). (sggs 920).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org