Celebrating Death Anniversary of the Guru is Contrary to the Gurmat

Gur Angad Sahib meeting Gur Nanak Sahib; Gur Amardas Sahib meeting Gur Angad Sahib,
and Gur Raamdas Sahib meeting Guru Amardas Sahib, (they all) immersed in the Lord (ਹਰੀ ਵਿਚ ਲੀਨ ਹੋ ਗਏ).
Says Harbans! The Glory (of the Guru) has propagated (spreaded, etc.) all over the world;
who can say that the the Guru is dead? (i.e., the Guru Lives forever - ਜਾਗਦੀ ਜੋਤਿ)||1|| (sggs 1409).
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The Gurbani declares that the Guru never dies.

Then, isn't celebrating death anniversaries of the Gurus contrary to the Gurmat (the Teaching of the Gurbani, Aatam Giaan of the Gurbani...)?

Nonetheless, starting from the so called "Takhats", Deraas (ਡੇਰੇ), and Gurdwaras throughout the world elaborately celebrate death anniversaries of the Gurus!

It seams like the majority of us (99.9 percent category) - again starting from the Deraas, "Takhats" and Gurdwaras all over the world - don't much bother to find out as to what the Gurbani has to say about this practice in Sikhi.

The Gurbani asks: "WHO CAN SAY THAT THE GURU IS DEAD?"

  • ਮਿਲਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਗਦ ਅਮਰ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਗਯਉ ॥ ਹਰਿਬੰਸ ਜਗਤਿ ਜਸੁ ਸੰਚਰ੍ਯ੍ਯਉ ਸੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਕਹੈ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਮੁਯਉ ॥੧॥: Mili Nanak angad amar gur guru Ramdasu hari pahi gayaou. Harbans jagati jasu sancharyaou so kavanu kahai sri guru muyaou. ||1||: Gur Angad Sahib meeting Gur Nanak Sahib; Gur Amardas Sahib meeting Gur Angad Sahib, and Gur Raamdas Sahib meeting Guru Amardas Sahib, (they all) immersed in the Lord (ਹਰੀ ਵਿਚ ਲੀਨ ਹੋ ਗਏ). Says Harbans! The Glory (of the Guru) has propagated (spreaded, etc.) all over the world; who can say that the the Guru is dead? (i.e., the Guru Lives forever - ਜਾਗਦੀ ਜੋਤਿ)||1|| (sggs 1409).

Due to Bharam -Jaal (doubts, Mayaic consciousness, Dubidhaa, etc.), those who still believe the Guru is dead, consider some more verses from the Gurbani:

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Satiguru jaagataa hai deou ||1|| Rahaaou||: The Satiguru is the Vigilant (Watchful, Wide-Awake, etc.) Divinity. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 479).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: Satiguru meraa sadaa sadaa n aavai n jaai. Ohu abinaasee purakhu hai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai ||13||: My Satguru is Everlasting (Immortal, etc.); He neither comes nor goes (i.e., beyond birth and death). He Himself is the Imperishable Being (Eternal, Parmeshar, Parmaatam, Prabh, Mool, Jot, etc.) who, pervades among all ||13|| (sggs 759).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee sad jeevai nahee martaa: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਤ ਮੂਏ ਕਿਆ ਰੋਈਐ ਜੋ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਰੋਵਹੁ ਸਾਕਤ ਬਾਪੁਰੇ ਜੁ ਹਾਟੈ ਹਾਟ ਬਿਕਾਇ ॥੧੬॥: Kabeer sant mooe kiaa roeeai jo apune grihi jaai. Roovahu saakat baapure ju haato haat bikaai ||16||: O Kabeer! Do not cry at the death of a Saint. He is just going back to his own Home (i.e., Mool, Source...). (If you want to cry,) Cry (at the death of) the Saakat (wretched Mayadhaaree), who is sold from store to store (i.e., who wanders..). ||16|| (sggs 1365).
  • ਭੂਲੀ ਭੂਲੀ ਮੈ ਫਿਰੀ ਪਾਧਰੁ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਜਾਇ ਸਿਆਣਿਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਾਟੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: Bhoolee bhoolee mai phiree paadharu kahai n koi. Pooshahu jaai siaaniaa dukhu kaatai meraa koi. Satiguru saachaa mani vasai saajan ut hee thaai: Confused and deluded (for a long time - ਬਹੁਤ ਚਿਰ ਤੋਂ ਖੁੰਝੀ ਹੋਈ), I wander around, but no one shows me the straight Way (right or clear Path - ਪੱਧਰਾ ਰਾਹ). (I keep wandering and) asking the wise people, if anyone can rid me of my suffering (confusion and delusion). When the Satiguru (Sach Daa Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, etc.) abides within the mind, then God is (also) seen at the same place (that is, within - ਭਾਵ, ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਭੀ ਓਸੇ ਥਾਂ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਮਿਲ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ) (sggs 1087).

The Gurbani says that the Satigur pervades within His Sikhs ("ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਰਤੈ": Gursikhaa andar satigur vartai, sggs 312 and 317). Now, if we still celebrate death anniversary of the Satigur, it means we are also dead!! That means, if He is dead, then the Satigur cannot be within His Gursikhs. Isn't it?

Further the Gurbani reminds us that nobody is empty or devoid of Satigur ("ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ...": Satigur te khaalee ko nahee..., sggs 850). It means, if the Satigur is dead, then we are also devoid or empty ("ਖਾਲੀ") of the Satigur! Isn't it?

Let alone the Satigur, even when an ordinary person leaves his/her body, we routinely hear Bhais or Ragis singing this Shabad during the "Bhog" ceremony - "ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥": Kaounu mooaa re kaounu mooaa, sggs 885. They choose this Shabad to make the point to the mourning family, friends and relatives gathered in the "Bhog" that in fact nobody dies!

Ironically, the same Bhais, Ragis, Gurdawara-cometees, etc., turn around and organize elaborate celebrations of the death anniversaries of the Gurus!! Isn't it obvious they are doing it just for the Golak (money)? What a fraud!

In fact this is no more than body-consciousness (ਸਰੀਰ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, ਪਰਾਈ ਮਤ, ਮੰਨ ਮੱਤ, ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ ...): living at the level of the body (Maya). This is not Gurmat. This is Mayaic or Mayadhaaree lifestyle (ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਵਨ).

The reason the Bhais, Ragis, etc., conduct themselves this way because they are the product of the ਡੇਰੇ (numerous Deraas of the so called Sants). These Deraas are no more than the dens of mammon worshippers - Mayadhaaree, Manmukhs, Saakat, Thug...

  • ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Oi har ke sant n aakhahi baanaarasi ke thug (sggs 476).

Plus, these Deraas promote and emphasize nothing but anti-Gurmat nonsense such as unmeaning rituals (Karamkaand), Bhekh (religious garbs...), dogmas, and so on, which are outright rejected (Khandan-ਖੰਡਨ) by the Gurmat. This ia all Brahmani Mati . Like Brahmins/Pandits, they spread falsehood and deceive people.

  • ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥: Paahaan boree pirathamee pandit paarree baat ||137|| (sggs 1371).

Hence, the Gurmat is much different from what we have been told by these ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ (Brahmini matt-ਸੰਸਾਰਿਕ ਮਾਰਗ: worldly or Mayaic way) Bhias, Ragis...

There only target is Golak (money), not the Gurmat. They know if people find out the real meanings of the Gurbani or the Gurmat As Is, then they will loose their lucrative business! So, its in their advantage to keep people wrapped up in anti-Gurmat rituals (Karamkaand), Bhekh (religius garbs...), dogmas, and so on, which are outrightly rejected (Khandan-ਖੰਡਨ) by the Gurmat.

Let's ask ourselves: if ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ (Brahamini Matt-the ways of the greedy, false, corrupt, and Mayaic or deceptive Brahmin) was alright, why then Baabaa Nanak gave us anew - Gurmat?

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਬਾਮਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਜਗਤ ਕਾ ਭਗਤਨ ਕਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਅਰਝਿ ਉਰਝਿ ਕੈ ਪਚਿ ਮੂਆ ਚਾਰਉ ਬੇਦਹੁ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੨੩੭॥: Kabeer baamanu guroo hai jagt kaa bhagatan kaa guru naahi. Arajhi ourajhi kai pachi mooaa charaou bedahu maahi ||237||: Kabeer, the Brahmin may be the guru of the world (because of his worldy was, mayaic ways, or ਸੰਸਾਰਿਕ ਮਾਰਗ: greed, falsehood, materialistic mentality, etc., and worldly people like that way), but he is not the Guru of Bhagats (the devotees). Embroiled and bound (in rituals, Karamkaand, in the fire of his pride-ਹੰਕਾਰ-of the knowledge...) of the four Vedas, he dies in distress or pain (ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ-death of spiritual life). ||237|| (sggs 1377).
  • ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥: Brahman naavai jeeaa Ghaai: The Brahmin kills (inflicts pain to souls: ਆਤਮ-ਘਾਤੀ..) and then takes (cleansing) baths (ਤੀਰਥ-ਇਸਨਾਨ). (sggs 662).

The reality seems to be that the leaders of Sikhi are mentally blind themselves. The Gurbani asks: how such blind leaders can lead others? In other words, how such foolish and mentally blind leaders of Sikhi can lead other Sikhs to true Sikhi?

  • ਅੰਧਾ ਆਗੂ ਜੇ ਥੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਪਾਧਰੁ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਮੁਸੈ ਮਤਿ ਹੋਛੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥: Andhaa aagoo je theeai kiou paadharu jaanai. Aap musai mati hochheeai kiou raahu pachhaanai: If a blind man (blinded by the love of Maya, etc.) is made the leader, how will he know the Way (right Path - ਜੀਵਨ-ਸਫਰ ਦਾ ਸਿੱਧਾ ਰਸਤਾ - etc.). Due to his inadequate understanding (ਹੋਛੀ ਅਕਲ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਨ, lack of Wisdom, etc.), he himself is being plundered (by Maya, evil inclinations - ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਹੱਥੋਂ - etc.); how will (those who follow such a blind leader - ਉਸ ਦੀ ਅਗਵਾਈ ਵਿਚ ਤੁਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਵੀ) know the Way? (sggs 767).

According to the Gurbani, the Guru is not separate from anybody, and cannot be separate from anybody (ਨਾ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਤੌਂ ਵਖਰਾ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਨਾ ਹੀ ਵਖਰਾ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ). If the Guru is dead, then we are also dead. Because, the Guru and an individual are inseparable.

  • ਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨਾ ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਹੋਰੁ ॥੨॥: Guroo binaa mai nahee horu ||2|| (sggs 864).

As we are told by the Gurbani, the ਗੁਰੁ (Guru) is one's Giaan (Divinine Knowledge, Sprirtual Wisdom, Mool...) and Dhiaan (Meditation, or Reflection, or Contemplation within one's Heart - self-communication ...), within.

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru meraa giaanu Guru ridai dhiaan: Guru is my Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom...), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart (ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ); that's my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, Contemplation ...). (sggs 864).

THUS, THE GURBANI TELLS US THAT GURU NEVER DIES. HOWEVER, WE (THE SIKHS) SAY THE GURU IS DEAD, AND ELABORATELY CELEBRATE GURU's DEATH ANNIVERSARIES!! ISN'T IT CONTRARY TO THE GURMAT?

  • ਬੁਝੁ ਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮੂਆ ਹੈ ਕਉਣੁ ॥: Bujhu re giaanee mooaa hai kaounu: Understand (inquire...), O wise-man, who has died. (sggs 152).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org