MADNESS OF JUDGING OTHERS

O Nanak, if someone judges himself, only then is he known as a real judge.
(ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਪੜਚੋਲ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਥਾਂ, ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ-ਰੂਪ ਰੋਗ ਲੱਭਣ ਦੇ ਥਾਂ,
instead of looking for others' faults, etc.). (sggs 148).
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Judging others through false ego is a symptom as well as pastime of a worldly person (Mayadhaaree). Also called Manmukh — material or unenlightened being, etc. — the daily life of such person engrossed in evil ways is full of its natural contentions, contradictions, jealousy, usual competitions, selfishness, corruption, falsehood, baser desires and fears. Consequently, he ends up living a wrong life in all his worldly contacts and experiences; thus wasting useful time and energy by undergoing tensions, strains, and creating chaos within for himself and confusion without for others.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਬੋਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਓਨਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਥਾਉ ਕੁਥਾਉ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਸਦਾ ਚਿਤਵਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥: Manmukh boli na jaananee onaa andari kaam krodh ahankaar...: The Manmukhs (material beings) do not even know how to speak. They are filled with lust, anger and false pride (i.e. all evil passions, which are the faults of the same false ego-sense or Haume). They do not know the difference between good and bad; they constantly think of corruption. (sggs 1248).
We are strongly urged by the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) to renounce such "evil ways". Instead, we are challenged by the Gurbani to look within to examine and judge ourselves. If we dare doing what the Gurbani asks us to do here, then and only then we will be known as "real judge".
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਪਰਖੇ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਤਾ ਪਾਰਖੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Nanak parkhe aap kayu ta paarakh jaan: O Nanak, if someone judges himself, only then is he known as a real judge (ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਪੜਚੋਲ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਥਾਂ, ਦੂਜਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਵਿਕਾਰ-ਰੂਪ ਰੋਗ ਲੱਭਣ ਦੇ ਥਾਂ, instead of looking for others' faults, etc.). (sggs 148).
Judging (Parkhanaa, Parakh, etc.) oneself means to know "Who Am I?", and then inmprove himself. To know the time as time, to know the space as space, to know the world-appearance as world-appearance, to know the Source as Source, and to know oneself as the Source (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa...) is being the "real judge" (Paarkhoo). This only is Mool-realization — to know one's essential nature as Pure Awareness.
  • ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Pranvati Nanak giaanee kaisaa hoi. Aapu pashaanai boojhai soi: Prays Nanak, of what nature is the Giaanee (the Wise one, the knower of the Truth...)? (A true Giaanee is he who) recognizes his (Mool-ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Essential Nature, etc.), such (Giaanee-ਜੋ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ) Understands God (sggs 25).
Unfortunately, however, the majority of us do not want to know ourselves. But we want to know everything about others! We want to find faults in others, but not in ourselves. We want to see Divine Virtues in others, but not in ourselves! We want others to forgive and forget our demerits, but we don't want to forgive and forget theirs. Hence, on account of false ego-sense, instead of investigating and judging our own conduct, we commit the error of judging others. In other words, we are unaware of our own house being on fire, but we go out of our way to see if someone else's house is burning out there! According to the Gurbani, such practices only tantamount to madness.
  • ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਅਵਰਾ ਸਮਝਾਏ ॥ ਘਰ ਜਲਤੇ ਕੀ ਖਬਰਿ ਨ ਪਾਏ ॥: Parh Pandit avraa samjhaae. Ghar jalte kee khabar na paae: The Pandit reads (religious books) and instructs others, but he does not realize that his own home is on fire (fire of Bikaars, Maya, desires, etc.) (sggs 1046).
  • ਸੋ ਬਉਰਾ ਜੋ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਪਛਾਨੈ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਨੈ ਤ ਏਕੈ ਜਾਨੈ ॥੪॥: So baouraa jo aap na pachaanai. Aap pacchaanai ta eko jaanai ||4||: Man is crazy without Self-realization. When he knows himself (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, the Reality of his Being, his True Nature, etc.), only then he comes to know the One (All-pervading Truth). ||4|| (sggs 855).
The Gurbani's diagnosis of our instinctive mind is that we are "Kache" (unripe or false) and "Kach Nicach" (falsest of the false). It's this unripe ego-sense that enjoys falsehood such as judging others. In other words, because we are "Kache" and "Kach Nicach" ourselves, our unripe ego goes judging others as such. In such deceptive and shallow intellectualism, we get stuck in "Kathanee Badanee" — babbling and speaking in egoity...
  • ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਨੀ ਕਰਤਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਬੁਝਈ ਅੰਧਾ ਕਚੁ ਨਿਕਚੁ ॥੨॥: Kathanee badanee kartaa phirai hukmai mooli na bujhaee andhaa kach nicach ||2||: (The person who) wanders around babbling and speaking (mere talking - ਨਿਰੀਆਂ ਮੂੰਹ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ - etc.), but does not understand the Hukam (Divine Will, Order, etc.), He is blind, the falsest of the false (sggs 509).
  • ਮੂਰਖੁ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਆਖੀ ਸੂਝੈ ॥ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਰਸੁ ਨਹੀ ਕਹਿਆ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਬਿਖੁ ਕਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਜਗ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ॥੬॥: Moorakhu hoi n aakhee soojhai ..: That person is a fool who does not see (the All-pervading Lord...) with his eyes; whose tongue is devoid of the (Naam-) Ras (ਨਾਮ-ਰਸ, Taste of Naam...), and who does not understand (the Gurmat, Gurbani's Teaching...). Intoxicated with the poison (of Maya), he argues with the world ||6|| (sggs 414).
The purpose of this rare gift of human life is to look within to judge ourselves so that we may Realize our Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). But the majority of us (more than 99.9 percent) are unwilling to do it. Why? Because our inflated ego-sense is afraid to face the truth our inner mind would reveal to us — our shocking crookedness, perversions, weaknesses, shortcomings, corruption, ignorance, untruthfulness, selfishness, demoniac instincts, duality, Vaasnaa, fear, falsehood, and so on. As a result, our ever expanding psychological construct self-image or ego-consciousness finds it easy and more pleasant to judge others and find faults with them!
  • ਮਹਲੁ ਕੁਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਮੂਰਖ ਅਪਣੈ ਸੁਆਇ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਚੀਨਹਿ ਤਾ ਮਹਲੁ ਲਹਹਿ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Mahal kumahal na jaananee moorakh apne suaae. Shabad cheenahi ta mahal lahe joti jot samaae: The fools do not know the difference between good and bad (ਥਾਂ ਕੁਥਾਂ, ਆਤਮਾ ਅਨਾਤਮਾ, ਅਸਲਾ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਅਸਲਾ ਨਹੀ ਹੈ...); they are deceived by their self-interests. But if they contemplate the Shabad, they Realize the Divine Presence within (Mool, ਅਪਣਾਂ ਮੂਲ ਸਰੂਪ, ਅਸਲਾ...), and their individual light merges in the Supreme Light (sggs 649).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਅਕਲਿ ਲਤੀਫੁ ਕਾਲੇ ਲਿਖੁ ਨ ਲੇਖ ॥...: Freeda je tu akal lateef hai kaale likh na lekh. Aapanrhe gireevaan mahi sir neevaa kar dekh ||6||: Fareed, if you are so clever, (of keen understanding -ਬਰੀਕ ਅਕਲ ਵਾਲਾ, ਸਮਝਦਾਰ - etc.) then you should not do evil (e.g., ਹੋਰ ਬੰਦਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਮੰਦੇ ਕਰਮਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਛਚੋਲ ਕਰਨਾ, look for faoults in others, etc.). (instead) examine your own self. ||6|| (sggs 1378).
To the spiritually blind-mind preoccupied with material temptations (one with Kachee Matee - "ਕਚੀ ਮਤੀ"), the nectarian Divine Name (Gurmat-Aatam Giaan) tastes bitter and the poison of judging others sweet. In such deluded frame of mind, we take those engaged in seeking the Truth as no-Sikh or lesser Sikh, and we take those engaged in falsehood as good Sikh, and so on! The same applies to other religions as well.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਸਿਉ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਅੜੈ ਡੁਬੈ ਹਕਿ ਨਿਆਇ ॥: Gurmukh siou manmukh arhai dubbai hakk niaae: If the Manmukh (materialistic, self-willed, etc.) fights (ਖਹਿਬੜਦਾ ਹੈ) with the Gurmukh (spiritual being, etc.), (according to the True Judge) he drowns (in the world-ocean - ਸੰਸਾਰ-ਸਮੁੰਦਰ) (sggs 148).
Man is bonded unless he has Realized his Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). The Gurbani repeatedly reminds us that while in bondage we remain unqualified for judging others. Those of us with spiritually-blind mind do not have the integrity, courage, and wisdom to judge ourselves. Instead, with our stubborn mindedness and our inverted heart-lotus, we look outside. As a result, we put ourselves in a position to commit more mistakes. Only the Pure Being is the True Judge.
  • ਮੂਰਖ ਗਣਤ ਗਣਾਇ ਝਗੜਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬੇੜੁ ਝਗੜੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥: Moorakh ganat gnaae jhagrhaa paayaa. Satgur hath niber jhagarh chukaaiaa: The fools try to account for their misdeeds, and argue uselessly. The judgment is in the Hands of the True Guru, who puts an end to the argument (sggs 139).
Judging others in ignorance is contradiction, which is the foundation of expansion of our false ego-sense. As long as we take refuse in contradictions, we remain separated from the Supreme Truth that our True Nature is Unconditioned Consciousness ("Joti-Svaroopa"). Therefore, contradiction is the material bondage, and the absence of contradiction is liberation. By contradicting the world around, we in our foolishness contradicts our very Essence namely the Blissful-Consciousness-Existence. Such foolishness promotes nothing but psychological distress.

Therefore, we are urged to renounce the urge to judge others. The Gurbani Teaches us to leave behind all mental perversions, break the chains of doubts and to remain affectionately unattached. The Gurbani tirelessly reminds us that this rare human life is meant to seek the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), not uselessly contradicting the world around.

What is the cure? Before finding the cure, we need to find out the cause of the disease. As mentioned before, the reason the instinct of judging others exists is the expanded psychological ego (Haume). It is not the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), rather, it is our deluded ego that craves for judging others. That's why the genuine religious texts and the Spiritual Beings repeatedly remind us that the destruction of false ego is the purpose of human life as well as all religions, not other way around. Trying to justify the egoistic urge to judge others would be like falling into the coal-pit; again and again, and then try to shake the body off!

  • ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰੈ ਨਿਹਕਰਮੀ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਵੈ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਆਪੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥: Haumai kari nihkarmi hovai. Gur parsaadee haumai khovai. Antari bibek sadaa aap veechare gur sabadee gun gaavaniaa ||3||: Those who act in ego do not go beyond Karma. It is only by Guru’s Grace that one is rid of ego. (Those who eradicate their ego, they possess) discriminating minds (Viveka-Budhi: discerning intellect, ਚੰਗੇ ਮੰਦੇ ਕੰਮ ਦੀ ਪਰਖ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) in them; they continually examine their ownself (ਆਪਣੇ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ). Through the Gur-Shabad, they sing Glorious Praises ||3|| (sggs 128).
Many of us excuse our own shortcomings, but judge others harshly. One who is quick to see and judge evil in other persons has the seed of that evil within himself; because anything of which one is cognizant has a relative vibration within himself. Therefore, the scriptures and the wise ones ask us to reverse this attitude by excusing others' faults and by harshly examining our own.
  • ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਚੰਗੇ ਬੁਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧॥੨॥: Ham nahee change buraa nahee koi. Pranavat Nanak taarae soi ||4||1||2|| (sggs 728).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਖੋਜਿ ਲਹਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੫॥: Nanak khoji lahau ghar apnaa hari aatam raam naam paya ||5||: O Nanak, search and examine your own inner being, and attain the Supreme Soul (i.e., see the All-pervading Lord within), and the Lord's Name ||5|| (sggs 1039).

For this very purpose, we are given the power of impartial intuitive self-analysis or discerning introspection. To attain the pure awareness of the Shabad-Surti (Naam or God-consciousness), The Gurbani has recommended daily introspection of our blind sense-mind. To be successful, this introspection has to be impartial, accurate, and without any prejudice. If we let this introspection become marred with the wicked and impulsive mental and sense tendencies such as judging others to satisfy our false ego-sense, then it will be totally meaningless.

Every moment, there is a spiritual and psychological battle going on between the Soul and the sense-infatuated mind under the delusive influence of the false ego-sense. We can invoke the God given power of introspection to review the battle of the day in our mind in order to determine who won the battle the good or the evil. As scriptures tell us, "good" being that which expresses truth and virtue and attracts the consciousness to the Lord; and "evil" being ignorance and delusion, repels the consciousness from Truth. Thus, we, the material or unenlightened beings, can realize the eternal Bliss (Anand) only if we side with "goodness" and win the battle between the good and evil inclinations that guide our activities on the external bodily field of action.

  • ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Bande khoj dil har roj naa phir presaanee maahi: O man, search your own heart every day, and do not wander around in confusion (sggs 727).
  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Jan Nanak binu aapaa cheenai mitai n bhram kee kaaee ||2||1||: O Daas Nanak! Without Realizing one’s own self (Original, Essential, or True Nature, etc. – ਆਪਣਾ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਪਰਖਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ, etc.), the moss of doubt (ignorance of one’s True Nature, etc.) is not eradicated (from the mind) ||2||1|| (sggs 684). 

Once the false ego is thinned out, many evil urges will lose their grip on us. We can shake the unripe ego off by becoming humble beings, and knowing that "I am not good; no one is bad". To a spiritually wise (Gurmukh), what is bad is a good, and what is good is a good; for he is beyond duality (false ego)! The scriptures disapprove of judging others because in Pure Consciousness there is no good, and there is no bad! We Manmukhs (material beings), suffering in ignorance of the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...), however, do not understand this mystery.

  • ਸਭ ਤੇ ਨੀਚੁ ਆਤਮ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਇਹੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਧਾਰਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh te neech aatam kari maanahu mann amhi ih sukh dhaarahu ||1||: I judge myself to be the lowest of all; in this way, I instill Peace within my mind ||1|| (sggs 532).
  • ਹਮ ਨਹੀ ਚੰਗੇ ਬੁਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧॥੨॥: Ham nahee change buraa nahee koi. Pranavat Nanak taarae soi ||4||1||2||
  • ਉਸਤਤਿ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੇ ਕਿਆ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਜਾਂ ਆਪੇ ਵਰਤੈ ਏਕੋ ਸੋਈ ॥੨॥: Ustat nindaa kare kiyaa koee. jaa aape vartai eko soee ||2||: (O mate, now I know that) the One God Himself is pervading and permeating all (slanderers and non-slanderers alike), (now) either praise or slander by anyone has no effect on me ||2|| (sggs 1128).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਹਮ ਬੁਰੇ ਹਮ ਤਜਿ ਭਲੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਐਸਾ ਕਰਿ ਬੂਝਿਆ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੭॥: Kabeer sabh te ham bure ham taji bhalo sabh koi. Jin aisaa kari boojhiaa meet hamaaraa soi ||7||: O Kabeer! (Through the Naam-Simran, since my ego has been eradicated, now I think) I am the worst of all. Everyone else is good. Whosoever understands this is a friend of mine ||7|| (sggs 1364).
The state of fearlessness is equated with the state of Spiritual Perfection. In other words, fearlessness is directly proportional to the degree of humbleness or Spiritual Realization. Therefore, the spiritual quality such as humbleness is not to be mistaken for weakness or pessimism; for the humble person is the most fearless and active person one can find! He is both Sant (the Gurmukh, humble) and Sipaahee (fearless). To an ordinary person, a humble being may look inactive on the outside, but on the inside he is the most active person one can find! Just look at our ten Gururs! They were the most humble, the most fearless, and the most active beings!
  • ਸਲੋਕ ਕਬੀਰ ॥ ਗਗਨ ਦਮਾਮਾ ਬਾਜਿਓ ਪਰਿਓ ਨੀਸਾਨੈ ਘਾਉ ॥ ਖੇਤੁ ਜੁ ਮਾਂਡਿਓ ਸੂਰਮਾ ਅਬ ਜੂਝਨ ਕੋ ਦਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਸੂਰਾ ਸੋ ਪਹਿਚਾਨੀਐ ਜੁ ਲਰੈ ਦੀਨ ਕੇ ਹੇਤ ॥ ਪੁਰਜਾ ਪੁਰਜਾ ਕਟਿ ਮਰੈ ਕਬਹੂ ਨ ਛਾਡੈ ਖੇਤੁ ॥੨॥੨॥: Salok Kabeer || Gagan damaamaa baajio pario nisaanai ghaaou. Khet ju maandio soormaa ab joojhan ko daaou ||1|| Sooraa so pehchaaneeai jo larai deen ke het. Purajaa purajaa kat marai kabahoo n shhaadai khet ||2||2||: Salok Kabeer. The battle-drum beats (in the sky of the mind - i.e., one soars height of Spiritual Consciousness); strike the aim (Dasam Duaar - Tenth Gate). The spiritual warrior enters this field of battle; (he knows that) now is the time to fight (with the evil passions)! ||1|| He alone is known as a spiritual hero, who fights (with his evil passions) for the sake of Dharma. He may be cut apart, piece by piece, but he never leaves this battle-field (of worldliness) ||2||2|| (sggs 1105).
Therefore, the Gurbani's emphasis is in becoming a truly humble being. Also called Gurmukh (a Mool-realized person), such person is pure both inside and outside. Since the Gurmukh acts through his Natural State of Being (Sahaj Avasthaa: ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਥਾ...), his actions become non-binding or "no-actions". Nothing can stop such person from thinking, speaking and doing what's right (Sach). He is living liberated - Jeevanmukta.
  • Gurmukh laahaa kai gaye. Manmukh challe mool gavaae jeeo: The Gurmukhs (Self-realized) reap the true profits of their life and leave, while the Manmukhs (material beings) lose all and depart (sggs 74).
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Sabad soojhai taa mann siyu loojhai: Without realizing God-consciousness (Naam or Shabad-Surti), you cannot control your mind. Subduing your desires, you merge with the Divine (sggs 113).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org