Gurbani Says People Are Not Interested In The Divine Knowledge

There is the expression to the effect that “knowledge is power”.

But the question is: What kind of Knowledge is true power?

Any knowledge that’s divisive, that does not give one the sense of Oneness with all beings, is susceptible for abuse. History is brimming with examples of such knowledge in which knowledge as power has been abused. For example, look at the crafty clergy system and all Pujaaree groups of all organized religions.All they preaching their respective followers is how to eliminate the other side, and so on!

However, knowledge that’s not divisive, that gives one the sense of Oneness with all mankind, that makes one conscious of the fact that we all are one or linked with one another, that inspires us to live a virtuous and truthful life is the safe knowledge. This Knowledge of Oneness, that is true power!

That’s the kind of Divine Knowledge (Wisdom, ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ…) the Gurbani intends to Awakens in minds of the entire humanity. 

Hence, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) affirms: (1) Giaan (Wisdom) is the Guru in Sikhi, (2) it’s the consciousness (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ) or the mind that needs to become a Sikh (ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ, or a learner, or a student of the SGGS).

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: The Shabad (i.e. Giaan or Wisdom is my) Guroo. Abidance of (my) Consciousness or the mind is the disciple (of the Shabad-Guroo). (sggs 943).
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is “Bibek(u)” (Wisdom, Discerning Intelligence…). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: The Jewel of Giaan (Wisdom) is obtained from the Guru (sggs 1044).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੈ ਪੂਜਾ ॥: Satiguru is Giaan (i.e., Wisdom, ਸੱਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ); and this Wisdom-Satiguru is the “Poojaa” (i.e., Bhagati). (sggs 1069).

It’s this Knowledge (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh…) by which one can understand his true self. It’s this Knowledge that can unite all mankind, across the barriers of race, color, creed, religions, and even time!

Yet, the Gurbani roars that people (with the exception of “rare” ones) are not interested in receiving and applying the Divine Knowledge in daily life (Gurmukh Lifestyle)!

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਵੈ ਸਬਾਈ ॥: Deprived (abandoned, deserted…) of the Divine Knowledge (Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom), the entire world (ਸਾਰੀ ਲੁਕਾਈ) wanders around (to stray, err, forget…) (sggs 1034).
  • ਸਾਚੇ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Know that a purchaser (one who appreciates it…) of the True Naam is very rare (sggs 664).
  • ਲੋਕੁ ਅਵਗਣਾ ਕੀ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਗੰਠੜੀ ਗੁਣ ਨ ਵਿਹਾਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਕਾ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਇ ॥: People tie up bundles of demerits; no one deals in Virtues. O Nanak! Rare is the purchaser appropriator of Virtues. (sggs 1092.
  • ਕਬੀਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਅਚੰਭਉ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਹੀਰਾ ਹਾਟ ਬਿਕਾਇ ॥ ਬਨਜਨਹਾਰੇ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਕਉਡੀ ਬਦਲੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੧੫੪॥: O Kabeer! I saw an astonishing thing. A Jewel (ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ…) is being sold in a store. Because there is no buyer (appreciator of it…), it is going in exchange for a shell (i.e., Maya…)! ||154|| (sggs 1372).

The Gurbani reveals that it is Mayaic intellect (ਮਾਇਕੀ ਬੁੱਧੀ) that deserted the Jewel of Wisdom (Knowledge, Sword of Wisdom-ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ…) within. In other words, it is the mind’s love or hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ) that depleted its Treasure of the Wisdom (Giaan or Naam-Dhann…) from within.

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਹਿਤੁ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਰਤਨੁ ਹਿਰਿ ਲੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Baabaa! (I have) enshrined attachment (love and affection, ਮੋਹ-ਪਿਆਰ) for Maya, which has taken the Jewel of the Spiritual Wisdom away (from me). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 482).

Baabaa Nanak draws a real picture of Jeeva (individual beings) of this world as follows:

  • ਲਬੁ ਪਾਪੁ ਦੁਇ ਰਾਜਾ ਮਹਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਹੋਆ ਸਿਕਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਾਮੁ ਨੇਬੁ ਸਦਿ ਪੁਛੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਬਹਿ ਕਰੇ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਧੀ ਰਯਤਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਭਾਹਿ ਭਰੇ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥: Greed and sin both have become the king and minister, and falsehood has become the tax collector. (In this assembly of greed, sin and falsehood) lust is as the assistant official, which is summoned and consulted; they all sit together and contemplate their (evil) plans. (Because of) deprived of the Divine Knowledge, people (as if have become mentally) blind (ignorant), and are engaged in gratifying their fire (of desires). (sggs 469).
  • ਜਗੁ ਖੋਟੌ ਸਚੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੌ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀਂ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਜਾਣੀਅਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥੪॥: (Manmukh with Mayaic mind in) the world is polluted; Truth is Immaculate; (this Truth is realized) through the Gur-Shabad Vichaar. Those who have the Divine Knowledge within, are known to be very rare. ||4|| (sggs 1331).
  • ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਰਲਉ ਬੀਚਾਰਸੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: By becoming a Gurmukh (spiritual being, True Being, etc.), a rare one contemplates (ਵਿਚਾਰ, Reflection, spiritual Inquiry, etc.) the Bani.   (sggs 935).

Baabaa Kabeer declares there is hardly any real seeker, appraiser, or purchaser of Truth in the world!

  • ਰਾਮ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਗਾਂਠਿ ਨ ਖੋਲ੍ਹ੍ਹ ॥ ਨਹੀ ਪਟਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਰਖੂ ਨਹੀ ਗਾਹਕੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੋਲੁ ॥੨੩॥: O Kabeer! Upon attaining the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ…), do not undo its knot (i.e., don’t try marketing it; don’t try preaching who is not interested in it. (The world is so engrossed in Maya that) there is no city (market of Truth, ਸਚ ਦੀ ਮੰਡੀ) to sell it; there is no appraiser of it; there is no customer of it; and cannot put price on it. ||23|| (sggs 1365).

What is it that deprive people of the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan)? According to the Gurbani, it’s our mind’s love or hunger for Maya

  • ਲਾਗੀ ਭੂਖ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਗੁ ਜੋਹੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਖਰੇ ॥੩॥: (Jeeva – individual being) looks at the path of Maya due to its hunger for Maya; being so engrossed in Maya, looses Liberation (Mukti Padaarath). (sggs 1014).

Driven by the Mayaic mind, the Gurbani says people neither listen nor contemplate the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, the Divine Knowledge, Virtues…). In other words, it’s very difficult to listen or speak the Truth (Sach-ਸਚ) in its entirety. It’s difficult because, for one thing, the Truth is devoid of form, color, outline, etc. Also, falsehood cannot propagate Truth!

  • ਕੂੜੈ ਕੀ ਪਾਲਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: (When) the wall of falsehood is torn down from within, Truth comes to dwell in the mind. (sggs 591).
  • ਵਸਤੂ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਸਮਾਵੈ ਦੂਜੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥: A thing can be put into a vessel only if (something that is already inside) be first removed. (sggs 474).

The Gurbani further tells us that, there can be nothing but tumult (“Rol Ghacholaa“) in the mind tied to Maya! Consequently, those who are drowning in the ocean of Maya (Mayadhaaree, Manmukh, Saakat…) cannot pay attention to the Shabad (Upadesh, Wisdom…)!

  • ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਅਤਿ ਅੰਨਾ ਬੋਲਾ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਸੁਣਈ ਬਹੁ ਰੋਲ ਘਚੋਲਾ ॥: One who is attached to Maya is (spiritually) very much blind and deaf (to the Gur-Shabad…). (In such conditioned state), he is unable to listen (i.e., don’t pay attention…) to the Shabad; (but, in love or hunger of Maya) he makes much uproar and tumult (ਰੌਲਾ-ਗੌਲਾ, noise, chatter, etc.). (sggs 313).

Animals lack the Divine quality of discriminating intellect (Bibek-Budhi ). That’s why animals act the way they act. For example, animals have neither Bibek-Budhi nor interest in inquiring into the reality of their Mool (Source, Origin, True Nature, Jot Saroop…).

But — the Gurbani asks — if a man endowed with the Divine Quality of Bibek-Budhi deliberately chooses not to use it, than he descends to the animal level by the perpetual existence of his animal-like conduct. In such mental state, he is also not interested in cultivating and living Knowledge just as animals.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ਭ੍ਰਮਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਬਿਆਪਿਓ ਮਾਇਆ ॥: Without understanding, (a person) remains like beast, and remains engrossed in Maya’s doubt and attachment (i.e, Maya’s deception, bewilderment…). (sggs 1300).

Baabaa Kabeer says that the Satiguru (Giaan, Knowledge of Truth, Shabad, Bani… ) can’t do anything if a student (i.e., Sikh – learner of the SGGS) lacks interest and is bent upon squandering his precious life! The Satiguru cannot kindle the thirst for Knowledge in such a student. Hence, Sikhi cannot be thrusted upon somebody by force (ਧੱਕੇ ਨਾਲ). If it could be thrusted upon somebody, Baabaa Nanak would have thrusted it upon his two sons Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das; Guru Ramdas Ji would have thrusted it upon his son Prithy Chand; and Guru Amardas Ji would have thrusted it upon his son Mohan.

  • ਪੁਤ੍ਰੀ ਕਉਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਲਿਓ ਕਰਿ ਪੀਰਹੁ ਕੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮੁਰਟੀਐ ॥ ਦਿਲਿ ਖੋਟੈ ਆਕੀ ਫਿਰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਚਾਇਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਛਟੀਐ ॥: Sons (of Baabaa Nanak: Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das) did not obey (Baabaa Nanak’s) Word; they turned their backs on Him as Guru. The evil-hearted ones become rebellious; they carry loads (of vices, Bikaar, defects…) on their backs. (sggs 967).
  • ਮੋਹਣੁ ਕਮਲਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਚਉਬਾਰਾ ਮੋਹਰੀ ਮਨਾਇਆ॥ ਮੀਣਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਪਿਰਥੀਆ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਤੋਂਡਕ ਬਰਲੁ ਚਲਾਇਆ॥: Mohan (son of Guru Amardas) got insane (ਝੱਲਾ, ਬੇ-ਅਕਲ…) and Mohart (the second son) lived in a lofty house and started getting served by the people. Prithy Chand (son of Guru Ramdas) came out as dissembling scoundrel and using his oblique nature spread his mental sickness all round. (Bhai Gurdas, Vaar 26 Paurhee 33).

Hence, Sikhi is of Understanding (ਸਮਝ, Knowledge, Wisdom, Intellect…). But an uninterested student, will hear from one ear and let it out from the other! The Gurbani says it’s as useless as blowing into bamboo — as you blow into bamboo from one side, air goes out from the other side!

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੈ ਜਉ ਸਿਖਾ ਮਹਿ ਚੂਕ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਏਕ ਨ ਲਾਗਈ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਬਜਾਈਐ ਫੂਕ ॥੧੫੮॥: O Kabeer! The Satguru can’t do anything, when there is a lapse (deception, etc.) in Sikhs. (The Satguru’s Knowledge, Giaan…) can’t affect the blind (i.e., mentally blind – ignorant); it is as useless as blowing into bamboo. ||158|| (sggs 1372).
Filed Under: fraud, deception, cheating, Giaan, Wisdom, Ignorance, Gurbani, One, Truth, Sach, Reality, Sikhi, Sikh, Learner
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11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Pally singh

    I had to read this again. This write up is very powerful. I am lost for words. This make you think very carefully. I encourage sungat to read carefully. These words hold.

  2. Pally Singh

    This is a good write up. I need to try to read it again. Deep understanding.

  3. prakash s bagga

    A Quote from Gurbanee in this context as
    ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਸ੍ਵਾਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਇਆ ॥ जा कै रिदै बिस्वासु प्रभ आइआ ॥ Jā kai riḏai bisvās parabẖ ā▫i▫ā. One whose heart is filled with faith of Prabhu-
    ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਆ ॥ ततु गिआनु तिसु मनि प्रगटाइआ ॥ Ŧaṯ gi▫ān ṯis man paragtā▫i▫ā. the essence of spiritual wisdom is revealed to his mind.

    • Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio! very apt quote.
      The Gurbani further teaches us:
      • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਲਾਏ ॥: Gurmukhi hovai su giaanu tatu beechaaai haumai sabadi jalaaye: (One) who becomes the Gurmukh contemplates the essence of the “Tatu Giaanu” (the Essence of spiritual wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Jot…); through the Shabad (i.e., Shabad-Vichaar), burns away (his) egotism (sggs 946).
      • ਬਾਵਰੇ ਤੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Baavare tai giaanu beechaaru na paaiaa. birathaa janamu gavaaiaa ||1|| Rahaaou ||: O mad man! You have not obtained Spiritual Wisdom (Giaan) and Vichaar (Shabad-Vichaar…). You have lost this birth in vain ||1||Pause|| (sggs 793).

  4. prakash S Bagga

    People Are Not Interested In The Divine Knowledge since every one is entangled within “WHIRLPOOL OF CONFUSION”
    But still
    ‘Satiguru sadaa dayiaal Hai Bhaee Vinn Karmaa Kiyaa Payi-ae
    Ek nadar Kari Vekhe Sub Upar Jehaa Bhao Tehaa Phul Payi ae”

  5. Manpreet

    Praji, just a suggestion. Would be good to organize the content into topics for easy reference.

    • Thank you Manpreet Ji for your suggestion. And, welcome to the Gurbani Blog.

      In fact, all posts are already categorized into categories (i.e., topics). A dropdown category-menu can be found in the footer.
      We will definitely look for other possible ways to organize the content as well.
      Thanks again.

  6. Kirpal Singh

    Access to ‘Tat Gian’ lies in giving up oneself: ਆਪੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸਰਨਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ॥
    ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਕਹੈ ਜਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ॥
    Thath Beechaar Kehai Jan Saachaa ||
    One who contemplates the essence of reality, is said to be the true person.

    ਜਨਮਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋ ਕਾਚੋ ਕਾਚਾ ॥
    Janam Marai So Kaacho Kaachaa ||
    Birth and death are the lot of the false and the insincere.

    ਆਵਾ ਗਵਨੁ ਮਿਟੈ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੇਵ ॥
    Aavaa Gavan Mittai Prabh Saev ||
    Coming and going in reincarnation is ended by serving God.

    ਆਪੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸਰਨਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ॥
    Aap Thiaag Saran Guradhaev ||
    Give up your selfishness and conceit, and seek the Sanctuary of the Divine Guru.

    ਇਉ ਰਤਨ ਜਨਮ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥
    Eio Rathan Janam Kaa Hoe Oudhhaar ||
    Thus the jewel of this human life is saved.

    ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਨ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥
    Har Har Simar Praan Aadhhaar ||
    Remember the Lord, Har, Har, the Support of the breath of life.

    ਅਨਿਕ ਉਪਾਵ ਨ ਛੂਟਨਹਾਰੇ ॥
    Anik Oupaav N Shhoottanehaarae ||
    By all sorts of efforts, people are not saved

    ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥
    Sinmrith Saasath Baedh Beechaarae ||
    Not by studying the Simritees, the Shaastras or the Vedas.

    ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਇ ॥
    Har Kee Bhagath Karahu Man Laae ||
    Worship the Lord with whole-hearted devotion.

    ਮਨਿ ਬੰਛਤ ਨਾਨਕ ਫਲ ਪਾਇ ॥੪॥
    Man Banshhath Naanak Fal Paae ||4||
    O Nanak, you shall obtain the fruits of your mind’s desire. ||4||

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