Too many who disguise themselves pure and Mahatma are fake and fraud on the inside. Such false and adulterated behavior signifies Manmukh lifestyle (a lifestyle contrary to the Wisdom of the SGGS). Understandably, the Gurbani calls them out as “false” (bogus, fraud, fictitious, dishonest, untrue, Karamkaandee…).
- ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਝੂਠੇ ਪੈਜ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਫੈਲੁ ॥: Those who are false within, and (display themselves as) honorable on the outside, are ample in this world (common, wide-spread…). (sggs 473).
- ਮਨਮੁਖ ਖੋਟੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਖੋਟਾ ਪਾਸਾਰਾ ॥: The wealth of the self-willed Manmukhs (that they collect throughout their lives) is false, and false is their ostentatious display (sggs 116).
- ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਿ ਕਾਂਢੇ ਕਚਿਆ ॥੧॥: Those who have one thing in their mind, and something else in their mouth, are accounted false ||1|| (sggs 408).
The Gurbani rejects such treacherously false conduct — wickedness, malice, trickery, forgery, deception, misleading, blemish, Karamkaand, Khotaapann-ਖੋਟਾਪਨ, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ …), etc.
- ਖੋਟਾ ਕਾਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਵੇਖੁ ॥੧॥: (Behold, as the counterfeit currency is worthless, similarly the acts) done in falsehood are of no avail. ||1|| (sggs 662).
It only brings ruin in the end. Sooner or later, the fraud gets exposed! It’s just matter of time! This is the Gurbani’s edict.
- ਖਰੇ ਖਜਾਨੈ ਪਾਈਅਹਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਸਟੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਹਰ ਵਾਰਿ ॥: The genuine are placed in (Divine) Treasury (i.e., their life becomes meaningful), while the counterfeit are thrown away (i.e., false cannot be kept with the good). (sggs 143).
How common is this fraud?
Widespread! The fake Baabaa are pullulating all over the world! The Gurbani time and again alerts us about them!
For example, in the following verses, Bhatt Bhikhaa Ji (whose Bani is included in Guru Granth Sahib) highlights this corruption further. Based on his own experience, Bhatt Bhikhaa Ji recounts his wanderings in search of a true Mahatma. He recounts spending one year (“ਬਰਸੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਉ ਫਿਰਿਓ”), but could not find one. Instead, he found they were all just high flying on the ego fleet, soft-spoken, polished, sweet, but full of Mayaic corruption on the inside. Wasting his time in vain, finally, Bhatt Bhikhaa Ji came to the Guru Sahib and found solace.
- ਰਹਿਓ ਸੰਤ ਹਉ ਟੋਲਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਹੁਤੇਰੇ ਡਿਠੇ ॥ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਤਪਸੀਅਹ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਏ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮਿਠੇ ॥ ਬਰਸੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਉ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਕਿਨੈ ਨਹੁ ਪਰਚਉ ਲਾਯਉ ॥ ਕਹਤਿਅਹ ਕਹਤੀ ਸੁਣੀ ਰਹਤ ਕੋ ਖੁਸੀ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੇ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਗੁਣ ਹਉ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਉ ॥: I have been searching for the Saints; I have seen so many pious people. These Sannyaasees, penitents, and Pandits all sweet-tongued. I wandered around lost for a year, but no one satisfied me (solace, ਤਸੱਲੀ…). I listened to preachers and teachers, but I could not be happy with their lifestyles. Why should I speak in their praise who have abandoned the Naam, and are attached to duality? (sggs 1395).
Perhaps, the present day Deras, etc., are the descendant of the same fraud referred to by Bhatt Bhikhaa Ji in the foregoing verse. Undoubtedly, some may be new ones as well! Nonetheless, they are religious con men, who have reduced the Gurbani, Sikhi, or Dharma to a mere mundane business (“ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਵਾਪਾਰਾ”, “ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ”…). The Gurbani repudiates their conduct or their life-style (ਕਰਤੂਤ) !
Bhagat Kabeer Sahib further highlights it. He says they, to whom I go to release myself, I found they themselves are bound by many chains (traps, noose, snares, perplexities, etc.).
- ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਨੇ ਅੰਧਾ ॥ ਜਾ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਉ ਆਪੁ ਛੁਟਕਾਵਨਿ ਤੇ ਬਾਧੇ ਬਹੁ ਫੰਧਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Without Hari (Mool, Source), the spiritually blind ones are gone astray in doubt. And those, to whom I go to find release – they themselves are bound by all sorts of chains. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 334).
In other words, they all want you to give give theme everything (your money, your land, your wife, etc.), but they themselves have nothing to give to you!!!!!
- ਲੇਉ ਹੀ ਲੇਉ ਕਹੈ ਸਬ ਕੋ ਨਰ ਕੋਊ ਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਤਾਇ ਹਮੈ ਦੈ ॥੨੮॥: All want to take everything (i.e., my money, my belongings, etc.), but nobody can tell me about Brahm (because they don’t know themselves!). (Dasam Granth, 1325).
Baabaa Nanak says the Guru who himself is blind (ignorant, fraud, hungry for Maya or Mayadhaaree, Parpachee, etc.), the disciples of that Guru are also ought to be blind!!
- ਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਅੰਧੁਲਾ ਸਿਖ ਭੀ ਅੰਧੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇਨਿ ॥: The disciples whose Guru is blind (ignorant, Mayadhaaree…), act blindly as well (i.e., do faulty or wicked deeds). (sggs 951).
- ਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਅੰਧੁਲਾ ਚੇਲੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਠਾਉ ॥: Those disciples whose Guru is blind (ignorant, Mayadhaaree…), cannot find place (of Peace, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…). (sggs 58).
Crowds and crowds are attracted and follow the path of fraud
Bhagat Kabeer Sahib gives us a very important clue, which can be of a great help ONLY if are are willing to accept it. Bhagat Sahib tells us crowds and crowds of people are attracted and thus follow the Path of falsehood (fraud, Karamkaand, Pakhandvaad…). It’s a sheep behavior — sheep follow sheep.
- ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸ੍ਵਾਂਗੁ ਧਰਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਭਟਕਾ ਖਾਹਿ ॥੧੩੫॥: (ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ, ਨਕਲ ਕਰ ਕੇ, ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਦੇਖ ਕੇ, ਦਿਖਾਵੇ ਦੀ ਖਾਤਰ…, people ) look at one another and disguise (in religious robe, impersonation, ਸਾਂਗ ਬਣਾ ਲੈਣਾਂ…), but they are deluded and lost (from the true Way of life-ਸਹੀ ਰਾਹ ਤੋਂ ਖੁੰਝੇ ਹੋਏ ਇਹ ਲੋਕ ਭਟਕਦੇ ਹਨ). ||135|| (sggs 1371).
However, since the Way of Truth is like walking on the razor’s edge, it does not attract crowds of people. As a result, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib reminds us that the true ones are always alone (i.e., without crowds following them)!!
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਹ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਗਏ ਪਾਛੈ ਪਰੀ ਬਹੀਰ ॥ ਇਕ ਅਵਘਟ ਘਾਟੀ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਤਿਹ ਚੜਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਕਬੀਰ ॥੧੬੫॥: O Kabeer! The crowds follow the path which the Pandits have taken (the path of falsehood, Pakhand, Karamkaand…). (But) There is a rugged or precipitous cliff on the way to “Raam” (Mool, Source, Truth…); Kabeer is climbing that cliff (alone!). ||165|| (sggs 1373).
The Gurbani compares…
The Gurbani compares them with “Thugs” (ਠਗ, robbers); for they are just fraud, disguised in peculiar religious paraphernalia (“Bhekhee“, garbs…).
- ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: They are not called God’s Saints — they are thugs of Benares (sggs 476).
- ਅਖੀ ਤ ਮੀਟਹਿ ਨਾਕ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਠਗਣ ਕਉ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Cheats, ਪਖੰਡੀ) Close their eyes and hold their nostrils (they do such trickery only) to dupe the world. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 662).
Next, the Gurbani compares them with “gambling” — for they are gambling their life away in fraud and deception.
- ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਤ ਮੈਲੇ ਤਿਨੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਜੂਐ ਹਾਰਿਆ ॥: Those who are outwardly pure and yet polluted within, lose their lives (just as a gambler loses his money) in the gamble (sggs 919).
Next, the Gurbani compares them with “beast” and “animals” (i.e., fools).
- ਚਿਟੇ ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਮੈਲੇ ਚਿਤ ਕਠੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਵਿਆਪੇ ਚੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥: Those who wear white clothes (i.e., who look Mahatma on the outside only), but have filthy and stone-hearted minds (false, fraud, cheat, ignorant, Parpanchee) may utter the Naam with their mouths, but it does not manifest (in their Heart); engrossed in duality, they are thieves (although they look holy on the outside). Those who do not understand their own Mool (Source, Origin, Jot…); they are beasts and they are cattle (i.e., great fools of animal intellect…)! ||3|| (751).
Next, the Gurbani compares them with those beautiful “mansions and tall buildings” which remain empty within (i.e., useless)!
- ਕੋਠੇ ਮੰਡਪ ਮਾੜੀਆ ਪਾਸਹੁ ਚਿਤਵੀਆਹਾ ॥ ਢਠੀਆ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਸਖਣੀਆਹਾ ॥੨॥ : There are houses, mansions and tall buildings, painted on all sides; But they are empty within, and they crumble like useless ruins. ||2|| (sggs 729).
Next, the Gurbani compares them with “herons”. For example, herons — even those who live at the so called holly ponds — stand in the water in a meditation pose. But in fact, it’s just doing that pretending in order to catch unsuspecting fish!
- ਬਗਾ ਬਗੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਮੰਝਿ ਵਸੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਘੁਟਿ ਘੁਟਿ ਜੀਆ ਖਾਵਣੇ ਬਗੇ ਨਾ ਕਹੀਅਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥੩॥: The herons in their white feathers dwell in the sacred shrines of pilgrimage. They tear apart and eat Jeev (e.g., fish…), and so they are not called white (or uncrafty or unscheming, within) ||3|| (sggs 729).
Next, they are compared with a “Simmle” tree in the Gurbani. A “Simmle” tree is known to be straight, tall and think. However, its fruits, flowers, and leaves are useless. Similarly, a person who pretends to be pure and Mahatma on the onside but a fraud on the inside is just like this “Simmle” tree.
- ਸਿੰਮਲ ਰੁਖੁ ਸਰਾਇਰਾ ਅਤਿ ਦੀਰਘ ਅਤਿ ਮੁਚੁ ॥ ਓਇ ਜਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਆਸ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਨਿਰਾਸੇ ਕਿਤੁ ॥ ਫਲ ਫਿਕੇ ਫੁਲ ਬਕਬਕੇ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵਹਿ ਪਤ ॥: The simmal tree is straight; very tall, and very thick. But those birds which visit it hopefully (in hope to eat its fruits), depart disappointed. Its fruits are tasteless, its flowers are nauseating, and its leaves are useless (sggs 470).
Next, the Gurbani compares them with “bronze”. Bronze is bright and shiny on the outside, but when it is rubbed, its blackness appears. And that “blackness” can not be removed even if it is washed again and again!
- ਉਜਲੁ ਕੈਹਾ ਚਿਲਕਣਾ ਘੋਟਿਮ ਕਾਲੜੀ ਮਸੁ ॥ ਧੋਤਿਆ ਜੂਠਿ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਧੋਵਾ ਤਿਸੁ ॥੧॥: Bronze is bright and shiny, but when it is rubbed, its blackness appears. Washing it, its impurity (inner “blackness”) is not removed, even if it is washed a hundred times. ||1|| (sggs 729).
Perhaps we all heard a story of Baabaa Nanak and Sajjan Thug (whose real name was Sheikh). He used to dress like a saint! But, in reality, he was a robber. Apart from that Sakhi, in our daily life, we all witness od read about many self-claimed, who either love to be called or deem themselves “Bhagat”, “Giaanee”, “Sant”, “Gurmukh”, etc. The Gurbani says:
- ਜਉ ਜਾਨੈ ਹਉ ਭਗਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥ ਆਗੈ ਠਾਕੁਰਿ ਤਿਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਾਨੀ ॥ ਜਉ ਜਾਨੈ ਮੈ ਕਥਨੀ ਕਰਤਾ ॥ ਬਿਆਪਾਰੀ ਬਸੁਧਾ ਜਿਉ ਫਿਰਤਾ ॥: When (one) deems that (he) has become a Bhagat (the Gurmukh…), a Giaanee (One who possesses Giaan, ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ…), then, in the world hereafter, the Master will have no regard for him at all. When he believes himself to be a sermoneer (ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਕਥਾ-ਵਖਿਆਨ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ), he is merely a peddler wandering over the earth (sggs 255).
As far as the Gurbani is concerned, such people are just “peddler”! As a peddler sells his stuff to others, similarly, such self-claimed “Baabaa”, “Mahatma”, “Sant”, etc., defraud others. But, spiritually speaking, they have nothing to show for themselves (“ਆਗੈ ਠਾਕੁਰਿ ਤਿਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਮਾਨੀ”)!
- ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥: Cursed and corrupt is the life of that mortal who lacks the Gur-Mantra (Divine Wisdom or Upadesh of the Gur-Shabad…). Know such wicked (or fool) to be just like a dog, a pig, a donkey, a crow, a snake. ||33|| (sggs 1356).
Risky to judge someone based on outer appearance
Thus, it is very risky to judge a person by how he appears outwardly. The Gurbani does not advise to do it. For example, a person may speak sweet and wise words, look spiritual and Mahatma on the outside, but in his heart he may be harboring a vengeance, resentment, grudge, hatred, fraud, deception, etc. The Gurbani cautions not to take anything at face value:
- ਸਿਆਮਲੰ ਮਧੁਰ ਮਾਨੁਖ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਰਿਦਯੰ ਭੂਮਿ ਵੈਰਣਹ ॥ ਨਿਵੰਤਿ ਹੋਵੰਤਿ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਚੇਤਨੰ ਸੰਤ ਸ੍ਵਜਨਹ ॥੬੦॥: A person (may look) beautiful and speak sweet words, (but if he) harbors vengeance in the farm of (his) heart; (then his) bowing (to others, in worship, etc.) is false. Good saintly beings remain conscious or cognizant (of this fault…). ||60||(sggs 1359).
In other words, a person may try to look spiritual from an ulterior motive, which others cannot detect. Or it may be he is trying to look spiritual or good because he expects by looking so he will get some rewards that he cannot otherwise get. Or, he may be trying to look spiritual or good because of some fear. Or, he may be blatantly selfish; whatever good he does may only be a cloak to hide his real motive of swindling money (Golak), gaining power, political or otherwise.
Understandably, the Gurbani has attached paramount importance to the necessity of internal purity. Obviously, instead of looking pure or Mahatma, “Being” and “Becoming” is very important to the Gurbani. In other words, acting without being is useless in the discerning eyes of the Gurbani (Bibek Budhi of the Gurbani)!
- ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: (The stubborn, false fool) ostensibly wears religious robes without practicing Truth (sggs 738).
Only by becoming a Gurmukh…
The Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that ONLY by becoming a Gurmukh (enlightened one, who thoroughly understands and lives the Wisdom of the Gurbani…) can distinguish the true from the false or real from the unreal.
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਖਰੇ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) distinguishes the true from the false. (sggs 942).
Hence, we are urged by the Gurbani to become the Gurmukh, recognize the false as false, and then break away from the false (“ਨਾਨਕ ਕਚੜਿਆ ਸਿਉ ਤੋੜਿ”).
In other words — until we become Gurmukh ourselves — we cannot recognize the true from the false or real from the unreal. If we are Manmukh ourselves (greedy, Mayadhaaree, Saakat), then nobody can help us from being cheated by the fake Baabaa.
One recognizes the false only when the Truth is in his Heart. To be pure both from within and without is not only to know the Truth, but also live that Truth in daily life — the Gurmukh-Lifestyle. Only a Gurmukh’s mind is fearless enough to leave the “Trikutee-ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ” and come to rest into the Heart (“Hirdaa-ਹਿਰਦਾ” or “Ghat-ਘਟ” or “Dasavaa Duaaru-ਦਸਵਾ ਦੁਆਰੁ”).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਕਹਤ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਪੰਥ ਇਹੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਤੁਮ ਪਾਵਉ ॥੨॥੫॥: Says Nanak — this is the Way to Liberation (Freedom from Mayaic consciousness, perversions, etc., but) you will have to become a Gurmukh to obtain it. ||2||5|| (sggs 219).
- ਹੈਨਿ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਘਣੇ ਫੈਲ ਫਕੜੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧੨॥: (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat, Jan…) are few and far between; everything else is but a pompous show and wrangling in this world ||12|| (sggs 1411).
In nutshell, a greedy person (i.e., anybody attached to Maya, duality, spiritual ignorance – Manmukh, Mayadhaaree, Saakat, Bikaaree…) CANNOT distinguish the true from the fake.
In fact, fake Baabaa flourish where there are greedy people!!!!!
- ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਬਿਆਪਿਆ ਧੋਹਿ ॥: (O mind!) Attached to Maya, you remain entangled in fraud (sggs 899).
Spiritual Wisdom of the Gurbani makes one Gurmukh and immune from deception and fraud.