Religious Wearings in Stubborn Mindedness (ਮਨ ਹਠ)
God does not wear any peculiar religious robes or symbols!
The Gurbani tells us that our material body is born with two filthy robes: lust and anger.
- ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਾ ਚੋਲੜਾ ਸਭ ਗਲਿ ਆਏ ਪਾਇ ॥: Kaam krodh kaa cholarraa sabh gali aaye paai: All have come, wearing the robes of lust and anger (sggs 1414).
The human life’s ultimate aim is to rid the body of this inner “garbage” (i.e., all Bikaars, evil passions, negative tendencies…). However, instead of liberating the body from this internal filth, majority of us have further adorned it with external blemishes consisting of various religious paraphernalia. Poor Soul! The Gurbani teaches us that all these external body robes, symbols, and other paraphernalia are nothing but a pompous show (“Adammbar”) of man’s unripe ego (Haumai). Hence condemned by the Gurbani.
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਮਨੂਆ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥: Baahari bhekh bahutu chaturaaee …: (Devoid of the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, one) outwardly wears religious robes and (acts as he is) very clever, but (his) mind wanders in the ten directions (sggs 732).
- ਭੇਖੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਨ ਲਭਈ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਚੀ ਸਿਖੰ ॥: Bhekhi prabhu na labhaee vin sachee sikham: Mool (Source…) can be realized by the True Teaching, not by religious garbs (sggs 1099).
- ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜੈ ਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖੈ ॥: Hathi naa pteejai naa bahu bhekhai…: (Mool – Source) is not pleased by stubborn-mindedness, nor by various religious robes (sggs 686).
- ਹਠੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਵੇਸ ਕਰੈ ਬਹੁ ਭਸਮ ਲਗਾਵੈ ॥: Hathu kari marai na lekhai paavai. Ves karai bahu bhasam lagaavai: It is of no avail to dye in stubbornness (Yogic rituals or Karamkaand). (One may) wear religious robes and smear his body with ashes (These are also useless) (sggs 226).
Although the religious wearing is repudiated in the Gurbani, still many decorate their ephemeral body with them. Why? The Gurbani provides us with authoritative answers as well as explanations. According to the Gurbani, many put on such garbs etc. to cover up their wickedness; to make believe that they know God; to establish their religious authority; to show they are spiritual scholars; to show they are better than those who do not wear such robes or symbols; to hide the fire of worldly desires and fear; to hide the filth of Maya within; to show that they know the true teachings of the Gurbani; to hide their corruption, stubbornness, fanaticism, mental delusions, spiritual ignorance; and so on. The Gurbani confirms all of this as follows:
- ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Adhik tiyaas bhekh bahu krai: Excessive thirst for Maya makes people wear all sorts of religious garbs (sggs 352).
- ਭੇਖ ਅਨੇਕ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਬੁਝੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਉਪਾਵ ਦਰਗਹ ਨਹੀ ਸਿਝੈ ॥: Bhekh anek agani nahee boojhai. Koti upaav dargah nahee sijhai: Wearing various religious robes, the fire (of desire) is not extinguished; even making millions of (such) efforts, one will not be accepted in the Court of the Lord (sggs 266).
- ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: kartooti pasoo kee maanas jaati…: (Those in love with Maya, etc.) belong to the human species, but they act like animals. Day and night, they make show. Outwardly, they (those who act like animals) wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya. They cannot conceal (their inner filth with outwardly wearing religious robes) (sggs 267).
- ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹਤੋ ਮਹਲੀ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥੨॥: Bhekh dikhaavai sachu na kmaavai. Kahto mahalee nikiti na aavai ||2||: (The stubborn, false fool) ostensibly wears religious robes without practicing Truth; he says that he has found the Mansion of God’s Presence, but he can not even get near it ||2|| (sggs 738).
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਕਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਉਤਰੀ ਘੇਰੇ ॥: Baahri bhekh karahi ghanere. Antari bikhiaa utaree ghere: Outwardly (to look pious and to impress others they), wear various religious robes, but within, they are enveloped by poison (of Maya). (sggs 372).
- ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥: Maathe tilku hathi maalaa baanaan. Logan Raamu khilonaa jaanaan ||1||: People apply ceremonial marks to their foreheads, hold maalaa or rosary in their hands, and wear religious robes. People think that the Lord is a toy or a play-thing ||1|| (sggs 1158)!
- ਕਿਨਹੀ ਸਿਧ ਬਹੁ ਚੇਟਕ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨਹੀ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਥਾਟ ਬਨਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨਹੀ ਤੰਤ ਮੰਤ ਬਹੁ ਖੇਵਾ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਦੀਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਆਧਾਰਾ ॥੪॥: Kinhee sidh bahu chetak laaye…: Some work spells using the miraculous spiritual powers of the Siddhas. Some wear various religious robes and establish their authority. Some perform Tantric spells, and chant various mantras. (But) I meek have support of the Lord’s Name (i.e., I only do His Bhagti)||4|| (sggs 913).
- ਜੋਗੀ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਭੇਖਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਏ ਸੂਤੇ ਅਪਣੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਰਹਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਜਾਗਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮੂਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Jogee grihee pandit bhekhdhaaree…: The Yogis, the householders, the Pandits, the religious scholars, and the sectarians in religious robes — they are all asleep in egotism. They are asleep, intoxicated with the wine of Maya (being constantly robbed by lust, anger, greed, etc.). Only those who remain awake and aware (with Naam-Simran…) are not robbed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1128).
- ਜੇ ਜੇ ਭੇਖ ਸੁ ਤਨ ਮੈਂ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਨ ਕਛੁ ਕੈ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥: Je je bhekh su tan main dhaarai. Te prabh jan kashoo kai na bichaarai: Those who adopt different religious garbs can never realize their Mool (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Bachitra Naatak, Dasam Granth, page 140, line 7).
The Gurbani has thus repeatedly warn us that God cannot be realized by any outwardly religious appearance.