When one eats without properly chewing (ਚੱਬਣ) the food or eats more than one can chew, it results in bad-stomach or indigestion. Similarly, when we read and read Gurbani (or any other scripture for that matter) without Vichaar (without understanding, without reflection, without contemplation, without resulting in Awakening of the Aatm-Giaan or spiritual Wisdom, etc.), then we get the spiritual indigestion. Baabaa Nanak says:
- ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪੜਿਆ ॥ ਤੇਤਾ ਕੜਿਆ ॥: (The more – again and again – one) reads the written (without understanding and implementation), the more one boils or burns (in doubt, pride, egotism…). (sggs 467).
For example, consider the people involved day in and day out in the reading of the so called Akhand Paaths (page to page, continuous reading of the SGGS); or consider those reading calculated daily readings (Nit-Nem) in stubbornness, without any Vichaar on what’s being read whatsoever (ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਗਡੀ ਲਦੀਅਹਿ…, sggs 467). All such people suffer from spiritual indigestion.
The term “Karhiaa” (“ਕੜਿਆ”) is pretty significant in the foregoing verse. It signifies how such people (who merely read the Gurbani, without Vichaar – ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਨਿਰਾ ਪਾਠ) burn, or boil within; or how such people end up further inflaming the fire of their Haumai (egotism, Bikaars…); or how they become more and more entangled (ਫਸ ਜਾਣਾਂ) in the worldly bondage and the web of illusion (Maya, ਭਰਮ-ਜਾਲ…). Thus, instead of liberating themselves from the Mayaic entanglements through the Shabad-Vichaar (as recommended by the Gurbani), they become more fettered, shackled, bound, or imprisoned in them.
- ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਪੜੈ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਬਿਧਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਲੂਝੈ ॥: One who reads (scriptures), while attached to duality, does not understand (what he reads). (While reading scriptures, inside) He longs for the threefold Maya (sggs 127).
Those suffering from the chronic ailment of the spiritual indigestion have no understanding of what they are reading. Either they are doing it just for the sake of the money, or to further fan their stubborn mindedness (Haumai, egotism, foolishness…), or to exhibit ostentatiously how religious they are (i.e., show off), and so on. According to the Gurbani, this is all ignorance or animal-consciousness; hence repudiated in the Gurbani.
- ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
- ਆਵਨ ਆਏ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਮਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੁ ਢੋਰ ॥: (Those who have) come into the world just for the sake of coming (i.e., they have not used this human birth for the purpose it was given to them); without Understanding (of their Mool, Aatm-Giaan, Essence, etc.), they are like animals and beasts. (sggs 251).
Nonetheless, to put it mildly, the Spiritual Progress or Unfoldment (ਆਤਮਿਕ ਤਰੱਕੀ) of such impersonators (“Bhekhee“) is totally stagnant. However, they care less, for they don’t know any better. Gurdawaras don’t care either because it brings in huge amount of money (Golak!). But the problem is that they all jointly corrupt and fraud the Gurmat (Gurbani) and misguide Sikhi in the process (Brahamanvaad).
- ਹਰਿ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਅਤਿ ਊਜਲਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਾਇਆ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜੈ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਈ ਭੇਖੀ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਇਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੩॥: The Lord is Pure and Luminous; without the Gur (the Gur-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, Wisdom, etc.), He cannot be Realized. (Those who merely) read (scriptures – ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਪੁਸਤਕਾਂ ਦਾ ਨਿਰਾ ਪਾਠ) cannot understand (this secret); the “Bhekhee” (those who thus merely read disguised in religious garbs, deceitful pretenders, sham, false, impersonator, etc.) become more deluded by doubts. Through the Gurmat (Guru’s Teachings, Shabad-Giaan, Gur-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, etc.), the Lord is always Realized, and (one’s) tongue remains permeated with the Sublime Essence of the Lord (Naam: Aatm-Giaan, Wisdom…). ||3|| (sggs 66).