The Gurbani is BRAHM VICHAAR. Therefore, Baabaa Nanak says we must UNDERSTAND it if we want to realize the Truth or our Mool (which is the purpose of human life!).
- ਬਾਣੀ ਬੂਝੈ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: (One who) understands the Bani, gets absorbed in the Truth (sggs 412).
- ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: Jan Nanak utters the Brahm Vichaar (Divine Wisdom…). (sggs 370).
Baabaa Nanak further reminds us that without UNDERSTANDING, we all become perplexed and therefore cannot realize the Truth.
- ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰ ॥: Without understanding, ALL are troubled (afflicted, distressed, perplexed…). (sggs 791).
- ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਕੋ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥: Without understanding, (one) cannot obtained the Realm (of Truth). (sggs 412).
Hence, unequivocally, the Way of the Gurbani (or Gurmat) is the Way of UNDERSTANDING — the Shabad, Naam, Hukam, Brahm-Giaan, Divine Wisdom. The Gurbani further confirms it as follows:
- ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥:Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
- ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
Since the Gurbani is BRAHM VICHAAR and the Way of the Gurbani is the Way of UNDERSTANDING (Soojh Boojh: ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ), it has no room for dogma, or Karamkaand (rituals), or Pakhand-Baazee, or show off spirituality, or superficial religiosity, or counting beads (ਮਾਲਾ ਫੇਰਨੀ), or Pilgrimages – Teerath Yaatraa, or Bhekh (ਭੇਖ-religious robes), or pretending, or trickery…
The Way of the Gurbani is so pure that not only materiality but even the desire for liberation (Mukti) is given up!
- ਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਚਾਹਉ ਮਨਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲਾਰੇ ॥: (O Prabhoo, I) neither desire for empire (Bhugati or materiality) nor liberation (Mukti); (my) mind longs for the love of your lotus feet (Virtues, Wisdom, Naam, Hukam…). (sggs 534).
- ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬਪੁੜੀ ਭੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥: A spiritually Wise forsakes even liberation (sggs 1078).
As we know it, Baabaa Nanak did not have any embodied being as his Guroo.
However, during his life, apparently he came across many who called themselves teachers, Sant, Yogi, ascetics, scholars, clergymen, etc.
Baabaa Nanak found them worldly or materialistic people.
By looking at their bodies, their external appearance or garbs, you could not call them worldly or materialistic.
However when Baabaa Nanak looked at their minds, he found them to be more worldly than the so-called worldly people. He found them to be more materialistic than the so-called materialists. He could not see Dharma blossoming, anywhere.
He found them full of Bikaar (desires, etc. — hope to attain paradise, heaven, eternal gratification in the afterlife, to get desires fulfilled here and in the other world…).
In other words, Baabaa Nanak found their materialism perfumed with the flavor of spiritualism (fraud). Thus, he found their outer religious garbs and spiritualism to be a deception.
It is as if one has anointed a dog with sandalwood. The dog remains a dog; fragrance of sandalwood can only deceive fools!
- ਕੁਤੇ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਲਾਈਐ ਭੀ ਸੋ ਕੁਤੀ ਧਾਤੁ ॥: (You) may apply sandalwood to a dog, but its real existence (essence, reality, nature…) will still be of a dog (sggs 143).
Or, it is as if one has anointed a donkey with sandalwood. The donkey remains a donkey; fragrance of sandalwood can only deceive fools!
- ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪ ਹੋਤ ਦੇਹ ਕਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਗਰਧਭ ਭਸਮ ਸੰਗੀਤਿ ॥: (A donkey’s) body may be anointed with sandalwood, but the donkey still loves to roll in the ash (sggs 673).
Or, it is as if on a cow dung heap one has sprayed some perfume. The cow dung (“ਗੋਬਰੁ”) remains cow dung; perfume can only deceive fools!
- ਗੋਬਰੁ ਜੂਠਾ ਚਉਕਾ ਜੂਠਾ ਜੂਠੀ ਦੀਨੀ ਕਾਰਾ ॥: gobaru joothaa… (sggs 1195).
Baabaa Nanak was not fooled by any of these “Thugs of Baanaaras” (“ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ”). He could see through and through. He boldly said if Bikaar (desire, etc.) is there than you are a materialist and you are worldly (i.e., Manmukh, Saakat, Mayadhaaree…)!
When Baabaa Nanak said that these so-called religious people are all worldly, materialists, or Bikaaree (full of desires, etc.), of course the Pandits, Brahmins, Yogis, Qazis, Mullahs, etc., were angry. So angry that they turned against him and tried to discredit him.
- ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਸਦਾਇਦੇ ਮਨਹੁ ਮੂਰਖ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥: Outwardly, (Manmukh) call themselves Pandit, but mentally they are foolish and ignorant (sggs 1091).
- ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੋਗੀ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੰਗਮ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਕਾਜੀ ਮੁੰਲਾ ॥ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਗੁਤੇ ਫਿਟਾ ਵਤੈ ਗਲਾ ॥: They are not Yogis, and they are not Jangams, and they are not Qazis or Mullahs. Lost (separated…) from the Merciful (Lord), they wander around in sad plight, and their entire band is disdainful (sggs 149-150).
Simply put: A dog is dog even if pasted with sandalwood! Or a donkey is just a donkey whether loaded with gold, anointed with sandalwood, or loaded with Granth!
Similarly, without understanding the Gurbani’s Way, everything else is useless. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ).
- ਮਾਨੁਖੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਆਇਆ ॥: Without understanding, man’s coming (into the world) is useless (sggs 712).
- ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਪੜੇ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੁ ਖਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਜਸ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: (O pandit!) What is the use of reading the Vedas and the Puraanas? It is like loading a donkey with sandalwood (If Mool is not understood…). (sggs 1102).
It should be noted that understanding the Way of the Gurbani is inclusive of living it in daily life (implementation, practice, application, Gurmukh Lifestyle, ਅਮਲ). Because, without living it in daily life, understanding remains deficient.
- ਜਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਤਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਤਿ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਘਟੇ ਘਟਿ ॥੩॥: When one’s “Karanee” (doing, performance, practice…) is right (i.e., according to the Gurbani, which would indicate) there is perfect understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ, ਅਕਲ). Without “Karanee”, (Understanding) remains deficient. ||3|| (sggs 25).
Now, let’s turn our attention to the present-day state in Gurdwaras. For example, just listen to Ardaas (prayer) being performed by the present-day band of Pujaaree-Group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ, Bhais, Ragis, Deraavaad Sant, Kathaakaars, Parchaaraks, etc.) in any Gurdwara around the world — you can’t help noticing that it is full of material demands and desires; totally contrary to the Way of the Gurbani, which reminds us:
- ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: There is only Naam in Nanak’s Home (inner Home, Heart) ||4||4|| (sggs 1136).
If Baabaa Nanak were to come into this world today, what would he say after seeing what goes on in Gurdwaras in his name and in the name of the Gurbani and religion; and how the present-day band of Pujaaree-Group in alliance with the Gurdwara committees knowingly mislead people into the way of Maya (ਗੋਲਕ, ਚੌਧਰ, Golak, power, privilege, name fame, Karamkaand or rituals, Bharam or doubt, turning the Gurbani and SGGS into idol worshiping instead of UNDERSTANDING it (and living it, ਅਮਲ)…!!