ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਮਜਨੁ ਹੋਵਤ ਸਾਧੂ ਧੂਰੇ ॥:
Hari Hari Naamu japat sukh sahaje majanu hovat saadhoo dhoore:
By Naam Jap (Understanding the Giaan or Wisdom of the Gurbani, one),
experiences Bliss and Sahaj (Natural State of Being, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ...)
and thus bathes in "Saadhoo Dhoorr" (the dust of the Sadhoo Feet). (sggs 825).

Each country has its own combined culture. Additionally, each man-made religion has its own culture as well, with many good qualities. Also, over the centuries, the professional priest-class of each religion has devised many complex adherents and rituals for their followers to follow. For example, in some eastern religions the tradition is to wash the feet of the so-called holy person upon his arrival. Also called "Pada Poojaa", this ceremonial worship of the bathing of the holy person's feet (or, in his absence, his sandals!) is generally performed with water, milk, honey, sandalwood paste and offering gifts of precious items including 108 gold coins. Furthermore, in hope to attain the fruit of bathing in all the sacred waters of all sacred rivers and of all pilgrimages, the practice include drinking the wash-water after ceremonial washing of the feet and sprinkling the remains on the head or bathing in it. Likewise, people touch the feet of holy persons and apply the dust of their feet to their own forehead and other parts of the body.

The Gurbani (SGGS) does not support or Teach all this.

The Gurbani's Teaching is non-dual (Advait) or monistic. It declares the Oneness of existence - the One Formless Reality that resides in everyone, in everything and everywhere and can be experienced within, if searched and understood through the Shabad-Vichaar. Whatever we see or experience, is only a manifestation of this One Eternal Factor. In other words, the Essence at the core of our very Being is the same Unconditioned Divinity that illumines all objects. Viewing so, there is no place where each one of us, infinite in nature, do not exist. Thus, the Gurbani's Guru, Sikh, Sant, Saadhoo, Satguru, Mool, etc., are not physical.

This brings us to the theme of this Gurbani Reflection: "Charan Dhoorr". Literally, "Charan" means feet and "Dhoorr" means dust. Other terms for Dhoorr in the Gurbani include Khaak, Ren, Raja, Kheh, Rawaalaa, Shaar, and so on. Since neither the Gurbani's Guru, nor the Sant, nor the Sadhoo, nor the Satguru, nor the Mool are physical, similarly, the Gurbani's "Charan" and "Dhoorr" are also not physical. They are Spiritual. However, in Spiritual inanity and religious mischievousness, some take only the literary meaning of the mystic terms such as "Charan Dhoorr", "Gur Dhoorr", "Sant Dhoorr", "Saadhoo Dhoorr", "Satgur Dhoorr", etc. Such interpretation and explanation may only appeal to generation that has been soaked with traditional belief in unmeaning rituals and their material rewards. But when viewed in the Divine Light of the Gurmat (Divine Teaching of the Gurbani, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), it proves too big a lump to swallow. Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਕੇਤੇ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਧੂੜ ॥: Na bheejai kete hovahi dhoorr: The Divine is not won over by becoming the dust of the masses (sggs 1237).
  • ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਭਸੁ ਰੰਗੁ ਭਸੂ ਹੂ ਭਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ ਭਸੋ ਭਸੁ ਕਮਾਵਣੀ ਭੀ ਭਸੁ ਭਰੀਐ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਜਾ ਜੀਉ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਕਢੀਐ ਭਸੂ ਭਰਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਅਗੈ ਲੇਖੈ ਮੰਗਿਐ ਹੋਰ ਦਸੂਣੀ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥: Mahalaa 1 || Nanak duneeaa bhasu rangu bhasoo hoo bhasu kheh. Bhaso bhasu kamaavanee bhee bhasu bhareeai deh. Jaa jeeo vichahu kadheeai bhasoo bhariaa jaai. Agai lekhai mangiai hor dasoonee paai ||2||: Mahalaa 1. O Nanak, worldly pleasures are nothing more than dust. They are the dust of the dust of ashes. By indulging in them, the mortal earns only the dust of the dust; and his body thus becomes more and more covered with dust. When the soul is taken out of the body, he leaves full of dust. And when one's account is called for in the world hereafter (Ultimate Law of Karma), he receives ten times more dust: repeated pain and delusion ||2||(sggs 1240).
  • ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੀਤ ॥ ਭੁਖੇ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਘਰੇ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥ ਮਖਟੂ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਕੰਨ ਪੜਾਏ ॥ ਫਕਰੁ ਕਰੇ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਗਵਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੀਰੁ ਸਦਾਏ ਮੰਗਣ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਲਗੀਐ ਪਾਇ ॥: Slok Ma: 1 || Giaan vihoonaa gaavai geet ...: Slok Ma: 1. The one who lacks spiritual wisdom sings religious songs (for the sake of earning bread). The hungry Mullah turns his home into a mosque (or he goes to mosque for the sake of bread!). The lazy bum has his ears pierced to look like a Yogi. Someone else becomes a panhandler, and thus loses his self-respect. Someone calls himself a guru or a spiritual teacher, while he goes around begging for bread - don't ever touch their feet (sggs 1245).

Therefore, mystical representations such as "Charan Dhoorr", "Charan Kamal", etc., should not be taken too literally. Because the Divine Poet in the Gurbani takes any convenient object of the world and describes it in such a poetic style so as to express some of the subtler philosophical truths and thereby convey some deeper Spiritual message. Meditation on the Divine or Divine Name, attainment of Divine Virtues or Divine Communion, Realization of the Unconditioned Divine Consciousness (Mool, God, Sant, Satguru, Saadh, etc.) or Divine Vision within are allegorically pictured here as clinging to the Divine Feet or "Charan", "Charan Dhoorr", "Gur Dhoorr", "Sant Dhoorr", "Saadhoo Dhoorr", "Satgur Dhoorr", "bathing in Charan Dhoorr", "washing the Charan", "drinking the wash-water", and so on.

Constantly remembering the Divine Name (constantly living in Gur-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, etc.) in our daily lives helps to prevent or overcome distracting thoughts, which may otherwise gain entry into our mind and cause restlessness. The Divine Name (Gur-Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, etc.) thus acts as an antidote to our psychological ego — all negative actions and negative emotions of the conditioned mind. Hence the glory of the Divine Name and the efficacy of chanting it for realizing the Unconditioned Divine Consciousness within is underscored in the Gurbani (SGGS) as well as other scriptures. Living in Name-consciousness (Shabad-Surti, Aatm-Giaan, etc.) is allegorically indicated by the poetic expressions such as "I have applied to my forehead the dust of God's Feet"; "Your slave does not forget You; the dust of Your feet is pleasing to his mind"; "my mind dwells in the Divine Feet within"; "I have applied the dust of the Guru's Feet to my face"; "Your servant begs for the dust of Your feet"; and so on.

  • ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਉਰ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਧਾਰਹੁ ॥: Charan kamal our antari dhaarahu: Enshrine (the Lord's) Lotus Feet within the Heart (sggs 1004).
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: Naamu japat Hari charan nivaasuBy Naam Jap (Understanding the Giaan or Wisdom of the Gurbani, one) dwells in the Divine Feet Within (ਮਨ ਦਾ ਟਿਕਾ). (sggs 1150).
  • ਚਰਣ ਧੂੜਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਤੇਰੇ ਦਰਸਨ ਕਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰਾ ॥: Chara dhoorr teree sevak maagai tere darasan kou balihaaraa: Your servant begs for the dust of Your feet. I am a sacrifice to Your Divine Vision (sggs 749).
  • ਮੇਰੈ ਮਾਥੈ ਲਾਗੀ ਲੇ ਧੂਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਚਰਨਨ ਕੀ ॥: Merai maathai laagee le dhoorri gobind charanan kee: I have applied to my forehead the dust of God's Feet (sggs 694).
  • ਜਾ ਕੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਵਸਿਆ ਤੂ ਕਰਤੇ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਤੈਂ ਆਸ ਪੁਜਾਈ ॥ ਦਾਸ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਕਉ ਤੂ ਵਿਸਰਹਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਚਰਣ ਧੂਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਈ ॥: Jaa kai hiradai vasiaa too karate taa kee tain aas pujaaee. Daas apune ko too visarahi naahee charan dhoorr mani bhaaee: O Creator Lord, You fulfill the desires of those, within whose heart You abide (i.e., whosoever has realized you within). Your slave does not forget You; the dust of Your Feet, "Charan Dhoorr", is pleasing to his mind (sggs 610).
  • ਚਰਣ ਰੇਣੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਗੀ ॥ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗੀ ॥2॥ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਲਗੋ ਮਨਿ ਮੀਠਾ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਮੋਹਿ ਡੀਠਾ ॥: Churun ren gur kee mukhi laagee. Ahambudhi tini sagal tiaagee ||2||. Gur kaa sabad lago mani meethaa. Paarabrahm taa te mohi deethaa: I have applied "Gur-Rena", the dust of God's Feet, to my face, which has removed all my arrogant intellect. ||2|| The Word of the Gur-Shabad (Naam) has become sweet to my mind, and I behold the Supreme God within (sggs 187).
  • ਤੀਰਥ ਵਰਤ ਲਖ ਸੰਜਮਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਾਧੂ ਧੂਰਿ ॥: Teerath varat lakh sanjamaa paaeeai saadhoo dhoor: The merits of pilgrimages, fasts and hundreds of thousands of techniques of austere self-discipline are found in "Saadhoo Dhoorr" (sggs 48).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਉ ॥ ਕਾਢਿ ਕੁਠਾਰੁ ਪਿਤ ਬਾਤ ਹੰਤਾ ਅਉਖਧੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥: Hari ke charan kamal mani dhiaaou. Kaadhi kuthaaru pit baat hantaa ayukhadu Hari ko naaou: Meditate on the Lord's Lotus Feet within your mind. His Name is the medicine; which axe out the disease of anger and egotism (sggs 714).
  • ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜੀਵਾ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਹਾਲਾ ॥ ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਤੇਰੇ ਧੋਇ ਧੋਇ ਪੀਵਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲਾ ॥: Simari simari simari Naamu jeevaa tanu manu hoi nihaalaa. Charan kamal tere dhoi dhoi peevaa mere stagur deen dayaalaa: By constant Naam Simran, I live; my mind and body are enraptured. I wash Your Lotus Feet, and drink in this water, O my Satgur, O Merciful to the meek (sggs 749).

Therefore, expressions such as "washing the Feet of the Holy" and "bathing in the dust of the Holy or Guru's Feet" is none other than scrubbing the mind's "filth" or egoism with the Ambrosial Water of the Naam and living in the unbroken Divine Communion within - Name-consciousness, Shabad-Surti, Gur Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, etc. Similarly, "drinking in the dust of the Holy or wash-water" simply means to constantly meditate or drink in the Ambrosial Water of the Divine Name (Gur Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, etc.) within, for it gives one Immortality through self-purification and thereby linking him with his True Being or Mool (Joti-Svaroopa) within. Living in Name-consciousness (Gur Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, etc.) is allegorically indicated in the Gurbani by the expressions such as "Chanting the Divine Name, I have found peace and poise, and thus I bathe in the dust of the Holy Feet"; "I take my daily bath in the dust of the Guru's Feet", "Bathe in the dust of the Divine Feet"; "Taking a bath in the dust of the Holy Feet is true Dharma"; "Wash the feet of the Holy, and drink in this water"; and so on.

  • ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਉ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਦੇਖਿ ਜੀਵਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਣ ਧੋਇ ਧੋਇ ਪੀਵਾ ॥੧॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਰੇਣੁ ਨਿਤ ਮਜਨੁ ਕਰਉ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਜਨਮ ਕੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਲੁ ਹਰਉ ॥੨॥: Tis gur kayu simarau saasi saasi. Gur mere praan satgur meree raasi. ||1||Rahaaou|| Gur kaa darsan dekhi dekhi jeevaa. Gur ke charan dhoi dhoi peevaa. ||1|| Gur kee renu nit majan karo. Janam janam kee houmai malu haro ||2||: I remember the Guru (God) with each and every breath. The Guru (God) is my breath of life, the True Guru is my wealth. ||1||Pause|| Beholding the Divine Vision of the Guru (God-realization), I live. This is my washing the Guru's Feet, and drink in this wash-water ||1||. I take my daily bath in "Gur-Rena", the dust of the Guru's Feet; the egotistical filth of countless incarnations is washed off ||2|| (sggs 239).
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਮਜਨੁ ਹੋਵਤ ਸਾਧੂ ਧੂਰੇ ॥: Hari Hari Naamu japat sukh sahaje majanu hovat saadhoo dhoore: By Naam Jap (Understanding the Giaan or Wisdom of the Gurbani, one), experiences Bliss and Sahaj (Natural State of Being, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ...) and thus bathes in "Saadhoo Dhoorr" (the dust of the Sadhoo Feet). (sggs 825).
  • ਇਛ ਪੁੰਨੀ ਜਨ ਕੇਰੀਆ ਲੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਧੂਰਾ ॥: Ishh punnee jan kereeaa le satgur dhooraa: The desire of His humble servant has been fulfilled. I have received "Satgur Dhoorr" (Mool-realization), the dust of the Feet of the True Guru (sggs 168).
  • ਹਰਿ ਧੂੜੀ ਨਾਈਐ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਬਾਹੁੜਿ ਜੋਨਿ ਨ ਆਈਐ ॥: Hari dhoorree naaeeai prabhoo dhiaaeeai baahurri joni na aaeeai: Bathing in "Hari Dhoorr", the dust of the God's Feet and thus meditating on Him, I will not have to enter into birth-death cycle (sggs 780).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਧੂੜਿ ਕਰਉ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥: Gur kee dhoorr karo isanaan: Take cleansing bath in "Gur-Dhoorr", the dust of the Guru's Feet (sggs 1270).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਧੂਰਿ ਕਰਉ ਨਿਤ ਮਜਨੁ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਮੈਲੁ ਉਤਾਰਿਆ ॥: Gur kee dhoor karo nit majan kilavikh mailu outaariaa: I bathe continually in "Gur-Dhoorr", the dust of the Guru-Feet, washing off my dirty sins (sggs 1218).
  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨਿ ਧੂਰਿ ਸੰਤ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਮਾਈ ॥: Kahu Nanak jin dhoorr sant paaee. Taa kai nikat na aavai maaee: Says Nanak, Maya does not draw near those who have obtained "Sant Dhoorr", the dust of the Feet of the Saint (sggs 182).
  • ਸੰਤ ਰੇਨੁ ਕਰਉ ਮਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਵੈ ਸੁਖ ਅਨੇਕ ॥: Sant rena karo majan Nanak paavai sukh anek: Bathing in "Sant Rena", the dust of the feet of the Saint or God, Nanak is blessed with countless comforts (sggs 1341).
  • ਜਬ ਲਗਿ ਸਾਸੁ ਹੋਇ ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਧੂਰਿ ਪਿਵੀਜੈ ॥: Jabb lagi saas hoi mann antari saadhoo dhoori piveejai: As long as there is breath, drink in "Saadhoo Dhoorr" within the mind (sggs 1326).

Spiritual path requires constant diligence and self-effort (Shabad-Vichaar...) to progress. Shabad-Vichaar makes one relieved of the influence of Maya and the resurgence of baneful thoughts.

Eradication of Maya's influence eradicates false ego. Which, in turn, makes room for Divine Virtue of humility to sprout within; an essential qualifications of a godly or a transcendentally situated person.

  • ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾਂ ਕੀ ਹਰਿ ਧੂੜਿ ਦੇਹਿ ਹਮ ਪਾਪੀ ਭੀ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਂਹਿ ॥: Gursikhaan kee hari dhoorri dehi hamm paapee bhee gati paanhi: O Lord, please bless me with the dust of the feet of the Gur-Sikhs (Satsag). I am a sinner - please save me (sggs 1424).
  • ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਾਧ ਧੂਰਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਪਰੀ ॥: Satsangat saadh dhoori mukhi paree: In the Satsangat, the dust of the feet of the holy fall on my face (this is hearing of the Divine Name) (sggs 1134).
  • ਧਧਾ ਧੂਰਿ ਪੁਨੀਤ ਤੇਰੇ ਜਨੂਆ ॥: Dadhaa dhoori puneet tere janooaa: Company of your humble servants is pure (sggs 251).
  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਧੂੜਿ ਤਿਨ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਮਿਤ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥: Janu Nanak maagai dhoorri tin jo gurasikh mit piaare: Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet (company) of those Gur-Sikhs who love the Lord, their Friend (sggs 307).

— T. Singh