WHAT'S BAD INSIDE THE GURDAWAARAA IS ALSO BAD OUTSIDE

ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਹਾਟੈ ॥ (sggs 286).
ਕਾਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਤ ਕਾ ਢਬੁ ॥
ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥੧॥ (sggs 662).
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It is not uncommon to observe whenever there is a scene of rage or brawl (physical or verbal) inside the Gurdawaaraa building, the secretary or the Pardhaan grabs the microphone and makes an appeal, which may go something like this: "Please do not argue or fight here inside the Gurdawaaraa. If you want to continue arguing and fighting, please go outside and fight."

But in truth, whatever is bad inside the Gurdawaaraa building must also be bad outside (i.e., parking lot, home, family, society, country, and so on)! In other words, whatever is bad inside the Gurdawaaraa building must also be bad in one's life. Whatever is considered good, appropriate or auspicious inside the Gurdawaaraa building must also be good, appropriate or auspicious at other places as well, including one's house. Then why is it that we want to behave in certain ways only inside the Gurdawaaraa building but not everywhere else or all the time?

  • ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ਦਿਵਾਨੇ ਦੀਨੁ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਓ ਰੇ ॥ ਪੇਟੁ ਭਰਿਓ ਪਸੂਆ ਜਿਉ ਸੋਇਓ ਮਨੁਖੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਾਰਿਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O madman! You have forgotten your Dharma; you have forgotten your Dharma. Like animals, you fill your belly and sleep; you have wasted and lost this human life. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1105).

Gurdawaaraa is a school — school of Gurmat (Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) — NOT a mere building, or a place of idol worship. We come to Gurdawaaraa to learn Truth (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ) so that we can live a Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle) everywhere; so that we can remember and live by Dharma.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੀ ॥: Gurmukh houmai agan nivaaree: By becoming the Gurmukh, put out the fire of egotism (sggs 943).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਚਾਰਿ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (by obtaining the righteous, higher…) conduct through the Shabad, attain (Mool, Realization ..). (sggs 941).

What's Dharma? The word Dharma comes from the Sanskrit root “Dhri”, which means “to hold”. Therefore, Dharma refers to that innate characteristic or Eternal Nature which constantly exists with a particular object — the Eternal function or True Nature of all beings.

For example, heat is the natural Dharma of fire, liquidity is the natural Dharma of water, light is the natural Dharma of sun, to produce plants is the natural Dharma of a seed, energy is the natural Dharma of electricity, and so on. Hence, the word Dharma referrers to and expresses the vital or Essential Nature of men, animals, all other creatures, metals, and so on. Dharma, therefore, is a comprehensive term that refers to the immutable Law of Nature (Hukam…).

Hence, for a heat or water or wind to become “Without Dharma” is to forget or give up their Inherited Qualities (ਗੁਣ-Virtues), or duty.

Similarly, at the human level, similarly, for a person to become “Without Dharma” (become A-Dharnee, ਅਧਰਮੀ, abandon Dharma) is to forget or give up one’s Inherited Qualities (ਗੁਣ-Virtues, Wisdo,. Jot Saroop...), duty or responsibility (ਫਰਜ, ਜਿੰਮੇਵਾਰੀ).

  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਸਗਲ ਆਚਾਰ ॥: Naam (Wisdom, Virtues...) is my good conduct. (sggs 1145).
  • ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥: Of all Dharma, the best Dharma is “Naam(u) Japi” (understand the Gurbani and obtain Giaan or Wisdom, Virtue…) and do Pure Karma (ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਆਚਰਣ, conduct…). (sggs 266).

Since the Divine (Universal Energy, Hukam or Rabb…)is One ("Ik"), Dharma is also One.Rest are just “Matt-ਮਤ”, “Majhab-ਮਜ਼ਹਬ”, or man-made religions (institutionalized or organised religions).

Simply put: We come to Gurdawwaraa to learn, remember, Awaken, etc. this One Dharma, which, according to Gurbani, we have forgotten! After remebering this One Dharma, the next step is to live in daily life everywhere, regardless whether in Gurdawaraa or outside!

The Gurbani teaches us to removing negativity and defilement from the mind; and filling it with Virtues and Wisdom. Pure heart or mind is essential to link with one's True Nature (Jot Saroop). This ascent in spiritual progress is described in the Gurbani in five Khands (Realms or Stages) — Dharma Khand, Giaan Khand, Saram Khand, Karma Khand and Sach Khand.

The Gurbani teaches us to constantly observe essentials such as Truth (ਸਤ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), no nonsense talking, no arguments or scuffles, no slandering, conducting nicely and selflessly, keeping serving attitude, and so on.

  • ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਚਜੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਦੁਖੁ ॥੩॥ : Meeting the Gur (-Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues...), learn discretion and good conduct and sorrow wii never befall (on you). ||3|| (sggs 50).

Similar restraints are also expected to curb other Bikaars (lust, anger, greed, corruption, negativity, faults of Haume or ego, etc.) of the mind. We try to adhere to these principles inside the Gurdawaaraa. But, as soon as the majority of us walk out of the Gurdawaaraa building (sometime even inside the Gurdawaaraa), normally it's the opposite that takes place — nonessentials become limitless. The Gurbani tells that, not a few, but all Bikaars of the mind must be replaced with good thoughts, Virtues, or Wisdom, etc.

  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਹਾਟੈ ॥: Gur kaa sikhu bikaar te haatai: The Sikh of the Guru recoils (withdraws, ਹਟ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ...) from Bikaars (sggs 286).
  • ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਵੀਚਾਰਹਿ ਇਹੁ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਾ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥: The conduct of the Manmukh (self-willed…) is that (he) does not think of the Divine Naam (Hukam, Gur-Giaan…), and does not ponder on the Shabad (Gur-Shabad Vichaar..). (sggs 508).

As a matter of fact, whatever is good inside the Gurdawaaraa is also good outside. It's a wrong signal to send to the people that the do's and don'ts of the ideals and Principles of the Gurmat applies inside a Gurdawaaraa but not the outside life. Appropriate lifestyle inside the Gurdawaaraa and the same outside cannot be separated. They are meant to be intertwined. Spiritual and material life must be in harmony. To live such a life is like standing in the fire without getting burnt (Gurmukh lifestyle)! It's difficult without true discrimination (Viveka) and detachment.

Any unnecessary action, regardless of time and place, is falsehood or unrighteousness (Adharma). Also, any required action not performed properly, regardless of time and place, is falsehood or unrighteousness (Adharma) as well.

The Gurbani tells us that the Divine (Rabb, Universal Energy...) is everywhere and in every being. Therefore, all our thoughts, actions and words (Mann, Karma and Bachan) must be in full Awareness of this One Divine Principle. Practice of good actions, good conduct and good qualities everywhere and in all circumstances is also a part of Bhagti. The Gurbani repeatedly urges us to surrender. What dose this surrender consist of? It includes surrendering of the mind (Antahakaran.

  • ਨਹ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਧਰਮੰ ਬਿਲੰਬ ਪਾਪੰ ॥: Nah bilamb dharamam bilamb paapam: Do not delay in practicing Dharma; delay in committing sins (sggs 1354).
  • ਮਨੁ ਬੇਚੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਪਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇ ਕਾਰਜ ਰਾਸਿ ॥: Mann baechai satgur kai paas. Tis sevak ke kaaraj raas: (One who) sell his mind (ਭਾਵ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਲੇ ਕਰ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ-surrenders his ego-sense, Haumai, self-will or ਮਨ ਮਤ, etc.) to the Satigur (ਜਿਸ ਦੇ ਪਾਸ ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਹੈ: knower of Truth...), that humble servant's work (the purpose of life, etc.) becomes fitting or complete (he becomes Gurmukh, Jeevamukat, Enlightened, Realized...). (sggs 286).

The Gurdawaaraas (or other such places for that matter) are meant to enhance spiritual thoughts. They are meant to remove our bad vibrations, selfishness, and our slavery to bad habits. They remind us of One Divine Principles. Simply put, these places symbolizes an Ideal — the Guru's Gate or the Doorway to Wisdom, Virtues, etc. Therefore, when we enter these places, sacred or true ideals should well up in our minds, and when we leave these places the same thoughts should stay with us, regardless of where we are.

Do we use these places for their intended use? So the problem is not with Gurdawaaraa, etc., but with us because the majority of us are crooked like the "dog's tail". The Gurbani teaches us not to become an unnecessarily burden to the society by harboring negativity, defilements, selfishness, and our slavery to bad habits. The Gurbani says that by constantly imbibing in good thoughts and remembrance of God, we can progress spiritually.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਆਚਾਰੁ ਨ ਕਿਨ ਹੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Without the (Wisdom of the Gur-) Shabad, no one achieves a lifestyle of good conduct. (sggs 1285).
  • ਸਚੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ਧੰਨੁ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰੁ ॥: Such saalaahee dhann gurduaar: Blessed is the Guru's Door, from where the Truth is praised (ਪਰਮਾਤਮ ਦੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ) (sggs 153).
  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਭੇਦੀਐ ਕਿਉ ਸੋਹੈ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿ ॥: Jaab lag Sabad n bhedeeai kiou sohai Gurduaar: Until (one's mind) is pierced through with the Shabad, (until then one does not) look Beautiful at the Guru's Door (Inner Beauty: state Bliss or Anand, realization of Jot Saroop...). (sggs 19).
  • ਭਾਂਡਾ ਹਛਾ ਸੋਇ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵਸੀ ॥ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਅਤਿ ਮਲੀਣੁ ਧੋਤਾ ਹਛਾ ਨ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਹੋਇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥ ਏਤੁ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਧੋਇ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥: Bhaandaa hashhaa soi jo tis bhaavasee. Bhaandaa ati maleen dhotaa hashaa ....: That Bhaandaa (ਭਾਂਡਾ: ਅੰਤਹਕਰਣ, mind-intellect, heart, etc.) alone is Good (Pure, ਪਵਿੱਤ੍ਰ, ਨਿਰਮਲ, ਸਾਫ...) which is pleasing to Him. Very filthy Bhaandaa (that has become filthy with Bikaars: lust, anger, greed, etc.) does not become Good, simply by being washed (e.g., bating at the so called sacred ponds, etc.). Through the Guroo's Door (Guroo's Teaching or Upadesh, Shabad-Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, etc.), one obtains Understanding. By being washed through this Door, (the Bhaandaa) becomes Pure (sggs 730).
  • ਲੋਭਾਦਿ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੰ ਜਦਿਬਿਧਿ ਆਚਰਣੰ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਸਕਲ ਦੁਹਕ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੁਰਮਤੀ ਭਜੁ ਚਕ੍ਰਧਰ ਸਰਣੰ ॥੩॥: Forsake greed, and do not look upon other’s home (ਪਰਾਏ ਘਰ ਵਲ ਦੇਖਣਾਂ…), and give up conduct that is “Jadibidhi” (against the established norms of moral, ethics …). Renounce all evil deeds and evil inclinations, and hurry to the Lord’s Sanctuary ||3|| (sggs 526).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org