Crowds of people follow the path of Pakhand

A crowd does not think!

If one follows a crowd, one can get no further than that crowd. In other words, if one follows the narrative set by a crowd, one will not be an original success!

The Gurbani teaches us not to be lazy and follow crowds or accept narratives that are hurled at us repeatedly with brute force.

Nevertheless, the Gurbani says people do imitate and follow crowds — the path of Karamkaand (ritualism, formalities …), Pakhand, hypocrisy, pilgrimage, applause (praise, flattery…), desiring name and fame, self-glory (ਅਪਣੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਾਉਣੀ), pretension, corruption, falsehood, fraud, deception, ostentatious show of religiosity, Pujaaree System and the Pujaaree groups — Ragi, Bhai, Granthi, Giaanee, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, Jathedaar-Vaad, Takhat-Vaad, foolish and dishonest so called scholars, etc.

To summarize the above in simple Punjabi: ਤੀਰਥ ਵਰਤ ਆਦਿਕ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਪਖੰਡੀ ਸਾਧਾਂ/ਸੰਤਾ ਦੇ ਡੇਰਿਆਂ ਵਾਲਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਮਾਇਕੀ ਰਸਤਾ, ਝੂਠ ਜਾਂ ਦੁਰਮਤ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਠੱਗਾਂ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਅੰਧਵਿਛਵਾਸ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਦਿਖਾਵੇ ਜਾਂ ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਢੋਂਗ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਪਰਪੰਚ ਜਾਂ ਅਡੰਬਰ ਰਚਣ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਤੀਰਥਾਂ ਤੇ ਜਾਣਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਇਸਨਾਨ ਕਰਨੇ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ …

The Gurbani roars:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਹ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਗਏ ਪਾਛੈ ਪਰੀ ਬਹੀਰ ॥ ਇਕ ਅਵਘਟ ਘਾਟੀ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਤਿਹ ਚੜਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਕਬੀਰ ॥੧੬੫॥: O Kabeer! The crowds follow the path which the Pandits have taken (the path of falsehood, Pakhand, Karamkaand…). (But) There is a rugged or precipitous cliff on the way to ‘Raam‘ (Mool, Source, Truth…); Kabeer is climbing that cliff (alone!). ||165|| (sggs 1373).
  • ਵਰਤ ਨੇਮੁ ਸੁਚ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥: (Mind’s) doubt does not depart with pomp or ostentation (Pakhand) such as ritualistic fasts, vows, (outer) purity, restraint and worship ceremonies. (sggs 1423).
  • ਭਗਤੀ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਹੂਣਿਆ ਆਵਹਿ ਵੰਞਹਿ ਪੂਰ ॥੩॥: Devoid of Bhagti and Naam, crowds of people come (in this world) and go (empty). ||3|| (sggs 47).

Greedy, lazy, gullible, fear-stricken, and dull or ignorant people find the path of Pakhandvaad or Karamkaand (ਝੂਠ, ritualism…) easy (ਸੌਖਾ) and thus very attractive.

Consequently, the crowds of people follow this path without thinking, as sheep follow sheep.

However, the Gurbani’s edict is that this path of Karamkaand or formalities will never free anybody from Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), doubts (ਭਰਮ), Maya., wrong resolutions, stubborn-mindedness, ignorance, fraud, false ego-sense or Haumai, ‘Parpach’ (ਪਰਪੰਚ), blind faith (ਅੰਧ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ), and so on.

  • ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: The Manmukh does everything seeing (other people do, ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ, ਨਕਲ, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ…), but he (himself) has no understanding  (he does not understand the true way of living. (sggs 28).
  • ਜੇ ਜਾਣਸਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਫੋਕਟ ਨਿਸਚਉ ਕਰਮੰ ॥: If (you) know the Way of the Brahm, (then you would) definitely know that all rituals are of no value. (sggs 1353).

What the Gurbani is telling us we witness routinely taking place in our own cities, towns, communities, Gurdwaras, and so on!

  • ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: (Although one born from human category) belongs to the human specie, but his deeds are that of animals (However, he) day and night humbugs or show off to people (that he is a human, ਬੰਦਾ…)! Outside (on his body) is the religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya (However, the filth of the mind) cannot concealed by trying to conceal it with (outwardly wearing religious robes. (sggs 267).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Who have rosaries around their necks, and glittering jugs in their hands, (just because of such religious paraphernalia) they should not be called the Divine’s Sant — they are thugs of Banaras (i.e., religious conmen, robbers, cheats…). (sggs 476).

To the contrary, Bhagat Kabeer Ji says that the Way of the Sach (ਸਚ – Truth…) is difficult and treacherous.

In short, the path of the Wisdom, Virtues, Naam, etc., is like walking on the razor’s edge or chewing steel balls! So it does not attract people. Hence, the Gurbani tells us that only a rare one realizes Truth!

  • ਹਿਰਦੈ ਸਚੁ ਏਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਭੁ ਪਾਖੰਡੁ ਪੂਜ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥੬॥: Enshrine Truth (Naam, Shabad, divine Knowledge, Gurmat...) in your Heart; this is the most excellent action. All other hypocritical actions and worship bring only ruin. ||6|| (sggs 1343).

As a result, the true Bhagats or Gurmukhs are always alone (i.e., the crowds of people don’t follow them) — the Way of Truth, which is ‘sharper than a two-edged sword’!

  • ਭਗਤਾ ਕੀ ਚਾਲ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ॥ ਚਾਲਾ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ਭਗਤਾਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਬਿਖਮ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਚਲਣਾ ॥ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਤਜਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਬੋਲਣਾ ॥ ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ ॥: The lifestyle of Bhagat (Daas, Jan , Gurmukh…) is unique (extraordinary…). The lifestyle of Bhagat is unique, for they follow the most difficult Way of life. (That is, they reform themselves by) renouncing greed, avarice, pride, desire and excessive talkativeness. This Way of life they take is sharper than a two-edged sword, and finer than a hair (i.e., very difficult). (sggs 918).

The Gurbani further explains to us as to why the true Bhagats (Gurmukhs, Daas, Jan…) are always alone — why the crowds of people don’t follow them.

The nature of Sansaar or a Sansaaree (world or a worldly person…) is contrary to that of the Bhagti or the Bhagat. Accordingly, the Gurbani reminds us that there can never be a Jorr (ਜੋੜ: ਮੇਲ, ਪ੍ਰੀਤੀ, connection, link, bond, union, alliance, association…) between a Sansaaree (worldly person) and a Bhagat!

  • ਭਗਤਾ ਤੈ ਸੈਸਾਰੀਆ ਜੋੜੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥: There can never be any alliance (ਜੋੜ) between the devotees (ਭਗਤ, Gurmukh…) and the worldly people (ਦੁਨੀਆਦਾਰ). (sggs 145).
  • ਓਹ ਰਲਾਈ ਕਿਸੈ ਦੀ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਰਾਵੇ ਸਿਰਜਨਹਾਰੁ ॥: (The Gurmukh) who enjoys Rabb (Hukam, Truth…), his life becomes unique (i.e., he does not blend in with the crowd). (sggs 786).

This is why the Gurbni asserts that true Bhagats are very ‘rare’. Because, the challenges in this quest (the Way of Sach-ਸਚ, Truth…) are many and need courage to surmount them. It’s a uphill climb!

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥: A rare ‘Janu’ (Gurmukh, Bhagt, Daas…) obtains the ‘Gurmati Bhagti‘ (understanding of the Gur-Shabad, Naam, Hukam…) ||1|| (sggs 879).

Why Bhagats (Gurmukhs, Daas, Jan…) are ‘rare’?

They are ‘rare’ because, as the Gurbani asserts, everybody in the world knows ‘Phaasan Kee Bidhi’ — ‘ਫਾਸਨ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ’ = How to be trapped in Maya; how to be snared; how to be subjugated; how to get entangled; ਫਸਣ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ, ਫਸਣ ਦੇ ਕਰਮਕਾਂਡ…

However, very rare one knows the ‘Chhootan Kee’ Bidhi — ‘ਛੂਟਨ ਕੀ’ = how to be Living Liberated (JeevanMukat); how not to be deceived or cheated; how to transcend Maya; how to be emancipated, etc.

  • ਫਾਸਨ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਊ ਜਾਨੈ ਛੂਟਨ ਕੀ ਇਕੁ ਕੋਈ ॥: (Wherever you see) everyone knows the way to be trapped, but hardly anyone knows how to be Freed. (sggs 331).

Pakhandvaad (ਪਖੰਡਵਾਦ) or to follow crowds is ‘Phaasan Kee Bidhi’ (‘ਫਾਸਨ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ’), while the Gurmat is the ‘Chhootan Kee’ Bidhi (‘ਛੂਟਨ ਕੀ’). So, the Gurbani strongly urges all of us to give up Pakhandvaad (ਪਖੰਡਵਾਦ), because, Bhagati cannot be practiced through Pakhand:

  • ਛੋਡਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਰੇ ਪਾਖੰਡੀ ਮਨ ਕਪਟੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥: O hypocrite mind, renounce and abandon your hypocrisy; do not practice deception (fraud, duplicity, trickery…. (sggs 973).
  • ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Through hypocrisy, Bhagti cannot be done, and Paarbrahm is not Realized (sggs 849).

The Way of the SGGS is the Way of Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ) and understanding

Hence, it is the ‘Chhootan Bidhi’ or ‘Chhootan Kee’ Bidhi — a method of escaping Mayaic hidden fire of attachment or bondage, Bikaar, etc.!

  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨੀ ਹਾਂ ॥ ਜਪੀਐ ਸਹਜ ਧੁਨੀ ਹਾਂ ॥ ਸਾਧੂ ਰਸਨ ਭਨੀ ਹਾਂ ॥ ਛੂਟਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਸੁਨੀ ਹਾਂ ॥: (O my mind!) Rabb who is the possessor of all Virtues, should be understood immersed in Sahaj (-Avasthaa: Natural state of Being, spiritual poise or ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ…). Taking the shelter of the Guru (i.e., Giaan or Wisdom), repeat it (i.e., live the divine Virtues in daily life). Listen, this is the way to escape (Bikaar…). (sggs 409).

4 comments

  1. With increase in population the rate of growth of ignorance is exponential . This is perhaps a Natural Phenomena. The sacred teachings get corrupted in their true interpretations by self interested people
    and thr real essence gets lost.

  2. Dear Veer Darshan Singh Pritam Jio, thank you for taking the time to share your Vichaar.

    There are numbers of Karmkands are performed in Sikh Society, as Biparvadees are performing.
    Mostly all Karamkands are copied from neibour hood religion (SanattanDharam).

    When the Gurdwaras were under the control of highly unethical, immoral and greedy Udasi Mahants (Pujaaree or clergymen who were anti-Wisdom of the SGGS…), to attract crowds of people (for Golak-money!), they diluted the Gurmat (Teachings of the Gurbani), and made it a mixture of Brahmani Mati (Sanattan Mati…) and Gurmat.

    As a result, the available Teekaas of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are this mixture of Brahmani Mati (Sanattan Mati…) and Gurmat.

    Accordingly, this is what goes on today. Although the Gurdwaras are no more run by those Mahants, per se; but those who control them today (Bhais, Ragis, Parchaaraks, Dere-ਡੇਰੇ…) follow the same mentality that of those Udasi Mahants!!

    Greed, Maya’s hunger (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ), etc., has turned the Dharma into a mundane business (ਧਰਮ ਨੂੰ ਧੰਧਾ ਬਣਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ).

    The Truth of the Gurbani warns us about the greedy and Pakhandee Pujaaree system:

    • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਲੋਗਹ ਕਉ ਬਿਉਹਾਰ ॥ (sggs 343).
    • ਲੋਭੀ ਕਪਟੀ ਪਾਪੀ ਪਾਖੰਡੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਅਧਿਕ ਲਗੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 359).
    • ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥ (sggs 1371).
    • ਅਖੀ ਤ ਮੀਟਹਿ ਨਾਕ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਠਗਣ ਕਉ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 662).

  3. Veer jio,
    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh.
    Very truly stated the situation of today’s Sikh World living their lives under this elusion that by carrying out false rituals they get blessed.
    There are numbers of Karmkands are performed in Sikh Society, as Biparvadees are performing.
    Mostly all Karamkands are copied from neibour hood religion (SanattanDharam).
    Thanks Veer jio You are blessed, doing excellent SEWA for Sikh Sangat.

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