Cultivating Knowledge

Sikhi is not a part-time job or part-time lifestyle.

Instead, Sikhi is living 24/7 the Gurmukh-Lifestyle — a Lifestyle guided by the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani.

Fittingly, the Gurbani’s edict is that Sikhi is in unbrokenly learning the Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad through the Shabad-Vichaar, and then living that Wisdom in daily life (Gurmukh Lifestyle.

Hence, there is huge emphasis on Vichaar in the SGGS (ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ sggs 465).

As follows, the Gurbani in the SGGS reveals to its Sikhs (students, learners) the nature of the Guru’s Service (‘Gur Ki Sevaa‘). 

  • ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੭॥ : Undertaking the deed of controlling my false ego-sense (Haumai) and Enlightening myself with the spiritual Message within the Shabad (Shabad Vichaar) is service (Sevaa) of the Guru (ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ – Gur Ki Sevaa). ॥7॥. (sggs 223)..
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਿ ॥੭॥: Through the Shabad Vichaar, Union (with the Mool) is Realized; there is no doubt in it (sggs 413).

Shabad-Vichaar is must to cultivate the Divine Knowledge, for the Gurmat (teaching or Wisdom of the SGGS) is the Way of understanding . It is meant to be understood and applied. The Gurbani Guides:

  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਪੂਛਿ ਜਨਾਂ ॥: Gain Spiritual Wisdom by consulting Jan (Bhagats, Daas, Gurmukhs…). (sggs 1180).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੀ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥: (One who) becomes the Gurmukh (Follower of Truth…), understands everything through Wisdom. The ignorant ones act blindly (sggs 1047).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਮਿਰਤਕੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: (Those beings) who have not served the ‘Satiguru‘ (through the Shabad-Vichaar), no Wisdom has Awakened within them, (they may appear as alive but they) are as dead in the world (spiritually dead-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). (sggs 88).

Clearly, Spiritual quest significantly rests on Vichaar Gur-Shabad, which goes beyond dogma, empty rituals, traditions and religions. Vichaar is not just collecting information. Neither it is reading and memorizing scriptures nor philosophies, etc. It is Spiritual surgery. It is real learning that has to change us, transform us, and make us Grow within.

An important component of Vichaar is the freedom to question (spiritual inquiry), which helps remove doubts and confusions of the mind.

Unfortunately, in Gurdawara, question and answer format is totally missing. As a result, we do not get to Realize the full Spiritual Benefit (“Laahaa”) of the Gurbani. As there is no mechanism or system in place whereby members of the congregation (Sangat) are afforded and encouraged to ask questions to those (professional preachers, Raagees, Bhais etc.), conducting sermons in Gurdawaras, all over the world

Unfortunately, many Gurdawaras appear to be pullulated with foolish and selfish preachers (Parchaaraks), Kirtan singers (Raagees, Bhais, etc. Asking them questions or conducting spiritual inquiry with them would be like a blind leading an another blind. They are in for money, not for spirituality or Wisdom. In fact, many of them are criminals, disguised in this profession – hiding from law, immigration authority, etc.!

Not only that, members of the Gurdawara committees, in general, are not any better either! Their main interest seems to be how to keep perpetual control over Golak (money)!

As clouds hide the light of the sun reaching people, similarly, these people are like clouds around the SGGS blocking the Light of the spiritual Knowledge of the Gur-Shabad reaching people. Thus, together, these people have erected walls around the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

Sadly, this is taking place despite the fact that learning Sikhi starts asking questions — the Gurbani questions Brahmins, Pandits, Mullah, Kazi, Yogis, Pujaaree group, scholars, Sant, Saadhoo, Kings and their officials, invaders, religious leaders … you name it!!! The SGGS questions their conduct, their corrupt ways, their defective knowledge, their misleading teaching, their Mayaic lifestyle…

Hence, nobody is there in the Gurdawaras with whom to conduct spiritual inquiry as recommended by the Gurbani (ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਪੂਛਿ ਜਨਾਂ ॥)!

  • ਏ ਮਨ ਮਿਰਤ ਸੁਭ ਚਿੰਤੰ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਮਣੰ ॥ ਮਤਿ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੰ ਕਲਿਆਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੰ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਮਨਿ ਰਮਣੰ ॥੨॥: O mind, even death wishes you well ( becomes blissful, pleasant experience, etc.), when you remember the Divine through the Gur-Shabad. (Those who) remember the Divine Naam in the their mind, their intellect receives the (spiritual) Treasure – the knowledge of Reality and Supreme Bliss. ||2|| (sggs 505).

These people (preachers, Raagees, Bhais, Pujaare Group, Deraavaad Baabaas, etc.) are akin to corrupt Pandits and Brahmins described in the SGGS. If not, then why their hearts are still not pierced through by the arrow of the Gur-Shabad (spiritual Knowledge of the Gurbani)? If the heart is not yet not pierced through by the arrow of the Gur-Shabad, then obviously there is something wrong! Bhagat Kabeer Sahib roars:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੂਰਮੇ ਬਾਹਿਆ ਬਾਨੁ ਜੁ ਏਕੁ ॥ ਲਾਗਤ ਹੀ ਭੁਇ ਗਿਰਿ ਪਰਿਆ ਪਰਾ ਕਰੇਜੇ ਛੇਕੁ ॥੧੯੪॥: Kabeer, the Satigur, the Spiritual Warrior, has shot me with one one Arrow (of spiritual Knowledge of his Shabad, Giaan…). As soon as it struck (me, I) fell to the ground (i.e., became egoless), with a hole in the Heart (i.e., my Heart became well mixed or weaved with the Gur-Giaan, spiritual Knowledge…). ||194|| (1374).

Since the Sikhi begins with sincere spiritual inquiry, there is tremendous emphasis on search (Khoj) and Shabad-Vichaar in the SGGS ( reflecting on the Gur-Shabad or churning the Gurbani).

So, if we truly want to respect the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), then, as the SGGS urges us, we must search/churn Giaan (Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) in the Gurbani through the Shabad-Vichaar and become the Gurmukh (the follower of Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, Truth …), and live accordingly. The one who truly respects the SGGS becomes the Gurmukh (Brahm-Giaanee…) and his mind and life get transformed (ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦਵੀ). He gets absorbed into the Gurmat (“ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ”, ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ, the Gurbani’s Teaching, Virtues, Wisdom, Giaan…).

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਿ ॥੭॥: Through the Shabad Vichaar, Union (with the Mool) is Realized; there is no doubt in it (sggs 413).

This is the purport (ਮੁੱਦਾ…) of the Gurbani, which has nothing to do with grip or possession (ਕਬਜਾ) of Golak (money) in its name; or corruption on its name; or alliances and counter-alliances (of Manmukhataa, ਧੜੇਬੰਦੀ…) in its name; or fight (ਲੜਾਈ-ਝਗੜੇ, tussle, contention, murder, etc.) and lawsuits in the Gurdwaras in its name…!

Without Shabad-Vichaar, mere seeing (Darshan-ਦਰਸਨ) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) will not and cannot liberate anybody from Maya, doubts, duality, Haumai (false ego-sense), worldly bondage, mind’s delusions, Bikaars, and so on.

Baabaa Nanak says that people without the Divine Knowledge are plundered.

The Gurbani indicates that although the material of this world is for man’s livelihood, however, in reality, it’s but trouble! Because, abandoning the Spiritual Wisdom, we fall in love with the mirage-like enchanting world, and misappropriate everything — use it unwisely! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ).

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮੁਸੈ ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣੀ ਖਾਇ ਗਇਆ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Without the Wisdom, one is plundered and devoured by ‘Jamkaalu’ (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride and their numerous variations). ||1|| (sggs 465).

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