The Gurbani is NOT meant to regurgitate nonsense Karamkaand (rituals, formalities, etc.) that already existed before the Gurus and Bhagats. Hence, they never sanctioned any tradition like Sant-Hood, neither any initiation to be a Sant. They knew such practices would confuse the masses, and defeat the revolutionary SOCH or Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak.
The negative impact of egotism (Haumai) or pride develops in some people to an extent that (1) they are foolish enough to equate themselves to Rabb; (2) sometimes declare themselves to be the Rabb; (3) sometimes pretend to have miraculous powers (Karaamaat) within them, and so on.
The brainwashed and blockheaded followers blindly follow their Saadh or Sant. Foolishly or blindly call them to be the ‘Roop’ (ਰੂਪ) of Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Nanak, etc.! Many boast their Saadh or sant to be born as Nirankar or god! The list of such fraud and foolishness goes on and on!
But they are always reluctant to answer any convincing and logical argument of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.
In fact, the status of these ‘Baanaarasi Kae Thugg’ (‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’) Sants, Saadh or Baabaas remains because there is fear and greed in the minds of gullible and ignorant followers. In addition, they are made fearful of Paap and Punn; fearful of death; fearful of reincarnation, etc., which have been rejected in the Gurbani (Gur Shabad)!
Furthermore, fearful and greedy people who seek refuge at these Deraas do not speak against this fraud!
A class of Sants slides into Sikhi about beginning of the 19th century. As a matter of fact — throughout the period of the Gurus (1469 – 1708) — no Sikh was ever called a Sant or referred to with the title of ‘Sant’.
In fact, many of the original heads of Deraas in Punjab were veterans of the British army in India!
Apparently, they were supported by the British Raj for the main purpose of (1) distorting, tainting and corrupting the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak, and (2) to divide Sikhs to weaken them for easy control of the VAST Punjab province, which (during the British Raj, NOT now) stretched from Himachal Pradesh in the east to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the west!
In the singular sense, Gurbani uses the word ‘Sant’ or ‘Saadh’ to refer to Rabb and the Guru. In the plural sense, it refers to ordinary Sikhs who are learners of Truth. Gurbani further refers to a ‘group or class’ of people who call themselves ‘Sants‘ as conmen (fraudulent and of bad intent). The Gurbani calls them ‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’ (Benares Kay Thugg) meaning ‘fraudulent or conmen posing as Sants or spiritual persons.’
However, invariably, when people — specially of Indian origin — see somebody claiming to be a holy man, with peculiar religious paraphernalia, they fall on his feet. He may be a first-class thief under his outer covering, but nonetheless he is revered!
On account of our lack of understanding of the Gurmat, and our fear and greed, we readily accept anyone who says ‘I am god‘, ‘I have seen god’, ‘I will show you god’, ‘I can give you son – ਦੁਧ ਪੁਤ’, ‘I can improve your business’, ‘I can fulfill all your desires’, ‘I can help you win lawsuit’, ‘I can make you wealthy’, and so on.
These days, if someone just wants to live a luxurious life (ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ) as a freeloader (ਵੇਹਲੜ) in the society, he becomes a Sant!
There are various reason people chose this lifestyle — lazy-bums, fugitives, hooligan lifestyle, illiteracy, lack of skill and education, hiding from the law, vote-banks for corrupt leaders and politicians, etc. In fact, many disguised in the dress of Sant (ਭੇਖ, ਬਾਣਾ) are hardcore criminals running from the law!
A well paying business indeed, wherein there need not be any investment and therefore, it is a safe activity of ‘all gains and no loss’! Also, there is no need to toil!
Consider the following verses of Bhatt Bhikhaa Ji (whose Bani is included in the SGGS). He mentions spending one year (‘ਬਰਸੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਉ ਫਿਰਿਓ’) searching for a true Sant, but could not find one. He saw many ‘Saadh’ and Pandits. But he found them to be sweet talkers on the outside, but full of Maya‘s corruption on the inside (i.e., fraud…). Finally, he gave up his search and came to the Guru Sahib.
- ਰਹਿਓ ਸੰਤ ਹਉ ਟੋਲਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਹੁਤੇਰੇ ਡਿਠੇ ॥ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਤਪਸੀਅਹ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਏ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮਿਠੇ ॥ ਬਰਸੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਉ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਕਿਨੈ ਨਹੁ ਪਰਚਉ ਲਾਯਉ ॥ ਕਹਤਿਅਹ ਕਹਤੀ ਸੁਣੀ ਰਹਤ ਕੋ ਖੁਸੀ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੇ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਗੁਣ ਹਉ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਉ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਦਯਿ ਮਿਲਾਯਉ ਭਿਖਿਆ ਜਿਵ ਤੂ ਰਖਹਿ ਤਿਵ ਰਹਉ ॥੨॥੨੦॥: I have been searching for Sants; I have seen so many ‘Sadh’. (Also seen) Sannyaasees, penitents and sweet-tongued Pandits. Although I wandered around for a year, but no one could satisfy me (solace, ਤਸੱਲੀ…). I have heard people say and preach, but seeing their way of life (Rahat), I am not at all pleased. What can I say about the qualities of those people who are engaged in other than Naam, (i.e., love of Maya)? (sggs 1395).
Bhagat Kabeer Jee also makes similar observation. He says they to whom I go to release myself, I find them bound by all sorts of chains themselves (false ego-sense or Haumai, Bikaar, craftiness etc.)!!
- ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਨੇ ਅੰਧਾ ॥ ਜਾ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਉ ਆਪੁ ਛੁਟਕਾਵਨਿ ਤੇ ਬਾਧੇ ਬਹੁ ਫੰਧਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Without Hari (Mool, Source), the spiritually blind ones are gone astray in doubt. And those, to whom I go to find release – they themselves are bound by all sorts of chains. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 334).
To Maintain their luxurious life (ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ) as a freeloader (ਵੇਹਲੜ), these Deraa-Vaad Sants or Baabaas have distorted the uniqueness of the Gurbani and its distinct goals, and thus reduced the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak to a mere mundane business (‘ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ’ ਧੰਧਾ; ‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’ )!
The Gurbani repudiates their conduct or life-style (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ ਦੇ ਖਿਲਾਫ ਬੋਲਦੀ ਹੈ)!
Deraa-Vaad is neither supported nor encouraged in the Gurbani.
- 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).
The Gurbani (Gur Shabad) tells us that the worldly Deraas are not the real Deraas for they are fleeting, perishable, etc.
The Gurbani also tells us that the value of the real Deraa — which is beyond these perishable worldly Deraa — is known only to those who become the Gurmukh through churning the Gurbani via Shabad-Vichaar:
- ਡਡਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਹ ਡੇਰਾ ਤਹ ਜਾਨੁ ॥ ਉਆ ਡੇਰਾ ਕਾ ਸੰਜਮੋ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਨੁ ॥ ਇਆ ਡੇਰਾ ਕਉ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਘਾਲੈ ॥ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਤਸੂ ਨਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਚਾਲੈ ॥ ਉਆ ਡੇਰਾ ਕੀ ਸੋ ਮਿਤਿ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਪੂਰਨ ਭਗਵਾਨੈ ॥ ਡੇਰਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਨਹ ਡੋਲਾਇਆ ॥੨੯॥: Daddaa (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet): This worldly Deraa (ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਡੇਰਾ) is not your (True Deraa); (therefore) know that Deraa (which is True-ਸਚਾ ਡੇਰਾ). Through the Shabad of the Guru, understand the technique of getting established in that Deraa (which is true). Man works hard for the sake of this worldly Deraa. But (upon death) not even a particle of this (worldly Deraa) goes with him. Only he knows the worth of that Deraa who (develop) Perfect Perspective (ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਕੋਣ, ਨਜਰੀਆ, point of view…). (That) Permanent Deraa is obtained connecting with the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom. O Nanak! Those Jan (Daas, Bhagat, Gurmukh, etc., who obtain that true Deraa, their minds) do not wander (after these perishable worldly Deraa). ||29|| (sggs 256).
However, contrary to what the Gurbani says, these so called Sants or Saadh are so attached to the worldly Deraas (ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਡੇਰਾ) furnished with expensive cars, luxurious lifestyle, etc.? Some are even contemplating having their private jets and landing strips in their Deraas (probably some already have them)!
Clearly, to support their luxurious lifestyle (ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ) of ‘freeloaders’ (ਵੇਹਲੜ ਲੋਕਾ ਦੇ ਅੱਡੇ, ਡੇਰੇ) in the society, they care less what the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS says.
They care less for they are anti-Sikhi, or anti-Gurmat, or anti-Soch of Baabaa Nanak.
If they did care, then they would be living according to the Giaan (Wisdom, Upadesh…) of the SGGS.
Clearly, these ‘freeloaders’ (ਵੇਹਲੜ ) live a life of ‘Dhroh‘ (‘ਧ੍ਰੋਹ’=> deceit, to live freely off others and, in return, mislead them, etc.).
- ਝੂਠ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਹਾ ਲੋਭ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ॥: (The fool lives a life of) falsehood, Bikaar, immense greed and ‘Dhroh’. (sggs 267-268).
Instead of searching the Truth ourselves, we accept ‘Thuggs’ who come along claiming to be holy, etc.
Such ‘Thuggs’ and swindlers are pullulating nowadays every where in the world. If one is not alert, he can be easily distracted, cheated, trapped and snared into their net of Bharam-Jaal or Maya-Jaal (traps of illusion, delusion…).
Hence, since they are anti-Sikhi, Baabaa Nanak asks everybody to be on the alert — he disapproves their lifestyle saying ‘ਤਾ ਕੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਲਗੀਐ ਪਾਇ – don’t ever touch their feet’ (i.e., don’t follow their example in life, or don’t follow their lifestyle).
- 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 ॥ ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥: The one who lacks wisdom sings religious songs (for the sake of earning bread). The hungry Mullah turns his home into a mosque (or he also 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, while he goes around begging for bread – don’t ever touch their feet (i.e., don’t follow their example in life, or don’t follow their lifestyle). Do (the honest) work, and then help the needy. O Nanak! Such people know the true Way of life. ||1|| (sggs 1245).
Note the last two verses (‘ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥’).
The Gurbani’s Teaching is that one should work with his hands (Kirat Kamaaee – ਕਿਰਤ ਕਮਾਈ) while keeping the consciousness united with the Gur-Shabad within, which, again, these fraud Sants do not practice — they don’t work for what they eat.
In short, if a so called Sant does not righteously work with his hands to earn his living, then he is not even a Sikh (learner of the Gurbani-ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਤੋਂ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਲੈਣ ਵਾਲਾ) let alone a Sant!
- ਹਾਥ ਪਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਚੀਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੨੧੩॥: Do all the work using your hands and feet, and connect your mind with the ‘Niranjan‘ (Maya-free Rabb). ||213|| (sggs 1376).
The following verses of the Gurbani perfectly fit fraud Deraa-Vaad Sants:
- 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).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਸਿਖ ਸਾਖਾ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਕੀਏ ਕੇਸੋ ਕੀਓ ਨ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਚਾਲੇ ਥੇ ਹਰਿ ਮਿਲਨ ਕਉ ਬੀਚੈ ਅਟਕਿਓ ਚੀਤੁ ॥੯੬॥: O Kabeer! (Those who) have made many students and disciples (ਚੇਲੇ-ਚਾਟੜੇ), but have not made the Mool (their) Friend; (although) they set out to meet Hari (Mool, within), but (their) consciousness failed (them) half-way. ||96|| (sggs 1369).
- ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਨਿਤ ਪਰ ਦਰਬੁ ਹਿਰਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਚੁਰਾਇਆ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਤ ਕਰਹੁ ਰਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇਆ ॥: Those human beings who ever get up and steal the wealth of others; their (own wealth of) Divine Naam gets stolen. O Divine! Let me not even associate with them; save me from them. (sggs 1244).
From such clear defiance of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, it becomes very clear that those who are ‘Thugg‘ or dishonest Deraa-Vaad Sants, Saadh or Baabaa:
- Being anti-Gurmat of Baabaa Nanak, they distort the Gurmat’s Newness, Uniqueness and its equally distinct goals.
- Since they cannot see beyond Maya, they mislead people and put them on the path of Maya – [ਰਖਵਾਰੇ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਨਾਸ ॥ (sggs 871)].
- If they themselves are so spiritually sick, then how in the world they are going to cure others or their followers! In other words, how they can detoxicate others from the addiction to which they themselves are addicted! [ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਸੋਭਾ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰੇ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਆਵਤ ਪਹੀਆ ਖੂਧੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ (sggs 872)].
- Apparently, they don’t understand or don’t believe what the Gurbani says! They only believe and do whatever their selfish Mayaic minds tell them to do. That will put them in the category of Manmukhs, Saakats, Mayadhaaree and Asants or Asaadh, etc.
- If they don’t follow the Gurmat Wisdom or Truth of the SGGS, then they are nothing but religious conmen ‘Baanaarasi Kae Thugg’ (‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’) swindling people in the name of the Gurbani, Dharma, and Sikhi.
- Whatever they do is to trap people as ‘Pakhiaaree-ਪਖਿਆਰੀ’: ਕਰਿ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ ਬਹੈ ਪਖਿਆਰੀ ॥ (sggs 871).
- Hence, they only know ‘Phaasan Kee Bidhi‘ (‘ਫਾਸਨ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ’ = way to snare or trap people, ਫਸਣ ਅਤੇ ਫਸਾਣ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ…). They do not know ‘Chhootan Kee’ Bidhi (‘ਛੂਟਨ ਕੀ’ = way of liberation, ਮੁਕਤੀ ਦਾ ਰਸਤਾ…).
- Thus, instead of abiding in Mool or Jot Saroop within as taught by the Gurmat Wisdom, the conmen (Sants, Saadh, Baabaa, etc.) are linking themselves and others with Maya [ਹਉ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਾਂਠੇ ਜਾਇ ਪਹੂਚਾ ॥੨॥ (sggs 659)].
- Along with their corrupt lackeys (pupils, followers, leaders and corrupt politicians buddies…), they have mislead people away from the real Skhi of Baabaa Nanak (‘ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ’) and put them on the path of Karamkaand, rituals, formalities, dogmas, Bhekh (ਭੇਖ-garbs), Jaat-Paat, worldly entanglements (‘ਆਲ ਜਾਲ’, ਪੁੱਠੀ ਮੱਤ), etc., from which the Gurbani frees us (ਮੋ ਕਉ ਕਹਾ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਵਸਿ ਆਲ ਜਾਲ ॥: sggs 1194)!
- Since they themselves are disconnected from the Gur-Shabad, then how are they going to link others with it? They cannot. Instead, they are hooking people to worship them; ruining (spiritually) themselves and others in the process [ਲੋਗੁ ਗੰਠਿ ਗੰਠਿ ਖਰਾ ਬਿਗੂਚਾ ॥ (sggs 659) ; ਆਪੋ ਆਪੈ ਪੂਜਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ (sggs 951)].
These ‘Thugg’ Sants, Saadh or Baabaas takes pleasures in having their illiterates disciples (ਚੇਲੇ ਚਾਟੜੇ) and unsuspecting followers touch their feet. If you question theme, they always quote the following verse (‘ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੜਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਿਵਿ ਨਿਵਿ ਲਾਗਉ ਪਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥’) and misinterpret it to justify as if the Guru has ordered every Sikh to humbly bow and fall at the feet of these ‘Thugg’.
However, (1) if you ask them then why don’t they touch feet of other Sikhs they see, or (2) if you remind them that the Gurbani also tells people not to touch your feet, then they will get very angry and their followers may even kill you!
But that’s not really the true message of this verse or the Gurbani as a whole:
- ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਗੁਣਵੰਤੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੜਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਿਵਿ ਨਿਵਿ ਲਾਗਉ ਪਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥: Composition of the fifth Guru in Raag Soohee titled (Gunvantee-ਗੁਣਵੰਤੀ) virtuous soul-bride. If I see a GurSikh who lives by the Guru’s Giaan or Wisdom, bowing down, I shall pay obeisance to him/her and follow his/her example (or follow his/her lifestyle). (sggs 763).
With that said, in short, these Deraa-Vaad Sants, Baabaas or Saadh are the real JAMM-DOOT (‘ਜਮ ਕੇ ਦੂਤ’)!
However, these truths of the Gurbani should be known only to those who read the SGGS themselves and thus have some understanding of the Gurbani. Otherwise, only Manmat (ਮਨਮਤ-mind’s will or dictates) are considered as Gurmat by everyone!