Literally, ‘DAAN‘ is giving or offering of material in the name of charity, spirituality, Punn, religious Karamkaand, alms, gift, ਖੈਰਾਤ (ਪੁੰਨ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ) etc. There are more than 140 verses that reject Teeraths (Yatra, pilgrimages) alone in the SGGS; and there are more than 40 verses that reject Daan (offerings); and there are more than 50 verses that reject ‘Punn‘.
- ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਦਾਤੀ ਕੀਤੈ ਪੁੰਨਿ ॥: (Rabb) is not softened or pleased by giving charity or alms (Daan-Punn, ਦਾਨ-ਪੁੱਨ …). (sggs 1237).
In short, Internalization of the Shabad or Gurmukh-hood (Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) is the State of Mind which is characterized by Wisdom, Enlightenment, brave, Good, Virtues, truthfulness, fearlessness, blissfulness (Anand), piety, Joyfulness, positivity, Happiness, balanced and poised life, Living Liberated, Mool-Abidance etc.
Since thinking and doing of such mind is all ‘GOOD’, NO question of ‘Paap’ arises!
The bitter truth is, those of us (including the paid clergy) who worry about ‘Paap Punn’ DO NOT want to become understand, accept, Realize or Internalize the Shabad (the mibd’s State of Gurmukh-Hood)!!!!!
- ਬੇਦ ਬਾਦ ਸਭਿ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣਹਿ ॥ ਨ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਭੀਜੈ ਨ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ॥ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਪਾਪੁ ਸਭੁ ਬੇਦਿ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜੈ ਹੇ ॥੧੫॥: (The Brahman) explains all the controversies in the Vedas but he has no inner Enlightenment or Understanding of Truth. He keeps talking what is Paap Punn (ritualistic vices or virtues) according to Vedas whereas the Amrit can ONLY be drunk by becoming a Gurmukh (Enlightened). ||15|| (sggs 1050).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਤਾ ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, when a human being practices good deeds, then does he come to understand (the nature of) this mind. (sggs 159).
in Sikhi (i.e., the Way of life based on the Wisdom of the SGGS…), Daan offered in the name of spirituality is rejected. Because, as a spiritual act, it is of little or no value. Baabaa Nanak asserts:
- ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਅਨੇਕ ਨਾਵਣ ਕਿਉ ਅੰਤਰ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵੈ ॥: (Without Naam) No person can wash the filth (of Bikaar) within by performing many ‘Punn Daan’ and pilgrimages. (sggs 243).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਜਨੁ ਚਜੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ॥: For a Gurmukh (an Enlightened mind), maintaining Virtuous conduct or way of life is like taking a (Teerath-) bath. (sggs 932).
The underlying reason for it’s rejection in Sikhi of the SGGS is that there is no spiritual advancement of the giver or the receiver of Daan as defined, practiced and mandated by the dictates of the Karamkaand (rituals, formalities) of the paid clergy.
- ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਅਰੁ ਦਾਨ ਕਰਿ ਮਨ ਮੈ ਧਰੈ ਗੁਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਹਫਲ ਜਾਤ ਤਿਹ ਜਿਉ ਕੁੰਚਰ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥੪੬॥: (A person’s useless rituals of) undertaking pilgrimages (Teerath Yaatraas), keeping fasts, and making offerings (DAAN), bind the mind in egotism (that I have become Mahatama, religious, and virtuous). Nanak, these actions (that person) are as useless as an elephant cleansing itself (and dirtying itself yet again)! (sggs 1428).
- ਸਤੀਆ ਮਨਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਉਪਜੈ ਦੇਣੈ ਕੈ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਦੇ ਦੇ ਮੰਗਹਿ ਸਹਸਾ ਗੂਣਾ ਸੋਭ ਕਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ : People who want to give (in charity, donation) pretend to be content. They (save money, food and so on) to give to religious causes etc. But they are beggars, not benefactors. Because they ask Rabb for a thousand times more than what they give. They do this show-off and wish the world to honor them. (sggs 466).
In fact, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that we humans do not own anything on our own accord!
So, how can we even think of giving (DAAN) something which we don’t even own in the first place?
- ਤੇਰੋ ਕੀਆ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਅਰਪਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਚਵਰ ਢੋਲਾਰੇ ॥੩॥: (All this Kudrat – System-Rule-Law of Nature is made by You-Rabb) What shall I place before You out of what You created? Your Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…) is the fan, which I wave over You (Meaning Karamkaand such as Aarti etc. is ostentation and false. Remembering Naam is the right way of life). ||3|| (sggs 694).
We often hear explanations such as, ‘Well, once I have given donation, I care less what the receiver does with it.’
This is a great FALLACY!
This fallacy is totally refuted by the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS. Such foolishness will come back to haunt the giver as well as rest of the society! We cannot escape the consequences of our stupidity.
That said, sharing comes with responsibility and accountability.
On the other hand, they tell people (i.e. greed-ਲਾਲਚ) if you generously give, then they would enjoy happiness (Sukh) in this life as well as in the next life here after!
This is all rejected in the Gurmat.
However – out of fear and greed – foolish people give the clergy gold, horses, elephants, food, clothes, land, etc. Not only that, people even give away their wives in Daan (donation) to the clergy to enjoy them! How stupid is that? The 5th Mahal and Bhagat Naam Dev Ji explain all this as follows,
- ਕਨਿਕ ਕਾਮਿਨੀ ਹੈਵਰ ਗੈਵਰ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਦਾਨੁ ਦਾਤਾਰਾ ॥ ਅੰਨ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਭੂਮਿ ਬਹੁ ਅਰਪੇ ਨਹ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਦੁਆਰਾ ॥੪॥: A person may give Daan (charity, gifts, donations…) of all sorts – gold, women, horses and elephants. One may make offerings of food, clothes and land in abundance, but this will not lead him to the Door of Hari (Mool, Pure Nature, Jot Saroop, Truth, Wisdom, Virtues, ਅਕਲ, ਦਿਮਾਗ, ਗਿਆਨ…). ||4||(sggs 642).
- ਅਸੁ ਦਾਨ ਗਜ ਦਾਨ ਸਿਹਜਾ ਨਾਰੀ ਭੂਮਿ ਦਾਨ ਐਸੋ ਦਾਨੁ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤਹਿ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਜਉ ਨਿਰਮਾਇਲੁ ਕੀਜੈ ਆਪ ਬਰਾਬਰਿ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਿ ਤਊ ਨ ਪੂਜੈ ॥੩॥: (O my hypocritical mind!) if horses are given away in Daan (charity, gifts, donations…), if elephants are given away in Daan, if women on their beds are given away in Daan, if land is given away in Daan; if such gifts are given over and over again; if own-self is offered in Daan, and give away in Daan his body weight in gold; none of these is equal to the Divine Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). ||3|| (sggs 973).
This is not the end. After receiving all these freebies from the foolish people — including their wives — the paid clergy or Pujaree would tell people to get their head sawn off in order to gain Mukti (liberation), stay in heaven etc.
The 5th Mahal explains this:
- ਮਨ ਕਾਮਨਾ ਤੀਰਥ ਜਾਇ ਬਸਿਓ ਸਿਰਿ ਕਰਵਤ ਧਰਾਏ ॥ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਜੇ ਲਖ ਜਤਨ ਕਰਾਏ ॥੩॥: With the mind’s desires, a person may go and dwell at sacred places of pilgrimage, and offer his head to be sawn off; but this will not cause the filth of his mind to depart, even though he may make Lakhs of efforts (1 Lakh = 100 thousands). ||3|| (sggs 642).
Even today, all this nonsense and Pakhand (ਪਖੰਡ, hypocrisy) still goes on, but in a slightly different form!
For example, instead of horses and elephants, foolish people donate expensive cars to Baabaas or Deraas. Also, instead of ‘giving away women on their beds (ਸਿਹਜਾ ਨਾਰੀ)’, people send their women (ਬਹੂ-ਬੇਟੀ) to Baabaas or Deraas in hope to conceive sons!
This is beyond stupidity! Apparently, these people are still living in a stone-age!
Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS does not promote or support double standard. Hence, whatever Karamkaand (rituals, formalities) is said to be bad for others In the Gurbani, is also bad for Sikhs!!
If any of us thinks otherwise, that person is a fake or Pakhandee Sikh (ਪਖੰਡੀ ਸਿੱਖ – pretentious spiritual learner or Sikh)!
The Gurbani tells us that the majority of us imitate what we see other people doing – ‘Dekhaa Dekhee‘ (‘ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ’, ‘Monkey see, monkey do’, etc).
- ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ ਸਭ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥: Manmukhs (Unenlightened persons) do everything seeing other people do to make a show (Pakhand, ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ, ਨਕਲ, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ…), but they themselves have no understanding of the true way of living. (sggs 28).
In spite of having this New Treasure of Wisdom (i.e. SGGS), Sikhs are still groping in ignorance, and are being taken for ride by the corrupt clergy.
- ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥: Kabeer, the mind knows everything and knowingly it commits demerits. What is the use of that lamp (Giaan-Wisdom) if we fall into the well (of ignorance, Maya, vices or Bikaar) even with that lamp in our hands? (sggs 1376).
On account of fear and greed, if one indiscriminately gives, then one has involuntarily become instrument, accessory or partner in whatever the receiver does with your donation.
One thing is certain – you can be sure it will certainly be utilized for wasteful and dysfunctional activities, luxury (ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ) or nefarious activities to spread trouble in the society and in the world.
Because wealth in the hands of a fool is worse than the poverty of a learned!
Because it injures both the giver and the receiver, and the society at large! This is why the Gurbani asserts that ‘Paap and Punn‘ are both the same.
It’s like casting gold before cattle, and casting pearls before cranes!
- ਚਉਣੇ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਚੁਣਿ ਚੁਣਿ ਖਾਵੈ ਘਾਸੁ ॥: Though gold may be placed before a herd of cattle, but they will pick out the grass to eat (i.e., cattle have no appreciation for gold)! (sggs 143).
- ਹੰਸਾ ਹੀਰਾ ਮੋਤੀ ਚੁਗਣਾ ਬਗੁ ਡਡਾ ਭਾਲਣ ਜਾਵੈ ॥: The swans peck at the diamonds and pearls, while the crane chases after frogs. (sggs 960).
Also, the majority of us give in charity in hope for sanctifying dishonest lifestyle, or wealth accumulated with corrupt means and misappropriation.
Then, in a futile bid to get the ill-gotten wealth sanctified or blessed, we give some of it to charity institutions, to build temples, to open hospitals, to serve Langar or free food distribution, and so on. Bigger the charity or donation, bigger the corruption behind it!
- ਸਤੀ ਪਾਪੁ ਕਰਿ ਸਤੁ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥: Those human beings who show themselves or claim to be virtuous and religious, but in reality they commit Bikaar, perversion etc. (although outwardly) they only show that they are practicing Truth (or Dharma etc.)! (sggs 951).
- ਪਿਆਰੇ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਮੈ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਮ ਅਨੇਕਾ ॥ ਹਾਰਿ ਪਰਿਓ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਦੀਜੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: My dear! I have performed many such rituals, but the Divine (Wisdom, Virtues…) is not realized by these methods (ਤਰੀਕੇ). (Forsaking the ritualistic practices or methods) I have dropped down weary at the Divine-door (Giaan-Guru, True Wisdom) and pray for the grant of Bibek-Budhi (discerning intellect…). ||Pause|| (sggs 641).
Not only that, on account of ignorance of the Gurmat, the majority of us make material offerings (Daan Punn) to our dead ancestors using the ill-gotten wealth (ਜੇ ਮੋਹਾਕਾ ਘਰੁ ਮੁਹੈ ਘਰੁ ਮੁਹਿ ਪਿਤਰੀ ਦੇਇ ॥… sggs 472)! The Gurbani rejects all this circus of our deluded mind.
Further, our false ego-sense (Haumai) expects something in return from Daan. Any expectations from Daan almost always disappoint. It is so because with every unfulfilled expectation comes the seed of disappointment.
- ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਜੇਤਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥: People take their cleansing baths, and give to charity again and again, but they are ultimately consumed by their love of duality (sggs 34).
Listen to any Ardaas (ਅਰਦਾਸ , prayer) in any Gurdwara around the world. The majority of Sikhs (perhaps over 99%) who have given something insist their names be announced in the Ardaas, or inscribed on walls of the Gurdwara, or honored and recognized with Siropa, or given some position in the Gurdwara, etc.
These are manifestations of the negative impact of the false ego-sense (Haumai), or the mind that has become rotten with the pride of worldly possessions.
Apparently, this is of no concern to the paid clergy. They care only for their earnings (Golak, ਧੰਧਾ) and have thus taken over the role of the Brahmin clergy that is critiqued by our Gurus and Bhagats in the Gurbani.
- ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪੂਰਨ ਦਾਨੁ ॥: The Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) is my perfect Daan (i.e., to understand and share Naam is the ‘Perfect’ charity or donation for me…). (sggs 1145).
- ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਤਜਿ ਮੋਹੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਸਗਲ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥੨॥੧॥੩੮॥: Removing (from within) attachment (i.e. Bikaar), doubt and all pride, Nanak asks for the Daan of Naam. ||2||1||38|| (sggs 1305).
- ਜੈਸੇ ਸਤ ਮੰਦਰ ਕੰਚਨ ਕੇ ਉਸਾਰ ਦੀਨੇ ਤੈਸਾ ਪੁੰਨ ਸਿਖ ਕਉ ਇਕ ਸਬਦ ਸਿਖਾਏ ਕਾ । : Just as a hundred temples are built with gold and then donated, so is the teaching of a Shabad to a GurSikh. (Bhai Gurdas Ji).
- ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥: One who eats by working diligently (with honesty…) and helps the needy in the right way out of this noble work; O Nanak! Only such people have come to know the right way of life. ||1|| (sggs 1245).
Furthermore, using Wisdom (Bibek, Akal-ਅਕਲ), it’s our responsibility to seek out those in real need. This will make one’s sharing truly meaningful.
- ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਵੇਚਹਿ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਖੇਤੀ ਜਿਨ ਕੀ ਉਜੜੈ ਖਲਵਾੜੇ ਕਿਆ ਥਾਉ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਰਮੈ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਅਗੈ ਲਹਹਿ ਨ ਦਾਦਿ ॥ ਅਕਲਿ ਏਹ ਨ ਆਖੀਐ ਅਕਲਿ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਬਾਦਿ ॥ ਅਕਲੀ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਅਕਲੀ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਕੈ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹੁ ਏਹੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥੧॥: Accursed is the life who (on account of their selfishness and greed) read and reflect on Naam to sell it in the form of Mantras or magic. They are like those whose crop is continuously destroyed, (as a result) they have nothing to thrash! Without proper self-effort (to know ownself etc.) their future life is wasted. Intellect is not which is wasted in futile arguments. Use intellect in the service of God; the right use of intellect brings respect. Learn by intelligent reading and use intelligence in practice of charity (to help the needy). Says Nanak, this is the right way of life while other things (failure to apply discerning intellect) lead to wickedness. ||1|| (sggs 1245).
Hence, the SGGS warns all Sikhs that a brain devoid of Wisdom leads to Satanic or devilish life.
In other words, if a Sikh does not use Wisdom (Bibek, Akal-ਅਕਲ) in sharing, then it will be meaningless, Pakhand and Kapat (fraud etc.).
- ਛੋਡਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਰੇ ਪਾਖੰਡੀ ਮਨ ਕਪਟੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥: Surrender the pretense; do not betray (fraud etc.) your Conscience. (sggs 973).
- ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: Through hypocrisy, Bhagti cannot be done, and Paarbrahm is not Realized (sggs 849).
In nutshell, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS asserts that humans (including Sikhs!) cannot be DAANEE (ਦਾਨੀ, giver of Daan).
- ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥: The spirituality of the Shabad Cleanses the mind of false-ego-sense (Isnaan-‘ਇਸਨਾਨੁ’); enabling an exemplary life of ‘Naam Daan‘ (i.e. exemplary life of divine Wisdom-Virtue-ਗੁ੍ਣ so that who come across you may emulate you). (sggs 942).
- ਮਾਘਿ ਮਜਨੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਧੂਆ ਧੂੜੀ ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ਸੁਣਿ ਸਭਨਾ ਨੋ ਕਰਿ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਕਰਮ ਮਲੁ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਜਾਇ ਗੁਮਾਨੁ ॥ : In Maagh (on the day of Maaghee, people consider ritual bathing at the so called Teerath places to be very meritorious, but you, O Sikh!) bathe in the Company of the Guru — bathe in the dust of Gur-Charan meaning Internalize Giaan-Wisdom-Virtues-ਗੁਣ or Message of the Shabad. Listen and contemplate the divine Naam (Wisdom-Virtue-ਗੁ੍ਣ); and live an exemplary life of Godly Virtues (so that whosoever come across you may emulate those you: Daan-‘ਦਾਨੁ’). (In this way) the impurity accumulated during ‘Janam Karma‘ (i.e. activities done through the process of spiritual Journey — e.g. the impurity such as ‘I know’, ‘I’m better than others’, ‘I’m spiritually elevated’, ‘I have Realized God’ etc.) are cleansed, and egotistical pride is removed from the mind. (sggs 135).
- ਨਾਮ ਦਾਨੁ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਦੀਓ ਮੈ ਏਹੋ ਆਧਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Perfect GURU has given me the DAAN of the Naam; I have made it (my life’s) support. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 401).
- ਤੂ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਦਾਤਾ ਦਾਨਿ ਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਹਮ ਥਾਰੇ ਭੇਖਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਮਾਗਉ ਕਿਛੁ ਥਿਰੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਈ ਹਰਿ ਦੀਜੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਬਨਵਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਮਹੀਅਲਿ ਗੁਪਤੋ ਵਰਤੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਦੇਖਿ ਨਿਹਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … : O God (present within)! You are the Great Giver and perfect in Wisdom, we are merely your beggars (who subsist on Your Great Giving). What else I can ask for? Nothing lasts forever. O God! Please Bless with Your Naam (Wisdom / Virtues). ||1|| God pervades Within each and everyone. In the water, on the land and in the sky (O God, You) pervades but hidden; You are revealed through the Enlightening Message of the Guru’s Shabad (i.e. O my mind, see THAT ONE Universal Energy through internalizing the spiritual Message of the Guru‘s Shabad). ||Pause|| … (sggs 597).