The Gurus and Bhagats were not only God-Connected Within, they were also excellent communicators, poets, writers, and presenters. They effectively used idioms / metaphors to explain very complex spiritual Messages. Hence, impregnated with spiritual Wisdom or suggestions, numerous idioms can be found in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).
Since the entirety of the Gurbani is for the Mind (SGGS), idioms / metaphors etc. express the subtlety of the spiritual experiences of the Gurus and Bhagats, draw the reader’s attention, awaken senses, amplify the Message, capture subtle nuances of spirituality, they create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a new way, improve understanding, and so on.
So that we may realize Enlightening Message embedded in the Gur-Shabad, meaningful idioms are used in SGGS. But, if we stick to the literal meanings of them, then we certainly will miss out the gist or deeper meaning (ਭਾਵ ਅਰਥ).
Something similar is being done with terms such as ‘Gur Charan Kamal’, ‘Gur Charan Dhoorh’ or ‘Gur Moorat’ by the opponents of the Sikhi or Gurmat of Baabaa Nanak — self serving Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc., who have created tremendous confusion about the term ‘Sant‘ and ‘Saadh‘ (and many more terms for that matter).
For maintaining their own freeloading and lavish lifestyle, the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy) prefers literal meaning of these terms. Because, this is the only way they make ignorant people wash their physical feet and make them drink that filthy water for they know ignorant people have no appreciation of the spiritual Message of the Shabad. For example consider the following verse routinely quoted by the self-serving ‘Saadh‘ exploiting people:
- ਚਰਨ ਸਾਧ ਕੇ ਧੋਇ ਧੋਇ ਪੀਉ ॥ ਅਰਪਿ ਸਾਧ ਕਉ ਅਪਨਾ ਜੀਉ ॥ : Internalize the Giaan-Wisdom of the Guru (i.e. Shabad). Surrender your own mind (i.e. your own un-Gurmat thinking) to the Giaan-Wisdom of the Guru (i.e. Shabad). (sggs 283).
In the above verse, the term ‘Saadh‘ has nothing to do with the Deraa-Vaad ‘Saadh’ or ‘Sant’. To the contrary:
‘Saadh-ਸਾਧ’ = the Guru = Shabad.
Hence ‘Charan‘ = Upadesh, Giaan-Wisdom of the Guru = Shabad.
- ਮਹਿਮਾ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗ ਕੀ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਮੈਲੁ ਖੋਈ ਕੋਟਿ ਅਘ ਹਰੇ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਭਏ ਚੀਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O my friend, listen (carefully) to the virtue of being in the Company of the Guru (Saadhoo = Guru = Shabad). (Whosoever internalizes the the Enlightening Message of the Guru’s Shabad) the filth (of Bikaar) is removed from his mind, his countless wrong-doings are dispelled, and his mind becomes purified of evil tendencies. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 809).
Thus, in order to understand the spiritual meaning of ‘Gur Charan Kamal‘, ‘Gur Charan Dhoorh‘ or ‘Gur Moorat‘, first we need to understand who the ‘Saadh’, Guru or ‘Sant’ is in Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak.
- ਸਾਗਰੁ ਤਰਿਆ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗੇ ॥ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੇ ॥੩॥ : In the company of the Guru (Saadhoo = Guru = Shabad; with the blessing of internalization of the Guru’s Shabad) one goes across the dreadful ocean of worldly temptations (Bhav Saagar). Internalize the Naam of the fearless God with love. ||3|| (sggs 684).
- ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾ ਘਰ ਸਾਧ ਨ ਸੇਵੀਅਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਤੇ ਘਰ ਮਰਹਟ ਸਾਰਖੇ ਭੂਤ ਬਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥੧੯੨॥: O Kabeer! Hearts, in which the ‘Saadh’ (Gur-Shabad – Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) is not served; those Hearts are like the cremation ground and demons dwell within them. (sggs 1374).
- ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is ‘Bibek(u)’ (Wisdom, Discerning Intelligence…). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
- ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
We further learn from Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS that this Giaan-Guru, Shabad-Guru, or Satguru (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) resides in the mind of Sikhs:
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: When the Satiguru (Sach Daa Giaan, Knowledge of Truth, etc.) abides within the mind, then the ‘Sahib’ or Mool is (also) seen at the same place (that is, within…) (sggs 1087).
Appropriately, Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS reminds us NOT to serve any embodied beings, for they are born and then die!
- ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੋ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੋ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Serve That (ONE) forever who is contained in all. Why serve another who is born, and then dies? (sggs 509).
Hence, Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS wants us to remember that the Satguru cannot be a body-frame, an object, or a scripture because the body, objects, letters (ਅੱਖਰ) and the paper scriptures are written on are all perishable (ਨਾਸਵੰਤ). The SGGS time and again provides us with very logical explanations.
Gur Charan Kamal
‘Charan-ਚਰਨ‘ is a Sanskrit word, which literally means feet, and ‘Kamal-ਕਮਲ‘ means lotus. Hence ‘Charan Kamal‘ (‘ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ’) literally means Lotus Feet. ‘Charan‘ also indicates Wise (ਗਿਆਨਵਾਨ) conduct, temperament etc.
- ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਹਰਿ ਚਰਣ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: Realizing Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) God’s Feet (Giaan-Wisdom…) dwells within. (sggs 1150).
In the Eastern spiritual traditions, the Inner Awareness, the Inner Heart/mind (Spiritual Heart or Center, Jot Saroop…) etc. is depicted as the Lotus Flower (Kamal). To put it otherwise, the terminology such as Heart-Lotus or Lotus Feet is none other than the One Light that pervades within everyone (Universal Energy or Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…). We are That Light, which is the Substratum of all beings.
- ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰਿ ॥: Enshrine Rabb’s Lotus Feet within your Heart (sggs 190).
- ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਗੁਰ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਸਾਇਆ ॥੧॥: The Lotus Feet of the Gur (Giaan, Wisdom…) are enshrined within the Heart ||1|| (sggs 202).>
- ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਭਗਤਾਂ ਮਨਿ ਵੁਠੇ ॥: Lotus Feet dwell in the minds of Bhagat (sggs 109).
In essence, the Lotus Feet, Naam, Shabad, Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan…) are synonymous. Also, Realization of ‘Lotus Feet’ is essentially the same as Awakening or Realization of the Satgur within (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…).
- ਗਹੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਸਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਕਮਲ ਚਰਨ ਅਵਰ ਆਸ ਕਛੁ ਪਟਲੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥: In your Heart, hold fast to the Sanctuary of the Lotus Feet of God; do not place your hopes in any other support (sggs 678).
In the Wisdom-Light of the Gurbani, after knowing what the true Charan-Kamal or Lotus Feet are, now let’s try to learn why there is so much emphasis in the Gurbani on realizing/internalizing them.
Thus, the Gurmat Bhagti is losing one’s mind (self-will…) in the Hukam or Lotus Feet or Pure Consciousness (i.e., Jot Saroop) within by BECOMING the Gurbani. Immortality (Amrit) and everlasting Bliss are the fruits of such Bhagti.
- ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਮਨੁ ਬੇਧਿਓ ਬੂਝਨੁ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੰਜੋਗ ॥੨॥: (One who is absorbed in Rabb’s Love, his) mind remains pierced with the lotus feet (Giaan Wisdom…), and his mental power of understanding also remains absorbed. ||2|| (sggs 1363).
However, the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy) enjoys having their physical feet touched, massaged and washed by their equally or more ignorant followers or admirers. In the selfish desire of attaining material or heavenly pleasures, many drink the wash water of their filthy feet, full of harmful bacteria and diseases. Also, many apply the dust of their feet to their own forehead. This goofy shenanigans of the Pujaaree-Vaad and their foolish followers is refuted (ਖੰਡਨ) in the SGGS.
When the Gurbani asks us to attach to the Gur-Charan, it’s simply asking us to attach to the Divine Wisdom of Gur-Shabad and live daily life accordingly.
- ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਧਿਆਇ ॥: Keep the Gur-Charan (Gur-Giaan…) in your mind. (sggs 51).
Thus, taking the ‘Charan Kamal’ as physiological feet is a sheer ignorance; thus a show of Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree mentality.
Literally, ‘Dhoorh’ (ਧੂੜ, ਧੂੜਿ, ਧੂਰ, ਧੂਰਿ, ਧੂਲ, ਧੂਲਿ) means dust. Hence, literally, ‘Charn Dhoorh‘ means the dust of feet. It also indicates humility.
We all know by now that the Gurbani is a ‘Brahm Vichhar‘.
As discussed above, the ‘Gur ke charan‘ (Guru’s feet) in the true Sikhi of Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS are not biological or physiological ‘Charan’ or feet.
Similarly, neither the dust is literal dust.
We are given the Gurbani by the Guru Sahib (also called Sadh, Sant…). Since they are no more, so now for us the Giaan-Wisdom of their Shabad is their feet as well as dust of their feet.
Gur Ke Charan (ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ) = Saadh Ke Charan (ਸਾਧ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ) => Feet of the Gur-Shabad, Feet of the Gurbani (Shabad), Feet of Wisdom, Virtues (ਗੁਣ), Naam, Upadesh, Sikhiaa…
Accordingly, the Gurbani wants us to bring the dust-storm (‘ਆਂਧੀ’ – Aaandhee ) of Giaan-Wisdom within!
- ਦੇਖੌ ਭਾਈ ਗ੍ਹਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ ॥ ਸਭੈ ਉਡਾਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਟਾਟੀ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਾਂਧੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਦੁਚਿਤੇ ਕੀ ਦੁਇ ਥੂਨਿ ਗਿਰਾਨੀ ਮੋਹ ਬਲੇਡਾ ਟੂਟਾ ॥ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਛਾਨਿ ਪਰੀ ਧਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਫੂਟਾ ॥੧॥: O brother, the storm of Spiritual Wisdom or Enlightenment has struck my mind. (This storm of Wisdom) has blown away my mind’s Bharam (doubts, confusion, superstition etc.) and bonds of Maya like the thatched walls of my hut. ||1||pause|| The pillar of my double-mindedness and the beam of my emotional bonds of the hut has come crashing down. The thatched roof of worldly desires (supported on the beam of attachment) has fallen to the ground and the pitcher of evil intellect has broken. ||1|| (sggs 331).
Hence, here ‘Dhoorh‘ or dust (ਧੂੜ) is also of the Feet of the Gur-Shabad or the Shabad-Guru, Feet of Wisdom or Virtues (ਗੁਣ) etc.
- ਹਰਿ ਧੂੜਿ ਦੇਵਹੁ ਮੈ ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਹਮ ਪਾਪੀ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਕਰਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: O Hari (Mool, Source, Jot Saroop…)! Please bless me with the dust of the feet of the Perfect Guru (i.e., Wisdom, Bibek, Sikhiaa, Naam…), so that I, a sinner, may be liberated (from Bikaar). (sggs 772).
Washing of Guru’s Feet and drinking in it
The ‘washing’ of the ‘Charan Kamal‘ (lotus feet) is nothing but to live in unbroken communion of this Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS.
And, ‘drinking the wash water’ of the feet is to constantly drink in this Nectar of Wisdom (Giaan-Amrit).
Having said all this, now consider the following verse of the Gurbani:
- ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਣ ਧੋਇ ਧੋਇ ਪੀਵਾ ॥੧॥: Gur Ke Charan Dhoi Dhoi Peevaa (sggs 239).
Here washing the Gur-feet is to wash away the negative impact of Maya from the Virtues (ਗੁਣ) with the Wisdom or Bibek of the Gurbani (ਭਾਵ, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਗੁਣਾਂ ਨੂ ਧੋ ਧੋ ਕਰ ਪੀਉ – ਤਤ ਰਸ ਪੀਉ).
Since, ‘Gur Ke Charan‘ or ‘Charan Saadh kay‘ is none other than the Giaan-Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad (SGGS), ‘Dhoi Dhoi‘ literally means washing over and over again. Now, how can one go about washing ‘Gur Ke Charan‘ over and over again?
This is where the ‘churning‘ of the Gurbani comes in handy.
Here we are urged to churn the Gurbani (Shabad-Vichaar) over and over again, UNTILL ALL THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF MAYA IS WASHED AWAY OR REMOVED FROM GIAAN, leaving behind the Pure Essence of the Divine Wisdom (ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ)! Then, the Gurbani asks us to drink it in (‘Peevaa’) – meaning, continually remember it and live it in daily life (ਸਮਝ ਕੇ ਮੰਨਣਾਂ ਤੇ ਲਗਾਤਾਰ ਉਸਤੇ ਚਲਣਾਂ).
This is like chewing the steel balls! Since it’s not easy, the majority of us instead get attracted to Karamkaand (useless rituals propagated by religious conmen). Such as washing dirty feet of thugs (‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ‘) and drink it; massage the feet of these swindler…
To justify their freeloading and lavish lifestyle and anti-SGGS conduct (ਗਲਤ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ), self-serving Pujaaree (clergy) will quote verses from the SGGS and misinterpret to mislead people by saying that the Guru Sahib also used to drink the wash-water of feet of the Sangat who came to see them.
Just ask these thugs (‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’) if they do the same themselves? That is, do they also wash the dirty feet of the Sangat and drink that filthy water themselves? They themselves drink filtered or bottle water!
They will literally try to kill you for questioning their blatant lies and anti-Gurmat conduct.
Literally, ‘Moorat‘ means portrait, picture etc.
However, as discussed above, the Gurbani’s ‘Gur Moorati‘ is not a physiological object. It is Spiritual, thus Subtle and Transcendental or Formless. Therefore, it’s realized only upon being thoroughly Awakened to the Giaan-Wisdom within (i.e., by becoming the Gurbani or Gurmukh).
Unfortunately, under the spell of Maya (ignorance…), this term ‘Gur-Moorati‘ is also taken literally.
The consequences of such faulty understanding are serious and far reaching. As a result, for example, many are turning toward ‘idol’ and ‘personality’ worshipping (Butt-Prastee and Aadam-Prastee).
For example, the so called portraits of Gurus based on sheer imagination of some greedy and nefarious artists are widely displayed in homes, Gurdawaras, and media (Sikhi related Internet sites, news papers, books, magazines etc.); and worshipped like idols.
Consequently, many so called Deh-Dhaaree (embodied) Gurus/Saadh/Sant etc. have come into being.
Because of the anti-Gurmat Pujaaree in Sikhi, many Sikhs are joining the camps of various sects run by these embodied gurus. As a result, idol-like adoration of Moorats (portraits or pictures) is on the rampant. The outcome of all this mental circus (false ego-sense or foolishness) is chaos, confusion, mental concoctions, spiritual hypocrisy (or Pakhand), mendacity, corruption, cheating, and so on.
Here is what the SGGS says about ‘Gur Moorati’:
- ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨ ॥: Take the Mantar (Updesh, Advice, Message, Guide etc.) that’s within the Guru’s Shabad, accept it in the inner recesses of your mind. (This way) the Moorat or form of the Guru (i.e. Shabad Guru, which is Formless, Timeless, and Spaceless) will come to reside within your mind. (sggs 864).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਬਚਨਿ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਰਸਨਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਜਪਉ ਬਨਵਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਸਫਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਦਰਸਨ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਮਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਅਧਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Within my Heart, I focus on the Gur-Bachan (Upadesh, Sikhiaa, Wisdom…). Beyond (sense-) pleasures, understand the Naam. ||1|| The ‘Moorati’ (Naam, Giaan, Wisdom…) is fruitful and I am a sacrifice unto the Guru’s Vision (i.e., Giaan, Wisdom….). Lotus Feet (of Naam, Giaan, Wisdom…) are the Support of the mind and the very breath of life ||1||Pause|| (sggs 740).
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਕਉ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਉ ॥: I am a sacrifice to the ‘Moorati’ of the Satgur (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom). (sggs 1202).
Bhai Gurdas Ji also tells us:
- ਗੁਰਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਰਗਟੀ ਆਇਆ।: ‘GurMoorati‘ is ‘Shabad‘ of the Guru which Awakens only in the association with Wisdom (which purifies the mind). (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar24-25).