Yes, the Gurbani boldly rejects the priest-class (Pujaaree-Group, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ).
The entire Gurbani speaks against the crafty priestcraft of the Pujaaree-Group (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣੇ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ ਦੇ ਖਿਲਾਫ ਬੋਲਦੀ ਹੈ). Why?
Selfishness is said to be the root of evil in the world. It’s rooted in the doubt-ridden condition or mistaken ideas of oneself. It begets corruption, falsehood, crookedness, fraud, and so on.
The Gurbani edict is: The selfish priest-class (Pujaaree-Group, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ) is greedy and crafty by nature.
- ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ ਛੁਰੀ ਵਗਾਇਨਿ ਤਿਨ ਗਲਿ ਤਾਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਭਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਓਈ ਸਾਦ ॥: The tyrants who take away the rights of humanity (i.e., tyrants who take what rightfully belongs to another; corrupt, bribe takers etc.), pretending to be religious, pray (five) times. The Khatris (and Brahmins), who serve the Muslim government, persecute their own brothers. However, these knife-wielders (i.e., those who tell lies, oppress others, hurt others, bring calamity upon others…) also wear religious symbols such as the sacred thread around their neck. In the homes of the persecuting Khatris, Brahmins prepare food (with Sucham-purification rituals) and eat; and pray for them. Brahmins seem to be doing the same thing as the tyrant and cruel Muslims and Khatris. (sggs 471).
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੋਹੇ ਲੋਭਿ ਸਬਾਏ ॥: All Pandits are deluded by greed (sggs 370).
- ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥: Brahmanu naavai jeeaa ghaai (sggs 662).
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਭੂਲੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਾਗੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਵਾਪਾਰਿ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਭੁਖ ਹੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਭੁਖਿਆ ਮੁਏ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: Pandit bhoole… (sggs 647).
All Guroos and Bhagats observed during their lives that the priest-class was selfish and corrupt, and that the humanity was suffering from this greedy and stagnant priesthood. They fearlessly raised their voices against this crafty priest-class and their associates (rulers, leaders, etc.).
Apparently, the same crafty priest-class (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ) has now taken over the Sikhi as well!
The truth is that the present Pujaaree-Group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ) in Gurdwaras is probably more corrupt than what the Guroos and Bhagat saw in their lives!!
The Gurbani Teaches that abandoning of this greedy and crafty Pujaaree-Group is must before one can freely and undistractedly plunge into Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle). Because, without raising the character of thoughts (ਸੋਚ) and depth of understanding of the Gurbani, one cannot raise the quality of his conduct.
Here is the Gurbani’s bold declaration to all its Sikhs (learners, students, ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ…):
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: Whatever the Pandit and the Mullaan have written (the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat…), I have abandoned (all of that); I have not taken any of it ||3||. (sggs 1159).
- ਵਰਤ ਨ ਰਹਉ ਨ ਮਹ ਰਮਦਾਨਾ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਜੋ ਰਖੈ ਨਿਦਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਏਕੁ ਗੁਸਾਈ ਅਲਹੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਦੁਹਾਂ ਨੇਬੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਹਜ ਕਾਬੈ ਜਾਉ ਨ ਤੀਰਥ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਏਕੋ ਸੇਵੀ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੨॥ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਉ ਨ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰਉ ॥ ਏਕ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਲੇ ਰਿਦੈ ਨਮਸਕਾਰਉ ॥੩॥ ਨਾ ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਨ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ॥ ਅਲਹ ਰਾਮ ਕੇ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਪਰਾਨ ॥੪॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਕੀਆ ਵਖਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪੀਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਖੁਦਿ ਖਸਮੁ ਪਛਾਨਾ ॥੫॥੩॥: I do not keep (Hindu) fasts, nor do I observe the (muslim fasting) month of Ramadaan. I serve That (One), who will save me in the end. ||1||. My Gusaaee (Universal Energy…) and Allah is One. (This I have already) settled (concluded, finished, ਫੈਸਲਾ…) with both Hindus and Muslims (that I don’t follow whatever they have written: their explanations, commentaries, customs, injunctions, etc.). |1|| Pause || I do not make pilgrimages to Mecca, nor do I worship at Hindu shrines. I serve the One Formless, and not any other ||2||. I do not perform worship services (prescribed by Brahmins), nor do I offer the Muslim prayers-Nimaaz. I have taken the One Formless into my Heart; I humbly worship Him within ||3||. I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim. My body and breath of life belong to (whom Muslims call) Allah and to (whom Hindus call) Raam ||4|| Says Kabeer! This is what I say: Meeting Gur (i.e., Giaan, Spiritual Knowledge or Wisdom…), I realize Truth. ||5||3|| (sggs 1136).
If the Shabad-Guroo’s Hukam is to abandon the crafty Pujaaree-Group (priest-class, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ); if the Gurbani so openly speaks against their crafty conduct; then, how did the present Pujaaree-Group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ – Bhais, Ragis, Parchaaraks, etc.) in Sikhi came about and flourished?
Generally, after a Master left the scene, what happens is that his followers down the road create separate religions and priesthood with their own selfish agenda, dogmas, unmeaning rituals, complex adherents and antagonists!!
And thus the history repeats itself!!
In the Teaching of the Gurbani (Gurmat), there is no room for any Pujaaree-Group (priest-class, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ).
It’s our own selfishness, ignorance of the Gurbani, etc., that we allowed the Pujaaree-Group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ) in Sikhi to go-strong and flourish.
And the results of our negligence are in front of us:
- Neglect of dissemination of the Gurbani in its true perspective
- Distortion or misinterpretation of the Gurbani’s truth to fit the Pujaaree-Group’s own sordid ends
- Mind-concocted stories (ਮੰਨ-ਘੜੰਤ ਸਾਖੀਆਂ)
- Creation of dogmas, and complex and antagonistic adherent
- Empty rituals that have no place in Gurmat (Wisdom of the Gurbani)
- Divisions: instead of uniting people, priest-class divides them
- Blind superstition for controlling and swindling simpletons
- Pujaaree-Group becoming an instrument in the hands of debased leaders and corrupt politicians in their scheme to oppress and exploit masses, and robbing people of their real Spiritual Unfoldment
- Keeping the Gurbani merely wrapped up in designer’s wrappings, and worship it as an idol that is totally contrary to the Gurbani’s Teaching
- For pleasing hosts and securing return business, performing Mayaic Ardaas (prayers, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀਆਂ ਅਰਦਾਸਾਂ) that are totally contrary to the Gurbani’s Teaching
- Jaat Paat – caste system – in Sikhi
- Corruption, falsehood, fraud, swindling, freeloading…
In fact, nowadays, if a person because of his crooked ways (trouble with the law, etc.) does not fit in the society, or if someone does not have any qualification to pursue a vocation, he becomes a priest (Bhai, Granthee, Ragi, Paathee, etc.)! A very paying business indeed, wherein there need not be any investment and, therefore, it is a safe activity of “all gains and no loss”!
The purpose and aim of the Gurbani is to bring about a revolution in the individual’s character and vision by integrating his mind and educating his intellect. To that end, the Gurbani roars the following declaration: Abandon the crafty priest-class ( Pujaaree-Group, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ).
- ਹਮਰਾ ਝਗਰਾ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਕੋਊ ॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Now) I have no quarrel with anyone anymore; because I have abandoned both the Pandit and the Mullaan (ਦੋਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਦੱਸੇ ਰਸਤੇ ਨਾਲ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੋਈ ਵਾਸਤਾ ਨਹੀਂ – the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat…). |1|| Pause || (sggs 1158).
The Gurbani is Brahm-Giaan. It’s not meant to be merely read, listened, or memorized as generally practiced and propagated by the crafty Pujaaree-Group. Rather, it is meant to be Understood through the diligent Shabad-Vichaar, and, ultimately, applied to daily life (ਅਮਲ)! For the Shabad-Vichaar brings about Clarification of the doubt-ridden mind.
- ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
- ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Bin boojhe pasu bhaye betaale (sggs 224).
- ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giaan n upjio… (sggs 685).
Simply put: The art of living a Divine Life (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) is the subtlest of all other arts. It demands elimination of all discordant and distractions in life. One of these discordant or distractions is indicated to be the crafty Pujaaree-Group in the Gurbani.