Gurbani on Religious Paraphernalia

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) rejects decorating the gross body-frame with religious paraphernalia, symbols or robes (ਧਾਰਮਕ ਚਿਨ, ਭੇਖ) etc.

Because, in the end, when the dead body is placed on pyre or tossed into a cremation furnace, all religious paraphernalia or symbols drop off the body! This is the edict of the Gurmat (Wisdom-Giaan, Message or Way of the SGGS…).

In short, all religious paraphernalia, symbols or robes are of no use to the souls or mind that has no form-shape-color.

Hence, Baabaa Nanak teaches without Wisdom (Giaan-ਗਿਆਨ), ALL religious paraphernalia or symbols etc. are useless.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਿਆ ਟਿਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਤਗੁ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Without the True Naam (Giaan-ਗਿਆਨ), religious symbols – frontal mark, sacred thread etc. – are meaningless. ||1|| (sggs 467).

Baabaa Nanak explains this in the SGGS with an example of the ‘thread’ (‘Janaeoo – ਜਨੇਊ’) , which the priest (Pujaaree) tried to put on Babaa Nanak during the ‘Janaeoo – ਜਨੇਊ’ ceremony. According to Baabaa Nanak, when this religious thread is put on a person by the priest, in the end, that person departs without it:

  • ਓਹੁ ਮੁਆ ਓਹੁ ਝੜਿ ਪਇਆ ਵੇਤਗਾ ਗਇਆ ॥੧॥: (Janaeoo or sacred thread) drops off (the body upon getting burnt in the pyre of that man, and he thus) departs without the thread (i.e., the religious symbol of thread does not continue with the soul)! (sggs 471).
  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਨੇਊ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: (O Pandit!) The external ‘Janaeoo’ (thread-ਜਨੇਊ) is as long as the Jot is present in the body (then what is the use of this?). (sggs 355).

The Message of the SGGS is Universal in nature, It’s applicable everybody, INCLUDING SIKHS (learners of the of the SGGS based Way of Life). Therefore, it would utter foolishness to think that certain Message is only for Pandots, or Mullah or Yogis etc. Gurbani has used all sorts of specific examples to impart the Wisdom. However, the Message is applicable to all, INCLUDIN SIKHS!

The truth is not the body but it’s the mind of a person responsible for depraved or corrupt thinking (Soch) and consequent actions.

Accordingly, Baabaa Nanak asks the Pujaaree what’s the use of wearing the ‘thread’ (or any religious symbols for that matter) if the mind is still engaged in Pakhand, corruption, fraud, theft, robberies (ਠੱਗੀ), falsehood, adultery, abuses, deceptions, doubt, bad deeds, Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), and so on!

  • ਲਖ ਚੋਰੀਆ ਲਖ ਜਾਰੀਆ ਲਖ ਕੂੜੀਆ ਲਖ ਗਾਲਿ ॥ ਲਖ ਠਗੀਆ ਪਹਿਨਾਮੀਆ ਰਾਤਿ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਜੀਅ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਤਗੁ ਕਪਾਹਹੁ ਕਤੀਐ ਬਾਮ੍‍ਣੁ ਵਟੇ ਆਇ ॥ ਕੁਹਿ ਬਕਰਾ ਰਿੰਨ੍‍ ਿਖਾਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਆਖੈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਪੁਰਾਣਾ ਸੁਟੀਐ ਭੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਤੁਟਈ ਜੇ ਤਗਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੋਰੁ ॥2॥: (The man) commits thousands of robberies, thousands of acts of adultery, thousands of falsehoods and thousands of abuses. He practices thousands of deceptions and secret deeds (bad deeds done in secrecy), night and day, against his fellow beings. (This is man’s inner condition, but look at his external display) The thread is spun from cotton, and the Brahmin comes (to the home of his host) and twists it. The goat is killed, cooked and eaten (by all attending the ceremony), and everyone then says, ‘Put on the sacred thread’. When it wears out, it is thrown away, and another one is put on. O Nanak! If the thread had any real strength (that can strengthen the soul or mind), it would not break. ||2|| (sggs 471).
  • ਪਤਿ ਵਿਣੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਸਤ ਵਿਣੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਜਤ ਵਿਣੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਜਨੇਊ ॥: Forgetting Rabb, what is the meaning of Poojaa? Without truthfulness, what is the benefit of this self-discipline? Without chastity, what good is ‘Janaeoo’ (thread-ਜਨੇਊ)? (sggs 903).

Hence, Baabaa Nanak asks the Pandit if he had a ‘thread’ specifically made for the mind (NOT for the gross body-frame) then go ahead and ‘put it on me’, provided it’s knotted of Virtues — Truth (ਸਤ), honesty, contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), humility, annihilation of bad thoughts or conduct, etc.).

  • ਦਇਆ ਕਪਾਹ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸੂਤੁ ਜਤੁ ਗੰਢੀ ਸਤੁ ਵਟੁ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਜੀਅ ਕਾ ਹਈ ਤ ਪਾਡੇ ਘਤੁ ॥ ਨਾ ਏਹੁ ਤੁਟੈ ਨ ਮਲੁ ਲਗੈ ਨਾ ਏਹੁ ਜਲੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਧੰਨੁ ਸੁ ਮਾਣਸ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੋ ਗਲਿ ਚਲੇ ਪਾਇ ॥: (O Pandit!) That ‘thread-ਜਨੇਊ’ whose cotton is of compassion, whose yarn is of contentment, whose knots are of morality, whose twist is of godliness (ਜਾਂ ਸਚਿਆਰਤਾ). This is the thread of the mind or consciousness (which, both male and female can wear). O Brahman, if you have it, then put it on. O pandit! (such ‘thread’) does not break, it cannot be soiled by filth (of Bikaar), it cannot be burnt, or lost. O Nanak! Blessed are those mortals, who wear such a thread around their necks (or, whose mind departs wearing such thread). (sggs 471).

Symbol is a method of falsifying the Formless Truth

Baabaa Nanak reminds the priest (Pujaaree) that there is no ‘thread’ for the sense-organs that can free one from sense-slavery. Further Baabaa Nanak tells the priest that you put the ‘thread’ on others but you yourself (i.e., your own sense-organs and mind) wander about without it!

Clearly, it is as Baabaa Nanak is telling the paid priest (Pujaaree) not to bring ANY symbols in, because symbol is a method of falsifying the Formless Reality! It’s the mind that commits demerits or makes mistakes, not the body-frame.

In nutshell, to say it in simple Punjabi: ਪੁੱਠੇ ਕੰਮ ਬੰਦੇ ਦਾ ਮਨ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਉਹ ਸਜਾ ਸਰੀਰ ਨੂੰ ਦੇ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ!

  • ਤਗੁ ਨ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ ਭਲਕੇ ਥੁਕ ਪਵੈ ਨਿਤ ਦਾੜੀ ॥ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਪੈਰੀ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਹਥੀ ॥ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਅਖੀ ॥ ਵੇਤਗਾ ਆਪੇ ਵਤੈ ॥ ਵਟਿ ਧਾਗੇ ਅਵਰਾ ਘਤੈ ॥: (The Pujaaree puts ‘Janaeoo’ of thread on others, but) there is no thread (of Wisdom or Giaan) for his own sense-organs (to control them from Bikaar, evil deeds etc.); and there is no thread for his veins. Because of (uncontrolled senses and and their evil deeds, his) beard is spat upon daily (i.e. he gets constantly humiliated or disgraced — cursed is such bearded man). There is no thread on (his own) feet and no thread on (his own) hands. There is no thread on (his own) tongue and no thread on (his own) eyes. (The Pujaaree) himself wanders about without such threads (i.e. he is deprived of the thread of Giaan or Wisdom himself, however) twisting the ‘Janaeoo’ of thread, he puts them on others! (sggs 471).

In other words, poison is in the mind, but an ignorant person burdens his body-frame and thus makes it suffer!

  • ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖ ਕੀਆ ਦੇਹੀ ਦੁਖੁ ਦੀਆ ॥: The more one wears religious robes, the more pain he causes his body (sggs 467).
  • ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਭਜਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਹੈ ਹੋਰਾ ॥ ਵਰਮੀ ਮਾਰੀ ਸਾਪੁ ਨ ਮਰਈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਸੁਨਈ ਡੋਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : The intellect to unite with ‘Gobind‘ (Mool, Truth…) is different. If one does not listen to the Naam (then his external religious Karamkaand is akin to beating the snake-hole instead of the snake, but, by just) beating the snake-hole, the snake is not killed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 381).

The Gurbani reminds us that the One Creator (Universal Energy, Hukam…) being Formess has no form-shape-color. As such, the Divinie Life or the Enlightened Life (Gurmukh Mindset) is not only beyond any religious paraphernalia but also beyond the grip of any scriptures (religious Granths etc.!

  • ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਿੰਨ ॥: The Creator has no form, no shape, no color and is free from the three qualities of Maya (i.e. Rajo, Tamo, Sato). (sggs 283).

Aptly, the SGGS asserts that our mind is also without form-shape-color!

  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ਕਾਈ ॥: This mind has no form or outline (sggs 330).

But still, showing off oneself as religious or spiritual person, many (Mamukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree etc.) load their gross mortal body-frame with all sorts of religious garbs, religious symbols etc. Apparentlyy, in their guile, such people take God to be merely a toy or a play-thing and follow the crowds by imitating what they see other people do (‘Dekhaa Dekhee-‘ਦੇਖਾ ਦੇਖੀ’).

  • ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥: (People think they become Dharmic or Bhagat if they simply) apply (1) ceremonial marks to their foreheads, (2) hold Maalaa or rosary in their hands, and (3) wear religious dress. People think that Rabb (Universal Energy, System or Law of Nature…) is a toy or a play-thing (i.e., they think Rabb can be pleased or fooled by religious paraphernalia or symbols). ||1|| (sggs 1158)!
  • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਕਪਟੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ਹਿਰਦਾ ਸੁਧੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: One who utters ‘Hari’ Hari’, while constantly practicing deception, (his) Heart cannot become pure. (sggs 732).

The Gurbani (SGGS) teaches us that all these religious robes, symbols, and other paraphernalia are nothing but a pompous show (‘Adammbar‘ or ‘Pakhand‘) of false ego-sense (Haumai) or stubborn mind. Hence rejected by the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

  • ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਮਨੂਆ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥: Outwardly for showing off, (the Manmukh) wears religious robes, (he thus tries to be) very clever, but his (instinctive) mind wanders in the ten directions (sggs 1099).

The Sikhi of the Pujaaree-Vaad calls his own religious symbols as ‘KakKaar‘, but calls religious symbols of others as ‘Bhekh‘ (show off, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ etc.)!

However, this self-serving Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc. forgets that the Gurmat of Baabaa Nanak or SGGS rejects ALL religious symbols!

  • ਮਥੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਤੇੜਿ ਧੋਤੀ ਕਖਾਈ ॥ ਹਥਿ ਛੁਰੀ ਜਗਤ ਕਾਸਾਈ ॥: (To pretend to be religious or Dhaarmic) You put sacred marks to the forehead and wear saffron Dhoti (loin-cloth). But you are butcher of the world (oppressing your own innocent people. What is this religious hypocrisy for (Pakhand)?). (sggs 471).

SGGS condemns conscience of religious Paraphernalia

Although the conscience of religious wearing is strongly rejected in the Gurbani, but still body-frames are being decorated and embellished with them. Why?

People do it for various reasons such as to look pious and Mahatma outside; to make believe that they know god; to establish their religious authority; to show they are spiritual scholars; to show they are better than those who do not wear such religious robes or symbols; to hide the fire of their worldly desires; to hide the filth of Maya within (hunger of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ); to show that they know the true meanings of the Gurbani; to impress upon simpletons and swindle them; to hide their untruthfulness; to cover up their wickedness; and so on. Simply put: They act without Being!

The Gurbani provides us with authoritative answers as well as explanations as to why people get attached to the religious paraphernalia.

  • ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Excessive thirst (for Maya) makes people wear all sorts of religious garbs (sggs 352).
  • ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: (To show off, the stubborn fool) ostensibly wears religious robes, but does not practice Truth (sggs 738).

Listen to Bhagat Kabeer Jee challenging a Brahmin on ‘Janaeoo‘ (thread, ‘ਜਨੇਊ’). He essentially tells a Brahmin if you think you are superior than me just because you wear one thread around your neck, than I must be many times more superior than you because – being a weaver – I have heaps of thread in my house!

  • ਹਮ ਘਰਿ ਸੂਤੁ ਤਨਹਿ ਨਿਤ ਤਾਨਾ ਕੰਠਿ ਜਨੇਊ ਤੁਮਾਰੇ ॥: O Brahmin! (If think you are superior than me just because) you wear a ‘Janaeoo’ (a thread) around your neck, (which I don’t wear, but) in my house (you can see I have plenty of) thread (with that I) daily stretch the warp (sggs 468).

In order to fill Golak (money) and a lifestyle of freeloading and luxury (ਵੇਹਲੜ, ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ), such fraud is more prevalent in Gurdwaras, Deraas, and the so called Teerath Asthaan (so called locations of pilgrim), etc.

The Pujaare group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾਂ) in Sikhi seems to be no better than the crafty Brahmins, Pandits, Mullah etc. As they do, the Sikh Pujaaree-Vaad also exploit human vulnerabilities and fears regarding death, disease, business, employment, court litigation, children, barrenness, loss of loved ones, and so on. Because of fear or greed, people accepts their fake God and concocted concepts.

No wonder the SGGS wants its Sikhs (learners) to discard the  Pujaaree system.

To further make us aware of such non-sense rituals (Karamkaand) — again with the example of ‘thread’ (‘Janaeoo’), and with the example of ‘Sunnat‘ (circumcision) — Baabaa Nanak and Bhagat Kabeer Jee teach us:

  • ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ ਛੁਰੀ ਵਗਾਇਨਿ ਤਿਨ ਗਲਿ ਤਾਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਭਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਓਈ ਸਾਦ ॥ … ਮਥੈ ਟਿਕਾ ਤੇੜਿ ਧੋਤੀ ਕਖਾਈ ॥ ਹਥਿ ਛੁਰੀ ਜਗਤ ਕਾਸਾਈ ॥: 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. … (To pretend to be religious or Dhaarmic) they put sacred marks on their foreheads and wear saffron Dhoti (loin-cloths). But they are butchers of the world (i.e. they oppress their own innocent people. What is your religious hypocrisy or Pakhand?). (sggs 471).
  • ਸੁੰਨਤਿ ਕੀਏ ਤੁਰਕੁ ਜੇ ਹੋਇਗਾ ਅਉਰਤ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੀਐ ॥: If circumcision makes one a Muslim, then what about a woman (i.e., a woman cannot be circumcised!!)? (sggs 477).

Understandably, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS neither encourages nor approves religious rituals (Karamkaand) and symbols.

Baabaa Nanak asks to take up the following instead

If one wants to decorate his/her gross body with any religious paraphernalia, Baabaa Nanak urges us to have our minds wear Virtues (ਗੁਣ).

  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕੁਸਪਾਤੀ ॥: let Wisdom be the ‘Janaeoo’ (thread, ‘ਜਨੇਊ’), and self-communication (concentration, reflection etc.) the ceremonial ring. (sggs 355).
  • ਨਾਇ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਪਤਿ ਊਪਜੈ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ਸਚੁ ਸੂਤੁ ॥ ਦਰਗਹ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਤਗੁ ਨ ਤੂਟਸਿ ਪੂਤ ॥੩॥: Accepting the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom, Virtues…), honor is obtained (in the Divine Court, because,) the Divine Praise (to follow Virtues, Wisdom…) is the true sacred thread. Such a sacred thread is worn in the Divine Court and it (never) breaks. ||3|| (sggs 471).

Furthermore, Baabaa Nanak asks us to have our mind take up the ‘Giaan Kharrag‘ (the sword of the Divine Knowledge)!

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: I fight to overcome the desires of my mind with the double-edged Sword (Kharag) of Wisdom (of the Satguru). ||3|| (sggs 1022).

Furthermore, Baabaa Nanak urges those who do Pakhand of religiosity by wearing red clothes, blue clothes, white clothes, peculiar Cholaa (robe, ਚੋਲਾ) etc.:

  • ਰਤਾ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਮਨੁ ਰਤਾ ਸੁਪੇਦੀ ਸਤੁ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨੀਲੀ ਸਿਆਹੀ ਕਦਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਪਹਿਰਣੁ ਪੈਰ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ : Let the mind be imbued with the divine love (of the Mool etc.) — think of it as wearing a red garment. Serve the needy — think of it as wearing a white robe. Cut the soot out of your mind — think of it as wearing a blue dress. The meditation on the Giaan or Wisdom (Charan-ਪੈਰ) is the robe (Cholaa-ਚੋਲਾ). (sggs 16).

In short, Baabaa Nanak teaches us that a person who remains absorbed in the Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) does not need any colorful uniform because for him all the possessions, wealth, youth, etc. are obtained only in the Naam.

Furthermore, Baabaa Nanak urges us to wear a waistband of Godly Contentment.

  • ਕਮਰਬੰਦੁ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਜੋਬਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੨॥: I have made Contentment my waist-band (Camarbandh), and Your Naam is my wealth and youth. ||2|| (sggs 16).

Furthermore, the SGGS disapproves counting beads. Instead, the SGGS teaches us to wear a rosary of the remembrance of the Naam (Shabad, Wisdom, Virtues, Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…).

  • ਰਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਜਪਮਾਲੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Let your rosary be the enshrining of Raam (-Naam) in your Heart. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 503).

Furthermore, the SGGS asserts that the turban on one’s head should be his Intact Consciousness (‘Saabat Soorati‘ => the SHABAD BASED Conscience  free of vices or Bikaar etc.).

  • ਕਾਇਆ ਕਿਰਦਾਰ ਅਉਰਤ ਯਕੀਨਾ ॥ ਰੰਗ ਤਮਾਸੇ ਮਾਣਿ ਹਕੀਨਾ ॥ ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ ॥ ॥੧੨॥: (O man of God) the body through which the good or bad deeds are done, make it like the faithful wife. Thus revel in the Bliss of Union with God. To purify the mind from the impurity of vices should be the Hadees (the holy book of Muslim law); let your Intact Consciousness (‘Saabat Soorat‘ — Consciousness free of vices or Bikaar…) be the turban on your head. ||12|| (sggs 1084).

The SGGS logically argues (ਤਰਕ) with nonsense practices of other faiths or religions (ਦੂਸਰੀਆ ਮੱਤਾਂ), and questions their religious symbols and garbs, crafty conduct, Karamkaand, falsehood etc.

NOW, if Gurmat is adulterated by the self-serving Pujaaree system of Sikhi and thus follows the same foolishness of other man-made religions, then they can and will also argue (ਤਰਕ), raise their finger, and question Sikhs as well!

The Gurmat of Baabaa Nanak or SGGS is NOT meant to regurgitate nonsense that existed before the Gurus and the Bhagats.

In life, Baabaa Kabeer says there can be no Dharma without Giaan-Wisdom. However, for the sake of ‘bread-ਰੋਟੀਆ’, the self-serving Pujaaree system of every organized and institutionalized religion wants people to remain ignorant, confused, fearful, greedy,  superstitious etc.

  • ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥: O Kabeer! (Within a person, if) there is Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Aatm–Giaan…) there is Dharma; (if within him) there is falsehood, there is sin (corrupt thinking). (sggs 1372).

In short, the SGGS argues with logic and reasoning that one cannot become a good Hindu or Dhaarmic by merely wearing a ‘thread’ (‘Janaeoo – ਜਨੇਊ’).

Similarly, the SGGS also argues with logic and reasoning that one cannot become a good Muslim or Dhaarmic by mere circumcision (ਸੁੰਨਤ). If you do, then the SGGS asks: What about a woman?

This logic and reasoning of the SGGS also applies to ALL Sikhs as well.

Hence, common sense dictates that a person cannot become a good Sikh or Dhaarmic by simply wearing ‘5K’ (Kakaar)!

The purpose or aim of the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak is NOT to regurgitate pre-1469 concocted concepts of Brahmanical Karamkaand or rituals etc.

The Gurbani asserts falsehood does not mix in Truth.

Since the Gurbani speaks Truth (Sach), it’s Truth does NOT suit the fraud or wicked individuals for it upsets and irritates them!

  • ਜਿਨਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ॥: Truth does not suit those who are permeated by falsehood (sggs 646).
  • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੂੜਾ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਵਈ ॥: If someone speaks the Truth, the false (one) is burnt (irritated). (sggs 646).

Nonetheless, the Gurbani teaches us to boldly and fearlessly expose Social ills (ਸਮਾਜਿਕ ਕੁਰੀਤੀਆਂ). Because — according to the Gurbani’s teachings — telling Truth is not slandering!

In short, the following is the edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) of Baabaa Nanak:

  • ਖਲੜੀ ਖਪਰੀ ਲਕੜੀ ਚਮੜੀ ਸਿਖਾ ਸੂਤੁ ਧੋਤੀ ਕੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ॥ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਹਉ ਸਾਂਗੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ॥੪॥੧॥੩੩॥: (To seek God) many wear many kinds of religious attire — many wear animal skins, many carry a begging-bowl in hand, many walk around with a staff, many sit on the deer skin, many wear hair-tuft, many wear ‘thread’ (‘Janaeoo – ਜਨੇਊ’) and loin-cloths. But Nanak entreats, O God (universal Energy)! I am also your servant, I have no high caste, I have no special attire. (sggs 358).
  • ਗਰੀਬਾ ਉਪਰਿ ਜਿ ਖਿੰਜੈ ਦਾੜੀ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮਿ ਸਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਸਾੜੀ ॥੧॥ : The beard that gets angry and oppresses the poor and weak, may PaarBraham (Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) burn that beard in the fire (i.e. the human being who hurts others in Ahankaar, he has disgraced his beard…). ||1|| (sggs 199).

30 comments

  1. Thank you T Singh ji
    Your writing is beautiful. My mind was a mess, however, the clarity in your explanation with quotes from Gurbani makes everything clear as day.

  2. By wearing Janeu,one cannot become a Hindu.

    By mere circumcision ,one cannot become a Muslim.

    By wearing 5k’s ,one cannot become a Sikh

  3. Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji for taking time to reply.

    probably none of our Sikh Bodies in India or Abroad would like this

    The fact remains: Falsehood cannot propagate Truth!
    The Truth of the SGGS care less!

    It’s well known fact that Truth tastes bitter. Nonetheless, the SGGS speaks nothing but Truth:

    • ਜਿਨਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ॥: Truth does not suit those who are permeated by falsehood (sggs 646).
    • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੂੜਾ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਵਈ ॥: If someone speaks the Truth, the false (one) is burnt (irritated). (sggs 646).

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