The Gurbani says the Truth or Divine is One. Since the Divine (Universal Energy, Law of Nature…) is One, the Dharma is also One — the Universal Dharma of “Sach-ਸਚ-Truth” or Virtues (ਗੁਣ-Gun)! Rest are just “Matt-ਮਤ”, “Majhab-ਮਜ਼ਹਬ”, or man-made religions (institutionalized or organised) who have hijacked the True Dharma, a great tragedy of the humankind.
Also called “Srest-ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ-Best” Dharma in the Gurbani, this Universal Dharma is observed at the level of the mind (Surat, consciousness). It’s so because this true Dharma is the Eternal function or Original Nature (Inner Nature) of all beings in relationship with “Sach-Truth” or Virtues (Pure or “Nirmal Karma”, Wisdom…).
- ਏਕੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੋਈ ॥: If some one grasps this – there is but one Dharma of Truth. (sggs 1188).
- ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥: Of all Dharma, the best Dharma is “Naam(u) Japi” (understand the Gurbani and obtain Giaan or Wisdom, Virtue…) and do Pure Karma (ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਆਚਰਣ, conduct…). (sggs 266).
The word Dharma comes from the Sanskrit root “Dhri”, which means “to hold”. Therefore, Dharma refers to that innate characteristic or Eternal Nature which constantly exists with a particular object — the Eternal function or True Nature of all beings.
For example, heat is the natural Dharma of fire, liquidity is the natural Dharma of water, light is the natural Dharma of sun, to produce plants is the natural Dharma of a seed, energy is the natural Dharma of electricity, and so on. Hence, the word Dharma referrers to and expresses the vital or Essential Nature of men, animals, all other creatures, metals, and so on. Dharma, therefore, is a comprehensive term that refers to the immutable Law of Nature (Hukam…).
In nutshell, for a heat or water or wind to become “Without Dharma” is to forget or give up their Inherited Qualities (ਗੁਣ-Virtues), or duty.
At the human level, similarly, for a person to become “Without Dharma” (become A-Dharnee, ਅਧਰਮੀ, abandon Dharma) is to forget or give up one’s Inherited Qualities (ਗੁਣ-Virtues), duty or responsibility (ਫਰਜ, ਜਿੰਮੇਵਾਰੀ).
Hence, Dharma = Purpose in life, Truth seeking, living Virtues (Sach or Truth, contentment, mercy, patience, Sahaj, Wisdom, etc.)…
To put it otherwise, the Wisdom (Giaan) of the SGGS teaches the principle of basic unity (Oneness) and euality and how to build a peaceful, loving, harmonious, just, truthful, successful, purposeful, positive society and life. If people cannot treasure these universal Virtues, then that’s the people’s problem, NOT the Gurbani’s problem (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਧੀਆ ਸਮਾਜ ਤੇ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਵਧੀਆ ਇਨਸਾਨ ਬਣਾਂਉਦੀ ਹੈ).
Hence, a person who applies Truth or Naam (Wisdom, Virtues) in his daily life is a Dhaarmic person, otherwise he is a sinner.
- ਜੋ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਧਰਮ ਨਾਉ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਾਪਿ ਕਮਾਣੈ ਪਾਪੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥: He, who lives Dharma (lives daily life of Truth, Virtues, Wisdom) is a Dhaarmic person (Virtuous…), and if he acts contrary to Dharma is known a “Paapee”. (sggs 138).
- ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਤਮ ਇਹੁ ਕਰਮੁ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥: This (i.e., to live Virtues in life, Naam…) is the most exalted Karma. Of all Dharma, this is the most sublime and excellent Dharma. (sggs 895).
To the contrary, all man-made religions are mostly observed at the level of the physical body-frame (Karamkaand or rituals, etc.). The Gurbani’s Dharma is not a religion!
Hence, they are brain washing systems for social control. They are about tribal survival and conquest. Each claims exclusively true, and all others evil. They use violence if you don’t agree with their exclusive claims. Ask Prof. Giurdano Bruno who was burned alive for saying “Earth goes around the sun”, contrary to the Church teaching!
Accordingly, there is the Pujaaree group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ) in Sikhi; there is the Hindu Pujaaree Group; there is the Muslim Pujaaree Group; there is the Christian Pujaaree Group, and so on. And this Pujaaree group is greedy, corrupt, crafty, illiterate…
No Dharma without Virtues (ਗੁਣ-Gun)
There can be no true Dharma without Virtues (ਗੁਣ-Gun). Opposite of Virtues (“Gun”) is demerits (“Avgun” or “Aougun”, defects, faults, flaws…). The Gurbani calls defects (“Avgun”) as chains or noose around one’s neck (“Janjeer”, “Phaahaa”), human enemies, thieves that steal human Goodness, etc.
- ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥: O Nanak! As many as are the demerits (“Aougun”, so many are the chains around his neck. These chains (of demerits) can be cut away only by the Virtues; (hence) these Virtues are (person’s) true brothers. (sggs 595).
- ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸੁੰਦਰਿ ਹੈ ਨਕਟੀ ॥ ਜਿਉ ਬੇਸੁਆ ਕੇ ਘਰਿ ਪੂਤੁ ਜਮਤੁ ਹੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਿਓ ਹੈ ਧ੍ਰਕਟੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Know that without Virtues, the beautiful (human subtle body – mind or soul) is just ugly! As the son (who may be beautiful), born into the house of a prostitute, is called Haraamee (ਹਰਾਮੀ – son of an unchaste or immoral woman). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 528).
Therefore, the SGGS teaches the entire mankind — including ALL Sikhs (learners or students of the SGGS, ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) — to follow the Dharma of Virtues.
- ਗੁਣ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: (One who) contemplates the Divine Virtues is spiritually Wise. Spiritual Wisdom is obtained through the Divine Virtues (sggs 931).
- ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਿਆਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: Remaining attuned to the Naam, Virtues and spiritual Wisdom are reflected upon. (sggs 941).
- ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without acquiring Virtues, Bhagti can not be performed (sggs 4).
- ਮਾਨੈ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਭੇ ਗੁਣ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: (One who) accepts the Divine Hukam, he is blessed with all Divine Virtues and total Spiritual Wisdom. (sggs 944).
No wonder the SGGS asks all to share in the Divine Virtues!
For a Sikh can awaken within the Divine Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) by remaining a good Sikh; a Hindu can awaken within the Divine Virtues by remaining a good Hindu; a Muslim can awaken within the Divine Virtues by remaining a good Muslim; a Bodhi can awaken within the Divine Virtues by remaining a good Bodhi; a Christian can awaken within the Divine Virtues by remaining a good Christian; a Jew can awaken within the Divine Virtues by remaining a good Jew; and so on.
However, the crafty Pujaaree system of all these religions will NOT let it happen! Instead, they will make sure the people remain divided, ignorant, without the Divine Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ)…
Understandably, the SGGS breaks the corrupt Pujaaree system. They have turned their man-made religions into a Mayaic or mundane business (ਧੰਧਾ)!
- ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜਗੁ ਕਮਲਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਧੰਧਾ ਕਰਤਿਆ ਨਿਹਫਲੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਨ ਵਸਾਇਆ ॥: It is seen by becoming the Gurmukh that without Naam, the world wanders around insane. Involved in worldly affairs (Mayaic business-ਧੰਧਾ), the human birth is wasted in vain; the Giver of Sukh (Bliss…) does not come to abide in the mind. (sggs 643).
- ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਜੋ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਜਮੁ ਜਾਗਾਤੀ ਲੂਟੈ ॥: Whosoever perform show off Draarmic rituals (like bathing at Teerath, etc.) and hypocrisies, are plundered by the “Jam(u)” (Doubt, Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride…), the tax collector (sggs 747).
Accordingly, for the betterment of the human society, all Gur-Sahibaan and Bhagat tried their best to break the corrupt and stagnant Pujaaree systems. They knew that without breaking these corrupt Pujaaree systems, people cannot be steered away from the lifestyle of “Bhangaar” they propagate.
Gurbani’s Universal Dharma of “Sach” – Truth
Where there is corruption, there can be no Dharma. Hence, the Gurbani rejects all man-made religions, for they promote corruption. The truth is falsehood cannot propagate Truth.
- ਸਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਇ ਛਪਿ ਖਲੋਏ ਕੂੜੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥: Modesty (ਹਯਾ, shame, etc.) and Dharma both have vanished, and falsehood moves about as the chief (Pardhaanu-ਚੌਧਰੀ). (sggs 722).
- ਨਾ ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਨ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ॥ ਅਲਹ ਰਾਮ ਕੇ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਪਰਾਨ ॥੪॥: We are neither Hindu, nor Muslim. Our body and breath of life belong to (whom Muslim call) Allah and to (whom Hindus call) Raam. ||4|| (sggs 1136).
- 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).
- ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥: Telling lies, the Qazi eats filth (of taking what pertains to others, bribe, corruption…). The Brahmin kills (inflicts pain to people by misguiding them: ਆਤਮ-ਘਾਤੀ..), and then takes (cleansing, ਤੀਰਥ-ਇਸਨਾਨ) baths. The Yogi is (mentally or spiritually) blind, and does not know the way (of life). These three are the cause of destruction (of the society, people, spiritual life…). ||2||(sggs 662).
The Universal Dharma of Sach (Truth) the SGGS reminds the entire humankind of is for the good of the entire mankind.
- ਬੋਲੀਐ ਸਚੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲੀਐ ॥: Speak the “Sachu” Dharma (i.e. to speak Truth is Dharma), and do not speak falsehood (sggs 488).
The Gurbani’s Universal Dharma wants the entire humanity to escape from Bhav Saggar to Sukh Saagar and awaken the Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ-Gun) or Giaan (Wisdom) within.
A Brahmin can do that; a Muslim can do that; a Yogi can do that, a Sikh can do that; a Khalsa can do that, list goes on and on.
Let’s take a few examples from the Gurbani:
For example, a person who identifies himself as a Sikh or Khalsa can awaken the universal Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) within, without changing his man-made religion:
- ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਨ ਭਏ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: O Kabeer! Those persons become “Khaalsae” (ਖਾਲਸੇ) who have realized the Prem Bhagti (ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦਾ ਪੂਰਾ ਗਿਆਨ; Perfect Understanding of the Gur-Shabad, Gur-Giaan, or Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani…). (sggs 655).
- ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਖਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਵੈ ॥: O brother! He alone is a Sikh, a friend, and a relative, who walks in the Way of the Gur-Bhaanaa (Divine Hukam, Gurmat, the Gurbani’s Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 601).
A person who identifies himself Brahmin can also awaken the universal Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) within, withut changing his man-made religion:
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨ ਇਸਨਾਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਪੂਜੇ ਪਾਤੀ ॥: He alone is a Brahmin, who takes his cleansing bath in the Brahm-Giann (spiritual wisdom), and whose leaf-offerings in worship are the Divine Virtues. (sggs 992).
A person who identifies himself Muslim can also awaken the universal Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) within, without changing his man-made religion:
- ਪੰਜਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਾ ਵਖਤ ਪੰਜਿ ਪੰਜਾ ਪੰਜੇ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਸਚੁ ਹਲਾਲ ਦੁਇ ਤੀਜਾ ਖੈਰ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥ ਚਉਥੀ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਮਨੁ ਪੰਜਵੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਨਾਇ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਲਮਾ ਆਖਿ ਕੈ ਤਾ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਣੁ ਸਦਾਇ ॥: There are five prayers and five times of day for prayer; the five have five names. Let the first be truthfulness, the second honest living, and the third good will for all (Sarbatt Da Bhalaa). Let the fourth be the pure intent and mind, and the fifth the the Divine Praise. (With these five Namaaj) utter the creed of good deeds, and then, you may call yourself a Muslim. (sggs 141).
A person who identifies himself Yogi can also awaken the universal Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) within, withut changing his man-made religion:
- ਮੁੰਦਾ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਤੁ ਝੋਲੀ ਧਿਆਨ ਕੀ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ॥ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੁਆਰੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ॥ ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਮਾਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: Make contentment your ear-rings, humility your begging bowl, and meditation the ashes you apply to your body. Let (the remembrance) of death be the patched coat you wear, let the body free of Bikaar be your skill in the world, and let knowledge (conviction, confidence, faith) be your walking stick. See the brotherhood of all mankind as the highest order of Yogis; if you conquer the mind, you conquer the material world. (sggs 6).
If all this happens, then, regardless of what worldly religion a person identifies with, everybody will have the same Divine Virtues (ਗੁਣ-Gun) — Oneness, Sameness, universal Love, universal Brotherhood, universal Citizenship…
The Divine Virtues (Gun-ਗੁਣ) build a fence of Dharma around a person. As a result, there will be more love, less hatered and bloodshed in the name of religion or god.
However, the Gurbani’s this universal Dharma of Virtues requires people to change and see the world with spiritual eyes.
- ਜਿਨਿ ਕਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ ਦੀਆ ਇਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਨੇਤ੍ਰੀ ਜਗਤੁ ਨਿਹਾਲਿਆ ॥: He taught me and given me the healing eyedrops of spiritual Wisdom so that with my spiritual eyes, I visualize the world (sggs 470).
That’s where the problem is — people don’t want to change or mend their thinking. Since the organized religions see no material gain in teaching their followers to change, they stick to their antagonistic adherents and engage in foolish acts in the name of their religion and god.
Dharma revealed by the SGGS is universal
First off, Dharma of the Gurmat is Dharma of GIAAN (Divine Wisdom or Knowledge, Virtues…). It’s NOT a Dharma of AGIAANEE (ignorant, unvirtuous, corrupt thinking…)! The Gurbani claims that every action performed in the Light of the Gur-Wisdom becomes Dharma. On the other hand, every deed done contrary to the Gur-Wisdom is Paap (corrupt thinking, demerits, Bikaar, ਬੁਰੀ ਸੋਚ, ਭੇੜੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ, ਅਉਗਣ…).
- 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).
The Giaan or spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS is meant to raise conditioned consciousness to the level of Immortal Consciousness. Thus the the SGGS puts the entire mankind back on the path (Panth) of living the True Dharma (Virtues, Wisdom). Its Divine Guidance and Universal Message is for the improvement and welfare of the whole mankind.
- ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥: Obtain the Divine Naam (Spiritual Knowledge, Virtue…), this is the Highest Dharma (sggs 834).
However, the members of the Gurdwara committees and the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree-Vaad (Raagees, Bhais, Kathaakaar, preachers, Deraavaad Baabaa, etc.) have shamelessly hijacked and tortured the real Gurmat and its Supreme Message with concocted Karamkaand (rituals), plundering masses in the process. The wicked Pujaaree system has connected people to mere body-consciousness (Maya) instead of the Gur-Giaan (spiritual Knowledge of the Gurbani…) or Naam.
Regardless of religion, the Pujaaree of every religion firstly wants to close people’s minds shut — make them dead! Also, they make people emotional so they don’t think logically. As a result, people believe whatever the Pujaaree-Vaad tattles (ਗੱਪ) in the name of dharma and god.
Pujaaree, thus, plunder people by confusing theme, selling them the fake or counterfeit dharma or god (ਨਕਲੀ ਧਰਮ ਅਤੇ ਰੱਬ)…
What a tragedy! To reverse this situation in Sikhi, we must read the Gurbani ourselves, churn it through Shabad-Vichaar to understand its true meanings, and then apply it in daily life. Baabaa Nanak’s precious words:
- ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਗੁਰਿਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਮੁਹਿ ਫੇਰਿਐ ਮੁਹੁ ਜੂਠਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Who are without Giaan (Wisdom, Truth…) have no Divine Virtues. Defilement within comes from by turning away (from Giaan, Wisdom, Truth…). (sggs 1240).
- ਅਸਮਾਨ ਮ੍ਯ੍ਯਿਾਨੇ ਲਹੰਗ ਦਰੀਆ ਗੁਸਲ ਕਰਦਨ ਬੂਦ ॥: In the mind, a stream flows (i.e., the stream of Wisdom, Virtues, Amrit, Truth, Universal Energy…); take your bath in it. (sggs 727).