Empty Husk without Grain

With the practical example of HUSK, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches as the husk is useless without the grain, similarly, a person (or mind) empty of the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Hukam Awareness etc.) is also useless.

  • ਕਣ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੈਸੇ ਥੋਥਰ ਤੁਖਾ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਹੂਨ ਸੂਨੇ ਸੇ ਮੁਖਾ ॥੧॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਹੂਨ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਦੇਹ ਬਿਗਾਨੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Just as empty husk are of no use without grain, (similarly) persons or their minds bereft of Naam awareness are of no avail (empty, (desolate etc.). ||1|| O mortal! Always keep understanding (and constantly living) the divine Naam. Without the Naam this body which eventually becomes alien (which has to be abandoned when death comes) is cursed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 192).

Thus the Gurmat Giaan (Wisdom) time and again reminds to continually understand and live the Naam. Because without Naam all are ugly in front of the Truth (ਸੱਚ).

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੈਸੇ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਸਰੂਪ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੈਸੇ ਕੁਬਜ ਕੁਰੂਪ ॥੩॥੨੫॥: Says Kabeer: Persons without the Naam are like one who has beautiful features but actually looks crooked and ugly. ||3||25|| (sggs 328).
  • ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਬਸਿਓ ਤਿਨ ਮਾਤ ਕੀਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਂਝਾ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਸੁੰਞੀ ਦੇਹ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਓਇ ਖਪਿ ਖਪਿ ਮੁਏ ਕਰਾਂਝਾ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਜਪਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਝਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਧਾਰੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੀਓ ਮਨੁ ਸਮਝਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: For those people who do not have the divine Naam in their Heart (i.e. mind), they should not have been born into this world (because), their minds remain empty of the Naam, they walk around without Naam, and they continue to suffer — Nameless persons remain engrossed in Bikaar; and remain victim of spiritual death. ||1|| O my MIND! Understand the divine Naam. Hari (Mool) is ever merciful, through the Guru’s Giaan or Wisdom, my mind has understood (the value of Naam). ||Pause|| (sggs 697).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਬੇਤਾਲਿਆ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਾਣਸ ਚੰਮਿ ਪਲੇਟੇ ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਕਾਲਿਆ ॥: Manmukh are devoid of the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…); they deal with falsehood and wander about aimlessly. (In reality) they are animals, wrapped up in human skin — meaning outside skin is only human but inside there are animals (corrupt, Bikaaree etc.). (sggs 1284).
  • ਜੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਭ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਦੀਜੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਭਾਇਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: Even if we make the whole earth gold and put it in front of (those who have become convinced in Naam), they still don’t like anything other than the divine Naam. (sggs 444).

The Gurbani asserts as is one’s mentality or intellect, that’s what will come out (appears; becomes manifest, revealed, apparent or evident through actions and words) of that person mouth.

Simply put: as oppose to material consciousness (Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree lifestyle), we are urged by the Gurmat to always abide in Naam Awareness (divine life or Gurmukh-Hood).

  • ਗੁਣ ਵਿਹੂਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਲੁ ਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਜਨਮਿ ਮੁਏ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੩॥ ਸਰੀਰਿ ਸਰੋਵਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਪਰਗਟਿ ਕੀਏ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਥਿ ਤਤੁ by  ਕਢੀਏ ॥੪॥੫॥੫੭॥: (Those) without Virtues, bear the filth of Maya (in their minds). Those without Virtues die in false ego-sense. ||3|| O Nanak! By becoming the Gurmukh, who churns this (body-pool through Shabad-Vichaar), discovers Knowledge (ਤੱਤ ਗਿਆਨ…). ||4||5||57|| (sggs 367).

In short, keeping the Naam Awareness in mind, the Gurbani is asking us to practically live it (practice – ਅਮਲ).

Aptly, empty (ਥੋਥਾ) rituals or formalities (Karamkaand) of any sort are REJECTED in the Gurbani for they are worthless, akin to ‘HUSK without grain’!

  • ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਕੂੜੀ ਕੂੜੀ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਧੋਵੈ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਬਣਾਏ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੋ ਬਹੁ ਧਾਵੈ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਨੀਂਦ ਵਿਆਪਿਆ ਕਾਮਿ ਸੰਤਾਪਿਆ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਮ ਹਉ ਜੁਗਤਾ ਤੁਹ ਕੁਟੇ ਕਿਆ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: A person who is blind inwardly (i.e. mentally blind) and blind outwardly (from conduct or deeds: ਕਾਲੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ), sings (or recite scriptures) deceptively or falsely (ਝੂਠੀ ਮੂਠੀ). He washes his body, and draws ritual marks (on his body), and greatly runs after wealth. But (still) the filth of his false ego-sense (Haumai) is not removed from within, and goes astray in life again and again. Engulfed in sleep (sleeping in love with Maya), and tormented by lust, he says ‘Hari Hari’ with his mouth. He is called a Vaishnav (devotee of Vishanu), but he is bound to deeds of false ego-sense (Haumai); this is like threshing HUSKS, and this (i.e. deeds like washing body, putting ritual marks on body etc.) is of no avail (i.e. by thrashing just husks, no grains can be obtained). (sggs 960).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਜਪਨੀ ਕਾਠ ਕੀ ਕਿਆ ਦਿਖਲਾਵਹਿ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹੀ ਇਹ ਜਪਨੀ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਇ ॥੭੫॥: O Kabeer! Why do you show other people your wooden rosary beads? You do not remember Raam (Mool…) in your Heart, so what use is this rosary to you? ||75|| (sggs 1368).

Bhagat Kabeer Jee also compares all sorts religious paraphernalia with ‘Bhangaar’ (‘ਭੰਗਾਰ’) if a person is filled within with Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their numerous variations such as falsehood, corruption, envy, selfishness, stubbornness etc.).

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਹੂਆ ਤ ਕਿਆ ਭਇਆ ਮਾਲਾ ਮੇਲੀਂ ਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਬਾਰਹਾ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਭਰੀ ਭੰਗਾਰ ॥: O Kabeer! What good is it to appear like a devotee of Vishnu, and wear four Maalaa (rosary)? On the outside, you (pretend to) look like pure gold (i.e., pious, holy, pure, Mahaatamaa…); but on the inside, you are stuffed with filth or Bhangaar (Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and their numerous variations…).  (sggs 1372).

Among many more such examples (ਮਿਸਾਲ), here is an another fitting example used in the Gurbani — ‘ladles’ (ਕੜਛੀਆ).

Although ladles (ਕੜਛੀਆ) cruise through all sorts of food, but they do not know the relish of food — they just remain empty of the taste of the food they cruise in!

  • ਕੜਛੀਆ ਫਿਰੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸੁਆਉ ਨ ਜਾਣਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸੁਞੀਆ ॥ ਸੇਈ ਮੁਖ ਦਿਸੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਰਸਿ ॥੧॥: Ladles cruise through food, (but) they do not know the taste of it, they remain empty (ਖਾਲੀ, devoid of it). O Nanak! Those faces look (radiant, etc.) who are imbued with the relish of the Divine Love. ||1|| (sggs 521).

Yet, in an another example of paddy and the husk, Bhagat Kabeer Jee imparts wisdom as follows:

In the process of separating the rice and the husk, the rice is beaten with mallet to get rid of the the husk. As the rice is beaten, the husk also gets beaten along with the rice. Similarly, the Gurbani tells us, if we stick (keep, join etc.) with a bad association (ਕੁਸੰਗ, ਵਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸੁਹਬਤਿ, ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗ, etc.) we also get threshed along with the bad company we keep. For, we also become Bikaaree or do evil. As the expression goes, ‘we are the company we keep!’

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਚਾਵਲ ਕਾਰਣੇ ਤੁਖ ਕਉ ਮੁਹਲੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਸੰਗਿ ਕੁਸੰਗੀ ਬੈਸਤੇ ਤਬ ਪੂਛੇ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ॥੨॥: O Kabir! For the sake of (separating) the rice (from husks), husks get beaten and threshed. In the same way when a person who sits with bad company or ‘Kusang‘ (he gets affected by the ‘Kusang‘ or ‘Bikaar‘ and commits vices), hence he has to suffer the consequences of his transgressions according to the divine Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature (Dharam Raai or Raaj = divine Hukam). ||2|| (sggs 965).
  • ਜੋ ਜੈਸੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੋ ਤੈਸੋ ਫਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥੮੬॥: According to the company (a man) keeps, gets the similar reward (i.e., acquires similar thinking or Soch, qualities…) ||86|| (sggs 1369).

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. * = required fields.