NO, NO, NO….!
As a matter of fact, the revolutionary ‘Soch-ਸੋਚ’ (thinking) of the Gurus and Bhagats did not mean at all to regurgitate the then exiting crafty, blind, unjust, deluded or hypocrite Pujaaree-Vaad (priesthood, clergy…) or their phony ritualism (Karamkaand, formalities…), counterfeit gods, outdated or irrelevant or illogical concepts and ‘Prampraas’, etc.
Hence, the Gurbani is not regurgitation of the messages already in use in India’s religious traditions and teachings.
If the Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) was merely meant to regurgitate what was already existing — outdated or irrelevant or illogical nonsense — in the society before the Gurus then what was the real need of the Gurus and Bhagats spending their lives writing Gurbani? In other words, what was the utter need for the Gurus advancing the Way of Sikhi?
Just think about it! Bhai Gurdas Ji confirms:
- ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਿੱਕਾ ਜਗਤ ਵਿਚ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਪੰਥ ਚਲਾਯਾ ॥: Mariya Sikka Jagat Vich, Nanak Nirmal Panth Chalaaya: The Way (of Sikhi lifestyle or spirituality) of Baabaa Nanak has its trademark in its uniqueness (i.e. ‘ਨਿਰਮਲ-Nirmal’ = unique, spotless, stainless, free of adulteration or distortion etc.). (Bhai Gurdas Ji).
However, to the contrary, the current selfish and illiterate Pujaaree-Vaad extends the Gurmat Wisdom as regurgitations of the outdated and irrelevant concepts prevalent in India’s religious traditions and teachings.
As a result, old concepts (outdated or irrelevant or illogical nonsense) that existed before the Gurus and the Bhagats remained intact in most Teekaas (translations of the SGGS) to date. For example Rabb (Hari, Prabhu, Allah, etc.), four Yuga, Mantra, cycle of reincarnation, life after death, Ram or Raam, Dharm Raj, Amrit, place of ancestors, Dasam Duar, ablutions and pilgrimage, ponds or Srovar, oil lamp (ਦੀਪਕ), Gur Charan Kamal, Gur Charan Dhoorh, Gur Moorat, Satguru or Guru, divine Naam, the Sootak, Yoga and Yogi, Maya, Brahmin, Bhagti, Pandit, Harmandir, Pandit, Dharma, Sidhi, ghost and goblin, Jap, Poojaa; Maalaa or Rosary, Jotish or horoscope, pilgrimage, Arti (ਆਰਤੀ), fasting, Sannyasa or renunciation, Saadhoo and Sant, Kirtan (ਕੀਰਤਨ), Muslim, Haj and Haajee, Kaabaa, Paap Punn (ਪਾਪ ਪੁੰਨ), Gobind, miracles (Karaamaat), Chitar Gupat (ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਗੁਪਤ), Rahat, Baikunth or heaven, hell, Teerath, ਦਾਨ (Daan), Pujaaree system, and many more.
In fact, the Gurbani holds the Pujaaree systems responsible for the destruction of the spiritual lifestyle in the human society — blocking people’s intellect (Budh-ਬੁੱਧ) from developing!
Aptly, the Gurbani urges us to reject and discard them.
- 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).
But these truths of the Gurbani should be known only to those who read the SGGS themselves and thus have some understanding of the Gurbani. Otherwise, only Manmat (ਮਨਮਤ-mind’s will or dictates) are considered as Gurmat by everyone!
Total and complete Uniqueness and Newness in the Gurbani
‘Pramparaa-ਪਰੰਪਰਾ’ (orders, rules, traditions, etc.) are guidelines that help groups, organizations and society to function smoothly. They are crafted at a particular time under certain circumstances for a particular need. With differing situations, and the passage of time, ‘Pramparaa’ too must be interpreted and implemented wisely and if necessary changed.
Individuals who challenge an institution require great courage of conviction and character to change what is irrelevant and often outdated. Few amongst humans possess this great quality.
Our all Gurus and all Bhagats possessed this great quality to change what was irrelevant and outdated; and which did not stand up to logic, commonsense, practicality, etc. (ਬਿਬੇਕ, ਤਰਕ…).
Hence, there is a total and complete Uniqueness and Newness in the Gurbani! Furthermore, the Gurbani has very distinct goals.
Its subject matter and distinct goals are meant to revolutionize humankind’s spiritual quest, NOT to regurgitate existing Karamkaand, phony religious beliefs, or the corrupt conduct and practices of the freeloading Pujaaree-Vaad.
- ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਿਕਾ ਜਗਤ੍ਰਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਪੰਥ ਚਲਾਇਆ ।: In the world, (Baabaa) Nanak established and started a Unique (i.e., ‘Nirmal‘: devoid of any impurity…) Way (of life, spiritual life, Hukam…). (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar1, Pauree 45).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: There is only Naam (Giaan or Wisdom…) in Nanak’s Home (i.e., mind or Heart). ||4||4|| (sggs 1136).
In order to impart the Truth (ਸਚ), all 35 contributors of the SGGS have used terms that were already within the use and within the psyche of people of the time.
However, they have used these terms as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), but explicitly with new meanings and understanding to fit the new spiritual paradigms of Sikhi or Gurmat.
Crafty Pujaaree system destroyed the spiritual lifestyle in human society
Consider the following verses of Baabaa Nanak:
- 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 bribe and what pertains to others …). The Brahmin kills (inflicts pain on people by mistreating and 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 (ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਜਾਚ). These three are the cause of destruction of spiritual life (of their own and other people by leading them astray from the Way of Truth). ||2|| (sggs 662).
For example, although these three — Qazi, Brahmin, and Yogi — call themselves the defenders, guardians or leaders of religion (ਧਰਮ-ਨੇਤਾ), but according to the Gurbani within them is the void or vacuum of spiritual life (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਸੁੰਞ). They numb people’s intellect from developing and lead people astray from the Way of Truth (Sach).
Baabaa Nanak says that the corrupt Pujaaree has ruined (ਉਜਾੜਾ) the entire human society. Their thinking and actions are fetters. Their false practices and conduct are imprisonment that brings annihilation of their own spiritual life (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਮੌਤ) as well as of their ignorant followers. In turn, they ruin the entire society.
To say it otherwise, the Pjaaree has blocked everybody’s intellect from developing.
Instead, it is a distorted, corrupted and tainted Sikhi of the illiterate and crafty Pujaaree groups — Ragi, Bhai, Granthi, Giaanee, Kathaakaar, Deraavaad Sants or Baabaas, Jathedaar-Vaad, Takhat-Vaad, foolish and dishonest so called scholars, etc.
When Baabaa Nanak calls them liars, fool, ignorant, Satan, bewildered or lost, traders of Maya, greedy, treacherous, harmful, deceptive, conmen (‘Thuggs’), etc., he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about them is very true (ਸਚ-Sach)!
The corrupt Pujaaree (clerics or priests) work in concert with the corrupt leaders or rulers of the time. They are ‘Hand in Glove’ with each other — ‘you scratch my back I scratch yours’, as the saying goes!
The Pujaaree groups of each organized and institutionalized religion may have different traditions, formalities (Karamkaand), peculiar religious robes or appearance etc., but their Soch (thinking) is the same — exploit people by provoking emotions (ਭਾਵਨਾਵਾਂ), enslave their minds and stop them from developing; keep them ignorant, wandering, misguided (ਗੁਮਰਾਹ), fearful and greedy, superstitious, doubt-ridden (ਵਹਮ-ਭਰਮ), foolish, tangled in meaningless ritualism, hating and killing ‘others’, and so on.
- ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੋਗੀ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੰਗਮ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਕਾਜੀ ਮੁੰਲਾ ॥ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਗੁਤੇ ਫਿਟਾ ਵਤੈ ਗਲਾ ॥: They are not Yogis, and they are not Jangams, and they are not Qazis or Mullahs. Lost (separated…) from the Merciful (Lord), they wander around in sad plight, and their entire band is disdainful (sggs 149-150).
- ਮੂਰਖ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਜਤਿ ਸੰਜੈ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: The foolish Pandit, by their clever arguments (crafty tricks…), are fond of gathering wealth (Maya…). (sggs 469).
- ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲਿ ਪਾਡੇ ਸਚੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥: O Pandit! Do not tell lies, speak the Truth (sggs 904).
Thus, with logic or commonsense (ਤਰਕ), the Gurbani hits hard not only the Pujaaree groups, but also hits hard on their bases (Dere, camps-ਡੇਰੇ, ਅੱਡੇ ).
- ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: (Although one born from human category) belongs to the human specie, but his deeds are that of animals (However, he) day and night humbugs or show off to people (that he is a human, ਬੰਦਾ…)! Outside (on his body) is the religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya (However, the filth of the mind) cannot concealed by trying to conceal it with (outwardly wearing religious robes. (sggs 267).
Apparently, what we seem to forget or ignore is that these teachings of the Gurbani also apply to all Sikhs!
Influence of Brahminical and Yogic beliefs on Sikhi
In majority of the Gurdwaras around the world (perhaps over 99 percent), you will see tremendous influence of all these in today’s Sikhi. It’s no longer the Sikhi that was taught to us by our Gurus or the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.
Sikhi as it is practiced today is a Sikhi of the anti-Sikhi Pujaaree-Vaad. In short, the illiterate and dishonest Pujaaree-Vaad has pretty much eroded the Uniqueness and Newness of Sikhi to its core.
Question is how did the anti-Sikhi Pujaaree-Vaad in Sikhi become so powerful and able to distort and corrupt the Uniqueness of the Sikhi or the Gurmat (Giaan, Wisdom, Upadesh, Sikhiaa, Way of the SGGS)?
Let’s take a little peek at the history.
One answer to the above question is that a void and vacuum was created after the fall of Sikh Raj of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (1718).
This void and vacuum was filled by groups who were mainly anti-Sikhi — Udasis, Nirmalas, Deravaad Sants, etc. With the support and patronage of the two foreign powers that ruled Punjab then – the Mughals and the British – these anti-Sikhi groups controlled the daily business of running Gurdwaras, institutions and everything related to them. These foreign powers actively supported groups like Udasis, Nirmalas, Deravaad Sants, and so on.
In short, the Udasi sect was started by Sri Chand — the eldest son of Baabaa Nanak. Sri Chand rejected the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak. The Udasi, including Sri Chand, adopted Yoga practices rooted in Shiv Puran. This culture of the Yogis was rejected by Baabaa Nanak.
The Nirmala sect landed into Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions from Benares beginning 1765. The Benares-based Nirmalas were well connected to Brahmanism — who were anti-Sikhi from the day Baabaa Nanak refused to wear the Janeyu.
The class of Sants slides into Sikhi about beginning of the 19th century.
As a matter of fact — throughout the period of the Gurus (1469 – 1708) — no Sikh was ever called a Sant or referred to with the title of ‘Sant’.
In fact, many of the original heads of Deraas in Punjab were veterans of the British army in India! Apparently, they were supported by the British Raj for the main purpose of (1) distorting, tainting and corrupting the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak, and (2) to divide Sikhs to weaken them for easy control of the VAST Punjab province, which (during the British Raj, NOT now) streched from Himachal Pradesh in the east to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the west!
Those who call themselves Sant are termed in the Gurbani ‘ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ’ (Benares Kay Thugg) meaning ‘fraudulent or conmen posing as Sants or spiritual persons.’
Additional anti Sikhi groups:
In this mix of Udasis, Nirmalas and Deravaad Sants are some other opponents of the Sikhi and the Gurus — Prithi Chand (the eldest son of Guru Ram Das), Ram Rai (the eldest son of Guru Har Rai), Dhir Mall (the elder son of Baba Gurditta and a grandson of Guru Hargobind), and their followers.
- ਉਲਟੀ ਗੰਗ ਵਹਾਈਓਨ ਗੁਰ ਅੰਗਦ ਸਿਰ ਉਪਰ ਧਾਰਾ ॥ ਪੁਤੀਂ ਕੌਲ ਨ ਪਾਲਿਆ ਮਨ ਖੋਟੇ ਆਕੀ ਨਸਿਆਰਾ ॥: (Baabaa Nanak) performed an extraordinary practice in installing Angad as his successor Guru. His sons (i.e., sons of Baabaa Nanak: Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das) defied his spirituality on account of their malice, and rose to rebellion and desertion. (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 1, Pauree 38.).
- ਮੋਹਣੁ ਕਮਲਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਚਉਬਾਰਾ ਮੋਹਰੀ ਮਨਾਇਆ ॥ ਮੀਣਾ ਹੋਇਆ ਪਿਰਥੀਆ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਤੋਂਡਕ ਬਰਲੁ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥: Mohan (son of Guru Amardas) got insane (ਝੱਲਾ, ਬੇ-ਅਕਲ…) and Mohart (the second son) lived in a lofty house and started getting served by the people. Prithy Chand (son of Guru Ramdas) came out as dissembling scoundrel and using his oblique nature spread his mental sickness all round. (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 26, Paurhee 33).
All these anti-Sikhi groups have highjacked the unique Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak! They have severely eroded it to its core.
The Pujaaree’s Sikhi is a Sikhi of fake granths like ‘Suraj Parkash’, ‘Gur Bilas Pa. 6’, so called ‘Dasam Granth’, concocted story-books (e.g., Baalaa Sakhi book, Mani Singh Sakhi book, etc.), and many books published by the Deraavaad Sants which are full of what has been rejected by the Gurmat — fake and laughable Karaamaatee stories (Sakhi-ਸਾਖੀ), falsehood (ਝੂਠ), embellished history with imaginary facts along the lines of Brahminical literature, mythology, Karamkaand, etc.
Read them yourself to find out they are exact opposite of the Unique message of the SGGS!
The content of these granths clearly suggests they are written by Brahmins, Pandits or Yogis in Sikh masks, mainly to distort, corrupt and taint the revolutionary ‘Soch’ (thinking) of the Gurus and Bhagats.
NEXT, look at the dishonest so called Sikh scholars (Pandits-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ). They were supposed to understand the Uniqueness, Newness and equally distinct goals of the Gurbani, and then honestly share that with people AS IT IS.
INSTEAD, these dishonest scholars became a part of the crowd (ਭੀੜ) that follows the path of Brahmins, Yogi, etc. — path of lies; Karamkaand (empty rituals or formalities…), hypocrisy; pilgrimage; Golak (business, ਧੰਧਾ), self-glory (ਅਪਣੀ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਾਉਣੀ); pretension; falsehood, corruption, fraud, deception, ostentatious shows of religiosity, Pujaaree System; Deraavaad (ਵੇਹਲੜ ਲੋਕਾ ਦੇ ਅੱਡੇ); counterfeit god, etc.
As a result — although the Uniqueness and Newness of the Gurbani was total and complete; and every aspect of Sikhi or Sikh Way of life was uniquely different from the then existing ones — the Gurbani has been distorted and corrupted to the core through vedic and puranic slants in interpretations and translations by the dishonest Pujaaree-Vaad.
Gurbani is NOT meant to regurgitate beliefs that exited before the Gurus
The Truth is: Whatever the then Pujaaree (Pandit, Brahmin, Mullaan, and so on) have written, the Gurbani rejects all of that and asks us to do the same:
- 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).
- ਨਾ ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਨ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ॥: I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim. (sggs 1136).
Because, there is the Newness and the Uniqueness in the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak and the Gurbani’s Message. Also, the goals of Baabaa Nanak’s Sikhi are distinct.
In short, it’s NOT a way of the outdated and irrelevant ‘Parampraa’ (traditions, etc.), blind-faith (ਅੰਧ-ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ, ਅੰਨੀ ਸ਼ਰਧਾਂ), ritualism, falsehood, superstitions, irrational or illogical thinking (ਤਰਕਹੀਣਤਾ), concocted texts and stories etc., that existed before Baabaa Nanak.
Unfortunately, the true Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak has been hijacked by the corrupt Pujaaree-Vaad.
Discover and recognize UNIQUENESS and NEWNESS of Gurbani
The Gurbani is a ‘New Treasure’ of Wisdom (‘ਨਵ ਨਿਧਿ’)!
If we seriously want to discover the Gurmat’s Newness, Uniqueness, and equally distinct goals, then the Gurbani says we must abandon or reject the ‘Soch’ (thinking) of the dishonest Pujaaree-Vaad and the dishonest so called Sikh scholars (Pandits-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) along with their bases (i.e., camps or Dera of religious hooliganism, freeloaders, loose lifestyle – ਵੇਹਲੜ ਲੋਕਾ ਦੇ ਐਸ਼ਪਰਸਤੀ ਦੇ ਅੱਡੇ, ਡੇਰੇ).
Because, as long as these bases (camps, ਅੱਡੇ, ਡੇਰੇ) of the dishonest Pujaaree-Vaad are not exposed for what they are, the Pujaaree and scholars will change but the business (ਧੰਧਾ) of corruption at these bases will continue as usual in the name of the Gurbani and the Gurus.
Let’s not lose sight of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ — many honest, fearless and selfless individuals have already contributed and are contributing to solving the riddle (‘ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ’) posed by the Gurus, and sharing the Newness and Uniqueness of the Gurbani’s message and goals AS IT IS.