A person born from the womb of a mother is not a Sikh. One has to BECOME a Sikh!
After birth, the one who liked the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS…), the one who became sincere student or learner (i.e., Sikh) of the SGGS, the one who took the wisdom, the one who worked dedicatedly to this Gurmat ‘Soch’ (thinking-ਸੋਚ), and the one who lived daily life accordingly, is a Sikh.
In short, Sikh is the Conscious (Surat – ਸੁਰਤ), NOT the physical body-frame.
That said — regardless of one’s religion, family of birth, nationality, etc. — anybody can choose to become a Sikh!
Hence, according to the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, one’s Surat (ਸੁਰਤ-consciousness, mind, Soch-ਸੋਚ) has to become a Sikh. Because it’s the mind (not the physical body-frame) that needs to Awaken from sleep paralysis — slumbering mind attached to Maya.
- ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: The Shabad (i.e. Giaan or Wisdom is my) Guroo. (Not the body, but) abidance of the Consciousness (i.e., my mind or Soch-ਸੋਚ) is the disciple (of this Shabad-Guroo). (sggs 943).
- ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾਂ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਭਾਣੀ ॥: Daas Nanak speaks the Amrit Bani. (Giaan or Wisdom of this Bani) is dear and pleasing to the minds of the GurSikhs (sggs 96).
Thus, it’s the mind that must learn and change.
Hence, it’s the mind that needs to become a Sikh (learner – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) through the the Spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS. In other words, you cannot imprint ‘Sikh’ on the newborn! One has to become a ‘Sikh’!
Therefore, the mind must get pierced through by the Gur-Shabad (“ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਮਨੁ ਬੇਧਿਆ”) — the mind needs to thoroughly understand it, digest it, and then infallibly live it in daily life (Gurmukh lifestyle). Thus, clearly:
Sikhi => The Way of life based on the Divine Wisdom or Giaan of the SGGS.
A Sikh => A Learner (i.e., a learner).
“Sikh” or “Seekh” of the “Gur“ also mean Gur-Counsel, Gur-Wisdom., Gur-Giaan, etc.
In nutshell it’s the mind (“ਜੀਅਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਲੇ”) that has to become a Sikh – NOT the gross body! The SGGS defines a Sikh as follows:
- ਜੇ ਕੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਹੋਵੈ ਤ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਲੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਧਿਆਏ ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮੈ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਛਡਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਪਰਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਏ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਏ ॥੨੧॥: If a Sikh turns (as ‘Sunmukhu’) to the Guru (i.e., whose mind – NOT body – remains connected with the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਮਨ ਕਰਕੇ, ਸਰੀਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਨਹੀ). (That Sikh) remembers the Gur-Wisdom in his Heart, and maintains it within his mind. Renouncing selfishness and conceit, Gur-Wisdom remains always his Support (ਟੇਕ), and he does not consider anyone except the Gu-Wisdom (as his Support). Says Nanak! Hear, O Satsangees, such a Sikh can remain as ‘Sunmukhu’ (i.e., his mind united to the Wisdom of the Guru). (sggs 919).
- 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 (Hukam, Gurmat, the Gurbani’s Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 601).
- ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਜਵਾਹਰ ਮਾਣਕ ਸੇਵੇ ਸਿਖੁ ਸੋੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਲਹੈ ॥੧॥: The Gur-Upadesh (i.e., Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) are the Gems and Jewels; a Sikh who serves (through the Shabad-Vichaar) searches and finds them. ||1|| (sggs 1328).
- ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣੀਜੈ ॥: O MY MIND! Listen to the Gur-Counsel (Wisdom, Giaan…). (sggs 1334).
- ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhi sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).
Clearly, it’s the mind (Soch-ਸੋਚ, thinking) that has to become the Sikh (‘ਜੀਅਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਲੇ’), NOT the gross body-frame!
Because, it’s the mind that must become Pure and Truthful. As far as gross body is concerned, it can only be washed clean of dirt, BUT cannot become Pure or Truthful !
- ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਤਨਿ ਧੋਤੈ ਮਨੁ ਹਛਾ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: When the mind is filthy, everything is filthy; by washing the body, the mind is not cleaned (sggs 558).
Because, such “rare” Sikh who has realized the Truth is not needy of any dogmas, complex and antagonistic adherents, religious parapgernalia, Karamkaand or empty rituals or concocted stories (ਮੰਨ-ਘੜੰਤ ਸਾਖੀਆਂ) created by the crafty and illiterate Pujaare groups (Ragi, Bhai, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, so called ‘foolish scholars’, etc.) and the corrupt Pujaaree system that have no place in Gurmat.
In nutshell, a ‘Sikh’ being a ‘learner – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ’, he is not bound by ideology or Karamkaand (i.e., rituals)!
Bottom line is that the mind must become Sikh.
Rest is mere business in the name of Gurbani and Sikhi (‘ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ-Biouhaaree‘: Maya’s traders, worshipers of Mammon, Karamkaandee, Pakhandee, farud…). Baabaa Nanak confirms it as follows:
- ਕੋਟਿ ਮਧੇ ਕੋ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਸਗਲੇ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Out of millions, hardly anyone is (Your attendant) ‘Sewak’. All others are mere traders (selfish, i.e., their religiosity is only for show off or business). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 495).
Because, what’s happening is to the contrary — we use the Gurbani or SGGS as a business! Implication is this: If the mind (Soch-ਸੋਚ, thinking) remains Un-Sikh, then everything else is of no avail. Because — according to the Gurbani — without the Divine Knowledge one’s mind stands plundered.
The Gurbani asserts that one who has truly become a Sikh, he reflects on the Gur-Shabad and lives daily life by the Gur-Giaan: Gurmat. That ‘rare’ Sikh constantly bathes the mind in the immaculate pool of the Spiritual Wisdom, within.
To put it otherwise, the SGGS indicates that the true Sikhs are those who have understood to live Sikhi by learning it through the Gur-Vichaar (through reflecting on the Gur-Giaan, Wisdom of the Gurbani…).
- ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕਉ ਨਾਮ ਧਨੁ ਦੇਇ ॥: Satiguru gives the Wealth of Naam (Giaan or Wisdom) to his Sikh (sggs 286).
Only such GurSikhs can solve the Riddle!
Sikhi is Giaan-Maarag (Way of Wisdom)
SGGS is the Giaan-Guru or the Bibek-Guru – ਗਿਆਨ, ਬਿਬੇਕ or Wisdom).
- ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is ‘Bibek(u)’ (Wisdom, Discerning Intelligence…). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
- ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
Hence, the SGGS is the Source or Means of Giaan (Wisdom), NOT the source of business or “Golak” (money, ਧੰਧਾ) in the name of Dharma and SGGS.
In other words, Shabad-Vichaar is the pilgrimage in Sikhi (Gurmukh lifestyle).
- ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਥਾਨੁ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਦਸ ਪੁਰਬ ਸਦਾ ਦਸਾਹਰਾ ॥: The Gur-Wisdom is Eternal sacred shrine of pilgrimage (for me, which is equal to) the congregation of ten (Holy days or festivals for me). (sggs 687).
However, this Giaan the Gurbani talks about differs from the ordinary knowledge of the relation of subject and object. It’s the absolute Knowledge. Hence, the Giaan or the Divine Knowledge the Gurmat talks about is does not consists in knowing objects — knowing objects is relative knowledge.
Ths Gurbani or the Gurmat asks its Sikhs to bathe or take a dip in the water or pond of (Sarover) this Giaan Teerath.
- ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਣ ਜਾਉ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: Go bathe at the Teerath, (and that Teerath is) the Naam-Teerath. To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar…) is the Teerath, (because of this) Spiritual Wisdom arises within (sggs 687).
One is not a real Sikh if mind is still stuck in ignorance
Absence of Giaan (Divine Wisdom) is the darkness of ignorance talked about in the Gurbani. Ignorance is lack or absence of Giaan. The Gur-Giaan (Gur-Wisdom) is the antidote for ignorance.
- ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥: Bereft of Spiritual Wisdom, (people) worship or adore ignorance. In the love of duality (in love of Maya, their) conduct or behavior (keeps them mentally blind or ignorant. (sggs 1412).
Clearly, the target in Sikhi is to dispel the darkness of ignorance with the Light of Gur-Wisdom (Gur-Giaan). In other words, after reading or listening to the Gurbani, Giaan (Wisdom) must spring up within. Otherwise, the Gurbani indicates there is no difference between man and animals.
- ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Listening to the Gurmat (Shabad-Giaan, Teaching of the Gurbani, etc.), (if) no Spiritual Wisdom (understanding of the Spiritual Life…) wells up within; (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
The Gurbani leads us to the Light – Wisdom or Giaan.
Hence, the only way to avoid the foolish mind falling into the dark pit of ignorance is to cultivate Aatm-Giaan through Shabad-Vichaar.
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਿਟਿਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥: When the Shabad abides within, the darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 798).
- ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਮਿਟਿ ਗਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਚਰਾਗੁ ॥: The Gur-Wisdom is (akin to) the kindled lamp that dispels darkness of ignorance (from within) (sggs 849).
Ignorance gives rise to duality (Doojaa-Bhaav, the sense of tow-ness, relativist consciousness, the principle of plurality, the notion of “I, you, me”, love of Maya, Dubidhaa, ਮੇਰ-ਤੇਰ…). In turn, duality gives rise to divisions, friction, separateness, animosity, hatred, unfriendliness, madness of Jaat-Paat, and so on. As soon as our mind brings in the second (Doojaa), it creates subject-object relationship.
The SGGS is the duality breaker! Therefore, if one calls himself/herself a Sikh of the SGGS, then his/her duality must break. Just maintaining Bhekh (robes, religious appearance) will not do the trick.
Implication is that one can call oneself whatever you like, but one cannot be a real Sikh if duality is still alive and active in the mind. Hence. unless duality of the conditioned mind is roasted (eradicated, removed, etc.) through the Gur-Shabad (SGGS), the deluded mind cannot realize the non-dual Truth! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ).
- ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ਜਾਏ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, the love of duality departs (sggs 126).
According to the Gurbani, duality gets destroyed ONLY when Aatmaa (soul) and Praatmaa (our Chetan Mool) become ONE, within.
- ਆਤਮਾ ਪਰਾਤਮਾ ਏਕੋ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਰੈ ॥੧॥: When Aatmaa (soul) and Praatmaa (our Chetan Mool) are turned into ONE (i.e., PooranBrahm), (then) the inner duality become extinct within (sggs 461).
Sikhi is not a part-time job
Clearly, Sikhi is not a part-time job. Rather, Sikhi is living Gurmukh-Lifestyle 24/7 — a Lifestyle guided by the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani.
Fittingly, the Gurbani’s edict is that Sikhi is earnestly learning the Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad through Shabad-Vichaar, and then living that Wisdom in daily life (Gurmukh Lifestyle). Although an uphill climb, nonetheless, this is the real Bhagati in Sikhi.
- ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
Since the mind is nothing but thoughts-stuff (Phurne-ਫੁਰਨੇ), a Sikh’s thinking (Soch) must change with the Gur-Giaan (Gur-Wisdom). Transformed thinking translates into transformed mind or thoughts, speech, and actions (Karma).
Hence, one cannot put a price tag on Sikhi. Also, one cannot make a Sikh to an order or give Sikhi or Aatam-Giaan (Spiritual Knowledge) to someone in a ready-made package! In nutshell, one cannot bribe or buy someone into the Sikh fold. Because:
- ਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖੀ ਦਾ ਸਮਝਣਾ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਜਗਾਵਣਹਾਰਾ।: To understand Sikhi is to have the ‘Joti’ (mind, consciousness, Surat-ਸੁਰਤ…) Awakened to ‘Joti’ (Mool, True Nature, Antar-Aatmaa, Wisdom or Gur-Giaan…). (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 28).
- ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਿਆਣਾ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੋਲਾ।: listening to the Gur-Giaan (Wisdom, Upadesh..), Gur-Sikh become Wise within and simple (innocent) without. (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 17).
- ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥੨੦॥: (So long there is breath – Praan) With own hands (with self-efforts, ਉੱਦਮ ਕਰ ਕੇ: Shabad-Vichaar …), resolve your own affair yourself. ||20|| (sggs 474).
In nutshell, ‘Sikhi’ is not a game of the gross body-frame. It’s the mind (Surat – ਸੁਰਤ) that needs to become the ‘Sikh’. However, since it’s the gross body-frame still being worshipped, that’s why the the gross body-frame itself is still being made a ‘Sikh’!