First off, the purpose of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is to give us Giaan (Wisdom or Bibek), awaken our intellect to the Wisdom, remove Bikaar from the mind (lust, anger, greed, etc.), refine the mind and conquer it, beautify the life, remove fear and doubt, make us Sooraa or braveheart, transcend Maya‘s bad impact, etc.

In nutshell, the SGGS gives us Knowledge (Giaan) for true pious life!

Clearly, the Gurbani is not meant for sense-gratification — ‘Kann Ras’ (ਕੰਨ ਰਸ), or using it as a business (ਰੋਟੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਜਰੀਆ, ਧੰਧਾ), or worship the SGGS as an idol, or keep it wrapped up or covered in designer ‘s clothing, etc.

In order to impart the Truth (ਸਚ) to masses, as examples (ਹਵਾਲਾ), all the 35 contributors of the SGGS have used terms in their Bani (ਬਾਣੀ) that were prevailing in common language spoken by average citizens of their time. BUT, WITH DIFFERENT OR CHANGED MEANINGS!

Kirtan (ਕੀਰਤਨ) is one of those terms.

The illiterate and crafty Pujaaree-Vaad and the corrupt Pujaaree system have entrusted upon people’s head that (1) Kirtan is the most exalted action (‘ਪਰਧਾਨਾ-Pardhaanaa’), and that (2) Kirtan is to sing the Gurbani aloud with musical instruments.

As we’ll see in the pages that lie ahead the above assertions or the Pujaaree’s interpretation of the Gurbani in this context is totally self-serving (ਧੰਧਾ, business…) and misleading!

The Message of the Gurbani is that those who are corrupt should not be entrusted with responsibility particularly not to lead!

Misinterpretation of the Gurbani by the Pujaaree groups

To justify their false claim of Kirtan being the most exalted action and to impress gullible people who never took SGGS as the source of Wisdom, the cunning Pujaaree groups always misquote the following verse: ‘ਕਲਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥: Kalyug mahi kirtan(u) pardhaanaa‘.

But they seldom quote the next verse, or they misquote that one as well —  ‘ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਲਾਇ ਧਿਆਨਾ ॥: Gurmukhi japeeai laai dhiaanaa‘ — which makes it very clear what the Gurbani is really talking about.

First off, the Gurbani does not believe in four Yuga as does the Brahminism.

For the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), Yugas are the state of an individual’s mind at a given moment.

For example, Kal Yuga is the state of the mind dominated by falsehood, untruthfulness, doubt, ignorance, Haumai (false ego-sense), Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.)…

Also, literally, Kirtan (ਕੀਰਤਨ) means ‘Keerati-ਕੀਰਤਿ’ (ਵਡਿਆਈ, ਸੋਭਾ, ਉਸਤਤ, etc.) to celebrate or propagate the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, of the Gurbani and live it in daily life.

  • ਗੁਨ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਨਿਧਿ ਮੋਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: To live by Virtues (in daily life) is my treasure. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 213).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਉ ॥: Understand the Divine Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…). This is doing the Guru’s ‘Keerati’. (sggs 897).
  • ਕਲਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਨੁ ॥: In the Kali, the ‘Keerati-ਕੀਰਤਿ’ (ਵਡਿਆਈ, ਸੋਭਾ…) is the realization of the Shabad (Wisdom, Upadesh…). (sggs 424).

Now combining both verses:

  • ਕਲਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਲਾਇ ਧਿਆਨਾ ॥: The most exalted is the Kirtan in this Kal Yuga (a corrupt state of the mind). Therefore, by becoming the Gurmukh, understand (the ‘Naam Padaarath’: Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) with full attention (sggs 1075).

Among other verses, the Pujaaree often misquote the following verse: ‘ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਨਿਰਮੋਲਕ ਹੀਰਾ ॥: Kirtan(u) nirmolak heeraa’.

But, when you combine rest of the verses, the picture becomes very clear that here the Gurbani is talking about the Jewel or Diamond (‘Heeraa’) of Wisdom, Virtues (ਗੁਣ).

In nutshell, the SGGS is telling us that the ‘Bani -ਬਾਣੀ’ (i.e., Giaan or Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) is the priceless Jewel of Wisdom, Ocean of Virtues (ਗੁਣ) and Bliss, most excellent ‘Poonjee-ਪੂੰਜੀ’ (wealth, capital, assets, fund, etc.) …

  • ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਨਿਰਮੋਲਕ ਹੀਰਾ ॥ ਆਨੰਦ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰਾ ॥ ਅਨਹਦ ਬਾਣੀ ਪੂੰਜੀ ॥ ਸੰਤਨ ਹਥਿ ਰਾਖੀ ਕੂੰਜੀ ॥੨॥: Kirtan(u) nirmolak heeraa … Santan hathi raakhee Koonjee (sggs 893).

The Gurbani further explains as to what this ‘Koonjee-ਕੂੰਜੀ’ (key) is — Gur-Wisdom or ਗਿਆਨ:

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਕੁੰਜੀ ਪਾਹੂ ਨਿਵਲੁ ਮਨੁ ਕੋਠਾ ਤਨੁ ਛਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਤਾਕੁ ਨ ਉਘੜੈ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਕੁੰਜੀ ਹਥਿ ॥੧॥: (One’s) mind is (like a) house, the body is (like its) roof, and the attachment of Maya is lock (on this house of the mind – like the chain locked on the animal legs). The Guru (Gur-Wisdom or ਗਿਆਨ) is the key (that open this lock – this is only key that can remove the spell of Maya from the mind…). O Nanak! Without the Guru (Gur-Wisdom or ਗਿਆਨ), the door of the mind cannot be opened. No one else holds the key in hand (to open this lock) ||1|| (sggs 1237).

Gurbani rejects the Pujaaree’s definition of Kirtan

The Gurbani tells us both honest work (righteous Karma, actions, duties, earning truthful living, etc.) and Bhagti are essential to realize the Truth. The implication is mere singing of Kirtan will not fool Rabb.

Baabaa Nanak warns these beggars as follows:

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੀਤ ॥ ਭੁਖੇ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਘਰੇ ਮਸੀਤਿ ॥ ਮਖਟੂ ਹੋਇ ਕੈ ਕੰਨ ਪੜਾਏ ॥ ਫਕਰੁ ਕਰੇ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਗਵਾਏ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੀਰੁ ਸਦਾਏ ਮੰਗਣ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਲਗੀਐ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥: The one who lacks wisdom sings religious songs (for the sake of earning bread). The hungry Mullah turns his home into a mosque (or he also goes to mosque for the sake of bread!). The lazy bum has his ears pierced to look like a Yogi. Someone else becomes a panhandler, and thus loses his self-respect. Someone calls himself a Guru, while he goes around begging for bread – don’t ever touch their feet (i.e., don’t follow their example in life, or don’t follow their lifestyle). Do (the honest) work, and then help the needy. O Nanak! Such people know the true Way of life. ||1|| (sggs 1245).

The Gurbani has strong words of caution, warning, admonition (whatever we want to call it) about the kind Kirtan that’s being promoted and  propagated by the Pujaaree groups — Ragi, Bhai, Kathaakaar, Deraa-Vaad, Baabaa-Vaad, Sant-Vaad, Jathedaar, so called ‘foolish scholars’, etc.

However, we almost never hear Raagees (professional singers of the Gurbani) talk about it!

It’s not surprising at all!.

Because, if they do, it will be like the famous proverbial expression: ‘kicking on one’s own stomach’ (ਅਪਣੇ ਪੇਟ ਪਰ ਲੱਤ ਮਾਰਨੀ). The Gurbani says:

  • ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥: For the sake of bread, they perform melodiously (sggs 465).
  • ਸਚਾ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਉ ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜਈ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥: The True, Unseen, Mysterious (Universal Energy) is not won over by stubbornness. Some sing according to traditional Raag, but the Lord (Rabb) is not pleased by these Raag. (sggs 1285).
  • ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੀਤ ਨ ਚੀਨਹਿ ਆਪੁ ॥: You sing the songs, but you do not understand your own self (i.e., your Mool). (sggs 903).
  • ਸਬਦੈ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ॥: You do not enjoy the sublime taste of the Shabad – what (is the use of) singing Praises stubborn-mindedly? (sggs 549).

To keep us from sinking into Maya’s illusion, we are time and again alerted by the Gurban.

If not alert, than we take the risk of falling into the same dark pit of ignorance like countless so called Raagee, Baabaa, Sant, Giaanees, Swamis, Saadhoos, Kathaakaars, professional singers who sing the Gurbani in the pretext of making money (“ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ”), etc.

They read and memorize Bani like a parrot, and sing it in attractive melody or Taals; however, it goes in vain because they do it in greed and selfishness. The Gurbani confirms as follows:

  • ਗੀਤ ਰਾਗ ਘਨ ਤਾਲ ਸਿ ਕੂਰੇ ॥: (Forgetting the Shabad: Vichaar, Giaan, etc., mortal indulges in) the various songs, Raag and rhythms, but these are all false efforts. (sggs 832).
  • ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਕੂੜੀ ਕੂੜੀ ਗਾਵੈ ॥: Blind inwardly (blind from the mind – ਮਨੋਂ ਅੰਨਾ), and blind outwardly (from conduct or deeds – ਕਾਲੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ), he sings (ਝੂਠੀ ਮੂਠੀ) falsely. (sggs 960).
  • ਰਾਗ ਰਾਗਨੀ ਡਿੰਭ ਹੋਇ ਬੈਠਾ ਉਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਕਿਆ ਲੀਨਾ ॥੩॥: He sits and play music, but he sits as a hypocrite (ਪਖੰਡ ਦੀ ਮੂਰਤ>); what can such person obtain from the Lord? (i.e., nothing) ||3|| (sggs 654).

In general, Kirtan is sung in Haumai (false ego-sense) greed, etc., and heard to gratify senses ( ਕੰਨ ਰਸ).

  • ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਤ ਰਹੇ ਮਨਿ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Some sing on and on, but their minds do not find happiness. In egotism, they sing, but it is all wasted uselessly (sggs 158).

In nutshell, without understanding the Gurbani (Giaan or Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…) and without living it in daily life, just keep singing and listening Gurbani (for sense-gratification) is not the Kirtan as talked by the Gurbani.

  • ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੀਤੇ ਚੀਤਿ ਅਨੀਤੇ ॥ ਰਾਗ ਸੁਣਾਇ ਕਹਾਵਹਿ ਬੀਤੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਮਨਿ ਝੂਠੁ ਅਨੀਤੇ ॥੧॥: (Those who) sing religious songs (for others to listen), but in their consciousness is wickedness. They sing Raag (for others to) listen, and call themselves knowledgeable (expert, ਗਿਆਨੀ, etc.), but without the Naam, their minds are false and wicked. ||1|| (sggs 414).
  • ਰਾਗੈ ਨਾਦੈ ਬਾਹਰਾ ਇਨੀ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥: (Union with the Divine Consciousness) is beyond Raagas and Naad (ਰਾਗ, ਨਾਦ ਦੀ ਕੈਦ ਤੋਂ ਪਰੇ); Hukam (Law or System of Nature…) cannot be understood through these Raagas and Naad. (sggs 1423).

Bhai Gurdaas Jee calls it ‘swindling’ (ਠਗੀ) of gullible people by the ‘cheat’ Ragi (i.e., professional singers of the Gurbani):

  • ਤੈਸੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਸੁਨਾਇ ਗਾਇ ਦਿਖ ਠਗੋ ਭੇਖਧਾਰੀ ਜਾਨਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਮਾਰਿ ਨ ਬਿਡਾਰਹੀ ॥੬੧੧॥: Similarly, a cheat different from inside and outside swindle gullible Sikhs by singing to them the sacred hymns of the Guru. But those Sikhs enamored by the sweetness of Gurbani and of very generous nature, don’t even scold me despite them knowing that (Bhai Gurdas, Kabit 611).
  • ਗਾਏ ਸੁਨੇ ਆਂਖੇ ਮੀਚੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਨ ਪਰਮਪਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਗਹਿ ਜਉ ਲਉ ਨ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥੪੩੯॥: Singing and listening to (Kirtan) with closed eyes, one cannot experience Parampad (i.e., profound lifestyle, Gurmukh lifestyle, etc.). As long as one does not follow the Gur-Updesh (live by the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom), it is not possible to obtain (Parampad, even if one performs the ritual or Karamkaand of singing or listening Kirtan. (Bhai Gurdaas, Kabit 439).

Gurbani says Shabad Vichaar is the most exalted Kirtan

According to the Gurbani, Shabad Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani – Giaan or Wisdom) or churning the Gurbani (to extract Wisdom from it) is the supreme or most exalted action (‘ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ’, ‘ਸਭਸੈ ਊਪਰਿ’, ‘ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ’).

  • ਸਭਸੈ ਊਪਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹੋਰ ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਉ ਨ ਸਗਲੀ ਛਾਰੁ ॥੨॥: Reflection on the Gur-Shabad is above all (other notions, speculations, calculations…). I don’t care for anything else, for all else (i.e., other than the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) is just worthless. ||2|| (sggs 904).
  • ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
  • ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhi sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).

So, if we truly want to respect the SGGS, then, as the Gurbani urges us, we must churn Giaan (Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) in the Gurbani through the Shabad-Vichaar and become the Gurmukh (the follower of the Wisdom of the Gurmat…), and live daily life accordingly.

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਪਰਵਾਰੈ ਸਾਧਾਰੁ ॥੮॥੧॥੩॥ : Following the Gurmat (living daily life according to the Giaan or Wisdom of the SGGS), one’s conduct (ਆਚਰਨ…) becomes excellent. Following the Gurmat, one finds a way to get rid of (Bikaar). O Nanak! Following the Gurmat, (one) becomes able to give (Naam’s) support to his entire family as well. ||8||1||3|| (sggs 832).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਗੁਰੁ ਲਾਗਾ ਤਬ ਜਾਨੀਐ ਮਿਟੈ ਮੋਹੁ ਤਨ ਤਾਪ ॥: O Kabir! One is known to have been united with the Guru (i.e., Giaan or Wisdom, Virtues…), if your mind’s affliction or illness of worldly attachment is eradicated. (sggs 1374).

The one who truly respects the Gurbani becomes the Gurmukh and his mind and life get transformed (ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦਵੀ). He gets absorbed into the Gurmat (‘ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ’, ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ, the Gurbani’s Teaching, Virtues, Wisdom, Giaan…).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: One who has become the Gurmukh, his ‘Karanee-ਕਰਣੀ’ (lifestyle, conduct, practice….) is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Gur-Shabad). (sggs 841).

Fittingly, Kirtan is defined in the Gurbani as Viaakhiaa of the Gurbani, of the One Truth, of the Divine Wisdom or Virtues, etc. (Viaakhiaa – ਵਿਆਖਿਆ: ਬਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨੁ, explanation, interpretation, elucidation, Shabad-Vichaar, ਗੁਣਾ ਦੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ, ਗੁਣਾ ਦੀ ਕੀਰਤ…).

  • ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਬਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨੁ ॥ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੁ ॥: In daily life, elucidation (explanation…) of the deeper meanings or secrets (of the Gurbani) is the Kirtan. (A person who engages in such Vichaar of the Gurbani) remains unattached even in the midst of household. (sggs 281).

In nutshell, the true singing as recommended in the SGGS is to live the Virtues (ਗੁਣ) or Hukam in daily life — ‘ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਾ’ (singing Glorious Praises, etc.) — Truth (ਸਤ), honesty (ਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), humility (ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ, ਬੁਧਿ ਗਰੀਬੀ), sweet speech (ਮਿਠ ਬੋਲੜਾ)… 

The SGGS further asserts that such a person of ‘Pure Dharma-ਨਿਰਮਲ ਧਰਮ’ remains absorbed in ‘Bhagti Kirtan‘:

  • ਸਚੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥: True Bhagti consists of love for the Gur-Shabad (i.e., life of the Shabad-Giaan, Wisdom, Upadesh, Virtues…). (sggs 158).
  • ਕੇਵਲ ਭਗਤਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਚੈ ॥: (A person of ‘Pure Dharma‘…) remains absorbed in ‘Bhagti Kirtan’. (sggs 274).

Now, what is Bhagti in Sikhi or Gurmat? Let’s ask the SGGS:

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥: You ignorant fool, take the Gurmati (i.e., Divine Wisdom or Aatmic-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad); without (this) Bhagti, even many clever have drowned (in perplexity). (sggs 288).

Thus, in nutshell, Bhagti in Sikhi is obtaining the spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS (Giaan Bhagti or Gurmat Bhagti) and Awakening the Virtues (Rabbi Gun-ਗੁਣ) within and live daily life accordingly!

  • ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without acquiring Virtues, Bhagti can not be performed (sggs 4).
  • ਭਗਤ੍ਯ੍ਯੰ ਭਗਤਿ ਦਾਨੰ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਰਤਨਹ ॥: Bhagat are blessed with Kirtan of the Divine Naam (Giaan-Wisdom) and Virtues. (sggs 1355).

This is the Real Kirtan! However, we have been brain washed by the crafty Pujaaree groups and the Pujaaree system that Kirtan is just singing with harmonium, Dholak, Tabla, etc. However, that’s not the Gurbani’s real Kirtan but a mundane business (ਧੰਧਾ).

The Real Kirtan as defined in the Gurbani demands we become the Gurmukh (follower of the Truth, whose mind is linked to Antar-Aatmaa or whose Akal – ਅਕਲ – follows Gurbani and restrains the mind instead of following the mind, Sach Santokhee, his state is that of ‘Ik Mann Ik Chit’, ਮਾਇਆ ਵਿਚ ਉਦਾਸੀ, one established in Viveka-budhi, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੈ …). That is, we are urged to immerse in the Naam or Shabad-Surati (Shabad-Consciousness, Aatam-Giaan …) by integrating our cracked mind and Chit (Consciousness) into One. Then the Real Kirtan happens in the Home of the Heart within, Naturally.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਰਾਗ ਸੁਆਦ ਅਨ ਤਿਆਗੇ ॥: The Gurmukh renounces other tastes (Pakhand, rituals or Karamkaand etc.) and ‘Raag‘ (mental affectations, malice, cravings, enmity, melodies etc.). (sggs 415).
  • ਰਾਗ ਨਾਦ ਛੋਡਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਤਾ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਾਨ॥: Forsaking the Raag and Naad, serve the Hari (-Naam: Wisdom, Virtues…); then one become United with Rabb (Universal Energy, Hukam or System-Rule-Law of Nature…). (sggs 849).
  • ਕਰ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਲ ਪਖਾਵਜੁ ਨੈਨਹੁ ਮਾਥੈ ਵਜਹਿ ਰਬਾਬਾ ॥: Kar kari taal pakhaavaju… (sggs 884).

In nutshell, the kind of Kirtan the SGGS recommends can ONLY be performed within the mind!

  • ਹਿਰਦੈ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ਜੈ ਜੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਹਰਿ ॥: Within my Heart (mind, Aatmaa), I sing the Divine Praises, and (thus I) celebrate the Shabad (i.e., obtain understanding through Shabad-Vichaar and then live the Giaan or Vrtues in daily life). (sggs 790).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਆਪੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥: (By the Grace of the Gu-Giaan who stills his false ego-sense) awakens discerning intellect (Bibek-Budh, Giaan…) within and continually examines own-self (examines his spiritual life). Through the Gur-Shabad, he lives by the Virtues or Giaan. ||3|| (sggs 128).

Apparently, the true meaning of the Kirtan has totally been derailed by the Pujaaree’s corruption, fraud, greed, stubborn mindedness (Mann-Hatha), wrong interpretation and misquotation of the Gurbani for their own benefit, etc.

The Gurbani warns:

  • ਕੋਈ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਾਗੀ ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦੀ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਭੀਜੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥ ਜਿਨਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਤਿਨਾ ਰੋਇ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥: Some sing (Kirtan-ਕੀਰਤਨ) through musical Ragas, through the Naad (musical instruments, etc.), through religious books, and in so many other ways. But, Rabb is not pleased by these. Those who are filled with fraud and corruption within – what good can bewailing (i.e., singing Kirtan) do unto them? (sggs 450).


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