The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) talks about ignorant fools as well as learned (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) or educated fools.
The basic difference between a learned (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) fool and an ignorant fool is that a learned fool (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) is more a fool than an ignorant fool — such people plan evil schemes, corruption, deceive people, repeats their own mistakes, harm society, convince themselves that they are right in their own eyes and therefore can disregard and even ridicule other people’s advice etc.
- ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਸਦਾਇਦੇ ਮਨਹੁ ਮੂਰਖ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥: (The Manmukhs) Outwardly call themselves scholars (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ), but in fact they are fools and idiots. (sggs 1091).
- ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥: (The so called scholarly man-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ ਮਨੁੱਖ) while remaining infatuated by the hunger for Maya, still calls (himself) a ‘Pandit’ (i.e. scholar-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ)! (sggs 231).
- ਜਗਿ ਚਤੁਰੁ ਸਿਆਣਾ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਣਾ ਨਾਉ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪੜਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਰੀ ॥: The one who is lost (in the way of life by falling into the delusion of Maya) is considered to be clever and wise in the world; (such crafty person) reads (Mayaic) education of fools, but calls himself ‘Pandit’ (i.e. scholar-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ). (sggs 1015).
It should be noted that the SGGS does not say that a human being should remain illiterate or not pursue worldly studies.
Rather, the SGGS warns that there is a purpose to study. Education is to make a human being intelligent, virtuous, without ego-disorder or Bikaar (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.) etc.
The SGGS defines a ‘leaned fool’
That said, the Gurmat Giaan (Wisdom) SGGS asserts a person impacted with the negativity of Haumai (false ego-sense), lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, low character-ਨੀਵਾਂ ਕਿਰਦਾਰ, crafty cleverness etc.) is a fool even if he / she is educated or learned! The SGGS calls such person a ‘learned fool’ (‘ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ’). That is,
As asserted in the SGGS, the so called religious scholars (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) teach others but don’t practice or believe Gurmat (Wisdom of the SGGS…) themselves, causing spiritual indigestion! Such religious scholars fall in this category of ‘learned fools’:
- ਮੂਰਖਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਜਿ ਮੰਨੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਉ ॥੨॥: A person who does not accept or live by the Naam (Wisdom) is a great fool. ||2|| (sggs 1015).
The Gurbani declares ONLY a fool will listen to such fool:
- ਮੂਰਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋ ਸੁਣੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕਾ ਕਹਣਾ ॥ : Only a fool listens to the words of the fool. (sggs 953).
The SGGS repeatedly rebukes these ‘learned fools’. Instead of doing good to the society, they do a lot of harm to the society. Consider a few Gur-Shabads as follows:
- ਪੜਿਆ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾਉ ਪੜੀਐ ਨਾਉ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: No matter how highly educated one may be, if one cannot give up Trishanaa (desires…), greed and pride then one will be considered a fool — because he has understood nothing! Naam (Shabad, Wisdom, Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) is to be read, Naam is to be understood and reflected upon with the Gurmat is the right way. (sggs 140).
- ਪੁਸਤਕ ਪਾਠ ਬਿਆਕਰਣ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਸੰਧਿਆ ਕਰਮ ਤਿਕਾਲ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਹਾ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਉਰਝਿ ਮਰੈ ॥੨॥ : (The Pandits, religious scholar, Pujaaree, ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) perform the daily routine (ritual Nitnem-ਨਿਤਨੇਮ) of three times a day. He Reads (ਪਾਠ) religious books and explains them, and talks about the Grammar (ਵਿਆਕਰਣ) but do not understand (or practice) the teachings given in them so reading and listening to them is just a drama for Maya. But liberation is not possible without leading life by the ‘Gur Shabad’ (Giaan-Wisdom-Upadesh); he is entangled and trapped in useless rituals wasting precious time of life (and many other people imitating him also waste their time). ||2|| (sggs 1127).
- ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਪੜੇ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੁ ਖਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਜਸ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: (O pandit!) What is the use of reading the Vedas and the Puraanas? It is like loading a donkey with sandalwood (If Mool is not understood…). (sggs 1102).
- ਪੜਿਆ ਹੋਵੈ ਗੁਨਹਗਾਰੁ ਤਾ ਓਮੀ ਸਾਧੁ ਨ ਮਾਰੀਐ ॥ ਜੇਹਾ ਘਾਲੇ ਘਾਲਣਾ ਤੇਵੇਹੋ ਨਾਉ ਪਚਾਰੀਐ ॥ : If an educated person be an evil doer the illiterate person (who is learning from him etc.) is not to be punished (because settlement is based on one’s deeds, educated or uneducated does not matter). As are the deeds a man does, so is the fruit (ਅਪਣੀ ਕਰਨੀ ਦਾ ਫਲ), name or reputation he acquires. (sggs 469).
- ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜਿਓ ਅਰੁ ਬੇਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿਓ ਨਿਵਲਿ ਭੁਅੰਗਮ ਸਾਧੇ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਜਨਾ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਛੁਟਕਿਓ ਅਧਿਕ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਬਾਧੇ ॥੧॥ : (Some) read holy texts (Paath — ਪਾਠ ਕਰਨਾ), and contemplate the Veda. (Some) practice the inner cleansing techniques of Yoga, and control of the breath. (But, with these practices, one) cannot escape from the five (i.e., lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride…), and is all the more tied to ego-intellect. ||1|| (sggs 641).
A learned fool is an arrogant person that refuses correction, because he thinks to be ‘smarter than you’. On the other hand, an ignorant fool still has hope if he loses his ignorance.
It means that those who are highly educated and choose to be ignorant, are worse then those who do not know any better.
- ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਪੜਿਆ ॥ ਤੇਤਾ ਕੜਿਆ ॥: (Without Vichaar, the more or again and again one) reads the written, the more one boils or burns (in doubt, pride, egotism, anxiety, pain, thick-headedness…). (sggs 469).
- ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਥਾਕੇ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਜਾਲੇ ਸੁਧਿ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥ ਬਿਖੁ ਬਿਹਾਝਹਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਮੋਹ ਪਿਆਸੇ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥: By reading and reciting, (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ ਲੋਕ, scholars etc.) grow weary without obtaining Peace (ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ). They are consumed by desires (Maya), they have no understanding (or knowledge of Truth, etc.). They purchase poison (of Maya that brings annihilation of their spiritual life, ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ ਲਿਆਉਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਜ਼ਹਰ) , and they remain thirsty with their fascination for this poison (of attachment to Maya). Telling lies, they eat this poison (as it is their spiritual food, ਆਤਮਕ ਖ਼ੁਰਾਕ). ||7|| (sggs 120).
- ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥ ਪੜਿਆ ਅਣਪੜਿਆ ਪਰਮ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: That mortal who remembers Gobind, whether educated or uneducated, obtains the highest spiritual state (i.e. expansion-development-progress-blooming of intellect or Budhi) ||1|| (sggs 197).
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਵਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਏ ॥:The religious scholars read and argue and stir up controversies; without the Guru’s Wisdom they are deluded by doubt and remain astray. (sggs 67).
- ਕਰਤ ਕਰਤ ਚਰਚ ਚਰਚ ਚਰਚਰੀ ॥ ਜੋਗ ਧਿਆਨ ਭੇਖ ਗਿਆਨ ਫਿਰਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਧਰਤ ਧਰਤ ਧਰਚਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਅਹੰ ਅਹੰ ਅਹੈ ਅਵਰ ਮੂੜ ਮੂੜ ਮੂੜ ਬਵਰਈ ॥: (Scholars-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ- where they go) they debate and make their arguments. The Yogis, meditators, scholars, adopting religious garbs roam or wander endlessly all over the earth (but without the Naam all this is in vain). ||1||Pause|| This is nothing but false ego-sense of these fools, insane or thoughtless people. (sggs 1308).
Also, these so called religious scholars think biased on account of their selfishness, greed, cunningness, arrogance, and so on, they . The result is lack of integrity and lack understanding of the Gurbani’s concept of ‘TOTALITY’ (entirety, wholeness, overallness, ਸਮੁੱਚਤਾ) due to selfishness and biases.
- ਮਦਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਭਇਓ ਬਾਵਰੋ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਨਹਿ ਉਚਰੈ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਜਗਤ ਕਉ ਡਹਕੈ ਅਪਨੋ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰੈ: Intoxicated with Maya, he is gone insane, as a result he does not apply the Giaan or Wisdom to his life. Practicing deception (ਵਿਖਾਵਾ, ਠੱਗੀ…), (he: who is gone insane with the intoxication of Maya) tries to cheat the world (ਠੱਗਣਾ), and so he fills his belly (with the money so swindled from others). ||1|| (sggs 536).
- ਹਰਣਾਂ ਬਾਜਾਂ ਤੈ ਸਿਕਦਾਰਾਂ ਏਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿਆ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਫਾਂਧੀ ਲਗੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਫਹਾਇਨਿ ਅਗੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥: Deer, falcons and leaders are known to be ‘learned’. When the trap is set, they trap their own kind; in future they find no peace (i.e., the trained deer and eagle trap their own brethren, just as the official sucks the blood of his own fellows human beings – ਬੇਇਮਾਨੀ ਨਾਲ). (sggs 1288).
They sell their knowledge and loot people
- ਫਾਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਲੂਕੀ ਵੇਸੁ ॥ ਹਉ ਠਗਵਾੜਾ ਠਗੀ ਦੇਸੁ ॥ ਖਰਾ ਸਿਆਣਾ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਭਾਰੁ ॥ ਧਾਣਕ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥੩॥ : The people sitting in the shrines are dressed as angles/ascetics (i.e. dressed in religious robes, symbols etc.). But their deceitful mind’s focus is on defrauding or trapping people. These big thugs are looting the people. They pretend to be wise. But they carry too much load of sins on their heads. Such righteous looking people are very cruel. ||3|| (sggs 24).
It would be foolish to say that ‘money is not important’. However, can money and should money be the only reason for doing anything?
It should be noted that the Gurmat neither say position or power is bad, nor wealth is bad, nor love and emotions are bad, nor name or education is bad etc. Because they are all integral parts of our lives, even essential to our existence. The problem occurs with attachment, we believe that the position is for ever as will be our wealth, strength, beauty, youth, property, people in our life etc. In reality, they are all temporary of fleeting, even our own body and mind. The Gurbani asks such ‘learned fool’:
- ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਪੜੈ ਬੰਧਨ ਮੋਹ ਬਾਧਾ ਨਹ ਬੂਝੈ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥: Trapped in bondage of attachment, the paid clergy (i.e. religious scholar, etc) reads religious texts, but being stuck in the love of Maya he cannot understand (the right Way of life). (sggs 33).
That said, generally, we call the priest of a Gurdwara sahib as a ‘Giaanee – ਗਿਆਨੀ’.
Literally, ‘Giaanee’ meaning a Living Enlightened, spiritually Wise, knower of Truth, spiritual person or teacher etc.).
Is that right? Are all priests ‘Giaanee‘?
The truth is NOT all priests are ‘Giaanee‘!
The Gurbani has very specific definition of a ‘Giaanee‘. If one matches the Gurbani’s definition then one is Giaanee, otherwise NOT.
- ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Prays Nanak, what is nature of the Giaanee (the knower of the Truth…)? (A true Giaanee is he who) recognizes his Mool (ਮੂਲ, Source, Jot…), that (Mool-realized Giaanee) understands (sggs 25).
- ਸੋ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥: He alone is a Giaanee (ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ), who has focused his consciousness on the Shabad (sggs 831).
- ਆਪੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Who reflects ownself (ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਵਿਚਾਰਦਾ ਹੈ – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਪੜਤਾਲ…) is truly Giaanee (Wise – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ) ||1||Pause|| (sggs 152).
- ਗੁਣ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ॥: (One who) contemplates the Divine Virtues is spiritually Wise. (sggs 931).
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੇ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth – is free from worldly entanglements (sggs 273).
- ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥: The Wealth of the persons of Giaan (Wise, ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ) is the Naam; with Sahaj, they trade (in this Naam Wealth). (sggs 68).
- ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਮਾਵਹਿ ॥: Giaanee practice Wisdom. (sggs 71).
It is unconscionable to think these people can be preachers of Gurbani or scholars of Gurbani, whose mind is not even affected by Gurbani!
- ਪਹਿਰਾਵਾ ਦੇਖੇ ਊਭਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥: (Those who know nothing) are proud to see their attire (dress, costume etc.). (sggs 1196).
Those who sell Vidiya (knowledge, ਵਿਦਿਆ…) in particular, the Gurbani calls them ‘Manmukh‘ (‘ਮਨਮੁਖੁ’) and ‘fool’ (‘ਮੂਰਖੁ’). Because either they have no real understanding of the Gurbani or they are so blinded by greed that they don’t hesitate selling the Guru (Giaan or Wisdom). Here is the Gurbani in this context:
- ਮੂਰਖ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਜਤਿ ਸੰਜੈ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Educated fools do tricks and give arguments, (but) their only love is to amass wealth. (sggs 469).
- ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਕ੍ਰਦਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਟੇ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨਈ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨਹ ਕਾਇ ॥ ॥੫੩॥: The Manmukh sells his knowledge (learning, etc.); he earns poison (of Maya), and eats this poison (that brings him spiritual death). The fool does not Reflect on the Shabad. He has no understanding, no comprehension ||53|| (sggs 938).
- ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਨ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬੇਚਹੁ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਈ ॥੩॥: (O mentally blind! You) sell knowledge (learning, etc.) for the sake of Maya; your life is totally worthless. (sggs 1103).
- ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਵੇਚਹਿ ਨਾਉ ॥: Accursed (i.e. worthless, ਲਾਹਨਤ ਯੋਗ) are lives of those who (on account of their selfishness and greed) read and write Naam (i.e. Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) to sell it. (sggs 1245).
- ਵਿਦਿਆ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ਤਾਂ ਪਰਉਪਕਾਰੀ ॥: (By acquiring education) a human being who has become a doer of good to others, then only understand that person has become a Vichaarvaan or thoughtful person by acquiring education. (sggs 356).
This is ‘Gorakh Dhanda’ is all about greed and money! Just remove the Golak (ਗੋਲਕ-money) from Gurdwaras and then see how many of them will stick around!
Selling education = selling daughters (‘Lariki-ਲਰਿਕੀ’).
Selling knowledge = selling son (‘Larika-ਲਰਿਕਾ).
The mind surrounded by Maya has five sons (i.e. ‘Larika‘ meaning lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride) and five daughters (i.e. ‘Lariki‘ meaning hope, desire, jealousy, slander and anxiety).
The mind has always been trying to walk in the world taking care of its sons and daughters. These evil offspring of the mind are out of control for their demands are many and cannot be met. When the demands cannot be met then sorrows begin to arise within.
- ਕੋ ਹੈ ਲਰਿਕਾ ਬੇਚਈ ਲਰਿਕੀ ਬੇਚੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਸਾਝਾ ਕਰੈ ਕਬੀਰ ਸਿਉ ਹਰਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਨਜੁ ਕਰੇਇ॥ 43॥: (O Kabeer!) Some rare person who trade (in Naam) in exchange for his sons (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride) and daughters (i.e. desire, hope, jealousy, slander and anxiety). Kabir wants such a person (in this trade of Naam) to associate with him also. ||43|| (sggs 1366).
However — without any regard to what the Gurbani says, many (who sell Gurbani – ‘peddler’) are decorated with titles such as ‘Panth Ratan’, ‘Bhagat’, ‘Giaanee’, ‘Sant’ etc. What a fraud in the name of the Gurmat Wisdom, Sikhi or Dharma!
- ਪੰਡਿਤ ਰਾਜੇ ਭੂਪਤੀ ਆਵਹਿ ਕਉਨੇ ਕਾਮ ॥੨੪॥ : (Those who are proud of education, Kingship, landlordship etc.) whether they are religious scholars (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ), whether they are kings or landlords, they are of no use. ||24|| (sggs 1365).
There was an Indian Yogi named Gorakh Nath. He devised so many meditation methods that people got confused which one is best suited for them. In later time Brahamanical system propagated the idea that Gorakh’s methods are just cheat management, deceptive business, not transparent, and gave a name ‘Gorakh Dhandha‘. This expression ‘Gorakh Dhanda’ is, generally used in communication to describe unethical practices.
Similarly these so called ‘learned fool’ with college degrees trap people in a complex web of words, which makes difficult to understand them, which makes people confused and puzzled. This tactic works well for return business, and keeping people’s mind closed!
- ਮੋਟਾ ਨਾਉ ਧਰਾਈਐ ਗਲਿ ਅਉਗਣ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: (If any Sikh who believes in SGGS) uses thick adjectives (such as Sant, Baba, Brahmgiani, Mahapurakh, 1008 etc).in front of his name to gain respect in this world, then he is carrying the burden of faults (blemishes, defects, flaws, demerits etc.) on him. (sggs 1009).
- ਦਿਸੰਤਰੁ ਭਵੈ ਪਾਠ ਪੜਿ ਥਾਕਾ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਵਧੇਰੈ ॥ ਕਾਚੀ ਪਿੰਡੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨੈ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰੈ ਜੈਸੇ ਢੋਰੈ ॥੧॥: Wanders preaching in foreign lands; he is tired of reading Gurbani (he has no understanding or practice of the Gurbani); only his craving (for Maya) is increasing. He is devoid of Shabad-Vichaar; he is united with his Mayaic body; like animals he is just confined to filling his belly. (sggs 1012).
Since the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS rejects the ‘Yog-Matt‘ or ‘Gorakh Dhanda‘, in sarcasm the Gurbani says to the religious scholars and the followers of ‘Gorakh‘:
- ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਸਾਸਤ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਪੜਿਆ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਕਰਿਆ ॥ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਪੜਿਆ ॥੧॥: Pandit reads (religious texts such as) Shastra, Simritis etc.(and is proud of this scholarship), the yogi chants ‘Gorakh Gorakh‘ (and makes the meditations mentioned by Gorakh the support of his spiritual life – ‘Gorakh Dhanda‘), but I as a fool (a fool by the opinion of Pandits and Yogis) have learned to understand the divine Naam (from my Guru). (sggs 163).