Nonsense Rituals and Superstitions

Superstitions weaken or dull the mind (ਮੰਨ ਨੂੰ ਕਮਜੋਰ ਕਰਨਾਂ). Combined with rituals (Karamkaand, formalities etc.), it becomes deadly poison which devastate the brain to an extent that in course of time it will be almost impossible to receive Gurmat Wisdom or live up to it.

In fact, the unique and new spiritual paradigms of Sikhi or Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) demands a diametrically opposite ‘Soch‘ (thinking, ਵਿਚਾਰਧਾਰਾ…) that strengthens the mind and protect it from degradation.

Sikh‘ literally means a learner (ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

A learner of the true ‘Sikhi’ is never bound by ideology, rituals, (formalities etc.), religious paraphernalia, superstitions, etc. Since he is not blind-minded, he is not ‘sheep follow sheep‘ type of person.

However, there are so many anti-Gurmat rituals and superstitions being carried out in the Sikhi of the Pujaaree-Vaad these days!

These anti-Gurmat practices are encouraged, supported, instigated, and propagated by the people who run Gurdwara corporations throughout the world. Collaborators include the Pujaaree system or the Pujaaree groups.

For example, in hope to get some happiness, many observe certain hours of a day, certain solar or lunar days, or certain months (Sangraand, Massiya, Punniya, etc.) as more auspicious.

The Pujaaree groups sell people a counterfeit god (ਨਕਲੀ ਰੱਬ) who will answer all our prayers, make our fantasies come true, cater to all our wants and free us from fear and distress. To propitiate this fake god, many perform calculated Paath (reading of the SGGS) or hire professional readers to read it for them, offer Langar (kitchen, food), and so on.

Before going any further, it’s worth pointing here that all this nonsense Karamkaand has been rejected by the Gurmat.

However, the Pujaaree-Vaad does not want people to become Awake and Aware. Because, this is how the Pujaare makes money and maintains a lavish and freeloading lifestyle by enslaving our greedy and fearful minds!

In this post, I’ll share just one example how the paid clergy (Pujaaree) befools us by taking advantage of our ignorance of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS. Please share your stories/experiences in the comment section of this post. This may help create Awareness.

I remember this one story from my childhood. It may come a cross as a joke, but it’s not. It’s a true story.

In my native village in India, there lived a Paathee (also spelt Pathi – a professional reader of the SGGS). One day a man from the neighboring village visited him and said:

‘Someone has died in our family. We would like to hire you to do a Sahaj Paath in the dead’s memory (also called Sadhaaran Paath)’.

‘Sure, I am available’, said the Paathee.

‘How long it would take you to complete a Sahaj Paath?’, inquired the potential client.

‘About couple of weeks’, replied the Paathee.

‘But, unfortunately, we do not have that much time. We have only couple of days’, said the potential client.

‘In that case, I can sell you a Keelee-Tang-Paath (ਕੀਲੀ-ਟੰਗ-ਪਾਠ)’, said the Paathee.

What is the ‘Keelee-Tang-Paath‘, inquired the customer.

‘You see, in my spare time, I do Paath at my home. When done, I tie a knot in a towel and hang it on a Keelee (ਕੀਲੀ). In nutshell, it’s a ready-made Paath (Keetaa Kraaiaa Paath’ – ਕੀਤਾ ਕਰਾਇਆ ਪਾਠ), explained the Paathee.

For those who are not familiar with this Punjabi word ‘Keelee‘ – it’s a peg driven into the wall for hanging clothes.

What a fraud!

Clearly, the Pujaaree’s Sikhi has nothing to do with the ‘Soch‘ (thinking, ਵਿਚਾਰਧਾਰਾ…) of Baabaa Nanak or the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS!

If this sort of fraud (falsehood, Pakhand…) in the name of the Gurbani existed several decades ago, just imagine what might be going on in this Internet or digital era!

The Pujaaree-Vaad (priest class, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾਂ) is crafty by nature. In addition, they are mostly illiterate, corrupt, selfish, greedy, etc.

They will support, encourage, and start any scheme that will generate money and help maintain their luxury lifestyle of freeloading!

The majority of us are ignorant of the Wisdom of the Gurbani. Furthermore, the majority of us are hypocrite (ਪਖੰਡੀ, ਭੇਖੀ… ), imitate others, etc. Also, the majority of us are also fearful, selfish and greedy.

Consequently, with the exception of the ‘rare’ ones (i.e., Gurmukhs), the rest of us are easy pray for the Pujaaree groups!

The Gurbani’s edict is:

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: The filth is not removed by reading. Go ahead, and ask the Wise ones ||1||. (sggs 39).

After reading/listening, next important step is obtaining true understanding of what has bean read/listened through the sincere Shabad-Vichaar. In other words, the Gurbani needs to be churned and churned…

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥ ਖਟੁ ਦਰਸਨ ਕੈ ਭੇਖਿ ਕਿਸੈ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਾ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਅਲਖੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਵਣਾ ॥ : Not by just reading (scriptures), but it is through spiritual Wisdom one Understands this fact (that God is infinite). No one can merge in the eternal God by merely adopting the garbs mentioned in the six Shastras (the Hindu holy books). The eternal God is unfathomable, but revealed through the Guru’s Shabad, He (i.e. Creation, Hukam) looks beautiful. (sggs 148).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • 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 next step after obtaining true understanding of what has bean read/listened is remembering it.

After that, the next step is implementation in daily life (practiced, applied, “ਅਮਲ”…) – living daily life by that Wisdom or Virtues.

  • ਜਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਤਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਤਿ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਘਟੇ ਘਟਿ ॥੩॥: When one’s ‘Karanee’ (doing, performance, practice…) is right (according to the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, then this would indicate) there is perfect understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ, ਅਕਲ). Without ‘Karanee’, (Understanding) remains deficient. ||3|| (sggs 25).

In other words, reading/listening is a mean to an end, NOT an end in itself!

Accordingly, the Gurbani commands us to read/listen with full attention, understanding, and implementation in daily life (Amal).

  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ਸੁਣਿ ਸਭਨਾ ਨੋ ਕਰਿ ਦਾਨੁ ॥: Listen to the Hari Naam (Wisdom…) paying attention (ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਸੁਣ), and (then) share it (i.e., Naam -Wisdom…) all (sggs 135).

Simply put, the Gurbani wants us to become doubt-free, fearless, wise or Gurmukh by Awakening our intellect to the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

  • ਸਗੁਨ ਅਪਸਗੁਨ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਲਗਹਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਚੀਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥:  Good omens and bad omens affect those who do not keep (the Gur: Giaan or Wisdom) in the mind (sggs 401).
  • ਸਭੇ ਰੁਤੀ ਚੰਗੀਆ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਚੇ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ॥: All the seasons are good, in which love for Rabb Hukam is embraced, are good. (sggs 1015).
  • ਦਿਨੁ ਰੈਣਿ ਸਭ ਸੁਹਾਵਣੇ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਜਿਤੁ ਜਪੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਉ ॥੫॥: O dear! All my days and nights are blessed when I understand the Naam. ||5|| (432).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਮੁਗਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: Only idiots and fools observe the lunar days and the week days (i.e., good and bad, omens). (sggs 843).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸਭਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥: All the lunar days and the week days look beauteous if one contemplates the Shabad (Naam, Upadesh, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). (sggs 842).
  • ਮਾਹ ਦਿਵਸ ਮੂਰਤ ਭਲੇ ਜਿਸ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ॥: The months days and moments are auspicious when (we) become good (i.e., abide in Naam, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam etc.). (sggs 136).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਰਾਤੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮਹਿ ਕਾਚੇ ॥੭॥: The lunar days or the week days become beneficial only when (the mind) becomes imbued in Truth. Those who do not live by the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Hukam, Truth etc.), all of them keep on wandering (doubt-ridden…) due to ignorance or falsehood. ||7|| (sggs 842).
  • ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ਸਭਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਹਾਏ ॥: All the lunar days and the week days look beauteous if one contemplates the Shabad (i.e. remember Upadesh, Naam, Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam…). (sggs 842).

In short, the Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) consider all months or days the same (ਇਕ ਸਾਰ). It is one’s corrupt intellect or selfishness that acts superstitious or promotes this corruption in human society. In fact, so called Kali Yuga is nothing what such selfish or corrupt mentality. Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਸੋਈ ਚੰਦੁ ਚੜਹਿ ਸੇ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੋਈ ਦਿਨੀਅਰੁ ਤਪਤ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਸਾ ਧਰਤੀ ਸੋ ਪਉਣੁ ਝੁਲਾਰੇ ਜੁਗ ਜੀਅ ਖੇਲੇ ਥਾਵ ਕੈਸੇ ॥੧॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਤਲਬ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਧਿਙਾਣਾ ਕਲਿ ਲਖਣ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਿਤੈ ਦੇਸਿ ਨ ਆਇਆ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਤੀਰਥ ਪਾਸਿ ਨ ਬੈਠਾ ॥ ਦਾਤਾ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਤਹ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਹਲ ਉਸਾਰਿ ਨ ਬੈਠਾ ॥੨॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਸਤੁ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਛੀਜੈ ਤਪ ਘਰਿ ਤਪੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ਲਏ ਬਦਨਾਵੀ ਕਲਿ ਕੇ ਲਖਣ ਏਈ ॥੩॥ : (O Pujaaree, you say bad things are happening because of the effects of Kal Yuga then how come) The same moon and the same stars have been rising, the same sun has been providing the heat (throughout the ages). The earth is the same, and the same wind blows; it is the Yug (state of the mind at a given period of time) which affects the behavior of the living beings and not the places. ||1|| (O Pujaaree) renounce selfishness from your life (‘Talab‘ of life- selfishness, sense slavery, ਖ਼ੁਦ-ਗ਼ਰਜ਼ੀ…). Swayed by selfishness people oppress the powerless and to them this oppression is acceptable; deem this oppression as the sign of Kali Yuga (i.e. the so called Kali Yuga is the corrupt state of the mind which plays in the minds of people and nowhere else). ||1||Pause|| (Kali Yuga) has not been heard to have come to any country, or to be sitting at any sacred shrine. It is neither seen where a generous person gives to charities, nor seen seated in the mansion he has built. ||2|| If someone practices Truth, he is looked down by others; if one claims to practice Tapa (i.e. penance), if one claims to practice Tapa (i.e. penance), his senses are out of control. If someone remembers Naam (i.e. live a life of Wisdom/Virtues, Truth…) then he is defamed; these are the signs of Kali Yuga (i.e. man’s corrupt state of the mind). ||3|| (sggs 902).

A selfish person (Rajo Guni) will not even hesitate to deceive his Guru!

  • ਇਕਿ ਅਪਣੈ ਸੁਆਇ ਆਇ ਬਹਹਿ ਗੁਰ ਆਗੈ ਜਿਉ ਬਗੁਲ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਈਐ ॥: Some come for their own self-interest, and sit before the Guru; they pretend to be in Samadhi, like the crane! ||3|| (sggs 881).

Hence, only when the Gurbani is fully assimilated will all be well with our minds’ thinking!

That is, reading-listening-or-memorizing the Gurbani can only be beneficial if we take the next steps: reflect on it (Shabad-Vichaar), understand it (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ), remember it, and then live it (‘ਕਰਣੀ’-Karanee: ਅਮਲ, application, practice, implementation, etc.).

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਬਚਨ ਕਮਾਵਣੇ ਸਚਾ ਏਹੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: The True Vichaar is to practice the Satgur’s Bachan (Shabad-Upadesh, Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…). (sggs 52).

Accordingly, we are reminded that the Gurbani is not just a song (‘ਗੀਤੁ’), it is ‘Brahm Beechaar‘ or Brahm-Giaan (Wisdom)!

  • ਲੋਗੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਇਹੁ ਗੀਤੁ ਹੈ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥: People think that the (Gur-Shabad) is (an ordinary) song, but it is a ‘Brahm Beechaar’. (sggs 335).


  1. Bht hi sohni gal likhi hai blog vich. Aven lag rha c Jiwe mere vichar nu shabad mil gye.
    But I need guidance on how to make people understand this? Some people out rightly dismiss this, some say that you keep your own belief/opinion about Gurbani and let me keep mine and some tend to justify them, like one of the person said about pujaaris.
    If anyone can help me with this, I will be grateful.

  2. There is no doubt that Gurbanee is to be sung and to be listened and there can be no harm if anything is presented as “KIRTAN BHETAA”
    from the listeners.The problem is with the fixed and heavy charged being demanded by the professional Singers .
    One should critically understand the difference between Demanded charges and Kirtan Bhetaa from the Sangat.
    There is trend in the present system that some (Not All) professional Raagees negotiate too hard for presenting their Kirtan.I think this constitutes craft which deserves rejection.

  3. Welcome! Thank you Bhai Sahib Santbir Singh Ji for taking the time to share your Vichaar.

    More from the Gurbani’s Hukamnaaamaa on forsaking the crafty Pujaaree-Group (ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾਂ):
    • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥ (sggs 1159).
    • ਏਕੁ ਗੁਸਾਈ ਅਲਹੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਦੁਹਾਂ ਨੇਬੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 1136).
    • ਹਮਰਾ ਝਗਰਾ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਕੋਊ ॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 1158).

  4. I think you are not only right but absolutely astute in suggesting the right remedy for the malaise which has entered the sikh religious establishments. It has been the effect of the brahmins.
    Compare with the christian missinaries and priests who are fully trained even professionally qualified sometimes doctors and engineers who are designated for such duties. They can successfully and dutifully perform as they are wellpaid and fully compensated.

  5. Welcome! Thank you Bhai Sahib Gurinder Pal Singh Ji for taking the time to share your Vichaar.

    This post is about the crafty Pujaaree-Group.

    The Gurbani reveals to us the characteristics of the crafty Pujaaree-Group as follows:
    • ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Aasaa Mahalaa 5: ਦਾਨੁ ਦੇਇ ਕਰਿ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਨਾ ॥ ਲੈਤ ਦੇਤ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮੂਕਰਿ ਪਰਨਾ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਦਰਿ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੈ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਜਾਣਾ ॥ ਤਿਤੁ ਦਰਿ ਤੂੰਹੀ ਹੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਣਾ ॥੧॥ ਐਸੇ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਡੂਬੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਨਿਰਾਪਰਾਧ ਚਿਤਵਹਿ ਬੁਰਿਆਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਹਲਕਾਏ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਠਾਏ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੂਠਾ ਚੇਤੈ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਬਹੁਤੀ ਰਾਹੀ ॥੨॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਕਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਉਤਰੀ ਘੇਰੇ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੈ ਆਪਿ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ॥ ਐਸਾ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਸੀਝੈ ॥੩॥ ਮੂਰਖ ਬਾਮਣ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਸਮਾਲਿ ॥ ਦੇਖਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਤੇਰੈ ਹੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੇ ਹੋਵੀ ਭਾਗੁ ॥ ਮਾਨੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਾਗੁ ॥੪॥੮॥: Aasaa Mahalaa 5. Daanu daei kari poojaa karanaa … (sggs 372).

    In the foregoing Shabad, the Gurbani compares the craftiness, beguileness, wickedness, greediness, foolishness, etc., of the professional Pujaaree-Group with a RABIE DOG!

    The Gurbani’s recommendation is:
    • ਦੇਹ ਮਸੀਤਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਉਲਾਣਾ ਕਲਮ ਖੁਦਾਈ ਪਾਕੁ ਖਰਾ ॥੨॥ (sggs 1083).
    • ਆਪੈ ਜਪਹੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਜਾਪ ॥੫॥: Aapai japahu aapanaa jaap (sggs 344).
    • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪਾ ਚੀਨੈ ਮਿਟੈ ਨ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਕਾਈ ॥੨॥੧॥: Jan Nanak binu aapaa cheenai mitai na bhram kee kaaee (sggs 684).
    • ਅਖਰ ਬਿਰਖ ਬਾਗ ਭੁਇ ਚੋਖੀ ਸਿੰਚਿਤ ਭਾਉ ਕਰੇਹੀ ॥ ਸਭਨਾ ਫਲੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਏਕੋ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਰਮਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਲੇਹੀ ॥੩॥: (Akhar birakh … sggs 235).
    • ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhee sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).

    If i am not mistaken, not too long ago there was a news about SGPC decided selling Akhand Paths online to make money! However, due to worldwide vigilant, i believe later they decided to stop that practice!

    The point is: If SGPC can instigate such a stunt to make money, then what to speak of local Gurdwaras!!!!!!!!

  6. I think this blog, though the theme is correct, is unfair to the Ragis and Paathis etc. A large fraction of them are hard working sincere individuals who spend years in training in learning Raags, Gurbani and other related skills. They are low paid individuals in most Gurdwaras and given a lip service of respect. They are paid below minimum wages right in North America. I am not surprised that they sometime act in ways that appear greedy. Most Ragis and Parcharaks feel so mistreated that very few of them want their children to take up this profession.

    This becomes a chicken and egg game. As a result hardly any highly educated individual wants to take up this profession. Consequently many of these parcharaks cannot provide the level of service that is required to build an enlightened Sikh society.

    Gurdwaras need to be the places where Sikhs (students) go to learn. They should employ people, who are highly educated who can teach people how to do path and understand it rather than sell the path to them.

    Most people going to Gurdwaras are not interested in learning or have no time for it. Even when free Santhya classes were offered in our Gurdwara Sahib, very few people enrolled in those.

    Some Sikhs are very arrogant too. if a Bhai Ji is giving the right education and they do not like it, they want the Gurdwara committee to fire the Bhai Ji.!

    Somebody had a death in the family and they asked Gurdwara Sahib to send Bhai Jis to do Akhand Path at their home. Bhi Ji found that over the first day not even a single member of the family came to listen to the path. They were all busy in chitchatting and laughing outside the path room in a very noisy manner. One of the Bhai Jis went and with great humility asked them not to make noise and come and listen to the Path. The family later complained that Bhai Ji insulted their guests and spoiled the home atmosphere in their time of grief. They wanted the Gurdwara committee to fire the Bhai Ji!

    I sincerely believe that we the Sikh community as whole need to examine our own hypocrisies and provide an atmosphere where highly educated and dedicated individuals can enter the profession and provide the proper guidance.

  7. The so called Non sense rituals are result of
    1 mindset related to our own backgrounds Unless this mindset is changed nothing is going to change come what may. and
    2 There seems to be utter failure from the responsible organisations in propagating and establishing the true sense of Gurbanee knowledge.

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