In Stubborn Mindedness (ਮਨ ਹਠ), all organized religions of the world recommend, suggest, encourage Pilgrimage (Tirath Yatra…). Why? Golak (money)!
The Gurbani neither recommends, nor suggests, nor encourages pilgrimage.
But, the ostentatious Pujaaree-Group (Pakhandee, “Baanaaras Ke Thug“) awaits for ostentatious and ignorant people to cheat them and firmly tie them to Maya so that they can further drift them away from Gurmat or Gur-Giaan, and, thus, have a secure return business.
For the Gurbani provides us Aatam-Giaan. This Aatam-Giaan is not to be found at the places of pilgrimage (Tirath Asthan). Yes, one thing that is sure to be found and gained from these place is “filth”.
We Already are full of “filth”; the Gurbani does not want us to accumulate more of it. religious pilgrimages (Yaatraa or Dhaam-Yaatraa, etc.) to the so called sacred shrines are not a part of the Sikh Sidhaant, and, thus, they are repudiated by the Gurbani. Further, the Gurbani also rejects bathing at such places. However, the spiritually blinds still go out of their way to visit such places anywhere in the world, and bathe at every pool (Sar or Sarovar) they can find. Even though the Gur-Shabad roars God and the true shrine of pilgrimage is within our body, but people travel in search for God at these external shrines plagued with falsehood and corruption!
- ਜੇਤੇ ਰੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਏ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਲਾਏ ਘਰ ਕੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਇਕੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ॥ In spite of the many places of pilgrimage for people to bathe in, their minds are still stained by their stubborn ego; God is not pleased by this at all (by bathing at pilgrim places). (sggs 687).
- ਕਾਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਤ ਕਾ ਢਬੁ ॥ ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥: This is not the environment (for sitting with closed eyes and holding nostrils as Yogis doing Yoga, because with these ways) union with the Divine Life or high conduct cannot be realized (people do this to deceive the world, this is not Bhagti or Dharma). (Through such false and deceptive practices) the shrines of the world become polluted (minds of people there become corrupt, filthy, ridden with Pakhand etc.) thus the world begins to drown or sink (in Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). (sggs 662).
The Pujaaree-group was (and still is) making good business of this. The Gurbani repudiates (Khandan) all this nonsense – Manmukhataa. There is no Dharma, Aatam-Giaan, or any spiritual value in these activities. Sikhi is in learning the Aatam-Giaan contained in the Gurbani and then live it. Rest is all fraud, falsehood, and Maya’s dealings. However, the Teaching of the Gurbani has been corrupted by the Mayadhaaree clergy, clerics, Bhais, Raagees, Kathaakaars, Giaanees, Parchaaraks, Sants, Baabaas, Gurdawara committees, and so on. Their motto is Golak (money). Consequently, they have changed Gurmat to Manmat or Brahm-Giaan to Bharam-Giaan. As a result, business like pilgrimage is a flourishing, lucrative business (racket) in Sikhi. This is all Mayaic Karamkaand – totally contrary to the Gurbani’s Giaan/Teaching.
- ਮਨ ਕਾ ਝੂਠਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੋ ਫਿਰੈ ਤਪਾ ਸਦਾਵੈ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਸਭਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਗਹੈ ॥: The man of false mind practices falsehood. He runs after Maya, and yet pretends to be Tapaa (a devotee, a hermit, a recluse, etc.). Deluded by doubt (he) visits all Teerath (external shrines of pilgrimage). (sggs 1142).
Here is the Gurbani’s real / true Tirath or Tirath Yatra (pilgrimage):
- ਤੀਰਥੁ ਹਮਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Hari Naam is my Teerath. The Guru has instructed me in this True Essence of spiritual Wisdom (Aatmic-Giaan; ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਨਿਚੋੜ – ਗਿਆਨ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1142).
- ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਣ ਜਾਉ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: I (too) go to bathe at the Teerath (place of pilgrimage); but for me Naam (Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues…) is the Teerath. To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad Vichaar…) is the Teerath, (because of this) Wisdom Awakens within (sggs 687).
- ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh kishu ghar mahi … (sggs 102).