Religious Wearings in Stubborn Mindedness (ਮਨ ਹਠ)
God does not wear any peculiar religious robes or symbols!
The Gurbani tells us that our material body is born with two filthy robes: lust and anger.
- ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਾ ਚੋਲੜਾ ਸਭ ਗਲਿ ਆਏ ਪਾਇ ॥: All have come, wearing the robes of lust and anger (sggs 1414).
The human life’s ultimate aim is to rid the body of this inner “garbage” (i.e., all Bikaars, evil passions, negative tendencies…). However, instead of liberating the body from this internal filth, majority of us have further adorned it with external blemishes consisting of various religious paraphernalia. Poor Soul! The Gurbani teaches us that all these external body robes, symbols, and other paraphernalia are nothing but a pompous show (“Adammbar”) of man’s unripe ego (Haumai). Hence condemned by the Gurbani.
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਮਨੂਆ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਧਾਵੈ ॥: (Devoid of the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom, one) outwardly wears religious robes and (acts as he is) very clever, but (his) mind wanders in the ten directions (sggs 732).
- ਭੇਖੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਨ ਲਭਈ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਚੀ ਸਿਖੰ ॥: Mool (Source…) can be realized by the True Teaching, not by religious garbs (sggs 1099).
- ਹਠਿ ਨ ਪਤੀਜੈ ਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਭੇਖੈ ॥: (Mool – Source) is not pleased by stubborn-mindedness, nor by various religious robes (sggs 686).
- ਹਠੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਵੇਸ ਕਰੈ ਬਹੁ ਭਸਮ ਲਗਾਵੈ ॥: It is of no avail to dye in stubbornness (Yogic rituals or Karamkaand). (One may) wear religious robes and smear his body with ashes (These are also useless) (sggs 226).
Although the religious wearing is repudiated in the Gurbani, still many decorate their ephemeral body with them. Why? The Gurbani provides us with authoritative answers as well as explanations. According to the Gurbani, many put on such garbs etc. to cover up their wickedness; to make believe that they know God; to establish their religious authority; to show they are spiritual scholars; to show they are better than those who do not wear such robes or symbols; to hide the fire of worldly desires and fear; to hide the filth of Maya within; to show that they know the true teachings of the Gurbani; to hide their corruption, stubbornness, fanaticism, mental delusions, spiritual ignorance; and so on. The Gurbani confirms all of this as follows:
- ਅਧਿਕ ਤਿਆਸ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਕਰੈ ॥: Excessive thirst for Maya makes people wear all sorts of religious garbs (sggs 352).
- ਭੇਖ ਅਨੇਕ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਬੁਝੈ ॥ ਕੋਟਿ ਉਪਾਵ ਦਰਗਹ ਨਹੀ ਸਿਝੈ ॥: Wearing various religious robes, the fire (of desire) is not extinguished; even making millions of (such) efforts, one will not be accepted in the Court of the Lord (sggs 266).
- ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥: (Although one born from human category) belongs to the human specie, but his deeds are that of animals. (However, he) day and night humbugs or show off to people (that he is a human, ਬੰਦਾ…)! Outside (on his body) is the religious dress but in his mind is the filth of Maya. (However, the filth of the mind) cannot concealed by trying to conceal it with (outwardly wearing religious robes). (sggs 267).
- ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: (To show off, the stubborn fool) ostensibly wears religious robes, but does not practice Truth (sggs 738).
- ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਕਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਉਤਰੀ ਘੇਰੇ ॥: Outwardly (to look pious and to impress others they), wear various religious robes, but within, they are enveloped by poison (of Maya). (sggs 372).
- ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥: (People think they become Dharmic or Bhagat if they simply) apply (1) ceremonial marks to their foreheads, (2) hold Maalaa or rosary in their hands, and (3) wear religious dress. People think that Rabb (Universal Energy, System or Law of Nature…) is a toy or a play-thing (i.e., they think Rabb can be pleased or fooled by religious paraphernalia or symbols). ||1|| (sggs 1158)!
- ਕਿਨਹੀ ਸਿਧ ਬਹੁ ਚੇਟਕ ਲਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨਹੀ ਭੇਖ ਬਹੁ ਥਾਟ ਬਨਾਏ ॥ ਕਿਨਹੀ ਤੰਤ ਮੰਤ ਬਹੁ ਖੇਵਾ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਦੀਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਆਧਾਰਾ ॥੪॥: Some work spells using the miraculous spiritual powers of the Siddhas. Some wear various religious robes and establish their authority. Some perform Tantric spells, and chant various mantras. (But) I meek have support of the Lord’s Name (i.e., I only do His Bhagti)||4|| (sggs 913).
- ਜੋਗੀ ਗ੍ਰਿਹੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਭੇਖਧਾਰੀ ॥ ਏ ਸੂਤੇ ਅਪਣੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਰਹਿਆ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਜਾਗਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮੂਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Yogis, the householders, the Pandits, the religious scholars, and the sectarians in religious robes — they are all asleep in egotism. They are asleep, intoxicated with the wine of Maya (being constantly robbed by lust, anger, greed, etc.). Only those who remain awake and aware (with Naam-Simran…) are not robbed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1128).
- ਜੇ ਜੇ ਭੇਖ ਸੁ ਤਨ ਮੈਂ ਧਾਰੈ ॥ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਨ ਕਛੁ ਕੈ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥: Those who adopt different religious garbs can never realize their Mool (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Bachitra Naatak, Dasam Granth, page 140, line 7).
The Gurbani has thus repeatedly warn us that God cannot be realized by any outwardly religious appearance.