Rituals – Karamkaand

The consciousness of animals is only basic – (1) eating, (2) sleeping, (3) mating, (4) defending, (5) hunting, and (6) excrementing. They have been at the same level for time immemorial, repeating the same actions. Humans are different from animals in that humans are endowed with Bibek-Budh (discerning intellect). All the Knowledge on this earth is a human gift.

The Guru Sahibs in their lifetime created such a human character that was free from all kinds of rituals (Karamkaand), superstitions, religious Pakhand and arrogance, priestly fleecing and falsehood (Pujaaree-ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲੁੱਟ/ਝੂਠ) and was full of divine Virtues. Instead of countless gods and goddesses, a believer of one Creator and the Ageless and Eternal Guru, Shabad Guru – Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS).

But under the influence of distorted interpretation and translations of the SGGS, the gullible Sikh has broken away from the true Message embedded in the SGGS and started doing all the rituals like Bipar. Except the outward appearance as a Sikh, from the inside, it became a full-fledged Karamkaandi and Bipar.

Our Gurus, and Bhagat Sahibaan questioned every cultural, religious or political tradition and proclamations, and redefined to match the Unique and Revolutionary spirituality of the Gurbani (SGGS). They all courageously and firmly stood up against the long held stale traditions and concepts, concocted narratives, and futile rituals (Karamkaand) of Brahmins, Muslims, Yogis, Jain etc.

  • ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥ : The clergy of the Muslim faith was corrupt, the Brahmin was murderous and the Yogi Un-Enlightened. These three (clergy) had become the root cause for the spiritual wreckage and desolation that mankind had come to endure. (sggs 662).

However, today, in Sikh families, all rituals from one’s birth to death are NOT free from Biparvaad from which Baabaa Nanak freed us.

  • ਗਊ ਬਿਰਾਹਮਣ ਕਉ ਕਰੁ ਲਾਵਹੁ ਗੋਬਰਿ ਤਰਣੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਧੋਤੀ ਟਿਕਾ ਤੈ ਜਪਮਾਲੀ ਧਾਨੁ ਮਲੇਛਾਂ ਖਾਈ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪੂਜਾ ਪੜਹਿ ਕਤੇਬਾ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਤੁਰਕਾ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਛੋਡੀਲੇ ਪਾਖੰਡਾ ॥ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਇਐ ਜਾਹਿ ਤਰੰਦਾ ॥੧॥ : (O Hindu tax collector at a river!) you charge tax for the cow and the Brahmin for being carried in a boat across the river, so you cannot hope that the cow dung you use to coat your kitchen floor to make it pure – as is your belief (i.e. use of cow dung cannot purify one of vices/Bikaar) and take him/her across the world-ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences. The Brahman (whom you consider to be the giver of salvation and the knower of Vedas) has also been taxed! (O Brahman!) You wear wear loin-cloth, put a frontal mark, but you eat the food of those whom you call filthy and mean (corrupt rulers and their officials, etc.)! Sitting inside your home (i.e. hiding from Muslim rulers) you perform Poojaa (but outside, to show Muslims) you read Semitic Books and observe the Muslims austerities. (O Brahman!) Give up (this) hypocrisy. It is ONLY by remember the Divine Naam (Eternal Giyan-Wisdom/Virtues), you will swim across the worldly ocean of vices/Bikaar. (sggs 471).
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ ਛੁਰੀ ਵਗਾਇਨਿ ਤਿਨ ਗਲਿ ਤਾਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਭਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਓਈ ਸਾਦ ॥ ਕੂੜੀ ਰਾਸਿ ਕੂੜਾ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਕਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੂੜੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥ : Those who devour humanity by plundering it (i.e. those who violate or usurp someone’s right or take away something that rightfully belongs to others – ਪਰਾਇਆ ਹਕ ਖਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ) perform Namaz (Muslim prayer). There is the sacred thread around the necks of those who wield the knife of such robbery (corruption, bribe, etc.). To whose house the Brahmin (clergy or Pujaaree) blow the conch to sanctify their doings, they also have the same taste (i.e. they are also corrupt). The capital of falsehood is the only thing they have. They only trade in falsehood. They mislead people by speaking falsehood and make living through falsehood (deception). The sense of shame and Dharma is not even close to them, it is far away from them. Nanak, in this way, there is falsehood all around in the name of religion. (sggs 471).

Religious rituals (Karamkaand, formalities, Pramparaa, dogmas etc.) are actually impositions on an innocent humanity by the self-serving Pujaaree clique (clergy) of all organized religions (ਮਜ਼ਹਬ) who have vested interests.

But according to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), the deeds (rituals) which can not bring about Realization of the Creator Within, people are asked to do just that in the name of Dharma by the self-serving Pujaaree — clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc.

  • ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਜੋ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਜਮੁ ਜਾਗਾਤੀ ਲੂਟੈ ॥ : (Whosoever does not Internalize — practice: ਅਮਲ — the Advice or Message of the Guru’s Shabad) his religious acts are just ‘Pakhand‘ (pretending, hypocrisy, ਦਿਖਾਵਾ); he is plundered by ‘Jum‘ (i.e. vices or Bikaar). (sggs 747).
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਹਾਰਿਓ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਛੋਡਹਿ ਕਤਹੂੰ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਏਕ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਿ ਤਾਕੀ ਓਟਾ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਟਿ ਜਾਹੀ ॥੨॥ : (O God) I have grown weary, trying different ways to get rid of (my vices or Bikaar) but they do not loosen their grip on me. I have heard that these vices can be rooted out by taking refuge in the Company of the Guru. ||2|| (sggs 206).
  • ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ : Through hypocrisy, Bhagti cannot be done, and Paarbrahm is not Realized (sggs 849).
  • ਜਪਹੁ ਤ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮਾ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਨਿਰਾਫਲ ਕਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Realize the One Naam (Wisdom / Virtues). All other deeds (i.e. all rituals, which fail to bring Realization of the One Naam) are useless efforts. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 728).

Sikh‘ means the ‘learner or student of the SGGS – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ’. A Sikh is not bound by ideology or any type of Karamkaand (rituals).

Taking advantage of people’s spiritual ignorance, fear and greed the self serving Pujaaree cliques entangle them in useless rituals (Karamkaand). By doing so the ignorant people think they have become religious (or Dhaarmak)! The SGGS asserts they are of no use at all.

  • ਲਖ ਸੀਗਾਰ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਜਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੇਤੁ ॥ : (Soul-ਜੀਵ-ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ) may form Lakhs of Karamkaand (ਕਰਮਕਾਂਡ-ਰੂਪ ਸ਼ਿੰਗਾਰ), but they are of no use at all. (sggs 134).
  • ਪੂਜਾ ਵਰਤ ਤਿਲਕ ਇਸਨਾਨਾ ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਬਹੁ ਦੈਨ ॥ ਕਹੂੰ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਸੰਜਮ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਮੀਠੇ ਬੈਨ ॥ : (Rituals or Karamkaand such as) worship, fasting, ceremonial marks on one’s forehead, ablution, generous donations to charities, or speaking sweet words, with none of these the Divine is pleased (sggs 674).
  • ਜਾਪ ਤਾਪ ਕੋਟਿ ਲਖ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਣ ਤੁਲਿ ਨ ਲਾਇਣ ॥ : Hundreds of thousands and millions of recitations, austerities and worships are not equal to remembering (i.e., living by the Divine Virtues or Wisdom). (sggs 979).
  • ਵਰਤੁ ਤਪਨੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਭੀਜੈ ॥ : The mind is not affected (ਅਸਰ) by fasting or austerities (sggs 905).

The Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS challenges us to ask ourselves: How can the external performance of some ceremonial or otherwise practices free our mind of inner garbage (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride…) and connect it with its Mool within (Source, Original Nature as Jot Saroop…)?

The Gurbani in SGGS asserts that with this mental circus, one cannot realize the Unique spirituality of the Guru Shabad and have balanced mind. As a result, we will continue doing what we have been doing — continue living daily life of corrupt thinking (Soch), habits and actions.

In the same vein, we may perform ritualistic reading of the Gurbani, we may wear religious robes and symbols and consider ourselves to be religious, pure, holy, clever etc. but the conditioned mind continues to wander around.

  • 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).

Simply put: Rituals hide the Truth and bind us in egotism (or Haumai). Aptly, the SGGS strongly rejects Karamkaand (rituals…)!

  • ਕਰਮ ਕਾਂਡ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਨ ਕਾਜੈ ਕੁਸਲ ਸੇਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O Pandit! The religious ceremonies and self-conceit are of no avail, and (with these you cannot) happily go Home within (i.e., Mool). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 891).

Karamkaand (rituals, formalities…) are utilitarian in nature and therefore do not provide ultimate Anand or Joy (Sukh or Happiness…). Furthermore, Karamkaand can never afford realization of one’s own Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…), thus worthless (‘Fokat’).

Now, the question is: Then why do the Pujaaree-Vaad, Gurdwaras, Deraa-Vaad, Granthis etc. carry on Karamkaand?

The Gurbani’s answer is: It’s because people are not interested in the Divine Knowledge (Giyan) or divine Virtues. Instead, they want to continue living a life of attachment to worldly temptations and their cornuting influences. Consequently, the majority remain unaware of the true Nature of the Creator as explained in the SGGS! If they knew, then they would ‘definitely know that all rituals are of no value’.

  • ਜੇ ਜਾਣਸਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਫੋਕਟ ਨਿਸਚਉ ਕਰਮੰ ॥ : If (you) know the Way of the Brahm, (then you would) definitely know that all rituals are of no value. (sggs 470).
  • ਤੇ ਨਰ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਜਾਣੀਅਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮੁਰਾਰਿ ॥੪॥ : Those who have the Divine Knowledge within, are known to be very rare. ||4|| (sggs 1331).

Due to lack of Awareness of the Omnipresent Creator, the Gurbani says people just grope in the darkness of ignorance and carry on useless Karamkaand.

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥ : Bereft of Spiritual Wisdom, (people) worship or adore ignorance. In the love of duality (in love of Maya, their) conduct or behavior (keeps them mentally blind or ignorant. (sggs 1412).
  • ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਮਹਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਿਸਥਾਰਾ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਤਨਿ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਬਣਾਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਮਲੁ ਕਬ ਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਏ ॥੧॥ : If the mind is filled with anger and immense self-conceit (i.e. vices/Bikaar), but performs Poojaa all sort of ways with great ostentation; and even if ritual bath is taken (at the so called Teerath locations); and religious marks are applied to the bodystill the filth of evil instincts from their mind never departs. ||1|| (sggs 1348).
  • ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਤਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਗੁਮਾਨੁ ॥ : Of what use is bathing at locations of pilgrimage if the mind is filled with the filth of false ego-sense (Haumai). (sggs 61).

Now, the next question is: What is it that usher the mind into the darkness of spiritual ignorance?

Again, here is the authoritative answer from the Gurbani — it’s the mind’s hunger for Maya that leads to the darkness of ignorance!

This leads to the next question: How can then the Mayaic mind realize Truth?

Again, here is the authoritative answer from the Gurbani — by bringing about a storm of Spiritual Wisdom through churning the Gurbani and the Shabad-Vichaar:

  • ਦੇਖੌ ਭਾਈ ਗ੍ਹਾਨ ਕੀ ਆਈ ਆਂਧੀ ॥ ਸਭੈ ਉਡਾਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕੀ ਟਾਟੀ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਮਾਇਆ ਬਾਂਧੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O brother, the storm of Spiritual Wisdom or Enlightenment has struck my mind. (This storm of Wisdom) has blown away my mind’s Bharam (doubts, confusion, superstition etc.) and bonds of Maya like the thatched walls of my hut. ||1||pause|| (sggs 331).
  • ਸਚੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦ ਪਿਆਰਿ ॥ : True Bhagati consists of love for the Gur-Shabad (i.e., life of the Shabad-Giyan, Wisdom, Upadesh, Virtues…). (sggs 158).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਚੀ ਲੇਇ ॥ ਦਇਆ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ : The Creator is Realized when the authentic Counsel (spiritual Wisdom-Giyan, Advice, Direction etc) is received by the mind. Realize Compassion for one’s self, provide for the needs of the Conscience. (mind, self). (sggs 468).

In a nutshell, the Gurbani advises constant abidance in the Naam (Wisdom / Virtues…).

As indicated in the following verse, such individual who constantly abide in the Naam is very ‘rare‘, rest is mere mundane business (‘ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ-Biouhaaree‘: Maya’s traders, worshipers of Mammon, Karamkaandee, Pakhandee…).

  • ਕੋਟਿ ਮਧੇ ਕੋ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਸਗਲੇ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Out of millions, hardly anyone is (Your attendant) ‘Sewak’. All others are mere traders (selfish, i.e., their religiosity is only for show off or business). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 495).

Hence, to love or to live the Gur-Shabad is to internalize the Enlightening Spiritual Message of the Gur-Shabad and Realize the Truth (Sach – the Creator Within)…!

Karamkaand makes the mind extrovert — connects it to the love of MayaAccording to the Gurbani, it only enhances ignorance, thickens Haumai (false ego-sense), increases vices/Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) and worldly entanglements etc.

Such deluded consciousness makes us do useless acts, devoid of any spiritual vibrations. Therefore, if one thinks merely by performing Karamkaand one can mend mind, then he/she could not be any more deluded and lost!

  • ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤ ਬਧੇ ਅਹੰਮੇਵ ॥ : Ritual practices bind people in egotism (sggs 324).
  • ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਸਭਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਫੈਲੁ ॥ : Religious rituals are all just egotistical displays. (sggs 890).
  • ਕਰਮ ਕਰਤ ਜੀਅ ਕਉ ਜੰਜਾਰ ॥੩॥ : Performing religious rituals, the soul is entangled. ||3|| (sggs 385).
  • ਕੋਟਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਹ ਨ ਸੋਧਾ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਹਿ ਮਨੁ ਪਰਬੋਧਾ ॥੨॥ : The body is not purified by millions of Karamkaand. The mind is awakened and enlightened only in the Company of the Saadh-Guru (Wisdom, Giyan). ||2|| (sggs 1298).
The Gurbani makes the mind introvert — connects it to its Mool Within (Source, Jot…).

The Gurbani concludes that above all Karamkaand (rituals) is the Naam. In fact, the Gurbani mandates not to even come near those whose minds are oblivious of the Naam and are instead attached to duality (in love with Maya…)!

  • ਕਰਮ ਕਾਂਡ ਬਹੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਚਾਰ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥੩॥ : (Those who) perform all sorts of (religious) rituals and formalities, (but remain) devoid of the Naam, (such Karamkaand or rituals only give rise to) egotism (in them and their lives just remain) disdainful. ||3|| (sggs 162).
  • ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੋ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਾਗੇ ਤੇ ਸਾਕਤ ਨਰ ਜਮਿ ਘੁਟੀਐ ॥ : O my mind! Those who are without the Naam and attached to duality, those Saakat are strangled by Bikaar (lust, anger, greed…). (sggs 170).

In a nutshell, those who don’t test their Wisdom with the touchstone of the Gurbani, regard rituals as the final proof. Consequently, such people cannot really get at the Gurbani’s understanding and Truth!

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਕਸਉਟੀ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਝੂਠਾ ਟਿਕੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਕਸਉਟੀ ਸੋ ਸਹੈ ਜੋ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੩੩॥ : Kabeer, no false person (one who pretends / Pakhandee) can stand a chance when tested on the touchstone of ‘Raam‘ – when tested on the touchstone of true Divine Love / Virtues. Only that person who has become living dead (i.e. who lives in the world but NOT of the world – who has become ‘Sachiaaraa), has a chance when tested on the touchstone of ‘Raam’. ||33|| (sggs 1366).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਸਵਟੀ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਝਗੜਾ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ : The Gurmukh (enlightened/Guru Shabad-Oriented being) kills his mind utilizing the yardstick of the Guru Shabad. He battles with his mind, he settles with his mind, it is within the mind he remains absorbed. (sggs 87).

Last, but not least, consider this Gur-Shabad:

  • ਇਕਿ ਵਣ ਖੰਡਿ ਬੈਸਹਿ ਜਾਇ ਸਦੁ ਨ ਦੇਵਹੀ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਪਾਲਾ ਕਕਰੁ ਭੰਨਿ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਜਲੁ ਹੇਂਵਹੀ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਭਸਮ ਚੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਗਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਧੋਵਹੀ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਜਟਾ ਬਿਕਟ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ਕੁਲੁ ਘਰੁ ਖੋਵਹੀ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਨਗਨ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵਹੀ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲਾਵਹਿ ਅੰਗੁ ਆਪੁ ਵਿਗੋਵਹੀ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਤਨੁ ਛਾਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਿ ਰੋਵਹੀ ॥ ਸੋਹਨਿ ਖਸਮ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਜਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਹੀ ॥੧੫॥ : The hypocrites (Pakhandee) go to the forests and remain silent, but do not believe in divine Naam (divine Wisdom, Virtues…). Some, in the dead of winter, break the ice and immerse themselves in freezing water (endure cold water). Some rub ashes on their bodies, and never wash body-limbs off dirt. Some wear unshorn matted locks and look hideous. They thus bring dishonor to their family and ancestry. Some wander naked day and night and never sleep. Some burn their body-limbs in fire (performing penance in midst of fire-ਧੂਣੀਆਂ ਤਪਾਕੇ ); thus damage (their bodies). Without the Naam (i.e., spiritual Knowledge, Giyan…), the human body is reduced to ashes (i.e., goes waste); what good is it to speak and cry (when its too late!)? Only those beings who live internalizing the Enlightening Message of the Guru Shabad realize the Creator within. ||15|| (sggs 1284-1285).

In short, if WE ARE WILLING TO TAKE and PRACTICE, the SGGS provides us Wisdom (Giyan), which:

The following Shabad of Baabaa Nanak will challenge (ਲਲਕਾਰ) our mind forever:

  • ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਰਾਗੀ ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜੋਗਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਸੋਗੀ ਕੀਤੈ ਰੋਜਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਰੂਪੀ ਮਾਲੀ ਰੰਗਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਭਵਿਐ ਨੰਗਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਦਾਤੀ ਕੀਤੈ ਪੁੰਨਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਸੁੰਨਿ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਭੇੜਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਭਿੜਿ ਸੂਰ ॥ ਨ ਭੀਜੈ ਕੇਤੇ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਧੂੜ ॥ ਲੇਖਾ ਲਿਖੀਐ ਮਨ ਕੈ ਭਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੀਜੈ ਸਾਚੈ ਨਾਇ ॥੨॥ : (God) is NOT won over (i.e. pleased, made happy etc.) with singing ragas, playing Naad or reading Vedas (i.e. religious books). (God) is NOT won over by meditation, debating knowledge or doing any means of Yoga. (God) can’t be won over even if you just sit there crying. (God) is NOT won over (on you) even when engaged in beauty, riches and pleasures. (God) is NOT won over by ritual bathing at Teerath (shrines) or wandering naked (in jungles, mountaintops etc.). (God) is NOT won over with giving alms (Daan). (God) is NOT won over by fighting and dying as a warrior in battle (i.e., by becoming a martyr or Shaheed). (God) is not won over even if you are mixed with dust. The test (of good and bad of people) is done according to what’s in the mind. O Nanak! (God) is pleased only through the True Naam (Wisdom or Giyan). (sggs 1237).

In a nutshell, the Gurbani of the SGGS counsels us there is no need for wasting human life in useless Karamkaand for afterlife fake heaven or paradise, no need to wear any peculiar religious garbs, no need to recite a single word (‘Raam Raam’ or ‘Waheguru Waheguru‘ etc.), no need for Poojaa or Paath, No need to visit any so called locations of pilgrimage or to recite prayers, and so on. Regardless what organized religion (Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc.) one belongs to or what way of life one follows (Sikhi etc.), if one recognizes the Hukam, he/she can realize the divine mystery and God’s Presence within. Gurbani says:

  • ਬਾਨਾਰਸੀ ਤਪੁ ਕਰੈ ਉਲਟਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਮਰੈ ਅਗਨਿ ਦਹੈ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਲਪੁ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ ਅਸੁਮੇਧ ਜਗੁ ਕੀਜੈ ਸੋਨਾ ਗਰਭ ਦਾਨੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਸਰਿ ਤਊ ਨ ਪੂਜੈ ॥੧॥ ਛੋਡਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਰੇ ਪਾਖੰਡੀ ਮਨ ਕਪਟੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤਹਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: If a person goes to Baanaaras and performs penance by hanging upside down, dies at the places of Teeraths (locations of pilgrimage), suffer burns by fire, or put the body in difficult positions, make offerings of expensive items such as horse-sacrifice ceremony (Yagna) and donate gold as concealed donation; even then none of these is equal the Internalization of the Divine Naam (Shabad, spiritual Giyan-Wisdom, Virtues etc.). O my hypocritical (Pakhnadee) mind, do not practice deception ( fraud etc.), so renounce it. ॥1॥ Pause ॥ (sggs 973).

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10 comments

  1. Thank you brother, Harprit Singh Ji, for posting comment. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    why we do nitnem in amritvela?

    Let’s not put horses before the cart!
    First off, it’s important know what the Gurbani calls ‘Amrit’.
    Once we understand the Gurbani’s definition of ‘Amrit’, then ‘Amritvela’ will automatically be understood!
    Here are related posts here here at our site you may be interested in:
    ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ – O Nanak! There is Only One Amrit
    Gurbani Says Well Filled With Amrit Is Within Your Body
    Naam Padaarath and Giaan Padaarath
    Entire Gurbani is Naam

    What should i consider nitnem as?

    Live by the Wisdom (Giaan) of the SGGS in daily life. Live a Gurmukh lifestyle of Virtues (‘Saas Saas’) — 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)….

    I mean, does it have an importance to do five baanias everyday or we can take any shabad in SGGS jio, learning santhya of that Shabad and It’s vyakhea?

    Important thing is to churn the Gurbani to thoroughly understand it, and then live that understanding in daily life.

    I have linked several related posts in this reply. There are many more here. Please read them if interested.

  2. Sat Kartar jio,
    Dear Bhai Sahib, why we do nitnem in amritvela? What should i consider nitnem as? I mean, does it have an importance to do five baanias everyday or we can take any shabad in SGGS jio, learning santhya of that Shabad and It’s vyakhea?

  3. It has been my experience that ritual is ego’s playground.

    Well Said! Thank you, SamaraAbzu Jio. And welcome to the Gurbani Blog.

  4. Every one is wandering as the the knowledge of true and right spiritual path is not imparted right from the childhood from the parents themselves as they themselves have never acquired the same. So the market of falsehood is growing with increase in population .
    Only a few like Samara Abzu are fortunate to come out of the web of rituals and get on the right path of naad .This is the grace of Satiguru as predestined

  5. It has been my experience that ritual is ego’s playground. I previously participated in such events, orchestrated by what later was revealed as self appointed ‘shamans’ and ‘healers’ — charlatans, all. I have seen many (including myself) fall spiritually, emotionally and financially. While it was our karmic path to be exposed to such lessons, very few of us woke up to see it for what it was. I was fortunate — the Sikh mantras saved my life and are the bedrock of my daily walk.
    While I do not regret the labyrinthian ritual path I was on (as I learned so much about myself and how ego masks and traps wounded people), I conclude that it was all necessarily unnecessary.
    I rest now in the naad.

  6. Well put! Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for sharing the Gurbani Vichaar.
    In this context, here is wonderful verse from the Gurbani:
    • ਇਕਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: (sggs 646)

  7. In my understanding all refereces in Gurbaanee are for ONE and ONLY ONE ENTITY and that ONLY ONE ENTITY is “EKANKAARu”
    as Gurjoti (PrabhuAbinaasee)

  8. please put me in contact with a person I can share some conversation on the basis of GURBANI

    Bhia Sahib Jio, please share your Gurbani Vichaar right here at this blog.
    There is no special referral. Sorry! Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for taking the time.

  9. dear bhai sahib I have a question on sukhmani sahib and other similar questions arise time to time please put me in contact with a person I can share some conversation on the basis of GURBANI
    Q aad ,jugad,satgur and shri gurdev neme’
    to whom this refer to
    who are last two ,our guru Arjin ji giving the regards to ie neme’
    sat sri akal
    please accept my humble appreciation for you time in replying

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