Slander Me Well, O People!

The Gurbani warns us against ‘ਨਿੰਦਾ-Nindaa’ (slander, defamation, spreading of lies about a person or a group, false accusation or charge, calumny, etc.). In this post, we will attempt to reflect on three aspects of slander as follow:

  1. What is NOT slander (ਨਿੰਦਾ-Nindaa)?
  2. What IS slander (ਨਿੰਦਾ-Nindaa)?
  3. Being Slandered is beneficial to the victim!

What is NOT slander?

We learn from their lives of the Gurus and Bhagats that speaking truth about something or somebody is not slandering or condemnation of it.

That is, to call something as it is, is not slandering! To put it in a simple Punjabi: ਸਚ ਨੂੰ ਸਚ ਕਹਿਣਾ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਨਹੀ ਹੈ.

In other words, to call truth as truth is not slandering the truth. It is Fearlessness as taught by the Gurbani. It is simply being factual.

All the Gurus and the Bhagats were linked with Truth (ਸਚ). They always spoke truth, and wrote truth.

  • ਬੋਲੀਐ ਸਚੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲੀਐ ॥: Speak the ‘Sachu’ Dharma (i.e. to speak Truth is Dharma), and do not speak falsehood (sggs 488).

But, truth hurts many like hell! Those permeated with falsehood (Jhooth-ਝੂਠ) cannot stand or tolerate Truth. It burns them:

  • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਕੂੜਾ ਜਲਿ ਜਾਵਈ ॥: If someone speaks the Truth, the false (one) is burnt (irritated). (sggs 646).
  • ਜਿਨਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਭਾਵਈ ॥: Truth does not suit those who are permeated by falsehood (sggs 646).

However, being established in Truth (ਸਚ), all the Gurus and the Bhagats cared less if and when they were slandered or bad mouthed by the ignorant and foolish people.

The Gurbani is filled with examples in this context. However we cannot quote all of theme here from a space point of view. Let’s consider few as follows:

When Baabaa Nanak calls the Pujaaree group liers, fool, ignorant, Satan, bewildered or lost, traders of Maya, greedy, treacherous, harmful, deceptive, etc., he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about them is true (ਸਚ-Sach) — the Pujaaree System is crafty by nature!

  • ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲਿ ਪਾਡੇ ਸਚੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥: O Pandit (i.e. Pujaaree, religious scholar etc.)! Do not tell lies, speak the Truth. (sggs 904).
  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੋਹੇ ਲੋਭਿ ਸਬਾਏ ॥: All Pandits are deluded by greed (sggs 370).
  • ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਨਿਵਾਜ ॥ ਛੁਰੀ ਵਗਾਇਨਿ ਤਿਨ ਗਲਿ ਤਾਗ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਨਾਦ ॥ ਉਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਭਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਓਈ ਸਾਦ ॥: The tyrants who take away the rights of humanity (i.e., tyrants who take what rightfully belongs to another; corrupt, bribe takers etc.), pretending to be religious, pray (five) times. The Khatris (and Brahmins), who serve the Muslim government, persecute their own brothers. However, these knife-wielders (i.e., those who tell lies, oppress others, hurt others, bring calamity upon others…) also wear religious symbols such as the sacred thread around their neck. In the homes of the persecuting Khatris, Brahmins prepare food (with Sucham-purification rituals) and eat; and pray for them. Brahmins seem to be doing the same thing as the tyrant and cruel Muslims and Khatris. (sggs 471).

When Baabaa Kabeer Sahib tells us for abandoning the greedy and crafty Pujaaree group, he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Kabeer is saying about them is true (ਸਚ-Sach) — they are crafty and exploit people! Here is the Gurbani’s Wisdom to all its Sikhs (learners, students, ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ of the Shabad…):

  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: Whatever the Pandit and the Mullaan have written (the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat…), I have abandoned (all of that); I have not taken any of it ||3||. (sggs 1159).
  • ਹਮਰਾ ਝਗਰਾ ਰਹਾ ਨ ਕੋਊ ॥ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਛਾਡੇ ਦੋਊ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Now) I have no quarrel with anyone anymore; because I have abandoned both the Pandit and the Mullaan (ਦੋਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਦੱਸੇ ਰਸਤੇ ਨਾਲ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੋਈ ਵਾਸਤਾ ਨਹੀਂ – the path of Karamkaand, Shariyat…). |1|| Pause || (sggs 1158).

When Baabaa Nanak declares these so called “Sant” as Baanaarasi-thugs (robbers, cheats), he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about them is true (ਸਚ-Sach).

  • ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥੧॥: Who have rosaries around their necks, and glittering jugs in their hands, (just because of such religious paraphernalia) they should not be called the Divine’s Sant — they are thugs of Banaras (i.e., religious conmen, robbers, cheats…). (sggs 476).

When Baabaaa Nanak exposes the fraud and corruption that had (still is) become the resting ground of the religious places and organizations, he is not slandering. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about them is true (ਸਚ-Sach).

  • ਗੰਗਾ ਗਇਆ ਗੋਦਾਵਰੀ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੇ ਕਾਮਾ ॥: Pilgrimages to (Teerath Asthaan like Ganges, Gaya and Godawari (etc.) are merely worldly affairs (sggs 1195).
  • ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਇ ਨ ਉਤਰਸਿ ਮੈਲੁ ॥ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਸਭਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਫੈਲੁ ॥: Bathing at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, filth (i.e., egotism, Bikaar…) is not washed off. Religious rituals (Karamkaand) are all just egotistical displays (sggs 890).
  • ਬਗਾ ਬਗੇ ਕਪੜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਮੰਝਿ ਵਸੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਘੁਟਿ ਘੁਟਿ ਜੀਆ ਖਾਵਣੇ ਬਗੇ ਨਾ ਕਹੀਅਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥੩॥: The herons in their white feathers inhabit in places of pilgrimage. They tear apart and eat the living beings, and so they are not called white (i.e., here the Gurbani’s wink is towards people at these places of pilgrimage). ||3|| (sggs 729).
  • 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).

Babaa Nanak is not slandering Ragis (professional singers) when he tells them that it does not matter how many different ways they sing, but ‘Hari'(Mool, Source, Raam…) is not pleased by these. Baabaa Nanak says that these mentally blind Ragis do all this for the sake of ‘bread’ (‘ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ’) . Babaa Nanak is Just telling the Ragis and the rest of us the truth. Because, Parmaatam has nothing to do with all this.

  • ਰੋਟੀਆ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਪੂਰਹਿ ਤਾਲ ॥: For the sake of bread, they perform melodiously (sggs 465).
  • ਇਕਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਗ ਪਰੀਆ ਰਾਗਿ ਨ ਭੀਜਈ ॥: Some sing according to traditional Raag, but the Lord is not pleased by these Raag (sggs 1285).
  • ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੀਤ ਨ ਚੀਨਹਿ ਆਪੁ ॥: You sing the songs, but you do not understand your own self (i.e., your Mool). (sggs 903).
  • ਗੀਤ ਰਾਗ ਘਨ ਤਾਲ ਸਿ ਕੂਰੇ ॥: (Forgetting the Shabad: Vichaar, Giaan, etc., mortal indulges in) the various songs, Raag and rhythms, but these are all false efforts. (sggs 832).
  • ਅੰਦਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਅੰਨਾ ਕੂੜੀ ਕੂੜੀ ਗਾਵੈ ॥: A person who is blind inwardly (i.e. mentally blind) and blind outwardly (from conduct or deeds: ਕਾਲੀਆਂ ਕਰਤੂਤਾਂ), sings (or recite scriptures) deceptively or falsely (ਝੂਠੀ ਮੂਠੀ). (sggs 960).
  • ਰਾਗ ਨਾਦ ਸਭ ਕੋ ਸੁਣੈ ਸਬਦ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਮਝੈ ਵਿਰਲੋਈ ।॥: Everybody just listen to “Raag and Naad”, but a very rare one understands Shabad-Surti (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 15, Paurree 16).

Baabaa Nanak in the following verse tells us that the whole world is ‘Rogee‘ (i.e, diseased – with egotism…). By saying so he is not slandering the whole world. But just telling the truth.

  • ਜਗੁ ਰੋਗੀ ਕਹ ਦੇਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਉ ॥: Jagu rogee… (sggs 1189).

When Baabaa Nanak declares that the leaders, religious or otherwise, are corrupt, he is not slandering them. Also, when Baabaa Nanak says that their officials on account of greed behave as dogs and harass innocent people, he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about all of them is true (ਸਚ-Sach) — they plunder people and resources as lions plunder their pray.

  • ਰਾਜੇ ਸੀਹ ਮੁਕਦਮ ਕੁਤੇ ॥: The kings are like tigers, and their officials are dogs (sggs 1288).

When Baabaa Nanak calls kings the butchers, thieves, sense-blind, full of hunger for Maya, corrupt, etc., he is not slandering them. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about them is true (ਸਚ-Sach).

  • ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੰਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਡਰਿਆ ॥ ਕੂੜੁ ਅਮਾਵਸ ਸਚੁ ਚੰਦ੍ਰਮਾ ਦੀਸੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਹ ਚੜਿਆ ॥ : ‘Kali’ (corrupt state of the mind) is like a sharp knife. Kings (and their officers) who protect the people are behaving like butchers (ਜਾਲਮ). The true principle of Dharma is as if taken wings and flown away. The falsehood all around seems to have spread like a pitch dark night (of Masya). The moon of truth is nowhere to be seen! (sggs 145).

Baabaa Nanak called the emperor Baabar tyrannical (ਜਾਬਰ). This is not slandering of Baabar. Because, what Baabaa Nanak is saying about him is true (ਸਚ-Sach).

  • ਪਾਪ ਕੀ ਜੰਞ ਲੈ ਕਾਬਲਹੁ ਧਾਇਆ ਜੋਰੀ ਮੰਗੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥: Paap kee janjh… (sggs 722).

Thus, nothing could deviate a person of Truth from the Way of Truth!

What IS slander?

Essentially slandering is to tell lies (ਝੂਠ) about a person or a group.

The purpose behind knowingly spreading falsehood about a person or a group is to make them feel belittled, ashamed, guilty, humiliated; make them lose their self-esteem; and so on.

In nutshell, slandering or defamation is the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. It’s to victimize or ridicule the other person.

  • ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਐਸੇ ਹੀ ਝਰਿ ਪਰੀਐ ॥ ਇਹ ਨੀਸਾਨੀ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਭਾਈ ਜਿਉ ਕਾਲਰ ਭੀਤਿ ਗਿਰੀਐ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਉ ਦੇਖੈ ਛਿਦ੍ਰੁ ਤਉ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਉਮਾਹੈ ਭਲੋ ਦੇਖਿ ਦੁਖ ਭਰੀਐ ॥ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਚਿਤਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਪਹੁਚੈ ਬੁਰਾ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਮਰੀਐ ॥੧॥: O Brother, listen: This is the distinctive sign of a slanderer — he collapses like a wall of saltpetre. Thus, the slanderer crumbles away (from his spiritual Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ – in other words, his habit of slandering is like saltpetre to his spiritual Life). When the slanderer sees a fault in someone else, he is pleased. Seeing goodness, he is depressed. Twenty-four hours a day, he plots (to harm someone), but nothing works. (Even if he cannot succeed in his planning) the evil man dies, constantly thinking up evil plans. ||1|| (sggs 823).

In the Gurbani, this sort of slandering of anybody is called ‘not good-ਭਲੀ ਕਿਸੈ ਕੀ ਨਾਹੀ’:

  • ਨਿੰਦਾ ਭਲੀ ਕਿਸੈ ਕੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਕਰੰਨਿ ॥ ਮੁਹ ਕਾਲੇ ਤਿਨ ਨਿੰਦਕਾ ਨਰਕੇ ਘੋਰਿ ਪਵੰਨਿ ॥੬॥: It is not good to slander anyone, but the foolish Manmukhs still do it. The faces of the slanderers turn black (bad name or reputation, tumult, Dukh, depression, no self-esteem-ਢੈਂਦੀ ਕਲਾ…), and they fall into the horrible hell (i.e., they live hellish life Here and Now). ||6|| (sggs 755).

Certainly, if you are ever slandered by an another individual or a group, one option is to just ignore and walk away from that situation.

Also, as the Gurbani points out, we can make it to work to our advantage if we want!

In this context, Baabaa Nanak’s life teaches us very important lesson. For example, foolish Manmukhs contemptuously would call Baabaa Nanak names such as Bhootanaa‘ (ਭੂਤਨਾ, spirit), ‘Betaalaa‘ (ਬੇਤਾਲਾ, demon), ‘Vechaaraa‘ (ਵੇਚਾਰਾ: wretched, helpless, poor, etc.), etc. They also called Baabaa Kabeer ‘Bauraanaa’ (insane, mad, foolish…). Here are Baabaa Nanak and Baabaa Kabeer’s own words:

  • ਲੋਗੁ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਬਉਰਾਨਾ ॥: People say that Kabeer has gone insane (for he rejects Karamkaand…). (sggs 1158).
  • ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ ਭੂਤਨਾ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਬੇਤਾਲਾ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਆਖੈ ਆਦਮੀ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ॥੧॥: (For not following the worldly ways…) Some call (Nanak) ‘Bhootanaa’ (a ghost…); some call ‘Betaalaa’ (demon…); Some call ‘Vaechaara’ (wretched, helpless, poor…). ||1|| (sggs 991).

Did this sort of worldly nonsense cause Baabaa Nanak or Bhagats to give up Bhagti or the Path of Truth? No!

  • ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਛਾਡਉ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਭਾਵੈ ਨਿੰਦਉ ਲੋਗੁ ॥: I will not forsake Raam Bhagati even if people slander (sggs 1366).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਤਿਨ ਨਿੰਦਹਿ ਨਿਗੁਰੇ ਪਸੂ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੨॥: Hari kee bhagti kare tin nindahi nigure pasoo… (sggs 1138).
  • ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਧੋਵੈ ਓਹੁ ਮਲਭਖੁ ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ॥: By slandering, the slanderer washes other’s filth (filth of others Bikaars, filth of the bad actions they committed, etc.), (but in the process he – ਮਾਇਆ-ਵੇੜ੍ਹਿਆ ਮਨੁੱਖ) the worshiper of Maya (himself becomes used to) eating the filth (of others) (sggs 507).

Behavior of the Gurmukhs is beyond the understanding of an ordinary human being of limited vision (the vision impaired by the cataract of Maya).

Being slandered is beneficial to the victim

If people can call Baabaa Nanak demon, etc., then what to speak of us! The Gurbani says that an aspirant should not be concerned about being slandered by “Manmukh Mugadh ” (foolish Manmukhs, Mayadhaaree – those in love with Maya). Because, according to the Gurbani, being slandered or criticized is in fact beneficial!

How’s so?

Slanderers help one become aware and alert of his negativity and defilement — one’s weaknesses become magnified when slandered.

If taken constructively, once aware of his weaknesses, one can do something about them. Thus, in a way, the person who talks trash about someone helps him remove his demerits.

However, if one reacts negatively to the act of being calumniated by someone, then obviously he has nothing to gain (because then he is no different than the slanderer).

For one’s negativity + other’s negativity is not equal to positivism!

In fact this is the formula for ruin. In short, it all depends on how we react to being tarnished by anyone.

The key is to use it (1) to see our shortcomings; and (2) then remove them without any prejudice or partiality.

In this context, consider the following Shabad of Baabaa Kabeer:

  • ਨਿੰਦਉ ਨਿੰਦਉ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਲੋਗੁ ਨਿੰਦਉ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਜਨ ਕਉ ਖਰੀ ਪਿਆਰੀ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਬਾਪੁ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਮਹਤਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਬੈਕੁੰਠਿ ਜਾਈਐ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸਾਈਐ ॥ ਰਿਦੈ ਸੁਧ ਜਉ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਹਮਰੇ ਕਪਰੇ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਧੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰੈ ਸੁ ਹਮਰਾ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਮਾਹਿ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਚੀਤੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਸੋ ਜੋ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਰੈ ॥ ਹਮਰਾ ਜੀਵਨੁ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਲੋਰੈ ॥੨॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਮਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਮਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਨ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਉ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਡੂਬਾ ਹਮ ਉਤਰੇ ਪਾਰਿ ॥੩॥੨੦॥੭੧॥: Slander me, slander me – go ahead, people, slander me (by telling lies about me). Slander is pleasing to “Jana” (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat…). Because Slander is (Jana’s) mother and father (i.e., as mother and father help their children in developing good qualities, similarly, slanderer helps Jana, makes him alert). If I am slandered, (for me it’s like living in) heaven (Here and Now, because I will be so alert not do any bad thing – the state of Pure the consciousness, etc.). (When I’m slandered) “Naam Padaarath” (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) abides in my mind. (When I’m slandered) my Heart is rendered pure (by abiding in Naam and virtuous deeds). (Thus) the slanderer helps me cleanse my demerits (inner filth). ||1|| (Thus) One who slanders me is my friend; in the slanderer is in my conscious (I pay attention to slanderer who keeps me alert, and thus do the right thing in life). The slanderer is the one who prevents me from being slandered (by helping me become virtuous). (Thus, in fact, indirectly) slanderer improves my life. ||2|| The slander is my love and affection (because it helps me improve). Slander effects my revival or progress (because it helps me escape demerits). Therefore, slander is the best thing for “Jana” Kabeer. The slanderer is drowned (because he never looks at his own demerits or negativity), while I am carried across (for the slanderer helps one become aware of my own demerits or negativity). ||3||20||71|| (sggs 339).

On the other hand, the slanderer, the foolish Manmukh, bears total loss —increases his demerits, sinful propensities, pollution of the mind, foolishness, suffering …)! Like a janitor or a dragon, a slanderer carries his huge, useless loads (of slandering), and burns in his own fire (of slandering). ||1||

  • ਮਿਥਿਆ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ਧੜੇ ਬਹਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਛਿਦ੍ਰੁ ਅਟਕਲੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਵਧਾਵੈ ॥: Love of duality (Maya) is false, and it creates factions. (Those in love with Maya) decry other’s shortcomings and increase their own ‘Ahankaar’ (pride, haughtiness, false ego-ego….). (sggs 366).
  • ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕਉ ਫਿਟਕੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕਾ ਝੂਠਾ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਕਾ ਮੈਲਾ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥: The world curses the slanderer. (Because the world knows that) false are the dealings of the calumniator. (By calumniating) the calumniator’s own lifestyle becomes filthy (corrupt, Bikaaree…). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1151).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਹਲਕਾਏ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਭਾਰੁ ਉਠਾਏ ॥ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੂਠਾ ਚੇਤੈ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਬਹੁਤੀ ਰਾਹੀ ॥੨॥: Within (the Pujaaree) is greed and they wander about like mad dogs. They slander others and carry loads of (slandering) upon their heads. Beguiled by Maya, he does not think of the (Divine Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). Deluded by doubt, he goes astray in many ways. ||2|| (sggs 372).

Therefore, like Baabaa Kabeer, we must also love those who tarnish us; for they do us a great favor!

  • ਐਸੇ ਝੂਠਿ ਮੁਠੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਨਿੰਦੈ ਮੁਝੈ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਨਿੰਦਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦੇ ਦਰਿ ਨੀਸਾਣੈ ॥: Such is the falsehood (worthless activities, corrupt thinking, ਝੂਠੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ, etc.) that’s plundering the worldly people (of their spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ). The slanderer slanders me, but even so, I love him (because he helps me improve). ||1||Pause|| He alone knows the Way of life, who is being slandered. Through the Shabad, he is approved at the Divine Door (Naam: Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). (sggs 1330).


  1. Thank you Vir Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

    Very difficult to understand the slander.

    In nutshell, slander is to present Truth (Sach-ਸਚ) as false (Jhooth-ਝੂਠ). ਭਾਵ, ਸਚ ਨੂੰ ਝੂਠ ਕਹਿਣਾਂ ਹੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੈ.

    when one can not understand what is slander then how to get rid of slander

    Of course a slanderer knows when he is slandering! His Inner Voice (ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ) tells him – one’s All-Pervading Mool is situated within, he knows and hints him. However, our dull senses may not listen to subtle instructions of this Inner Voice (ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ), that’s an another story!!
    • ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਉਸ ਤੇ ਕਹਾ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥੩॥ (sggs 381).
    • ਜਿਸੁ ਪਾਸਿ ਲੁਕਾਇਦੜੋ ਸੋ ਵੇਖੀ ਸਾਥੈ ॥: (sggs 461).
    • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮੈ ਮਿਲੈ ਹਉ ਜੀਵਾ ਸਦੁ ਸੁਣੇ ॥੨॥ (sggs 1317).

    how to get rid of slander

    First, we need to know who is it that is ever restless to slander, and enjoy slandering? Gur-Shabad reveals it is the mind ridden with Haumai (false ego-sense, Bikaar, Maya…). Hold on to that thought (suppress or mend the ego-mind…), the ghost of the slandering mind will fold its tent and disappear. But, the Gurbani indicates that a very rare one conquers his Mayaic mind!!
    • ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਤਜਿ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: (sggs 29).
    • ਕੁਬੁਧਿ ਡੂਮਣੀ ਕੁਦਇਆ ਕਸਾਇਣਿ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਘਟ ਚੂਹੜੀ ਮੁਠੀ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਚੰਡਾਲਿ ॥: (sggs 91).
    • ਨਰ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਲੋਭੀ ਮਨਿ ਕਠੋਰ ॥: (sggs 1170).
    • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਰੈ ਦਾਰੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: (sggs 665).

  2. It is very difficult to understand what is slander. Once maskeen ji told that to say flower to flower is not slander but to say thorn to flower is slander(ninda).
    But if tell a blind man that you are blind is also slander . I am saying truth that is calling blind to a blind . but i am saying his avgun infront of him.
    Once a bhagat brought servant at his home. servant told that i will work at your home but i am eating more this is my habit by birth. if you are your wife slander me in presence of other peaople that i am eating more in front of other people i will leave your house.

    Very difficult to understand the slander. when one can not understand what is slander then how to get rid of slander.
    *in previous post some mistakes, so i reposted

  3. This was helpful and clarified somethings. Recently I was in a situation that prompted me to tell this person that he was being arrogant. His response? He became even louder and repeatedly told me he was not arrogant. I stayed quiet. I tried to explain why I used this particular word but could not get in a word edge wise. So, later I was very confused on how to think or feel about the whole situation. I don’t feel so bad anymore about speaking the truth. However maybe there was a more effective way of communicating it? I don’t know.

  4. Karamjeet Singh Ji,

    In my opinion, learning to ignore strengthens one’s endurance and also the associated element of the virtue of forgiveness gets a boost. Perhaps that’s big enough a benifit.

    Thank you brother for taking the time to share your Vichaar with all of us.
    “strengthens one’s endurance”, tolerance, humility, forgiveness, etc. And, in turn, weakens Haumai (ਹਉਮੈ ਦੀ ਆਕੜ)…
    ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹਮਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ (sggs 339).
    ਨਿੰਦਕੁ ਨਿੰਦੈ ਮੁਝੈ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 1330).

  5. Thanks for another thought provoking reflection on Gurbani.

    I had often wondered how being slandered by someone benefits us. Your piece successfully attempts to explain this but there is still a situation that may need more elaboration.

    In the instance where someone is being ‘incorrectly’ slandered, then there’s nothing to ‘magnify the limitation’ as the ‘limitation’ simply does not exist. In such a situation, chances of being upset with the slanderer are pretty bright. So how does the ‘slandered’ get benifitted here? In my opinion, learning to ignore strengthens one’s endurance and also the associated element of the virtue of forgiveness gets a boost. Perhaps that’s big enough a benifit.

    But I am sure there is perhaps a better explanation about an innocent ‘slandered’ being benifitted a a result. Your take please.

    Deep Regards.

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