These people are Real Donkeys

The Gurmat Wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is of Unique, Revolutionary, and Universal for all times, for all situations, for all occasions, and for all locations!

The Gurus and Bhagats were not only God-Connected Within, they were also excellent communicators, poets, writers, and presenters. They effectively used idioms / metaphors to explain very complex spiritual Messages. Hence, impregnated with spiritual Wisdom or suggestions, numerous idioms can be found in SGGS.

Since the entirety of the Gurbani is for the Mind, idioms / metaphors etc. express the subtlety of the spiritual experiences of the Gurus and Bhagats, draw the reader’s attention, awaken senses, amplify the Message, capture subtle nuances of spirituality, they create imagery in the mind and make the reader see things in a new way, improve understanding, and so on.

The level of intelligence of an utterly foolish or stupid person, without Virtues, is generally compared with that of a donkey. Poor Donkey!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤਿ ॥੨॥: Nanak, those are real asses, who have no Virtues but are filled with egotistical pride ||2|| (sggs 1246).

For example, if some one acts stupidly, he takes the risk of being called ‘Gadhaa’ or ‘Khotaa‘ (donkey, ass). Also, if a child behaves or acts foolishly, parents at home, or teachers in the school may call him ‘Gadhaa’ or ‘Khotaa‘ to make the point!

The Gurbani compares those who remain bloated in pride (ਐਵੀਂ ਆਕੜ ਦਿਖਾਲਣ ਵਾਲੇ) without Virtues with donkeys (asses). Here are some charateristics of humans who behave as real donkey:

  • ਮਨਹੁ ਜਿ ਅੰਧੇ ਘੂਪ ਕਹਿਆ ਬਿਰਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਊਂਧੈ ਕਵਲ ਦਿਸਨਿ ਖਰੇ ਕਰੂਪ ॥ ਇਕਿ ਕਹਿ ਜਾਣਨਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਬੁਝਨਿ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਸੁਘੜ ਸਰੂਪ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਨਾਦੁ ਨ ਬੇਦੁ ਨ ਗੀਅ ਰਸੁ ਰਸੁ ਕਸੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੰਤਿ ॥ ਇਕਨਾ ਸਿਧਿ ਨ ਬੁਧਿ ਨ ਅਕਲਿ ਸਰ ਅਖਰ ਕਾ ਭੇਉ ਨ ਲਹੰਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਅਸਲਿ ਖਰ ਜਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੰਤ ॥੧੫॥: Those who are totally blind in their minds (utterly foolish), do not have the integrity to keep their word. With their blind minds, and their upside-down heart-lotus (from Dharma), they look totally ugly (i.e., their living is ugly). Some know how to speak and understand what they are told. Those people are wise and look good. Some do not know Naad (inner melody), spiritual wisdom, or any other enjoyment or taste (ਰਸੁ ਕਸੁ). Some have no idea of Sidhi (attainment of liberation), wisdom or understanding; they know nothing about the mystery of the Word (and still remain bloated with pride!). Nanak, those are real asses who have no Virtues but are filled with egotistical pride ||15|| (sggs 1411).
  • ਧੋਤੀ ਖੋਲਿ ਵਿਛਾਏ ਹੇਠਿ ॥ ਗਰਧਪ ਵਾਂਗੂ ਲਾਹੇ ਪੇਟਿ ॥੧॥ : The Pujaaree (clergy) spreads part of his loin-cloth and sits on it; like a donkey he gulps down into his belly all that comes his way. ||1||(sggs 201).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਗਰਧਭ ਕੀ ਨਿਆਈ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਥਾਨ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਫਿਰਾਹੀ ॥੫॥: Without the remembrance of God, (Saakat) spend their lives in filth (of vices) like a donkey. ‘Saakat‘ (those who are separate from their Mool…) wander at corrupt (polluted…) places. (sggs 239).
  • ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪ ਹੋਤ ਦੇਹ ਕਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਗਰਧਭ ਭਸਮ ਸੰਗੀਤਿ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਰੁਚ ਆਵਤ ਬਿਖੈ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥੨॥: The body of a donkey may be anointed with sandalwood paste, it still feels comfort in rolling over in dirt. Similarly, You are not fond of Amrit of Naam; instead you love the intoxicating potion of worldly riches. ||2||(sggs 673).
  • ਪਾਨਾ ਵਾੜੀ ਹੋਇ ਘਰਿ ਖਰੁ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਰਸੀਆ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਸਕ ਕਾ ਤਬ ਫੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥੯॥ : As a donkey does not know the value of an orchard of betel leaves in the backyard, similarly a spiritually ignorant person does not appreciate the worth (of Naam). If one is a lover of fragrance, only then he appreciates its flowers, similarly one realizes the worth of Naam only when love for God develops in his mind. ||9|| (sggs 725).
  • ਰੇ ਨਰ ਕਾਇ ਪਰ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕੁਚਲ ਕਠੋਰ ਕਾਮਿ ਗਰਧਭ ਤੁਮ ਨਹੀ ਸੁਨਿਓ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O man, why do you go out to the house of others to fulfill your lust? O filthy, heartless, lustful fool, have you not heard of the Dharma Rai? ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1001).
  • ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਆਨ ਕਉ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਮੂੜ ਮੁਗਧ ਖਲ ਖਰ ਤੇ ॥ : Those who forsake the Creator and think of someone else are fools, they are like donkeys. (sggs 1267).
  • ਸੂਕਰ ਸੁਆਨ ਗਰਧਭ ਮੰਜਾਰਾ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਲੇਛ ਨੀਚ ਚੰਡਾਲਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮੁਹੁ ਫੇਰੇ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਜੋਨਿ ਭਵਾਈਐ ॥ : Human beings who turn their face away from the Guru (Shabad, Giaan-Wisdom…) acquire the mindsets of pigs, dogs, donkeys, cats, animals, Malechh, Chandaal etc.(sggs 832).

Please note neither a donkey is going to read the Gurbani (SGGS) nor a donkey is going to reflect or contemplate on it, and nor a donkey going to a Gurdwara!

Here the Gurbani is talking about the human mind which behaves like animals!

People feel hubris for different things – education, intelligence, wisdom, money, status, titles, beauty, virtues or qualities, possessions, land, property, Jaap Paat (caste), and so on.

Pride (ਗਰਬ, ਅਭਿਮਾਨ, ਅਹੰਕਾਰ, ਆਕੜ…) is one of the Bikaars (i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride). According to the Gurbani, this is indicative of a person being a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree etc. (self-willed, who lives at material consciousness, ignorant, who lacks spiritual Understanding, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਬੇ-ਸਮਝ…)

The Gurbani asserts that in such Manmukh Mindset (which is opposite of a Gurmukh Mindset), we just waste away human life, without realizing the Creator, within.

  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਕਰੇ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥: The Manmukh takes great pride in himself (sggs 1066).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਗਰਬਿ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਇਆਣੇ ॥: The Manmukhs are ignorant and foolish (ਜੀਵਨ-ਜੁਗਤਿ ਤੋਂ) ; they remain in pride; they do not find God (sggs 163).
  • ਜੋ ਜੋ ਗਰਬੁ ਕਰੇ ਸੋ ਜਾਇ ॥: Whoever indulges in pride, wastes away (from standpoint of spiritual life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ) to ruin (sggs 868).

if we wish to eradicate pride or self-conceit, the Gurbani asks us to Develop the Gurmukh Mindset (Enlightenment).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਗਿ ਰਹੇ ਚੂਕੀ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੀ ਰਾਮ ॥: Who have become the Gurmukhs remain Awake and Aware (from the spell of Maya – ਮਾਇਆ ਦੇ ਹੱਲਿਆਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ); (from within them, their) pride is annulled (sggs 1111).
  • ਤਜਿ ਮਾਨੁ ਸਖੀ ਤਜਿ ਮਾਨੁ ਸਖੀ ਮਤੁ ਆਪਣੇ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਭਾਵਹ ॥: O my companions! Renounce your pride, renounce your pride, (so that we may) become pleasing to (our) Beloved (sggs 847).

The Gurbani indicates the mind in love with Maya is not trustworthy (‘ਨਹੀ ਬਿਸਾਸੁ’). Such flawed mind (‘ਮਨ ਖੁਟਹਰ’) becomes the cause of one’s hellish existence, here and now.

In a nutshell Sikhi is to dispel the darkness of ignorance by applying the Wisdom ‘ਗਿਆਨ ਅੰਜਨੁ — Giaan Anjanu‘. Accordingly, the Wisdom of the Gurbani repeatedly reminds that hypocrisy and pretense cannot take us closer to the Gurmukh Lifestyle. Only the purity of our mind can do so.

  • ਕਵਨੁ ਕਵਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਪਤਰਿਆ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਰੀ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਮੋਹਨੀ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਨਰਕ ਕੀ ਰੀਤਿ ॥੧॥ ਮਨ ਖੁਟਹਰ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਸਾਸੁ ਤੂ ਮਹਾ ਉਦਮਾਦਾ ॥ ਖਰ ਕਾ ਪੈਖਰੁ ਤਉ ਛੁਟੈ ਜਉ ਊਪਰਿ ਲਾਦਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (O Mayaic mind!) By placing trust (reliance…) in you, who is not deceived. You are enticed (bewitched) by the great enticer (Maya) – this is the way to hell! ||1|| O defective mind, you can not be trusted because you remain very intoxicated (by Maya). Just as DONKEY‘s leg-chain is removed only after it is loaded (similarly O mind, you should be controlled by loading you with the Wisdom / Virtues, and thus you should not be given a chance to be enticed Maya, vices or Bikaar etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 815).
  • ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਪੜੇ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੁ ਖਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਜਸ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: (O pandit!) What is the use of reading the Vedas and the Puraanas? It is like loading a donkey with sandalwood (If Mool is not understood…). (sggs 1102).

Having said that, the Gurbani (SGGS) asserts the life of those churning falsehood is like the donkey who grazes upon the green grass; arising each day, he laughs and brays, and then dies. Or, like the intoxicated bull who runs around wildly, romps, eats and then falls into hellish existence.

  • ਹਰੀ ਅੰਗੂਰੀ ਗਦਹਾ ਚਰੈ ॥ ਨਿਤ ਉਠਿ ਹਾਸੈ ਹੀਗੈ ਮਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਮਾਤਾ ਭੈਸਾ ਅੰਮੁਹਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਕੁਦਿ ਕੁਦਿ ਚਰੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥: The donkey (i.e., the foolish mind) grazes upon the green grass (of Bikaar or Maya); arising each day, (the mind) laughs and brays (like a donkey), and (finally) dies (in this ‘hee-haw’ or a donkey-lifestyle). ||1|| The intoxicated bull (of the deluded and Bikaaree mind) wanders around wildly. It romps (in false ego-sense) and eats (the crop of Bikaar, Maya …) and then is ruined completely (live a hellish existence or low life…). ||2|| (sggs 326).
  • ਫੀਲੁ ਰਬਾਬੀ ਬਲਦੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਕਊਆ ਤਾਲ ਬਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਪਹਿਰਿ ਚੋਲਨਾ ਗਦਹਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਭੈਸਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਾਵੈ ॥੧॥: (The mind’s animal nature) plays the guitar of the elephant-nature (egoism…); it plays drums of the ox-nature (indolence, ignorance…); it plays cymbals of the crow-nature (material cleverness…). (The mind’s animal nature) performs dance of the donkey-nature (lust…), and perform Bhagti of the buffalo-nature (uncontrolled conduct or intoxication with Maya…) ||1||. (sggs 477).

3 comments

  1. Thank you Bhai Sahib Balvinder Singh Gill Ji for taking the time to share your thoughts, and kind words. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog.

  2. Your posts are truly enlightening for me thank you so much. I understand your humble approach but it gives me such knowledge and enjoyment to read

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