Useless Talk

The Gurmat Wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) says only those become acceptable (ਕਬੂਲ, Gurmukhs, etc.) whose mind becomes One with their Mool (ਮੂਲ, Source, Jot Saroop…), within.

However, Gurbani in the SGGS reminds us that all other shallow talks devoid of Abidance in divine Virtues and Hukam are useless and of no avail (empty of the divine Wisdom or Aatm-Giyan of the Guru Shabad, ਨਿਰੀਆਂ ਜਾਂ ਫੋਕੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ – ‘ਅਲ ਪਲਾਲੀਆ‘).

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਆਏ ਸੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਵੁਠਾ ਚਿਤਿ ॥ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅਲ ਪਲਾਲੀਆ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵਹਿ ਮਿਤ ॥੧॥: Nanak, approved is the coming (into this world) of those beings within whose conscience God abides. O my friend, all other useless talks and babbling serve no purpose. ||1|| (sggs 320).

Accordingly, the Gurbani urges us to learn the Upadesh (Instructions, Giaan, Wisdom, Advice, Counsel, etc.) of the Gur-Shabad with single-minded focus and utmost Love.

  • ਸਿਖਹੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ॥ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਏਕ ॥੨॥: O dear ones, learn the Guru Shabad, it is the support of the entire life. Nanak, by remembering the ONE Creator, be always Enlightened and Happy. ||2|| (sggs 320).

Gurbani asserts that mere talks or chatter about divine Giyan-Wisdom or Virtues; mere reading of Gurbani; mere seeing the SGGS, mere bowing to the SGGS, any other Pakhand (hypocrisy) or Karamkaand (rituals) or religious paraphernalia, religious robes etc., will not do the trick.

Gurbani in the SGGS has used the word Yog (or Yoga), which comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘Join’. It simply means the joining of the ego-self (Haumai or the sense of ‘I, me, mine, you’, etc.) to the Higher Self within (i.e., Joining with one’s Mool or Jot Saroop). In other words, it means uniting of the time-bound consciousness with the Timeless Consciousness within.

Obviously, its the skill in thoughts, words and action that leads to the state of such Perfection (Poorantaa).

The Gurbani cautions us that this Union or Oneness with one’s Mool Within does not come about by mere talking.

Although most of us would like to believe in this wishful thinking, but Gurbani in the SGGS tells us otherwise. Also, as repeatedly made clear in the Gurbani, this Divine Union does not come about by wearing some peculiar garbs (Bhekh) or symbols, or by visiting so called locations of pilgrimage, or by wandering around the world.

  • ਮਤੁ ਜਾਣ ਸਹਿ ਗਲੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Don’t you ever think that you can realize God by your mere talking. (sggs 24).
  • ਬਾਤ ਚੀਤ ਸਭ ਰਹੀ ਸਿਆਨਪ ॥ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਜਨਾਵਹੁ ਸੋ ਜਾਨੈ ਨਾਨਕ ॥੩੯॥: Words (debates, mere talk etc.) and clever tricks are of no use at all. O Nanak! Only that person understands who causes himself to know this. (sggs 258).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Union (with divine Presence Within) is not realized by mere talking. (sggs 730).
  • ਇਕਿ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਗਲਾ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ Plenty of people wander around talking and babbling on and on (but ignore practicing Virtues and Hukam). Nobody has ever realized God by mere talking. (sggs 919).
  • ਙੰਙਾ ਙਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੁਖ ਬਾਤਉ ॥ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਕਰਿ ਭਾਤਉ ॥ ਙਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਦ੍ਰਿੜ ਸੋਊ ॥ ਕਹਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਛੁ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਊ ॥: Wisdom is not obtained by mere words of mouth. It is not obtained through the various debates of the Shaastras or scriptures. They alone are spiritually wise, whose minds are firmly fixed on the Essence of Reality (i.e., Mool, Jot Saroop etc.). By just hearing and telling stories (ਗੱਪ ਸਾਖੀਆਂ), no one attains Yoga. (sggs 251).
  • ਪੂਛਤ ਪਥਕਿ ਤਿਹ ਮਾਰਗ ਨ ਧਾਰੈ ਪਗਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਕੈ ਦੇਸ ਕੈਸੇ ਬਾਤਨੁ ਕੇ ਜਾਈਐ । ਪੂਛਤ ਹੈ ਬੈਦ ਖਾਤ ਅਉਖਦ ਨ ਸੰਜਮ ਸੈ ਕੈਸੇ ਮਿਟੈ ਰੋਗ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜ ਸਮਾਈਐ । ਪੂਛਤ ਸੁਹਾਗਨ ਕਰਮ ਹੈ ਦੁਹਾਗਨਿ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਬਿਬਿਚਾਰ ਕਤ ਸਿਹਜਾ ਬੁਲਾਈਐ । ਗਾਏ ਸੁਨੇ ਆਂਖੇ ਮੀਚੈ ਪਾਈਐ ਨ ਪਰਮਪਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਗਹਿ ਜਉ ਲਉ ਨ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥੪੩੯॥ : One asks the Way to Realize the Creator but does not tread even a step on it. Without launching oneself on that Way, how can one Realize the Creator by mere prattles? One asks the physician (the Guru), the medicine of curing the malady of false ego-sense (Haumai), but does not consume the medicine (Guru’s Giyan-Wisdom) with dedicated discipline and precautions. Then how can the ailment of egotism be cured and spiritual peace acquired? One asks from the dear and beloveds of the Lord husband the Way of Uniting Him, but all her actions and deeds are like of wretched and discarded women. Then how can such a seeker wife with deceitful heart ever be called to the nuptial bed of the husband Lord for Union? As long as one does not follow (live, practice – ਅਮਲ) the teachings of the Guru, it is not possible to Realize the Creator Within even if one goes through rituals of eye-closing and doing chanting/Kirtan. ॥439॥ (Bhai Gurdas, Kabit Savaiye).

Gurbani calls them Manmukhs-Saakat-Mayadhaaree who merely or uselessly talk about Mool-Abidance but, in reality, do not practice divine Virtues or live in harmony with Hukam.

  • ਅਧ ਵਿਚਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: The wretched Manmukh wanders around stuck half-way (in duality, doubt…); how can (he) obtain peace by mere words? (sggs 305).

Next, the Gurbani answers the question why it is not possible to experience Mool-Abidance through mere useless talk.

  • ਗਲੀਂ ਜੇ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਤੋਤਾ ਕਿਉ ਫਾਸੈ ॥: If mere talking could help realize God, then why should a parrot remain encaged? (Vaar Bhai Gurdaas Ji).
  • ਗਲੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਖੰਡੁ ਖੰਡੁ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਉ ਨ ਭੋਵੈ । ਮਖਨੁ ਖਾਇ ਨ ਨੀਰੁ ਵਿਲੋਵੈ ॥੧੭॥: By mere talking, none gets satisfied, as by mere uttering word sugar one cannot have his mouth sweet. If one is to eat butter, one should not go churning water, i.e. mere talks cannot produce the right results. (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 17, Paurhee 17).

According to Baabaa Nanak, it’s so because through useless talk, all we can obtain is falsehood (‘ਕੂੜੋ’) not Spiritual Wisdom (‘ਗਿਆਨੁ’). Also, through useless talk, our hunger for Maya (‘ਭੁਖ’) will not diminish. To the contrary, it will increase!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਲੀ ਕੂੜੀਈ ਕੂੜੋ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥: Nanak, false talking begets only falsehood. ||2|| (sggs 141).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਗਲੀਈ ਢੂਢੀਐ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥੨॥: Divine Giyan-Wisdom cannot be obtained through mere talking, to explain how to obtain it is extremely difficult like chewing iron. Other tricks and dictates (of the mind) are useless. ||2|| (sggs 465).

Put plainly, Gurbani counsels us that to realize Mool through mere talking is like lifting up the mountain with mere words, or like bringing down the sky with talk!

  • ਗਲੀ ਸੈਲ ਉਠਾਵਤ ਚਾਹੈ ਓਇ ਊਹਾ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਧਰੇ ॥ (People) want to lift up the mountains with mere words, but (with mere words, those mountains) just remain there (i.e., cannot be lifted). (sggs 714).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਸੁਨਹਿ ਨ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਅਸਮਾਨੁ ਗਿਰਾਵਹਿ ॥੧॥ : (Many) do not listen to the ‘Hari Jasu’ (Shabad-Vichaar…), and they do not live daily life by the Divine Wisdom or Virtues. But knock down the sky with their (nonsense, idle) talks. (sggs 332).
  • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਪਰਮਿਤਿ ਪਰਮਨੁ ਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੧॥: There are people who say they have realized the Infinite and incomprehensible God; they think as if they can reach heaven by mere talking alone. (sggs 325).

What’s Gurbani’s advice?

Gurbani’s advice is as follows. Without the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom…), everything else is false and worthless. Because, any intellect (i.e., Mati-ਮਤਿ) devoid of the Naam is prone to deception and fraud (ਛਲ-ਕਪਟ). Therefore, such intellect is defective, thus worthless (‘ਸਭਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਹੋਛੀਆ’). In a nutshell, only Truth (God realization) can set us free (‘ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ’).

  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸਭਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਹੋਛੀਆ ॥੧॥: Without the Naam, everything is false and worthless. ||1|| (sggs 761).
  • ਗਲੀ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: Mere talk does not lead to heaven; liberation (from vices/Bikaar) lies in God realization. (sggs 141).
  • ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਬਿਆ ਵਿਕਾਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਧਣੀ ਵਿਹੂਣੀਆ ॥੧॥: Nanak, every other talk outside of God Realization is useless. ||1|| (sggs 321).
  • ਗਗੈ ਗੋਬਿਦੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਮੂੜੇ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ O fool, enshrine Gobind in your mind, by mere talks, no one has ever realized Gobind (i.e. God). (sggs 435).

13 comments

  1. According to Gurbani, by inviting Gurmat through Sabd one gets Naam (divine sohjee free from ego), which opens the doors of enlightenment to know Gur, Guru, Guroo…:
    ਗੁਰੁ ਜਹਾਜੁ ਖੇਵਟੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਤਰਿਆ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ (Bhatt Gyand GGS. 1401-11).).
    ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥
    ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਭੂਲੇ ਬਾਵਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਾਗੁ ॥…
    ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋ ਮਰਿ ਰਹੈ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਦੂਜੀ ਵਾਰ ॥
    ਸਬਦੈ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੇ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥
    ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਗੁ ਭੂਲਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਨਮੈ ਵਾਰੋ ਵਾਰ ॥੭॥
    ਸਭ ਸਾਲਾਹੈ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਵਡਹੁ ਵਡੇਰੀ ਹੋਇ ॥
    ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਚੀਨੀਐ ਕਹੇ ਸੁਣੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਇ ॥
    ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਰੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੮॥੮॥

  2. Gurbani is spiritual in nature and poetic in form.It tells us that except the One there is no second and the third
    This is true and that ONE is SATiGuRu /NAAMu only

  3. Nanak to Gobind Singh are the ten Gurus of the khalsa.The Granth Sahib is the Guru of the khalsa.The Gurbani is spiritual in nature and poetic in form.It tells us that except the One there is no second and the third.Our rehat is Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh.It is anyones guess who the Guru of the khalsa is.

  4. In Gurbani one come across the following references also.
    1GuRoo , SatiGuROO and GuROO.SatiGuROO
    2GuRu , SatiGuRu and GuRu.SatiGuRu and
    3 GuR and SatiGuR and GuR Sati

  5. Eventually at some later date we will try have them in a pdf file. Thank you Manpreet Ji for your time, kind words, and encouragement.

  6. Praji,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful reply. Been a keen reader of your site for about 8 years and always look forward to reading your articles. Was wondering if you ever thought of compiling your work into an ebook with a table of contents based on topics

  7. Thank you Manpreet Ji for taking the time to write. The topic of your inquiry warrants a separate post. However, here is my brief take on it based on my understanding of the Gurbani.
    First off, Sri Guru Granth Sahib does not advocate the concept of embodied Guroo (ਦੇਹਧਾਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ, “in person”…), nor it recommends to adopt an embodied being as Guroo. This is very fundamental Teaching of the Gurbani.

    The Gurbani asks: why serve another (i.e., embodied being-ਦੇਹਧਾਰੀ) who is born, and than dies?
    • ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 509).

    The Gurbani’s Satgur is “ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ-Abinaasee” (Imperishable, Eternal – beyond birth and death, beyond coming and going, etc.):
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: Satgur meraa sadaa sadaa n aavai n jaai. Ohu abinaasee purakhu hai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai ||13|| (sggs 759).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Satiguru jaagataa hai deou ||1|| Rahaaou|| (sggs 479).
    • ਸਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ॥: Sati purakhu jini jaaniaa Satiguru tis kaa naaou (sggs 286).
    • ਜਿਸੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ Jisu miliai mani hoi anandu so Satiguru kaheeai (sggs 168).

    Accordingly, the Gurbani repeatedly mentions the “Antar Guru” (Inner Guru: Mool, Jot…):
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਆਰਾਧਣਾ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜਪਿ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਉ ॥: Antari guru aaraadhanaa jihava japi gur naaou (sggs 517).
    • ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਰਤੈ ॥: Gursikhaa andari satigur vartai (sggs 312).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Satiguru pooraa merai naali (sggs 618).
    • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: Guru merai sangi sadaa hai naale (sggs 394).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: Satiguru saachaa mani vasai saajanu ut hee thaai (sggs 1087).

    Thus, the Gurbani says no one is without the Satgur (“ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ”) – He is always with all of us, within:
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ॥: Satigur te khaalee ko nahee merai prabhi meli milaaye (sggs 850).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Satiguru pooraa merai naali (sggs 618).
    • ਹਰਿ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਾ ॥੧॥: Hari sukhdaataa merai naalaa (sggs 1133).

    Now, how would one go about serving such Niraakaar (Formless) Satgur? Through the Shabad-Vichaar (understanding the Gurbani by Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad and then living it in daily life). The Gurbani says:
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ (sggs 1415).
    • ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵ ॥: Sachai sabadi satgur sevai (sggs 1044).
    • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: Sabadu Guroo surti dhuni chelaa (sggs 943).

    In essence, the Satgur is Sach Daa Giaan (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, the Divine Knowledge of Truth, the Spiritual Wisdom of Truth, etc.).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਮਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 797).
    • ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਦਾ ਸਚੁ ਸਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੇ ॥: So satiguru ji sachu dhiaaidaa sachu sachaa satigur ikae (sggs 304).

  8. Praji, on a slightly note. would it be possible to explain the term “satgur” frm gurbani. Does this refer to God or Guruji? many thanks in advance

  9. There is very strong message describing the state that needs introspection for ones own behaviour in actual life. Majority of people lead life as described as ਗਲੀ ਅਸੀ ਚੰਗੀਆ ਆਚਾਰੀ ਬੁਰੀਆਹ ॥ ਮਨਹੁ ਕੁਸੁਧਾ ਕਾਲੀਆ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਚਿਟਵੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ and this is a great warning for what should be actually adopted for acceptable soul in the COURT of PRABHu.

  10. ਗਲੀ ਅਸੀ ਚੰਗੀਆ ਆਚਾਰੀ ਬੁਰੀਆਹ ॥ ਮਨਹੁ ਕੁਸੁਧਾ ਕਾਲੀਆ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਚਿਟਵੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ ॥ ਨਾਲਿ ਖਸਮੈ ਰਤੀਆ ਮਾਣਹਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਰਲੀਆਹ ॥ ਹੋਦੈ ਤਾਣਿ ਨਿਤਾਣੀਆ ਰਹਹਿ ਨਿਮਾਨਣੀਆਹ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਕਾਰਥਾ ਜੇ ਤਿਨ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਲਾਹ ॥੨॥ (Sriraag M. 1, GGS. 85-1).

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. * = required fields. Comment Policy.