When Reading The Word, No Need To Shout So Loud

The following verse of the Gurbani (SGGS) indicates there is no need to shout so loud (ਕੂਕਾਂ ਮਾਰਕੇ) while reading Granths, religious books or scriptures. Why?

  • ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਣ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹੰਤਾ ॥ ਪੂਕਾਰੰਤਾ ਅਜਾਣੰਤਾ ॥ ਜਾਂ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਾਂ ਸੂਝੈ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਕੂਕ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥: Salok M: 1 || saastar bed puraan parrantaa …: Slok M: 1 || Some read (loudly so others hear him!) the Shaastras, the Vedas and the Puraanas (ਆਦਿਕ ਧਰਮ-ਪੁਸਤਕਾਂ – scriptures or religious Granths). They recite them, out of ignorance. If they really understood them, they would realize the Lord (everywhere). Nanak says, (then, his reading of) shouting so loud cease to be. ||1|| (sggs 1242).

The Gurbani answers when one reads loud (ਕੂਕਾਂ ਮਾਰਕੇ – “ਪੂਕਾਰੰਤਾ”), it is indicative of one’s mere reading, not his understanding of what he is reading. Therefore – according to the analysis of the Gurbani – so long one does not understand what he is reading, untill than he reads loud for only others to hear that he is reading the Gurbani, Quran, Veda, and so on (ਉੱਚੀ ਉੱਚੀ ਬੋਲਦਾ ਹੈ – ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੁਣਾਉਂਦਾ ਹੈ). But he himself remains ignorant of what he is reading (“ਅਜਾਣੰਤਾ”)!

However, the Gurbani stresses when one understands what he is reading or when one is able to grasp (realize, understand, etc.) the gist of the Word he is reading (ਜਦੋਂ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਦਾ ਭੇਤ ਪਾ ਲੈਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਤਦੋਂ ), then he begins to see God everywhere and in everything. As a result, his need to shout so loud comes to an end.

The Gurbani’s message is that there is no need of shouting loud when we read, worship or do prayers as God is neither deaf nor far away. Further, mere listening or memorizing of scriptures is not enough either.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਮੁਨਾਰੇ ਕਿਆ ਚਢਹਿ ਸਾਂਈ ਨ ਬਹਰਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਾ ਕਾਰਨਿ ਤੂੰ ਬਾਂਗ ਦੇਹਿ ਦਿਲ ਹੀ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜੋਇ ॥੧੮੪॥: Kabeer Mullan munaare kiya charhe saanyee na bahraa hoi. Jaa kaaran tu baang de dil hee bheetar joi ||154||: Kabeer says: O Mullah, why do you climb to the top of the minaret? God is not deaf. Look within (your) own, for whose sake you shout (your) Baang (ਬਾਂਗ: call of Muslim priest for worship) ||184|| (sggs 1374).
  • ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe ||1||: God’s Name dwells deep within me, I know no other wisdom, meditation or worship. I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).
  • ਪਾਠੁ ਪੜੈ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਈ ਭੇਖੀ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇ ॥: Paath parrai n boojhaee bhekhee bharam bhulaai: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 66).

The Gurbani stresses that to make real Spiritual Progress, we must struggle with our own mind to apply every Word we read in our daily life. But, before we can properly apply it to our daily life, we need to understand what we read!

  • ਅਕਲੀ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਕੈ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹੁ ਏਹੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥੧॥: Akalee parrhih kai bujheeai akalee keechai daan …: One should read (Bani) with intelligence, and then understand its real essence (i.e., assimilate it). Also, one should use intelligence in giving charity. Says Nanak, this is the True Path; other things lead to Satanic life ||1|| (sggs 1245).
  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Prriai naahee bhed bujheeai paavanaa: Not by studying scriptures, but through understanding, is the God’s Mystery revealed (sggs 148).

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