White Blood In Veins!

According to the Gurbani, belief in caste (Jaat-Paat) is a sheer madness of the crazy mind! Notwithstanding, many who identify themselves as Sikhs, fanatically practice Jaat-Paat! What a travesty of truth (ਸਚ) and Dharma!

Those who thus oppose the Teaching of the Gur-Shabad by considering themselves of higher caste (or superior, etc.) and others of low caste (or inferior, etc.), do they think that the color of their blood is white instead of red…?

Bhagat Kabeer Sahib posed the similar question to Brahmins/Pandits who considered themselves of higher caste and Kabeer Sahib of a lower caste.

  • ਤੁਮ ਕਤ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਹਮ ਕਤ ਸੂਦ ॥ ਹਮ ਕਤ ਲੋਹੂ ਤੁਮ ਕਤ ਦੂਧ ॥੩॥: How is it that you are a Brahmin, and I am of a low caste? Is it that I have blood (in my veins), and you have milk (in your veins)? ||3|| (sggs 324).

In the same breath, Bhagat Kabeer Sahib posed an another question to Brahmins/Pandits who considered themselves of higher caste and Kabeer Sahib of a lower caste.

Caution: The Gurbani here uses a very strong language to hammer the truth into our sick minds:

  • ਜੌ ਤੂੰ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਤਉ ਆਨ ਬਾਟ ਕਾਹੇ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥੨॥: If you are indeed a Brahmin, born of a Brahmin mother, then why didn’t you come by some other way? ||2|| (sggs 324).

The Gurbani is also posing the same question to its Sikhs who practice Jaat-Paat. That is, if you think you are of a higher caste, “then why didn’t you come out of the womb by some other way?”

The Gurbani reminds us that nobody knows his or her “Kul” (lineage) in the womb! The Gurbani tells us that the One Brahm – the Source of all – has no particular lineage or social class!

  • ਗਰਭ ਵਾਸ ਮਹਿ ਕੁਲੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਤੀ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬਿੰਦੁ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਉਤਪਾਤੀ ॥੧॥:In the womb, no lineage and castr is known. (One) Brahm is the Source of all ||1|| (sggs 324).
  • ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਓਪਤਿ ਖਪਤਿ ਕੁਲ ਜਾਤੀ ਓਹੁ ਅਜਰਾਵਰੁ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਇਆ ॥੨॥; (sggs 1038).

In other words, Aatmaa (Soul) is “Abaran” (casteless, classless, etc.). This is why Aatmaa (Soul) loves all regardless of “Baran” (caste, class…). In nutshell, the mind that believes in low and high caste speaks in egotism (Haumai).

  • ਅਬਰਨ ਬਰਨ ਸਿਉ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਾਵਨਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੀਤ ॥: (Those people whose) mind loves to know the high and low social class (caste…), (they) always speak in egotism (sggs 1162).

The Gurbani wants us to become the Gurmukh (one who understands the Gur-Shabad and lives it, a Mool-realized person, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਮਤ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਹੈ…). For the one who has become a Gurmukh is beyond such madness!

  • ਜਾਤਿ ਬਰਨ ਕੁਲ ਸਹਸਾ ਚੂਕਾ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥੧॥: ||1||: Doubt about Jaati, Varan, and Kul (caste, social class, lineage…) is eliminated by the Gurmat (following the Teaching of the Gurbani) through the Shabad-Vichaar ||1|| (sggs 1198).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਤਿ ਨਾਮੇ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥: Gurmukhi jaati pati Naame vadiaaee (sggs 230).

There is a beautiful example given in the Gurbani as to how we can eradicate this madness of belief in low or high caste, low or high social class, low or high lineage, etc. (Jaat-Paat…). It goes like this:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਹਰਦੀ ਪੀਰਤਨੁ ਹਰੈ ਚੂਨ ਚਿਹਨੁ ਨ ਰਹਾਇ ॥ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਇਹ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਉ ਜਿਹ ਜਾਤਿ ਬਰਨੁ ਕੁਲੁ ਜਾਇ ॥੫੭॥ (sggs 1367).

Let’s try to digest the foregoing Salok. The turmeric (ਹਲਦੀ) is yellow in color, and the lime (ਚੂਨਾ) is white. Upon mixing the turmeric and the lime together, yellowness of the turmeric and whiteness of the lime disappear. Similarly, through the Loving Bhagti (Love of the Gur-Shabad, Naam, Aatm-Giaan…) when one is linked to his Mool (Source, Jot…), within, he loses all his body-consciousness of caste, social class, lineage, etc. (Jaat-Paat…).

Seen thusly, it’s not one’s family of birth, material wealth, name, fame, power, education, knowledge, external religion, titles, etc., that makes one low or high. Who is of low and high caste or social status depends solely on how one lives his life. According to the Gurbani, the real outcaste (ਨੀਚ, Shoodar…) is the one who is devoid of the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Gur-Giaan, Wisdom or Divine Knowledge of the Gurbani…).

  • ਖਸਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਹਿ ਤੇ ਕਮਜਾਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਵੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਸਨਾਤਿ ॥੪॥੩॥: Those who forget the Divine (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…) are of low life. O Nanak! without the Divine Naam (Virtues, Wisdom, Truth…), they are wretched outcasts (ਨੀਚ, lowly beings) ||4||3|| (sggs 10).

Mool-realization (ਪ੍ਰਭੂ-ਮਿਲਾਪ: the purpose of human life) has nothing to do with a high or low caste! Therefore, the Gurbani commands us to turn away (“ਉਲਟਿ”) from such Mayaic body-consciousness (which is false, corrupt, faulty…). By eradicating the false pride of Jaat-Paat, the Gurbani asks us to become the “Sevak” (serve by becoming the Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat, etc., as taught by the Gurbani).

  • ਉਲਟਿ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਲ ਦੋਊ ਬਿਸਾਰੀ ॥: Oulati jaati kul do-oo bisaaree (sggs 1158).
  • ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਲੀਨੁ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜੇ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਕਹਣਾ ਕਹਹੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Jaati kuleenu sevak je hoi…  (sggs 1256).

Simply put: Caste, social class, lineage, etc., of a Sikh is none other then the Gur-Upadesh (Teaching of the Gurbani). Nothing else can stabilize the foolish mind.

  • ਅਬਰਨ ਬਰਨ ਘਾਮ ਨਹੀ ਛਾਮ ॥ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਾਮ ॥: (That person who understands “He is me, I am Him”) is not affected by either high or low social class, sunshine or shade (i.e., duality). (But this Spiritual State) is obtained or Realized by taking the Sanctuary of the Gur-Giaan ( i.e., by the Grace of the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad), and nowhere else (i.e., by no other means). (sggs 1162).

The Gurbani’s ultimate Instruction (ਮੁਕਦੀ ਗੱਲ) to its learners (i.e., Sikhs) is: We all are the children of the One Lord! That is, all Jeeva are equal.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਕੋ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਸਭ ਸਮਾਨ ॥੩॥੧॥: All are equal to the Kabeer’s Suaamee (Mool…). ||3||1|| (sggs 1193).

The Gurmat considers  one’s “Jaat” (if one is of low or high caste…) and “Patt” (honor, dignity…) based on one’s <a href=”http://www.gurbani.org/gurblog/what-is-karma/”>Karma</a> (deeds, <a href=”http://www.gurbani.org/gurblog/actions-are-the-louder-expressions-of-thoughts/”>actions</a>…).

  • ਜਾਤਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਨਹ ਪੂਛੀਐ ਸਚ ਘਰੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਬਤਾਇ ॥ ਸਾ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਾ ਪਤਿ ਹੈ ਜੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: O Nanak! Do not ask about (someone’s) “Jaati” or birth (family). (If you must ask, then ask) how to realize Truth in the Heart.  (Jaat Paat of a person) is as he acts (sggs 1330).


  1. ੴ repeated 568 times in Sri Guru Granth Sahib & this is the 1st word announced from the mouth of Guru Nanak. It means GOD is one & we all are his son
    ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥ if our father is ONE then we all are from same cast.

  2. There may be 1oo or more persons as dr singh .Now what should be the specific identification
    for a particular drsingh. Certainly one would add some extra identification for specific recgogination.One may use the Name of his Village/Name of his Father or any other like that,
    So one should try to see the utility of the system without being prejudiced.

  3. Thank you for this article. I’m always amused when Sikhs express wisdom on ‘Jaat-Paat’ yet continue to use ‘jaat’ associated surnames […].
    This also happens at ‘panthic’ gatherings in so called ‘panther gurdwaras (the ones associated with Khalistan or Akhand Kirtani Jatha), where the pardhan will openly declare his ‘JAT-ness’ by being known as Mr Sandhu, Gill or Purewal……food for thought.

  4. Bhai Sahib T Singh jio,
    Gurbani quotations put across by you for our understanding leave no doubts in our mind on the prevalent topic. I wish Guru’s ideology becomes our own opinion, then we wouldn’t live in duality. ‘ Mera mujh mey kash nahi, jo kujh hai sabh tera, tera tujh ko sonp de kya lage mera’. Avall allah nur upaia——, reminds us about brotherhood, love and respect for all alike.

    1. I wish Guru’s ideology becomes our own opinion, then we wouldn’t live in duality.

      Well put!
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio for incessantly sharing the Shabad-Vichaar.
      • ਕਬੀਰ ਸੋਈ ਕੁਲ ਭਲੀ ਜਾ ਕੁਲ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਦਾਸੁ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਕੁਲ ਦਾਸੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਕੁਲ ਢਾਕੁ ਪਲਾਸੁ ॥੧੧੧॥ (sggs 1370).
      • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ਨੀਚ ਕੁਲੁ ਸੁਣਹਿ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਉਧਰਹਿ ॥੨॥ (sggs 238).

  5. Respected T Singh ji,
    I am sure you also agree to the point that Gurbaanee should be understood from within Gurbaanee only.If I am not wrong .

  6. Respected T singh ji,
    I fully agree with your point of views that here we are not to prove anything or someone as wrong .We all are certainly going to differ but my intention is that all gurbaanee disicussions should be restricted to Gurbanne only thenonly we can truely live with SGGS ji.Once an intrusion starts it can not be stopped..Is there any need to verify the auhenticity of message of SGGS ji from any other source.?

  7. Sri Guru Arjan Dev ji admired Bhai Gurdas ji’s VARAN as blissful key message of Gurbani for us. It cannot be set aside, it simply opens up and re-asserts the complex meaning of Guru’s message of humanity. Bhai T Singh has expounded on this topic by giving various examples. It is my opinion, when we object to Guru’s word, there remains some reservation in our mind; which restricts us from submission to God. I would submit unconditional to Gurbani for true development of my mind.

  8. Verr T Singh Jeeo,
    I fully appreciate your above message.One should be fair in spreading the true messages as envisaged in SGGS ji. There should be no need to superimpose any other views not in line with
    SGGS ji.as such an approach would always result in confusion.

    1. Bhai Sahib Prakash S Bagga Ji, the sole purpose behind this Website is to try removing doubt and confusion, not inflate them. We all are learning from each other. And we want to keep learning from each other.
      All quoted verses are “in line with SGGS ji”. If they weren’t “in line with SGGS ji”, they would not have been quoted or included herein!
      Here is an another verse from the Dasam Granth “in line with SGGS ji”
      • ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਕੋਊ ਰਾਫਜੀ ਇਮਾਮ ਸਾਫੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਕੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਸਬੈ ਏਕੈ ਪਹਿਚਾਨਬੋ ॥: Hindu turk ko-oo raafjee imaam saafee maanas kee jaati sabai ekai pahichanbo
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Ji.

  9. Considering a message from SGGS ji as
    ਸੋ ਸੁਰਤਾ ਸੋ ਬੈਸਨੋ ਸੋ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਧਨਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਸੋ ਸੂਰਾ ਕੁਲਵੰਤੁ ਸੋਇ ਜਿਨਿ ਭਜਿਆ ਭਗਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਖਤ੍ਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਸੂਦੁ ਬੈਸੁ ਉਧਰੈ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਚੰਡਾਲ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਨਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਨਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਰਵਾਲ ॥੧੭॥ PP300
    Can one assert for rejection of the VERNA SYSTEM in this message from Gurbaanee,?

    1. Based on the spirit of the entire Gurbani, I am convinced that the madness of belief in Jaat-Paat is neither supported nor encouraged by the SGGS. This madness is a product of man’s own Haumai (false-ego-sense). This evil and brutal practice existed before the arrival of the Gurus and Bhagat (and still exists!!). However it is repudiated by the Gurus and Bhagats:
      • ਏਕ ਨੂਰ ਤੇ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਕਉਨ ਭਲੇ ਕੋ ਮੰਦੇ ॥੧॥: Ek noor te sabh jagu oupajiaa… (sggs 1349).
      • ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥: Eku pitaa ekas hae ham baarik too meraa gur haaee (sggs 611).
      • ਹਮਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਾਤਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹਮ ਵੇਚਿਓ ਸਿਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ॥: Hamaree jaati paati guru satiguru ham vechio siru gur ke (sggs 731).
      • ਕਹਾ ਕਰਉ ਜਾਤੀ ਕਹ ਕਰਉ ਪਾਤੀ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਉ ਦਿਨ ਰਾਤੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Kahaa karaou jaatee kah karaou paatee (sggs 485).
      • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤ ਜਾਤਿ ਕੁਲ ਹਰੀ ॥: Hari Hari karat jaati kul Haree (sggs 874).
      • ਹਮਰੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਤਿ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਉ ॥: Hamree jaati pati sachu naaou (sggs 353).
      • ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਾ ਕੀ ਜਾਤਿ ਪਤਿ ਹੈ ਭਗਤ ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਣੇ ਰਾਮ ॥: Hari bhagtaa kee jaati pati hai bhagat hari ke naam amaane Raam (sggs 768).
      • ਨਾਮੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੇਰੀ ਪਤਿ ਹੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਪਰਵਾਰੈ ॥: Naamu jaati Naamu meree pati hai Naamu merai parvaarai (sggs 713).

  10. I think if we restrict our considerations to the teachings from SGGS ji then this message
    as”Couh varana vitch jagey koi’—’Gurmukh varan avaran hoi’ is not there in SGGS ji.
    The messages from the Vaars of Bhai Gurdas ji are more or less in line with Gurbaanee but
    there are variations too.

  11. Gurbani answers all questions when we have doubts. Four classes ‘Char Varan’ was predominantly a divisional system, which created lot of friction and hatred amongst people before Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji’s arrival. The religious practices were inhumane, where caste division became the root cause of human deprivation of ‘Equal’ but not high and low, hence inequality persisted in all variations of living. Gurbani enlightens all minds equally, so it did to people of all varans alike. It doesn’t mean that Guru ji had approved these varans, but said ‘ chouh varana vitch jagey koi’—‘Gurmukh varan avaran hoi’.

    1. ‘ chouh varana vitch jagey koi’—’Gurmukh varan avaran hoi’.

      • ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਮਹਿ ਜਪੈ ਕੋਊ ਨਾਮੁ ॥
      • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਰਨੁ ਅਵਰਨ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਵ ਚਲਣਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖਿ ਵਿਸੇਖੈ। (Vaar 24 Pauri 18, Bhai Gurdaas Ji)
      • ਚਾਰਿ ਵਰਨ ਛਿਅ ਦਰਸਨਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਸਚੁ ਅਚਾਰਾ। (Vaar 1 Pauri 25, Bhai Gurdaas Ji)

      Thank you Bhia Sahib Jio!

  12. There seems some confusion in getting the true essence of gurbaanee message in context of Jaati-Paati.There is very clear and strong message for being PROUD of CASTE. Otherwise from Gurbaanee one can learn as”CHAU VERNA Ko Updes Saazha” There is need for getting correct understanding of CASTE and VERNA unfoertunalely both words are taken sa having same meanings.

  13. One has to see matrimonial columns in Indian dailies where Khukhrain Sikhs are looking for only Khukhrains in matimony. How to convince them that Sikhi does not believe in Jaat Paat?

    1. As Bhai Sahib Trilochan Singh Duggal Ji in his comment above says: “Those who remain indulged in ‘family-caste-pride’ surely are not Gurus’ true disciples.”
      Thank you Bhai Sahib Kirpal Singh Ji for sharing your Vichaar.

  14. The philosophy of Gurbani is the eternal message of human values, which one should understand and live donated life as directed. Blood and water may come of any couple, but the source of life comes as a Soul within the body from God; without this spark there is no life. So really the child or we belong to Him; then question of caste or clan is meaningless. Those who remain indulged in ‘family-caste-pride’ surely are not Gurus’ true disciples. Avall Allah Nur Upaya Kudrat ke sabh Bandai, Ek jot te sabh jagg upjeya kaun Bhaley kaun Mandey. Guru’s respect is in believing, putting advice in practise and treating all alike.

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