[Ongoing Gurmat related articles]
GURU GRANTH SAHIB - PAD-CHHED PRINTING (by Bhai Manmohan Singh Ji)
It is a fact made explicitly clear by the Satguru HimseIf that Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Word of God Himself. The Almighty Akal Purakh spoke through the Gurus in their state of Oneness with Him:
Jiasee Mein Aawai Khasam Ki Bani Taisara Kari Gian Ve Lalo. (pg. 52)
As descends to me the Lord's Word, I express it, O Lalo!
Dhur Ki Bani Aaee. (pg. 628)
The Holy Word has dawned from the Primal Divine Source.
While compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the whole Gurbani was written in Gurmukhi script in a continuous chain system of writing, wherein all the words in a line are joined together. Having emanated from the Limitless Divine Source or the Eternal Spirit, its true and correct reading as well as understanding is obviously beyond the limited capacity of the mundane scholarship. Even today, in spite of the hard efforts of the top Sikh' scholars to ascertain the correct reading of the Gurbani, there are about 500-700 words where they have not been able to reach a consensus. Then what is the guarantee that in other controversial cases also, where they claim to have reached an agreed break-up of words, their reading is absolutely in accordance with what the Satguru had meant it to be?
Moreover, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not merely a Holy Book. Had it been so, it would have been all right to print or write it in any way one likes. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the Satguru - the True Guru - under whose benevolent care and protection, the Khalsa Panth has been placed by the Satguru himself. If it is so and we really believe in the True Guruship of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, then it follows as an obvious corollary that the Satguru will himself remove our ignorance and will bless us with the true wisdom enabling us to read Gurbani correctly.
It is a universally accepted fact that, as already pointed out, the first volume of Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib, compiled by Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, was written in continuous form with all the words in a line joined to one another. Later, the Bir on which Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji formally invested the GURUSHIP for all times to come, was also of the same type. On this basis, until recently, Sri Guru Granth Sahib was written or printed on the same pattern. No doubt some effort is needed to enable the beginner in reading such volumes, but such difficulties are always faced by beginners in every new field of knowledge. Until only a few decades ago, when the so-called literacy level was also low, devout Sikhs living even in remote villages were able to read such volumes by following systematic and rational methodology, i.e., first practicing difficult Banis from Gutkas and Pothis under the guidance of certain learned and devout Gianis or Granthis. Only after they developed some amount of confidence in their reading of the Bani, they used to be introduced to the reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a formal ceremony - "Gurcharni-Lagna" - after saying Ardas or prayers. Now, when the literacy percentage as well as the level of education is reported to have increased manifold, we are finding difficulties in reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib printed in joined or continuous system. Our difficulty is the result of our own complacency because we do not want to take even elementary pains of going through preparatory stages as GurSikhs in the past used to do. We are prepared to do the hardest of labor for learning other fields of arts and sciences to which we attach much higher priority. The reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, to us, is of very low priority - to be done as and when time or our sweet will permits. Of course, we reap the results according to the priority and devotion we give to the reading and understanding of Gurbani.
Recently, the unity and purity of Sri Guru Granth Sahib have been attacked by some important people and organizations who have been instrumental in the printing of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in pad-Chhed form, i.e., the printing of words separate from each other. It may be mentioned here that the two main Panthic Organizations, i.e. Chief Khalsa Diwan and S.G.P.C., had categorically prohibited the printing and installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Pad-Chhed form in their resolutions passed in 1945 and 1950, respectively, as follows;
Chief Khalsa Diwan Resolution No. 2682 dated January 1, 1945.
"The installation of PAD CHED BIR is not legitimate."
"Until any decision is arrived at on Panthic level Pad-Chhed Bir should not he printed or installed."
Under what logic an act which was wrong until 1950 has now become right is beyond comprehension. The only explanation given for this metamorphosis is that there is no demand from the general public for the Birs in original form and, therefore, S.G.P.C. itself started the printing of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Pad-Chhed form, contrary to its own resolution of 1950. Are the Panthic Organizations made to guide the masses or follow them? Now general public amongst the Sikhs is not prepared to take 'Khanday-ki-Pahul or Amrit. Should this system be abolished?
The writing or printing of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Pad-Ched ('break-word") system, which was against the original continuous or chain method used by the Gurus, and even by the Panth until only recently, not only shows an utter lack of faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the True Guru, but is also an attempt to introduce in Gurbani the false wisdom of the imperfect mind of the ever-fallible human. The assertion that Sri Guru Granth Sahib in its original form is difficult to read and often results in wrong reading, and its Pad-Chhed form makes its reading easier, it not so simple as it appears to be. The main point is whether we have the authority and competence to evolve a Perfect and True Pad-Chhed form. At present, various Birs published by private publishers and even the various editions published by the S.G.P.C. itself, vary from one another at a number of places with regard to formation of certain words. All publishers claim their version to be correct, implying, naturally, that the others are incorrect. So now we have Birs which are not Perfect according to some and 'Perfect' according to others. The truth is that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is ALWAYS PERFECT. Only we, the ordinary imperfect people have introduced imperfections in it by commingling our false wisdom with the True Wisdom.
No doubt reading the Gurbani wrongly is sacrilegious. But who can claim to read it absolutely correctly? All of us have to do our best to read it as correctly as we can with prayers in our minds to the Guru to bless us with the required wisdom. It seems to be a more definite sacrilege to introduce such 'incorrectness' or wrong reading permanently in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Moreover, every printer of Sri Guru Granth Sahib follows his own system of Pad-Chhed and creates more confusion in the minds of the general public. When the Gurbani, which is the treasure house of nothing but the Eternal Wisdom of the Eternal Lord, is diffused with the mundane intellect and false wisdom of the fallible man, the Guru Shakti of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is also impaired accordingly. All of us, the innocent Sikhs of the Guru will suffer; in fact, we are suffering already.
One other reason generally given by the supporters of Pad-Chhed Bir is that, during Guru Sahib's time, the writing in a chain or continuous method was the general practice and that is why this system was followed while compiling Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Do we assume the All-Knowing Guru Sahib did not know that in times to come, the Sikhs will find difficulty in reading Gurbani written in this way? Could he not visualize whether Pad-Chhed would be the proper system for the future? It is only the so-called intellectuals of the modern age who have found this shortcoming in the Perfect Work of the Perfect lord. What an irony! This shows how much faith we have in the true wisdom of the True Guru.
The fact is that:
Poorey Ka Kiya Sab Kich Poora Ghat Wadh Kichh Nahin. (pg. 1412)
There is no deficiency or excess in it.
Thus it is clear that we have no authority to change the original continuous (or chain) system of writing or printing of Guru Granth Sahib as a whole. Small booklets (Gutkas or small Pothies) may, however, be written or printed in Pad-Chhed form for the benefit of the beginners or learners. And this practice has been in vogue for a long time.
[From "Gurmat Rahit-Maryada : Points of Contention", by Bhai Manmohan Singh Ji]
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DISTURBING MIS-USE OF THE WORD "SANT" ... (By Navjot Singh)
In all of the above GurbaNNi verses, the word "Sant" or "Saadh" is meant only for Guru Sahib Ji. In fact in all of GurbaNNi whenever the word "Sant" is used in the singular form, it is meant only for Guru Sahib. In the plural form, it is meant for all GurSikhs in general, but never for an individual. These interpretations are accepted by all prominent Scholars of the Khalsa Panth, but then why is this word, "Sant", so widely mis-used ?
Even Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (as he should be called) used to say that he was not a "Sant", and people were always pasting this title on him.
The word that was only to be used for Guru Sahib in the singular form, and for all GurSikhs in the plural form, has now become a TITLE (Khittab) that has not only lost its original meaning, but has brought on many of the ills into our community.
In August edition of "Sura" magazine a brief article on this subject by Giani Gurditt Singh Ji (Singh Sabha) was printed. Appropriately it was titled : "Panthak Eakta Day JaaRRi(n) Paleetay". It criticized the mis-use of this word, and the dangers to Panthic Unity with its mis-use. Giani Ji, mentioned that the mis-use of this word started in the last century when people began to refer to the respectable Baba Attar Singh Ji (Mastuanna) as "Sant Ji", "Sant Ji Maharaj", and so on. Thereafter, to most of the Sikh public, he was known as "Sant Attar Singh Ji Mastuannaywale." The mis-use of this word quickly spread throughout the Panth, unfortunately, now it is not too uncommon to see a so-called "Sant" in every village in Punjab. The illiterate, rural Sikhs, venerate these individuals to the point of GuruShip. In actuality, it can be said that these individuals, are not Sikhs (disciples) of Guru Granth Sahib, but of these so-called "Sants."
In Dasam Patshah's BaNNi there is a verse describing such a situation :
"Ghar(i) Ghar(i) Hoey B'Hayngey Rama"
Bhai Randhir Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter and mystical theologian, who was one of the only individuals to receive HukamNamahs from all (then) four Takahts was staunchly against the mis-use of the word "Sant.", and refused to be called a Sant throughout his life. In his book titled "Sant Padd NirNNay" he dwells into detail, the use of words like Sant, Saaadh, Sadhoo, and Bhagat, in GurbaNNi, and their proper interpretation.
Referring to the "Sant" situation, Bhai Sahib states:
"..Guru Panth da eh Lazzmi Faraz hai Ki Ohna Noo(n) Is Sant-Dumbtta di Bimmaree [disease] toa(n) HuNN Toa(n) Aroagatt [cure] Keeta Javay"
Yes this has become a disease that has infested almost all the Jathaybandis of our Panth, and we must rid the Panth of this disease, otherwise it will rot us all..
Looking a little deeper into such Jathaybandies, one finds that along with the title SANT, a so-called "Gaddee" is passed on from "Sant" to "Sant", just as the Kookays, and the Nirankaris passed on their "GuruShip" to their successors. IS THIS GURMAT, OR PURE BRAHMANISM AT ITS PEAK !!!!
It is as Guru Sahib said : "Bipran Ki Reet"
If we look closely at the derays of these "Sants" we will not be surprised to see many worthless rituals and practices borrowed from Nirmalas and Hindu ascetics
There exists an "elitist" organization called the "Sant-Smaj", reportedly , it comprises of dozens and dozens of these so-called "Sants." The Panth needs to be more vigilant about the motives of such organizations. What is their purpose in the Panth, why are they trying to validate their existence as "Sants" ?
Does an individual in the Sikh Panth have the right to hold this TITLE ? Absolutely not, according to GurbaNNi all GurSikhs are equal, no one is higher or lower. There are no ranks in the Panth. We are all Bhais, with equal status and respect for all.
Have we ever thought :
Who gave them the "privilege" to be called "Sants" ?
What is their relationship to their chalays, as compared to Guru Sahib and "normal" GurSikhs?
Why is there a need for them to be called a "Sant" ?
Why do so many of them have links to GOI politicians ?
Are they spiritually higher than GurSikhs like Bhai Gurdas Ji, Baba Ajit Singh Ji, Baba Jujhar Singh Ji, Baba Fateh Singh Ji, Baba Joravar Singh Ji, Bhai Nand Singh Ji, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Baba Deep Singh Ji, and Akali Phula Singh Ji ?
Why has this word been so much mis-used ? When will we put a stop to its mis-use ?
These are important questions that we in the Panth will eventually have to answer.
It is sad to see GurSikhs who once believed in non other than Guru Granth Sahib, start chanting "Sant Ji Maharaj", "Mahapurakh, BrahmGyani this and that" all day and night after having the "Sangat" of such individuals. As GurSikhs we are told that we must not do Ustat or Nindiya of anyone. The only Ustat we should do is of Akal Purakh Sahib and Guru Sahib Ji. Those individuals, who day and night praise these so-called "Sants", are going against the Guru's Hukams. Rather than bringing the public closer to Guru Sahib these "Sants" have done just the opposite. Those poor individuals who become their followers start having more faith in these "Sants" than in Guru Sahib. These "Sants" not only know that this is happening but encourage it, this is very disturbing.
There is a verse in Asa-Di-Var that describes the fate of individuals who challenge the Guru's Timeless Authority :
Khassmai Karay Barabree, Phir(i) Garirat(i) Unther(i) Pai'ay|| [page 874]
As stated before many of these "Sants" have the auspicious of GOI, we as Sikhs have a right to question these individuals and their followers as to why they are called "Sants", Sikh organizations, Gurdwaras, and the general public, should openly boycott them and challenge their fake TITLES. Remember the issue hear is not necessarily the individuals themselves, but the mis-use of the word "SANT." Not only is its mis-use disturbing to our society, but it is entirely against GURMAT.
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BHAI GURDAS JI SAID SO ... (By Prahlad Singh Ji, Canada)
About Bhai Gurdas Ji: Bhai Gurdas Ji is recognized not only as first great Sikh scholar and interpretter of Gurubani of Guru Granth Sahib ji, but he was also a brahamgiani. He was honoured by physical and spiritual closeness of four embodiments of Guru Nanak (From Guru Amardas Ji to Guru Hargobind Singh Ji). He remained in personal service ("Hazoori Sewa") of GuruJi,s for good length of time. He also used to do "Katha" (interpretations) of Gurubani for sangat in the very presence of Guru Ji, in his darbar. He was a great scholar not only of Gurmukhi, but also of Hindi, Sanskrit and Brij languages.
> He had the previledge of compiling very first "swaroop" of Guru Granth Sahib Ji under direct supervision and editorial guidance of Guru Arjun Dev Ji both at physical and spiritual levels.
His own writtings are as "Vaars" in punjabi and "Kabit's" and "Swaiya,s" in Brij language. How much he understood the Sikh religion and Guruji's -- is evident from the fact that GURU ARJUN DEV JI SAID IF GURUBANI IN GRANTH SAHIB JI IS LOCK, BHAI GURDAS JI'S WRITTINGS ARE KEY TO IT. Thus Guru ji himself directed sikhs to follow Bhai Gurdas ji's bani to understand Guru Granth Sahib ji in its true sense.
So since the time of Guruji,s physical embodiments, the Bani of Bhai Sahib Ji is being used by sikh scholars and saints to understand some of very high spiritual and critical issues pertaining to progress on Guru's path.
In this article Bhai Gurdas Ji's view on killing animals and eating their meat are given for the benefit of readers.
In one of his writtings, Bhai Gurdas ji wanted to compare the lowness of wickedness and immoral conduct of thankless person ("Akritghan"), and he searched for most low and hateful worldly thing for its use in comparision for his example. He thought about all the bad things in this world to choose the worst. He finally selected the "meat"! And to further intensify his expression he described it as of dog's meat and being cooked in alcohol (drink). This he found most suitable to compare wickedness and immoralness of thankless person. He says:
> "Mad wich ridha paye ke kute da maas, Nadari pave akritghan, hoi jai vinaas"
It is critical to understand that meat of dog cooked in alcohol is already rejectable and useless thing in bhai Sabib's view, but it still gets further deteriorated if it is seen by a thankless person. Such is the result of company of thankless person. And who is thankless? -- one who gets the gift of human body from God and then forgets him !! ... ..betrays his Guruji just for little easy life and some better worldly opportunities !!! --that is what Gurubani says.
While describing the fate of those who kill the poor creatures of God and eat them, Bhai Sahib uses instance of the goat who is caught by a lion and is moments away from being ripped into pieces and eaten. In goats words Bhai Sahib Ji explains:
> "Sheeh pajooti Bakkari, maradi hoie harh harh hassi, Ak Dhatura khadian kuh kuh khal ukhal vinassi, Maas Khan gal wad ke, haal tinada kaun hovassi. (Vaar 25-7)
Means the goat says, "I was eating Ak and Dhatura plants (weed plants found in India) for whole of my life, to which no body else liked to eat. And even then I am being brutally killed and my skin being ripped, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO CUT MY THROAT AND EAT MY MEAT ??????
At some other place, Bhai Sabib talks about goat being cut by butcher to be eaten :
> "kuhe Kassai Bakkari, lai loon seekh mass proyia" Hass hass bole kuhidi, khade ak haal eh hoyia, Maas khan gal churi de, haal tinada kaun aloyia" (Vaar 37-21)
Means: Goat is being killed, cut into pieces and salt being spread on the pieces. While being killed goat says this all happened to me while I was just eating Ak plant (weed found in India's desert fields). In last line goat puts a question, WHAT WILL BE FATE OF THOSE IN COURT OF LORD WHO CUT MY THROAT WITH KNIFE AND EAT MY MEAT ??????
Bhai Gurdas Ji in Vaar 31 gives strong warning against eating meat. He said, due to some good doings in previous births, Pootna (a witch who tried to poison Krishna Ji) was forgiven. But don't take it as that act of poisoning others is acceptable. And due to some pious acts in previous births and grace of Lord, Sadhana the butcher was forgiven (there is mention about him in Gurubani too, later on he became bhagat). But it should not be interpretted as, that killing animals and eating their meat (word "Bhanga" here) is acceptable. Please read the following lines of Bhai Sahib Ji:
> "Jekar udhari pootna, Wihu pialan kam na changa, Je Kassai udharia, jeean ghai na khaiye Bhanga" (Vaar 31-5)
(I wish everyone could read this as in Gurmukhi)
So dear sikh brotheren, listen carefully to this warning of Bhai Gurdas ji, whose bani has been asked to be followed by our Guru ji as "key to Guru Granth Sahib Ji". Have a fear of account being taken in the court of Akal Purakh ("Dargah"). Remeber Guru Nanak Ji has clearly warned us:
"Guru Pir Hama Ta Bhare, ja Murdar Na Khai" page 141 in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Means Guru or Peer only helps in the court of Akal Purakh if some one abstains from "Murdaar" means meat. Murdaar word has come from Murda which means dead one. Murdaar means flesh of dead ie meat.
With sincere regards and apologies for any hurt feelings of anyone.
- Prahlad Singh
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