If we come to know that our father or grandfather has left us a will or some other documents mentioning that a great treasure lies buried in a particular corner of the house, we shall be naturally very glad. But if we make no efforts to unearth the treasure, or even if we dig at all but do not dig to the sufficient depth, we will not obtain the treasure. So until we actually secure the same we cannot claim to be rich.
Similarly our Gurus and Bhagats advised us that there is a very valuable treasure hidden in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Just to start boasting only on the basis of this information and considering ourselves as true Bhagats is to keep ourselves in the dark completely. Actually to respect Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and to recite Gurbani are rather easy jobs and we do not go further in following the instructions mentioned therein, which are rather more important. We try to show ourselves as a religious man but without any quality of the same. We cannot grow real flowers, but just try to satisfy ourselves with paper flowers only. It is unfortunately a true fact that we consider Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our sacred Granth and also show our due respect to it but we never obey its orders or follow its teachings. AASEE GRANTH NU MANDE TAAN JAROOR HAAN, PER US DEE MANDE NAHEE.
A man who is an Amritdhari, keeping floated beard, reciting Nitnem and Gurbani, doing or listening to Kirtan or Katha and going to the Gurdwara every day considered himself as a religious man, is completely wrong. Keep in mind that these are all the basic requirements for being religious. But a man truly becomes religious only when he follows the instructions of his Guru and starts leading a practical life according to the same. We should not only take care of our BANA (outer appearance) but also heed to the BAANI (orders of Guru). Both BANA and BAANI are equally important. BAANI purifies our mind and shows us the right path in leading a religious life, whereas BANA reminds us not to do anything wrong which not only spoils our name but also puts the blame on our Guru. Our MANN (mind) should become religious and not our body. Guruji laid stress “NO DOUBT TRUTH IS THE HIGHEST OF ALL, BUT HIGHER STILL IS TRUTHFULL LIVING.” The actual meaning of religion is to change ourselves according to the Guru’s instructions.
Bhai Gurdasji explains very beautifully in his Kabit No.439 as to how can we reach the village of our PREETAM merely by talking?
POOCHHAT PATHHAK, TIH MARRAG NA DHAARAI PUG,
PREETAM KAI DES, KAISAY BAATAN SAI JAAEEAI.
POOCHHAT HAI BAID, KHAAT AUKHAD NA SANGAM SAI,
KAISAY MITAI ROG, SUKH SAHIJ SAMAAEEI.
POOCHHAT SUHAAGAN HAI, KARAM DUHAAGAN KAI,
RIDAI BIBHCHAAR, KAT SAHIJAA BULLEEAI.
GAAI SUNAI AANKHAI MEECHAI, PAAEEAI NA PARAM PAD,
GUR UPDES GAH, JO LO NA KAMMAAEEAI
Bhai Gurdasji gives three examples. Firstly, how can a Sikh (traveller) who asks the Bhagats (God-oriented) the way of spirituality, but does not bother to take even a step towards his Guru, ever reach his destination by merely asking?
Secondly, how can the patient who only consults the physician, but does not take the medicine or follow instructions, be rid of the disease and regain his health?
Thirdly, how can an apparently lewd wife, who asks another woman about true love but is full of lust, be loved by her husband?
Then Bhai Sahib Ji finally explains his point that how can the Sikh who apparently recites or listens to Kirtan with closed eyes, find spiritual fulfillment, unless he accepts the Gurus’ teaching and practices it faithfully?
At the same time we start giving instructions to others. How can there be any effect on others when we ourselves neither obey, practice nor do we have any practical experience of what we are instructing rather preaching others. There is the story of a boy, who used to eat too much GUR (jaggery). One day his mother took him to a Mahatma and requested him to instruct her son to avoid eating GUR. The Mahatma asked her to come after one week. The mother came again with the boy, the next week. The Mahatma then advised the boy to stop eating GUR as it would affect his health. The mother was rather surprised and asked the Mahatma “Why didn’t you give this advice at the first time?” The Mahatma said “No, it was not possible at that time as I was also in the same habit. I have now stopped eating GUR and can give advice to others.” So whatever we preach to others, we must apply the same on us first. Remember the saying “PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH”.
It is said that repetition of a theory is not the practice of the theory. There are two sides of every subject. One is the “theoretical knowledge” and the other is “practical dealing”.
Similarly there are two sides of religion also i.e. KARAM KAANDH (religious formalities) and “PRACTICAL LIFE”. It is important that we must pay attention to both. Just to have some knowledge is not sufficient, for example although the ice slab knows that it is another form of water, still it has to melt to become water, its previous name and liquid form. Similarly we know that we are a small ATMA of the PARMAATMA but in order to merge with the PARMAATMA, we have to love and remember Him by doing SEWA and SIMRAN day and night. This will eliminate our HAUMAI (ego) which is the main hindrance in the way of our union with PARMAATMA.
The Write-up has been mailed by Sardar Hari Singh