It is an illusion (bharam) in itself to discriminate between good and bad. Eg It is an illusion to think that meat is bad but lentils are good. Or that men are better than woman. Or that religious looking Sikhs are better than cut-haired Sikhs. Discrimination gives birth to desire and duality. For example with meat, the animal dies according to its pre-destined life cycle. The Guru’s teach that life and death is all under the Command of God. As long as you are not killing the animal with cravings for the taste or for the thrill of the kill you are not doing a bad deed. God has given each being the right to kill for food. But not the right to kill for desires – meaning you are doing a bad deed if you kill for pleasure or for sport or for cravings for the taste. One can opt not to eat meat if it disturbs the mental state. Again, it is in the mind and not in seeing one food as good and another as impure.
We have to conquer the dualities, the doubts and illusions. We have to essentially merge the three minds (trikuti : creating, destroying , balancing) to a single God-like mind (Embodiment of Light). The Trikuti (third eye) opens after dwelling with one mind in meditation. It is the spiritual state of a devotee in the highest realm “SACH KHAND” – God’s Realm Of Truth. It signifies a singular vision of a bhagat, as he or she becomes the embodiment of the Lord. This is where bhagat chants–
“Tohi Mohi anter kaisa”
O’Lord, there is no distance between two of us,
you – the Highest of the Highest
and your very humble servant
are absorbed in each other.
This state is difficult to understand for a common being. The Lord is going to make you do the things you probably wouldn’t want to do. The true bhagats recognize His will, and sacrifice everything without any self. It is impossible to completely understand the infinite nature of the Lord.
Bhagat Sadna Ji got the wisdom through a goat, as he (a butcher by profession) was ready to cut its head. The Lord gave him the message that he is killing the goat in this birth, and the goat is going to repeat the same with him in the next birth.
It is also true that the meal offerings from ill-earnings do corrupt your mind. This is true for common beings, but the Saints have the ability to sanitize the food, as they pray before eating it. Baba Nanak did not eat the rich food from Malak Bhago probably to convey the message to his Sikhs.
There is similar history related to Bhagat Ravidaas Ji from his previous birth. Ravidass ji was cursed by his Guru Bhagat Rama Nand ji to be a low caste in his next birth because he chose to bring the whole food from a nearby rich man’s house instead of collecting from common people’s houses (Bhagat Ravidaas ji used to go door to door and collect food for his Guru and other followers. He was instructed by his Guru to bring the food from common people’s houses. He was specifically told not to go to one particular person’s house. This person was an affluent person, but he was making his living out of ill deeds).
One should not interpret Bhagat Rama Nand ji’s intentions as discriminatory. He was totally against the caste-system, and he did this perhaps to communicate the message to his followers and others. Without going into further details, we would like to mention that Bhagat Rama Nand ji was Guru to many so-called low caste bhagats – Ravidaas Ji, Namdev Ji, Sain Ji, and many more. The bani quoted through Bhagat Rama Nand ji is a part of SGGS Ji.
Baba ji eats meat if offered. That is probably unique to the traditions. Every bhagat is unique and has a unique charisma. The Lord has not created things or people alike. Looking at the history, Baba Farid ji was destined to live in a saint’s rough rags, and he used to chew on chippattis made out of wood to kill his desires and needs. Yet the sixth Guru Hargobind Sahib and Dasam Patshah lived in royal dress-up.
jio thoo raakhehi thiv hee rehanaa thumharaa painaih khaae ||1||
As You keep me, so do I survive; I eat and I wear whatever You give me. ||1||
In the recent past, Brahmgyani Baba Nand Singh ji lived in temporarily built soil-huts throughout. He used to demolish these and would relocate often, and do the same again. Whereas Baba Ishar Singh Ji Rarewale, lived in an affluent manner. An example – Baba Ji had several hundreds (if not thousands) of pairs of shoes. This is how he was served by the devotees. Maya is the servant of Saints, yet it runs the common beings. All of the above mentioned bhagats or Gurus were under Lord’s total will, and they served only the truth.
Once again, the Almighty is beyond any judgment or limits, and so are His bhagats. We cannot put any assessment on Brahmgyanis.
Baba ji advises everyone to be truthful, and remember the Lord. He does not force anyone to put on a turban, or take the same off. According to him, the key importance should always go to the internal discipline (anderly rehat). Baba Ji does not encourage or discourage to change from being clean-shaven to an amritdhari or vice-versa. According to him, be puran sachiara (completely truthful) first, and if your internal guru inspires you to put on a turban or be amritdhari – then do it. SGGS Ji clarifies –
sarab dhharam mehi sraesatt dhharam ||
Of all religions, the best religion
sarab dhharam meh srsatt dhharam ||
har ko naam jap niramal karam ||
is to chant the Name of the Lord and maintain pure conduct.
sabh thae ootham eihu karam ||
This is the most exalted deed.
sabh th tham eh karam ||
sagal dhharam mehi sraesatt dhharam ||
Of all faiths, this is the most sublime and excellent faith.
har simaran thaeraa hoe oudhhaar ||
Meditating in remembrance on the Lord, you shall be saved.
janam janam kaa outharai bhaar ||3||
You shall be rid of the burden of countless incarnations. ||3||
Khande da Pahul (Sikh Initiation Ceremony) was introduced by Dasam Patshah under His (The Almighty) Hukam. It is a initiation Amrit that brings you to the Dharam Khand. Or you can consider it a Panthak Amrit or Baptizing Amrit. It is good way of showing your commitment to God . But remember it is just the beginning.
One should not consider him (her) self the “Khalsa” here. It is a sin to even think like this because you have to completely (tan-man-dhan) surrender and accomplish this Padvi in Sachkhand-the fifth khand. This is where the puran Jyote dwells in the hirda of the devotee. The tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji quoted
“Pooran Jyote jage ghat mein, tab Khalas Tahe Nakhalas janei”
Only the one within who’s heart the Perfect Light shines is the KHALSA,
Recognise all others as NOT KHALSA.”
Guru Gobind Singh
The very soul that is enlightened with His divine Jyote (light) is a Khalsa and whoever is not, is a Na-khalas: not a Khalsa. A very fine line (no room for any confusion) laid out by the tenth Guru here that whoever is totally committed to the Almighty and is one on one with the Lord, is a Khalsa. It does not talk about Bana (dress code) or Shasters (weapons) here at all.
An Amritdhari has to be extremely humble and respectful to all. Consider thyself the lowest of the all (people from your faith, other faiths, animals, birds and so on). Control your five vices and monitor it for progress on your Ego-gram, Lust-o-gram, Greed-o-gram, Anger-o-gram etc.. If at anytime your score on the vice-grams is deteriorating then it implies that you are heading back on the path of falsehood. It doesn’t matter if you are Amritdhari or not – this applies to all. You can be an amritdhari, and if you do not stay the course of true internal discipline, you are not any more religious or spiritual than anyone else. Instead, if you gained any ego out of it and start slandering others, it is going to take you backwards. Bhagat Kabir ji very bluntly quoted in SGGS Ji –
kabeer preeth eik sio keeeae aan dhubidhhaa jaae ||
Kabeer, when you are in love with the One Lord, duality and alienation depart.
bhaavai laa(n)bae kaes kar bhaavai gharar muddaae ||25||
You may have long hair, or you may shave your head bald. ||25||
There are many in Baba ji’s sangat who have changed from being clean-shaven to keshdhari.
breham giaanee sa(n)g sagal oudhhaar ||
In the Company of the God-conscious being, all are saved.
naanak breham giaanee japai sagal sa(n)saar ||4||
O Nanak, through the God-conscious being, the whole world meditates on God. ||4||
A brahmgyani is an enlightened soul, and he ignites the spark in others through his blessings and wisdom of the truth.
breham giaanee kaa bhojan giaan ||
Spiritual wisdom is the food of the God-conscious being.
The brahmgyani is constantly in the company of the Lord, and he tastes the holy nectar all the time. The Brahmgyani’s teachings and blessings do the same for others.
breham giaanee sadhaa samadharasee ||
The God-conscious being is always impartial.
breham gn sadh samadharas ||
breham giaanee kee dhrisatt a(n)mrith barasee ||
Nectar rains down from the glance of the God-conscious being.
Eventually, anything that is visible is going to vanish, and it is the `Naam’ itself that gets you the salvation forever. All the religions if truly followed lead to the same destination – Sachkhand, and all disciplines / rituals related to the religions are external to the Sachkhand.
One has to detatch from all the bonds at the end (Sachkhand). SGGS Ji says –
breham giaanee ba(n)dhhan thae mukathaa ||
The God-conscious being is free from entanglements.
A Humble Servant