What is a religion?

A prevailing view is that a collection of belief/culture systems in regards to spirituality/morality/creation/worship is religion. However, let us see what SGGS says about religion.

 

ਸਰਬ ਧਰਮ ਮਹਿ ਸ੍ਰੇਸਟ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਕਰਮੁ ॥
Sarab ḏẖaram mėh saresat ḏẖaram. Har ko nām jap nirmal karam. page 266

Reciting/Meditating the Name of the Lord is the best religion and the purest deed/conduct.

 

ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਤੇਰੋ ਰਹਤਾ ਧਰਮੁ ॥ ਮਨ ਸਦਾ ਧਿਆਇ ਕੇਵਲ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ॥
Jih parsāḏ ṯero rahṯā ḏẖaram. Man saḏā ḏẖi▫ā▫e keval pārbarahm. page 270

O mind, always meditate on the Lord of Universe, By whose Grace you remain in the religion(Dharam).

ਧੌਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੂਤੁ ॥ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਸੂਤਿ ॥
Ḏẖoul ḏẖaram ḏa▫i▫ā kā pūṯ. Sanṯokẖ thāp rakẖi▫ā jin sūṯ.

Religion(Dharma) is the son of compassion/mercy/forgiveness and is bound by the thread of satisfaction/contentness.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬੁਝੈ ਹੋਵੈ ਸਚਿਆਰੁ ॥
Je ko bujẖai hovai sacẖiār.  page 3

The ones who understand this, becomes truthful.

 

ਮਲੁ ਕੂੜੀ ਨਾਮਿ ਉਤਾਰੀਅਨੁ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੋਆ ਸਚਿਆਰੁ ॥

Mal kūṛī nām uṯārī▫an jap nām ho▫ā sacẖiār.  page 951

The filth of falsehood is taken away by Naam and with the Naam meditation, one becomes truthful.

ਏਹੁ ਅਹੇਰਾ ਕੀਨੋ ਦਾਨੁ ॥
Ėhu aherā kīno ḏān.

ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ Nānak kai gẖar keval nām. page 1136

Nanak’s home/body has been bestowed with the unique/precious/invaluable gift/donation of/with One & Only Naam/Name.

ਸਾਸਤ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸੋਧਿ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੋ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਜੁਗ ਚਾਰੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਤਮੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥
ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਉਤਰਸਿ ਪਾਰਿ ॥ page 229

Study and understand the Holy Books(Shaastras/Simritees),

without the Name, no one is liberated.

Throughout the four ages, the Naam Shabad is the ultimate/purest.

In this Age of darkness, only the Gurmukhs(who has surrendered to Gur) will cross over.

 

ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਰਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥

Gur bin gi▫ān ḏẖaram bin ḏẖi▫ān. page1412

Without the Guru, there is no spiritual wisdom; without meditation there is no religion.

 

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਸਚਿ ਹੋਈ ॥

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਜਲਾਏ ਦੋਈ ॥
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਈ ॥
Gurmukẖ karam ḏẖaram sacẖ ho▫ī.
Gurmukẖ ahaʼnkār jalā▫e ḏo▫ī. Gurmukẖ nām raṯe sukẖ ho▫ī. page 230

Deeds/actions and faith of a Gurmukh are Truth and with Naam immersion he burns away egotism and is in happiness.

ਸਗਲੇ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਸੁਚਿ ਸੰਜਮ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਤੀਰਥ ਸਬਦਿ ਵਸੇ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲੈ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਦੂਖ ਪਰਾਛਤ ਕਾਲ ਨਸੇ ॥ page1332

Sagle karam ḏẖaram sucẖ sanjam jap ṯap ṯirath sabaḏ vase. Nānak saṯgur milai milā▫i▫ā ḏūkẖ parācẖẖaṯ kāl nase.

All deeds, faith, purification, restraints, chanting,

physical/intense meditation and holy pilgrimages are in the Naam/Shabad.
Nanak Ji says,meeting with the True Guru one will find the union and suffering, sin and death run away.

ਸਰਮੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦੁਇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜੇ ਧਨੁ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥
Saram ḏẖaram ḏu▫e nānkā je ḏẖan palai pā▫e. page 1287

Nanak ji says one has morality and religion if a union with the Lord has occurred.

ਸੋਈ ਕਾਜੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਆਪੁ ਤਜਿਆ ਇਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਕੀਆ ਆਧਾਰੋ ॥
So▫ī kājī jin āp ṯaji▫ā ik nām kī▫ā āḏẖāro. page 24

Qazi is who surrendered himself and resorted to One Naam.

ਹਿੰਦੂ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਆਵੈ ॥ਸੂਤੁ ਜਨੇਊ ਪੜਿ ਗਲਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥   ਸੂਤੁ ਪਾਇ ਕਰੇ ਬੁਰਿਆਈ ॥
Hinḏū kai gẖar hinḏū āvai.Sūṯ jane▫ū paṛ gal pāvai. Sūṯ pā▫e kare buri▫ā▫ī.  page 951

The Hindu comes to the house of a Hindu, reads the scriptures and puts the sacred thread around his neck but does evil deeds.

ਪੰਡਿਤ ਵਾਚਹਿ ਪੋਥੀਆ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥
Pandiṯ vācẖėh pothī▫ā nā būjẖėh vīcẖār. page 56

Pandits/Religious scholars, read the holy books, but do not understand the real meaning.

ਪੰਡਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਪੜੁ ਤਜਹੁ ਵਿਕਾਰਾ ॥
Pandiṯ har paṛ ṯajahu vikārā. page 229

O Pandit/Scholar, read about the Lord and give up the bad deeds.

ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੋਨੀ ਥਾਕੇ ਭੇਖੀ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥
Paṛ paṛ pandiṯ monī thāke bẖekẖī mukaṯ na pā▫ī. page 440

Pandits and the silent sages are tired of reading continually, however liberation is not obtained by hypocritic reading only.

ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਸੁਣਿ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਈ ॥
Ėko nām niḏẖān pandiṯ suṇ sikẖ sacẖ so▫ī. page 492

O Pandit, listen to the wisdom Only Naam is the treasure and Truth Lord.

Hundreds of pages were written to explain the importance of Naam meditation. They have been read and listened over millions of times but still you would not believe it or do it. What will make you believe it. Why is that one is ready to do anything else but Naam. All we can say that you do not want it or it is not your destiny. You want others to do the truth but you want an exemption. You think you are smart or will do it later. Smartness won’t cut and one does not know about the next breath. Don’t postpone, you have to pray for Lord’s grace.

Centuries have gone by, did a pundit/hindu do it, did a mullah/qauzi/muslim do it. A big No, perhaps a few. Will raagi/granthy(Priests)/sikh do it. Probably a few because you get it by grace/blessing only. One can not be blessed untill he has surrendered i.e. killed ones Ego and only a few will do it. How and to Who one will surrender. Only a few will obtain it directly, the rest of us have to go through the ones who have realised the Lord and they live by His will/Hukam.

In this age of darkness when falsehood is running/dominating the society, only Naam meditation can take you to the Truth. In these times we are farthest from the Lord, however, it is also easy to merge into the Light by reciting the Naam. Do not forget the age of Truth will dawn after the age of fire/darkness. 

So my friend we urge you to give up the hesitation. Go get yourself blessed and recite(Jap) the source of everlasting happiness (Sukhmani)& jewel of meditation, Lords Name/Naam and get lost into the bliss(Anand) where there is no i/me/mine, there is no feeling of sorrow, there is no fear of dying, there is no grieances over the past, there is no worry of the future & so on.

This writing was possible only with the blessings of Guru Gur. This I/Me can do nothing. We wrote as it came into the concious. We write/dance/listen as You wish. Nothing is mine, i am nothing.

(Rajinder Chahal rajinderschahal@yahoo.com )