7. Beymukh (turning back on the Guru) and Sanmukh (walking to the Guru)

With the Truth Lord’s eternal, lovable, graceful grace let us pray to great, great, dear lovable Guru for giving us the divine wisdom to understand the divine word "BEYMUKH" (disciple who turns their back on the Guru) and also the  divine word "SANMUKH" (disciple who walks towards the Guru).

These two words are opposites.  A Sanmukh follows the path of their Guru in order to become a Gurmukh and reach the heights of spirituality.    A Beymukh turns their back on their Guru and follows the path to spiritual destruction.    A Beymukh follows the path to spiritual destruction. Both these divine words describe the state of mind of a person in relation to their Guru.  Their state of mind is reflected by their physical actions, reactions and deeds, thoughts and mental outlook and behavior towards their Guru and the Timeless, Transcendental, Supreme Being.

One very important thing to understand about the Guru’s word wisdom is that these are the words of the Sat Guru, theTruth Guru and Timeless Formless Being (Nirnakar) .   The Guru’s word wisdom (gurbani) is the divine wisdom that came directly from Timeless Transcendental Supreme Being to the Truth Guru and Saints and Devotees and was very kindly put together by the fifth Sikh Truth Guru Arjun Dev, the King of Kings and called the “Ad Granth” (A.G.) , meaning Primal Scriptures.  By virtue of being the word of the Almighty it is complete, pure and pious eternal Truth and nothing else.
O True Disciples of Truth Lord, know that the words of the Truth Guru,
 are true, absolutely true.
The Creator Lord Himself causes the Guru to utter it.
SSGS 308
Believing in the word of God and trusting the word of the Timeless Transcendental Supreme Being is the key to spiritual success.   Listening, accepting and doing what the Guru’s word wisdom teaches us, is the key to spiritual success.  The state of listening is not merely listening with your ears.  No, true listening means bringing this word of God inside your heart centre by believing in it 100% as eternal, unquestionable Truth.  Only once that has happened does the acceptance of the divine word happen inside you.  Then and only then do you believe and trust one hundred percent that whatever the Guru’s word wisdom teaches is the Eternal Truth.  Then and only then do you trust that this Divine Truth will never change and that Truth is not prone to any changes.

Anything that is prone to change is not the Truth and anything that stays same and doesn’t change with time is the Eternal Truth.
Truth in the primal beginning,
Truth when the Ages commenced,
Truth now,
Nanak : Truth forevermore.
The Timeless Transcendental Supreme Being’s realm is called the  Divine Court.  There are certain rules and regulations and laws which we have to follow to reach that court of God.   Each one of these are mandatory divine laws that have to be followed to reach and stay in the court of God.  Guru’s lovable word wisdom is the description of all these mandatory divine laws, rules and regulations.  By following them your soul can reach the court of God and become a permanent member of His court.

All this happens only after the acceptance of the Truth Guru’s word wisdom as being God’s word.  Lovable Truth comes inside our heart, comes inside our very being. Then we start to follow the Truth Guru’s word wisdom and the mandatory divine laws described therein. 
For example, the great, great,  dear and lovable Guru Nanak king of kings wrote in the verse of the prayer called JapJi :
In deep meditation all pains and sins are obliterated.
Accepting and truly believing, one reaches the door of salvation – the door to God’s court.
Listening and accepting the Guru’s word wisdom, the mind experiences divine love.
The stages of listening to the Guru’s word wisdom in deep meditation and belief as described above are very high spiritual states. 

Full belief and commitment, full faith and trust, full devotion and love, takes us to higher and higher realms of Eternal Truth and spirituality.  As our love keeps on enhancing we keep on doing more and more of Guru’s wisdom in our day to day life.    We keep enhancing the practice of the Guru’s word wisdom in our day to day deeds, actions, reactions, thoughts, mental outlook and behavior.   We keep on progressing faster and faster on this path to God’s realm of Truth.

Most Sikhs say that Sikh Scripture, the “Ad Granth” now known as the “Shri Guru Granth Sahib” (SGGS) is their Guru.  And they are right, the Guru’s word wisdom has been described as the Guru in some verses :
Word is the Guru, and the Guru is word.  Within the Guru’s word is all the ambrosial nectar.
The Holy Book is the place of the Supreme Lord.
In the holy congregation, sing these praises of God, they contain God’s perfect Wisdom.
The Wondrous, wondrous word is the Formless God.
The Sikh Scripture contains the Supreme Universal Wisdom.  It is the Divine Wisdom form of the Timeless Eternal Truth Being.  But the question we need to ask ourselves is what state are we operating in?  After pronouncing that the Sikh scripture is our Guru, are we in the state of listening and accepting and then doing? Let us put it like this:
Are we listening to the Guru?
Are we accepting the Guru’s word?
Are we doing what the Guru is telling us to do?
Let us take an example here.   The first paragraph of the Sikh scripture is the beginning of the JapJi prayer.  It is telling us to repeat the “Mool Mantra” :
One God
Truth Name
Creator Being
Without Fear
Without Hate
Timeless Deathless Being
Self Sustained.

Are we doing this repetition?  If not, then neither have we listened to it, nor accepted it and that’s why we are not doing it.   This means that we are not following the divine word of the Guru! 

The next question is if we are not listening, accepting and doing the Guru’s word wisdom, then what right do we have to call the Sikh Scripture our Guru?  The answer is obviously no right.  We don’t have any right to it as our Guru.  If we do so then we are cheating the Guru.  We are deceiving the Guru.  We are undermining the Guru. We are insulting the Guru.  By not listening, accepting and doing the Gurus word wisdom we are living in a state of illusion.  This is characterised as the deeds of a  “Beymukh”.

The person who says the Sikh scripture is their Guru but then doesn’t listen, accept and do the Guru’s Wisdom is a “Beymukh”.  The person who says the Sikh scripture is their Guru but  doesn’t give a tenth of their time and earnings to the Guru is a “beymukh”, because the Guru’s Divine wisdom  – the Guru is telling you to do that :
Body, mind and wealth: sacrifice it all to the Guru.
Infact the Guru’s wisdom is not asking for a tenth but for everything.  However, the Guru is very kind on us.  He tells us to give only one tenth of what we have to Him and He puts in the  remaining nine tenths from His own pocket.  So by giving only ten percent of your time and earnings to the Guru you will be accepted as a disciple.  By listening, accepting and doing the Guru’s wisdom you will be accepted as a true disciple otherwise you will be a “Beymukh”.

There is a famous historical story of  two religious singers called Satta and Balwanda.  Their story presents a real life situation for understanding these two divine words "BEYMUKH" and "SANMUKH".

Satta and Balwanda were the descendants of Bhai Mardana Ji.  Bhai Mardana Ji dedicated his entire life to the selfless, devoted true service  of the great, great, dear, lovable Guru Nanak, the king of kings.  It is a well known fact that the dear Mardana used to sing loving praises of Truth Lord (SATNAAM) in the divine physical presence of the Great, Great, dear, lovable Guru Nanak, the king of kings with Guru’s eternal blessings.   (This is also a fact that the famous Indian  musician Tan Sen who was one of the jewels in the court of emperor Akbar and famous for his classical musical skills.  Tan Sen received his musical education from the great musician Haridass whom he regarded as his music Guru.  And dear  Mardana was great Haridass ‘s music Guru).  

Satta and Balwanda used to sing too, but not the Guru’s word wisdom. They used their singing skills to earn their living.  Somehow this was not working out well for them.  They went to the sanctuary of the lotus feet of the Truth Guru Arjun, the king of kings.  They asked for his blessings so that they could make their living.   The Guru was very kind and told them to continue singing but change the subject of their singing to Guru’s word wisdom – the Supreme Transcendental Lord’s lovable praises.  At this dear Satta and dear Balwanda followed the Guru’s words and started singing Truth Guru’s lovable wisdom.
The point to be noted here is that they WENT to the sanctuary of the Guru’s lotus feet and LISTENED to the Guru’s word, ACCEPTED it and FOLLOWED it with full faith and trust. 

This turned their days around very quickly and they started to make a good living. They used to go to the sanctuary of the Guru’s lotus feet everyday and lived by the Guru’s word wisdom.  With the passage of time they attained spiritual highs just by EARNING the Guru’s word.   

A time came when they wanted one of their daughters to get married.  They prayed to the Guru for help in getting their daughter married.  The Guru with his utmost kindness told them to let him handle the marriage of their daughter including all the expenses.  Unfortunately for them, they had some ego, so this became a test from Maya in their path of salvation and service.  They refused to take Guru’s help the way Guru wanted to help them.   Instead they asked for one full day’s donations by the Holy congregation be given to them for their daughter’s marriage. 

The Guru requested them several times not to do that, but they didn’t listen to the Guru.  The Guru agreed to their proposal of one full day’s donations by the Holy Congregation be given to them for their daughter’s marriage. They ignored the Guru’s word wisdom totally and followed their own ego’s wisdom in making this decision.  And guess what happened on that particular day when they were to collect all the Holy congregation donations? The congregation’s donation was very low.   

See what happened when  dear Satta and dear Balwanda didn’t listen to the Guru’s word.  On top of that they blamed the great, great, dear, lovable Guru Arjun, the king of kings for the low donations.  They stopped coming to the holy congregation and stopped singing the lovable Truth Guru’s word wisdom.  Ego trapped these two disciples.  They started thinking that the Holy Congregation comes only due to  their songs of love for the Supreme Transcendental Lord.  Only to listen to their singing praises.  And that great, great, dear, lovable Guru Arjun, the king of kings  was dependent on them and wouldn’t survive without their singing.

We would like to bring the following point to the kind attention of the holy congregation.  This point is very important to understand for achieving spiritual success.  Maya doesn’t rule over the supreme, complete Truth Guru.  Maya doesn’t rule over the God realized Truth Guru, the perfect knower of God.  Such a soul is beyond the three attributes of Maya.  Maya serves such a soul and stays under their feet.

When we say Maya we mean all the three attributes of Maya – Excess, Ignorance and Goodness.  A God realized Truth Guru is beyond the these three attributes of Maya. This is a mistake made very commonly by the people that become a part of the holy congregation of a Truth Guru.  The same mistake was made by the dear Satta and dear Balwanda.  They thought Guru Arjun has cheated them for money.  They held him responsible for the low donation collection.  They doubted Guru Arjun’s words.  So they backed out.  They turned their back on their Truth Guru and by doing so they became “beymukh”. 

Look at the kindness and forgiveness qualities of Guru Arjun.  He tried to pursue them to come back multiple times by sending some leading members of the holy congregation to talk to them.  But dear Satta and dear Balwanda kept on refusing to come and maintained their back to the Guru.  Then again look at the extreme humbleness and kindness of Guru Arjun who wanted them to come back and forgive them for whatever they have done.  This time he himself went to their house to pursuade them to come back and do singing praises of the Truth Guru and his wisdom as usual. But they still kept refusing and said that, “Since the Guru now can’t survive without us, he is desperate for us to come back.”

Satta and Balwanda kept on abusing  Guru Arjun so much so, that they went to the extent of slandering first Sikh Truth Guru Nanak.  They said that Guru Nanak could not have survived without the great, dear Mardana.  Just like Guru Arjun now could not survive without Satta and Balwanda.   Guru Arjun was astonished by the slandering of Guru Nanak  and uttered, “O lepers, what have you said?” and left their house.  He said that nobody should keep any contact with the Satta and Balwanda and that nobody should approach Guru Arjun for giving a pardon to these people.  And if anybody did come to request a pardon for Satta and Balwanda they would be put on a donkey’s back with a blackened face and a garland of shoes.

Guru Arjun’s words had to come true and they did.  The Guru’s word wisdom also says how poerful the owrds of the Truth Guru are :–
The True One is on his mind, and the True One is upon his lips.
SGGS 276

The devotee can release anyone from my bondage,
but I cannot release anyone from his.
SGGS 1252

The entire congregation boycotted Satta and Balwanda.  They both became physically sick with leprosy.

[Please read Section 13 of Guru Arjun’s verse called Sukhmani, for understanding the consequences of slandering a saint.  The slanderer of a saint has to go through all the punishments listed in this verse.  So please always restrain from slandering any saint.  Infact, according to the Guru’s word wisdom we should never ever slander anybody, because slandering takes you way down in spirituality.]

Satta and Balwanda Ji’s suffered financially, physically and socially.   Then they realized that they had committed a blunder by becoming “beymukh” – turning their back to the Guru and slandering Guru Arjun and Guru Nanak.  They realised all their sufferings were a result of this.  They realised that slandering of a Saint is a crime against God’s Court and the slanderer is severely punished by God’s Court.   

Now they wanted to go back to Guru Arjun and ask for forgiveness but could not pickup the courage to face him.  They asked for help from the Guru’s disciples but no one came to their rescue. Then at the end there was a true disciple who was spiritually in a very high stage who came to their rescue.   He himself blackened his face, put a garland of shoes around his neck and took a ride on a donkey to go to Guru Arjun to request a pardon for Dear Satta and Dear Balwanda .

Now look at the love and devotion of this dear fully devoted, full of love disciple of the Guru.  Of how he honoured the words of Guru Arjun by taking a ride on the donkey and blackening his face and putting a garland of shoes around his neck  by himself.   And please look at the kindness and forgiveness qualities of Guru Arjun.  When he found out that this dear disciple was coming to request a pardon for Satta and Balwanda Ji, Guru Arjun went running to greet him and took no time in accepting his request for granting a pardon. 

This is a true story of “beymukh” – the ones who turn their back on their Truth Guru.  It also tells us what happens when a person becomes “sanmukh” and walks towards the Truth Guru like dear Satta and dear Balwanda first did.  They were “sanmukh” when they obeyed Guru Arjun’s divine words of wisdom and earned all the honour, fame and spiritual gains.  But when they turned their back and became “beymukh” they lost everything and went back to suffering.

The person who follows the Guru’s word is a “Sanmukh”.  The person who listens, accepts and practises the Guru’s words is a “Sanmukh”.  By maintaining this state and doing devotional worship and selfless service, that person becomes an enlightened soul, a “Gurmukh”.  That person finds a place in the True Court Of God –the Timeless Eternal Supreme Transcendental Being

The “beymukh” on the other hand is the person who forgets the kindness and blessings of the Guru.  They forget the eternal treasures given by the Guru to them.  They back out and turn to slandering the Guru.  Becoming a “beymukh” they go through all kinds off sufferings, pains and punishments.

Even in today’s world there are saints, true devotees and knowers of God’s wisdom.  And there are a lot of people who enjoy slandering these highly elevated spiritual souls and then they reap their punishments.  Therefore, a person who after saying that the sikh scripture is their Guru, who then follows the Guru’s word by listening, accepting and doing it in their daily life is characterised as “Sanmukh”.   By doing so eventually they become a “Gurmukh” and enlightened soul and reach the heights of the spiritual world.  Finally they find a place in God’s True court forever.

But a person who after saying the Sikh scripture is their Guru, but then doesn’t listen, nor accept nor follow the Guru’s word wisdom is characterised as a “Beymukh”.  They end up with all kinds of sufferings and pains.  They never complete the soul’s journey back to the Supreme Being and keep on recycling in the millions of life forms. They follow their own wisdom or the worldly wisdom such as abusing, slandering and so on and always suffer.
Dassan Dass  (Slave Of God’s Slaves)