After honest deliberation of Gurbani, it is evident that corruption and Sikhi are two mutually opposite entities. Beginning with the era of Bhagats to the era of Gurus, and even after that, there has been Islamic rule in India. During Islamic administration, the judiciary was under the Qazis (head of the Shariā court). Qazis were bound to adjudicate according to the religion Islam, but owing to their greed, they used to do injustice. The opposition to this injustice is recorded in Gurbani, indicating that a Sikh who is an adherent of Gurmat can never do injustice at any cost. Satguru ji is inspiring the Qazis to do justice according to Islam by saying:
In the above verses, Satguru ji is shaking the soul of Qazi and saying that O Qazi! You are considering yourself Muslim, but becoming a Muslim is extremely difficult. Calling oneself a Muslim falsely is like deceiving oneself. An extremely righteous person shall only be called a Muslim. It is not proper from any aspect to call just about every other person a Muslim. That alone is a Muslim who is the first to accept truth as sweet, not the one to whom truth tastes bitter. Secondly, a Muslim erases any illusion of birth and death from inside and delivers justice according to ‘Rab kī rajāe’, that is, the voice of his inner self. While adjudicating, he does not let his mind act according to its wishes. At the end, Satguru ji is saying that by adopting the strategy mentioned above, such an impartial Muslim can become compassionate just like God.
It is evident from these verses how strongly Gurmat is against those who take bribe in order to pass on someone’s right to another undeserving person. The following verses make it clear further:
Kājī hoe kai bahai niāe. Fere ṯasbī kare kẖuḏāe.
Vadẖī lai kai hak gavāe. Je ko pucẖẖai ṯā paṛ suṇāe.
Ŧurak manṯar kan riḏai samāhi. Lok muhāvėh cẖāṛī kẖāhi.
(Vaar Ramkali 3, Salok M-1, Page 951)
In the above verses too, Satguru ji have exposed the character of Qazi, the authority of Islam, who looks like a very religious person from his outward appearance and holds a rosary in his hand and chants Khuda Khuda (or Allah Allah) all the time. But during the time of adjudication concerning the men of the same Khuda, his intentions are ravenous. He gives the judgement in that person’s favor who gives him more bribe. If someone questions the Qazi about this injustice, then he quotes something from the Qoran and shuts the person up telling him some meanings according to his own interpretation. He counsels people with Islamic knowledge, and emphasizes to imbibe that knowledge into the heart, but himself swindles people through bribery.
The Qazis of that time, who never got tired of claiming themselves to be the custodians of the Islamic rule of truth and justice, were engaged in such rampant corruption. Actually, men who stand guard for truth and justice are always rare in this world. That there is nothing to be gained other than misery from worldly hassles is known to the ones who adhere to the principles of truth and justice. That is why Gurbani has given the message to yearn for Godly love to a Gursikh, rather than nurturing other desires like power and salvation.
Rāj na cẖāhao mukaṯ na cẖāhao man parīṯ cẖaran kamlāre.
(Devgandhari, M-5, Page 534)
The above verse talks about something totally distinctive from all other doctrines of the world. Until now, all doctrines that have emerged in the world apart from Gurmat, after having achieved enough number of devotees, began to nurture the desire to grab worldly power. It is another matter that which doctrine was successful in doing so and which one was unsuccessful, but Gurmat has categorically stated that an adherent of Gurmat, a real Gursikh, can only be the one whose desire for worldly power, worldly glory, and worldly pleasures has ended. Although contemporary Sikhs might not agree with this thought, but this commandment has been inscribed in the Gurbani for the Gursikhs by the Guru.
When we make this claim in front of the world that the verses of Guru Granth Sahib are true, and that the teaching therein is superior and distinct when compared to other doctrines of the world, then we will have to admit that the biggest virtue contained in Gurbani is that it instructs it’s Sikhs to renounce greed, and to burn (dismiss) any worldly accolades. Any person who cannot do these two things has no right to call himself a Sikh. When we are asking a Muslim to call himself a Muslim only after becoming one in a true sense of the word, then we must also call ourselves Sikhs only after adopting Sikhi in the truest form. But whatever is happening today is contrary to the above.
One thing that needs to be understood is that a ruler needs people of all religions and factions to keep his government stable. In Gurbani, the flaws of various worldly doctrines have been exposed, and their falsehood and deception has been rejected and criticized. If a Sikh ruler is to propagate Gurmat from this throne, then it will be obvious for the adherents of the other doctrines to get displeased. There are only two alternatives in this case. Either the ruler must be extremely powerful and completely acquainted with the understanding of Gurmat, so that he can connect the adherents of the other doctrines to this true doctrine after understanding them in an amicable manner, and thus is able to enhance their complete life style. If that is not the case, then that Gursikh shall keep on spreading the message of Gurmat to the world, but keep himself away from the administrative circles. During spreading of the message of Gurmat, there must be no display of feelings of hostility or disdain. The endeavor of Gurmat is to understand the doctrines that are moving in a wrong direction, and inspire them to tread towards the right direction.
Why it is that all those flaws that were in the other doctrines have creeped in to the contemporary so-called Sikhs, when Gurmat has categorically condemned all such flaws in the Gurbani. The answer is clear that we have neither properly understood nor adopted Gurbani (or Gurmat) in our life.
Several false anecdotes have been implanted into the history of the Gurus, and those have attempted to paint the Sikh and Sanatan doctrine with the same brush. All those basic fundamentals, by the virtue of which Gurmat appeared distinct from the Sanatan doctrine, were modified with great efforts in such a way that Sikhs could not understand it. For instance, according to Gurmat, ‘Jamaṇ marṇā hukam hai’ (i.e. birth and death are natural occurrences, or God’s will) but there are many such anecdotes in our history that contradict this Gurmat principle. Where in Gurmat, ‘Nām’ has been considered to be Ḏukẖ bẖanjan (i.e. invalidator of misery), but in actuality we have a Jujube tree (beri) publicized as an invalidator of misery. Aren’t these two things self-contradictory? The crux is that knowingly or unknowingly, today Sikhs are polluting the message of Gurmat themselves. We have completely forsaken the following message of Gurbani:
Parathme man parboḏẖai apnā pācẖẖai avar rījẖāvai.
Rām nām jap hirḏai jāpai mukẖ ṯe sagal sunāvai.
(Asa, M-5, Page 381)
The above directive is extremely important in the context of propagation of Gurmat. Through these verses, Gursikhs have been instructed that until a Sikh himself does not understand Gurmat completely and is not able to realize Sabad Guru from within his heart, he shall not engage in Gurmat preaching. There are rare Gurmukhs who understand the Gurmat ideology. This is a thinner than hair, that is an extremely acute subject. Engaging in its preaching without understanding it thoroughly, like it is happening today, then owing to it’s sharper than a double-edged sword tendency, it could be suicidal. Our (Sikhs’) condition today is because of the way we are preaching Gurmat. The reason our young generation is becoming nonconformist is that the anecdotes written in our historical texts are in contradiction to Gurmat. Where it was expected from our Gurdwaras to send the message of renunciation of greed, anti-Gurmat prayers for fulfillment of material desires are taking place. Consequently, the vice of greed in Sikhs has become so intense that they can even commit big crimes due to this greed. Meaning thereby that the Gurmat ideology, which is against corruption (or bribery), is being preached with alteration. There can be no place in the character of a Gursikh for greed and corruption. Anyone doing so has no right to call himself a Sikh.
-Dharam Singh Nihang Singh-
Note: This article has already been published in the 07/2002 edition of Gurmat Parkash magazine published by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar Sahib.