Vichaar on the role of Sants in Sikh Dharm part 1

Detail explanation of Sant and Bramgyani: ” Written by Yuktanand singh.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!!

Sadh Sangat and Shabad Guru, these two are important pillars of the Panth. Guru Ji has said, “Have friendship with a Gurmukh, and set your heart on the true Guru” (1421:5). This is our staple in our spiritual journey on this earth. These days, we have the Shabad as our Guru, but we seem to be losing the art of Sadh Sangat. So, here is an article on this difficult and touchy subject.

I have been reluctant to post it because I do not have the time to keep up with discussions and I find myself quite inadequate, just like a fish trying to climb up a tree. But, considering the continued confusion and controversy generated by the so-called saints sprouting everywhere, I have decided to post it.

Please excuse its length. It is divided into six sections. It is difficult to be cognizant of various contentions and still keep it short and free of redundancy. An effort is made to keep it within the tenets of Gurmat. Please offer correction of mistakes.

Section I

During the time of Guru Nanak, there was a Gurmukh who, in his Dharamsal, would serve every holy man passing through his village. He asked all these holy men the same question, “What is the benefit of meeting or serving the Sant or a Sadhu?” Everyone said that one is blessed with happiness, riches, health, long life, children, etc. but being a Gurmukh, he was not satisfied with their answer.

One day he met Guru Nanak and asked him this question. Guru Nanak, instead of explaining it, told him to go in the jungle early in the morning, sit below a certain tree and repeat ‘Waheguru’ for some time. The Gurmukh did exactly as he was told. He noticed a pair of crows sitting on the tree. While he was sitting there they had transformed into white cranes. But he felt that he still did not receive the answer to his question. So Guru Nanak told him to repeat the same the next day.

Next day he noticed that these white cranes turned into swans. He still did not see the answer to his question. So Guru Ji told him to go back. Next morning, while sitting and reciting ‘Waheguru’ he observed that pair of swans transform into humans. They came and sat close to him.

Gurmukh asked them the question also. The pair explained that they were born as crows but upon meeting the Gurmukh, they became cranes, upon meeting him again, they became swans, and then humans. Upon meeting a Sadhu, within the course of three days they were blessed with what would have otherwise taken several lifetimes.

(The above was paraphrased from ‘Divine Mystic Reflections on Gurmat’ p. 183)

Recently, while strolling in a state of spiritual reflection, I saw a pair of crows, and I remembered the incident above. As I approached the crows they flew away the instant they saw me. But they soon returned. Still as crows.

What are the lessons to be learned here? Here are some choices:

1. Such supernatural phenomena occurred only during the time of the Gurus, not today.
2. The pair of crows that returned could be a different pair, not the same that flew away.
3. I am not a Gurmukh. Therefore, it was foolish of me to expect similar results.
4. Sitting early in the morning and repeating ‘Waheguru’ would yield a better outcome.
5. The actual process is much subtler than how it is symbolically presented in those books.
6. Meeting Guru Nanak accelerated the process, so that the Gurmukh learns the lesson quickly.
7. The desire to meet a Gurmukh had turned this Sikh into a Gurmukh, worthy of Darshan himself.
8. Spiritual people teach by example and they avoid arguments and elaborate explanations.
9. Before the advent of Sangat, Dharamsals and Teerath (pilgrimage) facilitated meeting holy people.
10. Truth is always the same. Thus, regardless, the lesson applies to us just as much today as it did then.

In my opinion, the correct choice is all of the above, except the first one. Let us see why meeting a Gurmukh is so important and what is the significance of Sat Sangat.

Sikh Panth is a living Panth. Do we understand what makes it a living path; is it the ordinary Sikhs or a Gurmukh like the one in the episode above? What makes this Panth different and superior than all the religions? Which ingredients assure its survival, undiluted and unadulterated, for the future generations? Most of us would say, Gurbani. But in my opinion, it is the implementation of Gurbani. Not to mention the Khalsa Rehit, but that is a separate subject.

Gurbani lists Sangat as essential to living a normal life as a human (427:6). Sat Sangat is just as important as reading Gurbani, because it transforms our heart so that we can truly understand the message of Gurbani (1316:6-. We need to examine ourselves: is the Sangat working for us in this sense? If not, why not? Do we understand what Sat Sangat means? Does a crowd of people like us represent Sat Sangat? Does the company of others just like us, adequately fulfill all the conditions of being in the Sadh Sangat? In other words, what is the role of a Sadh or a Sant in Sikh Panth?

Section II
Section III
Section IV
Section V
Section VI

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