Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sikhs and meat, Drugs, alcohol, cannabis, and more...

Below are Vichaar on the salok of Bhagat Kabeer Jee. The vichaar on one of the salokhs is below which covers the meat topic well:

ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥
Kabīr bẖāʼng mācẖẖulī surā pān jo jo prānī kẖāʼnhi.
Ŧirath baraṯ nėm kī­ė ṯė sabẖai rasāṯal jāʼnhi. ||233||

Literal Translation:

"O Kabeer! Those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine
- no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ||233||"
(SGGS - Ang 1377)

Meaning of words:

- Through the Revealed Word of God, Bhagat Kabir Ji explains to himself to instruct the world about the prohibitions in religious discipline (kurehits). It is false to believe that this salok (hymn) only prohibits the consumption of cannabis, fish and alcohol. One has to look beyond the surface level and dive deeper into Gurbani. Guru Ji cannot make a vast list of drugs, foods and wines that one is forbidden to eat or drink. This would be a waste of time. Instead Guru ji categorises drugs, meat/flesh/killed animals and wines/alcohol under three categories which represent all products associated and in the same category.

ਭਾਂਗ (bẖāʼng) = marijuana, cannabis |

The category of 'cannabis' or 'bhung' includes opium, heroine, tobacco, and all drugs whether inhaled, eaten, smoked or injected through needles.

ਮਾਛੁਲੀ (mācẖẖulī) = fish |

The category of 'fish' includes all killed animals whether sea animals (e.g. cod, haddock, crab, whale etc) or land animals (chicken, goat, cow, pig etc.) and all allied products like egg, i.e. all meat and flesh.

ਸੁਰਾ (surā) = liquor, alcohol | ਪਾਨਿ (pān) = one who drinks |

The category of alcohol or wine includes all types of alcohol whether beer, whisky, rum, brandy, or any type of wine etc.

ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ (jo jo prānī kẖāʼnhi) = whosoever, everyone | ਖਾਂਹਿ (kẖāʼnhi) = eat, consume |

Gurbani is not prohibiting drugs, meat and alcohol to only Sikhs. It is clear that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is addressing everyone, i.e. Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and the whole world.

ਤੀਰਥ (Ŧirath) = pilgrimages |

Guru Ji is addressing everyone and not only Sikhs. For Hindus, pilgrimage is bathing at the sixty-eight sacred places revered across India. For Muslims, pilgrimage is going on Hajj, i.e. visiting Mecca. For Christians, pilgrimage is visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem. For Sikhs, pilgrimage in a physical sense is visiting Sri Harimandir Sahib (also known as the 'Golden Temple') in Amritsar as well as other historical Gurdwaras in India and Pakistan, but in a spiritual sense pilgrimage means travelling from your mind to one's soul through bathing and immersing oneself in Naam.

ਬਰਤ (baraṯ) = fast |

Hindus keep fasts on certain days related to their deities as an act of penance. Muslims observe 'Roza' or a fast during the month of Ramadan. Christians keep a fast or give up certain foods during 'Lent' (before Easter). Sikhs observe the permanent fast of not telling lies, not cheating anyone else or stealing the wealth of others.

ਨੇਮ (nėm) = (religious) routine, practice | ਕੀਏ (kī­ė) = perform, follow |

Hindus perform daily rituals (puja) and chant devotional prayers as part of their daily routine. Muslims perform five prayers (namaaz) as part of their daily routine. Christians say the Lord's prayer as part of their daily routine. Sikhs wake up Amrit-vela (the early ambrosial hours) and repeat and meditate upon Naam (the Divine-Name) followed by reciting the five prayers of the morning, and reciting Rehraas Sahib in the evening and Sohila Sahib before bed.

ਤੇ ਸਭੈ (ṯė sabẖai) = they will all |

Again, Guru Ji talks about everyone. There are no exceptions.

ਰਸਾਤਲ ਜਾਂਹਿ (rasāṯal jāʼnhi) = become useless, there is not an iota of benefit, go to hell. |233|

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Pefect True Guru, the Complete Truth, the Word of God, the Universal Truth, instructs us that if anyone (irrespective of faith or background) consumes drugs or intoxicants, eats any fish or meat, or drinks any wine or alcohol then all their pilgrimages, fasts and religious practices and prayers lose their value and become worth nothing. That person becomes worthy of hell and reaps no benefit from his religious commitments and efforts.

This salokh on ang (page) 1377 is crystal clear that a Sikh is prohibited from eating meat or any flesh. Anyone who accepts and has full faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as their Satguru will not doubt Gurbani. With one Hukam from Gurbani a Sikh accepts and obeys. On the other hand, a Manmukh would continue to ask for further proof or evidence and remain unsatisfied and unwilling to submit to the instructions of Satguru.