Monday, February 02, 2015

Anti-Sikhi Parchaar (Part 4): Topic - Dietary Bibek & Sarbloh (3 of 4)


Below are some questions relating to the topic of dietary Bibek that have been asked by other people at different occasions and the Gurmat based replies:

#8. "Amritdharis that keep Bibek refuse to eat from other humans but yet the milk that they drink comes from animals! So, now a cow is more higher than a man? Have the cows, which people keeping Bibek rehat drink milk from, taken Amrit and wear the Panj Kakkaar?"
RESPONSE:  I would slightly concerned if someone organised an animal Amrit Sanchaar! (Dr Doolittle watch out!). Dietary Bibek is about eating righteous (ਧਰਮੀ) and spiritual food from righteous (ਧਰਮੀ) and spiritual people. Gurbani says: 
ਚੋਰਾ ਜਾਰਾ ਰੰਡੀਆ ਕੁਟਣੀਆ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥
ਵੇਦੀਨਾ ਕੀ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਵੇਦੀਨਾ ਕਾ ਖਾਣੁ ॥ ਸਿਫਤੀ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਸਦਾ ਵਸੈ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥

“Thieves, adulterers, prostitutes and pimps (i.e. immoral people) (have the habit that they) make friendships with the unrighteous and eat the food prepared from the unrighteous. Those people do not know the value of the Lord’s Praises (i.e. their internal Naam Jaap stops), and Satan (desires, anger, greed, emotional attachment, and ego) takes residence in the mind.”
(Soohee M:1, 790)
Now, humans are the only species that can become unrighteous (ਅਧਰਮੀ), Animals by default are righteous (ਧਰਮੀ), as they follow and live by their Dharma (ਧਰਮ)/Duty/Natural Law. On the other hand, it is only Man that goes against the Divine-Law and it's God given duty. Therefore, animals are not the one's that require to take Amrit or keep Rehat, but rather human being! Therefore, you are safe to drink milk from cows. Guru Ji goes further and calls the milk of cow Amrit (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) in Gurbani, and therefore why would the cows need to take Amrit? We, as humans, need to make our Jeevan (lives) Amrit and follow Guru Ji's instructions and become Naam/Gurbani focused. 

Gurbani says:
ਮਨ ਕਾ ਕਹਿਆ ਮਨਸਾ ਕਰੈ || ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਪਾਪੁ ਉਚਰੈ ||
ਮਾਇਆ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ || ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਭਾਵੈ ||੧||
"The human acts according to the wishes of the mind. This mind feeds on virtue and vice. Intoxicated with the wine of Maya, satisfaction never comes. Satisfaction and liberation come, only to one whose mind is pleasing to the True Lord. ||1||"
(Bilaaval M:1, 832) - Read Full Shabad

#9. "I invited some Gursikhs to eat at my house. I washed the kitchen and cleaned the cooker three times. I ensured that the kitchen was pure, the cooker was pure, and that I had a shower to purify myself. However, they still declined to eat anything. This is wrong, when I went to so much trouble to make everything pure?"
RESPONSE: The water is not pure as living organisms live in it. Milk is not pure because a calf first sucks the milk and therefore it is not pure. The air we breathe is not pure as we all breathe the same air. So, how have you made the kitchen and food pure for the Gursikhs to eat? Gurbani says:
ਦੂਧੁ ਤ ਬਛਰੈ ਥਨਹੁ ਬਿਟਾਰਿਓ || ਫੂਲੁ ਭਵਰਿ ਜਲੁ ਮੀਨਿ ਬਿਗਾਰਿਓ ||੧||
ਮਾਈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਹਾ ਲੈ ਚਰਾਵਉ || ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਫੂਲੁ ਅਨੂਪੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਉ ||੧|| ਰਹਾਉ ||
ਮੈਲਾਗਰ ਬੇਰ੍ਹੇ ਹੈ ਭੁਇਅੰਗਾ || ਬਿਖੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਬਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਸੰਗਾ ||੨||
ਧੂਪ ਦੀਪ ਨਈਬੇਦਹਿ ਬਾਸਾ || ਕੈਸੇ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਹਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਾਸਾ ||੩||
ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਉ ਪੂਜ ਚਰਾਵਉ || ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਉ ||੪||

"The calf has contaminated the milk in the teats. The bumble bee has contaminated the flower, and the fish the water. ||1|| O mother, where shall I find any offering for the Lord's worship? I cannot find any other flowers worthy of the incomparable Lord. ||1||Pause|| The snakes encircle the sandalwood trees. Poison and nectar dwell there together. ||2|| Even with incense, lamps, offerings of food and fragrant flowers, how are Your slaves to worship You? ||3|| I dedicate and offer my body and mind to You. By Guru's Grace, I attain the immaculate Lord. ||4||"
(Goojree Bhagat Ravidaas Ji, 525)
Hygiene is very important and should be observed to the highest standard, however purity in Gurmat is attained only through Naam. Guru Ji tells us that Naam is the only pure thing in this whole world. To make body, our food, and our clothes pure we have to connect with Naam. Naam is only obtained through the Guru in the form of the Panj-Pyaare in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
ਸਾਚ ਬਿਨਾ ਸੂਚਾ ਕੋ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਕਥ ਕਹਾਣੀ ||੬੭||
"Without the True Name, no one can become pure; O Nanak, this is the Unspoken Speech. ||67||"
(Raamkalee M:1, 945)

ਤਨੁ ਸੂਚਾ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਉ ||

"That body is said to be pure, in which the True Name abides."
(Siree Raag M:1, 19)
Hearing this reply, the Bhenji asking the question was satisfied and said she know understands.

In spirit of the topic being discussed I thought it would be fitting to share some questions that someone a while ago emailed me about dietary Bibek. The person was coming into Sikhi and planning to take Amrit and had genuine questions regarding Sikhi they wished to clear. Bhai Balpreet Singh Ji (Toronto) helped to provide the answers for responding back to the email. I think it would be beneficial to share Bhai Sahib's replies with the Sangat...

#10. "I cannot believe [dietary] Bibek, i.e. an Amritdhari eating only from the hands of another Amritdhari, is necessary after taking Amrit as 90% Amritdhari's dont follow it?"
RESPONSE: Bibek is a mandatory Rehit in my understanding, not unlike kakaars.  The fact that many Amritdharis don't follow it does not change that. I would think most 'Amritdharis' don't have a strict Amrit-vela but we know that one cannot call themselves a Sikh if they don't have Amrit-vela.

#11. "What food can you eat then? The Atta (flour) for Roti must be made by non-Amritdharis? So do you have to grow your own food? What about water - that's not Bibek?"
RESPONSE: The idea for Bibek is to eat food that has been prepared by Gursikhs reciting Gurbani/Naam.  Gurbani says:
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਨੀ ਤਿਨ ਧਿਗੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਧਿਗੁ ਖਾਣੁ ॥੧॥
“O Nanak! Those who do not contemplate the Naam, the Name of the Lord – cursed are their clothes, and cursed is their food. ||1||”
(Sorat'h M:3, 646)

ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਜੋ ਪਹਿਰੈ ਖਾਇ || ਜਿਉ ਕੂਕਰੁ ਜੂਠਨ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਇ ||੧||

“Without the Naam, one who dresses and eats well is like a dog, who falls in and eats impure foods. ||1||” 

(Gauree M:5, 240)

Within that parameter you do the best you can.  Generally speaking, it is acceptable to use raw ingredients and cook them.  If someone wishes to do better than that and grind their own flour while reciting Gurbani/Naam then what could be better?  Most of us however can't do that and so we don't.  Similarly with water, it should be clean.  Ideally we could all get our water ourselves from a pure natural source.  However, that not being available everywhere means we do the best we can.  The core idea is to have food prepared by Gursikhs with Gurbani/Naam.  The purity of the ingredients is something we should strive for, but there will never be perfection.  

#12. "If I take Amrit it won't be possible for me to follow this Rehat as I cannot get Amritdhari food at all times! At school what do I eat?"
RESPONSE: There are many Gursikhs that keep this rehit while studying.  It just means a little extra effort.  Prepare your own food.  Take it to school like a packed lunch.  It may seem daunting but it's not all that difficult.  Same with Amrit-vela:  someone may say it's very difficult to keep this rehit if one is studying/working but if we really want to walk the Sikhi path and meet Vahiguru, these aren't very big hurdles.  Giving one's head to the Guru means that we will do everything to follow Guru Sahib's hukam and everything else comes second.  

Giani Baba Kartar Singh Bhindranwale doing Langar Seva


Anonymous said...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

Respected Bhai Sahib, wonderful post thank you so much. I have been in a little doobhedha myself regarding milk and its intake. But I would appreciate your veechar on whether Gursikhs should avoid milk for ethical reasons. Daas lives in USA and I know that Cows are abused and treated very badly by the Cow farmers. Even organic milk does not guarantee that the animal was treated in an humane manner. I feel that drinking milk from an animal that has only known fear in its life cannot be good for a Gursikh. Please share your veechar?

Manvir Singh said...

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ॥

Khalsa Ji, to my understanding perhaps try organic milk. If you are still unsure then try milk from a farm as supposed to factory. In UK it is called Gold top milk. If you still unsatisfied then go for soya or alternative milk where possible.

Guru Sahib knows best.

Manvir Singh