When I went to search for Gods !
When I went to Search Gods !
Being born in Punjab and in a Sikh Family there was one clarity in my mind since childhood that a Sikh and Sikhi doesn’t believe in Hindu Mythology’s Gods & Goddesses & their imaginative stories. But like most of the Sikhs, my understanding of Sikhi was also based on hearsay, at least till the age of 34. Never before I felt the urge to read Gurbani and Sikh history myself. It was limited to swelling my chest with pride, after reading or listening any genuine/fake Sikh glorifying message, somewhere.
At last, life took me to such a point that I was intrigued by the need of knowing more about my roots. Who am I? Who are Sikhs? What does Sikhi has to offer? Beginning was made from Osho’s audio translation of Guru Nanak’s JAP Bani that I kept listening to for almost 2 years. After Osho, I listened to Sahib Singh Markanda and Sant Singh Maskeen’s take on JAP. Still Insatiated, I then read translation cum interpretation done by Prof. Sahib Singh who is indisputably one of the most revered Sikh figures of 20th Century. Apart from the style of interpreting and except the position on couple of ‘Paurees’, all these people were saying the same thing. So, I felt that more or less I have understood what Nanak is trying to say in JAP Bani and now I should move forward.
During this period, I read Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha’s famous book ‘Hum Hindu Nahin’ and few issues of ‘Khalsa Akhbar’ magazine, published by Singh Sabha International, Canada. I read many Gurbani verses from these sources, vociferously condemning Hindu Gods & Goddesses. I came to know that according to Gurbani, after contemplating on Shiv, instead of getting any spiritual elevation, one can only ride an ox and beat a Damru (a small hourglass shape drum) (ਸਿਵ ਸਿਵ ਕਰਤੇ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ॥ ਬਰਧ ਚਢੇ ਡਉਰੂ ਢਮਕਾਵੈ॥2॥ – 874),got to know about Krishna’s flirtatious character (ਜੁਜ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਰਿ ਛਲੀ ਚੰਦ੍ਰਾਵਲਿ ਕਾਨ੍ਰ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ੍ਰ ਜਾਦਮੁ ਭਇਆ॥ ਪਾਰਜਾਤੁ ਗੋਪੀ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ਬਿੰਦ੍ਰਾਬਨ ਮਹਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਕੀਆ – 470) and Ramchandra’s weeping behavior (ਰੋਵੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਿਕਾਲਾ ਭਇਆ॥ ਸੀਤਾ ਲਖਮਣੁ ਵਿਛੁੜਿ ਗਇਆ॥ – 953) and Yogis’ loafer and beggar attitude (ਇਕਿ ਭਗਵਾ ਵੇਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਜੋਗੀ ਸੰਨਿਆਸਾ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਛਾਦਨ ਭੋਜਨ ਕੀ ਆਸਾ॥– 140) Some Shabads also put light on spiritual bankruptcy of Hindu Gods and especially rapist character of Indra (ਮੈਲਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਮੈਲਾ ਇੰਦੁ॥ ਰਵਿ ਮੈਲਾ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੈ ਚੰਦੁ॥ ਮੈਲਾ ਸਿਵ ਸੰਕਰਾ ਮਹੇਸ॥ ਮੈਲੇ ਸਿਧ ਸਾਧਿਕ ਅਰੁ ਭੇਖ॥ – 1158), (ਗੌਤਮ ਤਪਾ ਮਾਹਿਲਿਆ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਦੇਖਿ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਲੋਭਾਇਆ॥ ਸਹਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਚਿਹਨ ਭਗ ਹੂਏ ਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਪਛੋਤਾਇਆ॥-1344) But all this information got me back to JAP Bani’s ninth Pauri (ਸੁਣਿਐ ਈਸਰੁ ਬਰਮਾ ਇੰਦੁ॥ – 2), in whose interpretation Maskeen and Prof. Sahib Singh are saying that by listening to Gurbani one gets a status equivalent to Shiva, Brahma and Indra, the same people whom Gurbani is condemning in various verses, so categorically.
Gurbani’s such contradictory interpretations baffled me completely. I understood it clearly that before moving forward on my journey, it is very much necessary to remove the ambiguity about Gurbani’s position on Hindu Gods & Goddesses. After all, who were these creatures? So, this was the first deep sea on my new journey of understanding Sikhi that I had to cross over. After some time, I got in contact with Sardar Gurcharan Singh Jeonwala of Singh Sabha International, Canada and through him I got to meet Sardar Inder Singh Ghagga and Colonel Manmohan Singh Scout. I read Ghagga ji’s ‘Gurmat sidhantan di kasvatti te pauranak kathawan da antt’ and Scout ji’s ‘Jap Bani-543’, a draft of JAP’s translation, written from a refreshingly different perspective. Both these books did to my mind what a tyre technician does to a punctured car. Ghagga ji’s book not only introduced me to every character of Hindu Mythology but also enlightened me that the realty of these characters is hidden in the history of Aryan-Dravidian tribes. Both these books enlightened me to the fact that Ninth Pauri of JAP is not promising the status of the so called ‘Gods’ but actually it is saying that Gurbani will tell you the realty of these ‘Gods’.
Inder Singh Ghagga’s book talks about every character of Hindu Mythology that has got a mention in Guru Granth Sahib. Right from Brahma to Shiv, Ram Chandra to Krishna, Chitra Gupta, Yamraj, Dharam Raj and many more. Chapter wise, First, he tells about what Hindu Mithyahaas Kosh and Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha’s Mahan Kosh says about that particular character. After that he mentions the verses where the reference of that Particular God/Goddess is given. He has not only interpreted those verses in the right context but the surprising fact is that even Hindu Mithyahaas Kosh’s description is more than enough to demolish the myth of these characters as Divine figures. One thing that comes out crystal clear is that most of these characters are imaginative or exaggerated like of Hanuman, Vishwakarma, Dharam Raj, Yamraj, Chitra Gupta etc. As per Hindu Mythological sources, in his childhood Hanuman had swallowed the Sun and when Indra hit hanuman’s face with his Vajra then hanuman let the Sun escape out through his anal and thereafter hanuman’s face got dented and butt got red, forever. Wow! now you must have got the Vedic science behind every monkey’s dented face and red colored butt. Similar on the scale of absurdity, there is another story of Vishwakarma in which he first marries his daughter to the Sun and latter when his daughter complains about his husband’s high temperature then Vishwakarma took the Sun to his factory and sliced him a bit and set its temperature as per his daughter’s demand. But the most interesting part is that some of these stories are not completely imaginative or mythological as of Ramchandra, Ravana, Mahishasur, Indra, King Bali and others but exaggerated for sure. One comes to know that Indra was a powerful king of Aryan tribes who butchered innumerable natives of Indian Sub-Continent- Dravidians. On the other side, Ravana, Bal, Mahishasur were very strong and yet popular native kings who were defeated and murdered through cheating, treachery, treason, deceit and force. Smartly but unsurprisingly, for future generations, Aryans labelled the struggle between them and Dravidians as ‘Gods vs Asuras’ and presented it in a way that as if it had happened lakhs of years ago in some other world. Whole struggle was narrated by Aryans as if they were divine incarnations and whereas Asuras (Dravidians) were some sort of scary demons.
In order to justify the Genocides or Wars, this strategy of demonizing the enemy in the minds of public at large, stayed popular throughout various time periods, geographies and Empires. In Roman History, Romans labeled the German warriors as ‘Barbarians’ whereas they branded many of themselves as Gods. Likewise, Pharoahs of Egypt and Shahs of Persia also ruled as divine entities. In 18th Century, when British Empire started expanding into various countries then they make it a ‘Civilized vs Non-Civilized’ struggle. In recent history, USA labelled Saddam Hussain as tyrant dictator and destroyed a peaceful Iraq but still present itself as most morally upright country that is highly concerned about democracy and human rights. In exactly same way, thousands of years back, Aryans branded themselves as Sur, Dev, Devatas, Avatars and labelled Dravidians as Asuras, Rakshasas, Chandals etc.
Element of Aryans & Dravids had made this research quite interesting for me. Now, I decided to read some other sources as well that are not connected with Sikhi so that Aryan-Dravid struggle could be read from a different perspective. I watched lot of Videos on YouTube and read lot of articles available on internet. On the way, I came to know about a book that was written on the topic of Mahishasur and Durga (Chandi).
Let me tell the readers that Mahishasur is the same person in Durga’s idols, whom Durga is killing with her trident and who is lying at the feet of Durga. Mahishasur is being depicted as a demon whose body’s upper half is of black skinned man with long moustache with curly long hairs (typical Dravidian features) whereas lower part of his body is of a Buffalo. It is in celebration of Durga killing Mahishasur that Durga Puja is being celebrated in India and especially in Bengal region of India every year till now. Book’s title is ‘Mahishasur: A People’s Hero’ (Publisher- Forward Press, Editor- Pramod Ranjan). Mahishasur’s (Mahish– Buffalo, Asura– demon) death is being celebrated in form of a festival annually just as Ravana’s death being celebrated in the form of Dussehra. According to the book, Mahishasur was a Dravidian King, who probably represented the people who used to rear buffaloes. It is a proof of his immense popularity that even today there are villages in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa in his name and even there are small temples in his name, too. In a very interesting development, Mahishasur Martyrdom day is being celebrated at a huge scale since 2011. When Aryan kings could not beat him in direct fight then they planned to kill him with treachery and cheating. A woman called Durga (Chandi) who was either Aryan or a Dravidian traitor, was given the duty to kill Mahishasur. Durga successfully seduced Mahishasur with her beauty, a fact endorsed by ‘Devi Bhagwat Puran’too. Mahishasur spent 9 nights with Durga and on ninth night, getting the right opportunity, she beheaded him. That is why ‘Nav-raat-re’ instead of ‘Nav-div-se’ are celebrated before Durga Puja. Though it is being narrated that she killed him in a direct fight during a war. But, it was a prevalent norm in ancient times that wars were being fought in daytime only whereas Mahishasur was killed at night. As the news of Mahishasur’s cold blooded murder reached the Aryan Kings, they unleashed their unhindered terror and started beheading Dravidian people. Durga was honored with a garland made of Dravidian heads and thus given the title of ‘Devi’. Some experts are of the view that from this episode, started the trend of Aryan Goddesses (Dravidian people had their own Goddesses before that). Notably, even today no idol of Durga (Chandi) is completed until a handful of soil is not brought from a Prostitute’s house which then is used in the preparation of Goddess Durga’s Murti (Idol) which is worshipped during Durga Puja. A fact that further put stamp of genuineness of the above story is that Bengali prostitutes till date worship Durga proudly, as their ancestor.
Deception, Betrayal & Treachery was the most often used weapon of Aryans whose reflection one can see in Ramayana and Mahabharat at numerous places. In Ramayana, King Ramchandra kills Dravidian King Bali with his bow & arrow while hiding behind a tree. After that, as per the deal, Bali’s younger brother, Sugriva, was made the king and then his army was used to kill Ravana. But instead of being greatful to that army, they were mocked off as ‘Vanara Sena’ (Army of Monkeys) – probably the world’s biggest act of Betrayal. There was a Shudra (Dravidians/Natives later labelled as Shudras) named ‘Shambuk’ who was killed by King Ramchandra just because Shambuk was involved in a spiritual activity (penance or discourse). Mahabharat is abundant of immoral and treacherous incidents. Duryodhana, Dronacharya, Karna, Jayadratha, Bhishma and many others were killed by betrayal & treachery. Eklavaya- a masterclass archer was denied training because he was a dravid and when he learnt and mastered it on his own, he was asked to give his right thumb as his ‘Guru Dakshina’ to Dronacharya. According to Vishnu Puran, with the use of deception, Vishnu usurped whole kingdom of a large hearted & a philanthropist King named Bal. Even today, Keralites celebrate ‘Onam’ in memory of King Bal and Marathi farmers still use their age-old Idiom ‘Ida Pida Javo, Bal ka Raaj Yevo’ meaning Let the Pain and suffering go, Let the rule of Bal come. It just shows the popularity of that king and his just rule, at that time.
After the initial innumerable tales of treachery and tyranny, native people slipped gradually to forests & South India where they are still known as Adivasis and Dravidians respectively and those who stayed back in North India are known as Shudras. After decimating their enemies completely now the challenge was to make their domination eternal and for that Aryans developed a worst form of discriminatory hierarchical system for society called ‘Varnashrama Dharam’ in which the top position was taken by Brahman. Their allies were placed at second and third as Kshatriya and Vaishya respectively. Obviously, original inhabitants of India were placed either at the lowest (fourth) rung of the society as Shudrasor just out-casted, known as Avarnas or Untouchables. This whole system of cruel injustice was properly recorded and perpetuated in many different books written by the Aryans and their well-wishers. To avoid any revolt by future generations of the natives or to prevent moral questioning by their own kids in future, these books were given the Divine color and the blame of discrimination was conveniently shifted to the Creator of this world – Brahma, according to them. We know these books by the name of Smritis, Vedas and Puranas.
In our times, if anybody has taken the History of Aryans and Dravidian out of Quagmire of Hindu Mythology, it was Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. Intentionally, to limit his contributions, he is branded as architect of Indian Constitution. But his most remarkable contribution is somewhere else and that was to scrutinize the above-mentioned books. Three of his books namely Annihilation of Caste, Riddles in Hinduism & Who are Shudras? written by Dr. Ambedkar tears into the artificial Divine Halo of Vedas and Puranas. These books further establish the fact that it is the clash of Aryans and the early natives of Indian sub-continent that set the background of most of the Hindu Scriptures. Though I haven’t read yet but on the same issue, there is a very popular book called ‘Bharti lok neech kive bane’ written by Gurnam Singh Mukatsar.
Looking from a scientific point of view, paleo-archaeologists have found fossils of a dinosaur who had lived on this planet 245 million years ago. But till now they haven’t found fossils of any ‘Devta’ or ‘Asur’ who had 4-10 heads or 8-10 arms, had a height of several feet or a skeleton of a creature who is half human and half buffalo as depicted in Hindu Mythology. Secondly, Human Civilization, anywhere on the planet, is not older than 10-12 thousand years. Before that, humans used to live the life of hunter-gatherers whose only aim was surviving on this earth. It is only few thousand years back that humans have developed the concept of relationships like husband-wife, father-mother and brother-sister. This fact just blows away the claim of Vedas that so called Devatas or Gods of Hindu Mythology existed millions/billions of years ago. Thirdly, Vedas claim that Women, Shudra and a person who has committed even a smallest of crime or immoral act is not eligible for Heaven and then very conveniently they also mention with great detail, the tales of wars between Devatas and Asuras for the possession of ‘Heaven’. There are many instances where it is told that Asuras took the possession of Heaven and then after lot of fight back & efforts Asuras had been evicted from the Heaven. Now a simple question arises that in a Heaven where only Brahmans and Devatas were allowed to enter how these Asuras not only got the entry passes but also captured the Heaven and kicked out Devatas from there. Actually, the Plain Green area near the Ganges river in North India that Aryans captured from Dravidians was named as HEAVEN for which both the parties kept on fighting for centuries.
From above mentioned Books and Other sources, I have learnt the following:
- Around 2 million years ago, many Human species evolved from Great Apes. Homo Neanderthals, Homo Erectus, Homo Soloensis were the prominent species. Then after 1.8 million years (approx. 2 lakhs years ago), Current form of Human came into existence known as Homo-Sapiens. At that time, though his body structure was very much similar to us but his brain was not fully developed yet and that happened only 30K years ago. Today, 7 Billion people living on this planet belongs to the same species know as ‘Homo-Sapiens’ be it whites, blacks, browns, Asians, European, African, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs or Hindus. All are genetically belonging to the same Species. Rest of all the species went extinct between 30K and 13K years ago for various reasons.
- Around 70K years ago, Homo-Sapiens stared moving out of Africa to other parts of the world and few of them came to Indian Sub-continent also. This Migration continued for thousands of years after that. These people inhabited this land and made it their home for many millennials to come. These were the same people who developed magnificent cities about 5K years ago known as Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro and later came to known as Dravidians.
- Around 3500 years ago, Aryan tribes from Central Asia reached Indian Sub-Continent for a better land and life. These tribes were very cunning & hostile in nature whereas Dravidians were relatively peaceful.
- Indra was the prominent King/leader of Aryan tribes who loved this land and decided to make it his homeland. He unleashed his reign of terror on the natives, set their villages on fire, conducted mass murders and abducted their women. Rigveda describes how Indra used to kill even 40-50K Asuras (natives/dravidians) in a day.
- But at many places Dravidian warriors also fought valiantly and pushed back Aryans. In such cases, aryans used to use another lethal weapon out of their armor and that was deceit & treachery. Lot of their enemies were killed in this fashion as King Ramchandra killed Bali & Ravana, Durga killed Mahishasur, Vishnu killed King Bal and many more. (Ramchandra was an Aryan King as Ramayana itself calls him his brothers as ‘Arya Putra’).
- The saga of endless tyranny continued for almost one thousand years. Different times of this millennium was proclaimed as Satyuga, Treta and Duapar. To carry on their ‘Mission Divine’, every big king of Aryans used to be proclaimed as Avatar of Vishnu or Shiva. Moreover, as a very successful strategic tool, after the death of some powerful enemy (Dravidian/Native kings, intellectuals, social or religious revolutionaries), they will proclaim him as son of a Brahman in past life or would brand him as a Shiva Devotee.
- Almost after 1000 years, Gautam Buddha was the first big religious/spiritual figure to challenge the discriminatory Vedas and gave everyone equal status. But after Buddha and Buddhist kings’ reign of few hundred years, everything was same again.
- Then for another 1200-1300 years, tyranny continued in the form of casteism (Varnashrama Dharma). Till then natives had forgotten that they are servants in their own country. They also started believing Brahman’s story that they are Shudras as per the divine wish. The word ‘Aryan’ and ‘Asura’ was almost replaced by Brahmin and Shudra, by then. As the whole conspiracy successfully had got a divine color by now, Brahman was able to rule and control the whole society without using a sword. Whole society was at feet of Brahman including rulers but it was the Shudra who was at the receiving end of all type of upper castes.
- Then from 998 AD Muslim kings from the west started invading India from time to time and then they ruled this sub-continent for many centuries to come. Though the lower caste was used to humiliation, it was the turn of upper castes to feel the heat of the same oppression that they committed on the natives of this country.
- Starting from 1469, Guru Nanak and rest of the Sikh Gurus then took a humungous task to take the downtrodden people of this land out of centuries old religious, spiritual, economic and political slavery.
- Sikh Gurus, through their Bani (Gurbani) exposed the reality of so called Vedas, Avatars and Devatas to the common man in their own simple language. In no uncertain terms, they told the masses that the so called Devatas/Avatars are none other than sundry kings/tribal lords from different times. (ਜੁਗਹ ਜੁਗਹ ਕੇ ਰਾਜੇ ਕੀਏ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਕਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ ਭੀ ਅੰਤ ਨਾ ਪਾਇਆ ਤਾਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਆਖਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ॥ – 423). Sikh Gurus uplifted the once ruler turned slaves, took them out of whirlpool of casteism, sacrificed themselves but treated them like their own children and gave them the title of ‘SINGH’ & ‘KHALSA’ – Brave & Sovereign. Honored them with the Turban, Horse and Weaponry- the wardrobe reserved for the rulers of that time. Gurbani not only elevated these people spiritually but enabled them morally to be kings again and then after lot of sacrifices, a Khalsa Raj (Sovereign Kingdom) indeed came into being.
- With the arrest of Banda Singh Bahadur in 1715, started the Shahidi Yug (Martyrdom Era) for the Sikhs. Thousands of Sikhs were butchered. Remaining of them went into hiding and lived in jungles and hills for many decades. From 1716 till 1799, almost for 83 years, the only aim of Sikhs was to survive at any cost from the onslaught of Muslim and Hindu rulers. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in 1849 Sikhs lost their Khalsa Raj too. Sikhs not only became slaves, poor and illiterate again but furthermore, Sikhs went far away from the same principles and ideals of Gurbani that had become the basis of their rise. During this long period, the language in which Gurbani has been written was also forgotten.
- It was not that Sikhs organically went away from Gurbani but rather Brahman made concerted effort to break Sikhs from Gurbani and bring them back to the Hindu Mythology fold. He was making this effort since the time Nanak refused to wear the Janeu (a sacred thread for Hindus) at the age of 9. What was the darkest period for Sikhs was the Golden opportunity for Brahman and he exploited it to the fullest. This was the time when Brahmans from Banaras changed their outlook and became ‘Nirmala Sikhs’. Nirmalas along with Udasis (followers of Sri Chand- Nanak’s estranged elder son) captured Sikh Gurdwaras along with the Sikh psyche. Web of Deras was weaved at a large scale, Gurbani was intentionally translated in Vedic hue & color and various such teekas (translations) were distributed all over. Not only this, fake & unscrupulous stories about Sikh Gurus, popularly known as Sakhis were written and propagated among Sikhs at a large scale. Especially, the Sakhis written under the name of a fake character named Bhai Baala, actually attempted character assassination of Sikh Gurus in a very subtle manner. In early 19th century, in a biggest attack amongst all, to project Sikhs as a branch of Hinduism, a scrupulous Book titled Bachitar Natak, renamed as Dasam Granth was created on the name of 10th Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh. Real purpose of this book was to project 10th Sikh Guru as a devotee of Chandi (Durga). This book is nothing but filled with Hindu Mythology and pornographic content. Brahmans got an active support in this Devil’s work from another Sikh enemy of that time i.e. Britishers.
That’s why whenever a young Sikh like me starts understanding Gurbani with logic, he gets confused very easily because more than the authentic stuff, adulterated stuff is easier to get. After listening to many of the Parcharks, one gets confused that if Hindu Gods like Ramchandra, Krishna etc. were so perfect then what was the need for innumerable sacrifices made by Gurus to create another Religion. To dispel my own confusion, I did this small research. Whatever I understood, I shared with you. Actually, the situation is so grave that even today we don’t have a Gurbani Translation that is 100% in line with the basic philosophy. Yes, few good efforts are definitely being made recently.
So, I made two basic learnings from this research. First, Characters of Hindu Mythology are not divine creatures but the prominent characters of Hindu Mythology and a tyrant History of Aryan oppression on native Indian tribes. Gurbani authenticates this point at various places and if confusion still persists, it is due to people who are translating or interpreting it wrongly, knowingly or unknowingly. If one keeps this fact in mind while understanding Gurbani then one will be able to get the essence of Gurbani correctly. Secondly, every single human being living on this planet belongs to the same species known as Homo-Sapiens. The Sikhs who feel proud of their Surnames & Castes, logically, they are believers of Brahman’s Varnashrama Dharma and definitely not followers of Sikh Philosophy. Considering centuries old sundry tribal lords as some Divine Creatures and thinking oneself as superior to someone on the basis of caste, it is a sheer case of Betrayal with the Guru.
ਨੀਚਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਨੀਚ ਜਾਤਿ ਨੀਚੀ ਹੂ ਅਤਿ ਨੀਚੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਿਨ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਥਿ ਵਡਿਆ ਸਿਉ ਕਿਆ ਰੀਸ ॥
ਜਿਥੈ ਨੀਚ ਸਮਾਲੀਅਨਿ ਤਿਥੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਖਸੀਸ ॥੪॥੩॥
(Nanak will stand by the lowest, not with the elite.
Societies that take care of the downtrodden have the blessing of God.)