- Sep 16, 2004
DISTURBING MIS-USE OF THE WORD "SANT" ... (By Navjot Singh)
Sa'ntan Mo Kao Har(i) Marag Paiya ||
Saadh Kirpaal(i) Har(i) Sung Gijhaiya ||
Har(i) HamraHam Har(i) kay Dasay Nanak Shabad Guru Sach Dinna Jeeo|| 4||14||21|| [Page 100]
Sant Kirpa Tay Mitay Moh Bharam ||
Saadh RayNN Majan Sabh(i) Dharam || [GauRRi Guararee, page 183]
Mittay A'ndaysia Ha(n) || Sant Updaysia Meray Mana ||1||4||160|| [page 410]
J(a) WadBhag Hoveh Mukh(i) Mastak Har(i) Naam Jana Bheyta'ay ||
Darsan Sant Deho Kar(i) Kirpa Sabh(u) Daldh(u) Dukh(u) Leh Jaa'ey||2||2|| 
In all of the above GurbaNNi verses, the word "Sant" or "Saadh" is meant only for Guru Sahib Ji. In fact in all of GurbaNNi whenever the word "Sant" is used in the singular form, it is meant only for Guru Sahib. In the plural form, it is meant for all GurSikhs in general, but never for an individual. These interpretations are accepted by all prominent Scholars of the Khalsa Panth, but then why is this word, "Sant", so widely mis-used ?
Even Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (as he should be called) used to say that he was not a "Sant", and people were always pasting this title on him.
The word that was only to be used for Guru Sahib in the singular form, and for all GurSikhs in the plural form, has now become a TITLE (Khittab) that has not only lost its original meaning, but has brought on many of the ills into our community.
In August edition of "Sura" magazine a brief article on this subject by Giani Gurditt Singh Ji (Singh Sabha) was printed. Appropriately it was titled : "Panthak Eakta Day JaaRRi(n) Paleetay". It criticized the mis-use of this word, and the dangers to Panthic Unity with its mis-use. Giani Ji, mentioned that the mis-use of this word started in the last century when people began to refer to the respectable Baba Attar Singh Ji (Mastuanna) as "Sant Ji", "Sant Ji Maharaj", and so on. Thereafter, to most of the Sikh public, he was known as "Sant Attar Singh Ji Mastuannaywale." The mis-use of this word quickly spread throughout the Panth, unfortunately, now it is not too uncommon to see a so-called "Sant" in every village in Punjab. The illiterate, rural Sikhs, venerate these individuals to the point of GuruShip. In actuality, it can be said that these individuals, are not Sikhs (disciples) of Guru Granth Sahib, but of these so-called "Sants."
In Dasam Patshah's BaNNi there is a verse describing such a situation :
"Ghar(i) Ghar(i) Hoey B'Hayngey Rama"
Bhai Randhir Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter and mystical theologian, who was one of the only individuals to receive HukamNamahs from all (then) four Takahts was staunchly against the mis-use of the word "Sant.", and refused to be called a Sant throughout his life. In his book titled "Sant Padd NirNNay" he dwells into detail, the use of words like Sant, Saaadh, Sadhoo, and Bhagat, in GurbaNNi, and their proper interpretation.
Referring to the "Sant" situation, Bhai Sahib states:
"..Guru Panth da eh Lazzmi Faraz hai Ki Ohna Noo(n) Is Sant-Dumbtta di Bimmaree [disease] toa(n) HuNN Toa(n) Aroagatt [cure] Keeta Javay"
Yes this has become a disease that has infested almost all the Jathaybandis of our Panth, and we must rid the Panth of this disease, otherwise it will rot us all..
Looking a little deeper into such Jathaybandies, one finds that along with the title SANT, a so-called "Gaddee" is passed on from "Sant" to "Sant", just as the Kookays, and the Nirankaris passed on their "GuruShip" to their successors. IS THIS GURMAT, OR PURE BRAHMANISM AT ITS PEAK !!!!
It is as Guru Sahib said : "Bipran Ki Reet"
If we look closely at the derays of these "Sants" we will not be surprised to see many worthless rituals and practices borrowed from Nirmalas and Hindu ascetics
There exists an "elitist" organization called the "Sant-Smaj", reportedly , it comprises of dozens and dozens of these so-called "Sants." The Panth needs to be more vigilant about the motives of such organizations. What is their purpose in the Panth, why are they trying to validate their existence as "Sants" ?
Does an individual in the Sikh Panth have the right to hold this TITLE ? Absolutely not, according to GurbaNNi all GurSikhs are equal, no one is higher or lower. There are no ranks in the Panth. We are all Bhais, with equal status and respect for all.
Have we ever thought :
Who gave them the "privilege" to be called "Sants" ?
What is their relationship to their chalays, as compared to Guru Sahib and "normal" GurSikhs?
Why is there a need for them to be called a "Sant" ?
Why do so many of them have links to GOI politicians ?
Are they spiritually higher than GurSikhs like Bhai Gurdas Ji, Baba Ajit Singh Ji, Baba Jujhar Singh Ji, Baba Fateh Singh Ji, Baba Joravar Singh Ji, Bhai Nand Singh Ji, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Baba Deep Singh Ji, and Akali Phula Singh Ji ?
Why has this word been so much mis-used ? When will we put a stop to its mis-use ?
These are important questions that we in the Panth will eventually have to answer.
It is sad to see GurSikhs who once believed in non other than Guru Granth Sahib, start chanting "Sant Ji Maharaj", "Mahapurakh, BrahmGyani this and that" all day and night after having the "Sangat" of such individuals. As GurSikhs we are told that we must not do Ustat or Nindiya of anyone. The only Ustat we should do is of Akal Purakh Sahib and Guru Sahib Ji. Those individuals, who day and night praise these so-called "Sants", are going against the Guru's Hukams. Rather than bringing the public closer to Guru Sahib these "Sants" have done just the opposite. Those poor individuals who become their followers start having more faith in these "Sants" than in Guru Sahib. These "Sants" not only know that this is happening but encourage it, this is very disturbing.
There is a verse in Asa-Di-Var that describes the fate of individuals who challenge the Guru's Timeless Authority :
Khassmai Karay Barabree, Phir(i) Garirat(i) Unther(i) Pai'ay|| [page 874] As stated before many of these "Sants" have the auspicious of GOI, we as Sikhs have a right to question these individuals and their followers as to why they are called "Sants", Sikh organizations, Gurdwaras, and the general public, should openly boycott them and challenge their fake TITLES. Remember the issue hear is not necessarily the individuals themselves, but the mis-use of the word "SANT." Not only is its mis-use disturbing to our society, but it is entirely against GURMAT.