Never beg from others

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'Beg' only, before your One True Master!

For a true Sikh who walks on the path of Dharam (righteousness), it is not permitted to wander around begging from others; the Guru tells us: "Those who walk in the Will of the True Guru, never wander begging (2)" (SGGS p 729).

The only begging should be from the Almighty Lord:

Gurbani confirms, "Beg from the One Lord, the Great Giver, and you shall obtain your heart's desires. But if you beg from another, then you shall be shamed and destroyed" (SGGS p 590).

So never go asking for donations from anyone; ask and do ardas to the Almighty and if He desires, your needs in this respect will be fulfilled; if not, then don't waste your time begging elsewhere; live in His hukam; make every effort to do good but only have ultimate faith in the One Lord!

Further, if any wandering ascetic or recluse goes around begging, the Guru tells us not "to touch his or her feet" (ie: do not entertain them as spiritual teachers). The Guru tells us clearly: "One who calls himself a guru or a spiritual teacher, while he goes around begging - don't ever touch his feet" (SGGS p 1245).

However, if anyone turns up asking for donations - think twice, remember the story of Sachcha Sauda - if they seem hungry, provide them with some food or water, after all Wand kay Shako is one of the three pillars of Guru Nanak Dev's teachings. Perhaps, even remind them of Langar, but never accept any spiritual advice from them.

The Guru gives us clear guidance: "Cursed is the life, and cursed are the clothes, of one who wanders around, begging from door to door" (SGGS p 550).

God understands our plight

"He sees, He hears, and without our asking, without our begging, He gives His gifts. The Great Giver, the Architect of the Universe, gives His gifts. O Nanak, He is the True Lord" (SGGS p 766). Here the Guru informs us that the Lord is aware of our real needs; "He See, He hears.." meaning that God can see our situation and hear what is going on around us; He is aware of our plight; He does realise our situation; "... without our asking, without our begging, He gives His gifts" - we do not have to ask or beg from Him; He continues to bless us.

Merciful Lord blesses us all

He is a merciful God; He knows what we truly need! "The Fearless Lord is forever Merciful; He takes care of all. O Nanak, the Gurmukh understands, and finds the Door of Liberation.(5)(3)(36)" (SGGS p 27) Gurmukhs have faith and trust in the Almighty and they are well aware that through hard work and Waheguru's kirpa (blessings or Nadar), everyone is taken care of.

Knowing our situation (despite the fact we may not have remembered Him or done anything useful for Him, He still takes care of us all: "The Expansive Lord God is Merciful to all beings.(3)" (SGGS p 198) and He takes care of us as Guru Nanak explains - "O Nanak, the One who created the creation - He alone takes care of it" (SGGS p 157). Remember that Ultimately, He alone takes care of us!

Summary of what Gurbani tells us

Gurbani tells us the following in clear terms with respect to the act of begging and the way to interact with wandering Sadhus:

  • Never go around begging from others.
  • Always ask for your needs from the Almighy Lord only!
  • Be wary of Sadhus who come begging from you!
  • Never consider Sadhus or Rishis who come asking for money, worthy of giving you spiritual guidance.
  • Feed Sadhus if they look hungry, remind them of Langar, what better place can they learn about Sikhi.
  • If they choose to beg for their food; how can they guide you?

Gurbani

ਹਰਿ ਇਕੋ ਦਾਤਾ ਮੰਗੀਝ ਮਨ ਚਿੰਦਿਆ ਪਾਈਝ ॥ ਜੇ ਦੂਜੇ ਪਾਸਹ੝ ਮੰਗੀਝ ਤਾ ਲਾਜ ਮਰਾਈਝ ॥
Har iko ḝĝṯĝ mangī▫ai man cẖinḝi▫ĝ pĝ▫ī▫ai. Je ḝūje pĝshu mangī▫ai ṯĝ lĝj marĝ▫ī▫ai.
Beg from the One Lord, the Great Giver, and you shall obtain your heart's desires.

But if you beg from another, then you shall be shamed and destroyed.

ਮੰਨੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਵਹਿ ਨ ਭਿਖ ॥

मंनै नानक भवहि न भिख ॥

Mannai Nĝnak bẖavahi na bẖikẖ.
The faithful, O Nanak, do not wander around begging.
ਚਾਲਹਿ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰ ਭਾਇ ਭਵਹਿ ਨ ਭੀਖਿਆ ॥੨॥

चालहि सतिगढ़र भाइ भवहि न भीखिआ ॥२॥

Cẖĝlėh saṯgur bẖĝ▫e bẖavėh na bẖīkẖi▫ĝ.(2)
Those who walk in the Will of the True Guru, never wander begging.(2)
ਜੇ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਹੰਢੈ ਮੰਗਦਾ ਧਿਗ੝ ਜੀਵਣ੝ ਧਿਗ੝ ਵੇਸ੝ ॥

जे घरि घरि हंढै मंगदा धिगढ़ जीवणढ़ धिगढ़ वेसढ़ ॥

Je gẖar gẖar handẖai mangḝĝ ḝẖig jīvaṇ ḝẖig ves.
Cursed is the life, and cursed are the clothes, of one who wanders around, begging from door to door.
ਗ੝ਰ੝ ਪੀਰ੝ ਸਦਾਝ ਮੰਗਣ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਲਗੀਝ ਪਾਇ ॥
Gur pīr saḝĝ▫e mangaṇ jĝ▫e. Ŧĝ kai mūl na lagī▫ai pĝ▫e.
One who calls himself a guru or a spiritual teacher, while he goes around begging - don't ever touch his feet.
ਸ੝ਣੇ ਦੇਖੇ ਬਾਝ੝ ਕਹਿਝ ਦਾਨ੝ ਅਣਮੰਗਿਆ ਦਿਵੈ ॥ ਦਾਨ੝ ਦੇਇ ਦਾਤਾ ਜਗਿ ਬਿਧਾਤਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚ੝ ਸੋਈ ॥
Suṇe ḝekẖe bĝjẖ kahi▫ai ḝĝn aṇmangi▫ĝ ḝivai. Ḏĝn ḝe▫e ḝĝṯĝ jag biḝẖĝṯĝ nĝnkĝ sacẖ so▫ī.
He sees, He hears, and without our asking, without our begging, He gives His gifts.

The Great Giver, the Architect of the Universe, gives His gifts. O Nanak, He is the True Lord.

ਛਾਦਨ੝ ਭੋਜਨ੝ ਮਾਗਤ੝ ਭਾਗੈ ॥ ਖ੝ਧਿਆ ਦ੝ਸਟ ਜਲੈ ਦ੝ਖ੝ ਆਗੈ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਮਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਲੀਨੀ ਦ੝ਰਮਤਿ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਈ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਮਤਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਨ੝ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥
Cẖẖĝḝan bẖojan mĝgaṯ bẖĝgai. Kẖuḝẖi▫ĝ ḝusat jalai ḝukẖ ĝgai. Gurmaṯ nahī līnī ḝurmaṯ paṯ kẖo▫ī. Gurmaṯ bẖagaṯ pĝvai jan ko▫ī.(1)
He runs around, begging for clothes and food.

He burns with hunger and corruption, and will suffer in the world hereafter. He does not follow the Guru's Teachings; through his evil-mindedness, he loses his honor. Only through the Guru's Teachings will such a person become devoted.(1)


ਪਉੜੀ ॥

ਤੂ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਆਪਿ ਆਪਿ ਹੈ ਆਪਿ ਕਾਰਣ੝ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਤੂ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ੝ ਹੈ ਕੋ ਅਵਰ੝ ਨ ਬੀਆ ॥
ਤੂ ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਸਮਰਥ੝ ਹੈ ਤੂ ਕਰਹਿ ਸ੝ ਥੀਆ ॥ ਤੂ ਅਣਮੰਗਿਆ ਦਾਨ੝ ਦੇਵਣਾ ਸਭਨਾਹਾ ਜੀਆ ॥
ਸਭਿ ਆਖਹ੝ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰ੝ ਵਾਹ੝ ਵਾਹ੝ ਜਿਨਿ ਦਾਨ੝ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ਮ੝ਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥੧॥

Pa▫oṛī.

Ŧū ĝpe hī ĝp ĝp hai ĝp kĝraṇ kī▫ĝ. Ŧū ĝpe ĝp nirankĝr hai ko avar na bī▫ĝ.
Ŧū karaṇ kĝraṇ samrath hai ṯū karahi so thī▫ĝ. Ŧū aṇmangi▫ĝ ḝĝn ḝevṇĝ sabẖnĝhĝ jī▫ĝ.
Sabẖ ĝkẖahu saṯgur vĝhu vĝhu jin ḝĝn har nĝm mukẖ ḝī▫ĝ.(1)

Pauree:

You Yourself are Yourself, all by Yourself; You Yourself created the creation. You Yourself are Yourself the Formless Lord; there is no other than You.
You are the all-powerful Cause of causes; what You do, comes to be. You give gifts to all beings, without their asking.
Everyone proclaims, "Waaho! Waaho! Blessed, blessed is the True Guru, who has given the supreme gift of the Name of the Lord.(1)


More deeper thought from Gurbani

ਧਰਮੀ ਧਰਮ੝ ਕਰਹਿ ਗਾਵਾਵਹਿ ਮੰਗਹਿ ਮੋਖ ਦ੝ਆਰ੝ ॥

धरमी धरमढ़ करहि गावावहि मंगहि मोख दढ़आरढ़ ॥

Ḏẖarmī ḝẖaram karahi gĝvĝvėh mangėh mokẖ ḝu▫ĝr.
The righteous waste their righteousness, by asking for the door of salvation.
ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡ੝ ਸਭ੝ ਤਿਸ ਦਾ ਦੇ ਖਾਜੈ ਆਖਿ ਗਵਾਈਝ ॥ ਜੇ ਲੋੜਹਿ ਚੰਗਾ ਆਪਣਾ ਕਰਿ ਪ੝ੰਨਹ੝ ਨੀਚ੝ ਸਦਾਈਝ ॥
Jī▫o pind sabẖ ṯis ḝĝ ḝe kẖĝjai ĝkẖ gavĝ▫ī▫ai. Je loṛėh cẖanga ĝpṇĝ kar punnhu nīcẖ saḝĝ▫ī▫ai.
Soul and body all belong to Him; asking Him to give us sustenance is a waste.

If you yearn for goodness, then perform good deeds and feel humble.

ਝਹ ਕਿਨੇਹੀ ਦਾਤਿ ਆਪਸ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਪਾਈਝ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾ ਕਰਮਾਤਿ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਤ੝ਠੈ ਜੋ ਮਿਲੈ ॥੧॥
Ėh kinehī ḝĝṯ ĝpas ṯe jo pĝ▫ī▫ai. Nĝnak sĝ karmĝṯ sĝhib ṯuṯẖai jo milai.(1)
What sort of gift is this, which we receive only by our own asking?

O Nanak, that is the most wonderful gift, which is received from the Lord, when He is totally pleased.(1)

See also