Was Bhagat Dhanna Idolator?

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ਧੰਨੈ ਧਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਧਰਣੀਧਰੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਨ ਸੰਤ ਸਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੪॥੧॥

Was Bhagat Dhanna Idolator!!!! is Sikhiwiki Khoj article regarding a story which people have attached with Bhagat dhanna but it have no relation with philosphy preached by Guru Granth Sahib.

Story of Dhanna's Idol Worship

A Story found in few historical books incl. Bhai Gurdas Vaars, is that Bhagat Dhanna found God in an Idol. Sikhiwiki is giving that story in brief:

Once Dhanna met Pundit and Pundit gave him idol and said that it's Thakur(God) and you would have to worship it and would give him food, once god will come out of this idol and eat the food only then you take the food. Dhanna prepared food and kept before stone. He waited for god to come out of stone. He haven't took food for three days, he became weak. Watching all this Waheguru came out of Stone and ate food with Dhanna and blessed him.

Bhai Gurdas Vaar claims he was idolator

Bhai Gurdas wrote about dhanna way of attainment of god in vaar 5, Pauri 7 Line 7:

ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣ ਪੂਜੈ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਧੰਨਾ ਗਊ ਚਰਾਵਣ ਆਵੈ।
A brahman would worship gods (in the form of stone idols) where Dhanna used to graze his cow.

ਧੰਨੈ ਡਿਠਾ ਚਲਿਤੁ ਏਹੁ ਪੁਛੈ ਬਾਮ੍ਹਣੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ।
On seeing his worship, Dhanna asked the brahman what he was doing.

ਠਾਕੁਰ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰੈ ਜੋ ਇਛੈ ਸੋਈ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ।
“Service to the Thakur (God) gives the desired fruit,” replied the brahman.

ਧੰਨਾ ਕਰਦਾ ਜੋਦੜੀ ਮੈ ਭਿ ਦੇਹ ਇਕ ਜੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ।
Dhanna requested, “O brahman, if you agree kindly give one to me.”

ਪਥਰੁ ਇਕ ਲਪੇਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇ ਧੰਨੈ ਨੋ ਗੈਲ ਛੁਡਾਵੈ।
The brahman rolled a stone, gave it to Dhanna and thus got rid of him.

ਠਾਕੁਰ ਨੋ ਨ੍ਹਾਵਾਲਿਕੈ ਛਾਹਿ ਰੋਟੀ ਲੈ ਭੋਗੁ ਚੜ੍ਹਾਵੈ।
Dhanna bathed the Thakur and offered him bread and buttermilk.

ਹਥਿ ਜੋੜਿ ਮਿਨਤਾਂ ਕਰੈ ਪੈਰੀਂ ਪੈ ਪੈ ਬਹੁਤ ਮਨਾਵੈ।
With folded hands and falling at the feet of the stone he begged for his service to be accepted.

ਹਉਂ ਭੀ ਮੁਹੁ ਨ ਜੁਠਾਲਸਾਂ ਤੂ ਰੁਠਾ ਮੈ ਕਿਹੁ ਨ ਸੁਖਾਵੈ।
Dhanna said, “I will also not eat because how can I be happy if you are annoyed.”

ਗੋਸਾਈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਹੋਇ ਰੋਟੀ ਖਾਇ ਛਾਹਿ ਮੁਹਿ ਲਾਵੈ।
(Seeing his true and loving devotion) God was forced to appear and eat his bread and buttermilk.

ਭੋਲਾ ਭਾਉ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਮਿਲਾਵੈ ॥੧੩॥
In fact, innocence like that of Dhanna makes the sight of the Lord available.

Bhai Gurdas Claims that Bhagat Dhanna did worship of Stone whom he call Thakur. Dhanna performed various rituals like Bathing that Stone and waiting got coming out of stone and take his food. At Last watching Dhanna found god in Stone.

Stone Worship is condenmed in Sikhism, in Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth. Check Idol Worship article for more details.

Dhanna own's view on his Attainment of God

Every writer of Guru Granth Sahib have mentioned the way they attained liberation and their situation after they understand Hukam(Supreme Command) and their soul. Some of them also explained their past experiences, when they were engulped in Maya and in company of falsehood were living a raw life.

Was Bhagat Dhanna an Idolator?

In Gurbani, Dhanna explained some facts about his life and previous lives:

ਭ੝ਰਮਤ ਫਿਰਤ ਬਹ੝ ਜਨਮ ਬਿਲਾਨੇ ਤਨ੝ ਮਨ੝ ਧਨ੝ ਨਹੀ ਧੀਰੇ ॥
I wandered through countless incarnations, but mind, body and wealth never remain stable.

ਬਿਖ੝ ਫਲ ਮੀਠ ਲਗੇ ਮਨ ਬਉਰੇ ਚਾਰ ਬਿਚਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥
The poisonous fruit seems sweet to the demented mind, which does not know the difference between good and evil.

ਗ੝ਨ ਤੇ ਪ੝ਰੀਤਿ ਬਢੀ ਅਨ ਭਾਂਤੀ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਫਿਰਿ ਤਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥
Turning away from virtue, his love for other things increases, and he weaves again the web of birth and death. ||1||

Dhanna also explained that he as not able to know some Jugti(Way) to attain God. In previous carnations and even in this carnation he was not able to know about lord and was happy with poisnous fruits(False Beliefs). This Idol worship is one of the poisnous fruits given by false hindu priests who were away from knowledge of vedas and Truth.

ਜ੝ਗਤਿ ਜਾਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਰਿਦੈ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਜਲਤ ਜਾਲ ਜਮ ਫੰਧ ਪਰੇ ॥
He does not know the way to the Lord, who dwells within his heart; burning in the trap, he is caught by the noose of death.

ਬਿਖ੝ ਫਲ ਸੰਚਿ ਭਰੇ ਮਨ ਝਸੇ ਪਰਮ ਪ੝ਰਖ ਪ੝ਰਭ ਮਨ ਬਿਸਰੇ ॥੨॥
Gathering the poisonous fruits, he fills his mind with them, and he forgets God, the Supreme Being, from his mind. ||2||

Now Dhanna cleared in next lines how he was able to attain lord...

  • Dhanna attain God through Spiritual Wisdom in company of Holy Saints. Dhanna clear it himself:

ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਵੇਸੁ ਗੁਰਹਿ ਧਨੁ ਦੀਆ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਾਨੁ ਮਨ ਏਕ ਮਏ ॥
The Guru has given the wealth of spiritual wisdom; practicing meditation, the mind becomes one with Him.

ਧੰਨੈ ਧਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਧਰਣੀਧਰੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਨ ਸੰਤ ਸਮਾਨਿਆ ॥੪॥੧॥
Dhanna has obtained the Lord, the Sustainer of the World, as his wealth; meeting the humble Saints, he merges in the Lord. ||4||1||

Bhagat Dhanna opposes view of Stories in History and Bhai Gurdas Vaar, speaking about Dhanna worship.

Guru Ram Dass on Dhanna's Worship

Guru Ram Das also claims that Dhanna worshiped god after attaining spiritual wisdom but not Stones/Idols.

ਜੋ ਜੋ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਾਧੂ ਜਨ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨਾ ਜਟੁ ਸੈਣੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਦਈਆ ॥੭॥
blessed Dhanna and Sain; all those who joined the humble Saadh Sangat, met the Merciful Lord. ||7|| (Guru Ram Dass)

Questions of Wisdom

  • No Gurus and Early Devotees Supported Idol Worship. How could Fifth Guru keep Bani of Such Devotee who is a idolator which does not include in Sikh way of life. Nowhere in Guru Granth Sahib, Idol worship is promoted but it is demoted to greater extent.
  • If this technique of remaining hungry and serving food to stone is so successful then Gurus and Devotees should accept this technique as it is easy to reach god. Sikhism teaches us controlling out mind, purify the thoughts and soul and searching god from inside, which does not match with dhanna's worship, as told in histories.
  • Why not Dhanna himself told about his attainment, is Bhagat Dhanna lying??
  • Idol is Maya, Worldly, created by Man itself. Self Realisation is way to realisation of god. If a person remain stick to idols he is BLIND, as per gurbani. Person himself makes an idol(Creator) and he put garland in it's neck and starts belling before it. Wisdom says that God is in your heart, don't bound yourself with idol.

Treatment to Stories

For a Gurmukh, who follows philosphy of Guru Granth Sahib, should not blindly follow any stories,especially when opposing Gurbani. In Past much of such anti gurmat text is included in sikh belief and is promoted by preachers with high esteem includes vaar of bhai gurdas which does not seems to be his creation as he was who wrote whole granth and he could not write such anti Gurbani story.

So Better to study from Guru Granth Sahib to understand More about it's philosphy which could help you top attain spiritual wisdom and will not confuse you at any part.