Grist marg

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In India before the advent of Guru Nanak, the life of the ascetic was regarded as the best way to connect to God. However, Guru Nanak changed that by saying that the life of the householder, that the path of the life of a householder Grist Marg was the preferred route to attain the highest level of spirituality.

Guru Nanak taught that the ideal householder life is spent in selflessly carrying out one's duties to family and society while at all times remembering God and serving the His saints; engaged in gainful labour one is to nurture ones family; take care of the local community and protect the weak.


Sikhism is a monotheistic faith - it teaches that there is only one God; who is not subject to time or space; who is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the Universe and everything in it.

Moreover in Sikhism, ethics and religion go together. The inculcation of moral qualities and the practice of virtue in everyday life is a vital step towards spiritual development. Qualities like honesty, compassion, generosity, patience, humility etc. can be built up only by effort and perseverance. The lives of the Gurus show how they lived their lives according to their code of ethics.

Sikhism does not believe in Avtarvada, that God takes a human form. It does not attach any value to gods and goddesses and other deities.

The Sikh religion rejects all rituals and routine practices like fasting and pilgrimage, omens and austerities. The goal of human life to merge with God is accomplished by following the teachings of the Guru, by meditation on the holy Name and performance of acts of service and charity.

Sikhism emphasizes Bhakti Marg or the path of devotion. It does, however, recognizes the limited value of Gyan Marg(Path of Knowledge) and Karam Marg(Path of Action). It also lays stress on the need for earning God's Grace in order to reach the spiritual goal.

Sikhism is a modern, logical, and practical religion. It believes that normal family-life(Grist) is no barrier to salvation. That it is possible to live detached in the midst of worldly ills and temptations. A devotee must live in the world and yet keep his head above the usual tensions and turmoils. He must be a soldier, scholar and saint for God.

The Gurus believed that this life has a purpose and a goal. It offers an opportunity for self and God realization. Moreover man is responsible for his own actions. He cannot claim immunity from the results of his actions. He must therefore be very vigilant in what he does. Finally, the Sikh Scripture (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) is the perpetual Guru. This is the only religion which has given the Holy Book the status of a religious preceptor. There is no place for a living human Guru (Dehdhari) in Sikh religion.


ਇਸ੝ ਭੇਖੈ ਥਾਵਹ੝ ਗਿਰਹੋ ਭਲਾ ਜਿਥਹ੝ ਕੋ ਵਰਸਾਇ ॥
Is bẖekẖai thĝvhu girho bẖalĝ jithahu ko varsĝ▫e.
Instead of wearing these beggar's robes, it is better to be a householder, and give to others.

ਸੋ ਗਿਰਹੀ ਜੋ ਨਿਗ੝ਰਹ੝ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਜਪ੝ ਤਪ੝ ਸੰਜਮ੝ ਭੀਖਿਆ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਪ੝ੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਕਾ ਕਰੇ ਸਰੀਰ੝ ॥ ਸੋ ਗਿਰਹੀ ਗੰਗਾ ਕਾ ਨੀਰ੝ ॥
So girhī jo nigarahu karai. Jap ṯap sanjam bẖīkẖi▫ĝ karai. Punn ḝĝn kĝ kare sarīr. So girhī gangĝ kĝ nīr.
He alone is a householder, who restrains his passions

and begs for meditation, austerity and self-discipline. He gives donations to charity with his body; such a householder is as pure as the water of the Ganges.

ਕਬੀਰ ਜਉ ਗ੝ਰਿਹ੝ ਕਰਹਿ ਤ ਧਰਮ੝ ਕਰ੝ ਨਾਹੀ ਤ ਕਰ੝ ਬੈਰਾਗ੝ ॥ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ਬੰਧਨ੝ ਕਰੈ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਬਡੋ ਅਭਾਗ੝ ॥੨੪੩॥
Kabīr ja▫o garihu karahi ṯa ḝẖaram kar nĝhī ṯa kar bairĝg. Bairĝgī banḝẖan karai ṯĝ ko bado abẖĝg. (243)
Kabeer, if you live the householder's life, then practice righteousness; otherwise, you might as well retire from the world.

If someone renounces the world, and then gets involved in worldly entanglements, he shall suffer terrible misfortune. (243)