Gurbani : on Mantras – Incantations

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In Hindu Dharma it is accepted that many purposes can be achieved through Mantras performed in specific ways. For example:

Through Mantras one can achieve occult powers, defeat enemies, control gods and get what one desires. (Mantar Mahodadhi and Mahan Nirban Tantra)

He who worships Greh (demons controlling omens) daily is free of disease, gets lots of health, becomes capable of having hundred relations with hundred women and has a long life. (Brihat Prasir Sanhita, Ch. 9)

According to Gurmat these are just superstitions and are of no avail.

ਤੰਤ੝ ਮੰਤ੝ ਪਾਖੰਡ੝ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਰਾਮ੝ ਰਿਦੈ ਮਨ੝ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥

I know nothing of Tantric spells, magical mantras and hypocritical rituals; enshrining the Lord within my heart, my mind is satisfied. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 766)

ਮਨਮ੝ਖਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭਵੈ ਬੇਬਾਣਿ ॥ ਵੇਮਾਰਗਿ ਮੂਸੈ ਮੰਤ੝ਰਿ ਮਸਾਣਿ ॥

ਸਬਦ੝ ਨ ਚੀਨੈ ਲਵੈ ਕ੝ਬਾਣਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸ੝ਖ੝ ਜਾਣਿ ॥26॥

The manmukhs are confused by doubt, wandering in the wilderness. Having lost their way, they are plundered; they chant their mantras at cremation grounds. They do not think of the Shabad; instead, they utter obscenities. O Nanak, those who are attuned to the Truth know peace. ||26|| (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 940)

ਨਾਨਕ ਉਧਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਪ੝ਨਹਚਾਰ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਰਮ ਲੋਕਹ ਪਤੀਆਰ ॥4॥12॥25॥

Nanak is saved through the atonement of the Naam. Other actions are just to please and appease the people. ||4||12||25|| (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1142)

ਸਤ੝ ਸੰਤੋਖ੝ ਦਇਆ ਧਰਮ੝ ਸ੝ਚਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਤੇ ਇਹ੝ ਮੰਤ੝ ਲਈ ॥

Truth, contentment, compassion, Dharmic faith and purity - I have received these from the Teachings of the Saints. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 822)

On the subject of superstitions Bhai Gurdas Ji writes:

ਰਿਧ ਸਿਧ ਨਿਧ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਬਹ੝ ਤੰਤ੝ਰ ਮੰਤ੝ਰ ਨਾਟਕ ਅਗਲੇਰੇ ॥

ਬੀਰਾਰਾਧਣ ਜੋਗਣੀ ਮੜ੝ਹੀ ਮਸਾਣ ਵਿਡਾਣ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥……

ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਗ੝ਰ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਵਿਣ ਥਾਉਂ ਨ ਪਾਇਣ ਭਲੇ ਭਲੇਰੇ ॥

ਕੂੜ ਇਕ ਗੰਢੀ ਸੌ ਫੇਰੇ ॥7॥

Incantations and spells ultimately turn out to be hypocritical plays. The worship of the fifty-two heroes, of the eight yoginis of cemeteries and of places of cremation leads to whopping dissimulation……But without the holy congregation of the saints and the recitation of the Guru- sabad even the very good person cannot find acceptance. The superstitions bind themselves with a hundred knots of falsehood. (Vaar 5)

ਤੰਤ੝ਰ ਮੰਤ੝ਰ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਕਰ ਕਲਹ ਕ੝ਰੋਧ ਬਹ੝ ਵਾਧ ਵਧਾਵੈ ॥……

ਫੋਕਟ ਧਰਮੀ ਭਰਮ ਭ੝ਲਾਵੈ ॥18॥

Due to the tantra mantra and such hierocracies, the tensions anger and quarrels have been increased……These all are religious hypocrisies and are tossing in delusions. (Vaar 1)

ਤੰਤ ਮੰਤ ਰਾਸਾਇਣਾ ਕਰਾਮਾਤ ਕਾਲਖ ਲਪਟਾਝ ॥ ਕਲਿਜ੝ਗ ਅੰਦਰ ਭਰਮ ਭ੝ਲਾਝ ॥19॥

Alchemy, tantra, mantra and miracles became everything for people. They all were deluded by kaliyug. (Vaar 1)

ਧ੝ਰਿਗ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਗ੝ਰ ਸਬਦ ਵਿਣ੝ ਹੋਰ ਮੰਤ੝ਰ ਸਿਮਰਣੀ ॥10॥

Cursed is the tongue that recites any other mantra except the Word of the Guru. (Vaar 1)

ਤੰਤ ਮੰਤ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਲਖ ਬਾਜੀਗਰ ਬਾਜਾਰੀ ਨੰਗੈ॥……ਗ੝ਰਸਿਖ੝ ਦੂਜੇ ਭਾਵਹ੝ ਸੰਗੈ ॥2॥

Those who practice Jantras they are show men without shame. Guru’s Sikh is always shy of attachment to the other. (Vaar 28)

It is written in Dubistan Mazahib.

ਸਿਖ ਹਿੰਦੂਆਂ ਦੇ ਮੰਤ੝ਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਪੜ੝ਹਦੇ ਔਰ ਸੰਸਕ੝ਰਿਤ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ਨਾਲ, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਬ੝ਰਾਹਮਣ ਦੇਵਤਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਆਖਦੇ ਹਨ, ਕ੝ਛ ਸਰੋਕਾਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਰੱਖਦੇ ।

Sikhs do not read Mantras of the Hindus. They have no relation with the Sanskrit language which is considered the language of the gods by the Brahmins.

On the subject of omens and curses this is the position of the Sikh religion:

ਸੂਖ ਸਹਜ ਆਨਦ੝ ਘਣਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨ੝ ਗਾਉ ॥

ਗਰਹ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰੂ ਦੇ ਅਪਣਾ ਨਾਉ ॥1॥

Peace, celestial poise and absolute bliss are obtained, singing the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises. Bestowing His Name, the True Guru removes the evil omens. ||1|| (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 400)

Bhai Gurdas Ji writes on this subject:

ਗ੝ਰਸਿਖ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਪ ਕੋ ਪ੝ਰਤਾਪ ਝਸੋ ॥

ਪਤਬ੝ਰਤ ਝਕ ਟੇਕ ਦ੝ਬਿਧਾ ਨਿਵਾਰੀ ਹੈ ॥

ਪੂਛਤ ਨ ਜੋਤਕ ਅਉ ਬੇਦ ਥਿਤਿ ਬਾਰ ਕਛ੝॥

ਗ੝ਰਿਹ ਅਉ ਨਖਤ੝ਰ ਕੀ ਨ ਸੰਕਾ ਉਰਧਾਰੀ ਹੈ ॥

Such is the blessing of the saint-congregation of the True Guru. Like the devoted bride, one seeks support of the One and gives up all duality. Then one does not inquire about astrology, Vedas and auspicious days or directions. (Kabit by Bhai Gurdas Ji)

Therefore, it is perfectly clear that Gurbani condemns the superstition of mantras.