Havan - hōm, Continued

The Guru Granth Sahib is a spiritual teacher that uses the medium of poetry. A common technique is to compare and contrast spiritual methods and everyday life works with the caveat that "You may do XYZ....but for one's spiritual fulfillment, it is nothing compared to naam simran/meditation on the lord"

Guru Granth Sahib Ji indeed uses the medium of poetry. Guru Ji does use comparison to get teachings across to us, and ultimately the one thing stressed on every Ang is that Naam Simran is superior.

ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥

Chanting the Name of the Lord is the highest religion.

Indeed, the Khalsa home as was traditionally practiced is not a core ritual that Sikhs substituted for naam simran/ recitation of Gurbani - it was an to ancillary practice used 1) invoke power before battle 2) alongside recitation of Gurbani in the standard way. So how can it be "opposed" to the message of the Guru Granth Sahib?

Hom was not a substitute for Naam Simran, and it shouldn't be, as stressed by Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In regards to hom being conducted before battle to invoke power, I have heard this in regards to Baba Deep Singh Ji, and before one battle with Abdali. Hom is conducted by Naamdharis who recite Bani and some Nihangs who recite Brahmkavach.

Granted, using the term 'opposed' was a mistake. 'Opposed' was used with the idea of sharing my view, the supposed 'opposing' view of what was being shared.

Does chaur seva, bowing to the Guru Granth Sahib, or adorning it in fancy clothing reduce our sense of Sikh practice? Is it backtracking on the lofty ideals of the Guru Granth Sahib? No - because people do these things as ancillary forms of respect, not as substitution for their key spiritual practice.

Jodh Singh is correct here, Chaur Sewa, bowing to Guru Sahib, Rumaala Sewa, these do not reduce our sense of Sikh practice. They aren't substitutes for Naam Simran. These are sewa of our GURU. We do not see Guru Granth Sahib Ji as an object, or an 'it', hence why we adorn the King in the best Rumaala, we fan the King and bow to the King. Hom is nothing that benefits, or does good, for Guru Ji.

The culture of inserting singular lines from Guru Granth Sahib referring to these poetic metaphors as a one-sided rubric for what is"banned" and "acceptable"has fundamental flaws as a form of textual interpretation. To give an example via reductio ad absurdum:

This is where I am at odds, mainly because I strongly agree that sharing the odd tuk from Guru Granth Sahib Ji is dangerous as meanings get lost and distorted. However, when no Shabad in Guru Granth Sahib Ji promotes hom it's difficult to see why it should be conducted. I shall be sharing more on this. The shabads being shared by Jodh Singh are irrelevant to hom, but his point does stand. It comes back to Guru Ji using examples to reinforce the Hukam that nothing is on par with Naam Simran.

In conclusion: Do all Sikhs need to perform a hōm as an essential part of their spiritual practice of Sikhi? In my opinion, no. Are the Sikh groups today who perform a home in the manner that the traditional Khalsa did breaching appropriate Sikh conduct? In my opinion, no.

I agree with hom not being an essential part to practice Sikhi. Whether the Sikh groups that conduct hom are breaching any Sikh Code of Conduct depends entirely on the Maryada looked at.

My interest in this comes from how many other Sikhs would look at this and see it as an "innovation" of sects like the Namdharis & Nihangs - when the history tells us the opposite, that they have actually preserved this puratan practice, and that too in the proper unique Khalsa style

The history of havan amongst Sikhs has been practically unknown. There has been a recent surge in homs over the past few years, or at least the exposure of this practice. Which is good, as such discourse is able to take place.

In my original response I have tried to provide obvious Shabads that show hom as unnecessary. No shabad promotes hom, in the practical sense. The only accepted hom is when your ਮਨ is sacrificed.


ਰਾਗੁ ਗੌੜੀ ਮਾਲਵਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫

ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਮੀਤਾ ਲੇਹੁ ਆਗੈ ਬਿਖਮ ਪੰਥੁ ਭੈਆਨ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਸੇਵਤ ਸੇਵਤ ਸਦਾ ਸੇਵਿ ਤੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਕਾਲੁ ॥

ਕਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਹੋ ਕਾਟੀਐ ਜਮ ਜਾਲੁ ॥੧॥

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਤੀਰਥ ਕੀਏ ਬਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਧੇ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥

ਨਰਕੁ ਸੁਰਗੁ ਦੁਇ ਭੁੰਚਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥੨॥

ਸਿਵ ਪੁਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਪੁਰੀ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਕੋ ਥਾਉ ਨਾਹਿ ॥

ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਹੋ ਸਾਕਤ ਆਵਹਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੩॥

ਜੈਸੋ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਮੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਕਹਿਆ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ॥

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਕਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥੪॥੧॥੧੫੮॥

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਤੀਰਥ ਕੀਏ ਬਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਬਧੇ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥

You may make burnt offerings, sacrificial feasts and pilgrimages to sacred shrines in egotism, but your corruption only increases.

ਨਰਕੁ ਸੁਰਗੁ ਦੁਇ ਭੁੰਚਨਾ ਹੋਇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥੨॥

You are subject to both heaven and hell, and you are reincarnated over and over again. ||2||


ਜੈਸੋ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਮੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਕਹਿਆ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ॥

As the Guru has taught me, so have I spoken.

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਕਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥੪॥੧॥੧੫੮॥

Says Nanak, listen, people: sing the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises, and you shall be saved. ||4||1||158||

Guru Ji also teaches us

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਸਭਿ ਤੀਰਥਾ ਪੜ੍ਰਿ੍ਹ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਥਕੇ ਪੁਰਾਣ ॥

ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਨ ਮਿਟਈ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਮਲੁ ਉਤਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿਆ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸੁਜਾਣੁ ॥

ਜਿਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਦ ਕੁਰਬਾਣੁ ॥੩੭॥

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਸਭਿ ਤੀਰਥਾ ਪੜ੍ਰਿ੍ਹ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਥਕੇ ਪੁਰਾਣ ॥

The Pandits, the religious scholars, have grown weary of making fire-offerings and sacrifices, making pilgrimages to all the sacred shrines, and reading the Puraanas.

ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਨ ਮਿਟਈ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਆਵਣੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥

But they cannot get rid of the poison of emotional attachment to Maya; they continue to come and go in egotism.

The key to Gurbani, Bhai Gurdas Ji teaches us, the Sikhs of the Guru,

ਜਗ ਭੋਗ ਨਈਵੇਦ ਲਖ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਇਕੁ ਦਾਣਾ ਪਾਇਆ।

Even one grain of gurmukh's is equal to millions of yajnas, offerings and edibles.

They further say,

੧੮: ਸਿੱਖੀ ਸਰਬ ਸ਼ਿਰੋਮਣੀ ਹੈ

ਲਖ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਲਖ ਸੰਜਮਾ ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਲਖ ਵਰਤ ਕਰੰਦੇ।

ਲਖ ਤੀਰਥ ਲਖ ਊਲਖਾ ਲਖ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਲਖ ਪੁਰਬ ਲਗੰਦੇ।

ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵਲ ਦੇਹੁਰੇ ਲਖ ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਪੂਜ ਕਰੰਦੇ।

ਜਲ ਥਲ ਮਹੀਅਲ ਭਰਮਦੇ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਲਖ ਫੇਰਿ ਫਿਰੰਦੇ।

ਲਖ ਪਰਬਤ ਵਣਖੰਡ ਲਖ ਲਖ ਉਦਾਸੀ ਹੋਇ ਭਵੰਦੇ।

ਅਗਨੀ ਅੰਗੁ ਜਲਾਇਂਦੇ ਲਖ ਹਿਮੰਚਲਿ ਜਾਇ ਗਲੰਦੇ।

ਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖੀ ਸੁਖੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਲਹੰਦੇ ॥੧੮॥

ਲਖ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਲਖ ਸੰਜਮਾ ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਲਖ ਵਰਤ ਕਰੰਦੇ।

Millions of recitations, disciplines, continences, burnt oblations and fasts are performed.

ਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖੀ ਸੁਖੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਲਹੰਦੇ ॥੧੮॥

But they all cannot take even a fraction of joy ,Attainable in the life of a Sikh of the Guru.


੧੭: ਮਨ ਜਿਤ, ਆਪ ਜਿਤ, ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗ

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪੂਰਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੋਈ।

ਜੋਗ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਹੈਰਾਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਵੇਦ ਗਿਆਨ ਪਰਵਾਹ ਨ ਹੋਈ।

ਦੇਵੀ ਦੇਵ ਸਰੇਵਦੇ ਜਲ ਥਲ ਮਹੀਅਲ ਭਵਦੀ ਲੋਈ।

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਘਣੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਦੁਖ ਰੋਈ।

ਵਸਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਧਾਵਦਾ ਅਠੁ ਖੰਡਿ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਵਿਗੋਈ।

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਨੁ ਜਿਣਿ ਜਗੁ ਜਿਣੈ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਆਪੇ ਸਭ ਕੋਈ।

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਗੁਣ ਹਾਰੁ ਪਰੋਈ ॥੧੭॥

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਘਣੇ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਦੁਖ ਰੋਈ।

They perform many burnt offerings, oblations and ascetic disciplines and still weep while performing the so-called ritualistic activities (because their sufferings are not removed).

ਵਸਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਧਾਵਦਾ ਅਠੁ ਖੰਡਿ ਪਾਖੰਡ ਵਿਗੋਈ।

Ever-running mind does not come under control and the mind has spoiled all the eight divisions of life (four varnas and four ashrams).

My point in responding to the Havan posts was not an attack, Jodh Singh is a very knowledgable Singh, so is Manglacharan (Jvala Singh). For too long I have seen historical texts being presented but no consideration given to our guide, our Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

We all do this, we prefer to pick and choose aspects of Bani and Ithihaas that sits well with us. However, when no shabad in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Dasam Granth, and even the key to Gurbani - Bhai Gurdas Jis Vaaran, promotes the practice of hom, it is very difficult to see the need.

The shabads shared in the previous post may have been Guru Ji comparing XYZ with Naam Simran expressing that Naam Simran is superior, but they still stand. Naam Simran is Utam. It's a reminder that Naam should not be forgotten.

No shabad promotes Havan, so why do it at all? It's ultimately futile.

That said, as mentioned before, if one has sharda, complete sharda in their ways, then nothing is stopping them.

ਮੰਨੇ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥

The state of the faithful cannot be described.

Maharaaj has told us the way, it's up to us what we choose to do. If you wish to conduct hom then why not conduct the approved, Gurmat, hom - the sacrifice of your ਮਨ? With sewa and simran we can get Gur Prasad, and ultimately subdue our ਮਨ

Bhul Chuk Muaf,

Akaal Sahai

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Havan - hōm

ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਸਭਿ ਸੰਜਮ ਤਟਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥