Q59. What is humility?
As God is the Father of all human being, any slight or insult to anyone is to injure God in every soul. Guru Arjan says:
“Know that God dwells in all souls,
And so become as the dust of the feet of all.”
The antidote for the poison of pride, is humility.
The five organs of senses – eyes, mouth, ears, nose and hands – are located in the upper portion of the body and easily confused by sin. The feet, which are located in the lower part are seldom used in wickedness. In India the feet are respected and touched at the time of salutation.
The vain and the arrogant challenge their peers and leaders. They seldom realize that there are other people who are better or more able than they are. They lack feeling of brotherliness. it is the awareness of human fellowship, which should make one treat all, with decency and consideration.
The Sikh Gurus set many examples of meekness and humility. When the old Guru, Guru Amardas was kicked by Datu, he never showed resentment but humbly suggested that his hard bones must have caused hurt to Datu’s feet. Similarly Sri Chand, Guru Nanak’s son asked Guru Ramdas in a humorous way why he had kept such a long and flowing beard. The Guru replied: “To wipe the dust off your holy feet.” Sri Chand was much impressed by the Guru’s humility. Humility requires the elimination of the ego. It is the ego which is the barrier to self-knowledge and salvation. Pride is eliminated by understanding Guru’s word. Guru Arjan says:
“Consider yourself the humblest of the humble.”
It is the humble who are great and are exalted in God’s court. True humility leads to a surrender to God’s Will and the ultimate merger of the individual soul into Divinity.