1. Pilgrimages, Austerities, Mercy, Charity, Bring them honour small and paltry. One must Hear, Believe, Love the Name, And Bathe at the sacred Fount within one’s frame. (Jap, M. 1)
2. The Pundit reads the Books, but gives no thought to them; He instructs the others, but himself trades in Maya. (Sri Rag M. 1)
3. Many are the Pundits and the diviners of future who read the Vedas; But they waste away life after life in the clash of arguments which they cherish.
4. I know not what pleases my Lord. Seek thou the Way, O my mind! The contemplator practises contemplation, And the wise work through wisdom; But rare is the one who Knows the Lord. The Vaishnava practises the (outer) discipline. The yogi aspires for emancipation. The ascetic is attached to asceticism. The man of silence observes silence. The Sanyasin (is in renunciation), and The celibate (sticks to celibacy) The stotic abides in dispassion. The worship of the worshippers is of nine kinds; the Pundits read aloud the Vedas; The householder is involved with his household. The chameleon-faced ones, and those who utter but one word, and the nudes;
The robed ones, the showmen and those that keep awake, And others who bathe in the holy waters. The fasting ones, and those that do not touch others, And the recluses whom no one can see, And those wise in their own minds; No one says he is lesser (than the others) And all declare: "We’ve found, we’ve found", But he alone is the Devotee whom the Lord Unites of Himself (with Himself) Nanak has abandoned all effort, all argument, And sought the Refuge of the Lord, And so he surrenders himself to the Feet of his God.
(Sri Rag M. 1)
5. Rises then the Devotee above ritual, above the domain of mind, And is awake to the knowledge that the Lord Knows all. (Sri Rag M. 1)
6. By visiting the holy places, by fasting and cleansing (the body) and performing the acts of piety or the way of works (one is emancipated not) The Deliverance, Nanak, is in the Loving Adoration of God, and all else leads to Duality. (Sri Rag M. 1)
7. He, who talks of the wisdom of the six Shastras, Of worship, the frontal mark, and of bathing at the holy places, And the churning of the stomach, and the eighty-four postures of the ascetic, Finds not Peace in them. (Mejh M. 5)
8. If one seasons one’s sinful food with condiments, it becomes not pure thereby, Nanak: Through false talk, one gathers nothing but Falsehood.
(Var of Majh and the Shlokas of M. 1)
9. They, who pluck their heads and drink the wash (of others) and beg for the leavening of bread to eat, And rake up the filth, and suck bad odors, and dread (clean) water, (how unwise are they) ? Like sheep, their heads are plucked and their hands are soiled with ashes; They give up the Way of their forefthers, and their kindred wail.
(Majh M. 1)
10. He who knows the wisdom of the six Shastras, And inhales and exhales and holds his breath like a Yogi, And gathers knowledge and meditates he and bathes at the pilgrima-stations: and cooks his own food, and touches not another, and abides in the woods: But, if he Loves not the Lord, All that he does is vain and lasts not. Than him is a Chandal moe pious, In whose mind Dwells the Lord of the earth. (Gauri Sukhmani, M. 5)
11. If one may attain Yoga by roaming about naked, Then the deer in the woods would all be Emancipated ! What use is it, if one lives naked or dressed in skin, So long as one Contemplates not the All-pervading Lord? He who says by close-cropping the hair one becomes a Siddha, (Knows not he) that were it so, the sheep would all have found Deliverance ? O friend, if one were to be Saved by celibacy, Then why didn’t the eunuchs attain the highest stte of bliss? Says Kabir: "Hear ye, O my human friends. Without the Lord’s Name, one finds not Deliverance." [Kabir]
11 a) They, who bthe morning and evening (to wash off their sins), Are like the frogs living in waters. (Kabir)
12. Prays Nanak: "O Lord, how can (my garb) determine my caste?" [Asa, M. 1]
13. They read the (holy) books, perform prayers and then they fight. And, they worship stocks and stones and, then, like the herons, enter into a pseudo-trance. In their mouth is Falsehood, and their bodies are decked with piety, And the three lines (of the Gayatri) they recite three times in a day. Round their necks is the rosary, on their foreheads the saffron-mark, And the folded Dhoti on their loins, and a cloth to cover their heads. If, only they knew the nature of God, They would know these deeds and beliefs to be false. Says Nanak: "One must dwell on the Eternal Lord: But how is one to find the Way without the True Guru?
(Asa, M. 1)
14. (O Brahmin), I have all the thread in my Home with which I weave continually (the Lord’s Name), while on thy neck is only a small thread (of the twice-born). You but read the Vedas and the Gayatri, while I have enshrined the Lord in the Mind. On my tongue and into my eyes and in my heart is the Lord. But how will you answer at the Yama’s Door, O you "emancipated" one ! (Kabir)
15. The snake casts off its skin but not its venom. The heron fixes his attention on water (but only to deceive). Why and for what are thy meditation and recitation, When the mind is purged not of its Sin and Shame?
16. Of what avail are one’s fasts and pilgrimages if one takes not to the Lord’s Refuge? And fruitless are one’s Yogic feats and yajnas, if one forsakes the Lord’s Praise. (Bilawal, M. 9)
17. He, who performs pilgrimages and keeps fasts, but can hold not his mind, His religion is of no avail to him: I utter nothing but the Truth for his sake As a stone lives ever in water, but the water enters not its core, So is the man with Devotion: know thou this forsooth. (Ibid)
18. One may wear a pure white Dhoti, annoint the forehead with the saffron-mark and keep a rosary upon the neck. But if he has Wrath within him, he reads (the sacred books) only like an actor on the stage.
(Bilawal, Ashtapadis M. 1)
19. God is neither pleased by making music, nor by recitation of the Vedas; Nor through Yoga, nor by becoming all-knowing, Nor by abiding ever in sadness; Nor through beauty, possessions and revelries; Nor by wandering naked at the pilgrim-stations, Nor by offering alms in charity, Nor by sitting out, alone, in wilderness, Nor by dying as a warrior on the battle-field, Nor by rolling in dust. God takes only that into account that one loves with the whole mind, And if one is imbued with the true Name (of God). (Var of Sarang, M. 4)
20. If one sings the Lord’s praises, bereft of Wisdom, Or converts his homestead into a mosque to satisfy his hunger, Or being workless, get his ears torn (to pass for a Yogi), Or becomes a mendicant and loses caste with the world, And through proclaimed as a guru, begs from door to door, Never, O men, should one fall at the feet of such a one.
(Var of Sarang M. 4)
21. Vain ar the pilgrimages, the six kinds (of works), the matted hair, the sacrificial fire, the Yogi’s staff. And a myriad other efforts and austerities and wanderings and utterances enable not one to find the (True) Refuge. I have tried every other way, but found Peace only in God’s Name. (Kanra M. 5)
22. Within one’s mind are Wrath and immense sense of Ego. And yet one worships God elaborately with all the ritual one can. And paints on the arms Chakras (like a Vashnavite) after a bath, But remains he Unclean from within. No, one has Attained God through such "disciplines", However, one paints the makes of a Vaishnavite on the body, while the mind within is lured by Maya. One commits Sin, swayed by the Five Demons: So even if one bathes at the pilgrim-station, one’s Soil is cleansed not. For, thereafter, one Sins even more, withut let, or fear, And so being Sinful, one is driven along by the Yama, Bround, hand and foot. To the tinkling of the ankle-bells and beating of the cymbals, (one dances in worship),
But within one is Guild, and walks out of step with God. If one beats at the hole, one kills not the snake thereby, And God, who has Created all, also Knows all. One dons ochre-ochre, and warms oneself by the side of the smouldering fire, And stung by worries, one abandons the household, And forsaking one’s land, wanders from place to place, But, lo, keeps one within the five Demons wherever one goes. One’s ears are torn and one begs for crumbs, And asks one, for alms, door to door, and is satiated not. One abandons his own woman and casts his evil eyes upon another’s. No, no one attains God by donning a mendicant’s garb, and one is tortured by Pain. One speaks not under a vow of silence, But within one is ever on the Round. One eats not and thus gives Pain to one’s body. For, one Realises not the Lord’s Will, afflicted by Ego. (Prabhati, M. 5)
23. (Lo, here’s the "devotee" of God) His body is plastered with sandal-paste, on his forehead are the leaves of the fragrant Chandan tree, But in the hand of the heart he keeps ever the knife ! His eye is set on guile; his attunement is that of a heron. And, he seems a Vaishnava, seated still, as if the breath has escaped from his mortal frame ! He pays obeisance incessantly to the All-powerful God, But is ever engaged in Strife, his eyes wild (with rage). He bathes his body each day, each morn, And wraps two unstitched sheets about, and practises the way of works and feeds himself only upon milk, But, his heart is like a drawn knife; And what he utters is only to cheat men of whatever they have ! He worships the stone-image and paints on his body the signs of Ganesha, And keeps awake through the night as if wrapt n devotion, And, dances (to the gods) with his feet, but with his mind in Vile deeds; Yea, he is lured only by Greed and he dances the dance of ireeligion ! He tells the rosary of Tulsi seated on a deer-skin, And annoints his forehead with saffron-mark with clean hands; And upon his neck too the rosary of Rudraksha, but in his heart is guile. Lo, he is attached (to the world), and is saying to Krishna not what he says ! He, who has Realized not the Quintessence, yea, the Self, All his deeds are Blind and False and vain. Says Beni: "One must dwell upon God, by the Guru’s Grace, For, without the True Guru, one Knows not the Way." (Prabhati: The Word of Bhagat Bani)
24. O Farid, on thy shoulder is the prayer-mat, on thy body a Sufi’s garb, in thy mouth honey, and daggers in thy heart ! You see light from without, but I thy heart is utter Dark !
(Shlokas of Farid)
25. Farid: Black is thy dress and black thy grown, But sinful is thy within: and yet they call thee a God’s man !
(Shlokas of Farid)