5. Four Cardinal Sins | Sikh Code |v2

The Four Cardinal Sins

Hukka - Smoking tobacco, and all other intoxicants
Hajamat - Removing hair
Halalo - Eating meat
Haram - Adultery and sexual relationships outside of marriage

1. Hukka (tobacco and all other intoxicants)

"Listen to the discipline of the Gursikh whom relinquishes the accompaniment of tobacco, avoiding bodily contact with tobacco as he/she knows that he/she is better off dead than having to touch tobacco."

By using tobacco, all good deeds are destroyed and the person will suffer for a long time in hell. A Gursikh will rather die than touch tobacco.

If a Gursikh comes into contact with anything containing tobacco, for example, cigarettes, cigars, pān, charas, pipes, they must wash their hands with soap five times. Then they must purify their Kesh, body and clothes by bathing.

"Meat, all forms of intoxicants (including tobacco and alcohol), wearing of hats and doing the pretence of rubbing soil on the body. A Singh with excellent behaviour doesn't associate with people who partake in these things."
(Rehatnama Bhai Deśa Singh ji. 148)

"Those that consume even a minuscule amount of tobacco are disowned in the afterlife by their ancestors and drinking water from such a person is similar to drinking alcohol.

By drinking alcohol seven generations are exterminated and by consuming Bhang/marijuana the body is destroyed. The person who consumes tobacco exterminates one hundred generations and many generations go to hell because of gossiping."
(Sri Gur Partap Suraj, Rit 5, ansoo 29, volume 13)

Therefore in Gurmat the use of tobacco is to be strictly forbidden and it should not be touched / used even by mistake.

Satguru has made the use of tobacco a cardinal sin. You are not to eat with or marry your children into the families of those that use tobacco.

2. Hajamat - Removing Kesh

Cutting hair is strictly forbidden in Gurmat. From your head down to your toes, no hair is to be plucked, cut, burnt or chemically/surgically removed. Kesh are not to be dyed by any method whatsoever, to make it black or the plucking of only white hairs is not permitted.

"God made the human form perfect, but the treacherous has altered it and made it lose its natural beauty."

"The treacherous has altered the perfect human body, making it lose its natural beauty. He/She will not get acceptance in the court of God and is an infidel, dog and is devil like."

Keeping your Kesh is essential. Upon the death of a relative, the deceased’s hair is not to be shaved off.

The cutting of hair is prohibited in other religions as well, but in Gurmat cutting the hair is a cardinal sin and results in a person being an outcast.

Thus changing, cutting or removing the hair in any manner is strictly forbidden for a Gursikh. You are to guard against committing this cardinal sin.

The Kesh is not to be washed with ashes or clay, it is to be washed with shampoo, yoghurt or lasee. Lying down uncovered or partaking in any action with your Kesh uncovered is strictly forbidden. You are not to enter a dusty, dirty place with your Kesh uncovered.

Cutting the Kesh or piercing the ears/noses of your children is strictly forbidden. The hair of children is not to be tied in dreadlocks. From a young age, the Kesh of your children are to be combed with a Kangha.

"The complete form of man is with a beard, which is left untied.
The Kesh are combed by this person with a wooden Kangha.
"

Amritdhari Singhs are to keep their beards open and untied.

3. Halāl - eating meat

Killing an animal in the Muslim way is called Kutha. The eating of which is strictly forbidden in the house of the Guru. This is a cardinal sin and it makes one a traitor to the Guru.

In Sri Guru Granth Sahib there is no place where permission to eat meat is given. A person that kills an animal and eats it will be reborn in that life form and have to experience being killed and eaten.

"Kabīr, the eating of lentils and rice is excellent, in which there is Amrit in the form of salt. Who would cut his own throat, to have meat with his chapati?"
(SGGSJ Ang 1374)

The Khalsa is a warrior, not being a Vishnu (who do not kill any other living beings), but at the same time the Khalsa is not a butcher who kills for meat.

Guru Ji used to go hunting to free souls from the cycle of births and deaths.

We do not have the power to become Mukti (liberate) ourselves from the cycle of births and deaths let alone liberate others.

When Sri Guru Nanak Dev jī lived at Sultanpur, a Qazi (Muslim priest) was killing a chicken but it escaped from his clutches and splashed his clothing with blood:

The Qazi said to his servant, my clothes have become dirty, go and fetch fresh clothes.

Satguru ji composed the following Śabad in reference to the Qazi,

"If blood has stained your clothing you say your clothes have become impure. How can the thought of those who eat meat, drink blood and suck bones become pure?"
(SGGSJ Ang 140)

Qazi! If your clothes have become impure due to bloodstains then how can your mind stay pure after eating a chicken which is so large and was full of blood?

Eating meat just to satisfy your taste buds is strictly forbidden. Vaheguru has created 36 types of vegetarian food for you to consume, by eating meat your intellect becomes like that of an animal. Your mind becomes unwilling to recite Gurbani.

Baba Deep Singh jī lived on a diet of unripe Ber (a tropical fruit) and hand-wrote four volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, which were placed at four of the Takhts. At the age of 87, he went to war and defeated the tyrants. Within him he had the power of Nām, Bani and Amrit.

To conclude, eating meat is not allowed.

4. Haram - Adultery, sexual relationships outside of marriage

In Gurmat, entering sexual relationships outside of marriage is strictly forbidden for both men and women. Husband and wife must be physically faithful to one another. People, who allow lust to overcome them, and violate this rule, will go to hell and enter other life forms.

O sexual desire, you lead the mortals to hell; you make them wander in reincarnation through countless species." (SGGSJ Ang 1358)

When I was mature enough, Satguru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji gave me this teaching:

Until the day you take your last breath, you must take this in and never forget it. You must forever keep respect for your wife. You must never go onto another women's bed, even in a dream." (Sri Dasam Granth Ang 842)

"Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters,
(women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons).

(Vār. 29. paurī 11. Bhai Gurdas Ji)

"Be faithful to your one wife, see others as your daughters and sisters,
(women must be faithful to one husband and see others as your sons and brothers)
."
(Var. 6. Pauri 8. Bhai Gurdas jī)

Singhs are to see elder women as their mothers, female peers as sisters and younger females as daughters.

In the same manner, women are to see elder men as their fathers, male peers as their brothers and younger males as their sons.

A Singh must look upon his wife as his faithful Singhni. In the same manner, a Singhni should look upon her husband as Parameshvara (God).

Those who have sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage go to hell and in the after-life they will suffer the pain of embracing red-hot iron columns.

"...the hot irons are put around his/her body." (SGGSJ Ang 546)

In the after-life, these individuals are boiled in cauldrons in hot oil.

"Those who enter sexual relationships outside of marriage shall be taken to hell and boiled in very hot oil." (SGGSJ Ang 1362)

5. Alcohol

In Gurmat, the drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden.

The word for alcohol is ‘Sharāb’ which means ‘sharārat’ mischief, and aab means water, thus it means mischievous or evil water, which is the root of all sins and evil actions.

Sri Guru Amar Das jī writes about alcohol in the following way,

"SALOK, THIRD SAROOP (FORM): One person brings a full bottle, and another fills his cup.

Drinking the wine, his intelligence departs, and madness enters his mind; he cannot distinguish between his own and others, and he is struck down by his Lord and Master.

Drinking it, he forgets his Lord and Master, and he is punished in the Court of the Lord. Do not drink the false wine at all if it is in your power."
(SGGSJ Ang 554)

Kabīr Ji says, those mortals who consume marijuana, meat, tobacco, fish and wine - all pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow are of no avail."
(SGGSJ Ang 1377)

An Amritdhari Singh should not even look at alcohol.

One who trades in this Amrit/Nectar - how could he ever love the wine of the world?” (SGGSJ Ang 360)

By drinking alcohol the intellect is destroyed. Vaheguru is forsaken and the gem of human life is wasted.

Those who have evil thoughts drink alcohol. This makes them more lustful which in turn leads them to hell.

"Drinking in this wine, Guru jī says, one takes on countless sins and corruptions."
(SGGSJ Ang 553)

In the same way it is stated in the Charitar:

"Firstly he is drinking alcohol, secondly he is young, thirdly he is wealthy - then how can he escape sinful actions? Only if God is merciful can one he saved from sin."
(Sri Dasam Granth Ang 1077)

In the Rehatnāma the drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden,

"The Singh that refrains from the following five actions is considered wise - sexual relations other than those with a marital partner, gambling, lying, steeling and drinking alcohol." (Rehatnāma Bhai Deśa Singh jī. p. 149)

Gursikhs are to drink this sort of intoxicant,

“ASA, FIRST SAROOP (FORM): Make spiritual wisdom your molasses and meditation your scented flowers: let good deeds be the herbs. Let devotional faith be the distilling fire, and your love the ceramic cup. Thus the sweet nectar of life is distilled."
(SGGSJ Ang 360)