Is there a judgement?
Sikhi accepts the theory of Karma: That man is punished or rewarded according to his actions. Man’s actions in this world will bear witness at the time of judgement. The messengers of the god of death, Yama, takes the individual to the god of justice, Dharam Raaj, who is very strict like a moneylender. The scribes of Chitr and Gupt who have written out the account are called forth to present the balance-sheet of his actions. What does the balance-sheet show? It contains a record of good and evil deeds.
ਸੂਹੀ ਲਲਿਤ ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀਉ ||
ਏਕੁ ਕੋਟੁ ਪੰਚ ਸਿਕਦਾਰਾ ਪੰਚੇ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਹਾਲਾ ||
ਜਿਮੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਮੈ ਕਿਸੀ ਕੀ ਬੋਈ ਐਸਾ ਦੇਨੁ ਦੁਖਾਲਾ ||੧||
ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਲੋਗਾ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਨੀਤਿ ਡਸੈ ਪਟਵਾਰੀ ||
ਊਪਰਿ ਭੁਜਾ ਕਰਿ ਮੈ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਪੁਕਾਰਿਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਹਉ ਲੀਆ ਉਬਾਰੀ ||੧|| ਰਹਾਉ ||
ਨਉ ਡਾਡੀ ਦਸ ਮੁੰਸਫ ਧਾਵਹਿ ਰਈਅਤਿ ਬਸਨ ਨ ਦੇਹੀ ||
ਡੋਰੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਾਪਹਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਸਟਾਲਾ ਲੇਹੀ ||੨||
ਬਹਤਰਿ ਘਰ ਇਕੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ਉਨਿ ਦੀਆ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਿਖਾਈ ||
ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਕਾ ਦਫਤਰੁ ਸੋਧਿਆ ਬਾਕੀ ਰਿਜਮ ਨ ਕਾਈ ||੩||
ਸੰਤਾ ਕਉ ਮਤਿ ਕੋਈ ਨਿੰਦਹੁ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਏਕੋੁ ||
ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ||੪||੫||
Soohee, Lalit, Kabeer Jee: In the one fortress of the body, there are five rulers, and all five demand payment of taxes. I have not farmed anyone’s land, so such payment is difficult for me to pay. ||1|| O people of the Lord, the tax-collector is constantly torturing me! Raising my arms up, I complained to my Guru, and He has saved me. ||1||Pause|| The nine tax-assessors and the ten magistrates go out; they do not allow their subjects to live in peace. They do not measure with a full tape, and they take huge amounts in bribes. ||2|| The One Lord is contained in the seventy-two chambers of the body, and He has written off my account. The records of the Righteous Judge of Dharma have been searched, and I owe absolutely nothing. ||3|| Let no one slander the Saints, because the Saints and the Lord are as one. Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is Clear Understanding. ||4||5||
The god of justice cannot be bribed or influenced. He is strict and impartial and exacts a clear account. According to Gurmat, the Guru holds the bundle of Karma of the past (before one took Amrit), and we then take responsibility of our Karma from that time on. However, if we fall from Gurmat and go against the Guru’s Hukam then the bundle of Karma that the Guru was holding for us comes back to us.
Guru Nanak says:
ਕਰਮੀ ਆਪੋ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੇ ਨੇੜੈ ਕੇ ਦੂਰਿ ॥
“According to one’s action, one gets near to or distant from God”.
(Ang 8 )
Elsewhere, the Guru affirms that the judgement on man’s actions determines the next birth or form for the individual’s soul. The best action in the world is to meditate on ‘The Name’. This alone can earn salvation or freedom from metempsychosis.
The law of Karma is inexorable. Man’s life is a series of actions. According to Sikhi:
ਕਰਣੀ ਕਾਗਦੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਸਵਾਣੀ ਬੁਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਦੁਇ ਲੇਖ ਪਏ ॥
“Actions are the paper, and the mind is the ink; good and bad are both recorded upon it.”
Man sows the wind and yet expects that no whirlwind will follow. Man’s choice of action will determine his future and next life. However by repentance, prayer and love, man earns God’s grace which neutralises his previous Karma. There is no accounting of Karma, for one who surrenders himself to God. The true Sikh in a spirit of dedication and resignation invokes His grace and mercy, thereby inducing God to exercise his prerogative of admitting an erstwhile erring but now repentent soul, to His kingdom.