Fallen Sikhs - How To Treat Someone Who Has Become A Patit?
There are at least two kinds of Patits. The first kind are the innocent ones or the ones who feel remorse. These Patits under the influence of Maya commit a Bajjar Kurehat but feel extreme remorse for it ('Ku' meaning opposite or negation and 'Rehat' which mean 'code of conduct'). They come to the sangat and express remorse and plead guilty. Such people stay Patits till they get pesh before the court of Panj Pyare and only after getting Amrit again, they become Sanmukh Sikhs again. To talk or have dealings with such persons is okay. They should be shown love and sympathy.
On the other hand, there are Patits who after committing a Bajjar Kurehat, remain defiant. Such persons should be avoided. They should be avoided like plague. In olden days, if someone got infected with Leprosy, they were avoided by healthy people because Leprosy was said to be contagious. Same way, the disease of apostasy is also contagious, as per Gurbani and if we don't avoid such people, we too are in danger of getting infected with this disease:
ਜੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਿਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਰਹਦੀ ਖੁਹਦੀ ਸਭ ਪਤਿ ਗਵਾਹੀ ॥
Jo saṯgur māre ṯin jā▫e milėh rahḏī kẖuhḏī sabẖ paṯ gavāhī ||
Those who meet such persons who have been condemned by the Guru, lose all their honour.
ਓਇ ਅਗੈ ਕੁਸਟੀ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਫਿਟਕੇ ਜਿ ਓਸੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਕੁਸਟੁ ਉਠਾਹੀ ॥
O▫e agai kustī gur ke fitke jė os milai ṯis kusat uṯẖāhī ||
If they meet such lepers (spiritual lepers) who have been condemned by the Guru, they too get infected with leprosy (spiritual disease).
ਹਰਿ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਨਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਜੋ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਹੀ ॥
Har ṯin kā ḏarsan nā karahu jo ḏūjai bẖā▫e cẖiṯ lāhī ||
Don't even behold them in vision, who have set their hearts on Maya (instead of Guru Sahib).
~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Amar Das, Ang 308-309
I can imagine how terrible it feels when we see a chardi kala wala Gursikh falling down. Such is the effect of falling of such Gursikhs, that many lose faith or at least their faiths are shaken. In the 1990s, a pseudo sant was greatly on the rise. His popularity knew no bounds. His chelas used to refer to him next to Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He became very egoistic and so did his chelas but when this pseudo sant could not restrain his evil activities, his evil deeds became public. Many of his chelas were heart broken. Many became patits. Why did they become patits? Because they were not connected with Guru Sahib but with this Sant.
Mortal beings are sure to falter and if our Sikhi is dependant on the chardi kala life of a mortal being, then it is not safe. Our Sikhi should be dependant only and only on Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib is perfect and for this reason our faith will not diminish if we set our hearts on Guru Sahib alone.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਿਰਮਲੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਜਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਘਾਲੇ ॥
Saṯgur kī sevā nirmalī nirmal jan ho▫e so sevā gẖāle ||
Service to the true Guru is immaculate and pure; those humble beings who are pure perform this service.
ਸਚਿਆਰ ਸਿਖ ਬਹਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪਾਸਿ ਘਾਲਨਿ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਨ ਲਭਨੀ ਕਿਤੈ ਥਾਇ ਭਾਲੇ ॥
Sacẖiār sikẖ bahi saṯgur pās gẖālan kūṛi▫ār na labẖnī kiṯai thā▫e bẖāle ||
The truthful Sikhs sit by the true Guru's side and serve. The false ones search, but find no place of rest.
ਜਿਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਆਖਿਆ ਸੁਖਾਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਤਿਨਾ ਮੁਹ ਭਲੇਰੇ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਦਯਿ ਗਾਲੇ ॥
Jinā saṯgur kā ākẖi▫ā sukẖāvai nāhī ṯinā muh bẖalere firėh ḏa▫yi gāle ||
Those who are not pleased with the words of the True Guru - their faces are cursed, and they wander around, condemned by God.
ਜਿਨ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਕੇਰੀ ਸੇ ਕਿਚਰਕੁ ਵੇਰਾਈਅਨਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥
Jin anḏar parīṯ nahī har kerī se kicẖrak verā▫ī▫an manmukẖ beṯāle ||
Those who do not have the love of the God within their hearts - how long can those demonic, self-willed manmukhs be consoled?
~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Amar Das, Ang 304-305
Many people who themselves cannot walk on the sharp edged way of Sikhi, start condemning Sikhi. Wherever they sit they start slandering Granthis, Gursikhs, Babas, Sants etc. In reality they want to put the blame of not following Sikhi on others. They want to justify their weakness by calling all Granthis, Gursikhs, Babas and Sants evil. Why look at bad examples only? Why not look at good examples starting from Baba Buddha Ji, Baba Deep Singh Ji, Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji etc.?
It is sad to see someone fall but we should be very careful in how we deal with this situation. Here are some suggestions:
1) If the Patit person is feeling remorse and wants to mend his ways, then he (or she) should be encouraged to get pesh. There is nothing wrong in keeping dealings with such person. Of course eating from such person is not an option, nor can such person do other sewas like Sri Akhand Paath raul, Kirtan, Langar sewa etc. but such person should be given love and respect, so that he gets encouraged to get pesh.
2) If the Patit person does not feel remorse and is defiant, such person should be avoided and there is no need to give unsolicitated advice to such person.
3) If the Patit person described in "2" above is a loved one, then too he should be avoided but then there is nothing wrong in doing ardaas and paath for such person.
4) Don't hate the Patit person and don't mock him. This is a very dangerous thing to do. This upsets Guru Sahib very much and one who mocks others, especially a fallen person, surely gets entangled in a similar situation as a result of this bad Karma. So don't ever hate or look down on a Patit person. Have fear of Guru Sahib.