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 Kurehit but feel extreme remorse for it. They come to sangat and express remorse and plead guilty. Such people stay Patits till they get pesh before the court of Punj 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 Kurehit, 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 ॥
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 ॥
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 ॥
Don't even behold them in vision, who have set their hearts on Maya (instead of Guru Sahib).
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.
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.