Jot Jalani – Truth is Bitter series 4



It is very common to see Sikhs, light Jot with desi ghee in the Gurdwaras. We have to find out whether it is a ritual(karam kand) or does it has any practical values? Did Sikh Gurus started this tradition/ritual? Does Guru Granth Sahib approves this tradition? How and when this Jot entered in Sikh Gurdwaras? Let us discuss all these questions with open mind(critical evaluation).

Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh there was no change in Gurmat philosophy. All Sikh Gurus were simple, practical and had discerning intellect ( bibek budhi ). Guru Nanak had rejected many traditions going back centuries was inconsequential. Guru Nanak spread his philosophy and principles by engaging in healthy dialogue based on logic. All Gurus were aware of importance of good healthy food and it’s need for every person. As you all know it is not easy to get pure desi ghee in India at present and in olden days. A food product so important to human beings, do you think our Gurus with all these above qualities mentioned, had allowed people to burn it (jot), definitely not. Gurus must applied other means available at that time, to have light. I have very strong faith in our Gurus wisdom, and believe this jot jalani with desi ghee was not initiated by Gurus or in Guru period.

Jot word used in Guru Granth Sahib numerous times for Akal Purakh ( Creator ), definitely not for lighting jot with desi ghee. Let us apply Guru Nanak’s philosophy and science to this topic. Guru Nanak’s God ( Creator, Knowledge ) is inside every cell of our bodies. Truth be told that our bodies are made of stardust with spark of Creator. You may call it “Soul” but it is not located in any specific part or organ of the body, it permeates the body. Nanakian philosophy rejects the idea of “Soul” as something that is different from God. God (Creator) is both visible ( manifest) as Cosmos and invisible (unmanifest) as Cosmic Law (Hukam) that pervades Cosmos. Thus “Soul”is the omnipresent Cosmic Law (Hukam), the invisible form of God that permeates the Cosmos. In Guru Granth Sahib it is called as Jot/Joti, Atma, Jio, Sabad- Surat (God- consciousness/ Cosmic- consciousness), Moral principles ( conscience). We can say for sure that Guru Granth Sahib does not approve Jot Jalani with desi ghee.

Jot Jalani The Brahmans (priests ) were committing fraud to the innocent public. The people used to take desi ghee to the Hindu temples where the priest would light Jot with it and would say it is to please the mythical Devtaas as they like to have good fragrance (burning ghee). The left over ghee was used by the priest for his own use. After Banda Singh Bahadur, the Nirmalas and Udasis took over Sikh shrines and started Hindu traditions and rituals in Sikh Gurdwaras. As we all know that the Nirmalas and Udasis were disguised Brahmans, they initiated Jot jalani (mini Havan) with desi ghee in Gurdwaras. In other words Jot jalani with desi ghee came from Hindu temples, during turbulent times when Sikhs were facing systematic persecution and genocide and were forced to live in jungles.

Jot jalani has very little or no practical value, as it produces very little light compared to other light sources. In olden days when electricity was not available there were other means to produce light better than desi ghee jot. One thing for sure it does produces good aroma, which itself is not enough to warrant it’s use for this purpose. There is one Myth attached to this : ignorant people seen placing their hands over the jot and then touch their eyes with their hands, hope to increase their vision.


  • Jot jalani with desi ghee is a ritual(Karam Kand) and it has no practical value.
  • Jot jalani was not initiated by Sikh Gurus.
  • Guru Granth Sahib’s philosophy does not approve Jot jalani.
  • Jot jalani (as a mini Havan) was started by Nirmalas and Udasis , who were disguised Brahmans.
  • Jot jalani, is an Open Flame with Combustible Material, is a great Fire Hazard, it should be banned in all Gurdwaras.

One wonders why this ritual(Karam Kand) is practiced in Sikh Gurdwaras when it has no practical value? The answer is simple, our Sikh religious leaders, Babas, Derradars, Saints and most Gurdwara’s management committees are actually disguised Nirmalas and Udasis who promote these rituals instead of Guru’s Wisdom. Only one way we can get rid of these rituals is when we become knowledgeable of Guru’s bani. We are now living in science and technology age of 21st century, therefore, no religious concept or tradition/ritual will be accepted which can not pass the test of Logic and Science.

In Conclusion, Jot jalani is a ritual(karam kand), has no significance in Sikhism and it is a Fire Hazard. This ritual is practiced  by Sikhs  who are ignorant of Guru Granth Sahib’s bani or philosophy and it should be discontinued in all Gurdwaras.

Note: It is so true but sad, that Sikhs are practicing centuries old rituals with no logic, when rest of the world people are planning to go to planet Mars.

Ramjit Singh Mann