Eating Jhoot Food

Eating Jhoot Food

This video addresses a question from a SikhNet user asking about the concept of "Jhoot", and not sharing food with non-amritdhari’s. He was wondering why some Sikhs practice this. I tried searching online to better understand the reason some practice this, but found very little.  From what little I read online in forums the reasoning was mostly hygiene (sharing food that you have eaten with someone else)…. and also some reasons given about "non-amritdharis" putting bad vibrations on the food. 

Below is an informative audio recording excerpt from a Question & Answer session (Jan 18, 1984) in Singapore with SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji.  This audio is on the same topic of  Eating Joota food of someone who is not Amritdhari and topic of Langar. When an Amritdhari is eating can we eat together with him? (Excerpt from Q&A with youth)


11 Responses to “Eating Jhoot Food”

  1. Sundeep says:

    Beautifully explained with feeling rather than just thinking :) x

  2. Prithi Hardkaur says:

    This kind of thinking is everywhere in the UK- though to varying different degrees. Some people go crazy if you accidently touch the dhal ladle to their tray when you're serving langar and for others it's more just a case of not giving other people jootha food you've brought back from the gurdwara. In the second case, I wouldn't do that anyway and it's more a natural instinct rather than having anything to do with Sikhi. However if I was in the gurdwara with a friend who couldn't finish their langar I wouldn't see any issues with eating it myself…Waste is worse than anything you think you might catch!!!!

    With regards to the reasons for jootha hypersensitivity, I think it comes from the military days where sikhs had to be careful their food wasn't posioned or otherwise tainted. With so few numbers, it would be too much of a risk. I think we (Brits especially) need to get rid of this "front-line" mentality and just relax a bit.

  3. i'm not sure where the roots of jhoot come from. it could be hygenic, it could be brahmanism, superiority, or it could be spiritual. on the spiritual side Guruka talked about it; the vibes going into your food. there is a sakhi of Guru Har Rai. he's riding his horse, and some one meets him on the side of the road and offers him food. Guru ji takes the food and is about to eat it, then one of his assistants reminded him that this food was not cooked by the Guru's cook and they don't know where it came from or how it was cooked. basically, it could be "jhoot". Guruji said that the food was made with love so the rest of that doesn't matter, and he ate it. to me this sakhi teaches 2 things 1)if someone is made with love it over rides whatever rules you might have, and the Guru was flexible with these types of rules, and 2) the story implies that the Guru did have a usual cook and it was out of the ordinary to accept food from just any random person. that's why his assistant was surprised when he did take it. the idea of eating food prepared by an Amritdhari is awesome. a lot of Baba's and spiritual people do this. A lot of people mostly eat food only cooked by their mother. the best paranthas i've ever had were made by an Amritdhari grandma who recites Sukhmani sahib when she cooks. they were tastier than anything i've ever eaten at a restaurant, and they were fulfilling is a way i can't explain. i've met people who are strict about only eating from Amritdhari's as a rule. i don't identify with doing it out of obligation, but i do if it's done out of devotion and sensitivity. we can't lose the first lesson of the sakhi, and be snobby about it and separate ourselves from others as Guruka said.

  4. Rajinder Singh says:

    Gurumustuk Singh Jee :- Thanks a lot for opening up an explaination re: JHOOT food. There is a lot of world (not only sikhs but various other religions in INDIA) who are caught up in this narrow minded focus. No one cares or dares to find clarity about it because it is a propogation of the higher ups in the Gurudwaras yet you took it head on and said it/explained it without a ny hitch and an excellent explaination. Khalsa is bigger than these megerly issues and we should all understand it correctly. We should not follow these rules of the past hierarchies that were prevalent centuries ago due to the strict caste system. There are no other basis for it. We all need to grow above and beyond such rituals that are meaningless and in fact (if I dare say) are the reminders of dark ages.

  5. Kiran says:

    This was AWESOME!!! I totally feel what Guruka is saying in this video – "what's Godly about making yourself feel separate and others feel separate from you?" That line is so true!! Thanks so much for this…=)

  6. gupt says:

    i love u guruka singh
    Guru Nanak dev jis son was siri chand,
    he did yoga
    he had a different journey but we think if sumone is different then us we have the right to hate
    but God is LOVE
    and we have forgotten the message totally
    we have started to think we are GOD
    O LORD save us and make us unite for one cause
    Because Guru Nanak Dev jis mission was LOVE

  7. Uttam Singh says:

    Caste discrimination is based on someone's birth, bibek is based on someone's actions.

    Following bibek does no more to make people seperate, than having a dastar and wearing the kakkars. Should we also stop that?

    In regards to the claim that the Sakhi of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the blood from food was only for those particular people, that is wrong as Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj says:

    ਪਰਥਾਇ ਸਾਖੀ ਮਹਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸਾਝੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਹਾਨੈ ॥
    Parthā▫e sākẖī mahā purakẖ bolḏe sājẖī sagal jahānai.
    Great men speak the teachings by relating them to individual situations, but the whole world shares in them.

    That sakhi is proof that bibek is Gurmat.

    Even if you don't believe in something, it is totally wrong to go as far as to call it "bull****"", this is a rehit that brahmgyani Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Ji kept it over 15 years in prison, even when if it meant starving.

    Anyway I think all should read the articles on sarbloh bibek here

  8. Uttam Singh says:

    Also sand is used as its just a good way to clean it, nothing ritualistic/spiritual as Guruka Singh seems to be presenting it when mockingly speaking of sarblohis.

    I would like to clarify I am not a sarblohi or even bibeki, but I do greatly respect this pristine rehat of the Guru and those who follow it.

  9. first of all sat ari akal to all of u ……………
    i would like to comment on the audio that " low caste sikhs or majhbi sikh …………….."
    first of all guru gobind singh ji preached us not to believe in caste ………

    manas ki jaat sabeh eke pehchanbo

    secondly …..
    jootha …….or impure food ………the person who eats his own food before me……now going to take some from my plate…..means the hand which he uses ….is impure……..i.e no one knows hoew many times he put his hand in his mouth , licked his hand and when the same hand, he put in your food/plate you permit him….
    which causes infection also ………
    BUT still it causes infection…….weather he might be a amritdhari or non – amritdhari

  10. Gurumustuk says:

    There has been a fair amount of heated discussion related to this video by many SikhNet visitors and I just wanted to share an email response by Guruka Singh to clarify the message of the video…

    Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa
    Wahe Guru Ji ki Fateh!

    Dear brother, greetings to you from sunny Española, New Mexico where I have gratefully read your email regarding the video we made about eating Jhoot food. Thank you for writing to us.

    This video has a very specific purpose. It is not about Sarbloh Bibek, though that was mentioned. It is about the spirit in which things are done. Eating food is very different from wearing bana or meditation or reading banis. It is an activity that brings people together as equals. The one pot serves everyone, and from that pot comes oneness.

    Neither is this video about “right” and “wrong,” which is a trap of the mind. Nothing is right or wrong except that thinking makes it so.

    One of the common threads that runs through all of the SikhNet Inspirations videos is bringing attention to the widespread disease of people judging each other. This has done more to destroy the unity of the Panth than any other single thing.

    The comment on Sarbloh Bibek was not anti-sarbloh. Nor was it about any particular rehit or self-discipline. It was about keeping oneself separate from the oneness of the Sadhsangat and creating division within it. Why not cook food for everyone in a large iron pot? Why just for you separate from others? The video is about inclusion and unity, not about the merits of eating food cooked in iron. The key word is “separate” not “iron.”

    This post from illustrates what I’m saying:

    “Sarbloh Bibek is the biggest defense against assimilation with the worldly people. While our Dastaar, Baana, and our appearance too help us against assimilating with non-devotees but Sarbloh Bibek contributes even more towards non-assimilation. Unnecessary mingling with non-devotees is detrimental to the spiritual health of the true seeker of Vaheguru. Sarbloh Bibek along with Baana ensures that the seeker associates with devotees.”

    I’m reminded of a story a Jewish girl told me that when she was in Hebrew school training for her ‘basmitzvah’ (ceremony of becoming an adult) the rabbi asked her, “why do Jews keep Kosher?” (separate pots, plates, etc. for dairy and non-dairy, no pork, etc.) she answered with a health answer ( the possibility of trichinosis and other diseases) and the Rabbi told her, “no, it’s so that when gentiles come to our houses, they feel uncomfortable.”

    Let everyone eat according to their choice as they understand the reality to be. Let those who follow Sarbloh Bibek be blessed and let those who eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken be blessed. It is a personal choice to be respected as such. It is the human who counts. That’s why the video ends by saying “…the food is God, the person serving is God, the person receiving the food is God.”

    All love in Divine, Guruka Singh

  11. Onelove says:

    Amazinggg!!! I love the way you put things so blunt to clear. I always thought the concept of Jhhoot was nonsense. It just feels wrong, so wrong. the division, the heirarchy, its like Amritdhaari sikhs are trying to form their own little cult/ subdivision, because their "Khalsa", and their "pure." I couldnt believe some of the stuff their teaching at this Khalsa Camp in BC. and the young singhs, and singhneeya are eatting it all up, and getting all technical. Rehat comes from within, its the love you have for the shabad guru, for the world, for others, for the ONE CREATION. Read Guru Granth Sahib Ji, meditate on the Creation, let the rehat come to you, Guru Ji willl bless you with sooo muchh!!

    Ik Ongkar, There Is One Creation.