Prohibition from use of Tobacoo

During his tour of Malwa,Guru Tegh Bahadur reached village Barna from Kaithal. He inquired of a man outside the village, "Brother, does any Sikh of Guru Nanak live in this village ?" He replied, "There is one fanner who is Guru Nanak's Sikh." The Guru said to him, "Please go and tell him that your Guru is outside the village and calls you." That man went and brought the farmer to the Guru.

That Sikh came, touched the feet of the Guru in reverence and requested, "Please honour me by going to my house and make yourself comfortable there. I shall be back in a short time after getting my fields measured by these men. They are to measure my fields to calculate land revenue payable by me to the Zamindar." In those days Zamindars owned all the land and farmers working on the land owe 2/3 of the farm produce. Taking leave of the Guru, the farmer went to his fields with the waiting men. The fields were measured and the measurement came to half of what it used to be in the previous years. This resulted in the land revenue coming to half. Seeing his taxes coming to half, his belief in the Guru was complete because by the honour of seeing the Guru, his land revenue was reduced to half.

That Sikh, served the Guru with great devotion on his return from the fields. The Guru said to him, "My dear Sikh give up the use of tobacco. Do not even touch it. If you bring it in the house, not only disease but poverty also will harass you."

In those days smoking was increasing not only among the rich but also among the poor because tobacco was cheap. Tobacco does not act like other intoxicant s such as hump, cannabis or alcohol which have a sudden benumbing effect on the mind and which were forbidden by all religions at that time but not tobacco. However it effects the body and mind as badly as the other intoxicants do. No other religion except the Sikh faith has prohibited the use of tobacco. All except the Sikhs adopted it. its demand was increasing day by day. To meet the demand, people had started its cultivation.

Guru Tegh Bahadur had not only prohibited his Sikh from smoking but had also asked him not to touch it, because if the use of tobacco could bring disease and poverty to a Sikh. how could the Guru, who wished welfare of everybody, allow his Sikh to produce tobacco in his fields for others.


  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev "Bed Time Stories"