One can learn to swim only inside the pool and not outside it.
Guru Nanak says that the earth is a place for the practice of righteousness. In Sikhism, moral activity is a step towards freedom and creativity. Hence, the highest importance of moral activity in the spiritual training and system of the Gurus. Spiritual discipline aims at enabling man to face life in a righteous and creative way. As such, a householder’s life is an essential moral responsibility of man. The seeker’s training has to take place during the course of a moral life and not in a monastery.
It is important to understand that the Gurus never created any monastic system or a place for the training of a few. The psyche can be properly conditioned only when it is subject to the stresses and strains of the social environment of man. One can learn to swim only inside the pool and not outside it. This is exactly the reason why the Gurus excluded ascetics from the Sikh fold [4. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikh Gurus, Page 86] and condemned all ritualistic, yogic and other-worldly practices and austerities.
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