Gur Seva

Guru Nanak Sahib emphasises on the importance of  Seva of Poora Guru:-

ਜੰਗਮ ਜੋਧ ਜਤੀ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਫਲੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਸਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੀ ॥੨॥ (Raag Maaroo M. 1, GGS. 992-7).

The wandering beggars, warriors, celibates and Sannyaasee hermits – through the Perfect Guru, consider this: Without selfless service, no one ever receives the fruits of their rewards. Serving the Lord is the most excellent action. ||2||

ਨਿਧਨਿਆ ਧਨੁ ਨਿਗੁਰਿਆ ਗੁਰੁ ਨਿੰਮਾਣਿਆ ਤੂ ਮਾਣੁ ॥ ਅੰਧੁਲੈ ਮਾਣਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਕੜਿਆ ਨਿਤਾਣਿਆ ਤੂ ਤਾਣੁ ॥

You are the wealth of the poor, the Guru of the guru-less, the honor of the dishonored. I am blind; I have grasped hold of the jewel, the Guru. You are the strength of the weak.

ਹੋਮ ਜਪਾ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਦਰਿ ਢੋਈ ਝੂਠਾ ਆਵਣ ਜਾਣੁ ॥੩॥

He is not known through burnt offerings and ritual chanting; the True Lord is known through the Guru’s Teachings. Without the Naam, the Name of the Lord, no one finds shelter in the Court of the Lord; the false come and go in reincarnation. ||3||

ਸਾਚਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਲਾਹੀਐ ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਜੀਐ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥

So praise the True Name, and through the True Name, you will find satisfaction. When the mind is cleaned with the jewel of spiritual wisdom, it does not become dirty again.

ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਿਘਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੇ ਛੁਟੀਐ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੪॥੧੦॥

As long as the Lord and Master dwells in the mind, no obstacles are encountered. O Nanak, giving one’s head, one is emancipated, and the mind and body become true. ||4||10||

Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teaching is worth taking seriously in life. Guru Ji left a trail for Bhai Lehna Ji and Bhai Jetha Ji who rose to Gurudom following the concept of ‘Gur-Seva’:-

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਥਾਇ ਪਵੈ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਤਤੁ ਕਮਾਹੁ ॥ (Raag Suhi M. 1, GGS. 788-17).
The selfless service of the Gurmukhs is approved; in celestial peace, they live the essence of reality.

I find the story of the rise of Bhai Jetha Ji, a blue collar worker (who used to sell boiled chickpeas), amazingly attractive to demonstrate rise from ‘Rags to Riches’ (rich in spiritual as well as worldly wealth). He did not attend any university to attract necessary soojh-boojh to rise to the rank of the 4th Sikh Guru. His strength was Naam through Gur-Seva (total faith and trust in Gurbani).

Guru Ram Das Ji himself acknowledges the source of direction and strength as the following:-

ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਸਤਾਰਾ ॥੪॥(Raag Tilang M. 4, GGS. 725-14).
Serving the Guru, it is obtained, and as Gurmukh, one is emancipated. ||4||

Guru Arjan Dev ji advises us as follows to make Waheguru accessible though a simple step of having full faith and trust in Gurmat Truth – Sat Nam:-

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 283-15).
One who recognizes the Supreme Lord God as True

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਤਾ ॥੮॥੧੫॥
– O Nanak, that humble being is absorbed into the True One. ||8||15||

Guru Arjan Dev Ji further stresses the role of Naam in drawing closer to Divinity:-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam,

ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥
The Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

The need is to become Gurmukh by shedding all doubts as Kabir Ji suggests:-

ਹਮਰਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਭਉ ਭਾਗਾ ॥ (Raag Sorath Bhagat Kabir Ji, GGS. 655-3).
My doubts were removed, and my fear ran away,

ਜਬ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਗਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
When my consciousness became attached to the Lord’s Name. ||1||Pause||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Pooran Purakh (ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ)

Guru Gobind Singh Ji refers a Pooran Purakh (ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ) in the following Tuks as an embodiment of disciplined Mann (mind):-

ਰੇ ਮਨ ਐਸੋ ਕਰਿ ਸੰਨਿਆਸਾ ॥ (Guru Gobind Singh, Dasam Granth, Page 1344-1).
O mind ! the asceticism be practiced in this way :

ਬਨ ਸੇ ਸਦਨ ਸਭੈ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਹੁ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਉਦਾਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Consider your house as the forest and remain unattached within yourself…..Pause.

ਜਤ ਕੀ ਜਟਾ ਜੋਗ ਕੋ ਮੱਜਨੁ ਨੇਮ ਕੇ ਨਖਨ ਬਢਾਓ ॥
Consider continence as the matted hair, Yoga as the ablution and daily observances as your nails,

ਗਯਾਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਆਤਮ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ਹੁ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਭੂਤ ਲਗਾਓ ॥੧॥
Consider the knowledge as the preceptor giving lessons to you and apply the Name of the Lord as ashes.1.

ਅਲਪ ਅਹਾਰ ਸੁਲਾਪ ਸੀ ਨਿੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਦਯਾ ਛਿਮਾ ਤਨ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥
Eat less and sleep less, cherish mercy and forgiveness

ਸੀਲ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਦਾ ਨਿਰਬਾਹਿਬੋ ਹ੍ਵੈਬੋ ਤ੍ਰਿਗੁਣ ਅਤੀਤਿ ॥੨॥
Practise gentleness and contentment and remain free from three modes.2.

ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਹੰਕਾਰ ਲੋਭ ਹਠ ਮੋਹ ਨ ਮਨ ਸੋ ਲਯਾਵੈ ॥
Keep your mind unattached from lust, anger, greed, insistence and infatuation,

ਤਬ ਹੀ ਆਤਮ ਤਤ ਕੋ ਦਰਸੇ ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਹ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੩॥੧॥
Then you will visualize the supreme essence and realise the supreme Purusha.3.1.

If you critically analyse the tuk:-ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਹੰਕਾਰ ਲੋਭ ਹਠ ਮੋਹ ਨ ਮਨ ਸੋ ਲਯਾਵੈ ॥, it clearly suggests that Mann (Mind) is the central faculty in a Human-being that matters in life and beyond?

Guru Nanak Dev Ji points out the potential of Mann in the human body as follows:-

ਮਨੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਵੇਸ ਕਲੰਦਰੁ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਾ ॥ (Raag Bilaaval M. 1, GGS. 795-9).
My mind is the temple, and my body is the simple cloth of the humble seeker; deep within my mind, I bathe at the sacred shrine.

Mann matters as a driving force when a person is alive and the same takes the shape of a Soul when the body dies??

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Exploring of some Gurmat Terms

A lot of discussion (though inconclusive) on various Gurmat terms goes on forever. However, it is amazing to find that the following one single Sabd covers almost all aspects of Gurmat:-

ਏ ਮਨ ਮੇਰਿਆ ਆਵਾ ਗਉਣੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਸਚਿ ਨਿਬੇੜਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ (Raag Vadhans M. 3, GGS. 571-7).
O my mind, the world comes and goes in birth and death; only the True Name shall emancipate you in the end.

ਆਪੇ ਸਚਾ ਬਖਸਿ ਲਏ ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਫੇਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥
When the True Lord Himself grants forgiveness, then one does not have to enter the cycle of reincarnation again.

ਫਿਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਨ ਫੇਰਾ ਅੰਤਿ ਸਚਿ ਨਿਬੇੜਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਵਡਿਆਈ
He does not have to enter the cycle of reincarnation again, and he is emancipated in the end; as Gurmukh, he obtains glorious greatness.

ਸਾਚੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਸਹਜੇ ਮਾਤੇ ਸਹਜੇ ਰਹੇ ਸਮਾਈ ॥
Imbued with love for the True Lord, he is intoxicated with celestial bliss, and he remains absorbed in the Celestial Lord.

ਸਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਇਆ ਸਚੁ ਵਸਾਇਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਬੇਰਾ ॥
The True Lord is pleasing to his mind; he enshrines the True Lord in his mind; attuned to the

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਣੇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਭਵਜਲਿ ਫੇਰਾ ॥੧॥
O Nanak, those who are imbued with the Naam, merge in the True Lord; they are not cast into the terrifying world-ocean again. ||1||

ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਸਭੁ ਬਰਲੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
Emotional attachment to Maya is total madness; through the love of duality, one is ruined.

ਮਾਤਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਹੇਤੁ ਹੈ ਹੇਤੇ ਪਲਚਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
Mother and father – all are subject to this love; in this love, they are entangled.

ਹੇਤੇ ਪਲਚਾਈ ਪੁਰਬਿ ਕਮਾਈ ਮੇਟਿ ਨ ਸਕੈ ਕੋਈ ॥
They are entangled in this love, on account of their past actions, which no one can erase.

ਜਿਨਿ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਾਜੀ ਸੋ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ॥
The One who created the Universe, beholds it; no other is as great as He.

ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਧਾ ਤਪਿ ਤਪਿ ਖਪੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਈ ॥
The blind, self-willed manmukh is consumed by his burning rage; without the Word of the Shabad, peace is not obtained.

ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਭੁਲਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੁਆਈ ॥੨॥
O Nanak, without the Name, everyone is deluded, ruined by emotional attachment to Maya. ||2||

ਏਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਜਲਤਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਕੈ ਭਜਿ ਪਏ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
Seeing that this world on fire, I have hurried to the Sanctuary of the Lord.

ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਕਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਆਗੈ ਰਖਿ ਲੇਵਹੁ ਦੇਹੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
I offer my prayer to the Perfect Guru: please save me, and bless me with Your glorious greatness.

ਰਖਿ ਲੇਵਹੁ ਸਰਣਾਈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਤੁਧੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦਾਤਾ ॥
Preserve me in Your Sanctuary, and bless me with the glorious greatness of the Name of the Lord; there is no other Giver as great as You.

ਸੇਵਾ ਲਾਗੇ ਸੇ ਵਡਭਾਗੇ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਤਾ ॥
Those who are engaged in serving You are very fortunate; throughout the ages, they know the One Lord.

ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਈ ॥
You may practice celibacy, truth, austere self-discipline and rituals, but without the Guru, you shall not be emancipated.

ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸ ਨੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੁਝਾਏ ਜੋ ਜਾਇ ਪਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਰਣਾਈ ॥੩॥
O Nanak, he alone understands the Word of the Shabad, who goes and seeks the Lord’s Sanctuary. ||3||

ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਮਤਿ ਦੇਇ ਸਾ ਊਪਜੈ ਹੋਰ ਮਤਿ ਨ ਕਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
That understanding, imparted by the Lord, wells up; there is no other understanding.

ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੁ ਤੂ ਆਪੇ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ਰਾਮ ॥
Deep within, and beyond as well, You alone are, O Lord; You Yourself impart this understanding.

ਆਪੇ ਦੇਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਈ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖਿਆ ॥
One whom He Himself blesses with this understanding, does not love any other. As Gurmukh, he tastes the subtle essence of the Lord.

ਦਰਿ ਸਾਚੈ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਾਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਖਿਆ ॥
In the True Court, he is forever True; with love, he chants the True Word of the Shabad.

ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਦੇਇ ਵਡਾਈ ॥
Within his home, he finds the home of his own being; the True Guru blesses him with glorious greatness.

ਨਾਨਕ ਜੋ ਨਾਮਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇਈ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਇਨਿ ਮਤਿ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਾਈ ॥੪॥੬॥
O Nanak, those who are attuned to the Naam find the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence; their understanding is true, and approved. ||4||6||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Raam Naam, Naam (NaaMo) and Guru

Ram Naam, Naam (NaaMo) and Guru are perceived to be at a higher pedestal as compared to Waheguru (God) for the reason because these lead us to God (Waheguru) and no other way. The Nadr/Grace/Kirpa/Gurparsad/Bakhshish is engrossed in them and come through these Divine entities put in place by Waheguru.

The following pankties will give a clear view:-

Ram Naam

ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਰ ਮੈ ਗਹਿਓ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਸਮ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥(Salok Guru Teg Bahadur, GGS. 1429-10).
I have enshrined the Lord’s Name within my heart; there is nothing equal to it.

ਜਿਹ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੰਕਟ ਮਿਟੈ ਦਰਸੁ ਤੁਹਾਰੋ ਹੋਇ ॥੫੭॥੧॥
Meditating in remembrance on it, my troubles are taken away; I have received the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. ||57||1||

Ram Naam Japna is a way to erase one’s ignorance/ego/houmai (i. e. the ਸੰਕਟ – the greatest barrier between a human-being and Waheguru) in order to perceive Divine Presence.

Naam (NaaMo/NaaMu)

Anyone who has trust and faith in Naam eventually becomes familiar with the Divinity (Waheguru).

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥ (Raag Gauri M.5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam, The Name of the Lord (Waheguru), O Nanak, knows the way to Immaculate Lord (Waheguru). ||3||

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਆਪਨ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਬਡਭਾਗੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਸੇਇ ॥੮॥੧੩॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-1).
He Himself gives His Name to those, upon whom He bestows His Mercy. Very fortunate, O Nanak, are those people. ||8||13||


Regarding a true Guru, Guru Ram Dass Ji and Guru Arjan Dev Ji shed the light of their personal experiences as follows:-

ਸਮੁੰਦੁ ਵਿਰੋਲਿ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਹਮ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਇਕ ਵਸਤੁ ਅਨੂਪ ਦਿਖਾਈ ॥(Raag Asa M. 4, GGS. 442-18).
I have churned the ocean of the body, and I have seen the incomparable thing come into view.

ਗੁਰ ਗੋਵਿੰਦੁ ਗਵਿੰਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਭਾਈ ॥੪॥੧॥੮॥
The Guru is God, and God is the Guru, O Nanak; there is no difference between the two,

ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Raag Gond M. 5, GGS. 864-9).
Know that the Guru and the Transcendent Lord are One. Whatever pleases Him is acceptable and approved. ||1||Pause||

ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਦਰਦੁ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਭਾਗੈ ॥
One whose mind is attached to the Guru’s feet His pains, sufferings and doubts run away.

ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਪਾਏ ਮਾਨੁ ॥
Serving the Guru, honor is obtained.

ਗੁਰ ਚਰਣੀ and ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ amount to contemplating and experiencing the truths/divine light in Gurbani (Gurbani eis jag mein channan).

Sikh, Sevak, Jan, Sadh, Sants, Gurmukhs

They are Bhagats of Waheguru and Waheguru keeps them in His loop as they have tasted Ram Naam and Naam/NaaMo by following a True Guru. Therefore, they are marg darshi and deserve highest respect and attention as they are appointed as the custodians of Divine Treasures with contemplative and practical know how of Gurbani in Sikhi:-

ਰਤਨ ਜਵੇਹਰ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਗਿਆਨ ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 5, 893-17).
The Naam, the Name of the Lord, is a jewel, a ruby. It brings Truth, contentment and spiritual wisdom.

ਸੂਖ ਸਹਜ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੋਤਾ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਾ ਹਵਾਲੈ ਹੋਤਾ ॥੧॥
The Lord entrusts the treasures of peace, Intuition and kindness to His devotees. ||1||

ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਭੰਡਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਾ ਹਵਾਲੈ ਹੋਤਾ ॥੧॥
This is the treasure of my Lord. Consuming and expending it, it is never used up. The Lord has no end or limitation. ||1||Pause||

ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਨਿਰਮੋਲਕ ਹੀਰਾ ॥ ਆਨੰਦ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰਾ ॥
The Kirtan of the Lord’s Praise is a priceless diamond. It is the ocean of bliss and virtue.

ਅਨਹਦ ਬਾਣੀ ਪੂੰਜੀ ॥ ਸੰਤਨ ਹਥਿ ਰਾਖੀ ਕੂੰਜੀ ॥੨॥
In the Word of the Guru’s Bani is the wealth of the unstruck sound current. The Saints hold the key to it in their hands. ||2||

ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਗੁਫਾ ਤਹ ਆਸਨੁ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਹ ਬਾਸਨੁ ॥
They sit there, in the cave of deep Samaadhi; The unique, perfect Lord God dwells there.

ਭਗਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੋਸਟਿ ਕਰਤ ॥ ਤਹ ਹਰਖ ਨ ਸੋਗ ਨ ਜਨਮ ਨ ਮਰਤ ॥੩॥
God holds conversations with His devotees. There is no pleasure or pain, no birth or death there. ||3||

ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਆਪਿ ਦਿਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਤਿਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
One whom the Lord Himself blesses with His Mercy, Obtains the Lord’s wealth in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.

ਦਇਆਲ ਪੁਰਖ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੇਰੀ ਵਰਤਣਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥੪॥੨੪॥੩੫॥
Nanak prays to the merciful Primal Lord; The Lord is my merchandise, and the Lord is my capital. ||4||24||35||

Finally –

ਊਚੇ ਉਪਰਿ ਊਚਾ ਨਾਉ ॥(Guru Nanak Dev, Jap, GGS.5-10).
Highest of the High, above all is His (Waheguru’s) Name.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

ਧਿਗੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ

In Sikhi, without contemplating on Gurbani (Naam), the life is a waste. Drigh and Dhhig have same meaning.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਰਖਿਓ ਉਰ ਧਾਰਿ ॥ (Salok Vaaraan and Vadheek Guru Amar Das, GGS. 1414-3).
Those who do not serve the True Guru, and do not keep the Shabad enshrined in their hearts

ਧਿਗੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਕਿਤੁ ਆਏ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥?
Cursed are their lives. Why did they even come into the world?

Duality is recognized as a serious root-cause of hindrance in the Sikhi-Spiritual Marg-

ਵਿਣੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਜਿ ਮੰਗਣਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਦੁਖਾ ਕੈ ਦੁਖ ॥ ਦੇਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੀਆ ਉਤਰੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਭੁਖ ॥ (Raag Raamkali, M. 5, GGS. 959-1).
To ask for any other than You, Lord, is the most miserable of miseries. Please bless me with Your Name, and make me content; may the hunger of my mind be satisfied.

The access to Naam (Divine Sohjee) is obtained/granted by contemplating on Gurbani/Sabd

ਸਦਾ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਲਾਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਾਵਏ ॥ (Raag Raamkali, M. 3, GGS. 917-7).
Constantly singing Your Praises and Glories, Your Name is enshrined in the mind.

ਨਾਮੁ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਵਾਜੇ ਸਬਦ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥
The divine melody of the Shabad vibrates for those, within whose minds the Naam abides.

The only prescribed way to live a purposeful life (opposite of Dhrig-life) is enumerated by Guru Nanak Sahib:-

ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ (Japji Sahib, Guru Nanak, GGS. 4-16).
Without virtue, there is no devotional worship.

What is that essential Gun (ਗੁਣ)/ And without which the ‘Gobind Millan’ is not possible? – ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ

ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਤਾ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਉਰੁ ਕੈਸੀ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥ (Raag Tilang, M. 1, 722-13).
Give up your self-hood, in order to obtain your Husband Lord; as no other clever tricks are of any use?

ਸਹੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਸੋ ਦਿਨੁ ਲੇਖੈ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥
When the Husband Lord looks upon the soul-bride with His Gracious Glance, that day is historic – the bride obtains the nine treasures.

The need is to become a ‘ਕਾਮਣਿ’ by surrendering to Waheguru – seeing HIM in the driving seat and losing sight of oneself completely.

Finally, the Gurbani gives ample directions as to how to become Divinely enlightened:-

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੮॥ (Salok Vaaraan and Vadheek Guru Amar Das, GGS. 1414-14).
    O Nanak, the devotees are imbued with the Lord; they are absorbed in the Name of the Lord. ||18||
  • ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਤਾ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਉਰੁ ਕੈਸੀ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ॥(Raag Tilang M. 1, GGS. 722-13).
    Give up your selfhood, and so obtain your Husband Lord; what other clever tricks are of any use?
  • ਅਵਗਣ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸਮਾਈਐ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਪੂਰਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Sri Raag M.1, GGS. 56-14).
    Renouncing wrongful actions, following the Guru’s Teachings, you shall be absorbed into the Perfect One. ||1||Pause||
  • ਆਪੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਸਰਨਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ॥ (Raug Gauri M. 5, GGS. 288-13).
    Give up your selfishness and conceit, and seek the Sanctuary of the Divine Guru.
  • ਅੰਧੁਲੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਸੂਝਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਭੇਟਿ ਪੁਨੀਤਾ ॥੧॥ (Raag Bilaaval M. 5, 809-17).
    And the blind man sees the three worlds, by meeting with the True Guru and being purified. ||1||

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Naam and Hukam lead to Waheguru(God)

Waheguru (God) is neither Naam nor Hukam.

Naam and Hukam are doors / indicators to connect with God (Waheguru).

Naam leads to God (Waheguru):-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 281-11).
One whose mind accepts/recognizes the Naam, Says Nanak, Naam leads to the
Immaculate Lord. ||3||


ਹੁਕਮਿ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਹੋਵੈ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਤਾ ਖਸਮੈ ਕਾ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥ (Raag Asa M. 1, GGS.
Obeying the Order of God’s Will, one becomes acceptable to obtaining the Divine

Hukami is God/Waheguru:-

ਹੁਕਮੀ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਚਲਾਏ ਰਾਹੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਵੇਪਰਵਾਹੁ ॥੩॥(Guru Nanak Jap Ji Sahib, GGS.
Waheguru (God) leads the creation as He wills and pleases.

Guru Nanak Sahib makes it known that God houses His Creation. Therefore God is
total sum of His Creation:-

ਜਿਨਿ ਕੀਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਸੋਇ ॥ Raag Maroo M. 1, GGS.1093-10).
He who created the creation, watches over it; He Himself knows.

ਕਿਸ ਨੋ ਕਹੀਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਾ ਘਰਿ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥੨॥
Unto whom should I speak, O Nanak, when everything is contained within God ?

So Hukami, Hukam and Naam are interrelated but not the same.

With Waheguru’s blessings.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Understanding Gurbani

The Gurbani according to the Gurus is a composite of divine messages received by them from Waheguru. The Gurbani is about sharing the timeless truths out of the treasures of God.

Everyone should be free to pursue his/her passion to relook into the meanings of the Gurbani. However, it would be more appropriate to look in to such areas which need clarification or further elaboration. After identifying such areas, if one comes up with a fresh outlook which makes a real difference in understanding the widely accepted interpretations is a desirable and a needed step to serve the Sikh Community and Humanity.

There are some issues that need resolutions and clarity:-

It is believed that the central idea of a Sabd revolves around the “Rahau” . If one opened the Rahau Tuk as per the philosophy of guru sahiban perhaps the understanding of the Gurbani may become simpler. But then there are sabds where there is no Rahau. In Japji and Sukhmani Sahib (widely read banis) there are no Rahaus. And there are Sabds with more than one “Rahau’.

“Naam” is another fundamental issue which needs clarification. Similarly Sant , Sadh, Guru , Bhagat , Gurdwara , Dharamsal , Man, Atma , Ninda , Ahankar , Amrit , Arti , Indrey, Sach, Satguru , Gurmantar etc like issues are very delicate topics to be dealt with carefully while elaborating.

In most Tuks where”Nanak” comes, according to most teekas it is not clear whether Nanak says for himself or for Sikhs or for both or is just narrating as a message from God? There is a lot of confusion, which needs to be resolved by using appropriate expressions.

Some think that whatever is under Nanak’s name is directed for us to understand the “Divinity”. Guru Nanak Ji himself knew and understood these messages very well since he was part of the “Divinity”. Moreover, the Gurus claim that they said in the Gurbani what they were ordained to say by the Akalpukh.

Another view is wherever Nanak word is mentioned in Gurbani, it is not mentioned for Nanak but the one who is prevailing all over. Like word Ram (who is ramia hoeya ram).

The use of words ‘Ram’, ‘Gopal’ and other Hindu gods/goddesses need a clear direction
and not with hidden meanings, with which we have lived for ages. It is appropriate to highlight where Gurus share spiritual experiences of sages of other religions rather than diluting or simply dismissing as brahmanical intrusions. If there is reference to spirituality of others (before the time of Gurus) that further reinforces the spiritual flights emerging from the Gurbani. References to other spiritual traditions are often ignored, e.g. references to Wujud (Sufism) and Sunnya (Tantric).

Some such expressions as ‘Ramdas sarovar’ and ‘Amritsar nave’ need to be spelled out clearly based on the overall spirit of the Gurbani.

Any attempt to bring clarity in interpreting the Gurbani will be a divine Sewa and this some say requires “Anubhav”. In other words correct interpretations belong to only ‘Anubhavis’, who have experimented with Gurbani in daily life. There are Sikhs around who are imbibed with Nadr and Mehr of Waheguru to undertake this task. Interpretation is not the job of one person it will be the collective efforts of all enlightened and dedicated souls.

The translation of the Guru Granth Sahib is just playing with the sentiments of millions of Sikhs and such documents become a history for future. It does not mean that a person if is capable of writing good English may sit on such a pious project. The following famous authors and some others are available on the issue of translation of GGS:-

1. Singh Sahib Sant Singh Khalsa 2.Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Dr Gopal Singh 3. Dr. Gurcharan Singh 4.Gurbachan Singh Talib 5. Gurbachan Singh Makin 6. Dr. Darshan Singh 7. Manmohan Singh 8. Kartar Singh Duggal 9. Pritam Singh Chahail 10. Dr. Sahib Singh 11. Dr.Tarlochan Singh 12. Dr.Bhai Jodh Singh 13. Professor Kohli etc.

The Sikhs do understand the importance of this task and agree that there is a need for translations and interpretations, which address the minds of intellectuals and younger generations. Damdami Taksal and Sikh Missionary Colleges have played a noticeable role in this respect.

Genuine concern:-

When the Sikhs were able to preserve the Guru Granth Sahib in original forms, why the SGPC is not able to present its real interpretation? If SGPC delivers the real interpretation, you think there would have been so much pakhand and so many Gurdwaras based on caste and more than 300 deras mushrooming in Punjab.

Some personal reflections on Gurbani by some Sikhs are:

“Our Gurus compiled Dhur ki Bani in the form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji God sent me in this world in a Sikh home. Our Gurus gave us Shabd Guru. We have to pass through this world, pass this exam of Life. We are given an open book to pass the exam. Yet, we keep the book closed, do not bother to read it or try interpreting it for ourselves. Our own interpretation changes as we grow, mature, go through the hard knocks of life, have families, children, go through illness, pain, anxiety, betrayal, death of loved ones etc. Guru Sabd is a manual given to us to live our life, not to just read it again and again, but apply the teachings to our life, only then we will understand it. I must have read the verse ” Hum Aadmi ha ik dami” so many times, but comprehended the meaning only when I saw my father take his last breath!”

“It is a common observation that those who read and contemplate on the GGS (say twice or thrice a year) from “Sanchis” and make some notes of various tuks, which some time may spread into 3-4 notebooks. On comparing these notes later they find that the level of understanding go on changing and enhancing as one proceeds in life by attaining more worldly knowledge and experience. At time when one needs to find a relevant Tuk, one can easily find from these notes. There are people who use such notes as “Nitnem” and the rest of Guru Granth Sahib as a supplement. With this habit one reads the Guru Granth Sahib more often that only reading the GGS routinely. The wisdom of Guru Granth sahib reveals over time with ongoing efforts and is self rewarding”.

“We all have a ‘translation’ of the guru granth sahib in our heads. When listening to Kirtan we have some understanding of what it means to us. Since all of us have an evolving understanding of Gurbani and all of us cannot help having whatever understanding of gurbani we have, translating only ends when Sikhs themselves come to an end”.

“I have continued to use the neuter, as it seems the most meaningful to me. I know that we give lip service to the genderless nature of the Eternal, but I find all this “he” and “him” and “his” to be distracting. I also believe that by consistently using the masculine, it is very easy to actually see Akaal Purakh as masculine. Language is powerful. I would be interested if anyone else has done such as experiment”.

So any attempt to bring clarity in interpreting the Gurbani will be a divine Sewa and this requires “Anubhav”. In other words correct interpretations belong to only ‘Anubhavis’. Where they have been so far since no single interpretation of Gurbani in its real perspective has been produced so far?

Translations are only as good as the person’s own understanding of Gurbani. As we continue to read the GGS, our personal interpretations keep changing according to our own life experiences. “Sahib mera neet Navaan” (M. 1). What we understood as children, youth, young adults, married with families, personal relationships, calamities, personal tragedies, betrayals, death in a family, old age etc. continues to change. The Sabad does not change rather our own understanding changes as we get closer to Sabd-Guru. Our love, our understanding, the peace we get from being in constant conversation with Sabd-Guru continues to elevate our spirit. The more we understand on our own, the more we want to be with Sabd- Guru. Yes, translations can be a good aid to understanding difficult words, however, it is an academic exercise. Translations are important, there are a lot of people who are not well versed in Gurmukhi, language, grammar etc. and need help. We have all used translations and continue to use them. Some confuse us more and we get derailed, our heart understands something else and we may be stuck with the understanding of the translator!

Yes, if someone wants to spend their time, and share their personal interpretations with the rest of the world and add another translation to help those who want to understand the SGGS who are we to discourage this endeavor!

However, there is no final translation. There is definitely a need for a simple one – a kids’ guru granth sahib akin to a children’s bible that young people can read.

Any attempt to make a REAL DIFFERENCE in proper understanding of Gurbani would be an attempt in the right direction rather than repeating what is already on the ground with insignificant change.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Gur Parbrahm Parmeshar Aap

In the following Sabd, Guru Arjan Dev Ji throws light on Satgur, Gur, Parbrahm and Parmeshar (ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਆਪਿ ॥ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਜਾਪਿ ॥੪॥੧੬॥੬7॥).

The very fact Guru Ji is recommending that one should remember Gur all the time (aath pehar). This clearly means that Gur, Satgur is the same as Parbrahm, Parmeshar, Har…. (Waheguru).

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਸਦ ਸਦਾ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਕੇਸ ਸੰਗਿ ਝਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ (Raag Asa M. 5, 387=12).
I contemplate, forever and ever, the True Guru; With my hair, I dust the feet of the Guru. ||1||

ਜਾਗੁ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਜਾਗਨਹਾਰੇ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਆਵਸਿ ਕਾਮਾ ਝੂਠਾ ਮੋਹੁ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਪਸਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Be wakeful, O my awakening mind! Without the Lord, nothing else shall be of use to you; false is emotional attachment, and useless are worldly entanglements. ||1||Pause||

ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਿਉ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਿਰਪਾਲੁ ਹੋਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥
Embrace love for the Word of the Guru’s Bani. When the Guru shows His Mercy, pain is destroyed. ||2||

ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਦਾਤਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਦੇਵੈ ਨਾਉ ॥੩॥
Without the Guru, there is no other place of rest. The Guru is the Giver, the Guru gives the Name. ||3||

ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਆਪਿ ॥ ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਜਾਪਿ ॥੪॥੧੬॥੬੭॥
The Guru is the Supreme Lord God; He Himself is the Transcendent Lord. Twenty-four hours a day, O Nanak, meditate on the Guru. ||4||16||67||

Therefore, it becomes clear that Guru is an enlightener of the like of Sikh Gurus who give us sohjee to walk on a spiritual path that leads us to Gur, Satgur, Parbrahm, Parmeshar, Har………Waheguru.

All Gurus were devotees of Waheguru and as such qualify to be called as ‘Bhagats’ in essence. It is out of reverence that we address them with a prefix of Guru. Since they are familiar and imbibed with their Gur, they are capable to lead us to Waheguru (Divine Gur-Sohjee). Gurus are certainly enlightener of the BEANT (WAHEGURU) in limited sense.

Only if Waheguru wants then anybody can be the same with or equal to Waheguru. Our Gurus claim themselves as das, sevak, sikh…of Waheguru (morakh kare layiaa).

However, with Waheguru everything is possible!

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand

Bolo Ji Waheguru

In our daily supplication (Ardas), which is primarily offered to Waheguru (Pritham Bhagauti) we go on to say “Bolo Ji Waheguru (utter Waheguru/Wondrous God/Lord)” six times on remembering Sikh Gurus by name, and all those individuals who were Naamis in the first place; and the Gurduaras or places/shrines (Takhats) which are associated with Sikh religion and its practices mainly reciting of Gurbani and Keertan etc.

After remembering the early history of the Sikhs, we go to the MAIN part of the Ardas, which starts like:-

“Prithme sarbat khalsa ji ki ardas hai ji, sarbat khalsa ji ko Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru chitt avai, chitt avan ka sadka sarab sukh hovai.”
(Waheguru Ji ! First the entire Khalsa Panth makes this supplication that may the members of Khalsa meditate on Your Name; and may all pleasures and comforts come through such meditation).

A special request is made in asking for ‘danan sir daan – Naam Daan’ (the most significant gift of Naam).

Again in the middle part of Ardas, the Sikhs request Waheguru to grant them humility, exalted wisdom and also to protect their wisdom:-

“Sikhan da mann nivan, mat uchi, mat da rakha aap Waheguru”

Before the Ardas ends, a special appeal is made: ‘sei piare mel, jinahan millian tera Naam chit avai’ (Kindly cause us to meet those true Gursikhs by meeting whom, we may remember Your Name).

The Ardas ends reassuring ourselves that: ‘Nanak naam chardi kala, tere bhane sarbat da bhala’ (Your name is a divine tool to bring universal prosperity).

In all we say ‘Waheguru’ minimum 11 times ( though some and I go on saying Waheguru many more times at each prescribed step of ‘Bolo Ji Waheguru’).

Do we ever pause that how come some Gurmukhs came up recommending us “Bolo Ji Waheguru” so many times in our daily Ardas and does the repetition of Waheguru has any significance?

In fact, if you read the Guru Granth Sahib carefully, the whole Bani resounds “Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru…….”

Without doubt our forefathers had had a good comprehension of Gurbani who prescribed the repetition of Waheguru, Waheguru……… the Ardas.

ਸਾਜਨ ਸੰਤ ਕਰਹੁ ਇਹੁ ਕਾਮੁ ॥ ਆਨ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਜਪਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 290-3).
O friends, O Saints, make this your work. Renounce everything else, and chant the Name of the Lord.
i.e. uttering of His name is glorious and vertuous.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand