SHABAD, NAAM, BANI, GURBANI - WHAT IS IT?

ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਇਸੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੩॥:
Gurbani vartee jag antari isu Bani te Hari Naamu paaidaa ||3|| (sggs 1066).
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The terms Shabad, Naam and Bani (pronounced Baanee) are essentially synonymous and refer to the Divine Essence. As indicated in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), the Transcendental Spirit perpetually expresses through the Shabad (Naam, Bani, Hukam...). in essence, the Shabad is of the Nature of God. The Guru and God are also indicated to be one and the same. Hence, the Shabad is the Guru and the Guru is the Shabad.

  • ਏਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਏਕੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਭ ਏਕਸੁ ਤੇ ਉਤਪਤਿ ਚਲੈ ॥: Eko Shabadu eko prabhu vartai sabh ekasu te utpati chaalai (sggs 1334).
  • ਜੇਤਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਤੇਤਾ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋ ਥਾਉ ॥: Jetaa keetaa tetaa Naaou. Vinu Naavai naahee ko thaaou (sggs 4).
  • ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਆਪੁ ਸਾਜਿਓ ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਰਚਿਓ ਨਾਉ ॥: Aapeenhai aapu saajio aapeenhai rachio naaou (sggs 463).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: Guru Parmesuru eko jaanu (sggs 864).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ  ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੭॥: Antair Sabadu nidhaanu hai mili aapu gavaaeeai ||7|| (sggs 228).
As the Supreme Reality is Homogeneous Oneness, so is the Shabad. Just as the All-pervading Reality is woven in all His creation, so does His Shabad. Because of It's Eternal Nature, It has no beginning, middle, or end. To put it otherwise, It existed before the Creation, It exists now and It will exist in the future.

After reading this, a question may arise in the mind: If the Shabad existed before the creation, where was it? As indicated in the Gurbani, Before the creation comes into being, the Shabad resides within the Unmanifest Spirit in the form of "Profound Trance" (Sunn Samaadhi). Since the Divine Substance and the Shabad are one and the same, the Shabad ever remains full of all Divine Qualities or Virtues.

  • ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਤੀ ਤਉ ਅਕੁਲੀਣਿ ਰਹਤਉ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Roop n rekhiaa jaati n hotee taou akuleeni rahataou Sabadu su saaru (sggs 945).
  • ਅਰਬਦ ਨਰਬਦ ਧੁੰਧੂਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਧਰਣਿ ਨ ਗਗਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਾ ਦਿਨੁ ਰੈਨਿ ਨ ਚੰਦੁ ਨ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਲਗਾਇਦਾ ॥੧॥: Arbad narbad dhandhookaara. Dharni n gagnaa hukmi apaaraa. N dinu rain n chandu n sooraju sonn samaadhi lagaaidaa ||1|| (sggs 1035).
In this way, the entire creation (subtle and gross) comes into being from the Shabad, remains sustained in the Shabad, and merges back into the Shabad. The relationship between the Shabad and creation is the same as between the one ocean and countless waves, the one gold and many ornaments made of the gold, the one clay and numerous clay-pots, the one thread and many beads strung on that one thread, and the one sun and countless rays that emanate from it.
  • ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਓਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ॥: Utpati parlaou Sabde hovai. Sabade Hee phiri opati hovai (sggs 117).

During "Sidh Gosati" (sggs 938), the Sidhas posed many questions to Baabaa Nanak. Three of these inquiries were: "Who is your Guru? How do you become a disciple (ਸਿੱਖ)? Where does this Shabad reside?" Baabaa Nanak responded as follows:

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: Sabadu Guroo surti dhuni chelaa ||: The Shabad is (my) Guroo. (My) "ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ" or focusing of Consciousness is the disciple (of This Guroo) (sggs 943).
  • ਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਆਛੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਜੋਤਿ ਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਹੈ ॥: Su sabadu nirantari nij ghari aashai tribhavan joti su sabadi lahai (sggs 945).
If the Divine Light is a coin, the Shabad and Naam are the two sides of the same coin. While the Shabad, as stated earlier, is the Essence of the Dynamic Truth; the Naam (Aatam-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad, Gur-Updesh or Teaching...) may be thought of as the dynamic activation of this Dynamic Truth. Therefore, in Divine-Essence, the Shabad is the Naam and Naam is the Shabad.
  • ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਮਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥: Gur oupdesu manai mahi lehu: Keep the Gur-Updesh (Teachings) in your mind (sggs 178).
  • ਸਬਦੇ ਹੀ ਨਾਉ ਊਪਜੈ ਸਬਦੇ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਬਉਰਾਨਾ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਏਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: Sabade hee ... Amritu eko sabadu hai Nanak gurmukhi paaiaa ||2||: Through the Shabad, the Name wells up within, and through the Shabad, we unite with the Lord. Without the Shabad, the whole world is gone insane, and it loses (human) life in vain. The (Guru's) Shabad alone is Amrit (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਜਲ); O Nanak! It is obtained by becoming the Gurmukhs ||2|| (sggs 644).
  • ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਜਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਭੋਗੋ ॥: Anhat Bani Gur Sabadi jaanee Hari Naamu Hari rasu bhogo (sggs 921).
  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਸੋ ਸਭਿ ਗੁਣ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥: Aapu pachhaanai so sabhi gun jaanai. Gur kai Sabadi Hari Naamu vakhaanai (sggs 1057).
  • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਇਸੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੩॥: Gurbani vartee jag antari isu Bani te Hari Naamu paaidaa ||3|| (sggs 1066).
The Gurbani affirms that everyplace, everything is subject to the Hukam (Divine Command, Divine Will, Eternal Law, Bhaanaa...), which none can escape. To be in His Hukam, in essence, is essentially the same as to be connected to His Shabad (Naam, Brahm-Giaan of the Gurb ani...) within. In other words, understanding of the Divine Hukam is the Realization of His Shabad, Naam or Bani. Therefore, in essence, the Shabad is Hukam and the Hukam is Shabad.
  • ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Hukamai andari sabhu ko baahari hukam n koi. Nanak hukamai je bujhai t houmai kehai n koi (sggs 1).

When the Shabad expresses through the Realized Souls in poetic expressions of the inexpressible Infinite Truth, it becomes Gurbani (Word-Guru, Shabad-Guru, Celestial Song, Gurmat, Scripture, Granth...). Thus, the Gurbani is the manifestation of this very Eternal Shabad. Viewing it from an another angle, the Gurbani can be looked at as an interpreter between the man and the Divine Factor. It's the mighty river that directly links to the God-Ocean. Although the term "Bani" as appears in the SGGS is predominantly used to indicate "Shabad" or "Naam", but occasionally it may also appear to indicate Gurbani.

  • ਸਬਦੇ ਉਪਜੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥: Shabde upjai amrit Bani gurmukh aakh sunavaniyaa ||3||: Through the Shabad, (Love, ਲਗਨ, etc.) of the Amrit Bani emanates (in one's Heart). Who becomes the Gurmukh narrates it (and makes others) to hear ||3|| (sggs 125).
  • ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਪਛਾਣੀ ਨਾਉ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਪਿਆਰਾ ॥੨॥: Jugi jugi Bani Sabadi pachhaanee naaou meethaa manhi piaaraa ||2||: Through the Shabad (Vichaar, one who understands his Mool) Realizes that in every age It is the Bani (that can link us back to the Mool), the Naam becomes sweet and dear to his mind ||2|| (sggs 602).

Thus, the Gurbani is a Transcendental Vibratory Sound in letter form. Each Sound is like a real hammer-stroke that nails Divine Love, Infinite Wisdom (Agaadg Bodh, Brahm-Giaan...) on to the vague comprehension of all early disciples who are genuinely serious in their pursuit of the Absolute Truth. It is a Song-celestial. The Divine Poet in all Masters and Bhagats is let loose in the 1430 pages of the SGGS. Each verse is sure and striking example, pregnant with the Highest Divine Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan) for the aspirants, capable of dispelling the darkness of ignorance.

  • ਸਭਿ ਨਾਦ ਬੇਦ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਰਾਤਾ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਣੀ ॥ ਤਹ ਤੀਰਥ ਵਰਤ ਤਪ ਸਾਰੇ ॥: Sabhi naad Ved Gurbani. Manu raataa sarang paanee. Tah tirath varat tap saare: Naad (Yogic - ਸਿੰਙੀ ਆਦਿਕ ) and the Vedas, everything is Gurbani. (Through this Gurbani) the mind becomes attuned to God. (In that High Spiritual State - ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ) are sacred shrine of pilgrimage, fasting and austere self-discipline (sggs 879).
  • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥੧॥: Gurbani isu jag mahi chaananu karami vasai mani aaye ||1||: The Gurbani is the Light (of Divine Wisdom, Brahm-Giaan...) to illuminate this world (it shows people the right way of life); by the Grace (of Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad...) it comes to abide within the mind. ||1|| (sggs 67).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥: Satigur kee bani sati saroopu hai gurbani baneeai: The Satgur's Bani is the embodiment of Truth; therefore, Become as the Gurbani (realize or Understand the Gurbani and live it) (sggs 304).

The Gurbani is a living Divine Word ("ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ"). It's also called Gurmat the Divine Teaching (Mat). It is Giaan-Kalaa, Gur-Giaan, Aatamic Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, and so on. It is given to the entire mankind to Reflect upon it; to feast upon it; and to drink in it! The Aatam-Giaan (Divine knowledge...) is boxed in it as fragrance is boxed in a flower. Any Bhagti without the Aatam-Giaan (Divine Knowledge...) is empty as a married life to an eunuch!

Hence, the Gurbani is not an ordinary poem or song; it is the Divine Word, which has descended to the mankind from the Original Source ("ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ"). Therefore, the Gurbani contained in the SGGS is not a few hundred years old, but it is Timeless as the Akaal Purakh (Timeless Consciousness). It is as Eternal, Immortal, and Divine as the Supreme Being. It is the Channel, and the Essence of God. Accordingly, it's called "ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ" (Dhur Kee Baanee).

  • ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥: Dhur ki Bani aaee. Tin saglee chint mitaaee: Within whom this Bani of the Primal Lord enters (pierced through - ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਸਿਫ਼ਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ ਦੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਜਿਸ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਦੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਆ ਵੱਸੀ), he eradicates all his anxiety (sggs 628).
  • ਹਉ ਆਪਹੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਮੈ ਕਹਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਹੁਕਮਾਉ ਜੀਉ ॥: Haou aapahu bol n jaanadaa mai kahiaa sabh hukamaaou jeeou: By myself, I do not even know how to speak (i.e., ਮੈਂ ਆਪਣੀ ਅਕਲ ਦਾ ਆਸਰਾ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਇਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਦੱਸ ਰਿਹਾ); I speak all that God commands (sggs 763).
  • ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਸੁਣਿ ਸਾਚੀ ਸਾਖੀ ॥ ਸੋ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਜੋ ਪੇਖਹਿ ਆਖੀ ॥: Santan kee suni saachee saakhee. So bolahi jo pekhahi aakhee (sggs 894).
  • ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਜਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਤੀਤੈ ਸੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥: Permesar ke duaarai ji hoyi biteetai su Nanaku aakhi sunavai (sggs 373).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਦਰਿ ਵਰਤਿਆ ਸੁ ਨਾਨਕਿ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ ॥: Hari kai dari vartiaa so Nanaki aakhi sunaaiaa (sggs 316).
  • ਜੈਸੀ ਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਖਸਮ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੈਸੜਾ ਕਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥: Jaisee mai aavai khasam kee Bani taisadaa karee giaanu ve Lalo (sggs 722).
  • ਲੋਗੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਇਹੁ ਗੀਤੁ ਹੈ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥: Logu jaanai ihu geetu hai ihu taou Braham beechaar (sggs 335).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਾਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਾਵਾ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥: Hari jeeou saachaa saachee Bani Sabad milaavaa hoi ||1|| (sggs 32)

In fact, in the SGGS, the Baanee is called "Nirankaar" (i.e., Formless), Truth, Amrit, and so on.

  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Vaahu vaahu baanee nirankaar hai tis jevad avar na koi: Waaho! Waaho! Baanee is Nirankaar Himself (the Formless Lord - ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਆਕਾਰ-ਰਹਿਤ ਹੈ ਉਸੇ ਦਾ ਰੂਪ). There is no other as Great as He is (sggs 515).
  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਸਚਿ ਮਿਲਾਵਾ ਹੋਇ ॥: Vaahu vaahu baanee sach hai sach milaavaa hoi ||: Waaho! Waaho! is the True Word of the Bani, by which we meet the Truth (sggs 514).
  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਧੀ ਭਾਲਿ ॥ : Vaahu vaahu baanee sach hai guramukh ladhhee bhaal ||: Waaho! Waaho! Bani is the Truth. Searching, those who have become Gurmukhs have found it (sggs 514).
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਬਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਣੀ ॥: Amrit sabadu amrit hari baanee ||: The Shabad is Amrit; the Bani is Amrit (sggs 119).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਤਿਖ ਜਾਇ ॥: Gur kaa sabadu amritu hai jitu peetai tikh jaai || The Gur-Shabad is Amrit; drinking it in (Reflecting upon the Shabad, Shabad-Vichaar...), thirst (of Maya-ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ...) is quenched (sggs 35).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਉ ॥: Gur kaa sabadu amrit rasu peeou: (O my mind!) Gur-Shabad is the Amrit (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਰਸ), drink it (sggs 891).
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭੋਗੇ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰਿ ॥ : Amritu meethaa sabadu veechaari || Anadinu bhoge houmai maari (sggs 424).

From the above verses of the Gurbani, it becomes clear that the Shabad, Guru, Satiguru, God, Akaal Purakh, Naam (Divine Name), Divine Light, Word, Anhad-Dhuni, Naad (Divine Sound), Hukam, Bani, etc., are virtually synonymous. It also becomes clear that the Shabad or Naam not only resides in the bosom of all beings, it also pervades the entire creation as butter in the milk, and as fire in the wood. It is the Unstruck Celestial Sound that vibrates, creates, guides, controls, directs, sustains, and animates every particle of the cosmos.

  • ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਜੰਤ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਖੰਡ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸੁਨਨ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਆਗਾਸ ਪਾਤਾਲ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲ ਆਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਸਭ ਭਵਨ ॥ ਨਾਮ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਉਧਰੇ ਸੁਨਿ ਸ੍ਰਵਨ ॥: Naam ke dhaare sagle jant ... (sggs 284).

To put it in simple language, the Shabad or Naam is akin to a subtle bridge ("ਸੇਤੁ") between the Source (Mool, Nij Ghar, Jot ...) and the Sansaar (the place of repeated suffering). By becoming the Gurmukhi (becoming one with the Gurmat-Giaan or Bibek-Bidhi of the Gurbani...), first, one must build this bridge (ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬਾਂਧਿਓ ਸੇਤੁ ਬਿਧਾਤੈ ॥: Gurmukh baandhio setu bidhaatai, sggs 946). Then one and can go across to his Real Home (Mool, Nij Ghar...) or True Nature (Joti-Svaroopa) within. This is to say that, without Realizing the Essence of the Shabad (Naam, Hukam, Divine Wisdom or Brahm-Giaan, Divine Virtues...) within, one can not link with his Mool within (Source, Origin...).

In nutshell, the Gurbani is the Aatam-Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom...). The purpose of Prema-Bhagti, Naam-Simran, etc. is to make the mind understand and digest this Aatam-Giaan through the unbroken Shabad-Vichaar; followed by a lifestyle that is strictly based on this Brahm-Giaan (Hukam-Mannanaa, living the Gurmat..). Otherwise, what's the use of reasoning and intellectuality; or reading Gurbani and listening to its recitations (or any other scriptures for that matter); or talking about religion, Dharma, spirituality, Truth; etc.?

  • ਤੀਰਥੁ ਹਮਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Tirathi hamaraa Hari ko Naamu. Guri updesiaa tattu giaan ||1||Rahaaou||: God’s Name is my sacred shrine of pilgrimage. The Guru has instructed me in this True Essence of Spiritual Wisdom ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਨਿਚੋੜ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1142).
  • ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਣ ਜਾਉ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: Teerath naavan jaaou teerathu naamu hai …: (I also) go to bathe (ਤੀਰਥ ਉਤੇ ਇਸਨਾਨ) at sacred shrines of pilgrimage (but, for me) the Lord’s Name is the pilgrimage. To Reflect on the Shabad (contemplation, Shabad-Vichaar: ਸਬਦ ਨੂੰ ਵਿਚਾਰ-ਮੰਡਲ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕਾਣਾ, etc.) is the pilgrimage (for me, because of this) Spiritual Wisdom (Aatamic-Giaan) arises within me (sggs 687).

But, as the Gurbani asserts, "rare" is the one who becomes the Gurmukh and reflects on the True Shabad (Naam-Aatm Giaan...) within. Stumbling around in delusion, the rest of us just keep searching It in Maya - the gross objects of the mirage-like enchanting, perishable or changeful world...!

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Gurmukhi saachu sabadu beechharai koi: Rare is the one who, by becoming a Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), reflects on the True Shabad (sggs 946).
  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥: Raam Naamu aatam mahi sodhai (sggs 274).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦੇ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥: Gur kai sabade aapu pashaanai: Realize your own self (i.e., your Mool, Joti-Svaroop...) through the Gur-Shabad (sggs 224).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਨਗਰੀ ਸਬਦੇ ਖੋਜੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਵੰ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨੨॥: Kaaiaa nagaree sabade khoje naam navam nidhi paaee ||22|| (sggs 910).
  • ਨਾਮੈ ਤੇ ਸਭਿ ਊਪਜੇ ਭਾਈ ਨਾਇ ਵਿਸਰਿਐ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Naamai te sabhi oopjai bhaayee naai visariai mari jaai (sggs 603).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org