ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥ :
Kahu kabeer mai so guru paaiaa jaa kaa naaou Bibeko(u) ||4||5||:
Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is Viveka ||4||5|| (sggs 793).

The term "Viveka" (also spelt Bibeka) is equated with the "Guru" (Giaan...) in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS). Obviously, there must be a good reason for the Gurbani to assign such a high status to "Viveka" . The Gurbani — the source of Truth, Infinite Wisdom, a complete guide to practical and Pure life that provides all that is needed to raise one's consciousness to the Highest Level — would like all of us to consciously develop "Viveka" which is conducive for spiritual progress. This is essential to insulate oneself from Maya's influences and also to prepare the mind for contemplation (Shabad-Vichaar). The Gurbani stresses the importance of purifying the mind through Viveka-Budhi (or Bibek budhi - ਚੰਗੇ ਮੰਦੇ ਕੰਮ ਦੀ ਪਰਖ). For a Pure mind alone can lead one towards Divine Life (Gurmukh lifestyle, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ...).

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is "Bibeko(u)" (Wisdom, Discerning Intelligence...). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom...), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection,Contemplation ...). (sggs 864).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮੁ ਮੇਰਾ ॥: Satigur giaanu miliaa preetam meraa: With the Satigur-Giaan, one attains God Realization. (sggs 798).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਸਤ ਸਰੁ ॥: Gur kee mshimaa kiaa kshaa gur bibek sat sar: How can I Glorify the Gur? The Gur is the Ocean of Truth and Viveka (sggs 397).
  • ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਲੇ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਚਰੈ ॥: Nadar kare taa satgur mele anadin bibek budhi bicharai: If God bestows His Glance of Grace, then I will meet the Satigur (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ...); and then my Viveka-Budhi would Reflect (on Naam-Giaan...), night and day (sggs 690).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਮਦਰਸੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਸੰਕ ਉਤਾਰੇ ॥: Bibek guroo guroo samadarasee tis mileeai sank outaare: The Guroo is full of Viveka; the Guroo looks upon all alike. Meeting with Him, doubts are dispelled (sggs 981).
  • ਗਯਾਨ ਗੁਰੂ ਆਤਮ ਉਪਦੇਸਹੁ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਭੂਤ ਲਗਾਓ ॥੧॥ (Dasam Granth 1345).
  • ਗੁਰ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਬਲੀਆ ਜੀਉ ॥ (sggs 173).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ (sggs 864).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਗਿਆਨ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਉਸੁ ਅਸਥਾਨ ਕਾ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਨਾਸੁ ॥ (sggs 278).
  • ਸਭ ਬੁਧੀ ਜਾਲੀਅਹਿ ਇਕੁ ਰਹੈ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੪॥ (sggs 1413)

What is Viveka? Discriminating or purified intellect, clear understanding, Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ) or wisdom is known as Viveka. This subtle sense of discrimination helps one to know the difference between Sat and Asat (truth and falsehood) or right and wrong - ਚੰਗੇ ਮੰਦੇ ਕੰਮ ਦੀ ਪਰਖ. Therefore, this quality is considered must because without it man is unable to discriminate between the real and unreal — eternal (permanent) and the ephemeral (impermanent). Only a person of Viveka-budhi knows that the Absolute Reality alone is eternal (Sat) and that everything else in this fleeting or changeful world being in the framework of time and space is temporary (Asat). Thus, Viveka is not the all consuming material intellect for such intellect is the state of delusion —"filth" or "rabidness" aspect. According to the Gurbani, in the absence of the true Viveka, this precious human life is a total waste. The absence of Viveka is the state of ignorance, delusion or foolishness (Haume or false ego-sense).

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਲੋਭ ਹਲਕੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਭਾਰੀ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਭਰਮਾਇ ॥੧॥: Antar lobh halak dukh bhareei bin bibek bharmaai ||1||: (The man with Haume attaches to Maya) the great ailment of the rabid disease of greed is within him. Without Bibek (discriminating intellect), he wanders around (like a rabid dog) ||1|| (sggs 1132).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਬੂਝਨਹਾਰੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥: Bujai bujjanhar bibek: Only one with Viveka understands it (sggs 285).
  • ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਸਬਲ ਨਿਬਲ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਪਰਮਾਰਥ ਪਰਵੇਸ ਨਹੀ ॥: Indree sabal nibal bibek budh paramaarath paraves nahee: With strong passions, and week discriminating intellect; one has no access to the supreme objective (sggs 658).

Clearly, from a spiritual standpoint, "discrimination" is not as in Connoisseur, racial or social o discriminating. In the deepest sense, it is the firm conviction rooted in Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ) or wisdom that the Lord and Hukam (Command...) alone is Eternal, and that everything else we see is impermanent. Thus, just intellect alone is not enough. Therefore, the SGGS time and again reminds us to use the "discriminating". Otherwise this rare opportunity given to us in the human birth will be wasted and lost ("ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਤ ਅਬਿਬੇਕੈ").

Man is the only creature endowed with the ability to discern right from wrong, and act wisely based on such clear and precise Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) and Divine Knowledge (Giaan). However, we rejoice whenever we achieve tangible assets in life, (worldly goods, degrees, titles, power, name, fame, etc.), rarely do we ponder on the real things such as Viveka-Budhi. The SGGS surely would like us to Awaken this Quality within and constantly identify with it otherwise the Gurbani would not be talking about it so highly. In this context, the Gurbani says "He alone is wealthy who possesses Viveka-Budhi". It implies that in the absence of this Spiritual Wealth, we are just helpless creatures! Viveka helps us put things in their proper prospectus. As a result, one views everything with a broad mind, and leads life with an awareness of what is ephemeral and what is eternal.

  • ਸੋ ਧਨਵੰਤਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥: So dhanvanta jis budh bibek: He alone is wealthy who possesses Viveka-Budhi (sggs 1150).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਭ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਬਿਚਰਿ ਬਿਚਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥: Bibek budhi sabh jag mahi niramal bichar bichar ras peejai: Vivek-Budhi is immaculate in all this world. With it, one drinks in the sublime essence (sggs 1325).

Only the Gurmukhs (God realized persons) are said to be the persons of Viveka in the Gurbani. A Gurmukh is the person of satisfaction, real Peace and Wisdom, and knows that God is within. They are devoid of duality (likes and dislikes or pairs of opposites such as pain and pleasure, praise and insult etc.), and continually examine their own selves. They constantly contemplate the Gur-Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar, Aaatam-Giaan...). Viveka-Budhi blossoms forth in their Company. They speak only of One Truth (the Absolute Truth).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: Guramukh giaan bibek budhi hoi: The Gurmukh is blessed with Viveka-Budhi (sggs 317).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਖਿਨੁ ਖਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਤ ਚਵੇ ॥: Bibek budhi beechaar gurmukh gur sabad khin khin har nit chave: With Voveka-Budhi, the Gurmukhs contemplate the Gur-Shabad; each and every instant, they continually speak of the Lord (sggs 1114).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧੀ ਸੁਖਿ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਾ ॥: Bibek budhi sukh rain vihani gurmat nam pargas: Through the discriminating intellect, the life night passes in Peace and by the Guru's instructions, through the Name (one is) enlightened (ਅੰਦਰ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸ ਹੋਂਣਾ) (sggs 772).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਆਪੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵਣਿਆ ॥: Aantar bibek sadaa aap veechaare gur sabadee gun gaavaniaa: Those who have Viveka, continually examine their own selves. Through the Gur-Shabad, they sing the Lord's Glorious Praises (sggs 128).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ॥: Boojhai braham antar bibek: Let the realization that God is within you be your Viveka (sggs 355).
  • ਓਇ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਰਹਹਿ ਦੁਖਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਿ ॥ ਤਿਨਾ ਨਦਰੀ ਇਕੋ ਆਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਨੁ ॥੪੪॥: Oi sadaa anand bibek rahahi dukh sukh ek samaan. Tinaa nadaree eko aaiaa sabh aatam Raam pachhaan ||44||: They (Gurmukhs) dwell forever in bliss and discriminative intelligence; they look upon pain and pleasure as one and the same. They see the One Lord in all, and realize the omnipresence of the Supreme Soul everywhere ||44|| (sggs 1418).

Thus, in nutshell, "Viveka-Guru" essentially is "Giaan-Guru" (ਗਿਆਨ-ਗੁਰੂ). We all need this "Giaan-Guru" because It is the "Giaan-Guru" that leads us from darkness (ignorance) to Light (Divine Knowledge...). It transforms our animal-consciousness (ਪਸੂ ਬਿਰਤੀ) into Divine or spiritual Consciousness and opens our Inner eyes of Vichaar, and Awakens us from the unending slumber of Maya.

The Gurbani is the Source of this Giaan (Divine Knoweldge, Spiritual Wisdom, "ਚਾਨਣੁ" = the Liht of Divine Knowledge, ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ..).

  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਪਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇਰਾ ॥: Bibek budhi satgur te paaee gur giaan guroo prabh keraa: From the Satiguru, Viveka-Budhi is obtained; the Guroo reveals the spiritual Wisdom to Realize God (ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੇ ਮਿਲਾਪ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ) (sggs 711).
  • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਕਰਮਿ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਏ ॥੧॥ (sggs 67).

— T. Singh