THE GURU: WHO IS THE SATGURU IN SIKHI?

ਨਾਨਕ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਪਾਲਾ ॥: Nanak jugi jugi Gur Gopaalaa:
O Nanak, throughout the ages, the Lord of the World is my Gur (sggs 943).
ਆਦਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਏਕੈ ਅਵਤਾਰਾ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਮਝਿਯਹੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩੮੫॥: Aadi anti ekai avataaraa||
Soiguroo samjhiyauh hamaaraa
||385||: From the very beginning to end,
God is the only incarnation. It should be known to all that such God is our Guru ||385||
(Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Chaupai, Dasam Granth 1466).
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The Gurbani's (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) edict is this: There is One God; He is Transcendent and is situated within; so go deep within and find Him in the nucleus of your True Being. In Gurmat (Divine Teaching of the Gurbani or Shabad-Giaan), thus, there is no recognition of worshipping material objects or beings. The only entity indicated in the Gurbani fit to be worshipped is the Divine Principle; which is timeless, formless and attributeless. Therefore, God, or Satguru must not be a physical form or an object . A physical form or an object depends upon external things, for it is unreal (Asat). Only that which exists on its own can only be called Real and True. By engaging in Shabad-Vichaar as expounded by the Gurbani, we will find that when one perishable object depends on the other perishable object(s) for its sustenance, then they cannot be the source of Immortality because they in themselves are unreal, impermanent, ephemeral or mortal. The only entity that is Real is the Timeless Truth, because It is Self-existence; One without beginning, middle or end. Accordingly, the Gurbani declares God and His Name (Aatam Giaan.. ) to be the only Real Thing; everything else is false, fleeting or relative. The Gurbani says:

  • ਸਤਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਝੂਠਾ ਸਭੁ ਧੰਧਾ : Sat raam jhoothaa sabh dhandaa: God is True; false are worldy affairs (sggs 326).
  • ਜਪਿ ਮਨ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਰਧਾਂਭਾ ॥: Jap man raam naam ardhaanbhaa: O mind, worship God's Name; His Name alone is worthy of worship or fit to be worshipped (sggs 1337).

But on the account of illusion, duality and absence of sincere Shabad-Vichaar, we take unreal worldly objects as Eternal Truth or the Source of Immortality. Such illusion, doubts, and delusion is not the fault of thr Gurbani or the Gurmukhs; because their only function is to point us toward the Truth. That's all. The fault lies with our corrupt senses and intellect. For example, spectacles and the sun cannot see for us! Can they? Similarly, if we want to realize Truth, it's our job to get to it by diligent practice - making ourselves ready, willing and available. The Gurbani teaches us that the fool takes the world and its bewitching objects to be real; whereas the Wise (Gurmukh or Giaanee) sees them as the manifestation of the false ego (Maya). Being Wise, as indicated in the Gurbani, the Gurmukh worships the Real Thing, the Formless Factor; which is beyond mind, time, space and causation! Whilst the Manmukh (one in ego consciousness) worships the material objects (i.e., Maya, accordingly he is called Mayadhaaree).

  • ਸਸੈ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਸਹਜਿ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਤੀਨਿ ਭਵਨ ਇਕ ਜੋਤੀ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਚੁਣਿ ਲੈ ਮਾਣਕ ਮੋਤੀ ॥: Sassai sabh jag sahaj upaaiaa teen bhavan ik joti. Gurmukh vasat praapat hovai chun lai maanak motee: Sassaa (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet):  (God) created the entire universe with ease (efferlessly, ਸਹਜੇ ਹੀ, ਬਿਨਾ ਕਿਸੇ ਉਚੇਚੇ ਉੱਦਮ ਦੇ); His One Light pervades the three worlds. By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) obtains (the Lord's Name), the (Real) Thing; he gathers the gems and pearls (of the Lord's Name) (sggs 930).
  • ਸਾਚੇ ਰਾਤੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਧਾਰ ॥੩॥: Saache raatee Gur Sabad veechaar. Amrit peevai nirmal dhaar: By engaging in Shabad Vichaar, one becomes Imbued with Truth, and drinks in the immaculate stream of Amrit (the Ambrosial Nectar), within (sggs 158).
Accordingly, the Gurbani teaches us to worship the Divine Name only. Because, without this One Truth everything else is fleeting, Karamkaand, Maya, duality (Doojaa Bhaav), worldly entanglements, realm of relativity or mirage. Hence not worth pursuing.
  • ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਏਕਸ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਏਕਸ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਭ ਧੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਮਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Mere man ekas siou chit laai || Ekas bin sabh dhand hai sabh mithiaa mohu maai ||1|| rahaaou ||: O my mind, focus your consciousness on the One. Without the One, all entanglements are worthless; emotional attachment to Maya is totally false. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 44).

This is the state of non-duality (Advait) expounded by the Gurbani. Non-duality is a state in which there is only One ("Ik Oankaar" or "Sabh Gobind Hai Sabh Gobind Hai"). There is no second. Although non-duality is the Truth, but the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) have not brought it into our lives (i.e., undivided experience). That is, owing to our illusion and ignorance, we do not constantly live it. It's limited to our words. It's fine to talk about non-duality, but we must be able to experience this Truth in any situation. Until that state is constantly experienced within, we need the help of undivided Shabad-Vichaar, seeking company of the Gurmukhs, staying with the Truth within, using discrimination (Bibek-Budhi of the Gurbani), living truthfully, and so on. Without sincere Bhagti), we cannot hope to eradicate imposter Haume (false ego-sense) and related doubts and faults (Maansik Rogs or mental sicknesses) that have made their dwelling within us.

Simply put, non-duality is the state in which one spontaneously sees everything as one's own self. This may lead one to the following question: then how does the mirage-like world of enchanting objects arise in us? The world-appearance is the product of our ego-mind (haumai). Our Mool within (Source, Origin, Joti...) is not only full of Brahm-Giaan, but also ever available to everybody, Eternally! This "One" is Complete, most intimate and always with us. Accordingly, It is this internal way of life based on non-duality that is emphasized by the Gurmat (Divine Teaching of theGurbani); where one's outer life is unimportant. To realize this Truth in the "Cave of the Heart" (Antarguru) is the end of all searching. When one is fully Awakened within to the Hukam within (complete Enlightenment, Pooran Giaan...).

  • ਆਪੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਆਪੇ ॥: Aape Satgur Sabad hai aape ||: God is the Satguru as well as the Shabad (sggs 797).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Gur paramesar ek hai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai ||: The Guru and the Transcendent Lord are one and the same, pervading and permeating amongst all (sggs 53).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh kishu ghar mahi baahari naahee... (sggs 102).
  • ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਬਸਤ ਰਿਦ ਮਹਿ ਖੋਰ ॥: Pritam basat rid mahi khor: My Beloved lives in the cave of my Heart (sggs 1121).
  • ਸਿਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ॥ ਕਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਸਤਜੁਗਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਧ੍ਰੂ ਪਰਿ ॥: Siree guroo saahibu sabh oopari. Karee kripaa satjugi jini dhroo pari (sggs 1401).
Thus, the Sikhi is the Way of the Soul-Consciousness; not the way of the bodily-consciousness or the overextended mind. It is the game of the Shabad-Surti or Naam-Kamaaee (Soul-Consciousness). As such, it is to be played in the Sahaj Maarag — Inner Way of life, Inner Perfection or Natural State of one's Being: simple, spontaneous, intuitive, peaceful, pure, true, Knowledge (Giaan), Dheeraj, goodness, oneness, and so on. It is so because the Mool within (Source, Origin, Joti...) is Sahaj and Subtle. To realize this subtlest Factor, we must take means which are equally fine and subtle!
  • ਬਾਬੀਹਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਹਜਿ ਬੋਲਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਦਿਖਾਇ ॥: Baabeehaa toon Sahaj bol sachai Sabad subhaai. Sabh kish terai naal hai satigur deeaa dikhaai: O rainbird (of the mind - O amorist or lover of the drop of rainwater of the Lord's Name thar bestows spiritual life - ਹੇ ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਨਾਮ-ਬੂੰਦ ਦੇ ਰਸੀਏ!), by being established in Sahaj (Intuitive Poise, Natural state of Being - ਆਤਮਕ ਅਡੋਲਤਾ ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਕੇ), attune to the True Shabad, with love, engage in Naam-Simran. Everything (Bliss, etc., that emanates from the drop of the Lord's Name) is within you; (but only that person realizes it to whom) the Satguru has shown this (sggs 1420). (Note: a bird called Baabeehaa is said to be an amorist of the first drop of the rainwater, and cries out for it!).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬਿਗਸੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥: Gurmukh bigsai Sahaj subhhaai: The Gurmukh (Spiritual Being) blossoms forth with Sahaj (sggs 1173).
As the Gurbani teaches us non-duality, the Gurmat's Satguru is "Eternal" ( ਨਾਸ-ਰਹਿਤ, ਜਾਗਦੀ ਜੋਤਿ), which never perishes, and nobody is withiout it. The Gurbani further declares that the Satguru cannot be an object or a scripture because the object and the paper the scripture is written on are perishable. The Gurbani says:
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Satiguru jaagataa hai deou ||1|| Rahaaou| sggs 479).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: Satiguru meraa sadaa sadaa n aavai n jaai. Ohu abinaasee purakhu hai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai ||13||: My Satguru is Everlasting (Immortal, etc.); He neither comes nor goes (i.e., beyond birth and death). He Himself is the Imperishable Being (Eternal, Parmeshar, Parmaatam, Prabh, Mool, Jot, etc.) who, pervades among all ||13|| (sggs 759).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ: Satigur te khaalee ko nahee: Noone is devoid of the Satigur (sggs 850).
  • ਦੇਹੀ ਕਾਚੀ ਕਾਗਦ ਮਿਕਦਾਰਾ ॥ ਬੂੰਦ ਪਵੈ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਢਹਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥: Dehee kaachee kagad micdaaraa. Boond pavai binasai dhahat na laagai baaraa: The body is frail and perishable; the paper is limited. When the drop of water falls upon it, the paper crumbles and dissolves instantaneously (sggs 1048, Third Mahal).
  • ਰਾਮ ਰਹੀਮ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਕੁਰਾਨ ਅਨੇਕ ਕਹੈਂ ਮਤ ਏਕ ਨ ਮਾਨਯੋ ॥ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਬੇਦ ਸਭੈ ਬਹੁ ਭੇਦ ਕਹੈ ਹਮ ਏਕ ਨ ਜਾਨਯੋ ॥: Raam Raheem Puraan Kuraan anek kahai mat ek na maaniyo. Simriti Shaastar Bed sabhai bahu bhed kahai ham ek n jaaniyo: Various religious sects like Raam, Rahim Puraanas and the Kuran preach innumerous forms but I do not put my faith on any one of them. (Religious scriptures like) Simritis, Shaastaras, Vedas (etc.) all explain innumerous secrets but I do not know them (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Chaoupai, Dasam Granth 642).
The Third Mahal in a verse above indicates that the human body or anything made of paper cannot be the Eternal Factor, because they are temporary. The Fifth Mahal in a verse above declares that one cannot attain liberation by reading religious books. Guru Gobind Singh Jee in a verse above complements verses of the Third and the Fifth Mahal, respectively. In his verse, the Tenth Mahal expresses caution about all sorts of religious books or sects. Now, just imagine, how the same Masters can contradict themselves by asking rest of us to worship any religious scripts, objects, sect, or any embodied being!! As a matter of fact, the Masters do not contradict themselves. All contradictions appear in our own deluded mind (Haume, false ego-sense, Maya's hunger...).

Another interesting thing to note is that none of the ten Masters called themselves "Guroo", "Guru", "Satguru" or "Sant"! Even their Bani (pronounced as Banee) is identified by the word "Mahalaa", not by the word "Guru" or "Satguru". Similarly, the Bani of Bhagats (the Gurmukhs) incorporated in the SGGS does not contain the name of any embodied Guru either. In fact, Baabaa Nanak never had any embodied Guru! During "Sidh Gosti" (also spelt Sidh Gost etc.), Sidhas posed many questions to Baabaa Nanak. Three of those questions were as follows: "Who is your Guru? How do you become a disciple? Where does the Shabad reside?" Baabaa Nanak's answers were as follows ( rwmklI mhlw 1 isD gosit ):

  • 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 sabad nirantar nij ghar aashai tribhavan jot su sabad lahai: Incessantly, this Shabad is in its Nij Ghar (ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ-in its Own Real Home...); (it is) through this Shabad (one) seeks (God's) Light that pervades the three worlds (sggs 945).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Satgur pooraa merai naal: The Perfect Satiguru is always with me (sggs 618).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: Gur merai sang sadaa hai naale: My Guru is always with me, near at hand (sggs 394).
  • ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰੀਐ ॥੧੩॥: Paarabraham gurdev sadaa hajooreeai ||13||: O Supreme God, Gurdev, You are always with me, ever-present ||13|| (sggs 709).
Here Baabaa Nanak says his Guru is the Shabad that resides deep within the nucleus of one's Being (Antarguru). Now, what is this Shabad? It is the Transcendental Vibratory Energy. In its subtle form it is the Essence of Divinity, the Soul-Consciousness. And, in turn, Naam (Aatam Giaan... is the Essence of the Shabad. Therefore, in reality, the Divinity, Soul-Consciousness, Satguru, Shabad and Naam are essentially one and the same.
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੭॥: Antar Shabad nidhaan hai mil aap gavaayiyai ||7||: Within is the Treasure of the Shabad; (but) it is obtained by eradicating self-conceit (ਪਰੰਤੂ ਆਪਾ-ਭਾਵ ਤਿਆਗ ਕੇ ਮਿਲਦਾ ਹੈ) ||7|| (sggs 228).

All this may lead to the rise of a question like this: "If I don't know God, and if I don't have any Guru in a physical form, then how am I to remove my doubts or confusion (Bharams, Dubidhaa etc.)? Although, the Knowledge about thr Lord (Brahm-Giaan) is available in the Gurbani, the Gurbani also strongly recommends seeking and keeping constant Association of the Sat (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, etc.) within and Sangat of the Gurmukhs without.

However, the Gurbani has specified a strict criteria as to what a real Saadh-Sangat is (Satsangat kaisee jaaneeyai. Jithai eko naam vakhaaneeyai, sggs 71). But, the "Sang" or Association we generally keep is of the manmukhs (a road block to full Enlightenment - ਪੂਰਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ). Also, we expect others to change, but not ourselves! It is very rare one indeed who wants to walk on a "two-edged sword"!

  • ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥ ਜਿਥੈ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ਜੀਉ ॥: Satsangat kaisee jaaneeai || Jithai eko naam vakhaaneeai || Eko naam hukam hai Nanak satigur deeaa bujhaai jeeou ||5|| (sggs 72).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਰੁ ਨਹੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਚੀ ਮਾਨੁ ॥੨੯॥: Har jan har antar nahee Naanak saachee maan ||29|| (sggs 1428).

Before the manifestation came into being, this Transcendental Shabad resided within the unmanifest Lord in the form of "Profound Trance". As the Gurbani affirms, the entire creation 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 ocean and waves, gold and ornaments, clay and pots, thread and beads, sun and rays, wood and fire, milk and butter. In essence, it can be thought of as a subtle interpreter or bridge between God and His creation.

  • ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਤੀ ਤਉ ਅਕੁਲੀਣਿ ਰਹਤਉ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Roop na rekhiaa jaat na hotee tayu akuleen rahataou Sabad su saar: When there was no form and shape - ਹੋਂਦ (ਉਤਪੱਤੀ) ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ - then the Supreme Shabad resided in the Unmanifest Lord - ਕੁਲ-ਰਹਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਵਿਚ (sggs 945).
  • ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਓਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ॥: Utpat parlayu Sabde hovai. Sabade Hee phir opat hovai: The creation and deluge occur through God's Shabad, (and after deluge) Creation happens again through the Shabad (sggs 117).

God has given us the Gurbani as the touchstone to test what is real (Sat) and what is unreal (Asat), and what is Mayaic and what is Divine. Therefore, the Gurbani (SGGS) is the True Guide of the Sikhi. Accordingly, the SGGS is also lovingingly called Sri Guru Granth Sahib, "Pargat Guraan kee Deh", etc.

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੀਰਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਗੁ ਬਉਰਾਨੰ ॥: Sabad gur peeraa gahir gambheeraa bin sabdai jag baouraanaa: The profound and unfathomable Shabad is the Gur (Giaan...) and the Spiritual Guide. Without the Shabad the world is gone crazy (sggs 635).
According to this Spiritual Guide (Shabad-Giaan of the SGGS), then, who is the Satguru in the Sikhi? As the names Satguru and God (or Parmeshar) are synonymous, whenever there is a mention of Guru or Satguru in the Shabad-Gurbani, it points towards the Inner Guru (Antarguru), who is the Inner Dweller as the Aatmaan in every one of us. Therefore, according to the Gurmat, the name Satguru is indicated to represent none other then the One Truth. He is the Guru of Gurus; He is the Tatt Vastoo (Essence), Niranjan (Pure), and All-pervading Light. He is beyond all religious rituals, meditation, self-mortification, and codes (Sanjam, etc.). Since the Shabad of the Gurbani is the letter-form (Akhar form) of the expression of the same Truth, it is also called the Shabad-Guru. The Shabad has no body! Through this Shabad-Guru one can catch the Mool (Source, Origin...).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਅਪਰੰਪਰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥੫॥੧੧॥: Tat niranjan joti sabaaee soham bhed na koee jeeou. Aprampar Parbrahm permesar Nanak Gur miliyaa soyee jeeou ||5||11||: The essence, the immaculate Lord, the Light of all - I am He and He is me - there is no difference. Nanak has met with his Guru who is Infinite Transcendent and Supreme Lord ||5||11|| (sggs 599).
  • ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਦਿਸੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਉਹਾਣੀ ਕਦੇ ਨਾਹਿ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Sahib meraa sadaa hai disai Shabad kamaai. Oh aouhaanee kade naahi n aavai n jaai: My master is eternal. He is seen by practicing the Shabad. He never perishes, He does not come and go - He neither takes birth nor does he die (sggs 509).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੇਟਿਓ ਸਾਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਬੇਰਾ ॥੩॥੬॥: Gur parmesar Nanak bhetio saachai Sabadi niberaa: Says Nanak: I have met the Guru, the Transcendental Lord, through His True Shabad, I am set free (sggs 878).

In fact, in one of the Shabads in the SGGS, the Baanee is called "Nirankaar" (i.e., Formless Lord). But in order to see it as "Nirankaar", we need to see it with the eyes of the Shabad-Vichaar. We need to read it with perfect Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ). Then it has to be continuously lived. Keeping it in designers Rumaalaas or golden Paalkees (Palanquins); carrying it in helicopters (show off); reading it ritualistically without understating it; and not continuously living it will not do the trick. For these are "Bipran Kee Reet".

  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਸਚਿ ਮਿਲਾਵਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ : Vaahu vaahu baanee sach hai sach milaavaa hoi ||: Waaho! Waaho! is the True Word of His Bani, by which we meet our True Lord (sggs 514).
  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲਧੀ ਭਾਲਿ ॥ : vaahu vaahu baanee sach hai guramukh ladhhee bhaal ||: Waaho! Waaho! is the Bani of the True Word. Searching, those who have become Gurmukhs have found it (sggs 514).
  • 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).

Although Baabaa Nanak did not consider any embodied being, scripture or any idle as his Guru, still the word Guru or Satguru appears again and again in his Banee. Does it mean he is addressing himself as the Satguru in his Shabads? No. He is addressing Akaal Purakh (Timeless Being) as the Satguru, while repeatedly calling himself the "lowly", "ignorant", "fool", "servant", "slave", "blind", "virtueless", and so on. In fact, in the very first Shabad of the SGGS (Sri Raag), Baabaa Nanak reveals to us his Satguru, and then the Tenth Mahal puts the seal of finality on it. Whoever is their Satguru, He is obviously Sikhi's Satguru as well. And that Satguru is none other than the Formless, Transcendental Supreme Self; also known by many other names such as Abinaasee Purakh, Ajanmaa Purakh, Akaal Purakh, Parmeshar, Gobind, Gopal, Sahib, Pritam, Prabh, Har Har, Joti-Svaroopa, Waheguru, Thaakur, Raam Raaje, Jagdees, Naraayan, and so on.

  • ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਜੀਉ ਜਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਛਿ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਅਵਰੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Har bin jeeou jal bal jaaou. Mai aapanaa Gur poochh dekhiaa avar naahee thaaou ||1||Rahaaou||: Without God, my Soul is scorched and burnt. I consulted my Guru (the Lord), and now I see that there is no other place except Him ||1||Pause|| (sggs 14, First Mahal).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੁ ਦਯੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਚਾ ਸਿਰਜਣਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਤੁਠੈ ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਦ ਬਲਿਹਾਰ ॥੪॥੨॥੧੭੦॥: Gur naaraayan dayu gur gur sachaa sirjanahaar. Gur tuthai sabh kish paaiaaa jan Nanak sad balihaar ||4||2||170||: The Guru is the Omnipresent Lord, the Guru is the Merciful Master; the Guru is the True Creator. When the Guru was totally satisfied, I obtained everything. Servant Nanak is forever a sacrifice to such Guru ||4||2||170|| (sggs 218, Fifth Mahal).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਪਾਲਾ ॥: Nanak jugi jugi Gur Gopaalaa: O Nanak, throughout the ages, the Lord of the World is my Gur (sggs 943).
The Tenth Master confirms the principle laid down by the First Mahal, and declared that the Satguru of all is none other than God. He further made it clear saying that: "I am the servant of Primal Being". Here he did not say that he is the servant of this embodied Guru or that embodied Guru; this scripture or that scripture. The reason he did not say so because he had already rejected all such external or mental notions. He further declared that: "Those who call me Permeshar, they all will go to hellish existence". It is said that similar warning was also issued by the the Ninth Mahal.
  • ਆਦਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਏਕੈ ਅਵਤਾਰਾ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਮਝਿਯਹੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩੮੫॥: Aadi anti ekai avataaraa|| Soiguroo samjhiyauh hamaaraa||385||: From the very beginning to end, God is the only incarnation. It should be known to all that such God is our Guru ||385|| (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Chaupai, Dasam Granth 1466).
  • ਜੋ ਹਮ ਕੋ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਉਚਰਿਹੈਂ ॥ ਤੇ ਸਭ ਨਰਕ ਕੁੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਪਰਿਹੈਂ ॥: Jo ham ko paramesar ucharihain. Te sabh narak kund mahi parihain: Those who call me Permeshar (the Lord), they all will fall into the pit of hell (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, Dasam Granth 137).

The word "Ajanmaa" appears in the Gurbani a couple of times. This word is very significant in that it sums up as to who the Satguru is and how one can connect with him. Ajanmaa means the one who is Eternal, or who does not take birth. In other words, the Satguru is none other than the Eternal Factor, the Inner-dweller (Self), who does not take birth. The Gurbani urges us to take on this "Purukh Ajanmaa" (Primal Being, who is beyond birth or incarnation, and death) as the Satguru.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿੰਦੂ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰੰਮਾ ॥ ਮਤਿ ਮਾਤਾ ਮਤਿ ਜੀਉ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਰਾਮਾ ॥ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਕਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਅਜਨਮਾ ॥ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਿਲੁ ਰਾਮਾ ॥੧॥: Gurmukhi jindoo jap Naam karammaa. Mati maataa mati jeeou Naam mukh Raamaa. Santokh pitaa kar Gur Purakh ajanmaa. Vadbhaagee mil Raamaa ||1||: O my Soul, as Gurmukh, do this deed: Chant God's Naam through the Shabad. Make Gurmat your mother, that it may teach you to keep God’s Name in your mouth. Let contentment be your father; and the Primal Being, who is beyond birth, be the Guru. By great good fortune, you will meet with God ||1|| (sggs 172-173).
  • ਹਮ ਮੂਰਖ ਮੁਗਧ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਮਤੀ ਸਰਣਾਗਤਿ ਪੁਰਖ ਅਜਨਮਾ ॥: Ham moorakh mugadh agiaan mati sharnaagat purukh ajanmaa: I am foolish, idiotic and ignorant; I seek Your Sanctuary, O Primal Being, You are beyond birth (sggs 799).
Where can one find this Satguru? What is His whereabouts? He is located within our body. However, the man blinded by his body-identity (the veil of egoism) is involved in the externalities of material existence which inhibits his turning inward. So long he does not turn inward, till then there will be no liberation from doubts, delusion and consequent suffering. Even though the Pure Consciousness (Joti-Svaroop...) is ever present within all, it is beyond all senses, beyond all intellect, beyond all forms, beyond time, beyond causation and beyond space. The Gurbani says:
  • ਨਿਜ ਆਤਮੈ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥: Nij aatamai rahiaa bharapoor: God is totally permeating and pervading the Soul (sggs 657).
  • ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮੈ ਜੋ ਮਿਲੈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਇ ॥: Antar aatamai jo milai miliaa kaheeai soi: Who unites (God) deep within his Soul is said to be united (sggs 791).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: Gur merai sang sadaa hai naale ||: My Guru is always with me, near at hand (sggs 394).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸਭਾ ਏਵ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾ ਨੇੜੈ ਨਾ ਦੂਰਿ ॥: Gur sabhaa ev na paaeeai naa nerrai naa door ||: The Guru's ਸਭਾ (ਸੰਗ, Association, Society, etc.) is not obtained like this (physical proximity), by (physically) trying to be near or far away (sggs 84).
  • ਪ੍ਰਣਵਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Pranvati Nanak giaanee kaisaa hoi. Aapu pashaanai boojhai so: Prays Nanak, of what nature is the Giaanee (the Wise one, the knower of the Truth...)? (A true Giaanee is he who) recognizes his (Mool-ਮੂਲ, Source, Origin, Essential Nature, etc.), such (Giaanee-ਜੋ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਦਾ ਹੈ) Understands God (sggs 25).
Moreover, the Satguru of the Sikhi is also revealed in the very definition of the words Sikh and Khaalsaa. Literally, Sikh means the Spiritual Student, and Khaalsaa means one with Pure Heart. In the Light of the Gurbani, if we inquire deeper into these two words, we will find that the Satguru of a Sikh or a Khaalsaa is none other than the Timeless Being (Akaal Purakh). One does not become a Sikh or a Khaalsaa by just taking birth in a so called Sikh family. According to the Gurbani, these names represent the Self-realized state one has to reach. As defined by the Gurbani, a true Sikh or a Khaalsaa is he who is Self-realized; and thus has become One with the Divine Essence within (God, Satguru, etc.). Khaalas - or khalas - simply means pure. In this context, consider the following verses:
  • ਸੋ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿਸੁ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇ ॥: So guroo so sikh hai bhaaee jin joti jot milaaee: O Brother! He is the Guroo and he is the Sikh, who has merged his light in the Light (i.e., who has become one with his Mool…). (sggs 602).
  • ਪੂਰਨ ਜੋਤ ਜਗੈ ਘਟ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਖਾਲਸ ਤਾਹਿ ਨਖਾਲਸ ਜਾਨੋ ॥: Pooran jot jagai ghat main tab Khaalas taahi Nakhaalas jaano: One becomes Pure (i.e, Khalsa…) only when he realizes Complete Light of the Lord within; otherwise know him to be an impure one (Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, Dasam Granth, 1350).
  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਨ ਭਏ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: Kahu Kabeer jan bhaye Khaalse prem bhagti jih jaanee: O Kabeer! Those persons become ਖਾਲਸੇ (Khaalse) who have realized the Prema Bhagti (Perfect Understanding of the Gur-Shabad, Gurbani, or Gur-Giaan…). (sggs 655).
As we can see, it's very easy for someone to call himself a Sikh or a Khaalsaa (also pronounced Khalsa), but very difficult To Be one! As proclaimed in the Gurbani, the true ones are very few and far in between! Why? Because the majority of us (over 99.9 percent category!) have our minds switched off from the Intuitive Understanding of the Gurbani — we understand only the surface import or literal instruction of the the Gurbani. As declared in the Gurbani, nobody can become a true Sikh or a true Khaalsaa without realizing the Self within. Because, to be a Sikh or a Khaalsaa is not a question of heredity, family of birth, ancestry, race, region, social status, caste, creed, education, titles, religion or any peculiar external appearance of a person; it is a question of becoming the Gurmukh!
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਹੁ ਸਿਖ ਵਣਜਾਰੇ ॥ ਪੂੰਜੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੇਖਾ ਸਾਚੁ ਸਮ੍ਹਾਰੇ ॥੭॥: Satgur saah sikh vanajaare. Poonjee Naam lekhaa saach samhaare ||7||: The Satguru is the Banker, and His Sikhs are the traders. Their merchandise is the Naam, and meditation on God is their account ||7|| (sggs 430).
  • ਆਤਮ ਰਸ ਜਿ ਜਾਨਹੀ ਸੋ ਹੈ ਖਾਲਸ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮਹਿ, ਮੋ ਮਹਿ, ਤਾਸ ਮਹਿ, ਰੰਚਕ ਨਾਹਨ ਭੇਵ ॥: Aatam ras ji jaanahee so hai khaalas dev. Prabh mahi mo mahi taas mahi ranchak naahan bhed: He who has realized the True Nature or Subtle Essence of the Soul (i.e., Joti-svaroopa, Pure Consciousness, Lord's Sublime Essence, Joy of the Soul, etc.) within is alone the godly Khalsa - Pure Being (Sarab Loh Granth).
The Gur-Shabad cannot be more clear than this. The problem or confusion is created by our selfishness and our ignorance of the Gurbani. And in this ignorance and selfishness we never try to pause ("Rahau"), reflect or spend some time to understand the true meaning of the Gurbani. The result is in our front! The Gurbani thunders forth in the following declaration that if one tries to understand, realize and comprehend the meaning of the Shabad than he will know that without One True Being everything else is false.
  • ਸਮਝੈ ਸੂਝੈ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸਾਚਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਖੈ ਸਾਚੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਾਚੇ ਜਗੁ ਕਾਚਾ ॥੨॥: Samjhai soojhai parh parh boojhai anti nirantar saachaa. Gurmukh dekhai saach samaalae bin saache jag kaachaa ||2||: If one understands, realizes and comprehends what he reads and studies, in the end he will realize that the True God dwells deep Within his nucleus. The Gurmukh sees and contemplates the True God; without Him, the world is false ||2|| (sggs 930).
One may ask: "If I don't know God, and if I don't have any Guru in a physical form, then how am I to attain Self-knowledge and remove my ignorance?" The Divine Knowledge capable of roasting the seed of one's ignorance is contained in the Gurbani, just as the sweetness is hidden in the sugarcane. This is a precious Gift to all mankind from the Lord. Unfortunately, we in selfishness remember the "gift" only but not the "Giver"! One who truthfully searches in the Gurbani, finds the necessary Knowledge (Aatam Giaan, Bibek Budhi...) to understand the matter and the Spirit. But, as the Gurbani tells us very rare are those who really try to understand the Gurbani. Rest of us feel satisfied with mere lip service, unmeaning rituals, religious garbs, dry and mechanical reading and religious books and hearing Kirtan!
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਕੋ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ॥: Gur kaa sabad ko virlaa boojhai: Those who understand the Gur-Shabad are very rare (sggs 120).
  • ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਅਤਿ ਅੰਨਾ ਬੋਲਾ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਸੁਣਈ ਬਹੁ ਰੋਲ ਘਚੋਲਾ ॥: Mayadhaaree ati annaa bolaa. Sabad n sunaee bahu rol ghacholaa: One who is attached to Maya is totally (spiritually) blind and deaf (to the Guru's Word). In such condition, he is unable to listen (don't pay attention, ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾ ਦੇਂਣਾ, etc.) to the Shabad; (but, in Mayaic consciousness) he makes a great (ਰੌਲਾ-ਗੌਲਾ) uproar and tumult (sggs 313).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਬਿਕ੍ਰਦਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਟੇ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨਈ ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ ਨਹ ਕਾਇ ॥ ॥੫੩॥: Manmukh bidiaa bikradaa bikh khate bikh khaai. Moorakh sabad na cheenayee soojh boojh nah kaai ||53||: The Manmukh (unenlightened being) sells his knowledge; he earns poison, and eats poison. The fool does not think of the Shabad. He has no understanding, no comprehension ||53|| (sggs 938).
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਸੇ ਅੰਨੇ ਬੋਲੇ ਸੇ ਕਿਤੁ ਆਏ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: Sabad na jaanahi se anne bole se kit aae sansaaraa: Those who do not know the Shabad are spirtially blind and deaf; what for did they come into the world (sggs 601)?
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਨ ਚੀਨੈ ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਨੀ ਕਰੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨੁ ॥੩॥: Sabad na cheenai kathanee badanee kare bikhiaa maahi smaan ||3||: They do not contemplate the Shabad; engrossed in sins or corruption, they utter only empty words ||3|| (sggs 39).

— T. Singh
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