Entire Gurbani Is Naam

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the Entire Gurbani is Naam.

In addition, the Gurbani is also said to be the “Gun Bani-ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ” (Gun = Virtues). The more we gain Aatam-Giaan or Spiritual Knowledge (“Gur-ਗੁਰ”) from the Gurbani, the more Divine Virtues come to dwell within.

  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥: “Janu” Nanak utters the Bani of the Divine Virtues [i.e., the Divine Wisdom (“Gur-ਗੁਰ”) and the Divine Virtues (“Gun-ਗੁਣ”) are embedded in the Gurbani]; one gets absorbed in the Hari Naam through the Gurbani (i.e., living by the Divine Wisdom and the Divine Virtues of the Gurbani). ||4||5|| (sggs 494).

Entire Gurbani is “Gur Prasaadi”— Grace of the Gur-Giaan (“ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ”) !

In other words, the Gurbani has come into this world with the torrential rain of Naam. As  Naam is permeated in the Gurbani, it can not be seen with our biological eyes.

Therefore, as butter is obtained by churning the cream or curd, similarly, by churning the Gurbani (through the Shabad-Vichaar…) the Butter (ਮੱਖਣ, Essence…) of Naam (Naam Tatt), Giaan (Wisdom- Giaan Tatt), or Virtues is obtained. In other words, the Gurbani is a riddle “ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ”, “ਬੁਝਾਰਤ”, ਪਹੇਲੀ, ਸਮਝੌਤੀ…), which, by becoming the Gurmukh (follower of the Truth…), needs to be understood and solved (ਬੁੱਝਣਾਂ).

  1. ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਇਸੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੩॥: The Gurbani has manifeted (ਪਰਗਟ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ…) in this world, the “Hari Naam” is obtained from this Bani. ||3|| (1066).
  2. ਨਾਮ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਵੂਠਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥: The Treasure of Naam is obtained by him in whose mind the Shabad Guroo abides (sggs 101).

To say it in simple Punjabi: ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ ਹੀ ਨਾਮ ਹੈ — to understand the Gurbani is to understand Naam!

In essence, Naam is essentially the Brahm-Giaan or Spiritual Knowledge (Giaan Padaarath, Shabad, Hukam, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ …). To remove our doubts, the Gurbani further clarifies as follows:

  • ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੋਰਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Raam Naam is my Brahm Giaan (Divine Wisdom…). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1159).
  • ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮ ॥: The Divine Wisdom is Amrit Naam (which bestows Spiritual Life). (sggs 1146).

Naam is the Essence of the entire Gurbani

Baabaa Nanak further makes it clear that he (Baabaa Nanak) only speaks BRAHM VICHAAR (Spiritual Knowledge, Divine Wisdom…), therefore, it must be UNDERSTOOD (ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ – Soojh Boojh).

  • ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥: Nanak speaks the “Brahm Beechaaru” (sggs 1138).

Understanding of the Gurbani brings the storm of Wisdom, which blows away doubts (Bharam). If we don’t thoroughly UNDERSTAND it, our doubts will keep torturing us.

In nutshell, according to the Gurbani, to Realize Naam is to thoroughly recogniz or understand the entire Gurbani, and then remember that understanding through every breath (i.e., Naam Simran – “ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ”), and then live it in daily life (ਅਮਲ, practice).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੁ ਬਲਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: By becoming the Gurmukh Shabad is realized; (and who realizes becomes) immersed in the Amrit-Naam. (Whosoever within) has lit the bright (Light or Lamp of) Gur-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom, (from within him) the darkness of ignorance gets dispelled ||2|| (sggs 29).

Baabaa Nanak further reminds us that without UNDERSTANDING, we all become perplexed and, consequently, get plundered.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰ ॥: Without understanding, ALL are troubled (afflicted, distressed, perplexed…). (sggs 791).

The Gurbani is the subject of “Khoj” (Search, Vichaar…) and Reflecting (ਵਿਚਾਰ-Vichaar). Hence, unequivocally, the Way of the Gurbani (or Gurmat) is the Way of UNDERSTANDING (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: When someone understand by Searching (“Khoj”), and engages in Vichaar (Reflection on the Divine Virtues, Wisdom…), then (he) crosses over the “Bhavjal” (Bhav Saagar or dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

However, as the Gurbani says, it’s the most difficult thing to understand Naam from within the Gurbani. All other learning or knowledge is relatively easier to adept — for example, cleverness and trickery (ਠਗੀ or fraud), etc. But to extract the Divine Naam (Naam Tatt) from the Gurbani is difficult or rare to obtain.

  • ਨਚ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਬੀਣੰ ਨਚ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਚਤੁਰ ਚੰਚਲਹ ॥ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਏਕ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਨਾਮਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਬਧ੍ਯ੍ਯਿੰ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੰ ॥੩੫॥: Knowledge and wisdom are not so difficult to obtain. Cleverness and trickery are not so difficult to obtain. Only the Divine Naam is difficult to obtain. O Nanak! It is only obtained when the mind is disciplined (prepared, conquered, controlled), then the Grace of the Prabh (Mool) dawns. ||35|| (sggs 1357).

Clearly, the SGGS tells us merely uttering or repeating “Waheguru Waheguru” by tongue is not the Gurmat’s or the Gurbani’s Naam-Simran or Jap!

Naam Sevaa = Shabad Sevaa = Gur Sevaa = Shabad Vichaar

In nutshell, Realization of Shabad = Realization of Naam = Realization of the spiritual Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan) = Realization of the Divine Virtues.  

To say it otherwise, Naam Ras (ਰਸ, taste, essence…) = Gurbani Ras = Shabad Ras

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Recognizing the Shabad, the Naam comes to abide in the mind (sggs 646).

Simply put: Since it’s through the Gurbani one may become absorbed into Naam (“ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ”), then, to understand Naam, first the Gurbani needs to be understood (ਬੁਝਣਾਂ) through the Shabad- Vichaar.

Furthermore, the Gurbani proclaims Naam unites all. In fact, Baabaa Nanak declares he has nothing else but Naam in his Home (inner Home, Heart)!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: There is only Naam in Nanak’s Home (inner Home, Heart) ||4||4|| (sggs 1136).
  • ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਜੰਤ ॥: All creatures are held or sustained by Naam (sggs 284).

Apparently, the SGGS is trying to build bridges to invite the entire mankind, promoting all inclusiveness and not excluding people for trivial reasons. Hence, the Gurbani is a true Guide of practical spirituality. So, let’s not fail the universal spirit of the Gurbani by imposing limits concocted by the ignorance or narrow-mindedness as to who can and cannot read SGGS; who can and cannot perform Shabad-Kirtan; who can and cannot perform Ardaas, who can and cannot do Paath (read SGGS), who is and is not better Sikh, and so on. Because, this sort of ignorant, narrow and self-centered thinking has been emphatically rejected in the SGGS.

In other words, the Gurbani is disclosed to the entire “world” (“ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ”), NOT to a particular country; NOT a particular group of people, and so on. But, the Instructions (ਉਪਦੇਸ, the Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan) of the Gurbani are for everybody in this world.

  • ਖਤ੍ਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਸੂਦ ਵੈਸ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਕਉ ਸਾਝਾ ॥: The four Varna – the Kshatriya, Brahmins, Soodras and Vaishyas – are equal in respect to the Teaching (of the Gurbani…). (sggs 747).

Another important point made crystal clear by the SGGS is that the Gurbani is NOT meant to be merely read, listened, or memorized. After reading, listening or memorizing, the Divine Wisdom or Virtues of the Gurbani are meant to be understood and lived in daily life.

  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਪਿ ਜੀਵੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥੨॥੨॥੨੦॥: Says Nanak! A Wise person lives by understandind (the Bani). ||2||2||20|| (sggs 806).
  • ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਏਹ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੨੩॥: Says Nanak, continually live by this True Bani (i.e., by Hukam, Naam, Divine Virtues, Wisdom…). ||23|| (sggs 920).

Otherwise, our condition will remain as of “ladles” (ਕੜਛੀਆ) — although ladles cruise through all sorts of food, but they do not know the relish of food! Therefore, although hearing (or reading) the Gurbani is an important step, however, the Gurbani clearly tells us that mere hearing (or reading) is not enough — it’s not the end in itself. For the Way of the Gurbani is the Way of UNDERSTANDING. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ):

  • ਸੁਣਿ ਸਿਖਿਐ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ॥: Hearing the Teaching (of the Shabad…), one does not appreciate or relish (that Teaching) so long — by becoming the Gurmukh — he is not affixed to the Shabad (i.e., so long that Teaching of the Shabad is not assimilated and lived…).(sggs 590).

Dharma of Gurmat is different than Dharma of Pujaaree

First off, Dharma of the Gurmat is the Dharma of GIAAN (Divine Wisdom or Knowledge) or GIAANEE (Wise). It’s NOT the Dharma of AGIAANEE (ignorant)!

  • ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥: O Kabeer! (Within a person, if) there is Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Aatam–Giaan…) there is Dharma; (if within him) there is falsehood, there is sin (corrupt thinking). (sggs 1372).

The Giaan or spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS is meant to raise conditioned consciousness to the level of Immortal Consciousness. Thus the Gurmat (Spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS) puts the entire mankind back on the Way of the True Dharma (“ਸਚੁ ਧਰਮੁ – Sachu Dharamu“). Its Divine Guidance and Universal Message is for the improvement and welfare of the whole mankind.

  • ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥: Obtain the Divine Naam (Spiritual Knowledge, Virtue…), this is the Highest Dharma (sggs 834).

Clearly, Dharma described in the Gurbani is TOTALLY different than that propagated by the corrupt Pujaaree system

Hence, the Gurbani tells us that without Shabad-Vichaar, routine Karamkaand such as mere bowing down (ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਾਂ) or mere seeing (Darshan) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) will not and cannot liberate anybody from Maya (Bhav Saagar).

  • ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: (One is) not liberated by merely seeing (the Satigur), unless Shabad is Reflected upon (sggs 594).

The illiterate and crafty Pujaaree Group (Raagees, Bhais, Kathaakaar, preachers, Deraavaad sant or Baabaa, etc.) and members of the Gurdwara committees have hijacked and tortured the real Gurmat with concocted Karamkaand (rituals), plundering masses in the process. The wicked Pujaaree system has connected people to mere body-consciousness (Maya) instead of the Gur-Giaan (spiritual Knowledge of the Gurbani…) or Naam. People believe whatever the Pujaaree-Vaad tattles (ਗੱਪ) in the name of Dharma for they have closed people’s minds shut!

The way to open the closed minds is to read the Gurbani ourselves, churn it through Shabad-Vichaar, and understand its deeper meaning, and then live it in daily life.

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Filed Under: Dharma, Giaan, Wisdom, Ignorance, Gurbani, Gurmat, Naam, Shabad, Hukam, Pujaaree System, ਪੁਜਾਰੀ ਲਾਣਾ, Reading-Listening Gurbani, search, seek, ਖੋਜ, Understanding, Vichaar, Read, Listen
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Comments Leave a comment

  1. J

    Very nice T Singh Ji !

    The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow !

  2. Amarjitsingh Khajuria

    Sir very nice article & I feel one must read,understand &khoj Gurbani,instead of depending upon others. Quite appreciable as for as pujaaree system is concerned but I don’t agree that saying Waheguru Waheguru and having only Darshan of Gurdwara or Sri Gurugranth Sahib has no effect because to me it is a starting point,and also it has a deterrent effect too

    • T Singh Post author

      Thank you Amarjit Singh Khajooria Ji for taking the time to respond to this post. Also, thanks for the kind words. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

      I don’t agree that saying Waheguru Waheguru and having only Darshan of Gurdwara or Sri Gurugranth Sahib has no effect because to me it is a starting point

      Agree with you as far as “it is a starting point” goes.

      (1) However, to say and preach that chanting “Waheguru, Waheguru…” is the Naam-Japnaa of the Gurbani (SGGS) is totally NOT supported by the Gurbani (SGGS).

      Our (i.e., Sikhs) Guru is Giaan-Guru. Fittingly, this Giaan-Guru shuns ALL futile rituals.

      Since this post (and this website) is only about learning and reflecting on the Brahm-Giaan of the SGGS, please let me have relevant quotes FROM the SGGS which asserts that chanting “Waheguru, Waheguru…)” is THE Naam Japanaa of the SGGS, so it can be placed in context, and we can both learn.

      To the contrary, the Brahm-Giaan of the SGGS asserts MERELY uttering or repeating some word by tongue is not the Gurbani’s Naam-Simran or Naam Japnaa. The Gurbani is very clear about it. In fact, the Gurbani tells us precisely as to how our wandering mind should remember “Hari” — by enshrining it in the Heart (“ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ-Ajapaa Jaap“). This is the Gurbani’s Assertion. However a conditioned mind will not aggree with it.
      • ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥1॥: Everyone utters Raam Raam; but by such utterance (merely uttering by tounge-ਨਿਰਾ ਜੀਭ ਨਾਲ), Raam does not happen. By Gur-Grace (Grace of the Gur-Shabad-Giaan), Raam comes to dwell in the mind, and then, the fruit (of Aatam-Giaan…) is obtained (sggs 491).
      • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥: (A true devotee) searches for the Raam Naam within his own Soul (sggs 274).
      • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Understand Raam in the Heart (sggs 283).
      • ਬਿਨੁ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜੋ ਜਪੈ ਹਿਆਇ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੈਸਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੨॥: Who understands (Naam) in the Heart, without (reciting with) the tongue. (That) rare one knows as to what Namm really is!(sggs 1256).

      (2) When it comes to “Darshan”, there is also a condition imposed by the SGGS — Shabad Vichaar. Only, an uninterrupted relationship with the Virtual Reality through Shabad-Vichaar will lead to observing, connecting, and relating to the Reality all around. Unless this condition is met, none can realize liberation. MERELY seeing will not do the trick. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ):
      • ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: (One is) not liberated by merely seeing (the Satigur), unless Shabad is Reflected upon (sggs 594).

      (3) In nutshell, what happens is that our belief system that we have been eulogizing from childhood inhibits us to see the Truth in the Words of the Gurbani (SGGS), which speak at the level of the mind, NOT at the level of the body-consciousness.

      As a matter of fact, any belief system without CLARITY is disaster.

      SGGS gives this needed CLARITY to all of us!

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