Gurbani Defines Harmandir

The name “Harmandir” is made of two terms: “Hari” and “Mandir“.

Hari” denotes our Mool within (Source, Origin, Root, Jot, Raam, Gobind, Allah, Prabh, etc.), literally meaning “He who removes all obstacle to Spiritual Life “. And “Mandir ” denotes “abiding-place, dwelling, mansion, temple, abode”, and so on.

By combining these two terms, “Harmandir” means the “the Abode or Temple or Mandir of Hari “.

Now, ACCORDING TO THE SGGS, where the “Harmandir” is located? And, how can it be Realized?

Where is it located?

Many people in the world know about the shrine Sri Harmandir Sahib, which is located in the city of Amritsar (Punjab, India). Also known as golden temple and Darbar Sahib (pronounced Darbaar Saahib), this temple complex was supposed to be the place of purity, humility, simplicity, piety and those who have become the Gurmukhs through the Divine Wisdom or Brahm-Giaan of the Gurbani!

Sri Guroo Granth Sahib (SGGS), however, reveals to us that the real “Harmandir” is located within the human body!


The Gurbani further clarifies that deep in the Heart, there resides the same “Hari” in this body-Harmandir of each and every person of the world, here and now!

  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਹੈ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: This body is the “Harmandir” (Hari’s Temple, but this secret) is revealed by the Jewel of the Divine Wisdom (Aatm-Giaan, Brahm Giaan, Divine Knowledge …). (sggs 1346).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਆਪਿ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਵਸੈ ਮੁਰਾਰੇ ॥: The body is the Hari’s Temple; Hari Himself adorns it. Hari dwells within it. (sggs 1059).
  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰੰਧਾਰ ॥ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਪੂਜਦੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: This whole world is “Harmandir” (Hari’s Temple, for Hari is All-pervading); there is only pitch darkness of ignorance without the Gur (Gur-Giaan, Wisdom of the Gurbani). But, the (mentally) blind and foolish Manmukhs worship the “second” (i.e., duality). (sggs 1346).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਆਖੀਐ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੋਟੁ ਗੜੁ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਲਾਲ ਜਵੇਹਰੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪੜੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਅਤਿ ਸੋਹਣਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਦਿੜੁ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਆਪਿ ਖੁਆਇਅਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ ਨਿਤ ਕੜੁ ॥: The fortress of the body is called the Temple of Hari (Harmandir ). By becoming the Gurmukh (a person who is hungry for the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, etc.) pursues or understands the Naam, realizes the Rubies and Gems (of the Divine Virtues, Divine Wisdom, Aatm-Giaan…) within it. The body, the Harmandir, becomes very Beautiful, when the Hari Naam (Brahm-Giaan, the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani…) is consummated. Manmukhs boil continuously in attachment to Maya and (thus) ruin themselves. ||11|| (sggs 952).

It’s not only strange, but also tragic and unfortunate that many Sikh writers, researchers, scholars, Bhais, Raagees, Kathaakaars, Parchaaraks, etc., either ignore or don’t emphasize this great Truth (ਸਚ) of the Gurbani.

As time and again revealed by the Gurbani, the human body is the living “Harmandir” made not by the human hands but by the Creator. Thus, each body in the world is the Hari’s Temple, in which the Formless pervades and Realized. Baabaa Nanak makes it crystal clear:

  • ਕਾਇਆ ਮਹਲੁ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਘਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਖੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਅਪਾਰ ॥: The (Inner) body is Hari’s Mansion, Hari’s Temple, and Hari’s Home; Hari has infused His Infinite “Joti” or Light into it (sggs 1256).
  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਸੋਈ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਥਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਤਾ ॥ ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹ ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਖੋਜੀਐ ਘਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਧਾਤਾ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰ ਕੀ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਤਿਨੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਤਾ ॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਇਕੁ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਈ ॥੧੨॥: That alone (i.e., within the body) is the “Harmandir” — Hari’s Temple — in which “Hari” is Realized. (The human body is “Harmandir” because) in the human body, by following the Gur-Bachan (Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, Upadesh, Teaching, Utterance, Gur-Giaan…), Mool is Realized, and the “Aatam Raam” (Mool) is seen pervading in all. So, don’t look outside this body, because the Creator resides within the Heart. However, the Manmukhs (the self-willed, followers of falsehood or untruth, etc.) don’t appreciate the Essence “Harmandir” (which is within the body, but by following their Manmukhtaa) they waste away their lives. (Although) the One (Mool) pervades in all, but He is Realized only through the Gur-Shabad (Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, Brahm-Giaan…) ||12|| (sggs 953).

The Gurbani reveals to us that the Jewel of the Divine Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Aatm Giaan, Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues, True Amrit…) is present within, but in dormant condition, awaiting to be awakened by the seeker (learner, Sikh) through Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar).

  • ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਖੋਜੇ ਤਾ ਨਾਉ ਪਾਏ ॥: Search your body and mind, and find the Naam (sggs 110).
  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥: (A true devotee) searches for the Raam Naam within his own soul (sggs 274).
  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਮੁਗਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥: The treasure of the Divine Naam is within (the body) “Harmandir”; but the idiotic fools do not understand it (sggs 1346).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਖੂਹਟਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ ਸਬਦੇ ਕਾਢਿ ਪੀਐ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥: Deep Within this body is the well overflowing with the Amrit; the Water-carrier (Naam Japist or Spiritual Being) draws and drinks it through the Shabad (sggs 571).
  • ਮਨ ਰੇ ਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੁ ਮਤੁ ਕਤ ਜਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਢੂਢਤ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਘਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਘਟ ਮਾਹੀ ਜੀਉ ॥: O my mind! Remain steady (within) and wander not any where. By searching around on the outside, you will only suffer great pain; Amrit is found Within the Heart (sggs 598).
  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਸੋਇ ॥: Hari mandar mahi hari vasai sarab nirantari soi (sggs 1346).

Manmukhs cannot discern real from the unreal

Thus the Gurbani declares that everything is within the body. There is nothing “there yonder” or “up there” which is not in our bosom. The Absolute Truth is not an object of perception so that it may be shown by one to another. It must be Realized by the seeker within the body by himself.

Therefore, those who search the Sublime thing such as Mool or “Harmandir ” in other places and in other things are called by the Gurbani “deluded by doubts”.

ACCORDING TO THE GURBANI, those who search it outside are Manmukhs (Saakat, Mayadhaaree, foolish, self-willed, egocentric, the follower of untruth …)!

  • ਸਰੀਰਹੁ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਜਾਏ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਲਹੈ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਵੇਗਾਰਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਘਿਰਿ ਆਇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਥੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥: Those who search for the Divine outside the body will not receive the Naam; consequently, they will suffer the terrible pains of sense-slavery. (The mentally) blind Manmukhs (self-willed, etc.) do not understand; but, (after becoming weary of searching outside), when they return once again to their own (Inner) Home-Heart, they find (Naam) within by becoming the Gurmukhs (Realizing the Gur-Giaan, Wisdom…) ||4|| (sggs 124).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਵੇਖੁ ਤੂ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਸਬਦੇ ਖੋਜੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲਿ ॥੧॥ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਪੈ ਰੰਗੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਚੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਸਚਾ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੀ ਸਾਚੀ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: By the Grace of the Gur (Gur-Giaan, the Divine Wisdom) see that Hari’s Temple (“Harmandir”) is within you. Find this “Harmandir” (within the body) through the Shabad; (therefore) hold up the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom…). ||1|| O my mind! By becoming attuned to the Shabad, get dyed with the color (of Bhagti-understanding of the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani…). True is that Bhagti, and True is that “Harmandir” (body); True is the Glory that becomes apparent. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1346).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਖੋਜੈ ਹੋਰ ਸਭ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਈ ॥: One who becomes the Gurmukh searches within his body; all others just wander around in confusion (sggs 754).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: (The Divine Virtues, Wisdom, Spiritual tranquility, Naam, Shabad, Amrit, Prabh, ਆਤਮਕ ਸੁਖ…) all that is within the Heart-Home; not outside. Who searches outside is deluded by doubts. By “Gur Parasaadee” (i.e., by the Grace of the Gur-Giaan, the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani …), those who have Realized within are Happy (tranquil) inwardly and outwardly. ||1|| (sggs 102).

But the Manmukh, has no spiritual understanding. Without the Divine Wisdom, we end up searching the Truth too far away from us — in the gross objects of the world. But the Gurbani explains that it’s all within!

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਮਾਣਸਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥2॥ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਰਖਿਆ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥: The Manmukhs do not know their Mool (Origin, Source, Root…); (on account of this ignorance, they) do not believe that the “Harmandir” is within the human (body). ||2|| “Hari” has created this (human body) “Harmandir”; He adorns it by His Hukam (sggs 1346).
  • ਵਿਣੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਜਿ ਹੋਰ ਥੈ ਧਨੁ ਖੋਜਦੇ ਸੇ ਮੂੜ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥ ਸੇ ਉਝੜਿ ਭਰਮਿ ਭਵਾਈਅਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਝਾੜ ਮਿਰਗੁ ਭਾਲੇ ॥੧੫॥: Those who search for this Treasure (of the Naam) outside of the body, in other places, are foolish and inharmonious. They wander around in the wilderness of doubt, like the deer who (not knowing that the musk is ever present in his own body) searches for the musk in the bushes ||15|| (sggs 309).
  • ਕਾਇਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਵਸੈ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਲਖਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭਾਲਣਿ ਜਾਈ ॥: (Prabhoo) Himself dwells within the (Inner) body; (but) He is Invisible and cannot be seen. The foolish Manmukh does not understand (this mystery), (consequently) he goes out searching outside (sggs 754).

How can it be Realized?

After defining the “Harmandir” and revealing it’s whereabouts, the SGGS now explains to us as to how to Realize this real “Harmandir” within.

The Gurbani asserts that this True Harmandir within can ONLY be revealed by the Spiritual Wisdom (Brahm-Giaan, self-Knowledge, etc.).

  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਹੈ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: This body is the “Harmandir” (Hari’s Temple, but this secret) is revealed by the Jewel of the Divine Wisdom (Aatm-Giaan, Brahm Giaan, Divine Knowledge …). (sggs 1346).

Accordingly, the Gurbani emphasizes on Naam-Kamaaee — Shabad-Vichaar, understanding the Divine Wisdom or Brahm-Giaan of the Gurbani and constantly living it in daily life. By living such Gurmukh-Lifestyle (the follower of Truth; who has realized the Gur-Shbad, Brahm-Giaan, Divine Wisdom…), the mind acquires the strength to return to its Mool (Source, Jot, Reality... ) within.

  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਹਾਟੁ ਹੈ ਰਖਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਉਦਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਲੈਨਿ ਸਵਾਰਿ ॥: This body “Harmandir” is the Hari’s Shop; (Hari) embellishes it with the Shabad. In this shop is the merchandise of the One Divine Naam; by becoming the Gurmukh, adorn yourself with it (sggs 1346).

To recapitulate, man’s inner psyche is the Temple of Hari or “Harmandir” where the Ultimate Reality resides as “Joti-Saroopu” (Mool, Source…). But according to the Gurbani, most of us neither see our own Inner Being nor the other living beings as “Harmandir” because our material eyes suffer from the cataract of Maya; which can only perceive the layer of matter, covering the “Joti-Saroopu” within. On the other hand, those who have become the Gurmukhs easily recognize the Divine Presence within the body temple.

  • ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਬਸਤ ਰਿਦ ਮਹਿ ਖੋਰ ॥: My Beloved lives in the cave of my Heart (sggs 1121).
  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves the Supreme Soul (sgg 421).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raamu … (sggs 1153).

Since the Manmukh does not care about the Divine Wisdom (which is to be realized through the Shabad-Vichaar), he looks for everything outside. As a result, Manmukhs “do not believe that the “Harmandir” is inside the body”. On account of this corrupt or conditioned intellect, Manmukhs are unable to discern the true from the false or real (ਸੱਤ) from the unreal (ਅਸੱਤ).

  • ਮੂਰਖ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਮਨਮੁਖੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥: The fools do not know the Truth; these Manmukhs waste their lives. (sggs 467).
  • ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਗੜ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਖੋਜਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਪਾਇਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੪੮॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਦਹ ਦਿਸਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਰਹੇ ਅਤਿ ਤਿਸਨਾ ਲੋਭ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥: Fortunate search the “Temple” of the body-fortress, and find “Hari” within the Heart. ||48|| (To the contrary, self-willed or egocentric) Manmukhs wander lost in the ten directions, led by intense desire, greed and perversions (sggs 1418).

The Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is that ONLY A GURMUKH can discern (recognize, determine, distinguish, etc.) the true from the false or real from the unreal.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਖਰੇ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, (one) distinguishes the true from the false. (sggs 942).
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  1. Peter Micic

    Such a beautiful post! The human body is the true abode, the residence of Hari. So much external stimuli that we forget the jewels of Naam are contained within us and that ultimately this reconnection is all that matters.

    Thank you:-)

  2. chitranjan dev

    HARI is Omnipresent………………..

  3. J

    Thank you T Singh Ji

    For a lovely post and for aiding us in our spiritual journey :-)

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