Gursikhs Solve the Riddle

As indicated by the following verses, one who has truly become the Gursikh, he reflects on the Gur-Giaan: Gurmat or Teaching (ਉਪਦੇਸ) of the Gurbani. He constantly bathes in the immaculate pool of the Gur-Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom). To put it otherwise, the SGGS indicates that the true Sikhs are those who have understood to live Sikhi by learning it through the Gur-Vichaar (ਗੁਰ-ਵੀਚਾਰ ਦੀ ਰਾਹੀਂ; through contemplating/reflecting on the Gur-Giaan, Gurbani’s Teaching, Wisdom of the Gurbani…):

  • ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Sikhi sikhiaa gur veechaari (sggs 465).
  • ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪਰਵਾਹ ਛੁਟਕੰਤ ਸਦ ਦ੍ਵਾਰਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਗ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਮਲ ਸਰ ਸੰਤ ਸਿਖ ਨਾਈਐ ॥: Amrit paravaah chhutkant sada dvaari jisu gyaan gur bimal sar sant sikh naaeeai (sggs 1401).

Thus, one becomes a true Gursikh only when he has understood the spiritual secrets of the Gurbani or the mystery of the Gur-Shabad: When he has solved the riddle the Satguroo has posed to him.

What is this riddle (puzzle, enigma, conundrum, “ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ”, “ਬੁਝਾਰਤ”, ਪਹੇਲੀ, ਸਮਝੌਤੀ…)? The Gurbani explains:

  • ਥਾਲੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਤੈ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਹਰਿ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਮਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤੀਐ ਪਾਈਐ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਅਲਭੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਲਭੈ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਏਹ ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ ਕਿਉ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਕਢੀਐ ਸਦਾ ਰਖੀਐ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰਿ ॥ ਏਹ ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਈ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਲਧੀ ਭਾਲਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਸੁ ਬੁਝਾਏ ਸੁ ਬੁਝਸੀ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਘਾਲਿ ॥੧॥: That plate (of the Heart…) upon which three (i.e., Truth, contentment, Reflection – ਸਤ, ਸੰਤੋਖ ਤੇ ਵੀਚਾਰ) have been placed, (served in that plate is) the sublime food (of Amrit-Naam: ਗਿਆਨ ਰੂਪ ਭੋਜਨ, ਅੰਤਰ-ਆਤਮਾ ਦਾ ਭੋਜਨ, Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues…). Eating this (food of Spiritual Wisdom, Brahm Giaan…), the mind is satisfied, and the Door of Salvation is realized (freedom from the hunger of Maya, Bikaar…). O Saints! This food is rare; it is obtained only through “Gur Veechaari” (Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad, Spiritual Wisdom, Upadesh…). This riddle should not be cast out from within (the heart); it should be kept ever enshrined in the Heart. The “Satiguroo” has posed this riddle. (Through Shabad-Vichaar: ਖੋਜ, ਵਿਚਾਰ), the Gur-Sikhs have found (the solution). O Nanak! That (person) understands it (who is given) understanding, and by becoming the Gurmukh, (he) strats (moves, works, thrusts, ਘਾਲਣਾ…) to realize “Hari” (Mool … within). ||1|| (sggs 645).
  • ਜਿਨ ਵਡਿਆਈ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਰਤੇ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਮਨੈ ਮਾਹਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ (sggs 1238).

Parameshar has placed the sublime Food (ਭੋਜਨ) of Amrit-Naam (Shabad, Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom…) on the Plate of the Gurbani (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਅੱਖਰਾ ਰੂਪੀ ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚ) for us to eat. That is, our challenge is to understand the true meanings of the Gurbani As Is (understanding the Mystery of the Gur-Shabad-“ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ”), and then live it (i.e. Gurmukh Lifestyle).

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕਾ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਗਿਆਨ ॥: Spiritual Wisdom (ਉੱਚੀ ਸਮਝ, etc.) is the food of the Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth. (sggs 273).
  • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਖਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਭੁੰਚੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥: One who eats it (i.e., the spiritual food – ਆਤਮਕ ਭੋਜਨ) and enjoys it is delivered (freed from Maya, Bikaar…). (sggs 1429).

“ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ” (Mystery of the Gur-Shabad) or the meanings of the Gurbani are not straightforward. However, The Gurbani tells us that a Gursikh can understand (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) them and Realize the Mystery of the Gur-Shabad through searching (ਖੋਜ) and Reflecting (Vichaar-ਵਿਚਾਰ…), and thus solve the riddle by becoming the Gurmukh (ਘਾਲਣਾ ਘਾਲ ਕੇ, by understanding the true meanings of the Gurbani-ਅਸਲੀ ਅਰਥ). Thus, the one who has become the Gursikh, he has also become the Gurmukh, the Giaanee (spiritually Wise), the Saadhoo (one who has accomlished perfect control on his mind), the Sant, etc., who is totally free of all Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.).

  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥੩॥: Jab lag shabad bhedu nahee aaiaa… (sggs 1126).
  • ਏਨਾ ਅਖਰਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਲੇਖੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥: Enaa akharaa mahi jo gurmukhi… (sggs 432).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਹਾਟੈ ॥: Gur kaa siku bikaar te haatai (sggs 286).

But, the truth is that the majority of us do not even know what the riddle is, let alone its solution!

  • ਕਹਾ ਬੁਝਾਰਤਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਡੋਰਾ ॥ ਨਿਸਿ ਕਹੀਐ ਤਉ ਸਮਝੈ ਭੋਰਾ ॥: How can a riddle be understood by the deaf? (With a sign if you) Say “night”, but still he thinks (you said) “day” (i.e., even he is constantly told, but still does not understand at all). (sggs 267).

Why one does not or cannot understand the riddle? Because, as indicated in the foregoing verses, for example, if the Gurbani says “night” to one, he thinks it said “day”! In other words, it does not matter how much he is constantly told, but he still does not understand at all.

Furthermore, as indicated in the following verses, because we are so “foolish and greedy”, we don’t listen at all:

  • ਸਭੇ ਗਲਾ ਜਾਤੀਆ ਸੁਣਿ ਕੈ ਚੁਪ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਕਦ ਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਨ ਲਧੀਆ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੜਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਦੇਇ ਬੁਝਾਰਤ ਸਾਰਤਾ ਸੇ ਅਖੀ ਡਿਠੜਿਆ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਜਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਲੋਭੀਆ ਮੂਲਿ ਨ ਸੁਣੀ ਕਹਿਆ ॥੨॥: (The Jeeva-individial being) hears and knows everything, but still he keeps silent (i.e., he does not care or listen-ਪਰਵਾਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਦਾ) Bewitched by Maya, he never regains (spiritual) Awareness. ||1|| The riddles and hints are given (by the Gurbani, Gurmukhs…), and he sees them with his eyes. But (the Jeeva) is foolish and greedy, and he never listens to what he is told. ||2|| (sggs 217).
  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized (sggs 148).

In nutshell, the Gurbani is the subject of searching (ਖੋਜ-Khoj), Reflecting (ਵਿਚਾਰ-Vichaar), and understanding (ਬੂਝਿ-Boojh). The Gurbani tells us that we should always remember this riddle, and try to understand it the same time through searching, reflecting, and understanding the Gurbani.

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: When someone searches (God), and by Understanding engages in Vichaar (reflection, contemplation…), then (he) crosses over the Bhavjal (dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

To understand exactly what the Gurbani says, or means, or intends, etc. is to solve the riddle. Once the Gurbani is understood (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ), then the Gurbani wants us to constantly live it in daily life (“ਅਮਲ”, “ਕਰਣੀ”…).

  • ਜਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਤਹ ਪੂਰੀ ਮਤਿ ॥: Jah karanee tah pooree mati (sggs 25).
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2 Comments On This Post Join the Shabad-Vichaar ...

  1. Karamjeet Singh

    Thanks Vir Jio for yet another enormously insightful piece.

    So we all need to be the puzzle / riddle solvers.

    Our Gurus could have presented Gurbani as plain demystified solution set but that could have taken away from us the satisfaction of first making efforts and then reaping rewards. Anything we accomplish by dint of our hardwork is not only better cherished but also tends to stay with us. So let us all delve ourselves into reflecting on Gurbani and solve the life riddles and retrieve the precious messages Gurbani is so replete with.

    Thansks again for your relentess endevours. Keep the guiding torch lit.

    Deep Regards

    • Thank you Veer Ji for taking the time to share your Vichaar. Also, thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

      …So let us all delve ourselves into reflecting on Gurbani and solve the life riddles and retrieve the precious messages Gurbani is so replete with.

      Well said!

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