There is nothing in the Universe – visible or invisible – which Baabaa Nanak did not call Rabb!
Call by whatever name you like (e.g., Rabb, Universal Energy, god, Parmaatam, Truth, Allah, System or Law of Nature, Kudrat, Hukam, etc.), the Gurbani indicates “From Nirgun appears Sargun”. As such, the Gurbani classifies Rabb as follows:
- ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਤੇ ਸਰਗੁਨ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਾਰੰ ॥: From Nirgun appears Sargun. (sggs 250).
- ਨਿਰਗੁਣੁ ਸਰਗੁਣੁ ਆਪੇ ਸੋਈ ॥: (Rabb) Himself is Nirgun and Sargun. (sggs 128).
- ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੋ ਪਸਰਿਆ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਹ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਾਰ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! One (Universal Energy) is wide-spreaded (ਫੈਲਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ), where can there be another seen? (sggs 292).
Hence, two names — Sargun and Nirgun — are given to the same, One Universal Energy, which is the subject of understanding, NOT the subject of blind Poojaa or blind faith (ਅੰਧ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ਼, ਅੰਨੀ ਸ਼ਰਧਾ — foolishness).
- ਸਰਗੁਣ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਥਾਪੈ ਨਾਉ ॥: Sargun and Nirgun are two given names. (sggs 387).
They are only different by figures of speech. For example, both the ocean and the waves are water. Although both the ocean and its waves are made of the same one water, but for the sake of discussion one is called the ocean and the other is called the wave. Similarly, although both the gold and gold-bracelet are one and the same gold, but for the sake of discussion one is called the gold and the other is called the bracelet.
- ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤਰੰਗ ਤਰੰਗ ਤੇ ਹੈ ਜਲੁ ਕਹਨ ਸੁਨਨ ਕਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੧॥: From the water, the waves rise up; and from the waves, the water. They are only different by figures of speech. ||1|| ||1|| (sggs 1252).
Thus, the aggregated System of the Universal Energy = Sargun (seen) + Nirgun (unseen or formless).
- ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਵਸਿਆ ॥ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (O Divine – the Universal Energy, Hukam, Law or System of Nature…!), I’m thankful to You who abides in “Kudrat” (Nature…). Your limits cannot be comprehended. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 469).
- ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥: May that mouth burn, which says that the Divine enters into “Jonee” (womb, origin, birth…). ||3|| (1136).
- ਪਿਤਾ ਕਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਕਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਪੂਤੁ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਪਰੋਈ ਅਪੁਨੈ ਸੂਤਿ ॥: What does the son know of his father’s birth? All are (ਸਾਰੀ ਰਚਨਾ) strung upon His string (i.e., Hukam, the Law or System of Nature, ਨਿਯਮ). (sggs 284).
- ਨਹ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਨਮੈ ਨਹ ਕਿਛੁ ਮਰੈ ॥ ਆਪਨ ਚਲਿਤੁ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਕਰੈ ॥: Nothing is born and nothing dies. (The Hukam, Universal Energy…) Himself stages His own drama (281).
- ਵਡਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ਸਚਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਤਖਤੁ ॥: Great is Your court (expanse); true is Your Throne (ਨਿਯਮ – Law or System of Nature). (sggs 964).
- ਜੋਗੀ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਚਰੈ ॥ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਕਾ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ॥ ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੩॥੧੧॥: The Yogi (forgetting the Divine) repeats Gorakh, Gorakh. The Hindu utters the Name of Raam (i.e., Hindu thinks his God is only in the idol of Raam). (Similarly) the Muslim considers only the Khudaa (as their God, somewhere up there in 7th sky). (However) Kabeer’s Divine is that which is pervading all over (ਫੈਲਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ, ਤੇ ਸਭ ਦਾ ਸਾਂਝਾ – the same One in all beings and everywhere) ||4||3||11|| (sggs 1160).
Thus, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) embodies the central theme of Giaan or Wisdom of the Oneness of existence — seeing nothing as apart from one’s own self. This ontological insight is the realization of the Knowledge of one’s essential Nature as Pure Consciousness (Jot Saroop). How this One, All-pervading Brahm is realized with the Grace of the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom:
- ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੭॥: Brahm is realized within through the Grace of the Gur-Giaan (i.e., Wisdom). (sggs 425).
Sargun aspect (Brahmand, Kudrat, Khalkat…) includes all that which we can see with our physical eyes – jungles, mountains, ocean, rivers, land, space, humans, animals, etc. For example, the Gurbani repeatedly tells we all humans are part of That One, Universal Energy (Rabb).
- ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ ॥: Says Kabeer! This (i.e., soul that dwells within) is Raam’s Ansh (part, portion…). (sggs 871).
- ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ॥: Gobind (Universal Energy) is All (i.e., in everything and everywhere), Gobind is All (i.e., in everything and everywhere); without Gobind, there is nothing at all. (sggs 485).
Bhagat Nam Dev Ji says that the Divine (Rabb, Universal Energy…) is so situated within everybody as one’s own reflection in a mirror or in water!
- ਐਸੋ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਇ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਰਪਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਦਨ ਪਰਵਾਨੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … ਪਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਦੇਖੁ ਮੁਖੁ ਜੈਸਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੇ ਕੋ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬੀਠਲੁ ਐਸਾ ॥੨॥੧॥: Raam is situated within everybody as clearly as one’s face reflected in a mirror.||1||Pause|| … As one’s face is reflected in the water, so is the Naam Dev’s Divine (i.e., Rabb, Universal Energy…) ||2||1|| (sggs 1318).
Hence, the Gurbani says love Kaadar through Kudrat:
- ਕਰਤੇ ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਮੁਸਤਾਕੁ ॥: O Kartaar (Rabb, Universal Energy…)! Through Kudrat, I have become Your lover (desirous, devotee…). (sggs 724).
- ਮਨ ਤੁਆਨਾ ਤੂ ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਆਇਆ ॥: My capability comes through Kudrat (sggs 1291).
Nirgun aspect (Brahm, Kaadar, Khaalak, Spirit, Law of Nature, Hukam, ਨਿਯਮ…) is that which we cannot see with our physical eyes. This includes all the invisible or Formless forces of the Nature. The Fundamental Forces are gravitational force, elctro-magnetic force, nuclear forces, etc. Included in it are the laws of motion, heat, air, etc.
Hence, the Gurbani has also repeatedly used the term “Nirankaar” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ), which literally means “Formless” meaning without form-shape-color (without “Roopu-ਰੂਪੁ”, “Raekh-ਰੇਖ”, and “Rangu-ਰੰਗੁ”). In fact, all the basic Fundamental Forces described above are without form-shape-color (without “Roopu-ਰੂਪੁ”, “Raekh-ਰੇਖ”, and “Rangu-ਰੰਗੁ”), which are invisible to our physical eyes.
This One Formless principle also dwells within all beings (“ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ”). In other words, the Universal Energy that functions in the Brahmand also functions within the mind as Virtues, Wisdom, Truth…
- ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਿੰਨ ॥: (“Prabh”) has no form, no shape, no color; “Prabh” is beyond these three worldly qualities. (sggs 283).
- ਅਨਿਕ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਹੋਇ ਪਸਰਿਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: O Nanak! The One “Ekankaar” (Universal Energy…) has expanded or spreaded in many ways. (sggs 296).
- ਜੋ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡੇ ਸੋਈ ਪਿੰਡੇ ਜੋ ਖੋਜੈ ਸੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: That (Universal Energy), which functions outside in Brahmand, the same also functions within the body; whoever seeks, obtains (understands…). (sggs 695).
Two names given to the same, One (ੴ – ਇਕੋ or ਏਕੋ)
Just as a coin has two sides, but that does not mean there are two coins. Coin is just one, but it has two sides. Similarly, Nirgun and Sargun are two sides or aspects of the same One Formless Universal Energy which is wide-spread throughout. That Universal Energy is Kudrat (Nature), and Kudrat is in the Universal Energy (“ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ”).
- ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਏਕੋ ਹੈ ॥: O brother! (Rabb, Universal Energy…) is the One and Only. (sggs 350).
- ਬ੍ਰਹਮੋ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਸਰਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟੀ ਆਇਆ ॥: This expanse is of the One Brahm (One Universal Energy, Hukam…); One Brahm is spreaded through it everywhere. (Contemplating the Wisdom through the Gur-Shabad) everywhere I look, I see the One Brahm. (sggs 982).
One seed has expanded as the entire tree, including roots, stem, branches, leaves, flower or fruits, etc.!
- ਬਟਕ ਬੀਜ ਮਹਿ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਜਾ ਕੋ ਤੀਨਿ ਲੋਕ ਬਿਸਥਾਰ ॥੩॥: (The Universal Energy) whose expanse is in the three worlds (i.e., the entire universe), is contained in the seed of Banyan tree (and the seed, in Banyan tree). (sggs 340).
- ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਾਲਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਲਕ ਵਸੈ ਰਬ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: O Fareed! The “Khaalak” (Creator, Universal Energy…) is in the Creation, and the Creation is in “Rabb” (“Khaalak”, Universal Energy…. (sggs 1381).
Hence – according to the Gurbani – both Sargun and Nirgun aspects are of the same, One Rabb (One Universal Energy).
- ਨਿਰਗੁਨੁ ਆਪਿ ਸਰਗੁਨੁ ਭੀ ਓਹੀ ॥ ਕਲਾ ਧਾਰਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਮੋਹੀ ॥: He Himself is Nirgun and Sargun. This Universal Energy has fascinated the entire universe by manifesting its power. (sggs 287).
Clearly, Kudrat being Powerful, if humans conflict with the System of Nature, Kudrat will always win! Furthermore, it can self-corrects itself.
Also, the visible or gross (“Asathool-ਸਥੂਲ” – material, visible Jagat or world…) is within the Invisible (“ਸੂਖਮ”, subtle…)!
- ਸੂਖਮ ਮਹਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਅਸਥੂਲੁ ॥: (A Pandit who understands the Essence) sees the visible (“Asathool-ਅਸਥੂਲ”-material, gross world or Jagat…) within the Invisible (“Sookham-ਸੂਖਮ” – subtle…). (sggs 274).
- ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਮਾਹੀ ॥: The Bhav Saagar is within the Sukh Saagar. (sggs 323).
That’s how the SGGS, and a true Wise person sees it (i.e., a Gurmukh, Daas, Jan , Bhagat…)!
Last, but not least, this Universal Energy is Unblemished, Impartial, All-powerful, and so on. It’s Vastness or Greatness cannot be fully written or recorded (described, glorified…) – ever fresh and ever new Giaan or Knowledge (“ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਨੀਤ ਨਵਾ”). Not only that, this Great Benefactor has no iota of greediness for any such written account or glorification, etc. (“ਵਡਾ ਦਾਤਾ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਤਮਾਇ”).
It’s Also called Hukam (Hukam-Roopa – System or Law of Nature…). The Universe and all its parts come from the One Hukam. Therefore, the Universal Hukam has all the potentialities and Power.
- ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Everyone is subject to Hukam; no one is beyond (exempt or outside of) Hukam. (sggs 1).
Further, in the Gurbani, Rabb (the Universal Energy) is also called Naam (Naam-Roop – Wisdom, Virtues, Bibek, Truth…), etc. It’s present within all humans. However, whether one wants to Awaken this potentiality within (Wisdom, Virtues, Bibek, Truth…) or not is up to each one of us. Nobody else can do it for us, or it cannot be made to an order!
- ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਜੰਤ ॥: All creatures are held or sustained by Naam. (sggs 284).
- ਘਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਤੇਰਾ ਭਰਵਾਸਾ ਤੂ ਜਨ ਕੈ ਹੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਉ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗਿ ॥੧॥: (O ‘Pritam Prabh’ – Universal Energy!) Within Home and without, I can count on You. You are always with ‘Jan’ (Gurmukh, Daas, Bhagat, etc., who live with Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). O ‘Pritam Prabh’ – Universal Energy! Grace me so that I may affectionately understand Your Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth, Hukam or the Law of Nature…). ||1|| (sggs 677).
Those who live by the Hukam or Naam are awarded with Joy or Bliss in life. Those who defy it suffer the consequences and live unhappily. In other words, we all are responsible for our own thinking and the resulting Karma or actions.
However, for the sake of Golak (money, bread, business, ਧੰਧਾ, ਰੋਟੀਆਂ…), the crooked and illiterate Sikh Pujaaree groups, so called foolish scholars, and the Deraa-Vaad (ਕਰਮਕਾਂਡੀ ਲਾਣਾਂ – Karamkandee groups) want people to remain tied to some fake or imaginary god” separate from people, manufactured stories, Sachkhand “up there” somewhere, etc., which is NOT the Baabaa Nanak’s Rabb and go totally against the Gurmat!
Clearly, for the sake of Golak, the aim of the Pujaaree system and the Deraa-Vaad is to keep Sikhs confused, doubt-ridden, ignorant, mentally slave, and tied to ueless Karamkaand from which Baabaa Nanak freed us.
The Gurmat’s Rabb is Here and Now! Therefore, the Gurbani tells us there is no need to find Rabb, but to understand Rabb!
- ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਦਿਸੈ ਜਾਹਰਾ ॥੪॥੩॥੧੦੫॥: The Rabb of Nanak is before the eyes, everywhere (visible, ਜਿਹੜਾ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ਦਿਸ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ). ||4||3||105|| (sggs 397).
Fittingly, Bhagat Ravidas Ji reminds Rabb is not anybody’s paternal property, or father of any particular person (“ਆਪਨ ਬਾਪੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਸੀ ਕੋ”)! With sincere love, anybody can understand the Way of the SGGS.