Sargun Nirgun

Nirgun ( ਨਿਰਗੁਨ or ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ) = without qualities or Attributeless, Absolute, Transcendent, etc.
Sargun ( ਸਰਗੁਨ or ਸਰਗੁਣ ) = with attributes or qualities, etc.

  • ਸਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਆਪਿ ॥: Nirankaar (Formless God) Himself is Sargun, Nirankaar (Formless God) Himself is Nirgun, and Himself abides in Sunn Samaadhi (beyond the influence of the three qualities of Maya, ਅਫੁਰ ਅਵਸਥਾ …). (sggs 290).

The term “Nirankaar” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ) essentially means Formless. As the foregoing verse indicates, Nirankaar (Formless) is Sargun, and the same Nirankaar (Formless) is Nirgun as well.

This means that – according to the gurbani – both Sargun and Nirgun aspects of the Akaal Purakh are Formless (Nirankaar). So, to say Sargun means God in human form would be totally contrary to the Gurbani. In other words, since the Gurbani’s God does not take birth, Sargun does not mean God in human form.

This Sargun-Roop (ਸਰਗੁਨ-ਰੂਪ) simply indicates The Divine Hukam (His Hukam-Roopa or ਹੁਕਮ-ਰੂਪ – Divine Order, Command, Will, Eternal Law…) or Shabad (Shabad-Roop or ਸਬਦ-ਰੂਪ).

  • ਹੁਕਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਹੁਕਮ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੈ ਜੇ ਬੁਝੈ ਤ ਹਉਮੈ ਕਹੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Everyone is subject to Hukam; no one is beyond (exempt or outside of) Hukam. O Nanak! One who understands Hukam, does not speak in ego (i.e., that person does not live in Haumai or ego) (sggs 1).
  • ਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਆਛੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਜੋਤਿ ਸੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਹੈ ॥: 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).

In other words, the creation comes from this One Hukam. Therefore, this Hukam has all the potentialities and Power.

  • ਏਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਏਕੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਭ ਏਕਸੁ ਤੇ ਉਤਪਤਿ ਚਲੈ ॥: The One Shabad (or Hukam), One God, prevails everywhere. All the creation cmes from this One (God) (sggs 1334).

Similarly, the Nirgun aspect is His Light (Joti-Roop or ਜੋਤਿ-ਰੂਪ).

  • ਆਪੇ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੀ ਬਾਲਾ ॥: (The Lord) Himself is the embodiment of Light, and the Great (ਸਭ ਦਾ ਵੱਡਾ-Exalted, Eminent, etc.) (sggs 1021).

Understandably, the Gurbani tells us that a Wise person sees the visible or gross (“Asathool-ਸਥੂਲ” – material, visible Jagat or world…) in the Invisible (“ਸੂਖਮ”, subtle…)! NOT OTHER WAY AROUND.

  • ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਮੂਲ ॥ ਸੂਖਮ ਮਹਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਅਸਥੂਲੁ ॥ ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਕਉ ਦੇ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਸੁ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਕਉ ਸਦਾ ਅਦੇਸੁ ॥੪॥: (The Pandit who has instructs his mind and has realized Hari within his Heart) understands (Prabhoo to be) the “Mool” of the Vedas, the Puraanas and the Simritees. In the Invisible (“Sookham-ਸੂਖਮ” – subtle…), he sees the visible (“Asathool-ਅਸਥੂਲ”-material, gross world or Jagat…). He gives instruction to people of all four social classes. O Nanak! To such a Pandit, (I) bow in salutation forever. ||4|| (sggs 274).

Accordingly, the Gurbani reveals to us that the Bhav Saagar (“ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰ” – material world or Jagat…) we live in is in the Sukh Saagar (“ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ” – Prabhoo, Naam…). That is, visible is in the Invisible! NOT OTHER WAY AROUND.

  • ਭਵ ਸਾਗਰ ਸੁਖ ਸਾਗਰ ਮਾਹੀ ॥: Bhav saagar sukh saagar maahee: In the Sukh Saagar, there is the Bhav Saagar. (sggs 323).
Filed Under: Gurbani, Nirgun-Sagun
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5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. prince

    spot on…..phenomena is in nowmena….visible in invisible

  2. Harpreet

    I still believe God is only Nirgun not Sargun – he is beyond his creation so him (God) pervading everywhere is cannot be true he is beyond his creation he can show his blessings or not but him being inside of something is not true

  3. prakash.s.bagga

    I have tried to understand the meaning of the word NIRANKAAR which I find is very crucial for the understanding of whole of Gurbanee,
    It appears that it would be wrong to take the meaning of the word NIRANKAAR as FORMLESS.
    On the contrary the word NIRANKAAR is the reference for specific Form of The CREATOR
    as envisaged in Gurbanee. This should be further clear from a Quote in Gurbanee as
    Wahu Wahu Banee Nirankaar Hae…. Now the point of consideration ..Is Banee FORMLESS.
    There is no doubt that FORM of The Creator in Gurbanee is entirely different from Wordly Forms but it does not mean the CREATOR is FORMLESS.
    I may point out that from Gurbanee it can be clearly understood that the FORM of the Creator is that of WAVES. In this context it would be important to understand the meanings of the words EKANKAAR and ONKAAR to get the true meaning of NIRANKAAR.

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