Who can Say That the Guru is Dead?

First off, who is the Guru in Sikh?

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) asserts: (1) Giaan (Wisdom) is the Guru, (2) it’s our consciousness (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ) that needs to become a Sikh (ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ, or a learner, or a student of the SGGS).

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is “Bibek(u)” (Wisdom, Discerning Intelligence…). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: The Jewel of Giaan (Wisdom) is obtained from the Guru (sggs 1044).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Giaan (Wisdom) is obtained from the Satigur; (with this Giaan, one learns) to reflect on Hari (Mool, Universal Energy, Divine Virtues…). (sggs 163).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥: Deep within is the sacred shrine (Teerath) of Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…), which the Satigur has revealed (sggs 587).

Satgur is “Giaan” and “Abinaasee”

The SGGS asserts that the Satgur (Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…) is “Abinaasee” (Imperishable, everlasting, Immortal, Undying, etc.). The SGGS further asserts that the Satgur abides in the mind of  everybody (“ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ”), but needs to be Awakened by churning the Gurbani!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: My Satguru is Everlasting (Immortal, etc.), who neither comes nor goes. The Satguru is Imperishable (immortal), and pervades within all. ||13|| (sggs 759).

Hence, the SGGS declares that the Guru (Giaan or Wisdom…) never dies.

“Who can say the Guru is dead?”

Then, isn’t celebrations of death anniversaries of the Gurus contrary to the Gurmat (the Teaching of the Gurbani…)?

However, starting from the so called “Takhats“, all Gurdwaras, and Deraas elaborately celebrate death anniversaries of the Gurus throughout the world!

It seams like the majority of us (99.9 percent category) – again starting from the Pujaaree groups, “Takhats“, Gurdwaras, Deraas, and the Gurdwara-committees all over the world don’t much bother to find out as to what the Gurbani has to say about this practice in Sikhi.


  • ਮਿਲਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਗਦ ਅਮਰ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਹਿ ਗਯਉ ॥ ਹਰਿਬੰਸ ਜਗਤਿ ਜਸੁ ਸੰਚਰ੍ਯ੍ਯਉ ਸੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਕਹੈ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਮੁਯਉ ॥੧॥: Gur Angad Sahib meeting Gur Nanak Sahib; Gur Amardas Sahib meeting Gur Angad Sahib, and Gur Raamdas Sahib meeting Guru Amardas Sahib, (they all) immersed in the Lord (ਹਰੀ ਵਿਚ ਲੀਨ ਹੋ ਗਏ). Says Harbans! The Glory (of the Guru) has propagated (spreaded, etc.) all over the world; who can say that the the Guru is dead? (i.e., the Guru Lives forever – ਜਾਗਦੀ ਜੋਤਿ)||1|| (sggs 1409).


Due to Bharam -Jaal (doubts, Dubidhaa, Mayaic consciousness,etc.), those who still believe the Guru is dead, some more verses from the Gurbani follow:

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Satiguru is the Vigilant (Watchful, Wide-Awake, etc.) Divinity. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 479).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: My Satguru is Everlasting (Immortal, etc.), who neither comes nor goes. The Satguru is Imperishable (immortal), and pervades within all. ||13|| (sggs 759).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਦ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਮਰਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee ever lives and never dies (sggs 273).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਸੰਤ ਮੂਏ ਕਿਆ ਰੋਈਐ ਜੋ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਰੋਵਹੁ ਸਾਕਤ ਬਾਪੁਰੇ ਜੁ ਹਾਟੈ ਹਾਟ ਬਿਕਾਇ ॥੧੬॥: O Kabeer! Do not cry at the death of a Saint. He is just going back to his own Home (i.e., Mool, Source…). (If you want to cry,) Cry (at the death of) the Saakat (wretched Mayadhaaree), who is sold from store to store (i.e., who wanders…). ||16|| (sggs 1365).

None is empty or devoid of the Satiguru

The SGGS asserts that the Satiguru pervades in His Sikhs (“ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਰਤੈ”).  The implication is that if the Satiguru is dead, then the Satiguru cannot be within His Gursikhs. Isn’t it?

Furthermore, if Pujaaree system and their ignorant followers still believe the Satiguru is dead and go on celebrating death anniversary of the Satiguru, it means we are also dead! Isn’t it?

The SGGS reminds us that nobody is empty or devoid of the Satigur (“ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ…”). It means, if He is dead, then we are also without the Satigur — Dead! Isn’t it?

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ॥: None is devoid of the Satigur; (Satgur – Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…) unites with my Mool within. (sggs 850).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: The Perfect Satguru is always with me (sggs 618).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: When the Satiguru (Sach Daa Giaan, Knowledge of Truth, etc.) abides within the mind, then the “Sahib” or Mool is (also) seen at the same place (that is, within…) (sggs 1087).
  • ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਚੁਣਿ ਕਢੇ ਲਧੋਵਾਰੇ ॥: The Satiguru (Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…) prevails among His GurSikhs; when assayed, (Saakat – who are disconnected from Truth…) are sorted and  discarded. (sggs 312).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: My Guru is always with me, near at hand (sggs 394).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਮਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥: (One who) imbibes (accepts…) the Wisdom (intellect, understanding, sense, Bibek-Budhi…) of the Satigur’s Teachings, is absorbed into the Satigur (he permeates into the Satigur’s Teaching…). (sggs 797).

Let alone the Gurus, even when an ordinary person leaves his/her physical body, we routinely hear Bhais or Ragis singing this Shabad during the “Bhog” ceremony – “ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥”:Kaounu mooaa re kaounu mooaa, sggs 885. They chose this Shabad to make the point to the mourning family, friends and relatives gathered in the “Bhog” that in fact nobody dies!

  • ਪਵਨੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਵਨੁ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲਿ ਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਾਟੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਹੋਈ ਏਕ ॥ ਰੋਵਨਹਾਰੇ ਕੀ ਕਵਨ ਟੇਕ ॥੧॥ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ਰੇ ਕਉਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਉ ਚਲਤੁ ਭਇਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ …: (The element of) wind merges into the wind. The (element of) light blends into the (All-Pervading) Light. The (element of) dirt or earth becomes one with the earth. What support is there for the one who is lamenting (i.e., the one who laments does so because of doubts and attachment) ? ||1|| O, who has died, who has died (i.e., in reality, the soul – ਜੀਵਾਤਮਾ – does not die). Meeting the Brahm-Giaanee (Brahm-realized, the Gurmukh…), inquire (Vichaar, deep search) into this; (upon inquiry or Vichaar, you will know that) this is just a spectacle or show that happens  (ਖੇਡ, ਤਮਾਸ਼ਾ). ||1||Pause|| … (sggs 885).

Hence, death of the physical body-frame is just a transformation, a change, etc.  – all five elements just merge back into their respective sources, and the cycle continues. The Gurbani asks:

  • ਬੁਝੁ ਰੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਮੂਆ ਹੈ ਕਉਣੁ ॥: Understand (inquire…), O wise-man, who has died. (sggs 152).

Ironically, the same Pujaaree groups – Bhais, Ragis, Gurdawara-cometees, etc., – turn around and organize elaborate celebrations of death anniversaries of the Gurus! Isn’t it obvious they are doing it just for the Golak (money, bread, ਰੋਟੀਆਂ, ਧੰਧਾ, ਦੁਕਾਨਦਾਰੀ…)? What a fraud!

In fact this is no more than body-consciousness (ਸਰੀਰ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ, ਪਰਾਈ ਮਤ, ਮਨ ਮਤ, ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮਤ …): living at the level of the body (Maya). This is not Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…). Instead, this is Mayaic or Mayadhaaree lifestyle (ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਜੀਵਨ), which opposite of the Gurmukh Lifestyle.


Filed Under: Gurbani, Gurpurab, Sant, Sadhu, Guru, Bhagat
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6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Tejinder Kaur

    Veer T. Singh, Very nice Gurbani Blog. First sharing through own mind and then sharing with other brothers and sisters. This is what Sikhi is. It has become impossible task for Sikhs to understand. Most of the Sikhs leave the first one and put all their efforts on the second one and become “Egoistic”. Those Sikhs think they are doing sewa without serving to their self. If one is hungry, how they can serve properly to the guest. Yes, they can serve for a while by keeping their self hungry, but soon they will be sick or die or frustrate or angry with the same humanity. In nut shell, Shabad Guru says, “Mun Jeetay, Jug Jeet “.

    For topic, what you think who Guru is? I am also learning and finding answers through Gurbani.
    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!!

  2. ravinder singh

    1-Aad sach,jugad sach,hai bhi sach ,Nanak hosi bhi sach.2-Aad gureh nameh,jugad gure nameh,satgure nameh, shri gurudeve nameh.3-Aad ant ekai avtara soi hi guru samajiyo hamara,

  3. Saroop S.

    ਬਿਲਕੁਲ ਠੀਕ!
    ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰਿਆਂ ਤੇ ਤਖਤਾਂ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਹੋ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਇਹ ਸਭ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ ਦਾ ਖਿਲਾਰਾ ਹੈ । ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ ਗੁਰਮੱਤ ਤੇ ਉਲਟ ਹੈ – ਗੁਰਮੱਤ ਸੱਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ ਹੈ ਪਰ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣੀ ਮੱਤ ਝੂਠ ਦਾ (ਲਾਲਚ, ਪਖੰਡ, ਕਰਮਕਾਂਡ, ਭੇਖ, ਮਾਇਆ, ਹੇਰਾ-ਫੇਰੀ, ਚਲਾਕੀ, ਧਰਮ ਦੇ ਸਹੀ ਰਸਤੇ ਨੂੰ ਲੋਭ ਦੀ ਖਾਤਰ ਤੋੜਨਾ-ਮਰੋੜਨਾ, ਆਦਿਕ) ।
    ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 1371}

  4. gurmit singh

    The Gurmat needs to be rescued from the anti-Gurmat practices – unmeaning rituals, dogmas, empty Bhekh, Jhooth or falsehood, Pakhand or hypocrisy, fraud, mammon worshiping, etc.

    Thank you for truthfully and boldly presenting the Gurmat AS IS!

    ਇਹੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਖਸੇ ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਵਹੇ ॥ [ਪੰਨਾ 922]

  5. Vikram Singh

    Thank you for so truthfully presenting the Gurmat!

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