Demystify the Shabad

The strength of the mind is true Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ), Wisdom, (Giaan), true contentment (ਸਚੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ / ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ), and so on. The awakening of this strength within takes place when the ignorance driven emotional roller-coaster and the instinctive mind’s negative influences — false ego-sense (Haumai), lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, etc. — are properly understood and conquered through Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan, Gurmat …).

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches that once the Mayaic mind is brought under control, the mystery of the Shabad (secret, ਰਾਜ, ਸਬਦ ਦੀ ਡੂੰਘਾਈ, deeper Understanding of the Shabad …) will unfold before our Inner Vision.

  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਬਦ ਭੇਦੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਸੰਤਾਏ ॥੩॥: As long as (the mortal) does not come to understand the mystery of the Shabad, he will continue to be tormented by Kaal (fear of death …) ||3||. (sggs 1126).
  • ਏਨਾ ਅਖਰਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਲੇਖੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥: (Only that person is the learned: scholar-ਵਿਦਵਾਨ) who by becoming the Gurmukh and through his education understands (his Mool, Giaan or Wisdom etc.). Debt (of Bikaar: lust, anger, greed etc.) does not accumulate on the head of that person (i.e. that person does not transgress and does not deviate from the path of life). ||2|| (sggs 432).

Our the negative impact of false ego-sense or Haume-mind is a barrier in understanding the Gurbani and Rabb (Universal Energy…).

Only when the mind is freed from the clutches of the Mayaic consciousness, the hidden mystery of the Shabad can be seen.

As repeatedly asserted in the Gurbani, until such mastery over the mind is obtained, mystery of the Shabad will not be understood.

  • ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜਾਣਾਈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਲਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੨੯॥: (The Gurmukh) knows the mystery through the Shabad, and inspires others to know it. O Nanak! Burning away (his) ego, (the Gurmukh) merges (in his Mool, Source …). ||29|| (sggs 941).

If truthfully investigated (ਖੋਜ, search, Shabad-Vichaar…), we will find that, although we repeatedly go through the Gurbani, but our Mayaic mind seldom let the Gurbani go through us! Why?

Our ritualistic or habitual reading of the Gurbani is undertaken in stubborn mindedness and in a businesslike manner (calculated) and in an endless hunger for Maya; without hand-in-hand intense subjective discipline and without reflecting on the Gurbani’s sublime Essence (Giaan or Wisdom).

In other words, our reading or listening of the Gurbani is undertaken with the help of the pick ax of the Mayaic or superficial meanings to either gratify our false ego-sense (Haumai), or make a mere academic acquaintance with the Gurbani. Such reading results in spiritual indigestion.

IN short, it seems we are merely satisfied with its superficial or worldly meanings of the Gurbani. However, the Gurbani teaches us that the mystery of the Shabad can only be understood through proper Understanding – Shabad-Vichaar, Khoj (ਖੋਜ-search, ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) …

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).

If we allow our relativist consciousness to take the Gurbani’s worldly meanings, it would read strange and even incongruous. Hence to understand and appreciate the true gist of the Gur-Shabad, its mystery needs to be solved!

The Gurbani asserts that the mystery of the Shabad can only be Understood by becoming the Gurmukh.

In short, a Gurmukh (Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) is a person who is Wise, brave, good, virtuous and truthful, stable, fearless, blissful (Anand), pious, Joyful, positive, Happy, balanced and poised, Living Liberated, Mool-Abided etc. (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ, ਬਹਾਦੁਰ, ਭਲਾ, ਨੇਕ, ਗੁਣੀ, ਖੁਸ਼, ਅਡੋਲ, ‘ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ’, ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਵਿਚ, ‘ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ’, ‘ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ’…).

Thus, to become a Gurmukhs is not a social status or a title, it is a question of Mool-Abidance.

  • ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਰਲਉ ਬੀਚਾਰਸੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: By becoming a Gurmukh (spiritual being, True Being, etc.), a rare one contemplates (ਵਿਚਾਰ, Reflection, spiritual Inquiry, etc.) the Bani (sggs 935).
  • ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Waahu! Waahu! The Baanee (‘ਬਾਣੀ’) is True; only a rare person by becoming a Gurmukh understands it. (sggs 1276).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਸਭੁ ਅੰਧ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕਿਸਹਿ ਬੁਝਾਇਦਾ ॥੫॥: A person who has become a Gurmukh understands that without the Shabad (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh…) there is total darkness everywhere (for the human being in the journey of life). ||5|| (sggs 1065).
  • ਗੁਹਜ ਰਤਨ ਵਿਚਿ ਲੁਕਿ ਰਹੇ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਕਢੈ ਖੋਤਿ ॥: Hidden within it are the Jewels (of the Divine Virtues…); a rare ‘Sevak‘ digs them out (through Shabad-Vichaar) by becoming the Gurmukh (sggs 309).


  1. Thank you G.S. Sahib Ji for your insightful comment.

    ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰੈ ਸੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਸਿਝੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ (sggs 1416).

  2. Satkar jog Gurmukh T. Singh ji
    Yes the main aim of this life is be ‘ONE’ once again because our chit(heart,inner-soul, inner-consciousness,antar-atma…) and mann(mind, consciousness…) are separated(cracked) and with the help of reflections on gurbani (gurmat-gyan,tat-gyan, atam-gyan, shabad-vichar, divine- knowledge…) our mann will die completely(death of the worldly desires, mann di ichha…) into chit and then we will live our life under the hukam of akaal purakh(guru da bhana).
    IS JUG MIEN EKEIY (to become one) KO AYE…


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