Entire Gurbani Is Naam

The Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) tells us that the Entire Gurbani is Naam.

In addition, the Gurbani is also said to be the “Gun Bani-ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ” (Gun = Virtues).

  • ਪੀਊ ਦਾਦੇ ਕਾ ਖੋਲਿ ਡਿਠਾ ਖਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਤਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਮਨਿ ਭਇਆ ਨਿਧਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਤਨ ਲਾਲ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਮੋਲੁ ॥ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ਅਖੂਟ ਅਤੋਲ ॥੨॥: When I opened the treasure of the Bani of Guru Nanak Dev and all the Gurus (i.e., when I understood the Bani of SGGS – the Bani of commonsense, Wisdom, Bibek…), then my mind got filled with (commonsense, wisdom, Bibek-Budh) ||1||. Overflowing with the priceless gems (i.e., commonsense, Wisdom, Bibek-budh), the storehouse (of the Guru‘s Bani of Wisdom…) is inexhaustible and immeasurable. ||2|| (sggs 186).

The more we gain understanding of the Gurbani, the more Divine Virtues express from within.

  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥: “Janu” Nanak utters the Bani of the Divine Virtues [i.e., the Divine Wisdom (“Gur-ਗੁਰ”) and the Divine Virtues (“Gun-ਗੁਣ”) are embedded in the Gurbani]; one gets absorbed in the Hari Naam through the Gurbani (i.e., living by the Divine Wisdom and the Divine Virtues of the Gurbani). ||4||5|| (sggs 494).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਵਸਾਈ ॥: The Bani of the Gurmukh (Dass, Jan, Bhagat…) is the Naam; and enshrine this Naam (i.e., Giaan or Wisdom of the Bani) in the Heart. (sggs 1239).
  • ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਣ ਜਾਉ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: I (too) go to bathe at the Teerath (place of pilgrimage); but for me Naam (Giaan, Wisdom, Virtues…) is the Teerath. To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad Vichaar…) is the Teerath, (because of this) Wisdom Awakens within (sggs 687).

Entire Gurbani is “Gur Prasaadi”— Grace of the Gur-Giaan (“ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ”) !

In other words, the Gurbani has come into this world with the torrential rain of Naam (Giaan or Wisdom, Virtues). As  Naam is permeated in the Gurbani, it can not be seen with our biological eyes — the mind needs to churn the Gurbani in order to understand it.

Therefore, as butter is obtained by churning the cream or curd, similarly, by churning the Gurbani (through the Shabad-Vichaar…) the Butter (ਮੱਖਣ, Essence…) of Naam (Naam Tatt), Giaan (Wisdom- Giaan Tatt), or Virtues is obtained. In other words, the Gurbani is a riddle “ਮੁਦਾਵਣੀ”, “ਬੁਝਾਰਤ”, ਪਹੇਲੀ, ਸਮਝੌਤੀ…), which, by becoming the Gurmukh (follower of the Truth…), needs to be understood and solved (ਬੁੱਝਣਾਂ).

  • ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਇਸੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੩॥: The Gurbani has manifested (ਪਰਗਟ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ…) in this world, the “Hari Naam” is obtained from this Bani. ||3|| (1066).
  • ਨਾਮ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਵੂਠਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥: The Treasure of Naam is obtained by him in whose mind the Shabad Guroo abides (sggs 101).

To say it in simple Punjabi: ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ ਹੀ ਨਾਮ ਹੈ — to understand the Wisdom of the Gurbani is to understand Naam!

  • ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Who heartily understands this Bani, (he) experiences within him the Divine Naam. ||1|| Pause ॥ (sggs 797).

In essence, Naam is essentially the Brahm-Giaan or Wisdom (Giaan Padaarath, Shabad, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ …). To remove our doubts, the Gurbani further clarifies as follows:

  • ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੋਰਾ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Raam Naam is my Brahm Giaan (Divine Wisdom…). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1159).
  • ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮ ॥: The Divine Wisdom is Amrit Naam (which bestows Spiritual Life). (sggs 1146).

Naam is the Essence of the entire Gurbani

Baabaa Nanak further makes it clear that he (Baabaa Nanak) only speaks BRAHM VICHAAR (Knowledge, Wisdom…), therefore, it must be UNDERSTOOD (ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ – Soojh Boojh).

  • ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥: Nanak speaks the “Brahm Beechaaru” (sggs 1138).

Understanding of the Gurbani brings the storm of Wisdom, which blows away doubts (Bharam). If we don’t thoroughly UNDERSTAND it, our doubts will keep torturing us.

In nutshell, according to the Gurbani, to Realize Naam is to thoroughly recognize or understand the entire Gurbani, and then remember that understanding through every breath (i.e., Naam Simran – “ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ”), or continuously live it in daily life (ਅਮਲ, practice).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੁ ਬਲਾਇਆ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥: By becoming the Gurmukh Shabad is realized; (and who realizes becomes) immersed in the Amrit-Naam. (Whosoever within) has lit the bright (Light or Lamp of) Gur-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom, (from within him) the darkness of ignorance gets dispelled ||2|| (sggs 29).

Baabaa Nanak further reminds us that without UNDERSTANDING, we all become perplexed and, consequently, get plundered.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰ ॥: Without understanding, ALL are troubled (afflicted, distressed, perplexed…). (sggs 791).

The Gurbani is the subject of “Khoj” (search, Vichaar…) and Reflecting (ਵਿਚਾਰ-Vichaar). Hence, unequivocally, the Way of the Gurbani (or Gurmat) is the Way of UNDERSTANDING (Gurmukh Lifestyle).

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥: When someone understand by Searching (“Khoj”), and engages in Vichaar (Reflection on the Divine Virtues, Wisdom…), then (he) crosses over the “Bhavjal” (Bhav Saagar or the dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

However, as the Gurbani says, it’s the most difficult thing to understand Naam from within the Gurbani. All other learning or knowledge is relatively easier to adept — for example, cleverness and trickery (ਠਗੀ or fraud), etc. But to extract the Divine Naam (Naam Tatt) from the Gurbani is difficult or rare to obtain.

  • ਨਚ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਬਿਦਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਬੀਣੰ ਨਚ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਚਤੁਰ ਚੰਚਲਹ ॥ ਦੁਰਲਭੰ ਏਕ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਨਾਮਹ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਬਧ੍ਯ੍ਯਿੰ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੰ ॥੩੫॥: Education is not so difficult to obtain. Cleverness and trickery are not so difficult to obtain. Only the Divine Naam is difficult to obtain. O Nanak! It is only obtained when the mind is disciplined (prepared, conquered, controlled), then the Grace of the Prabh (Mool) dawns. ||35|| (sggs 1357).

Clearly, the SGGS tells us merely uttering or repeating “Waheguru Waheguru” by tongue is not the Jap or Naam Simran of the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS).

Naam Sevaa = Shabad Sevaa = Gur Sevaa = Shabad Vichaar

In nutshell, realization of Shabad = Realization of Naam = Realization of Wisdom (Bibek) = Realization of Virtues.  

To say it otherwise, Naam-Sevaa or Naam Ras (ਰਸ, taste, essence…) = Gurbani Ras = Ras of the Shabad, Bani, Bhagti, Giaan (Wisdom), Gurmat, Virtues, Sevaa of Rabb, and so on. 

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Recognizing the Shabad, the Naam comes to abide in the mind (sggs 646).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨਾਮਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਹੋਈ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being, follower of the Truth and truthful living…, one) acquires Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…), and through the Naam (the Gurmukh) gets liberated (Muki-ਮੁਕਤੀ). (sggs 117).

Simply put: Since it’s through the Gurbani one may abide in Naam (‘ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ’), then, to understand Naam, first the Gurbani needs to be understood (ਬੁਝਣਾਂ) through the Shabad- Vichaar.

Furthermore, the Gurbani proclaims Naam unites all. In fact, Baabaa Nanak declares he has nothing else but Naam in his Home (inner Home, Heart)!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮੁ ॥੪॥੪॥: In the Nanak’s (Inner) Home, there is only Giaan or Wisdom (i.e., Naam). ||4||4|| (sggs 1136).
  • ਨਾਮ ਕੇ ਧਾਰੇ ਸਗਲੇ ਜੰਤ ॥: All creatures are held or sustained by Naam (sggs 284).

Apparently, the SGGS is trying to build bridges to invite the entire mankind, promoting all inclusiveness and not excluding people for trivial reasons. Hence, the Gurbani is a true Guide of practical spirituality. So, let’s not fail the universal spirit of the Gurbani by imposing limits concocted by the ignorance or narrow-mindedness as to who can and cannot read SGGS; who can and cannot perform Shabad-Kirtan; who can and cannot perform Ardaas, who can and cannot do Paath (read SGGS), who is and is not better Sikh, and so on. Because, this sort of ignorant, narrow and self-centered thinking has been emphatically rejected in the SGGS.

In other words, the Gurbani is disclosed to the entire ‘world’ (‘ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਗ ਅੰਤਰਿ’), NOT to a particular country; NOT a particular group of people, and so on. But, the Instructions (ਉਪਦੇਸ, the Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan) of the Gurbani are for everybody in this world.

  • ਖਤ੍ਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਸੂਦ ਵੈਸ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਕਉ ਸਾਝਾ ॥: The four Varna – the Kshatriya, Brahmins, Soodras and Vaishyas – are equal in respect to the Teaching (of the Gurbani…). (sggs 747).

Another important point made crystal clear by the SGGS is that the Gurbani is NOT meant to be merely read, listened, or memorized. After reading, listening or memorizing, the Divine Wisdom or Virtues of the Gurbani are meant to be understood and lived in daily life.

  • ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਪਿ ਜੀਵੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥੨॥੨॥੨੦॥: Says Nanak! A Wise person lives by understanding (the Bani). ||2||2||20|| (sggs 806).
  • ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸਦਾ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਏਹ ਸਚੀ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੨੩॥: Says Nanak, continually live by this True Bani (i.e., by Hukam, Naam, Divine Virtues, Wisdom…). ||23|| (sggs 920).

Otherwise, our condition will remain as of ‘ladles‘ (ਕੜਛੀਆ) — although ladles cruise through all sorts of food, but they do not know the relish of food! Therefore, although hearing (or reading) the Gurbani is an important step, however, the Gurbani clearly tells us that mere hearing (or reading) is not enough — it’s not the end in itself. For the Way of the Gurbani is the Way of UNDERSTANDING. This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ):

  • ਸੁਣਿ ਸਿਖਿਐ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ॥: Hearing the Teaching (of the Shabad…), one does not appreciate or relish (that Teaching) so long — by becoming the Gurmukh — he is not affixed to the Shabad (i.e., so long that Teaching of the Shabad is not assimilated and lived…).(sggs 590).

Dharma of Gurmat is different than Dharma of Pujaaree

First off, Dharma of the Gurmat is the Dharma of GIAAN (Divine Wisdom or Knowledge) or GIAANEE (Wise). It’s NOT the Dharma of AGIAANEE (ignorant)!

  • ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥: O Kabeer! (Within a person, if) there is Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Aatam–Giaan…) there is Dharma; (if within him) there is falsehood, there is sin (corrupt thinking). (sggs 1372).

The Giaan or spiritual Knowledge of the SGGS is meant to raise conditioned consciousness to the level of Immortal Consciousness. Thus the Gurmat puts the entire mankind back on the Way of the True Dharma (‘ਸਚੁ ਧਰਮੁ – Sachu Dharamu‘). Its Divine Guidance and Universal Message is for the improvement and welfare of the whole mankind.

  • ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥: Obtain the Divine Naam (Spiritual Knowledge, Virtue…), this is the Highest Dharma (sggs 834).

Clearly, Dharma described in the Gurbani is TOTALLY different than the one propagated by the corrupt Pujaaree system! 

In short, the Sikhi as it is practiced today is NOT the Sikhi of Baabaa Nanak or the Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS. Instead, it’s a Sikhi of the dishonest Pujaaree-Vaad.

Hence, the Gurbani tells us that without Shabad-Vichaar, routine Karamkaand such as mere, ritualistic bowing down (ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਾਂ) or mere seeing (Darshan) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) will not and cannot liberate anybody from Maya (Bhav Saagar). It’s the mind that has to do the ‘Darshan’, not the outer eyes (‘ਦੇਖਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਸਾਧਾਰੈ’, sggs 51)!

  • ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: (One is) not liberated by merely seeing (the Satigur), unless Shabad is Reflected upon (sggs 594).

The illiterate and crafty Pujaaree groups (Raagees, Bhais, Kathaakaar, Deraavaad preachers, sant or Baabaa, etc.) and members of the Gurdwara committees have hijacked and tortured the real Gurmat with concocted stories and Karamkaand (rituals), plundering masses in the process. The wicked Pujaaree system has connected people to mere body-consciousness (Maya) instead of the Gur-Giaan or Naam (spiritual Knowledge of the Gurbani…).

People believe whatever the Pujaaree-Vaad tattles (ਗੱਪ) in the name of Dharma for they have closed people’s minds shut!

The way to open the closed mind is to read the Gurbani ourselves, churn it through Shabad-Vichaar, and understand its deeper meaning, and then live it in daily life.

What’s Naam Mannan – ਨਾਮ ਮੰਨਣਾਂ?

Last but not least, what’s Naam Mannan – ਨਾਮ ਮੰਨਣਾਂ?

Naam = as reflected in the foregoing pages.
Mannna (ਮੰਨਣਾਂ) = to accept, to esteem, to consent, to comply, to accede, to admit, to consider, to acknowledge, to assent…

In nutshell, it’s to become a good human being (the Gurmukh Lifestyle, Divine Life…) — a person of Wisdom, Gurmat, Virtues, Truth, right Way of life, love, peace, happiness, harmony, justice, Sahaj (Natural state of being, Giaan -Avasthaa), untainted intellect, intuitive awareness, no false ego-sense (Haumai), no doubt, no evil-mindedness, no hunger for Maya, no Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.), no prejudice, and so on. All these are explained throughout the SGGS. Just a few verses for example:

  • ਨਾਇ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਗਈ ਮਤਿ ਪਰਗਟੀ ਆਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਉ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਈ ਸਭਿ ਰੋਗ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਇ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਸਹਜੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਇ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਊਪਜੈ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਤੰਨੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥੧੧॥ (sggs 1242).


  1. So NAAM also means Godly Virtues.

    Yes. That’s my understanding.
    • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਗੁਨ ਚਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 1187).
    • ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਗੁਨਤਾਸੁ ॥੫॥ (sggs 290).

  2. Thanks for wonderful explanation of NAAM .To clarify futher the entire Wisdom in SGGS (Gurbani UPDESH) can be called Naam and the entire message of SGGS is how to enculcate Godly Virtues in one’s life.

    So NAAM also means Godly Virtues.Kindly clarify !!
    Thank You

  3. Naam Simran Is the essence of Gurbani. Gurbani is a Road Map which Teaches us about Our Selves. Man Toon Jot Swaroop Hai Apna Mool Pachan. Our Mind Does Not Realize That We Are The jot Swaroop Of Akal Purakh, As There is a Wall Of Separation Between Our Mind And Akal purakh. That IS the Wall Of EGO.

    Most Religions Have Some Sort Of Meditation practice to Realize Our self.

    But Guru Nanak Dev Ji Teaches a Very Simple Yet Powerful Method That Can BE Done By Anyone regardless of caste, religion etc. And this method is Naam japna.

    Repeating The Mantra (mann=minds, Tra=tool)

    Mantra is the tool to be used for internally cleaning ones mind. Once our mind gets clean then we do simran internally.

    It is True That We Wont Get Anywhere Just By Merely Saying “Wahegru” . There Is Detailed Instructions On This As Well In Gurbani.

    We Have To Do it With DHAIYAN ( attention ) Focus Your Attention On The Gurmantr That You Are Repeating . Listen to the Sound With Your Ears, Then Slowly Slowly Your Mind Will Get Clean .

    “Subdued utterance of the Divine Name and listening to its sound helps us to concentrate ” Bir Singh Bandgi Naama,

    There is no escape except through Simran.
    bin Har bhajan nahi chhutkara
    Guru Arjan ‐ Gauri

    With Akal Purakhs Grace We Will Reach Merge With The Creator Eventually, and then we will encourage other Spiritual Seekers to Jap Naam. Aap Japau Avra Naam Japaavao.

    May Waheguru Ji Bless Everyone. Apologies if i Have Made any Mistakes. If One wants to learn From Gurbani It is best to go to the source . Read Books/autobiographies of saints that have done what the true message of gurbani is saying.

    By Doing Simran All Dukh Is Vanished. Nothing else is equal to Naam . Waheguru

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