Giaan Vichaar and the Giaanee

The diligent Shabad-Vichaar makes the Light of Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) enter where previously we have been in darkness (of ignorance)!

Accordingly, we are asked by the Gurbani to get engaged in Giaan Vichaar (contemplation of the Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam Giaan – Gurmat…) through the Shabad-Vichaar. It eliminates falsehood, ignorance, unreality, doubts (ਭਰਮ), love of Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦਾ ਮੋਹ)…

The Gurbani says NOW is the time. Because, if we don’t get inebriated with the Giaan Vichaar NOW, we will not be able to afterwards (ਅਬਹਿ ਨ ਮਾਤਾ ਸੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਮਾਤਾ ॥:  sggs 855).

The Gurbani uses very strong language for the one who does not get engaged in contemplating the Divine Knowledge (Giaan Vichaar). The Gurbani asks: “why didn’t his mother just become a widow?” (ਜਿਹ ਕੁਲਿ ਪੂਤੁ ਨ ਗਿਆਨ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਿਧਵਾ ਕਸ ਨ ਭਈ ਮਹਤਾਰੀ ॥੧॥: sggs 328).

But, who is a true Giaanee? As defined in the Gurbani, a true Giaanee (the person of Brahm-Vichaar, Spiritual Wisdom, Giaan Vichaar, ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ) is the one who ever remains attuned to the Shabad, Naam, Gurbani, Hukam

  • ਸੋ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥: He alone is a Giaanee (ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ), who has focused his consciousness on the Shabad (sggs 831).
  • ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਕਾ ਧਨੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਸਹਜਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥: The Wealth of the persons of Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਾਨ) is the Naam; with Sahaj, they trade (in this Naam Wealth). (sggs 68).

The Giaanee Reflects on the Essence of Reality (“ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰ”).

  • ਗਿਆਨਵੰਤ ਕਉ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥: The Giaanee contemplates the Essence of Reality. (sggs 343).

The Gurbani indicates: as is one’s intellect (Budhi, ਅਕਲ, ਸਮਝ…), so does he understands.

  • ਜਾ ਕੈ ਜੀਅ ਜੈਸੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਾਨੈਗਾ ਸੋਈ ॥੪੫॥: Says Kabeer! According to the intellect (Budhi, ਅਕਲ…) within the mind, so does one come to understand. ||45|| (sggs 343).

Implication is that, better the Budhi (more the Budhi is attuned to the Giaan of the Gurbani…), better the Understanding. Accordingly, the Gurbani suggests:

  • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind one ought to study Knowledge to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).

The Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…) makes us Aware of the unreality. Just as a shadow disappears when it turns to see the light, similarly, as we turn towards the Light of Knowledge, the ignorance disappears. Just as the water ceases to flow when the river dries up, in the same way the racing mind ceases to be when it becomes Aware of the endless stream of duality and resulting confusion of perception and experience. But, the Gurbani tells us that such True Knowledge (Aatam Giaan) can only be realized by becoming the Gurmukh (Mool-realized being, follower of the Gurmat…).

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਿਮਰ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅਧੇਰੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਆ ॥: O Nanak! The Divine Wisdom is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh, and the pitch darkness of ignorance is dispelled (sggs 512).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Brahm Giaanee aapi Nirankaaru (sggs 274).

The Divine Knowledge must bring about the inner transformation. The mind aimlessly wanders around till there is the dawn of the Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan) capable of destroying the root of ignorance or doubts (ਭਰਮ) in which the material world (Maya…) appears real. This inner transformation can only happen with the Aatam Giaan (Gurmat…). When the mind is engaged in Spiritual Wisdom, it sheds all mental dispositions or conditioning and returns to its Original Nature (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa…). Such person, the knower of the Truth is called by many names as Brahm Giaanee, Enlightened person, God-conscious person, the knower of Truth, the man of Aatam Giaan, the Gurmukh, etc. Such person renounces his Ahambudh (egotism) and Mayaic entanglements.

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਤਿਆਗਤ ॥: Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth – renounces his Ahambudh – egotism (sggs 273).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਬੰਧਨ ਤੇ ਮੁਕਤਾ ॥: Brahm Giaanee – the knower of Truth – is free from worldly entanglements (sggs 273).


  1. Thank you Veer Ji for the kind words, and sharing your Vichaar.

    …existing translation SGGS ji is just not correct and needs an overhaul.

    When the Gurdwaras were under the control of Mahants (Udasi Mahants, clergymen…), to attract crowds of people (for Golak-money!), they diluted the Gurmat (Teachings of the Gurbani), and made it a mixture of Brahmani Mati (Sanaatan Mati…) and Gurmat.

    As a result , available Teekaas of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are this mixture of Gurmati and Brahmani Mati (Sanaatan Mati…).

    Hence confusions, KaramKaands, dogmas, rituals…
    Bhul Chuk Maaf Ji,

  2. T Singh ji,
    I personally believe that now you should take the Endeavour to translate whole SGGS ji. Existing translation of just one line by couple of people or so just ain’t cutting it.
    Plus SGGS ji is truly a Universal Guru and should be translated as such, so that not only sikhs but all other non-sikh seekers can understand it throughly too.

    Surprisingly, I still find that some of the existing translation SGGS ji is just not correct and needs an overhaul.

  3. Veer T Singh jio jee.
    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh.

    Veer jio, Waheguru ji dee Apar Bakhsish duarra App jee ihh Mahan Sewa Kar rahey ho.
    Bahut Bahut Dhanwad.
    Gurbani Blog duarra ,, Gurbani Gian/Vichar wich bahut wada hunda hai.
    Waheguru ji App ji Nuu hor Gurbani Gian/vichar/Sumatt ate Tandrustti Bakhshan.

  4. Dear Satkarjog T.Singh Ji

    Thanks for the seva you are doing. Request you to write a blog or explain following from Sukhmani Sahib bani – “ban tin parbat hai paarbarahm|| jaisee aagi-aa taisaa karam.”


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