Gurbani Defines Nirankaaree

There are many terms in the Gurbani we use loosely or willy-nilly! One of these terms is “Nirankaaree” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ).

The Gurbani teaches us that becoming “Nirankaaree” is not a question of family of birth, Joining or belonging to a particular religious group or a cult or a sect, ancestry, heredity, titles, any peculiar external appearance of a person, etc. Instead, it is a question of Mool-realization (Realization of one’s Original State within as “Joti Saroopu“, through proper understanding of the Gur-Shabad)!

Hence, as per the Gurbani, one becomes “Nirankaaree” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ) by Realizing “Nirankaar” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ). In other words, this term “Nirankaaree” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ) does not represent one’s physical state. But, to the contrary, it indicates a state of Divine Consciousness one has to experience within himself — total abidance of Jeeva in Nirankaar.

  • ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੭॥: (One) Becomes Nirankaaree by Realizing Aatam (within). ||7|| (sggs 415).
  • ਤਾ ਕਉ ਕਰਹੁ ਸਗਲ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: All pay respect or homage to that (person), in whose mind fully abides “Nirankaaru” (sggs 1338).

According to the Gurbani, only a Brahm-Giaanee is such a person (the one who possesses Spiritual Knowledge, Mool-realized, Parmaatam-realized, Hari-realized…):

  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Brahm Giyani himself is (the embodiment of) Formless God. (sggs 274).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਧਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਆਕਾਸੁ ॥: Brham Giaanee kai mani hoi prgaasu... (sggs 272).

Nirankaaru” (“ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ”) ~ The Formless Conscious Principle, the Formless Dynamic Energy, the Formless Supreme Divine Power, the Attributeless Factor, the Changeless Eternal Essence, ਅਕਾਰ ਰਹਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਭੂ …

  • ਪਰਮ ਤੰਤ ਮਹਿ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: The Supreme Essence of the Reality has no shape or form (sggs 952).
  • ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਿੰਨ ॥: The Creator has no form, no shape, no color and is free from the three qualities of Maya (i.e. Rajo, Tamo, Sato). (sggs 283).
  • ਓਅੰ ਸਾਧ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੰ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਮਧਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੰ ॥: (I) bow in reverence to the One Holy Satiguru. (Who, i.e., this) “Nirankaar” was in the beginning, (who) is in the middle, and (who) will be in the end (sggs 250).

In nutshell, according to the Gurbani, to become Nirankaaree (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ) is to:

  • Become imbued in the Formless Essence.
  • Become linked to the Dynamic Divine Power.
  • Become Mool-realized (“ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ”).
  • Become the Gurmukh and live the Divine Life (“ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੀਆ”).
  • Become Awakened to Brahm-Giaan (“ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਿਆ”).
  • Become Nirankaar-like (“ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ”).
  • Become Fearless (“ਨਿਰਭਉ”) – the State of Transcendental Perfection.
  • Become stable just like the Nirankaar (“ਅਡੋਲ”).
  • Become established in the Realm of Truth (“ਸਚੈ ਥਾਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ”).
  • Become absorbed in the Essence of the Shabad (Naam, Hukam …).
  • Become free of doubt (“ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਤੁਧੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਭਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਖੋਵਣਾ”).
  • Become free of animosity (“ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ “).
  • Become imbued in Naam (“ਇਕਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ਨਾਮ ਆਧਾਰਿ”).
  • Transcend Maya or duality (“ਦੁਬਿਧਾ”).
  • Eradicate Haumai or false ego-sense (“ਮਿਟਿਓ ਹੈ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ”).
  • Have the mind fully Awakened to the Divine Nature within (” ਮਨਿ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ”), and so on.
To be “Nirankaaree” is not a physical state!

Clearly, one cannot become a “Nirankaaree” (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ) by mere talks (ਗੱਲਾਂ ਨਾਲ, ਅੱਲ ਪੈਣ ਨਾਲ …), or by mere calling oneself “Nirankaaree“, or by merely keeping a peculiar external appearance, or by mere word of mouth, or by mere association with a religious sect or a cult, or by merely paying someone to make you “Nirankaaree“, and so on.

Simply put: To be Nirankaaree (ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ – ਪਰਮਾਤਮ ਰੂਪ, Nirankaar-like, Hari-like …) is a Spiritual State one has to aspire to and realize within!

The Gurbani shows us how to become a real Nirankaaree:

  • ਰਖਿ ਰਖਿ ਚਰਨ ਧਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਛੋਡਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: (The Gursikh) being very conscious, sets foot (in the journey or battle of life) with full consideration. (He) Becomes Nirankaaree (becomes united with the Formless Principle) by forsaking duality (sggs 685).
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥: (One) Becomes Nirankaaree by contemplating the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar). (sggs 904).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਗਾਸਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੪॥੮॥: Nanak Giaan … (sggs 598).
  • ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵਣਿਆ ॥: Haou vaaree … (sggs 129).
  • ਪਾਇਓ ਰੇ ਪਰਮ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਮਿਟਿਓ ਹੈ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ਏਕੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਨੁ ਲਗਨਾ ॥੨॥੨॥੩੦॥: Paaio re … (sggs 768).
  • ਤਾ ਕਉ ਕਰਹੁ ਸਗਲ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Taa kaou … (sggs 1338).
  • ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਅਲਖੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟੀਆ ॥: Nirabhaou Nirankaaru … (sggs 516).
  • ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਅਛਲ ਅਡੋਲੋ ॥: Nirankaaru achhal adolo (sggs 1083).
  • ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥: Sach khandi vasai Nirankaaru (sggs 8).
  • ਇਕਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ਨਾਮ ਆਧਾਰਿ ॥: Iki nirankaaree naam aadhaari (sggs 144).
  • ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਮਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ॥: Hari simran mahi aapi nirankaaraa (sggs 263) .
To be “Nirankaaree” is a Spiritual Experience — to be experienced within!

Thus, it is complete bending of the doubt-ridden mind to its Formless Mool within (Source, Jot …), here and now, not at some other time. Standing at high pedestal of Mool-realization or when the Oneness of the Nirankaar is ultimately Experienced, it is but logical that the outer is also to be experienced to be as much Divine as the Inner.

  • ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਮਹਿ ਆਕਾਰੁ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥: Permeates form into the Formless-Nirannkar (i.e., make the extrovert mind introvert…). (sggs 414).
  • ਚਰਣ ਕਮਲ ਆਤਮ ਆਧਾਰ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਨਿਹਾਰਹਿ ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰ ॥ ਏਕੋ ਬਨਜੁ ਏਕੋ ਬਿਉਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਹਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੀ ॥੨॥: (Those take the refuge in the complete Gur (i.e., complete Giaan or Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) Make Divine Wisdom the support of their soul. (They) see the One and obedience (to His Hukam). (Their) trade is one and the occupation is (i.e. Naam). Without the Nirankaar, (they) know none else (sggs 181).
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਵਸੀਅਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣਿ ਰਹੈ ॥: Internalization of the spiritual Message of the Shabad (the Gurmukh-Hood State of Mind) enables its Essence to be Rooted (Mool) within the mind permanently. (sggs 945).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: Antari baahari eko jaanai (sggs 224).


  1. Waheguru (Thankyou) for your explanation. After gaining knowledge, only step left is practice for Mool.

  2. Thanks for explaining us the meaning of Gurbani with such a depth. You are blessed to be doing Guru Sewa with words, it is truly done with words.

  3. Thank you T.Singh Ji, Very nicely explained Nirankaaree in light of Gurbani.

    Have you written about Uncut Sikh hair in light of Gurbani. If yes please post link for that.

  4. Thank you T Singh Ji

    For providing us with continued spiritual gems to aid our internal journey !

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