Gurbani Says all Shrines and Pilgrimage are Within only if We were to Understand it!

The Gurmat GiaanWisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is Universal in every way. For example, if one were to understand the Gurbani (SGGS), it tells the entire humanity as to where all shrines and locations of pilgrimage are located in Sikhi!

The Message of the SGGS is Universal

For example, the Gurbani (SGGS) teaches our Muslim brethren that the ‘Kaabaa‘ (the Temple of Mecca, ਅਲਹ ਦਾ ਗੁਪਤ ਘਰ) is Within.

  • ਸਤਰਿ ਕਾਬਾ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਜੇ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ਕੋਈ ॥੨॥: Kaabaa is hidden within the Heart, if (you) only understood it. ||2|| (sggs 480).
  • ਜੋ ਦਿਲੁ ਸੋਧੈ ਸੋਈ ਹਾਜੀ ॥: He alone is a Haji (one who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca), who strives to keep (his) heart pure (sggs 1084).

Similarly, the Gurbani Teaches our Hindu brethren:

  • ਕਾਇ ਕਮੰਡਲੁ ਕਾਪੜੀਆ ਰੇ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਕਾਇ ਫਿਰਾਹੀ ॥: O ‘Kaaparheeaa‘ (Yogi who wears patched cloth)! Why bother to carry the bowl; and why bother to visit the sixty-eight holy places of pilgrimage (i.e. it’s of no use)? (sggs 526).
  • ਜੈ ਕਾਰਣਿ ਤਟਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਜਾਹੀ ॥ ਰਤਨ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਮਾਹੀ ॥: For the sake of this (Naam Ratan or Jewel…), you journey to the banks of sacred shrines (i.e., places of pilgrimage); but this Jewel (of Naam) is within you. (The Pandit reads Vedas and engages in debate etc. but he) does not understand the (Real) thing which is within. ||3|| (sggs 152).

Similarly, the Gurbani reminds our Jain brethren:

  • ਇਕਿ ਜੈਨੀ ਉਝੜ ਪਾਇ ਧੁਰਹੁ ਖੁਆਇਆ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਇਆ ॥: Having lost (their true path), many (who call themselves) Jains are ruined. Neither is the Naam (Spiritual Wisdom…) on their lips; nor (they) bathe in this (Naam-) Teerath (sggs 1285).

The Message of the SGGS also applies to Sikhs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s not that the Gurbani’s Teaching is only for Hindus, Muslims etc. IN FACT IT ALSO APPLIES TO THOSE WHO CALL OR IDENTIFY THEMESELVES AS SIKHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For example, the Gurbani repeatedly Teaches us that the ‘Harmandir‘ is within the human body.

Furthermore, the Gurbani asserts that this Real Harmandir within can only be revealed by the Spiritual Wisdom (Enlightenment).

Since a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree does not care about the Spiritual Message of the Shabad, his false ego-sense (Haumai) and blockheadedness does not believe or accept the Gurmat’s edict that the ‘Harmandir’ is within!

  • ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਹੈ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਰਤਨਿ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਮਾਣਸਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥: This body is the ‘Hari Mandir’ (Hari’s Temple, but this secret) is revealed by the Jewel of the Divine Wisdom (Aatm-Giaan, Brahm Giaan, Divine Knowledge …). The Manmukhs do not know their Mool (Origin, Source, Root…); (on account of this ignorance, they) do not believe that the ‘Hari Mandir‘ is within the human (body). ||2|| (sggs 1346).

Apparently not too many Sikhs (educated and uneducated alike) believe the Gurbani’s Teaching. Otherwise, why Sikhs should be wasting their time traveling and visiting all the external (unreal, perishable) locations of pilgrimage (Teerath Yaatraa) and taking RITUAL BATH there which is strongly rejected in the SGGS.

According to the Gurbani, these people are stubborn, Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree, fearful, deluded by doubt (Bharam), perplexed, Haumai-ridden (egoistic), greedy, misled by the self serving Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc.

  • ਜੇਤੇ ਰੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਏ ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਲਾਏ ਘਰ ਕੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਇਕੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ॥ In spite of the many places of pilgrimage for people to bathe in, their minds are still stained by their stubborn ego; God is not pleased by this at all (by bathing at pilgrim places). (sggs 687).
  • ਭਰਮੇ ਭੂਲਾ ਸਭਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਗਹੈ ॥: Deluded by doubt (he) visits all Teerath (external shrines of pilgrimage). (sggs 1142).
  • ਸਾਕਤ ਥਾਨ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਫਿਰਾਹੀ ॥੫॥: Saakat Thaan Bhrisat phiraahee (sggs 239).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਜੇ ਤੀਰਥ ਨਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਨ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥: The bathing at places of pilgrimage does not remove inner impurities and does not take one to heaven. (sggs 484).

Let’s ask the Gurbai: What is considered a real or a true Teerath?

According to the Gurbani (SGGS) – not according to the fool-o-sophy of the self serving Pujaaree (clergy: Granthis, Parcharaks, Ragis, Dhadees etc.) and the freeloading Deraa-Vaad Baabaas (ਵੇਹਲੜ) etc. – the true Teerath of the Gurmat is the divine-Naam.

  • ਤੀਰਥੁ ਹਮਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Hari-Naam is my Teerath. The Guru has instructed me in this True Essence of spiritual Wisdom (Aatmic-Giaan; ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਨਿਚੋੜ – ਗਿਆਨ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1142).

Let’s ask the Gurbani: Where is this Real Teerath located?

Baabaa Nanak made it very clear in the outset of the SGGS that this Real Teerath is located within.

  • ਤੀਰਥੁ ਤਪੁ ਦਇਆ ਦਤੁ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਪਾਵੈ ਤਿਲ ਕਾ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਕੀਤਾ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਗਤਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਉ ॥ : The performance of rituals (Karamkaand) of pilgrimage (Teerath), penances, offerings and giving of alms (in the conduct of spirituality); earns one nothing beyond temporal praise. Listen and accept (i.e. Internalize) and BECOME (the Gurbani) with Love in the mind. This is the Inner Teerath bathing in which the mind is cleansed (of Bikaar / vices) and thus its filth is removed. (sggs 4).

Let’s ask the Gurbani: How can this Real Teerath be realized Within?

As per the Gurbani this True Teerath within can be realized through the Spiritual Wisdom cultivated through churning the Gurbani via the earnest Shabad-Vichhar.

  • ਤੀਰਥੁ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ॥: To Reflect on the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar…) is the Teerath (because of this) Spiritual Wisdom arises within (sggs 687).
  • ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰੋਵਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਮਜਨੁ ਅਪਰੰਪਰਾ ॥: The Gurdev (Giaan or Wisdom) is the (true) Teerath, the ‘Sarovar’ or pool of Amrit; the bath of the Guru’s wisdom (-water) is superior (to the bath of all other pilgrimages). (sggs 262).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਆ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਇ ॥: Anatari teerath…  (sggs 587).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh kishu ghar mahi … (sggs 102).

It is interesting to note that, although pilgrimage to external shrines has been strongly rejected in the Gurbani, still Sikhs glorify and advertise it (e.g., ‘Hemkund Yatra’, this Yatra and that Yatra) in the Gurdwaras, newspapers, magazines, Internet, tv, other media outlets.

Obviously, either such people have been brainwashed by the self-serving Pujaaree-Vaad and thus have no understanding of the Gurbani (SGGS), or on account of their selfishness they just don’t care!

Falsehood cannot propagate Truth. Baabaa Nanak says Truth (the One Creator) can only be Realized Within:

  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾਂ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਆਤਮ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: One knows the Truth (ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਸਮਝ) only when he dwells in the sacred shrine of pilgrimage of his own Soul within. (sggs 468).

Now, how can all Teerath be realized within?

Again, let’s ask the Gurbani, which guides us: All Teerath can be realized within when one’s perplexed mind is fully under control, and his Heart is fully absorbed in ‘Hari’ (Mool, Jot, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…):

  • ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਤਿਸੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਹਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥: The sixty-eight places of pilgrimage remain with one, whose heart is filled with the Lord. ||4|| (sggs 491).
  • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਥਾਨੁ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਦਸ ਪੁਰਬ ਸਦਾ ਦਸਾਹਰਾ ॥: The Gur-Wisdom is Eternal sacred shrine of pilgrimage (for me, which is equal to) the congregation of ten (Holy days or festivals for me). (sggs 687).


  1. Veerji can you please explain that waheguru resides within us and watches us every moment.he is most near to us

  2. Even Sikhs are not truely understanding the true n intrinsic meanings of the messages in gurmati way so they also follow the crowd .If anyone tries to point them they totally reject without even listening to what is being said.
    Recently I observe few good scholars are trying to convey the true understanding of gurbanee messages but isee no effect on the mind set of people, In fact the roots of ignorance are so deep that it is very difficult to bring any change in the thinking of common sikhs.
    Let us hope that all sikhs get guidance from Guroo and this can happen thru the grace of Guru only.

  3. After Guru Nanak, the clergy class opened up new pilgrimage place to keep their commerce going. Let us not glorify our pilgrimage places except their historical significance if any.
    You are doing yeoman’s job in spreading the Guru’s Wisdom

  4. After Guru Nanak, the clergy class opened up new pilgrimage place to keep their commerce going. Let us not glorify our pilgrimage places except their historical significance if any.

  5. Just as the musk in the deer, the reflection in the mirror and the fragrance in the flower the beloved is within!

    Lovely piece T Singh Ji.

  6. Dear T. Singh,

    Thank you for expanding my vocabulary: fool-o-sophy. Brilliant!

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