Gurbani Says only a Rare Person Realizes Truth

The Gurmat Giaan-Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches us a ‘rare’ person realizes Truth (= href=””>The Creator).

Called the Gurmukh in the SGGS, such person is ‘rare’ indeed because sincere willingness is very rare, earnestness is very rare, true faith is very rare, right living is very rare, proper practice of Bhagti or Shabad-Vichaar is very rare, clarity of vision is very rare, sincerity and goodwill is very rare, truthful conduct is very rare (‘ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ’), the Divine Lifestyle is very rare, inclination to transcend Maya is very rare, inclination to remove negative impact of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, attachments, pride…) is very rare, and so on. Accordingly, the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) is:

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਜਾਣੀਅਹਿ ਜਿਨ ਸਚੁ ਪਲੈ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥: Nanak, very rare are such persons who have Realized the Creator (Within). ||1|| (sggs 1100).
  • ਸਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਟੋਲਿ ਲਹੁ ਸੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Search and find out those who are imbued with the Creator (Within); but such persons are rare in this world. (sggs 994).
  • ਮਨਹਠ ਬੁਧੀ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਕੇਤੇ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥ ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੫॥ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਊਚਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਨੀਚੁ ਨ ਦੀਸੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਇਕਨੈ ਭਾਂਡੇ ਸਾਜਿਐ ਇਕੁ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਤਿਹੁ ਲੋਇ ॥ ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਸਚੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਧੁਰਿ ਬਖਸ ਨ ਮੇਟੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੬॥ : There are so many stubborn minded (self-centered) people who perform austerities and so many who deliberate on the Vedas to obtain liberation. They create so many obstacles and entanglements for themselves whereas a Gurmukh (Enlightened being…) obtains liberation. Truth is higher than everything, but higher still is truthful living. ॥5॥ Regard everyone exalted as there is no one of low caste. The One, Whose Light shines everywhere creates all. It is the immutable Hukam (Cosmic Law) that one realizes the Creator through one’s deeds only. ॥6॥ (sggs 62).

Treading the Way of Truth is like racing along a razor’s edge, or chewing steel balls with the teeth of Wax etc. The ‘rare’ person who tread this path is called Awakened and Aware. Such person is ‘rare’ because living a truthful life (a Gurmukh mindset) is like walking on a double-edged sword! Accordingly, times like these, falsehood (fraud, fake-hood) draws crowds, whilst the Truth or the true Teachings are neglected.

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥: A rare one, as Gurmukh, earns (lives…) the Truth (sggs 1344).
  • ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਮੇਰ ਤੇਰ ਬਿਬਰਜਿਤ ਏਹੁ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਖੰਡੇ ਧਾਰ ॥: To forsake pride, emotional attachment, and the sense of ‘mine and yours’ (ego-sense), is the path of the double-edged sword (sggs 534).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਫਲ ਲਾਗੇ ਫਲਨਿ ਪਾਕਨਿ ਲਾਗੇ ਆਂਬ ॥ ਜਾਇ ਪਹੂਚਹਿ ਖਸਮ ਕਉ ਜਉ ਬੀਚਿ ਨ ਖਾਹੀ ਕਾਂਬ ॥੧੩੪॥ : Kabeer, first mangos start forming on the mango tree and slowly they start ripening. Only those mangoes reach the owner who are not shaken off the tree by wind (or damaged by birds etc.) before ripening — SPIRITUAL MESSAGE: Tree = the Guru (Shabad); mangos = human beings; wind (or birds) = Bikaar or vices. By internalizing the Message of the Shabad, those human beings who do not fall pray to Bikaar or vices, realize the Creator within. (sggs 1371).
  • ਜੈਸੇ ਫੂਲ ਫੂਲੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਫਲ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਦ੍ਰੁਮ ਲਾਗਤ ਜਿਤੇਕੁ ਪਰਪਕ ਨ ਸਕਲ ਹੈ । ਜੇਤੇ ਸੁਤ ਜਨਮਤ ਜੀਅਤ ਨ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਤੇਤੇ ਜੀਅਤ ਹੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਕੁਲ ਨ ਕਮਲ ਹੈਂ । ਦਲ ਮਿਲ ਜਾਤ ਜੇਤੇ ਸੁਭਟ ਨ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਤੇ ਜੇਤਕ ਸੁਭਟ ਜੂਝ ਮਰਤ ਨ ਥਲ ਹੈਂ । ਆਰਸੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਿਖ ਸਭ ਹੀ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਪਾਵਕ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸ ਭਏ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਅਚੱਲ ਹੈਂ ॥੩੬੮॥ : All the flowers (Boor-ਬੂਰ) that blossom on a tree do not yield fruit. And whatever number of fruits appear, do not ripe to be eaten ultimately. All children born do not survive to live but all those who live do not bring name and fame to their family. All those who join the army are not valiant soldiers. And those who are brave warriors do not die fighting in the battlefield. A glass embedded in a finger ring cracks when brought near fire but a genuine stone is unaffected. Similarly like a genuine stone, everyone is known as a Sikh (learner, student) but a few emerge genuine when put through traits. (Kabit Bhai Gurdas, 368).

Fortunately, the Gurbani assures us we all can become the ‘rare’ person, here and now, provided are earnestly willing to take Wisdom from the Guru.

  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਏ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਇ ॥: Those who obtain Wisdom from the Guru are very ‘rare’. (sggs 158).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਅਪਰਾਧੀ ਸੀਧੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਹਜਿ ਰੀਧੇ ॥ ਮੇਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੀਧੇ ॥੨॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, the sinful mortals become purified. Through the Gur-Shabad, they are satisfied or pleased in ‘Sahaj‘ within (Giaan-Avasthaa, Natural Sate of Being …). Through the Gur-Shabad, I have obtained ‘Prabhu’ (Mool, Source…). ||2|| (sggs 231).
  • ਸਭੋ ਸਚੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਚੁ ਵਰਤੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ॥: Sabho sachu sachu sachu… (sggs 754).

Although the Gurbani’s Message is universal, but this Wisdom cannot be given to anybody as a ready-made package or made to an order! It’s up to each learner (i.e. Sikh: ਸਿਖਿਆ ਲੈਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ) whether to take or not, accept it or not, believe it or not, remember it or not, understand it or not, assimilate or live it or not.

  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਚਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ : The Creator is Realized then when the mind has BECOME true (sincere, genuine). (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਧਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ : The Creator is Realized then when (the mind) abides in Love of the Creator. (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਉ ॥ : The Creator Realized then when the Conscience (mind, self) knows the Way of (spiritual). (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਚੀ ਲੇਇ ॥ ਦਇਆ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ : The Creator is Realized when the authentic Counsel (spiritual Wisdom-Giaan, Advice, Direction etc) is received by the mind. Realize Compassion for one’s self, provide for the needs of the Conscience. (mind, self). (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾਂ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਆਤਮ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: The Creator is Realized then when the mind makes is dwelling in the Teerath Wihin. (sggs 468).

Taking the Satiguru’s Wisdom, when Truth happens then one sits still within. To this end, the Gurbani tremendously emphasizes Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Gurbani to understand its Wisdom…). Shabad-Vichaar can clear out the doubt-ridden, troubled and agitated mind — make it stable (ਅਡੋਲ ਅਵਸਥਾ).

  • ਊਤਮ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਬਦ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥੩॥: The ultimate action is Reflections on the Shabad – Shabad Vichaar ||3|| (sggs 158).
  • ਸਿਖੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਨਦਰੀ ਕਰਮਿ ਲਘਾਏ ਪਾਰਿ ॥ : Sikhi is contemplation on Guru’s teaching (Instructions, Wisdom, Counsel, Guide, Upadesh, Giyan, Bibek) and acting on it. Being blessed by the Grace of the Guru’s teaching one then crosses the ocean of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences (Bhav Saagar). (sggs 465).
  • ਗੁਰਿ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Guru has instructed (Upadesh) me in this True Essence of spiritual Wisdom (Aatmic-Giaan – ਗਿਆਨ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1142).

In fact, according to the Gurbani, the only way to serve the Guru or the Satguru is through the Shabad-Vichaar!

Now perhaps we can appreciate as to why the Gurbani time and again reminds us that anybody devoid of the Shabad-Vichaar is as dead in this world!

As follows, the Gurbani in the SGGS reveals to its Sikhs (students, learners) the nature of the Guru’s Service (‘Gur Ki Sevaa‘). 

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੇ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੭॥ : Undertaking the deed of controlling my false ego-sense (Haumai) and Enlightening myself with the spiritual Message within the Shabad (Shabad Vichaar) is service (Sevaa) of the Guru (ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ – Gur Ki Sevaa). ॥7॥. (sggs 223).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਮਿਰਤਕੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: (Those beings) who have not served the ‘Satiguru‘ (through the Shabad-Vichaar), no Wisdom has Awakened within them, (they may appear as alive but they) are as dead in the world (spiritually dead-ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). (sggs 88).
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਤੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਤਿ ਊਤਮ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Whom should I serve, and whom should I praise? I serve the ‘Satguru‘ (Creator-connecting True Wisdom – ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) through Shabad (i.e. living life with the Satguru’s Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam etc.). Through the Creator-connecting Shabad, one’s intellect remains sublime and he feels so delighted, as if the Lotus within his Mind has bloomed (i.e. Enlightened). ||3|| (sggs 1048).
  • ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਤਿ ਊਤਮ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Whom should I serve, and whom should I praise? I serve the ‘Satguru‘ (Creator-connecting True Wisdom – ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) through Shabad (i.e. living life with the Satguru’s Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam etc.). Through the Creator-connecting Shabad, one’s intellect remains sublime and he feels so delighted, as if the Lotus within his Mind has bloomed (i.e. Enlightened). ||3|| (sggs 1048).

The Shabad-Vichaar bestows upon us the Wisdom, which makes the mind stable and helps transcend Maya‘s negative influence and recognize the Truth.

  • ਜਿਉ ਮੰਦਰ ਕਉ ਥਾਮੈ ਥੰਮਨੁ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਅਸਥੰਮਨੁ ॥: As a pillar supports a building, similarly, the Gur-Shabad is the mind’s support. (sggs 282).
  • ਸੋ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਾਚੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨੁ ਸਾਰੰ ॥੬॥: That mind is pure, which enshrines Truth within, and the most excellent Jewel of Wisdom dwells in that mind. ||6|| (sggs 505).
  • ਜਿਨਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਸ੍ਰਪਨੀ ਖਾਈ ॥੨॥: A person who has got acquainted with Truth, has conquered this Maya. ||2|| (sggs 480).

Babba Nanak reveals to us in the outset of the SGGS:

  • ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥: How then can I become God-Realized being within (‘Sachiaaraa‘)? How can I remove the obstacle of my non-realized state within? O Nanak! (The way to realize Creator within is to) remain within the confines of His Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…) and abide in Sahaj, as (Creator and His Hukam) is contained with us. ||1|| (sggs 1).


  1. VIRLE (Rare persons)

    ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਉਤਮ ਕਾਢੀਅਹਿ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਕੇਈ ਕੇਇ ॥੧॥:In the midst of the world, they are known as the most pious – they are rare indeed. ||1||
    ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬੋਹਿਥਾ ਵਿਰਲੈ ਕਿਨੈ ਵੀਚਾਰਿਆ ॥: The True Guru is the boat, but few are those who realize this.
    ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਕਿਨੈ ਵਿਰਲੈ ਚਖਿ ਡੀਠਾ ॥੨॥: By Guru’s Grace, a few have tasted, and seen it. ||2||
    ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਰਲਉ ਬੀਚਾਰਸੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: How rare are those who contemplate the Word of the Guru’s Bani; they become Gurmukh.

  2. There is very clear message in context of realising Truth as given in a Quote as
    ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਉਮੈ ਗਈ ਤਾ ਸਚੁ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: O Nanak, meeting with the True Guru, egotism is eliminated, and then, the True Lord comes to dwell in the mind||
    ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਸਚਿ ਰਹੈ ਸਚੇ ਸੇਵਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੯॥੧੨॥: One starts practicing truth, abides in truth and by serving the True One gets absorbed in Him. ||4||9||12||
    Therefore there is ONLY ONE CONDITION for realisation of Truth and that is …MEETING WITH SATiGuRu

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