Gurbani Says only a Rare Person Realizes Truth

The Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) teaches us a person who has realized Truth (ਅਸਲੇ ਦੀ ਸਮਝ, ਮੂਲ ਦੀ ਸਮਝ…) is ‘rare’.

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॥: O Nanak! Who have obtained Truth are rare. ||1|| (sggs 1100).
  • ਸਚਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਟੋਲਿ ਲਹੁ ਸੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Seek those who are imbued in Truth; they are rare in world. (sggs 994).
  • ਸਚਹੁ ਓਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਉਪਰਿ ਸਚੁ ਆਚਾਰੁ ॥੫॥: Sachahu orai sabhu ko oupari sachu aachaaru (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 Gurbani calls such ‘rare’ person an Awakened and Aware. Such person is ‘rare’ because living a truthful or a Gurmukh Lifestyle 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).

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 ॥ Truth is known then when the Truth is in the Heart (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਚਿ ਧਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥ Truth is known then when shelter in Love is taken (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੀਉ ॥ Truth is known then when the Way of (spiritual) life is known (sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਸਿਖ ਸਚੀ ਲੇਇ ॥ Truth is known when true Counsel (Wisdom, Giaan…) is received(sggs 468).
  • ਸਚੁ ਤਾਂ ਪਰੁ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਜਾ ਆਤਮ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਕਰੇ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥: Truth is known then when the shrine of soul is made the dwelling (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 (Upadesh, Giaan, Bibek or Wisdom) and acting on it. Being blessed by the Grace of the Guru’s Giaan (or Wisdom) one then crosses the worldly ocean (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!

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: The Gur-Sevaa is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Shabad — Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam…). (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 eulogize? I serve the ‘Satiguru’ (True Wisdom, ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) eulogizing the Shabad (Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam…). Through the True Shabad (True Wisdom…), the intellect ever remains most exalted, and the lotus within blossoms forth (i.e., the mind becomes enlightened or Wise). ||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 can you become Truthful (‘Sachiaaraa‘)? How can the wall of falsehood (Koorh) be torn away? (The process, ਵਿਧੀ, ਤਰੀਕਾ…) is that (one should) walk (in the Way) of the Hukam (the System or Law of Nature…). O Nanak! (this process…) has been pre-ordained. ||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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