Gurbani’s wisdom is meant to be understood and lived

First, the Gurbani is meant to be thoroughly understood through the sincere Shabad-Vichaar.

  • ਏਨਾ ਅਖਰਾ ਮਹਿ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਸਿਰਿ ਲੇਖੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥: Enaa akharaa mahi jo gurmukhi boojhai tisu siri lekhu n hoee ||2|| (sggs 432).

In other words, it is not meant to be wrapped up in the designers Rumaalaas and worshipped as an idle!!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6|| (sggs 224).

After understanding the Gurbani (Gurmat, Gurbani’s Giaan-ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ…), it is emphasized in the Gurbani that the Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, Gur-Giaan...) obtained from the Gurbani be constantly remembered, believed, and lived – applied to daily life.

Thus, Amal or Karanee (ਅਮਲ, ਕਰਣੀ, application, implementation, administration, conduct…) is very important to the Gurbani. For without Amal or Karanee, understanding is “deficient”.

  • ਕਰਣੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਘਟੇ ਘਟਿ ॥: Karanee baajhahu ghate ghat (sggs 25).

If a person is ill, his mere reading of the medicine’s label without administering the medicine will not cure him. In order to be cured of the disease and related pain and suffering, one has to take the medicine and stop mere reading of its label. Similarly, the Gurbani is only meant to be applied. Mere reading of it or listening to its recitations will not cure us from our psychological illness.

  • ਕਰਣੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਤਰੈ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Karanee baajhahu tarai na koi (sggs 952).

More or less, we are all sick. The false ego-sense (Haumai) is our chronic disease. Instructions of the Gurbani are like a medicine. Until it is diligently applied to the mind, its mere reading will not have much effect on the healing process.

One may be able to gain all sorts of knowledge by reading the Gurbani (or any other scriptures for that matter), however, the knowledge without applying (Amal, Karanee-ਅਮਲ, ਕਰਣੀ) it to one’s daily life is empty as married life to an eunuch! One can appease his hunger only by taking food. If he does not make effort to take food, or if he just sits there on account of his fate, he is sure to die of starvation! Similarly, if we desire to rid of our chronic disease of false ego (Haume), The Gurbani urges we must apply the Divine Teaching of the Gurbani (Gurmat, Aatam-Giaan…).

  • ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਿਓ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਿੰਦੁੜੀਏ ਤੇ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂੜ ਇਆਣੇ ਰਾਮ ॥: Jin hari hari naamu na chetio meree jindurreeae te manmukh moorr iaane raam (sggs 540).


  1. First, two words on the article. Very simple yet powerful examples: effectiveness-of-mere-label-reading-a-medicine-bottle-without-consuming-the-contents, and relevance-of-marriage-for-an-eunuch. Reminds me of a quote I read years ago on my 9th grade Physics Pratical book – Knowledge without pratice is just like a glass-eye; all for show and nothing for use.

    Just like Gurbani has emphasized the need for comprehending and implementing the ‘message’ umpteen number of times, I guess articles with similar themes need to be read and re-read (and perhaps written and re-written) several times over. Thanks Veer Ji (T singh Ji) for your selfless efforts of enlightening us all.

    Now for the prudent question raised by Ravinderjit Singh Ji (which I think may be the concern of many of us), although your implied response by citing Gurbani verses was clear and suggestive, I still think that it perhaps deserved a more direct and explicit response. I guess what is being asked here is – if you recite simran, and maybe find time to read, comprehend and apply Gurbani every now and then, how important is it for us to additionally do the daily nitnem (Panj Baaneeya in the morning, and Rehrass Sahib, Kiran Sohila in the evening)?

    Please do shed some light on this issue more explicitly.

    Deep Regards

  2. Sat Sri Akal Bhai Sahib Darshan Singh Pritam Ji. Thank you for sharing beautiful Vichaar Ji. The Gurbani never gets tired of reminding us:
    •ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giaanu n upjio pasu jiou udaru bharaou (sggs 685).
    •ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasoo bhaye betaale ||6|| (sggs 224).
    •ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਪੜੇ ਕਾ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਨੁ ਖਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਜਸ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: Bed puraan parre kaa kiaa gunu khar chandan jas bhaaraa (sggs 1102).
    •ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: Parhiai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa (sggs 148).
    •ਪੜੇ ਸੁਨੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਸਹਜ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥: Parre sune kiaa hoee. Jaou sahaj n milio soee ||1|| (sggs 655).
    •ਪੜਿਐ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Prriai mailu n outarai puchhahu giaaneea jaai ||1|| (sggs 39).

  3. Veer T Singh jio,, Sat Siri Akkaal.
    This is what,, which is required in our Sikh society to put in practical,,, to understand “Gurbani”,,,,, But alas,, it is missing from masses of our Sikh society.
    We do need more time for explaining/opening/disclosing/narrating the deep/true meaning of “Gurbani” in every Gurdwara,,,After every Shabad of Kirtan, there must be explaining/opening/disclosing/narration of the sung Shabad…..More time should be given for Katha of the “Sung Shabad”.
    Thanks for your Sewa of Shabad Langar….. This is very true,,,,,”””””Gurbani’s wisdom is meant to be understood and lived””””””

  4. In short, any listening and reading of the Gurbani should translate into Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, ਸੂਝ ਬੂਝ…). Otherwise its of no avail – there will be nothing to show for it. The Gurbani puts it as follows:
    ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Gurmati suni kashu giaan n upjio pasu jiou udar bharaou (sggs 685).

  5. Dear Veer Ji, thank you for taking time to comment on this post.

    The Gurbani says:
    •ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥: parhiai naahee bhedu bujhiai paavanaa (sggs 148).
    •ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Binu boojhai pasu bhaye betaale ||6|| (sggs 224).
    •ਪੜੇ ਸੁਨੇ ਕਿਆ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਜਉ ਸਹਜ ਨ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥: Parre sune kiaa hoee. Jaou sahaj n milio soee ||1|| (sggs 655).
    •ਪੜਿਐ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Prriai mailu n outarai puchhahu giaaneea jaai ||1|| (sggs 39).

  6. I read SGGS and understood everything. And also applying in my life. I enchant name of vaheguru in the morning and meditate. I dont read out japji sahib in the morning. I just want to know if i shud read japji sahib?

  7. Thanks Dr. T. Singh
    You are so blessed Sir that while reading your articles it seems as if SGGS ji is directly talking to me and giving me guidance.

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