Gurmat Can Only Be Begotten Through Shabad Vichaar

The Gurbani teaches that Gurmat is born, gained, or begotten through the Shabad-Vichaar. In other words, the eyes of Vichaar are needed to see the true Beauty and Nature (Saroop) of the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib-SGGS)! In nutshell:

Gurmat = Teaching of the Gurbani, Brahm-Giaan or Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, Spiritual Knowledge of the Shabad-Guroo…
Shabad-Vichaar = Reflections (contemplation, discernment…) on the Gurbani or Gur-Shabad, Spiritual Inquiry into the Gur-Shabad…

In other words, the Way of the Gurbani is the Way of understanding! Here is the Gurbani’s ultimate edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ, ਮੁੱਕਦੀ ਗੱਲ):

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਨੋ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਵੇਖਦਾ ਜੇਤਾ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਡਿਠੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜਿਚਰੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਚੁਕਈ ਨਾਮਿ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Everybody in this the world beholds the Satigur. (One is) not liberated by merely seeing (the Satigur), unless the Shabad is Reflected upon. (Because, without the Shabad-Vichaar) the filth of Haumai (false ego-sense) is not removed, and love for the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Divine Virtues, Divine Wisdom, Giaan…) does not get affixed (in the mind). (sggs 594).

Clearly, the Gurbani tells us that merely seeing or being in the physical presence of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is NOT enough.

Also, nothing can be achieved by merely bowing the head (Mathaa Tekanaa -ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਾਂ) to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib if the mind does not engage in the Shabad-Vichaar.

Baabaa Nanak further clarifies:

  • ਸੀਸਿ ਨਿਵਾਇਐ ਕਿਆ ਥੀਐ ਜਾ ਰਿਦੈ ਕੁਸੁਧੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥੧॥: What can be achieved by merely bowing the head, when the heart remains resorted to falsehood (i.e., nothing is achieved!)? ||1|| (sggs 470).

In other words, the Gurbani cautions its learners (i.e., Sikhs) that — without Shabad-Vichaar — mere seeing (Darshan-ਦਰਸਨ) the Satigur will not and cannot liberate anybody from Maya, doubts, duality, Haumai (false ego-sense), delusion, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed,etc.), and so on. The Gurbani compares the spiritual path (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) to chewing iron with the teeth of wax!

Therefore, according to the Gurbani, to preach, propagate, or believe that mere seeing the Guru or mere bowing to the Guru will free or emancipate anyone is a fallacy, fraud…

Ironically, now-a-days, this ritualistic or empty bowing to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib seems to be the emphasis in the Gurdwaras!

Obviously, the Sikh Pujaaree-Group (clergy group , ਲੋਟੂ-ਟੋਲਾ of Bhais, Raagees, Prachaarak, etc.) is succeeding in their alliances with management to convert Gurdwara programs into Brahminical practices just like they were prevalent before Baabaa Nanak. The Gurdwara programs are restricted to only singing and recitations without Shabad-Vichaar. If there is any Shabad-vichaar, it is only by the illiterate Pujaaree-Group (clergy class) and not by those with true apprehension of the Gurbani (i.e., Gurmukhs, Dass, Jan, Bhagat). All of this is similar to what was prevalent before Baabaa Nanak (Golak!). Sikh Guroos introduced a major shift in the religious practices by promoting ShabadVichaar to replace all rituals (Karamkaand). But, unfortunately, we seem to be going back to pre-Guroo’s times!

The Gurbani tells us that one can only be liberated through Reflections on the Gur-Shabad (Vichaar of the Gur-Shabad). Because, without the Shabad-Vichaar, the inner filth of the mind does not end. Also, without the Shabad-Vichaar, love for the Naam (Gur-Giaan, Aatam-Giaan, Shabad-Giaan, Gurmat,Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) cannot be implanted in the mind.

The Gurbani cannot be more clear! Reason the Gurbani emphasizes so much on the Shabad-Vichaar is that it enhances our apprehension of the Gurmat, which can sustain the mind.

  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਬਿਧਿ ਮਨ ਹੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: (When a mortal) understands through the Shabad-Vichaar, (then he) comes to know the ways and means (of controlling) the mind (sggs 1260).

The Gurbani tells us that our mind can only be restrained by the Divine Wisdom  – “ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ”.

In nutshell, the Spiritual Knowledge is the only means of treading the spiritual path and realizing the Mool (Source, Jot Saroop…), just as fire is the only means of cooking the food. In the Company of the Gurbani’s Brahm-Giaan (Wisdom laden with deep insights), we spiritually grow. Consequently, the iron-like Maya, Haumai, Bikaar, etc., become like cotton candy!

  • ਜਗੁ ਕਰੜਾ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਗਾਵਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਖਾਈਐ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: The world is hard (like iron – full of suffering…) for the foolish Manmukh; practicing the Shabad, (one) can chew this iron (i.e., iron-like tough world). (sggs 943).

To say it otherwise, according to the Gurbani, Liberation comes from the true understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) of the Gurbani. In other words, if reading or listening of the Gurbani does not translate into understanding, no Liberation will come! This is the Gurbani’s edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ). Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਪੜਹਿ ਗੁਣਹਿ ਤੂੰ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਪੁਕਾਰਹਿ ਵਿਣੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਤੂੰ ਡੂਬਿ ਮੁਆ ॥੮॥: (You fool) read, reflect, and proclaim out loud, but without understanding, (you) are drowned to death (absorbed in perplexity, death of spiritual life, ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ). ||8|| (sggs 435).

Once the mind is restrained by the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad, then, as the Gurbani says, the mind stands conquered!

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਗਤਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਘਰੈ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, the mind is conquered, and the State of Liberation is obtained in (one’s own) home (sggs 26).

Therefore, according to the Gurbani, Understanding the Gur-Shabad, and then living it is the true state of “ਤੁਧੁ ਡਿਠੇ ਸਚੇ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹ –  Tudhu dithe sache paatisaah“. With this (ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਦੇ ਦਰਸਨ) will end all our inner filth of Bikaars, Haumai, ego, ailments of the mind… (the state of “ਜਿਸ ਡਿਠੇ ਸਭਿ ਦੁਖਿ ਜਾਇ –  Jis dithe sabhi dukhi jaai”).

In other words, by merely reading, reciting or singing “… ਜਿਸ ਡਿਠੇ ਸਭਿ ਦੁਖਿ ਜਾਇ ॥” will not bring an end to our mind’s illnesses (i.e., filth, Bikaars, Haumai, false ego-sense, and so on). The Gurbani does want us to be under any illusion!

Therefore, the Gurbani reminds us that if carried on the head, Divine Wisdom (Spiritual Knowledge) is a burden; but the same Wisdom is beautiful if brought into the Heart!

So, if we truly want to respect the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, then, as the Gurbani urges us, we must search Giaan (Divine Wisdom or Virtues…) in the Gurbani through the Shabad-Vichaar and become the Gurmukh (the follower of the Gurmat…), and live accordingly. The one who truly respects the Gurbani becomes the Gurmukh (Brahm-Giaanee…) and his mind and life get transformed (ਜੀਵਨ ਪਦਵੀ). He gets absorbed into the Gurmat (“ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ”, ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸਿਖਿਆ, the Gurbani’s Teaching, Virtues, Wisdom, Giaan…).

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਨਹੀ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਿ ॥੭॥: Through the Shabad Vichaar, Union (with the Mool) is Realized; there is no doubt in it (sggs 413).
  • ਸਭਸੈ ਊਪਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਹੋਰ ਕਥਨੀ ਬਦਉ ਨ ਸਗਲੀ ਛਾਰੁ ॥੨॥: Reflection on the Gur-Shabad is above all (other notions, speculations, calculations…). I don’t care for anything else, for all else (i.e., other than the Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad) is just worthless. ||2|| (sggs 904).

This is the purport (ਮੁੱਦਾ…) of the Gurbani, which has nothing to do with grip or possession (ਕਬਜਾ) of Golak (money) in its name; or corruption on its name; or alliances and counter-alliances (of Manmukhataa, ਧੜੇਬੰਦੀ…) in its name; or fight (ਲੜਾਈ-ਝਗੜੇ, tussle, contention, murder,  etc.) and lawsuits in the Gurdwaras in its name…!

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥: You ignorant fool, take the Gurmati (i.e., Divine Wisdom or Aatmic-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad); without (this) Bhagti, even many clever have drowned (in perplexity). (sggs 288).

This is called “Gurmati Bhagti-ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਭਗਤਿ” in the Gurbani. The Gurbni asserts that true Bhagti and Bhagats are very “rare”. Because, the challenges in this quest (the Way of Sach-ਸਚ, Truth…) are many and need courage to surmount them.

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਜਨੁ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥: Gurmati bhagti paavai janu koee ||1|| (sggs 879).


  1. @prakash s bagga Ji, thanks a lot for taking the time to reply Ji.

    @mukesh, thanks for taking the time to respond to this post. To add to what brother Prakash Ji has already said in his reply, hearing or reading of the Gurbani must stimulate and reform thinking (ਸੋਚ).

    In other words, hearing (and reading) the Gurbani has to transform the mind. It’s a spiritual Surgery, if you will. Much has to go under the Knife of the Divine Surgeon of the Gurbani!!!!

    More related reading:

  2. Mukesh ji,
    Your confusion may be correct
    .But one should understand one has to start ones journey to reach the destination.
    And one needs to start the journey as being directed by Guroo and in this context SABAD VICHAAR is of paramount importance .

  3. Gurbani says” gavao sunaho padao nit bani gur poore tu rakhia”. SGGS 611. Always sing, listen and read gurbani, so I am confused that is it compulsory to do nitnem or shabad vichaar is sufficient. Please guide me on this

  4. Thank you brother Tejinder Singh Ji for taking the time to respond to this post! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!
    Thank you for your kind words and encouarement.


  6. Thank you Loveleen Ji for taking the time to respond to this post! Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!
    Thank you for your kind words and encouarement.

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