Gurbani Defines True Yoga and Yogi

The word ‘Yoga’ (or ‘Yog’) comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj‘, meaning ‘Join’ (Jurhanaa-ਜੁੜਨਾ).

Yogi‘ is  person who is endeavoring to ‘Unite’.

It would be an understatement to say there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings that exist with regard to the purpose and meaning of Yoga.

Thus, ‘Yoga’ simply means the joining of the ego-self (Haumai) to the Higher Self within — Joining of the mind to its Jot Saroop or Original Nature, recognizing one’s true Self (‘ਆਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ’), being one with Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature) etc.

In other words, Yoga means uniting of the time-bound consciousness with the Timeless Consciousness within (Mool...) — experience or realization of Unity (God or Universal Energy); or existing as an Indivisible Whole (Saabat Soorat), or complete merger with Totality or Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature), and so on.

The Yoga and Yogi of the Gurbani

There is a vast contrast between the spiritual positions of Yogis (Sidhas) and that of Baabaa Nanak (i.e. Gurmat). The spiritual position of Yogis or (Yogmat) is simply that physical self is of paramount importance (i.e. physical renunciation of the family, society, world; physical nature of Asanas and breath control etc.).

  • ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਭਗਵੀ ਕਪੜੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਮੈਲੇ ਵੇਸਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਘਰਿ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਜੋਗੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ॥੬੪॥: Yoga or Union with God cannot be attained by just wearing saffron robes (like a yogi) or by wearing dirty clothes (like a beggar). Nanak, we can attain Union with God (Yog) within (while leading family life) by following the Message of the Satgur (Shabad Guru). ||64|| (sggs 1421).
  • ਆਸਨੁ ਪਵਨ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਬਵਰੇ ॥ ਛੋਡਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਨਿਤ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਬਵਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O crazy (Yogi), abandon all these Yogis postures and breathing exercises. Renounce this Pakhand (pretense) and realize the Creator within. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 857).
  • ਸਿਧਾ ਕੇ ਆਸਣ ਜੇ ਸਿਖੈ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਵਸਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਉਤਰੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥ : Even if a person learns all the postures (84-Asanas) practiced by a skilled Yogis and starts controlling lust (desires), still the filth of the mind isn’t removed and the filth of false ego-sense (Haumai) isn’t eliminated. ||2|| (sggs 558).
  • ਜੋਗ ਸਿਧ ਆਸਣ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਏ ਭੀ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਰਹਿਆ ॥ ਵਡੀ ਆਰਜਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਜਨਮੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਗਹਿਆ ॥੬॥ : One may practice all the 84-postures of Yoga and acquires the supernatural powers of Sidhas, but he gets tired even practicing these rituals. One might even prolong one’s life by these methods, but still one suffers repeatedly (at the level of the mind) and never realize the Creator. (sggs 642).

Baabaa Nanak telling Yogis and rest of us that what’s matter in spirituality is NOT the ‘Physical’ per se, but the CONSCIENCE (the MIND) — the Conscience must remain imbued in the Creator Realization.

Thus , what’s paramount in the Gurmat (Wisdom, Upadesh or Way of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) is the State of the CONSCIENCE (the MIND) Not the physical location etc.

First off, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS rejects symbolism and rituals (Karamkaand, formalities etc.).

  • ਖਟੁ ਸਾਸਤ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਪੂਜਾ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਤੀਰਥ ਇਸਨਾਨਾ ॥ ਨਿਵਲੀ ਕਰਮ ਆਸਨ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਇਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜੀਉ ॥੨॥ : People recite from memory the wisdom of the six schools of philosophy (i.e. Vedanta, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimansa, Nyaya and Vaisheshta — NOTE: SGGS has rejected ALL these six); they perform worship service, wear ceremonial religious marks on their foreheads, and take ritual cleansing baths at sacred shrines of pilgrimage. They perform the cleansing practice and adopt the eighty-four Yogic postures; but still they find no spiritual peace in any of these BUT STILL THEY FIND NO SPIRITUAL PEACE IN ANY OF THESE. ||2|| (sggs 98).

Second, the Gurbani is not only written for Yogis, Brahmins, Pundits, Jain, Qazi, Mullah etc.

In fact, these individuals may not even read the Gurbani (SGGS)!

Furthermore, they are not expected to read the Gurbani, or understand it, or implement its Unique and New Message in daily life!

As a matter of fact, the Gurbani is meant for the entire humanity, including Sikhs (learners-ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ)!

Those who call themselves Sikhs are expected to live it in daily life and solve the riddle posed by the Guru!

That being said — regardless of one’s religion, family of birth, nationality, color of skin, social status etc. — anybody can choose to become a Sikh!

Sikhi is a Way of life!

After reading the Gurbani (SGGS), if a Sikh acts or think (Soch) same as a corrupt Brahmin, a Muslim, a Christian, a Yogi, a Qazi or a Mullah etc. then what’s the difference between a Sikh and them!

In short, the Gurus and Bhagats did not come to regurgitate the outdated and irrelevant messages that were already prevalent in people’s psyche, India’s religious traditions and teachings before them!

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) rejects the physical renunciation (ਉਦਾਸੀ).

  • ਬਾਰਹ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਵਲ ਖਪਿ ਜਾਵਹਿ ਚਹੁ ਛਿਅ ਮਹਿ ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ॥ : (Missing the Shabad – Naam, Hukam, Wisdom…) the yogis of twelve sects and the sannyaasee of ten sects wander about and ruined (ਖਪਦੇ ਫਿਰਦੇ). (sggs 1332).

The Sikhi’s or Gurbani’s (SGGS) definition of renunciation is Shabad Based — Internalization of the Shabad (Message, Advice, Guide, Direction, Upadesh, spiritual Wisdom of the SGGS) while staying in the midst of the happenings of the world.

  • ਸੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਥੀਆ ॥ : The God-realized Being accepts the Shabad as Guru; become Enlightened by the Message within the Shabad. (sggs 940).

In a nutshell, instead of renouncing the world, the Gurbani urges us to engage in it, but with a detached attitude through Internalization of the Gur-Shabad (Enlightenment or the Gurmukh Mindset). 

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ॥੬੯॥ : The spirituality of the Shabad Internalizes (the state of Gurmukh-Hood) the Way towards the Creator-Realization (within the Consciousness). Nanak Realized the One Creator through the Spirituality of the Shabad (the state of Gurmukh-Hood). ॥69॥(sggs 946).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥੬੮॥: Nanak, My Evaluation in my Inner Contemplation is that without divine Virtues Realization of the Creator (Yog) does not happen. ॥68॥ (sggs 946).
  • ਸੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸੋ ਪਾਏ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੋਗੀ ਕੀ ਨਗਰੀ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਵਸੈ ਭੇਖੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਐਸਾ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਿਸੁ ਘਟਿ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥: So Yogi Jugati so paae jis no Gutmukh(i) Naam(u) praapat(i) hoi. (sggs 556).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਅਉਧੂ ਜਤੁ ਸਤੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥੨੦॥: Gurmukhi Yog(u) kamaavai aoudhoo jat(u) sat(u) sabad(i) vechaaree. (sggs 908).

According to the Gurbani — while living in the midst of happenings of the world or Maya — prerequisite necessary for abiding in the Gurmukh State of the Mind (Enlightenment) is being affectionately detachment (Bairaag), Bhagti, self-control, Naam Abidance (Wisdom, Virtues), and so on.

  • ਸਭ ਕੈ ਮਧਿ ਸਗਲ ਤੇ ਉਦਾਸ ॥: Remain in the midst of all, and yet detached from all (sggs 296).
  • ਖਿਮਾ ਗਹੀ ਬ੍ਰਤੁ ਸੀਲ ਸੰਤੋਖੰ ॥ ਰੋਗੁ ਨ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਨਾ ਜਮ ਦੋਖੰ ॥ ਮੁਕਤ ਭਏ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਰੂਪ ਨ ਰੇਖੰ ॥੧॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਕਉ ਕੈਸਾ ਡਰੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਰੂਖਿ ਬਿਰਖਿ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (O Pakhandee or Thugg yogi, a person who staying in household) makes forgiveness his daily practice; makes good conduct (humility, modesty, abstinence etc.) and contentment his daily practice (is the True Yogi). (Such a genuine yogi – household) cannot be afflicted by the disease (of Haumai or false ego-sense etc.), nor the suffering of Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.). Such yogis become (living-) liberated, because they become one with the Formless Prabh (Mool, Source…). What is the Yogi afraid of? The same One God is everywhere – in the trees and plants (forest), within the household and outside as well. ||1||Pause||  (sggs 223).

Thus, its the skill in thoughts, words and action that leads to the state of Perfection (Pooran Pada), which is full of Bliss (Anand) and free from the experience of repeated suffering (Dukha) here and now.

One may ask, ‘how is it possible to live in the midst of the world without desires?’.

For this to happen, it is essential to understand why one gets overwhelmed with desires in the first place.

Barrage of desires arise in the mind on account of foolishness and Bikaarlust, anger, greed, attachments, pride, possessiveness, jealousy, selfishness, stubborn mindedness, etc.

  • ਅਧਿਆਤਮ ਕਰਮ ਕਰੇ ਤਾ ਸਾਚਾ ॥ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਣੈ ਕਾਚਾ ॥੧॥ ਐਸਾ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਮਾਰਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : One who does deeds for spiritual uplift is a true yogi. Without becoming Perfect in spiritual endeavors, a false (yogi) cannot know the secret of liberation from from vices or Bikaar. ||1|| Such (man) may be entitled to the title of yogi (who understands the right way of life). Annihilating five Bikaar, he realize God within. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 223).
  • ਆਸਾ ਬੰਧੀ ਮੂਰਖ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਲਪਟਿਓ ਅਸਨੇਹ ॥: The body of a foolish person (i.e., every sense organ) remains hooked on to desires. (The foolish person) remains trapped in the bonds of lust, anger and attachment (i.e., Bikaar). (sggs 178).

The mind can find contentment, fulfillment or satisfaction only in itself, within.

When the limitations imposed by the body-mind-intellect personality are overcome, the mind becomes one with its Jot Saroop within. The SGGS tells us Bikaar (i.e. lust, ager, greed, attachment, pride etc.) and resulting Mayaic desires thin out when dispassion (Bairaag) grows.

Clearly, it’s an uphill climb to be a true Yogi as RE-DEFINED in the SGGS. The Gurbani indicates whosoever knows the ‘ਜੁਗਤਿ’ (Way of life etc.) to live properly is a true Yogi (i.e. Gurmukh Mindset).

  • ਮੁੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਮੋਨਿ ਦਇਆ ਕਰਿ ਝੋਲੀ ਪਤ੍ਰ ਕਾ ਕਰਹੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ਰੇ ॥ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਸੀਅਉ ਅਪਨਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਉ ਆਧਾਰੁ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਐਸਾ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਵਹੁ ਜੋਗੀ ॥ ਜਪ ਤਪ ਸੰਜਮੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭੋਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ਚਢਾਵਉ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਸਿੰਗੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਈ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਬੈਰਾਗੁ ਫਿਰਉ ਤਨਿ ਨਗਰੀ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਕਿੰਗੁਰੀ ਬਜਾਈ ॥੨॥ ਪੰਚ ਤਤੁ ਲੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਨਿਰਾਲਮ ਤਾੜੀ ॥ ਕਹਤੁ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਰੇ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਰਿ ਬਾੜੀ ॥੩॥੭॥ : O yogi! Let mind’s silence (i.e. absence of thoughts of vices or Bikaar) be ear-rings and compassion as your sack; let reflection on God’s Virtues be your begging bowl. O yogi, let the body saved from vices be your patched coat, and make God’s Naam (Virtues / Wisdom) as your support. ||1|| O Yogi, practice such a Yoga. (That) living a household (family) life, become Shabad-Realized (the state of Gurmukh-Hood); this is the Japa, Tapa, and Sanjam. ||1||Pause|| Apply the ashes of Wisdom to your body; let your consciousness attuned to God be your horn. Become detached from the yearning for worldly desires, wander through your body (evaluate yourself) and play the harp of your mind. ||2|| O yogi, keep God, the essence of the five elements, enshrined in your Heart, so that you may remain in a continuous undisturbed state of trance. Kabeer says, listen O seekers, plant an orchard of compassion and Dharma in your mind. ||3||7|| (sggs 970).

In short, the Gurbani asserts a true Yogi is the one who lives his daily life of ‘Hari Gun’ or Virtues —  Truth (ਸਤ), honesty (ਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ), humility (ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ, ਬੁਧਿ ਗਰੀਬੀ), sweet speech (ਮਿਠ ਬੋਲੜਾ) etc.

  • ਸਭਿ ਗੁਣ ਤੇਰੇ ਮੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: I Cleanse my mind Within (of vices) with Godly Virtues. Bhagti (spirituality) does not materialize without Internalizing these Virtues. (sggs 4).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੇ ਸੋ ਜੋਗੀ ਹੋਇ ॥: Yogi is that person who serves the Satiguru (True Wisdom or ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ – he lives his daily life in accordance with the Guru-Giaan or Wisdom). (sggs 223).

What is not Yoga?

Now, once we know through the Gurbani what the real Yoga is, it becomes relatively easy to digest as to what is NOT Yoga and Yogi!

In the Light of the Wisdom of the SGGS, one thing becomes crystal clear — one cannot realize Yoga though stubbornness of the mind, religious garbs and symbols, rituals, renouncing family and wandering around, Pakhand etc.!

  • ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਗਵਾਈ ਹੰਢੈ ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਪਾਈ ॥: (O Pakhandee or hypocrite) Yogi, you have lost the Way; you wander around confused. Through hypocrisy, Yoga is not attained (sggs 909).
  • ਹਠਿ ਨਿਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਨ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਵਹਿ ਭੇਵਾ ॥: None can satisfy (his mind) through the stubborn (rituals etc.) (sggs 906).
  • ਏਹੁ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੋਗੀ ਜਿ ਕੁਟੰਬੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪਰਭਵਣੁ ਕਰਹਿ ॥: This is not Yoga, O Yogi, to abandon your family and wander around (sggs 909).
  • ਬਿੰਦੁ ਨ ਰਾਖਹਿ ਜਤੀ ਕਹਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਮਾਈ ਮਾਗਤ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਲੋਭਾਵਹਿ ॥: (O Yogi!) You do not control your lust, but you claim to be a celibate. Begging Maya, you are trapped in this triple-qualitied Maya (i.e. abandoning their families and women, people go live in jungles. But they have no control over their lust. When begging for food and clothing from households, they call women ‘Maataa Ji’ – Mother – but inside their lust knows no bounds). (sggs 903).

In other words, renouncing ‘Sansaar‘ or the world is not Yoga!

In truth, one’s mind under the negative impact of Haumai (false ego-sense) is the ‘Sansaar‘ (world or Bhav Saagar).

The Wisdom of the SGGS tells us that the deluded mind and its created ‘Sansaar‘ or world can only be destroyed by the Wisdom, not by its renunciation!

  • ਪੂੰਅਰ ਤਾਪ ਗੇਰੀ ਕੇ ਬਸਤ੍ਰਾ ॥ ਅਪਦਾ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਿਆ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਤੇ ਨਸਤਾ ॥ ਦੇਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪਰਦੇਸਹਿ ਧਾਇਆ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਚੰਡਾਲ ਨਾਲੇ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ॥੪॥: You worship fire (ਧੂਣੀਆਂ ਤਪਾਂਣਾਂ) and wear saffron colored robes. Smitten by calamity (distress, trouble…), you run away from your home. Leaving your country, you wander in foreign lands. (But your Mayaic mind) brings the five pariahs (i.e., Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, etc.) with it. ||4|| (sggs 1348).

In nutshell, anything or any activity that keeps one away from the uninterrupted Gurmukh Mindset is rejected in the SGGS.

In other words, if one’s spiritual efforts turn into a mere show of empty rituals or Pakhand (hypocrisy) and makes one freeloader (ਵੇਲੜ, ਮੰਗ ਖਾਣੇ, ‘ਮਖਟੂ’- lazy bums…) etc., is disapproved in the SGGS.

  • ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੋਗੀ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਜੰਗਮ ਨਾ ਓਇ ਕਾਜੀ ਮੁੰਲਾ ॥ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਗੁਤੇ ਫਿਟਾ ਵਤੈ ਗਲਾ ॥: They are not Yogis, and they are not Jangams, and they are not Qazis or Mullahs. Lost (separated…) from the Merciful (Lord), they wander around in sad plight, and their entire band is disdainful (sggs 149-150).

In fact, the SGGS claims that such useless Yogi or Yoga are responsible for the destruction of the human society along with their counterparts (e.g., Brahmins, Qazi…).

  • ਕਾਦੀ ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਜੀਆ ਘਾਇ ॥ ਜੋਗੀ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਤੀਨੇ ਓਜਾੜੇ ਕਾ ਬੰਧੁ ॥੨॥: The clergy of the Muslim faith was corrupt, the Brahmin was murderous and the Yogi Un-Enlightened. These three (clergy) had become the root cause for the spiritual wreckage and desolation that mankind had
    come to endure. (sggs 662).

Particularly In the West as well as in India, the majority associate Yoga with gymnastic like feats, indulging in sex and intoxication (Smoking Sulphaa, Gaanjaa, and so on), mere physical postures (Aasan), mental and breathing exercises, showing half-naked women in seemingly impossible poses on covers of magazines and books or in media etc.

Even though regular exercises are important for maintaining a healthy body, however, they are not equal to Self-Realization or Mool-abidance. Hence, we need to regard them only for what they are worth, no more and no less.

In short, the Gurbani repudiates any and all sorts of Pakhandbaajee associated with Yoga practices.

Mere talks will not do the trick

We are also repeatedly reminded by the SGGS that Yoga (Mool-Abidance) cannot be realized through mere talking about it; reading books about it; debating about it, pretending about it, etc.

  • ਕਹਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਛੁ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਊ ॥: By just hearing and telling stories, no one attains Yoga, or Union with God (sggs 251).
  • ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਹਾਰਿਓ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ਛੋਡਹਿ ਕਤਹੂੰ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਏਕ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਿ ਤਾਕੀ ਓਟਾ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਟਿ ਜਾਹੀ ॥੨॥ : (O God) I have grown weary, trying different ways to get rid of (my vices or Bikaar) but they do not loosen their grip on me. I have heard that these vices can be rooted out by taking refuge in the Company of the Guru. ||2|| (sggs 206).
  • ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਹਉ ਆਪੇ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਣੀ ॥ ਅਖਰ ਲਿਖੇ ਸੇਈ ਗਾਵਾ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਬਾਣੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O my God, I myself have been deluded (by the love for Maya). Impressions (of deeds done in my life so far) are engraved in my mind, (under their influence) I keep doing the same deeds again and again. I do not try to improve my lot (i.e. I don’t know how to do any such thing that will end the Maya’s attachment from within me). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1171).

In nutshell, becoming a true Yogi is like chewing steel-balls with the teeth of wax! As such, the Gurbani says those who realize the true Yoga are very ‘rare’ in this world.

  • ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਡੰਡੈ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਭਸਮ ਚੜਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਮੁੰਦੀ ਮੂੰਡਿ ਮੁਡਾਇਐ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਸਿੰਙੀ ਵਾਈਐ ॥ ਅੰਜਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਜੋਗ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਇਵ ਪਾਈਐ ॥੧॥ ਗਲੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਏਕ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਸਰਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਜੋਗੀ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਮੜੀ ਮਸਾਣੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਤਾੜੀ ਲਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਦੇਸਿ ਦਿਸੰਤਰਿ ਭਵਿਐ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਈਐ ॥: Union (with the Jot Saroop within) is not realized by putting on a patched coat; nor by (walking with) the staff (in hand); nor by smearing the body with ashes; nor by wearing the ear-rings, nor by the shaven head, nor by blowing of the horn. The Way to realize Union is by remaining unblemished in the midst of the worldly filth (Maya). ||1|| Union (with the True Self within) is not realized by mere talks or words. One who looks upon all with a single eye (even vision), and knows them to be one and the same — he alone is known as a Yogi. ||1|| Pause|| Union (with the True Self within) is not realized by wandering to the tombs of the dead; nor by sitting in trances; nor by wandering through native and foreign lands or bathing at places of pilgrimage. (sggs 730).
  • ਆਸਣ ਸਿਧ ਸਿਖਹਿ ਬਹੁਤੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਗਹਿ ਰਿਧਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਚੇਟਕ ਚੇਟਕਈਆ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਮਨਿ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਈਆ ॥੫॥ : Sidhas lean many postures (Yogic Asanas) but their minds still yearn for worldly stuff, miraculous powers and showmanship of jugglers. Satisfaction, Godly contentment and tranquility do not come to their minds. But they can experience satisfaction by meeting the Guru (i.e. by internalizing the Message of the Shabad) and by always remembering the divine Naam (Wisdom / Virtues). (sggs 835).

Baabaa Nanak’s conversation with Yogis

There is Baabaa Nanak’s Bani called ‘Sidh Gosati‘ on page 938 of the SGGS.

There are a total of 73 stanzas (or Pourhee) in this entire ‘Sidh Gosati‘.

However, there is ONLY one Rahaaou (ਰਹਾਉ) in the entire ‘Sidh Gosati‘!

But, this one Rahaaou (ਰਹਾਉ) gives us a principle or the central point of the entire ‘Sidh Gosati’ Bani — the true spiritual Journey is travelled or transversed while living within the family, society and the world and living (Becoming) the Shabad of the God Connected Guru.

  • ਕਿਆ ਭਵੀਐ ਸਚਿ ਸੂਚਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਾਚ ਸਬਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: (Baabaa Nanak tells Yogis) It’s of NO use wandering around (in peculiar external appearances at places of pilgrimage, mountains, jungles etc.) — renunciation (of world, society, family etc.) is not the way to liberate from the trappings of life, world, material etc. There can be no liberation without the guidance of the God-connecting Shabad (divine Message of the God-Connected Guru). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 938).
  • ਮੁੰਦਾ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਤੁ ਝੋਲੀ ਧਿਆਨ ਕੀ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਿਭੂਤਿ ॥ ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੁਆਰੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ ॥ ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ ਸਗਲ ਜਮਾਤੀ ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥: (O Yogi) make Godly contentment your earrings, hard work your begging bowl, and contemplation (on Naam: Wisdom/Virtues) ashes that cover your body. Such diligence enable a life time (ਖਿੰਥਾ ਕਾਲੁ) of liberation from vices (free from inflictions of vices or Bikaar– ਕੁਆਰੀ) and the spirituality (or Way – ਜੁਗਤਿ) of unflinching faith (ਡੰਡਾ ਪਰਤੀਤਿ) in (Divine Virtues). (Let Divine Virtues, universal brotherhood) as the highest spirituality for all of humanity (be your ‘Aaee Panthi‘ sect-ਆਈ ਪੰਥੀ), by controlling your mind you can Win (ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ) the command or dictates of our sensory world (ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ). (sggs 6).


  1. Thanks for keen insight and deep reflection on the topic of Yoga and Yogi: yet, i remain perplexed by your defitnition of Naam as virtues.Of cource life without virtues is a complete failure.The key question is : Are virtues the source of Naam or Naam the source of all virtues? Is it not true that according to Gurbani, Naam is the source of all existence and it is Naam that supports and sustains all existence?Would it it not be logical to say that virtues are the bi-product of Naam?
    Thanks ji

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