Ram of the Gurmat

There is no doubt that the word ‘Ram’ (pronounced ‘Raam’ ) is mentioned in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). But, it has to be seen and understood in the context it has been mentioned. The word ‘Ram‘ has TWO aspects in Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS. It’s emphasized by the SGGS to recognize the difference between both.

(1) Gurmat’s Ram and (2) the Pujaaree’s Ram are two different Ram

The word ‘Ram’ is mentioned hundreds of times in the Gurbani (SGGS). Whenever we come across this word while reading or listening the Gurbani, over 99% of the time it would be representing this Ram of the Gurmat as mentioned above.

On the other hand, only a few times it would be for the King Dasrath’s son Ram (born in Ayodhya).

(1) When a Hindu brother or the Pujaaree clique (clergy) say Ram, he is thinking in his mind of the son of king Dasrath born in Ayodhya. Good for those who believe it.

(2) HOWEVER, when a Sikh (learner, student of the SGGS) says ‘Ram’, he is thinking of the Omnipresent or All-pervading Parbrahm, Universal Energy (HukamUniversal System-Rule-Law-of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਿਯਮ). As we will see in the following pages, the word Ram which is used in Gurbani of SGGS have no relation with the son of King Dasharatha, and where there is any relation with the son of King Dasharatha, the proper details have been found in the SGGS. It will be further explained in this post that Ram of the Gurbani is not born and does not die.

  • ਤੂ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਜੋਨਿ ਨ ਆਵਹੀ ॥ ਤੂ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਸਾਜਹਿ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਾਜਿ ਸਮਾਵਹੀ ॥ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਲਖਿਆ ਕਿਉ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਧਿਆਵਹੀ ॥ ਤੂ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਵਰਤਹਿ ਆਪਿ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਦੇਖਾਵਹੀ ॥ : O Parbrahm, You do not go through reincarnations. By Your Hukam (Universal System-Rule-Law-of Nature, ਕੁਦਰਤੀ ਨਿਯਮ) You create the universe, and after creating it, You pervades it. Your (transcendent, formless) form cannot be described, so how people can meditate on You? You pervade all and everywhere, and exhibit Your Universal Energy in all and everywhere. (sggs 1095).

Having said that, the Unique and Revolutionary Sikhi or Gurmat of Guru Nanak asserts there is a difference in saying ‘Ram’, and a Sikh must recognize this difference! Therefore, instead of going around quarrelling or arguing with others, the SGGS asks us to properly understand the difference between the two different ‘Ram’ mentioned in the Gurbani, and then live it in your own life.

That said, let’s try to further understand the difference between these two.

Ram of the Gurmat – Aatam Ram

Ram of the Gurmat is ONE (‘ੴ ‘), pervading in all hearts (ਰਮਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ, Cosmic or Universal Energy, ‘Ajoonee‘ or without birth and death, without mother and father, without body…). There is no second (‘ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭ ਏਕੈ ਹੈ-Aatam Ram sabh EKAI hai‘. Also, the word Ram is synonymous with Hari, Gobind, Gopal, Prabh, Mool, Sajjan, Jot etc.

  • ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੧॥ : God neither takes birth nor he dies; He neither comes from anywhere nor He goes anywhere. Nanak’s God is pervading everywhere. ||4||1|| (sggs 1136).
  • ਸਾਤੈਂ ਸਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਬਾਚਾ ਜਾਣਿ ॥ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੇਹੁ ਪਰਵਾਣਿ ॥ : Seventh: (Kabeer Ji says!) Know (my) words to be True: accept Aatmaa (Soul) to be Ram. (sggs 343).
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Omnipresent God (Universal Energy…) is in soul, and soul is in Omnipresent God. This is realized through Reflecting on the Guru’s Shabad. (sggs 1153).
  • ਜਪਿ ਮਨ ਸਿਰੀ ਰਾਮੁ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਰਮਤ ਰਾਮੁ ॥ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਰਾਮੁ ॥ ਬੋਲਹੁ ਭਈਆ ਸਦ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਰਬਗੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O mind! Understand Ram. (That Ram which is) the All-pervading Ram. Which is everlasting. O brother! Utter Ram forever (i.e. live daily life of divine Wisdom and Virtues), who is All-pervading everywhere. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 1202).
  • ਪੂਜਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਈਐ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਪੂਜ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਦੇਵ ਪਖਾਲੀਅਹਿ ਜੇ ਮਨੁ ਧੋਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਜੂਠਿ ਲਹੈ ਜੀਉ ਮਾਜੀਐ ਮੋਖ ਪਇਆਣਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥ : Contemplation on the Naam (Giyan or Wisdom) is the Poojaa. Without the Naam, there is no Poojaa ||1||Pause|| As the stone idols are washed from outside, (instead) if one were to wash his mind, (then his inner) filth would be removed (i.e. filth of Bikaar: lust, anger, greed…) and his soul would be cleansed and thus his life-journey would be liberated (from Bikaar…). ||2|| (sggs 489).

Having said that, Ram explained in the Gurmat’s is not a particular embodied person who is subject to birth and death. Sikhs are asked to worship the Omnipresent Ram described in the SGGS —  ‘Gurmat Ram-ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮੁ’, ‘Meraa Ram-ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਮੁ’, ‘Hamrae Ram-ਹਮਰੇ ਰਾਮ’, ‘Merae Ram-ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ’, ‘Aatam Ram‘:

  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਰਬ ਮਹਿ ਪੇਖੁ ॥ : See Aatm Ram in all (sggs 892).
  • ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੋ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੋ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ : Serve That (ONE) forever who is contained in all. Why serve another who is born, and then dies? (sggs 509).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਤੇਰੀ ਦਾਤੀ ਰਾਜਾ ॥ ਮਾਣਸੁ ਬਪੁੜਾ ਕਿਆ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ਕਿਆ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਮੁਹਤਾਜਾ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O reverend Creator, you are the true Emperor blessing us with gift. Why fawn over wretched mortals? Why submit to them? ||Pause|| (sggs 668).
  • ਲਖ ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਜੀਅ ਜੋਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਭ੍ਰਮਤ ਨੰਦੁ ਬਹੁ ਥਾਕੋ ਰੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੇਤਿ ਅਵਤਾਰੁ ਲੀਓ ਹੈ ਭਾਗੁ ਬਡੋ ਬਪੁਰਾ ਕੋ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਜੁ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਨੰਦ ਕੋ ਨੰਦਨੁ ਨੰਦ ਸੁ ਨੰਦਨੁ ਕਾ ਕੋ ਰੇ ॥ ਧਰਨਿ ਅਕਾਸੁ ਦਸੋ ਦਿਸ ਨਾਹੀ ਤਬ ਇਹੁ ਨੰਦੁ ਕਹਾ ਥੋ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸੰਕਟਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਰੈ ਜੋਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਆਵੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਜਾ ਕੋ ਰੇ ॥ ਕਬੀਰ ਕੋ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਐਸੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਮਾਈ ਨ ਬਾਪੋ ਰੇ ॥੨॥੧੯॥੭੦॥ : (O Pandit, you say that) wandering through eighty-four Lakhs of births, Nand (father of Krishna) was totally exhausted. (You say that) according to preordained good destiny, Nand worshiped God because of which he was blessed with the opportunity to raise Krishna as his son. ||1|| You say that (Krishna) was the son of Nand, but tell me whose son was Nand himself? When there was no earth or sky and the ten directions, then where was this Nand (the father of Krishna)? ||1||Pause|| (O Pandit) God, whose Naam is immaculate does not go through the womb and and is not afflicted by Maya. (O Pandit) Kabeer’s God is one who neither has father nor mother. ||2||19||70|| (sggs 338-339).

Being Formless, unborn, undying, fearless, changeless, Eternal, Truth, All-pervading, Timeless, Transcendental, Formless, without animosity etc. the Gurmat’s Ram is Omnipresent, Omniscient — the Mool of all beings. The ONE Creator is diffused (extended out or scattered) in the entire Creation.

  • ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮਚੰਦ ਜਿਸੁ ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖਿਆ ॥ ਬਨਵਾਲੀ ਚਕ੍ਰਪਾਣਿ ਦਰਸਿ ਅਨੂਪਿਆ ॥ : O Creator!) You are that Sri Ramchand who has no form or feature (i.e. You are Formless). You are also the unequalled (singular, ONE or IK) ‘Banamaalee’ and ‘Chakrpaani‘ who has form that is incomparable. (sggs 1082).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਕੇਤੇ ਰਾਮ ਰਵਾਲ ॥ : Nanak, God is Fearless and Formless; myriads of others, like (embodied) Ram, are insignificant before Him (sggs 464).
  • ਰੂਪੁ ਨ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਭਿੰਨ ॥ : The Creator has no form, no shape, no color and is free from the three qualities of Maya (i.e. Rajo, Tamo, Sato). (sggs 283).

Hence, the Gurmat’s Ram is Formless and Infinite. Because, if He possesses a form, He would be finite and thus could never be Omnipresent! A finite substance can possess only finite attributes, finite actions and finite nature. Also, being finite and possessing a form, He could never be free from hunger, thirst, heat, cold, imperfections, fears, disease, death, and so on. This proves, therefore, that the Gurmat’s Ram is Formless and revels in each and every Heart!

  • ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਮਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ : O my brother! Contemplate Ram in your Heart (sggs 159).
  • ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਨਾਰੀ ॥ : God has no mother, father, son, and kinsmen; (He) is free of lust, and has no wife (sggs 597).
  • ਸਭੈ ਘਟ ਰਾਮੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਰਾਮਾ ਬੋਲੈ ॥ : Ram speaks within all Hearts, solely Ram speaks (sggs 988).
  • ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਰਮਈਆ ਰਮਤ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ : The All-pervading Ram ravels in each and every heart; (but He is) realized through internalizing the Enlightening Message contained in the the Guru Shabad. (sggs 172).
  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਆਤਮ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੭॥ : By engaging in the Shabad Vichaar, one obtains this understanding that the soul and ‘Ram’ are one and the same (ਇਕ-ਰੂਪ). ||7|| (sggs 1030).

In short, according to the Gurmat, the One Creator is Unperishable — neither takes birth nor does He die.

  • ਸਗਲੀ ਥੀਤਿ ਪਾਸਿ ਡਾਰਿ ਰਾਖੀ ॥ ਅਸਟਮ ਥੀਤਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਜਨਮਾ ਸੀ ॥੧॥ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਨਰ ਕਰਤ ਕਚਰਾਇਣ ॥ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਪੰਜੀਰੁ ਖਵਾਇਓ ਚੋਰ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਰੇ ਸਾਕਤ ਢੋਰ ॥੨॥ ਸਗਲ ਪਰਾਧ ਦੇਹਿ ਲੋਰੋਨੀ ॥ ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥ : (O Pandit) setting aside all other lunar days, you say God was born (as Krishna) on the eighth lunar day. ||1|| (O pundit) Led astray by doubt, you practice falsehood and are talking about such false flimsy beliefs, because God is beyond birth and death. ||1||Pause|| (O Pandit, you) prepare sweet treats and you pretend to feed to Krishna. O ignorant foolish Saakat (one separated from Truth), God neither takes birth, nor He dies. ||2|| You sing lullabies to the idol of Krishna and pretend that you are putting God to sleep: (O pundit) this is the source of all sins vices, transgression, mistakes etc.). May that mouth burn, which says that God incarnates. ||3|| (sggs 1136).

This Ram of the Gurmat — which is All-pervading and beyond birth and death — is to be realized WITHIN through the Guide of the Gur-Shabad.

In other words, according to the SGGS, it’s the mind that has to do the ‘Darshan‘, WITHIN (‘ਘਰਿ ਆਪਨੜੈ – Ghari Aapanrhai‘):

  • ਆਵਹੁ ਸਜਣਾ ਹਉ ਦੇਖਾ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਘਰਿ ਆਪਨੜੈ ਖੜੀ ਤਕਾ ਮੈ ਮਨਿ ਚਾਉ ਘਨੇਰਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ : O Divine Friend, Ram! Come, so that I may behold Your Darshan (i.e., understanding of the Formless – ਨਿਰਾਕਾਰ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ). I am waiting for You in my Heart. O Ram (Mool, Jot…)! Within my mind is great yearning. (sggs 764).

Aptly, Bhagat Kabeer asks to think while saying Ram!

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਸੋਈ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੈ ਕਹਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਕਉਤਕਹਾਰ ॥੧੯੦॥ : O Kabeer! There is a difference in saying ‘Ram’. This is something to be considered. The one Ram pervades all beings and everywhere in Cosmos (ਰਮਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਰਾਮ), and the name of Ram is also taken or used by the Raasdhaaree (performers of Raasleelaa – ਰਾਸਧਾਰੀਏ, ਰਾਮਲੀਲਾ, etc. – for the son of king Dasrath born in Ayodhya). (sggs 1374).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ : O Kabeer! Use the word ‘Ram’, only to speak of the Omnipresent. You should discriminate between the two while mentioning them (i.e., You must make that distinction). One (‘Ram’) is All-pervading, while the other (i.e., Ram Chander, Dasrath’s son born in Ayodhya) is contained in one (body only – his own body alone). (sggs 1374).

Thus, the SGGS highlights the fundamental difference in saying Ram. Aptly, the SGGS asks its Sikhs (learners, students) to consider the difference between these two.

  • ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਰਾਮ ਕਾ ॥ ਮੂੜੇ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਾਛੈ ਪਛੁਤਾਹਿ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : (O Fool! You) do not know the Naam (Giyan, Knowledge…) of Ram. O fool! (You) will regret and repent in the end! ||1||Pause|| (sggs 156).

Ram of the Pujaaree – the son of king Dasrath born in Ayodhya

Ram of the Pujaaree (clergy) is born and subject to death. He thus has form, body, attributes, etc.

Hence, the Pujaaree’s Ram is time-bound. Thus limited. This is totally opposite of the Ram of the Gurmat which is Formless, unborn, undying, Formless, Timeless, Eternal, Transcendental, Jot, revels each and every Heart (not separate from man).

Since the Pujaaree’s Ram possesses a form (i.e. time-bound), he would be finite and thus could never be Omnipresent! A finite substance can possess only finite attributes, finite actions, finite nature, and be limited by time and space. Also, being finite and possessing a form, He could never be free from hunger, thirst, heat, cold, disease, wounds and injuries, imperfections, fears, pain, separation and union, likes and dislikes, and so on.

Not only contrary to the Gurmat, the self-serving Pujaaree’s concept of Ram is also totally contrary to the teaching of the Vedas. Consider how the Vedas describe the absolute Divine Principle as eternal, bodiless or Formless:

  • He is bodiless (Yajur Veda 40:8).
  • The Formless Parbrahm that pervades the Entire universe can have no material representation, likeness or image (Yajur Veda 32:3).
  • There is only one God, worship Him (Rig Veda, Vol. 6, 45:16).
  • God is One and Only One, Neither two, nor three, nor four, nor five, nor six, nor seven, nor eight, nor nine, nor ten, but One, certainly Only One (Atharvaveda 13.4.15-19).

Apparently, it seems as the self-serving Brahmin Pujaaree (clergy) has distorted the true message of the Vedas with made-up stories, thus misleading people in the process — steering them away from the Path of Truth to the path of spiritual indigestion, Maya, falsehood, Karamkaand or empty rituals, myths (concocted stories and practices…), religious paraphernalia etc. The Gurbani confirms this as follows:

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਕਾਗਦ ਕੀ ਓਬਰੀ ਮਸੁ ਕੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਪਾਟ ॥ ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥ : Kabeer, the religious books (of Pandits/ Pujaaree) are like a prison made of paper, and the rituals (Karamkaand) written in ink are like the doors of that prison. The stone idols have spiritually drowned the people of this world (in the ocean of worldliness), and Pandits (i.e. the clergy/Pujaaree) are plundering people (i.e. robbing people by engaging them in useless rituals and idolatry Poojaa and though donation-Daan etc.). ||137|| (sggs 1371).

Sikhs are asked NOT to worship this Ram of the self-serving Pujaaree (clergy)  — ‘Tumaraa Ram-ਤੁਮਰਾ ਰਾਮੁ’ i.e., ‘your Ramchand‘.

  • ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਰਾਮਚੰਦੁ ਸੋ ਭੀ ਆਵਤੁ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਥਾ ॥ ਰਾਵਨ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਰਬਰ ਹੋਈ ਘਰ ਕੀ ਜੋਇ ਗਵਾਈ ਥੀ ॥੩॥ : O Pandit, you are talking about your Rama Chandra (‘Tumaraa Ram-ਤੁਮਰਾ ਰਾਮੁ’) who went to war with Raavan, since he had lost his wife to Raavan (Ram’s wife was kidnapped by Raavan). ||3|| (sggs 875).

According to the SGGS, all embodied beings are ‘Avtaar‘ (ਅਵਤਾਰ) — subject to birth and death.

  • ਮਾਨੁਖਾ ਅਵਤਾਰ ਦੁਲਭ ਤਿਹੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਪੋਚ ॥੨॥ : The human ‘Avtaar‘ (birth) is difficult to be attained, and yet, (the human) keeps company with the worthless (Bikaar, and lives unaware or indiscriminately like the creeping creatures). ||2|| (sggs 486).

The SGGS makes it very clear that the Pandit’s embodied Avtaar Ram is also subject to birth and death (i.e. timebound). This proves, therefore, that the Pandit’s embodied Ram is not the Gurmat’s Formless Ram which is unborn and undying.

  • ਰਾਮੁ ਗਇਓ ਰਾਵਨੁ ਗਇਓ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਬਹੁ ਪਰਵਾਰੁ ॥ : Ram (king Dasrath’s son born in Ayodhya) passed away, as did Raawan, even though he had lots of relatives. (sggs 1429).

Understandably, the SGGS teaches that merely uttering or repeating ‘Ram Ram’ (or ‘Waheguru Waheguru’ for that matter) by tongue is not the Gurbani’s Naam-Simran or Naam-Jap.

  • ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ||1|| : Everyone utters Ram Ram; but by such utterance (merely uttering by tounge-ਨਿਰਾ ਜੀਭ ਨਾਲ), Ram does not happen. By Gur-Grace (Grace of the Gur-Shabad-Giyan), Ram comes to dwell in the mind, and then, the fruit (of Aatam-Giyan…) is obtained. ||1|| (sggs 491).
  • ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ : The entire world goes about CHANTING God’s name, but none realized Him. (sggs 555).
  • ਮਾਥੇ ਤਿਲਕੁ ਹਥਿ ਮਾਲਾ ਬਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਲੋਗਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਖਿਲਉਨਾ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥੧॥ : Maathae tilaku hathi maalaa baanaa… (sggs 1158)!

Having said that, the SGGS teaches that one’s Mool within (Prabh, Ram, Hari, Gobind…) cannot be realized by ‘Bol-ਬੋਲ’ (repeating or iterating any word, ਰੱਟ etc.). Because, the Mool is beyond iteration or speech. Therefore, instead, the Gurbani urges us to acquire the Nature (Virtues) of Ram or Hari. We routinely (or daily) read or hear this:

  • ਕਾਹੂ ਬੋਲ ਨ ਪਹੁਚਤ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ॥ ਅਗਮ ਅਗੋਚਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਨਿਰਬਾਨੀ ॥ : No ‘Bol-ਬੋਲ’ can take the mortal (to Prabh, Mool…). Prabh (Mool) is inaccessible, unperceivable to the senses, beyond speech (sggs 287).

Gurmat asks us to explore Ram Within

In a nutshell, Ram of the Gurmat is our Inner Consciousness (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ). In other words, since the SGGS addresses the human mind, Sikhi’s Ram is Within all beings as their Inner Consciousness.

  • ਹਰਿ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਸਾਰਿਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਗੋਵਿੰਦਾ ਹਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਆਪਿ ਹਦੂਰੀ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥ : Hari — Atam Ram — is diffused everywhere in the beings, He beholds all; His Immanent Presence is pervading everywhere. ||3|| (sggs 174).
  • ॥ ਜਪੁ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥ : ‘Jap-ਜਪੁ’ = Realization (within NOT without). The Creator is within me from my ‘Aad’ (Conception). He is within me SINCE Conception, following Conception. He is within me Here and Now. Nanak, He is within me throughout my existence. ||1|| (sggs 1).

Those who have realized Ram Within are called Gurmukhs in the SGGS — Enlightened/God-oriented/Guru Shabad-oriented beings).

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਝਗੜੁ ਚੁਕਾਇਓਨੁ ਇਕੋ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਭਉਜਲੁ ਤਰਿ ਗਇਆ ॥ : Gurmukhs are free of conflict and strife, they see One Ram, in them and hence pervading everywhere. Recognizing the pervading Ram in Souls one crosses over the world-ocean (Bhaujal).

In a nutshell, the Pandit’s embodied Ram is not the Gurmat’s Aatam Ram. The concept of Ram manufactured by the Pandit is a disastrous recipe for remaining caught in suffering of this Bhav Saagar.

In fact, the Gurmat’s Aatam Ram also pervades the Pujaaree’s embodied Ram, Raawan etc.

  • ਸਭੁ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥੩॥ : (Those imbued in the Shabad) Recognize Aatam Ram in all, and through the ‘Gurmatee’ (Wisdom of the SGGS), they dwell in the Home of their own Inner Self. ||3|| (sggs 69).

The SGGS asks — instead of worshipping the Aatam Ram Within — if, as a Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree (un-enlightened beings), one worships ‘Doojaa‘ (second, duality, Maya, another, embodied being, etc.), that person cannot find Happiness in life (i.e. Bliss, Peace or Joy):

  • ਆਤਮਾ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਪੂਜਨੀ ਦੂਜੈ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ : They (Manmukh) do not worship the Aatam Ram, how can they find Sukh (i.e., Joy, Happiness, Peace…) from another (i.e., duality, Maya…)? (sggs 1415).

Hence, until we search and realize Ram Within, we will remain stuck in Bhav Saagar. This constitutes the exile (‘Nikaalaa‘ or ‘Banvaas’ in ‘Bhaujal‘) of Ram separated from Sita and Lakhshman (i.e. one’s separation from Budhi or intellect, and Mann or mind).

  • ਰੋਵੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਨਿਕਾਲਾ ਭਇਆ ॥ ਸੀਤਾ ਲਖਮਣੁ ਵਿਛੁੜਿ ਗਇਆ ॥ : Ram (Not the son of King Dasharath) weeps because he is sent into exile (‘Banwaas’ in ‘Bhaujal’). (This Aatmic Ram) is separated from Sita and Lakshman (Budhi or intellect and Mann or mind). (sggs 954).

Upon becoming the Gurmukh — upon Aatam Ram uniting with Sita and Lakshman (Sita = Budhi or intellect; Lakshman = Mann or mind) — the exile comes to an end and the Gurmukh returns Home to Sukh Saagar or Sach Khand  Within (i.e. Ayodhya), the Ultimate Purpose of human life!

Gurmat’s Ram Naam is meant to be Realized within

Clearly, according to the Gurbani (SGGS), the Ram of the Gurmat is the subject of understanding ( ‘BOOJHAN‘); thus beyond Maya (i.e., beyond images and idols, beyond books, beyond religious paraphernalia, beyond letters of the alphabet, beyond ritualistic Poojaa and dogmas, beyond senses etc.):

  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਮਾਈ ॥ : No one knows the glory of the Ram Naam; its presence within is realized by the Gurmat (Giyan-Wisdom of the SGGS). (sggs 602).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਪਛਾਤਾ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਰਾਮੁ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਬੂਝਿ ਲਹਿਆ ॥੧੭॥ : By Gur-Grace (by the Grace of the Giyan-Wisdom of the SGGS), those who recognize God in His Creation also realize the attributeless God within. ||17|| (sggs 435).

Apparently, the Gurmat’s Ram is ‘Gun Vaachak‘ name (i.e. adjective – ਗੁਣ ਵਾਚਕ), NOT ‘Jaati Vaachak‘ (i.e. not related to a person – ਜਾਤਿ ਵਾਚਕ).

Therefore, the Gurmat’s ‘Ram’ or ‘Ram Naam is the subject of searching — Inner Inquiry, understanding, knowing, recognizing, experiencing, internalizing or realizing WITHIN (Ajappa Jaap). After understanding or internalizing, it’s meant to be applied in daily life.

  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥ : (A true devotee) searches for the Ram Naam within his own Soul (sggs 274).
  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ : Realize Ram Naam in the Heart (sggs 283).
  • ਪੂਜਹੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੀ ਦੇਵਾ ॥ : Perform Poojaa (worship…) of ONLY ONE Ram. (sggs 484).

Hence, instead of trying to purchase Ram/God through donating money or gold and paid prayers and Pakhand (ਅਡੰਬਰ), the Gurbani Teaches us to offer our mind to the Omnipresent Creator — surrendering of false ego-sense or Haumai, Aapaa bhaav-ਆਪਾ ਭਾਵ, ਮਨ ਮਤ etc.

  • ਕੰਚਨ ਸਿਉ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਹੀ ਤੋਲਿ ॥ ਮਨੁ ਦੇ ਰਾਮੁ ਲੀਆ ਹੈ ਮੋਲਿ ॥੧॥: (Raam – Mool) cannot be obtained by giving gold equal to (one’s) weight. (But, say Kabeer, I) have bought (i.e., Realized, Experienced, etc.) Raam by giving my mind (Haumai, ego, etc.) to Him ||1|| (sggs 327).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਗਦ ਲਖ ਮਣਾ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਕੀਚੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਮਸੂ ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਲੇਖਣਿ ਪਉਣੁ ਚਲਾਉ ॥ ਭੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਨਾ ਪਵੈ ਹਉ ਕੇਵਡੁ ਆਖਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੪॥੨॥: Nanak, if I had tons of paper (describing God’s greatness…), and if I were to read them over and over again; and if I were to write (your greatness, praises etc.) with never ending ink and my pen moving as fast as the wind, even then Your worth can not be determined. How can I describe your Greatness? ||4||2|| (sggs 14).

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  1. Very nice article, it clears all the doubts of one. RAM word exist pre LORD RAMA time. Lord Rama is just an avtar of Vishnu. I thought you will post more pangtis from Dasam Granth, Swaiyee and Akal Ustat about Lord Rama. Anyhow, good article. God Bless you Khalsa Ji.

  2. Sorry brother, Harshpinder singh bhatti Bhatti, Ji it seems as you read the post with preconceived ideas.

    There are two aspects of Raam, when a Hindu Veer says Ram, he is thinking in his mind of the son of king Dasrath born in Ayodhya. Good for those who believe it.

    HOWEVER, when a Sikh (learner) says ‘Ram’, he is thinking of the Omnipresent or All-pervading Universal Energy (Aatam Ram, Hukam…).

    Please re-read the post, but with open mind. Thank you for taking the time reply. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog

  3. Sir I want to know about ang.973 where ram son of dasrath is my namdev God ..this is what I read in that ang and what is the meaning of that why it is written tht my god namdev God is king Rama of ayodhya ..

  4. Thanks for your response ji.. I was thinking why dont you set up a facebook fanpage and reach out t more people? I agree with most things you menton about Gurmat exept for reincarnation. Where are you based?

  5. Thank you Bhai Sahib Harcharan Singh Ji for taking the time to share your thoughts. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    Please feel free to share it on Facebook! In fact, there is a Facebook (and others) share button below the post!

  6. Very well researched articles Ji. Thanks. Why don’t you put on facebook?

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