Search, Seek and Understand

The Gur-Shabad teaches us that the Gurbani in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is the subject of searching (ਖੋਜ) and understanding (ਬੂਝਿ). It is only with the Search (ਖੋਜ) and Understanding (ਬੂਝਿ) comes the Liberation from outer dominations, and Linking with the Mool (ਮੂਲ – Source, Origin, Reality…).

  • ਖੋਜ ਬੂਝਿ ਜਉ ਕਰੈ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਤਉ ਭਵਜਲ ਤਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਵੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥੪੦॥ : When someone understand by Searching (‘Khoj‘), and engages in Vichaar (Reflection on the Divine Virtues, Wisdom…), then (he) crosses over the ‘Bhavjal’ (Bhav Saagar or dreadful ocean of Maya, etc.) in no time. ||40|| (sggs 342).

Clearly, the Gurbani is not the subject of mere reading as in Akhand-Paath, Nit-Nem, and so on. In this context, the Gurbani’s edict is:

  • ਪੜਿਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦੁ ਬੁਝਿਐ ਪਾਵਣਾ ॥ : Not by reading (books), but through Understanding, is the Mystery Realized. (sggs 148).
  • ਖੋਜੀ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਾਦੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਗੁਰ ਕਰਤਾਰਾ ॥ : The searcher (Seeker-ਖੋਜਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਮਨੁੱਖ) grows (in Spiritual or Divine Life – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ), and the arguer (Mayaic debater, quarrelsome, ਝਗੜਾਲੂ, etc.) annihilates (or ruins his Spiritual or Divine Life). O Gur Kartaaraa (Divine Wisdom…)! I am a sacrifice to you (sggs 1255).

Khoj (ਖੋਜ-searching, seeking…) leads to Samajh (ਸਮਝ, ਸੋਚ, ਸੂਝ, ਸੁਧ, ਮੱਤ, ਹੋਸ, perception, grasp, intelligence, sanity, acuteness, understanding, reorganization, ਗੁਰ-ਸਬਦ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣ ਲੈਣਾਂ/ਸਮਝ ਲੈਣਾਂ), and so on.

Then comes Boojh (ਬੂਝ-Understanding, Comprehension, Realization, Awareness, ਉੱਚੀ ਮਤਿ, ਅਪਣੇ ਮੂਲ ਨਾਲ ਡੂੰਘੀ ਸਾਂਝ, ਵਿਵੇਕ-ਬੁਧ, etc.).

The process of ‘Samajh‘ needs the support of the mind and senses (ਗਿਆਨ-ਇੰਦ੍ਰੇ or Giaan-Indrees) to grasp. ‘Samajh‘ helps one know truth and untruth (Satt and Asatt).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਸਮਝਾਵਹਿ ॥: Through the Gur-Shabad, (who by becoming the Gurmukh searches Him by Gurmat) instructs (his) mind. (sggs 1028).

Boojh‘ is the next stage, which is beyond the mind and senses. Therefore, ‘Boojh‘ does not need the support of the mind and senses. That is, Giaan-Indrees cease to be here. Because, only the world of the gross objects is in the purview of the senses, not the Formless (Nirankaar).

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਵੈ ਬੂਝੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਈ ॥੩॥: Who merges in the Gur-Shabad, comes to Understand the Lord. ||3|| (sggs 160).

Thus, ‘Boojh‘ is not the subject of reading, but “Khoj“. For “Khoj” leads to ‘Samajh‘, and ‘Samajh‘ to ‘Boojh‘.

Mere reading leads to more false ego-sense (Haumai), pride, deception, fraud, empty rituals (Karamkaand), and so on.

Boojh‘ is the stage of Realization of Nirankaar (Formless). Now perhaps we can appreciate as to why it is said the Formless is beyond the grasp of the senses. This is the stage of ‘Budhi Badalee‘ – transmutation of Mayaic Budhi (worldly intelligence or worldly mind, engrossed in worldly attractions and their corrupting influences).

  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer! (Wisdom) has taken away my (worldly) intelligence (ਅਕਲ). With this altered intelligence, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੋਈ ਬੂਝੈ ਗੁਣ ਕਹਿ ਗੁਣੀ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥: One who becomes the Gurmukh, he Understands (the Divine). Uttering (the Divine) Virtues, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in the Divine Virtues. ||1|| (sggs 110).

Now, just pause for a moment and think those who (run Gurdwaras and their Bhais) promote ritualistic reading of the Gurbani in the form of Akhand Paaths, etc., for the sake of Golak (money, revenue). Are they really promoting Gurmat (Wisdom of the Gurbani…), or Pakhand on the name of Gurmat?


A real Dhaarmic person is the one who is a researcher (Khojee-ਖੋਜੀ). Guru Nanak was a ‘Khojee‘. He lived his entire life on the way to ‘Khoj-ਖੋਜ’. Based on this lifelong ‘Khoj-ਖੋਜ’, he rejected all existing pillars of the man-made religions — rituals (karamkaand), religious paraphernalia and symbols, religious dogmas, clergy class (Pujaaree), and so on.

  • ਖੋਜੀ ਲਧਮੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਛਡੀਆ ਉਜਾੜਿ ॥ ਤੈ ਸਹਿ ਦਿਤੀ ਵਾੜਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਖੇਤੁ ਨ ਛਿਜਈ ॥੨॥ : Tracking through the Tracker (Guru Shabad), I discovered the tracks of those who ruined my crop of spiritual life. Now the Guru Shabad has put up the fence (of divine Naam: Wisdom / Virtues); Nanak, my fields (of my spiritual life) can not be plundered again. ||2|| (sggs 521).

Having said that, the privilege and the first duty of a person is to search/think/know/understand.

  • ਜਾਨਉ ਨਹੀ ਭਾਵੈ ਕਵਨ ਬਾਤਾ ॥ ਮਨ ਖੋਜਿ ਮਾਰਗੁ ॥ 1॥ ਰਹਾਉ॥ : I don’t know with which ways the Creator is Realized. O my mind, seek out the Way. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 71).
  • ਬੰਦੇ ਖੋਜੁ ਦਿਲ ਹਰ ਰੋਜ ਨਾ ਫਿਰੁ ਪਰੇਸਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਇਹ ਜੁ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਸਿਹਰੁ ਮੇਲਾ ਦਸਤਗੀਰੀ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O mortal, search your heart/mind everyday, then you would not wander around perplexed (confused, worried, distressed, anxiety-ridden etc.). This world is like a magic show; there nothing to be gained in it (through being perplexed etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 727).
  • ਇਸੁ ਮਨ ਕਉ ਕੋਈ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥ : O brother, someone should search own mind (try to explore his/her own mind). (sggs 330).

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  1. For example, to grasp the subject matter in school/college, one has to read books (with the support of the eyes), listen to the teacher/instructor (with the support of the ears), get to the campus (with the support of the legs, hands, eyes, ears) walk to the class-room (with the support of the legs)…

  2. Can you ellaborate on why the process of “ Samajh” needs the support of the senses.


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