Sri Guru Granth Sahib on Rahat

Simply put, ‘Rahat’ (ਰਹਤ) means Way of life or living…

For a Sikh (learner of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), the Way of living a life is based on the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…).

In other words, the term ‘Rahat’ indicates the Way of the Divine Life or Gurmukh Lifstyle based on the Giaan or Wisdom of the Guru (Gur Shabad) – ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਅਸਲੀ ਅਰਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ ਵਾਲਾ ਜੀਵਨ…

Hence, in nutshell:
‘Rahat’ of a GurSikh = Living daily life by the Wisdom, Bibek, Hukam or Virtues (ਗੁਣ) as taught by the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

To put it otherwise:
‘Rahat’ of Sikhi = ‘Rahat’ of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS.

Therefore, for a Sikh, the Giaan or Wisdom of SGGS is the ‘True Rahat’ (‘ਸਚੀ ਰਹਤ’ or ‘ਸਾਚੀ ਰਹਤ’) or a True Way of living.

It is the ‘Rahat’ of a person whose mind ‘Knows’ – one who has realized or understood the One Rabb or One Universal Energy, Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature, Kudrat), Naam (Wisdom, Virtues…), etc.

  • ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਤਾ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਰਹਤ ॥: This is the ‘Rahat’ of him who Knows (the All-pervading Principle…). (sggs 294).
  • ਜਾ ਕੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਏਕੋ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਸਚੁ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਚੁ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਰਹਤ ॥ …: Within whose mind is the One (Universal Energy…); true is his doing and true his ‘Rahat’ – Way of life. (sggs 283).
  • ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਵਰਤਣਿ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥ … : O my brother, hear the ‘Rahat’ (way of living) of the Guru. Their exaltation cannot be described. ||1||Pause|| His livelihood is the Naam alone (Wisdom, Virtues, Truth…). (sggs 392).
  • ਸਚਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ਸਚੁ ਪਛਾਣਿਆ ॥: Your Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature, ਨਿਯਮ…) is Permanently in Existence (i.e. Hukam cannot be changed or violated); this is the Guru’s Realization. The Recognition or Realization (that the Creator / Hukam is Permanently in Existence) comes through the Gurmat (Giaan or Wisdom of the SGGG) removing Haumai (false ego-sense, ਖ਼ੁਦੀ). (sggs 144).

Now, specifically, what is that Divine Lifestyle recommended in the SGGS?

The recommendation of the SGGS is to live the Gurmukh Lifestyle.

In short, a Gurmukh (Bhagat, Daas, Jan…) is a person who is Wise, brave, good, virtuous and truthful, stable, fearless, blissful (Anand), pious, Joyful, positive, Happy, balanced and poised, Living Liberated, Mool-Abided etc. (ਵਿਦਵਾਨ, ਬਹਾਦੁਰ, ਭਲਾ, ਨੇਕ, ਗੁਣੀ, ਖੁਸ਼, ਅਡੋਲ, ‘ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ’, ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਚੜ੍ਹਦੀ ਕਲਾ ਵਿਚ, ‘ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ’, ‘ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ’…).

  • ਙਿਆਨੀ ਰਹਤ ਆਗਿਆ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੁ ਜਾ ਕੈ ॥: ‘Rahat’ of a spiritually Wise is to remain firmly committed to the Divine Order (Hukam, Law of Nature…). (sggs 251).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥: The Gurmukh is blessed with spiritual wisdom and discerning intellect (sggs 317).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਅਉਗੁਣ ਜੇਤੜੇ ਤੇਤੇ ਗਲੀ ਜੰਜੀਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਨਿ ਤ ਕਟੀਅਨਿ ਸੇ ਭਾਈ ਸੇ ਵੀਰ ॥: O Nanak! As many as are the demerits (Bikaar…), so many are the chains (bonds, Bandhan…) around (one’s) neck. If (one) possesses the Divine Virtues, then the chains are cut away; (hence Virtues) are (one’s) true brothers and mates. (sggs 595).

The Gurmukh Lifestyle is the opposite of ALL other lifestyles in this world. This is to say that the ‘Rahat’ of the Sikhi as prescribed in the Gurbani is different than all other so called Rahat (ਅਖੌਤੀ ਰਹਤ) in the world.

How so?

First, the ‘Rahat’ of the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS is for the human mind!

On the other hand, all other Rahat concocted by the crafty Pujaaree groups and the Pujaaree systems are primarily for embellishing the gross body-frame (i.e., Haumai or false ego-sense…).

Bhagat Kabeer Jee warned humanity about these man-made Rahat several centuries ago. His warning was and is applicable today to all organized religions, including Sikhi of the corrupt and illiterate Pujaaree-Vaad!

  • ਬੇਦ ਕੀ ਪੁਤ੍ਰੀ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਸਾਂਕਲ ਜੇਵਰੀ ਲੈ ਹੈ ਆਈ ॥੧॥ ਆਪਨ ਨਗਰੁ ਆਪ ਤੇ ਬਾਧਿਆ ॥ ਮੋਹ ਕੈ ਫਾਧਿ ਕਾਲ ਸਰੁ ਸਾਂਧਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਟੀ ਨ ਕਟੈ ਤੂਟਿ ਨਹ ਜਾਈ ॥ ਸਾ ਸਾਪਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਜਗ ਕਉ ਖਾਈ ॥੨॥ ਹਮ ਦੇਖਤ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਲੂਟਿਆ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਿ ਛੂਟਿਆ ॥੩॥੩੦॥: O brother! The Simritee is the daughter of the Vedas. She has brought a chain and a rope (of rituals or Karamkaand, Jaat Paat, dogmas, religious paraphernalia, hell heaven, separate god up there, reincarnation, etc.). ||1|| She has imprisoned the the followers (i.e., imprisoned their minds to stop development or expansion of their intellect). She has tightened the noose of emotional attachment and shot the arrow of (fear of) death. ||1||Pause|| By cutting, (this noose) cannot be cut, and does breaks by itself. Becoming a serpent, she is eating the world (i.e., as the serpent eats her children, similarly, she is eating her followers). ||2|| Before my very eyes, she has plundered the entire world. Says Kabeer! I have escaped her by remembering the Naam (Bibek, Wisdom, Virtues…). ||3||30|| (sggs 329).

Second, the ‘Rahat’ prescribed by the SGGS is the ‘Rahat’ of the ‘Mahaa Purakh‘ (the Satguru => Sachaa Giaan, true Wisdom, Bibek…), while all other Rahat are man-made (ਬੰਦੇ ਦੀ ਅਪਣੀ ਮਰਜੀ, self-will…).

  • ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਮਹਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੪੦॥: This Bani is of the Satguru and through it, one abides in his own True Self. ||40|| (sggs 935).
  • ਹੋਰ ਕਚੀ ਮਤੀ ਕਚੁ ਪਿਚੁ ਅੰਧਿਆ ਅੰਧੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: False, immature and shallow is other intellect. Blind is the reflection of the blind person. (sggs 1242).

Third, the SGGS says that the ‘Rahat’ talked about by the preachers, scholars, Pujaaree groups, etc., is disappointing. Because, They look pious and Mahatama outside but fraud inside!

Hence, as the Gurbani asserts, boasting or claiming living the ‘Rahat’ while the mind is tied to the Trikutee (‘ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ’ – Maya’s knot…) and free to escape through the bodily nine gates is nothing but Pakhand, or Manmukhataa

  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕਥਨੀ ਹੈ ਪਰੁ ਰਹਤ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: The Manmukh talks about Rahat, but does not practice it. (sggs 831).
  • ਕਹਤਿਅਹ ਕਹਤੀ ਸੁਣੀ ਰਹਤ ਕੋ ਖੁਸੀ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥: I have heard people say and preach, but seeing their way of life, I am not at all pleased. (1396).
  • ਨਗਰੀ ਏਕੈ ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਬਰਜਿ ਰਹਾਈ ॥ ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਛੂਟੈ ਦਸਵਾ ਦਰੁ ਖੂਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਨੁ ਖੀਵਾ ਭਾਈ ॥੩॥: There are nine gates (or 9 openings: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital, and one anus) to the one city (of the body); restrain your mind from escaping through them. O brother! When the knot of the three qualities of Maya is untied, then the Tenth Gate opens up (Mool-abidance…), and the mind remains intoxicated (in that State of abiding in Mool) ||3||. (sggs 1123).

Last, but not least, as repeatedly tought in the Gurbani, indulging in Karamkaand (rituals…) and embellishing the fleeting gross body with the religious paraphernalia (‘ਮਨ ਕਾ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਢੀਠਾ’…) in stubborn-mindedness is nothing but pouring more fuel on the inferno of the false ego-sense (Haumai).

For a Sikh, prescribed in the Gurbani is the ‘True Rahat’ (‘ਸਚੀ ਰਹਤ’) – True Way of living.

  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਸਾਚੀ ਰਹਤ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਈ ॥: Wisdom and contemplation all come from the Guru. That person’s ‘Rahat’ (Way of living) becomes True, and the Truth comes to dwell in his mind. (sggs 831).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਜਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਏ ॥ ਸਚੀ ਰਹਤ ਸਚਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਏ ॥੭॥: One becomes living liberated, by listening to the Shabad (i.e., by understanding and then living Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad). Through such ‘Rahat’ (Way of life), he is blessed with true peace. ||7|| (sggs 1343).

The Gurbani asserts that such ‘True Rahat’ can only be lived or practiced by a person whose mind is established in the Dasam Duaar (Tenth Gate: Highest Plane of Pure Consciousness, Jot Saroop,ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ, ਸਦ ਜੀਵਨ…), within.

  • ਸੇਇ ਮੁਕਤ ਜਿ ਮਨੁ ਜਿਣਹਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਧਾਤੁ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਆਇ ॥ ਦਸਵੈ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਰਹਤ ਕਰੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇ ॥੩॥: Those alone are are liberated (from the bondage of Maya), who conquer their mind; Maya does not stick to them again. Who abides in the Tenth Gate (i.e., beyond the bad influence of the senses), obtains understanding of the Tribhavan (Universal Energy). ||3|| (sggs 490).

Also, the Gurbani urges us to practice a ‘Rahat’ of absolute obedience to the Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature..) as do the water, fire, wind, earth, etc.

  • ਅਪੁ ਤੇਜੁ ਬਾਇ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੀ ਆਕਾਸਾ ॥ ਐਸੀ ਰਹਤ ਰਹਉ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਸਾ ॥: Water, fire, wind, earth and ether (they all follow the Law of Nature) – adopt such ‘Rahat’ (Way of life) and you shall be close to Hari (Truth, Wisdom, Virtues…). (sggs 327).
  • ਪਉਣੁ ਪਾਣੀ ਬੈਸੰਤਰੋ ਹੁਕਮਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਭਗਤੀ ॥: Water, air and fire, by the Hukam (Law of Nature), perform Bhagti. (sggs 948).

To Understand the Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature), we are urged to thoroughly Realize the Aatam-Giaan (Divine Knowledge…) of the Gurbani by engaging in the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, and then constantly living it (i.e., making the Wisdom of the Gurbani the Way of life – ‘Rahat’, the Gurmukh Lifestyle)!

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਣਿ ਮੰਨੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: By becoming the Gurmukh, understand by focusing on the Shabad. (With one-pointed consciousness, he) hears and complies the ‘Hari Naam‘ (Truth, Wisdom, Virtues…); and gets absorbed in the ‘Hari Naam’. (sggs 313).

Hence, mere nomenclature does not denote a Sikh or ‘Rahat’.

As a doll made of salt dissolves itself in the water, only he who dissolves himself in the Gurmat sees the world as the Gurbani sees it.

  • ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥: Nanak speaks the ‘Brahm Beechaaru’ (sggs 1138).

The Gurbani tells us that so long the false-ego sense (Haumai) persists, the Truth cannot be Realized regardless of what we do with the gross body-frame. Because the Gurmat’s Rabb can neither be impressed nor pleased by our outward displays of religiosity.

  • ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਭਜਨ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਹੈ ਹੋਰਾ ॥ ਵਰਮੀ ਮਾਰੀ ਸਾਪੁ ਨ ਮਰਈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਸੁਨਈ ਡੋਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : The intellect to unite with ‘Gobind‘ (Mool, Truth…) is different. If one does not listen to the Naam (then his external religious Karamkaand is akin to beating the snake-hole instead of the snake, but, by just) beating the snake-hole, the snake is not killed. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 381).

To link back to one’s Jot Saroop or True Self within, the Gurbani asks us to become the Gurmukh and annihilate the false ego-sense (Haumai).

The Gurbani urges us to become one of those ‘rare’ ones who don’t make ‘Parpanch‘ (‘ਜੋ ਨ ਰਚਹਿ ਪਰਪੰਚ’), but instead, as Gurmukh, engage in searching (‘ਖੋਜ’) and Understanding (‘ਬੂਝਿ’) the Gurbani and ownself. For as the Gurbani asserts, the Divine Life is beyond all our schemes and cleverness. Thus cannot be tricked!

The Gurbani is meant to be churned, understood, and applied to daily life.

  • ਉਪਾਵ ਸਿਆਨਪ ਸਗਲ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ॥ ਸਭੁ ਕਛੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਆਤਮ ਕੀ ਰਹਤ॥: (The Divine) is beyond all effort and cleverness. (The Divine) fully knows the ‘Rahat’ or way of the human soul (ਆਤਮਕ ਰਹਿਣੀ). (sggs 269).

Since the Gurbani is meant for the human mind (ਸੋਚ-thinking), it asks that the mind be reformed (;ਆਪੁ ਸਵਾਰਹਿ;) to recognize its True Nature (Mool, Jot Saroop…). Towards that end, we are given the spiritual Knowledge (Giaan, ਉਚੀ ਮਤ, ਸਮਝ… ) for mending the mind (thinking-ਸੋਚ), and thus changing our living style in the process. However, this will only happen if we thoroughly understand the Gurmat through Shabad-Vichaar and then apply it to our daily life. Hence, the SGGS asserts:

  • ਆਪੁ ਸਵਾਰਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਿਲਹਿ ਮੈ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥: If (O man) you reform yourself, you will meet me, and meeting me, you will be at Peace. (sggs 1382).

Sikhi is a Way of Life based on the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS).

However, as evident, Sikhi we see out there today is not a Sikhi of the SGGS.

Instead, it’s a Sikhi of the crafty Pujaaree-Vaad. As Baabaa Nanak asserts brandishing religious paraphernalia on one’s ephemeral body-frame is not a Sikhi of the SGGS.

  • ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: I know nothing about religious robes, pilgrimages or stubbornness; O Nanak, I only hold tight to the Truth ||1|| (sggs 843).

Gurbani (Gur Shabad teaches us very simple and practical spiritualityHence, the Gurmat’s own ‘Rahat‘ is very simple and practical!

Here is a glimpse of Gurbani’s this simple and practical spirituality and ‘Rahat’.

For example, Baabaa Nanak teaches us not to eat foods that fan Bikaar (i.e., lust, anger, greed, etc.).

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Eat thoughtfully what you are eating. Never eat foods that is harmful to your health — it causes the body to feel ‘Khuaar(u)‘ (i.e. bad, tormented, ruined, distressed, wretched, despicable etc.). Consuming such foods leads to bad thoughts in the mind (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 16).

Similarly, Baabaa Nanak further teaches us a the proper Way of living life:

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਪੈਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : To cover the body, one should wear clothes that cover the body and are comfortable. Never wear those clothes which are harmful to the body — it causes the body to feel
  • Khuaar(u)‘ (i.e. bad, tormented, ruined, distressed, wretched, despicable etc.). Wearing such clothes create bad thoughts in the mind (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 16).
  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਚੜਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਚੜਿਐ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Never take rides that cause sorrows instead of happiness — it causes the body to feel ‘Khuaar(u)‘ (i.e. bad, tormented, ruined, distressed, wretched, despicable etc.). Taking such rides creates bad thoughts in the mind (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 16).
  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਉਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਸੁਤੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥੪॥੭॥ : Sleep or rest should be done as much as the body needs. Those who sleep too much (i.e. indulged in enjoyment of worldly pleasures, luxuries, sense gratification, licentiousness, ਐਸ਼-ਇਸ਼ਰਤ etc.) tend to be lazy. They go astray from the Way of life and then repent — it causes the body to feel ‘Khuaar(u)‘ (i.e. bad, tormented, ruined, distressed, wretched, despicable etc.). Sleeping too much leads to mental disorders (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). ||1||Pause||4||7|| (sggs 17).


  1. Sat Sri Akaal.
    yes Brother T. Singh is a true Mahatma, a beloved Sadhu to all of us Sikhs that look for the only true of SGGS.
    my thought only.
    (Is evident, Sikhi we see out there today is not a Sikhi of the SGGS);.this is the only or no this is Gurbani, from SGGS. no my words.
    Let’s stop pretending. we are Sikhs if we don’t live our life as a true brothers and Sisters in the San Sangat of Waheguru ji.
    and start feeding Ourself with the food that Give Life to our Jiva-Atman.
    with respect your humble servant.
    Sabbar Singh Khalsa.

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