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 Gur-Giaan or 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 Gurbani (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, 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).

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

The recommendation of the SGGS is to live the Gurmukh Lifestyle (Giaanvaan, Wise) guided by the Wisdom, Bibek, or Virtues (ਗੁਣ) – 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.

  • 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).
  • ਸਚਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਣਿਆ ॥: True is the Divine Hukam, and it is known to the Gurmukh (sggs 144).
  • 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 and institutionalized 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 indicates, to boast or claim 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 Divine Hukam (ਹੁਕਮ), 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 spirituality

Hence, 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, the Gurbani (Gur Shabad) advises us not to eat foods that fan Bikaar (i.e., lust, anger, greed, etc.). That’s all!

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O brother! Eating those foods makes you ruined (bothered, tormented, distressed, despicable…), by eating which the body is crushed and Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, etc.) enter the mind. (sggs 16).

Similarly, the Gurbani advises us not to wear clothes that bother you. That’s all!

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਪੈਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O brother! Wearing those clothes makes you  bothered (ruined, tormented, tormented, distressed, despicable…), by wearing which makes the body miserable, and also bad thoughts enter the mind. (sggs 16).

27 comments

  1. Why inner Rahat & Outer Rahat (5 kakaars) are both equally important ?
    A farmer grows precious Fruits & Vegetables in his farms or fields but forest animals spoiled the crops because farmer provide no protection i.e. boundary wall or barbed wire . After that farmer understood the need or necessity of outer boundary . Five kakaars are outer boundary to protect you from outer world . Sh. Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib First gives outer boundary (5 kakaars) to Khalsa & then gives (Secondaly) amrit to Khalsa.

    BANI(Shabad) & BANA (clothes) are both equally important.

  2. Dear Sister Jaswinder Kaur Ji,
    Welcome to the Gurbani Blog. Thank you for your kind words.
    I am not a giaani … I am just an ordinary being who is trying to see the world the way Gur-Shabad (SGGS) does!
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  3. most revered,
    A post full of janana.
    If rahat is the interior frame work totally saturated with the idea of Dhun Atmic vibrations,,does 5K’s helps in restoring that interior frame ?
    or is it a mask only which is prerequisite for achieving Naam , please clear.
    regards,
    prince

  4. Dear Brother Dharmendra Ji, thank you for taking time to comment on this post. Also, thank you for your kind words and prayers.

  5. I am lifted by your great sincerity and focus.

    I salute the divinity within you.
    May your own voyage be safe and speedy.

    P.

  6. meri teri hova (reading say) Jini jaataa tis kee ih Rahat : This is the ‘Rahat’ of him who Knows Sachu karanee sachu taa kee Rahat…Sant Rahat sunahu mere bhaaee Dasavai duaari rahat kare tribhavan sojhee paai Apu teju baai prithamee aakaasaa. Aisee rahat rahaou hari paasaa vaheguru ji ki khalsa vaheguru ji ki faith.

  7. Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio.
    Eh jo vi sach da vichar ho reha hai oh hukam sadka(Insha Akaal, Akaal Purakh de hukam di marzi) hi hai ji. Tu samrath vada meri mat thori ram. Eh sab bhane vich hi ho reha hai ji aapni koi aukaat nahi te marzi nahi ji.

    reagrds
    Das Gurpreet Singh

  8. Dear Brother Gurpreet Singh Ji,

    “Par je appan is Rehat de vich mann-marzi di MARYADA da jaag(khatta) rala laine haan tan eh rehat rupi doodh(milk) phat janda hai. Appa maryada de piche na lag ke Rehat nu sambhalan hai ji.”

    Your words are so true! Thank you Veer Ji for your feedback. The Gurbani also reminds:
    •ਮੇਰੇ ਰਾਮ ਐਸਾ ਖੀਰੁ ਬਿਲੋਈਐ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਨੂਆ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਓਈਐ ॥੧॥ (sggs 332).
    •ਦੂਧੁ ਕਰਮ ਫੁਨਿ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਮਾਇਣੁ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਰਾਸ ਜਮਾਵਹੁ ॥੧॥ (sggs 728).
    •ਸੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ॥ (sggs 199).
    Otherwise, as you indicated, the Gurbani says, it will be like:
    •ਬਿਨੁ ਬਾਸਨ ਖੀਰੁ ਬਿਲੋਵੈ ॥੨॥ (sggs 1194).
    •ਪੋਖਰੁ ਨੀਰੁ ਵਿਰੋਲੀਐ ਮਾਖਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਰੀਸੈ ॥੭॥ (sggs 229).
    Thank you again Veer Ji for your valuable Vichaar.

  9. Satkar jog gurmukh T.Singh jio
    Sat bachan ji and thanks for such a detailed article (shabad-vichar) on Rehat.
    Is shabad-vichar de vich jo rehat gurmat gyan di roushani vich samajhayi gayi hai aapa oh rehat de dharani hona hai. Par je appan is Rehat de vich mann-marzi di MARYADA da jaag(khatta) rala laine haan tan eh rehat rupi doodh(milk) phat janda hai. Appa maryada de piche na lag ke Rehat nu sambhalan hai ji.

    regards
    Das Gurpreet Singh

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