Sri Guru Granth Sahib on Rahat

‘Rahat’ (ਰਹਤ) simply means a WAY OF LIFE.

For a Sikh (a learner of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) the Unique Way of life is the Gurmat (GiaanWisdom of the SGGS) — a Way of traversing a Spiritual or Divine Life in the world.

In other words, the term ‘Rahat’ indicates the Way of the Divine Life based on the Unique Spiritual Message or Upadesh of the Shabad (SGGS).

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

To put it otherwise:
Rahat’ of Sikhi = ‘Rahat‘ of the Spirituality of the Shabad.

Therefore, for a Sikh, the Unique Spirituality of the Shabad (SGGS is the ‘True Rahat’ (‘ਸਚੀ ਰਹਤ’ or ‘ਸਾਚੀ ਰਹਤ’) or a True Way of traversing Spiritual Life. In other words, the entire Gurbani (SGGS) in itself is the Gurmat ‘Rahat’. Hence the Gurbani (SGGS) asks its Sikhs to BECOME THE GURBANI!

It is the ‘Rahat’ of a person who has Realized (‘Jini Jaataa-ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਤਾ’) the One Creator and His Hukam Within.

  • ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਤਾ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਰਹਤ ॥: This is the ‘Rahat’ (i.e. Way of Life) of him who has Realized the Creator Within. (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).
  • 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).

The Gurbani (SGGS) in the following Shabad uses the word ‘Sant Rahat’ meaning the Creator’s ‘Rahat’ (i.e. Hukam: System-Rule-Law-Order of Nature). The Gurbani (SGGS) teaches the Mind must Internalize this ‘Rahat‘:

  • ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਵਰਤਣਿ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥ … : O my Mind! Internalize the ‘Rahat’ (Discipline, Code, Rule, Law, Order; Hukam) of the Creator. It’s value (to my spirituality) is beyond narration. ||1||Pause|| Divine Naam (Virtues, Giaan-Wisdom…) is my sole daily sustenance. … (sggs 392).

Furthermore, 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 within. ||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).

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

The recommendation of the SGGS is to develop the Gurmukh Mindset (Enlightened State) and live accordingly.

  • 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 Mindset is the opposite of ALL other lifestyles in this world.

This is to say that the ‘Rahat’ of the Unique Sikhi Of Baabaa Nanak or SGGS 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 to Internalize!

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

Aptly, Baabaa Nanak warns us about how religions and their Pujaaee (clergy) systems have concocted antagonistic adherents, religious codes, (Rahat), rituals, Shara or Shariat etc. Baabaa Nanak further warns us that NONE of these can help anybody find liberation from the vices and Bikaar.

  • ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਹੈ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਜਾ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਇ ਤ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਸਰੈ ਸਰੀਅਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਕੈਸੇ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਪਾਰੁ ॥: (Creator-Universal Energy) is pervasive in KUDRAT (Nature), it cannot be valued. Even if one tries to find the value, it could not be described. How can a person, who only continues reflecting on Shara or Shariat (i.e. Rahat, religious codes, rituals etc.), find liberation (from the vices and Bikaar without Realizing the Creator Within)? (sggs 84).

Bhagat Kabeer Jee also 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 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).

Also, the SGGS says that the ‘Rahat’ talked about by the preachers, scholars, clergy or Pujaaree groups etc. is disappointing. Because they look pious and Mahatama outside but fraud inside! The Gurbani says boasting or claiming living the ‘Rahat’ while the mind is tied to the Trikutee (‘ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ’ – Maya’s knot…) is nothing but Pakhand, or Manmukh-Saakat-Mayadhaaree mindset.

  • 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 taught in the Gurbani (SGGS), 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 Unique Spirituality of the Gurbani (SGGS) 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: Elevated State of Conscience, Jot Saroop) 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 (God, 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 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 Mindset)!

  • 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.

  • ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਇਕ ਨਾਮਿ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥੧੧॥: The Divine Naam (Giaan-Wisdom, Virtues…) of the One Creator are the Basis for Spirituality for a Worldly Mindset; Nanak thus Utters the Discourse of the Creator (Brahm Beechaar). (sggs 1138).

The Gurbani tells us that so long the false-ego sense (Haumai) persists, the Creator within cannot be Realized regardless of what we do with the gross body-frame. Because the Gurmat’s God 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 within, the Gurbani asks us to BECOME the Gurbani 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 engages in searching (‘ਖੋਜ’) and Realizing (‘ਬੂਝਿ’) the Gurbani and ownself. Because the Divine Life is beyond all our worldly calculations, schemes and cleverness. Thus cannot be tricked!

The Gurbani is meant to be churned, understood, Realized, 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 (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 ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਹੋਇ ਰਹਹਿ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੯੫॥: If you REFORM yourself then you will Realize Me (i.e. God), and when you Realize Me (i.e. God), you will rejoice in Spiritual Bliss. O Farid, (reforming yourself) if you become Mine then the entire world would become yours. ||95|| (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 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! Following 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 ॥: O brother! By eating those eatables which ruins our happiness and the body suffers, 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 ॥ : O brother! By wearing which the happiness is ruined and body suffers, such waring and the mind also has bad thoughts, such a wearing creates bad thoughts in the mind (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). (sggs 16).
  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਚੜਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਚੜਿਐ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O brother! rides that ruins happiness and cause suffering, taking such rides creates bad thoughts in the mind (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). (sggs 16).
  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਸਉਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਸੁਤੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥੪॥੭॥ : O brother! Sleep that ruins happiness and makes body suffer, such sleep leads to mental disorders (i.e. Bikaar: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride etc.). (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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