Target of a Sikh in Life Per the Gurbani

In Sikhi — according to the Sidhaant of the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…) — one’s Surat (ਸੁਰਤ-consciousness, mind, Soch-ਸੋਚ) has to become a Sikh for it’s the mind (not the physical body-frame) that needs to Awaken from sleep paralysisslumber of Maya, and solve the riddle.

However, in truth, our lifestyle is as described by Bhagat Fareed Ji in his following verses:

  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਚਿੰਤ ਖਟੋਲਾ ਵਾਣੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਬਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਛਾਵਣ ਲੇਫੁ ॥ ਏਹੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਤੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਚੇ ਵੇਖੁ ॥੩੫॥: O Fareed! Anxiety is my bed, pain is my mattress, and the pain of separation is my blanket and quilt. O True Rabb! See, this is my lifestyle (resulted from my separation (from Truth or Rabb, Virtues, Wisdom…). ||35|| (sggs 1379).

Therefore, as time and again asserted in the unique and new Message of the Gurmat ( Upadesh, Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), the target of a Sikh in life (i.e., while incarnated) is to investigate and conquer his deluded mind.

  • ਮਮਾ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨ ਸਾਧੇ ਸਿਧਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਸਾ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥੩੨॥: MAMMA: (The mortal’s real purpose or business of life) is with his own mind; (and that purpose or business) is to discipline or control his mind; by doing so, Spiritual Understanding (Soojh or Samajh of the Formless or Niraakaar…) is obtained (and thus life’s real purpose is realized). Kabeer says (that the real work of a person) is with the mind alone. (For he) has not met anything like the mind! ||32|| (sggs 342).

The SGGS starts with IKK (1 = One). The rest of the Gurbani helps us Understand This IKK, and provides us with the necessary Knowledge (Giaan) to become One with This IKK (or ‘ਏਕੋ’).

The Gurbani asserts that one must recognize his Mool within ( ਮੂਲ : Source, Jot Saroop, Truth…). Once we become One with our Mool within, then we become One with everything else (i.e., become “Saabat-ਸਾਬਤ”: Whole or One, Undivided, Unmodified or Total or Intact Consciousness…).

  • ਯਾ ਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਏਕਹਿ ਕਉ ਆਇਆ ॥: (Man) has come into this world to become One (ਇਕ ਹੋਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ). (sggs 251).
  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥ (sggs 441).

However, on account of conditioning, the mind becomes unprepared know This IKK (1). The good news is the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…) can properly prepare it.

According to the SGGS, thus, the target (Aim, Goal, or Purpose) of a Sikh in life is to obtain ‘Fatih‘ or victory over his mind tainted with doubts (ਭਰਮ), Haumai (false ego-sense), Maya, darkness of ignorance, modifications, fragmentation, divisions, delusions, foolishness and stubbornness (“ਮਨ ਕਾ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਢੀਠਾ”), etc.

In other words, according to the SGGS, the Goal of a Sikh in life is to drive away all Bikaars (Haumai and its faults such as lust, anger, greed, etc.).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਹਾਟੈ ॥: The Sikh of the Guru recoils (withdraws, ਹਟ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ…) from Bikaars (sggs 286).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਭਰਮੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥: Mortals who become the Gurmukh give up (destroy, ਖਤਮ ਕਰਣਾਂ…) doubts. (sggs 231).

The Gurbani tells us that this can be accomplished with the Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) obtained through the Shabad-Vichaar and then constantly living that Wisdom of the Gurbani in our daily life.

  • ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥: This world is engrossed in Bikaar and doubts. Only the Brahm Giaanee (the one who possesses spiritual Knowledge) swims across (this world full of Bikaar and doubt). (sggs 13).

As indicated in the following verse, the Gurbani also tells us that a person who does not gain the Wisdom in life is crazy, and wastes his life in vain (regardless of what else he might have done or accomplished in life).

  • ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨ ਭੂਲੇ ਬਾਵਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਾਗੁ ॥: Listen, O deluded and demented mind: hold tight to the Guru’s Feet (i.e., Gur-Shabad, Wisdom…). (sggs 57).

Accordingly, as the Gurbani time and again indicates, to be a True Sikh/Khalsa is not a question of heredity, family of birth, ancestry, religion, race, region, social status, caste (Jaat Paat), creed, education, titles or any peculiar external appearance of a person; it is a question Of dying in the Shabad.

In other words, these words ‘Sikh’ and ‘Khalsa’ do not represent one’s physical state. But, to the contrary, they indicate a Higher Spiritual State to be experienced within by applying the the Gurbani’s Wisdom to the daily life. The Gurbani helps Awaken Virtues (Rabbi Gun-ਗੁਣ) within —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), humility…

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਜਨ ਭਏ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਜਾਨੀ ॥: O Kabeer! Those persons become ‘Khaalsae’ (ਖਾਲਸੇ) who have realized the Prem Bhagti (Virtues-ਗੁਣ, understanding of the Gur-Shabad, Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 655).
  • ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥: Without acquiring Virtues, Bhagti can not be performed (sggs 4).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਉਲਟੀ ਭਈ ਭਾਈ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ਤਾ ਬੂਝ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿਸੁ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਾਇ ॥: O brother! Meeting the Satgur (True Wisdom, ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ), one understands (true Way of living – ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ), and then turns away (from Bikaar, demerits, falsehood…), and remains living dead. O Brother! He is the Guru (Giaan, Bibek, Wisdom…) and he is the Sikh (learner), who has merged (his individual consciousness or) light in the Universal Light (i.e., Universal Consciousness or Energy…). (sggs 602).

Hence, as indicated in the Gurbani, Bhagti for a Sikh is to Realize the Gurmat or Aatam Giaan (Wisdom) of the Gurbani. Which, In turn, prepares the mind to trace its steps back to its Mool within (i.e., become Ikk Mann Ikk Chitt, Saabat…).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਤੂੰ ਲੇਹਿ ਇਆਨੇ ॥ ਭਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਬਹੁ ਡੂਬੇ ਸਿਆਨੇ ॥: You ignorant fool, take the Gurmati (i.e., Divine Wisdom or Aatmic-Giaan of the Gur-Shabad); without (this) Bhagti, even many clever have drowned (in perplexity). (sggs 288).
  • ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਸੇ ਪਸੂਆ ਸੇ ਢੋਰ ਜੀਉ ॥: Those who do not Understand their own Mool (Source, True Nature or Jot Saroop…); they are beasts, they are cattle (i.e., great fools-ਡੰਗਰ ਬੁਧੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਮਹਾਂ ਮੂਰਖ)! ||3|| (sggs 751).

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, Truth, Virtues…). Towards that end, we are given the spiritual Knowledge for mending the conditioned mind (thinking-ਸੋਚ), and thus changing our lifestyle 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).

In nutshell, when we become IKK (one) with our Mool within, then we become IKK with the ‘Praatamaa‘ (‘ਪ੍ਰਾਤਮਾ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ’ sggs 868). Otherwise, we stand plundered, deceived, defrauded by the crafty Pujaaree groups and the self-appointed Pujaaree system


  1. your above article has really made me set about thinking whether as a organised communtity the sangat is really made to understand and know the target of a sikh/khalsa in life as per Gurbani.

  2. “…thinking whether as a organised communtity the sangat is really made to understand…”

    Let’s find out from the Gurbani.

    There, generally the focus is “Golak” (money, ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ…).

    The Gurbani calls Maya false (ਝੂਠ…).

    Now, how can false make the Truth understood!!!!!!!!!

    False (Maya…) cannot make the Truth understood, because both are of the opposing nature.

    What’s is the result? The Gurbani reveals to us the results:

    • ਕਾਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਤ ਕਾ ਢਬੁ ॥ ਥਾਨਸਟ ਜਗ ਭਰਿਸਟ ਹੋਏ ਡੂਬਤਾ ਇਵ ਜਗੁ ॥ ਕਲ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਅਖੀ ਤ ਮੀਟਹਿ ਨਾਕ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਠਗਣ ਕਉ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 662).
    • ਬਧੇ ਕਰਨਿ ਸਲਾਮ ਖਸਮ ਨ ਭਾਣਿਆ ॥ (sggs 143).

    The Gurbani tells us that without Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Gur-Giaan, Aatam Giaan…), we will just be worshing nothing but ignorance.
    • ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ॥ (sggs 1412).

    This is the reason the Gurbani tells us that one must know what he is contemplating (ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ). Otherwise, that is, if we contemplate without the Knowledge (without Soojh-Boojh, ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ), we are sure to be ruined (ਜੀਵਨ ਅਜਾਈਂ ਜਾਣਾਂ)!

    • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਜਾਨਿ ਭਜਹਿ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਕਉ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਨਾਸਾ ॥ (sggs 793).

    Accordingly, in the Gurbani, the Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ) always precedes the Dhiaan (ਧਿਆਨ).

    • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਨੁ ॥: Gurmukhi giaanu dhiaanu mani maanu (sggs 414).
    • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Naam binaa kiaa giaan dhiaanu (sggs 905).

    Bhul Chuk Maff Ji

  3. Another concise, Gurbani-attested piece. Thanks for your concerted efforts Veer Ji.

    Roop Ji, of all the translations, explanations available in the form of readable booklets, I have found Professor Sahib Singh’s work to be well researched, very appealing and thorughly convincing. The best part in his work is the explanation of a single word with its variations that acquires different meanings – based on Gurbani grammar. But again this is my opinion and honestly I have compared his work only with a couple other contemporary authors. I suggest download and print one of his works and then make your own opinion.

    Deep Regards

  4. Dear Roop Ji,
    As time and again indicated by the Gurbani – all Mantras are in the Divine Naam (“ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ”, Brahm-Giaan, Gur-Giaan… ):
    • ਬੀਜ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਸਰਬ ਕੋ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਚਹੁ ਵਰਨਾ ਮਹਿ ਜਪੈ ਕੋਊ ਨਾਮੁ ॥
    • ਮਹਾ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਬਸਿਓ ਅਚਰਜ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨਿਓ ਰੀ ॥੩॥ (sggs 384).
    • ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਓ ਗੁਰਿ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ॥ (sggs 190).
    • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਦੇਇ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 759).

  5. Dhillon Ji
    Sat Sri Akal Ji,

    Thanks for your responses . I know about this site and found it very valuable. But I was asking about the books or Gutka which I can read and understand.

    Thank you for your reply.

  6. Hello Shri T Singh ji,
    Sat Sri Akal.

    I was reading your article on the teaching of Gurbani for all the Varnas. I came through one line which mentions Beej Mantra . Could you please let me know what is the Beej Mantra ? I was expecting it the same as the Mool Mantra.

    I have one suggestion for you as well. Could you please write a specific article on the definition of a Sikh ? The purpose is that after visiting the site one can clearly have the feeling that this is the site where they can find the true meaning of Gurbani and also people will come to know that this is not the fanatic site as the other ones are. Lot of people think that Sikhism is only for one particular community and they become confused because of the cultural impositions .

    Thank you.

  7. Hello Shri T Singh ji,
    Sat Sri Akal.

    I was reading your article on the teaching of Gurbani for all the Varnas. I came through one line which mentions Beej Mantra . Could you please let me know what is the Beej Mantra ? I was expecting it the same as the Mool Mantra.

    I have one suggestion for you as well. Could you please write a specific article on the definition of a Sikh ? I

  8. You may find some links at our links page.

    When the Gurdwaras were under the control of Mahants (Udasi Mahants, clergymen…), to attract crowds of people (for Golak-money!), they diluted the Gurmat (Teachings of the Gurbani), and made it a mixture of Brahmani Mati (Sanattan Mati…) and Gurmat.

    As a result , the available Teekaas of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib are this mixture of Gurmati and Brahmani Mati (Sanaatan Mati…).

    Hence confusions, KaramKaands…

  9. Could anybody please suggest something which have the meaning of Gurbani with it so that I can start implement the teaching of Gurbani practically. I read Sunder Gutka and can understand some of the meaning by just reading it but not all the Gurbani.

  10. According to the Gurbani, scholars (Pandits – ਵਿੱਦਵਾਨ…) are:

    • “Fools”: ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਸਦਾਇਦੇ ਮਨਹੁ ਮੂਰਖ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥ (sggs 1091).
    • “Infatuated by Maya”: ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ (sggs 231).
    • They mislead people: ਪਾਹਨ ਬੋਰੀ ਪਿਰਥਮੀ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਪਾੜੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੧੩੭॥ (sggs 1371).
    • They tell lies: ਝੂਠੁ ਨ ਬੋਲਿ ਪਾਡੇ ਸਚੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ (sggs 904).
    • They stir up controversies: ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬਾਦੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ॥ (sggs 152)

    Thank you Veer Ji for taking time to share your Vichaar.

  11. we are a fortunate communtity because we have the Gurus own writings. As a common sikh I do wonder whether we have put more trust on the writings by or in the name of scholars,poets,historians,cotempararies etc more than the Gurbani and Guru Gobind Singhs authentic writings when organising our community.

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