The Satgur’s Sword of Wisdom

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) asserts: (1) Giaan (Wisdom) is the Guru, (2) it’s our consciousness (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ) that needs to become a Sikh (ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ or a learner).

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਮੈ ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ਬਿਬੇਕੋੁ ॥੪॥੫॥: Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is ‘Bibek(u)’ (Wisdom, discerning Intelligence…). ||4||5|| (sggs 793).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ : The Guru (Shabad of the SGGS) is the source of my GiyanWisdom and the object of my mind’s focus. (sggs 864).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਆ ਬੁਝਾਇ ॥: Deep within is the sacred shrine (Teerath) of Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…), which the Satigur has revealed (sggs 587).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: The Jewel of Giaan (Wisdom) is obtained from the Guru (sggs 1044).

Satgur is ‘Giaan’ and ‘Abinaasee’

Fittingly, the SGGS asserts that the Satgur is Giaan (Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, spiritual Wisdom…).

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥ ਮਤਿ ਮਲੀਣ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਭਈ ਜਪਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਮੁਰਾਰਾ ॥: Receiving Giaan (Wisdom) from the Satigur and reflecting on Hari Essence (Mool, True Nature or Jot Saroop…),  the polluted intellect becomes enlightened by understanding the Wisdom. (sggs 163).

Furthermore, Satgur is said to be ‘Abinaasee’ (imperishable, immortal etc.). The SGGS further asserts that the Satgur abides in the mind of  everybody (‘ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ’), but needs to be Awakened by churning the Gurbani through the Shabad Vichaar!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: My Satguru (Sachaa Giaan or true Wisdom) is always there, everywhere, which neither comes nor goes. The Satguru is imperishable, and pervades within all. ||13|| (sggs 759).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: My Guru is always with me, near at hand (sggs 394).

Sword in the Gurbani is a metaphor for Knowledge

Sword (‘Kharragu-ਖੜਗੁ’, ਕਿਰਪਾਨ, ਤਲਵਾਰ …) is used in the SGGS as a metaphor for the Knowledge (Giaan, or Wisdom).

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਹਥਿ ਦੀਨਾ ਜਮਕੰਕਰ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰੇ ॥: The Satgur handed me a Sword of Spiritual Wisdom (i.e. Enlightenment) and with which I have ELIMINATED Jam Doot (i.e. Pain and Vices – ‘ਦੁਖ ਪਾਪ’). (sggs 574).
  • ਚੰਦਨ ਵਾਸੁ ਭੁਇਅੰਗਮ ਵੇੜੀ ਕਿਵ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਲੀਜੈ ॥ ਕਾਢਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਛੇਦਿ ਛੇਦਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥੩॥ : The fragrant sandal tree is girdled by the snakes; how can anyone get to the sandalwood tree? Similarly, one cannot become like a philosophers touch stone (Paaras) when one’s mind is surrounded by vices/Bikaars — such mind cannot enjoy the Fragrance of the Guru Shabad’s Wisdom, Virtues, Naam etc. We can drink the elixir of Naam only Drawing out the Mighty Sword of the Guru’s Wisdom and cutting out the poisonous (snake of worldly temptations and their corrupting influences). ||3|| (sggs 1324).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਖੜਗੁ ਸੰਜੋਉ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਕੰਟਕੁ ਮਾਰਿ ਵਿਡਾਰਿਆ ॥: The sword and armor of the Satguroo is Hari Bhagti; whereby, (he has) smitten and removed the thorn of ‘Kaal’ (thoughts, fear of death…). (sggs 312).

The Gurbani urges us to take up this Sword of Knowledge. Because, for example, without applying Knowledge of the Gur-Shabad, a Sikh cannot hope for any positive change or improvement in life.

According to the Gurbani, mere talk, mere reading, or mere memorizing of the Gurbani, or mere ‘Bhekh‘ (religious garbs, symbols…), etc., that are manufactured and propagated by the crafty Pujaaree-Vaad will not do the trick! Instead, the SGGS urges us to obtain the Sword of the Gur-Giaan.

  • ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸੁਨਿ ਕਛੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਉਪਜਿਓ ਪਸੁ ਜਿਉ ਉਦਰੁ ਭਰਉ ॥: Listening to the Gurmat (Shabad-Giaan, Teaching of the Gurbani, etc.), (if) no Spiritual Wisdom (understanding of the Spiritual Life…) wells up within; (then it would be) like a beast (routinely) filling its belly (sggs 685).
  • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਖੜਗੁ ਹਥਿ ਧਾਰਿਆ ਜਮੁ ਮਾਰਿਅੜਾ ਜਮਕਾਲਿ ॥੭॥: Take up the Kharag (double-edged sword) of Enlightening Wisdom in your hand and kill the fear of (spiritual) death or Jamm. ||7|| (sggs 235).

The Satgur’s Sword is for the mind to wear!

This Sword of the Satgur’s Giaan or Wisdom (‘Giaan Kharragu’) is for the mind to wear (Gurmukh mindset).

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: I fight to overcome the desires of my mind with the double-edged Sword (Kharag) of Wisdom (of the Satguru). ||3|| (sggs 1022).
  • ਮਤਿ ਗੁਰ ਆਤਮ ਦੇਵ ਦੀ ਖੜਗਿ ਜੋਰਿ ਪਰਾਕੁਇ ਜੀਅ ਦੈ ॥: The ‘Gur’ implanted the Almighty Sword of the Teachings (ਸਿੱਖਿਆ…) to illuminate the Divine Soul (ਆਤਮ ਦੇਵ…). (sggs 966).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਅਤਿ ਖੜਗੁ ਕਰਾਰਾ ॥: I have obtained very double-edged sharp sword of Spiritual Wisdom from the Guru (Nanak). (sggs 1087).

The reason this Sword of the Guru is for the mind to wear is that the mind cannot wear a metal sword but ONLY the sword of the Wisdom or Giaan!

To this end, Baabaa Nanak with an example of ‘thread’ (Janaeu) reminds us that all other religious paraphernalia concocted and perpetuated by the self-serving Pujaaree groups that you put on the ephemeral body-frame, in the end, all will drop off the body when your dead body-frame is placed on pyre or tossed into a cremation furnace!

  • ਚਉਕੜਿ ਮੁਲਿ ਅਣਾਇਆ ਬਹਿ ਚਉਕੈ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਸਿਖਾ ਕੰਨਿ ਚੜਾਈਆ ਗੁਰੁ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੁ ਥਿਆ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਮੁਆ ਓਹੁ ਝੜਿ ਪਇਆ ਵੇਤਗਾ ਗਇਆ ॥੧॥ : (O Pandit) you buy this thread (i.e. Janaeu) for four pennies, sitting in the kitchen of the host, you put it around his neck. Then you whisper in your host’s ear that from now on the Brahman is your guru. But when that host dies, Janaeu or thread drops off the body upon getting burnt (in the pyre of that man, and he thus) departs without the thread (i.e. upon death, mortals depart without religious symbols or religious robes)! (sggs 471).

Hence, the Gurbani in SGGS tells us that the Satguru (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, true Wisdom, Knowledge of Truth…) is realized or Awakened within only when the mind (not just body-frame):

  •  Ever stays in the Presence of or connected to the Satguru’s true Wisdom, Knowledge of Truth – live Gur-Wisdom or Virtues in daily life .
  •  Ever talks about or recollects the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Shabad, Truth…).
  •  Never deserts Gur-Giaan or Wisdom in daily life.
  • Never serves or visits tombs (Samaadh, Marhee-Massan, etc.), Derra-Vaad Saadhdom (ਗੁਰੂ ਨੂੰ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਹੋਰ ਬਾਬੇ ਸਾਧਾਂ ਅਗੇ ਮੱਥਾ ਨਹੀ ਟੇਕਦਾ), etc.

The Gurbani confirms all this, and much more:

  • ਗੁਰ ਸਭਾ ਏਵ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾ ਨੇੜੈ ਨਾ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਾਂ ਮਿਲੈ ਜਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਹਦੂਰਿ ॥੨॥: The ‘Gur Sabhaa – ਗੁਰ ਸਭਾ'(association or company of the Gur-Giaan or Wisdom) is not obtained by being near or far away (i.e., not obtained through Physical proximity – ਸਰੀਰ ਦੀ ਰਾਹੀਂ). O Nanak! Satiguru (Sachaa Giaan or True Wisdom…) is obtained if (a Sikh’s) mind is kept in Presence (i.e., connected to Sachaa Giaan or True Wisdom). ||2|| (sggs 84).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥: (A person) is known to have met the Satiguru (Giaan or Wisdom of Truth…); if by this meeting the Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Shabad, Truth…) is recollected or lived. (sggs 72).
  • ਜਿਨ ਕੰਉ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਸਦਾ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਅਚਿੰਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਿਨ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਹਿ ॥: Those whom the Satiguru has met, ever engage in the divine Naam (Wisdom, Virtues, Shabad, Truth…). Divine Naam automatically abides in their mind and they are absorbed in the True Shabad. (592).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਸੋ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਗੁਰੂ ਨ ਛੋਡੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਦੂਜੈ ਨ ਧਰੇ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! He alone is deemed united with his Guru, who does not forsake his Guru and does not love duality (second, Maya…). (sggs 1087).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਮਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: One who Internalizes the Enlightening Message of the Satgur’s Shabad, remains absorbed in it (i.e. Wisdom / Virtues). Divine Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) always remains enshrined in a person’s mind who understands and follows the Gurbani (SGGS) from the core of his being. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 797).
  • ਜੇ ਕੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੇਤੀ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ ਹੋਵੈ ਤ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਲੇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਰਨ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਧਿਆਏ ਅੰਤਰ ਆਤਮੈ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥ ਆਪੁ ਛਡਿ ਸਦਾ ਰਹੈ ਪਰਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੋਏ ॥ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਨਮੁਖੁ ਹੋਏ ॥੨੧॥: If any ‘Sikh’ (learner-ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ of the SGGS) wants to become truly faithful turn to the Guru (Shabad); then that Sikh must follow the Gur (i.e. Giyan-Wisdom. That Sikh should contemplate on the Guru’s spiritual Giyan-Wisdom and enshrine it in the mind. Renouncing self-conceit, he/she always contemplate on the Guru (Shabad), and does not consider anyone else except the Guru as spiritual Guide. Nanak says, listen, O seekers: such a ‘Sikh‘ has his/her mind always connected to the Guru (ShabadGiyan-Wisdom). ||21|| (sggs 919).

Purpose of wearing the Satgur’s Sword of Wisdom

The purpose of the Guru’s Sword of the Wisdom is to slay the head of Haumai (false ego-sense), Maya, duality, doubts, thoughts, desires, ਫੁਰਨੇ, ਕਲਪਨਾ, Bikaar (lust, anger, greed…) ignorance, etc.

Hence, the real proof of Wisdom according to the Gurbani is the annihilation of one’s Haumai (false ego-sense and all its faults such as lust, anger, greed, etc.), doubts, ignorance, mind’s wanderings

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਤਤੁ ਗਿਆਨਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਮਾਰੇ ॥: (Who reflects on the Shabad: Shabad-Vichaar) Within (him) ‘Tatt Giaan’ (ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ, Spiritual Wisdom…) awakens, (and with the help of this ‘Tatt Giaan’, he) kills his ego (sggs 128).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਤਾਂ ਇਹ ਸੰਸਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: When Giaan (Wisdom) wells up (within) through the Satigur, then (the mind’s) doubt gets dispelled. (sggs 1276).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗ ਪੰਚ ਦੂਤ ਸੰਘਾਰੇ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਜਾਗੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: (The person who) With the sword of the Spiritual Wisdom kill the five demons (i.e., ego and all its faults – lust, anger, greed, etc.), (he) remains Awake and Aware because of the Gurmat (Teaching of the Gurbani…). (sggs 1414).

Therefore, whatever we do, the Giaan-Guru asks us to use the intellect (Wisdom, commonsense, reasoning, Bibek, Akal…). The Gurbani asserts ‘other things lead to Satanic life’ (‘ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ’). In other words, the Giaan-Guru does not want us to behave like sheep!

  • ਧ੍ਰਿਗੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਜੀਵਿਆ ਜਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਲਿਖਿ ਵੇਚਹਿ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਖੇਤੀ ਜਿਨ ਕੀ ਉਜੜੈ ਖਲਵਾੜੇ ਕਿਆ ਥਾਉ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਰਮੈ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਅਗੈ ਲਹਹਿ ਨ ਦਾਦਿ ॥ ਅਕਲਿ ਏਹ ਨ ਆਖੀਐ ਅਕਲਿ ਗਵਾਈਐ ਬਾਦਿ ॥ ਅਕਲੀ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਅਕਲੀ ਪੜ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਕੈ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਅਕਲੀ ਕੀਚੈ ਦਾਨੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਰਾਹੁ ਏਹੁ ਹੋਰਿ ਗਲਾਂ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥੧॥: Accursed is the life who (on account of their selfishness and greed) read and reflect on Naam to sell it in the form of Mantras or magic. They are like those whose crop is continuously destroyed, (as a result) they have nothing to thrash! Without proper self-effort (to know ownself etc.) their future life is wasted. Intellect is not which is wasted in futile arguments. Use intellect in the service of God; the right use of intellect brings respect. Learn by intelligent reading and use intelligence in practice of charity (to help the needy). Says Nanak, this is the right way of life while other things (failure to apply discerning intellect) lead to wickedness. ||1|| (sggs 1245).

It should be noted that terms like Bhagti, Naam, Giaan, Gun (ਗੁਣ-Virtues), Shabad, Hukam or Law of Nature, Universal Energy, etc., are woven through and through (‘ਓਤਿ ਪੋਤਿ’).

  • ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਦਿਉਹਾੜੀ ਸਦ ਵਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਮਾਣਸ ਤੇ ਦੇਵਤੇ ਕੀਏ ਕਰਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਵਾਰ ॥: I am a sacrifice to the divine Wisdom (Gur-Giyan) forever for it renders ordinary mortals (spiritually dead) into spiritually elevated beings (noble beings of Divine Wisdom/Virtues) without delay. (sggs 462).

All ten Guru Sahibaan carry the same sword of Wisdom (Jot Ohaa-‘ਜੋਤਿ ਓਹਾ’) and the same Method or Way of life (Jugat Saai-‘ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਇ’). In short, from Baabaa Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the ten Gurus were different only in terms of body, while those ten Gurus were basically the expression of the same Giaan-Wisdom (Jot) and the same Method or Way of life (Jugat).

  • ਜੋਤਿ ਓਹਾ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਇ ਸਹਿ ਕਾਇਆ ਫੇਰਿ ਪਲਟੀਐ ॥ : The Light (Jot: sword of Wisdom) is same and the Method or Way of life is the (Jugat), only the body has changed. (sggs 966).

10 comments

  1. Thank you for the work you’re doing. I learn so much from reading your
    entries.
    Waheguru.

  2. Yes Bhai Sahib Jio!
    Thank you!
    • ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਆਰਾਧਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਕੇ ਦੁਖ ਪਾਪ ਨਿਵਾਰੇ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਹਥਿ ਦੀਨਾ ਜਮਕੰਕਰ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰੇ ॥: Hari Hari Naamu jinee aaraadhiaa tin ke dukh paap nivaare. Satiguri Giaan Kharragu hathi deenaa jamakankar maari bidaare (sggs 574).

  3. From the contents of the blog it becomes quite clear that •ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਖੜਗੁ
    is HARiNAAMu. as envisaged in Gurbanee.

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