There can be no Dhiaan without Giaan

Dhiaan (ਧਿਆਨ) => attention, concentration, consideration, meditation, contemplation, reflection, heed, thought, focus, attention, self-communication, ਉੱਚੀ ਸੁਰਤ, ਬਿਰਤੀ, ਇਕਾਗਰਤਾ …

Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ) => Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Aatam-Giaan, understanding or knowing (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ) …

Sikhi is the Way of the Giaan (Giaan-Maarag). Therefore — according to the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh or Way of the SGGS…) — in Sikhi, one’s Surat (ਸੁਰਤ-consciousness, mind, awareness…) has to become a Sikh (i.e., a learner, Seeker, Student or a Disciple) for it’s the mind that needs to Awaken from sleep paralysis — slumber of Maya.

The Gurbani tells us that if we have no knowledge of something (ਜਾਨਕਾਰੀ, Giaan, Knowledge…), we cannot practice Dhiaan (ਧਿਆਨ) on it. For example, if we want to meditate on the Lord, first we must attain His Giaan by understanding the Gurbani. The Gurbani indicates that there is no Karamkaand (rituals, Bhekh-ਭੇਖ, etc.) in this world that can provide us His knowledge (ਜਾਨਕਾਰੀ, Giaan…). Only the Giaan attained by understanding the Gurbani can do that.

Accordingly, where there is the mention of the terms “Giaan Dhiaan” (“ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ”) in the Gurbani, the term “Giaan” (ਗਿਆਨ) precedes the term “Dhiaan” (ਧਿਆਨ). For example:

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਨੁ ॥: Gurmukhi giaanu dhiaanu mani maanu (sggs 414).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਲੇ ਸਮਸਰਿ ਰਹੈ ॥: Giaanu dhiaanu le samsari rahai (sggs 930).

Simply put: The Gurbani tells us that one must know (or must have the knowledge or Giaan of) what he is contemplating on (Dhiaan-ਧਿਆਨ). Otherwise – if one contemplates without the Knowledge (without Giaan or knowing: ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ) – he is sure to waste time, and get frustrated or disappointed in the end!

  • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਜਾਨਿ ਭਜਹਿ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਕਉ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਨਾਸਾ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਹਾਰਹਿ ਢਾਲਿ ਜੁ ਜਾਨਹਿ ਪਾਸਾ ॥੪॥੪॥: Those “Jan” (Daas, Bhagat, Gurmukh…) who remember the Invisible (Prabhoo) with the Knowledge (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ…) are not ruined at all (i.e., their life is not wasted). O Kabeer! Those “Jan” who know how to throw dice (i.e., how to follow or live by the Divine Hukam, Gur-Giaan, Naam…), never lose the game of life. ||4||4|| (sggs 793).

If one merely practices all sorts of Karamkaand (rituals, Bhekh-ਭੇਖ, etc. – “ਨਾਨਾ ਕਰਤ”), but remains devoid of the Divine Knowledge (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ), he can never have mental poise (ਮੱਨ ਦਾ ਟਿਕਾ) needed for Dhiaan.

  • ਨਾਨਾ ਕਰਤ ਨ ਛੂਟੀਐ ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਜਮ ਪੁਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਏਹੁ ਨ ਓਹੁ ਹੈ ਅਵਗੁਣਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥: Naanaa karat n chhooteeai… (sggs 935).
  • ਕੁਆਰ ਕੰਨਿਆ ਜੈਸੇ ਕਰਤ ਸੀਗਾਰਾ ॥ ਕਿਉ ਰਲੀਆ ਮਾਨੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਭਤਾਰਾ ॥੩॥: Kuaar kanniaa jaiase… (sggs 792).

There are many paths (ਮੱਤਾਂ…) in the world. The Gurmat says that if falsehood is practiced a hundred times, it is still false in its effects – such practice of the falsehood only further strengthens the falsehood!

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰ ਮਤਿ ਹੋਰ ਹੋਰ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਉ ਵੇਰ ਕਮਾਈਐ ਕੂੜੈ ਕੂੜਾ ਜੋਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Baabaa hor mati hor hor… (sggs 17).

Although there are many paths (ਮੱਤਾਂ…), but the Gurmat is only one. For the Guru-Parameshar is only One!

  • ਇਕਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਸਉਦਾ ਹਟੁ ਸਚੁ ਰਤਨੀ ਭਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰ ॥: One Bani alone is authentic Guru; (so just consider or) reflect on One Shabad. (Reflection on this Gur-Shabad) is the True Trade, Treasures of Jewels (of Naam, Virtues, Wisdom, Giaan…). (sggs 646).

And this Gurmat (ਗੁਰਮਤ: Universal Teaching of the Guru-Parameshar…) does not want us to waste time. That said, it tells us as it is: There can be no real Dhiaan without the true Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ).

  • ਜਿਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਓਇ ਮਾਣਸ ਜੂਨਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਪਸੂ ਢੋਰ ਗਾਵਾਰ ॥ ਓਨਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਪਿਆਰੁ ॥: Those who have not Internalized the Message of the Guru‘s Shabad; do not call them human beings; they are as dead animals and stupid. They have neither spiritual GiaanWisdom of spiritual Life nor Contemplation (Giaan Dhiaan); they have no love and affection for the Creator Within. (sggs 1418).
  • ਮੈ ਪਤਿ ਕੀ ਪੰਦਿ ਨ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਹਉ ਬਿਗੜੈ ਰੂਪਿ ਰਹਾ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥: I have not followed the Divine Way (Divine Wisdom), nor have I done good deeds. (As a result, my Original Jot Saroop) got deformed and remains perplexed. (sggs 24).

The Gurbani also asserts that there can be no Dhiaan without Dharma.

  • ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਰਮ ਬਿਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਸਚ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਾਖੀ ਮੂਲੋ ਨ ਬਾਕੀ ॥੨੩॥: Gur binu giaanu dharam binu dhiaanu… (sggs 1412).

As time and again indicated in the Gurbani, Giaan and Dharma also go together – without Giaan there can be no Dharma either.

  • ਕਬੀਰਾ ਜਹਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਤਹ ਧਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਜਹਾ ਝੂਠੁ ਤਹ ਪਾਪੁ ॥: O Kabeer! (Within a person, if) there is Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Aatm–Giaan…) there is Dharma; (if within him) there is falsehood, there is sin (corrupt thinking). (sggs 1372).

Now, where can this essential Giaan be found?

The entire Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is That Giaan (Giaan Guroo – ਗਿਆਨ ਗੁਰੂ)!

We all can extract this needed Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, Bibek…) from the Gurbani as butter is extracted from the cream by the churning process. Now, how can one churn the Gurbani? The way to churn the Gurbani is via Shabad-Vichaar, and living it in daily life (ਅਮਲ, ਕਰਣੀ…). The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is a true Guide of practical spirituality.

  • ਜਲੁ ਬਿਲੋਵੈ ਜਲੁ ਮਥੈ ਤਤੁ ਲੋੜੈ ਅੰਧੁ ਅਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਦਧਿ ਮਥੀਐ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨਾ ॥: The mortal who stirs the water, and (always) churns the water in hope to obtain butter, is blind (ਅਕਲੋਂ-mentally blind), ignorant. If we churn yoghurt then butter is found (in the same way) if we take Gurmat then the Treasure of Amrit of Naam (Wisdom) is obtained. (sggs 1009).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਥਿ ਤਤੁ ਕਢੀਏ ॥੪॥੫॥੫੭॥: O Nanak! By becoming the Gurmukh who churns (this body-ocean and the Divine Virtues that are present within), discovers Essence (ਨਿਚੋੜ…) ||4||5||57|| (sggs 367).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).

The SGGS asserts that the Gurbani can ONLY be understood FROM the Gurbani!

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਜਾਤੀ ਜਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਇ ॥: The Gurbani is understood from the Gurbani itself by those who with love remain imbued with the Gur-Shabad (Vichaar, Upadesh, Naam, Giaan or Wisdom…). (sggs 1346).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਜਪਿ ਅਨਦੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਨਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ॥੧॥: O mortal! Understanding the Bani of the Perfect Gur (Satigur), be ever in Bliss (Aatmak Aanand). ||1|| (sggs 616).


  1. Dear sister Amrit Kaur Ji, thank you for taking time to read and comment this post. Also, thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

  2. amazing and very fulfilling…beautifully presented on the site…in Gurmukhi and then in English…cannot praise enough…such a noble job…
    thanks for helping us enlighten ourselves in such a convenient way…
    and it makes us realise how beautifully our Gurbani is written…cannot praise enough…

  3. Dear Sister Mukhchander Kaur Ji, thank you for taking time to comment on this post.
    The Gurbani is the Treasure of Wisdom (ਗਿਆਨ, ਅਗਾਧ-ਬੋਧ ਦਾ ਖਜਾਨਾ):
    • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਏ ਰਹਸਾਏ ਨਹੀ ਆਏ ਸਹਜਾਏ ਮਨਿ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਪਾਏ ॥ (sggs 408).

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