Useless Talk

The Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) says only those become acceptable (ਕਬੂਲ, Gurmukhs, etc.) whose mind becomes One with their Mool (ਮੂਲ, Source, Jot Saroop…), within.

However, the Gurbani reminds, all other shallow talks devoid of Mool-Abidance are useless and of no avail (empty of the Divine Wisdom or Aatm-Giaan of the Shabad-Guroo, ਨਿਰੀਆਂ ਜਾਂ ਫੋਕੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ – ‘ਅਲ ਪਲਾਲੀਆ‘).

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਆਏ ਸੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ ਹਰਿ ਵੁਠਾ ਚਿਤਿ ॥ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅਲ ਪਲਾਲੀਆ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵਹਿ ਮਿਤ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Approved is the coming (into this world) of those beings within whose mind Hari (-Naam…) abides. O friend! Useless talks and babbling are of no avail. ||1|| (sggs 321).

Accordingly, the Gurbani urges us to learn the Upadesh (Instructions, Giaan, Wisdom, Advice, Counsel, etc.) of the Gur-Shabad with single-minded focus and utmost Love.

  • ਸਿਖਹੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ॥ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਏਕ ॥੨॥: O Sikhs! Love the (Gur-) Shabad, it is the support of the entire life. (sggs 320).

The Gurbani clearly and boldly declares that mere talks or chatter about Wisdom (Giaan); mere reading of the Gurbani; mere seeing the SGGS, mere bowing to SGGS, any other Pakhand (hypocrisy) or Karamkaand (rituals) or religious paraphernalia (robes, Bhekh…) etc., will not do the trick.

The Gurbani has used the word Jog (also spelt Yog or Yoga), which comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘Join’. It simply means the joining of the ego-self (Haume or the sense of ‘I, me, mine, you’, etc.) to the Higher Self within (i.e., Union with one’s Mool or Jot Saroop). In other words, it means uniting of the time-bound consciousness with the Timeless Consciousness within.

Obviously, its the skill in thoughts, words and action that leads to the state of such Perfection (Poorantaa).

The Gurbani warns us that this Union or Oneness with our Mool does not come about by mere talking.

Although most of us would like to believe in this wishful thinking, but the Gurbani tells us otherwise. Also, as repeatedly made clear in the Gurbani, this Divine Union does not come about by wearing some peculiar garbs (Bhekh) or symbols, or by visiting the places of pilgrimage, or by wandering around the world.

  • ਮਤੁ ਜਾਣ ਸਹਿ ਗਲੀ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Do not think that (your Mool-Source…) can be obtained by mere words (sggs 24).
  • ਬਾਤ ਚੀਤ ਸਭ ਰਹੀ ਸਿਆਨਪ ॥ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਜਨਾਵਹੁ ਸੋ ਜਾਨੈ ਨਾਨਕ ॥੩੯॥: Words (debates, mere talk etc.) and clever tricks are of no use at all. O Nanak! Only that person understands who causes himself to know this. (sggs 258).
  • ਗਲੀ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Union (with the True Self within) is not realized by mere talks or words. (sggs 730).
  • ਇਕਿ ਫਿਰਹਿ ਘਨੇਰੇ ਕਰਹਿ ਗਲਾ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ There are many such people wandering around talking and babbling on and on. class=”JLqJ4b ChMk0b” data-language-for-alternatives=”en” data-language-to-translate-into=”pa” data-phrase-index=”1″>No one has found (spiritual bliss) by mere talks. (sggs 919).
  • ਙੰਙਾ ਙਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਮੁਖ ਬਾਤਉ ॥ ਅਨਿਕ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਕਰਿ ਭਾਤਉ ॥ ਙਿਆਨੀ ਸੋਇ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਦ੍ਰਿੜ ਸੋਊ ॥ ਕਹਤ ਸੁਨਤ ਕਛੁ ਜੋਗੁ ਨ ਹੋਊ ॥: Wisdom is not obtained by mere words of mouth. It is not obtained through the various debates of the Shaastras or scriptures. They alone are spiritually wise, whose minds are firmly fixed on the Essence of Reality (i.e., Mool, Jot Saroop etc.). By just hearing and telling stories (ਗੱਪ ਸਾਖੀਆਂ), no one attains Yoga. (sggs 251).

The Gurbani calls them Manmukhs-Saakat-Mayadhaaree who merely or uselessly talk about Mool-Abidance but, in reality, have nothing to show for!

  • ਅਧ ਵਿਚਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: The wretched Manmukh wanders around stuck half-way (in duality, doubt…); how can (he) obtain peace by mere words? (sggs 305).

Next, the Gurbani answers the question why it is not possible to experience Mool-Abidance through mere useless talk.

  • ਗਲੀਂ ਜੇ ਸਹੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਤੋਤਾ ਕਿਉ ਫਾਸੈ ॥: If mere chatter could help meet the beloved, why should a parrot remain encaged? (Vaar Bhai Gurdaas Ji).
  • ਗਲੀ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਖੰਡੁ ਖੰਡੁ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਉ ਨ ਭੋਵੈ । ਮਖਨੁ ਖਾਇ ਨ ਨੀਰੁ ਵਿਲੋਵੈ ॥੧੭॥: By mere talking, none gets satisfied, as by mere uttering word sugar one cannot have his mouth sweet. If one is to eat butter, one should not go churning water, i.e. mere talks cannot produce the right results. (Bhai Gurdaas, Vaar 17, Paurhee 17).

According to Baabaa Nanak, it’s so because through mere useless talk, all we can obtain is falsehood (‘ਕੂੜੋ’) not Spiritual Wisdom (‘ਗਿਆਨੁ’). Also, through mere useless talk, our hunger for Maya (‘ਭੁਖ’) will not diminish…

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਲੀ ਕੂੜੀਈ ਕੂੜੋ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥: O Nanak! From false talks (ਝੂਠ-lies), only falsehood is obtained. ||2|| (sggs 141).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਗਲੀਈ ਢੂਢੀਐ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਪਾਈਐ ਹੋਰ ਹਿਕਮਤਿ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥੨॥: Saying knowledge does not make one wise. It takes hard work to acquire knowledge. If we keep practicing as hard as chewing iron, we can reach the destination. Other tricks and dictates (i.e. orders or hukam of the mind) are useless. ||2|| (sggs 465).

In other words, as the Gurbani says: To realize Mool through mere useless talk is like lifting up the mountain with mere words, or like bringing down the sky with talk!

  • ਗਲੀ ਸੈਲ ਉਠਾਵਤ ਚਾਹੈ ਓਇ ਊਹਾ ਹੀ ਹੈ ਧਰੇ ॥ (People) want to lift up the mountains with mere words, but (with mere words, those mountains) just remain there (i.e., cannot be lifted). (sggs 714).
  • ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਸੁਨਹਿ ਨ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਅਸਮਾਨੁ ਗਿਰਾਵਹਿ ॥੧॥ : (Many) do not listen to the ‘Hari Jasu’ (Shabad-Vichaar, reflections on the Gurbani or Truth or Wisdom…), and they do not live daily life by the Divine Wisdom or Virtues. But knock down the sky with their (nonsense, idle) talks. (sggs 332).
  • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਪਰਮਿਤਿ ਪਰਮਨੁ ਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥੧॥: There are people who say they know the Infinite (Universal Energy) which is beyond the reach of the mind; they think that as if they have reached heaven by talking alone (ਨਿਰੀਆਂ ਗੱਪਾ – useless talk etc.).  (sggs 325).

What’s the Gurbani’s advice? The Gurbani’s advice is as follows:

Without the Naam (Shabad, Hukam, Wisdom…), everything else is false and worthless. Because, any intellect (i.e., Mati-ਮਤਿ) devoid of the Naam is prone to deception and fraud (ਛਲ-ਕਪਟ). Therefore, such intellect is false, thus worthless (‘ਸਭਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਹੋਛੀਆ’). In nutshell, only Truth can set us free (‘ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ’).

  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਸਭਿ ਕੂੜੁ ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਹੋਛੀਆ ॥੧॥: Without the Naam, everything is false and worthless. ||1|| (sggs 761).
  • ਗਲੀ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥: By mere talks (ਗੱਪਾਂ ਨਾਲ), you do not obtain Heaven. Salvation comes only from the practice of Truth (Sach-ਸੱਚ) alone.(sggs 141).
  • ਗਾਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਬਿਆ ਵਿਕਾਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਧਣੀ ਵਿਹੂਣੀਆ ॥੧॥: O Nanak! Every other talk outside of the Rabb is useless. ||1|| (sggs 321).
  • ਗਗੈ ਗੋਬਿਦੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਮੂੜੇ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ O fool! Keep Gobind in your mind, by mere words, no one has ever realized (Gobind). (sggs 435).


  1. Gurbani is spiritual in nature and poetic in form.It tells us that except the One there is no second and the third
    This is true and that ONE is SATiGuRu /NAAMu only

  2. Nanak to Gobind Singh are the ten Gurus of the khalsa.The Granth Sahib is the Guru of the khalsa.The Gurbani is spiritual in nature and poetic in form.It tells us that except the One there is no second and the third.Our rehat is Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh.It is anyones guess who the Guru of the khalsa is.

  3. In Gurbani one come across the following references also.
    1GuRoo , SatiGuROO and GuROO.SatiGuROO
    2GuRu , SatiGuRu and GuRu.SatiGuRu and
    3 GuR and SatiGuR and GuR Sati

  4. Eventually at some later date we will try have them in a pdf file. Thank you Manpreet Ji for your time, kind words, and encouragement.

  5. Praji,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful reply. Been a keen reader of your site for about 8 years and always look forward to reading your articles. Was wondering if you ever thought of compiling your work into an ebook with a table of contents based on topics

  6. Thank you Manpreet Ji for taking the time to write. The topic of your inquiry warrants a separate post. However, here is my brief take on it based on my understanding of the Gurbani.
    First off, Sri Guru Granth Sahib does not advocate the concept of embodied Guroo (ਦੇਹਧਾਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ, “in person”…), nor it recommends to adopt an embodied being as Guroo. This is very fundamental Teaching of the Gurbani.

    The Gurbani asks: why serve another (i.e., embodied being-ਦੇਹਧਾਰੀ) who is born, and than dies?
    • ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ (sggs 509).

    The Gurbani’s Satgur is “ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ-Abinaasee” (Imperishable, Eternal – beyond birth and death, beyond coming and going, etc.):
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਨਾ ਆਵੈ ਨਾ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੩॥: Satgur meraa sadaa sadaa n aavai n jaai. Ohu abinaasee purakhu hai sabh mahi rahiaa samaai ||13|| (sggs 759).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Satiguru jaagataa hai deou ||1|| Rahaaou|| (sggs 479).
    • ਸਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ॥: Sati purakhu jini jaaniaa Satiguru tis kaa naaou (sggs 286).
    • ਜਿਸੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ Jisu miliai mani hoi anandu so Satiguru kaheeai (sggs 168).

    Accordingly, the Gurbani repeatedly mentions the “Antar Guru” (Inner Guru: Mool, Jot…):
    • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੁਰੁ ਆਰਾਧਣਾ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜਪਿ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਉ ॥: Antari guru aaraadhanaa jihava japi gur naaou (sggs 517).
    • ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਰਤੈ ॥: Gursikhaa andari satigur vartai (sggs 312).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Satiguru pooraa merai naali (sggs 618).
    • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: Guru merai sangi sadaa hai naale (sggs 394).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: Satiguru saachaa mani vasai saajanu ut hee thaai (sggs 1087).

    Thus, the Gurbani says no one is without the Satgur (“ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ”) – He is always with all of us, within:
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ॥: Satigur te khaalee ko nahee merai prabhi meli milaaye (sggs 850).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥: Satiguru pooraa merai naali (sggs 618).
    • ਹਰਿ ਸੁਖਦਾਤਾ ਮੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਾ ॥੧॥: Hari sukhdaataa merai naalaa (sggs 1133).

    Now, how would one go about serving such Niraakaar (Formless) Satgur? Through the Shabad-Vichaar (understanding the Gurbani by Reflecting on the Gur-Shabad and then living it in daily life). The Gurbani says:
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਨਿ ਆਪਣਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ (sggs 1415).
    • ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵ ॥: Sachai sabadi satgur sevai (sggs 1044).
    • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: Sabadu Guroo surti dhuni chelaa (sggs 943).

    In essence, the Satgur is Sach Daa Giaan (ਸਚ ਦਾ ਗਿਆਨ, the Divine Knowledge of Truth, the Spiritual Wisdom of Truth, etc.).
    • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਮਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋ ਜੀਅਹੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਰਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (sggs 797).
    • ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਦਾ ਸਚੁ ਸਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੇ ॥: So satiguru ji sachu dhiaaidaa sachu sachaa satigur ikae (sggs 304).

  7. Praji, on a slightly note. would it be possible to explain the term “satgur” frm gurbani. Does this refer to God or Guruji? many thanks in advance

  8. There is very strong message describing the state that needs introspection for ones own behaviour in actual life. Majority of people lead life as described as ਗਲੀ ਅਸੀ ਚੰਗੀਆ ਆਚਾਰੀ ਬੁਰੀਆਹ ॥ ਮਨਹੁ ਕੁਸੁਧਾ ਕਾਲੀਆ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਚਿਟਵੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ and this is a great warning for what should be actually adopted for acceptable soul in the COURT of PRABHu.

  9. ਗਲੀ ਅਸੀ ਚੰਗੀਆ ਆਚਾਰੀ ਬੁਰੀਆਹ ॥ ਮਨਹੁ ਕੁਸੁਧਾ ਕਾਲੀਆ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਚਿਟਵੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ ॥ ਰੀਸਾ ਕਰਿਹ ਤਿਨਾੜੀਆ ਜੋ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਦਰੁ ਖੜੀਆਹ ॥ ਨਾਲਿ ਖਸਮੈ ਰਤੀਆ ਮਾਣਹਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਰਲੀਆਹ ॥ ਹੋਦੈ ਤਾਣਿ ਨਿਤਾਣੀਆ ਰਹਹਿ ਨਿਮਾਨਣੀਆਹ ॥ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਕਾਰਥਾ ਜੇ ਤਿਨ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਲਾਹ ॥੨॥ (Sriraag M. 1, GGS. 85-1).

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