Who Am I?

‘Who am I?’

This is the most fundamental question. Gurmat Wisdom of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) labors to provide us with satisfactory answer.

None of us can see our own face. We need a mirror to see our physical face.

But what about seeing one’s inner being (Mool, True Nate or Jot Saroop…)? How can one see his  or her inner being?

This is where Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS can guide one, provided one is willing to learn and go within!

  • ਐਸੋ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਇ ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ॥ ਜੈਸੇ ਦਰਪਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਦਨ ਪਰਵਾਨੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ … ਪਾਨੀ ਮਾਹਿ ਦੇਖੁ ਮੁਖੁ ਜੈਸਾ ॥ ਨਾਮੇ ਕੋ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਬੀਠਲੁ ਐਸਾ ॥੨॥੧॥: Raam is situated within everybody as clearly as one’s face reflected in a mirror.||1||Pause|| … As one sees (his reflected) face in (clear) water, so is the Naam Dev’s Rabb (whom he sees within his clear mind). ||2||1|| (sggs 1318).
  • ਬੂਝੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ॥੪॥: Realizing Brahm (Rabb, Jot Saroop…) within is Bibek (i.e., intellect that can discriminate between truth and untruth, etc. is Bibek). ||4|| (sggs 355).
  • ਸਭੈ ਘਟ ਰਾਮੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਰਾਮਾ ਬੋਲੈ ॥: Sbhai ghat Raam bolai… (sggs 988).

We can undertake this inner journey with our mind.

This sounds easy, but our social environment and upbringing often makes this difficult.

Sri Guroo Granth Sahib (SGGS) is the Giaan-Guroo (Wisdom-Guru, Bibek-Guru…).

With this Wisdom (Giaan), we all can inquire into “Who, or what, am I?”. And turn our awareness directly toward our Mool (Source, Jot Saroop, True Nature, Truth…) within; mend our wandering mind; and become established in the present moment (Now).

With churning the Gurbani, or the Shabad Vichaar, this Jewel of Wisdom is readily available to all of us, here and now!

Those who are sincere in their inquiry turn the mind within upon itself and become tuned to their True Nature (Jot Saroop…), within.

However, the Gurbani indicates that in the case of the majority of us, our condition is similar to that of a grieving and agonizing king who saw himself become a beggar in his dream!

  • ਨਰਪਤਿ ਏਕੁ ਸਿੰਘਾਸਨਿ ਸੋਇਆ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਭਇਆ ਭਿਖਾਰੀ ॥ ਅਛਤ ਰਾਜ ਬਿਛੁਰਤ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਗਤਿ ਭਈ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥੨॥: It is like a king, who falls asleep upon his throne, and dreams (that he has become a) beggar. (Although) his kingdom is intact, but separated from it (in his dream), he suffers pain. Such is our condition. ||2|| (sggs 657).

The Gurbani reminds us that owing to our own ignorance of our True Nature, we identify ourselves wrongly with the body-mind-intellect apparatus and see the world outside, as a result its suffering becomes apparent to us.

However, instead, the Gurbani urges us to identify with the Jot Saroop (True Nature, Truth…). Because, we are not the body-mind-intellect personality but Jot Saroop, which lies within at the very core of our being and beyond our brain-consciousness (Trikuti).

In essence, core of our being is the Spiritual Center within, Spiritual Spark, Spiritual Power, Spiritual Energy, True Self or Jot Saroop, Center of Wisdom, Treasure of Virtues (ਗੁਣ), and so on.

  • ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੀ ਅੰਸੁ ॥: Says Kabeer! This (i.e., soul that dwells within) is Raam’s Ansh (part…). (sggs 871).
  • ਮਰਣਹਾਰੁ ਇਹੁ ਜੀਅਰਾ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੩॥: This soul is not perishable (sggs 188).

The Gurbani indicates that the only fact we can be sure of is that we are Jot Saroop. Therefore, the Gurbani wants us to hold on to this Reality. For we are That!

  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Thus says Nanak – O mind! You are embodiment of Pure Light (Pure Consciousness, Pure Nature, Original or Real Nature, Wisdom, Virtues – Jot Saroop …)! Recognize your Mool (ਅਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ, recognition of mind’s Original or True Nature – Jot Saroop…) ||5|| (sggs 441).
If we have to think, the Gurbani says think “I am Jot-Saroop” (Pure Consciousness…)

From a practical standpoint, if Rabb is within all of us,  then what it means is that we are endowed with the Divine Virtues or Qualities — truth, harmony, fearlessness, Immortality, patience, forgiveness, purity, selflessness, love, goodwill, compassion, kindness, contentment, knowledge, mercy, humility, peace, joy, discerning intellect (Bibek-Budhi), and so on.

But our Jot Saroop, the Original state of our True Being, is not clearly seen all the times. It is not clearly seen when we let the wall of our false ego-sense (Haumai) stand in the way. The Gurbani reveals to us that when we overcome false ego-sense, we become one with our Jot-Saroop again.

However, instead, the Gurbani says the man thinks himself as ego-center (Haumai). That is, the majority of us mistakenly confound our Jot Saroop with the body-mind-intellect personality. The fire of this ego-center (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, stubbornness, etc.) burns within and keeps our doubt-ridden and Maya-driven mind separated from its Jot Saroop.

  • ਕਬੀਰ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ ਕੈ ਘਾਘਰੈ ਚਹੁ ਦਿਸਿ ਲਾਗੀ ਆਗਿ ॥: O Kabeer! The kilt (of sense-organs) of this alien (i.e., mind-“ਮਨੁ ਪਰਦੇਸੀ”) has caught fire on all four sides (i.e., fire of Bikaar – lust, anger, greed, etc.). (sggs 1366).
  • ਮੂਲੁ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ਆਪੁ ਨ ਸੂਝੈ ਭਰਮਿ ਬਿਆਪੀ ਅਹੰ ਮਨੀ ॥੧॥:Engrossed in doubt and egotism, (the mortal does) not know the Mool; he does not understand his own self. ||1|| (sggs 1186).
We are what we think.

Clearly, the Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS wants us to bring about complete transformation in our outlook or thinking (ਸੋਚ).

  • ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥: As is (beings’) awareness, so is (their) way (sggs 25).

When we think we are Jot Saroop and live as such, our thinking (ਸੋਚ) gets transformed from body-consciousness to the Soul-Consciousness (Divine Wisdom, Divine Virtues, Naam-consciousness, Gurmukh Lifestyle…). Then, we start seeing the same One Spiritual Factor in everybody.

  • ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ॥: Gobind (Universal Energy) is All (i.e., in everything and everywhere), Gobind is All (i.e., in everything and everywhere); without Gobind, there is nothing at all. (sggs 485).

Without such real shift in thinking (ਸੋਚ), and without truly aiming at Mool-abidance, the Gurbani indicates all religious paraphernalia acts are Pakhand (pretending, fraud, show, Karamkaand…).

  • 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).

With real shift in thinking (ਸੋਚ) through the Wisdom, Pakhand and fraud cease to be. We are then saved from Spiritual death (ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤ-death of spiritual life), and saved from our exploitation in the name of the Gurbani and Dharma by the Pujaaree groups and the Pujaaree sytem.

In nutshell, Gurmat of SGGS urges us to go within. Since our Jot Saroop is ever present within, we are never apart from it.

The Gurbani tells us that the mean to accomplish this task is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflections on the Shabad) or churning the Gurbani.

  • ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਆਤਮ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਬਦਿ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ਹੇ ॥੭॥: By engaging in the Shabad Vichaar, one obtains this understanding that) the soul and “Raam” are one and the same (ਇਕ-ਰੂਪ). ||7|| (sggs 1030).
Mind without understanding is perplexed.

Simply put: If there is hunger for understanding the Divine Wisdom (Aatam-Giaan) of the SGGS through the Gurbani-Vicchar, then Aatam-Giaan will Awaken within; leading to Spiritual Awakening or Mool-abidance within. Sipmly put: Shabad-Vichaar is finding out who am I?.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਸਭ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰ ॥: Without understanding, ALL are troubled (afflicted, distressed, perplexed…). (sggs 791).
  • ਭਗਤਿ ਭਾਇ ਆਤਮ ਪਰਗਾਸ ॥: Bhagti bhaai Aatam Pargaas (sggs 288).

Now, the question is: What does happen upon becoming Mool-abided or Spiritually Awakened (a person of higher consciousness, the Gurmukh…)? Does it mean one’s problems and strives will disappear? Does it mean that one retires from all activities of life and meditate twenty-four hours? No!

As doubt (Bharam) is removed with the Divine Wisdom, illusoriness flees like the night at dawn.

Upon experiencing Spiritual Awakening (Enlightenment…), one’s problems still will be there, one’s duties still will be there, life’s strife and situations still will be there, body’s diseases and sickness and death still will be there.

However, what changes is the perception or angle of vision of approaching life. One simply becomes witness to his life, without any trace of delusional attachment – be in the world, but not of it.

According to the Gurbani, he accepts everything as the Divine Hukam (Law of Nature) with equanimity of the mind. He is like the water drops which do not adhere to the lotus leaf! His mind becomes open to everything, but remains detached!

In nutshell, as Gurmat Wisdom of SGGS tells us, Enlightenment is to know one’s own True Nature (Jot Saroop...). Simply put: This is a Still mind. This Stillness of the mind is the greatest achievement.


  1. I think it is important to understand every message of all yogic actions envisaged in gurbaanee in context of GuROO/GuRu and Gur.
    The reference of PAWANu is also is related to this aspect of gurbaanee understanding .

  2. Thanks T Singh ji,
    The composition of mind comprises of 5 cognitive and 5 active senses, we take for instance ANHATTA chakra operating in sargun mode, where in touch becomes grasp…we inhale,import cognize touch and exhale, export grasp, that’s active sense, that’s the interplay of cognitive and active senses…ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਦਸੇ ਦਸੇ ਫੁਨਿ ਧਾਵਤ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣੀਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਨ ਟਿਕਾਵੈਗੋ ॥ …..through ultat pavan we have to reverse this inter play like inhale, annihilate the grasping part and ex hale in touch…here breath is just a reminder for this reversal..we don’t get stuck with chakras, indrees, praanas .what so ever..if we further ponder we realise that touch can only function in air not vacuum…then we enter in the realm of AIR..the substratum of grasp, that’s nirgun part..with this reverse breath we inhale grasp and exhale in touch…like rightly said in gurbani…ਰੀ ਕਲਵਾਰਿ ਗਵਾਰਿ ਮੂਢ ਮਤਿ ਉਲਟੋ ਪਵਨੁ ਫਿਰਾਵਉ ॥ then the same mind becomes competent enough to decode the secrets of 3 worlds..ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਲੇ ਜਉ ਉਨਮਨਿ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਤਉ ਤੀਨਿ ਲੋਕ ਕੀ ਬਾਤੈ ਕਹੈ ॥੩੩॥ …and we find nirgun and sargun as….ਸਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਆਪਿ ॥ ….and this sunn Samadhi is is the sound principal…The electro magnetic spectra …..ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਅਨਹਤ ਤਹ ਨਾਦ ॥ …..where air is one of the element…the other 4 are…ether,fire, water and earth…..ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਕਿਆ ਅਵਰਿ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੩॥ ਅਪੁ ਤੇਜੁ ਬਾਇ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੀ ਆਕਾਸਾ ॥ and if we take the essence and inhale grasp…ਪੰਚ ਮਨਾਏ ਪੰਚ ਰੁਸਾਏ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਵਸਾਏ ਪੰਚ ਗਵਾਏ ॥੧॥ and we do reach…ਖਟੁ ਮਟੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥ and the message is understood..“ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਅਵਰੈ ਨਾਤਰੁ ਥਾ ਬੇਗਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ…….breath is just a reminder.

  3. Thank you Prince Ji. Good to hear from you after!

    The Gurbani and Chakras, Yogis…:

    The following verses of the Gurbani address Yogis, specifically to remove their doubts (NOT to approve their practices and beliefs for the Gurbani differs with them).

    The Gurbani indicates that when the perplexed mind is reversed or turned inward (“Ulatat Pavan”) with the Divine Wisdom, the Chakras (that Yogis talk about) stand pierced; and the Awareness then becomes free of Maya – the mind’s connections stands broken with Trikuti, defiled senses, etc. that trundle us in repeated suffering… Bhagat Kabeer Sahib says:

    ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਖਟੁ ਭੇਦੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਅਨਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਅਵਰੈ ਨਾਤਰੁ ਥਾ ਬੇਗਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Ultat pawan chakra khatu bhede surti sunn anuraagee ||1||. Aavai n jaai marai n jeevai taasu khoju bairaagee. Mere man man hee ulati samaanaa ||1|| Rahaaou ||. Gur parsaadi akali bhaee avarai naataru thaa begaana (sggs 333).

    ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ (Ultat pawan) => turning the mind inward…
    ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ (surti sunn) => consciousness becoming free of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਤੋਂ ਸੁਰਤ ਦਾ ਸੁੰਨ ਹੋ ਜਾਣਾ…
    ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ (Aavai n jaai marai n jeevai) => who does not come and go and who neiher dies and nor is born…
    ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ (taasu khoju) => Search Him (within)…
    ਬੈਰਾਗੀ (bairaagee) => (Search Him within) who is detached, beyond Maya, has no hunger for Maya, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ ਨਹੀ…
    ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ (Gur parsaadi) => Grace of the Gur-Giaan, Grace of the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਨਾਲ…

    With the Grace of the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, the ignorance driven intellect (ਅਕਲ) gets changed or transformed (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਦਰਜ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨ, ਜੀਵ ਦੀ ਬੁਧੀ ਨੂੰ ਬਦਲ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ ).

  4. The real message is this “ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਅਵਰੈ ਨਾਤਰੁ ਥਾ ਬੇਗਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    There is no need to be successful in any action like ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ

  5. nice article,
    Mind is under the influence of 5 cognitive and 5 active senses, we inhale, hearing, touch,sight,taste & smell and exhale speech,grasping, movement,procreate & eliminate, carried by the 5 lower chakras ie visudha, anhatta,manipura,swadhisthana & muldhara, mind,trikut seems to be enjoying all this activity…..if we reverse the flow of breath ie..ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਖਟੁ ਭੇਦੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਅਨਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਅਵਰੈ ਨਾਤਰੁ ਥਾ ਬੇਗਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥…..
    that is inhaling…speech,grasp,movement, procreation,& elimination..and exhaling in hearing,touch, sight, taste & smell…is this ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ we are talking about and if we are successful in doing that, we do reach our mool…..ਖਟੁ ਮਟੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥


  6. Today the humans are not possessed by any ghost ,but rather by the mind itself. The worse than that is they identify themselves with the possessing entity. Mind can be a good instrument but we are not mind, but the intelligence , consciousness, atma which are beyond the mind.To go there, we have to get rid of the body consciousness and have to search within and that too by ourselves . No trick or shortcut.

  7. There is very clear indication in SGGS ji about the true and real identity of all human beings .This identity is “A WAVE FORM” as should be clear fro the Quote “•ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ .
    Here the reference of ਜੋਤਿ should be taken as A WAVE (This is a Noun Singular Feminine Gender word) that is why we have in Gurbaanee its PLURAL as JOTEE .

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