Who is Greater?

Call by whatever name you like (e.g. Truth, Raam, Hari, Allah, Universal Energy…), the Creator or God as revealed in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is WITHIN all beings! The Gurbani in SGGS repeatedly reminds us:

  • ਤੂ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਵਸਹਿ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਭਾਉ ਨ ਬੁਝਹਿ ਗਵਾਰੀ ॥ : (O Lord!) You dwell, hidden, WITHIN the Heart day and night; but the fools do not understand how to Love You. (sggs 607).
  • ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਾਲਕੁ ਖਲਕ ਮਹਿ ਖਲਕ ਵਸੈ ਰਬ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਮੰਦਾ ਕਿਸ ਨੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਾਂ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਕੋਈ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੭੫॥ : Fareed, the Creator (Universal Energy…) is in His Creation, and the Creation is in the Creator (i..e the Creator is Realized within His Creation). What of Creation can I deem bad when there is none without Him within. ॥75॥ (sggs 1381).
  • ਸਭੈ ਘਟ ਰਾਮੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਰਾਮਾ ਬੋਲੈ ॥ : Raam speaks within all Hearts, solely Raam speaks (sggs 988).

There is the old adage: One should not lose sight of the forest for the trees. Sometime we may get so engrossed or focused on something or some details that we ignore the overall situation.

For example, although there are beautiful flowers and trees in a forest for beholding, but when one becomes so engrossed in looking at an individual tree or trees immediately before him, one may forget the forest and thus lose sight of the big picture (i.e. the forest)!

Similarly, the Gurbani in the SGGS Guides one may become so engrossed in an individual mindset, that he / she may forget the Truth and thus lose sight of the Reality of all we know or see. In this context, the Gurbani questions:

  • ਝਗਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਿਬੇਰਹੁ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਜਉ ਤੁਮ ਅਪਨੇ ਜਨ ਸੌ ਕਾਮੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਬਡਾ ਕਿ ਜਾ ਸਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਰਾਮੁ ਬਡਾ ਕੈ ਰਾਮਹਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਡਾ ਕਿ ਜਾਸੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਬੇਦੁ ਬਡਾ ਕਿ ਜਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਆਇਆ ॥੨॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਹਉ ਭਇਆ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਬਡਾ ਕਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ॥੩॥੪੨॥ : O Raam! Please resolve this (one conflict in my mind). If you have anything to do with this ‘Jan’ (Dass, Bhagat…) of yours (i.e., so that I may live the right Way). ||1||Pause|| Is this mind greater strong or with whom the mind is satisfied (does not wander away)? Is Raam greater or one who has Realized Raam WITHIN? Is Brahma greater or one who has created Brahma? Is the ‘Bed(u)’ (Giaan(u): Wisdom…) greater or from where it came?॥੨॥ Says Kabir: I am undecided (i.e., unable to understand). Is pilgrim center greater or ‘Daas’ (Jan, Bhagat...) of the ‘Hari’ (Mool, Source…)? ||3||42|| (sggs 331).
  • ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਹਭਾ ਹੂੰ ਬਾਹਰਾ ॥ : (Universal Energy pervades in this world, but also pervades) beyond the world; (and also beyond the description provided in) Vedas, and Kateb [Semitic texts: the Torah, the Zabur (Psalms), the Injil (Gospel) and the Quran]. (sggs 397).

The answer as provided by the Gurbani in SGGS is that the Truth (Creator WITHIN …) is Greater from where all the Giaan-Wisdom of Granths have originated. That Universal Source is within all of us. All we need to do is Realize It! The Gurbani says:

  • ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ ॥: The Baanee has come to me from within (i.e. from the deepest recessions of Consciousness, same principle Baabaa Nanak promulgated his Baanee). That Baanee has eradicated all my anxiety (applying its Wisdom / Virtues to daily life). (sggs 627).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਖੂਹਟਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ ਸਬਦੇ ਕਾਢਿ ਪੀਐ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥: Deep Within this body is the well overflowing with the Amrit; the Water-carrier (one engaged in Naam-Jap or understanding the Gur-Shabad) draws and drinks it through the Shabad (sggs 570).

In other words, greater than the Giaan-Wisdom is the Truth from where this Giaan-Wisdom has come from!

  • ਜੈਸੀ ਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਖਸਮ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੈਸੜਾ ਕਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥: (Baabaa Nanak says) This Bani (pronounced ‘Baabee’) has come from WITHIN ME (i.e. from the deepest recessions of Consciousness) through my Spiritual Discovery (ਰੂਹਾਨੀ ਸਫਰ, ਆਤਮਕ ਪੈਂਢਾ). I Am giving you the same Bani word for word (ਹੂਬ ਹੂੰ, ਇਨ ਬਿਨ). (sggs 722).
  • ਸਚ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖੈ ਸਚੁ ਸੁਣਾਇਸੀ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥੨॥੩॥੫॥ : Nanak Pronounces divine Banee and conducts Godly discourse at every God-given moment. ॥2॥3॥5॥ (sggs 723).
  • ਪੋਥੀ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੁਣ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਪੂਰਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਸਾਧਿਕ ਸਿਧ ਸਗਲ ਮੁਨਿ ਲੋਚਹਿ ਬਿਰਲੇ ਲਾਗੈ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲੁ ਹੋਇ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਕਾਮੁ ॥੧॥ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਰਿਦੈ ਵਸੈ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨੁ ਤਿਸੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਗਲ ਜਹਾਨੁ ॥ : Gurbani (Pothi – SGGS) is the PLACE / POINT of the Realization of the Creator. Relating to Internalizing (‘Gaavahi) the Message within the Gurbani (‘SaadhSang’ – ‘Pothi’) results in complete Realization of the Creator (‘Pooran Brahm Giaan) by becoming the Divine Virtues (‘Gun Gobind). All on the Journey of Spirituality seek Realization of the Creator WITHIN, blessed are those who Internalize (practice – ਅਮਲ) the Message within the Gurbani (Pothi). Blessed are those who fulfil their desire (longing) to Realize the Creator WITHIN through the Message of the Gurbani (POTHI). Nanak, may my Creator bless me to not disregard the Message of the Gurbani (Pothi) even for the smallest measure of time. (sggs 1226).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਪੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੩੪॥ : Says Nanak — (I) have walked on the Spiritual Path and have Realized or Understood (i.e. Spiritual Realization); now you walk on this Spiritual Path and Realize or Understand yourself. ॥34॥ (sggs 7).
  • ਬਾਣੀ ਬਿਰਲਉ ਬੀਚਾਰਸੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਇਹ ਬਾਣੀ ਮਹਾ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੪੦॥ : Only a RARE Gurmukh (Enlighted State of the Mind) Reflects on Gurbani. This Bani is of the Satguru and through it, one abides in his own True Self within. ||40|| (sggs 935).
  • ਹਰਿ ਕੈ ਦਰਿ ਵਰਤਿਆ ਸੁ ਨਾਨਕਿ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ ॥ : What has been experienced in the state of God-realization Within, that has been described by Nanak. (sggs 316).
  • ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕੈ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਜਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਿਤੀਤੈ ਸੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਆਖਿ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥ : Pamesar ke duaarai ji hoyi biteetai su … (sggs 373).
  • ਹਉ ਆਪਹੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਮੈ ਕਹਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਹੁਕਮਾਉ ਜੀਉ ॥ : Haou aapahu bol n jaanadaa mai kahiaa sabh hukamaaou jeeou (sggs 763).

To put it otherwise, the Supreme Truth is beyond the gross finite words of any language in the world. The Gurbani clarifies it further:

  • ਬਾਵਨ ਅਛਰ ਲੋਕ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਛੁ ਇਨ ਹੀ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਏ ਅਖਰ ਖਿਰਿ ਜਾਹਿਗੇ ਓਇ ਅਖਰ ਇਨ ਮਹਿ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ : Through these fifty-two Alphabets, the entire world and all things are described. (But) these Alphabets (Akhar) get exhausted (Khir Jaengey) in matters of the
    Eternal / Unperishable Creator; and that Eternal / Unperishable is not within these (Alphabets). (sggs 340).

As such, all the Gurus and the Bhagats never called themselves ‘great’ (‘ਵਡਾ’). They always called Truth or the ONE Creator the ‘Great’. Let alone calling themselves ‘great’, they never even called themselves Sant. Instead, they called themselves as God’s ‘Jan‘, ‘Chaakar’, ‘Daas’, ‘Neech‘ etc.

  • ਹਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਹਰਿ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ : God Himself is All-pervading and there is no one as great as Him. (sggs 1313).
  • ਵਡਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਵਡੀ ਨਾਈ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ॥ : God is great  and great is His glory, whatever happens is according to His Hukam (Sysytem-Rule-Law of Nature). (sggs 5).
  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਵਡਾ ਹੈ ਸਭਨਾ ਦਾ ਧਣੀਐ ॥੩੦॥ : Great is the Master (God) of ‘Jan‘ Nanak, who is the Master of all. (sggs 316).
  • ਹਮ ਚਾਕਰ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਾਰਾ ॥: I am the ‘Chaakar‘ (servant) of the God of the Universe, who is the greatest of all. (sggs 399).
  • ਰਾਮ ਬਡੇ ਮੈ ਤਨਕ ਲਹੁਰੀਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Raam vade mai tanak lahureeaa ॥੧॥ Rahaaou ॥ (sggs 483).

In fact the Gurbani in SGGS reveals God is Unfathomable. Hence the ENTIRETY of the One Creator or His greatness is beyond human Realization.

  • ਜੇ ਸਭਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੈ ਆਖਣ ਪਾਹਿ ॥ ਵਡਾ ਨ ਹੋਵੈ ਘਾਟਿ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥ : Even if all people of this entire world were to get together and speak of God’s greatness, He would not become any greater or lesser. ||2|| (sggs 9).
  • ਤੂ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਦਾਨਾ ਬੀਨਾ ਮੈ ਮਛੁਲੀ ਕੈਸੇ ਅੰਤੁ ਲਹਾ ॥ : I am merely a fish in the Unfathomable Ocean that is You, how can I ever fathom You in entirety? (sggs 25).

Accordingly, the Gurbani tells us that one must know what he is contemplating on (ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਹੀ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ).

Otherwise, if one contemplates without the Knowledge (without Soojh-Boojh: ਗਿਆਨ ਬਗੈਰ ਧਿਆਨ), one is sure to be disappointed in the end (ਜੀਵਨ ਅਜਾਈਂ ਜਾਣਾਂ)!

  • ਜੋ ਜਨ ਜਾਨਿ ਭਜਹਿ ਅਬਿਗਤ ਕਉ ਤਿਨ ਕਾ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਨਾਸਾ ॥: Those ‘Jan’ (Daas, Bhagat, Gurmukh…) who join/realize the eternal God do not lose their life in vain. (sggs 793).

This is the reason, in the Gurbani, the ‘Giaan’ (ਗਿਆਨ) always precedes the ‘Dhiaan’ (ਧਿਆਨ). For example:

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਿ ਮਾਨੁ ॥ : Become the Gurmukh (Enlightened mindset) by following the Guru’s Giaan-Wisdom, reflect on it in the mind and accept it (i.e. live it in daily life – ਅਮਲ). (sggs 414).
  • 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).
  • ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਕਿਆ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥ : Without internalizing the divine Naam, what’s the use of Giaan-wisdom (which is used in scholarly discussions etc.) and meditation. (sggs 905).

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  1. This is the gist of the Gurbani which when anyone understands with the true intention, without any bias, removing his self, will understand the similar way, the way it was written, the way it was intended to. May He bring these together .
    I shall bow down to them…and above all to the Greatest( the Almighty).. to bring me closer to the Sadh Sangat !!the Sangat formed by the true Giaan of Gurbani…
    Yes, I do see a flower…
    May God keep me in the essence of his forest….
    I love you God!!!!

  2. Ik Onkar Satgur Parsad!!

    Dhan T. Singh ji… I always was looking the Sadh Sangat… May I Think I found it in the site gurbani.org and your blog…
    God Bless you!!

  3. Guru Govind dou khade kake lagu pau
    Balihari guru aapne govind diyo bataye

    The above Quote is not there in SGGs ji. So it would be difficult to comment for its meanings.


  4. I feel that the mool-mantra of the Guru Granth Sahib very clearly tells us about the Guru of the Guru.He is the One God who is all pervading,the truth,the creator,without fear,inimical to none,beyond time,not in the cycle of births and deaths,self existing.

  5. To my understanding the Sukhmani Sahib tells us that a God knowing Guru is merged in the Supreme and the Supreme resides within him.The one himself he is-we need not have any doubts regarding it.

  6. Enriching !!!!!

    I wonder though how would we place the following Doha by Kabir Ji in the context of this piece: Who Is Greater?

    Guru Govind dou khade kake lagu pau
    Balihari guru aapne govind diyo bataye

    Deep Regards

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