True Guru in Sikhi!

This post is part of our posts entitled ,Gur Charan Kamal, Gur Charan Dhoorh and Gur Moorat,, and ‘Sikhi of the Pujaaree-Vaad‘.

There are 35 contributors of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), including Six Guru Sahibaan. Although there are 35 contributors, still the entire Gurbani (from page 1 of the SGGS to the end) is based on a single divine principle and that principle is the explanation of the ONE (Iko or Eko – ‘ੴ’ ਦੀ ਵਿਆਖਿਆ).

Note that even the Bani of the six Guru Sahibaan is identified by the word ‘Mahalaa’, NOT by the word ‘Guru’, ‘Satguru’, or ‘sant‘!

The Guru of Sikhs of the SGGS is Giaan – Bibek

In fact, Baabaa Nanak never had any embodied Guru!

During ‘Sidh Gosti’, Sidhas posed many questions to Baabaa Nanak. Three of those questions were (1) Who is your Guru? (2) How do you become a disciple? (3) Where does the Shabad reside? Baabaa Nanak’s answers them as follows:

  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥: The Shabad (i.e. Giaan or Wisdom is my) Guru. (Not the body, but) abidance of the Consciousness (i.e., my mind or Soch-ਸੋਚ) is the disciple (of this Shabad-Guru). (sggs 943).

The word Guru. ‘Gu’ signifies darkness and ‘Ru’ denotes Knowledge or Light. Thus, the word Guru denotes that Divine Light or Wisdom (Giaan) which removes the darkness of ignorance.

The term ‘Satguru’ consists of two words, ‘Sat’ and ‘Guru’. As Truth (ਸੱਚ-Sach) is eternal, the ‘Sat’ represents the eternal nature of the Guru (Giaan, Wisdom…); the one without beginning, middle, or end — which holds true in past, present and future. It simply means that the Guru or the Satguru does not take birth; thereby, never dies.

Hence, in nutshell, according to the Gurmat (Wisdom, Giaan, Upadesh, Sikhia, or Way of the SGGS…), the true or real Guru in Sikhi is the formless Giaan (ਗਿਆਨ) — the formless Bibek (ਬਿਬੇਕ), Wisdom, Discriminating intellect (ਬਿਬੁਕ ਬੁੱਧ), or Knowledge.

  • 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 ॥: Guru is my Giaan (Knowledge or Wisdom…), the Guru is (ever) within my Heart; this is my meditation (Dhiaan, Reflection, contemplation …). (sggs 864).
  • ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨਾਮ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: The Jewel of Giaan (Wisdom) is obtained from the Guru (sggs 1044).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਹੈ ਪੂਜਾ ॥: Satiguru is ‘GIAAN’ (i.e. WISDOM, ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ); and Satiguru (i.e. GIAAN or WISDOM)  is the ‘Poojaa‘. (sggs 1069).
  • ਗੁਰ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਬਲੀਆ ਜੀਉ ॥: (Let) the lamp of the Gur-Wisdom burn steadily in the mind. (sggs 173).

The SGGS further asserts that this Giaan-Guru, or Bibek-Guru, or Satguru (ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…) resides in the mind of the Sikhs (Sikh: learner – ਸਿਖਿਆਰਥੀ):

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਸਾਜਨੁ ਉਤ ਹੀ ਠਾਇ ॥: When the Satiguru (Sach Daa Giaan, Knowledge of Truth, etc.) abides within the mind, then the ‘Sahib’ or Mool is (also) seen at the same place (that is, within…) (sggs 1087).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਪਾਈ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇਰਾ ॥: Bibek Budh is obtained from the Satigur; the Guru reveals the Divine Wisdom. (sggs 711).
  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਸਤ ਸਰੁ ॥: How can I Glorify the Gur? The Gur is the ‘Srovar’ of Truth and Bibek (sggs 397).
  • ਬਿਬੇਕੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਮਦਰਸੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਮਿਲੀਐ ਸੰਕ ਉਤਾਰੇ ॥: The Bibek Guru looks upon all alike. Meeting with that (Bibek-Gueu), doubts are dispelled (sggs 981).

The SGGS proclaims that the Satgur (i.e. Sachaa Giaan-ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ or true Knowledge or Wisdom…) is Abinaasee‘ (imperishable, undying, everlasting, immortal, indestructible, etc.). The SGGS further asserts that the Satgur abides in the mind of everybody (‘ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਾਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ’). However, the Satgur needs to be Awakened within by churning the Gurbani or 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).

Hence, the Gurbani teaches us Formlessness non-duality. The Gurbani further reminds us NOT to serve any embodied beings, for they are born and then die!

Since the Gurbani teaches us non-duality, the Gurmat’s Satguru (Giaan-Guru, Bibek-Guru, Wisdom…) is Formless and ‘Eternal’ ( ਨਾਸ-ਰਹਿਤ, ਜਾਗਦੀ ਜੋਤਿ) which never perishes, and nobody is without it.

Hence, in Sikhi of the SGGS, the Guru is neither a body-frame, nor a picture (Moorat or portrait), nor paper. Because a body will perish one day; a picture will perish one day, paper will also perish one day.

But the Giaan or Wisdom will NOT perish, for it is without any form, shape, or color!

  • ਦੇਹੀ ਕਾਚੀ ਕਾਗਦ ਮਿਕਦਾਰਾ ॥ ਬੂੰਦ ਪਵੈ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਢਹਤ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਬਾਰਾ ॥: The body is frail and perishable; the paper is limited. When the drop of water falls upon it – the paper – crumbles and dissolves instantaneously (sggs 1048).
  • ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਸੋ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੋ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਅਵਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ਕਿਉ ਸੇਵੀਐ ਜੰਮੈ ਤੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ॥: Serve That (ONE) forever who is contained in all. Why serve another who is born, and then dies? (sggs 509).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਾਗਤਾ ਹੈ ਦੇਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: The Satiguru (ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ – true Wisdom) is the living divinity (ਜੀਉਂਦਾ-ਜਾਗਦਾ ਦੇਉ). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 479).

In nutshell, Wisdom of the Gurbani is for the mind (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ). Because, as mentioned above, it’s the mind that needs to become a Sikh!

A Sikh who reflects on the Gurbani (Shabad Vichaar) and understands the Gurmat as is and applies the Gur-Wisdom (Sikhiaa) to his daily life, the SGGS claims that Sikh’s mind is never empty or devoid of his Guru. The bright light of a candle never ceases to shine once another candle has been lit by its flame (of Giaan or Wisdom).

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਖਾਲੀ ਕੋ ਨਹੀ ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਏ ॥: None is devoid of the Satigur; (Satgur – Knowledge of Truth – ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, Wisdom…) unites with my Mool within. (sggs 850).
  • ਗੁਰੁ ਮੇਰੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਨਾਲੇ ॥: My Guru is always with me, near at hand (sggs 394).
  • ਗੁਰੂ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਏਕੋ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਚਲਾਏ ॥: The Guru’s Sikh, and the Sikh’s Guru, are one and the same; the Sikh also continues to carry forward the Gur-Upadesh (Gur-Giaan, Sikhia, Wisdom, Bibek…). (sggs 444).

Guru, Giaan, Bibek, Rabb, Paarbrahm, Parmesar, Hukam etc. are Synonymous

The Hukam (or the System-Rule-Law of Nature…) is without form, shape, and color.

Similarly, Giaan (Wisdom. Knowledge, Truth…) and Virtues (ਗੁਣ) are also without any form, shape, or color.

Accordingly, the Gurbani asserts that understand Rabb (Hukam, Rabb, Universal Energy…) and the Knowledge (i.e., ‘Gur’ – Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…) of Rabb to be same thing (‘ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ’).

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੁ ॥: The Knowledge (i.e., ‘Gur’ – Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…)  of Rabb are one and the same, so understand them to be same thing (sggs 864).
  • ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਹੀ ਭੇਦ ॥੪॥੧੧॥: There is no difference between ‘Paarbrahm’ (Rabb) and the Knowledge (i.e., ‘Gur’ – Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…)  of Rabb. ||4||11||24|| (sggs 1142).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ਅਪਰੰਪਰ ਅਲਖ ਅਭੇਵ ॥੧੬॥: Rabb (Paarbrahm Parmesar) and the Knowledge (i.e., ‘Gur’ – Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…)  of Rabb (is the same thing, which is) infinite, invisible, and inscrutable. ||16|| (sggs 522).

Furthermore, the Gurbani asserts that both ‘Guru’ and ‘Parmesar’ (Rabb) are not only the same thing but also within all (‘ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ’).

  • ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥: Rabb (Parmesar) and the Knowledge (i.e., ‘Gur’ – Giaan, Brahm-Giaan, Wisdom…) of Rabb is the same thing (i.e. One), pervading and permeating in all (sggs 53).
  • ਹਰਿ ਇਕੋ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਸਲਤੀ ਭੰਨਣ ਘੜਨ ਸਮਰਥੁ ॥: ‘Hari’ (i.e. Mool, Naam, Universal Energy, Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…) is my only counselor, who is all-powerful of breaking and constructing (i.e., creating and destroying…). (sggs 958).
  • ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਦੇਇ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਇ ॥: The Gur-Giaan (Spiritual Wisdom…) is the Naam Padaarath. (Hence, the Guru) makes the Hari Naam firm (resolved, stable, strong, properly understood, ਪੱਕਾ, ਦ੍ਰਿੜ, etc., in the mind of the sincere seeker of Truth – ਜਗ੍ਯਾਸੂ…). (sggs 759).

Serving the Guru

Now, the answer to a question of how to serve the Guru becomes very clear.

That is, the best way to serve the Guru or Satguru is through Shabad Vichaar or churning the Gurbani, then live a daily life based on that Wisdom (Bibek, Upadesh, Sikhiaa…).

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥: The Gur-Sevaa is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Shabad — Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam…). (sggs 223).
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਤੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਤਿ ਊਤਮ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੀ ਹੇ ॥੩॥: Whom should I serve, and whom should I eulogize? I serve the ‘Satiguru’ (True Wisdom, ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) eulogizing the Shabad (Upadesh, Giaan, Wisdom, Naam…). Through the True Shabad (True Wisdom…), the intellect ever remains most exalted, and the lotus within blossoms forth (i.e., the mind becomes enlightened or Wise). ||3|| (sggs 1048).

SGGS teaches us ‘Chaj(u)-ਚਜੁ’ of life

The Wisdom (Giaan) of the SGGS teaches us ‘Chaj(u)-ਚਜੁ’ of life —  the Way of proper living, proper behavior in life, ability to live pious life, ability to live with virtuous and truthful conduct, Work ethic, Gurmukh lifestyle, good manners, skill of living, method of living, understanding, discerning intellect, ਸਮਝ, ਅਕਲ, ਜੀਵਨ-ਜਾਚ, ਚੰਗਾ ਚਲਨ, ਚੰਗੀ ਸੋਚ-ਕਰਮ …

Hence the SGGS asks us to learn the proper skill of life by learning the Wisdom (Giaan) of the Guru.

  • ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਚਜੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਤੁਧੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਲਗੈ ਦੁਖੁ ॥੩॥ : Meeting the Gur (-Giaan, Wisdom…), learn skill (of life) and good conduct, then  sorrow will never affect you. ||3|| (sggs 50).

If we don’t learn ‘Chaj(u)-ਚਜੁ’ of life by reading to the SGGS, then what’s the use?

  • ਗੁਰ ਕਉ ਜਾਣਿ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ਕਿਆ ਤਿਸੁ ਚਜੁ ਅਚਾਰੁ ॥: A person who deliberately does not learn and practice the Guru’s (Giaan or Wisdom), then the method or style of his whole life is NOT right. (sggs 19).

Necessity of the Guru (Giaan-Wisdom)

The SGGS declares:

  • ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰੁ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਮਝ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਨ ਸਿਧਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਬਿਨੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਵੈ ॥: Without the Guru (i.e., without Giaan, Wisdom, Bibek…), there is utter darkness (of ignorance on the way of life); without the Guru, understanding (of the correct way of life) does not come. Without the Guru, there is no (higher) Awareness does not develop and no success (in the battle of life) is obtained; without the Guru, there is no liberation. (sggs 1377).

The SGGS tells us that without understanding or Wisdom (Giaan, Bibek or discerning intellect…) we humans act as animals. It’s the Wisdom that separates humans from animals.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਬੂਝੇ ਪਸੂ ਭਏ ਬੇਤਾਲੇ ॥੬॥: Without understanding, people become beast (-nature) and demon ||6|| (sggs 224).
  • ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੀਰਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਜਗੁ ਬਉਰਾਨੰ ॥: Shabad (Giaan, Upadesh, Naam, Wisdom…) is the Guru and Peer; (with this Shabad, a person) becomes profoundly earnest; (however) without the Shabad the world is gone crazy (sggs 635).

Since Sikhi is a Way of life based on the Wisdom (Giaan), therefore, Wisdom (Giaan-Guru) is NECESSARY for the mind to live a daily life of Virtues — Truth (ਸਤ), honesty (ਇਮਾਨਦਾਰੀ), contentment (ਸੰਤੋਖ), mercy (ਦਯਾ), patience (ਧੀਰਜ), Sahaj (ਸਹਜ-Natural State of Being), humility (ਮਨ ਨਿਮਾਣਾ, ਬੁਧਿ ਗਰੀਬੀ), sweet speech (ਮਿਠ ਬੋਲੜਾ), etc.

  • ਮਨ ਸਮਝਾਵਨ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਕਛੂਅਕ ਪੜੀਐ ਗਿਆਨ ॥੫॥: To instruct the mind (ਉੱਚੇ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੀ ਸੂਝ ਦੇਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ-to raise the Consciousness to the High Plane, one) ought to study Divine Knowledge (ਉੱਚੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਵਾਲੀ ਬਾਣੀ…) to some extent. ||5|| (sggs 340).

In nutshell, Sikhi of the SGGS or Baabaa Nanak creates Gurmukhs-Daas-Bhagat or Jan — Wise, Bibeki, intelligent, responsible, fearless, dutiful, Braveheart, truthful, virtuous, ਵਿਚਾਰਵਾਨ, ਬੁਧੀਮਾਨ, ਅਕਲਮੰਦ, ਤਰਕਸ਼ੀਲ, etc. — who are capable of discriminating between right and wrong.

Gur Gam – ਗੁਰ ਗਮ

As discussed before, ‘Gur’ or ‘Guru’ in Sikhi of the SGGS = Wisdom, Knowledge, Giaan, Bibek…

The term ‘Gam’ is not easy to translate in English. Its closest English meaning could be summarized as follows: to go, to mount, to ascend; to reach or approach (ਪਹੁੰਚ), to arrive or access, to get or obtain; to get acquaintance, to get versed in divine knowledge, apprehension, and so on.

Simply put, ‘Gur Gam – ਗੁਰ ਗਮ’ => entering of the Divine Wisdom in the intellect; walking on the Way of the Wisdom of the SGGS; being established in the Wisdom of the SGGS; living daily life according to the Bibek Budhi or Wisdom of the SGGS; allowing the Gur-Shabad to guide daily life; and so on. By constantly remembering it (living it), one becomes Guruward (i.e., Gurmukh) and free of ‘Jamm’ (Bikaar, doubts…).

  • ਖਿਨੁ ਰਮ ਗੁਰ ਗਮ ਹਰਿ ਦਮ ਨਹ ਜਮ ਹਰਿ ਕੰਠਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਉਰਿ ਹਾਰੀ ਰੇ ॥੨॥੫॥੧੩੪॥: (sggs 404).

In nutshell, a Sikh is he/she who consider SGGS as their spiritual Guru and lives their daily life in accordance with the Wisdom  (Bibek, intellect, Virtues-ਗੁਣ, Sikhia, Upadesh…) taught in the SGGS.

Establishing relationship with the Guru

In nutshell, ‘Sikhi’ is not a game of the gross body-frame. It’s the mind (Surat – ਸੁਰਤ) that needs to become the ‘Sikh’.

To say it otherwise, relationship (connection, link…) is established with the Guru when we know that:

The Gurbani confirms it as follows:

  • ਜਿਸੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਹੀਐ ॥ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਹਰਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਲਹੀਐ ॥੧॥ : By uniting (i.e. realizing) who ‘Anand’ wells up in the mind, can only be called a Satiguru (True Giaan or Wisdom, ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ…). (With that union with the True Wisdom) the doubt of mind ends and the highest spiritual state (ਉੱਚੀ ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ) is realized. ||1|| (sggs 168).

However, contrary to what the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS teaches us, the gross body-frame itself is still being made a ‘Sikh’. It’s the gross body-frame still being worshipped by the Pujaaree-Vaad!

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਹੀਣੰ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਪੂਜਾ ॥ ਅੰਧ ਵਰਤਾਵਾ ਭਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥: Bereft of Spiritual Wisdom, (people) worship ignorance. In the love of duality (in love of Maya, their) conduct or behavior (keeps them mentally blind or ignorant of their spiritual life). (sggs 1412).


  1. Thank you sister Simran Kaur Ji for your reply. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog.

    As you inquired, soon there will be a separate post on “Gur Charan Kamal, Gur Charan Dhoorh and Gur Moorat”.

  2. Thanks for this article . I was looking for exactly this kind of clarification .
    Appreciate your work a lot .Great sewa

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