Guru – The Spiritual Guide
Guru is the spiritual guide, who guides the Sikh to achieve the union with Kartar (Creator). Guru guides the spiritual path, teaches the processes, techniques, milestones, roadblocks and pitfalls, on the spiritual journey. The Guru is the one who himself has achieved the union with Kartar, and who is capable of guiding us to achieve the union with Kartar.
ਸਤਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਨਾਉ ॥
The one who knows the True Lord God, is called the True Guru.
ਤਿਸ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਿਖੁ ਉਧਰੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਉ ॥੧॥
In His Company, the Sikh is saved, O Nanak, sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord in Guru’s company. ||1||
If somebody wants to conquer Mt. Everest, he can’t just pack the bags, buys the tickets, and go to Nepal for climbing the mountain. It takes months or years of planning, training, mental and physical preparation, and most importantly some trusted guide, preferably who may have conquered the Mt. Everest himself.
Conquering the mind is even more difficult than conquering Mt. Everest. The human mind is always wandering in the experiences of the past or the worries of the future. It takes effort, practice and guidance to bring the wandering mind in the present moment and concentrate on the real purpose of life (recognizing its own origin and merging with the Creator). The enticements of Maya (Creation) – Kam (lust), Karodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment), Ahankar (ego) are so powerful, that the human mind is always caught in these. It is too difficult to rise above these enticements. Most of the people remain busy pursuing more and more money, sensual pleasures, self-centered actions to climb up the corporate ladder and differentiate themselves from others, seeking recognition in society, and putting their own interests above anybody else’s. It’s too hard to get out of this rat race, and ponder over the real purpose of our life.
Many spiritual seekers tried multiple methods to control the wandering mind – living in seclusion away from society in the caves, jungles or monasteries, shunning the familial and social responsibilities, wearing religious garbs, doing various rituals and religious actions. But running away from the responsibilities is, in no way, a solution to control the wandering mind.
ਜਟਾ ਭਸਮ ਲੇਪਨ ਕੀਆ ਕਹਾ ਗੁਫਾ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਸੁ ॥
What is the use of having matted hair, smearing the body with ashes, and living in a cave?
ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥੨॥
Conquering the mind is like conquering the world; and then only one can remain detached from the corruption of Maya. ||2||
Gurmat is the path of householder. Gurmat teaches the followers how to remain detached from the Maya (creation), while living in the family and society, facing the challenges and learning to cope with the situations with the help of Guru. It’s the love of Kartar, which stills the wandering mind so that it remains steady, and lovingly absorbed in Naam (name of Kartar), undisturbed by the noise of worldly passions.
ਪੰਚ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਬਸੇ ਰਾਚੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
The five passions dwell in the mind of the one who is engrossed in Maya.
ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਰਮਲਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥੫॥
In the Saadh Sangat (company of the Guru), one becomes pure, O Nanak, imbued with the Love of God. ||5||
Choosing the guide, who we can trust, is the most important step in the spiritual journey. Guru is the trusted guide to spiritual enlightenment. We need to find a True Guru, who the mind can trust, and follow sincerely, who can teach us how to connect with God and elevate our soul to enlightenment.
ਜੇ ਸਉ ਚੰਦਾ ਉਗਵਹਿ ਸੂਰਜ ਚੜਹਿ ਹਜਾਰ ॥
If a hundred moons were to rise, and a thousand suns appeared,
ਏਤੇ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋਦਿਆਂ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰ ਅੰਧਾਰ ॥੨॥
even with such light, there would still be pitch darkness in mind without the Guru. ||2||
Start your search by looking in the spiritual practices of your family, you are born in. By looking at your parents, relatives, and neighbors, you may already be comfortable with some traditions, rituals, and spiritual practices. Dig deep, ask questions, clear your doubts, read scriptures to understand the core beliefs and practices, to check if it makes sense to you or not?
When you search for a personal trainer, you have all the rights to make sure that the trainer is knowledgeable, trustable, reasonable, and believable. If in doubt, you can move on to find another one. Similarly, to ensure that your spiritual guide is the one, who you can trust and follow is very important as the mind makes the spiritual guide as the role model to follow. As we are individually responsible for our actions, it’s the most important decision to choose the right spiritual guide to start the journey.
ਏ ਮਨ ਜੈਸਾ ਸੇਵਹਿ ਤੈਸਾ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਤੇਹੇ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇ ॥
O mind, whom do you serve, so do you become, and so are the deeds that you do.
ਆਪਿ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਵਣਾ ਕਹਣਾ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੭॥
Whatever you yourself plant, that is what you shall have to eat; you can’t violate this. ||7||
Once you chose the spiritual guide or Guru you need to completely surrender and follow the Guru’s instructions sincerely, to go deep within yourself, to understand your true Self, and to achieve the union with the Creator. Before committing your life to a spiritual guide, examine carefully, just like you examine the merchandise before making the deal. So, make sure the spiritual guide you choose, have himself walked the path he is preaching. Otherwise there’s the risk of wandering around lost all the time.
ਪਹਿਲਾ ਵਸਤੁ ਸਿਞਾਣਿ ਕੈ ਤਾਂ ਕੀਚੈ ਵਾਪਾਰੁ ॥
First, examine the merchandise carefully, and then, make the deal.
In Gurbani there is a composition by Bhatt Bhikhaa (highly educated Hindu Brahmin), who describes his experience, when he goes out with other Bhatts in search of the True Guru they can follow. Their search lead them to various places, monasteries, hermits, ascetics. But they didn’t find anybody who touched their souls, or who practiced his own preaching, until they finally met Guru Arjun Dev Ji.
ਰਹਿਓ ਸੰਤ ਹਉ ਟੋਲਿ ਸਾਧ ਬਹੁਤੇਰੇ ਡਿਠੇ ॥
I have been tired of searching for the Saints; I have seen so many Holy and spiritual people.
ਸੰਨਿਆਸੀ ਤਪਸੀਅਹ ਮੁਖਹੁ ਏ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮਿਠੇ ॥
The Sannyaasees – hermits, Tapsees – ascetics, and Pandits who speak sweetly.
ਬਰਸੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਉ ਫਿਰਿਓ ਕਿਨੈ ਨਹੁ ਪਰਚਉ ਲਾਯਉ ॥
I wandered around lost for a year, but no one touched my soul.
ਕਹਤਿਅਹ ਕਹਤੀ ਸੁਣੀ ਰਹਤ ਕੋ ਖੁਸੀ ਨ ਆਯਉ ॥
They preached us and we listened, but I could not be happy with their own lifestyles.
ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੇ ਤਿਨੑ ਕੇ ਗੁਣ ਹਉ ਕਿਆ ਕਹਉ ॥
Those who have abandoned the love of Creator’s Naam (name), and become attached to the love of Maya (creation) – what should I speak of them?
ਗੁਰੁ ਦਯਿ ਮਿਲਾਯਉ ਭਿਖਿਆ ਜਿਵ ਤੂ ਰਖਹਿ ਤਿਵ ਰਹਉ ॥੨॥੨੦॥
So, speaks Bhikhaa: Finally, the Lord has led me to meet the True Guru. Dear Guru, as You keep me, I remain; as You guide me, I live. ||2||20||
After meeting Guru Arjun Dev (fifth Guru of Sikhs), they settled on the True Guru, who touched their souls, who lived his teachings. They remained with Guru Arjan Dev and learned the Gurmat processes, techniques and practices, which lead to their enlightenment. They achieved the highest state of mind – Sachkhand. They wrote hymns in the praise of Gurus and Kartar. Guru Arjun Dev included their hymns in the Adi Granth (primal holy book).
Gurmat does not claim to be the only path to spiritual enlightenment. In Sikh scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib, there is the bani (hymns) of the Bhagats (devotees) from other faiths also. When somebody reaches the highest state of mind – Sachkhand, no difference remains in that person and Kartar, because the individual completely merges with the Kartar. Even though the Bhagats followed different paths to spirituality, when they reached the highest state of mind, no difference remained in them and Kartar. So, the bani of those Bhagats is equally revered by Sikhs as the bani of Sikh Gurus.
The tenth Guru Gobind Singh added the bani (hymns) of ninth Guru Teg Bahadur to Adi Granth and bestowed Guruship to the scripture Adi Granth, during his lifetime in 1708 AD (after the formal Guruship, the Adi Granth, was known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib), and ordained the Sikhs to treat Sri Guru Granth Sahib as their Eternal Guru after him.
ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੀ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ।
The call came from the Timeless Being, then only the Panth Khalsa (path of Khalsa) is established
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ।
All Sikhs are ordained to follow Granth Sahib as the Guru.
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਗੁਰਾਂ ਕੀ ਦੇਹ ।
Treat Guru Granth Sahib, as the physical body of the ten Gurus.
ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਲਬੋ ਚਹੈ ਖੋਜ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਮੈ ਲੇਹ ।
Whoever wants to meet the Creator, search for him in the Guru’s word in the Granth.
– Giani Gian Singh – Panth Parkash
It was not a one-time decision at that moment. From the time of the compilation of the original Adi Granth (primal holy book) by the fifth Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604 AD, the Adi Granth was given highest status in Sikhi. The Gurus sat on the platform lower than that of Adi Granth, to prepare the Sikhs psychologically to accept the Shabad Guru (Guru’s hymns), as their eternal Guru. There is a verse in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, enforcing this concept.
ਪੋਥੀ ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥
This Holy Book is the place to unite with the Transcendent Lord God.
ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਗਾਵਹਿ ਗੁਣ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਪੂਰਨ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Whoever sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Guru, receives the perfect knowledge to merge with God. ||1||Pause||
In Gurmat there is the initiation process called Amrit Sanchaar, through which a Sikh formally accepts Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru. During this process, Panj Pyare (the five beloved ones) prepare Khande-di-Pahul (nectar of double-edged sword), by reciting the five banis (hymns) one by one, while rotating the Khanda (double edged sword) in the batta (iron bowl) filled with the mixture of water and patashas (sugar bubbles). The person reciting the bani will hold the Khanda in one hand and keep rotating it in the batta, and keep the other hand on the batta, while everybody’s eyes concentrated on the water in the batta. After all of them recite the bani one by one, the water becomes Pahul (nectar), which is given to the new initiates.
Everybody drinks the Pahul from the same batta (bowl), which emphasizes that the previous differences, prejudices, the person used to have, due to caste, creed, or social status are abolished and going forward Sikh is the part of the Khalsa Panth (nation), where everybody is the son and daughter of the same Guru. After giving the pahul to the new initiates, one of the Panj Pyare will explain the Rehit Mariyada (code of conduct), nitnem (daily bani routine), and impart the Mool Mantar (primal mantra) and Gurmantar (Guru’s mantra) – Waheguru.
When a Sikh formally accepts the Guru, the Sikh becomes more serious about the commitment towards the lifelong spiritual journey. The word ‘Sikh’ means learner. By definition, Sikh is supposed to have the mindset of a learner. Leaving the ego aside, let your thoughts, speech and actions be guided by the Guru’s Teachings.
ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਧਿਆਈ ॥
In thoughts, words and deeds, I meditate on my God.
ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਰਣਾਈ ॥੪॥੧੦੨॥੧੭੧॥
O Nanak, pray to the Lord and say, I have come to Your Sanctuary (please bless me). ||4||102||171||
ਪਾਪੜਿਆ ਪਛਾੜਿ ਬਾਣੁ ਸਚਾਵਾ ਸੰਨਿੑ ਕੈ ॥
Take aim with the arrow of Truth, and shoot down sin.
ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੜਾ ਚਿਤਾਰਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਖੁ ਨ ਥੀਵਈ ॥੨॥
Cherish the Words of the Guru’s Mantra, O Nanak, and you shall not suffer in pain. ||2||
In Gurmat, the relationship of Sikh with Guru is the most exalted relationship, most superior than any other relationships. Guru is the true friend, who is available at all times in peace and in difficulties, Guru is the Giani (knower of Truth), who guides us on the spiritual journey, Guru is the epitome of devotion to the Lord, who enables us to develop the devotional relationship with Kartar.
ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਤ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਆਈ ॥
Blessed, blessed is the True Being, my True Guru; meeting Him, I have found peace.
ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਤ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਮ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਪਾਈ ॥
Blessed, blessed is the True Being, my True Guru; meeting Him, I have attained the Lord’s devotional worship.
ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜਿਸ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਹਮ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥
Blessed, blessed is the Lord’s devotee, my True Guru; serving Him, I have come to enshrine love for the Name of the Lord.
ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਵੈਰੀ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਸਭ ਸਮ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਦਿਖਾਈ ॥
Blessed, blessed is the Knower of the Lord, my True Guru; He has taught me to look upon friend and foe alike.
ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਮਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਸਿਉ ਹਮਾਰੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਬਣਾਈ ॥੧੯॥
Blessed, blessed is the True Guru, my best friend; He has led me to embrace love for the Name of the Lord. ||19||
The relationship of Guru and Sikh is bi-directional. As the Sikh devotes his life towards the teachings of Guru, the Guru imparts the wisdom and power to live by the Gurmat values, uplifts the consciousness to the higher level, attaches the mind to the Naam (Kartar’s name), which cuts the bonds of Maya (creation). The uplifted soul becomes free from the worldly entanglements and enjoys the bliss of Naam.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਕਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲ ॥
The True Guru cherishes His Sikh.
ਸੇਵਕ ਕਉ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਦਾ ਦਇਆਲ ॥
The Guru is always merciful to His servant.
ਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮਲੁ ਹਿਰੈ ॥
The Guru washes away the filth of the evil intellect of His Sikh.
ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਚਰੈ ॥
Through the Guru’s Teachings, Sikh chants the Lord’s Name.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਕਾਟੈ ॥
The True Guru teaches the Sikh to cut away the bonds of Maya.
ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਹਾਟੈ ॥
The Sikh of the Guru abstains from evil deeds.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕਉ ਨਾਮ ਧਨੁ ਦੇਇ ॥
The True Guru gives His Sikh the wealth of the Naam.
ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਿਖੁ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਹੇ ॥
The Sikh of the Guru is very fortunate.
ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕਾ ਹਲਤੁ ਪਲਤੁ ਸਵਾਰੈ ॥
The True Guru arranges this world and the next for His Sikh.
ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਕਉ ਜੀਅ ਨਾਲਿ ਸਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
O Nanak, with the fullness of His heart, the True Guru remembers His Sikh. ||1||
The Sikhs, who leave their ego behind, and follow Guru’s teachings and do Naam Simran (remembering the Lord in the mind), they fall in love with Kartar. They see the presence of Kartar in everybody and everywhere. They live their lives in tune with the Lord’s Hukum (divine order) and enjoy the bliss of Naam. They swim across the world ocean and meet the Beloved Lord.
ਜਿਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਪਿਰਹੜੀ ਤਿਨਾ ਜੀਅ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਨਾਲੇ ॥
Those who cherish love for the Lord, their minds remain attached to God.
ਓਇ ਜਪਿ ਜਪਿ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਜੀਵਦੇ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥੭॥
Chanting and meditating on their Beloved, they live in, and gather in, the Lord’s Naam. ||7||
ਜਿਨ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਘੁਮਿ ਜਾਇਆ ॥
I am a sacrifice to those Gurmukhs who serve their Beloved Lord.
ਓਇ ਆਪਿ ਛੁਟੇ ਪਰਵਾਰ ਸਿਉ ਸਭੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਛਡਾਇਆ ॥੮॥
They themselves are saved, along with their families, and through them, all the world is saved. ||8||
ਗੁਰਿ ਪਿਆਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਿਆ ਗੁਰੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਧੰਨੋ ॥
I served the Lord as the Beloved Guru instructed me. Blessed is the Guru, Blessed is the Guru.
ਗੁਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਦਸਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਵਡ ਪੁੰਨੋ ॥੯॥
The Guru has shown me the path to meet the Lord; the Guru has done the greatest good deed. ||9||
ਜੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਦੇ ਸੇ ਪੁੰਨ ਪਰਾਣੀ ॥
Those Sikhs of the Guru, who serve the Guru, are the most blessed beings.
ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਵਾਰਿਆ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਕੁਰਬਾਣੀ ॥੧੦॥
Servant Nanak is a sacrifice to them; He is forever and ever a sacrifice. ||10||
When a Sikh develops the deeper relationship with the Guru, the Sikh realizes that other than Guru and Kartar, we don’t need to worship anybody else for anything. Sikh realizes that everything is happening according to Kartar’s Hukum (divine order). The wealth, property and other worldly things, positions, titles become meaningless. The soul lives in unison with the divine will, where nobody is enemy, everybody is the image of the Kartar.
ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ॥
Dwell upon the Guru, the Guru, the Guru, O my mind.
ਤਾਰਣ ਤਰਣ ਸਮ੍ਰਥੁ ਕਲਿਜੁਗਿ ਸੁਨਤ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਸਬਦ ਜਿਸੁ ਕੇਰੇ ॥
The All-powerful Guru is the ship to carry us across the world ocean in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. Hearing the Shabads (hymns), we are transported into Samaadhi (deep trance).
ਫੁਨਿ ਦੁਖਨਿ ਨਾਸੁ ਸੁਖਦਾਯਕੁ ਸੂਰਉ ਜੋ ਧਰਤ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਬਸਤ ਤਿਹ ਨੇਰੇ ॥
Guru is the Spiritual Warrior who destroys pain and brings peace. Whoever meditates on Him, dwells near Him.
ਪੂਰਉ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਮੁਖੁ ਦੇਖਤ ਅਘ ਜਾਹਿ ਪਰੇਰੇ ॥
Guru is the Perfect Primal Being, who meditates in remembrance on the Lord within His heart; seeing His Face, sins run away.
ਜਉ ਹਰਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਰਿਧਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਚਾਹਤ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ॥੫॥੯॥
If you long for wisdom, wealth, spiritual perfection and prosperity, O my mind, dwell upon the Guru, the Guru, the Guru. ||5||9||
In Gurmat, Guru is treated as the Kartar on earth. Guru’s motive is to uplift the souls to recognize their origin and connect to their Source. Guru’s teachings apply to everybody without any discrimination of caste, creed, color, nationality or gender. Anybody who wants to follows the Guru to enlightenment can follow. But the most important thing to remember is the spiritual path is, at will. Nobody should be forced, coerced, or incentivized of better jobs or financial gains etc. to follow a particular path. Guru Nanak met many people of different faiths and traditions. He gave his message but didn’t insist anybody to become his follower. But when the audience became enlightened by the Guru’s wisdom, a lot of them chose to follow the Guru’s teachings and became Sikhs.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮਾਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਿਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is my mother, the Divine Guru is my father; the Divine Guru is my Transcendent Lord and Master.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਖਾ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਭੰਜਨੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਬੰਧਿਪ ਸਹੋਦਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is my companion, the Destroyer of ignorance; the Divine Guru is my relative and brother.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਦਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਪਦੇਸੈ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮੰਤੁ ਨਿਰੋਧਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is the Giver, the Teacher of the Lord’s Name. The Divine Guru’s Mantra is, which never fails.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਾਂਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਬੁਧਿ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਾਰਸ ਪਰਸ ਪਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is the Image of peace, truth and wisdom. The Divine Guru is the Philosopher’s Stone – touching it, one is transformed.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਤੀਰਥੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰੋਵਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਮਜਨੁ ਅਪਰੰਪਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is the sacred shrine of pilgrimage, and the pool of divine ambrosia; bathing in the Guru’s wisdom, one experiences the Infinite.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭਿ ਪਾਪ ਹਰਤਾ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਪਤਿਤ ਪਵਿਤ ਕਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru is the Creator, and the Destroyer of all sins; the Divine Guru is the Purifier of sinners.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਮੰਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਉਧਰਾ ॥
The Divine Guru existed at the primal beginning, throughout the ages, in each and every age. The Divine Guru is the Mantra of the Lord’s Name; chanting it, one is saved.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੇਲਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹਮ ਮੂੜ ਪਾਪੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਲਗਿ ਤਰਾ ॥
O God, please be merciful to us, that we may be with the Divine Guru; we are foolish sinners, but remaining in the company of the Guru, we can be carried across.
ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਗੁਰਦੇਵ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਨਮਸਕਰਾ ॥੧॥
The Divine Guru is the True Guru, the Supreme Lord God, the Transcendent Lord; Nanak bows in humble reverence to the Lord, the Divine Guru. ||1||
The Guru enables the souls to look past the fog of Maya and brings the souls from the darkness of Maya, to the light of the Creator. With the Guru’s wisdom the follower realizes his real Self. This realization makes the individual feel ਬਿਰਹਾ Birha (pain of separation from Kartar), which leads to the sincere efforts to see Kartar and merge in Him during this lifetime, while still living and breathing in this body. The single-minded devotion and efforts to meet the Lord, pleases the Guru, and with Guru’s grace, the Sikh reaches the highest state of mind called Sachkhand. In the state of Sachkhand, no difference remains in the Individual and Kartar. The individuality is lost and the soul enjoys the eternal bliss.
ਸੂਰਜ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਜਲ ਕਾ ਜਲੁ ਹੂਆ ਰਾਮ ॥
When the ice meets the rays of sun, it becomes water (takes its original form).
ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲੀ ਸੰਪੂਰਨੁ ਥੀਆ ਰਾਮ ॥
Similarly, with the Guru’s wisdom, one’s light (soul) merges with the Light (Kartar), and one becomes totally perfect.
ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਦੀਸੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਏਕੁ ਏਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ ॥
He sees Kartar everywhere, hears Kartar speaking in everybody, feels that everybody is singing the praises of the One Kartar.
ਆਤਮ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਕਰਣਹਾਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ ॥
He sees that every place is the expanse of the Creator. Without Kartar, he knows no other at all.
ਆਪਿ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਭੁਗਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਕਾਰਣੁ ਕੀਆ ॥
He sees that Kartar Himself is the Creator, and Himself is the Enjoyer, who created the Creation.
ਬਿਨਵੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੇਈ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਜਿਨੑੀ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ॥੪॥੨॥
Prays Nanak, they alone know this, who drink in the subtle essence of the Lord’s Naam. ||4||2||
The death of body is mere the final step to cease the existence of the individual, and merge completely in the Kartar.
ਕਬੀਰ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਰਨੇ ਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਡਰੈ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਆਨੰਦੁ ॥
Kabeer, the world is afraid of death – that death fills my mind with bliss.
ਮਰਨੇ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦੁ ॥੨੨॥
It is only by death that Perfect, Supreme Bliss is obtained. ||22||