Nature of Akaal Purakh in Sikhi 

ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਦਾ ਸਰੂਪੁ 

Why do we need to know the nature of Akaal Purakh? 

According to Gurmat, the purpose of human life is to merge into ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖੁ Akaal Purakh (Timeless Being) also known as ਕਰਤਾਰ Kartar (Creator), by connecting to His Naam through the Guru. For that purpose, we need to rebuild or revive our relationship with Guru and Kartar, which we already had from birth, but forgotten or weakened due to the influences of maya (creation). To build any relationship we need to understand the one who we are building the relationship with. Having some understanding of Guru and Kartar will help us in establishing a meaningful relationship. Kartar is beyond human understanding, so we need the help of Guru who can guide us in our efforts to reconnect with Kartar.

From ancient times humans have tried to understand and explain the nature of God, known in Sikhi as ਅਕਾਲ ਪੁਰਖੁ Akaal Purakh (Timeless Being). There are various philosophies, which put Kartar in different categories depending upon the limited understanding. The devotees of Kartar have described Him in many ways and given many names. These are called ਕਿਰਤਮ ਨਾਮ Kirtam Naam (names given by humans after seeing or experiencing Him in the creation). But Kartar is beyond the reach of human understanding and hence cannot be defined or put in a particular category. We will not try to define Kartar as it is impossible. But we will discuss various characteristics of Kartar in the light of Gurbani. 

In Gurmat focus is not on defining Kartar, or putting Him in certain category, but to realize the presence of Kartar within us, by singing His ਕਿਰਤਮ ਨਾਮ Kirtam Naam. Kartar cannot be defined because a definition must be per genus et differentiam. But Kartar has neither genus (classification by common characteristics) nor differentia (an element, feature, or factor that distinguishes one entity, state, or class from another. – merriam-webster). 

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਬਹੁ ਕਾਇ ਕਰੀਜੈ

Says Ravidas, your katha (story of virtues) is infinite and cannot be said, no matter how hard we try?

ਜੈਸਾ ਤੂ ਤੈਸਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਕਿਆ ਉਪਮਾ ਦੀਜੈ ॥੩॥੧॥

Whatever You are, You are, O Kartar; how can anything be compared with You? ||3||1||

Bhagat Ravidas – SGGS – Ang 858

In Sikhi, Kartar is perceived as ਬੇਅੰਤੁ Beyant (beyond limit), ਅਗਮੁ Agam (beyond the reach of mind), ਅਗੋਚਰੁ Agochar (beyond the senses). Kartar is the Creator of the creation and is pervading and permeating everywhere in the creation. There is no place without Kartar. 

Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture starts with the ਮੂਲੁ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ Mool Mantr (the primordial mantra), which describes the various aspects of Kartar. 

– One Universal Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer,

ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ – whose name is Sat – having eternal existence,  

ਕਰਤਾ – Creator of the creation,  

ਪੁਰਖੁ – pervading and permeating everywhere,  

ਨਿਰਭਉ – free of fear,  

ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ – free of enmity,  

ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ – whose saroop (form) is beyond time or death,  

ਅਜੂਨੀ – who does not come in incarnations,  

ਸੈਭੰ – self-existent,  

ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ – who can be realized through the grace of Guru.  

ਜਪੁ – Name of the composition “Jup”, which means Chant or Meditate.  

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ – existing before the primal beginning of creation,  

ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ – existing at the primal beginning of creation,  

ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ – existing now,  

ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥ – O Nanak, will exist beyond creation (after the creation is destroyed). ||1|| 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 1  

Forms of Kartar 

In Gurbani there are different forms of Kartar mentioned like ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ Nirankar (formless), ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ Ekankaar (with form), ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ Oankaar (sound current) and ਆਕਾਰੁ Akaar (Physical form). There are some other forms also mentioned in Gurbani like ਨਿਰਗੁਨ Nirgurn (without physical attributes) and ਸਰਗੁਨ Sargun (with physical attributes) etc. In Gurbani these different forms are used interchangeably, as all these forms refer to the same Kartar.

ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ  – Nirankaar (formless)  

ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ – Nirankaar (formless) is the unmanifested form, where nothing is created yet, only Kartar Himself, no sign of creation yet. Nirankaar form does not have any physical form or attributes. This form is also called Nirgun Saroop (form without any physical attribute). In this state Kartar remains absorbed in Himself as there is nothing else created yet. This form is described in Gurbani (utterings of Guru) as: 

ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੁ ਉਪਾਇਓਨੁ ਤਦਹੁ ਹੋਰੁ ਕੋਈ

When none other than Himself, was created yet.

ਮਤਾ ਮਸੂਰਤਿ ਆਪਿ ਕਰੇ ਜੋ ਕਰੇ ਸੁ ਹੋਈ

He consulted none other than Himself, and whatever He did only that happened.

ਤਦਹੁ ਆਕਾਸੁ ਪਾਤਾਲੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਲੋਈ

At that time, there was no sky, no nether regions, nor the physical worlds.

ਤਦਹੁ ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਨਾ ਓਪਤਿ ਹੋਈ

At that time, only the Formless Nirankaar Himself existed – there was no creation.

ਜਿਉ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਕਰੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਕੋਈ ॥੧॥

As it pleased Him, so did He act; without Him, there was no other. ||1||

M3 – SGGS – Ang 509

ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ  – Ekankaar (with form) 

When ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ Nirankaar manifested and took the form, that is known as ਏਕੰਕਾਰੁ Ekankaar. The manifested Ekankaar has the form and attributes, but still only Himself, no creation yet. This form is also called Sargun Saroop (form with attributes). 

When Ekankaar wanted to create the creation, the whole creation came into existence with the ਧੁਨਿ Dhuni (sound current) of ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ Oankaar emanated from Ekankaar. Just like the seed contains the tree, Oankaar is the seed of creation, which contained everything to create and sustain the creation including ਜੋਤਿ Jot (Universal Soul), ਹੁਕਮੁ Hukum (command), ਜੁਗਤਿ Jugat (process and techniques), ਮਾਇਆ Maya (physical creation), ਧਰਮੁ Dharam (Divine laws of creation) etc.  

Bhai Gurdas describes this as: 

ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ਆਕਾਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਏਕੰਕਾਰ ਅਪਾਰੁ ਸਦਾਇਆਏਕੰਕਾਰਹੁ ਸਬਦ ਧੁਨਿ ਓਅੰਕਾਰਿ ਅਕਾਰੁ ਬਣਾਇਆ

The Nirankaar (Formless Kartar) took the form, which is known as Ekankaar (Kartar with Form), the One Boundless Being. From Ekankaar emanated the Dhun (sound current) of the Sabad (Word) Oankaar. From the sound current of Oankaar, the creation got created.

Bhai Gurdas – Vaar 26 Pauri 2

Guru Nanak describes this as: 

ਆਪੀਨੑੈ ਆਪੁ ਸਾਜਿਓ ਆਪੀਨੑੈ ਰਚਿਓ ਨਾਉ ॥ 

Kartar Himself (Nirankar form) created Himself (Ekankaar form); He Himself assumed (the Primal Power) Naam.

ਦੁਯੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਸਾਜੀਐ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਡਿਠੋ ਚਾਉ ॥ 

Secondly, He created the creation. Seated (permeating) within the creation, He beholds it with delight.

M1- SGGS – Ang 463

ਕੀਤਾ ਪਸਾਉ ਏਕੋ ਕਵਾਉ ਤਿਸ ਤੇ ਹੋਏ ਲਖ ਦਰੀਆਉ

Kartar created the vast expanse of the creation with one command! Hundreds of thousands of rivers (of life) came into existence.

M1 – SGGS – Ang 3

The creation is transitory and hence everything we see in the creation is transitory and will be destroyed when its time is up. When creation is destroyed then only the Creator Ekankaar remains. 

ਬਰਨੁ ਚਿਹਨੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਛੁ ਰਚਨਾ ਮਿਥਿਆ ਸਗਲ ਪਸਾਰਾ ॥ 

Nothing of the color and the form of the creation shall remain; the entire expanse is transitory.

ਭਣਤਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜਬ ਖੇਲੁ ਉਝਾਰੈ ਤਬ ਏਕੈ ਏਕੰਕਾਰਾ ॥੪॥੪॥ 

Prays Nanak, when He brings His play to its close, then only the One Ekankaar remains. ||4||4||

M1 – SGGS – Ang 999

ਓਅੰਕਾਰ  – Oankaar (Sabad form) 

Oankaar is the Sabad – the Primal Sound, which caused the creation to come into existence. The creation is created and destroyed by the Sabad. The cycle of creation and destruction continues according to Kartar’s ਭਾਣਾ Bhana (Will).  

ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਸਬਦੇ ਹੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਓਪਤਿ ਹੋਵੈ  

Creation and destruction happen through the Sabad (command of Kartar). Through the Sabad, creation happens again (after destruction). 

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਰਤੈ ਸਭੁ ਆਪੇ ਸਚਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥  

The Gurmukh (Guru oriented Sikh) knows that Eternal Kartar is pervading and permeating everywhere as He infused Himself into the creation after creating it. ||1|| 

M3 – SGGS – Ang 117 

After creating the creation, Kartar infused Himself into the creation as Sabad (Oankaar).  

ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਵਸਿਆ ਸੋਇ   

Creator created the creation and He Himself dwells in it. 

M1- SGGS – Ang 83 

This is also called the ਸਬਦ ਸਰੂਪੁ Sabad Saroop (Word form). ਸਬਦ ਧੁਨਿ Sabad Dhun, the sound current of Sabad Oankaar is pervading everywhere in the creation, which never increases or decreases anytime, or anywhere.  

ਜਿਮੀ ਜਮਾਨ ਕੇ ਬਿਖੈ ਸਮਸਤਿ ਏਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਹੈ ਘਾਟਿ ਹੈ ਬਾਢਿ ਹੈ ਘਾਟਿ ਬਾਢਿ ਹੋਤ ਹੈ  

Within all the earth and sky, there is only one Jot. Which neither decreases nor increases in any being. It never decreases or increases. 

P10 – SDG – Ang 32 

This Sabad (Oankaar) is the:  

  • ਹੁਕਮੁ Hukumthe Command of Kartar, which is the cause of creation, sustenance and destruction.  
  • ਚੇਤਨੁ ਸਤਾ Chetan Sattathe Universal Consciousness, which makes the living beings aware and conscious. 
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ Brahamthe Universal Soul which gives life to everything in creation.  
  • ਜਗਜੀਵਨੁ Jag Jivanthe Life Force, which powers every living being.  
  • ਪਰਮ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ Param Shakti – the Supreme Source of Power (spiritual, physical and non-physical), which powers everything from galaxies, stars, and planetary systems to support life.  
  • ਬੁਧੀ Buddhithe Universal Intelligence which runs the creation. 
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ Gianthe Universal Wisdom which guides everyone to perform their duties. 
  • ਬਿਬੇਕ Bibek – the Universal Reason, which enables everyone to make rational decisions. 
  • ਧਰਮੁ Dharam – the Laws of Nature which make everything work in a systematic way. 

The Oankar or Sabad is invisible and hidden in the creation and is revealed to humans through the Sabad Guru. From time to time the Sabad will become ਪਰਗਟ Pargat (manifest) in the ਗੁਰੂ Guru (the spiritual guide), who teaches humans to understand and live life according to Kartar’s ਹੁਕਮੁ Hukum (command) and remain in His ਭਾਣਾ Bhana (Will) all the time. When Sabad manifests in Guru, no help of angels is needed to communicate the message of Kartar, because Sabad is Kartar. Hence Guru is not a messenger but the manifestation of Sabad. When Sabad manifests in Guru, the Bani (utterings) of Guru is called Sabad Guru. Bani and Sabad are used interchangeably because Bani is the human understandable form of Sabad. That’s why it’s also called ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ Dhur Ki Bani (the utterings from the Primal Source). 

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਬਣੀਐ ॥ 

The Bani (uttering) of the True Guru is the embodiment of the Eternal Kartar; through Gurbani, one becomes Sat Saroop (by following Gurbani we can merge in Kartar).

M4- SGGS – Ang 304

The Guru teaches humans how to keep Kartar in mind, while doing our worldly duties and how to merge back in Kartar through Naam (name of Kartar). When Sidh Yogis asked Guru Nanak, who is your guru, whose disciple you are? Guru Nanak replied: 

ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ   

The Sabad is my Guru (guide); the focus of my consciousness on it is chaylaa – the disciple. 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 942 

For more details about Guru please read article: Guru – The Spiritual Guide 

ਆਕਾਰੁ – Akaar (Physical form) 

Kartar is ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ Nirankaar (formless) and ਨਿਰਗੁਨ Nirgun (without physical attributes) and assumes the form when creation is created. After creating the creation Kartar infused Himself into it. Creation is the physical extension of Kartar, which cannot be separated from Him. This physical form is also called ਸਰਗੁਨ Sargun (having physical attributes). 

ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਆਕਾਰ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਸਰਗੁਨ ਏਕ ॥  

Formless Kartar, Himself creates the Formed Creation (the physical world); the One is Nirgurn (without physical attributes) in Nirankar (formless) form and remain immaculate from the physical attributes of creation, and then Himself becomes Sargun (assumes the attributes) in the form of Creation. 

ਏਕਹਿ ਏਕ ਬਖਾਨਨੋ ਨਾਨਕ ਏਕ ਅਨੇਕ ॥੧॥  

Kartar assumes many saroops (forms) from the One; (But these saroops are not separate from Him). O Nanak, He is the One, and the many (pervading in all). ||1|| 

M5 – AGGS – Ang 250 

Kartar is permeating and pervading everywhere and in everybody, providing support and sustenance to the creation, which includes innumerous universes.  

ਫਿਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਜਗਤੁ ਉਪਾਇਆ ਕਰਤੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਉ ਦੀਆ ॥  

Then, after fashioning the world, the Creator provided all with sustenance. 

ਆਪੇ ਸੇਵ ਬਣਾਈਅਨੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਆ ॥  

Kartar Himself created the method of seva simran (remembrance) through the Guru and instructs us. He Himself drinks the ambrosial nectar of Naam though us. 

ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਆਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਆਪੇ ਆਪੇ ਕਰੈ ਸੁ ਥੀਆ ॥੭॥  

He Himself is formless, and He Himself is formed; whatever He does Himself, comes to pass. ||7|| 

M4 – SGGS – Ang 551 

Kartar is Nirgun and Sargun at the same time. Kartar is present in each and every being. He sees with our eyes, listens with our ears, smells with our noses, walks with our feet, serves with our hands, loves with our hearts. 

ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਨੈਨ ਨਨ ਨੈਨ ਹਹਿ ਤੋਹਿ ਕਉ ਸਹਸ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਨਨਾ ਏਕ ਤੋੁਹੀ ॥  

You have thousands of eyes (due to permeating in everyone), and yet You have no eyes (because you are Nirankaar, without any form). You have thousands of forms, and yet You have none. 

ਸਹਸ ਪਦ ਬਿਮਲ ਨਨ ਏਕ ਪਦ ਗੰਧ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਹਸ ਤਵ ਗੰਧ ਇਵ ਚਲਤ ਮੋਹੀ ॥੨॥  

You have thousands of beautiful feet (due to permeating in everyone), and yet You do not have even one foot (because you are Nirankaar, without any form). You have no nose, but you have thousands of noses. This wonderous Play of Yours enchants me. ||2|| 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 13 

In Gurbani there are some Sabads, where Kartar seems to be described as a human, or a bird, or an animal etc. These Sabads simply mean that Kartar is present and pervading in all humans, birds, animals etc. The beauty of the world is created from His Beauty. The following Sabad talks about beautiful eyes, teeth, noses, long hair, body of gold (gold is referred as a symbol of purity), which means the beautiful bodies free of imperfections, defects, or disease. This shouldn’t be interpreted as Kartar’s physical body. It simply describes that Kartar is the Creator of and lives in the bodies of the youthful, handsome men or beautiful women having beautiful eyes, teeth, noses, having sweet speech, who walks gracefully and carefree. Kartar is inspiring the sweet songs of cuckoo, the cries of the songbird for his beloved, hence Kartar’s voice is heard in the sounds of birds. 

ਤੇਰੇ ਬੰਕੇ ਲੋਇਣ ਦੰਤ ਰੀਸਾਲਾ ॥  

Your eyes are so beautiful, and Your teeth are delightful. (Women are created by Kartar and hence Kartar is seen in the women having beautiful eyes, teeth, nose, and hair) 

ਸੋਹਣੇ ਨਕ ਜਿਨ ਲੰਮੜੇ ਵਾਲਾ ॥  

Your nose is so beautiful, and Your hair is so long. 

ਕੰਚਨ ਕਾਇਆ ਸੁਇਨੇ ਕੀ ਢਾਲਾ ॥  

Your body is free of imperfections, like its cast in gold. 

ਸੋਵੰਨ ਢਾਲਾ ਕ੍ਰਿਸਨ ਮਾਲਾ ਜਪਹੁ ਤੁਸੀ ਸਹੇਲੀਹੋ ॥  

Recite the Naam Mala of Kartar continuously, O sisters, whose body is cast in gold (free from imperfections). 

ਜਮ ਦੁਆਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਹੁ ਖੜੀਆ ਸਿਖ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮਹੇਲੀਹੋ ॥  

You shall not have to stand at the door of Death, O sisters, if you listen to these teachings. (If you recite the Naam you will not have to go in the cycle of death and birth again) 

ਹੰਸ ਹੰਸਾ ਬਗ ਬਗਾ ਲਹੈ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਜਾਲਾ ॥  

Whoever recites Naam, is transformed from a crane like hypocrite, into a swan like immaculate spiritual being, the filth of mind is removed. 

ਬੰਕੇ ਲੋਇਣ ਦੰਤ ਰੀਸਾਲਾ ॥੭॥  

Your eyes are so beautiful, and Your teeth are delightful. (Your created beings are so beautiful) ||7|| 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 566 

Kartar cannot be separated from the creation, and creation cannot be separated from Kartar. The created world is the physical form of Kartar. 

ਏਹੁ ਵਿਸੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਤੁਮ ਦੇਖਦੇ ਏਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਰੂਪੁ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਇਆ ॥  

This whole world which you see is the Roop (form) of Kartar; only the form of the Kartar is seen everywhere. 

M3 – SGGS – Ang 922 

Is Kartar a Person (ਵਿਅਕਤੀ)? 

First, let’s examine some definitions of person: 

  1. a human being, whether an adult or child: The table seats four persons.
  2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

Dictionary.com

A person is a man, woman, or child.

Collins Dictionary

a human as an individual

Oxford Dictionary

A person is a being, such as a human, that has certain capacities or attributes constituting personhood (the quality or condition of being an individual person)

Wikipedia

Theism requires the belief in a personal God. The philosophers of Theism have defined person as having self-awareness, intellect, emotions & will. Probably inspired by this quote in Bible, they try to personify God like a human. 

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26b) 

Let’s try to apply this definition: 

Humans have self-awareness, intellect, emotions & will. Hence a human is a person.  

When the dog is hunting for food – the dog has the will to hunt a rabbit. The dog is self-aware – knows his surroundings, strengths and weaknesses and will not attack large animals which it can’t hunt. Using its intellect dog will approach the rabbit slowly and silently until the rabbit is in strikable distance, when confident enough, it will run and catch the rabbit. If there is a pack of dogs, they can even hunt down a buffalo. They will strategize and attack from multiple directions. Dogs show emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, separation anxiety, pain, love and so on. So, the dog has self-awareness, intellect, emotions and will. Can we call a dog a person? 

Other animals like chimpanzees, crows, lions, dolphins also demonstrate self-awareness, will, intellect and emotions. Some are more evident than the others.  

Examples of human like behavior in animals: 

  • Grief: An orca swam with her dead calf in the ocean for more than two weeks, what researchers called the whale’s “tour of grief.” 
  • Sacrifice: A buffalo attacked the lion to save another buffalo downed by the lion, endangering her own life. 
  • Love: Dog saves cat from coyote attack.  
  • Anxiety: Dog becomes anxious when the owner goes out. 
  • Depression: Just like humans, pets can get depressed. They may no longer enjoy doing activities with you that they once loved. 
  • Intellect: Ants building the anthill, shows the intellect, teamwork, strategy and decision making. Imagine thousands of men working on a project without paper, pencil, phones, computers. Ants do better than humans.
  • Will: Sociable weavers building the nest where the colony of birds live together, shows the will, intellect, teamwork, and sense of community. 

Can we call them persons? If yes, then what is not a person? 

It’s not only the man who is created in the image of God. Every creature is created in the image of God. Every creature has the intellect and awareness given by Kartar. According to the given intellect and awareness, the creatures live their lives and leave this world. 

ਏਕਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਜੀਅ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕੀਅ ॥ 

There is awareness among all created beings given by the same One. None has been created without this awareness. 

ਜੇਹੀ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਤੇਹਾ ਤਿਨ ਰਾਹੁ ॥ ਲੇਖਾ ਇਕੋ ਆਵਹੁ ਜਾਹੁ ॥੧॥ 

As is their awareness, so is their way. According to the written (given) awareness by the One, they come and go. ||1|| 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 24 

In Gurmat, Kartar is seen in nature – in humans, animals, fish, plants and bugs, because all creatures are created by Kartar and Kartar lives in and loves all creatures.  

ਕਹੂੰ ਫੂਲ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਕੈ ਭਲੇ ਰਾਜ ਫੂਲੇ ॥  

Somewhere You, taking the form of a flower, are nicely bloomed. 

ਕਹੂੰ ਭਵਰ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਕੈ ਭਲੀ ਭਾਂਤਿ ਭੂਲੇ ॥  

Somewhere becoming a black bee, You seem inebriated (for the flower) 

ਕਹੂੰ ਪਉਨ ਹ੍ਵੈ ਕੈ ਬਹੇ ਬੇਗਿ ਐਸੇ ॥  

Somewhere becoming the wind, You move with such speed, 

ਕਹੇ ਮੋ ਨ ਆਵੇ ਕਥੋਂ ਤਾਹਿ ਕੈਸੇ ॥੧੨॥  

You are indescribable, how can I elucidate it? 12 

P10 – SDG – Ang 39 

According to the various dictionary definitions, a person is a human individual. If we assume that Kartar is a person, then we also need to answer the following questions. 

Body type – fat or slim, Body size – short or tall?

In Gurmat Kartar is conceived as ਅਕਾਏ Akaaye (bodyless), and hence neither fat nor slim, is not short or tall, big or small. He is the shortest and tallest, tiniest and largest at the same time. Kartar pervades equally in tiniest and biggest entities in the creation. 

ਨ ਨੇਹ ਹੈ ਨ ਗੇਹ ਹੈ ਨ ਦੇਹ ਕੋ ਬਨਾਉ ਹੈ ॥ 

He is without attachment, without home and without the formation of the body.

P10 – SDG – Ang 32

ਸੂਛਮ ਤੇ ਸੂਛਮ ਕਰ ਚੀਨੇ ਬ੍ਰਿਧਨ ਬ੍ਰਿਧ ਬਤਾਏ ॥੨॥ 

He is considered as tiniest of the tiny and the biggest of the big.2.

P10- SDG – Ang 711

Gender – male or female?

Kartar being bodyless is not a male or female. The pronouns (He/Him) are used just for writing convenience only. Kartar pervades equally in all genders. 

ਨ ਜੱਛ ਹੈ ਨ ਗੰਧ੍ਰਬ ਹੈ ਨ ਨਰੁ ਹੈ ਨ ਨਾਰ ਹੈ ॥  

He is neither a Yaksha (demigod), nor a Gandharva (musicians of gods), nor a Man nor a Woman. 

P10 – SDG – Ang 32 

Caste, Creed, Race, Color, Religion? 

Kartar has no caste, creed, race, color, lineage, or religion. He is the creator of all and pervades equally in everybody regardless of caste, creed, race, color or religion.  

ਚੱਕ੍ਰ ਚਿਹਨ ਅਰੁ ਬਰਨ ਜਾਤਿ ਅਰੁ ਪਾਤਿ ਨਹਿਨ ਜਿਹ ॥ 

He who is without any mark or sign, He who is without caste or lineage.

ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਰੇਖ ਭੇਖ ਕੋਊ ਕਹਿ ਨ ਸਕਤਿ ਕਿਹ ॥ 

Nobody can say anything about His color or form, any distinctive norm, or dress, or how He looks like.

ਅਚਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਨਭਉ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ ਅਮਿਤੋਜਿ ਕਹਿੱਜੈ ॥ 

He who is immovable, and known as Self-illuminating effulgence and infinitely powerful.

P10 – SDG- Ang 1

ਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਜਾਤੇਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਪਾਤੇ

Salutation to You O Casteless! Salutation to You O Lineageless!

ਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਮਜਬੇਨਮਸਤਸਤੁ ਅਜਬੇ ॥੧੭॥

Salutation to You O Religionless! Salutation to You O Wonderful Kartar! 17

P10 – SGS – Ang 1

ਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਰੰਗੇਨਮਸਤੰ ਅਭੰਗੇ ॥੧੫॥

Salutation to You O Colorless Lord! Salutation to You O Immortal Lord! 15

P10 – SGS – Ang 1

ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਲੁਕਾਇਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ॥ 

Deep within each and every heart, invisible Kartar is present; His Light is in each and every heart.

M1 – SGGS – Ang 597

Food – Vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian?

Kartar being bodyless does not need any food or water. There is no need for sacrifices, or offerings for Kartar. Kartar is ਸੈਭੰ Saibhang (self-existent) and does not need human help (offerings or sacrifices) to exist. If we assume that Kartar needs sacrifices of animals by humans, then all the animals of the earth will not be sufficient enough for the breakfast of Kartar. 

ਕਬੀਰ ਜੀਅ ਜੁ ਮਾਰਹਿ ਜੋਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਕਹਤੇ ਹਹਿ ਜੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥  

Kabeer, they oppress living beings and kill them, and call it Halal. 

ਦਫਤਰੁ ਦਈ ਜਬ ਕਾਢਿ ਹੈ ਹੋਇਗਾ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੯੯॥  

When the Lord (who loves all animals) calls for their account, what will their condition be? ||199|| 

Bhagat Kabeer – SGGS – Ang 1375 

Abode – Earth, Heaven, Al-Arsh, Vaikunth? 

Kartar is not a body and does not need a place, house or throne. Kartar lives in each and every creature, everywhere. There is no place where Kartar is not present. Some religions have mentioned the abode of God, like Heaven, Al-Arsh or Vaikunth etc. Gurbani says that the Abode of Kartar is inside us so look deep within to get connected with Kartar. This world is the Temple of Kartar.  

ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਵੇਖੁ ਤੂ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥  

By Guru’s Grace, see that the Abode of Kartar is within you. 

ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਸਬਦੇ ਖੋਜੀਐ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੋ ਲੇਹੁ ਸਮੑਾਲਿ ॥੧॥  

The Abode of Kartar is found through the Sabad Guru; following Guru’s instructions contemplate and reflect on Kartar’s Name. ||1|| 

 

ਹਰਿ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਏਹੁ ਜਗਤੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰੰਧਾਰ ॥  

The whole world is the Temple of the Kartar; but without the Guru, there is pitch darkness (of ignorance) in our minds (which does not let us see Kartar in all). 

M3 – SGGS – Ang 1346 

Gurmat does not conceive Kartar as a Person, sitting somewhere in the clouds or on the seventh sky, or on some nether region, but is pervading everywhere in the universe. Kartar is seen in His creation and the creatures. Gursikhs (Guru oriented Sikhs) consider the Sadh Sangat (company of the Gursikhs) as the abode of Kartar, not some imaginary place like Heaven, Al-Arsh or Vaikunth. Wherever the Kirtan (devotional praise) of Kartar is sung, that is considered as the abode of Kartar. 

ਤਹਾ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੁ ਜਹ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਸਰਧਾ ਲਾਇਹਿ ॥੨॥  

That place is Baikunth (abode of Kartar), where the Kirtan of the Your Praises are sung O Kartar! You Yourself instill the faith into us. ||2|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 749 

Sometimes we encounter some words in Gurbani, which may appear to point to some human like entity. These just represent the different powers and attributes of Kartar. 

  • ਪੁਰਖੁ Purakh (pervading) – Purakh word is used in Gurbani meaning both man and All Pervading. Like in ਨਾਰੀ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਭ ਨਾਰੀ ਸਭੁ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਮੁਰਾਰੇ ॥ Woman or man, man or woman, all came from the One All Pervading Lord. There is a Bani called ਸੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ So Purakh (That All Pervading) which clarifies the usage of word Purakh as All Pervading. ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ ॥ You are pervading in each and every heart and in all things constantly. O Dear Kartar, you are the One pervading in all. 
  • ਦਰਗਾਹ Dargah (Court), ਦਰਬਾਰੁ Darbaar (Court), ਦੀਬਾਣੁ Dibaan (Court) – These just represent the Divine Justice; these are not physical places. 
  • ਹੁਕਮੀ Hukami (Commander), ਸਾਹਿਬੁ (Master), ਕਰਤਾ (Creator) – These words represent the creative and operative powers of Kartar, the Creator and Master of the creation. Everything in the world happens according to His Will and Command. 
  • ਸਦਾ ਸਲਾਮਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ Sada Salamat Nirankar (Everlasting Formless Kartar), ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਿਬੁ Saha Patisahu (Emperor of emperors), ਰਾਜਾਨ ਰਾਜ Rajaan Raaj (King of kings) – These represent the supreme authority and sovereignty of Kartar. The emperors, kings, monarchs are created by Kartar and subject to death. Kartar is the true Sovereign, Emperor, King or Monarch.
  • ਪਿਤਾ Pita (Father), ਮਾਤਾ Maata (Mother), ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ Bhraata (Brother), ਭਤਾਰੁ Bhataar (Husband), ਦਾਤਾਰ Dataar (Giver) – These words represent the protection and support of Kartar. 
  • ਬਾਬਾ Baba (Respected senior) represents the elderly wisdom.

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥  

You are my Father, and You are my Mother. (You nourish and protect me like parents) 

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਭ੍ਰਾਤਾ ॥  

You are my Relative, and You are my Brother. (you stand with me like a brother and a relative) 

ਤੂੰ ਮੇਰਾ ਰਾਖਾ ਸਭਨੀ ਥਾਈ ਤਾ ਭਉ ਕੇਹਾ ਕਾੜਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥  

You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety? ||1|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 103 

Characteristics of Kartar

Kartar is ਬੇਅੰਤੁ Beyant (unlimited), ਅਗਮ Agam (unapproachable) ਅਗੋਚਰ Agochar (imperceptible), with unlimited ਗੁਣ Gun (virtues or qualities). Any description of Kartar will be incomplete and insufficient.  

ਤੂੰ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਬੇਅੰਤੁ ਬੇਅੰਤੁ ਜੀ ਤੇਰੇ ਕਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਆਖਿ ਵਖਾਣਾ   

O Prabhu! You are the Supreme Transcendental Being, Limitless and Infinite. What Virtues of Yours can I speak of and describe? 

M4 – SGGS – Ang 10 

We cannot describe all the virtues of Kartar. But we can recite or sing some of His virtues to express our love, devotion, gratitude, prayer, and longing to meet Him. In Gurbani there are many names describing the virtues of Kartar. But all virtues cannot be mentioned as those are countless. 

ਤੂ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਦਾਨਾ ਬੀਨਾ ਮੈ ਮਛੁਲੀ ਕੈਸੇ ਅੰਤੁ ਲਹਾ ਜਹ ਜਹ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਤਹ ਤੂ ਹੈ ਤੁਝ ਤੇ ਨਿਕਸੀ ਫੂਟਿ ਮਰਾ ॥੧॥ 

You are the Ocean, All-knowing and All-seeing. I am just a fish; how can I find Your limits? Wherever I look, You are there. Outside of You, I would burst and die. ||1|| 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 25 

The intellectual community has tried to put Kartar into distinct categories like monotheism, polytheism, monism, pantheism, panentheism etc. This categorization may be helpful to understand some aspects of Kartar, but no category can fully capture the essence of Kartar. All categories have flaws and limitations, which are subject to debate, which has been continuing for centuries.  

ਆਪੁ ਆਪਨੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਹੈ ਜੇਤੀ ਬਰਨਤ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਤੁਹਿ ਤੇਤੀ   

According to one’s own intellect, one describes You differently. 

ਤੁਮਰਾ ਲਖਾ ਜਾਇ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਕਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਸਜਾ ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥੩੯੩॥  

The limits of Your creation, and how it was fashioned in the beginning cannot be known. 393. 

P10 – SDG – Ang 1386 

There are some faiths or religions who claim to be the exclusive path to Creator. They have the theological and philosophical need to reject everything else to justify the scriptures of their own faith, otherwise their exclusivity claim falls apart. But in reality, all the originators of these various philosophies are trying to describe the same ocean (Kartar), but they have their own utensils (minds) to hold (understand) the ocean. Some have cups, tumblers, bottles, or buckets etc. But no utensil can measure or hold the ocean. No human mind can comprehend the Incomprehensible. Gurmat does not reject other scriptures or philosophies. Instead, the existence of other philosophies is acknowledged and respected. 

ਛਿਅ ਘਰ ਛਿਅ ਗੁਰ ਛਿਅ ਉਪਦੇਸ   

There are six sastras (schools of philosophy), six different teachers, and six sets of teachings.  

ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਵੇਸ ਅਨੇਕ ॥੧॥  

But the primal subject of all – the Teacher of teachers is the One. These philosophies describe the same One in different ways and forms. ||1|| 

M1- SGGS – Ang 12 

Gurmat does not use any exclusive name for Kartar. There are many names used for Kartar in Gurbani (Kartar being just one of these names). In other faiths there is exclusive scriptural significance assigned to a name like God (Christianity), Allah (Islam), Raam (Hinduism). Gurbani has various names of Kartar (Hari, Gobind, Madho, Beethal, Allah, Khuda, Maula, Brahm, Parmeshar, Raam, Gopal, Kartar, Waheguru etc). These are called Kirtam Naam, and all names are accepted and revered equally as they represent the various aspects of Kartar. So, we do not need to fuss over which name is superior to others. 

ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਜਾਉ ਜੇਤੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਵ ਹੈ ॥੪॥੨॥  

I am a sacrifice to Your Names, as many as there are, O Kartar. ||4||2|| 

M1- SGGS – Ang 1168 

Following are some of the characteristics describing Kartar. 

Absolute  

Kartar is Absolute unconditioned reality, described in Gurbani as ਸਤਿ Sat (Eternal Reality), ਅਟਲ Atal (immutable), ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ Abhinasi (imperishable), ਨਿਹਚਲੁ Nihchal (immovable), ਸੈਭੰ Saibhang (self-existent), ਵੇਮੁਹਤਾਜਾ Vemuhtaja (independent), ਅਨੂਪੁ Anoop (incomparable), ਨਿਆਰਾ Niaara (unaffected), and ਸਮਰਥੁ Samrath (having absolute power) etc. All the universes, galaxies, stars, planets, and worlds are created by and dependent on Kartar for existence and sustenance.  

ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਪਰਮੇਸੁਰ ਮਨ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਓਟ ਗਹੀਜੈ ਰੇ ਜਿਨਿ ਧਾਰੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਖੰਡ ਹਰਿ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪੀਜੈ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ  

Kartar is the Supreme, All-pervading, Transcendent Reality; O my mind, hold tight to the Support of the One, who established the universes, and the worlds. Recite the Name of that Creator. ||1||Pause|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 209 

Kartar being the Absolute Reality, transcends in every direction and every opposite like: 

Immanent and transcendent

Kartar lives in the creation in every heart (Immanent), and at the same time is beyond the creation also (Transcendent). 

ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਪਾਇਆ   

Within the heart is the Transcendent Supreme Kartar, whose limits cannot be found.  

M4 – SGGS – Ang 448

Light and darkness 

Kartar himself is the cause of darkness and light and pervades in light and darkness equally.  

ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਆਪੇ ਕੀਆ

He Himself created darkness and light. 

M3 – SGGS – Ang 1056

ਨਮੋ ਅੰਧਕਾਰੇ ਨਮੋ ਤੇਜ ਤੇਜੇ

Salutation to You O Darkness! Salutation to You O Light of lights!

P10 – SDG – Ang 10

Good and evil 

Kartar Himself causes everything good or evil. 

ਨਮੋ ਨਿੱਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੇ ਕ੍ਰੂਰ ਕਰਮੇ

Salutation to You, O Benign Protector! Salutation to You, O Heinous-actions-Performer! 

P10 – SDG – Ang 3

Manifest and unmanifest 

ਤੂੰ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਪੇ   

You Yourself are the Manifest and the Unmanifest. 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 102 

Inside and outside

ਹਰਿ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਇਕੁ ਤੂੰ ਤੂੰ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਭੇਤੁ   

O Kartar, You are inside and outside as well. You are the Knower of all secrets.  

M3 – SGGS – Ang 84 

Nearer than the nearest and farther than the farthest

ਸਭ ਤੇ ਨੇਰੈ ਸਭਹੂ ਤੇ ਦੂਰਿ   

He is near to all, and yet far from all. 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 276 

Kartar is the only Absolute. Everything else is relative to Kartar and depends on Kartar to exist. 

Ajooni – Unborn 

Kartar is ਅਜੂਨੀ Ajooni (Unborn), who does not come in incarnations and is not subject to womb. But Kartar can manifest in physical form to give darshan (appearance) to His devotees. All the creatures created by Kartar are subject to the cycle of birth and death. Kartar Himself is not subject to the cycle of birth and death and does not ever take birth or dies. 

ਭਰਮਿ ਭੂਲੇ ਨਰ ਕਰਤ ਕਚਰਾਇਣ ॥  

Deluded and confused by doubt, people make up false stories (that the Lord was born as Krishna.)

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਣ ਤੇ ਰਹਤ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥  

But Narayan (Kartar) is beyond birth and death. ||1||Pause|| 

…. 

ਸੋ ਮੁਖੁ ਜਲਉ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਹਹਿ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਜੋਨੀ ॥੩॥  

Let that mouth be burnt, which says that Thakur (Master) comes in incarnation. ||3|| 

ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥  

He is not born, and He does not die; He does not come and go in incarnations. 

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੪॥੧॥  

The Prabhu of Nanak is pervading and permeating everywhere. ||4||1|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 1136 

Transcendent

Kartar is ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ Parbraham (Transcendent) beyond any limits of the creation. He was there before creation, at the time of creation, is present now and will exist after the creation is destroyed.  

ਚੇਤਿ ਮਨਾ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਸਰਬ ਕਲਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਧਾਰੀ   

O my mind, remember the Supreme Transcendent Kartar, who wields all power. 

ਕਰੁਣਾ ਮੈ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਪ੍ਰਾਣ ਅਧਾਰੀ   

The All-powerful, Embodiment of compassion, is the Support of each and every life; 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 248 

Immanent

Kartar is ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ Parbraham (Transcendent), and ਹਾਜਰਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ Hazra-Hazoor (Immanent) at the same time. The Supreme Kartar is permeating in each and every being. Everybody has the ਜੋਤਿ Jot (Light) of Kartar. 

ਤੂੰ ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜੀ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ

You are permeating in each and every heart, and in all things, uninterruptedly, O Dear Kartar, you are the One, pervading everywhere.

M4 – SGGS – Ang 10

ਸਭ ਕੈ ਸੰਗੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਨ ਕਰਾਵਨ ਹਾਜਰਾ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ

He is with all; He is not far away. He is the Cause of creation, ever-present here and now. ||1||Pause||

M5- SGGS – Ang 987

Kartar being Immanent and living within us, we do not need to seek Kartar in jungles, mountains, caves, or monasteries. Kartar lives within us, and we need to seek within us only, by introspecting, contemplating, remembering, and searching within. 

ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਬਨ ਖੋਜਨ ਜਾਈ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਸਦਾ ਅਲੇਪਾ ਤੋਹੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ  

O’ Dear, why do you go looking for Him in the forests? He dwells in everybody and is still unattached. He is always with you as your companion. ||1||Pause|| 

ਪੁਹਪ ਮਧਿ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਸੁ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਮੁਕਰ ਮਾਹਿ ਜੈਸੇ ਛਾਈ ਤੈਸੇ ਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਬਸੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਖੋਜਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ 

Like fragrance in the flower, reflection in the mirror, Kartar dwells deep within; search for Him within your own heart, O’ Brother. ||1|| 

M9 – SGGS – Ang 684 

Cause of causes

Kartar is the Cause of all causes – Creation and destruction, birth and death, health and disease, light and darkness, gyan (knowledge) and agyan (ignorance). Kartar caused the creation to exist. It will remain in existence, as long as Kartar wants it to exist. There is no other than Kartar who can cause anything. 

ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਸਰ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥  

Kartar alone is the Cause of the creation – there is none other at all. 

ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਬਲਿਹਾਰਣੈ ਜਲਿ ਥਲਿ ਮਹੀਅਲਿ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥  

O Nanak, I am a sacrifice to the One, who pervades in the waters, the lands, the sky and all space. ||1|| 

M5- SGGS – Ang 276 

Omnipresent

Kartar is ਸਰਬ-ਵਿਆਪਕ Sarab-Viyapak (Omnipresent), present everywhere all the time; on the earth, water, sky, forests, mountains; in the manifest and unmanifest; in the living and non-living things. There is no place where Kartar is not present.  

ਦਸੇ ਦਿਸਾ ਰਵਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ਧਰਨਿ ਅਕਾਸ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪੇਖੁ  

The One Prabhu (Kartar) is pervading in the ten directions (North, South, East, West, NW, SW, NE, SE, Up and Down). Behold Prabhu in all the earth and the sky, 

ਜਲ ਥਲ ਬਨ ਪਰਬਤ ਪਾਤਾਲ ਪਰਮੇਸ੍ਵਰ ਤਹ ਬਸਹਿ ਦਇਆਲ  

In the water, on the land, in the forests and mountains, and in the nether regions of the underworld, the Merciful Transcendent Kartar is dwelling everywhere. 

ਸੂਖਮ ਅਸਥੂਲ ਸਗਲ ਭਗਵਾਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਛਾਨ ॥੧੪॥ 

Kartar is present in all the unmanifest and manifest world. O Nanak, the Gurmukh (Guru oriented Sikh) realizes Kartar in everybody and everywhere. ||14|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 299 

Omnipotent

Kartar is ਸਮਰਥੁ Samrath (Omnipotent) All-powerful Creator. He is the Cause, Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of creation. He creates, sustains, and destroys creation at His Will without consulting anybody.  

ਕਰਣ ਕਾਰਣ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਹੈ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ਕਾਰਣੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਵਸਿ ਹੈ ਜਿਨਿ ਕਲ ਰਖੀ ਧਾਰਿ ॥੨॥ 

Kartar is the All-powerful Cause of creation, says Nanak after deep deliberation. Creation is in the control of the Creator, who sustains it by His Almighty Power. ||2|| 

M2 – SGGS – Ang 148 

Omniscient

Kartar is ਜਾਨਣਹਾਰੁ Jananhaar (Omniscient) and knows everything happening in the world in the past, present and future. Kartar created everything, never forgets anything, and hence knows everything. Nothing can be hidden from Him.  

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਜਿਦੂ ਕਿਛੁ ਗੁਝਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੨॥  

O Nanak, the Creator knows everything; nothing can be hidden from Him. ||2|| 

M4- SGGS – Ang 302 

Infallible

Kartar is ਅਭੁਲੁ (infallible) and does not make any mistake. Everything created by Kartar is perfect and flawless and has sound reasoning and purpose for existence.  

ਤੂ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਅਭੁਲੁ ਹੈ ਭੁਲਣ ਵਿਚਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਤੂ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੁ ਸਚੇ ਭਲਾ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਬੁਝਾਹੀ  

O Creator, You Yourself are infallible; You never make mistakes. Whatever You do is perfect, O True Creator; this understanding is obtained through the Guru’s Sabad. 

M4 – SGGS – Ang 301 

Self-Sufficient

Kartar is ਬੇਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ Be-muhthaaj (Self-sufficient), who is complete and perfect from every aspect and do not need anybody’s help, advice, or sacrifices etc. 

ਬੇਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੇਵਕ ਸਾਚਾ ਵੇਸਾਹੁ  

Kartar, the Perfect King is self-sufficient, without any dependence on anybody. His servants have unshakable faith in Him. 

ਗੁਰਿ ਪੂਰੈ ਰਾਖੇ ਦੇ ਹਾਥ ਨਾਨਕ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਸਮਰਾਥ ॥੪॥੨੬॥੯੫॥ 

Kartar protects his servants by giving His Hand, through the Perfect Guru. O Nanak, the Supreme Kartar is All-powerful. ||4||26||95|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 184 

Imperceptible

Kartar is ਅਗੰਮ Agam (beyond the reach of mind) and ਅਗੋਚਰ Agochar (imperceptible), who cannot be perceived by the human senses. 

ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰ ਅਗੰਮ ਅਗੋਚਰ ਨਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਾਲੁ ਕਰਮਾ   

Kartar is unknowable, infinite, unapproachable and imperceptible. He is not subject to death or karma. 

M1 – SGGS – Ang 597 

Indescribable

Kartar is ਅਕਥੁ Akath (indescribable), who cannot be fully understood or described. His virtues are unlimited and hence any description of Kartar will be insufficient. 

ਊਚਾ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਥਨੁ ਜਾਇ ਅਕਥੁ   

O Kartar you are lofty, unapproachable, and infinite. You are indescribable beyond any description. 

ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸਰਣਾਗਤੀ ਰਾਖਨ ਕਉ ਸਮਰਥੁ ॥੧॥  

Nanak seeks your Sanctuary O Kartar; You are all-powerful to protect us. ||1|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 704 

Immaculate

Kartar is ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ Niranjan (immaculate), unaffected by the influences of ਮਾਇਆ Maya (creation). He is infused in the creation, lives in each and every heart, but remains unaffected, unattached, immaculate, and pure. 

ਆਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰਾ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਵਰਤੈ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਾਰਾ  

Primal, Immaculate Kartar is formless, pervading and permeating in everybody, yet still detached and unaffected. 

ਵਰਨੁ ਜਾਤਿ ਚਿਹਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ਸਭ ਹੁਕਮੇ ਸ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਉਪਾਇਦਾ ॥੧॥  

He has no race or social class, no identifying mark. By the Hukam (command) of His Will, He created the entire creation. ||1|| 

M5 – SGGS – Ang 1075 

Incomparable

Kartar is ਅਨੂਪੁ Anoop (incomparable), and beyond ਉਪਮਾ Upma (comparison) who cannot be compared to anybody else. We can try to understand some of the virtues or attributes of Kartar, but He is limitless and beyond any comparison. Any description of Kartar is incomplete and inadequate, hence any comparison with anybody else will not be meaningful. 

ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਬਹੁ ਕਾਇ ਕਰੀਜੈ ਜੈਸਾ ਤੂ ਤੈਸਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਕਿਆ ਉਪਮਾ ਦੀਜੈ ॥੩॥੧॥ 

Says Ravidas, O Prabhu, your gun (virtues) are akath (beyond words) and cannot be described, no matter how hard we try. Whatever You are, You are, O Prabhu; who can be compared with You? ||3||1|| 

Bhagat Ravidas – SGGS – Ang 858 

Author:

Tej Partap Singh

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