Gurmat Process and Techniques

To do anything significant in our life, we need some planning, follow some processes and techniques. We also need some skills, resources, materials, financing and many more depending upon the complexity of the objective we want to achieve. For example, to go from Toronto to Vancouver, we need to plan how to go – fly, train or drive etc. If we choose to drive then we need to plan the route we take, where to stop, refuel, eat or rest. Some routes may be shorter but challenging, others may be longer but easier and scenic. We need the tools and resources like car, navigation system and some emergency tools like tire repair kit, jump start kit etc. We need the skills to drive the car. On our way we need to know where we are (milestones)? How far we have to go more?

“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” ― Seneca

The car travel is external journey, and we can see everything happening with our own eyes. But the spiritual journey is inside journey. On this journey we cannot see, hear, touch or smell anything. We don’t even know where to go, how to go, what we experience on the way, if we are on the right track or not? There are so many unknowns. So, we need the guidance of the Guru (guide) to take on to the spiritual journey. The Guru teaches the process, techniques, resources and milestones to connect with Kartar (Creator).

ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰਉ ਜਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜਾਵੈ ॥

I want to make Him my Guru, who can implant the Truth in me.

ਅਕਥੁ ਕਥਾਵੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਮਿਲਾਵੈ ॥

Who can lead me to praise the indescribable Lord, and who merges me in the Lord, with His Shabad (teachings).

SGGS – Ang 686

Moreover, the spiritual journey is unique to each individual, as each individual soul is unique. The soul may have gone through various life forms, has different set of Karma, born in unique family, grown in unique circumstances, has unique education and skillsets.

ਮੇਰੈ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਸਾਚੈ ਇਕੁ ਖੇਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਆ ॥

My True Lord God has staged a play.

ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕਿਸ ਹੀ ਜੇਹਾ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥

He has created no one like anyone else.

SGGS – Ang 1056

So, there may or may not be any previous patterns to follow. We don’t only need to understand the process and follow it, but also need to customize it, for the specific situation of each individual. So, there is nothing like one-size-fits-all process. This creates even bigger challenge. We can easily get lost and abandon the effort towards the spiritual growth, before even the journey is started. On this individual experience, we don’t just need to be trained but enabled. So, without True Guru, the spiritual journey is impossible. Choosing the Guru, who himself has travelled on the spiritual journey, and we can trust, is the most importance step in the spiritual growth.

ਸੋ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਜਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਕਰਨਾ ॥

Adopt such a Guru, that you shall not have to adopt another again.

ਸੋ ਪਦੁ ਰਵਹੁ ਜਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਰਵਨਾ ॥

Dwell in such a state, that you shall never have to dwell in any other.

ਸੋ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਧਰਹੁ ਜਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਧਰਨਾ ॥

Embrace such a meditation, that you shall never have to embrace any other.

ਐਸੇ ਮਰਹੁ ਜਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਮਰਨਾ ॥੨॥

Die in such a way, that you shall never have to die again. ||2||

SGGS – Ang 327

In Sikhi (Sikhism), Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture) is the True Guru, who guides us on the spiritual journey. Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, bestowed the guruship to Sri Guru Granth Sahib and ordained the Sikhs:

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

Gurmat focuses on the enablement, rather than training. Training just makes us learn certain skills. But enablement gives us the authority and means, to device new skills or processes on the way. Sikhs, not only learn the process, but adopt it in the life style. By remaining in the society and facing the challenges of day to life, while reciting Gurbani and Naam (Name of Lord), serving the Guru with humbleness and devotion, enables the Sikh to be able to handle any situation on the spiritual journey. Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, gave the authority to the Panj Pyare (five beloved ones) to implant the Gurmanter (Gurus mantra), and the code of conduct, to the new initiates.

ਪਾਰਸਿ ਪਰਸਿਐ ਪਾਰਸੁ ਹੋਇ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥

By personally experiencing the Personality of the Guru, one’s own personality is uplifted to the highest status, and one’s light merges into the Light.

SGGS – Ang 27

Process

Process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular goal. To embark on the spiritual journey, we need some process, which tells us the steps or actions to be taken in our spiritual journey to achieve the ultimate goal of our life – to merge with the Creator. Gurmat process is simple and easy to understand. No unnecessary rituals, pilgrimages, fasting, remaining unmarried, living in monasteries, self-torturing penances etc. are needed.

Understand the Purpose of Life

The first step in the Gurmat process is to understand the purpose of life. Who I am? Why am I here? From where I came? Where will I go after death? The answers to these questions will not be found outside, but will come from inside by introspection.

ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਆਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥

O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light – recognize your own origin.

ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਜੀ ਤੇਰੈ ਨਾਲਿ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਰੰਗੁ ਮਾਣੁ ॥

O my mind, the Dear Lord is with you; through the Guru’s Teachings, enjoy His Love.

SGGS – Ang 440

Once we understand our origin or source, from where we came, then we start feeling that we are separated from the Creator. The worldly pursuits of wealth and happiness becomes meaningless and the void of true bliss is felt. The pain of separation from the Creator is felt. In Gurmat terms, this pain of separation is called Birha – ਬਿਰਹਾ. Its only after the feeling of Birha, the search for the purpose and meaning in life starts. The mind acknowledges the separation from Kartar. This is when we strive to go towards the origin to merge with it, like river merging in the ocean.

The questions come to mind like, Why I am separated from Kartar? What can I do to reconnect?

ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥

So how can we become worthy of merging with the Creator? And how can the veil of falsehood between us and Creator be torn away?

ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥

O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey His Hukam (Command), and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 1

Living according to the Lord’s Hukam (Command), is not easy thing to do. It takes practice, persistence and unwavering trust and devotion to the Lord and the Guru.

Formally Accept the Guru and Become Initiated

In Gurmat, there are no promises of salvation or rivers of wine in paradise after death. There is no messiah, to wake the dead and deliver the salvation. Gurmat enables the individual to experience oneness with Kartar, while alive during this lifetime. Once the soul merges with Kartar, the individual existence of the soul ceases to exist, just like the drop of water merges in the ocean. The wall of ego and falsehood between the soul and the Creator will be torn away, and there will nothing be left to give the salvation or paradise.

The spiritual journey is the game of love. To play this game, we have to formally accept the Guru, become initiated Sikh (ਅੰਮਿਤਧਾਰੀ ਸਿੱਖ), and surrender completely to the Guru.

ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ ॥

If you desire to play this game of love with Me, then step onto My Path with your head in hand.

ਇਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਪੈਰੁ ਧਰੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਦੀਜੈ ਕਾਣਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੨੦॥

When you place your feet on this Path, don’t hesitate to give Me your head, and do not pay any attention to public opinion. ||20||

SGGS – Ang 1410

The spiritual journey is, by choice. There must not be any force, pressure, coercion, fear, economic, financial or job incentives of any kind, to get into any spiritual endeavor. The spiritual journey is the game of love, which demands complete immersion, dedication and effort. It must be driven by the internal voice, the longing to achieve something meaningful in life.

Everybody may not be physically, mentally or socially ready to take on the full responsibilities of being a Sikh. In Gurmat, there is a concept of Sehajdhari Sikh (rookie Sikh), to accommodate the new people, who are not ready yet, but are interested in Sikhi and want to explore more about Sikhi, to learn and get accustomed to the Sikh way of life. There is no hard timeline for remaining Sehajdhari. Some may take few months, or few years being Sehajdhari. Once one is physically, mentally and socially ready to accept the Sikh way of life and Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru, then taking the Amrit in the Amrit Sanchar (initiation) process is the next logical step in the spiritual journey according to Gurmat. During the Amrit Sanchar process, a Sikh formally accepts Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru and commits to the Khalsa code of conduct (ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਹਿਤ). It’s after the Amrit, a Sikh is born in Guru’s home, by severing the ties to the previous affiliations of caste, creed, faith or belief systems.

ਪ੍ਰਥਮ ਰਹਿਤ ਯਹ ਜਾਨ ਖੰਡੇ ਕੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਛਕੇ॥

Know that the first injunction of the Rehit is to undertake the Amrit of the two-edged sword.

ਸੋਈ ਸਿੰਘ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਅਵਰ ਨ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਜੋ ਲਏ॥੧॥

Such a Singh is supreme who takes Amrit of no other kind.

ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ॥ Khalsa Rehitnama

It’s very important to understand that being Sehajdhari is a transient phase, while learning Sikh values, Gurbani, and adjusting to the Gurmat framework. It’s like the planning phase of the trip we want to go on. Its good to plan, check the weather, traffic and routes etc. But if we keep planning, reading the maps or asking for directions, we go nowhere. We cannot predict and plan for everything on the way. In order to reach the destination, we have to actually start the trip and go. Similarly, if somebody remains Sehajdhari, one is just in the planning phase, the journey is not started yet. If we study online without formally taking admission in the University, we can get the knowledge, but we will not get the degree until we formally apply. Similarly, being Sehajdhari we can learn about Sikhi, but will not get birth in Guru’s home. It’s after taking Amrit and formally accepting the Guru, our journey will begin. Before that everything we do is only planning and preparation for our journey.

ਜੇ ਸਉ ਚੰਦਾ ਉਗਵਹਿ ਸੂਰਜ ਚੜਹਿ ਹਜਾਰ ॥ ਏਤੇ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋਦਿਆਂ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਘੋਰ ਅੰਧਾਰ ॥੨॥

If a hundred moons were to rise, and a thousand suns appeared, even with such light, there would still be pitch darkness in mind without the Guru. ||2||

SGGS – Ang 463

For more information about the role of Guru in our life please read: Guru – The Spiritual Guide

Let the Guru Guide You

When the 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||

SGGS – Ang 200

Learn to read and recite Gurbani, read the meanings of Gurbani or listen to the Gurbani Katha (explanations of meanings). By listening to Gurbani and believing in Guru’s teachings, the mind gets imbued in Gurbani. The filth of worldly influences is cleansed.

ਸੁਣਿਆ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਕੀਤਾ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਗਤਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਉ ॥

Whoever listened Lord’s Naam and believed with love and humility, he cleansed himself with the Naam, at the sacred shrine deep within.

SGGS – Ang 4

While doing meditation, chanting, Gurbani recital, the mind will get molded to the Gurmat framework. Listening to Naam according to Guru’ teachings describing the wonderful virtues of Kartar, the mind starts believing in Naam. The faith in Naam increases as the mental fog is cleared. Mind becomes calm and learns to remain in the present moment, enjoying the nectar of Naam deep within.

ਜਿਨੀ ਸੁਣਿ ਕੈ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤਿਨਾ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥

Those who listen to and believe in Naam, find the home of the self, deep within.

ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਸਾਲਾਹਿ ਸਚੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਗੁਣਤਾਸੁ ॥

Through the Guru’s Teachings, they praise the True Lord and find the Lord, the Treasure of Excellence.

ਸਬਦਿ ਰਤੇ ਸੇ ਨਿਰਮਲੇ ਹਉ ਸਦ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੈ ਜਾਸੁ ॥

Attuned to the Guru’s Shabad (teachings), they become immaculate and pure. I am forever a sacrifice to them.

ਹਿਰਦੈ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਿਤੁ ਘਟਿ ਹੈ ਪਰਗਾਸੁ ॥੧॥

Those people, within whose hearts the Lord abides, becomes enlightened. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 27

Remember, it’s the journey of lifetime, so don’t be impatient. Keep focus and keep moving forward. Don’t look backward. Keep doing the efforts, to make the life blessed with Naam and uplift the soul. Don’t let it go in the downward spiral again, as the human life is the opportunity to merge with the Creator.

ਆਗਾਹਾ ਕੂ ਤ੍ਰਾਘਿ ਪਿਛਾ ਫੇਰਿ ਨ ਮੁਹਡੜਾ ॥

Look ahead; don’t turn your shoulder backwards.

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਿਝਿ ਇਵੇਹਾ ਵਾਰ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਜਨਮੜਾ ॥੧॥

O Nanak, be successful in this lifetime, so that you don’t have to be born again. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 1096

Daily Nitnem

During the Amrit Sanchar (initiation) process, the Panj Pyare (five beloved ones) explain the code of conduct, the Gurmantar, and Nitnem (the daily routine of Gurbani recital). Nitnem is vital food for the mind, just like we eat food daily for our body. Every day, there will be some distractions from the spiritual path. To negate the effect of distractions, we must recite Gurbani daily.

  • Morning – Japji Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Tav Prasad Savaiye, Chaupai Sahib, Anand Sahib (about one hour)
  • Evening – Rehiras Sahib (20 minutes)
  • Night – Keertan Sohila (5 minutes)

To make the journey faster, one can recite more Bani (hymns), do Naam Simran (remember and recite Gurmantar, the Guru’s mantra), or listen to Gurbani Keertan (devotional singing) or Katha (explanation).

Going to Sangat (congregation)

Sangat is very important for a Sikh. The Nitnem is done every day at home or wherever the Sikh is. But from time to time the Sikh also should go in the Sangat.

ਵਿਚਿ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਬੁਝਹੁ ਸਬਦ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥

The Lord God himself is present in the Sangat, the Holy Congregation; reflect upon the Shabad and understand this.

SGGS – Ang 1314

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਭਾਉ ਨਹੀ ਊਪਜੈ ਭਾਵ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਰੀ ॥

Without the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, love for the Lord does not well up; without this love, Your devotional worship cannot be performed.

SGGS – Ang 694

Sikhs gather in sangat (congregation) and discus the Gurmat to understand the deeper meanings of Gurbani (hymns) and learn to apply the concepts in the day to day life. Sikhs learn the moral values, ਰਹਿਣੀ (way of life), ਬਹਿਣੀ (way of sitting in various situations), ਕਹਿਣੀ (way of talking), ਸਹਿਣੀ (patience, and perseverance to face any situation), in the sangat by learning from the Gurmat and history discussions.

ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਚਟਸਾਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਸਿਖਾ ॥

The Sat Sangat, the True Congregation of the True Guru, is the school for the soul, where the Glorious Virtues of the Lord are learned.

ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਸੁ ਰਸਨਾ ਧੰਨੁ ਕਰ ਧੰਨੁ ਸੁ ਪਾਧਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਤੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਹਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਲਿਖਾ ॥੮॥

Blessed, blessed is the tongue which recites the Naam, blessed is the hand which serves the Sangat, and blessed is the Teacher, the True Guru; meeting Him, the virtues of the Lord is written and discussed. ||8||

SGGS – Ang 1316

In the Sangat Sikhs gather and do Gurbani Keertan (singing of Guru’s hymns).

ਕਲਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥

In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the Kirtan of the Lord’s Praises is the most sublime and exalted.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਪੀਐ ਲਾਇ ਧਿਆਨਾ ॥

According to Guru’s Teachings, chant and meditate on Lord’s Name.

ਆਪਿ ਤਰੈ ਸਗਲੇ ਕੁਲ ਤਾਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਜਾਇਦਾ ॥੬॥

Whoever chants, shall save himself, and save all his generations as well, and go to the Court of the Lord with honor. ||6||

SGGS – Ang 1075

Adhere to the Rehit Maryada (Code-of-Conduct)

The Rehit Maryada is the operational manual of the Sikhs. Every Sikh must strive to live the life according to the code of conduct as mentioned in the Rehit Maryada. During the time of Amrit Sanchaar (initiation process), the Panj Pyare (five beloved ones) explain the code of conduct to the new initiates. It includes the formal definition of a Sikh, the do’s and don’ts, the various ceremonies, processes etc.

ਰਹਿਣੀ ਰਹੈ ਸੋਈ ਸਿਖ ਮੇਰਾ॥ ਵਹ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਮੈਂ ਉਸ ਕਾ ਚੇਰਾ॥੧੦੩॥

He is only my Sikh who remain forever obedient to the Rehit; He is my master and I am his disciple. ॥103॥

ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ॥ Khalsa Rehitnama

One cannot become a Sikh just by taking Amrit and wearing Kakars. We must follow the Rehit sincerely, and live the Gurmat lifestyle according to Guru’s teachings. We shouldn’t try to create our own Rehit to fit our own lifestyle. But we should try to adjust our lifestyle according to the Rehit Maryada.

ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਖਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਵੈ ॥

He alone is Guru’s Sikh, a friend, a relative and a sibling, who walks in the Way of the Guru’s Will.

ਆਪਣੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਜੋ ਚਲੈ ਭਾਈ ਵਿਛੁੜਿ ਚੋਟਾ ਖਾਵੈ ॥

One who walks according to his own will, O Siblings of Destiny, suffers separation from the Lord, and shall suffer pain.

ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੁਖੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਪਾਵੈ ਭਾਈ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੋਤਾਵੈ ॥੧॥

Without the True Guru, he never obtains peace, O Siblings of Destiny; again, and again, he regrets and repents. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 601

The progress on the spiritual path depends upon the sincerity and effort of the individual. Guru treats everybody equally. But the efforts of those will bear fruit, who sincerely live the life according to Guru’s teachings.

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਦਾ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਵਿਣੁ ਭਾਗਾ ਕਿਆ ਪਾਈਐ ॥

The True Guru is forever merciful, O Siblings of Destiny; without good destiny, what can anyone obtain?

ਏਕ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਸਭ ਊਪਰਿ ਜੇਹਾ ਭਾਉ ਤੇਹਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਈਐ ॥

He looks alike upon all with His Glance of Grace, but people receive the fruits of their rewards according to their love for the Lord.

ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੪॥੬॥

O Nanak, when the Naam, the Name of the Lord, comes to dwell within the mind, then self-conceit is eradicated from within. ||4||6||

SGGS – Ang 601

Rehit Maryada Punjabi | Rehit Maryada English

Firm Commitment to the Gurmat Lifestyle

Gurmat is the path of the Householder. In Gurmat normal family-life is no barrier in spiritual progress and merging with the Kartar.

ਇਕਿ ਗਿਰਹੀ ਸੇਵਕ ਸਾਧਿਕਾ ਗੁਰਮਤੀ ਲਾਗੇ ॥

Some are householders, servants, and seekers, attached to the Guru’s Teachings.

ਨਾਮੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਸੁ ਜਾਗੇ ॥੭॥

With firm faith in the Gurmat lifestyle of “Naam Daan Ishnaan”, they remain absorbed in devotional love of Kartar, and alert from the attacks of vices. ||7||

SGGS – Ang 418

Naam means remembering or reciting the Name of Kartar. Daan means altruism, or sharing the gifts of Kartar with others. Ishnaan means cleansing the mind and keeping high moral character. It takes lot of practice and hard work, to bring the wandering mind to the present moment, and focus on the Naam. Mind is like a monkey. Just like a monkey keeps jumping from one branch to the other, the mind also keeps jumping between memories, thoughts and worries etc. Controlling the mind, is the most challenging thing to do.

ਮਨੁ ਜੀਤੇ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਿਆ ਜਾਂ ਤੇ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਉਦਾਸੁ ॥੨॥

Conquering the mind, one conquers the world, and then remains detached from corruption of the world. ||2||

SGGS – Ang 1103

If somebody can control the mind and attach to Naam, it will remain lovingly absorbed in Naam and will realize the Lord within. No worldly powers or attractions can disturb the mind, once it gets attached to Naam. To control wandering mind and attach it to the Naam, the Gurmat teaches the techniques, which are well documented in various Shabads(hymns) in Gurbani.

Gurmat Techniques

The Gurmat lifestyle consists the techniques of Naam, Daan, Ishnaan. All the Gurmat rules, regulations, processes, resources, traditions are cohesively embedded in the techniques of Naam, Daan, Ishnaan, just like a tree’s structure is embedded in its seed.

ਨਾਮੁ Naam (Name) – is a word or symbol to designate an entity. In Gurmat terms, Naam is a word to designate the identity of the Creator (ਕਰਤਾਰ), the One God. A Sikh should remember and recite Lord’s name all the times. We should have mindful awareness of God always, with every breath.

ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸੁਨਿ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ॥ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਪੇਖੁ ॥

Listen to the Teachings of the Perfect Guru; and see the Supreme Lord God near you.

ਸਾਸਿ ਸਾਸਿ ਸਿਮਰਹੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ॥ ਮਨ ਅੰਤਰ ਕੀ ਉਤਰੈ ਚਿੰਦ ॥

With each and every breath, meditate in remembrance on the Lord of the Universe, and the anxiety within your mind shall depart.

SGGS – Ang 295

ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਵਹੁ ॥

Meditate, meditate, meditate in remembrance of Him, and find peace.

ਆਪਿ ਜਪਹੁ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵਹੁ ॥

Chant the Naam yourself, and inspire others to chant it.

SGGS – Ang 262

The are many names given to God by his devotees from various faiths and traditions. In Gurbani, many names of God are used like Raam, Gobind, Madho, Hari, Rahim, Allah, Khuda etc. Gurmat accepts all names of God, as pure and equally respectful.

ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਜਾਉ ਜੇਤੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਨਾਵ ਹੈ ॥੪॥੨॥

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

SGGS – Ang 1168

But there is one Name, the Guru tells to recite, when we formally accept the Guru. It’s called ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ (Gurmantar). During the Amrit Sanchaar process, the Sikhs receive the Gurmantar ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ (Waheguru). This Gurmantar is recited by Sikhs to remember God. With Naam Simran (reciting the Gurmantar), the longing to meet the beloved Lord becomes stronger, and wandering of mind becomes manageable, and at some time the mind becomes still. Then the remembrance of Lord becomes intuitive.

ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord’s Name.

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥

Upon arising early in the morning, he takes bath, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar (Naam).

ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥

Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.

ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; during the day while sitting down, standing up, doing the chores, he meditates on the Lord’s Name.

ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥

One who meditates on my Lord’s Name, with every breath and every morsel of food – that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru’s Mind.

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੂ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥

That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate – upon that GurSikh, the Guru’s Teachings are bestowed.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥

Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||

SGGS – Ang 305

ਦਾਨੁ Daan (Altruism) – sharing the blessings, skills and the gifts of Kartar with the others. Daan means acquiring the knowledge, skills and education and make yourself capable of earning honest living, to live independently and support others.

ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥

One who works hard for what he eats, and gives some of what he has to the needy, – O Nanak, he knows the Path. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 1245

The Daan does not mean sharing the tangible things only. Everybody rich or poor has something to share. Sharing can be money, time, skills, knowledge, inspirations, or physical possessions.

ਗੁਣਾ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਸੁਲਾ ਕਢਿ ਵਾਸੁ ਲਈਜੈ ॥

One who has a basket of fragrant virtues (skills), should enjoy its fragrance and share with others.

ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਨਿੑ ਸਾਜਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥

If you want to gather virtues in you, then meet the Gurmukhs (Guru oriented folks) and share in them.

SGGS – Ang 765

If some blessed soul gets enabled to accumulate the wealth of Naam with Guru’s grace. This wealth also should be shared with others, so that others can also get the inspiration to recite Naam and get connected with the Creator.

ਖਾਵਹਿ ਖਰਚਹਿ ਰਲਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਭਾਈ ॥

The Siblings of Destiny meet together, and eat the food of Naam, and share with others

ਤੋਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਵਧਦੋ ਜਾਈ ॥੩॥

The Naam Khazana (wealth of Naam) does not diminish; it continues to increase. ||3||

SGGS – Ang 185

ਇਸਨਾਨੁ Ishnaan (Cleansing) – maintaining the purity of Mind and Body, and high moral character. Gurmat focuses on cleansing the mind, not only washing the body. Because filthy mind full of vices, (lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego), whatever it does will be filthy and distracting from the real purpose.

ਮਨਿ ਮੈਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਮੈਲਾ ਤਨਿ ਧੋਤੈ ਮਨੁ ਹਛਾ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

When the mind is filthy, everything we do will be filthy; by washing the body, the mind is not cleaned.

ਇਹ ਜਗਤੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਇਆ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਕੋਇ ॥੧॥

This world is deluded by doubt (that bathing at the places of pilgrimage will make them pure); how rare are those who understand this. ||1||

SGGS – Ang 558

Ishnaan is not same as washing the body. Ishnaan means keeping the body pure and free of sins. The body in which, the feet not taking to the wrong places, eyes not seeing other’s women lustfully, or property greedily, ears not listening filthy speech or songs, hands not signing false witnesses, tongue does not indulge in gossiping and slandering others.

ਸੋਚ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਅਰੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਮੈਲੁ ਨ ਤਨ ਤੇ ਜਾਤਿ ॥

You may practice bathing the body day and night, but the filth of your mind shall not leave your body by washing it.

SGGS – Ang 265

Mind can only be cleansed with Naam. So, keep the mind lovingly attuned to the Naam. The mind attached to Naam will feel the lasting bliss. When the mind is attached to Naam, the worldly things will not attract it, and the attachment to the worldly things will subside. When wealth does not attract it, greed will subside. When physical beauty does not attract it, lust will subside. When power or positions do not attract it, the ego will subside. When the desires are under control, the anger will subside, because anger is caused by unfulfilled desires.

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ॥

Chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, O my mind; it will bring you eternal peace, day and night.

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਲਹਾਤੀ ॥

Chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, O my mind; meditating on it, all sins and misdeeds shall be erased.

SGGS – Ang 88

Due to the blessing of Naam, the mind starts to understand, the real Gyan (wisdom) of Guru and starts to see the whole world as one big family of the same God. The Sikh becomes benevolent, and always thinking about the welfare of all, and ready to serve all.

ਨਾ ਕੋ ਮੇਰਾ ਦੁਸਮਨੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਨਾ ਹਮ ਕਿਸ ਕੇ ਬੈਰਾਈ ॥

No one is my enemy, and I am no one’s enemy.

ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਸਾਰੁ ਪਸਾਰਿਓ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥

God, who expanded His expanse, is within all; I learned this from the True Guru. ||2||

SGGS – Ang 661

Resources

Resources are the materials, money, and other assets necessary for effective operation.

For the effective operation of the Gurmat lifestyle, the Guru gave us institutions (Gurdwara, Langar, Sarovar, Takhat, Nishan Sahib) and resources (Gurbani, Simran, Ardaas, Seva, Shaashtar and Shashtar), so that we can practice the Gurmat in daily life and have the support system in place, to make our journey easier on this path.

Gurdrawa – Gurdwara is the Sikh place of worship, where the Sikhs gather in Sangat (congregation), in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Gurdwara is central to the Sikh’s spiritual and social life. It’s a place to learn, recite, sing Gurbani (Guru’s hymns) and learn history, moral values and social etiquettes and do Naam Simran (recite Waheguru gurmantar) and participate in the communal Ardaas (prayer) in the congregation.

ਭਾਂਡਾ ਹਛਾ ਸੋਇ ਜੋ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵਸੀ ॥ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਅਤਿ ਮਲੀਣੁ ਧੋਤਾ ਹਛਾ ਨ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥

That mind-vessel alone is pure, which is pleasing to the Lord. The filthiest mind-vessel does not become pure, simply by being washed (taking bath).

ਗੁਰੂ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਹੋਇ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਾਇਸੀ ॥ ਏਤੁ ਦੁਆਰੈ ਧੋਇ ਹਛਾ ਹੋਇਸੀ ॥

Through the Gurdwara, the Guru’s Gate, one learns the wisdom to get rid of the vices. Washing the mind-vessel with Guru’s teachings, it becomes pure.

SGGS – Ang 730

In case of personal difficulties or hardships, the Sikh can do Ardaas (prayer) to the Guru. Ardaas is very powerful tool to feel the presence of Guru nearby to uplift the soul.

ਜੀਅ ਕੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ਕਰਿ ॥

When your soul is feeling sad, offer your prayers to the Guru.

SGGS – Ang 519

The Sikh can also request help from the Sangat and Gurdwara. The operation and maintenance of Gurdwaras are managed by the volunteer management committees, with the money contributed by the congregants. Coming in the Gurdwara gives the sense of connectedness and belonging to the Khalsa Panth. It reminds the Sikh that “you not alone, there is the community and system behind you.”

Langar – Langar is the community kitchen in the Gurdwara, where all the Sikh congregants and visitors sit and eat food together, sitting in the lines, without any regard to caste, color, race, gender etc. In the Gurdwara, Sikhs are instructed to partake the langar (community meal) before going to the congregation, in the presence of Guru, so that the body and mind both can be nourished.

ਪਹਿਲੇ ਪੰਗਤ ਪਾਛੈ ਸੰਗਤ ॥

First eat in line, then go to congregation

– Guru Amar Das Ji

ਸੁਧ ਭੂਮਿ ਵਹ ਭੋਜਨ ਪਾਵੈ॥ ਖਟੀਆ ਪਰ ਬਹਿ ਕਬੀ ਨ ਖਾਵੈ॥੧੪੩॥
Sit on cleansed ground to eat food in langar. Never sit and eat upon elevated seating.

ਰਹਿਤਨਾਮਾ ਭਾਈ ਨੰਦ ਲਾਲ ਜੀ – Rehitnama Bhai Nand Lal Ji

Eating food in the Pangat (line), before going to the Sangat (congregation), reminds the Sikh to leave the ego, social status and pride away. Meet the physical needs of the body first, so that the mind will not be distracted by hunger or thirst, while sitting in the Sangat. The langar is not just a meal to satisfy the hunger. It reinforces the concept of equality, love and brotherhood among all. The langar is made and served by the sevadaars (volunteers). Sikhs treat langar as the blessing of Kartar and eat respectfully, with head covered. Sikhs recite Kartar’s Naam in the mind, with every morsel of food eaten. Langar gives the opportunity to learn and do Seva (selfless service) in the house of the Guru. Seva prepares the Sikh’s mindset to serve the society.

Sarovar – Sarovar is the holy tank, in the Gurdwara complex, where the Sikhs do Ishnaan (cleansing) of the body with water, and the mind with Gurbani (hymns of Guru). During bath in the sarovar, the Sikh recite Gurbani so that the mind also gets sanctified and remains connected to Naam. The bath at the sarovar reinforces the Sikh’s obligation to keep high moral character.

ਕਰਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਪਨਾ ਮਨ ਤਨ ਭਏ ਅਰੋਗਾ ॥

After taking your cleansing bath, remember your God in meditation, and your mind and body shall be free of disease.

SGGS – Ang 661

Takhat – In Gurmat there is the concept of Miri-Piri, where Miri means temporal authority, Piri means spiritual authority. According to this concept the Guru gave his Sikh ਸ਼ਾਸਤ੍ਰ Shaastar (scripture) in one hand and ਸ਼ਸਤਰ Shastar (weapon) in the other, to make the Sikh a Sant Sipahi (Saint Soldier). Gurdwara represents the Piri or spiritual authority. Takhat represents the Miri or temporal authority of the Sikhs, to discuss and resolve the Panthic (community-wide) issues, related to the code of conduct, or political, social issues etc. In the Takhat, the Shastars (weapons) are adorned as the protective devices given by God.

ਅਸਿ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਨ ਖੰਡੋ ਖੜਗ ਤੁਪਕ ਤਬਰ ਅਰੁ ਤੀਰ ॥ ਸੈਫ ਸਰੋਹੀ ਸੈਹਥੀ ਯਹੈ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਪੀਰ ॥੩॥

Asi (sword), Kripan (sword), Khanda (double-edged sword), Khadag (sword), Tupak (gun), Tabar (hatchet), Teer (arrow), Saif (sword), Sarohi (sword) and Saihathi (spear), all these are our adorable seniors.3.

ਸਸਤ੍ਰ ਨਾਮ ਮਾਲਾ ॥ Shastarnam Mala

The visit to the Takhat reminds the Sikhs to be socially and politically active, and ready for the challenges the on the way.

There are five Takhats of Sikh world.

  1. Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib – Sri Amritsar Sahib, Punjab, India
  2. Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib – Sri Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India
  3. Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib – Talwandi Sabho, Punjab, India
  4. Takhat Sri Patna Sahib – Patna Sahib, Bihar, India
  5. Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib – Nanded, Maharashtra, India

Nishaan Sahib – In every Gurdwara, there is Nishan Sahib (Khalsa Flag). Nishan Sahib is the flag of Khalsa and symbol of spiritual sovereignty of the Khalsa. Sikhs bow to the Nishaan Sahib, to pay tribute to the flag and express devotion to the Khalsa Panth (Nation). It reminds us that we are part of the Khalsa Panth and our spiritual allegiance is to Sri Guru Granth Sahib only. This symbolizes the unity of One Khalsa Panth, under One Nishaan Sahib

ਦਗੜ ਦਗੜ ਹੋਤ ਰਹੈ, ਤਗੜ ਤੀਨ ਬਜਤ ਰਹੈ

May the galloping of the horses continue, mighty sound of the Nagaras (drums) of Khalsa remain vibrating.

ਲੋਹ ਲੰਗਰ ਤਪਤ ਰਹੈ, ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕਮਾਲ ਕੇ।

May the griddles of Wonderful Guru’s Langar remain active.

ਜੈਕਾਰ ਸਦਾ ਗਜਤ ਰਹੈ, ਪੰਥ ਸਦਾ ਬੜ੍ਹਤ ਰਹੈ

May the thunder of Khalsa sologan remain resounding, May the Khalsa Panth keeps growing.

ਝੂਲਤੇ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨ ਰਹੈਂ ਪੰਥ ਮਹਾਰਾਜ ਕੇ ।

May the flags of the Guru remain fluttering.

– Giani Gian Singh

The tall Nishaan Sahib is visible from far and wide. It serves as a beacon of hope for the hungry and the needy. It serves as an open invitation to everybody, saying that you are welcome in the Gurdwara.

Milestones – Panj Khand (Five Spiritual Stages)

If we cannot measure the effectiveness of the process, we don’t know if the process is working or not? If we are marching towards our destination, or just wandering and lost? Just like the car journey, our spirituality journey also needs to be monitored and measured for progress. We need to know the answers to these questions. Where am I? Am I on the right path or just wandering? Is my destination near or far? Am I lost and need directions?

In path of Gurmat there are five Stages of Spirituality called ਪੰਜ ਖੰਡ (Panj Khand), which mean Five Stages. These stages are mentioned in the first bani (composition) Japji Sahib in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The practitioners can measure their progress by applying the yard stick of Panj Khand, to know what stage they have reached and what’s remaining.

1. ਧਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Dharam Khand) – Duties and Responsibilities – In the first stage, Sikh introspects to find the real purpose of life. Sikh learns to performs the duties according to Gurmat, with high level of integrity, love, humility, and respect for all beings of various types, names, colors and ways of worship, as we are individually responsible and accountable for our actions.

ਕਰਮੀ ਕਰਮੀ ਹੋਇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਆਪਿ ਸਚਾ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ॥

By their deeds and their actions, they shall be judged. God Himself is True, and True is His Court.

SGGS – Ang 7

Most of the people remain stuck in this stage because of the misunderstanding that living moral life is enough. People remain busy in the work, duties, responsibilities, without realizing that this is just the first stage. They don’t have time for the in-depth study of scriptures, and understanding the real purpose of life. Due to the ignorance of the upper level stages, they are just content performing their duties and responsibilities towards kids, family, and society. There is significant danger of spiritual stagnation without consistent efforts to learn and advance to the next stage. Spiritually stagnant person considers himself learned, and becomes hardliner and less tolerant towards the people having different opinions or beliefs.

2. ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ (Giyan Khand) – Complete Understanding of Life’s Purpose – In this stage, Sikh gains the awareness of the limitless Lord, innumerable devotees, servants, deities, demons and creatures and their languages created by Him. When the storm of spiritual wisdom comes, the thatched huts of doubts are blown away, the bonds of Maya are shattered, the pillars of double-mindedness and the beams of emotional attachment are torn apart. The mental fog is cleared and actions are guided by the spiritual wisdom, firm faith, selfless love and purpose of life; not by rituals, fears or superstitions.

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਖਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਬਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੇ ਪਾਤ ਨਰਿੰਦ ॥

So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers.

ਕੇਤੀਆ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇਤੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਅੰਤੁ ॥੩੫॥

So many meditations, so many selfless servants. O Nanak, His limit has no limit! ||35||

SGGS – Ang 7

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪਰਚੰਡੁ ॥

In the realm of wisdom, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme.

ਤਿਥੈ ਨਾਦ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਕੋਡ ਅਨੰਦੁ ॥

The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there, amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss.

SGGS – Ang 7

 

In this stage, mind understands that the whole creation is created by the same Creator, and everybody belongs to One Big Family. The mind stops differentiating between we and others, as everybody is part of us. Before it was narrowly focused on the small family, now it focuses on the larger family. It starts loving everybody and serving everybody. Due to this understanding, the narrow-mindedness gives way to the universal brotherhood and love. Mind becomes calm and filled with bliss due to continuous remembrance of the Lord through Guru’s Shabad (hymns) and Naam.

Being giyani (expert) in something is of no use if the giyan (expertise) is not utilized to do something useful. The old habits don’t just go away. Gurbani Vichaar (deeper contemplation of Guru’s hymns) motivates and inspires the mind to utilize the wisdom to break away from the influences of previous habits; and do efforts to establish new habits, work ethics and Nitnem schedule according to Gurmat to move higher on the spiritual journey.

3. ਸਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Saram Khand) – Deliberate Efforts to Meet the Lord – This is the stage of living truthful and purposeful life guided by Gurmat, completely devoted to the Lord and His creation. The Sikh fully understands the purpose of life and strives to achieve it with single minded focus, passion, devotion and mental clarity. The inner consciousness, intellect, and mind molded afresh by Gurmat, become free of vices; and full of virtues, love, devotion and gratitude. The mind obtains the wisdom of the beings of spiritual perfection.

ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਐ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਬੁਧਿ ॥

In the stage of effort, the consciousness and intellect are shaped by Gurmat, and the mind becomes fully aware.

ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਐ ਸੁਰਾ ਸਿਧਾ ਕੀ ਸੁਧਿ ॥੩੬॥

The mind is shaped with the wisdom of the spiritual warriors, the Siddhas, the beings of spiritual perfection ||36||

SGGS – Ang 7

In this stage, Sikh serves the Lord and His creation. Due to the spiritual wisdom, mind is awakened and completely revolutionized. The vices of mind – lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego are tamed. Mind becomes sensitive to the needs of other beings and takes care of the nature and creatures, while lovingly connected to the sound current of Naam. The longing to meet Kartar increases manyfold. Day and night, the mind remains absorbed in Naam.

4. ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ (Karam Khand) – Grace of the Lord – This is the stage of grace. The efforts of the Sikh bear fruit. The Lord bestows such grace that the mind becomes fearless and fully sewn in the Lord’s love and devotion. The might of the Lord remains fully filled in the mind. The death or deception can’t shake the faith. God’s presence is felt in everybody, everywhere always.

ਤਿਥੈ ਸੀਤੋ ਸੀਤਾ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਰੂਪ ਨ ਕਥਨੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥

In stage of Grace, the mind is fully sewn in the Lord’s love and devotion. Their state of mind cannot be described.

ਨਾ ਓਹਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਨ ਠਾਗੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥

Neither death nor deception can budge them from the spiritual path, within whose minds the Lord abides.

SGGS – Ang 8

5. ਸਚ ਖੰਡ (Sach Khand) – Perfect Union with the Lord – The soul is completely merged with Lord, like river water merged with ocean. No difference remains between the soul and the Lord. The Lord’s order is seen pervading everywhere in the innumerable worlds, solar systems and universes, without any limit or boundary.

ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥

In the stage of Perfection, the Formless Lord himself abides in their mind. They see the Lord who created the creation, taking care of it with his graceful eyes.

ਤਿਥੈ ਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਵਰਭੰਡ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਥੈ ਤ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਅੰਤ ॥

The innumerable planets, solar systems and galaxies, universes are seen, under the perfect order of Lord’s Hukam (command). If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end.

SGGS – Ang 8

This stage is beyond description. This stage can only be experienced not described. Describing this stage in human language is as hard as steel.

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰੁ ॥੩੭॥

O Nanak, to describe this stage is as hard as steel! ||37||

SGGS – Ang 8

The highest state of mind can only be achieved when we have ਜਤੁ (high moral character), ਧੀਰਜੁ (strength and patience), ਮਤਿ (wisdom) and ਵੇਦੁ (ਗਿਆਨ deep understanding of Gurmat), ਭਉ (Lord’s respect and fear in mind), ਤਪ (ਘਾਲ-ਕਮਾਈ sincere efforts), ਭਾਉ (unconditional love and devotion to the Lord and His creation). The mind having these attributes becomes the ਸਚੀ ਟਕਸਾਲ (True Mint), where the True Coin of ਸਬਦੁ (Guru’s teachings) is minted. The Guru’s Shabad is recited and lived by. The Guru’s Shabad elevates the mind to the same state, in which the Guru recited that Shabad. With sincere efforts and devotional love, the mind becomes one with the Lord.

For detailed discussion on the Panj Khand topic please read the article:

Milestones – Panj Khand (Five Spiritual Stages) | Uniqueness of Sikhi