Who Was Guru Nanak’s God?

Who Was Guru Nanaks God Feature Image

Many scholars and parcharaks have tried to answer this question. I am not a parcharak and neither am I a scholar. I will share with you the answer based on my understanding and from within Gurbani itself.

I hope, by the time you finish reading this article, you will have a clear picture as to who Guru Nanak’s GOD is and ask yourself the same question, who is YOUR God?

Janam Sakhis

Most of the answers to this question you see on the Internet derives from Janamsakhis (life accounts), in particular, Bhai Bala Janamsakhi, which unfortunately is NOT an authentic text and was likely written by Hindu priests as they cannot be authenticated and verified by Sikh historians.

These text and many other Janamsakhis , Teekas, etc were written long after Guru Nanak and the other Gurus had left this world.

So, a lot of it is based on hear-say. Some of the stories depicted in these texts even talks about Guru Nanak using miracles and super-natural powers (ridhi-sidhi/chamatkaar).

Guru’s Using Miracles


Why do I say this and how sure am I?

Because, IF the Guru(s) actually had super-natural powers as claimed by many, then why did they (the Gurus and their families) and thousands of Gursikhs during and after Guru’s times had to endure so much suffering, pain and torture in the hands of the rulers? Why was there so much blood-shed in Sikh history?

If the Guru’s truly could do miracles, then why did Guru Arjan, Guru Tegh Bahadhur, Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Chaar Sahibzaadey, 40 Muktey all not use the miracles and super natural powers gifted to them by Guru Nanak to defeat their opponents, tyrants and rulers?

Was it because our Gurus were not strong enough (less powerful) to eradicate the tyrannical, monstrous rulers and regime, or the Guru’s only exercised small time miracles, as and when they saw fit or when it suited them? Obviously, this doesn’t make any sense.

To my understanding, using miracles and super natural powers to change the course of natural progression or events is AGAINST the Law of Universe (against Hukam) and obviously it is against the very teachings of Gurmat and Guru Nanak itself.

You see, the Gurus would NEVER preach something and do something else!

Who Was Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539 CE) introduced a unique path towards GOD realization which is meant for every human being with zero caste, gender and sex bias or discrimination. We suitably call this ‘Sikhi’ today.  There were already many religions before and during Guru Nanak’s time.

He created a revolutionary way of thinking and living. A way for us to elevate ourselves (our actions, our thoughts, our deeds (karam) using bebek-budhi (discerning intellect) to uplift oneself from the shackles of maya and to live ones life with honesty and dignity.

Guru Nanak taught us how to ignite LOGICAL THINKING and PRACTICAL REASONING in our day-to-day living.

He taught us how to truly live a fruitful and purposeful life. He showed us the importance of taking RESPONSIBILITY towards ourselves, our loved ones, our jobs,  the society and all of God’s creation.

We all have an important role to play in this world. Everyone! Guru Nanak taught us the concept of God and how to view God in His creation, in everything and in everyone in the form of ‘divine principles’. He taught us how to live our lives according to the Will of God hukam (universal cosmic law).

Guru Ram Das Ji puts it beautifully in his Anand bani, when he says… 

ਏ ਸਰੀਰਾ ਮੇਰਿਆ ਇਸੁ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਆਇ ਕੈ ਕਿਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇਆ ॥
Eh Sarira Mayrea, Is Jag Meh Aaye Ke Kya Tudh Karam Kamaiyaa||

ਕਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਇਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਸਰੀਰਾ ਜਾ ਤੂ ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਆਇਆ ॥
Ke Karam Kamaiyaa Tudh Sarira Ja Tu Jag Meh Aaiya|| (SGGS: 817)


O body of mine, you’ve been granted this opportunity to be born in this world, what actions have you done? Think hard, what actions have you done while being granted this body in the form of a human?

As you can see from the Gurbani verse above, it is a question we should all ponder upon. Guru Ji has repeated the lines twice putting strong emphasis. What are we supposed to do as human beings?

Guru Nanak Challenged The Status Quo

From the very beginning itself, Guru Nanak challenged the existing futile beliefs and ritualistic practices of the Hindus and Muslims.

He challenged the ideas behind their version of God, reincarnation, idol worship, ritualistic singing of hymns and continuous recitation, yatra (pilgrimages), giving alms and sacrificial death. 

Guru Nanak created a unique way of life that has never been presented before by anyone before Him and it took the Gurus 239 years to accomplish this goal. 

Let’s Go Back Into History

Before going further, we need to first understand what was actually the state of condition of life in India during the times of Guru Nanak and the other Gurus.

Guru Nanak and other Gurus and bhagats have shared quite a bit about the societal issues in contemporary India, within the verses of Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib itself.

During 14th century India, there was a rampant moral degeneration that plagued the society: tyranny, injustice, cruelty, greed, corruption, exploitation, falsehood, hypocrisy, pretension, deception and self-conceit, etc.

Guru Nanak was very saddened by the plight and ignorance of the masses and how the rulers, the clergy and the rich were exploiting the poor, by abusing their powers and oppressing the weak.

Not forgetting the Brahmin class and pandits who had deliberately split the society into the caste system we see until today and were plundering innocent devotees off their wealth, belongings and dignity.

What The Hindu Pandits Did

The pandits were the ones who branded a large number of the Hindu society as untouchables and outcasts.  Women were considered flesh for entertainment, restricting them to household chores, cooking, bearing and bringing up children only. They had literally ‘no say’ in society.

In fact, many remote parts of the world you will still find sexual discrimination of this sort, yes! even till today. But of course, the numbers are way lesser compared to back then.

Guru Nanak aptly condemned the actions of these pandits by saying…

ਕਲਿ ਕਾਤੀ ਰਾਜੇ ਕਾਸਾਈ ਧਰਮੁ ਪੰਖ ਕਰਿ ਉਡਰਿਆ ॥
Kal Kati Rajey Kasaii, Dharam Pankh Kar Oodriaa ||

ਕੂੜੁ ਅਮਾਵਸ ਸਚੁ ਚੰਦ੍ਰਮਾ ਦੀਸੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਹ ਚੜਿਆ ॥
Koor Amaavas, Sach Chandarma, Diisey Nahi Keh Charia || (SGGS: 145)


It is a murderous age. The rulers are butchers, and righteousness has flown away. It is like the time of Amaavas (the darkest night in a month; usually the 15th night where the moon descends). A time of extreme falsehood (darkness) and where the moon (the Truth) is nowhere to be seen. 

In Jap bani itself, Guru Nanak Dev Ji discloses about the dark times like this… 

ਅਸੰਖ ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧ ਘੋਰ ॥ ਅਸੰਖ ਚੋਰ ਹਰਾਮਖੋਰ ॥
Asankh Moorakh Andh Ghor|| Asankh Chorr Haramkhorr ||

ਅਸੰਖ ਅਮਰ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਜੋਰ ॥ ਅਸੰਖ ਗਲਵਢ ਹਤਿਆ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
Asankh Amar Kar Jahe Jhor || Asankh Galwad Hathyia Kamahe||

ਅਸੰਖ ਪਾਪੀ ਪਾਪੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਅਸੰਖ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਕੂੜੇ ਫਿਰਾਹਿ ॥
Asankh Papi Paap Kar Jahe || Asankh Kooriaar Koore Firahe||

ਅਸੰਖ ਮਲੇਛ ਮਲੁ ਭਖਿ ਖਾਹਿ ॥ ਅਸੰਖ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਸਿਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ॥
Asankh Malesh Mal Phak Khahe || Asankh Nindek Sir Kareh Phaar||

ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਕਹੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ਵਾਰਿਆ ਨ ਜਾਵਾ ਏਕ ਵਾਰ ॥
Nanak Neech Kahe Vichaar|| Varia Na Java Ek Vaar||

ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸਾਈ ਭਲੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਲਾਮਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥੧੮॥
Jo Tudh Bhawai Saii Phalee Kaar|| Tu Sada Salamat Nirankar||18|| (SGGS:4)


Countless are fools, totally ignorant. Countless are thieves, who without thinking twice would snatch others’ belongings. Countless are tyrants who impose their will upon others. Countless are cut throats committing murders. Countless are criminals who commit extreme crime. Countless are liars who go on lying. Countless are wicked and earn a dishonest living. Countless are slanderers who slander others. Nanak says, I am but just a lowly and humble servant, I’ve shared my views. 

Morale and Beliefs of the Masses

Guru Nanak was also shocked by the morale of the general masses. They seem so stuck and lost in the caste system, superstition, rituals and idol worship.

Guru Nanak talked to them about how futile their efforts were when they worshipped ‘stone-made’ idols and were treating it like God.

Guru Nanak condemned the reading of scriptures that promoted such senseless beliefs. He emphasized that the so called “Gods” (devi-devteys) they were praying to, were nothing more than mortals who were afflicted with the same disease of Haumai (ego/ self centeredness) just as the rest of society.

Guru Ji says:

ਰੋਗੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਾ ਬਿਸਨੁ ਸਰੁਦ੍ਰਾ ਰੋਗੀ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥
Rogi Brahma Bisan Sarudra, Rogi Sagal Sanasara||

ਹਰਿ ਪਦੁ ਚੀਨਿ ਭਏ ਸੇ ਮੁਕਤੇ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਾ ॥੪॥
Har Pad Cheen Phay Se Muktey, Gur Ka Shabad Vichaara||4|| (SGGS:1153)


Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are afflicted with self centeredness (haumai) as the rest of the world. Only those are liberated who realize God by contemplating on Guru’s teachings (Truth).

NOTE: Guru Sahib did not accept the existence of any Hindu deities. Whenever we see terms or concepts of Brahmanism being used within Gurbani, that is because Guru Sahib needed to address the masses using their language and beliefs to make them understand the TRUE meaning (His message). All Snatan or Brahmanwaad concepts used in Gurbani were critiqued by our Gurus and even Bhagats. Our Gurus and Bhagats brought about a redefined meaning of these concepts which were plaguing the masses at that time.

Here is what Guru Nanak’s view was about the Hindus:

ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੂਲੇ ਭੂਲੇ ਅਖੁਟੀ ਜਾਂਹੀ ॥
Hindoo Moolei Bhuley Akhuthi Jaahi||

ਨਾਰਦਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਸਿ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਂਹੀ ॥
Narad Kaheya Se Pooj Karahee||

ਅੰਧੇ ਗੁੰਗੇ ਅੰਧ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ ॥
Aandh Goongey Andh Andhaar||

ਪਾਥਰੁ ਲੇ ਪੂਜਹਿ ਮੁਗਧ ਗਵਾਰ ॥
Pathar Le Poojey Mugad Gawaar||

ਓਹਿ ਜਾ ਆਪਿ ਡੁਬੇ ਤੁਮ ਕਹਾ ਤਰਣਹਾਰੁ ॥੨॥
Oh Ka Aap Dubhey, Tum Kha Taranhaar||2|| (SGGS: 556)


Hindus are utterly mistaken and going on the wrong path. They worship whatever ‘Naarad’ (an ancient Hindu saint) told them to worship. They are spiritually blinded and they are dumb. They are lost in darkness. They are ignorant as they worship stones. They never think, “how can a stone which itself sinks in water, able to help them cross the world ocean (overcome their desires and worldly temptations)?”

I know, these are pretty sharp words, but they are the words of Guru Nanak himself.

The important thing we need understand is, the Guru did not condemn Hindus or Muslim religion but rather He condemned their rituals and futile efforts to make their God(s) happy so that He may grant them their wishes.

We are not to view Guru Nanak or the Gurus and Bhagats as arrogant beings but rather look at them as how a father would scold a child if the child refuses to listen to kind ways. That is how our Gurus are. Like a father who at times, has no choice but to scold harsh words to awaken the child and get him or her to do things right.

Sikhism is Not a Revealed Religion

One thing to make clear is Guru Nanak should not be viewed as a prophet in the biblical sense either (ie. Prophet Muhammad or Jesus).

Let me explain.

These two prophets claim openly that they received their sermons and instructions from God, either they were directly or indirectly spoken to, or they were visited by an angel. 

For example, in 610 A.D Prophet Mohammad had a revelation where he was visited by an angel called Jibril (Gabriel in English) who revealed to him verses by God Almighty (‘Allah’ as He later named God). These sermons would later be pen down by others to form what we know today as the Al-Quran, but baring in mind the Al-Quran was written and composed long after Prophet Mohammad had departed this world.

Guru Nanak was an ‘illumined soul’. When I say ‘soul’ I mean consciousness. Guru Nanak lived and experienced God consciousness throughout his natural life. It wasn’t a mysterious angel or some voice of God coming from the skies, speaking to Guru Nanak.

This point is revealed in the lines of Gurbani by Guru Arjan Dev Ji as follows:

ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ
Dhhur Kee Baanee Aaee ||

ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ
Thin Sagalee Chinth Mittaaee || (SGGS: 628)


‘Dhur Ki Bani’ here simply means ‘Dhuro’ or ‘Dhura’ meaning from within, from the mind, from the very depths of Guru Nanak’s being. Not from the skies above or from an angel sent by God.

Sikhism is Not a Combination of Hinduism/ Islam

One other misconception or confusion some researches seem to have is, Sikhism stems from Hinduism and Islam. Some say, Sikhism is a combination of Hinduism and Islam as Guru Nanak was born in a Hindu family.

Some have gone as far as to compare Guru Nanak’s philosophy with Jainism, Judaism and Christianity. This is completely absurd.

Even though all these religions believe in One God, the problem is, each one believes in their own separate God!

Christians believe that Jesus, the son of God was sent to this world to eradicate the sins of anyone who accepts Jesus as their savior and embraces Christianity as their religion. Christians believe Jesus is the one and only true son of God. They believe Jesus will resurrect and come back into this world for the very last time and save the world, who are Christians. (Probably this is the reason why conversion is deemed a sacred act in both these religions.)

Muslims believe the same thing. Prophet Mohammed is a prophet of God and the true last prophet of mankind. He will save all Muslims and the human race BUT (there is a condition), you’ll have to be born as a Muslim or converted into one, to be saved. The rest (non Muslims or Kafirs) are deemed to go to hell. 

Do you see the problem here? All believing in their very own version of God. A separate entity (living somewhere far up in the skies) and takes sides on whom He will safe and whom He will not. What an irony! Where is the concept of oneness? Why segregate the whole humanity with their own version of Gods?

Afterall, when a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Sikh dies, all are transformed into ash. Christians and Muslims bury their dead. Within 8-12 years, the dead body is totally decomposed. What ‘Resurrection’? Sikhs and Hindus cremate the dead. Within a few hours, (with ovens its even faster), the dead body turns into ash. Where is the superiority then? Where is the power?

Guru Nanak’s God Is

Here is the thing. Guru Nanak’s God is not a separate God. Guru Nanak does not agree with any of the Hindu, Muslim or Christian doctrines, dogmas and claims. From a very early age itself, Guru Nanak challenged the status quo of the Hindus by refusing to wear the janeu (sacred thread). We all know this. 

Guru Nanak brought about the realization of Ik Ongkaar. 

Ik Oangkaar

There is only ONE Merciful, Universal Creator, who has created the entire world by way of His Laws of Nature.

Just 1 God; not 2, not 3, not 4.

Guru Nanak’s God (in the form of Laws of the Universe) is pervading everywhere, in everything in this world, and out of it. It is Him only and no other!

In another place, Guru Nanak describes it this way…

ਜੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸੋ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਦੂਜਾ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥
Jo Antar So Baahar Dekhou, Avar Na Doojaa Koee Jeeo || (SGGS: 19)

He is within – and outside as well; there is no other than Him. 

Guru Nanak further says…

ਇਹੁ ਜਗੁ ਸਚੈ ਕੀ ਹੈ ਕੋਠੜੀ ਸਚੇ ਕਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥
Eh Jag Sachai Ki Hai Kothri, Sachey Ka Vich Waas|| (SGGS: 463)

The world is the home of God. He resides in it. But he does not incarnate. Neither does he conform to birth and death. He is eternal (in the form of cosmic law; hukam).

Why did God create this world and all of its creation?

Guru Ji answers this question: 

ਧਰਤਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਧਰੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
Dharath Opaey Dhari Dharam Sala ||

ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
Utpatt Parlo Aap Nerala ||

ਪਵਣੈ ਖੇਲੁ ਕੀਆ ਸਭ ਥਾਈ ਕਲਾ ਖਿੰਚਿ ਢਾਹਾਇਦਾ ॥੫॥
Pavney Khel Kiya Sabh Thayee Kala Khinch Thahaenda ||5|| (SGGS: 1033)


God created Earth and made it the seat of righteousness and set in motion; process  of creation and destruction. God himself is detached and unattached. The element of air is created by God and is everywhere. Only He has the power to destroy it.

In another place Guru Ji says…

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਚੈ ਸਾਜੀ ॥
Gurmukh Dharti Sachey Saaji ||

ਤਿਸ ਮਹਿ ਓਪਤਿ ਖਪਤਿ ਸੁ ਬਾਜੀ ॥
Tis Meh Oupatt Khapath So Baji || (SGGS: 941)


God created Earth for us to learn and become Gurmukhs (beings of high character). And in it, He placed the power of creation and destruction.

And last but not least, if we take a closer look at the way of the poojaris, pandits, Yogis (Hindu priests), they believe this world is an illusion. There is nothing real about it.

That is probably why they can easily renounce their responsibilities and go into the jungle for years to look for their separate God. 

But Guru Nanak’s God is not separate. In Asa-ki-vaar, Guru Nanak sheds light on this aspect further: 

ਸਚੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਖੰਡ ਸਚੇ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ॥ ਸਚੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਲੋਅ ਸਚੇ ਆਕਾਰ ॥
Sachey Tere Khand, Sachey Brahmand || Sachey Tere Loa Sachey Akaar ||

ਸਚੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਕਰਣੇ ਸਰਬ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਅਮਰੁ ਸਚਾ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥
Sachey Tere Karne Sarab Bichaar || Sacha Tera Amar, Sacha Dibaan ||

ਸਚਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਸਚਾ ਫੁਰਮਾਣੁ ॥ ਸਚਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਕਰਮੁ ਸਚਾ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ॥
Sacha Tera Hukam, Sacha Furmaan || Sacha Tera Karam, Sacha Nishan ||

ਸਚੇ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਖਹਿ ਲਖ ਕਰੋੜਿ ॥ ਸਚੈ ਸਭਿ ਤਾਣਿ ਸਚੈ ਸਭਿ ਜੋਰਿ ॥
Sachey Tudh Aakhey, Lakh Karror || Sachey Sabh Taan, Sachey Sabh Jor ||

ਸਚੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਿਫਤਿ ਸਚੀ ਸਾਲਾਹ ॥ ਸਚੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਸਚੇ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹ ॥
Sachi Teri Sift, Sachi Salaah || Sachi Teri Kudrat, Sachey Patshah ||

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਨਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮੇ ਸੁ ਕਚੁ ਨਿਕਚੁ ॥੧॥ 
Nanak Sach Dhia-yan Sach || Jo Mar Jamey, So Kach Nekach ||1|| (SGGS: 463)


True are Your universes (not one but many) and true are its parts. True are Your planets and the creation in it, true are Your creatures of various shapes. True are Your actions and true are Your decisions. True is Your authority and true is Your justice. True is Your law (Hukam). True is Your mercy and true are Your gifts. Hundreds of thousands, even millions call You True. In You is all the power and might. In You is all the authority. True is Your praise and true your adoration. O true King of Kings, true is Your creative power and creation. O Nanak, true are those who contemplate and practice Truth in their lives. Those who do not realize this truth will have wasted their lives in vein. 

Gorakh Naath Meeting Guru Nanak

We all have heard of the story where Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana visited Sumer Parbat (Sumer mountains) in one of the Guru’s Udaasis (long travels) and there upon reaching the mountain top, Guru Ji had a discourse with Gorakh Naath, the leader of the Siddha yogis at that time.

Amongst the many stanzas as depicted in SGGS as well as in Sidh Ghostt, two particular stanzas (43 and 44) puts a nail in the wood and vanishes all doubts about who is Guru Nanak’s God is.

Gorakh Naath asked :

ਕਵਣ ਮੂਲੁ ਕਵਣ ਮਤਿ ਵੇਲਾ ॥
Kavan Mool Kavan Matt Vela ||

ਤੇਰਾ ਕਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਤੂ ਚੇਲਾ ॥
Tera Kavan Guru Jis Ka Tu Chela ||

ਕਵਣ ਕਥਾ ਲੇ ਰਹਹੁ ਨਿਰਾਲੇ ॥
Kavan Katha Le Raho Neraley ||

ਬੋਲੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਤੁਮ ਬਾਲੇ ॥
Boley Nanak Sunho Tum Baley ||

ਏਸੁ ਕਥਾ ਕਾ ਦੇਇ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥
Eis Katha Ka De Bichaar ||

ਭਵਜਲੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਲੰਘਾਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥੪੩॥
Bavjal Shabad Langavanhaar ||43||


What is the root source of all? What teachings hold for these times? Who is your guru? Whose disciple are you? What is the way, by which you remain unattached? Oh young Nanak, listen to me. Tell me what is your opinion on what I’ve said. How can Shabad carry one across the terrifying world ocean, to overcome desires and temptations?

And then Guru Nanak answers:

ਪਵਨ ਅਰੰਭੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਮਤਿ ਵੇਲਾ ॥
Pavan Arambh Satgur Matt Vela ||

ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ ॥
Shabad Guru Surat Dhun Chela ||

ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਲੇ ਰਹਉ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
Akath Katha Le Raho Nerala ||

ਨਾਨਕ ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਪਾਲਾ ॥
Nanak Jug Jug Gur Gopala ||

ਏਕੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਕਥਾ ਵੀਚਾਰੀ ॥
Ek Shabad Jit Katha Vichaari ||

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੀ ॥੪੪॥
Gurmukh Haumai Agan Nevaari ||44||


It all began from ‘air’.  This is the times of the true Guru’s teachings. Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I lovingly focus my consciousness; my mind is the disciple (chayla). Sharing about the Unspoken God and His wisdom, keeps me detached. Nanak says, God (hukam/law) is my Guru as He has been true throughout the ages. I contemplate upon this One truth (ek shabad). By the teachings of the true Guru, one is able to realize this truth, but only by omitting ego first.


Guru Nanak’s God is Shabad which means Divine Knowledge and Wisdom which is eternal and will never change.

Fire will burn, day will change to night, the earth rotates on its axis around the sun, etc. No matter what we do, we can never change the laws of nature. This is the ‘Sach’ (Truth) and Hukam that the Gurus and Bhagats have talked about in Gurbani.


we need to learn how to bring Shabad (gurbani Shabad from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) into our lives. We need to recite the Shabad (with understanding) NOT doing blind recitation or countless ‘mool-mantars’ or Akhand Paaths. Nothing is going to happen except for some ‘I feel good!’ moments.

I’m not breaking your faith but I’m just telling you what the Guru has spoken (within Gurbani). We need to cultivate a REAL RELATIONSHIP with our Guru (Shabad) first in order to understand and be ONE with the Creator.

Guru Ji says,

ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥
Bani Guru, Guru Hai Bani, Vich Bani Amrit Sarey ||

ਗੁਰੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਕਹੈ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜਨੁ ਮਾਨੈ ਪਰਤਖਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਸਤਾਰੇ ॥੫॥
Gurbani Kahey, Sewak Jan Maney, Partakh Guru Nistarey|| (Sggs: 982)


Bani is Guru and Guru is bani. (There is NO difference, hence the repeated verse (underlined). Gurbani has ALL the answers towards mankinds problems, God realization and enlightenment. Gurbani is universal. It is NOT meant for Sikhs or Punjabis only. Whatever the Guru says (within Gurbani), and IF we accept, belief and inculcate in our own lives, the knowledge gained from the teachings of Gurbani will safe us (from taking wrong actions which lead to pain and sorrow).

Shabad destroys ignorance, ego and falsehood. The one who understands this is and makes an effort to apply in his or her life is called Gurmukh (the enlightened one). We should strive to become Gurmukh in this lifetime itself.

So here is a question. If Guru Nanak’s God is Shabad, what should ours be?


  • Amarjit S. Gulati

    Amarjit says, the Sikhi that is being practiced today & preached by most clergy (Gianis, Parcharaks, Kirtaniyas) is NOT aligned with Guru Nanak's teachings. As a researcher and a student of Nanakian philosophy, he attempts to share his utmost honest opinions and findings based on Gurmat and real-life experiences.

    View all posts

Was this helpful?

Share on Social. Print PDFs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top