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Waheguru, the Word

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waheguru, word
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Old 29-Mar-2009, 21:33 PM
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Waheguru, the Word

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The word “Waheguru/ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ” was never used by Sikh Gurus and is absent from their compositions in AGGS. The words “Gur Wahe” comes twice in AGGS in two hymns of Guru Amardas and Guru Arjan;

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਜਿਸ ਤੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥

Nānak saṯgur vāhu vāhu jis ṯė nām parāpaṯ hoė.

O Nanak, Blessed and Great is the True Guru, through whom the Naam, the Name of the Akal Purkh, is received. -----Guru Amardas, Sloke Vaaran To Vadheek, AGGS, Page, 1421-13

ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਕਹਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਵਾਹੁ ॥

Nānak ḏās kahhu gur vāhu.

O servant Nanak, chant Akal Purkh’s Glorious Praises. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 376-8

However the word Waheguru comes 16 times in AGGS on page 1402 & 1403 in Sawayias Mehlay Chauthay K 4 (containing praises of Guru Ramdas) composed by Bhatt Gyand.

Waheguru’ in Bhatt Bani

On the other hand many Sikh theologians also misunderstand Bhatt Gyand’s Swayiae for Guru Ramdas at pages 1402-1403 of the AGGS that ‘Waheguru’ has been used to address God. However, critical analysis of Swayiae indicates that Guru Ramdas has been addressed as;

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ , ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ , ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁu ਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਜੀਉ , ਸਿਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿ ਜੀਉ , ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਕਾ ਬਡਾ ਤਮਾਸਾ ॥ as follows:

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵਿ ਅਲਖ ਗਤਿ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੁ ਤਾਰਣ ਤਰਣੰ ॥

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥

ਕਵਲ ਨੈਨ ਮਧੁਰ ਬੈਨ ਕੋਟਿ ਸੈਨ ਸੰਗ ਸੋਭ ਕਹਤ ਮਾ ਜਸੋਦ ਜਿਸਹਿ ਦਹੀ ਭਾਤੁ ਖਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥

ਸਤਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਦਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥

ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਜੀਉ ॥

ਨਾਮੁ ਸਾਰੁ ਹੀਏ ਧਾਰੁ ਤਜੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਮਨ ਗਯੰਦ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਗੁਬਿੰਦ ਜੀਉ ॥

ਸੇਵਕ ਕੈ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਰਾ ਸਭੁ ਸਦਕਾ ॥

ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਕਾ ਬਡਾ ਤਮਾਸਾ ॥

ਕੀਆ ਖੇਲੁ ਬਡ ਮੇਲੁ ਤਮਾਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਰਚਨਾ ॥

Bhai Gurdas has coined, ‘Waheguru’ by combining the first letters of various deities of different Yugas in Vedantic philosophy in his Pauri # 49 in Var # 1 as follows:

Waheguru Spell (ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਮੰਤ੍)

ਸਤਿਜੁਗ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਵਾਸਦੇਵ ਵਾਵਾ ਵਿਸ਼ਨਾ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥

ਦੁਆਪਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਹਰੀਕਿ੍ਸ਼ਨ ਹਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network
ਤੇ੍ਤੇ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਰਾਮ ਜੀ ਰਾਰਾ ਰਾਮ ਜਪੇ ਸੁਖ ਪਾਵੈ ॥

ਕਲਿਜੁਗ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗਗਾ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥

ਚਾਰੇ ਜਾਗੇ ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗੀ ਪੰਚਾਇਣ ਵਿਚ ਜਾਇ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥

ਚਾਰੋਂ ਅਛਰ ਇਕ ਕਰ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜਪ ਮੰਤ੍ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥

ਜਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਉਪਜਿਆ ਫਿਰ ਤਹਾਂ ਸਮਾਵੈ ॥

Bhai Gurdas, Pauri 49, Var 1.

Bhai Gurdas says:

Satguru (Nanak) in Satyuga was Vasdeva and his name as ‘Vava’ Vishnu Nam was made to be repeated by people.

Satguru (Nanak) in Duapar Yuga was Hari Krishna and his name as ‘Haha’ Har Har was made to be repeated by people.

Satguru (Nanak) in Traeta Yuga was Rama and his name as ‘Rara’ Rama was made to be repeated by people.

In Kali Yuga Guru Nanak was Gobind and his name as ‘Gaga’ Gobind was made to be repeated by people.

He (Nanak) gathered four letters (Vava, Haha, Rara, and Gaga of all the reincarnated gods) created a Jap Nam ‘Waheguru’ as mantra to be repeated by people.

Those who will repeat this Jap Mantra ‘Waheguru’ will be merged back into God.

In this Pauri Bhai Gurdas has explained that the word, ‘Waheguru’ was coined by taking first letter ‘ Vava’ of Vishnu, ‘Haha’ of Hari (Krishna), ‘Rara’ of Rama and ‘Gaga’ of Gobind – all the important gods in Vedantic philosophy. So much so Bhai Gurdas also said that Guru Nanak himself was the Satguru as the reincarnations of God as Vishnu, Hari (Krishna), Rama, and Gobind during different Vedantic Ages.

The word Waheguru again mentioned in the following Vaars of Bhai Gur Das;

1. Vaar 9, Pauri 13

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਸਾਲਾਹਣਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਅਲਾਏ ॥

Waheguru Salahna Gur Shabad Alayea.

Waheguru, God is eulogized through the recitation of the word of the Guru.

2. Vaar 11, Pauri 8

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਡੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥

Waheguru Vaddi Vaddiayee.

Wondrous is the Waheguru whose greatness is grand.

3. Vaar 12, Pauri 17-2

ਵੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਅਗੋਚਰਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ ॥

Ved Kateb Agochra Waheguru Gur Shabad Sunayia.

The Gurus recited Word-Guru as Waheguru, Which is beyond Vedas and Semetic Scriptures.

4. Vaar 13, Pauri 2-5

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ ਹੈ ਜਪਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਈ ॥

Waheguru Gur Manter Hai, Jap Haumai Kho-ee.

The Guru-mantra is Waheguru, chanting It erases egotism.(Even though there are supposed to be no Manters in Sikhism)

5. Vaar 24, Pauri 1-7

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ ॥

Waheguru Gur Sabd Sunayiaa.

Word Waheguru was imparted to the people.

This word, Waheguru, has been accepted by Bhai Santokh Singh, Pundit Tara Singh Narautom, and Bhai Vir Singh as reported by Bhai Hazara Singh. Even Bhai Hazara Singh has also hesitantly accepted that this Var is written by Bhai Gurdas, although some theologians have stated that it was not written by Bhai Gurdas.

In spite of the above fact, that no name could be assigned to God, Bhai Gurdas has assigned the ‘Waheguru’, name to God, which is being is being chanted by many including myself as it has been ingrained in to my cortex since growing up. IMHO there is nothing wrong with it, if this is how I understand my Higher Power/Akal Purkh.

It is not clear why Bhai Gurdas assigned a new name, Waheguru, for God. Although many theologians do not accept that the above Pauri, Waheguru , was written by Bhai Gurdas, they do accept that at pages # 153, 226, 478, 514, 515, 521, 565, 754, 755, 788, 947, 1276 and 1421 of the AGGS ‘Gur’ and ‘Wah’ are found as separate words but not as ‘Waheguru’ as one word for God anywhere in the AGGS. But many theologians say that this word, Waheguru, will stay in the psyche of the Sikhs.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network

Guru Gobind Singh designated “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh” to Bhai Mani Singh as Sikh Salutation.-----Ref, Sikh Tradition

It is left to the individuals to make their individual decision to the word “Waheguru.”

Virinder S.Grewal
Williamston, MI

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