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Does God Love Sycophants?

Oct 11, 2006
Note: syc·o·phant (s k -f nt, s k -). n. A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

Gurfateh, Most of the Kirtan that we hear in Gurdwaras and on T.V. is in praise of Waheguru. I don"t think God would be very pleased hearing His praises day-in and day-out. I believe that more stress should be on those Shabads from SGGS which teach us how to improve our life and help to create a better society. Just singing praises of the All-Mighty will not metamorphose us into better human-beings.
Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
My personal understanding is that the Sikh way to being a better 'human being" and create a better society is through regular seva, simran and sangat while endeavouring to practice the following virtues:

"Wisdom (gyan) : is the complete knowledge of a set of religious principles. It can be achieved by hearing good, thinking good and doing good. A person of wisdom tries to achieve a high moral standard in his/her life and interaction with others. According to Sikhism, the first steps to wisdom is to consider oneself as an ignorant person who has to learn a lot in life.

Truthful Living (sat) : This is more than 'truth'. It means living according to the way of God i.e. the thoughts should match the words that a person speaks and his/her actions should also match his/her words. Truthful living brings a person closer to God.

Justice (niaon) : means freedom and equal opportunities for all. Respect for the rights of others and strict absence of attempts to exploit a fellow being. Sikhism forbids the desire to loot another's property. It also strictly instructs the Sikhs to show respect even for the women and children of an enemy.

Temperance (santokh) : means self control which has to be developed through meditation and prayers. A Sikh has to banish evil thoughts from his/her mind by constantly repeating Gods name and reciting prayers. Torture to the body to develop self-control is not advocated in Sikhism.

Patience (dhiraj) : implies a high level of tolerance and empathy for others. It requires control over ones ego and willingness to overlook another's weakness or mistakes. It requires that a Sikh should be strong willed, but kind hearted.

Courage (himmat) : means bravery i.e. absence of fear. It is the ability to stake ones life for ones convictions and for saving others from injustice or cruelty.

Humility (namarta) : is a deliberate denial of pleasure at one's own praise and admiration. It means underplaying ones own strengths and respecting the abilities of others. It is the antidote to 'ahankar'

Contentment (sabar) : means refraining from worldly fears and submitting oneself to the will of God. The typical worldly fears can be fear of death, poverty, disrespect and defeat. It is this virtue that has given the Sikhs the moral strength to withstand the various atrocities committed on their community in the last three centuries."

Becoming a better person and chart ( WALK, and not TALK ) a personal "spiritual life path" takes a strong desire [ total faith, will power ( determination), plus limitless patience ] and willingness to look at yourself with brutal honesty ( introspection )! It is essential therefore to have an understanding, sincere & non-judgemental mentor (friend) to guide and coach one on regular basis.


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
I don"t think God would be very pleased hearing His praises day-in and day-out.
<table cellspacing="5"><tbody><tr><td>ਰਾਗੁ ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ
रागु आसा महला १ ॥
Rāg āsā mėhlā 1.
Raag Aasaa, First Mehl:

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਛਿਅ ਘਰ ਛਿਅ ਗੁਰ ਛਿਅ ਉਪਦੇਸ
छिअ घर छिअ गुर छिअ उपदेस ॥
Cẖẖi▫a gẖar cẖẖi▫a gur cẖẖi▫a upḏes.
There are six schools of philosophy, six teachers, and six sets of teachings.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੋ ਵੇਸ ਅਨੇਕ ॥੧॥
गुरु गुरु एको वेस अनेक ॥१॥
Gur gur eko ves anek. ||1||
But the Teacher of teachers is the One, who appears in so many forms. ||1||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਬਾਬਾ ਜੈ ਘਰਿ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹੋਇ
बाबा जै घरि करते कीरति होइ ॥
Bābā jai gẖar karṯe kīraṯ ho▫e.
O Baba: that system in which the Praises of the Creator are sung -

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਰਾਖੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਤੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
सो घरु राखु वडाई तोइ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
So gẖar rākẖ vadā▫ī ṯo▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
follow that system; in it rests true greatness. ||1||Pause||


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
<table cellspacing="5"><tbody><tr><td>
I believe that more stress should be on those Shabads from SGGS which teach us how to improve our life and help to create a better society. Just singing praises of the All-Mighty will not metamorphose us into better human-beings.
Selok Shaikh Fareed Ang 1384

ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ
कवणु सु अखरु कवणु गुणु कवणु सु मणीआ मंतु ॥
Kavaṇ so akẖar kavaṇ guṇ kavaṇ so maṇī▫ā manṯ.
What is that word, what is that virtue, and what is that magic mantra?

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਵੇਸੋ ਹਉ ਕਰੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਕੰਤੁ ॥੧੨੬॥
कवणु सु वेसो हउ करी जितु वसि आवै कंतु ॥१२६॥
Kavaṇ so veso ha▫o karī jiṯ vas āvai kanṯ. ||126||
What are those clothes, which I can wear to captivate my Husband Lord? ||126||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਨਿਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਖਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ
निवणु सु अखरु खवणु गुणु जिहबा मणीआ मंतु ॥
Nivaṇ so akẖar kẖavaṇ guṇ jihbā maṇī▫ā manṯ.
Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਤ੍ਰੈ ਭੈਣੇ ਵੇਸ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਂ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੀ ਕੰਤੁ ॥੧੨੭॥
ए त्रै भैणे वेस करि तां वसि आवी कंतु ॥१२७॥
Ė ṯarai bẖaiṇe ves kar ṯāʼn vas āvī kanṯ. ||127||
Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband Lord. ||127||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਮਤਿ ਹੋਦੀ ਹੋਇ ਇਆਣਾ
मति होदी होइ इआणा ॥
Maṯ hoḏī ho▫e i▫āṇā.
If you are wise, be simple;

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਤਾਣ ਹੋਦੇ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਤਾਣਾ
ताण होदे होइ निताणा ॥
Ŧāṇ hoḏe ho▫e niṯāṇā.
if you are powerful, be weak;

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਅਣਹੋਦੇ ਆਪੁ ਵੰਡਾਏ
अणहोदे आपु वंडाए ॥
Aṇhoḏe āp vandā▫e.
and when there is nothing to share, then share with others.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਕੋ ਐਸਾ ਭਗਤੁ ਸਦਾਏ ॥੧੨੮॥
को ऐसा भगतु सदाए ॥१२८॥
Ko aisā bẖagaṯ saḏā▫e. ||128||
How rare is one who is known as such a devotee. ||128||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਇਕੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਗਾਲਾਇ ਸਭਨਾ ਮੈ ਸਚਾ ਧਣੀ
इकु फिका न गालाइ सभना मै सचा धणी ॥
Ik fikā na gālā▫e sabẖnā mai sacẖā ḏẖaṇī.
Do not utter even a single harsh word; your True Lord and Master abides in all.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਹਿਆਉ ਕੈਹੀ ਠਾਹਿ ਮਾਣਕ ਸਭ ਅਮੋਲਵੇ ॥੧੨੯॥
हिआउ न कैही ठाहि माणक सभ अमोलवे ॥१२९॥
Hi▫ā▫o na kaihī ṯẖāhi māṇak sabẖ amolve. ||129||
Do not break anyone's heart; these are all priceless jewels. ||129||

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਸਭਨਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਠਾਹਣੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਮਚਾਂਗਵਾ
सभना मन माणिक ठाहणु मूलि मचांगवा ॥
Sabẖnā man māṇik ṯẖāhaṇ mūl macẖāʼngvā.
The minds of all are like precious jewels; to harm them is not good at all.

</td></tr> <tr><td> ਜੇ ਤਉ ਪਿਰੀਆ ਦੀ ਸਿਕ ਹਿਆਉ ਠਾਹੇ ਕਹੀ ਦਾ ॥੧੩੦॥
जे तउ पिरीआ दी सिक हिआउ न ठाहे कही दा ॥१३०॥
Je ṯa▫o pirī▫ā ḏī sik hi▫ā▫o na ṯẖāhe kahī ḏā. ||130||
If you desire your Beloved, then do not break anyone's heart. ||130||


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
namjap ji

I appreciate these beautiful passages from Gurbani more than you realize. It makes one reflect.

It is hard to follow this in real life. It takes great confidence that the Satguru will ight the way and it requires the willingness to fall and pick oneself up again to begin anew. It means that Guru's kirpa is needed. It suggests that Guru's kirpa is always there and can be trusted.

The reflection is that someone who a person who acts in mindless obedience in order to gain favors from God needs to start over.

I want to add - God loves all of His Creation, even his sycophants.
Oct 21, 2009
Dear Jasbir ji,
I am not the right person to reply to the very elementary question posed by you and it may not have any direct answer. In sikhism it is believed that devotional worship of the creator thru. Naam jap is the highest service and no other service can be of this order. This worship is obtained by a sikh through his Grace/nadar and they are considered Lucky if they receive it. For becoming eligible one has to be virtuous and should attain the qualities as stated by Soul-Jyot ji in his post. One should be dead when alive i.e. should overcome ego or haume ,never be bogged down by duality and understand the maya. I do not know much about sikhi but it is also stated in bani that we are separated from from Our True Parents[the Lord-Akaal] due to our own mistakes and that this life is the best time to attain re-union.
Human birth is considered to be best of all junis. Guru shaibs have stated it very clearly that we should leave the mental tricks that is the trap of maya and should meditate upon Him. Some do it as a command from the Guru while some do it as a command of the Lord as what the Gurus spoke is considered to be the God's word.
For me this it is only a theory and as I am also learning sikhism. We all , who believe, in sikhism, follow the edict of the Gurus Sahibaan.
English is a funny language and can convey different meanings to different persons. Instead of sycophancy another word is devotion. Shabads posted by namjap ji are worthy of being thanked. After going through your post all I did was to reflect upon the 'Rehraas sahib' and many questions got answered. I have not done full justice to your question but have tried as per my 'mati'. To attain the status of devotee is also dependent upon His 'nadar'. Man is a helpless creature. It has been pointed out in bani at more than one place. Man can do nothing of its own. Even what we think and do is also as per His wishes as we all come here with pre-ordained destiny.

Yes, I again feel that these types of questions bother many seekers in the beginning but if one takes up a serious study one finds the answer. I am answering this question as I have also undergone these kinds of doubts and was suggested to read the electronic version of Sri Guru Granth sahib ji and that I shall continue to do time and again. Just carry out His instructions and believe that what is stated in the Granth' is stated by the Lord and we shall do justice to that we do as a matter of practice i.e. nam jap with Bhay and Bhao.
Best of Luck in this journey.
Last edited:
Feb 19, 2007
Delhi India
Sycophancy may not be the right word to use for praise of God. Sycophancy indicates excessive or false praise. This may be alright for human beings whose qualities are limited. But how can praise of God be excessive or false. In fact the praise can only be extremely limited or minuscule because of our inability or incapability to understand His full greatness.

If we do keep repeating the name waheguru or do SIMRAN continuously it is only for our own benefit and not for the sake of God.

Doing Simran is the process of cleansing the soul of its accumulated layers of dirt. This is there in several places in SGGS. Because doing simaran of His name reminds of the perfect qualities of God and slowly over a period of time, a conciousness is built up which puts us on the right track. Initially it may appear pointless. But deliberate repetetion of His name first by the tongue and then by thought will slowly turn our thoughts towards Him. Then as the layers of dirt start getting washed by simran it starts becoming integral with our being.

But this is very long process and one has to persevere.

By the way these are not my thoughts. If you wish to discover in detail about this wondrous and not be regretted process then do read Bhai Vir Singh jis monumental work of "Guru Nanak Chamatkar". It is a guaranteed rewarding experience.


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
repeating 'WAHEGURU,WAHEGURU for 30 mnts.For what purpose???? To what end????
Because when we get involved in the chanting, then a 'masti' sets in. It is not the end by itself but a stepping stone to attain another level of 'pooja' which is fired up within the heart centre. It is the modus operandi of 'devotion'.

When this involvement is present, the mind's attention is easily directed from the crowd towards the innerself. You then start realizing that the happiness, joy, tranquility, peace and bliss which you've been finding from a sadh sangat comes by diverting your attention inwards. But without the sadh sangat this is not possible.


May 17, 2005
London, UK
I heard a ragi on tv who kept repeating 'WAHEGURU,WAHEGURU for 30 mnts.For what purpose???? To what end???? If someone kept repeating my name like this, I will really get very irritated and agitated.

Hah Jasbirkaleka Ji,

For him self my friend, constant repition of Waheguru, you do that for yourself.
Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
“Vaheguru Gurmantar Hai…”
by Manvir Singh Khalsa

mÚ 5 ] pwpiVAw pCwiV bwxu scwvw sMin@ kY ] gur mMqRVw icqwir nwnk duKu n QIveI ]2]
"Fifth Mehl: Take aim with the arrow of Truth, and shoot down sin. Cherish the Words of the Guru's Mantra, O Nanak, and you shall not suffer in pain. ||2||" (Ang 521, SGGS)

Mantar is a Sanskrit word, simply meaning "incantation". Just as the fragrance is boxed in the flower, and the light of the sun is hidden in the colours, similarly, the essence of the Divine Expression resulting from Super Consciousness is summed up in the Mantar. The Akhree or the letter form of Mantar is the expression of the subtle Primal Sound, which is beyond the reach of our bodily senses and the three modes of material nature. Thus the Mantar is not an ordinary word; it's embedded with the transcendental vibratory sound that represents the Absolute Purity.

pMcy sbd vjy miq gurmiq vfBwgI Anhdu vijAw ] Awnd mUlu rwmu sBu dyiKAw gur sbdI goivdu gijAw ]
"The Panch Shabad, the Five Primal Sounds, vibrate with the Wisdom of the Guru's Teachings; by great good fortune, the Unstruck Melody resonates and resounds. I see the Lord, the Source of Bliss, everywhere; through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, the Lord of the Universe is revealed." (Kaanrra, Ang 1315, SGGS)

By chanting a Mantar we try to invoke the Pure Being who resides within. Thus, the Mantar is the Name of the Inner Being whom we are calling or want to Realise. Therefore, if chanted with concentration, intuitive understanding, determination, constancy, assiduousness and feeling, the Mantar will open a person to themselves — it will bring the person face to face with the Divine Light within.

mMqRü qMqRü AauKDu punhcwru ] hir hir nwmu jIA pRwn ADwru ]
"(To dispel the sleep of attachment, for that person the Lord’s Name is the) Mantar, Naam is Tantar (magic), Naam is the all-curing medicines and Naam is the act of atonement. The Name of the Lord, Har, Har, is the Support of the soul and the breath of life." (Guarree, Ang 184, SGGS)

The Mantars for Simran (remembrance of the Lord) are usually short, containing only a few syllables. Relatively longer Mantars are impractical for chanting and meditation, thus loose their effectiveness. The shorter Mantars of fewer syllables are more effective, because they are more likely to flow better with the natural rhythm of the breathing process or Praans, easy to remember and more suitable for concentration and remembrance.

siqguir mMqRü dIE hir nwm ] ieh Awsr pUrn Bey kwm ]2]
"The True Guru has given me the Mantra of the Lord's Name. By this Support, my affairs have been resolved. ||2||" (Gaurree, Ang 196, SGGS)

khu kbIr AKr duie BwiK ] hoiegw Ksmu q lyiegw rwiK ]3]33]
“Says Kabeer, chant the two letters of the Lord's Name (Baba Kabeer Ji’s Mantar was ‘Raam’: the Gurmukhi letters ‘Raaraa’ plus ‘Mammaa’). If He is your Lord and Master, He will protect you. ||3||33||" (Gaurree, Ang 329, SGGS)

Guru Ji imparts self-knowledge (Awqm igAwn), which removes the veil of ignorance that separates us from Vaheguru. Guru Ji also gives his Sikhs the ‘Gurmantar’ (the Divine Name) whose unbroken chanting or meditation brings the individual mental-control and inner purity. Both of these essentials of spirituality have been provided to us by our Guru, Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. We have been blessed with the Gurbaani for self-knowledge, and the Gurmantar is bestowed to us by the Guru-roop Panj Piaare and Guru Granth Sahib Ji’.

‘Vaheguru’ (also spelt ‘Waheguru’) is the Gurmantar for the Sikhs (invocatory formula received from the Guru) or NAAM for repetition (silently or aloud) and meditation upon the Supreme Reality. The Gurmantar has been passed down to from the Guru to the Sikhs in initiation ceremonies (Amrit Sanskaar). The Panth Sikh Rehat Maryada describes this:
“(o) After this the five beloved ones, all together in chorus, communicating the name of Waheguru to all who have been administered the ambrosial baptism…” (Article XXIII, Chapter XIII)

sws sws sws hY jyqy mY gurmiq nwmu sm@wry ] swsu swsu jwie nwmY ibnu so ibrQw swsu ibkwry ]7]
“With as many breaths as I have, I chant the Naam, under Guru's Instructions. Each and every breath which escapes me without the Naam - that breath is useless and corrupt. ||7||” (Nat Naraayan, Ang 980, SGGS)

Also in Chapter III of the Sikh Rehat Maryada under the heading of ‘Meditation on Naam (Divine Substance) and Scriptures’ states:
“(1) A Sikh should wake up in the ambrosial hours (three hours before the dawn), take bath and, concentrating his/her thoughts on One Immortal Being, repeat the name ‘Waheguru’ (Wondrous Destroyer of darkness).”

The Gurmantar is also referred as “Beej Mantar”, meaning the seed Mantar, which one should sow in the field of the mind and soul. Naam Japna (repeated utterance of Divine Creator’s Name, Vaheguru) is one of the three core moral principals of Sikhi, the other two being ‘Kirat Karnee’ (honest labour and living) and ‘Vand Chhakna’ (sharing one’s provisions with the needy). In Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji the word “Vaheguru” (
vwihgurU) appears thirteen times and the word “Vahguru” (vwhgurU) appears three times. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Nanak, used “Vaheguru” in the invocatory formula: “Ik Ounkaar Sri Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh”, beside the traditional “Ik Ounkaar Satgur Prasaad” at the beginning of some of his compositions as well as in the Sikh salutation – “Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Kee Fateh”.

As briefly mentioned, the word “Vaheguru” is made up of two word “Vaah(e)” and “Guru”. “Vaah” or “Vaahe” is an ecstatic expression of awe and wonder. Therefore it is often translated as “wondrous” or “wonderful”. “Guru” derives from two words. “Gu” means darkness, and “Ru” (‘Roo’) means light. Therefore ‘Guru’ means that power, being, and presence, which dispels darkness and brings light, in other words ‘Enlightener’. Cumulatively, the name implies wonder at the Divine Light eliminating spiritual darkness. It might also imply -‘Hail the Lord whose Name eliminates spiritual darkness.’ Thus the two constituents of Vaheguru (Vaahe+Guroo) implies the state of wondrous ecstasy and offering homage to the Divine Creator Being.

The attitude of wonder and total submission at the sight of Divine Greatness is prominently visible in Sri Guru Nanak Ji when he recorded Gurbaani, for example:

ggn mY Qwlu riv cMdu dIpk bny qwirkw mMfl jnk moqI ] DUpu mlAwnlo pvxu cvro kry sgl bnrwie PUlµq joqI ]1]
"In the bowl of the sky, the sun and moon are the lamps; the stars in the constellations are the pearls. The fragrance of sandalwood is the incense, the wind is the fan, and all the vegetation are flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord. ||1||" (Dhanaasree, Ang 663, SGGS)

kyqy pvx pwxI vYsMqr kyqy kwn mhys ] kyqy brmy GwViq GVIAih rUp rMg ky vys ]
"So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas. So many Brahmas, fashioning forms of great beauty, adorned and dressed in many colours." (Ang 7, SGGS)

ivsmwdu nwd ivsmwdu vyd ]
“Wondrous is the sound, wondrous is the wisdom…” (Aasa Di Vaar, Ang 463, SGGS)

Wonder and ecstasy are expressed at the cosmic order and its mystery full of Divinely appointed system. The salok mentioned above from Aasa Di Vaar concludes with:
ivsmwdu nyVY ivsmwdu dUir ] ivsmwdu dyKY hwjrw hjUir ] vyiK ivfwxu rihAw ivsmwdu ] nwnk buJxu pUrY Bwig ]1]
“Wonderful is closeness, wonderful is distance. How wonderful to behold the Lord, ever-present here. Beholding His wonders, I am wonder-struck. O Nanak, those who understand this are blessed with perfect destiny. ||1|| (Aasa, Ang 464, SGGS)

Following on Guru Ji says in the next Salokh in Aasa Di Vaar:
BY ivic pvxu vhY sdvwau ] BY ivic clih lK drIAwau ]
"In the Lord’s fear, the wind and breezes ever blow. In the Lord’s fear, thousands of rivers flow." (Aasa, Ang 464, SGGS)

Gurbaani here expresses wonder at the cosmic ‘fear’ under which the universe operates in obedience to the Divine Law, which the Divine Creator alone is exempt from.

In Japji Sahib, and shabads throughout Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, one prominent theme and subject is the expresses wonder at the cosmic order. In the 16th Pauree (Stanza) of Japji Sahib, is the conveys wonder at the limitlessness of space:
kyqw qwxu suAwilhu rUpu ] kyqI dwiq jwxY kOxu kUqu ]kIqw pswau eyko kvwau ] iqs qy hoey lK drIAwau ] kudriq kvx khw vIcwru ] vwirAw n jwvw eyk vwr ] jo quDu BwvY sweI BlI kwr ] qU sdw slwmiq inrMkwr ]16]"
...What power! What fascinating beauty! And what gifts! Who can know their extent? You created the vast expanse of the Universe with One Word Hundreds of thousands of rivers began to flow. How can Your Creative Potency be described? I cannot even once be a sacrifice to You. Whatever pleases You is the only good done, You, Eternal and Formless One!" ||16|| (Ang 3, SGGS)

The17th –19th Paurees (Stanzas) of Japji Sahib, each begin with ‘Asankh’ (
AsMK), meaning "Countless” is uttered in the same feeling of wonder and awe.
AsMK jp AsMK Bwau ] AsMK pUjw AsMK qp qwau ]
"Countless meditations, countless loves. Countless worship services, countless austere disciplines..." (Ang 3, SGGS)

The Divine Creative Being has been attributed with countless Names, for example, ‘Allah’, ‘Raam’, ‘Kudaah’, ‘Guru’, ‘Satguru’, ‘Gobind’, ‘Raam,’ ‘Nirunkaar’, ‘Gopal’etc and so on. However Gurbaani clearly states that the Creator Being has no name and is beyond our description.
eyk jIh gux kvn bKwnY ] shs PnI syK AMqu n jwnY ] nvqn nwm jpY idnu rwqI ieku guxu nwhI pRB kih sMgw ]16]
"Even the thousand-headed serpent does not know Your limit. One may chant new names for You day and night, but even so, O God, no one can describe even one of Your Glorious Virtues. ||16||" (Maaroo, Ang 1083, SGGS)

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Nanak, says in Jaap Sahib:
qv srb nwm kQYY kvn krm nwm brnq sumiq ]1]
“No one can tell all the Names of the Lord, who is called by special Name by the wise, according to His excellences and doings. ||1||”” (P. 2, Dasam Granth)

The Fourth Nanak, Guru Raam Daas Ji says:
hir hir nwm AsMK hir hir ky gun kQnu n jwih ]
"The Names of the Lord, Har, Har, are countless. The Glorious Virtues of the Lord, Har, Har, cannot be described." (Kaanrraa, Ang 1316, SGGS)

Therefore, there is no name for Vaheguru, but instead we use Vaheguru’s actions and virtues to address him and praise Him. For example ‘Hari’ means one who makes something blossom and brings life or greenery to nature. ‘Gopal’ means ‘Lord of the Universe’. Similarly, “Vaheguru” means ‘Wonderful Enlightener’ or ‘Wondrous Lord’. ‘Raam’ means “All-Pervading’. ‘Shiv’ (‘Shiva’) means ‘embodiment of goodness’ (
surg pieAwl imrq BUA mMfl srb smwno eykY EhI ] isv isv krq sgl kr jorih srb mieAw Twkur qyrI dohI ]1]
"In the heavenly paradise, in the nether regions of the underworld, on the planet earth and throughout the galaxies, the One Lord is pervading everywhere. Everyone calls upon You with their palms pressed together, saying, "Shiva, Shiva" (meaning ‘the Giver of goodness and peace’). O Merciful Lord and Master, everyone cries out for Your Help. ||1||" (Gaurree, Ang 207, SGGS)

gurU isKu isKu gurU hY eyko gur aupdysu clwey ] rwm nwm mMqu ihrdY dyvY nwnk imlxu suBwey ]8]2]9]
"The Guru's Sikh, and the Sikh's Guru, are one and the same; both spread the Guru's Teachings. The Mantar of Raam Naam, the Lord's Name is enshrined within the heart, O Nanak, and we merge with the Lord so easily. ||8||2||9||" (Aasa, Ang 444, SGGS)

Gurbaani is given to us so that we can attain true Spiritual Understanding. For the specific purpose of Naam Jap, Guru Nanak Sahib Ji gave us a very short and sweet, a four-syllable word ‘Va-he-gu-ru’ as the Gurmantar, which is to be repeated or meditated upon day and night while eating, walking, working, standing, sitting, talking, etc.
swis swis ismrhu goibMd ] mn AMqr kI auqrY icMd ]
"With each and every breath, meditate in remembrance on the Lord of the Universe, and the anxiety within your mind shall depart." (Gaurree, Ang 295, SGGS)

so pRBu nyrY hU qy nyrY ] ismir iDAwie gwie gun goibMd idnu rYin swJ svyrY ]1] rhwau ]
"Vaheguru is the nearest of the near. Remember Him, meditate on Him, and sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe, day and night, evening and morning. ||1||Pause||" (Devgandhaaree, Ang 530, SGGS)

Where does this one Word of Shabad come from? Although it is mentioned throughout Guru Granth Sahib Ji in various names as discussed above, the full form of this Mantar, ‘Vaheguru’, was revealed by the realised Bhattas (Bards) in their Baani. It was also mentioned in the writings of Bhai Gurdaas Ji, the contemporary and maternal uncle of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who also was the scriber of the ‘Pothi Sahib’.

vwihgurU, vwihgurU, vwihgurU, vwih jIau ] kvl nYn, mDur bYn, koit sYn sMg soB, khq mw jsod ijsih, dhI Bwqu Kwih jIau ] dyiK rUpu, Aiq AnUpu, moh mhw mg BeI, ikMknI sbd Jnqkwr Kylu pwih jIau ] kwl klm hukmu hwiQ, khhu kaunu myit skY, eIsu bMm´, g´wnu D´wnu Drq hIAY cwih jIau ] siq swcu sRI invwsu, Awid purKu sdw quhI, vwihgurU, vwihgurU, vwihgurU, vwih jIau ]1]6]
“”Vaheguru”, “Vaheguru”, “Vaaheguru”, “Vaahe Jee-o”, Wow! Wow! O Beloved! I am a sacrifice! You are lotus-eyed, with sweet speech, exalted and embellished with millions of companions. (For me it is You who) Mother Yashoda invited and said, “O son (come), eat yoghurt and rice.” Gazing upon Your supremely beautiful form, and hearing the musical sounds of Your silver bells tinkling, (Mother Yashoda) was intoxicated with delight. (O person!) Death's pen and command are in Your hands. Tell me, who can erase it? Shiva and Brahma yearn to enshrine Your spiritual wisdom in their hearts. O Vaheguru, You are forever True, the Home of Excellence, the Primal Supreme Being. “Vaheguru”, “Vaheguru”, “Vaheguru”,
“Vaahe Jee-o”. ||1||6||” (Ang 1402, SGGS)

kIAw Kylu bf mylu qmwsw vwihgurU qyrI sB rcnw ] qU jil Qil ggin pXwil pUir rh´w AMimRq qy mITy jw ky bcnw ] mwnih bRhmwidk rudRwidk kwl kw kwlu inrMjn jcnw ] gur pRswid pweIAY prmwrQu sqsMgiq syqI mnu Kcnw ] kIAw Kylu bf mylu qmwsw vwhgurU qyrI sB rcnw ]3]13]42]
"You have formed and created this play, this great game; O “Vaheguru”, this is all Your creation. You are pervading and permeating the water, land, skies and nether regions; Your Words are sweeter than Ambrosial Nectar. Brahmas and Shivas respect and obey You. O Death of death, Formless Lord, I beg of You. By Guru's Grace, the greatest thing is obtained, and the mind is involved with the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation. You have formed and created this play, this great game. O “Vahguru”, this is all Your making. ||3||13||42||" (Ang 1403, SGGS)

syvk kY BrpUr jugu jugu vwhgurU qyrw sBu sdkw ] inrMkwru pRBu sdw slwmiq kih n skY koaU qU kd kw ] bRhmw ibsnu isry qY Agnq iqn kau mohu BXw mn md kw ] cvrwsIh lK join aupweI irjku dIAw sB hU kau qd kw ] syvk kY BrpUr jugu jugu vwhgurU qyrw sBu sdkw ]1]11]
"Your servants are totally fulfilled, throughout the ages; O "Vaheguru", it is all You, forever. O Formless Lord God, You are eternally intact; no one can say how You came into being. You created countless Brahmas and Vishnus; their minds were intoxicated with emotional attachment. You created the 8.4 million species of beings, and provide for their sustanance. Your servants are totally fulfilled, throughout the ages; O "Vaheguru", it is all You, forever. ||1||11||" (Ang 1403, SGGS)

Throughout Gurbaani, Guru Ji instructs us to meditate and chant on the ‘Guru’ (referring to God), and to praise the ‘Guru’. Therefore, the Bhatts, did not reveal a new message from Guru Nanak Sahib Ji.
AhM qoro muKu joro ] guru guru krq mnu loro ] ipRA pRIiq ipAwro moro ]1] rhwau ]
"Give up your ego, and turn your face to Vaheguru. Let your yearning mind call out, ""Guru, Guru"". My Beloved is the Lover of Love. ||1||Pause||" (Kaanrraa, Ang 1306, SGGS)

gurU gurU jip mIq hmwry ] muK aUjl hovih drbwry ]1] rhwau ]
"Chant and meditate: “Guru, Guru”, O my friend. Your face shall be radiant in the Court of the Lord. ||1||Pause||" (Gaurree, Ang 190, SGGS)

vymuhqwjw vyprvwhu ] nwnk dws khhu gur vwhu ]4]21]
"The Lord is absolutely independent, and totally care-free; O servant Nanak, chant “Gur Vaahu” (Wondrous Guru). ||4||21||" (Aasa, Ang 376, SGGS)

For a deeper understanding of the word “Vaheguru”, we can look at its four syllables individually. These four syllables (in Gurmukhi) are "Vaavaa", "Haahaa", "Gaggaa", and "Raaraa". Guru Granth Sahib Ji reveals to us on ang (respected word for page) that these four syllables represent the Names of the One Creator Supreme Being. For example, Vaavaa represents ‘Vaasudev’, Haahaa represents ‘Hari’, Gaggaa represents ‘Gobind’, and Raaraa represents ‘Raam’. All these are different names of the same One Timeless Reality, which have been repeatedly used throughout the Gurbaani; which suggests that this Mantar is not only condensed into a short and sweet form, but also very powerful!

vvY vwrI AweIAw mUVy vwsudyau quDu vIsirAw ]
Vavai (Vaavaa): Your turn has come, you fool, but you have forgotten Vasudev (God). This opportunity will not come again, you fool; you will fall under the power of death's messenger.” (Aasa, Ang 435, SGGS)

hwhY hir kQw bUJu qUM mUVy, qw sdw suKu hoeI ] mnmuiK pVih, qyqw duKu lwgY, ivxu siqgur mukiq n hoeI ]16]
“Hahaa: Understand the Sermon of Har (God), you fool; only then you will attain eternal peace. The more the Manmukhs (self-willed people) read, the more pain they suffer. Without the True Guru, liberation is not obtained.” (Aasa, Ang 435, SGGS).

ggY goibdu iciq kir mUVy, glI iknY n pwieAw ] gur ky crn ihrdY vswie mUVy, ipCly gunh sB bKis lieAw ]15]
“Gaggaa: Keep Gobind (God) in your mind, you fool; by mere words, no one has ever attained Him. Enshrine the Guru's feet (i.e. Gurbaani) within your heart, you fool, and all your past sins will be forgiven.” (Aasa, Ang 435, SGGS)

rwrY rwmu iciq kir mUVy, ihrdY ijn@ kY riv rihAw ] gur prswdI ijn@I rwmu pCwqw, inrgux rwmu iqn@I bUiJ lihAw ]17]
"Raaraa: Centre your consciousness on Raam (God), you fool; abide with those whose hearts are filled with Him. By Guru's Grace, those who recognise Him, understand the Absolute Being.” (Aasa, Ang 435, SGGS).

Therefore joining the word letters and syllables, which form to make the word “Vaheguru” represents four Names attributed to the One Creator Supreme Being into one word, which means “Wondrous Guru” or “Wondrous Dispeller of Darkness”. Bhai Gurdaas Ji says in his poetry:
vwihgurU gur Sbd lY iprm ipAwlw cup clolw]
"The Guru's word he receives is "Vaheguru", the wondrous Lord, and remains silently immersed in delight.” (Vaar 4, Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Contemporary of Guru Arjan Dev Ji)

Bhai Gurdaas Ji ‘re-emphasises’ Guru Nanak Sahib Ji’s Mantar, which he blessed the Sikhs with. The Mantar, which is recorded in Gurbaani and also bestowed upon Sikhs by the Panj Piaare:
vwihgurU gurU mMqR hY jp haumYN KoeI ] Awp gvwey Awp hY gux guxI proeI ]13]
"The Gurmantar is "Vaheguru", through reciting which erases egotism. Losing egotism and merging into the qualities of the supreme Lord, he himself becomes full of qualities." (Vaar 13, Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Contemporary of Guru Arjan Dev Ji)

Knowing the meaning of the Mantar is very helpful when one is concentrating on it. Then the person will know when they reach the goal, which the Mantar is supposed to produce Within them. The word ‘Vaheguru’ (Wondrous Lord) implies that the Mantar is essentially meant for praising the One Creator Supreme Being through chanting, Keertan, or Naam Simran with each and every swaas (life breaths) as taught by the Guru-roop Panj Piaare.

hmry jgjIvn hir pRwn ] hir aUqmu ird AMqir BwieE guir mMqu dIE hir kwn ]1] rhwau ]
“The Lord, the Life of the World, is my Breath of Life. The Lofty and Exalted Lord became pleasing to my heart and my inner being, when the Guru breathed the Mantra of the Lord into my ears. ||1||Pause||” (Prabhaatee, Ang 1335, SGGS)

bIj mMqRü hir kIrqnu gwau ] AwgY imlI inQwvy Qwau ] gur pUry kI crxI lwgu ] jnm jnm kw soieAw jwgu ]1]
"Sing the Kirtan of the Lord's Praises, and the Beej Mantra, the Seed Mantra. Even the homeless find a home in the world hereafter. Fall at the feet of the Perfect Guru; you have slept for so many incarnations - wake up! ||1||" (Raamkalee, Ang 891, SGGS)

A spiritual Christian girl used to study with me at Sixth Form. She said every time she sees a beautiful flower or tree she praises the God by saying “You are Wonderful! You are Amazing! Wonderful Lord”. I smiled and said that is wonderful to hear. I explained that similarly Sikhs are instructed by our Guru to say ‘Vaheguru’. Explaining what Vaheguru meant she smiled and realised the beauty of Word. ‘Vaheguru’ being the Gurmantar of the Sikhs, there is no doubt about this. A Sikh day and night remains in the awe and wonder of the Dispeller of darkness, the Guru, and chants ‘Vaa-He-Gu-Roo’ with each breath realising the beauty of the Lord within and around them. The Guru’s instructions are re-emphasised in the Rehatnaama of Bhai Desa Singh Ji, a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji:
vwihgurU inq bcn aucwry ] vwihgurU ko ihrdY DwrY ]
“He/she repeats the True Name of 'Vaheguru' daily. He/she enshrines Vaheguru in his heart.” (Rehatnaama Bhai Desa Singh)

Bhul chuk maaf

Manvir Singh Khalsa can be reached at

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