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Sabd And The Gurmukh

Dalvinder Singh Grewal

Jan 3, 2010
Sabd and The Gurmukh

Gurmukh consists of two words gur+mukh meaning guide+face. ‘Gur’ is for guru meaning guide and ‘mukh’ means face. Literally it means whose face is towards the guru; though it connotes ‘the one who follows guru’s teaching.’ It also depicts ‘a good person’; ‘a religious person’, ‘a saintly person’ or ‘God’s chosen one’. Sabd and Gurmukh have a binding relationship. Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha in Mahankosh defines it as satiguru da mukh, guru da chihra.1

In Guru Granth Sahib, Gurmukh is employed in several distinct shades of signification for instance; the Primordial Guru (God) who created all forms. He, who strings them into one thread2. Gurmukh is also the one who instills the awe of Fearless One and through the word shapes the misshapen minds.3 In Maru Solhe, Guru Amar Das describes Gurmukh as the mystic sound (Naad), spiritual knowledge (Ved) and the contemplation thereof.4 At some places in Sri Guru Granth Sahib the gurmukh is used in its literal sense of the face of the Guru. The person, who is facing the Guru; never turns his face from the Guru.

However, the principal sense in which the word gurmukh is most frequently occurs in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is that of the God inspired or theo-centric man-one who follows the way of life prescribed by the guru and acts on his percepts.5 The meaning of the word is explained by a Guru and rightly understood by a Gurmukh only. To understand the revelations, there is requirement of True Guru. Through the Guru's Teachings, the heart is illuminated.

In another sense Gurmukh is the god conscious or the god inspired man who imbued with the word, is crowned with the glory at the Lord’s portal.6 Varyingly, it is signified ‘by the Guru’s word’. We thus see the binding relationship between Sabd and Gurmukh’ in this context. The meaning of the word is explained by a Guru and rightly understood by a Gurmukh only. To understand the revelations, there is requirement of True Guru. Through the true Guru's Teachings, the heart is illuminated. Through the Word of the Guru's Sabd, the Creator Lord can be recognized within one’s self.7,8

The sabd acts as the Guru and not the body of a being, hence the Gurmukh is concerned with the word and not with the Guru’s body alone. The Guru’s ward must consider Sabd as the Guru and tune his mind to the music of the sabd as a follower.9

Only the person who has Guru can understand the depths of Gurbani. The Gurmukh is the one who concentrates on Guru’s word and acts upon it. Through ceaseless search the Gurmukh finds that the Bani of the True Word is Wonderful. Chanting Wonderful God’s praise, the tongue is adorned with the Sabd hence the Sabd is continuously and repeatedly chanted and thereby enshrined in a being’s heart.10 Through the word the Gurmukh is attached to Truth and by God’s Grace he meets the God.11

Guru Nanak says: The Gurumukh who is himself emancipated, is met by the merciful Writ of the Lord. The Gurmukh remains lovingly attuned to the True Sabd. Bestowing His Glance of Grace, The God unites the Gurmukh with Himself.12 The Gurmukh is thus liberated, as he is permanently linked to the God. He then becomes the spiritual teacher, and the preacher. He is blessed even when he is householder or a renunciator. He knows the Lord's Value. By remembering Him the Gurmukh is relieved of the bondage of egotism is bondage; and escapes from the cycle of transmigrations.13

The Gurmukh is united in God's Union; as he realizes the Sabd.14 Thus the Gurmukh is ultimate winner of assimilation with God. He never loses in the Court of the Lord.15

The Gurmukh writes and reflects on Truth, and only Truth. The True one finds the gate of salvation.16 The Word of the Gurmukh is becomes God Himself. God is hidden and the revealed in all places; Receiving Guru's Grace, this understanding is obtained. The Gurmukh praises the Naam forever and enshrines it within the mind. When the Gurmukh united with the Lord, he inspires others to get united with Him as well. Death does not touch him, and pain does not afflict him. Subduing egotism, he breaks all his bonds; as Gurmukh, he is adorned with the Sabd. One feels to sacrifice himself and his soul to the one who is adorned by the Name of the Lord.17

The Gurmukh sings, dances, and focuses his consciousness on the Lord. The Gurmukh is celebrated in life and death. His life is not wasted; as he realizes the Sabd. That is why the Gurmukh does not die; he is not consumed by death. The Gurmukh is absorbed in the True Lord. He is honored in the Court of the Lord as he eradicates selfishness and conceit from within. He saves himself, and all his family members and ancestors as well. The Gurmukh redeems their lives.18

The Gurmukh never suffers bodily pain. The Gurmukhs have the pain of egotism taken away. The minds of the Gurmukhs are immaculate and pure; no filth ever sticks to them again. The Gurmukhs merge in celestial peace. The Gurmukhs obtain the Greatness of the Naam. The Gurmukhs sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and obtain honor. They remain in bliss forever, day and night. The Gurmukhs practice the Word of the Sabd. The Gurmukhs are attuned to the Sabd, night and day. The Gurmukhs are known throughout the four ages.19

The Gurmukhs always sing the Glorious Praises of the Immaculate Lord. Through the Sabd, they practice devotional worship. The Gurmukhs know that the Lord alone acts, and causes others to act. In the hearts of the Gurmukhs, the Lord Himself comes to dwell. The Gurmukhs know that the Lord alone acts, and causes others to act. In the hearts of the Gurmukhs, the Lord Himself comes to dwell. Through the Naam, greatness is obtained. It is received from the Perfect Guru.20

Without the Guru, no one obtains intuitive wisdom; the Gurmukh is absorbed in intuitive peace. He, Himself bestows pain and pleasure, O Creator. The Lord reveals Himself to the Gurmukh. The Creator Himself acts, and causes others to act. Through Him, the Guru's Sabd is enshrined within the mind. The Ambrosial Word of the Guru's Bani emanates from the Sabd. The Gurmukh speaks it and hears it.21

Within the mansion is the treasure house, overflowing with jewels. The Gurmukh obtains the Infinite Naam, the Name of the Lord. The Gurmukh, the trader, always purchases the merchandise of the Naam, and always reaps profits. The Lord Himself keeps this merchandise in stock, and He Himself distributes it. Rare is that Gurmukh who trades in this.22

The Guru's Instruction is the Word, by which the wandering mind is restrained. Through the Guru's Teachings, we can endure pain and pleasure alike. To live as Gurmukh is the lifestyle by which we come to meditate on the Supreme Lord. The Gurmukh sings the Kirtan of His Praises.23

The Gurmukhs serve Him; they obtain a place in the Mansion of His Presence. The Gurmukhs enshrine the Naam within the mind. The Gurmukhs worship the Lord, and are absorbed in the Naam.24 The Gurmukh is liberated, and the Gurmukh is linked. The Gurmukh is the spiritual teacher, and the Gurmukh is the preacher.25

Blessed is the Gurmukh, the householder and the renunciate. The Gurmukh knows the Lord's Value. 26 Egotism is bondage; as Gurmukh, one is emancipated. The Gurmukh escapes the cycle of coming and going in reincarnation.27 The Gurmukh performs actions of good karma, and the Gurmukh is beyond karma. Whatever the Gurmukh does, is done in good faith. 28

The Gurmukh is happy, while the self-willed Manmukh is sad. The Gurmukh turns toward the Guru, and the self-willed Manmukh turns away from the Guru. The Gurmukh is united with the Lord, while the Manmukh is separated from Him. The Gurmukh reveals the way. 29

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