Shant Ras Vs Bir Ras (miri-piri)

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Apr 25, 2017
IS SHANT ras more important then bir ras or are they supposed to be equal. an example is miri piri, is the miri aspect more important then the piri aspect or vice versa, or are they equally important. bhula chuka khema muaf. wjkk wjkf


Look for what is, not what you think should be
Nov 5, 2017
Ek Oankar (Never forget)

Dear Singh 1999, you have asked a very important question but which first needs some background clarification before an answer can be reached.


Miri is a Persian word which, in the Sikhi context means Commander or similar and signifies a Controlling Power.

Piri is again Persian, from “Pir”, in our context meaning the Spiritual Head. (While Guru Gobind Singh was being carried by his followers through Mughal territory, it was proclaimed that He was the Pir of Hindustan).

So, the former is temporal and the latter, spiritual.

This twin concept appears to first have been put into practise by Guru Hargobind, on Guru Arjan’s instructions (necessitated by the ruling Mughals discriminatory religious policy and persecutions), simply for the purpose of defending the community’s right of freedom to choose and practice their own faith. The 2 flags at Harmandir Sahib and the Temple itself with the Akal Takht opposite to it represent Miri and Piri.

Guru Gobind Singh wrote in his Zafarnama, in Persian (read about it), to Aurangzeb –

Chun kar az hameh heelate dar guzasht

Halal ast burden bi-shamsher dast.

Meaning When all has been tried, yet Justice is not in sight

It is then right to pick up the sword; It is then right to fight.

Ultimately, Guru Gobind Singh created the Panj Pyare and then the Khalsa Panth, which enjoined both Miri and Piri into one entity.

Which is more important?

My understanding is that both Miri and Piri must be in balance.

Piri provides the religious and spiritual guidance, while Miri is ever present to defend it.

Learn and find your spiritual path by your own free will but at the same time be prepared to defend this regardless if it is for yourself or others (Guru Teg Bahadur gave his own life to uphold this).

How to defend?

The defence of Piri has historically been the Sword. However most of the world has reached a stage in history where there are national laws and similar structures to defend each citizens right to practice their own chosen religion. So, the defence can be through the spoken word and the written word, and if all else fails under our contemporary democratic laws, then perhaps a theoretical situation may arise if another Aurangzeb arises which would require a different defence.

I hope this is helpful.

Sat Sri Akal

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