Worshipping The Naam, Worshipping Guruji | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Worshipping The Naam, Worshipping Guruji

Jul 13, 2004
Waheguruji ka khalsa, Waheguruji ki fateh

Please don't bite, I am new here :eek:

Before I post my report, I would like to remind people to read the report fully and understand what I am actually saying. Others have skim read this and were offended, but when they read it in full they understood what I was saying and looked foolish.

Basically I would like to discuss the whole worshipping Guruji and naam thing and also what it means when Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji talks about worshipping the Guru and naam. Please share views.

Page 504, Line 19 -- Guru Nanak Dev
O Siblings of Destiny, by Guru`s Grace, I perform devotional worship to my Lord and Master.
COMMENTS: We all know that God has authority over man, so 'my God' is not to be seen as owning God, or claiming authority to God. The use of 'my God' simply means 'my perception of God'. So by the Guru's grace, we perform devotional worship to what we think God is.

Page 574, Line 5 -- Guru Ram Das
If only I could meet the Guru, meet the Guru, O my Beloved; I dedicate myself to the devotional worship of the True Guru.
COMMENTS: Is it really possible to perform devotional worship to both God and the Guru?In Sikhism, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji maybe referred to as holy by some. This does not mean it is holy in the sense of having qualities that a God [or deity] would. It is called holy as it is a portal that connects with non-maya [non-maya being God]. So why is the portal that guides the way to God requesting worship, when the portal tells you to worship what the portal is guiding you to? Rather confusing, but when writing this report I came to some deeper answers and conclusions with other quotes.

Page 594, Line 3 -- Guru Amar Das
Blessed, blessed is the True Being, my True Guru; meeting Him, I have attained the Lord`s devotional worship.
COMMENTS: Since Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a portal for connecting with God, making it holy, meeting this portal when it is active [being read from] connects you with God, therefore the one that is listening to the recitation of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji attains the Lord's devotional worship.

Page 652, Line 3 -- Guru Amar Das
May I behold with my eyes those who worship and adore my Beloved True Guru.
COMMENTS: Again I do not understand why the portal is being worshipped or requesting worship. It is like standing at a door, and instead of going through it on a journey, spending time with the door.

Page 731, Line 7 -- Guru Ram Das
My mind worships and adores the Lord`s Name, through the Guru, and the Word of the Guru`s Shabad.
COMMENTS: Back to the naam again. Like I have said before, the only way to worship the naam is to recite it [mentally or orally]. Waheguru loosely translates to 'Wonderful God' or 'Wow Enlightener'. So by worshipping it, you are actually worshipping God, as the naam itself praises God. Therefore God having a name would mean nothing to God himself, it is a human need, a way which God prescribed for us to worship him [without even knowing it for some]. So, worshipping the naam is worshipping God but when Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji talks about worshipping the Guru I find it hard to believe that anything that isn't God is to be worshipped. Naam and Guru are both portals. The difference between both portals is that the naam is not a physical object - it cannot be touched. Where as with the Guru, it is a physical portal and can be touched, making it very easy for Sikhs to loose symbolism compared to worshipping the naam. Same with Hindus and idols [I am not calling Guruji an idol]. With Hindus, the murtis, or idols are very symbolic and represent certain qualities of God, Hindus are supposed to worship these but to be concentrating on the object - many Hindus have lost the symbolism of the idol and the meaning of each part of the deity. Which may well happen with some Sikhs and Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, they could worship it without reading the inside and therefore it would loose all meaning. Therefore naam worship clearly brings more benefit and logical sense than Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji worship. So therefore, I am still looking for answers about why Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is worshipped.

Page 758, Line 10 -- Guru Ram Das
Night and day, I worship the Guru`s Feet in adoration; have Mercy upon me, O my Lord and Master.
COMMENTS: This is beautifully symbolic, and in a sense refers to the worshipping of the naam. If we take Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 's feet to be a select portion of the gurbani in the Guru, then again, by reading the feet [the portion], you can worship the feet but cannot touch them. Therefore recitation is [symbolically] worshipping the feet [the gurbani], which praises God, and therefore this means that the reader is praising God.

Page 814, Line 16 -- Guru Arjan Dev
Worshipping the Perfect Guru in adoration, my anguish is eradicated.
COMMENTS: So I have 'cracked' for myself the worshipping of the Guru's feet, as this is not the Guru as a whole and referring to a part of it [the gurbani]. So is worshipping the Guru symbolic for not requesting to physically worship the Guru, but an invitation to recite the gurbani [the whole of the Guru, not just the feet as the feet is a small portion]. This may well mean that worshipping the Guru is symbolic for reading the whole of the Guru. So if I were to give a literal interpretation of this quote, it could well be: Reciting the whole of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji with intention, the mind becomes fixed on God, resulting in banishment of anguish from the mind.

Page 837, Line 4 -- Guru Ram Das
Because of devotional worship in my past incarnations, I have been born into this life. The Guru has inspired me to worship the Lord, Har, Har, Har, Har.
COMMENTS: In my opinion, this quote, Guru Ram Das Ji is clearly talking about himself - he did very good religious deeds in his past life, which has resulted as him being a Guru in this life.

Page 864, Line 14 -- Guru Arjan Dev
I worship and adore my Guru; the Guru is the Lord of the Universe.
COMMENTS: A Sikh once said to me that Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was a form of God, and this is possibly where he had got that from. I have tackled the problem of what worshipping the Guru actually means, but regarding the Guru as the Lord of the universe may appear to the reader that Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is regarding itself as God. This is not true. Lord is often symbolic for authority over mankind, so as well as Lord being a common name for God, it is also used as a name for someone in authority. Before I explain what I think this means, let me explain my philosophy that the words in the book of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Guru, and the book is just for recording purposes [just like the naam - the naam has no form, because naam is so short, it will always be preserved and cannot be altered]. So clearly, the rest of this quote means that the Guru [the words not the book] is the authority of the universe - that in the universe, these words [the GURU], are suited to all ages [all the jugs] and by realising the greatness of the Guru you can see that it is a good portal to the Lord of the universe [GOD].

Page 1118, Line 11 -- Guru Ram Das
Wash the Feet of the True Guru, and worship them. In this way, you shall find my Lord God.
COMMENTS: If the feet of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji means a portion of the gurbani within it then, to wash them means to remove the dirt. Symbolically, this clearly means to find the true meaning of it, and not take it on face value, to unscramble the words portion by portion to get the true message of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. To worship this is to recite it – just like the naam, the only way to worship the Guru is to recite it [mentally or orally]. So by worshipping it, you are actually worshipping God, as the Guru itself praises God. As the quote says, by doing that you are worshipping God.

Page 1264, Line 1 -- Guru Ram Das
That humble being who worships, adores and serves the Guru is pleasing to my Lord God.
COMMENTS: By worshipping the Guru [reciting it in full {akhand path} and reciting it with adoration and discipline] pleases our perception of God.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion to my short study on ‘worshipping the naam and Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’, it has become very clear to me that:
A. For a Sikh to worship the Guru is to recite it. As the Guru is praising God, reciting the Gurus praises/teachings [worshipping the Guru] is actually worshipping God as the Guru is praising God, so by worshipping the guru you are praising God along with the Guru.

B. For a Sikh to spend his life never reading or grasping knowledge of the Guru’s teachings, but still claiming he has worshipped it – this becomes idol worship. Why? Because he is worshipping the paper of the book, the cover etc. The 11th Guru is the Sikhs is NOT a book, the teachings are simply recorded in a book for safe keeping, without the Guru the book cannot be considered a form for the Guru.

C. If somebody were to write the whole of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on a wall then that wall will be the Guru, not the wall itself, but the Guru will exist, or it’s essence in that wall. The Guru is not a book, the Guru is the teachings. To do an akhand path is also similar, the Guru exists within the form of sound for a limited time. So this means that if a short part of the Guru is recited [his feet] then that is his feet and not the Guru. So if I wrote Japji sahib alone on a wall then the Guru’s feet would be on the wall.

D. All human Sikh Gurus from Nanak to Gobind were so deeply immersed in the meditation of God that they allowed God to take control over their bodies and God delivered his message through them. Although they didn’t, if one of the Gurus had declared they are God, this would not be them saying that I, Nanak am God myself, it would be the voice of God speaking through them, telling them that God was delivering his message. Krishna said ‘I am God’, and in my opinion Hindus have taken it the wrong way. I believe he was so immersed in the meditation of God, that God spoke though him.

The little philosopher


Jun 3, 2004
Your posts is centered wround devotional worship.

I think rather then Worship, the concept is of Love :

Mann Preet Charan Kamla re...

The point is that the Gurus were in Love with God, and this is what they preached.

The devotion is described in terms of the wife - soul for the Husband - God and this is a clear indication that the worship in the traditional sense of 'idol worship' is not being referred ton here...what is being referred to here is Love.

Moreover the Love is not only for God per se, but in the ability to see HIm in all (as a life forces...as a creator of everything..)

If we love someone we normaly love, what they create - because it contains an essence of our beloved - this is a simplistic explanation however.

Guru is to be loved and revered because he is the conncetion. The Guru is not asking for worhsip, but the disciple is loving him.

It is just like people love and express their love, though the other person may not exlicitly or implicitly demand this.

My two cents worth.
Jul 13, 2004
Yeah I see what you mean, but lets say I love my boyfriend for example, and if we decided to have sex, that would be me showing my love for him [worshipping him], I do like what he creates [example, he sometimes draws pictures], but I don't start worshipping [having sex with] the things he creates [pictures], do I?

Well I guess I'm just confusing myself here :confused:

I can understand 'love of the naam' and 'love of the Guru', but I am still confused on worshipping naam and Guruji.

To be honest I think God really does have no name, because if he's unattached from maya then why would he need to put any names/labels on himself? I think the reason why we as humans have named God is so that we can refer to him in conversation and gave him names as a way of worship, but it doesn't actually means that he literally has a name.
I have heard some Sikhs talk about Waheguru not actually being a naam and it is the duty of a Sikh to try and find God's hidden naam and once you have it your not supposed to tell anyone. Personally I disagree with this, what do you think?

The little philosopher
Jul 10, 2004
can understand 'love of the naam' and 'love of the Guru', but I am still confused on worshipping naam and Guruji
I think your defintion of naam is somewhat influenced by Abrahamic religious belief where naam can be associate with Jesus or Muhammad or Allah... but in Sikh philosophy naam is not a word that is to be worshipped. Let us read and try to understand the following verse in SGGS at page no. 274,

The Naam is the Support of all creatures. The Naam is the Support of the earth and solar systems. The Naam is the Support of the Simritees, the Vedas and the Puraanas. The Naam is the Support by which we hear of spiritual wisdom and meditation. The Naam is the Support of the Akaashic ethers and the nether regions. The Naam is the Support of all bodies. The Naam is the Support of all worlds and realms. Associating with the Naam, listening to it with the ears, one is saved. Those whom the Lord mercifully attaches to His Naam . O Nanak, in the fourth state, those humble servants attain salvation. || 5 ||

Naam is always referred to as The Akaal Purukh, the Creator, its not that we have just sit and chant the word naam. I hope it helps.
Jul 13, 2004
Critical Singh said:
Naam is always referred to as The Akaal Purukh, the Creator, its not that we have just sit and chant the word naam. I hope it helps.
Yes, I think it has duplicate meaning, but it is clear that God is actually nameless. Another possible meaning out of many is that the word naam itself is actually another name of God [not that God has a name per-se, but a name in the sense that we would have another name to refer him as to].

Try reading the quote you gave me but replace the word 'naam' with God or Waheguru while reading, it makes more logical sense.

I read the post you gave me philosophy, it answered my naam queries, thanks :)

The little philsopher


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Members

It is a good discussion. I also want to contribute to it. What I say here is what life has tought me.

I do not worship 'Naam'. I recite this Naam (Waheguru) through out the day when my mind is not absorbed in some other activity. From my experience I can tell that this has helped me to tune myself (my mind to be accurate) better to receive spiritual inputs.

Worship means having intense reverence for the object worshipped. I worship the knowlegde contained in 'Siri Guru Granth Sahib' which is Nirakaar. I respect 'Siri Guru Granth Sahib' because it is where the knowledge is contained and nothing beyond that; I donot worship it, I respect it. I am aware that the Granth has Akaar and 'Karta Purakh' is 'Nir Akaar'.

I feel that the path to divinity is not mechanical, it cannot be laid, no scripture, on its own can ever be able to take the individual to the ultimate in spirituality. Scripture is designed to initialise the individual for her/his journey on the spiritual path. It provides enough guidelines so as to enable the individual to take proper course en-route to divinity. The rest the individual has to do on her/his own.

To me 'Karta Purakh' is not an entity that has to realised, it is realisation itself. I cannot say in words what it means, one has to know it on her/his own.

With Love and Respect for all.


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