Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Q101. What is Gurbani?

The sacred literature of Sikhism is called Gurbani which means the Guru's word - A Song message - as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib. In Sikhism, the Guru Means 'The Word' and not the physical body. God revealed the bani through the Guru and it will ultimately lead one to its source. The bani is the Guru and the Guru is the bani. One who expounds or explains the bani cannot have the status of a Guru. He is a mere teacher or missionary. Any compositions other than those of the Gurus and those approved by them are unacceptable to Sikhs.

Some people make much of the apparently contradictory statements in Gurbani. The hymns have been written to suit different stages in spiritual development. For example, in one hymn, Guru Nanak says that with individual effort, it is possible to realize God; in another hymn he says that austerities and meditation are of no avail without God's grace. With understanding and patience, it is possible to reconcile the so-called contradictions. In this instance, prayer in the beginning is due to personal effort, but later on, it can be seen that this effort was itself induced or assited by God. Without His order - Hukam - it is impossible for man to do anything. Effort on its own only produces egoism and even frustration. Humility is essential for the winning of God's Grace.

The reading of Gurbani requires concentration, understanding and heart- searching. Lip-utterance on its own is of no avail. The devotee must meditate on the message of Gurbani. This alone can help him to rid his mind of evil thoughts and make it pure enough to receive the Name(holy Spirit). The true devotee drinks this nectar because it give him inner satisfaction and inner peace. The percolation of Gurbani into the inner consciousness is as fruitful as the seasonal rain to a ploughed field. Guru Nanak says, "Make a boat of the sacred Name then, with the oars of faith, cross the ocean of illusion."

According to Sikhism, Gurbani is the penacea for all human ills and sin. It is for the individual to find out which hymn or Salok appeals to him and is related to his spiritual need. If he feels comforted by the hymns of the Guru, he should realize that meditation is his spiritual need. will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.

The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras. brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas . You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.
Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.