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Definition of a Sikh

Surindar Singh Kohli

The word "Sikh” has been derived from the Sanskrit word "Shishya”, which according to the Sanskrit- English lexicon means 'A pupil; disciple; scholar’. A person admitted to an educational institution may be called a Sikh or Shishya. Every profession has a training institute which under the guidance of a mature teacher or Guru, imparts training to a Shishya in that profession. In this article, the word Sikh connotes that pupil or disciple, who gets training regarding godly qualities in the school of the True Guru known as Sat Sangat (The True Congregation):

“Sat Sangat (The True Congregation) is the school of the True Guru, where (the Sikh) gets training in godly qualities” (Var Kanra M. 4, p. 1316).

The True Guru is the teacher, who gives instruction regarding the Lord and makes the Sikh (student) wise:

"O my Lord, we are Your ignorant children. Blessed is the Guru-teacher (the True Guru), who has made us wise by giving us instructions regarding the Lord.” (Gauri Bairagan M. 4, p. 168).

The Guru is the spiritual teacher, who destroys the darkness of ignorance. In order to differentiate such a Guru from the ordinary teacher, sometimes the word "Satguru” (The True Guru) has been used and also in order to differentiate the Sikh of the True Guru from an ordinary pupil, the word Gursikh has been used in the Adi Granth and the Vars of Bhai Gurdas.

Except the first (or the Primal) Guru, all the other Gurus were primarily Gursikhs. Bhai Gurdas may be quoted in this connection:

The Lord Himself created the True Guru Nanak Dev.

Guru Angad, the Gursikh came to Baba (Nanak Dev).

Guru Amar Das is Gursikh, who was liked by True Guru.

Ramdas was Gursikh and was called the Guru.

Guru Arjan, the Gursikh, became the Guru.

Hargovind, the Gursikh, could not be concealed. (Var 20, Pauri 1)

These verses make it clear that after the first Guru, all the Gurus from Guru Angad Dev to Guru Hargobind were all Gursikh in the beginning and then became the Gurus. The same thing can be said about the remaining Gurus. After Guru Gobind Singh, the Guruship was bestowed on Granth Sahib (the Adi Granth) for all times. Therefore after the Tenth Master, any great Gursikh, may become Guru-like, but cannot become a Guru. Because of the observance of the discipline of the Guru en toto, A Gursikh may become one with the Guru. Guru Ram Das says:

There remains no difference between the Guru and the Sikh because of the observance and instruction of the same discipline of the Guru (Asa M. 4, 444).

Bhai Gurdas also writes in the same strain:

A Spiritual Wonder became manifest when the personality of the Sikh merged in that of Guru. (Var 20, Pauri 3)

But to become Guru-like the Sikh has to pass through a very difficult process. It is like winning the game of chess. Bhai Gurdas says:

The Sikh of the Guru, after listening to the instructions of the Guru, was called a Sikh. The Sikh listened attentively the instructions of the Guru. After listening, the Gursikh, accepted everything in his mind with reverence. This Gursikh was liked and loved by other Gursikhs. The Gursikh went into the company of other Gursikhs. The Gursikh won this difficult game of chess played with thirty-two pieces. (Var 20, Pauri 19).

The Gursikh, having been instructed by Gurudeva practices it with a firm mind and preaches the discipline to other seekers. The Gursikh meets a Gursikh. They all gather in a holy congregation and hold talks about their spiritual development. The Guru is an ocean, filled with gems and pearls and the Sikhs are like swans, who trade in such treasure. Guru Arjan Dev says:

The True Guru is the ocean of pearls, one attains it according to his Writ. The Sikhs like swans gather together according to the Will of the True Guru. The ocean is full of gems and pearls, the swans eat them, but the ocean always remains full. The Lord wills that the ocean and the swans are not separated. Only that Sikh comes to the Guru, on whose forehead this Writ is recorded from the very beginning. Such a Gursikh not only ferries across the world-ocean, himself, but also saves his family and the whole world. (Var Ramkali M. 5, 960)

The practical life of a Gursikh makes him swim across the ocean of Samsara along with many others. He can even get the release of the whole world. Then the question arises: what are those gems and pearls which the Gursikh pecks from the Guru-ocean and becomes so powerful, that the Tenth Master calls him as "Mera Sikh” (My Sikh). The Guru says, "He who remains within discipline, is my Sikh”. It becomes clear from this quotation that the Gursikh has a significant and definite discipline,which should be discussed here. The life of a Gursikh is in tune with the discipline of the Guru. The instruction of the Guru is full of gems, rubies and pearls. Guru Nanak Dev says in Japuji:

"If we listen to the instruction of the Guru, our intellect becomes full of gems, rubies and pearls”.

The same thought has been expressed by Guru Ram Das in the following manner:

"O my Gursikh friend, follow the Path of the Guru.

Whatever the Guru says, act upon it faithfully; the story of the Lord is queer.” (Dhanasari M. 4)

The Discipline Followed by a Gursikh

(a) The Guru performs two functions in relation to a Gursikh. He gives the WORD or NAME to the Sikh and also knowledge. The Word of the Guru is called Naad and the knowledge Ved. Both of them are present in the bani of the Guru. Therefore it is the primary duty of a Gursikh that he should search the gems and pearls in the bani (compositions) of the Guru. This bani is also Guru because the spirit of the Guru is present in this bani. The embrosia and nectar lie hidden in this bani:

Bani is the Guru and Guru is the bani, all the embrosia is within this bani. Whatever is written in bani, the devotee should act upon it reverently, the Guru will, assuredly, grant him release. (Nat M. 4)

The bani of the Guru is a great benefaction for humanity. Those who are saturated with this bani, they only are Gursikhs:

"Nanak utters the nectar-like bani, which is liked and loved by Gursikhs; The perfect and True Guru gives instructions through this bani, which is his act of philanthropy.” (Majh M.4)

(b) Guru Ram Das has expressed the way of living of a Gursikh in the following manner:

"He who calls himself a Sikh of the True Guru, he should get up in the early hours of the morning and remember the Name of the Lord. He should make effort to rise before the day dawns and take a bath in the pool of nectar. Under the instructions of the Guru, he should repeat the mantram of the Guru, all his troubles will end and all his sins and blemishes will be destroyed. Then when the day dawns, he should sing the bani of the Guru and remember the Name of the Lord while sitting or moving. He who remembers my Lord with every breath and loaf, that Gursikh is liked by the Guru. He on whom my Lord showers His Blessings, the Guru instructs that Gursikh. I beg for the dust of the feet of that Gursikh, who not only repeats the Name of the Lord but also makes others to repeat it. ” (Var Gauri M. 4)

The following facts come before us from the above hymn:

  1. The Gursikh rises up early in the morning and takes a bath.
  2. Then he remembers the Name of the Lord.
  3. When the day dawns, he sings the bani of the Guru.
  4. Throughout the remaining day, either working or sitting or moving, he repeats the Name of the Lord with every breath. This shows that he is always in tune with the Lord.
  5. He, not only, remembers the Name of the Lord himself, but also makes others remember the Lord.
  6. He remains firm on this instruction in Japuji: "One should remember the Name of the Lord at the ambrosial hours in the morning and utter and participate in the Praises of the Lord”.

(c) The Gursikh wages a war and conquers the five mighty vices i.e. lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego. He is a wrestler of the Lord and has within himself the strength of the Word of the Guru. Guru Arjan Dev says:

"I am the wrestler of the Lord; I feel highly elated on meeting the Guru. All the participants have gathered and the Lord Himself is Seeing all this. The musical instruments and trumpets are being played; the wrestlers are taking rounds and I have defeated the five youths on having been blessed by the Guru. All have gathered together; they will return home with changed routes. The Gurmukh (Enlightened Ones) will go benefitted and the Manmukh (self-willed) will even lose their principal." (Sri Rag M. 5)

Only the Gurmukh or Gursikh will win in this tough contest and the Manmukh will suffer defeat.

(d) Gursikh is blessed with the Grace of the Lord. The Name cannot be remembered without His Grace. The Lord Himself gives prominence to His devotees in His Hukam (Will) and with His Power makes all others subservient to Gursikhs. But this Grace is only achieved on taking steps forward on the True Path enunciated by the Guru. Guru Ram Das says:

"To whomsoever the Lord Blesses Himself, He brings the whole world to his feet. One may feel afraid, if something is done by him, only the Lord Himself extends His Powers everywhere. Look, O brother, this Play of the True Lord, before whose might everyone has bowed. The Lord Protects His devotees and the faces of the calumniators and tyrants are blackened. The eminence of the True Guru always rises higher, whoever makes the devotees sing the Praises of the Lord. O Gursikhs, always remember the Name of the Lord, the True Guru and the Lord will make the life comfortable in your home, 0 Gursikhs, consider the bani of the Guru as True, the Lord Himself issues it through his mouth. The dear Lord Himself purifies the mouths of the Gursikhs and Himself makes the whole world proclaim loudly the Praises of the Guru. I am the servant of the Lord, who protects the honour of his servants.” (Var Gauri M. 4)

(e) The Gursikh surrenders himself completely to the Will of the Lord. That is the reason why the True Guru is kind towards him:

The Gursikhs accept the Will of the Lord, therefore they are ferried across by the Perfect Guru. (Shalok Varan te Vadhik M.4)

(f) When the instructions of the Guru awaken in the heart of the Gursikh, he forsakes the unsteady intellect. All the darkness of his ignorance vanishes in the light of the knowledge of the Guru:

"When the instruction of the Guru awakens within, the unsteady intellect is forsaken. With the light of the instruction of the Guru, all the darkness disappears.   (Sorath M. 1, 599)

(g) Even if the Gursikh may falter in his speech, he is always true to the Will of the Lord:

"Even if they falter in speech, they are always True to the Will of the Lord.” (Asa M. 4)

Contrary to this, those who have sweet speech, but are full of poison in their hearts, they remain separated from the Lord and are always in agony:

"Those who eat and wear without devotion towards the Guru, they may be considered as dead or born as cripples. Though they speak sweetly, they throw out poison from their mouths. They have wicked minds, therefore they are separated by the Lord.” (Var Gauri M. 4)

(h) The Gursikh always leads a life of virtue and Dharma—According to Guru Ram Das such Gursikhs are not only pure themselves, but all the things coming in their contact are also pure:

"Those who are absorbed in the Name of the Lord, all their eatables, clothes and maya are pure; their houses, temples, palaces and rest-houses are all pure, in which the Gurmukhs, devotees, and the praying Sikhs live or stay; their horses, saddles and sacks are all pure on which the Gurmukh Sikhs and saints take a ride; their actions of piety are all pure, who repeat and remember the Name of the Lord; those who are destined to be virtuous, such Gurmukh Sikhs go to the Guru." (Var Sorath M. 4)

The True Guru is the field of righteousness and from him, the Gursikh learns the Way of Dharma:

"The True Guru is the field of Dharma, in which one reaps whatever one sows. The Gursikhs sow the nectar and get the ambrosial fruit of Hari. They are pure in both worlds and in the Court of the Lord, they receive a robe of honour.” {Var Gauri M. 4)

The Gursikh sow nectar and reap nectar. They are honoured in both the worlds.

(i) The life of a Gursikh is saturated with godly qualities. He listens to and sings the Praises of the Lord depicting godly qualities:

We have sung about the attributes of the Lord under all circumstances, having been befriended by the True Guru; just as the neem tree near the sandalwood tree takes the qualities of the sandalwood. (Nat M. 4)

By imbibing the qualities, the state of devotion is created. Guru Nanak Dev has written in Japuji:

"There can be no devotion without the qualities”.

God is Fearless, therefore the Gursikh becomes fearless:

"Those who have remembered the Fearless Lord, all their fear is destroyed” (Asa M. 4).

God is without enmity, therefore the Gursikh is without enmity:

"None is my enemy and I am enemy of none”. "I have befriended all” (Dhanasari M. 5, p. 671).

God is Pure, therefore the Gursikh is also pure:

"The Guru destroys the dirt of vicious intellect of the Sikh” (Gauri Sukhmani M. 5). etc.

(j) The Perfect Gursikh is Brahm Giani (The Knower of Brahman), whose attributes have been mentioned in Sukhmani like this:

Brahm Giani is always unattached like lotus in water. He is without any blemish like the quality of the sun drying everything. He sees everything alike like the quality of air for everybody. He has the quality of forbearance like the earth whether it is dug up or pasted with sandalwood. He has the quality of the spontaneity of fire. He is pure like the water. His mind is illumined like the earth from the sky. The friends and the enemies are alike for him. He is without pride. He is the highest, but still he considers himself lowest in his mind. Whomsoever the Lord Wills, he can become a Brahm Giani. Brahm Giani considers himself the dust of the feet of all. He has tasted the spiritual ambrosia. He is kind towards all. He bears no ill- will for anybody. He sees everything and everybody alike. The ambrosia trickles down from his eyes. He is free from any bondage and is absorbed in pure discipline. The knowledge is his food and he concentrates only on Brahman. He depends only on the One lord. He is immortal. He is extremely humble and a spring of philanthropy. He always remains detached and has bound down the mercurial mind. Only good comes out of him and he always prospers. He ferries across everyone and all the world worships him.

All the above-mentioned attributes of a Brahm Giani are, in fact, the attributes of a Gursikh.

(k) The following characteristics of a Gursikh are mentioned in the Vars of Bhai Gurdas:

  1. There are lakhs of superior, middling and inferior people, but the Gurmukh (Gursikh) considers himself the lowliest. He becomes the dust of the feet of others and loses his ego. He remains in the company of the saints and in the Fear and Love of the Lord. He serves others like a servant.

He is humble, serves others and speaks sweetly. He is absorbed in the Word and is honoured in the Court of the Lord. He considers himself ignorant and is conscious of his short stay in the world. He detaches himself from all worldly hopes. Such a Gurmukh (Gursikh) attains the desired fruit and knows the Unknowable. (Var 8, Pauri 29).

  1. 1 am a sacrifice to those Gursikhs, who get up in the early hours of the morning, who take a bath in the pool at the ambrosial hour, who remember the Guru with full concentration, who join the holy congregation and always sing and listen to the bani of the Guru, who remain in tune with the discipline, who, in devotion of love, celebrate the festivals in memory of the Guru and who remaining in service of the Guru, prosper. (Var 12, Pauri 2).
  2. I am a sacrifice to him, who being powerful considers himself powerless, who being honourable considers himself humble, who being wise, considers himself ignorant, who surrenders himself before the Will of the Lord, who is attracted towards the Path of a Gurmukh, who being conscious of his short stay in the world considers himself only a guest-such a person is honoured both in this world and the next. (Var 12, Pauri 3).
  3. I am a sacrifice to him, who follows the discipline of the Guru and remains humble in his heart, who does not go near the wife of another person, who does not touch the wealth of others, who does not listen to the calumny of others, who practices the instructions of the Guru, who sleeps and eats less- such a Gurmukh is absorbed in the State of Sahaj (the Supreme state). {Var 12, Pauri 4).
  4. I am a sacrifice to him, who considers the Guru and the Lord as One, who forsakes duality, who does not think ill of even evil persons, who does not talk ill of any one, who deliberately suffers defeat, who performs acts of philanthropy and takes pleasure in them. In the carefree Court of the Lord, his modesty is rewarded. He recognises the Perfect Guru and the Word of the Guru. (Var 12, Pauri 5).
  5. I am a sacrifice to those Gursikhs, who lose their ego on meeting the Guru, who remain detached while living in maya, who are absorbed in the discipline and the Feet of the Guru, who meet other Gursikhs and convey the instructions of the Guru to them, who still their outgoing mind, who remain detached in the world of hopes and who remain firm on the instructions of the Guru. (Var 12, Pauri 6).

(l) In Raga Suhi of the Adi Granth, there are two hymns entitled Kuchajji and Suchajji by Guru Nanak Dev and one hymn entitled Gunwanti by Guru Arjan Dev. The life of a Manmukh has been depicted in Kuchajji (meaning without any decorum), but in Suchajji (a lady knowing decorum) and Gunwanti (a virtuous lady), we peep into the life of a Gurmukh or Gursikh. Suchajji surrenders to the Will of the Lord at every hour and every step and Gunwanti remains indebted to that Gursikh, who unites her with the Guru. Guru Arjan Dev says:

"If you forsake the advice of your' mind and forget duality, you will have the Sight of the Lord and no trouble will come to you. I cannot speak on my own, whatever I have said, it has been uttered under the Will of the Lord. Guru Nanak Dev has extended his domain and bestowed on me the treasure of the devotion of the Lord. The thirst and hunger trouble me no more and I am fully satisfied. Any Gursikh, whom I see, I repeatedly bow at his feet.”

Guru Nanak Dev has described the way of living of a Gurmukh (Gursikh) in this manner in Siddh Goshta:

A Gurmukh performs triple function of Nam (he remembers the Name of the Lord), Dan (he gives in charity to the deserving and needy) and Isnan (takes physical and mental bath). He remains concentrated in Sahaj (the supreme spiritual state). He receives honour in the Court of the Lord. He is eminent and remover of fear. He remains under the discipline of the Guru and makes others follow this discipline. He unites others with the Lord. He has the knowledge of all religious texts (Shastras, Smritis and Vedas). He knows the secret of every heart. He is without enmity and rises above all worldly accounts. He remains saturated with the Name of the Lord and realises Him. The cycle of his births and deaths have ended and he receives honours in the Court of the Lord. He recognises the good and the bad. He attains the state of Sahaj. He is absorbed in the Praises of the Lord’s Court and is free from any bondage . He receives the Name of the Transcendent Lord and with the Word he bums away the ego. He sings the Praises of the True Lord and remains merged in Him. With the True Name he receives high honours and gets knowledge of the whole world. He concentrates on the True Word and the True bani manifests through him. Rare are the persons who know the ecstatic state of his mind. He resides in his own spiritual home, he is a Yogi, who knows the method of Yoga and knows none else except the Lord. He conquers the mind by destroying the ego and is always absorbed in Truth. He conquers the world by defeating and driving away Yama. He never faces defeat in the Court of the Lord. He knows the Lord and unites others with Him. He recognises the WORD. (Siddh Goshta)

(m) The Gursikh is a householder. He works and from his earnings, satisfying the needs of his family, he tries to fulfil the needs of the needy and afflicted ones. Guru Nanak Dev says about this Gursikh:

"He works and earns for his family and gives something in charity. He, thus, recognises the PATH” (Var Sarang M. 4, Shalok M. 1, p. 1245)

Bhai Gurdas also says that such Gursikhs, living in may a, remain detached:

Ending their cycle of births and deaths, the philanthropists have come into the world. They instruct for the devotion of love and abide in the true region of holy congregation. They are like swans living in Mansarovar and are absorbed in the Word. They abide like sandalwood in vegetation and give fragrance to all, bearing or not bearing fruit. They are like the ships in the ocean of samsara and ferry their families across it. They are uninfluenced by various waves and remain detached in maya. They are rewarded with the fruit of bliss and are absorbed in Sahaj (the Supreme spiritual state). (Var 12, Pauri 18).

(n) Keeping in view the above facts, the chief characteristics of a Gursikh are as follows:

  1. A Gursikh is a householder.
  2. He is a worker and from his earnings, he not only satisfies the needs of his family, but also helps the needy and deserving.
  3. He practices the discipline of the Guru. He remembers the Name of the Lord and makes others remember it.
  4. He joins the holy congregation and studies the bani of the Guru. He gives full respect to his brethren of the Faith.
  5. He listens to the Praises of the godly attributes through Katha (discourse) and Kirtan (music) and also joins in the singing of the divine music.
  6. He imbibes all the virtues including the godly qualities.
  7. He loves everybody. He is fearless, without enmity and pure.
  8. He is always ready to serve other beings. He sees in them the Light of the Lord.
  9. He is always humble. Having been blessed with all the qualities, he considers himself the lowliest.
  10. He does not touch the body and wealth of others. He rises above calumny.
  11. He does everything under the Will of the Lord.
  12. He is always in tune with the Lord.
  13. He gets up in the early hours of the morning and regularly observes the discipline.
  14. He eats less and sleeps less.
  15. He conquers his mind and attains the Grace of the Guru and the Unity with the Lord.
  16. He is Sant (saint), Sadh (hermit), Gurmukh (enlightened one), Brahm Giani (Knower of Brahman) and Jivan-Mukta (Emancipated while living).
  17. He receives robes of honour in both the worlds.
  18. Having realised the Fourth State of Sahaj, he becomes a man of equal perception and a philanthropist.

(o)          But the Path on which the Gursikh traverses, is very fine and it is very difficult to travel on it. It is sharper than the double-edged sword and finer than hair. Nothing equals this Sikhism in the past, present or future. The duality is destroyed in it and all matters of strife end. One finds solace only in the Love of the Lord. Bhai Gurdas says:

Gursikhi is very fine and is like the taste of an insipid stone. It is sharp like the double-edged sword and finer than the hair. Nothing equals it in all the three tenses. The duality ends in it and one attains unity. The second, third and all else is forgotten. All other attachments are destroyed and one get pleasure in one desire only. (Var 9, Pauri 2)

(p) The love of the Gursikh for the Guru is identical with the love of the child for the mother. Just as the mother brings up the child with every breath, similarly the True Guru makes the Sikh traverse on the True Path. Guru Ram Das says in this connection:

The mother loves and the son eats; the fish loves to bathe in water; the True Guru loves to put his Word in the mouth of a Gursikh. (Gauri M. 4)

Similarly:

"The love of the Gursikh is to meet the Guru neck by neck”

"The love of the Gursikh is to meet the Guru and be satisfied”

"The love of the Gursikh is to come face to face with the Guru” (Gauri Guareri M. 4)

(q) Several forms of a Gursikh are depicted figuratively in the Adi Granth:

  1. They are the moneylenders and fortunate, who gather the Commodity of the Name of the Lord. One gets truth and purity from these saints. (Gauri Bawan Akhri M. 5)
  2. They are the wealthy and great traders, the True Guru has made me realise it. (Maru Solhe M. 1)
  3. They are Blissful in all the four ages, who have the unending and infinite treasure of the Name. (Sri Rag M. 3)
  4. They are the friends and blissful saints, who are liked by their Lord. (Vadhans M. 5)
  5. They are good (saints) and liked by You, on whom You have bestowed the honourable place. (Asa M. 4)
  6. They are Beautiful, who sit in the holy congregation; they have gathered the wealth of the Name. (Majh M. 5)
  7. They have become devotees, on whom You have bestowed Your Grace.            (Gauri Majh M. 5)
  8. Those who have concentrated on One Lord in the early hours of the morning, they are the Perfect kings, who have fully utilised their time. (Var Majh M. 1)
  9. They are the wise and clever beings who have remembered their Lord. (Var Sorath M. 4)
  10. They are the real kings who have realised the Perfect Lord. They are carefree and remain in the only state of Love. (Var Majh M. 1 Shalok M. 2)
  11. They are the Bhagats (devotees) who are liked by You. I am a sacrifice to them. (Malar M. 5)
  12. They are emancipated who conquer their minds and the maya has no impact on them...(Gujri M. 3)
  13. They remained protected, who met the true Guru. (Var Maru M. 5)
  14. 14. They are blissful and in Sahaj, and having priceless qualities, they have come to save the world. . .(Vadhans M. 5)
  15. 15. They are blissful and always Beautiful, who have destroyed their ego. (Var Malar M. 1)
  16. They are cool, who have realised the True Guru (Gauri M.5).

(r) Gurmat (Sikhism) being a part and parcel of Bhakti Movement, Gursikh is a Bhagat (devotee). He has no belief in either Karma Kanda or Upasana Kanda. He worships only Nirguna (Transcendental) Brahman. He does not worship any form of Saguna Brahman. He has no faith in the incarnations, gods and goddesses. His Bhakti is Antarang or Anuraga Bhakti. It is also called Bhae Bhakti or Prema Bhakti i.e. devotion with love. In this devotion, there is no place for dancing. Guru Nanak Dev says:

"Let intellect be the musical instrument and love the drum and the mind be in the ecstatic mood.

This is the real Bhakti and the ascetic practice; dance only in this pose with your feet (Asa M. 1, p. 350)

Since the Gursikh adopts the True Path, he is a saint. Since his face is turned towards the Guru, he is a Gurmukh; since he is a knower of Brahman, he is a Brahm Giani ; since he has attained release while living, by following the True Path, he is a Jivan Mukta. He is a trader of the One Lord. He is the real servitor of the Lord.

(s) Gursikh is a practising student of the school of the True Guru. Abiding in the holy congregation, he gradually ascends the steps of the spiritual ladder. Gursikhi (Sikhism) is a journey, where an ordinary individual, practising the discipline of the Guru, steps forward and with the grace of the Guru, he ultimately reaches the final destination. Taking birth in Dharam Khand (the region of piety), and passing through Gian Khand (the region of knowledge), Saram Khand (the region of effort) and Karam Khand (the region of Grace), he reaches Sach Khand (the region of Truth). The mature Gursikhs and the Guru give him necessary directives. The present Guru is Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru is not a physical personality, it is the Word of the Guru. For this reason it is said that the form of the Guru is Sabda. Therefore it is the duty of a Gursikh to enter the spiritual sphere taking the support of Guru-6am, whenever he feels an obstacle, he should consult a mature Gursikh. Gursikhi (The Path of a Gursikh) is not a doctrine, it is a practice; its foundation is Dharma. Whereas a Buddhist takes the refuge in Dharma, Sangh and Buddha, the Gursikh takes the refuge in Dharma, Sangat (holy congregation) and Brahman. His song should be:

I have raised a dharamsala of Truth. I have searched and brought together the Gursikhs; I wash their feet and fan them and repeatedly bow at their feet. (Sri Rag M. 5)

(t) Bhai Gurdas describes the importance of the human birth and the way of life of a Gursikh in the following manner:

"Out of the eighty-four lakh species, the important birth is that of a human being. He has been given the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the mouth to speak sweet words of love. He has been given hands to work and feet to move and go to the holy congregation, he has to work in the spirit of Dharma; He has to earn and to give in charity (to the needy). The birth of a Gurmukh is fruitful; he studies the bani of the Guru and listens to it with understanding. He satisfies the brethren of his faith and purifies his mouth with the nectar of the washings of their feet. He does not forsake the tradition of the Iron age (Kaliyuga) of bowing down at their feet. He himself swims across the ocean of samsara and makes other Gursikhs swim it. (Var 1, Pauri 3)

Source - Real Sikhism by Surindar Singh Kohli