The Power of the Word in Relating to the Guru

The power of the word is fundamental to recitation from the Guru, and is the essence of a Sikh’s relationship to the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the living Guru of the Sikhs.

The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a specific collection of shabads (poems) compiled by Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, added in some shabads as well. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib begins with the bani Japji Sahib written by Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. It includes writings by the first five Sikh Gurus and the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur. Guru Arjan also included several shabads by Muslim and Hindu saints which match the same frequency. In 1708, Guru Gobind Singh passed the Guruship to this sacred collection of writings, and named it the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib remains the living Guru of the Sikhs.

The phrase Shabad Guru denotes the form of the Guru—being the Word/Sound, so is synonymous with the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

Naad means “the essence of all sounds.” All languages contain sounds which relate to one or more of the five elements of air, fire, water, earth or ether. Gurbani is a perfect combination and permutation of sounds relating to all the five elements in complete balance. When Guru Arjan compiled the Siri Guru Granth Sahib he put in only those banis which were in Naad. These compositions are called Gurbani. Gurbani means the words or voice of the Guru.

There are eighty-four meridian points on the upper palate of a human’s mouth. One can feel that upper palate with the tongue and experience its different surfaces. There are two rows of meridian points on the upper palate and on the gum behind the upper teeth. The tongue stimulates those meridian points, and they in turn stimulate the hypothalamus which makes the pineal gland radiate. When the pineal gland radiates, it creates an impulsation in the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland gives impulsation, the entire glandular system secretes and a human being obtains bliss.

Sikhs believe that the whole language of Gurbani has the power to make a person divine, just in its recitation, if done correctly. Even if one does not understand the meaning behind of the words they are reciting, they can still experience a profound shift in consciousness. For Sikhs, bani is understood by the heart, not by the head.

~Resources: GuruKirin Kaur Khalsa, “What is the Difference between the Shabad Guru, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and Gurbani?” (Sikh Dharma International) and Victory & Virtue: Ceremonies & Code of Conduct of Sikh Dharma (2001) by the Office of the Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere.