What is Shabad Guru?
Shabad Guru is a collection of sacred writings contained within the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru Granth Sahib contains hymns of thirty-six composers written in twenty-two languages, employing a phonetically perfected Gurmukhi script.
The Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev, who compiled the first version, composed 2,216 of the 5,894 hymns.
In addition to the hymns of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Arjan Dev also included 937 hymns composed by fifteen saints and eleven poet laureates of the Guru’s court. Hindu and Muslim saints and the Sikh Gurus all come together to create a truly universal scripture.
Music forms the basis of the rhythms and classification of the hymns, using Indian ragas. This form is used not only to preserve the originality of the composition, but also to provide a divine experience through the medium of music and the primal sounds of God’s creation. The Gurus themselves created some of the thirty-one ragas used.
The Holy Granth verses are often sung as kirtan to reveal true meaning directly through cosmic vibrations. The melodies bond the listener to the spiritual light of universal intelligence.
What does ‘Shabad’ mean?
The word ‘Shabad’ means the Word or Sound. ‘Shabad’ comes from the words ‘Sha’ and ‘bud’. ‘Sha’ means the expression of the ego, the attachments we identify with. ‘Bad’ (pronounced ‘bud’) means to cut out/off or to eradicate. Therefore, the word ‘Shabad’ means to clear/cut-off that which holds us back from experiencing our Infinity Identity.
What does ‘Guru’ mean?
The word ‘Guroo’ comes from two sounds: ‘Gu’ meaning Darkness and ‘Roo’ meaning Light. So, a Guroo is the energy which brings us from Darkness into Light.
There are many variations of this energy:
“The word is Gur, Gur means formula. Guroo means one who uses the formula and one who knows the formula. The applicator of the formula is word Guroo. Then SatGuroo is one who knows the essence the truth of the application of the formula. And then comes the stage of Siree Guroo. Siree Guroo Granth [the Shabad Guru]. You do not call it a Guroo Granth. It is named, entitled, enshrined as the Siree Guroo Granth. That means universal application of the formula. And then comes a simple, Siree Guroo and Wahe Guroo. Wahe Guroo is the ecstasy of the Lord’s experience. That is your mantra.
So, the feeling that we worship and bow to the Siree Guru Granth: Do we bow to a book or do we bow to a living Guru. Now that is a scientific fact to recognize, Siree Guru Granth is nothing but in sutras. It is vibration.” ~Siri Singh Sahib 9/17/76
Normally the “Guru” energy was in the form of a human being, so to learn how to reach our Infinity within, we had to study under a human “Guru”. In the 15th century, Guru Nanak brought the ‘Shabad Guru’ ~ the word as a carrier of our journey from darkness into light. This, for the first time, allowed humans to self-initiate themselves and go into these sacred words as a pathway to the Divine.