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  Gur Panth Parkash
Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh






Revelation and reason constitute two important areas of human experience and knowledge. There is, however, great difference of opinion in respect of the nature and role of the revelation and reason. Some scholars have even classified world religions on the basis of belief in relevation. According to one such view, revelation is the basis of Christianity and Judaism. Such a division, however, is neither satisfactory nor, perhaps, true. We know that every religion considers itself to be based on one or the other type of revelation. For example, Hinduism accepts Sruti as unveiling or disclosing of that which was formally hidden. Prophet Mohammad got revelation through the angel. Generally three different sources of knowledge have been accepted in the Indian and Western thought. These are: sense experience, reason and intuition. As held by Dr. Radhakrishnan “while all varieties of cognitive experience result in a knowledge of the real, it is produced in three ways, which are sense experience, discursive reasoning and intuitive apprehension.”1 Locke has observed, “Reason is natural revelation, whereby the eternal Father of Light, the Foundation of all knowledge, communicates to mankind that portion of truth which he has laid within the reach of their natural faculties. Revelation, is natural reason enlarged by a new set of discoveries communicated by God, immediately, which reason vouches the truth of, by the testimony and proofs it gives that they come from God. We can rely on revealed truth if we are sure that it ‘has indeed been revealed, and it is the function of reason to provide this assurance.”2 Now we are to see in this paper what are revelation and reason in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and what is their relations with each other.

Revelation (Bani)
Religion deals essentially with three subjects-the nature of Reality, the nature of man and his relation to this Reality, and the way to understand this Reality. The first two are the subject matter of philosophy proper and it is the third subject which brings the other two also into the domain of religion. As observed by a Sikh scholar, “as long as religion merely defines the nature of Reality and seeks to lay down the true values of human activity, it is no more than philosophy and ethics, but when, it seeks and promises to help human soul to take the truths to heart and to put them into action with the object of resolving the problem of suffering, which is inherent in the innermost core of man, the self-consciousness, then it becomes religion proper.”3 Religion is the response of the whole person, not merely his rational faculties to what he finds of ultimate value in life. h is an acceptance and commitment to whatever he takes to be of ultimate value in existence. The movement from God to man through which the whole of a man is involved is called revelation. It is the disclosure of the Ultimate Truth, God making Himself known to man and in response to this knowledge we make a commitment to do something. How revelation takes place? There are different answers to this question. According to Sikh thought, man can have the direct communion with God through His nam. The idea of revelation in Sikhism is a unique one. It is in the form of the bani (the word). The Guru does not claim himself to be an incarnation of God (the theory of incarnation has been rejected by the Sikh Gurus), but the knowledge contained in the bani (the word) is stated to be given by God. The revelation of Truth, (the insight of the Guru, is referred to by the Guru himself. The Guru had the direct experience of Truth and then expressed this experience in his own language. Whatever truth the Guru received from communion with God has been recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. According to the Gurus, the bani is the way of His manifestation. God Himself is the source of the bani, the Primal Word. The Gurus did not attach much importance to their corporeal form. They value most their statements about communion with God. So there is no difference between the Guru and the bani. We shall discuss this feature of revelation in Sri Guru Granth Sahib in detail. I think revelation can be the appropriate word to be used for bani. The word bani is the Punjabi version of the word vani in Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit language, the word vani has been defined as “sound, voice, music, speech, language, words, diction” and “the goddess of speech.”4 The idea that bani comes directly from God has clearly been conveyed by the Gurus.

According to Sri Guru Nanak Dev, God Himself is the source of revelation (bani), the Primal Word. The bani is the way of His manifestation.5 While describing the stages of spiritual attainment in our long journey to God in Japuji, Sri Guru Nanak Dev holds that at the level or region of the inward orientation (saram khand)6, He reveals Himself in forms (rup). Here the Reality is revealed as the harmonious whole. In the region of grace (karam khand)7 the revelation is as power, force, that is Reality is revealed as such, that there is no ‘other’, all is He Himself. He is revealed to the seeker in His completeness. Sri Guru Nanak Dev further holds8 that whosoever drinks at the fountain of revelation i.e. bani, becomes acceptable in the Court of God. After having been blessed by the revealed word, he seeks the vision of Reality and values it more than the desires for heaven or deliverance. Sri Guru Nanak Dev affirms9 in Rag Tilang that he does not say anything on his own. Whatever he says has been revealed to him by God. He is conveying that knowledge which he has received from the Lord. He conveys this truth to Bhai Lalo at the time of Babur’s sinful plunder of India and his forceful occupation of this land. Sri Guru Angad Devl0 has made distinction between the truth conveyed in the Vedas and the Truth revealed through bani. According to Sri Guru Angad Dev, the Vedas have related the myths which make man to reflect upon values like good and evil only and they taught men that one ‘takes’ what one ‘gives’ and according to this “give and take” man goes into heaven or hell. The Vedas have created in man the illusions of high and low and of caste and colour. But the bani is concerned only with the attributes of God. It is uttered by the Gurmukhs, i.e. God-oriented persons, who by the grace of God contemplate upon it in their consciousness.

In Anand in Rag Ramkali,11 first of all he calls the seekers of the Truth, which are the beloved ones of the Guru, to get together and contemplate on the True Revelation, which is attained by the Guru and is sublime. Only those who have the Grace of God can enshrine His revelation in their minds. That revelation (bani) which has not been revealed by the true preceptor (Satiguru) is false. Not only this; those who utter false revelation (bani) are the false ones; false are the listeners and false are the reciters of that revelation (bani).

The creators of false revelation (bani) utter God’s Name but not from their inner self because their mind is lured by illusion (the maya). They utter the Name in a routine manner without realizing its true spirit. The fourth Guru, Sri Ramdas though he does not make use of words true (sachi) and false (kachci) bani like Guru Amardas, but he makes a distinction between the embodiment oftruth (sat-sarup bani) which is uttered by the Satguru and false prattle (kach- pich) which is uttered by others in imitation.12 Such people are not the ones who have an enlightened self. The fourth Guru says that the revelation (bani) of the true Preceptor (Satiguru) is perfectly true because God, the Creator Himself makes the true Preceptor (Satiguru) to speak it out13. Sri Guru Ramdas has bestowed the status of Guru on the bani. According to him, there is no difference between the Guru and the revelation (bani). They are one. The Guru’s revelation (bani) is the embodiment of the Guru and the Guru resides in the revelation (bani); and in it is contained the Nectar which is the giver of spiritual life.14

The Guru holds that the revelation (bani) and God’s Name are one. It is the unique feature of Sikhism that the Guru is accepted as perfect and permanent in the form of revelation (bani) not in his corporeal form because corporeal form is ephemeral and his revelation (bani) is eternal. The tenth Guru, Sri Gobind Singh formally bestowed this status on Sri Guru Granth Sahib which contains the revelation in the form of bani.
The fifth Guru, Sri Arjan Dev, has also stressed the point that the revelation (bani) has directly come from God. The Guru says that whatever he conveys, has been ordained by God.15 Sri Guru Arjan Dev concludes that God in the form of bani is all pervasive. The Guru himself heard it from God and has conveyed it to others.16

Rejection of Incarnation (avtarvad)
The idea of God taking human form or any form has been clearly denied in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru did not question the divinity of the incarnations (avtaras) but they question their being worshipped as God. They see nothing wrong in their coming on earth for the restoration of Dharma, but they object to their worship as God. Avatarana is a noun in Sanskrit language. Its root is in am and the meaning implied by it is descending, alighting. Avatara ‘s root is in as which means descent.17 This word has been used in general and specific senses. In the general sense it is used for the appearance of any deity upon earth but in the specific sense it is used for the incarnations of Vishnu in ten principal forms. In the third sense any distinguished person is out of respect, called an avatara or incarnation of deity. It is believed by the Hindus that although God is all-pervading, omnipresent, and is always there, He appears from time to time on earth in special forms through His Yog Maya. God, who is also called Vishnu, has ten major incarnations.18 In Sri Guru Granth Sahib the theory of incarnation (avtarvad) has not been accepted. Only God has been accepted as the one ultimate Reality. All others are His creation; incarnations (avtaras) also form part of His creation. The names of Ishar, Gorakh, Brahma and Parvati have been mentioned in the Japuji19 by Sri Guru Nanak Dev as the creation of God. The three deities of Hindu Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are generally considered independent forces in Hinduism. But Sri Guru Nanak Dev does not at all consider them independent forces, because every thing is the creation of God and is under Him. Only God has been conceived as the Supreme force by Sri Guru Nanak Dev.20

According to Sri Guru Arjan Dev, to say that God was born on the eighth day of moon (the birthday of Krishna) is utter nonsense. It is illogical to say that God takes birth and dies. Body is fallible, and a fallible thing cannot be perfect. To offer sweets to a stone-god is a mistake. He feels that cursed is the statement that God comes in the cycle of birth and death.21

Divine Manifestation
It is clear that the Hindu view of incarnation (avtarvada) has been totally rejected. However, the Gurus were commissioned by God. They considered themselves to be the servants of God. A question arises what is the nature of divine manifestation according to Sri Guru Granth Sahib and what is the status of the Gurus? The Sikh Gurus were the messengers of God. They never claimed themselves to be God. They were commissioned by God to preach and practise the Truth. They told whatsoever was revealed to them by God. We have many references to this effect in Sri Guru Granth Sahib itself, as also in Janam Sakhis, in Dasam Granth and the writings of Bhai Gurdas. It is recorded that Sri Guru Nanak Dev had been meditating on the highest Truth from the very beginning of his life. But he got the actual vision at the Vein stream. It is stated that the Guru sat in meditation (Smadhi) on the bank of the river at Sultanpur. We are told in the Janam Sakhis how the Guru was lost in meditation. It is recorded poetically that the Guru “had ascended to the plane of Truth and appeared before the True One. On the third day, he appeared with a luminous halo around his face. Crowds gathered
around him.”22 The Guru uttered his first article of faith. He declared that “there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim.”23 Bhai Gurdas has given a mystical account of this in his Vars. He has stated that Sri Guru Nanak Dev received the grace of God. On reaching the region of Truth, he was conferred the nine-fold treasure of “Nam” and was graced with humility. In his contemplation, the Guru had the vision of the world being consumed by passion, ignorance, fear, and hatred. It was confusion all around because there was none to give proper guidance to humanity that was wallowing in misery. For this very reason, the Guru put on a mendicant’s garb and started for his mission to lead the people out of this suffering.24

Guru Nanak says that he, the worthless bard (Dhadi) was, blessed with His service. He was ordered to serve Him day and night. He received the robe of honour (sachi siphat sloh), to sing His praises. He gave him the everlasting food of Nectar, Name. Whosoever has taken his food (of Name) through Guru’s wisdom is satiated forever and is in peace. The bard dwells on God’s Name and sings His word (Shabad). Nanak says that by dwelling on the true God, one attains Him.25 In Sri Guru Granth Sahib divine manifestation is expressed in the concept of light (Joti)26, and not in the form of birth as a human being. It is the realization of divine light, the word (shabad), which is to provide the status of the perfect Preceptor (Puran Gur). The way through which this divine light is to be realized is the Gumzati way. Owing to this concepts of light (Joti) and the word (Shabad) all the Gurus treated themselves as one Nanak. So according to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the divine manifestation is in the form of Bani, it is the Guru, the guide. Sri Guru Nanak Dev says that he is a sacrifice to his Guru who makes angels out of men.27 As far as the use of the word avtar (incarnation) is concerned, it has mainly been used to connote the birth of a person. Use of this word may merely indicate the reverential attitude of a person towards the saints. It is just expressive of the devotion of the follower, or the narrator, towards the saint. It does not indicate any acceptance of the doctrine of God’s birth in human form. In Sikhism, one is not cut off from society, one lives in the society and moves towards the higher order. Revelation is something natural, not super-natural. Sri Guru Granth Sahib rejected miracles. Revelation is a gradual evolution from the lower to the higher, from the matter to the spiritual. The revelation in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not an intermittent or a time process but it is a continuous expression of the direct experience. It is ascendence towards God. It is the knowledge of the universe, the divine knowledge which is the result of God’s grace.

So far as the position of the Sikh Gurus is concerned, we should keep in view their relationship with God and the Sikh. The Gurus describe that their position vis-a-vis a Sikh is that of a boat (which ferries them across the ocean of life), brother friend, philosopher, guide, the giver of Nam, and the Sacha Patishah (true Emperor),27 etc. A
unique feature of Sikh thought in this context is of the followers becoming the Guru and, the Guru becoming the follower (ape gurchela).

Phenomenal Creation / Manifestation (Qudrat)
According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, God creates through His power the Qudrat and manifests Himself through His Divine Reason (hukam). The concept of Qudrat implies the whole existence from the material level to the level of the most rational and conscious being. Hukam means the causal relationship, the orderliness which makes the universe a cosmos. Qudrat (an Arabic word) means “to be able, power, ability, potency, vigour, force, authority, universe, nature, etc.”28 Steingass has given some additional meanings of the word Qudrat and has defined Qudrat as “being, potency, omnipotence, providence, preserve, the creation, destiny.”29 Qudrat has been used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the sense of the power of God and a means through which he manifests Himself. God (Karta Purakh) is the originator of this world, the qudrat,. This expression of qudrat, moves from the lower level to the higher level, from the gross matter to organisms, from the rational being to the highest spiritual level. It leads from the phenomenal to the noumenal. Siri Guru Nanak Dev holds the view that the manifest world sprang forth from the act of His willing. From His one word ‘be’ the world came
into existence. From that one word, the whole inorganic universe came forth (lakh dariao). His creation cannot be comprehended. It is so wonderful and amazing.30 He observes that the world, the universe and the regions created by Him through His qudrat
are true.31 He denounces the idea of nature being an illusion. His creation is not fortulteus or accidental, It is rational In nature, everything is happening under His hukam. He Himself is residing everywhere.32 He is ingrained in every body as the Word (Shabad). So He is to be known through His Word (Shabad).33 Guru Nanak has used the words pasaou, Kare, pasa dhali, Saji, Sajio, Vasia in relation to qudrat. They indicate that His creation is well planned (pasa dhali), beautiful and orderly (Saji, Sajio) and is permeated by Him (Vasia). From the above discussion, we can say that the concept of Qudrat in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is different from the concept of Prakriti in
Indian philosophy. Here in Sikhism God (the qadar) is the Creator of nature (qudrat). Nature (Qudrat) is not absolute or self- existent as in Samkhya. It is not only the created one, but God resides in His creation (Qudrat). The Absolute is immanent in nature and in every part of creation there is the light of the Absolute. In the whole of the manifestation, man is the highest kind because he has the capacity to realize God.

Pantheism Examined
To analyse the nature of relationship between the Creator and His creation we are to see whether creation is dependent upon Him and is determined by Him or He is also dependent upon His creation. Other questions are: whether He is transcendent or immanent, He is wholly immanent or He is transcendent as well as immanent? In Mul Mantra, it is held that He is the One universal Being, the Real, the Spirit. He is the Creator, the Controller, beyond restraint, the Spontaneous, beyond any internal antagonism, the Harmonious. He is Timeless, yet He does not come into birth and death. He is Self-existent. We can attune to Him through Guru’s Grace.34 God is the only one Reality who is our Creator, Our Lord, according to Sri Guru Granth Sahib. All other things are the creation; and being created, they are subject to the laws of nature, and hence perishable. All these attributes indicate His transcendence, His distinctness from His creation. Guru Nanak while talking about the Creator compares himself, the creature, to a fish and God, the Creator, to a river. God is just like a river which is full of wisdom and the creature is a fish in that river. As the fish cannot measure the expanse of the river, similarly man cannot apprehend his Creator. Whatsoever man sees is the creation of God and while man cannot live without Him, still he cannot know Him fully.35

Guru Nanak further holds that He is immanent as well as transcendent. He states that all the eyes are that of God but He has none; the myriad forms are His, yet He has no form. He has thousands of fragrances yet He has none.36 This brings out very lucidly both the transcendence and the immanence of God. In Islam also we find the concept of God as transcendent as well as immanent. But in Sikhism, the relation of the creator and the created is quite different from that in Islam. While Creator and creation are separate a relation between man and God is possible because He permeates His creation. According to Sri Guru Ramdas, as the light of the Sun pervades the rays of the Sun, similarly, God permeates His beings.37 It is important to understand that because of the inadequacy of human language, it is not easy to describe God who is unknowable. And similies and metaphors used can only be half true, and could even be misunderstood. But two things are stressed, namely, Creator and Creature relation between God and man and His immanence. The Guru says that He that permeates all hearts is Unmanifest too.38

The seeker after attaining to the Reality becomes like the ray that has emerged from the Sun. The light in man joins the source of light, God, and he fulfills himself. After that, whatever he sees, he sees God in it, whatever he listens, he listens to God. He feels so because God Himself is in His creation.

The Sikh Gurus hold the view that creation embodies spirit and has meaning only in reference to the ultimate Reality as their destination.

(a) Bibek (discriminative knowledge) : Vivek is a Sanskrit word and its Punjabi form is Bibek.

Discriminative knowledge (bibek) is the consciousness of the union of the human with the Absolute, that person has discriminative knowledge (bibek) who apprehends the Reality which permeates him. Discriminative knowledge (Bibek) is not ordinary knowledge. It is a distinctive kind of knowledge. According to the Gurus only such persons attain the knowledge of Reality who are Guru-oriented (Gurmukhs). He is the purest of pure and the man of highest reflection. 39 Such a person is emancipated and helps others in that direction. He emancipates others also. The seeker to whom the Reality has been revealed sees One God everywhere. He sees none else.40 According
to Shri Guru Amardas, man transcends his desires and attains the bibek budhi and through Guru (Purakhat), knows the Absolute (Purakhu).41 This knowledge dawns only when man gets rid of ego (haumai) and has the grace of God. Discriminative knowledge (Bibek) is the purest of pure knowledge according to the Sikh Gurus. Such a person has been called Brahmgiani in Sukhmani Sahib and he works for the wellbeing
of the other human beings with zeal.42

(b) Nature of Reason in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Sikh Gurus have recognized the important role of reason in the worldly and the spiritual life of man. A person bereft of reason will be a victim of superstition, and therefore, not fit to undertake the journey of spiritual realization. The role of mannan (manne in the Japuji of Guru Nanak)43 is central to the task of spiritual transformation. An irrational person will fail to perceive the coherence of the universe and also fail to comprehend the communicated revelation. The Gurus have thus emphasized the need to cultivate reason or the affairs of the world as well as for the spiritual progress. The founders of the Sikh religion have drawn our attention to the fruitful and the perverse applications of reason. The former is a character of the true seeker (khoji), but the latter signifies a mere polemicist (vadi), such exercise is fruitless. The Gurus have extolled the former and advised the seeker to refrain from the latter. We also come across the use of other words, such as thinking (soch), reflection (vichar), reason (aql) and wisdom (sianap) for reason or reasoning in the Guru Granth Sahib. Although these words, in a general sense, refer to reason, yet these are occasionally also used to emphasize some particular form of it. We shall refer to these words in their proper context.

A rational person has to proceed in his search of truth in the spirit of a seeker (khoji). We are reminded by the Gurus that the seeker (khoji) may reach the correct conclusion or true knowledge. The polemicist (vadi) would merely waste his time. We shall, therefore, begin our study of reason in Sri Guru Granth Sahib by determining and analysing the nature of the seeker (Khoji) in contradistinction to one indulging in polemics (vadi). Later we shall examine and analyze briefly the other aspects of reason in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. One of the important functions of reason is to lead to the knowledge of the truth and to search for it. The Gurus have called it the seeking (khoj) and the person who follows this path is called the seeker (khoji). As opposed to a khoji, is the person, who seeks to establish his own view, and strays from truth by all possible arguments. He is referred to by the Gurus as the polemicist (badi). The vad (futile discussion) is, therefore, a free use of syllogistic reasoning but its validity may sometimes be vitiated on account of the falsehood of one of the premises. The wrong statement of improper interpretation may be due to a desire to infer a particular conclusion.

The futile discussion (bad) has the negative as well as the positive applications. The futile discussion (bad) as a method of (futile) reasoning, is criticised and rejected by the Gurus. In Indian philosophy vad is also discussion that “proceeds by means of the free use of syllogism and aims at the ascertainment of truth. But it often degenerates into mere wrangling (jalpa) which aims at effect, or victory and cavil (vitanda), which delights in criticism for its own sake. Such a futile discussion can be put an end to by convincing the opponent of his error and forcing him to accept defeat.”44

The word Vad (often also written as Bad) and similarly, vadi, (written as badi in Punjabi language) is traceable to the word vad of the Sansmt language the word means ‘to discuss.’45 Logical reason, is generally, classified as deductive and inductive. The deductive reasoning when mediate, may assume the form of a syllogistic argument. Here the person proceeds from the premises to the conclusion. The premises are the major premise and the minor premise. The major premise is a general proposition. The minor premise refers to the particular instance falling under the general proposition. The two premises, taken together, lead to the conclusion. According to Sri Guru Nanak Dev, this process of reasoning may assume the form of futile discussion (vad or bad).46 It is wastage and may not lead to any constructive results.47

According to the third Guru, Sri Amardas, this type of reasoning is unable to lead a man to any knowledge, though one may claim himself to be a great scholar and interpreter of the scripture.48 This may lead a person to confusion and not to knowledge.49 The polemicist (badi), according to Sri Guru Nanak Dev, merely misconstrues an issue without leading to any fruitful culmination of thought.50 The destructive engagement of the polemicist (badi) is highlighted by Guru Nanak. He has described the polemicist (badi) as a possessor of false knowledge (mat jhuthe) which is destructive (binse). The root of binse is the Sanskrit word vinash. This word means destructive, hidden and destroyed.51 Futile discussion (Bad) is egobased, narrow and subjective.52

The seeker (khoji): The word khoji (seeker) has formed from the Sansmt root shodh (shudha + ghan). The word means purification, cleaning, correction, setting right. And the word shodhkara means purificatory, purifier, corrective. Furthermore, the word shodhana, which in Punjabi language is khojana, means also refining, investigation, examination.53 As is clear from its implication, the word khoj is the positive aspect of this seeking. It is an investigation into the truth. So the seeker (khoji) is the seeker of true knowledge. Sri Guru Nanak Dev has described the seeker (khoji) as a seeker of self-realization (atamchin).54 While discussing these two aspects of seeking Guru Nanak regards the seeker (khoji) as a creative being (khoji upjai). Upjai means addition and to grow. In Mahan Kosh Upjai means to win, to be successful, to generate, to recreate, to grow.55 Upjai used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is closer to the meaning ‘to be produced’ or ‘to be added’. It may be said that the context of the seeker (khoji) is not an individual one. Rather it is a cosmic urge for fulfilment. The seeker has also been described as the Guru oriented (gurmukh) by the Gurus. The ideal for the gurmukh, is held to be the seeking of knowledge and reflection (gian vichar). The seeker (khoji) also shares his knowledge with others and thus performs acts of social service. The service in this case is not an externally imposed duty but is rather an outcome of the inward realization in the spiritual field. The seeker (khoji) is actively engaged in the fashioning of his insight, concentration (sural) through the word (shabad). This type of seeking is fruitful. This is rational and proper seeking.

Now we will refer briefly to the other concepts used for reason, to encourage the fruitful culmination of thought. After the fruitful culmination of thought which is the result of the seeking (khoj) man enters into the second stage of reason i.e. thinking (soch). Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha56 has given two different meanings of thinking (soch). Thinking (soch) has two levels. At the lower level, it (the soch) leads to the discovery of new ideas. Its second level, which is a higher one, is to understand the truth described by the Gurus. It is to apprehend the Word (shabad) through thinking. The destination for man is to reach the Lord’s Name by the combination of concentration (surat) and the thinking (soch). This is the real way to reach that destination.57 Reflection (Vichar) : The revealed knowledge becomes part of the seeker’s personality through pondering on the word (shabad) and what he knows from the Bani. Any knowledge, even if it be revealed one, does not become the part of human personality unless one reflects upon it. In Shri Guru Granth Sahib it is held that to achieve the goal of his life, i.e. to realize the essence of his self, the seeker needs reflection (Vichar) on the word (Shabad) or Gur-shabad.58 Reason (aql) : The aql has been used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib in two senses. We are concerned here with the use of the word which has its origin in Arabic language, wherein the word aql is used for Reason.59 The man who is devoid of reason (aql) is called blind and self-willed. Such a person cannot attain the higher knowledge of the word (shabad) and cannot thus understand, the essence of human birth.60 Wisdom (sianap) : Wisdom (sianap) is the higher stage of reason acquired along with reflection (vichar), thinking (soch) and intellect (aql). The wise (siana) is a person who is knowledgeable, and intelligent. The wise (siana) uses his reason on two levels. On one level he tries to understand the world around him through reason. Another aspect of a wise man (siana)61 is that he understands the truth as expressed by the Guru, through reflection (vichar). Though this form of reason is an applied, one, but in spirit it is related with revelation. This is the higher level of wisdom (sianap).

Superstitious-Rational: The function of reason on the theoretical level is the discovery of truth, as we have seen it. It is to make us understand nam, which is the manifestation of ultimate Truth. On the practical level, its ideal is to direct our conduct, to guide us how to live in the world. Practice is the manifestation of theory. So, in Sri Guru Granth Sahib the use of reason is to take away man from the irrational, the superstitious and to make him rational. We group together as superstitions a number of beliefs, habits and fancies, tribal and individual, which we regard as not being founded on reasonable conceptions of the world and of human life, necessities and obligations.62 Owing to superstition, normal phenomena are ascribed to the agency of supernatural forces. These forces are personified into gods, devtas, semi gods and goddesses, devis. These complete or fragmentary personalities are considered accessible by prayer and sacrifice. Some sort of magic is also performed to win their favour. Such superstitious beliefs are not accepted in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Superstition is considered doubt (bharam).

In Sri Guru Granth Sahib, it is said that first God created His light and then from it was created the whole universe. Man should not be misled by any doubt. All the universe is filled by Him.63 Doubt (bharam) and fear (bhai) are the causes of superstition. When man, makes himself free from both, he becomes rational. The above explanation is deeply related with reason. Without using it as a medium it is difficult to make man free from all false bonds. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib efforts have been made to free man from superstitions and make him rational in his behaviour and conduct.

Unity of Reason and revelation in Sikhism
We have seen that reason and revelation are not contradictory to each other. It is through reason that man becomes able to understand the revelation. It is through reason that man differentiates between the true revelation and the false one, and between good and bad. Man is to shed his contradictions and superstitions through reason. Only then
he is able to attain the highest truth and understand revelation. Reason comes first, and through reason man becomes able to move higher to understand the essence of revelation. In Sikhism, reason and revelation go together and their synthesis has been accepted. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the religious scripture of the Sikhs which, contains the revelation conveyed by the Gurus. The fifth Guru, Arjan Dev has very beautifully expressed the importance of the Holy Granth in the epilogue given at its end. This epilogue describes the importance of rational reflection to understand the revelation contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru says that three things are placed on the platter. They are truth contentment and rational reflection. That person attains these things who imbibes the nam of God. Nam being the support of all, the seeker who tastes it; and he who relishes it is fulfilled. The Guru proclaims that the one who understands and assimilates the essence of this revelation shall be saved. The Guru has ordained that this bani or revelation is to be kept in mind with devotion. Through this, man swims across the dark sea of existence and understands that all that seems is the creation of God. So along with the reverential place of revelation, reason has a very important place in Sikhism; reason co-exists with revelation because it is the medium for the rational being to understand what has been conveyed to him by the highest Reality through revelation. Knowledge and right orientation fashion the conduct of a man. It is said in the last stanza of Japuji that chastity is the smithy and patience is the goldsmith. Rationality of the mind is the anvil and knowledge is the hammer (knowledge means highest knowledge) which beats the gold of life into shape. The bellow pipes are the discipline and the fire is the training. In this true mint is coined the Shabad, but only those on whom is His grace conduct themselves in this way. Only those attain Bliss upon whom the gracious God bestows His favour. So discernment and rational understanding are necessary along with divine knowledge. Thus, reason and revelation are synthesized in
Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Conclusion From our study three points are very clear. First, that the Sikh thought is independent and unique in its nature. It is not the continuation
of the previous Vedicor Hindu Revelation. The revelation contained in the Vedas has not been accepted in Sikhism. Second, that Sikh thought is not an amalgam of Hinduism and Islam. While studying Revelation and reason we have seen that its concepts are totally different from those of Islam or of Hinduism. As far as the language is concerned,
the Gurus conveyed the message of revelation in the common language of the- people. So it was natural to pick up the popular usage of the language prevalent at that time. Third, that the thought contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not the product of the environment, nor were the Gurus compelled by the circumstances, the conditions of that
period to say whatever they have said. There was nothing new in the environment to bring about the revolutionary changes in thought made by Guru Nanak. Revelation can never be the product of the circumstances or environment. It is the direct experience of Truth. The Sikh thought produced history, it is not the product of history. The thought which has got the capacity to transform man, to change the circumstances, cannot be the product of environment.

1. S. Radhakrishnan, An Idealist View of Life (Bombay: George Allen and Unwin, 1976), second Indian reprint, p. 105.
2. Gerald R. Cragg, Reason and Authority in the Eighteenth century (Cambridge University Press, London, 1964), p. 7.
3. Gopal Singh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, English version, vol. 2 (Delhi: Gurdas Kapur and Sons, First impression, 1960), p. 1.
4. M.M. Williams, A Sanskrit English Dictionary (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, reprinted
1981), Vani, p. 1939.
5. Shabadanh Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committe, Amritsar, P. 7.
6. Ibid., M. 1, p. 7 Saram khand ki bani rupu;
7. Ibid., p. 8.
Karam khand ki bani joru, thithai horu na koi horu
8. Ibid., M. 1, p. 21
anhad bani paiai haumai hoi binasu
9. Ibid., M. 1, pp. 722-23.
jaisi mai avai khasam ki bani taisra karin giyan ve Lalo.
10. Ibid., M. 2, p. 1243.
Katha kahani bedin ani papu punnu bicharu;
Tehi thei laina lai lai thena naraki suragi avtar;
Uttam madhim jatin jinsi bharami bhavai sansaru;
Amrit bani tatu vakhani giyan dhiyan vichi yai;
Gurmukhi akhi gurmukhi jati surati karam dhiyaei
11. Ibid., M. 3, p. 920.
avahu sikh satiguru ke piyarhio gavoh sachi bani;
bani ta gavahu guru keri baniyan siri bani...;
satguru bina hor kachi hai bani
12. Ibid., M. 4, p. 304,
satiguru’ki bani sati sarup hai gurbani baniyai
13. Ibid., M. 4, p. 308. Satguru ki bani sati sati kari janahu gursikhahu; har karta api muhon kadhae
14. Ibid., M. 4, p. 982,
bani guru guru hai bani vich bani amritu sare
15. Ibid., M. 5, p. 763.
haun apahu boli na janda main kahiya sabhu hukamaou jio
16. Ibid., M. 5, p. 1075.
gur ki bani sabh mahi samani api suni tai api vakhani
17. M. M. William, op. cit.,Avtarana.
18. Rajbali Pandey, Hindu Dharam Kosh (Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sangthan, Hindi Samiti Paryag), 1978, p. 54.
19. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. 1, p. 2.
guru isar guru gorakh barahman guru parvati maei
20. Ibid., M.l, p.l036.
ja tisu bhana ta jagat upaiya
Brahman bisanu mahesh upae maya mohu vadhayanda
21. Ibid., M. 5, p. 1136.,
sagal pradh dehi loroni.
so mukhu jalou jitu kahah thakuru joni.
22.Raja Sir Daljit Singh, Guru Nanak (Lahore: The Lion Press), June 1943, p. 20.
23.Ibid., p. 22.
24. Bhai Gurdas, Varan (Var I, Stanza 24).,
pahilan babe payia bakhashdar pichhon thei phir ghali kamaei
25. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. l,p. 150.,
haun dhadhi vekaru karai layia, rati dihai kai vardhurahu phurmaya, dhadhi sachai mahali
khasami bulaya. Sachi Sifti salahi kaprha paya. Sacha amrit namu
bhojanu aya, gurmati khadha raji tini sukhu paya, dhadhi kare pasaou sabadi vajaya. Nanak sachu salahi pura paya.
26. Ibid., p. 966.
lahane di pherayiai nanaka dohi kbatiai;
joti oha jagati saei sahi kayan pheri palatiyai;
jhulai so chhatu niranjni malli takhatu baitha gur hatiyai
27. Ibid., M. I” pp. 462-63;
balihari guru apne diohari sad bari,
jini roanas te devte kiei karat na lagi var
28. John T. Platts, A Dictionmy of Urdu Classical Hindi and English (New Delhi, Oriental Books, reprint corporation, first edition, 1977), p. 778, Qudrat
29. Steingass, F., A Comprehensive Persian English Dictionmy (New Delhi: Oriental Books, reprint corporation, first edition, 1973), qudrat, p.957.
30. Sri Guru Gramh Sahib, M. 1, p. 3.,
kita pasaou eko kavaou, tis te hoe lakh dariau
31. Ibid., M. 1, p. 463.;
sache tere khand sache brahmand... sachi teri kudrat sache patishah
32. Ibid.,M.l, p. 464.;
Nanak hukamai andar vekhai vartai tako tak
33. Ibid., M. I, p. 580.;
kita vekhai sahib apana quadrati kare bicharo
34. Ibid., M. I, Mulmantra ;
eko onkari satinamu karta purakhu nirbaou nirvairu;
akal murati ajuni saibhan gurparsadi.
35. Ibid., M. 1, p. 25. ;
tun deriaou dana bina main machhuli kaise antu lahan
36. Ibid., M. I, p. 663.;
sa has tav nain nan nain hai tohe ko; sahas murati nana ek tohi
37. Ibid.,M. 4, p. 1177.
jiou pasari suraj kiran joti
38. Ibid., p. 939, 294.
39. Ibid., M. 3, p. 317,
Gurmukh gianu bibek budhi hoei.
40. Ibid., M. 3, p. 947.
sukhai ehu bibeku hai antaru ninnala hoi
41. Ibid., M. 3, p. 1276.
gur parsadi shiv ghari jamai vichahu shakti gavaei;
achru charai bibek budhi paei purakhai purakhu milaei
42. Ibid., M. 5, p. 273.
brahamangiani kai gribi smaha
brahamgiani parupakar ouamaha
43. Ibid., M. I, p. 3.
44. Radhakrishnan, S., Indian Philosophy (Vol. 2), (Bombay: Blackie and Son Pvt. Ltd., second edition), 1929, p. 115.
45. Vaman, Shiv Ram Apte, Sanslait Hindi Kosh, (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, third edition, 1973), Vad.
46. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. I, p. 1032.
simirit Sasatar parhl purana,
vadi vakhanhe tatu na jana
47. Ibid., M. I, p. 1245.,
sachai saramai bahre agai laheh na dadi
aqli eih na akhiai aqli gavaiai badi
48. Ibid., M. 3, p. 27.
parhi parhi pandit jotki vad karahei bicharu,
mati budhi bhavi na bujhhi antri lobh vikaru
49. Ibid., M. 3, p. 1066.,
vedi. parhai andin vad smale
50. Ibid., M. I, p. 1255.
Khoji upjai badi binsai houn bal bal gur kmtara
51. Vaman Shiv Ram Apte, op. I, cit., Vinash.
52. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. I, p. 1343.,
jhuthi man ki mati hai karani badi bibadi
53. (a) Monier Monier Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,
1981), ‘shodh’.
(b) ‘Vaman Shiv Ram Apte, op. cit, ‘shodh’ (Shudh ghan) : Shudh Sanskar,
sanshodhan, smadhan.
54. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. I, p. 1255.
seva surati rahas gun gavan gurmukh gian bichara
khoji upjai badi binsai haun bat bat gur kartara.
55. Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha (Patiala: Languages Department, Punjab), 1974, p. 652. 56. Ibid., p. 174.
57. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. 1, p. 595.
hanu hatu kari arja sach nami kari vathu,
surati soch kari bhandsaltisu vich tis no rakhu
58. Ibid., M. I, p. 139.
na hau na mai na haun hovan nanak sabadu vichari
59. F. Steingass, op. cit, ‘Aql’ reason.
60. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, M. 1, p. 229,
andhe aqli bahre kiya tin siou kahiyai
61. Ibid., M. 4,p. 168,
dhannu dhannu guru guru satiguru.pandha jinni, hari upthesu thei kie siane
62. James Hastings (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (Edinburgh :T.T. Clark,
1967), “Superstition.”
63. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Kabir, p. 1349-50.
avali alah nur upayia qudrati ke sabh bande
ek nur te sabhu jagu upjia kaun bhale ko mande
loga bharam na bhulahu bhai
khalik khalak khalak mahi khalik puri rahio srab thaein



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