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What is the Shabad Guru?

If you’re a Kundalini Yogi you’ve probably done a fair share of mantras and Shabads.

“If you just remember that you are the student of Sat Nam, that your first word is Sat Nam, and your last word is Sat Nam, that you belong to Sat Nam, then you won’t need anything else to measure yourself by." ~ Yogi Bhajan

Inquiry. What is a Shabad?

Shabad means sound, Guru means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning of Shabad Guru is a special sound that is a teacher. The Shabad Guru employs the Naad, totally balanced universal sound, to remove the constrictions and distortions of the ego.

Shabad is a word meaning hymn, sacred song, sound, verse, voice, or word. ...

The shabads or hymns of Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy Book) are known as Gurbani or the Guru's word and are written in the Gurmukhi script and composed in raag, a musical score.

How many Shabads are in the Guru Granth Sahib?

The Guru Granth Sahib contains 5894 hymns (shabad) written in 60 melodies (raag) by 35 authors, including 6 Sikh Gurus, 15 Bhagats, 3 Divines and 11 Poets.

Effects of the Shabad Guru

Affirmations and positive statements are helpful and good to use. Mantras are effective and gradually create changes. But the Shabad Guru is unique. The patterns are a perfect weave of rhythm, sound, tone, focus, and meaning. There is nothing as effective and universal as those patterns to program the consciousness to be in alignment with the soul.

That may seem simple. But simple does not necessarily mean easy or without challenge. The greatest challenge is the practitioner’s own subconscious. The Shabad provokes a release of stored subconscious patterns of thinking and feeling. If, under the torrential flood of subconscious feelings and thoughts, you persist in repeating the pattern of the Shabad Guru, then the new pattern establishes itself. Your mind clears, and you awaken dormant inner capacities or enhance existing ones.

When Guru Nanak was asked who his Guru was, he said it was the Word, the Shabad Guru. A simple translation of “Shabad Guru” is, that Word which takes us from the darkness to the light. The words and sounds of the Shabad Guru are consciousness-changing elements that unlock the bounds that your ego holds over your higher self, that keep you locked in your Earth—thereby freeing your true self to soar in your heavens. When you vibrate the Shabad Guru you overwhelm the inner dialog of your mind to create Shunia, deep inner stillness. Shabad Guru uses the power of “Naad” (an entrancing rhythmic pattern of universal sounds) and the movement of your tongue over the pressure-points in your upper palate which causes actual change in your blood chemistry. Yogi Bhajan said, 'As you vibrate, the Universe vibrates with you.' It is the actual reciting of Gurbani (the words of the Guru) which brings the formless into form; which gives the Shabad Guru a form." -Pritpal Singh 

Origin of the Shabad Guru

The shabads, mantras, and music are recorded in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Some of the ten Sikh Gurus – as well as that of the other enlightened men of many faiths – sang shabads that, through the power of their actual sound current, merge the one who recites them into the Infinite, beyond the limits of time and space. The Shabad Guru is a refinement of the Naad.

It’s not because they come from the Sikh tradition. These mantras just happen to be correct mantras. Each of these shabads has embedded in its sounds, rhythms, and words the Infinite identity they share. They awaken the soul, clear the mind, and do not depend on any finite identity, ego, or group.

Photo: Guru Gobind Singh


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