2. The Difference Between Sikh, Gursikh And Gurmukh

ik oankar satnaam gurprasad||


Are you a Sikh?  Or a GurSikh or a Gurmukh?  Or do you like to add Khalsa to your name?   All these words tend to get used interchangeably, but from a spiritual point of view they signify different states of spiritual progress.


In short :


Manmukh : is one who has no interest in God just himself.


Sikh    : believes in God and Gurus, but lacks solid commitment


GurSikh : makes a commitment to the Guru eg getting initiated or coming under guidance of a Sant and practising whatever gurbani says


GurMukh : has defeated the 5 thieves, becomes enlightened.


Read about it in more detail below.  Written by and Enlightened soul, one who has become Gurmukh and been through the stages.


dust of your feet





A Sikh is a person who has :


·         chosen a path that leads to the discovery of the Truth,


·         started to pursue the path to salvation,


·         aimed to get out of the cycle of life and death,


·         aimed to meet the Guru and Akal Purakh,


·         started to work to becoming a Gursikh, then a Gurmukh and then eventually reach a level of spirituality, which will lead him to Sach Khand (God’s Highest Realm Of Truth). 


A Sikh is a person who has chosen to:


·         win over the five vices (pride, anger, greed, selfish attachments, lust)


·         win over worldy hopes, desires, slander, gossip and back-biting,


·         overcome the effects of  the mammon snake (Maya Nagni)


·         kill his ego and become an utmost humble person,


·         kill his doubts and distractions of mind,


·         leave the life of hypocrisy (Pakhandi) and to become merged in Truth (a Sach Khandi),


·         love everybody and all His creations


·         never spread any hatred


·         spread and give love to others,


·         share other’s griefs,


·         help the poor and down trodden people,


·         completely surrender to the Guru,


·         get the blessings of the Guru  and


·         move on the path to Truth and then become a Gursikh.


Spiritually a Sikh is a person who is in one of the first three spiritual realms described in JapJi Sahib (Dharam Khand – realm of following religion,

Gyan Khand  – realm of divine knowledge

and Saram Khand – realm of making serious efforts to reform one’s self). 


One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru,
shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord’s Name.
Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe,
and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.
Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.
All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.
Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani;
whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord’s Name.
One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har,
with every breath and every morsel of food
– that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru’s Mind.
That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate
– upon that GurSikh, the Guru’s Teachings are bestowed.
Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh,
who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||


SGGS 305


And thereafter:


The True Guru cherishes His Sikh.
The Guru is always merciful to His servant.
The Guru washes away the filth of the evil intellect of His Sikh.
Through the Guru’s Teachings, he chants the Lord’s Name.
The True Guru cuts away the bonds of His Sikh.
The Sikh of the Guru abstains from evil deeds.
The True Guru gives His Sikh the wealth of the Naam.
The Sikh of the Guru is very fortunate.
The True Guru arranges this world and the next for His Sikh.
O Nanak, with the fullness of His heart, the True Guru mends His Sikh. ||1||

                     SGGS 286





When a person moves up on the spiritual ladder and is blessed by the Guru and Akal Purakh in to the fourth spiritual realm (Karam Khand – Realm of Grace) then that person becomes a Gursikh.


Gursikh – means a true servant of Akal Purakh.  “Gur” means Akal Purakh and “Sikh” means a true servant.  A Sikh is a person who is committed to become a pure and pious heart (hirda).   And Akal Purakh is the Truth. Satnaam is the Truth.  Paar Braham Parmeshwar is the Truth.  Everything else is perishable and is in the cycle of life and death.


Therefore, a Gursikh is a person who


·         serves the Truth


·         is trying to become a completely truthful person – Puran Sachyara


·         has been elevated spiritually to a level where other’s are blessed by his company.  For example, if a normal person applies the dust of the Gursikh’s feet and goes into the Sangat of Gursikhs, then  they too will become a Gursikh.  Eventually they will also achieve salvation – Jivan Mukti. They will also be released from the cycle of life and death.


The Sikhs of the Guru accept and obey the Lord’s Will;
the Perfect Guru carries them across.
O Lord, please bless me with the dust of the feet of the GurSikhs.

So that this sinner will be saved.

SGGS 1421



That is the reason why we are all being advised by Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (The Divine Knowledge of God) to bow before such a person who has attained all the qualities of a GurSikh.  Bowing before such a person will kill our ego and help us to become more and more humble.  And utmost humbleness in our heart (hirda) is the key to God’s Court (Dargah).


When I see a GurSikh,
I humbly bow and fall at their feet.
I tell to them the pain of my soul,

and beg them to unite me with the Guru, my Best Friend.

SGGS 763


The person who follows this Divine Wisdom (Braham Gyan) will


·         go to the Sangat of such Gursikhs,


·         bow before such Gursikhs,


·         become very humble in the spiritual heart (hirda)


·         eventually become a Gursikh himself


·         achieve a high spiritual condition of his mind and hirda and


·         will achieve salvation.


Therefore, there is never any harm in bowing before GurSikhs who are engaged in the service of the Truth.  In the service to Akal Purakh and service to the Sants, Bhagats, Sadhus, Braham Gyani and Satguru, and service to the Naam.


If we think otherwise and don’t like to bow before such spiritually elevated souls, then that is our own mind’s doubts (Dubidha) that is not allowing us to follow the divine knowledge of Gurbani.  If we do not follow Gurbani then how can we achieve our spiritual goals?


Only the ones  who have killed their mind’s doubts (Dubidha) will achieve salvation.




Gurmukh is still a much higher spiritual condition than a Gursikh.  The Gurmukh is the person who :


·         has completely surrendered himself to the Guru and follows the Guru’s Divine Wisdom (Brahm Gyan) and advice


·         always has their face always towards the Guru – meaning who is always committed to serve the truth,


·         has a spirtual heart (hirda) and mind that are saturated with Satnaam,


·         has gone in to effortless and continuous remembrance of Satnaam (Ajapa Jaap),


·         has every bit of their body become Satnaam,


·         is enlightened with the Light of the Supre Lord (Param Jyot)


·         has been blessed by the Guru and Akal Purakh in to Sach Khand


·         has become a completely truthful person,


·         honours the Guru’s words and advice.


The Gurmukh meditates on the Lord with every hair of his body.
SGGS 941


This spiritual condition happens only when a person reaches Sach Khand. At this stage:


He possesses all qualities (SARGUN);
He transcends all qualities (NIRGUN);
He is the Formless Lord.
He Himself is in Primal Samaadhi.
Through His Creation, O Nanak, He meditates on Himself. ||1||

SGGS 290


Thereafter, when a Gurmukh


·         continues his loving devotion (bhagtee) in God’s Realm Of Truth (Sach Khand),


·         is recognized by the Guru and Akal Purakh as a completely truthful person and ready to serve the truth,


·         has won over his mind (Five vices, hopes, desires, slander, gossip, back-biting),


·         has risen over all the worldly ties,


·         has conquered over Maya,


·         has passed all the tests of God’s Court (Dargah)


then he is elevated and accepted as a


Jivan Mukt (Dead While Alive),


a  Sant and given the complete gift of Brahm Gyan (Knowledge Of God). 


The Gurmukh now has a true spiritual heart (hirda) – that hirda is known as a Sant.  That Sant has become one with Almighty.  That Sant hirda is blessed with supreme status (Param Padvi) by the Guru and God’s Court (Dargah).  That Sant becomes the Khalsa that Guru Gobind Singh Ji praised.


At this stage the Sant’s job becomes serving


·         the Truth,


·         Satnaam (God’s Name : “SAT”),


·         Akal Purakh (Immortal Being)


·         the Guru and


·         the Gur-Sangat (Guru’s Congregation).


We will very sincerely and most humbly request the Sangat to look inside and make a truthful judgment about where we stand in light of above descriptions. This will give us a motivation to move ahead.  If we are not yet a Sikh, then we should try to become one.  If we feel that we have achieved the level of a Sikh then we should try to become a Gursikh.  And if we are a Gursikh, then we should try to become a Gurmukh. 


If we are already at the level of a Gurmukh, then we should try to achieve the Jivan Mukti and prepare ourselves for serving the Truth.  And if we are a Jivan Mukt then we should be serving the Truth, Akal Purakh, Guru and Sangat.


If we make a sincere effort then we are confident that with Gurkirpa we will be able to achieve our spiritual goals and


·         make this Earth a worthwhile place to live, 


·         make this society a worthwhile society to belong to and exist in,


·         make the world full of true love for each other and end hatred and crime.


Dassan Dass  (Slave Of God’s Slaves).