2. The Difference Between Sikh, Gursikh And Gurmukh

Ik Oankaar Sat Naam GurParsaad || 

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 : 

Munnmukh :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 e.g. getting initiated or coming under guidance of a Sant and practicing whatever  says Gurbani .
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 worldly hopes, desires, slander, gossip and back-biting,

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

·         kill his ego and become an utmost humble person,

·         kill his doubts and distractions of mind,

·         leave the life of hypocrisy (Pakhand ) and to become merged in Truth (a Sach Khand )

·         love everybody and all His creations

·         never spread any hatred

·         spread and give love to others,

·         share other’s grieves,

·         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 Jap Ji 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. Sat Naam is the Truth.  Paar Braham Parmesar 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 Mukt . 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 Sant , Bhagat , Sadh / Sadhu , 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 doubt (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 (Braham Gyan ) and advice

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

·         has a spiritual 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 Supreme Lord (Param Jyot )

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

·         has become a completely truthful person,

·         honors the Guru’s words and advice.

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

This spiritual condition happens only when a person reaches to 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 Samadhi .
Through His Creation, O Nanak , He meditates on Himself. ||1||

SGGS 290

Thereafter, when a Gurmukh  

·         continues his loving devotion (Bhagti ) 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),

Sant and given the complete gift of Braham 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 Mukt 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 Gur Kirpa 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).



Could you please answer the following questions for me?

I understand the process by which a Sikh progresses to Gursikh and

then to Gurmukh – but at what point is a Gurmukh elevated to Jivan

Mukt? At the point of progressing to Sach Khand, can a Gurmukh still be

overcome by maya or the Five Evils? If not, would progression from

Gurmukh to Jivan Mukt not be instantaneous? On what grounds would a

Gurmukh not become Jivan Mukt?

I, myself, am not Sikh, but teach Sikhism as part of the Scottish

Higher Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies Course.

Thank you for your time,




Dandauth bandhna (prostration greeting)
Hello S,
within the Sikh community these words like Sikh, Gursikh, Gurmukh are used interchangeably, with most people regarding themself as being a Sikh, meaning they identify with the Sikh religion.  And out of that group the ones who get initiated tend to think of themself as gursikh/gurmukh/khalsa.   
The article Dassan Dass ji has written tries to clarify the true meaning behind these words as envisaged by Guru Nanak Dev Ji when he wrote the divine verses.  The Sikh is actually a universal term for anyone (not just a person of the Sikh religion as it has become now) who has taken on a Guru.  Who has decided they need a divine teacher for spiritual progression.    When that person then surrenders totally, mind, body and wealth unto their Guru, then their ego surrenders and the Naam (God as Infinite Divine Power) starts to manifest within them.   Then all the inner battles take place to overcome the net of Maya.  With the Guru’s wisdom and the Eternally Blessed Naam they give the GurSikh, they have all the tools they need to progress on the inner path.   This is a journey of raising your consciousness, from animal/lowest consciouness – eg anger, revenge, hatred, greed etc,   to good consciousness eg doing good deeds, being kind etc, to ultimately  overcoming the 5 thieves and finally Maya herself.  At that point the inner merger happens, one merges into the highest part of themself – their own soul and this is known as Truth consciousness.  It is blissful union and is called SAT CHIT ANAND – the bliss of Truth consciousness.   Now this person is Gurmukh.    Until a person becomes Gurmukh they are Manmukh – still followers of their mind.  Only as Gurmukh has one transcended the mind, gone through the three parts of Maya that run the mind, into the fourth state – chautha pad – merged into the Divine Light Divine Name – Sat Naam.
However far we raise our consciousness in our life is where we carry on from in our next life.  Our consciounsess at the time of death is where we start from in the next life.  All reincarnation is all about the coninuing journey of the soul to reach the highest state of Truth consciousness – the Source it came from.  When we have established ourself in that state on a permanent basis, then when the time of physical death of the body comes, the soul is already merged in the Divine Light and that is where it remains when it sheds the body and is NOT required to further reincarnate.  The drop has returned to the source.   Only the person who has established them permanetly into the Divine Light whilst alive can be considered JIVAN Mukat (liberated whilst alive).  Meditating upon SatNaam is focusing the mind on TRUTH and only with the Eternal Blessings (Guru’s Grace) and putting into pratist the Guru’s divine wisdom can this journey be completed.
Once a person experiences the Gurmukh state of being, there is then another journey that begins. and that is basically “the more you love God, the more there is to love”.  There is no end to the depth of this blissful ocean of Truth consciousness.   However, a person can also fall back into Maya at anytime and become Manmukh again.  So it takes more time to full and permanently establish oneself as Gurmukh (to reach the ATAL AVASTHA – permanent state), never to to fall back into being Manmukh.  On that journey then the soul becomes Sant (heart chakra becomes fully open), Brahmgiani (have the Diivne knowledge of God to guide others with), SatGuru (Truth i.e. God, Himself becomes the Guru teaching & bestowing His grace to others from the throne of our heart chakra), Sat Ram Das /Dassan Dass(servant of God – Truth / servant of the servants of god) – all slightly different.  Why?  Because even though we become Gurmukh and expereince bliss, we can slip back into Maya and the 5 theives are always ready to reawaken if we let desires in.
So what can happen is that as a soul goes into the spiritual journey further and further and experiences all these gifts of God,  ego can start reawakening – the sense of “I am now a Gurmukh/Sant/Guru etc” i.e. I am something arises again.  Ego can get stronger and stronger.  If you look through the history books you will see the stories of yogis and rishis who cursed people.  So they had made spiritual gains by surrendering their ego, but on gaining the spiritual gifts their ego awoke and they became spiritual tyrants cursing people if they didn’t fall to their feet.   Even the 330 million demi-gods were spiritual souls who meditated upon god, but on receiving the spiritual gifts due to their humblness, their ego reawakend and they regarded themsel as God and got themself worshipped instead of staying as humble servants of god the Truth.
Baba ji describes this as “first we have to go through the feet of God  (i.e surrender everything to the Guru, become humble, then we defeat Maya and become Gurmukh), but then we go to the head of God (i.e the spiritual powers of God start coming to us making us God-like so even a little trace of ego will get inflamed and become super-ego (ego lives in the head – we get big-headed). At this time the ultmate test comes – testing our very faith in our Guru.  So now do we declare ourself as Guru because we (ego) thinks we have all these spiritual powers, or do we remain humble at our Guru’s feet.   If we have no desires for these powers and no desire to become something even a Gumukh or Guru, then we keep our head at the feet of God-Guru.   And Baba ji says so we then come out through the heart of God.  Meaning we remained lowest and now God’s love, kindness, compassion, humbleness andd ultimately Eternal Blessings come through our saturated heart to bless others.  We only live to uplift others, for example when  Baba ji blessed Dassan Dass ji , he did not get eg thinking I am now an even bigger Guru, but Baba ji declared, “Dassan Dass ji is my father and I am his son”.  Meaning that Baba ji has become lowest again, a servant of God’s servant.
So the antidote for ego gained by being blessed with God’s spiritual gifts after becoming Gurmukh is extreme humility and zero desires for anything other than being a slave and servant of God, serving one and all as the lowest of the low.  Then we do not fall backThis is the major teaching of Guru Nanak Dev ji – that we need Naam and extreme humility.   This is the same teaching of Dassan Dass ji & Baba Ji on the website – and is the same journey they have undergone.    Utlimately, when God accepts you as having extreme humility, then that is when Surinder Singh ji was bestowed with the name “Dassan Dass” and blessed to bless others.   Very rare souls complete this journey to extreme humblness to the point of becoming absolutely nothing, so that God, SatNaam, becomes absolutely everything working through their body in this world.
We hope that makes sense, unless you undergo this spiritual inner journey, it is hard to explain to others and what we have written above you wont find in any religious text as most authors have not completed their own spiritual journey yet.  Please feel free to ask more questions.
God Bless you and you students.