The objective of this article is to address the issue whether the Satguru exists in physical body or not. The other aspects of Satguru will be merely touched.
Who is Satguru or Guru:
Satguru and Guru are two interchangeable words used to describe Sat Ramdas (Servant Of God the Eternal Truth) of God. Who, after completing his Bhagti, has successfully blended his soul with God and has become a Pragtyo Jyot (God’s Light manifested ina human body). So, his mind is no longer a human mind rather it is the omnipresent mind of God and is prevalent everywhere and in everything, living or dead. His spiritual powers are infinite. He represents God in flesh and blood. He is embodiment of Truth. God or Prabhjot (God’s Light) itself is invisible but Satguru is his representative on Earth. Also, Satguru and God are inseparable. Like Jesus said, “I am in father and father is in me, yet, I am servant of God”.
He alone is the Guru, and he alone is a Sikh, O Siblings of Destiny,
whose light merges in the Light. ||1||
Other than the physical body there is no difference between Satguru and God:
There is no difference between the Supreme Lord God and the Guru. ||4||11||24||
How does one become Guru or Satguru:
A bhagat after taking Gurparsadi Naam (Satnaam, the true name of the God, the ultimate Truth) from a Satguru, meditates on the Gurparsadi Naam, lives truthful life (free of Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Hankaar, Desires, Jealousy, Praise or Slander, Doubts and Duality), sacrifices his mind, body and wealth upon his Satguru and remains under complete Hukam of God and Satguru. When the Bhagat has reached complete maturity, then the God blesses the Bhagat with Param Padvi or Atal Padvi. All this happens with the blessings of Satguru.
By the Grace of Guru Nanak and Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das obtained the supreme status.
What is the Primary role of Satguru:
Satguru blesses ordinary people with Gurparsadi Naam and helps them succeed in their bhagti to create Satgurus like himself. That is the single most important task assigned to the Satguru by God. Satguru spreads God’s message to ordinary people. Satguru also eliminates the hollow rituals and hypocrisy (Pakhands) of the existing religions, refines existing religions and, if needed, starts a new religion. Just like Guru Nanak , Jesus Christ or Kabir did. Besides all this, he is the humblest servant of God’s kingdom (Dargah da Chaakar). This is the most exalted aspect of four Yugs.
Nanak: the devotee has obtained the Naam from the Guru;
such is the destiny inscribed upon his forehead. ||4||1||
Satguru blesses the seeds of Bhagti (Loving Devotion) from the previous lives (Purbale karama ke Ankur) and essentially meets and gathers his family of previous births in the form of his disciples. Satguru comes to clean the earth of sins and purify people to make them Khalsa.
Can every body get Gurparsadi Naam from Satguru and get on the Bhagti Marg (Path of Loving Devotion)?
The answer is no. Only under God’s supreme Hukam (His Will) some people get to meet Satguru (Pragtyo Jyot) and get Gurparsadi Naam from him. Out of those who get Gurparsadi Naam, a very small fraction of Bhagats eventually complete the Bhagti while others get stuck at different levels, short of completion because they can’t win over their mind completely.
You took pity on me, and blessed me with Your Mercy,
and I have met the True Guru, my Friend.
So, does Satguru have a physical body like other Human beings?
The answer is yes. Guru or Satguru exists in physical body. He is connected at both ends. On one end with God and on the other end with Human beings. He is connected with the God because his Soul and Mind are infinite and blended with God’s soul and mind. He is connected with the human beings because he exists in flesh and blood and can communicate with people at their level. Actually, the Satguru (Pragtyo Jyot) is more powerful and accessible for the Sangat than God, because he is the only one that connects both ends. Sangat can communicate with Satguru but not with God and God communicates back to Sangat and not to Sangat. So, in the relatonship of Sangat with God, Satguru plays the most powerful and vital role.
The True Guru saves us at both ends; he alone understands, who is lovingly focused on the One Lord; his inner being remains free of doubt.
The devotee(satguru/bhagat) can release anyone from my(God’s) bondage,
but I (God) cannot release anyone from his.
Now, a few things need to be clarified here. God never comes in the cycle of birth and death. Only Guru or Satguru is born as a human being. At the birth he is not Guru or Satguru. It is only after completing bhagti that his soul blends into God and he becomes Satguru. So, two things are separate: Guru’s physical body is not significant, the significant thing is his omnipresent Mind and Soul. So his infinite Soul and mind is actually the Godly part of his being. Now, this part is common between God and all Satgurus. This is the part that does not come in birth and death. It only transplants from one soul to another. Like Nanak transplanted his infinite soul into Lehna and he became Guru Angad and this Gurparsadi game continued for the remaining 8 Gurus. Now, the game did not end their because it is a contiuous game since the beginning of time (Ad Jugad). Pragtyo Jyots (Manifested Light in a human) have been there in every Age and will continue appearing for ever.
In each and every age, He creates His devotees
and preserves their honor, O Lord King.
So when we read in SGGS JI:
My True Guru, forever and ever, does not come and go.
This is a description of the infinite Soul or Mind part of the Satguru which as we explained earlier neither takes birth nor dies. Only Satguru’s physical body dies.
On the other side now we will share a few quotes from the Holy SGGS JI which testify that Satguru exists in human body and gives Gurparsadi Naam to people and with his blessing people complete their bhagti.
The Lord Himself is the Protector of the True Guru.
The Lord saves all those who follow in the footsteps of the True Guru.
It means that God is protector of Satguru and because of Satguru, God gives salvation to others.
One who thinks evil of the Perfect True Guru
– the Creator Lord Himself destroys him.
It means whoever thinks bad or does other bad actions about Satguru are eliminated by the God.
The Sikhs listen to the Teachings imparted by the True Guru.
It means Satguru preached God’s message which has been heard by people with their physical ears.
Whatever the Perfect True Guru says, the Transcendent Lord hears.
When Satguru speaks God listens.
When I see the Perfect True Guru, then deep within, my mind is comforted and consoled.
It means upon seeing the Satguru your mind starts purifying from inside.
Blessed, blessed is the father; blessed, blessed is the family;
blessed, blessed is the mother, who gave birth to the Guru.
It means great is Father, the dynasty and the mother who gave birth to the man who became Guru. Mind it, God has no Mom or Dad or ancestors. So, it is the human Satguru that is being described here.
All these references from SGGS JI clarify that the Satguru is in human form. And not sacred scriptures or purely another name for the Formless Lord.
Now, what does this mean when we read this from SGGS JI:
The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani.
Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained.
If His humble servant believes, and acts according to the Words of the Guru’s Bani,
then the Guru, in person, emancipates him. ||5||
It means that Guru Granth Sahib (Pothi Parmesar ka Thaan) has the divine knowledge (Brahm Gyan) that Gurus preached. It is the Gyan (knowledge) Guru. It is only by obeying Guru Granth Sahib 100 percent that a bhagat can eventually unite with God. That is a longer path because you can’t talk to Guru Granth and to get answers to your questions or hurdles you need to spend unpractical amount of time. Only if you are willing to do that, then you can eventually reach God. Few Saints have accomplished that but if you explore their life it will reveal that they devoted themselves 100 percent of all their life to Bhagti only then they succeeded. They can be counted on one hand out of all the population of the world. They are typically rare souls who have lot of Bhagti balance from previous lives and who from the very youg age show renunciation (Tyag) of worldly attractions.
The path of taking Gurparsadi Naam and doing the Bhagti under the supervision of Sant Satguru has been taken by 9 Sikh Gurus, Kabir, Ravidas, Pipa, Sain, Dhanna, Tirlochan etc. It is a much faster path. Lehna became Guru Angad only in 3 – 4 years under the supervision and blessings of Satguru Nanak.
In the light of all that has been mentioned the hierarchy of Bhagti is: God, Pragtyo Jot or Satguru, Gurparsadi Naam (Satnaam), Gurbani i.e. the description of God and praise of the Saints. All Granths, holy books, actually bow at Brahamgyani Satguru’s feet. Saint Satguru is the physical form of the God and the Granth. God and the Granth both need a physical body so they can communicate with people and that is accomplished through Saint Satguru.
This article has been written with the blessings of Baba ji. The author does not claim any physical or mental ability of his own in the creation of this text.
I cannot accomplish anything by myself,
O my Unapproachable and Infinite Lord and Master. ||2||
A Humble Servant