In Sanatan Sikhism, this ineffable truth
the Gurus spoke of is known as ‘Va-eh Guru’.
is the equivalent to the English verbal expression of ‘Wow’,
an expression uttered when one sees, beholds, or hears something
wondrous. In a similar manner 'Va-eh' is the Sikh verbal expression
of awe-struck wonder.
The etymological meaning of 'Guru' is:
‘Gu’ = Darkness/Ignorance
‘Ru’ = Light/ Enlightenment
'Guru' = brings one from darkness into light (removes
In everyday Indian usage, ‘Guru’ means
a ‘spiritual teacher’ or ‘guide’.
It is stated in Sanatan Sikh oral tradition that Guru Nanak was
summoned to Sach Khand, the eternal, formless divine
abode of Nirankar God. It was there that he first fully beholding
the magnificence Nirankar God, uttered 'Va-eh Guru'.
Akali Guru Nanak Dev Ji
A painting (c. 1733) of the great Guru (wearing white), his companion
Bhai Mardana (right) holding a Rabab (musical isntrument) and a
Hindu Raja. The
scene depicts a tale from the Janam Sakhis (anonymous biographies
of the first Sanatan Sikh Guru)
'Va-eh Guru' in Sanatan Sikh thinking is the ineffable
wondrous awe-inspiring wisdom and knowledge of Nirankar God. This
'Va-eh Guru' underlies, like the sweet fragrance of a flower, all
of creation. It is considered as the universal divine law,
which harmonizes all creation to the will of Nirankar God. This
is the true mystical essence at the core of all great world faiths,
and philosophies, such as, Christianity, Hinduism,
Islam, Judaism, Buddhism,
The universal divine law of righteousness and the true mystical
is at the core of all great faiths, be they Sikh, Hindu, Muslim,
Jain, Buddhism, Christian, etc.
That essence is what teaches an individual to rise
above his/her individualistic narrow-minded sectarian values, and
see the one truth in all and every place. A truth
that is termed or referred to by mankind in variety of ways - Allah
in Islam, God in Christianity, Raam
in Hinduism, Va-eh Guru in Sikhism etc.
One attempting to express this truth, is like a mute
(says Bhagat Kabir), who eats sugar and then tries to speak of its
taste. This ineffable sublime universal reality/truth, the 'Tat
Nachor' (meaning ‘true essence’), is very subtle
In Sanatan Sikh ideology, the majority of people
in the world do not have the 'Karma' (deeds/destiny)
to appreciate it. Even so-called intellectuals, scholars and religious
leaders the world over cannot smell the sweet fragrance of this
wondrous flower - the universal true world, spiritual path and the
true Sanatan Divine Dharma that harmonizes man
internally and externally in the world.
Sanatan Dharma brings peace of mind and contentment
in life to all. However, the majority of so-called intellectuals,
self-proclaimed religious and spiritual leaders, and followers of
a particular faith fall into egotistic arguments. Each person claiming
his/her own particular system of belief/way of life/religion/philosophy,
etc is the only true one and the ‘best’ one, hence all
others are false or limited in one way or another.
The Udasi - the missionary
A photograph taken in c. 1862 of two Udasi Sanatan Sikhs. The founder
of the Udasis was Baba Sri Chand Maharaj, the son of Akali Guru
Nanak Dev Ji
This is the sad truth today, as it once was
in the times of the Sikh Gurus.