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Waheguru - Wondrous Enlightener


Waheguru etched on marble from the Golden Temple

Waheguru etched on marble from the Golden Temple

Photo © [S Khalsa]

Waheguru is the name used by Sikhs when referring to God. It is a compound of the words:

  • Wahe - wonderful, awe-inspiring.
  • Gu - dark gooey attachment.
  • Roo - a (liberating) ray of light.
The word guru refers to a religious guide or teacher guide. Waheguru means wondrous enlightener.

The Sikh scripture Guru Granth teaches that with grace, salvation may be attained by meditating on Naam, or the identity of the divine enlightener. Sikhs are encouraged to remember God always, by a method known as simran. Instruction is given during initiation at the time of baptism to recite Gurmanter, a term which means mantra of Waheguru. Gurmanter is to be recited as a meditation in the early morning hours, and also throughout the day.

Pronunciation: Vaahi gu roo - The Gurmukhi letter for W is close to the sound of V and is pronounced with the teeth touching the lower lip.
Alternate Spellings: Waheguroo, Vaheguru, Vaahiguroo See Gurmukhi Spelling of Waheguru

Ultimately a Sikh is to contemplate Waheguru with every thought, deed, and breath.
Guru Arjan Dev wrote:
"Baitat ootat sovat jaagat visar naahee toon saas giraasaa ||1|| rehaao||
Sitting down, standing up, while sleeping or awake with each morsel of food, and every breath I never forget You."||1||Pause||SGGS||378

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