Knowledge is power.

Q. Guru Gobind Singh Ji writes “Deh Shiva bar mohe..” who is this Shiva that Guru Ji is referring to ?

In some circles it is suggested that 'Shiva' in this shabad is the Hindu deity Shivji. Anyone with an once of knowledge of Sikhism and the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh Ji would know that this is absurd.

This line comes from the shabad by Guru Gobind Singh Ji

ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਭ ਕਰਮਨ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਟਰੋਂ ॥
ਨ ਡਰੋਂ ਅਰਿ ਸੋ ਜਬ ਜਾਇ ਲਰੋਂ ਨਿਸਚੈ ਕਰਿ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਜੀਤ ਕਰੋਂ ॥
ਅਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਹੋਂ ਆਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਕੌ ਇਹ ਲਾਲਚ ਹਉ ਗੁਨ ਤਉ ਉਚਰੋਂ ॥
ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤਿ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋਂ ॥ ੨੩੧॥

देह शिवा बर मोहे ईहे , शुभ कर्मन ते कभुं न टरूं
न डरौं अरि सौं जब जाय लड़ौं , निश्चय कर अपनी जीत करौं ,
अरु सिख हों आपने ही मन कौ इह लालच हउ गुन तउ उचरों ,
जब आव की अउध निदान बनै अति ही रन मै तब जूझ मरों ॥२३१॥

O Lord grant me the boon, that I may never deviate from doing a good deed.
That I shall not fear when I go into combat. And with determination I will be victorious.
That I may teach myself this greed alone, to learn only Thy praises.
And when the last days of my life come, I may die in the might of the battlefield.

Guru Ji uses the name 'Shiva', but who is Guru Ji referring to here? Let's take an example. There is a person who lives close by and his name is Raam. Now, why was he named Raam? After whom? Maybe Raam from Guru Granth Sahib Ji, who is Rameeyah, within everything, or maybe he was named Raam after Ram Chandra Ji of Ayodhya?

Or maybe he was named after his uncles-older brother, Raam?

If we take it to be Raam of Sri Ram Chandra Ji of Ayodhya, who was this Raam named after? Maybe it was after the Raam who is unseen and Rameeyah, or maybe he was also named after his Uncle? One would have to say that Raam of Ayodhya is named after the One Raam because the Raam of Ayodhya has some of the qualities of the One almighty Raam.

So Raam of Ayodhya is named after The True Raam!

Who named the deity Brahma?

Maybe his followers named him. Let’s say Brahma was named by his followers, but why Brahma? He had some powers no doubt about that, so they must have named him after the creative unseen power, The True Brahm, again because he had some of the qualities of the One almighty Brahm.

So Brahma was named after the unseen True Brahm, that Bhram that created Bhrama.

Now, if your neighbour was named, Akaal, is he the real Akaal, or named after the True Akaal? If someone was to say, "Hey you're Akaal, the Timeless Creator!" well, that would not be the case because we know that the neighbour is not the real Akaal but named after the true Akaal.

What if your neighbour is named Jesus, is that the Jesus Christ of Nazareth? No, he is not Jesus of Nazarath he was named after Jesus of Nazareth, right?

Just as there are billions of people, countless animals, ants, leaves, bees, birds and fish on Earth, in the same way there are countless Raams (who are named after the real unseen Raam) , countless Brahmas (who are named after the real unseen Brahm!), countless Shivas (who are named after the real unseen Shiv!), countless Mohammads , countless Jesus’s, realms, galaxies, suns and moons.

Those who say that names like Murarri or Govind refer to Krishan Ji should take note of the following shabad by Guru Gobind Singh Ji :

The Lord created millions of worms (insignificant creatures) like Krishna.
He raised and shaped them; then He wiped them (Krishnas) out and recreated them.
He is extremely profound, fearless, primeval, unique and indestructible.
He is beyond everything and His splendour is eminent and perfect.(6)(96)
He has neither a mental ailment (distress) nor a physical suffering. His entity is fathomless.
His glory is everlasting and His existence is eternal from the beginning.
He is birthless, deathless, casteless and painless.
He is unbreakable, vehement, unpunishable and beyond human control . (7)(97) Sri Dasam Granth Ji.

Let us now take Shiva, who named Shiva, and why was he named Shiva? Named after a virtue? Named after an unseen Power? Named after a relative or a friend?

Being a powerful deity it follows that he was named after an unseen Power, SHIV! So Shiva who many people of different faiths worship, was also named after an unseen Power! An unseen power, known as Shiv.

Guru Sahib Ji always refers to the direct source after whom all others have been named. Those others who were named after the true source are irrelevant . Guru Sahib Ji talks of the true Brahama, the true Raam and the true Shiv. In this shabad Shiva is the True Shiva, the source from which the deity Shivji gets his power from. Guru Ji always goes to the True source.

If you read the shabad below Shivji, the deity, is being referred to along with other deities. The way that Shivji is being referred to here it is unconceivable that in the shabad “Deh Shiva bar mohe..” it is the same Shivji.

Without God's Name, no one cane be saved.
Universal Destroyer who holds the fourteen worlds, how can you flee from Him ?(1) pause.
Ram and Rahim whose names you repeat cannot save you from Him (All death). Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, the sun and the moon are all subject to death.(1)
The Vedas, the Puranas, the Quran and all faiths call Him infinite.
Indra, Sheshnag and chief of the saints meditated on Him for many ages but could not visualize Him in their minds.(2)
How can He be called black when His form and colour cannot be known.
You can only extricate yourself from the noose of Death when you cling to the feet of the Lord.(3)(2)(1O)
Rag Devgandhari By the Tenth Guru

Our bodies are filled with biological cells, countless cells. Everyday cells are born, taken care of, and destroyed. The power of creation, sustenance and death are in our bodies is always present yet we are unaware of it. In the same way there is a Power throughout the Creation, everywhere , Creating, Nourishing and Destroying.

The saints know of this creative, nourishing and destructive Force, Guru Sahib Ji knows of this source that is ever present for the Guru is connected to this source. This source is the Creator himself , the Akaal Purakh who cannot be described. Thus SHIVA the Guru Ji refers to is none other than Akaal Purkkh!

Just as your neighbour Jesus, Muhammad or Ram are irrelevant, to Guru Sahib Ji, Shivji, Brahma, Vishnu are all irrelevant . Guru Ji is connected to the source of everything, and everything is named after the true Creator. Our Guru talks directly of the True Creator.

This is the same argument that can be applied to when Akaal Purkh is referred to as Murari or Govind, Guru Ji always referres to the original primal force.

Q. What of these verses from Dasam Granth Sahib : "Khharti Ka Poot Hon, Baahman Ko Nahey, Kaiy Tapp Aavat Hon Jo Karon'. Teh Ham Adhik Tappasya Saadhi" - I am son of Khatri and not of Brahman who does 'Tap'. Here I did so much 'Tap' (in his previous life).

Meaning of tapa is universal and continuous for at least the last 5000 years of known history of Indian civilisations and from the ancient past numerous great sages have nurtured this ancient system of tapa and the Gurus being latest and purest in this series.

It is all a mtter of circumstance. Everybody can and should do tapa in normal peaceful times. But when tyrants are harassing humanity, tapa is not recommended. Guru Gobind Singh Ji says that all those who have fire in them and sensitiveness towards defence of innocent people, those who use their power to defend the weak and innocent people (Real meaning of Khatri not todays stamping by birth) they will take up arms and fight with oppression and not do tapa.


In the Bhagwad Gita also, Arjuna wants to do tapa but Bhagwan Krishan Ji asks him that this is not the right time to do this, war is upon you and tyrants are ready to eliminate humanity. Justice is awaited by a woman whose modesty was compromised in open parliament. Therefore Arjuna, being a Khatri, performed his duty and passed on Tapa and took his bow and arrow to kill the enemy.

Therefore, the real meaning of Gurus Ji's words has to be understood with the background of circumstance in mind. Humanity was trembling at that time, fake tapaswis and yogis could not do anything. Humanity was suffering, righteousness was being ridiculed and evil was being forced on humanity. Therefore Guru Sahib Ji is saying I am a son of a Khatri and must do my duty to uphold rightoeousness and uproot evil, the time for tapasia like that of a Brahmin is not now. Tapa is meant for peaceful days, but when the enemy is sitting upon your, ready to attack your identity, teerath, daan, daya, tap and sanyam all become vain. Sword is the only sadhna under such circumstances. This is the meaning of the mentioned lines.

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