Satgur Kee SEWA !! – Whats SATGUR and SEWA in Context of SGGS GURBANEE – Dr Karminder Singh Dhillon

Shabad: Satgur Kee Sewa Safal Hai

Author: Guru Amardas (Third Sikh Guru)

SGGS 552.

Title: Serve the Creator with Love. Serve Him Constantly.



॥ ਸਲੋਕ ਮ; ੩ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਫਲ ਹੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ  ਕਰੇ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਇ ॥

Satgur Kee Sewa Safal Hai Jay Ko Karey Chit Laye.

Sat– one who is in perpetual existence. Gur – The Guru. Satgur – God.

Sewa – Service. Safal – Acceptable. Jay Ko – If one. Karey – Performs, undertakes, does

Chit – Mind, Intent. Laye – With. Chit Laye – With Love. (Chit Launa is a Punjabi idiom).

Service of God is acceptable when done with love.

(Sewa done to show off, in expectation of rewards, to please people or in pretense is not


ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਅਚਿੰਤੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥

Naam Padarath Payeay Achint Vasey Munn Aiye.

Naam – Godly Virtues. Padarath – Treasure. Payeyay – Attained . Achint – Inner Peace,

state of mind that is free from Vices. Vasey – Resides. Munn – Mind. Aiye – Comes

The treasure of Godly Virtues is attained and the mind comes to reside in a

state of inner peace.

(God is Sikhi is defined in terms of Virtues – He is Love, Caring, Compassionate, Kind, Forgiving,

Fearless, Without Enmity, etc)

ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਕਟੀਐ ਹਉਮੈ  ਮਮਤਾ ਜਾਇ ॥

Janam Maran Dukh Kateay Haumai Mamta Jayey

Janam – Birth / awakening. Maran – Death. Janam Maran – The Cycle of sprititual Birth and

Death. Dukh – Pain, Suffering. Kateay – Freed, eliminated. Haumai – Ego. Mamta – Attachment

to. Greed of material. Jayey – Leaves.

(The mind comes into a state of peace because) The ego and attachment to

material leaves the mind; and the pain of the cycle of spiritual awakening and

spiritual death is eliminated.

(Spiritual birth happens when the mind is awakened towards Godly Virtues and Spiritual death occurs whenever the mind is drowned in human vices of ego and material attachment. Gurbani considers the human that lives in ego and material greed/ attachment as physically alive but spiritually dead. The human mind goes through this cycle of spiritual birth / awakening and spiritual death a million times per day. Each good thought is an awakening and each bad thought is spiritual death)

ਉਤਮ ਪਦਵੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚੇ ਰਹੈ ਸਮਾਇ ॥

Utam Padvee Payeay Sachey Rahey Samayey

Utam – (Spiritually) Elevated, high. Padvee – Position, state. Payeay – Attain. Sachey – God.

Rahey – Remains. Samayey – Immersed, imbued, instilled.

The mind thus attains an elevated (spiritual) state within which God remains


ਨਾਨਕ ਪੂਰਬਿ ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਤਿਨਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ  ਮਿਲਿਆ ਆਇ ॥ ੧ ॥

Nanak Poorab Jin Ko Likhiya Tina Satgur Miliya Aiye.

Nanak – The author, third Guru, Amardas ji. Poorab – Past. Jin Ko – Those who. Likhiya

Inscribe. Tina – They. Satgur – God. Miliya – Attain, Meet, realize . Aiye – comes.

Nanak, those who strive to Serve the Creator in Love constantly, they come to

attain God.

(The act of acquiring Godly Virtues (spiritual awakening, spiritual birth) is a journey that must be undertaken constantly in our life. This journey thus has a past, present and future. When we do something in the present – it adds up as our past (Poorab). It is this Poorab (added up past of ours) that we must build. They way to do it is to constantly do virtuous things in our present. Only the present is in our control. We build the past from our present and create the future from our present.)

Translation by Karminder Singh, Phd.

Overall message: Serve the Lord with Love. Serve Him constantly – in every opportunity in life. The outcome is inner peace. The outcome is a mind imbued with Godly Virtues. The outcome is that we realize God Himself.

There are three types of SEWA that are found within the SGGS.

  1. Sewa of mankind. This is when we do acts of kindness towards other human beings in need.
  2. Sewa of Guru. This is specifically defined as the act of connecting with the Gurus messages within his Shabd – within the SGGS. I
  3. Sewa of God. This is when we do acts of virtuosity towards the entire Creation – (animals, plants and all inanimate matter on earth).

This Shabad is about Sewa of God (Number 3 above).

We Sikhs have confused sewa in the Gurdwara with (2) and (3) above. Actually Sewa in the Gurdwara is NOT EVEN (1) above. Because most of those who are being served in the Gurdwara – even if they are human beings – are NOT in any kind of NEED.