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Shabad Guru: Our Guide through the Wave of Change

Excerpts from Shabd Guru: Basis, Use and Impact of the Quantum Technology of the Shabd Guru by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., April 1995

In the Aquarian Age there are no secrets! Information is available. Finding it is not the central task any longer…The greatest power will be your Word, your consciously projected words. The mind is changing its sensitivity, its basic frequency and functioning. Our lifestyle is changing its sense of time, space, relatedness, and relevancy…We have always experienced change, but rarely with this intensity and speed and never with this scope and vastness. The change is on all levels of life at once. It is not sequential and orderly, nor is each step predictable. And it affects each one of us personally.

This is an Age of Paradox—more global and more individual…everything is faster and we have less time. We need far more love and unity for we have more fear and tremendous insecurity. Stamina and constant peak performance are the common benchmarks to evaluate every person and their work, and the need is to go inward and regenerate. We require a reconciliation and integration of the spiritual side of life with the technological and material sides.

There are warning signs of personal breakdown and information overload everywhere…We have a massive capacity for storage. The number of neural connections goes into the trillions, but the capacity to process the information of the senses and the stored information of experience is severely limited…We must be able to clear the subconscious quickly and start to develop new capacities in the brain to deal with the overload.

We do not need new choices. We are flooded with choices. We need an elevated capacity to make choices. We do not need more information. We need the wisdom to use all the information. We do not need another religion. We need the experience of a Dharma that creates the spiritual fitness to act believably on our beliefs.

Shabad Guru

The Shabad Guru is a special kind of technology with a unique contribution to develop potentials and handle the problems of…the Aquarian Age. In the body it produces vitality; in the complex of the mind it awakens intelligence and develops wisdom and intuition; in the heart it establishes compassion; in each person’s consciousness it builds the clarity to act with fearless integrity.

Shabad means sound; Guru means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning of Shabad Guru is a special sound that is a teacher. But what is it that we learn from the Shabad Guru and how does the use of sound act as a teacher?

To answer this question, look at a deeper definition of Shabad Guru from its root structure. Shabad comes from Sha and bd. Sha means the expression of the ego, the attachments we identify with. Bd means to cut out off or to eradicate. The root meaning of Sha-bd is that which cuts the ego. It is not just any sound. It is not just a wise sound or a song of truth. It is a sound that cuts away the ego that occludes the truth from you.

If we break the word Guru into its inner naad, or atoms of sound, it becomes Gu-Ru. Gu means darkness or ignorance. Ru is light and knowledge. Gur is a formula or instruction. A Guru gives a Gur, a formula or technique that transforms darkness into light, ignorance into knowledge, the gross into the refined…Guru changes you. Guru develops the capacity to see. It removes darkness…The Shabd Guru transforms the practitioner by removing the barriers erected by the needs of the ego.

The Patterns of the Shabad Guru

Where do the patterns of the Shabad Guru come from? They exist from the beginning of Creation. They are the tides and rhythms of the movement of the creative pulse of Infinite consciousness. They vibrate in all things continually. It is the ability to hear and feel them that is needed. That capacity comes to a mind that is fearless, neutral, open, and awakened. The ten Gurus of the Sikh path heard it perfectly. They put that rhythm and pattern of energy into the poetic compositions of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. That’s why it is called a Granth rather than just a collection. It is a “knot.” It binds the pattern of awareness into the words of the songs. Each Shabad is a template for an aspect of awareness and a potential of consciousness. Each Shabad is a kind of spiritual DNA that restructures the mind and stimulates the brain. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of such gems.

The patterns of the Shabad Guru command the brain and mind with rhythm, sound, concentration, and breath. The patterns…combine atoms of information in the smallest sound units to release the inner energy of awareness needed to guide the brain and mind through this wave of change. Just as combining atoms has opened the way to use the greatest energy in matter, the quantums of sound are the atoms that open the way to the greatest inner energy of consciousness and command the chemistry of the brain. These shabd patterns are a legacy to be used and shared with all as an antidote to the maladies of the InfoDementia Syndromes.[1] [This technology] establishes a link with the sense of the Infinite no matter what mood and position you begin with.

Information on anything and anybody is available to everyone. In such a world, your value will not rest in what you acquire, find or know. It will rest in who you have become through the experience of what you find. Value will lie in your capacity and consciousness to use information. You will be valuable for your wisdom and unique point of view. That is what the Shabad Guru develops. It is not a thought, an idea, or a piece of information. It is a patterning of information…In a world saturated with information we need a technology to develop our command of it, not just gather more.

How it Works

When you repeat the patterns of sound and thought in a Shabd, those thoughts counter the direction and intensity of the habitual thoughts. The Shabad provokes a dumping of the stored subconscious patterns of thinking and feeling. If, under the torrential flood of subconscious feelings and thoughts, you persist in repeating the pattern of the Shabad Guru, then the new pattern establishes itself. Your mind clears, and you awaken dormant inner capacities or enhance existing ones.

Because the reflex points are stimulated by the movements of the tongue, you get the maximum benefit from the pattern of a Shabad by consciously repeating the sounds out loud. That is called Jappa: conscious, conscientious recitation. Rotating the tongue over the eighty-four reflex points in the pattern of the Shabad produces maximum impact on the gross level of the neuro-endocrine system. As the Shabad gets established in the nervous system and your subconscious, every cell of your body will vibrate the pattern with you. That is called the state of Ajappa Jap: repeating without repeating. In that ideal state the resource released by the Shabad Guru is always available to you, regardless of the momentary focus of your attention on daily tasks. It is the result of great devotion, much practice and mastery, or grace.

The techniques of the Shabad Guru codified in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and in the mantras of Kundalini Yoga wait for us to mine their secrets. Every person can use them to elevate themselves, to heal, to develop stamina, to increase intuition. They do not need to know the science of the process. They only need to apply the technology of the Shabad Guru.

The quantum technology of the Shabad Guru…will be seen as part of the training of the experience of self, so that you can embody your philosophy, carry your values, increase your spiritual fitness and deliver your Self as an answer to the challenge and imperative of the Age.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., LPCC, is a leading Trainer in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and has helped to compile and elucidate Yogi Bhajan’s teachings since 1969. He co-founded the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) with Yogi Bhajan in 1972. Yogi Bhajan gave him the title Director of Training. He is involved in the development of international training programs for teachers in Kundalini Yoga and the research and applications of meditative and yoga techniques to help people deal with happiness, stress, positive lifestyles and emotional vitality. He instructed, in yoga and wellness psychology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 15 years and established wellness programs in universities and clinics internationally. He is committed to sharing the essence of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan to create fulfillment for each individual in spirit, vitality, life purpose and robust communities of consciousness and values.

[This article was previously published in Aquarian Times, May 2009]