Giani

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Giani: (ਗਿਆਨੀ s ) is someone learned in the Sikh religion or knowledgeable in "Dharam" or "path of righteousness". Often leads the congregation in prayers, such as Ardas, or in singing kirtan. The word "Gyan" (ਗਿਆਨ s ) in Punjabi means Knowledge. So a "Gyani" is someone who has spiritual and religious knowledge and can help the congregation called the Sadh Sangat in understanding of the Sacred Texts and history of this religion.

The person could be a male or female as the Sikh religion gives equal rights to both sexes. He or she will have undergone a intensive course of study and evaluation at an academic or religious institute. They will have a thorough knowledge of the SGGS the Sikh Holy Granth (or Book) and will have the ability to translate the words of sacred text into simple everyday language. So Gyanis can also communicate in English and this is a major bonus to western children who are not fluent in Punjabi or Gurmukhi, which is the language used in the holy scriptures.

Spiritually, a true Gyani is called a Brahm Gyani. This is what the SGGS says about such a person:

The True One is on his mind, and the True One is upon his lips. He sees only the One. O Nanak, these are the qualities of a Brahm Giani (knower of God). The Brahm Giani is always uncontaminated, as the lotus in the water remains detached. The Brahm Giani is always unstained, like the sun, which gives its comfort and warmth to all. The Brahm Giani looks upon all alike, like the wind, which blows equally upon the king and the poor beggar. The Brahm Giani has a steady patience, like the earth, which is dug up by one, and anointed with sandal paste by another. This is the quality of the God-conscious being: O Nanak, his inherent nature is like a warming fire...

-SGGS Page 272