Bhagauti

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Bhagauti means Gurmat, A Mind(Buddhi) having Spiritual Intellect and Wisdom. In Gurmat, a body of soul is never regarded a Bhagauti but Intellect and wisdom of soul is Bhagauti. The term Gurmat(i) is feminine term derived from two words Gur(wisdom) + Mat(i)(Mind) = Mind of Spiritual Wisdom. Gurmat contains whole explanation of Soul and Supreme Divine and a soul who bears Gurmat is called Gurmukh(i) or Gurmat(i) or Bhagauti. such soul is always in Hukam - The Supreme Command and away from illusionary world. Adi Granth Sahib cleared term Bhagauti as shown below:

ਭਗਉਤੀ ਭਗਵੰਤ ਭਗਿਤ ਕਾ ਰੰਗ੝ ॥

ਭਗਉਤੀ - The Mind of Wisdom, ਭਗਵੰਤ - God, ਭਗਿਤ - Meditation, ਕਾ ਰੰਗ੝ - Colour

Bhagauti have color of God's Worship and Wisdom

ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗੈ ਦ੝ਸਟ ਕਾ ਸੰਗ੝ ॥

ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗੈ - Leaves Totally, ਦ੝ਸਟ ਕਾ ਸੰਗ੝ - the Company of Dushat(Manmatt)

It leaves his own mind and adopts Guru Ki Matt(Spiritual Wisdom)

(Page 274, Line 10)

Question : Who is Bhagauti?

Answer  : The Matt or mind Which have Color of Bhagwant's worship, The Color of Bhagti (ਜਿਸ ਕੋਲ ਭਗਵੰਤ = ਪਰਮੇਸਰ ਦੀ ਭਗਿਤ ਦਾ ਰੰਗ = ਗ੝ਰੂ ਕੀ ਮਤਿ ਹੋਵੇ !). The person which have Gurmat also called Gurmat(i) or Gurmukh. He totaly leave the company of Dushat(which is Mann, i.e Manmatt). Gurmat is concept of Spirit not body so Bhagauti term can't be used for body

ਸੋ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਜੋ ਭਗਵੰਤੈ ਜਾਣੈ ॥

Bhagauti means the one who know Bhagwant(i.e God). The soul who knows Supreme Command. The person have such mind is devotee to god and sublime in Hukam (Supreme Command). From above it is quite clear about Gurmat definition of Bhagauti which comes for:

  • Bhagauti = Gurmat
  • Bhagauti = Bearer of Gurmat (but applicable to his subtle body only)
  • Bhagauti = Gurmat is Will Power(Hukam) of God. As it walks as Supreme Command shows the way

Example: Baba Nanak was Bhagauti because he was bearer of Gurmat and he himself meditated on Bhagauti i.e Gurmat.

ਸ੝ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ

In Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh used phrase ਸ੝ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ ॥. Here "Sri Bhagauti" means "Great Bhagauti". Great Bhagauti is Hukam (Parmeshar Di Mati). Dasam Granth is about praise of Gurmat and Character of Manmatt. Guru Gobind Singh had studied all the scriptures of Hindus and ਸੋਧੇ ਸਾਸਤ੝ਰ ਸਿਮ੝ਰਿਤਿ ਸਗਲ ॥. He studied Markandeya Puran, Bhagwat puran and came out with actual definitions of these Granths which were spoiled by Scholars of Less Mind. He had written this phrase before every bani to tell intellectuals that, if they want to read this Granth and want essence then they have to take support of Bhagauti = Gurmat(i), The Intuitive and discerning Mind.

  • An Interpretation exists which claims ਸ੝ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ (Great Bhagauti) is metal sword, but this is not so appropriate in case of compositions of Guru Gobind Singh because to write such compositions one is required to seek blessings from Gurmat = Parmeshwar ki Matt, not metal sword.

ਕਹਾ ਬ੝ਧਿ ਪ੝ਰਭ ਤ੝ਛ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਬਰਨਿ ਸਕੈ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਜ੝ ਤਿਹਾਰੀ ॥
ਹਮ ਨ ਸਕਤ ਕਰਿ ਸਿਫਤ ਤ੝ਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਆਪ ਲੇਹ੝ ਤ੝ਮ ਕਥਾ ਸ੝ਧਾਰੀ ॥੩॥.

  • A major interpretation borrowed by few scholars from Hindu philosophy is that (ਸ੝ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ) Great Bhagauti is a Female. This interpretation is not at all applicable to Sikh Granths. Devotees and Gurus had given correct interpretations and removed many concoctions of Holy Books, which they mentioned themselves in Adi Granth Sahib i.e ਸੋਧੇ ਸਾਸਤ੝ਰ ਸਿਮ੝ਰਿਤਿ ਸਗਲ॥ and bring out actual essence of these Granths too. One could not apply Islam Theology or Hindu Philosophy on Sikh Granth. Concoction in Sikh Granths should be analysis by taking Sikh Meanings and for that Adi Granth Sahib and it's correct understanding will help but for that also ਸ੝ਰੀ ਭਗਉਤੀ ਜੀ ਸਹਾਇ.

There are many interpretations of writers. But Sikhiwiki has given only Guru Oriented interpretations and the guy who will read and want to understand work of Guru Gobind Singh have to study Guru Granth Sahib, to know what GURMAT = BHAGAUTI is.

Ardas & Bhagauti

Bhagauti in Sikhism

In Ardas Bhagauti term is used, but a Sikh should understand from first line what Bhagauti is:

ਪ੝ਰਿਥਮ ਭਗੌਤੀ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਕੈ, ਗ੝ਰ੝ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਈਂ ਧਿਆਇ ॥

First I meditate on that Bhagauti, which comes in mind of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

The word ਧਿਆਇ means Dhyan vich aana.(come in mind, meditated). Nanak found that Gur ki Matt = Parmeshwar ki matt which ਸਭ ਥਾਈਂ ਹੋਇ ਸਹਾਇ ॥੧॥

ਫਿਰ ਅੰਗਦ ਗ੝ਰ ਤੇ ਅਮਰਦਾਸ੝ ਰਾਮਦਾਸੈ ਹੋਈਂ ਸਹਾਇ ॥

ਹੋਈਂ ਸਹਾਇ : It means was Helpful(Sahaye hoyi see)

Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Dass and Guru Ram Dass also helped by that Bhagauti

The ardas keep on continue, but here Bhagauti is Will power of God, Hukam of God or simply Matt of God = Gurmat(Wisdom).

Some scholars changed meaning of ardas i.e to meditate on Guru Nanak, which is against Sikhi philosophy, Sikhi guides to worship only god.

Now it's upto Person that he want to apply Gurmat meanings to it or meanings of Brahmin's dictionary.

Others Views

Hin Hindu's dictionary, BHAGAUTI or Bhavani is Bhagavati, consort of Visnu, or the goddess Durga.

In Bhai Gurdas's Vaar, bhagauti has been used as an equivalent of sword.

“Nau bhagauti lohu gharaia

iron (a lowly metal) when properly wrought becomes a (powerful) sword”(Varan, XXV. 6).

it is sword because it have Parchand Wisdom.

It is in the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh contained in the Dasam Granth that the term began to assume connotations of wider significance. Reference may here be made especially to poems by Guru Gobind Singh:

  • Chandi Chritra Ukti Bilas in Braj
  • Chandi Chritra in Braj
  • Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, popularly called Chandi di Var in Punjabi — describing the exploits of the Hindu goddess (Bhagavati) Chandi or Durga.
  • Charitropakhyan

The title of Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, which has also been appropriated into Sikh ardas or supplicatory prayer, along with the first stanza runs as follows:

Ardas
Ik onkar sri vahiguru ji ki fateh

God is one—To Him belongs the victory

Sri bhagauti ji sahe

May Sri Bhagauti Ji be always on our side

Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki Patshahi 10

The ode of Sri Bhagauti as sung by the Tenth Master.

Pritham bhagauti simari kai gur nanak lain dhiai:

First call up Bhagauti in your mind, then meditate on Guru Nanak.

Here, the primacy accorded Sri Bhagauti Ji is obvious. This leads to the question why?

Bhagauti is, it appears, a multifaceted archetypal symbol employed by Guru Gobind Singh to fulfill a multiplicity of functions simultaneously. He perhaps wanted to complement the exclusive masculinity of the Divine image. Until then, God had in Sikhism as in other major traditions by and large a masculine connotation. He had been called Purakh implying masculinity. Although, at times, He had been addressed as mata (mother) as well as pita (father), almost all the names employed for him in Sikh Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib — Ram, Govind, Hari, Shiv, Allah, etc.— were only masculine names. To widen the conception Guru Gobind Singh may have chosen Bhagauti, a name with a clear feminine implication. It is significant that in the entire Hindu pantheon the warrior Bhagavati, or Durga, is the only goddess without a male spouse, thus symbolizing female independence, strength and valour. This derives further support from Guru Gobind Singh’s autobiographical Bachitra Natak wherein he designated God by a composite name Mahakal-Kalika (Mahakal which is masculine is juxtaposed to Kalika which is feminine). More specifically, what is really meant by Bhagauti (or its synonym Bhavani) is made clear in the following verse of Guru Gobind Singh:

Chaubis Autar
Soi bhavani nam kahai

Jin sagri eh srishti upai

The One who created this universe entire,

Came to be known as Bhavani

--

Notwithstanding the fact that names of the deities from many diverse sources occur in the Sikh text, here they mix naturally shedding, after acculturation in the new religious and theological environs, their original nuances and proclaiming one and one identity alone, i.e. God the Singular Being. All other meanings and shades are subsumed into One Indivisible entity. The names Hari (originally Visnu), Keshav (also an epithet of Visnu—one with long hair), Damodar (Krsna who had a rope tied around his belly), Murli Manohar (also Krsna, master of the melodious flute), Raghupati (Rama, the Lord of Raghu dynasty), etc., all came to signify in the Sikh vortex the unitary Godhead. The same applied to Bhagauti.

Says Guru Gobind Singh in the second stanza of this poem, Var Sri Bhagauti Ji Ki, the following about Bhagauti:

  • Taihi durga saji kai daita da nasu karaia:
  • It was you who created Durga to destroy the demons.

The line establishes beyond ambiguity the contextual meaning of bhagauti. Durga could not be presumed to have created Durga. She like all other gods and goddesses was indeed created by God Almighty.

The nomenclature seems to have been employed to smoothen the gender distinctions when referring to God.

The second archetypal significance of Bhagauti is linked to its other lexical meaning ‘sword’ as exemplified by Bhai Gurdas. Bhagauti where prefixed with the honorific sri (lid. fortunate, graceful) signifies the ‘Divine Sword’ –the Power that brings about the evolution and devolution of the Universe.

In this kaleidoscopic universe, its Creator is immanent not in any static way. He is in all times and at all places dynamically protecting the good and destroying the evil (Sant ubaran, dusht uparan). “Everywhere through the great perplexed universe, we can see the flashing of ‘His Sword’! . . . and that must mean His nature uttering itself in His Own Form of forces (Phillip Brooks). That Sri Bhagauti, the Divine Sword, symbolizes Divine Power is further borne out in the Ode itself when about Bhagauti it is said:

Khanda prithmai saji kai jin sabh sasaru upaia

Brahma bisan mahes saji kudrati da khelu rachai banaia

Sindh parbat medani binu thamma gagani rahaia

Creating first the Power of Destruction, who brought forth the whole universe,

Who raised the trinity of the gods, and spread the game of nature,

The Ocean, the mountains, the earth and the firmament without support who shaped. . .

The invocation to the Almighty through His image as the ‘Divine Sword’ as employed by Guru Gobind Singh purported again to instill the heroic spirit among his Sikhs, for:

  • Jeha sevai teho hovai
  • You become like the one you adore. (GG. 549)

Here a question arises: What is the special significance of remembering God with the name of a weapon? God is Pure Existence (sat), Absolute Essence (nam). Existence-Essence (sat-nam) is His primordial, archetypal, designation (GG, 1083). Whatsoever else is said to designate Him can only be symbolic. Though God is infinite, these symbols can only be finite. While the infinite includes the finite, it also transcends it. That is why every such symbol is not only affirmed by the symbolized but also negated at the same time. In the Sikh mystic lore, the prime symbol employed for God is the Word (naam). However, the other, even more structured symbol that Guru Gobind Singh introduced is the “the Sword’ (Bhagauti).

One might here ask: can a fragment of the finite symbolize infinite? The answer can be given in the affirmative for God being Pure Existence is immanent in everything that exists. Hence symbolization of God through a finite symbol ‘Sword’ is not only possible, but also, in a sense, true because it serves to symbolize Divine Power. Every mystic symbol is bipolar. On the one end it is in contact with the Infinite, at the other in contact with the finite. That is how it succeeds in fulfilling the symbolic function. Bhagauti is one such symbol as it is in its symbolic meaning of Divine Power, in contact with the Infinite, and in its concrete form, as a weapon, in contact with the finite. Guru Gobind Singh has consecrated not only the sword, but in fact a whole spectrum of weaponry:

As kirpan khando kharag tupak tabar aru tir

Saif sarohi saihthi, yahai hamarai pir:

The sword, the sabre, the scimitar, the axe, the musket, the shaft.

The rapier, the dagger, the spear: these indeed are our saints.

  • Remembering God through such heroic symbols was the exclusive style of Guru Gobind Singh.

Already in gurbani, the theistic symbol of the Nigam (Vedic) tradition had been monotheized. Guru Gobind Singh chose to monotheize even the theistic symbols of the Agam (Brahmanic) tradition. Thus his was a process of the integration of the two great mystical traditions of India.

Finally, the word bhagauti stands for God or His devotee on the one hand (signifying piri), for the sword on the other (signifying miri). This integration of piri and miri in Bhagauti encapsulates another major dimension of Sikh thought.

References

  • Guru Granth Sahib
  • Dasam Granth