• Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • You Tube icon


Analysis of words ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ as used in Gurbani


In Gurbani, words ਸਿਵ and ਸਕਤਿ come in different meanings. Most of the times when ਸਿਵ and ਸਕਤਿ come together they mean either Waheguru and Maya or Jiv-Aatma and Maya. In some instances it also means the Hindu lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Hinduism has two main sects - Vaish and Shaiv Matt. In Shaiv Matt, Shiva is considered to be the supreme Lord and Shakti which is the form of his consort Parvati, is considered to be Maya or the visible world. The mingling of Shiva and Shakti (Parvati, Prakrati) results in the creation of this world.

In Gurbani, depending on the Pankiti, Shiva can mean Waheguru, Jiv-Atma or the Hindu god Shiva.

Basically, depending on the situation in Gurbani, the words ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ can mean one of the following:

1) Waheguru and Maya.
2) Jiv-Atma (an essence of Waheguru) and Maya.
3) Hindu lord - Shiva and his consort Parvati.

Presented below are a few pankitis to understand the use of words Shiv and Shakti in Gurbani:

ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ as Waheguru and Maya

1) ਸਿਵਿ ਸਕਤਿ ਮਿਟਾਈਆ ਚੂਕਾ ਅੰਧਿਆਰਾ ॥

(Here Shiv means Waheguru. Shiv Waheguru destroyed Maya (ਸਕਤਿ )from the heart of the Gurmukh and this way the darkness of ignorance got eliminated. The last Sihaari on ਸਿਵਿ gives the meaning of ਨੇ. ਸ਼ਿਵ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਨੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੂਪੀ ਸ਼ਕਤਿ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਮਿਟਾ ਦਿਤਾ ਤੇ ਇਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਅਗਿਆਨਤਾ ਦਾ ਹਨੇਰਾ ਮਿਟ ਗਿਆ।

2) ਕਾਟਿ ਸਕਤਿ ਸਿਵ ਸਹਜੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸਿਓ ਏਕੈ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾਨਾ ॥

Here too ਸਿਵ means Waheguru and ਸਕਤਿ means Maya. By cutting Maya, Shiv's Sehaj Avastha appeared within and now the mind of the Gurmukh stays only in one Waheguru.

3) ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਨਾਚੈ ਸਕਤਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੈ ਸਿਵ ਘਰਿ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਸਕਤੀ ਘਰਿ ਜਗਤੁ ਸੂਤਾ ਨਾਚੈ ਟਾਪੈ ਅਵਰੋ ਗਾਵੈ ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੩॥

Here Shakti represents Maya and Shiv represents Waheguru. By obeying the hukam of Guru Sahib, Gurmukh removes ਸਕਤਿ i.e. Maya and resides in the house of Shiva (i.e. with Waheguru) and the sleep of ignorance is not there. On the other hand, the whole Jagat i.e. the world sleeping in the house of Shakti (i.e. under the influence of Maya), it lives in the hukam of Maya; Manmukhs don't do Bhagti.

ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ as Hindu lord Shiva and his consort Parvati

ਸਿਵਾ ਸਕਤਿ ਸੰਬਾਦੰ ॥
ਮਨ ਛੋਡਿ ਛੋਡਿ ਸਗਲ ਭੇਦੰ ॥
ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੰ ॥
ਭਜੁ ਨਾਮਾ ਤਰਸਿ ਭਵ ਸਿੰਧੰ ॥੪॥੧॥

Here ਸਿਵਾ ਸਕਤਿ means Shiva the Hindu lord and his consort Parvati. ਸੰਬਾਦੰ means dialogue. According to Hindu tradition ਸਿਵਾ ਸਕਤਿ ਸੰਬਾਦੰ means the Katha of Ramayana. It is said that Shiva narrated the story of Rama and Sita in the form of Ramayana, before Ramayana actually occurred. Here in Gurbani it means that a Gurmukh does not subscribe to means like listening to Ramayana and other such means. A Gurmukh relies only on - ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੰ ॥ - for salvation.

As a side note, during the debate between Panthik Singhs and Jeonwala, Jeonwala quoted this pankiti - ਸਿਵਾ ਸਕਤਿ ਸੰਬਾਦੰ ॥ - to prove that ਸਿਵਾ here means Parvati. He was actually trying to prove that in the Shabad - ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ - The meanings of ਸਿਵਾ is Parvati. Surprisingly to prove this point, he gave quoted the pankiti - ਸਿਵਾ ਸਕਤਿ ਸੰਬਾਦੰ ॥ - but he did not realize that in this pankiti, the word ਸਿਵਾ means Shiva and not Parvati.

ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ as the Jiv and Maya

Jiv Atma is infact an essence of Waheguru. Jiv is Atma, Waheguru is Parmatma (Great Atma in whom all Atmas lie). The Jiv in its purest form has same qualities as Waheguru. This is why it can merge in Waheguru. Only alike things can combine or merge with each other. Water and Fire and different and for this reason can't merge or mingle but water and water can merge and two flames of fire can become one. Same way, when the dirt of Maya is removed from the Jiv, it can become one with Waheguru.

Since Waheguru and Jiv are alike (as far as composition is concerned), Jiv is supposed to rule over Maya but in ignorance, the Jiv becomes slave to Maya and such is the Will of Waheguru as well. Shiv (the Jiv) the master of Shakti, is defeated by Maya and becomes slave to Maya. The following pankitis echo similar thoughts:

1) ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਕੈ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਵਰਤਾਏ ॥

In this 26th pauri of Sri Anand Sahib, the word ਸਿਵ means Jiv-Aatma and ਸਕਤਿ means Maya. Sri Guru Ji is saying that by creating the Jiv-Atma and the Maya, the doer Waheguru himself lets his Hukam (divine order) do everything.

2) ਦੋਵੈ ਤਰਫਾ ਉਪਾਈਓਨੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਕਤਿ ਸਿਵ ਵਾਸਾ ॥
ਸਕਤੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਫਿਰਿ ਜਨਮਿ ਬਿਨਾਸਾ ॥
ਗੁਰਿ ਸੇਵਿਐ ਸਾਤਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਜਪਿ ਸਾਸ ਗਿਰਾਸਾ ॥

In these panktis too the word ਸਿਵ means Jiv-Aatma and ਸਕਤਿ means Maya. Sri Guru Ji saying that both Shiv the Jivatma and Maya reside in this world. No one attains peace of mind through Shakti; ones who forget Waheguru and serve Maya have to take birth again after death. The ones who serve the Guru by chanting with every breath, get peace of mind.

3) ਹਾਠਾ ਦੋਵੈ ਕੀਤੀਓ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ ਵਰਤਾਈਆ ॥
ਸਿਵ ਅਗੈ ਸਕਤੀ ਹਾਰਿਆ ਏਵੈ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਈਆ ॥
ਇਕਿ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹੀ ਤੁਧੁ ਰਖਿਆ ਜੋ ਸਤਸੰਗਿ ਮਿਲਾਈਆ ॥
ਜਲ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਬਿੰਬੁ ਉਠਾਲਿਓ ਜਲ ਮਾਹਿ ਸਮਾਈਆ ॥੬॥

In these panktis too the word ਸਿਵ means Jiv-Aatma and ਸਕਤਿ means Maya. Waheguru created both sides i.e. both Jivatma and Maya reside in this world. For the most part, as per the Will of Waheguru, Shiv (Jiv-aatma) loses in front of Shakti (Maya). But there are some fortunate ones out of the Jiv-Aatmas whom Waheguru enables to meet Satsangat (divine congregation). They meet Waheguru, as water removed from water becomes one with water.

In the 2nd pankiti above pankiti, it is important to place a bishraam after ਸਿਵ because the meaning is that ਸ਼ਿਵ, ਸ਼ਕਤੀ ਅਗੇ ਹਾਰ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ. If you place the bishraam after ਅਗੈ, then the meaning would be the opposite i.e. ਸ਼ਿਵ ਅਗੇ, ਸ਼ਕਤੀ ਹਾਰ ਗਈ.


Gurbani is very deep and it contains many words in different meanings. The words ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ, when appearing together, come in the meanings of at least one of the 3 above described meanings. Guru Sahib has used the existing concepts of different religions and redefined them according to Gurmat. According to Shaiv Matt of Hindus ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤਿ is everything. Shiva is the lord and Maya is his consort. Some devotees worship Shakti and are called Shakats and others worship different forms of Shiva. But Gurmat has made it clear that Waheguru, the Supreme Lord is above the demi-gods like Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. As the matter of fact, according to Gurmat, the 3 Supreme lords - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh - are shown to be a product of Maya:

ਏਕਾ ਮਾਈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਵਿਆਈ ਤਿਨਿ ਚੇਲੇ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥
ਇਕੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਭੰਡਾਰੀ ਇਕੁ ਲਾਏ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥

ਮਾਈ here means Maya. Waheguru using his divine ਜੁਗਤਿ produced 3 disciples out of Maya - ਇਕੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੀ (Brahma), ਇਕੁ ਭੰਡਾਰੀ (preserver, Vishnu), ਇਕੁ ਲਾਏ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ (Mahesh). Such is the greatness of Waheguru that, as it pleases him, he makes them do as is his Hukam; Waheguru sees what they do, but they can't see or realize Waheguru; this is such a big astonishment:

ਜਿਵ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਤਿਵੈ ਚਲਾਵੈ ਜਿਵ ਹੋਵੈ ਫੁਰਮਾਣੁ ॥
ਓਹੁ ਵੇਖੈ ਓਨਾ ਨਦਰਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਏਹੁ ਵਿਡਾਣੁ ॥

Kulbir Singh

Back Back to Gurmat Gyan (English) List

Guide To Discover Sikhism |   Guide To Becoming A Pure Sikh|   Guide To Carrying Out Nitnem