Waheguru (Punjabi: ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, romanized: vāhigurū[note 1], pronunciation: [ʋaːɦɪɡuɾuː], literally meaning "Wow Guru",[1] figuratively translated to mean "Wonderful God" or "Wonderful Lord"[2][3]) is a term used in Sikhism to refer to God as described in Guru Granth Sahib.[4][5][6][7] It is the most common term to refer to God in modern Sikhism.[3]



The meaning of the word vāhigurū (usually spelled in English as Waheguru) is traditionally explained as vāh 'wondrous!' (Punjabi word analogous to "wow" in English), and guru, Sanskrit for 'teacher, spiritual guide, God', which taken together are said to carry the meaning, 'Wondrous Lord'. It is built upon an expression of awe and amazement of the divine.[8][1] Another explanation for the term's meaning is that it refers to a great instructor who takes away the darkness from their pupil and enlightens them.[9]

Waheguru is described and envisioned as a formless and omnipresent deity by Sikhs with whom a devotee is able to establish a personal relationship with by following the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.[10] Waheguru is considered to be ultimate goodness in-which the purified soul merges into whilst evil is vanquished before it.[11]





The hymns to Waheguru contained in Guru Granth Sahib have been composed by Bhatt Gayand.[12][13][14]



The word is also used in Sikhism as a main mantra and is called gurmantra or gurmantar.

"The world is a garden, Waheguru its gardener.

Cherishing all, none is neglected;

From all comes the fragrance put there by Waheguru––

By such fragrance is each known."

— 'Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality' (2011) by Joel Beversluis, page 94[15]

The term also finds usage in the jaikara (battle cry), greeting, and parting phrase introduced by Guru Gobind Singh: "Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh" (translated as 'the Khalsa belongs to God and victory belongs to God').[16][17][18] This phrase is used in the Amrit Sanchar ceremony, the Sikh baptismal ritual for initiation into the Khalsa order.[19]

See also



  1. ^ The term is also romanized as Vahiguru, Vaheguru, Vahiguroo, Waheguroo, amid others.


  1. ^ a b Singh, Gurbaksh (2020). Sikh Faith. Virsa Publications. p. 27. ISBN 978-93-87152-71-7. A human being, similarly, even ever enjoying and delving in the love of Waheguru, cannot describe its limits or its mystery, except by saying WOW, GREAT or GOSH! In Punjabi we say WAH! hence the name WAHEGURU for God. In Sikh Scripture God is remembered by many names, such as: Karata Purakh, Ram Rahim, Akal Purakh, Sat Nam, Parbraham, Kartar, Gopal, Rab.
  2. ^ Ganeri, Anita (2003). The Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhism. Sacred Texts. London: Evans. p. 29. ISBN 0-237-52350-7. OCLC 56470212. Waheguru: The name that Sikhs use for God. Waheguru means 'wonderful God'
  3. ^ a b Wani, Abid Mushtaq (2018). Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism: A Comparative Study. India: Educreation Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-5457-1818-6. There are many names of God in Sikhism; the most uttered is Waheguru which means wonderful Lord. Satnam means True name. Akal Purakh is Timeless one or eternal being. Sikhs believe that one true God is the Lord of all religions and they do not have the exclusive right on Him. No single religion can have the monopoly of God and different religions are various ways towards the same Waheguru. "You are the Father, Mother, Friend, Brother, with you as Friend, support everywhere, what fear can I have?"
  4. ^ Mosher, Lucinda Allen (2005). Praying: The Rituals of Faith. Faith in the Neighborhood. Vol. 2. New York, N.Y.: Church Publishing, Seabury Books. pp. 11–12. ISBN 1-59627-016-0. OCLC 63048497. Sikhism - The Sikh religion dates from the late 1400s, and Sikhs have been in the United States since the 1800s. Observant men (and some women) are readily distinguishable by their turbans. Sikhs stress the Unity of God, the Supreme Reality. Look at the flag outside a Sikh house of worship. The symbol you will see is actually the words Ik Ongkar (the Only One), which is one of Sikhism's names for God. Sikhs also call God Waheguru (the Almighty), or simply Nam (the Name). But, as one office-worker stresses, "Sikhism says God is God, regardless of the name you use. The fact that other religions call God by different names is acceptable to us." "We worship the same God as you," insists a Sikh technology consultant as he talks about diversity with the Parents Association of an Episcopal day school. The Sikh understanding of God is summarized in the Mool Mantra, the opening lines of the Sikh scripture. The Mool Mantra is recited in Punjabi. Its first words are Ik Ongkar, and its meaning is something like: "There is but One God, the Truth, the Creator; without fear, without anger, the Timeless Being, unborn, self-existent, realized by the Guru's grace. "God is a light that lives inside of everything," a New Mexico office administrator asserts. "The way the Gurus have taught about the Creator is that it is both manifest and unmanifest, both formless and form, both beyond our comprehension and something that lives inside of ourselves. God is a collective, creative energy that runs through the entire creation, and is also holding the entire creation, and is manifest in the entire creation that is inside of me, and that consciousness has no fear and no anger. The Divine moves by its own impulse, by its own purity, by its own projection. So it's something that is within me, and is way bigger than me. It's within everything, and holding everything. It's playful, and it's something you can experience as a human being. You can touch that Creator, that divine light inside of yourself."
  5. ^ Bhalla, Kartar Singh (2002). Let's Know Sikhism: a Religion of Harmony, Brotherhood and Tolerance (1 ed.). New Delhi: Star Publications. p. 40. ISBN 81-7650-055-0. OCLC 52589395.
  6. ^ Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh (2000). Who are the Sikhs?. Sikh Educational Trust. p. 46. In Sikhism the term Guru, Satguru or Waheguru is used for the Almighty.
  7. ^ Steven, Jeffers; Nelson, Michael E.; Barnet, Vern; Brannigan, Michael C. (2012). The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health Care Providers. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-910227-73-2. OCLC 1315745581. Waheguru: "Praise to the Guru"; modern Sikh name for God.
  8. ^ Kaur, Inderjit N. (2019). A Multisensorial Affective Ecology of Sonic Worship: The Sikh Sacred Song Culture. Vol. 46. p. 122. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  9. ^ Nānak, Guru (2001). Chauhan, G. S. (ed.). Sri Guru Nanak Dev's Japji: in Gurmukhi, Devanagri & Roman script with English translation and commentary. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. 28. ISBN 81-7010-314-2. OCLC 634653555. The meaning of Waheguru is as under: Wah: It is an expression of exclamation on seeing something great and magnificent. He: an address to Him. Guru: One who takes from darkness to light. Thus "Waheguru" means, magnificent and great teacher who will take me from darkness to light. "Waheguru" is repeated by the Sikhs at the time of initiation into "Khalsa" and is repeated by the initiates in meditation and is used as an address for the God. Once one remembers Him as guru, He is bound to take that person across the ocean of maya and bestow His Grace and Divine Knowledge or Holy Science. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru gave the greeting slogan of "Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguruji ki Fateh." i.e. Khalsa belongs to Waheguru and glory be Him. Thus, His Name as "Waheguru" is very appropriate, pious and sanctified and can be repeated without seeking blessing from another human being. This Name is already sanctified.
  10. ^ Sangha, Navneet (2021). Explorations of Visibility and Invisibility: An Exploration of the Experiences of British Sikh Women in the Workplace (doctoral thesis). City, University of London. Page(s) 21–22.
  11. ^ Nirmala Kumāra (2006). Sikh Philosophy and Religion: 11th Guru Nanak Memorial Lectures. Elgin, Illinois: New Dawn Press, Inc. pp. 24–25. ISBN 1-932705-68-6. OCLC 145506109.
  12. ^ Grewal, Dalvinder Singh (2011). "Chanting 'Waheguru' is Pure Bliss!". The Sikh Review. 59 (691–696). Calcutta, India: Sikh Cultural Centre: 9.
  13. ^ Singh, Pashaura; Fenech, Louis E., eds. (2014). "The Khalsa: Foundational Myth of the Sikh 'Nation'". The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-19-969930-8. OCLC 874522334. Nanak conceived of God as the one and the only 'true sovereign' (Sacha Patishah) of the world; although the term Vahiguru first found in the hymns of Bhatt Gayand, the bard contemporary of Guru Arjan (the fifth Guru), is now more commonplace and used in the Sikh salutation (Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa Vahiguru ji ki Fateh).
  14. ^ "Journal of Religious Studies". Journal of Religious Studies. 36. Punjabi University. Department of Religious Studies: 46. Gayand composed 13 swayyas in praise of the fourth Guru whom he believes to be incarnate of the Divine. His 'Wah - Wah' phrase is popularly recited by the Sikhs
  15. ^ Beversluis, Joel (2011). Sourcebook of the world's religions : an interfaith guide to religion and spirituality. Novato, California: New World Library. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-57731-332-8.
  16. ^ Singha, H. S.; Kaur, Satwant (1996). Sikh studies. Book 7, Banda Singh Bahadur to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. New Delhi: Hemkunt. p. 21. ISBN 81-7010-258-8. OCLC 426041638.
  17. ^ Kapoor, Sukhbir Singh; Kapoor, Mohinder Kaur (2008). The Making of the Sikh Rehatnamas - The Sikh Code of Conduct (1 ed.). New Delhi, India: Hemkunt Press. p. 110.
  18. ^ Singha, H. S. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000 entries). New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. 177. ISBN 81-7010-301-0. OCLC 243621542.
  19. ^ Pruthi, Raj (2004). Sikhism and Indian Civilization. Culture and civilization series. Discovery Publishing House. p. 136.