“The Shabad Guru is available to all. You need not search. You need to practice, experience, incorporate, and express.” 
-Yogi Bhajan

The Shabad Guru is a special kind of technology. 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.

It is the function of the Shabad Guru to make our ego nothing so we can serve and be served by everything.

Here are some excerpts from a lecture given by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan on November 1, 1992 (scroll down to watch the full video lecture).

The word is shabadSha-badSha means ego, being macho. When “I” is bigger than “Thou,” that is shaSha means provoking and conflicting. Boosting and boasting is called shaBad means when you chop off the neck of something. From there the word come badiBadi means bad deeds. What is not morally, ethically, or spiritually right is called badi. But it comes from bad. From that word you can understand shabad means something which ‘kosher-izes’ man’s destiny to God. Shabad cuts down that badi, that bad luck.

Shabad GuruGuru is a word. Gor is called grave. Ru means what brings light even to the grave. Ru means soul. I am trying to tell you the naad, the elementary sound from where this word came to man. Shabad Guru.

What does Shabad Guru actually mean?  It means Naam (identity). It means perpetual experience of happiness. It means ecstasy. It means anand (bliss). It means sat chit anand (truth, awareness and bliss). It means a lot of things. But it is not practiced. It is not understood rightly.

Naam means noun. Noun means personal identity. My personal identity bows to Shabad Guru. It’s a very simple human thing. I bow, that my words bring light to me and to my surroundings, even if I am myself in a graveyard, I’m in a grave. What does ecstasy mean other than that?

It doesn’t matter what is wrong with you. It is immaterial. But when you speak, it should be heavenly. It should be authentic. If you teach, it should be penetrating, cutthroat straight truth. It is what it is.  

Therefore, Shabad Guru means we are free from man’s opinion, worship or experience, or whatever you want to call it.  If we are free from worshiping a man, then what are we worshipping?  Then we are worshipping ourselves as a man. The domain of the Shabad Guru practically means that you worship yourself by yourself. Be yourself. Worship yourself, by yourself. That is exactly what Shabad Guru means. 

If you want to know what it practically means, it means that you read the Guru, you read Gurbani, you understand, you preach, you translate, and you do everything. But there is one thing you have to do, and that is, you have to be you. Your every shabad, which is the Akashic Record, when spoken, matters.

There’s one scripture thing which I’ll let you know, This is how it goes, “Oh Man”.  In those days, man included woman.  These days there’s a difficulty.  But I have to translate exactly as it is, “Oh Man.  Speak not.  Silence is God.  When Thou speaks in you, Thou also writes in heavens for your tomorrow, and today on your forehead and that is what Karma is.  May you well understand, whatever you say.  And saying is not what you speak with the tongue only.  You speak with thoughts also.  That’s a real stuff.  You speak through your thoughts and thoughts are on which you have no control.  Intellect that releases one thousand thoughts per wink of the eye, that is the law of life.  Whenever it reduces, “” whenever the release of the intellect thought per one thousand wink of the eye reduces to 800 or 700, you are old.  Doesn’t matter if your age is 20 year old.  That is “”, “” means there’s a break, there’s a gorge, there is a crack.  You are young by the intellect; you are happy by the intelligence, and you are graceful by the consciousness.  Just remember it for reference. 

And you are in misery because of your fear, and you are blind in your life because of your ego.  When you are an ego, you will exist but you shall not be in a position to compute your intelligence or your tomorrow and you will make mistakes.  Then earth will mean more to you than the heavens.  You will not be in a position to be in balance and it doesn’t matter who you are, your life will nothing but full of tragedy and pain, and will go from event to event….

The concept of the Shabad Guru is made in a very particular way. It is made in a very scientific way and it is very arty.  Every shabad has a sound and that sound directs the intellect. 

The process to change a man out of his graveyard and to bring him to light is to rotate the stem of the brain which controls the vibratory continuous process of the intellect. The intellect gives you a thought on which intelligence is developed. The wisdom contains it and your human effort fulfills it. That is how the process works.  What happens when you read Gurubani and pronounce it right is that you can change your whole everything – if you want to change. “