Gurbani Vocabulary


Gurbani Vocabulary

 This vocabulary list consisting of 340 of the most frequently used words in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib was developed for the Gurbani classes at the Chardi Kalaa Sikh Community Center.

Most of these words occur hundreds of times (including variants with different endings). Familiarity with this core Gurbani vocabulary enables one to start understanding portions of most shabads and baanis.

The words are listed  in order of frequency of usage in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (beginning with the words used most often)

(Abreviations: GL – Gurbani Language; MP – Modern Punjabi; var-variant;
PP- preposition; v-verb; n-noun.)


 Gurbani Word Romans Meaning in English
 ਹਰ, ਹਰਿ Har God
 ਨਾਮ Naam Name, Conciousness, Presence
 ਗੁਰ, ਗੁਰੂ Gur, Guru Divine Master, Enlightner, Teacher
ਰਹਾੳੁ Rahaau Pause, (marks chorus, or main theme line)
 ਮਹਲਾ Mahalaa Identifies which Guru is author, neighborhood
 ਰਾਮ Raam God, all prevading Spirit
 ਗੁਰਮੁਖ Gurmukh In tune with the Guru
 ਪ੍ਰਭ Prabh Beloved
 ਸਦਾ Sadaa Always
 ਮਨ, ਮਨੁ man mind, self, mortal
 ਸਤਿਗੁਰ satgur True or Perfect Guru, God
 ਜੀੳੁ jeeo soul or life; respectful and affectionate appelation (Jee in MP)
 ਬਿਨੁ bin without
 ਜਨ jan (devoted) servant, slave
 ਸਭ sabh all
 ਗੁਣ, ਗੁਨ gun quality, merit, virtue
 ਮਹਿ meh in (preposition), within
 ਸਚੁ sach true, eternal
 ਕੋ ko to (pp – noo in MP), any or which (koee in MP)
 ਸਬਦਿ sabad (or shabad) Word, Naam
 ਸੁਖ sukh happiness, peace
 ਮਾਿੲਅਾ maayaa worldly entaglements, illusionary & transient
 ਸੰਗ sang with, close
 ਹੳੁ hau I (pronoun)
 ਪਰਸਾਦ prasaad (or parsaad) grace, kindness, mercy
 ਸੋੲੀ soee that one
 ਕਿਰਪਾ kirpaa kindness, mercy
 ਸੰਤ sant saintly person in tune with God, often used for Guru
 ਅੰਤਰ antar within, in (MP – vich)
 ਭਗਤ bhagat devotee of God, saintly person
 ਸਿੳੁ siu (pp) to, with (MP – noo)
 ਕਿਅਾ kiaa what (MP – kee)
 ਸਗਲ sagal all
 ਹਉਮੈ haumai ego, pride, sense of I (separate from God & creation or from others)
 ਪਾੲੀਅੈ paaeeay obtain
 ਹੇ hay O (form of address)
 ਘਰ ghar home
 ਸ਼ਬਦ shabad Word, Gurbani, Naam
 ਮਿਲ mil meet
 ਹਮ hum We, I
 ਕਹੁ kahu says, say  (kehna – to say)
 ਦੁਖ dukh sorrow, suffering
 ਆਵੈ aavai comes (aanaa, aavnaa – to come)
 ਭਾੲੀ bhaaee brother, friend (used as address)
 ਸੁਆਮੀ suaamee Master, Lord, Husband; (syn – thakur) (MP- maalik)
 ਆਸਾ aasaa hope, desire
 ਸਰਬ sarab all
 ਤਨ tan body
 nit nit daily – (MP – roz) (syn andin)
 ਭਾਵੈ bhaavai to ge pleasing, appeal to
 ਪਾੲੀਅੈ paaeeay obtain
 ਭੲੇ bhae become
 ਪੂਰਨ pooran complete, perfect
 ਰਸ ras delicious taste, enjoyment, spiritual rapture
 ਲਿਵ liv deep continuous love and absorption
 ਫਿਰ phir again
 ਸੇਵਾ sevaa service
 ਜਨਮ janam birth
 ਜੀਅ jeea living being, tongue, soul
 ਬਾਣੀ baanee speech, Word
 ਸਹਜਿ sehaj state of peace and balance, tranquility, spontaneous, naturally – with the flow, in tune with the Infinite
ਨਾਉ naau Naam, name
 ਏਕ ek one (MP – ik)
 ਕਰਹਿ kareh karnaa – to do
 ਆਇਆ aaiaa aanaa – to come
 ਕਰਮ karam grace, action
 ਰੰਗ rang dye, love
 ਅਨਦਿਨੁ andin daily
 ਚਰਨ charan feet – symbolizes devotion, humility
 ਅਮਰਿਤ amrit nectar, immortality
 ਦੁਖ dukh suffering, unhappiness
 ਸਾਧ sadh saintly person,
 ਕੀਆ keeaa action, (MP – keeta)
 ਕਰਤਾ kartaa creator
 ਪੑੀਤ preet love
 ਅਵਰੁ avar other
bhaai pleases; will; love (doojaa bhaai – duality)
vasai live, abide
vich in, within
mat wisdom, not
piaaray beloved
purakh person, being, God
jam death, god of death
vadiaaee greatness, glory
kot millions (lit. 10 million)
mahaa great
jot light
hirdai (in the) heart, mind (MP – dil) abbrev: ridai
nirmal pure (mal=impurity)
bhai fear ; syn – bhau
nadar grace
doojaa second, other, duality
pat honor
sun listen
gurmat the Guru’s teaching, wisdom
mukh mouth, face, word
bal strenght, power; sacrifice (balihaaree)
bhau fear (bhaao – love)
anik (var. anek) many
bhagat devotee of God, saintly person
daataa giver
gat state, emancipation
daas (devoted) servant, slave
daiaal kind, generous
mukat liberated (muktee = liberation)
manmukh self-willed, (opp. of Gurmukh)
sat truth
bidh Method, way
samaai absorbed in
jag world
dar door, portal
agam incomprehensible (attribute of God); unapproachable
hukam command, will
kamal lotus
thakur Master
jab when
chit mind, heart
eh this
daan charity, gift
bikh poison, sin
dhan wealth; blessed
mel union; melnaa – to unite
dargeh court
giaan knowledge, realization
marai dies (marnaa – to die)
ratay steeped, absorbed
din day
at very
simar remember with love, hold in your heart, meditate
andar in, within
moh attachment, excessive unhealthy love; mohnaa – to attract or fascinate
nidh treasure
saadhsangat holy company
likhiaa written, destined (likhna- to write)
mar marnaa – to die; janam maran = birth & death
deen poor, humble; religion, spiritual world
jas glory
dhiaaiaa meditate on, remember, repeat name
ghat vessel, heart, being
jau if
panch five, select
gobind God (var – Govind, Govinda)
paap sin
paar beyond, other shore
saahib Master, lord, term of respect
daiaa mercy
maar kill
rasnaa tongue, speech
vin (syn. bin) without
dhur destined, primal
bhee also (MP: vee)
bhaau love
tab then
paarbrahm God, Transcendental Reality
pir Divine Spouse
nidhaan treasure
chhoD abandon, leave
sangat association, company
vadhbaagee fortunate
tat sublime essence
param supreme
keemat price, value
baahar outside, besides
trisnaa thirst, desire
kaam lust, physical pleasures
darsan vision, experience of being in Presence
jal water (mp – paanee)
paaveh paavna – to obtain
mastak Forehead (MP mathaa)
bharam doubt, confusion
kaaiaa body, self
preetam beloved
mael impurity
vasiaa dwells
prem love
agan fire
dharam righteous actions, duty, religion
brahm Absolute Lord
deeaa gave
bahut much, lots, very
phal fruit
oopar on, above
nirbhau free from fear
giaanee wise, knowledgable
ar and
jant being, creature
kaar task, affair
nar Man, mortal
sobhaa glory
maan pride, honor
bed Vedas (hindu scripture)
khin moment, instant
praan life
jal water
pitaa father
jagat world
bandhan bonds, fetters
jogee yogi, one seeking union with God
meet dear friend
rav permeating
ant end, limit
kaal death, time
kavan which
ratan gem
kooR false
jag world
sansaar world
antarjaami Knower of deepest thoughts (God), Inner Guide
durmat evil mindedness
budh intellect, wisdom
milaa-e help to meet, unite
saagar ocean
paraapat possess, obtain
jaat caste, social status, species
krodh anger, wrath
aath eight
gopaal God, cherisher of the world
bhaana Will
ot support
poojaa worship
ardaas prayer
dhoor dust
pachaaNai (pachhananaa) to recognize
tiaag abandon, give up, renounce
pind body
jon (var- joon)incarnation, life (in birth/life cycle), species
meethaa sweet (MP – mitha)
bhalaa good
moorakh fool
niranjan God, The One unsullied by Maya or pollution
pekh pekhna – to see (syn. dekhna)
kul clan, ancestory
maataa mother
srist creation, universe
sut son, child
nikat near, close
hamaaraa Our, my
oochaa high
bhaag bhaagna – to run away; bhaag – fortune, destiny
tarai tarnaa -swim, be saved; taraana – to save, help to swim
chintaa worry (MP – fikar) (achintaa – free from worry)
naaree woman, wife
kalaa art, technique
lobh greed
samrath potent, capable
khasam master, God
mit measure (n)
sej bed; divine bed representing union between God and the soul bride
naalay (pp) with
pag foot
baat story, issue, conversation (syn. Gal)
bhanDaar warehouse, treasure
kaaraj affair, task
bharpoor completely full
updes teachings, preaching
garabh womb
sareer body, self
be-ant infinite; without an end
pun virtue, good deed
bidhaataa architect of destiny, God
manorath hope, desire
avgan sin, weakness
sifat praise, glory
bhanjan destroyer
bentee prayer, request
baarik child
jor power, to join (jorna)
nirankaar The Formless One, God
pargaas Light, enlightenment
vikaar sins, evil
udharay udharnaa – to be liberated
vasaaiaa vasnaa – to live, abide, be enshrined
padaarath substance, essence, treasure
bhar full, overflowing
upaav effort, way or solution
vaajay rings, play as of music
thaur Sanctuary, place of rest, support
sangee companion
aagiaa command, direction
oojal bright, pure
samaalay cherish, take care of, remember
jap repeat Name, medidate
saas breath
mohiaa mohanaa- to fascinate, attract
visaar forget; MP – bhulnaa
nirguN without any merit; absolute and unmanifested (God)
paraaee stranger, not one of us, belonging to someone else
siaanap cleverness, wisdom
kurbaan sacrifice
chaanan light
dhaavat running (dhaavnaa – to run)
pratipaal cherish, take care of (pratipalak – cherisher)
savaar to set right, decorate,
adhaar support
boojhai (v) understands
bigsai blooms forth, joyous, radiant
jaanau jananaa – to know
raakhaa Protector (rakhshaa – protection), caretaker
saran shelter, protection (var. sharan, sarnaaee)
raho stay, remain
chatur clever, intelligent
ghanere lots, great
saaje fashions, creates
darad Pain, suffering
oothat while rising, standing; MP – uthnaa
brahmand universe
apraadhee sinner, guilty
gal thing, talk
sovat sleeping; sovana – to sleep
keertan singing praises, spiritual music
gareeb poor, humble
aTal eternal
siaaNaa wise
sumat sublime wisdom
maangai asks
varan n. color or caste; v. to desribe
bharvaasaa trust, confidence. Var – bharosaa
des abode, country, land
namaskaar salutation, bow in humility
neekaa good, sublime
ahankaar pride, ego
meharvaan generous, compassionate
saathee companion
vair enmity (var. bair); vairee or bairee – enemy
aagiaa-kaari obedient
laag (laagna) -to be attached
parvaar family
savaray impr
daiaal kind, generous
mantr Word, secret (also mant)
salaah to praise
khanDan destroy
jaagna to be awake, spiritually aware
samrath potent, capable
aath pehar 24 hours, day and night
dharam raai righteous judge (hindu mythology) who judges all beings
halat palat this world and the next
brahm giaanee God-conscious person, in tune with God
 Posted by at 2:49 am