Controversy Created with Sohji, developed by Harinder Sikhri – wants to change the Gurmantar of the Sikhs.



SOHJI proposes the use of ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ VAHGURU  instead of ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ VAHEGURU.  This in fact an ALTERNATION of GURMANTAR espoused in GURBANI.


The following is extract from the document at SCRIBD by the Sangat (see LINK for article) have highlighted the GURMANTAR with the Sojhi syllabus. Also refer to GV article at LINK.


It is without a doubt that Gurmantar is of utmost importance in Sikhism. It is something that is given to each Sikh when he/she takes Amrit and becomes initiated into the Khalsa Panth. The importance of Gurmantar is seen when Guru Arjan Dev Ji says:

ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੀਣਸ੍ਯ੍ਯ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਧ੍ਰਿਗੰਤ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਸਟਣਹ ॥ 

That mortal who lacks the Guru’s Mantra – cursed and contaminated is his life.

ਕੂਕਰਹ ਸੂਕਰਹ ਗਰਧਭਹ ਕਾਕਹ ਸਰਪਨਹ ਤੁਲਿ ਖਲਹ ॥੩੩॥

That blockhead is just a dog, a pig, a jackass, a crow, a snake.  Ang – 1356

From this it is clear that any alteration of Gurmantar is a contamination of the Sikh way of life.

The issue now shifts to whether or not the use of ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ instead of ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ is in fact an alteration of Gurmantar. Some proponents of Sojhi have suggested that it is simply an alternative spelling, that according to viakran (grammar) it is more correct to use ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ.  However, both of these explanations don’t suffice when we look to Gurbani and Sikh history as measuring sticks. Firstly, let’s turn to the issue of the word ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ being used in Gurbani. The word ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ appear in Guru Granth Sahib Ji on three occasions, whereas ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ appears on thirteen occasions. It is interesting to note that the word for thirteen in Punjabi is tera(n) which, without nasalization, is also the word for Yours. When we look at the word ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ being used we see that it appears in Bhatt Gayandh’s writings as follows:

ਸੇਵਕ ਕੈ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਜੁਗੁ ਜੁਗੁ ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਰਾ ਸਭੁ ਸਦਕਾ ॥੧॥੧੧॥

Your servants are totally fulfilled, throughout the ages; O Waahay Guru, it is all You, forever. – Ang 1403

ਕੀਆ ਖੇਲੁ ਬਡ ਮੇਲੁ ਤਮਾਸਾ ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਰਚਨਾ ॥੩॥੧੩॥੪੨॥

You have formed and created this play, this great game. O Waahay Guru, this is all Your making.  – Ang 1404


Sikhri was the keynote speaker @ International Sikh Conference (Organised by Global Sikh Council member, Balwant Singh Jakarta) – 1st to 3rd Dec 2017 (Jakarta)

Standing L: Dr Amarjit Singh (Malaysia),  Standing 2nd L: Harinder Singh Sikhri, Standing R: Dr Karminder Singh

Looking at these quotes it is clear that the word ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ is being used as a noun in the given contexts, but it is important to know that Bhatt Gayandh also uses the word ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ as a noun.

ਸਤਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸਦਾ ਤੁਹੀ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥੮॥

You are forever True, the Home of Excellence, the Primal Supreme Being. Waahay Guru, Waahay Guru, Waahay Guru, Waahay Jee-o. ||3||8|| – Ang 1403

ਕੀਆ ਖੇਲੁ ਬਡ ਮੇਲੁ ਤਮਾਸਾ ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਰਚਨਾ ॥੩॥੧੩॥੪੨॥

You have formed and created this play, this great game. O Waahay Guru, this is all You, forever. -Ang 1403

The phrase “ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਵਾਹਿ ਜੀਉ ” appears four times in Bhatt Gayandh’s bani and from these it is clear that ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ is being used as a noun. Similarly the second quote above is also using the word ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ as a noun. These examples show that the words ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ and ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ do not have different uses in grammar.

Turning our attention to Bhai Gurdaas Ji’s writings, Bhai Nand Lal Ji’s writings and various other Rehatnamey, it becomes clear that ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ was designated as being the Gurmantar by the Gurus. Bhai Gurdaas Ji resolves the issue about what Gurmantar is clearly, when he states:

ਚਾਰੋ ਅਛਰ ਇਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜਪੁ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਜਪਾਵੈ।

When joining four letters Vaheguru is remembered, – Vaars Bhai Gurdaas 1

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਖੋਈ।

His Guru-mantar is Vaheguru, whose recitation erases egotism. – Vaars Bhai Gurdaas 13

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੁ ਸੁਣਾਇਆ ॥੧॥

Word ‘Vaheguru’ was imparted (by Guru Nanak) to the people.(1) – Vaars Bhai Gurdaas 24

Bhai Gurdaas Ji uses the wordv ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ on multiple occasions, at one point clearly stating that ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ is Gurmantar. It is important to realize that Bhai Gurdaas Ji never uses the word ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ. Furthermore, when looking at the writings of Bhai Nand Lal Ji, we see that he starts off Ganjnama with the following:

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀਓ ਹਾਜ਼ਰ ਨਾਜ਼ਰ

The Almighty is Omnipresent

Again, this shows that historically it has been customary to use ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ and not ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ as a greeting or salutation. It is also clear from this example that ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ is used as a noun.

Turning to various Rehatnamey, we see that Bhai Desa Singh Ji’s rehatnama states:

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਨਿਤ ਬਚਨ ਉਚਾਰੇ ॥ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਕੋ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਧਾਰੈ ॥

He repeats the True Name of ‘Vaheguru’ daily. He enshrines Vaheguru in his heart.

Again it is clear that ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ is Gurmantar.

Looking at what Sikh Rehat Maryada says, we see that Sikh Rehat Maryada always uses the word ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ and not ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ. When one is given Amrit the Sikh Rehat Maryada states that the Panj Pyare must administer the Amrit in the following way:

ਹੁਣ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕਲਗੀਧਰ ਦਸ਼ਮੇਯ ਪਿਤਾ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਧਰ ਕੇ ਹਰ ਇਕ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਛਕਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਬੀਰ-ਆਸਨ ਕਰਾ ਕੇ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਖਬੇ ਹੱਥ ਉਪਰ ਸੱਜਾ ਹੱਥ ਰਖਾ ਕੇ ਪੰਜ ਚੁਲੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਦੇ ਛਕਾਏ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ ਹਰ ਚੁਲੇ ਨਾਲ ਇਹ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾਵੇ:- ਬੋਲ ‘ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ ।’  ‘ਛਕਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਛਕ ਕੇ ਕਹੇ: ‘ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ ।’  ਉਪ੍ਰੰਤ ਪੰਜੇ ਰਲ ਕੇ ਇਕੋ ਅਵਾਜ ਨਾਲ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਛਕਣ ਵਾਲਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ‘ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ’ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਦੱਸ ਕੇ ਮੂਲ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਸੁਨਾਉਣ ਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਪਾਸੋਂ ਇਸ ਦਾ ਰਟਨ ਕਰਾਉਣ:-

Furthermore, Sikh Rehat Maryada says:

ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਦਾ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਕਰਮ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਅੱਗੇ ਮਥਾ ਟੇਕਣਾ ਹੈ।  ਉਪ੍ਰੰਤ ਗੁਰੂ ਰੂਪ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਦੇ ਦਰਸਨ ਕਰਕੇ ਸਹਿਜ ਨਾਲ ‘‘ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ’ ਬਲਾਈ ਜਾਵੇ।

From here it is clear that the Panthic consensus is to use the word ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ and to say

ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ not ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ, ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਹ. 

Thus, in order to avoid unnecessary and unjustifiable dubidha (tension) in the Panth, Sojhi ought to be amended to use ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ as is the consensus in the Panth and as stated clearly by the ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’.  

It is important to remember that changing of “ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ” to “ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ” is not just a spelling change; it is changing our “Gurmantar.”

Furthermore, changing of “ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ”to “ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ” before Ardaas is a changing of Gurbani. It changes the manglacharan recited before Chandi Di Vaar. This is disrespectful towards Gurbani, as no Sikh has authority to alter even one letter of Gurbani as Sikh history shows through Ram Rai.

Changing of “ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ”to “ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ” is problematic for other reasons as well. There is already controversy regarding “Mool Mantar”. It is one of the reasons that “Mool Mantar” is not recited in many of the Gurdwaras, because Gurdwara managements like to stay away from issues deemed controversial. Fortunately, “Gurmantar” is recited in lot of Gurdwaras. This new spelling and pronunciation proposed by Sojhi will start a new controversy. When “Gurmantar” will be recited in Gurdwaras, some will say “ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ” and the others will say “ਵਾਹਗੁਰੂ”. This will only lead to controversy amongst the Sangat. Ultimately, Gurdwara managements will potentially stop reciting “Gurmantar” in Gurdwaras in order to avoid controversy.


180320 Concerns SOJHI SikhRI Harjinder VAHEGURU PIC