Consonants of Gurmukhi Alphabet (35 Akhar) Illustrated

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Gurmukhi Alphabet Vowel Holder Oorraa Illustrated With Pronunciation

Oorraa Gurmukhi Vowel Holder
Punjabi Akhar Oorraa of Gurbani Significance in Sikh Scripture Oorraa Gurmukhi Vowel Holder. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Alphabetical Letters of Gurbani With Spiritual Significance in Scripture

Gurmukhi 35 Akhar - Vowel Holders and Consonants

The Gurmukhi script of Gurbani has 35 akhar, or consonants, identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet including three vowel holders and 32 consonants. Each character represents a phonetic sound. Alphabetical order of the Gurmukhi script is entirely different than the English alphabet. Gurmukhi akhar is based on groupings having certain similarities and is arranged in a grid of five horizontal and seven vertical rows with specific pronounciation properties (that is not shown here). Each letter has a combination of characteristics depending on its horizontal and vertical position. Some letters are pronounced with the tongue touching the back of the upper teeth or curled back to touch just behind the ridge on the roof of the mouth. Letters may be pronounced with a puff of air or require holding air back. Some characters have a nasal sound.

Spiritual Significance Of Gurmukhi Consonants in Sikh Scripture

Verses of Gurbani have spiritual significance in Sikh scripture and contain metaphoric passages in which the various Gurmukhi letters figure. Phonetic spellings of letters in translations vary.

Oorraa is a vowel holder of the Gurmukhi script (Punjabi akhar).

Gurmukhi Oorraa Pronunciation Guide

Oorraa is the first of three vowel holders appearing in the Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and is identical to the vowel holders of the Punjabi alphabet (akhar).

Oorraa is pronounced with equal emphasis on both syllables and sounds like ewe-raw. Oorraa is used at the beginning of a word where the first sound is that of a vowel or in any word where the vowel is not preceded by a consonant as in the case of a double vowel sound and has specific vowel sounds assigned to it The Romanized spelling of Oorraa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Oorhaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Oorraa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes acrostic form of poetic verse written by First Guru Nanak Dev as a young boy when given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet. His teacher expressed astonishment when the child Nanak Dev wrote:

  • "Oorrai oupmaa taa kee keejai jaa kaa ant na paa-i-aa ||
    OORRAA: Sing in praise of One whose limits cannot be discovered." SGGS||432
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Vowel Holder Airraa Illustrated With Pronunciation

Airraa Gurmukhi Vowel Holder
Punjabi Akhar Airraa of Gurbani Significance in Sikh Scripture Airraa Gurmukhi Vowel Holder. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Airraa is a vowel holder of the Gurmukhi akhar alphabet.

Gurmukhi Airraa Pronunciation Guide

Airraa is the second of three vowel holders appearing in the Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and is identical to the vowel holders of the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Airraa is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllables and sounds like era or err-raw. Airraa is used at the beginning of a word where the first sound is that of a vowel or in any word where the vowel is not preceded by a consonant as in the case of a double vowel sound and has specific vowel sounds assigned to it The Romanized spelling of Airraa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Airhaa. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Airraa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes acrostic form of poetic verse written by Guru Nanak Dev the scholar as a young boy when given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet. His teacher expressed astonishment when the child Nanak Dev wrote:

  • "Aa-i-rrai aap karae jin chhoddee jo kichh karnaa su kar rehi-aa ||
    AIRRA: He Himself created the world, whatever has to be done, He continues doing." SGGS||434
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Vowel Holder Eerree Illustrated With Pronunciation

Eerree Gurmukhi Vowel Holder
Punjabi Akhar Eerree of Gurbani Significance in Sikh Scripture Eerree Gurmukhi Vowel Holder. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Eeree is a vowel holder of the Gurmukhi akhar alphabet.

Gurmukhi Eerree Pronunciation Guide

Eerree is the third of three vowel holders appearing in the Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and is identical to the vowel holders of the Punjabi Paintee alphabet.

Eerree is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllables and sounds like era or err-raw. Eerree is used at the beginning of a word where the first sound is that of a vowel or in any word where the vowel is not preceded by a consonant as in the case of a double vowel sound and has specific vowel sounds assigned to it The Romanized spelling of Eerree is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Eerhee, or Iri. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Eerree in Sikh Scripture

First Guru Nanak amazed his teacher with his spiritual insights when given an assignment in school to write the alphabet:

  • "Eevrree aad purakh hai daataa aapae sachaa so-ee ||
    EEVRREE: The Primal Lord is the bestower, He only is true." SGGS||432
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Sassa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Sassaa
Punjabi Akhar Sassa of Gurbani Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Sassaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Sassa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar alphabet.

S - Gurmukhi Sassa Pronunciation Guide

Sassa is one of 35 consonants of the Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi alphabet. The consonants of Gurmukhi are known as 35 Akhar.

Sassa has the sound of S and is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable like sa-saw. The Romanized spelling of Sassa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Sassaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Sassa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes several acrostic forms of poetic verse written by the authors of Guru Granth Sahib:

  • "Sasai soe sristt jin saajee sabhnaa saahib aek bha-i-aa ||
    SASSA: He who created the world, is of all the One Lord Master. First Guru Nanak Dev SGGS||432
  • "Sasai sabh jag sehaj oupaa-i-aa teen bhavan ik jotee ||
    SASSA: The entire universe He created with ease, illuminating the three realms with one light." First Guru Nanak SGGS||930

Other acrostic verses featuring Sasaa in Gurbani include authors:

Fifth Guru Arjan Dev:

  • "Sasaa saran parae ab haarae ||
    SASSA: Your sanctuary I have now entered O Lord." SGGS||260
  • "Sasaa siaanap chhaadd iaanaa ||
    SASSA: Give up your cleverness O ignorant fool." Guru Arjan Dev SGGS||260

Bhagat Kabir:

  • "Sasaa so neekaa kar sodhahu ||
    SASSA: Discipline the mind with sublime perfection." Bhagat Kabir SGGS||342
  • "Sasaa so seh saej savaarai ||
    SASSA: The bed of the soul-bride is adorned with the presence of her Husband Lord." Bhagat Kabir SGGS||342

Third Guru Amar Das:

  • "Sasai sanjam ga-i-ou moorrae aek daan tudh kuthaa-e la-i-aa ||
    SASSA: You have lost self-discipline O fool, and you have accepted offerings under false pretenses."  SGGS||345
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Gurmukhi Script Haahaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Haahaa
Punjabi Akhar Haahaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Haahaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Haahaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

H - Gurmukhi Haahaa Pronunciation Guide

Haahaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar script of Guru Granth Sahib and is nearly identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Haahaa represents an H sound as in ha-ha with equal emphasis is given to both syllables and is pronounced so that when spoken there is a puff of air felt when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Haahaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Haha. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes poetic verses featuring Haahaa written by First Guru Nanak Dev as a student when assigned to write the alphabet. His teacher expressed astonishment when the child Nanak Dev wrote:

  • "Haahai hor na koee daataa jeea oupaae jin rijak deeaa ||
    HAHA: There is no other Giver than He who having created the creatures gives them nourishment." SGGS||435

Other poetic compositions by the authors of Gurbani featuring Haahaa include:

  • "Haahaa hot hoe nehee jaanaa||
    HAHA: He exists, but is not known to exist." Bhagat Kabir SGGS||342
  • "Haahai har kathaa boojh toon moorrae taa sadhaa sukh hoee ||
    HAHA: Understand divine discourse O fool for only then shall you attain eternal peace." Third Guru Amar Das SGGS||435
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Kakaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Kakaa
Punjabi Akhar Kakaa of Gurbani Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Kakaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Kakaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

K - Gurmukhi Kakaa Pronunciation Guide

Kakaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script and is almost identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Kakaa is pronounced as cka ckaaw (caw), with emphasis on the second syllable. There should be no puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Kakaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Kakka. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Kakaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse in selections throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

First Guru Nanak Dev, astonished his instructors when as a young boy given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

  • "Kakai kes punddar jab hoo-ae vin saaboonai oujaliaa ||
    KAKKA: When the hair grows white, then without washing it shines." SGGS||432

Other acrostic verses featuring Kakaa in Gurbani include:

  • "Kakaa kaaran karataa so-oo ||
    KAKKA: He is the cause, creation and Creator." SGGS||253 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
  • "Kakaa kiran kamal meh paavaa ||
    KAKKA: The light of divine knowledge illuminates the heart lotus with its ray."  SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
  • "Kakai kaam krodh bharami-o-hu moorrae mamtaa laagae tud har visar-i-aa ||
    KAKKA: In lust and wrath you stray O fool engaged with worldly love you have forgotten the Lord." SSGS||435 Third Guru Amar Das
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Khakhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Khakhaa
Punjabi Akhar Khakhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Khakhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Khakhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

KH - Gurmukhi Khakhaa Pronunciation Guide

Khakhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Khakhaa has the sound of Kh and is pronounced as ka-kaaw (caw), with emphasis on the second syllable. There should be a puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Khakhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Khakha. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Khakhaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse featuring Khakhaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet and appears in various selections throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru astonished his instructors when as a young boy given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

  • "Khakhai khundhkaar saah aalam kar khareed jin kharach deeaa ||
    KHAKHA: The world overlord creator of breath and time extracts the revenue of one's want of subsistence." SGGS||432

Other acrostic verses in Gurbani include several authors of Guru Granth Sahib:

Poetic compositions in praise of the Almighty by Fifth Guru Arjun Dev

  • "Khakhaa khoonaa kachh nehee tis sanmrath kai paa-eh ||
    KHAKHA: The Omnipotent Lord lacks nothing." SGGS||253
  • "Khakhaa kharaa saraahou taahoo ||
    KHAKHA: Genuinely praise Him." SGGS|260

Poetic insights to the soul by Bhagat Kabir

  • "Khakhaa i-ahai khorr man aavaa ||
    KHAKHA: The soul enters the body cave." SGGS||340
  • "khakhaa khoj parai jo koee ||
    KHAKHA: Rare ones searching seek Him." SGGS||342
  • "Khakhaa khirat khapat ga-e kaetae ||
    KHAKHA: Many having wasted and ruined their lives perish." SGGS||342
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Gagaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Gagaa
Punjabi Akhar Gagaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Gagaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Gagaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar alphabet.

G - Gurmukhi Gagaa Pronunciation Guide

Gagaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar script of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Gagaa is pronounced as ga-gaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. There should be no puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Gagaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Gagga. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Gagaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib with significance spiritual insights featuring the Gagaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet .

Guru Nanak, first of the Sikh gurus, astonished his instructors when as a young boy given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

  • "Gagai goe gaae jin chhoddee galee gobid garab bha-iiaa ||
    GAGGA: Who renounces singing songs of the Universal Lord, becomes arrogant in speech." SGGS||432

Other acrostic verses in Gurbani include:

Fifth Guru Arjun Dev praises the effects of meditation:

  • "Gagaa gobid gun ravhou saas saas jap neet ||
    GAGGA: Utter the glorious praises of the World Master with each and every breath meditating on Him always." SGGS||254

Bhagat Kabir verse expounds upon the Enlightening Guru:

  • "Gagaa gur kae bachan pachhaanaa ||
    GAGGA: Comprehend the Enlightener's utterance of instruction." SGGS||340

Third Guru Amar Das ponders the immensity of the universal Lord.

  • "Gagai gobid chit kar moorrae galee kinai na paa-i-aa ||
    Gagga: Ponder the Universal Lord O fool, by mere talk no one has ever attained Him." SGGS||434
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Ghaghaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Ghaaghaa
Punjabi Akhar Ghaghaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Ghaaghaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Ghaghaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

GH - Gurmukhi Ghaghaa Pronunciation Guide

Ghaghaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar script which is very similar to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Ghaghaa is pronounced as gha ghaaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. There should be a puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Ghaghaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Ghagha. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Ghaghaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes verses featuring Ghaghaa of Gurmukhi alphabet by various authors of Gurbani and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Nanak the first guru of the Sikhs astonished his instructors when given an assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

  • "Ghaghai ghaal saevak jae ghaalai sabad guroo kai laag rehai ||
    Performing service the attendant even while serving to the divine hymns of the Enlightener attached remains." SGGS||432

Other significant poetic verses by authors of Guru Granth Sahib featuring Ghaghaa include:

Fifth Guru Arjan Dev emphasizes that there is only God.

  • "Ghaghaa ghaalhou maneh eh bin har doosar naa-he ||
    GHAGHA: Put this into your mind, that there is no other than the Lord." SGGS||254

Bhagat Kabir tells where the divine is found.

  • "Ghaghaa ghatt ghatt nimasai soee ||
    GHAGHA: In each and every heart He abides." SGGS||340

Third Guru Amar Das gives the insight that however much the soul searches it recognizes not the true gifts and blessings.

  • "Ghaghai ghar ghar fireh toon moorrae dadai daan na tudh la-i-aa ||9||
    GHAGHA: From Door to door, you go begging O fool. Dadda: But the blessing you accept not." SGGS||423
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Ngangaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Ngangaa
Punjabi Akhar Ngangaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Ngangaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Ngangaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

NG - Gurmukhi Ngangaa Pronunciation Guide

Ngangaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar script of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Ngangaa has the sound of NG and is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. The Romanized spelling of Ngangaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Nganga or Nganngaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Ngangaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture throughout the Guru Granth Sahib includes alphabetical acrostic compositions in the form of poetic verse featuring insights of spiritual significance.

Guru Nanak Dev as a boy astonished his tutor when instructed to write the alphabet he responded with an acrostic on the subject of the spiritual scholar:

  • "Ngan-ngai ngiaan boojhai jae koee parriaa panddit soee ||
    NGANGA: One with an understanding of spiritual knowledge becomes a religious scholar." SGGS||432

Other signifigant acrostic verses featuring Ngangaa by authors of Gurbani bani include:

Fifth Guru Arjund Dev expounds on scholars of spiritual wisdom and the pitfall of the material world in these lines.

  • "Ngan-ngaa ngiaan nehee mukh baato ||
    NGANGA: Divine wisdom is not obtained merely by word of mouth." Guru Arjun SGGS||251
  • "Ngan-ngaa khatt saastra hoe ngiaataa ||
    NGANGA: One may be a scholar of the six schools of a philosophy." Guru Arjun SGGS||253
  • "Ngan-ngaa ngraasai kaal teh jo saakat prabh keen ||
    NGANGA: Death seizes the one who is ordained by God to be a worshiper of the material world." SGGS||2534

Bhagat Kabir advises unrefutable wisdom in his verse:

  • "Ngan-ngaa nigreh anaehu kar nirvaaro sandaeh ||
    NGANGA: Employ self restraint, love the divine and dismiss doubt." SGGS||340
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Gurmukhi Alphabet of Chachaa Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Chachaa
Punjabi Akhar Chachaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Chachaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Chachaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Ch - Gurmukhi Chachaa Pronunciation Guide

Chachaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar script of Gurbani that is identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Chachaa is a symbol for CH and is pronounced with the tongue just behind the upper teeth like ch in itch with emphasis on the second syllable. Chachaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Chacha. Phonetci spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi grammar as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Chachaa in Sikh Scripture

Throughout the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib the acrostic form of poetic verse expounds upon the spirtual significance of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

First Guru Nanak Dev amazed his tutors when as a young boy given an assignment to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic on the subject of Vedic texts:

  • "Chachai chaar ved jin saajae chaarae khaanee chaar jugaa ||
    CHACHA: He is the creative source of the four Vedic scriptures, four methods of procreation, and the four ages." SGGS||432
  • "Bas jal nit na vasat alee-al maer *cha-chaa* gun rae ||
    (O foolish frog) you dwell ever in the water (where the lily blooms), but the bumble bee who dwells not there *hungers - intoxicated* with the fragrance (of the lily) from afar." SGGS||990

Other signifigant alphbetcal verses featuring Chacha by various authors of Guru Granth Sahib include:

Fifth Guru Arjun Dev in his verse describing his relationship to the divine.

  • "Chachaa charan kamal gur laagaa ||
    CHACHA:To the lotus feet of the Enlightener am I attached." SGGS||254

Bhagat Kabir whose poetry is descriptive of divine artistry.

  • "Chachaa rachit chitra hai bhaaree ||
    CHACHA: He painted the great portrait which is the world." SGGS||340
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Chhachhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Chhachhaa
Punjabi Akhar Chhachhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Chhachhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Chhachhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

CHH (SH) - Gurmukhi Chhachhaa Pronunciation Guide

Chhachhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar alphabet of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Chhachhaa has the sound of C in ocean and is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. The Romanized spelling of Chhachhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Chhachha, or Shhassha and Shhasshaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Chhachhaa in Sikh Scripture

Throughout the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib may be found poetic verses featuring the spiritual significance of Gurmukhi alphabet akhar Chhachhaa:

Guru Nanak first of the Sikh gurus, astonished his instructors with an alphabetcial acrostic on spiirtual ignorance:

  • "Chhachhai chhaa-i-aa vartee sabh antar tera keeaa bharam hoaa ||
    CHHACHHA: The diffusion of spiritual ignorance is within all who doubt Your doing." SGGS||433

Other alphabetcial acrostics in Gurbani include verses by various authors of Guru Granth Sahib:

Fifth Guru Arjun Dev recounts the ideal humility of the soul in his acrostic verses:

  • "Chhashhaa Chhoharae daas tumaarae||
    CHHACHHA: This child is your servant." SGGS||254
  • "Chhachhaa chhaar hot tere santaa ||
    CHHACHHA: May I be the dust beneath thy Saints." SGGS||254

Bhagat Kabir ponders the presence of God with his verse:

  • "Chhashhaa ihai chhatrapat paasaa ||
    CHHACHHA: The honorable Lord Master is present." SGGS||340
  • "Chhachhai chheejeh ahnis moorrae kio chhootteh jam paakarri-aa ||2||

Third Guru Amar Das questions the worth of wordly pursuits in his verse:

  • CHHACHHA: You are wearing away by night and day O fool, how will you find release being held fast in the clutches of death?" ||2||  SGGS||434
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Jajaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Jajaa
Punjabi Akhar Jajaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Jajaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Jajaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

J - Gurmukhi Jajaa Pronunciation Guide

Jajaa is a consonant of the 35 character Gurmukhi akhar script of Gurbani that is identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Jajaa has the sound of J and is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable like ja-jaw. The Romanized spelling of Jajaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Jajja. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as phonetci Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Jajaa in Sikh Scripture

The Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib includes an acrostic form of poetic verse written by first First Guru Nanak Dev as a young student when instructed to write the alphabet:

  • "Jajai jaan mangat jan jaachai lakh chouraaseeh bheekh bhaviaa ||
    JAJJA: This humble being begs for wisdom having wandered begging through eighty four lakhs (8.4 million) existences." SGGS||433

Other acrostic verses in Gurbani include verses of spiritual signifigance featuing Jajaa by several other authors of Guru Granth Sahib including:

  • "Jajaa jaanai ho kashh hooaa ||
    JAJJA: The Ego centered one believes that he has become something." SGGS||255 by Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
  • "Jajaa jo tan jeevat jaraavai ||
    JAJJA: Whoever burns the body while yet alive." SGGS||340 by Bhagat Kabir
  • "Jajai joh hir la-ee teree moorrae ant gaiaa pachhutaavehgaa ||
  • JAJJA: You have been robbed of your divine light O fool, repenting at the end you shall depart with regret." SGGS||434 by Third Guru Amar Das
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Jhajhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Jhajhaa
Punjabi Akhar Jhajhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Jhajhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Jhajhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Jh - Gurmukhi Jhajhaa Pronunciation Guide

Jhajhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script and identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Jhajhaa has the sound of Jh similar to J as in Jacques, Zs as in Zsa Zsa, or X as in Xenia and is pronounced as Jh-jhaaw or Zsa-Zsaa, with emphasis on the second syllable. There should be a puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Jhajhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Jhajha. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Jhajhaain Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse featuring Jhajhaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib

As a young student Guru Nanak Dev ji wrote a spiritually oriented verse affirming the bountiful nature of the Divine:

  • "Jhajhai jhoor marhu kiaa praanee jo kichh daennaa so dae rehiaa ||
    JHAJHA: O mortal, why do you die of anxiety? Whatever the Lord gives, He grants continually." SGGS||433

Acrostic verses in Gurbani by other authors of Guru Granth Sahib include:

  • "Jhajhaa jhooran mittai tumaaro ||
    JHAJHA: Your sorrows shall end."  SGGS||255 Guru Arjan Dev
  • "Jhajhaa ourajh surajh nehee jaanaa ||
    JHAJHA: You are entangled in the world and know not how to disentangle yourself."  SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
  • "Jhajhai kadhae no jhooreh moorrae satgur kaa oupadaes sun toon vikhaa ||
    JHAJHA: You might never need repent, O fool, had you listened to the instruction of the True Enlightener for even an instant."  SGGS||435 Guru Amar Das
15
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Njanjaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Njanjaa
Punjabi Akhar Njanjaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Njanjaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Njanjaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Nj - Gurmukhi Njanjaa Pronunciation Guide

Njanjaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script that is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Njanjaa is said with the tongue pressed to the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth with emphasis on the second syllable. Njanjaa is phonetic, Nj may also be written as Ny or even Ni and is pronounced like Enya, onion or California rather then enjoy or engine. Njanjaa may also appear spelled as Nyanya as spellings differ slightly throughout original Gurmukhi texts as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Njanjaa in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes acrostic forms of poetic verse featuring Njanjaa.

Showing spiritual insight while still a boy, Guru Nanak Dev first of the Sikh gurus wrote:

  • "Njannjai nadar karae jaa daekhaa doojaa koee naahee ||
    Bestowing the vision of his graceful glance, I see no other beside him." SGGS||433

Other signifigant acrostic shabads of Gurbani featuring Njanjaa include:

  • "Njannjaa njaanhu drirr sehee binas jaat eh hae-et ||
    NYANYA: Know as perfectly correct, that worldly love shall end." Fifth Guru Arjun Dev SGGS||255
  • "Njannjaa nikatt ju ghatt rehio door kehaa taj jaa-e||
    NYANYA: He dwells near by within your heart, why go far off to seek Him?" SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
16
of 41

Gurmukhi Script Tainkaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Tainkaa
Punjabi Akhar Tainkaa of Gurbani Illustrated Gurmukhi Script Tainkaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tainkaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

TT - Gurmukhi Tainka Pronunciation Guide

Tainkaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script which is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Tainkaa sounds like tank-aw, represents a hard T as in tow, may be represented by a double TT and pronounced with the tongue curled back to touch the roof of the mouth. The Romanized spelling of Tainkaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Tanka, Tatta, or Ttatta as spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi texts as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Tainka in Sikh Scripture

Sikh scripture includes spiritual insights written in the form of acrostic poems by first Guru Nanak as a student:

  • Ttattai ttanch karuh kiaa praannee gharree ke mueht ke ootth chalnaa ||
    TATTA: Why do you practice hypocrisy O Mortal? In a moment you shall get up and in an instant depart." SGGS||433

Other sacred acrostic verse featuring Tatta includes this by Bhagat Kabir:

  • "Ttattaa bikatt ghaatt ghatt maahee ||
    TATTA: The difficult way to God lies through path of the heart and mind within." SGGS||341
17
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Gurmukhi Script Tthatthhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script TThatthaa
Punjabi Akhar Tthatthhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script TThatthaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tthatthhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

TTH - Gurmukhi Tthatthaa Pronunciation Guide

Tthatthaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi akhar which is identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

Tthatthaa has the sound of Th and is pronounced as tha-thaaw with emphasis on the second syllable. The tongue is curled back to touch the roof of the mouth and there should be a puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Tthatthaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Tthattha, Thhathaa or other variations. Original phonetic Gurmukhi spellings may differ sightly as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Tthatthaa in Sikh Scripture

Acrostic forms of spiritually significant poetic verse featuring consonants of the Gurmukhi alphabet appear throughout the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib. As a boy in Nanakana Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev the reformer wrote:

  • Tthhatthhai thhaadhh vartee tin antar har charnee jinh kaa chit laagaa ||
    TTHHATTHA: Peace pervades the heart of those whose mind is attached to the Lord's Lotus Feet." SGGS||433 

Other acrostic verses featuring Tthatthaa by Gurbani authors include:

  • "Tthhatthaa manooaa thhaaheh naahee ||
    TTHHATTHA: Ones feelings they hurt not." SGGS||256 Fifth Guru Arjun Dev
  • "Tthhatthhaa ehai door thhag neeraa ||
    TTHHATTHA: Keep yourself at a far distance from this mirage." SGGS 341 Bhagat Kabir
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of 41

Gurmukhi Alphabet Ddaddaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Ddaddaa
Punjabi Akhar Ddaddaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Ddaddaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Ddaddaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

DD - Gurmukhi Ddaddaa Pronunciation Guide

Ddaddaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script feature in Gurbani and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Ddaddaa is represented by DD and is pronounced Da-daaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The tongue is curled back to touch the roof of the mouth behind the gum ridge. The sound is similar to the double DD in Daddy or the D in toad or doctor. The Romanized spelling of Ddaddaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled simply as Dadda. Spellings also may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Ddaddaa in Sikh Scripture

Several shabads of Guru Granth Sahib feature Ddaddaa in an acrostic form of poetic verse having spiritual signifigance.

Guru Nanak, first of the Sikh gurus, began writing hymns of spiritual merit while still a boy:

  • "Ddaddai ddanph karhu kiaa praannee jo kichh hoaa su sabh chalnaa ||
    DDADDA: Why do you put on such ostentatious shows, O mortal? Whatever exists, all shall pass away." SGGS||433

Other acrostic verses by the authors of Gurbani where Ddaddaa apprears include:

  • "Ddaddaa ddaeraa ehu nehee jeh dderaa teh jaan ||
    DDADDA: This abode is not your true dwelling place which you must come to know of." SGGS||256 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
  • "Ddaddaa ddar oupajae ddar jaaee ||
    DDADDA: When the Fear of God is realized other fears depart." SGGS||341 Bhagat Kabir
19
of 41

Gurmukhi Alphabet Dhhadhhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script DDhaddhaa
Punjabi Akhar Dhhhaddhhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script DDhaddhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Ddhaddhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Dhh - Gurmukhi Dhhadhhaa Pronunciation Guide

Dhhadhhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script featured in the hymns of Gurbani, and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Dhhadhhaa has the sound of Dh and is pronounced as dha-dhaaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The tongue is curled back to touch the roof of the mouth behind the gum ridge. There should be a puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Dhhadhhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Ddhaddhaa or even variations of Dtadtaa. Spellings also may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Dhhadhhaa in Sikh Scripture

The acrostic form of poetry featuring Dhhadhhaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet appears in several of the Guru Granth Sahib hymns.

While still a child, First Guru Nanak stressed the spiritual signifigance of poetic composition when he wrote:

  • "Dhhadhhai dhhaa-eh ousaarai aapae jio tis bhaavai tivai karae ||
    DHHADHHA: The Lord himself establishes and disestablishes, as it pleases Him so does He do." SGGS||432

Other such acrostic verses in Guru Granth Sahib include:

  • "Dhhadhhaa dhhoodhhat keh phirhu dhhoodhhan e-aa man maa-eh || ||
    DHHADHHA: Where do you wander about to go searching? Search instead within your own mind." Fifth Guru Arjan Dev SGGS||256
  • "Dhhadhhaa dhhig dhhoodhheh kat aanaa ||
    DHHADHHA: Why do you search for him elsewhere in every other direction? SGGS||341 Bhagat Kabir
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Nhaanhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Nhaanhaa
Punjabi Akhar Nhaanhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Nhaanhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Nhaanhaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Nh - Gurmukhi Nhaanhaa Pronunciation Guide

Nhaanhaa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar of Gurbani and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Nhaanhaa is represented by Nh or a double NN has the sound of N as in burn. Nhaanhaa is said with emphasis equally on both syllables as in Na-na, and is pronounced with the tongue curled back to touch the roof of the mouth so that when spoken there is a slight puff of air when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Nhaanhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Nanna. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Nhaanhaa in Sikh Scripture

An acrostic form of poetic verse written by First Guru Nanak as a young boy when given a homework assignment in school by his teacher to write the alphabet expresses the spritual acheivement of conquering ego:

  • "Naanai ravat rehai ghatt antar har gun gaavai soee ||
    NANNA: One whose inner being is filled with the Lord, sings His glorious praise." SGGS||433

Other acrostic verses featuring Nhaanhaa composed by various authors of Gurbani include:

  • "Naanaa ran tae seejhee-ai aatam jeetai koe ||
    NANNA: One who conquers their own being, wins the battle of life." SGGS||256 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
  • "Naanaa ran rootou nar nehee karai ||
    NANNA: The warrior who fights on the battle-field should keep up and press on." SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
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Gurmukhi Alphabet Tataa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

Gurmukhi Script Tataa
Punjabi Akhar Tataa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Tataa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Tataa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

T - Gurmukhi Tataa Pronunciation Guide

Tataa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar of Gurbani and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

Tataa represents the sound of T sounds and is said like ta-taw, with emphasis on the second syllable, and is pronounced with the tongue pressed against the back of the upper teeth. No air is felt when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Tataa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Tatta. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

Significance of Tataa in Sikh Scripture

The scripture of Guru Granth Sahib includes an acrostic form of poetic verse of spritual signifigance written by First Guru Nanak as a young boy:

  • "Tatai taaroo bhavajal hoaa taa kaa ant na paa-i-aa ||
    TATTA: So deep is the terrible world-ocean, its limits cannot be found." SGGS||433

Other acrostic verses of spirtual signifigance featuring Tataa written by the authors of Gurbabi include:

    • "Tataa taa sio preet kar gun nidh gobid ra-ae ||
      TATTA: Enshrine love for that Treasure of Excellence who is the Universal Sovereign Lord." SGGS||256 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Tataa atar tario-oo neh jaa-ee ||
      TATTA: The treacherous world-ocean cannot be crossed over." SGGS||341 Bhagat Kabir
    22
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Thathaa of Gurbani Alphabet Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Thathaa
    Punjabi Akhar Thathaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Thathaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Thathaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    TH - Gurmukhi Thathaa Pronunciation Guide

    Thathaa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar and is identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

    Thathaa represents the sound of TH as in teeth, is said like Tha-thaw with emphasis on the second syllable, and is pronounced with the tongue pressed behind the upper teeth so that a puff of air is felt when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Thathaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Thattha. Spellings also may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Thathaa in Sikh Scripture

    As a young boy Guru Nanak surpised his teachers when he wrote a form of acrostic poetry with profound spirtual signifigance:

    • "Thathai thaan thaanntar so-ee jaa kaa kee-aa sabh ho-aa ||
      THATHA: In all the places and interspaces is He, everything which exists is His doing." SGGS||433

    Other signifigant acrostic verses using Thathaa composed by the authors of Guru Granth Sahib include:

    • "Thathaa thir ko-o-oo nehee kaa-e pasaarhu paav ||
      THATHA: Nothing is permanent, why do you stretch out your feet?"  SGGS||257 Guru Arjun Dev
    • "Thathaa athaah thaah nehee paavaa ||
      THATHA: He is Unfathomable, His depths cannot be explored." SGGS||342 Bhagat Kabir
    23
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Dadaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Dadaa
    Punjabi Akhar Dadaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Dadaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Dadaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    D - Gurmukhi Dadaa Pronunciation Guide

    Dadaa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar of Gurbani and is identical to the Punjabi paintee alphabet.

    Dadaa is pronounced as da-daw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The D sound is made with the tongue pressed against the back of the upper teeth. There should be no puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Dadaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Dadda. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations.of Gurbani.

    Significance of Dadaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes poetic verse featuring akhar consonant Dadaa of Gurmukhi alphabet and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

    A spiritual acrostic by Guru Nanak, first of the Sikh gurus, astonished his instructors when the juvinile pupil responded to an assignment with:

    • "Dadai dos na dae-oo kisai dos karnmaa aapn-i-aa ||
      DADDA: Do not blame anyone else, the fault is of your own doing." SGGS||433

    Acrostic Gurbani verses by other authors include:

    • "Dadaa daataa ae-ek hai sabh ko daevanhaar ||
      DADDA: The great giver is the One all bestowing Lord." SGGS||257 Guru Arjun Dev
    • "Dadaa daekh ju binsanhaaraa ||
      DADDA: Whatever can be seen is perishable." SGGS ||341 Bhagat Kabir
    24
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Dhadhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Dhadhaa
    Punjabi Akhar Dhadhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Dhadhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Dhadhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    DH - Gurmukhi Dhadhaa Pronunciation Guide

    Dhadhaa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar of Gurbani and identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

    Dhadhaa represents an DH sound as in Dha-dhaw with emphasis on the second syllable and is pronounced with the tongue pressed against the back of the upper teeth so that when spoken there is a puff of air felt when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Dhadhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Dhadha. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Dhadhaa in Sikh Scripture

    Guru Granth Sahib scripture includes acrostic form of poetic verse written by first Guru Nanak as a young boy. The lad amazed his teacher who teacher expressed astonishment when the child Nanak Dev wrote:

    • "Dhadhai dhaar kalaa jin chhoddee har cheejee jin rang kee-aa||
      DHADHA: The earth has been established and upheld by the Lord who has imparted His coloring to everything." SGGS||433
    • "Dhadhai dharam dharae dharmaa pur gunkaaree man dheeraa ||
      DHADHA: Those who enshrine devotion dwell in the city of faith are the worthy ones whose minds are steadfast and stable.
      Dhadhhai dhool parrai mukh mastak kanchan bha-ae manooraa ||
      DHADHA: The dust of such saints' feet alighting upon one's face and forehead, transforms that one from iron to gold." SGGS||930

    Other acrostic verses in Gurbani featuring Dhadhaa includesignifigant shabads composed by:

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev:

    • "Dhadhaa dhoor puneet tere janoo-aa||
      DHADHA: The dust beneath the feet of the holy is sacred."  SGGS||251
    • "Dhadhaa dhaavat tou mittai santsang ho-e baas ||
      DHADHA: Wanderings cease when one attains an abode in the Saint's association."  SGGS||257

    Bhagat Kabir:

    • "Dhadhaa aradheh ouradh nibaeraa ||
      DHADHA: Everything is resolved when one turns about and ascends from the lower realms of earth to the higher realms of heaven." Kabir SGGS||341

    Third Guru Amar Das:

    • "Dhadhai dhaavat varaj rakh moorrae antar terai nidhaan pa-i-aa ||
      DHADHA: Restrain your wanderings O fool, within you is found the treasure."  SGGS||435
    25
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Nanaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Nanaa
    Punjabi Akhar Nanaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Nanaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Nanaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    N - Gurmukhi Nanaa Pronunciation Guide

    Nanaa is a consonant of the 35 Gurmukhi akhar of Gurbani and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

    Nanaa represents an N sound as in na-naw with emphasis on the second syllable and is pronounced so that the tongue touches the back of the upper teeth. There should be no puff of air when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of Nanaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Nannaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations.

    Significance of Nanaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes acrostic form of poetic verse written by first Guru Nanak as a young boy when given a homework assignment in school by his teacher to write the alphabet. His teacher expressed astonishment when the child Nanak Dev wrote:

    • "Nannai naah bhog nit bhogai naa ddeethhaa naa sanmhaliaa ||
      NANNA: The Husband Lord enjoys ever the pleasures, but is neither seen nor understood." SGGS||433

    Other acrostic style shabads featuring Nanaa by the authors of Guru Granth Sahib include:

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev:

    • "Nannaa narak pareh tae naahee ||
      NANNA: Into Narak (hell) they fall not." SGGS||257
    • "Sidhhan-ngaa-i-ai simareh naahee nannai naa tudh naam la-i-aa ||
      Sidhan, Ngaayiyai: You remember Him not, NANNA: nor do you indulge in His name."  SGGS||434

    Bhagat Kabir:

    • "Nannaa nis din nirakhat jaaee ||
      NANNA: The nights and days go by while I pass them looking for the Lord." Kabir SGGS||340
    26
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Papaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Papaa
    Punjabi Akhar Papaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Papaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Papaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    P - Gurmukhi Papaa Pronunciation Guide

    Papaa is a consonant of the 3k akhar of Gurmukhi script and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

    Papaa is represented by P and pronounced as pa-paw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The lips must first be pressed together then open to form the sound of Pa. There should be no puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips as Papaa is spoken. The Romanized spelling of Papaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Pappa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Papaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes acrostic poetic verses featuring Gurmukhi consonant Papaa in the shabads of Gurbani.

    When writing verses Guru Nanak, first of the Sikh gurus, astonished his instructors as a young boy with his spiritual insights:

    • "Papai paatisaahu parmaesar vaekhann ko parpanch kee-aa ||
      PAPPA: The Supreme King and Transcendent Lord created the world and watches over it." SGGS||433

    Other acrostic verses in Guru Granth Sahib by various authors of Gurbani include:

    • "Papaa parmit paar na paa-i-aa ||
      PAPPA: He is beyond estimating, His limits cannot be discovered." SGGS||258 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Papaa apar paar nehee paavaa ||
      PAPPA: He is boundless his boundaries can never be known." SGGS||341 Bhagat Kabir
    • "Papai paar na pavehee moorrae parpanch toon palach rehiaa ||
      PAPPA: You shall not swim across, O fool, as you are engrossed in worldly affairs." SGGS||435 Third Guru Amar Das
    27
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Phaphaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Phaphaa
    Punjabi Akhar Phaphaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Phaphaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Phaphaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    Ph - Gurmukhi Phaphaa Pronunciation Guide

    Phaphaa is a consonant of the 35 akhar of Gurmukhi script and is identical to the Punjabi alphabet.

    Phaphaa is represented by PH as in elephant and is pronounced as pha-phaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The Romanized spelling of Phaphaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Phapha and occasionally F is or Faffa is used, however PH is more correct as the sound is fully aspirated. Note the difference between saying fork and elephant or phosphorous while holding the hands to the lips. The lips must first be pressed together and then open to make the sound. A distinct puff of air should be felt when said while holding the hand in front of the lips. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Phaphaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse featuring Phaphaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

    As a child, Guru Nanak,the first Sikh guru, astonished his instructors when he presented them with an alphabetical spiritual acrostic:

    • "Phaphai phaahee sabh jag phaasaa jam kai sangal bandh la-i-aa ||
      PHAPHA: The whole world is entangled in the noose of Death, and bound by its chains." SGGS||433

    Acrostic verses by other authors of Gurbani featuring Phaphaa include:

    • "Phaphaa phirat phirat too aa-i-aa ||
      PHAPHA: After wandering and wandering, at long last you have come."  SGGS||258 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Phaphaa bin phooleh phal ho-ee ||
      PHAPHA: Without flowering, the fruit is produced." SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
    28
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Babaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Babaa
    Punjabi Akhar Babaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Babaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Babaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    B - Gurmukhi Babaa Pronunciation Guide

    Babaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi 35 akhar and is the same as the Punjabi alphabet.

    Babaa is represented by B and pronounced as ba-baw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The lips must first be pressed together then open to form the sound of Ba. There should be no puff of air when when the hand is held in front of the lips. The Romanized spelling of is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Babba. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Babaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes a form of poetic verse appearing the Guru Granth Sahib that features the Babaa character of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, greatly impressed his tutpor when as a young boy he composed a spiritual acrostic:

    • "Babai baajee khaelan laagaa chouparr keetae chaar jugaa ||
      Babba: He began to play the game, using as His dice-cloth, the four ages." SGGS||433

    Various authors also composed acrostic verses of Gurbani featuring Babaa including:

    • "Babaa breham jaanat tae brehmaa ||
      BABBA: One who divines (intuitively comes to know) the Supreme Divine is known as a Brahmin." SGGS||258 Fifth Guru Arjun Dev
    • "Babaa bindeh bind milaavaa ||
      BABBA: The drip and drop blend together." SGGS||340 Bhagat Kabir
    • "Babai boojheh naahee moorrae bharam bhulae teraa janam ga-i-aa ||
      BABBA: You understand not O fool, deluded by doubt your life wastes away." SGGS||434 Third Guru Amar Das
    29
    of 41

    Gurmukhi Alphabet Bhabhaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Bhabhaa
    Punjabi Akhar Bhabhaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Bhabhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Bhabhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    BH- Gurmukhi Bhabhaa Pronunciation Guide

    Bhabhaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script 35 Akhar and is the same as that of the Punjabi alphabet.

    Bhabhaa is pronounced as bha-bhaw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The lips must first be pressed together and then open to make the sound. The Romanized spelling of Bhabhaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Bhabha. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani. For Romanized transliteration purposes in Gurbani scripture, Bhabhaa is most often represented by BH but sometimes is written as P for non scriptural purposes when writing Romanized Punjabi, because as in the English way of saying P, a distinct puff of air should be felt when the hand is held in front of the lips. For example the Punjabi word word for sister might be spelled Bhainji or Penji in Roman letters.

    Significance of Bhabhaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes the acrostic form of poetic verse featuring Bhabhaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet and appears throughout the Guru Granth Sahib.

    Guru Nanak Dev, first of the Sikh gurus, astonished his instructors when as a young boy given a homework assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

    • "Bhabhai bhaaleh se phal paaveh gur parsaadee jinh ko bho pa-i-aa ||
      BHABHA: Those who seek are fruitful by the Enlightener's grace, and they become God-fearing." SGGS||434

    Other signifigant acrostic shabads by various authors of Guru Granth Sahib include:

    • "Bhabhaa bharam mittaavhu apanaa ||
      BHABHA: Cast off your doubt."  SGGS||258 Fifth Guru Arjan Dev
    • "Bhabhaa bhaedeh bhaed milaavaa ||
      BHABHA: Dispelling doubt divine union is achieved." SGGS||342 Bhagat Kabir
    • "Bhabhai bhavjal ddubohu moorrae maa-i-aa vich galtaan bha-i-aa ||
      BHABHA: You have drowned in the terrible world-ocean, O fool, while engrossed in Maya's illusory wealth." SGGS||435 Third Guru Amar Das
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    Gurmukhi Script Mamaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Mamaa
    Punjabi Akhar Mamaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Mamaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Mamaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    M - Gurmukhi Mamaa Pronunciation Guide

    Mamaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script 35 akhar of Gurbani and is the same as its Punjabi alphabet counterpart.

    Mamaa is represented by M and is pronounced as Ma-maw, with emphasis on the second syllable. The Romanized spelling of Mamaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Mamma. The lips must first be pressed together and then open to make the sound. No puff of air should be felt when said while holding the hand in front of the lips. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Mamaa in Sikh Scripture

    Scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib includes poetic verses featuring Mamaa of the Gurmukhi alphabet. Teachers were wonderstruck when their student Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, presented them with a spiritual acrostic:

    • "Manmai mohu maran madhu-soodhan maran bha-i-aa tab chaetaviaa ||
      Mamma: Attached to worldly love, only upon death does the mortal think of the Destroyer of Demon then dying God's (Immortal) Nectar is remembered." SGGS||434

    Other verses featuring Mamaa in Gurbani include acrostic selections by authors:

    Fifth Guru Arjun Dev:

    • "Mamaa maaganehaar i-aanaa ||
      MAMMA: The poser is clueless." Guru Arjun Dev SGGS||258
    • "Mamaa jaahoo maram pachhaanaa ||
      MAMMA: One having perception of divine mysteries."  SGGS||259

    Bhagat Kabir:

    • "Mamaa mool gehiaa man maanai ||
      MAMMA: When its origin is adhered to the soul is satiated."  SGGS||342
    • "Mamaa man sio kaaj hai man saadhae sidh ho-e ||
      MAMMA: The mind is busily pre-occupied, the mind when disciplined attains perfection." Kabir SGGS||342

    Third Guru Amar Das:

    • "Manmai mat hir la-ee teree moorrae houmai vaddaa rog pa-i-aa ||
      MAMMA: Your intellect has been plundered, O fool, pride has greatly afflicted you." SGGS||435
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Yayaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Yayaa
    Punjabi Akhar Yayaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Yayaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Yayaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    Y - Gurmukhi Yayaa Pronunciation Guide

    Yayaa is a consonant of the 35 akhar Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and identical to its Punjabi alphabet counter part.

    Yayaa is represented by Y and is pronounced as ya-yaw with the emphasis on the second syllable. The Romanized spelling of Yayaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Yayya. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Yayaa in Sikh Scripture

    Guru Nanak the first Sikh guru Sikh composed acrostic hymns featuring Yayaa as a young student:

    • "Yayai janam na hovee kad hee je kar sach pachhaannai ||
      YAYYA: Birth is not taken again by one who realizes the True Lord." SGGS||434

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev also composed similar style alphabetical acrostic shabads:

    • "Yayaa jaaro duramat do-oo ||
      YAYYA: Burn away the egoistic toughts of double-mindedness.
      Tiseh tiaag sukh sehajae so-oo ||
      Relinquish them and sleep peacefully in equipoise.

      Yayaa jaa-e parhu sant sarnaa ||
      YAYYA: Go seek refuge of the Saints.
      Jeh aasar e-aa bhavjal taranaa ||
      With their help, the terrible world-ocean is crossed over.

      "Yayaa janam na aavai so-oo ||
      YAYYA: Birth is not taken again.
      Ek naam lae maneh paro-oo ||
      When the One name is taken with in the heart.

      Yayaa janam na haaree-ai gur poorae kee ttaek ||
      YAYYA: This lifetime shall not be wasted, if one has support of the Pure Enlightener.
      Naanak teh sukh paa-i-aa jaa kai hee-a-rai ek ||14||
      O Nanak, One finds peace with one's heart heart on attaining the One Lord." ||14|| Guru Arjun Dev SGGS||253
    • "Yayaa jatan karat bahu bidhee-aa ||
      YAYYA: People make efforts of may kinds.
      Ek naam bin keh lo sidhee-aa ||
      Without the One Name, how far can anyone succeed?" SGGS||259

    Bhagat Kabir a 15th century saint composed hymns in the acrostic style as well:

    • "Yayaa jo jaaneh tou duramat han kar bas kaa-i-aa gaa-o ||
      YAYYA: If you comprehend anything, then destroy your double-mindedness and subdue the body-village." SGGS||342
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Raaraa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Raaraa
    Punjabi Akhar Raaraa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Raaraa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Raaraa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    R - Gurmukhi Raaraa Pronunciation Guide

    Raaraa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi script 35 akhar and identical to its Punjabi alphabet counterpart.

    Raaraa is a symbol for R and is pronounced with the tongue forward, is rolled and sounds like are-rrr. Raaraa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Rarra. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Raaraa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib includes the acrostic form of poetic verse featuring Raaraa of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    First Guru Nanak Dev, astonished his instructors when as a young boy given an assignment in school to write the alphabet, the child responded with a spiritual acrostic:

    • "Raarai rav rehiaa sabh antar jaetae kee-ae jantaa ||
      RARRA: The Lord is contained among all beings He created." SGGS||434

    Other authors of Guru Granth Sahib also composed signifigant alphabetical shabads in the acrostic style including:

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev:

    • "Raaraa rangahu iaa man apanaa ||
      RARRA: Dye this thy heart with Love of the Lord." SGGS||252
    • "Raaraa raen hot sabh jaa kee||
      RARRA:Be the dust beneath the feet of all." SGGS||259

    15th Century Saint Bhagat Kabir:

    • "Raaraa ras niras kar jaaniaa ||
      RARRA: Worldly tastes I have found to be tasteless." SGGS||342

    Third Guru Amar Das:

    • "Raarai raam chit kar moorrae hiradhai jinh kai rav rehiaa ||
      RARRA: Remember the Lord and abide with those in whose heart he is ever present. SGGS||435
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Lalaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Lalaa
    Punjabi Akhar Lalaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Lalaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Lalaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    L - Gurmukhi Lalla Pronunciation Guide

    Lalaa is a consonant of the 35 akhar Gurmukhi script of and is identical to its Punjabi alphabet counterpart.

    Lalaa has the sound of L and is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable like sa-saw. The Romanized spelling of Lalaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Lalla, or Lallaa. Spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani.

    Significance of Lalaa in Sikh Scripture

    Guru Granth Sahib scripture includes an acrostic form of alphabetical poetic hymns featuring the Gurmukhi consonant Lalaa.

    The teacher expressed astonishment when as a young school boy First Guru Nanak Dev wrote:

    • "Lalai laa-e dhandhhai jin chhoddee meethhaa maa-i-aa mohu kee-aa ||
      LALLA: He who assigned the created beings to their tasks, has made such illusory involvement seem sweet to them." SGGS||434

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev also composed alpabetical shabads featuring Lalaa including:

    • "Lalaa lapatt bikhai ras raatae ||
      LALLA: Entangled, they are tainted by their taste for corrupt pleasures." SGGS||252
    • "Lalaa taa kai lavai na ko-oo ||
      LALLA: Equal to Him, there is none." SGGS||252
    • "Lalaa laavo aoukhadh jaahoo ||
      LALLA: Apply the medicine of God's name." SGGS||259

    Bhagat Kabir also wrote featuring Lalaa in the acrostic style:

    • "Lalaa aisae liv man laavai ||
      LALLA: Embrace devotional love and to your heart apply it" SGGS||342
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Vaavaa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Vavaa
    Punjabi Akhar Vaavaa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Vavaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Vaavaa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

    V - Gurmukhi Vaavaa Pronunciation Guide

    Vaavaa is a consonant of the 35 akhar Gurmukhi script of Gurbani and identical to its Punjabi alphabet counter part.

    Vavaa may be represented by or V or W and is pronounced with the upper teeth touching the bottom lip with emphasis equally on both syllables so that it produces a sound between the English vaw-vaw and waw-waw. The Romanized spelling of Vaavaa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Vava or Waawaa etc.. Care should be taken to produce the sound blending V or W which may sometimes be misrepresented or misprounounced by B such as commonly substituting the spelling of Baisakhi for Vaisakhi, though it is seldom, if ever, spelled Waisakhi. Spellings may also differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of scripture of Gurbani. Words are to be pronounced as written in scripture, which is why it is important to learn to recognize Gurmukhi script. For example the following words have several ways of being spelled:

    • Bikram and Vikram are both common, though probably not Wikram.
    • Gobind is most common, but may also be spelled as Govind and even Gowind.

    Significance of Vaavaa in Sikh Scripture

    Sikh scripture includes several acrostic form of poetic verse featruing Vavaa written by various authors of Guru Granth Sahib:

    First Guru Nanak Dev impressed his tutors with his spiritual outlook and insights when as a student he wrote:

    • "Vavai vaasudae-ou parmaesar vaekhann ko jin vaes kee-aa ||
      WAWWA: The all-pervading Transcendent Master oversees the world having created the form it wears." Fiorst Guru Nanak Dev SGGS||434

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev framed spiritual lessons within his acrostic style shabad:

    • "Vavaa vair na karee-ai kaahoo ||
      WAWWA: Harbor not hatred against anyone." Guru Arjun Dev SGGS||259

    15th century saint and poet Bhagat Kabir wrote an alphabetical compostion featuring Vavaa:

    • "Vavaa baar baar bisan samhaar ||
      WAWWA: Again and again, dwell upon the abode of the Lord Master." SGGS||342

    Third Guru Amar Das also favored the acrostic style of alphabetical composition:

    • "Vavai vaaree aa-ee-aa moorrae vaasudae-o tudh veesar-i-aa ||
      WAWWA: Your turn has come, O fool, but you have forgotten the Luminous Lord.  SGGS||435
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Rrarraa of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Gurmukhi Script Rharhaa
    Punjabi Akhar Rrarraa Significance in Sikh Scripture Gurmukhi Script Rharhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Rrarraa is a consonant of the Gurmukhi alphabet

    RR - Gurmukhi Rrarraa Pronunciation Guide

    Rrarraa is a consonant of the 35 akhar Gurmukhi script featured in Gurbani and is identical to its Punjabi alphabet counterpart.

    Rraarraa is pronounced with the tongue curled back to touch just behind the ridge at the roof of the mouth and sounds like ra. The Romanized spelling of Rraarraa is phonetic and may also appear spelled as Rhaarhaa. Other phonetic spellings may differ slightly in original Gurmukhi as well as Romanized and English translations of Gurbani depending on gramatical usage.

    Significance of Rrarraa in Sikh Scripture

    Several authors of Gurbani composed shabads in the acrostic style which feature the Gurmukhi consonant Rrarraa in Guru Granth Sahib scripture:

    First Guru Nanak Dev showed his spiritual depth of character as a young student when we wrote:

    • "Rraarrai raarr kareh kiaa praanee tiseh dhiaavhu je amar hoaa ||
      RRARRA: Why quarrel O mortal? Meditate on the imperishable Lord." SGGS||434

    Fifth Guru Arjan Dev used various grammatical forms of Rrarraa in his acrostic shabad:

    • "Rraarraa rraar mittai sang sadhoo ||
      RRARRA: Conflict is eliminated when associating with true the pious.

      Karam dharam tat naam araadhoo ||
      The essence of religious rites and creeds is meditation done in adoration of the Lord's Name.

      Roorho jih basiou ridh maahee ||
      In the heart of whom the Beauteous Lord abides,

      Ouaa kee rraarr mittat binsaahee ||
      Strife is erased, eliminated.

      Rraarr karat saakat gaavaaraa ||
      The opinionated argue foolishly in faithless disputes.

      Jaeh heeai ahnbudh bikaaraa ||
      Whose heart is filled with prideful intellect in ignorance bickers.

      Rraarraa gurmukh rraarr mittaaee ||
      RRARRA: Dispute is settled by the enlightened mouth which ceases to quarrel.

      Nimakh maahe naanak samjhaaee ||47||
      In an instant the Exalted instructor, O Nanak, is understood." SGGS||260
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    Gurmukhi Alphabet Ik Onkar of Gurbani Illustrated With Pronunciation

    Ik OanKar
    Ik Onkar Significance in Sikh Scripture Ik OanKar. Photo © [S Khalsa]

    Ik Onkar is a combination character of the Gurmukhi Script.

    Gurmukhi Pronunciation Guide to Ik Onkar

    Ik Onkar is a combination character featuring the Gurmukhi numeral 1 and is symbolic of One Creator and Creation, in the verse Mool Mantar which appears at the very beginning of Gurbani, and throughout Sikh Scripture.

    Ik Onkar is a phonetic spelling and may also be spelled Ik Oankar or Ek Onakaar. Broken into parts both word and symbol are correctly pronounced with stress on the vowels Ik-O-An-Kar:

    Significance of IK Onkar in Sikh Scripture

    The character Ik Onkar, and the word Onkar, both signify in the scripture of Guru Granth Sahib and are featured together in the acrostic verses of poet Bhagat Kabir:

    • "Ik Onkar satnaam kartaa purkh gurprasaad ||
      One creator at one with creation, a truly identifiable creative personalty, realized by the Enlightener's grace." SGGS||340
    • "Oankaar aad mai jaanaa ||
      I know only the One Creative Original Being.

      Likh ar maettai taa-eh na maanaa ||
      What is written is also erased, I believe not in the perishable.

      Oankaar lakhai jo koee ||
      Creator and creation, behold them (as One).

      So-ee lakh maettanaa na hoee ||6||
      One seeing (and understanding) this, perishes not." ||6|| SGGS||340
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    Gurmukhi Script Khakhaa - Punjabi Alphabet Khakhaa

    Gurmukhi Script Khakhaa
    Gurmukhi Script Khakhaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]
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    Gurmukhi Script Kakaa - Punjabi Alphabet Kakaa

    Gurmukhi Script Kakaa
    Gurmukhi Script Kakaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]
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    Gurmukhi Script Haahaa - Punjabi Alphabet Haahaa

    Gurmukhi Script Haahaa
    Gurmukhi Script Haahaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]
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    Gurmukhi Script Gagaa - Punjabi Alphabet Gagaa

    Gurmukhi Script Gagaa
    Gurmukhi Script Gagaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]
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    Gurmukhi Script Sassaa - Punjabi Alphabet Sassaa

    Gurmukhi Script Sassaa
    Gurmukhi Script Sassaa. Photo © [S Khalsa]
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    Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Consonants of Gurmukhi Alphabet (35 Akhar) Illustrated." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/consonants-of-gurmukhi-alphabet-35-akhar-illustrated-4126838. Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2017, March 2). Consonants of Gurmukhi Alphabet (35 Akhar) Illustrated. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/consonants-of-gurmukhi-alphabet-35-akhar-illustrated-4126838 Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Consonants of Gurmukhi Alphabet (35 Akhar) Illustrated." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/consonants-of-gurmukhi-alphabet-35-akhar-illustrated-4126838 (accessed November 18, 2017).