Waheguru (Punjabi: ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, Wāhegurū or ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ, Wāhegurū; also transliterated as Vahiguru) is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means “Wonderful Teacher” in the Punjabi language, but in this case is used to refer to God. Wahi means “wonderful” (Persian) and “Guru” (Sanskrit: गुरु) is a term denoting “teacher”.
Waheguru is also described by some as an experience of ecstasy which is beyond all descriptions.
“Waheguru” is the distinctive representation of God’s name in the Sikh tradition. In Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, the term does not figure in the compositions of the Gurus, though it occurs therein, both as Vahiguru and Vahguru, in the hymns of Bhatt Gayand, the bard contemporary with Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru (1553-1606), and also in the Varan of Bhai Gurdas.
The most common usage of the word “Waheguru” is in the greeting Sikhs use with each other:
- Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
- Wonderful Lord’s Khalsa, Victory is to the Wonderful Lord.
In addition to Waheguru there are multiple othefr names for God in Sikhism, including:
- Ek Onkar, ek meaning “one”, emphasizing the singularity of God.
- Satnam, meaning True Name
- Nirankar, meaning formless One
- Akal Purakh, meaning timeless One
God is, according to Guru Nanak, beyond full comprehension by humans; has endless number of virtues; takes on innumerable forms; and can be called by an infinite number of names thus “Your Names are so many, and Your Forms are endless. No one can tell how many Glorious Virtues You have.”
(Name Of God and Their Meanings - Waheguru)