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Summary of Question:Why Do People Have Guru In Their Name?
Category:General Q's from Non-Sikhs
Date Posted:Thursday, 3/20/2003 5:33 PM MDT

I have been looking on this site and have noticed a lot of people put Guru in thier name. If I'm not mistaken, didn't we only have 10 Gurus and the 11th Guru who is with us today? I have heard at the Gurdwara that there are a large number of people who call themselves Guru and I have been told to avoid them. To call someone a Guru, is not only disrespectful to our religion, but also to our real Gurus.I can understand someone's reasoning for putting Guru in their name(so people will remember the Guru's, when they say this person's name), but I don't feel it is right to call yourself Guru. I was just wondering what the justification is, for using Guru in one's name?


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REPLY
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Sat Siri Akaal. People with Guru in their name do not generally think of themselves as "A Guru". The 10 Sikh Gurus each had names: Nanak, Angad, Amar Das, Lehna/Ram Das, Arjun, Hargobind, Har Rai, Har Krishan, Tegh Bahadur, Gobind Rai. GURU was something they BECAME, that was, actually, BESTOWED on them. Thus the word Guru was a TITLE before their name. The way we say KING Hussein, or QUEEN Elizabeth, the Sikh Guru's were GURU Nanak, GURU Ram Das, etc.

Many Sikhs in the West have Gur or Guru in their names. So what. They do not think of themselves as another Sikh Guru nor would anyone around them accept them as an embodied guru like our 10 Sikh Gurus. They do not expect people to bow to them.

Whether a Sikh today has a name with GurXXXX or GuruXXXX, it does not mean that s/he considers her/himself to be A GURU, or one with the title and mantle of Guru. Rather, it means that person's name is a vibration to support that person in developing the qualities of guru, not in becoming a person known as a GURU who expects people to bow to them. There is a big difference between a person whose name includes "Gur/Guru" and one who has added "Guru" to their name and then acts like they should be treated as an embodied Guru. Sikhs bow to no one but Siri Guru Granth Sahib, and so should avoid people who give themselves TITLE of guru.

I don't see why a justification is needed to include guru in one's name. The word guru means one who takes you from darkness to light. A person with guru in their NAME has a lot to live up to, frankly, and should consider their lives in that light. Meanwhile, don't be so quick to judge that every Sikh you hear of with Gur or Guru in their names thinks of her/himself as THE GURU. It's just not so. Guru ang sang,
-DKK



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