Wahe Guru is used in Kundalini Yoga mantras and the Daily Sadhana practice. It is the most powerful and pure untranslatable word in the world. I started to wonder where it came from? Who was the first to use it. I was given many wonderful references by Sikh friends, some of which are on this page.
Due to the fact, that this website is on Kundalini Yoga and is not a Sikh site, I have removed a lot of the information from the article. There are plenty of links (6), if you are interested in reading it all. I did read it all, one time. The 2nd and 3rd time was more difficult, and harder to understand all the ins and outs, and who's and their qualifications, so I have cut down a lot. ~ Sat Avtar Kaur
Waheguru (Punjabi: ) is the Gurmantra or primary Mantra; it is the reference to the Almighty God; the Creator; the Supreme Soul; the Sustainer; etc. The word 'Waheguru' literally means the "Wonderful Lord" in the Gurmukhi language. God has many names in Sikhism and Waheguru is probably the most important and the most common.
Others words for God are: 'Satnaam' breaks down into 'Sat' meaning True and 'Nam' meaning Name. So 'Satnaam' or 'Satnam' means True Name. Other popular names for God are: 'OnKar', 'Nir-vair', 'Akaal-moorat', Gobind, Hari, Ram, Pritam, etc.
Waheguru - Article by G. S. Talib
WAHEGURU or Vahiguru also spelt and pronounced Vahguru, is the distinctive name of the Supreme Being in the Sikh dispensation, like YHWH in Judaism and Allah in Islam.
Modern scholars affirm that the name Vahiguru originated with the Gurus, most likely it was first used by the founder of the faith, Guru Nanak, himself. According to this view, Vahiguru is a compound of two words, one from Persian and the other from Sanskrit joined in a symbiotic relationship to define the indefinable, indescribable Ultimate Reality.
Vah in Persian is an interjection of wonder and admiration, and guru (Sanskrit guru: heavy, weighty, great, venerable; a spiritual parent or preceptor) has been frequently used by Guru Nanak and his successors for satiguru (True Guru) or God.
Cumulatively, the name implies wonder at the Divine Light eliminating spiritual darkness. It might also imply, "Hail the Lord whose name eliminates spiritual darkness."
Considering the two constituents of Vahiguru (vahi + guru) implying the state of wondrous ecstasy and offering of homage to the Lord, the first one was brought distinctly and prominently into the devotional system by Guru Nanak.
The earliest use of Vahiguru may be said to have occurred contemporaneously, for while no date can be assigned, the work may be assumed to have appeared soon after the compilation of the Scripture in 1604, being so much alive with its spirit and phraseology.
The Divine Creative Being has been attributed with countless Names, for example, 'Allah', 'Raam', 'Kudaah', 'Guru', 'Satguru', 'Gobind', 'Raam,' 'Nirunkaar', 'Gopal 'etc and so on. However Gurbaani clearly states that the Creator Being has no name and is beyond our description.
Gurbani is given to us so that we can attain true Spiritual Understanding. For the specific purpose of Naam Jap, Guru Nanak Sahib Ji gave us a very short and sweet, a four-syllable word 'Va-he-gu-ru' as the Gurmantar, which is to be repeated or meditated upon day and night while eating, walking, working, standing, sitting, talking, etc.