Guru Mantra – The initiatory Teachings of the Master
In the Guru Granth Sahib, the words Gurbani, Bani, Shabd and Naam (Name) are all used in more or less the same sense. There is not much difference between them.
The Guru Mantra is the initiatory teaching imparted by the Master to enable a disciple to reach his original Home in the highest spiritual region. This is the Shabd or Naam in the case of Saints who are Adepts in the practice of the Shabd.
The Gurus, accordingly, also use the words 'Guru Mantra' in place of the words Shabd or Naam.
Listen to me, my good friend, the Master has given me the mantra of the Ttrue Shabd.
Vadhans M5, 576-18
There is light in such a Guru Mantra. The Guru Mantra is light in darkness; the company of the Master redeems us.
Gond M5, 864-19
It dwells in the heart.
The Master whispered the Lord's Name in my ear; It dwells inside my heart.
Prabhati M4, 1335-8
As mentioned in the Section on the Bani, this Guru Mantra can be obtained only from the Master.
I sing the praise of the Lord all day, for the Master gave me the perfect Mantra.
Bhairon M5, 1150-2
The benefits of the Guru Mantra cannot be fully detailed. One is freed from all worldly bondages. Love and faith in remembrance of the Lord are strengthened. One becomes free from the influence of Maya, illusion and Kal, time. All things are set right. One knows oneself at last and gains release from birth and death. Such a person does not again suffer from pain and worry.
This Guru Mantra is gained only as a result of great good fortune. Blessed are those in whose minds dwell the teaching of the Guru.
Gauri M5, 260-6
It is not difficult to imagine the plight of a person without the Guru Mantra.
Guru Arjan Dev says:
Cursed is he and ill-spent is his life, who has not obtained the Guru Mantra. He is like a dog, crow or swine; like an ass or snake is he.
Sahaskriti M5, 1356-19