Meaning: noun: Shelter, protection.
ਮਿਲਿ ਆਏ ਨਗਰ ਮਹਾ ਜਨਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਓਟ ਗਹੀ॥
mil aa-e nagar mahaa janaa gur satigur oṭ gahee.
The important men of the city together came to Guru Amar Das, and sought the protection of the Guru, the true Guru. -Guru Ram Das Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1117
Message: The verse points the outcome of the journey Guru Amar Das took. The leading men of Haridwar assembled to seek enlightenment from the Guru.
After having a conversation with the great Guru, they understood that to enshrine the Divine in the heart is the true essence of Smritis and Shastras (the Hindu religious texts).
They realized that even great people like Sukdev, Prahlad, and Ram, etc., deeply revered their gurus and sought their instructions. This is how they were able to overcome their flaws and reach the state of higher spiritual understanding.
Thus through the words of Guru Amar Das, the highly respected men of the city began to sing the praises of the Divine. They realised that this itself is the essence of all texts and ceremonies.
Etymology: From Sanskrit oṭṭaa (shelter, screen) → Sindhi oṭa (protection, shelter) and Lahndi/Punjabi oṭ (support, shelter).