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Sulhee Tay Narayan Raakh ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥

ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥ Sulhee Tay Narayan Raakh.

Karminder Singh PhD (Boston).

The Shabd of Guru Arjun Pathshah appears in Bilawal Raag on page 825 of the SGGS. It has been literally (and wrongly) translated in virtually all Teekas (Punjabi Translations) and English versions too.

This article makes an attempt to explore its true meanings by applying the Gurbani Framework – using Gurbani to explain Gurbani concepts; thus refraining from relying on non-Gurbani sources.

The Shabd in full is as follows:

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Bilawal Mehla 5

ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥ Sulhee Tay Naraiyan Raakh.

ਸੁਲਹੀ ਕਾ ਹਾਥੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਹੁਚੈ ਸੁਲਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਮੂਆ ਨਾਪਾਕੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sulhee Ka Haath Kaheen Na Pahunchey Sulhee Hoey Muaa Napaak. Rahao.

ਕਾਢਿ ਕੁਠਾਰੁ ਖਸਮਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਾਟਿਆ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਗਇਆ ਹੈ ਖਾਕੁ ॥ Kaadh Kuthaar Khasam Ser Katiya Khen Meh Hoey Gaya Hai Khaak.

ਮੰਦਾ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਪਚਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਰਚਿਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਦੀਨਾ ਧਾਕੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ Manda Chitvat Chitvat Pachiya Jin Racheya Tinn Deena Dhaak.

ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਮੀਤ ਧਨੁ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਰਹਿਓ ਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਗਇਆ ਸਭ ਭਾਈ ਸਾਕੁ ॥ Putar Meet Dhan Kechu Na Raheyo So Chod Gya Sabh Bhayee Saak.

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਨ ਕਾ ਕੀਨੋ ਪੂਰਨ ਵਾਕੁ ॥ ੨ ॥ ੧੮ ॥ ੧੦੪ ॥ Kaho Nanak Tis Prabh Balharee Jin Junn Ka Keeno Pooran Vaak.

THE EXISTING TRANSLATIONS.

Sant Singh MD Translates the Shabd as follows:

The Lord saved me from Sulhi Khan. The emperor did not succeed in his plot, and he died in disgrace. || 1 || Pause || The Lord and Master raised His axe, and chopped off his head; in an instant, he was reduced to dust. || 1 || Plotting and planning evil, he was destroyed. The One who created him, gave him a push. Of his sons, friends and wealth, nothing remains; he departed, leaving behind all his brothers and relatives. Says Nanak, I am a sacrifice to God, who fulfilled the word of His slave. || 2 ||

Similar translation can be found in the English translations of Manmohan Singh Advocate and Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer. The translation is the same in Punjabi Teekas – namely Fareedkoti, Garabganji Teekas and Sahib Singh’s Darpan.

THE ORIGIN OF THE EXISTING TRANSLATIONS.

The tale of Sulhee Khan is found in Bhai Veer Singh’s ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਅਸ਼ਟ ਗੁਰੂ ਚਮਤਕਾਰ Shree Ashat Guru Chamatkaar. This is his three volume work in which he writes the life stories of eight Gurus other than Gurus Nanak and Gobind Singh ji.

The Chamatkaar has a three paragraph entry titled Sulbee Khan on page 73 of Volume 2. He is listed as a friend of Prithi Chand (eldest child of Guru Ramdas and brother of Guru Arjun). Sulbee had been instigated by Prithi to attack Guru Ramdas ji and came to be in the banks of Beas river. There he was killed by one Syed Hassan Ali over the issue of unpaid back wages.

Bhai Veer Singh says upon the murder of Sulbee Khan, Guru Arjun narrated the following Shabd (page 628 of SGGS).

ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਗਦਾ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਖੰਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਰੇਨੁ ਛਾਰੀ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕੋ ਨ ਟਿਕੈ ਵੇਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਏਹ ਗਲ ਸਾਰੀ ॥ ੧ ॥ Sorath Mehla 5. Gareebee Gdaa Hamari. Khana Sagal Reyn Charee. Es Agey Ko Na Tikey Vekaree. Gur Purey Eh Gull Saree.

The entry immediately following Sulbee Khan is titled Sulhee Khan. The eight paragraph entry on page 74 can be summarized as follows.

Bhai Veer Singh says that Sulhee was a cousin of Sulbee. And he decided to take revenge on Guru Arjun ji for the murder of Sulbee Khan by Syed Hassan Ali. He came from Delhi to reside in Prithi Chand’s house at Kotha village as a transit to carry out his murderous task.

Sikhs informed Guru Arjun of Sulhee Khan’s arrival in Kotha. And Bhai Veer Singh says the fifth Guru, summoned the sangat for a discussion and decision. The sangat requested that Guru ji write a letter of explanation to Sulhee Khan to explain his innocence. When Guru Arjun ji rejected the proposal, the sangat suggested the sending of two Sikhs in the form of Bhai Budha Ji and Bhai Gurdas ji to Sulhee Khan. When Guru Arjun ji rejected this proposal as well; the sangat requested Guru ji to make the decision. The verdict of Guru ji was that we leave it all to the Creator.

Bhai Veer Singh says Guru Arjun ji recited the following Shabd (Page 371 of SGGS).

ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਤਾ ਜਿ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਚਲਾਵਉ ॥ ਦੁਤੀਏ ਮਤਾ ਦੁਇ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਪਹੁਚਾਵਉ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਤੀਏ ਮਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਉ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਮੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੁਹੀ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦ ਅਚਿੰਤ ਸਹਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਦੁਸਮਨ ਦੂਤ ਮੁਏ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Asa Mehla 5: Prithmey Mtaa Je Patree Chalavo. Duteay Mtaa Doey Manukh Pohchavo. Triteye Mtaa Kich Karo Upaya. Mein Sabh Kich Chod Prabh Tuhee Dihyayea. Mhaa Anand Achint Sehjayea. Dushkan Doot Moye Sukh Paiya.

Bhai Veer Singh says that while Guru Arjun ji was deliberating with the sangat, Prithi Chand took Sulhee Khan to his brick kiln. There, Sulhee Khan fell into the fire with his horse. He burnt to death and his body was recovered and buried.

Bhai Veer Singh says upon hearing of the death of Sulhee Khan, Guru Arjun ji recited the Shabd under discussion of this article.

ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Bilawal Mehla 5. ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥ Sulhee Tay Naraiyan Raakh. The Lord saved me from Sulhi Khan

WHAT CAN WE MAKE OF THE NARRATIVE OF SULHEE (AND SULBEE) KHAN?

We can make the following 13 points regarding the narrative provided by Bhai Veer Singh.

  1. Bhai Veer Singh says Guru Arjun ji’s Shabd on page 628 of SGGS; namely: ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ॥ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਗਦਾ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਖੰਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਰੇਨੁ ਛਾਰੀ ॥ Sorath Mehla 5. Gareebee Gdaa Hamari. Khana Sagal Reyn Charee was recited when Sulbee Khan was killed while on his way to attack Guru Ramdas ji.

The questions that needs answering are four: One, why is Sulbee Khan intent on murdering Guru Ramdas ji? Two, Why is Prithi Chand conspiring to have his own father killed ? Three, why is Guru Arjun composing spiritual and God connecting Banee upon hearing of the death of another human being.

Fourth, how could Guru Arjun compose Banee when he was NOT the Guru at the time of Sulbee Khan’s murder? The Guru at that time (by the admission of Bhai Veer Singh) was Guru Ramdas ji. So why is Bhai Veer Singh not quoting any Shabd about Sulbee Khan’s murder as composed by Guru Ramdas ji? Because there is NONE. Because Gurbanee is not composed for such purposes.

2.The Shabd on page 628 of SGGS; namely: ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ॥ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਗਦਾ ਹਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਖੰਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਰੇਨੁ ਛਾਰੀ ॥ ਇਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕੋ ਨ ਟਿਕੈ ਵੇਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਏਹ ਗਲ ਸਾਰੀ ॥ ੧ ॥ Sorath Mehla 5. Gareebee Gdaa Hamari. Khana Sagal Reyn Charee. Es Agey Ko Na Tikey Vekaree. Gur Purey Eh Gull Saree. has NOTHING whatsoever to do with ANYONE’s murder or death.

The meaning of the verses is: Humility is my Shield, Service to all my Sword. No Vices can withstand their Onslaught. The Guru Has Given me this Enlightenment. The message is wholly and entirely spiritual.

3.Bhai Veer Singh’s story of the sangat getting worried about Sulhee Khan’s arrival in Kotha – requesting that Guru ji write a letter of explanation to Sulhee Khan, or send Bhai Budha Ji and Bhai Gurdas ji to Sulhee Khan to explain his innocence is truly out of character for both the sangat and of Guru ji.

Sikhs were very enlightened about the stand against oppression taken by Guru Nanak against Babur and Guru Amardas ji against Akbar in particular. How could the presence of a low level Sulhee Khan rattle the Sikhs to the extent of wanting to write a letter and send emissaries.

4.Where did Bhai Veer Singh get the names of the two Sikhs – Baba Buddha Ji and Bhai Gurdas Ji – that were proposed to be sent to see Sulhee Khan ? They are not mentioned in the verse. The verse is DUEY Manukh. Not DOE (2) Manukh.

5.The Shabad ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਮਤਾ ਜਿ ਪਤ੍ਰੀ ਚਲਾਵਉ ॥ ਦੁਤੀਏ ਮਤਾ ਦੁਇ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਪਹੁਚਾਵਉ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਤੀਏ ਮਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਉ ਉਪਾਇਆ ॥ ਮੈ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਤੁਹੀ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਮਹਾ ਅਨੰਦ ਅਚਿੰਤ ਸਹਜਾਇਆ ॥ ਦੁਸਮਨ ਦੂਤ ਮੁਏ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Asa Mehla 5: Prithmey Mtaa Je Patree Chalavo. Duteay Mtaa Doey Manukh Pohchavo. Triteye Mtaa Kich Karo Upaya. Mein Sabh Kich Chod Prabh Tuhee Dihyayea. Mhaa Anand Achint Sehjayea. Dushkan Doot Moye Sukh Paiya is spiritual and has as nothing to do writing letters or sending two emissaries.

The meaning of the verses is: First I resolved to plead myself (before my vices Dushman Doot in the Rahao Verse). Second to seek the assistance (Pohchavo from the word Pahunch – reach) of another human being (Duey Manukh). Third, I resolved to make an effort (Upaya – instead of pleading). I resorted to Internalize You alone, my Creator. I obtained Eternal Bliss and Permanent Joy. The enemy (of my spirituality) vices (Doot) got eliminated and Bliss was obtained.

WHAT CAN WE MAKE OF SANT SINGH (AND OTHER) TRANSLATIONS?

6.The translation is defective wholly because the authors of the Teekas and translations have bought into the story composed by Bhai Veer Singh.

7.The first verse is ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥ Sulhee Tay Naraiyan Raakh. The translation is The Lord saved me from Sulhi Khan. So the question is where did the KHAN come from?

The second verse is: ਸੁਲਹੀ ਕਾ ਹਾਥੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਹੁਚੈ ਸੁਲਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਮੂਆ ਨਾਪਾਕੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sulhee Ka Haath Kaheen Na Pahunchey Sulhee Hoey Muaa Napaak. Rahao. The translation is: The emperor did not succeed in his plot, and he died in disgrace. || 1 || Pause ||

The questions are: One: How did the “Emperor” suddenly come into the picture? The individual named Sulhee KHAN was never the emperor of any place. So how did the “emperor die in disgrace?” Two: What is the meaning of “died in disgrace.” To say such implies that Guru Arjun ji is “pleased with the death of Sulhee Khan” or that Guru ji considered Sulhee Khan to be his enemy or that Guru ji is mocking the death of a human being.

Guru Arjun ji’s philosophy of other human beings is plain and clear. ਨਾ ਕੋ ਬੈਰੀ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਗਾਨਾ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਬਨਿ ਆਈ ॥ ੧ ॥ Na Ko Bairi Nahi Begana Sagal Sang Hum Ko Bunn Aiyee. SGGS 1299. None my enemy, none a stranger, I coexist with all of humanity. Under no circumstances would the Guru mention death of anyone as a “disgrace.”

HOW MANY TIMES DID SULHEE KHAN ACTUALLY DIE?

8.Bhai Veer Singh says Sulhee Khan fell into the kiln with his horse and was burnt to death. Sant Singh, in line three of his translation says”

The Lord and Master raised His axe, and chopped off his head; in an instant, he was reduced to dust. || 1 ||

Then in Line five of the translation he says: “The One who created him, gave him a push.”

That makes three deaths for Sulhee Khan. One he fell as a result of his horse falling into the kiln. Two he was beheaded with an axe. Three he was pushed.

IF indeed the Shabd on page 825 of the SGGS was about the death of Sulhee Khan, the translators seem to suggest that Guru ji was not sure of the manner of the Khan’s death.

WHERE DID BHAI VEER SINGH GET HIS SULHEE KHAN STORY FROM?

9.When it comes to “history” of the Sikh Gurus, Bhai Veer Singh has written FIVE VOLUMES. But he is not particularly known for original research. His work is actually a verbatim reproduction of the Nirmala Kavi Santokh Singh’s voluminous work. The only difference being that while the Kavi wrote in poetry, Bhai Veer Singh wrote in prose. So basically Bhai Veer Singh is Nirmala Kavi Santokh Singh

10.On paragraph 3 of page 73 of his Shree Ashat Guru Chamatkaar, Bhai Veer Singh mentions Nirmala Kavi Santokh Singh’s Gurpartab Suraj Parkash Granth as his source. Seekers of Tatt Gurmat have exposed the Nirmala Kavi as someone who wrote a largely adulterated narrative of our Gurus; in some cases, even derogatively. Renowned parcharaks such as Singh Sahib Bhai Ranjodh Singh has gone on record to say that 95 percent of Santokh Singh writings are against the tenets of the SGGS.

DID SULHEE AND SULBEE KHANS EVEN EXIST?

11.The answer is a resounding Yes if one considers the Nirmala Kavi as an objective researcher and writer. Yet one is always left wondering why, references to Sulbee and Sulhee cannot be found in non-sikh sources. IF indeed the Khans were people with status and positions that accorded them powers to attempt to arrest and murder well known and established personalities like Guru Ramdas and Guru Arjun ji – then surely their names must be found prominently in the historical records of Mugal ruled India. Yet, that is not the case1

12.The method of assigning “stories and sakhis” thinly disguised as “historical narratives” to Shabds in the SGGS and weaving these “tales” into the translations of Shabds is indeed the accepted mode of Teekas written by the Nirmalas (The Garabganjnee and Freedkoti Teeka in particular). It should therefore come as no surprise if the story of Sulbee and Sulhee had been created to fit the translation of the Shabd. In the ultimate analysis, such methodology reduces the spiritually rich and soulful Gurbani to petty tales of events.

13..Given the above, the only sensible thing to do is to push the Nirmala Kavi concocted narrative of Sulbee and Sulhee into the metaphorical kiln of Prithee Chand; thus burning it to cinders and out of our collective psyches. We need to rise from the ashes of story-telling to the spiritual heights of Godly messages of Gurbani.

UNDERSTANDING THE SHABD.

The Shabd is the 18th out of 30 in a collection titled ਰਾਗੁ ਬਿਲਾਵਲੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਚਉਪਦੇ ਦੁਪਦੇ ਘਰੁ ੭ Rag Bilawal Mehla 5 Chaupdey Dupdey Ghar 7. The general theme of the 30 Shabds is related to overcoming inner obstacles on the path of the journey of spirituality towards the realization of the Creator within.

This particular Shabd has a sprinkling of Arabic & Persian words namely Sulhee, Naapak, Kuthaar, and Khaak.

Of particular interest is the word Sulhee. It is used in Farsi, and its dialects Pushto and Daree – spoken by Pashtuns and Pathans. It has different spellings such as Sulhei, Sulhey, Sulhi, Sulhie and Sulhy as used in the above language / dialects.

The dictionary meaning is instinct, character, nature, eccentric etc. The spiritual meaning relates to the five vices because they are the nature, character and instinct of the human mind.

Embedded within Sulhee is the Persian word “Sulh” meaning Compromise. The spiritual meaning of Sulhee therefore is “to be in compromise with our instincts and vices.”

Verse 1 (Also the Rahao Verse).

ਸੁਲਹੀ ਤੇ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਰਾਖੁ ॥ Sulhee Tay Naraiyan Raakh.

Sulhee – Instinct, character, nature of the mind; Compromise with vices. Narayan – Creator. Raakh – Protect, save.

Realization of My Creator Has Protected Me from a Compromise with my Instincts and Vices.

ਸੁਲਹੀ ਕਾ ਹਾਥੁ ਕਹੀ ਨ ਪਹੁਚੈ ਸੁਲਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਮੂਆ ਨਾਪਾਕੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sulhee Ka Haath Kaheen Na Pahunchey Sulhee Hoey Muaa Napaak. Rahao.

Haath – Reach. Sulhee Hoey – In a state of Compromise. Muaa – Lit. death; Eliminated. Napaak– Lit. Impure; Unrealized.

I am thus Beyond Reach of the Effects of a Vice-Compromised self; the Result of such a Compromise is Spiritual Death in a Godly Unrealized State.

ਕਾਢਿ ਕੁਠਾਰੁ ਖਸਮਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਕਾਟਿਆ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਗਇਆ ਹੈ ਖਾਕੁ ॥ Kaadh Kuthaar Khasam Ser Katiya Khen Meh Hoey Gaya Hai Khaak.

Kaadh – Remove. Kuthaar – Lit axe, sword; Spirituality destructing vices. Khasam – Creator. Ser – Lit. head; Mind. Kateya – Lit, Cut; Remove, Eliminate. Hoey Gya – Reduced. Khaak – Ashes.

The Creator Axed the Spirituality Destructing Vices from my Mind and Reduced Them to Ashes in an Instant.

ਮੰਦਾ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਚਿਤਵਤ ਪਚਿਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਰਚਿਆ ਤਿਨਿ ਦੀਨਾ ਧਾਕੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ Manda Chitvat Chitvat Pachiya Jin Racheya Tinn Deena Dhaak.

Manda – Sinful, Bad, Negative. Chitvat Chitvat – In constant planning / thinking. Pacheya – Eliminated. Racheya – Constructed, Created. Deena Dhaak – Lit. Pushed, Shoved, Removed.

The Same Mind that was in Constant Construction of Sinful Thought Shoved all the Vices Out.

ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਮੀਤ ਧਨੁ ਕਿਛੂ ਨ ਰਹਿਓ ਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਗਇਆ ਸਭ ਭਾਈ ਸਾਕੁ ॥ Putar Meet Dhan Kechu Na Raheyo So Chod Gya Sabh Bhayee Saak.

Puter– Lit. Child, Son. Meet – Lit Relatives. Dhan – Lit. Partner. Puter Meet Dhan– Companions, Kechu Na Raheyo – Eliminated Without Trace. Chod Gya – Left. Sabh – All. Bhayee – Lit. Brother. Saak – Lit. Relatives. Bhayee Saak – Close Associates.

(So Complete was the Shoving Out of my Vices that) All Companions and Associates of my Vices too were Eliminated Without a Trace.

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਜਨ ਕਾ ਕੀਨੋ ਪੂਰਨ ਵਾਕੁ ॥ ੨ ॥ ੧੮ ॥ ੧੦੪ ॥ Kaho Nanak Tis Prabh Balharee Jin Junn Ka Keeno Pooran Vaak.

Kaho –Utterance. Balharee – A Sacrifice to. Prabh – Creator. Junn – Submitting Being. Keeno – Created, Resulted. Pooran –Complete, Absolute. Vaak – Lit. command, Shabd.

Nanak is a Sacrifice to the Creator; the Complete Shabd has Resulted in my Becoming a God Submitting Being (from a Vice / Instinct Compromised Being).

End.

 

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Nau Nidh ਘਰ ਨਉ ਨਿਧ ਆਵੈ ਧਾਇ।

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Ghar Nau Nidh Avey Dhayey

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The translation is: Meditation on Teg Bahadur results in Nau Nidhs rushing (Dhayey) into one’s home (Ghar).

 

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Jaisee Mein Avey Khasam Kee Banee.

Karminder Singh, PhD (Boston)

This Shabd is composed by Guru Nanak ji in Tilang Rag and is recorded on page 722 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

 

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