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Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ

Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey

Karminder Singh Dhillon PhD.

This salok of Guru Ramdas ji appears on page 305 of the SGGS. It is often presented by our clergy – ragis, granthis, parcharaks and kathakars – as well as writers and intellectuals as a definition of a Sikh. They further present it as containing the practices a Sikh must do to be able to call oneself as a Sikh.

The full salok is as follows.

ਮਃ ੪ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey So Bhalkay Uth Har Nam Dhiavey.

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥

Udm Krey Bhalkay Parbhati Esnan Krey Amrit Sar Naveiy.

ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥

Updesh Guru Har Har Jup Japey Sabh Kilvikh Pap Dokh Leh Javey.

ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Fir Charrey Divas Gurbani Gavey Behdian Uthdian Har Nam Dhiavey.

ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥

Jo Sas Giras Dhiaey Mera Har Har So Gursikh Guru Man Bhaveiy.

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੂ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥

Jis No Dyal Hovey Mayra Suami Tis Gursikh Guru Updes Sunnaveiy.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥ ੨ ॥

Jun Nanak Dhurr Mangey Tis Gursikh Ki Jo Aap Jpeiy Avreh Nam Jpaveiy.

The Salok is generally translated as follows:

One who calls one’s self a Sikh of the Satguru shall rise early in the morning and meditate on God. He should make an effort every morning to bathe in Amritsar. The instructions of the Guru are to chant Har Har so that all his sins are removed. Then, upon rising of the day he should sing Gurbani and meditate on God sitting and standing. The Sikh who meditates on God at every breath and every bite of food, that Gursikh is desirable to the Guru’s mind. One upon whom my master is compassionate – to that Gursikh the Guru delivers his teachings. Nanak asks for the dust of the Gursikh who chants and gets others to chant the Nam.

This is clearly a literal translation and is problematic on at least the following six grounds.

First, if “bathing at Amritsar” as the translation of Esnan Krey Amrit Sar Naveiy is going to be accepted as one of the requirements of being a Sikh, then a huge majority of Sikhs would fail just on this one criteria alone. We also know that Gurus Har Rai, Har Krishen, Teg Bahadur and Gobind Singh never entered Amritsar. So how would these 4 Gurus rate on this criterion then? Will we deny them the right to “call themselves” Sikhs too?

The question would arise as to what was special about the water “at Amritsar.” So much so that Guru Ramdas ji would make it a requirement within Gurbani that to qualify as a Sikh, one had to bathe in Amritsar? Amritsar is after all a place, a location, a city. Gurmat advocates that spirituality is not location dependent; as indicated by the following verse from the SGGS

ਸਭਨੀ ਘਟੀ ਸਹੁ ਵਸੈ ਸਹ ਬਿਨੁ ਘਟੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥

Sabhni Ghatee Sho Vseiy Sehe Ben Ghat Na Koey. SGGS 1412.

There is not a location within which the Creator does not exist.

The notion that certain locations are holy and others evil is a bippar concept. The brahmins for instance, propagated a belief that death in Kashi (Benares) took one to heaven and one who died at Maghar would become a donkey in his next life. This is what Kabir had to say on page 326 of the SGGS.

ਕਾਸੀ ਮਗਹਰ ਸਮ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਓਛੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੇ ਉਤਰਸਿ ਪਾਰੀ ॥

Kashi Maghar Sum Bichari. Ochi Bhagt Kaisay Utras Paree.

Meaning: Kashi and Maghar are of Equal Stature. How could Pretentious Spirituality become Fruitful (simply based on location).

He then goes on say that he was moving to Maghar on his last days of life.

 

ਮਰਤੀ ਬਾਰ ਮਗਹਰਿ ਉਠਿ ਆਇਆ ॥ Marti Baar Maghar Uth Aiya. SGGS 326

If one takes the meaning of “bathing at Amritsar” to mean “bathing at the sarovar (pool) at Darbar Sahib” – we still have all the problems mentioned above; plus, three additional ones. (i) A large portion of the Sikhs within Amritsar itself would become non Sikhs given that even the Sikh residents of the city do not “bathe and cleanse” themselves at the sarovar. (ii) The sarovar was not constructed during the times of Guru Ramdas ji – the author of this salok. Aren’t we then implying that the Guru is creating a condition pertaining to a pool that did not even exist when he wrote the salok? (iii) Additionally, if Amritsar means the pool of Darbar Sahib, then it would mean that amongst the Gurus, only two (Arjun and Hargobind ji) would meet this criterion for being a Sikh!

In any event, this notion of “bathing at particular pools” is also a bippar concept that is negated within Gurbani. Guru Nanak says on page 473 of the SGGS.

ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਜੇ ਨਾਵਹਿ ਉਤਰੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਮੈਲੁ ॥

Athsath Teerath Jay Naveh Utrey Nahi Meil.

Meaning: Bathing at All 68 Places of Pilgrimage Will Not Rid One of One’s (Inner) Impurities (Vices).

If one is of the view that Guru Ramdas ji is setting the ground for the 69th place of pilgrimage as an acceptable teerath for Sikhs in his salok above, then the following verse of Guru Arjun – the architect of the sarovar will help provide perspective.

 

ਕੋਟਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਮਜਨ ਇਸਨਾਨਾ ਇਸੁ ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਭਰੀਜੈ ॥

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਜੋ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਕਰਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥ ੨ ॥

Koat Teerath Majan Esnana Es Kal Meh Meil Bhreejay.

Sadhsang Jo Har Gunn Gaveiy So Nirmal Kar Leejay.

Meaning: The Inner Impurities (Vices) Remain even after Bathing at Millions of Teeraths. Inner Cleansing Comes Upon Internalizing Divine Virtues Obtained from My Guru.

The sarovar of Darbar Sahib may be excluded from the 68, but it will have to be included in the “millions of teeraths” that Guru Arjun is discoursing about.

Second, if the translation of Esnan Krey Amrit Sar Naveiy is to be done literally, then the translation would have to have the word “bathe” twice in the sentence. The literal meaning of Esnan is bathe. The literal meaning of Naveiy is also to bathe. It makes little sense for the Guru to be using the word “bathe” twice – once before and once immediately after the word Amritsar? The truth can only be that the Guru is not referring to “bathing” at all. Hence neither Esnan nor Naveiy refers to bathing.

Third, the literal translation provides us with a sequencing problem. The first sentence (literally translated) says “Rise early in the morning and meditate on God.” The second tells us to “bathe in Amritsar.” If the literal translation was correct, then the “bathing at Amritsar” should be instructed before the meditation.

Fourth, the fourth sentence of the literal translation instructs the Sikh to “sing Gurbani upon rising of the day.” What then would one say of the Gurbani that Sikhs sing before the rising of the day or in the night? One could also ask – what has the rising or setting of day got to do with singing Gurbani?

Fifth, the translation of Jo Sas Giras Dhiaey Mera Har Har So Gursikh Guru Man Bhaveiy (verse five) as The Sikh who meditates on God at every breath and every bite of food is desirable to the Guru’s mind raises two questions. (i) What is the importance of “every bite of food” and (ii) what exactly is meant by the “Guru’s mind” given that the Guru is Shabd.

Finally, the sixth sentence of the literal translation One upon whom my Master is compassionate – to that Gursikh the Guru delivers his teachings is problematic from a logical stand point. Such a translation puts a condition on the Guru, which is that the Guru will only deliver his teachings to me if and when God is compassionate on me. This puts the cart before the horse. Because the reason and objective of me wanting to obtain the Guru’s messages is to be able to Realize the Compassionate Creator. And if the Guru is going to wait for the Master to be compassionate on me first, then this suggests that the Master is selectively compassionate and the Guru is also selective in who he delivers his teachings to. Gurbani tells us that the Creator is compassionate to the entirety of His Creation and that the Guru does not discriminate when sharing his spiritual messages.

REJECTING THE LITERAL TO GET TO THE SPIRITUAL.

It is clear therefore that the literal translations that are used by our clergy and translators are not only wrong and illogical, but advocate principles that are contrary to Gurbani and Gurmat.

It follows therefore that if the literal meanings of concepts such as Isnan, Amritsar, Navey, and Chrrey Divas are to be rejected, then the literal meanings of the other concepts (ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ Bhalkey Uth, ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ Bhalkey Parbhati, ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ, Charrey Divas ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ Behdian Uthdian, ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ Saas Giras and ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ Dhoorr Mangey) need to be rejected too.

There is a need to strive to get to the spiritual messages that Guru Ramdas ji is providing for us in this salok. The way to derive that is to find the context of the salok.

DERIVING THE CONTEXT OF THE SALOK.

The salok is contained within Gauree Ki Vaar Mehla 4 that runs from page 300 to 318. The Vaar consists of 33 paurris with two to four saloks added to each paurri. The salok under discussion – Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey – is the second of two saloks of paurri number 11. Given that the context of saloks attached to a paurri comes from the paurri itself – there is therefore a need to understand the messages within the 11th paurri. The final verse of a paurri acts as the concluding verse and is thus the equivalent of the Rahao verse.

This is the verse that provides the context for both saloks that accompany paurri number 11. This final verse is[1]1:

ਓਇ ਹਾਜਰੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਵਿਸੁ ਕਢਹਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਘੋਲੇ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਛੋੜੇ ॥ ੧੧ ॥

Oey Hazr Mitha Boldey Bahar Vis Kadhey Mukh Gholey. Mun Khotey Deiyi Vichorray.

The message is about the stark and unambiguous contrast of what is spiritually explicit and what is implicit; of the spirituality that is put on display for the world (Hazr) and the one that exists within when one is out of public scrutiny (Bahar). The message is about the contrast between the spirituality for show as being sweetly pious (Mitha Boldey) and the one within as being the spewing of poison (Vis Khadey) for one’s mind and conscience (Mukh Gholey). The message is about spirituality that leads to a spiritually bankrupt mind and conscience (Mun Khotey). The message is also about the outcome of such bankruptcy – the eventual non-Realization of the Creator (Deiyi Vichorray).

This then is the deep and rich context within which both saloks that are accompanying paurri 11 must be interpreted. This context is critical and must be taken into consideration for every verse of the salok. The focus of this essay in on the second salok[2]1Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey – A Sikh of the Guru’s Messages or A Disciple of the Shabd’s Messages.

 

ਮਃ ੪ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Gur Satgur Ka Jo Sikh Akhayey So Bhalkay Uth Har Nam Dhiavey.

Gur – The messages of the Guru; messages of the shabd. SatgurSat + Gur. Sat is derived from the Sanskrit word Satya meaning ‘in perpetual existance,’ Creator; Gur refers to the messages of the Guru. Satgur therefore means the Creator-connecting shabd Guru. Ka – Of. Jo – One, a. Sikh (with aungkar) – Disciple, a Sikh. Akhayey – From ਆਖਾ ਮੰਨੇ, ਆਖਾ ਮੰਨਣ ਵਾਲਾ Aakha Maney, Aakha Manun Vala; follower of the command and message; abides. So – One’s. Bhalkay – ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਦਿਨ, ਵਰਤਮਾਨ ਦਿਨ ਤੋਂ ਅਗਲਾ ਰੋਜ Aun Vala Din, Vartman Din To(n) Agla Roj. (Mahan Kosh). Tomorrow, every day after tomorrow; permanently, enduringly. Uth – Lit. Get up. Metap. Awaken. Har (with sihari) – Of the Omnipresent Creator. Nam – Virtues. Har Nam – Divine Virtues. Dhiavey – Inculcate, internalize.

A Sikh of the Messages of the Shabd Abides by the Command Therein to Enduringly Awaken Towards the Inculcation of Divine Virtues.

Note: The context that is provided by the final verse of the paurri to which this salok is attached needs to be kept in mind. Guru Ramdas ji providing the stipulations for genuine spirituality that leads to realization of the Creator within. Genuine spirituality thus requires that the Sikh awaken permanently and enduringly towards abiding by the messages and command of the shabd which pertain to becoming divine virtues.

ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥

Udm Krey Bhalkay Parbhati Esnan Krey Amrit Sar Naveiy.

Udm – Effort. Krey – Do, perform, undertake. Bhalkay – ਆਉਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਦਿਨ, ਵਰਤਮਾਨ ਦਿਨ ਤੋਂ ਅਗਲਾ ਰੋਜ Aun Vala Din, Vartman Din To(n) Agla Roj. (Mahan Kosh). Tomorrow, every day after tomorrow; permanently, enduringly. Parbhati – Lit. Early part of the day; beginning of the day. Metap. Early part of life; Here and Now. Note: The usage is not for the Parbhat of the day, but Parbhat of Spiritual life. The Parbhat of Spiritual life is HERE and NOW. Esnan Krey – Lit. Bathe. Note: The Esnan of Gurbani is Cleansing of the mind. The impurities of the mind are vices. Cleansing of the mind is by replacing human vices with divine virtues (Nam). The following verses in Gurbani provide us with the meaning of Esnan. ਨਾਮਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੇ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਵਾਈ ॥ Nam Esnan Krey Say Jun Nirmal Shabdey Meil Gvayi. SGGS 809. ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਮਜਨ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥ Nam Hamarey Majan Esnan. SGGS 1145. ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਧੂੜਿ ਕਰਉ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ॥ Gur Ki Dhoor Karo Esnan. SGGS 1270. ਏਹੁ ਸਰੀਰੁ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਈ ॥ ੧੩ ॥ ਨਾਮਿ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੇ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਵਾਈ ॥ ੧੪ ॥ Eh Sareer Sarvar Hai Santho Esnan Krey Liv Layi. Nam Isnan Kreh Si Jun Nirmal Shabdey Mael Gvayi. SGGS 909. Note the words “Nam Esnan” in all these verses make clear its spiritual meaning: Cleansing of the mind through divine virtues. Amrit – Lit. Nectar; Sp. Gurbani; shabd. ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ Nanak Boley Amrit Bani. SGGS 877. Sar – From Sarovar. Lit. Artificial pool of water. Metap. Reservoir. Naveiy– From the word Nam, of Nam, of Divine Virtues.

A Sikh of the Messages of the Shabd Makes an Enduring Effort in the Here and Now to Cleanse the Mind of Human Vices Through Divine Virtues that are Contained Within the Reservoir of Gurbani.

 

Blue: Context from the previous verse and paurri.

ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥

Updesh Guru Har Har Jup Japey Sabh Kilvikh Pap Dokh Leh Javey.

Updesh – Advice, counsel; guidance. GuruShabd. Har Har – Omnipresent Creator. Jup Japey – Become realized. Sabh – All, entire. Kilvikh – Lit. Sorrow. Pap – Lit. Sin. Dokh – Lit. Pain. Kilvikh Pap Dokh – Sp. The anguish of human vices. Leh Javey – Remove, eliminate.

The Shabd Guides in Eliminating the Anguish of My Vices Towards Becoming Realized of the Omnipresent Creator.

ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥

Fir Charrey Divas Gurbani Gavey Behdian Uthdian Har Nam Dhiavey.

Fir – Then, at. Charrey Divas – Lit. Dawn. Sp. Dawn of Spiritual life. Gurbani Gavey – Lit. Singing of Gurbani. Sp. Internalize, become. Note: The spiritual meaning of Gavey is NOT Singing. Mere singing (and listening) is of little use if we don’t adopt, inculcate, internalize and become. Gurbani makes this point clear in ਕੋਈ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਾਗੀ ਨਾਦੀ ਬੇਦੀ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਨਹੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਭੀਜੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਜੇ ॥ ਜਿਨਾ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ਹੈ ਤਿਨਾ ਰੋਇ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਿਛੁ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਸਿਰਿ ਰੋਗ ਹਥੁ ਦੀਜੈ ॥ ਜਿਨਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਿਰਦਾ ਸੁਧੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥ ੪ ॥ Koee Gavey Ragi Nadee Bedi Bhau Bhaant Kar Nahi Har Har Bheejay Raam Rajey. Jinna Antar Kapet Vikaar Hai Tina Roey Kya Keejay. Har Karta Sabh Kich Jaanda Serr Rog Hath Deejay. Jinaa Nanak Gurmukh Hirda Shudh Hai Har Bhagat Har Leejey. SGGS 440. Meaning: Passionate Singing of Praises Alone is of Little Spiritual Worth if One’s Intent Within is Suspect; to the Extent that the Passion Itself Is a Cover Up Our Inflictions, Disease and Intent. These verses make it clear that the ultimate intent of singing and listening is to adopt, inculcate, internalize and become. Behdian Uthdian – Lit. Sitting and standing. Metap. At all times, permanently. Har Nam – Divine Virtues. Dhiavey – Inculcate.

Spiritual Life Then Dawns with The Internalization of Gurbani and The Inculcation of Divine Virtues Permanently.

Note: The context – Genuine spirituality that leads to realization of the Creator within – that is provided by the final verse of the paurri to which this salok is attached needs to be kept in mind. The Dawn of Spiritual Life is when the internalization of Gurbani happens. This is the hallmark of genuine spirituality of the shabd. In its absence, the Sikh is still engulfed by the darkness of pretentious spirituality.

ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥

Jo Sas Giras Dhiaey Mera Har Har So Gursikh Guru Man Bhaveiy.

Jo – One, who. Sas. Lit. Breath. Metap. Source or life. Giras –Lit. Sustenance. ਆਪੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਜੀਅਨੁ ਆਪੇ ਆਕਾਸੁ ॥ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਪੇ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੇ ਦੇਇ ਗਿਰਾਸੁ ॥ Apey Dharti Sajian Apey Akas. Vich Apey Junt Upayean Mukh Apey Dey Giras. SGGS 302. Meaning: He Created Life and its Sustenance. Sas Giras – Metap. The source and sustenance of life. Dhiaey – Inculcate. Mera – My. Har Har – Omnipresent Creator. So – That. Gursikh – Sikh of the Messages of Shabd. GuruShabd. Man (with sihari) – Within the mind; within. Bhaveiy– Lit. Pleasing, acceptable.

The Sikh who Considers the Inculcation of the Omnipresent Creator as the Source and Sustenance of Spiritual Life Accepts the Messages of the Shabd Guru Within the Mind.

ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੂ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥

Jis No Dyal Hovey Mayra Suami Tis Gursikh Guru Updes Sunnaveiy.

Jis No – One who. Dyal – Bless, grace. Hovey – Becomes. Mayra Suami – My Creator Master. Tis – That. Gursikh – Sikh of the shabd’s messages. Guru Updes – Advice, counsel; guidance of the shabd. Sunnaveiy – Lit. Brings one’s self to listen. Sp. Brings one’s self to abide, internalize.

The One Who is Graced by My Creator Master is the Sikh of the Shabd’s Messages; And Who Brings One’s Self to Internalize the Guidance of the Shabd.

Note: The impact of this verse is worth noting. Guru Ramdas ji is describing the meaning of being blessed or graced by the Creator. To be graced is to be a Sikh of the Shabd’s messages. And to be graced is to bring one’s self to internalize the guidance of the shabd.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥ ੨ ॥

Jun Nanak Dhurr Mangey Tis Gursikh Ki Jo Aap Jpeiy Avreh Nam Jpaveiy.

Jun – Devoted seeker of realization, devotion. Dhurr – Lit. Dust. Metap. Humility. Mangey – Seek. Tis Gursikh Ki –Of the Sikh of the Shabd’s messages. Jo – Who. Aap – Self. Jpeiy – Realizes. Avreh – And, in addition to. Nam – Divine Virtues. Jpaveiy – Causes realization, brings about realization.

Nanak, My Devotion is Humbled by The Sikh of the Shabd’s Messages Who Realizes the Self and Brings About Realization of the Creator Within the Self.

Blue – Context from final verse of paurri 11.

CONCLUSIONS.

  1. It is clear that this salok is not about defining a Sikh. It is not about certain things one has to do to be able to “call or declare one’s self a Sikh.” This is a wrong premise to begin with. Once we begin with this wrong premise – we begin to look for the one, two and three things that one needs to do and the order, timing and place for doing them – waking up at dawn, bathing at a certain location, meditating till sunrise, singing after sunrise, chanting and causing others to chant etc. Such lists of do’s and don’ts relegate the deeply spiritual messages of the salok into no more than a laundry list of activities or a check list. The seeking of such do’s and don’ts prevents us from going beyond the literal understanding of the salok – even though such an interpretation creates glaring inconsistencies (both logical and sequential) such as the six listed at the beginning of this essay. Limiting ourselves to the literal reduces the value and worth of the messages of Gurbani. Such superficial do’s and don’ts were already being done by people at the time and Gurbani is a critique and a stinging rebuke of such posturing. Gurbani is not about creating a new list of do’s and don’ts. It is about cajoling and coaxing the seeker to seek the real and substantive aspect of spirituality – the BECOMING of divine virtues.
  2. The word Sikh is used in the salok as a descriptive term for a disciple or a follower of the messages of the shabd; not as a proper name for a group of people belonging to the Sikh faith. A proper examination of the messages within each verse (as attempted above) by applying the context of the paurri brings this out.
  3. The context of the paurri (and by extension the two saloks attached to the paurri) is “genuine versus pretentious spirituality.” This second salok focusses on genuine spirituality. The content of the salok is as heavy as its language is intricate and richly metaphoric. There is a purpose for this. And that is to reflect the serious and substantive nature of genuine spirituality that leads to realization of the Creator within.
  4. Genuine spirituality is thus being laid out for the disciple as one that requires one to Permanently Awaken Towards the Inculcation of Divine Virtues (verse one), Cleanse the Mind of Human Vices in the Here and Now (verse two); Be guided by the Shabd in Becoming Realized of the Omnipresent Creator (verse three); Bring About the Dawn of Spiritual Life with The Internalization of Gurbani (verse four); Consider the Inculcation of the Omnipresent Creator as the Source and Sustenance of Spiritual Life (verse five); and Bring One’s Self to Internalize the Guidance of the Shabd.
  5. The stamp of genuine-ness on such a spiritual journey is placed by Guru Ramdas ji in the final verse. Nanak, My Devotion is Humbled by The Sikh of the Shabd’s Messages Who Realizes the Self and Brings About Realization of the Creator Within the Self. Such spirituality is genuine to the point that the Guru finds it necessary to say he is humbled by it.

End.

 

 

 

 

  1. The paurri in full is as follows. ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਸਚੁ ਧਿਆਇਦੇ ਸੇ ਵਿਰਲੇ ਥੋੜੇ ॥ ਜੋ ਮਨਿ ਚਿਤਿ ਇਕੁ ਅਰਾਧਦੇ ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਬਰਕਤਿ ਖਾਹਿ ਅਸੰਖ ਕਰੋੜੇ ॥ ਤੁਧੁਨੋ ਸਭ ਧਿਆਇਦੀ ਸੇ ਥਾਇ ਪਏ ਜੋ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਲੋੜੇ ॥ ਜੋ ਬਿਨੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵੇ ਖਾਦੇ ਪੈਨਦੇ ਸੇ ਮੁਏ ਮਰਿ ਜੰਮੇ ਕੋੜ੍ਹੇ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਾਜਰੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਵਿਸੁ ਕਢਹਿ ਮੁਖਿ ਘੋਲੇ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਖੋਟੇ ਦਯਿ ਵਿਛੋੜੇ ॥ ੧੧ ॥ SGGS 305. 1

  2. The first salok is as follows: ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੪ ॥ ਅਗੋ ਦੇ ਸਤ ਭਾਉ ਨ ਦਿਚੈ ਪਿਛੋ ਦੇ ਆਖਿਆ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਅਧ ਵਿਚਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਮਨਮੁਖੁ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ਗਲੀ ਕਿਉ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੁ ਕੂੜੀ ਆਵੈ ਕੂੜੀ ਜਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਤਾਂ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਤਾ ਅਪਿਉ ਪੀਵੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਕੇਰਾ ਸਭੁ ਕਾੜਾ ਅੰਦੇਸਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਚੁਕਾਵੈ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦਿ ਰਹੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤੀ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ੧ ॥ SGGS 3015. 1