Shabad Vichar

Khurasan Khasmana Kiya ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ

ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ Khurasan Khasmana Kiya

Karminder Singh PhD

This Shabd is composed by Guru Nanak ji in Asa Rag and is recorded on page 360 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The complete shabd is as follows.

ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨੁ ਡਰਾਇਆ ॥ Khurasan Khasmana Kiya Hindustan Draya.

ਆਪੈ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਰਤਾ ਜਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੁਗਲੁ ਚੜਾਇਆ ॥ Apey Dos Na Deyi Karta Jum Kar Mugal Chareya.

ਏਤੀ ਮਾਰ ਪਈ ਕਰਲਾਣੇ ਤੈਂ ਕੀ ਦਰਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥ 1 ॥ Eyti Mar Pyee Kurlanney Tain Ki Dard Na Aiya.

ਕਰਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਕਤਾ ਸਕਤੇ ਕਉ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਰੋਸੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Karta Tu Sabhna Ka Soyi. Jay Sakta Saktay Ko Marey Ta Mun Ros Na Hoyi. Rahao

ਸਕਤਾ ਸੀਹੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਪੈ ਵਗੈ ਖਸਮੈ ਸਾ ਪੁਰਸਾਈ ॥ Sakta Seeh Marey Paiy Vagey Khasmey Sa Pursayi.

ਰਤਨ ਵਿਗਾੜਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਕੁਤੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥ Ratun Vigarr Vegoe Kuti Moeya Sar Na Kayi.

ਆਪੇ ਜੋੜਿ ਵਿਛੋੜੇ ਆਪੇ ਵੇਖੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ 2 ॥ Apey Jorr Vichorrey Apey Vekh Teri Vadeayi.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ਧਰਾਏ ਵਡਾ ਸਾਦ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਣੇ ॥ Jay Ko Nao Dhraye Vdda Saad Krey Mun Bhanney.

ਖਸਮੈ ਨਦਰੀ ਕੀੜਾ ਆਵੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਚੁਗੈ ਦਾਣੇ ॥ Khasmey Nadri Kirra Avey Jaytay Chugay Danney.

ਮਰਿ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥ 3 ॥ Mar Mar Jevay Ta Kich Paye Nanak Nam Vkhanney.

This shabd stands high on the list of mistranslated shabds; with one of its verses (the third one) being (mis)translated as Guru Nanak expressing his “dismay” that the Creator “allowed the slaughter of innocent people” and bewailed the Creator by asking “didn’t you feel compassion?” (Sant Singh Translation).

The shabd is further (wrongly) described as being composed pertaining to the attack of Babur and narrated to the Mogul conqueror Babur as advice.

Gurbani is Sarab Sanji; by which is meant it is NEVER occasion, location, era or person specific. This means that while Gurbani is always composed at some location; may be composed to draw from specific occasions and events; and may be uttered in the presence of person or persons – the composition is NEVER MEANT for any specific location, any particular occasion or for a certain person(s).

ALL of Gurbani is composed for use in ALL locations, ALL occasions, ALL eras and ALL persons. Gurbani is spiritual in nature and meant for the WHOLE of humanity throughout time.

Specifying Gurbani for specific locations, occasions and person(s) is a human failing. It arises from our failure to explore the true spiritual messages of Gurbani within shabds. It originates out of our folly of wanting to understand Gurbani only in the literal sense.

UNDERSTANDING THE SHABD

This article attempts to provide Tatt Gurmat (Authentic SGGS based Sikhi) meanings to the verses by using the Gurbani Framework – a method which uses Gurbani within the SGGS to explain Gurbani.

The Rahao verse contains the gist of a shabd. It is the verse that contains the primary principle of the entire shabd. It is thus the verse that provides the context for the remaining verses. All remaining verses of the shabd revolve around this gist verse; and must thus be understood within the context provided by the Rahao verse.

We shall start by looking at the Rahao verse of the shabd under discussion.

ਕਰਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਕਤਾ ਸਕਤੇ ਕਉ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਰੋਸੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Karta Tu Sabhna Ka Soyi. Jay Sakta Saktay Kao Marey Ta Mun Ros Na Hoyi. Rahao

Karta – Creator. Tu – You. Sabhna Ka – Of all. Soyi – From ਸਾਰ ਲੈਣ ਵਾਲਾ; provider, protector. Jay – in the event, if. Sakta – Powerful, strong; prevalent. Saktay – Powerful, Overbearing Vices. Kao – Them. Marey – Lit. kills, eliminates, overcomes. Ta Mun (with sihari) – Within one’s mind. Ros – Grievance, Objection. Na Hoyi – Not have.

Note: As is the case with Gurbani, its messages are addressed to the mind. The words ਸਕਤਾ Sakta, ਸਕਤੇ Saktay, ਮਾਰੇ Marey and ਰੋਸੁ Ros are thus interpreted in the context of the mind.

O Creator, You are the Provider of All. A Mind that Prevails Over Overbearing Vices Will Have No Grievance Within Itself (Regarding the fact that You are the Provider of All).

COMMENT.

The common translation of this verse is “O Creator Lord, You are the Master of all. If some powerful man strikes out against another man, then no one feels any grief in their mind.” (Sant Singh MD). This literal translation is erroneous on the following four grounds.

One, why would Guru Nanak – a man of love, peace and God – feel no grief for the powerful fighting the powerful? He would feel grief at any and every kind of fight between mankind. In fact, fights between powerful opponents are more destructive and truly wasteful than between weaker opponents. Guru Nanak would express more grief if the powerful fought the powerful.

Second, in such a translation, the first verse of the Rahao appears to have no connection with the second. The first talks about God being the master of all. And the second suddenly shifts gears towards the powerful fighting the powerful! What is the relationship between these two disjointed points? There appears to be none; and that is because the translation is faulty.

Third, in such a translation, the first verse and the second become contradictory. If the Creator is the master of all – then he is the master of the fighting parties too – whether they are weak or powerful. So what then is the need to feel grief over one type of fight and not over another.

Fourth, such a translation takes away the spirituality of the message. What is the spiritual message in saying “there is no grief if the powerful fight the powerful?” How can a spiritually inclined mind feel no grief? Worse, the (mis)translations seem to suggest that the strong fighting the strong is acceptable.

The conclusion therefore is that this verse is NOT about any external fight between external forces. It is about our mind accepting that the Creator is the provider of all and our mind not having any grievances or complaints to that effect (Ta Mun Ros Na Hoyi). For such acceptance to take place, and for such grievances to not exist, our mind must prevail – be strong (Sakta) enough to overcome (Marey) the strong overbearing vices (Saktay) within our mind.

Let’s begin understanding this shabd from its first verse.

ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨੁ ਡਰਾਇਆ ॥ Khurasan Khasmana Kiya Hindustan Draya.

Khurasan – Persia (reference to the rulers and invaders during Guru Nanak’s times). Khasmana – by the Khasam (master); of the Master. As used in ਪ੍ਰਭ ਜੀਉ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕਰਿ ਪਿਆਰੇ ॥ ਬੁਰੇ ਭਲੇ ਹਮ ਥਾਰੇ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Prabh Jio Khasmana Kar Pyare. Burey Bhaley Hum Tharey. SGGS 631. Kiya – Created. Hindustan – India (reference to those who were being ruled as subjects by the foreign rulers). Draya – Instilled fear; in fear.

Note the word ਕੀਆ Kiya applies to both Khurasan and Hindustan. It cannot be that the Creator created one and not the other. The reference is not to the geographical places, but to people who are linked to both locations – the invader rulers and those who are invaded and ruled.

The Rulers Who Instil Fear and Their Subjects Are (Both) Creations of The Creator.

COMMENT

The common translation of this verse is “Having attacked Khuraasaan, Baabar terrified Hindustan.” Such a translation makes no sense on the following three grounds.

One, Babur is not mentioned in this verse, or in any verse in this shabd. Second, the words “having attacked” are not found in the verse. Third, the context that is provided in the Rahao verse is being disregarded and ignored.

If we bring in the context of the Rahao verse, then the connection becomes clear. In the Rahao verse Guru Nanak is saying “O Creator You are the Provider for All.” Now, in this first verse, the follow through message is: Both the Invader Rulers and the Ruled Are Creations of the Creator. The underlying question therefore is “Given that fear is an anti-thesis to spirituality, then who is responsible or to be blamed if the people live their lives in fear (Draiya)? The answer is provided in the next verse.

ਆਪੈ ਦੋਸੁ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਰਤਾ ਜਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੁਗਲੁ ਚੜਾਇਆ ॥ Apey Dos Na Deyi Karta Jum Kar Mugal Chareya.

Apeiy – (with dolavan) Self. Dos – Blame for responsibility. Na Deyi – Give not. Karta – Creator. Jum – Lit. soldiers of death. Causes of spiritual death; vices in general, crippling fear in this case. Kar – Result. Mugal –Mugals; the ruling class; invaders. Chareya – got conquered by.

Note: The verse is to read with the pause as follows: Apey Dos, (pause) Na Deyi Kartey.

The Self Bears Responsibility, Not the Creator; for the Crippling Fear of Conquest that Results in Spiritual Death.

BLUE: Context (Draiya) from the previous verse.

COMMENT

The common translation of the verse is “The Creator Himself does not take the blame, but has sent the Mughal as the messenger of death.” (Sant Singh MD). Such a literal translation is erroneous on the following grounds.

One, the notion of the “Creator taking blame” or otherwise is not the issue. The issue is if we human beings should assign blame for our follies on the Creator. The use of the words ਆਪੈ ਦੋਸੁ Apeiy Dos makes clear that the blame is ours to bear. The use of the words ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਰਤਾ Na Deyi Karta makes clear that blame cannot be laid on the Creator.

Two, the notion that the Creator “sent the Mughal as the messenger of death” is not in line with Gurmat. All matters of life and death are within the hands of the Creator himself. The Mughals are subject to death themselves, so how can they be messengers of death?

Third, the “death and destruction” that the Mughals brought was physical. Guru Nanak’s concern and that of Gurbani is “spiritual death”. This kind of death is caused by the crippling fear that the subjects suffer upon themselves as a result of the nature of the rule they live in. This is the point that is captured in the first verse with the word ਡਰਾਇਆ Draiya.

ਏਤੀ ਮਾਰ ਪਈ ਕਰਲਾਣੇ ਤੈਂ ਕੀ ਦਰਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਆ ॥ 1 ॥ Eyti Mar Pyee Krlanney Tain Ki Dard Na Aiya.

Eyti – Such. Mar – Lit. physical death; Spiritual death. Pyee – Sustaining. Krlanney – From ਕਰ Kar+ ਲਾਉਣਾ Launna, Taxing; 2. Wretched Pain. Tain– You. Ki Dard – Which pain, which suffering. Na Aiya – Not endured.

In Sustaining Such Spiritual Death, Which Wretched Pain Have You Not Endured, O Mind.

BLUE: Context from the Rahao verse.

COMMENT

The common translation is “There was so much slaughter that the people screamed. Didn’t You feel compassion, Lord? Such a literal translation is problematic on the following grounds.

One, asking such of the Lord is out of character of Guru Nanak. He says it four times in Jup Bani ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸਾਈ ਭਲੀ ਕਾਰ ॥ ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਲਾਮਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥ Jo Tudh Bhavey Sayee Bhlee Kaar. Tu Sda Slamat Nirangkar. The spirituality of Guru Nanak is of accepting the entirety of the will of the Creator under all circumstances; never to complain or lament. And certainly never to question the Lord.

Second, the word ਤੈਂ Tain translates as “you.” Given the context of the Rahao verse, it refers to the Mind, not the Creator. This word ਤੈਂ Tain further derives its context from the word ਆਪੈ ਦੋਸੁ Apeiy namely the self.

Third, the words ਤੈਂ ਕੀ ਦਰਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਆ Tain Ki Dard Na Aiya are being mistranslated. The word ਦਰਦੁ Dard means “pain.” It does not mean “Didn’t You feel Compassion, Lord? The Punjabi equivalent would be ਤੈਨੂੰ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਦਰਦ ਨਹੀ ਸਹਿਣਾ ਪਿਆ ? Tainu Kehra Dard Nahi Sehna Pya? Meaning: which pain have you not suffered?

Putting the above three pointers together the meaning of the verse is: In Sustaining (Pyee) Such Spiritual Death (Eyti Mar Payee) Which (Ki) Wretched Pain (Karlaney Dard) Have You Not Endured (Na Aiya), O Mind (Tain)

ਕਰਤਾ ਤੂੰ ਸਭਨਾ ਕਾ ਸੋਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਸਕਤਾ ਸਕਤੇ ਕਉ ਮਾਰੇ ਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਰੋਸੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Karta Tu Sabhna Ka Soyi. Jay Sakta Saktay Ko Marey Ta Mun Ros Na Hoyi. Rahao

O Creator, You are the Provider of All. A Mind that Prevails Over Overbearing Vices Will Have No Grievance Within Itself (Regarding the fact that You are the Provider of All).

ਸਕਤਾ ਸੀਹੁ ਮਾਰੇ ਪੈ ਵਗੈ ਖਸਮੈ ਸਾ ਪੁਰਸਾਈ ॥ Sakta Seeh Marey Paiy Vagey Khasmey Sa Pursayi.

Sakta – Powerful. Seeh – Lit. Lion. Sakta Seeh – idiomatic, powerful as lion; vice filled mind. Marey – Lit. physical death; Spiritual death. Marey Paiy – Causes spiritual death Vagey – 1. Group of animals. 2. From ਵਗਦਾ ਪਿਆ Flowing, continuous, sustained. Khasmey – Master’s, owners. Sa – Of , to. Pursayi –1. Masculinity 2. From ਪੁਰਸ਼ਿਸ਼ (ਪੁਛ ਗਿਛ); accountability.

The Powerful Vice Filled Mind Causes Sustained Spiritual Death; the Accountability of Which Accrues to its Owner

COMMENT

The verse has been commonly mistranslated as:” if a powerful tiger attacks a flock of sheep and kills them, then its master must answer for it.” Such a translation is problematic on the following grounds.

One, there is no spiritual message in such a literal translation.

Two, a tiger attacks and kills a single prey at a time, not a flock of them. The word “sheep” is not mentioned in the verse. The word ਵਗੈ Vagey must therefore be translated for the purpose of this shabd not as a flock but as flowing or continuous.

Three, the owner of an animal being responsible for an attack on it by a tiger is indeed base and common knowledge. Nothing new or earth shattering about such a disclosure. It is certainly no spiritual revelation of any kind.

Guru Nanak (and the remaining 34 writers of Gurbani) have strived to provide enlightenment that is not just superior but unique, distinct, and matchless. To assign base and common stuff to Gurbani is to relegate its Godly enlightenment to base level.

The verse is about the sustained spiritual destruction that a powerful vice filled mind brings about onto itself, and the revelation that accountability for such death (spiritual) cannot be transferred elsewhere.

ਰਤਨ ਵਿਗਾੜਿ ਵਿਗੋਏ ਕੁਤੀ ਮੁਇਆ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਕਾਈ ॥ Ratun Vigarr Vegoe Kuti Moeya Sar Na Kayi.

Ratun – Lit. Precious stones; sp. conscience. Vigarr – Break in relations, quarrel, estrangement. Vegoe – Destroyed, destructed. Kuti – Lit. by the dogs; metap. Temporal Greed. Moeya – Lit. Dead, spiritually dead. Sar – Concern. Na – None. Kayi – No one.

In Such Sustained Spiritual Death, The Conscience is Estranged (From the Creator); Destructed by Temporal Greed, Yet It Is of No Concern to Any of the Powerful Vices

BLUE: Context from the previous verse.

ਆਪੇ ਜੋੜਿ ਵਿਛੋੜੇ ਆਪੇ ਵੇਖੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥ 2 ॥ Apey Jorr Vichorrey Apey Vekh Teri Vadeayi.

Apey – Self. Jorr – Lit. Join; sp. Bring about Realization of the Creator Within. Vichorrey– Lit. Separate; sp. Negate the Realization. Vekh – Lit. See, know, enlightened. Teri – Your. Vadeayi – Greatness; ability.

One’s Self Creates Realization (of the Creator Within) and Negates It; Know That This is Your Greatness O Mind.

BLUE: Context from Rahao verse.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ਧਰਾਏ ਵਡਾ ਸਾਦ ਕਰੇ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਣੇ ॥ Jay Ko Nao Dhraye Vdda Saad Krey Mun Bhanney.

Jay – If, should. Ko – One, someone. Nao – Virtues. Dhraye – claim. Vdda – Greatness, Glorrious. Saad – Pleasures. Krey – Partake, Perform, Do. Mun Bhanney – From ਮੰਨ ਭਾਉਂਦੇ Self Indulgence.

Should One Make a Claim to Glorious Virtues; Yet Revel in Selfish Indulgences, O Mind

BLUE: Context from Rahao verse.

ਖਸਮੈ ਨਦਰੀ ਕੀੜਾ ਆਵੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਚੁਗੈ ਦਾਣੇ ॥ Khasmey Nadri Kirra Avey Jaytay Chugay Danney.

Khasmey – Creator’s, Master’s, Of the Creator / Master, Pertaining to the Creator. Nadri – Grace, blessings. Kirra – Ant, worm; metap. Lowly. Avey – Comes. Jaytay – Just like, not different. Chugay – Lit. pick up, collect. Danney – Lit. seed for feed. Chugey Danney – survival activities, make a living.

When it Pertains to the Creator’s Grace; Such A Claim and Revelling Is No More Than Temporal Survival by Lowly Means

BLUE: Context from previous verse.

ਮਰਿ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਪਾਏ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੇ ॥ 3 ॥ Mar Mar Jevay Ta Kich Paye Nanak Nam Vkhanney.

Mar – Death; Liberated. Mar Jevay – Lit. death while living; sp. Liberated from vices while living. Ta – Only, Then. Kich – That particular thing; reference to Grace from the previous verse. Paye – Obtain, Realize. Nam – 1. Divine Virtues. 2. From ਨਿਯਮ, ਨੇਮ Niyem, Neym: Hukm, Order. Vkhanney – Discourse, state.

Nanak States His Hukm: Live a Life Liberated from Vices O Mind; Only Then Is Grace Realized.

CONCLUSIONS

This shabd conveys spiritually rich messages pertaining to living virtuously that are derived from within the context of living under social, political and cultural systems that are or can be inhibiting.

Guru Nanak is providing spiritual (and temporal too) pointers enable virtuous living within such a context. The overall message is that political, social and cultural subjugation should not be allowed to come in the way of our spiritual goals. They should also not be blamed for our spiritual failings; neither should one blame the Creator.

The Rulers and the Ruled are creations of the one single Creator. Fear can be eliminated from within our mind if we accept this premise. (Verse 1 and First Part of Rahao).

If one rejects such a premise, then one will blame the Creator for it – a misplaced action. The self and the self alone bears responsibility for allowing fear to cripple one to the point of spiritual death. Fear can be eliminated from within our mind if we accept this premise. (Verse 2).

In spiritual death the mind has to endure the pain of a vice-filled life – the accountability of which accrues to one’s self. The result is a conscience that is destructed by temporal greed and thus estranged from the Creator. (Verses 3, 6 & 7)

Temporal survival lures the self to make claims of virtuous-ness while revelling in selfish indulgences. (Verse 9 & 10)

The Hukm pertaining to spirituality is plain: One needs to live a life liberated from vices, and realization of the Creator within must be created by the SELF. The mind is the entity that is fully empowered to do this. Only then is grace realized, says Nanak. (Second part of the Rahao Verse, Verses 8 & 11).

All these messages are applicable to the entirety of humanity across the entirety of social, cultural and political systems that we live in.

End.

Articles · Shabad Vichar

Aath Pehr Nikt Kar Janeiy. ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ॥

Karminder Singh Phd (Boston)

Shabd Vichar

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ Aath Pehr Nikt Kar Janeiy.

Karminder Singh Phd (Boston)

The complete Shabd as composed by Guru Arjun ji and recorded on page 392 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is as follows:

ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Asa Mehla 5 (SGGS Page 392)

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਾਨੈ ॥ Aath Pehr Nikt Kar Janeiy. Prabh Ka Keeya Mitha Maneiy.

ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤਨ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸਭ ਕੀ ਪਗ ਛਾਰੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ Ek Nam Santn Adhar. Hoey Rhey Sabh Ki Pug Char.

ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sant Reht Sunho Merey Bhayi. Ua Ki Mehma Kathn Na Jayi. Rahao.

ਵਰਤਣਿ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਅਨਦ ਰੂਪ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥ Vartann Ja Keiy Kevl Nam. Anud Roop Kirtan Bisram.

ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਤ੍ਰੁ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ੨ ॥ Mitr Satr Ja Keiy Eyk Smaneiy. Prabh Apney Bin Avar Na Janeiy.

ਕੋਟਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਅਘ ਕਾਟਨਹਾਰਾ ॥ ਦੁਖ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਨ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਦਾਤਾਰਾ ॥ Koat Koat Agh Kattunhara. Dukh Dur Karn Jea Kay Datara.

ਸੂਰਬੀਰ ਬਚਨ ਕੇ ਬਲੀ ॥ ਕਉਲਾ ਬਪੁਰੀ ਸੰਤੀ ਛਲੀ ॥ ੩ ॥ Surbeer Bachan Kay Blee. Kaula Bapuri Santi Chlee

ਤਾ ਕਾ ਸੰਗੁ ਬਾਛਹਿ ਸੁਰਦੇਵ ॥ ਅਮੋਘ ਦਰਸੁ ਸਫਲ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥ Ta Ka Sang Bachei Surdev. Amogh Dars Safl Ja Ki Sev.

ਕਰ ਜੋੜਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਰੇ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੰਤਹ ਟਹਲ ਦੀਜੈ ਗੁਣਤਾਸਿ ॥ ੪ ॥ Kar Jorr Nanak Krey Ardas. Mohe Santeh Tehl Dejay Gunntas.

Given that the Rahao verse contains the primary message of the shabd around which the remaining verses of the shabd revolve, this verse needs to be understood first. The Rahao verse is

ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ Sant Reht Sunho Merey Bhayi. Ua Ki Mehma Kathn Na Jayi.

UNDERSTANDING THE WORD ਸੰਤ SANT

The word ਸੰਤ sant needs to be understood within the context of Gurbani and Gurmat.

Outside the confines of Gurbani it is used to address a certain group or class of people. The claim is that ਸੰਤ sant is a title for spiritually elevated human beings.

Such a definition and application has NO place in Gurmat and is NOT supported by Gurbani on the following two grounds.

FIRST, no Sikh was ever referred to or addressed as “sant” during the entire Guru period of 1469 till 1708. Even the most prominent of Sikhs such as Mardana ji who accompanied Guru Nanak throughout his life; Gurdas ji – in whose hand the Pothi Sahib was first transcribed; Dyala ji, Sati Das ji and Mati Das ji who were martyred together with ninth Guru Teg Bahadur ji; and all Panj Pyare who took and administered the baptism of Khande Di Pahul from and to Guru Gobind Singh ji – carried the title of BHAI.

Based on this point alone, the word ਸੰਤ sant could NOT have been used by the Guru for a class or group of human beings that were not in existence within Gurmat and not recognised by the Gurus.

SECOND, the use of the word ਸੰਤ sant for a collective group or class of persons is critiqued in Gurbani. Bhagat Kabir says on Page 476 of the SGGS. ਆਸਾ ॥ ਗਜ ਸਾਢੇ ਤੈ ਤੈ ਧੋਤੀਆ ਤਿਹਰੇ ਪਾਇਨਿ ਤਗ ॥ ਗਲੀ ਜਿਨਾ ਜਪਮਾਲੀਆ ਲੋਟੇ ਹਥਿ ਨਿਬਗ ॥ ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਭਾਵਹਿ ॥ ਡਾਲਾ ਸਿਉ ਪੇਡਾ ਗਟਕਾਵਹਿ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Asa. Gaj Sadhey Tey Tey Dhotian Tehrey Payean Tug. Galin Jina Jup Maliya, Lotey Huth Nibug. Oye Har Kay Sant Na Akheay Banares Kay Thugg. Aisay Sant Na Mo Ko Bhavey. Dala Sio Peyda Gurkavey.

Bhagat ji is describing a group / class of people who have labelled themselves as “sants.” These self-proclaimed “sants” classify themselves by a certain identity of dress (dhotia) and symbols (tug) as well as religious paraphernalia (Jup Malia – rosary- and Nibug Lotey – shining begging bowls).

Readers will note that the object of critique is not the symbols or identity per se, since these symbols and identity may vary as they indeed have amongst the different groups of “sants.” The critique is over the claim that this group of people are of an elevated status purely on the basis of the self-proclaimed title of “sant.”

Kabir critiques them as deceitful people with a self-ordained religiosity (Benares Kay Thugg). He further declares that he does not accept this group. He reasons that they are corrupted self-proclaimed cheats who are so tainted with greed as to “consume not just the fruit, but the seed, branches and the entire tree even.”

Based on this second point too, the word ਸੰਤ sant could NOT have been used by the Guru for a class or group of human beings that were critiqued in Gurbani.

It is worth noting that in line with the above two principles, there is no record of any one SIKH bearing the title ਸੰਤ sant from after the Guru period from 1708 till the early twentieth century. Sikhs who laid down their lives in this post-Guru period – Mani Singh ji, Taru Singh Ji, Shabeg Singh ji, Lachman Singh Ji and countless others were all given the title of BHAI.

The first Sikh to adorn the title of “sant” was one Attar Singh who was a soldier in the British Army in Punjab. He was given the title by the British in 1905 – together with four others. They were sent to various parts of Punjab (Attar Singh went to his village Mastuana) to do their bidding -which was to weaken Sikhs by wilting their faith in the SGGS. This was achieved by the British ordained “sants” by entangling Sikhs in discarded rituals such as endless mantra recitations. He goal was to make Sikhs beholden to these human “sants.” The British bestowed “sant-hood” was propagated through fake accounts of the “abilities” of these “sants’ – accounts that were often verified by their British handlers. One such account relating to Attar Singh of Mastuana was his ability to be on duty at the barracks at the same time as he was “preaching Sikhi” in his village.

In the 100 years since Attar Singh, some 20,000 dera outfits exist in the villages of Punjab and each is owned and run by a self-proclaimed “sant”.

The Gurbani verse of Guru Amardas ji on page 491 of the SGGS: ਹਿਰਦੈ ਜਿਨੑ ਕੈ ਕਪਟੁ ਵਸੈ ਬਾਹਰਹੁ ਸੰਤ ਕਹਾਹਿ ॥ Hirdey Jin Key Kappat Basey Bahron Sant Kahayey. (The desire to be labelled as “sant” based on an external identity signifies a spiritually corrupt mind) is a clear injunction of prohibition of the practise of self-proclamation (Sant Khayey).

As if 20,000 self-proclaimed ‘sants’ are not enough, there is currently a pressure group sort of organization that calls itself SANT SAMAJ (An Organization / Community of “sants”). The notion of being spiritually elevated is so rare that the claim of a “community” of such persons is a clear contradiction of terms.

The Gurbani verse ਓਇ ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਹਿ ਬਾਨਾਰਸਿ ਕੇ ਠਗ ॥ Oye Har Kay Sant Na Akhiyeay Banares Kay Thugg (They call themselves “sant” as their self-proclaimed title, but they are crooks within the community of the spiritual) is also clear injunction of prohibition of such behaviour.

WHAT DOES THE WORD ਸੰਤ SANT MEAN IN GURBANI?

The word SANT appears in the following FOUR contexts in the SGGS.

1) For THE CREATOR. When used such, it always appears as singular. It is used, for instance, in the verse of Guru Arjun on page 97 of the SGGS: ਭਾਗੁ ਹੋਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਸੰਤੁ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ Bhaag Hoa Gur Sant Milaeya. Prabh Abhinasi Ghar Mein Paya. Meaning I am blessed that my Guru has united me with God (Sant).

2) For THE GURU. When used such, it also appears as singular. It is used, for instance, in the Verse of Guru Ramdas ji on page 667 of the SGGS: ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਸੰਤੁ ਸਤਗੁਰੁ ਸਤ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਜੋ ਬੋਲੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਬਾਨੀ ॥ Har Ka Sant Satgur Sat Purkha Jo Boley Har Har Bani. Meaning: The Divine Guru (Har Ka Sant) is Creator Connected (Sat Purkha) and Creator Connecting (Sat Gur) and Discourses Omnipresent Creator Related Bani (Boley Har Har Bani).

Guru Arjun on page 622 of the SGGS has this verse: ਸੰਤ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਧਰਮ ਕੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਕੋ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਪਾਏ ॥ Sant Ka Marug Dharam Kee Pauree. Meaning the Path (Marag) of Spirituality (Dharam) is established step by step (Pauree) by the Guru and realized (Paye) through the blessings of the Guru.

In another verse on page 867 of the SGGS, Guru Arjun uses the word SANT in singular as follows: ਸੋਈ ਸੰਤੁ ਜਿ ਭਾਵੈ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਸੰਤ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੈ ਏਕੈ ਕਾਮ ॥ 1 ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Soi Sant Jay Bhavey Raam. Sant Gobind Keiy Ekey Kaam. So SANT in the verse refers to Guru. My Guru (Soi Sant) is blessed (Bhavey) by the Creator (Raam).

In no circumstances can the above verses refer to any human entity other than the CREATOR or the Guru himself. The claim that the word SANT is used in Gurbani for the class / group of people who have proclaimed themselves as such thus falls flat.

On page 280 of the SGGS, Guru Arjun provides what can be described as the most comprehensive explanation of the word SANT. Some 60 verses are composed one after another – all containing the word SANT. Immediately after completing these verses, Guru Arjun states in the clearest of terms: ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ਬ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਸਭ ਜਾਨੁ ॥ ਦੇਵਨ ਕਉ ਏਕੈ ਭਗਵਾਨੁ ॥ Manukh Ki Teik Birthee Sabh Jaan. Devun Kao Ekeiy Bhagwan.

Guru ji is saying that the giver is the One Creator (Sant) and that reliance of such giving from a human (Manukh) is completely in vain (Birthee Sab Jaan). This verse and its placement at the close of a long discourse on the concept of SANT makes it clear that Guru Arjun is using the word SANT for the Creator and things relating to the Creator such as His Command. He makes clear that he is NOT using it for a class or group of the human beings.

3) For GENUINE seekers of the Creator. In this case, the usage is in the plural or as second person. The root of the word SANT is SAT (meaning the Creator who is in existance). So the meaning of Sant is “one seeking to connect with SAT”. In reality therefore SANT in this third context or its equivalent – SANTHO, SANTUN, etc. is in the plural form and refers to us Sikhs. SANT is what our Gurus want us to be – seekers of SAT (the Creator Within).

The following verse of Guru Arjun on page 621 of the SGGS is illustrative: ਸੰਤਹੁ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਨਿਸਤਰੀਐ ॥ Santho Raam Naam Nistereriya. (O Seekers of the Creator (Sikhs), the Way to Successful Spirituality Is to Acquire Godly (Raam) Virtues (Naam).

4) For a CRITIQUED class / group of people who either proclaim themselves “sant”, add it to their names, use it as a title, or desire to be called such by others. Gurbani critiques this group of people on the following grounds:

A. It is discriminatory because this class is saying they are higher than the lay people. On the other hand, the accepted honorific of BHAI in Gurmat denotes equality and brotherhood of mankind.

B. It is anti-thesis to control of ego. Calling one’s self higher than others is not spirituality sanctioned.

C. Our Gurus did not support the use of “spiritual” titles that were in vogue then – Sri 108, Chatur Vedi, Duvedi, Trivedi, Sri 111 etc. These titles were meant to denote how many religious books one had read of the 108 Upnishdas, 18 Puranas and 4 Vedas. The mere reading of any kind of spiritual texts (including the SGGS) is of little value in Sikhi as it does no more than feeds one’s ego. The ego relies on the basis that “I have read x number of texts y number of times.” The Gurbani injunction is to understand, accept, believe, inculcate, internalize and become the messages.

Based on the discussion above then, we can attempt to interpret the Rahao verse as follows:

ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sant Reht Sunho Merey Bhayi. Ua Ki Mehma Kathn Na Jayi.

Sant – The Creator. Reht – Code, Rule, Law, Order; Hukm. Sunho – Lit. Listen; abide, internalize. Merey Bhayi – O Mind. Ua Ki – Of that, it. Mehma – Praise, laudation, tribute, greatness, value. Kathan Na Jayi – Beyond words, unspeakable, cannot be narrated.

Internalize the Hukm of the Creator, O Mind; it’s Value to My Spirituality is Beyond Narration.

BLUE: Context of Gurbani

Now, the First verse of the shabd:

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਕੀਆ ਮੀਠਾ ਮਾਨੈ ॥ Aath Pehr Nikt Kar Janeiy. Prabh Ka Keeya Mitha Maneiy.

Aath Pehr – Lit. 24 hours; at all times; always. Nikt Kar – Lit. Near; Within. Janeiy – Lit. Know; Realize. Prabh Ka Keeya – Will / Hukm of the Creator. Mitha – Lit. Sweet. Maneiy – Accept. Mitha Maneiy– Accept Willingly; Submit.

Realize the Hukm Within Always O Mind; Submit to the Will of the Creator.

BLUE: Context from Previous Verse

ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੰਤਨ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਰਹੇ ਸਭ ਕੀ ਪਗ ਛਾਰੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ Ek Nam Santn Adhar. Hoey Rhey Sabh Ki Pug Char.

Ek – One Creator. Nam – Virtues. Ek Nam – Divine Virtues, Santn – Plural. Seekers of Realization of Sat (the Creator). Adhar – Lit. Support, base; figurative: Nourishment. Hoey – Become. Rhey – Remain. Sabh Ki – of all (Virtues). Pug Char – lit., dust of the feet; figurative: Humility.

Divine Virtues Nourish Seekers of Realization; Become Them (Divine Virtues) All and Remain in Humility

ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਉਆ ਕੀ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਕਥਨੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sant Reht Sunho Merey Bhayi. Ua Ki Mehma Kathn Na Jayi.

Internalize the Hukm of the Creator, O Mind; It’s Value to My Spirituality is Beyond Narration.

BLUE: Context of Gurbani

ਵਰਤਣਿ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥ ਅਨਦ ਰੂਪ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥ Vartann Ja Keiy Kevl Nam. Anud Roop Kirtan Bisram.

Vartann – Daily Sustenance. Ja Keiy – Of my Spirituality. Kevl – Only, solely. Nam – Divine Virtues. Anud – Bliss. Roop – Take form; Become. Kirtan – Melody. Bisram – Lit. rest; calm, peace.

Divine Virtues Are My Sole Daily Sustenance; My Spirituality Has Become Blissful, Melodious and Peaceful

BLUE: Context of Gurbani

ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਸਤ੍ਰੁ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨੈ ॥ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਅਪੁਨੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ੨ ॥ Mitr Satr Ja Keiy Eyk Smaneiy. Prabh Apney BinAvar Na Janeiy.

Mitr – Friend. Satr – Foe. Mitr Satr – Humankind. Ja Keiy – In Such. Eyk Smaneiy – On par; equal, same; Becomes One. Prabh – Creator. Apney – Mine. Bin Avar – Other than. Na – None. Bin Avar Na – In all. Janeiy– Lit, know; Realize.

In Such Bliss and Peace, Humankind Becomes One; I Realize None Other Than My Creator in All.

BLUE: Context from Previous Verse

ਕੋਟਿ ਕੋਟਿ ਅਘ ਕਾਟਨਹਾਰਾ ॥ ਦੁਖ ਦੂਰਿ ਕਰਨ ਜੀਅ ਕੇ ਦਾਤਾਰਾ ॥ Koat Koat Agh Kattunhara. Dukh Dur Karn Jea Kay Datara.

Koat Koat – Lit. Millions upon millions; All, Complete. Agh – Agony, Anguish. Kattunhara – Eradicate. Dukh – Pain, Sorrow. Dur Karn – Eliminate. Jea Kay – Of life, of Spiritual Life. Datara – Giver, provider.

Such Realization of the Provider of My Spiritual Life Eradicates All Anguish and Eliminates Sorrow

BLUE: Context from Previous Verse

ਸੂਰਬੀਰ ਬਚਨ ਕੇ ਬਲੀ ॥ ਕਉਲਾ ਬਪੁਰੀ ਸੰਤੀ ਛਲੀ ॥ ੩ ॥ Surbeer Bachan Kay Blee. Kaula Bapuri Santi Chlee

Surbeer– Lit. Warrior; Courageous. Bachan – Words, Advice, Message. Kay – of. Blee – from ਬਲਵੰਤ Balvant – Strong, powerful, potent. Kaula – Temporal Materialism. Bapuri – Wretched. Debilitating. Santi – Pronounced Santi(n) with a bindi. Through the Sant, through My Guru. Chlee – Overcome.

I Overcame Wretched Temporal Materialism Through My Guru’s Courageous and Potent Spiritual Messages

BLUE: Context from Previous Verse

ਤਾ ਕਾ ਸੰਗੁ ਬਾਛਹਿ ਸੁਰਦੇਵ ॥ ਅਮੋਘ ਦਰਸੁ ਸਫਲ ਜਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥ Ta Ka Sang Bachei Surdev. Amogh Dars Safl Ja Ki Sev.

Ta Ka – Of that. Sang – Company. Bachei – Seek, desire. Surdev. – Divine, Divinity. Amogh – Invaluable. Dars – Philosophy, messages. Safl – Successful, worthy. Ja Ki – Of Whom, Whose. Sev – from ਸੇਵਕ Sevak – follower, disciple; discipleship.

My Divinity Desires the Company of that Guru; Whose Messages Are Invaluable and Discipleship Worthy

BLUE: Context from Previous Verse

ਕਰ ਜੋੜਿ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਰੇ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥ ਮੋਹਿ ਸੰਤਹ ਟਹਲ ਦੀਜੈ ਗੁਣਤਾਸਿ ॥ ੪ ॥ Kar Jorr Nanak Krey Ardas. Mohe Santeh Tehl Dejay Gunntas.

Kar Jorr – Lit. with folded hands; humbly. Krey – Makes, does. Ardas – Supplication. Mohe – Me, mine. Santeh – Of the Sant, of the Guru. Tehl – to serve; to be a disciple of. Dejay – Give, Provide. Gunntas – Treasure of Divine Virtues.

Nanak’s Supplication is in Humility; To Be the Disciple of the Guru Who Provides Me with A Treasure of Divine Virtues.

Notes:

1. The correct interpretation of the word ਸੰਤ Sant and its derivatives ਸੰਤੀ Santi(n) and ਸੰਤਹ Santeh in the final three verses is CRUCIAL in getting to the correct messages of the shabd.

2. In the final verse Guru Arjun is asking to be provided with a “treasure of divine virtues”. These treasures cannot come from a human being or class of beings who proclaim themselves as “sant.” It can only come from the Guru. The word ਸੰਤਹ Santeh (of the sant) therefore means “of the Guru.”

3. In the second last verse, Guru ji is desirous of the company of a “sant” whose “messages are invaluable and discipleship worthy.” Again such can only come from the Guru.

4. In the verse preceding that, Guru Arjun ji is saying “I overcame temporal materialism through the Sant’s (ਸੰਤੀ Santi(n)) courageous and potent spiritual messages.” Such messages can only come from the Guru. It is clear therefore that this derivate word ਸੰਤੀ Santi(n) refers to the Guru.

5. The above interpretations become possible through the correct interpretation of the word ਸੰਤ Sant in the Rahao verse. Guru Arjun uses the words ਸੰਤ ਰਹਤ Sant Reht in the Rahao Verse. Given that the word ਰਹਤ Reht means “discipline, rule, order, law” etc., and given that Guru Arjun is addressing his mind to “internalize that Reht” – the word “sant” in this verse can only mean “the Creator” and “sant reht” as the “Creator’s law, order or Hukm.”

6. It would be a mockery of Gurbani, not to mention that of the spirituality of Guru Arjun to translate “sant reht” as the “discipline of those who proclaim themselves as “sant.”

End.

Shabad Vichar

Jaisa Satgur Sunnida

ਜੈਸਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੁਣੀਦਾ

Jaisa Satgur Sunnida ਜੈਸਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੁਣੀਦਾ

Karminder Singh PhD (Boston)

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਕੀ ਵਾਰ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ ਸਲੋਕ ਮ: ੫ ॥

Ramkli Ki Vaar Mehla 5. Ek Oangkar Satgur Parsad. Salok Mehla 5.

Vaars in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) primarily consists of paurrees. The original structure of a Vaar is a collection of paurres that are composed by the author of the Vaar.

During the process of compilation of the Pothi Sahib, Guru Arjun elected to add from 1 to 4 saloks to each paurree. The saloks were composed either by the author of the Vaar, or other Gurus. This means that the saloks were composed independently of the Vaars. Consequently, one can find a Vaar composed by the first Guru containing saloks composed by succeeding Gurus.

The primary criteria for adding the saloks was the subject matter. Saloks were thus added by Guru Arjun to the paurees based on their ability to expand, illustrate or exemplify the subject matter contained with the particular pauree to which the saloks were being added.

Saloks that remained un-fitted into the paurees of the 22 Vaars were put together into a bani towards the end of the SGGS (page 1410 -1426) called Salok Varaan Tay Vadheek (Saloks in Excess of the Vaars).

As is evident from the title, the Gurbani verses being interpreted in this article are taken from a Vaar within the Ramkli Chapter of the SGGS. This is the first paurree of that Vaar and there are two saloks – both composed by Guru Arjun – that are appended to this paurree.

The Gurbani Framework requires that in the case of a Vaar, the concluding (final) verse of the paurree be interpreted first as the verse that contains the gist of the message of the entire paurree. This gist is then interwoven into the remaining verses of the Paurree and the Saloks that come along with it.

 

Continue reading “Jaisa Satgur Sunnida”

Shabad Vichar

Koee Janeiy Kavn Eha Jug Meet

 Karminder Singh PhD (Boston)

 

ਕੋਈ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਵਨੁ ਈਹਾ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ Koee Janeiy Kavn Eha Jug Meet

Karminder Singh PhD (Boston)

ਜੈਤਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੩ ॥ ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

Jaitsree Mehla 5 Ghar 3 Ek Oangkar Satgur Parsad.

ਕੋਈ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਵਨੁ ਈਹਾ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ॥

Koee Janeiy Kvn Eha Jug Meet.

Koee – One in many, Rare. Janeiy – Lit. Know; Realization. Kvn– How, What. Eha Jug– Lit. This world; Spiritual World, Spiritual Journey; Spirituality. Meet– Lit. Friend, Acquaintance, Associate; Mind. 

Rare is the Realization Pertaining to Spirituality, O Mind

Note: The messages of Gurbani are addressed to the mind. Words such as ਭਾਈ ਰੇ Bhai Ray, ਅਰੀ ਬਾਈ Aree Bayi, ਮਾਈ ਮੈ Mayi Mein, ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤ Mayrey Meet etc. even if literally referring to relations are often used to address the mind.

ਜਿਸੁ ਹੋਇ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾਲੁ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਧਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Jis Hoey Kirpal Soi Bidh Bhujey Ta Ki Nirmal Reet

Jis – Which. Hoey – Lit. Happens, takes place. Jis Hoey – Through which. Kirpal – The Creator. Soi Bidh– That Way (of Spirituality). Bhujey– Lit. Know; Realization. Ta Ki– Of which, Whose. Nirmal– Lit. Without Contamination; Unique. Reet – Lit. Practices; Conduct, Manner.

Through Which Spirituality the Creator is Realized and Whose Manner is Unique.

BLUE – Context from previous verse.

ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਇਸਟ ਮੀਤ ਅਰੁ ਭਾਈ ॥

Maat Pita Banta Sut Bhandup Esht Meet Ar Bhayee

Maat Pita– Lit. Parents. Banta– Lit. Wife. Sut– Lit. Children. Bhandup– Lit. Friends. EshtMeet– Lit. Close friends. Ar– O. Bhayee– Lit. Brother.

Note: The phrase “Maat Pita Banta Sut Bhandup Esht Meet” collectively refers to the family and associates. This verse is generally translated to mean that these relations and relatives are OBSTACLES and HINDRANCES to our spirituality and of no help in our spiritual journey.

The literal meaning cannot be applied for the following two reasons:

  1. Saying that our parents, spouses, siblings, family etc. are HINDRANCES and OBSTACLES to spirituality is NOT a Gurmat concept. All of these are God given and to be treated with love and respect – not with the suspicion that they are obstacles. Treating the family as such, and renouncing it was indeed part of the pre-1469 spiritual practices; but Gurbani has critiqued it.
  2. If accepted in the literal sense, the verse would NOT apply to a FEMALE because a female cannot have a Banta “wife” and because the word “husband” is not included in the list of family. This would mean that the verse would have no applicability to half the human world. This is not the norm in Gurbani. All of Gurbani applies to all of human-kind.
  3. The final two words of the verse “Ar Bhayee” (O Mind!) makes clear that Guru Arjun is addressing the Mind. If the word “Bhayee” is translated literally as “brother” then the question arises as to why “sisters” are left out.

The issue in the Rahao verse is Spirituality that brings about realization of the Creator. The issue in this verse is therefore being addressed to the mind.

The spiritual message of the verser therefore is with regard to “family and associates” of the MIND. The family of the Mind consists of the SENSES as they are closely related to the mind. The associates of the MIND are the innumerable thoughts and ideas that keep emanating from it, reside within the mind and define our mind.

The SENSES and our THOUGHTS have a REAL and IMPACTFUL bearing on our spirituality. This is the uniqueness of the messages of Gurbani in general and this shabd in particular. So the verse would have to be interpreted accordingly.

ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਇਸਟ ਮੀਤ ਅਰੁ ਭਾਈ ॥

Maat Pita Banta Sut Bhandup Esht Meet Ar Bhayee

Maat Pita Banta Sut – Lit. Parents, Wife, Children, Family; Senses. Bhandup, Esht Meet– Lit. Friends, Close friends; Thoughts that are close to the mind. Ar– O. Bhayee– Lit. Brother; O Mind.

All My Senses and Thoughts That Remain Close to Me; O Mind!

ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਅੰਤਹਿ ਕੋ ਨ ਸਹਾਈ ॥ ੧ ॥

Purub Janm Kei Miley Sanjogi Anthey Ko Na Sahayi.

Purub – Origin, start. Janm– Life. Kei– Of. Miley– Received. Sanjogi– Associates; partners. Anthey Ko – That Inner, Within. Na Sahayi– Do not assist.

They Originate with, and are Partners of Life; Yet Do Not Assist That Inner Journey of Realization of the Creator Within

BLUE – Context from Rahao Verse.

ਮੁਕਤਿ ਮਾਲ ਕਨਿਕ ਲਾਲ ਹੀਰਾ ਮਨ ਰੰਜਨ ਕੀ ਮਾਇਆ ॥

Mukt Mal Kank Lal Hira Mun Ranjun Ki Maya

Mukt– Freedom, Emancipation. Mal– Lit. collection of beads; Treasure. Kank Lal Hira – Lit. Gold, Gems; Invaluable. Mun – Mind. Ranjun– Origin (Runj) – Imbued. Ki – Of. Maya– Illusion.

My Senses and Thoughts Are an Invaluable Treasure for My Emancipation O Mind; Yet Are Imbued in Illusions

BLUE – Context from Previous Verse.

ਹਾ ਹਾ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਹਾਨੀ ਅਵਧਹਿ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ੨ ॥

Ha Ha Karm Bihani Avdheh Ta Meh Santokh Na Paya

Ha Ha Karm– Deeds of Self Interest. Bihani– Spent, passed. Avdheh– Life. Ta – Result, Outcome. Meh– I. Santokh– Contentment. Na Paya – Not Realized.

Imbued in Those Illusions My Life Has Passed in Deeds of Selfishness; the Result of Which I have Not Realized Contentment

BLUE – Context from Previous Verse.

ਹਸਤਿ ਰਥ ਅਸ੍ਵ ਪਵਨ ਤੇਜ ਧਣੀ ਭੂਮਨ ਚਤੁਰਾਂਗਾ ॥

Hast Ruth Asth Pavan Tej Dhanni Bhuman Chatranga

Hast-Lit. Elephant; metaphor for Pride (of size and strength). Ruth Asth Pavan Tej– Lit. Charriots Pulled by Horses that Run Faster than the Wind; metaphor for Power. Dhanni– Wealthy. Bhuman– Lit. Land Proprietor. Chatranga– Lit. Four types of armies; metaphor for Enormous Power.

These Deeds of Selfishness Can Create Mammoth Pride, Immense Wealth and Enormous Power

BLUE – Context from Previous Verse.

ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਚਾਲਿਓ ਇਨ ਮਹਿ ਕਛੂਐ ਊਠਿ ਸਿਧਾਇਓ ਨਾਂਗਾ ॥ ੩ ॥

Sungg Na Chaleyo En Meh Kachuaei Uth Sidhayo Nanga.

Sungg – Lit. Accompany; Assistance. Na Chaleyo– Lit. go along. En Meh– Amongst these. Kachuaei– None. Uth-Awaken. Sidhayo– Traverse, travel. Nanga– Lit. nude; metaphor for being devoid.

None of These Deeds Offer Assistance Along the Journey of Spirituality; Awaken O Mind! Traverse It Devoid of Such Deeds

BLUE – Context from Previous Verse and Rahao Verse.

ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਤ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੇ ਤਾ ਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗਾਈਐ ॥

Har Kay Sant Priya Pritam Prabh Kay Ta Keiy Har Har Gayeay

Har-Omnipresent Creator. Kay– Of. Sant (plural) – Seekers of Realization of the Creator Within. Priya Pritam– Beloved. Prabh – Lord. Ta Keiy– Of Whom (Creator). Har Har Gayeay- Lit. Singing of Virtues of the Omnipresent Creator; Imbuing Divine Virtues.

Seekers of Realization of the Creator Within Remain Imbued in Divine Virtues of the Beloved Lord

ਨਾਨਕ ਈਹਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਆਗੈ ਮੁਖ ਊਜਲ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੈ ਪਾਈਐ ॥ ੪ ॥ ੧ ॥

Nanak Eha Sukh Agey Mukh Ujal Sang Santan Keiy Payieay. SGGS 700

 

Eha –Here and Now. Sukh– Spiritual Bliss. Agey– Future, objective, goal (in spirituality). Mukh Ujal- Lit. Radiant Face; Joyous having achieved the spiritual goal. Sang– Assistance; Accompany. Santan– Of the Sant, Pertaining to the Sant (singular) Guru. Keiy– Of Whom (Creator). Payieay– Lit. Obtained; Achieved (the spiritual goal).

 

Nanak, Remaining Imbued in Divine Virtues Provides Spiritual Bliss Here and Now and in Realizing My Spiritual Goal; I Achieved this Goal through the Company of my Guru.

BLUE – Context from Previous Verse.

Note: The word “Sant” in singular refers either to the Creator or Guru in Gurbani. In the plural it refers to seekers of the Creator.

 

Points to Note.

  1. The intended message of the shabd is spiritual in nature. Specifically, it is about Realization of the Creator Within.
  2. The shabd points out that the primary driver of our spiritual process is our MIND.
  3. The primary obstacles faced by our mind are the worldly and temporal dictates of our SENSES and our THOUGHT PROCESSES.
  4. The GOAL of spirituality is Realization of the Creator Within the SELF. And the primary method is through the IMBUING of DIVINE VIRTUES.
  5. The IMBUING OF DIVINE VIRTUES provides bliss HERE AND NOW (while on the Journey) and provides ASSISTANCE towards ACHIEVING the GOAL of our spirituality.
  6. The company and assistance of the Guru is necessary in achieving our goal of spirituality.
  7. Literal translations that ask us to consider our family, relatives and friends as obstacles and for us to go into the company of mortals who proclaim themselves as “sants” rob us of the opportunity in getting to the intended messages of the shabd. Gurmat does not consider the family and relatives as spiritual obstacles. Gurmat also does not recognize the ability of self-proclaimed “sants” to assist us in our actual journeys. Sikhi is a spirituality of the Self, by the Self, for the Self. Guru Nanak says ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸਵਾਰੀਐ ॥ Apann Hathee Apnna Apey Hi Kaaj Swareay. (SGGS 474). End.
Articles · Shabad Vichar

Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ

Karminder Singh, PhD

ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ

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Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay

Karminder Singh, PhD

The Gurbani Framework calls for the use of GURBANI to understand, explain, translate and interpret GURBANI.

The Gurbani Framework is a response to a variety of distorted translations using Vedantic, Taksalee, Yogic and literal methods – all of which rely on use of sources OUTSIDE of Gurbani to interpret Gurbani.

This article interprets the following pauree from page 464 of the SGGS ji by applying the Gurbani Framework.

ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥

Pauree. Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.

ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥

Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.

ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥

Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.

ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥

Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruaayea.

ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥

Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.

One of the primary principles of the Gurbani Framework is that the Rahao verse contains the central thesis of a shabd. This verse needs to be understood first. The remaining verses of the shabd must be interpreted within the CONTEXT of the Rahao verse. This is because the rest of the shabd or bani revolves around the Rahao verse. The Rahao verse is the gist message while the remaining verses are illustrations, examples, cases in point, supporting arguments, justifications, and rationalizations. Or they are explanations, validations, clarifications and corroborations. In other words, they revolve around the Rahao verse which acts as the anchor of the entire narrative of the shabd or bani.

When it comes to Paurees, the FINAL verse of each Pauree functions as the Rahao verse. As the concluding verse it contains the gist of the entire Pauree and sets the context for the remaining verses.

The final verse of the Pauree under discussion is:

ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.

The translation that is available interprets this verse as follows: The blind man has wasted his life away. (Sant Singh MD page 464).

The following three critical observations pertaining to the translation are in order.

FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “a blind man” in the verse. If one’s life was wasted away on account of one’s blindness, then blind human beings would have no chance for spirituality. Conversely, those who are not blind are thus not capable of “wasting their lives away.”

SECOND, the word ਮਨਿ Munn is omitted from the available translation.

THIRD, the word ਗਵਾਇਆ is present tense. So the translation “has wasted” is inaccurate. It should be “is wasting”.

The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.

By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani one can gather the following two pointers.

FIRSTLY, Gurbani addresses our mind. The way to read this verse is therefore: Munn Andhey ! Janam Gavayea.

SECONDLY, the word ਅੰਧੈ (Adhey) in Gurbani does NOT refer to those who are blind; but those who are devoid of enlightenment (within their minds). As in

ਅੰਧਾ ਸੋਇ ਜਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਿ ਲੋਚਨ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ Andha Soey Je Andh Kamavey Tis Ridey Sey Lochan Nahi. SSGS 1289

Meaning: Blind are Those Who Acquire Ignorance; Whose MINDS Are Unable to Realize.

Also:

ਅੰਧੇ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਜਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੋਇਣ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਘੁਥੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ੧ ॥ Andhey Eh Na Aakhiey Jin Mokh Loen Nahi. Andhey Seyi Nanaka Jey Khasmho Ghuthey Jahe. SGGS 954

Meaning: Consider Not Blind Those Who Have No Eyes. The Blind, O Nanak, Are Those Who Are Lost On Their Journey of Spirituality.

Taking into mind the Gurbani Framework, then, the meaning of the concluding verse of the Pauree in question is:

ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.

O Un-Enlightened Mind! My Life Is Being Squandered as A Result (Of Your Unenlightened State).

We now know (from the final verse acting as the Rahao verse) that the context of this Pauree is about Human Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani.

Now let’s look at the first verse, ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥ Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.

Sant Singh MD translates it as: Enjoying his pleasures, one is reduced to a pile of ashes, and the soul passes away.

The following three critical observations pertaining to the translation can be made.

FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “soul” or “passing away” meaning death.

SECOND, there is the issue of literal translation of words. ਭਸਮੜਿ Bhasmar is translated literally as “reduced to a pile of ashes.”

THIRD, Sikhi concepts are CHANGED to Vedic / Yogic concepts. This verse and the entire Pauree is about LIVING, but the Vedic translation makes it appear as if it is about LIFE AFTER DEATH.

The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.

By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we can get the meanings of the primary words and concepts that are used by Guru Nanak in this verse.

ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ Bhog Bhog Kay means living a life engulfed solely in material and worldly matters. As in:

ਮਿਰਤੁ ਨ ਆਵੀ ਚਿਤਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਭੋਗੈ ਭੋਗੁ ॥ Mirt Na Avi Chit Tis Ehnes Bhogey Bhog. SGGS 71.

Meaning: One Lives a Live Engulfed Day and Night in Material; Forgetting Death Even.

ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ Hoey Bhasmar (root ਭਸਮ Bhasam) is idiomatic language for “reducing life’s worth to nothing” As in:

ਸਭ ਤੇ ਆਪ ਜਾਨੈ ਬਲਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਜਾਇ ਭਸਮੰਤੁ ॥ Sabh Tay Aap Janey Balwant. Khin Mey Hoey Jaey Bhasmant SGGS 278

Meaning: One Thinks One Is Most Powerful. But (When Compared to The Creator) Such Power Is Worth Nothing Even for One Second.

ਭਉਰੁ Bhaur (root ਭਵਰ Bhavr) is metaphorically used to reflect the roaming characteristic of the human mind. Bhaur is a butterfly; and in Gurbani it is used to depict the non-focused, un-stilled, fleeting and anguished mind. A mind that moves from one desire to another. As in:

ਭਵਰਾ ਫੂਲਿ ਭਵੰਤਿਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਅਤਿ ਭਾਰੀ ਰਾਮ ॥Bhavra Ful Bhavanteya Dukh Att Bhari Raam. SGGS 439.

Meaning: The Mind Wanders Like a Butterfly from Flower to Flower; In Spiritual Anguish.

Given the context of the Final verse and using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the above verse is as follows.

ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥ Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.

Living A Life Anchored in Worldly Pursuits Dictated by an Anguished Mind That Wanders from One Pursuit to Another, My Spiritual Journey Is Being Reduced to Nothing.

Now let’s examine the second verse: ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.

Sant Singh MD translates it as: He may be great, but when he dies, the chain is thrown around his neck, and he is led away. Prof Sahib Singh translates it as ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਧੰਧਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਫਸਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਜੀਵ (ਜਦੋਂ) ਮਰਦਾ ਹੈ, (ਇਸ ਦੇ) ਗਲ ਵਿਚ ਸੰਗਲ ਪਾ ਕੇ ਅੱਗੇ ਲਾ ਲਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ. Engulfed in the deeds of worldliness, when the human dies, chains are put around his neck and he is led away.

The following three critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.

FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is NO mention whatsoever about DEATH here.

SECOND, critical words and concepts such as ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ Duneedar is omitted from Sant Singh’s translation. Duneedar means someone who is LIVING IN THIS WORLD. It is probably omitted because it contradicts the Vedic translations’ obsession with life after death.

THIRD, words are wrongly translated. ਹੋਆ Hoa – is translated as “MAY BE”. Whereas its meaning is “is.” The word ਚਲਾਇਆ Chaleya is mistranslated as LED AWAY, perhaps again, to keep the focus on life after death. The notion that chains are put around “the neck” after death make absolutely no sense given that “the neck” is either buried or cremated with the rest of the body during the funeral.

ਚਲਾਇਆ Chaleya is a verb in the present tense meaning; “being conducted or being run.” Both translations above therefore are operating under the shadows of Vedic paradigms of life after death.

The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.

By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani, we get the meanings of the words

ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ means the shackles of the human vices. As in

ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਪਰਹਰੁ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ॥ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਜਿ ਹੋਹੁ ਨਿਚਿੰਦਾ ॥ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕਾ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਤੋੜਿ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ Kaam Krodh Parhar Par Ninda. Lab Lobh Taj Hoh Nichinda. Bhrum Ka Sangal Torr Nirala Har Antar Har Rus Paiya.

Meaning: Discard Desire, Anger and Slander. Remove (From Your Mind) The Effect of Greed. Break Free from Their Illusory Shackles, And Be That Unique Mind Within Which Godly Realization Resides.

ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ means “living one’s worldly life in ego of being in control.”

Using the Gurbani Framework and keeping the CONTEXT (Human Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani) the meaning of the second verse is:

ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.

I have lived my worldly life in the illusion that I am in control; but (in reality) my life is being run as bound in shackles to human vices.

Now, let’s examine the third verse: ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥ Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.

Sant Singh MD translates it as: There, his good and bad deeds are added up; sitting there, his account is read. Sahib Singh translates it as ਪਰਲੋਕ ਵਿਚ (ਭਾਵ, ਧਰਮਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਵਿਚ, ਵੇਖੋ ਪਉੜੀ ੨) ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਸਿਫ਼ਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ ਰੂਪ ਕਮਾਈ ਹੀ ਕਬੂਲ ਪੈਂਦੀ ਹੈ, ਓਥੈ (ਜੀਵ ਦੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਕਰਮਾਂ ਦਾ) ਹਿਸਾਬ ਚੰਗੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ (ਇਸ ਨੂੰ) ਸਮਝਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ. In Parlok (meaning in the court of Dharm Raj) only the praise of God done is accepted. There the accounting of (the being’s deeds) is properly explained.

The following two critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.

FIRST, both translations attempt to keep the focus on death and life after death – contradicting the true message of the shabd (as ascertained from the final concluding verse) which is about human life lived HERE and NOW.

SECOND, there is the issue of wrong translation of words. ਅਗੈ Agey is not a location where something happens. Under the Vedic influence, Sahib Singh adds the words “in the court of Dhrm Raj” even.

We know that the spiritual focus of Sikhi is the MIND. ਅਗੈ Agey thus has to be translated in such a context. ਸਮਝਾਇਆ Samjhaiya cannot be translated as “is read” (Sant Singh) or is “properly explained” (Sahib Singh). One can question the logic of “reading out” or “properly explaining” by asking “to whom” given that “reading” and “explaining” are HUMAN functions of the SENSES and the MIND – ALL OF WHICH CEASE TO EXIST UPON DEATH.

The outcome of the above two errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.

By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we get the meanings of the crucial words and concepts that are used in this verse as follows.

ਅਗੈ Agey translates as “future, forward, progress or objective) as in

ਅਗੈ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਵੇਕਾਰ ॥ ੩ ॥ Agey Gayea Janeeay Vinn Navey Vekaar. SGGS 16.

Meaning: Moving Forward (On The Journey of Spirituality) One Realizes That a Life Without Godly Virtues Is Wasted.

ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ Karnee Keerat. Karanee translates as “actions and deeds that we conduct.” And Keerat as “praiseworthy.” Together it means “praiseworthy deeds.”

ਵਾਚੀਐ Vacheay (root Vachey) means “to study, to analyze, to assess.” As in:

ਪੰਡਿਤ ਵਾਚਹਿ ਪੋਥੀਆ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ Pandit Vachey Potheya Na Bujhey Vichar. SGGS 56

Meaning: The Pundit Studies and Analyzes the Religious Books, But His Discourse Brings About No Realization.

ਲੇਖਾ Lekha refers to the continuous and cumulative acts or deeds that are positive. These are of course undertaken during one’s lifetime. As in

ਸੇ ਕਰ ਭਲੇ ਜਿਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਲੇਖਾ ॥ Say Kar Bhaley Jinee Har Jus Lekha. SGGS 103

Meaning: Benevolent are the hands that accumulate praiseworthy deeds.

ਸਮਝਾਇਆ Samjhaiya means to create an understanding. As in

ਕਰਹੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਈ ਮੈ ਸੁਮਤਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਸਮਝਾਇ ॥ Karho Kirpa Bhrum Chukayee Mein Sumat Deh Samjhaye. SGGS 346.

Meaning: Bless Me with The Ability to Remove My Doubts, and an Intellect That Will Bring About Understanding.

Using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the third verse is:

ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥ Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.

O Mind, Do Understand That Progress On the Journey of Spirituality Is Assessed / Weighed On the Accumulation of Praiseworthy Deeds.

Let’s look at the fourth verse: ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruayea.

Sant Singh MD translates it as: He is whipped, but finds no place of rest, and no one hears his cries of pain. Sahib Singh translates it as: ਓਥੇ ਮਾਰ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਤੇ ਢੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਿਲਦੀ, ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਇਸ ਦੀ ਕੋਈ ਭੀ ਕੂਕ-ਪੁਕਾਰ ਸੁਣੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਂਦੀ । As he is beaten there no support comes his way, at that point none of his cries of agony can be heard.

The following two critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.

FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “whipping” in the verse. The root of ਰੂਆਇਆ Ruaayea is ਰੋਣਾ – weep, but there is no mention of “cries of pain” or “cries of agony” in the verse.

SECOND, there is the issue of wrong translation of words. ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ Thaon Na Hove is wrongly translated as “no place of rest.” As said above, the final verse makes clear the Pauree is about Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani. It is NOT about life after death. Hence the words “no place to rest” distorts the message because it is derived from the Vedantic / Yogic paradigms.

The outcome of the above two errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.

By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we get the meanings of the words

ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ Thaon Na Hovee means “not get any respect or dignity.”

ਪਉਦੀਈ Paudayee comes from the words ਪੈਦੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ Paindee Jandee. It means “being put into.” Here is means “descending” or being put into an increasingly negative position.

ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ Hunn Suneya means to ‘listen instantly, now, without delay”

ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Ruaayea. The root of ਰੂਆਇਆ Ruaayea is ਰੋਣਾ – weep, cry, and shed tears; but the context of the pauree is spiritual. In Gurbani spirituality the word “weep or cry” is used as an expression of deep regret. As in

ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਰੋਵੈ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਧੋਖਾ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵੈ ॥ Hukm Na Janey Bahuta Rovey. Andur Dhokha Neend Na Sovey. SGGS 85.

Meaning: Not Understanding the Creator’s Hukm, One Regrets; His Inner Spirituality Suffers Deceit and He Gets No Peace and Solace.

Using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the fourth verse is

ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruayea.

My spiritual life is descending into disrespect and indignity, listen without delay, will you O mind! and not regret later.

ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.

O un-enlightened mind! my life is being squandered as a result (of your unenlightened state).

Compare this to the Vedic / Yogic / Literal Translation: The blind man has wasted his life away.

 

POINTS TO NOTE.

The following four points are worth nothing in the interest of getting to authentic Tatt Gurmat based interpretations of Gurbani.

FIRSTLY, that Gurbani is talking about LIFE HERE and NOW. And that translations adopting the Vedic / Yogic – knowingly or unknowingly – end up steering Gurbani into LIFE AFTER DEATH. The primary concerns of the Vedic / yogic systems are indeed connected intrinsically with matters of LIFE AFTER DEATH; whereas Gurbani is primarily focused on LIVING LIFE.

SECOND, that Vedic, Taksalee and Yogic translations DISTORT Gurbani to the extent that they hijack the UNIQUE spiritual messages of Gurbani; slanting them towards REJECTED non-Sikhi belief systems. The ultimate outcome of these mistranslations is the almost complete hijacking of Sikhi. Large majorities of Sikhs today accept these Vedic and Yogic concepts as Sikhi tenets.

THIRD, the hijacking of Gurbani interpretation happens through the following methods which may be deliberate or by error – all of which are illustrated in the defective translations presented of the five verses of the Pauree under discussion above.

a) Wrong Translation of Words. (ਅੰਧੈ (Andhey being translated as ‘blind’ instead of un-enlightened)

b) Changed Concepts (The utility of Guru Nanak’s spirituality for the HERE and NOW being presented as one focused on life AFTER death).

c) Adding (in the translation) what is NOT contained in the Verse being translated. (Adding the words “the soul passes away” to the translation of verse one, adding “when he dies” and “in the court of Dhrm Raj” in verse two, and adding “he is whipped” in verse four.)

d) Changing the original words in the verse to suit the hijacking.

e) Presenting downright Illogical stuff. (The notion – from verse 2 – that chains are put around “the neck” after death make absolutely no sense given that “the neck” is either buried or cremated with the rest of the body during the funeral. The logic – from verse 3 – of “reading out” or “properly explaining” also makes no sense given that “reading” and “explaining” are HUMAN functions of the SENSES and the MIND – ALL OF WHICH CEASE TO EXIST UPON DEATH.

There is therefore a need to interpret Gurbani as Gurbani; using Gurbani as the only source of reference if we intend to get to the messages that were intended by the authors of Gurbani.

Articles · Shabad Vichar

Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ

ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥ Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee.

Karminder Singh PhD

The shabd is composed by Guru Teg Bahadur ji and is contained on Page 633 of the SGGS. The complete shabd is as follows:

ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥ Sorath Mehla 9

ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ ਅਪਨੈ ਸੁਖਿ ਲਾਗਿਓ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee. Sagl Jagt Apney Sukh Lageyo Dukh Mei Sang Na Hoyee.

Continue reading “Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ”

Articles · Shabad Vichar

Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap.

ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ

 

ਕਾਹੇ ਪੂਤ ਝਗਰਤ ਹਉ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਾਪ ॥

Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap.

Karminder Singh, Phd.

This deeply spiritual and divine shabd is composed by Guru Ramdas ji and is contained on page 1200 of the SGGS.

The literal translation of the first verse is: O Son, Why Do You Argue with Your Father. It is a Sin to Argue with The One Who Fathered You and Raised You. (Sant Singh MD Khalsa)

The common interpretation of the shabd is that it was composed by the fourth Guru both as a reprimand as well as advise to his elder son Prithi Chand. Professor Sahib Singh, in his Darpan writes the following towards the end of his translation of this shabd.

ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਿਆਈ ਮਿਲਣ ਤੇ ਬਾਬਾ ਪ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਚੰਦ ਨੇ ਪਿਤਾ-ਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਵਿਰੋਧਤਾ ਕੀਤੀ । ਤਦੋਂ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਇਹ ਉਪਦੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ । Translation: Prithi Chand opposed his Father-Guru upon the conferment of Guruship to Guru Arjun. This (shabd) was the advice given to him at that point.

The origin of this story is a book titled ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka. The meaning of the word ਉਥਾਨਕਾ Uthanka is “introductory information.” According to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha’s Mahan Kosh (Encyclopaedia) Uthanka is a book whose author is unknown and it contains the “reasons and circumstances” behind the composition of selected shabads.

There is no denying that Prithi Chand opposed Guru Ramdas ji’s decision pertaining to the transition of Guruship to Guru Arjun because he wanted the position for himself.

He had been entrusted with major responsibilities by Guru Ramdas ji pertaining to the finances, logistics and administration of the Ashram of the fourth Guru at Amritsar. He had thus expected that the Guruship would be handed down to him.

He turned on his father after the announcement that his youngest brother Arjun was appointed Guru instead.

The issue that needs examination is whether this deeply rich and spiritually meaningful shabd has anything to do with the behaviour of Prithi Chand; and whether it is addressed to him.

 

Continue reading “Kahey Poot Jhagrut Haon Sang Baap.”