Guru Nanak Ki Bani

Articles on Sikhism written by Sujan Singh

Essence of Japji

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INTRODUCTION

THE ESSENCE OF GURU NANAK DEV JI’S JAP JI SAHIB

IKOANKAAR

    IK

    OM, OAN

    KAAR

    SAT

    NAAM

    KARTAA

    PURUKH

    NIRBHAU

    NIRVAIR

    AKAAL

    MOORAT

    AJOONEE

    SAIBHANG

    JAP

JAP JI SAHIB

PAUREE-1

PAUREE-2

PAUREE-3

PAUREE-4

PAUREE-5

PAUREE-6

PAUREE-7

PAUREE-8

PAUREE-9

PAUREE-10

PAUREE-11

PAUREE-12

PAUREE-13

PAUREE-14

PAUREE-15

PAUREE-16

PAUREE-17

PAUREE-18

PAUREE-19

PAUREE-20

PAUREE-21

PAUREE-22

PAUREE-23

PAUREE-24

PAUREE-25

PAUREE-26

PAUREE-27

PAUREE-28

PAUREE-29

PAUREE-30

PAUREE-31

PAUREE-32

PAUREE-33

PAUREE-34

PAUREE-35

PAUREE-36

PAUREE-37

PAUREE-38

SLOKA

Acknowledgements

 

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INTRODUCTION

Guru Essence of Guru Nanak's Jap Ji Saheb BY Sujan Singh Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikh religion, was born at Nankana Sahib (formerly Rai Bhoe Ki Talwandi), now in Pakistan, on the full moon night of October- November 1469 A.D. Modern historians now cite the actual date of birth of Guru Ji as April 15, 1469 A.D. Guru Nanak Dev was born at a time when conditions of society in India had deteriorated to the lowest level. Guru Ji has described the extent of degradation in many of his shabads enshrined in holy Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy granth (book) of Sikh religion. Guru Ji said that the king (Ibrahim Lodhi) was the epitome of greed; his prime minister was the sinner and his finance minister was the embodiment of lies. The ladies of the harem were king’s counsellors. The illiterate public was the mute witness to the king’s misdeeds and turned their blind eyes and deaf ears to whatever the king and his courtiers were doing. At another place, Guru Ji said that the judges did not deliver their justice unless their palms were greased with some money. After the defeat of Ibrahim Lodhi by Babar, Guru Ji described Indians as flocks of sheep, which were not protected by their Lodhi masters from Babar’s atrocities. The causes of degradation of Indian society were the prevailing caste system at that time and exploitation of common people by Brahmins through the maze of religious rituals. One of the important aspects of Guru Ji’s mission was to bring reformation in the society by getting rid of these rituals. At the age of nine years, Guru Ji inflicted the first blow on these rituals when he refused to wear the sacred thread from his family Brahmin.

After achieving the preliminary education and working in the agricultural fields of his father, revered Mehta Kalu Ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji started his mission of social reformation and universal brotherhood at the age of 38 years. Guru Ji undertook three tours, both within and outside India, from 1507-1521 A.D. to spread his message of righteous living, recitation of God’s name or NAM and sharing of wealth with fellow beings.

Guru Ji’s first mission extended to eight years from 1507-1515 A.D. During this mission, Guru Ji visited Haridwar, Nanak Mata, Ayodhya, Prag, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna, Gorakhpur, Assam, Calcutta, Jagan Nath Puri, Rameshwaram, Sre Lanka, Somnath, Dwarka, Bikaner, Pushkar, Mathura, Vrindawan, Delhi, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Sultanpur Lodhi and back to Nankana Sahib (Sahib Singh 1973).

After his first mission, Guru Ji founded the city of Kartarpur and moved with his family and parents to this city.

In his second mission (1517-1518 A.D.), Guru Ji started from Kartarpur and visited Uttrakhand, Pasrur, Amnabad, Sialkot, Jammu, Kashmir, Sumerparbat and back to Kartarpur via Sialkot (Sahib Singh 1973).

Guru ji’s last tour was from 1518-1521 A.D.. In this tour, Guru Ji’s mission extended to Pakpattan, Mecca, Madina, Bagdad, Balkh, Kabul, Peshawar, Hasan Ibdal (now Panja Sahib), and Amnabad and back to Kartarpur (Sahib Singh 1973).

During his missions, Guru ji spread his philosophy of one God, purification of soul by doing good deeds, recitation of NAM and sharing of wealth with the poor. Guru ji preached against the practice of following futile rituals in the name of religion and converted many kings, landlords, scholars, saints, pirs and common people to his faith, later named as Sikh faith or Sikh religion. After his travels, Guru Ji settled at Kartarpur from 1521-1539. It was here that Guru Ji wrote Jap Ji Sahib. Guru Ji breathed his last on September 7, 1539 when the eternal light merged with divine light.

 

*Jap Ji Sahib Steek, Singh Brothers, Mai Sewan, Amritsar, Punjab, India.152 pp.

There are conflicting opinions about the time when Guru Ji wrote Jap Ji Sahib. The general belief among Sikh followers is that Guru wrote Jap Ji Sahib after emerging from waters of a rivulet near Sultanpur Lodhi, Punjab during the year 1507. Jap Ji Sahib represents the central theme of Guru Ji’s BANI and thus appears to have been written during Guru Ji’s last days of life. Guru Angad Dev Ji (then Bhai Lehna Ji), the second guru of sikhs, came to Guru Ji during 1532 A.D. He was a great scholar who invented Punjabi language alphabets. A view is also expressed that Bhai Lehna Ji was asked by Guru Ji to write a synopsis of Guru Ji’s BANI for reciting as a morning prayer by Sikh devotees. Prof. Sahib Singh (1973)  does not support this view as Jap Ji Sahib has its own theme around which this BANI is woven. Prof. Sahib Singh’s view that Guru Ji wrote Jap Ji Sahib in solitude during Guru Ji’s stay at Kartarpur appears more acceptable.

Jap Ji Sahib teaches us to raise the ethic, spiritual and intellectual level of our mind through 38 steps or Paurees. Upto the first 15 Paurees, Guru Ji defines God and His attributes and then explains measures by which we can create love of God in our mind and become God’s chosen ones. From Paurees 16-27, Guru Ji explains the position of earth in the universe, creation of man and innumerable other living beings on earth and the innumerable attributes of God. In Pauree 27, Guru Ji metaphorically explains the court of God along with His courtiers. Paurees 28-31 are directed to sadhus to follow righteous living to achieve spiritual enlightenment. In Paurees 32-38, Guru Ji summarises his philosophy through six steps. These include continuous recitation of God’s name or NAM for purification of thoughts, righteous living for achieving salvation, situation of earth in the universe and the knowledge of other celestial bodies, gods, goddesses, ascetics, sages and saints, spiritual development of Surat, Mat, Man and Budhi, attainment of physical and spiritual might through spiritual endeavour and finally to ascend  the realm of Truth or door of God.

In order to understand the philosophy of Jap Ji Sahib, it is imperative that we try to understand the mind of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Ji’s mind was vast and deep like an ocean. It is impossible to gauge the depth of the ocean of Guru Ji’s knowledge. However, repeated attempts to dive into that ocean enabled me to collect a few gems and pearls with the help of which I ventured to write the essence of Jap Ji Sahib.  If this book is able to convey the philosophy of Jap Ji Sahib in its right perspective, this should be considered as the grace or blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

In this book, Gurbani is written in Roman script. A key is given for the correct pronunciation of the vowels used in Gurbani of Jap Ji Sahib reproduced in this book. However, Nanak is written with a single ‘a’ though Guru Ji’s name is spelled as Naanak.

        A key for vowel pronunciation

        A: as ‘u’ in but.    AA: as ‘a’ in car.    E: as ‘a’ in take.    EE: as in feel

        I: as in sit.          O: as in core.        OO: as in root.      U: as in put           

        AI:as a in pack

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The Essence of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Jap Ji Sahib

Jap Ji Sahib is the essence of entire Guru Granth Sahib, the holy granth (book) of Sikh religion. The essence of Jap Ji Sahib enshrines the basic philosophy of Sikh religion. Jap Ji Sahib consists of two slokas and 38 Pauree. One sloka is in the beginning and the other sloka is at the end of Jap Ji Sahib. Jap Ji Sahib is preceded by the definition of God and God’s salient attributes by which He can be identified.

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IKOANKAAR

Jap Ji Sahib starts with the word ‘Ik Oankaar’, which may be spelled as Ikonkaar, Ikomkaar or Ikamkaar. It consists of three parts. These are’ Ik’, Oan and Kaar. Each part has a deep, spiritual meaning. The whole word is the Beej mantra (origin principle) of Sikh religion in Sikh tenets. It defines God. It illustrates the basic concept of God, conceived by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru and founder of Sikh religion. All the three parts define separately different aspects of concept of God.

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IK

‘Ik’ means one. Here ‘Ik’ defines God when He had not created the universe as yet. He was one and the only one at that time. He was in himself. There was no universe, no suns, no planets, no satellites, no living or non-living creatures, no good or bad deeds, no light, no days or nights. In fact there was total darkness at that time. God had not created in Himself His own powers, including the power of creation and the power of destruction.  He was thus devoid of any characteristics or any qualities. He was in Himself. He was one and only one. There was darkness and darkness all around. The ancient Hindu books describe this period, when God was one and only one, extending to 36 yugas (one yug is variously described as 1000 years, 10, 000 years or even more). This Ik describes that state of God. It is also named as Nirguna state, the state when God had not acquired His powers by Himself or the state when God did not use His power to create.

Once, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was asked by learned saints to describe that state of God, the ‘Nirguna’ state. Guru Nanak Dev Ji replied that ‘Nirguna’ state of God is a divine wonder. A man is too little a creature to even think of that state, let alone to describe that state. When God Himself had not acquired His power of creation, how can a created one, the human, think of that state of God? Everyone and everything is created by God. How can a created one think of the state of a creator when there was nothingness, no creation, only the creator. He, the creator, only knew about Himself of that state.

Strangely enough, science, also explains the state of universe prior to Big Bang in more or less a similar way.“ What existed prior to this event is completely unknown and is a matter of pure speculation. About 15 billion years ago, the entirety of our Universe was compressed into the confine of an atomic nucleus. All the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. Known as a singularity, this is the moment before creation when space and time did not exist. According to the prevailing cosmological models that explain our universe, an ineffable explosion, trillions of degrees in temperature in any measurement scale that was infinitely dense, created not only fundamental subatomic particles and thus matter and energy but also space and time itself”(world website, Google, Canada).

According to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, all creations were into God when God was in Nirguna state. Tenth guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji also said that when God attained creative powers, He created the entire universe, the living and non-living, the planets and suns, the galaxies and thus the universe. But when at any moment, God would like to destroy His creation; all created would go into Him.

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OM OR OAN

Second part of ikoankar is ‘Om’ or’Oan’. Literal meaning of ‘Om’ is ‘it exists’ or so be it or Amen. In ancient literature, the word ‘Om’ is equated with God. It is stated to be worshiped like God, to be repeatedly uttered like God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji has also used Om indicating God. It is used to depict existence of God. In fact, the word ‘Om’ is used to indicate the way God exists.

When God desired to create the world, He came out from Nirguna (without any qualities or characteristics) to Sarguna state (having acquired all His qualities). Thus ‘Om’ depicts God’s Sarguna state. In Surguna, Guru Nanak Dev Ji recognizes God in three forms.

1.  He is inaccessible

It is beyond conception of any living being to know where God actually lives. No body can reach Him. A created one with a physical existence is unable to visualize the exact abode of his creator when the creator is beyond any physical existence. A human being can conceive things around him with the help of his five senses of perception i.e. the sense of hearing, sense of seeing, sense of smelling, sense of tasting and sense of touch. None of these senses are capable of reaching up to God. God in that state cannot also be described in words. Worldly things do not affect him. He is purest of the pure. He is somewhere beyond this universe, beyond any cosmic world if it exists. Yet He is the lord of the entire universe, the master of the entire world. He controls His kingdom, the kingdom of this universe or any cosmic world beyond this universe. Every thing exists through His will. If at any time, He desires to destroy His creation, He would do it in a fraction of a second. The entire universe exists at the mercy of God.

2. He is omnipresent

This is His second mode of existence. In spite of being inaccessible, His existence is evident in everything created by Him, both in animate and  inanimate creation. When God acquired in Himself by Himself the quality of creation, He created the universe. He created galaxies, stars, planets, satellites, moons, and all living beings on earth. He created micro-organisms, plants, insects, animals, land, oceans, and mountains. He created man, the master of all other creatures on earth. When God created the Universe He bound them all under certain fixed principles. Sikh’s fifth guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji states that all the creation created by God is bound by certain fixed principles and these principles work under the divine command of God. Nothing is created haphazardly. Everything is created under some principle and these principles are strictly obeyed, both by living and non-living beings under His divine command, described as HUKAM by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. If the wind blows, it blows under some principle. Similarly, as Guru Nanak Dev Ji states, the rivers flow, the fire works, the earth bears the weight of everything on it, the revolution of moon around earth, earth around sun and sun around other suns in its galaxy all work on some fixed principle under His divine command. If any created one tries to disobey His divine command, there would be total destruction. Everything will finish in no time.

For a moment, if we consider that the earth changes its course around sun just by a few centimetres, everything on earth will perish. The moon will perish and with that the other planets revolving around our sun would loose their balance. Thus everything in this universe is continuously revolving around some other thing under a fixed principle, under the divine command (Hukam) of God. All their movements work on more or less same principle, be it a sun, earth, moon or a tiny electron revolving around protons and neutrons. They are all governed by a fixed principle. If that principle is disturbed; havoc ensues. Just imagine displacement of a few electrons from uranium atom enabled scientists to make an atomic bomb with immense energy stored in that. Then imagine, how much energy is stored in revolution of earth around sun, or moon around earth. If somehow, this energy or a part of it were released, what havoc would it cause? It will bring with it total destruction. Thus there lies the caution that we should obey the nature and through it, obey the divine command of God. We should not disturb nature. Disturbing of nature amounts to disobeying the divine command of God, the HUKAM of God. Therefore it is the fear of God’s divine command that nature is working with His fixed principles. This fear exists in every thing, living and non-living, every electron, positron, neutron, wind, water, fire, mountains, oceans, stars, planets, satellites. It is this fear through which God exists in every thing, living and non-living,  created by Him. He is thus omnipresent. He exists in everything He created through His divine command. For  example every country has its own constitution to govern his people. They enact laws. No man can dare to kill another man under the fear of the law of his land. If he does kill, he himself is destroyed. He meets his fate of disobeying the law. In the same way, in a broader perspective, disobeying God’s principle of creation would bring havoc, self-destruction of us humans. We will destroy ourselves under His divine command. God therefore exists in His creation in the form of His HUKAM, His divine command which none can dare to disobey. He is thus omnipresent.

3He is within every human being

His light, His principles of goodness is enshrined inside every living being. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that after creation of humans, God incorporated in them His own self, His NAAM, His characteristics to act as a judge to analyse good or bad, to guide us humans to clear our souls from sins committed in past and present life and to cleanse our soul of all that had converted it from transparent to opaque. At another place in holy Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God’s holy light within us guides us to spend our lives in a righteous way by washing out our sins through doing good deeds. Only good deeds can take us to the door of God. God’s NAAM, His characteristics, enshrined in us guides us to analyse what is good or bad. It is our inner self,  our subconscious mind, our CHETNA which is a part of God’s self. Thus God lives in every human being in the form of His light, CHETNA or His guiding principle, which He enshrined in us while creating us. Whenever we go astray, our inner self, which is a part of God’s self, guides us towards right path. Whenever we do some sin, our inner self rebukes us and forbids us not to commit sin. If in spite of this guidance, we still commit a sin then that becomes our destiny. We will have to suffer for that sin in our life at one time or the other. We commit sin only when we ignore His guidance, ignore our inner voice or suppress our inner self. As an example your child makes a mistake. You slap him on his face. The child weeps. Your inner self warns you that you have committed a wrong doing. You at once realise your mistake and abide by the guidance given to you by your inner self. You love the child. Your child becomes happy. You experience happiness in your inner self. You have ultimately obeyed God’s divine command enshrined within you and you feel eternal happiness. In the same way, if we work under the command of our inner self, which is a part of God, we would elevate our self to higher heights. We will cleanse our soul. We will not hate others. We would love everybody.  We would not come under the hold of false pride. We will not be perturbed by physical troubles. We will not hurt others’ feelings. We will not tell lies for our petty gains. We will lead an honest, truthful and righteous life.

So ‘Om’ in ‘Ikoankar’ stands for Sargun state of God who is inaccessible to any living being but is present in His every living and non-living creation in the form of His divine command and  exists within every human in the form of His light or guiding principle or NAM which at every moment analyses our deeds, good or bad.

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KAAR

The last part of ‘Ikoankaar’ is ‘Kaar.’ ‘Kaar’ means ‘only’, only one. Ik denotes God’s state before creation. When he was one and only one. ‘Om’ after creation. ‘Kaar’ means, he remained only one even after creation. He remained only one even after being present in all living and non-living ones created by Him. He does not distribute His duties to others. He is the only supreme being. He is the only one who created everything.

To sum up, the Beej mantra, the origin principle, ‘Ikoankaar’ means that God was one before creation, remained only one after creation, He is unapproachable, is omnipresent and is also present within every human being. In spite of His presence in each and every one of us, in animate and inanimate things, He remained one and only one.

After ‘Beej mantra,’ the origin principle, Guru Nanak Dev Ji writes various attributes of God, which are named as ‘MOOL MANTRA,’ the fundamental principles of Sikh religion in Sikh tenets.

MOOL MANTRA

Sat Naam Kartaa Purakh Nirbhau Nirvair Akaal

Moorat Ajoonee SaiBhang Gur Prasaad Jap…

From ‘Sat Naam’ to ‘Saibhang’ is the MOOL MANTRA, the fundamental principle. In fact, most of the hymns written by Sikh gurus and other saints in sacred Guru Granth Sahib either explain or revolve around the ‘MOOL MANTRA.’ ‘MOOL MANTRA’ is explained in detail in some of the hymns. The ‘MOOL MANTRA’ explains principle qualities of God by which He is identified. Nobody knows the form of God in which He exists as nobody can reach Him. Nobody has even seen Him. Nobody knows His place of abode. Some religious books do describe God as a human incarnation but that would be greatly belittling God. God cannot be a human like, as anything in physical form will ultimately perish. God is everlasting. He cannot perish. To think Him in some physical form thus amounts to lowering His stature. But God can be identified by His powers, His qualities, His characteristics, which can be experienced from His creations. An artist copies a picture, paints it and gives it a shape, which is very close to the original picture. The viewer compares the picture with its original and praises the artist to the extent his art is depicted. The viewer has not seen the artist. He has seen the picture made by the artist. After seeing the art, the viewer forms his views about the personality, art and behaviour of the artist. A psychologist would judge the character of the artist after seeing the picture. An art critic will judge his art. A humanist will see some human touch of the artist in the picture. A behavioural scientist will try to judge about the moods of the artist after seeing the picture. If we take the opinions of all these specialists, we can have sufficient knowledge about the personality of the artist though nobody has seen the physical being of the artist. Similarly, our knowledge about God is based upon His qualities, His characteristics, and His deeds seen through His creations. Guru Nanak Dev Ji described salient fundamental attributes of God in MOOL MANTRA. That is why this portion of Jap Ji is named as MOOL MANTRA.

‘SAT NAAM’ is the first word of MOOL MANTRA, the fundamental principle. Sat means truth, Naam means name. Thus meaning of SAT NAAM is ‘God, thy name is Truth.’ This is compound word consisting of two separate words,  ‘SAT and  ‘NAAM.’

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SAT

Sat means Truth. Anything described in entirety as it had been seen is called truth speaking. But if something is described contrary to what has been seen is falsehood. Truth does not change in size, spirit, words, form etc. False hood is changeable. It can be stretched to any size. The words can be changed. The meaning can be changed. Thus falsehood does not have any foundation. It cannot last forever. Some day or the other, it will be destroyed by truth. Truth cannot be destroyed but can only be suppressed for a period of time. Ultimately it prevails and destroys the falsehood.

There are some universal truths, which cannot be suppressed by falsehood. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The earth revolves around its axis and around sun. The moon revolves around earth. The electrons of an atom revolve around atomic nucleus. One who is born would surely die one day. God is one, the only one, who has created the universe. These are some of the universal truths.

Existence of God is a universal truth. Whatever exists has to be given a name and Guru Nanak Dev Ji has given God a new name, SATNAAM, OH God, thy name is truth. As God’s existence is truth, His name is also truth.

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NAAM

Naam means NAME, a word by which a thing or a person is identified. When somebody’s name comes to our mind, details of his physical being and his character flashes along with his name. We at once remember the structure of his body when we try to remember his name. How tall he is. What type of complexion he has got. How he keeps his hair, ties his turban, dresses his beard. What type of dress he wears. Whether he has long, medium or short nose, broad or narrow forehead, blue or black eyes, broad or narrow chest. In fact all the details of his physical being flash into our mind along with his name. But this type of identification does not apply to God as He has no physical being, or physique of any kind. Any physical being is bound to age and die one day. God is everlasting. He is beyond death and life. He cannot, therefore, be identified by any physical characters.

Another details of any persons associated with his name are his character, his habit, his behaviour, his knowledge and his other characteristics associated with his spiritual being.  We know him by knowing the details about him such as he always tells the truth, he helps others when in need, he is a great sympathizer of the poor or down trodden.  He never flies into violent anger.  He is humble and loves everybody and so on.  On the other hand a wicked person is identified by his violent temper, abusive language, deceiving others, telling lies, devoid of sympathy for the poor, down trodden and sick etc.  Similarly we know the qualities of God.  He is creator of the Universe.  He does not do injustice to any of his created ones. He is a benevolent master; He gives everything equally to rich or poor, wise or fool, good or bad men.  He has given us the sun to give energy, the moon to give moonlight, the earth to live, air to breathe, water to drink and all these boons are showered on us without caring for caste and creed, rich or poor, high or low.  He has given us innumerable bounties like trees for wood, shade and fruits, crops for our sustenance, rains to water our fields, stars and moon to shine at night and above all a beautiful body with two hands, two legs, two ears, two eyes, a mouth, tongue and above all a brain with consciousness to control our body and to control all other creatures on this earth.  So God is identified by His powers, His bounties, His rule of justice, and His control of the entire Universe.  So God needed to be given a name.  As all His qualities, His powers, His bounties are everlasting, Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave God a new name, SATNAM, O God thy name is Truth.

Before Guru Nanak Dev Ji, God had been given thousands of names based on His one power or bounty.  In ancient books, God’s first name was probably BRAHAMA, which means the creator.  He is also named as PARMATMA meaning supreme soul. Other names used for God include Almighty, Eternal, Primal, Immaculate, Immortal, Giver, Benevolent, Bestower, Agam (inaccessible), Agochar (beyond senses of perception), Achut (firm), Apaar (limitless), Avenaasee (indestructible), Alakh (cannot be explained), Waaheguru (supreme teacher), Creator, Swami (master), Hari, Allah, Thakur (master), Prabhu (supreme master), Preetam (loved one), Bhagat Vachhal (who loves His devotees), Parmeshvar (supreme deity), Ram (omnipresent), Raheem (having mercy on all), among thousands of others.     As the times changed, a ruler or emperor used to be considered as an agent sent by God to rule the land.   Good, ideal and merciful Kings are therefore considered as incarnations of God as they possessed God like qualities.  They ruled the land without discrimination of rich or poor, landowners or land less.  Not only on ruling but as persons also, they had high moral characters.  They did justice irrespective to the position of a person.  They spent their treasure for the benefit of their subjects.  They fought the cruel Kings and defeated them thus liberating their subjects from their cruel rules.  They sacrificed their lives for the good of mankind.  They proved themselves as ideal brothers, sons, husbands and fathers.  Such kings were in real sense incarnation of God, as they possessed God like qualities.  Thus they were rightly worshiped as God.  Lord Ram and Lord Krishna come under these categories.  A large number of God’s name originated from various good deeds done by these kings.  Each name is based on one particular good deed done by each of those Kings.  Ten such God incarnations are recognized in Hindu mythology.  These are MCHH, KACHH, VARRAH, NARSINGH, VAMAN in SATYUGA, PURSHURAM and RAM CHANDRA in TREATA YUGA, KRISHNA in DUAPAR YUGHA, BUDHA and KALKI in modern KALYUGA.  God incarnations, which were identified later on, were VARDHMAN MAHAVIR and later Sikh’s ten gurus.  All these God’s incarnations have in fact become the names of God.  All these names depicted one or a group of God like qualities, they do not identify God in its entirety.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus selected SATNAM as the name of God as this word depicts the qualities of God in their entirety and also depicts that these qualities are everlasting or truth (SAT). Guru Arjun Dev Ji has sermonized in His hymns that all other names of God are based on one or the other specific deed of God’s incarnations but SATNAM is God’s fundamental and eternal name.

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KARTAA PURAKH

“Karta Purakh” follows Satnam in the MOOL MANTRA.  Kartaa means the Creator and Purakh means he who is omnipresent.  Purakh is also sometimes used as “being” or  personality” or man.

KARTAA

Kartaa is used for God, as He is the creator of the Universe. God created the universe under sound principles, which are set to work automatically.  He is the creator, a quality that no other being in this universe can possess.  We, the humans create small things, which last for a specific time.  The manufacturers of these created objects give guarantee to run satisfactorily for certain number of years, say 4-5 years.  After a few years, wear and tear reduce the life span of that object.  For example, a fridge is guaranteed to run for five years, a cycle for two years and so on.  God created universe, which is working for the last 15 billion years and is supposed to work for millions of more years.  The earth will continue to revolve around sun and around its axis for millions of years to come.  Iron is iron, gold is gold, silver is silver and these would remain so for millions of years.  One element would never jump to become another element even nearest to it in periodic table.  The mixture of gases: nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air is of same percentages for last millions of years and would remain the same for millions of years to come.  Similarly, the phenomenon of falling of rain, snow, the blowing of winds, storms, and all other environmental forces are working with the same principle for last millions of years and would continue to do so for millions of years to come.  God is thus a creator of different type.  He creates everything in such a way that the creations work automatically without any assistance from any quarters. 

Similarly God created life under set principles.  Life emerges from fertilized eggs in almost all living beings.  Egg from one sex unites with sperm of the other sex and life starts.  This process is similar from lowest to the highest animals.  There are differences in development of embryo from fertilized eggs.  In some cases, fertilized eggs develop inside the female body and in other may develop outside the female body.  But the whole process remains same.  Within a species, the processes are strikingly similar.  God thus created life with set principles and made the process so  automatic that no interference is necessary.  Life in plants starts from seed, any seed automatically grows into a plant.  This phenomenon exists for millions of years and will continue to work for millions of more years.  God is thus a creator who established a system for His creation and the creation there after worked automatically.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus described the quality of creation to God, the quality which no other being can acquire.  Scientist may discover the technicalities of this system, may discover it in detail but cannot subvert this system.  If ever, science would try to subvert any part of this system, the whole system would collapse and man will destroy himself because God is the only creator, He would remain the only one who created this system.  Any interference with this system may bring total destruction.

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PURAKH

Guru Nanak Dev Ji puts the word Purakh after Kartaa, which means that God is Purakh, a being having His own identity and personality.  As stated earlier, God has no physical being.  We know him by His qualities and powers.  If someone has qualities and powers, he must be a being. It is not known what type of “being” God is.  In fact it is beyond human powers to know in what form God exists.  Some say, it is like a human.  Humans inhabit this planet earth.  What about other billions of planets, which may have life on them?  What form of life that is?  Nothing is known.  To say God is like humans is to minimize the importance of God.  Some say God is light.  What type of light would it be?  We see light emitted only from our sun.  There are millions of suns.  What type of light are they  emitting?  Nothing is known.  God is a being, He has personality of His own but it is beyond any human conception to identify the form from which His identity can be determined.  So Guru Nanak says that God is creator, and being creator, he is a PURAKH or He has a personality or identity of His own.

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Nirbhau

Bhau means fear and Nir means without . Nirbhau means fearless, without any fear.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji identifies God with another attribute.  He is fearless.

Physical fears are of two types; personal fear and community fears.  Personal fears include fear of death, the greatest of all fears.  Every human being is afraid of death and with this fear comes the fear of disease.  In the event of any disease, there is always a fear of death.  Fear of death also always exists in the form of accidents.  Community fears include fears of mass mortality due to epidemic spread of diseases like plague, small pox, diarrhoea to name a few.  Then there are fears of earthquakes, floods, high temperature, snow falls, avalanches, which are always accompanied by fear of death for the whole community.

Fears about our ethereal selves are many.  What will happen to us after death?  In what type of life, our reincarnation would be? Etc etc.  These types of fears tend to always haunt us human beings throughout our lives.  Now God has no physical being.  So He has no fears in that respect.  At ethereal level, God is the creator of this system.  He has no rival.  Nobody is there to compete with Him.  So God has no fears at that level  but every object created by God is under the fear of God.  Thus God is fearless, He is Nirbhau and He runs His system fearlessly.

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NIR VAIR

Guru Nanak Dev Ji identifies God with yet another quality. He is Nirvair, which means without any enmity. God runs His system with enmity to none. Every creation of His enjoys His blessings without any discrimination. The sunlight falls equally on good or bad, on trees, mountains, seas, and humans alike. He does not discriminate. If He has bestowed two eyes to all humans, He has bestowed two eyes to other animals also. He has no enmity, no enemies. His blessings are showered equally on all of His creations.

Some humans are black, some white, some born poor, some rich, some born kings, some paupers, some absolutely fit, some disabled. We humans blame God. They say that He is not doing justice by creating all these contradictory creations. No, He is not to be blamed. He has created a system that good deeds would always pay and bad deeds punish . All these contradictions in His creation are due to our good or bad deeds done not only in this life but in many past lives also. God’s system works perfectly. Our soul carries with it our good and bad deeds and these deeds decide our birth, our prosperity, and our well-being.  His system works perfectly. He does not discriminate. His justice is real and final. He does not consult anyone while delivering His justice. He is truly Nirvair, without any enemies and without any enmity to anything among His creations.

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AKAAL MOORAT

The next attribute of God identified by Guru Nanak Dev Ji is that He is Akaal Moorat. Kaal means time, akaal means that who is not under the influence of time. Moorat means a form, shape, or mode of existence or mode of manifestation.        

AKAAL

God is not under the influence of time. How can He be under the influence of time when He created time and space. Everything created by God is under the influence of time. We live for certain amount of time. The plants, animals are all under the influence of time. In fact, sun and moon are the prophets of time, says Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Time on earth is created by the sun, and the moon in some case. The earth revolves around its axis and days and nights are formed. The total period of days and night are the basic units of time. These are further divided into hours so that one day and one night together comprise 24 hours. Then hours are divided into minutes and minutes into seconds. Day and night combinations are grouped to form months, months to years, years to centuries and so on and thus the time is created. On some other planets, supporting life, there will be different basic units of time. God created time and we devised methods to measure the time. The creator of time is beyond the influence of time. So God is akaal moorat, a being not coming under the influence of time. Guru Gobind Singh Ji has sermonized that time is playing life and death game on this planet earth. Time created Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and all other gods and all demons and the entire universe But God who is one and only one prophet from the beginning and upto the end of this time is not under the influence of time. Guru Ji further says that same God is his guru.

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MOORAT

Moorat means form, shape, guise, and mode of existence or manifestation. When God is a Purukh He must have some form, shape, hue, colour or picture. As God is inaccessible, nobody has seen Him. Without seeing Him, it is not possible to visualize His form, shape, colour or complexion. Only symbol by which we can know or experience the existence of God is His supreme command enshrined in us. In Pauree-21 of Jap Ji Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji describes God’s moorat as supreme beauty and His mood as in eternal bliss. In the Holy Scriptures of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Guru Ji states that God’s form is depicted by His creation and that God has thousands of eyes, tender feet, forms and noses but God has none of these of His own. Guru Ji further says that he is charmed when he sees this magic of God. God exists as a divine command or divine light in all the human beings. However He is not influenced by time as with the death of our physical being, that divine light merges with its source. Thus God is beyond the influence of time but He has His own form or identity. He is thus Akaal moorat.

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AJOONEE

Ajoonee is that which does not take birth or is without any birth or is free from cycle of deaths and births as death comes only to those who are born. Ajoonee means devoid of birth and death cycle. God has no physical being. So He does not take birth. He is beyond any birth and death cycle. He is not born. God has created the birth and death cycle for all of us. One who is born will certainly die one day But God has kept Himself above this death and birth cycle. God is thus Ajoonee.

SAI BHANG

Sai means ‘by himself’. Bhang means ‘to be’. When God is not born, then how did He come to existence. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God created Himself. Nobody created Him. He Himself was in ‘Nirguna State.’ He Himself acquired all qualities and powers and came from Nirguna to Sarguna state. Nobody created Him. He is above all His creation, so nobody could create Him. He created Himself. He is ‘swaim bhu’ meaning that He is by Himself. He created Himself.

Thus after describing God in his beej mantra (origin principle), Guru Nanak Dev Ji identified God by assigning Him His divine qualities called the MOOL MANTRA or the basic principle in Sikh tenets.

To summarise, the MOOL MANTRA is that God is the creator and has personality of His own. He is fearless. He is without enemy or enmity. He is not under the influence of time but He has moorat or form of His own. He is not under the cycle of birth and death and He created Himself.

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GUR PRASAD

Guru Nanak Dev Ji then adds the words Gur Prasad after the MOOL MANTRA, which means that you need the blessings of your Guru, your teacher to understand God.

JAP

Jap means to be repeatedly recited. This is the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s writing (BAANEE) called JAP JI. This BAANEE is to be repeatedly recited every day; every morning as the BAANEE is written about God, about our creator. Repeated recitation thus amounts to repeatedly praising God.

Before starting this BAANEE of JAP JI, Guru Nanak Dev Ji writes about the everlasting nature of God.   

‘Aad sach jugaad sach haibhee sach Nanak hosee bhee sach’

Gur Nanak Dev Ji says that whatever he has written about God in ‘Beej mantra’ and ‘MOOL MANTRA’ is true from the time the universe was not created, it is true since  time started in the form of ‘Yugas’, it is true now at the present and it will remain true untill  time and space exists. It is thus a universal truth.

After this, the BAANEE of JAP JI starts.

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JAP JI SAHIB

 Jap Ji Sahib written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji comprises of 38 Paurees and one Saloke. Pauree means a number of steps like the steps of a ladder. Jap Ji Sahib is thus a ladder to reach the abode of God, the Sach Khand, an area ruled by the Truth. Guru Nanak Dev Ji wanted his Sikhs to rise to ethic heights to get themselves identified with God. He does this step by sep. At first Guru Nanak Dev Ji describes God and then delivers his sermons to inculcate in us good qualities to enable us  to be one like God. In between Guru Nanak Dev Ji is mystified by God’s powers and in a state of trance goes on singing about the greatness of God.

In the ensuing book, an attempt is made to unveil the essence of Jap Ji Sahib, written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, step by step or Pauree by Pauree.

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Pauree 1

                 Sochai soch na howaee            je sochee lakh vaar

 Chuppai chup na howaee         je laae rahaa liv taar

 Bhukhiaa bhukh na utree          je bannaa pureeaa bhaar

 Sahas siaanpaa lakh hohi         ta ik na challai naal

 Kiv sachiaaraa hoeeai              kiv koorai tuttai paal

 Hukam rajaaee chalanaa          Nanak likhiaa naal.

After identifying the qualities of God in Beej Mantra and Mool mantra, Guru Nanak Dev Ji questions  himself on how we could feel the existence of God. How can the ignorance about God be eliminated? Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus first defines God and then sermonizes to us the way by which we can feel the existence of God. He first describes the age-old methods, which have been attempted to feel the existence of God.

                 Sochai soch na howaee je sochee lakh vaar

Sochae-to purify. Soch- purity. Na- not. Howai- to become. Je- if. Sochee- purify. Lakh- 100,000. Var- times.

In the old days in India, people used to go to sacred rivers to bathe with sacred waters  to wash their sins and to seek blessings of gods. Saints used to take bath in these rivers after their meditation was complete, so that they can unravel the mysteries of God and attain salvation. Some of these saints visualized various gods in human incarnation and strived to have a glimpse of their gods. Sixty-eight such sacred pilgrimage centres are recognized in ancient Hindu literature. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that even if we purify ourselves 100,000 times by taking bath in the sacred waters of these sacred rivers, we cannot understand God. We cannot have complete knowledge about God.

                 Chuppai chup na howaee je lae rahaa livtaar   

Chuppai-to remain silent. Chup- silence. Lae- to remain. Raha-to keep on . Liv – to concentrate. Tar- without any break.

In old days and even in these present times, some saints stop speaking so that they can unravel the mysteries of God by remaining silent for prolonged period of time. Their view is that by not speaking, their inner energies are increased by manifolds and through this energy they can have a glimpse of God. By remaining silent we can close the function of only one of the five KARAMA INDRIYAAS, i.e. the sense of speaking. All other four senses of actions continue to work. KARAM INDRIYAAS are parts of our body, which take part in various types of actions. Five such KARAM INDRIYAASare recognized. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that by remaining silent, one cannot feel the existence of God even if one continues to remain silent at a stretch for indefinite periods.

                  Bhukhiaa bhukh na utre   je bannaa pureeaa bhaar 

Bhukhiaa-to remain hungry. Bhukh- hunger. Utre- to disappear. Bannaa- to tie. Pureeaa- different worlds. Bharr- load

There used to be a general belief that attainment of salvation lies in the fulfilment of all the desires. It is impossible that all the desires of a person are fulfilled. It is generally observed that with the fulfillment of one desire, another desire crops up and the process continues indefinitely. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that even if all the desires are fulfilled and one becomes so powerful that one shoulders the responsibility of the ruling of many worlds, one cannot have the complete knowledge about God. 

                  Sahas siaanpaa lakh hohi ta ik na challai naal

Sahs-1000. Siaanpaa-wisdom, knowledge. Lakh-100, 000. Hohi-to be. Ta-even then. Ik-one. Na-not. Challai-to go, to help. Naal-company.

Some people think that mere recitation of religious books carries them to the home of God. Throughout their lives, they continue reciting religious scriptures. They explain these scriptures to common people. Some scholars spend their lives in gaining knowledge of all that has been written about God or about religion. Their main aim of life is to study all the sacred books of ancient India. These include four Vedas, six shastras, eighteen Purans, twenty-seven smrities and over 100 upanshads. It is good to study them and it is still better to explain their philosophy to the common people. But mere knowledge cannot remove the distance between man and God. A man can achieve ethic heights only when he combines action with knowledge. Practical life based on sound knowledge of religion can only make the life sublime. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that even if one has knowledge or possesses wisdom of thousand or 100,000 types, none of this knowledge or wisdom help him to know about God. Knowledge in itself cannot help to feel the existence of God.

                  Kiv sachiaaraa hoeeai kiv koorai tuttai paal

Kiv-how. Sachiaaraa-wise. Hoeeai-to become. Koorai-falsehood. Tuttai-to break. Pal-wall.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji often puts questions to himself and then provides answer to those questions. Here he says how we can become wise enough to understand God. How can the wall of falsehood break between us and God?

                  Hukam rajaaee chalanaa Nanak likhiaa naal.

Hukam-divine command. Rajaaee-He who delivers the divine command. Chalanaa-to go. Likhiaa-written. Nal-with.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji then provides answers to the above two questions. He sermonizes that one can be near God or one can understand God only if he spends his life according to the dictates of God which He enshrined within us at the time of our birth. As already indicated in Ikoankaar that after creation of humans, God incorporated in them His own light in the form of CHETNA or our inner self to judge our deeds, which are responsible to frame our fate. This light, our inner self, our real self, our ethereal self, always guides us to do good deeds and to avoid sins. Even when we commit sins, our inner self always warns us not to do that. The inner self guides us throughout our lives to tread on a pious path. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that we can understand God, be one with Him or we can approach the abode of God if we spend our entire life through the dictates of our inner self, by the dictates of that light within us, which always guides us to follow the righteous path. This inner self or this light within us is designated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji as God’s supreme or divine command, God’s Hukam, God’s dictates. We distance from God when we disobey His dictates. We become sinners when we disobey His divine command. God’s Hukam judges our each and every action and accordingly writes our fate. So fate is decided by our deeds, not only those done during our earlier births but in this birth also from the day of our birth to the present. Guru Nanak Dev Ji at one place sermonises that our deeds, good or bad, are responsible for our fate, which of course, is decided by the supreme Master. We are under the control of God but God writes our fate according to our deeds.

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Pauree 2

                  Hukmee hovan aakaar            hukam na kahiaa Jaaee

  Hukmee hovan jeeaa             hukam milai vadiaaee

  Hukmee uttam neech             Hukam likh dukh sukh paaeeaih

  Ikna hukmee bakhsees           ek hukmee sadaa bhavaaeeaih

  Hukmai andar sabhko             baahar hukam na koe

  Nanak hukmai je bujhai          ta haumai kahai na koe

In the first Pauree, Guru Nanak Dev Ji explained that we can be one with God or we can know God, if we spend our entire life according to the dictates of His divine command, the Hukam, which is enshrined within us at the time of our birth. In the second Pauree, Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains the divine command of God, the Hukam, in more details.

                  Hukmee hovan aakaar   hukam na kahiaa Jaaee

Hukmee-through divine command of God. Hovan-happen. Aakaar-creation. Hukam-divine command. Na-not. Kahiaa-said. Jaaee-be.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonizes that all the inanimate creation is created by the divine command of God under a preset divine system, which then works automatically under the fear of that divine command. Guru Nanak Dev Ji further states that it is impossible to explain this divine command. In what way, His divine command, His Hukam, works is beyond the conception of a human being. Every country on earth is governed by its written or unwritten constitutions and the orders are issued for working of various departments under this constitution. But only God knows the type of constitution God has made to run the system of our universe. It is beyond interpretation by human beings. Scientists try to unveil the secrets of the functioning of this universe but as they probe they find new fields opening up before them. Also, it is impossible for a human to see all the portions of this universe, some of which may be millions of light years away from us. A human’s life is too short to do such type of probing. Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus explains that every inanimate thing in this universe is created under the divine command of God but it is impossible to understand that divine command.

                  Hukmee hovan jeeaa   hukam milai vadiaaee

  Jeeaa- living being. Milai- to get. Vadiaaee- praise, here superiority.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further states that all living beings on earth are also created under the divine command of God or under Hukam of God. Within the same divine command humans were created, God’s divine command made us,  humans superior to all other living beings. Humans were made superior as God enshrined in them a part of His divine command or Hukam to serve as a beacon light to guide us to do good deeds in our lives. God’s Hukam in us also records our good and bad deeds. These recorded good or bad deeds are the architects of our fate or our destiny. It is truly said that man is the architect of his own fate. Fate is not written by man by himself but is written by the divine command or Hukam of God that has been enshrined within our beings. Man works and God rewards him for that work. However,  the reward is on the basis of his deeds.

          Hukmee utam neech hukmee likh dukh such paaeeaih

Utam- superior. Neech- inferior. Likh- written. Dukh- pain. Sukh- comfort. Paaeeaih- to get.

God’s divine command within us analyses all our good and bad deeds.It is on this basis He gives His judgement as to our fate. His divine command is sitting as a judge within us. Through His judgement, some humans become superior and some inferior to others. According to the judgement written by this divine command we are either punished and consequently suffer pain due to our sins or we are rewarded and enjoy comforts in our lives due to our good deeds.

Now a question arises whether the fate once written on our forehead is permanent or changeable. The general view is that every human is born on this earth with a fate written on his forehead and this fate is not changeable. True, every human born in this world has a written fate based on the good and bad deeds done by him in his previous births. Whatever is written in his fate will have to be borne by him. But according to the KARAM (deeds/ actions) theory, one’s good and bad deeds are responsible for the formulation of one’s fate. So if in one’s present life one does good deeds, these good deeds will dilute the effect of bad deeds done in previous births and one’s sufferings will get mitigated. The sins committed in the past births may then be washed off. For example if we take milk as good deeds and water as our bad deeds, mixing a glass of water with 100 glasses of milk will dilute the effect of water i.e. bad deeds. Similarly mixing a glass of milk  with 100 glasses of water will dilute the effect of milk i.e. our good deeds. Thus good deeds dilute the effect of bad deeds and our fate changes.

                  Ikna hukmee bakhsees ik hukmee sadaa bhavaaeeaih 

Ikna- to some. Bakhsees- blessings. Sada- always. Bhavaaeeaeh- spun around

It is through this judgement of divine command or Hukam that God always blesses the person who does good deeds. God showers His blessings on them. They become the chosen ones. They attain salvation from pain and misery and also from the cycle of birth and death. They enjoy all life’s comforts. But judgement on those who do bad deeds is equally harsh. These people always suffer pain and misery in their lives. They remain devoid of God’s blessings and always suffer misery one after the other. They do not find peace  in their lives. Thus they become the cursed ones. Guru Ji says that such persons are always spun off in the death and birth cycle.

                  Hukmai andar sab ko baahar hukam na koe

                  Nanak hukmai je bhujai ta haumai kahai na koe

Andar- under. Sab- all. Ko- every one. Bahar- outside. Bhujai- understands. Haumai- vanity, conceit ego. Kahai- says.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that all human beings are under the divine command or HUKAM. No human being can do any thing hidden from this divine command. No body is out side the purview of this divine command. A thief steals thinking that nobody sees him and he will go unnoticed and unpunished. But he does not know that the divine command within him is watching his every action at every moment. He cannot escape the eye of the divine command within him. His every action, hidden or apparent is recorded by Him and becomes  part of his fate. Guru Nanak Dev Ji then concludes that it is vital that every one of us should recognize God’s HUKAM or divine command within us; no body would then venture to commit a sin. Nobody would venture to nurture vanity or ego about his superiority over others. Everybody would be free from self-conceit and thus self-deceit. Nobody would think of ignoring the guidance given to us by the divine command within us or by our inner self.  Our inner self will always show us light or guide us to live a pious living, free of sins, free of deceits and replete with good deeds. Our life on this earth will thus become truly enjoyable and full of comforts.

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Pauree 3 

                  Gaavai ko taan howai kisai taan          Gaavai ko daat jaanai nisaan

                  Gaavai ko gun vadiaaeeaa chaar          Gaavai ko vidiaa vikham veechaar

                  Gaavai ko saaj kare tan kheh               Gaavai ko jeea lai phir deh

                  Gaavai ko jaapai disai door                 Gaavai ko vekhai haadraa hadoor

                  Kathnaa kathee na aawai tot              Kath kath kathee kotee kot kot

                  Dendaa deh laide thak paahe              Jugaa jogantar khaahee khaahe

                  Hukmee hukam chalaae raah               Nanak vigsai ve parwaah

After giving his sermons on the definition of God and the way a human being can know about God, Guru Nanak Dev Ji tells us how God’s divine command works within us and how our fate based on our deeds is written on our fore head. In the next three Paurees, Guru Nanak Dev Ji tells us that many people worship God based on any one attribute of God. They daily recite hymns in praise of that single attribute of God only. They worship that  attribute in a specific form or method.

                 Gaavai ko taan howai kisai taan          Gaavai ko daat jaanai nisaan

Gaavai- to recite, to sing. Taan- might, strength. Kisai- to some body. Daat- boon. Nisaan- symbol

In ancient Hindu scriptures, three eminent gods were thought to perform God’s specific duties. These gods are Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Lord Brahma is god of creation. His consort is Sarsavati, the goddess of knowledge. Lord Vishnu is the preserver, the giver or that who sustains the entire creation. Lord Vishnu’s consort is goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth or the goddess of prosperity. Lord Mahesh or Shiva is the destroyer. His consort is Parvati, the goddess of power, and the goddess of Shakti or strength. Goddess Parvati has taken many incarnations under the names of Durga, Chandi, Kali etc. to destroy the demons in each of her incarnations. Here Guru Ji says that many people worship God as a power, strength or Shakti.

Many people worship God as He sustains us all. Worship of  Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi who are god of sustenance and goddess of wealth respectively  is very common in India.  Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi have many incarnations in Hindu religion.  Lord Rama and Sita, Lord Krishna and Radha are incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.  Many people worship God that He showers umpteen number of blessings on us.  Such people worship God as the giver of worldly necessities especially wealth. This attribute is worshiped by them as symbol or medium of worship of God, may be in the form of Lord Vishnu, goddess Lakshmi or even coins and gold directly.  Every Hindu businessman would worship his money book or cash chest every morning after opening his shop and before conducting any business/transaction.  

                 Gaavai ko gun vadiaaeeaa chaar         Gaavai ko vidiaa vikham veechaar

Gun-qualities. Vadiaaeeaa- praises. Chaar- good. Vidiaa- education. Veechaar- idea, thought

Many people identify God through His good attributes and then worship these attributes.  These people’s sole aim of life centres on achieving that attribute. They worship God by practising that attribute.  God serves us without any remuneration.  Some people thus think that selfless service to man is service to God.  Such people spend their entire life in services of people.  They work with lepers, with sick, with destitute, with down trodden and in that way worship God through service of others.  Similarly it is said that the doctor tries and God cures.  Some doctors spend their whole life in a missionary hospital to cure those who cannot afford high expenses of sophisticated treatment.  God is the biggest donor.  He showers blessings on all of us rich or poor, high or low.  Some people worship this attribute of God.  They always set aside a portion of their income for the welfare of needy and poor.  Thus Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that many people take one good attribute of God and worship that attribute.  They spend their whole life in giving practical shape to that attribute.

Many learned people think that to study  ancient literature, interpret it and propagate this knowledge to the people amounts to worship of God.  They seek salvation through knowledge.  Such people devote their whole life in the study of ancient religious books and worship these scriptures through recitation of Mantras from them.  They perform Yagyas when they chant mantras while sitting around the holy fire.  Some of these people worship goddess Saraswati who is the goddess of knowledge in the Hindu religion.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus says that many people worship God through study of literature, which is difficult to read and interpret.  Most of the ancient religious books like Vedas, Shastras, Puranas, Smrities and Upanashads are written in Sanskrit language, which is difficult to read and recite. 

                Gaawai to saaj kare tan kheh            Gaawai ko jee lai phir deh

Saj–To create. Kare–To do.Tan–body. Kheh–dust. Jee–soul.Lai–To take. Phir-then.Deh–to give.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that many people worship God as He has given us rebirth into human life and it is He who would take away the souls from this body, which would then be left not better than a fist full of dust.  Again God is the one who would bestow upon us rebirth in human life.  In fact, the cycle of birth-death-rebirth is in the hands of God.  It is He who, on the basis of our deeds, decides our births and deaths in various lives.  Lord Shiva or Lord Mahesh is the god of death and Lord Brahma is the God of birth in Hindu religion.  Many people worship Lord Shiva as a death god.  A few also worship Lord Brahma.

In ancient literature, all creatures on this earth are divided into four main classes.  These are those reproduced through eggs (birds, reptiles, insects etc), those where newborn suck milk (mammals), those living as parasites on living beings and those which grow from soil.  There are 8.4 million types of creations, which are recognized in ancient  literature out of which 4.2 million live in water and 4.2 million on land.  We humans have to take birth in many of these creations before getting rebirth in human life. Only God  decides  how many births in other creations a human will take befpre a birth in human life, because only He  gives us human life and He takes away any human life at His will.

                Gaavi ko jaapai disai door            Gaavi ko vekhai haadraa hadoor

Japai-  appears. Disai – is seen.Door – at distance.Vekhe – to see. Haadraa – in front. Hadoor – in front.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that some people worship God as if He is living far away from us.  His abode is beyond all the skies.  He is unapproachable to us. Many of these people believe that God sends His own sons, a part of His own self, as a prophet on this earth to alleviate the sufferings of people on this earth.  They believe that God comes on earth as a human incarnation and relieves the people of their sufferings on this earth.

Many people think that God is always with them, before them and within them.  They worship God in the form of God’s abstract qualities.  They believe that whatever we do or think is always seen by God.  We are under constant watch by God and nothing is hidden from Him.

                Kathnaa kathi na aavai tot            Kath kath kathee kotee kot kot

Kathnaa – to say.  Kathi – that who says. Aavai- comes. Tot – dearth .

Kot – thousand. Kotee – thousands.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji now concludes that millions of people worship God or recite His name in their own way.  But even then we are not able to identify all the qualities of God.  There is no dearth of qualities of God, which can be worshiped.  Though millions of people recite His name by innumerable names, yet there is no deficiency of His names, His qualities or ways by which He can be recited or He can be worshipped.  This means that we humans will never be able to fully identify God’s qualities.  God would remain beyond our five senses to fully comprehend Him.  We would know only a fraction of His qualities.  It is therefore appropriate that we worship Him only by His basic name. SATNAM, which comprises of God’s all qualities.

                Dendaa deh laide thak paahe            Jugaa jugantar khaahee khaahe

Dendaa – the giver. Deh – gives. Laide – To take. Thak – tired. Paahe – to become.

Jugaa jugantar – From times immemorial. Khaahee- to eat. Khahe – eat.

People worship God and seek from Him the fulfillment of  worldly or spiritual desires.  Millions of people daily seek something  from God in their prayers.  But Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God gives so many things to us every day, both to those who worship and asks for and to also those who do not worship and seek any thing. God is always giving to us from times immemorial but we sometimes become tired of enjoying His blessings.  For example, God has given us sunlight, to get immeasurable energy, moon and stars in the sky to gaze at, air to breathe, water to drink and innumerable items to eat.  He has given us all these blessings from time immemorial and would continue to give for millions of years to come.  We humans sometimes become too busy in worldly affairs that we are unable to enjoy the benevolence of God.  God does not deny anyone of us from any one of His bounties.

                Hukmee hukam chalaae raaho            Nanak vigsai veparvaaho

Chalaae – to conduct. Raaho – system.Vigsai – to be happy. Veparvaaho – careless, without worry.

But Guru Nanak Dev Ji cautions that God, through His supreme command runs this system with set principles.  He does not give everything to every one as alms.  He weighs, judges the good and bad deeds of each and every one of us and then gives us whatever we deserve.  He is running His system with His supreme command, His Hukam.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji finally concludes that all God’s system is working so perfectly that He enjoys the entire system with divine bliss and without caring for anybody.   We human beings suffer from strain and worry when we run an organization or industry.  We are always under stress due to our work or our domestic affairs. We remain worried about our children, and their future, our old age, our health and umpteen numbers of other problems.  But imagine, God is supervising the working of this whole universe, animate and inanimate things and yet He is without any worry.  His system works so perfectly that Guru Nanak Dev Ji says, He is always in a state of eternal bliss (Anand), in state of divine bliss, or heavenly joy or spiritual rapture.  There is no place of worry in Him.

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Pauree 4

                           Saachaa Saahib saach naae      Bhaakhiaa bhaao apaar

                           Aakheh mangeh deh deh           Daat kare daataar

                           Pher ki agai rakheeai                Jit disai darbaar

                           Muhau ki bolan boleeai             Jit sun dhare piaar

                           Amrit velaa sach naao              Vadiaaee veechaar

                           Karmee aavai kapraa                Nadree mokh duaar

                           Nanak evai jaaneeai                 Sab aape sachiaar

In Pauree number three, Guru Nanak Dev Ji described different ways that the people use to worship God.  Many people take one quality or the attribute of God and worship that divine attribute.  Guru Ji further elaborates on worship of God.

                Saachaa Saahib Saach naae            Bhaakhiaa bhaao apaar

Saachaa – true. Saahib – master. Saach – truth. Naae – name

Bhakhiaa – to speak. Bhaao – feelings. Apaar – limitless

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God is truth.  His name is truth.  All His attributes are true.  The word name means NAM, attributes of God by which He is identified.  People worship God with varied types of feelings or varied types of ways and these ways are innumerable.  These cannot be counted.  Some of these methods are described in Pauri number three.

                Aakheh mangeh deh deh            Daat kare daataar

Aakheh – to recite. Mangeh - to ask. Deh – give. Daat – blessing. Daataar- God who bestows blessings.

In their prayers, people recite praises of God in their own way and ask for blessings and bounties from God.  God fulfills their demands and fructify their prayers.  God gives His blessings to everyone.  No body remains devoid of His blessings but His blessings are tied to good or bad deeds done by us.

                Pher ki agai rakeeai   Jit disai darbaar

                Muhau ki bolan boleeai    Jit sun dhare piaar

Pher – again , in front. Rakheeai – to place. Jit – with which. Darbaar – court.

Muhau – from mouth. Boleeai – to speak. Bolan – that which is spoken.

Sun – hear. Piaar – love.

Now Guru Nanak Dev Ji puts to himself two questions after giving in detail the ways by which God is worshipped by the people.  The aim of worship of God by any person is either to ask for worldly things or spiritual enlightenment.  Saints worship God to have a glimpse of God.  Ordinary people try to seek salvation and want to be one with God after death through worship of God.  The central theme of such philosophy also is to become like God in this human birth so that one should be with God or merge one’s soul with God or to seek salvation from the death and birth cycle and find eternal peace in God after death.  Guru Ji puts two questions in this pauree and he himself answers these questions.  First question is what a person should give in offering to God with which offering that person can have a glimpse of God’s court, a glimpse of that place from where God rules the universe, a glimpse of that court from where God delivers His judgements.  The second question is related to the first question.  Even if one reaches the court of God, one may not be permitted to have a glimpse of God if God has no love for him, no affection for him, no attachment to him.  In the second question, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says what one should recite from one’s mouth, what type of praise one may utter with which utterance, God should bear love for him or God should have attachment to him or God should love him.

                Amrit velaa sach naao            Vadiaaee veechaar

                Karmee aavai kapraa              Nadree mokh duaar

                Nanak evai jaaneeai               Sab aape sachiaar

Amrit – that does not die, most valuable, Velaa – time. Sach – truth. Naao – NAM.

Vadiaaee – good qualities. Veechaar – to contemplate. Karmee – blessings. Aavai – to come. Kapra – clothes.Nadree – blessings. Mokh – salvation. Duaar – door, portal.

Evai – by this method. Jaanneeai – to know.Sab – all. Aape – self. Sachiaar – that who knows everything.

AMRIT VELA is the time of the day between 3 am and 6 am. This time is considered as most peaceful time without any disturbance. The air is pure during this period. This time is considered as an ideal time for worship of God. It is thus the most valuable time during the 24 hours of day and night. Similarly, the time spent by us in human life is also the most valuable time in our innumerable births and deaths. Human birth is the most superior birth among all other births. It is in human birth only when one can become one with God through good deeds. So Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that a person’s most valuable thing is his human birth. One should give this human birth as offering to God, which means that one should devote one’s whole life to inculcate in him the good attributes of God, to work one’s whole life according to the dictates of the divine command or Hukam, which is placed by God within us at the time of our birth. This would be the best offering to Him and it is with this offering  that one would be able to reach the door of God.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that God is truth, His name is truth, His attributes are truth. If one thinks, studies, analyses and then acts on these attributes of God then one can receive love from God, one can receive the attachment of God. Thus, in this human life, if one spends one’s entire life according to the dictates of one’s inner self, dictates of divine command or Hukam, it would be considered that one has devoted one’s entire life to God. One’s continuous recitations of God’s attributes and one’s continuous worship for achievements of one or some of these qualities would take one to the court of God and then to God when God develops love for him.

Why should we do this? Guru Nanak Dev Ji further describes the reason. Guru Ji says that one has obtained this human life due to the blessings of God. We do good deeds. This does not mean that we would get whatever we want by doing good deeds. Our deeds are judged by God and it is He who gives us the rewards of our good deeds. God thus rewarded us by giving us a human birth for the good deeds we had done  in our past lives. If we do good deeds in this birth also, God will judge our deeds and will reward us by allowing us to reach His court, to be one with Him, to gain His love in our present life and after death to go unto Him. It will thus be due to His blessings that we will achieve salvation not only after death but during this life also.

In the concluding line, Guru Ji says that this is the only method, as described above, to know God who is omnipresent and who himself is aware of everything. 

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Pauree 5

            Thaapiaa na jaae, keeta na hoe                      Aape aap Niranjan soe

                    Jin seviaa tin paaiaa maan                         Nanak gaaveeai gunee nidhaan

                    Gaaweeai suneeai man rakheeai bhaao        Dukh parhar sukh ghar lai jaae

                    Gurmukh naading gurmukh veding                Gurmukh rahiaa samaaee

                    Gur Eesar gur Gorukh Barmaa                      gur Paarbatee maaee

                    Je hau jaanaa aakhaa naahee                     Kahnaa kathan na jaaee

                                                       Guraa ik deh bujhaaee

                    Sabnaa jeeaa ka ik data                             so mai visar na jaaee 

Continuing his sermons on God and His worship,Guru Nanak Dev Ji highlights the importance of guru or the teacher in our lives in this Pauree.

                    Thaapiaa na jaae, Keetaa na hoe

                    Aape aap Niranjan soe

Thaapiaa-to establish. Na jaae-cannot be. Keeta-to make, to create.

Aape-self. Niranjan-free from influence of wealth (MAAYAA), Soe-same

Many people try to see God in human or any other form. They make idols and worship them as God or gods. As God possesses no physical form, He cannot be made in physical forms. Any idol, in human form or in any other form, cannot thus symbolize God. An ethereal being cannot be made into physical being. Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus says that God can neither be created nor established in a worship place in any physical form. God has created Himself. He is ‘Saibhang’, ‘Swaimbhu’ meaning He created Himself. Any physical being needs many worldly requirements to sustain his physical being. But God needs none of these things, as He has no physical being. God is thus beyond the influence of MAAYAA or the worldly possessions (wealth, assets, money etc). He is thus NIRANJAN, meaning immaculate or  free from black soot of worldly possessions.

                Jin seviaa tin paiaa maan

                Nanak gaaveeai gunee nidhaan

Jin-who. Saviaa-to serve. Paya-found. Maan-respect.Gaaeeai- to sing. Gunee-that who possesses qualities. Nidhan-treasure.

Those who spend their lives according to the dictates of the divine command or Hukam within them, become pious people. They become saintly in the eyes of the other people. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that such people who serve God, who worship His NAAM or who lead their lives religiously are honoured not only by other people but are honoured in the court of God also. They earn recognition as saints and people view them with respect and honour. Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that God is treasure of noble attributes. In other words, all the good qualities, which are necessary to make an ideal social set up among a group of people are attributable to God. Guru Ji thus advises us that we should serve God, as He is a treasure of good qualities. We should worship Him and lead our lives according to God’s dictates.

                Gaaweeai suneeai man rakheeai bhaao

        Dukh parhar sukh ghar lai jaae

Knowledge can be acquired by two ways. One way is to read books or literature on the subject on which knowledge is required. The other way is to listen to the discourses of scholars or guru who are expert in the field. Guru Nanak Dev Ji advises us to acquire knowledge about God, about qualities of God either by reading and then reciting repeatedly the hymns in praise of God or by listening to the sermons delivered by learned persons who have knowledge about God and Hs qualities. Guru Ji says that it is not sufficient to confine yourself only to acquiring of knowledge by either method but it is necessary that we develop love for God in our mind. We should love God’s qualities in such a manner that our mind should become a permanent home for these qualities. Our thinking, our working should be guided by our mind which has developed extreme love for God. Doing of good deeds should come  automatically from our minds.

When our mind is full with love for God, there will not be any place for worries to enter into our mind. Guru Ji says that we would get rid of all worries, all pains, all sufferings if our mind or thinking machine is replete with God’s love. Our lives then would be full of joy and happiness and we then would become the exalted ones. Our mind is a thinking machine in our body. The path of God lays in tuning this thinking machine to the love of God.

            Gurmukh naading gurmukh veding         Gurmukh rahiaa samaaee

    Gur Eesar gur Gorukh Barmaa               gur Paarbatee maaee

    Je hau jaanaa aakhaa naahee              Kahnaa kathan na jaaee

                                  Guraa ik deh bujhaaee

    Sabna jeeaa ka ik daataa                     so mai visar na jaaee

Gurmukh-by guru. Naading-word. Veding-knowledge. Rahiaa-is. Samaaee-to get absorbed. Eesar-Lord Shiva. Gorukh-Lord Vishnu. Barmaa-Lord Brahma. Paarbatee-goddess Parbati. Maaee-mother. Je-if.  Hau- I. Jaanaa-to know. Aakhaa-to say,.Kahnaa-to say. Kathan-to describe. Na jaaee-cannot be done. Bujhaaee-to make one understand Sabna-all. Jeeaa-living being. Daataa-he who gives, giver.  Visar-to forget, to go out of mind. .

‘Word’ or naad or shabad has many meanings in ancient Hindu literature. Word means divine word. It is said that ‘the word’ was uttered by Lord Brahma when He created the world. In Sikh scriptures, word mostly means NAAM or name of God.  As stated earlier, knowledge can be gained from discourses by a religious teacher, a guru or through reading books. In the latter case , we also need guidance of guru to interpret many complex writings. Here, Guru Nanak Dev Ji also lays emphasis on the necessity of having a guru and seeking knowledge from him. Guru Ji says that we can know NAAM and get full knowledge of NAAM only from a guru. It is only a guru who can tell us in detail about NAAM. Only a guru can give us full knowledge about God and His qualities. Also, only a guru can  explain to us how God is present everywhere, within His entire creation. Guru Ji further explains that the knowledge about Lord Shiva, the destroyer, Lord Vishnu, the sustainer, Lord Brahma, the creator and goddess Parbati, the Shakti or power can only be obtained from a guru. We individually know very little and whatever  we know, we cannot explain. We therefore should seek guru’s guidance as a guru can make us understand how we can remember God within us forever, that God who gives sustenance to all living beings on this earth.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji in his scripture mostly directs his teachings to his own self. At some places, he puts questions to himself and then offers solutions for us to follow. As in the previous Pauree,in the end of this Pauree also, Guru Ji advises us to implore upon our guru and say “Oh respected Guru, please make us understand one thing by which we do not forget within us the existence of God who is the only one who gives livelihood to all living beings existing on this earth.”

From here on, Guru Ji writes about the importance of a guru, a religious teacher in our lives. Without a guru, a possibility always exists that we can go astray and away from the path of truth. We may get carried away by the worldly pleasures. Guru helps us to stay on the right track and spend our lives in a pious manner.

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Pauree 6

                    Teerath naavaa je tis bhaavaa             Vin bhaane ki naae karee

                    Jetee sirath upaaee vekhaa                  Vin karmaa ki milai laee

                    Mat vich rattan javaahar maanik           Je ik gur kee sikh sunee

                                                       Guraa ik deh bujhaaee

                    Sabhnaa jeeaa ka ik daataa                  so mai visar na jaaee

Continuing to lay emphasis on importance of a guru in our lives, Guru Nanak Dev Ji advises us to develop our mind, with the teachings of guru, to the higher levels.  In Jap Ji Sahib, Guru Ji tries to make a perfect human being out of common man so that after achieving that perfect state, we can rise up on the ladder of our spiritual life and be one with God.

                    Teerath naavaa je tis bhaavaa              Vin bhaane ki naae karee

Teerath – a religious place on the bank of a river, sea or other water source. Naavaa – to take bath. Je– if. Tis – to God. Bhaavaa – be liked.Vin – without. Bhaane - to like. Karee – to do.

From time immemorial, people in India go for pilgrimage to sacred places situated on the bank of rivers, streams, sea or any other source of water.  They think that taking a bath in sacred waters would wash their sins away.  In the old days, people used to go to these sacred places for gaining spiritual knowledge and subsequently become religious preachers.  Many religious conferences used to be held at these places and views about religion used to be exchanged among scholars.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that it is useless to go to such sacred places and take bath in holy waters unless our mind is replete with the love of God.  If our mind has nothing but love of God, we will think, plan and act according to the wishes of God.  With such a mind, there is no need to attend these sacred places; we can wash our sins without havinag to take a  holy bath.  So Guru Ji says that we benefit from a  dip in holy waters of holy places only when God loves us or only when He desires that we should go.  If we love God or God loves us, we will not do anything against those whom we love.  In that case, we will only do  what God desires us to do.

                    Jetee sirath upaaee vekhaa                    Vin karmaa ki milai laee

            Mat vich rattan javaahar maanik              Je ik gur kee sikh sunee

Jetee – whatever. Sirath – creation. Upaaee – to create. Vekhaa – to see Vin – without. Karmaa – good deeds. Ki milai laee – what can you get.Mat – analytical part of mind. Rattan – diamonds. Javaahar – gems. Maanik – pearls.Sikh – teaching. Sunee – To hear.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that to have knowledge of good qualities is not sufficient.  If our mind is full of love of God, the matter does not end there unless we bring this knowledge to practice.  To gain knowledge is simply a means to achieve our objective. To utilize this good knowledge in doing good deeds is our objective.  Guru Ji says that he fails to see any body among God’s creations who has got something without doing good deeds.  Thus merely taking bath in holy water does not wash out sins.  Only good deeds can do that.  Guru Ji thus advises us that if we wish to achieve something in our lives, we should do good deeds.  But how do we know that the deeds, which we are doing, would be judged by God as good deeds?  Are we learned enough that we can judge for our self what to do or what not to do?   Guru Ji says that this power of analysis can be achieved only through the teachings of guru.  If we listen to the teachings of our guru, we surely can attain that power.  Guru Ji says that our minds analytical part i.e. MAT, is replete with thoughts which sparkle like diamonds and which are as valuable as rubies and pearls.  MAT is the analytical part of our mind.  Whatever comes to our consciousness, this part of mind analyses that information and passes it on to the mind.  Our mind is a thinking machine, which, receives ideas from MAT, stores them and subsequently converts them into our desires.  Thus MAT is that part of our mind, which is concerned in the analyses of information.  All information that is transferred to MAT by the mind is in turn  received by the mind through our five senses i.e. sense of hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling and touching.

                Guraa ik deh bujhaaee          

                Sabhnaa jeeaa ka ik daataa so mai visar na jaaee

Guru Ji advises us to implore upon our guru and say “Oh respected guru! Please make us understand one thing by which we do not forget within us the existence of God who is the only one who gives livelihood to all living beings existing on this earth.”

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Pauree 7 

         Je jug chaare aarjaa                      hor dasoonee hoe

         Navaa khandaa vich jaaneeai          naal chalai sab koe

         Changaa naao rakhaae kai              jas keerat jag le    

                         Je tis nadar na aavaee                   ta baat na puchhai ke

         Keetaa andar keet kar                    dosee dos dhare

         Nanak nirgun gun kare                   gun vantiaa gun deh

         Tehaa koe na sujhaee                   je tis gun koe kare

Guru Ji is very cautious that we do not become egoistic after we achieve higher levels in the ladder of pious life. In Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings, to be self conceited of our achievement is considered as the greatest malady, which sometimes becomes incurable. That is why Guru Ji teaches us to keep our mind full of love of God so that we can take guidance from the divine command, which is within us, to achieve our objectives by those means, which are loved by that divine command. In all our achievements we should forget our ego, our prideor our self-conceit and attribute our success to God.

                        Je jug chaare aarjaa                    hor dasoonee hoe

                Navaa khandaa vich jaaneeai        naal chalai sab koe

                Changaa naao rakhaae kai            jas keerat jag le

Je-if, Jug-long time. Chaare-four. Aarjaa-age. Hor-still. Dasooneee- ten times. Navaa- nine. Khandaa- regions. Vich- in. Jaaneeai- known. Naal-with. Chalai-to go. Sab-all. Koe-everybody.Changa-good. Naao-name.Rakhaae kai-to attain,.Jas-fame.Keerat-praise.Jag-world.Le-to take.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further teaches us about the malady of self-conceitedness. If we achieve anything and take its credit, we would not be accepted by God. The whole of the ancient time is divided into four parts in ancient literature. These parts or yugas are SatyugTretaaDuaapar and Kalyug. Guru Ji says that if a person, through his meditation, attains as long an age as four yugas or even ten times of that age i.e. a very long age, one cannot be accepted by God if one has not spent his age according to the dictates of God. In the old days, it was a general belief that people or saints through meditation could achieve long lives. Some are also known to conquer death. This, they could do by eating little  from fruits and roots of wild plants and doing meditation.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elucidates that if a person becomes known in all the nine regions of the world and if everybody comes under his command, even then that person would not be accepted by God if he had not spent his life according to the wishes of God. According to ancient literature, the earth is divided into nine regions or continents.

Guru Ji further teaches us that if one achieves a good name, earns fame and commands respect from all and sundary, even then one cannot be accepted by God if he had not achieved all this fame according to the wishes of God.

                        Je tis nadar na aavaee               ta baat na puchhai ke

                Keetaa andar keet kar                dosee dos dhare

Tis-to him. Nadar-glance. Na-not. Aavaee-to come. Baat-talk. Puchhai-to ask. Ke-nobody.Keeta-small beings.Andar-in.Kar-to consider.Dosee-sinner.Dhare-be identified, to place.

Guru Ji emphasises repeatedly on one central point, which is that we should do everything according to what God desires us to do. That can only be possible if our mind is full of love of God as in that case, our mind will get tuned to the dictates of divine command or Hukam within us and we would automatically do that what God desires us to do. If we do something according to our own wishes, our mind would become a prisoner of our worldly desires, we will work only for our self and that will not by accepted by God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says if our work does not come under the graceful glance of God or in other words if our work is not accepted by God, we would not be cared by anybody in this world and we would be considered insignificant like small ants. Even the sinners will find faults in us. Even the lowest that are not accepted by God will hate us and will brand us as sinners. We will not come under the grace of God or God will not see towards us. Thus we should spend our lives according to the dictates of our inner self, which is guided by Hukam or divine command, that God placed within us when we took birth in this world. Our daily routine should be such that our mind remains tuned to the wishes of God. We will then always remain on the right path and will not falter in our way to reach the highest point on the spiritual ladder of our lives. There then we would be welcome in the court of God who will shower His love on us.

                            Nanak nirgun gun kare                   gun vantiaa gun deh

                            Teha koe na sujhaee                     je tis gun koe kare

Nirgun-without any art or qualities. Gun-quality. Kare-to make. Gun vantiaa-those who have good qualities Teha-like him.   Koe-anybody. Sujhaee-to come to mind. Kare-to do.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further teaches us that if God wishes He can bestow good qualities on a person who does not posses any qualities in him. Similarly, God can bestow further qualities on a person who already has got good qualities. In other words, if we work in our lives according to the will of God, we can attain all qualities like being famous in the world, earning a good name, having a long life etc. God rewards  all who love Him or on whom God showers His love. Guru Ji says that he has not yet identified a single person who has any one such quality, which is attributed to God. This is true in the spiritual world. It is also true in the material world. A man works under a person or in an organization. That person gets his wages from his boss or from that organization. That person puts his heart and soul in his work. He comes on time. He obeys his superiors. He does not waste any time. He is committed to his work. He then becomes cynosure of his superiors who love his work, sincerity and honesty. Then his boss or organization gives him an increase in his wages with a promotion to the higher grade though he may have the same qualifications and experience as his colleagues. However, there is a lot of difference between God’s system and a man-made system. The man- made system may become corrupt. The backbiters and flatterers may take advantage and the people who  work hard and are honest and sincere may suffer. God’s system is perfect. The main difference in these two systems is that any system under the law of land can be flouted easily and the road of justice is tortuous. System of God works perfectly. Nobody can flout it and the justice is complete and fair. But God’s system works silently. In the material system, if a person has trust in God, works according to the dictates of God’s Hukam, that person can reach higher heights even if the system becomes corrupt as truth always prevails in the long run. Trust in God helps a person to increase his spiritual qualities and these qualities also help him in the material world . That is why Guru Ji says that he fails to identify any person who has even one attribute of God in him, be it an attribute of ideal governance or an attribute of complete justice.

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Pauree 8
                             Suniai sidh peer sur naath           Suniai dharat dhaval aakaas

        Suniai deep loe paataal               Suniai poh na sakai kaal

        Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas        Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

In Paurees 8-15, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us the importance of Guru’s teachings. In the first four paurees (8-11), Guru Ji tells us the advantages of listening to Guru’s teachings. Listening or hearing of Guru’s teaching is the first step to learn about spirituality. Whatever we hear from others, we hear with our ears and this material heard by ears is transmitted to mind for further action. Whatever we read, it gets directly transmitted to the mind. So every thing we hear from our Guru or we read Guru’s teachings ultimately goes to the mind where the information is stored and analyzed. Now the mind is not tuned to ears only. It always remains tuned to our all the five senses (senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching). When we are listening to our guru in a congregation in Gurudwara, our eyes are also seeing something or the other at that same time. We are also feeling the touch of the rug on which we are sitting. We are also smelling other smells around us. So our mind is thus busy at that time recording all information transmitted to it by all our senses. That is the reason why when sitting in a Gurudwara, we can hear and transmit to our mind only a part of the information, which the preacher is trying to convey to us. Our ears pick up other noises in the congregation which are also transmitted to our mind. Thus very little of the preacher’s teachings is transmitted to the mind. Ideal listening or hearing would be when we concentrate only on listening to what the preacher is saying to us. We should tune our ears to the preacher’s teaching in such a way that block other senses transmitting information to the mind. We should become oblivious of our surroundings.  All our energies would be focused on the energy of hearing so that whatever the preacher says, it is heard in total by the ears and transmitted fully and in one piece to the mind. When we have developed in our selves. the art of listening, such hearing would impart tremendous knowledge to our mind for storage and further analyses. In paurees 8-11, Guru Nanak Dev Ji tells about the importance of this type of hearing of guru’s teachings as described above.

                                Suniai sidh peer sur naath

                                Suniai dharat dhaval aakaas

Suniai-by hearing. Sidh-the exhalted ones. Peer- Muslim saints. Sur-gods. Naath-head of sadhus. Dharat-earth. Dhaval-an imaginary bull under the earth. Aakaas-sky.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us that through listening to guru’s teachings, we can learn about the exalted souls as to how they attained that state. It is from guru’s teachings that we know the lives of exalted saints, their way of living, their teachings and their writings. Similarly, through guru’s teachings, we know about seers, about various gods and about different categories of sadhus. Guru also tells us about the earth, about the imaginative bull who is considered in ancient literature as the carrier of earth on one of its horns. Here guru Ji tries to convey to us that not only we gain knowledge about ancient literature from guru’s teaching but also we come to know the reality behind such beliefs. Similarly, through guru’s teaching, we develop a detailed knowledge about the sky, sun, moon, stars etc.

                    Suniai deep loe paataal

                    Suniai poh na sakai kaal

Deep-islands. Loe-lands. Paataal-under the earth. Poh-touch. Sakai-can. Kaal-death.

Elaborating further on importance of listening to guru’s teachings, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that from hearing guru’s teachings, we develop detailed knowledge about the earth, about continuous stretch of lands or continents and about what is present inside the earth. Every person born on this earth is afraid of death as everyone knows that death is the ultimate truth. Through listening to guru’s teachings, we get all information about death and about life after death. We learn the secret of death and life cycles. We learn about the continuity of life after death. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that we will not be bothered or worried about death through listening to guru’s teachings about life and death.

                    Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas

                    Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

Bhagtaa-those who worship God. Sadaa-always. Vigaas-happy. Dookh-pain, misery. Paap-sins. Kaa-of. Naas-destruction.

Guru Nanak Dev JI further says that if we hear the teachings of our guru, all our miseries, pains and sins would be eliminated. We would become free form sins. We will not commit sins and if we lead a sin free life, we will not suffer. We will not have any misery in our life. In the last line of this pauree and of the next three paurees, Guru Ji says that if we listen to guru’s teachings, we become our guru’s disciples, we become worshippers of God. We become BHAGATS or Bhaktas, devotees of God. Those who worship God are ever in bliss. They always remain in a state of trance, in ecstatic state. Worry does not touch them. They enjoy eternal happiness.

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Pauree 9

                        Suniai Eesar Barmaa Ind                Suniai mukh saalaahanmand

                        Suniai jog jugat tan bhed               Suniai saasat simrit ved

                        Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas           Suniai dookh paap kaa naas.

In this pauree also, the subject is  discussed in continuation of Pauree number 8.

                        Suniai Eesar Barmaa Ind                Suniai mukh saalaahanmand

                Suniai jog jugat tan bhed               Suniai saasat simrit ved

Eesar-Lord Shiva. Barmaa-Lord Brahma. Ind-god Indra.Mukh-head, here God. Saalaahanmand-those who praise. Jog-union. Jugat-method. Tan-body. Bhed-secret.

                        Saasat-shastra. Simrit-simratees. Ved-vedas.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elucidates that by listening to our guru’s teachings, we can learn the realities about various gods and goddesses. Here only three gods are mentioned. There are Eesar or Shiva, the god of destruction, Barmaa or Brahma, the god of creation and Ind or Indra, the god of rain or rain god. He is also considered as the king of heaven. It is through listening to the teachings of our guru that we learn what is written in ancient Hindu books like shastras (6 in number), Smrities (27 in number) and Vedas (4 in number). Through the knowledge gained by us from listening to guru’s teachings, we come to know about the secret of our physical being and the way our soul is connected to God. We learn about the secret of the union of our soul to God. We develop knowledge about our ethereal self and its relation with God. When we know all the above secrets, we praise only God and none else. We become the admirers of God.

                        Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas             Suniai dookh paap kaa naas.

Guru Ji says that through guru’s teachings, all our miseries and sins are eliminated and we become like bhaktas or devotees of God who remain ever in bliss or who enjoy eternal happiness.

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Pauree 10

                            Suniai sat santokh giaan             Suniai ath – sath kaa isnaan

                       Suniai parh parh paaveh maan     Suniai laagai sahaj dhiaan

                       Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas        Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

In this Pauree also, Guru Ji discusses the subject of listening to guru’s teachings in continuation of Paurees 8 and 9.

                       Suniai sat santokh giaan              Suniai ath-sath kaa isnaan

                       Suniai parh parh paaveh maan       Suniai laage sahaj dhiaan

Sat- truth. Santokh- contentment. Giaan- knowledge. Ath- sath- eight and sixty, sixty-eight. Isnaan- bath. Parh parh- continuous reading. Paaveh- to get. Maan- respect. Laagai- to concentrate. Sahaj- state of eternal happiness. Dhiaan- concentration.

Elaborating further on the importance of listening to guru’s teachings, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that through a guru’s teachings we reorientate our life activities and base them on truth and contentment. We achieve knowledge on various subjects. People go to sacred places to take holy bath in holy waters to wash out their sins. Here Guru Ji says that through mere listening to guru’s teachings our mind becomes tuned to lead a pious life. The guru’s teachings thus become equivalent to taking holy bath in 68 holy places. In this way by listening to guru’s teachings and through reading of guru’s writings we are able to lead our lives based on guru’s teachings. We command respect not only in our society but in the court of God also. Our thinking gets focussed on the NAME of God and we achieve divine happiness. We obtain SEHEJ state. SEHEJ is that state of mind when we recognize the existence of God in our mind. Whatever we think, we plan or we do, it is according to what God desires us to do. We lead our life according to the dictates of God. That state is the state of divine happiness, eternal bliss or total attuning with God.

Nanak bhagtaa sadaa vigaas             Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

Guru Ji finally says that through guru’s teachings, all our miseries and sins are eliminated and we become like bhaktas or devotees of God and always remain in bliss or enjoy eternal happiness.

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Pauree 11

                            Suniai saraa gunaa ke gaah         Ssuniai sekh peer paatsaah

                            Suniainbsp;  Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

Pauree number eleven is the last pauree on listening to guru’s teachings.  In all these four paurees, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has laid emphasis on the importance of listening to the discourses of guru and on that bases, leading our lives.

Suniai saraa gunaa ke gaah           Suniai sekh peer paatsaah

Saraa – oceans.  Gunaa – good qualities. Gaah – to have reach. Sekh-  an order of saints.  Peer – saint of higher order.  Paatsaah – true king.

Guru is treasure of knowledge.  He is like an ocean of knowledge where we can dive in and bring out gems and pearls of good knowledge.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that through hearing guru’s teachings, we can go deep into the ocean of knowledge, which the guru is.  We can then become like saints, heads of religions and above all kings of our own domain.  Our consciousness is a vast domain.  Very few people tread on this domain.  A few explore this domain and still few become masters of this domain.  Guru Ji says that everyone who listens to guru’s teachings and acts on them can become king of that domain.  One will then be a pious king or PATSHAH.  This kingship is above all worldly kings who have ruled this world.  Worldly kings after their death occupy pages of history and are only read for the sake of knowledge.  Kings who have ruled their over their conscience or self, have ruled the mind and heart of the people, live in our minds for ever  They ruled over our minds and are still ruling our minds.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji is such a King, a Truth PATSHAH, A True Divine KING.

Suniai andhe paaveh raah            Suniai haath hovai asgaah

Andhe – blind.  Paaveh – to find.  Raah – way.  Haath – To measure.  Hovai – possible.  Asgaah – which cannot be measured. 

Guru Ji says that through constant hearing of guru’s teachings an ignorant person who is like a blind man finds his right path.  One who knows nothing finds proper directions and leads a pious life.  Through listening to guru’s teachings, we can measure the depth of guru’s ocean of knowledge which ordinarily we cannot do so.

                           Nanank bhagtaa sadaa vigass        Suniai dookh paap kaa naas

Finally Guru Nanak Dev Ji repeatedly emphasises that through guru’s teachings, all our miseries are eliminated and all our sins are washed away.  We become like bhaktas or the DEVOTED ones or devotees of God and attain eternal happiness.

In the above four paurees, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has thus advised us to regularly go to our religious places, our Gurudwara, take part in religious congregations and attentively listen to the discourses of our guru.  In Sikh religion, there were ten gurus.  The tenth guru ordained Sri Guru Granth Sahib as our next spiritual guru; this sacred book or granth is the soul of all our ten gurus.  It is the duty of every sikh to regularly go to the Gurudwara, read Guru Granth Sahib or hear the recitations and base life on the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. 

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Pauree 12
                            Manne kee gat kahee na jaae         Je ko kahai pichhai pachhutaae
                            Kaagad kalam na likhan haar          Manne kaa baih karan veechaar
                            Aisaa naam Nirannjan hoe             Je ko mann jaanai man koe

In previous four paurees, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us to listen to the teachings of guru and reorientate our lives based on these teachings.  Guru Ji repeatedly emphasizes the importance of listening to guru’s teachings.  We get multidirectional and multifaceted knowledge from guru’s teachings.  What guru expects from us is to give a practical shape to the knowledge, which the guru imparted to us.  What generally happens is usually a different story.  We are generally moved by guru’s teachings while sitting in a Gurudwara and listening to the recitation of religious scriptures.  We make many promises with guru.  We vow that we would not tell lies.  We would lead a pious life. We would help others.  We would help the poor. We will not resort to any deception in our business.  We would do our business honestly and so on.  But as soon as we are out of Gurudwara premises, we again become engrossed in our worldly activities.  We again fall back on our old daily routine.  We start doing all those things, which we vowed not to do while sitting before our guru in the Gurudwara.  We resort to suppressing the truth.  We become oblivious of our surroundings and we bother only about our self.  It is not only at a religious place, but elsewhere also, our attitude to adopting better principles of life is same.  For example, if we go with a dead body to crematorium to take part in last rites, we think at a very high spiritual level.  We address to ourselves many questions such as life is so short, one does not take anything with him after his death, he leaves the world empty handed, he leaves all his earned wealth and palatial bungalows behind him.  Why do we  do that?  Why not share your earnings with the poor? Only good deeds accompany the soul.  Many such pious phrases flash in our minds. But as soon as the cremation ceremony is over, we forget all those things in a matter of minutes only.  Even at ordinary day-to-day occasions also, many good things flash in our mind and we become pious person but these prove too ephemeral.  If we are driving fast on the road and we see an accident, suddenly our speed slows down to normal limits and we tremble at the site of the accident.  But our next drive on the road is again at the same fast speed.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus says that we should persistently listen to guru’s teachings so that these teachings totally occupy our mind, and our thinking, planning and working should at all times be guided by a guru’s teachings.  In the next four paurees (12-15), Guru Ji tells us the greatness of those who had listened to a guru’s teachings, and had orientated their lives on the basis of the guru’s teachings.  Guru Ji calls them as perfect humans.  In fact guru’s teachings are what God desires us to do. In sikh religion, there is hardly any difference between a guru and God.  It is the guru who helps us to reach the door of God.

                        Manne ki gat kahee na jaae                  Je ko kahai pichhai pachhutaae

                        Kaagad kalam na likhan haar                 Manne kaa baih karan veechaar

Manne – who has given practical shape to guru’s teachings.  Ki – of.  Gat – condition.  Kahee – to describe.  Na Jaae – cannot be.  Kahia – describe.  Pichhai – after.  Pachhutaae – to repent.  Kaagad – paper.  Kalam – pen.  Likhan haar – to be able to write.  Baih – to sit. Karan – to do.  Veechaar – think.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that we cannot describe the level of the living of those who have given a practical shape to guru’s teachings.  If we try to describe that level, we would fail miserably and would repent afterwards when we learn that whatever we have said it was too little.  Their life becomes so sublimeand so much elevated that it becomes beyond our description in words.  It cannot be written with a pen on paper  as it is difficult to find words to describe that state in which these elevated ones live.  Guru Ji says that we can sit and only think about them.  We can express our feelings only about their greatness. 

                        Aisaa naam Nirannjan hoe                 Je ko mann jaanai man koe

Aisaa – of this kind.  Mann – to give practical shape.  Man – in mind.

Here Guru Nanak Dev Ji equates the words of guru as the description of NAAM or NAME of God.  The guru’s teachings are equated here with description of NAM or qualities of God.  A true guru in fact teaches us about the qualities of God.  He helps us to let NAM occupy our minds.  He teaches us how to attain love of God.  He teaches us how to do what God desires us to do.  Guru Ji thus says in concluding lines of this Pauree that God’s great, immaculate name is such that it makes a person perfect if that person practises Naam in his mind.  

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Pauree 13
Mannai surat hovai man budh              Mannai sagal bhavan ki sudh
Mannai muh chotaa naa khaae             Mannai jam kai saath na jaae

Aisaa Naam Niranjan hoe                    je ko mann jaanai man koe.

In this pauree, Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains the way our intellectual level is raised by listening to a guru’s teachings and then giving them a practical shape.  Our mind is a kind of driver to our physical being.  It is just like an engine driving a train where the engine is our mind and the train is our physical being.  The mind does his work on the basis of information given to it by our five senses (sense of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching).  This information is instantly stored in our mind with the help of our consciousness, analysed by our MAT (analysing part of our mind), quickly understood by our MAN (intelligence) and then given it a practical shape by our BUDHI (wisdom or reasoning).  (Man used for intelligence is feminine and MAN used for mind is masculine).  Armed with this knowledge, the wisdom part of our mind gets the work executed by our five KARAM (action) senses, which include sense of speaking, hands, legs, genitals and anus. We can describe the consciousness, MAT, intelligence, wisdom by taking an example of a child. An infant has a consciousness but not the MAT, intelligence or wisdom. If we put before him a mixture of pebbles and coins, he would not be able to distinguish between them. In fact he will put both coins and pebbles to his mouth. But as he matures to become a child he develops MAT or analysing power. He will distinguish the pebbles from the coins but he does not know the use of both of these things. As he matures further, he develops intelligence and understanding.  He will at once take the coins and throw the pebbles away. He would go to the shop and purchase sweets with those coins. But when the child matures to adolescent, he  develops a sense of reasoning or BUDHI and spends the coin where it helps him most. Guru’s teachings help the mature person to develop his consciousness, intelligence and reasoning to the level where that person can give practical shape to guru’s teachings. At that stage, the person becomes so highly evolved that he develops understanding of all the worlds.

Mannai surat hovai man budh            Mannai sagal bhavan kee sudh

Surat- consciousness. Man- intelligence. Budh- wisdom, reasoning. Sagal- all. Bhavan- house (here worlds). Sudh- understanding.

A person who gives practical shape to the guru’s teachings develops a higher level of intelligence. That person develops highest level of consciousness, intelligence and sense of reasoning. In that way, that person develops in him the knowledge of all the worlds existing in universe.

                    Mannai muh chotaa naa khaae    Mannai jam ke saath naa jaae

Muh- mouth. Chotaa- beatings, hurts. Khaae- to eat, to suffer. Jam- death god. Saath- with. Jaae- to go

That person does not suffer from the beatings of time. He does not suffer from worldly miseries and pains and he does not commit sins. That person is also not afraid of death. When we give practical shape to our guru’s teachings and lead our lives according to what God desires us to lead, we then live for our ethereal self or for our soul. We keep our body fit and healthy to the extent that our body does work for us to live for our ethereal self. Our physical being becomes subservient to our spiritual desires. At that stage, the fear of death disappears. At that state of mind, death remains only a means to change our physical being from one life to another life. 

                    Aisaa naam Niranjan hoe    Je ko mann jaanai man koe

Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us that God’s immaculate NAAM is such that it makes a person perfect if that person practises NAAM in his mind.

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Pauree 14

                Mannai maarag thaak na paae          Mannai pat sio pargat jaae

                Mannai mag na chalai panth            Mannai dharam setee sanbandh

                Aisaa naam Niranjan hoe                 je ko mann jaanai man koe

In pauree 4, Guru Nanak Dev Ji puts forward a question.  What offering should we make to God with which w can see the door of God?  The reply was that we should offer our whole human life to service of God, to will of God.  Here, in these paurees (number 12-15), Guru Ji gives us a practical method to enable us to shape our life in such a way that we can reach the door of God.

              Mannai maarag thaak na paae    Mannai pat sio pargat jaae

Maarag – the way, path.  Thaak – obstacle, check.  Paae – To get. Pat – respect.  Sio – with.  Pargat – to appear.  Jaae – to go.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches to us that when we mould our practical life according to the teachings of our guru or according to the will of God, we can then go straight to the court of God. We will not face any hurdles or obstacles on our way  Finally we would manifest ourselves with honour both in the eyes of this world as well as in the court of God.

                Mannai mag na chalai panth        Mannai dharam setee sanbandh

Mag – path.  Chalai – To go.  Panth – sect.  Setee – with .  Sanbandh – relation.  Dharam – divine principles, also sometimes used as religion.

Such persons do not swerve from the path shown to them by their guru.  They do not tread on the path told to them by other different sects.  They continue to go on their right path non- chalant because they keep their concerns with the divine principles only.

                Aisaa naam Niranjan hoe            je ko mann jaanai man koe

God’s immaculate NAAM is such that it makes a person perfect if that person practises NAAM in his mind. 

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Pauree 15
                Mannai paaveh mokh duaar        Mannai parvaarai saadhaar

             Mannai tarai taare gur sikh         Mannai Nanak bhaveh na bhikh

             Aisa naam Niranjan hoe             je ko mann jaanai man koe

Guru Nanak Dev Ji continues to describe the high status, which we can attain if we utilize Guru’s teachings to give them a practical shape in our life.  Ultimately, we will achieve our objective to become one with God, to become God’s chosen ones and above all to attain salvation from life and death cycle.

                Mannai paaveh mokh duaar         Mannai parvaarai saadhaar

                Mannai tarai taare gur sikh          Mannai Nanak bhaveh na bhikh

Paaveh – to achieve.  Mokh – salvation.  Duaar – door.  Parvaarai – family.  Saadhaar – to confer salvation.  Tarai – To swim.  Taare – to help others, to swim.  Bhaveh – to roam.  Bhikh – alms.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that such person as described above then gets salvation.  That person reaches the door of God and obtains freedom from birth and death cycle not only for himself but also for his whole family; in fact for all his  near and dear ones.  The latter is not merely due to the fact that they are his relations but being near to him, they learn from him the right path to spend their lives.  Thus that Sikh of the guru not only himself acquires salvation but he helps others also to attain salvation by teaching them the guru’s teachings.  He thus not only himself becomes a perfect human but he also makes others perfect humans.  He therefore becomes both Sikh and a preacher.  Such persons do not seek alms by going place to place like sadhus or mendicants.  They do not become wanderers, as is the practice with most of the sadhus in India He,therefore, works hard not only for his own living but also for a decent living of his family members.  He earns money to sustain himself and his family.  But he does so through leading a pious life, which God desires him to lead.

                    Aisaa naam Niranjan hoe                   je ko mann jaanai man koe

God’s immaculate name is such that it makes a person perfect if that person practises NAAM in his mind.

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Pauree 16

            Panch parvaan panch pardhaan                    Panche paaveh dargeh maan

            Panche soheh dar raajaan                           Panchaa kaa gur ek dhiaan

            Je ko kahai karai veechaar                           Karte kai karnai naahee sumaar

            Dhaul dharam daiaa ka poot                        Santokh thaap rakhiaa jin soot

            Je ko bujhai hovai sachiaar.                         Dhavlai upar ketaa bhaar

            Dhartee hor parai hor hor.                            Tis te bhaar talai kavan jor

            Jeea jaat rangaa ke naav.                            Sabhnaa likhiaa vuree kalaam

            Eh lekhaa likh jaanai koe                              Lekhaa likhiaa ketaa hoe

            Ketaa taan suaalih roop                               Ketee daat jaanai kaun koot

            Keetaa pasaao eko kavaao                           Tis te hoe lakh dareeaao

            Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar                        Variaa na jaavaa ek vaar

            Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar                Too sadaa salaamat Nirankaar

First four lines of this Pauree summarize the conclusions of the last 15 paurees.  From Paurees 1 to 15, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has gradually imparted knowledge to us about God, His creation, the humans, their ways of worshipping God and the way that the devotee can reach the door of God. Upto Pauree number 15, Guru Ji sees his Sikh a perfect human being.  His Sikh has now learned to touch the heights of his intellectual, ethical and spiritual development.  He has acquired the highest level of spiritual knowledge.  He has reached a stage where he can reorientate his life to become an honest, truthful and compassionate human being.  He can now devote his whole life for the purification of his ethereal self or for his spiritual self.  He has now come to know that his physical being is provided to him to elevate his spiritual being At the appointed time, he would leave this physical being and acquire another physical being to continue life after death just like we discard old, torn out clothes and in their place, wear new ones.  Death has thus become subservient to his ethereal being.  He has thus learned to conquer over death.  He has now learned to identify God within himself and fill his mind with love of God.  All his actions would now on be based on what God desires him to do.  He has thus learnt to become a perfect man.  He can now become a PANCH, a leader, a head, a master or a chosen one.

                        Panch parvaan panch pardhaan                    Panche paaveh dargeh maan

                        Panche soheh dar raajaan                              Panchaa kaa gur ek dhiaan

Panch – the leader.  Parvaan – accepted, approved.  Pardhaan – the head.  Dargeh – in God’s court.  Maan – respect.  Soheh – are praised.  Raajaan – like big people.  Dhiyan – concentration.

These chosen ones as described above get the stamp of approval in the court of God.  They are allowed access to the portal of God.  They become the accepted ones.  They earn respect in the court of God.  These pre-eminent ones are then honoured at the court of God where they shine in splendour.  These chosen ones now focus their concentration only on God.  They work only on what God desires them to do.  Their guru is thus their concentration in God.  They do not think anything else except about God.

Je ko kahai karai veechaar               Karte kai karnai naahee sumaar

Je ko – if somebody.  Kahai – speak.  Karai – to do.  Veechaar – study, think.  Karte – the creator.  Karnai – creation.  Naahee – not.  Sumaar – count.

After giving to his Sikh, spiritual knowledge of a highest level, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now wants his Sikhs, his disciples, to know about the behaviour of humans, their beliefs and about the greatness of God.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji says if somebody tries to think or describe the creations of God, the mysteries of God, the doings of God, he would be unable to count them all.  These are countless, innumerable and beyond any estimate.

Dhaul dharam daiaa kaa poot            Santokh thaap rakhiaa jin soot

Je ko bujhai hovai sachiaar.               Dhavlai upar ketaa bhaar

Dhartee hor parai hor hor.                 Tis te bhaar talai kavan jor

Dhaul – bull.  Dharam – divine principle.  Daiaa – compassion.  Poot – son.  Santokh – contentment.  Thaap – to establish.  Rakhiaa – to palce, to establish.  Jin – he who.  Soot – under principle.  Bujhai – to understand.  Hovai – to become  Sachiyar – wise.  Upar – on.  Ketaa – how much.  Bhaar – load.  Dhartee – earth.  Hor – more.  Parai – beyond.  Talai- under.  Kavan – whose.  Jor – power.

In the first place, Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains to us about our own planet, the earth.  How has the earth been established in space?  There is a general belief in ancient Hindu literature that the earth rests on one horn of a bull.  The bull continues to shift earth from one horn to the other and when he does so, the earth trembles resulting in an earthquake.  Guru Ji says that this bull is a divine principle. Through His mere compassion or mercy for we humans, God created this divine principle and established earth in its present place in space in this universe. This bull, the divine principle, is thus the son or creation of compassion of God or mercy of God. Whatever mass of earth is created is not changed by God. The planet earth has been created by God to His fullest contentment or satisfaction. It is this contentment, which keeps the earth established in its place under His set principles. Guru Ji further preaches us by giving a simple logic. If somebody is wise enough, he should understand this simple fact about the amount of load, which a bull can bear, on his horn or even on his back. The land is very vast. The earth is very big. Is there any bull on earth who has the power to carry such a big load? Who else has the power to bear the load of earth? No living being on earth can carry such a big load as that of earth. 

        Jeea jaat rangaa ke naav.                              Sabhnaa likiaa vuree kalaam

        Eh lekhaa likh jaanai koe                               Lekhaa likhiaa ketaa hoe

Jiya-living being. Jaat-castes. Rangaa-races. Naav-name. Sabhnaa-all. Likhiaa-written. Vuree-continuous. Kalaam-pen.

Lekhaa-what is written. Likh-to write. Jaanai-to know. Koe-anybody. Ketaa-that much. Hoe-to become.

After establishing the earth at its present place, God created different types of living beings. Their forms, colours and names are different. Guru Ji says that all these living beings were created by God with a pen which never stopped which means that God created all living beings, one after the other, at one stroke. The creation process did not stop till every living being had been created. Nobody knows the numbers of His creations. Nobody can keep the full account of what God has created on this earth. If somebody attempts to write an account of all God’s creations, he will find that whatever he has written is simply not enough and there is limitless more to write.

                            Ketaa taan suaalih roop                Ketee daat jaanai kaun koot

Ketaa-how much. Taan-power. Suaalih-to look beautiful. Roop-complexion. Daat-blessings. Jaanai-to know. Kaun-who. Koot-how much.

Now Guru Nanak Dev Ji praises God who has created such an innumerable creations. Guru Ji says that nobody knows how much power God has. God’s beauty must be beyond any description. What type of complexion has God? Nobody knows about that. How many blessings does God shower on us, the living beings? These blessings cannot be counted in figures. These are countless.

                            Keetaa pasaao eko kavaao            Tis te hoe lakh dareeaao

Keetaa-created. Pasaao-creation. Eko-one. Kavaao-supreme command. Tis-from that. Te-from. Hoe-to be. Lakh-100, 000. Dareaao-rivers.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elucidates that God created all His creations through His divine command. That divine command was one and the same for all creations. The system under which the universe is working is the same, be it the revolutions of earth, moon and other planets, be it tiny electrons (which work under same one system in all elements) or be it the life processes, which originate in all living beings from tiny fertilized egg. Modern science has revealed that even the genes carrying hereditary characters are of same type in the lowest and highest forms of life. Only their number and mode of alignments may be different. Guru Ji further says that from that one divine command, creation of lives flowed like lakhs of rivers. Innumerable forms of lives were created by God through His one divine command.

Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar          Variaa na jaavaa ek vaar

Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar    Too sadaa salaamat Nirankaar

Kudrat-power, also nature. Kavan-where, which. Kahaa-to describe. Veechaar-thought. Variaa-to sacrifice. Vaar-time. Tudh-to you. Bhaavai-which pleases you. Saaee-same. Bhaalee-good. Kaar-work. Too-you. Sadaa-always. Salaamat-alright, present. Nirankaar-without any physical being, God.

After describing God’s creation of earth and all living beings on this earth, Guru Nanak Dev Ji expressed that we humans have only a limited capability to describe all which God has created. Guru Ji says that I do not have that power or that capability to express my ideas about the processes by which God created this world. Where have I that capability to express my thought about how God executed His work of creation of this Universe?

Guru Nanak Ji further says, “Oh God! I cannot sacrifice my self even once over you. I do not possess that capability to appreciate your work. For me, execution of that work or action, which pleases you, is good. Oh God! You are everlasting or immutable. You are formless, without any physical being. You are ‘Nirankar’.” Guru Nanak Dev Ji possessed immense humility. Even after explaining to us his complex philosophy about God, nature and humans he always used to express himself as a small humble being and used to attribute every thing to God. Even after explaining the complexities about God, Guru Ji used to say that God is so great that a tiny creature like him is unable to describe even a fraction of His qualities. In previous Paurees, it has been stated that when our mind is full with love of God, we do only that which God desires us to do. Here also guru Nanak Dev Ji says that he wants to do only that work or that job or that act or that deed which God desires him to do or with which God is pleased. In other words, Guru Nanak dev Ji is preaching us as ordained by God, as desired by God. All Guru Ji’s teachings are therefore words of God.

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Pauree 17 

                            Asankh jap asankh bhaao                  Asankh poojaa asankh tap taao

                            Asankh granth mukh ved path             Asankh jog man raheh udaas

                            Asankh bhagat gun giaan veechaar     Asankh satee asankh daataar

                            Asankh soor muh bhakh saar              Asankh mon liv laae taar

                            Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar             Vaariaa na jaavaa ek vaar

                            Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar      Too sadaa salaamat Nirankaar

After describing in detail the mode of establishment  of earth in space and mode of creation of all living beings on earth by God, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now describes the behaviour of humans in their lives.  In this Pauree, Guru Ji describes the better and positive side of the human beings.

                            Asankh jap asankh bhaao                  Asankh poojaa asankh tap taao

Asankh – countless.  Jap – to recite.  Bhaao – love.  Pooja – worship.  Tap – taao-. to meditate.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that countless number of humans repeatedly chants prayers in various names of God.  Countless numbers have in their minds love of God, love for their fellow beings and love for all mute creation on this planet earth.   Their principle is to love humanity as to love humanity is to love God.  Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru, also sermonizes to us that those who love humanity get access to God. When we love somebody, we make sure that no harm is done to that person.   They who love humanity work for alleviation of misery, disease, poverty in the world.  They serve the poor, the sick, the down trodden, the disabled, the orphans and the destitute.  If we fill our minds with love of God, we then do what God desires us to do.  We then never hurt others.  If every person on this earth loves every other person, the earth would become a heaven.  Similarly Guru Ji says that countless number of humans worship God by their own methods.  The methods may be different.  The religions may be different but God is the same for all of us.  There is one and only one God who created this universe.  Every human is created by Him.  He is a father of all of us which means that all humans on this earth are brothers and sisters.  So in whatever way we may worship, we worship for the same one God as His sons and daughters.  Countless numbers of peoples perform rigorous meditation.  Such people put their physical body through all sorts of pains to lift their soul to the highest level.  Numerous of such saints do not wear clothes, numerous live in forests, numerous of them put their physical beings to rigorous rituals.  Guru Ji thus says that countless number of humans recite God’s name, countless love God, countless worship God and countless undergo physical purification to reach God.

                        Asankh granth mukh ved paath                 Asankh jog man raheh udaas

Granth – religious book.  Mukh – mouth.  Paath – to recite.  Jog – union with God.  Udaas – sad, unattached.  Raheh – to remain.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonizes to us that countless number of humans recite religious books like Vedaas, Shastras etc.  Countless humans meditate to seek union with God.  Such persons forsake worldly pleasures and remain unattached to materialism in their minds.  There are six types of sadhus in India.  They can be distinguished by the dress they wear, by their hair and by other symbols.  These six types are “Yogees”, “ Jangam”, “ Saniaasees”, “Bodhee”, and “Bairaagee”. 

                Asankh bhagat gun giaan veechaar              Asankh satee asankh daataar

Bhagat – devotee.  Gun – qualities.  Giaan – knowledge.  Satee – they who help poor.  Daataar – givers.

Guru Nanak Dev JI further says that  countless humans are devotees of God or are bhagats.  These bhagats seek illumination about the qualities of God.  Countless are they who dispense charities among the poor and donate for right causes.  They contribute towards establishment of schools, hospitals, homes for destitute, free medicines and clothes to the poor etc.  They are benevolent persons.

                         Asankh soor muh bhakh saar                 Asankh mon liv laae taar

Soor- brave.  Muh – mouth, face.  Bhakh – to eat.  Saar – iron.  Mon – to remain silent.  Liv – to engross. Taar – continuous.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further sermonizes that there are countless humans who are brave soldiers and face the brunt of armaments.  They fight for the country and bear the attacks of the enemy and suffer from wounds inflicted by swords.  In the old days, the main weapon of the soldier used to be a sword and a shield in addition to bows and arrows.   Guru Ji further says that there are countless people who want to attain salvation by keeping unbroken silence.  According to their belief, by keeping  silent for prolonged periods, one conserves one’s energy and utilizes this conserved energy to seek union with God.  Many sadhus in India even now a days practise this form of worship.

                         Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar              Vaariaa na jaavaa ek vaar

        Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar        Too sadaa salaamat Nirankaar

At the end of this Pauree also Guru Nanak Dev Ji repeats the same as in Pauree number 16.  He says, “Oh God! Where is that power in me with which I can express my ideas about you?   I cannot even appreciate your qualities in a befitting manner.  To me everything with which you are pleased, is good.  Oh God! You are immutable.  You are without any physical being.”

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Pauree 18

            Asankh moorakh andh ghor                  Asankh chor haraam khor

            Asankh amar kar jaahe jor

            Asankh gal vadh hatiaa kamaahe         Asankh paapee paap kar jaahe

            Asankh kooriaar koore phiraahe            Asankh malechh mal bhakh khaahe

            Asankh nindak sir kareh bhaar             Nanak neech kahai veechaar

            Variaa na jaavaa ek vaar                    Jo tudh bhavai saaee bhalee kaar

            Too sadaa salaamat Nirankar.

In Pauree number 17, Guru Nanak Dev Ji mentioned countless number of good people who are trying hard to purify their soul by one or the other way of life.  In this Pauree, Guru, Ji mentions the countless number of those people who waste this valuable life by doing all those acts, which give pain or misery to the human race. 

                         Asankh moorakh andh ghor                        Asankh chor haraam khor

                         Asankh amar kar jaahe jor

Moorakh – fool.  Andh – blind.  Ghor – extreme.  Andh ghor – extremely.  Chor – thief.  Haraam – who earns his living by bad means.  Khor – he who eats.  Amar – to reign.  Jor – with power, with force.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that countless numbers of people are of extremely foolish nature.  They do things which are bad not only for them but for the society also.  These people do not think in the right direction.  They act unwisely, stupidly and imprudently.  There are countess people who make both ends meet by thievery. Still countless numbers of people are dishonest and earn their living by misappropriating resources of other people. They do not earn themselves by their own sweat but they depend on income derived from bribes, adulteration and by other foul means. Guru Ji further says that there are countless people who are tyrants and their job is to rule others with brute force. Such people exploit the helpless and the poor and get work from them forcibly.

                        Asankh gal vadh hatiaa kamaahe               Asankh paapee paap kar jaahe 

Gal-neck. Vadh-cut. Hatiaa-murder. Kamaahe-to execute. Paapee-sinners. Paap-sin. Jaahe-to die, to go.

There are countless number of people who commit murders by cutting  the throat of other people to rob them of their wealth or to take their revenge. Numerous people kill other fellow beings for their selfish purposes. Countless people commit sins and when they leave this world after death, they not only leave a trail of their sins behind but also take their souls laden with sins to the next world.  

                        Asankh kooriaar koore phiraahe             Asankh malechh mal bhakh khaahe

Kooriaar-liars. Koore-lies. Phiraahe-to roam about. Malechh-dirty. Mal-dirt. Bhakh-food. Khaahe-to eat.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that there are countless people who are liars. Their characters are that they do not like truth. They get their purpose fulfilled through falsehood by suppressing or modifying truth. In this way such people mislead innocent people and derive happiness in making others quarrel among themselves. Such people are scourge of the society. There are countless people who have impure mind. They live on filth. This filth may mean the eating of dead animals, killing of innocent animals or may also mean earning of money by dirty means like contract killings, trafficking  women, sacrificing young children for rituals, inducing young children to begging, maiming young children etc.etc.

                        Asankh nindak sir kareh bhaar

Nindak-backbiting. Sir-head. Kareh-to do. Bhaar-load.

There are countless people who are slanderers and backbiters. Such people speak ill of others behind their back with malicious intentions. Backbiters often do greater damage to themselves rather than to the person they intend to. Such backbiters are quite often exposed and then they loose their reputation in society. Guru Ji says that such backbiters carry the load of sins on their head in this world and malign their souls for the next births. Saint Kabir, in scared Guru Granth Sahib, has said that a backbiter is his friend as he washes away his sins. He further says that a backbiter helps him to identify his bad habits so that he gets a chance to rectify those shortcomings in his life. At many other places also in sacred Guru Granth Sahib Ji, we are cautioned about these backbiters and slanderers as such persons can do immense damage to us.

                        Nanak neech kahai veechaar               Variaa na jaavaa ek vaar

                        Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar      Too sadaa salaamat Nirankar.

Neech-lowest person. Veechaar-express ideas.

As already stated, Guru Nanak Dev Ji had a very high degree of humility in him. In spite of being a pious, elevated soul and in spite of having God like qualities or being incarnation of God Himself, Guru Ji was very humble in his life. In fact all prophets have been very humble in their lives. In spite of having all God’s qualities, they always identified themselves with common people. They identified themselves with poorest of the poor. In the gospel of John, Christ’s washing of feet is recounted as an act of humility, or love, of service, of community, of equality and – knowing already that He had been betrayed by one among his disciple- of forgiveness. In this Pauree also, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, after expressing His opinion about countless number of bad people, does not feel happy in his mind. He thus, in great humility, calls himself, as the lowest of the low, a small being, a down cast of the society. Perhaps it was painful for him to describe countless number of sinners who inhabit this beautiful world.

Guru Ji, calling himself, the lowest of the low, expresses his same ideas at the end of this Pauree as in the last two Paurees. He says, “Oh God! Where is that power in me with which I can express my ideas about you? I cannot even appreciate your qualities in a befitting manner. To me everything with which you are pleased is good. Oh God! You are forever. You are without any physical being.”

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Pauree 19

            Asankh naav asankh thaav                Aggam aggam asankh loa

            Asankh kaheh sir bhaar hoe.

            Akhree naam akhree saalaah             Akhree giaan geet gun gaah

            Akhree likhan bolan baan                   Akhraa sir sanjog vikhaan

            Jin ehe likhe tis sir naahe                 Jiv phurmaae tiv tiv paahe

            Jetaa keetaa tetaa naao                   Vin naavai naahee ko thaao

            Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar            vaariaa na jaavaa ek vaar

            Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar     Too sadaa salaamat Nirankar 

After describing the innumerability of types of human beings, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now turns to their names and names of inanimate objects.

                            Asankh naav asankh thaav                Aggam aggam asankh loa

                            Asankh kaheh sir bhaar hoe.

Naav-names. Thaav-places. Aggam-which cannot be reached. Loa-lands. Bhaar-load.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that there are countless names of humans, animals, insects and innumerable inanimate objects. There are countless numbers of names of places where humans and animals live and where plants and  inanimate objects are found. Such names may be names of houses, streets, mohallas, municipalities, corporations, villages, towns, cities, states, countries, continents, seas, rivers, streams, oceans, mountains, forests and countless of other objects.  Similarly, there are countless names of lands on this earth, lands on other satellites and planets of our sun, millions of satellites and planets of other suns in our and other galaxies. Guru Ji says that our head would start reeling if we continue to count the names of all objects created by God.

                            Akhree naam akhree saalaah             Akhree giaan geet gun gaah

                    Akhree likhan bolan baan                  Akhraa sir sanjog vikhaan 

Akhree-with words. Saalaah-to admire. Giaan-knowledge. Geet-song. Gun-quality. Gaah-reach. Likhan-to write. Bolan-to speak. Baan-speech. Sir-head. Sanjog-luck, fate. Vikhaan-to describe.

Guru Ji further preaches us that humans have given a name to every object, which they see on this earth or under water or in the skies. Every animate and inanimate object has been identified by a name. We have countless number of these names but we have a few alphabets, which we use to make words and choose words to assign names. So everything on this planet earth and every thing, which we can see, observe or philosophize in this universe is identified by using these words. Guru Ji says that whatever we name and whatever we admire in this world is expressed in words. In fact we take the help of these words in whatever we speak and we try to make others understand. Words are used for expressing our thoughts. Words are used for admiring others, rebuking others, teaching others, expressing our happiness, our agony, our ecstasies, our sorrows, and in fact conveying everything which comes to our mind. We acquire knowledge of qualities of God through use of words. Even we pray, worship and praise God through words. Guru Nank Dev JI says that we name all objects and admire them through use of words. We use words to attain knowledge, to sing songs in praise of God and to have access to the qualities of God. Whatever comes to our mind, we express  through words either by speaking or through writing. We even read our fate, our luck and our destiny written by God (through His divine command) by the use of words.

                Jin eh likhe tis sir naahe                     Jiv phurmaae tiv tiv paahe

Jin-he who. Tis-to whom. Phurmaae-orders. Paahe-to receive. Tiv-same.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji puts a very enigmatic question after expressing the importance of words in our lives. God has no physical being. Therefore, He does not come under the purview of words. We humans use words to identify a physical being and to express its physical and abstract qualities. We have no words to identify our ethereal self as no body has seen this ethereal self. We cannot ascribe any physical form to it like shape, size, complexion etc. The words, which humans have devised for their use, fail to identify the form and describe qualities of our ethereal self. Our saints in old days have identified our ethereal self though circumstantial evidences. A child of four to five years has been known in rarest of cases to remember his past life. In some such instances, the child was able to uncover his coins buried by him in his previous birth. Some murder mysteries are also known to have been solved by reminiscing past life by some persons. If we do not have words to describe our own ethereal self, how can we have words to describe God? Guru Ji thus says that God cannot be described by the words, which we use. He is above these words. He is not subjugated to the words, which we humans use.

We do our deeds and God writes our destiny. We get in our lives only that which God has destined for us. We get only what God’s divine command orders or what God desires. But God is not an autocrat. He does not impose His will forcibly on us. He weighs our deeds, or actions executed by us  in this life as well as in our previous lives and then decides our destiny. Our destiny, in fact, is the net result of all, which we do now, which we have done in the past in this life and which we had done in our previous lives. The process is automatic and complete in itself. Every time, our every action is being screened, being categorized as good or bad and being considered for our destiny. Thus our destiny is changing every moment, every day, every month, every year, every decade and every life in which we incarnate through the will of God or by the HUKAM or divine command enshrined within our inner self. So we get only that which God desires us to have.

                 Jetaa keetaa tetaa naao                     Vin naavai naahee ko thaao

Keetaa-creation. Jetaa-whatever. Tetaa-that. Naao-NAM. Vin-without. Thaao-place.

How can we name God if we do not have words to describe His form? Guru Ji said in MOOL MANTRA that we could call God only by the word SATNAAM or only NAM. Here Guru Ji says that God can be identified by His NAM which word indicates God’s ethereal qualities, which are everlasting or which are ‘truth’. God’s qualities are identified through His creation. Guru Ji says that God’s NAM is everywhere where His creation exists. Whatever God has created depicts God’s qualities or NAM and there is no place in this universe without God’s creation and hence His NAM.

                Kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar           vaariaa na jaavaa ek vaar

                Jo tudh bhaavai saaee bhalee kaar    Too sadaa salaamat Niranka

Guru Ji ends this Pauree also like the last three Paurees. He says, “Where is all that power in me by which I can express my thoughts about you. I cannot even appreciate you in the befitting manner. To me everything with which You are pleased is good. Oh God! You are everlasting. You are without any physical being.”

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Pauree 20

                        Bhareeai hath pair tan deh                 Paanee dhotai utras kheh

                        Moot paleetee kapar hoe                    De saaboon laeeai oh dhoe

                        Bhareeai mat paapaa kai sang            Oh dhopai naavai kai rang

                        Punnee paapee aakhan naahe            Kar kar karnaa likh lai jaah

                        Aape beej aape hee khaah                 Nanak hukmee aavah jaah

Here in this Pauree also, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us the way by which we make our destiny and this destiny becomes a part of our soul and thus accompanies it wherever our soul takes rebirth after leaving this world.

                        Bhareeai hath pair tan deh                 Paanee dhotai utras kheh

                        Moot pleetee kapar hoe                      Deh saboon laeeai oh dhoe

Bhareeai- to fill. Hath- hand. Pair- foot. Tan- trunk. Deh- body. Paanee- water. Dhotai- by washing. Utrus- to wash off. Kheh- dirt, dust. Moot- urine. Paleetee- impure. Kapar- clothes. Deh- to give. Saboon- soap. Laeeai- to get. Oh- that.Dhoe- to wash off.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that we can wash off dust or dirt with water if our hands, feet, trunk or whole body is full of dirt or dust. If a cloth is rendered impure with urine, we can wash that cloth with soap. If our physical being and the clothes with which we cover it become dirty, it is easy to remove dirt by washing it with soap and water.

                        Bhareeai mat paapaa kai sang           Oh dhopai naavai kai rang

Mat- mind’s analytical aspect. Paapaa- sins. Kai- with. Sang- with. Oh- that. Dhopai- washed. Naavai- NAM. Kai- of. Rang- love.

Guru Ji says if our thinking or our mind is laden with thoughts of committing sins or with sins already committed, then the mind can only be washed with love of NAM or with love of God. In some of us, mind’s analytical wing always nurtures thoughts, which leads us to do bad deeds or to commit sins. In our common parley, we say that some persons have the habit of thinking of doing only bad things. We cultivate habits by repeatedly thinking or doing the same thing. If we do something only once that is our action which is  thought and analysed by our MAT and executed by our mind (wisdom). It may be a wrong or right deed. If we repeat that work or deed 100 or 1000 time, it becomes our habit and anything thereon would be automatically done under the influence of that habit. Our mind or MAT will not operate much. To understand this,we can take the case of driving a car. When we learn driving, our analytical mind or MAT is always working. We press the clutch after giving due thought. We press the accelerator and apply the break after applying our mind’s powers of analysis or MAT and intelligence. But after 2-3 weeks of driving, the pressing of clutch, accelerator and break becomes our habit. Every thing is done now automatically. We do not put every action for analysis to our MAT. If we leave driving for 5-10 years we may forget the driving altogether or we may need practice of driving to come on the road. In the same way when our MAT thinks only to commit sins, we will have to empty our mind, shun the habit of thinking in a wrong manner and slowly fill the mind with God’s love. In a period of time, the malice will disappear from our mind and its place will be taken by love of God. Then our MAT wlould analyse thoughts to do only good deeds. Once we repeat thinking in right direction on 100-1000 times, our mind would be full with love of God and automatically good thoughts would emanate from our mind. We would forget doing bad deeds and our MAT would be washed of all the thoughts of committing sins. 

                        Punnee paapee aakhan naahe                        Kar kar karnaa likh lai jaah

                        Aape beej aape hee khaah                             Nanak hukmee aavah jaah

Punee- good deeds. Paapee- sins. Aakhan- to say. Naahe- not. Kar kar karna- to do repeatedly. Likh- written. Lai jaah-to take with the soul. Aape- ourselves. Beej- to sow Khaah- to eat. Aavah- birth. Jaah- death

As stated above, we do only those works, which our thoughts analysed by our MAT guide us to do. Guru Nanak Dev Ji preaches us that good or bad deeds are not limited to our thinking only. We do good or bad deeds repeatedly and that is subsequently written in our fate or that becomes the deciding factor to make our destiny. Guru Ji says if we sow good deeds, we will reap good benefits and if we sow bad deeds, we will reap accordingly. Whatever we will sow, so shall we reap and that will become an integral part of our soul. God will then judge our good and bad deeds and on that basis, will give us our next birth. We thus continue to get ourselves involved in birth and death cycle by HUKAM of God on the basis of our good or bad deeds. Here Guru Ji lays emphasis on doing something repeatedly. As stated earlier, repeated doing of any action makes it into a  habit. In the above part of the Pauree Guru Ji says that a deed done under our habit is written in our fate or becomes a part of  our fate. Thus our fate or destiny is changing day-by-day or even moment-by-moment and our good or bad deeds are factors responsible for that change. It truly justifies an age-old edict that the man is architect of his own fate.

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Pauree 21

Teerath tap daeaa dat daan               Je ko paavai til kaa maan

Suniaa manniaa man keetaa bhaao      Antargat teerath mal naao

Sab gun tere mai naahee koe              Vin gun keete bhagat na hoe

Suast aath baanee barmaao                Sat suhaan sadaa man chaao

Kavan su velaa, vakhat kavan              Kavan thit, kavan vaar

Kavan si rutee maah kavan                  Jit hoaa aakaar

Vel na paaeeaa pandtee,                    Je hovai lekh puraan

Vakhat na paaeo kaadeeaa                 Je likhan lekh kuraan

Thit vaar naa jogee jaanai                 Rut maah naa koee

Jaa kartaa sirthee kau saaje               Aape jaanai soee

Kiv kar aakhaa kiv salaahee                Kio varnee kiv jaanaa

Nanak aakhan sabh ko aakhai,            Ik doo ik siaanaa

Vadaa sahib vadee naaee,                 Keetaa jaakaa hovai

Nanak je ko aapau jaanai,                 Agai gaeaa na sohai.

In first four lines of this Pauree, Guru Ji tells us about the superiority of that devotee who has filled his mind with love of god or whose mind is occupied with NAM only.

        Teerath tap daeaa dat daan               Je ko paavai til kaa maan

Teerath-sacred place. Tap-to meditate. Daeaa-compassion. Daan-charity. Je ko-if somebody. Paavai-to get. Til-very small. Kaa-of. Maan-respect.

Guru Nank Dev Ji says that one may go to sacred places and meditate at those places. One may have a lot of compassion for all. One may distribute a part of one’s possessions to others. One may give one’s wealth in charity. But that person gets only an iota of respect in the court of God if he does not have NAM in his mind. This is because  his holy bath, meditations, compassions, charity are part of rituals and not meant to purify his mind. These only increase his ego.

        Suniaa manniaa man keetaa bhaao   Antargat teerath mal naao

Suniaa-to have listened. Manniaa-to have practised. Antargat-inside. Mal-to rub. Naao-to take bath.

Guru Ji further tells us that on the other hand, if a devotee listens to the teachings of his guru, leads his life on the basis of guru’s teachings and cherishes love of God in his mind, that devotee needs not go to far flung sacred places to take bath in holy rivers. As that devotee will have NAM in his mind, he will experience the existence of God in himself and then he can take a sacred bath in glowing waters of God’s NAM in his mind. That devotee can then rub off the dirt of sins from his soul by taking a bath in that manner. Importance of listening to guru’s teachings and leading of life on the basis of guru’s teaching was explained by Guru Ji in Pauree 8-15. Here in this Pauree Guru Ji has included the word ‘bhaao’ or love also along with ‘suniaa’(listening) and “manniaa’ (to give practical shape). Giving practical shape to guru’s teachings result in development of love of God in our mind. If we have love of God in our mind, our MAT or thinking is moulded towards what guru had taught us. Then we do what guru or God desires us to do. At that state of mind, we will not need to seek washing of our sins at sacred places by taking a bath in sacred rivers or to undertake other rituals. We will be able to identify the deity, i.e. God, within us for His worship; in fact, doing that which God desires us to do will amount to worship of deity God. Our mind will itself become a temple, a gurudwara, and a sacred place. We shall feel no need to seek God elsewhere, outside our mind.

            Sab gun tere mai naahee koe              Vin gun keete bhagat na hoe

Sab-all. Tere-your. Mai-mine. Vin-without. Keeta-created. Bhagat-meditation.

In the previous lines, Guru Nanak Dev JI said that if we listen to Guru’s teachings and lead our life accordingly, we can have love of God in our mind. In the above lines, Guru Ji reverts to his great sense of humility. Guru Ji addresses God and implores upon  God to bestow His good qualities on him. Guru Ji says that all noble qualities are vested in God and he himself has none of these qualities. Guru Ji then requests God that he cannot worship Him unless He bestows His good qualities on him. Our efforts can be successful only when God is kind to us and He showers His blessings on us. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s philosophy of life revolves around one fundamental principle. That principle is that we can do good deeds but the reward is in the hands of God. Also, we do good deeds only when God’s kindness is with us or when God’s blessings are on us or only with grace of God can we do good deeds.

            Suast aath baanee barmaao               Sat suhaan sadaa man chaao

Suast-benevolent. Aath-wealth, worldly possessions. Baanee-word. Barmaao-Brahma. Sat-truth. Suhaan-handsome. Sadaa-always. Man-intelligence, here mood. Chaao-eternal happiness.

From now on and up to Pauree 26, Guru Nank Dev Ji goes on to describe the greatness of God and His qualities. Up to Pauree 21, Guru Ji has raised the spiritual knowledge of us to a climax. From that height, Guru Ji wants us to know the greatness of God, His qualities and vastness of His creations. Guru Nanak Dev Ji praises God and says that God is benevolent or beautific. All worldly possessions or ‘Maaeaa’ are in Him. He is Word or NAM. He is creator. He is truth. He is supreme beauty. He is the source of divine and eternal Happiness. He is ever blissful.

                    Kavan su velaa, vakhat kavan            Kavan thit, kavan vaar

            Kavan si rutee maah kavan                Jit hoaa aakaar

Kavan-which. Su-that. Velaa-period. Vakhat-time. Thit-phase of the moon. Vaar-day. Rutee-season. Maah-month. Jit-when. Aakaar-creation.

In the first place, Guru Nank Dev Ji expresses his surprise about the age of God’s creation or about the age of universe. Modern scientists put it at about 15 billion years. But that can only be called an intelligent guess. Nobody knows exactly when God created this universe. Guru Nank Dev Ji says that nobody knows that period of time or that exact time, that exact phase of the moon, that exact day, that exact season and that exact month when God created this universe.

        Vel na paaeeaa pandtee,                     Ji hovai lekh puraan

        Vakhat na paaeo kaadeeaa                Ji likhan lekh kuraan

        Thit vaar naa jogee jaanai                 Rut maah naa kooee

Vel-period of time. Pandtee-learned persons. Hovai-to exist. Lekh-writings. Puraan-religious books. Kaadeeaa-Muslim clergy. Likhan-written. Kuraan-Muslim’s religious book. Jogee-learned sadhu. Kooee-any.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elucidated that even learned ‘pundits’ do not know when God created universe. Had they known the exact time, they must have written in their religious books like Puraanas or Vedaas etc. Even the Muslim clergies did not know the exact time as no mention of date of creation of this universe is found in their religious books like ‘Kuraan’. Guru Ji further says that even those elevated sadhus who consider themselves as having achieved communion with God do not know the phase of the moon, the day of the week, the season and the month of the year when God created this universe.

                Jaa kartaa sirthee kau saaje,             Aape jaanai soee

Jaa-He. Kartaa-creator. Sirthee-universe. Saaje-to create. Aape-Himself. Jaanai-knows. Soee-that.

In conclusion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that only God, who created this universe, knows when He created the universe.

        Kiv kar aakhaa kiv salaahee              Kio varnee kiv jaanaa

        Nanak aakhan sabh ko aakhai,          Ik doo ik siaanaa

        Vadaa sahib vadee naaee,               Keetaa jaakaa hovai

        Nanak je ko aapau jaanai,               Agai gaeaa na sohai.

Kiv-in what way. Aakhaa-to express. Salaahee-to praise. Varnee-explain. Jaanaa-to know. Aakhan-explain. Sabh-all. Siaanaa-wise. Vadaa-great. Naaee-name. Keetaa-done. Jaakaa-by Him. Aapau-one’s self. Agai-before. Gaeaa-gone. Sohai-to look nice.

Guru Nank dev Ji says that no little information exists about when God created this universe. God is great. His Name is great. His qualities are innumerable. How can one know about all His qualities? Whatever happens in this universe, it happens according to the will of God. Nothing can happen without His will. Nobody can interfere in His works. So how can one say anything about God? In what way can one praise or admire Him? How can one describe Him and His qualities? How can one have full knowledge about Him? He is inaccessible. Nobody can reach Him and see Him. Many people explain attributes of God and claim to know better than others about God. They tend to express themselves as wiser than others. Many people show that they can describe God as if they have seen Him. Such people who formulate their own views or their own theories about god will not be praised or even allowed an access to the court of God.

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Pauree 22

        Paataalaa paataal                               lakh aagaasaa aagaas

        Orak orak bhaal thake                           Ved kahan ik vaat

        Sahas athaarah kahan katebaa               Asuloo ik dhaat

        Lekha hoe to likheeai                            Lekhai hoe vinaas

        Nanak vadaa aakheeai                          Aape jaanai aap.

After touching upon the extent and vastness of God’s qualities, Guru Nank Dev Ji now gives an indication of vastness of God’s creation, the universe. 

                Paataalaa paataal lakh aagaasaa aagaas     Orak orak bhaal thake

Paataalaa-lands under earth or around earth. Aagaasaa-skies. Orak-infinite. Bhaal-to search. Thake-have tired.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave us some information about our planet earth in Pauree no 16. In this Pauree, Guru Ji tells us that there are millions of lands or planets/satellites below our planet earth and millions above our planet earth, which God has established in space. We have been searching for these planets from time immemorial but their number is not finished or these planets have not been fully enumerated. We have got absolutely tired of counting them.

        Ved kahan ik vaat                   Sahas athaarah kahan katebaa                                 

        Asuloo ik dhaat                       Lekha hoe to likheeai Lekhai hoe vinaas

Sahas-thousand. Athaarah-eighteen. Kahan-say. Katebaa-books. Asuloo-in reality. Dhaat-thing, material. Lekha-counting. Likheeai-to write. Lekhai-while counting. Vinaas-to perish.

Guru Nank Dev Ji says that Vedas have also said the same one thing that no estimate could be made about God’s creation or universe. 18 thousand religious books of western religions express same reality. The number of God’s creations is unlimited. It cannot be written. Only that number can be counted which has its limits. An unlimited number cannot be counted as more you count, more things would reveal themselves to you. Guru Ji says that the number of creations created by God in this universe will never be counted but we ultimately would perish while counting this number.

        Nanak vadaa aakheeai                       Aape jaanai aap.

Aape-by own self. Jaanai-knows. Aap-himself. Vadaa-great. Aakheeai-is said.

In the end, Guru Ji says if we cannot count His creation, then let us say that God is great. Only He knows what He is. Only God knows about Himself. None of His created one would ever know Him completely. In the Vedas also, the words ‘NETEE’ ‘NETEE’ are used to express their inability to express God. The word NETEE means ‘not this’, ‘not this ’or God can neither be this nor that. In other words, the Vedas could not define God.

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Pauree 23

        Saalaahee saalaah                  Etee surat na paaeeaa

        Nadeeaa atai vaah                  Paveh samund na jaaneeaih

        Samund saah sultaan              Girhaa setee maal dhan

        Keeree tul na hovanee            Je tis manoh na veesareh

After touching upon the vastness of God’s powers and the vastness of universe, Guru Nank Dev Ji now indicates the limitations of human powers.

                        Saalaahee saalaah              Etee surat na paaeeaa

                        Nadeeaa atai vaah             Paveh samund na jaaneeaih

Saalaahee – those who praise God.  Saalaah – to praise.  Etee – to that extent.  Surat – consciousness.  Paaeeaa – to possess.  Nadeeaa – streams, rivers.  Atai- and. Vaah – rivulets.  Paveh – flow into.  Samund – sea.

Guru Nank Dev Ji says that those who praise or worship God cannot possess the consciousness by which they can understand God completely.  They are just like those rivers and rivulets, which fall into the sea but cannot gauge the depth or vastness of that sea.

                Samund saah sultaan          girhaa setee maal dhan

                Keree tul na hovanee         Je tis manoh na veesareh

Saah – king.  Sultan – king.  Girhaa – mountains.  Setee with.  Maal – wealth.  Dhan – wealth.  Keree – ant.  Tul – equal.  Manoh – from.  Veesareh – to forget.

This line again tells us about the extent of humility which Guru Nanak Dev Ji possessed.  In the previous lines, Guru Ji compares God with sea and His devotees with rivers or rivulets.  Just like rivers and rivulets cannot gauge the vastness and depth of sea into which they flow, in the same manner, a devotee cannot judge the depth and vastness of God though he may dissolve himself in the NAAM of God.  Here, in these lines, Guru Ji thinks that this comparison is greatly uneven. Seas are too small to be equated with God and rivers and rivulets are too inconsequent objects to be equated with a devotee of God. In these lines, Guru Ji, thus addresses God as kings of the kings and says that god is the  king of the kings. He cannot be equated with sea. A sea is too small an object in comparison to God. A sea along with its hidden mountains and all the gems and pearls hidden in sea depths cannot even be equated with a smallest creature like an ant that never forgets God from his mind. Here ant is used as an example for lowest or poorest person in the society. 

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Pauree 24

Ant na siphtee kahan na ant               Ant na karnai den na ant

Ant na vekhan sunan na ant               Ant na jaapai kiaa man mant

Ant na jaapai keetaa aakaar              Ant na jaapai paaraavaar

Ant kaaran kete bil-laahe                   Taa ke ant na paae jaahe

Eh ant na jaanai koe                          Bahutaa kaheeai bahutaa hoe

Vadaa Saahib oochaa thaao               Ooche upar oochaa naao

Evad oochaa hovai koe                      Tis ooche kau jaanai soe

Jevad aap jaanai aap aap                  Nanak nadree karmee daat

After touching on the greatness of God, vastness of God’s creation and limitations of humans, guru Nank Dev JI now tells us in the next three paurees about the countless number of God’s qualities and countless number of humans who are engaged in acquiring god like qualities in their lives.

                Ant na siphtee kahan na ant               Ant na karnai den na ant

                Ant na vekhan sunan na ant               Ant na jaapai kiaa man mant

Ant-end. Siphtee-praises. Kahan-description. Karnai-works, jobs. Den-gifts. Vekhan-what is seen. Sunan-voices, what is heard. Jaapai-to understand. Man-mind. Mant-plan.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji here tells us about the vastness of bounties given by God to the human race. Guru Ji says that god’s qualities are innumerable and there is no end to praises which human beings offer to God in their worship. Also, there is no end to the methods used by human beings to offer those praises. We humans worship God by innumerable ways in the whole of this world. But the essence of all the methods of worship is always to sing or recite praises of God. Almost all hymns written or sung are in praise of God’s one or the other qualities. Guru Ji further says that God’s doings or creations are also endless. His job of creating will never end. There is no end to what God is giving us from the time immemorial. He will continue to give us everything, which we require in our lives. We can see this quality of God in the continuity of lives and indestructibility of matter on this planet. We harvest plants/trees for our needs. More plants/trees grow in these places. All agricultural plants continue to complete their life cycle and are being continuously replaced by other plants. One day comes. We humans enjoy the sun, the rain, the wind and the snow. That day passes and is followed by another day bringing with it all the gifts again for our use. Again, humans are born. They grow, become young and then old. New humans are born daily to replace the old ones who leave this world to take again a birth and thus continuity of life goes on.  Therefore, God continues to create and we humans continue to make use of God’s gifts. There is thus no end to God’s creations and no end to His gifts to mankind or in fact to all living beings on this planet.

Guru Ji further says that there is no end to the beauties of God’s creations that please our aesthetic senses specially our sight. Daily we enjoy the scenery of nature. We enjoy the sight of snow clad hills, beautiful formations of clouds in the sky, twinkling stars at night, beautiful flowers, leaves, fruits of plants and myriads of other types of nature’s beauties. Just observe variegated wings of butterflies fluttering on flowers. There is no end to beautiful creations continuously being created by God. Similarly, there is no end to types of voices, which we hear daily in our lives. In addition to myriads of ways by which we humans sing songs (pops, classical, film, devotional and others), we can hear myriads of other voices like chirping of birds, singing of cicada, fluttering of butterflies, roaring of lions, mewing of cats, neighing of horses, braying of donkeys, thundering of clouds and many other types of sounds both natural and man made. Guru Ji says that there is no end to what God has in His mind to create more and more and to give us more and more.

                        Ant na jaapai keetaa aakaar              Ant na jaapai paaraavaar

Keetaa-created. Aakaar-creation. Paaraavaar-expanse.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that there is no end of God’s creations. We cannot also find the beginning and end of God’s creations. We cannot gauge the expanse of God’s creation.

                        Ant kaaran kete bil-laahe                   Taa ke ant na paae jaahe

                        Eh ant na jaanai koe                          Bahutaa kaheeai bahutaa hoe

Kaaran-due to. Kete-innumerable. Bil-laahe-cry, to work hard. Paae-to get. Jaane-to know. Bahutaa-very much, plenty. Kaheeai-to say.

Guru Nank Dev Ji here expresses the limitations of our human beings. For our whole life, we pursue one job but the job does not end and we perish. An artist throughout his life works for excellence. His life ends but excellence in art does not end. Man invented the wheel, then bullock cart, cycle, motorcar, aeroplane, helicopter, satellites but the search goes on. Scientists have broken the atom but the research does not end there. There are millions of stars, planets, satellites in a galaxy and there are millions of galaxies. We continue to discover more and more and the research goes on but end is not in sight. There is no end to any work of art, to number of microorganisms, insects, plants and the search goes on. Guru Ji says that millions of us have tried to find the end of one thing or the other but we have not found the end of any of these things. Nobody can find out the end of anything, be it a job, a work of art, science, astronomy or any other subject. As we go deep into that subject, the subject opens up more and more before us. How so ever much we may say about God, there is still  more and more left to say. There is no end to it. How so ever great we say about God, He becomes greater and greater.

                       

                        Vadaa sahib oochaa thaao                 Ooche upar oocha naao

                        Evad oochaa hovai koe                      Tis ooche kau jaanai soe      

 

Vadaa- great. Saahib- master. Oochaa- high. Thaao- place. Upar- above. Naao- NAM, name

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God is our Master and He is great. His place of abode is inaccessible.  Also, in qualities He is the highest. His NAM is even higher than Him. God is great and his qualities are greatest. One can know Him only when one can become as great as God or one becomes like Him. One can also know Him when one spends one’s entire life according to His dictates or according to the divine command or Hukam present within one’s self. Guru Ji sermonized in Pauree 1 in the beginning of Jap Ji Sahib that the wall of ignorance between us and God can disappear only when we spend our lives according to the divine command or Hukam which was written within us at the time of birth.. Guru Ji is repeating the same here also and says when we become like Him or when we become as great as God, only then we can know God.

                    Jevad aap jaanai aap aap                                      Nanak nadree karmee daat

Jevad – as great.  Aap – Himself.  Nadree – kindness.  Karmee – deeds.  Daat – blessings.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji then concludes that only God knows how great He is.  Whatsoever great He is, He and only He knows it.  We the humans do our deeds (KARAM) and He then shows His kindness and showers His blessings.  Whatever reward one gets for one’s good deeds, it is through the kindness of God only.  We cannot ask from Him anything as a matter of our right.

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Pauree 25

                        Bahutaa karam likhiaa naa jaae        Vadaa daataa til na tamaae

                    Kete mangeh jodh apaar                  Ketiaa ganat nahee veechaar

                    Kete khap tuteh vekaar

                    Kete lai lai mukar paahe                  Kete moorakh khaahee khaahe

                    Ketiaa dookh bhookh sad maar         Eh bhi daat teree daataar

                    Band khalaasee bhaanai hoe            Hor aakh na sakai koe         

                    Je ko khaaik aakhan paae                 Oh jaanai jeteeaa muhe khae

                    Aape jaanai aape de-e                    Aakheh si bhi ke-ee ke

                    Jis no bakhse siphat saalaah            Nanak paatesaahee paatesaah

Guru Nanak Dev Ji in this Pauree emphasizes that God is the giver and we  are all takers from Him.  We ask for many boons from Him but He gives only that which is due to us according to our fate.

                    Bahutaa karam likhiaa naa jaae        Vadaa daataa til na tamaae

Bahuta – very much.  Karam – boon, blessings.  Likhiaa – to write.  Daataa – giver.  Til – a little.  Tamaae – greed.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God’s boons are innumerable.  They cannot be counted or recorded in writing.  But God is equally a great giver of these boons.  He is a great benevolent Master.  He gives these boons lavishly to us without any greed or without demanding anything from us.  But he gives these boons to us according to our good or bad deeds.  He does not favour anybody.  He gives us whatever is due to us. 

                    Kete mangeh jodh apaar        Ketiaa ganat nahee veechaar

            Kete khap tuteh vekaar

            Kete lai lai mukar paahe        Kete moorakh khaahee khaahe

Mangeh – ask for.  Jodh – warrior.  Apaar – great.  Ganat – account.  Khap – try hard.  Tuteh – to break, to be tired.  Vekar – bad deeds.  Lai – to take.  Mukar – deny.  Moorakh – fools.  Khaahee – to continue eating, to continue enjoying.  Khaahe – to eat, to enjoy.

Here Guru Nanak Dev Ji touches on a very important and commonly prevalent view.  We all know it quite well that God will give us only that which we have earned by our good or bad deeds.  Our deeds, done in this life and in past births, together make our fate or destiny and whatever God gives us, He gives us what is written in our destiny.  Knowing this fact fully well, even then we all daily seek one boon or the other in our prayers from God.  Here Guru Ji says that even the great warriors who give their lives for the country ask for boons from God.  Such warriors dedicate their life for their country but they also seek material favours from God.  Guru Ji says that he has no idea how to keep the account of innumerable number of persons who seek favours daily from God.  There are countless persons who ask for boons or blessings from God on one hand and have destroyed themselves indulging in worldly pleasures on the other hand. There are countless numbers of those who enjoy God’s favours but refuse to acknowledge that.  There are myriads of those who are fools and whose only aim of life is to eat and live.  They do not bother to do anything for others.  Such people live for themselves only. 

Ketiaa dookh bhookh sad maar         Eh bhi daat teree daataar

Dookh – pains, misery.  Bhookh – hunger.  Sad – always.  Maar – to get hurt.  Eh – this.  Daat – boon.  Teree-your. Daataar – He who gives boons, God.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji here sermonizes us whatever God gives us, we should be grateful to Him as He gives us according to our deeds and thus does absolute justice.  Guru Ji says that there are innumerable number of people who suffer from misery and hunger.  But these sufferings should also be considered as a boon from God as we only pay for our bad deeds done in the present and past births, such sufferings are not injustice to us. Guru Ji wants to convey to us that we should do our duty and do good deeds but leave the reward to God. We should accept God’s judgement whether it is good or bad for us.

                                Band khalaasee bhaanai hoe              Hor aakh na sakai koe      

                                Je ko khaaik aakhan paae                  Oh jaanai jeteeaa muh khaae

Band – bond.  Khalaasee – salvation.  Bhaanai – divine command.  Hor – anybody else.  Aakh – to say.  Sakai – can.  Koe- anybody.  Khaaik –fool, gossipmonger.  Aakhan – to try to say.  Oh – he.  Jaanai – knows.  Jeteeaa – to which extent.  Muh – face.  Khaae – to face beating.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji continues further and says that only God gives us rewards for our good or bad deeds.  He only will grants us salvation by His divine command.  He does not take opinion of any other person to take His decision.  So none else can challenge His decision.  None else can say anything about His decisions.  If somebody or some foolish person dares to say that he can get you salvation or any other boon from God, he should know  very well the punishment he would have in th court of God.  He will get beating with shoes on his face, which means that he will meet a very bad fate for doing that. 

                                Aape jaanai aape de-e                        Aakheh si bhi ke-ee ke

                        Jis no bakhse siphat saalaah                Nanak paatesaahee paatesaah

Aape – He Himself.  Jaanai – knows.  De-e – gives.  Si bhi – this also.  Ke-ee – a few.  Jis no – to whom.  Bakhse – blesses.  Siphat – praise.  Saalaah – praise.  Paatesaah – king.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further elaborates that God knows about deeds of each and every one of us,  so He himself gives rewards for our deeds to all of us.  But, Guru Ji says, very few persons in this world accept this fact.  But God is great.  If He bestows on somebody the Godly praise or if God accepts somebody as His own, that person becomes king of the kings or the emperor of the emperors.  Guru Ji tries to sermonize to us that God will give us beyond our expectations if we spend our lives according to the will of God and do good deeds to wash off our sins, committed not only in this birth but those also which were committed by us in our previous births.

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Pauree 26

                       Amul gun amul vaapaar                       Amul vaapaaree-e amul bhandaar

     Amul aaveh amul lai jaahe                   Amul bhaae amulaa samaahe

     Amul dharam amul deebaan                 Amul tul amul parvaan

     Amul bakhsees amul neesaan               Amul karam amul phurmaan

     Amulo amul aakhiaa na jaae                 Aakh aakh rahe liv laae

      Aakheh ved path puraan                      Aakheh pare kareh vakhiaan

     Aakheh barme aakheh ind                     Aakheh gopee tai govind

     Aakheh Eesar aakheh sidh                     Aakheh kete keete budh

     Aakheh daanav aakheh dev                   Aakheh sur nar mun jan sev

     Kete aakheh aakhan paahe                   Kete kahe kahe uth uth jaahe

     Ete keete hor kareh                              Taa aakh na sakeh ke- ee ke-e

     Jevad bhaavai tevad hoe                      Nanak jaanai saachaa soe

    Je ko aakhai bol vigaar                          Taa likheeai sir gaavaaraa gaavaar

Every one of us is born on this earth with certain years of our age, which means that in our human birth, we will take a fixed number of breaths according to our age.  A healthy person takes about 24000 breaths in 24 hours or 8,760,000 breaths in a year.  These breaths are our wealth.  We invest our wealth in our human birth to do good or bad deeds.  So our breaths are our investment in the commerce, which we conduct in our human birth.  With this investment, we may earn profit of good deeds or loss of doing bad deeds.  It is just like going to a store and buying articles in exchange of money.  But in a store, we pay the price and get an article in exchange. But when we spend our breaths in exchange of our good deeds, we also make an extra investment. We improve our destiny not only in this life but for our future births also. In addition we acquire love of God and with that we obtain God’s qualities in our mind and become closer to God.  In this Pauree, Guru Nanak Dev Ji tells in detail the pricelessness of God’s qualities.

                    Amul gun amul vaapaar         Amul vaapaaree-e amul bhandaar

Amul – priceless, most valuable.  Vaapaar – trade, business.  Vaapaaree-e – trader.  Bhandaar – store.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the qualities of God cannot be exchanged by material wealth. These qualities are priceless and cannot be evaluated. Similarly trading for these qualities is also priceless. These qualities cannot be purchased with any amount of wealth. Those who are born to deal with these qualities of God in this world are also priceless. The stores where these qualities are kept are also priceless. Guru Ji preaches us that we can earn good qualities of God by doing good deeds. These qualities are not sold as the material articles are sold in stores and shops because no material evaluation can be done for these qualities. These qualities can be earned and absorbed only from our guru through his teachings.  

                    Amul aaveh amul lai jaahe     Amul bhaae amulaa samaahe

Aaveh-come. Jaahe-go. Bhaae-love. Samaahe-to merge.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji further says that those persons are priceless who take this human birth to earn God’s qualities in this life. When such persons leave this world, they take with them the invaluable treasure of these good qualities earned by them in their entire life. They earn priceless love of God by absorbing God’s qualities during their life and after death they become priceless when they merge with God.

                    Amul dharam amul deebaan               Amul tul amul parvaan

                    Amul bakhsees amul neesaan             Amul karam amul phurmaan

Dharam-divine rule, principles. Deebaan-court. Tul-balance,a measuring instrument. Parvaan-weight. Bakhsees-blessings, bans. Neesaan-sign of acceptance. Kaaram-boon. Phurmaan-orde, command.

One’s good or bad deeds are judged by God after one’s death. God has His divine rules to judge our good or bad deeds. These rules are also priceless and cannot be purchased by any amount of material wealth. The court of God where these divine rules are practised is also priceless, as the decisions taken by God in His court cannot be influenced by any material wealth. In that court of God, the scale or weighing balance and the measures or the weights used to judge or evaluate or weigh our good or bad deeds are also priceless as they judiciously measure the weights of our deeds. After evaluation, God then decides about the rewards or grant of acceptance by Him. He issues His divine order and showers on us His boons. His rewards, His grant of acceptance, His divine order and His grant of boons are all priceless as they can neither be evaluated by material weights and measures, nor they can be purchased in exchange of material wealth.  

                    Amulo amul aakhiaa na jaae              Aakh aakh rahe liv laae

Amulo- Act of acquiring of God’s priceless qualities.  Aakhiaa – describe.  Rahe – remain.  Liv – continuous concentration.  Laae – to practise.

Invaluableness of God’s attributes and pricelessness of those who absorb these attributes cannot be described in words.  Those who have attempted to express it have at last been absorbed in God and were lost in ecstasy. In fact those chosen ones who attempt to evaluate God’s attributes, start absorbing those attributes in their lives.  They forget the process of evaluation but themselves acquire those qualities and finally their spirit or soul merges with the Supreme Soul or God.  So instead of evaluating God’s attributes, they start experiencing or feeling their existence within them and finally they identify the existence of God in their mind. In fact that is the state of mind when we say that one’s soul has merged with the Supreme Soul or God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji at one place in the Holy Guru Granth Sahib says “Oh mind, you are the light of God. You recognize your real self.”

            Aakheh ved path puraan                    Aakheh pare kareh vakhiaan

Aakheh - say. Path – recite. Pare – read. Vakhiaan –to express, to lecture.

Guru Ji says that the texts of Vedas and Puranas have also expressed their views on the attributes of God. They have also given their commentaries  on them. Those who read Vedas and Puranas also recite the attributes of God and give lectures on these attributes.

                        Aakheh barme aakheh ind                  Aakheh gopee tai govind

                        Aakheh Eesar aakheh sidh                 Aakheh kete keete budh

                        Aakheh daanav aakhah dev               Aakhehe sur nar mun jan sev

Burme – Lord Brahma. Ind – god Indra. Gope – Lord Krishna’s devotees. Govind – Lord Krishna. Eesar – Lord Shiva. Sidh – the enlightened ones. Budh – the knowledgeable. Daanav – demon. Dev – gods. Sur – god. Nar – humans. Mun – hermits. Sev – devoted ones, those who serve God.  

Guru Ji says that even the three great gods i.e. Lord Brahma, the creator, Lord Shiva, the destroyer and Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer, all have attempted to evaluate the attributes or qualities of God. All devotees (female) of Lord Krishna, all enlightened ones, and innumerable of those who have been created by God as knowledgeable ones or who are acclaimed to have knowledge about God have also attempted to evaluate the qualities of God. Even the demons and other gods including god Indra, the king of heaven, saintly persons and hermits have all attempted to evaluate the qualities of God. In fact, all gods and great gods have been conceived to work for God for His one specific quality only. Concept of Lord Brahma depicts God’s quality of creation, Lord Vishnu the quality of sustainer and Lord Shiva depicts God’s quality of destruction. Concept of god Indra depicts God’s quality of giving us His blessing of clouds and rain. In fact 330 millions gods and goddesses are recognized in ancient Hindu literature, each performing his or her duties on the basis of one single specific quality of God. There are gods of fire, wind, sun, moon, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu, Sheshnag (god of snakes), Ganesha, Kartika, Rama, Krishna, Lakshman, Sarsvati, Lakshmi, Parbati and Her incarnations  (Kalika, Durga, Chintpurni, and others), Kama and his consort among many others. The prophets and the incarnations of Lord Vishnu  have also preached various qualities of God to us. They never attempted to evaluate the qualities of God. They absorbed God’s qualities within themselves and became ones like Him. 

                    Kete aakheh aakhan paahe                Kete kahe kahe uth uth jaahe

                    Ete keete hor kareh                            Taa aakh na sakeh ke- ee ke-e

Ete – equal number. Keete – created. Hor – more. Kareh – create. Paahe – attempt. Kahe - said. Uth – stand. Jaahe – go. Taa – even then. Sakeh – can. Ke-ee – something.

In addition to the above, there are innumerable people, who have the wisdom of evaluation, have attempted to evaluate God’s attributes. Countless have expressed their opinion and have left this world. Guru Ji says that even if equal number of more created ones try to say something about God, they will also not be able to evaluate God’s attributes.

                    Jevad bhaavai tevad hoe                    Nanak jaanai saachaa soe

                    Je ko aakhai bol vigaar                      Taa likheeai sir gaavaaraa gaavaar

Jevad – as much big. Bhaavai – desires. Tevad – so much big. Hoe – become. Jaanai – knows. Saachaa – God, truth. Soe – He only. Aakhaa – says. Bol – talk. Vigaar – to spoil, arrogate. Taa – then. Likheeai – to write. Gaavaaraa – among fools. Gaavaar – fool. 

In conclusion, Guru Nanak Dev JI says that no one in this world or none created by God can evaluate the attributes of God. So God’s qualities are priceless. No price can be fixed for any of His qualities in material terms. These attributes cannot be purchased but can be absorbed by our mind in doing good deeds which God desires us to do like His faithful servants. We are not destined to say ‘no’ or ‘why’ to God. We are destined to obey His divine command and act accordingly. Guru Ji, at the end of this Pauree concludes that God can become still greater in His attributes if He so desires. Only He, the True one, knows about His attributes. If some one becomes arrogant enough to say that he knows God fully, he would be counted as the most foolish person or a reprobated one or a condemned one.

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Pauree 27

                    So dar kehaa so ghar kehaa                         Jit baih sarab samaale

 Vaaje naad anek asankhaa                          Kete vaavanhaare

 Kete raag paree sio kaheean                       Kete gaavanhaare

 Gaaveh tuhno paun paanee baisantar           Gaavai raja dharam duaare

 Gaaveh chit-gupat likh jaaneh                     Likh likh dharam veechaare

 Gaaveh Eesar Barmaa devee                       Sohan sadaa savaare

 Gaaveh Ind Indraasan baithe                      Devatiaa dar naale

 Gaaveh sidh samaadhee andar                    Gaavan saadh veechaare

 Gavaan jatee satee santokhee                    Gaaveh veer karaare

 Gaavan pandit parhan rakheesar                  Jug jug vedaa naale

 Gaaveh mohneeaa man mohan                    Surgaa machh paeaale

 Gaavan ratan upaae tere                            Ath – sath teerath naale

 Gaaveh jodh mahaa – bal sooraa                 Gaaveh khaanee chaare

 Gaveh khand mandal varbhandaa                 Kar kar rakhe dhaare

 Se- ee tudhno gaaveh jo tudh bhaavan         Rate tere bhagat rasaale

 Hor kete gaavan se mai chit na aavan          Nanak kiaa veechaare

 Soee soee sadaa sach sahib                       Saachaa saachee naaee

 Hai bhee hosee jaae na jaasee                   Rachnaa jin rachaaee

 Rangee rangee bhaatee kar kar                   Jinsee maaiaa jin upaaee

 Kar kar vekhai keetaa aapnaa                     Jiv tis dee vadiaaee

 Jo tis bhaavai soee karsee                         Hukam na karnaa jaaee

 So paatisaah saahaa paatisaahib                Nanak rahan rajaaee

After describing the innumerability and countlessness of God’s attributes, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonized that God’s qualities cannot be bartered with any of the worldly possessions.  These can only be absorbed in the mind by the grace of God.  A large number of gods and goddesses have been conceived and assigned one specific quality of God.  They perform their duties to get that specific work executed under God’s supreme command. Guru Ji also told us that there are a large number of human beings who have absorbed some of God’s attributes and have become saints, hermits, exalted ones, men of continence, charity and poise.  Here in this Pauree, Guru Ji draws a picture of God’s court and His courtiers from where God rules over His creations.

            So dar kehaa so ghar kehaa  Jit baih sarab samaale

So –that.  Dar – portal.  Kehaa – of what kind.  Ghar – home.  Jit – where.  Baih – to sit.  Sarab – all.  Samaale – to look after.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, with a great surprise asks what kind of portal and what kind of palace God has from where He looks after all his creations.  God is a supreme King who rules all over His universe.  Worldly kings used to have their palaces and courtrooms from where they used to rule over their subjects.  God should also have a palace from where He performs His royal duties.

            Vaaje naad anek asankhaa                Kete vaavanhaare

            Kete raag paree sio kaheean               Kete gaavanhaare

Vaaje – instruments.  Naad – voices.  Anek – numerous.  Asankhaa – billions. Vaavanhaare – those who play on instruments. Raag – classical measures, notes. Paree – raagnees, subdivision of raagaas. Sio – with. Kaheean – said. Gaavanhaare – singers.

Here Guru Nanak Dev Ji perhaps identifies the whole of the Universe as the kingdom of God. In this planet earth, in this universe, there are countless numbers of human voices that sing devotional songs in praise of God. In all countries on this planet, men and women of their respective religions sing devotional songs in praise of God in their own languages. There are hundreds of languages and in each language; there are hundreds of men and women who have singing skills. They all sing songs in praise of one God who is our supreme Lord. In the old days in India, there used to be many dancers and singers who used to perform before the king in his court to praise and appease the king. Here perhaps with the same analogy, Guru Ji is describing the court of God. Many of God’s subjects sing devotional songs under different classical measures and their subdivisions (ragas and raagnees). Guru Ji says that myriads of these devotional singers sing under myriads of raagaas and raagnees. Then there are innumerable instruments in accompaniment of which the singers sing the devotional songs. There are countless numbers of people who play on these instruments. In India, these musical instruments are divided into five broad groups. These are string instruments, leather instruments, brass instruments, vessel instruments and wind instruments. Then, there are orchestras where a large number of instruments are played together. Guru Ji thus says that there are countless number of sounds and countless number of those who make these sounds. Again there are countless raagaas and raagnees in which devotional songs are sung and instruments are played and there are countless who sing songs in praise of God.

These lines in this Pauree can also be interpreted in another way. As Guru Ji thinks that the whole of the universe is God’s kingdom, these lines perhaps are meant to describe the melodies of nature. In nature, there are countless number of sounds and countless number of those who make these sounds. Again, there are countless numbers of creatures including humans who in their sweet voice, sing in praise of God. These voices include melodious singing of nightingales, chirping of sparrows, humming of bees, shrill and chirping sound of cicada, buzzing of insects, croaking of frogs, crowing of cocks among myriads of other voices. Perhaps the concept of raagaas and raagnees was also derived from the variety of such voices in nature. Again there are myriads of types of sounds created by a variety of nature’s components. These will be touched in the next lines of this Pauree.

                    Gaaveh tuhno paun paanee baisantar           Gaavai raja dharam duaare

Tuhno – to you. Paun – wind. Paanee – water. Baisantar – fire. Raja – king. Raja Dharma – Dharamraj, the god of death. Duaare – portal.

Here Guru Nank Dev JI describes various important components of nature, which are always singing the praises of god or depicting the greatness of God. From here on, in this Pauree, the word singing perhaps is used to express the greatness of God. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and also in ancient Hindu literature, a human being is said to be a product of five components of nature. These are air, fire, water, earth and sky. Here Guru Ji has taken the three most important components; the air, the water and the fire.

Guru Ji says that the wind also sings the praises of God. In nature, we hear sweet sound of wind blowing through the tree leaves or through agricultural fields, through gullies, in valleys and in such other places. Again, we have sea breezes, land breezes, monsoons, trade winds, antitrade winds, westerlies, easterlies and countless other types of wind. All these forms of wind depict greatness of God. Again, wind sometimes transforms itself in the forms of storms, cyclones, anticyclones, and dust storms when it becomes furious. These forms also depict the greatness of God. The same air is breathed in and purifies the blood of all living beings. In fact, no living being can live on this earth in the absence of air. The air or wind is thus the most precious boon given to all living beings by God. Mere sustained supply of air to the entire living world shows the greatness of God. So Guru Ji says that the wind or air also is continuously singing the praises of God.

Similarly water is also continuously singing the praises of God. We daily observe the melodious sound of flowing of rivers, torrents, waterfalls, rainfalls, snowfall, sea waves, ocean currents etc. All these sounds are perhaps the voices of water singing the glories of God. Again, water also sometimes becomes furious and causes a lot of damage with its fury. Such furies may be in the form of storms, cloudbursts, blizzards, snowstorms and above all frequent floods. Such furies of water also depict greatness of God.

The third component of nature is fire; it also sings the praises of God. The fire is also the most precious boon of God bestowed upon human beings. Fire sometimes becomes furious and transforms itself into an inferno. We observe forest fires, fire-consuming buildings, accidental fires in plane accidents, car accidents etc. Such forms of fire also depict greatness of God. Fire is also considered as the source of energy. This energy sustains all the living beings on this earth. The plants manufacture their food with the help of energy from the sun. All living being consume and burn the plant products to produce energy for their growth. This energy working in its various forms also depicts the greatness of God.

Thus all the components of nature are continuously working in perfect equilibrium from  time immemorial and they will continue to work for millions of years. This depicts God’s perfect management of His kingdom and thus every component of nature is singing the praises of God.

Guru Ji further says that Dharamraj, the god of death, is also singing in the laudation of God. Daily, millions of deaths are taking place on this planet earth and the process of life and death and again of life continues. The god of death is also happy to do his duty under the supreme command of God and thus is singing the laudation of God while standing in the portal of God’s court. Here also the perfect management of death and birth cycle shows the greatness of God and even the god of death is also singing the praises of God.

                    Gaaveh chit-gupat likh jaaneh           Likh likh dharam veechaare

Chit-Gupat – names of two gods who record our good or bad deeds. Dharam – Dharamraj. Likh – that is written.

Chit and Gupat are two gods recognized by the western religions. These two gods are always seated on our left and right shoulders. One of them records our good deeds and the other our bad deeds. Guru Nank Dev Ji says that these two gods who record our good and bad deeds are also chanting praises of God while categorizing our good or bad deeds and then recording our deeds in their proper categories. After categorizing our deeds, these gods transmit the account of our good or bad deeds to Dharanraj, the god of death, for further evaluation. Here also Guru Ji tries to emphasize the perfect management of God in the formulation of destinies of all living beings on earth.

                      Gaaveh Eesar Barmaa devee                         Sohan sadaa savaare

Eesar – Lord Shiva. Barmaa – Lord Brahma. Devee – goddess Parbati. Sohan – to look sublime. Sadaa – always. Savaare – exalted by God.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the supreme gods, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and goddess Parbati also chant laudations of God. These supreme gods are always rendered sublime by God and thus look in their shining splendour in His court where they sing praises on the greatness of God.

                    Gaaveh Ind Indrasan baithe                           Devatiaa dar naale

Ind – god Indra, the king of heaven and all other gods. Indrasan – throne of god Indra. Baithe – while sitting. Devatiaa – with other gods (his subjects). Dar – portal. Naale – with.  

Guru Ji continues further and says that god Indra, the king of heaven is also singing about the greatness of God while sitting on His portal along with all the other gods who are his subjects.

It may not be inferred from the above that Guru Ji accepted the philosophy of gods and goddesses. Guru Ji is simply describing the perfect management of the universe by God and in doing so has chosen examples from the common beliefs prevalent at that time.

                    Gaaveh sidh samaadhee andar                      Gaavan saadh veechaare

                    Gavaan jatee satee santokhee                                    Gaaveh veer karaare

Sidh – exalted ones. Samaadhee – in meditation. Andar – in. Saadh – saints. Veechaare – deep in thought. Jatee – man of continence. Satee – givers of charity. Santokhee – contented. Veer – warrior. Karaare – brave.

The exalted ones in their meditation, the saints immersed deep in their thoughts and the men of continence also chant laudations of God. Through purification of their minds, such people also sing about the greatness of God as these elevated souls have identified God in their inner self and have thus had a glimpse of greatness of God. They are the brave warriors who have fought and won over the evils namely sex, anger, greed, ego and attachment.

                    Gaavan pandit parhan rakheesar                  Jug jug vedaa naale

                    Gaaveh mohneeaa man mohan                      Surgaa machh paeaale

Pandit – learned persons. Parhan – to study. Rakheesar – great saints, peers. Jug Jug– from time immemorial. Vedaa – vedas. Naale – with. Mohneeaa – handsome ladies, fairies. Man – mind. Mohan – bewitching. Surgaa – heaven. Machh – earth. Paeaale – universe below earth.

Guru Ji further says that the mighty learned ones and great seers are singing the praises of God from the time immemorial through studying vedaas and other ancient holy books. Even the fairies in the heaven and the handsome women on this earth and on other places in the universe also depict the greatness of God. The beauties of nature including the human beauty and the beauties of other creatures show the greatness of God as an artist.

                    Gaavan ratan upaae tere                               Ath – sath teerath naale

                    Gaaveh jodh mahaa – bal sooraa                  Gaaveh khaanee chaare

Raten – jewels. Upaae – created. Tere – your. Ath – eight. Sath – sixty. Teerath – holy places. Naale – with. Jodh – brave. Mahaa – bal – of great might. Sooraa – brave. Khaanee – types of creations. Chaare – four.

Elaborating further, Guru Ji says that the precious gems along with the 68 holy places created by you also chant praises of God. In Hindu Mythology, in very remote ancient time, gods on one side and the demons on the other side of the churn, churned the sea. In this churning 14 valuables were retrieved from the sea. These 14 valuables are called precious jewels. Great warriors of supreme might also sing in praise of God. All the four types of living beings i.e. those born from egg, those sucking mother’s milk, parasites and those living in soil, also chant the praises of God.

                        Gaveh khand mandal varbhandaa                 Kar kar rakhe dhaare

                        Se- ee tudh no gaaveh jo tudh bhaavan         Rate tere bhagat rasaale

Khand – region. Mandal – areas, continents. Varbhandaa – universe. Rakhe – established. Dhaare – to keep, to establish. Se- ee – those. Tudh – to you. Bhaavan – are loved. Rate – to be absorbed. Bhagat – devotees. Rasaale – in love.

Guru Ji further says that even all the regions of earth, all the expanses of land in each region and the whole universe, which are created and established in space by God, also sing about the greatness of God. All on whom God showers His blessings and love, speak high of God’s greatness. Those devotees of God who are absorbed in love of God also chant laudations of God.

                Hor kete gaavan se mai chit na aavan           Nanak kiaa veechaare

Hor – more. Mai – to me. Chit na aavan – do not remember. Kiaa – what. Veechaare – to think over.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that there are countless numbers who may not be in my memory are also speaking high of greatness of God. In conclusion, it may be said that innumerable creations of God show how great God is.

From the above description, we can now formulate our idea about the composition of God’s court and His ministry. The whole of universe is God’s kingdom. Various gods like Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and their consort goddesses, god Indra and other gods of heaven and Chit – Gupt and Dharam Raj are ministers with specific portfolios in the court of God. All exalted hermits, saints, men of continence, charity and self contentment, mighty learned ones, great seers, great warriors, God’s loved ones and God’s devotees are the nobles of His court. All the forces and components of nature like air, water, fire, earth with continents and oceans, other planets, satellites, suns, galaxies, all the four categories of living beings including humans comprise of God’s kingdom where He rules through His divine command. But the greatest wonder is that God sees everybody but nobody can see God. 

                        Soee soee sadaa sach Sahib                            Saachaa saachee naaee

                        Hai bhee hosee jaae na jaasee                        Rachnaa jin rachaaee

Soee – same. Sadaa – always. Sach – true. Sahib – master. Saachaa – true. Naaee – name. Hai bhee – exists now. Hosee – will exist in future. Jaae – to go. Jaasee – will go. Rachaaee – created. Rachnaa – creation.

After giving a brief description of the court of God, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now offers laudations to God. Guru Ji says that God will remain the same as He is, as True Master, as Truth. His attributes will remain true. His name will remain true. His NAM will remain forever. He exists now. He will exist forever. He will not perish but His creation will perish as He has created His creation.

                        Rangee rangee bhaatee kar kar                      Jinsee maaiaa jin upaaee

                        Kar kar vekhai keetaa aapnaa                         Jiv tis dee vadiaaee

Rangee- of various hues and colours. Bhaatee – of various types. Kar – create. Jinsee – races. Maaiaa – worldly possessions. Upaaee – created. Vekhai – looks after. Keetaa – that which is created. Aapnaa – His own. Jiv – in whatever way. Vadiaaee – greatness.

Guru Ji says that God has created His creation of many hues, colours and races. He also created worldly things, which are being used by all living beings. He looks after His creation, which has been created by Him, according to His own will or in whatever way He wants to depict His greatness.

                        Jo tis bhaavai soee karsee                  Hukam na karnaa jaaee

                        So paatisaah saahaa paatisaahib          Nanak rahan rajaaee

Bhaavai – which pleases Him. Soee – same. Karsee – will do. Hukam – order. Karnaa – to do. Paatisaah – king. Saahaa – of kings. Paatisaahib – true king. Rahan – to remain. Rajaaee – as He is pleased.

In the end Guru Ji says that God does that which pleases Him. Nobody can interfere in His work. He is true King of the Kings. It is good for us to live our lives according to His will or as He is pleased or as he wants us to live. Only then we can become His chosen ones.

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Pauree 28

                    Mundaa santokh saram pat jholee             Dhiaan ki kareh bibhoot

                 Khinthaa kaal kuaaree kaaiaa                    Jugat dandaa parteet

                 Aaee panthee sagal jamaatee                   Man jeete jag jeet

                 Aades tisai aades, aad, aneel, anaad, anaahat jug jug eko ves

In next four Paurees (Paurees 28-31), Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonizes Sadhus and others on practising authentic ways of achieving divine enlightenment by inculcating divine qualities in their lives. Paurees 28 and 29 deal with sermons to sadhus or mendicants who renounce their families and live in MATHS or monastries to achieve divine enlightenment.

In India, many people become sadhus to achieve higher level of spiritual knowledge. Six sects of such sadhus are known. These are Jogees, Jangam, Saniaasees, Sarevare, Bodhee and Bairagee. These sects are distinguished from one another by their possessions, their dress and their way of keeping hair. A sadhu’s common possessions are rings in ears, a pouch or a bag hung over the shoulders, a staff in one hand and a begging bowl in the other hand and a long robe of orange-yellow colour reaching up to the ankles, Many sadhus also smear their bodies with ash dust and wear a loin cloth as their sole garment.

                    Mundaa santokh saram pat jholee     Dhiaan ki kareh bibhoot

Mundaa – rings worn in ears. Santokh – contentment. Saram – hard work. Pat – a type of begging bowl. Jholee – a pouch or a bag. Dhiaan – concentration. Kareh – to make. Bibhoot – ash dust.

Up to Pauree 15, Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached us how to achieve highest spiritual, ethical and intellectual  level and become PANCH, the accepted ones or the loved ones, through Guru’s teachings. In this Pauree, Guru Ji preaches sadhus how to achieve the highest level of enlightenment by replacing their outward symbols by moral and intellectual values. Guru Ji says that attainment of contentment in life should be the rings worn in ears. Rings in the ears are worn by piercing holes in the ears. Similarly, contentment in life can only be achieved by cutting the desires or by having complete control over the desires. Instead of going from place to place with a begging bowl and a pouch of alms, the sadhus should do hard work to eke out their livings. They should focus their concentration only on God instead of smearing their bodies with coal ash dust, which is done to earn distraction from others.

                            Khinthaa kaal kuaaree kaaiaa                       Jugat dandaa parteet

Khinthaa – a robe going up to the ankles. Kaal – death. Kuaaree – virgin. Jugat – key to be one with God, also the style of living of sadhus. Dandaa – staff. Parteet – trust, faith. 

Guru Ji further says that fear of death in their minds should be the long robe of sadhus. If we understand the fact that our body has been bestowed upon us by God to purify our ethereal self in this human life and ultimately it’s our ethereal self only who will reach the door of God,  the body will return to mother earth, then the fear of death will disappear. Death destroys our physical being only. Our ethereal self is immortal. Just as the robe protects our body, so is our body as a robe to our ethereal self. Guru Ji further says that in order to be one with God, we should keep our body virgin or free from all the five evils i.e. sex, anger, greed, attachment and ego. Just as a virgin girl is well accepted by her husband after marriage, in the same way a being free of all evils would be accepted at the court of God. The way of living of sadhus should be to keep their body free from all the five evils. Sadhus should have a complete faith or trust in God instead of keeping a staff in their hands. Sadhus keep a staff in their hand so that they can protect their body from any external danger. Trust or faith protects us form all kinds of worldly fears. A fear of God keeps all other fears away from us. A complete trust or faith in God removes fear of God also and instead is replaced by love of God in our minds. That is a stage of complete union with God.

                        Aaee panthee sagal jamaatee             Man jeete jag jeet

Aaee panthee – a name of a sect of sadhus. Sagal – all. Jamaatee – follow ship. Jeete – to win. Jag – world. Jeet – victory.

Aaee panthee is one of the twelve sects of sadhus who are known to be superior to all other sects. Guru Ji says that membership of Aaee Panthee sect should be to practise universal brotherhood. Let whole of mankind be your Aaee Panthee members and all the humans be your brothers and sisters. If sadhus can win over their mind, they can win the love of the whole world. To win over the mind means to have complete control over worldly desires or when our mind thinks only that which God desires us to think or when we obey the divine command within us. A sadhu renounces his home and hearth to have control over his desires, but unless he tunes his mind to the will of God, he cannot control his desires and if a sadhu is unable to control his desires it becomes useless for him to renounce his home and hearth.

                        Aades tisai aades, aad, aneel, anaad, anaahat jug jug eko ves

Aades – salutations. Tisai – to him. Aad – primal, from the beginning of time. Aneel – immaculate, free form the soot of MAYA. Anaad – eternal, without any beginning. Anaahat – immortal, that who is not destroyed. Jug – yuga. Eko – same. Ves – dress, form. Eko ves – immutable through all times.

Every sect of sadhus has its own mode of salutations when they meet their fellow sadhus, their disciples or their followers. Guru Ji tells us his way of salutation to the sadhus. He says that his salutations are to God who is Primal, Immaculate or free from soot of MAYA, Eternal, Immortal and who is Immutable though all times or who has the same qualities or NAM from the times immemorial.

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Pauree 29

                            Bhugat giaan daiaa bhandaaran                    Ghat ghat vaajeh naad

                        Aap naath naathee sabh jaakee                     Ridh sidh avraa saad

                        Sanjog vijog due kaar chalaaveh                   Lekhe aaveh bhaag

                        Aades tisai aades

                        Aad aneel anaad anaahat                               Jug jug eko ves.

Guru Ji continues his sermons to yogees or sadhus on the basis of their possessions and way of living.

                       Bhugat giaan daiaa bhandaaran                    Ghat ghat vaajeh naad

Bhugat – good diet. Giaan – knowledge, enlightenment. Daiaa – compassion, pity. Bhandaaran – female storekeeper, female dispenser of food. Ghat – pitcher (here heart, mind). Vaajeh – sound of instruments. Naad – voice, sound.

There is usually a common kitchen in MATHS or monastries of sadhus. The food is usually cooked and distributed by the female member of the sect. Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonizes that sadhus’s daily food should be to attain spiritual knowledge or enlightenment and compassion should be the distributor of this knowledge. Just like food is meant to keep our body healthy, in the same way, spiritual knowledge is the food of our mind so that with this knowledge, our mind can purify our soul. Just like somebody is needed to distribute the food, in the same way, God’s grace or His compassion is needed to help us to attain spiritual knowledge. Sadhus blow a trumpet before their prayers or for collecting to take food or when they knock at the doors for alms. Guru Ji says that God’s word blows like a trumpet in the heart of every human being. Sadhus should listen to the sound of that trumpet. To feel the existence of God or His divine command within all human beings should be the blowing of trumpet by the sadhus.

                        Aap naath naathee sabh jaakee                     Ridh sidh avraa saad

Naath – master. Naathee – to control. Sabh – all. Jaakee – creation. Ridh-sidh – acquiring miraculous powers.

Sadhus generally gain spiritual knowledge from their heads or gurus and acquire various miraculous powers from them. Miracles are not accepted under Sikh tenets. In the last Pauree, Guru Ji advised sadhus to gain spiritual knowledge through grace of God. Here, guru Ji in this Pauree enunciated the reason for seeking God’s blessings. Guru Ji says that God is the Master of whole universe and all living beings are under His firm control. Guru Ji further says that acquiring of knowledge to gain miraculous powers is a false satisfaction of our mind. Our mind would be satisfied only if it is tuned to God’s will. If we have love of God in our mind, we will do what God desires us to do. We will then achieve a state of mind when all miraculous powers will become subservient to our mind.

                        Sanjog vijog due kaar chalaaveh                   Lekhe aaveh bhaag

Sanjog – union. Vijog – separation. Due – both. Kaar – action. Chalaaveh – to do, to execute. Lekhe – that which is accounted. Aaveh – come. Bhaag – luck.

Guru Ji elaborates further on acquiring of knowledge from a spiritual guru who is nearest to God. Guru Ji says that some people have the love of God in their mind and whatever they do, they do it according to the will of God. On the other hand, there are people who work only for their self or who work only for the welfare of their own physical being. They are separated from God as they work for the fulfillment of their material needs. Or in other words, they work for MAYA. Those who spend their lives according to the will of God, have attained union with God and those who spend their lives for MAYA are separated from God. Guru Ji says that this union with or separation from God is responsible for the life and death cycle and good or bad luck or destiny, Guru Ji therefore says that whatever destiny is written for us, it is on the basis of the extent of union with or separation from God.       

                    Aades tisai aades        Aad aneel anaad anaahat       Jug jug eko ves.

Guru says that his salutations are to God who is Primal, Immaculate, Eternal, Immortal and who is Immutable through all times.

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Pauree 30

                        Ekaa maaee jugat viaaee                   Tin chele parvaan

                    Ik sansaaree ik bhandaaree                Ik laae deebaan

                    Jiv tis bhaavai tivai chalaavai             Jiv hovai phurmaan

                    Oh vekhai onaa nadar na aavai           Bahutaa eh vidaan

                    Aades tisai aades

                    Aed aneel anaad anaahat                  Jug jug eko ves

In last Paurees, at a few places, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has mentioned three major gods and some minor gods. In Pauree 27, while describing God’s court, Guru Ji has mentioned the names of many such major and minor gods who are singing the greatness of God in God’s portal. In holy Guru Granth Sahib also, many deities of gods and goddesses are mentioned but their mention is only symbolical and metaphorical. They are not to be worshiped under the Sikh tenets. Here in this Pauree, Guru Ji explains to us about the way, the three major gods, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva were conceived. As explained in Pauree 29, there are two ways, one according to the will of God and the other according to MAYA. In the sacred Guru Granth Sahib, it is said that first God came out from His NIRGUNA state to SARGUNA state and then He created MAYA. Here Guru Ji says that three major gods are also conceived from MAYA.

                    Ekaa maaee jugat viaaee                   Tin chele parvaan

                    Ik sansaaree ik bhandaaree                Ik laae deebaan

Ekaa – one, here God. Maaee – MAYA. Jugat – technique, union. Viaaee – to give birth. Tin – three. Chele – disciples. Parvaan – accepted. Ik – one. Sansaaree – creator . Bhandaaree – Sustainers. Laae – holds. Deebaan – court.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God created MAYA and MAYA got conceived by union with God and she gave birth to her three disciples. One of these disciples was the creator, the other was the sustainer and the third holds court to weigh the good or bad deeds and decide the next birth for human beings. Thus God created material world for use of His creations and the concept of three major gods originated to explain the working of the material world. 

                    Jiv tis bhaavai tivai chalaavai            Jiv hovai phurmaan

                    Oh vekhai onaa nadar na aavai         Bahutaa eh vidaan

Jiv - as. Tis – Him. Bhaavai –to like. Tivai – in same way. Chalaavai – conducts. Hovai – to happen. Phurmaan – command, order.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains further that whatever happens in this world, it happens according to the will of God and He governs His kingdom by his own command.  The greatest divine wonder is that God sees everybody but nobody including the three major gods is able to see Him.

In this Pauree, Guru Ji perhaps tries to explain to us that God created the material world (MAYA) and we humans attempted to explain the working of this material world and in that way, the concept of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh originated.

                        Aades tisai aades

                        Aad aneel anaad anaahat                   Jug jug eko ves

Guru Ji says that his salutations are to God who is Primal, Immaculate, Eternal, Immortal and Immutable through all times.

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Pauree 31

                        Aasan loe loe bhandaar                      Jo kichh paaiaa su ekaa vaar

        Kar kar vekhai sirjanhaar                  Nanak saache kee saachee kaar

        Aades tisai aades

        Aad, aneel, anaad, anaahat                jug jug eko ves

This Pauree further supplements the views expressed in Pauree 30 by Guru Nanak Dev Ji about concept of three major Gods, worshipped all over India by the Hindu community.

                Aasan loe loe bhandaar                      Jo kichh paaiaa su ekaa vaar

Aasan – a place to rest or sit. Loe – lands, worlds. Bhandaar – store. Jo – whatever. Kichh – some. Paaiaa – got. Su – that. Ekaa – once. Vaar – time.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that God has His seat in every land, every planet or satellite, which He has created. God is omnipresent. He is present everywhere and in everything created by Him. Similarly, He has created all worldly things at one time in every world or land or planets and stores of all these worldly things are present in every land. So whatever mass there is in this universe, it was created at one stroke by God. It neither increases nor decreases. In other words, it can be said that the matter is indestructible. So God, the creator of this universe, has done Lord Brahma’s work by providing every thing at every planet.

                Kar kar vekhai sirjanhaar                  Nanak saache kee saachee kaar

Kar kar – after creation. Vekhai – to look after. Sirjanhaar – creator. Saache – Truth or God. Kee – of. Saachee – true. Kaar – work.

Guru Ji says that after creating the universe, God, the creator, himself looks after His creation. Guru Ji says that God is Truth. His work is also Truth. With this, God Himself also does the work of Lord Vishnu.

                Aades tisai aades

                Aad, aneel, anaad, anaahat                jug jug eko ves

Guru Nanak Dev Ji again says that his salutations are only to God who is Primal, Immaculate, Eternal, Immortal and Immutable through all times. 
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Pauree 32

                            Ik doo jeebhau lakh hohe                  Lakh hoveh lakh vees

                        Lakh lakh geraa aakheeahe               Ek naam jagdees

                        Et raah pat pavareeaa                      Chaareeai hoe ikees

                        Sun galaa aakaas kee                       Keetaa aaee rees

                        Nanak nadree paaeeai                      Kooree koorai thees.

Up to Pauree 31, Guru Nanak Dev Ji sermonized to his sikhs about God, God’s creation, about humans, guru’s role in human lives and about the ways that could lead us to the great heights of ethical, spiritual and intellectual levels. In Paurees 32-37, the whole philosophy of human life on this earth is summarized. 

                        Ik doo jeebhau lakh hohe                   Lakh hoveh lakh vees

                        Lakh lakh geraa aakheeaih                Ek naam jagdees

                        Et raah pat pavareeaa                        Chaareeai hoe ikees

Ik – one. Doo – two. Jeebhau – tongue. Vees – twenty. Geraa – round. Aakheeaih – to recite. Jagdees – God. Et – this. Raah – path, way. Pat – husband, master. Pavareeaa – stairs. Chaareeai – to climb. Hoe – to become. Ikees – to be one with God.

Here Guru Nanak Dev Ji emphasizes the importance of repeated recitation of God’s name or NAM. For every objective, there are means to achieve that objective. A good objective can be achieved by using good means only. Means in themselves cannot become objective. They would continue to serve as a staircase to climb up to the objective. Similarly, no objective can be achieved without any means. For example, a thirsty man goes to a source of water by walking or driving on a road. His objective is to quench his thirst by drinking water. The road and the vehicle are only means to take him to the source of water. They cannot quench his thirst. But unless, he goes to the source of water, he cannot have water to quench his thirst. Source of water will not come to him. The thirsty man has to go to the source of water. So for achieving every objective, means are necessary. In this Pauree, Guru Ji says that repeated recitation of God’s name is the purest means to reach the stairs, which lead to the door of God. If our one tongue becomes one lakh tongues and one lakh tongues become 20 lakh tongues and then each tongue recites the name of God one lakh times, then this recitation of God’s name will take us to that place from where staircase to the abode of God starts or where our objective of life of seeing God’s door rests. Guru Ji thus tells us the means by which we can reach a place, which can lead us to the door of God or to our objective. Guru Ji emphasized the importance of our preparation before attempting to climb up the stairs, which lead to the court of God. By repeated recitation of God’s name or NAM, our mind becomes tuned to God. We always think of God. We always remember the NAM of God in our mind. This will ultimately help us to lead a right path in our lives. If we tend to go astray, the feeling of presence of God in our mind will help us to revert back to the right path. In other words, to achieve the right objective of being one with God, we must prepare ourselves by purifying our thoughts as we can do good deeds only when our thoughts are purified or our thinking is purified or our mind thinks of the love of God only or our mind is filled with the love of God. Only good deeds done with a purified mind can lead us to the court of God. Good deeds are our means. Repeated recitation of God’s NAM prepares us to do good deeds. Thus to be one with God, which is our objective, can only be achieved by repeated recitation of NAM and doing good deeds. In the sacred Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak Dev Ji at one place says that we can go to milk a cow only after washing and purifying the pitcher into which the milk is to be brought. A mind can only be filled with God’s NAM when it is purified and repeated recitation God’s NAM is a means to purify mind and to do good deeds. Thus in these lines, Guru Ji says that repeated recitation of God’s NAM can take us to a place where the staircases leading to God start and from where by climbing these stair cases, we can be one with God. It should be remembered here that mere repeated recitation  God’s NAM without purifying mind or without doing good deeds will not help in reaching door of God.

                        Sun galaa aakaas kee                         Keetaa aaee rees

                        Nanak nadree paaeeai                        Kooree koorai thees.

Sun – to hear. Galaa – talks. Aakaas – sky. Keetaa – ants. Rees – to follow, to emulate. Nadree – grace of God. Paaeeai – to achieve. Kooree – liars. Koorai – to lie. Thees – bragging.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that those who repeatedly recite the name of God with impure minds are lowest of the low persons. They think that this method is the easiest method to achieve the heaven’s glory. They tend to emulate the means of the devoted ones but do not purify their minds and do not do good deeds. Such people repeatedly recite God’s name, sing God’s name and dance on recitation of God’s name but their minds are full of deceits, falsehood and evil thinking. Some of these people exploit God’s name to earn material wealth. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that these people are liars and braggers. Their brags are a pack of lies. Those who recite God’s NAM, purify their minds and do good deeds can only reach the door of God by God’s grace or through God’s blessings.

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Pauree 33

                             Aakhan jor chupai nah jor                 Jor na mangan den na jor

                        Jor na jeevan maran na jor               Jor na raaj maal man sor

                        Jor na surtee giaan veechaar            Jor na jugtee chhutai sansaar

                        Jis hath jor kar vekhai soe                Nanak utam neech na koe.

In the last Pauree, Guru Ji said in the end that we do good deeds but we can reach the door of God only by God’s grace or by His blessings. In other words, we have the power to do deeds but the reward is in God’s hands.

                        Aakhan jor chupai nah jor                 Jor na mangan den na jor

                        Jor na jeevan maran nah jor              Jor na raaj maal man sor

Aakhan – to recite. Jor – power. Chupai – to remain silent, peace. Mangan – to ask for. Den – to give, to offer. Jeevan – life. Maran – death. Raaj – kingdom. Maal – wealth. Sor – noise.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji here enunciates the limitations of devotees of God. Guru Ji says that we say praises of God only when God’s blessings are with us or we recite His name only when God desires us to do that. Similarly, we find no peace of mind by keeping indefinite silence but we can get that peace only with God’s grace. Nothing is in our hands. It is even not in our power to seek blessings from Him. Neither we have any power to choose what blessings God should bestow upon us. It is all in the hands of God. Similarly life and death, prosperity and wealth are all in the hands of God. We have no power on either life or death. We cannot amass wealth or command power without the grace of God. All such worldly possessions are unnecessary noise of our mind without God’’s grace. Our mind remains unnecessarily involved in such worldly possessions.  

                        Jor na surtee giaan veechaar             Jor na jugtee chhutai sansaar

Surtee – concentration. Giaan – knowledge. Veechaar – to study. Jugtee – technique. Chhutai – to get rid of. Sansaar – world, here worldly things.

Guru Ji further says that it is not in our power to have concentration in God and to analyse the knowledge about God. It is only with God’s blessings that we can concentrate in God’s meditation and acquire knowledge about Him. We do not have the power or technique to renounce worldly pleasures. It is only with God’s grace that we can do that.

                    Jis hath jor kar vekhai soe                 Nanak utam neech na koe.

Hath – hand. Kar – to create. Vekhai – to look after. Soe – same. Utam – superior. Neech – inferior. Koe – anybody.

Finally Guru Ji says that all the power is in the hands of God. He creates human beings and all other living beings and He looks after them. We do our work but the reward or the blessings are in God’s hands. Nobody can interfere in that. None is superior or inferior in this respect. Everybody is equally helpless before God. God does His own justice and decides to whom His blessings are to be bestowed or to whom punishment is to be given.

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Pauree 34

                            Raatee rutee thitee vaar                   Paon paanee agnee paataal

                       Tis vich dhartee thaap rakhee            dharamsaal

                       Tis vich jeeaa jugat ke rang               Tin ke naam anek anant

                       Karmee karmee hoe veechaar             Sachaa aap sachaa darbaar

                       Tithai sohan panch parvaan               Nadree karam pavai neesaan

                       Kach pakaaee othai paae                   Nanak gae-aa jaapai jaae

In Pauree no. 32, Guru Ji has taken us to that place where the stairs leading to the door of God start. For this Guru Ji advised us to carry out continued recitation of God’s NAM with pure a mind. Now how can we climb these stairs leading to the door of God? In Pauree no. 33, Guru Ji tells us that we cannot climb those stairs by our own power. It is through God’s blessings or grace that we can do that. But Guru Ji advised us in previous paurees that God showers His blessings on us on the basis of good deeds done by us. In this Pauree, Guru Ji sermonizes us how to become God’s chosen ones or PANCH of Pauree no.16.

                        Raatee rutee thitee vaar                     Paon paanee agnee paataal

Raatee – nights. Rutee – seasons. Thitee – phases of moon. Vaar – days. Paon – air. Paanee – water. Agnee – fire. Paataal – inside the earth.

In Pauree no. 16, Guru JI told us that God has established the planet earth in space on specific set principles. Here in this Pauree, Guru Ji tells us the exact position of earth in space. Firstly Guru Ji says that earth is that planet where days and nights exist. Days or nights are formed by revolution of earth around its axis, which the earth completes in 24 hours. The portion of earth before sun shows the day and the portion away from the sun depicts night. So the first information about earth is that this planet revolves around its axis and completes one revolution in 24 hours. Earth has seasons. Seasons result due to revolution of earth around sun. So the second information is that earth revolves around sun also. The moon has various phases culminating in full moon or new moon. These phases are the result of revolution of the moon around earth. The third information is that earth has one moon, which revolves around it. We have named days of week on sun, moon and on the names of five other planets, which revolve around the sun. The fourth information is that in addition to earth, there are  more planets revolving around sun. Fifth information is that the earth is surrounded by an atmosphere of air around it. Sixth information is that there is water on the surface of earth. The seventh and the last information is that the earth has fire or very intense heat inside it.

                            Tis vich dhartee thaap rakhee            dharamsaal

Tis – In this. Vich – in. Dhartee – earth. Thaap – to establish. Thaap rakhee – has been established. Dharamsaal – a place where life is spent on the dictates of God.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that in that situation as described above, God has established our planet earth. Now why did God create this planet earth? This place is created for us, humans to purify our mind, do good deeds and seek God’s blessings to be one with Him. It is a place where we, humans, have the opportunity to work according to the dictates of God, or divine command enshrined within us and purify our soul from all sins which we had committed in our past births. It is thus a place of dharma or a place to lead life according to the divine principles.

                            Tis vich jeeaa jugat ke rang               Tin ke naam anek anant

Tis – in this. Vich – inside. Jeeaa – living beings. Jugat – technique. Rang – hues. Tin – their. Anek – of many types, numerous. Anant – innumerable. Naam – names.

After explaining the situation of earth in space and the purpose for which God created the planet earth, Guru Nank Dev Ji says that in addition to humans, there are innumerable number of other living beings on this earth. They are of countless number of hues and colours. Also, there are countless types by which the colours are exhibited by these creatures. The names of these creatures are also innumerable and endless. Nature is full of beauties of colours and the ways these colours are depicted by myriads of forms of living beings. Imagine the colour combinations in wings of butterflies, in wings and bodies of various birds especially birds like peacocks. Also enjoyable to eyes are the colour combinations in various animals like tiger, lions, zebras, and poultry etc. similarly there are myriads of hues and colours in sea life like thousands of varieties of fish and corals. Guru Ji says that God created this earth not only for humans to make their souls free from sins, but also for innumerable types of other lives also to inhabit this earth and make it look beautiful and humming with life.

                            Karmee karmee hoe veechaar                        Sachaa aap sachaa darbaar

Karmee – actions, deeds. Hoe – takes place. Veechaar- to deliberate, to consider. Sachaa – truthful. Aap – He himself. Darbaar – court. 

In Puree No. 34, Guru Nanak Dev Ji said that God created the planet earth us humans to do good deeds and thereby purify our souls. But most of the people do not utilize this opportunity of human birth. They usually spend their whole life to live for their physical being and for that they adopt unfair means to amass as much wealth as possible. There are also a large number of people who work honestly, earn money by fair means and spend their lives in a pious way. Guru Ji says that whatever we do in our daily life, that is recorded by the divine command enshrined within us. Whatever deeds we do throughout our lives, they are fully considered and analyzed by the divine command. The judgement is then delivered in the court of God and our destiny for this birth and our next births is decided. God is truth. His court is truth. So the considerations or deliberations done on our deeds are also of a truthful nature. No injustice is done to anybody. Every action of every human is carefully considered and judgement is delivered. None of our actions goes unnoticed.

                        Tithai sohan panch parvaan               Nadree karam pavai neesaan

Tithai – at that place, there. Sohan – look sublime. Panch – the exalted ones. Parvaan – who have stamp of approval. Nadree – He who showers blessings. Karam – grace, blessing. Pavai – is put. Neesaan – stamp of approval, marked as approved.

Those who listen to Guru’s teachings and give such teachings a practical shape in their lives, become the exalted ones or the chosen one. Their mind is fully occupied by love of God. So they become God’s loved one. They become PANCH of Pauree 16. Guru Ji says that such exalted ones or PANCH look sublime in the court of God. Graceful God showers His blessings and puts His stamp of approval on them. They are thus marked as His chosen ones.

                        Kach pakaaee othai paae                   Nanak gae-aa jaapai jaae

Kach – incomplete, unripe. Pakaaee – complete, ripe. Othai – there. Paae – to find. Gae-aa – When one goes there. Jaapai – to know. Jaapai jaae – to come to know.

In that way every human being is marked in the court of God according to his deeds, according to the extent of love of God they had in their minds and according to the extent of elevation they achieved in ethical and spiritual ladder. Thus every human being gets marked as incomplete or complete, sinner or emancipated, PANCH or condemned in the court of God. Guru Ji thus says that in the court of God, every human is stamped good or bad, sinner or emancipated. Some people always doubt the existence of next birth or action and reward philosophy. Guru Ji says that such people would find the reality when they would actually have the judgement in the court of God.

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Pauree 35

             Dharam khand kaa eho dharam                   Giaan khand kaa aakho karam      

            Kete pavan paanee vaisantar                       Kete kaan mahes

            Kete barme ghaarat ghareeaih                     roop rang ke ves

            Keteeaa karam bhoomee mer kete                Kete dhoo updes

            Kete ind chand soor kete                             Kete mandal des

            Kete sidh budh naath kete                           Kete devee ves

            Kete dev daanav mun kete                           Kete ratan samund

            Keteeaa khaanee keteeaa baanee                 Kete paat narind

           Keteeaa surtee sevak kete                            Nanak ant na ant

In Pauree-34 Guru Nanak Dev Ji told us about the situation of earth in space and about the purpose for which God created the planet earth. Guru Ji also told us that God bestowed upon us this human life to purify our souls and get a stamp of approval in the court of God. In Pauree- 35, Guru Ji widens the sphere of our knowledge about God’s creations other than our earth in this universe.

                        Dharam khand kaa eho dharam                     Giaan khand kaa aakhoh karam

Dharam-righteous principles. Khand- region. Aakhoh- to say. Karam- action.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that such are the righteous principles of the sphere of pious living. In other words, whatever was stated in the last Pauree was the principle of righteous living. Now in this Pauree, the sphere of knowledge is explained or the knowledge of creations of God other than earth is given.

                        Kete pavan paanee vaisantar             Kete kaan mahes

                        Kete barme ghaarat ghareeaih           roop rang ke ves

Kete- innumerable. Pavan- air. Paanee- water. Vaisantar- fire. Kaan- lord Krishna, Vishnu.Mahes- lord Shiva. Barme- lord Brahma. Roop- complexion. Rang- colour. Ves- type, guise

Guru Nanak Dev Ji here describes the immensity of our universe. Our earth is surrounded by an atmosphere of air, has water on its surface and has fire or immense heat inside it. Scientists know the composition of our air, water and heat. For example our air is composed of gases like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide among others. Our water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. We also know when fire burns what gases burn and what gases are given off. Guru Ji says that there are innumerable types of airs, waters or liquids and fires on innumerable planets in this universe. We do not know the composition of all these airs, waters and fires. Similarly it is believed that Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva is the destroyer for this planet earth. Guru Ji says that there are millions of planets in this universe. On this analogy, there should be countless number of Brahmas, Vishnu (or Krishna) and Shiva in this universe to look after countless number of earth like planets. These Brahmas must have created countless types of creations of countless hues, forms and guises.

                        Keteeaa karam bhumee mer kete                   Kete dhoo updes

Keteeaa- innumerable. Karat- actions. Bhoomee- lands. Mer- Kailash mountains, Sumer parbat. Dhoo- pole star, here a name of a saint who was devotee of Shiva. Updes- teachings.

As already stated, God has created the earth for righteous living so that God awards us accordingly. Our good or bad destiny is made by our good or bad deeds. Our earth is therefore called Karam bhoomee, which means the land where whatever we will sow, so shall we reap. Guru Ji says that there are innumerable Karam bhoomees in our universe. Mer, also called Sumer parbat, is the hilltop where lord Shiva is supposed to be sitting in meditation. Guru Ji says that there are countless numbers of Sumer parbats in this universe where countless number of Shiva are sitting in meditation. Dhroo or Dhruv, son of a king, was badly treated by his stepmother and was deprived of his claim to the throne. Through teachings from his guru, NARAD, Dhruv sat in meditation for many years and ultimately reached the door of God. According to Hindu mythology, Dhruv was made immortal and was established as a pole star in the sky.  Guru Ji says that there are countless numbers of princes like Dhruv who got their teachings from their gurus and sat in their meditation to achieve enlightenment in this universe.

                            Kete ind chand soor kete                    Kete mandal des

                            Kete sidh budh naath kete                  Kete devee ves 

Ind- god Indra, god of rain, also called the king of heaven. Chand- moon. Soor- sun. Mandal- continents. Des- countries. Sidh- accomplished saints. Budh- enlightened sages. Nath- chiefs of sect of sadhus. Devee- goddess. Ves- forms, guises.

Guru Ji further says that there are innumerable numbers of Indras, moons and suns in this universe. Also, there are countless numbers of solar systems with innumerable continents and countries. Similarly there are countless numbers of accomplished saints, enlightened sages and chiefs of myriads of sects of sadhus on those lands. In ancient Hindu literature, goddess Parbati, the consort of lord Shiva, is said to have taken a number of incarnations to eliminate demons from this planet earth in each of her incarnation. Some of these incarnations are known as DURGA,KALI,CHINTPURNI, GAURI, SHAKUMBRI, and VAISHNODEVI among others. Guru Ji says that there are innumerable numbers of incarnations of goddess Parbati in this universe.

                            Kete dev daanav mun kete                 Kete ratan samund

                            Keteeaa khaanee keteeaa baanee      Kete paat narind

Dev- gods. Daanav- demons. Mun- ascetics. Ratans- jewels. Samund- sea, ocean. Khaanee- categories of living beings. Baanee- languages, speeches, voices. Paat- saintly kings. Narind- kings.

Continuing further on the immensity of nature, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that there are innumerable gods, demons and ascetics in this universe. There are countless numbers of seas and oceans and innumerable types of pearls and jewels, which are present in these oceans. According to the ancient literature, all living beings on earth are categorized into four Khaanees (categories). These are ANDAJ (from eggs), JERAJ (milk sucking mammals), SETAJ (parasites on other living beings) and UTBHUJ (living in soil). Guru Ji says that there are countless numbers of Khaanees in this universe and there are innumerable voices and sounds produced by the living beings of these Khaanees. Also, there are countless numbers of kings and emperors who rule over the living beings living in these Khaanees.

                    Keteeaa surtee sevak kete                  Nanak ant na ant

Guru Ji further says that there are countless numbers of those who are absorbed in the meditation of God and there are innumerable of those who are servants of God. By servants of God, Guru Ji probably means those who serve the mankind in one way or the other, as service to mankind is service to God. In the end Guru Ji says that there is no end to the numbers of creations of God. The components of our universe are so many in numbers that these  cannot be counted on any scale.

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Pauree 36

                        Giaan khand maih giaan parchand                 Tithai naad binod kod anand

                    Saram khand kee baanee roop                       Tithai ghaarat ghareeai bahut anoop

                    Taa keeaa gallaa katheeaa naa jaaeh             Je ko kahe pichhai pachhtaae

                    Tithai ghareeai surat mat man budh               Tithai ghareeai suraa sidhaa kee sudh       

After elucidating the situation of the planet earth and after describing the immensity of components of our universe, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now describes, in this Pauree, the extent of elevation to which intellectual, ethical and spiritual level of humans can be achieved. These achievements can only be made through hard work and sincere effort.

                    Giaan khand maih giaan parchand                Tithai naad binod kod anand

Giaan- knowledge. Khand- region. Maih- in. Parchand- shine. Tithai- at that place. Naad- voices, sounds. Binod- enjoyment. Kod- fun. Anand- joy

Guru Ji says that in the sphere of knowledge, the enlightenment of mind about earth and other celestial bodies in this universe reigned supreme. In this sphere, the mind gained knowledge about myriads of melodious voices, innumerable fun fares and sublime visions of God’s creations and unlimited sources of joy hidden in these creations.

There is always a sense of satisfaction and hidden pleasure when we gain some kind of knowledge, be it of spiritual nature or of a material nature, Guru Ji perhaps preaches us about the same type of enjoyment and pleasure which we get after enlightenment about the universe and its functioning. We enjoy myriads of types of beauties of nature on this planet earth. There are innumerable earth like planets in this universe with innumerable types of nature and innumerable types of beauties hidden in them. Guru Ji takes us to the highest level of beauties hidden in innumerable God’s creations in this universe.

                    Saram khand kee baanee roop                       Tithai ghaarat ghareeai bahut anoop

Saram- endeavour. Baanee- language. Roop- complexion. Ghaarat- that is moulded. Ghareeai- to mould. Bahut- too much. Anoop- that is beyond any praise or admiration in words.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji calls this sphere as the language of manifestation of our inner self or our real self. This is thus a sphere of spiritual endeavour to mould our mind in such a spiritual beauty, which cannot be described in words. The beauty of our physical being can be described in words as different parts of body can be seen and touched. We can hear the voice and judge its sweetness. But the beauty of mind, which has scaled intellectual heights and has achieved spiritual enlightenment, cannot be described in words. Guru Ji therefore says that in the sphere of spiritual endeavour, human life is moulded into such a sublime living that it cannot be expressed in words.

                       Taa keeaa galaa katheeaa  naa jaaeh                        Je ko kahe pichhe pachhtaae    

Taa- of that. Galaa- talks. Katheeaa- to express. Kahe- to say. Pichhe- after that. Pachhtaae- to repent.

Guru Ji further says that the sphere of spiritual endeavour cannot be discussed in words or debates. The state of a human being who has attained spiritual enlightenment through spiritual endeavour cannot be explained in words. If some body tries to do so, he will have to repent in the long run when he will realize that what ever he has said or described was too little to explain the sphere of endeavour.

In Pauree 12 also, Guru Ji has said that we cannot describe the level of living of those who have given a practical shape to the Guru’s teachings. If some body tries to describe that level, he will miserably fail and will repent when he will come to know that what ever was said was too little. In this Pauree also, Guru Ji expresses the same opinion for the spiritual endeavour as pious living along with spiritual enlightenment takes a devotee nearest to God.

                    Tithai ghareeai surt mat man budh                Tithai ghareeai suraa sidhaa kee sudh

Surt- consciousness. Mat- analytical part of mind. Man- intelligence. Budh- wisdom, reasoning. Suraa- gods. Sidh- elevated saints. Sudh- vision, to know.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji now explains various steps by which spiritual enlightenment can be achieved through spiritual endeavour. The spiritual endeavour comprises of four steps of development of our mind. These are the development of Surat (consciousmess), Mat (analytical capability), Man (intelligence) and Budh (wisdom).

Surat (consciousness). Surat means totality of our thoughts or feelings. With Guru’s teachings, we can develop our Surat to a level when we become aware of all by which we are surrounded. New thoughts come to our mind through the type of thinking that is compatible to Guru’s teachings. All our five senses (senses of hearing, seeing, speaking, smelling and touching) become tuned to Guru’s teachings and we accordingly formulate our ideas for our actions in our life. Right and accurate perception of the subjects is necessary to develop our Surat in the right direction and following Guru’s teachings can only do this. In Surat, which is developed in right direction, our mental faculties remain awake and we remain aware of every thing, which affects us in our day-to-day life.

Mat. Mat is the analysing part of our mind. It analyses each and every thought, which is conceived by our Surat as good or bad before storing in our mind. Spiritually developed Mat chooses what is good for us and shuns what is bad or not compatible with Guru’s teachings. Fully developed Mat is able to identify the evils, which can malign our soul. This helps the mind to protect itself from the bad effects of these evils.

Man. Man shows how quick our mind is to understand ideas conceived by the Surat, analysed by our Mat and stored in the mind. Man also helps our Budh to quickly give a practical shape to these ideas. Thus Man helps Mat and Surat on one hand and Budh on the other hand. Development of our Man indicates the sharpness of our mind to understand and execute the ideas.

Budh. Budh is the experience, knowledge and reasoning part of our mind. Budh is also the power of the mind to apply the experience and knowledge for critical and practical execution of any action or work. Thus the ultimate outcome of any action or effort depends on our wisdom; the greater the wisdom, the better would be the work executed and the best would be the results. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji thus says that in the sphere of spiritual endeavour, we develop our Surat, Mat, Man and Budh according to the teachings of our Guru. With the development of all these aspects of our mind, a vision of gods and the most exalted saints dawns on us. In other words, we get the knowledge why the gods are gods and how the exalted saints acquired their stage of spiritual enlightenment. We can thus equip ourselves with the knowledge to acquire all those properties, which all the gods possess, and to attempt all those measures by which the exalted saints have become God’s chosen ones. In the sphere of spiritual endeavour, Guru Ji thus teaches us how we can attain the highest level of ethical, intellectual and spiritual living.

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Pauree 37

                    Karam khand kee baanee jor               Tithai hor na koee hor

                 Tithai jodh mahaabal soor                  Tin meh Raam rahiaa bharpoor

                Tithai seeto seetaa mahimaa maahe    Taa ke roop na kathne jaahe

                Naa oh marhe na thaage jaahe            Jin kai Raam vasai man maahe

                Tithai bhagat vasai ke loe                   Kareh anand sachaa man soe

                Sach khand vasai Nirankaar                 Kar kar vekhai nadar nihaal

                Tithai khand mandal varbhand             Je ko kahe ta ant na ant

                Tithai loe loe aakaar                          Jiv jiv hukam tivai tiv kaar

                Vekhai vigsai kar veechaar                  Nanak kathnaa kar-raa saar

Guru Nanak Dev Ji told us about the sphere of spiritual endeavour to attain spiritual enlightenment by development of our consciousness, MAT, intelligence and wisdom. Armed with this heighest level of development of our mind, now Guru Ji takes us to the sphere of activity or action (karam). First ten verses of this Pauree elucidate the sphere of action or activity. The next six verses describe the sphere of truth or sphere of God.

                Karam khand kee baanee jor             Tithai hor na koee hor

Karam- action, activity. Jor- might, power, strength. Hor- else. Koe- any thing.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the language of sphere of action is might or power. Nothing else works in that sphere. Here power or might is perhaps used by Guru Ji as power of mind (where all aspects of mind including Surat, Mat, Man and Budhi are highly developed) as well as physical strength. For a healthy and intellectual mind, a healthy body is equally important. Guru Ji perhaps for this reason preaches us in this Pauree to become both physically and intectually strong in order to execute any action or activity judiciously and wisely. 

                        Tithai jodh mahaabal soor                 Tin meh Raam raheaa bharpoor

Jodh- warriors. Mahaabal- men of great strength. Soor- brave. Tin- in them. Raheaa- remains. Bharpoor- full of, fully absorbed.

Guru Ji says that in this sphere of action, there had been great warriors, men of great strength and brave persons because they possessed both physical strength as well as strong spiritual power coupled with high intellectual development. Here again Guru Ji perhaps mentions those warriors, powerful and brave persons who had fought both external and internal enemies. They fought the external enemies to save their motherland and internal enemies like sex, anger, greed, attachment and ego to achieve intellectual and ethical heights. These warriors and brave men achieved these heights only because their minds were fully absorbed in the name of God or NAM or Ram. These enlightened ones had love of God in their minds and they did what God desired them to do. They obeyed the divine command enshrined in them and they thus spent their lives according to the dictates of God.

                        Tithai seeto seetaa mehimaa maahe               Taa ke roop na kathne jaahe

                        Naa oh mareh na thaage jaahe                      Jin ke Raam vasai man mahe

Seeto- women like Sita. Seetaa- Consort of Lord Rama. Mahimaa- importance, praise. Maahe- inside. Taa- their. Roop- beauty. Mareh- to die. Thaage- to be deceived. Vasai- resides.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that there had been great women like sita and others like her who achieved greatness, because their mind was occupied with God’s love or they were absorbed in the name of God or NAM. Their beauty was beyond description in words. Here also beauty means not only physical beauty but beauty of mind or beauty of purity of their thoughts or beauty of their pious and righteous living also. Guru Ji further says that those who were absorbed in God’s name or who had God’s love in their minds will never die in the hearts of the people though their mortal beings are no more in this world. Such great persons were not taken in by the worldly pleasures because they had conquered over all the five evils.

                    Tithai bhagat vaseh ke loe                  Kareh anand sachaa man soe

Bhagat- devotee. Loe- land, sphere. Anand- bliss. Sachaa- truth, God. Soe- same. Ke- various.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the bhagats or chosen ones of God from various lands reside in this sphere of action. These bhagats are always in a state of eternal bliss and everlasting happiness because they have truth or God in their mind. When a devotee gains the knowledge of highest spiritual and intellectual level from his guru and gives a practical shape to this knowledge by his actions in his life, he becomes a bhagat or God’s chosen one.

                     Sach khand vasae Nirankaar             Kar kar vekhai nadar nihaal

Sach khand- land of truth. Kar kar- after creation. Vekhai- looks after. Nadar- glance, sight. Nihaal- that brings happiness, grace.

This is the last sphere, which is named by Guru Ji as the sphere of truth or the sphere where God lives. In Pauree-32, Guru Nanak Dev Ji told us about the stairs which when climbed take us to the door of God or to the land of truth or to SACHKHAND. After climbing the steps of continuous recitation of God’s name, righteous living (Dharam), enlightenment (Gian), spiritual endeavour (Saram) and action or activity (Karam), Guru Ji has now brought the devotee to the door of God or the land of truth or SACHKHAND. Guru Ji says that in the sphere of truth, resides the formless supreme or God. He is the creator and looks after His creation and casts His glance of grace on all of His creations.

                     Tithai khand mandal varbhand                      Je ko kathai ta ant na ant

                     Tithai loe loe aakaar                                       Jiv jiv hukam tivai tiv kaar

Khand- regions. Mandal- lands. Varbhand- universe. Ant- end. Loe- land. Aakaar- creation. Jiv- as. Kaar- action.

God’s kingdom comprises of all His creations over which He rules by His divine command. Guru Ji says that God’s kingdom includes lands, countries and whole of the universe. If somebody tries to count these creations, he will find that there is no end to them. They are countless in number. They extend endlessly. God’s creations are in endless worlds. All these creations are under the supreme command of God and work as God ordains them to work.

                        Vekhai vigsai kar veechaar                Nanak kathnaa kar-raa saar

Vekhai- sees, looks after. Vigsai- becomes happy. Kathnaa- to explain. Saar- iron.

Guru Ji says that God governs over His whole kingdom in His divine bliss and keeps watch on every thing, which has been created by Him. It is as hard as iron to describe Him and His kingdom. In other words it is difficult to narrate the constitution under which God governs His kingdom.

From Pauree32-37, Guru Ji has thus shown us five steps to reach the door of God. First step was to purify our thinking by repeated recitation of God’s name. Second step was to achieve righteous living. Third step was to understand our earth and other celestial bodies in the universe. This step also made us realize the reality behind the existense of various gods and goddesses. In the fourth step Guru Ji emphasized on the development of our Surat, Mat, Man and Budhi. Fifth step was spiritual endeavour to achieve spiritual enlightenment. This step showed us the way to develop a sound body and a strong intellectual, spiritual and ethical power of mind to fight both external and internal enemies. Last step leads us to the door of God or to the sphere of truth where God lives.

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Pauree 38

                        Jat paahaaraa dheeraj suniaar               Ahran mat ved hathiaar

                        Bhau khalaa agne tap taao                    Bhaandaa bhaao amrit tit dhaal

                        Ghareeai sabad sachee taksaal              Jin kau nadar karam tin kaar

                        Nanak nadree nadar nihaal

This is the concluding Pauree of Jap Ji Sahib. Up to Pauree No 37, Guru Ji endeavoured to convert an ordinary human to an enlightened soul, a beloved of God or God’s most chosen one. Guru Ji showed the way to reach those stairs, which lead to the door of God. Then Guru Ji taught us how to climb those stairs, step by step, to reach the court of God to be one with Him. Guru Ji also taught us the importance of a religious guru in our lives to attain spiritual enlightenment. Along with spiritual enlightenment Guru Ji also sermonized on the immensity of God’s powers and innumerability of God’s creations. Guru Ji also removed some of our common misbeliefs from our minds, as these misbeliefs do not have any logical basis. In the last Pauree, Guru Ji preaches us a simple way to convert our life to an edeal living, which would find a stamp of approval from God.

                        Jat paahaaraa dheeraj suniaar                      Ahran mat ved hathiaar

Jat- control over senses. Paahaaraa- workshop, smithy. Dheeraj- patience, perseverance. Siniaar- goldsmith. Ahran- anvil. Hathiaar- implements

All the activites of a human life are controlled by ten senses and a mind. These ten senses include five senses of perception (senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching), five senses of actions (speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals). The human mind controls all these senses. It is in fact up to a human mind to make good or bad use of these senses. Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the process of having complete control over our senses is like working in a workshop of a goldsmith. As the goldsmith makes beautiful ornaments from a piece of gold in his smithy, complete control over our senses makes our lives sublime and radiant like gold ornaments. But this control can only be achieved with great patience and perseverance. In other words, we need to possess the patience of a goldsmith to gain complete control over our senses. Patience of a goldsmith is well known when he engraves beautiful patterns on gold ornaments. The first step to have complete control over the senses is to tune our Mat, the analytical part of our mind, in such a way that it analyses those thoughts, which help the mind to use the senses for right actions only. Bombarding the Mat with guru’s knowledge just as a goldsmith uses his hammer to strike gold on an anvil to give it the right shape can do this.

                        Bhau khalaa agne tap taao                 Bhaandaa bhaao amrit tit dhal

Bhau- God’s fear. Khalaa- bellows. Agne- fire. Tap- to meditate. Taao- heat, hardships in meditation. Bhaandaa- crucible, utensil. Bhaao- love. Amrit- NAM as NAM makes a person immortal. Amrit is that liquid which makes a person immortal. Dhaal- to mould

Guru Ji further says that the fear of God in our mind helps us to tune our mind towards thinking and doing good deeds. With God’s fear in our mind, we will feel that God exists all around us and our every action is under His strict vigilence. We will not then allow any bad thought to enter into our mind. Hard labour and strong determination will help us to resist the bombardment of our mind with evil thoughts like those of sex, greed, attachment, ego, anger, violence, jealousy, hatred, backbiting, thievery among others. Our mind can only be purified through Hard labour and strong determination under the umbrella of fear of God, just as the gold is purified by melting it in fire which is kept burning by air supplied by the bellows. A goldsmith puts the gold into the fire and keeps the fire burning through supply of air by the bellows to melt the gold for purification. In this way our mind will gradually start obeying the divine command enshrined within us and will then be filled with God’s love. God’s love in the mind is an ideal receptacle or crucible for obtaining NAM, which makes a devotee immortal. That is how we will be able to have NAM in our mind where the love of God will act like a receptacle. A goldsmith uses a crucible to melt the gold and mould it into ornaments.

                        Ghareeai sabad sachee taksaal

Ghareeai- to mould. Sabad- NAM, word, here life based on NAM. Sachee- true. Taksaal- an ideal life

Guru Ji says that in this way we can mould our life into an ideal, truthful life, which will shine like gold ornaments in this world as well as in the court of God.

                        Jin kau nadar karam tin kaar             Nanak nadree nadar nihaal

Jin kau- to whom. Nadar- glance. Karam- grace. Kaar- work, deed. Nadree- he who showers blessings, God. Nihaal- blessed, happy.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji then concludes that only those who are blessed by God achieve fulfilment of their objective of moulding an ideal and truthful life as described above. Those blessed ones achieve eternal happiness by the gracious glance of God.

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SALOKA

Pavan guru paanee pitaa        maataa dharat mahat

Divas raat doe daee daaiaa        khelai sagal jagat

Changiaaeeaa buriaaeeaa        vaachai dharam hadoor

Karmee aapo aapmee        ke nerai ke door

Jinee naam dhiaaiaa        gaie masakat ghaal

Nanak te mukh ujle        ketee chhutee naal

Jap Ji Sahib ends with a sloka, which highlights the life and death cycle and action and reward philosophy. Days and nights determine the passage of time and act like a cradle in which we humans play out our lives. Our good or bad deeds determine our acceptance or rejection by God.

                            Pavan guru paanee pitaa                   maataa dharat mahat

Pavan- air. Paanee- water. Pitaa- father. Maataa- mother. Dharat- earth. Mahat- great, that which has an importance.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that air is our guru or teacher, water is the father or the progenitor and the great earth is the mother of all of us. Guru is a person who eradicates darkness or ignorance from our lives. Similarly air is our breath and when we take our first breath after our birth, we come out of darkness into the light of our life. The moment of death will indicate our last breath in our life and we will be again thrown into the darkness of time awaiting the next birth. Thus air is a vital force in our life and without air we will be groping into the darkness of death. Similarly guru is also a vital force in our life and without guru we will be groping into the darkness of ignorance. Air gives us life and a guru gives us a purpose to live. Without air we die and without a  guru we will be like a dead person.

Water is the progenitor or father of all of us. Father gave us life. Water also gives life to every living being including plants on this planet earth. Nothing can grow on this earth without water and no living being can survive without water. Thus water sustains every living being on earth just like a father who sustains his family and like God, the father of all of us, sustains every thing in this universe. Water as a sustainer is thus father of all of us.

A mother gives birth to her children. Earth gives birth to all the plants and myriads of living organisms. A mother feeds her children. All food, which feeds all living beings, grows from earth. The tolerance of a mother towards her children is well known. So is the tolerance of mother earth. In fact all of us call the earth as mother earth. The great earth is therefore the mother of all of us.

                        Divas raat doe daaee daaiaa              khelai sagal jagat

Divas= day. Raat- night. Doe- both, two of them. Daaee- nurse. Daaiaa- male nurse.

Guru Ji says that days and nights are like male and female nurses and they caress the entire world in their laps. Our life is the span of time between the birth and death. We measure this time in terms of days and nights or months and years. Time thus plays with us the game of our life. Our life game comes to an end when our time ends. As the nurses nurture the infants and children, so the time nurtures us from birth to death. Our life ends when the caressing hand of time is withdrawn from us.

                        Changiaaeeaa buriaaeeaa                  vaachai dharam hadoor

                        Karmee aapo aapnee                          ke nerai ke door

Changiaaeeaa- good deeds. Buriaaeeaa- bad deeds. Vaachai- is judged. Dharam- god of death. Hadoor- in front of. Karmee- actions, deeds. Aapo- own. Ke- many. Nerai- near. Door- at distance, away.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that our good or bad deeds would be judged in the court of God. We would  rewarded or punished according to our deeds. Good doers would be nearest to God and evildoers would remain separated from God.

                        Jinee naam dhiaaiaa               gaie masakat ghaal

                        Nanak te much ujle                 ketee chhutee naal

Jinee- who. Dhiaaiaa- has practised. Gaia- has gone. Masakat- hard endeavour. Ghaal- has done hard work. Mukh- face. Ujle- clean. Ketee- so many. Chhutee- has attained salvation. Naal- with

In the end Guru Ji says that those who had love of God or NAM in their minds and who had worked hard to spend their lives according to the will of God will gain salvation after death. They had earned the love of God through hard endeavour. They had spent their lives according to the dictates of the divine command within them. Their minds remained tuned to NAM, to God’s word or to God’s will. Their faces were therefore radiant with divine light when they left this world. Not only they but also thousands others benefited from their pious life. They taught guru’s teachings to thousands others who also spent their lives according to their guru’s teachings. Thus not only did  they leave this World with radiant faces, but thousands of others also got salvation along with them

The end.

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Acknowledgements

My thanks are due to Mrs. Jaswinder, my daughter-in-law, for improving the English of the text and to my grand daughters, Sonia and Monia, for typing the text of this book.

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Haukum

Daily Hukamnama in English

  • DHANAASAREE, FIFTH MEHL: I am satisfied and satiated, eating the food of Truth. With my mind, body and tongue, I meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord. || 1 || Life, spiritual life, is in the Lord. Spiritual life consists of chanting the Lord’s Name in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. || 1 || Pause || He is dressed in robes of all sorts, if he sings the Kirtan of the Lord’s Glorious Praises, day and night. || 2 || He rides upon elephants, chariots and horses, if he sees the Lord’s Path within his own heart. || 3 || Meditating on the Lord’s Feet, deep within his mind and body, slave Nanak has found the Lord, the treasure of peace. || 4 || 2 || 56 || Hukamnama from SikhNet.com

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