I beg to differ with you. Dr. Sant Singh's literal translation is full of distortions, misleading and does disservice to the beautiful Gurbani. I have no idea what you mean by melodramatic. Can you please elaborate that for the better understanding because that kind of term is used for soap operas not to understand and put Gurbani into practice?
I have no idea what you mean by the " Global meaning does suffice". What is the global meaning of what? Are you talking about the whole Shabad or the said verse or the word " Nirmal"?
The way I try to understand Gurbani, one can not take one word, in this case the word " Akhar" and find the literal translation and sees how it fits the best. The message that our Gurus want us to understand is in the RAHAO of each Shabad. If we understand the RAHAO part which is like the nectar of flower, then all petals falls into their respective places.
I will just post the RAHAO part of this beautiful Shabad from our 5th Guru and in a couple of days I will share with the cyber Sadh Sangat the way I understand the whole Shabad. ਸੰਤਹੁ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਰੀਐ ॥ संतहु सागरु पारि उतरीऐ ॥ Sanṯahu sāgar pār uṯrī▫ai. O Saints, cross over the world-ocean.
Here, Guru Sahib is calling all of us Saints. What an honour and privilege and a way to motivate all of us who are down trodden! He is telling us to confront all odds, negative things, obstacles, pot holes in order to lead a saintly life.
Now the question arises, what tools do we need/ have in order to live this life of Miri- Piri?
The next line explains that: ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬਚਨੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਸੰਤਨ ਕਾ ਸੋ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਤਰੀਐ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ जे को बचनु कमावै संतन का सो गुर परसादी तरीऐ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Je ko bacẖan kamāvai sanṯan kā so gur parsādī ṯarī▫ai. ||1|| rahā▫o. One who practices the Teachings of the Saints, by Guru's Grace, is carried across. ||1||Pause||
Kamavai literally means to earn something. In other words to make a living.
How can we make our spiritual living?
Let's not forget that Guru Sahib has already called us Saints in the first verse, So once again the English litertal translation is distorted because we as Saints have no teachings of our own as the translation would suggest.
We are Saints because we have Ik Ong Kaar with us as our Tillerman who can steer us across this ocean of Maya with His grace.
And how do we have this connection with Ik Ong Kaar?
It is by practicing the teachings given to us in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our ONLY GURU.
Now, keeping this central idea of RAHAO in mind, let me get back to the verse which has the word "AKHAR" in it. Ėk akẖar jo gurmukẖ jāpai ṯis kī nirmal so▫ī. ||3|| One who, as Gurmukh, chants the One Word, acquires a spotlessly pure reputation. ||3||
One who starts practicing even a single message ( Ek Akhar) of Gurbani, starts being on the Gurmat path and is called a Gurmukh which is neither a title, nor a destination but a start of the Gurmat journey because we all know that Sikhi path is a journey. Once this journey begins then he/she, the Gurmukh, finds the tools with the grace of Ik Ong Kaar to keep his/her spiritual collar clean.
The fact of the matter is that we as humans get dirty often around our collars.