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4th Pauri: 3rd Ashtapadee: Sukhmani Sahib

Discussion in 'Sukhmani Sahib' started by Amarpal, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Amarpal

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    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jun 11, 2004
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    Dear Khalsa Ji,
    In this post I share my understanding of 4th Pauri of 3rd Ashtapadee of Sukhmani Sahib with you.
    1. huqu isAwxp jm kw Bau ibAwpY ] bahut si-aanap jam kaa bha-o bi-aapai.
    Even with enormous cleverness the fear of death fills the being of the person.

    My understanding:
    Cleverness is one of the tools used in worldly life to forge ahead of others. It is a servant of Ahamkara. With every apparent success, it reinforces Ahamkara. It increasingly makes the person more and more worldlier. It increase and widens the attachments of the person to this worldly life and increases their severity. The person wishes to continue living and keep enjoying the worldly pleasures. Consequently the fear of death increases; its intensity becomes more and more as the person’s attachments in this world i.e. Samsara intensify. Cleverness in of no avail in getting over the fear of death; on the contrary, as explained above, it contributes in enhancing this fear. In this sentence Guru Sahib has pointed out this truth to his Sikhs.
    2. Aink jqn kir iqRsn nw DRwpY ] anik jatan kar tarisan naa Dharaapai.
    Many attempts made, but the thirst (caused by desires) never gets quenched.

    My understanding:
    Persons keep trying to get over the desires. The moment one desire gets fulfilled, another rises and this process goes on in a never ending manner. The thirst never gets satisfied and the person spends all her or his life in trying to meet the demands imposed by these desires. This way person lives a life divorced from the real purpose for which the individual is born in human form. Guru Sahib has said that being born in the human form is the chance to link up with ‘The Sat’.
    In this sentence Guru Sahib tells that living in this world with an egoistic mind attached to world of pleasures results in worldly life close to that of an animal. With this frame of mind no matter how much one physically runs away from the world of pleasures, yet these desires of such pleasures remains in abstract and unsatisfied form in the mind; they never get satisfied.
    Running away from the world is not the solution. It is the purity of mind that allows seeing the truth behind the desires and the acts that appear to be satisfying them temporarily before they rises again. With this knowledge of truth the person is better equipped to master the part of the mind where the desires originate and ultimately come out of the traps created by desires. Guru Sahib has said that this purity of mind is achieved through way of ‘Naam’.
    3. ByK Anyk Agin nhI buJY ] bhaykh anayk agan nahee bujhai.
    Many appearances but the raging fire is not extinguished.

    My understanding:
    Guru Sahib is referring to the demand by some sects to wear a special type of attire, alteration in normal human features and practices that go with the specific physical appearances of the individual to achieve spiritual evolution. I elaborate these below.
    There is a sect in India which demands wearing of rings in the ear to achieve certain powers. There is another which demands splitting of the lower part of the ear, some demand wearing black cloths other demand wearing white cloths only, some demand wearing ‘Tilak’ on their forehead, the design of this Tilak is different for followers of Shiva and those of Vishnu. Some demand staying naked other say they should not only remain naked but smear the entire body with ash, some demand wearing beads of a special tree (Rudraksha), other demand certain number of beads in the ‘Mala’ (necklace) of specific colour; some demand shaving the head completely other asks for doing it partially. This is endless.
    These people miss the point that all what ‘The Sat’ has done is natural and why to act against the will of ‘The Sat’; if the attire and un-natural physical appearance could please the ‘Absolute’ then the models, who walk on ramps during fashion shows, also must be getting elevated spiritually; we know this does is not the case; it does not happen. In the same way un-natural physical features and appearances have nothing to do with spirituality. They do contribute to the purity of mind which is needed for spiritual evolution. All these practices are mechanical in nature; they can work on body which is physical – a tangible entity – and on nothing beyond. These methods and practices cannot even touch or influence the entities that are not tangible and we know that mind is intangible. These paths cannot change the mind and hence such practices are not the way for spiritual evolution.
    Such changes in attire and physical appearances do not change the frame of mind; the desires in such mind are the same which burn in any worldly attached human being which cannot be extinguished by just changing appearance. This is what Guru Sahib has pointed out to his Sikhs. Purity of mind is needed which comes through the way of ‘Naam’.
    4. koit aupwv drgh nhI isJY ] kot upaav dargeh nahee sijhai.
    Millions of suggested efforts, but the spiritual world is not found.

    My understanding:
    The religious systems suggest means to get over problems. These may include chanting some mantras for specific number of times, fasting, giving money and gifts to priests and Brahmins, serving them meals on specified days with delicacies, disposing off or wearing some specified precious stone, visiting some specified places of pilgrimage and performing some religious procedures, following some Tantric practice, eating specified food, sitting in specified posture or following some given yogic exercise or observing some austerities, abstaining from sex, joining some religious discourse, talking bath after specified celestial even, not eating during specified celestial even, doing some things on specified days and not doing something on specified days of the week, not starting or doing anything during ‘Rahukalam’ (certain time of the day), wearing Tabiz (Charm), entering into some elaborate religious procedure and so on…… These are again endless. These are some of the efforts (upaav) prescribed by various religious streams of our land.
    Reading all that I have mentioned above, you can yourself make out that none of these can change the frame of mind of the individual concerned. These practices are addressed to some external agency that the individual is trying to please or coerce to work for them. Guru Sahib has very clearly said that no one can bend the will of ‘The Sat’; no one can coerce ‘The Absolute’. By these methods the individuals fool themselves into believing that the external agency has been activated and hence the individual will be getting the desired result. When it does not happen then this person switches on to another method without realizing that it too will fail. All these are the ways of professional priests to earn their own livelihood. In my considered opinion they have nothing to do with spirituality; there are the outputs of Bhagwangiri (profession of selling God), a form of livelihood in of primitive societies. Guru Sahib is pointing this out to his Sikhs in this sentence.
    To evolve in spiritual domain, mental purity is what is needed. This purity is achieved by way of ‘Naam’; this is the message of Guru Sahib.
    5, CUtis nwhI aUB pieAwil ] chhootas naahee oobh pa-i-aal.
    One cannot get rid of the filled cup of desires.

    My understanding:
    As we are in this world, we keep running all the time to satisfy some desire; there is always something not yet completed, not achieved, not acquired or not enjoyed. This is the way any worldly (Samsari) person is. This is what Guru Sahib is pointing out. It implies that each one of us has to undergo a transformation, naturally at the level of brain formatting, because the nature of mind is the product of brain formatting. This transformation can come when the individual is able to see the true nature of what she or he is seeking. This ability of seeing the true nature comes when the mind is pure. The purity of mind comes by the way of ‘Naam’. This is the message that I get from this sentence of Guru Sahib.
    6. moih ibAwpih mwieAw jwil ] mohi bi-aapahi maa-i-aa jaal.
    Saturated with attachments is the net of Maya (false perception)

    My understanding:
    Guru Sahib new all what science is telling us now? I explain how the sense inputs are processed by our brain and how they get distorted and lead us to an inaccurate perception.
    The information that the five sense organs collect are processed by different systems of our brain. The weighing factors that are attached to each input are based on our current desires and the state of mind, past memories, beliefs and values. All of us know that out of the total information that the senses collect some of the information gets totally discarded and some information gets enhanced consideration. This results in different perception by different people even when they have seen the same entity or experience the same event. These weighing factors create distortion. Sum total of the processes and factors that create a false perception in our mind which one takes to be true is Maya; Maya is a collective word for them. They keep us away from the truth. I elaborate: If you have a very nasty experience with someone of a particular appearance, the moment another person of similar appearance comes to interact with you, the brain transfer the image of your past experience with the earlier person of similar experience to this person too. In reality this new person may or may not at all be like the first person in behavior. This wrong perception gets created in our mind, the interaction gets biased. The mind which is pure sees every thing as fresh, though it has past memory, it is not biased. This pure mind gets formed by way of ‘Naam’. This is what I understand from this sentence.
    7. Avr krqUiq sglI jmu fwnY ] avar kartoot saglee jam daanai.
    All bad deeds are the feed for the agency of death.

    My understanding:
    Kartoot is the word used in Punjabi for bad deeds. What is Jam needs to be understood. Jam is a conceptual entity in the ancient scripture of the land that takes the person to Chitragupta (another conceptual entity) for justice after death. What is visualized as Jam is fearful. This depiction is not real. As I understand this visualization is the artist’s way of depiction the fear of death. Death is nothing but the fear of loosing what one has, including the emotional attachment in this worldly living and physical pleasures. Once all this is viewed with a pure mind one realizes that this self is nothing but instrument and will of ‘The Sat’; the entities that the persons thinks to be hers or his in fact belong to ‘The Sat’ and are in her or his temporary custody only; attachments and aversions are not real they are made by mind based on like and dislikes, which themselves are relative and temporary. Every thing belongs to ‘The Sat’ and there is no real loss in death. Once the individual understands this one knows that she or he is the instrument of ‘The Sat’ and is here to carry out the will of ‘The Sat’. With this truth dawning on the individual the fear of death disappears from the mind of the individual.
    The bad deeds that the person does are only to gain some worldly advantage at the expense of others - to acquire something which really she or he has not earned by Kirt (honest work). These bad deeds are a proof of the worldly nature of this individual and her or his attachment to this worldly existence. The more are such deed the more intensely the person is worldly and so has greater fear of loosing all that she or he has acquired by unfair means, due to death. This way more are the Kartoots more is the fear of death. This is what I understand from Guru Sahib saying that ‘Kartoots are feed for the agency of death i.e. Jam’. Pure mind achieved thought the way of ‘Naam’ gives the individual to see the truth of entities and worldly processes where the individual does not fall into the trap of Maya under whose influence the ‘Kartoots’ (bad deeds) are committed. That is why Guru Sahib asks his Sikhs to follow the path of ‘Naam’.
    8. goivMd Bjn ibnu iqlu nhI mwnY ] govind bhajan bin til nahee maanai.
    Without the songs of ‘The Sat’ even the smallest is not accepted.

    My understanding:
    What is song of ‘The Sat’ needs to be understood. In the simplest meaning it is singing the praises of ‘The Sat’. But what can we praise? We do not know ‘The Sat’; what can we sing about ‘The Sat’. Words that can be used in songs can only mean what we human know, ‘The Sat’ is much beyond that ‘The Sat’ is infinite. Words will limit the unlimited; it will be an attempt to define the indefinable. This we know that we cannot do this.
    For this reason, the word ‘Bhajan’, which means devotional song, appears to me to be a metaphor. The Bhajan is not what we is commonly understood; it is not what is sung through vocal cords, but the real life of the Gurmukh which is sung by her or his being. It covers the thought, speech and actions of the Gurmukh. What ever the Gurmukh does in her or his life reflect the illumination received from ‘The Sat’ that is within each one of us. Living the life of a Gurmukh is singing the song i.e. ‘Bhajan’ of ‘The Sat’. According to me, it is this song that Guru Sahib is asking his Sikhs to sing. We know only pure mind can truly reflect the illumination received from ‘The Sat’ within; only pure mind is free from dirt (attachments and vices) that diminish/distort the reflection received from ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib has clearly said that the way to mental purity is through ‘Naam’ and without it even a smallest achievement in spiritual domain is not possible.
    9. hir kw nwmu jpq duKu jwie ] har kaa naam japat dukh jaa-ay.
    The sorrow vanishes by chanting the ‘Naam’ of ‘The Sat’.

    My understanding:
    As I understand, the word ‘har’ means the ability to win over (acquire) and absorb any entity without being affected. In the ancient scripture of the land, Shiva is said to have this ability. Shiva is said to have drunk the poison that came out of sea and prevent it from affecting the humanity; he himself was affected to a very limited extent; this throat had become blue. It is for this reason there is a prefix ‘har’ is added to his name ‘Mahadeva’ that gave the slogan ‘Har Har Mahadeva’; some times, in the scripture Shiva he is also referred to as ‘Hara’. This I am mentioning only to explain the meaning of the word ‘har’ and nothing more – ancient scripture of the land is not for Sikhs to follow. Here in this sentence for Sikhs it is ‘The Sat’ who is capable of absorbing all.
    Guru Sahib has said that the sorrow vanishes by chanting the ‘Naam’ of ‘har. It is true; how it happens needs to be understood. I explain as I understand. When the person is imbued with ‘Naam’ every event that happens and which does not happen despite putting in efforts are all because the will of ‘The Sat’. For the person whose being is imbued with ‘Naam’ i.e. Gurmukh, the sense of gains and losses vanishes; all dualities get dissolve; all events in life are understood to be the will of ‘The Sat’ and all achievements are dedicated to ‘The Sat’. The Gurmukh lives the meaning of the sentence ‘Siri Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Siri Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh’. In this state of being there is no feeling of sorrow. All is ‘Sat’ nothing but only ‘Sat’.
    We all know that one who is born has to die. Deaths and illness etc will still occur in the family of the person whose being is saturated with ‘Naam’, but this Gurmukh will not feel sorry for it. For Gurmukh every event is the will of ‘The Sat’. Even the being of the Gurmukh is only an instrument of ‘The Sat’. By living in ‘Naam’ there are no selfish and emotion attachments that can bind the Gurmukh. Gurmukh is free and lives in blissful ascendancy (Chhardian Kalan). Gurmukh is Jeevan Mukta (librated while living). All this is achieved by the way of ‘Naam’. This is the message of Guru Sahib in this sentence for his Sikhs.
    10. nwnk bolY shij suBwie ]4] naanak bolai sahj subhaa-ay. ||4||
    O’ Nanak, chant it with ease.

    My understanding:
    Guru Sahib asks his Sikhs to live in ‘Naam’ in a natural way. This way of life should be as natural as breathing is natural to beings. One should not be forced to think as what is in accordance with ‘Naam’; the right path should come instinctively to our mind. Here Chanting is not just limited to speech alone, it covers speech, action and thoughts and way of living; the ‘Naam’ saturates the being of the person. Gurmukh’s way of living is the song that goes out from this individual to all around and every bit of it conveys the ‘Naam’ which naturally is for ‘The Sat’. Living in ‘Naam should become the nature of Sikh.
    With this I close the post.
    With love and respect for all.
    Amarpal Singh
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