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Japji Sahib - 28th Pauri

Discussion in 'Jap Ji Sahib' started by Amarpal, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. Amarpal

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    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Jun 11, 2004
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    Dear Members,

    Today, I share with you my understanding of 28th Pauri of Japji Sahib.

    1. muMdw sMqoKu srmu pqu JolI iDAwn kI krih ibBUiq ] munda santokh saram pat jholee Dhi-aan kee karahi bibhoot.

    Make contentment your earrings, humility the begging bowl and meditation as the ash that is applied to the body.

    My understanding:

    This sentence has deep meaning. Guru Sahib has conveyed to me the futility of the signs by which people of our land in ancient time distinguished spiritual people from the worldly ones. Guru Sahib is telling me that these external symbols have no meaning to ‘The Sat’; I should become internally pure, which ‘The Sat’ will know on its own. How to bring about this purity while living a life of the householder, Guru Sahib is teaching me through this sentence.

    Guru Sahib is telling me that there is no need to wear the earrings. Instead, I should live contended. I know that I can be contented only if I am in harmony with what I am and what my environment for my life is. This is possible, if I do my Karmas that my Dharma demands and happily harmonise with the Hukam that follows. It means I should not have any cravings that dictate to me the Karmas that I do.

    Them Guru Sahib takes another symbol that Saadhus carry i.e. the begging bowl, it is in such bowl that Saadhus received different items given to them by people. Guru Sahib tells me that what ever I receive in my life, I should receive with humility. In other words Guru sahib is telling me that all that comes to me is because of ‘The Sat’, all, including my life is given to me by ‘The Sat’ there is nothing mine in it and I should feel grateful for it – be humble. This is what Guru Sahib is teaching me.

    The third symbol that Guru Sahib has chosen to teach me is the ash that these Saadhus smear over their own body or apply to their forehead. This practice among Saadhus is to keep reminding them of the death and the ultimate fate if this body. This way these Saadhus keep reminding themselves that they have to go beyond this body. Guru Sahib is telling me that there is no need of smearing ash on myself. Instead, I should meditate. Meditation lifts one above the worldly living and takes one towards realisation.

    2. iKMQw kwlu kuAwrI kwieAw jugiq fMfw prqIiq ] khinthaa kaal ku-aaree kaa-i-aa jugat dandaa parteet.

    Remember death, purity the body and wisdom is your walking stick.

    My understanding:

    Guru Sahib is asking me to remember that one day I will have to depart from this world. This way he is conveying to me that I should not get attached to things. These items, in real sense, do not belong to me; they all belong to this world and will stay behind when I leave this world; I am a temporary custodian of these items, which ‘The Sat’ has given me. I should not develop the owner ship for them. They were in this world in one form or other before I was born and will continue to be there after I am no more. This realisation helps me to live with what ‘The Sat’ has given me, yet remain detached.

    Guru Sahib has used the word ‘Kuaari Kaaiaa’ as a metaphor. Through this, Guru Sahib is telling me to preserve my natural, innate, intrinsic innocence, which was my being when I was born. I should not allow my worldly experiences to pollute it. This Guru Sahib is telling me because this natural innocence was my interface with ‘The Sat’ when life entered into me and I was born; the same interface is the most appropriate to reunite with “The Sat’ again once again so preserve it. It is a great teaching from Guru Sahib.

    Guru Sahib is asking me to guide my life through wisdom instead of the pole the Saadhus use to probe the path on which they walk.

    Through the teachings of the two sentences above, Guru Sahib has introduced me to the methods, which allow me to live my full life as a householder without moving away from spirituality. Guru Sahib has also made me move away from rituals, as they are meaningless.

    3. AweI pMQI sgl jmwqI min jIqY jgu jIqu ] aa-ee panthee sagal jamaatee man jeetai jag jeet.

    Protagonists of a panth and grouping will come, win over the mind and one wins the Samsara.

    My understanding:

    Guru Sahib is telling me that people try to claim the ownership of the Panths and all sorts of human groupings thinking they have won; this is not true. Only those who have won over the cravings of mind are the real winners; they have won over their Jag (world) i.e. their Samsara.

    Here it is important for me to explain the word Panth and Samsara or Jag, as I understand it in the context of Sikhi.

    Sikhi for me are the spiritual teachings of Guru Sahib as enshrined in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Sikh Panth is a social human grouping that follows the ways of worldly life, which are fine tuned to the spirituality of Siri Guru Granth Sahib and is never in conflict with it. Spirituality is within me; my Panthic life is the interface of this spirituality with the external world. The requirements of the spiritual life override the incompatible requirements of my worldly life as a householder. Spirituality of Siri Guru Granth Sahib guide my worldly or Panthic life. It is this Panthic life that the Panthi try to dominate and feel they have won. Same is the case with those who try to possess any Jamaat.

    Jag has a very special meaning. Jag is the our world, which we create for our own lives through relationships, attachments, likes, dislikes, preferences ego etc towards other entities around us; it is not real; it is emotional. This I call Samsara. Your Samsara is different from my Samsara; what you have created for your self where you live is not the same as which I have created for myself at my place; the two living environments are different; our Samsaras i.e. our Jags are different, even though we are living on the same planet i.e. the same world at the same time.

    As per my understanding, Guru Sahib in this sentence is mentioning to Jag i.e. Samsara, which I have explained above. When I win over our mind, the craving for objects of senses, attachments, likes and dislikes, preferences, ego all get dissolve and I she the truth of these relationships as they are. In this way my own Samsara is now ruled by my intellect (Buddhi) and not my mind (Maan). I am in command and not my organ of senses or the organ of action (selfish desires and emotions). That is why Guru Sahib has asked me to score victory over my mind; that is the way to win over my Jag.

    4. Awdysu iqsY Awdysu ] aadays tisai aadays.

    Order as his order.

    My understanding:

    Guru Sahib is telling me that I must submit myself to the ‘Hukam’ of ‘The Sat’.

    5. Awid AnIlu Anwid Anwhiq jugu jugu eyko vysu ]28] aad aneel anaad anaahat jug jug ayko vays. ||28||

    The primal one, the pure light, the one without beginning, the one without an end, the one who is ever the same.

    My understanding:

    In this last sentence of this Pauri Guru Sahib has once again emphasised that ‘The Sat’ is independent of time.


    Guru Sahib has explained to me the futility of rituals and symbolism. Guru Sahib introduced me to the ways of remaining spiritual while living my full worldly life as a householder. Guru Sahib has cautioned me from making any attempt to win over any Panth or any other human grouping. I should try to win over my mind. I should obey the Hukam of ‘The Sat’ who is the one independent of time.

    With this I close.

    With love and respect for all.

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  3. Arvind

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    SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Jul 13, 2004
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    Re: My understanding of 28th Pauri of Japji Sahib

    Thanks for sharing Amarpal ji.

    Complete discussion applies in today's world too, perhaps there is not much difference in human thinking even today. Looking at this pauri, 'man jeetai jag jeet' is something we should really aspire for, I think.

  4. NamHariKaur

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    Jun 23, 2005
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    Re: My understanding of 28th Pauri of Japji Sahib

    :) :) :) Sat Nam Amarpal Ji

    Your elucidation of the 28th Pauri is wonderful. This is a very special Pauri for me, as it had much to do with the beginning of my spiritual practice just over one year ago. Some of the words and phrases have remained unclear in their full meanings until now, epecially "aaee panthee sagal jamaatee". But there were other words and phrases too, that were not as clear for me.

    Your discussion has added a great deal of depth to my way of relating to this very powerful pauri and I feel so much bliss and gratitude! Thank you!.

    Wahe Guru!
    Nam Hari Kaur
    (Eugene, OR, USA)

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