Dear members, Through this post, I share with you my understanding of the 21st Pauri of the Japji Sahib. The sentences of this Pauri are serially numbered. 1. qIrQu qpu dieAw dqu dwnu ] tirath tap da-i-aa dat daan. Pilgrimage, austere discipline, compassion and charity. 2. jy ko pwvY iql kw mwnu ] jay ko paavai til kaa maan. One can get very little respect. 3. suixAw mMinAw min kIqw Bwau ] suni-aa mani-aa man keetaa bhaa-o. Listen, accept and made part of the thinking and feeling. 4. AMqrgiq qIriQ mil nwau ] antargat tirath mal naa-o. Cleanse the shrine within oneself by ‘Naam’ 5. siB gux qyry mY nwhI koie ] sabh gun tayray mai naahee ko-ay. All the virtues are yours, none are mine. 6. ivxu gux kIqy Bgiq n hoie ] vin gun keetay bhagat na ho-ay. Without disowning the virtues one cannot become a Bhagat. 7. suAsiq AwiQ bwxI brmwau ] su-asat aath banee barmaa-o. Bowing to the saying of the Brahma 8. siq suhwxu sdw min cwau ] sat suhaan sadaa man chaa-o. The Sat is beautiful and eternally pleasing. 9. kvxu su vylw vKqu kvxu kvx iQiq kvxu vwru ] kavan so vaylaa vakhat kavan kavan thit kavan vaar. What were the times, period, day, and date? 10. kvix is ruqI mwhu kvxu ijqu hoAw Awkwru ] kavan se rutee maahu kavan jit ho-aa aakaar. What was the season, month when the form was created? 11. vyl n pweIAw pMfqI ij hovY lyKu purwxu ] vayl na paa-ee-aa pandtee je hovai laykh puraan. The pundits are unable to give the time even with the text of puran with them. 12. vKqu n pwieE kwdIAw ij ilKin lyKu kurwxu ] vakhat na paa-i-o kaadee-aa je likhan laykh kuraan. The Qazis are not able to tell the time that write the text of Kuran. 13. iQiq vwru nw jogI jwxY ruiq mwhu nw koeI ] thit vaar naa jogee jaanai rut maahu naa ko-ee. Yogis do not know date and day, no one knows the season and the month. 14. jw krqw isrTI kau swjy Awpy jwxY soeI ] jaa kartaa sirthee ka-o saajay aapay jaanai so-ee. The doer who created the universe alone knows it. 15. ikv kir AwKw ikv swlwhI ikau vrnI ikv jwxw ] kiv kar aakhaa kiv saalaahee ki-o varnee kiv jaanaa How can we say, how can we praise, how can we describe, how can we know. 16 nwnk AwKix sBu ko AwKY iek dU ieku isAwxw ] naanak aakhan sabh ko aakhai ik doo ik si-aanaa. Nanak, each one considers himself to be wiser than the other. 17. vfw swihbu vfI nweI kIqw jw kw hovY ] vadaa saahib vadee naa-ee keetaa jaa kaa hovai. The greatest is the Sahib (Karta Purakh), the great is his name, who is the doer behind all that happens. 19. nwnk jy ko AwpO jwxY AgY gieAw n sohY ]21] naanak jay ko aapou jaanai agai ga-i-aa na sohai. ||21|| Nanak, one who knows by himself (the reality) does not feel elegant in placing himself ahead. Discussion: In this Pauri Guru Sahib has basically focused on two entities, which are connected to each other. First are the religious practices and rituals and second are the individuals who create these, i.e. the priestly class. He has shown me the path that I must follow. My learning from 1st to 4th sentence of this Pauri: Guru Sahib in these four sentences have told me that all the prevailing practices like charity; compassion; austere discipline; pilgrimage etc cannot take me much further on the way to spirituality. And I know Guru Sahib is right because these actions are at the interface between the external society and me; they are not touching my inner self. My core has to vibrate with ‘The Sat’, if I have to become intrinsically spiritual. In the 3rd and 4th sentence Guru Sahib tells me that clean, i.e. pure mind/core is what is needed for me to advance further on the path to spirituality. Guru Sahib tells me that my core can be made pure by washing it with ‘Naam’. The way I understand it, I share with you. If I mechanically keep repeating the ‘Naam’ it will be nothing more than the other rituals as such action too is at the interface between me and the external world; it will not touch my core. ‘Naam’ will clean my core only when all my mental faculties are involved in ‘Simran’, that alone will guide reformatting of me and usher me to purity. My learning from 5th to 8th sentence of this Pauri: In these two lines Guru Sahib have told me in clear words that what ever is with me, I should not own it. All belongs to ‘Karta Purakh’. Without doing so, I really cannot be a Bhagat. Guru Sahib says that as Bhagat, he bows to the creator, who is ‘Sat’ and is ever pleasing. The way I have understood it, I share with you. If I start owning what I have, it will strengthen Ahamkara in me. This Ahamkara is one entity, which separates me from ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib has showed me the way to make ‘Simran’ more effective, which alone can make me pure. If the Ahamkara disappears; the mental resistance gets dissolved. Consequently, the impediment to the cleansing process gets removed. My learning from 9th to 14th sentence of this Pauri: Guru Sahib tells me that the individuals constituting the priestly class, with all the scripture at their disposal, are not able to tell when the ‘forms’ where created –time, date, period, month and season. They do not know. Only the ‘Doer’ who created knows it. The way I understand this, I share with you. Guru Sahib is telling me that the knowledge of the individuals belonging is not complete; they are not a substitute for ‘Karta Purakh’. The real knowledge is with ‘The Sat’. So why follow the priestly class when you can have the direct way with ‘Karta Purakh’ possible i.e. through ‘Naam’. Guru Sahib is asking me to become deep in spirituality rather than follow the rituals suggested by the individuals from priestly class. Guru Sahib is asking me to learn on my own and become a true Bhagat. My learning from 15th to 19th sentences: Guru Sahib again draws my attention to the immenseness and unlimited ness of ‘The Sat’. He says: how can we say about him? How can we describe him? How can we praise him? How can we know him? In a way he is making me realise my limited ness. Yet, he says, people are competing to do this impossible (describing ‘Karta Purakh’), each claiming oneself to be wiser than the other. Guru Sahib tells me that the Sahib (Karta Purakh) is above all, his name is the Ultimate, and it is He who is behind all that happens. Guru Sahib adds that the one, who has realised this in her/his being will not feel comfortable or proper to place oneself ahead of ‘The Sat’. As I understand these teachings, I share with you. Guru Sahib is asking us to become spiritual and directly seek the ‘Sat’ and not to go through any intermediary. With Love and Respect for all. Amarpal.