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Pauri 1 Japji Sahib Translation Of Katha By Sant Maskeen Ji

Discussion in 'Jap Ji Sahib' started by Pathfinder, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Pathfinder

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    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Sep 5, 2016
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    Ek Onkar
    Kartha purkh
    Nirvau, nirvair
    Akal murath
    Ajoone se bhang

    This is the Mangal of japji Sahib Ji and the Guru Grant Sahib Ji...

    What follows the mangal is the Japji Sahib Ji. There are many Bani’s in the Guru Grant Sahib Ji like sukhmani Sahib, Rehraas, saviye etc but the first Bani in the Guru Grant Sahib Ji is the Jap, Jap Sahib. This Bani has two sholoks and 38 paurees. The first shlok is upkaran(the medium or tool) and the last shlok is upsanhar(the end or the closure).

    The first shlok is as follows: aad sach, jugaad sach, hai bhi sach, Nanak hosee bhi sach..

    The final shlok is as follows: pawan guru, pani pita, mata dharth mahath...

    Between these two shlok as above are 38 paurees, which are steps to reach the truth, the ultimate truth. In the first shlok of the Jap bani, Guru Nanak Dev Ji states whose jap in the bani we are reciting, praying to. aad sach, jugaad sach, hai bhi sach, Nanak hosee bhi sach... aad sach, aanadhi, the one who is truth himself. The Truth was, is and will always be the Almighty. The ‘Jap’ ie prayer and homage is to this Almighty. The paths that lead to the aad sach, jugaad sach... the eternal truth, are numerous. Just as we have many different ways to earn and make a living. We have different foods to douse our hunger. In our country we have so many varied food cultures. Some eat wheat, some eat rice, some eat corn and some survive on maize. Although the hunger in all is the same, the food habits and thus the way to satisfy the hunger differ and are numerous. Similarly the approach to the Almighty can be from numerous paths. There are numerous faiths and religions but the one common factor is the hunger and relentless quest for the eternal truth.

    But sometimes when we are engulfed by the pangs of hunger we do tend to reach out for any food that is within reach. To quench one’s thirst we do sip unclean water knowingly when no clean water is available. That is why Guru Nanak Dev Ji referred to the incomplete or wrong paths that claim to lead to the ultimate truth in the first Pauree and the biggest hurdle we will encounter on the narrow path. “kiv sachayara hoiee, kiv kuday tuthay paal”. ?” How then, do we realise the truth?. All we have to do is let go of the Lies, all we have to do is let go the worldly attachments and our ego and we shall tread on the path to the Eternal Truth. Only when we throw away the pebbles we carry in our palms we shall find gems to fill them with. We just need to be strong enough to believe, to let go of the pebbles.

    One way that was prevalent during olden days in India was the bathing at pilgrimages. The belief being that bathing in a holy river washed away all our sins. The holy water would wash down our wall of worldly attachments and ego and we would find the ultimate truth. However Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not concur to this accepted practice that was prevalent. The Guru stated thus.. Sochai soch na hovaii, je sochaii lakh baar...

    Soch, is a Sanskrit word – it means purity. Soch kare din sa raath, man ki maile na tan teh jaath... By bathing we cannot wash our sins, cleanse our dirty thoughts. Bhaghat Kabir Das Ji states thus – Jal ke maanjan je gath howee, nith nith maindak nhawaee...taise maindak, taise ho nar..phir phir jonee aawaee... if salvation can be obtained by bathing in water, then what about the frog who is always bathing? he also states further thus – ganga theer jo ghar karee, heray nirmal neer...bin har bhajan na mukhat hoye, in kair hain hae kabir.. (Ang 484 SGGS Ji) as is the frog, so is the mortal, he is reincarnated over and over again..

    In Kabir Das Ji’s Beechaknama Grant he has this beautiful poetic verse..gang nahai jo nar taray, maindak kyu na tarah...jin ke ganga mein ghar hai.. sahank bajay jo nar karahey, gaday kyu na tarahay...jin ke sankh jaise sur hai...jaath baidye, jo nar tarah...mor kyu na tarahay, jink ke lammbe lammbe pur hai...kehath Kabir, suno re santo...wahi nar tarahy, jin ke hriday mein Har haiy...

    Such saints are not blind believers but followers of truth. There has always been conflict between the true believers and the ritualistic followers. But even true saints are of two types. One who has understood the truth and is silent. Why are they silent?. Because they know that the world will oppose them if they state the truth. If they declare the truth, the world will disagree. The other type of enlightened saint is the ones who know and who reveal the truth so the world may benefit from their revelations. Sochai soch na hovaii, je sochaii lakh baar... one may bathe a million times in endless holy places but still one cannot cleanse his dirt from his impure mind. It is tragic but true that endless swindlers dwell and prosper around these places. Benares, one of the holiest places in India is known not just for its saints but for its thugs as well. Bhaghat Kabir Das Ji states thus - Har ke sant na aakheeye, benaras ke thug.. They are not the saints of the Lord – they are the thugs of benaras..(Ang 476, Sggs Ji)

    A river no matter how holy is not a cleanser of the soul. It may contain some medicinal properties at the most; some waters do have the healing power. Guru Nanak Dev Ji disagrees with the notion that God can only be obtained or understood after cleansing oneself only in the holy waters. That is why it is ensured that not just a pool of water is provided in the Gurudwara but also the Bani are within earshot of this pool. Guru Nanak Dev Ji stressed on not just physical but spiritual cleansing of oneself. Thereby, ....Paani and Bani. Only that water is holy which is related with the Bani. Such waters can infuse a sense of calm and energy to a person. Just the physical bath is not to be considered as a path to realise the ultimate truth. It is the spiritual cleansing through the Bani that is the key. Sochai soch na hovaii, je sochaii lakh baar...

    The other misconception prevalent was that by speaking one was wasting energy. Talking would eventually lead to utterance of a lie unknowingly. The tongue could harm somebody by a hurtful utterance even unintentionally. So some wise men found a solution – do not speak at all, be silent. Whereas truth is that speech is a power given to us. What we should be doing is using it correctly. Just like he has gifted us this life – what happens if we turn around and say that we don’t need this life?, then it will be nothing but the death of us. The correct way is to use them rightly. Use your eyes, ears, tongue to see, hear and do good. But there were some pretenders who did not trust themselves and had no control over their tongues. So these fake gurus’s decided to keep silent because if they would not talk – they would conserve their energy. If they did not talk, then they would not utter something that might expose their lies. It is true that if we talk too much the mind gets distracted. It is also true that sometimes talking too much leads to a heated discussion and the mind gets disturbed due to this. But, truth is also that just by keeping silent one cannot calm the mind. The lies, ego, restlessness of the mind do not disappear if one keeps silent.

    It is true that sheikh Sadi stated thus – jave mushkh baitaraz, yak kauda gill....kam awaaz hargiz na de nee khazal... he says that one who speaks little and who thinks before he speaks does not get distracted ... jave mushkh baitaraz, yak kauda gill... he says instead of spitting a ton of muck, it is better to say something as tiny as a grain of maize, just as long as it is sweet and tasty as the maize. Vagar beenam, ken a beena ucha asth...agar khomish bhaseenam...guna asth...if he were to see a blind man walking towards a well... agar khomish bhaseenam...guna asth... he is to blame if he does not shout out a warning to the blind man. That is a sin. But a person with open eyes who can see and is aware of the well, then my yells of warning to him are useless, wasted. So, it is right that we should speak less but keeping silent is not the solution. That is why Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – chupay chup na hovai, je lai raha liv tar....

    Just by keeping our mouth closed we are not silent. Our mind is not silenced by doing so... Bole nahi, hoi baitha mouni....antar kalap, bhavaiye joni.... (Ang 1348 Sggs Ji).. but he is filled with desire, he is made to wander in reincarnation.we are rarely truly silent. Guru Gobind Singh Ji states thus – navay dadar, mon sab vrichai..banas Bandar, bas banayee.... if silence was the sole criteria to merge with the Almighty then all the trees would be merged in him, like the stones which cannot speak and so are silent. No, says the Guru. By outer silence, inner silence is not obtained. By keeping physically silent we cannot shake off the lies.

    The third misconception prevailing was practiced by the Vammargi’s. The concept they preached was thus – give and do everything your heart or mind desires until the day you get fed up eventually by the excess. Once the heart and mind is fed up with these worldly pleasures then one can train it easily and turn it towards God. Guru Nanak Dev Ji answers these Vammargi’s thus – ki bukhya bukh na uttare, je banna puriya bhar... the hunger of a man is insatiable, never ending. Even if you gave him all, he would still ask for more. There is nothing in the world that can fulfil a man’s hunger. This concept itself is deeply flawed. Thus, no wonder – the ashrams of these vammargi’s turned into carnal pleasure camps. Eventually these vammargi camps began glorifying the physical aspect of a man and women and built temples glorifying this beauty, the reminiscences of which are present in many temples. These people turned followers into bhogee (a seeker of worldly pleasures) but could not convert them to yogis (a seeker of spiritual pleasure). The basic concept that man can never be satisfied by worldly pleasures was overlooked and so these dens of vices thrived. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - roopi bhuk na uttare, ja dekhha tah bhukh....nanak saache naam bin, kisse na latthee bhukh.... (Ang 1091 Sggs Ji) ..o Nanak, without the true name, no one’s hunger is appeased.

    Man is full of hunger for wealth and power and has an insatiable quench for the thirst of lust. Nor his hunger, nor his thirst is ever quenched. We need food and water to survive. We cannot give the body just one of these – food or water. When a man is thirsty we don’t place food in front of him, it’s pointless. Just like placing jugs of water in front of a hungry man will not make sense. The more wealth he accumulates, the more his hunger grows. Human beings have an endless desire for wealth and beauty which can never be satiated. Guru Arjan Dev Ji states thus – sehas khatte ko outh dhhaavai, thriptj na aavee paashhai paavai… satisfaction is not obtained by chasing after Maya, ie illusion.. (Ang 278-279 SGGS Ji).

    Bodily needs of hunger and thirst can be met very easily. Instead of two, eat 4 rotis and the hunger is subsided. If thirst is not quenched with one glass of water it will get quenched with the second glass. But the hunger for worldly wealth and worldly pleasures is insatiable. The more wealth and beauty is obtained, the more profound this hunger and thirst becomes. We remain unsatisfied from the cradle to the grave. Eventually we die hungry, hungry because nothing can quench the hunger or thirst of these worldly pleasures. Thus Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus - - roopi bhuk na uttare, ja dekhha tah bhukh … if you see beauty, the more you stare at it, the more you soak in its beauty, the more your hunger grows. If you earn enough to meet your needs, you will cringe to meet your greed next, but sadly, your greed for wealth will grow the more you keep accumulating wealth. The mind will never get satisfied, that is the truth. So, this theory is seriously flawed. ki bukhya bukh na uttare, je banna puriya bhar...the hunger of the mind remains even if you accumulate all the wealth of the world, all the beauty of the world.

    Some philosophers gave birth to a new theory of seeking the ultimate truth. They were sure that this was the right way to get rid of the impurities of the mind.. The theory was that a man must get educated and become a philosopher. As he gains more knowledge, the purer his mind will get. The impurities will keep getting washed off as he acquires more knowledge. However Guru Nanak Dev Ji was not satisfied with this line of reasoning. There is a big difference between knowing and understanding. A wise man who has true knowledge will understand that he knows nothing eventually. Ustaad Zok states thus – hum jaanthe the iilam kuch jaanengay, par jaana to yeh jaana ke naa jaana kuch bhi.. The great philosopher Socrates states thus – when I was a child, I claimed to know everything. When I turned an adult, I admitted that there were a few things I did not know. Now that I’m old I can swear by certainty that I know nothing…I can honestly claim I know nothing whatsoever.

    Where the worldly knowledge ends, divine knowledge begins. We have gained immense knowledge in the last century. The centres of knowledge – schools, colleges and universities are numerous today. Sad, but true – all we churn out is bunch of educated fools, not intellectuals. Go back some 100 or 200 years and you will find that they were quite a few uneducated wise men; today we have an abundance of educated fools. Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – paraii moorakh aakeeai,jith lab lobh ahankasaraa... (Ang 140, SGGS Ji) .. the scholar who is full of greed, arrogance and ego, is known to be a fool... we are like the fools who have used the lamp of knowledge and burnt our own dwelling. We use our knowledge to feed our ego. Men of knowledge are running profitable centres of deception. The bigger the knowledge of his intellect, the bigger is his deception. An uneducated fool cannot deceive people on such a large scale. So our knowledge has turned us into egoistic, arrogant, cheats and swine’s. What the Guru stated is this therefore - paraii moorakh aakeeai,jith lab lobh ahankasaraa.. The chasm between knowledge and wisdom is quite deep. This was the biggest mistake in this concept, a very basic mistake. That knowledge is the only path to attain the ultimate truth. Ravana, was knowledgeable too, but he was far from wise.

    Folks who had committed the holy books to memory turned egoistic. Thus sheikh Saidi was prompted to state thus – if a person has not been able to implement the knowledge he has acquired into his life then he is akin to my donkey that carries the load of holy books on his back. Illam chandaan, ke behshatar khaani... ghar amal das toh nesh, naadaani... na mohaqawak, na danishmand...char paye beroye kithabeh chand... does committing to memory the holy books make one holy? The difference between a donkey carrying loads of holy books on his back and a man who claims to claim to have read the holy books is not too different. The donkey is carrying the load physically and the men whose sole claim to enlightenment is having read and memorised the holy books is this – the load on the donkey is physical, the load on these ignorant fools is mental. That is the only difference. So many had these holy books committed to memory but truth is they had just placed a big load on their minds.

    Knowledge and wisdom are not the same. Knowledge is the lamp required to light the darkness on the way to the truth. But sadly, we have often noticed that man carefully lights the lamp of knowledge after collecting the lamp, oil and wick.. He spends 10-15 years acquiring knowledge, when one gained knowledge – he never puts it to use. Once he lights up the lamp of knowledge, tragically he shuts his eyes and begins to wander in the darkness of his own making. We have wasted all the time foolishly acquiring knowledge if we have not implemented the knowledge in our lives.

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – vidyaa veecharee than, paroupakaree.. (Ang 356, SGGS Ji).. Contemplate and reflect upon knowledge, and you will become a benefactor to others... Acquiring knowledge is only time well spent when it eventually leads to wisdom, if the knowledge gives birth to goodness and compassion in oneself. If knowledge has only nourished our ego, turned us into a conman, then he is a well educated fool, not a wise man. paraii moorakh aakeeai,jith lab lobh ahankasaraa.. So acquiring high levels of knowledge does not purify the mind. The filth of our minds and our ego is not washed away by just acquiring knowledge. That is why Guru Nanak Dev Ji states thus – sehas syanapa lakh howe, tae ek na challe naal.... even if we acquire knowledge of a thousand things, it is impossible to step forward by just the attainment of such knowledge. It is impossible to cleanse your mind of the filth of ego and worldly attachments just by the acquisition of knowledge. On the contrary it is often true that an uneducated simple man who is devoid of ego unlike the highly educated fool. Two uneducated folks can quite easily agree with each other, but two educated persons will get into a heated debate which usually and eventually ends up in argument or serious disagreement.

    sehas syanapa lakh howe.. tae ek na challe naal....if God could be reached just by acquiring knowledge then God would be lesser holier than acquisition of knowledge. If God could be realised just by acquiring knowledge then God would be nothing, Knowledge would be everything. Thus, Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that – acquiring knowledge is necessary to light the lamp of wisdom and illuminate our path towards the truth. That is what true education, true knowledge does. Light and shine the lamp of wisdom to help guide us. We must gain knowledge to acquire wisdom, compassion and goodness. If knowledge turns a hurdle on the path of our tryst with God, then such knowledge is useless. Present day education has turned many into atheists, filled us with greed. It has turned us arrogant, vain and instead of filling us with peace, compassion and contentment. Education and knowledge should not be a hurdle on the path to the eternal Truth, but they should illuminate the light of wisdom within us and guide us on our path. That is why there are numerous references stressing this fact in the Guru Grant Sahib Ji as follows...

    pareeai gunaiae naam sabh sunai.. anabho bhaoo n dharsai.. loha kanchan hiran hoe kaise jo paarasehi n parasai..(Ang 973, SGGS Ji) they read and reflect upon all the names of God, they listen, but they do not see the lord, the embodiment of love and intuition.. How can iron be transformed into gold, unless it touches upon the philosopher’s stone?

    Kya padiaa, kya gunaeeai... kia baedh puraanaan sunaieeai..paraee sunae kya hoaee...jo sehaj n milou soaee...har ka naan japas gavaraa, kia sochee baaran baraa..har jas sunenehi n har gun gaavehi..

    Aise logan sio kia keheeai..jo prabh keeai, bhaghat thae baahaj..Thin thae sadhaa daraanai rehiyai....(Ang 332, Sggs Ji)... what use it is to read?, and what use it is to study?.. What use it is to listen to the Vedas and the puranaas?... what use is reading and listening?..If peace is not obtained! The fool does not chant the name of the Lord, so what does he think of, over and over again? They do not listen to the Lord’s praises and they do not sing of the Lord’s glories.. But they try to bring down the sky with their talk..What can anyone say to such people? you should always be careful around those whom God has excluded from his devotional worship.

    So thus, Guru Nanak Dev Ji rejected these futile methods of obtaining God. By bathing one cannot cleanse the dirt of the mind; one cannot silence the ever wandering mind by keeping silent, even if all the worldly wealth and pleasures were to be served on a platter the hunger of the mind cannot be satiated, even if all the knowledge in the world is imbibed into a man – that does not necessarily fill him with wisdom. This is not the way that the way that one can cleanse the mind, break through the wall of worldly attachments and illusions. Now, the question that obviously arises is this - “kiv sachayara hoiee, kiv kuday tuthay paal”. How does one merge with the Ultimate truth?. How does one become truthful? Hukam rajai chalana... Guru Nanak Dev Ji states. As soon as you embrace truth, the veil of lies and worldly attachments is broken. As soon as one becomes truthful, one embraces the truth –the eternal truth....

    Truth can be found and experienced in following and adherence to the holy command willingly. Follow the command with all the strength you can muster – that is all that is required to break free. The Guru States thus – Nanak likhaya naal... the command is ingrained in you. Overeat – you will fall sick eventually. Talk too much and you get irritated, you waste precious energy. See sin and you will turn sick. Think bad and you will find no peace of mind. Do wrong onto others and you will stumble and fall yourself. This is the command that is ingrained in you. Try to understand, adhere and follow this command. Simar Gobind, man tan dhur likhayaa.. Contemplate on the Lord. Because as soon as you contemplate on the Lord you will find bliss, as soon as you turn away all you will find is sadness and pain. Parmeeshwar teh bhuliyaa, vyaapan sab de rog.. This command is within you, is an integral part of you.

    The veil of illusion between the creator and us is the ocean of ignorance and lies. So how does one get to realise the eternal, the ultimate truth? How does one break through this veil of illusion?. The underlying desire of each one of us is to realise the ultimate truth. The biggest hunger in each one of us is to know and understand this truth. If truth is all we desire, truth is all we seek, then what are the obstacles that stop us from reaching out and realising the truth, what are the hurdles on this narrow path?.

    The hurdle is lies we have always believed in, the hurdle is our false sense of ego. But when the quest is for the truth?, how does a lie become the obstacle?, how does our false sense of ego prevent us from reaching out and embracing the truth?.

    We seek the truth, but we rarely do so wholeheartedly. We don’t let go the embrace of the lies and our ego. Our soul is hungry for the truth but we feed it with a bunch of sweet lies to satiate our hunger. Thus we forever live in duality. We yearn for the truth but don’t let go the illusion of our lies. We quench the thirst for truth with lies as we don’t have the strength to sustain the powerful yearning in the quest for the truth. We always end up divided in our search. We put one foot forward on this journey but immediately take a step back. Thus, we remain where we were before. Thus, we make no progress on the path towards the truth, towards spirituality.

    The hunger in our soul forces us to step forward but our ego, the control of worldly attachments over us forces us back again. The yearning for truth takes us forward and our attachment to worldly illusions takes us back again. The love of God takes us a step towards him, but our love for the worldly attachments takes us a step back again. The soul tries hard and points us in the right direction but the mind forces us back. Thus we end up in eternal duality. We drift between the need of our soul and the wants of our minds. Thus, this is the way we seek the truth. We want to realise and embrace the truth but we never break free of the veil of illusion, we remain trapped, unable to break free.

    How then do we break free of this veil of illusion that keeps us away from what we seek?. “kiv sachayara hoiee, kiv kuday tuthay paal”. This is a very basic question. But the answer runs deep, very deep. This is one of the foremost questions that Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji has put forth in this pauree, the 1st pauree of Japji Sahib Ji. The question has troubled humanity for ages and so the one to answer this too could only be given by a true philosopher, a soul which had actually broken free of the worldly shackles of attachments, shed his cloak of lies and dared to swim across to the truth battling all odds and overcoming them. The answer could only be given by somebody who had risen above the mind and realised his own soul.

    The question is colossal, “kivai, sachayara haoiee?” how do we realise the truth?. Because God is the ultimate truth, only a truthful person can immerse in the truth. The lies would be discarded and never be able to merge with the truth. This is the law of nature, the laws as laid out by the creator himself. Truth can merge in the truth and a lie can merge into a lie, but lies cannot merge into a truth. Light can merge into light, but the darkness cannot merge into the light, the darkness can only be replaced by the light. Fragrance can be mixed in more fragrance, but when one tries to add a foul smell to a fragrance, the foul smell is swallowed and replaced by the fragrance.

    Some things cannot merge together as per the laws of nature. You cannot mix milk and alcohol; you can only mix more milk in a pail of milk or more alcohol in a barrel of alcohol. They are simply incompatible just like the truth and lies. You cannot mix duality and the truth. Only the truthful can merge in the truth. One has to only become truthful to realise that he has arrived at the realm of the eternal truth. The one who has embraced this truth achieves true bliss, true happiness that is eternal. This happiness is real and not illusionary, beyond life and death. Worldly desires only end up disappointing us, even if what we desire is achieved. Worldly desires never die out because as soon as one is fulfilled, another desire rises to take its place.

    And then, there are dreams. A dream has the power to influence the dreamer. That is why some of us are realists and some of us are dreamers. Some live in the real world while some live in the realm of their dreams. But sadly, no matter how real the dream, no matter how powerful a dream, it is just that – a dream. A dream is not reality. So, a dreamer who dwells in his dreams is a lair in a very real sense. But, only the truthful can merge with the almighty as we have already discussed before. So the question remains - kiv sachayara hoyiay? Kiv kude toothay paal!..

    How do we break free of this veil of illusion?... the Guru states it in the next line. Hukam rajai chalana, Nanak likhaya naal. The one who lives by the command of the sovereign, the one who abides by the laws of the sovereign, the one who willingly and happily sacrifices his or her all for the sovereign command – is the one who will break free. What is this law? Where is it written? It is ingrained in each of us. Well, it’s something that is within and all around us. Talk too much and you get irritated, overeat – you will fall sick eventually, think too much and you’ll end up with a headache. What is sadness and what is the root cause of sadness? Sadness and pain is the result of breaking of these sovereign, unwritten rules. Happiness is the direct result of adherence to the sovereign commands.

    Sadness or pain is not something the almighty curses or bestows upon you in a fit of rage. Sadness and pain is the result of non-compliance of the sovereign rules. How can the all merciful lord punish us? When he is all forgiving and non-judgemental! We are each to blame for our own sadness and pain. We are responsible because we have somehow broken/ignored the sovereign rules or the sovereign commands. Only a human has been blessed with a free will and thus he is free to follow or un-follow the sovereign command. If the almighty wanted to force his will upon us, then there would be no need of this disclosure too. The almighty wants us to pick happiness for ourselves and follow the truthful, blissful path despite being given a free will and a choice to do the contrary. But when we don’t make the right choice we are ourselves to blame, for having chosen wrongly. The free will is his blessing and it is up to us if we feel blessed or curse the almighty for our sadness, our failures and our pain.

    As soon as we break the sovereign rule, sadness and pain follow. We have the choice to walk with our eyes shut tight or eyes wide open. But, what happens if we try to walk with our eyes shut tight – we stumble, we fall and we get hurt. Assuming we were able to talk to the almighty and then complain – hey lord, it’s not fair that you hurt me. He would simply tell you that – no, it’s not me. You hurt yourself. I gave you eyes and if you failed to use them, you broke a basic rule, a sovereign rule – it is this breach of the basic rule that caused your hurt that is the cause of your pain. Kabir das, in the Guru Grant Sahib ji states so very eloquently the following - kabir, maan janay sab waagh – jaanath he augan karay – kahe ki khuslab?….haath deep huay bhare!.. The almighty gave us the lantern of wisdom and choice to guide us . But is it fair to blame him when we don’t use it? When it is us, who fail to even light it? Is it fair to blame him when we choose to tread in the darkness until we stumble and fall? Guru Nanak Dev ji states thus – aapay deyee dos na karta, jamkar mughal patahaya... Guru Nanak Dev Ji states that the almighty is not to blame...

    Happiness is something the almighty wishes upon us, whereas pain, suffering, sadness is the result of our bad choices. Even a simple act like walking on the road is dictated by rules, traffic rules. Why have these rules been made in the first place?. These rules protect, streamline and keep everybody safe. These rules maintain harmony. If someone is involved in an accident then it is a direct consequence of the breach of these rules. No accident would occur if all of us were to follow the rules. An accident can only occur when there is a breach of traffic rules. Similarly, there are sovereign rules and commands that govern our very lives. These rules and commands guide us to the path of the eternal truth. But what are these rules? And where do we find them? The rules are ingrained in us. The rules are the holy books as revealed to his messengers. The sermons of holy saints, these are the divine rules. These holy books and holy men reveal and remind us of these rules. Whenever we break one of these rules we find sadness and nothing but pain. Guru Nanak Dev Ji calls these divine rules – commands, holy commands. Oh, Human - - you are bound to his command.

    Over-use your eyes, or misuse your eyes and you eyes will have an eyesore or an eye illness. The more you curse, the bitter will your own tongue turn. You lay thorns for others; it is your path in life that will get thorny. This is his divine rule. Plant a fruit tree or a thorny bush – the seed planted will spread and fill up the landscape which will one day be full of fruit bearing trees or thorny bushes. Similarly, it is with our deeds – good or bad. What we sow, we reap in plentiful. You give somebody a little joy or happiness, what you will receive back is so much more joy and happiness in return. If you helped someone smile, you life is filled with endless smiles and laughter. Place a flower in somebody’s path of life, your own path is filled with flowers. But remember this too – if you place a thorn on somebody’s path in life, then you will find nothing but thorns on every path you tread on. If you place a stone on somebody’s path in life, then you will find nothing but boulders on every path you tread on. Ditta laiyee appana, unditte khich haath na aayee...

    What you give the earth, the earth returns. What you give the world, the world returns. One always gets back much more – this is the rule. If we are sad, we may have made somebody sad earlier in life. If our eyes are full of tears, we may have hurt someone until they had cried. A poet stated – maana, ke is zameen ko na gulzar kar sakhe, kuch khar kum he kar gayee, guzare jidhar se..( its true, I could not turn the world into a garden, but I did remove the thorns and stones from the path I treaded on...so someone travelling after me on this path would face no difficulty..).

    One who clears the path of others will find that his own path has become safer and cleaner. One who puts obstacles in somebody’s path with obstacles find that his own path is surmounted with nothing but difficulties. This is the divine rule and we are bound by this command. Hukam rajai chalana, Nanak likhaya naal... you have the choice to either adhere to it, or choose not to. But you are bound to the consequences either way. The choice to believe or not is the gift of free will. If there was no free will then this discourse itself makes no sense. In Islamic literature there is this beautiful anecdote that goes thus – hasrat ali, a holy man asks Mohammad the prophet –‘is there anything I can do or does God do everything?”. As all wise enlightened men are prone to do in such situations, the Prophet Mohammad replies – ‘Ali, if I read out his divine rules, you will not understand it. The hidden meaning will escape your limited grasp. Someday at leisure I will clear your doubt’. Hasrat ali – with folded hands pleaded – ‘I’m thirsty now, please give me the answer and quench my thirst. Who knows how long this thirst will last, so please explain to me now – do I have the power to do anything or does god do everything?”. So then the prophet says to Ali – ‘stand up on one leg, lift one of your leg up in the air’. Ali picks up his right leg immediately. Now pick up the other leg too – the prophet says. Ali tries and declares immediately that he cannot pick up both his legs off the ground together at the same time. I can only pick up one leg at a time he states. When questioned as to what he must do to pick up his other leg from the ground Ali states that he will have to put the leg in the air down before he picks up his other leg. Ali, smiles the prophet – that is the answer to your question. Ali is confused. I don’t understand he says. The prophet makes it clear – Ali, you had the choice to pick either your right leg or left at the beginning. But once you picked up the right leg then picking up the left leg next is not possible. Ali, you have the choice to pick right or wrong. But once you make that choice you cannot choose the other. You have to let go of the one you picked up to choose the other. If you pick up the wrong path, you cannot tread on the right path at the same time. You have to put down the wrong and pick up the right one. The freedom to choose is yours but the result of your actions is in the almighty’s rules, his command. What you sow, you have to reap – there is no escaping that. Lord Krishna too stated the same. Arjun - Karam is in your hands but the fruits of your karam are in the almighty’s hands.

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji stated thus – ‘uddam karaveya jeev tu, kamadaya such bhunnch, dhyaan diya tu prabhu mil, nanak utri chinth. We are free to choose right or wrong. But the choice of wrong is followed up by sadness and pain. Whenever one is filled with sadness or pain one must realise that the divine rule has been broken knowingly or unknowingly. Hukam rajai chalana... Guru Nanak Dev Ji states. As soon as you embrace the truth the veil of lies and worldly attachments is broken. As soon as one becomes truthful, one embraces the truth –the eternal truth....

    (End of pauree 1 ...)
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  3. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Admin SPNer

    Jun 1, 2004
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    Just curious, are you translating Maskeen ji's Punjabi discourses of Jap ji into English or is it your own interpretation ... thank you so much sharing it with SPN'ers.
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  4. Pathfinder

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    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Sep 5, 2016
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    Admin ji,
    It is Maskeen ji's Punjabi discourses of Jap ji into English, my first and feeble attempt to. I was not sure if I should add the audio file as an attachment so I did not do so.
    Each pauri katha varies from 30 - 45 minutes approx.

    I listen to a line, then use words I can to translate it to English. What's my own are the - errors nothing else.

    Other than the errors of interpretation, grammar,s spellings etc. I try to be as literal and direct in translation due to my limited grasp of Gurbani which is not right perhaps.

    The intent was to make things easier for the self to understand but then this forum is like the well which I drew so much water out of for so long that it felt good watering a tree for others like me who come here to quench their thirst.

    So, thank you admin ji for this wondrous forum..
    may we all realise and be grateful to Waheguru ji forever...and a day..
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