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2nd Pauri: 3rd Ashtapadee: Sukhmani Sahib


Dear Khalsa Ji,
With the grace of ‘The Sat’, I have reached the 2nd Pauri of 3rd Ashtapadee of Sukhmani Sahib. What this Pauri means to me, I share with you.
In this Pauri, as was the case with the previous Pauri, Guru Sahib is emphasizing the Path of ‘Naam’, and in his own way asking us to shed the practices that come from other religion. Now we learn what Guru Sahib wanted to teach us through this Pauri.
1. nau KMf ipRQmI iPrY icru jIvY ] na-o khand parithmee firai chir jeevai.
The mortal can roam in the entire domain delimited by the nine worlds for long.

My understanding:
The idea of nine worlds is embedded in the scripture of the ancient religion of the land; it is only the perception of learned individuals of ancient time when the scripture was written. These concepts are not valid when seen through the knowledge base of modern time. Though these concepts are not true, yet the masses held these concepts to be true; these are beliefs and we know that they are not always true. Even in today’s world many individuals hold these concept of nine world to be true – it is their choice.
Guru Sahibs were communicators of excellence; they spoke to their audience in the language and in the way so that the essence of the teaching can be understood by them. Naturally, Guru Sahib started from what the audience had been tutored over millenniums – more than 2000 years. According to my understanding, it is for this reason Guru Sahibs used the concept of nine worlds, thought they knew that it is not true.
The people of the land were told that depending on their respective Karmas, they will be placed in one of the nine worlds in the next birth and after exhausting the effect of past Karmas in that world; the individual will then again be born on earth. This way, according to the wisdom of the ancient religion of the land, the person i.e. Jeeva, keeps shuttling between one world to the other in each of the successive birth. This, according to the ancient religion of the land, can become endless, without any positive out come. Guru Sahib has, in his own polite way, negated this way of spiritual evolution. Instead of saying directly and bluntly that this is not the way, Guru Sahib has advocated the way of ‘Naam’. This Guru Sahib has said in this Pauri towards the end, but I will be adding it at the end my understanding of each of the sentence.
2. mhw audwsu qpIsru QIvY ] mahaa udaas tapeesar theevai.
One can become great ascetic and become one who renounces of the world.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has now taken another way suggested by the ancient scripture of the land; the way that negates life. It asks individuals to run away from the all that constitutes ‘Samsara’ i.e. worldly living. This way asks people to stay away from all with which the person can form attachment. They engage themselves in very demanding austerities to curb the natural tendencies that arise in any human mind. Guru Sahibs have asked Sikhs not to follow this path. Guru Sahib asks us to purify our mind through ‘Naam’. Guru Sahibs has asked his Sikhs to live a pure life in the world in which we are born with the grace of ‘The Sat’. Running away from this world will amount to acting against the will of ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib, in his modest way, has asked us not to follow this path.
Guru Sahib has asked us to live naturally within morality and ethics of life for the well being of the entire creation of ‘The Sat’, including the environment (Shalok after the Japji Sahib, ‘ Pawan Guru Pani Pita ------ , in my understanding, is a pledge to protect the environment). Guru Sahib has asked his Sikhs to follow his life-affirming way of spirituality; the same way which they had followed to divinity. This is possible when the individual is in full control of her or his mental faculties and is capable of full involvement when needed and full detachment when not needed. I explain this: If a mother does not involve herself in nursing and caring for the new born, does not give her the emotional support and her love to the baby, the child will not survive; full involvement of the mother is a must for the sake of the child. But if the mother, progressively, does not detach herself from the child as it grows, it will hinder the growth of the child. Guru Sahibs have repeatedly said in Siri Guru Granth Sahib that pure mind is a precursor to spiritual enlightenment and the way to this purity is through ‘Naam’.
3. Agin mwih homq prwn ] agan maahi homat paraan.
On may put oneself in the fire of Homa.

My understanding:
Putting items in the fire of Homa was, and is even now considered a sacrifice offered to their Gods to fulfill the desire of the person organizing the Homa. Guru Sahib has asked his Sikhs not to follow this path. The rational behind is very clear.
We Sikhs perceive ‘The Sat’ as ‘Nirakaar’. ‘Nirakaar’ does not need the items consumed by embodied viz. clarified butter (Ghee), wood, grains, flowers, fire etc, these are needed by we humans for different purposes, ‘The Nirakaar Sat’, does not need them; these and similar items are offered as sacrifice in Homa. Guru Sahib has very clearly told us in the first Pauri of Japji Sahib that ‘The Sat’ is self existent. This clearly means that ‘The Sat’ does not need any sorts of inputs from any where; ‘The Sat’ is complete in itself. What these offerings in Homa mean to ‘The Sat’? They mean nothing to ‘The Sat’.
Further more, all the items that are offered to ‘The Sat’ in Homa are all created by ‘The Sat’; ‘The Sat’ is the source; these items reach the individual with the grace of ‘The Sat’. How can one return the same to ‘The Sat’ and claim it to be a sacrifice. Guru Sahib has conveyed this by saying that even if one throws oneself in Homa fire it is not a sacrifice. This Guru Sahib has said because this life and this body too is a creation of ‘The Sat’ and hence already belongs to ‘The Sat’, what is ours in it to offer to ‘The Sat - Nothing.
The only entity in this world the individual creates is her or his Ahamkara; it is the ‘Ahamkara’ that must be sacrificed. In pure mind, Ahamkara stands fully dissolved. The way to purify the mind is through ‘Naam’. It is for this reason Guru Sahib has asked Sikhs to follow the path of Sikhs.
4. kink AsÍ hYvr BUim dwn ] kanik asav haivar bhoom daan.
Giving away gold, horses, and land in charity

My understanding:
It was a practice, coming down from early day of the ancient religion of the land, to give away items considered to be wealth in charity with a thought in mind that such acts will fulfill the desires of the donor. Guru Sahib tells his Sikhs that this way one can not evolve in spirituality. These items of wealth, in real sense, do not belong to the apparent owner. All that is in this world, in real sense, belongs to their creator i.e. ‘The Sat’. The individual in whose possession these items are is their temporary custodian; when the person leaves this world, the items do not go with the person, and they stay behind. Those who are the temporary custodians of wealth are blessed with the grace of ‘The Sat’. This again is the will of ‘The Sat’. How can this custodian give away items that really belong to ‘The Sat’ and expect ‘The Sat’ to feel so happy with this persons acts so as to grant him what she or he desires. The feeling of this person that ‘I’ am giving is false; it is her or his Ahamkara. When some item passes from the person’s hand to another, that too is the will of God; this person should feel grateful to ‘The Sat’ because ‘The Sat’ has chosen this person to be the instrument of transfer. This is a blessing from ‘The Sat’. It was this blessing, as we know from the recorded history, that made Guru Nanak Dev Ji to keep on saying Tera, Tera, Tera …… while he weighed the grain for the 13th time in his balance in the grain shop.
(Tera is the word for the numeral 13 in Punjabi and in language it means yours. Guru Nanak Dev Ji had weighed the grain 12 times in his balance and for the next time i.e. weighing for the 13th time he said Tera and after that he went on repeating the same word ‘Tera, Tera, Tera …..because he knew that every entity of this creation belongs to ‘The Sat’, the individual is only a custodian and owns nothing in real sense; this is the truth.)
To realize this truth, one has to have purity of mind, which Guru Sahibs knew that it comes through ‘Naam’. It is the true path, it is for this reason Guru Sahib says that giving away things with a feeling that ‘I’ am giving is not the way to spirituality; it has Ahamkara. Though it is advocated in the ancient scripture of the land, Guru Sahib asks Sikhs to avoid this path and follow the path of ‘Naam’; the path they had treaded to become divine.
5. inaulI krm krY bhu Awsn ] ni-ulee karam karai baho aasan.
People follow the procedure for internal cleaning (physical) and do all the yoga postures.

My understanding:
There are procedures in Yoga which are meant to physically cleanse the internal parts/system of our body. These are Yogic postures to help activate the systems of the body. All these are, according to my understanding, are designed to live a good physical life. They are incidental in spirituality; they do not cleanse the mind, whose purity is the prerequisite for spiritual enlightenment. Guru Sahibs ask their Sikhs, based on their own actual experience, to follow the path of ‘Naam’. This Guru Sahib asks us not to take to Yogic postures or cleaning procedures for internal systems as a way to spirituality. The path of ‘Naam’ is direct and the way to spirituality and divinity.
6. jYn mwrg sMjm Aiq swDn ] jain maarag sanjam at saaDhan.
Jain’s way of Saiyyam as the means

My understanding:
Jain religion asks its followers to move away from the world; remaining unmarried is considered virtuous and a basic requirement to attain salvation. Just imagine; if we all follow this way in its strictest sense, human specie with soon come to an end. Living this way of life is negating the will of ‘The Sat’, who has created life on this earth and nurtured it all this time – billions of years - to evolve into this complex entity call humans. Jain religion, this way negates life. There are many other aspects of this way (Jain) which are not life-affirming. In Jain religion, the life of Saiyyam does not mean just restrained life, but means negation of basic human urges. Guru Sahibs knew all this very well.
Guru Sahibs have advised us to follow only the way of ‘Naam’.
7. inmK inmK kir srIru ktwvY ] nimakh nimakh kar sareer kataavai.
piece by piece one may get the body cut.

8. qau BI haumY mYlu n jwvY ] ta-o bhee ha-umai mail na jaavai.
Even then, the dirt of ego will not go away.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib in the above two sentences makes a very important point. Guru Sahib tells his Sikhs that body is not the culprit, no use punishing it or torturing it or mortifying it as many of the religious systems were and are preaching. It is the mind which is responsible for all that the body does. For spiritual evolution one has to work on the mind. It has to be purified. The ‘I-ness’ of the mind has to be dissolved. It is this ‘I-ness’ which is ego or ‘Ahamkara’. This ‘Ahamkara’ is ones own creation; dissolving it is also the responsibility of the same individual. When we see the world through this ‘Ahamkara’, what we learn is a distorted view as given to us by our likes and dislikes, attachments and aversion, etc; it is Maya i.e. false perception. With ‘Ahamkara’ dissolved, what we she is the truth. It is from this point that one starts living in truth and commence the journey to divinity.
It is for this reason, according to my understanding, Guru Sahib has asked us the naturally shed ‘Ahamkara’.
9. hir ky nwm smsir kCu nwih ] har kay naam samsar kachh naahi.
There is nothing equal to ‘Naam’

My understanding:
This is the way the divine individuals speak, they are not blunt. Guru Sahib has said that the way of ‘Naam’ is the best; there is no way equal to it. Naturally it means that Guru Sahib is asking his Sikhs to follow the path of ‘Naam’, as the other paths preached in the world are not equal to it.
10. nwnk gurmuiK nwmu jpq giq pwih ]2] naanak gurmukh naam japat gat paahi. ||2||
O’Nanak, Gurmukh attains this state by chanting ‘Naam’
My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells his Sikhs that by chanting ‘Naam’ the Gurmukhs reach the highest state in spirituality. This statement I take as a proof of the way of ‘Naam’ because it is coming from the experience of an individual who has followed this path and attained divinity.
With this I close the post.
With love and respect for all.
Amarpal Singh

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

Sat Sri Akaal,
Who is Sat Guru
Sat TRUTH or Pure or Non Dual

Guru Humans who have revealed the TRUTH ie Revealed Purity of wors forms through logical self investigation of TRUTH.

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