Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay | ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay | ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ

Dr Karminder Singh

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Sep 4, 2009
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The Gurbani Framework calls for the use of GURBANI to understand, explain, translate and interpret GURBANI.


The Gurbani Framework is a response to a variety of distorted translations using Vedantic, Taksalee, Yogic and literal methods – all of which rely on use of sources OUTSIDE of Gurbani to interpret Gurbani.


This article interprets the following pauree from page 464 of the SGGS ji by applying the Gurbani Framework.


ਪਉੜੀ ॥ ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥



Pauree. Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.


ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥


Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.


ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥


Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.


ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥


Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruaayea.


ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥


Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.


One of the primary principles of the Gurbani Framework is that the Rahao verse contains the central thesis of a shabd. This verse needs to be understood first. The remaining verses of the shabd must be interpreted within the CONTEXT of the Rahao verse. This is because the rest of the shabd or bani revolves around the Rahao verse. The Rahao verse is the gist message while the remaining verses are illustrations, examples, cases in point, supporting arguments, justifications, and rationalizations. Or they are explanations, validations, clarifications and corroborations. In other words, they revolve around the Rahao verse which acts as the anchor of the entire narrative of the shabd or bani.


When it comes to Paurees, the FINAL verse of each Pauree functions as the Rahao verse. As the concluding verse it contains the gist of the entire Pauree and sets the context for the remaining verses.


The final verse of the Pauree under discussion is:


ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.


The translation that is available interprets this verse as follows: The blind man has wasted his life away. (Sant Singh MD page 464).


The following three critical observations pertaining to the translation are in order.


FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “a blind man” in the verse. If one’s life was wasted away on account of one’s blindness, then blind human beings would have no chance for spirituality. Conversely, those who are not blind are thus not capable of “wasting their lives away.”


SECOND, the word ਮਨਿ Munn is omitted from the available translation.


THIRD, the word ਗਵਾਇਆ is present tense. So the translation “has wasted” is inaccurate. It should be “is wasting”.


The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.


By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani one can gather the following two pointers.


FIRSTLY, Gurbani addresses our mind. The way to read this verse is therefore: Munn Andhey ! Janam Gavayea.


SECONDLY, the word ਅੰਧੈ (Adhey) in Gurbani does NOT refer to those who are blind; but those who are devoid of enlightenment (within their minds). As in


ਅੰਧਾ ਸੋਇ ਜਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਿ ਲੋਚਨ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ Andha Soey Je Andh Kamavey Tis Ridey Sey Lochan Nahi. SSGS 1289


Meaning: Blind are Those Who Acquire Ignorance; Whose MINDS Are Unable to Realize.


Also:


ਅੰਧੇ ਏਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਜਿਨ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੋਇਣ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਅੰਧੇ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਘੁਥੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ੧ ॥ Andhey Eh Na Aakhiey Jin Mokh Loen Nahi. Andhey Seyi Nanaka Jey Khasmho Ghuthey Jahe. SGGS 954


Meaning: Consider Not Blind Those Who Have No Eyes. The Blind, O Nanak, Are Those Who Are Lost On Their Journey of Spirituality.


Taking into mind the Gurbani Framework, then, the meaning of the concluding verse of the Pauree in question is:


ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.


O Un-Enlightened Mind! My Life Is Being Squandered as A Result (Of Your Unenlightened State).


We now know (from the final verse acting as the Rahao verse) that the context of this Pauree is about Human Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani.


Now let’s look at the first verse, ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥ Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.


Sant Singh MD translates it as: Enjoying his pleasures, one is reduced to a pile of ashes, and the soul passes away.


The following three critical observations pertaining to the translation can be made.


FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “soul” or “passing away” meaning death.


SECOND, there is the issue of literal translation of words. ਭਸਮੜਿ Bhasmar is translated literally as “reduced to a pile of ashes.”


THIRD, Sikhi concepts are CHANGED to Vedic / Yogic concepts. This verse and the entire Pauree is about LIVING, but the Vedic translation makes it appear as if it is about LIFE AFTER DEATH.


The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.


By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we can get the meanings of the primary words and concepts that are used by Guru Nanak in this verse.


ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ Bhog Bhog Kay means living a life engulfed solely in material and worldly matters. As in:


ਮਿਰਤੁ ਨ ਆਵੀ ਚਿਤਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਅਹਿਨਿਸਿ ਭੋਗੈ ਭੋਗੁ ॥ Mirt Na Avi Chit Tis Ehnes Bhogey Bhog. SGGS 71.


Meaning: One Lives a Live Engulfed Day and Night in Material; Forgetting Death Even.


ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ Hoey Bhasmar (root ਭਸਮ Bhasam) is idiomatic language for “reducing life’s worth to nothing” As in:


ਸਭ ਤੇ ਆਪ ਜਾਨੈ ਬਲਵੰਤੁ ॥ ਖਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਜਾਇ ਭਸਮੰਤੁ ॥ Sabh Tay Aap Janey Balwant. Khin Mey Hoey Jaey Bhasmant SGGS 278


Meaning: One Thinks One Is Most Powerful. But (When Compared to The Creator) Such Power Is Worth Nothing Even for One Second.


ਭਉਰੁ Bhaur (root ਭਵਰ Bhavr) is metaphorically used to reflect the roaming characteristic of the human mind. Bhaur is a butterfly; and in Gurbani it is used to depict the non-focused, un-stilled, fleeting and anguished mind. A mind that moves from one desire to another. As in:


ਭਵਰਾ ਫੂਲਿ ਭਵੰਤਿਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਅਤਿ ਭਾਰੀ ਰਾਮ ॥Bhavra Ful Bhavanteya Dukh Att Bhari Raam. SGGS 439.


Meaning: The Mind Wanders Like a Butterfly from Flower to Flower; In Spiritual Anguish.


Given the context of the Final verse and using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the above verse is as follows.


ਆਪੀਨੈ ਭੋਗ ਭੋਗਿ ਕੈ ਹੋਇ ਭਸਮੜਿ ਭਉਰੁ ਸਿਧਾਇਆ ॥ Apeeney Bhog Bhog Kay Hoe Bhasmar Bhaur Sidhaya.


Living A Life Anchored in Worldly Pursuits Dictated by an Anguished Mind That Wanders from One Pursuit to Another, My Spiritual Journey Is Being Reduced to Nothing.


Now let’s examine the second verse: ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.


Sant Singh MD translates it as: He may be great, but when he dies, the chain is thrown around his neck, and he is led away. Prof Sahib Singh translates it as ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਧੰਧਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਫਸਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ ਜੀਵ (ਜਦੋਂ) ਮਰਦਾ ਹੈ, (ਇਸ ਦੇ) ਗਲ ਵਿਚ ਸੰਗਲ ਪਾ ਕੇ ਅੱਗੇ ਲਾ ਲਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ. Engulfed in the deeds of worldliness, when the human dies, chains are put around his neck and he is led away.


The following three critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.


FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is NO mention whatsoever about DEATH here.


SECOND, critical words and concepts such as ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ Duneedar is omitted from Sant Singh’s translation. Duneedar means someone who is LIVING IN THIS WORLD. It is probably omitted because it contradicts the Vedic translations’ obsession with life after death.


THIRD, words are wrongly translated. ਹੋਆ Hoa – is translated as “MAY BE”. Whereas its meaning is “is.” The word ਚਲਾਇਆ Chaleya is mistranslated as LED AWAY, perhaps again, to keep the focus on life after death. The notion that chains are put around “the neck” after death make absolutely no sense given that “the neck” is either buried or cremated with the rest of the body during the funeral.


ਚਲਾਇਆ Chaleya is a verb in the present tense meaning; “being conducted or being run.” Both translations above therefore are operating under the shadows of Vedic paradigms of life after death.


The outcome of the above three errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.


By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani, we get the meanings of the words


ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ means the shackles of the human vices. As in


ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਪਰਹਰੁ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ॥ ਲਬੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਤਜਿ ਹੋਹੁ ਨਿਚਿੰਦਾ ॥ ਭ੍ਰਮ ਕਾ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਤੋੜਿ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥ ੧ ॥ Kaam Krodh Parhar Par Ninda. Lab Lobh Taj Hoh Nichinda. Bhrum Ka Sangal Torr Nirala Har Antar Har Rus Paiya.


Meaning: Discard Desire, Anger and Slander. Remove (From Your Mind) The Effect of Greed. Break Free from Their Illusory Shackles, And Be That Unique Mind Within Which Godly Realization Resides.


ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ means “living one’s worldly life in ego of being in control.”


Using the Gurbani Framework and keeping the CONTEXT (Human Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani) the meaning of the second verse is:


ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਦੁਨੀਦਾਰੁ ਗਲਿ ਸੰਗਲੁ ਘਤਿ ਚਲਾਇਆ ॥ Vadda Hoa Duneedar, Gull Sangal Ghatt Chaleya.


I have lived my worldly life in the illusion that I am in control; but (in reality) my life is being run as bound in shackles to human vices.


Now, let’s examine the third verse: ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥ Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.


Sant Singh MD translates it as: There, his good and bad deeds are added up; sitting there, his account is read. Sahib Singh translates it as ਪਰਲੋਕ ਵਿਚ (ਭਾਵ, ਧਰਮਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਵਿਚ, ਵੇਖੋ ਪਉੜੀ ੨) ਰੱਬ ਦੀ ਸਿਫ਼ਤਿ-ਸਾਲਾਹ ਰੂਪ ਕਮਾਈ ਹੀ ਕਬੂਲ ਪੈਂਦੀ ਹੈ, ਓਥੈ (ਜੀਵ ਦੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਕਰਮਾਂ ਦਾ) ਹਿਸਾਬ ਚੰਗੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ (ਇਸ ਨੂੰ) ਸਮਝਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ. In Parlok (meaning in the court of Dharm Raj) only the praise of God done is accepted. There the accounting of (the being’s deeds) is properly explained.


The following two critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.


FIRST, both translations attempt to keep the focus on death and life after death – contradicting the true message of the shabd (as ascertained from the final concluding verse) which is about human life lived HERE and NOW.


SECOND, there is the issue of wrong translation of words. ਅਗੈ Agey is not a location where something happens. Under the Vedic influence, Sahib Singh adds the words “in the court of Dhrm Raj” even.


We know that the spiritual focus of Sikhi is the MIND. ਅਗੈ Agey thus has to be translated in such a context. ਸਮਝਾਇਆ Samjhaiya cannot be translated as “is read” (Sant Singh) or is “properly explained” (Sahib Singh). One can question the logic of “reading out” or “properly explaining” by asking “to whom” given that “reading” and “explaining” are HUMAN functions of the SENSES and the MIND – ALL OF WHICH CEASE TO EXIST UPON DEATH.


The outcome of the above two errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.


By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we get the meanings of the crucial words and concepts that are used in this verse as follows.


ਅਗੈ Agey translates as “future, forward, progress or objective) as in


ਅਗੈ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਵੇਕਾਰ ॥ ੩ ॥ Agey Gayea Janeeay Vinn Navey Vekaar. SGGS 16.


Meaning: Moving Forward (On The Journey of Spirituality) One Realizes That a Life Without Godly Virtues Is Wasted.


ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ Karnee Keerat. Karanee translates as “actions and deeds that we conduct.” And Keerat as “praiseworthy.” Together it means “praiseworthy deeds.”


ਵਾਚੀਐ Vacheay (root Vachey) means “to study, to analyze, to assess.” As in:


ਪੰਡਿਤ ਵਾਚਹਿ ਪੋਥੀਆ ਨਾ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ Pandit Vachey Potheya Na Bujhey Vichar. SGGS 56


Meaning: The Pundit Studies and Analyzes the Religious Books, But His Discourse Brings About No Realization.


ਲੇਖਾ Lekha refers to the continuous and cumulative acts or deeds that are positive. These are of course undertaken during one’s lifetime. As in


ਸੇ ਕਰ ਭਲੇ ਜਿਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਲੇਖਾ ॥ Say Kar Bhaley Jinee Har Jus Lekha. SGGS 103


Meaning: Benevolent are the hands that accumulate praiseworthy deeds.


ਸਮਝਾਇਆ Samjhaiya means to create an understanding. As in


ਕਰਹੁ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਈ ਮੈ ਸੁਮਤਿ ਦੇਹੁ ਸਮਝਾਇ ॥ Karho Kirpa Bhrum Chukayee Mein Sumat Deh Samjhaye. SGGS 346.


Meaning: Bless Me with The Ability to Remove My Doubts, and an Intellect That Will Bring About Understanding.


Using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the third verse is:


ਅਗੈ ਕਰਣੀ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਵਾਚੀਐ ਬਹਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਮਝਾਇਆ ॥ Agey Karnee Kirat Vacheay Beh Lekha Kar Samjhayea.


O Mind, Do Understand That Progress On the Journey of Spirituality Is Assessed / Weighed On the Accumulation of Praiseworthy Deeds.



Let’s look at the fourth verse: ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruayea.


Sant Singh MD translates it as: He is whipped, but finds no place of rest, and no one hears his cries of pain. Sahib Singh translates it as: ਓਥੇ ਮਾਰ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਤੇ ਢੋਈ ਨਹੀਂ ਮਿਲਦੀ, ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਇਸ ਦੀ ਕੋਈ ਭੀ ਕੂਕ-ਪੁਕਾਰ ਸੁਣੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਾਂਦੀ । As he is beaten there no support comes his way, at that point none of his cries of agony can be heard.


The following two critical observations pertaining to both the above translations can be made.


FIRST, the underlined words in the translation DO NOT exist in the Gurbani Verse. There is no mention of “whipping” in the verse. The root of ਰੂਆਇਆ Ruaayea is ਰੋਣਾ – weep, but there is no mention of “cries of pain” or “cries of agony” in the verse.


SECOND, there is the issue of wrong translation of words. ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ Thaon Na Hove is wrongly translated as “no place of rest.” As said above, the final verse makes clear the Pauree is about Life being led astray as a result of a mind that is un-enlightened in Gurbani. It is NOT about life after death. Hence the words “no place to rest” distorts the message because it is derived from the Vedantic / Yogic paradigms.


The outcome of the above two errors therefore, is a distorted translation as above.


By using Gurbani to understand Gurbani we get the meanings of the words


ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ Thaon Na Hovee means “not get any respect or dignity.”


ਪਉਦੀਈ Paudayee comes from the words ਪੈਦੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ Paindee Jandee. It means “being put into.” Here is means “descending” or being put into an increasingly negative position.


ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ Hunn Suneya means to ‘listen instantly, now, without delay”


ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Ruaayea. The root of ਰੂਆਇਆ Ruaayea is ਰੋਣਾ – weep, cry, and shed tears; but the context of the pauree is spiritual. In Gurbani spirituality the word “weep or cry” is used as an expression of deep regret. As in


ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੈ ਬਹੁਤਾ ਰੋਵੈ ॥ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਧੋਖਾ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਸੋਵੈ ॥ Hukm Na Janey Bahuta Rovey. Andur Dhokha Neend Na Sovey. SGGS 85.


Meaning: Not Understanding the Creator’s Hukm, One Regrets; His Inner Spirituality Suffers Deceit and He Gets No Peace and Solace.


Using the Gurbani Framework, the meaning of the fourth verse is


ਥਾਉ ਨ ਹੋਵੀ ਪਉਦੀਈ ਹੁਣਿ ਸੁਣੀਐ ਕਿਆ ਰੂਆਇਆ ॥ Thaon Na Hove Paundayee Hunn Suneyeh Kya Ruayea.


My spiritual life is descending into disrespect and indignity, listen without delay, will you O mind! and not regret later.


ਮਨਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥ ੩ ॥ Munn Andhey Janam Gavayea.


O un-enlightened mind! my life is being squandered as a result (of your unenlightened state).



Compare this to the Vedic / Yogic / Literal Translation: The blind man has wasted his life away.



POINTS TO NOTE.


The following four points are worth nothing in the interest of getting to authentic Tatt Gurmat based interpretations of Gurbani.


FIRSTLY, that Gurbani is talking about LIFE HERE and NOW. And that translations adopting the Vedic / Yogic – knowingly or unknowingly – end up steering Gurbani into LIFE AFTER DEATH. The primary concerns of the Vedic / yogic systems are indeed connected intrinsically with matters of LIFE AFTER DEATH; whereas Gurbani is primarily focused on LIVING LIFE.


SECOND, that Vedic, Taksalee and Yogic translations DISTORT Gurbani to the extent that they hijack the UNIQUE spiritual messages of Gurbani; slanting them towards REJECTED non-Sikhi belief systems. The ultimate outcome of these mistranslations is the almost complete hijacking of Sikhi. Large majorities of Sikhs today accept these Vedic and Yogic concepts as Sikhi tenets.


THIRD, the hijacking of Gurbani interpretation happens through the following methods which may be deliberate or by error – all of which are illustrated in the defective translations presented of the five verses of the Pauree under discussion above.


a) Wrong Translation of Words. (ਅੰਧੈ (Andhey being translated as ‘blind’ instead of un-enlightened)


b) Changed Concepts (The utility of Guru Nanak’s spirituality for the HERE and NOW being presented as one focused on life AFTER death).


c) Adding (in the translation) what is NOT contained in the Verse being translated. (Adding the words “the soul passes away” to the translation of verse one, adding “when he dies” and “in the court of Dhrm Raj” in verse two, and adding “he is whipped” in verse four.)


d) Changing the original words in the verse to suit the hijacking.


e) Presenting downright Illogical stuff. (The notion – from verse 2 – that chains are put around “the neck” after death make absolutely no sense given that “the neck” is either buried or cremated with the rest of the body during the funeral. The logic – from verse 3 – of “reading out” or “properly explaining” also makes no sense given that “reading” and “explaining” are HUMAN functions of the SENSES and the MIND – ALL OF WHICH CEASE TO EXIST UPON DEATH.


There is therefore a need to interpret Gurbani as Gurbani; using Gurbani as the only source of reference if we intend to get to the messages that were intended by the authors of Gurbani.
 

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Literal translation from Sant Singh Khalsa in black followed by my interpretation in green.

ਕਾਨੜਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
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