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Caste, Gender And The Sikhs

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Caste, Gender and the Sikhs
By Balvinder

THE Supreme Court of India recently confirmed life imprisonments for three Sikh men, accused of ‘honour kills’. While delivering the judgment one of the judges, Justice H.S. Bedi expressed his anguish and disbelief by stating that how could such a thing happen in a family of Sikhs, who are fundamentally opposed to caste, based classifications.

The Sikhs are expected nay ordained by their religion to keep their woman folk in high esteem. Yet Punjab, where they are in majority, is currently facing an imbalance in the sex ratio that is tilting heavily against female population; and for no hidden reasons. Both nadi mar [smokers] and kudi mar [killers of daughters] are back with vengeance.

While nothing tangible is being done to tackle these burning issues that have been disturbing the Sikh social fabric, many a non-issue are raked almost regularly.
Specific issues apart, the pictures of 'angst-ridden' protesting Sikhs, belonging to different politico-religious organisations that have come up in large numbers both in India and abroad, keep appearing in the media almost regularly.

The range of these generally 'peaceful' protests, brandishing swords et al, from local to international levels, being so wide, it perhaps can not be measured in quantum. It is another story that many of these seemingly loud agitations, due to their ingenious dramatization by the media, often have less number of actual agitators than the flock of press photographers and journalists!

Equally enigmatic remain the purposes and profits of such recurring agitations. Take for instance the ongoing demonstrations that are being organised against religious 'atrocities' that allegedly are inflicted, rather 'discriminately', particularly upon Sikhs living and working in the Western countries!

'Atrocities'? Like that of preventing, as per the Western local laws, a handful of Sikhs from wearing weapons ('kirpans') or turbans at work places or educational institutions. These outwardly 'anguished' protest-fights by many a local Sikh group include, apart from the routine road shows, a number of paid-by-others 'taxing' trips to foreign lands also. Mercifully none objects to the wearing of safety helmets, in place of turbans, by the Sikh fighter pilots of Indian Air Force.

Unfortunately, some of the recent Sikh-religious protests, which are aimed against the 'dera' culture, because of blatant political interferences, have started taking violent shapes in this region. A really disturbing trend indeed that could push Punjab into quagmire of violence that only recently ended.

Sadly enough, no proactive Sikh religious organisation, local or foreign based, seems to have ever bothered to find reasons that have lead to the abrogation of the traditional turbaned/bearded Sikh-look by a large majority of the Sikhs; youngsters in particular. This unfortunate trend has now penetrated into the Sikh psyche so intensely that today a large number of Sikh girls show their unconcealed preference for 'cut-surds' as their life partners. Innumerable matrimonial ads in the media, emphasising this inclination, sufficiently confirms this fervour.

This fast shrinking Sikh base should, in fact, have been the real cause of worry.

It seems no one's concern to find causes that have lead to the regular mass drift of Sikhs, mostly from the lower social strata,(a distinction that the fundamental doctrine of Sikhism refuses to accept; rather the caste based categorisations are considered offensive), towards comparatively 'newer' and controversial faiths/'deras', and even the putting up of separate caste based gurudwaras.

During more than two-hundred-year long era of living Sikh Gurus, from Guru Nanak (1469 AD - 1539 AD) to Guru Gobind Singh (1666 AD - 1708 AD), only two major, modifications were introduced into Sikhism. Both were necessitated by the changing times and these altered socio-political landscape of Punjab.

The first significant change was pioneered about a century after the birth of Sikhism, by Guru Hargobind, the Sixth Sikh Guru, who added a royal element to Sikhism by adopting a dual role of a saint and a warrior. Another century later the second and the most significant transformation was introduced by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and the last living Sikh Guru. He gave Sikhism not only an exclusive warrior like identity but also discontinued the tradition of having living Gurus. It too was timely and wisely considered.

A well intended 'masand' system was started by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, to raise funds for the construction of the holy tanks in Amritsar. Though initially the system played a successful role in preaching and organising early Sikhism it got corrupted with the passage of time. So Guru Gobind Singh had to put an end to this system.

More than three centuries have passed by since that last major change in Sikhism. However no upward modification, to suit the changed socio political situation, has been introduced into this religion during this rather longish period. Rather the corrupted 'masand' system seems to have returned to the fold.

A majority of people are getting disillusioned not with the mainstream Sikhism as they find no mitigation of the social, cultural and economic problems. The fast rise of many a sub sect within Sikhism, including the emergence of controversial 'Dera' culture and caste-based exclusive 'Gurdwaras', sufficiently substantiates the clogged approach that various managers of the Sikh affairs have been adopting for long.

So it becomes imperative to have a serious re-look at the current functioning of Sikh-affairs, both at the religious and socio-political level, which seemingly is mired in petty politics and outdated customs.

Lead purely by the then popular Bhakti movement Sikhism began as a rationalist revolt against all the prevalent orthodox religious-beliefs that had grown into fraudulent practices and were cause of immense pain to the people. Dr Gokal Chand Narang described this situation as following;" The spring of religion had been chocked up by weeds of unmeaning ceremonials, debasing superstitions, the selfishness of the priests, and the indifference of people. Form had supplanted the reality and the highly spiritual character of the Hinduism had been buried under the ostentatious paraphernalia of sects".

Guru Nanak acutely ridiculed these entire practices trough his 'Bani' (his poetic religious renditions that comprise a major part of the Adi Granth). Despite such a straightforward attack by the first Sikh Guru on both Hindu and Muslim religious rites and traditions that he considered meaningless and unworthy of continuation, the Guru's followers did not drift away from their basic ethnic characters. They continued to be the integral parts of their original cultural identities. Sikhism even after the installation of Guru Granth Sahib as the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs has gone through innumerable upheavals and conflicts.

Sikhism is passing through a relatively stable socio-political phase that is laced by an extensive democratic freedom and a global awareness; it can afford to have a close re-look. It needs to meet the current socio-political scenario in a harmonious way and check the present degradation. Sikhism needs to be re-examined, rather right away.

The emergence of innumerable new religious rituals, which Sikhism initially opposed, and the revival of intense caste based distinctions are two big blemishes on the face of Sikhism.

Though the fading traditional Sikh identity could be of an important concern, yet the focus today should perhaps be put more on making true Gursikhs, who instead of wearing their faiths on their sleeves should firmly and faithfully follow its fundamental system of belief.

When Guru Nanak said that he neither is a Hindu nor a Muslim, he tried to bring all the religious 'brands' under 'one' large umbrella that spoke of nothing but virtuous humanism. Moreover his ire against the prevalent religious rituals was focused only on those ones that had got developed into fraudulent pretences to hoodwink the gullible believers.

For instance Guru Nanak's emphasis on the regular recitation of the 'Gurbani', which can be described as a religious ritual, was aimed only at preparing one for a socio-spiritual journey.

However, in today's context, apart from the regular recitation of 'Gurbani' its attentive 'reading', with a view to understanding the crux of its inherent beliefs so to put them into actual practice, must not be ignored. Rather this aspect needs to be highlighted the most. "Truth is higher; still higher is truthful living", rightly said Guru Nanak.

It is high time that suitable, as per the changed time, ways are found and implemented after deliberations amongst the Sikh intelligentsia and priests. Proselytising through compulsive baptising, as reportedly was started, rather unsuccessfully, in a school recently, would be both futile counter productive.

Even the current restrictions put by the SGPC on the ‘private’ publication of Guru Granth sahib, is being seen as a retrograde step. This step, in today’s context, is meaningless because the sacred text is already available on various computer storage devices and can be printed by any one in a jiffy.

Let the sacred word spread far and wide. This would not only bring back to the fold those who have gone astray but also attract people from other faiths and regions.

[The author is a Former Principal Government College Chandigarh. ba1vinder@yahoo.co.uk]


(previously amarsanghera, account deactivated at t
Jun 7, 2006
Gyani ji

How can Sikhs fall down the drain?

it's those who never were.

or it depends on what is a drain

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Drain is a shallow long pit in which dirty water flows..also called sewer..
and yes you are right..these people in the drain are not sikhs..they couldnt be..
they may look like sikhs, sound like sikhs, dress like sikhs,,BUT they are NOT sikhs.:8-:):8-:):8-:)


(previously amarsanghera, account deactivated at t
Jun 7, 2006
ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥
भरीऐ हथु पैरु तनु देह ॥
Bẖarī▫ai hath pair ṯan ḏeh.
When the hands and the feet and the body are dirty,

ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥
पाणी धोतै उतरसु खेह ॥
Pāṇī ḏẖoṯai uṯras kẖeh.
water can wash away the dirt.

ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
मूत पलीती कपड़ु होइ ॥
Mūṯ palīṯī kapaṛ ho▫e.
When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine,

ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥
दे साबूणु लईऐ ओहु धोइ ॥
Ḏe sābūṇ la▫ī▫ai oh ḏẖo▫e.
soap can wash them clean.

ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥
भरीऐ मति पापा कै संगि ॥
Bẖarī▫ai maṯ pāpā kai sang.
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin,

ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
ओहु धोपै नावै कै रंगि ॥
Oh ḏẖopai nāvai kai rang.
it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.

ਪੁੰਨੀ ਪਾਪੀ ਆਖਣੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥
पुंनी पापी आखणु नाहि ॥
Punnī pāpī ākẖaṇ nāhi.
Virtue and vice do not come by mere words;

ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਣਾ ਲਿਖਿ ਲੈ ਜਾਹੁ ॥
करि करि करणा लिखि लै जाहु ॥
Kar kar karṇā likẖ lai jāhu.
actions repeated, over and over again, are engraved on the soul.

ਆਪੇ ਬੀਜਿ ਆਪੇ ਹੀ ਖਾਹੁ ॥
आपे बीजि आपे ही खाहु ॥
Āpe bīj āpe hī kẖāhu.
You shall harvest what you plant.

ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਆਵਹੁ ਜਾਹੁ ॥੨੦॥
नानक हुकमी आवहु जाहु ॥२०॥
Nānak hukmī āvhu jāhu. ||20||
O Nanak, by the Hukam of God's Command, we come and go in reincarnation. ||20||


(previously amarsanghera, account deactivated at t
Jun 7, 2006

simply spellbinding

ਅਸਟਪਦੀ ॥
असटपदी ॥

ਰਮਈਆ ਕੇ ਗੁਨ ਚੇਤਿ ਪਰਾਨੀ ॥
रमईआ के गुन चेति परानी ॥
Rama▫ī▫ā ke gun cẖeṯ parānī.
Think of the Glory of the All-pervading Lord, O mortal;

ਕਵਨ ਮੂਲ ਤੇ ਕਵਨ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਾਨੀ ॥
कवन मूल ते कवन द्रिसटानी ॥
Kavan mūl ṯe kavan ḏaristānī.
what is your origin, and what is your appearance?

ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂੰ ਸਾਜਿ ਸਵਾਰਿ ਸੀਗਾਰਿਆ ॥
जिनि तूं साजि सवारि सीगारिआ ॥
Jin ṯūʼn sāj savār sīgāri▫ā.
He who fashioned, adorned and decorated you, -

ਗਰਭ ਅਗਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਜਿਨਹਿ ਉਬਾਰਿਆ ॥
गरभ अगनि महि जिनहि उबारिआ ॥
Garabẖ agan mėh jinėh ubāri▫ā.
in the fire of the womb, He preserved you.

ਬਾਰ ਬਿਵਸਥਾ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਪਿਆਰੈ ਦੂਧ ॥
बार बिवसथा तुझहि पिआरै दूध ॥
Bār bivasthā ṯujẖėh pi▫ārai ḏūḏẖ.
In your infancy, He gave you milk to drink.

ਭਰਿ ਜੋਬਨ ਭੋਜਨ ਸੁਖ ਸੂਧ ॥
भरि जोबन भोजन सुख सूध ॥
Bẖar joban bẖojan sukẖ sūḏẖ.
In the flower of your youth, He gave you food, pleasure and understanding.

ਬਿਰਧਿ ਭਇਆ ਊਪਰਿ ਸਾਕ ਸੈਨ ॥
बिरधि भइआ ऊपरि साक सैन ॥
Biraḏẖ bẖa▫i▫ā ūpar sāk sain.
As you grow old, family and friends are there,

ਮੁਖਿ ਅਪਿਆਉ ਬੈਠ ਕਉ ਦੈਨ ॥
मुखि अपिआउ बैठ कउ दैन ॥
Mukẖ api▫ā▫o baiṯẖ ka▫o ḏain.
to feed you as you rest.

ਇਹੁ ਨਿਰਗੁਨੁ ਗੁਨੁ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਬੂਝੈ ॥
इहु निरगुनु गुनु कछू न बूझै ॥
Ih nirgun gun kacẖẖū na būjẖai.
This worthless person has not appreciated in the least, all the good deeds done for him.

ਬਖਸਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੀਝੈ ॥੧॥
बखसि लेहु तउ नानक सीझै ॥१॥
Bakẖas leho ṯa▫o Nānak sījẖai. ||1||
If you bless him with forgiveness, O Nanak, only then will he be saved. ||1||

ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਧਰ ਊਪਰਿ ਸੁਖਿ ਬਸਹਿ ॥
जिह प्रसादि धर ऊपरि सुखि बसहि ॥
Jih parsāḏ ḏẖar ūpar sukẖ basėh.
By His Grace, you abide in comfort upon the earth.

ਸੁਤ ਭ੍ਰਾਤ ਮੀਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਹਸਹਿ ॥
सुत भ्रात मीत बनिता संगि हसहि ॥
Suṯ bẖarāṯ mīṯ baniṯā sang hasėh.
With your children, siblings, friends and spouse, you laugh.

ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਸੀਤਲ ਜਲਾ ॥
जिह प्रसादि पीवहि सीतल जला ॥
Jih parsāḏ pīvėh sīṯal jalā.
By His Grace, you drink in cool water.

ਸੁਖਦਾਈ ਪਵਨੁ ਪਾਵਕੁ ਅਮੁਲਾ ॥
सुखदाई पवनु पावकु अमुला ॥
Sukẖ▫ḏā▫ī pavan pāvak amulā.
You have peaceful breezes and priceless fire.

ਜਿਹ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਭੋਗਹਿ ਸਭਿ ਰਸਾ ॥
जिह प्रसादि भोगहि सभि रसा ॥
Jih parsāḏ bẖogėh sabẖ rasā.
By His Grace, you enjoy all sorts of pleasures.

ਸਗਲ ਸਮਗ੍ਰੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਾਥਿ ਬਸਾ ॥
सगल समग्री संगि साथि बसा ॥
Sagal samagrī sang sāth basā.
You are provided with all the necessities of life.

ਦੀਨੇ ਹਸਤ ਪਾਵ ਕਰਨ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਰਸਨਾ ॥
दीने हसत पाव करन नेत्र रसना ॥
Ḏīne hasaṯ pāv karan neṯar rasnā.
He gave you hands, feet, ears, eyes and tongue,

ਤਿਸਹਿ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਅਵਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਚਨਾ ॥
तिसहि तिआगि अवर संगि रचना ॥
Ŧisėh ṯi▫āg avar sang racẖnā.
and yet, you forsake Him and attach yourself to others.

ਐਸੇ ਦੋਖ ਮੂੜ ਅੰਧ ਬਿਆਪੇ ॥
ऐसे दोख मूड़ अंध बिआपे ॥
Aise ḏokẖ mūṛ anḏẖ bi▫āpe.
Such sinful mistakes cling to the blind fools;

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਢਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਆਪੇ ॥੨॥
नानक काढि लेहु प्रभ आपे ॥२॥
Nānak kādẖ leho parabẖ āpe. ||2||
Nanak: uplift and save them, God! ||2||

ਆਦਿ ਅੰਤਿ ਜੋ ਰਾਖਨਹਾਰੁ ॥
आदि अंति जो राखनहारु ॥
Āḏ anṯ jo rākẖanhār.
From beginning to end, He is our Protector,

ਤਿਸ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਨ ਕਰੈ ਗਵਾਰੁ ॥
तिस सिउ प्रीति न करै गवारु ॥
Ŧis si▫o parīṯ na karai gavār.
and yet, the ignorant do not give their love to Him.

ਜਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਵ ਨਿਧਿ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
जा की सेवा नव निधि पावै ॥
Jā kī sevā nav niḏẖ pāvai.
Serving Him, the nine treasures are obtained,

ਤਾ ਸਿਉ ਮੂੜਾ ਮਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਲਾਵੈ ॥
ता सिउ मूड़ा मनु नही लावै ॥
Ŧā si▫o mūṛā man nahī lāvai.
and yet, the foolish do not link their minds with Him.

ਜੋ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਸਦ ਸਦਾ ਹਜੂਰੇ ॥
जो ठाकुरु सद सदा हजूरे ॥
Jo ṯẖākur saḏ saḏā hajūre.
Our Lord and Master is Ever-present, forever and ever,

ਤਾ ਕਉ ਅੰਧਾ ਜਾਨਤ ਦੂਰੇ ॥
ता कउ अंधा जानत दूरे ॥
Ŧā ka▫o anḏẖā jānaṯ ḏūre.
and yet, the spiritually blind believe that He is far away.

ਜਾ ਕੀ ਟਹਲ ਪਾਵੈ ਦਰਗਹ ਮਾਨੁ ॥
जा की टहल पावै दरगह मानु ॥
Jā kī tahal pāvai ḏargėh mān.
In His service, one obtains honor in the Court of the Lord,

ਤਿਸਹਿ ਬਿਸਾਰੈ ਮੁਗਧੁ ਅਜਾਨੁ ॥
तिसहि बिसारै मुगधु अजानु ॥
Ŧisėh bisārai mugaḏẖ ajān.
and yet, the ignorant fool forgets Him.

ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਇਹੁ ਭੂਲਨਹਾਰੁ ॥
सदा सदा इहु भूलनहारु ॥
Saḏā saḏā ih bẖūlanhār.
Forever and ever, this person makes mistakes;

ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਖਨਹਾਰੁ ਅਪਾਰੁ ॥੩॥
नानक राखनहारु अपारु ॥३॥
Nānak rākẖanhār apār. ||3||
O Nanak, the Infinite Lord is our Saving Grace. ||3||

ਰਤਨੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਕਉਡੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਚੈ ॥
रतनु तिआगि कउडी संगि रचै ॥
Raṯan ṯi▫āg ka▫udī sang racẖai.
Forsaking the jewel, they are engrossed with a shell.

ਸਾਚੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਝੂਠ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਚੈ ॥
साचु छोडि झूठ संगि मचै ॥
Sācẖ cẖẖod jẖūṯẖ sang macẖai.
They renounce Truth and embrace falsehood.

ਜੋ ਛਡਨਾ ਸੁ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨੈ ॥
जो छडना सु असथिरु करि मानै ॥
Jo cẖẖadnā so asthir kar mānai.
That which passes away, they believe to be permanent.

ਜੋ ਹੋਵਨੁ ਸੋ ਦੂਰਿ ਪਰਾਨੈ ॥
जो होवनु सो दूरि परानै ॥
Jo hovan so ḏūr parānai.
That which is immanent, they believe to be far off.

ਛੋਡਿ ਜਾਇ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਸ੍ਰਮੁ ਕਰੈ ॥
छोडि जाइ तिस का स्रमु करै ॥
Cẖẖod jā▫e ṯis kā saram karai.
They struggle for what they must eventually leave.

ਸੰਗਿ ਸਹਾਈ ਤਿਸੁ ਪਰਹਰੈ ॥
संगि सहाई तिसु परहरै ॥
Sang sahā▫ī ṯis parharai.
They turn away from the Lord, their Help and Support, who is always with them.

ਚੰਦਨ ਲੇਪੁ ਉਤਾਰੈ ਧੋਇ ॥
चंदन लेपु उतारै धोइ ॥
Cẖanḏan lep uṯārai ḏẖo▫e.
They wash off the sandalwood paste;

ਗਰਧਬ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਭਸਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਹੋਇ ॥
गरधब प्रीति भसम संगि होइ ॥
Garḏẖab parīṯ bẖasam sang ho▫e.
like donkeys, they are in love with the mud.

ਅੰਧ ਕੂਪ ਮਹਿ ਪਤਿਤ ਬਿਕਰਾਲ ॥
अंध कूप महि पतित बिकराल ॥
Anḏẖ kūp mėh paṯiṯ bikrāl.
They have fallen into the deep, dark pit.

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਢਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਦਇਆਲ ॥੪॥
नानक काढि लेहु प्रभ दइआल ॥४॥
Nānak kādẖ leho parabẖ ḏa▫i▫āl. ||4||
Nanak: lift them up and save them, O Merciful Lord God! ||4||

ਕਰਤੂਤਿ ਪਸੂ ਕੀ ਮਾਨਸ ਜਾਤਿ ॥
करतूति पसू की मानस जाति ॥
Karṯūṯ pasū kī mānas jāṯ.
They belong to the human species, but they act like animals.

ਲੋਕ ਪਚਾਰਾ ਕਰੈ ਦਿਨੁ ਰਾਤਿ ॥
लोक पचारा करै दिनु राति ॥
Lok pacẖārā karai ḏin rāṯ.
They curse others day and night.

ਬਾਹਰਿ ਭੇਖ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਮਲੁ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
बाहरि भेख अंतरि मलु माइआ ॥
Bāhar bẖekẖ anṯar mal mā▫i▫ā.
Outwardly, they wear religious robes, but within is the filth of Maya.

ਛਪਸਿ ਨਾਹਿ ਕਛੁ ਕਰੈ ਛਪਾਇਆ ॥
छपसि नाहि कछु करै छपाइआ ॥
Cẖẖapas nāhi kacẖẖ karai cẖẖapā▫i▫ā.
They cannot conceal this, no matter how hard they try.

ਬਾਹਰਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨ ਇਸਨਾਨ ॥
बाहरि गिआन धिआन इसनान ॥
Bāhar gi▫ān ḏẖi▫ān isnān.
Outwardly, they display knowledge, meditation and purification,

ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਲੋਭੁ ਸੁਆਨੁ ॥
अंतरि बिआपै लोभु सुआनु ॥
Anṯar bi▫āpai lobẖ su▫ān.
but within clings the dog of greed.

ਅੰਤਰਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਤਨੁ ਸੁਆਹ ॥
अंतरि अगनि बाहरि तनु सुआह ॥
Anṯar agan bāhar ṯan su▫āh.
The fire of desire rages within; outwardly they apply ashes to their bodies.

ਗਲਿ ਪਾਥਰ ਕੈਸੇ ਤਰੈ ਅਥਾਹ ॥
गलि पाथर कैसे तरै अथाह ॥
Gal pāthar kaise ṯarai athāh.
There is a stone around their neck - how can they cross the unfathomable ocean?

ਜਾ ਕੈ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਸੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਿ ॥
जा कै अंतरि बसै प्रभु आपि ॥
Jā kai anṯar basai parabẖ āp.
Those, within whom God Himself abides -

ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਸਹਜਿ ਸਮਾਤਿ ॥੫॥
नानक ते जन सहजि समाति ॥५॥
Nānak ṯe jan sahj samāṯ. ||5||
O Nanak, those humble beings are intuitively absorbed in the Lord. ||5||

ਸੁਨਿ ਅੰਧਾ ਕੈਸੇ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥
सुनि अंधा कैसे मारगु पावै ॥
Sun anḏẖā kaise mārag pāvai.
By listening, how can the blind find the path?

ਕਰੁ ਗਹਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਓੜਿ ਨਿਬਹਾਵੈ ॥
करु गहि लेहु ओड़ि निबहावै ॥
Kar gėh leho oṛ nibhāvai.
Take hold of his hand, and then he can reach his destination.

ਕਹਾ ਬੁਝਾਰਤਿ ਬੂਝੈ ਡੋਰਾ ॥
कहा बुझारति बूझै डोरा ॥
Kahā bujẖāraṯ būjẖai dorā.
How can a riddle be understood by the deaf?

ਨਿਸਿ ਕਹੀਐ ਤਉ ਸਮਝੈ ਭੋਰਾ ॥
निसि कहीऐ तउ समझै भोरा ॥
Nis kahī▫ai ṯa▫o samjẖai bẖorā.
Say 'night', and he thinks you said 'day'.

ਕਹਾ ਬਿਸਨਪਦ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੁੰਗ ॥
कहा बिसनपद गावै गुंग ॥
Kahā bisanpaḏ gāvai gung.
How can the mute sing the Songs of the Lord?

ਜਤਨ ਕਰੈ ਤਉ ਭੀ ਸੁਰ ਭੰਗ ॥
जतन करै तउ भी सुर भंग ॥
Jaṯan karai ṯa▫o bẖī sur bẖang.
He may try, but his voice will fail him.

ਕਹ ਪਿੰਗੁਲ ਪਰਬਤ ਪਰ ਭਵਨ ॥
कह पिंगुल परबत पर भवन ॥
Kah pingul parbaṯ par bẖavan.
How can the cripple climb up the mountain?

ਨਹੀ ਹੋਤ ਊਹਾ ਉਸੁ ਗਵਨ ॥
नही होत ऊहा उसु गवन ॥
Nahī hoṯ ūhā us gavan.
He simply cannot go there.

ਕਰਤਾਰ ਕਰੁਣਾ ਮੈ ਦੀਨੁ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਕਰੈ ॥
करतार करुणा मै दीनु बेनती करै ॥
Karṯār karuṇā mai ḏīn benṯī karai.
O Creator, Lord of Mercy - Your humble servant prays;

ਨਾਨਕ ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤਰੈ ॥੬॥
नानक तुमरी किरपा तरै ॥६॥
Nānak ṯumrī kirpā ṯarai. ||6||
Nanak: by Your Grace, please save me. ||6||

ਸੰਗਿ ਸਹਾਈ ਸੁ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਚੀਤਿ ॥
संगि सहाई सु आवै न चीति ॥
Sang sahā▫ī so āvai na cẖīṯ.
The Lord, our Help and Support, is always with us, but the mortal does not remember Him.

ਜੋ ਬੈਰਾਈ ਤਾ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥
जो बैराई ता सिउ प्रीति ॥
Jo bairā▫ī ṯā si▫o parīṯ.
He shows love to his enemies.

ਬਲੂਆ ਕੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਬਸੈ ॥
बलूआ के ग्रिह भीतरि बसै ॥
Balū▫ā ke garih bẖīṯar basai.
He lives in a castle of sand.

ਅਨਦ ਕੇਲ ਮਾਇਆ ਰੰਗਿ ਰਸੈ ॥
अनद केल माइआ रंगि रसै ॥
Anaḏ kel mā▫i▫ā rang rasai.
He enjoys the games of pleasure and the tastes of Maya.

ਦ੍ਰਿੜੁ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨੈ ਮਨਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਤਿ ॥
द्रिड़ु करि मानै मनहि प्रतीति ॥
Ḏariṛ kar mānai manėh parṯīṯ.
He believes them to be permanent - this is the belief of his mind.

ਕਾਲੁ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਮੂੜੇ ਚੀਤਿ ॥
कालु न आवै मूड़े चीति ॥
Kāl na āvai mūṛe cẖīṯ.
Death does not even come to mind for the fool.

ਬੈਰ ਬਿਰੋਧ ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮੋਹ ॥
बैर बिरोध काम क्रोध मोह ॥
Bair biroḏẖ kām kroḏẖ moh.
Hate, conflict, sexual desire, anger, emotional attachment,

ਝੂਠ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਮਹਾ ਲੋਭ ਧ੍ਰੋਹ ॥
झूठ बिकार महा लोभ ध्रोह ॥
Jẖūṯẖ bikār mahā lobẖ ḏẖaroh.
falsehood, corruption, immense greed and deceit:

ਇਆਹੂ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਬਿਹਾਨੇ ਕਈ ਜਨਮ ॥
इआहू जुगति बिहाने कई जनम ॥
I▫āhū jugaṯ bihāne ka▫ī janam.
So many lifetimes are wasted in these ways.

ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਆਪਨ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਮ ॥੭॥
नानक राखि लेहु आपन करि करम ॥७॥
Nānak rākẖ leho āpan kar karam. ||7||
Nanak: uplift them, and redeem them, O Lord - show Your Mercy! ||7||

ਤੂ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਤੁਮ ਪਹਿ ਅਰਦਾਸਿ ॥
तू ठाकुरु तुम पहि अरदासि ॥
Ŧū ṯẖākur ṯum pėh arḏās.
You are our Lord and Master; to You, I offer this prayer.

ਜੀਉ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਸਭੁ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਾਸਿ ॥
जीउ पिंडु सभु तेरी रासि ॥
Jī▫o pind sabẖ ṯerī rās.
This body and soul are all Your property.

ਤੁਮ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੇਰੇ ॥
तुम मात पिता हम बारिक तेरे ॥
Ŧum māṯ piṯā ham bārik ṯere.
You are our mother and father; we are Your children.

ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਮਹਿ ਸੂਖ ਘਨੇਰੇ ॥
तुमरी क्रिपा महि सूख घनेरे ॥
Ŧumrī kirpā mėh sūkẖ gẖanere.
In Your Grace, there are so many joys!

ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ॥
कोइ न जानै तुमरा अंतु ॥
Ko▫e na jānai ṯumrā anṯ.
No one knows Your limits.

ਊਚੇ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ਭਗਵੰਤ ॥
ऊचे ते ऊचा भगवंत ॥
Ūcẖe ṯe ūcẖā bẖagvanṯ.
O Highest of the High, Most Generous God,

ਸਗਲ ਸਮਗ੍ਰੀ ਤੁਮਰੈ ਸੂਤ੍ਰਿ ਧਾਰੀ ॥
सगल समग्री तुमरै सूत्रि धारी ॥
Sagal samagrī ṯumrai suṯir ḏẖārī.
the whole creation is strung on Your thread.

ਤੁਮ ਤੇ ਹੋਇ ਸੁ ਆਗਿਆਕਾਰੀ ॥
तुम ते होइ सु आगिआकारी ॥
Ŧum ṯe ho▫e so āgi▫ākārī.
That which has come from You is under Your Command.

ਤੁਮਰੀ ਗਤਿ ਮਿਤਿ ਤੁਮ ਹੀ ਜਾਨੀ ॥
तुमरी गति मिति तुम ही जानी ॥
Ŧumrī gaṯ miṯ ṯum hī jānī.
You alone know Your state and extent.

ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਸਦਾ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੀ ॥੮॥੪॥
नानक दास सदा कुरबानी ॥८॥४॥
Nānak ḏās saḏā kurbānī. ||8||4||
Nanak, Your slave, is forever a sacrifice. ||8||4||