Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee | ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee | ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ

Dr Karminder Singh

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SPNer
Sep 4, 2009
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The shabd is composed by Guru Teg Bahadur ji and is contained on Page 633 of the SGGS. The complete shabd is as follows:


ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥ Sorath Mehla 9


ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ ਅਪਨੈ ਸੁਖਿ ਲਾਗਿਓ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥



Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhiyo Koyee. Sagl Jagt Apney Sukh Lageyo Dukh Mei Sang Na Hoyee.


ਦਾਰਾ ਮੀਤ ਪੂਤ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਸਗਰੇ ਧਨ ਸਿਉ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ ਜਬ ਹੀ ਨਿਰਧਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਨਰ ਕਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਛਾਡਿ ਸਭ ਭਾਗੇ ॥੧॥


Dara Meet Poot Sanbandhi Sagreh Dhan Sio Lagey. Jub Hi Nirdhan Deykhio Nar Ko Sang Chad Sabh Bhagey


ਕਹਂਉ ਕਹਾ ਯਿਆ ਮਨ ਬਉਰੇ ਕਉ ਇਨ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾਇਓ ॥ ਦੀਨਾ ਨਾਥ ਸਗਲ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨ ਜਸੁ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਬਿਸਰਾਇਓ ॥੨॥


Kho(n) Kha Yia Mun Baorey Kao En Sio Neho Lagayeo. Dina Nath Sagl Bhei Bhanjan Jus Ta Ko Bisrayeo


ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛ ਜਿਉ ਭਇਓ ਨ ਸੂਧਉ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਜਤਨੁ ਮੈ ਕੀਨਉ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਾਜ ਬਿਰਦ ਕੀ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੁਹਾਰਉ ਲੀਨਉ ॥ ੩ ॥


Suan Puch Jio Bhayeo Na Sudho Bahot Jatun Mein Kino. Nank Laj Bered Ke Rakho Nam Tuharo Leno.


PUTTING BANI INTO SELF CONSTRUCTED BOXES


Guru Teg Bahadur ji has a total of 115 shabds and saloks in the SGGS. Our clergy – kathakars, ragis and kirtenias in particular, and even some translators – have given a self-invented collective description to his shabds – namely that the bani of the ninth master is ਵਿਰਾਗਮਈ ਬਾਣੀ Vairagmayee Bani.


The word ਵਿਰਾਗ Vairag translates as renunciation, monasticism, and non-attachment. In practical terms it would mean freedom from worldly attachments. Our clergy tell us that Guru Teg Bahadur’s bani captures grief caused by separation or bereavement. For these reasons then, compositions of the ninth Guru are staple for kirtan and katha sermons during death ceremonies in our Gurdwaras.


For the serious student of Gurbani, such categorization is a disservice. It attempts to paint 115 deeply rich, diverse, varied, and spiritually rewarding creator –realization messages with just one flat brush of renunciation.


What has been the root cause of such simplistic and flawed categorization of the bani of Guru Teg Bahadur as contained within the SGGS?


Part of the fault lies with the slanted life-story of the ninth Guru that has been presented by agenda-driven writers and repeated ad-nauseum by our clergy to the Sikh masses. One sakhi (story) has it that on the occasion of the wedding of his uncle, young Teg Bahadur had been provided with a new outfit. He walked out of his home and came across a youngster who was in need of clothes. Teg Bahadur disrobed and offered all his clothes to this youngster.


Thi event, according to the sakhi’s proponents, is clear evidence of the Guru possessing ਤਿਆਗੀ Tyagi or renunciation traits from an early age.


A second sakhi has it that the Guru sat in meditation for some 33 years in an underground cellar. This again is evidence of him having renounced his youth, family and a significant portion of his own life.


A third story is that his original name was ਤਿਆਗ ਮੱਲ Tyag Mal (literally: Staunch Renunciator). His parents had named him to reflect the epitome of renunciation that the child was expected to become. But upon his grandfather – Guru Hargobind realizing his swordsmanship abilities while taking part in one of the sixth Guru’s wars – he was re-named Teg Bahadur – to reflect the epitome of swordsmanship that Tyag Mal – the epitome of renunciation – had now transformed into.


The sakhi does not explain the contradictions of how someone sitting in an underground cellar for 33 years could have simultaneously undergone training to become a swordsman par excellence and show the skills in an actual war. Neither does it say how his parents had misjudged in giving him the name Tyag Mal – something that had to be subsequently changed to reflect his true nature.


Neither do these sakhis tell us how and why the renunciation trait of the Guru continued to reflect itself in 115 shabds and saloks that the Guru composed even after his name was changed from Tyag Mal to Teg Bahadur.


The truth is of course that these sakhis are concocted to fit the conclusion that the Guru’s bani is all ਵਿਰਾਗਮਈ Vairagmayee – focussed on ਤਿਆਗ Tyag – renunciation.


HITTING THE TARGET BUT MISSING THE POINT


Beyond the sakhis, a major part of the fault towards flawed conclusions about Guru Teg Bahadur’s deeply rich and spiritual bani lies with literal interpretation rooted in literal translation. In fact, this is the core problem. So much of attention is paid towards getting accurately to the literal, that the point of the shabd – its message – is missed altogether.


Sant Singh MD’s English translation of the SGGS provides the following interpretation for the shabd under discussion.


ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥ Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhyo Koyee


In this world, I have not found any true friend.


Comment: Why is the Guru lamenting about his “inability” to find a true friend in this world?” Is finding a “true friend” in this world the objective of the kind of spirituality that is advocated by our Gurus in Gurbani? Did all the other Gurus have “true friends in this world”? If finding a true friend is indeed a requirement for spirituality, then it is an impossible task because the next two verses say there can be no true friend or relative even within one’s family.


ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ ਅਪਨੈ ਸੁਖਿ ਲਾਗਿਓ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Sagal Jagat Apney Sukh Lageo Dukh Mein Sang Na Koyi. Rahao


The whole world is attached to its own pleasures, and when trouble comes, no one is with you. ||1||Pause


Comment: If the Guru is aware that the whole world is attached to its own pleasures, then shouldn’t one’s “inability to find a true friend in this world” (the lament in verse one above) be a given and a constant in life?


Secondly, having someone to be with when one is in trouble does not add to one’s spirituality. Having no one does not take away from it. So why would the Guru – as author of this shabd -be lamenting over this very mundane fact of temporal life?


Obviously, the translation as provided is literal, and one needs to cross over into the spiritual realm to get the spiritual message of this Rahao couplet. Such a translation, although hitting bulls eye on the literal, misses the point because it falls short of getting to the message.


ਦਾਰਾ ਮੀਤ ਪੂਤ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਸਗਰੇ ਧਨ ਸਿਉ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ Dara Meet Poot Sanbandhi Sagrey Dhan Ko Lagey.


Wives, friends, children and relatives – all are attached to wealth.


ਜਬ ਹੀ ਨਿਰਧਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਨਰ ਕਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਛਾਡਿ ਸਭ ਭਾਗੇ ॥੧॥ Jub Hee Nirdhan Deykhiyo Nur Ko Sang Chad Sabh Bhagey.


When they see a poor man, they all forsake his company and run away.


Comment: The translations provide no more than a temporal and superficial knowledge that is applicable – in some, but not all cases – in the external, physical life sense. Such knowing does not add substantial value to our spiritual journeys within.


In any case, the “wife and child” of Guru Teg Bahadur were not attached to his temporal “wealth.” So this verse does not apply to the author of it. Obviously then, this cannot be the intended meaning of the verse.


ਕਹਂਉ ਕਹਾ ਯਿਆ ਮਨ ਬਉਰੇ ਕਉ ਇਨ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾਇਓ ॥ Kaho Kha Yia Mun Baorey Ko En Sion Neho Lagayeo


So what should I say to this crazy mind, which is affectionately attached to them?


Comment: As social beings, how else is one supposed to conduct ones’ self within the institution of family (and friends and relatives too) if not in the affectionate sense? Will our spiritual journeys be enhanced if we become less affectionate to the ones’ we love?


Again, the challenge is to rise above the literal. The next two verses are translated as:


ਦੀਨਾ ਨਾਥ ਸਕਲ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨ ਜਸੁ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਬਿਸਰਾਇਓ ॥੨॥ Dina Nath Sakal Bhei Bhanjan Jus Ta Ko Bisrayeo.


The Lord is the Master of the meek, the Destroyer of all fears, and I have forgotten to praise Him.


ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛ ਜਿਉ ਭਇਓ ਨ ਸੂਧਉ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਜਤਨੁ ਮੈ ਕੀਨਉ ॥ Suan Pooch Jio Bhayeo Na Sudho Bhot Jatn Mein Keeno


Like a dog’s tail, which will never straighten out, the mind will not change, no matter how many things are tried.


Comment: Because both verses are literally translated, they appear contradictory. The first one says I have “forgotten” to praise Him – suggesting that the issue is a minor one pertaining to forgetfulness; and can thus be overcome by “not forgetting to remember.”


The second verse is saying “like a dog’s tail which will never straighten out.” The suggestion here is that the issue is NOT minor (forgetfulness) but massively deep rooted; and can NEVER be overcome.


The concluding verse is translated as:


ਨਾਨਕ ਲਾਜ ਬਿਰਦ ਕੀ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੁਹਾਰਉ ਲੀਨਉ ॥੩॥੯॥ Nanak Laj Berd Ke Rakho Nam Tuharo Lino


Says Nanak, please, Lord, uphold the honour of Your innate nature; I chant Your Name.


Comment: “I chant Your Name” as a translation for “Nam Tuharo Lino” is entirely literal. If “chanting the Name” was all there to it then why are the above problems being presented as intractable “like a dog’s tail that will never straighten out”? Anybody and everybody should be able to chant their problems away.


Overall comment: The shabd has been translated purely literally. Its interpretation does not venture beyond the temporal, superficial, external and physical life realm.


In this sense then, such an interpretation does NOT provide any NEW revelations relevant to our temporal life even. This is because we already know that there is nothing permanent in this world. We know that family, friends, acquaintances are transient and their relationships with us are sometimes dependent on their personal and selfish interests. So at the very best, such interpretations help reinforce existing beliefs about our temporal life. Nothing more.


Gurbani is much more than that. It is primarily spiritual. Its BASE and CORE is spiritual. We need to get to that core so that it can be of value to our spiritual journey towards realization of the Creator within our mind and conscience.


UNDERSTANDING THE MESSAGE


The primary challenge lies in the crossing over from the literal to the spiritual messages that are contained within the verses of the shabd. We need to interpret messages in the way they were intended to be – to add value to our spiritual journeys, enhance our spiritual processes, and help us achieve the aim of Gurmat spirituality, which is the realization of the Creator within our mind and conscience.


The primary actor in our spiritual concerns, journey and objectives is the CONSCIENCE. The secondary actors are our MIND and our SENSES as windows to our temporal world.


This means that the concepts and terms in the shabd must be given spiritual meanings. The spiritual interpretation of the shabd is thus as follows.


ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥ Sorath Mehla 9


ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਜਗਤੁ ਅਪਨੈ ਸੁਖਿ ਲਾਗਿਓ ਦੁਖ ਮੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ Eh Jug Meet Na Dekhyo Koyee. Sagal Jagat Apney Sukh Lageo Dukh Mein Sang Na Koyi. Rahao



Comment: The world (JUG) of the CONSCIENCE is our INNER spiritual state. The acquaintances (MEET) of our CONSCIENCE are our SENSES. The joys (SUKH) of our Senses are those relating to the TEMPORAL. The sorrows (DUKH) of the Senses are when the joys of the temporal are denied.


So the meaning of the first verse, which is also the Rahao verse is:


The World of My Spirituality is Such. My Senses Relate to My Conscience Only in Their Own Temporal Joys and Sorrows.


The second verse reads:


ਦਾਰਾ ਮੀਤ ਪੂਤ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਸਗਰੇ ਧਨ ਸਿਉ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ Dara Meet Poot Sanbandhi Sagrey Dhan Ko Lagey.


Comment: The companion spouse (DARA MEET) of my conscience is my MIND. The offspring (POOT, SANBHANDHI) of my MIND are my thought processes that emanate out of the interaction of my mind and my senses. The presumed wealth (DHAN) of my mind is temporal gains. The poverty (NIRDHAN) of my mind is temporal losses. They relate to my conscience (LAGEY) when they see temporal gains in doing so, and extricate themselves (SANG CHAD SABH BHAGEY) when their assessment of the relation is one of temporal losses (NIRDHAN).


The meaning of the second verse, thus is:


My Mind and its Thought Processes Relate to My Conscience Only in Their Temporal Gains.


ਜਬ ਹੀ ਨਿਰਧਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਨਰ ਕਉ ਸੰਗੁ ਛਾਡਿ ਸਭ ਭਾਗੇ ॥੧॥ Jub Hee Nirdhan Deykhiyo Nur Ko Sang Chad Sabh Bhagey.


They extricate themselves from my conscience in their Assessment of Temporal Losses.






ਕਹਂਉ ਕਹਾ ਯਿਆ ਮਨ ਬਉਰੇ ਕਉ ਇਨ ਸਿਉ ਨੇਹੁ ਲਗਾਇਓ ॥ Kaho Kha Yia Mun Baorey Ko En Sion Neho Lagayeo


Kaho Kha –
What do I contemplate. Yia Mun – This Mind of Mine. Baorey – Unrealized – En Sion – these temporal gains and losses (from previous verse) . Neho Lagayeo – Attached, dependent, imbued.


What Do I Contemplate Within My Spiritually Unrealized Mind that is Imbued in Such Temporal Gains and Losses


Note: this verse is continued on to the next.


ਦੀਨਾ ਨਾਥ ਸਕਲ ਭੈ ਭੰਜਨ ਜਸੁ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਬਿਸਰਾਇਓ ॥੨॥ Dina Nath Sakal Bhei Bhanjan Jus Ta Ko Bisrayeo.


Dina Nath –
Creator Lord, Master. Sakal – Lit. Character. Bhei – Fears. Bhanjan – Destroy, Eliminate. Bhei Bhanjan – Fearless. Jus – Lit. Praise, appreciation; sp. of Divine Virtues. Ta Ko – Of. Bisrayeo – Neglect, Disregard


In Disregard of the Appreciation of Divine Virtues of the Creator Lord and of Fearlessness towards Temporal Losses?


BLUE – Context from previous verse.


ਸੁਆਨ ਪੂਛ ਜਿਉ ਭਇਓ ਨ ਸੂਧਉ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਜਤਨੁ ਮੈ ਕੀਨਉ ॥ Suan Pooch Jio Bhayeo Na Sudho Bhot Jatn Mein Keeno


Suan –
Lit, dog; sp. metaphor for greed. Pooch Jio – Lit. tail wagging, metaphor for excitement. Sudho – Correct a defect. Bhayeo Na – Fails to. Bhayeo Na Sudho – Unrepentant. Bhot – Plenty, Innumerable. Jatn – Effort. Mein Keeno – Undertaken by me.


My Divine Virtue Disregarding Mind Remains in Greed and Excitement Towards Temporal Gains, Unrepentant, Despite My Innumerable Efforts


BLUE – Context from previous verse couplet.


ਨਾਨਕ ਲਾਜ ਬਿਰਦ ਕੀ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੁਹਾਰਉ ਲੀਨਉ ॥੩॥੯॥ Nanak Laaj Berd Ke Rakho Nam Tuharo Lino


Laaj
– Dignity. Berd – Slave. Rakho – Maintain, elevate. Nam – Divine Virtues. Tuharo – Your. Lino – Lit, take; sp. Imbibe.


Comment: The dignity (LAAJ) of my conscience is maintained when my Conscience is the master of my spiritual process. This dignity is lost when my mind and senses remain within the pull of their temporal gains, losses, joys and sorrows.


My conscience in its state of being a slave (BERD) is the outcome of it being made a slave (BERD) to my mind, senses and the thought processes that result.



The meaning of the verse thus is:


The Elevation of the Dignity of My Conscience (LAAJH BEIRD KEE RAKHO) Is What I Seek in The Journey of Imbuing Your Divine Virtues Within.


CONCLUSION



It is clear that a purely literal translation of the above shabd FAILS to provide any NEW revelations relevant to our temporal life even. Messages such as there is nothing permanent in this world; family, friends, acquaintances are transient; and their relationships with us are sometimes dependent on their personal and selfish interests et; are already within the domain of the average human understanding. Such messages make Gurbani common place, mundane and even humdrum – which certainly is not the case.


This real and priceless value of the messages within Gurbani pertain to spirituality. The messages of Gurbani are intended primarily to ADD VALUE TO OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS and PROCESSES. The primary actor in our spiritual concerns, journey and objectives is the CONSCIENCE. The secondary actors are our MIND and our SENSES as windows to our temporal world. The messages of Gurbani are intended to help us achieve the aim of Gurmat spirituality, which is the realization of the Creator within our mind and conscience.


Even though the messages are ultimately intended for the spiritual empowerment and awakening of our conscience, they need to follow the pathway that begins with our senses and leads to our mind.


For this purpose, then, it is necessary to cross over from the literal to the spiritual messages that are contained within the verses of the shabd. This is our challenge as adherents and followers of the messages of Gurbani.


It is hoped that readers are able to see the value in the attempt to do just that for this deeply rich, diverse, varied, and spiritually rewarding creator –realization messages that are embedded within this one shabd of Guru Teg Bahadur ji.
 

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