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For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky: A Shabad

Inderjeet Kaur

Oct 13, 2011
Seattle, Washington, USA
ਸ੍ਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਏ ਸੋ ਸੁਖੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਮੁਖੁ ਊਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਪੂਰੇ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਪਾਈਐ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਸਭਨੀ ਲੋਇ ॥
ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਏਕੋ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥
ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ॥
ਨਾਮੁ ਸਹਾਈ ਸਦਾ ਸੰਗਿ ਆਗੈ ਲਏ ਛਡਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਦੁਨੀਆ ਕੀਆ ਵਡਿਆਈਆ ਕਵਨੈ ਆਵਹਿ ਕਾਮਿ ॥
ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਸਭੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਜਾਤੋ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਨਿਦਾਨਿ ॥
ਜਾ ਕੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਹਰਿ ਵਸੈ ਸੋ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ॥੨॥
ਸਾਧੂ ਕੀ ਹੋਹੁ ਰੇਣੁਕਾ ਅਪਣਾ ਆਪੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ॥
ਉਪਾਵ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਸਗਲ ਛਡਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਚਰਣੀ ਲਾਗੁ ॥
ਤਿਸਹਿ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਰਤਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਜਿਸੁ ਮਸਤਕਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਭਾਗੁ ॥੩॥
ਤਿਸੈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਭਾਈਹੋ ਜਿਸੁ ਦੇਵੈ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਿ ॥
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਾਪੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਕਉ ਗੁਰੁ ਭੇਟਿਆ ਬਿਨਸੇ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਤਾਪ ॥੪॥੮॥੭੮॥
sreeraag mehalaa 5 ||
naam dhhiaaeae so sukhee this mukh oojal hoe ||
poorae gur thae paaeeai paragatt sabhanee loe ||
saadhhasa(n)gath kai ghar vasai eaeko sachaa soe ||1||
maerae man har har naam dhhiaae ||
naam sehaaee sadhaa sa(n)g aagai leae shhaddaae ||1|| rehaao ||
dhuneeaa keeaa vaddiaaeeaa kavanai aavehi kaam ||
maaeiaa kaa ra(n)g sabh fikaa jaatho binas nidhaan ||
jaa kai hiradhai har vasai so pooraa paradhhaan ||2||
saadhhoo kee hohu raenukaa apanaa aap thiaag ||
oupaav siaanap sagal shhadd gur kee charanee laag ||
thisehi paraapath rathan hoe jis masathak hovai bhaag ||3||
thisai paraapath bhaaeeho jis dhaevai prabh aap ||
sathigur kee saevaa so karae jis binasai houmai thaap ||
naanak ko gur bhaettiaa binasae sagal sa(n)thaap ||4||8||78||

Siree Raag, Fifth Mehla:
One who meditates on the Naam is at peace; his face is radiant and bright.
Obtaining it from the Perfect Guru, he is honored all over the world.
In the Company of the Holy, the One True Lord comes to abide within the home of the self. ||1||
O my mind, meditate on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.
The Naam is your Companion; it shall always be with you. It shall save you in the world hereafter. ||1||Pause||
What good is worldly greatness?
All the pleasures of Maya are tasteless and insipid. In the end, they shall all fade away.
Perfectly fulfilled and supremely acclaimed is the one, in whose heart the Lord abides. ||2||
Become the dust of the Saints; renounce your selfishness and conceit.
Give up all your schemes and your clever mental tricks, and fall at the Feet of the Guru.
He alone receives the Jewel, upon whose forehead such wondrous destiny is written. ||3||
O Siblings of Destiny, it is received only when God Himself bestows it.
People serve the True Guru only when the fever of egotism has been eradicated.
Nanak has met the Guru; all his sufferings have come to an end. ||4||8||78||

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji p.44

Yes, I am a Trekkie, a nerd of the classical variety. Although not as knowledgeable as some – I'd have to look up Frances Nuyen's middle name – I am nonetheless a huge fan. More importantly, Star Trek has integrated itself into my life.

In the episode whose name shares this piece's title, a group of people are, unknown to them, living inside a spaceship hurling toward a paradisaical promised land. One man, now very old, once climbed a mountain, an act strictly forbidden, reached up and felt the edge of the spaceship. Telling about this, he falls dead, his act of disobedience costing him his life.

This might all be allegorical (much of Star Trek is), but I'm not sure if this has anything to do with this shabad or why I am writing this Whatever the case the background may be interesting to some. It is to me.

I have made this picture to illustrate one of the meanings of this shabad to me. There are many other meanings, of course. This is just one. I am no scholar and I am certain others get deeper meanings from this; this is what I see now. I am not writing a line-by-line analysis; I leave that to others.

Every time I read this shabad that line comes to my mind; for me it sums up one of the meanings it sometimes has for me. After all is said and done, the world of Maya is shallow and meaningless, hollow. How sad would it be if that were all there were!

As I see it, Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji and Sikhi, in general, and this shabad, in particular, show us the ultimate meaninglessness of Maya and the soaring delight, the peace and joy that await us when we are able to accept it.

From the hollowness of Maya, we are called upon to stop trying to find any lasting fulfillment within the fleeting confines of our mundane consciousness, to fall at the feet of the Guru and in doing so, to move beyond the ordinary, to touch the sky.

Part of the genius of Sikhi is that we are able to reach these heights whilst still living in the world of action, still doing the things people do everyday. This is where we are and what we do, all the time learning to overcome our fevered ego, learning to rest peacefully at the feet of Waheguru, experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary, touching the sky while our own feet remain on the ground of the hollow world in which we live.


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Aug 20, 2009
An excellent post Inderjeet Kaur ji - you are blessed. Whilst the feet are firmly on the ground (farsh) the mind (mann) is touching (sparsh) the skies (arsh).
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With advancing age my interest in the outside world is waning. Even during broad daylight my eyelids drop, without any conscious effort on my part, and my mind yearns to be elsewhere - away from this all. This is the power of <I>shabad</I>. We are so blessed to have such Gurbani, sheer wisdom – <I>dhur ki bani</I>.

Rajnder Singh ‘Arshi’
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