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Pauri 16 Japji Sahib - Pauri 16



Dear Members,

In this posting, I share with you my understanding of the 16th Pauri of Japji Sahib.

I have given serial # to the sentences of this Pauri for easy reference where needed.

1. pMc prvwx pMc prDwnu ] panch parvaan panch parDhaan.

Five accepted five lead.

My learning:

The literal translation does not provide any direct clue to the meaning. Published translation interpret it as five elected, the chosen ones, accepted ones, approved ones etc. Such meanings raise lots of questions.

‘Karta Purakh’ is not limited; numbers do not mean any thing for ‘Sat’. Numbers have meaning to we humans who are limited; hence this limit of five must be coming from us. What five we humans accept? The answer is the inputs from our five senses organs (i) organ for the sense of touch (ii) organ for the sense of taste (iii) organ for the sense of hearing (iv) organ for the sense of sight and (v) organ for the sense of smell. This is what ‘panch parvaan’ mean to me.

What five lead we human in life? The answer is the organs of action (i) hands (ii) feet (iii) organ of speech (iv) excretory organ and (v) generative organ. This is what ‘panch pardhaan’ mean to me.

2. pMcy pwvih drgih mwnu ] panchay paavahi dargahi maan.

The fives get respect at Dargahi.

My learning:

The use of word ‘Dargahi’ raises questions. What this Dargahi means, the available literature translates it as ‘court of God’. How can ‘Sat’ who is ‘Nirakaar’ have any thing, which has form? I conclude that literal meaning is not to be taken as it is; the implied meaning has to be looked for. The search tells that ‘Dargahi’, which has a context specific literal meaning as ‘court of God’ can also be understood as ‘spiritual world’.

Hence the meaning of this sentence for me is that ‘The five get respected in spiritual world’.

3. pMcy sohih dir rwjwnu ] panchay sohahi dar raajaan.

The fives look beautiful in the courts of kings.

My learning:

As was the case with the previous sentence here the words ‘dar raajaan’ have some implied meaning. Kings are associated with wealth; together these two words can be taken to mean ‘material world’.

4. pMcw kw guru eyku iDAwnu ] panchaa kaa guru ayk Dhi-aan.

The fives have one Guru – Dhi-aan

My learning:

Dhi-aan is a mental process of thinking. To me this sentence means that all the five senses and the five organs of action are controlled by one process – what we are thinking. This is what this sentence means to me.

My Learning from the above four sentences i.e. 1 to 4:

Taken the four sentences together, the learning is that it is very important that we master our thought process.

Depending on about what we are thinking, our sense organs alight on the corresponding object of interest and the organs of action lead us in the direction, which provides satisfaction to the interest that the thought process has created. The human organs of sense and action are the interfaces of the thought process to the real world. What the individual is doing is being watched both, by the material world and by the spiritual world. This watchful eye of the two worlds rates us. Depending on the quality of the individual’s being, she/he is respected in spiritual and material world. Such is the importance of what we think.

5. jy ko khY krY vIcwru ] jay ko kahai karai veechaar.

If someone says, think over it.

6. krqy kY krxY nwhI sumwru ] kartay kai karnai naahee sumaar.

The actions of the doer (here in means ‘Karta Purakh’) cannot be counted.

7. DOlu Drmu dieAw kw pUqu ] Dhoul Dharam da-i-aa kaa poot.

The Dharma of the mythological bull is the off spring of compassion.

My learning:

Compassion is a virtue; it is intangible. Bull is a physical being. How can a physical being, be a son of an intangible entity. In other words it means that we have to look for the implied meaning.

Here Guru Sahib has used a concept, which is taken from the religious mythology of his time and was part of perception of his audience. Guru Sahib is telling us that the mythological bull that is supposed to support the weight of this planet earth is doing his assigned duty out of compassion. The word ‘poot’ has been used to convey the cause and effect relationship only.


Please keep in mind that use of this mythological concept is used as metaphor to convey an idea. The concept per se is not to be taken as a reality. Soon we will find Guru Sahib asking us a question the answer to it negates the concept. I will point it out when we come to that sentence in this Pauri.

8. sMqoKu Qwip riKAw ijin sUiq ] santokh thaap rakhi-aa jin soot.

The embodied patience (or feeling of contentment) is what keeps it in place.

My Learning from 7th and 8th sentence:

Guru Sahib is telling us that harmony (it may be at individual level, family level, or any other higher level) is important in life. This is achieved if one has patience or a contented frame of mind. The considerations for others, stemming from compassion, give rise to the duties (Dharma) of the individual.

9. jy ko buJY hovY sicAwru ] jay ko bujhai hovai sachiaar.

If someone understands she/he will realise the truth.


My understanding says that from here, in this Pauri Guru Sahib has started unwinding the mythological story. So that no one considers this story to be a fact of nature.

10. DvlY aupir kyqw Bwru ] Dhavlai upar kaytaa bhaar

What load is there on this mythological bull?

11. DrqI horu prY horu horu ] Dhartee hor parai hor hor.

There are many planets (Dhartee) beyond this one.

12. iqs qy Bwru qlY kvxu joru ] tis tay bhaar talai kavan jor.

What is the force that supports their weight?

My learning:

The answer to the question of Guru Sahib is known to all of us; it is the nature, which supports the weight of all these planets, there is no bull. This tells us that the stories of mythology are true and false at the same time. They are true because these stories contain some message linked to truth; they are a way i.e. the medium to introduce some abstract truth to the listener depending upon the level of her/his enlightenment. Yet they are false because they are stories only. This is what Guru Sahib has demonstrated in this Pauri from sentence 7 to 12.

My Learning from 7th to 12th sentence:

Guru Sahib has said in the 9th sentence that ‘if someone understands she/he will realise the truth’. The question that he has asked in the subsequently in 12th sentence leads us to the fact that nature is supporting the weight of all the planets and such bodies in the sky. This makes me think that the clue to the ‘Sat’ is in this Pauri. After deliberating over it, I came to the conclusion that nature is part of ‘Sat’ and if that is so, the ‘Cosmic Intelligence’ is ‘Sat’. I have applied this understanding to the ‘Mool Mantra’ of Siri Guru Granth Sahib and found to be matching. This I have already posted on www.sikhphilosophy.net .

13. jIA jwiq rMgw ky nwv ] jee-a jaat rangaa kay naav.

Beings and species are names of colours.

My learning:

Guru Sahib is saying that all beings are one. Their different forms and appearances are just like colours. In side all these only the ‘The One’ dwells.

14. sBnw iliKAw vuVI klwm ] sabhnaa likhi-aa vurhee kalaam.

The ever-flowing pen inscribed them all.

My learning:

Guru Sahib in this is tells us that the source of all is ‘One’ and this source is inexhaustible. The use of the term ‘ever flowing pen’ is a metaphor here.

15. eyhu lyKw iliK jwxY koie ] ayhu laykhaa likh jaanai ko-ay.

How account or text get written no one knows.

16. lyKw iliKAw kyqw hoie ] laykhaa likhi-aa kaytaa ho-ay.

What the written text will be like?

My learning from 5th and 16th sentence:

Guru Sahib, in layman’s language (which is correct as Sikh religion is for all layer of humanity no matter how much one is educated), is conveying to us the enormous complexities in understanding what creates a living entity – a being.

17. kyqw qwxu suAwilhu rUpu ] kaytaa taan su-aalihu roop.

What a rhythm and beauty.


Published literature translates the ‘taan’ of Gurbani as power in English. I am not convinced that this is right. Each sentence of Siri Guru Granth Sahib has one central idea; it belongs to one common packet of enlightenment; words supports that central idea. Here if the word ‘Power’ is used for ‘taan’, it disturbs the harmony of the sentence – Power and Roop do not belong to the same domain. Taan is a word used in Hindustani classical music. Taan is used to beautify the raga being sung. The word rhythm belongs to the same nature as beauty i.e. Roop. For this reason I have translates the word taan of Gurbai to rhythm in English.

18. kyqI dwiq jwxY kOxu kUqu ] kaytee daat jaanai koun koot.

What gift/attribute and who knows to what extent/depth/intensity?

19. kIqw pswau eyko kvwau ] keetaa pasaa-o ayko kavaa-o.

Such a vast expanse you created with a single utterance.

20. iqs qy hoey lK drIAwau ] tis tay ho-ay lakh daree-aa-o.

On which lakhs of streams stated flowing.


The correct literal translation of daee-aa-o is river. I have used the word stream because it cavers all that flows; it includes all that is in nature – living and non-living: life also flows.

21. kudriq kvx khw vIcwru ] kudrat kavan kahaa veechaar.

How can the nature be stated or thought off?

22. vwirAw n jwvw eyk vwr ] vaari-aa na jaavaa ayk vaar.

I cannot be sacrificed even once.

23. jo quDu BwvY sweI BlI kwr ] jo tuDh bhaavai saa-ee bhalee kaar.

What you like is the right work

24. qU sdw slwmiq inrMkwr ]16] too sadaa salaamat nirankaar. ||16||

Ever present formless.

Summary of my learning form this Pauri:

Guru Sahib has touched five aspects in this Pauri.

(i) In the first four sentences, Guru Sahib gives us the clue as to how we can evolve, both materially and spiritually, and become a better being. He asks us to master our thoughts.

(ii) From 5th to 8th sentence, Guru Sahib tells us about the importance of virtues. He uses the mythological story to convey the idea of cause and effect subtly emphasising the cause and effect relations. He tells us the need for harmony, which comes from patience, which comes from contentment, which come from compassion and which demands doing ones duties.

(iii) From 9th to 12th sentences he demolishes the mythological story. He paints the canvas for us and asks us a question. The answer to this question tells us that the mythological concept is not a reality.

(iv) Further, based on the hint Guru Sahib has given in 9th sentence, the same answers to the question asked in 12th sentence leads me to conclude that the ‘Cosmic Intelligence’ is ‘Sat’. How to be one with this ‘Sat’ is still I have to discover.

(v) From 13th to 24th sentence Guru Sahib tells us that how small we human are in front of ‘Karta Purakh’. The essence of this part is that what ‘Karta Purakh’ does is the best for us. Guru Sahib pays tribute to ‘Karta Purakh’ before closing this Pauri. As a follower of Guru Sahib I too do the same. This is my learning.

With Love and Respect for all.

Re: My understanding of 16th Pauri of Japji Sahib

i got this reply in my email with regards to the this thread. so i posting.


In response to Amarpal's post of Subject :

My understanding of the first four sentences of 16th Pauri of Japji Sahiib.

The 16th Pauri states:

panch parvan, pach pardhan,
pancheh paveh dargeh maun.
pachai soheh dar rajan,
pancha ka gur eik dhiane.

The Divine Consciousness thus evolved, or the Men of Divine Consciousness are approved by God, and treated as Most Exalted Ones. Such Men are honored in God's Court. Such persons look gorgeous at His Royal Door. They always reflect their mind on the Guru (His Light in them).

(The word "panch" is a Sanskrit word, means - The Divine Consciousness or The Moral Consciousness. It does not mean "Five".)

Source : http://srec.gurmat.info/srecarticles/srigurugranthsahib/japjisahib.html

Baldev S. Mattu


Re: My understanding of 16th Pauri of Japji Sahib

Dear Khalsa Jee,

Words can mean differently to different people. The meaning must be validated against what is said in the text of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It should convey the spiritual meaning of the Pauri.

If panch is to mean 'Divine Consciousness or The Moral Consciousness and it does not mean "Five". Then it need to be explained: Why did Guru Sahib said 'Pancha ka gur ek Dyan. I hold the divine consciousness is supreme, How can there be any Guru for it and that too Dyan which is a known state of human mind; we know that there is nothing divine in it. It needs to be explained how can this state (dyan) be the Guru of 'panch', which is being suggested to mean 'Divine Consciousness'?

If the interprepation that 'such Men are honored in God's Court' is to be taken as correct, then it needs to be explained why Guru Sahib has used two terms in this Pauri i.e. 'Dargahai' and 'Dar Rajan' to refer to the same entity i.e. 'God's court'.

I am, as yet, not able to agree with Sardar Sahib Sardar Baldev Singh Ji. May be, he can give detailed basis justifying the suggested meaning in the context of the whole Pauri. It will help me to learn and evolve.

With love and respect for all.



Re: My understanding of 16th Pauri of Japji Sahib

Dear Amarpal ji

Thanks for your response and I agree with the point you made and I will try to find out more about it and then come bak to you.


Re: My understanding of 16th Pauri of Japji Sahib

Dear drKhalsa Ji,

After your post, now I have checked with Sanskrit Dictionary compiled by Shri Vaman Shivram Apte, the word, panch and its derivatives words mean five and things related to this number only and not the Divine Consciousness which Baldev Singh Ji has suggested in the e-mail posted by you.

As a result I hold on to My understanding detailed in the original post of this thread.

With love and respect for all.



ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Holy communion with the Word or Naam, says Nanak, is the only means to achieve oneness with the Supreme Lord. No other means can procure for man this end. It is the Spirit Current, emanating from One Being, as it does, that forms all the spiritual and material planes, reverberating in and out of all of them. It comes down from the purest spiritual planes to Materio-Spiritual and thence to Material planes, changing in Sound as it posses through the different planes. The main sub-divisions of the spiritual and astral planes are five in number as given by various scriptures. It takes on five different Sounds as it passes through them. These five Sounds are termed by the Masters or those who are Adept in this Science, "panch Shabd" (or five Words): "Panch" also literally means "head" and Nanak, in this passage, refers to both these meanings. The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. All the Saints are conscious of the one and the same Word, which may be defined as the Five-Sounded Word. Naam, Bani (or Word) and Hukam (or Will) are used by Nanak almost synonymously. Those who are all along conscious of the Divine Word or God-head, become His mouthpiece and are called Sant. Such Ones are honoured in His Court and are His chief workers. It is the communion with this "Five-Sounded Word," which unites one with the Lord. All other means fail. It is from this Word that the whole creation springs up and returns to It on its dissolution. It is resounding within all of us and man's body is verily God's living temple. The saints of all denominations speak of the same, as the only means by which to reach the ultimate Reality.

  • The Saint (or the Word personified), is acceptable at His Court
    and is the Chief Elect therein;
    The Saint adorns the threshold of God and is honoured
    even by kings;
    The Saint lives by and meditates on the One Word.
    Whoever discusses and expounds the mystery of His creation,
    realises that the works of the Creator are beyond reckoning.
    Dharm or Word born of His Grace is the proverbial bull
    that is harmoniously sustaining the creation,
    Whosoever realises this verily knows the Truth.
    It is nothing but the Word, that is carrying the crushing load
    of the entire creation;
    For were this earth upheld by a bull, that in turn must be
    supported by some other planet and that by another,
    and so on ad infinitum:
    What a tremendous load!
    What other power could support it?
    None, but the Word.
    There is no end to the creation;
    There are countless forms of life with varied names,
    species and colours;
    Writ on the objective world by the Everflowing Pen of the Creator.
    Who can reckon His creation, and if one could, how great
    would be the count?
    How great is His Power and how beautiful His handiwork?
    Who can count the measure of His sweet bounty?
    With one Word(1) of His, this vast creation blossomed into being;
    And a thousand streams (of life) sprang into existence;
    What power have I to conceive of Thy wonderful nature?
    Too poor am I to make an offering of my life to Thee;
    Whatever pleaseth thee, is good.
    Thou art forevermore;
    O Formless One !
(1) The Hindus believe that the Word was "Eko-Aham Sahu-syam" meaning thereby "I am one and wish to become many". The Muslims say that the word was "Kun-fi-Kun" as "He willed, and lo, all the universe sprang up".


Sat Sri Akaal,
GURUs BANI is Eternal.

Internal awareness cause E motion and having control of thought speech and action. This is Eternal.

Internal perspective this, doctors dealing in endocronology can understand.

Panch. Five Glands (Granthi)
Parvan. Commesurate
Gur. Guide or Control by one main gland
Pituary Gland
Dhyan . Imaginative sense Pineal gland

The perceptive signals through pineal are received by pituary having control of five glands.
One can timely order emotions, through spiritual awareness by orderly thinking, obtained by spiritual awareness

Thoughts of human mind
Kaam . Nishkaam
Krodh .Daya
Lobh. Generosity
Moh Love
Ahankaar Compassion

The transformationtran discipline of emotional pattern gives honor in spitual arena.

Human can co create the system, but shall not equate with Creator

Actual Bull is not holding earthly events in place. It is orderly and time event of thought process which are responsible for Dharam, ie discipline. of earthly affairs.

When thoughts are kept orderly in line with Nature.
As beads knotted in thread can not overlap. Have sequence of precedence and followance.

Perspectives of Nature Human and Social System
As laws of nature relating to earth
As system of endicronology for human emotions speech and actions
And accordingly laws of land and persons commensurated for followance of laws.

Waheguru Ji Ka.Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
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Sat Sri Akaal,

Application and control of system.

Panch Five . Five Elements humans owe is Fire as Energy, Solid as Earth, Liquid as Water, Gas as Air, Space as Akaash.

Step 1 of Jap Bani Says we need to have free space in Memory System, to imbibe Natures Truth.

Energy Kam Krodh Lobh Moh Ahankaar are root level energy governing human system. We need to tame energy, to use it for best possible use.

For Eg In internal we use lpg as fuel to cook food, if it is in control, we use it. If it is out of control since it is in house, it will damage own house.

Now what Kam Krodh Lobh Moh Ahankaar are root level energy, they are useful, but out of control, we make loss to our own self

We shall and cannot make them die, only discipline of use brings leadership and honour in spiritual arena.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh


Sat Sri Akaal,

Kaam When gets inspired to act, and if the force is driven out of lust, and it comes at wrong place and time, further the power is high,.

Further carrying energy at wrong places, wrong times create meta physical imbalance, as force without action cause negativity .

Hydraulic engineers can understand this

for eg water pump if can not deliver water in over head tank will get heated and may be windings can burn. So do with perception one holds, when unable to act,
turn as Chirh, kurh, krodh etc.
Its like burning own self, unaware from TRUTH of Nature.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh