Japji Sahib - Pauri 18th | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Japji Sahib - Pauri 18th


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Members,

Through this post, I share with you my understanding of the 18th Pauri of Japji Sahib.

I have given serial numbers to the sentences of this Pauri for ease of reference if required.

1. AsMK mUrK AMD Gor ] asaNkh moorakh anDh ghor.

Countless foolish and immensely ignorant

2. AsMK cor hrwmKor ] asaNkh chor haraamkhor.

Countless thieves and the ones who live on unearned income.

3. AsMK Amr kir jwih jor ] asaNkh amar kar jaahi jor.

Countless who force their will on others.

4. AsMK glvF hiqAw kmwih ] asaNkh galvadh hati-aa kamaahi.

Countless cutthroats keep earning the killings.

5. AsMK pwpI pwpu kir jwih ] asaNkh paapee paap kar jaahi.

Countless sinners keep sinning.

6. AsMK kUiVAwr kUVy iPrwih ] asaNkh koorhi-aar koorhay firaahi

Countless liars keep spreading lies.

7. AsMK mlyC mlu BiK Kwih ] asaNkh malaychh mal bhakh khaahi.

Countless wretches keep eating filth.

8. AsMK inMdk isir krih Bwru ] asaNkh nindak sir karahi bhaar.

Countless slanderers keep carrying the weight of their doings.

9. nwnku nIcu khY vIcwru ] naanak neech kahai veechaar.

Nanak, the lowly thinks.

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

I cannot be sacrificed even once.

My learning from 10th sentence:

Guru Sahib is overwhelmed by the immenseness of ‘The Sat’ and says that he cannot be sacrificed even once for ‘Karta Purakh’. In a way Guru Sahib has conveyed the limited and smallness of human existence.

The use of word ‘Sacrifice’ needs elaboration. Sacrifice is what we offer as homage to some one superior; it can be any thing.

In Japji Sahib, Guru Sahib is expressing what he felt from the depth of his heart and soul. Guru Sahib is stating that even if he dedicates his whole live to the cause of spirituality, it will not be enough. This way he is not using his life for his own use but for the benefit and uplifting of others, hence the word ‘Sacrifice’.

Here I want to mention what someone has said ‘we move towards our potential when we turn our learning into action’. Guru Sahib did that long back.

Guru Sahib, not only said that sacrifice of one life is not enough for the task, he made his ‘Jot’ to move from one guru into another. I the process we had nine Gurus in succession after Siri Guru Nanak Dev Jee, before perceivable impact was made towards evolution of the society towards spirituality; ten lives were needed not just one. It is with this realisation the Guru Sahib has stated:

vaari-aa na jaavaa ayk vaar.

I cannot be sacrificed even once.

Guru Sahib repeatedly (ten times) had to sacrifice there lives for the task, once was not enough, it was too little and inadequate.

These are the sentiments and realisation that I find in what Guru Sahib had said in this sentence.

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

What pleases you is the right work.

12. qU sdw slwmiq inrMkwr ]18]
too sadaa salaamat nirankaar. ||18||

You ever present formless.

My learning from this Pauri:

The theme of this Pauri is slightly different from the previous Pauri. In the previous Pauri i.e. 17th Pauri, Guru Sahib had emphasised the inability of we humans to comprehend ‘Karta Purakh’ who is immense and unlimited, leading to multiplicity in the method that we humans deploy to reach the ‘Sat’.

In this Pauri i.e. the 18th Guru Sahib has again emphasised how limited we humans are. Guru Sahib has focused on the different tendencies that we human have and as a result of these how far we move away from the ‘Sat’.

With love and respect for all.


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