Pauri 26 - Japji Sahib - Pauri 26 | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Pauri 26 Japji Sahib - Pauri 26


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Members,

This post is to share with you what I understand from 26th Pauri of Japji Sahib.

Caution: My understanding of this Pauri is very different from what is given in published literature. In this post I will be as transparent as is possible for me as to why I understand it that way. The basic cause of my thinking going in a different direction is the use of the word trade (vaapaar) in the first sentence of this Pauri and my understanding that ‘The Sat’ is not a trader.

According to me, this Pauri has four parts. I the first part of this Pauri, Guru Sahib is telling me about the large scope, enormous possibility that exists for misunderstanding and even misusing the infinite immenseness and richness of ‘Karta Purakh’.

In the second part of this Pauri Guru Sahib tells me why I am what I am and the fact that ‘The Sat’ cannot be described.

In the third part of this Pauri Guru Sahib gives examples in support what he has said earlier in this Pauri.

In the fourth part Guru Sahib gives the message for me to follow.

With this preface I expose my understanding of this Pauri to you all. After each sentence I will explain what I learn and why I come to this understanding.

First Part:

1. Amul gux Amul vwpwr ] amul gun amul vaapaar.
Priceless virtues, priceless trade.

My understanding: The question that comes to my mind is that, what trade Guru Sahib is referring too. Every one of us knows that ‘The Sat’ is repository of all, including all the virtues. We also know that ‘The Sat’ is not a trader. What can any one give to ‘Karta Purakh’ in trade – nothing? ‘Karta Purakh’ we know does not need any thing from any one. Trade is always need two parties and ‘The Sat’ is definitely not one of them. The trade word must be applying to we human. The search for the answer leads me to the following understanding.

Guru Sahib is telling be that the priceless virtues of ‘The Sat’, give enough scope for the intelligent, but self centered, selfish people to make thriving priceless business out of it. This what in Hindi I call ‘Bhagvangiri’.

2. Amul vwpwrIey Amul BMfwr ] amul vaapaaree-ay amul bhandaar.
Priceless traders, priceless stock.

My understanding: Again Guru Sahib has used a derivative of the word ‘trade’ i.e. traders. Guru Sahib is telling me that the individuals in the business of Bhagvangiri are very intelligent and capable (though perverted) people. They make use of the priceless stock of the attributes and virtues of the ‘The Sat’ to meet their own intent.

3. Amul Awvih Amul lY jwih ] amul aavahi amul lai jaahi.
Priceless come and Priceless is what they take with them.

My understanding: Guru Sahib is telling me that these intelligent, capable, crafty individuals come and select the attribute or virtue of the ‘Karta Purakh’ from its stock.

4. Amul Bwie Amulw smwih ] amul bhaa-ay amulaa samaahi.
Priceless feeling, priceless is what they colour themselves into.

My understanding: These intelligent people come and take the colour of what they find to be priceless for them (in their would be trade) from the immenseness of ‘Karta Purakh’.

5. Amulu Drmu Amulu dIbwxu ] amul Dharam amul deebaan.

Priceless Dharma, priceless court.

My understanding: Guru Sahib is telling me that these intelligent people create multiple religions and sects each with an environment of its own that make the followers feel that what they are pursuing is really ‘The Sat’.

6. Amulu qulu Amulu prvwxu ] amul tul amul parvaan.
Priceless are the yardsticks and priceless it is to get accepted.

My understanding: Each of them creates their own criteria (beneficial to them) for assessment and acceptance of individuals into their fold.

7. Amulu bKsIs Amulu nIswxu ] amul bakhsees amul neesaan.
Priceless blessings, priceless insignia.

My understanding: There are so many ways that ‘Karta Purakh’ can shower grace or blessings on we humans. Each way of blessing can be used by these intelligent people to create a new symbol i.e. insignia. For example if those who are graced by knowledge ‘Saraswati’ becomes their insignia. Those who are blesses with wealth ‘Lakshmi becomes their insignia. Those blessed with strength and power Durga becomes their insignia; this list can be endless. These intelligent crafty people can use each one of the blessing that we human can get from ‘The Sat’ to create a separate following for their own advantage.

Guru Sahib, in this first part of the Pauri have shown me the possibility as to how intelligent crafty people for their own sake can create dualities profiting from limitedness of we humans and from the immenseness of ‘The Sat’.

With this preface Guru Sahib now start the second of part of this Pauri.

Second Part:

8. Amulu krmu Amulu Purmwxu ] amul karam amul furmaan.
Priceless deeds result in priceless ‘Hukam’ from ‘Karta Purakh’.

9. Amulo Amulu AwiKAw n jwie ] amulo amul aakhi-aa na jaa-ay.
Those who have been assessed by ‘Karta Purakh’ as priceless cannot describe the priceless.

10. AwiK AwiK rhy ilv lwie ] aakh aakh rahay liv laa-ay.
Attempting to describe ‘Karta Purakh’ these priceless individual get lost in him.

My understanding: I am what I am due to my Karmas.

The condition of these priceless (divine) individual is similar to the grain of salt that gets into sea to measure its depth; it just gets dissolved in it. This is what happens to those who have become divine. They simply cannot describe ‘The Sat’.

Having told us as to how intelligent interested people can profit from limitedness of we humans and the infinite immenseness of ‘Karta Purakh’ to convert it into profitable trade for themselves, Guru Sahib moves to the third part where he gives examples of the duality created, which was in the common knowledge of the people at the time of Guru Sahib; that is the case even now. I understand that these dualities can get created to serve the purpose of some section of the society or can result from limitedness of the individuals who try to perceive ‘The Sat’ using human faculties.

Third Part:

11. AwKih vyd pwT purwx ] aakhahi vayd paath puraan.
They say about Veda and reading Puranas.

My understanding: Here Guru Sahib has covered the entire span of the Indian scripture that exist at his time; this scripture starts with Veda and ends with Puranas.

12. AwKih pVy krih viKAwx ] aakhahi parhay karahi vakhi-aan.
The scholars say and give lectures.

My understanding: Guru Sahib is telling me that these so called scholars give lectures on entity (The Sat’), which cannot be described at all. So one can conclude what that lecture can be, only intellectual sophistry.

13. AwKih brmy AwKih ieMd ] aakhahi barmay aakhahi ind.
They say about Brahma and Indra.

My understanding: Here Guru Sahib has started giving concrete example of dualities created by hair splitting by intelligent mind. Indra is God of Vedas; Brahma is the God from subsequent scripture - Upanishads. These dualities are created by we humans.

14. AwKih gopI qY goivMd ] aakhahi gopee tai govind.
They say about Gopi and Krishna.

My understanding: Here Guru Sahib gives another example of duality created by intelligent mind, which comes from ‘Bhagavatam’; the last scripture compiled by Ved Vayas. (Please note Bhagavatam is not the same as Bhagwat Gita).

15. AwKih eIsr AwKih isD ] aakhahi eesar aakhahi siDh.
They talk about Shiva and Sidh.

My understanding: Guru Sahib continues to give example of the dualities that we intelligent humans have created. Shiva is not at all mentioned in Vedas, an entity with similar attribute there is Rudra, but subsequent scripture Shiva comes out as on of the major God.

16. AwKih kyqy kIqy buD ] aakhahi kaytay keetay buDh.

They say about those who became Buddha.

My understanding: Guru Sahib has given example from other scripture of the land. It says that that apart from Gautam the Buddha, whom we know as historic figure, there were many Buddha prior to him. These two are dualities as far as we human are concerned.

17. AwKih dwnv AwKih dyv ] aakhahi daanav aakhahi dayv.
They talk about Demons and Devetas (Demi-Gods of Vedas).

My understanding: Guru Sahib again continues to give examples of the entities that are created by interested but involved intelligent people, which are nothing but pluralities. They explain many happening that are narrated in scripture, yet all these are perception of mind. Though it may serves some purpose; we all know the ‘The Sat’ cannot be perceived by mind.

18. AwKih suir nr muin jn syv ] aakhahi sur nar mun jan sayv.
They talk about heavenly beings, silent sages and humble serving individuals.

My understanding: Guru Sahib continue to give example how we intelligent humans have made our own life miserable by creating so many insignias and even keep fighting for oneself to be right. The entities mentioned in this sentence come from Puranas; our earlier scripture of the land

Fourth Part:

In this part Guru Sahib gives us the message for which he has prepared us, up till now in this Pauri.

19. kyqy AwKih AwKix pwih ] kaytay aakhahi aakhan paahi.
Many try to describe (The Sat) but are unable to do so.

My understanding: In a way Guru Sahib is telling us that all these dualities is the result of trying to explain ‘The Sat’ by the intelligent individual. Here Guru Sahib is telling me the futility of trying to perceive ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib is telling me that many have tried in the past – none can do the impossible.

20. kyqy kih kih auiT auiT jwih ] kaytay kahi kahi uth uth jaahi.

Many keep trying (to describe ‘The Sat’) and then leave it and depart.

My understanding: Guru Sahib is restating what is said in the previous sentence. This is to emphasis so that I do not waste my energy in attempting to do, which is going to be a certain failure. ‘Karta Purakh’ cannot be realised by human effort with any or all of the human faculties. Guru Sahib has said the same in the ‘Mool Mantra’ – ‘Gurparsadi’.

21. eyqy kIqy hoir kryih ] aytay keetay hor karayhi

If as many numerous ways that have been used to describe (‘The Sat’) are used again.

22. qw AwiK n skih kyeI kyie ] taa aakh na sakahi kay-ee kay-ay.
Even then, they will not be able to describe (‘The Sat’).

My understanding: In the above two sentences, Guru Sahib continues to emphasis the impossibility of perceiving ‘The Ultimate Reality’ by our own efforts.

23. jyvfu BwvY qyvfu hoie ] jayvad bhaavai tayvad ho-ay.
As great ‘Karta Purakh’ wants, that great only one can be.

My understanding: Here Guru Sahib is telling me that we are created by ‘Karta Purakh’ we cannot go beyond the limitedness built into our being on our own. We cannot cross that barrier on our own. We have to wait for ‘Gurparsadi’

24. nwnk jwxY swcw soie ] naanak jaanai saachaa so-ay.
O Nanak, ‘The Sat’ only knows.

My understanding: Guru Sahib is telling me, no use making such attempt; ‘Karta Purakh’ only knows the reality.

25. jy ko AwKY boluivgwVu ] jay ko aakhai boluvigaarh.
If someone describes, it will only be a confused and untrue description.

26. qw ilKIAY isir gwvwrw gwvwru ]26] taa likee-ai sir gaavaaraa gaavaar. ||26||
Such person will be recorded as the greatest of the fools.

Note: these two sentences are straight forward and do not need any elaboration.

Summary of my understanding:

Through this Pauri, Guru Sahib has asked me not to stretch my imagination in trying to perceive ‘The Sat’. Intelligent people using one or few of the enormous attributes of ‘Karta Purakh’ create such perceptions (insignia) to serve some purpose. I should not accept of follow these dualities.

Guru Sahib has told me that ‘The Sat’ is One indivisible entity and I should not make any attempt to perceive it through human faculties. This Guru Sahib has stated through the term ‘Ek Onkaar’ in the Mool Mantra itself. All this is to say that dualities are creation of we humans; the ‘Ultimate Reality is only one and I should not get entangled in the complications created by the dualities.

With this I close.

With Love and Respect for all.



Jun 11, 2004
Re: My understanding of 26th Pauri of Japji Sahib

Dear Member,

I am away from my home. Soon I will be back and I will post my understanding of 27th Pauri of Japji Sahib.

With love and respect for all.

Aug 29, 2010
I find your interpretation quite interseting.I have one question.
When you say "GURU SAHIB SAYS" What is the reference for this GURU .Is it GURU NANAK ji in person?


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