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Japji Translation Questions

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
SPNer
Feb 19, 2010
108
136
UK
Similarly I have noticed the confusing interpretation done by most of the scholars of third pauri 'daida dey lendai thak paie jugha jugantar khaie khaei' as the great giver keeps on giving, while those who receive grow weary of receiving or interpret as something similar to it when Guru Nanak very clearly dimisses in first stanza the ritual, 'bhukhia bhukh na utri - to eat as much as one can to satiate one's hunger. Guru Nanak said that no matter how much one eats, after sometimes the hunger will comeback. Gluttony brings nothing but more gluttony or something similar to it then how come one becomes weary of receiving it when gurbani further tells us 'trishna virlai ki hi bhuji reh'. Further how can we consume/eat His gifts which are not eatable?
Best regards
Sahni Mohinder
Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

Sahni ji, this is how I understand Pauri 3:

"There are countless different understandings of the Creator, but none knows the limits or nature of the Creator.More and more understandings are provided by more and more preachers.Those who follow have always accepted stories. The followers of such sermons eventually tire of them but The Creator keeps on leading people to search and sets the route.

One is inwardly content when one realizes the futility of searches for purpose of life and accepts the Creator alone can lead one to solutions. The Creator will do this of His own accord."

I don't think "gifts" relates to anything material; from preceding lines I guess it is to do with the different ways in which people conduct their searches for God/the Truth. They tire of them, and then start afresh, as God has implanted this idea in them (the inner Guru/Sat Guru) to find Him.

Sat Sri Akal
 

sunmukh

(Previously Himmat Singh)
SPNer
Feb 19, 2010
108
136
UK
sunmukh ji

I appreciate the time and the reflection that is obvious in your comments above. It is really important, as you seem to anticipate, that we are clear what you mean by this statement.



I am understanding you to mean there are common concepts in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and other scriptures, in part because the Gurus and bhagats of Sri Guru Granth Sahib were not only familiar with these concepts but were reaching out to the experience of the people of their times.

It is a slippery slope to the argument that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is derived from earlier texts. I do not think you are saying that. Please understand that for us, our Guru has no bibliography of previous research. Our Guru is complete.

Do not take my remarks as rebuke, but only to clarify matters.

Many thanks
Ek OnKaar Sat Naam

SPNadmin ji, I am not suggesting SGGS ji is incomplete.

I am suggesting there is use of particular terminology, whether it be soch as in the initial post from Ishna ji,
sochai soch na hova-ee jay sochee lakh vaar

or "sach" in the preceding line,
hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach.

or "sat" in Sat Naam ( or Sati as discussed with Prakash S Bhagga ji in another thread), which will have devolved from Guru Sahibans familiarity with other texts of their period, which their peers and ancestors will all have come across as well. Guru Sahibans also studied these texts, even though there is no plagiarism. They would not use the terms if they had not come across them, and if the local populus was not familar with them. For the same reason, that is why the use of Abrahmic terms is limited, and there is no reference to any religions of Australia, Americas, or Sub-Saharan Africa. We have to be truthful, in that most new ideas are borne through past experience, and adaptation. New concepts are very limited in comparison. The concept of God is an ongoing development from pre-pagan times with its concomitant tantric macabre sacrifices to the current notions.

Now, if one wishes to understand exactly what is being meant by a particular term, like the ones above, or terms like "four directions" or "three qualities" if one cannot make sense of a translation, then either one can look elsewhere in SGGS ji, or one can read other Sikh texts eg Vaars, or listen to Kaatha.

However there is also the option of looking at texts which explain Vedic terminology. If the terms are common, then looking at these texts may short-track one to the meaning, if one really wants to know exactly what was meant. Some sanscrit rooted Vedic technical terms may really only be fully understood by Brahmins, and unless one makes such a study one may be making guesses based on current lay usage of words. They may sound similar to current words, but they may have completely different meanings.

For example there is the term "sunn-ia" in Pauris 8-11. It is commonly translated as "listening" probably because the word in Punjabi is similar. The translated pauris sounded really odd to me. Recently I looked at a Buddhist book and it spoke of a "sunn" state. Then I did a search for this word. It is rooted in sanscrit and refers to zero/void so in fact it is actually linked to what Buddhists refer to as the empty state. This completely changes the meaning of those pauris. The pauris are to do with objects who reside in consciousness of this empty or sunn, state , ie devoid of self-identity.

Then some Hari Krishna guy gave me a book called "Veda -Secrets from the East" in the city shopping centre. They were handing them out free of charge. I have read just few pages so far, of about 400, and it is about Bhagavada_Gita and devotion to Krishna alone as the godhead. It speaks of other vedic deities, cows, castes and yoga and so on, but it comes back to notion that devotion to Krishna will override all and any failings in following other aspects. I was shocked at how similar parts of it is ( parts, not in whole)to my understanding of Sikhi. Just the glossary explains many terms seen in SGGS ji. For some parts such as dealing with materialism, karma, reincarnation, seva, sangat, kirtan it could prove very revealing, and it even has a chapter on Jap (ie chanting of God's name).

Then I read in book (on Tibetan Buddhism) about the concept of creating amrita(nectar of immortality). It was claimed it is a vedic idea, to do with some ancient battle between demi-gods and gods. Anyway, it was formed by churning the world's oceans, with a mountain found in Bihar, till it formed, with lots of intermediate stages. This got me thinking why water is stirred, with recitals, and then claimed to be amrit. The point is, a lot of the current practices and terms, whether they are lotuses, world-oceans, sunn, or amrit, will have roots in something or another, and until they are researched, then one will be left puzzled.

I can't see how it can harm me to read something that explains the terms and phrases also used in SGGS ji in clear concise language.


At the end of the day, SGGS ji advocates love of One God. If I love God, which I do, then what have I to fear?

Sat Sri Akal
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
14,500
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sunmukhi ji

I do not think that reading comparative religious literatures will harm you. That can only expand your understanding of the expanse of dharmic beliefs. The problem I see arises when one understands Sri Guru Granth Sahib to be an extension or point on a continuum of dharmic philosophies. This is problematic because Guru Nanak's own course was to state that his message was a different.

IMHO the technicalities you refer to come into play when parsing the meanings of words or vaars. But the overall understanding of the complete shabad brings one to something that is unique and very different from any of the holy books from other paths.
 

Naam

SPNer
Oct 16, 2010
30
25
ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ ॥
These lines are very important to us all because they refer to what most Sikhs are doing today
The first thing a bamun does is to take a bath and clean the area he sat in to eat and as you know in the Asa di var " socha eh na akhia bahn ja pinda thoha.
The "soch" is pronouced with the "siari" for correct meaning
So your answer is the first qoute that is in your question ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ ॥
Does not meaning " thinking" the thinking is further alone the jap bani ..... " saas sania lak hova ta ek na chala nal
This line refers to thinks

Waheguru waheguru japo paraniho
 

Rohinder

SPNer
Jul 20, 2009
2
3
I have seen the best translation of Jap Ji Sahib BY Rajinder S. Sandlas in English Poetry.

As per his translation it should be read as follows:

One may think hundred thousand a time;
One can not grasp Him in His mind.
One may practice silence time and again;
One can not initiate peace in his thinking domain


Some has taken the word Soch as Such. I think the correct meaning of the word is as they are pronounced.

The "Supreme God" can not be explained in thoughts. He is beyond our imaginations. We can feel his presence but only way to really realize him is to bring yourself to that purity level where you become his part.

Commented by: Rohinder Singh
rohinder@aol.com
 

Naam

SPNer
Oct 16, 2010
30
25
The gubani is beond the explanation that are give in books
It is for people who naam jap they experience the correct meanings only
We must learn like our guru tells us to learn and understand .
First we must say " waheguru waheguru......."
Ram ram bola bola koj ta vad bhagi"
Any other way we translate the gurnbani is " chathrahi". This bani is endless and no one meaning is the only meaning it gets deeper and deeper as you get higher and higher in naam
 

Naam

SPNer
Oct 16, 2010
30
25
You are 100% correct but like ANY holy book the language must be understood at the level it is written we cannot understand a doctors piscripation unless we have studied for that
This is no ordernary book the message from god has lots of secrets I agree there are lots of lines that are starght forward but many you will be susprized have a deeper meaning

Please keep in contact your humble servant
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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The gubani is beond the explanation that are give in books
It is for people who naam jap they experience the correct meanings only
We must learn like our guru tells us to learn and understand .
First we must say " waheguru waheguru......."
Ram ram bola bola koj ta vad bhagi"
Any other way we translate the gurnbani is " chathrahi". This bani is endless and no one meaning is the only meaning it gets deeper and deeper as you get higher and higher in naam
Naam ji you create an opening to go back to the question of alternative translations raised a few pages back. Thanks. With the forum's indulgence this may be of interest to this discussion. The English translation by Gurcharan Singh Talib provides more than one mode of translation throughout Sri Guru Granth Sahib. For many lines either an "Alternative rendering" or a "Literal translation" is given. The translation is a 4 volume opus, heavily footnoted, to illustrate the many choices a translator has in completing the translation.

For the second pauree of Japji Sahib, I have typed from page 1, as this translation is not available in an electronic format, but print only.

What I will do is give the Gurmukhi, transliteration and the Sant Singh Khalsa translation (also known as the Khalsa Consensus translation) for each line. Below that in italics you can read the translation and alternatives by Gurcharan Singh Talib. That way comparisons are possible. And indeed they are interesting.

ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ ॥
sochai soch n hovee jae sochee lakh vaar ||
By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times.

GST: Ritual purification though million-fold will not purify the mind
Alternative By reflection, even if million-fold, He cannot be realized.


Explanation of the alternatives: Soch if taken from the Sanskrit shauch means purity. However soch in Punjabi means thought or reflection. Hence GST is open to the alternative translation


ਚੁਪੈ ਚੁਪ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਲਾਇ ਰਹਾ ਲਿਵ ਤਾਰ ॥
chupai chup n hovee jae laae rehaa liv thaar ||
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within.

GST: Nor may absorption in trance still it (Literally, "may not silence it"), no matter how continuous


ਭੁਖਿਆ ਭੁਖ ਨ ਉਤਰੀ ਜੇ ਬੰਨਾ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਭਾਰ ॥
bhukhiaa bhukh n outharee jae bannaa pureeaa bhaar ||
The hunger of the hungry is not appeased, even by piling up loads of worldly goods.

GST: Possessing multiple worlds quenches not the rages of avarice and desire (Literally "hunger").

ਸਹਸ ਸਿਆਣਪਾ ਲਖ ਹੋਹਿ ਤ ਇਕ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥
sehas siaanapaa lakh hohi th eik n chalai naal ||
Hundreds of thousands of clever tricks, but not even one of them will go along with you in the end.

GST: A thousand million (Literally, " a hundred thousand") feats of intellect bring not emancipation (Literally, Shall not accompany the self into the Hereafter")


ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥
kiv sachiaaraa hoeeai kiv koorrai thuttai paal ||
So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?

GST: How then to become true to the Creator?
Alternative: How to become pure in mind?

How demolish the wall of illusion?



ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
hukam rajaaee chalanaa naanak likhiaa naal ||1||
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||

GST: Through obedience to His Ordinance and Will, Saieth Nanak, This blessing too is pre-ordained (implying earned merit through good actions of previous births, or the Divine grace)

To add: The deviation by Gurcharan Singh Talib from Sant Singh Khalsa in pauree 3 as noted by respected japjisahib is even greater than for pauree 2.
 
Nov 18, 2009
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4
72
I am going to start off with a simple question. Do you believe that McLeod does simran on the Naam? If he lacks the practice and appreciation of trying to neutralize and expand his mind through meditation, how could he relate to the simple translation offered by Guru Sant Singh? There is an entire school of Yoga, Giana Yoga, the path of intellectual discrimination, that Guru Ji is discrediting here. Similarly, he is discrediting intellectualized religion. What is the polar opposite of this reliance on thinking? Jap Man Satinaam Sadaa Satinaam.
 

arshi

Writer
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Aug 20, 2009
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Sadh Sangat Jio

Gurfteh parwan karni ji

I believe it is possible and reasonable to have more than one interpretation. Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a fathomless ocean of wisdom and every time we dive we return with new and priceless gems of knowledge and spiritual treasure. If there was only one interpretation it would limit its teachings to a defined level of spiritual progress and awareness. Guru Granth Sahib Ji enables the devotee to experience ecstatic flights into the spiritual world without boundaries or constraints. Provided the interpretation enables the seeker to progress spiritually, there is no harm in it. With greater awareness and progress the understanding will change and the seeker will extract more from the Guru’s Shabad.

I recently started the translation of Japji Sahib and it is a slow but enjoyable experience. Below I copy the interpretation of the pankti in question as I understand it now. I am sure it will change with greater spiritual awareness and exposure to learned thoughts as expressed on this thread. I hope this helps. I am personally learning all the time even as I read this thread.

ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖਵਾਰ
sochai soch na hovaee jay sochee lakh vaar

The mind cannot be purified (sanctified) even if one bathes hundred of thousands times i.e. mind’s purity cannot be reached just through physical cleanliness.

Note: alternative interpretation by some scholars is: He cannot be comprehended by mere thought even if we try to think of Him hundreds of thousands of times.

ਚੁਪੈ ਚੁਪ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਲਾਇ ਰਹਾ ਲਿਵ ਤਾਰ
chupai chup na hova-ee jay laa-ay rahaa liv taar.

Neither can we reach inner silence by sitting silent in trance and deep meditation.


Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’
 

Ishna

Enthusiast
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May 9, 2006
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Maitreya ji

Thank you for your heartfelt response. From what I have observed in this thread, with almost a 50/50 split of interpretations, I find myself really in no better position than when I started (except for picking a side to agree with!).

I think you've narrowed the issue down to the root -- personal interpretation, formed from one's life experiences, the research of scholars but more importantly, intuitive connection. Someone else asked something along the lines of "how can you rely on a translation by someone who doesn't meditate on the naam?". Personally I think that specific question is moot as someone's lack of spiritual discipline may not necessarily harm their intellectual pursuit. More importantly I think, the question should be "how can you yourself begin to decipher translations when you yourself don't meditate on the naam?".

Whether the word is about a camel or a large rope passing through the eye of a needle doesn't really matter, for if you're in a spiritual mindset you will intuitively understand the meaning is it would be easier to fit something large through a tiny hole (which would be impossible) than it would be for a rich man to get into heaven (or a greedy manmukh to find liberation -- which must be even more impossible than getting the impossibly large camel/rope/kitchen table/small child's finger through the eye of the tiny little needle).

What I have learned from this thread is probably more important than the actual meaning of the translation. To focus on the NAAM, read widely and come to my own intuitive conclusion which will hopefully be correct with Guru's kirpa.

Perhaps that's why Mul Mantar ends with "Gur prasad", because you'll not get far interpreting the wisdom within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji without it.

I thank everyone for their contribution to this discussion so far!

Sat Sri Akaaaaal!

Ishna
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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You are 100% correct but like ANY holy book the language must be understood at the level it is written we cannot understand a doctors piscripation unless we have studied for that
This is no ordernary book the message from god has lots of secrets I agree there are lots of lines that are starght forward but many you will be susprized have a deeper meaning
Please keep in contact your humble servant
The Guru Granth Sahib Ji is much much more than a holy book. It is our Guru, our teacher. If you cannot understand your teacher, you need to try again but maybe use a different approach. The purpose of the Sikh Guru's was to bring the knowledge to the masses and cut out the middleman who was capable of distorting things for his own benefit. This has never been done before. Therefore the Guru is completely understandable, it just requires some effort. Just like you study for exams, this is our life exam! The Guru is not keeping secrets but revealing them kudihug
 

findingmyway

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I am suggesting there is use of particular terminology, whether it be soch as in the initial post from Ishna ji,
sochai soch na hova-ee jay sochee lakh vaar

or "sach" in the preceding line,
hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach.

or "sat" in Sat Naam ( or Sati as discussed with Prakash S Bhagga ji in another thread), which will have devolved from Guru Sahibans familiarity with other texts of their period, which their peers and ancestors will all have come across as well. Guru Sahibans also studied these texts, even though there is no plagiarism. They would not use the terms if they had not come across them, and if the local populus was not familar with them. For the same reason, that is why the use of Abrahmic terms is limited, and there is no reference to any religions of Australia, Americas, or Sub-Saharan Africa.
Respected Sunmukh ji,
This is a matter of communication. It would have been useless for the Guru's to use completely new words as the masses would never have understood them. They wanted the truth to be available to all without a middleman so using the same terms was essential. However, the Guru's frequently took the word but changed its meaning around completely to something else in a way that the sangat could follow the logic. Therefore, using the literal vedic meanings can often lead us astray!


We have to be truthful, in that most new ideas are borne through past experience, and adaptation. New concepts are very limited in comparison. The concept of God is an ongoing development from pre-pagan times with its concomitant tantric macabre sacrifices to the current notions.
The Guru's again brought in a completely new concept of God from other religions of the time. Everyone else is 'God fearing' whereas a Sikh is 'God living.' Hindus personified God and gave the Gods human characteristics whereas Muslims made God into a figure who was to be feared and rewarded/punished. The Sikh concept of God loves all as we are his creation and furthermore he is part of that creation too. I think Sikhi is the only philosphy that has God as an active part of the creation rather than looking down over us.

However there is also the option of looking at texts which explain Vedic terminology. If the terms are common, then looking at these texts may short-track one to the meaning, if one really wants to know exactly what was meant. Some sanscrit rooted Vedic technical terms may really only be fully understood by Brahmins, and unless one makes such a study one may be making guesses based on current lay usage of words. They may sound similar to current words, but they may have completely different meanings.

For example there is the term "sunn-ia" in Pauris 8-11. It is commonly translated as "listening" probably because the word in Punjabi is similar. The translated pauris sounded really odd to me. Recently I looked at a Buddhist book and it spoke of a "sunn" state. Then I did a search for this word. It is rooted in sanscrit and refers to zero/void so in fact it is actually linked to what Buddhists refer to as the empty state. This completely changes the meaning of those pauris. The pauris are to do with objects who reside in consciousness of this empty or sunn, state , ie devoid of self-identity.
As I said earlier the Guru's wanted Gurbani to be available to all freely, therefore they would be more likely to use common words rather than obscure words from ancient texts which not many understood. Throughout Gurbani words from several languages have been used from the places the Guru's travelled to which again shows that they liked to speak to the common man and be understood by all.

Then some Hari Krishna guy gave me a book called "Veda -Secrets from the East" in the city shopping centre. They were handing them out free of charge. I have read just few pages so far, of about 400, and it is about Bhagavada_Gita and devotion to Krishna alone as the godhead. It speaks of other vedic deities, cows, castes and yoga and so on, but it comes back to notion that devotion to Krishna will override all and any failings in following other aspects. I was shocked at how similar parts of it is ( parts, not in whole)to my understanding of Sikhi. Just the glossary explains many terms seen in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. For some parts such as dealing with materialism, karma, reincarnation, seva, sangat, kirtan it could prove very revealing, and it even has a chapter on Jap (ie chanting of God's name).
Again the concept of all these things is actually very different. Guru Ji used the same words but applied a different way of thinking about each topic to what was prevalent at the time. NANKIAN PHILOSOPHY IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE. Reading other texts can help with historical information and understanding some of the metaphors but the concepts are not the same.

Then I read in book (on Tibetan Buddhism) about the concept of creating amrita(nectar of immortality). It was claimed it is a vedic idea, to do with some ancient battle between demi-gods and gods. Anyway, it was formed by churning the world's oceans, with a mountain found in Bihar, till it formed, with lots of intermediate stages. This got me thinking why water is stirred, with recitals, and then claimed to be amrit. The point is, a lot of the current practices and terms, whether they are lotuses, world-oceans, sunn, or amrit, will have roots in something or another, and until they are researched, then one will be left puzzled.
The concept of amrit is something that seems to have been distorted over time. Amrit is a state of mind rather than the physical water. Technically the ceremony is called Khanda di pahaul. Gurbani is full fo metaphors so these phrases are not to be taken literally. The context of the shabad gives a clue to what is metaphor and what is not. The way Gurbani is set out is also ingenious. Guru Ji often describes a prevalent myth/belief/ritual in the 1st lines then goes on to explain the flaw in logic then give new meaning. This is why it's important to look at the pauri as a whole and never quote just 1 or 2 lines.

I can't see how it can harm me to read something that explains the terms and phrases also used in Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji in clear concise language.
Concise languange just doesn't do justice!! There is so much meaning in each and every word icecreamkaur
 
Oct 1, 2010
1
1
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Sat Sri Akal

Hi everyone

I've started this thread as a place to gather questions specifically relating to translations of Japji Sahib.

Here's a question from the first line after Mul Mantar:

ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ
Socẖai socẖ na hova▫ī je socẖī lakẖ vār.

The English translation by H. McLeod (and another I have but don't have the author with me) translates the above as:
"Never can you be known through ritual purity thought one cleanse oneself a hundred thousand times."
Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa and the majority of other translations I've seen translate it like this:
"By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times."
So my questions is: which translation is right? And how can there be such discrepancy between translations?

Any insight is much appreciated.

Ishna
SSA,
Well the word "SOCH" comes from Sanskrit and it means to bath. Guru ji is trying to refer to those people who use to go to places like Haridwar, etc for bathing. Hindus have a believe that by doing such KARAMKAANDS they will be blessed by God. As this was a ritual so Guru ji tried to convey this to people that even by taking housands of baths like this, you cannot be blessed. (As per Maskeen Ji)
I personally believe that this could be the possibility because in the first four lines of the HOLY JAPJI SAHIB JI, GURU NANAK DEV JI has tried to explain the superstitious believes that the people had at that time.
 

Gurmit Singh

SPNer
Jan 29, 2009
23
72
Waheguru jee ka Khalsa Waheguru jee kee Fateh

While compiling The Sikh Liturgical Hymns (Guru Granth Sahib Pages 1 to 13)
for the guidance of Sikh Scripture Classes, rightly or wrongly I have also stated:

"Even if the person may clean and wash the outward body including kitchen
for hundreds and thousands of times, Divine Enlightenment can't be attained
without performing the righteous deeds. [Thus, Guru Ka Langar and Sarovors
open water Tanks were started where all can take part as equals without
any distinction of caste or status]."

In the Japp Jee Sahib and Asa Kee Vaar, Guru Nanak Sahib had exposed the
hypocrisy of the Hindus, Muslims and Yogis, etc., and thus, advised the
Sikhs - not to resort to such practices.

Gurmit Singh (Australia)
 

eropa234

SPNer
Mar 25, 2005
79
98
Toronto
My advise to you is do not get stuck at a few words of Gurubani approach it with its collective wisdom. For example Bani states " Sukh Dukh dono sum kar Jano', these are very simple and straightforward words with clear meaning. Knowing the meaning would not help at all, after reading you will never be able to practice, it must be contemplated constantly over time to reap its benefit. An old song by Mohammad Rafi states " gum aur khusi mein fark na mehsus ho jahan, mein dil ko us MAKAAM pey laata chala gaya. It is the Makaam you want not the meaning.

Good Post.
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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After spnadmin ji pointed out that we need to dwell on relating the meanings to the words (good point), I've been doing just that for 2 days and thought I would share my understanding. Before I do that I want to commend Ishna Ji and others for going beyond the translations and trying to form your own understanding. Only then can the full beauty of Gurbani be appreciated and only on understanding can we follow the Guru's path. My plan for this year is to study Jap Ji in all its glory as it has so so much meaning. Each and every word is significant. Each time you go through it you will understand more and on different levels. The katha I have about mool mantar was 2 hours long and about Jap Ji well over 10 hours!! Each week in gurmat class we only cover 1 pauri as there is so much to say!! However, I'll try to keep this away from essay length ;)


ਸੋਚੈ ਸੋਚਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸੋਚੀ ਲਖ ਵਾਰ ॥
sochai soch n hovee jae sochee lakh vaar ||

The sochai is referring to the soch, ie one doesn't achieve the other and the words are related in meaning. Ritual bathing doesn't achieve cleanliness. If we were to put thinking there I'm not sure how to translate. Thinking doesn't achieve thoughts? Also a number is given - 100 000. Thinking is not a finite process that can be counted whereas bathing is. If it referred to thinking rather than a number, I think a descriptive word would most likely have been used for lots as that would make more sense.


ਚੁਪੈ ਚੁਪ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਲਾਇ ਰਹਾ ਲਿਵ ਤਾਰ ॥
chupai chup n hovee jae laae rehaa liv thaar ||

Again the chupai and chup are connected by word root and by na hovee. Keeping quiet does not result in inner quiet (peace or shanti) even if remianing absorbed. Again this relates to the body as just by stilling your body the mind cannot necessarily be stilled. I think this is a comment of yogic lifestyles. It is a way of saying that running away is not the answer but you need to stay in the real world and interact in the real world to face temptation. By runnign away, you may be surrounded by peace but you're not really conquering maya-just hiding from it.


ਭੁਖਿਆ ਭੁਖ ਨ ਉਤਰੀ ਜੇ ਬੰਨਾ ਪੁਰੀਆ ਭਾਰ ॥
bhukhiaa bhukh n outharee jae bannaa pureeaa bhaar ||

Using the same formula as above, appeasing hunger does not get rid of hunger even if I have everyone's things. I do not think this refers just to hunger for food but hunger for anything. It's a comment on gluttony and greed. People who have so much still want more and are never satisfied, whether it's a good meal, the latest gadgets, money, clothes, shoes etc. If you chase short term pleasures of the world, you will never be satisfied no matter how much you have. The pleasure soono wears off and you need more.


ਸਹਸ ਸਿਆਣਪਾ ਲਖ ਹੋਹਿ ਤ ਇਕ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਨਾਲਿ ॥
sehas siaanapaa lakh hohi th eik n chalai naal ||

You might have hundreds and thousands of cunning tricks but none will go with you. So far we can see that each line is about a barrier to understanding Waheguru and following the Guru's path. First it was ritual bathing, then hiding away from the world, then gluttony, and now cunning. Thinking in itself is not a bar to spirituality-its how you use the thinking that matters as demonstrated in this tuk. By trying to be clever you're letting the ego take over and that will bar you from moving forward spiritually. Being cunning could mean you believe you are outside of hukam or you swindle others by passing it off as religion (Brahmans) or you think that I'm not allowed to do x but if I do y then z i get the same result but its ok as i haven't strictly speaking broken the rules as i didnt fo x!! I'm sure there are many other examples that you can all think of too!

ਕਿਵ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੋਈਐ ਕਿਵ ਕੂੜੈ ਤੁਟੈ ਪਾਲਿ ॥
kiv sachiaaraa hoeeai kiv koorrai thuttai paal ||

Guru Ji has dealt with the barriers so needs to work out how to move forward. Therefore Guru Ji asks:
How do you become truthful and break past the barriers of falsehood.


ਹੁਕਮਿ ਰਜਾਈ ਚਲਣਾ ਨਾਨਕ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੧॥
hukam rajaaee chalanaa naanak likhiaa naal ||1|

Then the graceful Guru Ji gives us the answer-
Nanak writes that we should always endeavour to accept SatGuru's (Akal Purakh's) hukam. This means not doing any of the above things and becoming a Gurmukh. The rest of Gurbani goes into detail about staying within His hukam so it all fits in beautifully :veryhappykaur:


Apologies as this has ended up becoming an essay and its way past my bedtime.
GurFateh,
Jasleen.
 

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