My Understanding: Sukhmani Sahib: 4th Ashtapadee: 8th Pauri | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

My Understanding: Sukhmani Sahib: 4th Ashtapadee: 8th Pauri


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
I share with you all, my understanding of the 8th Pauri of 4th Ashtapadee of Sukhmani Sahib. Please note that the English sentence after the Transliteration is not the exact literal translation of the sentence, it is the meaning of the tuk as understood by me.
First the summary:
This Pauri is part of the daily prayer of the Sikhs. It gives expression to the total surrender by the Sikh to the almighty ‘The Sat’.
1. qU Twkuru qum pih Ardwis ] too thaakur tum peh ardaas.
You are our Head; to You, I offer this prayer.

My understanding:
In ancient time, and even today in some villages, the persons who used to virtually run the village and whose orders were absolute were referred to as ‘Thakur’. Guru Sahib, to communicate well with hid audience has used this term for ‘The Sat’ as the listeners understood the meaning of this term well. All our prayers are directed towards ‘The Sat’.
2. jIau ipMfu sBu qyrI rwis ] jee-o pind sabh tayree raas.
This body and the life in it are all Your property.

My understanding:
What Guru Sahib has said in this tuk (sentence) reflects his total surrender to ‘The Sat’. This Guru Sahib has said from the depth of his heart and soul (being) with a deep sense of surrender; in Hindi such offering (surrender) is called ‘Sampooran-Atm-Samarpan’. He says that all that I am is yours i.e. I totally belong to you (‘The Sat’).
As a result of spiritual evolution, when the person realizes that all that she or he is, has come from ‘The Sat’ and there is really nothing that she or he can claim to be her or his own, the person’s I-ness – Ego – gets fully dissolve. At this stage, the urge and the wisdom for total surrender dawns on the person.
The rational behind my this understanding, I have already explained in my last post on the 7th Pauri if this Ashtapadee, where I have explained how I concluded that my life and body both have come from ‘The Sat’ – hence I am not repeating it here.
3. qum mwq ipqw hm bwirk qyry ] tum maat pitaa ham baarik tayray.
You are our mother and father; we are Your children.

My understanding:
Else where in Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Sahib has said that you are my father, you are my mother, and you are my brother -----. Here to what is said is the same.
Biologically speaking, my father and mother are two different entities yet, Guru Sahib in this sentence has said ‘The Sat’ is his/my father and mother too. This difference in what we see in life – father and mother being two different persons -and what Guru Sahib has said needs to be reconciled.
As I understand, Guru Sahib is not referring to the physical form of the individual, but is addressing to the essence of the living entities, which in my mother and also in my father is ‘The Sat’. In other words ‘The Sat’ is my mother and ‘The Sat’ is my father also.
If, I keep going this way, ‘The Sat’ is in you, ‘The Sat’ is in me, ‘The Sat’ is in all the living and non-living entities of the creation. All that is in me (body and soul), in you and in all the entities (living and non-living) is ‘The Sat’. It means the entire creation and ‘The Creator’ i.e. ‘The Sat’ are one.
With this back ground, now, I can grasp a little what ‘Ek Ongkar’ means, as I understand it refers to Creator and its Creation put together, they both, as we have seen, are one.
Guru Sahib has used this term ‘Ek Ongkar’ right at the beginning of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, to convey to us that in the beginning there was only ‘One’ i.e. ; ‘Ek Ongkar’ which I refer too as ‘The Sat. After this opening term - ‘Ek Ongkar’ - the entire Granth is elaboration of it i.e. ‘The Sat’, ‘The Sat’ and only ‘The Sat’. The entire elaboration has sprung from ‘Ek Ongkar’.
The entire creation has sprung from ‘The Sat’, and is included in it. As the term ‘Ek Ongkar’ and its entire elaboration in Siri Guru Granth Sahib constitutes a single Granth so is the case with ‘The Creator’ and its Creation, The Creation is included in the Creator and is not separate from it; all is ‘One’.
So if we harm any entity – living or non-living - we are harming ourselves, because we are all one. Doing so, in my understanding, is against Sikhi That is why Guru Sahib has asked us the protect even the environment (non-living component of creation) in the Shalok Pawan Guru Pani------.
This way I understand why my father and mother are one what is said by Guru Sahib in this tuk.
4. qumrI ik®pw mih sUK Gnyry ] tumree kirpaa meh sookh ghanayray.
In Your favourable disposition, the joys intensify.

My understanding:
As I understand, ‘The Sat’ supports its entire creation, no matter what the entity is; no matter the people’s view is about that person - good or bad. Bad has to exist in this world for us to know what is good. Hitler was not killed even when attempt was made to assassinate him; he killed himself; Stalin and Aurangzeb both died in a natural way. This is what makes me conclude that ‘The Sat’ supports every one without fear or favour.
To me, ‘Kirpa’ means a favourable disposition between the donor and the recipient. We have to understand what it means in the context of this tuk. In ‘Kirpa’ there is a donor and a recipient. Here the donor is ‘The Sat’ and the recipient is a living entity – a person. ‘The Sat’ is not individual specific, it works for all in the same manner, when it rains, it rains in the entire area not of specific house. From this I conclude, it is the recipient of Kirpa that has to align with respect to ‘The Sat’. For example, when it rains, to collect water if we keep the pot upside down, it will remain empty but, if we put place the pot in open space with its mouth facing upwards it will collect all the water that falls till it overflows. This leads us to another question what is meant by alignment with ‘The Sat’ in the context of this Tuk.
As I see, when two entities have similar characteristics then they gel well. From this I say that if our being tends to evolves in the direction of ‘The Sat’ like nature – working in a selfless manner, for the common good of the largest number of entities that we can possibly cover, protecting the environment; giving more to the society than we take from it etc – then we are move forward to become and instrument of ‘The Sat’. It is my understanding that such a disposition of the person naturally avails greater and greater ‘Kirpa’ compared to those persons who live a self-centered worldly life. This disposition, the ancient scripture of the land call ‘Satvika’. This disposition comes when we gradually dissolve the enemies within us – Kama (Lust); Krodh (Anger); Lobh (Greed); Moh (Attachment); and Ahamkara (Ego). Simplicity, care, compassion, mercy, honest labour (Kirt), and truthfulness gentleness, knowledge, selflessness and enterprise characterize the ‘Satvika’ nature. This is equivalent to keeping the pot in open space with its mouth upward to collect rain water. The grater perfection we achieve in acquiring this disposition, the greater will be the Kirpa that we will be able to harness from ‘The Sat.
Now I take up the second part of the Tuk, which says under the Kirpa, the joys intensify. All our problems arise due to the enemies within us – Kama, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahamkara. When these get dissolve because of the ‘Satvika’ disposition, there are no trouble makers left in us. Normally we live a life which combination of Sukha (joy) and ‘Dukha (sorrow); when sorrow disappears or gets dissolve what is left in joy only. This Absence of Dukha naturally allows us to enjoy the Joy fully; there is no Dukha to dilute it. In other words the Sukha i.e. Joy gets intensified.

5. koie n jwnY qumrw AMqu ] ko-ay na jaanai tumraa ant.
No one knows where you end.

6. aUcy qy aUcw BgvMq ] oochay tay oochaa bhagvant.
Highest of the high, the most learned and evolved.

My understanding:
No matter which field we specialize in, there is always something to learn beyond what we know and grow further, we know one life is not enough to learn even in one field of specialization. ‘The Sat’ is the fountain source of the all including knowledge. Guru Sahib says, in 5th sentence of the Tuk that no one can expand himself and evolve in all the domains so as to cover all that ‘The Sat’ is.
To understand the second line we have to prepare ourselves first. Bhagvant word id derived from Bhagwan. In Vedic period this word was used to refer to God. Latter, as Upanishads came into being and the concept of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ evolved, specially after the advent of Buddhism and Jainism, the word Bhagwan started to be used for very evolved person or exalted teacher (as it was being used for Rajneesh, in recent times). Since Siri Guru Granth Sahib was complied much later in time, I interpret Bhagvant as an extremely evolved and spiritual person; I do not mean it to be God.
Guru Sahib has said in the 6th Tuk of this Pauri that the highest of the highly evolved person cannot decipher ‘The Sat’ and comprehend it totally.
7. sgl smgRI qumrY sUiqR DwrI ] sagal samagree tumrai sutir Dhaaree.
The whole creation is strung on Your thread.

My understanding:
Sutradhaar is one that threads together different elements and makes it like a single whole. Guru Sahib says that all the elements and entities of creation and life are threaded by ‘The Sat’ is a single whole. He compares ‘The Sat’ with the thread that holds the beads and makes a necklace out of it.
I elaborate it a little. It is said that what we call Atman, is embodied in us. According to my understanding, it is the other way round – it is the Atman (another word used for Parmatma) which is holding the body into a single entity. The moment this essence of life (Atman) leaves the body, it starts decaying and stinking making it essential to dispose it off. In the same way, ‘The Sat’ is holding its entire creation together making it into a single functioning entity. That is why Guru Sahib has referred to ‘The Sat’ as Sutradhaar.

8. qum qy hoie su AwigAwkwrI ] tum tay ho-ay so aagi-aakaaree.
That which has come from You, follow Your orders.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib says that we are in this world to act on behalf of ‘The Sat’ and as we have sprung from it, we must obey ‘The Sat’. We have to live our life as an instrument of ‘The Sat’ for blissful ascendancy (Chardiyan Kalan) of the creation of ‘The Sat’.
9. qumrI giq imiq qum hI jwnI ] tumree gat mit tum hee jaanee.
You alone know Your ways and means.

My understanding:
Holding “The Sat’ in supreme owe, Guru Sahib says that no one can know you fully, only you know yourself.
10. nwnk dws sdw kurbwnI ]8]4] naanak daas sadaa kurbaanee. ||8||4||
Nanak, Your servant, is forever a sacrifice. ||8||4||

My understanding:
In this Tuk, Guru Sahib gives expression to his inner feeling as to what he considers himself to be with respect to ‘The Sat’. When Guru Sahib says that he is a sacrifice, it is not his physical body alone he is offering but the entire span of life which he intended and in fact spent working as an instrument of ‘The Sat’. This is total surrender to ‘The Sat’.
Now, I close the post.
With love and respect to all.
Amarpal Singh
Jul 13, 2004
Respected Amarpal ji,

Thanks for sharing a wonderful understanding. It is a pleasure to read your posts.

While reading this post, lot of inter-related thoughts came to me such as:
1. Do you refer 'The Sat' as the life energy which is the core essence of this universe! It makes total sense.
2. Creation and Creator are the same, there is no difference.. this is such a wonderful realization, and reminds me of Osho's lectures regarding this. EkOnkar codifies this.
3. Life energy is everywhere. It may be our lack of consciousness that we dont see life in our surroundings. Environment is not a non-living component. It is lively, that is how we get energy from it. Water, Sun being the essential sources of energy.
4.2nd line - raas. I used to read this as a part of raas-leela :) as in this body and the life in it are part of His game.

Thanks for your presence on SPN Amarpal ji.

With Regards,

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

ਜੈਤਸਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ਘਰੁ ੩ ॥ ੴ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

Jaitsree Mehla 5 Ghar 3 Ek Oangkar Satgur Parsad

ਕੋਈ ਜਾਨੈ ਕਵਨੁ ਈਹਾ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ॥

Koee Janeiy Kvn Eha Jug Meet

Koee – One...

SPN on Facebook