ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਣਿ ॥ | Russ Soena Russ Ruppa Kaaman... | Sikh Philosophy Network
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ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਣਿ ॥ | Russ Soena Russ Ruppa Kaaman...

Dr Karminder Singh

Mentor
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SPNer
Sep 4, 2009
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Sikhs, on cue from our clergy in the form of ragis and parcharaks, have translated Kaam as sex and lust. They further translate Kaaman as woman. Kaaman, after all is one who is “absorbed and imbued in Kaam.” With Kaam being translated as above; the woman is thus seen as the root, cause and origin of Kaam.

Does Gurbani support such a view? How is Kaam defined in Gurbani? What is the meaning of Kaaman as used in the SGGS ji?

This article examines one Shabd of Guru Nanak ji to obtain answers to these questions. It is composed in Sri Raag and contained on page 15 of the SGGS ji. The complete Shabd is as follows.

ਿਸਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ Sri Raag Mehla 1.

ਲਬੁ ਕੁਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਚੂਹੜਾ ਠਿਗ ਖਾਧਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥
Labb Kutta Koor Choohra Thugg Khadha Murdar.

ਪਰ ਿਨੰ ਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਿਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਿਨ ਕ􏰀ੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥
Par Ninda Parmal Mukh Sudhee Agan Krodh Chandaal.

ਰਸ ਕਸ ਆਪੁ ਸਲਾਹਣਾ ਏ ਕਰਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥ ੧ ॥
Russ Kuss Aaap Slahna E Karam Merey Kartar.

ਬਾਬਾ ਬੋਲੀਐ ਪਿਤ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਊਤਮ ਸੇ ਦਿਰ ਊਤਮ ਕਹੀਅਿਹ ਨੀਚ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਹ ਰੋਇ ॥ ੧ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Baba Boleay Patt Hoey. Utam Sey Dar Utam Kaheah Neech Karam Beh Roye. Rahao.

ਰਸੁਸੁਇਨਾਰਸੁਰਪੁ ਾਕਾਮਿਣਰਸੁਪਰਮਲਕੀਵਾਸੁ॥
Russ Soena Russ Ruppa Kaaman Russ Parmal Kee Vaas.

ਰਸੁ ਘੋੜੇ ਰਸੁ ਸੇਜਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਰਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥
Russ Ghorey Russ Seyja Mandir Russ Meetha Russ Maas.

ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਿਟ ਨਾਮ ਿਨਵਾਸੁ ॥ ੨ ॥
Etey Russ Sareer Kay Kaey Ghat Naam Niwas.

ਿਜਤੁ ਬੋਿਲਐ ਪਿਤ ਪਾਈਐ ਸੋ ਬੋਿਲਆ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥
Jit Boleay Patt Payeay So Boleya Parvan.

ਿਫਕਾ ਬੋਿਲ ਿਵਗੁਚਣਾ ਸੁਿਣ ਮੂਰਖ ਮਨ ਅਜਾਣ ॥
Fikka Bol Viguchna Sunn Murakh Mun Ajaan.

ਜੋ ਿਤਸੁ ਭਾਵਿਹ ਸੇ ਭਲੇ ਹੋਿਰ ਿਕ ਕਹਣ ਵਖਾਣ ॥ ੩ ॥
Jo Tis Bhavey Sey Bhaley Hor Key Kehn Vakhaan.
ਿਤਨ ਮਿਤ ਿਤਨ ਪਿਤ ਿਤਨ ਧਨੁ ਪਲੈ ਿਜਨ ਿਹਰਦੈ ਰਿਹਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥

Tin Mutt Tinn Patt Tinn Dhan Jinn Hirdey Raheya Samaye.
ਿਤਨ ਕਾ ਿਕਆ ਸਾਲਾਹਣਾ ਅਵਰ ਸੁਆਿਲਉ ਕਾਇ ॥

Tin Ka Kya Salahna Avar Sualeyo Kaye.
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਰਾਚਿਹ ਦਾਿਨ ਨ ਨਾਇ ॥ ੪ ॥

Nanak Nadree Bahrey Rachey Daan Na Naye.
UNDERSTANDING THE SHABD.

Given that the central idea of the entire Shabd is contained within the Rahao Verse(s), we shall begin our quest towards understanding this shabd by examining the Rahao Verse couplet.

ਬਾਬਾ ਬੋਲੀਐ ਪਿਤ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਊਤਮ ਸੇ ਦਿਰ ਊਤਮ ਕਹੀਅਿਹ ਨੀਚ ਕਰਮ ਬਿਹ ਰੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Baba Boleay Patt Hoey. Utam Sey Dar Utam Kaheah Neech Karam Beh Roye. Rahao.

Baba ‐ O Mind of mine. Boleay‐ Lit. Talk; Discourse. Patt – Lit. Dignified; Godly. Utam – Elevated. Sey Dar – Lit. that door; Journey towards Realization. Kaheay– Is, said to be. Neech – Lowly. Karam – Actions. Beh Roye – Idiomatic for Regret, Remorse, Shame. [Note: Lit. is abbreviation for Literal Meaning].
O Mind, The Discourse of Spirituality Is One of Godly Deeds. The Journey of Realization Entails Elevation to Godly Heights; But I Suffer Shame On Account of My Actions.

Let us begin by attempting to understand the shabd by beginning with the first verse.
ਲਬੁ ਕੁਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਚੂਹੜਾ ਠਿਗ ਖਾਧਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ Labb Kutta Koor Choohra Thug Khadha Murdar.

Labb – Greed. Kutta ‐ Lit. Dog; Barking, Howling. Traits of Greed within the mind. Koor ‐ Lit. Fakery; Absence of Godliness. Choohra – Lit. Low Caste; Lowest Rung. Thug – Cheat, Deceive. Khadha ‐ Consumed; Grab. Murdar – Lit. Carcass; Rightfully Belonging to Others.
Constant Howling in Greed, Desire to Grab by Deceit the Rightful Possessions of Others; And The Absence of Godliness Have Resulted in My Mindset Being Relegated to The Lowest Rung of Humanity

Note: Koor in Gurbani is defined as the antonym (opposite) of Sach. Sach in Gurbani (From the Sanskrit Words Sat and Satya) always refers to the Creator. So Koor is the state of “absence of the Creator” as in the Verse of Guru

Nanak: ਨਾਨਕੁ ਵਖਾਣੈ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੁਧੁ ਬਾਝੁ ਕੂੜੋ ਕੂੜੁ ॥ ੧ ॥ Nanak Vekhaney Benti Tudh Baajh Kooro Koor. SGGS 468.
Meaning: Koor of Koor comes to exist whence Your existence has been denied / voided / vacated.
ਪਰ ਿਨੰ ਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਿਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਿਨ ਕ􏰀ੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥Par Ninda Par Mal Mukh Sudhee Agan Krodh Chandaal. Par – Others. Ninda – Condemn. Mal – Lit. Dirt; Derogatory. Mukh

– Speak. Sudhee ‐ Complete, Forever. Agan

– Fire, burning. Krodh – Anger. Chandaal ‐ Demon
The Demon of Anger Within Fans the Ever Burning Desire of Condemning and Speaking Derogatively of Others.

ਰਸ ਕਸ ਆਪੁ ਸਲਾਹਣਾ ਏ ਕਰਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥ ੧ ॥ Russ Kuss Aaap Slahna E Karam Merey Kartar.
Russ Kuss – Indulgences. Aaap – Self. Slahna – Praise, Acclaim. E Karam – These Deeds. Merey – Mine. Kartar

– Creator.
These then are the Indulgences and Self‐Acclaimed Deeds of Mine, O Creator.
ਰਸੁਸੁਇਨਾਰਸੁਰਪੁ ਾਕਾਮਿਣਰਸੁਪਰਮਲਕੀਵਾਸੁ॥RussSoenaRussRuppaRussKamanRussParmalKeeVaas. Russ ‐ Desire for the Essence. Indulgence. Penchant. Soena ‐ Gold.

Ruppa – Silver. Parmal ‐ Fragrance. Vaas –
(from Vaashna) Craving. Kaaman – Permeated in Desire; Imbued in Kaam, Defining of Kaam.

My Desires, Indulgences and Cravings for Gold, Silver and Fragrances have made me Imbued in Desire;
Defining my Kaam.

Note 1: The Word ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman in the Vedic Scriptures refers to Woman. She is considered the embodiment and root of KAAM which is translated as lust and sex. Gurbani REJECTS the notion that woman is the embodiment or root of anything evil. Gurbani also rejects the view that Kaam is lust and sex.
Note 2: Gurbani defines KAAM as desire for the ESSENCE (Russ) of anything material. Kaam is indulgence in worldliness at the very basic level. Verse 4 of the Shabd thus uses the word ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman as a descriptive adjective of a human being imbued in Kaam. In this sense of its usage then this verse is a definition of KAAM. Kaam is the desire, indulgence, penchant and cravings for all things material. ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman is a human being who is imbued in Kaam.

It must be noted that material in itself is NOT critiqued by Gurbani. It is the unbridled desire for the ESSENCE of material that is Kaam – and hence critiqued as an impediment to spirituality.

Note 3: In some instances, Gurbani uses the word ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman to denote the soul bride. This is so because when our Gurus talk about union with the creator they depict seeker as a female. In the following verses, for instance, ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman as a Bride‐Soul (Jeev‐Istri) or a Seeker is depicted as a wife to her Creator‐husband.

ਮੈ ਕਾਮਿਣ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੰਤੁ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥SGGS 1128. Main Kaaman Mera Kant Kartaar. Meaning: I am a bride‐soul of my Creator‐husband.

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਮਿਣ ਸਦਾ ਰੰਿਗ ਰਾਤੀ ਹਿਰ ਜੀਉ ਆਿਪ ਿਮਲਾਏ ॥ SGGS 244. Nanak Kaaman Sda Rung Raati Har Jeo Aap Milae. Meaning: The Creator unites me as a bride imbued in His love.

ਗੁਰਮੁਿਖ ਕਾਮਿਣ ਬਿਣਆ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ ॥ SGGS 1277. Gurmukh Kaaman Banea Singaar. Meaning: The Guru’s wisdom (Gurbani) is my adornment as His Soul‐bride (Seeker).

Note 4: However, in the case of the Shabd under discussion above; the subject matter is focused on desires, indulgences and cravings for all things material. The usage of ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman in the CENTRE of this verse, makes clear three things:

(a) Gurbani considers KAAM as desire for the essence of anything material. Kaam is thus indulgence in worldliness at the very basic level.

(b) ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman is used as a descriptive adjective of a human being imbued in Kaam. In other words, ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman is a human being who is permeated in Kaam. In this sense of its usage then this verse is a definition of KAAM.

(c) ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman cannot be translated as “woman” in this verse or the “essence of woman”. Gurbani has no gender bias. Our Gurus would not denote Russ for woman only? Why not for man? Further, if we look at the structure of the verse there is no Russ mentioned for KAAMAN. There is ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ Russ Soena. There is ਰਸੁ ਰਪੁ ਾ Russ Ruppa. And there is ਰਸੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਕੀ ਵਾਸੁ Russ Parmal Kee Vaas. There is NO ਰਸੁ ਕਾਮਿਣ Russ Kaaman. This means that ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman is used as an independent and standalone word in the verse. Its function is as an anchor word in the verse.

The meaning of verse 4 therefore is “My Desires, Indulgences and Cravings for Gold, Silver and Fragrances (things material) have made me into a ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman ‐ one that is Imbued in Kaam, and Filled with Desire for material, thus defining Kaam

ਰਸੁ ਘੋੜੇ ਰਸੁ ਸੇਜਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਰਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ Russ Ghorey Russ Seyja Mandir Russ Meetha Russ Maas. Ghorey – Lit. Horses; depiction of Travel. Seyja – Lit. Bedding;
Comforts. Mandir – Dwellings. Meetha – Sweet.

Maas – Lit. Meat; Palate, Tastes.

I Possess Desires and Cravings for Dwellings and Comforts of Travel; and Indulge in Penchants of the Palate.
ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਿਟ ਨਾਮ ਿਨਵਾਸੁ ॥ ੨ ॥ Etey Russ Sareer Kay Kaey Ghat Naam Niwas.

Etey – Abundant, Copious. Sareer Kay – Of the Body, Physical. Kaey Ghat – How within the Mind? Naam – Godly
Virtues. Niwas ‐ Reside So Abundant are my Physical Desires, Indulgence and Cravings; How then Will Godly Virtues Come to Reside Within my Mind.

ਿਜਤੁ ਬੋਿਲਐ ਪਿਤ ਪਾਈਐ ਸੋ ਬੋਿਲਆ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ Jit Boleay Patt Payeay So Boleya Parvan.
Jit – Which. Boleay – Discourse. Patt – Spiritual Dignity. Payeay – Earned, Realized. Parvan – Acceptable.

The Acceptable Discourse (of Spirituality) is one that Brings About Spiritual Dignity.
ਿਫਕਾ ਬੋਿਲ ਿਵਗੁਚਣਾ ਸੁਿਣ ਮੂਰਖ ਮਨ ਅਜਾਣ ॥ Fikka Bol Viguchna Sunn Murakh Mun Ajaan

Fikka – Devoid of Godly Essence; Absorbed in Worldly Essence. Bol – Discourse. Viguchna – Conduct. Sunn – Lit.
Listen; Realize. Murakh‐ Self Centered. Mun – Mind. Ajaan – Unenlightened.

Realize, O Self‐Centered and Unenlightened Mind – Discourse and Conduct that is Absorbed in Worldly
Essence is Devoid of Godly Essence.

ਜੋ ਿਤਸੁ ਭਾਵਿਹ ਸੇ ਭਲੇ ਹੋਿਰ ਿਕ ਕਹਣ ਵਖਾਣ ॥ ੩ ॥ Jo Tis Bhavey Sey Bhaley Hor Kay Kehn Vakhaan.

Jo – Those, That. Tis Bhavey – Acceptable to the Creator. Bhaley – Good; Hor – Other, Else. Kay –What use?
Kehn Vakhaan – Empty Talk.

That Which is Acceptable to the Creator is Good O Mind; of What Use is All Else That is Mere Empty Talk.
ਿਤਨ ਮਿਤ ਿਤਨ ਪਿਤ ਿਤਨ ਧਨੁ ਪਲੈ ਿਜਨ ਿਹਰਦੈ ਰਿਹਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥

Tin Mutt Tinn Patt Tinn Dhan Jinn Hirdey Raheya Samaye

TinMutt–OftherightMindset.TinnPatt–OfSpiritualDignity.Tinn Dhan – Inner Wealth. Palley – Earned, Acquired, Possesses. Hirdey – Within; Mind. Raheya – Remain. Samaye – God Realized

The God Realized Being Possesses the Correct Mindset, Earns Spiritual Dignity and Acquires Inner Wealth.
ਿਤਨ ਕਾ ਿਕਆ ਸਾਲਾਹਣਾ ਅਵਰ ਸੁਆਿਲਉ ਕਾਇ ॥ Tin Ka Kya Salahna Avar Sualeyo Kaye.

Tin Ka – Of Such (Realized Beings). Kya ‐ What. Salahna –Offering of Praises. Avar – Other, Else. Sualeyo – Inner
/ Spiritual Beauty. Kaye – Who.

What Praises Can Be Offered of Such Realized Beings; Who Else is of Higher Inner Beauty?
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਦਰੀ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਰਾਚਿਹ ਦਾਿਨ ਨ ਨਾਇ ॥ ੪ ॥ Nanak Nadree Bahrey Rachey Daan Na Naye.

Nadree – Blessings of the Creator. Bahrey – Devoid, Barren, Bereft. Rachey ‐ Immersed. Daan – Gifts of Material,
Worldliness. Naye – Godly / Divine Virtues.

Nanak, To Remain Immersed in God Given Gifts (of Worldly Material) Instead of Divine Virtues is to Remain Barren of the Blessings of the Creator.

CONCLUSIONS.
1. Taking the Shabd of Guru Nanak in its entirety we get the understanding that Kaam refers to our inner desires for material and worldly possessions.

2. The material and worldly possessions are defined as God’s gifts to mankind (final verse) for use in the conduct of our temporal life. Consequently, the material themselves are not the root – hence there is no need to shun or reject them.

3. Kaam is defined as the desire for the indulgence and penchant for the ESSENCE (RUSS) of these material possessions. Russ is in turned defined as our attempt to obtain joy and bliss from worldly things through our indulgence in them.

4. Given that there is NO permanent or lasting joy of any kind in material; we get deeper and deeper into a slippery slope for more material. The result is a mind that is occupied with worldly RUSS and with no place for Godly Virtues (Verse 6: ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਿਟ ਨਾਮ ਿਨਵਾਸੁ ॥ ੨ ॥ Etey Russ Sareer Kay Kay Ghat Naam Niwas.)
5. Taken as a whole then, Kaam is the antonym of Naam. (Final verse: ਰਾਚਿਹ ਦਾਿਨ ਨ ਨਾਇ ॥ Rachey Daan Na Naye.) Where there is Kaam, there can be no Naam. Since Naam refers to our spiritual desires for Godly Virtues; Kaam refers to our temporal desires for the Essence of Material.

6. Guru Nanak is asking us to make an enlightened choice for Naam over Kaam; a choice of Divine Virtues over the essence of the temporal. The choice is over ਰਾਚਿਹ ਨਾਇ Rachey Naye and ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman – to be imbued in Divine Virtues or be imbued in the essence of material.

7. It would make no sense to say that the choice was over being imbued in Divine Virtues (ਰਾਚਿਹ ਨਾਇ Rachey Naye) and “woman” (ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman) – even if this was the interpretation of our clergy.

8. Gurbani helps us make the choice between ਰਾਚਿਹ ਨਾਇ Rachey Naye and ਕਾਮਿਣ Kaaman – of being imbued in Divine Virtues or being permeataed in the essence of material by providing the enlightenment needed for our spiritual journeys within.
 

swarn bains

Poet
SPNer
Apr 9, 2012
582
151
kaam. it means any idea in your mind or activity which hijacks the mind and body. in some case people link it to sex. it does apply there. but if one's mind is hijacked by greed, that is also kaam or any other mental thinking which attracts your mind so much that you forget to do anything else or think anything else
 

ravneet_sb

Writer
SPNer
Nov 5, 2010
739
316
48
Sat Sri Akaal,

Focus on Shabad Kaman

It was thought earlier and expressed, but objectively realisation shall not alter with time

Kaman is force of inspiration to do action (thought speech and physical action)

For Eg With eyes one watch car, or jewelry, or beautiful painting, or else and evokes desire to possess. And that evokes thought and one may dream of object, or express to someone, or if have capacity to owe may possess also.

ਮੈ ਕਾਮਿਣ ਮੇਰਾ ਕੰਤੁ ਕਰਤਾਰੁ ॥SGGS 1128
I am inspiration and it is for CREATOR awareness or understanding


ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਮਿਣ ਸਦਾ ਰੰਿਗ ਰਾਤੀ ਹਿਰ ਜੀਉ ਆਿਪ ਿਮਲਾਏ ॥ SGGS 244.
Say Nanak, My Inner Spirit ie inspiration is dyed I Evergreen Everlasting TRUTH, and have desire to know and merge.
 

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