SLOK SEHESKRITEE KATHAA Bibi Har Simirit Kaur Khalsa Gurbani Prachar Mission of USA 510-432-5827 slok shsik®qI mhlw 1 ] (1353) Shlok Seheskritee, First Mehl (Ung 1353): piV@ pusœk sMiDAw bwdM ] “You study the scriptures, say your prayers and argue.” Why do people study scriptures? What is prayer, and arguing? Who was Guru Nanak addressing in this Shabad? The language and literary style of this hymn is elite, classical grammar, and vocabulary. Guru Ji blends this Seheskritee language combined with Sanskrit, Parkriti, Punjabi, Hindi, Farsi, and a few other languages. It appears as if Guru Nanak was addressing pakhandi (hypocritical) religious scholars of the time, in a region dominated by Brahmanism. Brahman Pundits were the experts who publicly argued about their knowledge of scriptures and spiritualism to win rare sacred texts. Often wicked Brahmans would exploit people with superstitious rituals that were contrary to the faith of the scriptures that they taught. If you study this shabad more closely, you will see that Guru Nanak was not criticizing the Brahmans directly. Guru Ji only uses the corruption of the Brahmans as an example of our own human weaknesses. Our ego is given to us to guarantee that we desire to survive by having the best. Our 5 vices confuse us, causing self-centeredness to make us clever, greedy, and corrupt, looking for opportunity to prey on the innocent for lavish gain. isl pUjis bgul smwDM ] “You worship stones and sit like a crane, pretending to meditate in a saintly fashion.” Worship of a stone is foolish. Rocks have no biological function, they have no free will, and they are non-productive. The rock as it is, is the opposite of production and self-improvement. The rock is lifeless, passive, hard, and stable; and very little can affect it. Likewise, the crane first appears the same, standing one-legged in a humble, yoga position on this stone, a foundation for his deceitful hunting pose. The bird that looks colorful like flowers, harmless and calm, yet when there is good opportunity to strike, the fish in the sea are not even aware that they are quick prey. And when the crane quickly shovels the fish into its mouth, there is no escape. The path to the crane’s stomach is long and slow, prolonging suffering. The fish slides tightly squeezed down the crane’s throat, as it cannot even wiggle or expand its gills to gasp for breath. muiK JUTu ibBUKn swrM ] “You speak lies and well-ornamented falsehood, “ Guru Ji explains how these Pundits go out of their way, misleading devoted people of simple faith away from reality, tricking them into superstitious, meaningless rituals that guarantee no benefit. People are lured into wasted time and effort for the profit of the greedy. It is to the advantage of the crane that the fish remain in ignorance of danger. People are easily enchanted with exquisite language, full of false promises. qRYpwl iqhwl ibcwrM ] “and recite your daily prayers three times a day. “ Cranes boast of their caught prey. They swallow the fish then fly away howling in pride and satisfaction. The prayers of the hypocritical religious leaders are nothing but expressions of their gratitude for the blind, innocent followers, allowing them to feast on then - exploitation. If these blind followers would have known any better, they would have avoided the Pundit’s trap. gil mwlw iqlk illwtM ] “The mala sacred beads are around your neck, and the sacred tilak mark is on your forehead.” Notice that the beads that hang over the heart is mentioned before the mark on the head. This shows how the corrupt people are being governed by emotions, rather than intellect. The beauty of the colored, religious beads that cover up the evil plot of these pandits. Likewise, the beautiful crane has a destructive scheme hidden under his beauty - its beautiful beak on its head, and exotic, fluffy feathers covering its chest. duie DoqI bsqR kpwtM ] “You wear two loin cloths, and keep your head covered.” One cloth isn’t enough, so two are worn to double fool those of blind faith. The loin cloths do not fit tightly around the body. Falsehood can be easily detected if one observes with careful eyes. Without the knowledge of Gurbani, one can easily get caught up in trusting the very people who have no care for your well-being. jo jwnis bRhmM krmM ] “If you know God and the nature of karma,” The only way to know God is by learning about His hukam and living by it. All the natural laws of the universe which we cannot change are God’s hukam. When one accepts this, then one can learn to live truthful. ikv sicAwrw hoeIAY ikv kUVY qutY pwil ] So how can one become truthful? And how can the false veil of illusion be torn away? hukim rjweI clxw nwnk iliKAw nwil ] O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. and cMigAweIAw buirAweIAw vwcY Drmu hdUir ] “Merits and demerits are read out in the presence of Dharma (Righteous Judge”). krmI Awpo AwpxI ky nyVY ky dUir ] “According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.” (Jap Ji Sahib) sB Pokt inscY krmM ] “You know that all these rituals and beliefs are useless.” When one understands hukam and karma, then it is easy to recognize falsehood, because trying to bribe God is a foolish insult. Even worse is intentionally religiously misleading someone. Imagine a government official lying about what forms to fill out for benefits. The damage could be devastating. khu nwnk inscO iD´wvY ] “Says Nanak, meditate on the Lord with faith.” Take the message of Gurbani and reflect on it, day and night. Faith is belief in something that is beyond your understanding. You realize it is all reality that you can never fully comprehend. Giyan Truth will always be beyond our comprehension. We only understand that truth is stable, yet we will never know all the intricate details of the universe. ibnu siqgur bwt n pwvY ]1] “Without the True Guru, no one finds the Way. ||1||” If we do not follow the teaching of Guru Granth Sahib, we will be lead astray by deceivers of truth, like the crane preying on the innocent fish. Sat Guru is exactly the concept of God teaching us truth with the nature that He created, because of His grace gur pRswid. Guru Nanak realized this truth, and blessed humanity with this revelation. Guru Nanak has taken the Giyan Shabad and expressed it in a more contemporary literary style for people to understand. Satgur is not the physical form of anyone or anything- it is the Giyan Shabad itself which is not limited to language, form, or time. For this reason, many hymns in Guru Granth Sahib are from different places, different times, different languages, and different classes of people. Our Guru Granth Ji Maniyo is the Giyan Shabad in the language of mortal man, as seen with Guru Granth Sahib. Gur giyan is so deep that language can only describe it in a limited way. inhPlµ qs´ jnms´ jwvd bRhm n ibMdqy ] “The mortal's life is fruitless, as long as he does not know God.” To believe in God means to know and accept God’s hukam, Guru Ji teaches about hukam through the Guru Granth Sahib. Without the foundation of knowledge of the world we live in, how can one survive? From infancy, we learn about our environment, created and governed by God’s hukam. swgrM sMswrs´ gur prswdI qrih ky ] “Only a few, by Guru's Grace, cross over the world-ocean.” Knowledge of Guru’s teaching is the only way to survive in this world of deception. Crossing over the sea is a figure of speech, meaning, ”deliverance from our sufferings”. mMnY qrY qwry guru isK ] “The faithful is carried across the sea of trouble, and also carries the Sikhs of the Guru across. ” (Jap Ji Sahib) So why are only a few rescued? It is because only a few of us are willing to take the challenge of looking beyond ourselves into truth. krx kwrx smrQu hY khu nwnk bIcwir ] “The Creator, the Cause of causes, is All-powerful. Says Nanak, after deep deliberation.” Creation undergoes an eternal process of recycling. Molecular changes always happen within and without every object, interacting and reacting constantly with other things. ieik dwqy iek mMgqy sBnw isir soeI ] (1283, mlwr, mhlw 3) “Some are givers, and some are beggars; God is above the heads of all.” nwnk hukmI Awvhu jwhu ] “Oh Nanak, all are subject to birth and death. (Jap Ji Sahib) kwrxu krqy vis hY ijin kl rKI Dwir ]2] “The Creation is under the control of the Creator. By His Power, He sustains and supports it. ||2||” Although it seems out of control, everything is always in its correct place, because everything obeys God’s hukam. All the natural laws of the universe are eternally fully functional. jog sbdM igAwn sbdM byd sbdM q bRwhmxh ] “The Shabad is Yoga, the Shabad is spiritual wisdom; the Shabad is the Vedas for the Brahmin.” Just as Yoga teaches about the body, so does Gurbani, Guru’s Shabad teach about the secrets of life. Just as Vedas is valuable to the Brahmin, so is Gurbani vital for mankind. K´qRI sbdM sUr sbdM sUdR sbdM prw ik®qh ] “The Shabad is heroic bravery for the Khshaatriya; the Shabad is service to others for the Shoodra.” Shabad gives us the knowledge of how to battle our five vices. When we recognize hukam of truth, we can function more easily. We learn to make better decisions in life, how we behave. Giyan shabad is our kiyatri weapon to defend ourselves against falsehood. It is bravery in the sense that Shabad truth need not prepare itself for battle against falsehood. Truth is always ready and always prevails. siq Awid Bwv rqM ] “He is from the beginning lover of truth and other virtues.” Bhagat Jaidev 526) Shoodr are the lowest castes of people who serve all the other castes above them. Shabad unlimitedly serves us. We learn that God’s Hukam of grace operates so intricately and constantly to sustain the universe in which we reside. God is as if our servant, yet we think that He needs our help. srb sbdM q eyk sbdM jy ko jwnis Byau ] “The Shabad for all is the Shabad, the Word of the One God, for one who knows this secret.” Shabad of truth is only one for all mankind. It does not know caste or status. nwnk qw ko dwsu hY soeI inrMjn dyau ]3] “Nanak is the slave of the Divine, Immaculate Lord. ||3||” Guru Nanak has devoted his life towards making God’s shabad known to all. eyk ik®s˜µ q srb dyvw dyv dyvw q Awqmh ] “The One Lord is the Divinity of all divinities.” There is only one God that exists and He has the power of all gods worshipped. He is self-sufficient and almighty. AwqmM sRI bwsÍdyvs´ jy koeI jwnis Byv ] “He is the Divinity of the soul, the Supreme Lord who knows the its Secrets.” God has reserved space within Himself for all of us to exist. Only He knows Himself, which is infinitely beyond our capabilities to understand fully. nwnk qw ko dwsu hY soeI inrMjn dyv ]4] “Nanak is the slave of that. He is the Divine Immaculate Lord Himself. ||4||” All creation testifies of God’s majestic hukam, we are all equally blessed with the essence of reality. This relish of Amrit is offered for everyone. Because this awesome taste of essence is for everyone, Guru Nanak has devoted himself as a slave for the spreading of Giyan Shabad for all. In conclusion, Guru Nanak uses the image of crane (pakandi Braham Pundits) only as an example to teach us that whatever religion anyone practices, he must accept God’s hukam and live truthful. We all, at times fall into this category of missing the whole point of living faithful and saintly. Among our own Sikh religious circles, we are blessed to have faithful raggies, preachers, and granthis, but there are some wealthy granthis, preachers, and greedy raggies who pose very religious wearing their 5 kakees and long beard. Some of them are thieves and womanizers, dishonoring Guru. They make long lavish Aardaas and read Paath with a Bollywood voice hoping for more money. They fight for extra Akhana Paath duties and deceive committee members and prevent other people from having duties or kirtan time while many sangat are present. There are preachers hired by Brahmanistic agents to preach in gurdwaras against Gurbani, using so called magical stories and only preaching Hinduism. Some gurdwaras have so called Amritdhari committee members who are not truly Amritdhari, they only shak Amrit to gain attention, They break all promises after elections and even use golak money to buy liquor stores and gas stations. They sell American sponsorship letters for unqualified people, deceiving Immigration Department that the gurdwara needs them as raggies and gianis. No poor are being helped, only their relatives. They don’t allow Gurbani to be preached. They promote fake Baba Ji Saints who teach kachie bani contrary to Guru Granth Sahib by twisting verses in Gurbani with Brahmanistic beliefs. All they care about is money and fame. The helpless fish that the crane captures represents the blind people in Sangats whom these religious leaders exploit with Brahmanistic Akhanda Paaths, where no one listens nor understands. Pakandi Granthis sell Akhanda Paath duties to readers or give most of the duties to men or to rich people who receive big pensions from India (from their same village). They don’t give poor women as many as, if any, duties to read. Some paathis read too fast, quiet, or use unclear articulation for anyone to understand. Akhanda Paath in itself is a beautiful experience that very few truly benefit from. It is the opportunity for the Sangat to hear the entire Guru non-stop. Guru Nanak shows us that every religion has good and bad representatives and teachers. Some Sangat come to the gurdwara only for free food and nice music, and they are not learning anything about Guru’s teaching. Some Sangat are aware of gurdwara corruption but they do not fight for righteousness, using the excuse, “Guru knows their evils ways, and they will pay.” The main criticism in Guru Nanak’s Seheskriti Shlok is against man in general and not directly against the Pundits or bad Sikh leaders. Guru Ji only uses Pakandi people as an example of man’s tendencies to be suckered into his own ego trap, which ensnares him and others affected by his evil.