Sukhmani Sahib:5th Ashtapadee:5th Pauri:My Understanding | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Sukhmani Sahib:5th Ashtapadee:5th Pauri:My Understanding


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
I share with you all, my understanding of the 5th Pauri of 5th 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 of the Pauri:
Guru Sahib continue to explain what all is Mithyya in this world. In this Pauri Guru Sahib has mostly dealt with some of the Gyanendriyas (the five senses – hearing, touch, taste, vision and smell), Karmendriyas (instruments of action – hand, feet, tongue, organ of reproduction and organ for excretion) and out put of the functioning brain i.e. mind. The purpose of all these faculties is to serve ‘The Sat’ and its creation. Deviating from the purpose for which these instruments were given makes their existence Mithyya.
1. imiQAw sRvn pr inMdw sunih ] mithi-aa sarvan par nindaa suneh.
False are the ears which listen to the slander of others.

My understanding:
If we study nature, we find that all living beings are using their ears to sense what is useful for sustaining life. It may be sensing the sound of flowing water to know where the water is. It may be used to alert oneself about the approaching danger to the life, and to receive the verbal communication sent by others. We humans have added many more – slander is the most negative of all. Guru Sahib says that the use of ears for such purpose negated the intent of the nature which has given this specific sense – ability to hear. Abusing this sense is not right, it is false – Mithyya.
2. imiQAw hsq pr drb kau ihrih ] mithi-aa hasat par darab ka-o hireh.
False are the hands which steal the wealth of others.

My understanding:
‘The Sat’ has given us hands to preserve ourselves and to promote the cause of its creation – to participate it its all-round evolution for the good. When these hands are used to steel what belongs to others, they are no way serving the cause of ‘The Sat’ – they are being used to deny some one that is her or his. This negates the purpose for which the humans have hands; they become false instruments – Mithyya. This is what Guru Sahib has said.
3. imiQAw nyqR pyKq pr iqRA rUpwd ] mithi-aa naytar paykhat par tari-a roopaad.
False are the eyes which gaze upon the beauty of another's wife.

My understanding:
Nature, through evolution has given us eyes as they were needed for self preservation and also for contributing to the society, living and non-living entities of the creation of ‘The Sat’ and to protect the environment. They were not meant to be used for illegitimate purposes. Driven by lust, when the person looks toward the object of gratification with the intent to derive some pleasure, it negates the intent of the purpose for which the sense of vision was given to humans by ‘The Sat’. Such acts falsify this specific sense and the associated mental faculties – they become false – Mithyya. The sense should not be allowed to control the function of brain; it leads to perversion.
4. imiQAw rsnw Bojn An sÍwd ] mithi-aa rasnaa bhojan an savaad.
False is the tongue which deludes the person in the taste of food.

My understanding:
Nature has given sense of taste so that they do not eat which is not good for their preservation. When this sense of taste starts dominating and they directs to brain to function in a way that makes the person keep seeking the eatables that satisfy this sense, then it takes the person away from the intent for which this specific sense has developed. It falsifies the intent for which this Gyanendriya was developed; this way it makes it Mithyya. This is what Guru Sahib has conveyed in this Tuk.
5. imiQAw crn pr ibkwr kau Dwvih ] mithi-aa charan par bikaar ka-o Dhaaveh.
False are the feet which run to do evil to others.

My understanding:
Feet – Karmendriya – is given to humans so that they can move around for self preservation and to work for evolution of the creation of ‘The Sat’ acting as an instrument of ‘The Sat’, which is the purpose of our taking birth in human form. When the person works to destroy her or his fellow humans or any entity of nature or its environment, it negates the purpose of this Karmendriya; making it false – Mithyya.
6. imiQAw mn pr loB luBwvih ] mithi-aa man par lobh lubhaaveh.
False is the mind which is given to greed.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib now refers to the soft output of human brain, which is ‘the mind’. The mind is where the thoughts are deposited. Some total of thoughts is mind – it is intangible.
If the persons values and beliefs system is such that the person’ being is greedy, then the process of brain that generates thought will be working to generate the sense of greed. Greed is always for gratification of senses from objects – there is a great element of selfishness in it. Such a person has greatly deviated from the course expected from a human who is supposed to work for evolution and preservation of the creation of ‘The Sat’. This is how the person’s existence thus the mind becomes false – Mithyya.
7. imiQAw qn nhI praupkwrw ] mithi-aa tan nahee par-upkaaraa.
False is the body which does not do good to others.

My understanding:
In this Tuk, Guru Sahib is very explicit. The word ‘other’ here means the entire creation of ‘The Sat’ – living and non living entities and the environment. In our limited existence, the entire creation means the maximum spread which we as human can cover.
Here Guru Sahib has made it very clear that the purpose of our life as human is to help others – self preservation is naturally implied because on one can fulfill her/his obligation to ‘The Sat’ if she or he is unable to sustain life in her/his body.
If we are misusing others or not do all that we can to help them sustain and evolve in life, then the purpose of being born as humans gets negated. This body then becomes false – Mithyya.
8. imiQAw bwsu lyq ibkwrw ] mithi-aa baas layt bikaaraa.
False is the nose which inhales corruption.

My understanding:
Here Guru Sahib has used a metaphor. We use nose to breath, the oxygen in the air that goes to lung helps us to remain alive. Corruption is not a physical entity; like honesty, it is also an intangible abstract entity. State of corruption creates an environment in which many individual live. Those who live in such environment and become part of it, sustain their lives through corrupt means. Corruption here becomes synonym with oxygen which helps sustaining life. It is for similarity, as I understand, Guru Sahib has used the word inhale. It is clear that corrupt individuals in any society are like the cancer cell in the body. Guru Sahib tells us that corrupt way of living is not the right way for humans. It is false living – it is Mithyya.
9. ibnu bUJy imiQAw sB Bey ] bin boojhay mithi-aa sabh bha-ay.
Without complete understanding, everything is false.

My understanding:
This generalization is very important. Through this Tuk, Guru Sahib has made Sikhi a knowledge based religion. Guru Sahib has said that every thing is false if not understood fully – it is very true. Without full understanding it leads the person to the wrong path, thus making life false – Mithyya.
10. sPl dyh nwnk hir hir nwm ley ]5] safal dayh naanak har har naam la-ay. ||5||
Successful is the body, O Nanak, which takes to the Lord's Name. ||5||

My understanding:
The person who has understood the truth and become pure will live a Satvika life. Each thought, action and speech with reflect ‘The Sat’. This is living in ‘Naam’. This state of living is equivalent to taking the name of ‘The Sat’ – uttering Naam is only giving it and external expression to inner reality.
With this I close the post.
With love and respect for all.
Amarpal Singh

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