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Sukhmani Sahib:6th Ashtapadee:5th Pauri:My Understanding


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
I share with you all, my understanding of the 5th Pauri of 6th 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:
Guru Sahib, in this Tuk has asked us that our entire lives should bear the imprint of ‘The Sat’, we must always remember ‘The Sat’.
1. ijh pRswid krih puMn bhu dwn ] jih parsaad karahi punn baho daan.
By whose grace the person is able to give lots in charity and earn good deeds;

2. mn AwT phr kir iqs kw iDAwn ] man aath pahar kar tis kaa Dhi-aan.
O mind all the time remain focused on that ‘One’.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has pointed out to us that the resources that the person has, by virtue of which she or he is able to give plenty in charity, have come to the person because of the blessing of ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib want his disciples to remain focused on this ‘One’ – ‘The Sat’.
Taken in isolation, this Tuk is understood as what the words mean, but in the context of total preaching of Sikhi questions arise. Sikh religion is a life-affirming religion; it is not a life negating religion. Sikh religion does not ask its followers to run away from what all the life has to offer, which negates the life itself, but asks its followers to live a full life of the householder and earn the lively hood to support the family through Kirt (honest work), which affirms the life itself. This demands application of mind to activities other than ‘The Sat’ alone.
We also know that the thought process of brain can concentrate on one issue/topic/problem at any given time. Then if we have to keep remembering ‘The Sat’ all the time – all the ‘eight pahar’ i.e. twenty four hours then when can the person apply its brain in the matters related to Kirt. For example: the software designer has to concentrate on the work in hand, the safety engineer has to study the potential unsafe conditions that can arise from within the system and from the environment in which the system operate, a forensic expert has to concentrate and look for clues from the site where a crime is committed – all this requires concentration of mental faculties. How can one remain focused on ‘The Sat’ when the Kirt puts such intense demand on the concentration of the brain?
This demands an answer – how to remain focused on the ‘One’ i.e. ‘The Sat’ all the time. Some searching is necessary.
In my conceptualization, mind is the soft (intangible) output of the functioning brain. We do only what our brain tells through its output –mind; we, in a way, are its prisoners. If we are able to make our brain function in a ‘Satvika’ way, then all its out put will be Satvika in nature. In other words, if I make my brain function within the framework of teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib all its output will be in accordance with Shabad. And if I achieve this, no matter what I am engaging my self in, all the inputs from the environment and circumstances in which I live will be processed by a system (mental faculties) which is based on Shabad. Thus it will have the imprint of ‘The Sat’ and ‘The Sat’ only. This way my social interaction, Kirt, Jaap, Simran and finally my whole life gets dedicated to the Shabad and thus to ‘The Sat’. When I am awake my whole brain will processing information based on Shabad, when I am sleeping the deeper layers of my brain which are functioning all the time will also be functioning on the same basis i.e. Shabad ( teachings of Siri guru Granth Sahib). This is what I understand from Guru Sahib saying that I must remember ‘The Sat’ all the time all the 24 hours – eight Pahars – whether awake or sleeping.
All what is said by me above are words – a hypothesis. It does not help the person to achieve what the intent of these words asks. Some sort of application guide is necessary.
If we want any specific plant to grow in a healthy way, we have to prepare the soil for it. The proper soil for Sikhi to grow is the frame of mind, which is free from Kama (desire predominantly lust), Krodh (anger), Lobh (greed), Moha (attachment), and Ahamkara (ego or I-ness). The logic of this is very clear; these vices, when in the mind, prevent us from seeing the truth as it is. They create biases in our brain as a result of their presence and its functioning gets corrupted; naturally the out put that it creates become far from truth - it gives a distorted image of truth.
These vices can be removed by careful watch on the thoughts that are getting processed in the brain and Jaap. Each time a thought entertained by these vices come up in brain, it should be detected by careful monitoring of what thought is flowing through the brain and its processing should be stopped by switching over to Jaap and hearing the sound of Jaap – a way to involve all the mental faculties in this action (in fact during meditation we note what all thoughts are passing in our brain, a prepare to delete them from the thought process). This way the brain learn that the specific thought it is processing (triggered by some vice) is not of importance to the concerned person. Over a period of time, with such training to the brain, vices entertained thoughts will stop arising in the brain; the biases they had created will loosen and will finally get erased. Gradually the brain will become free from these vices and the person will see the truth more clearly i.e. free from vices induced distortions. Just doing the reverse, we can plant the specific thoughts that we want (Satvika ones, teachings from Siri Guru Granth Sahib), firmly in the brain.
By doing this have prepared the soil, now we have to sow the seeds. What are these seeds? They are values, beliefs, personal disposition and memories.
Values are general human attributes that the individual considers sacred. These are for example: truthfulness, honesty, and non-covertness, non-injury -------etc.
Beliefs are opinions or views that the person considers true; there is not concrete proof for such views, as science may demand. The beliefs may or may not be true in reality e.g. God is; Karmic cycle exists; there is a person in India to whom one can send telegram and he has the capacity to remove venom from the person’s body whom the snake bitten (this belief prevails in part of Hindi belt where I got educated, I know it is not true) --------.
All the information that comes from our senses and that is generated by brain gets filtered through these values and beliefs and thus conditioning the inputs for further processing. If all my beliefs and value are based on the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib then the conditioning component of my brains functioning will be in accordance with ‘The Sat’; this means that my conditioning part of my brain always remembers ‘The Sat’.
The way this conditioned input that came from the senses gets processed by the brain depends on the personal disposition of the individual. Examples of personal disposition are compassion, forgiveness, love, humility, resourcefulness, enterprise, forbearance, vivek (ability to decide what is true) etc. If my upbringing has inculcated in me or I have cultivated them progressively in the company of Saadh Sangat (Guru Sahib knowing this has emphasized on Saadh Sangat) personal dispositions that are in accordance with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib then the complete processing will be in accordance with Sikhi; this means that my processing part of my brain always remembers ‘The Sat’.
The output of the functioning brain is now checked again by the system were values, beliefs, personal disposition and memory resides. Here memory creates bias (it is for this reasons divines have asked us to see every thing as if you are seeing it for the first time). If one had some bad experience is some set of circumstances or persons, its memory may hinder passing on the commands to the Karmendriyas (the five organs for actions). Yet, the application of Vivek can over-rule the memory a clear the brains output for ones action values and beliefs can reinforce the action of Vivek. If I train myself to retain only positive aspects in the memory and not load it excessively with negativity which will happen if I have a very strong sense of humility and forgiveness, which Sikhi asks is to incorporate in my being the out put of my brain will be in accordance with Sikhi; this means that the output aspects of my functioning brain always remembers ‘The Sat’.
All taken together, it means that if my brain functions the way I have elaborated above, my being will be in conformance with the teaching of the above Tuk which asks Sikhs to always remember ‘The Sat’.
My understanding of this Tuk, as applied to my real life, means that when my functioning brain delivers all its outputs – in thoughts, in speech and in actions – which are in conformance with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib that means I am remembering ‘The Sat’ all the time. In other words, if all my actions, speech and thoughts are in accordance with Sikhi (teaching of Siri Guru Granth Sahib) it implies that they bear the imprint of ‘The Sat’ and this means that I always remember ‘The Sat’ – 24 hours in the day, eight Pahars (one Pahar is 3 hours) – sleeping or in awake state.
3. ijh pRswid qU Awcwr ibauhwrI ] jih parsaad too aachaar bi-uhaaree.
By whose grace you interact in social life.

4. iqsu pRB kau swis swis icqwrI ] tis parabh ka-o saas saas chitaaree.
Think of ‘The Sat’ in all your breath.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib is now talking about the intense and high level of social interaction that the person is able to have in his life. This too is due to the grace of ‘The Sat’ – it is a blessing from ‘The Sat’. No living entity is able to interact with others and the environment as intensely as humans can. With a deep sense of gratitude, I must remember ‘The Sat’ every time I breathe i.e. to say all the time I live in this form. The way, I make it possible for me, is as explained earlier in this Pauri.
5. ijh pRswid qyrw suMdr rUpu ] jih parsaad tayraa sundar roop.
By whose grace you got the beautiful form

6. so pRBu ismrhu sdw AnUpu ] so parabh simrahu sadaa anoop.
All the time remember ‘The Sat’ the One with incomparable beauty.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has clearly told us that ‘The Sat’ is formless i.e. ‘Nirakaar’. From this it is clear that what beauty Guru Sahib is taking about is not the physical one because there is no form, nothing can be perceived about ‘The Sat’ through senses. The beauty that is being referred to, as I understand, is the capabilities that are in human form and capabilities of ‘The Sat’. ‘The Sat’ has no limitation on its capabilities while our capabilities are limited. The capabilities of ‘The Sat’ are infinitely superior and wider that us. Guru Sahib asks us to acknowledge this and remember ‘The Sat all the times.
7. ijh pRswid qyrI nIkI jwiq ] jih parsaad tayree neekee jaat.
By whose grace you have high ranking among species;

8. so pRBu ismir sdw idn rwiq ] so parabh simar sadaa din raat.
Remember this ‘Absolute’ day and night.

My understanding:
Guru Sahibs always supported the concept of oneness among all the humans. Hence the high ranking that is said in this Tuk, as I understand cannot be based on what wealth the person possesses or what office in the society she or he holds. Guru Sahib has never ranked the person based on any worldly yardstick nor can all in his audience be exceptionally spiritually evolve group; they were all commoners seeking the way to truth. From this I conclude that Guru Sahib must have said this in the context of the entire creation – humans are on the top of the entire order. From this I conclude that here the word Jaat that Guru Sahib has used, as I understand, does not mean caste or class or the religion as it means in common parlance, but it means species. Humans have advantage over others. Giving us this advantage, ‘The Sat’ has bestowed great gift on us. I am grateful to ‘The Sat’ for all that it has given me.
Guru Sahib asks us to remember ‘The Sat’ with a deep sense of gratitude, all the time we live, from the depth of our heart and soul.
9. ijh pRswid qyrI piq rhY ] jih parsaad tayree pat rahai.
By whose grace you standing remains;

10. gur pRswid nwnk jsu khY ]5] gur parsaad naanak jas kahai. ||5||
With the grace of ‘The Sat’ Nanak utter the glory of it.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib says that we are; what we are, only because of ‘The Sat’. It should natural to speak about ‘The Sat’ keeping it in very high esteem, respect, owe ……… If you see a beautiful flower, remember ‘The Sat’ who created it – it does not have eyes but see how beautiful designs and colours it has. A saying come to my mind ‘Art is man’s nature; Nature is God’s Art – not only it is true but it also recognizes the limitedness of us and the infiniteness of ‘The Sat’. Such utterance, as I understand, can come only from the depth and heart of the person who has said it; this is an example of true appreciation of ‘The Sat’; it is a praise of ‘The Sat’. Guru Sahib wants us to praise ‘The Sat’ with full appreciation from the depth of our heart and soul.
With this I close my post
With love and respect for all.
Amarpal Singh

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