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


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji

With the grace of ‘The Sat’, today I share my understanding of 4th Pauri of 8th Ashtapadee of Sukhmani Sahib with you.

Please note that the English sentence after the Transliteration is not the exact literal translation of the text of the Tuk of Siri Guru Granth Sahib under reference, it is the meaning of the tuk as understood by me.

First the Summary:
Guru Sahib in this Pauri explains to us the nature of the person who is Braham-Gyani.

Few words of Caution:
It is important to understand what Braham-Gyani means. This term Guru Sahib has taken from the common parlance among the spiritually evolved pure people.
Brahma, as per Hindu mythology is the creator. Bhagavatam, the compilation of Ved Vyas, elaborates on Brahma. According to this elaboration, Brahma was born and will get dissolve after some time. His life time too is given in Bhagavatam. This, according to Sikhi makes Brahma part of the creation as he takes birth, lives a life and then dies; ‘The Sat’ according to Gurbani never takes birth i.e. ‘Ajuni’; it is beyond the clutches of time i.e. ‘Akaal Murat’. Since Brahma takes birth and dies it cannot be taken to be the creator according to Gurbani. The ‘Karta Purakh’ does not take birth. This ‘Karta Purakh’ is the creator according to Gurbani, which I refer to as ‘The Sat’. According to Gurbani between ‘Karta Purakh’ i.e. ‘The Sat’ and his creation, including us, there is no one – Each one of us has direct link to ‘The Sat’. Thus we, Sikhs, have nothing to do with Brahma, an entity of Hindu Mythology.

Thus when Guru Sahib use the term ‘Braham-Gyani’ it means the person who has Gyan (intrinsic knowledge and wisdom obtained through personal experience of ‘The Sat’) regarding ‘The Sat’ and is not referring to the person who has the knowledge of the Hindu mythological figure ‘Brahma’ obtained through reading scripture, who is any way part of the creation and is not ‘The Absolute’. Brahma of Hindu Mythology is not part of Sikhi.

1. bRhm igAwnI eyk aUpir Aws ] barahm gi-aanee ayk oopar aas.
Braham Gyani depends only on ‘The ONE’ i.e. “The Sat’.

My understanding:

As I understand, Braham Gyan is a state of understanding of the person’s being. Being of any individual is ‘Nirakaar’. It is this being that Guru Sahib is referring to. The being of the Braham Gyani is illuminated, nurtured and sustained by ‘The Sat’ only. The body of the Braham Gyani need all that any human needs and these too are very few for her or him. These need the Braham Gyani gets fulfilled through Kirt with the grace of ‘The Sat’. This way the ‘Akaar’ (body) and ‘Nirakaar’ (the being) part of Braham Gyani depend on ‘The Sat’.

2. bRhm igAwnI kw nhI ibnws ] barahm gi-aanee kaa nahee binaas.
Braham Gyani never gets destroyed.

My understanding:

As we all know the body of any Braham Gyani is similar to that of any other human being. This body also is subjected to the call of time – any one who is born will leave this world one day. In this context we have to understand who and why the Braham Gyani does not get destroyed. I share my understanding on it below.

What makes the Braham Gyani different from other humans is the Gyan she or he has acquired. As we all know Gyan is formless, it is intangible, it cannot be perceived through the five human senses. Braham Gyan is highest for of Gyan; it is formless. As I understand, the Gyan is composed of sum total of understanding which is the result of thought process, Braham Gyan comes to the person when this thought process gets illuminated by ‘The Sat’ i.e. what we refer to as ‘Gurparsadee’ – the grace of ‘The Sat’. As I have explained in my earlier posts, the thinking process in us consumes energy and the thoughts result from the consumption of energy by mental processes. As energy cannot be created or destroyed, the thoughts, the consequent understanding and the resulting Gyan have to be some form of energy and thus cannot be destroyed. The body of the Braham Gyani will certainly perish, but this person’s being i.e. the Gyan will remain for ever floating in Cosmos, it will never perish.

This is what I understand from what Guru Sahib has said in this tuk.

3. bRhm igAwnI kY grIbI smwhw ] barahm gi-aanee kai gareebee samaahaa.
Braham Gyani lives a simple life with humility.

My understanding:

Braham Gyani, as said earlier in this text, is an instrument of ‘The Sat’. Such a person has no worldly desires thus has virtually no extra needs other than those that are essential to sustain life to accomplish her/his mission; consequently its life is simple and free from turn and twists. Braham Gyani lives for the common good of the creation of ‘The Sat’ and thus loves the entire creation; humility and caring are the natural attributes of such a being. Braham Gyani doesn’t look for riches in his life and never gets attached to them. Her or his life style is bound by frugality. These are the attributes of Braham Gyani.

4. bRhm igAwnI praupkwr aumwhw ] barahm gi-aanee par-upkaar omaahaa.
Braham Gyani gets joy in serving others for the common good of all.

My understanding:

Braham Gyani, self-less as she or he happens to be, works whole heartedly for the common good of the creation of ‘The Sat’ as its instrument. The gratification of physical senses gives thrill and some temporary satisfaction to the physical body of humans, which is not the intent of life for Braham Gyani. Serving others as instrument of ‘The Sat’ gives joy to the being of the Braham Gyani.
Here please not our body is Akaar (form) where as our being is Nirakaar. Physical pleasure reaches only to the outer cover i.e. Akaar, where are serving others in selflessly does much deeper i.e. to Nirakaar, which as I understand is ‘The Sat’ enshrined in us. It is for this reason according to me that guru Sahib has asked Sikhs to serve the society in a selfless manner. This way Guru sahib is putting each of his disciples on the path to become a Braham Gyani.

5. bRhm igAwnI kY nwhI DMDw ] barahm gi-aanee kai naahee DhanDhaa.
Braham Gyani does not use the name of God or its preaching to run a business.

My understanding:

Braham Gyani does not use his Gyan just to impress people and collect money from then to enrich oneself – the service that he renders is out of love and caring for the common good of all. Braham Gyani is not in the Business of ‘Bhagwangiri’ (This is the word coined in Hindi. The word Bhagwan in ancient scripture of India was used for Devatas –Hindu Gods; later in Buddhist and Jain literature it was used for exalted teacher) this way ‘Bhagwangiri’ in today’s context means using the knowledge of scripture to make money and run such institutions for business purpose. We know in India there are many in the business of ‘Bhagwangiri’. Braham Gyani never does any thing of this sort for to enrich itself.

6. bRhm igAwnI ly Dwvqu bMDw ] barahm gi-aanee lay Dhaavat banDhaa.
Braham Gyani has absolute control on the functioning of its brain.

My understanding:

‘The Sat’ has given us an evolved brain which puts us next to ‘The Sat’ in its creation. This brain comes with life sustaining program and inherited nature from our parents and past Karmas. A part of the brain gets formatted as the fetus grows and the environment to which it is exposed. This process continues after the baby is born.
All babies learn by imitation those who are around them i.e. the environment in which they grow. As we all know imitation is first stage of assimilation. Child learns as it grows. If all the training it gets is directed towards objects of sense gratification, then the child’s brain will learn that object of life is sense gratification and then senses will get hold of the evolution of the child’s brain and make it more and worldlier.

However, if Satvikta prevails in the family in which the child is born, it will acquire Satvika tendencies and sense will not claim the entire process of evolution of its brain.
In normal course of upbringing as it is now-a-days, we become prisoner of our brain. What ever the command come from our brain we act it out. However, brain is such a beautiful gift to us from ‘The Sat’ at it is capable to evolve strategies to stay free and do not become trapped by the sense bound self centered egoistic brain; this is what the Braham Gyanis do. They do not get trapped by the brain running after object of sense gratification, but command the brain using the mental faculties incorporated in it towards the higher objective; Braham Gyanis are not the prisoners of their own function brain, instead they command it. They train their neural networks to the ends that their life’s mission demands – serving others in a selfless manner thus working towards the will of ‘The Sat’.

This way, Guru Sahib tells us the Braham Gyanis can be distinguished from common ordinary worldly humans

7. bRhm igAwnI kY hoie su Blw ] barahm gi-aanee kai ho-ay so bhalaa.
All that Braham Gyani does is for the good of all.

My understanding:

Braham Gyani, being an instrument of ‘The Sat’ i.e. a servant of ‘The Sat’, it acts in ‘The Sat’ like manner. ‘The Sat’ works for the good of its creation and so the acts of Braham Gyani too are for the good of the creation.

8. bRhm igAwnI suPl Plw ] barahm gi-aanee sufal falaa.
Braham Gyani’s life is productive and evolved.

My understanding:

This tuk has to be appreciated in the context of the being of the Braham Gyani. Such a person my not have riches which is the measure of blossoming for a worldly person. This person has evolved and grown beyond worldly riches and material assets. This person is life is a conduit for flow of Gods will that gets reflected in what Braham Gyani tells people; It gets reflected in the type of physical activities Braham Gyani involves himself in i.e. the life the Braham Gyani lives; it gets reflected in what the Braham Gyani thinks which gets expressed though its body language viz. tone of its speech, facial expression, eyes and gestures etc.

9. bRhm igAwnI sMig sgl auDwru ] barahm gi-aanee sang sagal uDhaar.
All those who have the company of Braham Gyani get spiritually evolved.

My understanding:

Guru Sahib has elaborated in earlier Astapadees the importance of Satsang (company of spiritually evolve pure people). Nothing can be better that the company of Braham Gyani who, as I understand, is the ultimate in spiritual evolution.

10. nwnk bRhm igAwnI jpY sgl sMswru ]4] naanak barahm gi-aanee japai sagal sansaar. ||4||
O Nanak, Braham Gyani meditates on entire creation.

My understanding:

Guru Sahib tells us that the focus of attention of Braham Gyani is the totality of the creation of ‘The Sat’. To me it is right, because, as I understand, creator and its creation are one. Keeping attention on creation is meditation on ‘The Sat’ as the apparent two (creator and its creation) are one in reality.

In our daily prayer too we ask for ‘Sarbat Ka Bhala’ i.e. good of entire creation.

With this I close the post

With love and respect for all.

Amarpal Singh