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


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji
With the grace of ‘The Sat’, today I share my understanding of 8th 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 sB isRsit kw krqw ] barahm gi-aanee sabh sarisat kaa kartaa.
Within creation, Braham Gyani is the doer.

My understanding:
Here Guru Sahib has made a very subtle distinction – ‘The Sat’ who is the doer Absolute who created its creation; for Braham Gyani, the creation exists and as an instrument of ‘The Sat’ Braham Gyani becomes the embodied does i.e. ‘Karta’. Braham Gyani is ‘Karta’ but not the ‘Karta Purakh’. ‘Karta Purakh’ is the mentor and source of the Braham Gyani. Braham Gyani has all that ‘The Sat’ has and can effectively use it during its lifetime but Braham Gyani cannot create something equivalent to the creation of ‘The Sat’. Braham Gyani is the ‘Doer’ but is not unlimited like ‘The Sat’. Braham Gyani is the Doer in the creation of ‘The Sat’ with the limitations of the embodied evolved soul.
2. bRhm igAwnI sd jIvY nhI mrqw ] barahm gi-aanee sad jeevai nahee martaa.
Braham Gyani lives for ever, it never dies.

My understanding:
Each one of us has a mortal part i.e. the body and immortal part i.e. the being. The former is in the domain of tangible and the later in the domain of intangible. The former is made of elements and compounds that exist in the world i.e. Nature or Parkriti. The former decays; the later is some form of ‘Intelligent Energy’ which remains floating in creation of ‘The Sat’ even when the person dies and its body decays and thus is immortal. Braham Gyani knows itself as its being which never decays and thus is immortal. Worldly people consider their body to be themselves and when the body decays they die.
Please note this ‘Intelligent Energy’ that I have referred above is one with ‘The Cosmic Intelligent Energy’ which is ‘The Sat’, thus its ever decaying is totally ruled out; In Sanskrit it is call Akshar, which can never be destroyed.
This way we can see that Braham Gyani never dies.
In fact none of the sentient beings ever die, we all were there are there and will be there as we are linked to ‘The Sat’. The only difference is that Braham Gyani knows it from first hand experience while the others sentient beings consider body as themselves and thus remain in the cycle of rebirths and death..
3. bRhm igAwnI mukiq jugiq jIA kw dwqw ] barahm gi-aanee mukat jugat jee-a kaa daataa.
Braham Gyani is the living path to liberation.

My understanding:
Braham Gyani, as elaborated above is an empowered instrument of ‘The Sat’. Fllowing the path treaded by the Braham Gyani one can reach a state of being where the individual stands liberated from the bondage of life. A liberated person is not subjected to the Laws of Karma; the Karmic processes do not impact on such person. Such person is no longer subordinate to the cycle of birth and death. It is because such person is no longer the body but ‘The Sat’ who illuminates the person’s intellect and thus the person becomes ‘The Sat Like’. When the being of the Braham Gyani leaves its body, it has ‘The Sat Like’ independence and can decide to come back in body form or stay as past of ‘Cosmic Intelligent Energy’ i.e. stay merged with ‘The Sat’. As I understand, it is this freedom that is said to be the liberation in scripture.
In the company (Satsang) of Braham Gyani, by truthfully following the ways of Braham Gyani and individual can reach the same spiritual heights at which the mentor is. This way the Braham Gyani is able to provide the way to liberation and thus be call the giver i.e. Daataa.
4. bRhm igAwnI pUrn purKu ibDwqw ] barahm gi-aanee pooran purakh biDhaataa.
Braham Gyani is complete Supreme Being who organizes all.

My understanding:
All humans have a body and a being so is the case with Braham Gyani. Its body is similar to ours, but its being is a true and complete reflection of ‘The Sat’. It is this spiritually evolved being that makes the person Braham Gyani. Guru Sahib, as I understand is referring to this person’s being, which is the basis of this person being called Braham Gyani and not to the person’s body as such. The body cannot be complete Supreme Being because ‘The Sat’ is formless and thus has no body. The being of the Braham Gyani is formless and thus it can reach spiritual heights where it becomes a true and complete reflect of ‘The Sat’. As I understand this state can only be achieved when the person shed it ‘I-ness’ i.e. Ahamkara completely and stays imbued with the Amrit of Gurbani, perpetually resonating with the teaching of Guru Sahib i.e. living truly in accordance with Sikhi.
5. bRhm igAwnI AnwQ kw nwQu ] barahm gi-aanee anaath kaa naath.
Braham Gyani is the caretaker of those who do not have one.

My understanding:
Here again Guru Sahib is speaking to his audience in the context of spiritual world. It is not the task of Braham Gyani to distribute money to help the poor. As I understand, the material requirement for living a life has to be earned by each individual through honest work i.e. Kirt. There are institutions which prepare the growing young for this task, supplementing the efforts of the parents.
Braham Gyani, through its own living conduct, leadership and social interaction inculcate the basis and values on which the spirituality can grow. We all know what is to be learned in the school, it is given in the text books. The teacher in the school introduces to the student what is to be learned and teach them how to learn. Similarly the Braham Gyani introduces the seekers to the scripture and them teaches them how to internalise what the scripture is saying and them how to live a life according to these teachings – in our case in accordance with Sikhi.
This way Braham Gyani becomes the caretaker of all individuals who do not have any one to put them on right track.

6. bRhm igAwnI kw sB aUpir hwQu ] barahm gi-aanee kaa sabh oopar haath.
Braham Gyani works for the entire creation.

My understanding:
Braham Gyani’s being is nothing but ‘The Sat’. Devoid of any selfish tendencies, Braham Gyani works and lives for the common good of all. Braham Gyani even protects the purity of air, earth and water as Guru Sahib has said in the shalok Pawan guru Pani Pita, Mata Dhart …….. Braham Gyani protects the plants and animals it does nothing that can damage any aspect of the creation of ‘The Sat’. Braham Gyani knows that humans are on the top of hierarchy in nature based on their capability and thus are the protectors of the creation of ‘The Sat’. The Braham Gyani knows that those born in human form have not come to enjoy life but have a mission to protect and help in the harmonious evolution of the creation of ‘The Sat’. Braham Gyani, in doing so, in fact blessing all that is in creation. As I understand this is what Guru Sahib is conveying to his audience through this Tuk.
7. bRhm igAwnI kw sgl Akwru ] barahm gi-aanee kaa sagal akaar.
All that is in form is the domain for Braham Gyani.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells us that the Braham Gyani work for entire creation which is in form. Braham Gyani itself being in form is effective in this part of the domain of ‘The Sat’. Braham Gyani works for all the beings and insentient part of the creation. In this way Braham Gyani hold itself responsible for all the entities that are in form.
8. bRhm igAwnI Awip inrMkwru ] barahm gi-aanee aap nirankaar.
Braham Gyani is itself formless.

My understanding:
Braham Gyani’s body is similar to ours, its in human form like ours. It is the being that is residing in this body of Braham Gyani that is formless. It this Nirakaar part that is divine i.e. ‘The Sat’. The body of the Braham Gyani is just identical to the robotic mechanisms and system which work based on the commands delivered by the Software which, in away is formless.
Guru Sahib through this Tuk is telling us not to imitate the form (body of the Braham Gyani) or worship it, but go after the formless in Braham Gyani and emulate it because it is there the Gyan lies, not in the body.

9. bRhm igAwnI kI soBw bRhm igAwnI bnI ] barahm gi-aanee kee sobhaa barahm gi-aanee banee.
The being of Braham Gyani is the beauty and glory Braham Gyani.

My understanding:
When the person evolves spiritually to the great heights where the Braham Gyani is, its being starts glowing from within. This has led to the practice of creating a hallo around the head of the paintings of spiritual individual. The head is chosen because there the Gyan is located, the being of the person resided there, it is the seat of ‘The Sat’ it is where the Dassam Dwar (tenth gate; spiritual) is. Guru Sahib has told us in very simple words that the beauty of Braham Gyani stems from the Brahma Gyan that is in its being. In other words the Braham Gyan is the decoration for Braham Gyani.
10. nwnk bRhm igAwnI srb kw DnI ]8]8] naanak barahm gi-aanee sarab kaa Dhanee. ||8||8||
O’ nanak, Braham Gyani owns all ||8||8||

My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells us that Braham Gyani is at such a spiritually evolves heights that it (she/he) sees the entire creation and the creator as one. Brahma Gyani feels a sense of responsibility towards all and work with this wide perception of its domain. In action Braham Gyani is ‘The Sat Like’ and one with it. This way Braham Gyani owns all.
With this I close the post.
With love and respect for all.
Amarpal Singh

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