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Sukhmani Sahib:9th Ashtapadee:2nd Pauri:My Understanding


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
With the grace of ‘The Sat’, today I share my understanding of 2nd Pauri of 9th 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 whom he considered to be a pious person.
Note: In this Pauri Guru Sahib has used the word Vaishnava. Vaishnavites were the traditional elites of India; they are devotees of Lord Vishnu. They considered themselves to be very pious and same was the perception of the common man about them.

To interact with his audience, Guru Sahib has used this term since the common person was aware and familiar with this term and its supposed meaning. In my elaboration I will use the word ‘Pious’.

1. bYsno so ijsu aUpir supRsMn ] baisno so jis oopar suparsan.
Vaishnava is one with whom ‘The Sat’ is very pleased.

My Understanding:
First, I share with you my understanding of the word ‘Suprasan’ (Very Pleased) used in this Tuk in the context of ‘The Sat’.

Being Pleased - is an attribute of the state of relations between two entities. It indicates absence of any factor that can attenuate the interaction. An ultimate state of being pleased is the one in which there is one to one similarity between the two. This is to say that their vibrations are identical or they are resonating together. Here ‘The Sat’ is the source and the individual is the one who is resonating with ’The Sat’ This happens when the being of the person is imbued with the teachings of ‘The Sat’ as enshrined in Siri Guru Granth Sahib to such an extent that all the thoughts, the speeches and the actions of this person, in all that it does, in spiritual part and the worldly part of its life, are in accordance with these teachings.
This is the state in which, as I understand, ‘The Sat’ is please. Only a person in this state can call itself as Pious (In the term that prevails at the time of Guru Sahib – Vaishnava)

2. ibsn kI mwieAw qy hoie iBMn ] bisan kee maa-i-aa tay ho-ay bhinn.
Such a person is free from the influence of Maya.

My Understanding:

While I have elaborated on my understanding of other Puris of Sukhmani Sahib, I have explain what Maya is; I had explained that the colours that we see are the creation of our functioning brain, and so is smell. The smell and colours probably do not exist in nature; our brain creates these sensations to make world meaningful to us. The migratory birds can even see the earth’s magnetic field. We cannot. This, again, is nature’s adaptation to meet our needs of survival and make our life safe and meaningful.

Maya results from our limited and relative existence. We never have the complete and absolute information; every input is relative and subjective. Further, our brain formatting in life creates biases and prejudices; all sensory inputs and functioning of the brain are influenced by it. All this impacts adversely on what we conclude. The person, who has understood the impact of Maya on us, knows that its conclusions can be wrong and certainly incomplete. This person will never be critical or judgmental on details of what comes to its knowledge. The person will remain within the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib in all its actions.
Such a person eschews Maya.

3 krm krq hovY inhkrm ] karam karat hovai nihkaram.
Performing karma yet remains without Karma

My Understanding:
Guru Sahib says that the pious person lives in this world, perform all the acts necessary to sustain its and its family life, yet such a person remain untouched by its action; it other words its Karmas do not attract the action from Karmic Processes that respond to Karmas.

Now I share with you my very personal understanding of the above Tuk.
Gautam the Buddha had said:
The Dharma that ‘I’ do is Karma,
The Dharma that happens is Divine.
The word ‘Dharma’ here means duties.

In the two lines of Buddha that I have quoted, in the first line the single letter word ‘I’ comes, in the second line it is missing. Absence of ‘I’ makes the same Dharma Divine while its presence makes it Karma. We all know that the Karmas come within the scope of Karmic Processes which respond to the original Karma.
Absence of ‘I’ tells me that if the action is performed without any selfish motive or is not undertaken to satisfy one’s ego i.e. if ‘I-ness’ is not behind the action taken then it is Divine; if ‘I-ness’ in any form is present behind that action then it become a Karma. From this I infer that Cosmic Karmic Processes need some address to respond and impact on the doer bringing to it the consequence of its action. To the Cosmic Response Processes of Karma, The address is provided by individual’s ‘I-ness’. Where if this ‘I-ness’ is not present there is no address and thus the response cannot be delivered. This ‘I-ness’ is analogous to the equipment/hardware code number of the mobile or PC that gets automatically tagged to every message or part of it that leaves the equipment.

As we all know Almighty ‘The Sat’ does so much for its creation without any selfish interest, all the acts of ‘The Sat’ are Divine and above and beyond the reach of Karmic Processes. In this way when any human does any good act without ‘I-ness’ it becomes a godly act it go over and above the reach of Karmic Processes; such acts become Divine and thus the person remains ‘Nihkarma’ i.e. without Karma, as said by Guru Sahib in this Tuk.

4. iqsu bYsno kw inrml Drm ] tis baisno kaa nirmal Dharam.
Such Vaishnava has ‘Nirmal’ Dharma.

My Understanding:

To understand this Tuk, one has to concentrate on the word ‘Nirmal’. This word is used to suggest simplicity, purity, softness etc. Guru Sahib says that the acts of a pious person (Vaishnava) are pure, simple and truthful which are justified by the selfless responsibilities of life, which are its Dharma.

5. kwhU Pl kI ieCw nhI bwCY ] kaahoo fal kee ichhaa nahee baachhai.
Never after the fruits of desire.

My Understanding:

Sikhi teaches us to live on the earnings of honest labour i.e. Kirt. Even in Kirt we offer our services to the person or organisation which pays the right amount. Guru Sahib, in the Tuk under reference, has said that the pious person is never after the fruits of desires Here, as I understand, Guru Sahib tells us that pious person is not driven or motivated by worldly desires, which satisfy the sense organs or ego or both.. I elaborate on it as to how it is different from Kirt.

When an individual offers its services to earn and support its family, this person is doing its Dharma. This person may live frugally, save some money and at some stage in life buy a house or some property or house hold item, car etc from its saving; all these are part of Dharma. On the other hand if a person living in normal life and has all the basic necessities of life already satisfied, sees e.g. a bigger or new model of a car or something like that and then find ways and means to acquire that object of its desire which it really does not need to fulfill it obligations under Dharma, then this act of the person is by desire. This person is enslaving itself, becoming a captive of the fruits of desire.
In other words the pious person naturally performs Kirt driven by its obligations under Dharma. Worldly person is driven by the desire to seek, acquire, consume or possess the objects or entities that satisfy the senses or ego. Such worldly people, sometimes, use unfair means to achieve their end and thus become sinners and cannot be called pious.

Guru Sahibs want us to be come godly, like them and being pious is the step in that direction. This is what Guru Sahib is teaching us.

6. kyvl Bgiq kIrqn sMig rwcY ] kayval bhagat keertan sang raachai.
Its being remains imbued and soaked with devotion and Keertan.

My Understanding:

We must understand what Bhagti (devotion) and Keertan (singing the text of scripture – Siri Guru Granth Sahib) in the context of this Tuk.

Keertan as perceived consists of three element – voice, raga and words. Just singing the sound goes in the environment around. The music is a tool which breaks the mental resistance; it helps the singer and the listener alike to absorb what is being said; it is more potent then reciting or reading. As the person singing or listening to Keertan understand the meaning of what is being said, and is in a state of mind full of devotion, the meaning of Shabad started affecting the persons being, it starts going inward, the person starts changing and evolves spiritually. This way, Keertan and devotion to ‘The Sat’ makes us pure and pious (the subject of this Pauri). Since the being is transformed, such a person performs all its activity with dedication and devotion as Bhagti.

This way what the training and transformation which the person’s being undergoes gets acted out in this person’s activities; the two become synonyms. This way such pious person remains imbued in Bhagti (devotion) and Keertan (singing the words of Siri Guru Granth Sahib). This is what I understand from this Tuk.

7. mn qn AMqir ismrn gopwl ] man tan antar simran gopaal.
The body and the functioning of the brain is all is set in the remembrance of ‘The Sat’.

My Understanding:

Guru Sahib is conveying to us that the entire being of the pious person functions based on the remembrance of ‘The Sat’. Consequently, pious person’s acts speech and thinking is pure and selfless. The person is living embodiment of the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib since the entire Shabad i.e. sum total of the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib has got formatted in this person’s brain thus its actions are in accordance with them. As I understand, such a person is one with ‘The Sat’, she or he is Godly person.

8. sB aUpir hovq ikrpwl ] sabh oopar hovat kirpaal.
He is kind to all.

My Understanding:
The person, who is pious (Vaishnava) in the real sense of the word, is an instrument of ‘The Sat’; all of its actions are ‘The Sat’ like. As ‘The Sat’ cares for entire creation so does the pious person. Love, kindness and compassion for all are intrinsic to such person’s being. This is what Guru Sahib is telling us.

9. Awip idRVY Avrh nwmu jpwvY ] aap darirhai avrah naam japaavai.
This person is firm in Naam and helps other to chant and assimilate it..

My Understanding:
I first make myself clear as to what ‘Naam’ means to me.
We seek Naam Daan during our prayers (Ardas). It is right to do so. Because Naam is not just a word which can be uttered, for Jaap we have words like Waheguru and Satnam. If it was just a word it could have been uttered like any other word, yet we seek this as Daan from ‘The Sat’.

As I understand, Naam is sum total of the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. When my being is and lives in accordance with these teachings then I can say that I have got ‘Naam Daan. At this stage the person becomes what Guru Sahib has referred to as ‘Gurmukh’. The total living of such a person reflects the teachings of the Guru.

Such person is said to be firm in ‘Naam’. As this spiritually evolved person becomes an example and role model for people, it helps the others to live in ‘Naam’.

10. nwnk Ehu bYsno prm giq pwvY ]2] naanak oh baisno param gat paavai. ||2||
O’ Nanak, such a Vaishnava evolves to the supreme stste. ||2||

My Understanding:
Guru Sahib tells himself and thus to all of us that the pious person who has reach this state of purity and Godliness obtains the supreme spiritual status.

With this I close the post.

With love and respect for all.

Amarpal Singh

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