Sukhmani Sahib:9th Ashtapadee:3rd Pauri:My Understanding | Sikh Philosophy Network
  • Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

Sukhmani Sahib:9th Ashtapadee:3rd Pauri:My Understanding


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
With the grace of ‘The Sat’, today I share my understanding of 3rd 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: In last Pauri, Guru Sahib has referred to Vaishnava as an example. In this Pauri Guru Sahib has taken the example from another stream of religion of ancient India which follows the Goddess Durga and God Shiva. Guru Sahib here has told us how to merge with ‘The Sat’

1. BgauqI BgvMq Bgiq kw rMgu ] bhag-utee bhagvant bhagat kaa rang.
The Bhagaautee and Bhagwant are the essence of the devotee.

My understanding:
As I understand, Bhagaautee refers to Shakti i.e. Durga and Bhagwant refers to its male counterpart i.e. Siva. The union of the two is referred to as Paramsivam and considered by the followers of this religion as the ‘Almighty God’.
Guru Sahib is referring to the devotee of this religion and telling his audience that the ‘Almighty’ is the essence of such devotee; the behavior and life of the devotee as the world sees (rang or colour) are expression of the combination of Bhagaautee and Bhagwant. The being of the fulfilled devotee is nothing but expression of these two.

2. sgl iqAwgY dust kw sMgu ] sagal ti-aagai dusat kaa sang.
Such person sheds the company of evil people.

My understanding:
The person who is seeking to elevate itself to the highest level of spirituality and become one with ‘The Sat’ stops to live in the company of those who are evil. In the present context, I consider those people as evil, who hate others, think bad of others, are jealous of others, who are dishonest, greedy, selfish, ungrateful, who put hindrances in the way of those who are trying to evolve and grow or are in the grip of vices. In other words, as I understand, such a devotee lives in the company of those who have loving relationship with all the entities of the creation of ‘The Sat’. Here, as I have used it, the word love encompasses compassion, kindness, caring, and to act and serve in a selfless manner. Such devotee becomes purified. This is the colour of the devotee who has achieved the intent of its devotion as Guru Sahib has said in this Tuk.

3. mn qy ibnsY sglw Brmu ] man tay binsai saglaa bharam.
All the doubts disappear

My understanding:
As the person tries to evolve spiritually, the doubts are put to rest, with the grace of ‘The Sat’. The doubts get replaced by beliefs, beliefs’ get replaced by convictions and finally the convictions become the truth. All this time when the person was evolving, rationality helps the person to move from one stage to the other. Each time the thought becomes clearer and clearer based on rational and logic, the false ones get discarded and the person evolves further with the true ones. This is what Guru Sahib is telling us.

4. kir pUjY sgl pwrbRhmu ] kar poojai sagal paarbarahm.
He serves with love the entire creation of ‘The Sat’

My understanding:
Pooja to me is selfless act of service soaked with love. To me all that which is creation is the tangible element of ‘The Sat’. In each of its component or entity ‘The Sat’ is. Thus I understand the word ‘Sagal Paarbaraham’ covers the entire creation and thus include each of its entity – living or non-living; inform of not in form. If we waste or destroy or adversely pollute any component of the creation of ‘The Sat’ we commit sin. Guru Sahib himself has said in Gurbani ‘Pawan Guru Pani Pita -------sagal Jatat’; Guru sahib has equated Pawan (air), Pani (water) and Dhart (Earth) with three entities which we protect by all means i.e. Guru, Father and Mother. We, in human form, are instrument of ‘The Sat’ and thus have the responsibility to protect and strive to evolve this creation of ‘The Sat’; that is the real Pooja. This is what the spiritually evolved person does.

5. swDsMig pwpw mlu KovY ] saaDhsang paapaa mal khovai.
The company of spiritually evolve people washes away the sin inducing attitudes and tendencies.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib reminds us that the mental level of the individuals with whom we live and interact influence our own frame of mind. Each one of us knows that, as a child we starded speaking the language that our caretakers were speaking – this was the influence of the company of people in which we lived. People around us create an environment, this environment has the characteristics that represent the mental level of the people around; this environment influences our brain formatting and thus our being and consequent behavior and actions. Over a period of time we to start behaving like the people around us as it affects our own being and such behavior becomes natural and normal to us. It depends what type of company we choose. In the company of thugs, we to become corrupted; in the company of spiritually evolved people, we too evolve to higher spiritual heights. In this Tuk Guru Sahib is asking us to live in the company of spiritually evolved people.

6. iqsu BgauqI kI miq aUqm hovY ] tis bhag-utee kee mat ootam hovai.
The wisdom that bagaautee (Durga) represents is supreme.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib is addressing to the section of his audience who are believers of Durga and Siva directly and indirectly to all other also. Durga and Siva are worshipped in form, they are installed in places of worship as idols and their worship includes various rituals at specific times of the days and years.
The Idol of Durga represents certain virtues and each of the entity on its person depicted in the shape give to the Idol denotes a very positive attribute. Collectively these virtues and attributes constitute the wisdom and power of Durga.
Guru Sahib is asking the devotees of Durga that this wisdom of Durga is supreme. This way he is asking them do not keep themselves just limited to the form in which Durga in Idols is represented but to transcend it and move on to the wisdom of Durga and finally transform one’s own being and make it what the wisdom of Durga represents. This way Guru Sahib is telling them to advance further on the path of spirituality, move from ‘Akaar’ (form) to ‘Nirakaar’ (formless) and come closer to the ‘The Sat’.

7. BgvMq kI thl krY inq nIiq ] bhagvant kee tahal karai nit neet.
The devotee also life around and near the Bhagwant.

My understanding:
In this Tuk too, Guru Sahib is addressing the same section of the audience as in the previous Tuk.
We all know that we cannot get to have the vision of Bhagwant i.e. Siva. Then how can we be all the time around it. This needs to be understood.
When we have moved from Akaar to Nirakaar, we remain linked mentally to the wisdom represented by this deity and thus we remain close to it and around it. In this environment our being becomes a reflection of the wisdom of this deity. Thus our thoughts, speech and actions in life – spiritual and material – all resonate with its wisdom. This is the way the devotee serves the deity and thus the devotee is deemed to be close to it.

8. mnu qnu ArpY ibsn prIiq ] man tan arpai bisan pareet.
With total surrender, from the depth of its heart and soul the devotee loves the GOD.

My understanding:
We are all trained to live in this world of form i.e. Akaar. Most of us seek the objects of sense gratification. We are attached to different entities to varying degree. It is not easy for us to perceive love in the context of an intangible entity. How it is possible to love ‘The Sat’ whom we cannot perceive and we do not know what ‘The Sat’ is. Yet Guru Sahib is asking us to love ‘The Sat’. What I understand I share with you.
To love is the composite feeling resulting from amalgamation of ‘Compassion’, ‘Kindness’, ‘Mercy’ and ‘Care’, This I perceive as Love. In our worldly life this attribute, which we call Love, gets polluted by our selfishness. In worldly living the love demands at least love in return if not material goods or objects of sense gratification.
Absence of selfishness in our living makes this attribute - ‘Love’ - divine. This is the way God ‘Loves’ us; no matter what we do, what we think, what we say or believe , ‘The Sat’ keeps sustaining life in us till the body becomes unfit and is not able to support life. In spite of our mistakes and vices, ‘The Sat’ loves us. ‘The Sat’ does not ask any thing in return for this Love.
Spiritual evolution takes us humans to a level where we shed our selfishness. When this happens our ‘Love’ becomes pure and divine. We love all that is around us; we love the entire creation of ‘The Sat’. We start Loving the way ‘The Sat’ Loves. Creator and Creation are one. In its creation, in every entity- living or non-living, in form or formless, ‘The Sat’ is. This way by loving the creation of ‘The Sat’, we in fact are loving ‘The Sat’, since ‘The Sat’ and its creation are one and one only.
This is my understanding of the above Tuk, where Guru Sahib, in his own way, has asked us to Love ‘The Sat’

9. hir ky crn ihrdY bswvY ] har kay charan hirdai basaavai.
‘The Sat’ is enshrined in the heart of the person.

My understanding:
As I understand the words ‘Lotus Feet’ is a Metaphor that conveys the Idea of ‘The Sat’. It is a humble way of referring to ‘The Sat’. It is the way of saints.
In this Tuk, Guru Sahib says that over a period of time, with dedication, discipline and devotion, the devotee’s brain gets formatted to think, and to act – verbal and physical – in a selfless Satvika way. All its actions are for the general good of all, caring for ones own health is only to continue the work for the creation of ‘The Sat’. This is what ‘The Sat’ too does. Therefore such a devotee becomes the Instrument of ‘The Sat’. As I understand it is for this reason Guru Sahib has said in this Tuk that ‘the lotus feet reside in the heart of the devotee.

10. nwnk AYsw BgauqI BgvMq kau pwvY ]3] naanak aisaa bhag-utee bhagvant ka-o paavai. ||3||
O’ Nanak, Such a Bhagaautee becomes one with ‘The Sat’

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has summarised the entire Pauri for us and said that the devotee whose has assimilated the wisdom of its perceived object of devotion and for whom the various forms of its Idols have merged into one alone can transcend the limitations of Akaar (forms) and become one with the Nirakaar (formless) i.e. ‘The Sat’.

With this I close this post

With love and respect for all.

Amarpal Singh


Jun 11, 2004
Gurmit Kaur Ji,

Thanks for you post.

May 'The Sat' bless you and you evolve in Chardian Kalan.

With love and respect

Amarpal Singh
Jul 13, 2004
Dear Amarpal Ji,

Guru Fateh Jio.

Another perspective offered by Giani Thakur Singh (Damdami Taksal) is: Bhagautiye used to be a sect during Guru Sahib's times. Guru ji distinguished those bhagautiye from His use of bhagautee in this ashtpadee, so that people dont confuse the two to be the same. Guru Sahib defined Bhagauti as who have 'Bhagwant Bhagtii Ka Rang'.

Your writings are a great pleasure to read.

With Regards,

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

Ang 724

As previous, individual words provided, please feel free to correct. My interpretation underneath in blue. Please add in your own understanding and how this shabad influences your life...

SPN on Facebook