Sukhmani Sahib:9th Ashtapadee:4th Pauri:My Understanding | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Sukhmani Sahib:9th 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 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 to Pauris Guru Sahib has addressed two streams of religions – Vaishnavites and Shivites. In this Pauri he is addressing to the third stream in his audience – the followers of Sanatan Dharma who worship the deity from Ramayana ‘The Ram’. It is for this reason Guru Sahib has used the name Ram in this Pauri. His message to this section of society is same as in the last two. He also indirectly suggests the futility of separation in the name of caste.

1. so pMifqu jo mnu prboDY ] so pandit jo man parboDhai.
That alone is the accomplished learned person (Pundit) whose source of thought and action is ‘The Sat’.

My understanding:

Before I share my understanding it is important for me to explain certain concepts that are very personal to me.

(i) What the word ‘Maan’, used in this Tuk by Guru Sahib, means to me?
As I understand, the word ‘Maan’ used in this Tuk is what in English I call mind, which for me, is the soft output of a functioning brain, as brain formatting is so is the output generated –‘The Mind’ i.e. ‘Maan’ is. When brain stops functioning (dies) there is no out put, the mind vanishes.

(ii) How ‘The Sat’ can be enshrined in the brain?
As I understand, our inner self is nothing but our brain formatting. To me my inner-self includes all that is non-material in me i.e. ‘The gifts and glow received from ‘The Sat’, values, virtues and vices, all attributes and tendencies, biases, fears, ambitions, selfishness, beliefs, presumed purpose of life, memories from this and past lives, ego, Karmas, etc, etc. These non-material attributes of me are what format my brain.

When I am able cleanse my brain so that the formatting of brain become based on Satvika nature and the glow received from ‘The Sat’; when the purpose of my life becomes to live in Kirt to serve the cause of ‘The Sat’ alone, then my being becomes Godly. This is the state, as I understand, in which one can say that ‘The Sat’ is enshrined in the brain and thus in the mind or ‘Maan’.

The person having such a state of its being, Guru Sahib calls a ‘Pundit’. This state cannot be achieved without having the divine knowledge.

2. rwm nwmu Awqm mih soDY ] raam naam aatam meh soDhai.
Such a person receives the glow of Ram from within its own inner self.

My understanding:

First I share with you my considered view on what ‘Naam’ means to me and the reason behind my thinking,

To me ‘Naam’, in the context of Gurbani, is never a name, but what lies beyond that name. Guru Sahib has asked us to seek the gift of ‘Naam’ from ‘The Sat’. If it was just a name, then there was nothing to be sought, we all know the name as Wah-e-guru, Kartar, Karta Purakh, ‘The Sat’ etc. If we already know then what the gift to be sought is, yet Guru Sahib has asked to seek this Gift from ‘The Sat’; there must be more to it then what I have stated above which demands that we seek the Gift.

As I understand; ‘Naam’ is beyond these names. To me ‘Naam’ is the assimilated essence of the teachings of Gurbani. When my being reflects these teaching in my real life, then it means I have received Gift what I had sought from ‘The Sat’.
With this understanding I proceed with the above Tuk.

As we all know that ‘Ram’ as the lead figure of the epic of this land ‘Ramayana’. The word ‘Ram’ denotes this physical entity in form which is installed in temples as Idols and depicted in pictures. Where as ‘Ram Naam’, as I understand, referred to wisdom of this physical entity Ram. Ram itself is a name, Guru Sahib has used the word ‘Naam’ along with the name ‘Ram’ to make his followers understand that is not referring to the physical entity, but to the intangible abstract part of the same physical entity – moving them from Akaar to Nirakaar.

Now I share my understanding of the term ‘Atam’. To me Atam is where all the thoughts originate i.e. the brain. When Guru Sahib says that Ram Naam is to be enshrined in ‘Atam’, to me it means I have to do some thing so that the functioning of my brain reflects the wisdom of ‘Ram Naam’. This wisdom of Ram Naam’ should become some thing like the operating system of my brain. Wisdom of the ‘Ram Naam’ then becomes the basis of all my thoughts, speech and actions. This means, I should reformat my brain, i.e. erase what worldly living has taught me and then install ‘Ram Naam’ in its place. It means I should dissolve my Ahamkara, shed my vices and install love of ‘The Sat’ i.e. its creation. To me love is a an attribute which is synthesis of Compassion, Kindness, Caring nature and selflessness

As I understand it this knowledge Guru Sahib has referred to as ‘Ram Naam’. Guru Sahib says that the person who are reached this level of spiritual evolution has a being which is sustained and nurtured by its own inner self (already explained in the Tuk above) – which is the glow of ‘The Sat’ enshrined in such person’s brain formatting.

3. rwm nwm swru rsu pIvY ] raam naam saar ras peevai.
Such person who has assimilates the wisdom of ‘The Sat’, continues to receive its spiritual sustenance from it.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib having explained to us the way to reach progressively higher and higher level of spirituality, tells us that the person who has installed the wisdom if ‘Naam’ in its inner self will naturally live in accordance with it as this wisdom becomes the basis of the thoughts that are generated in its mind and the consequent speech and physical actions that follow from these thoughts. This act of enshrining the ‘Naam’ in the brain is analogous to drinking the juice i.e. essence ‘The Sat’ - ‘Saar Ras’.

4. ausu pMifq kY aupdyis jgu jIvY ] us pandit kai updays jag jeevai.
By the advice and actions of such learned and spiritually evolved person (pundit) the creation remains active and functional.

My understanding:

Here we must keep in mind that Guru Sahib is not referring to the person born in Brahmin family as Pundit, but to a person who has been bless by ‘The Sat’ with the knowledge of ‘Naam’ and thus is a Braham Gyani.

Guru Sahib tells us in this Tuk that the type of persons, whom guru Sahib has called Pundit, are the ones who can really guide the people and help them live a truth justified life. These are the persons who should become our role model. From such people we can learn the truth and evolve spiritually. Guru Sahib gives credit to these people who have prevented the humanity from sinking in abysmal pit of sins.

5. hir kI kQw ihrdY bswvY ] har kee kathaa hirdai basaavai.
Such a person enshrines the essence of the ‘The Sat’ in its being.

My understanding:

Here the word Katha, as I understand, does not mean the story. To me it means the ‘Godliness’ of ‘The Sat’. Similarly, Hirddai means heart in Hindi – it is a way of saying to indicate that what come from heart is loaded with emotions; it is contrary to bone dry logic. It is for this reason we say love resides in heart, were as science tells us clearly that all logic and emotions come from functioning brain. To a common man whom Guru Sahib is addressing understand its own language which it is used to. Hirddai to me the emotional part of the person’s being. This being is soaked with the love of ‘The Sat’ and expressed as the love of ‘The Sat’ creation.

To say in few words, the spiritually evolves learned person enshrines pure love, which is Godly, in its being and this becomes the essence of its being and thus the basis of its life.

6. so pMifqu iPir join n AwvY ] so pandit fir jon na aavai.
Such learned practicing spiritually evolves person does not have to enter the womb.

My understanding:
As I understand, Guru Sahib is telling us that the person who through its life in earth world has, in real sense, learned and practiced in actual life the teachings of high order spirituality, is not made to be reborn again in earth world. This as I understand because on the path to spirituality, such person (Real Pundit) has exhausted all the possibilities of experiencing and learning and has achieved all the depth in spirituality that earthy existence can offer. Such person has exhausted all its karma and in a purified soul now. Taking birth again in this world serves no cosmic purpose. Such a person becomes free from the cycle of birth and death.

7. byd purwn isimRiq bUJY mUl ] bayd puraan simrit boojhai mool.
Such person understands and realises the essence of Vedas, Pruanas and Simritee.

My understanding:

Guru Sahib, points out to us that the spiritually evolved learned person is able to Grasp the essence of the ancient scripture of this land and thus is able to apply it in diverse aspects of its own life. It is similar to the capabilities one acquires when any person has understood the basic concept of any physical phenomenon; then this person can visualize it in its mind and express it into mathematical equations. In the same way the person who has evolved spiritually to a very high level is able to seek a reach the roots of ideas, concepts and truths from were the ancient scripture of the land have evolved. With the essence grasped the person becomes the moving embodiment of the knowledge of such scripture – in other words custodian of such scripture.

Guru Sahib this way is exalting his audience to see the essence and the basic truth of which the scripture is an elaboration only.

8. sUKm mih jwnY AsQUlu ] sookham meh jaanai asthool.
In the essence, such a person sees all that exists in manifested form.

My understanding:

As I understand, Guru Sahib is telling us that the person who has evolved to the ultimate level in spirituality and purity is able to decipher the manifested and clearly see the presence of the essence in each one of the entity that constitute the creation. As cup and plate both are different in appearance but we know that both are nothing but porcelain, a major part of it is Silica, which it self is constituted bu atom and molecules made of neutron, protons, electors etc which constitute other elements and compounds, and thus exist in other materials also. The same way the real Pundit is able to see the essence behind the forms and knows that all that manifest in this creation is really the form of the essence. This way the spiritually evolved pure person knows that all are ‘One.

9. chu vrnw kau dy aupdysu ] chahu varnaa ka-o day updays.
Such an evolve person teaches and counsel all without any discrimination. Real Pundit teaches all the four casts of the society.

My understanding:

Knowing that all are ‘One’ a real Pundit does not bring in any aspects of caste system into her or his consideration. Such evolved person that ‘The Sat’ resides in each one of them and the limitation that the beings have are because of the form. This person shares its knowledge with individuals, no matter what is their origin or where from they have come or what is their family background. Pundit sees only the essence in all of its manifested form. Pundit knows all are ‘One’.

10. nwnk ausu pMifq kau sdw Adysu ]4] naanak us pandit ka-o sadaa adays. ||4||
To such Pundit, Nanak pay his respect and reveres for ever. ||4||

My understanding:

Guru Sahib in this Tuk indicate the high esteem in which he holds the spiritually evolved pure person – ‘The Pundit’.

With this I close the post.

With love and respect for all.

Amarpal Singh

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