Sukhmani Sahib:9th Ashtapadee:5th Pauri:My Understanding

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Jun 11, 2004
Dear Khalsa Ji,
With the grace of ‘The Sat’, today I share my understanding of 5th 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.

1. bIj mMqRü srb ko igAwnu ] beej mantar sarab ko gi-aan.
The essence of the Mantra is the basis of all Gyan (wisdom).

My understanding:
There are people who are learned, but have not the grasped the essence of there learning. In response to a query they are able to quote from scripture very widely, but are unable to quench the thirst of the seeker. But when the learned person grasps the essence of its learning the wisdom dawns and the person is able to apply their knowledge to the circumstances in which the seeker is searching the answer for its predicaments. For example, members of Khalsa Panth have been told to stay away from Tobacco in any form, but the religion is not very specific on liquor and what to be done with other forms of intoxicants. There are drugs now which were not known in earlier time. If they are not specifically mentioned in the code for Sikhs and forbidden, does it mean that Sikhs can consume then? As I understand all intoxicants are forbidden for Sikhs. The rational behind this is that Guru Sahib has repeatedly emphasised the need to sharpen the brain, keep it alert and pure in the strictest sense of this word. Any thing that adversely affects this quality of brain, dulls it or inhibits the sense of caution and the advise of the subconscious, is deemed to be forbidden for the followers of Sikhs, even if this is not specifically said so in the text of Sikh religion. Guru Sahib was at the pinnacle of wisdom, they knew that adaptation will be needed and thus they have not laid code for every aspect of life as the ancient religion of the land has done. They knew that there so called intoxicants, in many cases, when used in measured quantity are medicine – thus forbidding them as done for tobacco would not be prudent. Sikhi is knowledge based religion and good Sikhs will be able to determine what is right for them within the frame work set by Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Thus Sikhi has been given flexibility, Alcohol which is part of medicine can be taken to cure some ailment, but Alcohol or other drugs as intoxicant, as I understand, is forbidden and they lower the effectiveness of the brain and pervert the mind, the essence of Gurbani wants Sikhs to keep the functioning of the brain in purest condition. This view of Drugs and alcohol comes from my understanding of the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib; it is my understanding of one of its essence and application of this essence to one of the real life query. If I had not understood the mantra in it essence for them I will be searching for answers for the use of Alcohol in religious text. Having grasped the essence (if I can say so) I could apply this essence to the problem I face on my own.
Learning gives you knowledge; grasping the essence of these learning gives you the criteria for applying the learning to the real live emerging situations; this ability is called Wisdom. As I understand, it for this reason Guru Sahib has said that essence of the mantra is wisdom of all Gyan.

2. chu vrnw mih jpY koaU nwmu ] chahu varnaa meh japai ko-oo naam.
Any person irrespective of its caste can sing (its being resonate) with Naam (The teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib).

My understanding:
This sentence must be understood in the context of the social dispensation of that time and which is still prevalent in certain segments of our population even today. Only the men belonging to the topmost class were literate and thus had the knowledge of the scripture. They could articulate about the higher aspects of life better than the other three castes and women (Privilege wise, Laws of Manu place all women in par with Shudras, no matter what the caste of the family was in which they are born; women were not in par with men in the same family ). The men of the priestly caste were taken to be the media through whom the individuals of other could convey their prayers to ‘The Sat’.
Guru Sahib through this sentence removes the veil from the truth and tell us all that any human can pray to ‘The Sat’ directly; evolve spiritually, and imbue its being with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib (resonate) and thus become a Gurmukh.

3. jo jo jpY iqs kI giq hoie ] jo jo japai tis kee gat ho-ay.
All those who chant, evolve to this state of spirituality.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has said that all those who repeatedly utter the word which they use to refer to ‘The Sat’, will naturally evolve to progressively higher level of spirituality.
I understand that will dedicated repetition of this word (Waheguru) the dust that cover in the deeper layers of the mind which allows the person to listen to the voice coming from these deeper layers, which is the voice of ‘The Sat’. Once this linkage between the conscious and the deeper layers (subconscious) of mind get established, the thoughts, speech and actions of the person progressively become pure (selfless) and thus ‘The Sat’ like. This way, as I understand the person evolve to the higher levels of spirituality. Those who get into this path can achieve the ‘Ultimate’.

4. swDsMig pwvY jnu koie ] saaDhsang paavai jan ko-ay.
Few get the company of evolved people.

My understanding:
As I understand, Jaap is the beginning of the spiritual journey. It advancement on this path gets accelerated if one is in the company of spiritually evolved people. The environment created by such company strengthens the person’s mental faculties in the direction in which the person is seeking evolution. As the person seeks spiritual evolution beginning with Jaap and honestly pursues it, then, the next phase begins in the company of evolved people. ‘The Sat’ knows your inner urges to seek such evolution. With the grace of ‘The Sat’ the person finds the way to the company of the spiritually evolved people. Not many are able to endure and continue with the task of purifying the mind and continuing with the Jaap earnestly; it is for this reason, with all the latent possibilities in them only few persons are able to find company of spiritually evolved people i.e. Saadhsangat.

5 kir ikrpw AMqir aur DwrY ] kar kirpaa antar ur Dhaarai.
With the Grace of ‘The Sat’, it gets settles in the deeper layers of the brain.

My understanding:
We are what we are – spiritual being lost in worldly pursuits. This is what is the formatting of our brain, based on which we think, speak and act and this becomes our nature. We read Siri Guru Granth Sahib and over a period of time understand the meaning of it to a varying degree of depth, depending on the level of our evolution. This understanding is still external to our being which gives us our nature; it is loaded with worldly entities; our worldly entities fixed in our brain and thus the resulting attribute of ours, in most cases stand opposed to what the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Truth gets sifted by likes and dislikes that we have in our brain and thus gets distorted; sacrifice gets opposed by greed; and compassion is resisted by passion and so on.
This way though we understand the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, still these teachings remain only in our knowledgebase and do not percolate to the deeper layers of our functioning brain. These teachings do not become intrinsic to us. Our being still remains untouched by it. In other word, the process of uninstalling the worldly attributes and values that guide our living and installing the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib in there place does not take place naturally. Having learned the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib is similar to downloading software from some website; it is not useful unless it is installed. Imbuing ones being with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib into one’s being i.e. ‘The Self’ requires efforts and mental disciple. This happens when ‘The Sat’ gives strength to the seeker to do so. This happens with the Grace of ‘The Sat’.
This is as I understand.

6 psu pRyq muGd pwQr kau qwrY ] pas parayt mughad paathar ka-o taarai.
All embodied and without body beings can spiritually evolve and reach its pinnacle not matter what their initial nature was from where they start their spiritual journey.

My understanding:
In one of the earlier Tuk of this Pauri, Guru Sahib has allayed the notion about the elite class and had said that any one can evolve spiritually. In this Tuk Guru Sahib further tell us that any being (embodied or without body) can seek salvation through spiritual evolution. It is immaterial from which stage she or he starts this journey to salvation. He has given example of individuals with animal like nature, with ghost like state of being and even those who have stone like heart; all can get dissolved and evolve spiritually.
Through this Tuk Guru Sahib has negated the notion prevailing in the society that one has to be born in elite caste to become eligible for salvation. Guru Sahib has removed this false notion of eligibility.

7. srb rog kw AauKdu nwmu ] sarab rog kaa a-ukhad naam.
The Naam is the panacea, the remedy to cure all ills.

My understanding:
When our being soaked with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, our thoughts, speech and actions resonate with it and become pure. We become Godly, - instrument of ‘The Sat’- Gurmukh in real sense. This is ultimate we can become in embodied condition.
Most of the ills of our life, physical and mental are due to incorrect living. These are caused by negative attributes in us viz. jealously, anger, greed, lust, attachments, and Ahamkara. As one become Gurmukh, these negativities in us get dissolved and thus we become free from the ills that we have in life.

8. kilAwx rUp mMgl gux gwm ] kali-aan roop mangal gun gaam.
Living a Godly life is the way to emancipation.

My understanding:
When we live, not just learn by reading, the life in accordance with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib we achieve the blissful disposition. This disposition leads us to emancipation.

9. kwhU jugiq ikqY n pweIAY Drim ] kaahoo jugat kitai na paa-ee-ai Dharam.
Through mechanical action 9rituals) this state cannot be achieved.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells us that this state of blissfulness and purity that come from spiritual advancement cannot be reached through rituals and actions that the religious heads some time suggest. This is natural, because the rituals are mechanical actions they are bodily acts, what is need to reach this state is transformation of the functioning of the brain which is not in the domain of hardware; the programming of the brain has to be changes – that means the operating system of our brains has to be changes so that it becomes in accordance with the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

10. nwnk iqsu imlY ijsu iliKAw Duir krim ]5] naanak tis milai jis likhi-aa Dhur karam. ||5||
O, Nanak, this happens to those individuals whose past Karmas are conducive for it.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib has made it explicit that what we can be in this life is based on our past Karmas. It covers the Karmas of past births and the present life which has been lived.
The rational behind this Tuk, as I understand, I share with you.
Each one of us is born in this world with a mission. The mission consists of three elements (i) To pay for the past Karma and exhaust them; (ii) The experience positive and negative aspects of life on earth, learn from them and evolve to a higher level of spirituality; and (iii) To act as an instrument of ‘The Sat’ to protect and sustain the creation of ‘The Sat’ and to and help in evolving it to a higher level. The sum total of these three elements is equal to 1 i.e. one life. The weighing factors of these three elements in life vary form individual to individual depending on one’s past Karmas. The person who has accumulated lots of bad Karmas in past life will find its life more loaded with the task of exhausting i.e. paying for those Karmas. On the other side of the spectrum, the person, who has no negative Karmas and who in a way has already evolved to the highest spiritual level, will have its life loaded with the third element, ie. The live their lives as an instrument of ‘The Sat’. Nanak, Gautam, Jesus and Mahavira belonged to this class. Most of the other individuals in between these two extremes of the spectrum; their mission of life is loaded with all the three elements, with varying weighing factor for each of the element for each one of them. All this depends on the individual’s past Karmas.

With this I close the post.

With love and respect for all.

Amarpal Singh
Amarpal Singh

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