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Sukhmani Sahib - Pauri 3 Of Ashtpadi 1


Dear Khalsa Ji,
Today, I share with you what I understand from the 3rd Pauri of the 1st Ashtapadee of Sukhmani Sahib.
Here it is important to note that Guru Sahib is addressing himself to the audience who is followers of one of the numerous sects of ancient religious system of our land. To convey to them what he had in mind, in this Pauri, Guru Sahib has used many of the terms used by these very sects of the ancient religious systems. Guru Sahib’s usage of these terms does not mean that he is advocating the continuation of the practices denoted by those terms. In fact, Guru Sahib is suggesting an alternative which can be practices by the householder. ‘Simran’ is not in addition to what they had been practicing but in lieu of these practices.
It must be kept in mind that Sikh religion is the only Indian religion, which is life-affirming. Sikhism considers world as real and not false. Sikh religion considers life as an opportunity to evolve further in all spheres of life (Chardi Kala) and not a place for suffering or punishment. Sikhism asks its followers to live the life of a householder with purity and does not sanctify ‘Sanyas’. Sikhism does not follow ‘Varna-Ashram Dharma’ (Varna means four castes and the four ashrams are Brahamacharya i.e. celibacy; Grahasth married life; Sanyas i.e. quitting married life; and Vanprastha i.e. going to Jangles i.e. forest and live there, as demanded in Hinduism). This is to say that Sikhism is Independent religion which originated in India. The traits of Sikhism are different from those of other Indian religions.
With this understanding I proceed further with my post.
1. pRB kY ismrin iriD isiD nau iniD ] parabh kai simran riDh siDh na-o niDh.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ is wealth, spiritual achievement, and the nine treasures.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib here stressed the importance of ‘Remembrance i.e. ‘Simran’. He makes it clear that Simran is important in material world and in spiritual world. It leads to spiritual evolution and material well being. Unlike in life-negating systems, which consider world as false, i.e. Mithiya or Maya, Sikhi considers world to be real. Being a life-affirming religion, material well being is considered important. ‘Simran’ creates a mental make-up that ensures that the wealth is earned through honest means and such frame of mind leads to spiritual evolution.
2. pRB kY ismrin igAwnu iDAwnu qqu buiD ] parabh kai simran gi-aan Dhi-aan tat buDh.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ leads to knowledge, ability to concentrate and mental acuity.
My understanding:
Guru Sahib explains the improvement in the mental abilities that come from ‘Simran’.
3. pRB kY ismrin jp qp pUjw ] parabh kai simran jap tap poojaa.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ is chanting, austerities and ritual worship.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib explains that Simran leads to all that the practices of the ancient religious sects of the land claim can be achieved by ritual worship, very intense austerities or chanting mantras.
4. pRB kY ismrin ibnsY dUjw ] parabh kai simran binsai doojaa.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ dissolves all dualities.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells that once the individual reaches certain level in remembrance, the quality of mind improve to such a level that she or he sees the truth in life as it is. The mind no longer creates confusion. Naturally all the dualities in life get dissolved.
5. pRB kY ismrin qIrQ iesnwnI ] parabh kai simran tirath isnaanee.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ is like bathing in places of pilgrimage.

My understanding:
It is a belief from ancient times that taking bath in water bodies at the places of pilgrimage washes away the sins. The water touches the body only, how can it clean the deeper layers of the mind were the sins originate. In my understanding, this belief is not true. Guru Sahib has asked us to practice ‘Simran’, which can bring about the changes in the mental make-up of the person. Guru Sahib is telling that what is said to be achieved by bathing in places of pilgrimages is in fact achieved by ‘Simran’. For ‘Simran’ the householder does not have to leave his place of work or family. ‘Simran’ is possible without breaking the normal routine of life. In fact ‘Simran’ is part of the normal life.
6. pRB kY ismrin drgh mwnI ] parabh kai simran dargeh maanee.
Through remembrance of ‘The Sat’ one gets assessed in the spiritual world and gets respect accordingly.

My understanding:
The same teaching is mentioned in Japji Sahib also. ‘Simran’ progressively elevate the person spiritually. It is natural that the more evolved person is more the spiritually inclined God-centered persons will respect this individual.
7. pRB kY ismrin hoie su Blw ] parabh kai simran ho-ay so bhalaa.
Remembrance of ‘The Sat’ leads to good.

My understanding:
It is clear to me that with remembrance i.e. ‘Simran’ my mental make-up will progressively become God-centered and all my deeds will become pure; the hold of the five vices on me will cease progressively and the dualities will get dissolve. At some stage I will become an instrument of the will of ‘The Sat’ i.e. God. Naturally then every aspect of life will be good.
8. pRB kY ismrin suPl Plw ] parabh kai simran sufal falaa.
The remembrance of ‘The Sat’ leads to an environment where the fruits of the deeds are good

My understanding:
It is natural, when the mind is pure; the deeds resulting from it too will be pure. Consequently the law of Karmas will return those deeds with good effects.
9. sy ismrih ijn Awip ismrwey ] say simrahi jin aap simraa-ay.
Those get into the process of ‘Simran’ whom ‘The Sat’ cause to enter into ‘Simran’

My understanding:
Here Guru Sahib is pointing towards the element of ‘Gurparsadi’ i.e. the grace of ‘The Sat’. Without the blessing from ‘The Sat’ nothing good can be achieved. If the individual follows the will ‘The Sat’ with purity the path will be full of successes. If the person tries to work against the will of ‘The Sat’ failure and pain will be the result. It is important to understand the will of ‘The Sat’. This ability can be acquired by analyzing the happenings in ones life.
10. nwnk qw kY lwgau pwey ]3] naanak taa kai laaga-o paa-ay. ||3||
Nanak associates himself with the feet of such a person.

My understanding:
Guru Sahib tells us that the parson who has achieved the level of purity where she or he is graced by ‘The Sat’ is worthy of association.
In this Pauri Guru Sahib has emphasized on ‘Simran’ as the way for spiritual evolution. In his own way Guru Sahib has asked us to leave all other modes of worship that are practiced in other religions and be in remembrance of ‘The Sat’ i.e. ‘Simran’.
With this I close my post.
With love and respect for all.
Amarpal Singh