by Harnaak Singh
Gur Sikh Jio. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Gurvichar is starting a new activity.
We are going to discuss shabads and compositions relating to Gurbani from
SGGS Ji, Dasam Granth, Vaaran Bhai Gurdas, composition by Bhai Nand Lal
and other Gurbani related literature as necessary.
The process will be as follows
We will first look at some preliminary information that is useful for understanding the shabad.
We will then recite the shabad and the English translation
followed by an analysis of the shabad and end with a summary.
Now to the
Gurbani generally provides teachings for the benefit of our inner self. It mainly focuses on our MIND. Our PERSONALITY, is the result, of what is going on in our MIND.
Our personality, is made up of
TRAITS are our actions, our attitudes and the behaviour we possess.
Our RELATIONSHIP and INTERACTION with the CREATION is determined by our TRAITS.
Our success or failure as a part of the CREATION depends on this.
The list of TRAITS can be very long. We look at some examples honesty, patience, courage, dependable, caring and helpful. These are the POSITIVE TRAITS.
Examples of NEGATIVE TRAITS are dishonest, sarcastic, arrogant, rude, quarrelsome and self-centered.
Our TRAITS can be classified into 10 groups according to Gurbani. These are
ਸਤ, ਸੰਤੋਖ, ਦਯਾ, ਧਰਮ, ਧੀਰਜ Truth, Contentment, Compassion, Righteousness and Patience these being the FIVE POSITIVE traits which we shall call 5 VIRTUEs, and
ਕਾਮ, ਕਰੋਧ, ਲੋਭ, ਮੋਹ, ਹੰਕਾਰ Lust, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Ego being the FIVE NEGATIVE traits which we shall called 5 EVILS.
The NEGATIVE traits are generally
INSTINCTIVE (Reference: How hardwired is human behaviour, Harvard Business Review July-Aug 1998)
The instinctive traits are very powerful and can easily overcome us and push us towards the 5 evils. We must be constantly aware of the power of these INSTINCTIVE traits, which can cause massive destruction if not controlled. Gurbani teaches us how to effect this control.
Due to their power, let us delve into the INSTINCTIVE TRAITS. These maintain the survival and continuation of the species.
What are the elements of survival? These are
- the SURVIVAL INSTINCT – classically known as the fight or flight response
- the PROCREATION INSTINCT and
- WORSHIP – YES worship. Worship is a new finding in the last few years
identified by the University of Oxford UK. (Research Study “The Cognition, Religion and Theology Project”)
To commence these series of discussions we will start with the PROCREATION INSTINCT. It manifests as sexual desire, parenthood, and love and kindness for the spouse and family. Lust and Attachment (ਕਾਮ, ਮੋਹ) are directly related to this instinct. This instinct is to do with the continuation of the species. The word “sexual desire” is generally a taboo but it, being a very powerful instinct, is important and we must be aware of it. Gurbani talks about it.
We must keep vices within control by keeping to our moral and basic needs for procreation. We should not let these take control and we end up well beyond morality and our needs.
In particular we are going to commence with Lust ਕਾਮ.
Another consideration: Gurbani is written in poetic style and uses
abundantly. Why? We relate easily to metaphors since metaphors describe what we observe and perceive around us.
Today we are going to discuss a shabad from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
The shabad on SGGS Ji Page 1164 is by Bhagat Namdev in Raag Bhairon.
The shabad is
ਭੈਰਉ, ਨਾਮਦੇਉ ਜੀਉ, ਘਰੁ ੨
ਘਰ ਕੀ ਨਾਰਿ, ਤਿਆਗੈ ਅੰਧਾ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਾਰੀ, ਸਿਉ ਘਾਲੈ ਧੰਧਾ ॥
The blind fool, abandons the wife, of his own home, and, has an affair, with another woman.
ਜੈਸੇ ਸਿੰਬਲੁ, ਦੇਖਿ ਸੂਆ ਬਿਗਸਾਨਾ ॥ ਅੰਤ ਕੀ ਬਾਰ, ਮੂਆ ਲਪਟਾਨਾ ॥੧॥
He is like the parrot, who is pleased to see the simbal tree; but in the end, he dies, stuck to it. ||1||
ਪਾਪੀ ਕਾ ਘਰੁ, ਅਗਨੇ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਲਤ ਰਹੈ, ਮਿਟਵੈ ਕਬ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
The home of the sinner, is on fire. It keeps burning, and the fire cannot be extinguished. ||1||Pause||
ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਭਗਿਤ, ਨ ਦੇਖੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਮਾਰਗੁ ਛੋਡਿ, ਅਮਾਰਗਿ ਪਾਇ ॥
He does not go to see, where the Lord is being worshipped. He abandons the Lord’s Path, and takes the wrong path.
ਮੂਲਹੁ ਭੂਲਾ, ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਡਾਰਿ, ਲਾਦਿ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਇ ॥੨॥
He forgets the Primal Lord God, and is caught in the cycle of reincarnation. He throws away the Ambrosial Nectar, and gathers poison to eat. ||2||
(English translation (blue text): Sant Singh Khalsa)
Now we discuss the
MEANING OF THE SHABAD
Gurbani, in this shabad is using parrot – cotton-tree/ house – fire/ poison – nectar relationship metaphorically to illustrate what happens when a man succumbs to lust ਕਾਮ, one of the 5 evils.
In the shabad Gurbani first identifies the ACTION then the CONSEQUENCE of this action followed by the REASON for the consequence.
THE ACTION is identified in the first stanza
Engulfed in lust, the man abandons his wife and obtains sexual gratification from another woman. This is akin to a parrot pleased to be in the cotton tree but gets entangled in the cotton and dies.
The CONSEQUENCE of this activity is given in the RAHAO stanza.
THE SINNER’S HOME IS ON FIRE THE FIRE WILL KEEP BURNING AND WILL NEVER BE EXINGUISHED.
Home? fire? well metaphorically: actually the man’s lustful desire can never be satisfied.
Why? “lust never satisfied”? The REASON.
Because he has abandoned the virtuous path, the path of God that Gurbani teaches us but instead has taken the evil wrong path, the path of lust.
He has, chosen poison, lust which is evil over ambrosial nectar amrit which is virtue.
He is therefore, relegated to the cycle of births and deaths.
Now to some shabad didactics.
Notice before the RAHAO verse, Gurbani sets the scene of the man’s lustful activity THE ACTION and
in the RAHAO verse states the RESULT experienced.
After the RAHAO verse, Gurbani advises the REASON the man is in such a predicament.
So the RAHAO verse, in itself, does not give the main theme, which is LUST.
But it is the crescendo of the shabad by highlighting the CONSEQUENCE linking the ACTION with the REASON.
Now to the
The KEYWORD in the shabad is:
LUST the rest of the shabad revolves around this keyword.
The Message is:
When one FORGETS God and chooses LUST one will never be satisfied and will be relegated to the cycle of BIRTHS and DEATHS.
Thank You for listening. ਗਲਤੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਖਿਮਾ.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
Please click to download the PDF
LINK: We provide a link which links to an article where RAHAO is further discussed.