The Rahao Principle – Part 3

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| Opinion | 19 Nov 2016 | Asia Samachar |

 

By Karminder Singh / Transcription by Sharan Kaur

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. Gurmukh Pyareo. This commentary comes to you as the third audio in a series of talks aimed at establishing the basic principles which we can apply, in helping us understand Gurbani better.

The Rahao Principle – Part 1 (Asia Samachar, 10 Nov 2016)

The Rahao Principle – Part 2 (Asia Samachar, 13 Nov 2016)

The first audio in this series introduced the basic elements of the first principle; which we called the Rahao principle. The second audio attempted to apply the Rahao principle to a shabad from the SGGS. This audio is a continuation of that same shabad. It will make better sense if you have already listened to audios one and two.

 

APPLYING THE RAHAO: NARU & PSU (Continuation)

The shabad we chose to illustrate how the Rahao principle worked in Audio Two was composed by Bhagat Kabir and is recorded on page 870 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) ji –

ਗੋਂਡ ॥

ਨਰੂ ਮਰੈ ਨਰੁ ਕਾਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਰੈ ਦਸ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੈ ॥੧॥

ਅਪਨੇ ਕਰਮ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ਬਾਬਾ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਹਾਡ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਲਕਰੀ ਕਾ ਤੂਲਾ ॥ ਕੇਸ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਘਾਸ ਕਾ ਪੂਲਾ ॥੨॥

ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਤਬ ਹੀ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਗੈ ॥ ਜਮ ਕਾ ਡੰਡੁ ਮੂੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥੩॥੨॥

Naru Marey Nur Kaam Na Avey. Psu Marey Dus Kaaj Swarey.  

Apney Karam Kee Gutt Mein Kya Jano. Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Rahao.

Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka Pula.

Kaho Kabeer Tub Hee Nur Jagey. Jum Ka Dund Moond Mein Lagey. (SGGS, p870)

The usual meaning provided for the first two verses Naru Marey Nur Kaam Na Avey, Psu Marey Dus Kaaj Swarey has been that when a man dies he is of no use to man. But when an animal dies, it serves ten purposes.

But when we applied the Rahao principle we saw that the words Naru and Pasu took on different meanings – meanings which were aligned with the messages contained within the Rahao verse.

Since the Rahao verse Apney Karam Kee Gutt Mein Kya Jano. Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Rahao had, within its nucleus the concept of actions and deeds – as evidenced by the words Karam Kee Gutt – the words Naru and Pasu, therefore, needed to be interpreted in terms of actions or deeds.

The meanings of the verses Naru Marey Nur Kaam Na Avey, Psu Marey Dus Kaaj Swarey when aligned with the Rahao verse then became:

“When humanity within me vanishes (Nru Marey) then I become worthless  towards both my own spiritual journey as well as to the brotherhood of humanity.  

ON the other hand, when negative acts are eliminated from within me, (Psu Mrey) then I am able to be of plentiful use both to my own spiritual journey as well as others around me.

APPLYING THE RAHAO: HAAD & KESH

Let us now try to look at the next two verses of the same shabad. Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka PulaHaad is bones, jaley is to burn, Lakree Ke Tula is a pack of sticks. Kesh is hair, Ghaas Ka Pula is a bundle of grass.

The usual translation is that my bones burn like a pack of sticks and my hair like a bundle of grass.

Just like Naru and Pasuu, the meanings of the words Hadd and Kesh, too, have to be interpreted to align these verses with the messages of the Rahao verse.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that the Rahao is the nucleus verse and that all other non-rahao verses are meant to illustrate, expand, elucidate, and exemplify the Rahao verse which is the core idea of the shabad.  

It has been stated that the Rahao verse Apney Karam Kee Gutt Mein Kya Jano. Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Rahao brings forth three messages.

First that actions need to be accounted for – good deeds needs to be maximized and bad deeds eliminated from my life. This is derived from the words – Apney Karam Kee Gutt .

And the illustration of this part of the Rahao message is in the first set of verses: Naru Marey and Pasu Marey.

The second message from the Rahao verse is the need for blessings from my Guru to help me in the process. This is derived from the cry that Bhagat ji is making Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey.   

The illustration of this part of the message from the Rahao verse is in the second set of the shabad’s verses: Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka Pula.

Both Haad and Kesh have to be interpreted in terms of actions and deeds. Why? Because the Rahao is about actions and deeds: Apney Karam Kee Gatt.

More importantly, both Haad and Kesh have to be viewed in terms of what becomes of our actions and deeds after Guru ji blesses us. Where is this idea coming from? From the Rahao. Mein Kyaa Jano Baba Rey.

Haad meaning bones are therefore deeds that have gone into our bones so to speak. Actions that have become hardened as bone. We say in English: “It has gone into my bones, or I can feel it in my bones. In Punjabi we say h~fW q~k or h~fW ivc.

The reference is, therefore, to actions and deeds that have become habitual. Actions and deeds that have become second nature to us. Actions and deeds that are ingrained deep within ourselves.  

The reference is to actions and deeds that define us as to who we are. Actions and deeds that act as the supportive skeleton of our existence. Actions and deeds that lie at the foundation or base of our life.

Kesh meaning hair on the human head and the head being the body’s foremost and primary organ, therefore, signifies actions and deeds that are primary, that are of the highest order, actions that occupy a place of supremacy in our life. Actions that sit as the crowning glory of all that we do in life.  

So pyareo, the meaning of the verse Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka Pula, when understood in the context of the messages of the Rahao verse focusing on actions, deeds and Guruji’s blessings is that:

When I receive my Guru’s blessings; Pasu Actions and deeds that are ingrained deep within my self burn away like a bundle of twigs. Haad Jaley Jaisey lakree Ka Toola. And Pasu actions and deeds that act as the crowning glory of my existence burn away like a bundle of dry grass. Kes Jaley Jaisey Ghaas Ka Pula.

When you bless me Guru ji, Pasu actions or negative deeds that have become second nature to me, deeds that define me start to leave me. They get burnt out of my psyche. Haad Jaley.  

And actions and deeds that are primary, that are of the highest order, actions that occupy a place of supremacy in my existence, start to burn out of my life. Kes jaley.

And actions that sit right on my head as the throne of my life, burn out of my being. Kes Jaley.

They burn out absolutely and completely once your grace and blessing dawned upon me.  Jaisey Ghaas Ka Pula and Jaisey Lakree Ka Tula.

In Punjabi hy gurU jd qyrI bKSS myry qy ho jWdI hY qW myry kukrm BWvy myry h~fW dy ijhn ivc ikauN nw Dsy pey hovx[ auh sV ky suAwh ho jwdy ny ijvy lkVI dw qUlw. hwf jly jYsy lkrI kw qUlw nwl nwl qyrI bKSS duAwrw, myry isr mor krm, muFly krm, myry isr k~F krm ieh vI swry sV ky suAwh ho jwdy ny ijvy kys dw pUlw.

 

APPLYING THE RAHAO: FINAL VERSE

The final verses of this shabad are Kaho Kabeer Tub Hee Nur Jagey. Jum Ka Dund Moond Mein Lagey.

Nur Jagey means when one wakes up. Moond means striking one’s head.

The usual translation of these verses is that the human being wakes up when the baton of death (Jum Ka Dund) hits him on the head (Moond Mein Lagey). Or that he wakes up or only realizes when he dies.

Such translation is, of course, done without taking the Rahao verse into consideration. When death comes, no human being can wake up. So Tub Hee Nur Jagey is about something happening while one is alive, not after death.

If Tub Jee Nur Jagey is taken to mean Realization after death, then such realization is both meaningless and useless as the human being would be unable to take any corrective action.

To get the meaning of these final verses, one has to go back to the Rahao principle. The Rahao verse is: Apney Karam Kee Gutt Mein Kya Jano. Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Rahao

As stated above, the Rahao verses contain three messages.

First, actions need to be accounted for – good deeds needs to be maximized  and bad deeds eliminated from my life. This is derived from the words – Apney Karam Kee Gutt. And the illustration is in the first set of verses: Naru Marey and Pasu Marey.

The second message from the Rahao verse is the need blessings from my Guru to help me in the process. This is derived from the cry that Bhagat ji is making Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Meaning I don’t know, but Guru ji You do, so please bless me.

The illustration of this message is in the second set of verses: Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka Pula.

All my negative deeds – including those deeply ingrained in my bones and my leading actions burn and melt  away like twigs when Your Blessing happens.

The third message from the Rahao is the inverse of the second. This is derived from “Gutt Mein Kya Jano”. Without your blessings, I cannot do it. What would happen to me then? The illustration of this part of the message from, the Rahao is Kaho Kabeer Tub Hee Nur Jagey. Jum Ka Dund Moond Mein Lagey.

The words Jum Ka Dund have again got to be interpreted in the context of actions and deeds. So what is Jum Ka Dund.

There is a shabad in SGGS on page 155 which reads: 

ਅਵਰਿ ਪੰਚ ਹਮ ਏਕ ਜਨਾ ਕਿਉ ਰਾਖਉ ਘਰ ਬਾਰੁ ਮਨਾ ॥

ਮਾਰਹਿ ਲੂਟਹਿ ਨੀਤ ਨੀਤ ਕਿਸੁ ਆਗੈ ਕਰੀ ਪੁਕਾਰ ਜਨਾ ॥੧॥

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ਉਚਰੁ ਮਨਾ ॥ ਆਗੈ ਜਮ ਦਲੁ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਘਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Avar Panch Hum Ek Jna Kio Rakho Ghar Baar Mnaa.

Marey Lutey Neet Neet Kis Aagey Karee Pukaar Jnaa.

Sri Raam Nama Uchar Mnaa. Agey Jum Dal Bikham Ghnaa. Rahao. (SGGS, p155)

I am alone while they are five. How do I safeguard my spiritual journey from being robbed.  They rob me on a daily basis, who do I go to for complaint. O mind, realize the virtues of the omnipresent God. The Jum Dal army of five has made my spiritual life to become filled with obstacles.

Jum, therefore, refers to the army of 5 vices of us humans: Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Abhimaan or Ahangkaar.

So the meaning of the final verse of our shabad under discussion — Kaho Kabeer Tub Hee Nur Jagey. Jum Ka Dund Moond Mein Lagey — is that if or in the event the blessings of the Guru are not forthcoming then the ultimate destruction of my spiritual life that will be caused by the army of five vices will be the only thing left to awaken me to the reality of good and bad actions.

 

IN SUMMARY

In summary, therefore, the translation of this Shabad by Bhagat Kabir is as follows:

ਨਰੂ ਮਰੈ ਨਰੁ ਕਾਮਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥ ਪਸੂ ਮਰੈ ਦਸ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੈ ॥੧॥

Naru Marey Nur Kaam Na Avey. Psu Marey Dus Kaaj Swarey.

When humanity within me vanishes I become worthless towards both my own spiritual journey as well as to the brotherhood of humanity.  

ON the other hand, when negative deeds are eliminated from within me, I am able to be of unlimited use both to my own spiritual journey as well as others around me.

ਅਪਨੇ ਕਰਮ ਕੀ ਗਤਿ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ॥ ਮੈ ਕਿਆ ਜਾਨਉ ਬਾਬਾ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Apney Karam Kee Gutt Mein Kya Jano. Mein Kya Jano Baba Rey. Rahao.

ਹਾਡ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਲਕਰੀ ਕਾ ਤੂਲਾ ॥ ਕੇਸ ਜਲੇ ਜੈਸੇ ਘਾਸ ਕਾ ਪੂਲਾ ॥੨॥

Haad Jaley Jaisey Lakree Ke Tula. Kesh Jaley Jaisay Ghaas Ka Pula.   

When I receive my Guru’s blessings; Pasu Actions and deeds that are ingrained deep within my self burn away like a bundle of twigs.

When I receive your blessing, all my deeds that are of the highest order even, actions that occupy a place of supremacy in my life  burn away like twigs.  

ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਤਬ ਹੀ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਗੈ ॥ ਜਮ ਕਾ ਡੰਡੁ ਮੂੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥੩॥੨॥

Kaho Kabeer Tub Hee Nur Jagey. Jum Ka Dund Moond Mein Lagey.

In the event the blessings of the Guru are not forthcoming then the ultimate destruction of my spiritual life by the army of five vices will be the only thing left to awaken me to the reality of accounting for my actions.

Thank you for listening pyareo.  The next audio will talk about yet another principle for understanding Gurbani. Bhul Chuk dee Khima. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

 

AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT COURTESY OF SIKHI VICHAR FORUM MALAYSIA. See more audio/videos at their Youtube channel.

Karminder-mugshot2

Karminder Singh, PhD (Boston) writes on Gurbani and Gurmat issues in The Sikh Bulletin, USA. He also conducts Gurbani Katha in local Gurdwaras. He is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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