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Formula to meet Vaheguru
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: September 02, 2008 08:56AM

Below is an old write-up written by this daas back in 2003. It may be of interest today too:

Many years ago I read in a book by Professor Sahib Singh that “Mann Haali, Kirsaani Karni” is a great shabad and opens many spiritual knots. I read it back then and did not fully understand it or you can say that I was not fully motivated to understand it. For last many months, many times I felt the urge to read this shabad and understand it. I had the feeling that this shabad has a formula that can lead one to Vaheguru.

Recently, I wanted to read the shabad, but something else came up. Finally few days ago, I was able to read this shabad and found that this shabad indeed has a formula that can lead to Vaheguru. This shabad makes us understand the relationship of Naam with other qualities like santokh (contentedness), humility and hard-work or effort. The shabad has 4 antraa (parts or pauris) to it and so far I have been able to understand the first one only. The other three I do understand but not as deeply as I would like to.

So here is what I have understood. I would appreciate if some Gurmukh out there corrects me if I am wrong.


Mainly there are 4 kinds of occupations:


This shabad uses all four occupations to get an understanding Naam and its relationship with other good qualities.

The pankitis written above pertain to the farming part of this shabad and having a farming background this is what struck me the most.


The field is ploughed till it is nice and soft.

The seed is obtained and planted.

A suhaaga is a long wooden piece, on which a person stands while a tractor (or Oxen in olden days) pulls it. This is to make the land flat after sowing seed. The purpose is to keep the moisture of the soil intact. This moisture allows the seed to sprout. Another purpose of suhaaga is to protect the seed from birds.

The field is then watered as required.


Guru Sahib has used this beautiful example to define the spiritual life of a Sikh. Guru Sahib says that let the mann (mind) be haali i.e. farmer. Let farming be the spiritual life of gursikh. Let shram i.e. hard work or effort be water and let this precious human body be the field in which the seed is to grow. Let Naam be seed and santokh or contentedness be the suhaaga. Finally let “Rakh” i.e. the protector of the field be “Ghareebi Ves” i.e. simple, humble life-style.


Now let us examine this in more detail. The seed of Naam is sowed in this human body by the Punj Pyaare. Those who think that naam alone will do it, are proven wrong in this shabad. Unless hard work and effort of doing naam is done, this seed will not sprout. Effort and Hard work i.e. shram is as important for Naami jeevan as is water for seed to sprout. This proves that without effort of japping Naam, it will not sprout. One has to do hard work. Hard work or doing conscious effort to japp Naam is a must. How will the seed of Naam sprout if we don't japp it with intensity?

Hard work here can be defined as giving up pleasures and sleeping early in the evening to get up early. Giving up other pleasures and entertainment and do naam and gurbani instead. Making an effort to go to satsangat. This is what shram i.e. hard work and effort in this context is. Without this hard work and effort, nothing will happen. Naam alone will not do it.


Another important ingredient along with Naam is Santokh. Just look how important Santokh has been declared by Guru Sahib. Guru Sahib clearly says that just as Suhaaga is important to keep the moisture in the soil and thereby making the environment friendly for the seed to sprout, same way santokh is a must to keep this mind and body moisture and not letting it go dry with trishnaa (lust, desires). Moisture denotes peace, khushi, kheraa, anand and good condition. Dryness denotes dryness of mind, sorrow, instability of mind and body.

Without santokh, one’s mind does not come in place and keeps on wandering. It keeps thinking what the neighbour has and what he does not. A non-santokhi mann (mind) wants a better car, better house, better clothing and constantly keeps upping the standards of this thing called “better”. All the naam japp kamaayee keeps getting wasted in this non-santokhi state of wanting something or the other.


The third important ingredient is “Ghareebi Ves”. If there is no protector in the fields, it can get stolen or birds and other animals like mice can eat away the crop. Sometimes the keeRa (germs) eat away the crop. Same way, when one does kamaayee of Naam, one is filled with power of naam. One feels empowered with this power and one feels the need all the time to use this power. This is where Guru Sahib’s hukam of keeping “ghareebi ves” comes in handy.

Many examples can be used to get clarity on what ghareebi ves is. Take for example a very rich person who dresses up like a simple person. No one can tell from his appearance that he is rich. He drives a simple car and wears ordinary clothes. This person is not likely to be targeted by thieves and thugs. On the other hand if a person is wearing flashy clothes, driving expensive car and wearing expensive clothes, he comes in the notice of thugs and thieves who will try to rob this person.

Same way a bibi, who is wearing simple not-revealing clothes escapes the kaamic eyes of men but a bibi who wears revealing clothes is more prone to kaamic (sexual) advances by men. An amritdhari bibi should never wear revealing clothes. Lose and simple clothes is what daughters of Guru Gobind Singh jee wear.

Same way as described in the two examples above, Singhs who do naam dee kamaayee and baani daa paath, but don’t keep it contained get many attacks from outside. People start praising them and this causes haume in them. Even if they don’t praise them, just the extra respect that they show to them, causes them a little bit of haume. If a Gursikh keeps his kamaayee gupt (secret), then there is no such danger.

Say a Gursikh starts doing amritvela and about 25 Jap jee Sahib paaths along with Siri Sukhmani Sahib and other baanis. Sooner than later, this Gursikhs gets power and shakti of Naam. At that point a Gursikh gets very tempted to use these powers. A close Gursikh veer of mine, went through this. He started doing paaths as stated above and within weeks he had some ridhi sidhi. He got excited and jokingly used them many times right in front of me. Later he realized that after using these powers firstly he got haume and secondly it drained his power and all that paath that was going to work towards his spiritual well-being went towards ridhi sidhi. If one keeps ghareebi ves i.e. down-to-the-earth attitude, then such things do not happen and all kamaayee stays intact and saved.


The last pankiti of this pauri is:


After doing all this as stated above, real pyaar between the Sikh and Vaheguru develops by his karam (mehar, grace). Guru Sahib says that then, the great fortune that gursikh accumulates, is worth seeing.

Kulbir Singh


Re: Formula to meet Vaheguru
Posted by: gsingh (IP Logged)
Date: September 02, 2008 09:04PM

Bhai Kulbir Singh,

shouldn't saram in this context mean sharam, and not sram/udham? If it was meant to mean udham, wouldnt the rara be in the pehr of the sasaa?


Re: Formula to meet Vaheguru
Posted by: kulbir singh (IP Logged)
Date: September 03, 2008 09:22AM

G Singh jeeo,

Excellent question.

In Gurbani the word ਸਰਮ is used in the meanings of hard work, shame and Izzat or honour. When this word is used in the meanings of honor or izzat then this word is assumed to be from Farsi background as is the case in the following two pankitis:

ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਰਾਖਹੁ ਸਰਮ ਅਸਾੜੀ ਜੀਉ ॥4॥30॥37॥


ਸਰਮ ਪਈ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਰਿ ਪਈਆਹੁ ॥

As you can see this word is a noun in feminine gender above. This is evident from the use of padd-naavi visheshan ਅਸਾੜੀ in the case of first pankiti and the verb ਪਈ in the second pankiti.

The word also means shame as is in the following pankiti:

ਸਰਮ ਧਰਮ ਕਾ ਡੇਰਾ ਦੂਰਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੂੜੁ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥

Having said the above, this is one of those words that changes gender depending on the accent and geographical area. This is like the word ਦਹੀਂ which is spoken as masculine gender by Punjabis from rural backgrounds but I have heard people from cities speaking this word in feminine gender e.g. ਮੈਂ ਦਹੀਂ ਲੈਣੀ ਹੈ. It sounds so strange but this is how it is. Same way it seems like the word 'ਸਰਮ ' too is used as both masculine and feminine and Guru Sahib has recorded both of them in Gurbani.

Now when this word is used in the meanings of hard work or ਮਿਹਨਤ, then this word is assumed to be from Sanskrit background and is a noun in masculine gender. For this reason, this word typically should have an aunkad in the end, unless this aunkad is removed for one of the aunkad-removing conditions (that total about 6 or 7). Please ponder upon this pankiti in the shabad in question:

ਮਨੁ ਹਾਲੀ ਕਿਰਸਾਣੀ ਕਰਣੀ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਾਣੀ ਤਨੁ ਖੇਤੁ ॥
ਨਾਮੁ ਬੀਜੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸੁਹਾਗਾ ਰਖੁ ਗਰੀਬੀ ਵੇਸੁ ॥
ਭਾਉ ਕਰਮ ਕਰਿ ਜੰਮਸੀ ਸੇ ਘਰ ਭਾਗਠ ਦੇਖੁ ॥1॥

As you can notice, the word ਸਰਮੁ above has an aunkad in the end, making it clear that it means hard work or ਮਿਹਨਤ over here. But you are absolutely right in pointing out that this word when it appears with raara in the foot of Sassa, it is almost alway in the meaning of hard work. Let's look at more examples to see this word used in the meanings of hard work:

ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਖੁੰਬਿ ਚੜਾਈਐ ਸਰਮੁ ਪਾਹੁ ਤਨਿ ਹੋਇ ॥

Coming back to the question of whether this word ਸਰਮ in this shabad is used in the meanings of honour or hard work, we need to do some thinking about the context this is used in. If we do the meaning of honour for this word, then the meaning would be that Naam is the seed and Vaheguru's honour keeping quality is the water. This would take the focus away from the seeker to Vaheguru. But this shabad is geared towards the seeker and is teaching the seeker how to japp Naam. It is telling the seeker that along with the seed of Naam that has been sowed in the jeev at the time of amrit chhakking, one needs to do hard work of japping naam and otherwise doing devotional sewa. This serves as water that helps sprout the seed of Naam.

Rest Bhai, Gurbani Agam Agaadh Bodh hai. Guru Sahib diyaan Guru Sahib jee jaande hun.

Kulbir Singh


Re: Formula to meet Vaheguru
Posted by: gsingh (IP Logged)
Date: September 03, 2008 11:09AM

Interesting, I never thought to look at masculine and feminine. But since you said that this is one of the words that can go both ways in terms of gender, I was thinking that KIRSAANI KARNI,; SHARAM PAANI could be taken slightly different than how you interpreted. Karni could mean to do bhagti/abhyaas (I think you interpreted it as doing good karams) and saram could mean to keep your honour by staying away from bad karams. So make doing abhyaas of naam/bani your farming, and make saram in the sense of staying from bad karams your water. I believe these are more sampardiac type of arths, but as you said, bani is agaam agaadh bodh.


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