These blogs are derived from Sri Guru’s Satsangs on Shri Japji Sahib, giving a brief interpretation of the Pauris by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. For a deeper understanding, we encourage you to watch the Japji Sahib series on YouTube.
सुणिऐ सिध पीर सुरि नाथ ॥सुणिऐ धरति धवल आकास ॥सुणिऐ दीप लोअ पाताल ॥सुणिऐ पोहि न सकै कालु ॥नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥८॥
In the preceding Pauris, Guru Nanak Dev Ji described Guru as a medium through which the divine Grace reaches a disciple. Along with that, we learned about the fruitlessness of our worldly possessions and accomplishments. Continuing further, Guru Nanak Dev Ji now propounds on the importance of Shravan (listening). Most of us regard the mere act of hearing a sound as listening. But with Shravan, the upcoming Pauris are referring to something deeper and more meaningful. Such is its relevance, that Guru Nanak Dev has expanded on the outcome of Shravan in in not just one but four consecutive verses. Through Shravan, we can establish communion with God, rise above our physical boundaries, and invoke cosmic awareness. Shravan has to be experienced from a purer source, a living Master.
सुणिऐ सिध पीर सुरि नाथ ॥ Through Shravan, we attain spiritual elevation as attained by Siddhas, Peers, Suras and Naths.
सुणिऐ धरति धवल आकास ॥Shravan unveils the mysteries of the earth, the skies and of all that lies in between.
सुणिऐ दीप लोअ पाताल ॥Shravan uncovers the mysteries of Deep (land), Loa (heaven) and Pataal (netherworld). In other words, Shravan helps us understand the entire cosmos.
सुणिऐ पोहि न सकै कालु ॥Through Shravan, we rid ourselves of the fear of Kaal (death). Shravan introduces us to the all-pervading consciousness that is free from the bounds of time. Through Shravan, we understand that it is only the body that dies, not the soul.
नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥Says Guru Nanak, that Shravan transforms us into a devotee (Bhagat), one who progresses from the limiting dualities of life to experience the joys of Oneness, one who is ever-evolving by nature and one who spreads the fragrance of that divinity all around.
सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥८॥As per the principle of cause and effect, all our sorrows (effect) are an outcome of our sins (cause). Through Shravan, our sins and sorrows are dissipated.
सुणिऐ ईसरु बरमा इंदु ॥सुणिऐ मुखि सालाहण मंदु ॥सुणिऐ जोग जुगति तनि भेद ॥सुणिऐ सासत सिम्रिति वेद ॥नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥९॥
सुणिऐ ईसरु बरमा इंदु ॥Guru Nanak Dev says that through Shravan, we rise to a level of consciousness equivalent to that of Shiva, Brahma and Indra or get a true understanding of their forms. These prominent deities – Brahma, the force of creation, Shiva, the force of dissolution and Indra, the force that provides rains for the sustenance of life. In a way, it also means that by attaining these elevated levels of consciousness, we gain the strength to eliminate our vices and embrace virtues.
सुणिऐ मुखि सालाहण मंदु ॥Through Shravan, our entire outlook becomes such that we find everything praiseworthy, even the most mundane things. The tendency to constantly find flaws and shortcomings reduces gradually. It gets replaced by the ability to see the good and virtuous in everything.
सुणिऐ जोग जुगति तनि भेद ॥Shravan reveals the deepest insights and mysteries associated with Yoga, the body and the Self.
सुणिऐ सासत सिम्रिति वेद ॥Through Shravan, we understand the true essence of the Shastras, Smritis and Vedas.
सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥९॥Shravan eliminates all our sins and sorrows.
सुणिऐ सतु संतोखु गिआनु ॥सुणिऐ अठसठि का इसनानु ॥सुणिऐ पड़ि पड़ि पावहि मानु ॥सुणिऐ लागै सहजि धिआनु ॥नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥१०॥
सुणिऐ सतु संतोखु गिआनु ॥Through Shravan, we attain such a state where we become the abode of Sat (Eternal Truth), Santosh (Contentment) and Gyana (Knowledge). This state further blossoms to a point where we start giving back the knowledge out of compassion towards those who wish to walk the path of God.
सुणिऐ अठसठि का इसनानु ॥Shravan leads to purity in experience. This purity, Guru Nanak Dev says, is equivalent to ablution (Snana) at the sixty-eight holy pilgrimages (which as per Hindu philosophy are considered auspicious). With Shravan, we need not spend years visiting one holy site after another, with the aim of liberating ourselves from vices. Shravan in itself has that power to transform.
सुणिऐ पड़ि पड़ि पावहि मानु ॥Through Shravan, we receive the wisdom and understanding that would have taken years and years of reading & contemplation of scriptures. Thus, Shravan eases the way for us seekers.
सुणिऐ लागै सहजि धिआनु ॥Through Shravan, attaining that inherent state of Sat-Chit-Anand (Conscious-Eternal-Bliss) becomes effortless.
सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥१०॥ Shravan eliminates all our sins and sorrows.
सुणिऐ सरा गुणा के गाह ॥सुणिऐ सेख पीर पातिसाह ॥सुणिऐ अंधे पावहि राहु ॥सुणिऐ हाथ होवै असगाहु ॥नानक भगता सदा विगासु ॥सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥११॥
सुणिऐ सरा गुणा के गाह ॥Through Shravan, the Guna (virtues) turns into Sad-guna. In other words, they get manifested at deeper levels and eventually become consistent with our very nature, unperturbed by external circumstances.
सुणिऐ सेख पीर पातिसाह ॥Through Shravan, we gain enough willpower, wisdom, clarity and self-control to command different situations like rulers (Sheikhs, Pirs and Badshahs) have done in past.
सुणिऐ अंधे पावहि राहु ॥Through Shravan, even those who are ignorant, pathless, having no spiritual inclinations can find their way to realization of the Supreme. In other words, one can overcome any form of obstacle or impediment through Shravan.
सुणिऐ हाथ होवै असगाहु ॥Shravan takes us to the depth of wisdom and experience.
सुणिऐ दूख पाप का नासु ॥११॥ Shravan eliminates all our sins and sorrows.
Through above four Pauris, Guru Nanak Dev vividly conveys the significance of Shravan (Listening) as a way of uncovering profound wisdom & experiences, and being one with the Supreme. It is not about just ‘hearing’ the Guru’s words or acknowledging them at surface level. Shravan is that which takes us to our inner silence, away from the trivial matters of the outer world and from the noise of the worthless thoughts within. It is a virtue that has to be invoked and nurtured, for it has the power to expand our consciousness and align us with God’s Hukam.
मंने की गति कही न जाइ ॥जे को कहै पिछै पछुताइ ॥कागदि कलम न लिखणहारु ॥मंने का बहि करनि वीचारु ॥ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ॥१२॥
Here in the subsequent four Pauris, Guru Nanak Dev describes the state of one who has attuned with the God’s Hukam. He refers to this as Mannay, commonly known as Manan. Although the literal meaning of Manan is to contemplate or reflect, the spiritual significance is much deeper. From a spiritual perspective, it means to align our will with God’s and to transcend the mind. Like Shravan, the virtue of Manan too bears many fruits. The journey from Shravan to Manan happens through Experience, in the guidance of a Living Master (Pratyaksh Guru).
मंने की गति कही न जाइ ॥The elevated state of one who has gone beyond the mind, who has made the Divine Will his own through Manan, is indescribable.
जे को कहै पिछै पछुताइ ॥No matter how much we try to put into words the wonders of Manan, all such efforts are inadequate. Even the enlightened beings sometimes regret their attempts to verbalize it, for the truth about that state cannot be conveyed with words. It remains a matter of experience.
कागदि कलम न लिखणहारु ॥No amount of paper, ink or writing prowess would suffice in describing the such a state.
मंने का बहि करनि वीचारु ॥The one who has transcended beyond the mind has certainly surpassed all thoughts (Vichaar). And when there are no thoughts, then what is there to describe!
ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥Manan wipes off all the spots and blemishes of Karma from the fabric of our being. In other words, such a being who has savored this state of Manan, becomes Niranjan (flawless, spotless).
जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१२॥The one who has mastered the virtue of Manan, who has become Niranjan, is the only one who attains that state of oneness.
मंनै सुरति होवै मनि बुधि ॥मंनै सगल भवण की सुधि ॥मंनै मुहि चोटा ना खाइ ॥मंनै जम कै साथि न जाइ ॥ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१३॥
मंनै सुरति होवै मनि बुधि ॥Through Manan, we awaken our Mann (mind) and Buddhi (intellect). Both these attributes of Self, which mostly remained in a state of unconsciousness owing to the worldly entanglements, attain Surati (awareness). Once this Surati begins to manifest and further grows and spreads, our consciousness elevates to the universal level and we move a step closer to the experience of God.
मंनै सगल भवण की सुधि ॥Through Manan, everything that was invisible, incomprehensible due to our ignorance and narrow perspective, becomes clear. We develop an understanding of the nature of Self, the world around us and the entire existence. It also throws light on the constant rise and fall of our innermost vices & virtues.
मंनै मुहि चोटा ना खाइ ॥Through Manan, we do not fall prey to the hurt inflicted by the people, situations or emotions. In other words, we become free from sorrow and suffering. Manan raises the level of consciousness, such that we are not afraid of facing any obstacles or overcoming challenges in life. With Manan, we becomes truly undefeated.
मंनै जम कै साथि न जाइ ॥Manan eliminates the fear of death. We understands that the Soul is what we really are, and that never dies. Death is a mere doorway to next stage of our journey towards merging with the Supreme. With Manan, one embraces death whenever it arrives.
ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥Such a being who has savored this state of Manan, becomes Niranjan (flawless, spotless).
जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१३॥The one who has mastered the virtue of Manan, who has become Niranjan, is the only one who attains that state of oneness.
मंनै मारगि ठाक न पाइ ॥मंनै पति सिउ परगटु जाइ ॥मंनै मगु न चलै पंथु ॥मंनै धरम सेती सनबंधु ॥ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१४॥
मंनै मारगि ठाक न पाइ ॥Through Manan, our perspective transforms, for we begin to see obstacles as opportunities to evolve. The tendency to complain or resist challenging circumstances drops. Thus, when there remains no obstacle, we keep progressing to higher states of experience unhindered.
मंनै पति सिउ परगटु जाइ ॥Through Manan, we receive the respect and admiration from everywhere. People are drawn to the purity in our words, actions, behavior and the entire personality. Alternatively, such a being has respect for all aspects and situations of life.
मंनै मगु न चलै पंथु ॥Through Manan, we become mindful against the multitude of misleading ways preached & practiced by various sects. We does not bother as to which sect is good or bad, for we get clarity of the universal path in its true sense.
मंनै धरम सेती सनबंधु ॥Through Manan, we align with the universal Dharma of oneness and favor the Sambandh (connection) with God over sectarian rituals and beliefs.
जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१४॥The one who has mastered the virtue of Manan, who has become Niranjan, is the only one who attains that state of oneness.
मंनै पावहि मोखु दुआरु ॥मंनै परवारै साधारु ॥मंनै तरै तारे गुरु सिख ॥मंनै नानक भवहि न भिख ॥ऐसा नामु निरंजनु होइ ॥जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१५॥
मंनै पावहि मोखु दुआरु ॥Manan shows the extent to which we are entangled in Maya (illusion) in the form of worldly desires, expectations and materialistic pursuits. This realization is what fuels our efforts to awaken and rise above such entanglements, till we arrive at the doors of liberation. Thus, Manan builds the preparedness within, till one finally attains liberation.
मंनै परवारै साधारु ॥Through Manan, whoever receives the path to liberation, inspires those around him and also the forthcoming generations to embrace this path.
मंनै तरै तारे गुरु सिख ॥Through Manan, one traverses the path of liberation and guides others too with love and compassion, for the divine light of Guru Tatva has been enkindled within such a being.
मंनै नानक भवहि न भिख ॥Through Manan, the need for materialistic ambitions, desires and accomplishments diminishes. We neither wander here and there begging for worldly pleasure, nor do we have to search for the joys within. We reach the state where all begging and seeking stops, where there is only boundless happiness.
जे को मंनि जाणै मनि कोइ ॥१५॥The one who has mastered the virtue of Manan, who has become Niranjan, is the only one who attains that state of oneness.
With above four Pauris, Guru Nanak Dev describes the state of a seeker who has attuned with the Divine Will through Manan, a state where one transcends the mind, where his entire perspective transforms. At this stage, we rise above the forces of worldly illusion and duality, and advances towards Oneness. Manan must be preceded by experience. Without experience, Manan cannot occur and without Manan, Oneness cannot be attained. This is why we need a Guru, an enlightened being who has mastered the phase of experience, who compassionate guides us through that phase with their aura, love and wisdom. By following the Master’s teachings, by invoking devotion towards them, the journey from Shravan to experience and experience to Manan becomes easier.
Have a deeper understanding of above Pauris through Sri Guru’s Satsang on Japji Sahib:
Compiled by Bharat Bhushan Prabhu
Bliss of Wisdom is a blog for seekers who are in search of their real Self. It is published by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Delhi – a spiritual revolutionary movement founded by Sri Guru. She is a spiritual Master who has transformed innumerable lives through her logical explanations and effective meditation techniques. To know more, visit srmdelhi.org
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