Asa di Var - the bani in English

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ballad of hope

The bani translated into English

(From SGGS Page 462 line 17 to page 475 line 10).

One Universal Creator God. Truth Is The Name. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying. Beyond Birth. Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace:

  • Aasaa, First Mehl:

Vaar With Shaloks, And Shaloks Written By The First Mehl. To Be Sung To The Tune Of 'Tunda-Asraajaa':

Part 1: Chant 1 - 4

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

A hundred times a day, I am a sacrifice to my Guru; He made angels out of men, without delay. ||1||

  • Second Mehl:

If a hundred moons were to rise, and a thousand suns appeared, even with such light, there would still be pitch darkness without the Guru. ||2||

  • First Mehl:

O Nanak, those who do not think of the Guru, and who think of themselves as clever, shall be left abandoned in the field, like the scattered sesame. They are abandoned in the field, says Nanak, and they have a hundred masters to please. The wretches bear fruit and flower, but within their bodies, they are filled with ashes. ||3||

  • Pauree:

He Himself created Himself; He Himself assumed His Name. Secondly, He fashioned the creation; seated within the creation, He beholds it with delight. You Yourself are the Giver and the Creator; by Your Pleasure, You bestow Your Mercy. You are the Knower of all; You give life, and take it away again with a word. Seated within the creation, You behold it with delight. ||1||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

True are Your worlds, True are Your solar Systems.

True are Your realms, True is Your creation.

True are Your actions, and all Your deliberations.

True is Your Command, and True is Your Court.

True is the Command of Your Will, True is Your Order.

True is Your Mercy, True is Your Insignia.

Hundreds of thousands and millions call You True.

In the True Lord is all power, in the True Lord is all might.

True is Your Praise, True is Your Adoration.

True is Your almighty creative power, True King.

O Nanak, true are those who meditate on the True One.

Those who are subject to birth and death are totally false. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

Great is His greatness, as great as His Name.

Great is His greatness, as True is His justice.

Great is His greatness, as permanent as His Throne.

Great is His greatness, as He knows our utterances.

Great is His greatness, as He understands all our affections.

Great is His greatness, as He gives without being asked.

Great is His greatness, as He Himself is all-in-all.

O Nanak, His actions cannot be described.

Whatever He has done, or will do, is all by His Own Will. ||2||

  • Second Mehl:

This world is the room of the True Lord; within it is the dwelling of the True Lord.

By His Command, some are merged into Him, and some, by His Command, are destroyed.

Some, by the Pleasure of His Will, are lifted up out of Maya, while others are made to dwell within it.

No one can say who will be rescued.

O Nanak, he alone is known as Gurmukh, unto whom the Lord reveals Himself. ||3||

  • Pauree:

O Nanak, having created the souls, the Lord installed the Righteous Judge of Dharma to read and record their accounts.

There, only the Truth is judged true; the sinners are picked out and separated.

The false find no place there, and they go to hell with their faces blackened.

Those who are imbued with Your Name win, while the cheaters lose.

The Lord installed the Righteous Judge of Dharma to read and record the accounts. ||2||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

Wonderful is the sound current of the Naad, wonderful is the knowledge of the Vedas.

Wonderful are the beings, wonderful are the species.

Wonderful are the forms, wonderful are the colors.

Wonderful are the beings who wander around naked.

Wonderful is the wind, wonderful is the water.

Wonderful is fire, which works wonders.

Wonderful is the earth, wonderful the sources of creation.

Wonderful are the tastes to which mortals are attached.

Wonderful is union, and wonderful is separation.

Wonderful is hunger, wonderful is satisfaction.

Wonderful is His Praise, wonderful is His adoration.

Wonderful is the wilderness, wonderful is the path.

Wonderful is closeness, wonderful is distance.

How wonderful to behold the Lord, ever-present here.

Beholding His wonders, I am wonder-struck.

O Nanak, those who understand this are blessed with perfect destiny. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

By His Power we see, by His Power we hear; by His Power we have fear, and the essence of happiness.

By His Power the nether worlds exist, and the Akaashic ethers; by His Power the entire creation exists.

By His Power the Vedas and the Puraanas exist, and the Holy Scriptures of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic religions. By His Power all deliberations exist.

By His Power we eat, drink and dress; by His Power all love exists.

- By His Power come the species of all kinds and colors; by His Power the living beings of the world exist.

By His Power virtues exist, and by His Power vices exist. By His Power come honor and dishonor.

By His Power wind, water and fire exist; by His Power earth and dust exist.

Everything is in Your Power, Lord; You are the all-powerful Creator. Your Name is the Holiest of the Holy.

O Nanak, through the Command of His Will, He beholds and pervades the creation; He is absolutely unrivalled. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Enjoying his pleasures, one is reduced to a pile of ashes, and the soul passes away.

He may be great, but when he dies, the chain is thrown around his neck, and he is led away.

There, his good and bad deeds are added up; sitting there, his account is read.

He is whipped, but finds no place of rest, and no one hears his cries of pain.

The blind man has wasted his life away. ||3||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

In the Fear of God, the wind and breezes ever blow.

In the Fear of God, thousands of rivers flow.

In the Fear of God, fire is forced to labor.

In the Fear of God, the earth is crushed under its burden.

In the Fear of God, the clouds move across the sky.

In the Fear of God, the Righteous Judge of Dharma stands at His Door.

In the Fear of God, the sun shines, and in the Fear of God, the moon reflects.

They travel millions of miles, endlessly.

In the Fear of God, the Siddhas exist, as do the Buddhas, the demi-gods and Yogis.

In the Fear of God, the Akaashic ethers are stretched across the sky.

In the Fear of God, the warriors and the most powerful heroes exist.

In the Fear of God, multitudes come and go.

God has inscribed the Inscription of His Fear upon the heads of all.

O Nanak, the Fearless Lord, the Formless Lord, the True Lord, is One. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

O Nanak, the Lord is fearless and formless; myriads of others, like Rama, are mere dust before Him.

There are so many stories of Krishna, so many who reflect over the Vedas.

So many beggars dance, spinning around to the beat.

The magicians perform their magic in the market place, creating a false illusion.

They sing as kings and queens, and speak of this and that.

They wear earrings, and necklaces worth thousands of dollars.

Those bodies on which they are worn, O Nanak, those bodies turn to ashes.

Wisdom cannot be found through mere words. To explain it is as hard as iron.

When the Lord bestows His Grace, then alone it is received; other tricks and orders are useless. ||2||

  • Pauree:

If the Merciful Lord shows His Mercy, then the True Guru is found.

This soul wandered through countless incarnations, until the True Guru instructed it in the Word of the Shabad.

There is no giver as great as the True Guru; hear this, all you people.

Meeting the True Guru, the True Lord is found; He removes self-conceit from within,

and instructs us in the Truth of Truths. ||4||

Part 2: Chant 5 - 8

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

All the hours are the milk-maids, and the quarters of the day are the Krishnas.

The wind, water and fire are the ornaments; the sun and moon are the incarnations.

All of the earth, property, wealth and articles are all entanglements.

O Nanak, without divine knowledge, one is plundered, and devoured by the Messenger of Death. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The disciples play the music, and the gurus dance.

They move their feet and roll their heads.

The dust flies and falls upon their hair.

Beholding them, the people laugh, and then go home.

They beat the drums for the sake of bread.

They throw themselves upon the ground.

They sing of the milk-maids, they sing of the Krishnas.

They sing of Sitas, and Ramas and kings.

The Lord is fearless and formless; His Name is True.

The entire universe is His Creation.

Those servants, whose destiny is awakened, serve the Lord.

The night of their lives is cool with dew; their minds are filled with love for the Lord.

Contemplating the Guru, I have been taught these teachings;

granting His Grace, He carries His servants across.

The oil-press, the spinning wheel, the grinding stones, the potter's wheel,

the numerous, countless whirlwinds in the desert,

the spinning tops, the churning sticks, the threshers,

the breathless tumblings of the birds,

and the men moving round and round on spindles

- O Nanak, the tumblers are countless and endless.

The Lord binds us in bondage - so do we spin around.

According to their actions, so do all people dance.

Those who dance and dance and laugh, shall weep on their ultimate departure.

They do not fly to the heavens, nor do they become Siddhas.

They dance and jump around on the urgings of their minds.

O Nanak, those whose minds are filled with the Fear of God, have the love of God in their minds as well. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Your Name is the Fearless Lord; chanting Your Name, one does not have to go to hell.

Soul and body all belong to Him; asking Him to give us sustenance is a waste.

If you yearn for goodness, then perform good deeds and feel humble.

Even if you remove the signs of old age, old age shall still come in the guise of death.

No one remains here when the count of the breaths is full. ||5||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

The Muslims praise the Islamic law; they read and reflect upon it.

The Lord's bound servants are those who bind themselves to see the Lord's Vision.

The Hindus praise the Praiseworthy Lord; the Blessed Vision of His Darshan, His form is incomparable.

They bathe at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, making offerings of flowers, and burning incense before idols.

The Yogis meditate on the absolute Lord there; they call the Creator the Unseen Lord.

But to the subtle image of the Immaculate Name, they apply the form of a body.

In the minds of the virtuous, contentment is produced, thinking about their giving.

They give and give, but ask a thousand-fold more, and hope that the world will honor them.

The thieves, adulterers, perjurers, evil-doers and sinners

- after using up what good karma they had, they depart; have they done any good deeds here at all?

There are beings and creatures in the water and on the land, in the worlds and universes, form upon form.

Whatever they say, You know; You care for them all.

O Nanak, the hunger of the devotees is to praise You; the True Name is their only support.

They live in eternal bliss, day and night; they are the dust of the feet of the virtuous. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The clay of the Muslim's grave becomes clay for the potter's wheel.

Pots and bricks are fashioned from it, and it cries out as it burns.

The poor clay burns, burns and weeps, as the fiery coals fall upon it.

O Nanak, the Creator created the creation; the Creator Lord alone knows. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Without the True Guru, no one has obtained the Lord; without the True Guru, no one has obtained the Lord.

He has placed Himself within the True Guru; revealing Himself, He declares this openly.

Meeting the True Guru, eternal liberation is obtained; He has banished attachment from within.

This is the highest thought, that one's consciousness is attached to the True Lord.

Thus the Lord of the World, the Great Giver is obtained. ||6||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

In ego they come, and in ego they go.

In ego they are born, and in ego they die.

In ego they give, and in ego they take.

In ego they earn, and in ego they lose.

In ego they become truthful or false.

In ego they reflect on virtue and sin.

In ego they go to heaven or hell.

In ego they laugh, and in ego they weep.

In ego they become dirty, and in ego they are washed clean.

In ego they lose social status and class.

In ego they are ignorant, and in ego they are wise.

They do not know the value of salvation and liberation.

In ego they love Maya, and in ego they are kept in darkness by it.

Living in ego, mortal beings are created.

When one understands ego, then the Lord's gate is known.

Without spiritual wisdom, they babble and argue.

O Nanak, by the Lord's Command, destiny is recorded.

As the Lord sees us, so are we seen. ||1||

  • Second Mehl:

This is the nature of ego, that people perform their actions in ego.

This is the bondage of ego, that time and time again, they are reborn.

Where does ego come from? How can it be removed?

This ego exists by the Lord's Order; people wander according to their past actions.

Ego is a chronic disease, but it contains its own cure as well.

If the Lord grants His Grace, one acts according to the Teachings of the Guru's Shabad.

Nanak says, listen, people: in this way, troubles depart. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Those who serve are content. They meditate on the Truest of the True.

They do not place their feet in sin, but do good deeds and live righteously in Dharma.

They burn away the bonds of the world, and eat a simple diet of grain and water.

You are the Great Forgiver; You give continually, more and more each day.

By His greatness, the Great Lord is obtained. ||7||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

Men, trees, sacred shrines of pilgrimage, banks of sacred rivers, clouds, fields, islands, continents, worlds, solar systems, and universes;

the four sources of creation - born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat;

oceans, mountains, and all beings - O Nanak, He alone knows their condition.

O Nanak, having created the living beings, He cherishes them all.

The Creator who created the creation, takes care of it as well.

He, the Creator who formed the world, cares for it.

Unto Him I bow and offer my reverence; His Royal Court is eternal.

O Nanak, without the True Name, of what use is the frontal mark of the Hindus, or their sacred thread? ||1||

  • First Mehl:

Hundreds of thousands of virtues and good actions, and hundreds of thousands of blessed charities,

hundreds of thousands of penances at sacred shrines, and the practice of Sehj Yoga in the wilderness,

hundreds of thousands of courageous actions and giving up the breath of life on the field of battle,

hundreds of thousands of divine understandings, hundreds of thousands of divine wisdoms and meditations and readings of the Vedas and the Puraanas - before the Creator who created the creation, and who ordained coming and going,

O Nanak, all these things are false. True is the Insignia of His Grace. ||2||

  • Pauree:

You alone are the True Lord. The Truth of Truths is pervading everywhere.

He alone receives the Truth, unto whom You give it; then, he practices Truth.

Meeting the True Guru, Truth is found. In His Heart, Truth is abiding.

The fools do not know the Truth. The self-willed manmukhs waste their lives away in vain.

Why have they even come into the world? ||8||

Part 3: Chant 9 - 12

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

You may read and read loads of books; you may read and study vast multitudes of books.

You may read and read boat-loads of books; you may read and read and fill pits with them.

You may read them year after year; you may read them as many months are there are.

You may read them all your life; you may read them with every breath.

O Nanak, only one thing is of any account: everything else is useless babbling and idle talk in ego. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The more one write and reads,

the more one burns.

The more one wanders at sacred shrines of pilgrimage,

the more one talks uselessly.

The more one wears religious robes, the more pain he causes his body.

O my soul, you must endure the consequences of your own actions.

One who does not eat the corn, misses out on the taste.

One obtains great pain, in the love of duality.

One who does not wear any clothes,

suffers night and day.

Through silence, he is ruined.

How can the sleeping one be awakened without the Guru?

One who goes barefoot

suffers by his own actions.

One who eats filth and throws ashes on his head

- the blind fool loses his honor.

Without the Name, nothing is of any use.

One who lives in the wilderness, in cemetaries and cremation grounds

- that blind man does not know the Lord; he regrets and repents in the end.

One who meets the True Guru finds peace.

He enshrines the Name of the Lord in his mind.

O Nanak, when the Lord grants His Grace, He is obtained.

He becomes free of hope and fear, and burns away his ego with the Word of the Shabad. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Your devotees are pleasing to Your Mind, Lord. They look beautiful at Your door, singing Your Praises.

O Nanak, those who are denied Your Grace, find no shelter at Your Door; they continue wandering.

Some do not understand their origins, and without cause, they display their self-conceit.

I am the Lord's minstrel, of low social status; others call themselves high caste.

I seek those who meditate on You. ||9||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

False is the king, false are the subjects; false is the whole world.

False is the mansion, false are the skyscrapers; false are those who live in them.

False is gold, and false is silver; false are those who wear them.

False is the body, false are the clothes; false is incomparable beauty.

False is the husband, false is the wife; they mourn and waste away.

The false ones love falsehood, and forget their Creator.

With whom should I become friends, if all the world shall pass away?

False is sweetness, false is honey; through falsehood, boat-loads of men have drowned.

Nanak speaks this prayer: without You, Lord, everything is totally false. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

One knows the Truth only when the Truth is in his heart.

The filth of falsehood departs, and the body is washed clean.

One knows the Truth only when he bears love to the True Lord.

Hearing the Name, the mind is enraptured; then, he attains the gate of salvation.

One knows the Truth only when he knows the true way of life.

Preparing the field of the body, he plants the Seed of the Creator.

One knows the Truth only when he receives true instruction.

Showing mercy to other beings, he makes donations to charities.

One knows the Truth only when he dwells in the sacred shrine of pilgrimage of his own soul.

He sits and receives instruction from the True Guru, and lives in accordance with His Will.

Truth is the medicine for all; it removes and washes away our sins.

Nanak speaks this prayer to those who have Truth in their laps. ||2||

  • Pauree:

The gift I seek is the dust of the feet of the Saints; if I were to obtain it, I would apply it to my forehead.

Renounce false greed, and meditate single-mindedly on the unseen Lord.

As are the actions we commit, so are the rewards we receive.

If it is so pre-ordained, then one obtains the dust of the feet of the Saints.

But through small-mindedness, we forfeit the merits of selfless service. ||10||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

There is a famine of Truth; falsehood prevails, and the blackness of the Dark Age of Kali Yuga has turned men into demons.

Those who planted their seed have departed with honor; now, how can the shattered seed sprout?

If the seed is whole, and it is the proper season, then the seed will sprout.

O Nanak, without treatment, the raw fabric cannot be dyed.

In the Fear of God it is bleached white, if the treatment of modesty is applied to the cloth of the body.

O Nanak, if one is imbued with devotional worship, his reputation is not false. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

Greed and sin are the king and prime minister; falsehood is the treasurer.

Sexual desire, the chief advisor, is summoned and consulted; they all sit together and contemplate their plans.

Their subjects are blind, and without wisdom, they try to please the will of the dead.

The spiritually wise dance and play their musical instruments, adorning themselves with beautiful decorations.

They shout out loud, and sing epic poems and heroic stories.

The fools call themselves spiritual scholars, and by their clever tricks, they love to gather wealth.

The righteous waste their righteousness, by asking for the door of salvation.

They call themselves celibate, and abandon their homes, but they do not know the true way of life.

Everyone calls himself perfect; none call themselves imperfect.

If the weight of honor is placed on the scale, then, O Nanak, one sees his true weight. ||2||

  • First Mehl:

Evil actions become publicly known; O Nanak, the True Lord sees everything.

Everyone makes the attempt, but that alone happens which the Creator Lord does.

In the world hereafter, social status and power mean nothing; hereafter, the soul is new.

Those few, whose honor is confirmed, are good. ||3||

  • Pauree:

Only those whose karma You have pre-ordained from the very beginning, O Lord, meditate on You.

Nothing is in the power of these beings; You created the various worlds.

Some, You unite with Yourself, and some, You lead astray.

By Guru's Grace You are known; through Him, You reveal Yourself.

We are easily absorbed in You. ||11||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

Suffering is the medicine, and pleasure the disease, because where there is pleasure, there is no desire for God.

You are the Creator Lord; I can do nothing. Even if I try, nothing happens. ||1||

I am a sacrifice to Your almighty creative power which is pervading everywhere.

Your limits cannot be known. ||1||Pause||

Your Light is in Your creatures, and Your creatures are in Your Light; Your almighty power is pervading everywhere.

You are the True Lord and Master; Your Praise is so beautiful. One who sings it, is carried across.

Nanak speaks the stories of the Creator Lord; whatever He is to do, He does. ||2||

  • Second Mehl:

The Way of Yoga is the Way of spiritual wisdom; the Vedas are the Way of the Brahmins.

The Way of the Khshatriya is the Way of bravery; the Way of the Shudras is service to others.

The Way of all is the Way of the One; Nanak is a slave to one who knows this secret; he himself is the Immaculate Divine Lord. ||3||

  • Second Mehl:

The One Lord Krishna is the Divine Lord of all; He is the Divinity of the individual soul.

Nanak is a slave to anyone who understands this mystery of the all-pervading Lord; he himself is the Immaculate Divine Lord. ||4||

  • First Mehl:

Water remains confined within the pitcher, but without water, the pitcher could not have been formed;

just so, the mind is restrained by spiritual wisdom, but without the Guru, there is no spiritual wisdom. ||5||

  • Pauree:

If an educated person is a sinner, then the illiterate holy man is not to be punished.

As are the deeds done, so is the reputation one acquires.

So do not play such a game, which will bring you to ruin at the Court of the Lord.

The accounts of the educated and the illiterate shall be judged in the world hereafter.

One who stubbornly follows his own mind shall suffer in the world hereafter. ||12||

Part 4: Chant 13 - 16

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

O Nanak, the soul of the body has one chariot and one charioteer.

In age after age they change; the spiritually wise understand this.

In the Golden Age of Sat Yuga, contentment was the chariot and righteousness the charioteer. In the Silver Age of Traytaa Yuga, celibacy was the chariot and power the charioteer.

In the Brass Age of Dwaapar Yuga, penance was the chariot and truth the charioteer.

In the Iron Age of Kali Yuga, fire is the chariot and falsehood the charioteer. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The Sama Veda says that the Lord Master is robed in white; in the Age of Truth, everyone desired Truth, abided in Truth, and was merged in the Truth.

The Rig Veda says that God is permeating and pervading everywhere; among the deities, the Lord's Name is the most exalted.

Chanting the Name, sins depart;

O Nanak, then, one obtains salvation.

In the Jujar Veda, Kaan Krishna of the Yaadva tribe seduced Chandraavali by force.

He brought the Elysian Tree for his milk-maid, and revelled in Brindaaban.

In the Dark Age of Kali Yuga, the Atharva Veda became prominent; Allah became the Name of God.

Men began to wear blue robes and garments; Turks and Pat'haans assumed power.

The four Vedas each claim to be true.

Reading and studying them, four doctrines are found.

With loving devotional worship, abiding in humility, O Nanak, salvation is attained. ||2||

  • Pauree:

I am a sacrifice to the True Guru; meeting Him, I have come to cherish the Lord Master.

He has taught me and given me the healing ointment of spiritual wisdom, and with these eyes, I behold the world.

Those dealers who abandon their Lord and Master and attach themselves to another, are drowned.

The True Guru is the boat, but few are those who realize this.

Granting His Grace, He carries them across. ||13||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

The simmal tree is straight as an arrow; it is very tall, and very thick. But those birds which visit it hopefully, depart disappointed.

Its fruits are tasteless, its flowers are nauseating, and its leaves are useless.

Sweetness and humility, O Nanak, are the essence of virtue and goodness. Everyone bows down to himself; no one bows down to another.

When something is placed on the balancing scale and weighed, the side which descends is heavier.

The sinner, like the deer hunter, bows down twice as much.

But what can be achieved by bowing the head, when the heart is impure? ||1||

  • First Mehl:

You read your books and say your prayers, and then engage in debate;

you worship stones and sit like a stork, pretending to be in Samaadhi.

With your mouth you utter falsehood, and you adorn yourself with precious decorations;

you recite the three lines of the Gayatri three times a day.

Around your neck is a rosary, and on your forehead is a sacred mark;

upon your head is a turban, and you wear two loin cloths.

If you knew the nature of God,

you would know that all of these beliefs and rituals are in vain.

Says Nanak, meditate with deep faith;

without the True Guru, no one finds the Way. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Abandoning the world of beauty, and beautiful clothes, one must depart.

He obtains the rewards of his good and bad deeds.

He may issue whatever commands he wishes, but he shall have to take to the narrow path hereafter.

He goes to hell naked, and he looks hideous then.

He regrets the sins he committed. ||14||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

Make compassion the cotton, contentment the thread, modesty the knot and truth the twist.

This is the sacred thread of the soul; if you have it, then go ahead and put it on me.

It does not break, it cannot be soiled by filth, it cannot be burnt, or lost.

Blessed are those mortal beings, O Nanak, who wear such a thread around their necks.

You buy the thread for a few shells, and seated in your enclosure, you put it on.

Whispering instructions into others' ears, the Brahmin becomes a guru.

But he dies, and the sacred thread falls away, and the soul departs without it. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

He commits thousands of robberies, thousands of acts of adultery, thousands of falsehoods and thousands of abuses.

He practices thousands of deceptions and secret deeds, night and day, against his fellow beings.

The thread is spun from cotton, and the Brahmin comes and twists it. The goat is killed, cooked and eaten, and everyone then says, "Put on the sacred thread."

When it wears out, it is thrown away, and another one is put on.

O Nanak, the thread would not break, if it had any real strength. ||2||

  • First Mehl:

Believing in the Name, honor is obtained. The Lord's Praise is the true sacred thread.

Such a sacred thread is worn in the Court of the Lord; it shall never break. ||3||

  • First Mehl:

There is no sacred thread for the sexual organ, and no thread for woman. The man's beard is spat upon daily.

There is no sacred thread for the feet, and no thread for the hands; no thread for the tongue, and no thread for the eyes.

The Brahmin himself goes to the world hereafter without a sacred thread. Twisting the threads, he puts them on others.

He takes payment for performing marriages;

reading their horoscopes, he shows them the way.

Hear, and see, O people, this wondrous thing.

He is mentally blind, and yet his name is wisdom. ||4||

  • Pauree:

One, upon whom the Merciful Lord bestows His Grace, performs His service.

That servant, whom the Lord causes to obey the Order of His Will, serves Him.

Obeying the Order of His Will, he becomes acceptable, and then, he obtains the Mansion of the Lord's Presence.

One who acts to please His Lord and Master, obtains the fruits of his mind's desires.

Then, he goes to the Court of the Lord, wearing robes of honor. ||15||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

They tax the cows and the Brahmins, but the cow-dung they apply to their kitchen will not save them.

They wear their loin cloths, apply ritual frontal marks to their foreheads, and carry their rosaries, but they eat food with the Muslims.

O Siblings of Destiny, you perform devotional worship indoors, but read the Islamic sacred texts, and adopt the Muslim way of life.

Renounce your hypocrisy!

Taking the Naam, the Name of the Lord, you shall swim across. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The man-eaters say their prayers.

Those who wield the knife wear the sacred thread around their necks.

In their homes, the Brahmins sound the conch.

They too have the same taste.

False is their capital, and false is their trade.

Speaking falsehood, they take their food.

The home of modesty and Dharma is far from them.

O Nanak, they are totally permeated with falsehood.

The sacred marks are on their foreheads, and the saffron loin-cloths are around their waists;

in their hands they hold the knives - they are the butchers of the world!

Wearing blue robes, they seek the approval of the Muslim rulers.

Accepting bread from the Muslim rulers, they still worship the Puraanas.

They eat the meat of the goats, killed after the Muslim prayers are read over them,

but they do not allow anyone else to enter their kitchen areas.

They draw lines around them, plastering the ground with cow-dung.

The false come and sit within them.

They cry out, "Do not touch our food, or it will be polluted!"

But with their polluted bodies, they commit evil deeds.

With filthy minds, they try to cleanse their mouths.

Says Nanak, meditate on the True Lord.

If you are pure, you will obtain the True Lord. ||2||

  • Pauree:

All are within Your mind; You see and move them under Your Glance of Grace, O Lord.

You Yourself grant them glory, and You Yourself cause them to act.

The Lord is the greatest of the great; great is His world. He enjoins all to their tasks.

If he should cast an angry glance, He can transform kings into blades of grass.

Even though they may beg from door to door, no one will give them charity. ||16||

Part 5: Chant 17 - 20

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

The thief robs a house, and offers the stolen goods to his ancestors.

In the world hereafter, this is recognized, and his ancestors are considered thieves as well.

The hands of the go-between are cut off; this is the Lord's justice.

O Nanak, in the world hereafter, that alone is received, which one gives to the needy from his own earnings and labor. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

As a woman has her periods, month after month,

so does falsehood dwell in the mouth of the false; they suffer forever, again and again.

They are not called pure, who sit down after merely washing their bodies.

Only they are pure, O Nanak, within whose minds the Lord abides. ||2||

  • Pauree:

With saddled horses, as fast as the wind, and harems decorated in every way;

in houses and pavilions and lofty mansions, they dwell, making ostentatious shows.

They act out their minds' desires, but they do not understand the Lord, and so they are ruined.

Asserting their authority, they eat, and beholding their mansions, they forget about death.

But old age comes, and youth is lost. ||17||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

If one accepts the concept of impurity, then there is impurity everywhere.

In cow-dung and wood there are worms.

As many as are the grains of corn, none is without life.

First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is made green.

How can it be protected from impurity? It touches our own kitchen.

O Nanak, impurity cannot be removed in this way; it is washed away only by spiritual wisdom. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

The impurity of the mind is greed, and the impurity of the tongue is falsehood.

The impurity of the eyes is to gaze upon the beauty of another man's wife, and his wealth.

The impurity of the ears is to listen to the slander of others.

O Nanak, the mortal's soul goes, bound and gagged to the city of Death. ||2||

First Mehl:

All impurity comes from doubt and attachment to duality.

Birth and death are subject to the Command of the Lord's Will; through His Will we come and go.

Eating and drinking are pure, since the Lord gives nourishment to all.

O Nanak, the Gurmukhs, who understand the Lord, are not stained by impurity. ||3||

  • Pauree:

Praise the Great True Guru; within Him is the greatest greatness.

When the Lord causes us to meet the Guru, then we come to see them. When it pleases Him, they come to dwell in our minds.

By His Command, when He places His hand on our foreheads, wickedness departs from within.

When the Lord is thoroughly pleased, the nine treasures are obtained. ||18||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

First, purifying himself, the Brahmin comes and sits in his purified enclosure.

The pure foods, which no one else has touched, are placed before him.

Being purified, he takes his food, and begins to read his sacred verses.

But it is then thrown into a filthy place - whose fault is this?

The corn is sacred, the water is sacred; the fire and salt are sacred as well; when the fifth thing, the ghee, is added, then the food becomes pure and sanctified.

Coming into contact with the sinful human body, the food becomes so impure that is is spat upon.

That mouth which does not chant the Naam, and without the Name eats tasty foods - O Nanak, know this: such a mouth is to be spat upon. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.

Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.

When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.

So why call her bad? From her, kings are born.

From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all.

O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman.

That mouth which praises the Lord continually is blessed and beautiful.

O Nanak, those faces shall be radiant in the Court of the True Lord. ||2||

  • Pauree:

All call You their own, Lord; one who does not own You, is picked up and thrown away.

Everyone receives the rewards of his own actions; his account is adjusted accordingly.

Since one is not destined to remain in this world anyway, why should he ruin himself in pride?

Do not call anyone bad; read these words, and understand.

Don't argue with fools. ||19||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

O Nanak, speaking insipid words, the body and mind become insipid.

He is called the most insipid of the insipid; the most insipid of the insipid is his reputation.

The insipid person is discarded in the Court of the Lord, and the insipid one's face is spat upon.

The insipid one is called a fool; he is beaten with shoes in punishment. ||1||

  • First Mehl:

Those who are false within, and honorable on the outside, are very common in this world.

Even though they may bathe at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage, still, their filth does not depart.

Those who have silk on the inside and rags on the outside, are the good ones in this world.

They embrace love for the Lord, and contemplate beholding Him.

In the Lord's Love, they laugh, and in the Lord's Love, they weep, and also keep silent.

They do not care for anything else, except their True Husband Lord.

Sitting, waiting at the Lord's Door, they beg for food, and when He gives to them, they eat.

There is only One Court of the Lord, and He has only one pen; there, you and I shall meet.

In the Court of the Lord, the accounts are examined; O Nanak, the sinners are crushed, like oil seeds in the press. ||2||

  • Pauree:

You Yourself created the creation; You Yourself infused Your power into it.

You behold Your creation, like the losing and winning dice of the earth.

Whoever has come, shall depart; all shall have their turn.

He who owns our soul, and our very breath of life - why should we forget that Lord and Master from our minds?

With our own hands, let us resolve our own affairs. ||20||

Part 6: Chant 21 - 24

  • Shalok, Second Mehl:

What sort of love is this, which clings to duality?

O Nanak, he alone is called a lover, who remains forever immersed in absorption.

But one who feels good only when good is done for him, and feels bad when things go badly

- do not call him a lover. He trades only for his own account. ||1||

  • Second Mehl:

One who offers both respectful greetings and rude refusal to his master, has gone wrong from the very beginning.

O Nanak, both of his actions are false; he obtains no place in the Court of the Lord. ||2||

  • Pauree:

Serving Him, peace is obtained; meditate and dwell upon that Lord and Master forever.

Why do you do such evil deeds, that you shall have to suffer so?

Do not do any evil at all; look ahead to the future with foresight.

So throw the dice in such a way, that you shall not lose with your Lord and Master.

Do those deeds which shall bring you profit. ||21||

  • Shalok, Second Mehl:

If a servant performs service, while being vain and argumentative,

he may talk as much as he wants, but he shall not be pleasing to his Master.

But if he eliminates his self-conceit and then performs service, he shall be honored.

O Nanak, if he merges with the one with whom he is attached, his attachment becomes acceptable. ||1||

  • Second Mehl:

Whatever is in the mind, comes forth; spoken words by themselves are just wind.

He sows seeds of poison, and demands Ambrosial Nectar. Behold - what justice is this? ||2||

  • Second Mehl:

Friendship with a fool never works out right.

As he knows, he acts; behold, and see that it is so.

One thing can be absorbed into another thing, but duality keeps them apart.

No one can issue commands to the Lord Master; offer instead humble prayers.

Practicing falsehood, only falsehood is obtained. O Nanak, through the Lord's Praise, one blossoms forth. ||3||

  • Second Mehl:

Friendship with a fool, and love with a pompous person,

are like lines drawn in water, leaving no trace or mark. ||4||

  • Second Mehl:

If a fool does a job, he cannot do it right.

Even if he does something right, he does the next thing wrong. ||5||

  • Pauree:

If a servant, performing service, obeys the Will of his Master,

his honor increases, and he receives double his wages.

But if he claims to be equal to his Master, he earns his Master's displeasure.

He loses his entire salary, and is also beaten on his face with shoes.

Let us all celebrate Him, from whom we receive our nourishment.

O Nanak, no one can issue commands to the Lord Master; let us offer prayers instead. ||22||

  • Shalok, Second Mehl:

What sort of gift is this, which we receive only by our own asking?

O Nanak, that is the most wonderful gift, which is received from the Lord, when He is totally pleased. ||1||

Second Mehl:

What sort of service is this, by which the fear of the Lord Master does not depart?

O Nanak, he alone is called a servant, who merges with the Lord Master. ||2||

  • Pauree:

O Nanak, the Lord's limits cannot be known; He has no end or limitation.

He Himself creates, and then He Himself destroys.

Some have chains around their necks, while some ride on many horses.

He Himself acts, and He Himself causes us to act. Unto whom should I complain?

O Nanak, the One who created the creation - He Himself takes care of it. ||23||

  • Shalok, First Mehl:

He Himself fashioned the vessel of the body, and He Himself fills it.

Into some, milk is poured, while others remain on the fire.

Some lie down and sleep on soft beds, while others remain watchful.

He adorns those, O Nanak, upon whom He casts His Glance of Grace. ||1||

  • Second Mehl:

He Himself creates and fashions the world, and He Himself keeps it in order.

Having created the beings within it, He oversees their birth and death.

Unto whom should we speak, O Nanak, when He Himself is all-in-all? ||2||

  • Pauree:

The description of the greatness of the Great Lord cannot be described.

He is the Creator, all-lowerful and benevolent; He gives sustenance to all beings.

The mortal does that work, which has been pre-destined from the very beginning.

O Nanak, except for the One Lord, there is no other place at all.

He does whatever He wills. ||24||1|| Sudh||

See also