Selections from the sacred writings of the sikhs

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He has never encountered sorrow and anguish,
He has never been troubled by the thought of death.
Night and day he gives to pleasure.
Everything he takes as his own,
And his conscience never pricks him.
Yet if such a man remember not the Lord,
He shall be victim of death’s demons.

The man on whom God showers mercy


Enters into the company of the Lord’s saints,
The more he frequents the company of the saints
The deeper grows his love for the Lord.
Our Lord is the Lord of both the worlds,
He is our only stronghold.
When the true Lord is pleased, saith Nanak,
The Divine Name is attained.
Sri Rag, page 70

3

khojat khojat darsan cahe



Dark wood after dark wood I have groped through,
In my longing, O Lord, to behold Thee,
Is there anyone who will make me one with the Lord,
Who is both the unmanifest and the manifest?
One may know by heart and give lectures on the six
Hindu Systems; One may have mastered all the liturgies,
Have the proper caste-mark on one’s forehead,
Have bathed at all the places of pilgrimages,
Be a yogi adept in yogic feats and postures,
And yet not so will one attain the peace of mind.
For years one may practise austerities,
And repeat holy words,
And wander all over the world
Yet though one is such a Yogi,
One’s mind will remain restless
Not for one moment will it attain peace.
But God in His mercy
Has made me encounter a Saint.
My mind and body are joyous;
There is peace established within me.
The Immortal Lord now in my heart indwelleth,
Nanak singeth the songs of the Lord’s glory.

Rag Majh, page 98

4
sabh kich ghar mai bahar nahi

Everything is within oneself, nothing outside oneself,

He who seeketh the Lord outside Himself is lost in doubt;
He who by the Guru’s grace hath attained to God within

himself Is happy in himself, and in the world beyond him is happy.

Jhim, Jhim, the nectar falls like rain within him,
The mind drinketh it and hearkens to and contemplates the

Word. Day and night it rejoiceth And it sporteth ever with God.

Separated from God through many deaths and births,
I have now met Him and I by the Guru’s grace,
Though I was as the dry tree, am now green again.
Having encountered the Guru,
I have attained to wisdom
And I contemplate the Name
As waves blend with water,
So my light is blended with the Lord’s Light.
Saith Nanak: The doors of delusion have been destroyed
No longer shall the soul wander or be separated from Thee.

Rag Majh, page 102

5

tu mera pita ta hai mera mata


Thou art my father,
Thou art my mother,
Thou art my brother,
Thou art my kin,
In all places Thou art my Saviour,
What should I fear and why should I repine?

Through Thy grace


Have r grasped Thee,
Thou art my covert,
Thou art my pride,
There is none beside Thee.
The whole Universe is the field of Thy sport.

Thou hast created all creatures big and small,


To each allotted his task
According to Thy Will.

All that is done is Thy doing, There is naught that we can do.

Meditating on Thy Name I attain the height of happiness; Exalting Thee in Song I am brimmed full of bliss. By the grace of the perfect Guru My heart is made full of rejoicings Saith Nanak, and Victory has been won.

Rag Majh., page 103

6

BARAMAHA MAJH



(i)
kirt karm ke vichde
We are set apart from Thee,

Because of our own past deeds;

Lord, through Thine unbounded mercy
Make us again one with Thee.
Weary of wandering endlessly:
North, south, east, west
We have come, Lord, to take refuge in Thee.
A cow that gives no milk is useless.
Unless a plant has water, it shrivels and bears no fruit,
Unless man meets his Friend and Master.
The home, the husband comes not to,
That home is like a burning furnace,
All ornamentation, all smearing of the lips with betel,
Like the body itself are short lived.
Unless the Beloved Friend dwells within us,
Our companions and our dear ones are like demons;
Nanak thus prayeth:
Lord, through Thy mercy, grant me Thy holy Name;
Unto me with my Beloved Friend whose home is eternal.

(ii)
savan sarsi kamni

It is the rainy month of Savan,
The hearts of those brides
That love His lotus feet have blossomed,
The light of Truth has been infused
Into their bodies and minds;
They are nourished only by the Holy Name,
All earthly joys are of a fading colour;
They pass, they become dust;
But nectar is drunk by those
Whom the man of God inspires;
The trees and even the humble herbs of the fields
Are freshened by the rain of the Lord’s love,
Who is Infinite and all-powerful.
My soul yearneth to meet the Lord,
Through Grace He can be met.
And, O Friend, may I be a sacrifice
Ever unto him who hath attained the Lord.
Saith Nanak, When God showeth grace
He can be grasped through the Word.
The rainy month of Savan is a delight to the brides,
Within whose hearts the Holy Name indwelleth.

Rag Majh, page 133

7
vade vade jo disai log


Those who appear great men in the world’s eyes
Have a life ever cankered with anxious care;
Who can be truly great for his wealth alone?

He is great who single-mindedly loves the Lord.

The land owners are always fighting for more land,
Their thirst is unquenched till it is time to leave and go,
Nanak saith: The heart of the matter is,
Without fixing the mind on God, there is no salvation.

Rag Gauri, page 188

8
karai duhkarm dikhavai hor


Though a man on earth do evil deeds
And outwardly seem virtuous
In God’s Court he shall be handcuffed like a thief;
He is truly the Lord’s man,
Who remembers Him all the time;
The one Lord pervades the earth, the sea and the sky,
The Lord’s is the one moving spirit.
He who with venom in his heart Speaketh in honeyed words,
In Yama’s court he shall be bound
And beaten for his hypocrisy.
The hypocrite sins in various ways,
But always sins secretly;
Yet in an instant his guile
Shall be made known to the world.
SaithNanak: That man in whose heart Truth indwelleth,
Is as a man made drunk with the Divine Name,
He is blessed with the Grace of God.

Rag Gauri, page 194

9
jab eh man mai kart gumana


When a man’s mind entertains vanity,
His self-conceit makes him mad; He wanders in error.
When he thinks himself as the dust under anyone’s feet,
Then he beholds the Lord in everyone,
The fruit of humility is unforced joy:
This is the gift the Guru has bestowed on me.
When a man judges his neighbour to be evil,
He is himself the victim of evil thoughts.
When he discards the distinction of ‘mine’ and ‘thine’
No man is then his enemy.

When a man clamours: ‘It is mine, it is mine’.


Then he is in the midst of many troubles.
When he recognizes the Supreme Giver and Doer,
Then he is free from pain and free from sorrow.
When a man binds himself to worldly attachments,

He is caught up in the endless cycles of deaths and rebirths’

When all his worldly delusions are dissipated,
He attains to oneness with God.
When a man considers his selfhood as separate from God’s
He suffers agony and grief. Should he recognize the One Spirit.
Then he has grasped the Ground of all Manifestation.
The hunger for worldly wealth is never satisfied,
The world’s thirst is not quenched;
But let a man detach himself from worldly attachments,
And after his trial he shall prosper.
When through the Lord’s Infinite Mercy in the mind’s temple
I encountered the True Guru,
The lamp of wisdom was lighted.
I understood then what victory and defeat are,
I grasped life’s purpose.
The One Lord is the Cause of all causes,
Knowledge, wisdom, discrimination are His gifts to us;
He is not far, He is near, He is with us all.
Saith Nanak: Praise the Lord with an abiding love for Him!

Rag Gauri, page 235

10
BAVAN AKHARI


(i)
at sunder kulin catm nuekh gyani
However handsome, well-born, wise,
Clever in speech and wealthy,
He is no more than a corpse, sayeth Nanak;
If the love of God is not in his heart.

(ii)
lekhai kade na chutiai


By merit alone, of our deeds,
We could never be liberated, O Lord,
Every moment we err and sin.
O Saviour True, save us through Thy mercy,
Says Nanak, and take us across the fearful ocean of life.

Rag Gauri, page 253, verses 16 and 52
11
rakhe rakhanhar tip ubarian
Our Saviour saveth: it is our Redeemer who hath saved us;
At the feet of the Guru, all deeds become fruitful;
When the Lord showereth His Grace upon us
We do not forget Him;
We cross life’s terrifying ocean
In the holy company of the saints.

In an instant God shall destroy

The slanderers, tbe perverse, the wicked.
Nanak, have faith in the Lord only, as the prop of life;
In the contemplation of the Lord
There is joy newborn and all old sorrows vanish.

Rag Gujri, Var, page 517

12
vadh sutkh rainadiai


O peace-giving night, prolong thyself,
For I am in love with my Lord;
O wretched sleep shorten thyself,
That I may always clasp His feet.
I long for the dust of His feet,
And I crave for the Holy Name of the Lord,
For the love of which I have given up the world;
Forsaking all my evil ways.

I have become drenched in the love of my Beloved


And I am intoxicated with His Spirit.
I have encountered my Beloved on the True Path;
He hath taken me by the arm and I am lost in His love.
Nanak imploreth Thee, Lord,
To extend to him this favour,
That he may continue to cling to Thy feet.
O my friends and companions,
Let us devote ourselves to the Lord’s Feet;
In our hearts is a deep-seated devotion to the Beloved;
Let us pray that we may continue to serve Him.
Let us meditate on the Lord and let us meet His saints,
And it shall be granted to us to serve Him.
Let us forsake the sins of vanity and attachment,
And dedicate to Him our bodies, our souls, our wealth.
The Lord is great, all pervasive and perfect
On meeting Him delusion and fear depart.
Nanak supplicateth: O my sister, hear me,
Let us repeat again and again the Divine Name.

The spouse of the Lord is a happy spouse,


And enjoyeth every pleasure;
She shall not become a widow; her Lord is immortal;
No sorrow can touch her as she contemplateth her Master;
Blessed and fortunate is such a woman.
She sleepeth in peace and loseth all her sins;
She awaketh to new delight and to love of the Name.

She remaineth absorbed in the Lord’s love,

She weareth the Divine Name as her jewels;
The words of the Beloved sound sweet in her ears.
Nanak proclaimeth: The desires of my heart are fulfilled
I have met the Lord who liveth for ever.
In his heart arise,
Millions of songs of rejoicing;
In whose soul and body
The Lord, the Primal Joy, indwelleth.
The Lord, my Beloved hath no bounds,
Is compassionate, all wealth is His,
He sustaineth the world, He saveth sinners.

The Lord, the Extender of Mercy,


Is He who helpeth us over the terrible ocean.
The Lord extendeth His favour
To those who seek His protection.
Nanakprodaimeth: I have found the Lord, my Beloved,
And He sporteth with me for ever.

Rag Bihagra, page 544

13


ek pita ekas ke ham barak

The One God is the Father of all


We are all His children;
O Guru, a Friend, I dedicate my heart to Thee,
If thou lettest me but have a glimpse of God.
I shall touch thy feet,
I shall wash them,
I will give all my heart to Thee,
Hearken, my friend, I have taken refuge in thee,
Teach me how to be one with the Lord.
Free thyself of pride, take refuge in Him,
Accept with joy what He doeth;
Hearken, my friend,
Give thy body, thy mind, thy whole self unto Him
And thus have glimpse of the Divine.
By my Lord’s blessing, By the grace of Saints,
The Divine Name is sweet to me,
The Guru hath been merciful to his slave Nanak.

Rag Sorath, page 611

14


garibi gada hamari

Humility is our spiked mace:

To be the dust under everyone’s feet

Is my double-edged dagger,

None of the wicked can withstand these weapons.

The Perfect Guru has taught me this.

The Holy Name is the refuge of the Saints.

He who contemplates the Name is liberated:

Millions have been thus set free.

In the company of the Saints

I sing of the Lord’s Glory.

I have acquired this Divine Treasure

That is beyond all price.

Saith Nanak: When we lose all awareness of the little separate self We see the Divine Supremacy all-pervasive.

Rag Sorath, page 628

15


aukhi ghadi na dekhan dei

Lord, Thou lettest not Thy servants


Face the difficult hour; that is Thy way.
Thy Hand is over Thy Saints to protect them
At every moment of life.
My heart is the Lord’s Glory unto the Beloved friend
Who standeth beside me from life’s beginning to its end!

Seeing the Lord’s exceeding Greatness,


My heart rejoiceth exceedingly.
Saith Nanak: The Lord hath fully protected mine honour.
Contemplate the Lord for ever, and live in bliss.

Rag Dhanasri, page 682

16


jion machli bin paniai

As a fish cannot live out of water,


As the thirst of the chatrik
Can be quenched only by the raindrop,

As enchanted by the drum-beat


The deer cometh running to the hunter,
As the honey bee yearneth for the flower
Which on closing entraps it.
With a like intensity the Saints yearn for the Lord:
Only the sight of Him can sate their thirst for him.

Rag Jaitsiri, Var, page 708

17


mangon dan thakar nam

I crave from Thee, Lord, the gift of Thy Name,


Nothing else will abide with me.
Through Thy Grace, grant me the singing of Thy Praise,
Kingdoms, gold, sensual delights
Vanish like the shadow cast by a tree.
The man who pursues shadows pursues vanities.

I crave for nothing but God.


All else is illusion:
Saith Nanak, I crave for the dust of the feet of the Saints
On which I will stay my mind.

Rag Todi, page 713

18


bajigar jaisai baji pae

As an actor in a play appears in many guises


So God when His play is ended abandons the guise

And appears as the One only.

What was the shape that appeared and was made to disappear?

Whence did it come and whither did it go?
Out of the Ocean many a wave arises:
Out of Gold are made many kinds of ornaments.
He soweth His manifold seeds, and the fruit ripens;
In the ripe fruit is the same seed again.

A hundred shining vessels


Reflect the same bright sky,
They shall be broken and the sky remain.
Error is caused by greed,
By attachment to the world of illusion.
When we slough off error,
We grasp the One True God.
The soul is eternal and cannot be destroyed.
It is neither born nor does it die.
The Perfect Guru has removed
The filth of attachment to my petty selfhood,
Saith Nanak, and I have reached the heights!

Rag Suhi, page 736

19


darsan dekh jivan gur tera

When I see my Beloved Guru, I live;


I have accomplished my task and found my God,
O Lord, grant this prayer only:
Let me follow Thee and grant me Thy Name.
O Beloved Lord, by the grace of the Guru
Keep me in Thy Stronghold.
Few are those who through the Guru’s grace reach to Thee.
My Beloved Lord and Friend, hear my prayer.
May my inner heart behold Thy Lotus Feet:
Nanak maketh but one prayer:
May I never forget Thee, Perfect One. Thou art the cradle of

virtues. Rag Suhi, page 741

20

bhali suhavi chapri



Blessed beautiful is the Hut Where the Lord’s praise is sung: Worthless is the palace Where the Lord is forgotten.

Poverty is bliss


If it remembereth God
In the holy congregation.
May such worldly greatness be consumed in fire
When it maketh itself Mammon’s slave.
To live by grinding com,
Wearing only a blanket
But having a contented heart,

Is better than ruling a kingdom

Without inner peace.
The man who has nothing to cover his nakedness,
But who walks in the love of God,
Will win honour and courtesy:
But silk attire is worthless
When it increaseth greed.
All things, Lord, are at Thy disposal,
Thou art the Cause of all things
And pf all human actions:
Nanak craveth this gift, O Lord,
That with every breath he may remember Thee!

Rag Suhi, page 745

21


abcal nagar gobind guru ka

Eternal is the City of my God-like Guru


Wherein souls attain to bliss.
Whoever meditates on His Holy Name
Finds peace here,
For the Lord Himself founded the City.
All that the heart yeameth for is here found:
The Lord Himself certainly hath found it.
Here Sons, brothers, disciples are all happy
Singing the praises of their Perfect Lord.
Their labours have been bounteously rewarded.
God is our Lord, He is our Saviour,
Our ‘true Father and Mother.

Nanak saith: May I be as a sacrifice to the Guru


Who hath shed such beauty on this place !

Mansions, homes and booths


Are all lovely
Wherein is heard the Name of the Lord.
The holy and the wise propitiate Him
And Yama’s noose is destroyed.
O contemplate the Holy Name,
And Death’s noose is destroyed!
Their worship is thus complete, they have their heart’s desire
And the noble-hearted Saints revel in their peace:
Pain, suffering, doubt and delusion have departed.
The True Guru makes perfect through the Word;
Nanak is ever a sacrifice unto Him.

The Lord hath bestowed bountifully, His gift ever increaseth:


Great and glorious is He who since the world’s creation

Hath made the Saints His own in every age and protected

them. And shows his mercy on man. All living creatures dwell in peace in the Lord’s city, It is the Lord that sustaineth them all. His glory spreadeth on all sides, there is no telling His Greatness. Nanak saith: I am a sacrifice unto the True Guru Who hath laid the Eternal Foundation.

In the Lord’s city the sermons of Divine Wisdom are being preached and listened to eternally; The folk contemplate the Lord and His Wisdom, The Lord as Destroyer of Fear ever sporteth there And the Unstruck Music is heard. In the resonance of unstruck melody The Lord’s Saints discourse with each other, Meditate on the Name and cleanse their souls. They are set free from the cycle of births, deaths, and rebirths. Nanak hath found the Guru, hath found God By whose grace all yearnings are quieted.


Rag Suhi, page 783

22


mohan nind na avai
O my Beloved, sleep hath fled from me.
I lie awake and I sigh for Thee,
I have adorned myself with necklaces and ornaments,
Garments of fine cloth, collyrium in my eyes,
I waited and longed, longed and waited. When will
He come home?

I took refuge with the Saints


And prostrated myself at their feet:
‘O Saints, unite me with my Beloved,’
Unite me with my Life’s Jewel,
O when will He come to me?’
Listen, O Friend:
This is the path to Union:
Destroy sense of self,
Thou shalt find then
My Lord within Thee.

Then sing songs of praise and joy


And meditate on the Blissful one.
Saith Nanak: ‘The Lord entered my heart,
I have found the Jewel of Life,
The Beloved hath shown me His Face.
Now I can turn and sleep.
My desires are appeased, peace holds me.
The tale of the Beloved is sweet.
I have found Him, my lost Jewell’

Rag Bilawal, page 830

23


koi bole ram ram, koi khuda

Some call on the Lord, ‘Ram, Ram!’ Some cry, ‘Khuda!’


Some bow to Him as Gosain, some as Allah:
He is called the Ground of Grounds and also the Bountiful,
He is called Kirpadhar and Rahim:
The Mountain of Mercies, the Merciful.

The Hindus bathe in holy waters for His sake;


The Moslems make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Hindus worship in temples, the Moslems go down on their

mats. There are those who read the Vedas and those others, Christians, Jews, Muslims, who read the Semitic scriptures. Some wear blue, some white robes, Some call themselves Muslims, some Hindus: Some aspire to Bahishat, some to Swarga: The paradises of the Moslems and Hindus. But Nanak saith: He that knoweth the will of the Lord He will find out the Lord’s secrets!


Rag Ramkali, page 885

24


andron anah, bahron anah

That man is blind within and blind without,


Though he pretendeth to sing of the Lord
And performeth ritual washings and puts on caste-marks,
If in his heart he runneth after Mammon.
He cannot remove his inner dirt of self sense.
In births he comes and goes,
Overwhelmed by sleep, played by lust,
And uttereth the name of God.
Though he call himself a Vaishnav,
Since self-will is the goad of his actions
What can he hope to gain?
Pretended holiness is like thrashing empty husks,
Or like the crane who sets among the swans,
Is still on the watch for fish.
The swans find him an intruder.
They live upon pearls and precious stones, the crane on frogs,
And finally the poor crane flies away
In fear that the swans might spot his true nature.
Men do as God wills. Why should we blame anyone
When anything happens, God wills that it should?
The True Guru is an ocean-wide lake of pearls:
The sincere seeker after his pearls shall find them.
The True Guru is the holy lake of Mansrover,
And his Sikhs are there gathered like his swans.

The lake is full of pearls and precious stones;


However many the swans eat, they will not be exhausted.
The Sikhs are like swans who remain at the lake for ever
And banquet for ever on jewels. God has so willed it.
Nanak, blessed is the disciple who comes to the Guru:
The Guru will save him, save his family,
Nay, in the end he will save the whole world!

Rag Ramkali, Var, page 960

25


phuto anda bharam ka

The shell of the egg of delusion has burst.


Light breaks in on the mind, the Guru
Has broken the fetters of the captive soul.

The cycle of births and deaths have ceased

The cauldron of desires bubbles no more
The Guru has given us the Divine Name to cool it.
My enemies, the senses, that assailed me
Have left since I found the Saint’s company;
The Lord, who put temptations once in my way,
Now in His Mercy removeth them. What will Death do
Now that I have been released from the burden of my past actions. I act now without any desire for reward: From the depths of the ocean I have reached the shore. The Guru hath done this act of mercy: Now Truth is my place, my seat, my purpose, It is Truth, saith Nanak, that I heard and Truth that I trade in and have found Truth within me.

Rag Maru, page 1002
26
candana candan angan

Of all the lights in the courtyard The best light is the light of God in the heart!

Of all the contemplations of the human mind The best contemplation is the contemplation Of the Lord’s Holy Name; Of all renunciation The best renunciation is the renunciation Of lust, of anger, and of greed; Of all prayers of the heart The best prayer is the prayer To the Guru to be given the Grace Of properly praising the Lord; And of all strenuous vigils The best vigil is a vigil Spent singing Divine Songs. Of all man’s attachments The best attachment is the attachment Of man’s heart to the feet of the Lord. Blessed is he, saith Nanak, Who is taught such a path and walks on it. If a man but maketh God his stronghold All that he does is the best.

Rag Maru, page 1018

27
birkhai heth sabh jant ikathe


At sunset the birds gather in the branches,
Some chirp shrilly, some sing sweetly.
At sunrise again they flyaway.
When our time comes, we shall also have to depart.

Sinners are indeed lost. When Azrail gets them

They suffer untold torments, they are flung into hell,

Where Dharmraj, like a usurer, makes them cast up their accounts.

No brother or sister goes with them to Death’s kingdom. They leave behind property, youth, wealth.

Because in their lifetimes they did not know their Lord,
The Ground of Grounds, the Fountain of Mercy,
Now they suffer the agonies of sesame seeds,
Crushed in the mill without mercy for oil.

A man may easily grasp what belongs to another,


But God is near and misses nothing.
The sinner falls into the pit he himself digs:
Greed makes him blind to the future.

He is caught up in births and deaths, and in suffers:


While he is blind and knows not the Lord
Who is the source of his being
He must suffer pain.

Forgetting God, the sinner walks in the mazes


Of error, caught up in worldly attachments,
Sometimes sad, sometimes happy. He did not encounter the Saints To learn from them the lessons of faith and forbearance. He suffers from his own selfhood.

It is all God’s game:


Some reach the shore, some are drowned in life’s terrible ocean. Each man dances as the Lord maketh him dance: Each man must pay in suffering for bad deeds.

If the Lord showereth His grace,


Upon the Lord I shall meditate,
How by the companionship of the Saints
AU men may be saved from Hell.
Give me, O Lord, Thy ambrosial Name as a gift:
So that for ever I may sing Thy Praises.

Rag Maru, page 1019
28
allah agam khudai bande

Allah’s depths are not to be sounded, O Ye who plumb forGod!


Renounce all worldly attachments. Be as the dust
Under the feet of the Saints, be as a wayfarer:
Such an austere dervish will be pleasing to God!

Let Truth be your prayer, Faith your prayer-mat.


Control your desires; root out vain yearnings:
Make your body a Mosque, your mind its Mullah.

And remembrance of God be your Kalma: the opening lines of

your creed: Let good conduct be your law and your Prophets; Let your observances and dogmas be renunciation. Seck most to know how to control the mind, Search for truth, get life everlasting.

Practise in your heart the Koranic or other teachings

By tethering the straying senses. Set chains of faith
On the five great vices, and earn the gift of charity, contentment
And being acceptable to the Lord.

Let Mercy be your Mecca:


Instead of fasts, use humility:
Seek no other paradise than abiding by the word of your Guru;
For houris, seek in four paradise
The fragrance of the Light
That streameth from the Lord:
Seek no other palace or pleasance than devotion to God.

To practise Truth is to be a Qazi,


To purify the heart is to be a Haji,
To shame the devil is to be a Mullah,
To praise God is to be a Dervish.

Let your praying-hour be at no set time, but all times;


Let your constant prayer be remembrance of God in the heart;

Use meditation instead of rosary:


And instead of circumcision
Let chastity check your desires.

Know that all these outward forms are transient,


Are entanglements, like other worldly ties.
All the Mirs and the Maliks are sold to death:
Only God’s Kingdom lasteth.

Let your first prayer be God’s Praises,


Your second inner peace,
Your third humility, your fourth charity,
Your fifth subduing the five senses to God:
These five prayers will lead you to God’s Infinity.

While you live, remember God:


Instead of washing your hands before prayer
Get rid of your evil deeds:
Instead of having a special horn to call for prayer
Grasp, with a pure heart, the Oneness of God.

Eat what you have lawfully earned: And wash all dirt,


In the river of your heart.
He who follows the Pir
Will indeed go to Paradise
And not be tormented by Azrail.

Discipline your body to virtuous deeds!


Take abiding faith as your spouse
And divine knowledge as your handmaid;
Let purifying the impure be your holy Hadith,
And complete integrity be your turban;

A true Muslim should be tender-hearted

And wash the impurities in his heart.
Not caught in the snare of pleasure, he should be as pure
As flowers, as silk, as clarified butter, as the soft skin of a
deer. He whom the Kindly Lord in His Grace blesseth Is indeed one real man and Valiant,

Truly a Sheikh, a Haji, one of the faithful:


He on whom the Lord looks with Grace
Is truly the Lord’s Servant.

Know ye and grasp ye the Lord,


The Cause of Causes, the Bounteous,
All-loving, All-Good, a Fountain of Mercies
Whose Ordinances are Just and Eternal:
Know him, Nanak saith, and be set free!

Rag Maru, 1083

29


pehlon marn kabul kar

Accept first to die,


Abandon hope of living,
Be the dust under the feet of all,
Then come to me.

Rag Maru, Var, page 1103

30
vart na rahon namah ramdana


I neither keep the Hindu fasts nor the Muslim Ramadan.
I serve Him alone who in the end will save me.
My Lord is both the Muslim Allah and the Hindu Gosain,
And thus have I settled the dispute between the Hindu and the

Muslim. I do not go on the pilgrimage to Mecca Nor bathe myself at the Hindu holy places. I serve the One Lord, and none beside Him; Neither performing Hindu worship nor offering Muslim prayer, To the Formless One I bow in my heart, Neither am I a Hindu nor am I Moslem. Though I belong body and soul to the One God Who is both Allah and Ram, Listen, O Kabir: Encountering the True Guru, One encounters God.



Rag Bhairon, page 1I36

31
thakar tum sarnai aya


O Lord, in Thee I have taken refuge:
Since I have seen Thee, I have no more doubts.
Without my speaking it, Thou knewest my sorrow.
Thou didst cause me to meditate on Thy Name.

My sorrow is gone. I have attained the bliss of oneness with

Thee Through singing Thy praises. Holding me by the arm, Thou hast guided me out of Maya’s Blind maze and the trap of my worldly attachments. Nanak saith: The Guru hath broken my fetters; I who was separated am united with the Lord.


Rag Sarang, page 1218

32
pothi parmesar ka than


In this Holy Book: the Adi Granth

Resideth the Lord.

Those who sing His praises

In the company of Saints Attain Divine knowledge.

For this Divine knowledge

Seers and sages thirst,

But few attain concentration on Him;

On whom the Lord is merciful

His desires are fulfilled;

He in whose heart resides the destroyer of fear

Is known in the whole world.

Nanak begs this gift of Thee

May I never forget Thee O Lord.

Rag Sarang, page 1226

33
saina sadh samuh


Invincible is the army of the Saints.
Great warriors are they; humility is their breast-plate’
The songs of the Lord’s Glory are their weapons;
The word of the Guru is their buckler.
They ride the horses, chariots, and elephants
Of the understanding of the Divine Path.
Without fear, they advance towards the enemy.
They ride into battle singing the Lord’s praise.
By conquering those five robber chiefs, the senses,
They find they have also conquered the whole world.

Slok Sehskriti, 29; page 1356

34
he kaman nark bisraman


Lust, thou native of hell,
That goadest man into the cycle of births,
Enchanter of hearts, wielding power on the earth and below

and above it, Thou who destroyeth meditation, austerity, and virtue, And offerest in return but a petty and a passing delight, Thou who lordest it over high and low, In the company of the holy, men lose their fear of Thee: I seek the Lord as a stronghold, saith Nanak.



Slok Sehskriti, 46; page 1358

35

he kat mul krodhan

Wrath, pitiless, and seed of strife,

Thou enthrallest even the great, and they dance like monkeys.
And in Yama’s kingdom the devils punish them.

To frequent thee depraveth man. Nanak saith:


The Lord only, who disperseth the woes of the humble,
Who is ever Merciful, can protect men from thee.

Slok Sehskriti, 47; page 1358

36
he lobha lampat sang sirmorah


O Covetousness, misled by thee
Even the noble are swept away,
By the many winds of greed:
The mind hankers multifariously,
Is unstable, vacillates,
And is not checked by Conscience.
Even before his father and mother,
Friends, kin, dear ones, near ones,
Thou makest man to do what he should not:
Thou makest man eat what should not be eaten:
Thou makest man build what should not be built.
Save, O save me, Lord, in Thy Stronghold,
Save me, saith Nanak: save, save!

Slok Sehskriti, 48; page 1358

37
he janam maran mulan ahamkaran


O Self-love, Self-will, thou root of births and deaths,
Thou soul of sin, thou makest a man to
Estrange friends and increase the enmity of enemies:
He thinketh ever of heaping up more wealth,
And his soul exhausts itself in deaths and rebirths
And suffers uncountable delights and agonies.
Thou makest man to lose himself in error’s dark wood,
And thou strikest him mortally sick with covetousness.
The Lord, O stricken man, is the only physician:
Nanak saith: Meditate the Holy Name!

38


supne ubhi bhai

In a dream, I was lifted high towards Him,


Why, then, did I not grasp at the hem of His Garments?
My mind bewitched by the Lovely Light that shineth from Him,
I seek for his track. Say, where can I sight it?
What can I do, Sweet Sister my Soul,
That I may meet my Beloved?

Phunhe, 13; page 1362

HYMNS OF GURU TEGH BAHADUR (I62I-1675)

Tegh Bahadur was the youngest son of the warrior Guru Hargobind. He lived a life of contemplative seclusion until he was called upon to assume the leadership of the Sikhs.

He lived mainly in the East of India. He strove against Aurangzeb’s challenge to exterminate all religions but his own, and went to meet the Emperor to convince him of his wrong policy. He was publicly beheaded in Delhi on the nth of November I675.

One hundred and fifteen hymns by Tegh Bahadur were inserted in the Adi Granth by his son, Gobind Singh, when the latter edited the definitive text of the Holy Book in the year I705.

I

sâdho man kâ mân tiâgo


Ye, who seek after Truth, cast down your vanity!
Lust and wrath are wasteful companions. Flee them
By night, by day! Only that spirit is wakeful
That with an equal mind confronts happiness and suffering,
Glory and shame, that regards joy with as much detachment
As pain, as sorrow! that is indifferent to praise,
That is indifferent even to blame, the world’s blame,
And that seeks the blissful Nirvana. Nanak,
That seeking is the hardest of all games:
Only the rare Enlightened Ones master it.

Rag Gauri, page 219

2

jagat mai jhuthi dekhi prit



I have found out the falseness of all world attachments. Everyone seeks his own happiness, One’s wife or one’s closest

friend Claims, ‘He is mine, he is mine!’ In life they all cling to one: But in death neither friend nor wife keep company. Such are the world’s strange ways; I have often taught thee

this. But, my foolish mind, thou hast grasped not my teachings till

now! Saith Nanak: Only by singing the songs of the Lord Can the pilgrim safely cross life’s terrible ocean!



Rag Devghandgari, page 536

3

man re gehio na gur updesâ



O soul thou dost not abide by the Guru’s teachings.
What can it profit thee
That thou art a clean-shaven anchorite

Thy garments dyed with ochre?


Thou livest apart from Truth;
Thou squanderest thy life;
Thou art a deceiver
Only that thou mayest feed fully
And sink into bovine slumber;
Thou hast never sought
The roads of devotion
That lead to the Lord.
Thou has lost thy soul
To this world’s idols: thou hast forgotten,
O madman, the world’s gem, the Name of the Lord,
Thou thinkest of the Lord never:
Thy precious life drains wastefully away.

Man, saith Nanak, wanders ever in error:

Let me think, Lord, only of Thy forgiving Grace!

Rag Sorath, page 633

4

jo nar dukh mai dukh nahi manai



That man who in the midst of grief is free from grieving,
And free from fear, and free from the snare of delight,
Nor is covetous of gold that he knows to be dust,
Who is neither a backbiter nor a flatterer,
Nor has greed in his heart, nor vanity, nor any worldly

attachment, Who remains at his centre unmoved by good and ill fortune, Who is indifferent to the world’s praise and blame And discards every wishful fantasy Accepting his lot in a disinterested fashion, Not worked upon by lust or by wrath, In such a man God dwelleth. The man on whom the Grace of the Guru alights Understands the way of conduct: His soul, O Nanak, is mingled with the Lord As water mingles with water!



Rag Sorath, page 633

5

teh jogi ko jugal na jano



If his inner self is full of low cravings,
If the greed and the glory of the world still delude him
There is an art the yogi has not learned:
It is the art of living.
The true yogi dwelleth apart
From the world’s delusive praise, its delusive blame:
He dwells where cheap iron and glittering gold
Have the same value; at his centre he is unmoved
By good and by ill fortune, by joy and sorrow.
The restless mind drifts shilly-shally
In all directions, without goal or aim,
One must learn to check and to direct it.
Saith Nanak: He who has learned to master the mind
Is among the liberated, is among the saints!

Rag Dhanasari, page 685

6

gun gobind gt:iio nahi, janam aktirath kin


I have never properly sung the praise of the Lord: Unreal and useless have been all my earthly days. Saith Nanak: O mind, dive into the love of God As a fish longs to dive into the Water.


Slok, 1; page I426

7

patit udhtairan bhai haran har ant:ith ke nath



From sin, He is the Redeemer;
Of dread, He is the Dispeller;
Of the lost, He is the Guide.
Saith Nanak: Hold this thought in thy mind:
Ever and anon the Lord dwelleth within thee.

Slok, 6; page 1426

8

sukh dukh jeh parsai nahi, lobh moh abhman



Not cast down by sorrow
Nor over-elate in joy;
Aloof from the power
Of pride, greed, and coveting:
Such a man, saith Nanak,
Is the image of God.

Slok, 13; page 1326

9

bhai kahu ko del nahi



Who frighteneth none, Nor himself feareth any, Such a man, saith Nanak, Set him among the wise!

Slok, 16; page 1427

10


sukh mai bahu sangi bhae dukh mai sang na koe

Happiness and prosperity find many friends,


But adversity and sorrow have none,
Saith Nanak: Ponder on the Beloved, O my soul;
Even in the bitterness of death He is thy True Saviour!

Slok, 32; page 1427

11


jatan bahut mai kar rahio, milia na man ko man

Alas, all my efforts have come to nothing!


I have not lessened my pride,
I have not cast down my vanity:
My mind is still the slave of evil impulses!
Nanak prayeth: O Lord, save, save!

Slok, 34; page 1428

12


ek bhagat bhagvân jah prant

That man in whom there never kindles One spark of the love of God, Know, Nanak, that his earthly vesture Is no better than that of a swine or dog!



Slok, 44; page 1428

13

nam rehio sâdhu rehio, rehio gur gobind

The Word of God shall be everlasting;


The saints of God shall endure eternally;
So shall the Guru’s glory be for ever secure.
In this world, saith Nanak,
Those that have endeared themselves to the Word,
Truly, they are few and far between!

Slok, 56; page 1429
HYMNS OF THE ‘PRE-NANAK SAINTS’

I. KABIR(1380-1460)


Kabir, a weaver by profession, was born at Benaras of Mohammedan parents. Since a low-born Muslim like him could not meet an orthodox Brahmin saint like Ramanand, he hid himself on the steps of Ganges river, where Ramanand was accustomed to bathe. When he accidentally trod upon Kabir’s body, Ramanand was deeply impressed by his humility and accepted him as his disciple. Kabir broke away from the orthodox formalism of his own Master and showed a frank dislike for institutional religion. Five hundred and forty-one hymns of Kabir are incorporated in the Adi Granth.
1

nagan Phirat jau payai jog

If by going about naked
One could obtain unity
With the Supreme Lord,
All the beasts of the wild wood !
Would be among the saved.
What does it matter
Whether a man goes naked
Or wraps himself in skins,
So long as the spirit of God
Is not realized within him?
If merely by shaving one’s head
One could become perfect,
When the sheep are shorn
Why should they not be saved?
If one could obtain salvation
Merely by remaining continent,
Eunuchs should automatically
Reach the supreme state!
Saith Kabir: Listen, my brothers.
None has obtained salvation
But through God’s Holy Name!
Rag Gauri, page 324

2

garbvas mai kul nahi jati

In the womb of his mother No man knoweth his caste; All men are born From God’s One Spirit.

Tell me, O Pandit,

When became you a Brahmin?
Waste not all your life
Insisting that you are so.
You say you are a Brahmin
Born of a Brahmin woman?
Should you not have come into the world
By another way?
What makes you a Brahmin
And I merely a Sudra?
If blood runs in my veins,
Does milk flow in yours?
Saith Kabir: Only he
In my estimation, Is a true Brahmin
Who meditateth on God!

Rag Gauri, page 324

3

hirdai kapat mukh gyani



In your heart is deception
Though you talk of Divine Wisdom.
What does it avail you, hypocrite,
To be always churning water?
What spiritual gain do you get from
Scrupulously washing your body
When your heart remains, unclean?
A gourd may be taken to bathe
In each of the sixty-eight
Holy places of pilgrimage,
But even so it will never
Lose its bitter taste!

Brahmins claim to be born straight from the mouth of Brahma

Saith Kabir, in deep meditation:
Help me, a Lord, to cross
The troubled seas of the world!

Rag Sorath, page 656

4

bhukhai bhagat nâ kijai



I cannot concentrate
On my devotions to Thee
When I am faint with hunger.
Take back, Lord, this rosary.
I yearn only for the dust
Upon the feet of Thy Saints,
Since only to Thee, and to no man,
Am I under obligation.
O Lord, what shall I do
That I may be reconciled to Thee?
If Thou givest me not
What my hunger craves for,
I shall have to beg it of Thee!
I beg for two seers of flour,
A quarter of a seer of clarified butter and salt,
And half a seer of lentils
To feed me just twice a day!
I beg for a cot
With four short legs to it,
A pillow, a mattress,

A quilt to cover me.

And then Thy servant will be able
To concentrate on his prayers.
I have never been really greedy.
The Divine Name is the only thing I really hanker for.
Kabir says: My inner self is happy,
And when this is so, then I recognize God!

Sorath, page 656

5

aval allâh nur upâyâ kudrat ke sabh bande



The Lord first created Light:
From the Lord’s play all living creatures came,
And from the Divine Light the whole creation sprang.
Why then should we divide human creatures
Into the high and the low.
Brother, be not in error:
Out of the Creator the creation comes:
Everywhere in the creation the Creator is:
The Lord’s Spirit is all-pervading!
The Lord, the Maker, hath moulded one mass of clay
Into vessels of diverse shapes.
Free from taint are all the vessels of clay
Since free from taint is the Divine Potter.
The True One pervadeth all things.
All things come to pass as the Lord ordaineth.
He who hath understood the Divine Will
Recognizeth only the One Reality
And he alone is what man ought to be.
The Lord, being Unknowable, cannot be comprehended,
But the Guru hath given me
A sweet joy of His Presence.
Kabir saith: My doubts have departed from me.
In all things I have recognized the Taintless One.

Prabhati, page 1349

6

kabir meri jât ko sabh ko hasne hâr



Kabir, all men mock at me for my low caste:
I am as a sacrifice unto this caste
In which I repeat my Maker’s Name!

Slok, 2; page 1364

7

kabir aisâ ek âdh



Kabir: there are very few men indeed
Who are as dead to the world while still alive in it!
And who fearlessly sing the glory of God:

Wheresoever they look, there God is!


Slok, 5, page 1364

8

kabir sabh te ham bure



Kabir: I am the worst of men:
Except myself, everyone is good!
He who humbly thinketh this of himself
Know him, O Kabir, to be my friend.

Slok, 7, page 1364

9

kabir santan ki jhugâi Mali



Kabir: The cottage of the saint is comfortable.
The village owned by the wicked man is a furnace.
May fire play upon these lofty mansions
Where the Name of the Holy Lord is not heard!

Slok, 15, page 1365

10


kabir pâpi bhagat na bhâviyai

Kabir: A sinner is averse to the love of God:


The worship of God has no charms for him.
He is like a fly that avoids sandalwood
And searcheth out foul odours.

Slok, 68, page 1368

11


kabir jahân gyân teh dharm hai

Kabir, where there is divine knowledge there is righteousness:


Where there is falsehood, there is sin.
Where there is covetousness, there is Death;
Where there is forgiveness, there the Lord is.

Slok, 155, page 1372

12


kabir mâyâ taji to kyâ bhaya

Kabir, what good does it do you to have given up


Love of the world, if you have not given up pride?
Seers and sages have perished by pride:
Their pride utterly consumed them!

Slok, 156, page 1372

13


kabir mullah munare kyâ cadhe

Kabir, why, O Mullah, climbest thou up to thy minaret?


Thinkest thou that the Lord is hard of hearing?
Seek in thy heart for Him for whose sake
Thou so loudly callest to prayer!

Slok, 184, page 1374

14


nicai loin kar rahon le slijan ghat mahi

Kabir, I cast down mine eyes modestly


And I take my Beloved into my heart:
I enjoy every delight with my Beloved,
But I keep my delight secret from all men!

Slok, 234, page 1374

15


athjam causath ghari tua nirkhat mho jia

For the eight watches. the sixty-four gltaris of the day,


My soul, O Lord. looketh ever towards Thee!
Why should I ever cast my eyes down modestly
Since I behold the Beloved in all things?

Slok 235, page 1374

II. SHEIKH FARID (1173-I265)

Sheikh Farid was born at Khotwal near Multan. His father Sheikh Jalaludin was the nephew of the King of Ghazni. His mother Mariam provided the chief religious influence on him which directed his mind to the pursuit of truth.

At the age of sixteen he went to Mecca, and a few years later he adopted Qutab Din of Delhi as his Master (Pir) from whom he learnt the discipline and doctrine of the Sufis. On his Master’s death he inherited his patched mantle.

He spent most of his time at Jodhan, later known as Pak Pat tan and died at the age of 92, leaving I34 hymns in Punjabi which were procured by Guru Nanak from Sheikh Ibrahim, the twelfth successor of Farid and later preserved in the Adi Granth.
1

tap tap loh loh hath maroron

I burn and writhe in agony,
I wring my hands in despair,
I am crazed with a longing for the Lord.
You forsook and You had a cause,
For I was in error, not Thou, O Lord.
For such a Sire as Thee little did I care,
When my youth faded, I fell into despair.
Black Koel what burnt thee so black?
The fire of separation from the Lord.
Without the Lord how can one cheer?

Through His mercy does one meet Him.

The world is a deep and dark pit of sorrow,
I a lonesome maid, without friend and companion.
In holy company I came by His grace.
I see God anew both as friend and mate.
Too arduous is the path I have taken,
Sharper than the double-edged sword,
Much sharper and keener,
That path you must take.
O Sheikh Farid, awake
Arise and think of Him.

Rag Suhi, page 794

2

faridâ je tu akal latif



Farid, if thou hast discretion, Note not with a blackmark The ill deeds of thy neighbour, Look first in thy own heart.

Slok, 6, page 1378

3

faridâ jo tain mâran mukian



Farid, should any man smite thee,
Return not blow for blow,
Nay, kiss his feet that smiteth thee,
And go peacefully homeward.

Slok, 7, page 1378

4

faridâ jâ lab tâ neh kiâ



Farid, where there is greed, How can there be true love? How long will a leaking roof Shelter Thee from rain?

Slok, 18, page 1378

5

faridâ jangal jangal kiâ bhavain



Farid, why wandreth thou,
From jungle to jungle,
Breaking the thorny branches,
In search of thy Lord?
In thy heart and not in the jungle
Thy Lord doth reside.

Slok, 19, page 1378

6

faridâ galiai cikaq, dur ghar



Farid, the rain hath churned the road,
Distant is the Beloved’s house
If thou goest to Him, thou wettest thy garments,
If thou remainest at home
Thou breakest the ties of love.

Slok, 24, page 1379

7

bhijo sijo kambli alloh varsau meh


Let the rains come down in torrents, Lord,
And pelt and drench my garments,
Yet I go to meet the Beloved Friend
Lest I break the ties of love.

Slok, 25, page 1379

8

faridâ bure da Malâ kar



Farid, return good for evil,
Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath,
Thy body shall then be free from sorrowing,
All things thou most desirest thou shalt have.

Slok, 78, page 1382

9

faridâ mai jâniâ dukh mujh ko



Farid, I thought I alone had sorrow,
Sorrow is spread over the whole world.
From my roof-top I saw
Every home engulfed in sorrow’s flames.

Slok, 81, page 1382

III. NAMDEV(1269-1344)

Namdev was born at Narsi Bamni in Maharashtra. A tailor by profession, he turned to the religious life when still quite young. He had close associations with the famous ascetic scholar Gyan Dev, and the poetess Janabai. He was imprisoned by Sultan Mohammed bin Tughlak, but he refused to give up his faith. He was set free when the Sultan became convinced of his spiritual greatness. Namdev spent about ten years in the Punjab. He died at Pandharpur. There are 60 hymns by Namdev in the Adi Granth, a number of which are autobiographical.

1

anile kumbh, bhraile udak



If I should bring a pitcher,
Fill it with water
And go to bathe the idol,
Half of the world’s living creatures
Live in the water;
God pervades them an,
Why need I bathe
His image with water?
Wherever I go,
God is contained there,
In supreme bliss
He ever sporteth.
If I should bring flowers
And make of them garlands
To honour the idol,

The bee has sucked the flowers,

God is in the bee;
Why should I weave
For His image a garland?
If I should bring milk
And cook rice in it
To feed the idol,
The calf has already
Made the milk impure
By tasting of it,
God is in the calf,
Why to His image
Need I offer milk?
God is with us here,
God is beyond us there,
In no place is God not,
Nama bows to the Omnipresent
Who filleth the whole earth.

Rag Asa, page 485

2

sâmp kunc chodai bikh nâhi chodai



The snake sloughs its old skin
But never gets rid of its poison.
Thou, since thy heart is not pure,
Why seemest thou to meditate,
Repeating the Holy Name?
The crane standing on one leg,
Still in the water,
Seemeth likewise to meditate.
She watcheth for fish!
The man who like a lion
Liveth by plunder,
Let gangs of robbers
Set him up for their saint!
Nama’s Lord
Hath solved this riddle.
If thou would’st be pure,
O thou hypocrite one,
Drink the nectar of God’s Name!

Rag Asa, page 485

3

mârwâd, jesai nir bâhlâ



As water is precious To the traveller in Marwar, As the hungry camel Yearns for the creeper, As the wild deer at night Hearken enrapt To the hunter’s bell, So God is the object Of the yearning of my soul!

Thy Name is beauty,


Thy Form is beauty,
Thy Hues are beauty,
O my living Lord!
As the dry earth yearneth
In thirst for the raindrops,
As the honey-bee yearneth
For the scent of the flowers,
As the kokilloves the mango-tree,
So I long for the God.
As the sheldrake
Longs for sunrise,
As the swan yearneth
For Mansarowar Lake,
As the wife pines
For her husband,

So God is the object

Of the yearning of my soul!
As the babe yearneth
For his mother’s breast-milk,
As the chatrik who drinketh
Only the raindrops
Yearneth for the rain,
As the stranded fish
Yearneth after water,
So God is the object
Of the yearning of my soul!
All seekers, sages, teachers
Yearn, O Lord, after Thee.
How few of them have seen Thee!
As Thy Name is yearned after
By Thy whole vast creation,
So for Nama God is the object
Of the yearning of his soul!

Rag Dhanasari, page 693

4

mai andhle ki tek tera nam khundkara



To me who am like a blind man,
Thy Name, O Lord, is my staff.
Poor I am: most poor and wretched.
Thy Divine Name is as my sustenance.
O bountiful and merciful Lord, Thou art wealthy:
Omnipresent Lord, I humbly wait on Thy goodness!
Thou art the river of life for me.
Thou art the Great Giver, fabulous Thy wealth.
It is Thou who givest, Thou who takest.
There is none else besides Thee.
Thou art wisdom and Thou art Foresight:
How can I comprehend Thee?
O Nama’s Lord, O dear God,
Thou art He who Forgivest!

Rag Tilang, page 727

5

anile kagad katile gudi



A boy gets paper, makes a kite,
He flies it high in the air,
And though he is still talking
In a lively way with his playmates,
He keeps his mind on the string!
Pierced with God’s Name, I keep my mind on it
As a goldsmith does on his craft !
Young girls bring pitchers
To fill them at the city well,
And talk and laugh as they carry them
But keep their minds on the pitchers.

The cows go out of the many gates of the city,


They graze five miles away from their barns,
But they keep their minds on their calves:

Saith Namdev: Listen, O Trilochan!

While the child is asleep in its cradle
Inside and outside the house
His mother is very busy,
But she keeps her mind on her child.

Rag Ramkali, page 972

IV. RAVIDAS (Fifteenth Century)

Ravidas was a cobbler by profession and a disciple of Ramanand. He resembled in every respect St. Boehme, the cobbler mystic of the West. Members of the highest ‘caste became his disciples, prominent among whom was Princess Jhali of Chitore. There are forty-one hymns by Ravidas in the Adi Granth, written in the vernacular Hindi of Uttar Pradesh.
I

tohi mohi, mohi tohi antar kaisa

Between Thee and me, between me and Thee,
How can there be likeness or difference?
Likeness or difference as between gold
And a bracelet made of it, as between water
And the waves that move on its surface!
Were I not a sinner, O Eternal Lord,
How couldst Thou have the title of Redeemer of Sinners?
Thou, O Lord, art the Searcher of hearts.
Through God, the Master, we know the saints,
His Servants: Through the servants of God, we know God.
Grant me O Lord that my body may be Thy shrine.
Few, O Ravidas, see God in everything.

Siri Rag, page 93

2

begampura sehar ko nau



There is a place called City-of-no-Sorrows.
There is no grieving, no man suffers there.
There are no tax-gatherers. No one levies tribute.
There is no worrying, or sin, or fear, or death.
My friends, I have found myself a wonderful hometown
Where everything is good, everyone is happy!
There the sovereignty of the Lord is permanent
There all are equal, none second or third.
It is a populous and famous city.
The citizens are wealthy, and they move

As freely through the city as they please:

No high official of the palace impedes them.
My friends, says Ravidas, the emancipated cobbler,
Become my fellow citizens in this realm!

Gauri, page 345

3

kahân bheo jau tan bheo chin chin



What would it matter that they rent my body?
Thy slave feareth only, Lord, that Thy Love may depart!
Thy feet are the lotus, and my soul flitteth
Like the honey-bees sucking their nectar,
I have found my treasure!
Gains, losses, ‘worldly desires and wealth
Shut us from God; Thy slave hath not become lost in them!
Thy slave is bound to Thee by the rope of Thy Love!
O Ravidas, how can it benefit thee
To seek to break free from His rope?

Rag Asa, page. 486

4

jab ham hote tab tum nahi, ab tuhi mai nâhi



When I think of myself
Thou art not there.
Now it is Thou alone
And my ego is swept away.
As billows rise and fall
When a storm sweeps across the water,
As waves rise and relapse into the ocean
I will mingle with Thee.
How can I say what Thou art
When that which I believe is not worthy of belief.
It is as a King asleep on the royal couch
Dreams he is a beggar and grieves,
Or as a rope mistaken for Serpent causeth pain,
Such are the delusions and fears;
Why should I grieve,
Why be panic-stricken?
As a man who seeth several bracelets
Forgets they are made of a single substance, gold,
So I have been in error but am no more,
Behind all the various manifestations there is one God;

In the motions of every heart it is God that throbs.

Ravidas, He is nearer to us than our hands and feet! As the Lord willeth, so all things come to pass! Rag Sorath, page 657

5

nagar janâ meri jat bikhyât camâran


O people of the city everyone knows I am a cobbler by trade and tanner by caste, One of the low caste, and yet within my heart I meditate upon God. If wine, which you think impure, is made Of the holy water of the Ganges, you holy men Will not drink it, but if that wine, Or any other liquid you think impure, Is poured in the Ganges, the river remains holy. They make toddy from palms so the palm’s leaves are impure Yet if Holy Scriptures are written on paper made from palm

leaves Men worship that paper, and bow before it. Of low caste, by trade I am a cutter of leather: In Benaras I carried dead cattle to the outskirts. Yet noble Brahmins now bow low before me; Since the slave, Ravidas, takes his shelter in Thy Name.



Rag Malar, 1293

V. RAMANAND (1340-1430)

Ramanand was born at Melukote near Madras and was the disciple of Raghvananda, the third in the spiritual descent from Ramanuja. Though he strictly practised most of Ramanuja’s ethical principles he was more inclined towards his Bhakti-Cult than towards his Vedanta theology. He came to North India quite early in life and settled at Benaras. He tried to reconcile the personal mysticism of Islam with the Vaishnav theology of the Hindus, as a result of which the most prominent Hindu, Muslim and. Pariah Saints of his time were his disciples. There is only one hymn by Ramanand in the Guru Granth.
kat jaiai re ghar lago rang

Whither need I go to seek holiness?


I am happy here within myself at home.
My heart is no longer a pilgrim:
It has become tied down to itself.
Restlessly one day I did want to go:
I prepared sandal-wood paste,
Distilled aloe wood, and many perfumes:
I set out towards a temple to worship:
Then my Guru showed me God in my own heart.
Whatever holy place I seek as a pilgrim

All I find is worship of water or stones,

But Thou, Lord, equally pervadest all things!
I have studied all the Vedas and the Puranas:
There or elsewhere thou mayest seek God
If God is not here in thy heart!
O gracious Guru, I am beholden unto thee
Who hast cut away my doubts and my vacillations!
Ramanand’s Lord is the all-pervasive God:
The Guru’s word removeth countless delusions.

Rag Basant, page 1195
VI. PARMANAND (Fifteenth Century)

Parmanand was a Brahmin Vaishnavite disciple of Ramanand who lived at Barei near Sholepur. Though he is the author of innumerable poems, only one of his poems has been preserved in the Adi Guru Granth.

tain nar kyâ purân sun kinâ

Mortal man, what has been thy profit


From hearing the Puranas?
Thou hast not acquired a single-minded
Spirit of devotion to thy Lord!
Thou hast not given alms to the wretched.
Thou hast not put away thy lust.
Thou hast not put away thine anger.
Greed of gain has not left thee:
Thy lips are not clean of slander.
Thy outward shows of worship
Have all been utterly in vain;
Still thou robbest men on the roads
And breakest into men’s houses to steal,
That thus, O criminal, thou mayest fill thy belly.
Fool, thou hast done such folly
As after death will earn thee an evil name!
From cruel violence thou hast not freed thy mind:
Thou hast not cherished mercy for living creatures.
Parmanand saith: In the company of the blest
Thou hast not joined in their holy speech!

Rag Sarang, page 1253

VII. SADHANA

(Late Thirteenth Century)

Sadhana was a butcher of Sehwan in Sindh who made it a point to weigh the meat he sold with an idol, thereby belittling idol worship. Hated and condemned by the Brahmins and put to shame by a woman, he came to the Punjab where in all probability he met Namdev. He is said to have died the death of a martyr as he was bricked alive during the rule of the Sultans. His tomb is in Sirhind.

nripkanyâ ke kârnai

For the love of a King’s daughter1

A man distinguished himself as Vishnu,

For the love of her and for his own ambitions:

Yet, Lord, Thou didst protect him from his shame!


1 This refers to a well-known legendary story of a beautiful princess who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. She adored him so sincerely that she vowed she would marry no one but Vishnu. A young goldsmith fell in love with the princess and was determined to marry her. His ingenuity not only permitted him to build a helicopter-like swan such as Vishnu is accredited with having but he also made himself look like Lord Vishnu. Then on an auspicious day he landed on the palace roof near where the princess was standing. She rushed to worship at the impostor’s feet and happily married him. The King was also extremely glad to have Vishnu as a son-in-law.

Since God Himself lived in the palace, routine matters were often neglected and affairs of state left to divine providence. Under these conditions the land was soon invaded by a neighbouring ruler. Although the King’s armies were weak, he didn’t worry because Vishnu would see that no disaster came to the Kingdom.

However, the invaders swept the weakened army aside and were soon at the wall of the capital city. Both the King and the Princess fell at Vishnu’s feet and begged him to save the city but nothing happened and soon the enemy had taken the capital and was knocking at the palace door. At last the princess’s tears flowed as freely as her pleas and the imposter could stand it no longer. He locked himself in the palace shrine and pleaded with Lord Vishnu to hear his anguished cries. He confessed his treachery and offered to accept his punishment. But he begged Lord Vishnu to save the country, pointing out the fact that if Lord Vishnu did not act and since the great Lord had been associated with the impostor’s ‘treachery, Vishnu would forever be associated with impotence. The impostor pleaded not for himself but for Lord Vishnu’s reputation.

Vishnu, hearing the earnest and sincere prayers of a repentant soul, came to the city’s rescue and itwas miraculously saved.

Of what avail are Thy Powers,

O Lord of all the world,
If my sins cannot, like his, be forgiven?
What does it profit me
To seek for the Lion’s help,
If the Lion stillletteth the jackal devour me?
The chatrik, that bird
That can drink only raindrops,
Thirsteth in agony
For a single drop of water.
If when the bird dieth
He is given an ocean,
What can that avail him?
Now that my life is foundering
And will not last much longer,
How can I still be patient?
Will it help if a boat arrives
When I am already drowned?
I am nothing in myself;
I have nothing to offer;
There is nothing that by right
I can claim from Thee!
At this moment of desperation,
Sadhna, Thy servant, prayeth:
Protect me, Lord, from shame!

Rag Bilawal, page 858

VIII PIPA

(1408-1468)

Pipa was the ruler of Gagaraungarh State. Once he came to meet Ramanand with great pomp and show but the Saint refused to meet him. He then bestowed all his possessions on the poor and approached him with utter humility. He became a very devoted disciple and a friend of Kabir and Ravidas. There is only one hymn by Pipa in the Adi Granth.

kayo deva kayo deval kayo jangam jati

In the body, God is present.


The body is His temple.
In the body is the place of pilgrimage
Of which I am the pilgrim,
In the body is the incense and candles,
In the body is the holy offering,
In the body the oblation.
After searching in many regions
It is only in the body
I have found the nine treasures.
For me there is no going away,
For me there is no coming back,
Since I have appealed to God.
He who pervades the universe
Also dwells in the body:
Who seeks shall find him there.
Saith Pipa: God is the Primal Being.

The True Guru shall reveal Him.


Rag Dhanasari, page 695

IX. SAIN


(1390-1440)

Sain was a court barber to the Prince of Rewa. After meeting Ramanand he gave himself more and more to contemplation and writing songs, so much so that he even started neglecting his court duty. The Prince was, however, very much impressed by his newly acquired spirituality and wisdom and accepted him as his Teacher and Guide. The court barber became the Court Guru.

dhup dip ghrit saj arti

He who is worshipped with offerings


Of incense, lamps, and clarified butter,
To Him I am a sacrifice!
Hail, unto the Lord, all Hail!
Hail ever to the all-pervading Lord!
The choicest lamp and the purest wick
Art Thou alone, O Lord of Splendours!
It is Thy saints who know divine bliss,1
They speak of Thee as the all-pervading Primal Joy.
O God, whose beauty fascinateth me,
Waft me safely over the sea of terror.
Sain saith: Worship the Supreme Joy!

Rag Dhanasari, page 695

I Rama bhagat ramanand janai: Also explained by some as ‘His befitting worship is known to Ramanand’, Ramanand was the Guru of Sain, the barber saint, Ramanand when not taken as a noun becomes ‘rama’ plus ‘anand’, or in

English ‘divine bliss’.

X. BHIKHAN(1480-1573)

Sheikh Bhikhan was a Muslim Sufi saint who was learned in Islamic theology and had committed the whole of the Koran to memory. He appears to have been strongly influenced by Kabir and the Sufi disciples of Sheikh Farid. There are only two hymns by Bhikhan in the Adi Guru Granth.

naino nir bahai tan khina

Tears trickle down from my eyes.


My body has become enfeebled.
My hair is as white as milk.

My throat is choked, when I try to speak

I falter, Lord, what shall I do?
O Sovereign Lord, Protector of the world,
Be Thou my healer, and save Thy saints!
My heart is in extreme anguish:
My head aches; my body is in a fever.
I am in such a state of pain
No human medicine can cure me.
The Name of God, that is pure nectar,
Is in the end the best of all medicines.
Saith Bhikhan: Through the grace of the Guru alone
Shall we reach the harbour of our salvation!

Sorath, page 659

XI. JAIDEV(Twelfth Century)

Jaidev, the well-known author of Gita-Govinda was a native of Kinduviloa or Kandoli in Burdwan, and the most distinguished poet in the court of Lakshman Sen. The beauty and tender love of his wife appears to have inspired him with the gripping and lyric drama and mystical allegory of Gita Govinda. There are only two hymns by Jaidev in the Adi Guru Granth. The language of these hymns is a mixture of Prakrit and apbhransh. Lassen and Pischal believe that even the original Gita-Govinda was in Prakrit and Apabhransh, and it was given Sanskrit form much later.

parmâd purkh manopaman sat âdi bhavratan

Primal Being, sublimely beautiful,
Primal Truth, all pervading,
Supremely wonderful, transcending nature:
Why then not contemplate Him, the Redeemer.
Devote thy mind only to the Holy Name
Which is ambrosia and the essence of life.
For those who remember the Lord
There is no fear of birth, of old age, and of death.
If thou desirest to defeat the angel of death
And all his ministers,
Praise and bless Thy Lord,
And do virtuous deeds.
The bliss of the Lord is unchanging
Now, and in the past, and in the future.
Man, if thou seekest to do virtuous deeds
Renounce thy greed, renounce thy coveting

Of thy neighbour’s wife, all sins, all sinful desires,

And make the Lord thy refuge!

In heart and in words and in deeds


Devote thyself solely to thy Beloved Lord.
Without such devotion, what profit is there
In yoga, temple rituals, alms, and austerities?
O man, repeat the Sweet Name of the Beloved
Who is the best ower of all power upon men!
Jaidev openly seeketh his refuge in Thee:
Who art now, hast been, and Who pervadest all!

Gujri, 526

XII. BENI

(Fourteenth Century)

Beni was in all probability a contemporary of Namdev. A. scholar and a poet with no livelihood, he told his wife that he was employed by the Raja for the interpretation of scriptures but every day he went to the forest for quiet meditation. But as he brought no money home, she became impatient. It is said that by strange circumstances Beni was given an honourable post and led a happy, saintly life.

tan candan. mastak pati

The body thou smearest with sandal paste,


And on the forehead thou stickest basil leaves,
But in thy heart thou hidest a murderer’s knife.
Thou lookest on folk like a thug, deceptively;
Like a crane watching for fish, thou watchest thy neighbours.
Yet such a profound devotee thou seemest to be
Thy very breath seemeth suspended in meditation!
Thou bowest for a long time before the beautiful idol;
But thou hast an evil eye, and thy nights
Are given over to quarrelling.
Thou bathest thy body every day,
Keeping two dhotis, performing every ritual;
Thy speech is sweet as milk,
Thy heart like a drawn dagger;
It is thy way to cheat thy neighbours of their cash!
Worshipping stones,
And making circles of flour to honour Ganesh,
Thou keepest vigil all night
To take thy share in the ras lila service,
Thy feet dance, but thy heart planneth wickedness:

Sinful is such a dance, O sinful man!

On the deer skin thou sittest,

With a rosary of sacred basil,
Scrupulously clean are thy hands,
On thy forehead are religious marks,
But falsehood is in thy heart:
O wicked man, not in this way
Wilt thou earn the greetings
Of the Lord Krishna.
He who has not known the Supreme God
He is blind, and all his obseryances are vain,
Saith Beni, enlightened by the Guru, meditate on God!
Without the True Guru none find the way.

Rag Prabhati, page 1351
XIII. DHANNA

(Fifteenth Century)

Dhanna was a farmer born at Dhuan in the State of Tonk near Deoli. This little peasant boy had a very innocent soul. Seeing a Brahmin leading a very comfortable living by merely worshipping the idol he sought the grace of God by worshipping the stone. For six days and nights he sat in meditation, and the God he sought in the stone revealed Himself within him. For further guidance in spiritual life he became the disciple of Ramanand. There are four hymns by Dhanni in the Adi Guru Granth, mostly against idol worship.

bharamat phirat bahu janam bilâne

In error and illusion I have passed many lives;
My body, my mind, my worldly possessions are transient.
Held and defiled with the sins of greed and lust
I have forgotten God, the diamond.
To the crazed mind the fruits of sin are sweet:
It hath forgotten discrimination.
My passions, turning away from virtue, grow stronger:
Again I am weaving the cycles of birth and death.
I did not know the way of Him who dwelleth in the heart;
I burned with sin and fell into Death’s noose.
I gathered the fruits of sin, and filled my heart with them.
There was no room left in it for the Supreme God.
Then the Guru caused the supreme treasure
Of knowledge of God to enter into my heart.
I centred my mind on the Lord in deep absorption,

It entered into my heart that He is One.

Embracing His love and service, I knew comfort:
I was satisfied, I was sated, I was set free.

He whose heart is filled with that Divine Light


Which also filleth creation,
He recognizeth the One
Who transcendeth all illusions.
Dhanna hath obtained God as his treasure:
And in the company of the Lord’s saints
He hath become at one with the Lord.

Rag Asa, page 487

XIV. TRILOCHAN(1267-1335)

Trilochan was a friend and contemporary of Namdev and both of them lived in close association with each other. Trilochan was initiated into religious life by Gyan Dev but was introduced to mystic life and experiences by Namdev. He had a quarrelsome wife and although he tried to give her all worldly comforts and the attention she demanded, he refused to pray for a Son for her. There are four hymns of Trilochan in the Adi Guru Granth.

antar mal nirmal nahi kina

Thou who hast not cleansed the dirt from thy heart,
Why wearest thou the. outer garb of a hermit?
And thou who in the unfolding lotus of thy heart
Hast not enclosed thy Lord,
Why hast thou adopted complete renunciation?
And thou, learned Brahmin, Jai Chand,
Thou hast gone astray in error and illusion;
For all thy learning, thou knowest not
God as the Primal Joy:
Thou, yogi, eating in every house
Hast fattened only thy body;
For gain thou wearest thy patched coat.
For gain thy beggar’s ear-rings.
Thou hast rubbed thyself with the ashes
Of the dead from the cremation ground,
But since thou hast no Guru
Thou hast not found the One Reality!
All of ye, why these holy mutterings?
Why practise all these outward penances?
Ye might as well all churn water!
Remember the Lord in His Peace

Who hath made the millions of worlds!

Why, O holy beggar, carrying thy water-pot

Trudgest thou to the sixty-eight holy places?
Trilochan says: Listen, O foolish mortals!
What does it avail to thrash husks instead of corn?

Rag Gujri, page 525

8

HYMNS OF THE ‘CONTEMPORARY SAINTS’



I. MARDANA (1460-1530)

Mardana was a Muslim, a professional rebeck player of the village Talwandi, who played and sang folk songs only to beg his food from door to door. Guru Nanak asked him to give up begging and string his music to his divine song to which Mardana readily agreed. With his blunt manners and wit like that of Shakespeare’s Touchstone, Mardana accompanied Guru Nanak on his long Missionary journeys, particularly his visit to the Muslim World of the Middle East. Mardana died at Kartarpur about nine years before Guru Nanak passed away. Besides the succeeding Sikh Gurus, Mardana is the only Sikh disciple who was permitted to use Guru Nanak’s name in his hymns. Guru Angad addressed himself as Nanak the Second, while Mardana addresses himself as Mardana Nanak I. This abiding bond between Mardana and the Guru is expressed in all the three hymns of Mardana we have in the Adi Guru Granth.

kâyan lâhan ap mad

In the vat of the body


Egoism is the wine,
Desire and low cravings
Are its companions.
The cup of ambition is
Abrim with falsehood.
And the god of death
Is the cup bearer;
By drinking this wine O Nanak,
One gathers multiple sins.
Make knowledge your yeast,
The praise of God the bread you eat
And the fear of God your meat.
This, O Nanak, is the true spiritual food.

Make divine Name your sustenance.

Var, Bihagra; page 553

II. SATTA AND BALWAND

Satta and Balwand were Muslim Bards who were also probably father and son. Being adept in Classical Music they were employed by Guru Angad to sing divine hymns. When young Guru Arjan became the Guru, they once demanded an exorbitant sum of money for the marriage of their daughter out of the public funds, which the Guru refused. They ‘went on strike’, thinking that the popularity of the Guru depended upon them. The Guru henceforth asked his disciples to learn music and never depend on the professional bards. Satta and Balwand soon repented. They have given a joint composition of eight hymns which tells us a good deal about Guru Angad and the reasons why Guru Nanak selected him as his successor in preference to his sons, and also explaining the unity of spirit in all the Gurus.

lehne di pheraiai nanak dahi khatyai

Because of the devoted service of Lehna

Nanak proclaimed him as his successor.
The same divine light of Nanak shines in Him.
His ways of life are the same,
Only the body he has changed.
An umbrella of spiritual sovereignty,
Is held over his head,
As he occupies the throne of Guruship.
With unstinted devotion he served Guru Nanak,
And followed the arduous path
Leading to union with God.
Food was given free
From the Guru’s inexhaustible store.
Out of the infinite gifts of the Lord,
He himself partakes much
And bestows freely on others.

The praises of God are sung,


And His grace like light descends from heaven;
A glimpse of you, O True King,
Is enough to wash the sins of thousands of births.
Truly has Guru Nanak made Angad his successor
How can we desist from proclaiming this truth;
Guru Nanak’s sons did not obey him
They turned their backs to the True Guru.
Insincere were their hearts,
Defiant were their attitudes,
Loads of sins they carried on their heads.
Guru Nanak appointed him as the Guru,
Though him, Nanak himself reigns as the Guru;
He who has imparted the Guruship,
Has brought about all this;
Lo, who has won and who has lost?

Ramkali Var Satta Balwand, page 966

1. Succession of Guruship was open both to the sons as well as the disciplesof the Guru. Guru Nanak’s sons always showed vanity and pride of birth and position when put to test by the Guru while his disciple Lehna won the Guruship through humility, service and the spirit of self-sacrifice. Lehna was named Angad (meaning a part of his own self) by Guru Nanak, when he bequeathed on him the

Guruship about six months before his death.

III. SUNDER (1560-1610)

Sunder, the great-grandson of Guru Amardas was 14 years old at the time of the Guru’s death. The last words of Guru Amar Das made a deep- impression on him and he later on wrote a Sadd (lit. ‘The CaIl’), an Elegy, giving the Sikh view of death, and pointing out that death is a moment of rejoicing for an enlightened soul when he is to meet the Beloved. This is the only composition of Sunder in the Adi Guru Granth.

satgur bhane apne beh parwar sadaya

As Guru Amardas sat up

And of his own sweet will
He sent for his family and disciples:
Let no one weep for me
After I breathe my last:
That would not please me in the least.
A friend who desires his friend to be esteemed
Is pleased when his friend
Goes to the Lord to receive the robe of honour.
Reflect then my children and brothers
Is it good to weep and wail
When God adorns the Guru
With a robe of honour.
Guru Amardas while alive,
Appointed the successor to his spiritual throne;
He made all his disciples, relations, sons and brothers,
Bow at the feet of Ramdas.
Ramkali Sad, page 923

IV. SURDAS (Sixteenth Century)

Surdas was Brahmin Saint whose scholarship and poetic talent won for him the Governorship of Sandila during the reign of Akbar. In his extraordinary zeal for charity he emptied the treasury of the State and absconded leaving a poem in the treasure chest. He was arrested and imprisoned but another poem addressed to Akbar soon secured him his freedom, He spent the rest of his life at Benaras. We have only two poems by Surdas in the Guru Granth.

har ke sang basai har lok

Those whom God has chosen
Dwell ever in Him,
To Him they dedicate body and soul,
To Him they dedicate all possessions,
And while they exalt His Name
They enjoy divine rapture.
On beholding the Lord
A man is set free
From all sinful cravings
And all his desires are fulfilled.
One has no need of anything else,
Having gazed on His Beauty.
But they who forsake the Beauteous Lord
And set the desires of their hearts
On any other object,
Are like leeches sucking a leper!
O Surdas, God hath taken thy soul in His keeping
And hath blest it with His Kingdom!

Sarang, page I253

V. KALSHAR(Sixteenth Century)

Kalshar was the leader of ten other Bard Poets of Uttar Pradesh who speak about Guru Angad and the successive Gurus from personal knowledge. All these bards composed these poems during the time of Guru Arjan, but those who had some personal contacts with the previous Gurus speak about them also. All of them were good scholars of Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhransh, learned poets, and they were genuine seekers of truth who had wandered all over India for the light of God and had found peace at the feet of the Guru. Nothing is known about them except what the 122 poems contributed by them tell us.

amya drist subh karai harai ag pap

The nectar-laved glance of Guru Angad

Ennobles man. It destroys all sins and vice,
Lust, wrath, greed, and attachment are subdued
By its great power;
Abiding felicity fills the heart of the Guru;
He destroys the sorrows
And sufferings of the world.
The Guru is the treasure of all treasures;
He is the river that washes the dross of life.
So Bard Kal says:
Serve ye the Guru day and night
With tender loving.
In association with the Guru
His transmuting touch will destroy
The pangs of ceaseless births and deaths.
Swaiya Guru II; 2, 10, page 1392

VI. JALAP

(Sixteenth Century)

caran ta par skyath, caran gur amay pavalrya

Blessed are the feet,
Which lead one to Guru Amardas;
Blessed are the hands,
That touch the holy feet of the Guru;
Blessed is the tongue
Which sings the glory of Guru Amardas;
Blessed are the eyes,
Which have the opportunity to look at him;
Blessed are the ears which listen to his words;
Blessed is the heart,
In which is enshrined the Guru;
Guru Amardas truly is, the Divine Father of the world,
Blessed is the head, says Jalap,
Which bows daily before the Guru.
Swaiya Guru III, 10, page 1394

VII. BHIKHA(Sixteenth Century)

rehio sant haun tol

In search of a true saint,


I vainly wandered about;
Recluses I encountered many,
Sweet-tongued no doubt were they;
For full one year in this search I wandered.
None of them gave me the solace of spiritual light.
I heard them talk a lot of high ideals
But their practice was most disappointing.
Discarding the Name of God,
They indulged in worldly ways,
O, what need I say of them?
By the Grace of God
I have found Guru Amardas.
By Thy will I shall ever abide, O Guru.

Swaiya Guru III, 2, page 1395

VIII. SALH

(Sixteenth Century)

pehar smadh snah gyan

Wearing the armour of concentration.

Mounting the steed of knowledge,
With the bow of righteousness in hand,
And the arrows of devotion.
You, O Guru Amardas, thus fought the battle.
With the Eternal Lord within your heart,
With the lance of Guru’s word in your firm grasp
You .have cut to pieces the evils,
Of lust, anger, greed, ego and delusion.
O thou son of Tejbhan, monarch of an honourable lineage,
The blessings of Guru Nanak,. King of Kings, is on Thee.
Salh proclaims the truth,
Guru Amardas fighting thus has defeated
Satanic forces in the battle.
Swaiya Guru III, I, 21, page 1396

IX. BHAL


(Sixteenth Century)

ghan har bund basn romaval

Countless are the raindrops from the clouds.
Countless the vegetation on the earth,
Countless are the flowers which bloom in spring.
Unfathomable the depth of the Ocean,
Countless the waves and ripples of the rivers,
Countless the rays of the sun and moon.
With Siva-like meditation.
And the divine knowledge of the True Guru,
One may know all these things; says poet Bhal,
But your virtues, 0 Guru, are beyond comprehension.
You alone are your own peer.

Swaiya Guru III




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