The Endless Expressions

Continued from “Charisma of the Infinite – Japji Sahib – X”

Guru Nanak’s Japji Sahib – XI

Pauri - 24

Ant Na Siphti Kahen Na Ant
Ant Na Karne Dein Na Ant
Ant Na Vekhan Sunan Na Ant
Ant Na Japey Kya Man Mant
Ant Na Japey Keeta Aakar
Ant Na Japey Paravaar
Ant Karan Kete Billahe
Ta Ke Ant Na Paye Jahe
Ehu Ant Na Janne Koye
Bahuta Kahiye Bahuta Hoye
Vadda Sahib Uncha Thaun
Unche Ooper Unchan Naun
Evad Uncha Hove Koye
Tis Unche Ko Janne Soye
Jevad Aap Janne Aap Aap
Nanak Nadri Karmi Daat

Infinite His virtues, endless expressions
Infinite His creative works, boundless His gifts
Endless what He sees and hears
Incomprehensible is what is in His mind
Unfathomable is the extent of His creation
Unknowable is the boundary
Millions got vexed determining the extent
Yet the boundless remained unexplored
None knows the limits and extent
More the description, beyond that He becomes
Great is the Master, exalted His abode
Higher than that is His exalted Name
Of that stature one has to be
To truly know how great is He
The higher, one ascends – the more one knows
Says Nanak
By the glance of His compassionate Grace

Can infinity be measured? Is there an end to what “is” – the endless grandeur? A mere observation of the vast expanse operating under a well-balanced and established divine order can make a person either totally perplexed or just helpless. The helplessness is obvious. We are a part of this infinite canvass. How can a part ever know the whole? It is this state that Guru Nanak expresses in this Pauri.

Declaring the triviality of the “thinking” man, Guru Nanak says, everything about God’s creation is infinite. And whatever expression we give to describe this phenomenon is not enough, as by the time we have even said something, the vastness has expanded more.
This Pauri vividly authenticates the sheer insignificance of our so called “individuality”. Only when we understand and accept this insignificance can the realization of His greatness take root. Only then can we truly comprehend and appreciate His vastness and His all-pervading presence. It is only then that the mundane “I” is totally lost and only He remains: majestically Supreme with endless resonance.

Addressing God as the Great Master, placing Him in the most exalted conceivable abode and declaring His Name to be Supreme, Guru Nanak affirms that to comprehend and to realize this, one has to raise one’s stature to that level. In this pursuit one learns and realizes only to the extent one ascends and that too by the glance of His compassionate grace.

Vadda Sahib Uncha Thaun
Unche Ooper Unchan Naun
Evad Uncha Hove Koye
Tis Unche Ko Janne Soye

Great is the Master, exalted His abode
Higher than that is His exalted Name
Of that stature one has to be
To truly know how great is He

The above lines are challenging and need special attention. Guru Nanak says that to know God one has to become God. There is no other way.

Man sins and does evil deeds till such time he feels himself separate from God. This separation allows the egoistic individual to view others as distinctly different. However, when an individual becomes God, then how can that person hurt anyone else by cheating, betraying, hating, stealing, etc.? It will simply be impossible to do that because having become God whatever one will do will affect oneself.

To arrive at a destination one needs a path. The path suggested by Guru Nanak to reach and become God is only with the power of the Naam – “Ik Onkar” – that is the primordial cause and resonates in everything.

This Pauri ends with the feeling of surrender and forever seeking His grace. For in spite of all our individual efforts, whatever the outcome, it happens due to his Divine Will and Grace.

Pauri - 25

Bahuta Karam Likhia Na Jaye
Vada Data Til Na Tamaye
Kete Mangeh Jodh Apaar
Ketian Ganat Nahin Vichaar
Kete Khap Tutte Vekar
Kete Lai Lai Mukkar Pahin
Kete Moorakh Khahi Khahin
Ketian Dookh Bhookh Sud Mar
Ehi Bhi Daat Teri Dataar
Bund Khalasi Bhane Hoye
Hore Akh Na Sakkey Koye
Je Ko Khaik Akhan Payee
Ohu Janey Jetian Muhin Khayee
Aape Jane Aape Deyee
Akhain Se Bhi Keti Keyee
Jis Nu Bakshe Siphat Salaah
Nanak Patisahi Patisahu

His magnanimous deeds cannot be described
The Supreme Benefactor expects nothing in return
Many valiant, however great, beg at His door
Inconceivable countless remain yet many more
Many are consumed by evil desires and deeds
Many negate after what they receive
Numerous fools obsessed with greed
Many with hunger and pain, always tormented
This gift too is His benefaction divine
Freedom from bondage happens by His will
None can say more about this
If a fool would otherwise say
Realizes disgraceful blows struck on the face
He alone knows what to dispense
Only the rarest few can so describe Him
Whoever is bestowed by His grace divine
Says Nanak,
Surely he is the king of kings.

Having referred to the grandeur of the Infinite in the previous Pauri, now in this Pauri Guru Nanak distinguishes between compassionate charity and charitable business.

Charity that is done with the hope of getting something in return is devoid of compassion and is in fact similar to a business haggling. It is like investing for future gains. The manipulators fully understand this human psyche. Don’t they exploit with false promises when they say, “you give a dollar here and get a million there”? Or don’t they inject fear when they say, “if you will not give then how will your ancestors get salvation …” And we give to get something back in return. If nothing else, then, at least recognition and fame in society!

This Pauri starts with a candid statement that the magnanimous compassionate deeds of God cannot be described because God gives expecting nothing in return. God simply gives without any conditions.

This makes us pause and think as to what do we give back to God? Do we even have something to give or the ability to do so? Alas, we do not even offer a sincere thanksgiving or feeling of gratitude.

Instead, we beg. The beggars beg, the warriors beg, the kings beg … everyone begs. Our demands keep growing, making us restless, anxious and even fearful, and we are unable to differentiate between our genuine needs and greed. Now nature’s law is that if one’s desire becomes an unbending intent, then sooner or later that desire gets fulfilled. Are we vigilant in making our wishes for if and when the desire gets fulfilled will we then have a sense of contented satisfaction and gratefulness or will we repent and regret? It is thus, Guru Nanak says that many are destroying themselves by evil desires and consequent actions, while many who receive still continue denying it. There is no gratitude offered.

Then there are many who are in constant anguish and distress, caused by their hunger without realizing that their desire is itself the cause of their pain. Always begging, always seeking, they fail to see that the ordeal of their suffering is the fruit of their covetous and ravenous longing. Oblivious to the very cause of suffering, we instead of celebrating life keep groping into more and more misfortunes.

Guru Nanak says that this too is His divine benefaction.

The laws of Existence are simple and uniform. Whatever we ask, we eventually get. Whether we ask for the right things or wrong things we get them because God gives unconditionally. God in His divine plan has given everyone the freedom to make a conscious choice. It is this freedom that ensures the dignity and self-esteem of man. We can ask for whatever we desire, we can put efforts to attain the desire. Success shall come by his Compassion and grace.

The moot question then is – what are we asking and are we conscious and diligent about our choice?

Guru Nanak says candidly:

Bund, Khalasi, Bhane Hoye
Hore Akh Na Sakkey Koye

Depending upon our choice, freedom and what we seek, we get results. These results then define whether one attains liberation (khalasi) or whether one gets tied in chains (bund). It is His Law (the Law of Karma) that works but it is our desire that asks for it. Try as we may, God cannot give us bliss and peace if we have not asked for it; if we have not worked towards attaining it; and most importantly if we have not made ourselves ready to receive it.

Guru Nanak says that there is nothing more anyone can say or discuss about this. He also affirms that those who enter into debates are fools and charlatans; and when confronted by the reality, eventually find themselves trapped in the very fallacy of their argumentative statements.
Guru Nanak ends this Pauri with the assertion that only God can know Himself and determine what and whom to dispense. Those who are chosen by Him and bequeathed by His divine grace are surely the King of kings. This declaration is simply to eliminate all traces of the ego. It implies that only when one has been chosen and ordained, can one truly sing His glory – in fulfillment of His divine will. Only then “Ik Onkar” resonates on its own accord and the very idea of His search by any individual begins.

To be Continued

Japji Sahib Links


More by :  Rajender Krishan

Top | Sikhism

Views: 4316      Comments: 8

Comment thanks for such a beautiful and amazing explanation. it has been very helpful.
would be really great if you can continue this ahead. looking forward to it.

30-Jun-2021 01:18 AM

Comment Please continue the translation ji

28-May-2021 12:49 PM

Comment God is In You. True God is. God is One. God is One of all. God is in the Subconscious and Heart. God is in everything and all. God is Raam. God E Naam. God was in Shiva. God was in the Buddha. God was in Krishna. God was in Jesus. God was and is in everything and anything. But mankind takes it Personally. And he suffered, dying. So he does not lose anything, never suffers and suffers, the personal death of each person's personality.

21-Jul-2019 03:17 AM

Comment Just a reminder veer ji, it's almost five years now that you posted your translations of this wonderful Bani for everyone! We are still waiting veer ji, hope you are keeping well. Please, kirpa karo jaldi ton jaldi. We are desperate to continue with our spiritual journeys. Please don't deprive us all to the point of stagnation. Please hurry and post further. Thank you veer ji.

harjas singh
28-Jun-2019 03:54 AM

Comment God bless you.
You really have made all of us understand Jap Ji Sahib which otherwise was very difficult.

Are we going to receive translation of the rest?

13-Jun-2015 03:56 AM

Comment thanku very much god bless u :)

01-Oct-2014 13:59 PM

Comment Thank you Manjit Singh ji.
Yes I am working on the remainder of the Japji Sahib. It may take some more time.

25-Sep-2014 19:51 PM

Comment You are doing great work. By the help of GOD you have reached Pauri 25. I suppose you are still working on the rest of the Japji Sahib?
I have read it once and gained a lot. I need to read it over and over again.
Thank You.

Manjit Singh Puri
25-Sep-2014 04:25 AM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.