This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok, comprised of nine lines, explains that without the Creator, everything is ‘ku?u’ (false), meaning transient or ephemeral. The human mind, entangled in falsehood, is lured toward materialism. The second salok, comprised of twelve lines, suggests a remedy by forsaking ‘ku?u’ and accepting ‘sacu’ (true/eternal). Attachment to fleeting material things only breaks when individuals realize and love the truth. This pauri contains a wish to seek the dust of devotees’ feet, who live by the truth because their company inspires the remembrance of IkOankar (the Divine) by forsaking the false.
saloku m: 1.
Word ‘kūṛu’ (false) is not an adjective; it’s a masculine noun. This is why, even with feminine words ‘māṛī’ (attic), ‘kāiā’ (body), ‘bībī’ (wife), etc. the word is still masculine singular ‘kūṛu’. –Prof. Sahib Singh, Gurū Granth Sāhib Darpaṇ, Vol Ten, Raj Publishers, Jalandhar, 1963, page 647.
rājā kūṛu parjā   kūṛu sabhu sansāru.
kūṛu manḍap
Just like the other nouns used in this salok, word ‘manḍap’ (large open tents, tented halls/pavilions) is also encountered as a singular form (manḍapu) in some manuscripts; for example in the manuscript dated 1733 CE, lying in the village Mai Desa.
kūṛu māṛī   kūṛu baisaṇhāru.
kūṛu suinā   kūṛu rupā   kūṛu pain̖aṇhāru.
kūṛu kāiā   kūṛu kapaṛu   kūṛu rūpu apāru.
kūṛu mīā   kūṛu bībī   khapi hoe khāru.
kūṛi kūṛai nehu lagā   visariā kartāru.
kisu nāli kīcai dostī   sabhu jagu calaṇhāru.
kūṛu miṭhā   kūṛu mākhiu   kūṛu ḍobe pūru.
nānaku vakhāṇai benatī   tudhu bājhu kūṛo kūṛu.1.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak focuses this first verse on those things which are false, or temporary, listing out various possessions and relationships. The King and his subjects, our relationships, all of our shelters (houses, big and small), all of us humans, our gold and silver, our jewels, our bodies, our clothing, our beauty, the world — they are all temporary. And we are attached to these things all around us, to this short-lived, temporary world, we grasp at things that will leave us and in that grasping, 1Force (One Universal Integrative Force), the Creator of all of these temporary things is forgotten. The temporary things befriend the temporary (all of us in our relationships to other people and in our relationships to things, are doing this every day), and to us, these pairings are sweet like honey. But we do not realize that boatloads and boatloads of us are getting drowned in this indulgence with the material world, in our possessions and our relationships.

Guru Nanak is not making a statement on materialism versus minimalism, or judging the value of what we may call ostentatious possessions. This is not really about what we wear, what we own, how big our houses are, or what relationships we have. It is about exploring the question of whether we feel the presence of the One (1Force) in our possessions and our relationships. This is not about owning or possessing, but it is asking us about the things we own and possess and the relationships we have. To what end are we owning and possessing and forming relationships? Everything is temporary eventually. So to what end are we accumulating these things? What purpose are they serving? How are we engaging with these things? What is our attitude towards them? Do we feel the One’s presence in all of these things that we enjoy? It is not that these things themselves are negative or temporary or trash, but it is that without the presence of the One, they are temporary. With the presence of the One, even the temporary things we experience become less temporary.