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.
m: 1.
sacu paru jāṇīai   ridai sacā hoi. kūṛu kī   malu utarai   tanu kare hachā dhoi.
sacu paru jāṇīai   saci dhare piāru. nāu suṇi manu rahasīai   pāe mokh duāru.
sacu paru jāṇīai   jugati jāṇai jīu. dharti kāiā sādhi kai   vici dei kartā bīu.
sacu paru jāṇīai   sikh sacī lei. diā jāṇe jīa kī   kichu punnu dānu karei.
sacu tāṁ paru jāṇīai   ātam tīrathi kare nivāsu. satigurū no puchi kai   bahi rahai kare nivāsu.
sacu sabhanā hoi dārū   pāp kaḍhai dhoi. nānaku vakhāṇai benatī   jin sacu palai hoi.2.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak then answers the question of what we do now that we have understood this temporariness. Here we see the first process-oriented answer from Guru Nanak, laid out in five steps. The eternal can only be acknowledged or recognized through this procedure, and the question posed many times throughout this verse is whether or not we really want to know these answers. The weight of the decision to pursue this is not to be taken lightly.

Guru Nanak says, if we really want to know this, we must first start with the heart. If we keep our hearts clean, if our hearts identify with the Eternal, then we are ready to get rid of the dirt and filth from the mind and the self within the body. Our existence is all about our behaviors — how we act in the world. If we begin with the acknowledgment that our hearts are in the right place, we can move from that to the next step, and eventually work on our behavior.

If we acknowledge the first part and we are still ready to go to the next level, Guru Nanak tells us to place love in our hearts. What does that mean? It means that when we identify with the Eternal, our minds feel excited, and it opens up doors of freedom for us. It is then that our minds look for freedom, and we are ready for the third step. These first two steps break us, the way a coach might break us in training us for a big game. Guru Nanak is breaking us, out of love, and coaching us through the various levels while being very clear about the hard work that must go into each step.

The third step is about method. Guru Nanak tells us that the Eternal can only be realized when we learn how to live truthfully, and learn how to discipline ourselves in preparation for that realization. We must do the hard work of preparing the soil of the body, before we can sow the seeds of identifying with the Eternal.

Once we are ready with that discipline, we reach step four, which is where the instruction comes: become compassionate — have compassion for and see the compassion in every being. Learn to do virtuous acts and perform charity. Most of us tend to jump to step four before we have done the hard internal work of changing ourselves and preparing our bodies for this behavior. Most of us are not ready to do these acts of service or charity from a place of love, because we have not prepared ourselves.

Once we have changed our behaviors and ourselves, step five comes: we must take the pilgrimage within. The way we understand this abstract statement is that we come to a place where our inquiries are satisfied, our mind does not wander or waver, and the only place we go to ask questions is within, where we ask only the eternal Wisdom (the true Guru, the one who brings enlightenment-light by dispelling ignorance-darkness) and no one else for answers and guidance.

This is how the Truth, or the Eternal, becomes our medicine and cures us of any non-virtuous things. Guru Nanak ends this verse by acknowledging and asking to be in the company of those who have the Truth, who have achieved this fifth step successfully.