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.
dānu mahinḍā talī khāku   je milai ta mastaki lāīai.
kūṛā lālacu chaḍīai   hoi ik mani alakhu dhiāīai.
phalu tevaho pāīai   jevehī kār kamāīai
je hovai pūrabi likhiā   dhūṛi tin̖ā pāīai.
mati thoṛī sev gavāīai.10.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak says that the real charity or service is to take the dust of the soles of the feet of those who have gotten to this fifth step (who have gotten rid of the temporary and the greed and become very focused in the mind, connected to the Eternal) and apply it to the forehead. What the Guru is exploring is the question of who we learn from, and how we can learn in humility.

The way we act in life bears fruit or results according to the kind of action we have taken (which is to say, we reap what we sow). And so this kind of mentorship, from those who have reached this fifth step, is something that comes to us if it has been written for us. But this is not just about destiny, it is rising from the 1Force. The statement is really that anyone from the source or the origin, anyone rooted in this 1-Ness, has access to the possibility of reaching this point, of being mentored and of being humble in their learning. Each one of us has this potential embedded in our very being.

If we do not have that mentorship from those who have reached this stage, the service we perform in the world becomes worthless, because we do not have the mental and emotional capacity to understand what it is we are doing. This is not just about having the thought of changing. This is not just about behavioral changes. This is about changing our hearts and minds, not just our intellect, and pairing that with behavioral changes that we process through this new internal discovered truth. If the way we think and process has not been transformed through the procedure outlined in the previous verse, then the efforts we do make in changing our behaviors go to waste, and we become frustrated. This is not about surrounding ourselves with certain people. It is not about going to people who have claimed to experience the Wisdom. It is about an active mentorship from someone who has done the hard work and who can guide us as we go through the same internal and external transformation, leading us to the internal truth discussed in previous ballads and connecting us to the Eternal.