This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by four saloks. There are seven lines in the first salok, six in the second salok, two in the third salok, and ten in the fourth salok. These saloks respond to the context of a janeu (Hindu sacred thread) ceremony. Through narrative description, the first salok introduces the idea of a janeu of virtues, in contrast to the temporary janeu of mere thread. The second salok conveys that a physical janeu is futile if the individual indulges in immoral and corrupt deeds. The third salok informs that only adoration is accepted at the court of IkOankar (the Divine), not superficial symbols. The fourth salok points to the moral degeneration of the Brahmin who puts the janeu on others. This pauri concludes that one who lives by accepting the Command receives honor in the court of IkOankar.
saloku m: 1.
daïā kapāh santokhu sūtu jatu ganḍhī satu vaṭu. ehu janeū jīa haī ta pāḍe ghatu.
na ehu tuṭai n malu lagai ehu jalai na jāi. dhannu su māṇas nānakā jo gali cale pāï.
caükaṛi muli aṇāïā bahi caükai pāïā. sikhā kanni caṛāīā guru brāhamaṇu thiā.
ohu muā ohu jhaṛi païā vetagā gaïā.1.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak discusses the ritual of the janeu (sacred thread) ceremony, situating us in the context of this practice for the rest of the ballad. When a Hindu boy of one of the three upper castes comes of age, a Pandit (priest) comes to the house and puts the janeu around the boy’s neck, recites a special mantra into the boy’s ear, and becomes the boy’s spiritual mentor. Guru Nanak addresses the Pandit and says that the real janeu is that which has compassion as its cotton, contentment as its thread, control over the senses as its knots, and truthful conduct as its twist. This is the janeu of virtues, which the Guru is asking for. This is the janeu the Guru will wear. This janeu of virtues is the one that does not break or get soiled, does not burn in fire or get lost, it does not disintegrate or burn up on the funeral pyre when we leave the earthly realm the way the physical janeu does. This is the janeu that the blessed ones wear, practicing IkOankar-like virtues (virtues of the One Universal Integrative Force, also referred to as 1-Ness or 1Force) in their day to day lives.