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.
m: 1.
lakh corīā lakh jārīā lakh kūṛīā lakh gāli. lakh ṭhagīā pahināmīā rāti dinasu jīa nāli.
tagu kapahahu katīai bām̖aṇu vaṭe āi. kuhi bakrā rinn̖i khāiā sabhu ko ākhai pāi.
hoi purāṇā suṭīai bhī phiri pāīai horu. nānak tagu na tuṭaī je tagi hovai joru.2.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak says that there are so many people who wear this physical janeu who are liars, adulterers, abusers, cheaters, and thieves. They do these things covertly and then walk around wearing the thread for the show, not realizing that their actions will stay with them. The Guru further describes the ritual of the janeu ceremony, emphasizing the way people go through the motions and the pomp and show and performance insisting that it will lead to some sort of spiritual advancement. But when the thread gets worn out, it breaks, it is discarded, and another thread is put in its place. If the thread truly had any kind of spiritual power, it would not break. In fact, Guru Nanak says, the janeu of virtues does not need any replacement, does not require any ceremony, and is accessible to all, not just to upper-caste men.