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.
tagu na indrī   tagu na nārī. bhalke thuk pavai   nit dāṛī.
tagu na pairī   tagu na hathī. tagu na jihavā   tagu na akhī.
vetagā āpe vatai. vaṭi dhāge avarā ghatai.
lai bhāṛi kare vīāhu. kaḍhi kāgalu dase rāhu.
suṇi vekhahu lokā ehu viḍāṇu. mani andha nāu sujāṇu.4.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak focuses this verse on the one who is officiating, playing with the word tagu, or restraint, and emphasizing the uselessness of the physical janeu. The Brahmin himself has not tied a janeu on his genitals — he has not restrained his or his wife’s own indulgence in sensual desires. The Brahmin himself has not tied a janeu on his feet — he has not restrained himself from walking on the wrong path. The Brahmin himself has not tied a janeu on his hands — he has not restrained himself from indulging in bad behavior. The Brahmin himself has not tied a janeu on his tongue — he has not restrained himself from speaking lies or slander. The Brahmin himself has not tied a janeu on his eyes — he has not restrained himself from looking at the beauty of others with the wrong intention.

Thus, Guru Nanak points out, the Brahmin himself wanders around without the thread of self-restraint, but, engaging in the pomp and show of the janeu ceremony, he goes around twisting the cotton yarn, putting the sacred threads on others, accepting money based on the upholding of this system. These initiations start and end with the idea of initiation, instead of being about a larger idea of initiating someone into a journey towards the fulfillment of a vision or mission. They are about the show of the thing instead of about any kind of real change in behavior or declaration of intention. We see these kinds of initiations and ceremonies today, both within the religious world and outside of it, where the main idea is making someone a part of some group without any real meaning behind their initiation. These ceremonies and rituals and initiations are all futile if they are based on gender, caste, or class discrimination, if they are based on systems of oppression and uphold those systems. Guru Nanak says that the Brahmin — who represents those we might see today as the experts, the officiators, anyone who exerts control via ceremony and tradition — profits off of all of this while being a hypocrite in his own actions, lacking discipline and advising people on the path when he himself has gone astray.