This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. Both the saloks contain four lines each. The first salok references ancestor worship and satirizes charity performed using dubiously acquired money, stating only the wealth earned through honest labor is worth sharing. Through illustration and imagery, the second salok exposes the liar’s hypocrisy. While keeping the idea of the transient nature of the world at its center, this pauri expresses the futility of attachment to worldly materiality and forgetting IkOankar (the Divine).
m: 1.
jiu jorū sirnāvaṇī āvai vāro vār.
jūṭhe jūṭhā mukhi vasai nit nit hoi khuāru.
sūce ehi na ākhīahi bahani ji pinḍā dhoi.
sūce seī nānakā jin mani vasiā soi.2.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak describes the menstrual cycle and various rituals that come along with that natural cycle in order to situate us in the broader idea of purity versus impurity. This verse is often misunderstood as being a statement just on menstrual cycles instead of a larger statement on purity. The context of this verse is the practice of sirnavani, or washing the head. As per the Sanatan (old Hindu) religious texts, a woman undergoing her menstrual cycle is required to take a bath on the fourth day, wash her hair, and then see the face of her husband and eat food. This is a ritual meant to purify the woman during what was deemed to be her impure state, due to menstruation.

Guru Nanak asks, how can we call a woman impure if this thing that we call “impurity” visits her periodically, or naturally? What about all of these Brahmin men who call her impure, who keep washing their mouths with water to ceremonially purify themselves, but whose mouths are constantly filled with hypocrisy and lies and dirt and filth? These people are full of lies and trash every day, not just periodically. There will always be people who create these distinctions of purity and impurity and set us up to be policed, to be hyper-aware of these ideas in a way that makes us fixate on things that do not matter. Those same people policing us and setting these standards, condemning us to our designations, do this while they themselves are not pure in the ways that matter. Purity does not come from washing ourselves in particular water, or going through certain ceremonies and rituals at certain times, or offering certain things to our ancestors. Purity comes when 1Force (One Universal Integrative Force, also referred to as 1-Ness) resides in our minds.