This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by three saloks. These saloks use satirical arguments to counter the so-called traditional belief of sutak (a superstitious practice done for a few days after the birth of a child) and redefine the practice itself. The first salok comprises six lines and depicts the pervasiveness of sutak while offering the wisdom of the Guru as its remedy. The second salok contains four lines and describes various immoral human acts as the sutak of the different sensory organs that causes human suffering. The third salok also comprises four lines and openly rejects the idea of sutak while establishing the supremacy and pervasiveness of the Command of IkOankar (the Divine). This pauri praises the greatness of the true Guru and encourages the individual to seek the sanctuary of the Guru to remove one’s shortcomings and faults.
m: 1.
man sūtaku lobhu hai jihvā sūtaku kūṛu.
akhī sūtaku vekhaṇā par tria par dhan rūpu.
kannī sūtaku kanni pai lāitbārī khāhi.
nānak hansā ādmī badhe jam puri jāhi.2.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak then redefines sutak, not as a physical impurity, but as something less physical or tangible. Sutak of the mind is greed, sutak of the tongue is lies, sutak of the eyes is lusting for another, and sutak of the ears is backbiting. Those who have not purified their minds, tongues, eyes, and ears, those people are the real offenders against the idea of sutak. These redefined elements of sutak are the things that have made humans suffer, bound by their vices, and afraid of death. But this kind of sutak is not removed the way we have been thinking, in the confining systems and doctrines and ritual practices given to us. We cannot expect that if we do the right yoga poses, the right cleanses, the right diets, the right rituals, or the right ceremonies, we will be able to rid ourselves of the impurities we carry in our thoughts and our actions. This kind of sutak is removed through Wisdom.