This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok comprises nine lines and mocks the fake notions of purity regarding food observed by Hindu priests (Brahmin). The second salok contains eight lines and admonishes those who consider women lower in status while depicting the woman’s greatness in human life. This pauri equates Brahmin and Shudra, men and women, all as equals. Therefore, no one can be considered inferior.
sabhu ko ākhai āpaṇā jisu nāhī so cuṇī kaḍhīai.
kītā āpo āpaṇā āpe lekhā sanḍhīai.
rahaṇā nāhī aitu jagi kāitu gārabi hanḍhīai.
mandā kisai na ākhīai paṛi akharu eho bujhīai.
mūrkhai nāli na lujhīai.19.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak ends by addressing the larger idea that there are people who create and perpetuate these divisions and hierarchies, creating problems only to provide solutions, further entrenching society within the systems they have created. Guru Nanak says, people who claim their knowledge or way is the best, or that they are the only ones with access to the Divine are forgetting that IkOankar belongs to all — that there is no one to whom IkOankar does not belong.

We all will have to settle the account of our good or bad actions on our own — only we will be held responsible for our own actions, and our background, social status, or gender will not be factored in. So these arbitrary divisions based in a futile pursuit of “purity” that is fundamentally flawed and created with the purpose of bolstering the elite will mean nothing in the hereafter. Guru Nanak says, none of us will stay in this world forever, so why live in the arrogance of these outward social statuses and hierarchies, if in the world after this one we know all of those things will be made insignificant? Why be so selfish in this passing world? Why fall for this sense of pride instead of cultivating empathy? If we have really understood the wisdom of the letters, we will no longer call people bad, we will no longer have ill will. Finally, Guru Nanak says, avoid discussions with learned fools who have no sparks of inspiration, who are not Identifying with IkOankar. This is not about ignorant people who have not had access to this wisdom, this is about those who do have access, who are learned and despite this have chosen to use their knowledge to bolster their own superiority and maintain purity. These learned fools are not worth arguing with, which we will understand if we have learned from the wisdom.