This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok, which comprises four lines, describes how inconsiderate behavior impacts all aspects of life by centering on the attribute of indifference in human behavior. The second salok, which contains nine lines, highlights truthful and deceitful characteristics by referring to a person’s inner and outer aspects. This pauri highlights the supreme status and all-pervasiveness of IkOankar (the Divine) while encouraging seekers to fulfill their life purpose by self-endeavor while keeping IkOankar in their hearts.
saloku m: 1.
nānak phikai boliai tanu manu phikā hoi.
phiko phikā sadīai phike phikī soi.
phikā dargah saṭīai muhi thukā phike pāi.
phikā mūrakhu ākhīai pāṇā lahai sajāi.1.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak focuses this verse on how we speak, but the verse does not start with a statement on what people are doing. Instead, Guru Nanak says, if we speak tastelessly or without flavor, then our bodies and minds will become tasteless — those of us who are empty talkers and hypocrites will feel the effects of this on our own selves. Those empty idle discussions, where there is no beauty or inspiration or love will result in us feeling that there is no love or inspiration in our bodies, and we will become exhausted. And if we are exhausted, we have already driven ourselves out of the realm of the Divine Court because we don’t feel the presence of IkOankar (1Force, the One Universal Integrative Force, also referred to as 1-Ness), or the inspiration. The Court of IkOankar is the dwelling place of IkOankar, where IkOankar operates and has authority. Wherever and whenever we feel the presence of IkOankar, that is the court of IkOankar. This is unlike the classically religious idea of an otherworldly place where judgment will be done later — instead, the decision-making is here and now, and the court is eternal. Driving ourselves out of the realm of the Divine Court ultimately results in disgrace, shame, and lots of pain. This is not just about people who speak about empty things — it is also about those who say all the right words but who speak with a hollowness, who speak without inspiration or genuine feeling. There are plenty of people who speak and display one set of values and, through their own behavior, act in a way that shows the opposite set of values.