This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok comprises four lines and highlights a true lover, the steadfast love of the Beloved, and juxtaposes it with the character of a false lover. True love is when a person’s affections are exclusively focused on their beloved; they do not desire attention from anyone else. The second salok comprises two lines and describes the state of a disloyal servant who salutes or bows to their Owner but does not obey the Command. Obeying the Command of the Owner is a primary condition for a servant. In an instructive tone, this pauri inspires one to enshrine the remembrance of the Owner in the heart and abstain from wrongdoings while leading a truthful life.
mahalā 2.
salāmu jabābu dovai kare munḍhahu ghuthā jāi.
nānak dovai kūṛīā thāi na kāī pāi.2.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Angad explains in the second verse that if a servant salutes the Sovereign in respect, but then, in ego, refuses to accept the Sovereign’s command, then that servant has gone astray from their most basic essence — complete surrender to the Sovereign. Not only that, this duality and these mutually conflicting actions mean that both actions are false. By existing in this duality, the servant negates any moment in which they saluted in respect. They are mistaken from the very beginning, and nothing will be accomplished — they will not find any space or shelter either here or there. This is again about the calculations of the person who claims to be a lover, serving in devotion. Behaviorally, one who calculates and refuses to accept the command is not a lover.