This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by five saloks. The first salok comprises four lines and conveys that by renouncing self-interest and submitting to the Owner, a servant enjoys the happiness and closeness of the Owner. The second salok contains two lines and conveys that efforts to conceal the truth are futile despite all attempts. The third salok comprises five lines, while the fourth and fifth include two lines each. These three saloks highlight the inalienable fact that an immature friendship and egotistical love are temporary. This pauri advises seekers to be ever obedient to the Owner.
mahalā 2.
nāli iāṇe dostī kade na āvai rāsi.
jehā jāṇai teho vartai vekhahu ko nirjāsi.
vastū andari vastu samāvai dūjī hovai pāsi.
sāhib setī hukamu na calai kahī baṇai ardāsi.
kūṛi kamāṇai kūṛo hovai nānak siphati vigāsi.3.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak takes the metaphor from the previous verse and applies it to relationships, saying that planting the seeds of friendship with immature or ignorant people will never bear fruit. It will never be worth our time and emotional energy. This is because, again, we behave outwardly in the world and in our relationships as per our understanding and maturity level. The same way that we cannot expect the seeds of poison to result in fruits of nectar, we cannot expect that an immature person will behave in a way that does not correlate with who they are on the inside, in their minds and hearts. In a vessel, a substance will merge with those substances that are similar to it. But if the vessel contains a substance whose essence is different from the other substance, the vessel must first be emptied before adding in the new substance, otherwise, the two dissimilar substances will mix into something else. Another way to think of this is that if a vessel of clear water has muddy water poured into it, the clean water will mix with the muddy water and change as a result. If we are operating in one framework of understanding and maturity level, and we create relationships with those operating in other frameworks of understanding and maturity level, we will be affected.

Guru Nanak goes on to say that a command made by a servant to the Sovereign never works because it is not part of our nature to command the Sovereign. Instead, we can humbly ask, or feel the 1Force. If a person’s mind already has a particular nature that does not make space for divinity to enter it, then that nature needs to be changed. Our inherent nature is to praise the One and humbly make requests. If we ask in humility we will know that there is no place for trash or falsehood — that the only thing that will bring joy is praise. For many of us, the current nature of our minds is rooted in falsehood, which is received by practicing falsehood, through which we become the embodiment of falsehood, and because of which, we suffer.

The “substance” of divinity cannot enter us or center us if we are filled with another substance already, if we are rooted in falsehood — that same vessel must be poured out to make room for a change in our nature and our behavior. We must change our nature to fill our vessels with praise.