This pauri (stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks. The first salok, comprising sixteen lines, displays through the repetition of the word ‘vismad,’ a remarkable tonal beauty in describing the unmatched beauty and innumerable wonders of the creations of IkOankar (the Divine). The second salok, comprising nine lines, represents all creation and its many facets as part of IkOankar. IkOankar pervades through all of creation. Thus, the beauty of ‘balihari kudrati vasia’ (I adore! The Creator is pervading the creation!) is highlighted in this salok. This pauri portrays the misery of a materialistic and ignorant person who wastes their precious human life in vain.
salok m: 1.
vismādu nād   vismādu ved. vismādu jīa   vismādu bhed.
vismādu rūp   vismādu raṅg. vismādu nāge phirahi jant.
vismādu paüṇu   vismādu pāṇī. vismādu agnī kheḍahi viḍāṇī.
vismādu dhartī   vismādu khāṇī. vismādu sādi lagahi parāṇī.
vismādu sanjogu   vismādu vijogu. vismādu bhukh   vismādu bhogu.
vismādu siphati vismādu sālāh. vismādu ujhaṛ vismādu rāh.
vismādu neṛai   vismādu dūri. vismādu dekhai hājarā hajūri.
vekhi viḍāṇu rahiā vismādu. nānak bujhaṇu pūrai bhāgi.1.
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Guru Nanak focuses on awe and enumerates just some of the many things within creation that are awe-inspiring — things that strike us with wonder and even sometimes move us into silence. It is a kind of awe that arises from spiritual-ecstasy, experienced because of a halt in mental wandering — the kind of awe that silences our busy buzzing thoughts, stupefies us even if only for a moment. These innumerable astonishing wonders take place in the entire creation fashioned by the 1Force, or One Universal Integrative Force (also referred to as the One and 1-Ness) — the very creation we are a part of and bear witness to each day.

But it is not just the “good” things that qualify as awe-inspiring. Instead, Guru Nanak shows us, even the things which do not fall within the “realm of goodness” are within that awe-inspiring eternality. Can we internalize that idea? Can we internalize that there is awe not just in union with the One but also in the stretches of separation? What would that look like in our lives? Maybe we would not be so hard on ourselves for having those feelings of disconnection from the One. We would find that there is awe in feeling far away, both for the way it is a part of the Command and for the purpose it serves. Guru Nanak is urging us to think about what awe looks like. If we were to internalize that idea, of awe without our traditional human judgments about what is “good” and “bad” in the world, we would begin to see that it is not just creation that causes awe, it is also destruction — not just the triumphant blooming of a flower but also its slow and elegant withering away. This awe is also seen in bigger manifestations of destruction — war, natural disasters, death, famine — and all of the other things that we classify as being outside of the "realm of goodness.” The idea that any kind of destruction is a part of the Command is already a difficult thing to understand. What about when we take it a step further and say that those things are not just a part of Command, but that they fall under the realm of awe-inspiring and wondrous parts of eternality?

Guru Nanak says, this is the very riddle of life that, upon solving, will give us complete fortune. And it is not just human beings and other elements of creation who experience this awe. It is also the Creator who is looking at the eternal wondrous play of creation, in awe.