This pauri (stanza) illustrates how freedom from attachment to Maya and delusion is not possible through cleverness or trickery. IkOankar (the Divine) is the creator of both the Maya and the attachment to it. The being is freed from this attachment and delusion only through the grace of IkOankar.
e man cancalā   caturāī kinai   na pāiā.
caturāī na pāiā kinai   suṇi mann meriā.
eh māiā mohaṇī   jini etu bharami bhulāiā.
māiā ta mohaṇī   tinai kītī   jini ṭhagaülī pāīā.
kurbāṇu kītā tisai viṭahu   jini mohu mīṭhā lāiā.
kahai nānaku man cancal   caturāī kinai   na pāiā.10.
-Guru Granth Sahib 918
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
In the ninth pauri, the ninth step of the ladder, Guru Amardas revealed that to attain bliss, one needs to follow the Command, sing the Bani (Utterances of infinite wisdom), and develop the unnarratable narrative. Moving on to the tenth pauri, the tenth step of the ladder, Guru Amardas says, O fickle mind! Through cleverness, no one has found this. We pause. We question what this refers to; what cannot be found? The answer: Anand, the bliss. Anand, the bliss is synonymous with feeling IkOankar (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force, the One), feeling the One, feeling the Divine presence continuously. This feeling cannot be experienced through the cleverness of the mind, as the mind tends to spin and manipulate situations to its advantage. Guru Amardas reiterates through an imperative, Listen, O my mind! Through cleverness, no one has found this. Why? Because Maya, the allure of material things and relationships, is bewitching and enticing. Immersed in these fleeting joys, doubts, and forgetfulness persist, pulling us away from true Joy. We question, who created this Maya? The answer: IkOankar, the One. We pause to absorb. Still, Guru Amardas remains devoted and adores IkOankar, the One who has tangled us in this sweet enticement—the sweetness of Maya. No condemnation exists for those who enjoy Maya, its plays, and its deceptions. However, those who yearn to experience bliss need to understand that it cannot be experienced through the cleverness of the mind. Guru Amardas concludes this ladder step by saying, O fickle mind! Through cleverness, no one has found this.

We reflect on the word "cleverness," aimed at the mind, which has surfaced three times in this step of the ladder. When the mind resists the Command, it conjures deceptions. This is akin to the cunning tricks of a magician, our mind’s crafty artistry. We are being taught to unveil this mystical illusion and confront the mind as one might unmask a magician’s trick. Consider the intellect, which races like a wild stallion, seeking clever excuses for disregarding the Command. It’s reminiscent of a masterful lawyer crafting persuasive arguments to evade the law. However, this intellectual prowess is intended to sharpen the mind for obedience, not subvert the Command. Yet, instead of using this intellectual gift for its intended purpose, we often employ it to deceive ourselves and sidestep the Command. This cunning maneuvering bars us from experiencing the profound bliss of living in the Command. In the world, we can draw an analogy from pursuing fleeting pleasures. Enchanted by Maya’s worldly temptations, we employ our body, mind, wealth, and assets to savor these transient joys—much like children chasing soap bubbles that vanish instantly. Consider the life of Guru Amardas,  the embodiment of divine grace. Even though he was born into a life of affluence, he rose above the temporary temptations of wealth and materialism. He consciously decided to give up all the riches, recognition, and possessions he had accumulated, instead choosing to offer them to Guru Angad, his Wisdom-Guru. We pause. Guru Amardas enlightens us about these transient illusions with love and compassion, reminding us that the One orchestrates this grand theater, and he adores the One who devised this intricate drama. There’s no judgment on those captivated by and deriving pleasure from these fleeting joys, for they are also characters in this divine play. However, if we yearn to experience the ultimate bliss, we need to compel the mind to relinquish its cunning and deceit, just as one might train a mischievous pet. In doing so, the sweet melody of Nam, Identification with the One, the divine essence, will resonate louder than the alluring but fleeting sweetness of Maya’s worldly charms.

We may ask ourselves: Do we adore the One? Do we desire the sweetness of Nam to supplant the sweetness of Maya within us? Are we ready for that earnest dialogue with our minds? Are we willing to command our mind to heed the Command?  Are we ready to eliminate cleverness from our behaviors?