In the previous pauri, we were encouraged to sing the true utterance, which has originated from the eternal IkOankar (the Divine) and unites us with the eternal IkOankar. In this pauri, it is stated that any utterance not revealed by the eternal Wisdom (Guru) is an incomplete utterance; it cannot lead us to bliss. Bliss is experienced by connecting with the true utterance of the eternal Wisdom.
satigurū  binā    hor  kacī    hai  bāṇī.  
bāṇī  ta  kacī   satigurū  bājhahu      hor  kacī    bāṇī.  
kahde  kace   suṇde  kace   kacīṁ  ākhi  vakhāṇī.  
hari  hari  nit  karahi  rasnā   kahiā  kachū  na  jāṇī.  
citu  jin    hiri  laïā  māiā   bolani  pae  ravāṇī.  
kahai  nānaku   satigurū  bājhahu   hor  kacī    bāṇī.24.  
-Guru  Granth  Sahib  920  
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
In the twenty-third pauri, the twenty-third step on the ladder, Guru Amardas emphasizes the Utterances of the eternal Wisdom and invites all Sikhs, learners, and disciples to sing these profound utterances. Moving on to the twenty-fourth pauri, the twenty-fourth step, Guru Amardas says without the eternal Wisdom, all other utterances are immature. We pause to contemplate the term "immature." It signifies something that is not yet ripe or fully developed. Just as we refer to an unripe mango or an immature individual, similarly, without the presence of the eternal Wisdom in our lives, all other expressions and teachings are immature, incomplete, and imperfect. Guru Amardas underscores that all other utterances lack maturity without the eternal Wisdom. Furthermore, those who listen to, speak, sing, recite, or share these immature utterances also embody this immaturity. We question why they are considered immature. Although they may verbally chant the name of Hari, the All-Pervasive, the 1-Light daily, their understanding and realization of what they are reciting remain superficial. Their consciousness is overpowered by Maya; the allure of material possessions and worldly relationships triumph over their inner awareness. Thus, while they may outwardly articulate these immature utterances at a rapid, mechanical pace, internally, they lack comprehension. Guru Amardas concludes this ladder step by reaffirming that without the eternal Wisdom, all other utterances are immature.

We reflect on "unripe" and "ripe" utterances akin to fruit ripening stages. Ripe utterances are like a perfectly ripened fruit, full of flavor and nourishment. In this analogy, the epitome of perfection corresponds to the Bani (the Utterances of the Infinite Wisdom). This is why all other utterances are unripe; they are like fruits picked prematurely, lacking the fullness of flavor and nutrition. This imperfection is because their composers are incomplete and imperfect, just as an unripe fruit is not fully developed. These composers may present themselves as "ripe," like a fruit might appear outwardly appealing. We may even be dazzled by their eloquence, recitations, or memorization, but they are still unripe. In Sikh history, from the time of Guru Nanak, many individuals sought to emulate the Guru, dressing like the Gurus and even composing utterances. However, their utterances, too, were unripe. The question arises: How can compositions created by these imperfect individuals and those who sing them and listen to them be transformed? They cannot. The answer lies in the principle that light begets light. In this metaphor, the eternal Wisdom represents the radiant light that is alive and possesses the power to awaken life within us. It’s as if these Utterances have the transformative effect of ripening a fruit. While there may be some value in the unripe utterances, they cannot compare to the transformative power of the utterances of the eternal Wisdom. It’s like comparing the nourishment of a fully ripened fruit to an immature one. In the previous step, an invitation was extended to sing the eternal, mature Bani, the utterances. Therefore, we need to seek out the eternal Bani. We pause and acknowledge the incredible gift bestowed upon humanity by Guru Arjan in the form of the Guru Granth Sahib. Without this gift, we might still be debating which utterances are ripe and which are unripe. This verse offers clarity by illuminating that utterances composed by unripe individuals are immature. Other teachings may have some value, but they remain unripe, imperfect, and incomplete without the eternal Wisdom. Nothing can compare to the Bani, the utterances of the eternal Wisdom. The utterances of the eternal Wisdom are the path to experience the “anand,” the joy, the bliss. 

We may ask ourselves: Do we discern between "ripe" and "unripe" utterances? Have we made Guru Granth Sahib our sole source of eternal Wisdom, or are we still seeking guidance from "unripe" individuals in our quest for bliss? Could we, too, be among the "unripe" beings, reciting and singing without a true understanding of the teachings? Has the captivating influence of material possessions and relationships so overwhelmed our minds that we find it challenging to contemplate these profound teachings?