In this stanza, while referring to the being as a ‘trader friend,’ it has been conveyed that the being has been sent into this world to trade the Nam of IkOankar (the Divine). The being has no support other than IkOankar. IkOankar can be experienced only through the Wisdom (Guru) and the company of virtuous beings. In this way, this stanza encourages us to contemplate Nam.
sirīrāgu   mahalā  4   vaṇjārā  
ikoaṅkār  satināmu  gur  prasādi.  
hari  hari  utamu  nāmu  hai   jini  siriā  sabhu  koi    jīu.  
hari  jīa  sabhe  pratipāladā   ghaṭi  ghaṭi  ramaīā  soi.  
so  hari  sadā  dhiāīai   tisu  binu  avaru  na  koi.  
jo  mohi  māiā  citu  lāide   se  choḍi  cale  dukhu  roi.  
jan  nānak    nāmu  dhiāiā   hari  anti  sakhāī  hoi.1.  
mai  hari  binu  avaru  na  koi.  
hari  gur  sarṇāī  pāīai    vaṇjāriā  mitrā   vaḍbhāgi  parāpati  hoi.1.  rahāu.  
-Guru  Granth  Sahib  81  
Literal Translation
Interpretive Transcreation
Poetical Dimension
Srirag is an ancient dusk-time rag (musical mode) that evokes thoughtfulness and introspection, fostering love and devotion. Advice given in this mode is meant to be taken seriously and acted upon. In this composition, the mind is called vanjara, the traveling or roving merchant. The mind, too, roves constantly, experiencing an oscillation or wavering. Here, Guru Ramdas shows the wandering mind how it may understand what it means to be fortunate and steady itself. 

In the first stanza, Guru Ramdas says, O being, O trader-friend! No one else is mine except Hari. Hari is found in the refuge of the Wisdom. The Wisdom is found through great fortune. The Guru addresses us as trader-friends – roving merchants who trade in all sorts of things. It is as if we have asked Guru Ramdas for guidance and asked, "Can you tell us the way?” The Guru says, listen, O trader-friends, o roving minds, there is no one but Hari. Hari was a popular name for the Hindu god of preservation when this composition was originally uttered. Hari is synonymous with the One, IkOankar (the One Creative and Pervasive Force, 1Force), invoking pervasiveness, fear-elimination, and removing suffering. This is the Hari whose Nam, or Identification, is supreme. This is the Hari that we ought to praise and remember. We may wonder, how do we get to that One? The Guru again offers guidance: the 1-Light, the Remover of Suffering, the Fear-Eliminator, is found in the refuge of the Wisdom. We experience that One through the guidance of the Wisdom and the company of virtuous beings who live in relationship with that One. The Guru emphasizes that we can experience the Remover of Suffering through the Wisdom and that Wisdom is found through good fortune. We may have been led to believe that there are simply some who are fortunate and some who are not. We may see ourselves as either ‘doomed’ or ‘lucky’ because of our understanding of karma and destiny. Here, we are reminded that everyone is created by the One, giving all the potential to experience good fortune. 

O being, O trader-friend! No one else is mine except Hari. The Guru emphasizes the relationship with the One, the access to that relationship, and the potential we all have. We learn that the One who created us did not leave us on earth to fend for ourselves. Rather, the One is not far, for the One pervades each of our hearts! We ought to praise, remember, and Identify with that One. Continuing, the Guru elaborates on the paths we take due to our deeds, efforts, and engagement with the One. Those who attach their minds to the love of Maya (attachment to the material world and our relationships) leave this world empty-handed, wailing in suffering. Those who meditate on Nam, who Identify with IkOankar, contemplate the One, and cultivate a relationship with the One will find that the One becomes their support. In our last moments, when our worldly companions must be left behind, we will not be alone. This is the great fortune of the devotees who have contemplated and reflected on the Nam. 

We are roving traders. We are wandering people who engage in transactions — in the world, our relationships, and even our attempts to cultivate a relationship with IkOankar. The Guru shows us how to recognize our fortune and start trading in Nam instead of Maya. This is not about what we will or will not get. We can recognize where we put our effort, change our behavior and mindsets, and experience a relationship with IkOankar. We can experience the One who eliminates our fear, removes our suffering, and pervades our hearts every moment. Will we find that refuge of the Wisdom? Will we experience great fortune? Will we come to experience what it is like to say and mean no one else is mine except Hari?