It’s amazing how the Guru speaks to us. Sometimes we are his children (puta), sometimes his brothers (bhai), sometimes his girlfriends (saheli), sometimes a spiritual companion (sant jano).
I thought of this when I heard this sabad sung in rag asa. It is part of the Sikh Heritage recordings on www.gurmatsangeetproject.com. Sarbpreet Singh is busy loading up all the recordings he did while Gyani Dyal Singh and Bhai Kanwarpal Singh were in town. Now that I am back in the
So, the sabad is on page 384 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. You should also check out the sabads before and after this one. It is in the section of Asa Mahala 5, Ghar 7, it is the 2nd sabad in that section and is the 53rd sabad by Guru Arjan Sahib in Rag Asa. The metaphors relate to “girlfriend”, “husband”, “virtuous bride”, "immaculate marriage". These are metaphors for us now, but back in the day, this is how people spoke, and people understood when it was spoken. Based on that I always think, hypothetically, if Guru Sahib was around today and wanted to speak to the youth, he would use the kind of language that the youth are used to. Something like a mild form of ghetto talk that I get a big dose of while I am at Sikh youth camps. You know what I’m talking about! Anyway, the Guru does indeed visit us at the camps in the form of the sabad – the infinite wisdom. And it is up to us to interpret the wisdom in the current generation vernacular.
So, the first sentence of the rahao di tuk is: ਚੁਕਾ ਨਿਹੋਰਾ ਸਖੀ ਸਹੇਰੀ ॥ A formal (read bland) translation/transcreation would be something like: “My complaining and frustrations (of materialistic life) has seized, oh my truthful female companions”. Now if I share that with teenagers they will 1) insist on calling me Uncle ji, 2) have no interest and not understand how it applies to their life. However, if we explained it to them something like this: “Yo yo, girlfriends, check it out! I no complain no more! The main man - my Guru - has ….”. I don’t know good ghetto talk so I can’t think of how to complete the sentence. But you get my point. If I said it that way, then the kids would atleast laugh at me trying to be like them, and at least listen, if not get the point.
Anyway, below I present my flowery, partial uncle ji partial ghetto style transcreation of the sabad:
Yo, yo girlfriends! I don’t need to complain no more! Through the Guru, I have no more confusions and frustrations, and as a result I have merged with my spouse - Vahiguru! (Reflect and ponder this thought).
Yo, yo girlfriends! I was really down and unhappy because I felt far away from Reality, kinda in a zone of my own. But now, I think I understand the teachings of the Guru, and I feel I am always within Divine presence.
Yo, yo girlfriends! Thanks to the Guru, I am now in the safety of the protection (bed) of the Universal Spouse. I am no longer dependent and oppressed and stand confident as an independent sovereign.
Yo, yo girlfriends! The infinite wisdom (Sabad) has enlightened my heart and thus, my way of life! It’s all good! It’s all bliss with me and my Universal Spouse!
Yo, yo girlfriends! Nanak says: Check it out! Ain’t it cool that because of grace and positive fortune, my Infinite Spouse is like in my heart! It’s like the coolest Divine Marriage and I am simply a happy bride!
(originally revealed by Nanak V in Raga Asa)
ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ 5 ॥
ਦੂਖੁ ਘਨੋ ਜਬ ਹੋਤੇ ਦੂਰਿ ॥
ਅਬ ਮਸਲਤਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਮਿਲੀ ਹਦੂਰਿ ॥1॥
ਚੁਕਾ ਨਿਹੋਰਾ ਸਖੀ ਸਹੇਰੀ ॥
ਭਰਮੁ ਗਇਆ ਗੁਰਿ ਪਿਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਮੇਰੀ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਨਿਕਟਿ ਆਨਿ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਸੇਜ ਧਰੀ ॥
ਕਾਣਿ ਕਢਨ ਤੇ ਛੂਟਿ ਪਰੀ ॥2॥
ਮੰਦਰਿ ਮੇਰੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਉਜਾਰਾ ॥
ਅਨਦ ਬਿਨੋਦੀ ਖਸਮੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥3॥
ਮਸਤਕਿ ਭਾਗੁ ਮੈ ਪਿਰੁ ਘਰਿ ਆਇਆ ॥
ਥਿਰੁ ਸੋਹਾਗੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥4॥2॥53॥