Shalok Sheikh Fareed Jio Ke

(SGGS Ji – Anggs 1377 till 1384)

Fariduddin Masud Ganj Shakar (1173-1266) was a Sufi Saint and remains one of the most esteemed Muslim Mystics of the Islamic Golden Age.

Sheikh Fareed Ji was born at Kothewal, 10km from Multan, and received his early education at Multan. He moved to Delhi and learned the Islamic doctrine from Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. In 1235, Fareed Ji moved to Pakpattan.

Although Sankrist, Arabic, Turkish and Persian were considered the languages of the learned and elite, Sheikh Fareed Ji chose to express himself in Punjabi and endeared himself to the simple folks who conversed in Punjabi.

Sheikh Fareed Ji visited Mokhalpur and preached about the True Name to the local populace. The Raja was so impressed with Fareed Ji’s presence that he renamed Mokhalpur as Fareedkot.

As Guru Nanak Dev Ji went on his Udasis, Guru Ji collected the Bani of Sheikh Fareed Ji from Sheikh Ji’s successor on the Gurgaddi of Sheikh Fareed Ji. Shaikh Ibrahim handed this Bani to Guru Nanak Dev Ji at a place now called Nanaksar or Nanak Tibba, about 6 kilometers from Pakpattan.

Mcauliffe is wrong when he says that the Bani collected by Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the Bani of Sheikh Ibrahim, the 10th successor to the Gurgaddi of Sheikh Fareed Ji. The local populace had been singing Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Bani long before the birth of Sheikh Ibrahim and such evidence is found in the old literature of Pakpattan.

Sheikh Fareed Ji has 4 Shabads and 130 Sloks in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS Ji).

The language of Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Bani is mostly Multani Punjabi and it is of extraordinary power and sensitivity. Fareed Ji has 2 Shabads in Raag Assa and another 2 Shabads in Raag Suhi, 130 Sloks are ascribed to Sheikh Fareed Ji from Anggs 1377 till 1384.

In the 1st Slok, Fareed Ji graphically describes a death scene using the imagery of a marriage. The saha (wedding date i.e. time of death) is pre-ordained and the bride soul who had only heard of the Messenger of Death, now actually sees his face. Death breaks the bones of the body and pulls the helpless soul out. This saha, pre-ordained time of marriage with death cannot be avoided, let your soul accept this Truth. 

The soul is the bride and death is the groom, he will marry her and take her away. As the soul is sent off literally by the hands of its own body, and the body now lies lifeless, it is now unable to embrace its own neck and weep about the separation. Sheikh Fareed Ji reminds man about Pursalat, the bridge which spans over the fires of hell. Only the Pure ones make it across. The evil ones fall down into hell. The Pursalat bridge upon which you have to walk is narrower than the strand of hair – have  you never heard of this? The call (of death) has sounded. Be careful – do not let yourself be robbed, ensnared by the enticements (of maya and sin).

“ਜਿਤੁ ਦਿਹਾੜੈ ਧਨ ਵਰੀ ਸਾਹੇ ਲਏ ਲਿਖਾਇ ॥

The day of the bride’s wedding is pre-ordained.

ਮਲਕੁ ਜਿ ਕੰਨੀ ਸੁਣੀਦਾ ਮੁਹੁ ਦੇਖਾਲੇ ਆਇ ॥

On that day, the Messenger of Death, of whom she had only heard, comes and shows its face.

ਜਿੰਦੁ ਨਿਮਾਣੀ ਕਢੀਐ ਹਡਾ ਕੂ ਕੜਕਾਇ ॥

It breaks the bones of the body and pulls the helpless soul out.

ਸਾਹੇ ਲਿਖੇ ਨ ਚਲਨੀ ਜਿੰਦੂ ਕੂੰ ਸਮਝਾਇ ॥

That pre-ordained time of marriage cannot be avoided. Explain this to your soul.

ਜਿੰਦੁ ਵਹੁਟੀ ਮਰਣੁ ਵਰੁ ਲੈ ਜਾਸੀ ਪਰਣਾਇ ॥

The soul is the bride, and death is the groom. He will marry her and take her away.

ਆਪਣ ਹਥੀ ਜੋਲਿ ਕੈ ਕੈ ਗਲਿ ਲਗੈ ਧਾਇ ॥

After the body sends her away with its own hands, whose neck will it embrace?

ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਪੁਰਸਲਾਤ ਕੰਨੀ ਨ ਸੁਣੀ ਆਇ ॥

The bridge to hell is narrower than a hair; haven’t you heard of it with your ears?

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਿੜੀ ਪਵੰਦੀਈ ਖੜਾ ਨ ਆਪੁ ਮੁਹਾਇ ॥੧॥

Fareed, the call has come; be careful now – don’t let yourself be robbed. ||1||.”

In his Sloks, Sheikh Fareed Ji uses the word darvesh to refer to a loving, humble, sincere Saint of the Lord.

In Slok no. 2, Sheikh Ji says I am so accustomed to the ways of the world; I find it is so difficult to walk in the way of the true Saints as one is enticed by the lures of the world. Now I find I have tied up a bundle of (worldly bondages) and walk on along carrying this bundle (karmic baggage). Where can I unburden myself and throw this bundle away?

“Fareeda Dar Darveshi gakhdi challa dunia bhatt; bann uthayi potli kithe vanja ghatt.”

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦਰ ਦਰਵੇਸੀ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਚਲਾਂ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਭਤਿ ॥

Fareed, it is so difficult to become a humble Saint at the Lord’s Door.

ਬੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਉਠਾਈ ਪੋਟਲੀ ਕਿਥੈ ਵੰਞਾ ਘਤਿ ॥੨॥

I am so accustomed to walking in the ways of the world. I have tied and picked up the bundle; where can I go to throw it away? ||2||”

In Slok no. 3, Sheikh Fareed Ji expresses gratitude to the Lord for saving him from the smoldering fires of the world. I know nothing and lay no claim to any wisdom. It was the Merciful Lord who warned me of the dangers of sinful ways, otherwise I too have been consumed by the fires of the world.

“ਕਿਝੁ ਨ ਬੁਝੈ ਕਿਝੁ ਨ ਸੁਝੈ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਗੁਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ ॥

I know nothing; I understand nothing. The world is a smoldering fire.

ਸਾਂਈਂ ਮੇਰੈ ਚੰਗਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਨਾਹੀ ਤ ਹੰ ਭੀ ਦਝਾਂ ਆਹਿ ॥੩॥

My Lord did well to warn me about it; otherwise, I would have been burnt as well. ||3||”

In Slok no. 4, Sheikh Fareed Ji makes reference to a custom prevalent till today amongst the Multani people and surrounding areas. A new bride is given a plate of some mustard/sesame seeds. She picks a handful and places the seeds in the hands of her mother-in-law and other new relatives of her husband’s home. The seeds are mixed and handed back and forth and finally, carefully put all on the plate, ensuring none fall from her hands. The symbolism is that the bride is happily mixing together with all members of her husband’s household.

Using this imagery for the bride soul, Sheikh Fareed Ji says, I wish I had known there were so few sesame seeds in my lot (i.e. I had a limited number of breaths in the world); I would have been more careful with my hands (i.e. I would not have let my breaths go to waste). If I had known my Husband Lord was so Young and Innocent (Pure), I would not have acted in arrogance.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਤਿਲ ਥੋੜੜੇ ਸੰਮਲਿ ਬੁਕੁ ਭਰੀ ॥

Fareed, if I had known that I had so few sesame seeds, I would have been more careful with them in my hands.

ਜੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਸਹੁ ਨੰਢੜਾ ਤਾਂ ਥੋੜਾ ਮਾਣੁ ਕਰੀ ॥੪॥

If I had known that my Husband Lord was so young and innocent, I would not have been so arrogant. ||4||”

Slok no. 5 further carries the imagery of a marriage. If I had known my marriage robe which ties me to my Husband Lord would come loose (i.e. my love for God was so fragile and easily distracted), I would have tied a tighter knot. Lord, I have searched throughout the world and know there is none as Great as You.

“ਜੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਲੜੁ ਛਿਜਣਾ ਪੀਡੀ ਪਾਈਂ ਗੰਢਿ ॥

If I had known that my robe would come loose, I would have tied a tighter knot.

ਤੈ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਮੈ ਨਾਹਿ ਕੋ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਡਿਠਾ ਹੰਢਿ ॥੫॥

I have found none as great as You, Lord; I have looked and searched throughout the world. ||5||”

Sheikh Fareed Ji advises men in Slok no. 6. If you have good wisdom, you would not write black marks (slander, envy, judge others) against anyone. Instead, one should peer deep into his inner self with utter humility and be aware of one’s own shortcomings.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੇ ਤੂ ਅਕਲਿ ਲਤੀਫੁ ਕਾਲੇ ਲਿਖੁ ਨ ਲੇਖ ॥

Fareed, if you have a keen understanding, then do not write black marks against anyone else.

ਆਪਨੜੇ ਗਿਰੀਵਾਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਰੁ ਨੀਵਾਂ ਕਰਿ ਦੇਖੁ ॥੬॥

Look underneath your own collar instead. ||6||”

In Slok no. 7, Sheikh Fareed Ji says it is the nature of most persons to immediately turn around and strike anyone who has hurt them. Sheikh Fareed Ji counsels that one should instead, go deep within himself, forgive them and kiss their feet, i.e. respond with humility and love.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੋ ਤੈ ਮਾਰਨਿ ਮੁਕੀਆਂ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਨ ਮਾਰੇ ਘੁੰਮਿ ॥

Fareed, do not turn around and strike those who strike you with their fists.

ਆਪਨੜੈ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਪੈਰ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਦੇ ਚੁੰਮਿ ॥੭॥

Kiss their feet, and return to your own home. ||7||”

In Slok no. 8, Sheikh Ji warns man about the time he has wasted in worldly enticements. When it was time for you to earn the merits of Loving Prayer, you were engrossed with the world. Now, death has a strong foothold (grip), and when the time measure is full, you will be loaded and taken away (by death).

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਾਂ ਤਉ ਖਟਣ ਵੇਲ ਤਾਂ ਤੂ ਰਤਾ ਦੁਨੀ ਸਿਉ ॥

Fareed, when there was time for you to earn good karma, you were in love with the world instead.

ਮਰਗ ਸਵਾਈ ਨੀਹਿ ਜਾਂ ਭਰਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਲਦਿਆ ॥੮॥

Now, death has a strong foothold; when the load is full, it is taken away. ||8||”

Slok no. 9 warns man about impending death. Man’s beard has become gray and sparse. The time for death is fast approaching and near, while the past (revelments) seem so far away.

“ਦੇਖੁ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੁ ਥੀਆ ਦਾੜੀ ਹੋਈ ਭੂਰ ॥

See, Fareed, what has happened: your beard has become grey.

ਅਗਹੁ ਨੇੜਾ ਆਇਆ ਪਿਛਾ ਰਹਿਆ ਦੂਰਿ ॥੯॥

That which is coming is near, and the past is left far behind. ||9||”

In Slok no. 10, Sheikh Fareed Ji tells of a man who found the ways of the world to be sweet. As life ebbs away, all such sweet joys of the world now appear like poison. I am now very ill and in sorrow. Without my Lord, who can I cry to about these pains?

“ਦੇਖੁ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿ ਥੀਆ ਸਕਰ ਹੋਈ ਵਿਸੁ ॥

See, Fareed, what has happened: sugar has become poison.

ਸਾਂਈ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਆਪਣੇ ਵੇਦਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਕਿਸੁ ॥੧੦॥

Without my Lord, who can I tell of my sorrow? ||10||”

In Slok no. 11, Sheikh Fareed Ji compares the body to a stalk of wheat. The body crop has become ripe (old) and turned color (lost its lustre). The corneas of my eyes have become thin and my ears have become quite deaf (listening to the tumult of the world).

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਅਖੀ ਦੇਖਿ ਪਤੀਣੀਆਂ ਸੁਣਿ ਸੁਣਿ ਰੀਣੇ ਕੰਨ ॥

Fareed, my eyes have become weak, and my ears have become hard of hearing.

ਸਾਖ ਪਕੰਦੀ ਆਈਆ ਹੋਰ ਕਰੇਂਦੀ ਵੰਨ ॥੧੧॥

The body’s crop has become ripe and turned color. ||11||”

In Slok no. 12, Shiekh Fareed Ji uses the imagery of a jeev isteri. It is a rare bride soul who enjoys Sporting with her Divine Spouse when her hair was still black (in her youth). Some rare ones Sport with Him when their hair turns gray. One should enshrine Love with the Husband Lord to enjoy the Ever Fresh and New color of Love.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਾਲੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਰਾਵਿਆ ਧਉਲੀ ਰਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥

Fareed, those who did not enjoy their Spouse when their hair was black – hardly any of them enjoy Him when their hair turns grey.

ਕਰਿ ਸਾਂਈ ਸਿਉ ਪਿਰਹੜੀ ਰੰਗੁ ਨਵੇਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੧੨॥

So be in love with the Lord, so that your color may ever be new. ||12||”

What Sheikh Fareed Ji has said in Slok no. 12 is absolutely True. Guru Amardas Ji however, adds in Slok no. 13 to complement Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Slok to stress the Love for God comes with His Grace upon the mortal.

Slok no. 13, is written in Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Name, indicating the Gurus accorded the highest respect to the Bhagats and treated Bhagat Bani as Dhur Ki Bani too.

Guru Ji says whether the hair is black or grey, (young or old), the Lord is always Present if one remembers Him. Loving devotion to the Lord does not come from one’s own efforts, no matter how much one may yearn for such Love. This Cup of Loving Devotion belongs to our Lord and Master. He blesses and gives such Love to whomever He Likes.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕਾਲੀ ਧਉਲੀ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਸਦਾ ਹੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਚਿਤਿ ਕਰੇ ॥

Fareed, whether one’s hair is black or grey, our Lord and Master is always here if one remembers Him.

ਆਪਣਾ ਲਾਇਆ ਪਿਰਮੁ ਨ ਲਗਈ ਜੇ ਲੋਚੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥

This loving devotion to the Lord does not come by one’s own efforts, even though all may long for it.

ਏਹੁ ਪਿਰਮੁ ਪਿਆਲਾ ਖਸਮ ਕਾ ਜੈ ਭਾਵੈ ਤੈ ਦੇਇ ॥੧੩॥

This cup of loving devotion belongs to our Lord and Master; He gives it to whomever He likes. ||13||”

In Slok no. 14, Sheikh Fareed Ji speaks of the temporary nature of human beauty.  Sheikh Ji says, I have seen such eyes that bewitched the world with their lustre. Such delicate eyes which could not bear even the streak of mascara, now (upon death) the sockets lie empty and birds hatch their young in that space.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਲੋਇਣ ਜਗੁ ਮੋਹਿਆ ਸੇ ਲੋਇਣ ਮੈ ਡਿਠੁ ॥

Fareed, those eyes which have enticed the world – I have seen those eyes.

ਕਜਲ ਰੇਖ ਨ ਸਹਦਿਆ ਸੇ ਪੰਖੀ ਸੂਇ ਬਹਿਠੁ ॥੧੪॥

Once, they could not endure even a bit of mascara; now, the birds hatch their young in them! ||14||”

In Slok no. 15, Shiekh Fareed Ji speaks of the manmukhs who do not heed the Good Counsel of jeev isteris who were drenched with Love for God. They constantly gave good Advice, and loudly proclaimed the True Path to Union. The manmukh jeev isteris were however driven by Satan (evil mindedness), and did not turn their focus towards God.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕੂਕੇਦਿਆ ਚਾਂਗੇਦਿਆ ਮਤੀ ਦੇਦਿਆ ਨਿਤ ॥

Fareed, they shouted and yelled, and constantly gave good advice.

ਜੋ ਸੈਤਾਨਿ ਵੰਞਾਇਆ ਸੇ ਕਿਤ ਫੇਰਹਿ ਚਿਤ ॥੧੫॥

But those whom the devil has spoiled – how can they turn their consciousness towards God? ||15||”

In Slok no. 16, Sheikh Fareed Ji extols the virtues of humility. One should be humble like grass if one seeks to Unite with the Master of all. A stretch of grass allows itself to be cut (to be of use to others as feed). Another stretch allows itself to be trampled upon, to provide some foothold against a muddy area. It is such a deep level of humility that will enable you to access the Lord’s Court. Sheikh Ji says even if you feel trampled upon by others, or used by others, you should not lose your humble nature, even under those trying situations. If such humility leads you to Lord’s Door, all that you endure would be worth it.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਥੀਉ ਪਵਾਹੀ ਦਭੁ ॥

Fareed, become the grass on the path,

ਜੇ ਸਾਂਈ ਲੋੜਹਿ ਸਭੁ ॥

if you long for the Lord of all.

ਇਕੁ ਛਿਜਹਿ ਬਿਆ ਲਤਾੜੀਅਹਿ ॥

One will cut you down, and another will trample you underfoot;

ਤਾਂ ਸਾਈ ਦੈ ਦਰਿ ਵਾੜੀਅਹਿ ॥੧੬॥

then, you shall enter the Court of the Lord. ||16||”

Sheikh Fareed Ji in Slok no. 17, takes a look at dust, the earth upon which we walk  daily. Most do not view dust, earth with any dignity and underestimate it.  It is always seen as beneath your feet. Upon death however, you will find this same earth will be above you (your grave).

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਖਾਕੁ ਨ ਨਿੰਦੀਐ ਖਾਕੂ ਜੇਡੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥

Fareed, do not slander the dust; noting is as great as dust.

ਜੀਵਦਿਆ ਪੈਰਾ ਤਲੈ ਮੁਇਆ ਉਪਰਿ ਹੋਇ ॥੧੭॥

When we are alive, it is under our feet, and when we are dead, it is above us. ||17||”

In Slok no. 18, Sheikh Fareed Ji speaks of love. If the love you profess is based upon some greed, such love is tainted and not true. Such a love will only construct a house of straw, and each time it rains, the waters will flood your home, making it impossible to live there any longer.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਾ ਲਬੁ ਤਾ ਨੇਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਲਬੁ ਤ ਕੂੜਾ ਨੇਹੁ ॥

Fareed, when there is greed, what love can there be? When there is greed, love is false.

ਕਿਚਰੁ ਝਤਿ ਲਘਾਈਐ ਛਪਰਿ ਤੁਟੈ ਮੇਹੁ ॥੧੮॥

How long can one remain in a thatched hut which leaks when it rains? ||18||”

In Slok no. 19, Sheikh Fareed Ji addresses some fakeers who travel from jungle to  jungle, bending away thorny bushes in their path, in their search for God. Sheikh Ji says, the Lord resides in your own heart, why look for Him in the jungles?

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਭਵਹਿ ਵਣਿ ਕੰਡਾ ਮੋੜੇਹਿ ॥

Fareed, why do you wander from jungle to jungle, crashing through the thorny trees?

ਵਸੀ ਰਬੁ ਹਿਆਲੀਐ ਜੰਗਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਢੂਢੇਹਿ ॥੧੯॥

The Lord abides in the heart; why are you looking for Him in the jungle? ||19||”

In Slok no. 20, Sheikh Fareed Ji tells us how old age will enfeeble all. These small feet of mine traversed deserts and mountains. Yet, in my weak old state, my water jug seems a hundred miles away.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਇਨੀ ਨਿਕੀ ਜੰਘੀਐ ਥਲ ਡੂੰਗਰ ਭਵਿਓਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥

Fareed, with these small legs, I crossed deserts and mountains.

ਅਜੁ ਫਰੀਦੈ ਕੂਜੜਾ ਸੈ ਕੋਹਾਂ ਥੀਓਮਿ ॥੨੦॥

But today, Fareed, my water jug seems hundreds of miles away. ||20||”

In Slok no. 30, a jeev isteri says, I did not Unite with my Beloved Lord and my body tossed and turned in pain. I ask similarly deserted and unfortunate brides how do you pass your nights? (How can one live life without Union with the Husband Lord?)

“ਅਜੁ ਨ ਸੁਤੀ ਕੰਤ ਸਿਉ ਅੰਗੁ ਮੁੜੇ ਮੁੜਿ ਜਾਇ ॥

This night, I did not sleep with my Husband Lord, and now my body is suffering in pain.

ਜਾਇ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਡੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਤੁਮ ਕਿਉ ਰੈਣਿ ਵਿਹਾਇ ॥੩੦॥

Go and ask the deserted bride, how she passes her night. ||30||”

Slok no. 31 carries the conversation further. Such a deserted bride finds no rest in her Father-in-Law’s Place (hereafter), nor in her parents home (this world).

She may call herself fanciful names like a happily married soul bride, but the Husband Lord does not even inquire about her or care for her.

“ਸਾਹੁਰੈ ਢੋਈ ਨਾ ਲਹੈ ਪੇਈਐ ਨਾਹੀ ਥਾਉ ॥

She finds no place of rest in her father-in-law’s home, and no place in her parents’ home either.

ਪਿਰੁ ਵਾਤੜੀ ਨ ਪੁਛਈ ਧਨ ਸੋਹਾਗਣਿ ਨਾਉ ॥੩੧॥

Her Husband Lord does not care for her; what sort of a blessed, happy soul-bride is she? ||31||”

Slok no. 32, is by Guru Amardas Ji and is also found at Angg 1088, SGGS Ji.  Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Sloks nos. 30 and 31 are absolutely correct about the desolate state of the bride’s soul who is not attached to her Husband Lord. Guru Amardas Ji infuses hope and optimism in Slok no. 32, to stress that the Lord is always Compassionate, although He is Inaccessible and Unfathomable.

In the world hereafter and here too, the jeev isteri belongs to the Husband Lord (she is His Creation). A desolate jeev isteri too can be a happily married (United) bride if she attracts His Grace and becomes Pleasing to Him. 

“ਸਾਹੁਰੈ ਪੇਈਐ ਕੰਤ ਕੀ ਕੰਤੁ ਅਗੰਮੁ ਅਥਾਹੁ ॥

In her father-in-law’s home hereafter, and in her parents’ home in this world, she belongs to her Husband Lord. Her Husband is Inaccessible and Unfathomable.

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਸੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਜੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਬੇਪਰਵਾਹ ॥੩੨॥

O Nanak, she is the happy soul-bride, who is pleasing to her Carefree Lord. ||32||”

In Slok no. 35, Sheikh Ji says, in our daily lives we tend to clothe ourselves with karmic burdens. Sheikh Ji uses the imagery of bedding to drive forth the pain and suffering man has weaved for himself and now sleeps daily in his miseries and pain.

“Fareed, anxiety is my bed, pain is the cross woven string bed, and the pain of separation (from God) is my blanket and quilt; such is my life, O my True Lord and Master.”

“Fareeda chintt khatola vaan dukh birhe vishavan lef; eh hamara jeevna Tu Sahib Sache vekh.” 

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਚਿੰਤ ਖਟੋਲਾ ਵਾਣੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਬਿਰਹਿ ਵਿਛਾਵਣ ਲੇਫੁ ॥

Fareed, anxiety is my bed, pain is my mattress, and the pain of separation is my blanket and quilt.

ਏਹੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਜੀਵਣਾ ਤੂ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਚੇ ਵੇਖੁ ॥੩੫॥

Behold, this is my life, O my True Lord and Master. ||35||.”

In Slok no. 36, Sheikh Fareed Ji speaks of birha. It is a yearning for union with the Divine. As it intensifies you break away from the bonds of maya and merge into the One Formless Lord.

It is known as bairaag too.

“Birha birha akhiai birha tu sultan; Fareeda jit tan birahu na upjai so tan jan masan.”

“ਬਿਰਹਾ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਬਿਰਹਾ ਤੂ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ॥

Many talk of the pain and suffering of separation; O pain, you are the ruler of all.

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਨ ਊਪਜੈ ਸੋ ਤਨੁ ਜਾਣੁ ਮਸਾਨੁ ॥੩੬॥

Fareed, that body, within which love of the Lord does not well up – look upon that body as a cremation ground. ||36||” 

Bhagat Kabir Ji in His unique way says this birha is like a snake. Once it strikes you it cannot be captured by any mantra or snake charmer.

Its strike is so lethal that the biyogi of Raam (one who pines for union with God), cannot live. If however, he somehow happens to live after being bitten by the snake of birha, such a biyogi becomes baura (quite mad) i.e. the world sees such a diwana as mad.

“Kabir birho bhuyangam man basse mannt na maane koye; Ram biyogi na jiye; jiye ta baura hoye” (Ang 1368).

“ਕਬੀਰ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਭੁਯੰਗਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਬਸੈ ਮੰਤੁ ਨ ਮਾਨੈ ਕੋਇ ॥

Kabeer, the snake of separation from the Lord abides within my mind; it does not respond to any mantra.

ਰਾਮ ਬਿਓਗੀ ਨਾ ਜੀਐ ਜੀਐ ਤ ਬਉਰਾ ਹੋਇ ॥੭੬॥

One who is separated from the Lord does not live; if he does live, he goes insane. ||76||”

In Slok no. 51, Sheikh Fareed Ji uses the words  ਰਤੇਰਤੀ.

“Ratte” and “ratti” or “ratt” can mean coloured with love and “not even a little bit – not even a drop.”

Sheikh Fareed Ji says not even a drop of blood would rise forth if one cuts the body of someone who is coloured with Love for God. In the Islamic belief, blood stain is considered as  defiling or dirty.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਰਤੀ ਰਤੁ ਨ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਜੇ ਤਨੁ ਚੀਰੈ ਕੋਇ ॥

Fareed, not even a drop of blood would issue forth, if someone cut my body.

ਜੋ ਤਨ ਰਤੇ ਰਬ ਸਿਉ ਤਿਨ ਤਨਿ ਰਤੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫੧॥

Those bodies which are imbued with the Lord – those bodies contain no blood. ||51||”

Guru Amardas Ji replies and clarifies Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Slok in Slok no. 52, where Guru Ji says all bodies contain blood, and without blood the  body could not exist. Those who are coloured with Love for God, do not have the blood of greed in them (this was what Sheikh Fareed Ji meant in Slok no. 51). 

The blood of greed flows out when one lives in fear of God’s Hukam, the body becomes thinner as the fat of wordly greed is purged out. Just as metal can be forged into a proper shape by fire, similarly, Fear of breaching God’s Hukam removes all the residue of evil mindedness. Such persons are rendered handsome if they are colored with Love for God; a love He infuses Himself in His Grace.

“ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਸਭੋ ਰਤੁ ਹੈ ਰਤੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਤੰਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

This body is all blood; without blood, this body could not exist.

ਜੋ ਸਹ ਰਤੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਤਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਲੋਭੁ ਰਤੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

Those who are imbued with their Lord, do not have the blood of greed in their bodies.

ਭੈ ਪਇਐ ਤਨੁ ਖੀਣੁ ਹੋਇ ਲੋਭੁ ਰਤੁ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਜਾਇ ॥

When the Fear of God fills the body, it becomes thin; the blood of greed departs from within.

ਜਿਉ ਬੈਸੰਤਰਿ ਧਾਤੁ ਸੁਧੁ ਹੋਇ ਤਿਉ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਭਉ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥

Just as metal is purified by fire, the Fear of God removes the filthy residues of evil-mindedness.

ਨਾਨਕ ਤੇ ਜਨ ਸੋਹਣੇ ਜਿ ਰਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਰੰਗੁ ਲਾਇ ॥੫੨॥

O Nanak, those humble beings are beautiful, who are imbued with the Lord’s Love. ||52||”

In Anand Sahib, we are told “aisaa kam mulay na kijay jit antt pachotaiiye”. (Pauri 11). Do not engage in any conduct where you will have regret in the end.

On a similar note, Sheikh Fareed Ji tells us in Slok no. 59 not to do useless deeds which bring no merit. Abandon all such useless deeds. Otherwise, you shall be put to shame in the Court of the Lord.

“Fareeda jinni kammi nahi gun te kamrhe visaar; mat sharminda thivaeyee Sain de Darbar”

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਕੰਮੀ ਨਾਹਿ ਗੁਣ ਤੇ ਕੰਮੜੇ ਵਿਸਾਰਿ ॥

Fareed, those deeds which do not bring merit – forget about those deeds.

ਮਤੁ ਸਰਮਿੰਦਾ ਥੀਵਹੀ ਸਾਂਈ ਦੈ ਦਰਬਾਰਿ ॥੫੯॥

Otherwise, you shall be put to shame, in the Court of the Lord. ||59||” 

In Slok no. 60 , Sheikh Fareed Ji speaks of the resilience needed by Saints. One should dispel all doubts and serve the One Master; the darveshes, the true Saints of the Lord, need the patient endurance of trees.

“Fareeda Sahib di kar chakri dil di lahe praandh; darvesha nu lorhiye rukha di jiraandh.”

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਕਰਿ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਦਿਲ ਦੀ ਲਾਹਿ ਭਰਾਂਦਿ ॥

Fareed, work for your Lord and Master; dispel the doubts of your heart.

ਦਰਵੇਸਾਂ ਨੋ ਲੋੜੀਐ ਰੁਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਜੀਰਾਂਦਿ ॥੬੦॥

The dervishes, the humble devotees, have the patient endurance of trees. ||60||”

In Slok no. 81, Sheikh Fareed Ji says, I thought I was alone in my troubles; troubles afflict the entire world. As I climbed to the rooftop of the world (high avasta), I saw the fires of misery rising from every corner.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਮੈ ਜਾਨਿਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਮੁਝ ਕੂ ਦੁਖੁ ਸਬਾਇਐ ਜਗਿ ॥

Fareed, I thought that I was in trouble; the whole world is in trouble!

ਊਚੇ ਚੜਿ ਕੈ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਏਹਾ ਅਗਿ ॥੮੧॥

When I climbed the hill and looked around, I saw this fire in each and every home. ||81||”

Guru Arjun Dev Ji complements Sheikh Fareed Ji in Slok no. 82, where Guru Ji says the world is colorful and full of joy. It is an individual who carries a garden of poison within him. Those who are blessed by their Pir (Guru) are not scorched at all. Here, Guru Ji says, to escape from the miseries of the world, one should take the Sharan of a Satguru and strive to attract His grace.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਭੂਮਿ ਰੰਗਾਵਲੀ ਮੰਝਿ ਵਿਸੂਲਾ ਬਾਗ ॥

Fareed, in the midst of this beautiful earth, there is a garden of thorns.

ਜੋ ਜਨ ਪੀਰਿ ਨਿਵਾਜਿਆ ਤਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਅੰਚ ਨ ਲਾਗ ॥੮੨॥

Those humble beings who are blessed by their spiritual teacher, do not suffer even a scratch. ||82||”

In Slok no. 83, Guru Ji goes further and says,  besides Sharan, one must enshrine Love for God too. Such persons are rare. This Love for God leads to a blessed life and a blessed body.

‘ਫਰੀਦਾ ਉਮਰ ਸੁਹਾਵੜੀ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੁਵੰਨੜੀ ਦੇਹ ॥

Fareed, life is blessed and beautiful, along with the beautiful body. 

ਵਿਰਲੇ ਕੇਈ ਪਾਈਅਨਿ ਜਿੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੇਹ ॥੮੩॥

Only a rare few are found, who love their Beloved Lord. ||83||”

Sheikh Ji in the Slok no. 90 says: 

“Fareeda tann sukaa pinjar theea taliyaan khundeh kaag;

Ajey so Rabb na bahuriyo dekh bandey ke bhaag” 

My body is withered like a skeleton, and crows are pecking at my palms;

Despite my sorry state, God has not yet come to help me; this is the fate of all mortals.” 

In SGGS Ji, the word “kaanga,” “kaa,” or “kaag” is used for crow or raven. The color of these birds is black.

Black is associated with sin, paap. 

At Angg 848, Guru Arjun Dev Ji tells us.

“Prabh bhagat vashall na seveyi kaayan kakk grasna Raam.” 

“ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਵਛਲੁ ਨਹ ਸੇਵਹੀ ਕਾਇਆ ਕਾਕ ਗ੍ਰਸਨਾ ਰਾਮ ॥ 

(One who does not serve the Lord, (who loves His saints), such a person has his body pecked at by crows).”


That is the literal translation. Crows here refer to vishay vikaar; paap. These sins will literally consume your body from within.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਤਨੁ ਸੁਕਾ ਪਿੰਜਰੁ ਥੀਆ ਤਲੀਆਂ ਖੂੰਡਹਿ ਕਾਗ ॥

Fareed, my withered body has become a skeleton; the crows are pecking at my palms. 

ਅਜੈ ਸੁ ਰਬੁ ਨ ਬਾਹੁੜਿਓ ਦੇਖੁ ਬੰਦੇ ਕੇ ਭਾਗ ॥੯੦॥

Even now, God has not come to help me; behold, this is the fate of all mortal beings. ||90||.”

In Slok no. 91, the imagery of the crow (vikaar) is used again. 

“Kaanga karang dhandholia sagla khaaya maas; Eh doye naina mat shoho Pir dekhan ki aas.” 

(The crows (sins) have searched my skeleton and eaten away all my flesh; yet I beseech you, do not touch these eyes as I wish to see my Lord).

Sheikh Ji is describing man’s condition. Yes. I have sinned terribly, but I still harbor hopes of salvation; I have hopes of seeing my Lord.

“ਕਾਗਾ ਕਰੰਗ ਢੰਢੋਲਿਆ ਸਗਲਾ ਖਾਇਆ ਮਾਸੁ ॥

The crows have searched my skeleton, and eaten all my flesh. 

ਏ ਦੁਇ ਨੈਨਾ ਮਤਿ ਛੁਹਉ ਪਿਰ ਦੇਖਨ ਕੀ ਆਸ ॥੯੧॥

But please do not touch these eyes; I hope to see my Lord. ||91||.”

Slok no. 92 is also about crows (sins) and Sheikh Ji says: 

“Kaanga choond na pinjraa; bassey ta uddar jaaye; Jit pinjre mera Saho vassay maas na tiduu khaye.” 

(O crow do not peck at my skeleton; if you have landed on it do fly away;

I do not want you to eat the flesh from the skeleton (body cage), in which my Beloved Husband resides)

“ਕਾਗਾ ਚੂੰਡਿ ਨ ਪਿੰਜਰਾ ਬਸੈ ਤ ਉਡਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥

O crow, do not peck at my skeleton; if you have landed on it, fly away. 

ਜਿਤੁ ਪਿੰਜਰੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਹੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਾਸੁ ਨ ਤਿਦੂ ਖਾਹਿ ॥੯੨॥

Do not eat the flesh from that skeleton, within which my Husband Lord abides. ||92||.’’

This is close to Guru J’s Shabad where we are told: 

“Nass vanjho kilvikho Karta ghar aaya” (Ang 460). 

“ਨਸਿ ਵੰਞਹੁ ਕਿਲਵਿਖਹੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਘਰਿ ਆਇਆ ॥

Run away, O sins; the Creator has entered my home.” 

Run away O sins, the Lord is now abiding in my inner home.

In Slok no. 103, Sheikh Fareed Ji says the jeev isteri has torn up her headscarf and now wears only a rough blanket (worn by Sufi Saints). She says, I dress myself only in those clothes which will lead me to Union with the Husband Lord. Sheikh Fareed Ji is speaking about inner clothes of piety – His Gunn (Attributes of God, Naam) which the jeev isteri must wear before she can Unite with her Husband Lord.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਪਾੜਿ ਪਟੋਲਾ ਧਜ ਕਰੀ ਕੰਬਲੜੀ ਪਹਿਰੇਉ ॥

Fareed, I have torn my clothes to tatters; now I wear only a rough blanket. 

ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਵੇਸੀ ਸਹੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੇਈ ਵੇਸ ਕਰੇਉ ॥੧੦੩॥

I wear only those clothes which will lead me to meet my Lord. ||103||”

A literal reading however, can mislead some into thinking that external wear can lead to Union. In Slok no. 104, Guru Amardas Ji clarifies. Guru Ji says why do you tear away your fine clothes and wear only a coarse blanket? What you need to clothe yourself with is sincere devotion, honest loving focus upon the Lord. If you do so, you can find the Lord in your own home within yourself.

“ਕਾਇ ਪਟੋਲਾ ਪਾੜਤੀ ਕੰਬਲੜੀ ਪਹਿਰੇਇ ॥

Why do you tear apart your fine clothes, and take to wearing a rough blanket? 

ਨਾਨਕ ਘਰ ਹੀ ਬੈਠਿਆ ਸਹੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਜੇ ਨੀਅਤਿ ਰਾਸਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥੧੦੪॥

O Nanak, even sitting in your own home, you can meet the Lord, if your mind is in the right place. ||104||’’

In Slok no. 105, Guru Arjun Dev Ji expands on the theme by Guru Amardas Ji and says, apart from sincerity, one must have humility and remove all pride in wealth and beauty. Those who harbored such pride left the world empty handed, just like the small hillocks upon which rain water cannot collect and form a pool.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਗਰਬੁ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਵਡਿਆਈਆ ਧਨਿ ਜੋਬਨਿ ਆਗਾਹ ॥

Fareed, those who are very proud of their greatness, wealth and youth, 

ਖਾਲੀ ਚਲੇ ਧਣੀ ਸਿਉ ਟਿਬੇ ਜਿਉ ਮੀਹਾਹੁ ॥੧੦੫॥

shall return empty-handed from their Lord, like sand hills after the rain. ||105||”

In Slok no. 107, Sheikh Fareed Ji says if one does not awaken in the early hours to pray is as good as dead whilst he is still living. If one forgets the Lord, He certainly does not forget you (i.e. you will stil have to give lekha). It is a harsh Truth.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਪਿਛਲ ਰਾਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਗਿਓਹਿ ਜੀਵਦੜੋ ਮੁਇਓਹਿ ॥

Fareed, if you do not awaken in the early hours before dawn, you are dead while yet alive. 

ਜੇ ਤੈ ਰਬੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਤ ਰਬਿ ਨ ਵਿਸਰਿਓਹਿ ॥੧੦੭॥

Although you have forgotten God, God has not forgotten you. ||107||”

Guru Arjun Dev Ji, in Slok no. 108 replies to Slok no. 107 and infuses hope in man that despite the harshness of His Hukam, the Lord is full of Love and Joy. He is Great and Independent. One should have Love for God. That is the best way to decorate your jeev.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਕੰਤੁ ਰੰਗਾਵਲਾ ਵਡਾ ਵੇਮੁਹਤਾਜੁ ॥

Fareed, my Husband Lord is full of joy; He is Great and Self-sufficient. 

ਅਲਹ ਸੇਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ਏਹੁ ਸਚਾਵਾਂ ਸਾਜੁ ॥੧੦੮॥

To be imbued with the Lord God – this is the most beautiful decoration. ||108||”

Apart from Love in Slok no. 109, Guru Ji adds, one must accept God’s Will, accept pain and joy equally, and remove evil mindedness from his heart. As you accept His Will as sweet, you will find the Path to His Court.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਇਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਦਿਲ ਤੇ ਲਾਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥

Fareed, look upon pleasure and pain as the same; eradicate corruption from your heart. 

ਅਲਹ ਭਾਵੈ ਸੋ ਭਲਾ ਤਾਂ ਲਭੀ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ॥੧੦੯॥

Whatever pleases the Lord God is good; understand this, and you will reach His Court. ||109||”

In Slok no. 110, Guru Ji further elaborates that the world is like an instrument playing worldly tunes. If one dances to the Tune of His Hukam, he escapes from all worldly dance steps.

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੁਨੀ ਵਜਾਈ ਵਜਦੀ ਤੂੰ ਭੀ ਵਜਹਿ ਨਾਲਿ ॥

Fareed, the world dances as it dances, and you dance with it as well. 

ਸੋਈ ਜੀਉ ਨ ਵਜਦਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਅਲਹੁ ਕਰਦਾ ਸਾਰ ॥੧੧੦॥

That soul alone does not dance with it, who is under the care of the Lord God. ||110||”

Guru Ji concludes these series of Sloks in Slok no. 111. Guru Ji says, realisation must set in that falling in love with the world brings no benefits. One has to detach from all worldly attachments and take to the Path of the Saints. This, however, can only be achieved with His Grace.


“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦਿਲੁ ਰਤਾ ਇਸੁ ਦੁਨੀ ਸਿਉ ਦੁਨੀ ਨ ਕਿਤੈ ਕੰਮਿ ॥

Fareed, the heart is imbued with this world, but the world is of no use to it at all. 

ਮਿਸਲ ਫਕੀਰਾਂ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਸੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੂਰ ਕਰੰਮਿ ॥੧੧੧॥

It is so difficult to be like the fakeers – the Holy Saints; it is only achieved by perfect karma. ||111||”

In Slok no. 112, Sheikh Fareed Ji says if one sits in deep prayers during the first quarter of the night, his spirituality gets blessed with Flowers of Divinity. If he sits in devotional prayer during the final quarter of the night, he is blessed with Divine Fruit. Those who remain awake spiritually receive these blessings from the Lord.

“ਪਹਿਲੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਫੁਲੜਾ ਫਲੁ ਭੀ ਪਛਾ ਰਾਤਿ ॥

The first watch of the night brings flowers, and the later watches of the night bring fruit. 

ਜੋ ਜਾਗੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਲਹੰਨਿ ਸੇ ਸਾਈ ਕੰਨੋ ਦਾਤਿ ॥੧੧੨॥

Those who remain awake and aware, receive the gifts from the Lord. ||112||”

What Sheikh Fareed Ji says is certainly correct but Guru Nanak Dev Ji wishes to stress that effort alone is never enough to receive His Blessings. Such Blessings are given in His Grace and no one can force His Blessings. He is Totally Independent. Some who are awake do not receive His Blessings. Others, He awakens from their slumber and Blesses them.

“ਦਾਤੀ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸੰਦੀਆ ਕਿਆ ਚਲੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਾਲਿ ॥

The gifts are from our Lord and Master; who can force Him to bestow them? 

ਇਕਿ ਜਾਗੰਦੇ ਨਾ ਲਹਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਇਕਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਸੁਤਿਆ ਦੇਇ ਉਠਾਲਿ ॥੧੧੩॥

Some are awake, and do not receive them, while He awakens others from sleep to bless them. ||113||”


Slok no. 118 is in a similar vein. Sheikh Fareed Ji says it is difficult to be a Holy Saint. Most only make an outer show of love; only a rare few follow the Path of the Saints. 

“Fareeda darveshi gakhdi chopdi preet; eikan kinne chaliye darvesha di reet.” 

“ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦਰਵੇਸੀ ਗਾਖੜੀ ਚੋਪੜੀ ਪਰੀਤਿ ॥

Fareed, it is difficult to be a dervish – a Holy Saint; it is easier to love bread when it is buttered. 

ਇਕਨਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਚਾਲੀਐ ਦਰਵੇਸਾਵੀ ਰੀਤਿ ॥੧੧੮॥

Only a rare few follow the way of the Saints. ||118||”

In Slok no. 119, Sheikh Fareed Ji says my body is heated like an oven and my bones are much like firewood. Yet, my desire to meet the Lord is so intense. If my feet get tired, I am prepared to walk on my head to meet Him. Sheikh Fareed Ji is describing the stress the body endures as one yearns for Union.

“ਤਨੁ ਤਪੈ ਤਨੂਰ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਲਣੁ ਹਡ ਬਲੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥

My body is cooking like an oven; my bones are burning like firewood. 

ਪੈਰੀ ਥਕਾਂ ਸਿਰਿ ਜੁਲਾਂ ਜੇ ਮੂੰ ਪਿਰੀ ਮਿਲੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥੧੧੯॥

If my feet become tired, I will walk on my head, if I can meet my Beloved. ||119||”

Guru Nanak Dev Ji replies to Slok no. 119 in Slok no. 120. Guru Ji wants to stress that no one should misread Sheikh Fareed Ji’s Slok and think one can reach God by torturing his body, and the search for God is external. Guru Ji stresses that we should not heat up the body (subject it to all kinds of penances), nor should the bones be turned for firewood. There should be realisation that the feet and head have done no harm to you (to be subjected to punishment). Instead, one must realise that the Way to the Lord lies within your own body.

“ਤਨੁ ਨ ਤਪਾਇ ਤਨੂਰ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਲਣੁ ਹਡ ਨ ਬਾਲਿ ॥

Do not heat up your body like an oven, and do not burn your bones like firewood. 

ਸਿਰਿ ਪੈਰੀ ਕਿਆ ਫੇੜਿਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪਿਰੀ ਨਿਹਾਲਿ ॥੧੨੦॥

What harm have your feet and head done to you? Behold your Beloved within yourself. ||120||”

In Slok no. 121, Guru Ramdas Ji adds another dimension. Yes, the Lord is certainly inside us and we should seek Him. The Lord who operates Unseen inside you, can only be seen if the Guru blesses you with Darshan. 

“ਹਉ ਢੂਢੇਦੀ ਸਜਣਾ ਸਜਣੁ ਮੈਡੇ ਨਾਲਿ ॥

I search for my Friend, but my Friend is already with me. 

ਨਾਨਕ ਅਲਖੁ ਨ ਲਖੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਦੇਇ ਦਿਖਾਲਿ ॥੧੨੧॥

O Nanak, the Unseen Lord cannot be seen; He is revealed only to the Gurmukh. ||121||”

Slok no. 122 is by Guru Amardas Ji, it carries the flow from the earlier Sloks. As one sees the Saintly Swans engaged in prayer (swimming over the world ocean), the pretender crane tries to swim too, but as it is not used to the deep waters, it drowns and lies head downwards.

“ਹੰਸਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਤਰੰਦਿਆ ਬਗਾ ਆਇਆ ਚਾਉ ॥

Seeing the swans swimming, the cranes became excited. 

ਡੁਬਿ ਮੁਏ ਬਗ ਬਪੁੜੇ ਸਿਰੁ ਤਲਿ ਉਪਰਿ ਪਾਉ ॥੧੨੨॥

The poor cranes were drowned to death, with their heads below the water and their feet sticking out above. ||122||”

This is followed by Slok no. 123, where Guru Amardas Ji records a realisation by a Sikh that he had relied on shallow company thinking he was doing sanggat of an enlightened soul. If I had known his company was debased, I would never have associated with him. Guru Ji says one should be careful of the company one keeps. One should stick to the company of the Guru (Shabad) and satsanggat.

“ਮੈ ਜਾਣਿਆ ਵਡ ਹੰਸੁ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਮੈ ਕੀਤਾ ਸੰਗੁ ॥

I knew him as a great swan, so I associated with him. 

ਜੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਬਗੁ ਬਪੁੜਾ ਜਨਮਿ ਨ ਭੇੜੀ ਅੰਗੁ ॥੧੨੩॥

If I had known that he was a only wretched crane, I would never in my life have crossed paths with him. ||123||”

In Slok no. 124, Guru Ramadas Ji takes further the views expressed by Guru Amardas Ji and says that in the final analysis, everything depends on His Grace. One may be a Swan (Saintly) or crane (pretender), but if He Grants His Grace, even crows (evil ones) can be transformed into Swans (Saints). 

“ ਕਿਆ ਹੰਸੁ ਕਿਆ ਬਗੁਲਾ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਧਰੇ ॥

Who is a swan, and who is a crane, if God blesses him with His Glance of Grace? 

ਜੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਕਾਗਹੁ ਹੰਸੁ ਕਰੇ ॥੧੨੪॥

If it pleases Him, O Nanak, He changes a crow into a swan. ||124||”

In Slok no. 125, Sheikh Fareed Ji makes a declaration. Lord, I am like a bird, all alone in this world lake (ocean), and there are some fifty (many) hunters (trappers) trying to snare me. In the choppy waves of this lake, I have firmly placed my body with You as my only hope. (Protection, Salvation).

“ਸਰਵਰ ਪੰਖੀ ਹੇਕੜੋ ਫਾਹੀਵਾਲ ਪਚਾਸ ॥

There is only one bird in the lake, but there are fifty trappers. 

ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਲਹਰੀ ਗਡੁ ਥਿਆ ਸਚੇ ਤੇਰੀ ਆਸ ॥੧੨੫॥

This body is caught in the waves of desire. O my True Lord, You are my only hope! ||125||”

Sloks nos. 126 and 127 are traditionally quoted at Anand Karaj ceremonies as Advice (Sikhiya) to the new bride. These two Sloks are however, couched in jeev isteri imagery. Thus, such Advice,  applies equally to the bridegroom as to the new bride. 

Slok no. 126 poses some questions. 

What are those words, what are those virtues, and what is that magical mantra, and what clothes should one wear to captivate the Husband Lord?

“ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ ॥

What is that word, what is that virtue, and what is that magic mantra? 

ਕਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਵੇਸੋ ਹਉ ਕਰੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੈ ਕੰਤੁ ॥੧੨੬॥

What are those clothes, which I can wear to captivate my Husband Lord? ||126||”

Slok no. 127 is a reply to these questions. One should speak words in humility, enshrine the virtue of forgiveness, and always have sweet speech as the magic mantra. If one clothes herself with these three virtues (Gunn), you can captivate your Husband Lord. 

“ ਨਿਵਣੁ ਸੁ ਅਖਰੁ ਖਵਣੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਜਿਹਬਾ ਮਣੀਆ ਮੰਤੁ ॥

Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra. 

ਏ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਭੈਣੇ ਵੇਸ ਕਰਿ ਤਾਂ ਵਸਿ ਆਵੀ ਕੰਤੁ ॥੧੨੭॥

Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband Lord. ||127||”


Slok no. 128 is Advice to all. Even if you are blessed with wisdom, be simple, and do not show off your cleverness. Do not flout about your power, even if you have great powers. When you have nothing to share, share yourself, i.e. remove  all your ego and possessiveness. Any person with these rare qualities in him is a True Saint. 

“ਮਤਿ ਹੋਦੀ ਹੋਇ ਇਆਣਾ ॥

If you are wise, be simple; 

ਤਾਣ ਹੋਦੇ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਤਾਣਾ ॥

if you are powerful, be weak; 

ਅਣਹੋਦੇ ਆਪੁ ਵੰਡਾਏ ॥

and when there is nothing to share, then share with others. 

ਕੋ ਐਸਾ ਭਗਤੁ ਸਦਾਏ ॥੧੨੮॥

How rare is one who is known as such a devotee. ||128||”

Slok no. 129, tells all of us not to use harsh words, as the True Lord abides in all. Do not break anyone’s heart, as all hearts are Priceless Jewels. 

“ਇਕੁ ਫਿਕਾ ਨ ਗਾਲਾਇ ਸਭਨਾ ਮੈ ਸਚਾ ਧਣੀ ॥

Do not utter even a single harsh word; your True Lord and Master abides in all. 

ਹਿਆਉ ਨ ਕੈਹੀ ਠਾਹਿ ਮਾਣਕ ਸਭ ਅਮੋਲਵੇ ॥੧੨੯॥

Do not break anyone’s heart; these are all priceless jewels. ||129||”

The final Slok, no. 130, shows Sheikh Fareed Ji was a True Sufi Saint with love for all mankind. Sheikh Ji says, the minds of all are like Priceless Jewels, and to cause any hurt to anyone is not good at all. If you desire to Meet your Beloved Husband Lord (within yourself), do not break anyone’s heart. 

“ਸਭਨਾ ਮਨ ਮਾਣਿਕ ਠਾਹਣੁ ਮੂਲਿ ਮਚਾਂਗਵਾ ॥

The minds of all are like precious jewels; to harm them is not good at all. 

ਜੇ ਤਉ ਪਿਰੀਆ ਦੀ ਸਿਕ ਹਿਆਉ ਨ ਠਾਹੇ ਕਹੀ ਦਾ ॥੧੩੦॥

If you desire your Beloved, then do not break anyone’s heart. ||130||”


Manjeet Singh

29 September 2023.