Tum gavho Mere Nirbhao ka Sohila 

SGGS Ji Angg 12-13.

The final (5th) Shabad of Kirtan Sohila, the bedtime prayer of every Sikh.

As a Sikh recites Kirtan Sohila, the Guru tells him in the 1st Shabad, to sing Praises of the Fearless Lord. Such Praises will give you peace always. (at night time, when it is dark, all kinds of fears tend to set in).

“Tum gavho Mere Nirbhao ka Sohila; hao vari jit Sohile sada sukh hoye.” (rahao).

“ਤੁਮ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਕਾ ਸੋਹਿਲਾ ॥

Sing the Songs of Praise of my Fearless Lord.

ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜਿਤੁ ਸੋਹਿਲੈ ਸਦਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

I am a sacrifice to that Song of Praise which brings eternal peace. ||1||Pause|”

In the 2nd Shabad, the Guru reminds the Sikh, where Praises of the Lord are sung, that house is always glorious and protected. (internal ghar and externally too).

“Baba jeh ghar Karte kirat hoye; so ghar rakh vadaiiye tohe.” (rahao)

“ਬਾਬਾ ਜੈ ਘਰਿ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥

O Baba: that system in which the Praises of the Creator are sung –

ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਰਾਖੁ ਵਡਾਈ ਤੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

follow that system; in it rests true greatness. ||1||Pause||”

The 3rd Shabad is the Aarti Shabad by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It reminds the Sikh that the entire Creation/ Nature is singing the Lord’s Praises. In the Rahao, Guru Ji says the Sikh should look upon this outer Cosmic Aarti with wonder, and at the same time look dèep inwards to hear the inner Aarti resounding within through the Anhad Shabads.

“Kaisee Aarti hoye; Bhavkhandana Teri Aaarti; Anhataa Shabad vaajant bheri.”(Rahao).

“ਕੈਸੀ ਆਰਤੀ ਹੋਇ ॥

What a beautiful Aartee, lamp-lit worship service this is!

ਭਵ ਖੰਡਨਾ ਤੇਰੀ ਆਰਤੀ ॥

O Destroyer of Fear, this is Your Ceremony of Light.

ਅਨਹਤਾ ਸਬਦ ਵਾਜੰਤ ਭੇਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

The Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad is the vibration of the temple drums. ||1||Pause||”

In the 3rd Shabad, Guru Ji has drawn the attention of the Sikh inwards. Continuing with the deep inner gaze, in the 4th Shabad, Guru Ji tells the Sikh, that the body is a village and it is full of kaam krodh, which can only be smashed to bits by meeting the Sadhu ( Guru).

“Kaam krodh nagar baho bhareya milh Sadhu khandal khanda he.”

(As the Guru can save him from all vices), the Sikh is told to always bow in humility, internally to his Almighty Guru. This is noble and praiseworthy.

“Kar Sadhu anjuli punn vadda he; kar dandaaut punn vadda he.” (Rahao).

”ਕਾਮਿ ਕਰੋਧਿ ਨਗਰੁ ਬਹੁ ਭਰਿਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਖੰਡਲ ਖੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥

The body-village is filled to overflowing with anger and sexual desire; these were broken into bits when I met with the Holy Saint.

ਪੂਰਬਿ ਲਿਖਤ ਲਿਖੇ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਮੰਡਲ ਮੰਡਾ ਹੇ ॥੧॥

By pre-ordained destiny, I have met with the Guru. I have entered into the realm of the Lord’s Love. ||1||

ਕਰਿ ਸਾਧੂ ਅੰਜੁਲੀ ਪੁਨੁ ਵਡਾ ਹੇ ॥

Greet the Holy Saint with your palms pressed together; this is an act of great merit.

ਕਰਿ ਡੰਡਉਤ ਪੁਨੁ ਵਡਾ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Bow down before Him; this is a virtuous action indeed. ||1||Pause||”

In the final (5th) Shabad, the Guru speaks to the Sikh as a friend and reminds him that this lifetime should be spent in sewa of the Saint (Guru); as you reap profits by sewa ( Naam), your life hereafter will be peaceful (happy).

“Karo benanti sunho mere meeta Sant tehal ki bela; eiha khaat chalo Har laaha aage bassan suhela.”

“ਕਰਉ ਬੇਨੰਤੀ ਸੁਣਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ਸੰਤ ਟਹਲ ਕੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥

Listen, my friends, I beg of you: now is the time to serve the Saints!

ਈਹਾ ਖਾਟਿ ਚਲਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਆਗੈ ਬਸਨੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ॥੧॥

In this world, earn the profit of the Lord’s Name, and hereafter, you shall dwell in peace. ||1||”

As the Sikh readies himself to sleep, the Guru reminds him that life is ebbing away day and night; in your mind meet (Unite) with the Guru (Shabad) and get all your affairs resolved.

“Audh ghatte dinass raina re; mann Gur milh kaaj savaare.” (rahao).


“ਅਉਧ ਘਟੈ ਦਿਨਸੁ ਰੈਣਾਰੇ ॥

This life is diminishing, day and night.

ਮਨ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਾਜ ਸਵਾਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Meeting with the Guru, your affairs shall be resolved. ||1||Pause||”

The Sikh is further told this world is engrossed in useless acts and is restless (not at peace), only the Enlightened ones swim across; (but this Enlightenment comes only with His Grace), only those He awakens and gives the Sublime Essence (of Naam) to drink, they become aware of the Mysterious Indescribable Story (His Hukam) of the Lord.

“Eih sansaar bikaar sanse me tariyo Brahm Gyani; jisse jagaaiye piaaiye eh rass Akath Katha tinn jaani.”

“ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਕਾਰੁ ਸੰਸੇ ਮਹਿ ਤਰਿਓ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ॥

This world is engrossed in corruption and cynicism. Only those who know God are saved.

ਜਿਸਹਿ ਜਗਾਇ ਪੀਆਵੈ ਇਹੁ ਰਸੁ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਤਿਨਿ ਜਾਨੀ ॥੨॥

Only those who are awakened by the Lord to drink in this Sublime Essence, come to know the Unspoken Speech of the Lord. ||2||”

Purchase only that for which you have come to this world, and through the Guru (Shabad), the Lord shall dwell in your mind; lovingly and with intuitive ease, reside in your true inner home, be admitted into the Palace of the Lord and you shall not be consigned again into the wheel (cycle) of reincarnation.

“Ja ko aaye soyee bihajho Har Gur te manne basera; nijh ghar Mahal pavho sukh sahaje bahur na hoega fera.”

“ਜਾ ਕਉ ਆਏ ਸੋਈ ਬਿਹਾਝਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸੇਰਾ ॥

Purchase only that for which you have come into the world, and through the Guru, the Lord shall dwell within your mind.

ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਮਹਲੁ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਸੁਖ ਸਹਜੇ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਫੇਰਾ ॥੩॥

Within the home of your own inner being, you shall obtain the Mansion of the Lord’s Presence with intuitive ease. You shall not be consigned again to the wheel of reincarnation. ||3||”

After all this Divine Advice from the Guru, the Sikh reverently voices a prayer in the final two lines. O Knower of All Inner Secrets, Architect of Destiny, please fulfill this yearning in my mind; Nanak, Your slave begs for this happiness, that he be the dust of the Saints (that he lives in humility, at the Feet of the Guru).

“Antarjami Purakh Bidhate sharda mann ki puray; Nanak dass eihe sukh maange mo ko kar Santan ki dhuray.”

“ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਪੁਰਖ ਬਿਧਾਤੇ ਸਰਧਾ ਮਨ ਕੀ ਪੂਰੇ ॥

O Inner-knower, Searcher of Hearts, O Primal Being, Architect of Destiny: please fulfill this yearning of my mind.

ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸੁ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਖੁ ਮਾਗੈ ਮੋ ਕਉ ਕਰਿ ਸੰਤਨ ਕੀ ਧੂਰੇ ॥੪॥੫॥

Nanak, Your slave, begs for this happiness: let me be the dust of the feet of the Saints. ||4||5||”

(With respect, my translation is quite different from that found on the net).



Manjeet Singh

30 November 2023.