Kabit Savaiye by Bhai Gurdas

Kabitt Bhai Gurdas
Kabitt Bhai Gurdas

Bhai Gurdas is well known for his writing called Varan Bhai Gurdas. I have written about this text before. Today I will talk about a lesser known text, also authored by him, called ‘Kabit Savaiye‘. Below is one of the popular hymns from this book which was composed when Bhai Gurdas was away from the Guru for his language learning:

ਸੁਪਨ ਚਰਿਤ੍ਰ ਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਬਾਨਕ ਬਨੇ ਬਚਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਾਵਨ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਮਿਤ੍ਰ ਆਜ ਮੇਰੋ ਆਏ ਹੈ ।
Himself holy and capable of making other pious – the friendly True Guru has come into my dream beautifully attired and adored. It is indeed a wonderful marvel for me.

ਪਰਮ ਦਇਆਲ ਲਾਲ ਲੋਚਨ ਬਿਸਾਲ ਮੁਖ ਬਚਨ ਰਸਾਲ ਮਧੁ ਮਧੁਰ ਪੀਆਏ ਹੈ ।
Ever and profoundly benevolent, big eyed – his utterances sweet like honey.

ਸੋਭਿਤ ਸਿਜਾਸਨ ਬਿਲਾਸਨ ਦੈ ਅੰਕਮਾਲ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਰਸ ਬਿਸਮ ਹੁਇ ਸਹਜ ਸਮਾਏ ਹੈ ।
He has honoured me by placing me on the throne of His chest. I am lost in the love filled trance of Nam Amrit that merged me into a state of equipoise.

ਚਾਤ੍ਰਿਕ ਸਬਦ ਸੁਨਿ ਅਖੀਆ ਉਘਰਿ ਗਈ ਭਈ ਜਲ ਮੀਨ ਗਤਿ ਬਿਰਹ ਜਗਾਏ ਹੈ ॥੨੦੫॥
Enjoying the bliss of divine dream, I was woken up by the voice of rain-bird. The awe and marvel of love-filled state disappeared reawakening the pangs of separation (like a fish feels out of water).

Enjoy a beautiful rendering below:

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Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi

Can’t believe I haven’t written about Vaisakhi before – its one of the most important events in Sikh history. Also known as Baisakhi, this is a harvest festival that marks the beginning of a new year as per the local calendar. More important, for Sikhism it also marks the birth of the Khalsa – the pure. In 1699, the Tenth Guru converted Sikhism which so far was just a way of life, into a more disciplined religion with rules and a code of conduct – with a democratic way of functioning.

Like every year, Vaisakhi is being celebrated by large gatherings in the Sikh temples (gurdwara). I want to encourage people to get baptized: the Guru will guide you – it’s not as difficult to follow as it seems initially. For those who have been baptized but do not follow the code of conduct on a daily basis, this is what I suggest: start with a shorter regimen, and build it at your pace. Japuji Sahib in the mornings, and Benti Chaupai in the evenings to begin with for example.

Today the religious world is divided: different religions, each disfavouring the other; various sects etc. If people understood the distinction between Prem (love) and Moh (attachment) there would be less fighting between the various groups.

  1. Moh is temporary, Prem is permanent. Moh is what a father feels for a son – if the son disobeys the father the weak thread of Moh breaks.
  2. Also, Moh is about saying “God belongs to me“. If the God belongs to me, someone else needs to invent a different God for himself. Prem is about saying “I belong to the God“. It is about giving up oneself.

Prem is like a fish in water – Only death can separate them. Indeed, Guru Tegh Bahadur wants us to love God like a fish in water:

ਗੁਨ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗਾਇਓ ਨਹੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਕਾਰਥ ਕੀਨੁ ॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹਰਿ ਭਜੁ ਮਨਾ ਜਿਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਜਲ ਕਉ ਮੀਨੁ ॥੧॥
If we do not sing the praises of the Lord, we are wasting our life in vain. Says Nanak, meditate on God, like the way, the fish loves water.

A worshiper goes one step further beautifully talking about Moh and Prem:

ਜਉ ਹਮ ਬਾਂਧੇ ਮੋਹ ਫਾਸ ਹਮ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਬਧਨਿ ਤੁਮ ਬਾਧੇ ॥
You (God) sent me to this world, and bound me with attachment to treasures and people. I have, in return, bound you with the bonds of love.
ਅਪਨੇ ਛੂਟਨ ਕੋ ਜਤਨੁ ਕਰਹੁ ਹਮ ਛੂਟੇ ਤੁਮ ਆਰਾਧੇ ॥੧॥
I have broken free from the binds of attachment by meditating on You. How shall you liberate yourself now from the binds of my Love?

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