Sunday, September 25, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

THE SIKH RELIGION
ITS GURUS, SACRED WRITINGS AND AUTHORS
BY MAX ARTHUR MACAULIFFE

THE SOHILA[1]
GURU NANAK, RAG GAURI DIPAKI

IN the house in which God's praise is sung and He is meditated on,
Sing the Sohila and remember the Creator.
Sing the Sohila of my Fearless Lord; I am a sacrifice to that song of joy by which everlasting comfort is obtained.
Ever and ever living things are watched over; the Giver regardeth their wants.
When even Thy gifts cannot be appraised, who can appraise the Giver?
The year and the auspicious time for marriage are recorded; relations meet and pour oil on me the bride.
O my friends, pray for me that I may meet my Lord.
This message is ever sent to every house: such invitations are ever issued.
Remember the Caller; Nanak, the day is approaching.

GURU NANAK, RAG ASA

There are six schools of philosophy, six teachers, and six doctrines.
The Guru of gurus is but one, though He hath various forms.
O father, preserve the system
In which the Creator is praised[2] that will redound to thy glory.
As there is one sun and many seasons,
In which there are wisas, chasas, gharis, pahars, lunar and week days, and months;

[1. The collection of hymns called Sohila is repeated at bedtime by pious Sikhs. It consists of three hymns of Guru Nânak, one of Guru Râm Dâs, and one of Guru Arjan. The word Sohila is derived from sowam wela meaning in the Panjabi language the time for sleep.

2 The meaning is that Guru Nanak rejects the Hindu systems.]

{p. 259}

So, O Nanak, there is but one God, although His forms are many.

GURU NANAK, RAG DHANASARI

The sun and moon, O Lord, are Thy lamps; the firmament Thy salver; the orbs of the stars the pearls enchased in it.
The perfume of the sandal is Thine incense, the wind is Thy fan, all the forests are Thy flowers, O Lord of light.
What worship is this, O Thou Destroyer of birth? Unbeaten strains of ecstasy are the trumpets of Thy worship.
Thou hast a thousand eyes and yet not one eye; Thou hast a thousand forms and yet not one form;
Thou hast a thousand stainless feet and yet not one foot; Thou hast a thousand organs of smell and yet not one organ. I am fascinated by this play of Thine.
The light which is in everything is Thine, O Lord of light.
From its brilliancy everything is brilliant;
By the Guru's teaching the light becometh manifest.
What pleaseth Thee is the real worship.
O God, my mind is fascinated with Thy lotus feet as the bumble-bee with the flower: night and day I thirst for them.
Give the water of Thy favour to the sarang Nanak, so that he may dwell in Thy name.

GURU RAM DAS, RAG GAURI PURBI

The city[1] is greatly filled with lust and wrath; but these are destroyed on meeting the saints.
By predestination the Guru is found, and the soul is absorbed in the region of God's love.
Salute the saint with clasped hands--this is a greatly meritorious act.
Prostrate thyself before him--this is a greatly religious act.
The infidel knoweth not the taste of God's essence; he beareth the thorn of pride in his heart.
The more he moveth, the more it pricketh him, and the more pain he feeleth: his head shall feel death's mace.

[1. The body.]

{p. 260}

The saints of God are absorbed in God's name, and have destroyed the pain and fear of transmigration.
They have found God the imperishable Being, and great honour is theirs in the earth's continents and the universe.
O God, we poor, and wretched, are Thine; preserve us, preserve us, Thou greatest of the great!
The Name is Nanak's support and prop; I have obtained happiness through being absorbed only in God's name.

GURU ARJAN, RAG GAURI PURBI

I pray you hear me, my friends, it is time to serve the saints.
Earn here the profit of God's name, and in the next world ye shall abide in happiness.
Human life groweth shorter every day and night O man, meet the Guru and arrange thine affairs.
This world is involved in wickedness and superstition they who know God are saved.
He whom God awakeneth and causeth to drink the essence of His word, knoweth the story of the Ineffable.[1]
Purchase that[2] for which thou hast come into the world, and God by the Guru's favour will dwell in thy heart.
Thou shalt find a home with comfort and peace in God's own palace, and not return again to this world.
O God, Searcher of hearts, Arranger,[3] fulfil the desires of my heart.
The slave Nanak craveth the happiness of being made the dust of the saints' feet.

[1. This and the concluding portion of the preceding line are also translated--

He whom the saint who knoweth God awakeneth, shall be saved,
And shall quaff the essence of God's name: it is he who knoweth the story of the Ineffable.

2. God's name.

3. The gyânis often translate Bidhâta--He who gives man the fruit of his acts. The third Guru uses the expression in the same sense.]

{p. 261}


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Next: Hymns Of Guru Nanak

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