Note: The following Sloks are in the context of some people displaying devotion by singing and dancing while playing the roles of reincarnations of Vishnu – notably Rama andKrishnaand their consorts or Gopis, the playmates of the latter. This is called Raas Leela inIndia. Guru Nanak points out that such plays has no spiritual value. He shows how dances being performed in nature should be enjoyed.
ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੧ ॥
Salok mėhlā 1. Gẖaṛīā sabẖe gopīā pahar kanĥ gopāl. Gahṇe pauṇ pāṇī baisanṯar cẖanḏ sūraj avṯār.
(Slok M: 1) prologue by the first Guru. People present play between Krishna and the milkmaids, but we should see the play in nature; (gharria = 24 minutes period) short time periods represent (sabh-e) all (gopia) milkmaids while (pahar = three hour periods) longer time periods represent (kann-h) Krishna (gopaal) the herdsman of cows, i.e. all elements of creation perform the roles allotted to them by the Creator, all the time..
(Paun-u) air, (paani) water and (baisantar) fire are like (gahn-e) the ornaments worn by the stage actors; (chand-u) the moon and (sooraj-u) the sun represent (avatar) incarnations like Rama and Krishna – they are called Devtas meaning sources of light.
Saglī ḏẖarṯī māl ḏẖan varṯaṇ sarab janjāl. Nānak musai giān vihūṇī kẖāe gaiā jamkāl. ||1||
The actors perform their roles on stage; similarly (sagli) all creatures on (dharti) the earth (vartan = use) remain engaged in (sarab) all (janjaal) entanglements of (maal-u) property and (dhan) wealth.
The actors do not know true worship and think of it as entertainment; similarly a human being (vihooni) bereft of (giaan) understanding, i.e. not understanding the purpose of life, (mutthi) is robbed – fails to achieve the objective of human birth for the soul to unite with the Creator, – and (jamkaal-u) the messenger of death (khaa-e gaiaa) eats them up, i.e. they are brutalised by the messenger of death and sent for reincarnation. 1.
ਮਃ ੧ ॥
Mėhlā 1. vāin cẖele nacẖan gur. Pair halāin ferniĥ sir. Ud ud rāvā jẖātai pāe. vekẖai lok hasai gẖar jāe.
(M: 1) prologue by the first Guru. (Ch-el-e) the disciples (vaain-i) play the music and (gur) the gurus (nachan-i) dance. They (halaain) move their (pair) feet and (ph-eran) turn their (sir) their heads.
(Raava) dust (udd-i udd-i = flies) rises and (paa-e = gets put) falls (jhaattai = on the hair) on their heads; (lok-u) people (v-ekhai) see, (hasai = laugh) enjoy the dance and (jaa-e) go (ghar-i) home, i.e. all this is for fun by the actors and spectators – not worship.
Rotīā kāraṇ pūrėh ṯāl. Āp pacẖẖāṛėh ḏẖarṯī nāl. Gāvan gopīā gāvan kānĥ. Gāvan sīṯā rāje rām.
They (poorah-i taal) dance to the beat (kaaran-i) for the sake of (rotia) bread, i.e. as a means of livelihood.
They (pachhaarrah-i) drop (aap-u) themselves (naal-i = with) on (dharti) the ground while dancing.
They (gaavan-i) sing/act as (gopia) milkmaids and (kaanh) Krishna.
Or they sing/act as (raaj-e) King (raam) Rama and his consort Sita.
But this is not how the Almighty is to be worshipped.
Nirbẖao nirankār sacẖ nām. Jā kā kīā sagal jahān. Sevak sevėh karam cẖaṛāo. Bẖinnī raiṇ jinĥā man cẖāo.
The Almighty, (ja ka) whose (keeaa) creation (sagal = all) the whole (jahaan-u) world is.
That Master is (nirankaar-u) formless and (nirbhau) without fear – unlike Rama and Krishna == and has (sach-u) eternal (naam-u) virtues – which are to be remembered and imbibed.
(S-evak = servants) the devotees (s-eah-i = serve) live in obedience (charrau) making offering (karam-i) of deeds, i.e. the Almighty is to be worshipped by living according to Divine commands.
(Jinha) those who have (chaau) fondness for the Master, their (rain-i = night, time for halt) life is (bhini = rinsedwith love) imbued with love of the Master – and they live by IT’s virtues and commands.
Sikẖī sikẖiā gur vīcẖār. Naḏrī karam lagẖāe pār.
(Sikhi) the Sikh way of life is (veechaar-i) to contemplate – and live by - (sikhia) the teachings of the guru.
This entitles the disciples/Sikhs to deserve (nadir karam-i) Divine grace which (laghaa-e) takes them (paar-i) across the world-ocean, i.e. they do not come back to - are not born into - the world again - which cannot be achieved by dancing.
Note: The next lines give examples of things which keep rotating/moving. If salvation could come by dancing, then they should also get salvation. No, that is not the way.
Kolū cẖarkẖā cẖakī cẖak. Thal vārole bahuṯ ananṯ.
(Koloo) the machine that extracts oil from oilseeds, (charkha) the spinning wheel, (chaki) the grinding stones which grind grain to flour and (chak) the potter’s wheel.
(Thal vaaroley) whirlwinds in the desert; they all move (bahut-u) a lot (anan-u) ceaselessly.
Lātū māḏẖāṇīā angāh. Pankẖī bẖauḏīā lain na sāh.
(Laatoo) the tops, (maadhaania) the churning spindles (angaah) keep moving.
(Pankhi) the birds do not (laain- i) take (saah = breath) breaks (bhaudeeaa = wandering) in their flights
Sūai cẖāṛ bẖavāīah janṯ. Nānak bẖauḏiā gaṇaṯ na anṯ.
(Jant) men (chaarr-i) caused to climb and (bhavaaiah-i) rotate themselves (sooai/sool) on top of poles as display of skill.
There is no (ant-i) end to (ganat = count) such examples, says Nanak.
Banḏẖan banḏẖ bẖavāe soe. Paiai kiraṯ nacẖai sabẖ koe.
Similarly (soey) the Almighty (bhavaaey) causes the creatures go round in cycles – of reincarnation - because of being (badh-i) bound in (bandhan) bondage to vices.
(Sabh koey) every one (nachai = dances) acts (paeiai kirt-i) under influence of past deeds, i.e. they have no control over these.
Nacẖ nacẖ hasėh cẖalėh se roe. Ud na jāhī siḏẖ na hohi.
Those who (nach-i nach-i) keep dancing and (hasah-i = laugh) enjoy, i.e. indulge in material pleasures, (s-e) they (chalah-i) depart from the world (ro-e) crying – for not achieving the purpose of human birth for the soul to unite with the Creator.
They neither (udd-i jahi = fly away) escape the bondage – in life - nor (hoh-i) are (sidh) successful - in achieving union with the creator on death.
Nacẖaṇ kuḏaṇ man kā cẖāo. Nānak jinĥ man bẖao ṯinĥā man bẖāo. ||2||
(Nachan-u) dancing and (kudan-u) jumping is (chaau) pleasing to (man) the mind, i.e. it is done by those who follow their minds.
(Jinh) those who have (bhau = fear) respect for the Master (man-i) in mind, (tinha) they develop (bhaau) love for IT and live in obedience to IT’s commands – which entitles them to union with IT. 2.
Paoṛī. Nāo ṯerā nirankār hai nāe laiai narak na jāīai. Jīo pind sabẖ ṯis ḏā ḏe kẖājai ākẖ gavāīai.
(Pauri) stanza. O Almighty, (t-era) Your (naau/naam) virtue is that You are (nirankaar-u) Formless – unlike the creatures; (laiai = uttering) by remembering – and living by Your (naa-e) virtues and commands, the creatures do not (jaaiai) go to (narak-i = to hell) cycles of reincarnation.
O my mind, (jeeo) the soul and (pindd-u) the body are (sabh-u) all (tis da = its) given by IT; IT (d-e) gives and the creatures (khaajai = eat) subsist; we should (gavaaiai = lose) not even need to (aakh-i) state - that IT gives.
Je loṛėh cẖanga āpṇā kar punnhu nīcẖ saḏāīai. Je jarvāṇā parharai jar ves kareḏī āīai. Ko rahai na bẖarīai pāīai. ||5||
O mortal, (j-e) if you (lorrah-i) seek (changa) good (aapna) for the self, then (kar-i) do (punnhu) good deeds but (sadaaeeai = be called) remain (neech-u = lowly) humble – do not gloat.
Be natural; (j-e) if you (par-harai = put away) hide the signs of (jarvaana) old age, (jar-u) old age will (aaiai = come) manifest (v-es kar-edi = in a garb) in some other way.
Be conscious of the inevitability of death; (ko na) no one (rahai) stays in the world when (paaiai) the measure of life (bhariai) is filled i.e. when the allotted life-span is over. 5.