(stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by three saloks
. These saloks use satirical arguments to counter the so-called traditional belief of sutak (a superstitious practice done for a few days after the birth of a child) and redefine the practice itself. The first salok comprises six lines and depicts the pervasiveness of sutak while offering the wisdom of the Guru as its remedy. The second salok contains four lines and describes various immoral human acts as the sutak of the different sensory organs that causes human suffering. The third salok also comprises four lines and openly rejects the idea of sutak while establishing the supremacy and pervasiveness of the Command of IkOankar (the Divine). This pauri praises the greatness of the true Guru and encourages the individual to seek the sanctuary of the Guru to remove one’s shortcomings and faults.
saloku m: 1.
je kari sūtaku mannīai sabh tai sūtaku hoi.
gohe atai lakaṛī andari kīṛā hoi.
jete dāṇe ann ke jīā bājhu na koi.
pahilā pāṇī jīu hai jitu hariā sabhu koi.
sūtaku kiu kari rakhīai sūtaku pavai rasoi.
nānak sūtaku ev na utrai giānu utāre dhoi.1.
Guru Nanak is describing what is popularly practiced and believed in the Hindu context, that sutak (impurity) is present even when we are born, and continues until we die, which governs ideas of what to eat when, how to cleanse and when, which rituals to perform and who must perform them. Guru Nanak goes after the very definition of sutak, and says, if the misconception of impurity is believed, then impurity will exist everywhere. Even in the cow dung and firewood used to purify a cooking square, there reside insects, which would, by the rules of sutak, mean that the cow dung and firewood are impure as well. As many seeds of food grain as there are in the cooking square, none are without living organisms. Even water is full of life. This is about impurity in the context of the Hindu worldview and caste system rules and superstitions, but it is also largely about the things we do externally, the ways we police ourselves and others, the ways we allow external physical ideas of purity to dictate our lives, all without working on the impurity residing in our minds and hearts.
So sutak cannot be avoided, or washed away, as it enters even in the kitchen thought to be made ritually pure — through the cow dung, firewood, grains and water that contain living organisms. Sutak cannot be removed by abstaining from eating and drinking, by being petrified with superstition. The Wisdom (Guru, the one who brings enlightenment-light by dispelling ignorance-darkness) alone can wash sutak away, by illuminating the mind.