(stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by three saloks
. The first salok, comprising twelve lines, states that the entire creation and its parts are created by the eternal IkOankar (the Divine). All of creation is a manifestation of the eternal IkOankar. The second salok contains nine lines and reflects upon the greatness of IkOankar. In the third salok, comprising five lines, the world is described as the abode of IkOankar. IkOankar administers the creations according to the command of IkOankar. Only those on whom the One showers grace through Wisdom (Guru) can understand this mystery. This pauri reaffirms that the deeds of human beings are judged based on truth, and so, the meaningfulness of human existence lies solely in the practice of living truthfully.
saloku m: 1.
sace tere khanḍ sace brahmanḍ.
sace tere loa sace ākār.
sace tere karṇe sarab bīcār.
sacā terā amaru sacā dībāṇu.
sacā terā hukamu sacā phurmāṇu.
sacā terā karamu sacā nīsāṇu.
sace tudhu ākhahi lakh karoṛi.
sacai sabhi tāṇi sacai sabhi jori.
sacī terī siphati sacī sālāh.
sacī terī kudrati sace pātisāh.
nānak sacu dhiāini sacu.
jo mari jamme su kacu nikacu.1.
Guru Nanak opens by focusing on Truth and its various forms. This is about things being “True” with a capital T. When we think of something as being True, what we are really saying is that it will remain forever, unwavering and unchanging despite the passage of time, or any change in context. Truth really points to eternality. Ballad 1 was about the 1Force, or the One Universal Integrative Force (also referred to as the One and 1-Ness). In this Ballad, there is a clear progression into an elaboration on where 1Force manifests, and a focus on the permanence and eternality of the One, resulting in 1Force being referred to as the Eternal, or the Eternal One.
Guru Nanak begins with the realm of the tangible, explaining that the physical spaces we witness with our own eyes, the things that we see in front of us, the things that are evident to us — the cosmos, the forms that makeup creation — these are all manifestations of the eternal One, the 1Force.
The word “spaces,” speaks to the Eternal as well, and to the vastness of the 1Force. We have all felt some of that vastness in the tangible things around us. When we stand outside and look up at the stars, or crane our necks to get a good look at a full moon or watch the sun slowly rising every morning to create a unique combination of colors in the sky — anytime we are moved by the beauty of those things which are bigger than us, we get a sense of our smallness in the scheme of it all, and, in turn, the vastness of the spaces that exist beyond us. This is not to say that the eternality of 1Force translates into the eternality of those things we see far away in the sky, but it is to say that seeing glimpses of the cosmos and things that have greater permanence than we do helps us to understand our smallness. Looking at the tangible proof of things that have existed long before we have, and that will continue to exist long after we go, helps us to put our own timelines into perspective. Even if the world ends, even as the stars continue to die and be created, the vastness will continue to exist.
That eternality is fueled by 1Force — that is what makes it Eternal, or True. Every space we intangibly and tangibly witness and are aware of is because of the Eternal One — it is the eternal and is an embodiment of the eternal.
Later in the verse, Guru Nanak moves from a discussion of the tangible into the less tangible, or the things that are not necessarily evident. These less tangible things are Wisdom (or Guru, the one who brings enlightenment-light by dispelling ignorance-darkness), the idea of an Eternal Court, and Eternal Command. There are other courts in the physical world but they are all subject to time, to the coming and going. There are other commands in the physical world but the Command of 1Force is constant and timeless, moving all of creation.
From an elaboration on the intangible, we move into the more esoteric: millions and tens of millions are speaking of You (praising Your Eternal nature). It is through the Wisdom that 1Force is constant and permanent, manifesting even in the finite things around us. It is 1Force’s power and strength which creates all of the things previously mentioned (tangible and intangible), that we can also become true, or eternal.
Guru Nanak says that this power and glory of 1Force is eternal. We may come and go, living our human lives, and there will be a time when all of those who remember us have also gone from the earth. But 1Force will be remembered forever in the One-Self’s greatness, creation, and eternal sovereignty.
The verse concludes by stating that those who are focused on and consumed by the Truth, those who feel it — they are able to also become true (eternal). Yes, we are small and live finite human lives, but it is through the understanding that we are not separate from the 1-Ness that we too become eternal, removed from the phenomena of living and dying. Those who have not yet gained the wisdom to understand that paradigm of 1Force do not become a part of this eternality and are described as temporary, or unripe and immature. Those who become in sync with eternality are not worried about living or dying because they understand that they are a part of it (and that we all have the potential to be a part of this eternality).