(stanza), revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib, is accompanied by two saloks
. The first salok consists of nine lines and explains that the Creator, IkOankar, knows the entire visible and invisible creation; IkOankar creates all beings and takes care of them. The second salok, comprising six lines, conveys that mere rituals cannot improve a person’s condition without the grace of the Creator, IkOankar, who has made the entire creation. This pauri stresses that to receive the grace of the IkOankar, it is essential to accept and practice Nam from the true Guru.
salok m: 1.
purkhāṁ birkhāṁ tīrathāṁ taṭāṁ meghāṁ khetāṁh. dīpāṁ loāṁ manḍalāṁ khanḍāṁ varbhanḍāṁh.
ānḍaj jeraj utbhujāṁ khāṇī setajāṁh. so miti jāṇai nānakā sarāṁ merāṁ jantāh.
nānak jant upāi kai sammāle sabhnāh. jini kartai karṇā kīā cintā bhi karṇī tāh.
so kartā cintā kare jini upāiā jagu.
tisu johārī suasti tisu tisu dībāṇu abhagu.
nānak sace nām binu kiā ṭikā kiā tagu.1.
Guru Nanak begins by listing out and describing the different parts of creation, all the different manifestations of the 1Force (One Universal Integrative Force, the One, 1-Ness): the people, trees, clouds, islands, worlds, realms, all the parts of the cosmos, even the pilgrimage sites we have constructed on the banks of rivers, the sacred spaces we have created. All of these things that exist, even the things we cannot fathom existing or imagine in our heads, are all known to the 1Force, from the largest down to the smallest parts of all of this existence. The 1Force knows their measurement, knows their number, their count (there is not even one thing that exists outside of 1Force).
Having created all of this creation, the One (1Force) does not exist detached and overseeing, separate from all of these things that exist. Everything which is listed, including the things we cannot imagine or fathom, is both created by and taken care of by the One. These different elements are functioning as outward marks, the things that are tangible to us, the things that we can bet on because they are clear and real and accessible to all of us.
But even when we look at these tangible things all around us, we are not really in full appreciation of them. It is not that it is our responsibility to appreciate them — Guru Nanak does not use that word, or tell us it is our obligation. Instead, the question posed is this: how do we take these various outward marks, the infinite manifestations of the Infinite, and live in salutation of the Infinite (from which all things come)? How do we recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and see the connection between the 1Force and all of creation, how do we remain in awe? And what keeps us from being able to connect in that way?
Guru Nanak says that the reason we are not able to walk through the world in salutation to the 1Force is because we do not have the culture of 1-Identification, or Nam, enshrined in our hearts. And if we cannot identify all things with the One, and make that connection the same way that the sunlight is identified with the sun, we will not be able to live every day in memory of the 1Force. If we do not live in this memory, in this constant salutation of the One, then there is no use for our various outward marks (that are available only to some of us and not all of us) or rituals or symbols that identify us with our religious traditions, groups, or schools of thought. If our focus is on organizing ourselves into groups, using outward marks to create and cement distinctions, then we have lost sight of the creation around us, the most important mark of all. And it is because we are caught up in our human-made marks that we do not have a relationship with the One who has created everything, who is taking care of everything.
If the One is responsible for creating, and for worrying about or taking care of creation, then all of that worry does not belong to us. What is ours then? What is our task? It is to not create superficial marks to distinguish ourselves as belonging to a particular group, it is not to create otherness through the use of outward marks — it is to be in love with the 1-Identification, to see all of this diversity as a manifestation of 1-Ness. Guru Nanak asks us to think about ourselves on a very personal level: What use is all of this if we do not identify with the One?