2005 Stokes Isle Apt. 896, Vacaville 10010, USA

[email protected]

saloku m: 1.
balihārī gur āpaṇe    diuhāṛī sad vār.
jini māṇas te devte kīe    karat na lāgī vār.1.

saloku m: 1.

balihārī gur āpaṇe    diuhāṛī sad vār.

jini māṇas te devte kīe    karat na lāgī vār.1.

Guru Nanak invokes the Wisdom, or Guru (the one who brings enlightenment-light by dispelling ignorance-darkness), and the way it transforms ordinary humans into complete beings, becoming like the One (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force, 1-Ness). Balihari is the word that sets the tone of this section: adoration. This is not just adoration as we usually think of it. It is an adoration that comprises of surrender, submission, love, devotion, and reverence. It is that sort of intense and multi-layered adoration for the Wisdom that is being celebrated, where the basic urge is to be completely devoted to and humbled by the Wisdom. The word balihari is invoked frequently at major celebrations or major life events, like weddings — the utterer expressing in that particular moment that they are willing to give anything and everything they have in celebration of the subject of their adoration. This is what we are willing to do when we have that Wisdom, in celebration, without hesitation or a second thought — the surrender has become a part of our very being and it flows effortlessly from us. The Wisdom eliminates all of our shortcomings, fills us with infinite qualities and potential, and is able to transfer an entire life’s worth of lessons and experiences to us within just a blink of an eye. Guru Nanak is taking this word, that we only utter on special occasions, this feeling that we may only experience once or twice a year, and expressing that those feelings of intense adoration and devotion occur a hundred times a day in celebration of the Wisdom.

Salok revealed to the First Embodiment, Guru Nanak Sahib.
I adore Wisdom (Guru), hundreds of times a day, who transformed ordinary humans into enlightened beings full of IkOankar’s virtues in no time.

Salok, First Embodiment.
I devote (myself) to my Guru, hundreds of times in a day; who transformed humans into deities; in doing so, it did not take (any) time.

This salok contains proverbs. Here, colloquial expressions like ‘balihārī jāṇā’ (to devote, to adore)’ ‘dihārī’ (day), ‘sau vār’ (hundreds of times), ‘manukh toṁ devtā karnā’ (transforming humans into deities), and ‘zarā vī der nā lagaṇi’ (not taking any time), etc. have been employed. Such expressions were widely used by common people, and continue to be used now.

In the first line, instead of ‘āpaṇe gur balihārī,’ it says ‘balihārī gur āpaṇe.’ The use of the word ‘balihārī’ in the beginning of the sentence has a special significance. This structural change indicates an intense and strong urge to adore the Guru.

The phrase ‘sadvār’ (hundreds of times), also has a special significance. Here, hundred not only signifies a large number, but is also associated with the idea of completeness. For this reason, the percentage is also based on the number one hundred. It seems that the use of the word ‘sadvār’ (hundreds of times) has been inspired by the same logic. Through its usage, a disciple’s deep urge to adore the Guru completely (one hundred percent) is highlighted.

Usually, humans are considered lowly, and a ‘devtā’ (deity) is considered exalted or excellent. Therefore, a good person is often equated to a ‘devtā’ (deity) in common usage. By using words like ‘māṇas’ (humans) and ‘devte’ (deities) in the line ‘jini māṇas te devte kīe’ (who transformed humans into deities), emphasis has been placed on Guru’s ability to eliminate all the shortcomings of a person and instill in them innumerable qualities and possibilities of an exalted potential. The expression ‘karat nā lāgī vār (it did not take any time) also depicts Guru’s capability, humility, and the Guru’s love and intimacy with the Sikh. The Guru transfers entire life wisdom and experience to the Sikh within a moment, and transforms an ordinary being into an enlightened being much like the Guru.

The word ‘vār’ has been used twice in this salok, in a very natural way, thus also catering to the poetic beauty of the passage through homonyms. The meaning of ‘vār’ in both instances is different; in the first instance, ‘vār’ means times/turns,’ and in the second, it conveys a sense of ‘delay.’

The meter convention of this salok is 13+11. There are 13(4)+11 meters in the second line. Despite the fact that it accedes by four meters, it can still be categorized under a two line verse/couplet with 13+11 characters each (doharā chand).