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rāgu āsā   mahalā 1.
chia ghar   chia gur   chia updes.
guru guru eko   ves anek.1.
bābā   jai ghari   karte kīrati hoi.
so gharu rākhu   vaḍāī toi.1. rahāu.
visue   casiā   ghaṛīā   paharā    thitī   vārī   māhu hoā.
sūraju eko   ruti anek.
nānak   karte ke kete ves.2.2.
-Guru Granth Sahib 12-13

rāgu āsā   mahalā 1.

chia ghar   chia gur   chia updes.

guru guru eko   ves anek.1.

bābā   jai ghari   karte kīrati hoi.

so gharu rākhu   vaḍāī toi.1. rahāu.

visue   casiā   ghaṛīā   paharā    thitī   vārī   māhu hoā.

sūraju eko   ruti anek.

nānak   karte ke kete ves.2.2.

-Guru Granth Sahib 12-13

The second stanza is written in Rag Asa, the musical mode of hope. This stanza is about expectation. Guru Nanak establishes a context with the first line, stating that there are six schools of thought in Indic philosophy, six founders, and six teachings, but at the end of the day, the real Guru, the real Wisdom, is only One, with multiple forms. The real thought is only One.

Guru Nanak addresses us, saying, O wise one! In the home where the Creator is being glorified — in that body, in that heart, in that school of thought, remember that home. This is a very loving way of addressing us, acknowledging that we all have the potential to adopt wise behaviors because the Wisdom is always there. In the first stanza, Guru Nanak referred to pouring the oil as a form of encouragement for the bride on the wedding day. The use of this address serves as a kind of lyrical and symbolic oil-pouring, a form of encouragement by the Guru for all of us in our journeys.

The Guru says that we must reflect on which of the infinite ways of being and infinite schools of thought speaks to us. Which of them glorifies the One in the ways that we connect with? That glorification of the One is how we become great. Guru Nanak says that we must figure out how our greatness will come out. It will come out when we connect with the one who shows us the praise or glory of the One. And even when we find what does that for us, we must also realize that the origin of all these different ways of being is the One.

Guru Nanak further illustrates this by saying that all the units of time, from a moment to a year, all the blinks of eyes, seconds, minutes, quarters of a day, make up a month. The sun is one, but the seasons are many. The sun is constant as the seasons change. This sun is equated with the Origin. For us, Guru Nanak is the sun. For Guru Nanak, Guru is IkOankar (One Universal Integrative Force, 1Force). Guru Nanak urges us to reflect on what it is that matters. Truly, all that matters is praise. Praise is Identification with IkOankar. It is the remembrance of IkOankar. It is what helps us understand IkOankar emotionally and experientially, not just intellectually. It is an understanding that every other thought and the manifestation of thought has one Origin.

There is an urging for us, the wise ones, to appreciate the many forms and figure out which is for us. We can look at different archetypes and systems and schools and mystics, and those are all helpful, but have we done our own evaluations to make sense of what works for us? For many people, the open-endedness of these questions can be scary. We like to be told what to do, what to believe, how to behave. But the idea that there are infinite ways of doing all of these things rooted in the same Origin is hard to internalize, especially when the schools’ Guru Nanak is referencing are starkly different and disagree on many things. It is not that these schools of thought are all the same; in fact, there are stark differences in how they perceive the world and what they believe our purpose is. And though we like to condemn, judge, and separate, Guru Nanak repeats that the Origin of these schools is One. We must figure out which works for us as individuals. We can become great by choosing a path that helps us invoke the glory of the One, the praise of the One. Even within schools of thought, we can adopt various behaviors that help us discover the One, remember the One, and identify with the One. Even after we have chosen our paths, we must ask ourselves, are we building ourselves or building the path? Are we praising ourselves or praising the One?

In Rag Asa, Sabad revealed by Guru Nanak Sahib.

O honorable one! Always remember that school of thought in which the Creator’s praise is sung.
This way, you will receive the gift of praising the Creator.1.Pause.

In Hindu philosophy, there are six schools of thought, and six are their creators. There are six different types of teachings of these schools regarding the Creator.
The greatest Creator is the One alone, though the Creator’s manifest forms are many.1.

From blinks of eyes, seconds, minutes, quarters of day and night, lunar dates, and days of the week, a month is formed; that is, there are many blinks of eyes, seconds, minutes, quarters, dates, and days in a month.
At the end of the Sabad, by using the signature ‘Nanak,’ Guru Nanak states that the sun is only one, but many seasons are formed by the revolution of the earth around the sun. Similarly, the Creator is only one in the transcendent state, but in the manifest state, the Creator has many forms.2.2.

Rag Asa, First Embodiment.

Six are the houses, six are the gurus, (and) six are the teachings.
The greatest Guru is only one, (though the) forms are many.1.

O respected one! In which house praise of the Creator is sung, keep that house (in remembrance, the gift of) praising (will be bestowed) onto you.1.Pause.

From blinks of eyes, from seconds, from minutes, from quarters (of day and night), from dates, from days, became a month.
Sun is one, seasons are many.
Nanak (signature): (Likewise), the Creator’s forms are many.2.2.

An effective use of symbolism has been made in this Sabad. Through the statements ‘chia ghar,’ ‘chia gur’ and ‘chia updes’ there is a pointer to the six schools of thought, their six gurus and the six different teachings given by them, respectively. Similarly, ‘ves anek’ is also used as a symbolic statement, which points to the many manifest forms of the Creator.

In the third-fourth lines, along with symbolism, simple vocabulary has also been used. Through this, it has been made clear that the ‘house,’ meaning the teaching, in which the Creator’s praise happens, remember that teaching alone. You will receive the gift of praising the Creator there.

In the second stanza of the Sabad, the statement is beautifully reinforced by way of illustration. Here it is explained that just like there are many months and seasons made from blinks of eyes, seconds, minutes, quarters, dates, days, even though there is only one sun. Similarly, there are many teachings/philosophies, but IkOankar is one. In this stanza, a statement has been made through an example. So, a metaphor of illustration has appeared here.

There are a total of seven lines in this Sabad. The meter of these lines is as follows: first-second (15+15), third-fourth (4+15+15), fifth (31), sixth-seventh (14+17). In the third line, due to the additional usage of the word ‘baba,’ the meter has become 19 from 15. If these lines are considered in pairs, then the meter can be kept under the verse form known as ‘chaupai’ (16+16 or 15+15) in Indian poetics. Even though there are 31 meters in the fifth line, this meter is similar to the sum of the two lines of the verse form known as ‘chaupai.’