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  1. ANG 1158 ਚੰਦਨ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਤਰਵਰੁ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ॥ Cẖanḏan kai sang ṯarvar bigri▫o. Associating with the sandalwood tree, the tree nearby is changed; ਸੋ ਤਰਵਰੁ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਬਰਿਓ ॥੨॥ So ṯarvar cẖanḏan ho▫e nibri▫o. ||2|| that tree begins to smell just like the sandalwood tree. ||2|| The Divine smell of sandalwood is so distinct and pure that any average wood or tree that comes within it's proximity, also begins to emanate the same divine smell of chandan. A transformation takes place in the otherwise average wood. Chandan is a blissful and heavenly aroma that can be sensed in the company of high avastha gurmukhs. Kabirji gives the resemblance and explanation that any old wood can transform into the purer and blissful chandan by simply being in it's company. We;like the ordinary wood, can also be transformed by being in the presence of a single GURU- the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Please note the highlighted words "sang" / "nearby" in this first couplet. It's quite important, because in the next couplet he speaks about another 'transformation' that involves "contact" and not being nearby. The distinction is of significance because the above couplet is likened to being in the company of sangat and the divine Guru. Hence, it's about the outward approach that we have to take at beginner spiritual levels. Whereas, the next couplet refers to the more advanced inner approach which occurs inside us once we progress to higher levels. ਪਾਰਸ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਤਾਂਬਾ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ॥ Pāras kai sang ṯāʼnbā bigri▫o. Coming into contact with the philosophers' stone, copper is transformed; ਸੋ ਤਾਂਬਾ ਕੰਚਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਬਰਿਓ ॥੩॥ So ṯāʼnbā kancẖan ho▫e nibri▫o. ||3|| that copper is transformed into gold. ||3|| The "Paras" /philosophers stone, that is in many ancient myths and stories is about the Touch of Gold, when everything gets transformed into Gold after being touched. It's not just about undergoing a change in smell sensation as with the sandalwood, but also a change in it's physical appearance; that occurs inside us. The sukham sareer inside us becomes to make the jyot pargat. The further cleansing and abyass starts showing the HariMandar. The Golden Temple that was not seen previously; starts to glow and become radiant in it's brilliant honey colored gold. In abyaas levels, it's when we start going towards dasam duar to take darshan in Har'mandar.(hari's mandar) I find it very interesting that references from alchemy used in books like Harry Potter and many other stories show the relationship of elixir of life/divine nectar/fountain of youth to the philosophers stone. As per gurbani and abyaas, i believe that this nectar is the amrit that flows from Hari's mandar, bathing the transformed gold. ਸੰਤਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਬਿਗਰਿਓ ॥ Sanṯan sang kabīrā bigri▫o. In the Society of the Saints, Kabeer is transformed; ਸੋ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਰਾਮੈ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਬਰਿਓ ॥੪॥੫॥ So Kabīr rāmai ho▫e nibri▫o. ||4||5|| that Kabeer is transformed into the Lord. ||4||5|| Kabirji tells us that after his outer and inner transforming, he has become one and the same with God. Kabir has transformed into the almighty raam. He's completely transformed and reached the final stage of settling(nibrio ਨਿਬਰਿਓ ),...meaning that there is no further transforming and the end goal of Nirankar has been reached. All vichaar and explanations are my own understandings. All errors are mine and I stand corrected. Bhull chuk maaf.
  2. Right now I am in the mood to correct things. So in this 'Botched Translations of Guru Granth Sahib ji' series, I want to highlight shabads, poems from Guru Granth Sahib, that have been translated incorrectly, which give the reader the wrong impression about the belief system of the author or about the message in Guru Granth Sahib ji. When I read the English translation of Guru Granth Sahib ji. I notice that there are certain mistakes embedded in these translations that are over-looked by most sikhs, who rely on them to make out the meaning of the shabad. These incorrect beliefs then become internalized and lead to incorrect understanding. The incorrect understanding is then propagated in real life and in online forums, it seeps into discussions and the mindset. One of the shabads I see the most, is a botched translation of Sant Kabir ji's shabad, where Kabir ji talks about the importance of your approach to Naam Simran. Do you approach Naam Simran to get something? What is it that you want to get out of it? Bhagat Kabir ji talks about the correct approach to Bhagati. He highlights a distinction in two approaches - the approach of Saint and the approach of Miracle-worker, who may appear similar to those who are unfamiliar. But what does the English Translation of this shabad say? Something completely unrelated. It is as I say, completely botched. Botched Translations of Guru Granth Sahib ji - Part 1 ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥ कबीर राम कहन महि भेदु है ता महि एकु बिचारु ॥ Kabīr rām kahan mėh bẖeḏ hai ṯā mėh ek bicẖār. Kabeer, it does make a difference, how you chant the Lord's Name, 'Raam'. This is something to consider. ਸੋਈ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੈ ਕਹਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਕਉਤਕਹਾਰ ॥੧੯੦॥ सोई रामु सभै कहहि सोई कउतकहार ॥१९०॥ So▫ī rām sabẖai kahėh so▫ī ka▫uṯakhār. ||190|| Everyone uses the same word for the son of Dasrath and the Wondrous Lord. ||190|| ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ कबीर रामै राम कहु कहिबे माहि बिबेक ॥ Kabīr rāmai rām kaho kahibe māhi bibek. Kabeer, use the word 'Raam', only to speak of the All-pervading Lord. You must make that distinction. ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ एकु अनेकहि मिलि गइआ एक समाना एक ॥१९१॥ Ėk anekėh mil ga▫i▫ā ek samānā ek. ||191|| One 'Raam' is pervading everywhere, while the other is contained only in himself. ||191|| Now just read the Gurmukhi - ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥ कबीर राम कहन महि भेदु है ता महि एकु बिचारु ॥ Kabīr rām kahan mėh bẖeḏ hai ṯā mėh ek bicẖār. ਸੋਈ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੈ ਕਹਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਕਉਤਕਹਾਰ ॥੧੯੦॥ सोई रामु सभै कहहि सोई कउतकहार ॥१९०॥ So▫ī rām sabẖai kahėh so▫ī ka▫uṯakhār. ||190|| ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ कबीर रामै राम कहु कहिबे माहि बिबेक ॥ Kabīr rāmai rām kaho kahibe māhi bibek. ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ एकु अनेकहि मिलि गइआ एक समाना एक ॥१९१॥ Ėk anekėh mil ga▫i▫ā (verb) ek samānā ek (verb). ||191|| Notice these 3 things as you read the Gurmukhi. 1. It does not say "Son of Dashrath" anywhere in the Gurmukhi, nor is it implied. 2. It does not say "Only to speak of all-pervading lord" anywhere in the Gurmukhi, nor is it implied. 3. It does not say "pervading everywhere" or "contained only in himself" anywhere in the Gurmukhi, nor is it implied. The English translation is mistranslated and is used to misrepresent this shabad. This is not what Sant Kabir ji is talking about and these are not the views he holds. This is not what Guru Granth Sahib ji is talking about either, and this mistranslated shabad is used to misrepresent the Guru. So the big question - What is this shabad actually talking about? ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥ कबीर राम कहन महि भेदु है ता महि एकु बिचारु ॥ Kabīr rām kahan mėh bẖeḏ hai ṯā mėh ek bicẖār. Kabir says there is a difference in how one says "Ram", let me share one thought. So now he mentions Kautakahar. Kautakhar are those people who perform miracles to entertain. Kabir ji is saying - ਸੋਈ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੈ ਕਹਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਕਉਤਕਹਾਰ ॥੧੯੦॥ सोई रामु सभै कहहि सोई कउतकहार ॥१९०॥ So▫ī rām sabẖai kahėh so▫ī ka▫uṯakhār. ||190|| All (saints) say "Ram" and so do the ka▫uṯakhār, those who perform miracles or entertain. (i.e. the saints chant Ram because they have Prem/love for Ram. The kautakhar chant Ram to obtain ridhi sidhi, power to perform miracles, which they will show off. The latter have Prem for ridhi sidhi not Ram.) ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ कबीर रामै राम कहु कहिबे माहि बिबेक ॥ Kabīr rāmai rām kaho kahibe māhi bibek. Kabir says do say "Ram" but in saying it recognize this difference/ this thought (bibek). The difference is in intention! ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ एकु अनेकहि मिलि गइआ एक समाना एक ॥१९१॥ Ėk anekėh mil ga▫i▫ā (verb) ek samānā ek (verb). ||191|| That one merged in the many, and the other one merged in the One. "pervading everywhere" (noun) or "contained only in himself" (noun) are incorrect translations of these Verbs. ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ - is a verb, it's the act of doing ie. merging ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ - is a verb, it's an act of doing ie. merging That those who were after the power to perform miracles merged with (verb) those powers, meaning they never achieved mukti. But those (saints) who were after Ram merged with Him, the One (verb). They are both doing Bhagati but their intentions are worlds apart, this is what Kabir is talking about in this shabad. The bibek you need to have to do Bhagati matters as it ultimately determines what result you get. Why does Bhagat Kabir ji feel the need to point this out? Since both Saints and Miracle-Workers can do kautaks, miracles, to the unfamiliar eye it might appear that they are the same. To new student of meditation, it might appear that meditation should be done to achieve these miraculous powers. They might think that it is miraculous powers that makes one into a Saint. Sant Kabir ji guides his sikhs and tells them. There is a difference that must be recognized. The Saints are into Naam Simran, meditation, for Ram. The miracle-workers, kautakhars, are into Naam Simran for Kautaks. He says that those who are in it for Ram, merge with Ram, and those who are in it for miracles, merge with the many miracles. Bhagat Kabir ji is encouraging his sikhs to be in it for Ram. So you see now what Bhagat Kabir ji is talking about? He's talking about differences in goals and aims, differences in intentions and purpose. And this is absolutely clear if you just read the Gurmukhi. Just let that sink in. Bhagat Kabir ji is talking about aims and intentions. It doesn't say the word Saint in the Gurmukhi, either. Where are you getting that from? As you can clearly see, I wrote it as "(saints)"; I put it in brackets in my translation. So I know it doesn't say "saints" in the Gurmukhi. However it really is talking about saints even though Kabir doesn't use the word "saint". This is because in the very last tuk, he says that these "people" merge into the One, into Ram. Since they merged into the One, they can be called saints. ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ "That one have merged in the many, and one have merged in the One." One has become engrossed in the many kautaks/miracles, and the other one has merged into the One. Since the other one merged into the one, he can be called a saint. Again, Kabir ji's point is this - We know that Saints can also do miracles. We know that Kautakhars can also do miracles. So the naturally the question gets asked - Is there a difference? If so, what is the difference between the two groups? The entire shabad addresses this question. Kabir ji answers that the Saints meditate on Ram out of pure love. Where as Kautakhars, meditate on Ram to gain ability to show kautak. And this difference is important to recognize because it ultimately leads to those goals. It has to be kept in mind while chanting "Ram, Ram". If your goal is to achieve powers, then that's all you will get (ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ) . If your goal is to get Ram, then that's who you will get (ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ) . So here's same translation using different words. I won't use the word saint in brackets and you'll see that the meaning is the same. ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮ ਕਹਨ ਮਹਿ ਭੇਦੁ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥ Kabir says there is a distinction in saying "Ram", let me share this notion. ਸੋਈ ਰਾਮੁ ਸਭੈ ਕਹਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਕਉਤਕਹਾਰ ॥੧੯੦॥ That "Ram" everyone chants, that "Ram" the ka▫uṯakhār also chant. ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ Kabir says definitely say "Ram, Ram" but in saying it recognize the distinction. ਏਕੁ ਅਨੇਕਹਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਗਇਆ ਏਕ ਸਮਾਨਾ ਏਕ ॥੧੯੧॥ That one group, the kautakhars, has become engrossed in the many powers, and the other group has merged with the One (with Ram). It says ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ. Doesn't ਰਾਮੈ mean "all-pervading"? Isn't it an adjective? That wouldn't change the meaning I posted because that's what Ram means but when we are translating from Gurmukhi, we have to stick to the words. ਰਾਮੈ is not an adjective. ਰਾਮੈ is the same thing as ਰਾਮ. They are both the same name. For example, Kabir ji says - ਮੁਆ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਰਮਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਰਾਮੈ ॥੫॥੧੫॥ I died meditating on "Shri Ram" ਰਾਮੈ is the same thing as ਰਾਮ . In another example, Kabir ji says ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਮਤ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੪॥ Chanting "Ram, Ram" one attains peace. ਰਮਤ means to permeate ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ/Ram, Ram ਰਾਮੈ is the same thing as ਰਾਮ In this example, Guru Sahib says - ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਰਾਮੈ ਨਾਮਿ ਬਸਾਈ ॥ ਅਸਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਕਤਹੂੰ ਜਾਈ ॥੪॥ Through the Guru's teachings, those who have enshrined "Ram Naam" (the name of Ram) in their hearts, they becomes Asthir, permanent, ie they become free of births and deaths. ਰਾਮੈ is the same thing as ਰਾਮ. Just like how ਨਾਮੈ is the same thing as ਨਾਮਾ (Namdev ji's nickname) ਜਨ ਨਾਮੈ ਤਤੁ ਪਛਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥੩॥ Servant Namdev (ਨਾਮੈ) has recognized reality. So keep those examples in mind and read the tuk again - ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਕਹੁ ਕਹਿਬੇ ਮਾਹਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ॥ Kabir ji says, do chant "Ram, Ram", and have this bibek while chanting. But does Bhagat Kabir ji make any distinction between Ram and Ram in another shabad? Bhagat Kabir ji makes absolutely no distinction. To Kabir ji they are the same. Bhagat Kabir ji in his other shabads refers to Shri Ram, Son of Dashrath, as the Archer, Purushotam, the Leader of Raghu Dynasty, amongst His other epithets. This is a big, multi-faceted discussion.
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6eds3_IM5c&feature=player_embedded 'Banaras: A Mystic Love Story' explores the various forms of love. It dares to find a meaningful solution to the clash between rationality and blind faith and between what is visible and what is possible. Woven in the narrative are the themes that represent the eternal city of Banaras. The film has been shot at picturesque locations across Banaras as well as the exhilarating locales of Mauritius. The locations used in the film include the house of Kabir, the great weaver-saint, the Ramgarh Palace and Sarnath. The film's crew was also given special access to shoot the original manuscript of "Ramcharit Manas" written by Tulsidas and the famed Puja at the Vishwanath temple.
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