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Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat.


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In the finale of Jap Ji Sahib we have the following beginning line of the following Slok:

Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat.

I'm no scholar, but I have interpreted the above line as:

(1) Air is the Guru, Water the Father, Earth the Eminent* Mother.

*I have translated mahat as "eminent" here.Mahat = eminence, distinguished, vadiaa-ee.Mahat also refers to Buddhi, Higher mind.Buddhi has been personified as a Goddess for millenia.

As regards water and earth in the above Slok, I have interpreted their meaning as: Water is our material manifestation of Vahiguru the Father.Earth is our material manifestation of Vahiguru the Mother.When water and earth come into contact with one another, life springs forth.Water is the seed, the earth is the womb.

But as for Pavan Guru, I'm a bit stuck.Does Pavan Guru mean that air is formed into the Word (Bani) of Guru, therefore Guru = praan?Can someone give me a better explaination.

I'd like to know your views on this particular line of Gurbani.

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Guest Javanmard

If we go back to creation myths we'll see this image of the human being being created out of mud (water and earth). These two elements together are not enough though. It needs to become alive through breath (pavan=air). Now the pure immaculate soul (atma) is that very breath. there is this linguistic link between atma (sanskrit) and the germanic atmen (to breathe).

This tuk refers to humanity and refers to the fact that Guru is in us in the form of the atma and that it is that atma from which life-force emanates.

I could be wrong though....

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If we go back to creation myths we'll see this image of the human being being created out of mud (water and earth). These two elements together are not enough though. It needs to become alive through breath (pavan=air). Now the pure immaculate soul (atma) is that very breath. there is this linguistic link between atma (sanskrit) and the germanic atmen (to breathe).

This tuk refers to humanity and refers to the fact that Guru is in us in the form of the atma and that it is that atma from which life-force emanates.

I could be wrong though....

Yes, interesting reply lalleshvari.Atma is also written as atman.I don't know wether atman is original spelling.I'm not that familiar with Sanskrit, though I will be...

The thing is, in old Sanskrit texts, atman can refer to mundane self (soul/psyche) or Transcendental Self (Satguru).Indeed I believe the Transcendental Self is the Guru, Satguru mentioned by the Satguru Nanak.

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Guest BikramjitSingh

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Hari

I think that you should compare your own translations with the ones currently available. The best translation is Guru Granth Darpan by Professor Sahib Singh. It may not be too some people's liking as it follows the Gurbani Vyakaran and may have been inspired by those 'bad' Singh Sabha guys as well being being influenced by the 'victorian puritanical values of the british' and doesn't wander into unnecessary 'new age' and 'hippy' style explanations for words and concepts.

The Guru Granth Darpan is available on this website

http://www.sikh.net/Gurbani/Darpan.htm

GurFateh

Bikramjit

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Guest Javanmard

Dear Hari,

Atman is napumsling (neutrum) in Sanskrit and it means literally "self" but placed in its Indo-European linguistic context it is linked to the Germanic and Nordic "atmen=to breathe". You might find parallels with the Abrahamic traditions where the soul is qualified as ruh (arab) or ruah (heb) (same original root RUH*). the words qualify the idea of "breath" and "soul" at the same time. In Ancient Greek the word pneuma expresses both. In Greek Orthodox mysticism, called hesychia, the whole process of theomemnousia or remembereance of God concists in letting that pneuma being transfigured by the Holy Spirit (hagion pneuma). It is the descent of the Divine into man. I am not saying that Sikhi is the same but there are common ideas in all these traditions far from being "new age". New age is characterised by cultural and spiritual looting of religious traditions into a pick and chose attitude.

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  • 17 years later...
On 10/13/2003 at 8:10 PM, Hari said:

In the finale of Jap Ji Sahib we have the following beginning line of the following Slok:

 

Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat.

 

I'm no scholar, but for Pavan Guru, I'm a bit stuck.Does Pavan Guru mean that air is formed into the Word (Bani) of Guru, therefore Guru = praan?Can someone give me a better explaination.

 

I'd like to know your views on this particular line of Gurbani.

My 2 cents is that, as once I heard in a katha of sant Maskeen Singh, is that among all relations, the one with the Guru is the most relevant.

Just as one can live some time without eating, lesser than that would be without water, but it would be impossible without air.

In that respect, Guru is as important as air for us, for having the luminous Guru, we escape from the painful cycle of 84, and become aware of our spiritual reality, then only we live and merge in the highest and eternal Truth of Satnam.

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