n this article, we will dive into the 5th Salok of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji’s Salok Mahala Nauva Baani. 


ਧਨੁ ਦਾਰਾ ਸੰਪਤਿ ਸਗਲ ਜਿਨਿ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਕਰਿ ਮਾਨਿ ॥

Your wealth, spouse, and all the possessions which you claim as your own

ਇਨ ਮੈ ਕਛੁ ਸੰਗੀ ਨਹੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਾਚੀ ਜਾਨਿ ॥੫॥

- none of these shall go along with you in the end. O Nanak, know this as true. ||5||

In the first line of the Salok, Guru Sahib Ji highlights our attachments by listing what we consider our own - Dhan (wealth), Dara (spouse), and Sampat (possessions, including clothes and house). By designating these as "ours," we assert control, fostering attachment and a desire for dominance over them.

The Impermanence of Wealth 

ਕਬੀਰ ਕਉਡੀ ਕਉਡੀ ਜੋਰਿ ਕੈ ਜੋਰੇ ਲਾਖ ਕਰੋਰਿ ॥

Kabeer, the mortal gathers wealth, shell by shell, accumulating thousands and millions.

ਚਲਤੀ ਬਾਰ ਨ ਕਛੁ ਮਿਲਿਓ ਲਈ ਲੰਗੋਟੀ ਤੋਰਿ ॥੧੪੪॥

But when the time of his departure comes, he takes nothing at all with him.  

Bhagat Kabeer Ji explains that we amass wealth bit by bit, yet none of it accompanies us after our last breath. Even the meagre change we carry for daily use will be taken from us during cremation. The unpredictable nature of money means that one day, someone may enjoy immense wealth, only to be left with nothing the next day.

People who proudly invest in properties may find themselves with nothing if prices plummet. Vaheguru's play transforms kings into beggars and beggars into kings.

Attachment with Family 

When a beloved person departs, many struggle to cope, often descending into depression. Life turns upside-down as the departed one may have been their only source of support. We often forget the ultimate life-giver, placing our hopes solely in human relationships.

ਜਗਜੀਵਨ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਕੈ ਮਾਣਸ ਸੰਦੀ ਆਸ ॥

They have forsaken God the Primal Being, the Life of the World, and they have come to rely upon mere mortals.

Guru Sahib Ji says that to rely on human beings is of no use. 

ਮਾਨੁਖ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ਬ੍ਰਿਥੀ ਸਭ ਜਾਨੁ ॥

Reliance on mortals is in vain - know this well.

One of the most profound pains is separation, which can take various forms. Sometimes, a person may undergo a transformation and cease to be by our side. The key lies in not being possessive about things that are unstable and constantly changing.

What is Constant?

Guru Sahib Ji emphasises that the sole constant and unwavering entity since the beginning is Vaheguru Ji - compassionate then, now, and always.

ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਲਾਮਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥੧੬॥

You are the Stable, unchanging, Eternal and Formless One! ||16||

Neither wealth nor family can aid us once we breathe our last, and even whilst we are alive. Even the wealthiest and most renowned individuals grapple with worry and anxiety. They live in fear of losing their possessions and the apprehension of others surpassing them.

ਵਡੇ ਵਡੇ ਜੋ ਦੀਸਹਿ ਲੋਗ ॥

Those who seem to be great and powerful,

ਤਿਨ ਕਉ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਰੋਗ ॥੧॥

are afflicted by the disease of anxiety. ||1||

Love vs Attachment

Guru Sahib Ji says that the relationships and love we cultivate in this world are transient and, therefore, deemed false. Most individuals are primarily focused on their own concerns, with only a few genuinely living for others' happiness. 

ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਝੂਠੀ ਦੇਖੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥

In this world, I have seen love to be false.

ਅਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਸੁਖ ਸਿਉ ਸਭ ਲਾਗੇ ਕਿਆ ਦਾਰਾ ਕਿਆ ਮੀਤ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Whether they are spouses or friends, all are concerned only with their own happiness. ||1||Pause||

While caring for and loving those around you is crucial, avoiding possessiveness is key to preventing suffering. Feeling entitled over someone or something leads to heartbreak when they change or behave differently.  

The Solution

ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ ਏਤੁ ਮਾਰਗਿ ਜਾਣਾ ॥

The path they take is sharper than a two-edged sword, and finer than a hair.

This path is very fine-lined! While you can’t neglect or leave your loved ones, you must take care of them, but in the same breath, you must not get attached to them. The solution is to connect with Vaheguru Ji.

ਸਾਚੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਹਮ ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰੀ ॥

I am joined in true love with You, Lord.

ਤੁਮ ਸਿਉ ਜੋਰਿ ਅਵਰ ਸੰਗਿ ਤੋਰੀ ॥੩॥

I am joined with You, and I have broken with all others. ||3||

Experiencing true love detaches us from others, and we continue to serve them with a selfless and unconditional love, recognizing them as a form of Vaheguru Ji.  

Don’t Hold Back!

Guru Sahib Ji explains that our connections and relationships in this life are due to unresolved accounts from past lives, yet none of these people can ultimately provide support.

ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਸੁਤ ਬੰਧਪ ਇਸਟ ਮੀਤ ਅਰੁ ਭਾਈ ॥

ਪੂਰਬ ਜਨਮ ਕੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੰਜੋਗੀ ਅੰਤਹਿ ਕੋ ਨ ਸਹਾਈ ॥੧॥

Mother, father, spouse, children, relatives, lovers, friends and siblings meet, having been associated in previous lives; but none of them will be your companion and support in the end. ||1||

We often hesitate to keep our Kes (uncut hair) or take Amrit and advance on the Sikh path due to worldly relations. Guru Sahib Ji cautions that it's not the world, but our pursuit of truth that accompanies us.

ਕਬੀਰ ਦੀਨੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਦੁਨੀ ਸਿਉ ਦੁਨੀ ਨ ਚਾਲੀ ਸਾਥਿ ॥

Kabeer, the mortal loses his faith, for the sake of the world, but the world shall not go along with him in the end.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, maintaining stable relationships involves neither abandoning loved ones nor forming attachments. Humility and sweetness play a crucial role in achieving this balance.

ਮਿਠਾ ਬੋਲਹਿ ਨਿਵਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਸੇਜੈ ਰਵੈ ਭਤਾਰੁ ॥

Her speech is sweet, and her way of life is humble. She enjoys the company of Vaheguru.

Through humility, we uplift and serve our loved ones, remaining away from conflicts.

ਜਿਨ ਕੇ ਜਣੇ ਬਡੀਰੇ ਤੁਮ ਹਉ ਤਿਨ ਸਿਉ ਝਗਰਤ ਪਾਪ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

It is a sin to argue with the ones who fathered you and raised you. ||1||Pause|| 

Guru Sahib Ji urges us not to belittle others, including our family members, as we embark on the spiritual path, and not forming attachments to possessions but using them for others' service. Practically, this includes giving Dasvand (10% of earnings) for others' welfare and lovingly serving one's family while avoiding attachment. This way of living keeps one free from pain and filled with love.

This article is a transcribed version of the video What Do You Claim As Your Own? by Bhai Baljit Singh Ji.

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