“The fifteenth Pauri brings salvation.”
~from the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan (1)
The 15th Pauri as interpreted by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa:
Trust what you hear When you listen And find The door of liberation.
Trust what you hear When you listen, And bring all your loved ones Along.
Trust what you hear When you listen. You will swim across All difficulties And your very presence Will carry others across, As well.
And that is what it means To be a Sikh of the Guru, A seeker of Divine Wisdom, Who walks from the darkness of ego To the light Of your own purity and spirit.
Trust what you hear When you listen. Nanak, Even if you wander Lost There will be no need To beg for anything.
Such is That True Spirit Within me That it makes me become Pure, clear and sweet.
If you Trust what you hear When you listen, Then you will know What you see, How to understand And act.
Reflections on the 15th Pauri from Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa:
This is one of my very favorite Paurīs of JapJī Sāhib, because within it, Gurū Nānak defines what a Gur Sikh is. This definition has nothing to do with anything except consciousness.
In the previous Mannai Paurīs, Gurū Nānak talks about the gifts that trusting the inner command brings. But in this Paurī, Gurū Nānak takes it a step further. When we cultivate the consciousness of Suṉi-ai (of deep listening) and then complete that with Mannai (trusting or obeying what we hear when we listen), it has an incredibly positive affect on the people around us.
Gurū Nānak makes a radical claim that Mannai, in and of itself, is enough to become liberated. Within the Light of each being, the pathway unfolds, step by step, to one’s own liberation. So in that sense, liberation is a very self-sovereign experience in Gurū Nānak’s teachings. Nobody can tell you how to become liberated. You need to develop your sensitivity to trust your own intuitive wisdom, and that will allow you to find the door of your liberation.
But even more importantly, when you develop trust in your own intuitive sensitivity, it brings tremendous blessings to the people who know you. Your presence will help others swim across their difficulties. Those you love, to whom you feel connected, will walk the path because of you. Mannai has a positive and uplifting affect on those around you.
And ultimately this is Gurū Nānak’s definition of a Sikh – a student of Truth. The person who can cultivate this consciousness of Suṉi-ai and Mannai, and by so doing, inspire and elevate others. That is a Sikh.
Another aspect of this Paurī is the idea that we can get lost on the spiritual path. But that’s OK – even if we feel lost, as long as we keep listening and trusting, we will have what we need.
The Spirit within you, the Nām, the Identity of the Divine that lives as the essence of your existence, is perfect and complete. It needs nothing, except that the mind should become sensitive enough to listen and trust that Nām. If we all learned this level of self-trust and self-love, and could walk sovereign in our lives acting on our own inner sensitivity, through our own Divine Light, what a wonderful world it would be.
(1) Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher, 80.
*This article was originally shared in a 40-Day Japji Sadhana hosted by Sikh Dharma International in partnership with other legacy organizations.
The year before Kundalini Yoga Master Yogi Bhajan, also known as the Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma, left his body, he personally worked with Ek Ong Kaar Kaur on a translation of Gurū Nānak’s Jap Jī Sāhib. In addition, he directed her to translate the writings of the Sikh masters into English. She currently serves as the Program Manager for SikhNet.com.