Reflections on the Sixteenth Paurī from JapJī Sāhib by Gurū Nānak

“The sixteenth Paurī gives knowledge of the structure of universe.”

~from the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan (1)

Reflections on the 16th Pauri from S.S. Siri Sevak Kaur Khalsa:

This Paurī talks about spiritual leadership. Panch means five chosen ones. In the old Punjabi system the five wisest ones in each village were the leaders.  So the word panch means elected in that sense—the wisest beings, the ones who are able to make decisions for the whole community. (2)

Gurū Nānak spoke highly of these chosen ones in this Paurī.  The Siri Singh Sahib told us we have to be self-elected through our practice.  Through rising in the morning to meditate, listening deeply and trusting what we hear, we become pure and are the spiritual leaders that the world needs.

This Paurī talks about the “bull of dharma” which holds up the world.  We learn in this Paurī  that Dharma is born from da-i-ā   (compassion).   Meditate on this concept that Dharma supports the world and that it comes from compassion.

The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan said this Paurī would give us “knowledge of the structure of the Universe.” (1) What can we learn about the structure of the universe from this Paurī?  We learn that Dharma holds up the world and that it is born from compassion.  We learn that the bull of Dharma has such a heavy weight to carry.  We learn that there are so many worlds beyond this world.

And finally we fall at God’s feet speechless in adoration of this beautiful creation with the last lines of the Paurī:


(1) Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher, 80.

(2) Japji of Guru Nanak:  A Complete Annotated Word-by-Word Translation, Guruliv Singh Khalsa, p. 58


*This article was originally shared in a 40-Day Japji Sadhana hosted by Sikh Dharma International in partnership with other legacy organizations.

Siri Sevak Kaur

Siri Sevak Kaur is a long-time student of Kundalini Yogi and Yogi Bhajan who has had an equally long-time attraction to the sacred language and music of the Sikhs.  She lives at Guru Ram Das Ashram in Millis, MA, and teaches tele-classes in Gurmukhi and Jap Jī Sahib to students across the country and around the world.  Her website is:  


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