Reflections on the Twenty First Paurī from JapJī Sāhib by Gurū Nānak

“The twenty-first Paurī will maintain your status, grace and position.”

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

Reflections on the 21st Pauree from M.S.S. Guruka Singh Khalsa:

This Paurī of Japjī Sāhib is the “it’s not what you think it is” Paurī.

The Gurū’s underlying thought is that worship of the Divine is a continuous, internal state. It’s not about doing things or figuring things out. It’s a state of being.

Gurū Jī starts by saying that doing things you think are “spiritual,” or that others think are spiritual, are not the way to experience the One. Then he refers back to his earlier Paurīs 8 through 15, regarding deep listening (suṉi-ai) and surrender (manai) and reiterates that waking up to the ecstatic experience of that luminous secret within all things — through deep meditation and a life of complete surrender — paying attention to the constant guidance of the Divine — is the path that works.

The daily inner cleansing of the mind (sādhanā) is required to maintain this state of awareness and surrender. Experiencing the presence of the Infinite in all things is the never ending wellspring of devotion and love.

Gurū Jī makes the point that the One lies beyond the mind and cannot be known through the mind, and that even wise men and sages cannot do it. The Infinite is ineffable and, when the unknown becomes known, one’s life becomes a life of worship honoring the Divine.

He ends the Paurī with a thought that has been expressed in many ways in all spiritual paths: “One who claims to know everything shall not be decorated in the world hereafter.” The Tao de Ching states this as: “The one who speaks does not know. The one who knows does not speak” (2).

There is no honor in spiritual ego. Honor lies only in the humblest of hearts.


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

(2) Tao Te Ching.  Chapter 56, Verse 128.


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

Guruka Singh Khalsa

Guruka Singh Khalsa is the founder of and now serves as President and C.E.O. of SikhNet an online media company which has over 800,000 unique visitors per month. One of the original 25 yoga teachers trained directly by Yogi Bhajan, he began teaching Kundalini Yoga in 1971 and is still traveling and teaching all over the world. His many YouTube videos and writings are an ongoing source of inspiration to millions.  He is the author of several books including “Furmaan Khalsa” (1987,) ” The Game of Love” (2004) and  “Heroes, Saints and Yogis – Tales of Self-Discovery and the Path of Sikh Dharma” (2011.) He lives under the blue skies of New Mexico with his beloved Khalsa family.


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