Gurbani Word Of The Day: pahar

ਪਹਰ (pahar)
Meaning: noun: A watch or period of 3 hours, a quarter of the day or night.
ਦਿਨ ਤੇ ਪਹਰ  ਪਹਰ ਤੇ ਘਰੀਆਂ   ਆਵ ਘਟੈ ਤਨੁ ਛੀਜੈ॥
in te pahar pahar te ghareeaaṅ   aav ghaṭai tan chheejai.
From days to quarters of the day (pahar), and from quarters of the day to 1/8 of it, lifespan diminishes and the body withers away. – Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib, 692

Message: Each day comes and passes to meet its end, bit by bit (morning, noon, evening and night). Likewise, human beings come in this world and their lifespan diminishes bit by bit (childhood, youth, middle age and old age). From years to months, from months to weeks and days, and from days to hours and minutes, life is becoming shorter, and the body weaker.

The time when we have to depart from this world is imminent. Who among the brothers, mother, father, son or daughter belong to us? Yet, we do not realise that only as long as there is life, there is opportunity to fulfil our spiritual inner quest. We continue however, craving for more wealth and a longer lifetime. Through this verse, Bhagat Kabir urges us to avail this opportunity of human life without any more delay. Let us forsake all doubts and tread the path we are supposed to. Let us not forget the Divine even for a moment!

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਈਐ   ਬਿਸਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਸਾਸਾ ਜੀਉ॥
Let us sing the attributes of the Lord eight quarters of the day, and let Him not be forgotten for even a breath. – Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 108

Etymology: From Sanskrit prahar (a watch, a period of time = 3 hours) → Kashmiri pahar → Sindhi paharu, and Punjabi pahar.


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