Gurbani Word Of The Day: Dookh

ਦੂਖੁ (dookh)
Meaning: noun: Pain, grief, sorrow.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਆਪੁਨਾ ਦੂਖੁ ਮਿਟਾਵੈ॥ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਦ ਗਾਵੈ॥
je ko aapunaa dookh mitaavai. hari hari naam ridai sad gaavai.
If one wishes to remove one’s sorrow, then one should always sing the Name of the Divine within one’s heart.
– Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 266

Message: We all want to remove pain and sorrow from our life and in this verse, Guru Sahib tells us how we can do it. The key to remove pain and sorrow is to live in the conscious awareness of the Divine and emulate the godly qualities at all times.

When we inculcate the right qualities, we have a different perspective altogether. It is not an event or a circumstance that gives us pain or pleasure, but how we view it. The pain will be there, but we accept it calmly and do not let it overwhelm us. We understand that pain and happiness are part and parcel of human life.

The words ‘ridai’ (within the heart) and ‘sad gavai’ (always singing the Divine attributes and virtues with love) help us to unfold the treasure of the Sikh way of life. They tell us how we have to remember the Divine even when we are engaged in our daily routines.

Gurbani gives us various examples. One example is of a mother: A mother may be busy carrying out different tasks, but her attention or her mind is on her baby sleeping in the cot. In the same way, whilst engaged in worldly chores, we should keep the Divine in our heart.

When we remember the Divine and use the qualities we have imbibed to alleviate the pain – we train our mind to take a different perspective, one taught by Gurbani and not the usual self-centred view.

Etymology: From Sanskrit duhkh (difficulty, pain) → Pali and Prakrit dukkh (misery) → Kashmiri dokh (sorrow, pain), Sindhi ukhu, Lahndi dukh/ḍukh, Punjabi dukkh/dukh and Hindi/Marwari dookh.


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