Gurbani Word Of The Day: so Dar

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ (so dar)

Meaning: noun: Literally, that door or gate (of the court of the Divine).

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਹਾ  ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ   ਜਿਤੁ ਬਹਿ ਸਰਬ ਸਮਾਲੇ॥ 
(ਹੇ  ਕਰਤਾ  ਪੁਰਖ!) ਤੇਰਾ  ਉਹ  ਦਰ  ਕੈਸਾ  ਅਦਭੁਤ  ਹੈ, ਉਹ  ਘਰ  ਕੈਸਾ  ਅਨੂਪਮ  ਹੈ, ਜਿਥੇ  ਬਹਿ ਕੇ (ਅਨੁਭਵ  ਹੁੰਦਾ  ਹੈ  ਕਿ) ਸਾਰੀ  ਕੁਦਰਤ  ਤੇਰਾ  ਚਿੰਤਨ ਕਰ  ਰਹੀ  ਹੈ  ਅਤੇ  ਤੂੰ  ਸਾਰਿਆਂ  ਦੀ  ਸਾਰ -ਸੰਭਾਲ  ਕਰ  ਰਿਹਾ  ਹੈਂ।

so dar tera kehaa   so ghar kehaa   jit bahi sarab samaale.
(O Creator!) How wonderful must be that door of Yours and how incomparable that abode by sitting wherein one realises that the whole creation is reflecting upon You and You are taking care of all. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 8

Message: This verse speaks of the wondrous moment which leads to the realisation that only the Creator is worthy of worship that He is to be honoured and held in the highest esteem as the whole universe sings His praises or abides harmoniously by the laws of the all-pervading Divine.

Explanation: In this quote taken from the opening hymn, Guru Nanak draws our attention to the wonderful abode of our Creator. The words ‘door’ and ‘abode’ are referred to metaphorically.

We imagine what His court would be like. We can only picture it from the perspective of a king’s court where the king is surrounded by his courtiers singing his glory and applauding.

Unlike a king’s court which is just a building, His abode is the universe. The courtiers here, who sing His praises, are not only the holy ones surrounding Him, those on earth such as the pundits and the learned ones, but rather the whole of the universe, the planets, the solar system, air, water, fire.

In the hymn, we acknowledge with reverence, in genuine wonder and awe, the Creator, the Almighty, the Eternal, the ever-present ruler of the universe.

The Almighty alone is the eternal Master. What He creates He looks after with benevolence. Everything exists according to His will. In reverence and awe, we walk in His will.

ਸੋ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ  ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਿਬੁ   ਨਾਨਕ  ਰਹਣੁ ਰਜਾਈ॥
He (the Creator) is the supreme King, the King of kings; Nanak! One needs to abide by His will. –Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 06

Keen To Explore Further?
Guru Nanak used the expression gaavani repeatedly in this stanza to stress that creation is “singing” the praises and attributes of one Reality.

Singing the praises of the Creator is an allegoric expression, which signifies that everything, animate and inanimate, abides harmoniously by the laws of the all-pervading divine Force.

For example, just like the way the elements, the air, water, and fire, etc. do what they are meant to do, so too should human beings carry out their duties in accordance with the laws of the universe.

“Singing” here can also be understood to mean the sound created by the dance of life expressed in carrying out the purpose for which it was intended: air to blow, fire to burn and water to flow.

“Singing” can also be understood to mean “in praise of”, which implies a kind of appreciation and seeking: thus we, seekers or devotees, are all seeking the Source.

“Singing” can also be viewed as the pursuit of excellence in each one of us as we seek to transcend our limitations. Guru Sahib is here pointing to excellence in speech and language, music, knowledge, and above all, awareness.

Notes: This hymn, which is also part of Jap Ji, stanza 27, enjoys a particular place of honour in the Sikh tradition, appearing three times in Guru Granth Sahib, albeit with minor variations.

Etymology: Blend of so (that) and dar (door, gate) from Persian dar (gate, court, palace).

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