Meaning: noun: Birds.
ਫਰੀਦਾ ਹਉ ਬਲਿਹਾਰੀ ਤਿਨ ਪੰਖੀਆ ਜੰਗਲਿ ਜਿੰਨਾ ਵਾਸੁ॥ ਕਕਰੁ ਚੁਗਨਿ ਥਲਿ ਵਸਨਿ ਰਬ ਨ ਛੋਡਨਿ ਪਾਸੁ॥
fareedaa hau balihaaree tinh paňkheeaa jaňgal jiňnhaa vaas.
kakar chugan thal vasan rab na chhoḍan paas.
O Fareed! I humble myself before those birds which live in the jungle, dwell on the ground, and peck at the gravel, but still do not leave the side of the Divine. – Sheikh Fareed, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 1383
Message: Living in the jungle (wilderness), dwelling on the ground and pecking at gravel (small pebbles or roots) represent simple moderate ways of living that human can cultivate. Birds subsist on whatever they can find, but they never embark on a path of swindling, cheating or grabbing something from others. They remain true to their own being and in harmony with nature.
‘The side of the Divine’ represents siding with truth and righteousness and relying on an honest living, as simple as it may be, and not being greedy or adopting corrupt means. It also represents being grateful and contented with what you have.
Etymology: From Sanskrit pakshin (winged, bird)→ Pali pakkhin → Prakrit pakkhi/pakkhia/paṅkhi → Sindhi pakhee, Lahndi pakkhee, Punjabi pakkhee/paňkhee, Gujarati paňkhee.
Summary of the Week:
The Guru Granth Sahib never fails to give us spiritual pleasure, guidance and show us the diversity of nature around us. In fact, it teaches us that if we look at nature and the animals around us, we can learn a lesson or two to better live our lives. If we are on the wrong path, we can take a lesson on how we can set our paths right again.
We need to look inward and ask ourselves, what positive value are we to the world: to people, nature and the animals around us. If we are not, we need to rethink our way of life on this earth. If we remember the Divine in our hearts and act in a divine way, our lives will be fruitful.
Let us humbly learn from the dog, the value of loyalty, and from the fish how to love. Let us learn from the pig about keeping our surroundings clean, and from the birds how to live humbly. Open your eyes to the liberating wonders of nature!
ਜੋ ਬੋਲਤ ਹੈ ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਮੀਨ ਪੰਖੇਰੂ ਸੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਪਤ ਹੈ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਰ॥
Whatever the deer, the fish, and the birds sing, seems nothing but the Name of the Divine to me.
– Guru Ram Das, Guru Granth Sahib, Page
For Your Reading Pleasure:
Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal… In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.
Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh – not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
― Mark Twain , Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings