Gurbani Word Of The Day : Dharam Saal

ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲ (dharam saal)
Meaning: noun: Place to practise righteousness.

ਰਾਤੀ ਰੁਤੀ ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ॥ ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਾਤਾਲ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲ॥
raatee rutee thitee vaar. pavaṇ paaṇee agnee paataal.
tis vich dhartee thaap rakhee dharam saal.
There are nights, seasons, dates and days; air, water, fire, and upper and nether regions. In that setting, the Creator has established earth as a place to perform righteousness. – Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 07

Message: With this verse from pauri 34 begins the description of the spiritual realms (khands). At the outset of the spiritual journey, we find ourselves located in the realm of righteousness (dharam khand), the world of time, space and mind, which we inhabit and are most familiar with. Guru Nanak’s description is a work of sublime beauty.

All creatures and things carry out their roles naturally as per their innate nature. For example, the planets and stars perform their functions to give days, nights and thhe various seasons. Elements like air, water and fire all function according to their nature. Insects, birds, animals and numerous other creatures and human beings are placed on the earth together. Humans are expected to learn and play their allotted role, just as nature does.

The planet earth is seen as an arena for the practice of righteous action (dharam). The human body is the means to carry out this action. It is in this body that we make choices that determine our fate and are enabled for rewards. 

This realm is the stage of spiritual awakening, where we awaken to the right orientation. We receive according to our actions and deeds performed. The blessed are those who are honoured for their good deeds and for remembering the role and purpose of human life.

ਧਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਏਹੋ ਧਰਮੁ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਆਖਹੁ ਕਰਮੁ॥
This is the conduct of dharam khand. The conduct and action of giaan khand follows. – Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 07

Etymology: Blend of dharam from Sanskrit dharm (righteousness, morality, virtue, law, etc.) + saal from Sanskrit shaalaa (shed, stable, house) → Pali/Prakrit saalaa
→ Prakrit saal → Hindi saal (hall, house, school).


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