Gurbani Word Of The Day: naṭ

ਨਟੁ (naṭ – sounds like nut)
Meaning: noun: Dancer, acrobat, actor.

ਬਾਤੀ ਸੂਕੀ  ਤੇਲੁ ਨਿਖੂਟਾ॥ ਮੰਦਲੁ ਨ ਬਾਜੈ  ਨਟੁ ਪੈ ਸੂਤਾ॥
baatee sookee  tel nikhootaa. maňdal na baajai  na pai sootaa.
The wick has dried up and the oil is exhausted. The drum does not sound and the actor has gone to sleep. – Bhagat Kabeer, Guru Granth Sahib, Page 478

Message: The above lines suggest that a certain scene in a play has come to an end.  How is this related to our lives?

The oil and the wick of the lamp represent our worldly desires constantly being fed and kept alight. The actor is the mind that dances to the tune of these desires. While we are part of this play, we allow our passions free reign. The noise of the drumbeat is constantly in our minds. And there is no peace.

If we are looking for a place of peace and serenity – a higher spiritual plane – we must let excessive material and worldly desires and passions die out from our mind. We must put an end to the current play we are in. We must be ready to move on to a higher level.

Bhagat Kabeer, using this metaphor, shows us the way to do this. Let the oil and the wick dry out, let the music come to a stop. The mind – the actor – no longer dancing to the tune of the music and no longer troubled by the beat of the drum, will go to sleep (and be at peace). When the mind awakens, it will see the Divine pervading everywhere. This is because there is no more smoke from the fire of excessive worldly desires to cloud its vision.

The onus therefore lies in us. Do we continue playing out the same scene day in and day out, or do we put the unsettling play to sleep and awaken to a fresh new dawn!

Etymology: From Sanskrit nartak (dancer) → Prakrit ṇaṭṭ (dancer) → Sindhi naṭu (juggler) and Lahndi naṭṭ (acrobat).

Its modified form in Gurbani, naṭuaa can be compared to Nepali/Awadhi naṭuwaa, and Maithili/Hindi naṭuaa (dancing boy, buffoon).

Not sure whether it really has any connection with the English Slang: nut, (devotee or zealot).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here