Gurbani Word Of The Day: roṭee

ਰੋਟੀ (roṭee)
Meaning: noun: Roti, unleavened bread, made from wheat flour and cooked on a griddle, originally from northern South Asia but also eaten in the Caribbean.

ਫਰੀਦਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਕਾਠ ਕੀ   ਲਾਵਣੁ ਮੇਰੀ ਭੁਖ॥ ਜਿਨਾ ਖਾਧੀ ਚੋਪੜੀ   ਘਣੇ ਸਹਨਿਗੇ ਦੁਖ॥
phareedaa roee meree kaah kee   laava  meree bhukh.
jinaa khaadhee chopṛee   ghane sahanige dukh.
O Farid! My bread is dry and hard as wood, and hunger is my side dish. Those who eat buttered bread will undergo suffering and immense pain. – Sheikh Farid, Guru Granth Sahib, 1379

Message: Roti – a simple food – is sufficient to keep a body alive. We have made it seem insignificant, placing more importance on the accompaniments to the meal. To fulfil the want for these, we work hard, we slave and consequently, we suffer. Bread alone is not enough. We want butter, vegetables, lentils; and the list goes on.

Baba Farid is content with dry, hard bread with hunger as the accompanying dish. Relying on his love for the Divine to further sustain him, this food is more than sufficient. His need to have divine grace is more important than to have buttered bread and an array of dishes to feed on. A simple life with coarse meals earned by honest labour is better than a feast of food earned through dishonest means.

The lesson here is to be content and grateful for what we have on our plates, for what we have earned through divine grace, and not being envious of the neighbour who has more.

ਰੁਖੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਖਾਇ ਕੈ   ਠੰਢਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਪੀਉ॥ ਫਰੀਦਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਪਰਾਈ ਚੋਪੜੀ   ਨਾ ਤਰਸਾਏ ਜੀਉ॥
O Farid! Eat dry bread, and drink cold water. Do not let your mind crave, looking at other’s buttered bread. Sheikh Farid, Guru Granth Sahib, 1379

Notes: “Roti” is a generic term for unleavened bread made from all kinds of grains, -millet, corn, and wheat, among others. Of course, “roti” also means the most commonly eaten bread, -large, heavy, wheat flatbreads consumed by the farmers in the fields. In modern times, “double roti” refers to a European style loaf of yeast-raised bread.

Etymology: From Sanskrit roṭṭ (bread) → Prakrit roṭṭ → Sindhi roṭu (thick bread)and roṭee (bread) Lahndi/Punjabi roṭee (bread)..


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