Theme for the Week:
In many societies today and in certain eras past, the beard is and has been considered an adornment of the human face. You can say it is part of beauty too. A white flowing beard, for example, gives us an impression of age and the presumed wisdom associated with it.
However, Gurbani shows that beard is but an external measure and a limited way of assessing a person and his worth. The true value of a person goes beyond external features.
Well, this week’s AWAT issues will introduce us to the usage of the word beard/s and its meaning in Gurbani.
Meaning: noun: Beards.
ਸੇ ਦਾੜੀਆਂ ਸਚੀਆ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਚਰਨੀ ਲਗੰਨਿ॥
se daa-ṛee-aaṅ sacheeaa ji gur charnee lagaňn.
Those beards which touch the feet (follow the guidance) of the Guru are true. – Guru Amar Das, Guru Granth Sahib, 1419
Message: Judging a book by its cover?
Can you guess who this person is? Does he give you an impression of untidiness?
Yes, it is Bhagat Puran Singh who disregarded everything else including his appearance and health and dedicated his life single mindedly to help the underprivileged and weak.
A simple and ordinarily dressed person can be very kind and virtuous, whereas a person wearing clean and beautiful apparel can be evil and arrogant.
Thus Guru Amar Das states that those who in all humility allow their facial adornment, the beard, touch the feet of the Guru, i.e., accept the teachings of the Guru, remember them at all times and mould their lives accordingly are virtuous. Their beards are beautiful and bring them honour.
Only good and truthful behaviour earns us the right to call ourselves good and righteous, not what we wear or look like.
Everyone tries to look beautiful on the outside, but those who are also beautiful and clean inside are admired everywhere and at all times.
Etymology: From Sanskrit dhanya (blessed, auspicious, bringing or bestowing wealth), from Sanskrit/Pali dhan (wealth).