Gurbani Word Of The Day: Padaarath

Theme for the Week:
How should I live my life so that there are no regrets? How can I make my life more fulfilled?

We all think about these questions.

This week’s verses, all from a stanza from the Sukhmani Sahib, a serene and soothing composition by the fifth Guru, will shed light on them. Together we will discover the path to make our life more fulfilled.

ਪਦਾਰਥ (padaarath)
Meaning: noun: Substances, treasures; blessings.

ਚਾਰਿ ਪਦਾਰਥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਮਾਗੈ॥ ਸਾਧ ਜਨਾ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਲਾਗੈ॥
chaar padaarath je ko maagai. saadh janaa kee sevaa laagai.
If one seeks the four treasures, then one should commit oneself to the service of the virtuous people
– Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 266

Message: In this quote, the first half talks about four treasures as mentioned in common culture signifying the things to attain in a lifetime. And the second half tells us how to attain those treasures. Our focus here needs to be on what Guru Sahib wants us to do in our life.

Chaar padaarath in Indian philosophy traditionally refers to righteousness, wealth, fulfilment of desires and liberation. This verse tells us these treasures can be achieved by joining the Guru’s congregation or associating with Guru-centred virtuous people (sadh sangat).

By joining sadh sangat, we find an opportunity of learning the teachings of the Guru and putting them into practice. This helps in making our life better each day by incorporating these teachings into our life.

If we learn humility by reading Gurbani we can put it into practice by doing service (sewa) in the footwear deposit area (joda ghar) in the Gurdwara. If we learn about sharing in Gurbani we can put it into practice by serving the needy.

Attending the Guru’s congregation and listening to messages of Gurbani (through kirtan, katha, discourse or any other means) might look to be a simple exercise but it has a subtle and very profound impact on life.

It keeps us embedded in the Guru’s wisdom and provides an incredible source of spiritual inspiration and motivation.   

ਸਾਧਸੰਗਿ ਆਰਾਧਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਿਧਿ ਆਪਾਰ॥ ਧਰਮ ਅਰਥ ਅਰੁ ਕਾਮ ਮੋਖ ਦੇਤੇ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਰ॥
In the sadh sangat, one should worship the Divine, the infinite treasure, who does not hesitate to bless us with righteousness, wealth, fulfilment of desires and liberation. -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 816

Etymology: From Sanskrit padaarth [literally, pad (words) + arth (meaning), the meaning of words]; object, category, substance, etc.




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