Meaning: noun: Speech, language.
ਖਤ੍ਰੀਆ ਤ ਧਰਮੁ ਛੋਡਿਆ ਮਲੇਛ ਭਾਖਿਆ ਗਹੀ॥
ਖੱਤਰੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਧਰਮ ਛੱਡ ਦਿਤਾ ਹੈ, ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ (ਫਾਰਸੀ) ਅਪਨਾਅ ਲਈ ਹੈ।
khatreeaa ta dharam chhoḍiaa malechh bhaakhiaa gahee.
The Kshatriyas have abandoned their dharma and adopted the language of the ‘uncivilized’. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 663
Message: This verse comments on the conduct of people during Guru Nanak’s era. Under the Mughal rule, the Hindus were forgetting their mother tongue, customs and dress, and adopting the foreigners’ language etc. even though they called them “malechh” (literally, uncivilized, non-Aryans or non-Hindus).
This message also applies to us, in the sense that we are also adopting Western culture and customs and forsaking our own language and heritage.
Etymology: Modification of bhaakhaa, from Sanskrit bhaashaa (speech) → Pali → Prakrit bhaasaa (speech, language) → Old Punjabi bhaakhaa.