nfmu qyro afrqI mjnu murfry ]
NAAM TERO ARTEE (Bhagat Ravidaas Ji)
Bibi Harsimirit Kaur Khalsa, Guru Granth Parchar Mission of USA
nfmu qyro afrqI mjnu murfry ] (694,
DnfsrI, rivdfs jI)
"Your Name is my adoration and cleansing bath."
Gurbani here mentions Artee service with a lit oil lamp,
which is an ancient Hindu ritual of praise and adoration to God. Bhagat Ravidaas
opens the hymn with "You Name", instead of "My adoration,"
because he is showing humbleness. The emphasis not on what he is doing, but on
who he is worshipping. He is worshipping Godís name. Name is a label that we
place on something as a verbal identification. When a name is mentioned, one
processes his thoughts towards the holder of the name. The first thing a person
thinks about when a name is mentioned is his appearance, reputation, and
character. When a Gursikh remembers Godís name, he contemplates on Godís
hukam of grace which operates the entire universe.
hir ky nfm ibnu JUTy sgl pfsfry ]1] rhfAu ]
"Without the Name of the Lord, all ostentatious displays
are useless. ||1||Pause||"
It would be senseless to praise and thank someone who you
never heard about and who never did anything worthy of acknowledgement.
Likewise, it is ridiculous to have rituals or verbal thanksgiving before someone
without truly meaning it or even understanding why you are even doing so. Why
sponsor a lavish Akhanda Paath (Noone listens or understands), or robotically
read banees daily to show off or bribe God. People waste lots of money on
one-day use of expensive ramaalas, and donít help the poor. Many people bow in
front of Guru Granth Sahib but never take any time at all to learn what Guru Ji
teaches, yet they are too much concerned about scrupulous rituals of cleanliness
before sitting near Guru Ji, touching gutkas, or reciting shabbads.
nfmu qyro afsno nfmu qyro Aursf nfmu qyrf kysro ly iCtkfry ]
"To Your Name is my meditation sitting posture on the
mat, and Your Name is the stone to grind the sandalwood. Your Name is the
saffron which I take and sprinkle in offering to You."
The sitting lotus position of meditation on the floor is
practiced in order to tune out distractions. The entire body is relaxed. The
back and head are in an straight, up-right position to prevent sleep and back
strain, and the legs are folded crosswise for comfortable balance. When we
contemplate on God, experiencing Naam is overwhelming, and the body must be
still in order to control oneís reaction to awe of Godís presence. The
grinding represents labor of love, dedication. The burning, sweet smelling
sandalwood and precious, sprinkled saffron stand for how we should always praise
and thank God the best way we can throughout our daily conduct.
nfmu qyrf aMBulf nfmu qyro cMdno Gis jpy nfmu ly quJih kAu
"Your Name is the water, and Your Name is the
sandalwood. The chanting of Your Name is the grinding of the sandalwood. I take
it and offer all this to You. ||1||"
The sprinkling of water keeps the dust from flying around.
This maintains cleanliness. We likewise should protect ourselves from
contamination of our 5 vices.
nfmu qyrf dIvf nfmu qyro bfqI nfmu qyro qylu ly mfih psfry ]
"Your Name is the lamp, and Your Name is the wick. Your
Name is the oil I pour into it."
Without a container to hold the oil, the fire will not
kindle. The purpose of the oil is to keep the flame burning for a long time.
When we learn of truth, we must continually reinforce ourselves and continue to
learn, in order to stay kindled with joy, always prepared to battle our ego. Our
weapon is the sword of Gur Gyan Shabad.
nfm qyry kI joiq lgfeI BieE Auijafro Bvn sglfry ]2]
"Your Name is the light applied to this lamp, which
enlightens and illuminates the entire world. ||2||"
Understanding and accepting Naam kindles the light. When we
learn, understand, and live Gurbani, people learn from our examples and words
about truth. The power in Godís name which sustains the whole world is also
causing our lives to be transformed. We become enlightened from the darkness of
our gumaan ego, as we are lead by Guru Ji.
nfmu qyro qfgf nfmu PUl mflf Bfr aTfrh sgl jUTfry ]
"Your Name is the thread, and Your Name is the garland
of flowers. The eighteen loads of vegetation are all too impure to offer to
Oil without a wick would cause the oil to burn away too
quickly or not burn at all. The wick regulates the flame to consume the oil
little by little. If we try to digest too much knowledge at once, we will forget
what we learn or learn nothing at all. The flowers symbolize productivity, life,
gentleness, beauty, and purity. Nothing is completely pure in the universe. All
molecules cannot be completed separated from those near it. There will always be
a few that cling to the other. Only God is pure. A pure flower could have a tiny
spec of dust, which would render it impure. God is complete, there is nothing
that contaminates Him.
qyro kIaf quJih ikaf arpAu nfmu qyrf quhI cvr Zolfry ]3]
"Why should I offer to You, that which You Yourself
created? Your Name is the fan, which I wave over You. ||3||"
This fan "chaur," was made of peacock feathers tied
together and used to chase flies and mosquitoes away and to cool the air.
Fanning is a traditional gesture of respect. When someone fans Guru Granth
Saheb, he is imitating what God is constantly doing for us. God is waving the
grace of His presence around us.
ds aTf aTsTy cfry KfxI iehY vrqix hY sgl sMsfry ]
"The whole world is engrossed in the eighteen Puraanas,
the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage, and the four sources of
People get tied up in fundamentalism and miss the whole point
of what sainthood is. People tend to pretend to love God by practicing rituals
with no sincerity. Bathing or visiting a shrine does not improve oneís
character; rather he should understand the meaning of truth and living
khY rivdfsu nfmu qyro afrqI siq nfmu hY hir Bog quhfry ]4]3]
"Says Ravi Daas, Your Name is my Aartee, my lamp-lit
worship-service. The True Name, Sat Naam, is the food, which I offer to You.
Bhagat Ravidaas is the first person to use the term Sat Naam,
stable basis of creation. Since God is so holy and perfect, nothing can
sufficiently praise Him. He Himself only is able to praise Himself. When we
blend in with Shabad, then only with shabad can we worship God. It is not the
words or pronunciation that matters. The meaning of the eternal Guru Giyan
Shabad is deeper than concept, sound, and measure. Understanding Guru Shabad
brings the relish of Amrit which causes us to improve our character, as this is
all Godís doings. This is what Bhagat Ravidaas calls the true Artee.