Pritpaala - Guru Amardas Pauri Set to Western Classical Music

Pritpaala originates from a Pauri by Guru Amardas in Suhi Ki Vaar. It expands on a concept introduced by Guru Nanak in the Mool Mantra, Saibhang, "Existing From Himself." To the best of my knowledge, this beautiful shabad has not been recorded by anyone.

Much gratitude to Slovenian composer Katarina Koprivc for her original and beautiful composition "The Remains of Love," as well as to Enrico Nichelatti for Strings, Suellen Primost for Cello on this track.  In this case, which is somewhat unusual, the music was composed before the melody.  When I first heard this composition from Katarina, I loved it and wanted to sing something along with it.  So I opened a random hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib using an iPhone app and sang along Katarina's composition the following Guru Amardas Pauri.  The Pauri is written in Raag Suhi, a raag about about love, so there was a coincidental match with Katarina's original title, The Remains of Love. But please be aware that this composition is not in Raag Suhi.

ਸੂਹੀ ਕੀ ਵਾਰ: (ਮ: ੩) - ਅੰਗ ੭੮੫  
Suhi Ki Vaar - Guru Amar Das - Page 785

ਆਪੇ ਤਖਤੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਆਕਾਸ ਪਤਾਲਾ ॥
He Himself established His throne, in the Akaashic ethers and the nether worlds.

ਹੁਕਮੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਜੀਅਨੁ ਸਚੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
By the Hukam of His Command, He created the earth, the true home of Dharma.

ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਖਪਾਇਦਾ ਸਚੇ ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲਾ ॥
He Himself created and destroys; He is the True Lord, merciful to the meek.

ਸਭਨਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿਦਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
You give sustenance to all; how wonderful and unique is the Hukam of Your Command!

ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਆਪੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਾ ॥੧॥
You Yourself are permeating and pervading; You Yourself are the Cherisher. ||1||


Let me take four words/phrases from this pauri that I found interesting to meditate upon to understand better the true meaning of these beautiful words:

1. Takhat or Throne: Every heart is God's throne; every song is under His direction

Guru Amardas says, "Your created your own throne in the ethers and the ethers. 

ਆਪੇ ਤਖਤੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਆਕਾਸ ਪਤਾਲਾ ॥
He Himself established His throne, in the Akaashic ethers and the nether worlds.

Throne is the resting place for a king, the ruler, the emperor.  The question is where is the resting place for God. Where does he sit?

In Ramkali, Guru Arjan Dev says, "O king of kings, with the greatest court, final justice, the real doer of everything, you sit on the true throne."  

ਵਡਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ਸਚਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਤਖਤੁ ॥
The Darbaar of Your Court is glorious and great. Your holy throne is True.

In Raag Asa, Guru Nanak says that the one who sits on the throne is imbued in the five elements.

ਤਖਤ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਪੰਚ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
The one on the throne is imbued in five (elements)

So every element, every molecule, every atom is His throne. If you recognize, God resides in your heart. So my own heart is God's throne.  Every heart is God's throne. 

Guru Nanak asks a question in the 27th pauri of Japji Sahib: Where does God sit and rule the world?

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਬਹਿ ਸਰਬ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥
Where is that Gate, and where is that Dwelling, in which You sit and take care of all?

And he answers this question in the end:

ਸੋ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਹਣੁ ਰਜਾਈ ॥੨੭॥
He is the King, the King of kings, the Supreme Lord and Master of kings. Nanak remains subject to His Will. ||27||

Guru Nanak concludes that it is not "he" that is singing, it is really through the command of the supreme being that he is singing. Every heart is God's throne, and from there he makes Guru Nanak sing. Every heart is singing ... Sabhai Ghat Raam Bolai.  Every song is under His direction. 

2. Dharamsaal: The Earth is a beautiful temple where we come together and sing.

The word Dharamsaal literally means the home of dharma, or a temple.  Just like paathsaal means house of education or school.  Guru Amardas says, "Your beautified the earth like a temple" in the following line: 

ਹੁਕਮੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਜੀਅਨੁ ਸਚੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
By the Hukam of His Command, He created the earth, the true home of Dharma.

The concept of the earth being a temple originates from Guru Nanak who says the following in the 34th pauri of Japji Sahib:

ਰਾਤੀ ਰੁਤੀ ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ॥
Nights, days, weeks and seasons;

ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਾਤਾਲ ॥
Wind, water, fire and the nether regions

ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖੀ ਧਰਮਸਾਲ ॥
In the midst of these, He established the earth as a home for Dharma.

Why is earth being a temple important. Its important because of what happens in a temple.  Guru Arjan Dev describes what happens in a temple in a Chhant in Raag Gauri:

ਮੋਹਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਊਚੇ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਹਲ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
O Mohan, your temple is so lofty, and your mansion is unsurpassed.

ਮੋਹਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਸੋਹਨਿ ਦੁਆਰ ਜੀਉ ਸੰਤ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
O Mohan, your gates are so beautiful. They are the worship-houses of the Saints.

ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲ ਅਪਾਰ ਦੈਆਰ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਸਦਾ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਗਾਵਹੇ ॥
In these incomparable worship-houses, they continually sing Kirtan, the Praises of their Lord and Master.

ਜਹ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਤ ਇਕਤ੍ਰ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਤਹਾ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਧਿਆਵਹੇ ॥
Where the Saints and the Holy gather together, there they meditate on you.

Places of worship are made so saints can get together, meditate upon the one and sing the ONE's praises.  The purpose of life is to sing and the earth has been designed to be a place where this singing can be done.  The earth has been designed by God to come together and sing. Earth becomes beautiful when we come together and sing.  

What is singing other than just following the command of the ONE.  Gurbani says Sabhai Ghat Raam Bolai or Every heart is singing in the temple of the earth. 

3. Rijak: Why do we need to worry when we know we will have food!

ਸਭਨਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿਦਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
You give sustenance to all; how wonderful and unique is the Hukam of Your Command!

In Sodar Gujri, Guru Arjan Dev asks, "Why, O mind, do you plot and plan when Waheguru, the Pritpaala, the Deen Dayaala, is there to care for you. Even those living beings that are created in the rocks, they get nourishment. Its not the fathers, mothers, children or spouses; its God that provides for every single one. Why is there any need to be afraid. Flamingoes fly hundreds of miles, leaving their young ones behind. Who feeds them, and who teaches them to feed themselves? Have you ever thought of this, dear mind? The one without any end takes care of everyone, the omnipotent one. Slave Nanak endlessly loves the one who holds all power in the palm of His hand."

ਰਾਗੁ ਗੂਜਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
Raag Goojaree, Fifth Mehl:

ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਚਿਤਵਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਜਾ ਆਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਪਰਿਆ ॥
ਸੈਲ ਪਥਰ ਮਹਿ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਏ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਆਗੈ ਕਰਿ ਧਰਿਆ ॥੧॥

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੁ ਤਰਿਆ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੂਕੇ ਕਾਸਟ ਹਰਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਜਨਨਿ ਪਿਤਾ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕਿਸ ਕੀ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
ਸਿਰਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਮਨ ਭਉ ਕਰਿਆ ॥੨॥

ਊਡੇ ਊਡਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੈ ਕੋਸਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਬਚਰੇ ਛਰਿਆ ॥
ਤਿਨ ਕਵਣੁ ਖਲਾਵੈ ਕਵਣੁ ਚੁਗਾਵੈ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਿਆ ॥੩॥

ਸਭਿ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਦਸ ਅਸਟ ਸਿਧਾਨ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਰ ਤਲ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਸਦ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਰਾਵਰਿਆ ॥੪॥੫॥

4. Aape Aap Vartadaa: You Yourself Permeate

Guru Nanak first used the phrase "Aape Aap Vartadaa" Or "He himself permeates" in a couple of shabads, one in Raag Malhar
Tu Aape Aap Vartada, Aap Banat Banaii
Tudh Bin Dooja Ko Nahin, Tu Raheya Samaii

and another in Raag Gauri:
Sabh Aape Aap Vartada Aape Bharmaaya
Gur Kirpa Te Boojhiyeh Sabh Brahm Samaayaa

At the time of Guru Arjan Dev, Bhai Gurdas explained in detail what this really meant using many different examples in his second Vaar.  This vaar has 20 pauris or poems that each end with the phrase "Aape Aap Vartada".  This must have been an important topic of discussions. Perhaps a lot of questions were asked about God permeating everything.  That's why Bhai Gurdaas has given this concept so much importance.   Bhai Gurdaas's Vaar 2. 

Two Shabads With Similar Meanings:

Guru Nanak's Pauri from Asa Ki Vaar talks about throne ("Aasan" instead of "Takhat"), about him creating himself (Aapina Aap Saajeyo) also about giving/taking nature of God (De Laiseh):


ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਆਪੁ ਸਾਜਿਓ ਆਪੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਰਚਿਓ ਨਾਉ
He Himself created Himself; He Himself assumed His Name.

ਦੁਯੀ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਸਾਜੀਐ ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਡਿਠੋ ਚਾਉ
Secondly, He fashioned the creation; seated within the creation, He beholds it with delight.

ਦਾਤਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਤੂੰ ਤੁਸਿ ਦੇਵਹਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਪਸਾਉ
You Yourself are the Giver and the Creator; by Your Pleasure, You bestow Your Mercy.

ਤੂੰ ਜਾਣੋਈ ਸਭਸੈ ਦੇ ਲੈਸਹਿ ਜਿੰਦੁ ਕਵਾਉ
You are the Knower of all; You give life, and take it away again with a word.

ਕਰਿ ਆਸਣੁ ਡਿਠੋ ਚਾਉ

Seated within the creation, You behold it with delight. ||1||

Guru Nanak's Shabad in Raag talks about this in this beautiful shabad in Raag Sri:

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ਘਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ
Siree Raag, First Mehl, Second House:

ਆਪੇ ਰਸੀਆ ਆਪਿ ਰਸੁ ਆਪੇ ਰਾਵਣਹਾਰੁ
He Himself is the Enjoyer, and He Himself is the Enjoyment. He Himself is the Ravisher of all.

ਆਪੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਚੋਲੜਾ ਆਪੇ ਸੇਜ ਭਤਾਰੁ
He Himself is the Bride in her dress, He Himself is the Bridegroom on the bed. ||1||

ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਾਉ
My Lord and Master is imbued with love; He is totally permeating and pervading all. ||1||Pause||

ਆਪੇ ਮਾਛੀ ਮਛੁਲੀ ਆਪੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਜਾਲੁ
He Himself is the fisherman and the fish; He Himself is the water and the net.

ਆਪੇ ਜਾਲ ਮਣਕੜਾ ਆਪੇ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਲਾਲੁ
He Himself is the sinker, and He Himself is the bait. ||2||

ਆਪੇ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਰੰਗੁਲਾ ਸਖੀਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਲਾਲੁ
He Himself loves in so many ways. O sister soul-brides, He is my Beloved.

ਨਿਤ ਰਵੈ ਸੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਦੇਖੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਹਾਲੁ
He continually ravishes and enjoys the happy soul-brides; just look at the plight I am in without Him! ||3||

ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੂ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਤੂ ਹੰਸੁ
Prays Nanak, please hear my prayer: You are the pool, and You are the soul-swan.

ਕਉਲੁ ਤੂ ਹੈ ਕਵੀਆ ਤੂ ਹੈ ਆਪੇ ਵੇਖਿ ਵਿਗਸੁ ੨੫
You are the lotus flower of the day and You are the water-lily of the night. You Yourself behold them, and blossom forth in bliss. ||4||25||