ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾਰਨਿ ਧਾਵਹੀ ਮੂਰਖ ਲੋਗ ਅਜਾਨ ॥

ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਸਿਰਾਨ ॥੨੮॥

Maaya Kaaran Dhaavahi Moorakh Log Ajaan |

Kaho Naanak Bin Har Bhajan Birthaa Janam Siraan | 28 |

For ephemeral and fleeting pleasure: they run a vain race,

How mindless are people, witlessly the world they chase.

Says Naanak, without singing the praises of the Almighty One,

In a waste their time they spend, and virtuous way they shun.

 

Commentary: 

Guru Ji is scolding us, only out of love, that if we do not achieve the real peace and love, we will be ruining our entire lifespan. Since nobody will tell us to go inwards and seek the truth. Only true Gurus wish us to accomplish this journey, so we live a better life for the improvement of ourselves and the world. So, he is asking us: why you, o my friend, behave in this way, running after one thing and another and fret over this and that? 

Life is given for us to do what matters the most, and not to run from one side to another, and we need not to waste our time in useless pursuit. He advices us that we sit and sing the glories of divine God at least 2 hours per day, and then we can do even worldly tasks, while remembering Lord. 

Indeed the first sentence of the salok, Maayaa Kaaran Dhaavahi – to run because of the world, the illusory world, underlines a most important aspect of our lives, which means without knowing our inner self, we will continue to run one after another thing. Yes, we do need to live in the world, but we need to know ourselves first, then live in the world with kindness and compassion (no Alexander nor Gengis). An instance comes to the mind, that each Guru, when was given the throne of Guru, received it with humbleness, why this example, for most of the time when we have power in our hands we exert it in a not-so-good way. And the example of Guru Ji means that we can be greatest of the world, or simple person, but we must have humbleness in our heart. We must do our karma, with humbleness and love and kindness in our heart.

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