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Question posed on Solhe M.1 in Raag Maru/Maroo.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji has 22 Solhe as there is no rahao in any Solha and the long sweep of the Solhe speak of Sikh Cosmology, the origin of the Universe, all Creation, the Sunn Samaad State, man’s connection with Nirankar Ji, His Kudrat and the toxic dangers of maya. Only the Satguru and His Bani can provide any relief from kaal and tria gunn maya, and with Gur Parsad allow merger with the Divine One within us.
As we read the Solhe of M.1, we notice the numbering is progressive from no.1 till 22. However, we find that Angg 1027 for Solha no.7, the numbers given are
16/1/7, and the progressive numbering continues till 16/6/12.
Then comes 16/1/13 at Angg 1034 and this continues till Angg 1038 where we find
The next Solha is 15/1/18 and the 22 Solhe conclude at Angg 1043 with
The Query is:
The first number indicates the number of padas in the Solhe, varying from 15, 16 to 17.
The final running number from 1 to 22 indicate the number of Solhe.
The number in between. What does it indicate?
What is Guru Nanak Ji telling us by such numbering?
Below is the explanation by Bhai Manjeet Singh Ji:
The 22 Solhe M.1 start at Angg 1020.
The 1st Solha starts with a declaration that He is Sach.
“Sacha Sach soyee avar na koyee.” This is elaborated upon. He is indeed everything, even time.
“Aape dinass Aap hi raini.”
The 2nd Solha starts with
“Aape dharti dhaul akaasang” ie He is pervading in all space. On a micro level, He is in mortals too.
“Kaaya nagar dhahe dheh dheri bin Shabade patt jayee heh.”
The 3rd Solha focuses on maya which blinds and makes man deaf to wise counsel.
“Dujji durmatt anni boli.”
The 4th Solha tells us of His Nature through the ages. In all ages, only Naam reaches out to Him.
“Aad jugaadi Apar Apaare.”
The 5th Solha speaks of the gurmukhs who meet Him through the Shabad. Comparison is made of the manmukhs.
“Sache melhe Shabad milaaiye.”
The 6th Solha, the final one in this series, tells us about God as the Creator and the Play of karmas written by Him.
“Aape Karta Purakh Bidhataa.”
Next, with Solha no.7, a new larhi starts, a fresh flow of Revelations about God.
Solha 7 (no.1 in the new larhi) starts with God before the start of Creation, and the beginnings of Creation. For eons there was pitch darkness.
“Ketay jug vartay gubaray.”
The 8th Solha (no.2) speaks of God as a Friend. He cherishes and provides for all in His Hukam.
“Har sa meet nahi mai koyee.”
Solha 9 tells us God is the Destroyer of demons within us and outside too.
“Asur sangaran Raam hamara.”
Solha 10 (no 4) is a clear instruction to the foolish rebellious mind.
“Ghar raho re mann mugadh eiyaane.”
Solha 11 tells us of the dire need to take the Sharan of a Satguru.
“Sharan pareh Gurdev Tumari.”
Solha 12 (no 6 in the second series) concludes the 2nd series and sums up by speaking of the Divine Play by the Creator.
“Sache Sahib Sirjanhare; jin dhar chakar dhare vichare; Aape Karta kar kar vekhay Sacha Vepravaha he.”
Solha 13 starts with the sirlekh
“Maru Mehla 1 Dakhni” indicating the start of a new series of Solhe to be sung in Raag Maru Dakhni. The numbering at the end of the Solha will show 16/1/13.
The 13th Solha which is the 1st of the new series of Maru Dakhni, begins with a focus on the human body as a fortress.
“Kaiyan nagar nagar garh andar.”
The 14th (2nd of Maru Dakhne) speaks of Darshan within the body with His Grace.
“Darshan paava je Tudh bhaavan.”
The 3rd (15th) Solha in Maru Dakhne speaks of pre Creation and post Creation.
“Arbad narbad dhundukara; dharam na gaggna Hukam Apaara; na din rain na chand na suraj sunn samadh lagaiida.”
Solha 16 (no. 4) tells us about His Saibhung Nature and His Jote in all.
After Saibhung in Solha 16 earlier, now in Solha 17, we are told of God’s Sunn State, of Vibrant Cosmic Stillness.
“Sunn kalaa Aprampar dhaari; Aap Niralam Apar Apaari.”
Solha 18 starts a fresh larhi. (no.1). He is seen through the Guru’s Eyes.
“Jeh dekha teh Deen Dyalaa.”
This personal View is continued in Solha 19 (no.2) where the Guru gives Divine Advice to all Sikhs.
“Har dhan sancho re jann bhai.”
Solha 20 (no.3) stresses the need to speak the Truth and to live in a Plane/Avastha of Truth.
“Sach kaho Sache ghar rehna.”
The 21st Solha (no. 4) tells the Sikh to discard all vices and enjoy the Taste of Naam. (Har rass).
“Kaam krodh parhar par ninda; labh lobh tajj hoho nichindaa; bhram ka sanggal torh nirala Har Antar Har Rass paiya.”
Solha 22 is a concluding Solha of all the series and summarises the earlier Teachings.
Guru Ji tells us about His Kudrat, His Hukam and His Sole Sovereignty.
“Kudrat Karnehar Apaara; kitay ka nahi ko chara; jee upaaiye rijak de Aape sirr sirr Hukam chalaiya.”
As can be seen, the Gurus were superbly meticulous in arranging the Bani, sub themes, fresh larhis and flows of Shabads. There was no haphazard placing of Shabads and as can be seen the numbering system gives us lots of information and insight into the Shabad settings.