One of the greatest gifts of the Indian saints to the whole world is their words. The saints never wrote anything. They were not at all interested in gathering a long list of compositions on their names. But, sometimes, they gave out something very beautiful. It would be just a single line or a few lines, but very rich in content. Hundreds of pages can be compressed in very potent words and this art was with these saints.
Guru Nanak Sahab has written many beautiful compositions. Out of them I will be presenting a small but very beautiful piece from a Bhajan. First I have given original text followed by English translation.
देह नैना बिना…
रैन चंद्र बिना….
मंदिर दीप बिना….
जैसे पंडित वेद विहीना
वैसे प्राणी हरिनाम बिना….
सुमिरन कर मोरे मना….
Guru Nanak says,The body without eyes is useless. Night is useless if moon is absent Temple is useless if there is no light in it. A pandit or a learned person without knowledge of Vedas is of no use. In same way is a human being without devotion to the god.]
Guru Nanak says, the body is of no use if there are no eyes of knowledge to impart it vision. Here, eyes are synonymous to vision. The ability to see. The body is useless if it has no vision. In same way, the night is horrible if there is no moon present. It is moon which imparts the night beauty. It is moon which takes away darkness from the night, which makes night divine.A night without moon is frightening where as a night having a moon is divine, blessed. Nanak Ji says further, a temple is a place which gives you light. It is temple where we sit and meditate and this temple is source of light. It takes away darkness from our lives. A temple may have idols in it. It may have priests in it. But it is useless. If it is not a source of light to the creatures, such a temple will not be able to help humans solve their problems. In same way, a learned man has wasted his life in collecting junk if he has no knowledge of Vedas. By Vedas, Guru Nanak means the knowledge of the self.
At last, Guru Nanak says, in same way, the life of a human being is totally hollow, full of darkness, junk without the divine name of God or devotion towards the god. Devotion is the thing which brings light, glory, blessings and meaning in the human life.