Two Birds

  • ਮਃ ੩ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਰਵਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਫਲੁ ਦੁਇ ਪੰਖੇਰੂ ਆਹਿ ॥ ਆਵਤ ਜਾਤ ਨ ਦੀਸਹੀ ਨਾ ਪਰ ਪੰਖੀ ਤਾਹਿ ॥ ਬਹੁ ਰੰਗੀ ਰਸ ਭੋਗਿਆ ਸਬਦਿ ਰਹੈ ਨਿਰਬਾਣੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਰਸਿ ਫਲਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਕਰਮਿ ਸਚਾ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ॥੨॥: M: 3 || Nanak tarvaru eku phalu dui pankheroo aahi …: Third Mahal: O Nanak! There is one tree (ਸੰਸਾਰ ਰੂਪ ਰੁੱਖ); it bears two fruit; two birds are perched upon it. They are not seen coming or going; these birds have no wings. One enjoys so many pleasures (ਸੁਆਦ), while the other, through the Shabad, remains in Nirvana. Imbued with the subtle essence of the fruit of the Lord’s Name, O Nanak, the soul bears the True Insignia of God’s Grace. ||2|| (sggs 550).

 “ਤਰਵਰੁ ਏਕੁ” (tarvaru eku) = one tree – this world can be likened to a tree (ਸੰਸਾਰ ਰੂਪ ਰੁੱਖ); also, this body can be likened to a tree (ਦੇਹ ਰੂਪ ਰੁੱਖ) …

“ਫਲੁ ਦੁਇ” (phalu dui) = two fruits – Happiness and suffering (ਸੁਖ ਔਰ ਦੁਖ) can be likened to the two fruits on the referenced tree …

“ਦੁਇ ਪੰਖੇਰੂ” (dui pankheroo) = two birds – Gurmukh (ਗੁਰਮੁਖ: spiritual being, the followers of Truth and truthful living …) and Manmukh (ਮਨਮੁਖ: material being, one in love with Maya, self-willed, the deniers of Truth and truthful living …) can be likened to the two birds sitting on the tree; also, Jeeva (individual being, ego or Haumai consciousness …) and the Joti-Svaroopa (Jeeva’s Supreme Nature, True Nature, Pure Consciousness …) or Koot Sath and Chidaabhaas (ਕੂਟ ਸਥ ਔਰ ਚਿਦਾਭਾਸ) can be likened to the two birds sitting on the referenced tree …

Combining all these terms:

There is one tree; it bears two fruit; two birds are perched upon it. (These two birds) are not seen coming or going; these birds have no wings. (The Manmukh …) enjoys so many pleasures (tastes, flavors, ਸੁਆਦ) while the other (i.e., the Gurmukh …), through the Shabad, remains in Nirvana (detached, free of worldly bondage …). O Nanak! (the one who) remains imbued with the fruit of the “ਹਰਿ ਰਸਿ” (the Rasa of the Lord’s Name), bears the True Insignia of God’s Grace.

It is repeatedly indicated in the SGGS that there are only two different groups of people living together on earth: the Gurmukhs and the Manmukhs. The SGGS asks us to become the Gurmukhs.

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