Many scholars and some Sampradayak Gianis as well, don’t like to consider the Lag-Maatras (Sihaari, Aunkad etc.) placed at the end of words in Gurbani, when interpreting Gurbani. So much so that early last century, some very famous certified scholars printed Gurbani meanings and did not take care of keeping Laga-Maatra of Gurbani. There was hue and cry against this and then they reversed this trend.
Presented below is a real life incident from the life of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh jee that helps us realize that the Lag-Maatras in the end have a great role in arriving at correct meanings of Gurbani. This incident has been translated from Bhai Sahib’s book – Gurbani diyaan Laga Maatra dee Vilakhantaa.
Once we saw two very famous Gianis arguing over the following Gurbani Pankiti:
ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਾ ਜਗਿ ਜੀਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ॥
They both were giving different meanings of this pankiti according to their intelligence. One Giani was saying that the wise world (Gianvaan Jag) alone lives the true life. Rest of the world is living the false worldly life. The Second Giani was saying that in this world, only the Giani person lives the true life. This way both of them were arguing with each other, trying to prove their point and refute the opposite view. No one was willing to accept defeat. As per his Will, we too reached that place and we requested both of them to do Prakash of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee and check out the Lag-Maatra (vowels) of this pankiti. Both of them responded with saying that what was the need to look at Lag-Maatra in order to arrive at the correct meaning. I replied, “there is a need to look at the Lag Matra. There is a treasure lying in the Lag-Maatras. You think these Lag-Maatra are in Gurbani for no reason. Our All-knowing Satgurus placed these Lag-Matras for a special reason.” After much persuading, they agreed to have a look at the Lag-Maatras of this pankiti.
After doing Prakash of Siri Guru Granth Sahib jee, we found the pankiti, with the aid of Akali Kaur Singh jee’s Pankiti index. We requested the Gianis to note that the word “ਜਗ” had come two times in this pankiti. “Has it been written in the same way (with same spellings) or differently?”
Looking at it carefully it was found that the first “ਜਗੁ” had an Aunkad in the end while the second “ਜਗਿ” had a Sihaari in the end. They did note the difference of spellings but still they had no faith in the difference of spellings.
Eventually they both asked me, “you please explain that what specialty is there in the difference of aunkand-ending ਜਗੁ and sihaari-ending ਜਗਿ.”
Then we using the Gurmat rules of Lag-Maatras explained to them:
“As per the Hukam “ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ”, the Gurmukh Giani of the house of Guru Nanak has won the world – ਨਾਨਕ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤਾ – other wise ਜਗਿ has won over everyone else. The second “ਜਗਿ” has a sihaari in the end. This sihaari gives the meanings of “ਨੇ”. In whole of Gurbani, this rule is applicable. No other meaning can be done of this Pankiti. Eventually, they had to admit that the secret knowledge of Lag-Maatra helps in arriving at the real Gurmat meanings of Gurbani.