Rang Rataa - Discovering Divine Unity With Guru Nanak

"So God lives in the colors around us," said my 5 year old daughter when she heard this shabad by Guru Nanak. Lyrics and Translations are at the end. 

An alternate read of this shabad: 

My Lord and Master is filled with love. His love is everywhere and in everything.
He is the one who enjoys, and He is also the enjoyment itself. He captures everyone's heart.
He is like both the bride and the groom in a wedding. He is like the fisherman and the fish, the water, and the net. He loves in many different ways. He is my Beloved, and He brings joy to all.
Nanak prays, please listen to my prayer: You are like a peaceful pool, and You are the graceful swan.
You are like a beautiful lotus in the daytime and a lovely water-lily at night. You see and experience everything and bloom with happiness.

Discovering Divine Unity With Guru Nanak

The poem by Guru Nanak beautifully encapsulates the idea of oneness with all creation and the presence of God within this unity. Guru Nanak's verses emphasize the omnipresence of God, suggesting that God is not a distant entity but rather an intrinsic part of every aspect of existence. This concept aligns with the broader spiritual belief that we are interconnected with all living beings and the entire universe, and that the divine essence can be found within this interconnectedness.

God is the ultimate source of love and enjoyment, permeating and pervading all. This imagery signifies that every aspect of creation is infused with the divine presence. When Guru Nanak describes God as both the bride and bridegroom, the fisherman and the fish, or the water and the net, it symbolizes the idea that God is not separate from these elements but rather the essence that animates them. This mirrors the belief that God is not just present in grand moments or holy places but is inherent in the everyday, mundane aspects of life. It implies that recognizing God's presence requires a shift in perspective, a realization that divinity is not something to be sought externally but rather discovered within the interconnected fabric of existence.

The poem also touches upon the theme of love and devotion. Guru Nanak's depiction of God's love for all beings and the soul-brides' longing for God reinforces the idea that the divine connection is deeply personal and accessible to all. It suggests that by recognizing the oneness of all creation, individuals can experience a profound connection with God, much like a soul-bride's union with her Beloved. This spiritual union implies that when we see the divine within ourselves and others, we can cultivate a sense of unity, compassion, and love, reinforcing the belief that God resides within the oneness of creation itself.

In essence through this poem I am reminded that I am not separate from the universe or from God. I am interconnected with all of creation and the presence of God within this oneness.

Lyrics and Alternative Translation

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ਘਰੁ ਦੂਜਾ ੨ ॥
सिरीरागु महला १ घरु दूजा २ ॥
Sirīrāg mėhlā 1 gẖar ḏūjā 2.
Siree Raag, First Mehl, Second House:

ਆਪੇ ਰਸੀਆ ਆਪਿ ਰਸੁ ਆਪੇ ਰਾਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥
आपे रसीआ आपि रसु आपे रावणहारु ॥
Āpe rasī ā āp ras āpe ravaṇhār.
He Himself is the Enjoyer, and He Himself is the Enjoyment. He Himself is the Ravisher of all.

ਆਪੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਚੋਲੜਾ ਆਪੇ ਸੇਜ ਭਤਾਰੁ ॥੧॥
आपे होवै चोलड़ा आपे सेज भतारु ॥१॥
Āpe hovai cẖolṛā āpe sej bẖaṯār. ||1||
He Himself is the Bride in her dress, He Himself is the Bridegroom on the bed. ||1||

ਰੰਗਿ ਰਤਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਰਵਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰਿ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
रंगि रता मेरा साहिबु रवि रहिआ भरपूरि ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Rang raṯā merā sāhib rav rahiā bẖarpūr. ||1|| rahā o.
My Lord and Master is imbued with love; He is totally permeating and pervading all. ||1||Pause||

ਆਪੇ ਮਾਛੀ ਮਛੁਲੀ ਆਪੇ ਪਾਣੀ ਜਾਲੁ ॥
आपे माछी मछुली आपे पाणी जालु ॥
Āpe mācẖẖī macẖẖulī āpe pāṇī jāl.
He Himself is the fisherman and the fish; He Himself is the water and the net.

ਆਪੇ ਜਾਲ ਮਣਕੜਾ ਆਪੇ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਲਾਲੁ ॥੨॥
आपे जाल मणकड़ा आपे अंदरि लालु ॥२॥
Āpe jāl maṇkaṛā āpe anḏar lāl. ||2||
He Himself is the sinker, and He Himself is the bait. ||2||

ਆਪੇ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਰੰਗੁਲਾ ਸਖੀਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਲਾਲੁ ॥
आपे बहु बिधि रंगुला सखीए मेरा लालु ॥
Āpe baho biḏẖ rangulā sakẖī e merā lāl.
He Himself loves in so many ways. O sister soul-brides, He is my Beloved.

ਨਿਤ ਰਵੈ ਸੋਹਾਗਣੀ ਦੇਖੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ਹਾਲੁ ॥੩॥
नित रवै सोहागणी देखु हमारा हालु ॥३॥
Niṯ ravai sohāgaṇī ḏekẖ hamārā hāl. ||3||
He continually ravishes and enjoys the happy soul-brides; just look at the plight I am in without Him! ||3||

ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਤੂ ਸਰਵਰੁ ਤੂ ਹੰਸੁ ॥
प्रणवै नानकु बेनती तू सरवरु तू हंसु ॥
Paraṇvai Nānak benṯī ṯū sarvar ṯū hans.
Prays Nanak, please hear my prayer: You are the pool, and You are the soul-swan.

ਕਉਲੁ ਤੂ ਹੈ ਕਵੀਆ ਤੂ ਹੈ ਆਪੇ ਵੇਖਿ ਵਿਗਸੁ ॥੪॥੨੫॥
कउलु तू है कवीआ तू है आपे वेखि विगसु ॥४॥२५॥
Ka ul ṯū hai kavī ā ṯū hai āpe vekẖ vigas. ||4||25||
You are the lotus flower of the day and You are the water-lily of the night. You Yourself behold them, and blossom forth in bliss. ||4||25||


  1. Beautiful- thanks for posting. Going to share with my kids

  2. You r blessed shiv