While all the verses in the Japji Sahib makes you think a lot, this is one that I like the best. The Paudi 24 talks about “Anth” or “End”. A lot of interpretations I have read of this verse, interpret this verse in a totally different way. They interpret “Anth na” as “Endless” and hence the meaning has changed completely. But, I think it has to be interpreted as it is “Anth na” means “End is not”.
The 24th Paudi is:
Anth N Sifathee Kehan N Anth || Anth N Karanai Dhaen N Anth || Anth N Vaekhan Sunan N Anth || Anth N Jaapai Kiaa Man Manth || Anth N Jaapai Geethaakaar || Anth N Jaapai Baaraavaar || Anth Kaaran Kaethae Bilalaahi || Thaa Kae Anth N Paaeae Jaahi || Eaehu Anth N Jaanai Koe || Bahuthaa Keheeai Bahuthaa Hoe || Vaddaa Saahib Oochaa Thhaao || Oochae Oupar Oochaa Naao || Eaevadd Oochaa Hovai Koe || This Oochae Ko Jaanai Soe || Jaevadd Aap Jaanai Aap Aap || Naanak Nadharee Karanee Dhaath ||24||
So, putting my meaning to it:
End is not to praise nor is it end to speak
End is not action nor is it end to give
End is not to see nor is it end to hear
End is not to chant by suppressing the mind
End is not to chant the Gita and other mantras
End is not to chant over and over again
What is the reason for the end who has understood?
By asking for end, you cannot get the end
This end, no one has known, you can tell a lot, or cry a lot
This end is a very high principle
Higher and higher, nothing higher than this exists
No one knows this height
This end you will have to know it by yourself
Then you would have crossed over from this world of “I”
I can only say “WOW”. What a verse? The essence of “the end” captured so beautifully. While all the kena upanishad and even Japji Sahib’s other verses wonders about truth and how it started and so on, this one verse looks at it in a different manner. We looked at the truth and tried to ask ourselves how did all this start and hence understand the truth, we looked at what is existing now and tried to understand the truth. But what is at the end of all this? What will exist when all this around us goes? How can I get to that end? When all this ends, should not what remains back just be the truth?
This verse can be divided into two parts, the first part where it talks about what End is not, and the second part that says how unachievable it is. I have a thought, what can be the end to that thought? Does it go away if it is praised? No!! Praises actually only creates more thoughts. Does it end because I speak about it? Again no, it just leads to more thoughts. I can act on the thought, I can try to give it up, try to see it or hear it, yet everything remains. I can try to suppress it, I can keep chanting about it, yet the thought remains. So, what is the end of that thought? Now even for a single thought it is very difficult to end, what is the end of this “thought of I” the root thought which is the cause of all other thoughts?
Can anyone even explain and we understand what the end of the “thought of I” is? What remains when the “thought of I” is gone? If I did understand it, isn’t that understanding also just a thought? Hence and so truly the only conclusion is what this verse says “This end has to be known (not understood) by yourself and when you have known that you have to have crossed over from this world of “I” “, i.e., the “thought of I” has ended.
Truly a gem of a verse!!!