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Raam Gyo Raavan Gyo

Some of the Sikhs translate this verse as under:

H N|UU N|UU H N 8J v
Ramchand passed away, as did Raawan, even though he had lots of relatives.

NJ N | N J| H |H HH vOv
Says Nanak, nothing lasts forever; the world is like a dream. ||50||

These scholars interpret the above verse by translating the word Raam as Ramchand.

However, its important for us to study this further and to realize that theres a big difference
between Raam and Ramchand.

In Gurbani, the word 'Raam' has been used for God and not for Ramchand (A king of Ayodhia.)
Reading Gurbani, we can see that there are various names which have been given to God in Gurbani.
Such words include: Prabhu, Pritpalak, Swami, Narayan etc. Expanding on the list of given names,
we know that Raam is also one of them.
Furthermore, looking at the word Ramchand, we know that its the word given to a human being (a
King) and is quite different from the words God and Raam.
To study this further, lets take a look at a few verses out of thousands in Gurbani. These words
clearly show that the word Raam is used for God.
U| H NJJ |8 M|U v
O Siblings of Destiny, chant the Lord's Name, and focus your consciousness on Him. ( Ang 22 )
H HJ HM J | v5v
Chant the Lord's Name, and cross over the terrifying world-ocean. ||1|| ( Ang 161 )
H HJ H| H| H| v
Meditate on the Lord, O my friends and companions. ( Ang 416 )
J| H |HHJ |JU H v
O humble servants of the Lord, remember the Lord in meditation within your heart. ( Ang 702 )

To understand these points better, if we look at Bhagat Naamdev Ji, we can see that he clarifies that
Ramchand is quite different from Raam.

Bhagat Namdev mentions about Ramchand ( Ang 874 )
lK H H8U H | m U|m v
O Pandit, I saw your Ramchand coming too

H| H8 JU| W N| H|U NU| | vv
He lost his wife fighting against Raavan.

We all know that God is immortal, there has never been any question about that. However, Gurbani
tells us that both God and the Demon/Devil always exist in the form of a human being.
Noble human beings have more of God and less of the Devil within them, and for bad human beings
who commit many wrongdoings and hurt others, we know that they have more Demon within them
and less of God. Gurbani asks us to curb the Demon and let God take control of our emotions and
that is the only path to prosperity.
Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji ask us to give up corrupt ways and worship God ( Ang 51 )
H|8 J| |H H|N |K HNM |N v
Gather in the Wealth of the Lord, worship the True Guru, and give up all your corrupt ways.
Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says ( Ang 441 )
H H| H J mF HM F v
O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light - recognize your own origin.
While God resides in our body, five demons also reside in our body.
The five evils or five thieves or panch doot (five demons) or panj vikar (five sins) as they are
referred to in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are the five major weaknesses of the human personality at
variance with its spiritual essence.
These are the five traits that bring misery and pain to our lives. Guru Sahibaan repeatedly ask us to
overcome these internal demons and clasp the virtues of the Divine Light.
Sri Guru Amar Daas Ji says ( Ang 600 )

Within this body dwell the five thieves: Lust desire, anger, greed, emotional attachment and pride.
m|H MJ|J HH J| 8|J N|U HF N v
They plunder the Nectar, but the self-willed manmukh does not realize it; no one hears his complaint
Manmukhs are compared to foolish, evil Demons by Guru Sahib. Such examples are seen here:
H8 H8 |H| H|m H HH H 8M v
Those who do not serve the Truest of the True - those self-willed manmukhs are foolish demons. ( Ang
311 )
H H|J H|Um |8 M|UU H| |HU|U H HH H |8M H v
Those self-willed manmukhs who focus their consciousness on Maya, O my soul, are foolish, evil
demons. ( Ang 538 )
HH m ||J 8M v
The blind self-willed manmukhs wander around like demons; ( Ang 117 )
On the basis of his actions and qualities, our Gurus have divided man into two categories:
'Gurmukh' and 'Manmukh'.
If a man controls his evil impulses, his ego and attunes himself to God, he becomes a 'Gurmukh', ( a
God-dedicated soul ). But if he forgets God and fails to control his evil impulses, he degenerates and
becomes a 'Manmukh' a self-willed Demon away from God.
The 'Manmukh' is attached to worldly wealth, monetary allurements and sensual enjoyments. His
desires are unlimited and he is never satisfied. The 'Manmukh' is the self-willed egocentric, who
practices falsehood and sin. He is led astray by greed and ego. He is enveloped by the darkness of
ignorance. He is tossed in bondage from birth to birth.
However, on the other end of the spectrum is a Gurmukh, one who is a Disciple of the Guru. The
literal translation of a Gurmukh is one, who is the illumined. When one meditates over the name of
God, he enjoys supreme bliss and happiness. He is compassionate and serves humanity and like a
fully blossomed flower he scatters his fragrance around and beautifies the world with his benign
In Gurbani, the example of Raavan is quoted to distinguish between a Gurmukh and a Manmukh.
Raavan was a great pundit and had mastered all the Shastras and Vedas, yet he could not control his
lust for revenge and sex. In due time, in spite of his holiness, the evil animal of lust, greed and ego
took over him, and as a Manmukh, soon faced his destruction as he strayed away from the holy path
of the supreme God.
Guru Sahibaan repeatedly show us the right way and state how Raam is the other name of God.
Therefore, we should be left with no doubt that the words Raam and Ramchand are totally
different, and have no relationship to each other.

Nowadays, people are so engrossed in worldly affairs that they never think that this world is just a
dream and is not permanent in nature. They fail to realize that all of the material things have no
value as nothing goes with a human being when he leaves this world. However, when the Divine
Light takes control of his innerself and a Manmukh becomes a Gurmukh, then the Manmukh (aka
the Demon within him) runs away along with his family: i.e. Kam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahankar.

Raam is clearly mentioned as the other name of God. God is ever present and is above birth and
death. So this verse means the following:
When Raam( the Divine Light or God) takes control of a persons soul, then Raavan (the Manmukh),
who has many family members i.e. Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Ahankar runs away as he is demolished by
the holiness of God.
Then a person understands the meaning of this verse of Guru Sahib:
NJ N | N J| H |H HH vOv
That nothing lasts forever; the world is like a dream.
We listen to the above Holy verse many times, but are never aware that this world is just a
temporary inn. This is because our daily routines are just temporary and the world around us
continues to move along even when we are no longer physically here. It is our weakness that
fickle desires remain with us, which cause us to forget that nothing is permanent. We forget that
life is also perishable just like the food in the freezer. The breaths in our lungs do not last forever.
We must always remember that the Divine Light is our only savior and its the only thing that
takes control of ourselves. When the holy name of God enters our souls, then immediately the
Demon with so many family members runs away. Its at this point that were left with no doubt
that the world is just a dream.