Pahila másah nanmiá másai ander vás.
First, one is formed from flesh, and then one lives in flesh.
Jíu pái más muhi miliá had chanm tan más.
When one obtains life one’s mouth takes flesh; one’s bones and skin are in flesh.
Másahu báhar kadiá manmá más girás.
One comes forth out of flesh, and takes a mouthful of flesh at the breast.
Muhu másai ká jíbh másai kí másai andar sás.
The mouth is flesh, the tongue is flesh; his breath is in flesh.
Vadá hoá víáhiá ghar lai áiá más.
One grows up and is married, and brings [the spouse of] flesh home.
Másahu hí más úpjai másahu sabho sák.
Flesh is produced from flesh; all relatives are made of flesh.
Satigur miliai hukam bujhíai ta ko ávai rás.
When one meets the True Guru and understands the Hukam, one will be reformed.
Áp chhuté nah chhutíai nának bachan binás.
Releasing oneself one does not find release; Nanak, through words one is destroyed. ||1||
My excuses for any mistakes I have made in the transcription and the translation of this slok. I use Sikhítothemax and I check the translation using my Guru Granth Sahib dictionary. This shabad has not too many very difficult words.
There are two sloks that discuss ‘flesh’ or meat in this Vár. The second one usually gets most attention but the first one also needs serious víchár.
I think that in the first six lines Guru writes against the idea that flesh is polluting. We are all made of flesh, the womb is of flesh and our family is of flesh. Making a link between the first six and the last two lines is more challenging. It is of course ‘hukam’ that all creatures are made of flesh, just as all creation is part of hukam.
Meeting the Satguru we will understand God’s hukam (that all are made of flesh ?) and we will be reformed. In the last line ‘releasing’ probably means release from the cycle of birth and death, which is also the release from ‘flesh’ and from all other material things. We cannot release ourselves (by living according to our own rules ?), it is by God’s blessing that we will be ‘mukat’ or liberated.
At the end of the cycle of birth and death our atma will merge in the Paramatma and we leave our bodies behind. That does not mean that ‘flesh’ is bad or polluting. It is what we do with money, flesh, houses, cars and other ‘worldly goods’ that makes them into good and useful things or maya.
Once in Southall my wife went into a shop that sold Panjabi sweets but also non-vegetarian Panjabi snacks. She was together with a Námdhári and as soon as he discovered that meat products were on sale he almost ran out of the shop. It illustrates that although Námdharis often are very nice, they are not Sikhs.