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Tiger Sight

ਸਿੰਘਾਵਲੋਕਨ [Singh Avalokan], or the Sight of a Tiger, is a metaphorical term used in a variety of contexts. In its literal application, it refers to when a tiger, after a kill, periodically looks back while proceeding forwards to make sure no other animal is approaching to steal its kill. In one of its metaphorical contexts, it refers to when one stops and reflects back on their work/task before carrying on. In Shastarvidiya, it is used to denote a principle of awareness [ਸੁਚੇਤਤਾ], where a warrior when walking forward would periodically, via a subtle body shift, direct their peripheral vision to ensure safety of their rear. In Braj Bhasha poetry, it is a literary device, where the final word of the verse will mimic the first word of the following verse, continued till the end of the passage.

Fittingly, the Great Poet Santhok Singh ends his magnum opus, the Gurpratap Suraj Prakash Granth, with an extensive portion of passages in praise of Sarswati, Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh, all in this Singh Avalokan style. Below is just one small portion of this masterful piece of devotional poetry.

ਧਾਰਿ ਅਪੂਰਬ ਪੂਰਬ ਰੂਪ ਭਏ ਗੁਰ ਨਾਨਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਉਦਾਰਹਿ ॥ ਦਾਰ ਕਿਧੌਂ ਨਰ ਪੰਥ ਪਰੇ ਤਿਨ ਸੇ ਜਗ ਸਾਗਰ ਤੇ ਪਰਿ ਪਾਰਹਿ ॥

The Wondrous Primordial [Being] took form in the light of Guru Nanak. Whoever, men or women, came into the path [panth of Guru Nanak], they were carried across this world's ocean [and liberated].

ਪਾਰਤਿ ਹੈਂ ਗੁਨ ਟਾਰਤਿ ਔਗੁਨ ਗ੍ਯਾਨ ਸਿਖਾਰਤਿ ਬਾਕ ਬਿਚਾਰਹਿਂ ॥ ਚਾਰਹੁ ਬੇਦ ਉਚਾਰਹਿਂ ਸਾਰਹਿ ਬੰਦਤਿ ਹੌਂ ਅਬਿ ਮੋਹਿ ਉਧਾਰਹਿਂ ॥7॥

Nourishing virtue and forsaking vice, the servants of Nanak, consume wisdom. Those who contemplate on the words of [even Nanak's servants] will be able to recite the true essence of the Four Vedas. Salutations [to Guru Nanak], may I too be carried across [this world ocean of rebirth].

ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਤਾਪ ਸੂਰਜ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ - ਐਨ 2, ਅਧਿਆਇ 36

Gurpratap Suraj Prakash Granth, Ain 2, Chapter 36

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