The reason for its erasure has not been explained. The subject of the hymn is the old one—Evil communications corrupt good manners—as stated by the old Greek poet Menander.
O man, abandon the society of those who turn away from God;
In association with them evil desires are produced, and devotion is interrupted.
What availeth it to give milk to a serpent to drink? It will not part with its poison.
What availeth it to bathe an elephant in the river? He will soil his body as before.
What availeth it to a crow to peck at camphor, or to a dog to bathe in the Ganges?
What availeth it to a donkey to be smeared with fragrant aloes, or to a monkey to wear jewels on his body?
Sinners are like stones; the arrows of divine knowledge pierce them not, even though a quiverful be discharged.
Saith Sur Das, O God, this black blanket cannot be dyed another colour.
- This verse is omitted in some recensions of Bhāi Banno's Granth Sahib.
- A blanket made of natural black wool cannot be dyed. The meaning is that the man who turns away from God cannot be regenerated.
Grant to Thy Sikhs the gift of Sikhism, the gift of the Guru's instruction, the gift of faith, the gift of confidence in Thee, and the gift of reading and understanding the holy Granth Sahib.