SHABAD HAJĀRE PĀTSHĀHĪ 10 is the title by which a complement of 10 of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's śabdas in the Dasam Granth is known. In the text these śabdas appear under the individual rāgas in which they have been composed, carrying no specific title as such. Shabad Hajāre is also the title of a collection of seven śabdas picked from five different rāgas in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. They appear under this title in breviaries and form part of the daily devotions of the Sikhs. Many likewise read Shabad Hajāre Pātshāhī l0 as well. What is the signification of the word hajāre is however not clear. One explanation is that the devotees traditionally believed that recitation of a single śabda of these bāṇīs earned one the merit of hazār, i.e. one thousand. Some scholars interpret the word hajāre as derived from Arabic hijr, meaning separation. Since yearning for communion with the Divine is the dominant mood of these hymns, they have been titled Shabad Hajāre. In the midst of Shabad Hajāre Pātshāī l0 occurs Gurū Gobind Siṅgh's oft-quoted poem delineating in powerful accents his ache and his longing for the Lord :
Soft beds, dear Friend, beloved God, are but a torment without Thee,
Residence in mansions like living among sepents.
Wine-goblets like the cross; the rim of wineglass like the dagger.
All this, without Thee, like the keenness of a butcher's thrust
To dwell with them in adversity is better, far better than revelry in places without Thee !
In another śabda men are exhorted to "worship not the creation, but the Creator" (verse 5). The true ascetic is one who considers his home to be his forest for meditation, who practises continence rather than sport matted hair, and who gives himself to the performance of his religious duties than to growing his nails long. "When you seize God's feet, you will be freed from the noose of death" (verses 3,10).
C. H. Loehlin