KARHALE is the title under which two compositions, each of ten verses, by Gurū Rām Dās appear in the Gurū Granth Sāhib in Rāga Gauṛī Pūrabī. The title has been picked from the text of the hymns wherein the term karhale (plural form) or karhalā (singular form) has been used in each verse. Karhal/karhalā is a Sindhī word meaning a camel. In these hymns, the term applies to the human man (mind) which keeps wandering restlessly like the camel roaming from one place to another. The similitude can be further expanded : the mind is stubborn like a camel and wanders away from home to alien realms. Turning away from the Reality, it engrosses itself in ego and māyā. Thus reads the first verse :

        O camel-like mind of mine,

        Wandering into realms alien,

        How shalt thou ever meet thy God!


        What has made the mind morbid is haumai or ego. This can be overcome by listening to the Gurū's word. The camel-like self is adjured to seek the company of holy persons, to heed the counsel of the Gurū and to be always mindful of God. Thus will one receive the Divine favour and attain liberation.

         The two short compositions expound, in a simple metaphor, the Sikh way of spiritual realization. The ultimate aim is to obtain proximity to God and the way to achieve this is to bring round the wandering man (mind) and to wash away the "dirt" of haumai. This is possible through the guidance of the Gurū mere observance of forms of piety is of no avail.


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1964
  2. Sāhib Siṅgh, Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Darpan. Jalandhar, n.d.

Tāran Siṅgh