THITĪ, with the variation THITTĪṄ, is a title shared by three different compositions, one each by Gurū Nānak, Gurū Arjan and Kabīr, in the Gurū Granth Sāhib. According to traditional Indian calendar, thit (Skt. tithi) denotes a day or a date of the lunar cycle of the month. In Brāhmaṇical ritualism, certain lunar days acquired sanctity for being associated with some deity or incarnation of god or goddess and began to be observed as especially auspicious. The Thitī hymns discountenanced the notion of one day being more propitious than the others. All days, they reiterate, are auspicious if devoted to God's remembrance and to good deeds.

        Gurū Nānak’s Thitī, in Rāga Bilāval, comprises twenty six-line stanzas, each with an additional verse of rahāu (pause). Through the days of the waning half of the lunar month, the poem brings spiritual and moral truths home to man. The Supreme Being, unborn and, unfathomable, is the creator of all gods and goddesses, vedas and śāstras. He is realized through the guidance of the Gurū. Fasts and ritual bathing, asceticism and yogic practices are of little avail. One is adjured instead to repeat God's Name and take truthful living. Thus will knowledge be attained and through self-realization duality ended. Says Gurū Nānak : mamatā jāl te rahai udāsā praṇavati nānak ham tāke dāsā-- he who is not entangled by attachment, Nānak bows to him as a slave (GG, 840).

        Gurū Arjan's Thitī, in Rāga Gauṛī, consists of seventeen pauṛīs or stanzas, with a śloka added to each. Proceeding from ekam, i.e. the first day of the waning half of the lunar month, the poem goes on to amāvas, the last day of the dark half of the month, thereafter referring to pūrṇimā, the full-moon day, it stresses in stanza after stanza the supremacy of the path of devotion. Meditation on the Divine Name eliminates attachment and ego. It banishes ignorance and evil and brings humility, discernment and bliss. Through God's grace, one's heart and body are purified. The Name revealed by the Gurū liberates one from the cycle of births and deaths and one attains union with the Divine. Everyone irrespective of the varṇa or caste he belongs to can win liberation by repeating the Name-- khatrī brāhmaṇu sūdu baisu udharai simari chaṇḍāl (GG, 300).

        Kabīr in his Thitīṅ, employing thits of the waxing half of the month urges the need to know Reality from illusion and sets forth love of the Lord as the way to breaking the circuit of transmigration. The yogic practices are considered futile, for they only beget ego. One must instead devote oneself to remembering the Lord God (verses on the first day of the moon); one must transcend the three states to attain the fourth ultimate state of bliss (third day); and one must control the capricious mind and shun lust and wrath. Blessed is he who drinks the nectar of the Lord's love (fifth day). Discipline the nine doors of the body and keep a check upon your many desires (ninth day)-- naumī navai duār kau sādhi bahatī manasā rākhahu bāndhi" (GG, 343-44). On ekādasī, the eleventh day, take to one single direction and thereby avert the pangs of rebirth. On the full-moon day, you will attain equipoise and see the full moon rise in the sky.


    Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib Jī. Amritsar, 1964

Tāran Siṅgh