KARHAIE is the title under which two compositions, each of ten verses, by Guru Ram Das appear in the Guru Granth Sahib in Raga Gaun Purabi. The title has been picked from the text of the hymns wherein the term karhale (plural form) or karhald (singular form) has been used in each verse. Karhal/karhald is a Sindhi 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 tlic Reality, it engrosses itself in ego and mdyd. Thus reads the first verse: 0 camel like mind of mine, Wandering into realms alien, How shall thou ever meet thy God! What has made the mind morbid is haumai or ego. This can be overcome by listening to the Guru`s word. The camel like self is adjured to seek the company of holy persons, to heed the counsel of the Guru 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 Guru; mere observance of forms of piety is of no avail.

References :

1. Snbadarlh Sri Guru Cranth Sahib. Amritsar, 1961
2. Sahib Singh, Sri Guru Grnnth Sahib Darpan. Jalandhar, n.d.