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Gurmukhi Number Four in Gurbani Illustrated

Char - Significance of Gurmukhi Numeral Four in Sikh Scripture


Char is numeral four of the Gurmukhi script.
Gurmukhi Number Four - Char

Gurmukhi Number Four - Char

Photo © [S Khalsa]
Char is the most simple phonetic Romanized spelling of numeral four of the Gurmukhi script. Char is pronounced the way it is spelled and sounds like char in charcoal.

Chautha, pronounced chow-thaa, is the word for fourth in Gurbani, the Sikh scripture of Guru Granth Sahib, and refers to compositions of Guru Raam Das, fourth guru of the Sikhs.

In Sikh scripture references are made to:

  • Jug char the four ages and char paav their four feet or supports:
    • Satjug - Golden age with the four supports of truth, atonement, compassion and altruism.
    • Treta - Silver age with the three supports of atonement, compassion and altruism.
    • Duapur - Brass age with the two supports of compassion and altruism.
    • KalJug - Iron age with the one support of altruism.
  • Char avstha - four states of mind:
    • Awake
    • Asleep
    • Dreaming
    • Absorbed in the Divine
  • Char datan - four desires:
    • Dharam - faith
    • Arth - wealth
    • Kaam - success, or sensory pleasure
    • Mokh - liberation
  • Char khaniaa - four sources of existence:
    • Andaj - Egg born
    • Jeraj - Womb born
    • Setaj - Sweat born
    • Utbhuj - Earth born
    Other references include but are not limited to:
    • Char aasram - four stages of life (infancy, youth, prime, and old age).
    • Kunttaa char - four directions.
    • Char padaarath - four blessings.
    • Char charan - four footed (creatures).
    • Char pahar - four *watches (*three hour segments of day.)
    • Char baran(a) or varan - four castes (of Hinduism).
    • Char Ved - four scriptures (of Hinduism).
    • Kiriaachar - four rituals.

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