Saturday, 14 June 2008

Jap Ji Sahib

Japji Sahib consists of the Mool Mantra as the beginning followed by 38 hymns and a final Salok at the end of this composition. The Japji appears at the very beginning of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book of the Sikhs. It is regarded as the most important Bani or 'set of verses' by the Sikhs and is recited every morning by all practising faithful of this religion.
The word ‘Jap’ means to ‘recite’ or ‘to ‘chant’. ‘Ji’ is a word that is used to show respect as is the word ‘Sahib’. 'Ji' can also be used to refer to one's own soul.
This Bani was composed by the founder of the faith, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who was the first of ten human Gurus of this faith. The Ten Gurus of Sikhism were responsible for the creation of this faith which was took place over period 1469 to 1708 - a period of about 239 years. At the point when the last of these Gurus departed this Earth, the Guruship was passed to the Sikh Holy Book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Sikh treat the Sri Guru Granth Sahib as a living Guru and the respect shown for the Shabad or ‘Message of the Gurus’ is unique in the religion.

English Translation
The Mool Mantar
There is Only One God
Truth is His Name
He is the Creator, Protector
He is Fearless (Without Fear)
He has no Enmity with anyone
He is the Immortal and the First Entity
He is without Incarnations
He is Self-perpetuating
Unison with him is possible only through Guru’s grace
Recite! his name so you will have Guru's grace
He was true in the beginning (Even before the birth of the universes, time etc. )
He was true Through the Ages (Existed through the ages)
He is true even now
and Nanak says that God will be True in the future and Forever
Hymn 1.
By washing and washing (washing ritual was a common practise by bathing at Ganges or other holy rivers by Hindus at that time)again a hundred thousand times one cannot find a solution.
By being quiet, peace cannot be found even if one stays poised deep in meditation forever.
The Hunger(ego) of the Hungry(again it was a common practise that religious/spiritual discussion were held over the edge of a river. Pandits would discuss over the bank of the river attached to a village and when they would win over in discussion they would take away all the religious books from the other person and thus load them up on their ship to continue on to the next village. Guru Nanak here is trying to prove that it is the ego that is not being satisfied) cannot be quenched if they carry the religious material as baggage.
One may possess a hundred thousand of clever ideas, but even one will not accompany him/her.
Then, How can one be purified? How can one throw away the falsehood? Says Nanak, By Abiding by the Command of God, which is written along with everyone! 1
Hymn 2.
By Your Command entities are formed. Your Command cannot be predicted.
With your Command one obtains respect and is honoured.
By Your Command Ups & Downs occur. With Your Command is written suffering and happiness.
Without Your Command no one is blessed. With your Command one lives in perpetual migrations.
Everyone is Within Your Command, None is beyond His Order.
Says Nanak, “Whosoever realizes Your Command, Never speaks in ego.” 2
Hymn 3.
Many sing of His power, who has that power. Many sing of the Gift, who knows the Sign.
Many sing of Virtues, Praises and Greatness. Many Sing of knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
Many sing about how He creates and destroys. Many sing about how He takes life and then restores it.
Many Sing, chant and see far. Many sing that He watches, is ever-present one-on-one.
There is no shortage of those who preach and teach.
Millions upon millions offer millions of sermons and stories.
The Great Giver keeps on giving, the receivers grow weary of receiving.
Throughout the ages, consumers consume.
The Commander, by His Command, leads us to walk on the Path.
O Nanak, only He blossoms forth, carefree and untroubled. 3
Hymn 4:
True Master, True is His Name - Meditate it with deep love.
They(men) ask and beg,(God) "Give, give" - The Giver gives in abundance.
What can we place before Him, by which the Darbaar can be seen?
What words can we utter, listening to which His Love is gained?
In the Ambrosial period, dwell upon His True Name and praises.
With good past karmas(actions), this robe is obtained, By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.
O Nanak, know this well: Everything is in the Righteous Lord!
Hymn 5:
He cannot be established; By doing it, it cannot be done.
He Himself is Immaculate and Pure. Those who serve Him receive honored.
O Nanak sing - Only Lord has endless Virtues. Sing, listen, and keep your mind humble.
For your every pain, take home peace. The Guru’s Word is the Sound-current, wisdom of the Vedas and the ultimate protector.
The Guru is Shiva, Gorak and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakhshmi.
Even knowing Him, I cannot describe Him; He is beyond description in words.
The Guru has extinguished this thirst: All creatures have only the one God – May I never forget this!
Hymn 6:
Pleasing God Is the only ritual I do.
Without inner experience All rituals mean nothing.
How many created beings there are!
I see them spread all around me.
Without working hard, how can anyone get anything?
If you hear just one of the Guru's lessons you will find the gems, jewels, and rubies in your mind.
The Guru has given me one understanding: All souls are gifts of the One.
May I never forget Him
Other Hymns
Hymn 7:
You may live through all the ages, or even ten times more.
Everyone may know you; people may even follow you around.
You may be well thought of and praised throughout the world.
But if you don't see the unseen, then none of it matters at all.
You'll live as a worm among worms and guilty people will place all their guilt on you.
O Nanak! God gives goodness to those who have it and those who don't;
But the person does not exist: who can give any goodness to Him?
Hymn 8:
Listening… saints, heroes, masters. Listening… the earth, the power, the ethers. Listening… high and low realms, oceans of light. Listening… beyond time. O Nanak! God's lovers bloom forever. Listening destroys all pain and error. 8
Listening… men become gods. Listening… praise comes from the mouth of the most negative person. Listening… the way of yoga and the body's secrets. Listening… all holy books and scriptures. O Nanak! God's lovers bloom forever… Listening destroys all pain and error. 9
Listening… Truth, patience, wisdom. Listening… bathing at all holy places. Listening…reading and reading gains honor. Listening…concentration comes easy. O Nanak! God's lovers bloom forever. Listening destroys all pain and error. 10
Listening… deep oceans of grace. Listening… kings, emperors, saints. Listening… blind ones find the Path. Listening… the unknown is known. O Nanak! God's lovers bloom forever. Listening destroys all pain and error. 11
If you agree with the God inside, Your state of consciousness cannot be described. Anyone who tries will be sorry he tried. No writer can write it. No pen can list it. Even those who have sat and reflected have missed it. Such is the Nam. It makes you pure. If you agree to agree, Your mind becomes sure. 12
When you agree, You tune in, become wise. When you agree, You become aware Of all the universes and worlds. When you agree, You gain dignity and grace. When you agree, Death cannot touch you. Such is the Nam. It makes you pure. If you agree to agree, Your mind becomes sure. 13
When you agree, Your path becomes clear. When you agree, You go Home shining with honor. When you agree, You are not of this world. When you agree, You embrace the Dharma. Such is the Nam. It makes you pure. If you agree to agree, Your mind becomes sure. 14
When you agree, Your tenth gate opens. When you agree, Your family is saved. When you agree, You cross over the ocean, Taking the Guru's Sikhs by your side. O Nanak! When you agree, You never wander this earth As a beggar again. Such is the Nam. It makes you pure. If you agree to agree, Your mind becomes sure. 15
The chosen are worthy, The chosen, supreme. The chosen are honored In the courts of kings. The chosen look beautiful In the kingdom of heaven. The chosen meditate Focused on the Guru. If someone speaks from his deep meditation, He still cannot count all the acts of creation. Dharma is the support of the earth. Born of compassion and kindness. It patiently holds the thread Of creation together. Understand this and become a person of Truth. What a great load the Dharma sustains! There are worlds beyond worlds. What holds them each in their orbit? The names of the countless colors. The many sorts of creatures. They all flow like ink From an endlessly moving pen. If someone could actually write all this down, Can you imagine how much writing that would be? What divine music! What beautiful forms! What incredible gifts untold! One gesture, One word, And ten thousand rivers flow! How can I speak or reflect on this power? I cannot be a sacrifice even one time. I want to do only what pleases Thee. Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 16
Countless chant. Countless love. Countless do worship and create inner heat. Countless read books and recite the scriptures. Countless yogis live unattached… Countless devotees. Countless virtues. Countless knowledge and deep meditation. Countless people of Truth, and givers. Countless heroes who face steel without fear. Countless are silent, suspended on a string of longing. How can I speak or reflect on this power? I cannot be a sacrifice even one time. I want to do only what pleases Thee. Formless... Peaceful... Divine.... 17
Countless maniacs, horribly blind, Countless thieves and countless sneaks. Countless killers, countless villains, Countless despots, countless freaks. Countless traitors who turn and flee. Countless liars, lost in their lies. Countless wretches eating dirt. Countless slanderers spreading their hurt. Nanak, the lowly and humble one, Speaks from his deep meditation, I cannot be a sacrifice even one time. I want to do only what pleases Thee. Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 18
Countless names, countless places, Countless realms remote. Even to speak the word "countless" Is really just a joke. In primal sounds are Nam and praise. In primal sounds are knowledge and song. In primal sounds are words spoken and written. In primal sounds is your destiny written. The One who writes is beyond all that. As God commands, so people get. As great as Creation, so great is Nam. Without it nothing could ever be done. How can I speak or reflect on this power? I cannot be a sacrifice even one time. I want to do only what pleases Thee. Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 19 When your hands, your feet and your body are dirty, Take water and wash all the dust away. When your clothes become stained with urine, Take soap and wash out the stain. When your mind becomes loaded with error and pain, Then wash your mind clean with the love of the Name. Talking will never make you a saint. It's by the actions you do again and again That you create your own life and death. What you eat is what you sow. In God's will, O Nanak! We come and go. 20
By going to church, by acting good, By giving gifts, by sharing food, Just a small bit of honor is won. Listen..., agree..., and let love fill your mind; Wash away all dirt of the inner kind. All virtues are Thine. I have none. Without inner virtue there's no real devotion. Hail to the primal Word! Creator! Beautiful Truth! Happy mind! What is the hour, what is the time? What is the day, the month, the season In which this whole cosmos appeared? If the wise men knew, It would be written in the scriptures. If the teachers knew, It would be written in their books. Even the yogis have puzzled looks. As the Creator creates, He understands when… How can I speak? How can I praise? How can I imagine? How can I know? O Nanak! Everyone talks, and talks, and talks, Each more clever than the last. God is great! His hand is True. There's nothing anyone else can do. O Nanak! If you think you can do it all alone you'll never look bright in your One True Home. 21
There are thousands of worlds and underworlds Both solid and etheric. Searching through them all, In the end will only make you tired. The Torah, the Bible and the Koran say That there are 18,000 worlds. But at the root of them all, there is only the One. If all this could be written, And one were to try, While trying to write it, He surely would die. O Nanak! All say that God is great, But only He knows how great! 22 The praisers sing God's praises, But they have no power to hear. The rivers and streams flow into the ocean And lose themselves in its vastness. Even kings, who own oceans, And mountains and treasure, Are not equal to an ant, Which forgets not its Maker. 23
There is no end of praising God; No end to what is said. No end of doing, no end of giving, No end of seeing, hearing and living. There is no end in sight. What mantra lies within God's mind? See the structure of the universe... There is no end in sight. See its endless expansion... There is no end in sight. Many wail in frustration, Because there is no end in sight. No one can find the end. The more you try to tell, The more there is to say. God is high. The Nam is high. You must get that high to see. God knows how high He is, O Nanak! One glance can set you free. 24
There is so much karma, You can't write it all down, But the great Giver has not one bit of greed. Not even as little as a sesame seed. Many soldier saints are begging. Many people are meditating. There are many unrighteous, broken wretches. Many take and take, and are never thankful. There are many fools. The eaters keep eating. Hunger and pain give so many a beating! But these too are Thy gifts. O, Giver of all! Liberation and slavery are also Thy gifts. No one else has any say about this. If anyone's foolish enough to speak, He will feel the effects of his folly. God gives... God knows... But only a few people speak of these things. The one whom He blesses to praise Him and love Him, O, Nanak, is king among kings! 25
Priceless Thy virtues; priceless Thy dealings. Priceless Thy traders; priceless Thy treasures. Priceless the weights and priceless the weighers. Priceless they come and priceless they go. Priceless the lovers, lost in Thy embrace. Priceless the Dharma; priceless Thy court. Priceless Thy gifts; priceless Thy signs; Priceless Thy actions; priceless Thy orders. Priceless... priceless beyond speaking. But speaking and speaking, many long to belong. They recite the scriptures from memory. They recite so many descriptions of Thee. Brahmas speak and Indras speak. Many Gopis and Krishnas speak. Shivas speak and siddhas speak. Many, many Buddhas speak. Demons speak and gods speak. Saints and Jains and servants speak. Many, many, many speak. And in the middle of speaking... They die and depart. And even if Thou created Twice as many speakers, Thou art still beyond description. God is simply as great as He pleases. O Nanak! The True One knows! If anyone disagrees with this He’s a fool, Wherever he goes! 26
In what house, behind what door, Who sit and remember the One? How many musicians play how many tunes? How many enchanting songs are sung? How many singers are singing? The winds, waters, and fire — Vibrating, sing Thy praises. The king of the Dharma sings at the door. The angels of the conscious and unconscious minds, Who write the records of our actions, sing, As the king of Dharma reflects on that record. Shivas, Brahmas, and Devis sing. Their beauty is beyond compare. Sings Indra seated on his throne, And all the boddhisattvas there. The siddhas sing in deep samadhi. The saddhus sing in deep reflection. The patient, chaste, and true ones sing. The great and fearless warriors sing. The pundits and the ancient sages Sing and sing through all the ages. The mind bewitching beauties sing On earth, in hells and heavens. Those of gem-like consciousness sing At all the holy places. The brave and mighty warriors sing. The soldiers sing along. The four wellsprings of life Constantly sing Thy song. The planets, solar systems and galaxies sing As they rotate in their places. They sing of Thee, who please Thee, With shining, loving faces. So many others sing Thy song, who never cross my mind. O Nanak! How can I tell this tale? That One True God is always True — Gracious, loving, kind. He is Now, And shall always be. He does not come and go. Creating the countless colors Of all hues and sorts and kinds. Great Master of illusions, Made, and seen within His Mind. He does whatever pleases Him. No one tells Him what to do. He is the King! The King of kings, O Nanak! Live ever in His Will. 27
Wear the earrings of patience. Carry the begging bowl and wallet of humility, And smear the ashes of meditation on your body. Let your patchwork coat be remembrance of death. Follow the path of purity, With the walking stick of faith. Let your sect be the family of man. Conquer your own mind And be victorious in the world. Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him — Primal, Pure, and equal to none. There is no beginning and no end. Through all ages only the One. 28
Take your pleasure in wisdom. Make kindness your servant. In every heart plays one sound current. He is the Master, with mastery of all Magic powers and wealth, and every pleasure. Both Union and loneliness come from Him… Your actions write your great destiny. Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him. Primal, Pure, and equal to none. There is no beginning and no end. Through all ages only the One. 29
Out of the marriage of God and Maya Three worthy students are born. The Generator, Organizer and Destroyer Of all life and worldly forms. As He pleases, all things move According to His order. He sees it all, but none see Him, And all are filled with wonder. Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him. Primal, Pure, and equal to none. There is no beginning and no end. Through all ages only the One. 30
Within the Light of every heart — One Soul, the house of treasure. Placed there once, and for all time – The Watcher and the Actor. O Nanak! The actions of Truth are True. Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him. Primal, Pure, and equal to none. There is no beginning and no end. Through all ages only the One. 31
From one tongue there came thousands more, And millions came from them. Millions of tongues are turning and churning, Repeating the One Lord's Name. On the Master's Path are many steps. Climb them, and come back Home. Even worms who hear of heavenly things Are longing to come back Home. O Nanak! We get to come back Home Only by the One God's Grace. But the liars all boast, "I did it myself!" 32
No power to be silent. No power to speak. No power to beg. No power to give. No power to die. No power to live. No power lies in worldly might. No power lies in earthly treasure. They only increase your mental chatter. No power to meditate or know the unknown. No power to leave this world and go home. One Power. One Actor. One Doer. One Knower. O Nanak! No one is higher or lower. 33
Nights... days... weeks... seasons... winds… Water and fire... all earthly regions... Here live souls of countless colors and names, For this planet earth is the Realm of Dharma, And here is where we reflect on our Karma. True is He, and True is His Court. There all are beautiful — perfect equals. Grace covers their Karmas. They see the sign. Even those whose fruits aren't yet ripe can see it. O Nanak! When you go Home you shall see it. 34
Such is life in the Realm of Dharma, But now let us speak of the Realm of Wisdom. So many waters, winds and fires! So many Krishnas! So many Shivas! So many Brahmas creating colors Shapes and forms of countless kinds! So many planets, mountains and actions! So many ways to learn devotion! So many Indras, suns and moons! So many galaxies! So many places! So many souls of power and wisdom! So many goddesses! So many yogis! So many gods and demons and sages! So many jewels! So many oceans! So many sources and manners of speaking! So many kingdoms! So many kings! So many ways to tune in and to serve! O Nanak! So many things! 35
True Knowledge gains strength in the Realm of Wisdom, Where there are so many joyful sounds and sights. In the Realm of Realization the word is Beauty! To speak of this, no one has any might. So incredibly beautiful is this realm, That to speak of it just sounds trite. From here comes all power to listen and know. From here the saints come. To here the saints go. 36
In the Realm of Action the word is Power! Here are the warriors. Men of the Hour! Full of God's strength! Completely fulfilled! And here are the cool and graceful ladies Whose beauty is beyond compare. They live far beyond deception and death. Their minds full of God — Aware! And here live God's lovers. Full of Light! Full of Joy! Full of His might! In the Realm of Truth lives the Formless One! He watches and blesses everyone. Planets... stars... galaxies spinning... Far beyond speech... No end... No beginning. Here all things are filled with Light! As His command comes forth, all things are born. Reflecting deeply, He sees and rejoices! O Nanak! I can't describe it! 37
Hymn 38
Let Patience be the goldsmith working in the forge furnace of restraint, Wisdom be the hammer and tongs, and Understanding be the anvil.
From the crucible of love the amrit, the golden ambrosial nectar, is poured.
In the name we are minted anew.
Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap the entire world is at play.
Good deeds and bad are announced in the Presence of the Lord.
According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.
Those who have meditated on the Naam have departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows
O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Lord’s Court, and many are saved along with them! 1

1 comment:

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