Sunday, 25 January 2009

Japji Sahib

This prayer was composed by Guru Nanak ji sometime between 1500-1507. Itappears at the start of the Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It explains how the barriers of deceit and falsehood can be broken in life and how to become one with God. To relate and connect with your soul. Recite in the early morning or when your being is endangered, when the radiance of your soul is weak, when your soul feels sad. All wisdom of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is contained in this Bani. Related to ether element; it is read to attain Brahm Gian (Knowledge of God).

Anand Sahib

Anand Sahib of Guru Amardas Ji is a literary masterpiece of devotional poetry; its aesthetic and symbolic elements will please the literary critic. Its theme is of man's true goal and his spiritual illumination. The word 'Anand' means bliss, so it is a song of man's spiritual achievement, or of being in tune with the Infinite. In a metaphysical sense, this stage is known as harmony, equipoise or Sahaj. Every man desires happiness and joy, but he tends to seek it in things either apart from himself or which pertain to his sense organs. He does not realise that these things at best can only give him temporary or unstable happiness. The Anand is both inspirational and philosophical in its content. It details the pilgrim's progress and the obstacles that lie on the way. The ultimate goal is for union with the Supreme Reality. It is called Sahaj, Nirvana, Mukti, Sangham. Sahaj is a mental state which encourages the living of a normal family-life and a concern for social commitment. The requirement is one of detachment; all that one possesses, is to be regarded a kind of trust and used for good and altruistic purposes. Similarly, one's senses directed to higher goals and not only to worldly enjoyment. Regard your body as a chariot, your mind the charioteer, your soul, the owner of the chariot, while your senses are the horses and desire is their road. The soul symbolises divinity; man cannot realise his divine element without seeing through the veil of Maya. Normally he regards himself as separate from God, it is this obvious duality or fallacy that the Guru removes. Through the Guru man may realise his divine nature, then he becomes Gurmukh or Sunmukh. Those who remain worldly-wise and follow their own ego, they are called Munmukh or Bemukh. Their senses—eyes, ears, tongue etc. lead them to mundane and evil pursuits, not towards spiritual effort (Sadhana). So self-discipline and obeying of the Guru's directions is the way to spiritual progress. The obstacles on any spiritual path are many and difficult. They include human cleverness, intellectual hair-splitting, family attachments, the taboos and rituals of traditional religion, conformity to custom and convention, the unending chain of desire, hypocrisy and 'ad hoc means' for the purpose of compromises with ideals and principles for personal gain, and the many other compulsions of expediency. The disciple in to overcome such obstacles by obeying the instructions of the Guru. The blessing of the Guru will support and enable him to progress, on his spiritual path. Any association with godly people or of doing of acts for the public good and social welfare, also help on the spiritual journey.

The pattern of the Anand projects a development of thought. Stanzas one to five mention that Bliss obtained through the Guru, after his instructions are followed. Stanzas six to twenty deal with the various obstacles and difficulties that one may face on the spiritual path. Stanzas twenty-one to twenty-five tell us about the two types of human beings: the ego-oriented and the God-oriented. Stanzas twenty-six to thirty-four mention the various desires that hold man back from his inner quest. Stanzas thirty-five to thirty-nine deal with the correct functioning of the human body and its senses. Stanza forty deals with the benefits of sincere recitation and singing in particular of the Anand. These benefits are enlightenment, a realisation of the blissful state and the ultimate union with Divinity. In short, Bliss may be attained through self-discipline and the development of one's own personality through purity, morality, contentment, poise, compassion, wisdom, a loving understanding of others and spiritual harmony. The Anand reassures every one that they can experience both joy and bliss, without sacrificing the normal comfort and pleasures of life. Bliss is the destiny of man, Pain and suffering, though unavoidable, do not disturb the inner peace of that person who leads a purposeful and pious life, by obeying the Guru's discipline.

Kirtan Sohila

Kirtan Sohila is a collection of hymns by Guru Nanak ji, Guru Amardas ji and Guru Arjan Dev ji. These hymns underline the pains of parting of human beings from God and the bliss to be achieved when one unites with God again. To remove the fear of death. Good to recite when your life feels boring, and you are uninspired. It multiplies your aura, eliminates negativity in you and around you, and protects you. Excellent before you sleep at night to bring restful sleep, prevent nightmares and create a shield of protection. This Bani protects the soul on its journey after it leaves the body at death. Related to the earth element. Panj Ishnana (washing feet, hands and face) is performed before going to sleep. After this, one is to sit upon their bed cross-legged, facing their pillow and recite the prayer. Satguru is with us at all times and protects us from the Angel of Death and demons. If one unexpectedly dies in their sleep, they will not enter lower lifeforms. Bad thoughts or dreams do not occur if Kirtan Sohila has been recited. Satguru places an iron fortress around him/her so nothing can hurt or scare the individual.

Jaap Sahib

This prayer was composed by Guru Gobind Singh ji during the period 1682-1686, when he was residing at Paonta Sahib. It contains 199 stanzas about the praise and description of God. To bring grace, self-command and to inspire your greatness. This Bani brings royalty, divinity, ecstasy, bliss, bountifulness and beauty. It will increase your vitality, courage, power, strength and self-esteem. Recite when your dignity is threatened, to overcome fear and to arouse and increase your flow of spirit. Related to air element.

Shabad Hazaare

Shabad Hazaray is the Bani of longing for the beloved. It was written by Guru Arjan when he was separated from Guru Ram Das for a long period of time. During that period of separation he sent these three letters to his beloved Guru and Father. Reciting this shabad brings union of the beloved. The fourth shabad was added by Guru Arjan at the time of the union with Guru Ram Das.

Tav Prasad Savaiye

This is a short hymn of 10 stanzas. It is a part of Guru Gobind Singh ji's classic composition 'Akal Ustat' which means 'The praise of God'. In the last line of the 9th stanza, Guruji has declared that 'only those who love sincerely and honestly, realise God' To bring satisfaction in life when nothing seems to satisfy you. It brings energy, vitality and expansion. Related to air element. The Svaiye are read to attain worldly detachment and abolish false practices.

Asa Di Vaar

Asa Di Vaar was composed by Guru Nanak Dev ji with many 'shaloks' of Guru Angad ji later inserted by Guru Arjan Dev ji. It's theme focuses on how a man can elevate himself for union with God. Asa di vaar means "A ballad of hope;" it is one of the basic sacred compositions for the Sikhs and is sung every morning in congregation in Gurdwaras. The Var is an heroic ode which describes the brave deeds of a hero. It is generally sung to inspire armies going to battle or to inspire people with martial spirit. The Asa-di-var is normally sung in the Ass raga. It consists of 24 stanzas (Pauris) and 44 Staves (Salokas) and was originated by Guru Nanak later, Guru Angad added another 15 staves of his own. In congregation, the musicians sing this var along with Chhants (quatrains) of Guru Ramdas. The stanzas express the ideas in general, while the staves clarify them by example and detail. Social and religious issues are then related, to ordinary life.

He Who Calls Himself Sikh

This Kirtan Video is a Shabad by Guru Ram Das Ji on Ang 305 of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name.Upon arising early in the morning, he is to cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All sins and negativity shall be erased.At Sun-rise, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting or standing, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name.One who meditates on my Lord with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is merciful - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed.Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it.

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