Monday, March 26, 2007

Brief Summary of the course

(Links are present for the topics covered)


Introduction (Posted)


- Who Am I???

- Why another Japji Translation???

- What inspired me do this seva?

- Any hesitation in this seva & how it was overcome?

- What are the Sources & Authenticity of this whole course?

- Any future plans, after the completion of this course?


Origins of Japji (Posted)


- Story of How Guru Nanak Dev Ji Came up with - Japji


Theme of Japji (Posted)


- Man's Quest & aim

- The 5 realms / Paths

- Formalities in religions & Religious practices

- The divine order / will (Hukam)

- Meditation of name

- The divine grace

- Cosmological truths

- Dignity of human life

- Conclusion of the theme & Japji


Concept of God (Posted)


- God is supreme

- God is unspeakable happiness

- His creation is infinite

- God is all pervading

- God is Great & Bountiful

- Meditation on his 'naam'

- Guru's Role



- Experiencing the True Essence of Japji

- The initial seed sowed by the Master himself


Full Japji - Decoded (Pauris / stanza wise)

Concept of GOD - The Japji Way


God is supreme


Guru Nanak Dev Ji makes specific mention of a number of gods, goddesses, other socio-religious leaders & objects of worship in various stanzas of Japji. These broadly are:

1) Brahma (&its consort – Sarasvati), Vishnu(&its consort – Laxmi), Shiva (&its consort – Parvati)

2) Indra (god of gods), his kingdom & enchanting beauties of his court.

3) Krishna & his consorts (Gopis)

4) Yogis, Naths, Sidhhas, Buddhas

5) Pirs, Sheiks (Muslim Divines), learned seers, saints, sages

6) Vedas, Puranas, Semitic texts – Torah, Zabur (psalms), Injil (Gospel) & Quran

7) Gods, Goddesses & demons

8) Celibates, zealots, warriors, brave & peaceful ones

9) Earth, Sun, Moon, Underworlds, Heavens, Spheres (Other cosmos)

10)68 places of pilgrimages, jewels, kings, king of kings.

All these in unison are shown in obedience to one God who is the creator of all & its supreme.

For instance, in pauri / stanza 26, many of these gods, goddesses & socio-religious leaders are mentioned concentrating on God & describing him according to their light & understanding.

so dar kayhaa so ghar kayhaa jit bahi sarab samaalay.

(Where is that Gate, and where is that Dwelling, in which You sit and take care of all?)

vaajay naad anayk asankhaa kaytay vaavanhaaray.

(The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there, and countless musicians play on all sorts of instruments there.)

kaytay raag paree si-o kahee-an kaytay gaavanhaaray.

(So many Ragas, so many musicians singing there.)

gaavahi tuhno pa-un paanee baisantar gaavai raajaa Dharam du-aaray.

(The praanic wind, water and fire sing; the Righteous Judge of Dharma sings at Your Door.)

gaavahi chit gupat likh jaaneh likh likh Dharam veechaaray.

Chitr and Gupt, the angels of the conscious and the subconscious who record actions, and the (Righteous Judge of Dharma who judges this record sing.)

gaavahi eesar barmaa dayvee sohan sadaa savaaray.

(Shiva, Brahma and the Goddess of Beauty, ever adorned, sing.)

gaavahi ind idaasan baithay dayviti-aa dar naalay.

(Indra, seated upon His Throne, sings with the deities at Your Door.)

gaavahi siDh samaaDhee andar gaavan saaDh vichaaray.

(The Siddhas in Samaadhi sing; the Saadhus sing in contemplation.)

gaavan jatee satee santokhee gaavahi veer karaaray.

(The celibates, the fanatics, the peacefully accepting and the fearless warriors sing.)

gaavan pandit parhan rakheesar jug jug vaydaa naalay.

(The Pandits, the religious scholars who recite the Vedas, with the supreme sages of all the ages, sing.)

gaavahi mohnee-aa man mohan surgaa machh pa-i-aalay.

(The Mohinis, the enchanting heavenly beauties who entice hearts in this world, in paradise, and in the underworld of the subconscious sing.)

gaavan ratan upaa-ay tayray athsath tirath naalay.

(The celestial jewels created by You, and the sixty-eight holy places of pilgrimage sing.)

gaavahi joDh mahaabal sooraa gaavahi khaanee chaaray.

(The brave and mighty warriors sing; the spiritual heroes and the four sources of creation sing.)

gaavahi khand mandal varbhandaa kar kar rakhay Dhaaray.

(The planets, solar systems and galaxies, created and arranged by Your Hand, sing.)

say-ee tuDhuno gaavahi jo tuDh bhaavan ratay tayray bhagat rasaalay.

(They alone sing, who are pleasing to Your Will. Your devotees are imbued with the Nectar of Your Essence.)

hor kaytay gaavan say mai chit na aavan naanak ki-aa veechaaray.

(So many others sing, they do not come to mind. O Nanak, how can I consider them all?)

so-ee so-ee sadaa sach saahib saachaa saachee naa-ee.

(That True Lord is True, Forever True, and True is His Name.)

hai bhee hosee jaa-ay na jaasee rachnaa jin rachaa-ee.

(He is, and shall always be. He shall not depart, even when this Universe which He has created departs.)

rangee rangee bhaatee kar kar jinsee maa-i-aa jin upaa-ee.

(He created the world, with its various colors, species of beings, and the variety of Maya.)

kar kar vaykhai keetaa aapnaa jiv tis dee vadi-aa-ee.

(Having created the creation, He watches over it Himself, by His Greatness.)

jo tis bhaavai so-ee karsee hukam na karnaa jaa-ee.

(He does whatever He pleases. No order can be issued to Him.)

so paatisaahu saahaa paatisaahib naanak rahan rajaa-ee.

(He is the King, the King of kings, the Supreme Lord and Master of kings. Nanak remains subject to His Will.)

As a matter of fact, Guru Nanak Ji refers to them symbolically to highlight the supremacy of one lord. This sort of knowledge forms an essential part in man’s mind for a proper perspective & appreciation of God.


God is Ineffable, Unspeakable happiness, indescribable, beyond words ...


According to Guru Nanak Ji, God is Ineffable & far exceeds the most exalted conception which the mind of a man can perceive. One who is exalted & achieves communication with God is like a drop in the ocean, & is not in a position to describe its extent. It is because he lacks the knowledge, words & expression to describe him. It is beyond his capacity. Indeed, myriads of men have given myriads of descriptions, but there is no end to that. They have failed to describe him. His limits cannot be ascertained.

The more one says, the more he has yet to say to describe him.

bahutaa kahee-ai bahutaa ho-ay.

(The more you say about them, the more there still remains to be said.)


jay ko kahai karai veechaar.

(No matter how much anyone tries to explain and describe them,)

kartay kai karnai naahee sumaar.

(the actions of the Creator cannot be counted.)

God is great, & one could describe him only if he is as great.

vadaa saahib oochaa thaa-o.

(Great is the Master, High is His Heavenly Home.)

oochay upar oochaa naa-o.

(Highest of the High, above all is His Name.)

ayvad oochaa hovai ko-ay.

(Only one as Great and as High as God)

tis oochay ka-o jaanai so-ay.

(can know His Lofty and Exalted State.)

But, God can be as great as he pleases, i.e. he can surpass the greatness achieved by any one else. He cannot be sized. As such, he is unfathomable. Only God knows how great he is. It would be a wickedness / stupidity of a person who contend that he has such knowledge.

jay ko aakhai boluvigaarh.

(If anyone presumes to describe God,)

taa likee-ai sir gaavaaraa gaavaar.

(he shall be known as the greatest fool of fools!)

He is primal being, infinite, without beginning, & without end & ever alike.


His Creation is infinite


As in God ineffable, so is his creation. His creation is legion & his works are countless. If one were to sit & write the account of his creation, how staggering it would be! It would be beyond one’s capacity & power to do so. His creations are beyond comprehension.

For instance, when was creation started? What was the time, season, day, & month of creation? No one knows. The pundits did not know, other wise they would have written a purana on that. There is no mention of that in the Quran. Yogis do not know it. Only he who created the universe knows it.

kavan so vaylaa vakhat kavan kavan thit kavan vaar.

(What was that time, and what was that moment? What was that day, and what was that date?)

kavan se rutee maahu kavan jit ho-aa aakaar.

(What was that season, and what was that month, when the Universe was created?)

vayl na paa-ee-aa pandtee je hovai laykh puraan.

(The Pandits, the religious scholars, cannot find that time, even if it is written in the Puraanas.)

vakhat na paa-i-o kaadee-aa je likhan laykh kuraan.

(That time is not known to the Qazis, who study the Koran.)

thit vaar naa jogee jaanai rut maahu naa ko-ee.

(The day and the date are not known to the Yogis, nor is the month or the season.)

jaa kartaa sirthee ka-o saajay aapay jaanai so-ee.

(The Creator who created this creation-only He Himself knows.)

Guru Nanak Ji rejects the theory of evolution. According to him, God uttered one Word, & the whole universe throbbed into being. Myriads of rivers of life came gushing. He made various species, orders, colors, regions of earth, the universe. His creation is boundless & he keeps watch over his creation.

The universe was created through his Word, his name (Word & Name are synonyms) & it is the mainstay of the world.

Guru Nanak Ji delineates in the countless numbers of his creation on earth, in nether & upper regions, functioning in different ways.

On earth, there are countless people who worship, love, adore God, recite sacred texts, and ponder on his attributes. So is the position of men of piety & mercy; & those who perform austerities, remain detached from the world or perform acts of bravery & heroism. The number of people who are performing bad deeds is also countless, beyond number. These are fools, thieves, robbers, oppressors, murderers, sinners, liars, wretches & slanderers.

asaNkh jap asaNkh bhaa-o.

(Countless meditations, countless loves.)

asaNkh poojaa asaNkh tap taa-o.

(Countless worship services, countless austere disciplines.)

asaNkh garanth mukh vayd paath.

(Countless scriptures, and ritual recitations of the Vedas.)

asaNkh jog man rahahi udaas.

(Countless Yogis, whose minds remain detached from the world.)

asaNkh bhagat gun gi-aan veechaar.

(Countless devotees contemplate the Wisdom and Virtues of the Lord.)

asaNkh satee asaNkh daataar.

(Countless the holy, countless the givers.)

asaNkh soor muh bhakh saar.

(Countless heroic spiritual warriors, who bear the brunt of the attack in battle - who with their mouths eat steel).

asaNkh mon liv laa-ay taar.

(Countless silent sages, vibrating the String of His Love.)

asaNkh moorakh anDh ghor.

(Countless fools, blinded by ignorance.)

asaNkh chor haraamkhor.

(Countless thieves and embezzlers.)

asaNkh amar kar jaahi jor.

(Countless impose their will by force.)

asaNkh galvadh hati-aa kamaahi.

(Countless cut-throats and ruthless killers.)

asaNkh paapee paap kar jaahi.

(Countless sinners who keep on sinning.)

asaNkh koorhi-aar koorhay firaahi.

(Countless liars, wandering lost in their lies.)

asaNkh malaychh mal bhakh khaahi.

(Countless wretches, eating filth as their ration.)

asaNkh nindak sir karahi bhaar.

(Countless slanderers, carrying the weight of their stupid mistakes on their heads)

After giving a description of his creation on earth, Guru Nanak Ji Dwells on the nether & upper regions. His spheres are beyond count, beyond all imagination. So is the position with their names & their location. It is beyond comprehension.


God is all Pervading


There are hundreds of thousands of nether & upper regions & the research-weary scholars have not found the limits.

paataalaa paataal lakh aagaasaa aagaas.

(There are nether worlds beneath nether worlds, and hundreds of thousands of heavenly worlds above.)

orhak orhak bhaal thakay vayd kahan ik vaat.

(The Vedas say that you can search and search for them all, until you grow weary.)

sahas athaarah kahan kataybaa asuloo ik Dhaat.

(The scriptures say that there are 18,000 worlds, but in reality, there is only One Universe.)

His work cannot be described in writing because that is impossible

laykhaa ho-ay ta likee-ai laykhai ho-ay vinaas.

(If you try to write an account of this, you will surely finish yourself before you finish writing it.)

God alone is great in his knowledge.

naanak vadaa aakhee-ai aapay jaanai aap.

(O Nanak, call Him Great! He Himself knows Himself.)

Thousands of learned men, the eighteen Puranas, Vedas, & the Semitic texts, namely Torah, Zabur (Psalms), Injil (Gospel) & Quran tell in unison that in reality from whom emanated all things. It is only the essence which is real, everlasting.


God is great & Bountiful


God is great & his greatness is testified by his creation. He is true lord. So is his name, & it is uttered with endless devotion by his creation. Why? Because, he is bountiful & there is no end to his bounty. His creation prays & begs of him, & he gives & gives, but more & more. He is eternal giver. He bestows virtue on non-virtuous & gives piety to the pious. But none, in turn, can do him any good. He does not ask an iota in return.

Like him, his bounty is Ineffable & beyond description. His store house is every where, & he filled it once for all. He has no need to replenish it. His treasure is priceless & beyond expression. So are his deals, his weights & measures. Countless are his customers who make priceless purchases of devotion & absorption in him.

There are many mighty gods & goddesses who beg of him. There are many others whose number cannot be conceived at his door, who beg of him. Countless are those get but are self-indulgent; who get but are not grateful; who merely believe in eat, drink & be merry; & countless are those who live ever in distress & hunger, which is also his gift.

kayti-aa dookh bhookh sad maar.

(So many endure distress, deprivation and constant abuse.)

ayhi bhe daat tayree daataar.

(Even these are Your Gifts, O Great Giver!)

Rebirth & deliverance depends upon his bounty. No one can interfere with it. He himself knows to whom he may give & he does give, though very few acknowledge it. But he is the king of kings, on whom the lord bestows the boon to sing his praise. That is the highest form of his gift, & surely leads to communication with him. How is the ‘boon to sing his praise to be obtained?’ For that the guru provides a rigorous test.

As lot has been said about God & achieving his bliss; its very important to know how to get it. Whether you believe or not, but everything u learn, do, act & believe depends on the knowledge given by you to some one … You on your alone cannot do anything.

Lets take the example of tying shoe-lace. It’s a very simple task for you, no doubt, but you have learnt it somewhere …

In simple words, You need to have a Guru / Spiritual teacher in your life to get the knowledge & experience God. ‘Guru’ need not be always in human form, what is more important is the word – ‘GURU’, not the form.

The next sub-topic discusses on having Guru, his role in your life as Guru Nanak Dev Ji Perceived it.


Role Of 'Guru'


Guru Nanak Ji lays special emphasis on the need for the Guru – Divine preceptor – for the regeneration of man. In ‘Mulmantra’, placed at the head of the Japji, he asserts that God can be attained only through the grace of the Guru. And, in the concluding sloka again, he equates the Guru with ‘Air’ – which is vital for life – signifying, thereby, Guru’s indispensability in matters spiritual.

The Guru’s indispensability conceded, what is he expected to do? What should be his credentials? While the Japji lends some light in this regard, Guru Nanak Ji utterances elsewhere in the Holy Scripture are more specific. (This doesn’t mean at all that ‘Japji’ is incompetent in the same).

Here are the two, the first from ‘rag majh’ & the second from ‘sri rag’:

1) The Guru is the greatest benefactor,

Rich source of peace too.

The Guru is the lamp to enlighten earth,

Also in Heavens & nether worlds.

2) The Guru is the ladder , the yatch, the raft, the ship,

To ferry folk across the ocean of life;

Yeh, the guru is the mighty river of nectar.

The Guru thus to the true meaning, implicit in the vocable assigned to him, as the dispeller of darkness. He is the God – conscious guide, the enlightened preceptor & an essential link between Man & God. God’s gracious light rests on him & in turn & through him, the world is transmitted to all mankind.

Since the Guru is ever in tune with God, who is the Ultimate Dispeller of all darkness, whatever comes out of the Guru’s mouth, is supremely efficacious; and has the power to convert the baser self of a person into something meriting divine approval.

Guru’s word embodies in it all that is considered imperative for spiritual regeneration of Man. The Guru’s word is all pervasive, for God’s will abides therein. The Guru’s word is thus the holiest of all holies, as it imparts eternal truth to man. It is through the wisdom of the Guru that Man’s mind is attuned to the lord in a state of equipoise. In this way, the Guru through his word rids the individual soul of darkness & lends it spiritual insight. He transmits God’s Word which enables the people to adore the lord & thereby shed their feeling of phoniness.

Sikhism, however, does not subscribe to the need for a personal (human) Guru. In it, as also in the entire Sant tradition avowing impersonal or nirgun form of Bhakti, the saints or Gurus, whenever they talked of their Guru, they meant the Divine voice within them. They listened to it in their inner selves & transmitted it to the people outside for their benefit. That is why Guru’s word, i.e. ‘bani’ is considered as Guru par excellence; nay even the revelation from God himself. And, for that reason, Sikhism firmly disapproves of the idea of continuation of the line of personal gurus in any form.

Gyaan ka baddha man rahe, Guru bin gyaan na hoye

(The mind is restricted to spiritual wisdom, & without the true guru, there can be no divine knowledge - Gyaan)