Humility Introspective melodies Motivation Rahul Dev Burman Spiritual music

A beacon of hope and piety

My father was in the Indian Air Force and the earliest recollections I have from my childhood are during the Air Force days. Days of happiness, of sharing, of contentment. We were in Tezpur just before the brutal Chinese Aggression and moved to Hakimpet in 1963. We remained there just for 2 years or so, and in the summer of 65, moved with Dad’s squadron to Adampur in the doaba, between Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur. We stayed there for nearly 3 years. It was during this period that I could get introduced to The Sikh Faith. Some of the most divine moments I’ve experienced have been inside of Gurudwaras, ranging from Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar , to Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh where while sitting on the steps of the Gurudwara in the mid 90s, I had an unforgettable precious moment of brush with divinity, and a fleeting feeling I can only describe as one where I briefly became one with Him, and, a very brief but most exhilarating out of body experience as I felt enveloped by a warm moisture, a miasma of infinite softness as I sat after the langar , having felt Dashamesh’s presence in the place where he distilled the Bhagavadgita into the colloquial language for the benefit of the common people. Something akin to what Sant Dnyaneshwar did in Maharashtra, albeit a few centuries earlier.

Today happens to be Guruparb, the day Guru Nanak Dev Ji descended on this planet to lead the ignorant out of the darkness. Born in what is today Nankana Sahib (then known as Rai Bhoi ki Talwandi) , which is now sadly in the land of the Paapis thanks to a grave and mortal mischief perpetrated on our great country by the Brits and a wimpish Political leadership in India at the time. The Guru’s parents, Kalyan Chand Das Bedi (commonly referred to as Mehta Kalu) and his mother Mata Tripta  were both Hindu Khatri, his father was employed as a Patwari (an accountant) in the village Talwandi for computing and collecting crop revenue.

Nanaki, Guru Nanak’s only sister, was five years older than him. In 1475, she married and moved to Sultanpur.

Jai Ram, Nanaki’s husband, was employed at a modikhana (a storehouse for revenues collected in non-cash form), in the service of the Delhi Sultanate’s Lahore governor Daulat Khan. Jai Ram would help Nanak get a job when he was 16.

Guru Nanak Devji moved to Sultanpur, and  started working at the modikhana around the age of 16. He married when he was around 18,   Sulakhani, daughter of Moolchand (aka Mula) and Chando Raṇi.
They were married in the town of Batala, and would go on to have two sons of their own, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Chand (also referred to as Lakhmi Das). He had great interest in spirituality from a tender age of 5 or so and actually explained the concept of the first letter representing One and God. His teachings are enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib to which he has contributed nearly a thousand (974 to be precise) hymns. His Japji Sahib (जपजी साहिब) is considered to be the most frequently recited Gurbani in Sikhism. Guru Granth Sahib begins with Japji and It is the part of Nitnem (daily worship) of every devout Sikh. Guru Nanak Dev preached that any person could connect to God by worshipping with clear conscience. His teachings are included in Guru Granth Sahib.

Of all the verses written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, this is the one that I adore the most. Japji Sahib is the first composition of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and is considered the comprehensive essence of  Sikhism. The entire Guru Granth Sahib is considered to be an expanded, elaborate exposition of  Japji Sahib . It is first GurBani in every devout Sikh’s daily prayers (called Nitnem). Guru Nanak Dev ji tells us about “what is true worship” and “what is the nature of God“.

The Japji was said to have been edited and corrected by Guru Angad, the hand picked successor to Guru Nanak Devji. Guru Angad (who was known as Bhai Lehna) was hand-picked by Guru Nanak Dev himself and christened Guru Angad. Guru Angad contributed one final verse in the Japji, which has 38 paudis by Guru Nanak himself. For the sake of those who cannot understand the language as expressed, I have taken the liberty of presenting an English translation.

ੴ सत नाम करता पुरख निरभओ निरवैर अकाल मूरत अजूनी सैभं गुर प्रसाद ॥
॥ जप ॥
आद सच जुगाद सच ॥
है भी सच नानक होसी भी सच ॥१॥

There is Only One God, Truth is His Name, He is the creator, Protector, without fear, without any enmity, without form, without any temporal limitations (akaal) , he is without birth , self perpetuating and with the Guru’s blessings: Recite!
It was true in the beginning of time, and will remain true through the ages, it is true today and Nanak says will remain true through to the future.

सोचै सोच न होवई जे सोची लख वार ॥
चुपै चुप न होवई जे लाए रहा लिव तार ॥
भुखिआ भुख न उतरी जे बंना पुरीआ भार ॥
सहस सिआणपा लख होहे त इक न चलै नाल ॥
किव सचिआरा होईऐ किव कूड़ै तुटै पाल ॥
हुकम रजाई चलणा नानक लिखिआ नाल ॥१॥

One cannot find God by bathing in holy places a hundred thousand times, one cannot find Him by staying silent (maun) one cannot find Him by observing fasts, one may come up with a hundred thousand intelligent ideas but not one will accompany oneself. How does one purify oneself? How does one throw away false ideas? Says Nanak, by being satisfied with God’s command, which is ordained for all of us.

हुकमी होवन आकार हुकम न कहिआ जाई ॥
हुकमी होवन जीअ हुकम मिलै वडिआई ॥
हुकमी उतम नीच हुकम लिख दुख सुख पाईअह ॥
इकना हुकमी बखसीस इक हुकमी सदा भवाईअह ॥
हुकमै अंदर सभ को बाहर हुकम न कोए ॥
नानक हुकमै जे बुझै त हओमै कहै न कोए ॥२॥

At your command, all living beings get a shape, no one can describe your command, with your command the soul enters the body and we get respect from others. Some commands are noble (great) while others appear ordinary (lowly). We get happiness and sorrow only by your commands. Some are blessed by your command and some entrapped in the cycle of birth and rebirth. Your command is always an integral part of every being, it is never outside any being. Nanak says, “Whoever understands your command , does not speak of himself”

गावै को ताण होवै किसै ताण ॥
गावै को दात जाणै नीसाण ॥
गावै को गुण वडिआईआ चार ॥
गावै को विद्या विखम वीचार ॥
गावै को साज करे तन खेह ॥
गावै को जीअ लै फिर देह ॥
गावै को जापै दिसै दूर ॥
गावै को वेखै हादरा हदूर ॥
कथना कथी न आवै तोट ॥
कथ कथ कथी कोटी कोट कोट ॥
देदा दे लैदे थक पाहे ॥
जुगा जुगंतर खाही खाहे ॥
हुकमी हुकम चलाए राहो ॥
नानक विगसै वेपरवाहो ॥३॥

Those who know of His power, sing of that power. Many sing of the Gift, who know of the sign. Some sing of His virtues, and praise his greatness. Some sing of His knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Some sing about how He creates the bodily forms and then turns it back to dust. Some sing about how He takes the soul then give it to the bodily forms. Some sing, chant and perceive distant objects, Some sing that He is ever watchful, is ever-present. There are plenty of those who preach and teach. Millions upon millions offer millions of sermons and narrate His glory. He the Universal Giver keeps on giving, the receivers get tired of receiving. Throughout the ages, those who are used to feed off His blessings keep on feeding. Only the one who walks on the true path of His faith, O Nanak, only He thrives untroubled and free of worries.

साचा साहिब साच नाए भाखिआ भाओ अपार ॥
आखह मंगह देहे देहे दात करे दातार ॥
फेर कि अगै रखीऐ जित दिसै दरबार ॥
मुहौ कि बोलण बोलीऐ जित सुण धरे प्यार ॥
अमृत वेला सच नाओ वडिआई वीचार ॥
करमी आवै कपड़ा नदरी मोख दुआर ॥
नानक एवै जाणीऐ सभ आपे सचिआर ॥४॥

He is the True Master, True is His Name – one must utter it with utmost submission and profound love. Ask for His grace and ask for more,The Giver always gives plentifully.  What will  we have to give before Him, when we meet Him in His Darbar (day of judgement)? With your mouth utter words of His praise and affection at the Amrit Vela (early, predawn hours) and dwell upon His name and praise His deeds, karma is the cloth that one’s soul wears, those with clean clothes (good deeds) will pass through the Gate of Moksha. O Nanak, know this well: Everything rests with the Divine Lord!

थापेआ न जाए कीता न होए ॥
आपे आप निरंजन सोए ॥
जिन सेविआ तेन पाया मान ॥
नानक गावीऐ गुणी निधान ॥
गावीऐ सुणीऐ मन रखीऐ भाओ ॥
दुख परहर सुख घर लै जाए ॥
गुरमुख नादं गुरमुख वेदं गुरमुख रहेआ समाई ॥
गुर ईसर गुर गोरख बरमा गुर पारबती माई ॥
जे हओ जाणा आखा नाही कहणा कथन न जाई ॥
गुरा इक देहे बुझाई ॥
सभना जीआ का इक दाता सो मै विसर न जाई ॥५॥

He cannot be delimited; He is not performed. He is inherently immaculate and pure. Whoever serves Him receives respect. O Nanak sing of the Only Lord with the endless virtues. Sing, listen, and stay steeped in humility. Leave your pain behind, and take satisfaction home with you. One who submits to God: Gurmukh – one who faces Him, speaks like the reverberation of the Naad, possesses the knowledge of the Vedas and becomes one with Him. The Supreme Teacher [Guru : God] is in Shiva, Goraksha, Brahma, and the divine mother Parvati. He who possesses this knowledge, cannot describe it merely in words. One feature that I have understood completely :All creatures have only the one God – May I never forget this!

तीरथ नावा जे तिस भावा विण भाणे कि नाए करी ॥
जेती सिरठि उपाई वेखा विण करमा कि मिलै लई ॥
मत विच रतन जवाहर माणेक जे इक गुर की सिख सुणी ॥
गुरा इक देहे बुझाई ॥
सभना जीआ का इक दाता सो मै विसर न जाई ॥६॥

I would bathe at holy places, if it pleases my Lord, But I will not do that which He asks me not to do. I gaze upon those He has created, without good karma, will they receive (His blessings)? Within one’s mind are invaluable gems, jewels and rubies, when the Sikh listens to the One Guru. The Guru has removed this doubt: all creatures have The one Giver – may I never forget this!

जे जुग चारे आरजा होर दसूणी होए ॥
नवा खंडा विच जाणीऐ नाल चलै सभ कोए ॥
चंगा नाओ रखाए कै जस कीरत जग लेए ॥
जे तिस नदर न आवई त वात न पुछै के ॥
कीटा अंदर कीट कर दोसी दोस धरे ॥
नानक निरगुण गुण करे गुणवंतेआ गुण दे ॥
तेहा कोए न सुझई ज तिस गुण कोए करे ॥७॥

Even if you lived the four ages, or even ten times longer, and even if you were famous through the nine continents and everyone were to follow you, with a good name, the universe sang of your success and praises, nevertheless, if you do not please the Lord, no one will enquire of you. O Nanak, He makes the unworthy, worthy and gives virtues to the virtuous, I know of no other who is the eternal giver.

सुणिअै सिध पीर सुर नाथ ॥
सुणिअै धरत धवल आकास ॥
सुणिअै दीप लोअ पाताल ॥
सुणिअै पोहे न सकै काल ॥
नानक भगता सदा विगास ॥
सुणिअै दूख पाप का नास ॥८॥

Listening to God’s name – a person becomes a virtuous saint, and a respected chieftain. Listening to Him the earth and sky become brilliant and spotless. Listening to Him brightens even the netherworld. Listening to Him, you transcend Time. O Nanak, the devotees forever thrive in progress, listening to Him, they lose their pain and sins.

सुणिअै ईसर बरमा इंद ॥
सुणिअै मुख सालाहण मंद ॥
सुणिअै जोग जुगत तन भेद ॥
सुणिअै सासत सिम्रित वेद ॥
नानक भगता सदा विगास ॥
सुणिअै दूख पाप का नास ॥९॥

Listening to Him, one becomes as powerful as God, Brahma and Indra. Listening to Him makes the idiot capable of giving advice to others. Listening to Him a person gets the knowledge of Yoga, and the secrets of the body. Listening to Him, one gets knowledge of worldly matters like politics meditation and the Vedas. O Nanak, the devotees forever thrive in progress, listening to Him, they lose their pain and sins.

सुणिअै सत संतोख ज्ञान ॥
सुणिअै अठसठ का इसनान ॥
सुणिअै पड़ पड़ पावहे मान ॥
सुणिअै लागै सहज ध्यान ॥
नानक भगता सदा विगास ॥
सुणिअै दूख पाप का नास ॥१०॥

Listening to Him a person gets true contentment and wisdom, has the same benefit as bathing in the sixty eight holy places. Listening to Him and reciting His teachings gives us respect, one is easily able to meditate. O Nanak, the devotees forever thrive in progress, listening to Him, they lose their pain and sins.

सुणिअै सरा गुणा के गाह ॥
सुणिअै सेख पीर पातिसाह ॥
सुणिअै अंधे पावहे राहो ॥
सुणिअै हाथ होवै असगाहो ॥
नानक भगता सदा विगास ॥
सुणिअै दूख पाप का नास ॥११॥

Listening to Him is to dive into the ocean of virtues, and makes one a religious scholar, spiritual teacher and an emperor. Only by following His advice the blind find the true path, and one is able to grasp what is beyond reach. O Nanak, the devotees forever thrive in progress, listening to Him, they lose their pain and sins.

मंने की गत कही न जाए ॥
जे को कहै पिछै पछुताए ॥
कागद कलम न लिखणहार ॥
मंने का बहे करन वीचार ॥
ऐसा नाम निरंजन होए ॥
जे को मंन जाणै मन कोए ॥१२॥

The state of the true follower is beyond the pale of words, the one who tries to do it will only meet regret. It cannot be written by pen and paper. Those who study and follow the process of the True Faith, will attain sublime purity, after understanding one’s own mind and soul.

मंनै सुरत होवै मन बुध ॥
मंनै सगल भवण की सुध ॥
मंनै मुहे चोटा ना खाए ॥
मंनै जम कै साथ न जाए ॥
ऐसा नाम निरंजन होए ॥
जे को मंन जाणै मन कोए ॥१३॥

With true faith, one gets a pleasant countenance, and gets knowledge of the entire world. The faithful do not ever get injured, do not accompany Yama (attain immortality). Such faithful attain sublime purity, after understanding one’s own mind and soul.

मंनै मारग ठाक न पाए ॥
मंनै पत सिओ परगट जाए ॥
मंनै मग न चलै पंथ ॥
मंनै धरम सेती सनबंध ॥
ऐसा नाम निरंजन होए ॥
जे को मंन जाणै मन कोए ॥१४॥

The faithful do not face obstacles in their path, they leave with fame and respect. They do not blindly follow rituals, but are bound to the true path of the true Dharma. Such faithful attain sublime purity, after understanding one’s own mind and soul.

मंनै पावहे मोख दुआर ॥
मंनै परवारै साधार ॥
मंनै तरै तारे गुर सिख ॥
मंनै नानक भवहे न भिख ॥
ऐसा नाम निरंजन होए ॥
जे को मंन जाणै मन कोए ॥१५॥

The faithful always get to the door of Moksha, and will uplift their friends and family. The faithful easily swim the seas of life with the teachings of the Guru. The faithful, O Nanak, never go around begging. Such faithful attain sublime purity, after understanding one’s own mind and soul.

पंच परवाण पंच परधान ॥
पंचे पावहे दरगहे मान ॥
पंचे सोहहे दर राजान ॥
पंचा का गुर एक ध्यान ॥
जे को कहै करै वीचार ॥
करते कै करणै नाही सुमार ॥
धौल धरम दया का पूत ॥
संतोख थाप रखिआ जिन सूत ॥
जे को बुझै होवै सचिआर ॥
धवलै उपर केता भार ॥
धरती होर परै होर होर ॥
तिस ते भार तलै कवण जोर ॥
जीअ जात रंगा के नाव ॥
सभना लिखिआ वुड़ी कलाम ॥
एहो लेखा लिख जाणै कोए ॥
लेखा लिखिआ केता होए ॥
केता ताण सुआलिहो रूप ॥
केती दात जाणै कौण कूत ॥
कीता पसाओ एको कवाओ ॥
तिस ते होए लख दरीआओ ॥
कुदरत कवण कहा वीचार ॥
वारिआ न जावा एक वार ॥
जो तुध भावै साई भली कार ॥
तू सदा सलामत निरंकार ॥१६॥

The chosen are accepted and preside as one of the five leaders. The chosen are respected in the Court of the Lord. They adorn the courts of kings. The chosen ones focus in their meditation on the Guru. Think about this if you wish, the actions of the Creator are innumerable. Dharma, is the son of compassion; and being content and having patience will keep it in its place. One who understands becomes blessed. What is the great load on the soul? (A metaphor of the bull has been used for the soul) . There is many other worlds beyond this one. Who holds them together in balance with this force? Creatures, species, even colours have names. all inscribed by His Pen. The written account, known to a few is massive in its expanse. So many are given power and others given beauty! So many innumerable gifts are given by Him. He created the Universe with just the one Word, within which flow hundreds of thousands of rivers. Just think about His creative powers that I cannot even start describing. Whoever pleases you, all will be blessed, You will always protect us, Formless One!

असंख जप असंख भाओ ॥
असंख पूजा असंख तप ताओ ॥
असंख ग्रंथ मुख वेद पाठ ॥
असंख जोग मन रहहे उदास ॥
असंख भगत गुण ज्ञान वीचार ॥
असंख सती असंख दातार ॥
असंख सूर मुह भख सार ॥
असंख मोन लिव लाए तार ॥
कुदरत कवण कहा वीचार ॥
वारिआ न जावा एक वार ॥
जो तुध भावै साई भली कार ॥
तू सदा सलामत निरंकार ॥१७॥

Countless meditate, and countless aspire, Countless worship, countless exercise penance. Countless read the granths and Vedas. Countless Yogis stay detached far removed from the world. Countless devotees think of His Virtues and Wisdom, sacrifice, donate. Countless warriors, face the enemy and attack head on. Countless maintain their silence, focussed on their thoughts. Just think about His creative powers that I cannot even start describing. Whoever pleases you, all will be blessed, You will always protect us, Formless One!

असंख मूरख अंध घोर ॥
असंख चोर हरामखोर ॥
असंख अमर कर जाहे जोर ॥
असंख गलवढ हत्या कमाहे ॥
असंख पापी पाप कर जाहे ॥
असंख कूड़िआर कूड़े फिराहे ॥
असंख मलेछ मल भख खाहे ॥
असंख निंदक सिर करह भार ॥
नानक नीच कहै वीचार ॥
वारिआ न जावा एक वार ॥
जो तुध भावै साई भली कार ॥
तू सदा सलामत निरंकार ॥१८॥

Countless fools, blinded in the darkness of their ignorance. Innumerable thieves and cheats. Innumerable forcefully impose their will. Innumerable ones kill and gather sins. Innumerable sinners keep on sinning; liars, wander engulfed in their lies. Innumerable non-believers, eat filth for food. Innumerable critics, with their heads heavy with the burden. Lowly Nanak, speaks his mind. I cannot even begin describing it. Whoever pleases you, all will be blessed, You will always protect us, Formless One!

असंख नाव असंख थाव ॥
अगम अगम असंख लोअ ॥
असंख कहह सिर भार होए ॥
अखरी नाम अखरी सालाह ॥
अखरी ज्ञान गीत गुण गाह ॥
अखरी लिखण बोलण बाण ॥
अखरा सिर संजोग वखाण ॥
जिन एहे लिखे तिस सिर नाहे ॥
जिव फुरमाए तेव तेव पाहे ॥
जेता कीता तेता नाओ ॥
विण नावै नाही को थाओ ॥
कुदरत कवण कहा वीचार ॥
वारिआ न जावा एक वार ॥
जो तुध भावै साई भली कार ॥
तू सदा सलामत निरंकार ॥१९॥

Innumerable names, places. Inaccessible, unreachable, innumerable celestial bodies. Even to call them innumerable is to burden your mind. The Word is His Name; the Word is His Praise, wisdom and the songs of His Glory. The Word brings wise thoughts, words and hymns. The Word tells of destiny written for one (on one’s forehead). But not on the Writer of every one’s destiny. As He ordains, so do we receive.Whatever you do, it is in His name. There is no place in the universe without His name. Just think about His creative powers that I cannot even start describing. Whoever pleases you, all will be blessed, You will always protect us, Formless One!

भरीअै हथ पैर तन देह ॥
पाणी धोतै उतरस खेह ॥
मूत पलीती कपड़ होए ॥
दे साबूण लईऐ ओहो धोए ॥
भरीअै मत पापा कै संग ॥
ओहो धोपै नावै कै रंग ॥
पुंनी पापी आखण नाहे ॥
कर कर करणा लिख लै जाहो ॥
आपे बीज आपे ही खाहो ॥
नानक हुकमी आवहो जाहो ॥२०॥

If the Hands, feet and the body are dirty, we can wash the dirt with water. If clothes that are soiled and stained by excrement, soap and water can wash them clean. When the mind is polluted by sin, That can be cleansed by taking His name. Virtue and vice are not mere words; one’s actions when repeated are engraved on the soul. What you sow is what you shall eat, O Nanak, we die and take birth as He commands.

तीरथ तप दया दत दान ॥
जे को पावै तेल का मान ॥
सुणेआ मंनिआ मन कीता भाओ ॥
अंतरगत तीरथ मल नाओ ॥
सभ गुण तेरे मै नाही कोए ॥
विण गुण कीते भगत न होए ॥
सुअसत आथ बाणी बरमाओ ॥
सत सुहाण सदा मन चाओ ॥
कवण सु वेला वखत कवण कवण थित कवण वार ॥
कवण सि रुती माहो कवण जित होआ आकार ॥
वेल न पाईआ पंडती जे होवै लेख पुराण ॥
वखत न पाइओ कादीआ जे लिखन लेख कुराण ॥
थित वार ना जोगी जाणै रुत माहो ना कोई ॥
जा करता सिरठी कओ साजे आपे जाणै सोई ॥
किव कर आखा किव सालाही किओ वरनी किव जाणा ॥
नानक आखण सभ को आखै इक दू इक सिआणा ॥
वडा साहिब वडी नाई कीता जा का होवै ॥
नानक जे को आपौ जाणै अगै गया न सोहै ॥२१॥

Pilgrimages, penance, compassion and charity, by themselves, bring only a small amount of merit. Only by listening and believing to His word, and being humble we can cleanse one’s mind within the sacred inner shrine. All virtues are Yours, O Lord, none are mine. Without these blessings all saints would not have existed. May Brahma’s words resonate. O Mind, just seek the Truth and be with it forever. Does any one know the time, the moment, the day, the date, the season, the month, when the Universe was created? Pandits, who know the the Puraans, cannot tell us this time. This is not known to the Qazis, who study the Qu’raan. The Yogis do not know day and date nor the month nor the season. Only The Creator who created this universe knows. How does one talk of him, form an opinion of Him or praise or get to know Him? O Nanak, everyone speaks of Him, each wiser than the other. Every thing happens only by an act and knowledge of The Great Master with a Great Name. O Nanak, the human who thinks he knows all, shall not go ahead.

पाताला पाताल लख आगासा आगास ॥
ओड़क ओड़क भाल थके वेद कहन इक वात ॥
सहस अठारह कहन कतेबा असुलू इक धात ॥
लेखा होए त लिखीऐ लेखै होए विणास ॥
नानक वडा आखीऐ आपे जाणै आप ॥२२॥

The universe has many netherworlds and hundreds of thousands of skies upon skies. One can search forever and forever until one grows tired, the Vedas only mention one thing. The holy books mention 18,000 worlds, in reality there is only One Universe. With the knowledge, one could write the account, but it can never be finished. Nanak, just call Him Great, for He Himself knows all

सालाही सालाहे एती सुरत न पाईआ ॥
नदीआ अतै वाह पवह समुंद न जाणीअहे ॥
समुंद साह सुलतान गिरहा सेती माल धन ॥
कीड़ी तुल न होवनी जे तिस मनहो न वीसरहे ॥२३॥

Wise men give plenty of advice, but this is not how they attain Him! All the streams and rivers entering the ocean do not know its vastness. Ocean sized kingdoms with mountains of wealth are outweighed bye an ant with pious thoughts of the Lord.

अंत न सिफती कहण न अंत ॥
अंत न करणै देण न अंत ॥
अंत न वेखण सुणण न अंत ॥
अंत न जापै किआ मन मंत ॥
अंत न जापै कीता आकार ॥
अंत न जापै पारावार ॥
अंत कारण केते बिललाहे ॥
ता के अंत न पाए जाहे ॥
एहो अंत न जाणै कोए ॥
बहुता कहीऐ बहुता होए ॥
वडा साहिब ऊचा थाओ ॥
ऊचे उपर ऊचा नाओ ॥
एवड ऊचा होवै कोए ॥
तिस ऊचे कओ जाणै सोए ॥
जेवड आप जाणै आप आप ॥
नानक नदरी करमी दात ॥२४॥

There cannot be a limit to God’s praises; to his noble acts; to his gifts. There can be no end to God; he is timeless, and there is no limit to those pious ones who meditate about him, to creatures He has shaped; to the creations He nurtures. Many swear by the limit of God; but His limit truly cannot be found. No one knows His limit. Many have tried to speak of this and failed. Great is the Master and great is His status, He is the tallest one and still greater is His Name. Only He knows how great he really is. Only He truly knows Himself. Nanak, may He bless us with the good karma

बहुता करम लिखिआ ना जाए ॥
वडा दाता तेल न तमाए ॥
केते मंगहे जोध अपार ॥
केतेआ गणत नही वीचार ॥
केते खप तुटहे वेकार ॥
केते लै लै मुकर पाहे ॥
केते मूरख खाही खाहे ॥
केतेआ दूख भूख सद मार ॥
एहे भि दात तेरी दातार ॥
बंद खलासी भाणै होए ॥
होर आख न सकै कोए ॥
जे को खाएक आखण पाए ॥
ओहो जाणै जेतीआ मुहे खाए ॥
आपे जाणै आपे देए ॥
आखह सि भि केई केए ॥
जिस नो बखसे सिफत सालाह ॥
नानक पातसाही पातसाहो ॥२५॥

For many, he absolves them of their sins. He gives unconditionally, not holding back. Innumerable ones ask from God courageously. So many ask but do not receive. So many receive but deny that it is gifted by Him. So many fools keep using and abusing God’s gifts. So many endure pain, deprivation and constant abuse. Even these are Gifts from you, O Great Giver! Liberation from worldly bondage will only come by your will alone. No one else has any say in this. If some fool were to speak otherwise, he certainly will have himself exposed. He Himself knows, He Himself gives. Very few acknowledge this. One who is blessed to sing His Praises is Nanak, the king of kings.

अमुल गुण अमुल वापार ॥
अमुल वापारीए अमुल भंडार ॥
अमुल आवह अमुल लै जाहे ॥
अमुल भाए अमुला समाहे ॥
अमुल धरम अमुल दीबाण ॥
अमुल तुल अमुल परवाण ॥
अमुल बखसीस अमुल नीसाण ॥
अमुल करम अमुल फुरमाण ॥
अमुलो अमुल आखिआ न जाए ॥
आख आख रहे लिव लाए ॥
आखहे वेद पाठ पुराण ॥
आखहे पड़े करह वखिआण ॥
आखहे बरमे आखहे इंद ॥
आखहे गोपी तै गोविंद ॥
आखहे ईसर आखहे सिध ॥
आखहे केते कीते बुध ॥
आखहे दानव आखहे देव ॥
आखहे सुर नर मुन जन सेव ॥
केते आखहे आखण पाहे ॥
केते कह कह उठ उठ जाहे ॥
एते कीते होर करेहे ॥
ता आख न सकह केई केए ॥
जेवड भावै तेवड होए ॥
नानक जाणै साचा सोए ॥
जे को आखै बोलुविगाड़ ॥
ता लिखीऐ सिर गावारा गावार ॥२६॥

Priceless are Virtues, Dealings, Dealers, Treasures, the comings and goings, the take home messages, the Love for Him, and becoming one with Him. Priceless is Dharma, His Court, the scales and the weights (an allusion to His judgement), His Blessings, the Sacred Banner and Insignia, His mercy, and His covenant, beyond expression is the act of remaining absorbed in His love. The Vedas, Puraanas , vedic and religious scholars speak and talk about it, Brahma ,Indra, Gopis and Krishna, Shiva, the Siddhas, the many created Buddhas , demons and the demi-gods , warriors, the heavenly beings, the silent sages, the humble Sewadars speak the word and of their love for Him. Many say you can reach Him by speaking the word, prayers. Many having spoken over and over have achieved salvation. Despite this no one has fully described Him. Whatever He wishes will happen. O Nanak, Only the True Lord knows all. If anyone claims to be able to understand and fully describe God, he shall be known as the greatest fool of them all!

सो दर केहा सो घर केहा जित बह सरब समाले ॥
वाजे नाद अनेक असंखा केते वावणहारे ॥
केते राग परी सिओ कहीअन केते गावणहारे ॥
गावह तुहनो पौण पाणी बैसंतर गावै राजा धरम दुआरे ॥
गावह चित गुपत लिख जाणह लिख लिख धरम वीचारे ॥
गावह ईसर बरमा देवी सोहन सदा सवारे ॥
गावह इंद इदासण बैठे देवतेआ दर नाले ॥
गावह सिध समाधी अंदर गावन साध विचारे ॥
गावन जती सती संतोखी गावह वीर करारे ॥
गावन पंडित पड़न रखीसर जुग जुग वेदा नाले ॥
गावहे मोहणीआ मन मोहन सुरगा मछ पयाले ॥
गावन रतन उपाए तेरे अठसठ तीरथ नाले ॥
गावहे जोध महाबल सूरा गावह खाणी चारे ॥
गावहे खंड मंडल वरभंडा कर कर रखे धारे ॥
सेई तुधनो गावह जो तु भावन रते तेरे भगत रसाले ॥
होर केते गावन से मै चित न आवन नानक क्या वीचारे ॥
सोई सोई सदा सच साहिब साचा साची नाई ॥
है भी होसी जाए न जासी रचना जिन रचाई ॥
रंगी रंगी भाती कर कर जिनसी माया जिन उपाई ॥
कर कर वेखै कीता आपणा जिव तिस दी वडिआई ॥
जो तिस भावै सोई करसी हुकम न करणा जाई ॥
सो पातसाहो साहा पातसाहिब नानक रहण रजाई ॥२७॥

What is that Place, the House where the Lord stays like? Numerous notes resonate continuously, many melodious Raags are sung without the singers or the musicians seen. The wind, water and fire make music; Dharmaraj himself sings at His door. Chitragupta sings, Dharmaraj writes and thinks, and sings as well. Shiva, Brahma and the Devi(s), beautifully adorned, Indra, seated upon His Throne, with all the deities at His door, sing. Yogis in their samadhi; the holy priests in contemplation, as well as celibates, religious zealots as well as the peaceful believers, the fearless warriors, Pandits, the religious scholars who have studied the Vedas for a lifetime, Mohini, the one who seduces many a heart on earth, in paradise, and in the underworld; the celestial jewels, the 68 holy places of pilgrimage, the four sources of creation all sing in His praise, as also the Sun, planets and stars all created by Him along with all those who worship him, named and unnamed. Nanak cannot remember who else sings His praises. He and only He, the True Lord is always True and True is His Name. He is, and shall be forever, He shall never depart – the Creator of the Universe. He created the world, with its various colours, creatures, and the all the manifestations of Maya. Having created , He watches over it Himself, in His Greatness. He does whatever He pleases. No order can be issued to Him. He is the King – the King of Kings. Nanak remains subservient to His Will.

मुंदा संतोख सरम पत झोली ध्यान की करह बिभूत ॥
खिंथा काल कुआरी काया जुगत डंडा परतीत ॥
आई पंथी सगल जमाती मन जीतै जग जीत ॥
आदेस तिसै आदेस ॥
आद अनील अनाद अनाहत जुग जुग एको वेस ॥२८॥

Stay content, humble and make meditation the body ash. The thought of passing time as your base; the passage of time turns the young into the aged. Oh traveller and all you gathered faithful; by conquering your mind you will conquer the world. My humble salutations to You, the Primal One, the Pure Light, the one without beginning or end. Throughout time you remain the same..

भुगत ज्ञान दया भंडारण घट घट वाजह नाद ॥
आप नाथ नाथी सभ जा की रिध सिध अवरा साद ॥
संजोग विजोग दुए कार चलावहे लेखे आवहे भाग ॥
आदेस तिसै आदेस ॥
आद अनील अनाद अनाहत जुग जुग एको वेस ॥२९॥

Make wisdom your food and compassion your companion; let this resonate in each and every heart. You are Supreme Lord of all beings and possess all wealth and miraculous spiritual powers. Union and separation both drive the body and mind; whatever our fate has. My humble salutations to You, the Primal One, the Pure Light, the one without beginning or end. Throughout time you remain the same..

एका माई जुगत विआई तेन चेले परवाण ॥
इक संसारी इक भंडारी इक लाए दीबाण ॥
जिव तिस भावै तिवै चलावै जिव होवै फुरमाण ॥
ओहो वेखै ओना नदर न आवै बहुता एहो विडाण ॥
आदेस तिसै आदेस ॥
आद अनील अनाद अनाहत जुग जुग एको वेस ॥३०॥

The One Divine Mother conceived and gave birth to the three deities: the Creator, Sustainer and the Destroyer. Whatever He wishes, will happen. He watches all, but no one sees Him! My humble salutations to You, the Primal One, the Pure Light, the one without beginning or end. Throughout time you remain the same..

आसण लोए लोए भंडार ॥
जो किछ पाया सु एका वार ॥
कर कर वेखै सिरजणहार ॥
नानक सचे की साची कार ॥
आदेस तिसै आदेस ॥
आद अनील अनाद अनाहत जुग जुग एको वेस ॥३१॥

Every world is under His authority. Whatever was put into them, was put there once and for all. Having created the Universe, He watches over it. Nanak, says this is His True Creation. My humble salutations to You, the Primal One, the Pure Light, the one without beginning or end. Throughout time you remain the same..

इक दू जीभौ लख होहे लख होवह लख वीस ॥
लख लख गेड़ा आखीअह एक नाम जगदीस ॥
एत राहे पत पवड़ीआ चड़ीऐ होए इकीस ॥
सुण गला आकास की कीटा आई रीस ॥
नानक नदरी पाईऐ कूड़ी कूड़ै ठीस ॥३२॥

Instead of the one tongue, if I had 100,000 tongues, and these were then multiplied by twenty more, I would only repeat, hundreds of thousands of times, the one name of the Creator. Walk on this path that leads to our Lord, by climbing these steps one merges with Him. Hearing of talks of the cosmos, even worms want to go down the path. Nanak, only by His grace is He obtained. The boasts of the false ones are a sham.

आखण जोर चुपै नह जोर ॥
जोर न मंगण देण न जोर ॥
जोर न जीवण मरण नह जोर ॥
जोर न राज माल मन सोर ॥
जोर न सुरती ज्ञान वीचार ॥
जोर न जुगती छुटै संसार ॥
जिस हथ जोर कर वेखै सोए ॥
नानक उतम नीच न कोए ॥३३॥

Creatures have no power to speak neither to stay silent, nor the power to force God to give anything. No power to live when time is up; no power to die as all this is decided by God. No one can forcibly become a king, get rich and acquire occult powers, become pretty, gain spiritual wisdom and power, or wilfully escape the cycle of life and death. He who has all these powers, He watches over all and every time. For him, O Nanak, no one is low nor anyone high.

राती रुती थिती वार ॥
पवण पाणी अगनी पाताल ॥
तिस विच धरती थाप रखी धरम साल ॥
तिस विच जीअ जुगत के रंग ॥
तिन के नाम अनेक अनंत ॥
करमी करमी होए वीचार ॥
सचा आप सचा दरबार ॥
तिथै सोहन पंच परवाण ॥
नदरी करम पवै नीसाण ॥
कच पकाई ओथै पाए ॥
नानक गया जापै जाए ॥३४॥

Nights, days, weeks and seasons; wind, water, fire and the netherworld, in the midst of these, He established the earth as a home for Dharma. Upon it, He placed creatures of various species. Their names are innumerable. They will be judged by their deeds. God Himself is True, and blessed is His Court. There, in perfect grace sit the elected courtiers. Through their karma they will be judged there. O Nanak, only those who have worshipped Him go there.

धरम खंड का एहो धरम ॥
ज्ञान खंड का आखहो करम ॥
केते पवण पाणी वैसंतर केते कान्ह महेस ॥
केते बरमे घाड़त घड़ीअह रूप रंग के वेस ॥
केतीआ करम भूमी मेर केते केते धू उपदेस ॥
केते इंद चंद सूर केते केते मंडल देस ॥
केते सिध बुध नाथ केते केते देवी वेस ॥
केते देव दानव मुन केते केते रतन समुंद ॥
केतीआ खाणी केतीआ बाणी केते पात नरिंद ॥
केतीआ सुरती सेवक केते नानक अंत न अंत ॥३५॥

The Kingdom of Dharma has its set of rules that speak of the qualities of the eternal world. So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas, Shivas, Brahmas, fashion beautiful forms adorned and dressed in many colours. So many worlds for living and performing karma. So many lessons to be learned! So many Indras, moons and suns, s worlds and lands, Siddhas and Buddhas, Yogic masters. So many goddesses of various kinds, demi-gods and demons, silent sages, oceans of jewels, ways of life, languages, dynasties,  intuitive people, selfless servants. O Nanak, Limitless is His reign.

ज्ञान खंड मह ज्ञान परचंड ॥
तिथै नाद बिनोद कोड अनंद ॥
सरम खंड की बाणी रूप ॥
तिथै घाड़त घड़ीऐ बहुत अनूप ॥
ता कीआ गला कथीआ ना जाहे ॥
जे को कहै पिछै पछुताए ॥
तिथै घड़ीअै सुरत मत मन बुध ॥
तिथै घड़ीअै सुरा सिधा की सुध ॥३६॥

In His realm, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme with a divine reverberation of notes amidst the sights and sounds of bliss. In the realm of humility the supreme Word reigns. Forms of unequalled beauty are created here. The quality is indescribable. Whoever attempts to do so will only meet failure. he intuition, consciousness, intellect and understanding of the mind are shaped here. The consciousness of the spiritual warriors and spiritually evolved beings are shaped here.

करम खंड की बाणी जोर ॥
तिथै होर न कोई होर ॥
तिथै जोध महाबल सूर ॥
तिन मह राम रहिआ भरपूर ॥
तिथै सीतो सीता महिमा माहे ॥
ता के रूप न कथने जाहे ॥
ना ओह मरह न ठागे जाहे ॥
जिन कै राम वसै मन माहे ॥
तिथै भगत वसह के लोअ ॥
करह अनंद सचा मन सोए ॥
सच खंड वसै निरंकार ॥
कर कर वेखै नदर निहाल ॥
तिथै खंड मंडल वरभंड ॥
जे को कथै त अंत न अंत ॥
तिथै लोअ लोअ आकार ॥
जिव जिव हुकम तिवै तिव कार ॥
वेखै विगसै कर वीचार ॥
नानक कथना करड़ा सार ॥३७॥

In the realm of karma, the Word is Power and prevails over everything else. Great warriors in whose hearts Ram dwells. Many Sitas, whose spiritual power and beauty are beyond description. Those in whose minds Ram resides do not die nor can they be robbed. The devotees of many worlds dwell there. They are in bliss; the True Lord dwells in their minds. In the realm of Truth, the formless Lord abides. Having created, He watches over His creation bestowing grace and happiness. There are planets, solar systems and galaxies. If one describes them, there is no limit. There are many worlds in His Creation. As He commands, so do they exist. He watches, contemplates and rejoices upon His Creation, O Nanak, description is extremely difficult

जत पाहारा धीरज सुनिआर ॥
अहरण मत वेद हथीआर ॥
भओ खला अगन तप ताओ ॥
भांडा भाओ अमृत तित ढाल ॥
घड़ीअै सबद सची टकसाल ॥
जिन कओ नदर करम तिन कार ॥
नानक नदरी नदर निहाल ॥३८॥

Let self-control be the furnace, and patience be the goldsmith. Let understanding be the anvil, and spiritual wisdom the tool. May fear of God be the bellows and may they fan the flames of your body. In the crucible of love, may you get the nectar of the Word, Forge the prayer in the true mint. Whoever is showered with His Grace, their actions excel. O Nanak, the Merciful Lord’s kind vision uplifts and rescues their souls

सलोक ॥
पवण गुरू पाणी पिता माता धरत महत ॥
दिवस रात दुए दाई दाया खेलै सगल जगत ॥
चंगिआईआ बुरिआईआ वाचै धरम हदूर ॥
करमी आपो आपणी के नेड़ै के दूर ॥
जिनी नाम धिआया गए मसकत घाल ॥
नानक ते मुख उजले केती छुटी नाल ॥१॥

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 Lord Dharma. According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away. Those who have recited His word have departed after having been perseverant in their prayers. O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Lord’s Court, and many are saved along with them!

The last “Salok” (shlok) is attributed to Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s successor, the second Guru Angad Dev.

On this most auspicious and pious day of Kartik Pournima, the Guruparb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, it is my honour and prerogative to dedicate this brief write up to Him. May He continue to guide all of us in our lives and of the lives of those who will follow us, as He has done for more than 500 years. I must also thank the Sikh lady who insisted I do this today in a communication late last evening, without which I would probably not undertaken this exercise at all.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

23 replies on “A beacon of hope and piety”

चलता है, पण तसे म्हणजे टू मच च हं! आमच्या ह्यांना की नाई, अमेरिकेतला हैन्झ सॉस लागतोच. यू नो बॅक होम आम्ही तोच खातो नं! पण देअर वी आर प्रौड ऑफ बीईंग महाराष्ट्रीयन्स! व्हेरी व्हेरी प्रौड


Much obliged.
Indebted to you forever.
Historical and Spiritual aspects presented vividly.

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अरे बेटा आप पूरी जिंदगी मुम्बई में रहे हो, मैं दोआबे में तीन साल रह चुका हूँ और न जाने कितने गुरुद्वारा में माथा टेक आया हूँ, पटना साहब और हेमकुंड साहिब को जाऊँगा एक दिन


Wah!! Great information on Shree Guru Nanak ji and Guru Grantha Sahib…. Most of the information was not known to me…..And also due to your wonderful writeup I got an opportunity to know about the Japji…It’s English translation helped a lot!!!!
Thank you so much Aniruddha sir for this wonderful writeup…..
Always much obliged…..My naman to Great Shree Guru Nanak ji🙏🙏

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Masterpiece Dr. Sahib. Simple narration of Sikhism history.. wonderful

3 Sikhism tenets commonly spread for Humanity :
Kirat Karo|
Earn Honestly & Righteously

| Naam Jappo |
Chant THY Name

| Vandd Chhako |
Share ones wealth with the ones in Need

Guru Nanak Dev Ji De Prakash Purab Diyaan Wadhaiyaan

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फारच विस्तृत व ओघावत्या भाषेत विवेचन. वाचून व गुरुबानी ऐकून प्रसन्न वाटले.

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सर जी अप्रतिम..नानकांची प्रतिभा अमर आहे..सर्वात सुंदर तुम्ही केलेला सोप्या शब्दातील अनुवाद…गुरुबाणीकडे आजपर्यंत लक्ष दिले नव्हते.. खूप छान ..अपार धन्यवाद..

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