In the beginning was the Word. It doesn't say
in the beginning was God. -- Yogi Bhajan
Sing songs that relate to the spirit; it is such a
beautiful emotional release. You will always be grateful
to yourself. It is a perfect way to stay sane. -- Yogi Bhajan
use of music for spiritual attainment and healing of the soul, which
was prevalent in ancient times, is not found to the same extent today.
Music has been made a pastime, the means of forgetting
God instead of realizing God. -- Hazrat
The Sacred Songs of the Sikhs Including 'The Peace Lagoon'
SAHIB' - 33rd PAURI
By Guru Nanak
"A Pran Sutra is a mantra or phrase from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib with which one resonates as spiritual guidance."
Translation No power to speak, no power to keep silent. No power to beg,
no power to give. No power to live, no power to die. No power
to rule with wealth and occult mental powers. No power to gain
intuitive understanding. No power to contemplate spiritual wisdom.
No power to find the way to escape from the world. He alone
has the Power in His hands, He watches over all.
O Nanak, no one is high or low.
pauree destroys your ego and brings home your divinity.
It removes negativity, neutralizes your destructive nature
and prevents harm to others by your hand." Psyche
of the Golden Shield
chants the 33rd Pauri of Japji Sahib 25 times a day,
there is nothing on Earth he will not have. Guru Nanak sang this
pauri as a sampuran kriya, a perfect, perfect seal. This pauri means
that if you ask for nothing, you will get everything -- that is the
Whosoever chants this pauri 25 times a day, there is nothing on Earth
that he or she will not have. Ask for nothing, just praise the Lord." Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma
who considers himself ...
One who considers himself to be
A disciple of the True Guru,
Should rise before the coming of the light
And contemplate the Name.
the early hours of the morning
He should rise and bathe,
Cleansing his soul in a tank of Nectar Pure,
While he repeats the Name.
this procedure he truly washes away
The sins of his soul.
Then with the arrival of dawn he should sing
The hymns of praise.
He should hold the Name in his heart
All through the busy hours of the day.
one who repeats the Name with his every breath
Is a most dear disciple.
The disciple who has received the gift of the Lord's Name,
Truly wins the favor of the Lord.
seek to kiss the very dust
Under the feet of such a one,
Who recites the Name
And inspires others to do so ...
SAT GUR KA JO
SO BALAKAY OOTH ...
HAR NAM DIAYAY!
One who considers himself
To be a disciple of the True Guru,
Should rise and shine ...
Give God your glory, glory!
By Guru Ram Das
From the 'Peace Lagoon'
would make myself a slave
To the one who can take me to meet my Beloved Lord.
When the Lord is merciful
He makes me to meet with the True Guru;
And I contemplate the Lord's Name ... O Lord!
it is Thy Will to grant me happiness;
If it is Thy Will to grant me joy;
If it is Thy Will to bring me peace within ...
I would ever meditate!
I would ever meditate on Thee.
even in pain, I will never forget Thee.
If Thou bring to me hunger I will feel satisfied.
And I will feel happiness if You bring me sorrow ...
And I will feel happiness if You bring me sorrow.
it is Thy Will ...
If it is Thy Will ...
If it is Thy Will,
I would ever meditate ...
I would ever meditate ...
I would ever meditate on Thee! --
By Guru Gobind Singh
is no mark, which sets apart
The Ever Changeless Light of hearts.
No caste or sect, shape, form or hue;
Imagination can't construe
His Greatness or His countless Names;
The King Who o'er the three worlds reigns;
A million Indras can't compete;
God's men and demons touch His feet.
world's vast fortunes seem as weeds
Amidst the garden of His deeds.
Thus, by His deeds His Name is placed;
Breath of Wisdom, Grace of grace.
Even forests slim or small
In glades and glens repeat the call,
"He is Infinite and All ... Infinite and All."
bow to Thee, Eternal,
Beyond death the Beauteous Form.
To the Merciful and Mighty,
O, I bow to Thee, Unborn;
To the One Who has no costume,
Whos beyond all destiny,
Without treasure, without body, Indestructible is He;
Who is Nameless and cannot be named,
Who occupies no space,
Beyond karma, beyond dharma, beyond need of dwelling place.
I bow to Thee Unconquerable, the Stranger to defeat.
To the Fearless, Self Sufficient One, the One without deceit;
To the One Who has no color, no beginning and no end,
Who is Bountiful and Faultless, Far Too Great to comprehend;
O, I bow to Thee Who art but One and Thee Who many be.
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee
Beyond earth, air, water, fire and gas, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to Him beyond all deeds, Who wears no special dress,
Who has no country, name or manner, the Desireless.
I bow to Thee Imperishable, Thee from sorrow free;
Beyond attachment, anger, pride, desire and greed is He;
To the One in need of no one, Who is worshipped in three worlds;
The Source of every treasure, He Who cannot be installed.
He Whos free from all affliction, independent of all breath;
He Who organizes and destroys, Who is the Death of death.
I bow to He Who generates, the One Who can't be known.
The Source of passion, strength and grace;
I bow to Thee, Unborn;
He Who is the Supreme Yogi, far beyond all intellect;
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth ...
He in need of no support, yet Who supports the ocean's depth.
bow to He Who has no caste, religion, faith or creed;
Sublime and All Prevailing Beauty, with no lineage;
The Countryless, the Garbless, Homeless, Spouseless, King of all,
Who dispenses death and mercy, He Who takes the shape of all.
O, I bow to the Creator, the Sustainer, the True Lord;
To the One Annihilator, low I bow to Thee Unborn;
To the One Who has no secrets, He Who is the Death of all;
The Creator of all beauties, their destruction and their fall.
I bow to the Sustainer, Omnipresent in all hues;
Who prevails throughout the universe, the Endless Well of Truths.
O, I bow to Thee, Immortal Lord, to Thee untouched by age;
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage ...
To the Doer, the Forgiver, to the Fearless and the Sage.
Who is Every Occupation, no relations, no restraint;
To the kind and constant Husband, Aspiration of the saint;
To the Endless and the Infinite, the Love of every soul;
The Creator and Destroyer, bend thou low, this mortal coil.
Bow down to the Lord of Yogis, the Sustainer of the wife;
The Enjoyer of all pleasures, the Caretaker of all life.
Who's kind and understanding, more impartial than the sea;
He Who dries up all life's fluids, O, I bow my God to Thee.
To the Bountiful and Fruitful, Who is not sustained by breath;
Who is Fearless and Desireless, He Who is the Death of death;
Who is Infinitely Gracious, Whos within and out of me;
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee ...
To the Only God whose Name is Truth, I bow, my Lord to Thee.
bow to Thee, O Virtuous, upon Whom all rely;
He Who lives in everyone, the One from Whom all shapes arise;
To the Moon of moons, the King of kings, the most respected One;
Unto He Who has no comrade, Hymn of hymns and Sun of suns;
He Who is the Dance within the dance, the Sound within the sound.
To the Music of all music, to the Current, I bow down;
To the One Who is the Hand and is the hand's Activity,
Who contains all forms, all maya, Great and Glorious is He.
Dispute of all disputes, the Supreme Siddha of the verse;
To the User of all weapons, Mother of the universe;
Who is All-Supreme in wisdom, without lust and costume free;
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
To the Master of maneuvers, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to He Who cures disease, Who takes our daily care;
Present in both gods and demons, Who is Dutiful and Fair.
He Who knows all forms of cunning, the Embodiment of love;
Who bestows all life and charity, All Seeing Lord above;
To the Mantra of all mantras, Pure of fire and the Pure;
To the Jantra of all jantras, Conqueror of the universe;
The Immortal, Without Master, to the True and Blissful Form;
To the Tantra of all tantras, low, I bow to Thee Unborn.
I bow to He Who rules all wealth, the Brightest of the bright;
To the Seed of seeds, the Song of songs, the Form of dark and
To the Honored of all honored, without fear or mystery;
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee ...
Object of all meditation, O, I bow my Lord to Thee.
bow to the Bestower of all knowledge time and space;
To the Source of love, the Source of strength, salvation, bliss
He Who takes the form of passion, He Who takes the form of pain;
To the Harshest of the harsh, the Many and the One again;
To the Everlasting Sculptor Who is pleased with every mold;
The Embodiment of kindness, the Controller of the soul;
The Destroyer of the three conditions, future, past and now.
Who is the Life of life, bestowing undestroyable power;
To the Battle of all battles, the Embodiment of peace;
The Unalterable Essence, Formless through eternity;
To the Righteous Lord of Indras, Whos within and out of
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee ...
Meditation of all meditations, Lord, I bow to Thee. --
every great life comes a moment of test.
Thus have I faced both the worst and the best.
The evil are those who would oppose justice;
The allies support it and show that they trust us.
Many the Muslims who fought by my
Right beside me some of them bravely died
Defending the Truth for all to enjoy
Regardless the worship that they employ.
My Muslim disciples saved me from great dangers,
While some of my Sikhs turned from
me like strangers.
One’s clan does not indicate if he is good,
But his heart and actions most certainly could.
One shouldn’t expect external signs to portray
What only the depth of the heart can convey.
It has little to do with religious systems,
With external customs or with narrow dictums.
So learn to look into the heart of a man -
That tells you much more than appearances can.
We Sikhs base our judgment on virtue, not creed.
A truly good man shows his worth by his deed.
We gladly accept all, and we will exclude none,
For after all, we're the same - we are all One. -- Guru Gobind Singh, Tenth Guru of
'bani' passages were transcribed directly from musical cassette
tapes. These banis are regularly recited by Sikhs in the original
Gurmukhi language of their authors.
Name(Nam or Naam)means The Word-Sound ... The expressed sound current by which
God, the Father; the I AM; the One Thee-Me in EveryBody is acknowledged,
worshipped, remembered, honored, celebrated and
appreciated. (See Be Your Allness.)
Guru -- The Indescribable Experience of Indescribable
Wisdom, which is commonly known only as 'God'.
classical music is principally based on melody and rhythm, not
on harmony, counterpoint, chords, modulation and the other basics
of Western classical music.
The system of Indian music known as Raga Sangeet can be traced
back nearly two thousand years to its origin in the Vedic hymns
of the Hindu temples, the fundamental source of all Indian music.
Thus, as in Western music, the roots of Indian classical music
are religious. To us, music can be a spiritual discipline on the
path to self-realisation, for we follow the traditional teaching
that sound is God - Nada Brahma. By this process individual consciousness
can be elevated to a realm of awareness where the revelation of
the true meaning of the universe - its eternal and unchanging
essence - can be joyfully experienced. Our ragas are the vehicles
by which this essence can be perceived.
The ancient Vedic scriptures teach that there are two types of
sound. One is a vibration of ether, the upper or purer air near
the celestral realm. This sound is called Anahata Nad or unstruck
sound. Sought after by great enlightened yogis, it can only be
heard by them. The sound of the universe is the vibration thought
by some to be like the music of the spheres that the Greek, Pythagoras,
described in the 6th century B.C. The other sound Ahata Nad or
struck sound, is the vibration of air in the lower atmosphere
closer to the earth. It is any sound that we hear in nature or
man-made sounds, musical and non-musical.
The tradition of Indian classical music is an oral one. It is
taught directly by the guru to the disciple, rather than by the
notation method used in the West. The very heart of Indian music
is the raga, the melodic form upon which the musician improvises.
This framework is established by tradition and inspired by the
creative spirits of master musicians.
Ragas are extremely difficult to explain in a few words. Though
Indian music is modal in character, ragas should not be mistaken
as modes that one hears in the music of the Middle and Far Eastern
countries, nor be understood to be a scale, melody per se, a composition,
or a key. A raga is a scientific, precise, subtle and aesthetic
melodic form with its own peculiar ascending and descending movement
consisting of either a full seven note octave, or a series of
six or five notes (or a combination of any of these) in a rising
or falling structure called the Arohana and Avarohana. It is the
subtle difference in the order of notes, an omission of a dissonant
note, an emphasis on a particular note, the slide from one note
to another, and the use of microtones together with other subtleties,
that demarcate one raga from the other.
There is a saying in Sanskrit, "Ranjayathi iti Ragah,"
which means, "that which colours the mind is a raga."
For a raga to truly colour the mind of the listener, its effect
must be created not only through the notes and the embellishments,
but also by the presentation of the specific emotion or mood characteristic
of each raga. Thus through rich melodies in our music, every human
emotion, every subtle feeling in man and nature can be musically
expressed and experienced.
The performing arts in India, e.g., music, dance, drama, and poetry,
are based on the concept of Nava Rasa, or the "nine sentiments."
Literally, rasa means "juice" or "extract"
but here in this context, we take it to mean "emotion"
or "sentiment." The acknowledged order of these sentiments
is as follows: Shringara (romantic and erotic); Hasya (humorous);
Karuna (pathetic); Raudra (anger); Veera (heroic); Bhayanaka (fearful);
Vibhatsa (disgustful); Adbhuta (amazement); and Shanta (peaceful).
Each raga is principally dominated by one of these nine rasas,
although the performer can also bring out other emotions in a
less prominent way. The more closely the notes of a raga conform
to the expression of one single idea or emotion, the more overwhelming
the effect of the raga.
In addition to being associated with a particular mood, each raga
is also closely connected to a particular time of day or a season
of the year. The cycle of day and night, as well as the cycle
of the seasons, is analogous to the cycle of life itself. Each
part of the day - such as the time before dawn, noon, late afternoon,
early evening, late night - is associated with a definite sentiment.
The explanation of the time associated with each raga may be found
in the nature of the notes that comprise it, or in historical
anecdotes concerning the raga.
Although there are 72 "melas" or parent scales upon
which ragas are based, Indian music scholars have estimated that,
with all their permutations and combinations, there exist over
6,000 ragas! But a raga is not merely a matter of the ascending
- descending structure. It must have its "chalan" or
certain note patterns characteristic of the raga; its principle
important note (vadi); the second important note (samavadi); and
its main feature known as "jan" (life) or "mukhda"
(face), the cluster of a few notes by which a raga is immediately
In terms of aesthetics, a raga is the projection of the artist's
inner spirit, a manifestation of his most profound sentiments
and sensibilities brought forth through tones and melodies. The
musician must breathe life into each raga as he unfolds and expands
it. As much as 90 percent of Indian music may be improvised and
because so very much depends on understanding the spirit and nuances
of the art, the relationship between the artist and his guru is
the keystone of this ancient tradition. From the beginning, the
aspiring musician requires special and individual attention to
bring him to the moment of artistic mastery. The unique aura of
a raga (one might say its "soul") is its spiritual quality
and manner of expression, and this cannot be learned from any
It is only after many long and extensive years of "sadhana"
(dedicated practice and discipline) under the guidance of one's
guru and his blessings, that the artist is empowered to put "prana"
(the breath of life) into a raga. This is accomplished by employing
the secrets imparted by one's teacher such as the use of "shrutis"
(microtones other than the 12 semitones in an octave, Indian music
using smaller intervals than Western music, 22 within an octave);
"gamakas" (special varieties of glissando which connect
one note to the other); and "andolan" (a sway - but
not a vibrato). The result is that each note pulsates with life
and the raga becomes vibrant and incandescent.
Next to be considered are the "talas" or "rhythmic
cycles" of a raga. There is unique intricacy and rhythmic
sophistication in Indian music. There are talas ranging from a
3 beat cycle to 108 beats within a cycle! The most popular talas
are those which have 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 beats to a
cycle. There are also other cycles such as 9, 11, 13, 15, 17,
and 19 beats, etc., which are only played by outstanding musicians
on rare occasions.
The division in a tala, and the stress on the first beat (called
sum), are the most important rhythmic factors. While there are
talas having the same number of beats, they differ because the
division and accents are not the same. For example, there is a
tala known as "Dhamar" which has 14 beats in the cycle
divided 5+5+4. Another tala, "Ada Chautal" has the same
number of beats, but is divided 2+4+4+4. Still another tala, "Chanchar"
is divided 3+4+3+4.
In vocal music, a drummer will accompany a singer either in slow,
medium, or fast tempo at the start of a song in whatever tala
the singer chooses. He will do the same when he accompanies an
instrumentalist in the gat section of a composition. Like ragas,
talas also have their own characteristics. Some of the older traditional
talas, such as "Chautal" (12 beats) and "Dhamar"
(14 beats) are played on a two-faced drum known as pakhawaj.
This accompaniment is used in the old traditional "Dhrupad-Dhamar"
form of singing and in instrumental performances on the veena,
rabab, surbahar, etc. Today, most vocal and instrumental music
is based on the contemporary form called "khyal" and
is accompanied by the tabla, a two-piece drum.
The improvisatory nature of Indian classical music requires the
artist to take into consideration the setting, time allowed for
his recital, his mood and the feeling he discerns in the audience
before playing. Since Indian music is religious in origin, one
finds the spiritual quality in most of the musician's performances.
The traditional recital begins with the alap section - the stately
and serene exploration of the chosen raga. After this slow, introspective,
heartfelt, sometimes sad beginning, the musician moves on to the
jor. In this part, rhythm enters and is developed. Innumerable
variations on the raga's basic theme are elaborated. There is
no drum accompaniment in either the alap or the jor.
The alap and the jor evolve into the gat, the fixed composition
of the raga. Here the drums enter with the wonderful rhythmic
structure of the gat and its time cycle, the tala. This section
in based on the "Khyal" form. From this moment on, the
gat (which can be anything between 4 and 16 bars of fixed composition)
becomes the vehicle for the musician to return to after his improvisation.
While the artist has complete freedom to improvise, he may do
so only as long as he does not leave the format of the raga and
tala. This freedom within the bounds of artistic discipline comes
only after many years of training and sadhana. This is why one
cannot rightfully compare the improvisation in Indian music with
the improvisation of jazz.
The step-by-step acceleration of the rhythm in the gat finally
culminates in the jhala portion as it becomes more and more playful
and exciting.Sawal jabab, the dazzling and rapid dialogue between
sitar and tabla, has the power to enthrall even the most uninitiated
listener with its thrilling interplay.
Often at the conclusion of a recital, the musician may choose
to play a "thumri' or "dhun." This semi-classical
style is much freer and completely romantic, sensual and erotic.
Indian music is much more appreciated and respected today in the
West. Many composers and musicians have been influenced by our
music. The openness, willingness to learn, and sincere enthusiasm
of Western audiences are a continuing source of inspiration and