Mool Mantra Posts

Aakhan Jor – Guru Nanak’s Great Surrender



Aakhan nah jor, chupai nah jor,
Jor nah ma(n)gan, dhaen nah jor.

I have no power to speak, no power to keep silent.
No power to beg, no power to give.

Jor nah jeevan, maran nah jor,
Jor nah raaj, maal man sor.
I have no power to live, no power to die.
No power to rule, with wealth and mental powers.

Jor nah surathee giaan veechaar,
Jor nah jugathee chhuttai sa(n)saar.
I have no power to gain intuitive understanding, spiritual wisdom and meditation. 
No power to find the way to escape from the world.

Jis hathh jor kar vaekhai soe,
Naanak ootham neech nah koe.

He alone has the Power in His Hands, He watches over all.
O Nanak, no one is high or low.

“There is no one thing that is true. It is all true.” – Hemingway

“There is no one thing that is true. It is all true.” – Hemingway in "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

We must learn the love of man -Pablo Casals


The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? There is a brotherhood among all men. This must be recognized if life is to remain. We must learn the love of man. 
As quoted in Joys and Sorrows: Reflections‎ by Pablo Casals as told to Albert E. Kahn (1974) by Albert E. Kahn

Pau Casals (29 December 1876 – 22 October 1973), born Pau Casals i Defilló, was a Spanish cellist and conductor.

More About Pablo Casals

Pablo Casals was regarded as one of the greatest cello players and composers (writers of music) of the twentieth century. He was also an active protester against oppressive governments (those that misuse their power and mistreat citizens), including that of the Spanish tyrant Francisco Franco (1892–1975).

Early life

Pablo Casals was born on December 29, 1876, in Vendrell, in the Catalonian region of Spain. He was the second of eleven children of Carlos Casals and Pilar Defillo de Casals. Casals's father, the local church organist, would play the piano while the infant Casals rested his head against it and sang along. By the age of four Casals was playing the piano, and at five he joined the church choir. At six he was composing songs with his father, and by the age of nine he could play the violin and organ. From the age of ten Casals began each day with a walk, taking inspiration from nature. He would then play two Johann Sebastian Bach(1685–1750) pieces on the piano when he returned home.

Masters the cello

Casals became interested in the cello after seeing the instrument in a music recital at age eleven; soon, his father built him one. His parents argued about his future; his father wanted him to study carpentry, but his mother would not hear of it and enrolled him in the Municipal School of Music in Barcelona, Spain. Casals clashed with his strict instructors, preferring to play the cello in his own, more expressive, manner. His progress was extraordinary, and Casals's new way of playing made the cello a more popular instrument.

Among those impressed by Casals was the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909). After hearing Casals play, Albéniz gave him a letter of introduction to Count Guillermo de Morphy, secretary to the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Cristine. In 1894 Casals traveled to Madrid, Spain, and gave concerts for the queen and her court. Over the next few years his reputation spread as he played with various orchestras in Madrid. With his formal debut as a concert soloist in Paris, France, in 1899, Casals's career was assured.

New respect for Bach's music

Sometime in 1890, while Casals and his father were in a Barcelona bookstore, he found a volume of Bach's six suites (arrangements of music) for solo cello. Previously the suites were considered merely musical exercises, but Casals saw in them something deeper. He studied and practiced the suites every day for a dozen years before performing

Pablo Casals. 

Casals's performance of the suites shocked listeners by correcting the previously held belief that Bach's solo music for strings had no warmth or artistic value. Casals's love of Bach's music carried over into the rest of his life. As he told José Maria Corredor in Conversations With Casals, "I am everyday more convinced that the main-spring of any human enterprise must be moral strength and generosity." Casals came to understand the suffering of the poor as he walked the streets of Barcelona. He vowed to use his music to help his fellow people.

Silenced cello in protest

Casals often wrote letters and organized concerts on behalf of the oppressed, and he refused to perform in countries, such as the Soviet Union, Germany, and Italy, whose governments mistreated their citizens. After the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), when General Francisco Franco took power, Casals announced he would never return to Spain while Franco was in charge. He settled in Prades, France, and gave occasional concerts until 1946, when, to take a stand against tyrants such as Franco, Casals vowed never to perform again.

Reflecting on German's conquering Spain and Poland Casals wrote, "A ferocious beast is abroad that ravages everything and through crime and terror enslaves one nation after another."

The events of 1945 would disappoint him. Casals observed, "Though Hitler and Mussolini had been crushed, the fascist dictatorship they had fostered in Spain remained in power." When the victorious Western democracies eschewed intervention in his homeland to bring down the Franco dictatorship, Pablo Casals cancelled future concert performances, returned to exile in Prades, and refused all efforts to entice him back to Spain while the despised "Caudillo" ruled from Madrid.

Encouraged by friends, Casals resumed playing in 1950, participating in the Prades Festival organized to honor Bach. Casals agreed to participate on condition that all proceeds were to go to a refugee hospital in nearby Perpignan. At the end of the festival and every concert he gave after that, Casals played "Song of the Birds," a Catalonian folk song, to protest the continued oppression in Spain. In 1956 he settled in Puerto Rico and started the Casals Festival, which led to the creation of a symphony orchestra and a music school on the island. Casals never returned to Spain.

Casals also continued to refuse to perform in countries that officially recognized the Franco government. Until his death in 1973, Casals made only one exception—in 1961 he performed at the White House for U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), a man he greatly admired. In 1971, at the age of ninety-five, he performed his "Hymn of the United Nations" before the United Nations General Assembly. Casals sought to inspire harmony among people, with both his cello and his silence.

How many deaths will it take to realize that too many have died? – Bob Dylan

One of Bob Dylan's greatest songs Blowin' in the Wind was written in 1962 and released on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. The song is about peace. In that, the song is about Ekonkar, the oneness of all. My thesis has always been that the most powerful and songs tend to be one that are singing Ekonkar.  This is true of Michael Jackson (We are the world), John Lenin (Imagine) or even contemporary singer/songwriters like Taylor Swift (Mean).

Although "Blowin' in the Wind" has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom. According to Mick Gold, the refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" is "impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind." The third line in each of the three stanzas is especially poignant; the whole song makes you think about the futility of war.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

How many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

"Blowin' in the Wind" has been covered by hundreds of artists. The most commercially successful version is by folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, who released the song in June 1963, three weeks after The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was issued.  Here is that version:

Giftless – A poem


If you still think there is more than one
you have not understood the true essence
If oneness is not reflected in your actions
You are living in fear
You are living in conflict
You are a slave of time
You are going in circles
You are not yourself
You haven't found the Guru

Love and the Mool Mantra

Guru Nanak's teachings are undoubtedly about love. So are Guru Arjan's teachings.  The Mool Mantra is given the highest importance in the Guru Granth Sahib.  So the obvious question is where is love in the Mool Mantra? Love surrounds the Mool Mantra. 

The act of repitition of the the mool mantra itself is love. The recognition of oneness is love.  The acceptance of truth is filled with love.  Nirbhau and Nirvair are straightforward corollaries to love.  If there is love, how can there be fear.  And if there is love, how can there be any enmity?

The love of the Mool Mantra is endless. It is constant.  The love of the Mool Mantra is timeless. 

Shabads often tell us that our Gurus are full of love.  And since shabad is our guru, why should it not be full of love.  And because Mool Mantra is the basis of all shabads, why should the Mool Mantra not be resplendent in love:

Love is in oneness
Love is the truth
Love is the doer 
Love is fearless
Love is foeless
Love is timeless
Love is constant
Love makes love
Love is my Guru's Gift

On Translating the Mool Mantra


The Mool Mantra is composed of nine adjectives that define the nameless.  There is no noun. It makes sense because what is being described is indescribable. 

Further, there are no verbs, no pronouns, (more…)

The Mool Mantra is responsible for my success – Gen Ayub Khan

A story of faith from Sant Sipahi (April, 2003)

Meharban Singh is a prominent Sikh living in Singapore. In the decade of 1970′s, I was also living there and Meharban Singh narrated to me a very interesting (more…)

Minimalist translation of the Mool Mantra


One Om* Shaped

True name

Kartaa Purakh



Akaal Murat

Birthless Deathless

Self existent

Gur Prasaad
Guru's Gift

*Om: Om or Aum is the sacred sound that encompasses everything in the universe: Where does Aum Come From

Who is the controller – answer from the Kenopanishad



Who is the controller?

It is a very interesting question, is it not?  This is the exact question that is asked and answered in detail in Kena Upanishat. This Upanishat explains(more…)

Essence of the Kenopanishad by Swami Sivananda

Essence of the Kenopanishad
by Swami Sivananda

Hari Om! May my limbs, speech, Prana, eye, ear, strength and all my senses grow vigorous. All (everything) is the Brahman of the Upanishads. May I never deny (more…)

Similarity in Mantras from Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism

There is one striking similarity in the  key mantra from these religions: Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism - "Learning."  The other main religions of the world (Christianity and (more…)

All is sound, that is it


Hari Om Tat Sat

-Swami Satyananda Saraswati

‘Hari Om Tat Sat’ is a very ancient mantra from the Vedas. ‘Hari Om’ is one mantra and ‘Om Tat Sat’ another. I have joined the two in ‘Hari Om Tat Sat’. ‘Hari’ (more…)

Like fragrance in flower, the supreme lives in you -Guru Nanak


What Guru Nanak Dev taught

By Ram Lingam 

This small piece of writing is simply inadequate to do any justice to the standing of Shri SatGuru Nanak Devji or his teachings. To get to know the life story (more…)

The connection between kindness and Ekonkar


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”-Mother Teresa

Satnam defined by Emily Dickinson – Finite Infinity


Emily Dickinson on solitude.

There are many kinds of solitude. There is the solitude of space, of all the planets and stars in the sky quietly being.  The solitude of the sea experienced by those laying (more…)

Ekonkar Satnam and Rousseau


Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being. — Rousseau

Want want want – A poem


Want want want
Some want to clean
Some want to quiet
Some want to have
Some want to know
Shiv wants to accept

Where does Aum come from – some interesting observations


Aum just comes from the combination of two letters of the old Indian alphabets. “Au” comes from what we call “oora” in punjabi — it even looks like Aum. That’s the you get when your mouth is fully (more…)

A Noiseless Patient Spider – A soulful poem by Walt Whitman


A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, (more…)
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