Gurbani Translations versus Reflections

Gurbani Translations Are Often Inaccurate; I do Reflections

Translating poetry from one language to another is often inaccurate because one word in any given language can have multiple origins and resulting connotations. There could also be stories, circumstances or proverbs linked to the original language that make it more meaningful in the original language.  There might also be alliterations and rhymes that are only possible in the original language.  The meaning of a words and phrases could have also changed over time. Metaphors and allegories could be obscuring the meaning of phrases.

The complexity becomes even more mind boggling when you are considering Gurbani that uses many languages stretched across centuries: bottom line is it a very rich language and I have found most Gurbani translations inadequate. 

The subject matter in the case of Gurbani is infinity.  I am not even sure if songs of infinity can actually be "translated."  They should have reflections; personal reflections is what I try to do. 

The Joy of Heartful Reflections

The reason why I think Gurbani Translations are inadequate not only because of inaccuracy.  Words by themselves are inadequate to describe the joy of poetry.  To truly experience the joy of these words, one has to sing them with love.  And to sing them with love, you have to hear them and learn them with love.  It takes a lifetime to learn to sing these 'songs' in thoughts, words and deeds is a lifetime affair. The words are just a pointer to the joy of oneness. And the words come out from the same place as the guru: the heart.

Some time ago, accuracy was more important to me. So was grammar and mechanics of the translations.  That produced nice mindful translations, like many of them out there.  But over time I have realized that the joy of the actual words is not reflected in translations.  I focus now primarily on heartful reflections instead of mindful translations.  

Heartful reflections connect directly with the Guru and are a lot more joyful than mindful translations. So I don't attempt accurate mindful translations; I attempt heartful reflections. 

I often have multiple reflections for the same poem. It is remarkable how many different ways the mind can express joy and connect with the Guru even starting with one or two lines in Gurbani. 

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