Nasro Mansoor Guru Gobind Singh

Happy Gurpurab everyone!!!  Today we remember the emperor of emperors, Guru Gobind Singh.  Last week, I sang the first few lines and the last few lines of Guru Gobind Singh's poet laureate Bhai Nandlal. Here is a video of the practice we did at home. Accompanying me on the guitar is my dear friend Janapriyan Levine (http://www.janapriyan.com). Enjoy and share it with your hearts, friends and family ...



The last few lines are rarely sung - they describe the utmost humility of Bhai Nandlal. If I were to prosify his beautiful poetic lines, the gist is:
My soul is branded "Guru Gobind Singh;" I am the slave dog of Guru Gobind Singh ... nay, I am lower than his dogs; if I were to partake the leftovers of his dogs, I would be fortunate. The only hope I have now is that when my life is sacrificed for the Guru, let my head be on his feet.

Bhai Nand Lal was poet laureate of Guru Gobind Singh's court. He was originally a Hindu who worked in the Mughal courts at the time of Aurangzeb. Bhai Nandlal was an expert of languages and used to teach Aurangzeb's kids Farsi (Persian).  After hearing Bhai Nand Lal's interpretation of a Quran verse, Aurangzab was once very impressed and insisted that such a man should convert to Islam. Refusing to convert Bhai Nand Lal thus sort refuge. He found himself in Anandpur in the court of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who on his first vision of the Guru was so impressed by his being that he decided to stay in his court for several years.

After Guru Gobind's passing, Bhai Nandlal moved to Multan when he and his descendents lived for over 9 generations.  I am fortunate to be his 10th descendant. My father was born in Multan in the ancestral home of the great poet.  Our family moved to India after the partition (1947) and we moved to the US in 1991.

You can download the audio version of this recording here:
https://noisetrade.com/shivpreetsingh/guru-gobind-singh

First few verses -

Naasr-o Mansoor Guru Gobind Singh,
Victorious and comforting is Guru Gobind Singh
Eezad-i Manzoor Guru Gobind Singh.
Accepted by God is Guru Gobind Singh

Haq Ra Ganjoor Guru Gobind Singh,
Keeper of Divine Treasure is Guru Gobind Singh
Jumla Faiz-o Noor Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the bestower of all gifts and blessings)

Haq Haq Aagaah Guru Gobind Singh,
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is always aware of the ways of God
Shah Shahanshah Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the emperor of emperors

Haq Haq Aagaah Guru Gobind Singh,
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is always aware of the ways of God)
Shah Shahanshah Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the emperor of emperors

Haq Haq Aagaah Guru Gobind Singh,
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is always aware of the ways of God
Shah Shahanshah Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the emperor of emperors

Bar do Aalam Shah Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh rules over both the worlds;
Khasam Ra Jaa Kaah Guru Gobind Singh
he is the destroyer of the enemies.

Last few verses:

Laal sag ghulaam Guru Gobind Singh
Daagdaar Naam Guru Gobind Singh
Nand LaL is the slave dog of Guru Gobind Singh; he carries the stamp of Guru Gobind Singh on him.

KAMTAREEN Z SGAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
REZAA CHEEN-E KHAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
Nand Lal is lower than all the dogs of Guru Gobind Singh; he (pecks) at the left overs of their dinner.

SAA-EL AZ IN-AAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
KHAAK-E PAAK IQDAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Nand Lal is begging to get the gift of holy dust of Guru Gobind Singh’s feet.

BAAD JAANASH FIDAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
FARQ-O BAR PAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
His (Nand Lal’s) life may be sacrificed for Guru Gobind Singh and Nand Lal’s head may always remain at his feet.


The complete Poem:

Waheeguru Jee-o Satya (Nasroo Mansoor Guru Gobind Singh)

NASAR-O MANSOOR GURU GOBIND SINGH
EEZAD-I MANZOOR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is victorious and assists us to succeed in life; he is accepted by God as His own.

HAQ RA GANJOOR GURU GOBIND SINGH
JUMLA FAIZ-O NOOR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the custodian of God’s treasure; he is the bestower of all the gifts.
HAQ HAQ AAGAAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
SHAHE SHAHAN SHAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh knows the ways of God; he is the emperor of emperors.
BAR DO ALAM SHAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
KHASAM RA JAN KAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh rules over both the worlds; he is the destroyer of the enemies.
FAA-EZ AL-ANWAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
KASHIF AL-ASRAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh illuminates our lives with abundance; he reveals secrets of God.
AALIM AL-ASTAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
ABR-E REHMAT BAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is aware of the secrets of the world; he showers his unlimited mercies.
MUQBAL-O MAQBOOL GURU GOBIND SINGH
WAASIL-O MAUSOOL GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the favourite of Waheguru; he is with Him all the time
JAAN FIROZ-E DAHAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
FAIZ-E HAQ RA BAHR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh bestows life in this world; he is the sea of Waheguru’s blessings
HAQ RA MEHBOOB GURU GOBIND SINGH
TALIB-O MATLOOB GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is loved by God; he is the seeker as well as the sought.
TEG RA FATTAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
JAN-O DIL RA RAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh achieved victories with his sword; he knows the secret of every heart.
SAHIB-E IKLEEL GURU GOBIND SINGH
ZILL-E HAQ TAZLEEL GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh wears the crown of the world; he lives in the shadow of Waheguru.
KHAAZAN-E HAR GANJ GURU GOBIND SINGH
MARHAM-E HAR RANJ GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh controls all the treasures of the world; he is the medicine of all ailments.
DAAWAR-E AAFAAQ GURU GOBIND SINGH
DAR DO AALAM TAAQ GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the master of the world; both the worlds are under his shelter.
HAQ KHUD WASAAF GURU GOBIND SINGH
BARTAREEN AUSAAF GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is praised by God Himself; he is bestowed with highest qualities.
KHAASGAN DAR PAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
QUDSI-AAN BAAR-AAE GURU GOBIND SINGH
Great men are at the feet of Guru Gobind Singh; the angels visit him for audience.
MUQBAL-AAN MADDAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
JAAN-O DIL RA RAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
The fortunate ones admire Guru Gobind Singh; he knows every thing in our hearts.
LAA-MAKAAN PAABOS GURU GOBIND SINGH
BAR DO AALAM KOS GURU GOBIND SINGH
The poor kiss the feet of Guru Gobind Singh; the drum of his authority sounds in both the worlds.
SULS-HAM MAHKOOM GURU GOBIND SINGH
RUBEH HAM MAKHTOOM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh rules over the three worlds; he has the stamp of his authority on the four Vedas.
SUDS HALQEH B-GOSH GURU GOBIND SINGH
DUSHMAN AFGAN JOSH GURU GOBIND SINGH
The six shastras are his slaves; he always defeats the enemy.
KHALAS-O BE-KEENEH GURU GOBIND SINGH
HAQ HAQ AINAA GURU GOBIND SINGH
Pure at heart, Guru Gobind Singh is free from ill will; he is the mirror through whom God reveals Himself.
HAQ HAQ ANDESH GURU GOBIND SINGH
BADSHAH DARVESH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh meditates on God; he is a mystic and a king at the same time.
MAKRAM AL-FAZAAL GURU GOBIND SINGH
MUN-IM AL-MUT-AAL GURU GOBIND SINGH
KAARAM AL-KIRAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
RAAHAM AL-RAHAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is most generous and forgiver.
NAA-EM AL-MUN-AAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
FAHAM AL-FAHAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh blesses even the benevolent; he bestows gifts even to those who give.
DAA-IM-O PAA-INDA GURU GOBIND SINGH
FARAKH-O FARKHUNDEH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is eternal; he is auspicious for all.
FAIZ-E SUB-HAAN ZAAT GURU GOBIND SINGH
NOOR HAQ LAM-AAT GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is essence of God’s blessings; God Himself radiates through him.
SAMIAAN-E NAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
HAQ BEEN Z IN-AAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Those who have listened to the name of Guru Gobind Singh have received the gift of seeing God Himself.
WAASIF-AAN-E ZAAT GURU GOBIND SINGH
WASIL AZ BARKAAT GURU GOBIND SINGH
Those who sang the praises of Guru Gobind Singh were united with God.
RAAQMAANE WASF GURU GOBIND SINGH
NAAMWAR AZ LUTF GURU GOBIND SINGH
Those who wrote in praise of Guru Gobind Singh received fame the world over with his grace.
NAAZRAN-E ROO-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
MAST HAQ DAR KOO-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
Those who had seen the face of Guru Gobind Singh moved in his lanes intoxicated with God’s Name.
KHAAK BOS-E PAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
MUQBAL AZ AALAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
Those who kissed the dust under the feet of Guru Gobind Singh were fortunate and were elevated in life.
QADIR-E HAR KAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
BE-KASAAN RA YAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the doer of all that is happening in this world, he is friend of the poor.
SAAJID-O MASJOOD GURU GOBIND SINGH
JUMLEH FAIZ-O JOOD GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh worships (God); he is also worshipped (by the whole creation).He is generous with all the bounties he gives.
SARWRAAN RA TAJ GURU GOBIND SINGH
BARTAREEN MI-ARAJ GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the chief of all the kings; he occupies the loftiest position.
ASHAR QUDSI RAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
WASIF-E IKRAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
The ten (Greek) gods are under the command of Guru Gobind Singh and they sing his praises in reverence.
UM QUDAS B-KAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
GAASHIA BARDAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
The sacred goddesses of the world are also working for Guru Gobind Singh and they are his servants.
QADR-O QUDRAT PEISH GURU GOBIND SINGH
INKIYAAD ANDESH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh controls our destinies; still he meditates on God in submission.
TISYA ULVI KHAAK GURU GOBIND SINGH
CHAAKAR-E CHALAAK GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is above the highest thrones; he moves in the heavens.
BARTAR AZ HAR QADR GURU GOBIND SINGH
JAAWDANI SADR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is supreme in all virtues; he is eternal and above everyone else.
AALAM-E RAUSHAN Z GURU GOBIND SINGH
JAAN-O DIL GULSHAN Z GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh gives light to the world; our hearts and souls blossom because of him.
ROZ AFZOON JAAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
ZEB TAKHT-O GAAH GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh’s stature is increasing every day; he is the beauty of all thrones.
MURSHID AL-DAAREEN GURU GOBIND SINGH
BEENASH-E HAR EIN GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is our guide in both the worlds; he is the sight of every eye.
JUMLA DAR FURMAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
BARTAR AAMAD SHAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh commands the whole creation; he is supreme in stature.
HAR DO AALAM KHEIL GURU GOBIND SINGH
JUMLA ANDAR ZEIL GURU GOBIND SINGH
Both the worlds are the army of Guru Gobind Singh; all are under his protection.
WAAHAB AL-WAHAAB GURU GOBIND SINGH
FAATEH HAR BAAB GURU GOBIND SINGH
The most generous Guru Gobind Singh is the conqueror of every battle.
SHAAMIL AL-ASHFAAQ GURU GOBIND SINGH
KAAMIL AL-AKHLAAQ GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh’s blessings are unending; he is virtue personified.
ROOH DAR HAR JISM GURU GOBIND SINGH
NOOR DAR HAR CHASHM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh is the soul of every one; he is the light of every eye.
JUMLA ROZI KHWAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
FEIZ-E HAQ AMTAAR GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh provides sustenance to all; he showers His graces.
BIST-O HAFT GADAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
KHAAK ROB SARAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
The twenty-seven gods are the beggars of Guru Gobind Singh; they are engaged in sweeping his house.

KHAMS WASF PEI-RAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
HAFT HAM SHEIDAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
The five elements praise Guru Gobind Singh; the seven worlds admire him.
BAR DO AALAM DAST GURU GOBIND SINGH
JUMLA ULVI PAST GURU GOBIND SINGH
Guru Gobind Singh has his hand on both the worlds; all the angels are inferior
LAL SAG GULAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
DAAD-DAAR-E NAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Nand LaL is the slave dog of Guru Gobind Singh; he carries the stamp of Guru Gobind Singh on him.
KAMTAREEN Z SGAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
REZAA CHEEN-E KHAAN GURU GOBIND SINGH
Nand Lal is lower than all the dogs of Guru Gobind Singh; he (pecks) at the left overs of his dinner table.
SAA-EL AZ IN-AAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
KHAAK-E PAAK IQDAAM GURU GOBIND SINGH
Nand Lal is begging to get the gift of holy dust of Guru Gobind Singh’s feet.
BAAD JAANASH FIDAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
FARQ-O BAR PAA-E GURU GOBIND SINGH
His (Nand Lal’s) life may be sacrificed for Guru Gobind Singh and Nand Lal’s head may always remain at his feet.

Raghunath (featuring Rajhesh Vaidhya) – Live Video Recording



Live Recording of new track "Raghunath" With blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth guru who gave his life for the freedom of belief, dedicated to my Guru, Late Pt. Raghunath Prasanna. Featuring the amazing veena maestro Rajhesh Vaidhya on the Veena (http://www.rajheshvaidhya.com)

Thanks much to Janapriyan Levine (http://www.janapriyan.com) for his guitar and Suellen Primost for playing the cello on this track. Above all with much love and respects to my father, S. Preet Mohan Singh, for taking some video shots of the live recording.
Recorded at the Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA by Jesse Nichols. Mixed and Engineered at Windermere Studios, San Ramon, CA by Shivpreet Singh.
The beautiful words from Guru Tegh Bahadur:
ਸੰਗ ਸਖਾ ਸਭਿ ਤਜਿ ਗਏ ਕੋਊ ਨ ਨਿਬਹਿਓ ਸਾਥਿ ॥ संग सखा सभि तजि गए कोऊ न निबहिओ साथि ॥ Sang sakẖā sabẖ ṯaj ga▫e ko▫ū na nib▫hi▫o sāth. My associates and companions have all deserted me; no one remains with me. ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਪਤਿ ਮੈ ਟੇਕ ਏਕ ਰਘੁਨਾਥ ॥੫੫॥ कहु नानक इह बिपति मै टेक एक रघुनाथ ॥५५॥ Kaho Nānak ih bipaṯ mai tek ek ragẖunāth. ||55|| Says Nanak, in this tragedy, the Lord alone is my Support. ||55|| ਨਾਮੁ ਰਹਿਓ ਸਾਧੂ ਰਹਿਓ ਰਹਿਓ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੁ ॥ नामु रहिओ साधू रहिओ रहिओ गुरु गोबिंदु ॥ Nām rahi▫o sāḏẖū rahi▫o rahi▫o gur gobinḏ. The Naam remains; the Holy Saints remain; the Guru, the Lord of the Universe, remains. ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਜਗਤ ਮੈ ਕਿਨ ਜਪਿਓ ਗੁਰ ਮੰਤੁ ॥੫੬॥ कहु नानक इह जगत मै किन जपिओ गुर मंतु ॥५६॥ Kaho Nānak ih jagaṯ mai kin japi▫o gur manṯ. ||56|| Says Nanak, how rare are those who chant the Guru's Mantra in this world. ||56|| ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਰ ਮੈ ਗਹਿਓ ਜਾ ਕੈ ਸਮ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਇ ॥ राम नामु उर मै गहिओ जा कै सम नही कोइ ॥ Rām nām ur mai gahi▫o jā kai sam nahī ko▫e. I have enshrined the Lord's Name within my heart; there is nothing equal to it. ਜਿਹ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਸੰਕਟ ਮਿਟੈ ਦਰਸੁ ਤੁਹਾਰੋ ਹੋਇ ॥੫੭॥੧॥ जिह सिमरत संकट मिटै दरसु तुहारो होइ ॥५७॥१॥ Jih simraṯ sankat mitai ḏaras ṯuhāro ho▫e. ||57||1|| Meditating in remembrance on it, my troubles are taken away; I have received the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan. ||57||1||


Pritpaala – Guru Amardas’ Pauri Set to Western Classical Music

Pritpaala originates from a Pauri by Guru Amardas in Suhi Ki Vaar. It expands on a concept introduced by Guru Nanak in the Mool Mantra, Saibhang, "Existing From Himself." To the best of my knowledge, this beautiful shabad has not been recorded by anyone.



Much gratitude to Slovenian composer Katarina Koprivc for her original and beautiful composition "The Remains of Love," as well as to Enrico Nichelatti for Strings, Suellen Primost for Cello on this track.  In this case, which is somewhat unusual, the music was composed before the melody.  When I first heard this composition from Katarina, I loved it and wanted to sing something along with it.  So I opened a random hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib using an iPhone app and sang along Katarina's composition the following Guru Amardas Pauri.  The Pauri is written in Raag Suhi, a raag about about love, so there was a coincidental match with Katarina's original title, The Remains of Love. But please be aware that this composition is not in Raag Suhi.

ਸੂਹੀ ਕੀ ਵਾਰ: (ਮ: ੩) - ਅੰਗ ੭੮੫  
Suhi Ki Vaar - Guru Amar Das - Page 785

ਆਪੇ ਤਖਤੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਆਕਾਸ ਪਤਾਲਾ ॥
He Himself established His throne, in the Akaashic ethers and the nether worlds.

ਹੁਕਮੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਜੀਅਨੁ ਸਚੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
By the Hukam of His Command, He created the earth, the true home of Dharma.

ਆਪਿ ਉਪਾਇ ਖਪਾਇਦਾ ਸਚੇ ਦੀਨ ਦਇਆਲਾ ॥
He Himself created and destroys; He is the True Lord, merciful to the meek.

ਸਭਨਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿਦਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
You give sustenance to all; how wonderful and unique is the Hukam of Your Command!

ਆਪੇ ਆਪਿ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਆਪੇ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਾ ॥੧॥
You Yourself are permeating and pervading; You Yourself are the Cherisher. ||1||

Discussion

Let me take four words/phrases from this pauri that I found interesting to meditate upon to understand better the true meaning of these beautiful words:

1. Takhat or Throne: Every heart is God's throne; every song is under His direction


Guru Amardas says, "Your created your own throne in the ethers and the ethers. 

ਆਪੇ ਤਖਤੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਆਕਾਸ ਪਤਾਲਾ ॥
He Himself established His throne, in the Akaashic ethers and the nether worlds.


Throne is the resting place for a king, the ruler, the emperor.  The question is where is the resting place for God. Where does he sit?

In Ramkali, Guru Arjan Dev says, "O king of kings, with the greatest court, final justice, the real doer of everything, you sit on the true throne."  

ਵਡਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਦਰਬਾਰੁ ਸਚਾ ਤੁਧੁ ਤਖਤੁ ॥
The Darbaar of Your Court is glorious and great. Your holy throne is True.


In Raag Asa, Guru Nanak says that the one who sits on the throne is imbued in the five elements.

ਤਖਤ ਨਿਵਾਸੀ ਪੰਚ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
The one on the throne is imbued in five (elements)

So every element, every molecule, every atom is His throne. If you recognize, God resides in your heart. So my own heart is God's throne.  Every heart is God's throne. 

Guru Nanak asks a question in the 27th pauri of Japji Sahib: Where does God sit and rule the world?

ਸੋ ਦਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਕੇਹਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਬਹਿ ਸਰਬ ਸਮਾਲੇ ॥
Where is that Gate, and where is that Dwelling, in which You sit and take care of all?

And he answers this question in the end:

ਸੋ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੁ ਸਾਹਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਹਣੁ ਰਜਾਈ ॥੨੭॥
He is the King, the King of kings, the Supreme Lord and Master of kings. Nanak remains subject to His Will. ||27||

Guru Nanak concludes that it is not "he" that is singing, it is really through the command of the supreme being that he is singing. Every heart is God's throne, and from there he makes Guru Nanak sing. Every heart is singing ... Sabhai Ghat Raam Bolai.  Every song is under His direction. 

2. Dharamsaal: The Earth is a beautiful temple where we come together and sing.


The word Dharamsaal literally means the home of dharma, or a temple.  Just like paathsaal means house of education or school.  Guru Amardas says, "Your beautified the earth like a temple" in the following line: 


ਹੁਕਮੇ ਧਰਤੀ ਸਾਜੀਅਨੁ ਸਚੀ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
By the Hukam of His Command, He created the earth, the true home of Dharma.


The concept of the earth being a temple originates from Guru Nanak who says the following in the 34th pauri of Japji Sahib:

ਰਾਤੀ ਰੁਤੀ ਥਿਤੀ ਵਾਰ ॥
Nights, days, weeks and seasons;

ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਅਗਨੀ ਪਾਤਾਲ ॥
Wind, water, fire and the nether regions

ਤਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਥਾਪਿ ਰਖੀ ਧਰਮਸਾਲ ॥
In the midst of these, He established the earth as a home for Dharma.

Why is earth being a temple important. Its important because of what happens in a temple.  Guru Arjan Dev describes what happens in a temple in a Chhant in Raag Gauri:

ਮੋਹਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਊਚੇ ਮੰਦਰ ਮਹਲ ਅਪਾਰਾ ॥
O Mohan, your temple is so lofty, and your mansion is unsurpassed.

ਮੋਹਨ ਤੇਰੇ ਸੋਹਨਿ ਦੁਆਰ ਜੀਉ ਸੰਤ ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲਾ ॥
O Mohan, your gates are so beautiful. They are the worship-houses of the Saints.

ਧਰਮ ਸਾਲ ਅਪਾਰ ਦੈਆਰ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਸਦਾ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਗਾਵਹੇ ॥
In these incomparable worship-houses, they continually sing Kirtan, the Praises of their Lord and Master.

ਜਹ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਤ ਇਕਤ੍ਰ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਤਹਾ ਤੁਝਹਿ ਧਿਆਵਹੇ ॥
Where the Saints and the Holy gather together, there they meditate on you.

Places of worship are made so saints can get together, meditate upon the one and sing the ONE's praises.  The purpose of life is to sing and the earth has been designed to be a place where this singing can be done.  The earth has been designed by God to come together and sing. Earth becomes beautiful when we come together and sing.  

What is singing other than just following the command of the ONE.  Gurbani says Sabhai Ghat Raam Bolai or Every heart is singing in the temple of the earth. 


3. Rijak: Why do we need to worry when we know we will have food!

ਸਭਨਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿਦਾ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨਿਰਾਲਾ ॥
You give sustenance to all; how wonderful and unique is the Hukam of Your Command!

In Sodar Gujri, Guru Arjan Dev asks, "Why, O mind, do you plot and plan when Waheguru, the Pritpaala, the Deen Dayaala, is there to care for you. Even those living beings that are created in the rocks, they get nourishment. Its not the fathers, mothers, children or spouses; its God that provides for every single one. Why is there any need to be afraid. Flamingoes fly hundreds of miles, leaving their young ones behind. Who feeds them, and who teaches them to feed themselves? Have you ever thought of this, dear mind? The one without any end takes care of everyone, the omnipotent one. Slave Nanak endlessly loves the one who holds all power in the palm of His hand."

ਰਾਗੁ ਗੂਜਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
Raag Goojaree, Fifth Mehl:


ਕਾਹੇ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਚਿਤਵਹਿ ਉਦਮੁ ਜਾ ਆਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਪਰਿਆ ॥
ਸੈਲ ਪਥਰ ਮਹਿ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਏ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਆਗੈ ਕਰਿ ਧਰਿਆ ॥੧॥

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਾਧਉ ਜੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਸੁ ਤਰਿਆ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੂਕੇ ਕਾਸਟ ਹਰਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਜਨਨਿ ਪਿਤਾ ਲੋਕ ਸੁਤ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਕਿਸ ਕੀ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
ਸਿਰਿ ਸਿਰਿ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹੇ ਠਾਕੁਰੁ ਕਾਹੇ ਮਨ ਭਉ ਕਰਿਆ ॥੨॥

ਊਡੇ ਊਡਿ ਆਵੈ ਸੈ ਕੋਸਾ ਤਿਸੁ ਪਾਛੈ ਬਚਰੇ ਛਰਿਆ ॥
ਤਿਨ ਕਵਣੁ ਖਲਾਵੈ ਕਵਣੁ ਚੁਗਾਵੈ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਕਰਿਆ ॥੩॥

ਸਭਿ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਦਸ ਅਸਟ ਸਿਧਾਨ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਰ ਤਲ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਲਿ ਬਲਿ ਸਦ ਬਲਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਤੇਰਾ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਰਾਵਰਿਆ ॥੪॥੫॥

4. Aape Aap Vartadaa: You Yourself Permeate

Guru Nanak first used the phrase "Aape Aap Vartadaa" Or "He himself permeates" in a couple of shabads, one in Raag Malhar
Tu Aape Aap Vartada, Aap Banat Banaii
Tudh Bin Dooja Ko Nahin, Tu Raheya Samaii

and another in Raag Gauri:
Sabh Aape Aap Vartada Aape Bharmaaya
Gur Kirpa Te Boojhiyeh Sabh Brahm Samaayaa


At the time of Guru Arjan Dev, Bhai Gurdas explained in detail what this really meant using many different examples in his second Vaar.  This vaar has 20 pauris or poems that each end with the phrase "Aape Aap Vartada".  This must have been an important topic of discussions. Perhaps a lot of questions were asked about God permeating everything.  That's why Bhai Gurdaas has given this concept so much importance.   Bhai Gurdaas's Vaar 2. 

Baba Jai Ghar Karte Keerat Hoye – Guru Nanak in Raag Asa

Bābā Jai Gẖar Karṯe Kīraṯ Hoe 

While this Guru Nanak shabad is often recited, especially in evening prayers, I have not heard it sung much. I composed this in a simple Raag Asa tune a few years ago and this year is the first time I published a studio recording of this shabad.  I hope you enjoy it, immerse into it, and share it with your minds and hearts as I have.



Featuring Ahsan Ali on Sarangi and Background Vocals

I am excited that this is first of many recordings that I am releasing which will feature Ustad Ahsan Ali, one of the leading Sarangi players from North India.  Ahsan Bhai, a seventh generation musician from the Kirana Gharana, is not just a sarangi player and vocalist with intimate knowledge of Indian ragas, who has traveled worldwide and performed live at prestigious locales, he is an amazing composer with a great ear and penmanship for western harmonies and has composed music for Sardool Sikandar ji and Abida Parveen ji.

A note on the raag - Raag Asa

Raag Asa is named because of the feelings of "hope" it exudes; some suggest that it was created by Guru Nanak during his travels to a region called "Asa".  Compared to other raags in Hindustani classical music it is a relatively new raag - approximately 500 years ago.  Therefore the versions of raag Asa have not been codified by musicologists; perhaps I will do it sometime. Unlike other raags which generally have one time for singing during the day or night, Asa has two.  In general there are two major forms of the raag - one that includes komal Ni and one that does not include a komal Ni.  From what I have heard from researchers at the Patiala university, the Asa version that has the komal Ni (like the one in this shabad) is sung in the evening time. Komal Ni is generally not used in the version that is sung in the morning.

In this shabad, while the melody adheres to Raag Asa, the instrumentalists took liberties to go beyond the scope of the raag. Historically I would have not included tracks that did not adhere to the pure raag, but as I mentioned in a recent interview, I have been more accepting of deviations as long as the general mood of the shabad remains unchanged.  For the vocalist at one point sings "Re Ga Ma Ga" as part of the background music - that is not allowed in Raag Asa but I still included it in this recording. Acceptance within the hukam is often liberating I have realized.

Free Ringtone:




Shabad

ਰਾਗੁ ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ
रागु आसा महला
Rāg āsā mėhlā 1.
Raag Aasaa, Guru Nanak.


ਛਿਅ ਘਰ ਛਿਅਗੁਰ ਛਿਅਉਪਦੇਸ
छिअ घर छिअ गुर छिअ उपदेस
Cẖẖia gẖar cẖẖia gur cẖẖia upḏes.
Six houses of wisdom, six teachers, and six sets of teachings.


ਗੁਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੋਵੇਸ ਅਨੇਕ
गुरु गुरु एको वेस अनेक
Gur gur eko ves anek. ||1||
But the Teacher of all teachers is the One, who appears in so many forms. ||1||


ਬਾਬਾ ਜੈ ਘਰਿਕਰਤੇ ਕੀਰਤਿਹੋਇ
बाबा जै घरि करते कीरति होइ
Bābā jai gẖar karṯe kīraṯ hoe.
O Baba, the house (body/school) in which the Praises of the Creator are sung -


ਸੋ ਘਰੁ ਰਾਖੁਵਡਾਈ ਤੋਇ ਰਹਾਉ
सो घरु राखु वडाई तोइ रहाउ
So gẖar rākẖ vadāī ṯoe. ||1|| rahā▫o.
in that house (body/school) rests true greatness. ||1||Pause||


ਵਿਸੁਏ ਚਸਿਆ ਘੜੀਆਪਹਰਾ ਥਿਤੀਵਾਰੀ ਮਾਹੁਹੋਆ
विसुए चसिआ घड़ीआ पहरा थिती वारी माहु होआ
visu▫e cẖasi▫ā gẖaṛīā pahrā thiṯī vārī māhu hoā.
The seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months,


ਸੂਰਜੁ ਏਕੋ ਰੁਤਿਅਨੇਕ
सूरजु एको रुति अनेक
Sūraj eko ruṯ anek.
From one sun come many seasons.


ਨਾਨਕ ਕਰਤੇ ਕੇਕੇਤੇ ਵੇਸ
नानक करते के केते वेस
Nānak karṯe ke keṯe ves. ||2||2||
Of one creator there many forms ||2||2||



Reflection (June 2017)



Six teachings
Six are their teachers
And Six the houses of wisdom
Even though appearances differ
the teacher of all teachers 
remains ONE

Seconds, 
Minutes, Hours,
Days, Weeks, Months ...
From Just ONE Sun
come so many 
seasons!

Oh mind ...
the house in which 
the creator's praises are sung ...
You should consider
that house to be
the greatest
ONE


Alternative Reflection (Nov 2012)

Six houses, six teachers, six philosophies.
But Guru's guru: One

Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and seasons,
All come from one: the Sun.

Nanak hail that house where
One's praises are sung



Notes on the reflections above and some words in the shabad:

Ghar

Ghar is house or residence. In Gurbani it can refer to a house or it can be a metaphorical reference.  It could refer to the residence of the soul or body, it could refer to the residence of humans, or earth, the residence of wisdom or scriptures (6 shastras of India), the house of worship or temple, and the house of thought or “Mann”/heart etc. 

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (Corinthians 6:19-20)

"Chheh Ghar"- Six houses of wisdom or philosophy

Several Indian intellectual traditions were codified during the medieval period into a standard list of six orthodox systems or ṣaḍdarśanas (literally "good views"). The credit for codifying these "visions" is generally given to six different Gurus or Rishis as mentioned below:
  • Nyāyá, the school of logic, codified by Rishi Gautam
  • Vaiśeṣika, the atomist school, codified by Rishi Kashyapa
  • Sāṃkhya, the enumeration school, codified by Rishi Kapila
  • Yoga, codified by Patañjali 
  • Mimāṃsā, the tradition of Vedic exegesis, codified by Rishi Jaimini
  • Vedanta, codified by Rishi Vyasa
"Baba"

Baba in arabic is a respected person. In this case it is the listener. In Gurbani, the emphasis is on recitation from the mouth and listening from the ears so our mind is enabled. The mind is the ear of the ear. So in this case, to make this shabad focused on myself internally, I use "mind" as the translation for Baba. 

"Karte Keerat"

I have translated this as "praises of the creator" but this is a very simplistic translation. The meaning is very deep. The complete meaning of "Karte" can be obtained through a meditation upon the Mool Mantra.  And the word Keerat has been translated by scholars in two ways: (1) from the Sanskrit Origin word "Keerti" which means Yash or grace or awesomeness (2) from the Arabic word "Qirat" which means recitation of the holy word.  The essence of Gurbani is to find God within and around and thereby the "Karte Keerat" becomes imbibing the qualities of God.  For example a "compassionate God" of Gurbani encourages us to absorb his compassion and emanate for the world. 

When the mind contemplates on the "ONE", absorbs the "ONE" and then reflects the "ONE", the greatest house of wisdom then becomes our mind. A mind that is full of "ONE" -- lets call it a Onefull mind.  If a Onefull mind is found, this wisdom encourages us to hold the greatest respect for it.