Japji Sahib took me on a self-discovery journey. When I first discovered this hymn, I was struck by the beauty and depth of its verses, and felt drawn to explore it further. Little did I know at the time just how much of an impact it would have on my life.
Through the regular practice of reciting Japji Sahib, I have found a path to a journey of spirituality filled with a kind of fulfillment that I never thought possible. But Japji Sahib is not just a prayer. It's a spiritual practice that has the power to transform the mind, body, and soul. It can help you connect with your inner wisdom, overcome fears and doubts, and cultivate a deep sense of compassion and love for all beings.
In this article, I want to share with you experiences of people close to Japji Sahib and offer you a glimpse into the power and beauty of this ancient hymn. Whether you're someone who is just starting on your spiritual journey, or you're looking for new practices to deepen your connection to the divine, I believe that Japji Sahib has something to offer you
Guru Nanak Story
Guru Nanak Dev Ji was a spiritual leader and the founder of the Sikh religion. He was born on April 15, 1469, in the village of Talwandi, now known as Nankana Sahib, in present-day Pakistan. In his early thirties, Guru Nanak began to embark on a series of spiritual journeys, traveling throughout the region and engaging in deep contemplation and meditation. During Guru Nanal’s travels, he had a series of profound spiritual experiences that would shape his teachings and philosophy.
As Guru Nanak's teachings began to spread, he gained a large following of devoted disciples. Over time, this community of followers began to develop its own distinct identity and practices.
This community eventually became known as the Sikhs, and Guru Nanak is considered the first of the ten Sikh Gurus who would follow him.
Guru Nanak's teachings emphasized the importance of living a life of compassion, humility, and service to others. He believed in the unity of all religions, and that all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate truth. His message of inclusivity and love for all resonated with people of all backgrounds, and he gained a large following of devoted disciples.
Guru Nanak’s story can also be watched in this documentary that presents his life, travels and teachings.
Japji Sahib and its origins
Guru Nanak, was also a prolific composer of hymns and spiritual poetry. His writings form the basis of the Sikh scriptures, including the Guru Granth Sahib, which is considered the central text of the Sikh religion. Among his many compositions, two of the most important are the Japji Sahib and the Asa Di Var.
If you've ever been curious about the Sikh religion or the spiritual practices of India, you may have come across the term "Japji Sahib".
But what exactly is Japji Sahib, and why is it so significant?
At its core, Japji Sahib is a sacred hymn that forms the basis of Sikh daily prayer. It was written by Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, in the 16th century. Japji Sahib is composed of 40 verses or "pauris", each of which offers profound insights into the nature of reality and our place in it.
But Japji Sahib is not just a religious text - it is a powerful tool for personal transformation and self-discovery. The word "jap" in Japji Sahib means to meditate or repeat, while "sahib" is a term of respect and honor. So, in essence, Japji Sahib is an invitation to meditate on the divine truths it contains, and to cultivate a deeper connection with the divine.
So, what makes Japji Sahib so special?
For starters, its verses are incredibly poetic and beautiful. Even if you're not a religious person, you can appreciate the sheer beauty of the language and the depth of the ideas contained within. Here's a sample verse from Japji Sahib:
"From the One comes the many,
From the many comes the One.
Recognize the Creator's grace
In every moment and every breath."
But beyond its poetic beauty, Japji Sahib offers a roadmap for personal growth and spiritual evolution. Its verses touch on everything from the nature of the divine, to the nature of the self, to the nature of suffering and the path to liberation. Each verse offers a nugget of wisdom or insight that can help us deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
For example, one verse of Japji Sahib says:
"Through all ages, Truth alone prevails,
Through Truth, divine grace is revealed.
By living in Truth, the soul is saved,
And all desires are fulfilled."
This verse reminds us that living in alignment with the truth is the key to finding fulfillment and liberation. When we are truthful with ourselves and others, we tap into the divine grace that permeates all of creation.
So, whether you're a spiritual seeker or simply curious about the wisdom of different traditions, Japji Sahib offers a wealth of insights and inspiration. Its verses remind us of the timeless truths that underpin all of existence, and encourage us to cultivate a deeper connection with the divine.
The Structure and Meaning of Japji Sahib
Japji Sahib consists of 40 pauris or stanzas, each of which contains a specific message or teaching related to spirituality, morality, and the nature of the universe. Each of these stanzas is believed to have a unique power that can help the practitioner in their spiritual journey.
The structure of Japji Sahib is divided into four parts: the Mool Mantar, the Salok, the Pauri, and the final Salok. The Mool Mantar is the opening stanza of Japji Sahib and is considered the most important verse in Sikhism. It is a concise statement of Sikh beliefs and is recited at the beginning of every Sikh religious ceremony.
The Salok is a couplet that follows the Mool Mantar and serves as an introduction to the main body of Japji Sahib. The Pauris or stanzas follow the Salok and are the heart of Japji Sahib. The final Salok serves as a conclusion to Japji Sahib and is recited after the last pauri.
What is a Pauri?
Pauri is a term used in the Sikh tradition to refer to a particular verse or section of the holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. Japji Sahib, composed by Guru Nanak, contains 40 pauris and is considered a fundamental prayer in Sikhism. Each pauri has its own significance and power, and the recitation of these pauris is believed to have various benefits.
The power of the pauris lies in their ability to connect the practitioner with the divine and awaken spiritual consciousness. Each pauri is a sacred invocation, and its recitation is believed to help clear the mind of negativity and connect the practitioner with the divine presence within. Each pauri is said to have a unique power and meaning, and the recitation of specific pauris is recommended for specific purposes.
Reciting each pauri 11 times a day is believed to be a powerful practice that can help one overcome obstacles, develop inner strength, and awaken spiritual consciousness. The repetition of the pauris helps to create a vibrational resonance that can have a profound effect on the mind and spirit.
There are different ways to use Japji Sahib in daily life, depending on your own level of commitment and spiritual practice. You can choose to recite the entire Japji Sahib daily, or focus on specific pauris based on their intention and needs.
Daily Full Japji: Reciting the entire Japji Sahib daily is a powerful practice that can help cultivate inner strength and spiritual awareness. This practice involves reciting all 40 pauris of the Japji Sahib in one sitting, preferably in the early morning hours. This practice can help set the tone for the day, and create a strong foundation for spiritual practice.
Daily 11 Times Pauri: Focusing on specific pauris can be a powerful way to cultivate specific qualities or overcome specific challenges. Each pauri is said to have its own unique power and meaning, and focusing on specific pauris can help one develop the qualities associated with that pauri. Reciting a specific pauri 11 times a day for a set period can help to deepen one's connection with the divine and cultivate specific qualities.
Daily 11 Times Japji Sahib: This practice involves reciting the entire Japji Sahib 11 times a day for a set period. It is considered a powerful spiritual discipline that can help one overcome obstacles and develop inner strength. This practice requires a high level of commitment and dedication, but can have a profound impact on one's spiritual growth.
The experiences of people who recite Japji Sahib are varied and personal. Some people report feeling more connected to the divine and experiencing a greater sense of peace and contentment in their daily lives. Others report experiencing profound spiritual insights and deeper states of consciousness. The benefits of Japji Sahib are said to depend on the level of commitment and intention of the practitioner.
The Power of Japji Sahib
The recitation of Japji Sahib has been found to have numerous spiritual benefits. Many people recite the pauris of Japji Sahib 11 times a day, which is believed to have a powerful effect on the mind and soul. The repetition of these stanzas can help in focusing the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting a sense of inner peace and harmony.
Many people who have recited Japji Sahib regularly have reported profound experiences of inner transformation and spiritual growth. For some, it has been a life-changing practice that has helped them navigate the ups and downs of life with greater ease and grace.
For some, the experience of reciting Japji Sahib has been a deeply emotional one. My mother began the practice of humming Japji Sahib every day and she shares that when she first started reciting Japji Sahib, she would often break down in tears. She says that the practice helped her release years of pent-up emotions and allowed her to connect with her innermost feelings. Over time, she has found that reciting Japji Sahib has become a source of comfort and solace, especially during challenging times.
I have interviewed one of The Kundalini Yoga Club yoga teachers and found out how he uses Japji Sahib in his daily life.
Sandesh encourantered Japji Sahib on one of his trips with his family at a Chateau in France where the Kundalini Yoga was practiced. With completely no knowledge of the Japji, the world opened up to him and to this encounter with the Japji Sahib. See, many people do not get it at first, but they relate to the fact that there is a strong desire to experience the profound beauty of these verses.
Sandesh was also one of them. He further fell in love with it during his Kundalini Yoga training.
“It evokes a longing to understand what it was.”
He did not know about the concept of the “Naad'' which is ‘the essence of all sound', it is a particular vibration, a fundamental frequency that comes from one common source or sound current. Still, he felt it profoundly within him, the healing sounds, it all started with being introduced to Japji Sahib. Soon after this trip, he decided to become a yoga teacher.
Currently, he includes the Pauri nr 36 into his yoga practice.
“It has become a companion to me that I just need to be with in the morning. And if I don’t make it in the morning, I will do it in the car. I have a very busy day…I can start my day by doing the Japji in the car.” So, it is not about the perfect place, perfect reciting, perfect moment and perfect set-up. Instead, it is about taking the time to commit to a practice that is able to transform your life tremendously in ways you dreamed of. Attachments, unprocessed thoughts from the days before, they are getting processed when Sandesh recites the Japji Sahib. So, it is not about the words currently for him since they are foreign. His approach relates more to Naad, he just signs along. While doing that, he releases ideas and thoughts that were deeply unprocessed from the days that have passed. The experience of reciting Japji Sahib in nature is more related to the feelings he gets than to the mind experience of getting the words right.
Nevertheless, there is more power and effect into being with the words, but it comes at a later stage of your spiritual journey.
“The consciousness of the meaning of the words, I am not there yet. I am starting the course at the Kundalini Yoga Club this year. It is starting in 11 days…So now, this year, I really want to go into the level of understanding each Pauri… I want to know all the meanings of each Pauri and maybe one day, I will transcend to knowing all the words.” Sandesh said.
Overall, there is so much energy and stregth in this experience that Guru Nanak shaped into Japji Sahib 500 years ago. These words are able to bring you wisdom in a time where there is such an enormous amount of data coming from everywhere, so much duality and media overblowing you with news.
“If you have a different source of wisdom, a technique, which has outlasted all the newspapers, this give you strenght.” That is exactly what Japji Sahib is. The main principles of Japji Sahib, humility, detachment and surrender help you develop inner wisdom and tranquility. Most of these have been lost and isolated from the motives of the media that surrounds us today.
First off, it is vital to try out Japji Sahib in a community. There is a great sense of connection that this text brings so powerfully to groups of people reciting it. The motivation behind people that recite it every day starts from there.
Do that by following a course on Japji Sahib! The Japji Sahib course provided by The Kundalini Yoga Club aims to develop your spiritual connection by really grasping the Sikh faith, enhance your self-awareness and cultivate virtues such as truthfulness, compassion and contentment and further, connect you with the community which in return provides all the support, encouragement and inspiration your soul needs for your spiritual journey.
Japji Sahib is much more than just a religious text - it is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Its verses offer profound insights into the nature of reality and our place in it and encourage us to cultivate a deeper connection with the divine.
If you're looking for a spiritual boost, why not give Japji Sahib a chance? Don't worry about nailing the words perfectly at first – it's more about the feeling you get when you tune in and connect with the verses. When you find your Pauri and start chanting along, you might even feel goosebumps on your skin! This transformative experience has been elevating spirits for over 500 years, and you never know how it might help you until you try.
If you are still wondering what it is about these verses that has such a profound effect on the mind, soul and body.. Is it the words themselves or is it something deeper, something that transcends language and touches the very essence of your being? Then it means you are as curious as I am! Dive deeper into Japji Sahib, check out the course from The Kundalini Yoga Club and join the lively community to get inspired and feel for yourself Guru Nanak’s words, the Japji Sahib.