Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Mahaatam (Effect) of Various Gurbaani

In this article, we will discuss the effect various Gurbannee compositions. 

I will preface this article by saying that we should read, listen to, and practice the teachings of all of Sree Guroo Granth Saahib Jee. However, with that said, we all have to start somewhere. If you can't read, listen. Ultimately, you want to apply what you learn and transform your reality. You can start from the pehlaa ang (first page), or you can start where your heart is leading you. If you are new on your Sikh Journey, starting with a gurbanee that speaks to your state of mind and/or is easier for you to understand may help build a connection. With all of the different resources that we now have access to (such as history and background / discussion/simple explanations/ /translations/transliteration of Gurbanee), hopefully, we all can read through all of Sree Guroo Granth Saahib Jee carefully and receive full grace and understanding.  

Why do we read different Gurbanee and not just recite one prayer everyday?

Each Gurbanee has an effect on our mind and our life (perceived reality). Also, often our mind and life is in a certain state, which we seek to improve; for example, you might be having issues with anger, greed, pain or suffering. It could be other matters. Ultimately, we want to grow strong enough where small things do not impact us, but most of us struggle early on in the journey, and some of us forget even if we understand the bigger picture.  Also, reading Gurbanee convinces us that something can be done, and that our condition isn't special to us. Gurbanee is the Guroo and Guroo is Gurbanee. Reading the Gurbanee manifests the reality, provided we read it with love, respect and concentration. If we are going to seek help, why not turn to the Guroo? The Guroo can destroy our troubles and pains. The Guroo can cure our ailments and problems. Convincing the mind to constantly rely on the Guroo for everything is the hardest part.  

Japu Jee Saahib - Provides Understanding 

Japu (u is subtle) is the first Gurbanee, which helps describes Ik Onkaar, the journey, creation, the different realms, importance of following hukam (the Lord's command). The previous description is overly simplified and a line-by-line explanation would provide more insights; however, generally, the effect is that you begin to understand everything was manifested by the One Lord. It provides you giaan (understanding of God, creation, nature, etc.). The effect of this is that your doubts begin to be erased. It convinces your mind that God does everything and he is a universal God and accessible to all beings. It has been said that Jap Ji Saahib is a summary of all of Guroo Granth Saahib Ji, and Mool Mantar (first stanza) is a summary of Jap Ji Saahib and the shabad Ik Oangkaar is the essence of everything. Ik Oangkaar is the beginning of Sri Guroo Granth Saahib Ji, and destination of a Sikh's Spiritual Journey.

Jaap Saahib - Praise of the many descriptions of the One Lord.

God has many descriptions, yet he is indescribable. Jaap Saahib gives you the understanding  God is everything, yet beyond all of it.

In Jaap Saahib different attributes, and names are used to describe the one Lord. It is one of the most beautifully written Gurbanees, since it uses multiple styles, languages, and formats all in one composition. Praise of the One Lord is a gift. Praising the true Lord with a pure heart brings many attributes to ones own reality and character. 

Tva Prasad Savaiye - Bairaag (yearning for the One Lord)

This Gurbanee reminds us that becoming a king, strong warrior, a rich person, famous, or anything else will mean nothing, if we do not have Love in our hearts for the One Lord and we do not obtain his grace. Often, the mind focuses on the temporal reality and loses sight of our spiritual self. This Gurbanee humbles the mind and in that regard. 

Chaupaee Saahib - Prayer for Protection

When we feel like we are under attack by actual enemies or spiritual ones, reading this Gurbanee can protect against your enemies. There are many attempts to manipulate  energy for destructive reasons and if someone makes you a target, this Gurbanee will help you. Chaupaee Saahib also describes the superiority of the One Supreme Lord. The Gurbanee focuses on reliance on the one supreme lord over all other deities. It also speaks to the Lords strength to create, protect, and destroy. Also, it gives strength to the weak beyond their imagination.

Anand Saahib - Prayer for Bliss and Self-control

It provides control of the five vices, which are desire, anger, greed, attachment, and ego. It reminds the mind to connect to the one Lord at all times.

Rehraas Saahib - Prayer to refocus the mind

Rehraas Saahib - Composed of Gurbanee from Sree Guroo Granth Saahib Jee and Sree Dasam Granth Saahib Jee. It combines stanzas from various Gurbanees to refocus the mind.  As there are 5 Gurbanees that Sikhs typically read in the morning (JapJi Saahib, Jaapu Saahib, Tva Prasaad Svaaiye, Chaupaee Saahib, Anand Saahib), this becomes the evening cleanse.

Sohilaa Saahib  - Nighttime Protection

Read at night time for protection during sleep, so that prays if a soul was to leave the body, it would end up at God's door. It also praises God's creation, and asks for the humble company of holy saints.

Aarti Saahib - Praise of Naam Simran

It starts off describing how nature is already worshipping God with smells, scents, and light in the physical sense, but God's remembrance and focusing on connecting with our inner light is most important form of worship. 

Dukh Bhanjanee Saahib - Breaks your pains and sorrows

The effect of this Gurbanee is that it helps you heal your physical, mental, and spiritual self. Again, it asks the self to surrender to God by reciting his name, and relying on naam as the cure for the pains and suffering.

Shabad Haazare - Read during feeling of Separation

When the feeling of loneliness and yearning of the Lord arises, this is the time to read this Gurbanee as it calls out to the Lord. Obviously, anytime is a good time to tell your beloved, you miss them, but when you feel that separation, it helps describe your condition and hopefully gains a glance of God's graceful attention.

Sukhmanee Saahib - Peace and Happiness 

Sukhmanee Saahib - guides the mind to repeat and chant God's name with love and devotion, which is the cure for all ailments physical, mental or spiritual.  It also provides a deeper understanding of God, which ultimately eliminates one of the biggest confusions, the idea of the self and doubt. It reminds the mind that all is God and God does everything. You realize it is God's stage, he is the actor, director, etc.

Baarah Maahaa - 12 Months - Provides understanding of your feelings

As the physical world we know today has created 12 months, the soul witnesses 12 months that brings various feelings. This Gurbanee provides context to feelings as it pertains to the relationship of soul and God. It will help in strengthening your relationship as you realize a lot of what is happening to you is normal.

Dakhnee Oangkaar - Focuses the mind on the oneness of the Lord

This Gurbanee focuses on the Oneness of the the Lord. It reminds us that the One Lord is where everything came from and that is what we should focus on and remember. We should chant the name of that one lord. Guroo Nanank Dev Ji was being questioned by religious scholars that wanted to know what he worshipped, so in a sense, it is a back-and-forth between Guroo Nanak Dev Ji and the religious scholars. It also asks us to study that oneness.

I ask the Guroo and the Sangat to forgive for mistakes made during the composition of this article.




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