You see I’m a Sikh and each morning I wake up and read the Japji Sahib, the Sikh morning prayer. I’ve been reading it since I was a kid and have it memorized along with other banis (compositions) from our sacred scripture the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Why am I grateful for scripture? Over the years, when times were tough or I was feeling down, it was the poetic verses of the scripture that dawned light on the darkness of my mind, or on reflection and many years later I’ve learned- the insanity and absurdity of my thoughts.
The Sikh holy book, is the living Guru for Sikhs. It is a 1430 volume of poetry written by the Gurus and compiled together by the 10th living Guru, Gobind Singh. The whole scripture is dedicated primarily in the praise of God. It is written to music and different measures that are beyond my basic understanding of music.
My personal experience of reciting the compositions (banis) since I was a kid (when I didn’t understand anything) to today is that as my thoughts and heart have expanded over time, so has the poetic meaning of the verses in the scripture. It’s as though, the Guru’s teachings get deeper and coincide with our own expanding awareness.
For the very first time, along with my wife in the past few weeks, I have gone through the English translations of the Japji Sahib’s and put meaning to the words written in Punjabi. Just like we have difficulty understanding Shakespeare’s English, as all languages change over time, so do I the poetic verses written 500 years ago in the native Punjabi language at that time. Though I’ve learned a lot so far, there is much more to learn and understand.
My biggest takeaway so far?
Our happiness and salvation depend on our acceptance of God’s will. This whole creation is his play. He is beyond our comprehension, time & space. Countless praise him in countless ways in countless realms of his creation. Those who listen, believe and meditate on the truth, lovingly sing his praise and chant his name; save themselves and help many others. The universe has been created, destroyed and reabsorbed countless times. We should sow the seeds of contemplation, meditation, prayer as this will help us reach higher and higher stages of awareness until we finally become absorbed back into the ocean of eternity from where we came.
I know for many this will be pscyho-babble. For me it’s my life long journey of getting to know myself. To experience my thoughts at a deeper level. It’s helped to have compositions & verses memorized. They’ve always guided me in the rough patches of life and also helped me to uplift and guide others when needed.
So today I’m grateful for the praise of God I’ve learned through the Sikh Gurus, enlightened Saints, whose words are forever enscribed in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.