“bwxI gurU gurU hY bwxI ivic bwxI AMimRqu swry ]
guru bwxI khY syvku jnu mwnY prqiK gurU insqwr ]”
"Bani is the Guru and Guru is the Bani.
In the Bani are contained all the nectars.
If the servant obeys whatever the Guru says,
The Guru, in person, saves him."
After the first Amrit Ceremony, Guru Gobind Singh gave the Khalsa a code by which to live their lives. A key part of that code includes the recitation of and meditation on certain Banis. Banis are Sacred Teachings Songs given by the Divine to the Sikh Masters.
Bani means vibration or frequency of consciousness. Bani is not just what the words say or what the language conveys in a literal or philosophical sense. Bani is given to those with a totally enlightened mind. It comes as a wholistic understanding, a revelation of Universal and Ultimate Truth. The Sikh Masters received these visions of sound. Then, they took that vibrational revelation and put it into words for the times in which they lived.
Everything contained within the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is considered Bani. And Bani, itself, is the Guru. Bani is the Teacher, the Guide who takes us from the darkness of our own ego to the light of our Inner Divinity. How can a song be a Guru? How can sound lead us to liberation? It is actually quite simple.
When the tongue chants these Sacred Songs, it stimulates the meridians of the upper palate in a very specific pattern. If you run your tongue across the roof of your mouth, you will see how sensitive that part of your body is - and how it affects your entire nervous system. Gurbani is a Divine Sound Code that re-programs the brain, the glandular system and the nervous system. It re-programs us to see what the Masters saw. To experience what the Masters experienced. And, slowly, over time, as we integrate these visions and experiences, to live as the Masters lived.
"The Sound Current of the Shabad Guru is a perfect permutation to make us Divine. These Banis give us a sense of excellence. They create a permutation and combination between the tongue and the upper palate. This, in turn balances the hypothalamus so we can be great automatically. The hypothalamus controls habitual patterns. Reciting these Banis enables us to reset our patterns to experience Infinity. By reciting the Banis daily, by the Grace of God, we will begin to understand what the Guru is saying and we will begin to understand how it applies to our lives."
To support one's spiritual development, Guru Gobind Singh taught that certain Banis are best chanted every day. And some are best chanted at certain times of day.
The following are the daily Banis given by Guru Gobind Singh.
Given by the first Sikh Master, Guru Nanak. This Bani control's one's "Ji," one's soul. When your Ji, your being, is endangered, when the radiance of your soul is weak, recite Japji. Guru Nanak said that reciting Japji Sahib would liberate the humanity from the cycles of birth and death. Japji Sahib can be recited at any time of day.
Given by the fifth Sikh Master, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. This is the highest disciple's love letter, written by Arjan to his father Guru Ram Das. Its boon is that it gives the benefits of a thousand Shabds, and the soul shall directly merge with God. It makes the separated ones come home with grace. One who recites this Shabd shall never be separated from their beloved. Best recited in the morning.
Given by the 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. The Naad (Sound) of Jaap Sahib rouses the soul and the self of the Being. Sahib means grace. Recite it when your position is endangered, or when your authoritative personality is weak. This Bani brings grace and greatness. It will also give you the ability that whatever people say, you will automatically be able to compute what they are actually saying. And, once you are able to recite it correctly, it will give you the power, the Siddhi, that whatever you say, must happen. Man can direct God and God can direct man. Guru Gobind Singh recited Jaap Sahib so we won't become beggars at the doors of others. Best recited in the morning.
TEV PRASAAD SWAIYAAS
Given by the 10th Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. When you are not getting any satisfaction out of life, this is the Bani to recite.
Given by the third Sikh Master, Guru Amar Das. The 40 Paurees of the Anand Sahib guide the development of the mind and the soul for life. In this Bani, mind and body are explained in relation to cosmic divinity. Guru Amar Das gave us this Song of Bliss to qualify the mind and to understand the depth.
Different passages composed by various Sikh Masters. This Bani is recited at sunset. Traditionally, this is the time of day when work is done and one feels tired. This Bani adds energy (raa-hu) to one's being, to one's total concept. Also, recite it when your worldly wealth is endangered. In Naad (Sound Language), reh means live, and raas means commodity. Rehiras Sahib helps you when you are physically weak, or weak in money, property and earthly goods.
Different passages composed by different Sikh Masters. This Bani is done before you go to sleep at night. It is the most harmonious Naad (Sound) ever uttered. It multiplies the aura to the sensitivity of protection that it eliminates any negativity for miles and miles. When you are in danger, from a direct or indirect source, and when you want to protect yourself with the surrounding of the entire magnetic field of the earth, recite Kirtan Sohila.
For those interested in the yogic aspect of these Banis, here is a list of them along with their relationship with the five tattvas (elements). Each element in our being has certain patters and holds certain karmas. The impact of the Banis on the elements is to balance the energy and clear the karmas that are being held.
- Ether: Japji Sahib, Shabad Hazaaray
- Air: Jaap Sahib, Tev Prasaad Swaiyaas
- Fire: Anand Sahib
- Water: Rehiras Sahib, with Baynti Chaopai
- Earth: Kirtan Sohilaa