“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
Guru Granth Sahib is the only scripture in the world which is believed to be Ever Living Shabad Guru by crores of believers in Sikhism. In other religions of the world, scriptures respected as sacred books are not given the status of Guru, Prophet, Christ or higher preacher. In Guru Granth Sahib, the Bani or its contents are in exactly original form because the author Gurus put in black and white by Gurus themselves and not a single word was added subsequently.
Guru Nanak used to pen down his Bani (Composition) himself and he handed over his book (Pothi) of composition to Second Guru Angad Dev Ji who in turn handed over this alongwith his own composition to third Guru Amar Das Ji. This practice continued. Thus the Bani of all the first four Gurus received by fifth Guru Arjan Dev Ji along with the Bani of Bhaktas. In order to eliminate the possibility of mixing up and adulteration of fake Bani with Guru’s bani by undesirable elements. Guru Arjan Dev JI compiled all the Banis of earlier Gurus received by him alongwith his own Banis and that of Bhaktas etc. into a single volume with the assistance of a renowned Sikh Scholar Bhai Gurdas who under took writing work with his own hand as directed by Guru Arjan Dev Ji. The compliation of this volume known as Adi Granth took wbout 3 years and was installed ceremoniously in Harmandir Sahib Temple at Amritsar in 1604 A.D. Baba Budha Ji was appointed as first Granthi ( a person reciting Bani from Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhs and attending there later formalities).
Guru Gobind Singh got the whole volume of Adi Granth with the addition of the Bani of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at Sabo Ki Talwandi (Damdama Sahib) in Bathinda District of Punjab in 1705. He finally bestowed Guruship on Guru Granth Sahib just before he breathed his last in 1708 A.D. at Nanded in Maharashtra. Thus Guru Granth Sahib was formally declared as prepetual Guru of the Sikhs for all time to come.
CONTENTS OF GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
It consists of 1430 pages and includes compositions of 36 persons in all as detailed below :-
A. SIX GURUS
1. Guru Nanak Dev Ji 1469 - 1539 A.D.
2. Guru Angad Dev Ji 1504 - 1552 A.D.
3. Guru Amar Das Ji 1479 - 1574 A.D.
4. Guru Ram Das Ji 1534 - 1581 A.D.
5. Guru Arjan Dev Ji 1563 - 1606 A.D.
6. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji 1621 - 1675 A.D.
B. 15 BHAKATAS (OTHER THAN SIKH)
1. Kabir Ji 1398 - 1518 A.D
2. Ravi Dass Ji 1378 - 1529 A.D.
3. Nam Dev Ji 1270 - 1350 A.D.
4. Trilochan Ji 1267 - 1335 A.D.
5. Dhanna Ji 1415 - 1475 A.D.
6. Jai Dev Ji 1201 - 1273 A.D.
7. Sain Ji 1390 - 1440 A.D.
8. Peepa Ji 1426 - 1562 A.D.
9. Sur Das Ji 1529 - A.D.
10. Ramanand Ji 1366 - 1467 A.D.
11. Saohna Ji
12. Beni Ji
13. Parmanand Ji 1483 - 1593 A.D.
14. Bhikhan Ji 1480 - 1574 A.D.
15. Sheikh Farid 1173 - 1266 A.D.
These Bhakats were Hindus as well as Mohamaddans. They belonged to both high and low castes and represented different regions and provinces of India.
C. ELEVEN BARDS (BHATTS)
who came to Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Darbar and sang hymns in praise of Gurus. They were :
1. Bhai Sunder Ji 1560 - 1603 A.D.
2. Bard Singer (Rababi) Doom
3. Bard Singer (Rababi) Rai Balwand
4. Bard Singer (Rababi) Mardana 1459 - 1534 A.D.
pa-orhee maaroo dakh-nay vaar mehlaa 5.
Pauree: Vaar Of Maaroo Dakhanay, Fifth Mehl:
hir jI myrI swr kry hm hir ky bwlk ]
har jee mayree saar karay ham har kay baalak.
The Dear Lord takes care of me; I am the child of the Lord.
shjy shij iKlwiedw nhI krdw Awlk ]
sehjay sahj khilaa-idaa nahee kardaa aalak.
Slowly and steadily, He feeds me; He never fails.
Aaugxu ko n icqwrdw gl syqI lwiek ]
a-ugan ko na chitaardaa gal saytee laa-ik.
He does not remind me of my faults; He hugs me close in His embrace.
muih mMgW soeI dyvdw hir ipqw
muhi mangaaN so-ee dayvdaa har pitaa sukh-daa-ik.
Whatever I ask for, He give me; the Lord is my peace-giving father.
igAwnu rwis nwmu Dnu sauipEnu iesu saudy lwiek ]
gi-aan raas naam Dhan sa-opi-on is sa-uday laa-ik.
He has blessed me with the capital, the wealth of spiritual wisdom; He has made me worthy of this merchandise.
swJI gur nwil bhwilAw srb suK pwiek ]
saajhee gur naal bahaali-aa sarab sukh paa-ik.
He has made me a partner with the Guru; I have obtained all peace and comforts.
mY nwlhu kdy n ivCuVY hir ipqw sBnw glw lwiek ]21]
mai naalahu kaday na vichhurhai har pitaa sabhnaa galaa laa-ik. ||21||
He is with me, and shall never separate from me; the Lord, my father, is potent to do everything. ||21||
Apny suK isau hI jgu PWiDE ko kwhU ko nwhI ]1] rhwau ]
apnay sukh si-o hee jag faaNDhi-o ko kaahoo ko naahee. ||1|| rahaa-o.
The world is entangled in its own pleasures; no one is for anyone else. ||1||Pause||
suK mY Awin bhuqu imil bYTq rhq chU idis GyrY ]
sukh mai aan bahut mil baithat rahat chahoo dis ghayrai.
In good times, many come and sit together, surrounding you on all four sides.
ibpiq prI sB hI sMgu Cwifq koaU n Awvq nyrY ]1]
bipat paree sabh hee sang chhaadit ko-oo na aavat nayrai. ||1||
But when hard times come, they all leave, and no one comes near you. ||1||
Gr kI nwir bhuqu ihqu jw isau sdw rhq sMg lwgI ]
ghar kee naar bahut hit jaa si-o sadaa rahat sang laagee.
Your wife, whom you love so much, and who has remained ever attached to you,
jb hI hMs qjI ieh kWieAw pRyq pRyq kir BwgI ]2]
jab hee hans tajee ih kaaN-i-aa parayt parayt kar bhaagee. ||2||
runs away crying, "Ghost! Ghost!", as soon as the swan-soul leaves this body. ||2||
ieh ibiD ko ibauhwru binE hY jw isau nyhu lgwieE ]
ih biDh ko bi-uhaar bani-o hai jaa si-o nayhu lagaa-i-o.
This is the way they act - those whom we love so much.
AMq bwr nwnk ibnu hir jI koaU kwim n AwieE ]3]12]139]
ant baar naanak bin har jee ko-oo kaam na aa-i-o. ||3||12||139||
At the very last moment, O Nanak, no one is any use at all, except the Dear Lord. ||3||12||139||
rwgu jYjwvMqI mhlw 9 ] (1352-4)
raag jaijaavantee mehlaa 9.
Raag Jaijaavantee, Ninth Mehla:
raam simar raam simar ihai tayrai kaaj hai.
Meditate in remembrance on the Lord - meditate on the Lord; this alone shall be of use to you.
mwieAw ko sMgu iqAwgu pRB jU kI srin lwgu ]
maa-i-aa ko sang ti-aag parabh joo kee saran laag.
Abandon your association with Maya, and take shelter in the Sanctuary of God.
jgq suK mwnu imiQAw JUTo sB swju hY ]1] rhwau ]
jagat sukh maan mithi-aa jhootho sabh saaj hai. ||1|| rahaa-o.
Remember that the pleasures of the world are false; this whole show is just an illusion. ||1||Pause||
supny ijau Dnu pCwnu kwhy pir krq mwnu ]
supnay ji-o Dhan pachhaan kaahay par karat maan.
You must understand that this wealth is just a dream. Why are you so proud?
bwrU kI BIiq jYsy bsuDw ko rwju hY ]1]
baaroo kee bheet jaisay basuDhaa ko raaj hai. ||1||
The empires of the earth are like walls of sand. ||1||
nwnku jnu khqu bwq ibnis jYhY qyro gwqu ]
naanak jan kahat baat binas jaihai tayro gaat.
Servant Nanak speaks the Truth: your body shall perish and pass away.