MEDITATION, FAITH & SCRIPTURES - Part ONE
MEDITATION, FAITH & SCRIPTURES (Part 1)
In Jan 2019, our second niece turned one. Her name, Aalisiya, is derived from Jaap Sahib which is the first prayer in Sri Dasam Granth - the spiritual scripture written in the 17th/18th Century by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru for followers of the Sikh faith.
To celebrate Aalisiya's birthday, we held a small 'Paath' or 'prayer recital' at our home. Whenever a 'Paath' is arranged (at home or in the #gurudwara) the prayer that is commonly recited by a Granthi (Priest) is called Sukhmani Sahib. We're not sure why other prayers are not read since all prayer is aimed at bringing peace to the listener! So, for Aalisiya's paath, we thought it would be a fitting gift if we read Jaap Sahib for her instead: the prayer that contains her namesake.
Grateful to our Mum for teaching us to read Punjabi, and to Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the ultimate G!) for penning Jaap. There is so much LIFE in this baani. Not only do we feel transported to another dimension, but we feel our ENERGY levels being topped up with this brilliantly rythmic piece of POWER poetry.
Here are some fun facts about Jaap Sahib:
There are 199 stanzas in Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib is an ode. A literal 'singing of the praises' of the attributes and various names of 'The Supreme Power, The Divine Energy'
In Sanskrit, Jaap means to 'mutter' in a low voice. In Punjabi, Jaap is now widely understood to mean 'recite/meditate'
The pattern of rythm and sound in Jaap changes according to the title of the 199 'Chhands' or stanzas. For example, there is a stanza called 'Bhujang Prayat Chhand' - 'The Snake Stanza' because of how the stanza 'moves' rythmically. We've experienced a trance-like state when reading, akin to a Cobra under the influence of a snake charmer
The language of Jaap Sahib is influenced by Arabic, Braj Bhasha, Sanskrit and Urdu
When we were ten, we dreaded reading Jaap Sahib; it was lengthy and we found the unfamilar language complex to read. Its like a tongue-twister at times! However, in recent years Jaap Sahib has become one of our 'favourites'..if you can have a 'favourite' prayer!