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Waking Up with Japji Sahib

by SS Har Simran Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles CA
Winter 2016

For some, it was love at first sight. Or rather, first sound. The first time they heard Japji, some devotees were enraptured. I was not one of those. With my strong intellectual background, I was too perturbed by the seeming non-sequiturs to relate to the exquisitely told truths as they unfolded. From line to line, as the speaker and the subject shifted, my experience was more irritation than upliftment.

In fact, from the first words, the Mul Mantra left me puzzling, is that really the list of all virtues, or the most important or fundamental ones? Is it describing God, or telling me what to aspire to, or both, or neither? Akal Moorat in particular was a teaser. Does something that is Akaal—deathless—have a Moorat, a form? Would “jap-ing” the mantra (i.e. repeating it for days or for decades), eventually bring me to “grokking” it in some mystical way?

There was a glimmer of hope and understanding in a class taught by Bhai Sahib Guruliv Singh at a Winter Solstice in the early 1980s. He likened reading Japji to canoeing down a slow river, observing various scenes as they pass by. Canoeing was a familiar and pleasant experience, and my stone head tried to relax into the flow.

Another potential point of entry into the elusive love experience of Japji was to learn to read Gurmukhi. This practice was described as the intercourse of the lingam of the tongue in the upper yoni of the mouth. Never mind the mind, here was an experience of the senses. The occasional light kiss I achieved or received drove home the realization that my relationship with Japji was not all that it could be.

Over the 30-something years since our first date, I have certainly grown to appreciate Japji. Still tantalized to fully embrace it, or be embraced by it, at least I get a cozy feeling from its familiarity. And there are moments of sublime understanding. The Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s interpretations and translations into easy-to-apply terms have opened up certain pauris and passages to my highly practical mind.

The song that was made from his rendition of the 33rd Pauri is a case in point. “One thing to remember is, all things come from God and all things go to God.” That speaks directly to my frustrated spiritual love life. In moments of grace, my itchy intellect pauses and my hunger is appeased by the closing lines from this pauri:

 

No power to rule or enlighten the mind,

No power to awaken my soul to Thee,

No power to find the way to be free.

By his own will, O Nanak, none can be good or bad.

He alone has the power to reveal the way.

He alone has the power to reveal the way.

 

Resources

The Effects of the Pauris Of Japji Sahib (Sikh Dharma International)

 

About the Author

harsimrankla

SS Har Simran Kaur Khalsa is a Sikh Dharma Minister. Har Simran Kaur met and latched onto the teachings of Yogi Bhajan in the late 1970s. After decades of large, consistent doses of the practices of Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma and a 10-year stint serving the Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s personal household in Los Angeles, she has discovered the secret to mastery:  teaching. She is currently teaching a series of classes focusing on each of the Gurus and the corresponding light bodies in her longtime home in the Guru Ram Das Ashram Sangat in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

Waking Up with Japji Sahib

by SS Har Simran Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles CA
Winter 2016

For some, it was love at first sight. Or rather, first sound. The first time they heard Japji, some devotees were enraptured. I was not one of those. With my strong intellectual background, I was too perturbed by the seeming non-sequiturs to relate to the exquisitely told truths as they unfolded. From line to line, as the speaker and the subject shifted, my experience was more irritation than upliftment.

In fact, from the first words, the Mul Mantra left me puzzling, is that really the list of all virtues, or the most important or fundamental ones? Is it describing God, or telling me what to aspire to, or both, or neither? Akal Moorat in particular was a teaser. Does something that is Akaal—deathless—have a Moorat, a form? Would “jap-ing” the mantra (i.e. repeating it for days or for decades), eventually bring me to “grokking” it in some mystical way?

There was a glimmer of hope and understanding in a class taught by Bhai Sahib Guruliv Singh at a Winter Solstice in the early 1980s. He likened reading Japji to canoeing down a slow river, observing various scenes as they pass by. Canoeing was a familiar and pleasant experience, and my stone head tried to relax into the flow.

Another potential point of entry into the elusive love experience of Japji was to learn to read Gurmukhi. This practice was described as the intercourse of the lingam of the tongue in the upper yoni of the mouth. Never mind the mind, here was an experience of the senses. The occasional light kiss I achieved or received drove home the realization that my relationship with Japji was not all that it could be.

Over the 30-something years since our first date, I have certainly grown to appreciate Japji. Still tantalized to fully embrace it, or be embraced by it, at least I get a cozy feeling from its familiarity. And there are moments of sublime understanding. The Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s interpretations and translations into easy-to-apply terms have opened up certain pauris and passages to my highly practical mind.

The song that was made from his rendition of the 33rd Pauri is a case in point. “One thing to remember is, all things come from God and all things go to God.” That speaks directly to my frustrated spiritual love life. In moments of grace, my itchy intellect pauses and my hunger is appeased by the closing lines from this pauri:

 

No power to rule or enlighten the mind,

No power to awaken my soul to Thee,

No power to find the way to be free.

By his own will, O Nanak, none can be good or bad.

He alone has the power to reveal the way.

He alone has the power to reveal the way.

 

Resources

The Effects of the Pauris Of Japji Sahib (Sikh Dharma International)

 

About the Author

harsimrankla

SS Har Simran Kaur Khalsa is a Sikh Dharma Minister. Har Simran Kaur met and latched onto the teachings of Yogi Bhajan in the late 1970s. After decades of large, consistent doses of the practices of Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma and a 10-year stint serving the Siri Singh Sahib Ji’s personal household in Los Angeles, she has discovered the secret to mastery:  teaching. She is currently teaching a series of classes focusing on each of the Gurus and the corresponding light bodies in her longtime home in the Guru Ram Das Ashram Sangat in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

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