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General Akhand Paath in languages other than the original

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Ishna, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Ishna

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  3. Ishna

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  4. Ishna

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    Post by yours truly

     
  5. Ishna

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    Post by Taranjeet Singh ji

     
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  6. Ishna

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    Post by Kanwaljit Singh ji

     
  7. Ishna

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    Post by Luckysingh ji

     
  8. Ishna

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    The issue of language is an interesting one.

    Kanwaljit ji, you say that if the Guru's wanted the paath to be read in other languages they would have authorised it -- isn't it almost implied by their use of so many languages within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji? To me, it seems they used language as tools to reach a broad spectrum of people. I personally don't like the 'if they wanted it to be allowed they would have said so' argument because time doesn't stand still. The argument could be made that Gurbani shouldn't be stored on computers, because the Guruji hasn't authorised it.

    I kinda ignored the sevadar with the stick part of the story.

    Brother, you asked me "what you would you like to listen to? What Guru is telling you (Gurbani) or what someone thinks Guru is telling you (Translation)?" I will be honest - listening to language you don't understand is boooooring! It's nothing. It is just sounds. It is good for relaxation meditation only. I would prefer to listen to quality translation and extrapolation at a plausible speed. I don't think I'll ever have a good enough command of Gurbani to comprehend it at akhand paath speed.

    Having said that, I 100% agree that learning Gurmukhi (to be able to read) and learning the meaning of the words in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji should be paramount!! Common language is uniting, and we never want to see Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj end up like some scriptures which are all English and so far from the original language that no one knows what the original even means anymore.

    But where are the resources to help learn this?? It is frustrating! - Show me resources where I can learn! Ironically, one of the only resources I've managed to find was a 300-word dictionary I downloaded from Sikhnet!!!

    Ultimately, the Creator over-rules any language anyway. The message is the important bit. The message is universal.

    Lucky ji - are you saying you would prefer them to be reading from the Gurmukhi script in addition to saying the Punjabi words? Or it doesn't matter to you if they are speaking the Punjabi words as written with English letters (transliteration)?

    Surely it is better to understand than not understand. Surely it is better to be learning the original than be stuck with translations. Personally, if I see the word 'Word' in English translations instead of the word 'Shabad' one more time I'm gonna explode - it drives me nuts now!! But this is after some years of learning - learning is gradual, it is cruel to exclude non-Punjabi speaking people from the light of the Guru because of something as secondary as language.

    IMHO.
     
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  9. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh United States
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    Ishnaji, i'm not sure what part of my post you don't understand!!
    I made it clear in my post that it doesn't or wouldn't matter to me if they were reading the gurmukhi from englsh words (transliteration), punjabi words or chinese!! As they would still all be heard in gurmukhi if the pronounciation was correct.
    So, I have No problem with anyone reading transliteration as the words are pronounced in the language intended.
    It's just with translated versions where the true essence is easily lost, that I would not agree with.
     
  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    The problem with translations is that they are so different to each other, during one of my many spats with dear brother Chazji, I came across the following

    ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਜ ਜੋਗੁ ॥੧॥ तूं गुर प्रसादि करि राज जोगु ॥१॥ Ŧūʼn gur parsāḏ kar rāj jog. ||1|| By Guru's Grace, practice Raja Yoga, the Yoga of meditation and success. ||1||

    ਤੂੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਜ ਜੋਗੁ ॥੧॥ तूं गुर प्रसादि करि राज जोगु ॥१॥ Ŧūʼn gur parsāḏ kar rāj jog. ||1|| By Guru's grace thou shalt enjoy secular and spiritual sovereignty.

    Both from Srigranth.org, one is Bhai Manmohan Singh, one is Sant Singh Khalsa.

    I have no problem with an Akhand Path being read in native Mongolian by a Chinaman with a strong Jamaican accent, however, if one line can have so many different meanings once translated, is it the SGGS, that you are actually reading? You could end up with an Akhand Path consisting of complete Kachi bani and not even realise it......... So clearly the only way is to learn Gurmukhi. Yes it is hard, I am also finding it hard, but with every victory comes a better realisation. Even it if takes you 5 years, at least your understanding is in your own hands.
     
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  11. Ishna

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    Luckyji,

    It is my understanding the Gurmukhi is the script, not the spoken language. You can't hear Gurmukhi - you see it. Hence my confusion.

    Translations or the original both have the same problem - unless you know the original language, you just won't understand. So it really begs the question - why haven't more resources been put into teaching it??? Is it to keep the language as 'holy' and separate as possible so eventually only brahm gyani granthis will be able to read it for us common plebs?
     
  12. Ishna

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    I find myself wondering, does anyone actually understand whats read at an akhand paath...?
     
  13. Harry Haller

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    hahaha thats a very good point 99% no, actually a better question is, does anyone listen, I mean really actually listen
     
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  14. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Gurus have strictly instructed that Gurbani is not to be altered. It is like the spoken word of God, the revealed knowledge, like a gift of life. The gift must not be changed before it is passed on to others. The Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib has the final seal from Guru Gobind Singh and should be revered and read as it is.

    Reading translation to understand it is a different story, but doing Paath from there is like making curd without milk.

    I may have grown up talking in Hindi and a little bit Punjabi. I might have done japji Sahib Paath daily for 10-15 years. But it was only recently, with blessings of Guru, that I could try and understand what Guru was saying to me. Even I don't have enough command of Gurbani to comprehend at that speed. It is important we keep on trying and listen to the universal message, rather than the myopic on the go translation. Best thing to do is analyze how each word the translation connects with Gurbani shabad. It will take time. But don't go for shortcuts. There are no shortcuts in Sikhi.

    PS: Try this video if you haven't seen it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYayqWne3Mg

    Valid point! We don't want the Gurmukhi scriptures to be vanished from the face of Earth !!

    Consider this... you in every snap (digi pic) is replaced by a sketched version of yours! How would it feel?

    We are all here to help. Even if you ask about multiple Shabads a day. Post them on SPN. We will learn while discussing meanings, themes etc. with you!

    This link is not dictionary par se but allows structured learning of language.
    http://www.punjabonline.com/servlet/library.language
     
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  15. Kanwaljit Singh

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  16. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    I see nothing wrong in doing Akhand Paath even from transliterations.
    But as a result, you don't get the rhyming ras, however, it's better to know what you're reading than not understanding what you're reading - applicable to those not proficient in Gurmukhi script.

    All translations are NOT accurate therefore it is an on-going learning process of getting to know Gurmukhi and reading it in its original form.
     
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  17. Ishna

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    No one is suggesting to alter the Gurbani. But is there really that much power in sounds without understanding that reading translations is akin to making curd without milk?

    Did any Guruji endorse the practice of akhand paath, or was this behaviour introduced later?

    Didn't say anything about shortcuts. There is a fine line between ritualism and positive spiritual practice. Reciting what you don't understand for the sake of reciting it is ritualism. Ritualism is condemned in Gurbani. Reciting what you don't understand as a stepping stone on the learning path is good (small but important distinction imho).

    Thanks for the video but it doesn't actually teach anything in the way of learning the actual Gurbani. There are plenty of resources for the newbie like myself to learn to read Gurmukhi and do paath. But there are scant resources that explain the actual meaning of the words and language.

    Something simple like 'ki' instead of 'da' - I've only just figured that out in the last couple of months. Call me slow but without any kind of guide you've got to muddle along until you go 'hmm, I guess ki is da for some reason'.

    I figure I'll start by learning regular Punjabi (pick a dialect, any dialect) and see how far that takes me.

    Loved the transliteration link - thanks!

    Astroboy ji - the rhyming in Gurbani rocks! I get a glimmer of that as I memorise japji Sahib. It is certainly an effect all of it's own.

    Spot on, it's an on-going learning process. But isn't everyone's own understanding in their mind in whatever language they think in, their own translation in a way, even if it's in Punjabi? After all, the variety of translation is there because people who understand the language well enough to attempt the task have read and written it down as they understand it. So in this spirit, no one's understanding will EVER be good enough - no one's katha, no one's explanations, we ALL have to learn the original and we ALL have to come to our own conclusions.

    So, understanding all these complexities, it really begs the question, what is the akhand paath (in any language) trying to achieve?
     
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    #16 Ishna, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  18. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Akhand Paath is a RITUAL. PERIOD.
    GURBANI is for READING...UNDERSTANDING...ADOPTING in ones DAILY LIFE...CHANGE OUR LIFE. Which part of an AP does the above...NONE actually..becasue the READING is doen by a PAID READER hwose sole interest is in the "Finish my job and collect payment and depart"...there is NO actual LISTENING ( myself have been doing sggs paaths and teaching gurbani for past 56 years...have most of sggs in memory..YET at MOST AP i attend I have difficulty other than catching aword here and there...so i dont think the casual visitoror even listener gets anything at all...its just a ritual of matha teking sitting for a while (to make sure the host sees you present if its a private AP) and then take parshaad and go down for a chit chat langgar and go home..

    SECONDLY the SRM clearly says that an AP may be arranged for EXTREME SITUATIONS... BUT IN TOTAL DISREGARD to THAT very SERIOUS RULING....now the AP is arranged at the drop of a hat !! we have people booking ABSENTEE AP.s, DERAS having 500 AP simultaneously or in continous LOOP FASHION..running for years on end..SGPC has RELAY TEAMS of Paid pathees seated ALONE in CUBICLES doing APs for which no LISTENERS are ever present...people have APs to celebrate births, new cars, new factories, new jobs, promotions, demotions, deaths and marriages..any REASON WILL DO...Its a stark naked TRUTH that APs are nothing more than INCOME GENERATING SCHEMES..thousands of unemployable Youths wear cholas, round trurbans..and do the ROUNDS..travel place to place..even Overseas..performing this RITUAL...Its a FACT that many HUDREDS of THOUSANDS are earning a DIRECT INCOME from SGGS related activites..deras, gurdwaras, paaths, kirtan darbaars, kirtans etc etc etc...the GURU is a Multi National Employer !!..and AP is just one "product" marketed by the employees ON THEIR OWN initiative...by individuals as well a s Gurdwaras which use thsi GIMMICK to rasie FUNDS for buildings car parks etc..BUT almost always NEVER for Education..welfare..parchaar or poor sikhs etc etc...and always for new gurdwara, new utensils, new crapets, new this and new that...

    so while an AP in Gurmukhi is that USELESS..what more to say about an AP in Englsih Spanish latino etc etc...thats much worse...:singhsippingcoffee:japposatnamwaheguru::singhsippingcoffee:
     
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  19. Ishna

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    Can I ask why, please?
     
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  20. Randip Singh

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    I'd just like to remind everyone that Gurmukhi and the Granth Sahib was put together in the common tongue understood by the common man because Sanskrit was not understood or read by common people.

    Now if Gurmukhi is not understood by the common man, it makes me think maybe the SGPC need to get the best braisntogether to do a King James version of the SGGSji.
     
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  21. Taranjeet singh

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    Isna ji,
    You leave us like bums. I have no answer to that you have mentioned. I also appreciate that Randip ji has stated in his post.It would be a Herculean Task to translate the entire Gurbani. Even if we succeed we may not have the flavour of all that is in Bani. I have some observations and that I share.

    While unconditionally agreeing with what my brothers have stated above, I would reiterate that IMHO……

    One should always be open to new ideas and should not have hermetically sealed minds for the purpose of evolution and growth of religion and its spirit. It is only with openness and understanding of present days limitations imposed on individuals that an imprisoned religion, if I may call it so, can get its right place in society. It is the way to make an appeal to occidental mind to make a comparative study of the religion as well that has been labeled as ‘modified -Brahamanism’ or ‘Vedantic’ in nature and carries whole pantheon of Hindu’s or its mythology. I shall give the quotes as to who has stated in these terms in a new thread.

    It is also one of the methods of sending the Guru’s message to those who are not aware of it. Gradual awareness is also part and parcel of giving wings to the religion that our society needs.In India sikhi is treated as part of Hinduism only. Sikh is, constitutionally speaking, a Hindu.

    All this should change when more people embrace it and it is possible by increased awareness. Paath done in English, I am sure, shall bring in curiosity in the minds of those who are witness to it. They may like to know as to what is happening. It is how we can increase the awareness level. It is just a thought that I considered appropriate to share . In a way it is ‘Panthic sewa’.

    There is no faux pas involved in this even though there may be some snag that can easily be overlooked by the society looking into the needs of religion that is so sacred and yet simple but needs popularity. It is one of the ways to make the religion more popular and make a dent in the western thinking and make one be aware of sikhi and Sikhism in positive manner.

    Of course, there is no positive assertion of idea in SRM, but there is no positive negation of the idea in SRM as well. It gives us ample of room to do all that we want to do our devotion that is an essential ingredient of Sikhism. We all evolve and develop and change with time. To change is to live especially when there is no willful infringement of Maryada. My conclusions may be wrong, I am just trying to give justification to myself only, though I am encouraged by that Learned Gyani ji has stated about Rehat Maryada. Randip ji has indirectly emphasized that Paath be carried out in Punjabi. It sounds logical and correct.

    I think the over all requirement is dedication and love of Lord that matters. He understands all the languages and cannot be supposed to be only of an idealists God. He is kind and merciful. He forgives His devotees. He also very well understand as to who is in devotion without any hypocrisy. All that we seek while doing Paath is to seek his grace. Let the language not become a barrier to meet this end. He knows, in my humble opinion, the language of our hearts that, we all know is LOVE.

    In my humble opinion, changes that advance the religion should be embraced with love and all that constitute shackles should be abandoned else we run the risk of continue to live in closed society as we are living.

    The ‘positives’ of doing Paath in English may far outweigh the small snags, if it can be called so and that I doubt.

    Let our God have a smell of fresh air of west that freely roams over the ocean of song - ‘the holy word’ that originated from Him.

    God is Nirlep, totally detached from us, though He is present in every heart. Guru Sahib are also forgiving in nature and shall forgive us if our intentions are to be judged.

    I shall never hesitate or give a second thought if I were in some western country and had the choice of selecting the language. I could have considered as a means to make people aware that there is a religion so beautiful whose beauty can be experienced by those who are blessed ones. Instead of calling it ‘Akhand Paath’ one may call it ‘English Translation of Bani ‘on continued basis or something else if someone is so sensitive about the terms with which we have some fix that is wired into our brains so rigidly that we find ourselves helpless.

    I am sure that it would happen one day- the earlier the better; personal thoughts only to be treated as subordinate to all that has been stated by other members. I shall be very unhappy if some feels offended. My sincerest apologies in advance.

    Oh ‘Word’, the wondrous unstuck melody
    Roam around freely over the ocean of ‘Song’
    We seek thee!
    Merge us in thee
    To which we all belong! Taranjeet
     
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