Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Ardas: Sikh Congregational Prayer

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Archived_Member16, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    3,761
    http://www.sikhspectrum.com/112005/ardas.htm

    Ardas: Sikh Congregational Prayer


    by Baldev Singh


    I am fascinated by the Ardas approved by the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) not only for its language, which flows in poetic rhythm, but for the way it encapsulates Sikh history and philosophy in such a pithy composition with a beautiful ending reflecting the universality of Nanakian philosophy (Gurmat). However, I am do not find the second and third lines and Pritham Bhgauti consistent with Gurmat.

    Ikonkar Sri Wahiguru ji ki Fateh
    Sri BhgautiiJi shae
    Var Sri Bhgauti ji ki Patshahi 10
    Pritham Bhgauti simarkai...


    Thus I decided to find how and when these words were included in the Ardas. It is clear from Macaullife’s translation that second and third line were not part of the Ardas when he wrote his monumental work on Sikhism one century ago [1]. This is how his translation starts and ends.

    Sri Wahegur ji ki Fatah! Having remembered the Sword meditate on Guru Nanak. Through Nanak may Thy Name, O God, be exalted, and all prosper by Thy Grace! Sri Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Sri Waheguru ji ki Fatah!

    He translates Bhgauti as sword. Up to “May the tenth King, the holy Guru Gobind Singh, everywhere assist us” is the same as the SGPC approved Ardas. However, it is different in several aspects. For example, there is no mention of “five beloved ones”, ‘four sons of the tenth Guru,” “forty immortals” and the gift of long hair. Also, it is much smaller in size than the SGPC Ardas.

    Dr. Gopal Singh translated the Ardas into English in 1966 about two decades after the approval of SGPC Ardas. It is remarkable in the sense that in his translation [2], he completely ignores the first three lines and this is how he stars and ends it:

    Having first remembered Lord the God, call on Guru Nanak. Blest by Nanak, the Guru, may our spirits be ever in the ascendancy. O God, may the whole world be blest in thy Will and Mercy.

    Gopal Singh’s translation is shorter in content than the SGPC Ardas but larger than Macaullife’s translation. His interpretation of the last line is different from that of Macauliffe. The footnote says that Guru Gobind Singh composed the first six lines. I think his start of the Ardas is proper and consistent with Nanakian philosophy, and in my opinion the Panth (Sikh community) should replace Bhgauti by an attribute of the One and Only.

    Why didn’t Gopal Singh include the first three lines in his translation? Since he is no more with us to answer this question we are left only to speculate. Dr. Gopal Singh was the first Sikh to translate the entire Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS) into English. I think it was his understanding of Gurbani (sacred hymns of AGGS), which persuaded him to drop the second and third lines and Pritham Bhgauti, as they are inconsistent with Gurmat.

    Kapur Singh avoids the second line but otherwise his is a faithful translation of SGPC Ardas [3]. This is how it starts and ends.

    “Formless–form, to God, the abiding Victory. Var Sri Bhagauti composition of the 10th King. To begin with we invoke the Divine spirit of God and we remember Guru Nanak. May Thy Name, the Religion preached by Nanak, prevail and prosper forever and forever. May Thy Will be done wherein lies the good of all.”

    His interpretation of the last line is similar to that of Macauliffe. He translates Bhgauti as “Divine spirit of God” without giving any reference or reason. Moreover, it is surprising and confusing why he didn’t use the same meaning of Bhgauti for the second line he dropped and the third line in the translation? Nonetheless, he says, “The opening part of this prayer, relating to the invocation of the nine predecessor Gurus, is an excerpt from a Punjabi composition of Guru Gobind Singh. It is called Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki, which is abbreviated metrical version of a chapter of Markandeya purana called Durgasaptasati, seven hundred verses of which have been condensed into 55 stanzas” [4].

    If Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki is a Pujabi version of Durgasaptasati then who added the first stanza relating to the invocation of the first nine Gurus, as Markandeya purana was written long before the time of Sikh Gurus? Is Kapur Singh saying that Guru Gobind Singh did the interpolation? Does he understand the implications of his statement? Most likely he does not because the interpolation or composition of kachi bani (apocryphal composition) are unethical and are condemned in the AGGS. So Guru Gobind Singh can not be the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki. Then who is the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki?

    Dr. Tharam Singh, a brilliant man, with an analytical mind, who was a frequent contributor to the Abstracts of Sikh Studies, provides the answer to this question:

    “The words, Padshahi 10 have been used to deceive the Sikhs into believing that these are the words used in supplication (Ardas) to the Almighty. Since the whole Var is dedicated to the goddess Chandi, there is no reason to believe that the first Pauri is not so intended. If Guru Gobind Singh is not the author of 54 of the Pauris, he can’t be the author of the first Pauri either, the one that begins with pritham bhgauti simarkai. This is confirmed by Bhai Kahan Singh’s explanation of the term Bhgauti in Mahan Kosh. So this form of Ardas from the first Pauri (stanza) of the Ballad has been foisted on the Sikhs just by adding the words ‘Padshahi 10’ to the title. We don’t know just when this form was introduced. It must have come up after the death of Bhai Mani Singh, at the time these so-called Bachittar Natak Granths first surfaced” [5].

    According to Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, Bhgauti means - devotee, goddesses (Bhagwati, Durgadevi, Chandi), sword, Mahakal and a certain meter in poetry (meter, stanza) [6]. Mahakal is the name of Shiv Ji in Hindu scriptures.

    REFERENCES
    1 Macaulife, M. A., The Sikh Religion, V. 5, 1990, p 331-332.
    2 Singh, G. Guru Gobind Singh, 3rd edition, 1968, p 126-128.
    3 Singh, K. Prasarprasna, 1st edition, Eds. Piar Singh and Madanjit Kaur, 1989, p 287-288.
    4 Ibid, p 286.
    5 Singh, T. The Chandi Chrittar, Spokesman, October 1999, p 39-42. 6 Nabha, K. S. Mahankosh (Punjabi), 1996, p 910.


    Copyright©2005 Baldev Singh.


    ----------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------


    ----------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------


    ----------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Ardas / Sikh Prayer? Questions and Answers Dec 30, 2011
    Ardas in Sikhism Sikh Sikhi Sikhism Dec 12, 2009
    General My Sikh name is now Hardas Singh Hard Talk Jul 18, 2009
    [Sikh Video] Agam - Tu Thakur Tum Pe Ardas Sikh Youth Aug 14, 2008
    Sikh Prayers and Ardas New to Sikhism Mar 20, 2008

  3. Archived_member2

    Archived_member2
    Expand Collapse
    Archived

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    3
    Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!
    Dear all!

    Quote "If Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki is a Pujabi version of Durgasaptasati then who added the first stanza relating to the invocation of the first nine Gurus, as Markandeya purana was written long before the time of Sikh Gurus? Is Kapur Singh saying that Guru Gobind Singh did the interpolation? Does he understand the implications of his statement? Most likely he does not because the interpolation or composition of kachi bani (apocryphal composition) are unethical and are condemned in the AGGS. So Guru Gobind Singh can not be the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki. Then who is the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki?"

    This shows how big is the frustration in some Sikhs. Have we ever doubted our mind? Have we only learnt to blame others?


    Balbir Singh
     
  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Balbir Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Would you be kind enough to elaborate your displeasure with the article? I did not quite understand what your are trying to express. Pls Pardon my ignorance.

    Tejwant
     
  5. Archived_member2

    Archived_member2
    Expand Collapse
    Archived

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    3
    Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!
    Dear all and VaheguruSeeker Ji!

    The writer has tried to protect him behind the shield of the translations from Macaullife, Dr.Gopal Singh and Kapur Singh unsuccessfully.
    In my experience, these translations are not correct. It shows what these academic persons truly knew about the essence of Naam Simran. By studying or researching in a university's laboratory no one has received True Naam Simran.

    The writer begins with "I am fascinated by the Ardas approved by the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) . . ." and ends the first paragraph with "However, I am do not find the second and third lines and Pritham Bhgauti consistent with Gurmat."
    I feel only those who have received Gurmat as true Naam can understand this. I do not need to speculate when Gurus are often singing in praise of this God's Force.

    He writes further "I think his start of the Ardas is proper and consistent with Nanakian philosophy, and in my opinion the Panth (Sikh community) should replace Bhgauti by an attribute of the One and Only."
    Surprisingly the writer has found Bhagauti, an attribute of the one and only but he wants to replace this sound (Naam) from Ardaas. Why?
    Some translate all the names of God's attributes from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji 'Waheguru'. Imagine these persons reading Gurbaanee replacing all names of God's attributes with 'Waheguru'. They may please do it if they feel fine with it but why they want to change Guru's words and manipulate Guru's Truth for Sikhs.
    The Guru completed Guru's writings compiling their hymns. Why some wish to correct them? Have these writers something to sing about their own spiritual experiences?

    Quote "Is Kapur Singh saying that Guru Gobind Singh did the interpolation? Does he understand the implications of his statement? Most likely he does not because the interpolation or composition of kachi bani (apocryphal composition) are unethical and are condemned in the AGGS."
    Is this the reason to deny first the Hymns from Guru Gobind Singh Ji and then raise a question "So Guru Gobind Singh can not be the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki. Then who is the author of Var Sri Bhagauti JI Ki?"
    Should Sikhs wait for the next article from the author for this disclosure?

    Human life becomes worth by receiving one drop of the essence of God's attribute, Bhagautee, what to say about those who are busy replacing Him in this human life.


    Balbir Singh
     
  6. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
    Expand Collapse
    ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
    Writer SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,366
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Ardas, a Sikh prayer: What is the essence?

    Humbly submitted for discourse and comments.

    Who are you praying to or with?

    • One is praying with collective congregational and self conscience
    • One does not pray to a God but recognizes the creator all around

    What are the take-aways from Sikh prayer?

    • Remembering the Guru jis, their teachings, sacrifices of all before us and seeking the continuation and blossoming of Sikhism in the future.
    • Seeking virtuous but practical Sikh living through strength, wisdom and benevolence in consonance with the creation

    How do your personal or other items fit in with congregational prayer done on your behalf?

    • The prayer is simply a representation of your ills and blessings and sharing of such with the collective conscience of the congregation while recognizing the truth and creator everywhere

    What can one pray for?

    • One can pray for anything but it needs to be recognized that prayer is a positive activity in letters and spirit so goodwill is the driver and ill will is not.

    What is the power of a Sikh prayer?

    • The power is derived out of self and collective conscience of the congregation and creator is not walking around to accentuate this.
    • So out of a prayer, avenues may open through collective conscience, interactions with others may result that help, through solemn and humility driven thinking one may rejuvenate and find answers and see results internally or externally of unknown origin.
      • How bodies individually or collectively react is an art and not a science so certain results can come about that one may classify miracles for the lack of a better word (say I don’t understand).
      • However, the prayer cannot be banked on for a deliverable or a miracle nor one should be sought.

    So I asked waheguru to do this, this and that, how come nothing has happened?

    • Waheguru is not intermediary
      • Life is part of creation and living is through life
    • You prayed to and with congregation and or self
      • Those are the only channels of action and result
    Just some thoughts.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
    • Like Like x 4

Share This Page