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Sehaj Paath Experiences (non-continuous cover-to-cover reading)

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Ishna, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Sat Sri Akaal Jios

    For those new to the game, a sehaj paath is a non-continuous reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from cover-to-cover. It's non-continuous because you read some pages and then you stop, and later on (whenever) you pick up where you left off and keep going, until you're done. It can take days, weeks, months, or years to complete just one; there is no time limit. It is distinct from an akhand paath which is continuous reading, without stopping, by having a relay of people taking in turns until it's finished, in Gurmukhi this takes around 48 hours.

    So, coming back to sehaj paaths...

    How many of you have experiences with them? Maybe you're part way through your first one, you've completed one, or you've always got one on the go.

    What does it mean to you? Why do you do it (or not do it)? Do you have a favourite part? Has it gotten you through a rough patch in live, or even further enhanced the good times?

    Does it make a difference if you read in Gurmukhi or in English? Have you felt anything as you read, had any lightbulb moments of realisation, or is it a process like mowing the lawn: you get satisfaction when it's done and you can take in the entire view.

    If you're a regular sehaj paath-er, how do you do it? Do you read part after morning and evening nitnem bania? Do you read whenever the mood strikes you? Maybe you dedicate a few hours on Saturday. Do you read it alone, or with family? Have you ever tried reading with a friend, or in a study group?

    Have you ever used a sehaj paath reading plan?

    Etcetc.. :) :faujasingh:
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    I have been doing average of one amonth and have done about 600++ so far. Each time..each Page is NEW...have never felt that i ....."have read this before..i remember this from before..etc type of feeling....lightbulbs keep lighting up at odd times..off and on..hope to complete another 200+= before i lay down to sleep:peacesign:
     
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  4. aristotle

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    I have never done Sehaj Paath from cover-to-cover, but I have read most of the canon of Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj in fragments, one bani at a time, and I have memorised a lot of it. Whatever I read, I always try to read it with meanings, and understand the sense out of it. Perhaps my inability to do a Sehaj Paath in one stretch is because I'm a slow learner, there are times when I spend days understanding a single Shabad, or even a tuk, replaying it within my mind endlessly.

    I must confess sometimes I may not find a Shabad or Bani that interesting, at other times I may be hooked onto it, at still other times the sheer perfection of poetry can (and often does) fill my eyes with tears.

    I try to read Gurbani when I'm alone, and though I'm a chronic defaulter at my Nitnem, my father sometimes sits by my side when I do my Banis, and then I read them aloud for him. I haven't had the privilege of doing a group-study kind-of thing yet, because my erratic college schedule does not leave any possibility of it.

    I use multiple platforms for Gurbani.....Sainchees (Guru Granth Sahib canon in two volumes), Mobile applications (Dhur Ki Baani mainly, with a lot of bookmarks :D), translated banis etc. As far as the translations go, my picks are Guru Granth Darpan for Punjabi and Manmohan Singh's translations for English.
     
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  5. Harry Haller

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    I decided to only read what I could live by and then move on, I have managed the superhuman feat of not getting past line two.
     
  6. Ishna

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    But how do you know whats written in it to live by if you haven't read it yet? :p

    The process of reading it has a profound way of transforming your understanding. Do you intend to learn everything first, outside of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, before you read it? Sort of like navigating your own path through a forest until you get to the other side, only then to open the map and say, "Yep, that's where I've been."?
     
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  7. Harry Haller

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    au contraire sisji, I do not believe the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to be a map, I believe it more to be a course, an instruction manual, let us compare it to the owners manual of a 1994 Range Rover LSE (with brooklands body kit), using the comparison of the map, one does not need to know about the 5 miles of the M1 at the start of the journey, because they will be the same as the 5 miles of the M1 at the end of the journey. Each point on a map is special in its own way, but it is about achieving an objective, not about learning.

    Now, the simple question is, would you drive say a brand new LSE without reading the manual, propbably not, now, how would you read the manual? Open it at random? learn how the stereo works first? The thing is each chapter makes references to things explained in previous chapters, so you need to be up on the basics before you move to the next one.

    Now, lets say you get in the car, with the manual, oh how brilliant, and then, you open the manual and it says move the seat to a comfortable position, but you can't, its electric and stuck miles from the pedals, you feel like a child,

    live by the truth

    but you cant, so there you go, not for everyone, but I see no point until I can move the damn seat

    However, in all seriousness, Yes it is something I would like to do, over time, even if I cannot reach the pedals, I guess its never stopped me driving
     
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  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    begin living...FROM ek ongkaar...satnaam..truth..TRUTH..TRUTH...TRUTH...IN AND OUT..24/7...365.25 DAYS...THEN PROCEED TO...KARTA PURAKH...REST 1429 COMES EASILY...

    TROUBLE IS..WE SKIP A LOT..LIKE TO READ THE ENDING TO FIND THE ANSWERS..OR EVEN WORSE..WAIT FOR THE MOVIE....OR JUST WATCH THE TRAILER..AND THATS IT..WE ARE DONE...
     
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  9. Ishna

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    Aristotle Ji

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences :)

    That's how I started reading it too, in fragments, in daily hukamnamas and opening to random verses on the internet and reading for a while as the mood struck me. It was an interesting experience and for me, a good introduction.

    When I got a new smartphone in around August last year (one that didn't freeze and restart itself every 5 minutes...) I also put Dhur Ki Bani app on it which was just after they upgraded it to include the bookmark function. It's by far one of the best Gurbani apps I've encountered and makes reading a sehaj paath very easy. It would be awesome to see it with Manmohan Singh's translation as well.

    It's great to hear that you can study even single tuks (sentences) in such detail.

    I don't think it's a confession to admit that sometimes a particular section of Bani energises your mind, and other parts at other times aren't speaking directly to you. I had an interesting experience with it yesterday actually. I had finished Raag Dayv-Gandharee the day before and started reading Raag Bihaagrhaa in the morning. And I thought, 'Gee, this raag is tough going,' as it wasn't speaking to me at all, the shabads were long and complicated and dull. However when I started reading again that evening I really connected to those shabads to the point of, as you described, being moved by emotion. So I think there might be a little something in the whole 'shabads at particular times of day' thing, too.

    You said you were a chronic defaulter at your nitnem.. I was speaking to an uncle recently who said he and his wife don't read traditional nitnem bania anymore, they use their nitnem time for sehaj paath after sehaj paath. I'm currently mulling over in my mind about this and might start a different thread about it shortly.
     
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  10. Ishna

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    Gyani Ji I've been reading carefully since August and I'm still not even half way through! To read it in one month is just mind-blowing! :icecreamkudi:
     
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  11. Ishna

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    Harry bhaji

    (edited out)

    No I'm going to stick with my map comparison. SGGS describes the journey, things you might see along the way, and the best way to keep true (going in the right direction through life), where the watering holes are, where the crocodiles like to hang out, etc.

    One thing I've noticed so far, is that japji, Rehras and Sohila are idea-packed summaries. They are like 'overview' bania. They are Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in dot-point form. As stand-alone documents they're a bit tricky to understand, Japji Sahib the most.

    Reading page after page of the rest of Guru Sahib is extrapolation of those key ideas, I think. I'm not sure, I haven't finished, and there's soooo much I don't understand, but this is the gist of what I'm getting.

    Would you read the contents page and not move on to the rest of the book until you fully understand the contents page, without reading the corresponsing chapter?
     
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  12. Harry Haller

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    Chapter 1

    move the seat to a comfortable position!!

    however the analogy is flawed, as I am driving, I am living, and my seat is not comfortable.

    I will have to perform a U turn, what it should read is

    Live by the truth, if you can well done, skip the next 1429 pages

    if you can't, you better get reading:mundafacepalm:
     
  13. Ishna

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    I'm confused, Harry ji.

    Are you saying we don't need to read Guru Granth Sahib Ji? Or that those who do are dumb? Or that those who should read it are the ones who don't need it because the already know how to 'live in Truth'?

    I'm certainly not smart enough to follow the analogies anymore. :S
     
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  14. angrisha

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    I read parts almost nightly, I havent quite gotten through my first one and im about 600 pages in. I think I started about a 8-9months ago, I use to pick a nitnem bani an do that in sections. Currently I read page by page, sometimes only half a page per day.

    I think for me, I need a slower pace to fully grasp some concepts or appreciate what I read. I think over the years, even re-reading bani's or shabads thats I have read 100's of times before Ive understood in completely different ways.

    Currently im learning to read Gurmukhi, which has slowed me down quite a bit actually. I use to go by the transliteration. I think both methods have there place, whatever really works for you is what you need to do. I don't think there is a correct way or a 'better way'.
     
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  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Ishan Ji writes..<<<<< One thing I've noticed so far, is that japji, Rehras and Sohila are idea-packed summaries. They are like 'overview' bania. They are Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in dot-point form. As stand-alone documents they're a bit tricky to understand, Japji Sahib the most.>>>>>

    Thats the essence...the MANGLACHARAN ( ALSO CALLED MOOL MANTAR ) MANGLACHARAN IS A SHORT ODE TO THE WRITERS' ISHT/MASTER/ AND WAS ALWAYS WRITTEN AS A SHORT PRAYER BY THE WRITERS. IN THIS CASE (sggs) ITS AN ODE TO THE CREATOR...ABOUT WHOM THE SGGS IS WRITTEN...
    what I am saying is that the manglacharan is the SUPER SHORTENED SUMMARY of the 1429 pages of SGGS. What the JOURNEY is all about..whats the DESTINATION...

    Then the following 13 Pages containing the Banis listed under Rehrass and Sohila are Summaries of the Daily Discipline. The Daily Discipline and dos and donts as we prepare for the Journey shown in the Manglacharan...This is the daily marydaa NITNEM...

    Then begins the Actual Journey....the SUN RISES...the Sri raag tells us in detail about the Birth..the infant and its needs...then teen..then householder..then..old age..then DEATH....slowly we wind our way through the various RAAGS..various stages of life..the SUN is rising higher in the skies...we trudge along...around page 730 we reach the ZENITH...and then finally at 1429 the GURU TEG BAHADUR jis SLOKAS tell us of the Gurus Anguish at those who have FAILED...the Gurus REJOICE at thsoe who have succeeded..the REPORT CARD period...the Mundawwnni Mark or SEAL of the Guru...and the Final SLOK signifying the Completion..of the GRANTH..the LIFE TIME...the JOURNEY is OVER.. If we pay attention....WE soon realise the beautiful arrangement of the SGGS...

    Its no ordinary Manual..just dos and donts..its an AUTOBIOGRAPHY of FELLOW TRAVELLERS..who set out on the same journey and succeeded...a Beacon of Hope and LIGHTHouse that lights our WAY as we journey along...

    Thats WHY when we travel the same road..multiple times..we NOTICE things we never saw earlier...a newly fallen leaf...a newly born ant crawling along..a millipede..a blade of grass..a fresh flower...and this is only realised if we walk SLOWLY and pay attention...IF we speed along in a closed window air conditioned BMWi..at a constant speed of 230MPH....we SEE NOTHING except the trees flashing past..no matter how many times we race down that road..we wont see anything different...we MIGHT even MISS the weary fellow traveller showing his thumb..asking us for a lift...
    :kaurkhalsaflagred::kaurkhalsaflagred::kaurkhalsaflagred::kaurkhalsaflagred::kaurkhalsaflagred:enjoy the sggs by rolling the words off the roof of your mouth..the taste is out of this world..and guru ji describes the feeling..jion gungghe mathiyaee khayee..a mute eating sweets being asked to describe the taste...


     
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  16. Harry Haller

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    Sorry, no more analogies!

    Those that manage to live by the truth are a rare breed, I can't, I try but fail miserably, those who read it are the ones that need it, as I have yet to meet anyone who does live in the truth, I guess the only people that managed it were the Gurus.

    To that end, Yes, I need to read
     
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  17. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veer ji
    The one who loves the LSE reads because he wants to understand its ways, and the one who loves God reads because he wants to understand God.

    Love is the key that starts the engine of Enlightenment and by the Torque of Truth we gain traction,this vehicle is Fuelled by Faith and Geared by Grace.
     
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    #16 Scarlet Pimpernel, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  18. Harry Haller

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    its a pity you post so infrequently with such gems
     
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  19. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veer ji

    I have fallen from grace and now spend most of my time on Facebook lol
     
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  20. Harry Haller

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    maybe it is those that fall from grace that know what grace actually is, maybe it is only when you lose grace you really understand what you have lost
     
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  21. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Isna ji

    I hear sometimes one word of the one page a day I read,usually the English translation now.

    Harry ,Grace is like gravity even when falling you are still in it.
     
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