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Understanding Gurbani - Meaning Of Rahao

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by nanhi, Jul 19, 2013.

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  1. nanhi

    nanhi
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    What i understood the meaning of ' rahao' in gurbani is to pause
    then why do we speak it when reading gurbani

    kindly explain this please

    nanhi
     
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  3. Ishna

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  4. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    Raho has very specific purpose. The matter before this is the leading part and the matter after is explanation/experimenting/result analysis. Central theme lies in the part before Rahao which provides direction for the later part as well. It also provides introduction and guidelines for keertan so that the instruments are adjusted. Hence it is very important indicator.
    Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal
     
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  5. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    nanhi ji thanks for your post. Others have given the explanation for "rahao" I will add a bit thought to your question.
    There will be two instances to recognize "rahao" word in real life. These being,


    1. "listening to some one reading"
    2. "reading yourself"
    In the first instance it enables you to refelct and take note of the Rahao cue which absent or if not read would be hard to guess for most unless you become familiar with a reader's style and can figure it out. So for reading that others may be listening "rahao" needs to be read as for as I am concerned.


    If you are reading yourself without reflective attention to Gurbani. Say just parroting then perhaps "rahao" has little influence in your absorption of Guru ji's way of teaching and composition. But if you are studying, reading yourself to contemplate or learn Guru ji's teachings, then it is a very important construct to allow you to properly understand Guru ji's message by reflecting or understanding what is before "rahao" and what is after "rahao".


    Hope above is of some help or clarification.


    Sat Sri Akal. :welcomemunda:
     
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    #4 Ambarsaria, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  6. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    I have always taken Rahao to mean pause as in reflect... but I don't get why when reciting Gurbani people don't actually pause for a few seconds before jumping to the next line? To emphasize the message from the rahao line, should we not say "rahao" pause....2.....3..... then continue reading? Even just a few seconds, to make the point that we are supposed to reflect on that central message would drive the point home since all too often I hear rahao then right into the next line without any pause at all. Kind of takes the meaning away in my mind!
     
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  7. Sherdil

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    In my opinion, each word is meticulously placed into Gurbani, rahao included. Rahao indicates the central theme of the Shabadh and offers a point of reflection and introspection. The Gurus wanted us to contemplate their writings, not simply read through them. An audible rahao helps to maintain the flow and pace of the Shabadh being sung. Practically speaking, it also provides an opportunity for the reciter to catch their breath if need be.
     
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  8. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Exactly. You are not supposed to say it. You are supposed to Pause for a bit when you see Rahao.

    Rahao ਰਹਾਉ is an instruction.

    Like if there is a script -
    John - *pull out chair and sit down* "Hi I wanted to talk about this"

    This is to be performed by John - *pull out chair and sit down*
    This is to be spoken by John - "Hi I wanted to talk about this"

    John should not say "Pull out chair and sit down Hi I wanted to talk about this"

    John should - Pull out chair and sit down
    And say - "Hi I wanted to talk about this"


    Similarly Rahao is performed.


    And it's the same with this symbol - ੴ

    When you see ੴ, you should perform it. You should chant 1 continuous Aum sound.

    When you see ਏਕੰਕਾਰ or ਓਅੰਕਾਰ then you should say it out as Ekonkar.


    Next time you see ੴ and ਰਹਾਉ - do a mini meditation.
    ੴ - Chant one long Aum and ਰਹਾਉ - hold complete silence.


     
  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    sorry, for the clueless, what is an aum sound, do you mean an Om sound?

    what is a mini meditation? Do BMW know about this?

    Could you explain how to chant a long aum whilst holding complete silence?

    good to see you back, had a look at your work the other day, incredible.
     
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  10. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Many consider Rahao a punctuation 'word', which is quite unique and as a written word, it needs to be spoken while doing Paath to hint the listening public what the central idea of the Shabad is, so the listeners can grasp the central idea to contemplate on. In Gurbani Keertan, Rahao finds no room because of the way Shabads are sung.

    So for me Rahao is a STOP sign on the road of Gurmat life.

    SGGS Gurmukhi-English Dictionary

    1. var. 1. from Raha, to cause to remain, fix, support, restrain. 2. Pause in hymns, which is to be repeated with singing and which generally contains the central idea
    SGGS Gurmukhi-English Data provided by Harjinder Singh Gill, Santa Monica, CA, USA.
     
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    #9 Tejwant Singh, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  11. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Exactly, when people quote one liners to try to justify things, I always look up the shabad, and look for that rahao line, because that should be the central message to reflect upon. I have often seen Gurbani say something in one line (which seems to support someone`s argument, so they post one line) but if you look it up, then the very next line refutes it ....and then the rahao line puts it into context. It should be an actual pause....2....3... then continue. I don`t mind if someone is reading and says the rahao because it gives listeners cue to reflect on that last part of the message.
     
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  12. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    actually Rahao makes a perfect mantra!

    STOP!
     
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  13. Sherdil

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    Ji, if this is the case then why not remove the Ek and simply write Onkar? Would one get carried away and make multiple Onkar sounds instead of just one?

    I agree that the compound symbol reads Ek Oooo. The latter half is denoted as Onkar (the syllable Ooo). But one must not disregard the Ek as merely an instruction in pronunciation. It is an aspect of the Divine, integral to Sikh philosophy itself. Bhai Gurdas ji discusses it in his vaars and Gurbani indeed speaks of these two Divine aspects separately.

    We can start a new thread to discuss the matter in depth if you wish.
     
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  14. BhagatSingh

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    Philosophically and practically Ek Onkar = Onkar (because Onkar is inherently One Onkar). They mean the same thing and pronounced the same way.

    There is no distinction made in Guru Granth Sahib either - Ekankar and Onkar are used itnerchangeably.


    So naturally the question is asked -
    Why is the ੧ there (if Onkar is inherently One Onkar)?

    It has to do with Design. More specifically, it has to do with a Design Element - Balance.
    The ੧ has to be added to create a aesthetically pleasing symbol. This is unique to Gurmukhi script because of the way ਓ is drawn.
    I can explain in depth if necessary. Let me know.


    Haha well you could do that in private certainly. Just meditate on Onkar and the vibrations it creates in teh body.

    But when you are reading in a public setting you should just do one. Although in public settings we do it all wrong. We spell out the symbol haha!
     
    #13 BhagatSingh, Apr 21, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  15. BhagatSingh

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    This is the syllable - ਓਂ
    It's not Om exactly. It's not an O, rounded lips. It's a ਓ sound.
    ਓ is a composite of the vowels A and U, which is made with a mouth open like you gasping, and made with relaxed lips, relaxed jaw.
    M is a nasal sound. Sometimes denoted with an N. Sometimes with an Ng. Just remember it is a nasal sound, and not m, n, or ng.

    Say Awesome!
    Then say Ongsome!
    Ongsome is said the same way as Awesome but with a nasal sound. Now remove the 'some' bit. And just say Ong.

    In this case, I am talking about two different instances
    You perform one Onkar when you see this symbol - ੴ
    You hold complete silence when you see - ਰਹਾਉ


    Thanks. Good to be back. I usually check in every now and then to see if there are any topics I can respond to.


    You can say it and then be silent but this is not necessary because a long silence would by itself not only signal contemplation but would also give space to contemplate.
    It would be agreed upon before-hand, and then you simply hold silence at each rahao. Everyone would know to contemplate what is said.

    Not to mention it is in human nature to dwell on things that are said right before a silence. So...
     
  16. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    And, don't forget folks, we celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, not Diwali!
    and now we chant Ong not Om, important things these, some people might think Sikhism is Hinduism in a different garb.However, from the above, one can clearly see that is not the case, or is it?
     
  17. Sherdil

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  18. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Harry Haller said:
    Speak for yourself. I celebrate Diwali.

    ਮੇਰੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਆਏ ਰਾਜਾ ਰਾਮ ਭਤਾਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    In my home, arrived my husband, King Ram.
    - Says Kabir

    Sri Granth: Shabad/Paurhi/Salok SGGS Page 482

    Harry Haller said:
    They are the same thing. Just written differently in the English script that is because English script does not have any words for nasal sounds. The way we have bindi and tippi in Gurmukhi.
     
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    #17 BhagatSingh, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  19. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Bhagat Singh's response

    Bhagat Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh and welcome back.

    Would you be kind enough to elaborate under what scenario do you envision the above and where e.g. in Darbar Sahib?


    "Agreed upon before-hand" what? Would you say "watch my silence which means rahao and pay attention on the central idea"?

    I am sorry, it makes no sense. And why would you not speak aloud the written word Rahao?

    Please give some references to your claim above.

    Thanks.
     
  20. BhagatSingh

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    Wouldn't that be Ongsome

    Read my first post in this thread. I explained exactly why you wouldn't speak it out loud.

    Just something I noticed myself and others doing in a deep conversation.
     
  21. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Thanks for not responding to the questions asked as expected. Time to move on to another subject.
     

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