- May 9, 2006
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siJDoPRRCNw&feature=plcpSee this new video and how they subtly OK reading from translation during Akhand Paath:
Sorry for barging in.
It is abtrusive to explain this. But the following shall answer your query. I am giving the full write up for the sake of completeness.
Following is an extract taken from Sikh Rehat Maryada
Speaking Personally, Akhand Paath is to be carried out in the language the Granth has been written as there cannot be any translation of Bani with cent percent accuracy in any language and that is why Gurmukhi is the script that is to be read during Akhand Paath.
But necessity is the mother of invention. If there is no choice with someone who do not know Gurmukhi It is then Akhand Path may be carried out in English.
.. not sure if SRM says anything about this. I have yet to attend a Paath that has been carried out in English and it would be true for most of us in India who have made it a point to learn Gurmukhi. I have also learnt Gurmukhi through private tutions just for reading Bani.
Coming back to your question there cannot be anything right or wrong; it all boils down to individual's happiness and peace of mind that is the objective of all living being. If one is happy with Akhand Paath being carried out in English-what is wrong in this? Let it be so because ultimately it is between you and Your God, anyway.
If Gurus wanted the Paath to be read in other languages, they would have authorized it while they were there. All this while, we have Gurbani written in other scripts, but the translations are not used. And his example of sevadar with stick and the granthi sleeping has nothing to do with what he was talking about. Ishna ji, what you would you like to listen to? What Guru is telling you (Gurbani) or what someone thinks Guru is telling you (Translation)?
Reading in translation is NOT acceptable. This is coming from a 1st language english speaking second generation brit.
I have self taught myself to read a little, even though it is quite slow, BUT I would be offended if someone was doing an akhand path dedicated to my father in an english translation.
Sometimes I find it faster and easier to read in a well written transliteration where the spoken language is still gurmukhi. Now someone doing an akhand path in such manner would actually go unoticable if done properly, as one would not be able to tell if he/she is reading from gurmukhi script or transliteration.
For someone of my background and understanding, this would be acceptable as long as there were no errors in pronounciation.
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)?
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.
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.
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!!!
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?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.
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).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.
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.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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