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Is Gurbani To Be Read Or Heard?

Scarlet Pimpernel

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This week marks four hundred years since the King James Bible was finished ,those who translated it did it so that the finished Bible would suit public reading or we can say they styled it for the ear.

This made me think about how our Gurbani seems to resonate when read aloud .I have read Gurbani silently but can’t help thinking there is something special about our Guru’s word when read out aloud and so heard by the ear.<?"urn:<img src=" />

It leads me to think<I> we should read it and hear it, (read it out loud), o</I>r we should atleast sing it out loud so that we may feel it properly. The Guru's went to great effort to make their Divine Poetry Rhyme and when something rhymes it is easy on the ears and not very relevant to silent reading

 
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Harry Haller

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Spji,

My take on this is that some people may find the resonating sound hypnotic, and find themselves in a state of mind that has nothing at all to do with the content.

The same with singing, you can get lost in the music and the singing.

Look at it this way, If life is a school, and the SGGS is our study book, what is the best way to absorb and understand the study material?

I suppose it makes it all a bit more 'fun' and palatable, but those studying to be doctors , I would imagine, concentrate and focus on the material, not the sound and resonance of the words.

Do bear in mind we have a solemn duty to take an opposite view of each others posts brother swordfight
 

Harry Haller

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Invoking sounds a bit Abrahamical, a bit Vedic, is not Sikhi a bit more pragmatic and realistic than chanting/singing for the purposes of invoking?

Although I have no problem with chanting/singing, personally I feel this is a compromise made for those that need a bit of mysticism in their lives.

In my humble view, the correct path is one of study, pragmatic use of knowledge in daily life, and understanding of material contained, anything else is just fun and games
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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is not Sikhi a bit more pragmatic and realistic than chanting/singing for the purposes of invoking?
Veer Ji It is a practical way of life but Religion has to have a spiritual aspect otherwise it's just a 'philosophia moral' (Ethics or a doctrine of duties).

Indi Ji please elaborate if you have time.
 
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Harry Haller

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You are of course correct, sometimes I find myself reading the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as if I was reading Plato, or Hesse, I find the information and the advice enlightening, and in tandem with Guru's voice in my head.

I think the spiritual aspect works two ways though, it can assist you in the message, but it can also detract you from the message, I think you will understand what I mean, if this thread follows the mechanics of your other threads, the last few posts will undoubtedly prove you correct, as they always do peacesign
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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I find myself reading the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as if I was reading Plato, or Hesse
Veer Ji I've heard of sexually repressed people but it seems that we are a spiritually repressed people!

I love poetry and the way words sound,in the hands of a Divine Lyricist they become something more than what they seem,the speak to your Self.

Try singing a Shabad aloud in punjabi ,try it with a Shabad that rhymes every line or every other line,you can't read it like you said ,it won't affect you properly.The atmosphere in a Gurdwara is created by that resonating,there is something at play which is more than just ink on paper.
 
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ksandhu83

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if you are only reading and not listening then you will not get the benefit. We need our mind to listen each word of gurbani carefully if doesn't matter if u r reading urself or listening from somebody. only important thing is to keep your mind in present time don't let him go in past or future thoughts. please read the importance of listening from japji sahib path ( suneya four poriyans) Guru ji has written 4 poriyans about importance of listening. Even kabir ji shared a secret "ulti ganga yaman milao" means the sound from where it is created bring it back to the same point through ears.
 

Ambarsaria

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This week marks four hundred years since the King James Bible was finished ,those who translated it did it so that the finished Bible would suit public reading or we can say they styled it for the ear.

This made me think about how our Gurbani seems to resonate when read aloud .I have read Gurbani silently but can’t help thinking there is something special about our Guru’s word when read out aloud and so heard by the ear.<!--?"urn:
It leads me to think we should read it and hear it, (read it out loud), or we should atleast sing it out loud so that we may feel it properly. The Guru's went to great effort to make their Divine Poetry Rhyme and when something rhymes it is easy on the ears and not very relevant to silent reading

Sinner veer ji what ever turns you on would be the answer.

I do believe there is value to both reading and listening with the need to understand both what is written and how it is said.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
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Scarlet Pimpernel

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there is value to both reading and listening with the need to understand both what is written and how it is said
Veer ji I think there is something deeper than what we call understanding,the content of much Gurbani deals with practices of the day,it is that we should wake upto to what the Truth is ,the specifics of a Gurbani is where most get themselves into analysis of details.

We should at times put aside our practical minds and try to feel our way to finding a subtle mind state, even if we fail it will still help us focus our Self on the real purpose of Gurbani which is to transport us,instead what transpires we somehow think on Gurbani line by line as if we are trying to get the real message out of it but I see this as a fictional work or effort of our minds,the boat should transport you to a plane.

It is a Boat Plane.
 
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Ambarsaria

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Sinner veer I like listening without understanding as much as the next person It has its effect but I have not tried to verbalize it other than depending on what you listen to I feel peaceful, thoughtful, happy and ecstatic.

Guru ji could have composed it in Sanskrit in total and used complicated grammar undertones if they did not want us to understand. This is not how Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is. Attempts are made to repeat and use simple, day-to-day and familiar differing examples and scenarios to convey messages. Many a times within same tonal undertones. So just the sounds are not the only part.

I do want you to expand on "there is something deeper than what we call understanding". I can relate that each one may take something different from the same shabad, if that is what you mean. For me this is so because we are all different from each other in every instance of time.

On the following point,

"We should at times put aside our practical minds and try to feel our way to finding"

---- what makes you think most don't. Show me a person who understands all renditions of gurbani or other items as intended by the composer and I will show you a fool, including myself.

Sinner veer I do want to hear your thoughts in case you are trying to compare the utility of "Gurbani Sangeet" versus "Gurbani Vichhar" as for some it may be apples to oranges in terms of sensory aspects though directed towards the same end.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
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Scarlet Pimpernel

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the utility of "Gurbani Sangeet" versus "Gurbani Vichhar"
Veer Ji both have utility, I used to listen to alot of Shabads on cassette and I was lucky that my Dad was into Vichar by Maskeen ji ,so I had access to his Box Set,
( I think it was of the full Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.)

In the last twenty years most people have had access to both Gurbani Sangeet and Vichhar from great exponents,a beautiful rendition must end and so must Vichhar,I don't think they are in competition and you can appreciate both.

I guess I look for the purpose of Gurbani more than Gurbani itself ,just as If study stars in the night sky no doubt I will come to understand them well ,but instead I have taken to look upon the night sky so as to navigate this world and find my home.

Now the question is ,if the Word is the boat then why should I navigate at all?
 
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Ambarsaria

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Originally Posted by Scarlet Pimpernel Now the question is ,if the Word is the boat then why should I navigate at all?
Sinner veer let us sectionalize the question. Navigation assumes some of the following,

  • Where we are
  • Where we want to go
  • Is it one way or round trip
  • What would it take to get there
  • Compass, sextant, etc.
  • Supplies
  • Contingencies
So what role would listening and reading be playing in the above? For simplicity sake let us assume that there are supplies on each end and we only are looking at water travel in a boat so we don't need Harry ji's Land Rover.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Harry Haller

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I suppose there are different paths for different people, I think what SPji is trying to say is that by looking at the stars, or losing himself to a higher plane through Gurbani, enlightenment can be embraced through these higher planes,
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Gaveah, Sunneah..MANN RAKHEYEAH BHAO.........Gurbani has to be Practically ADOPTED in our Daily LIVES to change us...for the Better....Guur nanak ji Sang..and Sajjan Thuggh the serial killer transformed into Sajjan the SEWAK...thats Gurbani as I understand it. It wasnt Guur nanak Jis DEH//sreer..personlaity or whatever..it is the GURBANI..the SHABAD that transformed the THUGGH into SAJJAN. Today we are more into semantics..vocabulary..origin of this word and that word..reading..memorising..so many paaths so many akhand paaths ardasses etc etc..and FORGET or NEGLECT Gurbanis Primary Purpose to EFFECT CHANGES in us via ADOPTION of its TEACHINGS.
 

Scarlet Pimpernel

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Ambarsaria Ji
Very good breakdown,I like the compass especially,I love the boat analogy ,but mainly for the fact that it should transport you ,the purpose of Gurbani is to realise that end. Studying Gurbani Shabad by Shabad is the intellectual approach ,I feel it makes you understand more but realising the message of Gurbani is addressed to my Self ,so I try to realise what Gurbani is rather than study it per se .
I agree with Gyani ji that Gurbani if believed should bring a change,when Gurbani is really 'heard' it means with more than with just our ears.
Harry my Veer Ji Indeed if after vichar a plane is reached then it's great,but from what I see of vichar ,we are more or less unchanged, other than having more detailed understanding about this beautiful boat. Instead let us take this boat and transport our mind-Self.
 
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Scarlet Pimpernel

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Veer ji
The wind can do nothing to us for it blows in his fear and just washes our clothes for us .

I confess to all Spners that I understand only one tenth of Gurbani even though I can pronounce it ok,I use translation to contemplate ,when I speak the Guru's word I try to think that I'm saying one word only ,in my mind that is Gods name,I hope he recognises his own name.
 

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The shabd is composed by Guru Teg Bahadur ji and is contained on Page 633 of the SGGS. The complete shabd is as follows:


ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥ Sorath Mehla 9


ਇਹ ਜਗਿ ਮੀਤੁ ਨ ਦੇਖਿਓ ਕੋਈ ॥...

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