Japji Sahib :: Commentary/Translated by Master Teja Singh :: Mool Mantar
1k onkar satnam karta purakh nirbho nirvair akal murat ajooni saibhang gur prasad.
There is but One all embracing and all powerful Divinity, Who manifests Himself first in the shape of the sacred word, and then through the whole created Universe
He is the One-in-all and the All-in-one. He is the Eternal Reality, and His name Satnam is also Eternal. He is the Creator, and has the power of independent self - creation. He permeates the whole creation. He is the only male element in the Universe and all else is male. He is above all fear, and is free from all thoughts of enmity. He is immortal, free from birth and rebirth, and can be realised in every created thing.
He is self - existent. The whole universe is dependent for its existence on Him but He is self - existent; the Generator of all, without any one to generate Him.
He can be realised through the grace of the Guru-The Teacher who is God conscious, and sees Him both within and without.
Note: All the ten Gurus blessed men and women with the gift of the Divine name. Those, who realised the Divine within, were called Gurmukhs and were given the right of showing the path of realization to seekers alter Truth through meditation on the Divine name.
Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that Gurmukh who himself meditates on the Divine meditation on the Divine name.
Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that gurmukh who himself meditates on the Divine name, and shows others the path of so doing.
Jan Nanak dhoor mangai tis gursikh ki.
Jo aap Japai awreh Naam Japawai
Guru Gobind Singh says, "He who has realized the Divine within is the True Khalsa. He is at - one with God and myself'.
JAP. Ad sach jugad sach. Hai bhee sach Nanak hosi bhee sach.
Then O Sikh, the searcher after Truth, meditate on His name, who was real and self -existent before all creation, Who was real through all.ages (Yugas); Who is real and true now, and shall be true and self - existent for all times to come.
There are dictionaries. For example, there is the Dictionary of Guru Granth Sahib by Professor Surinder Singh Kohli. However, even with dictionaries the coast is not clear to avoid controversy over the translations of various words, phrases, tuks.
There have been disputes as to where "karam" means deed or blessing. There is now a dispute as to whether "sadh sangat" means the company of holy people, or the company of Waheguruji, or both. Whether "sharf" means syllable or identity.
The interpretations of Professor Sahib Singh are frequently used as the gold standard for translators. In spite of this, the translations of well known translators can vary widely per shabad.
Another issue is whether the word by word translation takes one in the wrong direction. Or...whether the meaning of any word changes with the context of the shabad in which it is used.
Singh Sabhi Sant Singh Khalsa, MD has given a translation that is hotly disputed here and elsewhere. Yet, his translation is referred to as the Khalsa Consensus translation and is used by SGPC.
Dr. Gurcharan Singh Talib gives all alternative translations in his English version of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. This suggests that more than one interpretation of some tuks is possibly acceptable. But rather than clarify things, this only adds fuel to debate.
All of this in my opinion adds up to some difficulties: An ordinary person, facing scholarly debate, discovers that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not intuitively easy to understand, even in the Punjabi language to Punjabi speakers. Or as Nanak 1 through 5 wanted it to be. It can make an ordinary person dependent on scholars as intermediaries, whether or not that person is a Punjabi speaker. Must one rely on the interpretation of scholars? Or on those who have read the interpretations of scholars? This too seems to go against intuition. Please forgive any offense taken from my words.