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|by Guru Gobind Singh|
|First published in||Dasam Granth|
|Country||Mughal Empire (Modern India)|
|Subject(s)||Eulogy of Almighty|
|Pages||Page 1-10 of Dasam Granth|
|Followed by||Akaal Ustat|
Jaap Sahib (or Japu Sahib) is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The beaded prayers were composed by the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh and is found at the start of the Sikh scripture Dasam Granth. This Bani is an important Sikh prayer, and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar (initiation), a ceremony held to admit initiates into the Khalsa and it is a part of a Sikh's Nitnem (daily mediations). The Jaap Sahib is reminiscent of Japji Sahib composed by Guru Nanak, and both praise God.
Meaning of jaap
Following are some accepted meanings of jaap:
- The popular meanings of Jaap is to recite, to repeat, or to chant.
- Jaap also means to understand. Gurbani cites Aisa Giaan Japo Man Mere, Hovo Chakar Sache Kere, where Jap word means to understand wisdom.
Jaap is a Sanskrit word meaning "to utter in a low voice, whisper, mutter (especially prayers or incantations); to invoke or call upon in a low voice". Jaap Sahib is a rhythmic hymn composed like a necklace of pearls and gems, beauteously arranged around a string: the string is the Supreme God; the pearls and gems are His attributes, excellences, and glories. It basically helps reader do a daily Greetings to Waheguru in 199 verses, just like we do hello to each other. The glories sung by Guru Sahib revolve around the following attributes of God:
- God is metaphysical , beyond time, Eternal, Unborn, Uncreated, Self-existent, and without form, feature, colour or contour. Therefore, neither can God be described or depicted, nor can anyone make an image or idols of that which is undefinable.
- God's manifestations are universally pervasive. God cannot be confined to any particular place, land, country, religion, race, garb, body or name.
- God is the Creator of the Universe and the laws governing it. Never can anyone be outside the ambit of these laws nor can anyone have the power to oppose them. God's Law and Justice is Righteous and Ultimate.
- God's is pervasive in all that 'He' has created, yet God also extends beyond 'His' creations; God is thus Immanent in His Creation and at the same time Transcends it.
- God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient; nothing, whether good or evil, can happen outside of the Creator's Will; God is the Creator-Sustainer-Annuller of His Creation. God is the Life of life, the Death of death, the Darkness of darkness, the Light of light.
The Jaap Sahib is a recitation and praise of God. It includes various names of God in various languages. Understand the fact that god has no name but is called by various names by devotees based on their experience and the blessings they have obtained from him. There is only one sole religion of humans - humanity, and the worldly path that we choose to understand the natural power, our source, source of creation - is called faith only.
Jaap Sahib is made up of 199 verses and is the first Bani of the Dasam Granth (p. 1-10).
The Jaap Sahib begins with the words:
- "ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਖਵਾਕ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ੧੦ ॥'
- "Sri Mukhwakh Patshahi Dasvee,"
- "By the holy mouth of the Tenth King,"
This line is clearly intended to authenticate Guru Gobind Singh Ji as the Author of the Dasam Granth.
Jaap is a Sanskrit word which means "to utter in a low voice, whisper, mutter (especially prayers or incantations); to invoke or call upon in a low voice." The form of the word here is Japu, which makes it a noun, meaning "meditation on nothing but the Truth; ('God') (or The True God).
The language of Jaap, is close to classical with words and compounds drawn from Sanskrit, Brij Bhasha, Arabic and Urdu. The contents of Jaap Sahib, are divided into various Chhands bearing the name of the related meter according to the then prevalent system of prosody in India.
Japji Sahib and Jaap Sahib
The Guru Granth Sahib starts with Japji Sahib, while Dasam Granth starts with Jaap Sahib also called Japu Sahib. Guru Nanak is credited with the former, while Guru Gobind Singh is credited with the latter. The Jaap Sahib, unlike Japji Sahib, is composed in Braj bhasha, Sanskrit and Arabic, and with 199 stanzas, is longer than Japji Sahib. The Jaap Sahib is, like Japji Sahib, a praise of God as the unchanging, loving, unborn, ultimate power.
- HS Singha (2009), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Hemkunt Press, ISBN 978-8170103011, page 110
- S Deol (1998), Japji: The Path of Devotional Meditation, ISBN 978-0966102703, page 11
Nihang, Dharam Singh. Naad Ved Vichar (in Punjabi). India. p. 20.
ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ।। ਹੋਵਹੁ ਚਾਕਰ ਸਾਚੇ ਕੇਰੇ (ਪੰਨਾ ੭੨੮)
- Amarjit Singh (1985), Concept of God in Jaap Sahib: An analytic study, Studies in Sikhism and Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pages 85–92
- Singh, Dr. Santokh (1990). English Transliteration and Interpretation of Nitnaym Baanees, Sikh Prayers for English Speaking Sikh Youth. Sikh Resource Centre. ISBN 1-895471-08-7.
- William Owen Cole, Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs And Practises. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1-898723-13-3.
- Neki, Jaswant (2008). Basking in the Divine Presence - A Study of Jap Sahib. Amritsar: Singh Brothers.
- Singh, Sahib (2003). Jaap Sahib Steek. Amritsar: Singh Brothers.
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