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Sikh Research and Education Center: Articles on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib:

Summary of Jaap Sahib and Sawayye

Summary of Jaap Sahib and Sawayye

God is Formless, He neither takes birth nor dies and is Eternal. He is Self-Existent, has no father, mother, brother, wife, daughter or son. He is the Creator of All and everything. He is All Wisdom and the Source of All Virtues. He alone is the Giver of everything to the creatures. He created the universes, both Matter and the living beings by shedding His Light. Guru Gobind Singh states: �God is Father of this Universe, in that all activity of creatures, both visible and invisible, is verily His Potential. The Light emanated from Him, is called the Primal Force (Bhavani or Chandi, or Durga, Bhagauti or Jugdumbay, etc.). This Light is instrumental in the creation of the universes.� - �pritham kal sab jug ko tata, tahan tai bhio tej bhikhiata. so hi bhvani nam kahahi, jin sagri yeh sarist upahi.� The Matter is made of the Five Elements, created by God. The living beings have the gross material body of Five Elements which serves as a vehicle to the Divine Light present in them. The Divine Light is the cause of the creation and the Source of its sustenance. As soon as the Divine light is taken out by Him from the body of a creature, it ceases to exist and dies. Where the Matter is a source of service to the living beings for the continued sustenance to the body, God has given Three Qualities or Modes called Gunas to the Matter, which are called (1) Satva Guna (2) Rajas Guna (3) Tamas Guna. These Qualities create passions, instincts, cravings, etc., are useful if properly used under Divine Guidance, but attachment to the material things as end all of everything causes, greed, allurements, attachment, egoism, lust, wrath, disease, pain, suffering, perversion, jealousies, strife, conflicts, guilt and destruction. Love of Matter is therefore called Maya or Illusion of Three Gunas or modes, which is the unsurmountable obstacle for leading a life of Righteousness or Morality or civility; however one may resolve and try hard. This Maya foils all pious resolutions and serious undertakings when one succumbs to the temptions. It makes one restless, insane and a sinner, irrespective of his learnings, status in life and show of piety. God, Who created Matter (Maya), Himself is not affected by it; always remains Formless, and Aloof although pervading His creation warp and woof. His Light abides in each of the creatures, which creates and sustains them; yet remains Aloof (Nirlaip). God�s Purity and Potency are not lowered, when He creates, as stated in Hindu religious books. Dr SS Kohli incorrectly interpreted Sikh Teachings, while giving Hindu ideas of lower potency of Ishwara, the God of Creation as the Sikh idea also. Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji repeatedly asserts in his writings that God in Full Potency pervades the Universe everywhere (bhar phur rehia bharpoore).

God present in all, gives life to the creatures and sustains them. What is in the Universe, all in minature form exists in Man. As stated by Sri Kabir Ji, that all who take birth and have the material body, are subject to Maya, whether he be Rama, Krishna or Jesus. The instinctual vibrations and passions create the Mind in persons, their self, which though in non-material form, has the material base. Mind has the mercurial nature, ever changing and wandering, seeking for peace. Mind can be controlled only, if it transcends its material base and lives with God abiding under the same roof in the body. God (His Light) present in creatures, like Absolute God , is not subjected to Maya and is Nirlaip. God is present in all, yet no one is God, or can call himself as a better person. God alone is the Doer in all. When He blesses a person, he has the self realization, transcends the material world, by reflecting his mind on God�s Light present in him, which is Nirlaip. The person thus also becomes Nirlaip, God-like, and the Maya serves him.

We are all part and parcel of God, Who created us. He is our Real Parent and we are all His children. We can meet our Father God, by loving Him. The Soul (His Ray of Light) in us, is our Real Self. We create our pseudo self in loving and craving for the material things for our sensual pleasures, thus Mind is created. We serve the maid servant as our master, and totally ignore our Real Master, the Giver, the Loving Parent, the Creator. Thus there are Two Selves exist in us, Mind the pseudo self and God, the Real and True Self. The more we rely on the material pleasures of the mind, the more dreadful and alarming becomes the struggle within us; between good and evil. This situation occurs, irrespective of our learnings, status in life and all other considerations. No one can save us from the disastrous path we have set on, except our Creator. All other short cuts will be of no avail.

Union with God cannot be attained by mere performance of rituals, by doing any meritorious act, like giving alms, social service, idol worshp, taking bath in sacred waters, and so on. These practices increase egocentricity, and takes one further apart from Him. One�s inner fire of the mind is not removed by wearing religious robes or garbs and making tall talks. This is like beating the snake�s hole, while the snake inside does not die. It is necessary for one to completely surrender and efface himself in love of God to attain union with Him. One�s sacrifice of possession or wealth to purchase His nearness is not enough, but the complete effacement of his self or Iness is required, as both God and the person�s ego cannot stay together in the body. If one wants to be God-like, then he must completely efface himself so that God�s Light alone in full ablaze shine in the body.

As already stated that when we live in the work a day world in union with Him, the Maya does not affect us, but serves us. No one can escape from the effect of Maya except by living with Him. Therefore, it becomes only the perversion to run away from one�s home and hearth to live in jungles or mountaneous caves to escape from the effect of Maya. Nor is the rational use of instincts an evil thing. These are His endowments for making of the personality and the base for union with Him, if used rationally under His Guidance. For example, making Love in marriage is a noble deed one performs, which becomes the basis of friendship and relatedness with all for establishing peace and tranquility. It is only the perverted religious beliefs which regard love making, even in marriage, is an evil act and as inferior to abstinence. It is men and women, who apparently lead the life of total chastity, and pose themselves superior to others and nearer to God, have proven to be the most corrupt, rigid, and obstinate persons; the tenderness and feeling of empathy has totally been taken away from them.

The texts �Jaap� and �Sawayye� embody teachings to the above mentioned effect. The 199 stanzas in Jaap contain all the imaginal tributes to God, based on His Functional Qualities. The 10 Sawayyas mention about the irrelevance of the varied religious rituals and also the extremely weak mindedness of those who get puffed up with the little power they wield, unmindful of its disastrous end. The important verses appearing in these two Compositions are given below -


Stanza 9 - O Lord, we salute You. There is none else except You. The countless beings are from You. You have no physical form. You do not require sacrifices of animals, for it is Your Light which is present in animals, which humans offer as sacrifices to You. (9)

Stanza 10. O Lord, we salute You. You do not require us to perform any religious ritual to meet with You. You are beyond any superstitious beliefs. You do not belong to a particular country nor any cultural pecularity.

Stanza 11. O Lord, we salute You. You have no particular Name, and are Desireless. You are not made of five elements and none can inflict injury on You. (11)

Stanza 15. O Lord, we salute You. It is You, Who enjoys the material wealth of the world, as You are present in Complete Form in each of the creatures. At the same time, since You have no Form, when present in creatures, therefore, You do not destroy Yourself while enjoying worldly things. (15)

Stanza 40. O Lord, You are beyond reach, You do not take birth, You are not made from  the Five Elements, You are beyond the sense perceptions.  (40)

Stanza 48. O Lord, we bow to You. You are like a Great and Beautiful Dance. You are the Melody of all Music (which has attracted the whole of creation). You are the Great Drummer, Who by beat of the drum gathered the crowds of people in the world. (48)

Stanza 54. O Lord, we bow to You. You ever Protect the creatures and are also their Destroyer. All good and bad creatures are from You, they are members of Your family and You preserve them. (54)

Stanza 81. O Lord, You are Nameless and Desireless. There is no visible place where You dwell. Everywhere You are worshipped and creatures bow to You. You are Alone, but appear in many shapes. You manifest Yourself in many forms.   You Play the Game of Creation, and after playing this Game, You dissolve the creation, and are left Alone. (81)

Stanza 82. O Lord, Your mystery is neither known to gods/goddesses, nor to the (Hindu Religious Books) Vedas and Semitic Books (Bible, Torah, Jamboor and Koran). No one knows how You look like, what color You have, and what is Your caste and lineage. You have no father, no mother, no caste, free from being born or to die. Your fierceful Power of Destruction prevails in all the four corners of creation. The creatures of all the Three Regions bow to You. (82)

Stanza 85. O Lord, You are Self Existent, Your Knowledge is Unfathomable, You are Beyond Praise. You are Alone pervading all creation, but remain Detached (not affected by Mays or matter). You break the pride of the egocentrics (proud persons). You are the Destroyer of all. You are Beginningless and are Unborn. You are without the body and are Eternal. You are the Source of all life. The creatures do not exist individually within You. You Alone exist and are present in all creatures and are Infinite. You are All Powerful, Destroyer of all and also their Preserver. (85)

Stanza 100. O Lord, You are neither subject to the effect of Karma (Deeds), nor You take birth on that count. You never take birth, You were not born of a woman. (100)

Stanza  119. O Lord, You are spreading Your light everywhere like the sun. All worship You everywhere. You are the Lord of the Universe. You are like moon spreading Your pleasant Light everywhere. (119)

Stanza 123. O Lord, You adjudge all rightly. You are the Refuge of all. You are the Great Enemy of rebellious ones  (wickedness). It is the Reality that You provide a living to all creatures. (123)

Stanza 125. O Lord, no one can describe Your Form. Your Greatness is not affected by the Maya of Three Modes. All creatures derive their life from Your Light. You are such a Great Nectar, which is  united with the creatures. (125)

Stanza 144. O Lord,  being present in all, it is You alone Who does all deeds, and take responsibility to do righteousness (Dharma). Being present in creatures, You are distinctly separate from them. (144)

Stanza 148. O Lord, You have neither any son, nor any grandson. There is neither any enemy nor friend of Yours. You have neither father nor mother, You have neither caste nor lineage. (148)

Stanza 149. O Lord, there is no one related to You and also there is no rival of Yours. Your Personality is Unfathomable.  You are the Everlasting Light. No one can conquer You. You do not take birth. (149)

Stanza 177. O Lord, You cannot be approached by mere repetition of certain words, (as  magicians manupulate their deities) nor You can be installed as an idol (as Hindus do in their temples). No one has made Your Personality, You are Eternal Being. (177)

Stanza 186. O Lord, we bow to You. There are the Three modes of the Matter, with which Universe was created, Rajas, Tamas, and Satav. But Your Light and the Form was not made from the Matter. You are Supreme Soul (Parm-atma), which is not of matter. The Supreme Knowledge is with You. You are the Supreme Word, You are the Highest Meditation. (Your Name is the Word, Knowledge, contemplation and deeper meditation). (186)

Stanza 199. O Lord, You pervade in all the four directions. You are Supreme everywhere in all the four directions. Self Existent, All Beauty, and ever united with all the creatures. You extirpate the miseries of birth and death of the creatures, Embodiment of Mercy, and ever present with creatures. Your Glory is ever Undiminished. (199)


No 1.   Jainas and monks of other religions, who are  engaged in varied types of rituals only, which are bereft of God�s Name or Love of God, the only Reality,  their practices are of worth nothing,

No 2 - 8.   What does it matter, if one is enabled by God to conquer country after country,  accumulate their wealth and rule with all pomp and show.   This is all a passing show, as at the end he has to depart from this world empty handed.           The material riches are no guarantee that they would bring peace of mind and happiness to any one.   These things people adore and run after, weaken them and ultimately destroy them, both physically and spirtually.   One may even perform varied types of religious rituals and other meritorious works, like alms giving, bathing in sacred waters, etc., but the mind will not come to rest.  The real wealth lies in  God�s Name, which brings with it contentment, peace and happiness.

No 9 & 10.  Again the Guru alludes to certain idolatrous practices, superstitious beliefs and  performance of  religious rituals; for attaining to God.    The whole world is entangled in the illusion of False Beliefs, and has not understood the correct path to Divinity.  The Guru plainly says to the people of world that without Truly Loving God, none can attain to Him.

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