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Understanding Bani?


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no you cannot.

Imagine The energy you need to expend to learn gurbani, multiply this a million fold and this is how much energy you need to progress 'spiritually'. If you cannot put energy into learning gurbani, then similiarly you must not have the energy to progress 'spiritually'

Furthermore, how do you know how you are progressing, if the map you are following is made by someone who has never been to the 'place' but has simply made a map from 'hearing' about it. more than likely progress will actually be delusion. You must not set forth upon anything until you know what you are doing, or if someone is guiding you.

In this case Gurbani is your guide so you must read and fully aim to comprehend the essence of gurbani, this entails learning gurbani. It is always easy to see those who seriously want to change - they will learn anything, those who just want to fit in somewhere, will make all kinds of excuses for their laziness. Usually applying the argument 'In Sikhi you do not need to learn anything for mukti, or learning will not get you mukti'

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Ultimately, "Jin Prem Kio, Thin Hee Prabh Paiyo", but you should make an effort to learn Gurmukhi. In the mean time, you can also listen to Gurbani, which is easy to do with all the resources on the net. This will also increase your love for Guru Sahib and inspire you to learn Gurmukhi faster.

Simran will help immensely - infact some people claim Gurbani is a description of all the things you come across / experience during Simran. Gurbani keeps you on the right track.

Strictly speaking, you CAN become one with Waheguru without reading Bani - but it is Guru Ji's Hukam so we must do it.

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simran and meditation create energy, for you to use. more simran will enable you to learn gurbani faster. You can get many siddhi, (powers) from simran, which must be used to further knowledge of atam gyaan through self enquiry and shabad - vichaar.

But the real question to you is 'why do you want to do simran'

maybe you want to make yourself more relaxed, so you can interact better with people, or many other reasons. Few are those who in their heart wish to be 'spiritual' which means annihilation. Do you want to do simran to die for your annhilation? If not just do a bit of simran and don;t overdo it just do it to make yourself feel better.

MAny sants, even Jesus, who had ripe karmas, whose sanskars (subconscious forms) were well prepared by previous work, went through dark troubled periods, periods of despair, what must lie in front of us? I do not wish to scare you, but the scale of this work enormous, only the true warriors can face their inner demons. It is not said for nothing that the path of Sikhi is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair, and this does not mean it is hard to get up in the morning and tie a pagh. If you really wish to be spiritual you must be willing to make extreme efforts, your will must be made of iron, you have to make yourself impervious to everything, and for this you have to burn.

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whats the point in being able to "read" gurmukhi if you cant understand it?

Isnt it better that one understands the essence of bani in a language one can relate to than just read it like the dodgy pandit down the road who just mindlesly reads mantras for someones havan?

To be honest, i can read, write and understand 70% of what Gurbani is saying, but I get most joy out of it when I read its translation in english.

Despite upon hearing my punjabi most people think im a freshie, but the anand I get out of reading Gurbani arth in english is something else for me because i predominantly speak english.

Gods glory or word isnt restricted by language. Your heart are the eyes that look at the words of Gurbani and your soul is the brain that makes sence of it.

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Kharag Singh you are stating the second stage of reading bani. Before a person can understand the second stage, he must fully understand the first stage which is the grammar of gurmukhi. The experiences of reading bani with the 'heart' can be related incorrectly and cause harm to fellow gurmukhs if you have not completed the first stage of bani education. There are are also third fourth fifth etc. stages of 'knowing' bani, for a complete understanding of bani you must endeavour to complete each stage fully.

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I have seen many non-Punjabis make an unprecedented effort to find and understand the Guru's words and traditions as they were originally intended and passed down.

There are some great role models even on this forum, for example tSingh, who has sought and found a traditional Gurdev in the Nirmala tradition, and has already done some great service to the panth by way of his translation of Bhavrasamrit, and no doubt will continue to do more.

Other examples are the ex Bahadur Singh, who although has now found pastures new, did make a brilliant effort to learn Gurbani languages, Sikh history, correct kirtan and other Sikh traditions.

I personally know European 3HO Sikhs who are making unbelievable progress in learning Gurmukhi, culture, raag kirtan etc.

Mekhane'ch Jannat has a very valid point with regards to 'effort'. The journey of 'soul' recognition is a very difficult one. if we cannot make the basic effort to learn from source and original material (which luckily is still available to us extensively, unlike other faith groups), we don't have much chance of progressing in the harder esoteric path.

There is nothing wrong with becoming familiar with and finding ras (to some level) from English translations of Gurbani, history etc, but one will in no way get the essence of the message/story from a translation, I say this after reading in English for many years, much of the meaning, angle, expression, taste of the original is lost by way of translating into a language that does not have cultural, religious, traditional equivalents.

It is very important to translate Sikhi in all it's aspects in to as many languages as possible (by respected academics/experts, rather than self appointed scholars), in order to share Guru'su niversal message. This has been the big downfall in parchaar. Where as in the old days parchaar was taken to many corners of Hindustan and beyond, and voiced in as many languages/dialects, today the effort is 99% concentrated on Punjab and Punjabis, with some comparatively low level effort being done for the western audience.

The bext step should then certainly be for those interested in the correct and original essence, to learn Gurmukhi script and Punjabi, Farsi, Braj, Sahanskriti languages as time allows.

The main thing is to be making a daily and consistent effort, rather than thinking it is a race or a competition.

I recall reading a mid to late 18th c account of European visiting a Nirmala run Gur-ghar, and the 1st instruction the new Khalsa Sikhs were given was to learn Gurmukhi - with some even staying at the same Gur-ghar where they took amrit for weeks or months to do exactly that, before they returned home.

This used to be a very serious part of a new Khalsa's jeevan, but unfortunately, standards have dropped today - same as A-levels and GCSE's.

The biggest possible arguement for the need to learn Gurmukhi is correct santhia. There are various sakhis which reflect how important our Guru's held correct pronunciation to be. In order to read Gurbani correctly and undertsnad viakhyan, one needs to know Gurmukhi.

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Basicly i dont no gurmukhi (i am learning but it harder to pickup than when your young)

So Can one progress spritually without understanding Bani? ( by reading it in romanized and transliterated form? )

Before answering your question, i would like to ask you: Why do you want to learn bani or become spiritual or become anything else at all....

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Hello Fruity. Nice name ^^

I dont think its up to us if we can judge if we have progressed spiritually. I haven't got the gian to judge, where I am. Only Waheguru truly knows that. I think all I know for sure, spiritual progression is not as linear as saying, learn gurmukhi and you have progressed. Even by me saying the word "progressed" makes it look like, spirituallity is linear. But its not. A Gursikh friend told me about a discussion he had with a English guy in a bar. The guy had a cigarette in one hand and a pint of bitter in the other. But the stuff he was talking about was as if he had samadhi. One explanation can be that he did alot of bhagati in a previous incarnation. But I cant judge.

In my life, I was lucky enough to find Gurbani. I can't read gurmukhi and read my bani's in romanised text. One thing I have found is that, the meaning is slow seaping through. Before it used to feel totally alien, but now somehow, its starting to make sense. Even though I do not understand most of it, I recieve something extremely fulfilling by reciting Gurbani. I am not quite sure what it is. But it is something. One explanation I have heard is that there is something in the makeup of the sound current of Gurbani. Traditional wisdom suggests maybe it has a affect on the throat chakra, but I think its alot more than that.

In my opinion, learning Gurmukhi can only be a very good thing, but I dont think "spiritual development" is constrained to it. Is understanding Gurbani the important thing? Or is how we live our lifes according to that understanding the most important thing?

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learn gurmukhi and show maharaj that you are making an effort. believe me he can see you as he is right with you, hes not far away so its not like he wont help (ie start making you understand) if he sees that you need it

"learn gurmukhi and show maharaj that you are making an effort."

I am not against learning, but very idea of showing maharaj that ur makin effort to learn is not the right way...My idea is do without knowing that this will give u something, without expectations at all, without worrying about showing Him what ur doin.

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Hello Fruity. Nice name ^^

I dont think its up to us if we can judge if we have progressed spiritually. I haven't got the gian to judge, where I am. Only Waheguru truly knows that. I think all I know for sure, spiritual progression is not as linear as saying, learn gurmukhi and you have progressed. Even by me saying the word "progressed" makes it look like, spirituallity is linear. But its not. A Gursikh friend told me about a discussion he had with a English guy in a bar. The guy had a cigarette in one hand and a pint of bitter in the other. But the stuff he was talking about was as if he had samadhi. One explanation can be that he did alot of bhagati in a previous incarnation. But I cant judge.

In my life, I was lucky enough to find Gurbani. I can't read gurmukhi and read my bani's in romanised text. One thing I have found is that, the meaning is slow seaping through. Before it used to feel totally alien, but now somehow, its starting to make sense. Even though I do not understand most of it, I recieve something extremely fulfilling by reciting Gurbani. I am not quite sure what it is. But it is something. One explanation I have heard is that there is something in the makeup of the sound current of Gurbani. Traditional wisdom suggests maybe it has a affect on the throat chakra, but I think its alot more than that.

In my opinion, learning Gurmukhi can only be a very good thing, but I dont think "spiritual development" is constrained to it. Is understanding Gurbani the important thing? Or is how we live our lifes according to that understanding the most important thing?

Thank you for that.

Just like to add to that last paragraph.

Learn gurbani or anything else for that matter the understanding will come out of it, which can be used to live our lives. That understanding will also have its limits because not everyone can experience it. Something u read can give you direction but until you actually experience it urself you cannot say u understood it perfectly. Gurbani is direction which needs to realized within before you can start walking on it. Once you have that realization within all directions will become perfect, all ways will become one, all actions will become perfect free duality (good/bad) then anything u do will be right thing...So learn as much as long as it leads to deepest cores of ur inner being.

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Most mahapurakhs spend their whole lives reading baani - purely reading baani - and they claim to not even understand 0.1% let alone 70% - lol

thats why i'm laughing

"kehaa budhh prabh thushh hamaaree || baran sakai mehimaa j thihaaree ||

Lord, how can my worthless intellect, Narrate your splendour?

ham n sakath kar sifath thumaaree || aap laehu thum kathhaa sudhhaaree || 3||

Despite my wish to sing Your praises, I am unable to do so. You may amend the story (which I am going to narrate).(3)

kehaa lagai eih keett bakhaanai || mehimaa thor thuhee prabh jaanai ||

From where shall this insignificant creature start the narration? Lord! You know alone Your splendour.

pithaa janam jim pooth n paavai || kehaa thavan kaa bhaedh bathaavai || 4||

Just as the son knows nothing about the birth of the father, Then how can one unveil Your enigma?( 4)

thumaree prabhaa thumai ban aaee || aouran thae nehee jaath bathaaee ||

O Lord! You alone can comprehend Your splendour. None other can mention it.

thumaree kriaa thum hoo(n) prabh jaano || ouch neech kas sakath bakhaano ||5||

O Master! You alone have knowledge about your actions. How can one describe whether Your actions are high or low ?(5)

saesanaag sir sehas banaaee || dhaioo seha(n)s rasanaahu suhaaee ||

You made one thousand heads of Sheshnagas (the serpent king). Wherein two thousand tongues looked elegant.

rattath ab lagae naam apaaraa || thumaro thoo n paavath paaraa ||6||

With those tongues he has been repeating your countless names until now. Even then he (Sheshnag) has not found your limits.(6)

thumaree kriaa kehaa(n) koo kehai || samajhath baath ourajh math rehai ||

Who can one narrate the extent of your deeds? An attempt to comprehend your affair, puts one in a difficult dilemma.

sooshham roop n baranaa jaaee || biradhh saroopehi keho banaaee || 7||

Your subtle (formless) complexion is indescribable. Therefore, I compose the chronicle of Your stupendous (Universal) form.(7)

thumaree paeram bhagath jab gehiha || shhor kathhaa sabh hee thab kehiha ||

When I acquire your loving devotion, Then I shall describe your tale from the beginning."

(Guru Gobind Singh Ji - Bachittar Natak)

Khalsa ji benti - never say i know 70% 60% or 1% - we know nothing

dont take it the wrong way khalsa ji

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