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Jaap Sahib in Raags!!!!


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taken from Sikh Soceity in England. Enjoy :D :D

Q.1 ) Now I do not know whether chands are musical directions like raags, or poetical-metrical forms. You say that Astpadis are also poetic forms, so are sloks. However, these have been placed in ragas by the Gurus. Does that mean that we should be singing the rest, then music falls silent for rthymic recitation, or in this case music is to be applied to these also? Also, your clarification that Jaap Sahib is Poetry and not music, tells us that Guru Gobind Singh did not write anything with music.

Ans. 1) Poetry and Music are two sides of the same coin. As each side of a coin is independent but complement each other, similary Poetry and Music are also independent but complementary to each other. Music versifies and provides melody, uniformity and cadence to Poetry. Metre is the basis of the musicality of Poetry because it is in a metre that the modulational form of tone is active. Therefore the rhythm of Poetry is inherent in a metre. In music, Sound (Swar) is based on Tone (Naad), and special kinds of Swar-Chand produce distinct musical effects. Poetry is determined by Word (Sound). The meaning of Words of Poetry communicate to the listener a sense of feeling. Thus Word is the root of Poetry. However, in Music the sense of feeling can be communicated to the listener by just the sound or tone, without the WORD. In music, every swar (Note - Sound) possesses a feeling and a combination of different Chands of these swars, according to the related feelings of the Poetry are capable of independently producing the meaning of the Word in Poetry. That is why the language of music is universal, beyond the limitations of time and space, and comprehensible not only to the human beings but also to the animals and birds. While the Poetry, if uttered on its own, can definitely have an impact on the human heart & mind, but when the same Poetic expression is combined with music, the effect of this expression does not remain ordinary but becomes extraordinary.

Its for extraordinary complementary power of Music to touch the hearts, that the Gurus have associated a Raag with each composition in the Guru Granth Sahib. Not only the Raags, they have also indicated the beat (Taal) to be played with the singing of each composition in the recommended Raag. These beats are indicated by the word GHAR at various places in the Granth Sahib. (In order to remain focussed on our point of discussion, i will at this stage not get deeper into the topic of GHARS, but if someone desires to know more, then we could start another message on this topic). As stated in the earlier paragraph, a combination of swars (notes) of a Raag with the beat, even without the word are capable of producing the feelings of Joy, Sorrow, Vairag, etc. in our hearts. Every Shabad has a message to be communicated to our hearts & minds. The Gurus very carefully selected each raag to complement the feeling of a Shabad. You will find that Shabads related to a common THEME have been placed under each Raag in the Granth Sahib. I think it is important to understand this aspect before we proceed further. Let me extrapolate :

Raag Common Theme of Shabads

1. Soohi - Being away from Home. The soul being away from the House of Lord & the joy of meeting the true husband.

2. Bilaaval - Beautificaion of Soul and its Happiness.

3. Gaund- Seperation, union, surprise.

4.Sri -Maya and Tyag (to leave)

5.Maajh- yearning to meet the Lord and giving up the

negative values.

6. Gauri - Principles, Serious, thoughtfulness, composed

7. Aasa - Hope

8. Gujri - Prayer (Pooja)

9. Devgandhari - Merging with Lord, Self - Realization

10. Bihaagra - Yearning due to seperation of Soul and hapiness

due to meeting the Lord.

11. Sorath - Merits of God

12. Dhanasari - Mixed Theme

13. Jaitsree - Stability

14. Todi - Maya, Seperation

15. Bairagi - motivation to sing praises of Lord

16. Tilang - many words from the vocabulary of Islamic origins

are used. sadness, beautification.

17. Raamkali - to give up the life of a wandering Jogi.

18. Nat Narayan - Joy of meeting the Lord

19. Maali Gaura - Hapiness

20. Maaru - Bravery

21. Tukhari - Seperation and union with Lord

22. Kedara - Love

23. Bhairav - Mans' state of Hell

24. Basant - Hapiness

25. Sarang - Thirst to meet God

26. Malar - State of seperated and united Soul

27. Jaijawanti - Vairag

28. Kalyan - Bhakti (Prayer) Ras

29. Vadhans - Vairag

30. Parbhati - Bhakti

31. Kanra - Bhakti

Raag Raag can communicate the feeling of

1. Soohi - of union with spouse, seperation.

2. Bilaaval - happiness

3. Gaund - wonderous, strangeness, surprise, beauty

4. Sri - satisfaction and balance of soul

5. Maajh - loss, beautification

6. Gauri - Seriousness

7. Aasa - making and effort

8. Gujri - satisfaction, softness of heart, sadness

9. Devgandhari - No specific feeling and therefore Poetry can

Word can mould the message of music.

This Raag does have a softness.

10. Bihaagra - beautification

11. Sorarth - motivation to strive.

12. Dhanasari - inspiration, motivation

13. Jaitsree - Softness, satisfaction, sadness

14, Todi - this being a flexible Raag it is apt for

communicating the above feelings

15. Bhairagi - sadness, (Gurus have however used it for

the message of Bhakti)

16. Tilang - this is a favourite Raag of Muslims. It

denotes feelings of beautification and yearning.

17. Raamkali - calmness

18. Nat Narayan - Happiness

19. Maali Gaura - Hapiness

20. Maaru - giving up of Cowardice

21. Tukhari - beautification

22. Kedara - Love and beautification

23. Bhairav - Seriousness, brings stability of mind

24. Basant - as the vegetation springs with hapiness in Basant,

season, so does the Raag for our soul

25. Sarang - sadness

26. Malar - seperation

27. Jaijawanti - Virag

28. Kalyan - Bhakti Ras

29. Vadhans - Vairag, Loss (that is why Alahniya is sung isn this Raag when someone passes away)

30. Parbhati - Bhakti and seriousness

31. Kanra - Bhakti and seriousness

Timings of Raags

6 AM - 9AM : Bhairagi, Devgandhari

9 PM - 12 PM : Saarang, Suhi, Bilaaval, Gujri, Gond, Todi

12 PM - 3 PM : Vadhans, Maru, Dhanasari

3 PM - 6 PM : Maanjh, Gauri, Tilang, Tukhari

6 PM - 9 PM : Sri, Basant, Maali Gaura, Jaitsari, Kedara, Kalyan

9 PM - 12 AM : Bihaagra, Nat Narayan, Sorath, Malar, Kanra, Jaijawanti

12 AM - 3 AM : -- ------No Raags from Guru Granth Sahib---------

3AM - 6AM : Aasa, Raamkali, Bhairav, Parbhati

Seasonality of Raags

1. Basant Raag can be sung at any time in Basant Season, as feeling to be

communicated is dominated by seasonality of this Raag.

2. Malar Raag can be sung at any time in Rainy Season, as feeling to be

communicated is dominated by seasonality of this Raag.

What i am trying to do here is to explain the ability of pure musical Raag (void of Shabad) to invoke certain feelings in the human mind. The timings and Seasonality of these Raags are associated with the mental frame of the human mind at that point of time. Now add to this pure Raag Music, the Shabad and see the multiplying effect and the power of the combination to hit the human mind with the desired message. The only word of caution here, is that Shabad has to be pre-dominant and Raag should only act as a medium to enhance the deliverability of the message. The Raag should not become pre-dominant, else while the feeling will get communicated, the essence of the message (Shabad) will get lost.

Now, coming to the question on Chaands, Ashtpadis, Sloks, etc. Let me define these

CHAND : It is a poetry which follows a rule of Beat (Matra - Matra is a periodic/ repetitive time taken to utter a sound, which is the beat), words (Akhar). In Granth Sahib and Guru Gobind Singh Jis Banis,Chaands appear manytimes. Each line of a Chand is called a Charan. A Charan is also known as a Pad. Pads of many Chaupai, Dohra, Ashtpadi, etc. fall under the Word and Beat rule of Poetry.

A Maatrik Chandh is that Chand (Poetry) in which there is no rule for the words, but there is a defined rule for the beat. Some Chaupai, Dohra, Ashtpadis, etc. fall under this category of poetry.

Ashtpadis : A collection of eight Padas/Chands written in one group. There are many types of Chands in Guru Granth Sahib.

e.g. : in Maru Raag they fall under Nishani Chand, in Malar under Sar Chand, in Gauri under Chaupai Chand, in Sukhmani under Roop Chaupai.

Chaupai : A collection of four Padas/Chands.

Dohra : A collection of two Padas/Chands.

All these are Poetry. As this Poetry follows the beat rule, therefore not surprisingly the Gurus have also indicated the Beat to be followed in the form of GHAR, before every shabad of the Raag in Guru Granth Sahib. So the Gurus have provided us with all the intricate details of Swar and Beat with the Shabad so that the message is complemented by the feelings of the Raag.

As explained earlier, Raag with the Poetry enhances the deliverability of the message. However, if one wants to read the Gurbani alone (Poetry), then also he has the ability to grasp the message fully. Gurus have given us a personal guide (Guru Granth Sahib) and therefore the message is also personalized. If a devotee doesn't know the intricaties of the Beat, Music, etc. then he can simple read the compositions and understand. If has the poetic knowledge, then he can read them in a poetic form (like the Gyaniji does in the Gurudwara, while taking the Vaak). But if someone has the ability to play the musical notes, follow the beat and sing then the same poetry transforms into KEERTAN. And if the Keertan is done in the prescribed Raags and Beats (Ghars), then it becomes a powerful combination with an ability to have a long lasting effect on the human mind and heart.

Beautiful.....isn't it. The Gurus have a personalized form of delivering the message to everyone. We need to take the first step, irrespective on which level of understanding of nitigrities of Poetry/music, we are at.

In Jaap Sahib, too Guru Gobind Singh has given us a clear indication of the beat (similar to Ghars in Guru Granth Sahib) to be followed while reciting each Chand. This is given in the form of the names of Chands (e.g. Charpat, Bhagvati, etc.). Jaap Sahib is in the form of a NON MAATRIK CHAND, which means, it follows a definite rule of Beat and Word. However, no Raags have been indicated for this Baani. But that doesn't mean that it is not musical in nature. Having a definitve beat, it can be sung with a musical swar too. I have not mentioned anywhere in my earlier note that Guru Gobind Singh did not write anything with music. Maybe the short note of mine has been interpreted differently.

Earlier, in the learning Zone, Veer Autar Singh Ji had suggested (based on the note of Timing Zones of the Raags) that strictly speaking, Nitnem should not be done in Keertani style.

I am not of the same opinion. I believe, that the Gurus indicated the Raags and Taals (GHARS) only to have a multiplying effect on the mind. However, our Guru Shabad is so much of a personal nature that if a person feels that he gets the inner peace in the form of doing Nitnem in Keertan style, then its fine. Also, if a person can't do keertan in the nirdharit (prescribed) Raag or Taal, and wants to still read the shabad in a musical form with swars (Notes), then its perfectly fine too. Or if a person just wants to read it in poetic form with the beat rule, fine too. And lastly, if he wants to just read it without any rules of beats/raags, then it is fine too. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE DEVOTEES STATE OF MIND AND HIS SINCERITY. After all the Gurus have also warned us not be lost in the nitgrities of Raags, as ultimately its the purity of mind and actions that lead one too GOD.

Among all Ragas, that one is sublime, O Siblings of Destiny, by which the Lord comes to abide in the mind. (Page 1423)

That's the reason why Raags should not predominate the shabad in the Keertan style of singing, it should only complement.

At this point i think it would be worthwhile to provide some more clarity on the 10 types of Chaands mentioned in the Jaap Sahib. But before i attempt to do that, we need to understand a few notations.

I - Denotes a Matra, which is a smallest division of time of a periodic / repetitive nature of sound and is a part of the beat.

S - Denotes a Gur. To recite a character at this point, it takes time equivalent to 2 Matras. While reciting the Chand, an emphasis

in recitation (which is the beat emphasis) is put on the character falling on the Gur, while prolonging its sound equivalent

to 2 matras. So there is a verbal force in uttering the word which falls on the Gur. Usually a character in a word with the

following will be a Gur. (However, this doesnot imply that all such characters will necessarily be Gurs. Also, at times to

maintain the beat of the Chaand, a character without the following may be read as Gur.) :

Characters in a word with the following are usually a Gur : Kanna, Bihari, Dulonkar, Lan, Hora,

Kanora, Tippi, Bindi, Dulaaiyaan

RECITATION METHODS OF THE CHANDS IN JAAP SAHIB : Using the principles of Matra and Gur, i will try and explain the recitation methods of the Chands of Jaap Sahib.

1. Chachri Chand : This Chand has Charan (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I S I, S

for example the Chand 30 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :


Alekh Hai A le kh Hai

Abekh Hai A be kh Hai

Anam Hai A na m Hai

Akam Hai A ka m Hai

note that as per the rule of Gur stated above, the characters with Lan, Dulaaiyaan & Kanna are falling on S (the Gur).

2. Rasaaval Chand : This Chand has Charan (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I S S, I S S

for example the Chand 148 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I S S , I S S Na Potrey, Na Putrey Na Po trey, Na Pu trey

Na Strey, Na Mitrey Na S trey, Na Mi trey

Na Tatey, Na Matey Na Ta tey , Na Ma tey

Na Jatey, Na Patey Na Ja tey , Na Pa tey

note that as per the rule of Gur stated above, the characters with Hora, Dulaaiyaan, Aunkar & Kanna are falling on S (the Gur).

Also see the exception to the rule mentioned earlier, wherein sometimes to maintain the beat of the Chand, the rule is not followed. Like in this Chand 148 in the second line "S" and "Mi" characters are falling on the Gur and are an exception to the rule.

Javing given an insight to the rules & exceptions for Gur, in Chachari and Rasaaval Chands, i will not explain this in the other Chands. You should be able to find for yourself, where the rule of Gur is being followed and where an exceptiuon is being made to keep the beat of the Chand.

3. Bhujang Paryat Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I S S, I S S, I S S, I S S

However in Jaap Sahib it is used in a variance form of Ardh Bhujang (Half Bhujang), which is similar to Rasaaval Chand and the recitation is done as I S S, I S S for example the Chand 28 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I S S , I S S

Namo Jog Jogey Na mo Jo, g Jo gey

Namo Bhog Bhogey Na mo Bho, g Bho gey

Namo Sarb Dyaley Na mo Sar, b Dya ley

Namo Sarb Paaley Na mo Sar, b Paa ley

4. Charpat Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). It has 2 forms of recitation.

In the first form each Charan to be recited as S I I, S S

for example the Chand 74 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

S I I , S S

Amrit Karmey Am ri t, Kar mey

Amrit Dharmey Am ri t, Dhar mey

Akhal Jogey Ak ha l, Jo gey

Achal Bhogey Ac ha l, Jo gey

In the secnd form each Charan to be recited as I I S, S S

for example the Chand 78 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I I S , I I

Sarban Devan Sa r ban, De van

Sarban Bhevan Sa r ban, Bhe van

Sarban Kaaley Sa r ban, kaa ley

Sarban Paaley Sa r ban, Paa ley

5. Madhubar Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I S I

for example the Chand 87 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :


Gun Gan Udar Gun GanU dar

Mahima Apar Mahi maA par

Aasan Abhang Aa sanA bhang

Upma Anang Up maA admin cut

6. Bhagvati Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). I has 2 forms of recitation.

In the first form each Charan to be recited as I S I , I I S , I , S

for example the Chand 150 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I S I , I I S , I , S

Ki Jaahar Jahoor Hai Ki Jaa ha, r Ja hoo, r , Hai

Ki Haazar Hazoor Hai Ki Haa za, r Ha zoo, r , Hai

Hameshul Salam Hai Ha me shu, l Sa la, m, Hai

Samastul Kalam Hai Sa ma stu, l Ka la, m, Hai

In the secnd form each Charan to be recited as I I S, I S S

for example the Chand 103 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I I S , I S S

Ki Aachij Desey Ki Aa chi j De sey

Ki Aabhij Bhesey Ki Aa bhi j Bhe sey

Ki Aaganj Karmey Ki Aa gan j Kar mey

Ki Aabhanj Bharmey Ki Aa bhan j Bhar mey

7. Harmolmana Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I I S, I I S

for example the Chand 171 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :

I I S, I I S

Karunalay Hai Ka ru na la y Hai

Ar Ghaley Hai A r Gha le y Hai

Khal Khandan Hai Kh al Khan da n Hai

Meh Mandan Hai Me h Man da n Hai

8. Ek Achari Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as I S

for example the Chand 189 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows :


Ajey A jey

Aley A ley

Abhey A bhey

Abey A bey

9. Rual Chand : This Chand has 4 Charans (4 lines). Each Charan to be recited as S I S, I I S, I S I, I S I, S I I, S, I

for example the Chand 79 of Jaap Sahib will be recited as follows (here i am only giving the example of one :

S I S, I I S, I S I, I S I, S I I, S, I

Aad Roop Anad Moor t Ajon Purkh Apar Aa d Roo p A na d Moo rt A jo n Pu rkh A pa r

Sarb Mann Triman Dev Abhev Aad Udar Sa rb Maa n Tri ma nn De v A bhe v Aa d U da r

Sarb Palk Sarb Ghalk Sarb Ko Pun Kal Sa rb Pa l k Sa rb Gha l k Sa rb Ko Pu n Ka l

Jatr Tatr Bihaj Hi Avdhoot Roop Rsal Ja te Ta tr Bi ha j Hi A v dhoo t Roo p R sa l

10. Chapey Chand : This Chand has 6 Charans (6 lines). This Chand is a combination of two different Chands, namely Rola Chand and Ulal Chand. First 4 Tuks belong to Rola Chand and the last 2 Tuks belong to Ulal Chand. Each Charan (line) of Rola Chand has 24 Matras, whereas each Chand (line) of Ulal Chand has 28 Matras.For example the Chand 1 of Jaap Sahib is a Chapey Chand with 6 lines. The first 4 being the Rola Chand and the last 2 Ulal Chand. Therefore in the Chapey Chand the total Matras will be as follows :

24 * 4 Lines of Rola + 28 * 2 Lines of Ulal = 152 Total Matras.

Unfortunately i do not know the notations of Chapey Chand. Maybe, someone based in India can try and understand these from some learned Gyaniji and share with us the details.

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