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Rahaa-o?


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Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!

Dear all!

Some preachers say that the line preceding 'Rahaa-o' in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is the central theme of that Sabad. One should stop there for sometime to ponder (do beechaar).

Some others say that Japu Jee Sahib is the main and central theme. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is the further explanation of Japu Jee Sahib.

'Rahaa-o' occurs some thousand times in Gurbaanee. My curiosity is to know why 'Rahaa-0`does not occur in Japu Jee Sahib? Please enlighten all with your wisdom.

Balbir Singh

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In my opinion, Mul mantar was Guru Nanak Dev Ji's 1st divine revelation, the nucleus, epi-centre of the truth, Jap Ji sahib expands on Mul Mantar and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji expands on Japji Sahib, I know some people may not agree with this, but this is what I feel.

Jap Ji Sahib does not have a musical format (Nirdaareth raag), so tells me it is not meant to be sung, hence no rahao. It forms the foundation of Gurbani, and of our day as it's the first bani we recite at amritvela and is the first bani rectited during amrit sanchaar.

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Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!

Dear all!

Thanks for your reference and the post. The article referred has many assumptions, in my view. Let us go through some.

The writer assumes that "Gurus have clearly indicated that while reading the Shabad, take a PAUSE on this line."

I do not know where the Gurus have clearly suggested that. Someone may please provide a reference.

Quote "Why Pause? Because the line with RAHAU has the central theme of the Shabad."

In my view, this is not correct. Every Vaak, the enlightened Gurus spoke, is the complete Truth.

Quote "The point to note is that the numbering of lines is meanigful: the numbering conveys a definitive message. The message here is: Wait/Pause and contemplate on the message. In this line the Guru is telling us the theme of the Shabad. The number 1 of Rahau indicates ,read this line carefully. Now read the other (non-Rahau Line) line, and correlate it to the message in Rahau. Now proceed to other (Non-Rahau) line thereby keep proceeding with all the other lines in a sequential manner."

This is a strange assumption. May I ask if other Vaaks from the Gurus without Rahaa-o say 'please do not stop and contemplate on the message'?

Quote "At times, if rarely, we find more than one rahau in a Shabad. All the Rahaus in that Shabad (usually 2,3 or 4) convey the same central theme: reflect on truth. Gurus thought it appropriate to explain the same central theme in different combination of words and therefore gave more than one Rahau."

I am not sure if the Gurus were thinking first and then manipulating the flow of God's message. I feel it is the natural flow of God's Speech through them.

Perhaps the writer is more engaged with music and its interpretation explaining sthai and asthai.

**************

Quote from Shaheediyan Jee "Jap Ji Sahib does not have a musical format (Nirdaareth raag), so tells me it is not meant to be sung, hence no rahao."

I always feel that Japu Jee Sahib is the first celestial song from the Guru's tradition. Has someone found an instruction from the Gurus that it is not meant to be sung? Please provide a reference.

Balbir Singh

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Veer Ji,

Instruction is commonsensical, there is no musical hukum, as with the rest of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (which follows musical organisation and instructions). If Guru Maharaj wanted us to sing Japji Sahib, they would have said so, as they have with the rest of bani (in detail). But this is just my humble opinion, your may of course differ, and thats fine.

Personally I don't buy the pause theory when reciting paath. But in kirtan maryada terms, an athai is needed when doing kirtan, the rahao indicates the line that is to used as astai (chorus).

This is not instructed, but is handed down oral tradition, which all puratan raagis and nearly all Sikh musical scholars agree with, so is not a contraversial issue.

Kirtan was practiced by our Guru Sahiban, who even invented raags, mishrat raags (fusion of raags)saaj, par-taal, jora (forerunner of tabla), used folk dhunis etc...

They had rababis in all their darbaars who held a highly respectful status, and the tradition, although nearly decimated post Banda Bahadur Singh years, survived and exists today. As you are well aware there are numerous references to kirtan in Gurbani, which one can interepret in a deeper meaning of course, but as excemplified by Guru Sahiban themselves, kirtan forms an intricate part of Gursikhs life.

ਕਲਜੁਗ ਮਹਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਪਰਧਾਨਾ ॥

Kaljug meh kīrtan pardhānā.

All bani is anmol, but rahao carries the central theme of a shabd, which is why it is used as astai. Of course we do vichaar on each line, and even each word.

What is your understanding of rahao?

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Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!

Dear all and Shaheediyan Jee!

Quote "Instruction is commonsensical, there is no musical hukum, as with the rest of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (which follows musical organisation and instructions). If Guru Maharaj wanted us to sing Japji Sahib, they would have said so, as they have with the rest of bani (in detail)."

Just because they write the name of a Raag in the title of a Sabad, the Raagees derived an instruction out of it. All should strictly sing the particular Sabad in that particular Raag.

I have heard a wonderful story. The Guru wrote once the word 'Ladoo'. His disciples became active and thought it was the time for snacks. They started running to arrange Ladoos for eating.

The Guru consciously went on with His Ladoo. His disciples are since then busy cooking and eating Ladoos their way.

Quote "Personally I don't buy the pause theory when reciting paath."

Many religious shops have decorated their show cases with 'the pause theory'. It is some different matter. One buys it or not.

Quote "But in kirtan maryada terms, an athai is needed when doing kirtan, the rahao indicates the line that is to used as astai (chorus)."

I know that music has scales with notes, not compulsions like 'asthai'.

Quote "This is not instructed, but is handed down oral tradition, which all puratan raagis and nearly all Sikh musical scholars agree with, so is not a contraversial issue."

How do the Gurus call a person who does things that the Gurus never instructed?

They convince some that 'Rahaa-o' is the same as a refrain in a song, i.e., the activity of repetition as in a chorus. Others say just the opposite, i.e., 'Rahaa-o' is the pause or stay while singing.

**************

Quote "What is your understanding of rahao?"

I feel 'Rahaa-o' is the state reached after Simran. This wisdom is exclusively reserved for those who are progressing at the conscious level of mind with true Simran.

Balbir Singh

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Veer Ji,

Well we don't need to worry about ladoo, there is no instruction in the title to eat any. There is however a hugely comprehensive repetoire of musical instructions i.e. taal, style, raag, microtone..which are there for a reason, which luckily some people have retained as kirtan maryada.

I think our Guru Arjun Dev Ji would have had better things to do than organise Maharaj in musical (Raag) format, if, kirtan, done in the correct way, was not important. The voice of the Guru is fine, but Guru Ji has blessed more, they have given us the essence of their voice, their mood, the tone in their voice to.

There is no need to argue against kirtan and Guru Ji's stamp in Gurbani, it is not a competition between simran and kirtan, both are important, and both have been gifted to us bu Maharaj.

How do the Gurus call a person who does things that the Gurus never instructed?

How do you know Guru Ji never instructed this? Who are we to believe, "your" opinion, or the consensus agreed amongst experts on the subject (Gurmat Sangeet Maryada), some of whom have a kirtan seva lineage going back hundreds of years?

I know you are very determined in your arguements and very confident in opinions, but sometimes it's ok to concede.

"They convince some that 'Rahaa-o' is the same as a refrain in a song, i.e., the activity of repetition as in a chorus. Others say just the opposite, i.e., 'Rahaa-o' is the pause or stay while singing."

I suggest that you, and anyone else who has doubts, do vichaar on some shabd, and see for yourself why Guru Ji has selected one line (in most cases), out of the whole shabd to indicate as rahao. There is no need to comeback on this point. Make your own mind up and be happy with your decision, others will be able to do the same.

"I feel 'Rahaa-o' is the state reached after Simran. This wisdom is exclusively reserved for those who are progressing at the conscious level of mind with true Simran."

What is your source for this comment? Why is the true wisdom reserved for a special line?

I can even agree with your point, in terms of: Yes, rahao is the line simmer, hence pause (vichaar - simmer), or astai - repeat - chorus - simmer - jaap/repeat...

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Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!

Dear all and Shaheediyan Jee!

Thanks for your post. Let us first exchange our views about The topic 'Rahaa-o'.

Quote "What is your source for this comment?"

This is the experience of the results after true Simran or Jap.

May I ask what is more important to know first? Is this the Sat Gur or the result through Sat Gur (true technique)?

Rahaa-o is the result of Sat Gur. Sat Gur is the true technique of Japu. During Japu one is engaged with the technique. One reaches the Rahaa-o stage as the result of this. This is the reason that during the activities of Japu Jee 'Rahaa-o' does not occur.

'Rahaa-o' is the state reached after Japu. This wisdom is exclusively reserved for those who are progressing at the conscious level of mind with true Simran or Japu.

Quote "Why is the true wisdom reserved for a special line?"

The topic is Rahaa-o, not a line.

**************

Now I come to the very interesting topic Raag and its mention by the Gurus in titles of Sabads.

No one understands it as an order or instruction to start singing when he reads the word Sri Raag etc. in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee or anywhere. The Gurus did not write Gurbaanee only for Raagees. What should persons do who have nothing to do with a Raag? Is Gurbaanee not for everybody?

This is the reason that the mention of Raag is not an instruction to limit Gurbaanee only for Raagees, in my view.

Raag is based on the nature of notes for a particular time. May I ask why Raagees sing and do a rehearsal of Sabads anytime?

I feel Gurbaanee is also not limited to particular times.

This is a different story that some have organized a business out of these titles, exclusive for them.

Balbir Singh

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Thanks you veer ji, I think that is a nice ending to the topic.

Your source/reference for your definition of Rahao, is your naam bhagti experience, so I obvioulsy cannot challenge that. My conversation was at a more conventional/academic level.

Your understanding of raag and it's use/purpose/effect, alongside the limitless nature of Gurbani seems a little restricted though, that is unless of course it is also derived from your naam bhagti (with all due respect), where of course, again, I cannot comment.

Thanks for the discussion.

Just a tip, in future, it would help if you only asked questions which you genuinely do not have the answer to and don't already have an indomitable opinion on already.

Vaheguru

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