Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Harmandar Sahib: Gur Ram Das rakho sarnaee

Hum Avagun Bharae Ek Gun Nahee Amrit Shaad Bikhai Bikh Khaee ||
I am overflowing with negativity; I have no personal value and self-esteem and I keep drowning myself in poisonous thoughts and actions.

Maya Moh Bharam Pai Bhoolae Sut Dhara Sio Preet Lagaee ||
I am attached to materialism and delusion; I am clinging to my children and spouse.

Ik utam Panth Sunio Gur Sangat Tehey Milanth Jam Tras Mittaee ||
I have come to know the most exalted Path of all, is the conscious dialogue between seekers of the Truth, where those seeking to awaken inner light gather. In this company may I remove 
my fear of death.

Ik Ardas Bhaat Keerat Kee, Gur Ram Das Rakho Sarnaee ||4||58||
Keerat the poet offers this one prayer: 
O Guru Ram Das, Save me! Take me into Your Sanctuary! ||4||58||


This shabad or hymn is from the Bhaat Baani or verses of bards (www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Bhatts). Some compositions from the Bani are recited every morning at Harmandar Sahib and are known as Swaiye. The term originated from a popular form of poetry used by the Bhaats called 'Swaiya Chhand', which gave their verses a very distinctive musical style (www.discoversikhism.com/sikhs/bhatts_bards). 
Also called Bhaattan de Swaiye, these are recited in turn by a group of sevadars after the arrival of the Guru Granth Sahib to the sanctum sanctorum, and whilst the holy granth is being adorned with poshak or rumalla (covers) in preparation for prakash or opening of the granth for the daily hukumnama. 
Hukumnama  originates from two Persian words hukum, meaning command or order, and namah, meaning letter. In the Sikh tradition, it is now used to refer to the first shabad read during prakash and is considered the guru's order for the day.  
The one accompanying this photo essay has been composed by Bhaat Keerat. It's the last Swaiya and is recited in chorus, the congregation also joining in. 

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