For those coming to Sat Nam Fest East this year, Snatam Kaur will be holding a special workshop on the sacred poem of Jap Ji. She and Pritpal Singh will go over the powerful effects of each Pauri, or stanza, and how to choose one to meditate with to bring the most benefit into your life. The following morning, we will chant Jap Ji together 11 times. Participants in the workshop on Wednesday will also receive Snatam Kaur’s new book and double CD, Meditation of the Soul: Jap Ji Daily Practice and Learning Tool. For those who are curious about what this is, read on!
What is Jap Ji?
Jap Ji Sahib is a prayer or a sacred poem composed by Guru Nanak shortly after he was enlightened. It is more than a prayer though, it is life-changing technology. Each stanza offers a healing or energetic alignment potential. Reciting Jap Ji aloud uses sound to bring total balance to your being. You do not need to be Sikh to benefit from it. It is usually chanted at the beginning of the Aquarian Sadhana given by Yogi Bhajan.
From Snatam Kaur: “Jap Ji, Guru Nanak’s Meditation of the Soul, is a direct transmission of his enlightenment experience, or Jal Samadhi. After 3 days under the river, Guru Nanak emerged to share his vision that all beings, no matter what their walk of life have the Divine Light within, and that we can each access that Light. Guru Nanak gave us Jap Ji as a way to experience our own enlightenment as our souls awaken in the recitation of these sacred words.”
“Jap” means to repeat / chant / or recite, or to understand. Through repetition, we come to greater understanding. “Ji” and “Sahib” are words of respect. Ji can also mean “soul.” So through this bani, this collection of writing, we come to understand and connect with our soul, our true nature.
“Repeating the entire Japji adjusts all the elements in all the chakras and gives you a complete tune up in your entire subtle and physical bodies…” -Yogi Bhajan
Total, there are 40 pauris, or stanzas, in this prayer. The word pauri literally translates as a “step.” Eight times five is 40, and it is said that the 40 pauris correspond to the 5 tattvas, or the 5 elements, within each of the 8 chakras. It begins with the 8th chakra (the aura) and the element of ether, and works its way down to the 1st chakra and the earth element. When we chant the whole Jap Ji, we bring the wisdom of the heavens down through our chakras to connect to our full being on earth.
Each pauri in itself has a unique healing or transformative potential. To fully integrate the impact of a particular pauri, it is recommended that you recite that particular pauri for 11 minutes a day.
Here are a few of benefits of the pauris, as recommended by Yogi Bhajan and listed in Snatam Kaur’s Booklet:
The 24th Pauri breaks through all limitations with the force of a thunderbolt, so powerfully that it affects generations; it has the power to kill misfortune.
The 27th Pauri shows you the way when you are stuck and cannot see the window of opportunity before you. It removes obstacles so you can leap over hurdles.
The 32nd Pauri pays your debts and completes your karma.
Snatam’s New Book and Double CD:
Meditation of the Soul: Jap Ji Daily Practice and Learning Tool.
This is exactly what I wished I had with me to first learn Jap Ji!
These CDs are invaluable in assisting one to understand the pronunciation and to integrate the pauris.
The book contains information about Jap Ji, Snatam Kaur’s journey, the effects of the 40 stanzas of Jap Ji as described by Yogi Bhajan, a pronunciation guide, and the text of Jap Ji Sahib. The text includes the Gurmukhi, English transliteration, and the English translation, so you can see it all at once.
On the first CD are 2 tracks. First, Snatam Kaur reads Jap Ji slowly, so you can fully understand the pronunciation. The duration is about 31 minutes. It is so beautifully chanted.
Second track is Snatam Kaur alternating with Himmit Singh the pauris of Jap Ji. This is a normal-paced version, once you’ve learned the pronunciation in the first one. The duration is a little under 19 minutes.
On the 2nd CD is a learning tool. The pauris are first spoken by Himmit, and then repeated by Snatam Kaur. This is incredibly helpful when trying to learn it: First you listen, then you repeat, hearing the correct pronunciation twice. The duration is 51 minutes.
If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can also order Meditation of the Soul: Jap Ji Daily Practice and Learning Tool here.
“Once a man came to me and said, ‘I want to be the wisest man in the world.’ I said, ‘Read Japji, and you will be.’ He never came back. Where is he? I don’t know. That’s all it takes. If anyone can understand Japji, he can understand the entire wisdom of God.” ~ Yogi Bhajan