Jap-ji is the song eternal, song of love, and song of spiritual wisdom. – Yogi Bhajan
In this blog I would like to introduce my new book Sing to Your Soul, which explains the essence of Jap-ji, the spiritual discourse of Guru Nanak. It is recommended by Yogi Bhajan to read Jap-ji at the beginning of our Kundalini Yoga Sadhana. In concise and exquisite detail, Jap-ji offers us a spiritual super structure for our spiritual and yogic practice. It explains the journey of our soul –where we are going and how to get there. Reciting these sacred words sets the vibration so that we can experience the space, sound, and feeling of the divine in our physical and energetic being.
I taught recently in a Level One Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Encinitas, California, whose students were the first to receive my new book. One of the students told me “This is the book I have been looking for!” Perhaps this is the book you have been looking for.
A Revolutionary Text
Jap-ji is a revolutionary text that (1) plants the seed of love in our consciousness, (2) brings light and clarity to our spiritual path, and (3) sets out guidelines for our yoga and meditation practice. The blessings of these teachings open the door to a heart-centered experience that merges our humanness and our soul with the Divine.
Jap-ji helps us tune in and get a peek at the dimension of universal love. Guru Nanak reminds us that something big, vast, and, in fact, infinite is going on. We want to wake up to it and be a conscious participant.
We have all had experiences where we realized that we are not in charge, we are not alone, and we are being supported and guided. In meditative silence, tune in to one or more of these experiences and you too will understand how the Universal Force works with and for you in mysterious and magical ways. Our spiritual path is about making this realization a way of life.
Guru Nanak and the Story of Jap-ji
According to historical accounts, around 1499, a 30-year-old holy man named Nanak failed to return home from his rituals in a nearby river. After finding his clothes on the river bank, the villagers assumed he had drowned. The river was dredged, but no body was found. Three days after disappearing, Nanak reappeared from the water. The first day he was silent. The next day he spoke Jap-ji, whose basic message is to spread kindness and peace and to uplift humanity out of revenge and hatred.
Guru Nanak’s Jap-ji, known also as The Song of the Soul, is a poetic discourse that offers us a formula for achieving higher consciousness. True to its universal message, Jap-ji is revered by many paths, including Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. Written in Gurumukhi (language of the gurus), the recitation of Jap-ji sings to the soul and awakens the mind and heart to an experience of the Infinite and Divine Love. Even listening to it every day is beneficial to our consciousness.
Guru Nanak’s Message
It is useful to place Guru Nanak’s message in the historical context of the early 1500s in which (1) religious conflict and (2) spiritual elitism prevailed. Guru Nanak (1469-1539), who was born into the Hindu tradition, lived at a time when there was serious discord on the Indian subcontinent. The Muslims were trying to convert the Hindus to Islam or killing them. Guru Nanak’s message reaches out to all humanity without regard for color or creed. The story handed down tells us that Guru Nanak’s clothes were Hindu in style on one side and Islamic on the other so that he would not be identified with any particular religious tradition.
Guru Nanak honored masters, sages, and adepts of all cultures and traditions. He lived and shared the consciousness of the One Spirit that unites us all. (“Nanak” means “the pure one” or “Christ (or Buddha) consciousness.”) With his trusted companion and musician Mardana, who was a Sufi (Islamic tradition), he traveled around Central Asia singing songs that connected everyone to the oneness of God. Singing songs of the Divine (without dogma or label) is an ancient tradition of holy people everywhere who sang to rejoice in their divine connection. For Guru Nanak, the highest path is to live in the all-pervading reality of universal oneness. This experience is owned by none and knows no name.
Sing to Your Soul seeks to understand spiritual principles that enlightened ones have tried to convey for millennia. Addressing major questions of seekers everywhere, this book explores spiritual concepts that need to be clarified and made relevant to our life and our times.
Jap-ji offers us a method to reach oneness. Jap-ji is a comprehensive work consisting of brief statements and few words. Little by little, we can grow the concepts into our own experience. To do so, we must go inside to reorient and expand our consciousness. Within, we can tune in to and connect with the invisible world of universal energies and awaken to our nonphysical energetic self. This book explains how we can expand our consciousness into the elevated state described in Jap-ji.
Jap-ji — Quantum Leap
Jap-ji is an important spiritual text that deals with both the subtle and practical aspects of the spiritual path. It is not simply interesting literature or a mystic’s ecstatic song of love for the Divine. Its universal messages are applicable to seekers everywhere.
Spiritual longing is ingrained in every human being. This longing appears in our search for peace, happiness, and relaxation. When we hear the inner calling, we begin to study religious texts and search for spiritual practices. Elementary steps get us started, but they take us only so far. To enter the realm of higher consciousness, we must take a quantum step beyond intellectual understanding, religious beliefs, and physical yoga.
Jap-ji explores the quantum step to enter our inner reality, quiet the conflict in our mind, and relax the tension in our physical and emotional bodies. To satisfy our yearning to experience our oneness with the universal One, we have to commune with the vibration of creation that animates our being.
An Initiation into the Aquarian Age and Our Challenge
The basic message of Jap-ji is that to achieve true happiness and freedom, we must align our will with Divine Will. Guru Nanak, many spiritual paths, and mystics have enticed us to chant mantras and sacred songs to achieve this ultimate and blissful goal.
This book, Jap-ji, the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and Kundalini Yoga welcome us into the Aquarian concept of spirituality that transcends patriarchal religions, dogmas, rules, and ideologies. In the Aquarian Age we are invited to cultivate our own experience and join the Infinite One in our own unique way. To be authentically who we are and to be free, we train ourselves to be self-directed and listen to our own truth.
A Universal Message for Everyone
The path that Guru Nanak followed and recommended is to integrate oneness consciousness in our daily lives as householders. This was a revolutionary concept for the times. Up until his time most spiritual paths concerned themselves with escaping from the physical world. Yogis isolated themselves to avoid being corrupted by distracting and, what they deemed to be, unspiritual Maya.
Guru Nanak does not recommend trying to escape from physical reality. He invites us to recognize our role in upgrading the consciousness of our environments and to take the opportunity and use the gifts that we have been given to actively participate in action that will bring our being and the world into oneness.
Guru Nanak’s teachings transcend any categories. There are no boxes, limiting factors, or criteria in Guru Nanak’s reality. Nanak simply enjoyed the vast universal space and the sublime resonance that fills it with peace and love. Guru Nanak invites all of us to join together where there is only acceptance, inclusion, and unconditional love.
Reclaiming the Essence of Spirituality
There is an eternal universal principle that governs our internal spiritual evolution and is the core of all the original spiritual teachings, including those of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and Guru Nanak. The great masters all embodied the same Universal Light. In fact, the use of the name “Nanak” in Jap-ji refers to Christ Consciousness. The teachings of the masters were all devoted to awakening humankind to the Universal Love.
Guru Nanak’s message is comprehensive. He begins Jap-ji with the ultimate concept of Ek Ong Kaar — the creator of all is One. Then he explains all the ways that we can cultivate the experience of oneness for ourselves. The primary technology that he offers to awaken our soul (ji) is jap — the repetition of divine sounds that not only clear out negativity, but install a program of oneness at the most fundamental level in our body and psyche.
I offer you this book as a prayer that it may help you release the fear vibration and awaken to the reality of love, that you can have a deep, compassionate understanding of yourself and your path and live your precious and unique life from the deepest love in your heart.
Magic Mantra Meditation
This meditation imprints the psyche with the essence message of Jap-ji: the greatest and true (SAT) gift (GUR PRASAD) is that the creator of all is one (EK ONG KAAR). We chant this mantra to be in a state of acceptance, forgiveness, surrender, gratitude, and oneness. When you feel stuck and need help from the Universe, this is the mantra to chant.
Sit in a comfortable meditation posture and lift hands to heart level, palms up, elbows relaxed at the sides, and form a shallow cup of the hands, sides of palms and Mercury fingers comfortably together, thumbs out and away from hands, edges of the “cup” about 30 degrees up from ground parallel. The important thing is to keep the line of Mercury connected at the edges of the palms and little fingers. If there is a gap between the little fingers, adjust the hands to eliminate the space. It is very rare that the Mercury fingers are joined in this way, but that is what makes the difference. Look into the hands but keep the eyes closed and chant in a monotone
EK ONG KAAR
SAT GUR PRASAD
SAT GUR PRASAD
EK ONG KAAR
letting the breath naturally find itself. One cycle lasts 4–5 seconds. Continue for 31 minutes.
COMMENTS: This meditation can be done for 11, 22, or 31 minutes, but 31 minutes is best because it can get you very high. A couple of days practice can give you a certain stimulation that is beyond explanation. It raises your vibration to the frequency of oneness.
EK ONG KAAR, SAT GUR PRASAD is the most powerful of all mantras. It is so strong that it elevates the self beyond duality and establishes the flow of Spirit. It will make the mind so powerful that it will remove all obstacles. We call it the magic mantra because its positive effects happen quickly and last a long time.
This mantra must be chanted with reverence, in a place of reverence. So be sure that your surroundings are serene and sacred and that you practice it with reverence. Yogi Bhajan says that you can mock any mantra you like except this one because it is known to have a backlash. Mantras normally have no backlash — when you chant them well, they benefit you, and when you chant them wrong, they don’t have any ill effect. So if they don’t do any good, at least they don’t hurt you. This mantra is not secret, but it is very sacred. So chant it with reverence, write it with reverence, and use it in reverence. And that is the power of this mantra: you will become aware of the sacredness of all life, see the hand of the Infinite work, and bow in humility to the One Universal Force.