Editor’s Note: We are truly blessed that Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa & Hari Kaur have offered to share their amazing English version of Japji Sahib, the Song of the Soul. To receive your gift, click the link at the bottom of their heartfelt and inspiring message. Sat Nam!
Japji Sahib with the Master’s Touch: An Audio Recording
It was the winter of 2003, a year and a half before Kundalini Yoga Master, Yogi Bhajan, would leave his body. Yogi Bhajan also held the title of Siri Singh Sahib, Chief Religious and Administrative Authority for Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere. In the last years before he transitioned from the earth, Yogi Bhajan lived in his geodesic dome on his ranch in Espanola, New Mexico. He was basically bed ridden. A kidney transplant in 2002 extended his life, but he never walked on his own again after the operation. During that time, besides his family and key staff, it was difficult for people to make appointments and see him. Yet it was during this phase of his life that I had the tremendous blessing of working with him on an English translation of Guru Nanak‘s Japji Sahib, the Song of the Soul.
I have many stories about the process of translating Japji Sahib under the guidance of the Siri Singh Sahib. Too many to recount them all here. But throughout 2003, he would call me to see him in his dome. He lived in a rather largish circular room, with some beautiful artwork and a couple staff members on duty. He lay there in his bed, physically frail, but with amazingly powerful eyes. His presence and voice lost none of their impact, even though his body was old and slowly breaking down.
Today, I wish to share a few important teachings that he shared with me during this time. First, he told me that Guru Nanak was a Master of Sound and that I needed to sit where Guru Nanak sat and translate from there. He told me to only translate in the Amrit Veyla and the twilight hours, when the sun is 60 degrees to the earth. Typically 4 to 7 am or pm. During that time, he said, “You are alert, wise and one with the Light of God. When the sun is 30 degrees to the earth (during the day and the evening), you are half-wise and half-foolish.”
He would sometimes discuss different terms and lines in Japji Sahib with me. Ek Ong Kaar – there is One who created the creation and is the creation, itself. When I asked if God was in the creation, he said, “God is in you.” I said, “Sat Naam,” and he nodded.
Sometimes, Yogi Bhajan would say things just to guide me, to guide my consciousness. “Spirituality is nudity,” he once told me. “Nudity is a law of reality. So long as you are not nude, there is a barrier. And a barrier is a block to truth.”
And sometimes he gave me instructions about how to approach life. “Work without higher consciousness, sexual desire without being in the Will of God, and worldly desires all amount to nothing,” he once said.
I did not see him all the time in 2003, but every visit profoundly affected me. He shifted my consciousness and changed my life. It was that personal touch of his, guiding, instructing, correcting and expanding that allowed this particular English translation of Japji Sahib to come through.
It has been over ten years since the translation has gotten published. People often come to me and tell me how powerful it is for them, what an impact the translation has on their psyches. I always reply, “It is because this particular translation has Yogi Bhajan’s energy in it. It would not be what it is without the touch he gave it.”
Hari Kaur from New York City and her sound engineer Zita Vallisinova have taken this translation of Japji Sahib and created a most beautiful, sublime audio recording of it. I am profoundly grateful for the tremendous effort that they put into doing this. People have asked me for years if there was an audio recording of this Japji translation, and I do feel the hand of the Divine at work that Hari Kaur arranged to do this service to the community. The recording is very soothing to the ear and the heart. Hari Kaur’s voice reading this translation of Guru Nanak’s words has grace and sweetness. In a world where we need positive affirmations to counter the barrage of negativity that hits us endlessly, this particular recording comes like an oasis in the desert.
Here is what Hari Kaur and Zita shared about their process of creating this recording.
“I began reading Ek Ong Kaar Kaur’s translation to students as soon as I read it myself. The affirmation and wisdom so beautifully translated opened a door to Jap Ji so easily. Students always have an intimate and profound experience listening to me read, or as they read to each other either in the Amrit Vela or during classes. Many students requested I make the recording. Zita, a professional audio and video producer as well as NYC Kundalini Teacher, and I worked together to make the project come alive. Thank you for sharing this, from our hearts to yours.” Hari
“It was only morning but the air was already thick with humidity – so classic for NYC summer. I met Hari on the street looking radiant in her turban and sunglasses. I was 8 months pregnant and felt like a sweaty balloon. The recording studio was completely empty and wonderfully air conditioned. That day, with great love and reverence we recorded Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa’s touching translation of Japji. Three women, Hari Kaur, me and my daughter in my belly, 500 hundred years later, on the other side of the planet, in the room full of knobs and computer screens, worked on the timeless words of the master. That day we felt one spirit that moves within us all. Thank you Ek Ong Kaar Kaur for creating this poetic translation that makes us fall in love with Guru Nanak over and over.” Zita
Guru Nanak walked a universal path of acceptance, wisdom and love. If you listen to this audio recording, it can help you hypnotize yourself into seeing the vastness and wonder of the Divine Play. It can also help you build a stronger subconscious connection to the One who dwells in all and lives in you. Why worry? Each of us live our lives as part of a Cosmic Plan. Play this recording during the day or play it very quietly when you sleep. I sincerely believe and trust that it will help relieve your stress and create more happiness and peace in your life.
A special thanks to Snatam Kaur for leading this 40 Day Global Sadhana on Guru Nanak’s Japji Sahib, and to Spirit Voyage for allowing us to debut this English audio recording of this English translation of Japji Sahib during the global sadhana. I deeply appreciate this recording being offered through Spirit Voyage’s Free Music Friday, and pray that it benefits all who hear it.
In honor of the memory of Kundalini Yoga Master Yogi Bhajan, the Siri Singh Sahib, who led a spiritual movement in the West from where all of this comes and to whom we all belong.
With Divine Light,
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa