The Guru’s Aarti

Lately I have been reading the Guru Granth.Sahib, the Holy book of the Sikhs.

It is a compilation of the sayings of Gurus and Great Bhaktas (Devotees).

The Guru Granth is considered the Living Guru.

From the lines of the Guru Granth:

Guru Granth Jee Maaniyo Pragat Guraa Kee Deh
Jaa Kaa Hirdaa Shudh hai Khoj Shabad Mei Leih

Which means:

Believe that the Guru Granth is the Body of the Living Guru,
The Seeker whose heart is pure will find his answer in ‘The Utterings’

The Shrimad Bhaagvad recounts the different Incarnations of the Lord,

The Bhagvad Geeta expounds a Mighty Philosophy,

And The Guru Granth is an ecstatic pouring of a Spiritual Heart.

As I go through the Guru Granth , I feel that Guru Nanak is trying to describe what he ‘sees’ and experiences…yet he often says how difficult it is to do the above, because words fail him, to describe the magnitude of what we know as ‘God’

I am sharing with you the Aarti that is generally sung, at a Gurdwaara.

This ode was partly composed by Guru Nanak.

At Jagannaath Puri, a famous pilgrimage center of the Hindus, Guru Nanak noticed that the priests were more interested in the rituals and elaborate arrangements rather than in their love for God. So he stepped outside the temple and burst into the following masterpiece.

The Aarti

Gagan mah thaal, Rav-chand Deepak baney
Taarka mandal Janak Moti
Dhoop maliaanlo Pavan chavaro karey
Sagal Banrai phoolant jyoti

Which means:

The Sky is Your platter,
The sun and moon are the ‘Deepaks’ the lamps (lights),
The Stars in the sky are the pearls,
The ‘Dhoop’ (Incense) is the fragrance,
That the wind propels,
The whole forest is Your flowers.

Kaisee Aarti hoi Bhaykandana Teree Aarti
Anhata Shabad Vajanta bheree

Which means:

O! What a wonderful Aarti, this is!
You, are a destroyer of Fear,
The sound of Your Name, which is so subtle, that It goes unheard,
Resounds endlessly.

Sahas Tav Nain na na
Nain hai Tohey kau
Sahas moorat Nana Ik Tohee

Sahas Pad Bimal Na na
Ik Pad Gandh bin
Sahas Tav Gandh Iv
Chalat Mohee

Sabh Mah Jot Jot Hai Sohee
Tis Dat Chaanan Sabh Mah Chaanan Hoi
Gur Sakhi Jot Pragat Hoi
Jo Tis Bhaavey So Aarti Hoi

Which means:

You have a thousand eyes, forms, feet, noses…And you have none…
I am charmed!
Your Light enlightens all!
It is by the Grace of the Guru that the real Light (Knowledge) Manifests.
What pleases the Almighty is this Aarti (Creation)

Har Charan Kamal Makrand Lobhit Mano
Ana Din Mohey Aayey Pyaasa

Kirpaa Jal Dey Nanak Sarang Kau
Hoi Jaatey Terey nai Vaasa

Which means:

I yearn for Your Lotus feet,
Night and day,
Nanak is like the thirsty bird that asks,
For a drop of water,
From You O Lord!
That drop (Grace) will make Nanak find comfort,
In the uttering of Your Name.

(The next part of the Aarti is a composition by Sri Ravidasji)

Naam Tero Aarti Majan Muraarey
Har Kay Naam Bina Joothey Sagal Pasaarey

Naam Tero Aasno Naam Tero Ursaa
Naam Tero Kesro Lay Chhitkaarey

Naam Tera Ambhula Naam Tero Chandno
Ghas Japey Naam Lay Tujahee Kau Chaarey

Naam Tera Deeva Naam Tera Baatee
Naam Tero Tel Lai , Maahee Pasaarey

Naam Terey Kee Jyot Lagaayee
Bhaiyaa Ujiyaaro Bhavan Saglaarey

Naam Teraa Taagaa Naam Phul Maalaa
Bhaar Athaarah Sagala Joothaarey

Tero Keeyaa Tujhahee kyaa arpau
Naam Tera Tuhee Chavar Dhulaarey

Das Atha Atha Sathey Chaarey Khaanee
Ehay Vartan Hai Sagal Sansaare

Kahay Ravdaas Naam Tero Aartee
Sat Naam Har Bhog Tuhaarey

Sant Ravidasji says that:

O Lord, Your name is the Aarti,
Your name is the Flower, the saffron, and the sandalwood
That is offered to You.
Your Name is the (Deeya)
The Lamp, the oil and the cotton
That is lighted in it.
With the Light that Your Name gives out,
The whole world is brightened.
Your Name is the Thread and Your Name is also
The Flowers that are strung into that thread.
All that I offer to You is Yours.
Your Name is the flywhisk, that you use,
The (Chant of Your) True Name,
We offer to You,
All is false except Your Name!

(The following part of the aarti is composed by Sant Sainji)

Dhoop Deep Dhrit Saaj Aartee
Vaarney Jaau Kamlapati

Mangalaa Har Mangalaa
Nit Mangal Raaja Raam Raaiko

Uttam Deeyaraa Nirmal Baatee
Toohee Niranjana Kamlaapati

Raam Bhagat Raamaananda Jaaney
Pooran Paramaananda Bakhaaney

Madana Moorata Bhay Taarey Govindey
Sain Bhanay Bhaj Paramaananda

The Aarti is adorned by the lighted lamp
And the fragrance of the incense.
All is Auspicious.
Thou art the Supreme and Pure Light.
Thou art the Lord of the Goddess of Wealth.
My obeisance to Thee.
And to the Lord Rama, Beautiful Govinda,
Who is described as Replete Pure Bliss!
Sain prays to Thee, Who obliterates all Fear.

(The following part is composed by Sant Kabeer)

Sun Sandhyaa Teree Dev Devaakar
AdhPati Aadee Samaayee
Sidh Samaadhee
Anta Naheen Paayaa
Laagee Rahey Sarnaayee

Leho Aartee Ho Purakh Niranjan
Satguru Poojo Bhaai

Thaada Brahmaa Nigam Bichaarey
Alakh Na Lakhiyaa Jaayee

Tat Tel Naam Keeyaa Baatee
Deepak Deh Ujiyaaraa

Jyot Laayee Jagadeesha Jagaaiyaa
Boojhey Boojhana Haaraa

Panchey Sabada Anaahada Baajey
Sangey Saaringa Paanee

Kabeer Daas Teree Aartee Keenee
Nirankaar Nirbaanee

Which means:

Dear Lord!
The Greatest of Yogis have not been able to comprehend You,
Those who worship the Unmanifest,
Fail to realize You.
Even though they have persevered in their quest.
Your Name resounds unheard (By the worldly)
And only He can hear (On who Your Grace descends)
Pray to Your satguru!
Almighty Lord!
Accept the Aarti, with the oil, Lit with the Chant of Your Name,
By You, the Lord of the Universe!
Kabirdas performs the Aarti of the ‘Beyond Description’ and the ‘Without Form’

(The following part is composed by Sri Dhanaji)

Gopaal Teraa Aartaa
Jo Jan Teree Bhagat Karantey
Tin Key Kaaj Sanvaartaa

Dal Seedhaa Maangau Ghee
Hamraa Khusee Karey Nit Jee

Pania Chaadan Neekaa
Anaaj Maangau

Gau Bhais Maangau Laaveree
Ik Taajana Turee Changeree

Ghar Kee Geehanee Changee
Jan Dhanaa Levey Mangee

Gopaal Tera Aartaa
Hey Dayaal Teraa Aartaa

Which means:

O Gopaala, (Accept) your Aarti!
You grant the wishes of those who worship You!
I ask for my basic sustenance (food, oil, lentils, good quality grains)
Which makes me feel fulfilled.
I also pray for a good wife, good clothes, good grain, a horse, a cow…

The following has been composed by ‘Daswin Patshaahi, The 10th Guru: Gobind Singh Maharaj.

I believe that in the following words, the same feeling is conveyed as Guru Nanak’s:

That the Cosmos is an Aarti, constantly in motion, paying obeisance to the Almighty.

Yaa Tey Prasann
Bhayey Hain Mahaa Muni

Devan Key Tap Mein Sukh Paavey
Jag Karey Ik Ved Rarey

Bhav Taap Harey
Mili Dhyaan Hi Laavey

Jhaalar Taal Mrudanga Upanga
Rabaab Leeyey
Sur Saaj milaavey
Kinnar Gandharva Gaana Karey
Gani Jachha Upachhara Nirata Dikhaavey

Sankhana kee Dhunee Ghantan kee Kari
Phoolan Kee Barkhaa Barsaavey

Aartee Kot Karey Sur Sunder
Pekh Purandar Key Bali Jaavey

Daanatee Dachhan Dey Key Pradachhan
Bhaal Mein Kum Kum Achhan Laavey

Hot Kulaahal DevPuree mil Devan KeyKuli Mangal Gaavey

Aisey Chand Partaap Tey Devan Badhyo Prataap
Teen Lok Jai Jai Karey Rarei Naam Sat Jaap

It means:

The Lord is pleased by the penance, prayers, rituals recitation of the Scriptures, Meditation, music, dance of the Celestial Beings, adorned with vermilion, various musical instruments, Ringing of bells and the showering of flowers, and the tune of the Aarti . The cosmic worlds rejoice and chant the Divine Name.

Sagal Dwaar Ko Chaad Key Gahyo Tumhaaro Dwaar
Baanh Gahey Kee Laaj Rakh Govind Daas Tuhaar

Aagya Bhayee Akaal Kee Tabhee Chalaayo Panth
Sabh Sikhan Ko Hukum Hai Guru Maaniyo Granth

Guru Granth Jee Maaniyo Pragat Guraa Kee Deh
Jaa Kaa Hirdaa Shudh hai Khoj Shabad Mei Leih

Vaanee Guru Guru Hai Baanee Vich Baanee Amrit saarey

Gurbaanee Kahey Sevak Jan Maaney Partakh Guru Nistaarey

It means:

I have come to Your door-step O Lord, having left the world behind,
Protect me, I am in Your service.
Because of the Lord’s command, this order (Sikhism)
Came into being.
The Sikhs are urged to believe that the Granth is the Guru manifest,
Whoever is pure in heart, will find the answers within the words of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Its words are the Guru, and the Guru is in the Guru Granth’s Utterings,
And within the words is the nectar (Of knowledge)
And the words urge disciples to believe in the Guru!

The more I read the Guru Granth, the more I personally believe that the words in it are the result of deep and true visions of realization.

The Sindhis, though Hindus are followers of Guru Nanak and are deeply influenced by His teachings.

It is not uncommon to seek answers of baffling questions by opening the Divine Book at random. And as the Guru Granth Itself claims, the pure of heart will find their queries replied.

GLOSSARY (Pronunciation)

A Like in ‘but’

Aa Like in ‘Far’

Ai Like in ‘hair’

Ey Like in Whey

I Like in ‘Pin’

Oo Like in ‘Shoot’

Oon ‘n’ has got a nasal sound.

U Like in ‘Put’