(Editor’s Note: Dev Suroop Kaur is one of the most beloved Kundalini Yoga sacred chant artists. She is a wise teacher and a prolific musician. Click HERE to listen to her albums and learn more about Dev Suroop Kaur.)
(Originally published as Shabd Guru in Aquarian Times, Fall 2003, republished on Dev Suroop Kaur’s blog devsuroopkaur.wordpress.com)
For nearly 30 years, Yogi Bhajan has invited women from all over the world to join together each summer in New Mexico and develop their inner strength, talent and grace at Womens Camp. Those of us who have been blessed to attend these courses have many fond memories of gathering for summer evening lectures under a huge big top situated in a grove of cottonwood trees. We spent many precious hours at the feet of the Master as he would share innumerable gems and jewels about how to live fulfilling, satisfying and more self-realized lives.
In these cherished lectures, Yogi Bhajan would often repeat the same concepts over and over again and in different ways in an effort to penetrate our years of habits, conditioning and preconceived notions about ourselves. He would tell stories, invite women to share their life experiences to the group, answer questions from the crowd or simply provide straight-on lectures. Of the many penetrating concepts he would teach and share, he often discussed the pitfalls of the human tendency to go out and get what we believe we want. He repeatedly stressed that the way to success was not in seeking anything outside of ourselvesbe it wealth, status, power, possessions or approval. Rather, through meditation and developing a deep relationship with the divine within, the key to victory is to train yourself to be still and allow things to come to you. To become truly attractive. He summed up this concept with the simple and penetrating line Go inside and be a Master, go outside and be a victim. Stated differently: Go deeply inside, touch your soul and vibrate at the frequency of the Divine. There you will find your victory and satisfactionyour self-mastery. On the other hand, succumbing to the seduction and illusion that answers lie outside of yourself, you will become a victim of your own expectations and illusions. True satisfaction will be fleeting.
Look around you. Look at yourself. Many of us have a tendency to look for solace outside. Our active mind is ever creating schemes and machinations to gain material goods, status, affirmation, sympathy and empathy. Even though we do it all the time, we often find that there is something empty in seeking for solutions outside. Self-mastery comes from a deep relationship with the self. The Shabd Guru is a powerful tool to develop that rare relationship between the finite you and Infinite You. When you have trouble, go to the Shabd Guru. Choose a verse or chantany one will doto sing or recite. By reciting the words, connect with your soul. Go inside. By so doing, you will find a deep and rich state of being where lie the permanent, true answers and solutions to your troubles.
The sound current of the Shabd Guru produces a pure vibratory frequency, much like a tone emitted from a tuning fork when it is struck. The essence of the sound current of the Shabd Guru is the deep, rich reality of Truth. There is no difference between that reality and the affect one achieves when they recite the Shabd Guru. Yogi Bhajan states that this technique is very powerful. The words of the Shabd Guru train the brainthe memory and the neuronsand create the means through which the brain directs the entire body.
Sochai Soch Na Hova-ee is the first verse or pauree of Japji Sahib following the Mool Mantra. In this verse, Guru Nanak describes this very conceptthat searching outside of you is illusory. In Sochai Soch Na Hova-ee, Guru Nanak lays out the secrets of how to live well. He says that you can attempt to think and think one hundred thousand times; yet thinking wont accomplish a thing. You may try to pile up worldly goods and possessions, but that does not provide true, lasting satisfaction. And of all your wise and fantastic schemes, none of them will go with you in the end. So given that, time and time again, we experience that our thinking, acquiring, searching and maneuvering do not really work, how do we become truthful? How does the wall of falsehood fall apart? Guru Nanak says the answer lies in walking with the very command of God that is with us and within us.
It is said that the total knowledge of God and ecstasy is contained in this pauree. It is an antidote to depression. It will lift you from the deepest depression, insecurity, nightmares and loss.
Use the power of the Shabd Guru to go inside of yourself, touch your deepest Self, touch God and find Mastery.
The First Pauree (Verse) of Japji Sahib Guru Nanak The language of the Shabd Guru is Gurmukhi, a language similar to Sanskrit in its power to transform. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib was written in Gurmukhi script and has been translated into English. Here we provide both the transliteration and the translation.
Sochai soch na hova-ee
Jay sochee lakh vaar
Chupai chup na hova-ee
Jay laa-I rahaa liv taar
Bhukhi-aa bhukh na utree
Jay banana puree-aa bhaar
Sehs si-aanpaa lakh ho-eh
Ta ik no chalai naal
Kiv sachi-aaraa ho-ee-ai
Kiv Koorai tutai paal
Hukam rajaa-ee chalnaa
Naanak likhi-aa naal
You think and think Ten-thousand thoughts,But not one thought Will give you What you seek.
You sit in silence To find the silence But silence never comes. Your spirit always sings The song of the Divine.
And all your troubles, And all your cares, These will never fade away Though you may hoard Every treasure in the world.
And all the clever tricks You use,The countless little tricks- Not even one Will go along with you.
How can we find The House of Truth?
How can we break This wall of lies?
Surrender yourself And walk to Way Of Spirits Will.
Nanak, Be with what Is already written.
English Translation by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa. Go to www.alibris.com to purchase a beautiful and inspiring complete translation of Japji Sahib The Song of the Soul.
How-tos: A Shabd should be recited 11 times a day for a minimum of 40 days to experience its power. Recite in English or in Gurmukhi transliteration, both are beneficial. However, reciting in Gurmukhi allows you to better access the power of the mantra, and as the words are recited in proper Naad or sound current, the tongue hits the meridian points on the upper palate, effecting a change in consciousness. Work carefully to pronounce the words properly. BOLA TANGKAS