Nitnem Bania Uthanka
Jap Ji Sahib - The Giver Of Brahamgiaan
Amritvela Bani, 1st Bani of Amrit Sanchar
When: Circa 1539 AD
Where: Sri Kartarpur Sahib
Uthanka: Sant Ren Ji was the saint who Guru Nanak Dev Ji had served food to during his childhood which is famously known as the ‘Sacha Sauda’ Sakhi. Many years later when Guru Nanak Dev Ji had returned to Kartarpur Sahib, Sant Ren Ji came to visit Guru Sahib. At that time Bhai Lehna Ji (Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji) used to do seva of all the sangat who had come, by serving them Langar etc. Sant Ren Ji asked Bhai Lehna Ji, “in our tradition we have 3 main mantars, the mala mantar, mool mantar and gurmantar, have you been blessed with these?” Bhai Lehna Ji replied, “ I have received the Gurmantar – Waheguru and the Mool Mantar from Ik Oankar-Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach, but not the Mala Mantar yet.” So Bhai Lehna Ji went and asked about the Mala Mantar to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said that the Mala Mantar is the Jap Ji Sahib which was first recited directly in front of Akal Purakh in Sachkhand and secondly in conversation with the Sidhs. Guru Nanak Dev Ji arranged the numbering of the pauris of the Jap Ji Sahib at that time and recited it in its final form at Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdaspur. – translated from Gurbani Path Darshan, Page 213.
The numbering and ordering of Sri Jap Ji Sahib Baani was done by Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji in the presence and supervision of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Sri Kartarpur Sahib. Jap Ji Sahib was recited mainly in conversation with the Sidhhs but also some Pauria in Sachkhand (i.e. Mool Mantar, Maha Mantar (Ik Oankaar to Gurparsaad) by Akaal Purakh and 'Jap|| Aadh Sach to Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach' by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the rest of the Pauria in conversation with Sidhhas and some as question and answers with Gursikhs).
Jaap Sahib – To do Namaskar (Salutation) to Akal Purakh and explain the characteristics of Vaheguru
Amritvela Bani, 2nd Bani of Amrit Sanchar
When: Between 1685-1689 AD
Where: Sri Paunta Sahib
Uthanka 1 (Nitnem Steek Sant Avtar Singh Badhni Kala)
Once Guru Sahib was sitting on their Takhat when the Sikhs requested, “Guru Ji! In your previous forms as Satguru you composed Gurbani, which in your fifth form as Guru Arjan Dev Ji you compiled into the form of Sri Aadh Guru Granth Sahib which is the epitome of peace. Please bless us with Bani with bani in the same manner in your 10th form, which will destroy our cycles of birth and death and bless us with Jivan Mukti. Guru Sahib Ji recited Jaap Sahib as their first Bani.
Uthanka 2 (Jaap Sahib Teeka Sant Kartar Singh Ji Nirmala)
At the same time a Pandit named Kanshiram arrived in the darbar of Guru Sahib who was from Banaras. Kanshiram had heard much praise of Guru Sahib and set off with the thought in mind that if Dasam Patshah is the form of God then he will give me darshan in the form of the four-armed god (chaturbhuj). When Kanshiram arrived in the darbar he had darshan of Guru Sahib as Chaturbhuj, sitting on the takhat. The sangat of Kabal had offered flowers to Guru Sahib, Guru Sahib gave one of them to kanshiram. Kanshiram was totally enamored by Guru Sahib and requested ‘Guru Sahib recite Bani which will give peace to all forever to come’ Guru Sahib replied that now I will recite ‘Bir Rasi’ Bani which will inspire the Sikhs to take up arms and fight tyranny and they will have full knowledge of ‘Rajo Tamo and Sato’ (three states of maya/creation) through this bani (Sri Dasam Granth). At that time the first Bani that was composed was Jap Sahib, followed by Akal Ustat, which are connected with the praise of Akal Purakh, hence they are Satoguni. Bachitar Natak, Chandi Charitar, Chaubis Avtar can be seen as giving knowledge of tamo through War tales, creating warrior spirit (Bir Ras). Charitropakhyan gives knowledge of Rajo through the knowledge of the reality of the world and ruling/politics.
Uthanka from Giani Harbhajan Singh Ji Dhudike’s Katha
1st Ucharan: According to Sampardai Uthaanka, the first time Jaap Sahib was recited was in Hemkunt Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Dusht Daman) in Akaal Purakh Ji’s Hazuri. In the same way Guru Nanak Dev Ji recited Sodar, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji did Ucharan of Jaap Sahib in Ustati of Akaal Purakh, standing infront of Akaal Purakh.
2nd Ucharan: Once Guru Sahib Ji was at Anandpur Sahib sitting in Bir Aasan on Gurgadhi Takhat, Gursikhs did benti that Maharaj, in the way that Guru Nanak Dev Ji did ucharan of Jap Ji Sahib and praised Vaheguru, as did the other Guru Sahibaan (reciting banis such a Sukhmani Sahib which we recite daily), Maharaj Ji! Please also bless us with such a Bani in which the praise and greatness of Vaheguru be deliberated. Accepting the benti of Gursikhs, Maharaj said that in our previous form as Dusht Daman, we recited the praise of Vaheguru at Hemkunt Sahib. I will recite that again for your benefit. At that time while Guru Ji recited, Likharis wrote it down. When Guru Ji prepared Khande Baate Da Amrit, they recited Jaap Sahib as the second Baani and instructed Sikhs to read it daily. Some Scholars also say Guru Ji recited Sri Jaap Sahib the second time at Sri Paunta Sahib.
Tve Prasad Swaiyeh – To create Vairag (detachment from Maya/the world) and destroy Pakhand (false actions) and ego
Amritvela Bani, 3rd Bani of Amrit Sanchar
When: Prior to 1699 Amrit Sanchar
Where: Sri Anandpur Sahib
During Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s visit to Assam, the King Raja Ram became Guru Ji’s disciple and requested for a son. Guru Ji at that time was holding a stamp when he stamped it onto the King’s thigh and said, “A son shall be born in your house with the insignia of this stamp on his head.”
Through the grace of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Raja Ram of Assam was blessed with a son, Rattan Rai. They were the devotees of Guru Ji and they trained their son with the Guru’s teaching, he had unshorn hair. After seven years Raja Ram died and the throne was passed on to his son, Ratan rai.
When Rattan Rai was twelve years old, while combing his hair in front of a mirror he noticed an insignia on his head. There was no hair around the area that had the insignia. Rattan rai got curious and asked his mother, she told him the whole incident.
Rattan Rai wanted to have the glimpse of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji but later learned that Guru Ji has given his Shaheedi at Delhi. So upon inquiring from his mother he got to know about Guru Gobind Rai who is at the Guru Tegh Bhadur Ji’s throne.
In one day he, his mother and several ministers got ready and left for Anandpur. He brought with him an offering of five horses with golden trappings, a very small elephant (Prasadi Hathi), Panch Kala Shashter – a unique five-in-one weapon consisting of pistol, sword, lance, dagger and club, a wonderful throne on which puppets popped out to play chess, chandan di chowki and a goblet made out of precious metal which has the entire world’s geographical guide. Panch Kala Shashter is now in Baroda Museum. The Raja was accorded a great reception. He offered his presents and prayed to the Guru to grant him the Sikh faith.
He was granted all his desires. The Raja exhibited the traits of his presents. He caused the elephant to wipe Guru’s shoes and placed them in order for him. At the word of command the animal took a whisk (chaur) and waved it over the Guru. The Raja requested the Guru never to let the elephant out of his possession. The prince and his party remained at Anandpur for five months and during this time; he enjoyed kirtan and felt uplifted by the Guru’s sermons. At the time of departure, the Raja requested Guru Ji to bless him with ascetic sermons in order for him live his life above the desires of Maya. Guru Ji composed the following Gurbani, which starts from the 21st to 30th Pauri of Akal Ustat in Dasam Granth.
Sakhi of Hill Rajas (full sakhi in Nitnem Steek Giani Avtar Singh Badhni Kala) refused to help Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji fight against the tyranny of the Mughals, Guru Sahib Ji recited the Swaiyeh to break their ego and attachment to their thrones and wealth. This bani is also known as ‘Sudha Swayieh’ as it is recited during the making of Khande da Amrit, ‘Sudha’ means Nectar.
Chaupai Sahib – A plea for protection of the mind and body
Amritvela Bani, 4th Bani of Amrit Sanchar
When: 1696 AD
Where: Bibhor Sahib, Una, Himachal Pradesh
Guru Gobind Singh Ji uttered Benti Chaupai Sahib while residing in a village known as Bibour, Una on the Satluj river bank. Guru Ji spent some time in that village on the King’s request and now there is a Gurdwara Chaupai Sahib to mark this historical event. Benti Chaupai is written in Sri Dasam Granth on Ang 1386 at the end of Charitro Pakhyan. Recited in 1753 Bikrami (1696 AD).
Anand Sahib – for the bliss of Jeevan mukti and liberation from the 8.4 Million life cycles
Amritvela Bani, 5th Bani of Amrit Sanchar
When: Between 1552-1574 AD
Where: Sri Goindval Sahib
There is a great story about how the Anand Sahib, by Guru Amar Das Ji, came to be written. It is said that, during Guru Amar Das ji’s time, there was a very old yogi who had spent years and years in isolation and deep meditation. But as the yogi was coming to the end of his life, he realised that he was missing something. He had obtained many mystical and spiritual powers but had not experienced any ‘Anand’ (true bliss).
The yogi decided to visit Guru Amar Das Ji and see if Guru Sahib could solve his dilemma.In audience with Guru Amar Das Ji, and after paying respects, the yogi described his frustration with his practice and then asked very simply, “Oh kind and wise Guru, can you bless me with the experience of true bliss?” Guru Amar Das Ji nodded. “Leave this body,” he told the yogi. “And be reborn in my family. Then come to me and I will teach you how to live in Anand.”
The yogi took his leave of the Guru. Soon after, in obedience to the Guru’s command, the yogi sat in meditation and left his body. In due time, Guru Amar Das Ji’s son Baba Mohri Ji was blessed with a child. When Guru Amar Das Ji heard of the birth of the child, they knew that the yogi’s soul had been reborn.
Immediately, they called for the child to be brought to them even though the traditional time of sequestering the infant with the mother had not yet passed. When the new born child was placed in Guru sahib’s lap, Guru sahib did bachans “Aa gaye anand ji, anand lain vaaste” (Anand Ji has come to receive Anand (bliss).” Guru sahib started uttering “Anand sahib” Paath and named the child as “Anand”. According to Sampardai Mahapurkh and Gianis, the first 38 Pauris were recited by Guru Amardas Ji, the 39th by Guru Ramdas Ji and the 40th by Guru Arjan Dev Ji explaining the benefits of reading Anand Sahib.
Once Sri Guru HarGobind Sahib ji called Baba Anand Ji in a paalki (palanquin) saying that we have not done any service of Guru Amardas Ji’s generation. While baba Anand Ji was coming in the paalki (covered from all sides), Guru sahib came and took one of the paalki sahara on his shoulders and asked others not to say anything. But Baba Anand Ji was Brahamgyani, so he came to know about this and jumped out of the paalki and threw himself to Guru sahib’s charan in humility.
Rehras Sahib – To gain a space in Sachkhand
Recited at various places and times, formalised by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Full Sakhi can be read in Gurbani Path Darshan about Guru Angad Dev Ji and the Sun Samadhis and also how Rehras Sahib was changed and shortened over the passage of time. Sodar comes in Gurbani three times, the 2nd (rehras sahib) was recited in Sachkhand infront of Akal Purakh, and the kirtan of it happens in Sachkhand. The Sun smadhis refused to recite Sodar, hence they are sent out of Sachkhand at the time of Rehras Sahib. This Sakhi comes in Nanak Parkash where Guru Angad Dev Ji asked Guru Nanak Sahib Ji to show him the Sun Samadhis – the Sun Samadhis themselves told this to Guru Angad Dev Ji. Later on Bani was added to Sodar by Guru Arjan Dev Ji of the previous Guru Sahibs, which was added into Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji after Jap Ji Sahib. Bhai Mani Singh Ji on the order of Guru Gobind Singh Ji added Sri Chaupai Sahib and other Doharas and Swaiyas from Ramavtar and Krishnavtar, and finalised the Rehras Sahib.
Uthankas of certain Shabads of Rehras Sahib:
- Sodar: Ucharan in Sachkhand infront of Akaal Purakh (Sodar in Jap Ji when Sidhhas asked regarding Sachkhand and Raag Asa Sodar to Bebe Nanaki Ji)
- Aasa Mahala 1 – Sunn Vadda: When Guru Ji came out of Vein Nadhi (at the location of Sant Ghaat Gurdwara – they entered at Ber Sahib), they blessed Bhai Bhagirath Ji who was waiting there for 3 days. There Guru Ji recited the Mool Mantar, when Guru Ji blessed all the Sangat and Bebe Nanki Ji, Bebe Ji asked Guru Ji, ‘Akaal Purakh Da Saroop Kitna Vadda Hai?’ – then Guru Ji recited this shabad.
- Aasa Mahala 1 – Aakha Jeeva: When Guru Nanak Dev Ji returned to Rai Bhoe De Talwandi they would always stay in a state of vairaag, Mata Tripta Ji said, “O Son! many people do bhagti but your style is different, you never eat properly or talk to anyone, you remain with a chaadar on all day.” At that time to explain the importance of Bhagti to their Mata Ji, Guru Ji did Ucharan of this shabad. Shabad Arth starts from Rahaao Diaan Pangtian, ‘ So Kion Visrai Meree Maae’.
- Raag Gujri Mahala 4: When the Anand Karaj of Sri Guru Ramdas Ji happened to Mata Bhani Ji, Sri Guru Amardas Ji called Bhai Jetha Ji (Guru Ramdas Ji) and said, ‘It is the tradition of our Bhalla lineage that when our son in law comes for the first time to our house, whatever he asks for we give it, so please tell us your wish.’ At this time Guru Ram Das Ji said: Mere Meeth Gurdev Mo Kau Raam Naam Pargaas – Guru Ji asked for the gift of Naam.
- Raag Gujri Mahala 5: Guru Arjan Dev Ji recited this Shabad when they had only been on Gurgadhi for a short period. Prithi Chand out of jealousy was causing many issues, and would take all the donations that the Sangat were offering for Langar and the running of Gurughar. For this reason there was very little in the langars and Sangat would return home hungry. One day, seeing the state of the Langar, Bhai Gurdas Ji along with the Sangat of Aagra went to ask Mata Bhani Ji what the issue was, when Mata Ji explained, Bhai Gurdas Ji found out they went and started to take back the sangat’s donations which Prithi Chand had seixed. When Guru Ji found out they recited the following shabad to Bhai Gurdas Ji telling them to stay in contentment and not to worry, Vaheguru themselves would send whatever was needed.
- So Purakh: When Gursikhs did benti to Sri Guru Ramdas Ji, ‘O Guru Ji! Guru Nanak Dev Ji has recited So Dar, in which they have sung the glories of Vaheguru’s door – Sachkhand. Guru Ji it is our request that you also recite such Bani by which we can experience the bliss of Vaheguru’s home.’
- Aasa M1 Tith Sarvarrai: Guru Nanak Dev Ji recited this shabad in conversation with the Sidhhs at Neem Khaar (an old site of pilgrimage now in Seetapura, Uttar Pardesh).
Rakhia De Shabad - Protection
Night time Bani (Before Sleep)
(Salok: Jeh Sadhu Gobidh Bhajan Kirtan Nanak Neeth ||)
Guru Arjan Dev Ji uttered the greatness of Vaheguru’s Name through an incident which took place during Ajamal’s death. Ajamal was breathing his last breaths and the angels of death came to seize him based on his committed sins during lifetime. All of a sudden when Ajamal recited Vaheguru’s name he was rescued. The jamdoot were very upset and they put down their weapons before the Righteous King (Dharamraj) and narrated the incident. After listening the Righteous King (Dharamraj) warned the jamdoot. Wherever one chants Vaheguru’s name with focused mind and wherever there are gatherings where Vaheguru’s praises is sung continuously,
The Righteous Judge says, “Don’t ever go even near to that place, O Angel of Death, otherwise neither you nor I will be spared!” which means that the Jamdoot are not allowed to even go close to the place where Vaheguru’s Name or Guru’s Shabad (Gurbani) is being recited.
Kirtan Sohila – To save us from the Jamdoots (angels of death) and protection
Night time Bani (Before Sleep)
Once at Kartarpur Sahib during the afternoon Guru Nanak Dev ji was resting while Bhai Lehna Ji (Guru Angad Dev Ji) was massaging Guru Ji’s charan, suddenly Bhai Lehna ji saw blood from new scratches appearing while Guru ji was still on the bed. Upon asking, Guru Ji said that a Sheppard is walking along with his sheeps within thorn bushes while reciting the Sohila Sahib with full concentration. Whatever thorns pierced him were piercing Guru Ji aswell as Guru Ji protects the person who reads Sohila Sahib. Therefore Guru Ji instructed the Sikhs to read Sohila Sahib just before going to sleep, Guru Ji said whoever does so Guru Ji will be their protector at that time, neither will they receive bad dreams or be caught by the Jamdooth.