JAPJI TRANSLATION- Meditation of the Soul

You are the only Creator of this One Creation.

You are TRUTH,
The Doer of everything.

Beyond fear,
Beyond revenge,
Beyond death...

Image of the Infinite.

Unborn and Independent.

The Guru's gift...







By thinking and thinking
Nothing happens...
Though I may think a thousand times.

Deep in silence
Nothing happens...
Though the string of longing plays.

The hungry people stay hungry,
With the weight of the world on their backs.

You may be incredibly clever,
But you can't take it Home with you.

How can I live the Truth?
How can I cut through the net of lies?

Walk in God's Will
Within and without.

Oh Nanak!
It's written in your Soul. 1. 

In God's Will all structures are formed,
Beyond words.

In God's Will all Souls are formed,
And become great.

In God's Will
We are high or low.

In God's Will are pleasure and pain.
In God's Will are loss and gain.

God's Will is alive within us.
No one is without it.

Oh Nanak!
When you understand God's Will,
All thoughts of self depart. 2.

Someone is singing of power,
To whom does the power belong?

Someone is singing of giving,
Knowing the sign in the song.

Someone is singing of excellence,
Of wonder and beauty divine.

Someone is singing of knowledge,
Through long and deep meditation.

Someone is singing of bodies,
Created and turned to dust.

Someone is singing of souls,
Given and taken away.

Someone is singing that God
Seems to be far away.

Someone is singing he sees
God's face every day.

There has been no lack
Of well told tales.

Millions and millions
Have talked and talked.

The Giver gives, 
And the takers get tired.

Through all the ages, 
The eaters eat.

By the command of the One Commander
The Path goes ever on.

Oh Nanak!
Blossom and live carefree. 3.

God is Truth and True Justice,
Bestowed with Infinite Love.

People plead "give me!...give me!",
The Giver of all keeps giving.

What offering can I make 
To enter the kingdom of heaven?

What should I say to feel loved?

Meditate deeply in the ambrosial hours
On the Naam, deep and vast.

Your karmas will all be covered
And the door of freedom will open.

Oh Nanak! Know this:
A person of Truth
Contains the whole universe. 4.

Himself alone,
The pure One.

Serve that One,
And gain glory in this world

Oh Nanak!
Sing of the treasure of excellence.

Sing and listen,
And keep love in your mind.

Pain will fly away,
And peace will come to your home.

From the Guru's mouth comes the Naad.
From the Guru's mouth comes knowledge.
Through the Guru's mouth we stay merged.

The Guru is the form of God 
Which you can meditate on, imagine, and love.

The Guru is the mother, Maya.

When I know it
I can't say it,
Words are useless. 

The Guru has given me one understanding:
All souls are gifts of the One.
May I never forget Him! 5.

Pleasing God,
Is the only ritual I do.

Without inner experience
All rituals mean nothing.

How many created beings there are!
I see them spread all around me.

Without working hard,
How can anyone get anything?

If you hear just one of the Guru's lessons
You will find the gems, jewels, and rubies in your mind.

The Guru has given me one understanding:
All souls are gifts of the One.
May I never forget Him. 6.

You may live through all the ages,
Or even ten times more.

You may be known by everyone,
People may even follow you around.

You may be well thought of,
And praised throughout the world.

But if you don't see the unseen,
Then none of it matters at all,

You'll live as a worm among worms.
And guilty people will place all their guilt on you.

Oh Nanak!
God gives goodness
To those who have it
And those who don't.

But the person does not exist
Who can give any goodness to Him. 7.

Listening...saints, heroes, masters.
Listening...the earth, the power, the ethers.

Listening...high and low realms, oceans of light.
Listening...beyond time.

Oh Nanak!
God's lovers bloom forever.
Listening destroys all pain and error. 8.

Listening...men become gods.
Listening...praise comes from the mouth
of the most negative person.

Listening...the way of yoga and the body's secrets.
Listening...all holy books and scriptures.

Oh Nanak!
God's lovers bloom forever.
Listening destroys all pain and error. 9.

Listening...Truth, patience, wisdom.
Listening...bathing at all holy places.

Listening...reading and reading gains honor.
Listening...concentration comes easy.

Oh Nanak!
God's lovers bloom forever.
Listening destroys all pain and error. 10.

Listening...deep oceans of grace.
Listening...kings, emperors, saints.

Listening...blind ones find the Path.
Listening...the unknown is known.

Oh Nanak!
God's lovers bloom forever.
Listening destroys all pain and error. 11.

If you agree with the God inside,
Your state of consciousness cannot be described.

Anyone who tries, will be sorry he tried.

No writer can write it.
No pen can list it.

Even those who have sat and reflected have missed it.

Such is the Naam,
It makes you pure.

If you agree to agree,
Your mind becomes sure. 12.

When you agree,
You tune in, become wise.

When you agree,
You become aware 
Of all the universes and worlds.

When you agree,
You gain dignity and grace.

When you agree,
Death cannot touch you.

Such is the Naam,
It makes you pure.

If you agree to agree,
Your mind becomes sure. 13.

When you agree,
Your path becomes clear.

When you agree,
You go Home shining, with honor.

When you agree,
You are not of this world.

When you agree,
You embrace the Dharma.

Such is the Naam,
It makes you pure.

If you agree to agree,
Your mind becomes sure. 14.

When you agree,
Your tenth gate opens.

When you agree,
Your family is saved.

When you agree,
You cross over the ocean,
Taking the Guru's Sikhs by your side.

Oh Nanak!
When you agree,
You never wander this earth 
As a beggar again.

Such is the Naam,
It makes you pure.

If you agree to agree,
Your mind becomes sure. 15.

The chosen are worthy,
The chosen, supreme.

The chosen are honored
In the courts of kings.

The chosen look beautiful
In the kingdom of heaven.

The chosen meditate
Focused on the Guru.

If someone speaks from his deep meditation,
He still cannot count all the acts of creation.

Dharma is the support of the earth.
Born of compassion and kindness.

It patiently holds the thread
Of creation together.

Understand this and become a person of Truth.

What a great load the Dharma sustains!

There are worlds beyond worlds.
What holds them each in their orbit?

The names of the countless colors,
The many sorts of creatures.

They all flow like ink 
From an endlessly moving pen.

If someone could actually write all this down,
Can you imagine how much writing that would be?

What divine music!
What beautiful forms!
What incredible gifts untold!

One gesture,
One word,
And ten thousand rivers flow!

How can I speak or reflect on this power?
I cannot be a sacrifice even one time.

I want to do only what pleases You.
Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 16.

Countless chant, countless love.
Countless do worship and create inner heat.

Countless read books and recite the scriptures.
Countless yogis live unattached.

Countless devotees, countless virtues.
Countless knowledge and deep meditation.

Countless people of Truth, and givers.
Countless heroes who face steel without fear.

Countless are silent, suspended on a string of longing.

How can I speak or reflect on this power?
I cannot be a sacrifice even one time.

I want to do only what pleases You.
Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 17.

Countless maniacs, horribly blind.
Countless thieves and countless sneaks.

Countless killers, countless villains.
Countless despots, countless freaks.

Countless traitors who turn and flee.
Countless liars, lost in their lies.

Countless wretches eating dirt.
Countless slanderers spreading their hurt.

Nanak, the mean and low one, 
Speaks from his deep meditation,

I cannot be a sacrifice even one time.
I want to do only what pleases You.
Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 18.

Countless names, countless places.
Countless realms remote.

Even to speak the word "countless"
Is really just a joke.

In primal sounds are Naam and praise,
In primal sounds are knowledge and song.

In primal sounds are words spoken and written,
In primal sounds is your destiny written.

The One who writes is beyond all that.
As God commands, so people get.

As great as Creation, so great is Naam.
Without it nothing could ever be done.

How can I speak or reflect on this power?
I cannot be a sacrifice even one time.

I want to do only what pleases You.
Formless... Peaceful... Divine... 19.

When your hands, your feet, and your body are dirty,
Take water and wash all the dust away.

When your clothes become stained with urine,
Take soap and wash out the stain.

When your mind becomes loaded with error and pain,
Then wash your mind clean with the love of the Name.

Talking will never make you a saint.
It's by the actions you do again and again,
That you create your own life and death.

What you eat is what you sow.
In God's will,
Oh Nanak! 
We come and go. 20.

By going to church, by acting good,
By giving gifts, by sharing food,
Just a small bit of honor is won.

Listen..., agree..., and make love in your mind,
Wash away all dirt of the inner kind.
All virtues are Yours, I have none.

Without inner virtue there's no real devotion.

Hail to the primal Word! 

Beautiful Truth!
Happy mind!

What is the hour, what is the time,
What is the day, the month, the season
In which this whole cosmos appeared?

If the wise men knew, 
It would be written in the scriptures.

If the teachers knew,
It would be written in their books.

Even the yogis have puzzled looks.

As the Creator creates, He understands when.

How can I speak? How can I praise?
How can I imagine? How can I know?

Oh Nanak!
Everyone talks, and talks, and talks.
Each more clever than the last.

God is great! His hand is True.
There's nothing anyone else can do.

Oh Nanak!
If you think you can do it all alone
You'll never look bright in your One True Home. 21.

There are thousands of worlds and underworlds
Both solid and etheric.

Searching through them all
In the end, will only make you tired.

The Torah, the Bible and the Koran say
That there are 18,000 worlds.

But at the root of them all, there is only the One.

If all this could be written,
And one were to try,

While trying to write it,
He surely would die.

Oh Nanak! All say that God is great,
But only He knows how great! 22. 

The praisers sing God's praises,
But they have no power to hear.

The rivers and streams flow into the ocean,
And lose themselves in its vastness.

Even kings who own oceans, 
And mountains and treasure,

Are not equal to an ant,
Who forgets not its Maker. 23.

There is no end of good advice,
No end to what is said.

No end of doing, no end of giving,
No end of seeing, hearing and living.

There is no end in sight.

What mantra lies within God's mind?

See the structure of the universe...

There is no end in sight.

See its endless expansion...

There is no end in sight.

Many wail in frustration,
Because there is no end in sight.

No one can find the end.

The more you try to tell, 
The more there is to say.

God is high...
The Naam is high...
You must get that high to see.

God knows how high He is,
Oh Nanak! 
One glance can set you free. 24.

There is so much karma,
You can't write it all down.

But the great Giver has not one bit of greed.
Not even as little as a sesame seed.

Many soldier saints are begging,
Many people are meditating...

There are many unrighteous, broken wretches...

Many take and take, and are never thankful.

There are many fools...

The eaters keep eating...

Hunger and pain give so many a beating!

But these too are Thy gifts. Oh, Giver of all!

Liberation and slavery are also Thy gifts,
No one else has any say about this.

If anyone's foolish enough to speak,
He will feel the effects of his folly.

God gives...
God knows...
But only a few people speak of these things.

The one whom He blesses to praise Him and love Him,
Oh, Nanak, is king among kings! 25.

Priceless Thy virtues, priceless Thy dealings,
Priceless Thy traders, priceless Thy treasures,
Priceless Thy weights and priceless the weighers.

Priceless they come and priceless they go.

Priceless the lovers, lost in Thy embrace.

Priceless the Dharma, priceless Thy court,
Priceless Thy gifts, priceless Thy signs,
Priceless Thy actions, priceless Thy orders.

Priceless... priceless beyond speaking.

But speaking and speaking, many long to belong.
They recite the scriptures from memory,
They recite so many descriptions of Thee.

Brahmas speak and Indras speak,
Many Gopis and Krishnas speak.

Shivas speak and siddhas speak,
Many, many Buddhas speak.

Demons speak and gods speak,
Saints and Jains and servants speak.

Many, many, many speak.
And in the middle of speaking...
They die and depart.

And even if You created 
Twice as many speakers,
You are still beyond description.

God is simply as great as He pleases.
Oh Nanak! The True One knows!

If anyone disagrees with this,
He's a fool!
Wherever he goes. 26.

In what house, behind what door,
Who sit and remember the One?

How many musicians play how many tunes?
How many enchanting songs are sung?

How many singers are singing?

The winds, waters, and fire
Vibrating, sing Thy praises.

The king of the Dharma sings at the door.
The angels of the conscious and unconscious minds,
Who write the records of our actions, sing,
As the king of Dharma reflects on that record.

Shiva, Brahma, and Devi sing.
Their beauty is beyond compare.

Sings Indra seated on his throne,
And all the boddhisattvas there.

The siddhas sing in deep samadhi,
The saddhus sing in deep reflection.

The patient, chaste, and true ones sing.
The great and fearless warriors sing.

The pundits and the ancient sages 
Sing and sing through all the ages.

The mind bewitching beauties sing
On earth, in hells and heavens.

Those of gem-like consciousness sing,
At all the holy places.

The brave and mighty warriors sing,
The soldiers sing along.

The four wellsprings of life
Constantly sing Thy song.

The planets, solar systems and galaxies sing,
As they rotate in their places.

They sing of Thee, who please Thee.
With shining, loving faces.

So many others sing Thy song, who never cross my mind.
Oh Nanak! How can I tell this tale? 

That One True God is always True,
Gracious, Loving , Kind.

He is Now,
And shall always be.
He does not come and go.

Creating the countless colors
Of all hues and sorts and kinds.

Great Master of illusions
Made, and seen, within His Mind.

He does whatever pleases Him.
No one tells Him what to do.

He is the King!
The King of kings,
Oh Nanak! Live ever in His Will. 27.

Wear the earrings of patience.
Carry the begging bowl and wallet of humility,
And smear the ashes of meditation on your body.

Let your many-colored coat be death.
Follow the path of purity,
With the walking stick of faith.

Let your sect be the family of man.

Conquer your own mind, 
And be victorious in the world.

Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him.
Primal, Pure, and equal to none.
There is no beginning and no end,
Through all ages... only the One. 28.

Take your pleasure in wisdom, 
Make kindness your servant.
In every heart, plays one sound current.

He is the Master, with mastery of all
Magic powers and wealth, and every pleasure.

Both Union and loneliness come from Him.
Your actions write your great destiny.

Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him.
Primal, Pure, and equal to none.
There is no beginning and no end,
Through all ages... only the One. 29.

Out of the marriage of God and Maya
Three worthy students are born.

The Generator, Organizer, and Destroyer,
Of all life and worldly forms.

As He pleases, all things move
According to His order.

He sees it all, but none see Him,
And all are filled with wonder.

Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him.
Primal, Pure, and equal to none.
There is no beginning and no end,
Through all ages... only the One. 30.

Within the Light of every heart,
One Soul, the house of treasure.

Placed there once, and for all time,
The Watcher and the Actor.

Oh Nanak! The actions of Truth are True.

Hail! Hail! Hail! unto Him.
Primal, Pure, and equal to none.
There is no beginning and no end,
Through all ages... only the One. 31.

From one tongue there came thousands more,
And millions came from them.

Millions of tongues are turning and churning,
Repeating the One Lord's Name.

On the Master's Path are many steps.
Climb them, and come back Home.

Even worms who hear of heavenly things,
Are longing to come back Home.

Oh Nanak! 
We get to come back Home 
Only by the One God's Grace.

But the liars all boast "I did it myself!" 32.

No power to be silent,
No power to speak.

No power to beg,
No power to give.

No power to die,
No power to live.

No power lies in worldly might,
No power lies in earthly treasure.

They only increase your mental chatter.

No power to meditate or know the unknown.
No power to leave this world and go Home.

One Power, One Actor, One Doer, One Knower.

Oh Nanak! No one is higher or lower. 33.

Nights... days... weeks... seasons...
Winds water and fire... all earthly regions...

Here live souls of countless colors and names,
For this planet earth is the Realm of Dharma;
And here is where we reflect on our Karma.

True is He, and True is His Court.
There all are beautiful... perfect equals.

Grace covers their Karmas,
They see the sign.

Even those whose fruits aren't yet ripe can see it.
Oh Nanak! When you go Home you shall see it. 34.

Such is life in the Realm of Dharma.
But now let us speak of the Realm of Wisdom...

So many waters, winds and fires!
So many Krishnas! So many Shivas!

So many Brahmas creating colors
Shapes and forms of countless kinds!

So many planets, mountains and actions!
So many ways to learn devotion!

So many Indras, suns and moons!
So many galaxies! So many places!

So many souls of power and wisdom!
So many goddesses! So many Yogis!

So many gods and demons and sages!
So many jewels! So many oceans!

So many sources and manners of speaking!
So many kingdoms! So many kings!

So many ways to tune in and to serve!
Oh Nanak! So many things! 35.

True Knowledge gains strength in the Realm of Wisdom,
Where there are so many joyful sounds and sights.

In the Realm of Realization the word is Beauty!
To speak of this, no one has any might.

So incredibly beautiful is this realm,
That to speak of it just sounds trite.

From here comes all power to listen and know.
From here the saints come...
To here the saints go. 36.

In the Realm of Grace the word is Power!
Here are the warriors. Men of the Hour!
Full of God's strength! Completely fulfilled!

And here are the cool and graceful ladies,
Whose beauty is beyond compare.

They live far beyond deception and death,
Their minds full of God... Aware!

And here live God's lovers. Full of Light!
Full of Joy! Full of His might!

In the Realm of Truth lives the Formless One!
He watches and blesses everyone.

Planets... stars... galaxies spinning...
Far beyond speech... 
No end... No beginning...

Here all things are filled with Light!

As His command comes forth, all things are born.
Reflecting deeply... 
He sees and rejoices!

Oh Nanak! I can't describe it! 37.

Working over the forge of self-control,
The goldsmith of patience pounds the hammer of wisdom
Upon the anvil of deep understanding.

With the bellows of awe and reverence,
He fans the flames of his body's inner heat.

In the crucible of love, he melts the golden nectar,
And mints the True Coin of the Word.

This is the labor of those who've been blessed.
Oh Nanak! 
The Giver of blessings 
Has made them truly happy! 38.


Air is the Guru... Water the Father...
And Earth the great Mother of all.

In the laps of the two nurses, Night and Day,
The whole world lives in an endless play.

We must judge the results of our own actions.
By our actions we live near or far.

Those who have meditated deeply on Naam,
And worked hard, can rejoice and go Home.

Oh Nanak! Their faces shine with Joy,
And they take many others along.

Japji translation by S.S. Guruka Singh Khalsa
Columbus Ohio - April 6, 1987