Many of the chants and mantras in this album are written by Guru Nanak, the First Guru of the Sikhs who lived from 1469 to 1538. Guru Nanak traveled on foot with his disciple, Mardana, throughout much of India and other countries in Asia. Mardana came from a long lineage of master musicians. Mardana played the rebeck, a simple stringed instrument of Persian origin. Guru Nanak would settle in an area perhaps under a tree, or by a river, and begin to sing with Mardana accompanying him. People would come from miles away attracted by the pure sound current and soon many people would be gathered around them in absolute rapture and love. Guru Nanak’s songs have amazing rhythm and poetry, and his message speaks to the Soul.
One of Guru Nanak’s most well known gifts to our planet is the sacred composition called Japji. It is recited daily by hundreds of thousands of Sikhs throughout the world today. Japji has forty ‘pauris’ or stanzas. In the words of Yogi Bhajan: Each pauri addresses different aspects of the relationship between man and God and each has a specific power and gift that comes with it. The particular power of each pauri in Japji lies in the combination of sounds which creates the chemical and magnetic change in and around the being who recites it.
The awareness imparted in these stanzas is simple, practical, and uplifting for anyone on a spiritual path. Japji means meditation of the Soul. It is for all people, as this was Guru Nanak’s way.
So whatever your path may be I invite you to sing these chants, feel the sacred words in your heart, and partake of this timeless wisdom.
- Snatam Kaur