Japjee Sahib
The holy Sikh Scripture, Siri Guru Granth Sahib, starts with hymns composed by Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. This collection of hymns that spans over the first 8 pages of the holy scripture is named "Jap", and is respectfully called "Japjee Saahib". "Jap" means recite. Japjee Saahib is an important part of a Sikh's daily prayer. The collections of hymns of Sikh daily prayer are often compiled separately in a small book form called "Nitnem", meaning daily prayer. All Nitnem books (Gutkaas) start with Japjee Saahib but contain other hymns as well.
The description of Japjee Saahib that follows is taken from "The Encyclopedia of Sikhism" by Harbans Singh (published in 1996 by the Punjabi University, Patiala)
"...Japuji is the most riveting Sikh Prayer recited by the devout early in the morning. The composition is not assigned to any particular raga or musical measure, as is the rest of the Scriptural text..."
"Japuji is universally accepted to be the composition of Guru Nanak, the founding prophet of Sikhism, although, unlike other sciptural hyms and compositions, it remains anonymous without being credited individualy to any of the Gurus..."
"Preceded by what is called Mul Mantra, the basic statement of creed, the Japu comprises an introductory sloka and 38 stanzas traditionally called pauris and a concluding sloka attributed by some to Guru Angad. The initial sloka too appears again in the Scripture as a preamble to the 17th astapadi of Guru Arjan's famous composition Sukhmani, the Psalm of Peace. The entire composition including the Mul mantra, two slokas and the thirty eight pauris form the sacred morning prayer Japuji Sahib or Japu Nisanu. It serves as a prologue to the Scripture and encapsulates Guru Nanak's creed and philosophy, as a whole..."
"The message of the Japu is abiding in nature and universal in application. It simply describes the nature of Ultimate Reality and the way to comprehend it, and is not tied to any particular religious system. In a word it simply defines Sikhism, the religious view of Guru Nanak..."


Translation Text by Manmohan Singh              Web Site Designer: Khushdev K. Thind