is the purpose of repeating Paath over
and over again if you don't understand
is agreed by all that we should recite
Paath regularly because that is a direction
from the Gurus. In this, three steps are
i) reading (listening to) the message
ii) understanding the message
iii) benefiting from the message
The first two steps are essential for
the third. Hence, the beginning has to
be made with reading. Obviously, reading
alone without understanding and benefiting
from the message is not of full use.
There are many other examples in life
where we end at the first or the second
step and we fail to take the third step,
i.e. to obtain the full benefit. We know
exercise is good for our health, but many
of us don't do it regularly. Smoking is
very harmful for our health but some people
still continue to smoke. Stealing is both
immoral and illegal. Knowing all this,
some people still get themselves involved
in stealing. Our failure to benefit from
the message is mentioned in Gurbaani like
Our mind knows what
is right and what is wrong but still it
leads us to do wrong things. How can one
be saved if the person himself chooses
the wrong path?
should not feel discouraged that we cannot
understand everything when we read Paath
or because we cannot practice all what
we do understand. We must make a start
by reading and then try to move ahead
steadily may be even slowly. Once we know
the benefit of practicing the lessons
of Gurbaani, our mind will start to enjoy
the recitation and benefit from it. People
who have been reading Jap Ji for 50 years
or more still find something new and fresh
in it when their mind is tuned to it.
The inner meanings of Gurbaani are known
only under that situation.
Reading Gurbaani is a good habit and must
be practiced regularly by making all efforts
to understand it and adopt the message.
It is beneficial in many other ways even
if we do not understand it well and do
not take full advantage of it.
Here are some reasons why Gurbaani should
be read daily:
Gurbaani is written in poetic form.
Its rhythm and sound waves have many
positive effects. They cool our nerves
and calm our mind in the same way,
as does music, which many of us also
do not understand.
Regular reading of Gurbaani (Nitnem)
forces a timely pause in the never-ending
and never-slowing rat race we are
running. All doctors now agree that
we must sit calmly and quietly to
meditate on something to take away
our mind from the worldly tensions.
This is essential to give a daily
rest to our over-worked and over-headed
nervous system. Reciting hymns regularly
provides us this benefit. It keeps
our minds safe from the tensions and
pressures of living the high-tech
practice is a repeated reminder to
us that our life has a purpose; being
reminded of this every day is very
important to keep our lives on the
right track. We are life children
playing outside away from our Mother,
God. When it is time for work, the
mother gives a call to the child,
"Dear, now stop playing, come home,
and finish your school work in time."
The call is first ignored by the children
because they love to play (as we love
worldly life). Repeated calls of the
mother put pressure on the mind of
the child to come home and do his
schoolwork. Regular settings for doing
Nitnem are repeated calls from the
Mother, God, reminding us, "Dear,
you have a responsibility towards
yourself. Now is the time to attend
to that. Don't get late anymore."
In due course of time, the call will
touch the heart of the reader and
motivated him to recite Gurbaani hymns
devotedly and obtain peace.
In the evenings, we usually chat over
a cup of tea with our friends. Many
times we carry on our meaningless
talks endlessly. If someone says,
"Let us recite Rehras; it is time
to do it.", those who were washing
your time and theirs too, melt away.
For those who stay, the meaningless
social gathering becomes a sacred
Sangat, i.e. solace giving, and calm
restoring and God-loving congregation.
The test of the pudding is in tasting.
If a person recites Gurbaani sincerely
(even when the doesn't understand
is fully, and most of us actually
don't) he will notice a change in
him to the better side. The feeling,
"I do Paath, therefore, I should not
do this bad thing." Will become stronger
and stronger, keeping him safe from
all wrong acts. We know what is right
and what is wrong, but we don't have
the moral strength to keep a check
on us. The regular reading of Paath
provides us the necessary reasoning
and the required strength to keep
our mind under control.
The very question, "what use is reading
Paath if I don't understand it?" becomes
very meaningful to a person who reads
Gurbaani regularly. One day it will
awaken his soul and make him decide,
"I must also know what I read." When
he knows what he reads, he will start
practicing it, making his own life
happy and spreading happiness around