Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ardas

I was at the Surat Conference a couple of weeks ago. My topic/lecture was on Ardas in the context of Sohila sahib di bani and relationship with Hukam. An aspect of the talk was to review the Sangati or Panthak Ardas.

Here is a translation/transcreation that was shared at the first Candlelight Vigil in Toronto in 2004 (november). I have used Sirdar Kapur Singh's translation, a little bit of Principal Teja Singh's translation and then Harpreet Singh (Harvard University) and I modified it a little. Reading through it really gives a sense of the original that our ancestors wrote...but there is really no comparison to the original. Our ancestor Gursikhs not only lived Guru-inspired cultural lives, they were so eloquent at describing it....

Would be delighted to hear suggestions for improvement to this....

Carhdi kala!

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Ardas

One Formless-form, To Vahiguru, the abiding Victory.
Var Sri Bhaguti composition of the 10th.

To begin with, we invoke the Divine Spirit of Vahiguru and we remember Guru Nanak (This Spirit) which then inspired Guru Angad, Amardas, and Ramdas.
We call upon the Gurus, Arjun, Hargobind, and Harirai. Let us invoke the blessed Harikrishan whose vision heals all pains.
Let us call upon Guru Tegbahadur so that the nine spiritual treasures may abide in our hearts.
May they help us everywhere. Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh, may he help us everywhere.
The Spirit of the Ten Masters enshrined in the sabad (word) of the Guru Granth Sahib, concentrate on that and say, revered Khalsa, Vahiguru!

Five Beloved Ones, Four Princes, Forty Redeemed Ones, those who have kept constant remembrance of Vahiguru, those who have constantly lived in the Divine Presence, those who have loved their neighbors by sharing their possessions with them, those who have turned a blind eye to the faults and failings of others, those who have assuaged the hunger and want of the hungry and the needy, those who have persevered in their fight in the cause of Justice, concentrate your mind on the struggles and achievements of those, O, revered members of the Order of the Khalsa, and say, Vahiguru!

The Singhs and Singhnis who courted martyrdom in the cause of Religion and underwent unspeakable sufferings of being dismembered alive, scalped alive, broken on wheels, sawed alive and boiled alive and those who made sacrifice in the service of the centers of the Sikh religion, the Gurduaras, but never wavered in their faith and remained steadfast in the cause of Sikhi to the last hair of their body and to their last breath, O, revered members of the Order of the Khalsa, concentrate your minds on the glorious deeds of those, and utter, Vahiguru!

Think of the Five High Seats of Sikh Authority, the Thrones of Religion, and all the centers from where the good Religion is preached, and say, Vahiguru!

First, we pray on behalf of all the creatures of Vahiguru.
May the Presence of Vahiguru be progressively felt in the hearts of all the sentient creatures, and may the whole Creation become happy and prosperous thereby. (Then) may Vahiguru shower blessings upon and grant protection to each and every member of the Order of the Khalsa, wherever he, she or they are.

May the supplies of the Khalsa ever remain replenished.
May the Sword of the Khalsa be ever victorious.
May the Royal title of the “Khalsa” be universally recognized and honored.
May victory attend upon all just endeavors of the Panth, the Khalsa Commonwealth. May the arms and armaments be our constant ally. May the Order of the Khalsa achieve ever-expanding progress and supremacy. Revered Khalsa, say, Vahiguru!

May Vahiguru grant to the Sikhs, the gift of Faith, the gift of uncut Hair, the gift of Discriminatory Intellect, the gift of Mutual Trust, the gift of Self-confidence and the Supreme Gift of all gifts, the gift of communion with Vahiguru, the Name, and may Sikhs freely center around and dip in the holy Amritsar.
May the government-centers, the banners, the cantonments of the Khalsa ever remain inviolate.
May the Cause of Truth and Justice prevail everywhere and at all times.
Revered Khalsa, say, Vahiguru!

May the passions in the heart of the Sikhs remain calm and their reason flow clear, and may the reason always be guided by the Light of Vahiguru.
Vahiguru Almighty, our protector and Helper ever, restore to us the right and privilege of unhindered management and free service of and access to all centers of the Sikh Religion, the gurduaras, out of which we have been forcibly evicted.

(Here, the specific purpose and occasion of the prayer is stated by the officiant – adasia - in suitable terms and the blessings and aid of Vahiguru are beseeched.)

Vahiguru, forgive us our remisses. Extend Your Helping Hand to all and everyone.
Grant us the company of those who may help keep Your Nam fresh in our hearts.
May Your Nam, the path preached by Nanak, prevail and prosper forever and forever.
May Your Will be done wherein lies the good of all mankind.
The Khalsa is of Vahiguru, and to Vahiguru the Victory.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful...After those great words, it would be foolish on my part to add anything to this!

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  2. Rupinder Kaur2:41 PM

    Fantastic work, Inderpreet Singh. I appreciate the poetic beauty you maintained throughout the English version.

    I would like to make a small suggestion - when the Ardas speaks of the sacrfices made by the 'Singhs and Singhnis' I would opt to refer to the women as Kaurs. From my understanding, Kaur was the title given to women by the 10th Master. I'm not sure what the origin of 'Singhni' is but I'm sure you can enlighten us.

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  3. Sorry for the late reply.

    Indeed Guru Gobind Singh blessed all Sikh women that give their heads to the Guru with the title of Kaur (princess). The word Singhni, however, does not belittle that title in my opinion. Singhni is simply female lion and Singh is male lion.

    The Mahan Kosh (early 1900's) has reference to the word Singhni (as well as Sikhni). Panth Parkash (Rattan Singh Bhangu) also uses Singhni - 1800's. I haven't checked any 1700's texts for reference.

    Carhdi Kala!

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  4. Beautiful.... thanks for the effort - Inderpreet Singh.

    We discussed this once at a get together at my place in Brampton. Sweet memories......!!

    The first paragraph is a var by the 10th Nanak - Guru Gobind Singh ji, which should not be touched at all - but the rest of the ardas can be amended. What I miss in the ardas is the mention of Bhagats who have contributed quite a bit to Guru Granth. Are we alienating us from some segments of the society and have an exclusive Sikh ardas instead of inclusive one which includes all who contributed to Sikhi. [Reminds me of an article by Dr. I. J. Singh - So Large A Tent]

    Bhul Chuk Muaf!!

    Satwinder Singh
    Vancouver

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