Jap Ji Sahib and the 5 states of consciousness

In Japji Sahib five khands have been described. Khand means a part. These Khands can be described as five aspects or stages of spiritual life which Sikh has to move through to become ‘panch parvan”. These guide the Sikh towards spiritual direction that has to be taken. An understanding of these khands is imperative for awareness of spiritual direction. For a Sikh Vichar of Gurbani is a part of Simran.

Simran is remembrance with an aim towards knowing, then closeness and then oneness with Waheguruji. The Vichar (thinking and dwelling on a topic for knowledge and understanding) of the five Khands described by Guru Nanak Devji in Japji Sahib gives understanding and clarity of the path.

Let us look how Guruji describes these Khands:

1. Dharam Khand

Dharam khand means the ‘Realm of Moral Duty’ and is the first spiritual stop on the journey towards God

This Khand refers to the karmic life of beings on earth and their daily tryst with Karma. Guru ji has called earth a Dharamshal (a home of Dharma).

Translation-

The earth is a place where day, night, day and date have been created along with Air , water ,fire and the Sky. There is so much variety of living beings on earth. As are their deeds and actions, so is their result. The law of Karma thus is behind their life circumstances. The result of karma may look unjustified outwardly but is a corrective justice of the law as in HIS true court only truth prevails.  It is also the karma done while living on earth that attracts the Nadar (Grace), which is the sign that the person is now open to dwell in next khand. The Sikh receives the fruit of his thought and action and goes ahead through Jap and Simran. Such is the Dharma in the Dharam Khand.” 

2. Gyan Khand

Gyan Khand means the ‘Realm of knowledge’ and is the second spiritual stop on the journey towards God

The Gurbani although simple in words has meanings behind each and every word. As Vichar is done the Gurbani opens up doors and more doors of knowledge and wisdom. First let us see how Guruji has described the Gyan Khand:

Translation-

“To  speak of is the Karma of Gyan Khand..  So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas.  So many Brahmas, fashioning forms of great beauty, adorned and dressed in many colors.  So many worlds and lands for working out karma. So very many lessons to be learned!  So many Indras, so many moons and suns, so many worlds and lands.  So many Siddhas and Buddhas, so many Yogic masters. So many goddesses of various kinds.  So many demi-gods and demons, so many silent sages. So many oceans of jewels.  So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers.  So many aware people, so many devotees , says  O Nanak, His limit has no limit! || 35 || In the realm of wisdom, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme.  The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates, amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss. ”

3. Saram Khand

Saram Khand means the ‘Realm of Spiritual Efforts’ and is the third spiritual stop on the journey towards God

This is how Guruji describes the Saram khand.

Translation-

“In the realm of humility, the Word is form.  These are fashioned with incomparable distinctness here.  These things cannot be described.  One who tries to speak of these regrets the past.  The surt (awareness), intellect and understanding of the mind are shaped here.  The consciousness of the spiritual warriors of spiritual perfection, are shaped there.”

4. Karam Khand

This means the ‘Realm of Grace’ and is the fourth spiritual stop on the journey towards God

Translation-

In the realm of karma, the Word is Effort.  No one else dwells there, except the great spiritual heroes.  They are totally imbued with the oneness consciousness.  They are sewn together with the creator filled with awe of HIS glory.  Their form (mind) cannot be described.  They do not die ( do not reincarnate)  and so neither are deceived (by maya) when  within whose minds the Lord abides.  Here (in Karam  Khand) devotees of many worlds dwell.  They are in anand (spiritual joy) as the True lord abides in their mind.

5. Sach Khand

This means the ‘Realm of Truth’ and is the fifth and final spiritual realm experienced when a person is in the fourth state of consciousness

Translation-

In the realm of Truth, the Formless Lord abides.  Having created the creation, HE watches over it and HIS Nadar ( Glance of Grace), bestows happiness( to the devotee) .  There are planets, solar systems and galaxies.  If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end.  There are worlds upon worlds of His Creation.  As is HIS commands, so they operate.  Says Nanak, observe (this play of Hukam) and do Vichar . The effort is a hard path

 

The delineation of the Panj Khands is preceded by two introductory remarks in the two preceding stanzas. First, there is the term pavarian, i.e. rungs of a ladder, denoting stages of the mystical ascent. Guru Nanak relates this ascent to the constant remembrance of God’s Name. Then occurs another insight which implies that all the endeavours that the spiritual aspirant makes and all the means that he employs during these endeavours have their ultimate source in divine grace without which he may not even feel the initial impulse towards spiritual life.

Pauri 35

ਧਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਝਹੋ ਧਰਮ੝ ॥ ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਕਾ ਆਖਹ੝ ਕਰਮ੝ ॥
Ḏẖaram kẖand kĝ ėho ḝẖaram. Gi­ĝn kẖand kĝ ĝkẖhu karam.
This is righteous living in the realm of Dharma. And now we speak of the realm of spiritual wisdom.
ਕੇਤੇ ਪਵਣ ਪਾਣੀ ਵੈਸੰਤਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕਾਨ ਮਹੇਸ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਬਰਮੇ ਘਾੜਤਿ ਘੜੀਅਹਿ ਰੂਪ ਰੰਗ ਕੇ ਵੇਸ
Kėṯė pavaṇ pĝṇī vaisanṯar kėṯė kĝn mahės. Kėṯė barmė gẖĝṛaṯ gẖaṛī­ahi rūp rang kė vės.
So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas. So many Brahmas, fashioning forms of great beauty, adorned and dressed in many colors.
ਕੇਤੀਆ ਕਰਮ ਭੂਮੀ ਮੇਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਧੂ ਉਪਦੇਸ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਇੰਦ ਚੰਦ ਸੂਰ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਮੰਡਲ ਦੇਸ ॥
Kėṯī­ĝ karam bẖūmī mėr kėṯė kėṯė ḝẖū upḝės. Kėṯė inḝ cẖanḝ sūr kėṯė kėṯė mandal ḝės.
So many worlds and lands for working out karma. So very many lessons to be learned! So many Indras, so many moons and suns, so many worlds and lands.
ਕੇਤੇ ਸਿਧ ਬ੝ਧ ਨਾਥ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਦੇਵੀ ਵੇਸ ॥ ਕੇਤੇ ਦੇਵ ਦਾਨਵ ਮ੝ਨਿ ਕੇਤੇ ਕੇਤੇ ਰਤਨ ਸਮ੝ੰਦ ॥
Kėṯė siḝẖ buḝẖ nĝth kėṯė kėṯė ḝėvī vės. Kėṯė ḝėv ḝĝnav mun kėṯė kėṯė raṯan samunḝ.
So many Siddhas and Buddhas, so many Yogic masters. So many goddesses of various kinds. So many demi-gods and demons, so many silent sages. So many oceans of jewels.
ਕੇਤੀਆ ਖਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਬਾਣੀ ਕੇਤੇ ਪਾਤ ਨਰਿੰਦ ॥ ਕੇਤੀਆ ਸ੝ਰਤੀ ਸੇਵਕ ਕੇਤੇ ਨਾਨਕ ਅੰਤ੝ ਨ ਅੰਤ੝ ॥੩੫॥
Kėṯī­ĝ kẖĝṇī kėṯī­ĝ baṇī kėṯė pĝṯ narinḝ. Kėṯī­ĝ surṯī sėvak kėṯė Nĝnak anṯ na anṯ. ॥35॥
So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers. So many intuitive people, so many selfless servants. O Nanak, His limit has no limit! ॥35॥

Pauri 36

ਗਿਆਨ ਖੰਡ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨ੝ ਪਰਚੰਡ੝ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਨਾਦ ਬਿਨੋਦ ਕੋਡ ਅਨੰਦ੝ ॥
Gi­ĝn kẖand meh gi­ĝn parcẖand. Ŧithai nĝḝ binoḝ kod anand.
In the realm of wisdom, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme. The Sound-current of the Naad vibrates there, amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss.
ਸਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਰੂਪ੝ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਘਾੜਤਿ ਘੜੀਝ ਬਹ੝ਤ੝ ਅਨੂਪ੝ ॥
Saram kẖand kī baṇī rūp. Ŧithai gẖĝṛaṯ gẖaṛī­ai bahuṯ anūp.
In the realm of humility, the Word is Beauty. Forms of incomparable beauty are fashioned there.
ਤਾ ਕੀਆ ਗਲਾ ਕਥੀਆ ਨਾ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਪਿਛੈ ਪਛ੝ਤਾਇ ॥
Ŧĝ kī­ĝ galĝ kathī­ĝ nĝ jĝhi. Jė ko kahai picẖẖai pacẖẖuṯĝ­ė.
These things cannot be described. One who tries to speak of these shall regret the attempt.
ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਝ ਸ੝ਰਤਿ ਮਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਬ੝ਧਿ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਝ ਸ੝ਰਾ ਸਿਧਾ ਕੀ ਸ੝ਧਿ ॥੩੬॥
Ŧithai gẖaṛī­ai suraṯ maṯ man buḝẖ. Ŧithai gẖaṛī­ai surĝ siḝẖĝ kī suḝẖ. ॥36॥
The intuitive consciousness, intellect and understanding of the mind are shaped there.The consciousness of the spiritual warriors and the Siddhas, the beings of spiritual perfection, are shaped there. ॥36॥

Pauri 37

ਕਰਮ ਖੰਡ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਜੋਰ੝ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਹੋਰ੝ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਹੋਰ੝ ॥
Karam kẖand kī baṇī jor. Ŧithai hor na ko­ī hor.
In the realm of karma, the Word is Power. No one else dwells there,
ਤਿਥੈ ਜੋਧ ਮਹਾਬਲ ਸੂਰ ॥ ਤਿਨ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮ੝ ਰਹਿਆ ਭਰਪੂਰ ॥
Ŧithai joḝẖ mahĝbal sūr. Ŧin meh rĝm rahi­ĝ bẖarpūr.
except the warriors of great power, the spiritual heroes. They are totally fulfilled, imbued with the Lord’s Essence.
ਤਿਥੈ ਸੀਤੋ ਸੀਤਾ ਮਹਿਮਾ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਰੂਪ ਨ ਕਥਨੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥
Ŧithai sīṯo sīṯĝ mahimĝ mĝhi. Ŧĝ kė rūp na kathnė jĝhi.
Myriads of Sitas are there, cool and calm in their majestic glory. Their beauty cannot be described.
ਨਾ ਓਹਿ ਮਰਹਿ ਨ ਠਾਗੇ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੈ ਰਾਮ੝ ਵਸੈ ਮਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥
Nĝ ohi mareh na ṯẖĝgė jĝhi. Jin kai rĝm vasai man mĝhi.
Neither death nor deception comes to those, within whose minds the Lord abides.
ਤਿਥੈ ਭਗਤ ਵਸਹਿ ਕੇ ਲੋਅ ॥ ਕਰਹਿ ਅਨੰਦ੝ ਸਚਾ ਮਨਿ ਸੋਇ ॥
Ŧithai bẖagaṯ vaseh kė lo­a. Karahi anand sacẖĝ man so­ė.
The devotees of many worlds dwell there. They celebrate; their minds are imbued with the True Lord.
ਸਚ ਖੰਡਿ ਵਸੈ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ੝ ॥ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਵੇਖੈ ਨਦਰਿ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥
Sacẖ kẖand vasai nirankĝr. Kar kar vėkẖai naḝar nihĝl.
In the realm of Truth, the Formless Lord abides. Having created the creation, He watches over it. By His Glance of Grace, He bestows happiness.
ਤਿਥੈ ਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਵਰਭੰਡ ॥ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਕਥੈ ਤ ਅੰਤ ਨ ਅੰਤ ॥
Ŧithai kẖand mandal varbẖand. Jė ko kathai ṯa anṯ na anṯ.
There are planets, solar systems and galaxies. If one speaks of them, there is no limit, no end.
ਤਿਥੈ ਲੋਅ ਲੋਅ ਆਕਾਰ ॥ ਜਿਵ ਜਿਵ ਹ੝ਕਮ੝ ਤਿਵੈ ਤਿਵ ਕਾਰ ॥
Ŧithai lo­a lo­a ĝkĝr. Jiv jiv hukam ṯivai ṯiv kĝr.
There are worlds upon worlds of His Creation. As He commands, so they exist.
ਵੇਖੈ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਕਰਿ ਵੀਚਾਰ੝ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਕਥਨਾ ਕਰੜਾ ਸਾਰ੝ ॥੩੭॥
vėkẖai vigsai kar vīcẖĝr. Nĝnak kathnĝ karṛĝ sĝr. ॥37॥
He watches over all, and contemplating the creation, He rejoices. O Nanak, to describe this is as hard as steel! ॥37॥

 

 

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