Ranjit Nagara (Drum of Victory)

Beating the Nagara Drum during a Nagar Kirtan

Earlier in June when we had the Jaap Sahib Course here in Espanola, New Mexico, Sukha Singh (UK) showed me an awesome audio recording that he had of a really young Sikh boy from Anandpur Sahib who played the Nagara Drum with amazing skilll. When you hear the rhythm of it, one definitely feels the spirit of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The recording was only for a minute or two long so Hari Singh (Vancouver) looped it to go for 11 minutes. Sukha Singh later led us in a meditation with this audio, as we chanted the Guru Gayatri Mantra "Gobinday, Mukhanday, Udharay, Apaare, Hariang, Kariang, Nirname, Akame" along with the rhythm of the drumming.

Listen to the below audio track and you’ll see what I mean. Sit down and get in a meditative posture and powerfully chant the Guru Gayatri Mantra along with the beat.

Audio of The Ranjit Nagara Drum

Download MP3

RANJIT NAGARA : Literally: the drum (Nagara) of victorious (Ranjit) or the "drum of victory". In 1684, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib got a special drum prepared. It was named Ranjit (the winner of the battle-field). This drum was beaten at Kesgarh Sahib throne, at Aanandpur Sahib, every day, as a declaration of the sovereignty of the Sikh nation. Guru Sahib made it obligatory that before the closing of Gurdwara, Nagara must be beaten. Nagara is a symbol of sovereignty. Only the winner of a battle could beat it. Nishan (flag) and Nagara (drum) are an integral part of a Takht (Khalsa Throne) and all the Gurdwaras.

Ranjit Nagara  (A Poem)
Today I hear your thunder.
For the first time. But not the first time.
The rhythm is familiar. Yet, I’ve never heard it before.
You call out to battle, but your echo is your only answer.

Maybe you long for a different time.
A time I do not know. But I wish I did.
Your beat would have proclaimed my destiny.
In the last moments of my life, I could justify my existence.

Today, your drum still sounds a call to battle.
While many listen, no one hears.
There is no battle, and there is no cause.
There is no glorious death to be had.

Perhaps you and I are strangely similar.
Your sound makes me, too, yearn for that different time.
You would sound, and I would answer.
And in my death, we both would find our meaning.

~ RMS 

 Poem from the blog:
Memoirs of an Errant King"