The Science of Naad and Gurbani

As explained by Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji

Naad means "the essence of all sounds". All languages contain sounds which relate to one or more of the five elements of air, fire, water, earth or ether. Gurbani is a perfect combination and permutation of sounds relating to all the five elements in complete balance. When Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru Nanak, compiled the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, in 1604, he put in only those Banis which were in Naad. These compositions are called Gurbani.

There are eighty-four meridian points on the upper palate of a human’s mouth. One can feel that upper palate with the tongue and experience its different surfaces. There are two rows of meridian points on the upper palate and on the gum behind the upper teeth. The tongue stimulates those meridian points, and they in turn stimulate the hypothalamus which makes the pineal gland radiate. When the pineal gland radiates, it creates an impulsation in the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland gives impulsation, the entire glandular system secretes and a human being obtains bliss. This is the science.

Gurbani is the combination of the tongue with the meridian points. When you read and recite Gurbani, it stimulates your hypothalamus. It is totally different than any scriptures because Gurbani is made in a scientific way. There are two banis: "kachee bani" is that which does not fit on the Naad. It is not a balanced sound current. "Pakee bani" is that which fits on the Naad and is balanced. One who knows the Naad knows the Aad, the Primal Creativity. One who knows the Aad is Parmayshwaar, the Supreme God.

The whole language of Gurbani has the power to make a person divine, just in its recitation, if done correctly. One need not be concerned with the meaning for a change in consciousness. Bani has to be understood by the heart, not by the head. There is no power in the head, it is in the heart. The head is for God and the heart is for you. That is why Guru Gobind Singh asked for the head, and not for the heart. Whosoever lives with the head to God and heart for self, that prayer is complete.

The entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib is the calling of the Beloved. It is in Naad. Torah, Bible and Vedas are not in Naad because none of them felt that much pain of separation between God and the beloved."

17 Responses to “The Science of Naad and Gurbani”

  1. Sikhi Seeker says:

    AMAZING! And that whole explanation of the corresponding pressure on the meridian points along with the Bani, seems to provide yet another proof for why Bani should be recited loudly (well, as long as you can hear yourself). Sweet!
    But does any Bani in Sikh literature kacchi Bani? Or is it that some Gurus’ Banis are pakki and others kacchi??

  2. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa ||
    Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh ||

    Amazing, true, but far from the truth. The language of the Guru Granth Sahib is in no way a ‘magical, mystical language’ which this article would imply. There is absolutely no “science of the Naad and Gurbani.� The whole concept that there is some sort of “Technology� behind the teachings of the Gurus is ridiculous.

    The Sikh Gurus never believed in the exclusivity of their teachings. The Gurus undertook travels to spread their message to the peoples of different cultures in their own native languages. The Gurus did not believe in the ideas of any language being ‘sacred’ or ‘special’.

    The Language of Gurbani is written in common languages of the period and regions. Gurbani is the word for the Guru’s teachings and not a language in itself. The Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhi script, and by itself is not a language but the name of the script that was developed by Guru Angad. The language, which is most often used is Sant Bhasha and is very close to Punjabi. It is well understood all over northern and northwest India. The other languages used are Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Gujrati, Marathi, Bengali, Farsi, Sanskrit and Arabic. Guru Nanak taught that no one particular language is more suitable than any other for praising God. A person can pray in any language and worship God by any name, as long as he is sincere.

    When Guru Arjan compiled the Adi Granth, his only criteria was authenticity and not any notion of Naad.

    Since Gurbani is not written in any ‘magical or mystical language,’ it is ridiculous to assume that reciting Gurbani without meaning and understanding has any value. Reading Gumukhi script without understanding is nothing more than parroting a series of phonetic sequences.

    Chardi Kalaa

    Amar Prakash Singh

  3. Amar Prakash…you are entitled to your opinion… which I don’t agree with, but that is ok.

    You are looking at this from an intellectual perspective. I look at it from an experiencial angle.

    In any case… there is no point in arguing.

    When I chant Gurbani I feel elevated…whether I understand it or not. All languages have a certain energy to them. Just as cursing and saying vulgarities does. Every, thought, sound and vibration has an effect. You can see this in scientific terms in this article.

    By reciting Gurbani you are bringing yourself to the same vibration and state that the Gurus were when they recited it in their higher consciousness. I don’t think it is an intellectual thing and I feel your view is limiting your experience of Gurbani.

  4. isingh says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to Gurumustak once again for creating this medium/forum. My knowledge of Sikhi has increased because of people like Amar Prakash Singh posting such informative “arguements”…and of course everything Gurumustak and Sikhnet has done here…

    I agree with everything Amar Prakash Singh said in the begining of his post However I can not take sides on the issue of reciting Gurbani without knowing the meaning…because I’m one of those who have to experience it for themselves before they believe… And i’m not a good subject because I know Gurmukhi, although I don’t know all the words but most of the time I get the point so I do feel in chardi kala.

    Also, I’ve been to Christian and Islamic lectures and they too are trying to get “technology” and science invovled in their faiths. and when it comes to faith in God…it should be just that and nothing more. just my (simple old(31) man from a pind’s) opinion nothing more :)

    have a wonderful day!
    ps…i haven’t been keeping up with this blog…hopefully can download the content through some rss reader on to my new toy(smart phone…neeeeeeded it! ;)) and catch up while on the bus…:)

    Waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!

  5. Some thoughts in support of Naad:

    – very frequent mention of naad in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
    – use of raag for the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
    – many words are not used verbatim – they are modified from the common language to fit the poetic and melodic composition of the line
    – the Guru says that bani without the True Guru is kachee (false)
    – personal experience of Gurbani that is unmatched by any other music or sounds I have ever heard or created

  6. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa ||
    Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh ||

    Bhai Gurumustuk Singh

    My explanation is from an intellectual perspedtive, true, however the basis is from an experiencial perspective.

    In a reference to Sach Khand and also in reference to any state of Spirtuality, Guru Nanak said: To describe it is as hard as steel. It can only be experienced and not expressed in words.

    Experience without understanding is what is limiting. Contemplation on understanding what the Gurus are teaching is what is expanding.

    Kabir wrote: Mistaking it for cream, the people are churning water. ||1||Pause||

    Chardi Kalaa

    Amar Prakash Singh

  7. isingh says:

    ever since i was little i’ve confused Kabir with Mardana…so I never asked the obvious question which is How did Kabir’s work get in Guru Granth Sahib?

  8. Prabhu Singh says:

    I for one will not tell anybody what is right and what is wrong. I only know that my teacher never failed me and that I read my banis everyday.
    I can’t imagine that anybody who has ever recited Jaap sahib from their mouths can question the naad.
    Page 657:
    Meeting the Divine True Guru, I merge into the sound current of the Naad. ||1||Pause||
    Where the dazzling white light is seen, there the unstruck sound current of the Shabad resounds.

    So if we are to have any understanding of anahad we must understand naad, it seems.
    Further on page 1214:

    Practicing the Guru’s Word, by His Grace, I do not wander anywhere anymore.
    The illusion has been dispelled; I am in Samaadhi, Sukh-aasan, the position of peace. I have found the Lord, the Lover of His devotees, within the home of my own heart. ||1||
    The Sound-current of the Naad, playful joys and pleasures – I am intuitively, easily absorbed into the Celestial Lord.

    So it seems even the Guru says that you can be intuitively absorbed into the celestial Lord through the naad.

    Further if there was no science and technology behind the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the entire Granth would not have been organized by raag.
    This is my opinion and nothing can refute my feelings on this matter. Seriously, read Jaap sahib over and over and try to tell me there’s no such thing as naad.

  9. Gurinder says:

    Both of you, Amar prakash singh ji and Gurumustuk singh ji are RIGHT in their own way. It is just like Chemistry, what part of the reaction you want to begin with, but the end result would be the same.

    When we take medicine, we do not know how the drug was created, nor we need to know pathophysiology of it and how it works in our body. We simply take the medicine and it works!

    Therefore, if we recite the NAME of God, which is provided by the souls who were at the same wavelength with God then it will do WONDERS when we recite it. However this reciting is done with LOVE and with Full of love then it would do wonders.

    On the other hand, we need to understand the meaning of the shabad so that it will uplift our souls, thinking process and we can follow the way of Gurmukhi.

    So, Both of you are Right! But One may begin to recite name of God with love without understanding the meaning, and other may begin to recite with love after they have understood the meaning of gurbani. The End result be the SAME.

  10. Gurinder says:

    Prabhu singh,
    wonderful explanation, priceless. may Guru provide more wisdom to you and to rest of us!

    One needs to experience the power of Gurbani by sounds,mediatation and contemplation. Whoever has tasted the nectar cannot describe it with words.

    thank you

  11. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa ||
    Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh ||

    Bhai Prabhu Singh

    Both of these quotes from Gurbani are talking about the result and not the process.

    Both Namdev and Guru Arjan are describing the effects of reaching Liberation. That is when ‘you can be intuitively be absorbed into the celestial Lord through the naad.�

    Just as when Bhatt Gayandh wrote: The Kundalini rises in the Sat Sangat, the True Congregation; through the Word of the Guru, they enjoy the Lord of Supreme Bliss.
    This is another example of the result and not the process.

    When using words like: True Congregation, it is obvious that what the Guru’s are talking about is something that is more than mere Sangat. They are talking about a Sangat of the Liberated Ones or Sadh Sangat. This is a very select group and it is a mistake to assume that sinners like ourselves are a part of that group.

    With a true understanding of what Sadh Sangat means, it is easy to see that the raising of Kundalini is a manifestation of liberation, while, liberation is not a result of raising the Kundalini.

    ‘We could say that the Sikh way of raising the Kundalini is the “pull” method (Kundalini rising naturally through the pull of Gurbani) rather than the “push” method (desperate personal efforts of a yogi.)’

    Chardi Kalaa

    Amar Prakash Singh

  12. Gurinder says:

    I think we have great sikh scholars right here with us! Please write some books or essays(articles).

    When we do meditation people reach different levels, some are stuck at the same level for years and others might excel or even regress backwards.

    Everyone is going to have different experience and the level of reasoning. No one is wrong here. It’s just we are at different levels of spirituality of meditation and contemplation.

  13. samar says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  14. samar says:

    Sat Sri Akaal!
    Well!Both perpectives seem equally fine at first glance.The answer surely has to be binary though,irrespective of our opinions.

    To tell whether bani is written in a certain flow/music-naad,we got to consider that our enlightened pritam(guru ji) were infact in communion with Waheguru.They were continually in vibrance with the naad.So is the gurbani uttered(by waheguru from higher realm through our sahibs) in tune with the celestial sound-naad.As does a tuning fork,emit waves at its own frequency.As does the innner emotion reflect in the tone of speech.

    Even though Guru sahibaans denied exclusivity or divineness to any language(as was prominent in their times),but naad has nothing to do with the language-its an undercurrent.And I ‘believe’ that whenever we recite(understanding feel and realise) gurbani-we are infact in resonance with our divine master(ie their spiritual state).
    And again,then how else can one explain forbidding of kachhi bani.

  15. Been listening and reciting gubani all my life. It is true that it posseses some kind of power. But lets not use word “magical” here, since our Gurus never intended to do so. Langauge is down to earth and simple language spoken at the time in that region. It is also ture that Guru Arjan Dev Ji did compile The Granth Sahib keeping all Raags in perception. That is why it sounds so pleasing. What sounds pleasing ultimately uplifts the soul. Guru Nanak always spoke in raags (poetry). He never used words that were not necessary. It was God who was speaking from inside Nanak. Every thing was said from face:It was facial muscles that did the talking.
    I agree completly with the article that without really understanding deep meaning of Gurbani one can enjoy,benifit and be blessed by it.
    Religion,faith,belief etc stimulates the heart not the brain which needs all facts to prove. So lets not go into science part but get bliss in life by listening to Gurbani.
    Regards to all readers.
    Manjeev Sachar

  16. Dear Gurinder,
    I will differ slightly with you where you say that “we” need to know meaning of the shabad to uplift our “souls”. “we” is us like Manjeev, Gurinder or amar prakash. But “soul” is not us, but on the other hand its form of God. Its part and parcel of God.It knows the meaning of every word in any Bani, Gurbani or Shabad as you said. Its “we” as human body that do not understand meanings. Why worry we are not doing PATH,etc for the body its for the soul.And soul knows it all and is being perfected every moment it spends in that blissful time of bani.
    God Bless.

  17. Prabhu Singh says:

    There is a problem with relating to the Sikh Dharma from a purely intellectual perspective. Guru Nanak wrote about it in Japji how thinking cannot acheive God.
    I will describe my personal feelings and experiences and people can take from it what they want, but you must understand what is truth for you may not be truth for me, as we each have an individual experience of the ultimate truth which is within everything:
    Most of what is written in English about Sikhi is woefully inadequate. There is so much pandering to Western thoughts and paradigms. One of the biggest things that I see, possibly the influence of the British, is that Sikhs seem to have this concept that humility means self-degredation. This is where I disagree with Amar Prakash. He sees sinners at the Gurdwara he believes in an unearthly naad and sangat. He believes that one can be Amrit Dhari and not Khalsa.
    This paradigm doesn’t work for me. Who is the Khalsa if not those who have recieved the Amrit of Guru Gobind Singh? Why do we avoid bad sangat if we cannot find good sangat? Who in the Gurdwara looks like sinners when chanting Gurbani?
    I go to the Gurdwara and I see saints. I sit there with the greatest peace. I sit there with a longing to feel God in this way at all times.
    I will keep it personal as to my experience of Kundalini, but I will mention that I am required to concentrate while in the sangat to experience anything. That effort, to me, is equivalent to any other effort of meditation in which the kundalini rises. There is no difference between push and pull to me. God is in the push and in the pull.
    What am I here on this earth for, if not to try to live a Godly life? My life experience has made it so that I cannot excel when denigrating myself. I can only achieve humility through the recognition of the greatness that is God. How can you give up insecurities (the root of ego) when you do not have security? The security must be the recognition of greatness (God) which cannot be taken from you. You do not need to offend or defend when you have the security of God. We are each a manifestation of God, we are all sinners and saints. Which part do you wish to be in contact with?