Ajapaa Jaap

As taught in the onset of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), there are countless Jap (‘ਅਸੰਖ ਜਪ’) in the world.

  • ਅਸੰਖ ਜਪ ਅਸੰਖ ਭਾਉ ॥: Asankh jap asankh bhaaou (sggs 3).

Associated with these countless Jap are man’s countless demands (ਮੰਗ), desires (ਇੱਛਾਵਾਂ), feelings, ways, methods, Mariayada (ਮਰਯਾਦਾ: ਬੰਦੇ ਦੀ ਅਪਣੀ ਮਰਜੀ i.e. ਮਨਮੁਖਤਾ), and so on.

Furthermore, according to one’s own intellect, people describe the Supreme Truth differently:

  • ਕਿਰਤਮ ਨਾਮ ਕਥੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਜਿਹਬਾ ॥ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਪਰਾ ਪੂਰਬਲਾ ॥: (O Creator!) All names uttered by the tongue are all Your descriptive names (which your children have created or made-up describing Your diversified activities or Virtues in Kudrat). Your first or primary Virtue is ‘Sat-ਸਤਿ’ — permanently in existence. (sggs 1083).

However, the Truth (ਸਚ) as indicated in the Gurbani is Absolute, not relative. Also, the Jap as indicated in the Gurbani (Gurmat) is totally different than all others – It is to understand, hence, it is to be practiced with the support of the Budhi (discerning intellect, Vivek-Budhi …).

The Gurbani asks us to practice the Giaan-Jap (‘ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ’). And the Giaan (Wisdom, Knowledge, Aatm-Giaan, Brahm-Giaan…) is the subject of the Budhi, not the gross external body-frame. The Gurbani:

  • ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ॥ ਹੋਵਹੁ ਚਾਕਰ ਸਾਚੇ ਕੇਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਰਵੈ ॥ ਬਾਂਧਨਿ ਬਾਂਧਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਭਵੈ ॥੨॥: O my mind! Internalize such divine Giaan-Wisdom so that you can Realize the Creator within (i.e. traverse spiritual Life of Wisdom / Virtues). ||1||Pause|| Everyone talks as if he knows everything about divine Giaan-Wisdom and contemplation. But the reality is that almost the entire world is wandering around tied in the bonds of Maya (i.e. one cannot link with God by mere talks). ||2|| (sggs 728).
  • ਗੁਰ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪਿ ਜਪਤ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਸੰਤ ਸੰਗਨਾ ॥੧੨॥: Gur japu jaap japat phal paaiaa Giaan … (sggs 1080).
  • ॥ ਜਪੁ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥: ‘Jap-ਜਪੁ’ = Realization (within NOT without). The Creator is within me from my ‘Aad’ (Conception). He is within me SINCE Conception, following Conception. He is within me Here and Now. Nanak, He is within me throughout my existence. ||1|| (sggs 1).

Thus, Jap simply means to understand the Gurbani (to attain Brahm Giaan, Wisdom, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨਾ…), and constant remembrance of that Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ…) when transacting with the outside world of objects, sphere of emotions, and the realm of thoughts.

In this way, the ‘Jap’ taught in the Gurbani is ‘Ajapaa Jaap‘ – the letter ‘A’ in ‘Ajapaa‘ indicates without the external senses (i.e., tongue, etc.). That is, constant or unbroken Awareness of one’s Mool (ਮੂਲ), Joti Saroop, Aatm-Giaan, Gurmat, Wisdom …!

  • ਉਲਟਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਕਤਹੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਸਖੀਆ ਪੰਚੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਇਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ॥੧॥ : Filled with Amrit (-Naam), the Heart-Lotus turns away from worldly temptations and their corrupting influences (Maya), then this mind does not get distracted anymore. (The mind that has become stable) remembers God without uttering (‘Ajapaa Jaap‘, continuously keeps in Conscience-) and gets immersed in the Universal Energy (Divine Hukam…). A person who has become the Gurmukh abides in his ‘Nij Ghar‘ Within, all his senses get blessed with five divine Virtues (i.e. Truth-ਸਤ, Godly contentment-ਸੰਤੋਖ, mercy-ਦਯਾ, patience-ਧੀਰਜ, Dharam-ਧਰਮ). Nanak considers himself a servant of such person who realizes ‘Nij Ghar‘ by searching and Reflecting on the Guru’s Shabad. ||1|| (sggs 1291).

Accordingly, the Gurbani’s Jap makes one ‘Sewak’ or ‘Chaakar’.

It neither makes one the Guru, nor the Satguru, nor the Sant, nor Sri 108, nor any Deraas (ਡੇਰਾ), nor any Aashrams, etc.

While all other Jap make one a Guru, a Satguru, a Sant, a Sri 108, Deraas (ਡੇਰਾ), Aashrams, and so on.

To put it otherwise, the Jap as indicated in the Gurbani makes one humble (‘ਨੀਚਾ’, ਨੀਵਾਂ, ਗਰੀਬੀ-ਸੁਭਾਉ, lowly…).

However, to the contrary, all other Jap make one think he is better, superior, or higher than others (egoistic), etc.

  • ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਭਲਾ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਤਿਸਹਿ ਭਲਾਈ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥: One who calls himself good — goodness will not draw near him (sggs 278).
  • ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਨੀਚਾ ॥ ਸੋਊ ਗਨੀਐ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ॥: He who deems himself low (i.e., humble, etc.), that person should be considered the best. (sggs 266).

This ‘Ajapaa Jaap‘ as taught by the Gurmat Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is perfected within – in the Heart (i.e., mind).

Therefore, the Gurmat’s Raam or Raam Naam is the subject of searching — Inner Inquiry, understanding, knowing, recognizing, experiencing, or realizing WITHIN (Ajappa Jaap). After understanding, it’s meant to be applied to daily life.

Hence, Bhagat Kabeer Jee asks us to give up mental trickery, worldly cleverness, craftiness, etc. (‘ਚਤੁਰਾਈ’).

  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥: (A true devotee) searches for the Raam Naam within his own Soul (sggs 274).
  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੇ ਮਾਹਿ ॥: Understand Raam in the Heart (sggs 283).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜੋ ਜਪੈ ਹਿਆਇ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੈਸਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੨॥: Who understands (Naam) in the Heart, without (reciting with) the tongue. (That) rare one knows as to what Naam really is!(sggs 1256).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਚਤੁਰਾਈ ਅਤਿ ਘਨੀ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਸੂਰੀ ਊਪਰਿ ਖੇਲਨਾ ਗਿਰੈ ਤ ਠਾਹਰ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੧੦੯॥ : O Kabir! The greatest wisdom is to understand Naam in one’s Hirda. Because without (such Jap) there is no other support. ||109|| (sggs 1370).

So, as indicated earlier, the Jap as taught to us by the Gurbani is performed within, with the support of the Budhi, to attain Brahm Giaan (Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨਾ…).

  • ਕਹੁ ਰੇ ਪੰਡੀਆ ਕਉਨ ਪਵੀਤਾ ॥ ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੀਤਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: O Pandit! (When Sootak-impurity is everywhere, then) who is (possibly) pure? (Therefore) O my friend! Consider this matter carefully and tell. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 331).

With constant and thorough practice of this Ajapaa Jaap – the state of ‘ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ’ arises within (‘Budhi Badalee‘ = transmutation of Mayaic Budhi or worldly intelligence, or worldly mind, or worldly wisdom, etc.).

  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: Says Kabeer! (Wisdom) has taken away my (worldly) intelligence (ਅਕਲ). With this altered intelligence, now I have obtained Sidhi (Spiritual Perfection…). ||2||21||72|| (sggs 339).

This seems to be the Goal of Jap as taught by the Gurbani. While in all other Jap – to the contrary – there is the perpetual hunger for Maya (ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁੱਖ, ਇੱਛਾਵਾਂ, ਮੰਗਾ …) in the mind.

Therefore, the Gurbani teaches to us only that can be called Jap which is agreeable with the Satigur (ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ, true Wisdom …), not what we think is to be the Jap (e.g. counting beads – ਮਾਲਾ ਫੇਰਨੀ – ‘robotic repetition of ‘Waheguru Waheguru‘ etc.)!

  • ਸੋ ਜਪੁ ਸੋ ਤਪੁ ਜਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਭਾਵੈ ॥: This is the ‘Jap’ and this is the ‘Tap’ that pleases (or looks good to) ‘Satigur‘. (sggs 509).

In short, once something is understood correctly then it becomes Ajapaa Jaap — the thing that always stays in the world becomes Ajapaa Jaap; or once a person learns a formula, then it abides in the mind forever…

  • ਸਾਸ ਸਾਸ ਸਾਸ ਹੈ ਜੇਤੇ ਮੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਰੇ ॥: With (all) breaths (i.e, ਲਗਾਤਾਰ-continually…), take care of the Naam through the Gurmat (i.e., unceasingly maintain the Divine Knowledge – ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨ – through the Gurbani’s Instruction). (sggs 980).
  • ਮੈ ਅਵਰੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਪੂਜਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਵਸਿ ਰਹੇ ॥ ਭੇਖੁ ਭਵਨੀ ਹਠੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਸਚੁ ਗਹਿ ਰਹੇ ॥੧॥: Mai avar giaan n dhiaan poojaa Hari Naam antari vasi rahe. Bhekh bhavnee hath n jaanaa Nanakaa sach gahi rahe ||1|| (sggs 843).
  • ਜਿਨਾ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਨ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾਂ ਮਨਿ ਮੰਤੁ ॥ ਧੰਨੁ ਸਿ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਸੋਈ ਸੰਤੁ ॥: Jinaa Saas Giraas na visarai… (sggs 319).
  • ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰੁ ਮਹਾ ਪੰਥੁ ਬਿਖੜਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਿ ਭਾਰਿ ਲਦਿ ਲੀਜੈ ॥੭॥: Agiaanu andheru mahaa panthu bikhraa ahankaari bhaari ladi leejai ||7|| (sggs 1326).
  • ਨਾਮਿ ਬਿਸਾਰਿਐ ਸਭੁ ਕੂੜੋ ਕੂਰਿ ॥: Naami bisaariai sabhu koorho koori (sggs 226).
  • ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੀਉ ਬੰਧੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥: Haumai vichi bhagti n hovaee… (sggs 560).
  • ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਹੀਐ ਦੇਹੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਜਿਹਵਾ ਜੋ ਜਪੈ ਹਿਆਇ ॥ ਕੋਈ ਜਾਣੈ ਕੈਸਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੨॥: Kiou kar kaheeai dehu veechaar. Bin jihavaa jo japai hiaai. Koee jaanai kesaa naaou ||2|| (sggs 1256).
  • ਅਖੀ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਵੇਖਣਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਕੰਨਾ ਸੁਨਣਾ ॥: Akhee baajhahu vekhanaa vinu kanaa sunanaa (sggs 139).
  • ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਇਸ ਕਾ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮੁ ॥: God’s Amrit Naam is like the nine treasures of the world (NOTE: Gurbani Re-defines the Pujaaree’s nine treasures here). It dwells in the human body itself. (sggs 293).
  • ਮਨ ਤਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮੰਤ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਤਨ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦ ॥: Man tan antari hari hari mant… (sggs 802).
  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਖੂਹਟਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ ਸਬਦੇ ਕਾਢਿ ਪੀਐ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥: Antari khooahataa amriti bhariaa… (sggs 571).
  • ਰਤਨੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਘਟ ਹੀ ਕੇ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤਾ ਕੋ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਭਗਵੰਤ ਭਜਨ ਬਿਨੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਓ ॥੨॥੧॥: Ratan(u) Naam (u) ghat hee kae bheetar… (sggs 703).
  • ਬੂਝਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਬਦੁ ਬੀਚਾਰਿ ॥: Boojhahu giaanee sabadu beechaari (sggs 840).
  • ਗਣਤੈ ਸੇਵ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਕੀਤਾ ਥਾਇ ਨ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਸਬਦੈ ਸਾਦੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਸਚਿ ਨ ਲਗੋ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਨ ਲਗਈ ਮਨਹਠਿ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਜੇ ਇਕ ਵਿਖ ਅਗਾਹਾ ਭਰੇ ਤਾਂ ਦਸ ਵਿਖਾਂ ਪਿਛਾਹਾ ਜਾਇ ॥: Gantai sev n hovaee keetaa thaai n paai … (sggs 1246).
  • ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥1॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Raam Raam sabhu ko karai kareeai raamu n hoi… (sggs 491).

8 comments

  1. I understand from this and other articles that Jap is to done by understanding gurbani, keeping that understanding in our minds while dealing with the outside world and living it.

    Thank you Veer Ji!

    So is ajappa jaap is to be done during the day doing our ‘Kaar-vihaar’ and jap with tongue is to be done while in solitude?

    As to how a person can lead both worldly and Spiritual Life side by side successfully has been beautifully explained in the SGGS as follows:
    • ਹਾਥ ਪਾਉ ਕਰਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਸਭੁ ਚੀਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਨਾਲਿ ॥੨੧੩॥: (sggs 1376).

    A sincere seeker or learner (i.e., Sikh) of the SGGS, for that reason, will not limit his Bhagti to a particular place or time. They constantly see the Universal Energy in everything and everywhere, and all the time. The limitation of time and place belongs only to hypocrites (Manmukhs, Saakat, Mayadhaaree) who have very limited vision.
    • ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਸਗਲੀ ਬੇਲਾ ॥: (sggs 1150)
    • ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਕੋ ਥਾਉ ॥: (sggs 167).
    • ਜਹ ਚਿਤਿ ਆਵਹਿ ਸੋ ਥਾਨੁ ਸੁਹਾਵਾ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਵਿਸਰਹਿ ਤਾ ਲਾਗੈ ਹਾਵਾ ॥੧॥: (sggs 563).
    • ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਨ ਦੇਖਿ ਹਜੂਰਿ ॥: (sggs 1174).
    • ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਤੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਤੁ ਵੇਲੈ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਇ ਜੀਉ ਮੇਰਾ ॥੫॥: (sggs 562).
    • ਜੇ ਵੇਲਾ ਵਖਤੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੀਐ ਤਾ ਕਿਤੁ ਵੇਲਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਨਾਮੇ ਰਤਿਆ ਸਚੇ ਸਚੀ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਇਕੁ ਤਿਲੁ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਿਨੇਹੀ ਹੋਇ ॥: (sggs 35).

  2. Waheguru g ka khalsa Waheguru g ki fateh. First of all, thank you very much Bhai
    T. Singh for giving away guru’s wisdom and explaining it to us. I understand from this and other articles that Jap is to done by understanding gurbani, keeping that understanding in our minds while dealing with the outside world and living it.
    This is Ajappa Jaap. My want to ask very humbly that in Gurbani, the importance of Amrit vela and Simran, jap or doing Sift-Salaah of lord has also been emphasized. Surely, what my small budhi understands that it is to be done through tongue, Rasna which has also been mentioned in gurbani. So is ajappa jaap is to be done during the day doing our ‘Kaar-vihaar’ and jap with tongue is to be done while in solitude?

  3. A quote from SGGS ji worth considering in this context as
    ਗੁਰੂ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਏਕੋ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਚਲਾਏ ॥ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਮੰਤੁ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਦੇਵੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਮਿਲਣੁ ਸੁਭਾਏ ॥੮॥੨॥੯॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 444}

  4. Satsriakal veer ji It is well understood and well explained.thanks a lot .let us all pray to waheguru ji that gurbani’s meanings should be inscribed on our hearts and we should apply the teachings of Gurbani in our routine life.Guru sab da bhala kre. Thanks

  5. Thank you veer Ji.

    ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai gur bin giaanu n hoi ||5|| (sggs 469).

  6. Satkar jog Gurmukh T.Singh jio
    Sat bachan ji…

    “… Thus, Jap simply means to understand the Gurbani (to attain Brahm Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ਗਿਆਨ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਕਰਨਾ…), and constant remembrance of that Understanding (ਸੂਝ-ਬੂਝ…) when transacting with the outside world of objects, sphere of emotions, and the realm of thoughts (ਫੁਰਨੇ, desires…)….

    Everything is very well explained in this shabad-vichar about what exactly Jap means.

    Mere veero Gyan(Gur) Parsad de gaffe vande ja rahe ne aake lai lo te kha lo karma valeyo kuch laha khat lo jo khatan aye ho is Ram garabh(Bhav sagar) vich.

    regards
    Das Gurpreet Singh

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