Sukhmani Sahib – A journey towards Spirituality: Spiritual Translation, took Years of Dedicated work by Volunteers. (English Edition)carlo
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The word Sukhmani is rendered into English as “consoler of the mind.” The entire poem has been translated into English more than once under some commonly preferred titles, "Jewel of peace", “Psalm of peace” or “Song of peace”, signifying the soothing effect it has on the mind of the reader. Sukh literally means peace or comfort and mani means mind or heart. ( ਭਣੀ Sukh in
Gurmukhi can also mean jewel, gem, precious stone.).
The couplet, "Sukẖmanī sukẖ amriṯ parabẖ nĝm. Bẖagaṯ janĝ kai man bisrĝm. Rahĝo" translates to, "Sukhmani: Peace & pure ambrosial Nectar are in God’s Name. The devotees’ mind abide in bliss and calm peace. ||Pause||" constituting rahau, the only one in the composition, which means pause or rest and which is an equivalent of the Hebrew word selah occurring in the Psalms, sums up the most characteristic feature of this bani. According to this couplet, Sukhmani is the bringer of the bliss of the Lord‟s name; it dwells in the hearts of those who love Him.
One of the fundamental texts of the Sikh faith, the Sukhmani presents a complete scheme of the teachings of the Sikh faith. While each astpadi has a fresh vision to impart, a particular aspect of Truth to unfold, the whole text may be regarded as the reiteration of basic themes such as Divine immanence, Divine compassion, abundance of grace, God‟s succouring hand, the merit of devotion, of holy company and humility. With such reiteration, the composition as a whole has a remarkable gripping quality reinforced by the striking imagery which in stanza after stanza brings home to the seeker the truths he must own.
Sukhmani is a theological statement of the major tenets of Sikhism expressed in a devotional poetic form. Recited by the Sikhs as a part of their morning prayer, it is one of the easier texts to learn, in the Guru Granth Sahib. It is similar in syntax and structure, though its essential meaning will elude one not attuned to the spiritual experience and the idiom and phraseology of gurbani.
Structure of Sukhmani
The Sukhmani comprises twenty-four astpadis or cantos, each comprising of eight Pauris or stanzas. They are composed in the metre chaupai. A salok or couplet precedes each astpadi. Also each Pauri consists of 5 couplets consisting of 10 Tuks or lines. The first seven stanzas of the astpadi explore the theme stated in the preceding saloks and the eighth sometimes sums up the astpadi but, more often, becomes a paean of praise placing the theme in the context of an overall vision of Eternal Reality. This structure is maintained throughout the composition, from Astpadi to Astpadi. The theme of the Astpadi may give the impression that no traceable progression of thought is taking place as in a philosophical work, but there is a continuing unity of spiritual and ethical tone throughout the text.