Sukhmani Sahib

Guru Arjan Dev ji
Guru Arjan Dev ji, author of Sukhmani Sahib

Good quality English translations of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji are very rare, if any. In any case, the words of Brahmgyanis (People who are in tune with the Celestial Formless Creator) can be understood completely only by Brahmgyanis. It is like asking someone who has never seen an elephant, but only read about it, to describe how an elephant looks like. However, your spiritual journey needs a starting point. For me, this has always been kathas (spoken discourse) of Giani Maskeen ji, or the Punjabi translation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji by Prof. Sahib Singh ji.

Please find attached interpretations of the Sukhmani Sahib (one of the many prayers withing Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji) in English. This commentary pulls out key thoughts from the Sukhmani Sahib and tries to explain. This is work in progress, only a short part completed so far.

Link below:

Sukhmani Sahib


Gurbani Plaque

The Plaque
The Plaque

It has been some time since my last post on this blog, things have been quite busy. Today I am sharing a Gurbani Plaque with you all, for the purpose of printing and putting at home or office.

Its available in SVG format as well, which means it can be enlarged to any size, as large as needed. For those without the knowledge on using this format, a JPG format is also available (which is a simple image):

Finally, a PDF format is also available – which also stores the image as a vector, and hence can be enlarged:

Please do share your thoughts, as always.


Releasing: Gurbani search for mobile


Gurbani searching on the mobile used to be tough. Symbian and Android phones do not support Unicode with Indic support, which is required to use gurmukhi websites. Opera Mini allowed us to read gurbani, but entering search text is a different matter.

I have developed a web page that allows you to do this, but rather by entering roman letters. For example, enter ‘k’ instead of ‘ਕ’.

To use this go to:


Mobile users can use this within Opera Mini (with a configuration setting change as shown here: enter config: as a URL which takes you to advanced settings page. Set Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts to Yes and then Save), for best results. Opera Mini uses cloud computing to render Gurmukhi text, and therefore doesn’t need that support on the mobile itself.

That being said, this tool can be used anywhere you like – on the desktop or any mobile browser. Detailed instructions for using it are on the page itself.

This is envisaged to be updated in future to allow search options powered by various other websites, as and when more powerful search is available. Click here for a short history of Gurbani search.


Gurbani search on Nokia!

After working on this for more than two months, I am successful in setting up my Nokia N97 phone to be able to search Gurbani. I normally use for this, but Gurmukhi characters would not show.

Nokia N97
Nokia N97
After working on this for more than two months, I am successful in setting up my Nokia N97 phone to be able to search Gurbani. I normally use for this, but Gurmukhi characters would not show.

One easy way to fix this, without adding Gurmukhi Unicode fonts to the mobile, is to install Opera Mini (not the full version, Opera Mobile). Now, enter config: as a URL which takes you to advanced settings page. Set Use bitmap fonts for complex scripts to Yes and then Save. That’s it, now visit

If you want to add Gurmukhi support to other applications also, the solution is here; in short:

  1. Download this file
  2. Unzip, and upload the four TTF files to the /resource/fonts folder on the memory card. Retain the file names.
  3. Restart the phone!

Now, visit using the default browser. It works! (although the rendering is still incorrect but its better than nothing). Opera Mini based method advised first has correct rendering also, although it will involve higher data download.

I use a combination of both, for best results. However, the second solution comes with a caveat: once the phone is using these fonts, if you connect it to the PC in the mass media mode, the phone reboots. To avoid this each time you need to connect, you will need to remove the card (by pressing the power butting, going all the way down and selecting the remove card option; and then physically removing the card) and then attach the phone to the PC. If you want to connect the card itself to the PC, you will need to use a card reader.

This should also work for other Nokia phones, including 5800EX although I have tried it only for N97.

Once I did this, I was also able to read Gurmukhi emails using the Gmail mobile app. Also, there is a nice browser called UC which can be downloaded from here and also can render Gurmukhi once these fonts are used.

Note that once you update fonts using this approach, all content on the phone will be displayed using this font. If you do not like that, you can always go back and remove these four files and restart the phone.

I am also eagerly awaiting the release of Symbian version of GurbaniAnywhere which will allow me to search Gurbani even without Internet access.

NOTE: Please do post comments if you know of other, better ways of doing this, especially those that do not require an internet connection.

UPDATE 17th Jan 2012: There is now an App for NOKIA for this purpose (please see comment below). Can be installed from


Being blind

Talks about what, according to Guru Nanak, is the definition of being blind.

While reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib, I came across the following:

ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਅੰਧਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿ ਹੁਕਮਹੁ ਅੰਧਾ ਹੋਇ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਨ ਬੁਝਈ ਅੰਧਾ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੋਇ ॥ ੩ ॥

This is Unicode text for Gurmukhi so hopefully everyone should be able to read. If not, try downloading Unicode font. If there are still problems, here is a transliteration:
So kyo andha aakhiye ji Hukamo andha hoye, Nanak Hukam na bujhayi andha kahiye soyi.

Here is what it means:
How can someone be called blind if he was made blind through the God’s Will? Says Nanak, one who does not understand God’s Will is the one who should be called blind.

In other words, Guru Nanak wants us to understand that nothing is within our control, and everything is happening through His Will. Unless we can understand that, imbibe that in our lives – we are blind.

I encourage readers to try and understand Gurbani – any translation can never create the same feelings as the original. While translation can be a means, it is not an end. I enjoyed reading this, and wanted to share the Guru’s definition of blindness.


Gurbani Wallpaper

Attached below is a Gurbani wallpaper that I have created and intend to submit to for inclusion in their wallpaper collection for downloads. It comes in six flavours, each slightly different – select the one that you like most.
Saajanada 1 Saajanada 2 Sajanada 3 Sajanada 4 Saajanada 5 Saajanada 6

The wallpaper is a composite: the pebbles background was photographed by me in Goa, the Gurmukhi text and meanings is computer graphics, but the Ik Onkar is not. The Ik Onkar is also a photograph taken in slowshutter, and with a flashlight that I moved by hand to make the shape.

TinuURL link to this entry:


Deh Shiva bar mohe

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, first Indian Sikh prime minister is undergoing a confidence motion as I write this. He invoked a war prayer by Guru Gobind Singh Ji while introducing the motion. The meaning of the prayer is very well narrated here. I quote below the relevant section:

“Daahay shiva bur mohaay eaahay sub karman tay kabhuun na taruun
Na daruun aar saun jab jaayaay laruun nischaay kar apuni jeet karuun
Aar sikh ho apanay hi man ko eah laluch ho gun tau uchuruun
Jab aav ki audh nidhan banaay aut hi run main tab jhonnj maruun”

Shiva, God Almighty
Pray do confer
A blessing on me
From Pious deeds
I should not flee

And in a battle
There shouldn’t occur
Any fear in me
Determined I may spur
Myself to victory

And Pray Almighty
Let my mind gather
A lesson for me
A craving to utter
Praises of Your Majesty

When the end is nigh
Let me then stir
Myself to ecstasy
And enter
The battlefield and die

(translation by J S Chadha)

In the prayer, “Shiva” stands for God Almighty, who is the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer. (Once you have decided Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same person, you can refer to him by any of those names.) Same goes for “Ram”, which literally means One who is Omnipresent.

An explanation in my own words: God, please grant that I may never back out from the path of good deeds. If I have to go to war and fight (towards the good cause), that I may be the victor. That I may have only one greed in my mind, which is for the utterance of Your Bounties. When the end of my life is near, that I may die on the battle-field fighting the enemy.

I wish the Akali leaders would support the Sikh Prime Minister. Issuing an Edict would be taking a political matter too much into the religious domain. All the best Mr.Prime Minister 🙂


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