Japji in English

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English Translation
  • Please note that Gurbani in general is gender neutral when referring to God - So when translating into English, this gender-neutral stand has been impossible to maintain as the English language tends to be more gender-specific in this respect. So the reader is asked to adjust for this in their mind when reading the translation! (God in Sikhism is gender neutral and is referred to in Gurbani as both male & female.)


  • There is Only One God
  • Truth is God's Name
  • God is the Creator, Protector, Without Fear, No Enmity, The First Entity, Without Incarnations, Self-perpetuating; With the Guru’s grace:



  • True in the beginning, True Through the Ages, True even now and says Nanak will be True in the future |1|

Hymns 1,2 & 3

Hymn 1
  • By thinking and thinking again a hundred thousand times, one cannot find a solution.
  • By being quiet, peace cannot be found even if poised deep in meditation forever.
  • The hunger of the hungry cannot be quenched if food is carried as baggage.
  • One may possess a hundred thousand clever ideas, but even one will not accompany him/her*.
  • Then, How can one be purified? How can one throw away the falsehood? Says Nanak, By Abiding by the Command of God, which is written along with everyone! |1|
Hymn 2
  • By Your Command entities are formed. Your Command cannot be predicted.
  • With your Command one obtains respect and is praised.
  • By Your Command Ups & Downs occur. With Your Command is written suffering and happiness.
  • Without Your Command no one is blessed. With your Command one lives in perpetual migrations.
  • Everyone in Within Your Command, None is outside God's Order.
  • Says Nanak, “Whosoever realizes Your Command, Never speaks in ego.” ||2||
Hymn 3
  • Many sing of God's power, who has that power. Many sing of the Gift, who knows the sign.
  • Many sing of virtues, praises and greatness. Many sing of knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
  • Many sing about how God creates and destroys. Many sing about how God takes life and then restores it.
  • Many sing, chant and see far. Many sing that God watches, is ever-present one-on-one.
  • There is no shortage of those who preach and teach.
  • Millions upon millions offer millions of sermons and stories.
  • The Great Giver keeps on giving, the receivers grow weary of receiving.
  • Throughout the ages, the consumers keep on consuming.
  • The Commander, by Command, leads us to walk on the Path.
  • O Nanak, only God blossoms forth, carefree and untroubled. ||3||

Hymn 4,5 & 6:

Hymn 4
  • True Master, True is His Name - Meditate it with utmost humility and deep love.
  • Ask and plead, "Give, give" - The Giver gives in abundance.
  • What can we place before Him, by which the Darbaar can be seen?
  • What words can our mouth utter, listening to which His Love is gained?
  • In the Ambrosial period, dwell upon His True Name and praises.
  • With good past karmas, this robe is obtained, By His Grace, the Gate of Liberation is found.
  • O Nanak, know this well: Everything is in the Righteous Lord!||4||
Hymn 5
  • He cannot be established; By doing it cannot be done.
  • He Himself is Immaculate and Pure. Whoever serves Him receives honor.
  • O Nanak sing - "Only Lord has endless Virtues". Sing, listen, and keep your mind humble.
  • For your pains, take home every peace.
  • The Guru’s Word is the Sound-current, wisdom of the Vedas and remains the ultimate protector.
  • The Guru is Shiva, Gorak and Brahma; the Guru is Paarvati and Lakhshmi.
  • Even knowing Him, I cannot describe Him; He is beyond description in words.
  • The Guru has extinguished this doubt: All creatures have only the one God – May I never forget this!||5||
Hymn 6
  • If by bathing at holy places, He could be obtained, Without His Blessing one cannot get there
  • I gaze upon His Creation: without good karmas, what will they receive?
  • Within the mind are gems, jewels and rubies, when the Sikh listens to the One Guru.
  • The Guru has extinguished this doubt: All creatures have only the one God – May I never forget this!||6||

Hymn 7 to 11

Hymn 7
  • Even if you lived the four ages, or even ten times more,
  • and even if you were known throughout the nine continents and everyone followed you,
  • with a good name and reputation, the whole world sang your praises –
  • still, if you do not please the Lord, no one will ask about you!
  • Among worms, you would be considered a lowly worm, and even contemptible sinners would hold you in contempt.
  • O Nanak, He makes unworthy, worthy and gives virtues to the virtuous.
  • I know of no other who can grant so much to others!||7||
Hymn 8
  • Listening - the saints, priests, warriors and recluse. Listening - the earth, its support and sky.
  • Listening - the oceans, lands of the world and the nether regions. Listening - Death cannot even touch you.
  • O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss. Listening - pain and sin are erased.||8||
Hymn 9
  • Listening - Shiva, Brahma and Indra. Listening - even foul-mouthed people praise Him.
  • Listening - the technology of Yoga and the secrets of the body. Listening – the Holy Books, Philosophy and the Vedas.
  • O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss. Listening-pain and sin are erased.||9||
Hymn 10
  • Listening - truth, contentment and spiritual wisdom. Listening - bathe at the sixty-eight holy places.
  • Listening - reading and reciting, honor is obtained. Listening – one attains sure dedication.
  • O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss. Listening-pain and sin are erased. ||10||
Hymn 11
  • Listening - dive deep into the ocean of virtue. Listening - the religious scholars, spiritual teachers and emperors.
  • Listening - even the blind find the Path. Listening - the Unreachable comes within grasp.
  • O Nanak, the devotees are forever in bliss. Listening-pain and sin are erased. ||11||

Hymn 12 to 15

Hymn 12
  • The state of the Believer cannot be described.
  • The One who tries shall regret the attempt.
  • Neither paper nor pen can narrate.
  • Many study the concept of faith.
  • Such personality obtains purity.
  • If one mind understands another’s mind.||12||
Hymn 13
  • With faith, awareness and enlightenment is obtained.
  • With faith, all types of realms are understood.
  • The faithful does not face trouble.
  • The faithful do not go with the Messenger of Death.
  • Such personality obtains purity.
  • If one mind understands another’s mind.||13||
Hymn 14
  • The path of the faithful is never blocked.
  • The faithful shall depart with honor and fame.
  • The faithful do not follow empty religious rituals.
  • The faithful are firmly bound to the Dharma.
  • Such personality obtains purity.
  • If one mind understands another’s mind.||14||
Hymn 15
  • The faithful find the Door of Liberation.
  • The faithful uplift and redeem their family and relations.
  • The faithful are saved, together with the Sikhs of the Guru.
  • The faithful, O Nanak, do not wander around begging.
  • Such personality obtains purity.
  • If one mind understands another’s mind.||15||

Hymn 16

  • The chosen are accepted and preside.
  • The chosen are honored in the Court of the Lord.
  • The chosen look beautiful in the courts of kings.
  • The chosen meditate single-mindedly on the Guru.
  • What is said, mediate on this thought.
  • the actions of the Creator cannot be counted.
  • Bull, the Dharma, is the son of compassion;
  • Contentment patiently holds it in its place.
  • One who understands becomes pure.
  • What is the great load on the bull?
  • There is another world, then many, more and more!
  • Who holds their weight in balance with this force?
  • Beings, species, colors have names
  • were all inscribed by the Almighty’s Pen.
  • This written account is only known to a few?
  • How massive is this written account?
  • What awesome power, fascinating beauty!
  • Whose wonderful gifts! Who can know their limit?
  • He created the Universe with One Word!
  • Within it flow hundreds of thousands of rivers.
  • Think about the mighty Creative Potency?
  • I cannot even begin to describe You.
  • Whatever pleases You, All will be blessed,
  • You always protect us, Formless One!||16||

Hymn 17 to 18

Hymn 17
  • Countless mediate, countless yearn.
  • Countless worship, countless exercise self-restrain.
  • Countless recite granths and Vedas prayers.
  • Countless Yogis detached their minds from the world.
  • Countless devotees contemplate the Virtues and Wisdoms
  • Countless sacrifice; countless donate.
  • Countless warriors, face attack head on.
  • Countless in silence, focus their thoughts.
  • Think about the mighty Creative Potency?
  • I cannot even begin to describe You.
  • Whatever pleases You, All will be blessed,
  • You always protect us, Formless One!||17||
Hymn 18
  • Countless fools, blinded by ignorance.
  • Countless thieves and cheaters.
  • Countless impose their will by force.
  • Countless cut-throats and gather sins.
  • Countless sinners who keep on sinning.
  • Countless liars, wander lost in their lies.
  • Countless wretches, eat filth for food.
  • Countless slanders, make their heads heavy.
  • Lowly Nanak, gives this explanation.
  • I cannot even begin to describe You.
  • Whatever pleases You, All will be blessed,
  • You always protect us, Formless One!||18||

Hymn 19 to 20

Hymn 19
  • Countless names, countless places.
  • Inaccessible, unapproachable, countless celestial bodies.
  • Even to call them countless is to carry weight on your head.
  • The Word brings Naam; the Word brings Praise.
  • The Word brings wisdom and the singing of songs of His Glory.
  • The Word brings the written and spoken words and hymns.
  • The Word brings destiny written on one's forehead.
  • But Writer of the destiny – None are written on His Forehead.
  • As He proclaims, so do we receive.
  • Whatever You do, its in Your Name.
  • Without Your Name, there is no place at all.
  • Think about the mighty Creative Potency?
  • I cannot even begin to describe You.
  • Whatever pleases You, All will be blessed,
  • You always protect us, Formless One!||19||
Hymn 20
  • Hands, feet and the body that are polluted,
  • With water the dirt can be washed away.
  • Clothes that are soiled and stained by urine,
  • With soap they can be washed clean.
  • When the intellect is stained and polluted by sin,
  • That can be cleansed by the Color of the Naam.
  • Virtue and vice do not come by mere words;
  • actions repeated, again and again, are engraved on the soul.
  • What you plant is what you shall harvest.
  • O Nanak, by God's Command, we come and go.||20||

Hymn 21 to 22

Hymn 21
  • Pilgrimages, austere discipline, compassion and charity
  • these, by themselves, bring only an iota of merit.
  • By listening and believing bring humility in your mind;
  • Within the sacred inner shrine, cleanse your mind.
  • Lord, all virtues are Yours, none are mine.
  • Without good deeds, there is no worship.
  • Forever vibrate the Bani of Brahma.
  • O Mind, forever seek the Companionship of Truth.
  • What is that time, that moment? What is that day, that date?
  • What is that season, that month, when the Universe was created?
  • The Pandits, who have the writings of the Puraans, cannot provide this time.
  • The time is not known to the Qazis, who study the Koran.
  • The day and date are not known to the Yogis, nor is the month or the season.
  • The Creator who created this creation only He Himself knows.
  • How does one describe or give an opinion of Him or praise or get to know Him?
  • Nanak, everyone speaks of Him, one wiser than the next!
  • The Great Master with a Great Name by His doing - everything happens.
  • O Nanak, one who thinks he knows all, shall not move forwarded. ||21||
Hymn 22
  • Planets upon planets and hundreds of thousands of skies upon skies.
  • Forever and ever, one can search until one grows tired, the Vedas say one thing;
  • The scriptures speak of 18,000 worlds, in reality there is only One Universe.
  • If one had the knowledge, one could write the account, but it could not be finished.
  • Nanak, call Him Great, for He Himself knows all. ||22||

Hymn 23 to 24

Hymn 23
  • The praiser’s praise Him, but this is not how understanding is obtained!
  • The streams and rivers entering the ocean do not know its vastness.
  • Ocean sized kingdoms owners with mountains of material wealth.
  • Even an ant outweighs them, if the Lord doesn’t dwell in their mind. ||23||

Hymn 24
  • Countless don’t Praise Him; Countless don’t speak.
  • Countless don’t act; Countless don’t give.
  • Countless don’t see Him; Countless don’t listen.
  • Countless don’t worship Him, What’s in their mind?
  • Countless don’t realise the doings of the Almighty.
  • Countless don’t know of His scope and presence.
  • Countless yearn and struggle to know His limits,
  • but His limits cannot be found.
  • No one knows these Limits.
  • The more you describe, the more there is to be known.
  • Great is the Master high is His status.
  • Highest of the High, and still higher is His Name.
  • Only a few can get this high,
  • His Lofty and Exalted state is only known by them.
  • How Great He is? Only He knows Himself.
  • Nanak, only by His Grace and Doing do we receive His Gifts. ||24||

Hymn 25

  • His doings are beyond our written record.
  • The Great Giver does not hold anything back.
  • Where will the great warriors beg?
  • So many do not contemplate or dwell upon Him.
  • How many in pain break and waste away?
  • How many keep taking over and over again, and then deny it?
  • How many fools keep continuously consuming?
  • So many endure pain, deprivation and constant abuse.
  • Even these are Your Gifts, Great Giver!
  • Liberation from bondage comes only by Your Will.
  • No one else has any say in this.
  • If some fool should say otherwise,
  • he certainly will have to eat his words.
  • He Himself knows, He Himself gives.
  • Few, very few acknowledge this.
  • One, who is blessed to sing His Praises
  • Nanak, is the king of kings. ||25||

Hymn 26

  • Priceless are Virtues, Priceless are Dealings.
  • Priceless are Dealers, Priceless are Treasures.
  • Priceless are the comings; Priceless are taken away.
  • Priceless is Love for Him, Priceless are absorbed.
  • Priceless is Dharma, Priceless is His Court.
  • Priceless are the scales priceless are the weights.
  • Priceless are His Blessings, Priceless is the Banner and Insignia.
  • Priceless is His Mercy, Priceless is His Royal Command.
  • Priceless, O Priceless beyond expression!
  • By repeating continually remain absorbed in His Love.
  • The Vedas and Puraanas speak.
  • The scholars speak and lecture.
  • Brahma speaks Indra speaks.
  • The Gopis and Krishna speak.
  • Shiva speaks the Siddhas speak.
  • The many created Buddhas speak.
  • The demons speak the demi-gods speak.
  • The warriors, the heavenly beings, the silent sages, the humble Sewadars speak.
  • Many say He is obtained by speaking.
  • Many having spoken over and over have arisen and departed.
  • Having done all this, have it done again;
  • even then, they could not describe Him.
  • Whatever the Great one desires so shall transpire.
  • O Nanak, Only the True Lord knows.
  • If anyone presumes to describe God,
  • he shall be known as the greatest fool of fools! ||26||

Hymn 27 to 29

Hymn 27
  • What is that Place like? What is the House like? Where that Lord resides?
  • Numerous Sound-current vibrate simultaneously - Where are the musicians?
  • So many melodious Ragas are sung – Where are the singers?
  • Singing for You are the wind, water and fire; the King Dharma sings at Your Door.
  • Chitr and Gupt, the angels of the conscious and the subconscious who record actions sing; Dharma keeps writing and then thinks.
  • Sing, Shiva, Brahma and the Goddess of Beauty, fully decorated.
  • Sing, Indra, seated upon His Throne, with the deities at Your Door.
  • Sing, Yogis in their posture/trance; the holy priests in contemplation.
  • Sing, celibates, fanatics and the peacefully; Sing, the fearless warriors.
  • Sing, Pandits, the religious scholars who have studies the Vedas for many ages.
  • Sing, Mohinis, the enticer of hearts in this world, in paradise, and in the underworld of the subconscious.
  • Sing, celestial jewels created by You, and the sixty-eight holy places of pilgrimage.
  • Sing, brave and mighty warriors, Sing, the four sources of creation.
  • Sing, the planets, solar systems and galaxies, created and arranged by Your Hand.
  • Only those alone sing, who yearn for You, Your immersed and purified Bhagats.
  • Who else sings? They do not come to mind. O Nanak, What can be considered?
  • He and only He, the True Lord is always True and True is His Name.
  • He is, and shall always be. He shall never depart - the Creator of the Universe.
  • He created the world, with its various colors, species of beings, and the variety of Maya.
  • Having created the creation, He watches over it Himself, by His Greatness.
  • He does whatever He pleases. No order can be issued to Him.
  • He is the King - the King of kings. Nanak remains submissive to His Will. ||27||
Hymn 28
  • Make contentment your ear-rings, humility your begging bowl and meditation the body ash.
  • The thought of death; aspiration of the bride to be; and faith in the Lord be your walking stick.
  • Come as a traveller; All are fellow students; conquer your mind, and conquer the world.
  • Salutation! My humbly salutation to You.
  • The Primal One, the Pure Light, without beginning, without end. Throughout time you remain same. ||28||
Hymn 29
  • Make wisdom your food and compassion your attendant; The Sound-current vibrates in each and every heart.
  • You are Supreme Lord of all; wealth and miraculous spiritual powers are the tastes of others.
  • Union and separation both drive the world; only our destiny matters.
  • Salutation! My humbly salutation to You.
  • The Primal One, the Pure Light, without beginning, without end. Throughout time you remain same. ||29|||

Hymn 30 to 33

Hymn 30
  • The One Divine Mother conceived and gave birth to the three deities.
  • One the Creator of the World; One the Sustainer; and One the Destroyer.
  • Whatever He wishes, He makes to happen according to His Command.
  • He watches all, but none see Him! How mysterious is this?
  • Salutation! My humbly salutation to You.
  • The Primal One, the Pure Light, without beginning, without end. Throughout time you remain same. ||30||
Hymn 31
  • World upon world are His Seats of Authority and His Stores.
  • Whatever was put into them, was put there once and for all.
  • Having created the Universe, He watches over it.
  • Nanak, This is the True Creator’s True Creation.
  • Salutation! My humbly salutation to You.
  • The Primal One, the Pure Light, without beginning, without end. Throughout time you remain same. ||31||
Hymn 32
  • From the one tongue, if I had 100,000 tongues, and these were then multiplied by twenty more.
  • I would repeat, hundreds of thousands of times, the One Name of the Creator.
  • Tread this path to our Husband Lord, climbing these steps one merges with Him.
  • Hearing of talks of the cosmos, even worms want to compete.
  • Nanak, Only by His Grace is He obtained. The boastings of the false are a sham. ||32||
Hymn 33
  • Uttering brings power; silence brings no power.
  • Power is not gained by begging; giving doesn’t bring power.
  • Power is not gained by living; death doesn’t bring power.
  • Power is not gained by ruling with wealth and occult mental powers.
  • Power is not gained by understanding, spiritual wisdom and meditation.
  • Power is not gained by finding a way to escape from the world.
  • In whose Hand the Power is, He watches over all.
  • O Nanak, no one is high or low. ||33||

Hymn 34 to 35

Hymn 34
  • Nights, days, weeks and seasons;
  • wind, water, fire and the nether regions
  • in the midst of these, He established the earth as a home for Dharma.
  • Upon it, He placed creatures of various colors.
  • Their names are uncountable and endless.
  • By their karams and deeds will they be judged.
  • God Himself is True, and True is His Court.
  • There, in perfect grace sit the elect Controllers.
  • Through blessed Karmas, they receive their Mark.
  • The ripe and the unripe shall be judged there.
  • O Nanak, those go there who have worshipped. ||34||

Hymn 35
  • The Kingdom of Dharma has set rules.
  • Speak of the qualities of the realm of knowledge.
  • So many winds, waters and fires; so many Krishnas and Shivas
  • So many Brahmas fashioning forms of great beauty, adorned and dressed in many colors.
  • So many worlds and lands for working out karma. So very many lessons to be learned!
  • So many Indras, so many moons and suns, so many worlds and lands.
  • So many Siddhas and Buddhas, so many Yogic masters. So many goddesses of various kinds.
  • So many demi-gods and demons, so many silent sages. So many oceans of jewels.
  • So many ways of life, so many languages. So many dynasties of rulers.
  • So many intuitive people, so many selfless servants. O Nanak, Limitless is His limit! ||35||

Hymn 36 to 37

Hymn 36
  • In the realm of wisdom, spiritual wisdom reigns supreme.
  • The Sound current vibrates amidst the sounds and the sights of bliss.
  • In the realm of humility the beautiful Bani regins.
  • Forms of incomparable beauty are created and fashioned there.
  • These things cannot be described.
  • One who tries to speak of these shall regret the attempt.
  • The intuitive consciousness, intellect and understanding of the mind are shaped there.
  • The consciousness of the spiritual warriors and the beings of spiritual perfection, are shaped there. ||36||

Hymn 37
  • In the realm of karma, the Bani is Power.
  • Nothing else can prevail here.
  • The warriors of great power and immense courage.
  • In whom Ram dwells and is infused completely.
  • Myriads of Sitas are there, cool and calm in their majestic glory,
  • Their physical features are beyond description.
  • Neither do they die nor can they be robbed,
  • within whose minds the Lord Ram resides.
  • The devotees of many worlds dwell there.
  • They are in bliss; the True Lord dwells in their minds.
  • In the realm of Truth, the Formless Lord abides.
  • Having created, He watches over the Creation bestowing Grace and happiness.
  • There are planets, solar systems and galaxies.
  • If one describes them, there is no limit, no end.
  • There are worlds upon worlds of His Creation.
  • As He commands, so they exist.
  • He watches, contemplates and rejoices upon His Creation
  • O Nanak, description is extremely difficult! ||37||

Hymn 38 and Salok

Hymn 38
  • Let self-control be the furnace, and patience the goldsmith.
  • Let understanding be the anvil, and religion wisdom the tools.
  • Fear of God the bellows; fan the flames of your body's inner heat.
  • In the crucible of love, melt the Amrit Nectar of the Naam,
  • Forge the Shabad in the True mint.
  • Whoever is showered with His Grace, karma of their actions excel.
  • O Nanak, the Merciful Lord’s Glance uplifts and rescues them. ||38||

  • Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
  • Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap the entire world is at play.
  • Good deeds and bad are announced in the Presence of Lord Dharma.
  • According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.
  • Those who have meditated on the Naam have departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows
  • O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Lord’s Court, and many are saved along with them! ||1||

  • In Punjabi no gender qualities are assigned to God!

These are the Popular Banis of Sikhism

Mool Mantar | Japji | Jaap | Anand | Rehras | Benti Chaupai | Tav-Prasad Savaiye | Kirtan Sohila | Shabad Hazaray | Sukhmani | Salok Mahala 9 | Asa di Var | Ardas