Sri Guru Granth Sahib on dance

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Bhangra by the 3 Singhs and Singhnia?

This article is part of the series on the "Message of Gurbani"

This articles lists Gurbani relating to dancing and singing which are activities where many preconceived prejudices and views exist in the Sikh and Punjabi community. Singing and dancing are great traditions of Punjab which have been in existence for many thousands of years. These traditions are encouraged and supported by Sikhi and Gurbani provided that they are used as a positive, communal and constructive function for unity and celebration of society. When used to escalate ones ego or pride; or for self-excitation; or for sensual gratification, these same activities are condemned by the Guru. The Guru tells us:

Sikhism is not against Dance. Dance was integral part of some of famous saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Peer Makhdoom etc. Sikhism is against Dancing which is done to please others, like Cabre Dancing, Belly Dancing, Mujra etc, the dancing whose motive is to take away from lord But dance which is done on lord name is said to be good. Sikhism Says it is better to stress more on listen and enjoy the essence of gurbani from inside. But some persons in ecstacy just shake their head and move their body only he knows the taste of that. We people just criticise on Dance. Now come back to article if you would read following lines you would find that Dance is not said wrong in any of Gurbani lines instead gurus have given dance a step of ecstacy. If Dance would be such bad thing then why gurus used such lines in their bani?

Sikhism is against those dances which bring people far away from god to hell. Dance of Prostitutes etc.

ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸ੝ਹਾਵਣਿਆ ॥ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਗਾਵੈ ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਨਾਚੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਚਿਤ੝ ਲਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

हउ वारी जीउ वारी हरि हरि नामि सढ़हावणिआ ॥ गढ़रमढ़खि गावै गढ़रमढ़खि नाचै हरि सेती चितढ़ लावणिआ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥

Ha­o vĝrī jī­o vĝrī har har nĝm suhĝvaṇi­ĝ. Gurmukẖ gĝvai gurmukẖ nĝcẖai har sėṯī cẖiṯ lĝvaṇi­ĝ. ॥1॥ rahĝ­o.
I am a sacrifice, my soul is a sacrifice, to those who look beautiful in the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.

The Gurmukhs sing , the Gurmukhs dance, and focus their consciousness on the Lord. ((1)(Pause))

Singing and dancing are great to lift ones mood and bring brightness into the mind; they also provide great exercise and are very beneficial for the circulation of blood in the body. However, when you sing and dance, remember that only by the Hukam of God are you enjoying all these wonderful activities. Keep your focus on the Almighty. With each motion remember Him!

ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਵਿਚਹ੝ ਆਪ੝ ਗਵਾਇ ॥
Gurmukẖ niraṯ har lĝgai bẖĝ­o. Pūrė ṯĝl vicẖahu ĝp gavĝ­ė.
The Gurmukh's dance is to embrace love for the Lord;

to the beat of the drum, he sheds his ego from within.

ਵਾਜਾ ਮਤਿ ਪਖਾਵਜ੝ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਅਨੰਦ੝ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਚਾਉ ॥

ਝਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਝਹੋ ਤਪ ਤਾਉ ॥ ਇਤ੝ ਰੰਗਿ ਨਾਚਹ੝ ਰਖਿ ਰਖਿ ਪਾਉ ॥੧॥
ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਜਾਣੈ ਸਾਲਾਹ ॥ ਹੋਰ੝ ਨਚਣਾ ਖ੝ਸੀਆ ਮਨ ਮਾਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

vĝjĝ maṯ pakẖĝvaj bẖĝ­o. Ho­ė anand saḝĝ man cẖĝ­o.

Ėhĝ bẖagaṯ ėho ṯap ṯĝ­o. Iṯ rang nĝcẖahu rakẖ rakẖ pĝ­o. ॥1॥
Pūrė ṯĝl jĝṇai sĝlĝh. Hor nacẖṇĝ kẖusī­ĝ man mĝh. ॥1॥ rahĝ­o.

Make your intellect your instrument, and love your tambourine; thus bliss and lasting pleasure shall be produced in your mind.

This is devotional worship, and this is the practice of penance. So dance in this love, and keep the beat with your feet. ॥1॥
Know that the perfect beat is the Praise of the Lord; other dances produce only temporary pleasure in the mind. ॥1॥Pause॥

ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਵਿਚਹ੝ ਆਪ੝ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ .....
ਗ੝ਰਮ੝ਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਜ੝ਗਤਿ ਸਚ੝ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਦ੝ਖ੝ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
Gurmukẖ niraṯ har lĝgai bẖĝ­o. Pūrė ṯĝl vicẖahu ĝp gavĝ­ė....
Gurmukẖ bẖagaṯ jugaṯ sacẖ so­ė. Pakẖand bẖagaṯ niraṯ ḝukẖ ho­ė. ॥3॥
The Gurmukh's dance is to embrace love for the Lord; to the beat of the drum, he sheds his ego from within.....
For the Gurmukh, loving devotional worship is the way to the True Lord. But the dances and the worship of the hypocrites bring only pain. ॥3॥

ਤੇਰਾ ਜਨ੝ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਗ੝ਨ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ਰਬਾਬ੝ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਤਾਲ ਘ੝ੰਘਰੂ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦ੝ ਵਜਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Ŧėrĝ jan niraṯ karė gun gĝvai. Rabĝb pakẖĝvaj ṯĝl gẖungẖrū anhaḝ sabaḝ vajĝvai. ॥1॥ rahĝ­o.
Your humble servant dances and sings Your Glorious Praises.

He plays upon the guitar, tambourine and cymbals, and the unstruck sound current of the Shabad resounds. ॥1॥Pause॥

ਖੰਡ ਬ੝ਰਹਮੰਡ ਤ੝ਰੈ ਗ੝ਣ ਨਾਚੇ ਜਿਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਤ੝ਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭੇ ਹੀ ਨਾਚੇ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਖਾਣੀ ਚਾਰੀ ॥੫॥
Kẖand barahmand ṯarai guṇ nĝcẖė jin lĝgī har liv ṯumĝrī. Jī­a janṯ sabẖė hī nĝcẖė nĝcẖeh kẖĝṇī cẖĝrī. ॥5॥
The planets and solar systems dance in the three qualities, as do those who bear love for You, Lord.
The beings and creatures all dance, and the four sources of creation dance. ॥5॥

ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਨਿਹਾਲੇ ਸਾਸ ॥ ਵਾ ਕੇ ਗਲੇ ਜਮ ਕਾ ਹੈ ਫਾਸ ॥੩॥
Pūrė ṯĝl nihĝlė sĝs. vĝ kė galė jam kĝ hai fĝs. ॥3॥
She dances to the beat, exciting the breath of those who watch her.

But the noose of the Messenger of Death is around her neck. ॥3॥

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗ੝ਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਝ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜ੝ਗਤਿ ॥ ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮ੝ਕਤਿ ॥੨॥
Nĝnak saṯgur bẖeti▫ai pūrī hovai jugaṯ. Hasanḝi▫ĝ kẖelanḝi▫ĝ painanḝi▫ĝ kẖĝvanḝi▫ĝ vicẖe hovai mukaṯ. ॥2॥
O Nanak, meeting the True Guru, one comes to know the Perfect Way.

While laughing, playing, dressing and eating, he is liberated. ॥2॥