This is a series of 16 videos, where you can learn how to read and pronounce Gurmukhi, the sacred script created by the Sikh Gurus.
The initial Gurmukhi script originated with Guru Nanak, who had his scribe Bhai Bala Ji write it out. Guru Angad Dev Ji continued formulating it through his bani, Paintees Akhar, “the 35 letters” and it continued to evolve beyond him. Guru Arjan compiled the Adi Granth and finalized the Paintees Akhar and there are banis in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib about it.
This script encodes the divine teachings through sound current, of the Sikh Gurus and many other enlightened saints.
You can progress through the videos and documents as you feel comfortable — where, and when it works best for you. Pause wherever you like to repeat things for better recall. Or, if something is unclear, you can move on without trying to absorb every detail initially. Enjoy the experience of Naad, the divine sound current, as you go.
Gurmukhi literally means “the mouth of the Guru, the light which illuminates the darkness.” It is written in Naad, or sacred science of sound, uniting us with the One Infinite Truth. It is a unique blessing from the mother-father God and Guru, a technique to help us live our highest self. Gurmukhi is like a spiritual food that heals, builds and elevates us in Guru’s path. It is a divine practice that helps us fulfill our sacred mission on this earth, give back to Creation once we are created, and experience our Soul.
Any and all of the spiritual tools given to us by Guru helps pave the way to a sweeter, brighter, more meaningful life. In turn, we pray to serve others humbly, and spread light and blessings to those around us.
The Video Content
Introduction: Sada Sat Simran Singh gives some background on Gurmukhi, divine sound current, and how it relates to spiritual practice
The following videos include live video, illustrations and animations to show how the Gurmukhi sounds are made.
Building Blocks of Gurmukhi: Phonetic segments made of Akhars (letters) and Maatras (vowels); demonstrated by Sada Sat Simran Singh and Guru Sadhana Kaur
Our basic study approach is to demonstrate the phonic building blocks of Gurmukhi: the components, and how they work together.
In Gratitude to the ‘Joy of Gurmukhi’ Contributors
We extend a big thank you to the many people who made this project possible.
- SS Sangeet Kaur and SS Manjit Kaur, who had the vision for this program and found all of the people needed to get it done!
- SS Sada Sat Simran Singh and Guru Sadhana Kaur were instrumental in providing the instructions and voice for each of the videos.
- Professor Sandra Dudek Twibell and MSS Hari Dharam Kaur Khalsa
- Gene Mederos and his New Mexico Film Resource (NMFR) nonprofit team, including Ashley Martinez and Amrit Khalsa, who performed all of the filming and video editing.
- An honorable mention goes to Kanwar Singh from “Art of Punjab” for the beautiful image shown on this page, which is titled “Gurgaddi Siri Guru Granth Sahib” and embodies our relationship with the Shabad Guru.
Our Best Effort
Note: This video course is one of many options to learn pronunciation and recitation of Gurmukhi. Also, we present here one way to create each of the sounds; many experts teach the sounds somewhat differently. We on the Joy of Gurmukhi team have done our best to create content that is accurate and user-friendly, with the support of several Gurmukhi, speech, and linguistic experts. We encourage you to find further resources to promote your learning journey, such as studying with a Granthi, singing and doing Banis with Sangat, or checking out the document “Additional Resources” posted here.