Reflections on the Seventeenth Paurī from JapJī Sāhib by Gurū Nānak

“The seventeenth Paurī brings freedom and resurrection.”

~from the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan (1)


“If you can understand these three Paurīs, you can understand all about life, God and self.  First the Gurū gave the positive state of mind, then the negative and then the solution. The positive state of mind is the seventeenth Paurī. The negative state of mind is in the eighteenth Paurī. The solution is in the nineteenth Paurī.” – Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan (2)

Reflections on the 17th Pauri from S.S. Snatam Kaur Khalsa:

There are key moments in Japjī Sahib when we shift gears into a particular state of consciousness.  The beginning of the 17th Paurī is one of those moments, and there is a particular energetic pattern that we experience all the way through the 19th Paurī.

The Gurmukhi word that anchors us into this new experience is asankh. It means countless. There is no way of measuring.  It is beyond comprehension.  It is Infinity.  I find it helpful as I am reciting these Paurīs to anchor my awareness into this word as it allows my mind to be free of its normal way of operating.

In this realm that Gurū Nānak is bringing us into, this realm of Sach Khanḏ or the true home, we are in the Infinite state of the One.  As you recite the word asankh, you can energetically project your mind, and your entire being into this Infinite understanding of the Cosmos. Yet, without us doing anything at all, the word itself has an energetic effect I believe. The sound of it is a bit like a stone dropping in a pool of water.  Although the effect of the word is to bring us into a Cosmic state of awareness, the actual mechanics and sound of the word anchors us in.

In the 17th Paurī we recognize the countless blessings of the universe. We bring our awareness to them, one by one. There are countless meditations, countless loves, countless worship services…. and it goes on and on.  I encourage you to look at the meaning and feel the essence of each one.  In this way we are given the opportunity to feel our energetic allies. In the universal nature of Gurū Nānak, we can go beyond our particular spiritual path and tune into the many spiritual paths, the many incredible efforts of devotion on this planet.

Here are some of the words translated for your reference:

Jap: meditations

Bhā-u: love

Pūjā: worship services

Bhagat: devotees

Dātār: givers

Sūr: heroic warriors

In this Paurī, we are connecting with this very real positive energy on the planet that is outside of us, but it is also inside as well. Let us recognize within us all of these positive characteristics. Then let us take it a step further and look at the energy patterns of the mind.

When we get into a positive state of mind, we are no longer limited, we are free, and we can see all of the possibilities.  In order to do this requires good self esteem and strong character and is an important element in personal expansion and growth. It is saying “Yes!” to life.

However, if it is not in a balanced state, we may start saying yes to things that were never really meant for us in the first place and then we experience burn out.  Keep going in your journey with Japjī Sahib, as Gurū Nānak gives us the 18th Paurī to balance us out and finally the 19th Paurī to show us the way.



(1) Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher, 80.

(2) The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, July 11, 1982.


*This article was originally shared in a 40-Day Japji Sadhana hosted by Sikh Dharma International in partnership with other legacy organizations.

Snatam Kaur 

Snatam Kaur is an American Kīrtan singer and peace activist raised in the Sikh and Kundalini Yoga tradition as taught by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan. She is known internationally for her ability to transform traditional chants into a contemporary sound that appeals to the modern ear and awaken an ancient yearning in the soul. While traveling across the globe on tour, she also teaches the art and science of Shabad Guru the experience of transformation through sound from the Sikh tradition. For more information, please visit


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