Reflections by Hari Bhajan Kaur Khalsa
The third Paurī transforms insufficiency into sufficiency, turns depression into elevation, and low self-esteem into complete self-confidence. – from the Teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan (1)
The third Paurī of JapJī talks about the unfathomable vastness of the Divine, and the innumerable ways of praising and describing this Infinite Source. Yet, even with all the millions of possibilities, we are reminded that we can find our way by simply dwelling in gratitude, and recognizing the source of all gifts with reverence. This simple focus is incredibly empowering and inspires confidence during the ups and downs of life, leaving us with a feeling of steadiness and calm contentment. It is no wonder that Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan said this Paurī “transforms insufficiency into sufficiency, turns depression into elevation and transforms low self-esteem into complete self-confidence.” (1) It is interesting to observe that so many people who are truly happy and prosperous dwell in a detached and content state of gratitude and remembrance. Prosperity and all good things seem to magnetize towards such people, and it is this state that this stanza helps to strengthen.
This Paurī also awakens in us an awareness of the many paths, the many ways to relate to the Source and to name the Infinite Spirit, so we come to appreciate all the facets of the creative manifestation around us. The way each person expresses their connection to their own soul and the Great Cosmic Soul is honored and referred to as a song in this Paurī. And indeed, our unique expression makes us all a song of God, some songs happy, sad, blissful, and some sacred beyond this realm.
This verse reminds us, however, that beyond the multitude of paths and possibilities, there is only one Giver whose Grace leads us to walk on the path of our own Dharma. This reminds me of a lesson I learned when I was studying Raag, or classical Indian music. My Ustadji (term for a classical Indian music teacher) said that you need to “clean your inside” and “purify your thoughts and your body” to be able to truly sing. This advice highlights how purity of consciousness is necessary to allow the subtle, profound power of the sacred words to penetrate the psyche of the listener. Regardless of any style or technique we can use to sing- or any spiritual path we follow- the true secret to expressing the full extent of our soul’s song is said to be inner purity and, in this elevated consciousness, we find in the Source of all to be our anchor and our center in the infinite ocean of possibilities.
Realizing how inner purity helps us to sing and express our soul’s song better also brings up the importance of conscious communication, which is another lesson within the third Paurī. Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan said that it is very important not to speak impulsively, and that only the words of those who speak consciously become meaningful. This will bring great abundance of opportunities, and will make you physically and spiritually rich. (2) As the Paurī reminds us, we can sing and sing, and give millions of sermons, but in the end these are just words; descriptions of what is beyond description. And it is the consciousness in our speech- and how much our lifestyle and actions matches it- that can determine how impactful our words and praises are.
It all begins with the inner richness of consciousness which opens the doors to prosperity and self-esteem, and living in sufficiency.
It is our consciousness, this Paurī suggests, that should be in line with the Will of the Creator, the universal flow of truth, that gives and gives even beyond our capacity to receive. It is in aligning our consciousness with this universal flow that we achieve impact beyond our limited self.
This third Paurī of JapJī is a true jewel that is best known by experiencing it. Reciting it eleven times a day or more can expand our consciousness beyond our ego’s limitations. It is a great tool for uplifting our lives to flourish with a healthy self esteem and with all needs provided for. And as our own inner ‘song’ becomes trusting, truthful, kind, and aware, the highest self can more easily shine through and inspire all. May these teachings serve the songs of humanity so peace may prevail on earth. Sat Nām.
1. Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher, 80.
2. The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, October 8, 1985, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Hari Bhajan Kaur is an inspiring singer, who was born in Mexico. From a very young age, she began singing Gurbani Kirtan. When she was eight years old, she went to India and started attending a boarding school. She became interested in Indian Classical style of music called Raag and trained under a Raag master, Ustadji Narinder Singh Sandhu. Hari Bhajan’s music has been greatly inspired by eastern spiritual practices and lifestyle. Her songs have been adopted around the world by people of all faiths, for meditation, celebration and prayer. The spiritual music of Hari Bhajan Kaur is not only harmonically beautiful but is also inspiring and healing. Her music is a blend of eastern and western styles. She mostly sings the hymns or shabads written by saints and divine Sikh masters of the past. Hari Bhajan Kaur has touched thousands of hearts with her range of meditative mantra music to spiritual songs, in both English and Sanskrit. Her music is filled with compassion, prayer and spiritual strength. Her angelic and healing voice touches the heart and lifts the spirit of the listener.