The First 5 Steps of Japji

A Gurdwara lecture on April 2, 1989 at the Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, by Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

In the first five steps of the Japji, the discussion how to find God; how how to get rid of the lies which one faces every day; and how life has to be conducted and understood, not for personal reason or impersonal reason, but for happiness, is very well described. Sometime we just read those lines as a routine and do not understand where the route is leading us too. It has become my experience from last twenty years,  people listen what you speak, but they understand what they understand, what you speak.  So there is a big gulf – what you say and what somebody hear.

Once I said to somebody, I said, ‘Love is everything, but just see love remains pure and love.’

So he went to the girl and said, ‘Yogiji has blessed me.  Therefore, we are in love; it’s all okay; he has agreed.’

Fanatically she called me, she said, ‘What is this?’ And I said to her, I said, ‘I said simple thing.  What is the complicated affair in that?’

In this world of ours, there are three wills:  God’s will, good will and the will of the individual. If you accept your individual will, you can achieve a lot; you can work out certain things, but must understand it will be your individual capacity; it will not be more than that.  If you have good will, then it will be you plus all the good will you have.  You can achieve that much with it, not more, not less.  But if you accept the God will, then it’s not you at all. Then it’s Gods will. Good and bad, when you accept Gods will, then there are lot of things which happens, which you neither can interpret, nor you can understand and nor you can relate to.

Doesn’t matter how big ocean liner you are sitting in,  but when it is in the middle of the ocean and storm comes, it’s not more than a matchbox.  It doesn’t have even the capacity. The biggest war ship Bismarck which Germany created with the best tonnage, the allies could sink it,  because before when it was tested out they understood that it is the mightiest ship which can penetrate through the very surface of the ocean and can be stable.  So they understood it’s a very stable target, so they don’t have to miss an inch.  Something which was created to be positive, became its death sentence. Man will was, the good will was that the Bismarck ship can go through any ocean, at any time, under any circumstances and make it.  But they never understood, it is a sitting a duck and a best target which the enemy can have.

Our will is based on our microscopic understanding of our own world. God’s will is microscoping understanding of us plus telescopic understanding of environments. Majority of the people do not accept God’s will.  Some people do not even accept goodwill.  They want to do by their will.  They shall suffer. It’s a very painful life.  Because then you have to understand.  Individual gets up every morning with a doubt.  The most spiritual person, when gets up in the morning, he says whether I am spiritual today or not, let us see to the evening.

The story goes like, that there was a one Muslim peer, he was sitting with his disciple and meditating and a prostitute went by and she said, ‘Oh Peer, the tail of my dog is whiter than your beard or your beard is whiter than the tail of my dog?’

Peer said, ‘Lady, God bless you, I cannot answer this, but I will try to meditate and find the answer.  If answer comes, I will let you know.’

The disciple told Peer that, ‘Everyday the Angel Israel comes and talks to you.  Angels comes and bless you and you cannot answer this little question?  Do you know who she was? She is a prostitute of this town. God, you should have answered her; rather changed her mind; rather done something.’

Peer said, ‘Calm down.  Her question is very unique.  It’s much more and beyond me that I can answer.’

He looked at his master and he said, ‘You have a doubt?’

He said, ‘No, in case of doubt, I can solve it.  It’s beyond doubt, I don’t know.  That’s why I couldn’t answer.’

Days passed by; month passed by and one day the Peer said to the disciple, he said, ‘(Shehzade), Prince, go and get that woman and ask her, I am ready to answer.’ He was very curious.  He went running and asked her that Peer has called you to give you the answer whether the tail of the dog is whiter than his beard or not.

Those of you who wants to be a saint must understand one thing for for ever (‘Bhagta ki chaal nirali, chaal nirali, bhagta keri, bikham marag chalna.’ It’s in Anand Sahib:  the path of the saint is different.  Their path is so different and painful that no ordinary man can walk.  But they do walk through that path, with that smile, which an ordinary person cannot even walk through the path of roses.  That’s the difference between a man of God and man of man.

So this prostitute came and said, ‘Yes Peer, is the tail of my dog is whiter than your beard, or the tail of dog, look at it.’

Peer opened his eyes and said, ‘Lady, my beard is whiter than the tail of your dog.  Thank you very much for realizing that.’

Then he was going to close his eyes and the lady said, ‘You took about month and a half to say this.’

And he said, ‘I had a month and a half to live.  God knows in month and a half, what would have happened to my life and I would have got spotted and it would not have been white as it is. Now I am standing in the door with my Allah, with my God, now can correctly answer you. ‘It is whiter than the tail of your dog.’ And he closed his eyes and passed away.

The story tells us that how perfect you may be, you will get up in the morning with a doubt. How your day will be? A spiritual man’s day starts with spiritual doubt; a business man’s day starts with business doubt; a passionate man gets up with a passionate doubt; a lover gets up in his love’s doubt; idiot gets up in his misfortune’s doubt; a liar gets up, how many, whether he can lie good today or not.

So everybody has a set frequency and with that frequency, they all get up in the morning in that doubt, that that day, what they are going to do?  At night, when they are tired, all men do not take account of their life. They do not account for their life; they do not account for their day.  That’s the highest insult a man gives to God.  Highest insult in this world is when at night, which is a Kirtan Sohila time, you do not see at the balance sheet of your day.  Because if ‘yanat din kun . . . ‘, ‘yanat’ means misappropriation. God gave you breath for the day.  You consciously bad or good used it.  At least balance the books at night.  The breath which God gave you, how you used it?  Good or bad?  Nobody is telling you that you are supposed to use them all good; nobody is telling you that you are supposed to use them all bad.  But question is, you did use them, and you went through the time and space, which was God’s will, parallel to good will, parallel to your will.  But majority of the people, do not care. Amrit Vela Kalika Manai. Kalika is the goddess Prachand Shakti.  Its symbol is double-edged sword.  Kalika Prachand Shakti.  When Kundalini Surjee, that Prachand, Prachand means it bursts out.  Prachand Shakti is Shakti which is not dormant, which is not that you can see.

One day, you as a woman, should dress up in your western clothes and try to be very beautiful about it and go and just assess the feeling.  And next day, at the same hour, dress up in a perfect Bana.  Perfect. Not half way, halfway house, which you normally do.  You make stupid of yourself most of the time. You want to go and win, but you do not want to use your tools.  One who does not use his spiritual tools is an acknowledged fool.  There is nothing to do about it. Winning comes to the spirit.  It doesn’t come to your ego.   Ego carries you.  It does not carry your victory.  If you have any misunderstanding that with your ego you will win, you will rot in the hell right on the earth while you are alive.  You don’t have to find the hell.  It’s here.  What wins in you is your spirit. Use exactly at that time and then walk out and compare both feelings.  You will definitely understand what the difference is.  Because victory belongs to God and those who stand before the mirror and dress up to please the God, then God dressed up to please them.  Relationship is manifold. I do not understand why people do not understand relationship between man and God. There is no relationship for which you have to hassle and jump around and do any monkey business.  Not at all.  Stand before the mirror.  Look at yourself and did you dress up to accept the God’s will through the Gurus’ words in the good will of the Guru or you dressed up for your own will?  Definitely when you want to go the day you want to impress a woman, you dress up in a different way;  you go to a business meeting, you dress up different way.  You do not have confidence in you, that the way you are, if you go the way with your own spiritual will, you will win. Majority of you are living fools.  I mean to say, you start a day with a doubt, you move in a day with a doubt, you deal in the day with a doubt and in the end, you bring doubt home and you don’t like it. How come?

Yesterday my Chancellor came and papers were ready.  He said, ‘You sign it.’

‘What is it?’

‘Somebody is threatening your property, your life, blah, blah, the whole thing.’

I said, ‘Assistant Chancellor, I will just advise you, I won’t sign it.’

‘Sir,’ he said.

‘I am threatened, true.  My life is threatened, true.  But unfortunately, Siri Singh Sahib shall not deny any man on this planet for good and bad act and I shall not use any restriction of the court. I know it is foolish, according to you, I should seek your advice and I should just make two line signatures; matter will end.’

But if I call myself, right and wrong, Siri Singh Sahib, or accept the office, and then does not live to the ingredient of it, what a lie that will be. How much fake you can be? How much self cheating, self deceiving you can be?  You accept something. I gave him the example. I said, ‘You can sit in a palanquin and go in the city. You can be honored, but you can sit on a throne and you can go through the city.  You cannot sit on a commode and go into the city. It will astonish people.  It will hurt people’s faith.  Nobody will like it.  They will be shocked.  ‘What is happening?’  Therefore, it’s not obligatory to deny your request.  You are my Assistant Chancellor of Sikh Dharma, and your request is genuine.  But it’s an obligation of mine too, not to sign in that petition.’

You have to act and live in a conscious understanding, to stand under.  If you want to stand under the will of God, then the God will take care of you.  Sehil patha mai janto paye, taga re gaye kartariya, merey madhoji sat sangat miley suthariya.’  The God has produced what he has produced in the stone.  God has provided its livelihood.  Oh my beloved one, in the company of those who have disciplined their mind, one goes across the ocean of life.

Situation with us in this Dharma is very simple.

‘Thaapiaa na jaa-ie keetaa na ho-ie. Aapay aap niranjan so-ie.’

God cannot be installed.  By doing, we cannot do enough to reproduce God and his power.

‘Thaapiaa na jaa-ie keetaa na ho-ie. Aapay aap niranjan so-ie.’

That spotless One is by itself.

Jin sayviaa tin paa-ie-aa maan. Naanak gaavee-ai gunnee nidhaan.

Those who have served Him, they are honored.  Nanak, He is full of merits.


Ghar ta tayrai sabh kichh hai, jis deh so pavaavay. Sadaa sifat salaah tayree naam man vasaava-ay.

Naam jin kai man vasi-aa vaajay shabad ghanayray. 

Kahai Nanak sachay saahib ki-aa naahee ghar tayrai.

In your house there is everything oh Lord, but whom you blessed, he gets.

He who gets it, if keeps the appreciation of Thy Name in the heart, he gets all. 

Sayeth Nanak, whom you giveth, he gets it.

In Japji he says,

‘Jis hath jor kar vaykhai so-ei. Naanak utam neech na ko-ei.’

One who is so macho and claims to be so mighty and powerful, that he can do what he can do, let him do it. Nanak, none is higher and none is lower.


‘Ik nihali paisavan, ik upan rehan kharey.’

There are some who are sleeping under the quilts, and there are some who are standing to fan them. Nanak, as you blesseth people, so they are blessed.

Now this life and this Karma, which we have gained through the Sanskars. Sanskar means a credit which we bring with us, and a debit which we have to pay, and the interest which we are supposed to create; that’s our three things are in life. Now these three things, how can be dealt?  It’s very simple and very honorable. If you accept the universal will of God through the blessing of the Guru, then you have a guidance.  Then everything will settle its affairs.  But if you accept your will, then you have to pay your debt,  your interest with it and penalties; which you don’t want to pay.  Normal problem with all people is, they want to do what they want to do and all along they want God to come through. That’s pretty difficult, isn’t it?  I Ching says as in the heaven, so on the earth.  What happens above is below. What is difficult on this earth, what looks neurotic on this earth, what doesn’t look right on the earth, how can it look right in heavens?

Please understand, Guru Gobind Singh, the father of this nation, protector of this faith, the guiding force, did not leave you orphan.  And some of you do not let this orphanage go.  You always try the drama of sympathy, apathy.  That’s the game you all try. In western world, the living style is very simple – create apathy, draw sympathy.  Create a, lay a tantrum, draw attention, and while doing so, mess up the whole universe.

Trust is not enough.  Love is not enough. Trustworthiness is enough.  Person has to build in his own spiritual strength, with his mental energy and with his spirituality, the trustworthiness. And that is what the life is all about. Opportunities wants to come to you; wealth wants to come to you.  Where God is, Narayan is, Lakshmi his wife will be.  She doesn’t want to stay divorced.  Simple rule.

‘Apni hathi apna, apey kaaj savariye.’

With your own hand, you have to pay your own debt.

This world is very unique and there is a one story I will explain to you today.

Narad, Maha Muni, Narad, great sage Narad, the guiding angel of Bhagti Yug.  Bhagvati is the guiding goddess of Shakti, Prachand Shakti.  Its name is Kalika. ‘Gur simar manayi Kalika khandey ki bela.’ This is one line which Indian Sikhs do not understand at all.  They read it all the time and they read it very loud and they go into it, but if you ask them what is the explanation they have their own explanation.

When I was in India, I used to ask what this means.  They used to give me such a weird answer, I just used to walk away.

‘Gur simar manayi Kalika khandey ki bela,’ Guru worshipped Kalika, Prachand Shakti, khande ki bela, and the double-edged sword became the symbol.  That’s what this exactly means. Bela means continuity, bel means that you know, plant which, what you call that thing, which, vine, continuity, bela. Guru Simar, it’s very clear line, it’s not something there is any duality. Guru simar manayi Kalika, khandey ki bela. The problem is that somewhere along, the Sikhs in India they want to prove they are different than the Hindus.  They are Sikhs are no different than the Hindus.  They are the Rishis of the Hindus.

Nanak Shah Fakir, Hindu Ka Guru, Muslim ka peer.

Nanak is the disciple of the perfect.  He is the Guru to the Hindu.  He is a Peer to the Muslim.

And unfortunate part of the Sikh is, Sikh is the one who has learned the art of purity to become Khalsa.  Now purity doesn’t differentiate, who is good and who is bad. Sun shines, it shines on the garbage pit and on the pile of gold exactly the same way.  This understanding has to come.

Gur simar manayi Kalika khandey ki bela. Prachand shakti Kalika.‘ Guru worshipped it and brought it the double-edged sword as the symbol. Moses went to the burning bush, talked to it, and brought the Ten Commandments. That’s acceptable, this is not.

In our Ardas, it is a var chandighi, devi chandi. Prachand Shakti is a Shakti Prachand. Shakti is war, it’s the, it’s the praise of that, in that these first lines of the Ardas,  ‘Pritham bhagouti simar kai, Guru Nanak layee dhiyae.‘ These are the words of Guru Gobind Singh.  Pritham, first, ‘primaly.’ Bhagaute simar kai, I worship the bhagouti.

So what, what is happening is a escapism, a play going on. There are simple two ways in life, Bhakti and Shakti. Miri and Piri. Guru Hargobind, Sodi Sultan, cleared the doubt by putting Bhakti and Shakti, Miri and Piri together, making Akal Takhat and Hari Mandir right there. It took a doubt out of the mind of the Sikh, that don’t become this too much, otherwise, the attitude is, then when you get into bhakti you become individually selfish, you get so high, you forget about the rest, and when you get into sakshee, you control all the rest and tell them in your way, that’s what the Mughals were doing, through their imperial power they were converting everybody’s faith to their faith. And these great powerful yogis, they went to mountains to meditate and enjoy their bliss.

Guru Hargobind said, ‘Now it has to be put together. It has to be together, purity is a reality which is the essence of infinity. Pure thoughts do not hurt anybody. Pure deeds brings fortune, prosperity and gifts. Gift is a fitting giving, give fit, there are two words in gift. Befitting offering if given, bheta they call it, offering. Charity is, when give it to the junior, give to the poor, give to the low, bheta is when you give to the high. Gift you give to one you love and pleasing and high, if fitting gift is called gift, giving fit, giving, that’s gift. When you give the gift of the Prana by God and you do not keep the conscious counting of it and you mess up the account, that’s where the trouble starts. Path and spirituality is a reminder of that but I am very surprised, I mean to say, you have not even the guts to learn from me, you don’t even like me any anymore and you are very stupidly blind.

Right before you, before your eyes, 20 years ago I came here with a pokidhar pink turban, with a borrowed pant and with a borrowed bush shirt. Twenty years ago, did I complain to you, didn’t God come though? Somebody is searching for a husband, somebody catering to this, somebody is catering to that, all this energy you convert into a net and go fishing whole day, come home with a spider and snakes, and then you say we are poisoned? What’s going on? You make your ego into a net, you go out fishing, if you you keep on throwing it on everybody, if you are a ‘sexomaniac’ you use your polite word or your harsh words, you take somebody to lunch our purpose is the same. If you are attention seeker, you will do everything neurotic to achieve to that. There are four, five things you all do, five things, each tattva has each rasa, each rasa has each play, and purpose behind that play is exactly the same. Would you just rise above it you idiots, God made you human and you make mockery of you worse than animal. Animals go to heat once a while you are in heat all the time. If it’s not a sexual heat, it is an ego heat, if it’s not ego heat, it’s an attachment heat, if it’s not attachment heat, it is this, what is going on?

Do you understand you shall not come this way again? To reach where you are is a long route. Now when we say that they say spiritual people threaten, they curse, they threatened us, why to go to Gurdwara to hear we are not good. You are not good. You come to Gurdwara there is a chance, if you don’t come to Gurdwara there is not even a chance. Your stupidity is enough, ‘Paapee ke marne ko paap mamaa lieh.’ Why to kill a sinner, his own sin will kill him.

Never ever, ‘Murkha na nalujiye,’ never fight with the unwise man, his own un-wisdom will kill him. There’s no need of nonsense, nonsense is enough. For a while it may make sense, your game may keep going. You do not want to leave the sin, when you will be 70 or 78 or 80 your sins will leave you.

Sir kampio pag dagmagey, nain joth tai heen.’ Your head will shake, your legs will shake and your eyes will be without light, who you can wink at.

(Students Laugh) YB: Ha ha. What kind of sex you can have and you can’t even get up. And you think it will never happen to you? No, it will, because you want to live long, nobody wants to die. If you decide to die at 36, 32, that’s reasonable, I can understand you did whatever you did, you are gone, my friends, but you want to live two hundred and fifty years and not pay for it. Alexander the Great wanted to go to the fountain of life, perpetual life, he conquered up to India, he came to the Babylon to that other area, he found that there is a one place up there in the mountain where there is a water, it springs once a while on the full moon, whosever drinks lives forever. He said, ‘Great, finally I got it.’ So he went there on that full moon night. When he was going to drink that, fountain was there, water was there, he saw something.

He said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘Alexander, don’t ask. Drink, drink.’

He said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘We can be two, I am alone.’

He said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I did the same stupid dance which you are doing. I drank this water.’

He said, ‘What? You are worse than a skeleton!’

He said, ‘That’s what it is, I can’t die.’ (Students Laugh)

‘This water doesn’t promise you happiness, this does not promise you fulfillment, it promise you only you will not die, that’s all. Drink it you stupid, hurry up!’

He said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘I want a company.’

(Students Laugh) They say Alexander ran, and he left his sword even there. So they keep that sword as a memory and all that stuff but when he came, he got so happy, he didn’t drink that water, he got a heart attack and he died.

(Students Laugh) YB: It’s true.

(Students Laugh) YB: He called his best general, who was the faithful, you know, always you have faithful and unfaithful both at the same time, those who give you bad time, those who give you good time, it’s always balanced. So he caught his most faithful one. He said, ‘Look, I am going to die now.’

He said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Take my coffin in a great procession, but put my hands out.’ He said, ‘No, hands have to be at your chest, that’s the rule.’ He said, ‘Stupid, you have been faithful to me all my life, last minute I am telling you something to do and you are telling me the rules?’ He said, ‘Okay, okay, okay there is no problem. What do you want?’ He said, ‘When I die, my coffin should be prepared and my hand should be spread out hanging.’

He said, ‘They will break.’ He said, ‘They will break or not I won’t feel it. You do what I say? They should hang out empty and that’s how my procession should go.’ He said, ‘But for God’s sake make me understand.’ ‘It’s a simple thing. I want to tell the world that I conquered the world but I carry with me nothing. And I want a practical demonstration, that’s all.’

‘And I know I am a king, I know I am a conqueror, I know people love me, they are going to put my hand on my chest.’ He said, ‘This chest has only the storage of karma.‘ Chest means two things, chest is where storage is, that’s what you spell different, you call it a chest. We call it a chest because prana storage is linked here and heart beats here, it is also called ‘agan granthi,’ the center of the fire.

We are very lucky and fortunate, we know the science of yoga, we know the art of life, we have the guidance of the Guru and we have life to live. All those things put together has blessed us to reach our birthday which is coming in this April. I have been made to understand that arrangements are doing and everybody is doing all right but I will like to tell you something, it is birthday of all of you, so don’t leave it to the fact, how much Niranjan has done, how much Siri Ram has done, how much Sada Sat has done? No, do it all. Participate one way or the other. Celebrate with a very pure intention for purity and height of it. See the zenith! Last word in alphabet is Z, and the most beautiful word is zenith, zenith is the height, beyond this there is no height. Prime word just says little, zenith.

You know, Sikh religion is a very educative storage of the house, manmukh. Manmukh means whose face is towards own mind, egomaniac we call it in simple English, I am translating it for your sake. Sanmukh, confronting mind is SanmukhBemukh, who has confronted and turned away. Gurmukh, whose face has become Guru’s word, he is a Guru ward with Guru’s words, two things, in Gurmukh two things are essential, he lives as a Guru’s ward and his words are that of the Guru.

Gurumukh. Beyond that there is nothing. Look at the father of this nation, Guru Gobind Singh, Sirimukh. The word of infinity, ‘Siri Mukh Vak Patshahi dasvin.’ Word is patshahi, imperial and spiritual king, path, gracious one. That is what we are going to celebrate and it needs lot of participation. Why I am asking it? You will purify yourself by doing so, your soul will be attached to purity and to victory.

The purpose of ‘Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh’ will be understood. Invite your friends, invite your foes, invite you know people, invite you don’t know people. God knows whose shoulder the destiny has to sit, that’s why we come to Guru Ram Das Ashram and we touch our forehead and we bow, God knows who walked and the dust of whose feet can give the blessing. Therefore we here are going to have Sangat from outside, the council of the pure one is going to meet. I know in Los Angeles many time you misbehave but at least for this time you are going to be on a candid camera, as a local Sangat, watch out and in that consciousness you will experience the loftiness, do it with a mind and soul to reach the zenith of this liberated Baisakhi of ’89 which is coming to be with you.

‘Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.’


(Class continues Gurdwara Diwan).

(Yogi Bhajan recites Ardas).

(Student takes Hukam).


Yogi Bhajan: Hukam has a very complete facet to deal with every aspect of life. It deals with the worldly spirituality, misery and prosperity. And it is a complete, it tells you as the aspect of the karma is and the reference to life is, as we face it, why the resultant it, I mean to say, it’s a totally drawn hectagon, so please listen to it in English and try to understand deeply so that you may not just read it as a ritual, listen to it as a reality.


(Student reads Hukam in English, interjected with instruction from Yogi Bhajan).

(Class concludes Gurdwara Diwan).


Copyright:  teachings of Yogi Bhajan

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