Excerpt from Heros, Saints and Yogis: Tales of Self Discovery and the Path of Sikh Dharma by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Guruka Singh Khalsa
Banis : Five Daily Prayers
Every day, Sikhs recite five special prayers known as banis. These daily banis were given to the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh as tools for people to raise their consciousness and bring balance into their lives. Each bani relates to an element (tattva), and is usually recited at a specific time of the day. Here are the banis with their corresponding elements:
Japji Sahib, Shabad Hazare = Ether
Jaap Sahib, Tavprasad Swaye = Air
Anand Sahib = Fire
Rehiras Sahib (includes Benti Chaupai) = Water
Kirtan Sohila = Earth
Reciting the Banis in Gurbani (the sacred language of Gurmukhi) gives you a very powerful meditative mind. It brings you the mental and emotional balance required in life. Energy comes to a person from the head, and the head is the distributing center through the spine.
The Banis are best recited from the book of daily prayers (gutka or nitnem). Even though you may have them memorized, you’ll be less likely to get distracted and pulled into your own thoughts. For the best effect, a person reads Gurbani in the correct harmony and rhythm. Click here to listen to banis being recited
Power and Effects of the Daily Banis
Japji Sahib – connects you with your soul. This is the prayer that begins the Aquarian Sadhana. When your being is endangered, when the radiance of your soul is weak, recite Japji. Guru Nanak said that the thirty-eight pauris (stanzas) of Japji would liberate humanity from the cycles of birth and death. It is said that each of its verses (pauris) has additional specific effects and benefits. Click here to read the effects of each pauri of Japji Sahib. You can also visit our marketplace for a beautiful deck of Japji Cards, which lists each pauri and its power.
Shabad Hazare – written by Arjan to his own father, Guru Ram Das, it was the highest love letter ever written. Its gift is that it gives the benefits of reciting a thousand shabads, so that one’s soul will ultimately merge directly with God. It enables separated ones to come home with grace. Those who recite this shabad will never be separated from their beloved, and will never be separated from the Guru.
Jaap Sahib – brings rulership, self-command, and self-grace. It takes away fear and brings vitality, courage, power, strength, and self-esteem. It brings royalty, divinity, bliss, bountifulness, beauty, and grace. The naad of Jaap Sahib rouses the soul and the self of the Being. (“Sahib” also means grace.) Recite it when your position is endangered, or when your authoritative personality is weak. It will also give you the ability that, no matter what people say, you will automatically be able to compute what they are actually saying. Once you are able to recite it correctly, it will give you the siddhi (yogic power) that whatever you say must happen (Vakh siddhi). Guru Gobind Singh gave us Jaap Sahib so we won’t become beggars at anyone’s door.
Tavprasad Swaye – spoken by Guru Gobind Singh, this is the bani to recite when you are not getting any satisfaction out of life, when life seems to have no juice or flavor.
Anand Sahib – Guru Amar Das gave us this Song of Bliss. Mind and body are explained in relation to cosmic divinity. This shabd not only brings bliss, it can make up for deficiencies in the body. It organizes and brings happiness, harmony, and peace. It makes you beautiful, bountiful, and blissful. A wonderful way for husband and wife to merge together is to recite Anand Sahib together, alternating sutras (lines). It is said that whoever recites the forty pauris of Anand Sahib will have endless bliss. Try it yourself and find out!
Rehiras Sahib – You’ve worked all day, and you’re tired; now is the time to recite this bani. It adds energy (raa-hu) to your being. It brings prosperity, so also recite it when your worldly wealth is endangered. Rehiras Sahib helps you when you are physically weak, or weak in money, property, and earthly goods. (In naad, reh means “live” and raas means “commodity,” so Rehiraas means “living commodity.”)
Benti Chaupai – is Guru Gobind Singh’s personal prayer for protection. It takes care of everything from beginning to end.
Kirtan Sohila – is the most harmonious naad ever uttered. Recite it at bedtime, just before going to sleep at night. It brings clarity of mind, preserves your night, and brings a beautiful dawn. It prevents nightmares and creates a shield of protection. It multiplies the aura to such sensitivity of protection that it eliminates any negativity for miles and miles around you. When you are endangered by any direct or indirect source, and when you want to surround yourself with the protection of the entire magnetic field of the earth, recite Kirtan Sohila. At the end of life in this human body, Kirtan Sohila is recited to protect the soul on its journey to its True Home with God
Source: Heros, Saints and Yogis: Tales of Self Discovery and the Path of Sikh Dharma by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Guruka Singh Khalsa