By Dev Suroop Kaur Khalsa
Of all of the spiritual vernacular in use today, “karma” is the word that we probably hear most often. Karma is explained scientifically by Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “Every action has a reaction, equal and opposite.” Simply stated, when we create a cause through our actions and thoughts, and we do not complete or resolve what we have created, we must incarnate again to complete it. Everything that we are today – both positive and negative – is a result of what we have created in the past. Everything that we become tomorrow is the result of what we create today. Our fears, limitations, old patterns, reactions to our environments, habits, and feelings inhibit our ability to feel the Infinity of the moment and complete what has been created. The resulting karmas create the behaviors, patterns, and circumstances in our lives that are unpleasant and sometimes outright destructive. Usually we don’t understand these behaviors. Sometimes, we’re aware of them but unable to control them.
Where there is Dharma, there is no karma. Dharma is a way of living where we transcend karma and live in alignment with our true purpose in life. It’s not that we lose our humanness and capacity to feel and experience. Rather, it’s where we have gained enough clarity and capacity that, in the face of great challenge, we choose to act in ways that elevate us and bring us toward Infinity. Instead of a commotional and reactionary approach to life that creates negative consequences, we truly can channel our emotions into devotion and move through life with ease.
By chanting, reciting, and vibrating the sound current, we chip away at those burdensome patterns that grip us. Eventually, through time and by Grace, the old karmas become loosened up enough that a simple comment, look, word, or action can crumble and dissolve the illusions, setting into motion a whole domino effect where false beliefs and scripting can fall away for a more elevated you. What a relief.
It’s like paying off a high-interest credit card. You feel awful that you have the debt but have a hard time shaking it. Finally, after facing the music, you discipline yourself and begin pecking away at the debt and eventually pay it off. You feel better: Uplifted and released from being beholden to a debtor.
Reciting the 32nd Pauri of Japji Sahib pays your debts and completes your karma. As you can see from this translation, Nanak states that choosing an active path of deep devotion yields Grace—a state of ease, virtue, and divine assistance—as a gift of Creation.
Ik doo jeebhao lakh ho-eh lakh hoveh lakh vees Lakh lakh gayraa aakhee-a-eh ayk naam jagdees Ayt raa-eh pat pavaree-aa charee-ai ho-i ikees Sun galaa aakaash kee keeta aa-ee rees
Nanak nadaree paa-ee-ai kooree koorai thees.
If my one tongue
Were to become two, And the two to become One million,
And the million
To become 20 million,
Then millions and millions Of times
I would recite and speak Of the One Spirit Pervading and guiding The Universe.
On this path,
The spouse climbs With devotion
Step by step
To Union with Thee.
Hearing what is recorded In the Akashic records, Even the lowest beings Have a longing
To return home.
Grace is brought in
As a gift of the Creator.
Those who praise themselves –
False are they And ever false.
Suggestions for Practice:
A Shabd should be recited 11 times a day for a minimum of 40 days to experience its power. Recite in English or in Gurmukhi transliteration, both are beneficial. However, reciting in Gurmukhi allows you to better access the power of the mantra, and as the words are recited in proper Naad or sound current, the tongue hits the meridian points on the upper palate, effecting a change in consciousness. Work carefully to pronounce the words properly. A pronunciation guide can be found in The Psyche of the Soul, available through Ancient Healing Ways.
An accomplished musician, recording artist, and teacher of Naad Yoga, Dev Suroop Kaur uses the art of sound to create an experience of deep transformation and healing.
She leads chanting programs with musical accompaniment, and offers meditation instruction and teachings about living a spiritual life. Her focus is teaching courses about loving the experience of your voice, and using your voice as a meditative tool to transform and uplift. Dev Suroop Kaur specializes in training teachers of Kundalini Yoga in the science of Naad Yoga, conscious communication, and how to teach others to access the beauty and power of their personal voice. www.devsuroopkaur.com.
English translation by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa. Go to www.a-healing.com to purchase a beautiful and inspiring complete translation of “Japji Sahib – The Song of the Soul.”