Day 4

“Of all the ragas, sri raga is best, if it inspires love for Truth.”

As suspected, this practice is infiltrating many corners of the life. Morning meditation, work at the office, time with the family are all under the influence now.

Today’s first shabd is from Guru Nanak and is a 7-beat tala. “Lest I forget You…” What if I see the vision of wealth, of exquisite artistry, of mansions, of power, of dedicated devotees and forget you and your name doesn’t come? Can I see the One in all? When everything is going well, when there is prosperity and abundance, do I see with gratitude and remembrance? What if it’s not going well? Do I see what is unchanging, unaffected by the sensations of this moment, this situation, this beauty and wonderfulness or this pain and misery? The unchanging is the same regardless.

The second shabd for today is from Guru Amar Das and is in dhamar tala, 14 beats, singing in sri raga about sri raga. “By meditating on the Guru’s shabd, the tongue becomes true, the mind and body become true, and the work becomes true.”


Day 5

Awaking from a dream this morning there is a sense of connection of life, the elements, the earth, the cosmos, pulsating through me, through you. Is this the flavor of sri raga? I remember the movie Avatar, an image of a world where life is known in relationship to all of nature, it is something like that that this morning.

Continuing to circle back to the songs previously sung, revisiting and revising, practice moves forward as well.  Today’s shabd is a familiar shabd in raga kalyan that has been placed in a 12-beat sri raga composition. This is Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s bani, gun nad dhun anand bed, the virtues of nada, the music, the bliss, the knowledge that appears, the speaking, the listening, meeting with the company of the saints.

I am overwhelmed with the wealth of beautiful songs, one after another, each offering its own unique involvement with the raga and with the poetry. Some of these ancient  melodies came along with the bani (words) from the gurus themselves, some melodies came from musicians who were present with the gurus and added additional melodies for singing the gurubani, and other melodies were added centuries later as new generations of musicians contributed the songs that flowed from their own experience with the words and music. The musical and spiritual vision of these composers is evident in the masterpieces that have been remembered.