Sunday, July 29, 2012

I have no enemy, there is no stranger - Guru Arjan

Here is something I recomrded today.  It is the first song that I learned and it continues to teach me today that the purpose of life is to sing.  I was recording this today on my dad's 68th birthday to thank him for giving me the gift of music.  My dad was the one who asked my first music teacher to come home when I was very young to learn kirtan.  Here is the recording from today (and following is the meaning of the song):

बिसरि गई सभ ताति पराई ॥
Bisar ga▫ī sabẖ ṯāṯ parā▫ī.
I have totally forgotten my jealousy of others

जब ते साधसंगति मोहि पाई ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Jab ṯe sāḏẖsangaṯ mohi pā▫ī. ||1|| rahā▫o.
since I found the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. ||1||Pause||

ना को बैरी नही बिगाना सगल संगि हम कउ बनि आई ॥१॥
Nā ko bairī nahī bigānā sagal sang ham ka▫o ban ā▫ī. ||1||
No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger. I get along with everyone. ||1||

जो प्रभ कीनो सो भल मानिओ एह सुमति साधू ते पाई ॥२॥
Jo parabẖ kīno so bẖal māni▫o eh sumaṯ sāḏẖū ṯe pā▫ī. ||2||
Whatever God does, I accept that as good. This is the sublime wisdom I have obtained from the Holy. ||2||

सभ महि रवि रहिआ प्रभु एकै पेखि पेखि नानक बिगसाई ॥३॥८॥
Sabẖ mėh rav rahi▫ā parabẖ ekai pekẖ pekẖ Nānak bigsā▫ī. ||3||8||
The One God is pervading in all. Gazing upon Him, beholding Him, Nanak blossoms forth in happiness. ||3||8|

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A gift for those who taught me - A song by Bulleh Shah

This song is dedicated to two cab drivers who gave me a ride in the past week -- Naveed bhai from New York and Asif Bhai from Oakland.  This is a sufi song I am in the process of composing these days -- "Vehre Aa" by Bulleh Shah. 

I shared about Guru Nanak's travels with Naveed Bhai and he told me about the importance of Ramzaan and the importance of learning.  He said according to Hazrat Muhammad one should travel as far as possible to learn.  Asif Bhai shared some sufi songs with me on youtube.  Both these wonderful people are from the punjab in Pakistan and made me feel at home while I was traveling.  Thanks!

So here is my gift to you. This is an old love song by sufi poet Bulleh Shah. 

The language is Punjabi. The lover is missing his love and calling out, "Come to my courtyard, my love. Whether you acknowledge me or not, come to my courtyard my love." The refrain "Ve Vehre Aa Vad Mere" Literally means "Hey, Verandah Come Into Mine."  

Here is the full song in Punjabi:

BhaaveN jaan na jaan
Ve vihRe aa vaR mere.
MaeN tere kurbaan,
Ve vihRe a vaR mere.

Tere jiha maenu hor na koi,
DhooNDHaaN jaNgal, bela, rohi.
DhooNDHaaN ta saara jahaan,
Ve vihRe a vaR mere.

LokaaN de bhaane chaak maheeN da,
RaaNjha te lokaaN vich kaheeNda,
SaaDa te deen imaaN,
Ve vihRe a vaR mere.

Ma pe CHoR lahgi laR tere,
Shah anaayit saaeeN mere,
LaaiyaaN di lahj paal,
Ve vihRe a vaR mere.

Here is a rough translation:

Whether you know or not
Come to my courtyard
I am a sacrifice on you
Come to my courtyard

Like you there is none
I've looked in forests, deserts
I've looked worldwide
Come to my courtyard

People call you a shephard
or call you "Ranjha"  (from "Heer Ranjha" - story akin to Romeo Juliet)
You are my religion
Come to my courtyard

I've given up my parents
For you my Guru (Shah Inayat was Bulleh Shah's Guru)
Save the one in your shelter
Come to my courtyard

I am still recording it and in the next few months will have a final recording. I think I will put the final recording on my reverbnation account:

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Seven Habits Song - Stephen Covey

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Until 2012 it has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages since first publication, which was marked by the release of a 15th anniversary edition in 2004. Today Covey passed away and we remember his message.  And it was really a song reminding us of three things: (1) sing your song well  (2) sing in harmony with others; and (3) sing in different colors (raags), so you are not bored.  Keep singing!  The following are a list of the 7 habits as Covey presented them:

Independence or Self-Mastery

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self mastery):
  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.


The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.
  • Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

[edit]Self Renewal

The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I have no jealousy, for there is only One - Guru Arjan

Today two wonderful guitarists -- Chris Paes and Ryan Fernandez -- came home and we sang this shabad for the second time.  This is a beautiful poem from my dear Guru Arjan.  This was the first that I ever sang from the Guru Granth Sahib. This is raag Darbari Kanara, the favorite raag of Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan who teaches one of my Guru's sons.  "Bisar Gayi Sab Taat Parayi" says the beautiful Guru in the poem.  Here is a rough translation:

I have forgotten all false jealousy
ever since I have found the wise

There is no enemy no stranger
Everyone has become a friend

Whatever happens is good
This wisdom I obtained from them

I have looked and looked everywhere
and found the same ONE living in everyone

Heights you can reach don't have to depend on where you start - Guru Nanak

मलार महला १ घरु २
Malār mėhlā 1 gẖar 2
Malaar, First Mehl, Second House:
ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥
Ik▫oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
पवणै पाणी जाणै जाति ॥
Pavṇai pāṇī jāṇai jāṯ.
Air and water created/knows caste;
काइआं अगनि करे निभरांति ॥
Kā▫i▫āʼn agan kare nibẖrāʼnṯ.
have no doubt that the body was made through fire.
जमहि जीअ जाणै जे थाउ ॥
Jamėh jī▫a jāṇai je thā▫o.
And if you know where the soul comes from,
सुरता पंडितु ता का नाउ ॥१॥
Surṯā pandiṯ ṯā kā nā▫o. ||1||
you shall be known as a wise religious scholar. ||1||
गुण गोबिंद न जाणीअहि माइ ॥
Guṇ gobinḏ na jāṇī▫ahi mā▫e.
Who can know the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe, O mother?
अणडीठा किछु कहणु न जाइ ॥
Aṇdīṯẖā kicẖẖ kahaṇ na jā▫e.
Without seeing Him, we cannot say anything about Him.
किआ करि आखि वखाणीऐ माइ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Ki▫ā kar ākẖ vakẖāṇī▫ai mā▫e. ||1|| rahā▫o.
How can anyone speak and describe Him, O mother? ||1||Pause||
ऊपरि दरि असमानि पइआलि ॥
Ūpar ḏar asmān pa▫i▫āl.
He is high above the sky, and beneath the nether worlds.
किउ करि कहीऐ देहु वीचारि ॥
Ki▫o kar kahī▫ai ḏeh vīcẖār.
How can I speak of Him? Let me understand.
बिनु जिहवा जो जपै हिआइ ॥
Bin jihvā jo japai hi▫ā▫e.
In the heart, without the tongue is chanted,
कोई जाणै कैसा नाउ ॥२॥
Ko▫ī jāṇai kaisā nā▫o. ||2||
who knows what sort of Name? ||2||
कथनी बदनी रहै निभरांति ॥
Kathnī baḏnī rahai nibẖrāʼnṯ.
Undoubtedly, words fail me.
सो बूझै होवै जिसु दाति ॥
So būjẖai hovai jis ḏāṯ.
He alone understands, who is blessed.
अहिनिसि अंतरि रहै लिव लाइ ॥
Ahinis anṯar rahai liv lā▫e.
Day and night, deep within, he remains lovingly attuned to the Lord.
सोई पुरखु जि सचि समाइ ॥३॥
So▫ī purakẖ jė sacẖ samā▫e. ||3||
He is the true person, who is merged in the True Lord. ||3||
जाति कुलीनु सेवकु जे होइ ॥
Jāṯ kulīn sevak je ho▫e.
If someone of high social standing becomes a selfless servant,
ता का कहणा कहहु न कोइ ॥
Ŧā kā kahṇā kahhu na ko▫e.
then his praises cannot even be expressed.
विचि सनातीं सेवकु होइ ॥
vicẖ sanāṯīʼn sevak ho▫e.
And if someone from a low social class becomes a selfless servant,
नानक पण्हीआ पहिरै सोइ ॥४॥१॥६॥
Nānak paṇĥī▫ā pahirai so▫e. ||4||1||6||
O Nanak, he shall wear shoes of honor. ||4||1||6|

Sultan Bahu's poem: Kamzaat

Zaate naal na zaatee raliaa,
So kamzaat sadeeve hoo.

Nafs kutte noon banh karaahaan,
Qeemaa qeem kacheeve hoo.

Zaat sifaaton mehna aave,
Zaatee shauq napeeve hoo.

Naam faqeer tinhaan daa Baahoo,
Qabar jinhaan dee jeeve hoo.


One who has not merged his soul in its Essence
Is love in caste.

The dog of ego should be kept on its leash;
Indeed, it should be minced into small pieces.

The soul is admonished by the Lord
For procrastinating while on this earth,
And subduing her natural urge to be with Him.

Only they may be called faqirs, O Bahu,
Whose very graves breathe Life.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Do you realize" by Miley Cyrus

Do you realize were floating in space?

Do you realize happiness makes you cry?

Do you realize everyone you know one day will die?

- Posted today by Miley Cyrus on twitter.