Friday, April 26, 2013

An acoustic recording of Guru Nanak's Aarti

Recently I recorded my dear Guru Nanak's Aarti.  It was just me and the piano in my studio one evening. The essence of this beautiful poem is "How can I light candles for the one who has ignited all the stars in the platter of the sky, and lit all the flowers in the forest, and blows their perfume with the celestial wind? Nanak says that the true Aarti (lighting of candles) is the lighting of the heart's candle."


Included are romanized lyrics and a translation I found elsewhere on the web.  At some point I want to do that translation myself because this translation is somewhat weak.  


Gagan mein thaal rav chand deepak bane
Tarka mandal janak moti
Dhoop malaanlo pawan chavaro kare
Sagal banrai phoolant jyoti

Kaisi aarti hove 
bhavkhandna teri aarti
Anahad shabd vajant bheri

Sahas tav nain nan
Nain hai tohe kau
Sahas murat nan na ek tohe
Sahas pad bimal nan ek pad gandh bin
Sahas tav gandh ev chalat mohi

Sab mein jot jot hai sohi
Tis ke chaanan sab mein chaanan hoi
Gur sakhi jot pargat hoe
Jo tis bhave so aarti hoe

Har charan kamal makrand lobit mano
Aneno mohe aaee piyasa
Kirpa jal de nanak sarang ko
Hoe jate tere naam vasa
Hoe jate tere naam vasa


The Sky is Your platter,
The sun and moon are the lamps
The Stars in the sky are the pearls,
The ‘Dhoop’ (Incense) is the fragrance,
That the wind propels,The whole forest is Your flowers.

O! What a wonderful Aarti, this is!
You, are a destroyer of Fear,
The sound of Your Name, which is so subtle, that It goes unheard,
Resounds endlessly.

You have a thousand eyes, but not one is yours
You have several forms, yet not one is yours
You have feet, noses…And you have none…
I am charmed by your

Your Light enlightens all!
It is by the Grace of the Guru that the real Light (Knowledge) Manifests.
What pleases the Almighty is this Aarti

Nanak is like the thirsty bird that asks,
For a drop of water, From You O Lord!
That drop (Grace) will make Nanak find comfort,
In the uttering of Your Name.