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Jewel of peace

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This article is part of the series on the "Message of Gurbani"

ਸੁਖਮਨੀ ਸੁਖ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਜਨਾ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਰਾਮ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Sukẖmanī sukẖ amriṯ parabẖ nām. Bẖagaṯ janā kai man bisrām. rahā­o.
Sukhmani: peace through the nectar of the Lord's Name; the resting place for the devotee's mind. (pause)

The Sukhmani sahib is probably the greatest single composition of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan. This Gurbani in raga Gauri Sukhmani in the Guru Granth Sahib is a lengthy composition which spans a total of 35 pages from page 262 to page 296 of the sacred Granth (holy Book) of the Sikhs. Its lyrical beauty apart, Sukhmani is a profoundly significant scriptural text for all devotees of the Sikh faith and indeed for all of humanity.

The composition is written in fairly simple Punjabi for a formal religious text and most native readers will be able to understand it to a large extent; a few passages are a little challenging but these have many valuable translations in various languages. Further the verses are divided into neat small coherent packages which are a delight for the reader. the reader is able to clearly savour the love of the writer and the love expressed by the fifth Guru.

File:Sukhmani v4 red w b-g.jpg

"Jewel of bliss," a spiritual delight

It is said that the Guru wrote it in response to request from a devotee who was suffering from physical pain and mental anguish; unsurprisingly, the devotional recital of Sukhmani restored him to good health and a calm and peaceful state of mind. The word 'Sukhmani' means the "psalm of equipoise" (balanced state) or "jewel of bliss". This holy bani (hymn) is a treasure of the rarest kind and will bring pure happiness and true bliss for whoever recites it with dedication.

This unique prayer which, not only can be read just as any other bani but can also be sung with music accompaniment has only one focus - to bring "Sukh" or peace to the person’s mind. In whatever form it is recited, it will bring everlasting peace, calmness and comfort to the mind. Its sound is tranquillising and soothing and removes stress from the mind; it opens your heart to live in gratitude, steadies your spiritual discipline, and connects you with your inner strength, endurance, courage and the infinite consciousness to overcome every obstacle.

It is a long prayer which can take a skilled Gurmukhi reader about 90 minutes to read the whole of the bani. However, many devotees read the bani in several sittings to start with and as their fluency and familiarity with the words increases, they can slowly complete the whole of the “paath” in one go. It is said by many that listening to or reciting Sukhmani Sahib once a day can change your destiny from misery to prosperity and give you inner balance, grace, radiance, energy and the power to sacrifice.

The Sukhmani Sahib has structural unity. It has 24 staves (Saloks), one of which begins each canto. The number 24 may symbolically represent each hour of the day. There are 24 cantos, each containing 8 stanzas. Each stanza has ten lines that is, five couplets per stanza. There is also the unity of theme: the perfection of man’s mentally, morally and spiritually. The stave of each canto gives the gist of the 8 stanzas that follow it.

In the Indian time system, the day is divided into 8 "kharee" literally "clock" meaning a 3 hour time sector and the hour is also divided into 8 sections of 7.5 minutes each. So the day has 4 parts and the night has 4 parts.

The Sukhmani sahib, in two parts on youTube

The following are videos of the text of Sukhmani sahib in original Gurmukhi with transliteration and translation in English.

Please watch both videos - read and listen to the words and also read and understand the meaning of this Gurbani.

Snippets from this bani

Simra­o simar simar sukẖ pāva­o

ਸਿਮਰਉ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਉ ॥ ਕਲਿ ਕਲੇਸ ਤਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਮਿਟਾਵਉ ॥
Simra­o simar simar sukẖ pāva­o. Kal kalės ṯan māhi mitāva­o.
Meditate, meditate, meditate in remembrance of Him, and find peace.

Worry and anguish shall be dispelled from your body.

The Guru tells us in the first Ashtapadi (stanza) that by meditating on God, one finds peace and your worries and anguishes will disappear. The Guru repeats the word "simar" three times. Only by doing simran (meditating on God) can one obtain real Sukh (peace).

What is ‘Sukh’ (peace)?: We mistakenly accept worldly comforts as ‘peace’. We think that if we collect wealth then we will get peace; lots of money will give us peace; if we make houses we will get peace; if we get a new car, we will obtain peace. We try all this and soon we realise that money does not bring peace or happiness. Then we think that our friends and relationships will bring us peace; if I have lots of friends, I will get happy and joyous. We try this but no long lasting peace is attained.

If you are a man, you think if I get into a relationship with a woman then I will get peace and real happiness; if we procreate sons we will get peace... We try all these options .... by having lots of friends, a big family and a flourishing business does not bring us happiness or peace of mind. Can anyone say that they got peace from all this? The true and honest answer is - No. By doing all these things; by collecting wealth; by making lots of friends; by having a large family; by running a successful business... one does not get long lasting peace. Peace and happiness will only come when you walk on the path of the Lord; when you listen to your inner Guru and tread on the road to the True Lord.

Prabh kai simran (1.2)

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਗਰਭਿ ਨ ਬਸੈ ॥
Parabẖ kai simran garabẖ na basai.
Remembering God, one does not have to enter into the womb again.

This verse and the following verses of the second stanza of the first canto tells us in plain, simple and easy to understand language what one achieves by meditating on the Lord and on his message of truth. The many the fruits of Naam Simran are listed.

In this section the Guru begins with the statement that by meditating on the Lord, one does not enter the womb again. The highest level of sorrow of life is the continuous cycle of birth and death. Our soul has been involved in this cycle or re-incarnation for a infinite length of time; we don't know how many times we have been through the pain of birth and death but the Guru tells us that we may have to go through 8,400,000 life forms ("84 lakh juns"). Naam Simran is the only way which can take us out of the cycle of life and death. |- |

Remembering God, one does not have to enter into the womb again.
Remembering God, the pain of death is dispelled.
Remembering God, death is eliminated.
Remembering God, one's enemies are repelled.
Remembering God, no obstacles are met.
Remembering God, one remains awake and aware, night and day.
Remembering God, one is not touched by fear.
Remembering God, one does not suffer sorrow.
The meditative remembrance of God is in the Company of the Holy.
All treasures, O Nanak, are in the Love of the Lord. ||2||

The rest of the second stanza lists all the other fruits of doing simran ... death is eliminated; ... one's enemies are repelled; ... no obstacles are found; remains awake and aware, night and day; is not touched by fear; does not suffer sorrow; and the Guru ends with ...The meditative remembrance of God, in the Company of the Holy, brings all treasures just by instilling in ourselves the Love of the Lord.

Prabh kai simran (1.3)

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਰਿਧਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਨਉ ਨਿਧਿ ॥
Parabẖ kai simran riḏẖ siḏẖ na­o niḏẖ.
In the remembrance of God are wealth, miraculous spiritual powers and the nine treasures.

In the remembrance of God...
.... are wealth, miraculous spiritual powers and the nine treasures.
.... are knowledge, meditation and the essence of wisdom.
.... are chanting, intense meditation and devotional worship.
.... duality is removed.
.... are purifying baths at sacred shrines of pilgrimage.
.... one attains honor in the Court of the Lord.
.... one becomes good.
.... one flowers in fruition.
They alone remember Him in meditation, whom He inspires to meditate. Nanak grasps the feet of those humble beings. ||3||

Prabh ka simran (1.4)

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ॥
Parabẖ kā simran sabẖ ṯė ūcẖā.
The remembrance of God is the highest and most exalted of all.

The remembrance of God is the highest and most exalted of all.
In the remembrance of God ....
.... many are saved.
.... thirst is quenched.
.... all things are known.
.... there is no fear of death.
.... hopes are fulfilled.
.... the filth of the mind is removed.
The Ambrosial Naam, the Name of the Lord, is absorbed into the heart. God abides upon the tongues of His Saints. Nanak is the servant of the slave of His slaves. ||4||

Prabh koh simra (1.5 - 1.8)

Those who remember God: ..are wealthy; ..are honorable; ..are approved; ..are the most distinguished people; ..are not lacking in anyway; ..are the rulers of all; ..dwell in peace; ..are immortal and eternal. They alone hold to the remembrance of Him, unto whom He Himself shows His Mercy. Nanak begs for the dust of their feet. ||5||

Those who remember God: .. generously help others; .. to them, I am forever a sacrifice; .. their faces are beautiful; .. abide in peace; .. conquer their souls; .. have a pure and spotless lifestyle; .. experience all sorts of joys; .. abide near the Lord. By the Grace of the Saints, one remains awake and aware, night and day. O Nanak, this meditative remembrance comes only by perfect destiny. ||6||

Remembering God, ... one's works are accomplished; .. one never grieves; .. one speaks the Glorious Praises of the Lord; .. one is absorbed into the state of intuitive ease; .. one attains the unchanging position; .. the heart-lotus blossoms forth; .. the unstruck melody vibrates. The peace of the meditative remembrance of God has no end or limitation. They alone remember Him, upon whom God bestows His Grace. Nanak seeks the Sanctuary of those humble beings. ||7||

Remembering the Lord, ... His devotees are famous and radiant; .. the Vedas were composed; .. we become Siddhas, celibates and givers; .. the lowly become known in all four directions.

For the remembrance of the Lord, the whole world was established. Remember, remember in meditation the Lord, the Creator, the Cause of causes.

For the remembrance of the Lord, He created the whole creation. In the remembrance of the Lord, He Himself is Formless.

By His Grace, He Himself bestows understanding. O Nanak, the Gurmukh attains the remembrance of the Lord. ||8||1||

Summary of the message

Below is a table summarising the message of the 24 Astpadis in the Sukhmani Sahib. The table is broken down Astpadi by Astpadi:

Astpadi Message of the Bani in this Astpadi
1 sums up the benefits of contemplation and meditation. It tells that all physical pain and sorrow may vanish through the sincere remembrance of God's Holy Name and that man becomes physically healthy and morally strong. Such people find the inner strength to devote themselves to the public good and develop the endurance to overcome all worldly obstacles.

tells us that "practising holiness" reduces man's propensity to sin. It also provides an escape from the hardships of life. He comes to inner peace and spiritual joy.


the Guru states that any study of holy texts, the performance of austerities and various religious practices as giving away much in charity, cannot compare with the benefits obtainable by reading or listening to the Sacred Word. Meditation and nobility of conduct can provide a passport to the Divine Court.


stresses the need for good behavior, Man is a thinking animal and should think ahead to consequences of his actions. Learning and cleverness can not hide a filthy mind. Keep away form stealing and slander. Give up greed in all its forms and remember that all worldly things come to an end.


we learn to thank God for all his various gifts and treasures which He gives us. Man should compare himself to the less fortunate.


examples God's gifts to man: a healthy body, delicacies to eat, silks and jewels to wear and pleasant music to hear. Should we not thank the Lord for all His gifts by singing of His glory?


dwells on the attributes of the saints: their self control, their love and compassion, their solicitude for the welfare of other people. Joining their company brings hope and peace, they never turn any one away empty-handed.


Similarly to 7, an appreciation of the God-oriented man- the Brahm-giani -is found here. He is kind, patient, humble and care-free. He offers help and support to all without any inhibition. He is the refuge of the forsaken and the lost whom he accepts and treats like the members of his family.


Guru Arjan defines the various types of holy persons like the Pandit, Vaishnav, Bhagwati and touch-me-not, of these the best is the Jivanmuki, the liberated one who has acquired immortality while still alive.


This deals with the various types of people and substances, both good and bad. How the conceited men blindly follow their basic nature, while the seekers and seers who win God's grace, attain the goal of thIs life. Man's powers are limited; the more he knows, the less he knows.


The Guru tells us that the meek and the humble win God's love, while the haughty and the vain find no peace or joy. Man's desires are limitless as his cravings are beyond appeasement. It is only when his time comes that he may join the company of the holy and then he gets a glimpse of his light, within. Such a man knows True happiness for such a vision is powerfully blessed.


dwells on the lot of the boastful and the arrogant. Self-indulgent money-grabbers waste away their lives in eating and sleeping. If an egoist performs good deeds, he all too often only inflates his conceit. Pride and mental peace never go together.


tells us of the need to associate with saintly people and of avoiding their slander. A slanderer is spiritually insolvent and a corruptor of all. However, if the saint blesses him, he will get peace of mind and benediction.


points out that mortals, by their very nature, are fickle and way-ward; so no reliance can be placed on them. On the other hand, the holy ones are extremely helpful and convey to their disciples a true understanding of life and its goal.


tells us that just as darkness is dispelled by light, and a track in the wilderness is illuminated by a flash of lightning, so the Guru's instruction opens up our inner consciousness and reveals the hidden mysteries of spiritual life. This enables the seeker to throw away the garbage of worldliness and gather specially good merchandise which will bring both profit and honor.


the Guru refers to God as the Director, Playwright and Actor in His own plays, who assumes any role at any time and at any place. He also assigns parts in His play for individuals to act out.


the Guru emphasizes the qualities of a true servant of God, namely obedience and humility. A good master is pleased with a person who obeys him and is loyal to him. So a good and sincere disciple will be able to win the grace of God.


stresses the characteristics of a Seeker of Truth. He must give up his ego and surrender his mind to the Guru. The Guru will then enrich his mind with compassion and spirituality. The Guru will remove his tensions and sorrows and give him wisdom and joy.


Guru Arjan warns of the distractions of life. Why one spends all of one's life amassing wealth, which will ultimately be of no use? Or worldly knowledge and possessions which will be left-here on death. People should think of the things that will be helpful to them in the hereafter.


deals with the need of efforts for spiritual progress. Meditation is a progressive step on the road to Divinity. A love of virtue, goodness and a remembrance of the qualities that we associate with God, will make one noble and blissful.


the Guru tells of the pre-creation state. Before creation, there was a great void. Then God by His own will manifested Himself in His own creation. So the Universe came into existence, where different peoples play out their various roles.


there is a short list of God's attributes. He is the fountain of generosity and goodness. He selects people according to what he wants from them. He gives special protection to some but those who turn away from Him come to harm and grief.


tells us of the omnipotence of God. He created the fabric of the universe; He controls the stellar bodies. Mankind will be forever unable to understand their complexities, as he gropes for clues to their unravelment. True Seekers stand lost in wonder at God's power and excellence.


the benefits of the Sukhmani are expounded. The true devotee will be rewarded with health, culture, wisdom, peace and enlightenment through the sincere recitation and understanding of this Psalm of Peace. He will be crowned with glory both in this world and in God's Court.

Descendant of Baba Farid, transliterates Sukhmani Sahib

Pak minister transliterates Sukhmani Sahib

by Varinder Walia Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 1, 2007

Law minister of Pakistan Syed Afzal Haider, a descendant of Baba Farid, has transliterated Sukhmani Sahib in five scripts, including those in Persian, Roman, Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi.

Sukhmani Sahib is the name given to the set of hymns divided into 24 sections appearing in Guru Granth Sahib.

President of the American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) Pritpal Singh told The Tribune about the scriptures after a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohammedmian Soomro at his office in Islamabad. He said it was the sole efforts of Haider to complete this gigantic task, which had been praised by the Sikhs currently on a pilgrimage in Pakistan in connection with the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Meanwhile, the AGPC chief said Soomro assured the Sikh delegation, comprising Manmohan Singh, Avtar Singh Sanghera, Amrik Singh Vochhoa, Kuldip Singh Chaheru and Harbhajan Singh Matharoo, that his government would make efforts to open a visa centre in Lahore. However, Soomro asked the Sikh delegates to take up with the Indian government the issue of opening a visa centre in Amritsar.

See also

External Links

  • Sukhmani Sahib in original Gurmukhi, Roman transliteration and English translation.





File:Sukhmani v4 red w b-g.jpg


  • 1. Sabadarth Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Amritsar, 1975
  • 2. Sahib Singh, Sukhmani Sahib Satik. Amritsar, 1939
  • 3. Narain Singh, Giani, Sukhmani Sahib. Amritsar, n. d.
  • 4. Sodhi, Teja Singh, Katha Dip Sagar (Sukhmani Sahib) Satik. Amritsar, 1959
  • 5. Arshi, Sahib Singh, Sukhmani da Alochanatmak Adhyan. Jind, 1973
  • 6. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors.

Oxford, 1909

  • 7. Teja Singh, The Psalm of Peace.

These are the Popular Banis of Sikhism

Mool Mantar | Japji | Jaap | Anand | Rehras | Benti Chaupai | Tav-Prasad Savaiye | Kirtan Sohila | Shabad Hazaray | Sukhmani | Asa di Var | Ardas

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