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Sri Guru Granth Sahib on dance

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

This articles lists Gurbani relating to dancing and singing which are activities where many preconceived prejudices and views exist in the Sikh and Punjabi community. Singing and dancing are great traditions of Punjab which have been in existence for many thousands of years. These traditions are encouraged and supported by Sikhi and Gurbani provided that they are used as a positive, communal and constructive function for unity and celebration of society. When used to escalate ones ego or pride; or for self-excitation; or for sensual gratification, these same activities are condemned by the Guru. The Guru tells us:

Sikhism is not against Dance. Dance was integral part of some of famous saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Peer Makhdoom etc. Sikhism is against Dancing which is done to please others, like Cabre Dancing, Belly Dancing, Mujra etc, the dancing whose motive is to take away from lord But dance which is done on lord name is said to be good. Sikhism Says it is better to stress more on listen and enjoy the essence of gurbani from inside. But some persons in ecstacy just shake their head and move their body only he knows the taste of that. We people just criticise on Dance. Now come back to article if you would read following lines you would find that Dance is not said wrong in any of Gurbani lines instead gurus have given dance a step of ecstacy. If Dance would be such bad thing then why gurus used such lines in their bani?

Sikhism is against those dances which bring people far away from god to hell. Dance of Prostitutes etc.

ਹਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਜੀਉ ਵਾਰੀ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸੁਹਾਵਣਿਆ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਗਾਵੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਚੈ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਤੀ ਚਿਤੁ ਲਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

हउ वारी जीउ वारी हरि हरि नामि सुहावणिआ ॥ गुरमुखि गावै गुरमुखि नाचै हरि सेती चितु लावणिआ ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥

Ha­o vārī jī­o vārī har har nām suhāvaṇi­ā. Gurmukẖ gāvai gurmukẖ nācẖai har sėṯī cẖiṯ lāvaṇi­ā. ॥1॥ rahā­o.
I am a sacrifice, my soul is a sacrifice, to those who look beautiful in the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.

The Gurmukhs sing , the Gurmukhs dance, and focus their consciousness on the Lord. ((1)(Pause))

Singing and dancing are great to lift ones mood and bring brightness into the mind; they also provide great exercise and are very beneficial for the circulation of blood in the body. However, when you sing and dance, remember that only by the Hukam of God are you enjoying all these wonderful activities. Keep your focus on the Almighty. With each motion remember Him!

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥
Gurmukẖ niraṯ har lāgai bẖā­o. Pūrė ṯāl vicẖahu āp gavā­ė.
The Gurmukh's dance is to embrace love for the Lord;

to the beat of the drum, he sheds his ego from within.

ਵਾਜਾ ਮਤਿ ਪਖਾਵਜੁ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਚਾਉ ॥

ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਏਹੋ ਤਪ ਤਾਉ ॥ ਇਤੁ ਰੰਗਿ ਨਾਚਹੁ ਰਖਿ ਰਖਿ ਪਾਉ ॥੧॥
ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਜਾਣੈ ਸਾਲਾਹ ॥ ਹੋਰੁ ਨਚਣਾ ਖੁਸੀਆ ਮਨ ਮਾਹ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

vājā maṯ pakẖāvaj bẖā­o. Ho­ė anand saḏā man cẖā­o.

Ėhā bẖagaṯ ėho ṯap ṯā­o. Iṯ rang nācẖahu rakẖ rakẖ pā­o. ॥1॥
Pūrė ṯāl jāṇai sālāh. Hor nacẖṇā kẖusī­ā man māh. ॥1॥ rahā­o.

Make your intellect your instrument, and love your tambourine; thus bliss and lasting pleasure shall be produced in your mind.

This is devotional worship, and this is the practice of penance. So dance in this love, and keep the beat with your feet. ॥1॥
Know that the perfect beat is the Praise of the Lord; other dances produce only temporary pleasure in the mind. ॥1॥Pause॥

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ਭਾਉ ॥ ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ .....
ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਚੁ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਪਾਖੰਡਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
Gurmukẖ niraṯ har lāgai bẖā­o. Pūrė ṯāl vicẖahu āp gavā­ė....
Gurmukẖ bẖagaṯ jugaṯ sacẖ so­ė. Pakẖand bẖagaṯ niraṯ ḏukẖ ho­ė. ॥3॥
The Gurmukh's dance is to embrace love for the Lord; to the beat of the drum, he sheds his ego from within.....
For the Gurmukh, loving devotional worship is the way to the True Lord. But the dances and the worship of the hypocrites bring only pain. ॥3॥

ਤੇਰਾ ਜਨੁ ਨਿਰਤਿ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ਰਬਾਬੁ ਪਖਾਵਜ ਤਾਲ ਘੁੰਘਰੂ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਵੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Ŧėrā jan niraṯ karė gun gāvai. Rabāb pakẖāvaj ṯāl gẖungẖrū anhaḏ sabaḏ vajāvai. ॥1॥ rahā­o.
Your humble servant dances and sings Your Glorious Praises.

He plays upon the guitar, tambourine and cymbals, and the unstruck sound current of the Shabad resounds. ॥1॥Pause॥

ਖੰਡ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੰਡ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਨਾਚੇ ਜਿਨ ਲਾਗੀ ਹਰਿ ਲਿਵ ਤੁਮਾਰੀ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭੇ ਹੀ ਨਾਚੇ ਨਾਚਹਿ ਖਾਣੀ ਚਾਰੀ ॥੫॥
Kẖand barahmand ṯarai guṇ nācẖė jin lāgī har liv ṯumārī. Jī­a janṯ sabẖė hī nācẖė nācẖeh kẖāṇī cẖārī. ॥5॥
The planets and solar systems dance in the three qualities, as do those who bear love for You, Lord.
The beings and creatures all dance, and the four sources of creation dance. ॥5॥

ਪੂਰੇ ਤਾਲ ਨਿਹਾਲੇ ਸਾਸ ॥ ਵਾ ਕੇ ਗਲੇ ਜਮ ਕਾ ਹੈ ਫਾਸ ॥੩॥
Pūrė ṯāl nihālė sās. vā kė galė jam kā hai fās. ॥3॥
She dances to the beat, exciting the breath of those who watch her.

But the noose of the Messenger of Death is around her neck. ॥3॥

ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥੨॥
Nānak saṯgur bẖeti▫ai pūrī hovai jugaṯ. Hasanḏi▫ā kẖelanḏi▫ā painanḏi▫ā kẖāvanḏi▫ā vicẖe hovai mukaṯ. ॥2॥
O Nanak, meeting the True Guru, one comes to know the Perfect Way.

While laughing, playing, dressing and eating, he is liberated. ॥2॥

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