Skip to main content

Posts

Singing Guru Nanak for a Year

I decided to spend a year to spend a year working on compositions of Guru Nanak for #GuruNanak550.  Someone asked me write about this experience and this is what I said:
Singing Guru Nanak For a YearAs long as I sing, I live. As soon as I forget, I die
(So Kyon Visrai)
- Guru Nanak, Raag Asa

On the momentous occasion of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary celebrations, I decide to spend a year meditating upon the words and music of Guru Nanak. Its exciting ... For many years Bhai Gurdas has reminded me how Guru Nanak lighted his life, Kal Taaran Guru Nanak Aaya. I commence excitedly, focusing on the light that is brighter than one hundred moons and one thousand suns combined, the light of Guru Nanak’s prayer, the universal Aarti with the stars studded in the sky’s platter.

I decide to sing Guru Nanak completely this year. The initial plan is to record 55 new compositions. I think this to be momentous because normally I can only do 10-12 compositions in a year. This is also momento…
Recent posts

Tera Sadra - Guru Nanak in Raag Suhi

Tera Sadra - Guru Nanak



Potential Images for Album cover/Video:









We liked the last picture the best, because the bird seems to be singing, it is sitting and it seems contemplative.


Shabad in Gurbani

ਜੋਗੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੋਗਵੈ ਭੋਗੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਖਾਇ ॥
ਤਪੀਆ ਹੋਵੈ ਤਪੁ ਕਰੇ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਮਲਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਇ ॥੧॥

ਤੇਰਾ ਸਦੜਾ ਸੁਣੀਜੈ ਭਾਈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਬਹੈ ਅਲਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

ਜੈਸਾ ਬੀਜੈ ਸੋ ਲੁਣੇ ਜੋ ਖਟੇ ਸੋੁ ਖਾਇ ॥
ਅਗੈ ਪੁਛ ਨ ਹੋਵਈ ਜੇ ਸਣੁ ਨੀਸਾਣੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥

ਤੈਸੋ ਜੈਸਾ ਕਾਢੀਐ ਜੈਸੀ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥
ਜੋ ਦਮੁ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਸੋ ਦਮੁ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਜਾਇ ॥੩॥

ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਵੇਚੀ ਬੈ ਕਰੀ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਲਏ ਵਿਕਾਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਕੰਮਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਜਿਤੁ ਤਨਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਚਾ ਨਾਉ ॥੪॥੫॥੭॥

Shabad in Hindi

जोगी होवै जोगवै भोगी होवै खाऎ ॥
तपीया होवै तप करे तीरथ मल मल नाऎ ॥१॥

तेरा सदड़ा सुणीजै भाई जे को बहै अलाऎ ॥१॥ रहाओ ॥

जैसा बीजै सो लुणे जो खटे सो खाऎ ॥
अगै पुछ न होवई जे सण नीसाणै जाऎ ॥२॥

तैसो जैसा काढीऐ जैसी कार कमाऎ ॥
जो दम चिति न आवई सो दम बिरथा जाऎ ॥३॥

इहो तन वेची बै करी जे को लए विकाऎ ॥
नानक कम न आवई जित तन नाही सचा नाओ ॥४॥५॥७॥


Shabad in English
Jogī hovai jogvai bẖogī hovai kẖāe.
Ŧapī▫ā hovai ṯap kare ṯirath mal mal nāe. ||1|…

Satgur Nanak Pargateya and free downloads

I am participating in an event organized by Oneness USA at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Nov 23. The organizers requested me to sing Satgur Nanak Pargateya for a portion of the program, so I made a composition yesterday and recorded myself practicing it (video below).

This is the 157th composition for this year; most of the compositions are that of or about Guru Nanak. Its been a wonderful year of singing!





Bhai Gurdas' love for Guru Nanak shines through this one.

Sathguru Nanak pargateya miti dund jag chanan hoya  With the emergence of the true Guru Nanak, the mist cleared and the light scattered all around. 
Jiou(n) kar sooraj nikaliaa thaarae shhapae a(n)dhhaer paloaa
As if at the sun rise the stars disappeared and the darkness dispelled. 
Si(n)gh bukae miragaavalee bha(n)nee jaaeae n dhheer dhharoaa With the roar of the lion in the forest the flocks of escaping deer now cannot have endurance. 
Jithhai baabaa pair dhharai poojaa aasan thhaapan soaa Wherever Baba put h…

An Album to Celebrate the Opening of the Kartarpur Corridor

This album is in celebration of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, a visa-free access for the lovers of Guru Nanak to go from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life. Much thanks to Janapriyan Levine who helped arrange a couple of the shabads in this album, and also to Jeremy Marais and Abhijit Chakraborty for playing the Saxophone and Bass respectively in one shabad each.

Rang Rataa - An album of 5 shabads

Dear friends ... my celebration for #GuruNanak550 continues as I release a new colorful album today, "Rang Rataa," which has five shabads in five different colors. Rang means color, and rataa means imbued.


The first shabad, Rang Rataa, which was released earlier this year as a single, features one of the best finger guitarists in the US and my wonderful friend, Muriel Anderson. This is one of the two compositions of this shabad ... the other one in Raag Shri is still in the making. The other four shabads are in the raag that Guru Nanak used to sing in.

My special gratitude to my dear friend Ahsan Ali for pouring his immense love and co-producing Mere Laal Rangeele in Raag Tukhari (a raag that Guru Nanak composed himself). In Mera Prabh Raang Guru Nanak uses Rajasthani and is sung in Raag Parbhati.

Kusambhare is a Baba Sheikh Farid shabad about the impermanence of life like the color of a flower, which Guru Nanak used to sing in Raag Suhi Lalit. This is a new take on this raa…

Pavan Guru (feat. Alexis Harte and Stephen Spies)

"Pavan Guru" literally means "Wind Guru" or "Wind is the supreme guide." Pavan Guru is my first collaboration with the amazing singer songwriter Alexis Harte. According to Kurrent Music, "Alexis Harte is a rare multi-dimensional talent that succeeds in many diverse musical challenges and environments." I can attest that he really puts his soul into his music. I am looking forward to more collaborations with him. You can learn more about him on his website: http://www.alexisharte.com/. His colleague Stephen Spies helped out and played the violin on this track and I am much grateful for his contribution as well. 

Transliteration 

Pavan guru paani pitaa, maataa dharat mahat.
Divas raat doe daai daaiaa, khelai sagal jagat.

Changiaaiaa buriaaiaa, vaachai dharam hadur.
Karmi aapo aapni, ke nerai ke dur.

Jini Naam dhiaaiaa, gae masakat ghaal.
Naanak te mukh ujle, keti chhuti naal.


Translation 

Wind is Guru, Water is Father, and Earth, the Great Mother.

Balhari Gur Aapne

Guru Nanak: I absolutely love my Guru. For it does not even take him an instant to infuse divinity into someone.

Guru Angad: Even if 100 moons grew, and 1000 suns rose, without the Guru it would be pitch dark.

On the day Guru Nanak Crossed the Rainbow Bridge ...

I heard some people got together today in Kartarpur to commemorate the 480th death anniversary of Guru Nanak. This reminds me of this incident with my grandfather, Papaji and his brother, Chachaji.  While Chachaji who was only two years younger to Papaji, he was a lot more active and seemed a lot more younger. They had a very funny and frank relationship.  So that day, Chachaji reminded Papaji that he should write his will, just in case "something" happens. He also suggested that he should leave Chachaji instructions on how to execute the will.  Papaji thought about it for a bit, and with a straight face quipped, "Who knows if I will die first or you?" It left Chachaji startled and it became a story that was told and retold in the family. I remember Papaji very sad remembering this when Chachaji actually died suddenly while Papaji was around.

Coincidently, recently I completed an album that includes 5 poems of Guru Nanak that deal with death. In the first line of …