Sikhism Shabads and Hymns of Hope and Healing

Prayers and Verses From Sikh Scripture

Sikhism teaches that all suffering stems from the disease of egoism when the divine is forgotten.

"Dukh daaroo sukh rog bha-i-aa jaa sukh taam na hoee ||
Pain is the remedy, pleasure the disease, for where is pleasure, there is no desire for God.

The verses of hymns of hope and healing are shabads, of Gurbani. Hymns may be read, recited, or sung as prayers to eradicate ego, invoke healing of mind, body and soul, instill comfort with realization of spiritual immortality, and to arrive at acceptance divine of will. Many Sikh hymns are available both written and recorded in Gurmukhi with English translations.

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Expectant Parents Sing Hymns of Gurbani Kirtan
Expectant Parents Sing Hymns of Gurbani Kirtan. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Hymns may be sung, and verses recited, by an individual, or in a group kirtan program performed for both mother and child, as a blessing when hoping to conceive, or to inspire confidence in a having successful childbirth, and for giving thanks when conception occurs and following a safe delivery:

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Hymns For Healing Body and Soul

The Yearning Soul Engaged in Simran and Singing
The Yearning Soul Engaged in Simran and Singing. Photo © [S Khalsa]
Kirtan is an expression of praise in musical form. The hymns of Guru Granth Sahib sung to invoke healing give praise to the divine physician as the giver of life and having the supreme capability to remove the maladies of ego which manifest in the body as disease, or other physical defects. Hymns may be read, recited, or sung by the individual, performed by sangat, or professional ragis, on behalf of the soul who is ailing:

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Devotional Reading for Healing

Reading Akhand Paath
Bond With Guru Reading Akhand Paath. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Paath, or devotional reading of hymns selected from Gurbani, may be done as a form of prayer. Reading may be done by an individual, or performed as a group effort on behalf of another in need of support and healing:

  • Sukhmani Sahib meaning "Peace Lagoon". - A soothing shabad of more than 30 pages in length, has been shown to induce calm and reduce blood pressure.
  • Dukh Bhanjani Sahib which begins with the shabad "Dukh bhanjan tera naam meaning "The Destroyer of Suffering is Thy Name". - A compilation of scripture which includes many shabads written by Fifth Guru Arjun Dev during the illness and healing of his young son Sixth Guru Hargobind.

Reading the entire scripture of Guru Granth Sahib is done as an extended prayerful petition for healing and acceptance of divine will:

  • Sadharan or Sahj Paath devotional reading plans. - An individual, or group may choose to read or a succession of days or weeks. Group reading may be performed from a single volume, or may be coordinated to be read from multiple volumes by individuals in various locations reading together in a team effort.
  • Akhand Paath reading schedules. - A group may endeavor together to read by turns in unbroken succession in order to complete the entire scripture in the space of 48 hours to 72 hours.

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Listening to Recorded Shabads and Paath for Healing

Mera Baid by Gurmand Gian Group
Mera Baid by Gurmand Gian Group. Photo © [Courtesy Gurmat Gian Group]

One in need of healing may find soothing comfort, emotional and physical and support by listening to recordings of Gurbani kirtan shabads, and paath, including Sukhmani Sahib, Dukh Bhanjani and scripture of Guru Granth Sahib. Recordings can be played day and night continuously if desired so as to be heard subliminally by the subconscious mind for extended periods as part of a daily devotional practic :

  • Gurmat Gian Group produces CD and ACD recordings of multiple healing shabads in a single album sung in classical raag. Shabads available for purchase may also be heard individually for free online.
  • Professor Surinder Singh of Raj Academy is a naad yoga specialist whose focus is on healing through the sound current of classic Raga Kirtan "Super Health" CD's.

  • Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa Pipli Wale's kirtan album Sun Sun Jeeva Teri Bani, meaning "I live by listening and hearing Your word", is an exquisite cleansing experience, healing and soothing with hymns like Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam, "the destroyer of suffering is Your name".

  • Treat yourself to the soothing Gurbani of Sacred Sukhmani CDs sung or recited by various artists.

  • Recordings of medicine of the the soul is the daily prescription for the disease of ego.

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Related In Depth Definitions

Listening to Paath for Healing
"Sun Sun Jivan Teri Bani" Listening to Paath for Healing. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Understand more about the Sikhism concept of egoism in relation to distress, disease and healing with illustrative quotes and excerpts from Gurbani:

  • Dukh - Distress
    "Har dhiaavahu santhu jee sabh dookh visaaranhaaraa ||
    Meditate on the Lord, O Saints, the Dispeller of all distress." SGGS||10
     
  • Rog - Disease
    "Simar simar kaattae sabh rog ||
    By contemplating and remembering Him, in meditation, are all diseases healed." SGGS||240