The Jewels of Contentment – A Prayer for Meditation
The Jewels of Contentment, or Sukhmani Sahib in the Punjabi language, is a special Sikh prayer for meditation. You can translate the name of this prayer also as Jewels of Peace, or Jewels of Bliss. Guru Arjan, fifth in the line of the Ten Sikh Gurus — the Ten Teachers, wrote this prayer for daily meditation.
The Jewels of Contentment is the prayer for meditation that DocSahib passed on to Pete Cameron’s grandfather, in the book If I Had Known. Decades later, Pete discovers this prayer as he searches for the purpose and meaning of his life. He learns how meditation and prayer can help him achieve the state of eternal bliss, or Nirvana — by uniting his individual spirit with the Universal Spirit.
The word Guru comes from the Sanskrit roots “gu” and “ru” meaning one who transforms darkness (ignorance) into light (knowledge). As you might expect, Sikh means student, or seeker of Truth. Lineage of the Ten Teachers started with Guru Nanak in the fifteenth century. The Tenth Sikh Guru was Guru Gobind Singh.
Ek Omkaar — Satnam – One Everlasting True Name !
The unique and exquisite Jewels of Contentment are a collection of hymns written to the notes of the classical Indian Raag, Gauri. These hymns are organized into twenty-four parts, each containing a preamble followed by eight verses.
The preamble to the entire prayer, and summaries of the first three parts of the prayer, is provided below. This brief preview of the sacred hymns of the Sukhmani Sahib, provides a glimpse of the beauty and wisdom contained in this prayer.
Prem Chopra prepared this translation of the Jewels of Contentment from the original Sukhmani Sahib prayer in the Gurmukhi language. He relied considerably upon the English translation by Harbans Singh Doabia, Singh Brothers, India, 13th edition, 1994. Presently, Prem Chopra is working on a modern translation of the Jewels of Contentment.
Preamble to the Jewels of Contentment: In Raag Gauri, by the Fifth Guru.
The True Guru vanquishes the darkness of ignorance and enlightens the mind with knowledge.
With the grace of the True Guru one meets saints who illuminate the mind, says Nanak.
Preamble to Part 1 of the Jewels of Contentment
I bow to the Primal Creator,
I bow to the Eternal Creator.
I bow to the True Teacher,
I bow to the Divine Teacher.
Summary of the Eight Verses of Part 1:
Meditate upon the Name and attain peace and contentment.
Preamble to Part 2 of the Jewels of Contentment
Oh destroyer of pain and suffering, dweller in the heart of the helpless,
I come seeking your shelter through Nanak
Summary of the Eight Verses of Part 2:
Seekers of maya, or material wealth, will drown in the river of desire. Meditation on the Name will quench the thirst for maya and, with the grace of the True Teacher, you will cross the river and merge with the Creator.
Preamble to Part 3 of the Jewels of Contentment
I have searched through many ancient scriptures, but found none that match the priceless Name, says Nanak.
Summary of the Eight Verses of Part 3:
Abandon rituals, fasts, penances and superstitions. Meditate on the incomparable Name of the Creator.