The Jewels of Contentment – Introduction

The Jewels of Contentment, or Sukhmani Sahib in the original Punjabi language, can also be translated as Jewels of Peace, or Jewels of Bliss.

This prayer for meditation was written by Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru in the line of ten Sikh Gurus, more than four centuries ago. The word Guru means teacher – one who transforms darkness or ignorance of the mind into light. The word Sikh means student, or seeker of truth. The lineage of the ten Sikh Gurus started in the fifteenth century, A.D. with Guru Nanak. The tenth Sikh Guru was Gobind Singh.

The Jewels are presented in the form of hymns written to the notes of the classical Indian Raag, Gauri. There are twenty-four parts, each containing eight verses. A simple translation of the first six and last two parts is provided below. This brief summary of the sacred hymns of the Sukhmani Sahib, provides a glimpse of the priceless jewels contained in this prayer.

This is the prayer for meditation that DocSahib passed on to Pete Cameron’s grandfather, Paul Gardner, and to Joe Sages in If I Had Known. Decades later, as Pete searches for the purpose and meaning of his life, Joe gives him this prayer.

This translation of the Jewels was prepared by Prem Chopra from the original Sukhmani Sahib prayer in the Gurmukhi language. The English translation by Harbans Singh Doabia, Singh Brothers, India, 13 th edition, 1994, was relied upon considerably. Prem Chopra presently is working on a complete modern translation of the Jewels of Contentment.

You can read some of the verses of Jewels by clicking on the links to your left.