From the book "Jap Ji – The message of Guru Nanak"
The following version of Jap Ji, or the message of Guru Nanak, is sent out into the world in order to feed hungry souls, and quench their thirst for true knowledge of the higher life.
The original Punjabi text of the "Jap Ji" is exquisitely written and it is impossible to translate it without some loss. An effort, however, has been made in these pages to present a literal translation of the text to the public. Where the reader might lose the true import, recourse has been made to a free rendering.
The "Jap Ji" deals with the practical aspect of the problem of spirituality more than with mere theory. Neither is it a mere work of literature. Earlier translations into English have tended to ignore this and have often failed to convey the true import of the original. In this rendering, an effort has been made to concentrate upon the message that the "Jap Ji" contains, rather than to indulge in a literary exercise. The study of this work will help all people, irrespective of the religion that they may profess.
True religious thought is ingrained in the hearts of all beings. It is inherent and appears in the form of a search after peace everlasting and joy supreme. When this awakening comes to man from within, he takes to the religious pursuits as prescribed by one or the other form of religion. He also begins a keen and a passionate study of the holy scriptures. These are the elementary steps towards God-realisation and are necessary. But he who does not go beyond this stage, thinking it to be the be-all and the end-all of religion, never enters the realm of higher consciousness. These are primary means. He has to advance a step further, to quiet the spiritual unrest seizing his mind.
Man has to take to the subjective side of things, ultimately to commune with Shabd-Bani. This eternal Divine Music is the cause of all creation, and permeates it. Christ refers to it as the Word, the Mohammedan saints as Kalma, Zoroaster as Sraosha, the Hindu scriptures as Shruti, Udgeet, Nad, or Akash Bani. The Science of the "Word" has been practised and taught by almost all the Saints. It is the quickest, the easiest and most natural of all the sciences that exist for attaining complete oneness with the Lord. A study of this book will afford food for the soul that aspires to take a step further into the inner realm of the spiritual life.
These teachings are addressed to all humanity and no sectarianism is inculcated. The Master is for all mankind and for all times. Let us hope that this attempt at translation will give us a deeper insight into the problems of the Self and God.
Loving acknowledgement is here made to the teachings of the great Masters who came in the past, and to later writers, like Tennyson, Huxley and others who have been referred to in the introduction.
My thanks go to Shri Bhadra Sena and others who took keen interest in going through the manuscript and spent many hours in this labour of love.