Jaap Sahib

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Jaap Sahib/ਜਾਪ ਸਾਹਿਬ 
by Guru Gobind Singh
Original title Jaap
Written Paunta Sahib
First published in Dasam Granth
Country India
Language Gurmukhi
Subject(s) Eulogy of Almighty
Genre(s) Religion
Meter Chantt
Lines 10 Stanzas
Followed by Akaal Ustat

Jaap Sahib (or Japu Sahib) is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The prayer was composed by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh and is found at the start of the Sikh scripture Dasam Granth.[1] It is said to have been compiled by Bhai Mani Singh around the year 1734.[citation needed]

This Bani is an important Sikh prayer, and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar (initiation), a ceremony held to admit initiates into the Khalsa. The Jaap Sahib is reminiscent of Japji Sahib composed by Guru Nanak, and both praise God.[1]

Meaning of Jaap[edit]

Following are some accepted meanings of Jaap:

  • The popular meanings of Jaap is to recite, to repeat, or to chant.[2]
  • Jaap also means to understand. Gurbani cites Aisa Giaan Japo Man Mere, Hovo Chakar Sache Kere, where Jap word means to understand wisdom.[3]

Jaap is a Sanskrit word meaning "to utter in a low voice, whisper, mutter (especially prayers or incantations); to invoke or call upon in a low voice".[citation needed]


The Jaap Sahib is a recitation and praise of God. It includes a thousand names of God, of which the predominant number are Hindu gods and goddesses, while others include terms for God in Islam.[1][4]


Jaap Sahib is made up of 199 pauris or verses and is the first Bani of the Dasam Granth (p. 1-10). The Jaap Sahib begins with "Sri Mukhwakh Patshahi Dasvee", "By the holy mouth of the Tenth King". This appears to be a specific saying to authenticate the writings of Guru Gobind Singh himself.

Macauliffe says, "The Hindus have a work enitled Vishnu Sahasar Nam, 'Vishnu's Thousand Names.' The Jaapji similarly provides nearly a thousand names of the Creator, but includes both Hindu and Muslim names for God.


The language of Jaap, is close to classical with words and compounds drawn from Sanskrit, Brij Bhasha, Arabic and Urdu. The contents of Jaap Sahib, are divided into various Chhands bearing the name of the related meter according to the then prevalent system of prosody in India.

Among the thousand names of God there are over nine hundred Hindu names, and several Muslim names such as Allah and Khuda.[1]

Japji Sahib and Jaap Sahib[edit]

The Guru Granth Sahib starts with Japji Sahib, while Dasam Granth starts with Jaap Sahib also called Japu Sahib.[1] Guru Nanak is credited with the former, while Guru Gobind Singh is credited with the latter.[1] Japu Sahib is structured as a stotra that are commonly found in 1st millennium CE Hindu literature. The Japu Sahib, unlike Japji Sahib, is composed predominantly in Braj-Hindi and Sanskrit language, with a few Arabic words, and with 199 stanzas is longer than Japji Sahib.[1] The Jaap Sahib is, like Japji Sahib, a praise of God as the unchanging, loving, unborn, ultimate power and includes within it 950 names of God,[1] starting with Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and moving on to over 900 names and avatars of gods and goddesses found in Hindu traditions, with the assertion that these are all manifestations of the One, the limitless eternal creator.[5] This is similar to Sahasranama texts of India, and for this reason this part is also called as Akal Sahasranama.[5] The text includes Arabic words for God such as Khuda and Allah. The Japu Sahib includes a mention of God as wielder of weapons, consistent with the martial spirit of Dasam Granth.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i HS Singha (2009), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Hemkunt Press, ISBN 978-8170103011, page 110
  2. ^ S Deol (1998), Japji: The Path of Devotional Meditation, ISBN 978-0966102703, page 11
  3. ^ Nihang, Dharam Singh. Naad Ved Vichar (Exegesis) (in Punjabi). India. p. 20. ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ।। ਹੋਵਹੁ ਚਾਕਰ ਸਾਚੇ ਕੇਰੇ (ਪੰਨਾ ੭੨੮) 
  4. ^ Amarjit Singh (1985), Concept of God in Jaap Sahib: An analytic study, Studies in Sikhism and Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, Issue 1, pages 85–92
  5. ^ a b Amarjit Singh (1985), Concept of God in Jap Sahib, Studies in Sikhism and Comparative Religion, Volume 4, pages 84-102

Further reading[edit]

  • Singh, Dr. Santokh (1990). English Transliteration and Interpretation of Nitnaym Baanees, Sikh Prayers for English Speaking Sikh Youth. Sikh Resource Centre. ISBN 1-895471-08-7. 
  • William Owen Cole, Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs And Practises. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1-898723-13-3. 
  • Neki, Jaswant (2008). Basking in the Divine Presence - A Study of Jap Sahib. Amritsar: Singh Brothers.
  • Singh, Sahib (2003). Jaap Sahib Steek. Amritsar: Singh Brothers.

External links[edit]

Audio Links[edit]