Words of Worship: Devotional Music of the Sikhs

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Shabad is a term that comes from the Sanskrit, shabd, which means ‘word’. Shabad has become the name of a special genre of devotional music particularly of the Sikhs, and is often used translated into English as ‘hymn’.


In Sikhism the term shabad has two primary meanings. The first context of the term is to refer to a hymn or paragraph or sections of the Holy Text that appears in Guru Granth Sahib. The main holy scripture of the Sikhs is Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS.) Guru Granth Sahib Ji is organised by chapters of Ragas, with each chapter containing many shabads of that Raga. The first Shabad in Guru Granth Sahib is the Mool Mantar. The script used for the Shabad is Gurmukhi. The second use of the term Shabad within Sikhism is for the holy name of God, Waheguru. (Wikipedia)

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Tonight we share a wonderfully soothing set of Sikh shabad, performed (lead vocal) by Dr. Gurnam Singh. These hymns seem to be structured with the intention of preparing the singer and listener’s heart and spirit for meditation and spiritual reflection.  The effect is reassuring. If you’ve ever entered a gurdwara a Sikh temple of worship this is the sort of sound you will hear. Simple but moving.

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Track Listing:

01 Sodat Ki Chowki

02 Aasa Raag- Partal

03 Aasa Raag – Kabir Vaani

04 Sri Raag



One thought on “Words of Worship: Devotional Music of the Sikhs

  1. This brings back memories of magical mornings at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The music and chanting here is perhaps not as urgent and hypnotic as some old tapes I have, but I can’t play those, so this is great! 🙂

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