Rakhay Rakhanahar - 7 minutes
Rakhay rakhanahar aap ubaaria-an
The Great Protector, the One who protects, that One who exists within us of Himself or Herself lifts us up.
Gur kee pairee paa-i kaaj savaari-an
That One gave us the Lotus Feet of the Guru on our foreheads and so all of our affairs and work are taken care of.
Hoaa aap da-iaal manaho na visaari-an
God is merciful, kind and compassionate so that we do not forget God in our mind.
Saadh janaa kai sang bhavajal taari-an
In the company of the Holy, we are carried across the challenges, calamities and scandals of the world.
Saakat nindak dusht khin maa-eh bidaari-an
Attachment to the world and slanderous enemies are destroyed.
Tis saahib kee tayk Naanak manai maa-eh
That great Lord is my anchor, in Nanak's mind.
Jis simrat sukh ho-i sagalay dookh jaa-eh
Keep firm in your mind and cultivate the vibration of peace by meditating and repeating God's Name, and all happiness comes while sorrows and pain go away.
Guru Arjan, the Fifth Sikh Guru - who was responsible for construction of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India - composed this shabad (song) as a song of victory. It is chanted for 7-minutes during the Aquarian Sadhana, but is also part of an evening prayer called Rehras. It is said to be a powerfully protective mantra against any negative forces, obstacles or thought patterns in your life. When chanting this shabad, its protective potential surrounds not only you, but all those around you. Wahe guru!
When I think about this shabad a couple of things come to mind. The first is challenge. I think most Kundalini yogis will agree that "Rakhay Rakhanahar" is the hardest Aquarian Sadhana mantra to learn. In my earliest days of attending Aquarian Sadhana, I remember noticing a great deal of frustration come to the surface, as I struggled to learn these Gurmukhi words. I would often find myself wanting to skip right over it. . .literally tune it out. . . and then join back in during "Wahe Guru, Wahe Jio." Slowly, over time, I noticed the lines becoming more and more familiar. And then suddenly (and with great surprise!) the words became comforting. For me, the learning-curve of this shabad is symbolic. Learning it can feel like this insurmountable obstacle. But, by chanting it, we are actually cutting THROUGH obstacles.
The second experience that I am most aware of, related to "Rakhay Rakhanahar," is an experience I had at a 3HO Winter Solstice, during one of the three-days of White Tantric Yoga. Yogi Bhajan presented us with a particularly challenging meditation (think holding your arms straight out in front of you, no bend in the elbows, perpendicular to your body, for 62-minutes. . .yeah. . .that kind of "shoulders-are-burning!, Dear God, can't-I-please-put-my-arms-down-soon?!" kind of challenging). We were probably only 5-minutes into what felt like was going to be an eternity. So much negative chatter started to surface in my mind - followed by an unenthusiastic cheerleader mentality - followed by negative chatter. My mind was oscillating back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Then, from out of the ethers, came this very clear message. "POWER. PROJECTION. PEACE. . . POWER. PROJECTION. PEACE. . . POWER. PROJECTION. PEACE. Over and over again. And, as I allowed this message to flow through me, it cut right through the internal chatter and carried me through the remaining part of the meditation. There is no doubt in my mind that this shabad lovingly, yet boldly, enveloped all of us with the stability, the flow, and the guidance that we needed to move through this meditation with grace and dignity.
A few of my favorite versions of Rakhay Rakhanahar:
Singh Kaur's version on her album Rakhay Rakhanahar (this includes a 7-minute sadhana version and a 31-minute version that is amazing for longer meditations that include this shabad)
Gurunam Singh's version on her album Crimson Sadhana
Mirabai Ceiba's version on the album Mountain Sadhana
Guru Ganesha's version on the album Live at Five!
With light and love,