Yogi Bhajan brought a complete technology of sound to the West from the Sikh tradition. This technology of sound is referred to as the Shabad Guru. This is explained perfectly by the legacy of his non-profit organization and foundation 3HO.
Shabad means sound, Guru means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The simplest meaning of Shabad Guru is a special sound that is a teacher. The Shabad Guru employs the Naad, totally balanced universal sound, to remove the constrictions and distortions of the ego.
Definition of Shabad Guru
The root structure of the words gives a deeper definition; the Shabad Guru transforms the practitioner by removing the barriers created by the needs of the ego. Shabad comes from Sha- and –bad. Sha means the expression of the ego, the attachments we identify with. Bad means to cut out/off or to eradicate. In essence the root meaning of Sha-bad is that which cuts the ego. It is not just any sound. It is not just a sound of wisdom or a song of truth. It is a sound that cuts away the ego, which obstructs the truth from you.
The second word in the phrase Shabad Guru is Guru. Gu means darkness or ignorance. Ru is light and knowledge. Gur is a formula or instruction. A Guru, then, is that which gives a formula or technique that transforms darkness into light, ignorance into knowledge.
A Guru is an active knowledge. It is not the intellectual knowledge that simply classifies or analyzes. Guru changes you. Guru develops the capacity to discern and see. It gives you procedural knowledge that is in your cells and your subconscious, not just representational knowledge in your ideas
Effects of the Shabad Guru
Affirmations and positive statements are helpful and good to use. Mantras are effective and gradually create changes. But the Shabad Guru is unique. The patterns are a perfect weave of rhythm, sound, tone, focus, and meaning. There is nothing as effective and universal as those patterns to program the consciousness to be in alignment with the soul.
That may seem simple. But simple does not necessarily mean easy or without challenge. The greatest challenge is the practitioner’s own subconscious. The Shabad provokes a release of stored subconscious patterns of thinking and feeling. If, under the torrential flood of subconscious feelings and thoughts, you persist in repeating the pattern of the Shabad Guru, then the new pattern establishes itself. Your mind clears, and you awaken dormant inner capacities or enhance existing ones.” Taken from the 3HO website
Kundalini Yoga is versatile, it can be used as a structured workout, or for meditation. However, the emphasis is on activating the inner potential energy that lies latent in every individual, the Kundalini Shakti. We create healing music to accompany many different Kundalini practices, including:
Mantra is a powerful therapy and meditation tool that can help free your mind of background chatter and calm your nervous system. Practicing mantra can aid in altering the hidden motivation behind impulses and habits and negative thoughts.
Meditation – The purpose of Kundalini Meditation is to awaken the latent energy at the base of the spine. Our healing sounds include powerful Kundalini meditation mantras that will help you concentrate better and block out random, distracting sounds
Physical workout sounds – We create yoga music with specially set tempos and lengths to set an appropriate mood for asana practice. As artists we make healing sounds that facilitate the physical, emotional, and spiritual shifts that Kundalini yoga can bring.
We perform hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy scripture. It contains compositions and utterances from the whole spectrum of society at a time when the Indian consciousness was afflicted at its peak by the caste system. The Guru Granth Sahib then, also called the Word-Guru brings a universal message for the benefit of all humankind without any distinction.
According to the Sikh Missionary Society:
Through Gurbani, the Sikh Gurus preached a practical religion, which invited all good people of all beliefs to do something about world peace; to work together for a tolerant and just world order. Gurbani preaches that peace on earth is only possible if there is respect for human rights; if there is equality between all human beings; and if there was no oppression or injustice. Absence of war does not necessarily mean peace; especially, if such peace is secured through oppression and unjust laws; and if people are denied their freedom and equality. In certain circumstances, resort to arms to defend human equality and dignity is justified. Gurbani preaches kinship of all creation before One Creator.
Amongst devotees, listening to Gurbani Kirtan is tantamount to the highest form of meditation. When we perform kirtan, the hymns of the Guru Granth Sahib, we engage with the audience so that they understand the meaning behind it to get the maximum benefit.
There is but one all pervading spirit, and it is called the truth,
It exists in all creation, and it has no fear, It does not hate and,
it is timeless, universal and self-existent!
You will come to know it through the grace of the Guru