Sacred Texts

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib says

Air is the guru; Water the father; and Earth the great mother.

Day and night are two male and female nurses in whose lap the entire world plays.

Epilogue to the Japji or Morning Prayer, by Guru Nanak


You Yourself created the Universe, and You are pleased. You Yourself are the air, water and fire; You Yourself unite in Union. You Yourself are the moon, the sun, the most perfect of the perfect. You Yourself are spiritual wisdom, meditation, and the Guru…

You Yourself are the bumble bee, the flower, the fruit and the tree. You Yourself are the water, the desert, the ocean and the pool. You Yourself are the great fish, the tortoise, the Cause of causes; Your form cannot be known.

Men, trees, sacred shrine of pilgrimage, banks of sacred rivers, clouds, fields, islands, continents, worlds, solar systems and universes; the four courses of creation – born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat; oceans, mountains and all beings – ­ O Nanak, He alone knows their condition.

O Nanak, having created the living beings, He cherishes them all. The Creator who created the creation takes care of it as well. He, the Creator who formed the world, cares for it.

Guru Nanak, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 1020 and p. 467

Trans. Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa



Upon that cosmic plate of the sky, the sun and the moon are the lamps.

The stars and their orbs are the studded pearls. 

The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan. 

All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord.

What a beautiful Aartee – lamp-lit worship service – this is!

O Destroyer of Fear, this is Your Ceremony of Light. 

The Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad is the vibration of the temple drums.

You have thousands of eyes, and yet You have no eyes.

You have thousands of forms, and yet You do not have even one. 

You have thousands of Lotus Feet, and yet You do not have even one foot.

You have no nose, but you have thousands of noses. This Play of Yours entrances me.

Amongst all is the Light – You are that Light. 

By this Illumination, that Light is radiant within all. 

Through the Guru's Teachings, the Light shines forth. 

That which is pleasing to Him is the lamp-lit worship service.

My mind is enticed by the honey-sweet Lotus Feet of the Lord.

Day and night, I thirst for them. 

Bestow the Water of Your Mercy upon Nanak, the thirsty song-bird,

   so that he may come to dwell in Your Name.

Guru Nanak, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 13

Trans. Dr. Sant Singh Khalsa

Header photo: Prayer Book of Rani Jindan, created 1828-1830 ©British Library