Originally published in the Indian languages as Binati aur Prarthana ke Shabd, this anthology brings together heartfelt prayers or shabds by twenty-eight mystics who lived in the Indian subcontinent between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the mystics came from different spiritual traditions and walks of life, their voice is one because it is a universal voice of longing for the Lord.
The Great Master, Baba Sawan Singh Ji, when explaining the meaning of prayer in his book Philosophy of the masters. Refers to the Persian word dua meaning ‘call’–calling on the Lord for help. Prayer, he said, “should come from the heart .Our heart, head and tongue should agree. Pray in such a manner that your inner feelings are aroused, every pore begins to weep, and all your veins become like the strings of a violin. The feeling of love should pour forth, and your should become absorbed in your prayer.”
The living Masters of Beas have taught the way to fulfill this longing of the heart for over one hundred years. Wherever a saint serves others, people gather. Like bees attracted to flowers, seekers are drawn irresistibly into the circle of the saint , for they sense that through the mystic, they will find what they seek. They shabds in this book have been sung day after day over the years before satsang by seekers of God wanting to become receptive to the divine.
For this new edition, English translations of the shabds are presented along with the original text in Hindi script as well as transliteration for those who are familiar with the original language but cannot read the script. It is our hope that this three-language format will serve well the ever-growing community f devotees wherever they live in the world.
Many of the English translation have been published by us earlier. While we appreciate that no poetic expression can convey the same endeavour has been to stay as close as possible to the meaning of the original while rendering the verses in natural contemporary English and avoiding expanded interpretation. Line numbers have been given in the Hindi text as well as the translation for cross –reference. Brief footnotes and a glossary are provided to give the meaning of terms and concepts that may be unfamiliar to the reader. For those who wish to find the English translation of particular shabds, an index of first lines in transliteration for cross-reference. Brief concepts that may be unfamiliar to t he reader. For those who wish to find the English translation of particular shabds, an index of first lines in transliteration as well as translation is given.
It is our hope that this anthology will serve to remind us of the mystic teachings and renew the spirit of the teachings in ourselves, inspiring us to live in the Lord’s will through the life of devotion praised so highly by the saints in these in these shabds.
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