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Japji: Mulmantra

Ik Onkar There is one God
 Sat nam  Eternal Truth is His Name
 Karta purakh  He is the Sole Creator
 Nirbhau  He knows no fear
 Nirvair  Is at enmity with no one
 Akal Murat  His Being is timeless & formless
 Ajuni  He is not incarnate
 Saibhang  He is self-existent
 Gurparsad Attainable he is through the grace
Of the Guru, The Enlightener.


The Japji Sahib is a composition by Guru Nanak, most commonly recited as the morning prayer. The Mulmantra, the first verse of the Japji Sahib, is the essence of Sikh philosphy. The subsequent stanzas  are said to be clarifications and enlightenment of the entire Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is  considered the living Guru of the Sikhs and is the focal point of sacred occasions.

The Japji is an extremely popular prayer and the message the Japji conveys is quite contemporary considering the religion is just over 500 years old. Japji has 38 stanzas or pauris (literally steps). After one says the first pauri of the Japji (Mulmantra), the next begins with Jap which means to recite.

Auntyji’s Approach

Bachai lok, your Auntiji recommends that if you have not learned the entire Japji, take a moment to learn the first verse (Mulmantra). I think it helps strengthen your connection to God and your Sikh faith.

As we live our busy lives in a diverse and multicultural society, it is sometimes nice to be reminded of our roots. Also, the first pauri of this paath is a nice prayer to teach your children – something they can recite before bedtime or first thing in the morning. My experience is that once a child learns it, they will not forget it. My grown children still recite it to this day.

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