36th and 37th Paurees: The Indescribable Experiences



There is a problem with trying to write about the Khands, or realms, mentioned in the 36th and 37th paurees of Japji Sahib. The basic problem is that Guru Nanak says it’s impossible to describe them. He can explain what the realms actually do. However, the beauty for him is so overwhelming, that he is speechless from the impact of experiencing it. To honor Guru Nanak, then, I won’t attempt to discuss this too much. Instead, I’ll just briefly clarify what happens in these realms.

Along the path of meditation, or during the evolution of the spirit, sometimes a soul will get to the point where it can become a true spiritual elder – such as a master or an angel. This process happens in Saram Khand – or the Realm of Effort. Guru Nanak explains that “bani” – the sacred wisdom vibration of the Universe – becomes form in Saram Khand. Every great spiritual teacher, every master who ever lived, every angel who oversees the play of creation and protects the innocence of the souls –  are created in Saram Khand.

These masters, guides, elders and angels can do one of two things. They can come completely into form by taking a physical birth. Or they can exist in the subtle body and interact with those who meditate. For instance, sometimes when you meditate, you may “get a message” from an angel or from Guru Ram Das. It is the presence of these guides in the level of Saram Khand, or what Yogi Bhajan might call the third blue ether, that allows this to happen.

We like to think of time and space as something very solid. The map of where “heaven” is – is “somewhere up there” – in a totally different place from where we are “down here.” But you can also think of it as a simple step sidewise. With just a small shift – you are in a different dimension. A dimension not tied down by the laws of physics, but existing through the laws of consciousness.

If you have the blessing to get to the point where you, yourself, are being crafted to become a master, a spiritual elder, or an angel – this work is done in the Realm of Effort. It is, I believe, a deep and persistent effort in your own meditation that allows you to clear yours karmas and blocks completely. And to allow the crystallization of wisdom to happen within you.

For many of us, becoming a master or an angel is the pinnacle of the journey. What more could we want than that? Yet – surprisingly – for Guru Nanak, becoming a master is not the last step. Beyond the Realm of Effort lies Karam Khand – the Realm of Grace. And in the Realm of Grace, something new occurs.

The spiritual warriors live in the Realm of Grace. Those who have conquered the experience of death; who have no fear; who cannot be deceived by anyone; who dwell with the presence of the Divine and praise that Presence all the time.

Yogi Bhajan once said that these first four Khands of Japji Sahib correspond to the first four levels of the blue ethers. Yogis and those who meditate can access the first three levels of the blue ethers through the power of meditation, but the fourth is not available. To access the fourth blue ether, a person needs to leave his or her physical body.

At the same time, one thing I have realized from studying Japji Sahib is that no one can force grace into their lives. No one can demand it, earn it, control it, buy it or sell it. But sometimes, that Grace comes to us on Its own. It is a protective force that works in our lives – guarding the journey of the soul even in the face of mistakes we make along the way. I don’t know whether I have understood Karam Khand correctly or not – or how Yogi Bhajan’s explanations of the fourth blue ethers work with what Guru Nanak has said in the 37th Paurees. But there is a force of grace active in the world. It protects people –even from themselves. At this point in my life, I believe that we can never get to Karam Khand on our own, through the power of our own meditation. However, there are times when those spiritual warriors – subtle and manifest – come into our lives to protect and guide us when we need it the most.

The last realm Guru Nanak talks about in Japji Sahib is Sach Khand – the Realm of Truth, or the Realm of the Ultimate Reality. In this realm, there is only One Consciousness – watching everything in the creation, guiding everything and ultimately enjoying everything. To experience this means to leave the etheric realm altogether and merge back into that Oneness completely.

According to the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, reciting the 36th pauree of Japji Sahib at least 11 times a day brings divine realization. It grants complete understanding of the Heavens and the Earth. Reciting the 37th pauree cuts the karma. It eliminates the impact of all bad karma.

With Divine Light.


Yours humbly,


Ek Ong Kaar Kaur

Ek Ong Kaar's beautiful translation of Japji is in this book.


36th Pauree of Japji Sahib by Guru Nanak

Translated by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa


In the Realm of Wisdom,

Wisdom is found.



Beyond Sound,

The subtle

Vibratory frequency

Of creation

Creates the plays

And dramas.


In the Realm of Effort,

The Divine Word

Becomes form.


What is crafted there

Are creations

Of Incomparable Beauty.


It is impossible

To speak

Of these matters.


If someone

Tries to speak,


He’ll only feel mournful

That he couldn’t

Describe it.


What is crafted there

Are persons of

Purity, clarity and grace.

Attuned to the Divine

With minds

That know the difference

Between Truth and falsehood,

Persons of genuine understanding

And wisdom.


What is crafted there

Are the psyches

Of angels and masters.



37th Pauree of Japji Sahib by Guru Nanak

Translated by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa



In the Realm of Grace,

Your Sacred Words

Are power,


And there is no other power

Besides it.


In that Realm

Are brave and strong

Spiritual warriors


With the presence

Of the Divine.



It is a habit

Sewn securely

Inside them

To honor and praise



These beautiful forms

Are impossible

To describe.


Neither they die,

Nor are they deceived

By anyone.


The Divine


Within their minds.



Those who have

Surrendered themselves

In love to Thee

Live as Lights.


They enjoy

Sweet-tasting bliss

Within themselves.


In the Realm of Truth,

The Formless One dwells.


By seeing All

That is continuously done,

The Divine looks kindly

Upon us and,

In that kind look,

Brings everything

To a state

Of completion.


There are worlds upon worlds,

Solar Systems,



If someone tried

To describe them all,

There would be

No limit.



Lights upon Lights

Come into bodies and forms.

And as the Divine Will

Guides them

So they act.


The Divine remains

In a state of contemplation

Seeing and enjoying it all.



Describing this

Forges the hard steel

Of Truth.


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