About Akhand Jaap...
Waheguru Jaap is continuously recited for the duration of the Akhand Jaap event. Its beauty is in its simplicity as all barriers
are dispelled; you do not need to be a scholar of Gurbani or know classical raag composition to join
in. People from all walks of life, young and old have led the Waheguru Jaap over the years; even people
from other faiths have been seen to come and participate in the meditation. It is easy to see differences
and forget that every soul is a spiritual being on their own spiritual journey. We are all part of one
global race – humankind. Hence the message:
Prayers for world peace
Akhand Jaaps are prayers for world peace. By meditating we hope to enable people to feel closer to the Divine and then project that positive energy around themin their daily lives.
In a world were everything is instant and fast paced with information available at our finger tips with 24 hour news channels, internet and constant social network updates, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed, tired and run down and almost impossible to switch off.
Although there is constant communication (though frequently impersonal,) people feel more emotionally and spiritually disconnected; depression is on the rise and people often feel isolated from the world.
Meditation alleviates depression and promotes well being and spiritual growth.
The Akhand Jaap Movement...
Akhand Jaap - is a movement instigated by the Sikh youth as a "World Prayer for Peace". It involves the continuous repetition of the word "Waheguru" (Wonderful Lord) which is sung continuously for up to 24 hours; It is continuous meditation without interruption. The sangat (congregation) is led by various groups of 'Kirtanias' or Ragis (musicians) in succession and the whole of the congregation join in. In singing this 'Guru Mantar', even small children can join in and feel the power of Congregational prayer and group recitation of Naam. This youth initiative which is believed to have started in the UK but has now spread throughout the world attempts to create an atmosphere in which every participating soul can benefit with direct connection to the sadh sangat and to Gurbani.
Many youngsters in the West cannot relate to kirtan because they do not understand the words or what they mean. Naam Simran is so easy to participate in, regardless of education, knowledge of Gurbani or religious perspective. It is a continuous repetition of the "Waheguru"- the name of God and his remembrance. Due to this simplicity, many young Sikhs who would not attend Gurdwaras normally have joined in and the youth involvement in Gurdwara has increase tremendously. Langar is normally served throughout the event and a many adults help with this activity.
These programmes, which have been taking place since 2001 in the UK have served as a means to unite the various Jathas (groups), Gurdwaras, and Organisations representing the Sikh community in the United Kingdom. Due to the simplicity of the repetition of a simple mantar, it has introduced non-Sikhs to the traditions of the Sikh of community cooperation, devotion and peace.
Different variations of the Akhand Jaap
Mini Akhand jaap
This is shortened version of the original version and is held for a period of between 1 to 6 hours.
13 hour Akhand jaap
This can be either a day or evening time event that takes place from normally from 10am start to 11pm evening time or 5pm start to 6am evening time conclusion.
The Sikhkids.com (now akhandjaap.com) has made an effort to move the Akhand Jaaps to various locations within the UK, in order to allow for the youth to participate at a national level with this Seva. Below is a list of the major past events:
- Akhand Jaap 1-3: Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Ilford, Essex (2001-02)
- Akhand Jaap 4: Gurudwara Dasmesh Darbar, London (2003)
- Akhand Jaap 5-6: Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Ilford, Essex (2003-04)
- Akhand Jaap 7-8: Gurudwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, Hounslow (2004-05)
- Akhand Jaap 9: Gurudwara Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, Leeds (2005)
- Akhand Jaap 10: Gurudwara at 18-20 Soho Road, Birmingham. Served by the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (2006)