Ik Onkar

Everyday, I listen to music while traveling in the bus. Today, I was listening the songs from Rang De Basanti, I came across - Ik Onkar. Though, I knew "OM" is considered to be scared among Hindus and it is chanted before any prayer, say, Om Namah Shivaiah, I had never known the meaning of "Ik Onkar" which I learnt today. :)

OM is a compound Sanskrit word , which we consists of the three letters:
अ + उ + म = ॐ
ಅ + ಉ +ಮ = ಓಂ
OM represents the trimurtis:
अ for Brahma - The Universal Creator
उ for Shiva - The Universal Destroyer
म for Vishnu - The Universal Protector.

Ik Onkar means there is only ONE God. According to the Sikh philosophy, it is the opening part of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and also Mool Mantar(Main prayer) in the Sikh scriptures.

Here goes the actual meaning:

ik-oNkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhaN gur parsaad.
One Universal Creator God. The Name Is Truth. Creative Being Personified. No Fear. No Hatred. Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru's Grace.

Chant And Meditate.

aad sach jugaad sach.
True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages.

hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach. ||1||
True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1||

sochai soch na hova-ee jay sochee lakh vaar.
By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times.

chupai chup na hova-ee jay laa-ay rahaa liv taar.
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within.

bhukhi-aa bhukh na utree jay bannaa puree-aa bhaar.
The hunger of the hungry is not appeased, even by piling up loads of worldly goods.

sahas si-aanpaa lakh hohi ta ik na chalai naal.
Hundreds of thousands of clever tricks, but not even one of them will go along with you in the end.

kiv sachi-aaraa ho-ee-ai kiv koorhai tutai paal.
So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?

hukam rajaa-ee chalnaa naanak likhi-aa naal. ||1||
O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will. ||1||


  1. Wow Manasa, It was such a wonderful and elating feeling to see this post and to hear the Ek Onkar. Even we love the Harshdeep-sung MoolMantar. My husband often puts it up as a personalized wake-up alarm in his cell. It never fails to give me that feel of calm and quiet inside.

  2. How does OM represents trimurthi ?. Like
    What is the connection between "Aa" with brahma. "uu" with shiva and "MAA' with vishnu ?
    please explain the context.

  3. @Satish My guess is aa or the beginning of alphabet symbolises the creator Brahma and M or the letter for maa (mother) symbolises the protector. But i have no idea why uu for Shiva.

    @Manasa God post. I wanted to know the meanings of that song in RDB always.

    P.S. I use this id to comment on blogspot but u know where to find me, i.e. on wordpress

  4. Ah great.. i've heard the song many a times and like it..
    didn't know the meaning..

  5. I love that song frm RDB too...nice song.. and BTW well done with the translation... :)

  6. Hey i too liked tht song...but didnt know the meaning , neither did i evr bother to find out..But nice to know the meaning now and now the song makes more sense to me...thnk u for this...

  7. i love that song... absolutely... i hv it on my mobile too!!

  8. everything leads to one final thing...beautiful post :) thanks for translating :) Truth is not the end but mean to an end :)

    the light shines the brightest

  9. everything leads to one final thing...beautiful post :) thanks for translating :) Truth is not the end but mean to an end :)

    the light shines the brightest

  10. Thank you ji for hopping over to the blog. Not to worry, you don't have to swipe the credit card to read it. Not yet, anyway!

    But my book...ah, now that is a different story :-)

    Have fun blogging Manasa, and this one was a nice post.

  11. wow...awesome post..
    wonderful ..
    though i will say i am not that religious...

  12. hello there!

    awesome blog, but adding amateurish 'disable scripts' off DynamicDrive is in bad, bad taste.

    it won't keep off plagiarism(if ever you thought is would), but instead annoy the hell out of readers(like me)


  13. I am immensely delighted to have known the meaning of this prayer. Thank u. I can relate it so well to so many philosophies propounded by many Hindu saints. This prayer is my wake up tone too :)

  14. I was searching for the meaning of this prayer for long. I asked some of my punjabi friends but they were also not knowing exactly. Thanks a lot. May Guru Nanak bless one and all!!!

  15. oh god !!!
    its so good to know finally what it means, i used to tell my friends that this 'Ik Onkar' does not mean that Guru Nanak is the God, or smthin like that...
    its so amazin, specially the Rang de basanti wala.
    and my friends use to say ' paagal hai kya kya gaa rha hai, its not right do you know what does it mean... n bla bla bla..
    thank you so much Manasa.
    God bless you...

  16. the translation is AWsuM!!! good work... !!!

  17. Concept of "AUMMM"
    Omkaar is formed combining 3 sounds, "AA" represents creational energy of Bramhaa, "Uu" it is energy of Vishnu thane sustains and nourishes life and "Mmmm" denotes destuction or recreational powe 0f Shiva. Thus it represents complete cycle of living being and whole universe!

  18. My views of Ek Onkar are different, I may be wrong. As we know the whole Guru Granth Sahib teaches us again and again to recite Naam (name of God)Guru Granth Sahib provides benefits of reciting God's name "NAAM". Now what is this "NAAM" that guru Granth Sahib preaches us to recite in our every breath. Guru Nanak Dev Ji must have given this name in his first words and I think this "Naam" is "ONKAR".
    Pl. Carefully read first lines of Japuji Sahib, it says: EK ONKAR Satnam karta Purkh..... In my views Guru Nanak Dev Ji is saying that Only "ONE" Name "ONKAR" is Satnam, "EK ONKAR SATNAM". Is it not amply clear that "Only ONE Name (NAAM) of Karta Purakh (Creator)is "ONKAR" which is ONLY SACHA NAAM (is true name (satnam).

    EK (one) Onkar (it is name) Satnam (is true name) of Kartapurakh (the Creator).

    That is Only "One" Name "ONKAR" is the true name (satnam) of the Creator God, Karta Purakh) and after that Guru Nanak Dev Ji explains the characterstics of the God whose true name (whose sat naam) is only ONE name "ONKAR"
    And then in whole Guru Granth Sahib Ji we are ordained to recite this Naam (name) of God, which is "ONKAR" and is only ONE True Name (Satnam).

    Ek Onkar
    Rajeev Singh


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