This is part of the entire Japji Sahib I found translated in a book on Sikhism by Hew McLeod (who doesn't seem to be very highly regarded for his work....)
Personally I think this is a very beautiful translation, but I fear for it's accuracy. He claims to try and preserve the rhythm and neutrality of the original. I do not know why he's numbered the verses.
There is one Supreme Being, the Eternal Reality, the Creator, without fear and devoid of enmity, immortal, never incarnated, self-existent, known by grace through the Guru.
The Eternal One, from the beginning, through all time, present now, the Everlasting Reality.
1. Never can you be known through ritual purity though one cleanse oneself a hundred thousand times. Never can you be revealed by silent reflection though one dwell absorbed in the deepest meditation. Though one gather vast riches the hunger remains, no cunning will help in the hereafter. How then is Truth to be attained, how he veil of falsehood torn aside? Nanak, thus it is written: Submit to the divine Order, walk in its way.
2. Though all that exists is its visible expression, the divine Order is far beyond all describing. All forms of life are created by it, and it alone can determine who is great. Some are exalted, some absed; some must suffer while others find joy. Some receive blessings, others are condemned, doomed by the divine Order to endless transmigration. All are within it, none can evade it. They, Nanak, who truly comprehend it renounce their blind self-centred pride.
3. They who are strong sing of the Supreme One's might; they who receive gifts sing of grace. Some acclaim majesty and wonders performed; others from their learning discern wisdom to be praised. Some praise power made manifest in creation, how life is reaised up, cast down, and reincarnated anew. Some sing of distance, of dwelling afar; others of presence, immanent in all creation. Countless the number who tell of the Supreme One, describing in endless ways. None can ever hope to succeed, for none can encompass infinity. Continual the giving with endless gifts, caring for us and endlessly supplying our needs. The divine Order it is that directs our path. For ever joyous is the Divine One, Nanak, for ever free from care.
4. The Eternal One whose Name is Truth speaks to us in infinite love. Insistently we beg for the gifts which are by grace bestowed. What can we offer in return for all this goodness? What gift will gain entrance to the hallowed Court? What words can we utter to attract this love? At the ambrosial hour of fragrent dawn meditate on the grandeur of the one true Name. Past actions determine the nature of our birth, but grace alone reveals the door to liberation. See the Divine Spirit, Nanak, dwelling immanent in all. Know the Divine Spirit as the One, the eternal, the changeless Truth.
. Futile it is to make and install an idol, a mere figure of the Supreme One who is devoid of spot or stain. Whoever serves wins honour, Nanak, so sing of the Supreme One, of boundless excellence. Sing praises, hear them sung, and nourish love within your heart. Thus shall your suffering all be banished and peace take its place within. The Guru's Word is the mystic sound, the voice of the scriptures immanent in all. Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Parvati, all are but manifestations of the one divine Guru. Were my mind to comprehend the Eternal One my words would surely fail. One thing only I ask of the Guru. May the Gracious One, the Giver of all, constantly dwell in my thoughts and recollection.
6. I should bathe at a pilgrimage spot if that would give you pleasure. Without your blessing nothing is obtained. Throughout all creation nothing can be gained except by means of your divine grace. The person who accepts but a single word from the Guru shall find whin a treasure trove of jewels. Let me never forget that single perception, the constant rememberance of the Giver of all.
7. If one were to live through all four ages or even ten times their span; if one were to be famed throughout the world, acknowledged as leader by all; if one were to earn n exalted name and a glory which covered the earth, without your blessing all would be futile. It your gracious glance avoids such a person all turn their faces away. Lowest of worms, scorned and blamed by all! The worthless are converted to virtue, Nanak, and to the virtuous you impart yet more. You alone have the power so to do; no one confers virtue on you.
8. By listening to the Word one gathers all the qualities of the spiritually adept. By listening to the Word one comprehends the deepest mysteries of the universe. When one listens to the Word the vastness of the world comes into view, its continents, is realms, and under it the nether regions. If one listens to the Word the power of Death is overcome. The devout, declares Nanak, dwell in everlasting bliss, for suffering and sin must flee from all who hear the Word.
9. By listening to the Word one matches the gods, the equal of Shiva, of Brahma and of Indra. From listening to the Word the wicked turn to praise. Through listening to the Word one attans deep understanding, learning the mysteries of the yogic art and the wisdom of the scriptures. The devout, declared Nanak, dwell in everlasting bliss, for suffering and sin must flee from all who hear the Word.
10. By listening to the Word one finds truth, contentment and spiritual perception. By listening to the Word one secures all that pilgrimage can achieve, the merit earned by bathing at every sacred site. By listening to the Word one acquires the fame of the learned scholar. By listening to the Word one knows the rapture of deep meditation. The devout, declares Nanak, dwell in everlasting bliss, for suffering and sin must flee from all who hear the Word.
11. By listening to the Word one plumbs the ultimate depth of virtue. By listening to the Word one speaks as scholar, as mystic, as king. By listening to the Word the blind frind their eyes have been opened. By listening to the Word one fathoms the unfathomable mysteries of our existence. The devout, declared Nanak, dwell in everlasting bliss, for suffering and sin must flee from all who hear the Word.
Your feedback would be appreciated.
Sat sri akal!