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Concept Of Naam

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Taranjeet singh, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    It is generally believed that the Sanskrit word naam, the English word 'name' and the Sikh term Naam as used in Gurbani are synonymous. A deeper study reveals that the word Naam as used in the Sikh scripture is of a somewhat different nature and has a more comprehensive spiritual and divine connotation.

    The Sanskrit and the English words denote a person or a thing These also mean a designation, reputation, fame, family or clan. Their implication is almost wholly mundane. Whereas Naam has several ramifications. It implies God, the Reality, mystical word or formula to recite or meditate upon (shabad in Gurbani), divine order (hukam) and at places divine teacher (guru) and guru's instructions.

    Naam, according to the late Professor Puran Singh, "is the supernaturally natural function of a poetical genius who though in body is at all times of day and night under the influence of the higher soul words of freedom. It is the pure subjectivity of love bursting up under the sole and invisible spirit guidance from below the crusts of earthiness, from under the hard conditions of earthly life."

    Naam, further, stands for the union with the Reality, to be attained by the devout repetition of his name. Naam is the sign, the symbol and song of God. It is the key to enter into the presence and the heart of God. By adoration and singing his praises, saintly hearts glow all the time. Naam brings in peace and tranquillity. It is described as the most potent "detergent" which frees the mind of its filth and afflictions and dyes it to prevent further erosion. The sub-conscious mind or the budhi is further sharpened and molded into instant insight or intuitiveness (sudhi). In this sphere, mystical experience occurs at the mere sway of thoughts. Indeed the universe is sustained and held together by Naam: "Naam ke dhare khand brahmand".

    God's greatness is beyond human comprehension. But He can be approached through a ladder called Naam which can take us to His height. Naam, therefore, is greater than everything else "sabte ucha jaka nao" and "wada sahib uncha thaon, uche upar ucha nao." In the Sikh scripture God is called by various names such as Ram, Gobind, Mukand, Madhav, Prabhu, Rahim, Karim, Vithal, etc. All such epithet are known as "Karam-Naam" expressing quality and attribute of God. According to Guru Nanak, His eternal name is "Sat", i.e. Truth. He is true and so is His Naam - "Sacha sahib, sach nae." Sat Naam, an attribute given in the Mool Mantra has been His name even before the primal age - "sat naam tera para- purbala."

    In Jap Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh has mentioned several hundred Karam-naams in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit and Punjabi. Before spelling these out, he has humbly submitted, in his prologue, that since God is beyond comprehension and description, full justice cannot be done to the subject matter. The appropriate word used by him is "Neti, Neti"; this is not all, this is not all as something more is yet to be said about Him.

    A devotee absorbed in Naam is oblivious to sorrow and pain; he remains in ever ascending spirit (chardhi- kala), wishes everyone well (sarbat da bhala) and is always ready to protect the weak and saint (sant ubaran dusht uparan) and fight for righteous causes (shubh kiarman te kabhun na taron). His main demand or prayer is for Naam-Dan, the greatest gift and Grace one can aspire for.

    In sum, it may be said that Naam is truth, and eternal, comprehensively symbolic of God's attributes, formless, immaculate and absolute. His adoration and meditation is the gateway to God's domain of Grace and bliss.


    http://www.sikhs.org/art2.htm
     
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  3. Amos Vos

    Amos Vos
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    Thank you

    Naam and Hashem (the Name, used by orthodox Jews to refer to God)...and the meditating on the Name of God...it seems all so familiar to Judaism!!??
     
  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    oh goody we are going to find out what Naam means, finally!!

    ah, ok, we are not going to find out what Naam means, we are going to run several definitions and let the reader pick one?

    what is supernaturally natural? are only poetical geniuses worthy of Naam? what about hard working rickshaw drivers or cooks in dhabbas?

    oh here we go, its all back to repetition again, devout repetition, oh well, at least we don't need our brains, I might still get in...

    You see god is very insecure, he worries about being loved and being adored, so, what he did was, bestow greatness on anyone who adores him and sings his praises! Expanding ones brain, pure thoughts and actions, perception, discretion, tact, diplomacy, are just not important, what is important is mumbling, lots of mumbling!

    hooray, another definition of Naam, just so we don't get confused
    mystical experiences huh, like the type that the SGGS tends to warn us away from?

    Wow this Naam thing does loads, its a detergent and a ladder! So let me get this right, god is beyond human comprehension, but we can EQUAL god if only we use Naam!
     
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  5. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Harry where are you stuck exactly?


    I am not surprised. It is one of the oldest and most effective practices.
    PS welcome to the forum!
     
  6. Amos Vos

    Amos Vos
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    Thank you
     
  7. Inderjeet Kaur

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  8. Original

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  9. Original

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    Brother H

    You've probably heard of the term, "music of the spheres" ? If not, Google it, because this idea has been around for yonks. It's mainly associated with the great mathematician, musician and mystic, Phythagoras, who was said to have been able to hear the Music of the Spheres.

    The "nam" SGGSJ refers to is that music [satnam], the vibration [waheguru], the unwritten word, beyond time and space [p124 SGGSJ - dasma dwar]. More specifically referred to as "anhad shabd" - sound that cannot be heard through external means [SGGSJ p139 - the sound at the 10th gate]. ਧੁਨਿ ਅਨੰਦ ਅਨਾਹਦੁ ਵਾਜੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਪਾਇਆ [1041-42 SGGSJ]

    Note:
    Satnam Waheguru; where satnam is the eternal name and Waheguru the mantra, meaning music or vibration [one and the same]. Bhagat Kabir on page 340 of SGGSJ delivers it proper - have a read or read my reply to Tejwant Singh under seva and simran.

    The full realisation of this "satnam" or the unlettered Nam is the pinnacle of Sikh theology. Nam, being essentially one with God, is said to be the only "truth" [sat] which was in the beginning [ad sach] and which will continue to be in the end [hosi b sach]. Guru Nanak's philosophy is founded on Nam, so much so, Kirtan Sohaila is to that end where the separated atma merges into paramtama [Nam - the sound current].

    OPINION
    Religions are but flowers of different colours which we should tie with the cord of "love" into a beautiful bouquet and offer it at the alter of "truth". Sorry, I can't remember where I read that, but hey, how true !

    The question if any would be in my opinion, how does one connect to that sound current, and the answer in short, at the grace of Waheguru [gur parsad].

    As for you brother - you're a beautiful man - love n live and if the Almighty wants to connect with you, he's got your number.

    More another time -
     
  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    no, I have not

    ok, I have googled it, I find it mostly unimpressive

    ah yes, the tenth eye, the fourth nose, the sixteenth ear etc etc, you guys, you crack me up, you take something very simple and easy to understand, and then proceed to make it as complicated as possible....
    I always thought Guru Nanak's philosophy was the exposure of false and pointless rituals, to be pragmatic and not swayed by superstitious mumbo jumbo....

    ah yes, its a pretty and sweet smelling soundbite, but are you including in that religions such as Satanism, or some of the weirder ones from South America?

    Are faiths that hound people on sexual preference or gender the same as Sikhism which preaches that all are equal regardless?
    hey knock yourself out, you connect to the sound current till the cows come home, some of us are busy doing 'other stuff'

    to what end? I have no interest in a personal relationship with your 'god', I do not wish the pinnacle of my Sikhism to be all warm and cosy in gods eternal hug, I want to push myself harder and further so that I may be there for more people, life teaches you that help and assistance should not be doled out without tact, without discretion, it is the difference between being a martyr and being a thinking learning Sikh, in my opinion anyway, so you guys, I hope one day you find that feeling or whatever is you are looking for, but the rest of us have work to do.
     
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  11. Original

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    I'm sorry H ! I didn't mean to cause an injury or indoctrinate you in any way or form - forgive me !
     
  12. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Harry Veer ji

    Musketeers are friendly fearless fellows with open minds and hearts soft as wax.If someone addresses you as brother, reply like one.

    Our Guru chose poetry to express that which is poetic.
     
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    #11 Scarlet Pimpernel, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  13. Original

    Original
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    Much appreciated SP - thanks a mil !
     
  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    absolutely no problem at all, and I did not mean to come across as I did, sorry
     
  15. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I know I've posted tthis before, but I can't think of a better way of saying it..

    I should keep my peace on this, I really should. I won't, of course. I do a lot of Naam Jap, to the point that my parrot started saying "Waheguru, Waheguru," at odd times. I know there is much more to Naam than my chanting and my silly parrot responding in her own parrot way.

    During the BP oil spill in the Caribbean, there was some wild speculation that it could trigger a chain reaction, first killing all life in the Caribbean, then in all the oceans and, of course, eventually destroying all life on land, as well. I am enough of a scientist to know that this couldn't really happen, but still, it was something to think about.

    [​IMG]

    One lovely afternoon about that time, I was sitting in our lawn swing taking it all in, when I began to experience sitting in the swing with everything around me dead. The grass, the trees, the squirrels, the insects, it all withered and died. All the things we regard as non-living, the houses, cars, streets were there, just there, just being, not doing anything. All the things that should be alive were dead. Grey tree trunks with no leaves, turned soil in the garden with only black remnants of plants there, a few dried-out slugs on the pavement. Only the experiencer was alive.

    [​IMG]

    I became acutely aware of an activity surrounding and permeating and - the best word I can think of - alive. It was not a thing, it was an action, a creativity. The whole experience was extraordinary; this description doesn't begin to do it justice. It left me completely drained, shaken to the core and, at the same time, feeling untouched by the death all around me. I do not claim that this is Naam, but I do believe there is a connection to Naam.
     
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  16. Original

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    Inderjeet

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. The words which you have used in expressing this particular experience were carefully selected from the 26 lettered alphabet. The "Nam" the authors of SGGSJ speaks about is a state of being, similar to what you've described above, but which, cannot be written because there are no letters in any of the alphabet [Kabir 340 SGGSJ]. At best perhaps, they make use of the adjectives to describe a state of "being" like Guru Amardas Ji does in anand Sahib [.....rag ratan parvaar parian shabd gavan ayian - 917 SGGSJ].

    Similar experiences are found within others faiths. For example, Moses and the burning bush on Mount Sinai, Mohammed and the Angel Gabriel, Gautama Buddha and Nirvana, Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, to name a few. Scholars classify these to be mystical experiences and hence the reason why Sikhism departs from what otherwise would've been a philosophy.

    The important thing to remember is that matters of "ones" personal system of belief cannot be fully and thoroughly argued to substantiate the "truth" because both, human reason and empirical observation fall short to prove the existence of such phenomena. And, this is where religion comes in to bridge the gap between "human reason" and "human experience". This gap is filled by faith, which you've demonstrated beautifully in associating it with "Nam" albeit relatively.

    More another time - have to go to work, but what a beautiful way Akal Purakh connects yearning souls. Thank you SPN - for spreading the "word" [Nam] of Nanak.

    Many thanks
     
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  17. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    It does not come and go.
     
  18. Original

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    Agree ! It's always there, has been and will be !
    Ad sach, jugad sach, Nanak hosi b sach -

    Gnite n Godbless
     
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  19. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I think we can all agree on this. Naam is Eternal and unchanging.

    What is temporal and changing is our awareness and understanding. This is and should be changing as we learn and grow.
     
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  20. Original

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    Bang-on Inderjeet ! yes, it's Eternal ! And, the theme, praise and the direction of SGGSJ is to that end with specific emphasis on its realisation.

    "Bhai prapat manukh dea'hariya, Govind Milan ki eh teri variya" [this here human form is for you to meet thy creator - p12 SGGSJ]. So really, the house of Nanak points us in a direction where it has this prescriptive function in the realisation of God.

    Baba Nanak sums it thus, "jai'say jal main kamal nee'ralum murghai nee'sana ! Surat-shabd (Nam) bhav sagar tar'iya Nanak nam vee'kha'nay" [p938 SGGSJ]. Let me show you, says Baba Nanak.

    Interjeet, you've said "learn n grow" ! Yes, absolutely - Evolution. We've come to evolve from human to spiritual beings - our true identity.

    Have good day !
     

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