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'Naam' - My Understanding

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Amarpal, May 2, 2006.

  1. Amarpal

    Amarpal
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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    Question has been asked what is meant by ‘Naam’ in one of the Khalsa discussion group. What I understand I share with you.

    Language is utilitarian. It has words only for entities that are real or abstract that are talked about in a specific group of people - commoners or specialists of one country or another or some community in some part of this planet. The word is an arbitrary verbal sound which is agreed to have some specific meaning with that group of people. This gives a word certain content. This way all words limit the entity that one is talking about by using the specific verbal sound. This is the limitation of language.

    How can one refer to the ‘Absolute’ within which the entire creation is and which itself is limitless. Can there be a word for this ‘Absolute’. Yet we as human being need some word which means this ‘Absolute’. Such problems exist in science also. We use the term infinity in Mathematics; can any one figure out what infinity is; it is a concept which conveys that it is a number beyond our grasping ability. We all know the outer space is boundless; it has no boundaries; it is endless. Can any one imagine what a limitless space can be; this too is a concept beyond our comprehension.

    ‘Absolute’ is also beyond our mental abilities. Any specific name we give to this ‘Absolute’ from our dictionary, it immediately limits this unlimited because any word has defined meaning and thus has content; it immediately distorts my limited understanding of ‘The Sat’.

    As scientists and philosophers have coined words that give meaning to a concept viz. infinity, outer space etc; so have Guru Sahib give us a word ‘Naam’ which conceptualize ‘The Sat’ for us.

    See the vision and beauty of Guru Sahib’s conceptualization. The word ‘Naam’ means name. This word does not contain ‘The Sat’ in any way as it devoid of any physical meaning yet the entire creation, every entity of it is contained in it. This is because all the entities have some appellation; the generic word for all of them is name i.e. ‘Naam’. This as ‘The Sat’ is the source of all that constitute creation; ‘Naam’ is generic words for all appellations. Hence is logical and correct to use the word ‘Naam’ for ‘The Sat’. This is what Guru Sahib has done.

    ‘Naam’ is a concept which helps us to perceive the unperceivable in a limited way, to the extent our human faculties allow. This concept which Guru Sahibs have given to their Sikhs has to be lived through by them in their lives. We have to become imbued with ‘Naam’. It means the being of Sikhs should reflect ‘The Sat’. It means we have to become intrinsically like ‘The Sat’ to the extent human can. I elaborate: ‘The Sat’ is selfless, so the Sikhs should shed ‘Ahamkara’ and selfishness. ‘The Sat’ is self-existent, so the Sikhs should become self-sufficient, in other words they should live within their means. ‘The Sat’ is sustaining the entire creation, so the Sikhs should fully support themselves and their family and to the extent they can the creation of ‘The Sat’. ‘The Sat’ never wastes (you can see this in nature when you study the food chain of various species), so the Sikhs should be useful and thrifty. “The Sat’ never show-off the powers, so ‘The Sikhs should be humble. ‘The Sat’ supports evolution (as evident from evolution of higher and higher forms of lives over a long period of time), so the Sikhs should be creative …………. When the Sikh is imbued with ‘Naam’ i.e. the being of the Sikh is soaked with the ‘Sat-like’ attributes (as explained above), the Sikh is living with ‘Naam’; she or he is resonating with ‘The Sat’; she or he is experiencing Anhat Naad i.e. Un-struck sound.

    This is what I understand by ‘Naam’.

    Amarpal Singh
     
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  3. Archived_member10

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    Naam is the experience of Oneness as our identity. This experience can only be acheived through meditation.
    Meditation is also very much misunderstood. What is today considered to be meditation is mostly meditative practice, kriyas. Practices that are meant to develop the inner awareness necessary to produce meditation. These practices are not meditation, and most who practice them do not learn to meditate and experience the Naam.
    I am linking this discussion to my blog and would appreciate reciprocation:
    How Kundalini Yoga Produces Meditation on the Naam
     
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  4. findingmyway

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    I consider naam to be the whole of Gurbani - all 1429 pages! :meditation:
     
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  5. Ambarsaria

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    My observations,


    • Amarpal is on it
    • jgtkhalsa is missing it
    • findingmyway is totally on it
    Let me explain it.

    I grew up in a reasonably open sikh household in the 50s and 60s in Amritsar. Used to go to the Golden Temple many weekends with pranthe, gandhe and we will buy sholays from just outside for our meals. We will search through every nook and cranny of the complex as kids including Ajaib Ghar (Sikh Musuem), Akal Takhat Sahib, Manji Sahib, Drabar Sahib upstairs and downstairs, Baba Atal and few times Guru ka Langar. From our Khalsa College Higher Secondary School, Amritsar we will march in celebratory processions to Darbar Sahib on important Gurpurubs and there were many a communities along the way who gave us sweets, food, water, etc., in encouragement all the way on the GT Road to Darbar Sahib.

    During all these years,

    • I never heard of the word Naam Simran but Nitnem for sure
    • When I left India I started to hear through other people that this or that Baba or Sant has given them a parchi with a word as a Naam
      • My observations was that as you left core Amritsar and started moving out you will start discovering lot of abberations (my understanding not to offend) including a variety of Sant, Mahant, Babey and other such
        • This has escalated over the years with some set up in clandestine ways by appropriate groups determined to mess up sikhism (cultural genocide of sikhism through creating doubt, creating sexy and fast roads to God away from core Sikhism)
        • The Brahmin clans that suffered perhaps the most from the Sikhi teachings which removed them as Intermediaries to God have not forgotten
        • The Brahmin class has patience and it will continue to encroach into Sikhism by creating rituals that Gurus warned against, for-telling of fortune, Rituals, pujas, vehams and chamatkars
      • I never believed in any of them and don't plan to do so in the future
      • I do respect people of knowledge, insight who are open and talk to people at par and not from a pedestal or above
    For me Naam is not one word that is going to take you to God at the expense of a broader study and understanding of the essence of Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    I like to talk blunt and perhaps do not make everyone happy. However I am equally open to be talked blunt to.

    Hope it adds to the dialog.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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    #4 Ambarsaria, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  6. Ishna

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    Sat Sri Akal!

    Thank you Ambarsaria for retelling your experiences growing up in Amritsar. It is fascinating that Naam Simran wasn't a term you heard, but instead much was said about nitnem. Your frankness is greatly appreciated.

    Does that mean you didn't chant "Waheguru"?

    I've always thought that chanting "Waheguru" was the process of Naam Simran (I think I'm getting simran and japna muddled up again...)... you focus on the word and the chant and it can help you attune to Naam which I understand to be a frequency of being. That sounds so cheesy. Naam for me is hard to explain, perhaps because I think I know what it is but can't articulate it. For lack of proper words, my underestanding is that Naam is like God's love, and by Naam Simran or kirtan or reading Gurbani helps you attune to the frequency of God's love which motivates you to be a good person. I could be way off, and if I am, please correct me.

    I've also heard on other forums that it's futile to try Naam Simran until you've taken amrit and the Panj Piare have told you that "Waheguru" is the Name to repeat and transfered the Light to you. I'm not convinced you can't attune to Naam until you've been initiated. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Sorry if this post is going off-topic. :confusedmunda:

    Ishna
     
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  7. spnadmin

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    ishan ji

    You are not going off topic. However your examples are excellent illustrations of how sectarian thinking has crept into the Internet discourse regarding naam, simran, and japna. They are all theoretical discussions. :) Continuous chanting of Waheguru is an AKJ practice. The "frequency of being" explanation is very popular and is often explained fact based on the concept of "naad." Sharing your suspicions of that particular explanation: It nearly always involves attaching yourself to another person, someone who is already on the right frequency, and who is "the one" who can teach you how to tune in without static. However we can all be fine Sikhs without vibrating on " the frequency." Listening to kirtan, reading Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, tunes us to the Naam.
     
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  8. findingmyway

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    This sounds like a very Brahmin concept! Naam cannot be JUST Waheguru as that word came along much later yet all the Gurus talk about naam. It cannot be just recitation as there are many tuks in Gurbani that condemn parrot recitation. My understanding is that naam is many different things on different levels. Fundamentally I see naam as whole of Gurbani so attaining naam is living the life of a Gurmukh. Meditation and simran are part of this but it involves a whole lot more. Attaining naam is also feeling the connection and love of Waheguru which can only be achieved by becoming the Guru's sikh through all the means told us by Guru Granth Sahib ji.
     
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  9. Ambarsaria

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    Ishna ji I heard the word Waheguru (as God is great) in the context of,


    • During and after Ardass
    • Before and after kirtan
    • Before and after path
    • Before and after speech by a sikh or people addressing a sikh gathering (not always)
    • As a greeting when two sikh meet or depart and sometimes replaced by Sat Sri Akal
    • During the end of a congregation and as gur prashad is served
    • At a death when you taking the body for cremation to place of cremation
    • Or some people will use it in the context of well wishes and kindness,
    • .............Waheguru tainu bhag laye; wahegur teri lambi umar karay; wahegur tainu bhana manan da bal bakhshay, etc.
    • The above is not all the times but most common that I can remember
    What I was not accustomed to or heard much (actually never but my memory may not be 100% so I don't want to be pointed to have faked or lied) was the following,

    • As a replacement for gurbani kirtan or shloak kirtan and I am only used to that type of kirtan as done within Harmandir Sahib
    • As a competitive, ever increasing tempo of a jatha leading the congregation into a frenzy
    • As a more or less a shouting match between two parts of a congregation with higher and higher tempo guided by a babey, jatha, etc.
    • It reminds of mandir tallian (bells) and what accompanies murti puja and I have seen these in Gurdwaras here now
    For me waheguru is a respectful word and it is stated with enthusiasm, belief, humbleness and respect.

    I hope I have addressed your query or comments as honestly as I can or remember.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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    #8 Ambarsaria, Jan 6, 2011
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  10. Ishna

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    Wow...I'm really confused now. Here's me thinking Waheguru Japna is THE practice to be practicing (THEN followed by nitnem) for the past 5 years!! Sheesh. No wonder I was always asking myself "why would there be so much emphasis placed on Waheguru japna yet I can't find references to Waheguru specifically in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji...?".

    At Sikh camp and my local gurdwara there is much use of the greeting "Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh" when facilitators, guests etc begin speaking. No worries.

    Repetition of "Waheguru" has never been done at Sunday service at my fav gurdwara. At Sikh camp, there was an hour of Naam Japna from 5am to 6am which was repetition of "Waheguru" guided by bhai ji. These were very pleasant sessions and I have never experienced meditation that intense before.

    We were also encouraged to jap naam "Waheguru" every time before performing kirtan. Gyani ji at camp would sometimes guide short chants of Waheguru but his version sounded more like "Wah-guru".

    I approached bhai ji and asked him "in kirtan we're told to remember the lord in meditation, so why are we singing kirtan so much instead of meditating on the lord?" He asked me to remember someone, my mother or someone close, and think about what comes to mind. Probably qualities of that person, and that's what kirtan is, remembering the Lord by singing about It's qualities, so we're doing exactly what we're told.

    I often get that feeling though... Gurbani seems to ask so many questions and my mind goes "Yes! Good question! How do we meet the Lord?!" and I keep reading and can't see the answer in the following shabad... It's like I'm reading a book about baking a cake and I'm ready to start baking and I keep reading but it never tells me the ingredients or the method, just keeps describing the cake. Methinks I have a long way to go!!!

    ...So is it okay to chant the Mul Mantra? I do that quite often. And also repeat "Sat Siri Waheguru Ji". It's not about a number of repetitions, or mindless repetition, but with Mul Mantra I focus on the words and meaning and the mind boggles trying to comprehend God's presence in the primal beginning, throughout ages, here and now and forever. I try to feel beyond the words. Is it wrong to do this?

    In fact, there is a downloadable resource on the internet about simran and I think Waheguru repetition is detailed in that document. I think I may have seen it referenced on SPN too. I'll see if I can find it.

    If a practice attunes you to Naam, then can it be wrong? I think my problem is deficit in understanding what Naam is, precisely. Can someone draw me a picture please?? lol

    So far, from reading Gurbani, my understanding is that Naam is a force to be attuned to.

    Jasleen ji, you said "Fundamentally I see naam as whole of Gurbani so attaining naam is living the life of a Gurmukh". So naam isn't something you can get by meditation alone (as has been my understanding thus far)?

    Excuse me while I collect pieces of my brain off the loungeroom wall just now... hehehe

    Thank you all for your patience!

    Ishna
     
    #9 Ishna, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  11. Ishna

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    One concept in Gurbani which I DO understand is "intuitive understanding". The sum of "intuitive understanding", ie. when someone intuitively understands Gurbani and intuitively follows hukam and remembers God with every breath (not saying Waheguru with every breath but the intuitive and deep-seated awareness of the jyot within everything) -- is this naam??? The state of being so full of gurbani that it permeates your entire being and world-view??

    Oh the tragedy of a tiny brain trying to comprehend that which has taken 10 human Gurus with God's Grace and 1429 pages of Gurbani to try to explain!!! lol

    Ishna

    PS: Here's the thread with a link to the Bandagi Nama (thank you drkhalsa, wherever you may be). http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/1046-simran-how-to-do-it.html.

    Could it be that Naam is more than a Name but a reference to the identity/bring/realization that is God's? It's not a NAME, it's the substance behind the name? My name is Ishna, but when you think "Ishna" you don't just think "Ishna" you think about the picture of me you have in your mind from reading my incoherant posts! (teehee). So when SGGSJ talks of Naam, it's referencing God's Being directly?

    And you know, I haven't even had any caffeine today...
     
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    #10 Ishna, Jan 6, 2011
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  12. findingmyway

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    Ishna ji,
    None of what you are doing is wrong if it gets you closer to connecting with Waheguru. But naam is more complicated than just meditation though meditation is an important part. The instructions are right there - control the 5 thieves, help all, be a good person and be as humble as possible. All the naam jap in the world isn't enough if you don't treat others well. Waheguru is an important word for us, all I was trying to say is that it isn't the only naam either literally or metaphorically. That doesn't mean we stop saying Waheguru as we should endeavour to remember Waheguru always. I also don't think that there is one way that works for everybody as each one of us works a little differently - it's not a prescription but guidance.
     
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  13. Archived_member10

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    findingmyway,

    While it is true that the Naam is the essence of the SGGS, the Naam is infinite and cannot be limited to any scripture, it cannot be confined even within all the scriptures that have ever existed or ever will be.

    Ambarsaria,

    All making pilgrimages to and worship done at sacred shrines is part of Kundalini Yoga. These are spiritual practices that are shared by most if not all religions. Each religion thinking that their places are the most sacred. What religious shrines have in common is that they are places affiliated with people who knew how to meditate. Kundalini Yoga teaches that the power of the meditations of these Masters was/is so powerful that it affected the electromagnetic field of the Earth at these places, and it is the effects this that pilgrims seek and experience.

    Of course all these efforts fall short of direct experience of the Naam. In order to directly experience the Naam we must learn to meditate for ourselves as the Masters who went before us did.

    With regard specifically to Sikh shrines and whether or not any who regularly attend them know how to meditate on the Naam, any person that experiences their own existence as Oneness with all creation, experiences the Naam within themselves, will attempt to ensure the equality of all that visit that place. This pertains to all Gurdwaras that do not treat women as equals distributing prashad, reciting Ardas, reading the hukam, etc.

    How Kundalini Yoga Produces Meditation on the Naam
     
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  14. findingmyway

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    I don't think Sikh 'shrines' has anything to do with it as naam is mentioned a lot by Guru Nanak Dev ji in his bani and there were no Sikh shrines. We also do not believe in shrines. Gurdwaras are places of learning not just for worship. Pilgrimages are useless if you do not behave as a good person.
     
  15. Archived_member10

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    Ishna,
    Naam is the word that refers to the deepest, purest essence of our being. It is the experience of our own soul in perfection and harmony with the Oneness of all creation/God. Once this experience has been attained the Naam can be applied to every experience that presents itself. This is Naam Simran.
    All Enlightened Masters have practiced this. What we as Sikhs refer to as Naam is evident in the teachings of Divine Teachers from all religions. Being Sikh does not ensure our learning to meditate on the Naam, just as it is not ensured with any other religion. What matters is learning to meditate. Once meditation is learned and sincerely practiced experience of the Naam is guaranteed. Once again it doesn’t matter what religion the person meditating is because our souls and the Oneness are beyond the confines of any and all religions.



     
  16. Archived_member10

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    findingmyway,


    While it is true that pilgrimages and experience at sacred shrines is not the same as meditation on the Naam, it is useful to understand that these spiritual practices have some effects and that they do exist in Sikh Dharma. Harimandar Sahib, and the takhats are revered by Sikhs do have a vibrational effect on the psyche. It is important to remember that those effects are because those places have association with Masters that meditated.


    It is not that the spiritual practices of going to those sites is evil, but it is important to remember that the divine experiences that we have at sacred places is because someone meditated there and the residual effect that we experience is meant to remind and inspire us to learn meditation ourselves.


     
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  17. Ambarsaria

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Jgtguroo/jgtkhalsa ji I think we need to take a step back and explain a bit on fact.

    I have excerpted parts of your post in Red and my comments follow these excerpts.

    All making pilgrimages to and worship done at sacred shrines is part of Kundalini Yoga.


    • Just saying does not make it so. I had a friend he was Hindu. He said everybody is a Hindu where he defined “Hindu – anybody who believes in anything”


    • I have not personally made any pilgrimages in my life for spirituality but mostly for history so do most sikhs. Paying respects to history does not mean a spiritual attachment to a building.

    These are spiritual practices that are shared by most if not all religions. Each religion thinking that their places are the most sacred.


    • This is near absolute generalization. In our teachings this is called “Hankar”, ego.


    What religious shrines have in common is that they are places affiliated with people who knew how to meditate.


    • What! This is near absolute generalization. In our teachings this is called “Hankar”, ego.

    Kundalini Yoga teaches that the power of the meditations of these Masters was/is so powerful that it affected the electromagnetic field of the Earth at these places, and it is the effects this that pilgrims seek and experience.


    • Please name one master and example and verification of this in Sikhism. In Sikhism this will be classified as Chamatkar and all our Gurus wrote and helped people clean their minds of such Hinduism related concepts.

    Of course all these efforts fall short of direct experience of the Naam. In order to directly experience the Naam we must learn to meditate for ourselves as the Masters who went before us did.


    • Truism if made as an exclusivity. Sikhism encourages this as part of a whole practical life style.

    With regard specifically to Sikh shrines and whether or not any who regularly attend them know how to meditate on the Naam, any person that experiences their own existence as Oneness with all creation, experiences the Naam within themselves, will attempt to ensure the equality of all that visit that place.


    • Are you stating Sikhism is one of the most restrictive religions in terms of gender equality. I need to know further.
    This pertains to all Gurdwaras that do not treat women as equals distributing prashad, reciting Ardas, reading the hukam, etc.


    • My mom and my sister did ardass in our house always, I never did. Can you be specific and let me know where it says so in Sikh Gurbani or Sikh Rehat Miryada.
    • Practicality of the situation is that men have been historically wage earners in sikh communities. Gurdwaras have jobs like Granthi ji, Ragis, etc., and these have been traditionally done by men.
    • One of Granthi ji’s commong responsibility in their job description is Ardas, reading the Hukam.

    • One of the key responsibilities of Ragi Singh’s is to provide support to Granthi ji for other aspects of a service including distributing prashad.
    Sorry but I see major issues with your post and I have humbly and directly tried to address these. Your post reads too much of a Kudalini Yoga as be all and end all sales pitch.

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  18. findingmyway

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    Not at all.
    1) Harmandar Sahib is not a shrine but a Gurdwara. It is a place of learning. We go to learn history and listen to shabad so we can learn from the shabad. This is not the same as pilgrimage.

    2) Any spirituality at Harmandar Sahib is due to the mass of sangat. How can the Gurus be causing a vibrational effect when they have not been around for a long time! Harmandar Sahib attracts a lot of sangat. Otherwise anywhere there is sangat with pyaar there will be an increase in the spiritual feelings you experience.

    I would like to leave you with this line from japji
    ਤੀਰਥਿ ਨਾਵਾ ਜੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਭਾਵਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਭਾਣੇ ਕਿ ਨਾਇ ਕਰੀ ॥ (page 2 pauri 6)
    What is the point of pilgrimages and ritual baths when they do not please Akal Purakh.
     
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  19. Archived_member10

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    findingmyway,
    It is not true that the ‘instructions’ for meditation ‘are right there.’ The instructions of how to meditate are not to be found in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or any other sacred Sikh text. This is because meditation has only been taught non-verbally by Enlightened Masters including our Sikh Gurus. Usually only one disciple learns to meditate in the lifetime of any Master, and then that disciple is crowned the next Master. In the case of the Sikh Gurus there were occasions where more than one student learned. Bhai Gurdas had learned but was never proclaimed as Guru, and Guru Hargobind was able to teach two of his sons that both became Guru. Baba Siri Chand also learned to meditate but did not learn to meditate on the Naam until he met Guru Ram Das.
    The ideal of the Khalsa is that many will learn to meditate on the Naam and it will transform humanity and human society. This has clearly not happened yet. Most Sikhs do not even show interest in learning meditation. Everything short of learning to truly meditate on the Naam is a distraction from the real goal.

     
  20. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    I honestly do not understand what you are getting at here. I said the instructions for becoming a Gurmukh are in the Guru Granth Sahib ji, our only current Guru. I do not claim to be an expert but was sharing from my understanding to date. However, it is clear that meditation is ONE aspect as much emphasis is placed on actions.

    You seem to contradict yourself. If the Guru's were enlightened souls then so is the Guru Granth Sahib ji as it is the same jyot. We do not believe in any other living Guru's that will teach us anything not told in SGGSJ. All the Guru's bani is recorded in SGGSJ and it is the shabad, the bani that is Guru, not the physical body.

    All Sikhs are told to follow the Guru Granth Sahib Ji as Guru only so where else would you get your instructions from? ANY ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE THE GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI WILL BE DELETED IMMEDIATELY AS IT WILL BE A DIRECT VIOLATION OF TOS.
     
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  21. spnadmin

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    jgtkhalsa ji

    Let's take this apart and see what we are really looking and talking about in your statement.


    What do we mean by mediate?

    That would be an important consideration in the discussion before taking an extreme position. Meditation according to the Vedic texts is older than than Sikhi by thousands of years. It is virtually certain that educated men, our Gurus, knew of these practices, especially since so many shabads addressed yogis who meditated.

    Did any of our Gurus meditate?

    There is no way to pin the answer down with certainty. However, both Guru Angad and Guru Amardas turned from Vedic practices to follow in the footsteps of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Perhaps they did indeed meditate at some point in a Vedic tradition of meditation. Indeed the Gurus have described how to meditate. It is not the Vedic way.

    Is it important to know if they did or they did not? Only insofar as we understand what meaning to attach to meditate.

    from Guru Amardas

    ਮਨਮੁਖ ਗੁਣ ਤੈ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਮਰਦੇ ਝੂਰਿ ॥੨॥
    manamukh gun thai baaharae bin naavai maradhae jhoor ||2||
    The self-willed manmukhs are totally without virtue. Without the Name, they die in frustration. ||2||

    ਜਿਨ ਸਬਦਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਣਿ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਮਨਿ ਧਿਆਇਆ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਇ ॥
    jin sabadh guroo sun manniaa thin man dhhiaaeiaa har soe ||
    Those who hear and believe in the Word of the Guru's Shabad, meditate on the Lord in their minds.

    ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਭਗਤੀ ਰਤਿਆ ਮਨੁ ਤਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥
    anadhin bhagathee rathiaa man than niramal hoe ||
    Night and day, they are steeped in devotion; their minds and bodies become pure.


    ਕੂੜਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕਸੁੰਭ ਕਾ ਬਿਨਸਿ ਜਾਇ ਦੁਖੁ ਰੋਇ ॥
    koorraa rang kasunbh kaa binas jaae dhukh roe ||
    The color of the world is false and weak; when it washes away, people cry out in pain.


    ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਹੈ ਓਹੁ ਸਦਾ ਸਦਾ ਥਿਰੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥
    jis andhar naam pragaas hai ouhu sadhaa sadhaa thhir hoe ||3||
    Those who have the Radiant Light of the Naam within, become steady and stable, forever and ever. ||3||


    This is only one of many examples where "meditate" is construed in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. I hope you understand Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to be, the final, only, and everlasting Guru of the Sikhs. How is the word "meditate" used? in the sense of "dhhiaaeiaa" - complete absorption of the mind in shabad (word of the Guru). Another way to look at it: Night and day one is steeped in devotion. One's mind is dyed in the color of Satguruji's love.

    So now what is the point you are trying to make? If you are a Sikh there is one Guru. If you follow in the footsteps of Guru Nanak, you also align yourself with Guru Amardas ji and accept his understanding that one aborbs one's mind in the word of the shabad, of the Guru, and becomes steeped in devotion. That is our working definition of "meditation" within the framework of Sikhi.

    That is the instruction that Jasleen ji was referring to and it is repeated many times in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Is another Enlightened individual required to help us proceed in this direction? No! Guru Nanak tells us that our journey to realization is a journey we take alone. Human intermediaries are not necessary.

    Can or may Sikhs participate in mediation experiences conducted by the so-called "enlightened" ones? Why not? However, let us be clear that these meanings of meditation are not what Guru Amardas ji was talking about. That "enlightened" ones are also human, and humans can mislead us if they are themselves blinded by false ego or the desire to make a buck.

    So it is not so much that Sikhs are unaware, but rather Sikhs believe they have a different solution. Let me therefore repeat that warning you received. For a Sikh, the accumulated wisdom of all the spiritual masters over centuries is not equivalent to the wisdom found in the pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. If you argue otherwise you are not understanding a basic tenet of Sikhism. And if you offer your own view as a more intelligent and useful, you are violating our TOS by proselytizing for a "mat" of your own. So be warned.
     
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