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NITNAYM: The Daily Grind?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by IJSingh, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. IJSingh

    IJSingh United States
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    NIT NAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?
    I.J. Singh

    My columns often emerge from conversations with friends; so does this today.

    A reader, Gurjender Singh, responding to something I had written wondered about the banees that tradition tells us Guru Gobind Singh focused on at Vaisakhi 1699 at the initiation of the Khalsa. And then at a gathering of some young and not so young Sikhs, Ruchie Kaur, a bright young woman -- a doctoral candidate in education no less -- piped up: “Why does the Sikh Code of Conduct (Rehat Maryada) demand the daily grind of reading ad nauseum pages upon pages of gurbani?”

    Why, she asked, such emphasis on nit-naym, the daily requirement of so much gurbani every morning and evening? What exactly does this meaningless repetition accomplish? How does it promote any understanding of what one is reading?

    And finally: With so little time in the day isn’t this a waste?

    Then she added salt to the wounds. “This is not just my question,” she said, “but one that many of us -- Sikh friends in school or at work -- often obsess about for it makes no sense.”

    I readily confess that this has, at times, vexed us all. The riposte that all religions have similar requirements and recommendations is really no answer at all. It invites the retort “So what?”

    To many the answer to the dilemma is simple: “We do nit-naym because our Guru asked us to.” The questions then come flying in our face: Which Guru, and when and where? And a raging battle ensues; the focus gets diffused and the purpose of the question entirely lost.

    The first 13 pages of Guru Granth clearly lay out the hymns that comprise the minimal daily recitation. We know this because this portion is set apart from the rest of the corpus. Except for the major portion of japji, the rest of the compositions are later repeated in the Guru Granth; they reappear, sometimes with minimal variation of a word or two, under the appropriate raga where they belong.

    This puts the spotlight on the hymns on pages 1-13 and a natural inference is that they are to be specially read and experienced. This is what our tradition tells us and I can’t really imagine what other reason there would be for this special compendium of banees in the Guru Granth except as a core selection for a Sikh to focus on and integrate into his/her life. Given the history I would think that the selection comes from Guru Arjan who edited and compiled the Adi Granth himself in 1604, and which, with minor additions, became the Guru Granth a hundred years later in 1708.

    Over time this small body of gurbani – the substance of the nitnaym -- has been embellished by the addition of some writings that tradition and scholarship attribute to Guru Gobind Singh. Historically, this was a Panthic decision made at the time that the Sikh Code of Conduct (Rehat Maryada) was formally codified in the last century from the unbroken traditions and antecedents of the Sikh people.

    Obviously I have stated only my view; I haven’t really cited any evidence to support it beyond unbroken tradition. But this is likely how we have arrived at the composite collection of hymns of varying length that comprise the generally accepted banees that are to be read by a Sikh who follows the requirements of the faith. In practice, minor variations on the number and the selections exist even today.

    Remember that the Rehat Maryada only codified existing traditions; it didn’t invent any de novo. How did the compositions that exist from page 1 to page 13 inclusive evolve into such a foundational role in a Sikh life; when exactly, how and by the mandate of which Guru, are not easy questions to delve into. The best I can do is to defer such concerns to another day. Perhaps the readers of this column will help me cogitate on matters that I am leaving unexplored at this time.

    Today my focus is deliberately limited to the import of the nitnaym. Why do it – the meaning and the purpose. My initial stance on this is meant rile up readers. But indulge me a little longer. I hope to present a more useful rationale for the nitnaym.

    It seems to me that most Sikhs can be classified into two categories: There are those that avow that continuous repetition of the name of God is the only true meditation and the goal of life, while rational analyses are just head games that find no place in God’s divine court. Thus salvation and liberation lie in the virtues of endless repetition of God’s name. They recommend “Naam dhyanaa” or Naam japnaa – as the primary virtue. Such believers cite endless lines of gurbani to buttress and promote this panacea for saving us from ourselves.

    In support of this view we can cite the universal popularity of akhand paath – an unbroken, continuous reading of the entire Guru Granth over a 48 hour period, usually completed with minimal, if any, attention to meaning or context. I also add the popularity of practices like completing 51, 101 or some such number of recitations of the sukhmani Sahib or repeating specific selections from the Guru Granth for 40 days or some such duration. A widespread practice I see is that of repeating the one word “Waheguru” in an uninterrupted stream for minutes or hours every day. These practices pass for simran in most cases and are likely useful exercises for focusing the mind.

    The practitioners of this point out many exhortations – here I provide two that are oft-repeated: “Saṯgur jinī ḏẖi▫ā▫i▫ā se ṯaripaṯ agẖāhī, Guru Granth, p.88, Line 19 (Those who meditate on the True Guru are sated) and “Jinī ṯū ik man sacẖ ḏẖi▫ā▫i▫ā ṯin kā sabẖ ḏukẖ gavā▫i▫ā, Guru Granth, p. 301, Line 8 (Those who meditate on You, O True Lord, single-mindedly are freed from all suffering).

    Then there are those (second category of Sikhs here) that repeatedly cite from Guru Granth to promote a dialogue with the Guru and an engagement with the message. These detractors label such repetitive pursuits as mindless parroting that diminish and demean gurbani. Physically taxing these habits surely are but are they instructive or transformative? In most cases, likely not! That’s my personal bias.

    I see that the words dhiyaaya or “dhiyaana” come from the same root word “dhyaan” which means to pay attention or to contemplate, not mindless parroting in an endless cycle. This becomes clear from the Norma loquendi of ordinary everyday conversation when we speak of dhyan dena or dhyan karna, meaning respectively to give thought or pays attention. And attention to any matter or anybody, as we all know, requires the mind.

    Experiencing the divine does not come from mere prattling of the name; bluntly warns the Guru Granth “Ram naam sabh ko kahae, kahiyae Ram na hoye,” p 491.

    I am largely supportive of this somewhat rational notional view but it still leaves the young lady’s demurral about nitnaym and the question of her generation about its endless or thoughtless repetition on the table – relatively unaddressed. Is there any merit then to the directive that a Sikh must recite the nitnaym every day?

    Even though reasoning by examples can land us into a quagmire, nevertheless, a few examples from life might help us move along the analytical process. I warn you that analogies go only so far; pushing them beyond their limits is distracting, misleading, unproductive and risky.

    How do we train a soldier? What exactly is the purpose of the proverbial and much derided boot camp? The constant repetition, tedious, boring and tiresome, does not wait for the convenience of the trainee or whether the trainee is awake and rested. It is to make the recruit jump off the bed even when half dead with fear, fatigue and hunger -- weapon at the ready with the mind reacting reflexively, intuitively and instinctively – without pausing even a moment for rational analysis. The idea is for the training to become integral to the trainee’s sense of self and the driving force of his life. Waiting for a reasonable analysis may well tilt the battle towards defeat and death.

    Another analogy: A budding physician learns the fundamentals of health and disease in the comparative luxury of a classroom, but what transforms one into a functionally competent independent physician is the back-breaking residency. It is here when days and nights merge into each other that he/she learns to react instinctively at a moment’s notice to a patient’s critical needs. An emergency is not the time to explore the textbooks.

    But you say, “I’d never a soldier be for I am not joining any man’s army; also don’t want to be a physician. I am an ordinary Sikh in an ordinary job that puts enough food on the table and meets my needs just fine.

    So I add a third example that is universal and without which we would never have much of a life: How does a child become a functioning adult? How does he/she learn basic life-skills?

    The child starts with the alphabet. Think of the time, repetition and the years it takes to get beyond C-A-T and so on to imbibe the fundamentals of how to string letters together to make words that make sense – then move on to the complexities of sentence structure and the many shades of meaning inherent in them, some that are hidden in the linguist and cultural context.

    A similar boot camp awaits the child in mastering numbers and how to manipulate them. Without the life affirming skills of the three R’s a child would surely remain dysfunctional and be lost in contemporary society. A lot of disciplined practice, tons of repetition and memorization go into mastering the skills for manipulating numbers and playing meaningfully with words.

    In the final analysis, the purpose of learning the 3-R’s is not to just cram and be able to regurgitate on demand, but to find a defining place for them in life.

    The purpose of nitnaym, too, is not just to practice its repetition to ensure that it is embedded in memory as in the elementary meaning of naam japnaa – as important as that is -- but to make it an exercise in reflection (dhianaa) – or as in another common expression as naam kamana, literally meaning to earn naam which can only come from living it.

    Living an idea requires some understanding and mastery of it. And mastering every new skill, from the most trivial to the most complex — from swimming to rocket science mandates the grind of repetitive practice. As skill increases, joy progressively replaces the grinding ennui.

    The idea of the nitnaym is no different from the 3-R’s; the memorization of the basics is learned early, the nuances of its usage takes a lifetime to work out. The trouble is that many of us get stuck at the level of C-A-T – never moving beyond that; it would be somewhat like never acquiring the ability to count from one to twenty without recourse to one’s fingers and toes.

    Keep your eye on the ball, it is only mindful attention that matters; all else is cant and a waste; Guru Granth (p. 594) reminds us, “Dithhay mukt na hovayee jichar sabd na karay vichar.” It also asks us to note (p. 261) that a single word enshrined within can transform us (“Ek akhar har mun basat, Guru Nanak hote nihaal.”), and that the entire creation inheres in the Word ("Akhar meh tribhavan prabh dharay").

    What discipline and repetition do is to make it possible for a set of meanings and values to become integrated into one’s life and even shape it. This then becomes a game-changing formula.

    Given the reasoning that I have laid out a natural question would be: Why should I continue to honor the conventional nitnaym? I would think for the same reason that we unquestioningly follow most of the social mores of the community that nurtures us; any departures we make are usually not significant or outrageous. Our compliance increasingly reinforces the social compact that exists between us, our community, and our history.

    The best doctors and soldiers continue to repeatedly nurture their basic training even as they keep adding layers of new meaning and application to it.

    At one level, therefore, I am less concerned about exactly what compositions one reads every day or which one(s) get missed some days and more anxious that the disciplinary process be maintained. This is not so different from the idea of exercising the body on a regular schedule; it is not that some days one may vary the regimen somewhat but the fact that a much needed routine is maintained.

    In our core belief represented in the nitnaym, too, the discipline of the repetition is only a step, though totally essential. That, when coupled with analysis and a hefty dose of grace, makes the maven. And then it transforms the purpose and the meaning of life.

    Religion is, after all, not meant to make a living but is a way to make a life here on Earth. As a good friend, Jaidev Singh anand reminds us “Awareness of His existence is Naam; Perpetuating that awareness is Simran!”

    And then nitnaym remains no longer the daily grind but becomes an essential tool in self awareness.

    IJSingh

    January 4, 2012
     

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  3. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    I.J. Singh Ji,

    I would be curious to hear your opinion on Simran... A lot of Gurbani is about Naam and praising God. For the second "type" of Sikh, where does Simran fit in, and what is its purpose, apart from a focused mind or other perks?
     
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  4. stallonjit

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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    We repeat each breath that we breathe.
    We repeat every beat of our heart.
    We repeat poor choices and dumb actions.
    Life is a repition.
    When it come to nitnem,people say why repeat the same thing again and again.
     
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  5. BaljinderS

    BaljinderS
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    Very well argued theory IJSingh veer ji! :)

    I do question how much love and faith a person has in Sikhi if they raise these kind of questions?

    The glorious Sikh history is full of Sikhs who have recited gurbani at every opportunity and never questioned why.

    I say a person who is asking these kind of questions and not being satisfied with any answer, is just looking for reasons to not do it.

    Has she/he tried doing it? If so, for how long? Has she/he read the Sikh history, try to learn and understand gurbani? There is no point in asking these kind of questions if they haven't done any of these.
     
  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    What do we mean when we say..Gurbani is praise of the Creator ?
    Is it mere LIP SERVICE....the Creator is TRUTH..Satnaam...He is fearless..He is Sans enmity..He is pure LOve..sans obligations..expectations..etc etc..
    Are we simply supposed to say those about Him day in and day out and thats IT !!
    Or are we in reality expected to EMULATE him...take some of His Qualities..like TRUTH..and begin imbibing TRUTH in our daily lives bit by bit until we too become BEACONS of TRUTH ( as Sikhs of old indeed were..a SIKHS WORD was his LIFE...oral word...TODAY written wittnessed agreements in front of lawyers and Judges are about as worthy as toilet paaper and we are still called SIKHS !!)..Arent we also to go forward in life becoming FEARLESS day by day..as Fateh Singh and Zorawar singh showed at age 5 and 7..or Bhai mani Singh showed when he admonished the executioner for trying to short cut his way out by severing the Limbs at the wrist and elbow /shoulder when Bhai mani Singh ji reminded him that the Sentence was Cut from JOINT TO JOINT...and each Finger has 3 joints...so please follow your instructions !!..or Bhai banda Singh bahadur swalloing the beating heart of his toddler son with only WAHEGURU on his lips..arent we sikhs supposed to become NIRVAIR bit by bit..like BHAI GHANIYAH JI who watered and administtered medical supplies to Muslim soldiers and Sikh soldiers wounded ...TODAY SIKHS draw their KIRPANS on fellow SIKH Brothers right INSIDE Gurdwara darbar sahibs in the August presence of the GURU !!! Not one incident but many dozens each year upon year...fellow Sikhs go to Courts to fight over Gurdwara seva...Sikh sons murder their SIKH fathers over land and properties....THIS inspite of and DESPITE THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of sehaj paaths, Akhand paaths, nitnems ardasses and Kirtan darbars and what not all over the world in huge numbers..why have we produced such a paltry number of Bhagat Pooran Singhs (i am embarassed to say ONLY ONE )..is it the fault of Gurbani or the way we TREAT GURBANI ?? why arent our daily nitnems NOT showing on our Faces and in our CHARACTERS..in our daily LIVES ??? MOST of the wrongs like fights in Gurdwaras are perpetrated by AMRITDHAREE looking Sikhs..long gatras kirpans huge round turbans and loud chants of waheguru waheguru preceed these fights......MOST Sikhs seen matha teking at Marrhee masaans Graves of MUSLIM PIRS are gatra wearing Amrtidharee "Looking" Sikhs..same doing akhand paaths at graves..and singing aartees in mandirs and putting tilaks on foreheads and keeping all sort of anti-Gurmatt festivals, rotuals, etc etc...also look like Amrtidharees...BUT their ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER than their NITNEM BLASTING LOUDSPEAKERS/Car stereos....
     
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  7. BaljinderS

    BaljinderS
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    Very well said Jarnail Singh veer Ji!

    Everybody wants to talk about the truth but nobody actually want to live the truth. Answer is simple, only those who embrace death before life know true love.
     
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  8. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    With regard to the perceived 'daily grind' of nitnem, I thought the end of Bhagat Ravi Das ji's shabad on Ang 1167 said a lot!

    Attitude has a lot to do with nitnem. If you approach it as a ritual to be done every day because it is your obligation and you rush through it just to get it done, your only reward will be the satisfaction of having 'done your duty' at best - you're churning watered-down milk. If you approach it with LOVE and RESPECT and AWE then it becomes the real milk, full of spiritual protein and life-supporting vibrancy.

    <table border="0"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" align="left">BYrau bwxI rivdws jIau kI Gru 2
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> bhairo baanee ravidhaas jeeo kee ghar 2
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Bhairao, The Word Of Ravi Daas Jee, Second House:
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left"><> siqgur pRswid ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> ik oa(n)kaar sathigur prasaadh ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">ibnu dyKy aupjY nhI Awsw ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> bin dhaekhae oupajai nehee aasaa ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Without seeing something, the yearning for it does not arise.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">jo dIsY so hoie ibnwsw ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> jo dheesai so hoe binaasaa ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Whatever is seen, shall pass away.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">brn sihq jo jwpY nwmu ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> baran sehith jo jaapai naam ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Whoever chants and praises the Naam, the Name of the Lord,
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">so jogI kyvl inhkwmu ]1]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> so jogee kaeval nihakaam ||1||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">is the true Yogi, free of desire. ||1||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">prcY rwmu rvY jau koeI ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> parachai raam ravai jo koee ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">When someone utters the Name of the Lord with love,
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">pwrsu prsY duibDw n hoeI ]1] rhwau ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> paaras parasai dhubidhhaa n hoee ||1|| rehaao ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">it is as if he has touched the philosopher's stone; his sense of duality is eradicated. ||1||Pause||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">so muin mn kI duibDw Kwie ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> so mun man kee dhubidhhaa khaae ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">He alone is a silent sage, who destroys the duality of his mind.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">ibnu duAwry qRY lok smwie ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> bin dhuaarae thrai lok samaae ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Keeping the doors of his body closed, he merges in the Lord of the three worlds.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">mn kw suBwau sBu koeI krY ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> man kaa subhaao sabh koee karai ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Everyone acts according to the inclinations of the mind.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">krqw hoie su AnBY rhY ]2]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> karathaa hoe s anabhai rehai ||2||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Attuned to the Creator Lord, one remains free of fear. ||2||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">Pl kwrn PUlI bnrwie ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> fal kaaran foolee banaraae ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Plants blossom forth to produce fruit.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">Plu lwgw qb PUlu iblwie ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> fal laagaa thab fool bilaae ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">When the fruit is produced, the flowers wither away.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">igAwnY kwrn krm AiBAwsu ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> giaanai kaaran karam abhiaas ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">For the sake of spiritual wisdom, people act and practice rituals.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">igAwnu BieAw qh krmh nwsu ]3]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> giaan bhaeiaa theh karameh naas ||3||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">When spiritual wisdom wells up, then actions are left behind. ||3||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">iGRq kwrn diD mQY sieAwn ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> ghrith kaaran dhadhh mathhai saeiaan ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">For the sake of ghee, wise people churn milk.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">jIvq mukq sdw inrbwn ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> jeevath mukath sadhaa nirabaan ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Those who are Jivan-mukta, liberated while yet alive - are forever in the state of Nirvaanaa.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">kih rivdws prm bYrwg ]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> kehi ravidhaas param bairaag ||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Says Ravi Daas, O you unfortunate people,
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="10" valign="top" align="center">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" align="left">irdY rwmu kI n jpis ABwg ]4]1]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top"> ridhai raam kee n japas abhaag ||4||1||
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">why not meditate on the Lord with love in your heart? ||4||1||</td></tr></tbody></table>
     
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  9. aristotle

    aristotle
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    @Ishna Ji
    That explains it well !!
     
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  10. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Re: NITNAYM (NITNEM): The Daily Grind?

    Dear Mr. IJ

    To spnadmin
    : The post may be deleted or retained depending upon your personal equation with Mr.IJ.

    Regardless of content or the title of the post I thank you for letting me add few words to my vocabulary. Also kindly thank Ruchika Kaur for asking such a brilliant question.

    You are a blessed soul and you happen to be a sikh and are worthy of respect on account of white Beard that you wear and the charming face that you are blessed with.

    Permit me to suggest few things, Sir ,that would be in mutual interest. I shall number them so that in case need arises in future to discuss we can do that.

    1. Kindly ensure that the Title of the Post and the contents are congruent.

    2. While discussing Gurbani one should not cook stories .One should be fair and frank in expressing opinion.

    3.One should not let the personal opinion grow so strong that it results in disrespect to few who practice that you condemn vehemently. You call it personal Bias.

    4. When you interpret any specific 'shabad' of Gurbani do not forget to give the conventionally accepted meaning and the meaning that you assign. It is then one can rationalize the things in perspective. Your post in question is about interpretation of Bhagat Trilochan that deals with incarnation or transmigration.

    5. It is almost obligatory on your part to attend to the queries of the members. Hope you would kindly look into this so that we can be benefited by your views and can learn more.

    You are an eminent personality and remember always that you owe this society a lot because it is this society and the Grace of God that you enjoy the present position ,that you can even influence some innocent souls. Some of us may be guided or misguided by that you opine and author and that you do reasonably well. Some of your comments are encouragingly discouraging.

    It is my personal suggestion ,Sir, that you should come out with a full fledged book/Teeka on Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji or some other bani that you are comfortable with. I cannot assure but I shall do my best to see that it is published by some Indian Publisher if it is done in Gurmukhi. Needless to mention you can always find some English or American Publisher to air your views.

    Warm Regards!
     
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    #9 Taranjeet singh, Jan 6, 2012
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Taranjeetji,

    I love your nature and I think you are a fine fellow, however I think you may have misinterpreted the above, IJ is lauding understanding rather than repetition, surely those who recite Nitnem with understanding are gaining more than they who just chant?
     
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  12. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Gurfateh Taranjeet ji,

    Your entire post sounds like a prejudiced extra-judicial execution in a fake encounter... 0:)

    On a lighter note... being a lawyer, who has to scrutinize each and every statement and come up with counter arguments, in this case, i find that you have not countered even a single statement made by IJ Singh in this article... makes me believe that you did not even bothered to go through the article in its entirety.

    The five points you made in your verdict above, first of all need a clarification from your side.

    What made your think that it is not congruent?

    Which stories you are referring to? Where the article is not fair and frank?

    Which "personal" statements against whom resulted in showing disrespect? Which personal bias you are talking about?

    i am not sure which shabd are talking about? Please quote from which statement this ambiguity arises?

    At this moment, IJ Singh ji just joined the forum and learning how to navigate the forum... as a matter of fact, this article was posted in the forum on his behalf by me... we need to give him all the time he wants from his busy schdule and make him feel comfortable rather than passing wholesale irresponsible gross statements.

    We and you can certainly do much better than this...


    Gurfateh!

    Aman Singh
     
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  13. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Hi AmanSingh ji,
    A few point about An Advocate that you should also know as you never know when you may need one.

    Rule1- Advocate only makes pleadings and petitions; he is not engaged in encounters ;fake or otherwise.
    Rule-2- Advocate does not give/announce verdict. Court /Judge does.

    Coming to specifics:

    I do not consider it necessary to go through the article again. The gentleman had used the word Grind in the Title. We lovingly do it. If he considers it so, that he must not be considering, he should not have in the last few lines justified it. It is that I call in congruency. ; First write to entrap some innocent then advise that it is not so. The Title of the thread or the post could have been 1.Need of Nitnem, or 2.Nitnem and its significance,3. Sikhs and Nitnem...or something that gives a pleasant impression.

    May be he has his style of writing like you have yours to make a mockery of things and then begin. I prefer honest and straight talk.
    There is hardly a need of introducing make believe characters like Ruchika or Jaidev if it is considered as a post else it becomes discourse. He has commented something like babbling or parroting on a word. I do it and do it per Gurbani. I am in formative stages of making concepts and have feel of Gurbani and cannot afford a biased opinion of anyone unless one certifies that whatever he says is cent percent per Gurmat. It is always better to have a heart to heart talk with Ambarsari ji, Giani ji, Harray ji and Tejwant ji and many other members of the forum[whom It may not be possible to name and enlist] who will at least respond and clarify things than to read " Gospel of Truth' and keep on conjecturing.

    Yes, you have stated that you have only posted the article and he is a busy person and may not be able to attend to the queries.Fine! The fact that you are not aware of his earlier posts does not entitle you to make further queries. Let the addressee attend to when ever he has the time. I am not running away.Even if he does not reply, it is immaterial.

    I have sincerely replied you to the extent that was necessary. Yes, you also know that as an agent of Mr IJ you enjoy only an authority that is limited governed by Agent-Principal or Master-Servant Relationship.[I never wanted to write this but since you have made it known that I am an advocate ..I do write.You were free to post all this on my Board but you preferred it this way so that the controversy persists. Your choice, Sir.]

    It was left to the option of spnadmin to retain or delete the post and that authority you still enjoy. Instead of coming out with questions over the doubts that I have, you could have simply deleted the post and the controversy could never have arisen. You intentionally retained the post and now you come out to seek clarifications to gain time or add some spicy flavor to the thread.

    Personally speaking, I do not prefer reading him. On the other hand,I avoid reading him,Personal bias.You cannot force me to do things that I do not like and vice versa.

    I never meant any disrespect to him.If my words smell of the same kindly do the needful that is within your authority.

    I appreciate the pains that you are undertaking to run this site for which I shall always be grateful,my dear Brother..

    lovingly..taranjeet
     
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    #12 Taranjeet singh, Jan 9, 2012
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  14. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Taranjeetji,

    I feel compelled to write and respond to your post as a completely independent member of this forum, devoid of any relationship with IJji.

    There are many people that do Nitnem without thought or understanding, to those people it is a grind, it is not a grind to you, because you are doing it with love and need, so this article really does not concern you, and is not written for you, only those that feel it is a grind.

    Also the article is clearly showing the writers pain at the fact that some consider Nitnem a grind, 'then she added salt to the wounds', this quote clearly shows IJ is uneasy at the concept of grind as much as your goodself.

    IJ then goes on to laud several explanations why this so called grind is nothing of the sort and cites several examples whereby such 'grinds' are useful in life


    I also add the popularity of practices like completing 51, 101 or some such number of recitations of the sukhmani Sahib or repeating specific selections from the Guru Granth for 40 days or some such duration. A widespread practice I see is that of repeating the one word “Waheguru” in an uninterrupted stream for minutes or hours every day. These practices pass for simran in most cases and are likely useful exercises for focusing the mind.

    A similar boot camp awaits the child in mastering numbers and how to manipulate them. Without the life affirming skills of the three R’s a child would surely remain dysfunctional and be lost in contemporary society. A lot of disciplined practice, tons of repetition and memorization go into mastering the skills for manipulating numbers and playing meaningfully with words.


    At one level, therefore, I am less concerned about exactly what compositions one reads every day or which one(s) get missed some days and more anxious that the disciplinary process be maintained. This is not so different from the idea of exercising the body on a regular schedule; it is not that some days one may vary the regimen somewhat but the fact that a much needed routine is maintained.


    I find the writer has written a challenging post on why Nitnem can be a grind for some, but instead of saying, lets not do Nitnem, he is saying, the grind will eventually turn around, and in time, habit and experience will add to the grind and make it in his own words, 'an essential tool in self awareness'

    I think you, like me, speed read, I will warn you that if you try and speed read this post, you will at first get the wrong impression, as indeed did I, as you will only notice the negative content, but believe me, try reading it slowly a few times and you will see the gems shine out

    Love, Harry
     
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  15. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Harry ji,
    Sincere and heart felt thanks for your lucid explanation of things and that you could extracts the things for nuts like me. My sincerest apologies to Mr. Aman Singh ji as well for I might have troubled him unnecessarily.

    Thanks once again as I have not read him for the second time.

    Sorry Aman ji and thanks for being so patient and if I rubbed at some wrong side; kindly forgive me ..
    <!--[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: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]-->
    Slok
    Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
    Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.
    Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma.
    According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away.
    Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows
    -O Guru Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them! ||1||
     
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    #14 Taranjeet singh, Jan 9, 2012
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  16. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    We have absolutely no fondness to censor your view points or for that matter anybody's else on this forum. I find it interesting when you suggest something like above. My sole idea of responding to your posts was to move ahead with the topic in hand... your post seemed like a full stop to the discussion... especially once you have shown reluctance to read the article in depth...

    I am quite shocked and disappointed at your assertions... I have no idea what equations or relationships you are talking about...

    Your profile information at SPN suggests that you are associated with the profession of advocacy. I have had absolutely no intention of "exposing" you as such. My apologies if you think otherwise.

    Harry ji has explained the situation quite well... i have nothing more to add to it...

    Gurfateh!
     
    #15 Admin Singh, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  17. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Nitnem: Daily Blessings



    The Sikh religion is a way of life guided by the twin principles of Simran and Seva .i.e. Remembrance of the Creator and Service. In fact they are linked in that what is to be remembered is the Divine virtues and commands, and carrying out the latter. Nit-Nem is actually a compound word. 'Nit' means daily or always. 'Nem' is the short form of 'Nieam' meaning rule or practice. 'Nitnem’ thus means 'daily practice' and has been prescribed in the Sikh Code of Conduct. This was finalized after a long discussion between leading Sikh scholars and personalities. It comprises three sets of compositions from the Sikh scripture Sri Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and of the Tenth Guru, who gave final shape to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji but did not include his own compositions therein. They are to be recited in the early morning, evening after sunset but before the evening meal and at bedtime. The Baanis have been so chosen as to act as a continuous reminder of how a Sikh is to conduct himself in life.



    There are two advantages of Nitnem. Firstly it is the daily refresher guide and secondly one has something to look forward to for doing. Time never weighs on those who do Nitnem. As a corollary, a person who follows the practice faithfully can never be forgetful or go into depression. It helps to keep the mind on track in life both spiritually and temporally. It has been the experience of many that conformance to this improves even professional performance by way of remaining in focus.
    The following Baanis have been prescribed in the Sikh Rehet Maryada (copied from the SGPC website).

    a. The Japuji sahib, the Jaapu Sahib and the Ten Sawayyas (Quartets) - beginning "Srawag sudh"-- in the morning.

    b.
    Sodar Rehras Sahib comprising the following compositions in the evening



    Read More

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitnem
    .............................................[Aman ji, Sikhs forgive one another especially when one is asking for forgiveness time and again. I am referring to Law related to Law of Agency. You have posted above in legal jargon and I expected that you would know this.It was implied by me.]
     
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    #16 Taranjeet singh, Jan 9, 2012
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  18. Awakeand Singh

    Awakeand Singh United States
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    Harry, I absolutely agree. There's obviously no comparison between Nitnem done with Surat and without. The Guru is not looking for automated voice prompts in human bodies!

    Picture an accomplished concert pianist giving a masterful performance. No one in the audience sees how many hours, days and years of practicing scales, finger dexterity exercises, etc., went into achieving that sensitive and evocative interpretation of the piece of music being performed. I believe daily Nitnem is meant to accomplish much the same. Just as the musician works on technique in order to rise above it; that the hand and foot movements should become transparent and unconscious, so can we use the text of prayer as a jumping off point to prayer itself, to forge a deeper and closer relationship with the Guru.

    I would suggest study of the texts themselves. I have seen a number of places online where this is done.

    Finally, it's a matter of personal priorities. My attitude determines what I consider important. If the goal of Simran is to be connected 24/7 ... then, should I not at least work for that connection during Nitnem? The Guru's presence is constantly with me. Where am I?!
    Yes, it's routine - but it should never be done routinely!
     
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    #17 Awakeand Singh, Jan 10, 2012
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  19. Awakeand Singh

    Awakeand Singh United States
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    Those who know the works of I.J. Singh know that the object of much of his writing is to stimulate conversation on topics of vital interest to the Qaum-at-large. Sometimes he presents his own view, sometimes not. He performs the necessary function of a facilitator, stirring the pot to produce a tastier and more nourishing broth. Agree with him or not; that's not the issue. Keep talking, with the goal leading to action.
     
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  20. Ishna

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    Awakeand Singh Ji

    Sat Sri Akal and welcome to SPN. Thank you for your posts so far!

    I am intrigued by your 'adherent' tag. Please, if you have a moment, drop by the Introductions thread and do tell us about yourself.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. peacesignkaur
     
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  21. Awakeand Singh

    Awakeand Singh United States
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    Ishna Ji-
    I tried to post something on the Introductions page, but got a message telling me I was not allowed to access the page.
    I ask your pardon for not getting back to you immediately, but it's not always possible, due precisely to the complications of what you noticed in my 'adherent' tag. I'll attempt to explain more if I'll be permitted to post on the Introducing Myself page ...
     
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