http://www.sikhreview.org/july2000/naam.htm Spiritual Experience of Naam Simran Tarlochan Singh Mann * *3 New York Avenue, Stonybrook. N.Y. 11790. U.S.A. This is based on "Bandgi-nama" by Raghbir Singh Bir. Recitation of Gurbani and meditation or Simran are complementary to each other. While Gurbani brings us closer to an understanding of God’s purpose, Simran truly unites us with the divine. Recitation from Guru Granth and repetition of a particular verse roots its sense in our mind in order that the mind is moulded accordingly. Naam - Simran increases concentration and raises levels of consciousness to higher level and unites us with the wonderful Lord, Waheguru. Philosophy of Simran: As soon as the name of any object is mentioned, its form, nature, attributes, and our re-action to it, rush into our mind, and we visualize the image of the object as picturised and projected. Similarly when we repeat God’s Name our mental picture of God gets picturised before our mind’s eyes. Gur-Bani by projecting the attributes of God helps us to form some sort of mental picture of God. In Simran when we repeat God’s Name this picture grows clearer to us. Even if we may have no mental concept of God, by mere repetition of His NAME God’s attributes are not only visualized but are also slowly assimilated. Naam-Simran is the secret of simple mindsbecoming Saints. Peculiar quality of our mind is that if some thing impresses us profoundly and if we repeatedly aspire, by continuous Simran, to be shaped in the pattern of that thing (may be saint, God), we are gradually moulded accordingly: Jaisa sevai taisa hovei. (SGGS) Methodology of Simran: Significance and worth of Naam-Simran can be appreciated only by personally practicing Simran persistently, regularly, with patience and perseverance till it becomes a habit, and goes an unceasingly. Recommendations for beginners: Choice of a secluded and fixed place and regular hours help in inculcating Simran habit. A special room, or a niche in a room, reserved for Simran is very conducive. Time - prescribed is 2.00 A.M. to 4.00 A.M. in Summer and 3.00 to 5.00 A.M. in winter. We can sleep for two hours after Simran before our daily work. Body Pasture - We should squat cross-legged on the floor as erect as possible. The avoid fatigue a cushion may be used. Tuning the mind - It is necessary to guard it from wandering and falling into negative thinking and making the entire Naam-Simran exercise of the day a futile venture Modus-operandi for tuning the mind recommended by the author may be followed or each individual should evolve and adopt his own personalized technique. Three Stages of Simran: The author describes how and why he selected "Wahe-Guru" for Simran in preference to so many other names of God mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The first stage of Simran is audible Simran. Lips more and sound is heard. We speak aloud and fix our attention on the sound produced. It is necessary to improve our concentration. If necessary beads of rosary may be used, to start with, but in no case pictures of Gurus be used to improve concentration, as it creates problems in higher spiritual stages as illustrated by our own experiences. The second stage is of mental Simran. When lips cease to move, vocal chords alone help in creating sound rhythm of Wahe-Guru Shabad. For convenience the seeker may synchronize the Simran with the rhythm of breathing, regulating the vibrations of respiration. Uttering Wah on inhaling, and uttering "Guru" on exhaling. This mental Simran focuses our attention and increase our concentration which advances spiritual development. The third stage - The Gentle sound of mental Simran picks up a higher pitch and becomes louder and louder to the exclusion of all external sounds. Mental Simran ceases and this sound seems to come down from navel and is heard from within our entire being. This concentrated Simran raises the level of consciousness and the spiritual development advances to the higher stage. The mind feels perfect peace and gets inebriated with the joy of bliss that defy description. This advanced stage of spiritual development is called stage of ‘SAHAJ’. From this last stage of Simran first stage of "GYAN’ starts and the seeker starts having a number of mystic experiences. But the seeker has to guard against the delusions of this stage viz (1) Ceasing of Simran gives the impression that it is waste of time as there is no worship of God without Simran (2) The seeker is gripped by the sleep of ease called ‘TANDRA’ and seeker is deluded to believe that he has reached the final stage of spiritual progress. This writer follows in details the methodology suggested by Late Sant Attar Singh Mastuana and Baba Nand Singh Kleran helped him to come out of first delusion regarding waste of time. Edward Carpenter’s book ‘A Visit to a Gyani’ redeemed him from the delusion of ‘TANDRA’. The other mystic experiences this writer had are - l Discovery of centers of consciousness within the body including cortex of the brain called ‘DASAM DWAR’. l Seeing glimpses of sweet cool luminosity. l Hearing melodious sounds: punch nad or Anhad nad. l Experiencing sweet smells. l Low gentle rhythmic sound in the brain inducing bliss and lightness of mind. l Getting into peaceful trance/Samadhi. l The realization that the universe is the creation of an all-pervading force beyond our comprehension.