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The Concept of Naam

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Archived_Member16, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    source: http://www.sikhs.org/art2.htm

    The Concept of Naam
    by Hardit Singh

    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.


    YOUTUBE LINK: What is naam ?

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  3. Amarpal

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    Jun 11, 2004
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    Dear Members

    Words of any language are not fundamental in nature; they are merely tools created by humans for verbal communication. Any word is an arbitrary verbal sound, which the people living in some area have agreed to mean some thing specific. The words, as they are arbitrary verbal sounds, different groups of people have coined their own words to enable effective communication.

    Guru Sahib was propagating the understanding of the true nature of God ‘The Sat’, which Guru Sahib knew from his personal experience is formless. The word used by his disciples when referring to ‘The Sat’ had to be such which does not generate any form in the mind of the devotee. As I understand, Guru Sahib selected the word ‘Naam’ for this purpose.

    The word Naam triggers the idea about ‘The Sat’, without creating any image of this ‘Absolute God’. It was in line with the true nature of God which he was explaining to his disciples.

    When we seek the boon of Naam, it means that we want our brain to function on the idea of ‘The Sat’ in a way so as to fill our mind with the Thoughts about ‘The Sat’. Please note for me Brain is the functioning gray matter, and Mind is the soft output of the functioning Brain. When the functioning brain becomes so much engaged with the idea of ‘The Sat’ that its soft output has nothing but ‘The Sat’, the person at that stage is said to be totally imbued with ‘Naam’.

    Guru Sahib has given us this term Naam to help us evolve spiritually and move towards the formless God; ‘The Nirakaar; ‘The Sat’.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    How much better can a thread be? This is divine conversation.
  5. drkhalsa

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    Sep 16, 2004
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    Agree totally
    it is communication at its best
    really thankful to all of you

    Jatinder Singh
  6. Sarvjit

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    Jun 18, 2007
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    Naam ?

    Names(asankh names) of God or name of sound ?

    Makhan chor nand kishore manmohan ghan shaam rey

    kitney tere roop re kitney naam rey ?

    Does it fits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pardon me please.


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