Naam or Word – A Study in Naam Kirpal Singh

The Word (Sound) is echoing and re-echoing in the whole of creation. There is no place without It. It is resounding in the living temple of the human body.

THE RICHES OF NAAM ARE LASTING AND INEXHAUSTIBLE

The treasure-house of Naam is perfectly secure and eternally the same:

While worldly riches come and go, the riches of Naam are eternal and everlasting,
Fire cannot destroy It nor can It be stolen.
GURU AMAR DAS

Therefore it is said:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal;
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal;
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
CHRIST

I am possessed of the treasure of Naam,
Whosoever gets It, is emancipated,
It can neither be stolen nor destroyed,
It is tax-free and is not affected by the ravages of time.
GURU NANAK
ATTRIBUTES OF NAAM

The fountain of Naam is eternal and perennially full. It springs from Sant Satguru (One established in Truth) and becomes manifest in a Gurumukh (One who scrupulously follows the teachings of the Guru). He who realizes and experiences It within himself becomes truly blessed.

We have the treasure of Naam in abundance,
Satguru transmits his own Life-current,
May he live eternally.
GURU RAM DAS

Word is an inexhaustible treasure and resides in the heart of a Gurumukh.
GURU ARJAN

The riches of Naam never run out and are inestimable,
With the gift of Naam one verily shines bright
And becomes the knower of Truth.
GURU AMAR DAS

Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water,
springing up into everlasting life.
CHRIST

The wealth of Naam is truly great and is surging everywhere:

Verily, verily the wealth of Naam is truly great,
It is surging full and free within each individual.
GURU NANAK
NAAM is Hukam and  Shabd:

He who attunes with the Will of God (Controlling Power of Naam )
is truly acceptable,
The Master’s Shabd gives a clue to and is indicative of the Naam.
GURU AMAR DAS
Naam is the heritage of the devotees; Guru is the Treasure house and Sikh the dealer in this merchandise:

The devotee’s true capital is the treasure of Naam.
This he spends quite freely.
GURU ARJAN

Verily, verily, blessed is the merchant that deals in Naam,
For his disciples buy this commodity and through Shabd
cross over the Sea of Life.
GURU RAM DAS
God is truly the King of Naam:

Hari Naam is thy crest jewel,
Thou hast a monopoly in this respect and Thy disciples trade in It.

Naam is the greatest support for ensouled bodies; Naam is the only prop. Devotees have a friend in Him and are able to get single-minded devotion through the agency of Naam.

O Nanak! Naam is the mainstay of the Jivas, and without It there is no support,
Let the universes appear and disappear but one who is devoted to a Gurumukh
remains steadfast like a rock in the changing panorama of life.
GURU RAM DAS

The Name of the Lord is a tonic for the mind,
By its use the Pranas and the senses get steady,
Naam is my all in all and everything to me,
He is my constant friend and guide and helps me to safely cross over
the “Sea of Life.”
GURU ARJAN

The True Naam is my staff for It helps me always and satiates
all my cravings.
Listen ye, O saints, says Nanak, and make friends with Naam
for It is his only Pole-star.
GURU AMAR DAS

Thy name alone is a great blessing for the world,
For me It is a sure support and a sheet anchor.
GURU NANAK
THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF NAAM

The correct and accurate method of spiritual sadhna is explained by a Master-soul at the time of initiation. The Science of Naam is coeval with creation and the most natural. No human agency has any hand in It. It is an eternal Kirtan or Song Celestial, which comes to a person as a free gift from a Master-soul like the free gifts of Nature such as water, air, sunshine, etc. It involves transmitting of actual life-impulse from one to the other and comes through the grace of the Master. At initiation, he gives some experience of rising above body-consciousness by opening the inner eye and ear to see the light of God and to hear the Sound principle.

The Sadhna of Naam is the easiest and the quickest as it is the most natural. It is to be done with the tongue of thought. Religious beliefs and national feelings do not come in its way. It is Sehaj Yoga and everyone irrespective of color, caste, or creed, sex or age, profession or avocation, can practice it and derive benefit from it. It is an old old wine, but ever fresh, presented in new bottles to suit the needs of the age. In this scientific age it is presented purely as any other science, verifiable as scientific truths are with mathematical precision.

Truth never gets old nor rusty.
GURU AMAR DAS

It is so natural and so easy that one can take to it as a matter of routine. It involves no intricacies and mysterious practices and one can safely go ahead on the path with ease and comfort. It is a Grand Trunk Road to God. One may with a little labor gather a rich harvest. What the Rishis of old achieved with much labor extending over centuries can now be gained easily with sincere devotion from day to day, without any physical penances or tortuous practices.

To start with one has to take care to devote time regularly at fixed hours in some solitary place. But as soon as inner experience becomes a regular feature with the aspirant, then all restrictions as to time and place drop off and one can hear the Divine Symphony all day long, even in the midst of most strenuous work, without any effort on his part.

Sleeping or awake, sitting or standing, Kabir remains ever at his post within.
KABIR

With the Dhun Atmak or inner Sound Current ever reverberating audibly, spirit gets ever absorbed in It. All his worldly acts hereafter become a part of his one interminable Sadhna. Always in contact with the light and life of God, one lives in and feels His immanent presence.

Paramhans Ramakrishna, the saint of Dakhshineswar, when questioned by Naren (afterwards Swami Vivekananda) if he could see God, unhesitatingly declared, “Yes, my child, I see Him as plainly as I see you.” Guru Nanak says, “Nanak sees his Lord visibly.”

Having once witnessed face to face the glory of God within, one becomes ever conscious of His presence. In tune with the Infinite, whatever one does forms a part of worship. Kabir Sahib gives a beautiful pen-picture of this state:

Peerless is the natural form of meditation,
With the grace of the Master, I remain attuned all the time;
Wherever I go and whatever I do, it is all worship,
At home or abroad makes no difference to me;
Renouncing all, I listen to the Transcendental Music within,
Awake or asleep and at all hours I am deeply engrossed;
Why close the eyes, stop the ears or undergo penances,
When with open eyes I see the Lord in so many forms?
This is how Kabir leads his life and he tells this openly to all.
Beyond the realm of duality lies the region of eternal bliss.

Guru Arjan says in this context:

The Lord which cannot be described by any scripture,
Is visibly seen by Nanak permeating everywhere.
HOW NAAM IS REACHED

(i) Through the pure and simple grace of God:

Naam would sink deep into the heart of one whom God would like
to be blessed with.
GURU AMAR DAS

He alone gets to Naam, as God may so ordain.
GURU ARJAN

There is no treasure greater than Naam,
That comes through the grace of God.
GURU AMAR DAS

(ii) Through ordination of God:

Such alone get attached with Hari Naam who are so ordained by God;
for they get peace and hear within them the unceasing Divine Melody.

Naam means and includes the merit of all Japas,
Tapas* and orderly living, for without Naam there cannot be purification of the mind,
It is in the fullness of time that one gets hold of the Divine Link of Naam
and merges into It.
GURU AMAR DAS
(* Repetition of mantras or verbal formulae, and performance of austerities and penances.)

O Nanak! it is with mighty good fortune that one gets Naam.
He alone engages in Naam who is so destined.
GURU RAM DAS
(iii) Through the grace of Sant Satguru or one established in or grounded in Naam:

Through Naam the whole creation came into being.
The experience of ambrosial Naam comes through a Satguru.

Whatever Thou doest, that alone is true. The nectar of Naam
is bestowed by a Satguru.
GURU NANAK

None but the Satguru is the munificent Lord,
For He gives us the support of Naam.
GURU AMAR DAS

Worship Naam in full faith and devotion,
O Nanak! this can be done with the Sadh.

Virtueless as I am, God has still been merciful,
O Nanak! Sadh alone can make Naam manifest.
GURU ARJAN
Life originates only from life. A living Master and no one else can transmit a life-impulse to others. The sages and seers have always emphasized that Naam should be made manifest within by whoever may be able to do it; and then the experience obtained from the competent Master-soul must be developed.

Go wherever thou wilt to get contact with the DivineLink,
And then with the grace of the Guru develop this experience.
GURU NANAK

A Muslim divine says the same thing:

Should you like to go on a Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca), take with you a Haji (one who has been to Mecca) for a guide, no matter if he be a Hindu, a Turk, or an Arab.

For an experience of the Divine Link it is necessary to contact a Sant Satguru, for he alone can explain the theory and grant a practical demonstration of the Reality within each one of us. The charged words of the Master, his magnetic influence and the life-giving rays emanating from him, quickly help in withdrawal of the sensory currents  from the body; for unless the spirit, surging downwards and  rushing headlong into the world through the outgoing faculties, is concentrated at its own seat, behind the two eyebrows, it cannot reflect upon itself. It is a practical experience of self-analysis or separating the inner man (Soul or the higher self) from the outer man (lower self consisting of mind and material body). By force of age-old habits we are unfortunately clinging to the outer man and are reveling all the time in the outer world with which we have identified ourselves. There is a regular process of inversion or receding, tapping inside, as Emerson puts it, or conversion into a little child, as Christ called it; and none but an adept on the spiritual path can help in cutting the Gordian Knot and separating the spirit, for a while, from the mind and outgoing faculties. It is, in other words, a supramental experience of the spirit on a super-sensual plane and can successfully be imparted by
a Master-soul. This experiment cannot be practically performed by reading scriptures and holy books, for they can neither speak nor explain their true import; nor can they be a guide to the spirit as it transcends the physical plane and traverses higher regions, most of which are fraught with subtle dangers and difficulties from which the Master in His luminous form can protect and lead the spirit safely from plane to plane. Those who take up the Way without a competent Master are likely to be deceived by the Negative Power and misled. In Surat Shabd Yoga, the importance of the Master cannot be over-emphasized. He is in fact the central figure, from the beginning to the end, in life and after life, helping visibly and invisibly beyond the ends of the earth, right up to the Judgment Seat of God and even beyond.
NAAM IS THE HERITAGE OF THE GURUMUKH

All are engaged in the repetition of names,
But one gets to Naam only through the grace of a Master-saint.
GURU AMAR DAS

Spirituality can neither be bought nor taught, but may be caught like any infection from a spiritually infected person, a Satguru, a Sadh or a Sant. An adept in spirituality may in compassion and grace grant a spiritual experience of Naam, now lying buried within each one of us. We have of course to develop a receptive attitude and then the grace flows in automatically. The riches of Naam or Word come to a Gurumukh and not to a manmukh, who constantly grovels on the sensual plane.

Search within for everything is within,
Only a devotee of the Guru can unearth Naam,
And remain in touch with It all the time.
Inexhaustible as is the treasure of Naam,
It comes to one so ordained.
GURU AMAR DAS

Nothing comes up to Naam,
O Nanak! a rare Gurumukh gets this gift.
GURU ARJAN

By communion with the Naam one gets to know the value of the Naam,
By communion with the Naam, one is cleansed of the sins and knows Truth;
By communion with the Naam, O Nanak, one becomes luminous,
But one gets this communion through the grace of a Guru.
GURU RAM DAS

Escaping bondage one attains salvation and remains absorbed in Truth,
Naam is a rare thing in this world, only a true devotee may get to It,
Nanak would make a sacrifice of himself for one who is devotedly attached
to his Guru.

A worldly-wise man knows not the Naam,
And without Naam, loses his respect here and hereafter.
He derives not the benefit of Naam,
Engaged as he is in other pursuits.
GURU AMAR DAS
The philosophy of Naam cannot be explained in words. A mere talk on Naam is not helpful at all, for the Naam can only be contacted through an inner experience.

If we were to ask a professor to get us an M.A. degree in return for cash, he would refuse. We have to work for it and qualify for it. The Power of God is within each one of us, but through the grace of a Master-soul and some spiritual discipline it can be made manifest and developed. But all creation whatever the source (Andaj, Jairaj, Setaj, Utbhuj) and all modes of Japa worship (Baikheri, Madhma, Pashianti and Para) are far removed from Naam and are nothing but a grand delusion.

All creation and all modes of worship remain in delusion without Naam.
GURU AMAR DAS

A contact with this Naam comes only through devotion to a Master-soul and not otherwise.

The Kingdom of God cometh not by observation. The Kingdom of God
is within you.
CHRIST

Be ye the doers of the Word and not the hearers only, was the advice of Jesus to his followers.

Human life is a great privilege, for every individual is gifted with an ethereal element in his constitution that gives him the power of discrimination – judging right from wrong and evaluating life’s essentials and non-essentials. On this Path two things are absolutely necessary: A true Guide or an Adept traveler of the Path, and the practice of Naam or the spiritual Sadhna as enjoined by that Adept. But one who has not yet freed himself from the world and worldly entanglements cannot achieve anything in this sphere. The Divine Link within us is the very life of our life, yet Its contact comes through the grace of the Master-soul; and without an actual experience of the God-head within, all creatures and all Sadhnas or religious practices are of no consequence whatsoever.

All creation and all devotion is a noisy game without the saving Grace of Naam.

Contact with Naam is possible through the Grace of some living Master, for without his help and guidance one simply cannot have this inner experience of the soul.

I got Hari-Naam through the compassion of a living Master,
Without a Satguru to help him through, one can have no experience of It at all.
GURU AMAR DAS

It is, however, extremely difficult to meet a genuine Master of Truth.

God Himself has ordained that no one can even conceive of Him
except through a Satguru.
GURU AMAR DAS

Source: http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/naam/naam_study.htm

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