Well, not quite.. Before I go onto the main shabad, I want to explain this topic.
In Sikhi, the 3 most basic rules are:
- Kirat Karni – Earn an honest living
- Vandh Shakna – Sharing with others
- Naam Japna – Repeat Naam.
On the topic of “repeating Naam”.. Guru Gobind Singh Ji says:
ਜਾਪ ਕੇ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਜੋ ਪੈ ਪਾਯਤ ਅਜਾਪ ਦੇਵ ਪੂਦਨਾ ਸਦੀਵ ਤੁਹੀਂ ਤੁਹੀਂ ਉਚਰਤ ਹੈਂ ॥
If the unmutterable Lord can be realised by the repetition of His Name, then a small bird called pudana repeats “Tuhi, Tuhi” (Thou art everything) all the time.
( Click Here for full shabad)
Guru Ji is saying, that the Lord cannot be reached by merely repeating His Name. If so, then all “Pudanas” would be liberated, because they naturally repeat “Tuhi Tuhi”.
Guru Ji tries to show us that the bird is not intentionally saying His Name, it is just a natural phenomenon, so it can’t be fair if they reach salvation just on the basis of repetition of The Name. This can be compared to people who just repeat the Name without actually contemplating on it.
This is not contradicted in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, rather it is supported:
ਸਲੋਕ ਮ: 3 ॥
ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਫਿਰੈ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਅਗਮੁ ਅਗੋਚਰੁ ਅਤਿ ਵਡਾ ਅਤੁਲੁ ਨ ਤੁਲਿਆ ਜਾਇ ॥
The entire world roams around, chanting, "Raam, Raam, Lord, Lord", but the Lord cannot be obtained like this. He is inaccessible, unfathomable and so very great; He is unweighable, and cannot be weighed.
Here, Guru Arjan Dev Ji clearly tells us that merely chanting the name of Akaal Purakh won’t result in ultimately blending into Him.
So what should we do? Guru Ji replies to us if we read on..
ਕੀਮਤਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਈਆ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਲਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸਬਦਿ ਭੇਦਿਆ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਵਸਿਆ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥
No one can evaluate Him; He cannot be purchased at any price.
Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, His mystery is known; in this way, He comes to dwell in the mind.
So, we have to find our answer in Shabad Guru. However, if we look at Bhai Gurdas Ji’s words:
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਹੈ ਜਪ ਹਉਮੈਂ ਖੋਈ॥
His Guru-manta is Vahiguru, whose recitation erases egotism.
So by japping ”Waheguru”, the Gurmantar, the cloud of pride withers away, giving us a clear path to our ultimate destination, Waheguru Himself.
“But isn’t that what you said was wrong just 2 paragraphs ago?”
Naam Jap and Naam Simran are different things. Simran means remembering, whereas Jap means to repeat. Naam Jap is useless without Naam Simran. In other words, it is useless if you just repeat Naam without putting your mind to it (what Guru Ji said above).
Simran can be done without repeating their name. When we talk about someone, we are thinking about them, that is Simran. If I talk about my friend, I am doing my friend’s simran. The same can be applied to Waheguru. Talking about Him, and praising Him, is Naam Simran.
Sukhmani Sahib, also by Guru Arjan Dev Ji, is based on the lesson that there is nothing compared to the Simran of Akaal Purakh.
ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕਾ ਸਿਮਰਨੁ ਸਭ ਤੇ ਊਚਾ ॥
The remembrance of God is the highest and most exalted of all.
- ang 263
There are so many Gurbani tuks on praising Akaal Purakh, but I chose one which was interestingly also by Guru Arjan Dev ji:
ਭਲੋ ਭਲੋ ਰੇ ਕੀਰਤਨੀਆ ॥
ਰਾਮ ਰਮਾ ਰਾਮਾ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਉ ॥
ਛੋਡਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਧੰਧ ਸੁਆਉ ॥1॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Blessed and good is such a kirtanee, who sings such Praises.
He sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord,
and renounces the entanglements and pursuits of Maya. ||1||Pause||
Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Ji..
We are instructed to sing praises of Akaal purakh; How amazing the creator and the creation is. So amazing we have no words to describe him. The only thing we can do is WOW at it all.
And this is the basis of the word “Wahguru” – Wah means wow, you are Wow-ing at Him because you have no words to praise him. Guru means enlightener, after all Only with His enlightenment you can blend into him.. So basically you are saying Wow to the ultimate enlightener.. Which brings us to the last bit of our shabad..
ਨਾਨਕ ਆਪਿ ਅਮੇਉ ਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਤੇ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ਆਪੇ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਆਪੇ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਆਇ ॥1॥
O Nanak, He Himself is infinite; by Guru's Grace, He is known to be permeating and pervading everywhere.
He Himself comes to blend, and having blended, remains blended. ||1||
End of day, it is up to Him, if we are to blend with Him or not. This shows us that without Akaal Purakh ji’s Hukam, nothing can happen.
Now back to the original point:
Naam Japna is the basis of Sikhi, but it doesn’t mean we should just repeat Naam and expect Mukti (liberation). We should remember Him at all times and Naam Japna can be seen as a “side-effect” of this.