By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them.Naam or Word is the chief Controlling Power. It is the only support that one can have either in this world or in the next:
...He spake and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 41
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God. 42
I need no obsequies after my death, I depend wholly on Sat Naam,Naam is beginningless and endless. It is invariable and Unchanging Permanence, ancient and eternal.
the maker of all, and pervading all, here and hereafter. 43
Leaving aside all thy learning and cunning,
worship the Great Formless beyond Brahm.
Except the Naam all others fall away. 44
Excepting the True Naam, the rest is all trash. Four things alone
are eternal and lasting: Naam or Sound Current; Sadhu
or a disciplined soul well established in Word; Guru
or Word-personified, with a divine commission to
contact others with the Naam; and lastly, Gobind
or the Lord God - the Eternally Formless One. 45
GURU TEG BAHADUR
Everything is within the Controlling Power of Naam:
Naam is just a pure gift from God;
He alone may get the gift through the Guru, to whomsoever
He may grant it,
O Nanak! all is within the mighty grip of the Naam,
He alone is blessed with Word, who may be so ordained. 46
GURU AMAR DAS
NAAM IS THE GREAT MASTER FORCE
Word or Naam is the Sound Current or Sound Principle. This current or principle lay merged in the Great Silence and was hence nameless. There was then nothing but Deep Silence with no name or pattern, no design or form and no color or shade. The life vibration (principle) hidden therein, stirred the Great Deep and there came a Great Sound called Word and the whole creation came into being, and is being sustained by this. With the withdrawal of the Naam or Sound there sets in disintegration and decay in all that lives, with consequent putrefaction, and the result is dissolution which in common parlance is known as death. Thus this Sound is at once the beginning and the end of all that exists:
He - the Nameless - expressed Himself and made the Naam or Word. 47
It is called variously as Sound, Sruti (that which is heard), Shabd or Akash Bani (voice from the heaven), Udgit, Sraosha (music of the beyond), Word or Harmony, Logos or the Holy Spirit, Kalma or Bang-i-Ilahi (call from God) or Nida-i-Asmani (heavenly sound).
Thou manifested Thyself as Naam and set up the creation.This entire extensionalism is just of the Naam and there is nothing which is not of Him:
Out of the Formless proceeded forms in varying degrees. 48
Thou art immanent in all;Again,
And nothing is where Thy Word is not. 49
All that is of life and all that is of matter is from the NaamIt may here be necessary to describe in brief the four Grand Divisions of the Universe. These Grand Divisions are:
(whether visible or invisible) ;
Without a Master-soul one cannot have contact with the Naam. 50
GURU AMAR DAS
(i) Sach Khand or the region of Sat Naam: This region is of pure spirit
unalloyed by matter.
(ii) Par Brahm: Here spirit and subtle form of matter combine in varying degrees,Naam or Word is both the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe:
yet spirit is the ruling force.
(iii) Brahmand: Where spirit and matter in its gross form combine. Here the spirit,
for its manifestation, has to depend on matter. It consists of Trikuti and
(iv) Pind or the physical plane: Where the spirit lies dormant under a heap
of matter in its grossest form.
The Naam or Word is the Power of God that has created the Universe,
The same Power is sustaining all by its immanence in every form. 51
GURU RAM DAS
Everything comes into being and lives by the Naam or Power of God,
Forgetting the Naam, we breathe hollow. 52
GURU AMAR DAS
Upholding all things by the Word of His Power. 53
And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 54
By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made,
And all the host of them . . . for He spake, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast. 55
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God . . .56
By the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth
standing out of the water . . . But the heavens and the earth
which are now, by the same Word are kept in store . . .57
Word is at once the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe.
Word transcends all forms and all names,
They who worship the Word, alone live. 58
Word sustains the entire creation,
He is the Kernel in every shell. 59
John Dryden, in his song for St. Cecilia's Day (1687), refers to it as Harmony:
From Harmony, from heavenly Harmony,
This Universal frame began;
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head
The tuneful voice was heard from high
Arise, Ye more than dead!
From Harmony, from heavenly Harmony
This Universal frame began:
From Harmony to Harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.
Word or Naam is the great Progenitor or the Primeval Cause of the entire creation with the various divisions high and low. We have the testimony of Guru Arjan in this behalf:
Naam is the life-principle in all that lives,The various Khandas or planes exist because of Naam and different Yugas or classifications of time owe their origin to Naam:
Naam is the foundation-stone of the Cosmos with its divisions.
Naam is the Creator of Heavens and nether lands,
Naam is the Manifester of all forms.
Naam is the sub-strata of all regions,
Naam is the liberator from all bondage. 60
There is but one source of the different divisions of time and Universe. ThisNAAM: WHAT IT IS
has been revealed to me by the Master-soul. Naam is a great storehouse
of all that one may wish for. Why then should I move out for this or that? 61
All scriptures speak of Naam but have
not been able to say adequately what It is. It is impossible to define
and delineate It in words. It may be described as "life-impulse" or "conscious-principle."
When It begins to vibrate, It produces melodious sound, which is termed
Naam or Shabd. This Sound Current proceeding from the Deep Silence of the
Formless Kutasth is responsible for all forms and colors, visible and invisible
to the naked eye. All life hangs on this life-principle. No life can exist
without Naam. The Sound-principle is all-pervading; it may or may not be felt, yet It is reverberating from top to toe. It is the Kernel and the Essence and at once both the material and efficient Cause of the endless universes in which this physical earth is but a speck.
O Pipa! this universal vibration is the Primal Causeless Cause,
But can be apprehended only through a Master-soul.
In all religions God is spoken of as the Sound-manifest or Life Principle. It is a current, live and conscious, and has in It the germs of creation. It is because of this link between the Creator and the creation that the spirit or soul of a person can cross over the physical body and traverse the spiritual regions to reach the True Home of our Father - Sach Khand. From scriptures we learn that Sound Principle or Naam is of two kinds: (i) outer, and (ii) inner. The former consists of words that may be spoken or written down and recorded. This constitutes all learning and knowledge at the intellectual level and is termed Apra Vidya or knowledge of the world and the worldly surroundings. All worldly wisdom is included therein. It is also called Varn-Atmak, for with it Atma or Soul can express itself
and functions in the world. All book knowledge is because of Varn-Atmak Shabd. Comprehension of world and worldly relations depends on this type of Shabd which helps outwardly in the physical
plane. It serves as the means of conveying ideas and emotions from man to man, just as any other animal would do. Outer sound then, serves as the first step in the study of the Science of the Spirit. Theory precedes practice and the Master-saint has to make use of it for explaining this most abstruse subject. Again Japa or oral repetition of certain words or names of God is to be done by Varn-Atmak
Shabd. The preliminary training of the mind is the first essential on this Path and hence the need for outer sound or Shabd. Japa is of four kinds:
(i) Baikhri or oral, performed by tongue.
(ii) Madhma, done mentally at the seat of the Shakti in the Kanth or throat.
(iii) Pashianti, done at the seat of the heart.
(iv) Para, also a mental process performed with attention riveted at the seat of the navel.
All these types of Japas give solace of varying degrees and one gets peace of mind of a temporary nature only, because the various bodily ganglions involved in them are of a lower order, situated below Shiv-Netra or the Third Eye.
Besides these, there is Simran or Japa of the indescribable and hidden Sound Current that proceeds of Itself from the depths of the Great Silence. It is technically termed "Para-Vidya" (Knowledge of the Beyond) or "Dhun-Atmak Shabd." In this type of Japa one has just to listen to the all-pervading Naam or Shabd. As this Sound cannot be expressed in any symbolic form, it is expressionless. It may be contacted above the sensory plane,behind the center of the two eyebrows. The true significance of Naam, the Creator of various planes and divisions of the endless universes, may be known by one who is an adept in the Surat Shabd Yoga or has united his soul with the Sound-principle.
He who performs Japa with the tongue of thought,No doubt Dhun-Atmak Shabd is the very essence of one's soul, but one cannot apprehend It without the help and guidance of a Master-soul or adept in the line, and without Surat Shabd Yoga, i.e., establishing a contact of the spirit or soul with the essential live-principle (through a regular process of inversion or self-analysis). One does not get life's richest gift; for the spirit is engaged all the
knows the true nature of the Sound Current (Word or Naam) 62
Knock and it shall be opened unto you. 63Naam or Name is Varn-Atmak, while Naami or Named is the Great Power behind the descriptive words and is Dhun-Atmak. From epithetic words, one has to recede to the Power which the words denote and stand for. The Japa or Varn-Atmak is performed orally by the tongue and is just a preparatory course in the spiritual discipline of the soul. Sant Ravi Das says in this context:
Without actual sight (of an object) longing does not arise.Varn-Atmak or epithetic names look just like dolls apparently dancing by themselves; but they in fact are being made to dance by invisible hands controlling the lines behind them. In exactly the same way there exist infallible links between Naam and the Naami (or the Name and the Named: Varn-Atmak and Dhun-Atmak Shabds). Varn-Atmak words pave the way to Dhun-Atmak Shabd and are thus essential aids in stilling the mind of oscillations, purging it of all impurities and rendering it capable of apprehending the Dhun-Atmak current within, for without this vital chord, the spirit cannot transcend the physical plane and enter the higher spiritual planes leading to the Home of our Father. The Varn-Atmak words may and do differ because of lingual differences, but the Dhun Atmak Shabd being the Life-Principle of the spirit or soul is the same throughout. It has indeed been an Unspoken Language and an Unwritten Law throughout the ages and it shall remain so till eternity; for all life is one and one only for the entire creation, though it is in multitudinous forms. The teachings of the Saints which center round the One Reality are, therefore, a common heritage for the
Whatever is visible to the naked eyes is perishable indeed,
He who establishes an inner contact of Surat and Shabd (Spirit and Sound)
through the help of Varn-Atmak words, is a true Yogi, desireless and free. 64
To lead man from Darkness to Light, from Untruth to Truth,Again,
from Death to Immortality.
Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached.
Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets:
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 65
For them (saints) there is no difference between the so-called twice-born:
the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas and the low-born Sudras,
for they address them all alike.
The beloved of the Master (Gurmukh) worships the Naam and attains Moksha
(liberation)-the Naam which, O Nanak! pervades equally in all. 66
In the life story of Guru Nanak we find the anecdote of Mian Mitha, a fakir of Mithankot, a town in the Punjab (now in West Pakistan). In his wanderings, Guru Nanak came across this fakir and told him that without Naam or Word one found no peace here and hereafter and could not escape from the Karmic bondage. As to what this Naam or Word was, he said that it was not a subject of
comprehension by the senses, but it could be apprehended on a super-sensual plane. The Guru asked Mian Mitha to listen within himself, but the Mian could hear nothing. Thereupon the Guru took him
aside and looking at him asked him once again to attune himself within, whereupon the Mian exclaimed that he could distinctly feel the vibrations of Naam in every pore of his body. This shows that the Word of God is characterized not by words but by vital vibrations.
A beloved of the Master feels and experiences the quickening of life-impulseThe Saints, therefore, in common, say that God is one and there is only one way that leads Godward. The spiritual discipline does not interfere with nationality or social religion. Every person, whatever his nationality or religion, can practice this discipline and successfully follow the Path of the Saints. The Divine Link or Word is already present in each individual, no matter who he is and whatever his vocation in life. It is attained by a process of self-analysis and inversion and one who learns and practices this process can come into contact with It. But the trouble is that everyone clings to the age old convictions and is not prepared to break away from them and accept ideas which appear new and novel. But by constant association with a Godman or a man of realization, the Light of Truth gradually dawns upon him, and in course of time he begins to realize the Truth.
in all the pores of his body. 67
NAAM IS THE SOUND PRINCIPLE
Naam is characterized by a sweet and serene Sound
Current. This Ethereal Music is going on in each individual. In fact, there
is no place without It. Its Divine notes can be heard through the grace
of some Master of Divine Music or Master-soul. All the scriptures of the
world make pertinent references to this heavenly Harmony.
God manifested Himself as Naam-the ever reverberating Naam,
The Vedas, Shastras and Smritis sing of Naam, times without number. 68
The Naam (Sound-principle) reverberating as It is in all hearts, does not diminish
or increase and is Unchanging Permanence,
Without Naam all are just paupers, and this Truth comes only from a Master-soul. 69
Hearing the Naam one becomes the knower of the Self,
and gets all that is good and noble,
Hearing the Naam all sins drop off of themselves
and one easily gets at the Truth,
O Nanak! by hearing the Naam, one's face shines with glory,
The beloved of the Master is ever in contact with the Naam. 70
Then the Eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the Ears of the deaf
shall be unstopped. Then shall the Lame man leap as an hart,
and the Tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out,
and streams in the desert. 71
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 72
THE SEAT OF NAAM OR WORD
The body is the Temple of God, for God made man
in His own image. But it is only after the spirit, through the process
of inversion, gets concentrated between and behind the two eyebrows that
one can hear the divine melody. Guru Nanak, when questioned by the yogins
(those engaged in yogic exercises like Pranayam, etc.) about this music,
O yogi, you may have the gift of the Divine Link only if you transcend the body. 73This Divine Link is essentially musical in character and has a great magnetic force a which pulls the Spirit upward to spiritual realms, as Spirit, Word and God are of the same essence. When like attracts like, the Spirit is irresistibly drawn out of the bodily raiment. Maulana Rumi therefore
If I were to give thee a little account of the divine strains, all the spiritsChrist too speaks of it:
would leave their respective bodily abodes.
When the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, they that hear shall live. 74This heavenly Harmony is already within each one of us, and we could distinctly hear it if we could by leaving the outgoing faculties through repetition of certain name or names, withdraw the spirit from the sensory plane. The reverberations of this music make us self-absorbed and self-intoxicated.
One dyed in the Naam is ever absorbed within and gets eternal bliss. 75All the intoxicants of the world produce but a passing inebriation and a momentary forgetfulness; but a spirit dyed in the color of Naam or Word is ever-engrossed in the Sound Principle arising from the Deep Silence of the Soul and experiences an everlasting bliss which is interminable:
The intoxication of the Naam, O Nanak, works round the clock.Naam is the Life Principle that works through all that lives and its withdrawal means disintegration, dissolution and death:
I live when I listen to Naam's music and I die when I forget it. 76Again,
O my Beloved, I do live when I contact the Naam,So long as this inner contact of the spirit with the Naam which is latent in each one of us is not established, there is no way out for the spirit and it gets no peace.
Without that there is no life, my Master has instilled this in me. 77
GURU RAM DAS
TIME FOR PRACTICING SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
One may devote oneself to the worship of Naam or Word at any time and at any place for there are no restrictions in this behalf. But Amrit-Vela (early dawn) is the most appropriate and fruitful for the purpose.
At the ambrosial hour of the early dawn,Again,
Be ye in communion with the divine Word,
And meditate on His glory. 78
O thou rise early, and worship the Word day and night,
and then, O Nanak, thou shalt have no grief and escape from all troubles. 79
GURU RAM DAS
WHY IS NAAM INAUDIBLE?
Our mind is ever in a state of oscillation. It is covered with the dust of ages upon ages. All the time our mental faculties are flowing outward into the world, and never for a moment have they known any rest. Until the mind is purified and stilled, one cannot listen to the reverberations of the Sound Current.
There can be no devotion with an unclean mind, for one cannot haveAgain,
access to the Sound Current,
A man dwelling on the plane of the senses, dies in the senses
and loses all respect here and hereafter. 80
GURU AMAR DAS
Oscillating between this and that on account of egoistic life, the mind gets lost
and finds neither charm nor interest in the Sound Current. 81
GURU AMAR DAS
NAAM IS A SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE
Naam in the real sense is beyond perception, comprehension and apprehension. It is an unspoken language and mutely it speaks. Madam Blavatsky calls It the Voice of the Silence. A continual touch with the Word helps in stilling the mental vibrations and quieting the mind. Guru Nanak speaks of It:
Naam cannot be seen with the eyes, nor can it be comprehended,
but with all this, it is so sweet and so loving,
O God! grant Nanak this ambrosial nectar from age to age,
so that he may ever be engaged in its limitless vibrations. 82
REAL NAAM: INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND HIDDEN
The real essence of Naam is all-pervading in each individual and is yet hidden and unfelt. It can be made manifest through the grace of a Master-soul who is established in the Naam, or in other words is Naam-personified and capable of transmitting to others his own life-impulse.
In the present age, the Unmanifested Naam reigns supreme, and is surgingIn this world, one can have each and every thing one may desire; but the Unmanifested Word is too difficult to be achieved. It is the heritage of one who is a Gurmukh or established in the Master-soul.
in abundance in each individual,
It, however, becomes manifest in such hearts as take refuge
at the lotus feet of a Master-soul. 83
GURU AMAR DAS
Hari Naam is a very rare commodity,
It may grow in the heart of some Guru-man. 84
The whole world is devoid of Naam,
Yet it may be obtained from a Guru-man. 85
GURU AMAR DAS
NAAM: DIVINE LINK BETWEEN MAN AND HIS MAKER
The Controlling Power of Naam has within its mighty grasp the endless series of universes. Human body too has been designed on the model of Cosmic Order. This microcosm made up of diverse elements likewise owes its integrity and organic unity to Naam. It is the indissoluble link between God and man. Just as a fish can ride a mighty wave, so a spirit can ride the Sound Current and reach the
Sea of Sound or Naam.
The Path of Sound Principle is known as a process of inversion. All other paths lead to extensionalism, with no way out of the panorama of life.
Whoever gets linked with Naam, he alone, O Nanak, can realize
the Immaculately Pure. 86
THE PATH OF NAAM LEADS TO SEHAJ STATE
Naam helps a spirit in the attainment of Sehaj-a state of perfect equipoise beyond the realm of the three Gunas: (Satvik, Rajsik and Tamsik; i.e., Equanimity, Action, and Inertia respectively). It is a state not subject to decay and disintegration.
Let the Beloved of Nanak have mercy on him for
Naam is the blind man's staff unto him. 87
O God! Thy Name is a pilgrim's staff to the blind,
To me who is a poor and helpless wretch,
Thy name is my prop and support. 88
NAAM: THE MOST EFFICACIOUS SADHNA IN THE PRESENT AGE
Whenever vice predominates and virtue goes underground and good acts are altogether ignored, the Saints preach the spiritual sadhna or practice of Naam, for it is the easiest and the quickest remedy. In this age all individual and social acts and the performance of rites and rituals as enjoined by the scriptures are hardly of any substantial use for they are outmoded and out of time.
In this age, Kirtan (the Sound Principle) occupies the highest placeSant Ravi Das testifies to this:
(among spiritual practices). 89
In Sat Yuga (the golden age) "Sat" or Truth reigned supreme;Swami Tulsi Das Ji concurs:
in Treta (the silver age) sacrificial oblations had their day;
in Dwaper (the copper age) idol worship was the law of the land;
but in Kal Yuga (the iron age), Naam is the most potent and sovereign remedy.90
Meditation (on the Sat) prevailed in the first unit of time, Yajnas or sacrifices
in the second, Bhakti or loving devotion in the third and now in the fourth
when evil is in the ascendant and the mind is wholly engrossed in evil
like a fish in the sea, Naam or the discipline of the spirit works as the saving
life line from the ocean of delusive matter.
In Kal Yuga Naam is the only precious thing, for with the help of Naam,
the devotees are saved. 91
GURU RAM DAS
In this Kal Yuga, all Sadhans or practices are of no avail except that of Naam,
for it alone is a potent remedy. 92
SWAMI SHIVDAYAL SINGH
In Kal Yuga, Naam is the only means of salvation. 93
Now that Kal Yuga has set in, it is the most appropriate season
for sowing the seed of Naam,
Nothing else can bear fruit now, do not be in any delusion on this account. 94
Nanak would gladly make an offering of himself to one who
has been linked with Naam. 95
NAAM: THE SAVING FACTOR IN ALL THE FOUR AGES
The Path of the Naam is the most ancient
and the most natural. It is in consonance with the Divine Law. In all the
During the last five hundred years, saints like Kabir Sahib, Guru Nanak
and the other nine Sikh Gurus, Dadu Sahib, Paltu Sahib, Tulsi Sahib, Swami
Shiv Dayal Singh, Baba Jaimal Singh and Baba Sawan Singh have been the
great exponents of this Path. The Muslim divines have been practicing and
preaching the Path of Kalma for fourteen hundred years or more. The Prophet
Mohammed, Shamas Tabrez, Maulana Rumi, Hafiz Sahib, Moinuddin Chishti and
others taught this very thing. Again, two thousand years ago, John the
Baptist and Christ laid down the Path of the Word or Logos. Zoroaster long
before preached of Sraosha or the Sound Current in Persia. Lord Buddha,twenty-five
hundred years ago, practiced this very sadhna. The teachings of Gorakh
Nath, long before Buddha, centered round this cardinal principle. Four
thousand years back, we find that in Egypt it was known as the "Path of
Aton" which was preached by King Ikhnaton. In the Upanishads we find references
to "Udgit" or the "Harmony" of the Beyond. Lord Krishna, long before,
was fully conversant with this science. In the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of the world, we read
in Wak Devi Sukat of "Naad" or music and "Sruti" or that which is heard.
Kabir Sahib tells us that he came in all the four Yugas, and every time he preached of Naam or Word. In each Yuga he was known differently as Sat Sukrat, Munindar, Karunamae and lastly as Kabir.
The Sikh scriptures testify in plain words that during the four Grand Divisions of time people benefited by the practice of Naam by sitting at the feet of saints:
In all the four ages, Naam occupied a predominant position and people
meditated on the Shabd. In this age, Gurmukh (Guru-man) alone is saved. 96
Whosoever benefited, he did so through Naam, obtained by the grace
and the blessings of some Gurmukh (Master-soul) 97
Naam alone has been the Saving Life Line through the ages. 98
GURU AMAR DAS