Naam or Word


continuation of

The Sound Principle


    Shabd is nothing but Absolute and Abstract Truth in Its concrete form. It is an eternal and unchanging principle of God's Power, working out His divine Will in all directions. Like Truth Itself, It was in the beginning where there was nothing else, It was the beginning of each cycle of creation and It shall exist forever and forever. Guru Nanak tells of It as follows:

The Word is the only symbol of Truth,
And can be known and experienced through a perfect Master. 58
Guru Amar Das and Guru Arjan say of It:
Bani or Shabd is Truth personified,
O love this Truth with all your heart and soul. 59
                                                       GURU AMAR DAS

Listen, O friend, to the all-pervading Voice of God,
The Master has given you all True Word of God. 60
                                                                     GURU ARJAN


  Again, Shabd is the Water of Life, that gives us immortality and blesses us with life everlasting.

I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my Word will never see death. 61

If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.
He that believeth in me . . . out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water. 62

Once Jesus when passing through Samaria came to Jacob's Well and sat there awhile when a Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus asked for a drink. But Samaritan as she was, she hesitated to deal with a Jew, and thereupon Jesus said to her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that sayeth to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee Living Water. . . ."

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. 63
In the Book of Jeremiah we have:
For my people . . . have forsaken me, the fountain of Living Waters. 64
In the Sikh scriptures we have:
The Word of the Master is an elixir that does away with all desires,
The mind gets dyed in Truth and is forever absorbed in Him. 65
                                                                                    GURU AMAR DAS
Without Shabd the whole world is in stark ignorance and life goes in vain. It is only a devotee of the Master who gets access to the Water of Life.
The world is in ignorance of Shabd and life is value-less indeed,
O Nanak! Shabd alone is the true elixir, and a devotee of the Master gets It. 66
The well of the Water of Life lies within us, but attached as we are to the mind, we do not know of It nor partake of It. Like a deer with musk hidden in its navel, we search for It outside all our life and die in the attempt.
Within the body the Water of Life is surging in allness, but the mind-ridden
  do not taste It;
With musk in its navel, the deer kills himself in endless search for it without. 67
                                                                                                                       GURU RAM DAS

The stream of life is gushing within, and by means of Shabd one can approach It and partake of It.

The fount of the Water of Life is bubbling to the brim,
One who is really athirst can get to It by following the Sound. 68
                                                                                         GURU AMAR DAS


    All our endeavors, practices and rituals are to achieve Shabd. The devotion to Shabd is acceptable to God, and He grants us Salvation thereby.

The devotion is that of the Shabd. 68
                                 GURU AMAR DAS

The practice of the Master's Word is the essence of all worship. 70
                                                                                                     GURU NANAK

Nothing but the practice of the Shabd leads to the Reality. One cannot, by any means, get out of the
world of attachments. In this context Guru Nanak says:
In this world true devotion is that of Shabd,
Without Shabd, one remains an egoistic fool. 71
                                                            GURU NANAK
In the present age - Kali Yuga - the worship that is acceptable to God is that of Shabd.
In  Kali Yuga, communion with the Word is the true Kirtan.
It is the true devotion by which ye shall escape all I-ness. 72
                                                                              GURU AMAR DAS
It is with Shabd that a Jiva is transformed from clay into gold and from filth into a pure crystal.
By listening to the Word of the Master, one turns from brittle glass
  into solid gold,
By tasting the Word of the Master one is transformed from poison
  into Nectar. 73
In this way one reaps the full benefit of his human birth.
By contact with the True Word, a devotee earns his merit.
The light of the soul dawns within and he lives in perpetual ecstasy. 74
                                                                                                  GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd is identical with Hukam and Naam. In fact, all these words mean the Expression or Power of God.
He who accepts His Will, is acceptable to Him,
With the help of the Master's Shabd, know ye the Naam. 75
                                                                               GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd is Soma Ras, very sweet and delicious:
Sweet is the Word of the Master,
Such an elixir one finds within. 76
                               GURU NANAK
Shabd is an inexhaustible treasure and ever remains full.
So long as His mercy lasts, the stream of life can never run dry,
O Nanak! Shabd is inexhaustible, distribute It as thou wilt. 77
                                                                                         GURU ARJAN
Shabd is Limitless and All-pervading. The angel of death cannot come near It.
Thou art the Omniscient friend and Thou alone can contact us,
All praise to the Word of the Guru, It is boundless indeed,
Even the Angel of Death cannot reach where the limitless Word prevails. 78
                                                                                                                    GURU NANAK
Shabd is All-pervading and Immanent:
The Sun of Shabd illumined all the Four Ages,
A devotee alone meditates on the Bani. 79
                                                 GURU NANAK
Shabd spreads in Its fullness everywhere:
Consider not that Hari is far off,
He is the nearest of the near,
He is ever in attention with eyes and ears,
And spreads everywhere in fullness. 80
                                   GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd or Hukam is the Controlling Power of God:
Thy Command (Hukam) holds Its sway on all sides,
Thy Word (Naam) reverberates everywhere,
Shabd is immanent in all,
The true God meets us if Thou so ordaineth. 81
                                                            GURU NANAK
Shabd abides in the holy temple of the body and as such may be found therein:
Search for Shabd in the temple of the body,
And get to the precious Naam therein. 82
                                        GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd can be contacted in the body by a process of inversion and self-analysis:
Discipline the body to cross over the ocean of life,
And meditate on the Essence of the Soul,
The devotion to the Master grants perpetual ecstasy,
The Shabd of all virtues dwells within, in abundance. 83
                                                                           GURU NANAK
Guru Nanak tells us of the abode of Shabd:
Cross over the Sukhmana, leaving Ida and Pingla aside,
  to comprehend the Incomprehensible,
Far above these three the True Master manifests the Shabd. 84
                                                                                              GURU NANAK


(1) By the Grace of God. God may, in His mercy, manifest Shabd in whomever He likes.

By His glance of Grace, Shabd becomes manifest within,
  dispelling all skepticism,
The body and the mind both get purified and the pure Sound of Bani (the Naam)
  is implanted in the heart. 85
                       GURU NANAK

None can understand Thee unless Thou doeth it for one,
None can meet Thee unless Thou so decreeth,
Then one sings of the Bani through Shabd all the time,
And remains absorbed in the True One. 86
                                          GURU AMAR DAS

Those who come within the ambit of His favor, for them Shabd is minted in His true mint and they alone engage in the practice of Naam.

Only in such a mint, can man be cast into the Word,
But they alone who are favored by Him, can take unto this Path.
O Nanak, on whom He looks with grace, He fills with everlasting peace. 87

(2) By the grace of Sant Satguru and Sat Sangat. God  may, in His inimitable mercy, lead one to His
      accredited representative on earth who links the  soul with Shabd by making Shabd manifest

In the fullness of time, He leads one to a Satguru,
Then one takes to the Path of Surat Shabd Yoga. 88

The Perfect Master makes the Shabd manifest,
Rising above the three Gunas one rests in Turiya. 89

Satguru, the greatest Donor, manifests the Shabd,
And then all restlessness ceases and one gets eternal rest. 90
                                                                                  GURU AMAR DAS

Guru is Word personified, Word made flesh, and he alone can make it manifest. It is, in fact, the gift of the Guru and no one else can help in the matter.

Why hold back what one holds in trust?
There can be no peace until the trust is discharged,
The Word of the Master can be implanted only by the Master,
No one else can make the Word manifest. 91
                                                   GURU RAM DAS
Shabd is an unspoken language emanating of Itself from God, and like Him, the Master imparts the Power of God in an unspoken language. In this context Maulana Rumi says:
The Master, like God, acts without any outer aids,
And imparts knowledge to disciples in an unspoken language.
The Master, at the time of initiation, explains the wondrous and formless Word, and then, with the lever of His own life-impulse, raises the spirit up and contacts the initiate with the Naam.

(3) By complete self-surrender at the feet of the Master in all humility after casting away the pride
      of birth and caste, riches and possessions, knowledge and wisdom.

At once rid thyself of the pride of knowledge and penances,
Take a single draught of the intoxicating wine.
So long as the soil is not ready and the seeds are not sown in season, they do not bear any fruit. Similarly, until the thorns and thistles of life are weeded out of the mind, it cannot be stilled. However, It grows gradually domesticated by the practice of the Shabd, and in course of time gets
rarefied or etherealized and comes to acquire single-mindedness with the result that the Light of Heaven comes to be reflected therein.
So long the mind is swayed by passions,
It is full of all kinds of pride and prejudices,
It can neither relish Shabd nor love Naam. 92
                                                 GURU AMAR DAS
So inner cleanliness is far more important than outer cleanliness, for without it one can hardly make any progress on the Path.


    To attend and listen with a single mind to the Dhun Atmak Shabd within is devotion of the right type. Shabd is highly subtle; and until we rise to the same level of subtlety we cannot possibly grasp or take hold of it. Shabd or the Power of God is all-pervading in all-consciousness, and if our spirit, which is of the same essence as God, gets contact with Shabd, it is a contact with God; for God is
not different from His Power (Shabd).

A contact with Shabd is contact with God,
It is the crowning fruition of all endeavors. 93
                                                   GURU AMAR DAS
In order to establish a contact with Shabd, it is necessary that the soul must first free itself from the prison house of finite existence. It is only a perfect Master who can enable it to break through the bondage of mind and matter, raise it above body-consciousness and then link it with the Over-soul - the life of all life - the Naam.

Shabd is the heritage of a rare devotee of the Master

    Everyone wishes to see God face to face but only a rare soul gets the holy communion through the Shabd.

How many are pining to meet Thee?
A rare soul realizes Thee with the Word of the Master. 94
                                                                                   GURU NANAK
This body is the holy temple of God, with God's Power working in and out of it. All persons, rich and poor, lettered and unlettered, young and aged, man and woman, anywhere and everywhere, irrespective of color, caste and creed, are qualified to have a free access to that Power within through the grace of some competent Master and thus practice Shabd quite easily and naturally and reap the
fruit thereof.
Holy temple of the body is His Emporium with the Shabd beautifully set within,
A devotee of the Master may find the precious Naam therein. 95

Without contact with the Shabd, the world remains in delusion
  and the human life goes in vain.
O Nanak, Shabd is the Water of Life and a rare devotee
  of the Master gets to It. 96
                 GURU AMAR DAS

A mind-ridden person, because of the oscillation of the mind, does not recognize the Shabd and remains a total stranger to this elixir.
The restless mind knows not the Way,
The filthy mind cannot recognize the Word. 97
                                                           GURU NANAK

A slave of the senses knows not the Word and loses his self-respect,
And he finds no delight in the Shabd as he remains engaged
  in the sensual pursuits. 98
            GURU AMAR DAS


    Shabd is All-consciousness. It is just a wave in the sea of consciousness. Man is a drop of the Ocean of God, and both are of the same spirit. While one is the Ocean, the other is the wave and the third is a drop of All-conscious God. The wave of conscious Shabd cannot but, like a powerful magnet, attract and draw to Itself the conscious drop of the spirit. The spirit finds no rest until, riding upon the Sound Current, it reaches the heavenly home of the Father and attains salvation. The sound is surging in Its fullness and the spirit needs but to contact It to rise above all limitations into the limitless eternity.

    Surat and Shabd are naturally related to each other. Shabd is characterized by Light and Sound principles, wherewith the mind gets stilled and the spirit, freed from the clutches of the mind, is irresistibly drawn by the Shabd and is taken to her native home from where the Sound Current is emanating. On the other hand, those who take up practices involving Pranas cannot go beyond the frontiers of Prana which extend to the mental or astral heaven (Chidakash). But a Shabd-yogin can go freely, openly and honorably to wherever he likes, because Shabd pervades everywhere without any limitations, and reach the true home of his Father.

My God is everywhere and at all times,
And becomes manifest by practice of Shabd. 99
                                                     GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd is the means of finding God. A contact with the Shabd means contact with God.
A communion with the Word is union with God,
And all endeavors then get crowned with success. 100
                                                               GURU AMAR DAS
Shabd is the only way that leads to the True King.
In the living soul is the Life of life (Shabd)
Which becomes an usher to the great King. 101
                                                   GURU RAM DAS
Shabd is the Way that leads to Reality. It is a barque that can take the Jiva safely across the sea of matter to the mansion of the Lord.

   The Absolute God and the spirit along with Shabd, the connecting link between the two, constitute the holy trinity, for the same Power of God is working simultaneously in all the three. The spirit in man has no separate existence independent of God.

O Kabir! the spirit is of the essence of God. 102
Though all spirits are of One Reality, yet each one of the spirits feels that it has a separate existence.

   Sach Khand or the Kingdom of God is within us but none can enter therein without proper guidance. For admittance thereto, we must invert and become a little child in innocence and purity, for then we can catch the saving lifeline of Shabd which leads Godward. By communion with Shabd, we are freed from pleasure and pain, mind and matter, and rise above the pairs of opposites, and attain liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

  Shabd is the live and conscious Life-current of God which has both created the world and sustains it. It is the involuted seed that has evolved into a mighty tree laden with many colored flowers and fruits. Whatever now exists, exists in Eternity and whatever goes out of existence also goes into Eternity. Everything is in the great Deep, rising momentarily to the surface in the form of tides, waves, ripples, bubbles and the like, appearing and disappearing before our eyes - the Unmanifested manifesting Himself into so many forms and patterns.

  Shabd is the root-cause of the creation and the creation is the resultant effect thereof. All that sprouts from and comes out of the roots is already in the roots in a condensed form and in fullness of time grows and fructifies. When a ray of the sun falls on a polished reflector, it begins to reflect the sun itself. In the same way, when the mind is purified and there is left not a trace of I-ness in it, it begins to reflect God's Light from within. Just as the ray of the sun is not different from the sun itself, so also a spirit, which is nothing but a ray of God, is not different from God and begins to manifest the hidden Power of God, with proper training and guidance in the Science of Shabd or Word.

   Shabd (Dhun-Atmak) is the true primordial Word as taught by St. John in his Gospel. It is responsible for creating the various grand divisions, divisions and sub-divisions of the universe right from the highest spiritual region down to the physical world in which we live. Emanating from God, the spirit current worked out the miracle of creation and is sustaining it and controlling it in all details. The practice of the Sound Current, as taught by the Masters in all ages and in all countries, is the highest religion and confers the highest boon - to wit, liberation from the bondage of mind and matter while still living. But contact with Shabd can be established only through the grace of a Master of the Sound Current and not otherwise.

   Shamas Tabrez, a Muslim divine, speaks of Shabd as follows:

There comes a Sound (Nida), from neither within nor without,
From neither right nor left, from neither behind nor in front,
From neither below nor above, from neither East nor West,
Nor is It of the elements: water, air, fire, earth and the like;
From where then? It is from that place thou art in search of;
Turn ye toward the place wherefrom the Lord makes His appearance.
From where a restless fish out of water gets water to live in,
From the place where the prophet Moses saw the divine Light,
From the place where the fruits get their ripening influence,
From the place where the stones get transmuted to gems,
From the place to which even an infidel turns in distress,
From the place to which all men turn when they find this world a vale of tears.
It is not given to us to describe such a blessed place;
It is a place where even the heretics would leave off their heresies.
Truly, the Shabd is coming from the direction in which the soul has to go. Without Shabd, the soul remains in darkness and feels helpless.
Without the aid of Shabd, the soul wanders blindfold in ignorance
  and knows not the Way out.
All sages and seers have counted upon Shabd as the only means of salvation. But one cannot take hold of the life-line of the Sound Current without initiation into the esoteric teachings of the Masters from a competent living Master-soul and practicing the process of soul-withdrawal at the still point in the body between and behind the two eyebrows. This is moving from the circumference of life to the center of life and from here the soul, following the lead of the Sound Principle, proceeds to her native home, the Mansion of God, the source and fountainhead of the divine Melody Itself.

  Shabd thus leads us to an altogether new life - life of the spirit as distinguished from the life of the flesh. Christ too taught of this new life which our Christian brethren have forgotten with the lapse of time. St. John, in his Gospel, tells us,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again,
  he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water
  and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born
  of the spirit, is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof
  but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is everyone
  that is born of the spirit. 103
In the Book of Ezekiel we have:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put
  within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh
  and I will give you an heart of flesh. 104
This new life of the spirit begins from the day of initiation into the mysteries of the spirit, call it what you like: "Deeksha" as the Hindus do, "Baet" as the Muslims say, "Baptism" as it is known among the Christians, or "Pahul" as among the Sikhs. The Vedic seers gave it the name of "Duey Janama" which literally means second birth. The life of the spirit begins not with the theoretical exposition of the spiritual science but by a practical demonstration on the spiritual plane of the spirit-current made manifest. Here the invisible and inaudible life-stream is made both visible and audible to the spirit within, converting the atheist into a theist in the true sense of the term. It is imparting the life-impulse and making It throb in every pore of the body. This coming back of the soul to the realization of her true nature and rising into Universal or Cosmic awareness beyond the walls of finitude is true resurrection or coming to a new birth and a new life. To die in the body while living, is to live in the spirit.

 St. Paul describes it thus:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. 105
The life of the flesh and the life of the spirit are two distinct and separate things, exclusive of each other. This is why it is said,
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake,
  shall find it. 106
Guru Nanak speaks of it:
The birth in the Master releases one from the cycle of transmigrations. 107
Among the Muslims it is called "Fana-fil-Sheikh" or Death in the Master which is just the same thing as Birth in the Master for this death is but the beginning of a new life.

   Shabd thus takes us out of the ignorance which characterizes both mind and matter, purifies us through and through and gives us a new lease on life-the life of the spirit, which is unchanging and eternal - as one breaks away once and for all from the body and bodily attachments, and sees the new world without the help of the outer eyes.

Communion with the All-pervading Word of the Master is the highest virtue,
And takes one to his native land to drink the elixir of life and to see the new world
  without the help of the outer eyes. 108
                                       GURU RAM DAS
The early morning hours are best suited for practice of the Sound Principle, for the mind is yet fresh out of sleep and has not yet wandered into the daily routine of the physical life.
In the early morning hours, commune with the Word leaving aside all attachments,
Nanak would like to be the slave of His slave who engaged in the Word
  and won what is lost to the world. 109

At the ambrosial hour of the early dawn,
Be ye in communion with the divine Word,
And meditate on His glory. 110
                        GURU NANAK

Book 2 is split into multiple files to keep file size and load times reasonable.
continued in next section ...