Saturday, July 05, 2008


111 - SIMRAN

The practice of simran begins with the `tongue'

The continuous repetition of `GURMANTAR' is the physical activity of simran.

As the practice of simran with the tongue progresses GURMANTAR will begin to settle in the subconscious mind. This method is used to teach children multiplication tables. When the multiplication tables become firmly anchored in the mind the solving of sums becomes easy.

In the same way to anchor GURMANTAR in the subconscious it is absolutely essential to continuously practice repeating it with the tongue. This practice of continuous repetition is called SIMRAN.

In the beginning, the seeker through hearsay or by imitation adopts a certain method of doing simran.

In their ignorance many seekers stubbornly practice difficult methods of doing simran which have a negative influence on the body and the mind. For example

- movement of the head or some part of the body.
- doing simran very loudly.
- doing simran very rapidly.
- ending a simran cycle with a sampat.
- tying hair to the ceiling.

- focusing the mind on some light.
- focusing the concentration between the eyes.
- doing simran while standing on one leg - etc.

Many other ways and methods are being practiced.

Gurbani has this to say about stubborn ways :-

"He who dies in obstinacy is not accepted Even though he may wear religious garb,or apply much ash to his body. Forgetting the Name, he repents afterwards."(226)

"The lord Himself sees and Himself makes man see By obstinacy He is pleased not nor by many religious garbs."(686)

"Practicing obstinacy & self conceit the lord is obtained not.Studying religious texts and reading them to people and wondering at shrines, the disease is eradicated not.Without the name how can the mortal obtain peace."(905 - 906)

"By practicing stubborn self torture, the body wears off.Through fasting & penance the soul is softened not.Nothing else becomes equal to lord's name."(905)

"Kabir there is a difference in worshipping "Ram There is a point that need consideration.The same word everyone uses for Dasrath's son and the same word for the wondrous lord." (1374)

If the aim of doing Simran is for some low selfish worldly self interest

- to acquire the power of the mind]
- to acquire miraculous powers
- to control spirits
- to project an image of a "good man"
- to receive praise
- to boost the ego

then practicing this simran bears no fruit.

Even if such a seeker attains mental/miraculous powers he remains empty handed devoid of the gift of the naam.


"Riches and miracles are worldly attachments.On account of that the name cannot abide in the mind." (593)

"Without the name, in vain are all the wears & eats and accursed is the success & accursed the supernatural power." (650)

"The numerous actions (supposed to please God) performed by people boost their ego. Egoistical actions are harmful, and bring along with them much suffering. Without the practice of meditation of the shabad within a satsang no offering or action is accepted by God even though those actions are performed by people who do who do only good." (Bhai Gurdas 517)

In gurbani, you are introduced to a more simple & natural method.

"The churn, belonging to God, O my brother, churn it slowly and gently such that the butter (that appears) may not be lost." (478)

"Serving the true Guru may obtain poise & pleasure & the lord of the universe comes to abide in his mind. Day & night he instinctively remains devoted unto the lord.The lord Himself makes Him perform His devotional service." (1063)

"By remembering the name with mental poise, the Divine knowledge is revealed. (429)

"Whosoever, night & day, utters the Lord's name he attains unto the Guru's peaceful disposition."(1258)

"Night & day the mortal remains absorbed in the celestial trance and meditates on the profound & unfathomable lord master. (574)

Just as a child keeps saying (mummy - mummy) out of love for the mother, in the same way the seeker too should do the simran of gurmanter

- naturally / instinctively
- calmly
- respectfully
- fear - faith (for God)
- with love
- in solitude.


The act of repetition or meditation needs to be done with full of faith and love, slowly & gently in a low and soft voice.

Attentions need to be focused on the word "Waheguru" and one must listen to this low & soft voice with the ears.

By doing this, the mind's concentration will be begun to focus on one point that is the Gurmanter (Waheguru)

- The eyes will close and the mind will not be affected by outside influence.
- the tongue will remain immersed in the repetition of gurmanter.
- The ears will hear their own voice
- The mind will soften/melt in the love - worship of the guru.

This activity of simran becomes simpler in the company of Guru's devotees that is the sadh sangat.

"Joining the union of the society of saints, meditate on the name of the God.(26)

"Lord's meditation is attained in the Saints Society." (262)

"Sing the praises of the world lord, associating with the society of saints, contemplate." (624)

"Joining the society of saints, remember your lord with your soul & body. (817)

"In the congregation of saints the true name of God abides in mortal's mind." (51)

"Joining the guide of the saints I place God's name within my mind." (95)

"O Lord God, unite me with the saint's society, that Gods name may come to abide within my mind."(1417)

"Joining the society of saints, Contemplate over the name alone."(378)

"Meeting with the saints society, remember Lords name, then your service will be fruitful.(617)


In society, there are many existing doubts about the "mantar" for simran. There is a need to have an open discussion on this matter.

In this material world, the expression of the "mantra" is made through words, language and sound. But behind our material voice there is also an ineffable (subtle imperceptible) sound.

According to research made by scientists, all material things are made from the combination of different imperceptible elements. If a material thing is continuously (systematically) broken down (to its basic building blocks) it assumes the form of molecules, atoms, electrons, invisible protons, and reaches the point of subtle vibrations from which the subtle sound or raag (primal sound or divine music) is born (created). Gurbani refers to this divine music as limitless sound, infinite bani, naam, shabad or the "great mantar".

This infinite sound cannot be registered (heard) by our ears because it is not a creation of this material world - it is something beyond - this the suitable sound of the divine world, sound without a sound 22&(that cannot be registered by our physical ears) or Bani that can only be experienced by the inner sound through intuition. It is continuous its existence eternal.

In the Japji Sahib, the stanzas on "listening" refer to item limitless sound (current). It is a reference to intuitional listening of the bani.

"Both in speech and silence, He the Lord abides As He is, more can know him as such."(340)

"If she hearkens to the gurus instruction,It is then that the joyous beloved meets (18)

The written "mantar" is the expression of the subtle divine "mantar". When this written "mantar" is received from the satguru, then it is known as "Gur manter".

Many doubts exist amongst the seekers about doing simran.


The first question that is asked is , Which "word" or mantra forms the basis of meditation ?

Generally people have kept numerous name for God in their respective languages. In Gurbani the following list includes some of the many names used
Hari, Ram, Rub Parmesher, Suami, Allah, Thakur, Beethal, Saajan, Pritam. All are their role names ( which reflect the multiple duties and responsibilities God dispenses simultaneously ). They are all respectful names which project God attributes, but for meditation, only "Gurmantar" ( waheguru ) is the approved one. Gurmantar means, the mantar which the Guru bestows. Since it has been received from the Guru, behind the "shabad" or Gurmantar lies (hidden) the Guru's Grace and the divine power. The Guru certainly helps (aids) supports, gives grace and success in ways that we cannot see or witness. Gurmanter, is not just a "word". Deep down in its inner recess (folds) the Guru's power and grace are at work.

Kabir Ji also has written -

Says Kabir, utter the two letters (composing the word Ram means God). If God be my husband, then He will keep me (protect me). (329)


He received a two word mantar "Ra-m" from his Guru Ramanand. The "master"of the master - that is the Guru Himself, protects his own master. Our responsibility is continue to chant Waheguru - the Gurmantar. The Satguru will himself rise to assist, support and bestow success.

Within the letters of the Gurmantar, the Guru himself is present but is concealed.

With in the Satgur is the Shabad and within the shabad is the Satgur.

For this reason, Guru's mantar is the symbol of the Guru's illuminated presence.

For example, a mother's child, Mohan, his entire personality ( both his merits and demerits ) are immersed in the word "Mohan". But "Mohan's " existence depends nor only on his name "Mohan" but it has a separate existence of its own devoid of the word "Mohan". In spite of this ( separate existence ) the word "Mohan" still is the symbol of his existence.

For this reason any word based mantar created by the mind, heard, read, or a given "mantar" can be called a "mantar". It cannot be referred to as the Gurmantar. Behind such a mantar that is created by the mind, there is no support, no grace, no blessing, no power of the Guru. For this reason, a self created, or the chanting of a mantar given by someone else remains devoid of Guru's power (shakti) and cannot succeed. Gurmantar is only that which the Guru ( through the 5 beloved one's ) bestows in his mercy. It is only through the repetition, meditation of the Gurmantar that emancipation / salvation can take place.

"My master is eternal. He is seen by
practicing the Name Meditation." (509)

Just like a mother remembering her child with love, calls "Mohan", the blessings of her love and the vibrating emotions travel over some distance to pierce the inner seat of "Mohan's" heart. The mother's love and blessing thus reach the child. The child too returns this love through vibrations to the mother.


In this way between the two parties, the "love filled" transactions keep taking place. This emotions / vibrations, the more intense they are, the greater the effect on the other side and response too is of equal intensity. Just as / when Bebe Nanaki remembered her brother Guru Nanak Dev Sahib, with such intensity that Guru Sahib appeared immediately. In the same way when we recite "Waheguru" with love and faith, we are touching the deep recess of Guru's heart. The Guru too returns that love with love and blessings on the same wave length and intensity. For this reason we not only receive love and blessings from the guru for meditating on the GURMANTAR, we also by virtue of that love and blessings instinctively absorb all of Guru's virtues like


In this way the GURMANTAR 'WAHEGURU' keeps becoming more lovely and pleasurable. The GURMANTAR will penetrate,settle and assimilate into our physical and mental body, into every hair, into the subconscious and spontaneously we take the form of GURMANTAR itself.

"As is the one whom he serves
so does he himself become." (223)

"When differences between me and others
are removed, then whosoever I see there
I see but you O Lord."' (1375)


There is another doubt that is prevalent- the affixing of adjectives in front or at the back of the shabad or mantar- for example...Sri Waheguru, Satnam Waheguru,Ek Ongkar Waheguru etc. some even meditate on a multiple word mantar - for example RadhaKrishan, Sitaram,Om Siva
Jai Gobind, Jai Gopal, Ha-re Krishan etc. In some groups a 5 word mantar is also prevalent.

It must be remembered that GURMANTAR is not just a word; lying hidden behind it is the subtle form of guru's

essence of love
divine glance

Continuously meditating of GURMANTAR with faith and love will produce a state where the letters of the GURMANTAR "WAHEGURU" will imperceptibly begin to dissolve, melt and transform into a subtle form

- its illuminated form
- its principle form
- its bliss producing form
_ love radiating form
- life giving force
- its Naam form

These divine form/force/vibrations then change into and appear as

Jingling (sounds)
limitless tinkling sound
Divine music


Just as Bhagat Kabir has said,

"The letters shall perish. The imperishable Lord cannot be described through these letters." ( 340)

When meditating it is easy to do so with a one word mantar and this one word mantar itself will dissolve,melt and assume a subtle form. A multiple word mantar is so much more difficult to melt or dissolve because

- God is one
- His subtle form is also one
- His sound current is also one
- His illumination is also one
- His manifested form is also one
- So His subtle mantar/shabad is also one

Thus the meditation of the one word mantar will spontaneously bear fruits.

Support of this view in gurbani appears as follows:

"He who by guru's instruction utters the one name he gathers the pure glory." (747)

"Nanak, he in whose mind the one word of the Lord abides, becomes mightily pleased." (261)

"Veds,purans and simirts of pure words are the creation of the one word of the Lord's name."(262)

"He within whose mind the one pure name abides he realizes the essence of the vedas." (1205)

"Man has joined the fifty two letters, but he cannot recognize the one word of the Lord."(343)

A certain divine soul has this to say on the above subject:

'The shorter the mantar, the better.Make this one word mantar reside in your heart and while attending to your daily chores keep it side by side and make lit an integral part of your life. If doubt,thought-counter thought appears try to get through to the solution through this one word.Practice repetition, meditation of this one word to such an extent that this word GURMANTAR will penetrate, settle and assimilate itself into your physical,your mental, your heart,your subconscious enabling you to hear it intuitionally.Your personality or self will immerse itself into the mantar.


For meditation the best time is Amrit Vela (3a.m.-6a.m.)

"Rise early in the morning,repeat the name, And night and day meditate on the Lord."(255)

According to this gurbani hukum,amrit-vela-early morning hours are the most beneficial for doing simran.Besides this one is also urged

night and day - meditate/repeat In gurbani there are numerous places where specific instructions have been given to us:-

" Whilst walking, sitting,sleeping and waking deliberate on the guru's instruction in the mind."(1006)

"Standing, sitting,sleeping or walking we ought to remember the Lord all through our lives." (101)

"Standing, sitting & sleeping- all the time remember the God's name." (594)
"While standing,sitting or sleeping meditate on the Lord.Walking on the way sing the praises of the Lord Master. (386)

"While standing or sitting meditate on God and enshrine affection for the saint's society."(297)

"Standing sitting sleeping, walking with each breath of mine I contemplate on my God." (1298)

"Standing sitting, sleeping and walking, this soul contemplates on you O Lord." (820)
"Sitting, standing I repeat your name .This alone is the deed I do."(813)

meaning all the time , non stop, every minute,second in whatever condition, always, while doing daily chores
eating, drinking
awake, sleeping,getting up, sitting
walking about
the firm advice is DO SIMRAN ALL THE TIME.

The practice of this simran meditation is most difficult.

"It is difficult to utter the True Name"(9)

But in the company of blessed gurmukhs the mind instinctively focuses itself and the practice of simran becomes simpler.

"In the society of saints one does not face any misery.By beholding and meeting the saints, the mortal becomes happy. (272)

"Join the saints society. Meeting with the saints guild you shall be blessed with the Lord's elixir." (1304)

"Join the society of saints and contemplate on the Lord"s wealth. Thus from as sinner you shall become holy." (631)

According to our past deeds, when the fruits of our virtuous deeds flower, we obtain the true & pure 'Sat Sangat' or "Sadh Sangat' and the seekers soul awakens.Spontaneously his incessant (unbroken) simran starts and he becomes a blessed one.

"When the plumule of actions of past sprouted,I met the Lord, the reveller- the detached." (204)

"He on whom the Exalted Lord showers mercy, obtains the society of saints.
The more he frequents the saint's congregation the more love he comes to enshrine for the Lord."(71)

The external activity of simran is in the physical and mental effort.Beyond this there is simrans's divine play which is unique and wonderful.

"O Slave Nanak, this is a difficult game.
Only a few know lit through the guru." (219)

This novel and difficult internal play of simran will be discussed in the next pamphlet.

Just as a child keeps saying (mummy - mummy) out of love for the mother, in the same way the seeker too should do the simran of gurmanter

- naturally / instinctively
- calmly
- respectfully
- fear - faith (for God)
- with love
- in solitude.