Naam-simran or remembrance of the Shabad of the guru one of the cardinal, moral principles of Sikhism.
By Kulbir Kaur
Achieve Guru's Grace Through Naam-simran
Guru Nanak, while working as a storekeeper in Sultanpur Lodi, was counting the items ordered by customers. As he would reach number 13 `tera' in Punjabi he would go into a trance and in spiritual ecstasy could only say , `Tera, Tera, Tera I am yours, I am yours, I am yours.' He would find it impossible to move to the next number as the whole universe was by then resounding with this sound and he could see the hand of God in everything, even in the numbers he was counting. Guru Nanak conveyed that nothing is ours, for everything is that of the Creator, the only Truth nirankar or formless.
This simple philosophy presented a perfect balance between a worldly and spiritual life. He denoun ced renunciation and advocated salvation while still following a householder's life.
This ecstatic feeling of `tera', the meditative mystical stage of union with the Divine, also contains wonder that reflects the very presence of the Creator. In his bani, `Suhi ki Var', Nanak asks: `Kauna taraju kavanu tula tera kavanu saraphu bulava' `What scale, weights, and what assayer shall I call for You, Lord?' He chose to address the Almighty with the magical `Waheguru' implying wonder at the Divine Light having the power to eliminate darkness. Wah Guru Hail the Lord whose name eliminates spiritual darkness. In `Asa di Var', the opening lines convey this feeling of wonder and trance: `Wondrous is the sound, wondrous the wisdom.' The mystery of the cosmic order can be unravelled only through guru's grace to be realised through The others are kirat karni or honest labour and vand chhakna or sharing with the needy. This simple philosophy presented a perfect balance between a worldly and spiritual life. He denoun ced renunciation and advocated salvation while still following a householder's life.
According to Guru Nanak, `Asceticism doesn't lie in ascetic robes or in ashes... It doesn't lie in mere words. He is an ascetic who treats everyone alike.Asceticism doesn't lie in burial places or in wandering about and bathing at places of pilgrimage. Asceticism is to remain pure amidst impuri ties.' The religion he preached was practical in nature and based solidly on work ethics.
Guru Nanak was addressed by his followers as Baba, Pir, Shah Faqir and Sachcha Padshah.
He rejected idolatry and pro pounded a simple idea of monotheism. Wherever he went, he would wear a combination of styles worn by both Hindu and Muslim holy men. Not surprisingly, he was often asked whether he was Hindu or Muslim.
When asked about the true way to attain God, Guru Nanak would say: `There's one God and there is only His way to attain Him, not another. Invoke Him who is eternal and is contained in the whole Universe.' He emphasised the unity and uniqueness of the Supreme Being in his hymns, especially through the Mool-mantra, the preamble of Sikh philosophy: `There is but One God, the only Truth, the Creator, without fear, without enmity , everpresent and free from the concept of beginning and end, Self-existent free from the cycle of birth and rebirth and He can be realised with His grace only .' Naam-simran and sadhsangat along with seva (service) is the only way to achieve His grace which finally leads to the ultimate stage of bliss.That's why every Sikh prays and wishes for `Nam Khumari Nanaka Charhi Rahe Din Raat May I ever be imbued with the Name (Shabad) of Guru Nanak.' Tomorrow, November 6, is the Prakash Utsav of Guru Nanak.