GURMAT PERSPECTIVES: On Naming (Remembering) of Waheguru NAM

Guru Nanak Sahib says “ਲੈਨਿ ਜੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਉ”. Could ਨਾਉ be any different from ਨਾਉ (Name)?

ਹੰਉ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੈ ਜਾਉ ਤਿਨਾ ਕੈ ਲੈਨਿ ਜੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਉ ॥(Raag Tilang M. 1, GGS. 722-2).
I am a sacrifice to those who take to Your Name.

ਲੈਨਿ ਜੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਉ ਤਿਨਾ ਕੈ ਹੰਉ ਸਦ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੈ ਜਾਉ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Unto those who take to Your Name, I am forever a sacrifice. ||1||Pause||

Guru Arjan Sahib reaffirms the same in Sukhmani Sahib:-

ਏਕੋ ਜਪਿ ਏਕੋ ਸਾਲਾਹਿ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਸਿਮਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਮਨ ਆਹਿ ॥ (Raag Gauri M. 5, GGS. 289-5).
Meditate on the One, and worship the One. Remember the One, and yearn for the One in your mind.

ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਉ ਅਨੰਤ ॥ ਮਨਿ ਤਨਿ ਜਾਪਿ ਏਕ ਭਗਵੰਤ ॥
Sing the endless Glorious Praises of the One. With mind and body, meditate on Waheguru.

ਏਕੋ ਏਕੁ ਏਕੁ ਹਰਿ ਆਪਿ ॥ ਪੂਰਨ ਪੂਰਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਬਿਆਪਿ ॥
Waheguru is the One and Only One. Waheguru is totally permeating all.

ਅਨਿਕ ਬਿਸਥਾਰ ਏਕ ਤੇ ਭਏ ॥ ਏਕੁ ਅਰਾਧਿ ਪਰਾਛਤ ਗਏ ॥
The many expanses of the creation have all come from the One Waheguru. Adoring Waheguru, ignorance is removed.

ਮਨ ਤਨ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਏਕੁ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਰਾਤਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਕੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥੮॥੧੯॥
When mind and body within are imbued with the Only Waheguru. Then the Divine Grace descends and Waheguru is known.||8||19||

If we look at the opening and the concluding verses of the Guru Granth Sahib, we do get an absolute clarity of ‘Naam’.

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
One Universal Creator God, The Name Is Truth (or His existence is Trth) Creative Being Personified No Fear No Hatred Image Of The Undying, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent. By Guru’s Grace~

॥ ਜਪੁ ॥
Chant And Meditate:

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਹੋਸੀ ਭੀ ਸਚੁ ॥੧॥
True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages. True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1||

– ਥਾਲ ਵਿਚਿ ਤਿੰਨਿ ਵਸਤੂ ਪਈਓ ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਾ ਪਇਓ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਸਭਸੁ ਅਧਾਰੋ ॥ (Mundaavani Guru Arjan Dev, GGS. 1429-12).
Upon this Plate, three things have been placed: Truth, Contentment and Contemplation. The Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam, the Name of our Lord and Master, has been placed upon it as well; it is the Support of all.

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਖਾਵੈ ਜੇ ਕੋ ਭੁੰਚੈ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਏਹ ਵਸਤੁ ਤਜੀ ਨਹ ਜਾਈ ਨਿਤ ਨਿਤ ਰਖੁ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰੋ ॥
One who eats it and enjoys it shall be saved. This thing can never be forsaken; keep this always and forever in your mind.

ਤਮ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਚਰਨ ਲਗਿ ਤਰੀਐ ਸਭੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ ॥੧॥
The dark world-ocean is crossed over, by grasping the Feet of the Lord; O Nanak, it is all the extension of God. ||1||

– The ‘Sat Naam’of Mool Mantar is described as ‘Amrit Naam’ in the concluding verse of Mundavani and is further elaborated as the one who is everywhere (ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੋ). Who can be everywhere except Waheguru?

So obviously the ‘Naam’ (ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ) of Guru Nanak Ji is the same as his ੴ, ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ, ਨਿਰਭਉ, ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ, ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ, and ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ.

As a true Guru, Guru Nanak Sahib hands over the key to this puzzle by ending the opening verse of Guru Granth Sahib with a word ‘ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ’ (Guru’s Grace/ Gur-kirpa/Nadr…). You will notice that the word ‘ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ’ stands alone in the Mool Mantar and does not as such relate to other words i. e. ੴ, ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ, ਨਿਰਭਉ, ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ, ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ, and ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ.

Guru Nanak Sahib is clearly directing that Gurparsad (‘ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ’/Gur’s Grace) is the way to know Sat Naam/Amrit Naam or Waheguru and the Gurparsad is nothing but the Bani of Guru Granth Sahib, which need to be contemplated with patience as advised by the Chief Editor of the Guru Granth Sahib in the Mundavani (ਸਤੁ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੋ).

I am pretty convinced that the ‘Naam’ of Guru Nanak Sahib is the same as Ik oankaar (ੴ) of Guru Nanak Sahib thats why Guru Sahib proclaims:-

ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਆਸ ਏਹੋ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Sri Raag Guru Nanak Dev, GGS. 24-15).
Your Name alone, Lord, saves the world. This is my hope; this is my support. ||1||Pause||

Many scientists are doing research but only a few who have an evolved consciousness do make some breakthrough discoveries as per the laws of Natural Sciences.

Similarly, those who are in an advanced state of spiritual consciousness enjoy the state of Naam (by dipping in Naam Adhaar) to understand the Spiritual laws.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in Jap Ji Sahib, gives a simple example of removing dirt from a soiled body part or clothes This statement everyone understands that this happens as such. However, a chemist who is at higher consciousness of subject of chemistry could go further and explain the mechanism of dirt removal by bring in concept of surface area and surface tension etc.- as per Laws of Chemical & Physical Sciences.

Guru Ji next talks about the role of Naam as a tool in getting rid of evilness of mind/intellect (the veil of ignorance, which separates Self from Universal-Self ). An ordinary person or a chemist/scientist has no clue to the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon whereas one who has spiritual consciousness will understand and appreciate the cleansing process/mechanism of removing dirt (ignorance) of mind with Naam as a truthful Spiritual Law.

A person with spiritual consciousness can appreciate scientific laws of Nature but a pure scientist cannot appreciate spiritual laws as such without experiencing spirituality. There is`always a gap in the thinking of Pure Scientists and Spiritual Scientists.

ਭਰੀਐ ਹਥੁ ਪੈਰੁ ਤਨੁ ਦੇਹ ॥ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਉਤਰਸੁ ਖੇਹ ॥ (Guru Nanank, Jap Ji, GGS.4).
When the hands and the feet and the body are dirty, water can wash away the dirt.

ਮੂਤ ਪਲੀਤੀ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਦੇ ਸਾਬੂਣੁ ਲਈਐ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਇ ॥
When the clothes are soiled and stained by urine, soap can wash them clean.

ਭਰੀਐ ਮਤਿ ਪਾਪਾ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ॥ ਓਹੁ ਧੋਪੈ ਨਾਵੈ ਕੈ ਰੰਗਿ ॥
But when the intellect is stained and polluted by sin, it can only be cleansed by the Love of the Name.

Guru Amar Das Ji also emphasises on the importance of Naam while making it clear that all educational diplomas, degrees, fellowships are just worldly pursuits, which help in the growth of ego, duality and hankar.

ਪੜਣਾ ਗੁੜਣਾ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਵਿਕਾਰੁ ॥ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਭਿ ਪੜਿ ਥਕੇ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥   (Raag Sorith M. 3, GGS. 650)
Reading and studying are just worldly pursuits, if there is thirst and corruption within. Reading in egotism, all have grown weary; through the love of duality, they are ruined.

Guru Ji further stresses that the real education is in contemplating the Gur-Sabd (Gurbani) and in evolving one’s consciousness to taste the essence of Naam (Waheguru) – the treasure of excellence. He adds that blessed are those who trade in the bliss of Naam.

ਸੋ ਪੜਿਆ ਸੋ ਪੰਡਿਤੁ ਬੀਨਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਦਰੁ ਖੋਜੈ ਤਤੁ ਲਹੈ ਪਾਏ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥
He alone is educated, and he alone is a wise Pandit, who contemplates the Word of the Guru’s Shabad. He searches within himself, and finds the true essence; he finds the Door of Salvation.

ਗੁਣ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਹਜਿ ਕਰੇ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਧੰਨੁ ਵਾਪਾਰੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਅਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥
He finds the Lord, the treasure of excellence, and peacefully contemplates Him. Blessed is the trader, O Nanak, who, as Gurmukh, takes the Name as his only Support. ||1||

The Sukhmani Sahib proclaims the following:-

ਨਾਮ ਸੰਗਿ ਜਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਨਹਿ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥੩॥ (Raag Gauhree M. 5, GGS.281).
One whose mind accepts the Company of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, O Nanak, knows the Immaculate Lord. ||3||

For all spiritual matters in Sikhi, it is necessary to have a good grasp of the Gurbani in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji out of his Anubhav of Gurbani proclaimed a Sikh Salutation, ” Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh” in spite of the fact that no other Guru explicitly used this word for Almighty.

For all future translations of the Guru Granth Sahib the use of term WAHEGURU will be befitting to capture the essence of the Gurbani in true spirit. Most scholars are shy to incorporate WAHEGURU in their renderings due to their lack of Gurmat Anubhav.

My personal experience with ‘Waheguru Jaap’ followed by ‘Contemplation on Gurbani’ started on becoming conscious of the essence of the following Sabd in Gurbani many years ago and it has ever stayed with me firmly:-

ਤਿਥੈ ਤੂ ਸਮਰਥੁ ਜਿਥੈ ਕੋਇ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਓਥੈ ਤੇਰੀ ਰਖ ਅਗਨੀ ਉਦਰ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ (Raag Raamkali M. 5, GGS. 962-1).
Where You are, Waheguru there is no one else. There, in the fire of the mother’s womb, You protected us.

ਸੁਣਿ ਕੈ ਜਮ ਕੇ ਦੂਤ ਨਾਇ ਤੇਰੈ ਛਡਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਭਉਜਲੁ ਬਿਖਮੁ ਅਸਗਾਹੁ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਪਾਰਿ ਪਾਹਿ ॥
Hearing Your Name, the Messenger of Death runs away. The terrifying, treacherous, impassible world-ocean is crossed over, through the Word of the Guru’s Sabd.

ਜਿਨ ਕਉ ਲਗੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸੇਇ ਖਾਹਿ ॥ ਕਲਿ ਮਹਿ ਏਹੋ ਪੁੰਨੁ ਗੁਣ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਗਾਹਿ ॥
Those who feel thirst for You, take in Your Ambrosial Nectar. This is the only act of goodness in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, to sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe.

ਸਭਸੈ ਨੋ ਕਿਰਪਾਲੁ ਸਮ੍ਹ੍ਹਾਲੇ ਸਾਹਿ ਸਾਹਿ ॥ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਜਿ ਆਵੈ ਤੁਧੁ ਆਹਿ ॥੯॥
He is Merciful to all; He sustains us with each and every breath. Those who come to You with love and faith are never turned away empty-handed. ||9||

Finally, my anchor in life comes from Guru Nanak Sahib and supported by Guru Arjan Dev Ji:-

ਤੇਰਾ ਏਕੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਤਾਰੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਮੈ ਏਹਾ ਆਸ ਏਹੋ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (Sri Raag M. 1, GGS. 24-15).
Your Name alone,Waheguru, saves the world. This is my hope; this is my support. ||1||Pause||

ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਤ ਕੋਟਿ ਸੂਰ ਉਜਾਰਾ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਭਰਮੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਥਾਨਿ ਥਨੰਤਰਿ ਸਭਨੀ ਜਾਈ ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ॥ (Raag Jaitsiri M. 5, GGS. 700-17).
Chanting the Naam, the Name of the Lord, the light of millions of suns shines forth, and the darkness of doubt is dispelled. ||1|| In all the spaces and interspaces, everywhere, whatever we see is Yours.

Waheguru Japna leads to generating a Contemplative interest in Gurbani which further leads to going in to an automatic mode of Waheguru Jaap – atteh pehr – ਆਪੇ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ.

Kirpal Singh
Wellington, New Zealand