Sikh Missionary Society U.K. (Regd)
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Name of My Lord
Ajapaa-Jaap is a Jaap (recitation) without doing Jaap. In this, recitation of the name of God (Jaap) becomes a habit. It is a Jaap without effort - an effortless Jaap. The Jaap of the Name (Naam - name of God) keeps going on verbally, or silently in the mind. Whatever might one be doing, the act of Jaap is there. The constant Jaap leads to Ajapaa-Jaap. This is the middle i.e. subtle stage of Jaap - imperceptible Naam: the recitation becomes automatic like a habit.
Simran is remembrance. The mind gets filled with the constant remembrance of God, and there is no more recitation of His name (Waheguru). Only the remembrance of God is left - an unbroken thought of Him. God is always in the mind regardless of what one might be busy with. It is an advanced stage of the seeker - practitioner (one reciting the Naam). It is the third i.e. transcendental stage of the Jaap. This is the Naam beyond perception (recitation without knowing it - Just the thought).
Dheaan is meditation - contemplation on God. It is thinking about God and is different from Jaap - recitation of His name. Dhean is the process of thinking about Him may be with changing thoughts.
In the Naam-Jaap, there is recitation of the name of God, and it stays the same without any change. The mind keeps set on God. The mind is set on the Name as it is, without its modification - no changing thoughts about Him, no thinking about various aspects of the Name.
From time to time and depending on the level of advancement, all these
stages (starting, middle, advanced) keep overlapping each other, to lesser
or greater extent, when doing the practice of Naam - Naam-Jaap. In whatever
form - gross, subtle, or transcendental, all is the play and flow of Naam
(vibrating or active Naam), may be it is in its perceptible, imperceptible,
or so-called ‘beyond even imperception’ form. We may or may not be able
to comprehend it, but there always is manifestation of Naam.
Naam is the Gurmantar - formula given by the Guru (Prophet) and for the Sikhs, it is the word ‘Waheguru.’ It means, ‘the wonderful one who removes ignorance” i.e. the giver of the light of God - His knowledge. It is also called ‘Shabad’ or “Word.” The word ‘Waheguru’ not combined with any other word is for the Sikhs to recite - to do Jaap. Only the word ‘Waheguru’ is the Naam. The pure Naam-Jaap is recitation only of the word ‘Waheguru.’ In the Sikh world, ‘Naam-Jaap’ pertains to recitation of the word ‘Waheguru.’
It is another story that some, even the advanced practitioners like
established saints, combine ‘Waheguru’ with ‘Satte-Naamu’ (True Name) etc.
for their recitation i.e. ‘Satte-Naamu - Waheguru,’ and advise their followers
to do the same. ‘Satte-Naamu’ qualifies ‘Waheguru.’ It is the
question of one’s faith, and practically is okay with whatever word Waheguru
is combined. The central word is ‘Waheguru’ and it has to be there.
In the Sikh faith, without the word ‘Waheguru,’ it is not the ‘Naam-Jaap,’
or Jaap of Naam. For the pure Naam-Jaap, nothing should be added to the
Mool-Mantar is the basic, or fundamental formula and reads -
Ikk-O-Ankaar Satte-Naamu Kartaa Purukhu Nir-Bhaao Nir-Vaaeru Akaal Moorat-e Ajoonee Saae-bhann Gur-parsaad.eWe have to be careful; the word is ‘Bhann’ and not ‘Bhang.’ ‘Saae bhann’ means ‘Created by His own Self.’ ‘Bhang’ is Indian-hemp i.e. marjuana, a drug - a habit forming intoxicant.
God is all pervading, the truth (immortal), the doer, fears none, without animosity, unbound by the time (above the birth and death), above reincarnation or transmigration, is self-created, and is realized by His grace.
‘Reincarnation,’ is a man or woman getting reborn as a man or woman after his or her death. Transmigration is when a man or woman gets reborn as some other animal after his or her death.
Some believe, the Mool-Mantar is -
Ikk-O-Ankaar Satte-Naamu Kartaa Purukhu Nir-Bhaao Nir-Vaaeru Akaal Moorat-e Ajoonee Saae-bhannn Gur-parsaade” Jappu. Aade Sachu Jugaad Sachu. haaebhee Sachu.Naanak hosee bhee Sachu.According to the Sikh philosophy, God does not incarnate - born in the form of a man. As well, He never transmigrates - does not change His form into different species.
God is all pervading, the Truth (immortal), the doer, fears none, without animosity, unbound by the time (above birth and death), above reincarnation or transmigration, self-created, and is realized by His grace. “Jappu” - (Recite it). He is primordial (from before the beginning of the world), the Truth, from the time immemorial. He is the Truth (immortal). Nanak, He shall ever be the Truth!
Mool-Mantar is also for Jaap. Its Jaap is the ‘Jaap of Mool-Mantar,’
and not ‘Jaap of the Naam.’ Mool-Mantar is the description of the word
‘Waheguru’ (God). In general, the people call ‘Naam’ to every Mantar.
Shabad - The Holy Hymn
The Jaap of a Shabad, Slok, Paurree, or a Tukk - will go after the name of that i.e. ‘the Jaap of Shabad (Hymn),’ the Jaap of Paurree (a type of verse),’ ‘the Jaap of Slok (a sort of poetry),’ or ‘the Jaap of Tukk (a line)’ etc. Although not approved, the self- oriented Jaap of a Shabad is very common. Mostly, a suitable Shabad is recited for the fulfillment of some desire. Selfless Jaap of a Shabad is also widely practiced.
Amrit-Velaa - Early Morning Hours
Ambrosial hours - the divine time. It is the last 3 hours of the night i.e. very early in the morning - 3 A.M. to 6 A.M.; before the sunrise. Many practitioners, or saints get up at 2 A.M., or even soon after the mid-night. This is soothing and calm time, and most suitable for the Naam-Jaap - recitation of the name of God. Commonly, the people practice Naam at the junction of different times -
Mala - Rosary
Mala - a rosary is a string of beads. It is usually used to keep a count of the Jaap. Generally, keeping the count of a Jaap is not considered great.
Keeping a count of Jaap helps to organize the Jaap session according
to the available time, and the time-length (duration) fixed for doing it.
Though, the self-oriented Jaap (selfish, to fulfill a wish) is not approved,
many do the Jaap of a Shabad - Hymn etc., keeping a count of it with an
aim to get some boon.
Others keep the count even though they have no motive. A Mala keeps the mind engaged, reminds for the Naam-Jaap, and is a sign for the others not to gossip with the person.
A regular mala has 108 beads (following the tradition of astrology, 12 stars - planetary houses, and their 9 time-positions: 12 X 9 = 108. The Sikhs do not believe in such things).
Simarna is a wrist size band of 36 beads, 1/3 of the regular size of mala. Mostly, it is not used to keep any count of Jaap, and is easy to work when one is active i.e. walking, traveling etc.
In pursuing a good cause, there can never be any wrong (error), and so no one ever needs to worry about committing a blunder or a sin when doing Jaap without instructions from any adept. The Gurbani is the instructor of the Sikhs. When doing its Jaap, Naam takes away sins, and does not add to them, one may do it in any way. Guru ji bestows on everyone the right to do the Naam-Jaap. By practicing it, the Guru’s orders get followed. The Jaap should be done with concentration, and all other things should be ignored. Anybody fixing conditions for doing it commits a blunder and a gross wrong.
Important is concentration, not the methods, and this is the fundamental must for resorting to the Jaap of His name. We should go slow but steady, and need to be regular in our practice of the Naam Jaap. The time allotted for each session should be increased gradually so that the mind and body are without strain. We have to go on in sehj - a relaxed way (equipoise, tension-free), and need not be stubborn (obstinate) for our any goal or practice. In doing Jaap, we should move to the next step when we are well versed at the level we are.
According to the occasion and need, instructions are modified. The sequence
of different steps and their contents may as well get affected to simplify
the subject in an effort to make it easily understandable and applicable.
Every technique of the Naam Jaap is nothing but an effort to achieve concentration on recitation of the Naam - ‘Waheguru.’ There are a few preliminaries for practicing the Naam -
There are so many ways to do the Jaap of the Naam, and here is
the one commonly practiced.
Fold your both hands, bow to the Guru or Guru Granth Sahib, and pray, “Lord, bless me with the Naam and concentration on it” etc. Constantly feel that you are in the presence of the Guru. Some may have their own choice of the Guru - Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh etc. When imagining the Guru, feel that he is there before you. You may bow to the Guru Granth Sahib in a Gurdwara you visit, but this is your choice. Perceive the presence of God at all the times.
You may start with vocally reciting “Waheguru, Waheguru,” without any restraint or inhibition. It may be with or without a Mala - rosary, or a musical instrument. Gradually, recitation will become without any Mala, or instrument, and ultimately it will become mental, without making any sound. The musical instruments will enhance the atmosphere of the Naam. The Naam-Jaap in a company (with the Sangat) gives incentive for reciting the name of God. All such things help to bring together the scattered thoughts. The recorded music, especially instrumental, may be played. Music helps to relax and concentrate the mind. The soft and subtle music is elevating.
Link the Jaap to breathing -
When inhaling - breathing in, mentally say “Wahe.”
When exhaling - breathing out, mentally say “Guru.”
When well practiced, move to the next step.
Place Ik-Onkar, as written in Gurmukhi <> at the mid-brow point - a little higher to the inner ends of the both eyebrows.
Focus both the eyes on it.
Do silent Jaap of ‘Waheguru’ linked to breathing -
Inhale ‘Wahe,’Concentrate on <> Ik-Oankar, on ‘Wahe’ plus ‘Guru’… and on their imaginary sound (if you can imagine).
Completion of the Jaap
Continue the Jaap for your fixed (allotted) time-period. Increase the time of your sittings very gradually. Do not let your legs to tingle or sleep.
Bow at the feet of the Guru, Guru Granth Sahib, and thank, “ Thanks my Lord for blessing me with the Naam, and for concentration on it.”
Do five malas: rosaries, of the ‘Waheguru’ recitation, saying it mentally or verbally once at each bead.
Do one mala of Mool-Mantar.
Bow to the Guru, Guru Granth Sahib, once again, and thank for the boon
of Naam, and ability to do its Jaap.
This session of your Jaap is over.
Jaap with Sangat -
Company of the other practitioners of the Naam, boosts morale and creates eagerness to do the Jaap. It is usually done in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. It may be -
Wahu Wahu - in Punjabi-Gurmukhi.To clarify any point regarding the Naam Jaap, it is best to consult some local Naam practicing Gurmukh - God-oriented person. The study of any advanced material, if available, is also suggested.
Anhad Ki Dhun - in Punjabi-Gurmukhi.
Way of the Saffron Cloud - English with Gurmukhi, and Roman.
Beginner’s Nam Jap - English.
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