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Naam Japo or Naam Japna - Is the rememberance of God by repeating and focussing the mind on His name. The names given to God primarily refer to the attributes of the Almighty and His various qualities. The guideline in the Rehit Mariyada of Guru Gobind Singh demands that the Sikh engages in Naam Simran as part of his or her everyday routine.
This concept is also permeated in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the way in which humans can conquer ego, greed, attachment, anger and lust, together commonly called the Five Evils or Five Thieves and to bring peace and tranquillity into ones mind. The Sikhs practise both the quiet individual recitation of Naam in ones mind and this is commonly called Naam Simran while the loud and communal recitation of Naam is called Naam Jaap. However, this is not a strict definition of these phases and variations are found among the different Sikh communities.
The term Naam refers to the various names given to God as used by the Sikhs. Naam Japo refers to the meditation, vocal singing of Shabads or hymns, from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or the chanting of the various Names of God, specially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means Wonderful Lord. Singing of hymns with musical accompaniment is generally referred to as Kirtan.
This act of meditation, singing and chanting is a one of three main pillars of Sikhism and is the term used to refer to this very important activity in the everyday life of a Sikh – the singing, quite meditation, listening of sacred text or sacred words. Critical importance is given to meditation in the SGGS. The other two pillars are Kirat Karni and Wand kay Shako.
|SGGS Page 189|
|With my hands I do His work; with my tongue I sing His Glorious Praises.|
With my feet, I walk on the Path of my Lord and Master. ((1))
|1. Naam Japo 2. Kirat Karni 3. Wand kay Shako|
Naam is not mere repetition of God's name. It is opposed to roop ("form") adopted by those indulging in idol worship. Naam here stands for attribute/s. It is a noun which describes the qualities of a person, thing, the Lord. We find many such forms in Mool Mantra. Naam Simran therefore is to concentrate on attributes of Waheguru and realize his grandeur and mercy. It leads to our realization of reality and its acceptance. Guru Granth Sahib further elaborates how realizing God's nature through the recital of his Name leads us to happiness and bliss, rather than being in the wilderness of idol worship or such other meaningless rituals.