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Naam japo

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Part of a series on
Sikh Beliefs

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History of Sikhism
Sikh practices

1a. Simran
1b. Seva

2. Three Pillars
2a. Naam Japo
2b. Kirat Karni
2c. Wand kay Shako

3. Five Evils
3a. Kam
3b. Krodh
3c. Lobh
3d. Moh
3e. Ahankar

4. Five Virtues
4a. Sat
4b. Santokh
4c. Daya
4d. Nimrata
4e. Pyare

Articles on Sikhism

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.

Guru Ji says in the SGGS: Read Text in Red

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))
It is a good time, when I remember Him in meditation.
Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, I cross over the terrifying world-ocean. ((1)(Pause))
With your eyes, behold the Blessed Vision of the Saints.
Record the Immortal Lord God within your mind. ((2))
Listen to the Kirtan of His Praises, at the Feet of the Holy.
Your fears of birth and death shall depart. ((3))
Enshrine the Lotus Feet of your Lord and Master within your heart.
Thus this human life, so difficult to obtain, shall be redeemed. ((4)(51)(120))

Also see Sikh Religious Philosophy, Sikh, Sikhism, Naam Simran and Sikh Pages

Three Pillars
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.

See also

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