Naam Sevaa

The Subject of this post is to understand “what” and “how” of Naam-Sevaa and Gur-Sevaa through the Gurbani (NOT through the fool-o-sophy but through the Gurbani)! Before that, let’s consider the following verse of the Gurbani (Gaurhee Sukhmanee):

  • ਜਨੁ ਰਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: “Janu” remains imbued in the service of “Hari Naam” (sggs 265).

Two terms — “Janu“: “ਜਨੁ” and “Naam Kee Sevaa“: “ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ” — are very significant in the foregoing verse.

First, let’s consider the term “ ਜਨੁ-Janu“. This term essentially indicates the State of one who has become:

  • Gurmukh – ਗੁਰਮੁਖ
  • Bhagat – ਭਗਤ
  • Daas – ਦਾਸ
  • Aatam Giaanee – ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ, ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ, Mool-realized

For example, all the Guroo and Bhagat call themselves “Janu – ਜਨੁ” or “ਜਨ-Jan” throughout the Gurbani.

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਜਨ ਕੈ ਬਿਰਤਿ ਬਿਬੇਕੈ ॥੫॥: O Nanak! Discerning intellect is the subsistence of “Jan” (Bhagat, Daas, Gurmukh…). ||5||
  • ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੪॥੨॥੮॥੪੬॥: Jan Nanaku hari kaa daas… (sggs 166).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਏ ॥: Gurmukhi viralaa koee janu paae (sggs 119).
  • ਸੇਵਕੁ ਦਾਸੁ ਭਗਤੁ ਜਨੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Sevaku daasu bhagatu janu koee (sggs 355).
  • ਆਤਮ ਰਸੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਚੀਨਾ ॥: Aatam rasu brahm giaanee cheenaa (sggs 272).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਭਏ ॥: Brahm giaanee se jan bhae (sggs 272).

Now, let’s consider “Naam Kee Sevaa – ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ”. What is it? Essentially, it’s indicated in the Gurbani to be:

  • Abidance in the Gur-Shabad (i.e., Brahm-Giaan, Aatm-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…), or abidance in the Divine Hukam (ਹੁਕਮ ਵਿਚ ਚਲਣਾਂ, ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚ ਚਲਣਾਂ…).
  • To live in Shabad-Surat, or to live the Gurmukh Lifestyle …

Furthermore, the Gurbani also indicates that only the “Janu“: “ਜਨੁ” is imbued in such “Naam Kee Sevaa“: ” ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ”.

  • ਜਨੁ ਰਾਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ॥: Janu raataa Hari Naam Kee Sevaa (sggs 265).

Now, according to the Gurbani, how does one get engaged in “Naam Kee Sevaa”: “ਨਾਮ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ”?

According to the Gurbani, “Gur Sevaa”/”Satigur Sevaa (“ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ”/”ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ” – service of the Gur/Satgur…) is => Engaging in Naam.

  • ਨਾਮੁ ਹਮਾਰੈ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥: Naam-Sevaa for me is the Gur-Sevaa (sggs 1145).
  • ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਨਾਮੇ ਲਾਗਾ ॥: Serving the “Gur”, (one) gets connected to “Naam” (sggs 236).
Gur-Sevaa => Shabad-Vichaar (“ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ”)

Now, how can we serve the “Gur” (“ਗੁਰ”) or the “Satiguru” (” ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ”)? The Gurbani tells us to serve the “Gur” (“ਗੁਰ”) or the “Satiguru” (” ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ”) through the Shabad (Shabad-Vichaar; understanding the Gur-Shabad and living by that Brahm-Giaan or Spiritual Wisdom daily; seeking the Sanctuary of the Gur-Shabad, Naam, Hukam...):

  • ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥:  The Gur-Sevaa is Shabad-Vichaar (Reflection on the Shabad). (sggs 223).
  • ਕਿਸੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਤੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਸੇਵੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਾਲਾਹੀ ॥: Whom should I serve, and whom should I praise? I serve the “Satiguru” by praising the Shabad (sggs 1048).

Now perhaps we can appreciate as to why the Gurbani so boldly tells us that, devoid of the Shabad, everyone remains dead in this world (Spiritual death – ਆਤਮਕ ਮੌਤੇ ਮਰਿਆ ਹੋਇਆ)!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਸਬਦੈ ਮੁਆ ਹੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥: Binu sabadai muaa hai sabhu koi (sggs 1418).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਜਿਨੀ ਨ ਸੇਵਿਓ ਸਬਦਿ ਨ ਕੀਤੋ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਆਇਓ ਮਿਰਤਕੁ ਹੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਿ ॥: Satiguru jinee na sevio sabadi n keeto veecharu ... (sggs 9).

In nutshell, without Shabad-Vichaar, understanding of the Spiritual Wisdom (Aatam Giaan, Brahm Giaan …) cannot be obtained. And, without the Shabad-Vichaar, mind cannot be controlled (conquered, annihilated …).

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥: Giaan ka badhaa manu rahai … (sggs 469).
  • ਜਿਉ ਮੰਦਰ ਕਉ ਥਾਮੈ ਥੰਮਨੁ ॥ ਤਿਉ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਅਸਥੰਮਨੁ ॥: Jiou mandar kaou thaamai … (sggs 282).

Hence, as time and again indicated in the SGGS, each and every Sikh (student of the Shabad-Guroo) is duty-bound to Understand the Gurbani through the earnest Shabad-Vichaar, then live it and share (Vand Shakanaa).

  • ਆਪਿ ਜਪਹੁ ਅਵਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵਹੁ ॥: Aapi japahu awraa Naamu jappaawahu (sggs 289).
  • ਸਿਖਹੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਪਿਆਰਿਹੋ ਜਨਮ ਮਰਨ ਕੀ ਟੇਕ ॥: Sikhahu sabadu piaariho janam maran kee tek (sggs 320).

However, the Gurbani reminds us that one can truly serve the Satgur only when the fever of his egotism (Haumai) is gone!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੋ ਕਰੇ ਜਿਸੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਾਪੁ ॥: One serves the Satguru only when the fever of (his) egotism has been eradicated (sggs 45).

Furthermore, the Gurbani tells us that the untainted Brahm-Giaan or Aatam-Giaan (Divine Knowledge or Spiritual Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad…) is must to perform the real Sevaa. Because, if we have incomplete or little knowledge of the Gur-Shabad, then we will be serving Maya only!!!!!!!!!

  • ਮਤਿ ਥੋੜੀ ਸੇਵ ਗਵਾਈਐ ॥੧੦॥: Mati thorree sev gavaaeeai (sggs 468).
“ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ”: Kahiai Raamu N hoi

Hence, in nutshell, merely uttering or repeating some word by tongue is not the Gurbani’s Naam-Simran or Naam Japnaa. The Gurbani is very clear about it. In fact, the Gurbani tells us precisely as to how our wandering mind should remember “Hari” — by enshrining it in the Heart (“ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ-Ajapaa Jaap“):

  • ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਸਭੁ ਕੋ ਕਹੈ ਕਹਿਐ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਰਾਮੁ ਮਨਿ ਵਸੈ ਤਾ ਫਲੁ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥1॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਗੋਵਿੰਦ ਜਿਸੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਕਦੇ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਚੀਤਿ ॥: Everyone utters Raam Raam; but by such utterance (merely uttering by tounge-ਨਿਰਾ ਜੀਭ ਨਾਲ), Raam does not happen. By Gur-Grace (Grace of the Gur-Shabad-Giaan), Raam comes to dwell in the mind, and then, the fruit (of Aatam-Giaan…) is obtained. ||1|| Who enshrines love for the Govind (Mool…) within, never forgets Hari (Mool…); he continually perform (or remembers) Hari in his mind and consciousness (by joining Mann and Chitt as One-ਇਕ ਮਨ ਇਕ ਚਿਤ ਹੋ ਕੇ). (sggs 491).
“ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਜਪੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮ”: Ajapaa Jaapu Japai Mukhi Naam

Thus the Jap indicated in the Gurbani is “Ajapaa Jaap” (“ਮਨ ਮਹਿ“,”ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ“…) – the letter “A: in Ajapaa” indicates without the external senses (i.e., without external tongue, etc.). That is, constant or unbroken Shabad-Awareness — unbroken Shabad-Surat, the Gurmukh Lifestyle, the Divine Life…

  • ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥ ਸਭਿ ਸਖੀਆ ਪੰਚੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਸਬਦੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਇਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ॥: Ajapaa jaap n veesarai aadi jugaadi sammaai… (sggs 1291).
  • ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਸੋਧੈ ॥: Raam naamu aatam mahi sodhai (sggs 274).
  • ਉਸਤਤਿ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਕਰਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥: Oustati man mahi kari nirankaar (sggs 281).

Clearly, just repeating, for example, “Waheguru, Waheguru…” is NOT the GURBANI’S Naam Japnaa!

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9 Comments On This Post Join the Shabad-Vichaar ...

  1. Prakash S Bagga

    ਰਾਗੁ ਦੇਵਗੰਧਾਰੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੪ ਘਰੁ ੧ ॥

    ਸੇਵਕ ਜਨ ਬਨੇ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ ਜੋ ਤੁਮਰਾ ਜਸੁ ਕਹਤੇ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਤਿਨ ਮੁਖ ਭਾਗ ਸਭਾਗੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਟੂਟੇ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੇ ਬੰਧਨ ਫਾਹੇ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੇ ॥ ਹਮਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੋਹਿਓ ਗੁਰ ਮੋਹਨਿ ਹਮ ਬਿਸਮ ਭਈ ਮੁਖਿ ਲਾਗੇ ॥੧॥ ਸਗਲੀ ਰੈਣਿ ਸੋਈ ਅੰਧਿਆਰੀ ਗੁਰ ਕਿੰਚਤ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਜਾਗੇ ॥ ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਤੁਮ ਸਰਿ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਲਾਗੇ ॥੨॥੧॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 527}

    •ਜਨੁ is a very very special reference as should be clear from the above quote. Considering ਸੇਵਕ ਜਨ ਬਨੇ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੇ shows howਸੇਵਕ can beome ਜਨ.
    Here the reference for ਜਨ. is related to the status of “SPOUSE”
    which is the state of being in union with PRABHu.(EKANKAARu)

    How ਸੇਵਕ ਜਨ ਬਨੇ by ਠਾਕੁਰ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਗੇ . So only ਜਨ can praise the LORD in ਗੁਰਮਤਿ way and their ਲਿਵ is with ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ .

    • ਜਨੁ is a very very special reference

      Thank you Bhai Sahib Jio!

      Yes, as the Gurbani says, “ਜਨ – Jan” is Mool-realized:
      • ਮੂਲਿ ਲਾਗੇ ਸੇ ਜਨ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥: Mooli laage se jan parvaanu (sggs 365).
      • ਧਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਜਿਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਜਾਤਾ ॥: Dhanu dhanu hari jan jini hari prabhu jaataa (sggs 96).

  2. Prakash S Bagga

    A Quote from Gurbanee as
    ” ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਚਲਤੁ ਦਿਖਾਇਆ ਮਨ ਮਧੇ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਵਨਾ ॥੮॥੨॥੫॥ {ਪੰਨਾ 1018}
    It is obvious that repeation of THE WORD as NAAMu has to be within MUN itself.
    It should be interesting to understand the reference meanings of the words NAAMu and NAAM.
    For this it would be worth knowing what is NAAMu?
    In fact from Gurbanee one can understand that NAAMu is being refered to ਸਬਦੁ i e A SINGLE WORD and NAAM is therefore reference for Infinite Number of ਸਬਦੁ .
    Therefore NAAM is infinetly existing all over and one can not have
    access to NAAM but one can have access to A Unit of NAAM as NAAMu .
    Moreover NAAMu can be obtained only thru SATiGuRu as one takes drops of any liquid medicine.
    A quote in this context as
    “HUM CHTRIK DEEN SATiGuR SURNAA_EE HARiHARi NAAMu
    BOOND MUKHi PAAYEE”

  3. Prakash S Bagga

    There is a close relationship between •ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ (Satiguru),ਨਾਮੁ (Naamu)
    and ਸਬਦੁ (sabadu).
    •ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ is THE ENTITY and ਨਾਮੁ its associated LATENT POWER and
    ਸਬਦੁ ascribing IDENTITY of ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ and THE LATENT POWER. of ਨਾਮੁ.
    Thus it is essential rather must to serve ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ for its grace for ਨਾਮੁ.

  4. J

    Great biog clearing up a common misconception. As Gurbani reminds us ‘everything is within’ not external. The Guru also shows you this, for example, try any chant without love is tasteless but simply contemplating on the beloved with love makes the heart blossom forth !

  5. prince

    Deep love…..
    Name,naam,,word,,,akhar,,,the sound current, happening in no gunas realm….nirgun zone..the MAUN state, the epicenter which vibrates jivas anhanta, throat chakra and we create chatter.

    ਸਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧੀ ਆਪਿ ॥ सरगुन निरगुन निरंकार सुंन समाधी आपि ॥ Sargun nirgun nirankār sunn samāḏẖī āp. He possesses all qualities; He transcends all qualities; He is the Formless Lord. He Himself is in Primal Samaadhi.

    • Thank you prince Ji for taking the time to share your Vichaar.
      Brother Prakash S. Bagga has summed up nicely. If I may add my two cents!

      With regard to “Chakra”, coiled “Kundilini” at the base Chakra, etc., the Gurbani differs with the Yogis. Many verses of the Gurbani address Yogis to remove doubts.
      The Gurbani indicates the Kundilini uncoils (disentangles, rises, awakens, enlightens, untied, etc.) in the Satsangat. Now, what’s Satsangat? Essentially, when the mind has linked with Sat (Truth), that is Satsangat. Obviously the hint here is toward the twisted Budhi (intellect), deluded Budhi, corrupted Budhi, coiled or entangled Budhi, ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਤੀ, ਸਾਕਤ ਵਿਰਤੀ, ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਵਿਰਤੀ, the knot of egotism, or ignorance, twisted or doubt-ridden mind…

      The Gurbani indicates that such twisted or coiled Budhi becomes uncoiled or disentangled in the Satsangat. In other words, “Kundilini” (ਮਨ ਦੇ ਵੱਟ-mind’s twists or crookedness) becomes untangled when it links or associate with Sat (Truth – its Mool, Source, Joti-Svaroop…).
      • ਕੁੰਡਲਨੀ ਸੁਰਝੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖਿ ਮਚਾ ॥: Kundilini surjhee satsangati… (sggs 1402).
      • ਖਟੁ ਮਟੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਧੁਨਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਗੀ ॥ ਵਾਜੈ ਅਨਹਦੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਲੀਣਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਸਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਪਤੀਣਾ ॥੧॥: Khatu matu dehee manu bairaagee… (sggs 903).

  6. Prakash s Bagga

    In Gurbanee we have been specifically directed to VIBRATING DIVINE SOUND and this DIVINE SOUND is to be recognized as SABADu HARiHARi………………………………………………………………….

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