What is "Naam or Word"

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........................"Naam or Word"
NAAM is easier said than known and practiced. It is
only an adept in the mysteries of Naam who knows
its true significance and the great power that lies hidden
in it. Apparently it is just a syllable, but what it connotes
is beyond understanding even by the most learned in book
knowledge; though it may be possible to apprehend it
through the grace of one well versed not only in the theory
but in the practice as well of the Word.
"Name" and the "named" are, in fact, one and the same.
There is hardly any distinction between the two: one is the
abstract form of that which is concrete. Light cannot be
separated from the sun. The two go together all the world
over. Similarly Godhood and God cannot be demarcated
and set aside in watertight compartments as two separate
entities. The former is just an attribute of the latter.
"Naam" is nothing more nor less than Godhood of God;
one may call it what .one may like-the Holy Spirit, the
Comforter, etc. It is the primal manifestation of God, responsible
for the entire creation. It is the primeval form of God.
St. John speaks of it thus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God and the Word was God. The same was in
the beginning with God. All things were made by
Him, and without Him was not anything made that
was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light
of man. And the light shineth in darkness; and the
darkness wmprehendeth it n0t.l
In these memorable words, St. John has tried to give us
some idea of the marvelous nature of the Word or Naam,
as it is also called. It combines in it the triple principle of
Creation, Sustenance and Destruction-the Trimurti of
the Hindu mythology of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva-the
Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer respectively, all
the three deriving their motor power from Godhood or
God-in-action, Naam or Word.
Hazrat Moieen-ud-Din Chishti, in this context, says,
Name and the Named are but one,
Light of Name witnesseth His glory.
All that is, is of and from Naam, for it pervades everywhere.
It is the life principle of the entire creation. He in
whom this Word or Naam becomes personified is called
a saint for it is said that, "Word was made flesh and dwelt
among us." Such a one has reached the summum bonum
of life and gained the El Dorado of human existence. For
him there is nothing more to wish for and aspire for. On
the other hand, one who has not been able during his lifetime,
to establish a contact with Naam, at the time of death
quits the body like a defeated gambler who leaves a gambling
den with empty hands. Sant Kabir says,
Better by far is a Ieper with weeping sores, if established
in Naam,
Than a fine stalwart swain who knows not the value of Naam.
Greatness of Naam and its need
The access to spiritual regions cannot be gained except
with the wings of Naam. A Persian poet says,
It behooves thee to fly to the higher realms and that
thou canst do with the wings of Naam.
Again,If thou wishest union with Truth, thou must get united
with Naam (i.e., Word or the manifest form of Truth
unmanifested) for therein lies the only possible union
with Truth. The constant meditation of Name means
constant companionship with the Named.
A touch with the Divine current purifies a person of all
iniquities. All doubts and distractions disappear and the
mind becomes steady and firm, with the result that God's
light is reflected therein.
If thou wert to cleanse the mirror of thy mind with
the sweet remembrance of His Name, His glory shall
surely shine within thee.
Kabir Sahib has beautifully described the value of Naam:
Naam may appear but a monosyllable compared with
the countless sins that abound;
But a little dose of the Naam when taken, reduces the
entire garbage to a heap of ashes;
And the practice of the Naam rubs clean all the mental
For the Naam acts as a spark of fire in a powder
By communion with the Naam, one transcends the
limitations of the flesh,
And reaches far beyond the realm of the pairs of
All the supernal powers serve but Naam;
Blessed with Naam, one becomes the abode of all
A contact with Naam assures salvation to all, whether
good or bad, learned or unlettered. As sun and fire give
warmth and light to all, snow and ice give exhilarating
freshness, so Naam cannot fail to produce its effect, no
matter how the contact may come about, with or without
faults. Khwaja Nizam-ud-Din Chishti says,
The glory of God's Naam has attuned my body and
The parched and thirsty get honeyed nectar from it.
Various Names of God
The sages and the saints have described God in innumerable
terms, as for instance Swami or Soami, meaning
Lord God; Nirala (peerless or without a compeer) ; Anami
(the nameless); Har Rai, Agam or Alakh (the incomprehensible
or the ineffable); Ram Rai or Sat Purush (the
eternal Truth or unchangeable permanence); Ek Ankar
(the one life breath or live principle); Puran Chetan
Purush (complete consciousness); Aka1 (timeless or the
deathless one).
All these are just attributive or qualitative namesnames
signifying one or another of God's attributes. Such
names simply describe any one aspect or facet of God as
appealed foremost to someone's individual liking. Thousands
of such names appear in holy scriptures: Ram (allpervading),
Rahim (gracious or merciful), Girdhari (encompassing),
Murari, Allah, Khuda, Wah-i-Guru, and the
like. The Jews call Him Yahweh or Jehovah. All these
names are worthy of our adoration for each one of them
tries to single out some aspect of the Beloved.
I revere each one of Thy names, 0 God!2

jasdir singh jaura's picture

What is "Naam"?

We talk and hear a lot about Naam, but never for a
moment pause to ponder over what it is, and how to gain
salvation or Nirvana through it.
What is that Name, the remembrance whereof leads
to Nirvana?
What is that name, the repetition whereof enables a
person to cross over the world of s~rrow?~
In fact the Lord God is nameless, but we have given Him
myriads of names. What name can indeed describe the
Formless, the Limitless, the Incomprehensible, one beyond
the grasp of senses and the intellect? Still man has,
through the ages, endeavored to put Him in the trammels
of words and clothe Him with epithets just for the sake of
expression, though all combined together fail hopelessly
to do any justice to Him. After all words do come from a
limited source and cannot possibly limit the Limitless:
If all the mountains were pounded into ink-powder
and mixed with the waters of the oceans, pens were
made out of all the forest trees, and the entire earth
were a sheet of paper, the glory of God or Naam or
God-into-expression Power could not even then be
All names are Thine and so are all forms Thine, but
all fail to enumerate Thy countless attribute^.^
Thou embracest in Thee all powers and potentialities,
all riches and treasures, for Thou art the Primeval
Cause, the Causeless Cause both material and efficient.
The Lord of all, Thy names are n~mberless.~
God has names beyond our comprehension. He cannot
be known and no name can describe Him.
The learned and the unlettered have done their very
best but have not been able to evaluate even a
particle of His greatness.?
0 God! so many art Thy names, that the poor tongue
faileth to enumerate them.R
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, says,
Who can sing of the glory of all Thy names?
Still the wise tell us of Thine attributes.
All names fall into two categories:
(i) Karam Naam or names indicative of gunas (qualities)
or swabhave, that is, qualitative or attributive
names; like Ram, Rahim and Karim (i.e., all-pervading,
merciful and compassionate).
(ii) Pura Purbala Naam or personal names which are
all-comprehensive, ancient and eternal.
We generally sing the glory of God with man-made
But His Great Narne-Sat Naam-is eternally the
The question that now arises is one of choice: which of
these countless names is the most efficacious and speedily
fruitful? The Hindus in general glorify "Om" and speak
highly of "Ram-Naam." The Muslims prefer "Allah" and
the Sikhs "Wah-i-Guru." Every religious order has thus
adopted one or the other name as a central tenet and
makes use of it in their daily worship and devotion. To
confine one's self to any of these exclusively would mean
making God partial. Our quest leads us to a number of
issues such as:
(a) Selection of the most fruitful name.
(b) Mode of repetition: Should the name selected be
repeated mentally or through meditation on the
meaning of the word selected.
If we refer to the Sikh sacred literature, we come across
varied references, some dealing with Japa or repetition,
others with Sunan or hearing, Manan or acceptance, Dhyan
or meditation and last but not least, Self-illumination and
Sound Principle as well.
Remember Naam, 0 my brethren-in-faith,
This grants peace, 0 keep the mind ever fixed in
By hearing Naam, the mind gets stilled,
The greatness of Naam is known through the
Commune with Naam till the last breath of life,
This brings proximity to God and He saves in the
Those who contact not the Naam, why do they come
into the world?
Arid is the field of life for them and they die a miserable
The devotees of the Lord are His representatives and
unto them we pray,
We, the filthy worms, are at their feet, let the Divine
light fill us through."
A contact with the Sound Current gives self realization
which is the summum bonum of life. By it
one is washed of all impurities of the mind and
easily merges into Life Divine. 0 Nanak! this contact
is established by a rare gurmukh.15
A contact with Naam makes one self-luminous, with
luminosity vying with myriads of suns.'"
By Thy grace manifest the Divine light of Naam.17
In Naam there is perfect food, both for the eyes and the
ears. Next we hear of the sinking in and dwelling of
Naam in the tablet of the mind. It is clearly stated in the
sacred Sikh scriptures that this contact can only be had
beyond the domain of senses and sensory organs:
Naam is not the subject of the eyes. It is something
wonderful and indescribable.18
References like these lead to but one irresistible conclusion:
that the true Naam is something beyond this or that
word. It is a great magnetic Power, and a force that can
grip the mind. It is characterized by sweet strains and
melodious tunes, which can be heard, and powerful light
which can be seen and witnessed. It is this Naam or Power
and Force of Godhead which cannot be comprehended by
the senses and can only be realized and experienced in
Super-sensual planes. It is a Life Current that pervades the
entire creation and is hence called Ram Naam or All-
Embracing Impulse. Kabir Sahib says:
There are myriads of names in the world, but none of
them can grant salvation.
The Primeval Name is a hidden one and a rare soul
can know and realize it.

jasdir singh jaura | Mon, 08/23/2010 - 10:55