Recitation of Gurbani
Guru Ram Das has said: “The Word is the Guru, and the Guru in the Word, and in the Word is the essence of ambrosia.”
Of late there have been some people who have tried to redefine what Jap is and this is not in line with Siri Guru Granth Sahib teachings.
Karminder Singh in one of his parchar says that Sikhs have misconceived or misunderstood or being led to misunderstand what Jup ਜਪੁ or Naam ਨਾਮੁ means.
He crudely states
Jup is not chanting. That has to be cleared out of our minds. We have reduced, relegated, downtrodden, trampled upon, stepped on….the process of naam jupnaa to chanting. Guru Nanak came all the way, for 70 years, through 10 Gurus, to tell us to chant? I’m having trouble with that.
He claims that
- Jap or Jup ਜਪੁ is not chanting
- Naam ਨਾਮੁ is not Name (as translated).
Teachings of both Santh Singh Maskeen and Guru Har Rai do not agree with Karminder as we have seen above.
There is no substance in Karminder’s claims and they are misleading.
Teachings of both Santh Singh Maskeen and Guru Har Rai do not agree with Karminder.
What is Gurbani’s position on Chanting?
Gurbani tells us through the following.
ਕਿਸੁ ਹਉ ਸੇਵੀ ਕਿਆ ਜਪੁ ਕਰੀ ਸਤਗੁਰ ਪੂਛਉ ਜਾਇ ॥ SGGS 34 SriRag M:3
Whom shall I serve? What shall I chant? I will go and ask the Guru.
In this Shabad one ask’s the question to GuruJi “whom shall I serve and what shall I chant ਜਪੁ?”.
The answer to these questions comes in the following verses. The verses related to chant ਜਪੁ is that which is underelined i.e. chant NAAM (we already know what NAAM is).
ਸਤਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿ ਲਈ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਇ ॥ SGGS 34 SriRag M:3
I will accept the Will of the True Guru, and eradicate selfishness from within.
What is the will of the true Guru? It is in accepting, reciting, internalising and practicing the teachings in Gurbani. Also we have to shed our ego. This is how NAAM will be internalised and how we will benefit is shown the next two verses.
ਏਹਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਚਾਕਰੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸੈ ਮਿਨ ਆਇ ॥ SGGS 34 SriRag M:3
By this work and service, the Naam shall come to dwell within my mind.
ਨਾਮੈ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਈਐ ਸਚੈ ਸਬਿਦ ਸੁਹਾਇ ॥੧॥ SGGS 34 SriRag M:3
Through the Naam, peace is obtained; I am adorned and embellished by the True Word of the Shabad. ||1||
Gurbani even tells us how to chant ਜਪੁ
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਹੁ ਜਪੁ ਰਸਨਾ ॥ SGGS 252 Slok 10 M:5
Meditate on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har – chant it with your tongue.
We don’t think there is any further need to discuss the matter of Chant. GuruJi has answered.
The conclusion is that
- Chanting of NAAM is one of the methods prescribed in Gurbani.
- The word ਜਪੁ in Jap Ji Sahib is both the title of the Bani as well as an indication for us to ਜਪੁ or Chant NAAM.
- NAAM ਨਾਮ is the process of reciting/ reflecting/ meditating/ chanting/ listening/ teaching/ understanding Gurbani.
- The whole of Gurbani in the form of NAAM is the manifestation of God.
Karminder by saying that Chant is against Gurbani is misleading people. If we listen to this preaching we will become SPIRITUALLY LAME.
For Sikhs chanting is NAAM in the form of generally repeating one or a small group of words from Gurbani. The key in any application of NAAM is to perform it within our self with concentration.
We have seen that
Sant Singh Maskeen also is of the talks of the benefit of NAAM Japna.
The Sakhi related to Guru Har Rai also shows us the importance of NAAM Japna even if done without understanding.
- Chant or ਜਪ is one of the methods of reciting NAAM prescribed in Gurbani.
- NAAM ਨਾਮ is generally translated as Name though this word has a wide implication.
- NAAM is more so the process of reciting/ reflecting/ meditating/ chanting/ listening/ teaching/ understanding Gurbani.
So actually it is Karminder who has reduced, relegated, downtrodden, trampled upon, stepped on….the process of naam jupnaa to be a MAJOR MISLEAD. He wants us to be SPIRITUALLY LAME.
BEWARE. DON’T BE MISLEAD TO BECOME SPIRITUALLY LAME.