In Sikhism, Simran ( ਸਿਮਰਨ ) refers to the remembrance of God by repetition or recital of His Name or Naam. The one God is known by many names which are mentioned in the Holy Text in the two Granths (Books) of the Sikhs: the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the Dasam Granth. The word “simran” is derived from the Sanskrit word Smaran meaning Remembrance. Also translates to ‘Meditation’ – The verb Simar, which is derived from Simran means meditating.
It says in the SGGS that by carrying out Simran the person is purified and attains Salvation or Mukti.
|Meditating, meditating, meditating in remembrance, I have found peace.
simar simar simar sukh paa-i-aa.
|On (page 202 of SGGS Guruji says:)|
“To do Simran” is the physical act of sitting in a cross-legged position and meditating, uttering or chanting “Naam” – the name of God. The process brings calmness to the mind and allows one to concentrate on the “image” or “qualities” of God. The process is to allow one to “connect” to the Creator and “realise” His qualities. Sikhs prefer the name “Waheguru” to other names of God. Sometimes, the person doing simran will do this as part of a group or individually. Early morning is normally the preferred time although no one time period is considered more sacred than another.
Si – mar can also mean “to die over” such that you kill your ego in order to have union with the infinite reality.
A teaching that repeating Gods name will gain a person the humility to accept God’s Will (or Hukam) and become free of attachment. The person who wishes to gain and benefit from this human life and attain a higher spiritual state must according to the Sikh Gurus undergo the discipline of Naam Simran, remembrance, i.e. constant awareness of the Name.
The act of Simran (smarana) is on the one hand related to the act of “surati” (sruti) (concentration, focus) ie: listening to the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and on the other to the function of “smriti”, i.e. consciousness which means comprehension and retention of the teachings in one’s consciousness.
The notion of naam Simran is thus similar to that of “surati-sabda”. At one level this involves the practice of naam japana or repeating the Name, a long established convention whereby merit is acquired by devoutly repeating the sacred word. This helps the devotee to internalize the meaning of the word he may be uttering and in this sense the practice is explicitly enjoined in the Sikh faith Further, the discipline must be practised in a corporate sense with devotees gathering as a fellowship (satsang) to sing hymns of praise (kirtan).