His True Name – Part II

One
One

A few days back I had talked about the importance of reciting the lord’s name even once. Today I want to revisit that with another interesting parable, from Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Ajaamal was a sinner, and having married a prostitute, he fathered a son. He met a saint and asked him what he should name him. The saint suggested the name Naarayan which in Hindi refers to the Lord.

Throughout his life, he uttered Naarayan referring to his son. When the Messenger of Death came to take Ajaamal, he called out to his son. The Messenger of Death, on hearing Ajaamal say “Narayan” at the time of his death, got frightened and did not take Ajaamal. Thus Ajaamal was saved and reached the Lord’s Lotus Feet.

ਅਜਾਮਲ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਪ੍ਰਤਿ ਕੀਨੀ ਕਰਿ ਨਾਰਾਇਣ ਬੋਲਾਰੇ ॥
Ajaamal loved his son Naaraayan, and called out his name.

And then again, later:

ਅਜਾਮਲੁ ਉਧਰਿਆ ਕਹਿ ਏਕ ਬਾਰ ॥
Ajaamal uttered the Lord’s Name once, and was saved.

 
Guru Granth Sahib clarifies that Ajaamal’s recitation of the Lord’s Name, though impure (he called out because of attachment to his son, not because of Love for God) – still saved him:

ਪੁਤ੍ਰ ਹੇਤਿ ਨਾਰਾਇਣੁ ਕਹਿਓ ਜਮਕੰਕਰ ਮਾਰਿ ਬਿਦਾਰੇ ॥੧॥
Ajaamal called out “Narayan” for the sake of his love for son. Yet the Lord’s Name killed and sent the Messenger of Death away.||1||

 
Bhai Gurdas throws light on Ajaamal and his deeds: http://searchgurbani.com/bhai_gurdas_vaaran/vaar/10/pauri/20

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His True Name

Once
Once

Want to share today the importance of uttering the Lord’s Name even once (as a Gurmukh – follower of the ways of the Guru, with body and mind in unison):

ਨਿਰਬਾਣ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਗਾਵਹੁ ਕਰਤੇ ਕਾ ਨਿਮਖ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਜਿਤੁ ਛੂਟੈ ॥੧॥
Cleansing yourself of lust, sing the praise of the Creator; contemplating Him in meditation, even for an instant, one is saved. ||1||

Here, the Guru talks about singing the praise of the Creator – even for a ‘Nimakh‘ (instant). Nimakh is composed of two punjabi words – Nim (falling) and Akh (eye). Hence Nimakh refers to the period of blinking of the eye.

Sukhmani Sahib has the following verse:

ਜਾਪ ਤਾਪ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਭਿ ਧਿਆਨ ॥
Chanting, intense meditation, spiritual wisdom and all meditations;
ਖਟ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਸਿਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਵਖਿਆਨ ॥
the six schools of philosophy and sermons on the scriptures;
ਜੋਗ ਅਭਿਆਸ ਕਰਮ ਧ੍ਰਮ ਕਿਰਿਆ ॥
the practice of Yoga and righteous conduct;
ਸਗਲ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਬਨ ਮਧੇ ਫਿਰਿਆ ॥
the renunciation of everything and wandering around in the wilderness;
ਅਨਿਕ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਰ ਕੀਏ ਬਹੁ ਜਤਨਾ ॥
the performance of all sorts of works;
ਪੁੰਨ ਦਾਨ ਹੋਮੇ ਬਹੁ ਰਤਨਾ ॥
donations to charities and offerings of jewels to fire;
ਸਰੀਰੁ ਕਟਾਇ ਹੋਮੈ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਤੀ ॥
cutting the body apart and making the pieces into ceremonial fire offerings;
ਵਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕਰੈ ਬਹੁ ਭਾਤੀ ॥
keeping fasts and making vows of all sorts –
ਨਹੀ ਤੁਲਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਬੀਚਾਰ ॥
none of these are equal to the contemplation of the Name of the Lord,
ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪੀਐ ਇਕ ਬਾਰ ॥੧॥
O Nanak, if, as Gurmukh, one chants the Naam, even once. ||1||

Guru Gobind Singhji, in Benti Chaupai feels:

ਜੋ ਕਲਿ ਕੌ ਇਕ ਬਾਰ ਧਿਐਹੈ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਕਾਲ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨਹਿ ਐਹੈ ॥
Those who meditate even once on the Supreme Destroyer (God), the death cannot approach them;

Once a person visited Kabir’s home, telling his wife about wanting to meet him. She replied that he was away at the moment and sought the reason for the man’s visit. The man informed her that his entire body was painful, and that he was in great agony. Wife told him to recite ‘Ram’ thrice. He did so, and his pain vanished. He happily thanked his wife and went away.

Kabir was returning, when he saw this man leaving his home, merrily. On being asked by Kabir, the man narrated his story. Kabir went inside his house and gave his wife an angry look. The wife was surprised, she asked him the reason. Kabir told her: “By uttering Ram just once, an entire village can be cured, and you have cured one person by having him recite thrice. This is a sacrilege of the sacred Name.”

This same thought is echoed by Kabir in Sri Guru Granth Sahib:

ਕਬੀਰ ਸਈ ਮੁਖੁ ਧੰਨਿ ਹੈ ਜਾ ਮੁਖਿ ਕਹੀਐ ਰਾਮੁ ॥ ਦੇਹੀ ਕਿਸ ਕੀ ਬਾਪੁਰੀ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਗ੍ਰਾਮੁ ॥੧੧੦॥
Kabeer, blessed is that mouth, which utters the Lord’s Name. What to speak of the body, and the whole village as well. ||110||

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Gurpurab Celebrations

Gurpurab is a celebration or commemoration based on the lives of one of the Sikh spiritual gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom.
The Gurpurab of Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji is coming up, on 5th January. Tomorrow there is a procession in Delhi to mark the occasion. Many other initiatives are on to mark the occasion. Following photos show the decoration that is done daily at our local Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship):

The quote on the first one says “The moment is blessed, which is used to recite the name of the True Lord”. At the center of the flower is “Ik Onkar” which means “God is one”, or rather “Recite the name of the True Lord, One Who is the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer (all in One), and like Whom there is no other.
The second one says “No Deva (gods and goddesses) can equal the Guru. The one who has blessing on his forehead falls in selfless service to the Guru”.

I was at the Gurdwara Sahib on the New Year eve, and the thought that struck me was:

ਸਬਦਿ ਮਰਹੁ ਫਿਰਿ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਸਦ ਹੀ ਤਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਰਣੁ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਮੀਠਾ ਸਬਦੇ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਈ ॥੩॥


Through understanding and absorbing the Shabad, you will forget ‘yourself’ and became ‘dead’. Dying in the Word of the Shabad, you shall live forever, and you shall never die again (because you will not need to be born again). The Ambrosial Nectar of the Lord’s Name is ever-sweet to the mind; but how few are those who obtain the Shabad.

‘Shabad’ refers to the Word of the Guru, the hymns.

Have a Happy New Year 2009.

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