Spiritual knowledge is a regular science. Just as two and two make four, similarly everything is clean and obvious here also and there is no scope for any kind of modification or change in that.

Sant Kirpal Singh

Simran – what it means, and its uses

From the book "Jap Ji – The message of Guru Nanak", written by Sant Kirpal Singh


Communion with the Word – the Eternal Music – is possible with a life of Simran, or the constant remembrance of the Lord. It does not mean mere mechanical muttering, which is discarded by the Master. Kabir affirmed:

While the rosary moves in the hand and the tongue wags in the mouth,
the mind is concentrated on external effects. This is no Simran.

Once the rosary quarreled with me, saying:
Why, O man,
dost thou moveth me round and round?
Just turn the bead of thy mind
and I will introduce thee to the all-pervading God.

"Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain”, but take it with some purpose in view. The constant remembrance of the Lord is but another form of love. Whom you love dearly – you think of always. This constant thought of the Lord is what the Master exhorts all to do, for as you think so you become. Simran is the remembrance of the Lord done mentally (with the tongue of thought), with the heart filled with devoted love, concentrating on a particular centre in the body. It is an act of centring the self and occupying the mind with the constant idea of the Lord, casting out all ideas of the objective world. The constant dwelling on our environments, has so taken hold him. Simran procures true knowledge, high meditation and unerring intellect. It causes one to lose all sense of indivi­duality, which fades away into the boundless being, creating a sort of waking trance. This state is utterly beyond words but is a sure reality beyond the ken of death. The hold of the ego is loosened, the spirit currents are withdrawn and one rises into a halo of light. The body appears as something not of oneself. One's life, as compared to higher life, may be likened as a spark to the sun.

Simran washes away the dirt of sins from off the mind.
Gauri M. 5

Simran befits a person for receiving and enjoying the sweet nectar of the Holy Naam. Guru Nanak explains this in detail by giving illustrations in Stanza 20 of the Jap Ji.

Lastly, through Simran one hears the sweet music
of the unending Song of the Universe (the Word) and has experiences ineffable.
Gauri M. 5

Tennyson, in his poem "The Ancient Sage, gives a descrip­tion of what can be achieved by repetition even of one's own name. In a letter he also refers to the grander life achieved by him, by meditating on his own name. He says:

A kind of waking trance I have frequently had quite up from childhood. This has generally come upon me  through repeating my own name two or three times to myself, silently, till all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of consciousness of individuality, the individual itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being, and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the wisest of the wisest, utterly beyond words, where death were an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming but the only true life. I am ashamed of my feeble description.

Memoirs by Hallivor Tennyson

Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, was also accustomed to this practice of concentration. He lost all his consciousness of personality by concentrating upon his own name. The Master, however, enjoins the Simran of the Lord and not of one's own name. Meditation on one's name leads to a dip into one's own consciousness which is small, as compared to the Higher Consciousness of God.

There are several ways of performing Simran:
When it is done (1) with the help of tongue, it is called Baikhri, (2) when done in the gullet by touching the tip of the tongue with the palate, it is known as Madhama, (3) when done in rhythm with the beat of the heart, it is described as Pashhanti and (4) with the flow of one's breath, it is called Para. The last method is practised by Yogins. Masters, however, do not recommend this. The first three methods also do not give complete concentration, as the mind more often than not skips about while repetition is being done mechanically. The Master, therefore, advises mental Simran – done with the tongue of thought – termed Zikre-i-Ruhi.

The practice of Simran begins with the repetition of the Lord's objective names slowly with a mental poise. At first the process is objective, but in course of time it becomes subjective. Then the constant thought of the Lord continues without cessation. The Master refers to this when He says:

O Nanak, a Gurmukh starts the repetition of Naam only once.
Gauri Sukhmani M. 5

Once this starts, the remembrance becomes automatic, continuous and constant and one never forgets the Lord.

O Kabir, there is a great mystery in the repetition of the Lord's name
and one must try to discover the same: For many repeat that name, without any fruit.
But others with wondrous results.

Shalok Kabir

Again, the Master says:
All repeat the name of God,
hut none can fathom the mystery of It.
If through the favour of a Godman it gets ingrained in the mind,
only then one reaps the fruit thereof.

Gauri M. 3

Let us pause, and summarize what has been said before we proceed further. According to the Master, the purpose of human life is to achieve complete oneness with the Lord. Aye, we must reunite with the source from whence we once emanated. But how can we reach this goal?

Complete at-one-ment with the Lord
comes through knowing His Will,
Arid His Will is revealed
through communion with the Holy Naam.
This, in turn, is helped by a life of Simran.

Non-assertion of egoism or humility is the way that helps in knowing His Will through Simran. It has already been mentioned that Simran helps in the withdrawal of spirit currents from the body. After complete withdrawal is achieved, only then the ascent of the soul into higher spiritual planes becomes possible. To understand this and the mystery of self and the universe, requires a brief explanation.