Simran – Remembrance or Repetition
The whole world is engaged in thinking of its own work, or in remembering or thinking about something: the shopkeeper about his shop, the farmer about his land or crops, a person in service about his work, a mother about her child, a friend about his companion, and an enemy about his foe.
It is a well-known fact that when we think of something, its mental picture appears before our eyes. This is only natural. Everybody contemplates the forms which he thinks about.
No one is free from repetition or remembrance of some kind. It is through this process that the worldly objects enter into every pore of our body, mind and intellect, and man is virtually dyed in the hue of the world. It is because of this that the soul has to be born again and again. As we think so we become.
If we give up remembrance of the world and instead think of the Lord, we can easily gain the means of Salvation.
What is Simran?
In order to understand it properly, one has to pay attention to its true significance. Simran is a Sanskrit word derived form the root Smar. It has several meanings: To protect, to make a mental picture of one’s deity in the heart, and to contemplate on this form, to remember a certain person or thing to such an extent as to think about it with every breath, to make it a part and parcel of one’s life, and ultimately to awaken into and to live in it.
Muslims call it Zikar, that is, to remember someone. Simran confers all the benefits of the eight aspects of Yoga. Simran is an essential part of Yoga.
There is a reference to it in the Gita:
It is the highest form of spiritual practice. Simran bestows happiness, peace and bliss, and leads us to a state of super-consciousness.
The repetition of any name or names of God is called Simran. Through it an extraordinary current of consciousness enters the body.
It is stated in Scriptures that whoever considers the holy Names as mere words or regards Guru as a mere man and not as God incarnate, goes straight to hell.
Repetition should be done with one-pointed attention, and in due course a stage is reached when Repetition ceases and the Form contemplated upon manifests itself. This is the culmination point of Repetition. Repetition and Contemplation can be done both separately or simultaneously.
Guru Arjan has eulogized the state of Simran thus:
Within our hearts we contemplate the Master, on our tongue is His holy Name, in our eyes resides His Form, in our ears resounds the Divine Melody. We remain completely engrossed in His remembrance. We become merged in the state of ceaselessly dwelling upon Him. Our mind and intellect – their very fabric – are completely coloured with the dye of His constant remembrance. It is such persons who gain honour and glory in the Court of the Lord and thus fulfill the great destiny of human life.
A person should pine for his Master as does the rain bird for a drop of rain. He should repeat His Name with every breath and should think of His Form day and night. In short, he should not forget Him even for a second. The truly great in the world are those who have in their hearts naught else save the recollection of the Lord.