Benefits of Naam

The Gurbani has enumerated numerous benefits of Naam. Naam is the bread of life which strengthens the soul. It is the water of life which refreshes the soul. 

The body derives strength from the soul. The Name is the root of all. It gives motion and speed to the spiritual life, and therefore spiritually, man evolves more rapidly.

  1. Naam is the sovereign remedy for all diseases and leads to lasting happiness.

    Naam is the panacea for all ills; It leads to happiness and salvation.

    Gauri M5, 274-18

    The Name helps us in both the worlds and accompanies us here and hereafter. Nothing else accompanies us.

    The sacred thread is of avail only If there is divine light. A loin cloth and forehead mark are of value only if we cherish the Name. The Name alone remains with us both here and hereafter; we should seek nothing other than the Name.

    Asa M1, 355-4

    Utter the Name of the One alone with your tongue, and you will be blessed with immense bliss. Hereafter also it keeps company with your soul.

    Gauri M5, 211-16

    On the way that you tread alone there the company of the Lord's Name is your peace. 

    Gauri  M5, 264-7

    I seek the Name which goes with me forever; for, without Naam all are in the bondage of Kal. 

    Gauri M1, 152-10 
  2. Guru Nanak has given the benefits of listening to and believing in the Name in the 8th to 11th Stanzas of the Jap Ji Sahib. 

    He says:

    The Adepts, Masters, gods and yogis hear it, the bull supporting the earth and sky hears it. It is heard in the earth, the spheres and the underworlds, on hearing It one becomes immune from death. Oh Nanak, devotees are ever in bloom; on hearing It their sins are destroyed.

    Ishwar, Brahm and Indra hear it, by hearing It the lowly become pure. By hearing It, one knows the means of divine union and the secrets of the body. By hearing It one understands the Shastras and the Smritis and the Vedas. Oh Nanak, the devotees are ever in bloom; by hearing It their sins are destroyed.

    By hearing It you obtain righteousness, contentment and knowledge. By hearing It you bathe at all the sixty-eight sacred spots. By hearing and studying It you get the Name; on hearing It you contemplate with ease. Oh Nanak, the devotees are ever in bloom; by hearing It their sins are destroyed.

    By hearing It one becomes the admirer and recipient of divine virtues, on hearing It one becomes a Sheikh (great man), a Master and a king. On hearing It the blind see the way. On hearing It the unattainable is attained. Oh Nanak, the devotees are ever in bloom; by hearing It their sins are destroyed.

    The benefits of the ever-resounding melody of the Name becoming manifest are many. On hearing it, one can attain the status of Adepts, Masters and demigods. One comes to know the power supporting the entire creation, the earth, the skies, the islands and the underworlds and learns how to go beyond the reach of death.

    The powers of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are acquired by him. Even the lowliest person becomes virtuous. One achieves proficiency in yoga and understands the secrets of the body. He understands the real meaning of the religious books, the Shastras, the Smritis and Vedas. By hearing the melody one gets truth, contentment, true knowledge and the purity of sixty-eight sacred pilgrim-stations by singing the praises of the Name he is honoured in all lands and can concentrate easily. By hearing It he receives all the divine virtues. He becomes a leader, a Master and a true king. His soul finds its way to spiritual regions. The Name serves as a support for the soul. With its aid the soul transcends the realms of mind and Maya, is freed from their influence and reaches its original Home. By hearing It one is ever in bliss. All sins and sufferings vanish.

    What is meant by hearing? Guru Sahib clearly states that by this is meant the hearing of the melody of the Name and nothing else.

    Hearing the Lord's Name, one becomes an Adept andowed with occult powers. Hearing the Name, one is blessed with the nine treasures, and all one's wishes are fulfilled. Hearing the Name one gets contentment and Maya worships at one's feet. Hearing the Name one gains tranquillity and is ever in bliss.

    Sarang Var, 1240-8

    Hearing the Name one is sanctified. One achieves self-control and goes beyond the reach of death. Hearing the Name one is illumined and one's inner darkness is dispelled. Hearing the Name one knows oneself, and gets the treasure of the Name. Hearing the Name sins are washed away and one attains God's Immaculate Truth. Nanak; pure is one's countenance if one hears the Name. It is through Guru's Grace that one contemplates the Name.

    Sarang Var, 1240-15

    Hearing the Name, one is in bloom; through the Name one is comforted. The mind is satisfied with the Name, and one is delivered from all sorrows. Hearing the Name one earns a good name, and is blessed with Glory.

    Sarang Var M4, 1239-19

    On hearing the Name man becomes super-conscious. On knowing God's law, he shapes his life accordingly and merges his will in His Will. The state of such men is described in the Jap Ji Sahib from Stanzas 12 to 15:

    Those who believe are in a state sublime, their virtues one cannot describe. No paper, no pen, no scribe, can tell of their high condition. Such is the Name of the Immaculate One, were one to believe with all one's heart.

    Jap Ji, 12

    Those who believe, their minds awaken to higher consciousness, to inner knowledge of all spheres; for them there is no sorrow, no fear of death. Such is the Name of the Immaculate One, were one to believe with all one's heart.

    Jap Ji, 13

    How clear the path of one who believes, he lives with honour, with honour leaves. Walks he straight to the Lord's abode, and is to Dharma, he duty bound. Such is the Name of the Immaculate One, were one to believe with all one's heart.

    Jap Ji, 14

    To the believer opens the gate of deliverance, and he becomes a source of benediction to his kin. He himself swims across and those that seek His door, wanders in search of alms no more. Such is the Word of the Immaculate One, were one to believe with all one's heart.

    Jap Ji, 15

    The state of such persons is beyond description. Paper, pen and intellect have no power to describe them. By meditating on the Name the latent faculties of a man get awakened. He comes to know the secrets of all regions. He does not suffer from worldly attachments and Maya. He does not have to accompany Yama (the angel of death) in the end.

    In the spiritual regions, no impediments are placed in the way of one who accepts the Name. He goes there without let or hindrance and he is respected there. Since he is connected with the Name he does not have to visit the narrow lanes of Yama (the angel of death). He who accepts the Name reaches the gates of salvation and becomes a benefactor of his family also. He himself swims across the ocean of the world and in the position of a Master he becomes the means of saving his disciples. He is never ensnared by Maya.

    The Name is free from Maya. Wonderful benefits are obtained by believing in It. It is only when one is destined that one can get these benefits and it is indeed a rare one who does so.

    The Gurbani further makes it explicit that acceptance means believing in the Name.

    Believing in the Name one redeems one's whole generation, and all those who keep one company and cherish the Lord in heart. Emancipated are they who hear and also those who utter the Name. Believing in the Name one is rid of sorrows and hungers by being attuned to the Name.

    Nanak, they alone praise the Name, who are united with It by the Master.

    Believing in the Name one is rid of false intellect, and takes to the path of wisdom. Believing in the Name one is rid of ego and one's maladies. Believing in the Name peace comes and the Lord dwells in the mind. Oh Nanak, the Name is a jewel, the devotee of the Lord contemplate on it.

    Sarang Var M4, 1242-2 

    Believing in the Name, one's consciousness expands; through the Name does one become wise. Believing in the Name one utters the Lord's virtues; through the Name does one sleep in peace. Believing in the Name one is rid of doubts, and thereafter one comes not to sorrow. Believing in the Name one praises God, and the sinful mind is cleansed. 

    Sarang Var M4, 1242-9
  3. Through the practice of the Name one who has been asleep for generations awakens and realizes himself.

    By the Master's Grace one is attuned to the Name, and one is awakened from the slumber of ages.

    Gauri M5,  184-16

    Hearing the Name, one realizes one's self and earns the benefits of the Name.

    Sarang Var M4, 1240-16 
  4. By merging with the Name one unites with the Lord and the light merges in the Flame. One lives in the living presence of the Lord. He is blessed and generations of his relations are redeemed.

    The nine treasures of the Name and occult and spiritual powers are his slaves. He attains the sea of equipoise, and meets the eternal God.

    Swayye M4, 1397-12

    He is absorbed in the Name day and night, and light merges with the Flame. Through this inner light, the Lord is known no one can know this except through a Master.

    Sri Rag M3, 35-16

    Those who treasure the Lord's Name, their tasks are fulfilled by the Lord. They are dependant upon no one else, for the Lord is ever by their side.

    Gauri M5, 305-4

    Through the Name one is honoured in His Court, through the Name are whole generations of his redeemed.

     Gauri M5, 863-7
  5. Through the practice of the Name one is illumined. One comes to know of the three worlds and attains the fourth stage.

    Through the Name is the heart illumined, through the Name is all glory. Through the Name is all bliss, accordingly I seek refuge in the Name.

    Asa M3, 426-5

    Imbued with the Name, one knows the mystery of the three worlds. Imbued with the Name, one is ever in bliss.

    Ramkali M1, 941-16

    Whom He in His Grace attunes to His Name; oh Nanak, attains the fourth stage.

    Gauri M5, 284-14
  6. Through the Name one is freed from the snares of Yama and is rid of birth and death. One does not go to hell. One breaks off all worldly fetters and attains salvation, and generations of his relations are redeemed.

    Oh Nanak, blessed are those who dwell upon the Name; the messengers of death do not go near them.

    Bihagara M4, 540-17

    Hearing the Name one is sanctified, one gains self-control and is not touched by Yama.

    Sarang Var M4, 1240-15

    He who contemplates on the Name and the Lord redeems himself and generations of his relations.

    Asa M3, 362-10

    We have become fearless because of the Name; because of it we are free from coming and going.

    Gond M5, 863-18

    Hell is not for him in whose mind the Name dwells.

    Gauri M5, 257-18

    One breaks one's bonds and is emancipated, and is merged in the True One. The Name in this world is hard to attain through the Guru is the Name enshrined in the heart.

    Sorath Var M3, 644-16

Numerous other benefits of the Name are mentioned in the Gurbani. By its practice the method of union with the Lord is obtained and one's life becomes fruitful. The mind is contented. Lust, anger, cravings, attachment and so forth leave. Sins, perversions and egotism are destroyed. One is saved from the poison of Maya and one gets happiness, bliss and peace. Being absorbed in the Name is constant austerity, and one becomes free from the effects of karma. He meets no impediments. He becomes pure and merges in Truth. One who practises the Naam is loved by the Master. He in whose heart Naam dwells is master of millions and the king of all.

The Gurbani also mentions the sufferings of those who remain devoid of the Name. Keeping all these things in view, the Gurbani greatly emphasizes the need for the practice of the Name.

Repeat the Name, oh my seeker friends, and so attain peace, by enshrining the Name in the heart with Guru's Grace. Without Naam one is cursed, and blinded by attachment, and all his actions prove fruitless, and lead to involvement and pain.

Asa M4, 367-15

Meditate on the Naam as long as you have life and strength; this alone will go along with you in the end, and save you when the life is no more.

Sri Rag M4, 82-4

Repeated prayers are made for the gift of the Name.

I beseech You, oh True Guru, the True Being, my Lord. We the humble and the lowly have sought Your refuge, take pity and awaken the Naam in us.

Gauri M4, 492-9

Your seeker seeks your Name, oh Lord, You who are in every heart.

Gauri M5, 209-18

It is necessary to get initiation from a Master who is an Adept in the Practice of Naam so that this life may become fruitful and one may be blessed in the Lord's Court.

They who dwell on the Name, their toil is over. Glorious are their beings, Nanak, they save many more.

Jap Ji, 8-11