VI. Baba Sawan Singh
Naam and Kam are two of the terms used in our literature (vernacular). ‘Naam’ means Word or Sound Current, and ‘Kam’ ordinarily means lust or passion or indulgence in the sensual desires as opposed to self-control; but in its wider sense, it means all outward tendencies of the mind. Naam and Kam are, therefore, opposed to one another. The tendency of Naam is towards the inlet pipe to a reservoir and Kam leads to the outlet pipe. The reservoir may be filled if the inlet pipe is large and the outlet pipe is small. But it cannot remain filled if the outlet is wide open or even leaking. And the sooner the outlet is stopped, the faster the reservoir will be filled.
Now, take Pinda or the physical body as the reservoir. So long as the attention is at the eye focus, it is filling, but when the attention is running below the eye focus, it is leaking. And the lower the attention below the focus, the faster it is leaking. The sensual centre is located very low; therefore, playing of the attention on this centre causes an enormous leakage, and there is a considerable amount of dissipation of energy. Nobody feels happier after the act of dissipation. That act is a happy act if it leaves you happier. Kabir compares Naam and Kam to day and night respectively. Day and night do not go together. If there is day, then there is no night; and if there is night, then there is no day. If attention is given to Naam, there is no Kam, and if it is given to Kam, there is no Naam. […]
The world is the design of Kal and Maya, the negative forces. To keep the soul down, they based the structure of the world on couples, man and woman. If both, man and woman, were to catch the Sound of Naam and rise up, both would be free. Here, one holds down the other. And because we have not seen the other side of the whole picture, we take our present existence and our surroundings as the normal affair. Strictly speaking, we are living an abnormal life. Soul combined with mind and matter is an abnormality. Soul, the queen of royal blood, enjoying the company of servants and sweepers is an abnormality.
The law admits of no exceptions. The longing for Naam means turning your back on Kam. Turning your face to one means turning your back to the other. Saints find human nature weak. They make it strong, step by step. They attach the individual to Naam and, slowly and slowly, as longing for Naam develops, the karmic tendencies diminish. Those who indulge in Kam for the sake of indulgence are doing no good to themselves. To hide their ignorance or weakness, they call this indulgence a physiological necessity and have gone to the extent of advocating the use of contraceptives, etc. All that is due to the weakness of human nature. Those who indulge for the sake of children should try to control themselves when they have the required number of children. Now what fun is there in having big families which they cannot support? The rest of life is spent as a family donkey carrying its load. Again, to indulge after conception, and so long as the child is dependent upon the mother, is something inhuman. Here again, to defend our weakness, we may propound any code; but weakness is weakness, and no amount of defence will convert it into strength.
To rise up is a slow process, but to fall from a height is sudden. Kam is a sudden fall of attention. Saints emphasise the grandeur of Naam and bring it again and again to the attention of those who come in their contact. They advocate looking up, while the world looks down. Whenever Naam will become tasteful, Kam will disappear. There is no other way of controlling Kam. Raising the focus of attention automatically subdues Kam.
Source: ‘Spiritual Gems,’ Beas: 1960, pp. 145–147.