How to do Simran
For Simran one has to adopt some convenient posture and then fix his attention on the Divine Ground between the eyebrows.
Simran is entirely a mental process and is to be done mentally with the tongue of thought, while the gazing faculty is to be fixed at the spot behind the two eyebrows as said above.
The Words as given by the Master may slowly be repeated mentally or with the tongue of thought.
It should be done without causing any strain or pressure on the forehead. The practice may be started with a half hour or so as may be convenient, but in course of time it should be developed to two or three hours a day or even longer. Simran of the Divine Names introverts the mind and weans it from worldly thoughts and mundane matters, until it gets stilled and is equipoised.
Some do Simran with closed eyes and others with open eyes. The first in some cases sinks into drowsiness leading to what may be called Yog Nidra, and the second in some cases keeps the mind engaged on environments. One has therefore to guard against both pitfalls. Simran with closed eyes is preferable provided, one retains full consciousness. It must be done regularly every day at a fixed time.
Hafiz, Sufi poet of Persia, says
The only job is to pray, unmindful of whether it is accepted or not.
This means you have to remember the Lord internally without any clutching to receive one thing or the other. We have to leave everything to Lord or Master working overhead. Just as we need food for the body, so do we need food for the soul. We are very careful in giving food to the horse of the body, but starve the rider – the spirit – the life-giving fountainhead that enlivens the body and without which it has no value. We must provide food to spirit more regularly than we do for the body; no matter where we are, whether at home or abroad, and no matter what the circumstances may be, this should be our first and foremost concern.
The Simran of Naam or Word is an Elixir of Life and in fact a panacea – healing – for all ills, physical, mental, accidental or ordained. It is a food for the spirit and when the spirit is strong and healthy it will charge the body with vital currents of Life and Light – Elan vital – dispelling all darkness from head to foot. It is the Bread of Life spoken of by Christ when He declared:
You cannot live on bread alone.
But you can live on the Name of God alone.
Simran and Dhyan – meditation – flood the spirit with the waters of life. Spirit comes to its own, rises in its latent Godhood and, like a tumultuous mountain stream, rushes headlong towards the ocean of life which is its perennial source and merges therein, losing its separate identity.
There are no limitations as to time and place for Simran. It may be done at any time and at any place, sitting or standing, walking, or in bed, but it must be done in a state of conscious wakefulness. Early morning hours – Amrit Vela – is the best time for Simran.
A light and frugal night meal, consisting of milk and fruits, and morning ablutions are aids in the right direction. Purity of thoughts, words and deeds go a long way to make success of the Sadhan – Spiritual Discipline – for ethical life precedes Spiritual Life and is, in fact, the very ground on which the Spiritual Structure has to be raised.
For a householder, it is very necessary to observe strict discipline in life, in matters of diet, drink and speech. Again Simran must be done slowly and the Words are to be repeated or thought out with clarity. The whole process is to be carried out with Love, devotion and single-minded attention to ensure quick results.
When properly done for some time, a state of Divine Intoxication comes upon the spirit and blessed calmness is experienced. All worldly thoughts vanish like thin air and the spirit feels freed from the bodily tenements and is irresistibly drawn upward by the Unseen Power of the Master. When it thus withdraws from the sensual planes, it gets concentrated at its own seat, the Inner Light dawns, and one by one Spiritual Experiences like the starry welkin, the moon and the sun unfold themselves.
One comes across frequent references to these things in all the scriptures both ancient and modern, like the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Holy Koran, the Gurbani, the Gospel, etc.
The Prophets Mohammed and Moses speak of the various Inner Lights. In the Gospel there are repeated references to the thunder and lightning in connection with the Voice of God as It spoke to the prophets.
As the spirit crosses over these initial stages and lands in the subtle plane, the Luminous Form of the Master appears, takes charge of the soul and leads it on the onward Spiritual Journey from plane to plane. With the advent of the Master the work of Simran is completed, and the aspirant’s soul lies wholly in the hands of the Master-Soul.
Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, has given a glowing account of the results which one can have by doing the sweet remembrance of the Word. He impresses on us to remember Him all the time in the words as used by the Saints in the past.
There are so many names of the One Reality and our aim and goal is common. We have to start from the name and contact with the Named. Unless you contact the Named you cannot derive the full benefit of the words repeated by you. For instance you say 'water' in English, 'aqua' in Latin, 'pani' and 'aab' in Urdu and Persian, 'jal' and 'nir' in Hindi, but by repetition of these names alone your thirst cannot be satisfied. It is only by drinking the particular fluid which is called by so many names that your thirst is appeased. By doing Simran of the world and its environments, they have so much taken possession of us that we have become the world and its environments. We have to use the same methods so as to eliminate all the worldly thoughts from within by remembering sweetly of the Lord in so many words devised by the Saints so far.
So there are two uses of Simran:
One use is to withdraw from the body by Simran of the electrified words given by a Competent Master, and the second is to drive out the world and its thoughts from within us by the constant remembrance of the Lord in so many ways as prescribed, the description of which has been given above in detail.