Chapter III

Soul and Naam – the Word

God is Wordless, Nameless, and beyond description. When He came into being, It was called Naam, the Word, the Light-Sound Principle. One who communes with Naam is able to establish a contact with God.

Hafiz Sahib, a Great Persian Mystic Poet, says:

No one knows the abode of the Beloved, but it is certain that sound of bells comes from there.

If you follow the strain of sound, you will reach its source. Thus, the Word – Light and Sound – is the safest means to the end – the Way back to God.

To get in contact with the Divine Light, one has to rise above body consciousness by self-analysis. Only then a contact with the Divine Sound is possible. By contacting Naam one gets peace and Eternal Bliss.

Blessed are they who are linked with the Word, oh Nanak! Whosoever listens to the Eternal Music attains salvation.


People generally get lost in various Names of God. The whole world talks of Naam, but there are only a few who know the Real Significance of Naam. It is a practical subject. Unless we realise ourselves by rising above body consciousness, soul cannot establish a contact with the Oversoul. We have, therefore, to link our soul with Naam:

Those Who have communed with the Word, Their toils shall end; not only shall They have salvation, oh Nanak, but many more shall find freedom with Them.

Jap Ji / Finale

Again we have in Gurbani:

A Gurumukh (beloved of the Master) can liberate millions of souls by imparting just a particle of His Life-Impulse.


Emerson says:

The keynote to success is one’s own thoughts.

To make a mark in any walk of life, you have to concentrate your attention on that particular aspect. Similarly, if you concentrate your attention on Overself, you will become spiritually great.

Buleh Shah, a Muslim Saint, inquired from His Spiritual Guide as to how one could find God?

The guide replied:

It is as easy as withdrawing the attention from here (world) and connecting it there (the Word).

Our Very Self is our attention. We are soul and not the body, but we are engrossed in our bodies.

Swami Ji tells us:

Let anyone of us connect his attention with the Word. This body and wealth will not be of any help when confronted with the Negative Power.

The human body is the soul’s first companion. It comes first with the soul when the child is born. But even this companion leaves us at the time of death, not to mention other worldly associations acquired by us. Our own being, having constant attachment with the physical world, has fallen to the latter’s level. As a result, we have to come to this mortal world again and again.

Gurbani says:

Soul goes where there is attachment.

If we are able to analyse the self in our lifetime and learn to rise above body consciousness by getting a higher contact with Naam, we experience such a bliss as to forget all worldly pleasures and attachments:

Worldly pleasures are nowhere before the Divide Bliss.


That is why Saints have taught:

Oh friend, give up the insipid sensual pleasures, And drink the sweet elixir of Naam.


When one gets a taste of the Real Bliss, the pleasures become insipid. The Real Bliss is either within our Inner Being or in Naam – God-into-action-Power – since soul is its essence.

Soul is a spark of the Divine Essence. It is bliss in itself, and it is a conscious entity. It is the soul which is the source of all bliss and not the body and worldly things. Saints have warned us that worldly objects, in which our attention is engrossed, are not going to be of real help to us. Not only that all these worldly objects will stay back at the time of death, but their constant attachment will bring the soul back again and again to this world.

What does it profit a man to gain the possession of the whole world and to lose one’s own soul.

The soul resides in this house – body. It has to go out of this mortal frame leaving everything behind. When the time comes to vacate this body, one is greatly distressed because of man’s attachment with the body. Repenting then is of no avail. If during one’s lifetime the soul establishes a contact with the beyond, it attains perfect peace. But, we never think of the world beyond.

We generally follow the maxim: Eat, drink, and be merry. If someone reminds us of death, we just ignore it by saying that we will face it when it comes. This is not a wise approach. If a pigeon closes its eyes at the sight of a cat, the cat is not going to spare it. Everyone has to leave the body. There is no exception to the rule.

Emperors or kings, rich or poor, all have but to go in their turn.


We all have to go, but we do not know when. We should be prepared for the change. Are we?

Everyone is scared of death and wishes to live till Eternity; with Guru’s Grace, if one learns to die while alive, one can become a Conscious Co-Worker of the Lord. Whosoever so dies, gets salvation.


If you learn to die by rising above body consciousness, you will attain Life Everlasting.

All Saints tell us that God has bestowed us with three forms:

  • physical,
  • astral and
  • supra-mental or causal.

We are already active at the physical plane, Pind, through the senses. After leaving the physical body, the soul acquires the astral form. With the astral senses it can traverse the astral plane – And. Similarly, after attaining supra-mental form the soul can enter into the causal plane – Brahmand. It is beyond these three planes that the soul gets self-knowledge. It is only at that stage that you will be able to know who you really are.

Swami Ji says:

This is the most opportune time to attain peaceful bliss by avoiding the fire of ceaseless desires.

The world is being consumed by invisible flames of fire.

Guru Nanak has prayed:

This is the fire of desires that has spread all over.

Although we are its victims, we are unable to perceive it. Only Saints know the real magnitude of this fire. Yet only human life is capable of getting away from this blazing furnace. That is why human life is considered to be the crown of creation. But without sincere effort in the right direction, there can be no salvation. For instance, if we have to avoid scorching heat, we have to find shelter in an air-conditioned room. In our context, the air-conditioned room is within us. We shall have to withdraw from outside and enter into it to find blissful solace from all the miseries of the world. This is high time that we introvert ourselves. If we miss this God-given opportunity, we are no better than beasts. The human body has a worth so long as the soul dwells in it. We should make the most of it while it lasts.

Man is enveloped by flames of passionate desires, anger, greed, attachment, and vanity. One can escape himself from delusion only by contacting the Word within. The most important task before us, therefore, is to withdraw our attention from outside and get attuned with the Divine Melody within. Then comes Eternal Peace in the form of the Word.

Whosoever has accomplished this essential task is really successful in life. Otherwise, any amount of learning, name and fame have no real meaning. It is high time that we learn to rise above body consciousness and know the Real Self in us.

Contemplate the form of Satguru, and serve Him true, and He shall lead thee away from all harm.

Swami Ji

Swami Ji now tells us how to link the soul with the Naam-Power. He says that three steps should be taken to rise above body consciousness.

First is Simran (contemplation), continuous remembrance of the Almighty. Second, service to the Master. Third, control of all desires.

We are always busy in contemplating worldly affairs. If we have to establish a contact with the Word of God, we must first constantly remember Him by any Name of our choice. This should be our first and foremost ideal by inculcating the habit of His contemplation every moment of our life. We have to replace worldly thoughts by contemplating the Word.

Contemplate on Him alone ceaselessly; so much so that you begin to feel the pangs of His separation. Thus, the first step is His remembrance. Remembrance leads to Love which, in turn, results in pangs of separation. This creates a strong urge for the Beloved.

Only One to remember and to sigh for; sing ceaselessly His praise alone. Meditate on Him with all the Love in thee.


Simran should be undertaken with intense Love for God. Love brings concentration. One forgets the whole world while contemplating one’s beloved.

Another purpose of Simran is to identify the soul with its Real Form. Yet another aim of Simran is to enable the self to know itself. As it is, the soul is completely identified with the physical body. It has to be withdrawn from the body and concentrated at its seat in the centre of the eyebrows.

In the Gita, Lord Krishna says,

[…] that Great Ones traverse into the cave starting from a place above the nose.

There are various methods of doing Simran:

  • with the help of a rosary or
  • with tongue,
  • or in throat
  • and heart.

However, Saints do not advise these methods as these are apt to become mechanical and allow the mind to wander away. Thus, concentration of attention through those methods may not be possible.

Saints have, therefore, advised the practice of Simran with the tongue of thought. All Saints, including Maulana Rumi, Guru Arjan, and Swami Ji, have indicated this Spiritual Path.

Guru Arjan prayed:

Oh Saints, take pity on us; we have yet to learn to serve our souls.

We are working on the mental and sensual planes. Until we learn to rise above body consciousness, our plight remains unchanged.

Yogis tried to control breathing through kumbhak to achieve concentration of attention. It is a difficult process and everyone cannot practise it. Saints, therefore, do not interfere with the breathing function. They concentrate Their attention at the seat of the soul, behind and in the centre of the two eyes, by means of Simran with the tongue of thought. If it is done with rapt attention, the soul will cease to flow out through the body pores. The body will then become senseless. It is only then after that the concentrated soul gets the contact of God.

However, Simran with the tongue of thought is not as easy as it appears to be.

It can be accomplished successfully only through the blessings of a Competent Master. Now, there is a difference between practising Simran by repeating the Names given by a Competent Master and the name or names taken out of scripture of one’s religious belief.

The Names given by a Competent Living Master at the time of initiation are charged with His thought transference and have tremendous force in them. This type of Simran, therefore, is above all other forms of Simran.