In Sikhism, Naam Japo or Nām Japō (ਨਾਮ ਜਪੋ), Naam Japna, or Naam Simran refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or contemplating the various Names of God (or qualities of God), especially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means “Wonderful Lord” representing the formless being, the creator of all the forms and the being omnipresent in all forms. The singing of hymns generally is also referred to as Nām Jap, sometimes also called ām Simran. The singing of hymns with musical accompaniment is generally referred to as Kirtan. While contemplating God’s names a devotee is able to get nām, the divine connection with God. Nām is able to fulfill all desires and cleanse the mind of its impurities and distress. Through Nām the devotees are able to harness Godly qualities and remove the five thieves.
Nām Japna requires the remembrance of God or the Akal Purkh, the supreme formless power that is timeless and deathless, by repeating and focusing the mind on God’s various names or qualities. Some of the names of Gods can be found in the Mul Mantar, which is repeated throughout the Guru Granth Sahib, and also found in Guru Gobind Singh’s Jaap Sahib, which contains 950 names of God. The guideline in the Rehat Maryada of Guru Gobind Singh demands that the Sikh engage in Naam Simran as part of his or her daily routine.
Nām Japō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, along with Kirat karō and Vaṇḍ chakkō. Critical importance is given to the meditation in the Guru Granth Sahib as the way in which humans can conquer ego, greed, attachment, anger and lust, together commonly called the Five Evils or Five Thieves and to bring peace and tranquility into one’s mind. The Sikhs practice both the quiet individual recitation of Naam in one’s mind, commonly called Naam Simran, and the loud and communal recitation of Naam, called Naam Jaap. However, this is not a strict definition of these phrases.
Guru Ji says in the Guru Granth Sahib:
With my hands I do God’s work; with my tongue I sing God’s Glorious Praises.
With my feet, I walk on the Path of my Lord and Master. ((1))
It is a good time, when I remember Him in meditation.
Meditating on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, I cross over the terrifying world-ocean. ((1)(Pause))
With your eyes, behold the Blessed Vision of the Saints.
Record the Immortal Lord God within your mind. ((2))
Listen to the Kirtan of God’s Praises, at the Feet of the Holy.
Your fears of birth and death shall depart. ((3))
Enshrine the Lotus Feet of your Lord and Master within your heart.
Thus this human life, so difficult to obtain, shall be redeemed. ((4)(51)(120))
— Guru Granth Sahib, page 189
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia