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Asian Traditions of Meditation$
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Halvor Eifring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855680

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855680.001.0001

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Nām Simran in the Sikh Religion

Nām Simran in the Sikh Religion

(p.103) 6 Nām Simran in the Sikh Religion
Asian Traditions of Meditation

Kristina Myrvold

University of Hawai'i Press

This essay explores the many varieties of the meditative practice of nām simran, or “remembering the divine name,” as it is practiced in contemporary Sikh traditions. This practice includes silent repetition and loud chanting and can be conducted both as an individual contemplation or a communal worship. The devotional emphasis precludes the regulation of strict techniques, but technical elements, such as cross-legged posture, regulated breathing and the adjustment of recitation to the heartbeat, are common. The sacred words used are valued not only for their semantic properties, but also for what they are capable of doing. Although the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib describe the ultimate goal as liberation from rebirth, nām simran is in practice widely seen as a means to procure a variety of protective and moral rewards and to sustain and develop devotion, in line with the focus on selfless devoutness.

Keywords:   Sikhism, Sikhs, Punjabi, bhakti, Guru Granth, guru, khalsa, Varanasi

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