The Sikh scripture (which is every Sikh’s only Guide and Guru), the Siri Guru Granth, has one main tip to convey to humanity.
“Practice the Naam!” the Sri Guru Granth instructs.
That is all there is too it! Simply drop everything else and focus all your attention on the Naam!
Yet what does that mean?
Literally the “Naam” means “God’s Name” or “God’s Identity”.
“God’s Reality” might be another way of understanding the meaning of the Naam.
Practicing the Naam is being constantly aware that Beloved One is really real. God exists and cares, and God is watching, and God is participating in your life. The Beloved is your audience. The Beloved knows your every thought and feeling and intention. You cannot hide anything from God. God knows the truth. In fact God IS the truth- Sat Naam! Everything else is just fibs and lies and false claims and con jobs.
You are also Creator/Creation’s audience, when God blesses you with the ability to see God everywhere, in everything. Attempting to see the Infinite One everywhere in everything is practicing the Naam. The Naam is experiencing each and every situation, day to day, moment to moment, as coming directly from God; in the form of blessings and lessons and challenges.
The Siri Guru Granth instructs us to gear our lives towards pleasing the Supreme so that in our last moments here in these bodies this life (when our life stories flash before our eyes) God and our souls will be happy with the movie we witness.
Now the Naam is also, in a more mundane sense, the act of repeating and invoking God’s Name like a mantra. Sikhs use “waheguru, waheguru….” , Christians call on the Name of Jesus.
Repeating the Naam, invoking God’s Name, calling on the Divine, moment to moment, is a technique and a meditation that we can use that helps us practice constant awareness of the Beloved.
The Sikh scripture and teacher also instructs the faithful to get together with other humble God-consecrated people and sing hymns, and share God’s Praises! The Sikh Guru does not care what religion these sisters and brothers practice, as long as they are eager to taste the Naam with us!
The Sikh Guru explains:
Devotees everywhere worship God in loving adoration. They thirst for the True One, with infinite affection. They beg and implore God; in love and affection. True devotee’s consciousness is at peace.
Chant the Naam and take to God’s Sanctuary. The Naam is the boat to cross over the world-ocean. Practice such a way of life.
(Pause and contemplate these teachings)
O my mind, even death wishes you well when you remember God through the Word of the True Teachings. My intellect receives the treasure, the knowledge of reality and supreme bliss, by repeating the Naam with my mind.
Our fickle consciousness wanders around chasing after wealth; it is intoxicated with worldly love and emotional attachment. Yet devotion to the Naam is permanently implanted within the mind, when it is attuned to the True Universal Teachings, the Shabad (the Word).
By wandering around, doubt is not dispelled. Afflicted by reincarnation, this world is being ruined. But God’s eternal throne is free of this affliction. You are truly wise when you take the Naam as your meditation.
This world is engrossed in attachment and transitory love; it suffers the terrible pains of birth and death. Run to the Sanctuary of the True Teacher; chant the Naam in your heart, and you shall swim across.
Following the True Universal Teachings, the mind becomes stable – the mind accepts, and reflects, in peaceful poise.
That mind is pure which enshrines Truth within – the jewel of spiritual wisdom.
By the Fear of God, and the Love of God; by devotion, we cross over the terrifying world-ocean, focusing our consciousness on the God’s Lotus Feet.
The Naam, the most pure and sacred, is within my heart. My body is Your Sanctuary, God.
The waves of greed and avarice are calmed within me when I treasure the Naam. Please subdue my restless mind, O Pure Immaculate One. Says Nanak, I have entered Your Sanctuary.
SGGS page 505