December – Jap – It’s You – Go and Achieve
”The Beloved Naam, is chanting/Jap, meditation, penance and self-control. p1062
There is Jap that is futile and a Jap that makes all the difference in our life:
” Tell me, O Siblings of Destiny, the religion for this Dark Age of Kali Yuga. I seek emancipation – how can I be emancipated?
Jap of Har, Har, is the boat, the raft; meditating (Jap) on the Lord/Har, the swimmer swims across. p668
Jap is commonly translated as ‘chant’, ‘repeat’ or ‘meditate’. It can also be broken down to its parts: Ja: to go. Pa: to realise, obtain, achieve.
Jap stands as term on its own. Not directly linked to the terms that come before or after. It is an instruction. To whom?
There is no 12th Guru. It is now for the reader, or listener, to take the initiative and go forward in such a way that will lead to the merger with God (the Divine One) as described in the previously mentioned qualities of the Mul Mantra.
Having been told the path to, and principles of, the Divine One it is time to initiate oneself into the Guru’s path. As each soul is an echo of the One (Ek), so each soul unfolds their consciousness in the same footsteps of the Guru; as defined in the Mul Mantra.
It is the Jap of the previously defined qualities, and then also of the next passages. In other words to recite and embody the Japji and then all of the Shabd Guru.
Jap is often mentioned along with discipline (tappa) self- restraint (sanjam) and Dharma.
These represent a combination of personal efforts towards liberation, which, though important, are never sufficient.
After the Mul Mantra, the first mention of Jap is a humble admission of the failure to keep up with doing Jap.
‘I have not practiced meditation, self-discipline, self-restraint or righteous living.
I have not served the Holy; I have not acknowledged the Lord/Har, my King.
Says Nanak, my actions are contemptible!
(O Lord), I seek Your Sanctuary; please, preserve my honor! p12
This same sentiment, of admission of one’s limits and failings, along with seeking shelter and protection from Divine intervention, is repeated on quite few occasions. p378/856
Furthermore Jap can be just another empty ritual along with so many other practises:
You may chant (Jap) and meditate deeply, practice austerities/penance, self-discipline and self-restraint, and dwell at sacred shrines of pilgrimage, take cleansing baths, perform devotional worship, practice fasting, give donations to charity, and do good deeds, engage in self-mortification. And it maybe a wasted effort.
Without the Naam of the True One, what is the use of it all – if your heart is deceived by, and filled with, the love of duality?
What is the use unless you know the way to worship the Lord God/Bhagvaan with loving devotion?
Wasting away in emotional attachment people have grown weary; stubbornly practicing such rituals, they still have not found (God).
Deep within us is the sickness of excessive egotism; in the love of duality we are ruined.
As you plant, so shall you harvest. Without virtue, this human life passes away in vain.
O humble people, link your mind to the Lord/Har.
Through cleverness, the four-armed One is not obtained.
O Nanak, forsaking the Name, one loses everything, in this world and the next.
O Nanak, through spiritual wisdom, (the Lord), the Life of the world, is met; the True Guru imparts this understanding.
”There is no real chanting/Jap, meditation, penance or self-control,
as long as one does not live to the Word of the Guru’s Shabad.
Accepting the Word of the Guru’s Shabad, one obtains Truth; through Truth, one merges in the True Lord. p1060
Doing Jap in duality may even be worse than no Jap.
Something seems to be missing, and this creates a painful gap in our life.
Yet we were born to remember, celebrate, praise and meditate upon the One.
So abandoning Jap is not the answer. We incarnated to do Jap:
”Abandoning meditation, penance and self-restraint, and the wisdom of good actions, you do not worship and adore (the Lord’s) Name.
You are overflowing with sexual desire, and your intellect is stained with darkness; you are held in the grip of Shakti’s power. p93
”After wandering and wandering for so long, you have come;
in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, you have obtained this human body, so very difficult to obtain.
This opportunity shall not come into your hands again.
So chant (do Jap of) the Naam, and the noose of Death shall be cut away.
You shall not have to come and go in reincarnation over and over again,
if you chant/Jap and meditate on the One and Only (God).
Shower Your Mercy, O God/Prabh, Creator Lord,
and unite poor Nanak with Yourself. p258
”You claim that your body and wealth are your own; you do not chant the Lord/Har’s Name even for an instant. Look and see, that none of your possessions or riches shall go along with you. ||1|| p768
” O mortal, you shall die today or tomorrow; chant/Jap, and meditate/Jap on the Lord/Har within your heart. p1025
So Jap is our spiritual path in this life and it makes all the difference:
‘When chanting/Jap, austere meditation and self-discipline become your protectors, then the lotus blossoms forth, and the honey trickles out. p23
But we need guidance for our Jap; to get it right and to be effective; to be infused with Naam – Spiritual Identity:
”Whom shall I serve? What shall I chant? I will go and ask the Guru. p34
” Through the Guru’s Teachings, the Name is obtained p86
” by surrendering to the True Guru’s Will, and receiving the Guru’s Grace we discover the true Jap. p88
The Guru brings us to sangat where we chant with our tongue and meditate on the Ambrosial Naam. p331
”You have received the Guru’s Teachings – now practice meditation/Jap and penance.
If attachment is not broken, no one is approved. ||5|| p356
” Meditation (Jap), austere self-discipline and self-restraint are all obtained from the Guru; the Naam, comes to abide within the heart. p602
” The Beloved Divine Self (Aap) inspires us to chant (do Jap of) the Naam, and the Divine Self practices meditation. p605
The Guru introduces to us a quality of consciousness that will radically transform the nature of our Jap. Like cloth that has to be treated first in order to take up the dye. p732
The Guru instructs and inspires us to eradicate selfishness and self-conceit, and to make Jap, meditation, self-discipline and truth our foundations, and these shall manifest as an over-flowing treasure.
The peaceful state of Samaadhi is achieved through true Jap
Naam shall come to dwell within our mind and we are adorned and embellished by the True Word of the Shabad; ‘In that state, there is no water, land, earth or sky; only the Creator exists.’ p34/503/509
”The potential energy of fire is within the wood; it is released if you know how to rub it and generate friction. In just the same way, the Name of Raam is the Light within all; the Essence is extracted by following the Guru’s Teachings. ||1||
There are nine doors, but the taste of these nine doors is bland and insipid. The Essence of Ambrosial Nectar trickles down through the Tenth Door.
Please take pity on me – be kind and compassionate, O my Beloved, that I may drink in the Sublime Essence of Har, through the Word of the Guru’s Shabad. ||2|| p1323
Having heard from the Guru we are then challenged to direct these instructions to our self:
” First, one instructs his own mind, and then leads others. Chanting/Jap the Lord/Raam’s Name and meditates on it in one’s heart; with his mouth, he announces it to all. p381
”O my mind, chant/Jap, and meditate on God/Har Naraain. I shall never forget (God) from my mind; twenty-four hours a day, I sing the Glorious Praises. p979
What is the true Jap, what does the Guru instruct, for effective Jap? It is the quality and consciousness of the Jap that counts:
”That which pleases (You) God/Prabh is (the true) chanting and meditation; to be in harmony with His Will is perfect spiritual wisdom (gian). p100
”O Nanak, serve with this intuitive awareness; only that (Jap) which is pleasing to the Lord/Har is approved. p88
”I chant with my tongue and meditate on the Ambrosial Naam.
He has made me his own slave. ||1|| p331
” That alone is chanting/Jap, and that alone is deep meditation, which is pleasing to the True Guru. p509
”Dye this heart of yours in the color of (the Lord’s) Love.
Meditate on the Name of the Lord, Har, Har – chant it with your tongue. p252
” With every breath and morsel of food, meditate, and chant/Jap with your tongue, continually, each and every day; sing the Glorious Praises (of the Lord). p382
” Prays Nanak, practice contemplation, and enshrine love for the True Word of Bani.
Then, you shall find the Gate of Salvation.
This Shabad is the most excellent of all chanting (Jap) and austere meditations. p661
” That is chanting, that is deep meditation and austerity, that is fasting and worship, which inspires love for the Lord/Har. Without the Lord/Har’s Love, every other love is false; in an instant, it is all forgotten. p720
” Chant the Name of the Lord/Har with your tongue, and pain will not afflict you. p804
Twenty-four hours a day, chant/Jap God/Prabh’s Chant/Jap.
O Nanak, the Divine Self shall protect and save you. p901
” Meditation/Jap, austerity and everything come through belief (in God’s Name). All other actions are useless. O Nanak, believe in the One who is worth believing in. By Guru’s Grace, he is realized. ||2|| p954
” Chant/Jap the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, the sweetest essence.
As Gurmukh, see the essence of the Lord/Har deep within.
Day and night, remain imbued with the Lord/Raam’s Love. This is the essence of all chanting, deep meditation and self-discipline. p1030
”Chant/Jap the Chant/Jaap (of the Lord), the Chant/Jap of (all) Chants/Japs.
Be a winner of the game of life and come to abide in your true home.
You shall not see the 8.4 million types of hell; sing (God’s) Glorious Praises and remain saturated with loving devotion p1072
The benefits of Jap:
True Jap is like plowing the field of the body and planting the seed of Naam, which bear the fruit of liberation. p166
”I continually chant/Jap and meditate on the Sermon of the Lord, Har, Har.
Mantras, tantras, all-curing medicines and acts of atonement,
are all in the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, the Support of the soul and the breath of life. p184/5
”glorious greatness is obtained through Jap and one merges into the Guru. p509
” In the Court (of the Lord), no one shall speak harshly to you.
Everyone shall welcome you, saying, “Come, and sit down.”
In that Mansion (of the Lord’s Presence), you shall find a home.
There is no birth or death, or destruction there.
One who has such karma written on his forehead,
O Nanak, has the wealth of the Lord/Har in his home. p252
”O Nanak, one who chants the Naam, and meditates on the Naam with love inwardly and outwardly, receives the Teachings from the Perfect Guru; he joins the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, and does not fall into hell.p257
”Meditating in remembrance on Him, we escape from the Messenger of Death; here and hereafter, we obtain peace.
With every breath and morsel of food, meditate, and chant with your tongue, continually, each and every day; sing the Glorious Praises (of the Lord). ||2||
Through loving devotional worship, the supreme status is obtained, and in the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy, sorrows are dispelled.
I am not worn down, I do not die, and nothing strikes fear in me, since I have the wealth of the Lord’s (Har) Immaculate Name in my purse. ||3||
At the very last moment, God/Prabh becomes the mortal’s Help and Support; here and hereafter, He is the Savior/Protector.
He is my breath of life, my friend, support and wealth; O Nanak, I am forever a sacrifice to Him. ||4||6||45|| p382
”The soul is enlightened, and the intellect is exalted, meditating on (do Jap of) Har, the ocean of excellence. p516
”Prays Nanak, singing Your Glorious Praises, I live, chanting the Chant/Jap of Har – the Lord of the world-forest. p691
” O my mind, chant/Jap the Name of the Lord, Har, Har; meditate on it continually.
You shall obtain the fruits of your heart’s desires, and pain shall never touch you again. p720
” Chant/Jap, and meditate, day and night, on the Lord, Har, Har. Focus your meditation on the Celestial One. The painful sins are burnt away, by keeping God/Prabh in one’s thoughts; evil-mindedness is erased. p781
” One who is afflicted by the terrible fire of thirst and desire,
becomes cool, chanting the Praises of the Lord, Har, Har. ||2||
By millions of efforts, peace is not obtained;
the mind is satisfied only by singing the Glorious Praises of the Lord/Har. ||3|| p804
”Chanting the Naam of Govind (Lord of the Universe), the tongue becomes holy.
The mind and body become immaculate and pure, chanting the Chant of the Guru. p811
”One who chants/Jap the Praises of the Lord is the greatest of the great; the Gurmukh keeps (the Lord) clasped to (his) heart. If one is blessed with high destiny, he meditates/Jap on the Lord/Har, who carries him across the terrifying world-ocean. ||3|| p882
” Continually chanting/Jap the Lord/Har’s Chant/Jap; meditating/Jap on Har, one finds peace. By Guru’s Grace, the sublime essence of the Lord/Har is obtained. Meditating on the Lord, Har, Har, one is carried across. p998
”One who chants/Jap (the Lord’s) Chant/Jap, attains the Wisdom of the True Guru. p1042
” O Nanak, through the Word of the Guru’s Bani, I have found the Lord/Har. Chanting/Jap the Lord/Har’s Chant/Jap, I merge (in God). p1058
Who does true Jap. Those who become aware of (God’s) Grace, the realise the Truth and get inspired to do Jap:
”Those, whom the Divine Self (Aap) inspires to chant/Jap, chant the Naam.
Whoever is inspired to sing, sings the Glorious Praises of the Lord/Har. p270
The True Guru pervades deep in the heart of the Guru’s Sikhs (Disciples). They follow the Guru’s instructions to rise in the early morning hours and meditate/Jap on the Lord’s (Har) Name. p 305-6; and to maintain Naam Jap while working. p317
” By the Lord/Har’s Kind Mercy, O Nanak, one obtains the Lord/Har’s meditation/Jap, and the support of the Naam. p720
”Those who serve humbly with love, meet the Lord/Har, chanting the Chant of Har p787
”That one alone performs worship, austerities and meditation/Jap; That one alone is a giver to various charities; That one alone is approved in this Dark Age of Kali Yuga,
whom the Lord Master blesses with honor. p888
” He alone is a householder, who restrains his passions and begs for meditation/Jap, austerity and self-discipline. p952
” Only those obtain meditation/Jap, austerities, self-discipline, compassion and Dharmic faith, to whom it is given.
He alone meditates on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, whose fire the Lord puts out. p966
” The one in whose mind God/Prabh dwells, has perfect karma, and chants the Chant/Jap of the Guru. One who realizes God/Prabh pervading deep within all, does not wander crying in reincarnation again. p1079
The Jap beyond the Jap:
”I have not practiced chanting (Jap), deep meditation, self-discipline or good actions;
but within my mind, I have worshipped God’s Name. ||3|| p388
” I have no merit, and I know nothing about meditation/Jap or austerities; what should I do now? O Nanak, I am exhausted; I seek the shelter of Your Sanctuary; O God/Prabh, please bless me with the gift of fearlessness. p703
Jap is an offering:
”Is there any Saint, with intuitive peace and poise deep within, unto whom I might offer my meditation/Jap and austerities as payment? p969 Kabir
I offer my small effort of reflection on Jap
To the sleeping and hidden Saint in every heart
May our souls rise above the waters of Maya
As we take a breath of Truth
May we transform into conscious beings
May consciousness spread its light
May the Light enlighten the world
May all beings learn to live lightly
In peace, tolerance, compassion and kindness