Cháchrí Chhand Tav Prasád
GubindéMukandé Udáré Apáré (94)
Haríang Karíang Nirnámé Akámé (95)
Many Sikhs think that they are the followers of a God called Vahiguru. In reality our eternal Guru teaches that God has no name and that the many names of God are given by humans who speak different languages and who are of different faith and cultural traditions.
The God of the Jews (Jhvh) is the same as the God called Allah by the Muslims, or by the 99 names of God discussed in Al Qur’an. The names of God mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib, in the Hindu tradition or in any other religion or language are all names for The One.
In the Guru Granth Sahib God is often called Har or Rám but also Aláh and every possible other name you can think of from the South Asian tradition. God, Aláh and Jehovah (or Yahweh) are generic words for God without a specific meaning. In our tradition, in the tradition of the Guru Granth, most of the ‘Names’ used are descriptions of aspects of God.
Vahiguru is the Wonderful Bringer of Light into Darkness, Har the One who makes things bloom, and if we look at verse 94 and 95 of Jáp Sahib (see above) Gubindé is the World Nourisher, Mukandé the Liberator, Udáré the Biggest Giver, Apáré the Limitless One, Haríang the Destroyer, Karíang the Creator, Nirnámé the One without Name, Akámé the One without Lust.
All these are names for God, all are valid and all try to describe God.
Nám as in Nám Simran is what confuses especially many AKJ followers most. As the Jáp Sahib says, God is Nirnámé, without a name, so what is it that we are meditating on ?
As a theological concept Nám is similar to the ancient Greek concept of ‘Word’ (Logos) which is also used in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Bible and by the Dutch Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza who calls it ‘Substance’. What I think it stands for is the essence of God, or possibly all the qualities of God put together.
And that links it to the sort of Nám that you find in the ‘Gurmantr’, the ‘Mulmantr’ or in Jáp Sahib. All these manmade Names trying to describe aspects of God, qualities (guné) of God, put together might just get near the essence of God.
That makes Nám simran the thinking about aspects of God, and through the simran understanding the multi-faceted and indescribable nature of God, understanding that God is the cause of all and present in all.