Naam: What It Is?

Excerpt from “Naam or Word”, by Kirpal Singh (p.27) Kirpal Singh, Kirpal Singh

All scriptures speak of Naam but have not been able to say adequately enough as to what It is? It is impossible to define and delineate It in so many words. It may conveniently be described as “life-impulse” or “consciousness-principle”. When it begins to vibrate, it produces tuneful sound, which is termed as Naam or Shabd. This Sound-current proceeding from the deep Silence of the Formless Kutasth is responsible for all forms and colours, visible and invisible to the naked eyes. All life hangs on this life-principle. No life can exist without Naam. The Sound-principle is all-pervading, though it may or may not be felt, yet it is reverberating from top to toe. It is the Kernel, and the Essence and at once both the material and efficient Cause of the endless universes in which this physical earth is but a speck.
“O Pipa! This universal vibration is the Primal Causeless Cause,
but can be apprehended only through a Master-soul.”
In all religions, God is spoken of as the Sound-manifest. It is a current, live and conscious and has in It the germs of creation. It is spoken of as “Life-Principle”. It is because of this link between the Creator and the creation, that the spirit or soul of a person can cross over the physical body and traverses the spiritual regions to reach the True Home of our Father – The Sachkhand. From scriptures we learn that Sound-principle or Naam is of two kinds: (1) the outer and (2) the inner. The former comprises, words of mouth or words that may be spoken out or written down and recorded. This constitutes all learning and knowledge at an intellectual level and is termed as Apra-Vidya or knowledge of the world and worldly surroundings. All worldly wisdom is included therein. It is also calle ‘Varn-Atmak’, for with it Atma or Soul can express itself and functions in the world. All book knowledge is because of Varan-Atmak Shabd. Comprehension of world and wordly relations depends on this type of Shabd which helps outwardly, i.e. in the physical plane. It serves as the means of conveying ideas and emotions from man to man, just as many other animals would do. “Outer-Sound” then serves as the first step, in the study of the science of the spirit.
Theory precedes practice and the Master-saint has to make use of it, for explaining this most abstruse subject. Again Japa or Oral repetition of certain words or names of God is to be done by ‘Varn-Atmak Shabd’. The preliminary training of the mind is the first essential on this Path and hence the need for outer sound or Shabd.
Japa is of four kinds:
(1) Baikhri or oral one, performed by tongue.
(2) Madhma or one done mentally at the seat of the Shakti in the Kanth or throat.
(3) Pashianti. This too is a mental sadhan, but done at the seat of the heart.
(4) Para. It is also a mental process but is performed with attention riveted at the seat of the navel.
All these types of japas do give solace of varying degrees and one gets peace of mind of a temporary nature because the various bodily ganglions involved in them are of a lower order, situated below Shiv-Netra or the Third Eye.
Besides these, there is Simran or Japa of the indescribable and hidden Sound-current that proceeds of itself from the depths of the Great Silence. It is technically termed ‘Para-Vidya’ (knowledge of the Beyond) or ‘Dhun-Atmak Shabd.’  In this type of Japa, one has just to listen to the all pervading Naam or Shabd. As this Sound cannot be expressed in any symbolic form, it is expressionless. It may be contacted above the sensory plane, behind the center of the two eye-brows. The true significance of Naam, the Creator of various planes and divisions of the endless universes may be known by one who is an adept in the Surat-Shabd-Yoga or has united his soul with the Sound-principle.
“He who performs Japa with the tongue of thought, knows the true nature of the Sound-current (Word or Naam).” …..Malar M.1
No doubt Dhun-Atmak Shabd is the very essence of one’s soul, but one cannot apprehend it without the help and guidance of a Master-soul or Adept in the line, and without Surat-Shabd Yoga, i.e. establishing a contact of the spirit or soul with the essentially live-principle (through a regular process of inversion or self-analysis). One does not get life’s richest gift; for the spirit is engaged all the time in outer pursuits by constant association with the mind and the senses, reveling in the enjoyment of the world and worldly objects. Emerson, the great American philosopher, speaks of inversion as ‘tapping inside’.
Lord Jesus metaphorically speaks of it: “Knock and it shall be opened unto thee.”