“Ram” — Kabir’s and Namdev’s Primary Simran Word or Mantra Name For the Formless God, by James Bean

“Ram” — Kabir’s and Namdev’s Primary Simran Word or Mantra Name For the Formless God, by James Bean

Over time, in different branches of the Sant tradition of India, various sacred mantra names or simran words are used. The name “Ram” was used by Guru Kabir and other classic or early Sants such as Namdev. “Satya-Ram” is the sacred name used by the followers of Sant Dadu Dayal of Rajasthan. There is a tradition of the Guru Mantra phrase and five Sach Khand or heavenly level names of God used in the Sant Dharam Das path. The Panch Naam or Five Names are sacred words corresponding to various inner regions used by Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras and some of those connected with him. Others associated with Sant Tulsi Sahib and successors use another charged name for God. In the Radhasoami Faith there is Radhasoami Naam — the manifestation of the name Radhasoami — that begins with Soamiji Maharaj and Huzur Maharaj Rai Saligram Bahadur of Agra.

Mystic Verses of Guru Kabir

Verbal Chant: “Let Your Tongue Say ‘Ram'”

“Kabir says,
To receive true life,
devote yourself to Hari [God].
Narayana’s [God’s] name is a pillar;
let your tongue say ‘Ram.”

Manas Jap or Mental Chant: “Repeat Ram’s Name in Your Heart”

“Kabir says,
You cannot call anyone your own;
repeat Ram’s name in your heart
all the time.”

“Kabir says, Those who want to solve the riddle
will know all if they repeat ‘Ram’.”

“Kabir says,
forget not Ram’s name;
let body and wealth go,
if they must.
Dedicate your heart
to His flower-like feet,
and be absorbed in Ram’s name.”

(“Songs of Kabir from the
Adi Granth”, translated by
Nirmal Dass, SUNY Press, NY)

Sing and Repeat the Name of Ram [God] — The Mystic Bhakti Poetry of Sant Namdev

Sant Namdev, 1270-1350 —  some of his verses are included in the Adi Granth (Guru Granth of the Sikhs). There is a collection known as the Shri Namdev Gathas, and, what’s quoted below is from the Padavali of Namdev.

There are four essential books to explore if you’re interested in learning about the Sant Mat of Namdev  — the Teachings of this Saint: “Sant Namdeva  — The Facts of His Religious Ideology”, by O.P. Ralhan, Anmol Publications, New Delhi; 2) “Saint Namdev”, J.R. Puri and V.K. Sethi, a volume in the Mystics of the East Series, published by the Beas Radhasoami Satsang; 3) The Sikh Scriptures online at Sikhs.org or other translations of the Sikh Gurbani; and, 4) “The Hindi Padavali of Namdev  — A Critical Edition of Namdev’s Hindi Songs with Translation and Annotation” (Hindi and English), by Winand Callewaert, from Motilal Barnarsidass Publishers, Delhi, which I’ve used below.

The sacred simran/mantra name “Ram”, used by Namdev as a name for the Formless Supreme Lord of Love, appears often in the mystic verses of not only Namdev, but also Kabir, all throughout the Adi Granth, in the hymns of Ravidas, Dadu, and countless other Sants of India.

It is the power of love (prem) and devotion (bhakti) that brings the wandering mind to focus (pratyahara) and holds one’s attention at the Third Eye center during meditation (dharana during Surat Shabd Yoga). One is permeated by love repeating God’s name or names, beholding the Light within, and during bhajan (listening to the inner Sound), also considered an act of worship in traditional Sant Mat mysticism.

Words of God-Bhakti, Light and Love from Sant Namdev

54

God [Hari] is my companion
in life and death.
Hari, who rescued
the drowning creature.

Hari, the Giver of joy
is always with me.
I am immersed in
the name of Hari
says Namdev.

55

What can you lose
if you sing
Ram [God]?
Sing that name
sleeping or waking.

The glory of that name saved Dhruv
and Prahlad
who meditated on the mantra
Ram.

Sanak and others
cherished the name
the name Ram
which grants freedom.

This is my message
says Namdev
‘What you receive
is what you desire’.

56

Sing the name
Ram
the state of nirvana.
Your tongue lies idle
what better can it do?

Service.
Worship.
Remembrance.
Meditation.
All are false
without God.

Fasts
pilgrimages
serve worldly goals
they are empty without faith.
These regular fasts
are worldly efforts
they are like a ladder
discarded
when the citadel is scaled.

My heart lies at Your feet
You are my refuge
says Namdev.

57

Dwell on Ram
brother
like the caterpillar
meditating
in the cocoon.

The Lord has all
shapes.
He is the master of
everything.
He lives within
all.

A worm or a moth
whatever moves or is still
Ram is with
everyone.



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