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MEDITATION ordinarily would mean, solemn contemplation, reflection or dwelling upon , or engaged in deep concentrated thought directed towards the Divine.

PRAYER literally means to utter or express earnest entreaties. In ordinary prayer, certain words are uttered or aspiration felt, as a petition to God. It may also comprise prescribed passages from the Scriptures or other inspired texts as used in churches and temples when worshipping. The normal Sikh Ardas (congregational prayer) falls under this category.

WORSHIP encompasses the highest form of veneration and adoration accorded only to God Almighty. It includes intense love, admiration and respect in deep reverence of the Divine.

SIMRAN in ordinary parlance means to remember or to dwell upon God in all HIS attributes. Literally, it also connotes a willful effort on our part to concentrate our mind and thoughts on God's realm. Its definition is akin to the one given under & Meditation & above.

BHAGTI Of all the above terms I would prefer to use the word &Bhagti when referring to actual prayer and worship, because in the word Bhagti itself, the very technique of true and efficacious meditation, is cleverly and subtly revealed. Bhagti is a Sanskrit word which means with love and devotion assume a stance of self surrender and submission in worship.

Since the word Simran is more popular with most Indians and in its true connotation it also means a way to worship by deep surrender and submission, as shall be proved in the text ahead, it is better and more appropriate to use the phrase, Simran-Bhagti when alluding to meditation and worship.

INTEGRAL WORSHIP. It will be apparent from the above descriptions that there is a good deal of overlapping and similarity in the definition of the 5 terms enumerated. It is very difficult therefore to isolate each of these ways of worship into separate compartments. Actually it is completely unnecessary to attempt to undertake such a dichotomy of diversification.

Parallel to this and in yogic terminology, we have the following seemingly different forms of approach to the Divine, such as Dhyana Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Ngyana (Giana) Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Kaja Yoga, Prema Yoga and so on. When we try to define these yogas we invariably come across a large measure of overlapping functions, when several similarities between them emerge. The seeming differences if any, only become apparent to a neophyte, i.e. one who is a beginner, and who is still probing in the dark!

Once the real and wholistic system of worship for effective union with God is discovered, then these superficial and man-made differences in the various connotations of Yoga listed above pale into insignificance. We then narrow down to a simple and straight forward system, which may be termed the Integral Yoga.

It is sad and unfortunate that many of the acknowledged and seemingly illustrious yogic experts of old and many currently amidst us, continue to add to this confusion, by perpetuating and probagating the importance and need to follow these man-made apparently differing systems and paths, to achieve ultimate yoga, i.e. the union with God. I consider these ostensibly differing yogas listed above as man-devised, because there is no mention of these in any of the Hindu or for that matter in other world's Scriptures, in the manner the scriptures are being told now for several centuries.


May I emphasize that for any system or technique of worship and meditation to be true, efficacious and authentic, it must have due mention and reference in the Scriptures of the world. By such Scriptures, I mean the Holy Books of all the great religions of the entire world. I say this with due conviction, because happily it is possible to find the required system of worship/meditation for man, which indeed is really simple and most effective, and a common denominator underlying all the religious Scriptures, provided we dig deep enough into the metaphorical, allegorical and oft times enigmatic utterances of the world's prophets and avatars of old. In a moment we shall consider a representation of such Divine utterances to prove the truth of the above analysis.


Let us take the Sikh Scriptures which contain the most prolific references and injunctions on the mode of worship, enjoined on man.

Quotations from the primary Gospel of the Sikhs:


(i) Page 268

Asthir bhagti saad ki saran, Nanak jap jap jeevai hari ke charan".

Ther highest and most efficacious form of Bhagti (meditation) is by surrendering and emptying oneself to God. Nanak liveth by worshipping submissively in a state of voidness and surrender.

"Saad" here does not mean a sadhu or saint but God himself, and since God the formless all pervading entity, cannot have any feet,"hari ke charan",does not refer to God's feet but allegorically alludes to surrender in complete submission.

(ii) S.G.G.S. Page 289

"Perae saran aan sabh tiaag, antar pergaas andhen lev laag Budbhaagi jupehaa prabh so Nanak naam retteh sukh hoeh".

- Having adopted a stance of total surrender to God in complete submission, they get illumined and ecstatically aroused from within, resulting in an incessant attunement to God. They who are enabled to carry out their worship (meditation) in this fashion, are blessed with great good fortune. O'Nanak, while being imbued by the Holy Life Force (Naam), they attain sublime solace.

The above two are amongst thousands of similar statements from the voluminous Sikh Scriptures, which directly although somewhat metaphorically in the language of the times, recommend the true way of worship and meditation, through a process of effortless spontaneous surrender, without a need to fix one's attention on anything, not even on God itself! The absolute need for adopting the technique of total and utter self effacement and submission is given so much importance, that the Gurmat (Sikh) way of meditation and union with the Divine, has been succinctly labeled as Saran Yoga, i.e.Yoga of Surrender Relevant reference to this is embodied in the following passages from the S.G.G.S.:

(iii) Page 295

"Saran jog sun sarnee aaeh. Kar Kirpah prabh aap melaach"

Having heard of the YOGA OF SURRENDER, they totally surrendered their being, and thus with the Grace of God, they were spontaneously united with him.

(iv) Page 284

"Mensaa pooran saran johg. Joc kar paaeaah soee hoeg"

the YOGA OF SURRENDER provides the fullest satisfaction. Whatever is placed into our hands (as a gift), so let it happen.

These rather cryptic words in quotation at (iv) above require some elucidation. Material gifts which we normally receive are inert and do not have life as such. But since there is a happening and an experience involved when receiving the type of gift received above, it must be vibratory and alive. Gurbani (the Sikh Scriptures ) abounds with references to (Naam Dhaan), the gift of Naam, (Bhagti Dhaan) Gift of Bhagti (meditation). What is received as a gift is the arousal of ecstasy, This arousal (the happening) is awakening of the Naam power normally lying dormant within our being. This reaction and spiritual experience constitutes actual meditation, and when this starts to occur spontaneously on its own accord, we are enjoined not to block it but rather let it happen, i.e., let it flow its course. With this explanation, the true purpose of the cryptic quotation appearing at (iv) above should be interestingly clear.

God Bless!!.


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