Day 11: What does meditation/simran really mean in Sikhi?

Meditation is not a passive process of closing our eyes and repeating a word for a short period of time. Meditation is an active process that involves total alertness, awareness and mindfulness - SURINDER KAUR SOHAN KAUR


By Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh | SIKHI STUDY | OPINION

In the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) the word Simran is mentioned many times and we are advised by the clergy to do simran or meditate everyday for a few minutes at least in a day.

Is few minutes a day sufficient? Is that all that is required?

In many places in the SGGS it is written that we should remember God twenty four hours a day, with every breath. Is it possible for us to do that?

ਮਨ ਬਚ ਕ੍ਰਮ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਏਕੁ ਧਿਆਏ ॥

Man Bach Karam Prabh Eiek Dhhiaaeeai.

One who meditates on the One GOD through thoughts, words and deeds.

ਸਰਬ ਫਲਾ ਸੋਈ ਜਨੁ ਪਾਏ ॥੬॥

Sarab Falaa Sooee Jan Paaeae.

That humble being receives the fruits of all rewards.

How can we meditate through thoughts, words and deeds not for one or two hours but all the time?

Guruji’s main message in Gurbani is for us to to be AWARE all the time. Guruji does not say to be aware for a short while.

AWARE of what? Aware of what we are DOING at the following three levels:

  • – thinking
  • – speaking
  • – performing actions.

Meditation in Sikhi, therefore, means to be aware of all the activities of the body and the mind twenty four hours of the day on the 3 levels of thinking, speaking and performing actions.

How do we go about being aware all the time?

To be aware our eyes must be open and we must be fully conscious.

Meditation is a 4 step process.

Step 1 is to be a witness to the activities of the BODY. Example: Breathing, walking, moving different parts of the body, talking, eating, drinking, etc.

Step 2 is to be a witness to the thoughts in the mind. Do not evaluate or judge the quality of the thoughts. Just be AWARE of them. Soon a miracle will start happening. As you start witnessing the thoughts, the frequency of thoughts will start decreasing slowly.

The relationship between awareness and frequency of thoughts is as follows:

0% AWARENESS = 100% thoughts. (Mind is fully occupied with thoughts)

50% AWARENESS = 50 % thoughts (Thoughts decrease as awareness increases)

100% AWARENESS = 0 % thoughts (Thoughts disappear with full Awareness)

Therefore, the higher the AWARENESS, the lower the number of thoughts. The mind starts to become peaceful when thoughts decrease.

Step 3 is to witness the feelings. Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred will lose its power with observation over time. Feelings of love, gratitude, compassion on the other hand will start increasing with awareness.

This is the meditation that Guruji wants us to do regularly. This type of meditation cannot be done just for 1 or 2  hours. It has to be a continuous process to be AWARE at all times how we are creating our karma every second of the day through the activities of the body and the mind . This kind of meditation increases awareness and eventually leads to transformation of the mind.

When all the 3 steps are complete, the fourth step will happen on its own. No further effort is required.

Meditation is the way (Step 1, 2 and 3)

The fourth step is Enlightenment. Enlightenment is the reward.

Therefore, meditation is not a passive process of closing our eyes and repeating a word for a short period of time. Meditation is an active process that involves total alertness, awareness and mindfulness. It cannot be done mechanically for a short period of time. Meditation is not separate from our life. Our life becomes a meditation if we are fully aware of what we are doing.

This type of meditation can be done continuously as we go about doing our normal duties. We do not need to find a quiet corner to do this kind of meditation.


Surinder Kaur Sohan Singh is a Malaysia-based Gurbani enthusiast. This is an edited version of her regular articles shared within a circle of fellow Sikhi seekers. The articles appear on Mondays and Thursdays.

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.



Day 10: Power of pure unconditional love (Asia Samachar, 27 Aug 2018)

Day 09 – Creation of Karma: Aapae beej aapae hee khaahu (Asia Samachar, 23 Aug 2018)

Day 08: Guru Nanakji’s spirituality of compassion (Asia Samachar, 20 Aug 2018)


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  1. The best explanation for what naam simran is except for the word meditate which is unnecessary, irrelevant and not need at all. Well done!