I’m sure many of our readers would have noticed that the word HAR appears constantly in Gurbani to denote the Creator.

Let’s take a look at a shabad by Guru Ram Das ji in Rag Gauri Poorbi.

SGGS 170 Rag Gauri Poorbi M : 4

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਜਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਜਪੀਐ ॥

Merey Man Jup Har Har Har Man Japeeai ||

In this verse the rara in Har has a sihari. This means it is an adjective. So Har in this verse means WITHIN THE OMNIPRESENT. 

The word JUP too has a sihari to the PAPPA.  It therefore means TO 

REALIZE.  So the meaning of the verse is:

Realize (JUP) that entity which is omnipresent, which is in everything, which is everywhere (HAR HAR HAR).




Some speakers come to the stage with the (mis)understanding that SIMRAN is CHANTING. And their intention then is to establish this point.  The result is that while they all quote Gurbani verses, they are NOT getting to the messages intended by our Gurus within those verses. They instead end up USING the verses to JUSTIFY Chanting. 

We should study Gurbani verses to get to their INTENDED meaning and CORRECT our (mis)understanding.  Not use verses selectively to solidify our misunderstanding and corroborate our agenda!

Others begin by quoting a verse from the first Ashtpadee in SUKHMANI. The verse is PRABH KEH SIMRAN GYAN DHYAN TUTT BUDH. Their explanation is “By Chanting Waheguru you will get all these things – dhyaan in particular.”

SGGS 262 Rag Gauri Sukhmani M : 5

ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੈ ਸਿਮਰਨਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਤਤੁ ਬੁਧਿ ॥

Prabh Keh Simran Gyan Dhyaan Tutt Budh

Let’s take a look at all the words in this verse:

GYAN means enlightenment. 

DHYAAN means focused or centered.

When DHYAAN is used together with GYAN it means Enlightement that is focused / centered (meaning: not scattered).


TUTT means essence. BUDH means human intellect.  

Taken together, this verse is actually defining SIMRAN in the Sikhi context.  Simran is the attainment of God focused enlightenment as the essence of our intellect. In other words Simran is supposed to elevate our spiritual thought processes, to take our intellect to higher levels.

How is that going to happen?

By focusing on understanding and realizing Gurbani (5,876 shabads) which is enlightenment and by allowing Gurbani to reside within us as the essence of our intellect. 

Chanting will do none of this. No elevation of BUDHI can take place with mere repetition of anything. At the most basic level, elevation requires UNDERSTANDING.  At the highest level it requires BECOMING.  Gurbani Baneyeay.

Such speakers raise more questions than answers.  Such confusion is bound to happen when we approach Gurbani NOT to understand it, but to use it as a means to justify our stands and positions that are derived from OUTSIDE of Gurbani. 

Outside of Gurbani and within the spiritual practices of Yog Mutt, Zen Buddhism and Snatan Mutt – chanting has its place. In the secular world too, it may have its place especially if combined with breathing techniques. 


But to say that Gurbani supports the practice requires a lot more than merely sprinkling verses with the word “simran” or “jup” in them.

Here are some relevant interpretations on simran from our forum members:

  • Simran means remembrance. It’s Punjabi equivalent is CHEYTA and YAAD. ‬‬‬‬‬When we love something or somebody, the remembrance happens subconsciously. When we don’t, then we have to use methods, techniques, focus points and a host of artificial ways and means. 

Because our Guru is the Shabd, remembrance can only take place

in relation to the message of the SHABD. The best remembrance

then is to live the message of the SHABD. Walking the path laid

out by the shabd is actual remembrance. 

  • God’s remembrance lies in shukrana or gratefulness. Being thankful to Him for everything that happens in our day – right from waking up till the day ends. Remembrance or simran must happen Sehej Subhai meaning on its own, without the use of any techniques.
  • True simran is remembrance of God 24/7/365 and does not mean chanting. It happens in our mind always 24/7. You can’t chant for 24/7. You will get tired, bored etc. Let me put it this way in a laymen’s term. It’s just like when you are singing a love song to someone you love in English like “You are always in my mind”. The Indian equivalent of the song is “Pal Pal Dil Key Paas Tum Rehti Ho”.

The only difference is that you replace your human love with God and sing the Love Songs from Gurbani to proof your love for Him and show that God exists in your life. In spirituality God is our Only Husband Lord and we are all his wives.

  • Read the books of Bhagat Pooran Singh Pingalwarrah. He is the ONLY Bhagat after the ones in SGGS ji.   He says, by quoting from SGGS ji:

Simran or Remembering in the real sense means LIVING GURBANI. Living in HUKM, constantly being MINDFUL of the Creator and HIS HUKM, HIS LAWS, HIS GUNNS (attributes). Being Nirvair or Nirbhau, being TRUTHFUL. This is exhilarating and also difficult.

Hence the easy way out is just mumble any own word repeatedly which Gurbani REJECTS! Even millions of tongues cannot be successful in HIS PRAISE: LAKH HOVEY LAKH BEES.

In conclusion, we can look at this verse where Har is used SIX times!

SGGS 170 Rag Poorbi M : 4

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਸੁ ਊਤਮੁ ਲੈ ਲਾਹਾ ਹਰਿ ਮਨਿ ਹਸੀਐ ॥

Merey Man Har Har Har Har Har Jas Ootam Leh Laha Har Man Hasieh

Each HAR has a sihari – meaning WITHIN THE OMNIPRESENT.

So in essence, Guru Ramdas ji is saying: O mind, the highest form (Utam) of spiritual delight (Haseay) and gain (Laha) within the omnipresent is a mind that remains within the omnipresent, within the omnipresent, within the omnipresent, within the omnipresent, within the omnipresent.

The words “within the omnipresent” are repeated to stress the point that what is required is to create a mind set (Har Munn Haseay) that takes delight in being within the omnipresent Creator.

And another where HAR is used NINE times!

SGGS 810 Rag Bilaval M : 5

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰੇ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹੇਤ ॥

Har Har Har Har Har Harey Har Har Har Heth ||

ਊਠਤ ਬੈਠਤ ਸੋਵਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਚੇਤ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥

Ootath Baitath Sovtey Har Har Har Chet ||1|| Rehao ||