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It is the second and third word that appears in the Sikh sacred scripture called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is part of the Gurbani shabad called Mool Mantra which is repeated daily by all Sikhs. This word succeeds the word "Ek-onkar" which means "There is only One God". The words "Sat" and "nam" mean that "god's existence is the utmost reality" and that "god has a name and thereby does exist".

A Gursikh (or Guru's Sikh) is one who follows the Sikh Guru's teachings only. The Word Satnam has profound and blissful understanding for a Gursikh. A Gursikh would research and find the truth about Satnam by praying to the Guru for guidance as enshrines and illuminates the Guru Granth Sahib.

Sat | Sait | ਸਤਿ

In Sanskrit, Sat means beingness or existence, not to be confused with its doublet Satya which means truth or validity. Satya is the quest of the philosopher who seeks truth. Satya is a mathematical formula, a man-made calculation; it is logical truth but not existential reality. Sat is eternal.

Guru Nanak challenged and rejected Sanskrit which used to be the language of scholars (Brahmins) who considered themselves as superior communicators and custodian of the teachings of Vedanta. The scholars are still relying more to forcing and finding the origin of Guru's Banee (What Guru speaks) to the rejected expressions, terminologies and vocabularies such as used in Sanskrit. Guru explained the meaning of "Ek-onkar" and "Satnam" in the Guru Granth Sahib as many scholars treat this as a scripture without clearly understanding and following what Guru guides.

God is both Sat and Satya, existence as well as truth. Being both He can neither be fully attained through science, which probes truth, nor through arts, which explores existence. Both are incomplete in their search, because they are directed only towards one half of Him. Where both meet, where the mind and heart meet, religion begins. If the mind overpowers the heart, science is born. If the heart overpowers the mind, the realm of art is entered: poetry, music, song, sculpture. Science and Art are dualities, religion is the synthesis.

Giani Jagtar "Jachak", past head granthi in Harmandar Sahib teaches that God is the only, stable origin of creation. He creates, and He constantly touches up His masterpiece creation, like an artist who caringly touches up his work. The universe will eternally follow the plan of His "hukam" all the natural laws of the universe. Creation is the results of God's hukam which never ceases. All things in the universe are constantly being recycled or changing in molecular structure.

Naam | ਨਾਮੁ

Naam literally means, the Name. It indicates Identity. A fuller definition of the word can only be found within the Guru Granth Sahib itself. Naam is God’s Word, or the Divine Essence. Etymologically, the word has a striking resemblance with the Greek neumena or the Bright Essence as opposed to phenomena. Naam is not merely the ‘Name of God’ as is commonly believed; it is the actual Being of God filling all Creation. Naam is also referred to as Shabad in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Where there was no creation, there was nothing in existence – no air, light, water, earth or space. God existed alone in deep meditation and self absorption. When God willed for the manifestations of his values, He created universes, worlds and all material and other living beings by uttering a single Word. His Word is all pervasive and the sole source of all Creation; the Word created the universes and supports and sustains all things within them. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib further enlightens us that God’s Word turned into waves of light, rays of which are present in all creatures and all other parts of His creation. This is consistent with a fundamental principle of physics that sound vibrations, when increased several fold, change into waves of light.

This Essence / Naam / Sabad / Logus is formless, colourless, and featureless but, as said, is present in all creation. There is no plant, no creature, in what it is not. The Earth and other heavenly bodies exist because there is Naam in this universe and when God withdraws this Naam from this Universe, there is natural calamities (Parloh / Mahaparloh) all over the universe and this is the time that the universe perishes and all the living creatures perish. Being so, the Essence can’t be seen or visualised by the mind. We can see only the physical dimension of Reality in God’s Creation – mountains, plants, trees, creatures etc. Thus the Outer Shell of Reality holds us (the appearances delude us) and we cannot penetrate deeper to experience the all pervading Reality. The physical dimensions of Reality (the outer shell) is always in flux; it keeps changing. While birth, death, creation, destruction etc. occur in the physical dimensions of creation, the Essence, being Sat (Sat-Naam) never changes, it transcends space and time.

We cannot focus our mind or attention on God, the Absolute, invisible Essence, but we can vibrate ourselves in resonance with God. The Naam (SHABAD), the Name of God is the only medium available to us for approaching Him. The Naam actually is a combination of five sounds SA-TA-NA-MA which are the root sounds of SAT NAAM. When we recite Naam, our soul starts responding to it.

When a person practices it for a very long time he/she reaches SACHKHAND (the Realm of Truth.) Thus, it is through the Naam that we are able to remember that our Identity (Naam) is the One in Everyone. In other words, the Naam is the state of God awareness. Because we are endowed with the capacity to utter and attentively listen, the continuous recitation of and attentive listening to the Naam focuses our mind on the object of invocation, resulting in a ceaseless merger with God (DHYAAN). This Dhyaan, in turn, results in complete absorption of our consciousness in God, who responds to our earnest invocation and reveals Himself in our inner being.

The revelation of the Essence of Reality within us is the revelation of Naam. When the revelation of Naam occurs within, the devotee sees His the Essence of God pervading throughout His Creation. Gurus have taught that their teachings are for all the religion (varnas) and all have the right to get the teachings of the Gurus. To Initiate our soul so that it starts towards the ultimate goal (SACHKHAND) a person has to repeatedly and continuously recite and remember the Naam, and to cherish it in the heart all the time – this is the essence of prayer and devotion to God.

In Gurbani, the word Gursabad or Shabad is synonymous with Naam. Without ceaseless recitation of Naam God cannot be realised.

References

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