One of the first things that we learned in 3HO about Sikhi was that the Jap in Japji Sahib, was the only command in the Guru Granth and we Japped (Chanted) everything. But, was chanting what Jap was all about? Jap in this case is not even a command but is the title of Jap Bani and means Meditation. The truth is that Mul Mantar is it's own separate Bani and the first line of Japji is "It was True In The Beginning."
What is the meaning of meditation? Meditation can be defined as engaging in devout religious contemplation or transcendental spiritual introspection. I have come to the realization that the true meaning is contemplation. This becomes more apparent when you realize that Rahao is the only command and appears several thousand times in the Adi Granth.
What is Rahao? The Rahao line of a Shabad is the essence or meaning of the Shabad. What does Rahao mean? Loosely translated it means Pause but it means more than that. It means Pause and Contemplate the previous line. It is said that Sikhi is a meditative path but even more so, it is a Spiritual Path of Contemplation.
"God's name is the real pilgrimage place which consists of contemplation of the Word (Naam), and the cultivation of inner knowledge. " Guru Nanak
But what is the name of God. Contrary to popular belief the name of God is not WaheGuru. The chanting of WaheGuru is a fairly recent phenomenon which rises out of ignorance and misunderstanding of what the Gurus were talking about. There is absolutely no mention of WaheGuru in the Adi Granth except where Bhatt Gayand uses the term in praise Guru Ram Das. The chanting of WaheGuru is nothing more than some magical mystical mumbo jumbo that is being foisted off on the ignorant masses along with outrageous miracle stories that are not to believed.
When I was in 3HO I had many so called Kundalini and Tantric experiences but it only been through contemplation that I have experienced true Ishnaan moments.
Most people believe that Ishnaan is physically taking a dip or taking a bath. But this is not true. How can you take a dip in something that is ethereal, Amrit?
Ishnaan is a mental state where you feel that your Tenth Gate (the True Gurdwara) has been opened and within your brain you are taking a bath in the Ambrosial Nectar:
mnu mqvwr myr sr BwTI AMimRq Dwr cuAwvau ]1]
"Let your mind be intoxicated with the stream of Ambrosial Nectar which trickles down from the furnace of the Tenth Gate.1" Bhagat Kabir page 1123
Your eyes tear:
AMimRqu bolY sdw muiK vYxI ] AMimRqu vyKY prKY sdw nYxI ]
"Those who continually chant the Ambrosial Words of Nectar see and behold this Amrit everywhere with their eyes." Guru Amar Das page 118
And you can taste the Amrit:
siqguir idqw hir nwmu AMimRqu ciKAw ]
"The True Guru has blessed me with the Lord's Name, and I have tasted the Ambrosial Nectar." Guru Arjan page 523
"The state of Contemplation of the Lord in His Praises, is the Highest state of Mind of Sehaj, the Essence of Worship, which takes man to Highest Eternal Wisdom, Highest state of Mind of Sehaj" Guru Arjan
What is the first step in gaining the Highest "Eternal Wisdom, Joy and Eternal Truth?" Before you can begin to Contemplate you must first have meaning. Gurbani should be read and studied in the language that you understand. Phonetically reading Gurbani or reading a transliteration of Gurbani without meaning is an empty ritual and as Kabir would say, empty rituals are like churning water. No matter how long you churn, you will never get butter. And that is exactly what chanting WaheGuru is, water.
diD kY BolY ibrolY nIru ]1] rhwau ]
"Mistaking it for cream, the people are churning water. Pause" Bhagat Kabir