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Simran is a Sanskrit word derived from smarana, meaning 'realization of that which is of the highest aspect and purpose in one's life,' thus introducing spirituality. Through the years, it has been adapted into many languages.


The Heart Sutra famously states Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva's enlightenment realization that, "Form is empty (Śūnyatā). Emptiness is form (rupa)." The teaching then goes through some of the most fundamental Buddhist tenets such as the Four Noble Truths and explains that in emptiness (maha prajna paramita) none of these labels apply. That is; Buddhist teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality not reality itself, and therefore not the ultimate truth that is beyond description. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahāyāna Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom (prajna paramita), defined in the larger Diamond Sutra to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment. This perfection of wisdom is condensed in the Buddha's paradoxical phrases like "What is called the highest teaching is not the highest teaching." and in the mantra with which the Heart Sutra concludes:

Devanāgarī Romanization Pronunciation Translation
गते गते Gate gate [ɡəteː ɡəteː] Gone, gone
पारगते Pāragate [pɑːɾə ɡəteː] Gone beyond,
पारसंगते Pārasaṃgate [pɑːɾəsəŋ ɡəteː] Gone completely beyond -
बोधि स्वाहा Bodhi svāhā [boːdʱɪ sʋɑːɦɑː] Praise! awakening!

This is Buddhist smarana in essence; that one realizes that all is empty and in time will return to nothing. For instance, all the fame or monetary value one earns in his lifetime will remain in this world when one passes on. This understanding comes about through constant self-realization - the sutras are merely to guide one, as explained by the Dalai Lama (2005: p. 46):

"One of the most important philosophical insights in Buddhism comes from what is known as the theory of emptiness. At its heart is the deep recognition that there is a fundamental disparity between the way we perceive the world, including our own experience in it, and the way things actually are.

We tend to relate to the world and to ourselves as if entities possessed self-enclosed, definable, discrete and enduring reality. For instance we tend to believe in the presence of an essential core to our own being which characterizes our individuality and identity as a discrete ego, independent of the physical and mental elements that constitute our existence. The awareness of emptiness reveals that this is a fundamental error. the basis for attachment, clinging and numerous prejudices.

According to the theory of emptiness the assumption of intrinsic, independent existence is simply untenable. All things and events, whether material, mental or even abstract, are devoid of objective, independent existence. To possess such independent existence would imply that all things and events are somehow complete unto themselves and are therefore entirely self-contained. This would mean that nothing has the capacity to interact with or exert influence on any other phenomenon. The notion of intrinsic existence is incompatible with causation because causation implies contingency and dependence, while anything that inherently existed inherent existence would be immutable and self-enclosed. But we know that there is cause and effect.

In the theory of emptiness, everything is composed of dependent related events (see dependent origination), of continuously interacting phenomena with no fixed, immutable essence, in dynamic and constantly changing relations. Thus, things and events are empty in that they can never possess any immutable essence, intrinsic reality, inherent existence or absolute ‘being’ that affords independence."[1]

Emptiness does not negate the play of appearances, it simply asserts that they are insubstantial and merely labeled by the mind. It is therefore incorrect to think of emptiness as equal to nothingness or nihilism.


Part of a series on
Sikh Beliefs

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History of Sikhism
Sikh practices

1a. Simran
1b. Seva

2. Three Pillars
2a. Naam Japo
2b. Kirat Karni
2c. Wand kay Shako

3. Five Evils
3a. Kam
3b. Krodh
3c. Lobh
3d. Moh
3e. Ahankar

4. Five Virtues
4a. Sat
4b. Santokh
4c. Daya
4d. Nimrata
4e. Pyare

Articles on Sikhism

Simar is a commonly used term as a verb in Gurmukhi, which refers to 'meditating' of the Nām. Sikhism is a contemporary faith of the Bhakti tradition of India, whereby the Realization of God can be most easily had through the process of individual devotion, without recourse to avaracious priests, costly rites or rituals or strict sartorial or dietary preactices ( though all of these have eventually come to corrupt the modern practice of sikhism ).

It says in the Guru Granth Sahib that by practising Simran one is purified and attains salvation or 'mukti'. This is because 'si-mar' means 'to die over' something for which one must kill their ego in order to have union with the ultimate truth or sat.

On page 202 of the Guru Granth Sahib, Guruji writes:
Meditating, meditating in remembrance, I have found peace.
(simar simar sukh paa-i-aa.)

This japna teaches a person who wishes to gain from this human life, one must attain a higher spiritual state by become free of attachment by realizing that all that is, is empty as outlined in the Heart Sutra Thereby, merit is acquired by devoutly repeating, comprehending and living by the sacred word everyday so as to progressively reveal the divine and ultimate truth to the person who earnestly seeks it:

Guru Ram Das says in Sarang ki var (Guru Granth Sahib, 1242):
Nām, the incorruptible is beyond our comprehending.

At the same time, it is our constant companion and preserves all creation. Therefore, truth will disclose itself unto us and lets us perceive it in our hearts. It is through earnestness that we can meet with such a truth.

Famous people with the name Simran

  • Simran Bagga - Indian actress
  • Simran Gill - Eldest heiress to the New Patiala Transport Co. business and estates.

See also


  1. Dalai Lama (2005). The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (Hardcover). Broadway. ISBN 076792066X & ISBN 978-0767920667