Are the 5 morning Nitnem Banis (prayers) equal to doing Naam Simran?

Nothing can replace Naam and Naam must be japped (repeated) by a Gursikh. Doing as much Gurbani Paath (reading prayers) as possible is good for japping Naam but ultimately the main aim is to japp Naam. Reading and contemplating on the message of Gurbani is the greatest aiding Karma for japping Naam.

ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਬੋਲੇ ਗੁਣ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਸਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥੫॥
“Servant Nanak chants the Glorious Words of the Guru’s Bani; through them, one is absorbed into the Naam, the Name of the Lord. ||4||5||”
(Ang 494)

Guru Raam Daas Sahib Ji instructs his Sikh with what his or her daily routine (Nitnem) should be:

ਮ: ੪ ॥
ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
ਉਦਮੁ ਕਰੇ ਭਲਕੇ ਪਰਭਾਤੀ ਇਸਨਾਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਸਰਿ ਨਾਵੈ ॥
ਉਪਦੇਸਿ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਜਪੁ ਜਾਪੈ ਸਭਿ ਕਿਲਵਿਖ ਪਾਪ ਦੋਖ ਲਹਿ ਜਾਵੈ ॥
ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
ਜੋ ਸਾਸਿ ਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਧਿਆਏ ਮੇਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਵੈ ॥
ਜਿਸ ਨੋ ਦਇਆਲੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਗੁਰੂ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਾਵੈ ॥
ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਧੂੜਿ ਮੰਗੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੀ ਜੋ ਆਪਿ ਜਪੈ ਅਵਰਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥
Fourth Mehla:
One who calls themselves a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Naam, the Lord’s Name. Upon arising early in the morning, one is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar. Following the Instructions of the Guru, one is to chant the Name of the Lord. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased. Then, at the rising of the sun, one is to sing Gurbani (i.e. Nitnem Banis); whether sitting down or standing up, one is to meditate on the Lord’s Name. One who meditates on my Lord, with every breath and every morsel of food – that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru’s Mind. That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate – upon that GurSikh, the Guru’s Teachings are bestowed. Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who themselves chant the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||
(Ang 305-306)

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