Sri Brahmachaitanya Pravachan-Dec.23

Nama is More Comprehensive than Form

If I put to you the question, ‘What is joy?’, you may point to a contented child and say, ‘Look, here it is.’ You may go farther and similarly point to playful kittens, young gamboling calves, flower-laden vines, gleeful men and women, and say, ‘Here we find joy.’ But these answers are all beside my question, which was, ‘Show me joy.’ not ‘examples of joyful things.’ Obviously, the feeling called joy or happiness must be the same, although the expression may be varied. Every man we see is different in every way; looks, nature, culture, and so many other things; and yet we classify all of them under the single category, ‘man’. Although it is difficult to define the word, there is something common in the myriad forms and make-up of the individual specimens which instinctively makes us realize all as belonging to the class ‘man’. Nama is therefore more comprehensive than the mere ‘form’.
Happy things perish in course of time, but the quality called ‘happiness’ continues to survive. Forms may pass away, but ‘nama’ continues. Uncountable men and women have been born and dead, but ‘human-ness’ continues. ‘Nama’ therefore abides for all time, even after the ‘form’ perishes. ‘Nama’ binds the various ‘forms’ together, and is thus more comprehensive; again, a single ‘nama’ applies to various ‘forms’. It is beyond the cognizable, the perceptible, and is thus subtle; it is beyond the scope of birth and death, growth and reduction, and the limitations of time, space, and causation.
Nama is, therefore, eternal; it was there in the past, is in existence today, and will continue for all time. It is, in fact, the symbol of the Ultimate Reality. Myriads of forms are born from that Reality, that is, from nama, and Ultimately merge into it. Nothing is, or can be, closer to that Reality than nama. God, therefore, exists by the side of a person who chants nama. One should chant it so fervently that one gets completely absorbed in it, and even forgets that he is chanting it.
What I say is understood by everybody according to his own capacity, his own grasp, and his readiness to understand; but it is never wasted.

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