January 31, 2009
Nama is the Incarnation of the Divine
In the present age, nama itself is the manifestation of the Supreme Being. The Lord says in the Bhagavadgeeta,” I reincarnate myself to protect the righteous and destroy the sinful.” This shows that the righteous as well as the sinful both inhabit the earth; and it is when the sinful get the upper hand and persecute the righteous that the Lord appears in an appropriate incarnation, and rids the earth of the sinful. What we see in the present day world, however, is that the right-minded have dwindled in number to a virtual non-entity. How, and for whom, then is the Lord to manifest Himself in concrete form? This does not mean that an avatar cannot, or positively will not, take place, but we should realise what the situation is.
There is a vital difference between the conditions obtaining today, and those of the ancient past, the Purana times. Formerly, righteous desire did exist, though latently; only, it could not shape into concrete action for the disapproval and intolerance of the wicked. Today, on the other hand, righteous desire has become virtually extinct; that is, the very basis of character has been undermined, and therefore the question of action does not arise at all. In the past, the subtle goodwill in the heart of the righteous only needed to be fortified to help it turn into concrete action; God did the needful by assuming a physical form and annihilated the obstructing individuals.
The present problem, however, is how to refine the defiled, polluted, corrupted inclinations of mankind as a whole. This belongs to the field of mind, and is subtle in form. Consequently, the remedy also must be subtle in nature, as advised by the adage “like disease, like medicine,” or, ” set a thief to catch a thief.” Basic inclinations are very strong; the remedy, therefore, must also be very powerful; such is the Lord’s nama. If there is any divine form that can meet the challenge of the present crisis, it is nama. Indeed, every utterance of nama is divine incarnation, and it is our primary and sacred duty to chant it. If we do our part, nama will show its effect.
Adorably sweet is the form and person of Rama, and so, too, every act of His; how sweet, then, must be His nama! The whole of Ramayana is epitomized in that nama.
* * * * *
January 28, 2009
Practise Nama with Complete Self-effacement
Spirituality consists in doing nothing with a sense of doership, not feeling that you have yet something to do. However, a man does not feel happy if he is asked not to do anything whatsoever; in fact, this is considered the direst punishment to a prisoner. We have a habit always to be doing something or other, mentally if not physically. To prevent the body from doing anything is difficult; to keep the mind idle is still more so; while most difficult of all is to keep the mind inactive while the body is doing something.
What the mind really needs is a state of repose; but, for this, one must make a conscious and conscientious effort. Let us see what disturbs peace of mind; first, happenings which go counter to our desire; the second, recurring memories of past deeds and happenings, good, bad and indifferent; and thirdly, worry for the future.
Regarding the first cause, we should remember that everyone in the world wants things to happen as he pleases. Then how can we expect them to do only what we want? Some of them are bound to go counter to our desire. The best remedy against this, therefore, is not to entertain any desire whatsoever. Give up expectation from others. Go about your duty with complete pridelessness. We become upset and unhappy if we do not succeed in an undertaking, in spite of having taken pains for it. But there need be no unhappiness if we forego doership. After having done our best, whatever result follows should be ascribed to Rama’s ( God’s) will. To ascribe everything to Rama thus is equivalent to being in His constant awareness. This attitude can be built up by ceaseless repetition of His nama (name). Whatever has happened, is happening, will happen, is God’s doing, and must be in our ultimate interest; we are not the doer; this thought will become ingrained only by constantly chanting nama. So we should not fret for yesterday, nor worry about tomorrow, but live in the present in remembrance of God. If there is any real rest in worldly life; it is while we are practising God’s nama.
Not to be contented in the existing circumstances is a feature of corporeal consciousness, and we look on everything from that angle. Let us stabilise our mind in God, while we let the body do its worldly duties.
* * * * *
January 26, 2009
Remembering Nama at the Moment of Death
To remember nama at the time of death is a consummation devoutly to be wished; and to achieve it, one must practise nama-smarana. Our real home is with the Supreme Being; the body that the soul inhabits at present is a ‘rented’ house. So one should be happy to leave this body, like a person moving into his own home from rented quarters. We can manage this when we have the conviction that our true home is with the Lord. For this we should be in unbroken remembrance of His nama. We should pray to God: “Lord, call me Thine; I have surrendered myself entirely to Thee; now let me never think of asking for anything.”
We should always consider God as our protector. To remember Him continuously is to believe that whatever takes place at our hands is by His will. Spiritual life means doing our worldly duty without a sense of ownership, but only as an agent of God; knowledge is to have the conviction that God is our all-in-all. When this knowledge is assimilated, then alone can one be called a true seeker. Then he yearns for nothing but God; and it is this intense, pin-pointed liking which is called Bhakti or devotion. The culmination of Bhakti is the crowning achievement, namely, remembering God at the moment of death: and this can be achieved only by remembering nama continuously. It is not to be assumed, however, that remembering God at the last moment of life absolves a man from all desire for sense-pleasures, but such desire is sublimated in his next birth; that is, his desire will be extremely keenly inclined to attainment of God.
The sadhana should go on parallel to breathing: it should be as continuous, and without conscious effort, without egoism, as breathing. We should forsake the restless eagerness with which we pursue family matters.
Scrupulously obey the sadguru. Because we have long association with the physical body over many incarnations, we come to have great attachment for the body; we can similarly cultivate attachment for nama by long, continuous association; thereby, craving for sensuous pleasures will also decline.
Yogic practice calls for great physical discipline, and therefore, to attain perfection in it is well-nigh impossible in the present-day world. The consummation of all kinds of spiritual discipline is in nama.
* * * * *