Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan 31

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.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan -Jan.30

January 30, 2009
God and Nama Exist Together

Listen to me; you devout people. Keep company with me, and chant nama at all times. One who always repeats nama is truly ever in my company. Where there is Rama-nama there assuredly do I reside. Bearing this in mind, you may lead a happy, carefree worldly life. He lives virtually in my vision in nama. Constantly to yearn for Rama is truly to live in association with me. Nama is verily my life, so hold it always in your heart. Whosoever desires to be mine should ever keep uttering nama. Who grants me this, to him I dedicate myself. I reside where there is nama, or with whosoever feels pleasure only in nama. I exhort you to remain in meditation of nama to the utmost of your capacity. My home is where nama is; of this you may always be sure.
I have not studied the Vedas, nor do I have knowledge of the Shastras, nor am I acquainted with the Shrutis, the Smritis, and the Upanishads. Such an ignoramus am I; and yet, I enjoy a state of uninterrupted contentment, thanks to my firm faith in devotion and dedication to Rama.
Believe me when I say that I am by you, and take courage. Practise nama-smarana, read the Dasabodha, and see me in them. If you do this, Rama will surely bestow His grace on you. Rama and I are both to be found everywhere, but in a subtle, intangible form, not in a visible form. Never think that I am not by your side. I have never “gone” anywhere, I am everywhere, all-pervading. It is upto you to realise me. I cannot exist without Rama. I am assuredly where there is love of Rama.
Strive earnestly to associate with me; for that, you do not have to go anywhere, I am there right in your home. Look for me in Lord Rama. Live in nama and live in bliss. Maintain contentment, for it is like my very life. Whatever I sought to do, was fulfilled, thanks to the grace of Rama.
We will have accomplished the very purpose of life as a human, if we acquire fondness for nama and get absorbed in the bliss that nama is. This we can achieve if we direct to nama the loving attachment which today we bear for mundane life.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – jan.29

January 29, 2009
Cultivate Firm Faith in Nama

Love for nama is a product of continuous repetition of nama and of a determined effort to diminish love for sense-objects and sensuous pleasures. We should have firm faith that it is only nama that will secure final liberation. We may obtain medicine through a servant, but the cure is attributed to the doctor, not to the servant. Why not go a step further and attribute it to God’s grace?
True surrender to God means a firm faith that He and none else is really ours; that it is He, not we, that is the doer; and that everything He does is for our interest. A man loves his wife and children because he considers them to be his; if, then, we call God our own, will not love for Him be automatically generated? To create personal relationship with God there must be long association with His nama.
Further, when we hold the conviction that God is our dearest friend and benefactor and is doing everything solely in our interest, where is the cause for any anxiety at all? Our interest really lies in a studied effort for the annihilation of the consciousness of the body.
Do not go after occult powers and miracles; they are actually obstacles in the spiritual journey. For instance, someone may acquire immunity from snake poison; but what is there in this to marvel at? If one could see in a serpent and in every other creature an image of oneself, of God, who can be considered an enemy? Just as a child lives fearlessly in the assurance that the mother is about, similarly we, too, should move in the world free of fear, in the trust that God is about us.
At a railway station, our main concern is with the train for the place we want to go to. Pursue the spiritual path similarly. Do not engage in futile discussions like the number of the basic elements that make up the universe. Such discussions are inconclusive, and only give rise to doubts. Nama, on the other hand, will not stabilize in the heart unless the mind is free from all doubt. We do not realise the true greatness of nama until we shed all consciousness of the body. So, if you are keen on your spiritual uplift, never abandon practice of nama.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.28

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.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.27

January 27, 2009
Nama is the Royal Road to God

Nama is the royal road for reaching God, but we do not realise its pre-eminence without His grace. Indeed, nama-smarana(chanting of Divine name) is the supreme sadhana, vital as life itself, while the other sadhanas are of subordinate importance, like the limbs. Nama is most auspicious and sacred. Remember well that our life is in the hands of God, who is Himself in the hands of nama.
Yoga gives contentment only while it is being practised, whereas awareness of nama gives lasting contentment. We cannot adopt the nirguna form of worship unless and until we ourselves become free from gunas. Vision of the celestial light or audition of the eternal sound, are such things not in the sphere of gunas? On the other hand, to see God as the essential element of all creation, is truly to transcend the gunas. Yoga, therefore, should be adopted in so far as it can aid in nama-smarana, but not for its own sake.
Nama includes and transcends Yoga. All sadhanas finally culminate in nama-smarana. Visions of divine colours or light or sound are like intermediate stations which nama-smarana passes by; it takes us straight to God, the destination. Other means may show results early, but these are often transitory; the results of nama-smarana may not be noticeable early, but they will be abiding, because nama effects basic improvement. Indeed, nama­smarana is the means par excellence to reach God. It consists of pure bliss; in the ecstasy of that bliss, a man will lose all individual awareness. Saint Tukaram says that his tongue became uncontrollable; that is; in the ecstasy of nama-smarana, it went on uttering nama ceaselessly, far beyond his expectation, like an unbraked vehicle rolling down a slope.
Four persons suffering from the same disorder had varying financial means. The physician prescribed the same medicine to all, but with different “vehicles”; the poorest with the juice of tulsi leaves, the next richer with honey, the next with saffron, and the richest with musk. Similarly, nama may be sung according to the individual’s capability. It may be uttered plainly, it may be repeated with passive faith, it may be coupled with a control on basic inclinations, or remembered as the sole truth in creation; all will profit from it.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.26

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.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.25

January 25, 2009
Nama-smarana for Constant Awareness

The practice of the divine nama is not for making family and worldly life more congenial and happy but, rather, for reducing our love and attachment for them. Even so, it will not affect that life adversely. One should trust in God and believe that whatever happens is for one’s good.
I met a person once, who said,” I devote all my idle time to nama-smarana”. I said, “Really speaking, time spent in repeating nama is the only time employed usefully; how do you call it ‘idle’ time?” He later said,” All saints say that the effect of our past actions is inescapable, and it has inevitably to be suffered. What good can, then, accrue from remembering the divine nama ?” The query is doubtless a proper one. It is quite true that one must suffer the consequences of past actions; the difficulty is that we become uneasy when bearing unpleasant consequences. If, however, the mind is busy with remembering God, the impact of the situation is softened and becomes less disturbing, more bearable. In our present state, it will make things easier to think that “Everything takes place at His will”, or that “Whatever He does must be for our ultimate good.”
Simple as this sounds, it contains a very important point. This faith will arise if a continuous awareness of Him is maintained. The sadguru’s exhortation is: keep contented in the present, and maintain awareness of the Supreme Being. If such awareness is disturbed when some one causes us pain, the fault is with us, not with him.
One may not know how to get rid of the distractions of the mind, or how to concentrate the mind. It is better to think of what is to be learnt than of what is to be unlearned. So one should rather practise awareness of God, for that will bring in its wake all the desirable virtues just as all parts of the body grow in proportion, or just as watering the root is enough to nourish a tree. Indeed, as Lord Krishna Himself said to Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita, “While you grope and suffer in the darkness of ignorance, remember Me constantly, and you will in due course see light.” We keep on feeding oil to a lamp to keep it burning; similarly, to maintain awareness of God, keep remembering nama.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.24

January 24, 2009
How to Practise Nama-smarana

How should nama be practised? If we pour water on a stone all at once, it will only wet the surface, which will be dry no sooner the water evaporates. But if the water falls on one spot, even drop by drop but continuously, the stone will gradually get worn out and eventually even crack and break. Likewise, practising nama even in a somewhat small quantity, but regularly, at the same time every day, and preferably in the same place, is more effective than much but sporadic practice.
A hand-rotated stone flour mill has two millstones; the lower one is stationary, while the upper one is rotated. However, if both stones go round, the grain cannot be ground, and the effort is wasted. The human body and mind together make such a mill. Of these two millstones, the body, under the influence of destiny, may go about its worldly duties, like the rotating stone; the other, the mind, should be held firmly fixed in the remembrance of God. This, in effect, is what nama-sadhana means. It can be practised by all and sundry, and anybody can succeed in it. However, the poor fail for being preoccupied with poverty; the rich for their avarice and pride of wealth; the learned for pride of their knowledge; and the ignorant because they do not know what to do. No amount of practice of nama-smarana will give contentment if done with a suspicious mind.
A sadhaka will attain his objective if he is possessed of moral conduct, behaviour as laid down in the Shastras, a pure heart, and constant remembrance of the Supreme Being.
We need not be disheartened if evil thoughts throng the mind while pursuing the pathway in spirituality; resort to nama-smarana when they crowd in, and they will automatically be checked. Persist in nama with firm faith. Contentment will spring only where there is attention to duty along with remembrance of the Lord. If you constantly remind yourself that you belong to Him, and live for Him, His presence will become more and more evident, and the ego will proportionately shrink, and the mind will feel disburdened. Let us make it our goal to attain to God, and re-align our life accordingly, that is keep ourselves ever aware of Him.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – Jan.23

January 23, 2009
Cultivation of the Field of Nama-smarana

What are the things necessary to get a good crop in the field of nama-smarana? (1) Righteous conduct; it is like the protective fence. (2) Pure heart; this is like fertile, friable soil. We have to clean it by removing weeds and pebbles that is, purging the heart of malice, hatred, and similar passions. (3) Repeated remembrance of nama. This corresponds to the seed sown in the soil; it should not be rotten, polluted, or infected with any desire or the ego. The best seed is to practise nama for its own sake. (4) Pilgrimage to holy places, blessings of saints, and suchlike; these correspond to water channels for the growing crop. (5) Last, but by far not the least, the grace of God. This corresponds to rain-water, which, however, is not in our control and command. Lack of it may nullify all our care. However, this field of nama-smarana has its own speciality; it has a magnet-like attraction which draws down showers of God’s grace. So it never happens that the crop is lost for want of rain.
Now suppose there are two farmers owning adjacent fields. One of them diligently attends to all the operations outlined above, while the other is negligent and indolent, inattentive to his field. When, in the usual course, the rains do come, the field of the first farmer will produce a rich yield, whereas that of the other will naturally give a poor crop; that is, even if God showers His grace equally on both, the first of the two farmers will have a bumper harvest, while the field of the other may yield next to nothing.
The moral of this parable applies equally well to spiritual life. God showers His grace on all; the benefit will accrue according to the degree to which each man’s heart is purified. It is in this sense that God and the saints are equanimus, impartial. They harbour no discrimination between persons; it is we who must prepare ourselves to utilize their grace. The saints have already told us what we should do; it is upto us to understand and put their advice into practice. The ‘partiality’ which some of us ascribe to them is a result of our own action. If we repeat nama with purity of heart, we are bound to find God’s grace.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan -Jan.22

January 22, 2009
Nama: Means to Fathom Ocean of Worldly Life

Nama is self-existent, and therefore free of all encumbrance and conditioning. It is we ourselves who often impose these on it for happiness, or there may be an egoistical feeling behind it. This often puts hindrance in our progress. So take care to repeat nama(Divine name) purely for its own sake, and with an awareness that it is the sadguru who is getting it done. This will avoid the rise of egoism, and create single-hearted self surrender. Indeed, chanting the nama is the simplest and surest way to achieve self-surrender, so let us resort to it. It is really impossible adequately to express the greatness and the prowess of nama.
Man bobs up and down pitifully, helplessly, in the surge and swell of the ocean of worldly life. Nama is like a boat to cross this ocean of worldliness. One precaution is necessary, namely, that we ensure that water does not enter the boat and make it sink; that is, we should not allow difficulties of worldly life to prevent us from remembering nama, nor should we seek to make use of nama for getting over such difficulties. Then we can reach God.
No one can say when the body may fall, so nama-smarana(chanting of Divine-name) should not be postponed to old age; one cannot be sure of even tomorrow. One takes out a life-insurance just because one is unsure of life. Let us dedicate ourselves, body and all, at the feet of Rama, and become free from all anxiety; let us conduct ourselves in life like a guest at a ceremonial function:detached, unconcerned about its difficulties, successes, and failures.
To reach God, nama is a means which is common to all alike, irrespective of their status. Nama automatically annihilates all defects and drawbacks. We can gauge our progress in spirituality from the degree to which we become certain of the existence or the doership of God.
To be contented with the situation in which Rama chooses to keep you, is a true sign of devotion. The nama given to you by the sadguru can purify the whole world; be sure that Rama will shower His grace on you. The conditions of and around the body are ever-changing. We have to take due care of these conditions, but without forgetting God.

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