Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.21

January 21, 2009
The Fruition of Nama

What consists of fruition of nama? Properly speaking it is not to be looked for in anything other than itself. The very idea that there is anything to be expected by way of fruit or experience of nama should be scotched from the mind. That nama comes to our lips is itself the experience. We should understand that the extent to which nama-smarana takes place is the index of the experience of nama. It may be called total when nama-smarana is continuous, unbroken. It sharpens concentration of the mind, and when we completely lose awareness of the body, we can be said to have realized nirguna.
To recognize your Real Self, first begin by uttering nama; when, in course of time, you chant it continuously, it will automatically spring from within. When ultimately you lose awareness of the body in the utterance of nama, you will experience who you really are and what the Supreme Reality is.
As you develop a passion for nama, you will find that your perception of sorrow will become increasingly dim. When such perception fades, it ceases to matter whether pain or sorrow exists. In the darkness of the night, a walking stick helps you to feel the way and avoid pits in the street; similarly nama helps us notice occasions of temptation, avarice, etc., that we come across in everyday life, and to overcome these passions and tendencies.
Butter melts if kept near fire; so does the ego melt away in the presence of nama. This is a noticeable experience. However, people are generally found unwilling to listen to anything about nama; the few that do so listen, often do not reflect on it; and only a handful practise it.
There is no difficulty that can hamper the chanting of nama; so never advance excuses for not doing it. Excuses have often been invented, which lead to deception and indolence, which must eventually cause ruin. Make it a rule to remember God immediately on waking from sleep. If convenient, you may take a bath before sitting for meditation, but do not make it a precondition to nama-smarana, which is really the important thing; ceaselessly done, it itself imparts the utmost purity. Therefore, what you need is only to place your single-hearted trust in Rama.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.20

January 20, 2009

Where There is Nama There is Rama (God)

Any faith other than that in Rama (God) is sheer incredulity or scepticism. One who places trust in anything except the nama (any divine name of God) will never be able to attain God. Consider yourself defiled even if you merely touch such a disbeliever. Where you come to complete absorption in nama, there surely is Rama. The feeling of happiness in the absence of Rama will certainly lead to eventual unhappiness. Building of or visits to temples and religious halls by one who does not hold Rama in his heart, will not yield him any good. Win the grace of Rama, and end the cycle of birth and death. Rama alone and none else can give you this. Attention to God’s name brings contentment to all. If you dedicate yourself to Rama, whatever takes place will always lead you to contentment. Do not let your mind be engrossed in this vast expanse of worldly life, with its illusion, temptation, and attachment. You need not mortify the flesh to obtain contentment, for contentment will come only from awareness of God and remembrance of His nama.
I beg you to grant me this: hope not for happiness in anything but nama; surrender yourself completely to Rama; this is all I expect you to do. Give up liking for pragmatic thought, public affairs and esteem, and sensuous pleasures, for these will hinder spiritual progress. So these should be put aside, and only God should be adhered to. Decide that the world is a complete illusion, and attach your heart only to Rama. Public esteem has a value only in relation to the body, which is itself impermanent; so we should not be attracted or prompted by it. Let us not give up our main goal, God, for the sake of paltry sensual pleasures. One may be deeply versed in the ancient scriptures, but how can one come by contentment unless the mind achieves equanimity? The gist of all the scriptures is that we should devoutly adore the Supreme Being, Rama.
Contentment will naturally ensue if we concentrate our attention on nama. This we can do if we keep constant awareness of God; we need not then feel depressed or despondent about worldly life. The highest type of good deed is to dedicate yourself to Rama. Think constantly of Him, though you may not be able to change your life physically.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.19

January 19, 2009
Nama and the Influence of Destiny

Many ask about the mutual effect of nama and destiny. This question assumes importance because the common man believes that the pleasure of the body is his pleasure, and its pain is his pain; and expects that chanting the nama will help him circumvent destiny. On the other hand, it has been asserted that destiny can never be circumvented. What is the fact in the matter and what can be done about it?
Here one should bear in mind that the scope of the fruition of past actions is limited to the body. Consequently, to the extent to which the body-consciousness is diminished, one ceases to be affected by the pain or pleasure of the body. Nama reduces body-consciousness. Therefore, a person who lives in nama is happy even while suffering the effects of destiny; in the joyfulness of nama he thinks nothing of them. Nama, indeed, is so potent that it purges all sins of the past, and saves the depraved and the perverted. Nama is the crown of prayer, worship, and service.
The practice of nama takes us close to the ever-blissful Divine Being, and makes us fit for His grace; indeed, one begins to take His nama only when He confers His grace. Nama is the only sadhana which can be practised by anyone, anywhere, anytime, and irrespective of the condition one may be in. Nama is itself free of encumbrance or conditioning, and so it is the most effective sadhana to establish a relationship with the Lord, who is free of all conditioning. To be in unbroken remembrance of nama is true liberation; it is the devotion of the liberated; it is the mark of a saint. Do not disregard this exhortation. I urge you: never forget nama; be contented in the situation in which God chooses to place you, without weariness or disgust for whatever comes to your lot; and once again, never, never forget nama. Nama purifies the sinful and makes them righteous, for reduction of body-consciousness is real merit, and that can be achieved by nama. Leave the body to bear the buffeting of fate, keep mentally aloof from it, and be happy in whatever happens. Contentment will come to you if you accept your lot as God’s will, rather than as the doing of destiny.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.18

January 18, 2009
Chant Nama with Unflinching Faith

To chant nama with implicit faith means doing it because one’s guru or some such highly regarded person has advised it. If chanted with this faith, there are no misgivings. Such faith, however, is a matter of extremely good fortune, and is rarely to be found. Misgivings in regard to nama may be of various types, such as, whether nama-smarana done without concentration is of any use, what (yogic) posture it should be done in, where to settle the sight, whether nama; smarana should be preceded by ablution, and so on. We may comprehensively state all these in a single doubt: does my chanting of the nama at all reach the divinity? Actually, God and His nama being identical with each other, nothing can come between the two. If a person hears his name uttered even from behind, he instantly looks back. If this happens with man, should we not expect it with God, who is omniscient?
As a matter of fact, that a person utters God’s name is only because of His grace; that is, it is He who utters it; how, then, can we doubt whether the nama reaches Him or not? Imagine that two persons sit down to dinner, one eating heartily, while the other, with a mind preoccupied with some thought, eats but absent-mindedly. Which of them will remain hungry at the end of the dinner? Neither, because both of them have had their fill. Likewise, how can the nama, remembered in any way, go to waste?
Suppose you write to an unacquainted person and ask him to see you; he calls on you and says, ‘I am the person you have called’; we believe him. Now the lord has Himself said, “I, the Supreme Lord, am ever present where my name is chanted.” Why do we disbelieve it? Why do we not take His nama and see Him therein? This is faith.
Our father’s name is put following our name as we are born to him. We should do the same in the case of God. We should live in His nama, with the firm belief that he is the doer of everything, our protector and saviour, and there is none else that we can call our own in this world. One who so makes God his all-in-all, is raised by Him even higher than Himself. Chant nama with the unshakable faith that alone will lead you to God.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.17

January 17, 2009
Nama and the Other Sadhanas

The order in which the nine forms of devotion are described in Dasabodha is the natural order. The first of them is shravana or listening. A newborn begins to learn by audition. It speaks what and as it hears. The dumb must of necessity be deaf; they are unable to speak because they are unable to hear. A child speaks its native language because it hears it spoken by its parents and neighbours. So the first kind of devotion is listening to devotional hymns and books and discourses.
The second stage of devotion is Kirtana or speaking, and includes singing of hymns, etc. The third stage is nama-smarana, the action of chanting nama. When this becomes a habit we need undertake no effort for the remaining forms of worship, because their effect is included in it. Imagine that a person wanting to meet another living nine miles away, starts for that place; when he has walked three miles he sees the very person he had set out to meet; it is then unnecessary for him to walk further. Similarly, if one has developed a genuine liking for nama-smarana, one need not attempt the rest of the forms of worship, for they are all duly covered in nama-smarana, and the purpose is served.
Rest assured that the remembrance of God includes everything. It is like the very life, whereas all other sadhnnas such as generous acts, pilgrimages, repeated perusals of religious and devotional books, etc., are like the limbs. Limbs without life are futile. So consider nama-smarana as vital to you; for the rest, you can lead normal worldly life happily. Fail not in doing your duty, but remember the Supreme Soul always; utter the nama of Rama.
A devotee should allow only as much encumbrance or conditioning (upadhi) as is necessary, so it does not encroach on the unbroken awareness of God. Nama-smarana should be limited to what you can do with convenience and pleasure. It should not be overdone, for then it will cease to be pleasurable. The object should be to create love for nama; therefore it should be chanted with fondness, and not as a means to achieve something else; only then it will bring love. To have love for nama is a very high state of spiritual development, and is not easily attained. For this one must chant nama correctly, constantly, with perseverance. The Person who says ‘I do not understand anything except nama‘ has understood everything.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- Jan.16

January 16, 2009
Repeat Nama for its Own Sake

On slippery ground grass cannot grow, and the foot slips. Nama similarly precludes all conditioning, nor does it need any instrument, causation, etc. Health, learning, age, sex, caste, — none of these can be either a necessity or a limitation. Every other sadhana needs either ability, or strength, or money. Nama being free of encumbrance, we should also free ourselves of all encumbrance when doing nama-smarana, in order that love for it be generated in us; that is, it should be done only for its own sake, not for some other end. If chanted with the aim of achieving some desire, it may not fulfil that desire, nor will it contribute to spiritual uplift. To chant nama with an ulterior motive is one of the most sinful things on earth. Therefore, nama-smarana should be practised for its own sake, and without any desire or expectation. Nama-smarana done for its own sake turns our thoughts inward, and that reveals to us the eternal joy which resides in our own heart.
We should be painstakingly watchful about three points. Our conduct should be immaculate, unimpeachable; never give up nama; and always keep in mind that the sadguru is ever taking care of you.
Every person has fondness for something; that should be turned to account by incorporating or associating nama with it. Self-realization will not come soon if we pursue it; but it will come soon and easily if we pay affectionate attention to the Lord. To be doing nama-smarana is positively to march on the way to self-realisation. Shrikhand (sweetened yogurt) contains curdled milk and sugar as its bulk, but has saffron, almonds, etc. in small quantities to enhance its flavour. So it is with nama; practise it every day, regularly, perhaps in small quantity but with utmost sincerity, and without expecting anything in recompense; it will bring about grand results. Nama is as vital a necessity for human life as water for the body.
Nama annihilates the prowess of Kali Yuga, whose main action is to corrupt man with the enticement of sensuous pleasures. Nama strikes at the very root of Kali, and therefore, one devoted to nama is uncorrupted by Kali, and cares not for the ravages of destiny. The Supreme Being has to inhabit his body, and therefore sattva-guna grows in that body to make it fit for Him to dwell in.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.15

January 15, 2009
Sri Rama Mandir, Gondavale.

To be in Nama is to be Really on Senses

In a party of drunkards, all are inebriated. If, however, there is one who is not, the rest say, ‘he is not on his senses’, though actually he is the only one who is really on his senses. Similarly, because we are all absorbed in the enjoyment of sensuous pleasures, we say a person absorbed in nama is not in his right mind. Actually it is he who is on his senses, while we are under an illusion.
The illusion we are labouring under can be removed by three means; namely, good thoughts, good company, and nama-smarana. Thought about the divine is the only good thought. If a man is asked to come minus his limbs and complexion, he will not be able to do it, because they are an inseparable part of him: so, too, nama, the saint, and God are inseparable from one another. Where there is nama, there, too, are the saint and the divinity. Just as the cow follows when you take her calf away, God will follow if you chant the nama. One may ask why the saints have not devised a machine for reaching the divinity; the answer is that they have long ago invented one which is available to any one, can be used safely by any one, and never rusts or breaks down; it is Rama-nama.
The devotee, the divinity, and the nama are identical with one another. Where there is nama there will be found the devotee and the divinity. Therein lies the greatness of nama. Let us keep uttering it with undivided attention. The dirty water in the gutters and ditches joins the river which flows into the sea, and becomes indistinguishably one with it. Similarly, however sinful and cuplable a man may be, if he joins the river of nama he will definitely merge into the ocean Rama. To forget the Creator is an unparalleled sin. Nama maintains awareness of God and thereby washes away all sin.
The word anatha (destitute) postulates the existence of a natha (protector); the one cannot exist without the other. Rama is the protector of all. Let us be in unceasing remembrance of Him. Worldly life is like the life of a person banished to the woods, away from home. One would think light of the trials and tribulations of worldly life if one lives in remembrance of Rama.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan -Jan.14

January 14, 2009
Nothing can Hinder Practice of Nama

What would create love for nama — persistent performance of good deeds, or repeating nama itself with deliberation, as exhorted by the saints, or even with some coercion on our mind? Suppose we want to start a machine which has many interlinked wheels. We shall probably not succeed if we try moving one of the wheels. But supposing we know the controlling switch, the machine will start no sooner we turn that switch on. Similarly, if the main switch, namely, nama-smarana, is operated, the wheels of a series of good actions will start operating smoothly. So one who wants to achieve the purpose should somehow or other begin practising nama. Once you make up your mind to do it, you will find that nothing can obstruct you. We notice in worldly life that if one is determined to do a certain thing one will do it without waiting for its justification. Then why should the resolve to devote yourself to nama not succeed? And since one can, after all, not realise the Supreme Being without nama, why delay or postpone making a start with it? Therefore, the best thing is to set aside all doubts and queries and persistently practise nama, so we shall have no occasion to repent the delay and waste of time.
This world is full of allurements. When we see or even only hear about such things we feel tempted and start efforts to obtain them. So we should pray to God to keep us ignorant of them and avoid the risk of being tempted. We should beg that we see, hear, think, of only what is good for us, and be happy therein.
What did true devotees such as Prahlad and Draupadi ask God for? We should also pray for the same, have the same faith that they maintained. Let us try to inculcate similar non-attachment for worldly pleasures. If we commit some mistakes we should repent and say, “O Lord, I am a great sinner, but I rely on Thee to pardon me and make me fit for Thy grace”. If the repentance is genuine, Rama will not disappoint you, will certainly grant His grace. Employ the mouth to repeat nama, let the body do its worldly duties, and fill the heart with contentment. The mind of the person who repeats nama, gradually loses interest in worldly things.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – Jan.13

January 13, 2009

Nama and Righteous Actions

Nama is the foundation of righteous actions and their crown as well. Only actions performed in remembrance of the Supreme Being may be called righteous actions, not those performed without such remembrance. Imagine a person chanting “Rama” but not in remembrance of the Supreme Being; will this action be a righteous one? In reality, nama is self-existent, and therefore, chanting of nama may be called a righteous action, whether chanted with awareness or without it; for, God has said, “I, Purushottama, am present where nama is chanted.” Hence the utterance of nama and the presence of the Supreme Being may not be separated from one another. He who chants nama, may or may not be in remembrance of the Supreme Being, but the action must surely be called a righteous one. The main difference between the act of chanting nama and other actions is, that while other actions derive perfection or righteousness on being associated with nama, imperfection and nama cannot co-exist; thus it becomes futile to ask whether or not nama is chanted in remembrance of the Supreme Being. Indeed, if one chants nama, righteous deeds must follow. Delivering a child is naturally followed by its mother’s yearning to feed it, to indulge it, and to shower love upon it, without being taught these things; so does it happen to a person who chants nama. Indeed, just as one cannot prevent a mother from loving her child, the person who chants nama cannot avoid doing righteous actions even if he were to so try.
God has spoken to us: “Do you have a desire to belong to me? Then carry out your worldly duties with utmost care, without sparing any efforts, and yet, do believe that it is I who will reward them. Let no situation disturb your mind. The medicine that I will give you, will cure you of all diseases; and that medicine is my nama.” So, do practice chanting nama. Do resolve that your life shall not be without nama. I earnestly feel that no life should be without nama. Only he who chants nama devotedly will understand how such devotedness works. And I solemnly affirm that God looks after him who lovingly chants the nama of the Supreme Being. If only once, do call out “Rama” in such earnestness, that God will want to be with you.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Jan.12

January 12, 2009
Nama and the Supreme Being

It is futile to ask how one could reach Rama merely by chanting His name. On the other hand, one may argue that it is not possible to reach Rama unless one chants His name. Such also is one’s experience in ordinary life. Imagine that one goes to a railway station and describes the place he-wishes to go to, but cannot name the place; can he buy a ticket for the place? On the other hand, if one does not know anything about that place but knows only its name, then one may buy a ticket for that place. This means, it is of no use knowing the place but not remembering its name. Thus, if one does many other things but does not chant nama, then the efforts will not bear fruit; it is, therefore, essential to chant nama. One may rest assured that one will reach the Supreme Being through chanting of nama.
There is a twofold necessity for the name of the Supreme Being; firstly, for understanding the nature of worldly life, and secondly, for reaching the Supreme Being. We cannot understand why a man is worried and restless even if he is wellfed, has a family, and is also provided with a house and such other worldly things, which means, we do not understand where unhappiness originates. To understand that, one needs to chant the name of the Supreme Being. Nama is a necessity until one sincerely yearns to reach the Supreme Being; thereafter, one must chant nama because one has none to depend on but the Supreme Being and finally one attains the Supreme Being, nama continues by itself, through habit. Thus, it is the name of the Supreme Being that endures from the beginning to the end. A spontaneous desire for the knowledge of the Supreme Being will arise in one who chants nama and maintains an awareness of the Supreme Being. Chant nama for its own sake, and you will realize that it contains Rama, the essence. While chanting nama, one should rest assured that what happens is good, and for one’s welfare.
The name of the Supreme Being is the Ultimate Reality, satchidanand in nature. He who forgets himself in chanting the name of the Supreme Being is called jeevanmukta. This is the goal to be reached. All else is like a dream, experienced but non-existent.

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