Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb. 11

February 11, 2009
Nama, the Sole Antidote to Maya

There are many who keenly desire to devote themselves to Rama and nama, but do not actually practise it; why is this so? This is due to the obstruction of maya. How can we outwit maya and reach God? She is like His shadow; and to expect Him to come without His shadow is as good as asking Him not to come.
Maya is thus an unavoidable accompaniment to God. The only way to outwit maya is by repeating nama constantly. A shadow cannot exist without the substance; similarly maya has no independent existence. Nor, like the shadow, has she power of any kind by herself; she can only move as God does. Again, a person may not be visible but only his shadow; so, too, we can realize the existence of maya, though God himself may not be tangible. The shadow of a person going eastward will have to move in the same direction; should it wish to move in the opposite direction, it just cannot, unless the person himself does so. It is thus subordinate to the person. So is maya subordinate to God. The universe is a manifestation of maya, that is, it is the shadow of God, that is, it is, based on and sustained by Him.
Now, we want to reach God; how can we bypass maya and her obstruction? Suppose we want to see some prominent person whose house is guarded by a doorkeeper, dogs, etc. We cannot walk straight in, as in an ordinary house. Suppose, however, that we have a letter signed by the person himself, asking us to go and meet him; then the doorkeeper will on our showing him the letter, not only permit us to enter, but will himself usher us into his presence. In a like manner, if we persistently chant nama, which can be likened to an authorising letter, maya, the gatekeeper, will readily admit us to His presence. Nama-smarana is thus the permit that will take us into His presence despite the wiles of maya. Let us therefore get absorbed in nama, forgetting even the body. To lose body-consciousness in chanting nama is to become nirguna.
An urge for sensory pleasures constitutes domination of maya; nama-smarana is to live in God and in bliss.

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