Do we learn even from our own experience? Do we show the practical sense of avoiding doing what our own experience has shown to be against our interest? It is this that is our most glaring, most serious fault. The great, however, behave otherwise. They put their experience to practical use, and rose to their present high status. Worldly pleasures are transitory and illusory; they are, in reality, misery masquerading as happiness. When the saints discovered this, they turned their back on this sham, and proceeded to search for true happiness, which, they discovered, lies only with God. They also found that the simplest means for attainment of God is namasmarana. From vedic times down to this day saints have been advocating nama as a matter of personal experience. The nama given by the sadguru, if repeated with love, devotion, and single-mindedness, inevitably leads to realization; this is the experience narrated invariably by all saints. Does our nama-smarana have that quality? Do we do it for the sake of nama alone or with some other, ulterior desire?
If we repeat nama with complete exclusion of any vritti, God is not far at all. Indeed, nama and God being identical, if the one is on your lips, the other cannot remain away. Children fly kites. Sometimes the kite rises so high in the sky that it gets lost to sight. And yet, the boy says, “1 have it at my command,” for he holds the string. Similarly, so long as we maintain the string of continuous nama-smarana, God is assuredly with us. The moment that is broken, God slips away.
The one thing that is necessary to maintain the continuity of nama-smarana is the feeling that I cannot live without Him, I need Him so badly. The feeling that it is He that sustains my life, that I simply cannot live without Him, gives nama-smarana the edge of sincerity. We, on the other hand, treat nama as a superfluity. How should God respond to this? If we treat nama as essential for our living, our very existence, God will certainly respond positively, and we shall have achieved the highest aim of human life. So let us always carry with us the conviction that nama will never fail to take us to God. This alone can be termed genuine nama-smarana.
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