Like the Olympics in Beijing, our Friday Satsang too started off on 8/8/8 very well.
But unlike the Miaoke scandal, there was no lip-sync/ voice substitution in our satsang! It was a 100% original one! Sriram and his family from Houston led the Mahamantra Kirtan at 9:30 pm ET and everyone who were already on the line and those who joined a little late chanted along!
In ten minutes, the Mahamantra Sankirtan came to a close and we had a round of introductions. It was exciting to see increased participation from Orlando, Dallas and California. We had about 23 people on the satsang that evening.
Then the young Tejas stepped up to give a 10 minute satsang on the greatness of Nama Sankirtan. In a twelve minute interval, Tejas wonderfully carved out the greatness of Nama Kirtan. A few excerpts from his talk is below:
“In this age of Kali Yuga, what can be more simple a way to attain the Almighty, than Nama Kirtan. One can do mechanically or otherwise. It produces the desired effect and also blesses us with the supreme state, just like a lantern that is lit for light also gives us heat.
In Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna shows four broad means of attaining Him – Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti and Jnana Yoga. In this Kali Yuga, do human beings possess the time and capacity to practice any of these paths sincerely and devoutly? Certainly not! Then what is the means to attain Him in this Age? It is verily Nama Kirtan. No rules, no regulations, no stipulations, no special requirements, no expenditure is involved but then it gives the same fruit as any other path taken to attain Him.
‘Om Nama Shivaya’ is the Panchakshara – the Supreme Mantra for the Shaivaites and ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ is the Supreme Mantra for the Vaishnavites. When ‘ra’ , the life-giving word of the Ashtakshara and ‘Ma’ the auspiciousness-providing word of the Shiva Mantra are chanted as the ‘Rama’ Nama, it gives the effect of chanting both Panchakshara and Ashtakshara. While other forms of worship like meditation, yagna, and archana may be relevant in other Yugas, the scriptures clearly underline that the Nama Kirtan is the most appropriate path for Kali Yuga. Not only scriptures, but innumerable Mahans including Thiyagaraja, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu down to Sri Swamiji have shown this path.
As Guru Nanak says, when you start chanting the Mahamantra, you are already on the jurney on a ship that goes towards Mukti or liberation. The captain of the ship is Lord Krishna Himself, who belongs to the destination. So why worry when your lips chant?”
When Tejas completed his talk with “Hare Rama…”, it was hard to believe that 12 minutes had passed. One would wonder if the essence of Nama can be condensed into a 10 minute talk in a better fashion at all!
The forum was open for discussion when Ramani from Cerritos, CA gave a suggestion that we could bring out chanting boxes that keeps chanting Mahamantra day in and day out. Sankar announced that Nama Kirtan satsangs were regularly held at Freemont Hindu Temple every weekend and invited any members / friends of the satsang members to join.
Listing the US Nama Kirtan centers on the Nama Dwaar / Godivinity.org website was discussed.
An announcement was made that the Nama Dwaar e-newsletter was going to be released soon by the US Satsang bringing out the beauty of Sanathana Dharma, especially Bhagavata Dharma.
By then, we were already running out of time, and hence we started off seeking volunteers for the next week Nama Kirtan and satsang.
Ramani volunteered to lead the Nama Kirtan next week. Jagan, from Chicago, who was happy to take part in the Nama Kirtan and do Namaamruta Shravanam volunteered to speak about his experiences of Nama Kirtan during the special Independence Day satsang on coming Friday.
Madhura, Sriram, Nisha and Ms Suchitra (Nisha’s aunt) led the Nama Kirtan to mark the end of the satsang, and the week.
I am sure everyone felt the same as one of the new participants of the satsang: ‘I can’t believe we chanted for 10 minutes in the start! Time flew by and it felt as if it was only for 10 seconds!’
Lets meet again on 8/15 at 6:30 PT / 8:30 CT / 9:30 ET for yet another exhilarating satsang evening.