The satsang on the 29th of August was a great one, in many respects. It was held during the Brahmotsav celebrations in India, while everyone was enjoying the bliss of the Utsav through the videos on the Nama Dwaar website.
The satsang started with Mahamantra Prayers, led by Shivam and Dayaji from Houston. During introduction, we heard new members join from states like Pennsylvania. Then Sriram from Houston gave a 12-minute satsang on the importance of a Guru.
We see that for every mundane skill and art, one needs to go to a teacher. A lawyer goes to an apprentice. If this is the case for worldly skills (‘vidhya’), then why nurture any doubt about requiring a Guru for the supreme knowledge of the Self?
What is the necessity of the Guru? A person might have had grave sorrows in life. His mind might have been shaken by the various miseries that he has been facing. When a person with a tumultuous mind comes to the sanctum of a Guru, he gets peace of mind. This is one of the greatest benefits that one acquires in the Guru’s presence. Then the Guru slowly cultures him and makes him fit for the Supreme Knowledge.
The glory of the Guru is explained in the Bhagavatam, by Lord Krishna Himself. We all know that Sudama was verily a synonym of abject poverty. He lived his life in penury. On the other hand, Lord Krishna was the richest of the rich, the goddess of wealth Mahalakshmi herself, caressing His feet. The story goes that Krishna and Sudama were thickest of friends.
After a long gap, Sudama comes to Dwaraka to meet his beloved friend Krishna. Krishna washes the feet of Sudama and the two friends embrace each other. Krishna is extremely happy to meet his good old friend. He says, ‘Oh! Sudama! The very fact that you have not come to me for so long requesting for anything, says that you are a happy and contented man! Although I possess so much wealth, I am contented. A manifestation of destitution that you are, you are contented too, my friend. Do you know the reason behind this?’
‘Do you remember the times when we both studied at the feet of our Master Sandeepani, and one day, our Guru heartily blessed us ? It is that blessings of the Guru that is keeping us happy, dear friend!’
‘Guror Anugrahenaiva pumaan purna prashaantaye’
It is only the Guru that can give the contentment in life!
The beautiful words of Sriram set the context for discussion. Paul Brunton felt that transcendental peace of mind when in the sanctum of Ramana Maharshi at Tiruvannamalai, whom he met after being directed by Kanchi Mahaswamiji. The moment he saw his Master, the long list of questions that he had prepared to be posed to Ramana Maharshi were all answered in silence, and he just exclaimed, ‘No more questions!’
A couple of weeks ago, during one of the satsangs, at the behest of one of the satsang members, we performed prayers for a little child, who was hospitalized. The father of the child was on the satsang today to narrate his Nama Anubhava:
‘Our son, Krishna was not feeling well for some time. We have been going to the hospital almost everyday that week; however the doctors could not diagnose the problem. It was a Friday evening and our friend called me and asked if we could perform prayers in the evening telecom satsang. I happily agreed. We were in the hospital when the prayers were on, that Friday evening. All the Bhagavatas on the call sincerely prayed with Mahamantra for my son. In less than a few minutes of the prayers, to our great surprise, the doctors got the diagnosis! They discovered the problem to be a unique syndrome and started medication for the same. Since then my son has been doing very well. I thank all the Bhagavatas for their prayers.’
It was moving to listen to him speaking about the anubhava with great excitement. Indeed, this was no time-pass on a Friday evening. It is a prayer meeting every Friday, and prayers do get answered with Mahamantra! Can the power of Nama be explained any better?
Aravind from Orlando described how powerful the Rama Nama was, by describing the incident in Sri Bodendra Swamiji’s charitram where the Rama Nama purified a fallen woman.
Then it was time for some quick news sharing. Chicago Janmashtami function went on very well! Announcements were made about the Houston Janmashtami fair. Sankarji informed the members about the Radha Kalyanam that was to be performed in Bay area that Sunday.
It was decided that the next week’s Nama will be led by Ms. Suja Sankar and satsang talk by Sri Ramani.
Karthik from Cincinnati led the closing prayers with Mahamantra Kirtan.