The satsang on October 17th saw about 25 participants.
The preliminary Nama Kirtan was led by Mrs. and Sri Ramani Rajaraman from Los Angeles. After about 10 minutes of Nama Kirtan and introductions, we started off with the satsang.
The following is the gist of the Satsang provided by Narayanan:
‘ It is said that the Vedas is the rulebook of the Lord and the Lord executes His activities according to the prescription of the Vedas. Based on one’s sins and merits, He gives one the share of his happiness and sorrow. Everything happens according to this. But we have seen so many Mahatmas singing the Lord as the most compassionate One! Does someone who does His own work be called as compassionate? Can a judge who pronounces a verdict based on his code of law be called compassionate?
The reason He is being called compassionate, is that he wishes to take all the Jivas unto Himself. And this compassion is manifested in two forms – in the form of Sadhus and our satsang with the Sadhus.
Sadhus are not only selfless, they are also generous. They go to any heights to take the inflicted pains, to glorify a true devotee (Bhagavata) or to glorify the Lord. They suffer insult from different people, defaming their own name, towards glorifying others. Our Puranas have shown many such Sadhus – The Jaya-Vijaya – Sanatkumara Samvadha is well known. We know how Sage Durvasa was called the ‘angry man’ to highlight the Bhagavata Ambarisha. Similarly, Sage Narada, as a great Sadhu / Guru faced such a mockery, to give us something priceless. Let us see the story behind that.
Once Narada sat down for meditation on the foot hills of beautiful mountains with beautiful flowers blossomed. The entire environ was a gorgeous sight. He closed his eyes in meditation and hours and days and months flew by. Then when he woke up, he overheard two Gandharvas who passed by, speaking to each other, ‘look at this great Sage! He has been so much in control of his senses that he did not realize anything happening around him. How great is his concentration!’ Hearing this, Narada realized that truly he had done a great feat! He wanted to mention about this to everyone. He approached his father Lord Brahma, and excitedly told him, ‘Oh dad! I was able to gain so much concentration and meditated amidst numerous disturbances’. Brahma did not give any pleasant feedback. Narada was disappointed and walked to Kailash where he narrated his story of pride to Lord Shiva. Shiva said, ‘Fine son! Indeed a great task! But you are not supposed to talk about your Sadhana to anyone. You are supposed to keep it a secret!’. Narada was furious. He felt, there was no one that could appreciate his accomplishment. He then went to Vaikunta and narrated to Lord Sriman Narayana about his meditation. The Lord sounded extremely pleased and congratulated Narada on his efforts. Narada’s ego grew even more.
Haughty as he was, he thought he would tour the earth and came down. He came across a palace which bore a festive look. Grand arrangements were happening and Narada was curious to know what was up. He caught hold of the minister and asked for the reason behind the festivities. The minister told Narada that the princess of the kingdom was supposed to be given in wedding and the ‘swayamvara’ was supposed to be taking place the next day. Narada also took a glimpse of the princess.
He was taken aback by the stunning beauty of the young lady and wanted to himself take her hand in marriage! Narada knew that he would be chosen in the current ‘vesha’ (form) of his, as there were so many other handsome princes who he would be competing with. So he immediately rushed to Vaikunta.
He spoke to the Lord, ‘Oh Lord! I have accomplished quite a bit in my life. I have done a good deal of Sadhana. Now I am planning to lead the life of a householder. There is a beautiful princess whose svayamvara is going to be held tomorrow. And I would want to be transformed into the most handsome person on earth so that the princess may choose me. And you are the only one capable of transforming me.’ Reclining on the serpent bed, the Lord, with a smiling countenance replied, ‘So it be Narada! Worry not! You will be the most handsome person on earth tomorrow!’
Narada was happy. The next morning, Narada rushed to the palace. He seated himself in the front row, so as to attract the attention of the princess. When the princes walked down the hallway with the garland, she happened to see Narada’s countenance. That very moment, the princess was terrified. She threw the garland away and ran into the harem. All the other princes chuckled looking at Narada. Bemused, Narada did not know what was wrong. It was only when he checked out the mirror that he found his face was transformed to one of a monkey!
He was red in anger. After all, Lord Vishnu had cheated on him. He walked straight into Sri Vaikunta. Addressing the Lord, he said, ‘You have betrayed me! How would you, who has Goddess Lakshmi always by your feet, understand the cravings of a loner who wants to settled into a householder’s life? Here I curse you that you may descend to the Earth, take the life of a married man and be separated from your beloved. It is only then that you will understand my feelings!’
The Lord pleasantly listened to Narada’s fiery words. ‘So it be’, the Lord said. After all, he is the one who makes true, the words of a true devotee! He was unmoved. He kept smiling, waiting for Narada to regain his senses! Soon, Narada eventually realized His mistake. He felt miserable that he had cursed the Lord Himself! He begged for pardon and requested that his curse be retracted! Boon once given is given! So nothing could be done about it. Then Narada said, ‘Oh Lord! I am going to be ill-famed as the one who cursed the Lord, for ages and ages to come. I seek another boon from you, to wipe off this blemish off my name. I seek that your divine life-story and Name in that incarnation of yours be so holy that anyone who listens to it or chants it attains your feet immediately. While you fulfilled my earlier curse, pray fulfill this boon of mine too.’
And the Lord did fulfill this boon of Narada too. He did come down to earth as Rama and suffered hardship as per Narada’s curse. And the Lord also certified to Narada that the very Divine Name ‘Rama’ will grant liberation to one who chants it.
Thus Narada is that great Guru for all of us, who gave the Divine Rama Nama to all of us, showing us a path to liberation.
After the story, Poornimaji’s Bay area programs were discussed. This was followed by an Anubhava from Sriram, Texas.
Read the Anubhava here.
This was followed by Sri Narayan Dave’s announcement about the availability of accommodations for the Houston Saptaham and extending another invite to everyone.
Then the satsang ended with 5 minutes of Mahamantra Kirtan.