The Satsang on the 7th of November went on in a grand manner. Sri GBji’s family started the Satsang with 10 minutes of Mahamantra Kirtan. A prayer was performed for Sri Manish Bharadwaj on the request from Sri Narayan Daveji.
Then after regular introductions, the Satsang started. The previous day (Thursday) happened to be Gopashtami. This was when the Lord was crowned Govinda by Indra. The incident was briefly narrated. This was followed by a pravachan by Ramyaji of San Jose, California.
The gist of the Pravachan is as below:
Satsang is a place where there is divinity. It is verily the place where God lives. Where does God lives. God says to Narada:
Naham vasami vaikunte na yogi hrudaye ravau
Mad bhaktha: yatra gayanti tatra thishtami narada.
The Lord says that He doesn’t live in Vaikunta nor in the hearts of the Yogis. He lives in wherever the glory and the Divine Names of Him are chanted by His devotees. That place is verily satsang.
The Lord of Pandarpur Panduranga, it is said, cannot stay in a place. Whenever His devotees get the musical instruments ready, the Lord immediately rushes there and starts dancing! Such is the greatness of Nama Kirtan. It is said ‘Bhaktya sulabho bhagavan’ – the Lord who is otherwise difficult to perceive, is easily attained through Bhakti.
Everyone has a unique quality. Some sing well. Some are good speakers. Similarly, Bhagavan also has a unique quality. What is that quality? It is ‘compassion’. How is he an ocean of compassion? It is because he grants Moksha the moment one surrenders unto Him. How should the one who has surrendered, spend his time?
Kalakshepo na kartavyaha ksheenam aayu: kshane kshane
Yamasya karunaa naasthi kartavyam hari keerthanam
Every human’s life is dwindling moment by moment. Death will never show compassion or grace on us. So the best way to spend our time is by performing Hari Nama Kirtan.
This path has been advocated by innumerable great Mahans. Sri Adi Sankara, after having propounded the Advaita philosophy finally says, “Bhaja Govindam” – Sing the Name Govinda! Similarly, the great devotee Aandal, throughout her Tiruppaavai speaks about chanting the Divine Names of the Lord. This was the path preached by Bhagavat Ramanuja too.
In the Vedas it has been mentioned that the Kali Yuga is one of the deadliest Yugas. But in Bhagavatam, Sri Shuka tells Parikshit –
Kalair dosha nidhe rajan astihyeko mahaan guna:
Kirtanaaneva krishnasya mukta sanga: param vrajet
Oh! King! This Kali is no doubt a treasure of sins and mistakes. But it has a glorious quality – one can attain the greatest state of Mukti by merely singing the Divine Name of Krishna!
It is also said –
Yat phalam naasti tapasaa na yogena samadhina
Tatpalam labhate samyak kalau keshava keerthanaat
That results that cannot be got even by meditaion and yogic Samadhi can be easily attained in Kali Yuga by singing the Divine Name of Keshava.
This is the most practical path for this Yuga. Our Swamiji also aptly describes this in His kirtan:
‘Yogamum yaagamum theerthamum deivamum kudikonda naamathai keerthanam paadeere’
Oh ! Ye, sing the divine Name of God that houses in itself, the Yoga, Yaga, pilgrimages and the Lord Himself.
It is said that there is an eternal struggle between the devotee and the Lord. The devotee always tries to run away from the Lord and the Lord is determined to take the devotee unto himself. It is the struggle between the ignorance of the devotee and the compassion of the Lord. The compassion of the Lord is so much that , even if we cahnt His Name in mockery or as an insinuation, He grants us Moksha:
‘Sanketyam parihasyam va stopham helanam eva va. Vaikunta naama grahanam …’
goes the verse.
Thus, the Lord sends down Sadhus, who accomplish His mission very easily with the help of Jalra and Japamala that which He had not been able to do in his incarnations adorning weapons!
It is said,
‘kalau kalau bhavishyanti naaraayana paraayanah tAmraparni nadi yatra kritamaala payasvini…’
The Sadhus will incessantly keep incarnating in the banks of Tamraparni, Kritamala…
in this Kali Yuga.
Some people may doubt that if I chant the Nama, will my sins get wiped off. Bhagavan Nama Bodendral says that one should have done merits in millions of years to get the Divine Name of the Lord on his lips!
In an abhang it is beautifully said,
‘bahut sukrataachi yoni manuni vittali aavadi’
One should have done merits in umpteen births to have Vittala Nama on his lips.
In Vishnu Sahasranamam, we find that Yudishtira questions about which Dharma is the best dharma amongst all the dharmas that Bhishma talked about. Bhishma speaks of the dharma of Nama Sankeerthaana.
Adi Shankara, in his Vishnu Sahasranama Bashya, cites the reasons why Nama Sankirtana is greater than any other dharma – that is because it is easy to perform, for it has no ‘apeksha’ (anticipation/ expectations) on 6 fronts – himsa, purushantara, desha, kala, dravyantara, niyama. There are absolutely no rules.
The Kali Santarana Upanishad shows us the Nama:
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
As the Mantra apt for this Kali Yuga. As this is verily the Upanishads, the path for spirituality conforms to the Vedas. When we see the Mahamantra, there are three ‘Namas’ – Hare, Rama and Krishna.
Narayana Theertha sings in his tarangam,
Rama Krishna govindeti naama samprayoge…
The Rama is Ganga, Krishna is Yamuna… and when we sing the Maha Mantra, is it a confluence of Three rivers – the Triveni Sangamam.
Thus, in Bhagavat Gita, the Lord says, ‘svalpamapi yasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat’ – a very small dharma can allay the greatest of fears. And what is that small dharma- Nama Sankirtan.
In Vishnu Sahasranama, we see how Lord Siva Himself chants the Rama Nama, as it is equivalent to all the thousand Namas.
Sri rama rama rameti rame rame manorame
Sahasra nama tattulyam rama nama varaanane
In conclusion, Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana concludes with the verse:
‘Namasankirtanam yasya sarva papa pranaachanam
Pranaamo dukha samanam tam namaami harim param’
After this wonderful discourse, the forum was open for announcements. Sriramji of Houston summarized the week’s programs of Poornimaji – at Lakshmi Narayan temple, on the radio, and the one at his residence. Then the announcement about the Dallas programs was made.
Then Yamini ji announced about the Akhanda Nama Kirtan at her place on Nov 8th for Swamiji’s date of birth. The Boston satsang on the same day was also announced.
Then the session concluded with Mahamantra Kirtan for 5 minutes.