This marked the first telecon satsang for the new year 2009. Zivanji and Yaminiji from Chicago lead the NamaSankirtan. 16 families joined the satsang. Shri Narayan Daveji from Pearland, TX delivered the satsang talk. In less than 20 minutes, He beautifully outlined the glory of Rama Nama as mentioned in Sri Ramacharitamanas of Sri Tulsidasji.
He started with the Pundarika and the Dhyana Slokas.
By the immense grace of Lord SriHari and our beloved SadGuru Maharaj, we have gathered again to enjoy the first telecom satsang. The New Year 2009 began in the most auspicious way, AkandaNama Sankirtan. The Akanda Nama Sankirtan yielded fruit immediately and guess what? The devotees across the world were fortunate to listen to Our Guru Maharaj’s discourse which was brought live. His talk enthralled all the devotees. He discoursed on the importance of Sri Ramachandra Bhagwan’s name Rama Nam in which he talked about Sri Hanumanji Maharaj and Sri Tulsidasji Maharaj.
As we all know TulsiDasji was a great saint. Lord Rama himself had given darshan to Sri TulasiDas and this divine scene was witnessed by Lord Hanumanji.
Chitrakut ke ghat par Bhai Santan ki Bhir
Tulsidas Chandan Ghe-se, Tilak dait Raghuvir
One day, when he was performing the Pooja to the deity of Lord Rama, the Lord was getting impatient because Tulsidasji was making the sandalwood paste for so long and eventually appeared in front of him. Tulsiji was oblivious of this and Lord Rama Himself took the chandan and marked a tilak on Tulsidasji’sforehead and also marked a tilak on His own forehead! Such is the greatness of this great saint. His two great compositions are Sri Ramcharitmanas and the very famous Hanuman Chalisa.
In Sri Ramcharitmanas, he has advocated the path of Divine Name chanting. In this composition, he acclaimed the power of Rama Nama in different Kandas.
This starts right from Bal Kand. Sri Tulsidasji clearly outlines that one should start chanting the Divine Name right from childhood. In Bal Kand, he prays that the Nama Sankirtan should be implanted firmly in one’s childhood and not during youth or old age.
He prayed to the name of Lord Rama by singing –
Bhandavun naam raam raghuvar ko | hetu krisaanu bhaanu himakar ko ||
Bhidihari haramaya bedha praana so | aguna anuupam guna nidhaana so ||
Mahamantra joyi japatu mahesu | kaasi mukuthi hetu upadesu ||
Mahimaa jaasu jaan janaraau | prathama poojiyata naama prabhaavu ||
Jaana aadhikavi naama prataapu | bhayavu suddha kari ulataajaapu ||
Sahasa naama sama suni siva baani | japi jeyi piya sanga bhavaani ||
Harashe hetu heri har hii ko | kiya bhushan tiya bhushan tii ko ||
Naama prabhaava jaana siva neeko | kaala koota phalu deenha ameeko || (Balkand: 19)
Ram Nam is verily the Mahamantra. Lord Siva constantly chants this Mahamantra in Varanasi and liberates all the souls. Being the sum and substance of the thousand names of the Lord, Shiva chanted the Mantra continuously and the result was that the very deadly poison of Kalkoot that he consumed turned into nectar!
There are two aspects of God .One is the formless (Nirgun) and the other, qualified (sagun) aspect. According to Tulasidasji, Nam is higher than both these aspects. In fact, Ram Nam and Ram were no different, says Tulsidasji. We can see this to be true in our daily life too. In logical sense, when we want to call somebody, we first call his/her name and the person follows. Similarly when the Lord (when incarnated in the human form), is called by His Name, He follows. This is true in Divine World too. Various Rishis and Munis have performed Tapas (penances) by chanting the Divine Names of the Lord, and Lord has appeared in front of them. In fact, that the Lord’s Name is the Master and the Lord Himself is the follower!
Tulasidasji says that that if one desires to get brightness in both worldly and spiritual world, then one should put the Rama Nam in one’s tongue. A light in the doorstep of a house, brightens both the inside and the outside. The mouth is verily the door and the tongue is the doorstep. By chanting the Ram Nam continuously, the Divine Light shines both inside and outside.
This fact is beautifully glorified in the following doha-
Naam mani deep dharu jeeha dehari dvaar |
Tulsi beetar baaharehu jau chaahasi ujiyaar || (Balkand: 21: D6)
It is very transparent from our scriptures that the chanting of the Divine Name has liberated the demon Ravan, Ahalya and Ajamila. The Name of the Lord has performed more feats thatn the Lord Himself!
In the following Doha…
Raam naam nar kesari kanakakasipu kalikaal |
Jaapaka jana prahlaad paalihi dali sura saal ||
The Divine Name of Rama is akin to Lord Nrisimha in this Kali Yuga. Any one who chants the Divine Name is Prahlada and the Lord will destroy any one (the Kali – portrayed as Hiranyakashipu) that harms the one who chants the Divine Name.
Tulasidasji was still not contented and finally understands his limitation. He tells
Lord Rama that for how long can he expound and glorify the Lord’s Name! He feels that Lord Rama Himself cannot explain the glory of His own Name!
In Ayodhya Kaand, Dashrath Maharaj was suffering due to the separation from Rama who was asked to go to the forest for fourteen years. Dashrath Maharaj, who was known for his rigorous tapas in his previous birth, was blessed with Lord Rama as his son in his next birth. Such is the greatness of the Lord’s Lila. Dashrath Maharaj was a Jivan Mukta. When he was leaving his human body, he chanted the Divine Name six times. One should remember that in their last few moments, they should only think of the Lord and chant his Divine Names.
Raam raam kahi raam kahi raam raam kahi raam |
Tanu pari hari raghuvar viraham raau gayau surdhaam || (Ayodhyakand D155)
The First five times were to fill his five senses with Nam. The last Nama was atonement (Prayaschith) for all his errors that he did unknowingly. By chanting the Nama once, one can wash away all the sins accrued in one’s birth. Such is the greatness of Nama.
There is an analogy to this very fact. How can one remember the Nama and the Lord during the time of death, when he has not chanted the Nama all along his life? When we meet somebody after many years, we are able to recognize them but their name doesn’t strike our mind that easily. Isn’t it?
Lord Rama knew for sure that Sri Hanumanji Maharaj will only be able to cross the ocean and will be able to Sita Maata. This is another episode of his leela. He called Sri Hanumanji and gave a Mudrika and it had his Divine name on it. We get the Lord’s Name solely by His grace.
Lord Hanumanji beautifully says –
‘Prabhu mudrika menu mukhmaayi
jaladhilaankikaye acharaj naahi ||
Sri Hanumanji placed the Lord’s Name in his mouth and crossed the ocean. Similarly if we do Nama Sankirtan we will surely cross the ocean of samsara and break the cycle of birth and deaths.
When Lord Hanumanji was leaving for Lanka, Sri Tulasidasji in one of his chaupayi–
Baar baar raghuveer sambhaari
tarakeu pavana thanaya bala bhaari || (sundarkand)
Just as an arrow leaves Lord Rama’s bow, so was Hanuman leaving for Lanka. When He reached Lanka, He saw many strange faces. He felt very depressed. He was wandering in search of Sita Mata which Sri Tulasidasji sings–
Sayana kiye dekha kapi tehi | mandir mahum na dekhi vaidehi ||
Bhavan ek puni deek suhaavaa | har mandir taham bhinna banaavaa || (Sundarkand)
He saw a palace and a beautiful idol of Lord Vishnu. Here Tulsidasji shows that one should allocate a separate place for the Lord in their homes. And how should the divine room be decorated?
Raamaayudh ankit gruha sobhaa barani na jaay |
Nava tulsikaa brunda taham dekhi harash kapiraayi || (Sundarkand)
Sri Hanumanji, was wondering wondering who this great devotee was!
Lankaa nisichar nikar nivaasaa | ihaan kahaan sajjan kar baasaa ||
Man mahum tarak karai kapi laagaa | tehi samaya vibheeshanu jaagaa ||
Raam raam tehi sumiran keenha | hrudaya harash kapi sajjan cheenhaa ||
While he was wondering so and waiting, Vibheeshanji woke up remembering the Divine Ram Nam! It shows how devotees start their day with Divine Name on their lips.
Later, he found Sita Maata and when he realized that she was suffering from the separation from Lord Rama, he dropped the ring which he secured it from Lord Rama. It had the Lord’s Name engraved on it. Sita Maata was so happy to see it. Anything that has the Lord’s name is very gorgeous.
Tab dekhi mudrikaa manohar | raam naam ankita ati sundar ||
When she was wondering as to how she got the ring, she immediately realized that it was through Lord’s grace. Lord Rama gave the ring to Hanumanji (who is the Saadguru in this context) and he in turn passed it on to her. He then consoled her by saying that Lord Rama will come to rescue her and all sorrows will be washed away.
When one is in difficult times, the greatest help that we all can do is to put the Divine Name in their mouth. It is this Mahamantra that can obliterate all the sorrows.
In the closing, he assured that God willing, he will continue with the rest of the Kandas in future.
Sri Chandrasekarji talked about the New Year mass prayer in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Arvindji from Orlando summarized the New Year Satsang events in Orlando area. They performed Akanda Nama sankirtan from six in the morning to six in the evening. They closed the Nama with PanchaGeetham. About six devotees joined the satsang.
The New Year satsang closed with Nama Sankirtan.