Tag Archives: rama nama

Oct 2: Rama Nama and Guru

2 Oct
It is said that an association with a Sadhu or a Mahan and to be in the divine communion with Bhagavatas is indeed the rarest of the rarest. This is what is said in Srimad Bhagavatam. This can be verily seen to be the case with the king Muchukunda from the Ikshvaku dynasty. When he met Lord Krishna in person, the only thing he requested the Lord to bestow upon him is satsang. Another great devotee of the Lord is Thondaradipodiazhwar, who desired to be at the feet of the great Mahans who are in constant communion with the Lord. Such is the greatness of Satsang. Our Guru maharaj proclaims that one who chants the Divine Names of the Lord and narrates the stories of the Lord is verily a Bhagavata. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has also said that one who chants the Divine Names of the Lord even once in his/her life is indeed a Bhagavata. We are all indeed blessed to have a telecom satsang every week and let’s pray to the Lord to bestow us with more satsangs.

Bhagawan Yogi Ramsuratkumar would say that by chanting the divine Name of Lord Rama, the Rama Rajyam [rule] can be reinstated. This fact has been echoed by various Mahans right from Swami Vivekananda. One great Mahan whose birthday falls on the second of October is Mahatma Gandhiji, the father of our Nation and his life-line was chanting the Divine Names of the Lord. He did not perform any other spiritual austerity other than the Nama Sankirtan.

Here is a quote from Gandhiji’s Hairjan magazine –
“To a question by some missionary friend whether he followed any spiritual practices?

In reply to this question Gandhiji said that he was a stranger to yogi practices. The practice that I follow is something I learned in my childhood from my nurse. I was afraid of ghosts. The nurse consoled me that ghosts don’t exist. She also gave me a panacea for my fear of ghosts. She advised me to chant the Divine Names of Lord Rama. What I learnt in my childhood has now become eternal in my mind. It is verily the sun that has brightened the dark star. A Christian might find solace from the repetitive chanting of the name of Lord Jesus, a Muslim can find peace by reciting the name of Allah. All these are identical and have same implications and produce the same results under the same circumstances. The repetition should not be just a lip movement but be a part of the being itself. Gandhiji even proclaimed that it is only the Divine Name chanting of Lord Rama that would help India gets its independence in one of his last meetings, before India got her independence. Soon after this meeting, India got its independence akin to Yogi Ramsuratkumar who said that the Divine Name chanting of Lord Rama would establish Rama Rajya.

Once a devotee questioned Sri Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi mutt, whether the Divine Name chanting will fetch the same good merits as other spiritual austerities. Sri Bodendral replied that it is very true that the Divine Name chanting will fetch the same merits as the other spiritual practices, but one needs to note that it is only because of the good merits accrued in previous births that one get to chant the Divine Names of the Lord in the present birth. Such is the glory of the Nama Sankirtan.

The more recitation of the Divine Names of the Lord even if chanted mechanically will over time start to involve our mind and heart and will very soon develop that state of devotion [ bhava]. It is also a fact that the Divine Name chanting of the Lord will have more effect when initiated by a Guru.
Followed by introductions, Mukundji from Redding CA beautifully rendered the satsang talk on the significance of Guru.
In this mundane world, to be adept at any skill, one would needs a master [Guru] to guide in mastering that skill set. Let’s take an example. We widely use a pot that is made out of mud to grow plants, store water etc. What we never wonder is the time and intricacies associated to make this pot. When one such pot breaks, we quickly go and get another pot. Not everybody possesses the skills to make a pot. It requires adept skills and definitely needs a master [Guru] who has specialized in this to impart that skill to everyone. This applies to other fields as well. When we need a master [Guru] who is highly specialized for every field only in this worldly life, then what to talk about the spiritual life? We definitely need a Guru if we are going in pursuit of spiritual knowledge say spiritual realization or realizing God. One cannot embark into the spiritual world without a Guru. It is only a mahan [Guru] who can help in realizing the self and eventually make us reach the holy feet of the Lord.
“krishnam vande jagatGurum” –  Lord Sri Krishna is the Guru for the universe. That Lord Sri Krishna also had a Guru Sandeepani to get enlightened. Akin to Lord Sri Krishna is Lord Rama whose Guru was Sage Vashishta. When all the Lords themselves need a Guru, it is very lucid that common people definitely need a Guru to guide them through their spiritual practices. We have a family physician to whom we go and seek medical advice when we are not keeping good health. We have an ailment in the spiritual world as well. It is the cycle of births and deaths. It is only a Guru who can absolve the bad merits accrued in our births and eventually cleanse us and throw us unto the holy feet of the Lord even without our knowledge. So who is a Guru? A Guru is one who is a self-realized soul, always sings the Divine Names of the Lord and reminisce the stories of the Lord and is in constant communion with the Lord.
Sant Kabirdas in one of his dohas very beautifully says that “If at all both the Lord and the Guru come and stand in front of him, he would first prostrate to his Guru and then to the Lord.” There is a beautiful reason as to why he says this. A mother takes every step to bring up the child right from the first day of her pregnancy till the child becomes independent. When the child grows up and becomes very learned and earns a very respectable position in the society, the father proudly tells everybody that it is his son.
Similarly a Guru takes everyone unto his feet and bestows them with Jnana, Bhakti and Vairagya and throws them unto the feet of the Lord without their knowledge.
Lord Krishna very beautifully explains the significance of Guru in Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Sri Krishna who is the ruler of Dwaraka is filled with peace. His close friend Sri Kuchelar who is poverty stricken is also very peaceful. The reason for their tranquility is because they were enlightened under the tutelage of their Guru Sandeepani. When their education was about to culminate, they were blessed by their Guru that they will always be calm, happy and that peace will prevail eternally in them. A Guru’s word and blessing will never go wrong.
The young Dhruva wanted to sit on his father’s lap and his step-mother Shuichi banished him and asked him to go to the forest and perform penance in order to be bestowed with a boon from the Lord to be born as the son of Suruchi, so that he can sit on his father’s lap. Dhruva who was only five years old was not able to comprehend fully what his step mother was asking him to do. He set out to the forest to meet the Lord and ask him for a boon to be born as the son of Suruchi. En route to the forest, Dhruva was stopped by Sage Narada who enquired about Dhurva’s whereabouts. He narrated whatever that had just happened in his father’s courtyard. Upon hearing, Sage Narada advised him to go back since doing penance in the forest for such a small boy was going to be very difficult. Dhruva after listening to Sage Narada immediately said, “It is you who asked everyone to chant the Divine Names of the Lord in order to see the Lord”. Hearing this, he was awed at Dhruva and he blessed him and initiated a Nama. Dhruva, by chanting the Nama had the darshan of the Lord. It is said that the Devas are not very amiable when the Rishis perform any spiritual austerity. They tend to cause some disturbance. But in the case of Dhruva, since he had blessed by a Guru [Sage Narada], there was no super natural disturbance and Dhruva was able to attain the goal that he aspired.
Akin to how a child who is devoid of parents is called an orphan, a devotee who doesn’t have a Guru is also called orphan. In order to reach god, one definitely needs a Guru.
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.

Oct 17: Narada’s gift for us

17 Oct

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.