Sunday, February 22, 2009
BABA'S ADVICE ON RAMA NAMA JAPA
BABA’S ADVICE ON RAMA NAMA JAPA
The use of God’s name for eradicating sins from one’s nature, we find that Valmiki and other authors of great works Ethics, ancient and modern, stress the importance of the constant recall to the mind of God and his qualities, especially through japa, japa being so holy as to make the mind get drowned in God so as to justify the remark of Lord Krishna:-
Yajnanam Japa Yajno Asmi
that is , "Of all yajnas, I am the yajna consisting of Japa". Japa is the sankirtanam above referred to. When the name is uttered, the guna and karma above referred to follow immediately into the mind of the japa karta by the law of association of ideas. That is why people are content to begin with a repetition of the holy names even when not attended with perfect realisation of the holiness of the name as in the case of the hunter who repeated "Mara Mara" and became the Rishi Valmiki.
Many a man goes on repeating like a parrot the names he finds either in a book or uttered by some other persons. But gradually as the repetition goes on, the sacred influence pours in especially if he has the good fortune of having the company of the other person or persons who are inspired by that holy influence and if the surroundings as in a temple or bhajan hall are specially favourable. That is why Baba asked Das Ganu to take up Vishnu Sahasranama and retreat from the crowds of the Dwarakamayee and go to a sequestered temple like the Vittal temple in the village and go on there with frequent recitals or repetitions of Sahasranama.
Baba’s advice in this matter was not confined to Das Ganu. He gave similar advice to Shama and in fact took away a Ramadasi’s Sahasranama and handed it over to him so that he may have the advantage of the Sahasranama japa, though poor Shama did not know how to read Sanskrit, the conjunct consonants of which defy the poor skill of villagers like Shama to read or make them out.
The Vishnu Sahasranama is so vast and the import of the thousands of Namas is so great that any one who goes through them carefully with the help of Sankara or other Bhashya thereon must be struck by the fact that powerful material imbedded in Vishnu Sahasranamam must suffice for the purification of any soul. The experience of thousands justifies them in the belief that what is claimed in the Vishnu Sahasranama stotra itself is right. That stotra says at the end that a person making parayana thereof will obtain issue if he is issueless, wealth if he has no wealth, power, fame, glory and success if he is without these and, it adds that sin of ages would be washed off. In order to give the benefit of the Sahasranama to those who have unfortunately not the time nor the opportunity to repeat, the bare repetition of one name contained therein, namely, the name ‘Ram’ would be equivalent to the merit of repeating all the thousand names.
Sri Rama Rama Rameti
Rame Raame Manorame
That is, ‘One who repeats only the name of Rama will obtain the merit of repeating the Sahasranama itself’. We must note also that Sankaracharya gives the advice.
Geyam Geeta Nama Sahasram
Dhyeyam Sripati Rupam Ajasram.
This means, ‘What you have to recite is (1) the Gita and (2) the Vishnu Sahasranama, and what you have to think of in your mind all the time is the form of Lord’. That is, the repetition of Sahasranama or Rama Nama is best, if it is accompanied by a mental figure of the Lord as no doubt the mental figure of the Lord helps in removing all sin and raising one to the heights of spirituality or Godhead. That may explain why Baba advised so many of his bhaktas to repeat Sahasranama or Rama Nama.
For example he gave the advice to Mrs. G.S. Khaparde, who was massaging him and whom he massaged in turn, "Say ‘Rajaram, Rajaram’, constantly; that would remove all troubles and take you to the Lord." Baba also told N. R. Sahasrabuddhe that he was to repeat Ram Nam into which he had already been initiated. Also he told M. W. Pradhan that he must repeat the 13 lettered mantra into which he had already been initiated, namely, ‘Sri Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama’.
Baba was not content with merely giving advice. He preached only what he himself practised, and he told H.S. Dixit that he had been going on with Hari Nama Japa constantly as a result of which Hari (God) appeared before him, and thereafter his giving of medicines was needless, for his bare giving of udhi with remembrance of Hari would suffice to cure all ills. He also said that he had heart disease (literal or metaphorical?) and that he kept Vishnu sahasranama close to the heart and that Hari descended from the Sahasranama and cured the trouble.
Courtesy: HH Pujyasri B. V. Narasimha Swamiji