This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine. Sri Vishnuratha Bhagavata pens this week’s article.
The Essential Instruction
Sri Sri Swamiji visits Govindapuram often and stays at Chaitanya Kuteeram for few days. On June 14th this year, He visited Chaitanya Kuteeram in Govindapuram and even as he stepped into the hall, mentioned that the place had a divine sanctity.
While performing Mahamantra Kirtan, Sri Swamiji kept repeating the verse “kAlakshepo na karthavyah” and asked me to repeat it as well. “When our end is near, the Lord of death, ‘Yama’ would confront us. He would not budge even if we plead saying ‘I missed performing Nama Kirtan. Please give me GRACE TIME’! We don’t know when death will strike us down. Even while alive, we are unaware if we will be healthy forever. Today when we are fit enough to chant the Divine Names, let us better chant!”
Sri Swamiji continued, “Many toil hard for their living – a few break rocks, a few lift heavy loads, some lay roads and others clean toilets. A few hold important offices and hence work day and night. For us though, the Lord has bestowed all comforts only to enable us to chant His Nama. In spite of all this, if we do not chant, we are but hypocrites!”
In order to reduce my weight, I took to doing some physical workout. Sri Swamiji said, ‘Don’t starve yourself so much that you don’t have enough energy to chant. That is not our way of life. Like Saint Purandaradasa says, eat well so as to have abundant energy to chant Nama!’
It is only in human birth that one can wash away his sins incurred in numerous births by rites and rituals, charity, penance, taking a dip in holy rivers, pilgrimages, Japa, meditation, kirtan, parayana, cow-worship, serving the Lord and His devotees etc. In spite of getting the rarest human birth, people only sin more rather than accruing merits. By merely following the easy path of Nama Kirtan, sins can be obliterated. Alas! There are no takers.”
As I sang an Abhang that bore the line, ‘Mukhe tuje Naama santhaancha darshana’, Sri Swamiji remarked, “this implies having the Divine Name ever on the lips and constantly being in the company of Sadhus. Merely singing this Abhang without actually chanting the Divine Names will only render a nice beat for the song and nothing more!” He asked, “Do you chant when you travel to nearby cities to shop for groceries? Do you chant when you take a recess and go home?” “The Divine Name should fill your entire body”, He said.
When we went to the Adhishtaanam (Samadhi) of Sri Bodendraal, Sri Swamiji said, “Balakrishnananda Swamigal is the embodiment of Srimad Bhagavatam, Guru Bhakti and affinity for Nama, all in one!” As we circumambulated, we noticed a piece of upper garment cloth (traditionally worn by men) which laid there. It was clean; perhaps left behind unintentionally by someone prostrating. But no one, in spite of noticing it, bothered to care for it. Pointing to the cloth, Sri Swamiji said, ‘When the life force leaves us, your and my body will lay just like this, uncared for. That is the worth of this body. Chant as much possible when alive!”
From July 2014 issue of Madhuramurali
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas TX