An entire plane filled with passengers disappears, never to be found again. It could be a plane we are on.
A sudden tornado kills people in a neighborhood. It could be our neighborhood.
There’s a shooting in an elementary school; teachers and students are killed and injured. Could be our children!
A neighbor’s child drowns in their pool. A friend’s friend dies in a car crash while on vacation. A relative dies of lung cancer. A close friend is diagnosed with breast cancer. All of these people could be us!
If we are alive and healthy and reading this, we are extremely lucky… for now.
Life is fragile. It’s a stark fact that we are all aware of deep inside. Yet we like to think we are invincible; that neither we nor our close family will die – even in old age, let alone prematurely! Amazing indeed is the Lord’s Maya!
Death stares us in the face every day. But where can we run? Where can we hide? Where can we be safe?
There is only one answer to this question: We can be truly safe only with the Divine Name on our lips, and only at the feet of a true Guru. There is no other haven. This is the plain, simple truth.
However devout we may be or however strong our faith in God, faith can easily desert us when we are faced with death or danger.
What then can we hold on to? In such a dire situation, we need something more concrete than a strand of delicate faith for support. The Divine Name (the graspable connection to God) and the Guru (God in a concrete form) are that strong lifeline when we are drowning in fear.
When the Divine Name of God or Guru is constantly on our lips, we are constantly protected.
This is the actual experience of every single person who has fervently chanted or cried out the Divine Name in the face of danger. (The key point here is that only when the Name is always on our lips will our mind remember to chant it when faced with danger. After all, how can an agitated mind have the intelligence to suddenly do something that it is not used to?)
The greatest benefit of taking refuge in the Name and the Guru is that not only are we protected, but also strengthened. Death is inevitable in this world. But fear of death is optional. Only a Guru can completely eliminate this fear.
When God brought forth this world with death and danger in it, He also provided a simple way out — for those of us who really want it. He gave us His Divine Names. And He Himself comes time and again in the form of mahatmas to give us solace and remind us all about the Divine Names.
In this world fraught with danger at every step, we do not have to live in constant fear of death and misery. We have the choice to rise above it—if only we so desire—by holding on to the Divine Name and the Guru’s feet!
Nisha Giri, Houston TX