Bhakti is one of the simplest and most elegant paths to reach the Lord.
bhaktAyA sulabho bhagavAn, it is said. The Lord gets easily attracted to bhakti! The innumerable life stories of the Lord’s devotees are a solid proof of this fact.
Bhakti is very simple even to a small child! Bhakti is sweet, simple and is the Lord’s favorite!
There are two pillars for bhakti. One is incessant Nama Kirtan (Chanting of the Divine Names). The other is listening to the Lord’s Divine Stories, which will elevate our spirits and enthuse us to continue chanting His Divine Names thinking of Him always.
When one does this, all the confusion and negativity in their hearts are washed away.
When it comes to meditation, Yoga or Vedanta (path of enquiry), the scriptures advocate one to practice it alone, and not in a group. But bhakti scriptures ordain us not to stay aloof, but to be together – be in the company of Sadhus – in a satsang. Andal in Tiruppavai refers to bhakti saying, “Koodi irunthu kulirndhelorembavai.”
Thus, bhakti is the means to attain Him and this bhakti has two foundational stones – the Lord’s stories and His Divine Names.
So where can this be done? The Divine Names that we chant and the Divine stories that we listen to are indeed a penance. A form of meditative energy that is released from us. When a man punches a column, the column falls down because the force from him is manifested outside. The energy is released.
Likewise, when we continue to perform Nama Kirtan and listen to His divine plays, a divine force emanates from within us. Where does this divine energy go? With one person, the energy is limited, but when hundreds of people chant, there is a concentration of divine energies.
Just like a mirror that reflects light multifold, the divine energy reflects back multifold from Krishna – Premika Varadan – who is present there. So in the Namadwaar being constructed in Houston, when we all get together and perform Nama Sankirtan, Katha Sharavanam and rejoice in the virtues of the Lord, the divine energy and the divine force from all of us reaches the supreme effulgence – Premika Varadan – and returns multifold.
A place for this is Namadwaar. It is for all of us to rejoice in the virtues of the Lord.
Even a monumental task can be accomplished easily without much strain by the Divine Name. That is the greatness of Nama. What can the Divine Name provide us with?
When one performs Navagraha Homa will that yield him liberation? It will only set right any malefic influences of the planets. A yaaga may take one to heaven; but it will not yield liberation. If one does self-inquiry or Pranava japa, it may yield liberation. But it will not resolve worldly tribulations. Each one yields a certain result.
But Nama alone can yield both! If you chant the Divine Names and pray for marriage or child-birth, it will happen. If you pray for a job, you will find a job. Prayer for harmony in the family is fulfilled; separated families are united. If a debt needs to be cleared, it happens. If a disease needs to be cured, it will be cured. Nama will give everything! And Nama will also grant liberation.
There are no separate Namas for each of these. Both are granted by the same Nama.
Nama Kirtan is a path shown by great souls. This is a proven path. People who followed this path have reached the Lord, attained jnana.
It is the simplest way! Sweetest way! Proven path! It is also approved by our scriptures.
So we have to do only one thing. We need to accumulate the wealth of Nama as much as we can. If we incessantly chant and accrue Nama, then just like how someone who has money can buy jewelry or dress or food or house, we can use it to erase our sufferings.
This Nama is monumental and has great prowess. Papa Ramdas says, “The Name is the light. The Name is the power. This Name is the Name of the Nameless person. The Name is the Samadhi.”
Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh would start singing “Hare Rama” at 6 am in the morning and sing continuously throughout the day. He would say, “Start the day with Nama, fill the day with Nama and end the day with Nama.”
We should keep chanting it. We should not think of it as a burden or a task or as a duty. What burden does one experience in chanting the Mahamantra? Our tongue is there. Nama is there. Keep chanting! Let us chant together.
We already do have a Namadwaar in Houston that is functioning in a great manner. I am routinely watching it in my heart of hearts and rejoicing.
What is our wish? It is that everyone chant the Divine Name and everyone be recipients of the Lord’s grace. Everyone be happy and prosperous – that is our wish.
May the Lord be with us in this endeavor by all means and may Madhuri Sakhi sameta Premika Varadan fulfill all our genuine desires.
In this manner, may Namadwaars come up in different places, in each city, not just for our benefit, but also for the benefit of posterity. Such Namadwaars shall function as long as the Sun and the Moon exist in this Universe.
I pray to the Almighty that the Namadwaar stands as a most valuable spiritual center to attain the Lord’s grace for all the future generations to come.