Nama alone is enough to fulfill all that we dream
Annually, on Jan 1 of each year Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji conducts a Mahamantra Mass Prayer in a different city in India, where he emphasizes the power of the Divine Name (Bhagavan Nama), exhorts everyone to chant the Divine Name, and also conducts a prayer where everyone chants together. Thousands of devotees attend these mass prayers and benefit from the divine ambience, as well as thousands more from around the world participate in the mass prayer remotely and are also inspired to chant more of the Divine Name. Jan 1 is referred to as the Kalpataru Day because on Jan 1, 1886, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa became a ‘wish-fulfilling tree’ (Kalpatharu) and blessed all his devotees with whatever they asked for.
Below is a summary of Sri Swamiji’s message from this year’s event held on Jan 1, 2023.
Sri Swamiji led this year’s “Kalpataru day” mass prayer satsang on the outskirts of the beautiful city of Bengaluru, amidst thunderous applause as he shared his New Year wishes in Kannada. Sri Swamiji commenced the prayer session explaining that everyone has assembled to chant and to pray in unison seeking Bhagavan’s mercy to be bestowed on all. He emphasized the importance of chanting Nama and wearing the japa mala by highlighting, “From Nardana Ganapathi, Thiruchendur Murugan and Kanyakumari Devi to Sringeri Sharadha Devi and Badri Narayanan, all are immersed in the constant chanting of the Divine Name with a mala in their hands. So, why should we shy away from chanting or wearing a Japa mala?”
Pray to Bhagavan directly for His help
Sri Swamiji compassionately said that this is a day to fulfill our dharmic and genuine desires through prayer at the feet of Bhagavan instead of asking another person’s help. Greedy prayers should be avoided as it will end in tragedy, or vipareetham. He underlined incidents from scriptures; just like how Uttara, Draupadi, Gajendra & Gopis went directly to Bhagavan and sought His help when in trouble, we should also pray directly to Bhagavan for His grace instead of some other person.
The reason we go around asking others for help is because we don’t know how to properly pray to Bhagavan. Sri Swamiji shared a personal anecdote where Sri Panduranga miraculously arranged for darshan in Pandharpur, when Sri Swamiji refused to use VIP influence. He hinted that Bhagavan gives us such experiences to show us that if we hold onto Him deeply in our heart by chanting His names, all our desires will be fulfilled.
Bhagavan Nama (Divine Name) is superior to the Kalpataru (the wish-fulfilling tree).
Beautifully, Sri Swamiji brought home this message of how Bhagavan Nama is greater than the Kalpataru tree. The tree grants all our wishes, whether it is good or bad for us. Instead, Bhagavan Nama bestows only what is good to us. Bhagavan works silently and when He is pleased with us, He blesses us with a satsang. Being in a satsang gives great protection.
Glories of Bhagavan Nama
Referring to Sri Purandaradasa kirtans, Sri Swamiji endorsed that
– Bhagavan Nama is pure, and it is the rarest of gems
– There are no rules or regulations for chanting Nama
– Merely chanting Bhagavan Nama from wherever we are is sufficient even if one cannot visit a temple or take a dip in the holy waters
– Bhagavan Nama bestows happiness in this world as well as in the eternal world.
– This precious human birth should not be wasted without chanting Nama
– The blessings of homa, yaga, yagna and tapas are not realized without chanting Bhagavan Nama
He also emphasized Swami Sivananda’s verse:
“Start the day with Nama, fill the day with Nama, end the day with Nama”.
What is a prayer?
To elucidate the meaning of prayer and how it should be performed, Sri Swamiji instanced a touching episode from Sri Narsimha Mehta’s life. Narsimha Mehta was a 16th century saint from Gujarat whose life was threatened by the king. Sri Narsimha Mehta invoked Bhagavan’s compassion with a staunch prayer and got himself out of danger. With this context, Sri Swamiji stressed that a prayer is not merely an act of passing of information to Bhagavan or performing an archana, homa, offering vadamala to Bhagavan, or regularly visiting a temple; rather, it is an incessant act of pleading to Bhagavan until the need is fulfilled.
How to do a Prayer?
Giving simple step by step details, Sri Swamiji stressed that
• A prayer must be specific and clear with genuine needs; it should not be infused with greed.
• One should never ponder whether the need will be fulfilled or not.
• One should plead persistently to Bhagavan with full faith, recalling His glories and chanting His divine names until the prayer is answered.
Sri Swamiji declared that Bhagavan Nama is superior to Bhagavan Himself. And standing even higher than Bhagavan Nama is a bhakta’s genuine faith in the Nama.
Bhagavan Nama is the ultimate refuge for all
Illustrating how a small atom bomb is enough to destroy a big country, Sri Swamiji boldly affirmed that one Nama alone is enough to banish all our difficulties. He asserted, “Chant the Bhagavan Nama with confidence, determination, and without hesitation. Bhagavan Nama is the refuge, even greater than Bhagavan Himself, and will protect us in any place and at any time”.
And he emphasized, “Simply chant Nama and leave the rest to me!”
Then he further insisted, “Don’t miss the golden opportunity in this human life and chant Bhagavan Nama as much as possible. Ask others to chant as well. Don’t worry if someone scolds you or insults you. Have as many people chant Bhagavan Nama. If we all chant like that, this Kali yuga will become Nama yuga. I am not going to rest till each, and every person is chanting Bhagavan Nama. Even if this mortal frame drops, I shall return as a spirit and incite people to chant!” and concluded the mass prayer with the below blessing message for all.
Sri Swamiji’s New Year blessing message
“This new year of 2023 has started with the great fortune of being amongst many bhaktas to chant Bhagavan Nama. May you all receive good news, be victorious in all your activities without any setbacks. Let us chant and make others chant as well. Let Bhagavan Nama stay with us always. May Bhagavan always bestow His grace on all of you!”
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare |
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare ||
Compiled by Raman Veezhinathan, Richmond, VA
Click here to go back to the January 2022 newsletter page: