Let Us Chant the Divine Names!

Namadwaars have been inaugurated in Melboure, Australia and Atlanta, United States of America, on the 8th November 2017, with the blessings of Sri Swamiji. The same day a Namadwaar was opened at Periyakulam by the holy hands of Sri Swamiji. The benedictory address by Sri Swamiji that was videotaped and played at the inauguration of Melbourne Namadwaar is shared below:

“Worship of the Divine should be simple and for all people irrespective of country and culture. And that worship should not be the fruit of our imagination. It should be in accordance with scriptural injunctions. Only that has the Lord’s support. Well, what then can be a general way of worship that is applicable to all?

Our religion that lays down strict regulations has spoken in detail and clearly, in our holy texts (Puranas), about the present age we are in now. Those who have not done an in-depth study of our Puranas cannot comprehend this.

We have, from the elders in the family, heard about our lifestyle in earlier days. Our ancestors lived in a village in old model houses. A river in full flow ran across the village. Agriculture was the main stay. Vegetables were in abundance. It was an uncompetitive, simple life. People did not move out of the village for nearly a hundred generations. Such was the lifestyle. They had no reason to step out of their village. Even marriage alliance was between families within surrounding villages.

We are aware of our lifestyle in this age. The first reason for this is competition. Secondly, desire!

In days past needs were little; so were desires. It was not an open society. There were lots of restrictions. In today’s world, competition and desire have multiplied. It has become an open society. We are therefore confused and struggle to know our needs. While rejecting something as unnecessary we wonder if we have taken the right step. While our lifestyle is like this how can a man devote some time for worship of the Lord? What path can he follow?

A man bereft of feelings is akin to a robot. To be wholly human one must share some time of his life with his parents, siblings, friends and relatives. Sharing does not pertain to his wealth but his love and moral support. He has responsibilities towards his family, society, office and many others. Amidst all these he must relax a little, engage in entertainment, enjoy art. Man’s life becomes joyless without art. Only the joy of art keeps man happy without turning him into a machine.

When we take a walk along the seashore in the evening or when we climb up a mountain or walk through a wooded area we feel ‘how quiet and peaceful this place is’.  If merely looking at a quiet place outside can give us peace of mind, what then to speak of our mind itself being quiet! How to bring  such peace in our mind? For this the Lord has to reside in our mind. We should always hold Lord Krishna in our mind.

Well, one may question ‘Why worship Lord Krishna? Why meditate on Lord Krishna? Why sing kirtans on Lord Krishna? Why listen to Krishna’s stories? Why chant the Names of Krishna?’

Today, in our lifetime, we find various kinds of sorrows, desires, race, envy, quarrels, etc. around us in the world. We certainly are affected by each and everything. Anything pleasant makes us happy and unhappy events give us sorrow. On the other hand, is abhorrence. This is how we lead our lives. We are affected by trivial matters. The moment we hear some criticism against us we at once lose fervour. Despite our desire to come out of it we fail. When our bank balance reduces even a little it makes us sad. When there is a difference of opinion over a subject between us and another and the other man’s word comes true, our ego, receiving a severe beating, lifts it hood.

However, there is one who is unperturbed by any happening. But that is not the result of a heartless attitude but is verily blissful state! Whatever happens around him, even when something happens to him, he remains unaffected. The Bliss within hides all that is happening around him. Thus, whatever happens he pushes it aside as unconnected to him and remains in bliss. Even as we hear about such a one we do feel ‘how wonderful it would be if I could be like this’. If there is such a one, and we meditate on him and chant his name and keep singing his praises we shall certainly be transformed into his state. Our Lord Krishna is such a One.

As long as He lived in Vrindavan He showered Bhakti on all. From the little cowherds to Gopis He showed ‘prema’ which is selfless and pure love. Next, when He moved to Mathura and then to Dwaraka He performed karma yoga through kingdom administration and conducting Mahabharata war. When at last His Yadava clan was destroyed He remained unaffected as a witness like a Jnani.

Mahans have prescribed chanting this great Lord’s Name as the simple way for this Age.

Some problems can be pinpointed in the conduct of the paths of dhyana, karma, yoga, puja, etc. But in Nama (chanting the Divine Names) alone, no fault can be found. This is because the Lord Himself declares ‘even if chanted wrongly I accept it’! If pujas are not done as prescribed one has to face dire consequences. Yoga done wrongly will lead to mental disability. If we do not do dhyana properly we will fall asleep. Lethargy (tamas) would grow. The path of karma we hardly comprehend. Nama is the only path that gives the fruit in spite of any defect in us. If anyone questions ‘You chant so much Nama, are you really a good person?’ we can boldly respond ‘I am not a good person. That is why I chant Nama; because I am fit for this. I am eligible only to chant Nama. Even a person like me can chant Nama. Ajamila also chanted, didn’t he?’ The glory of Nama is to always keep us humble and lead us on a simple yet scripture-supported path.

You may wonder ‘My problem is huge, and my prayers are vast. But they are asking me to chant Nama. Will this Nama save me from huge problems?’ Yes, it has to be so – Nama is simple to that extent! But wonder of wonders Nama bestows great fruit. That is its greatness! A tiny atom bomb can destroy the whole world. Nama would suffice to break our sins to pieces and bestow peace and jnana on us. Wherever we may go, whatever surroundings we may live in, whatever culture we may be in, it would do not to forget one thing – and that is – Mahamantra! This Mahamantra is very beautiful. This Nama will be the only succour to future generations.

We are living in the interim period. Our ancestors had spent their lives in a way and the lives of those who are going to come after us is going to be entirely different.

They are going to face an entirely different world. They are going to be born in it and live in it. How to create thought of the Lord in them? Today, whether we are able to conceive the glory of Nama or not, those of future generations will certainly comprehend that this is their refuge.

My longstanding dream has been to establish Prayer centers for the sake of Nama. There should be no rituals or rites for this. There should be no restriction. No code of dress. No compulsion to renounce anything. There is nothing new to follow. Simple, easy Nama without anything else. All can come to this Prayer Center.

Prayer should not be complicated. Just think of your prayer and chant the Name. The Name is powerful. The Name is nothing but God. Even as we chant this Name, Krishna will be by our side. We should begin to perceive that Lord in everything and everyone. Perceive Krishna in a cat that runs around in the house; even in an ant perceive Krishna. Even if anyone abuses you accept it with a smile as it is verily Krishna who is abusing you through him. If someone heaps praises on you deem it as Krishna’s blessings on you through him. Thus, deem God to be the reason behind all the happenings in the world –  be it an act of an individual  or that of the society. There is nothing but God. When we reach the state of realizing that all are verily God, all happenings are verily God, we shall easily attain the Advaitic state. Just Nama alone will lead to that Jivan Mukti state.

Prayer Centers known as Namadwaar are being established according to my desire. Life in our body comes only through a single opening. When it leaves the body it goes through a single opening. In the same way, “Namadwaar” is a single opening (door) to attain God. Only through this way we have to attain God. Through no other path can all attain God this easily. Fruit cannot be attained even if effort is taken through any other path. Failure is not due to any defect in the path. But most of us have, long back, lost the capability to follow those paths. We fail to realize and refuse to accept this.

Namadwaars have been established in several places in Tamil Nadu – Thoothukkudi, Sivakasi, Virudhunagar, Ambasamudram, Cuddalore, Pammal, Anna Nagar, Tiruchirapalli, Vathalagundu, Salem, Sriperumbudur, Chidambaram, Kangeyam, Periyakulam. There is a Namadwaar in Karnataka. Big Namadwaars are in the offing in Madurai, Kovilpatti, Aruppukottai, Udumalpettai. There are Namadwaars in Singapore, Malaysia, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, Houston and Atlanta in the United States of America. Each and every devotee has offered his everything – body, mind and soul – to the creation of Namadwaar in Syndney. Any work done casually would end up as such. When done as tapas it will stand for all time to come. It is with such tapas that Sydney Namadwaar was created. This year on November 8, Namadwaars were established in Melbourne and Atlanta. My desire is establishment of a school in Melbourne for Gopa Kuteeram classes.

As Nama is chanted in a place the cosmos there is transformed. We are not able to perceive this. Once, during my visit to Thanjavur a man invited me to his home. As soon as I entered a room there I saw a white Krishna in the center. When I informed the hosts about this they were surprised. This was because some 40-50 years earlier an old Iyengar lady who lived there had had a white Krishna and done bhajan everyday! Someone else had purchased that house now. People who live there now do not possess devotion of that kind. Yet, if even after 40 years I could perceive that Krishna it is the result of that old lady’s bhajan sannidhya (divine presence). Likewise, if we keep chanting Nama in Namadwaar, Divine Presence is created. There is a simple way to perceive that Presence. A person in great difficulty stepping into the Namadwaar would at once feel peace of mind (shanti). That peace of mind is the basis for sannidhya (Divine Presence).

My prayers to the Lord to keep this Namadwaar – which shows the path to involve in the worship of the Lord – eternally.

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