New Year and Pongal begin with Nama

Date: 11 Jan 2008
Time: 7pm-8pm
Venue: Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Houston, TX
Pravachana Karta: Sri RamaKrishnaHari
Topic: Glory of the Divine Name

The program was to start at 7.15 PM, but when Ramakrishnahariji entered the temple, there were only 3 people in the hall. Ramakrishnahariji started off the evening with a blissful 15 minute rendition of the Mahamantra after paying obeisance to Sri Swamiji. The Mahamantra was indeed magnetic. The smallish crowd had ballooned to 35 in no time.

He began the discourse by mentioning how far the crowd (Guyanese Indians) had come, away from India, and though most of them have lost their ties to their ancestral land, they have continued to uphold and spread our Sanathana Dharma by running such a beautiful temple.

As newer generations come, it becomes more and more difficult to explain the concepts of our Vedas etc. In this day and age, people want simpler instructions in a manner that is not too complex to preach or practice. He suggested that that simple way was to chant the Holy Name. It is because God is full of compassion and love and would reciprocate His feelings to us if only we approached Him sincerely. Then he went a step further and said that we don’t even have to worry about being sincere in our prayers. The Names themselves are so powerful that they will take care of both our worldly and spiritual goals, even if we don’t earnestly pray for it. The easiest way to develop love for God is to chant His name as shown by many saints in India’s glorious history.

To quote one such history, Ramakrishnahariji elaborated on the devotion of Meera Bai towards Krishna. He delved deep into Meera Bai’s charithra and shared how ‘prema-bhakthi’ can take one to the lotus feet of God.

Towards the end, the crowd again chanted the Mahamantra for about 15-20 minutes. In between the chanting, Ramakrishnahariji stepped in and urged everyone to sing out loudly as that was really the only way out in this Kali Yuga. He said there were only 2 requirements for chanting the Mahamantra – the tongue, and the willingness to sing. It is no doubt that the emotional and enthusiastic recital and talk by Ramakrishnahariji would forever remain fresh in the hearts of the listeners.

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