We Chant Always! – Govindanukku Aatpatta Kudumbamamma #10

This series was originally published in Tamil MadhuraMurali monthly magazine in India, as a 12-part series. Based on Sri Swamiji’s Madhurageetham, “Govindanukku Aatpatta Kudumbamamma Engal Kudumbam”, it speaks beautifully of how the family members of our satsang lead/need to lead their lives.
This is the translation of the tenth article in this series. Click below links for the earlier episodes:
Part 1 – Govinda, the Beautiful One
Part 2  – Leading a Life Beholden to Govinda
Part 3 – Everything is Indeed His Will
Part 4 – How We – as Govinda’s family – Live!
Part 5 – We Shall Get Together, Sing and Dance!
Part 6 – The Attachment that Frees
Part 7 – How will we Raise our Children?
Part 8 – Love vs Attachment
Part 9 – A Worry-Free Life!

We Chant Always!

Govindanukku Aatpatta Kudumbamamma… #10

(The identifying feature of a satsang ‘house’ is that Bhagavan’s Name will constantly reverberate there! This is celebrated in the next verse of this Madhurageetham…)

07. amarndhAlum, ezhundhAlum, ninDrAlum, naDanthAlum,
pasitthAlum, pusitthAlum avan peyarayE solliDuvOm || gOvindanukku ||

When we sit, get up, stand, walk
When we are hungry, and when we eat,
We shall always chant His Name!

In Srimad Bhagavatam, there is the story of a king called Nabhi. That king does a yaga with the help of several accomplished brahmanas. In that yaga, Bhagavan Himself gives darshan. Seeing Bhagavan, do you know what is the prayer that they place before Him?

अथ कथञ्चित्स्खलनक्षुत्पतनजृम्भणदुरवस्थानादिषु 
विवशानां न: स्मरणाय ज्वर 
मरणदशायामपि सकलकश्मलनिरसनानि 
तव गुणकृतनामधेयानि वचनगोचराणि भवन्तु ॥ 5.3.12  

Are you wondering that this is such a big sloka? The boon that they are asking is also like that! It seems this is such a big boon that is asked for, even after seeing Perumal Himself! “When we stumble and fall, get up, when we slip and fall, when we yawn, when troubles assail us, why, even in our last breath, even if we are unable to think of You in our minds, may our tongues always chant only Your auspicious Divine names!

What is asked for, after obtaining the darshan of Bhagavan Himself, is indeed that His Name should always roll on the tongue. Now you understand, don’t you? The special fortune of singing His Names with our lips!

Families who are beholden to Govinda, due to Guru krupa, will always keep chanting “Ram Ram”, “Radhe Radhe”, “Radhe Krishna”.  While sitting down, instead of saying “Appada” they will say “Ram Ram”, they will wake up in the morning, saying “Hari Hari” out loud (pEraravam); while standing, “Mahamantra kirtanam”; while walking, Krishna’s name; when hungry they will chant only “Radhe Radhe”, the name of the Divine Mother of the world, our Swamini. While eating and after having eaten, it will be “Govinda” Nama only! Like this, the Divine Name stays entwined into their daily lives.

When chanting Govinda’s name even once is the result of great tapas in previous births, what them to speak of the fortune of our satsang devotees who always chant Nama?

When speaking of the fortune of bhagavatas like Uddhava Swami who lived with Krishna Himself, we would have listened and reveled in kathas that he would always sit with Krishna, walk with Krishna, eat with Krishna, speak with Krishna, and so on. Is Krishna’s Name in any way lower than Krishna Himself? Just like living with Krishna, living always with Krishna’s Name, is not even a wee bit smaller in any way! Hence it is beautiful to notice that here our Sadgurunatha, instead of saying “We will chant Nama while sitting”, instead says “When we sit, we will chant Nama”. 

We will always chant Nama; just as Sri Swamiji sings in another madhurageetham, “pADikkonDiruppom sadhA nAngaL pADikkonDiruppom” (“we shall always sing His Name”), every day one can either sit, get up, stand or walk; during waking hours, these are the things that one can do, right? Hence just as a Marathi sadhu sang “mukhIm sadA nAma”, this line shows that we will constantly do Namakirtanam. 

Once when someone asked Sri Swamiji, “Why do you chant Nama?” it seems our wonderful Gurunathar replied, “I am alive. For that reason itself I keep chanting Nama.” Yes. For true satsang families chanting Nama – like breathing – will be there till this breath is there; and as long as this breath is there, that Nama will be there too. 

Ananthakoti namaskarams to those supremely sacred Divine Names. 

— This shall grow further

Sri Ramanujamji, disciple of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Originally published in Tamil Madhuramurali magazine in Chennai

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