The Mother Divine
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EASY SADHANA (Excerpts from Madman’s Jholi)
By Sitaramdas Omkarnath

The mad man was walking on the banks of the Ganga, chanting the name of Rama, when Ramadas came and said, ‘O mad father, can you tell me how God can be found easily? 

Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Pranaam or obeisance; if only you can bow in reverential salutation, you need not do anything else. God says in the Gita, ‘Bow to me’. Rama, Rama, Rama. 
Rama : Is bowing mentioned in the scriptures? God can be reached by bowing to Him? Do the scriptures say so? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Sure. Pandavgita says, ‘A performer of ten Ashwamedha sacrifices is no equal to him who prostrates before Krishna only once. The performer of ten Aswamedha sacrifices is born again but he who bows to Krishna is not born again.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Is it not an exaggeration? 
Madman : No, Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Listen on. Not to speak of obeisance, even he who utters the word ‘Namah’ with reverence, gains the eternal world even though he is one steeped in bad practices. God has said this in Anusmriti. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Rama, Rama, Rama. Listen on. Nrisinmha Purana says, ‘Respectful salutation is best yajna of all yajnas. Through offering salutation, man gets purified and goes to the world of Hari.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Mad father, I cannot believe that man gets purified by bowing down only once. 
Madman : Rama, Rama. The rishis have said this in all the scriptures. It is your misfortune that you cannot believe it! Sitaram, Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Well, listen to what the shastras say. Skanda Purana says, ‘One who prostrates before Vishnu in devotion, lives in heaven for as many cycles of creation, as the number of dust particles that stick to him while prostrating.’ 
Rama : What if someone prostrates only to show to the world? 
Madman : Skanda Purana also says, ‘Even if someone pretends to bow before Vishnu, the accumulated sins of his hundred previous lives are wiped out.’ 
Rama : What happens if a great sinner bows down? 
Madman : When a devotee falls upon the ground to perform a shashtanga pranama, all his sins fall upon earth with him; while he gets up, the sins do not. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : It is a very wonderful thing! If a sinner bows to God even hypocritically, his sins are washed away? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. These are not said by you or me but the shastras. It is said in Revakhanda, ‘There is no doubt in this, that the sins acquired in seven lives are annulled even if a man prostrates in hypocrisy to the God holding the chakra.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. My Chakradhari is highly pleased. Revakhanda also mentions, ‘Rudra is pleased with worship, Divakara is satisfied by japa and homa, and my Thakur holding the conch, the chakra and the mace, is satisfied in the highest degree by prostration.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama. Would you like to hear more? Sitaram. 
Rama : I will listen most willingly. Please do say. 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Rama. In Revakhanda it is mentioned, ‘By performing a shashtanga pranama to Hari, a man gets the result that he gets by worshipping other gods.’ Rama, Rama. ‘By prostrating on the ground, the man who offers obeisance lives in the Vishnuloka for as many thousand years as the particles of dust that stick to his body.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Listening to the glory of obeisance, hope rises in my heart. Even if I can do nothing else I will be contented merely by bowing down. 
Madman : Rama, Rama. Is there any doubt about it? It is said in Brahmandapurana, ‘Though a man blinded by illusion commits many sins, he does not go to dark hell if he bows before Hari, who takes away all the sins.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Rama, Rama. 
Yamagita says, ‘All the sins of a man who respectfully prostrates to Hari (whose lotus feet are worshipped by the immortals) are washed away. Hence, O messengers consider that man to be like agni moistened with ghee and leave him alone.’ Rama, Rama, Rama. Rama, Jai Jai Rama. 
Rama : Well, mad father, what comes of bowing down to superiors? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama. Manu says, ‘When a youth comes before an elder person, his prana leaps upwards. By rising to welcome the elder and by saluting him, the prana returns to its place. By prostrating before elders, longevity, learning, fame and strength are increased. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Well, mad father, why does prana leap upwards when an elder comes near? 
Madman : Rama, Rama. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. This world is the embodiment of prana. It is the prana only which takes a gross form and appears as the world. Again, it is the prana in its subtle form that contains everything. The sense organs in the body are the spiritual forms of the prana. The presiding deities of the senses are divine forms of the prana. Sound, touch, complexion, juice and smell are material forms of the prana. The prana has assumed physical form and has become man, birds and animals, trees and creepers, worms and insects, rivers and streams, oceans, and mountains. Virat is the creation of the prana. It is the cause of the universe. Prana endowed with the power of resolution, is called mind. Prana endowed with the power of perseverance is called vijnana. Pranava is another name of this prana. The first manifestation of the joyful, Supreme Soul is the prana. Those who establish the truth knowing that ‘God is in all in the form of prana’, are fulfilled. Seeing an elder come in, the prana of the younger person is automatically attracted and leaps upwards. If he bows down, his prana regains its place. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Well, mad father, how many kinds of pranama are there? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. Pranama is of three kinds; physical, oral, and mental. Of them, the bodily pranama is the highest. Kalikapurana says, ‘The gods are always satisfied by bodily pranama. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Bodily pranama and oral pranama are of different kinds. Rama, Rama. 
Rama : Is pranama mentioned in the Upanishads? 
Madman : Rama, Rama. Yes, they are. There is no other sadhana like pranama. Taittiriyopanishat states, ‘Worship the embodiment of Joy; the Supreme Soul, by uttering the word Namah.’ All the objects of enjoyment come with bowed head to the devotee who offers salutations in this way. He, who bows down to God without any desire, has vision of God. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama. According to Ramottaratapinyupanishad, the word Namah is the only means of obtaining complete joy. All the gods and all the seekers bow to Him who resides in the innermost depths of the soul. Rama, Rama, Rama, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : How many bows are to be made every day? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. According to Shivapurana Vidyeshwar Samhita, the learned will bow millions of times. All deities are satisfied by the atmayajna in the form of respectful salutation. Rama, Rama, Rama. It is further said, ‘a mind dedicated to the Supreme Soul has no relish for lack of emptiness. The vanity that I have vanishes when I see you.’ ‘O Lord! You are great! I bow down to you with my whole being. My form is not emptiness (I am a part of you), now I am your servant.’ ‘Properly perform appropriate salutation, which is sacrifice of the soul.’ Rama, Rama, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Do jnanis also do pranaam
Madman : Rama, Rama, Jai Rama, Jai Jai Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama. 
Suta Samhita says, ‘Ancient rishis have described obeisance as a characteristic of knowing that the sense of separation from the blissful God exists because of illusion and not due to difference in nature. The connection created with God through namaskara overcomes this separation. It is a sign of being one with Him.’ Vriddha Harita says, ’M signifies distinction and N eliminates it. Hence, the separation from God is eliminated by uttering the word Namah. Offering a salutation with this mantra yields higher results.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. It is said in Revakhanda, ‘The result of a single salutation offered with a mantra, is equal to the fruits of doing respectful salutation for twelve years.’ 

The Gita, the Chandi, The Ramayana, the Srimad Bhagawad and other scriptures speak loudly of offering pranaam. Arjuna, the friend of Krishna, started with a number of salutations to Him. God speaks of the highest sadhana with the words ‘Be mindful only of me, be devoted to me, offer sacrifices to me; if you can do nothing else, respectfully bow before me, that will suffice.’ In Chandi, Sakra rishi and others offer respectful salutation to Devi. The first hymn in the Uttaracharita is full of salutations. Brahmarshi says that these two mantras contain the essence of the whole of the Chandi.’ 
‘To the Devi who exists in all beings as the Mother, I bow to you repeatedly in salutation.’ ‘To the Devi who exists in all beings as delusion, I bow to you repeatedly in salutation.’ The hymn to Narayani, in the concluding part of Chandi, says, ‘Salutations to you, O Narayani, who are the fair one, the three-eyed goddess, the giver of shelter, the source of good in the world, the auspiciousness in all that is auspicious and the provider of all worldly and spiritual desires.’ Rama, Rama. Not only that. All the Gods say, ‘O Goddess, you take away the sufferings of all, be pleased with us. O, Goddess, the object of the worship of all who reside in the three worlds, give boons to those who bow at your feet.’ 
It is mentioned in the Ramayana that, Valmiki received the seed of Ramayana from Brahma. On seeing Brahma, Valmiki worshipped Him with padya, arhga and asana and prostrated.’ What to say of my Mahavirji. He says, ‘I bow to Rama, Lakshmana and to that Goddess, the daughter of Janaka. I bow down to Rudra, Indra, Yama, Anila, Chandra, Arka and the Maruts.’ In Sri Ramacharitmanasa, Goswami Tulsidasa has devoted the entire opening chapter to obeisance. ‘I bow to the object of Rama’s love; Sita, who is the cause of creation, existence and destruction, the remover of pain and the doer of welfare.’ 
Srimad Bhagawad says, ‘Before commencing, I offer my respectful salutations to the personality of God-head, Narayana, Nara-Narayana, the supermost being, the Goddess, the Mistress of learning and Vyasadeva, the author.’ The first shloka of the Vishnupurana says, ‘Victory to you, the one with lotus-eyes, the origin of the universe, the Lord of the senses, the greatest Being and the first born.’  

In the Srimad Bhagawad, Sri Suta begins, ‘My respectful obeisance to that great sage. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life, leaving home without undergoing the sacred thread ceremony, his father Vyasadeva, cried, ‘Oh, my son!’ and the trees echoed in response.’ ‘When Narada arrived, Vyasadeva worshipped him. Narada gave him the seed of the Srimad Bhagawad and left. In the Bhagawad that Vyasadeva composed, having got guidance from the mouth of Narada, obeisance, praise and worship are spoken of almost in every chapter. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Sitaram, Rama, Rama. 
Rama : Do all the shastras sing the praises of salutation? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. The shastras are replete with obeisance. 
The poet says in the Bhagawad, ‘Being devoted to none else and knowing that the sky, the wind, fire, water, the earth, the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars, all the creatures, the ten directions, all the trees, the rivers and seas are all my body; the devotee should bow to me. Bhagawan Kapila says, ‘God is present in all the creatures as the internal being; knowing this, bow mentally to all the creatures in the creation.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Rama, Rama. God said clearly to Uddhava, ‘Let people laugh at you. Discard the worldly concept of ‘I am this or that’ and prostrate before all beings and creatures.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama. 
Rama : A complete prostration? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. One bow fulfils the task. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. 
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, ‘Lie prostrate before all with full respect; Brahmins, non-brahmins and all creatures. Respectfully bowing to all is the Vaishnava faith. He who is not thus inclined is a hypocrite.’ 
Rama : Mad baba, do the Vedas and Upanishads enjoin pranama as the Chandi and Gita do? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Jai Jai Rama, Rama. Rudradhyana begins with ‘O Rudra, my salutations to your anger and your arrows. Salutations to your bow and to your hands.’ 
Thereafter almost everything is imbued with pranama. Svetasvatara Upanishad says, ‘Salutations to the blissful and radiant Supreme Soul who pervades the entire world and is present in fire, water, herbs and vegetation.’ Rama, Rama, Rama. 
This is found in the Atharva Siropanishad. ‘Om, He is Rudra. He is surely the God that is Brahma. I bow to Him again and again.’ Thus salutations through Namo Namah are offered in thirty-two verses. It is said in Nrisimhapurvatapini, ‘Om, salutations to Him, who is Nrisinmha, who is God and Brahma.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Similar praise and namaskar is offered in thirty-two mantras. The Ramotaratapini Upanishad says, ‘Om, He who is Sri Ramachandra is God without a second, the source of highest bliss and the Supreme Soul. I also bow to Him who is the Supreme Brahma, Bhu, Bhuva and Swa.’ It offers further salutations of Namo Namah in forty-seven verses. Rama, Rama, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. 
Rama : Do the Upanishads also contain many things about pranama
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram. There is no way other than pranama. Listen to what Rudrahridayopanishad says. ‘The wise man that says, ‘Rudra, Rudra’ and sings the glory of the Supreme Being, is rid of his sins. Rudra is Man and Uma is Woman, I bow down to Him and Her.’ The salutation is made in eight such mantras. 
Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. 

In Tarasaropanishad, the salutation is performed in eight mantras, such as ‘I bow to Him who is Sri Paramatma Narayana. God expressed by the letter ‘h’, who is Jambavan, Bhu, Bhuva and Swa.’ The salutation is performed in the Gopalottaratapini Upanishad with seventeen such mantras as ‘Om, I bow to prana-atma who is Bhu, Bhuva and SwaOm tat sat. I bow to prana-atma.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. How much more shall I say? The Vedas, Upanishads, Purana and all shastras are replete with salutation Namo Namah. Rama, Rama. 
Rama : Well, why do shastras have so many prayers and salutations? 
Madman : Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. The main root of the problems of the world is; I and mine. The more one has ‘I and mine’, the unhappier he is. Lesser the feeling of ‘I and mine’, more is the happiness. To get hold of ‘I’ one is to do away with ‘mine’. The root of the feeling, ‘all is mine’, is ‘my body’. Namah means ‘not mine’. In Namah one ‘m’ is eliminated indicating that this body is not mine. Namo Namah is uttered to lose the identification with the body. One can become carefree only by offering the body to Him. That is why the shastras speak so much of salutation; to respectfully offer this body to God. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Chant ‘Rama Rama’ and offer obeisance. The root of the malady will be destroyed. The body truly belongs to God. Inert or conscious; all are His forms. Calling His body as yours and putting the stamp of ‘mine’ on it, only creates untold misery. Rama, Rama. Hand over His wealth to Him and set off, free, uttering Namo Namah. Rama, Rama, Namah, Namah.  
‘He is coming! ‘The madman begins to dance, chanting the name of Rama.  Ramadas also begins to dance with him. 
Jai Rama, Sitaram.