The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

“Amongst the two, ‘Hari Naam’ and ‘Hari’, ‘Hari Naam’ is the better. Great Hari first considers and then decides that this is Ravana, he should be killed, this is my friend Arjuna, I must be the driver of his chariot; and thus, he settles the result. But ‘Naam’ does not distinguish between the sinner and the virtuous, it blesses both.

Q. Do people even these days get such unmerited ‘Kripa’ (blessing) from ‘Naam’?

A. So many people have received it and so many are yet receiving it. I shall tell you a true story: ‘N’ used to live in Santipur. His elder brother’s father-in - law’s place was in some village in Hoogly district. ‘N’ used to excel in talks, discussions, killing birds and in precocious behaviour. When he used to visit his brother’s father-in-law’s place, he used to keep the whole village awake by the ‘bang’ ‘bang’ of gun-fire. When the villagers heard the sound of a gun, they knew that ‘N’ had arrived. In that village, a Brahmin used to observe ‘Naamkirtan’ for the whole night on ‘Ekadasi’ day. ‘N’ was fond of song and music. For the sake of song (and not due to any devotion to Sri Hari) he used to join the Naamkirtan. In course of time, ‘Naam’ did ‘Kripa’ to him. He developed passion for ‘Naam’. He used to sing ‘Taraka-Brahma’ Kirtan in many melodies. Many people learnt singing from him. Thereafter ‘N’ was no more his old self. He put on a garland of ‘Tulsi’ beads on his neck and calling Sri Chaitanya his own, he established a deep relationship with that hero of Nadia. He would not touch his gun again. Ultimately ‘Naam’ took him to the abode of ‘ananda’ (bliss). Even now many singers start singing the ‘Tarak-Brahma’ ‘Naam’ in the melodies given by him.

Q. ‘Naam’ then does not distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving?

A. There is none undeserving before ‘Naam’.
— “A man may drink wine, kill a Brahmin, steal gold, commit theft of other things as well, break his vows and be unclean (impure); he may be bereft of the study of the Vedas, he may be a sinner, full of temptation, without any religious practice and he may be a cheat; he may not observe any fasts, he may have married a Vrishali (aged girl), had been a drunkard in his previous life and may be a seller of the ‘Soma’ (the juice drunk after a Yaj~a); but even if such a person sings Vishnu’s ‘Naam’constantly, he gets ‘Mukti’ (liberation).

Q. Is drinking a great sin?
— The man who steals gold, the man who drinks, the man who covets his Guru’s wife, and the man who kills a Brahmin — these four and he that eats, sits and stays along with them — all the five fall to hell. Each of these five acts is a great sin.

In ancient times, the Brahmins used to drink. The Asuras made Shukracharya drunk and then made him eat the flesh of his disciple, Kach, along with wine. For this Shukracharya cursed that a Brahmin who would drink would be counted as a killer of a Brahmin, coveting Guru’s wife. killing a Brahmin, drinking wine and stealing gold are sins of the same order. An ordinary thief steals money, clothes and utensils. ‘Bhagna-Vrata’ is he who has broken a vow previously taken.

“If a person takes the vow that he will observe Brahmacharya by body, mind and deed, and later leaves that ‘Vrata’ (discipline) under the influence of ‘Kama’-lust, he becomes a ‘Chandal’ (very low born) in this life and in his next life is born as a dog.” If any one takes up a ‘Vrata’ (discipline) and later breaks it, he is called ‘Bhagna-Vrata’ (breaker of ‘Vrata’).

“Even when in danger or difficulty, a man must clean (purify) himself before doing any religious act.” Unless one has cleaned himself, he has no right to perform any religious act. An unclean person has no right to any religious ceremony. The next sin is not to study the ‘Vedas’. For a Brahmin it is compulsory to study the ‘Vedas’ every day. Study of the ‘Vedas’ is a form of ‘Tapasya’. The ‘Srutis’ have said that without the study of the ‘Vedas’ and practising ‘Yoga’, one cannot realise ‘Paramatma’. After studying the ‘Vedas’ one should practise ‘Yoga’ and after ‘Yoga’ again study the ‘Vedas’; then only the ‘Paramatma’ will appear before him. One who does not study books like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata etc. is a bad and irreligious person; and then comes the person who does not observe any ‘Vrata’ which purifies the body. The person who marries an aged girl is called the husband of a ‘Brishali’. He who used to drink wine in his previous life is a ‘Kunakhi’. ‘Soma’ must be drunk only by Brahmins after a ‘Yajna’; to sell it to others is a great sin. A Brahmins who sells ‘Soma’ can be purified only if he undergoes severe penance and then puts on a new sacred thread after proper ceremony. All the above-mentioned sinners, even if they do not do any form of ‘Prayaschitta’ (expiation ceremony) but only sing ‘Naam’ constantly, can be liberated from all sins by ‘Naam’ alone. And it is not that only his sins are destroyed; this great man, who sings ‘Naam’ incessantly, attains to ‘Mukti’ (liberation) in form of ‘Salokya’ (to be in the presence of God).

Q. Then does it not follow that however heinous may be the sin, it is destroyed by singing ‘Naam’ constantly? When shall I be able to believe this steadfastly by my mind and heart? When will that day dawn for me?
A. Even if you do not have complete faith it does not matter, go on singing ‘Rama Rama’ incessantly.
“A person can gain ‘Mukti’ only by remembering with love the two syllables — ‘Rama’. In the ‘Kali Yuga’, this ‘Naam’ destroys all sins, there is no need to observe any other religious rites.

Ram, Ram, Sitaram