The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Even if one hears or utters in connection with something else the name of Hari, who is the performer of astonishing feats, all his sin is reduced to ashes i.e., destroyed. Then what cannot be achieved if one sings Hari’s Naam with Bhakti?

I am taking complete shelter in that Ram Naam Mantra by hearing or uttering which a person becomes free of all dangers.

Q. If one hears the mantra, even then will it be effective? 
A. A. Yes; amongst the five jnanendriyas, Srotra receives the first mention. The source of creation itself is ‘sound’. It is Ear which receives that sound. Skin, Eyes, Tongue, Nose, cannot receive waves which are at a distance or which are hidden from the senses; but Ears have this capacity. At the final stages, it is the Ear which goes on hearing the sound of nada and makes the mind lose itself at the lotus feet of Vishnu.

— A man is purified by hearing or singing the qualities and leela of Bhagawan Sri Krishna who is a friend of the sadhus. He himself removes all evil tendencies like lust from the hearts of those who hear his kirtan.

Q. In order to produce result, does that hearing not depend on the reverence of the hearer?
A. It does not. If by any means Naam enters some one’s ears, it is bound to exhibit its power. I shall narrate a true incident. In Burdwan district there was a village which was full of drunkards. A vaishnava one day arrived there with his disciples and started doing Naam kirtan. The headman of the village was himself a great drunkard and would drink in the company of his son without any hesitation. Many villagers followed their example and would indulge in heavy drinking. The neighbouring villages used to call this village ‘the Drunkard’s Paradise’.

The drunkards would pelt stones on the roof of the house in which the vaishnavas had taken their abode. But the latter did not bother. One day, one young villager told one of vaishnavas that their Gurudeva would not be able to make any impact on this village. But later the same young man came to the vaishnava’s Guru to take shelter under him. Naam then did so much kripa to him that he started crying bitterly (for his past sins). People gathered round this weeping young man. Ultimately, through his medium, Naam took control of the village. Many villagers took shelter with Naam. Even the young granddaughter of the headman started dancing with Naam.

Now that young man is a steady follower of Naam; he goes about doing Naam kirtan at many places and, in his own house, kirtan is held daily. Through his medium, Naam has attracted to itself many other persons and has given them peace and is doing so even now. Incidentally, towards the end of the stay of the vaishnavas in that village, the drunkards would feed them every day with much care and adoration. When the vaishnavas were about to leave the village, large quantities of sweets and mangoes were gifted to them and many villagers accompanied them up to a considerable distance. Hearing works first, one must hear Naam. Unless one hears Naam, he does not develop the desire to do kirtan.

Q. You have said earlier also that by hearing Naam, sins are destroyed. Now please tell me whether Naam gives moksha (liberation) to the singer.
A. No; whatever one prays for before Naam Kalpataru (wish tree), he gets that.

— If a person does japa of a Naam for the achievement of a desired object, then hundreds of his desires are fulfilled.

Naam gives sattva-shuddhi i.e. purifies the Naam-singer and gives him sattva guna; Naam gives jnana to the singer of Naam; Naam liberates those who are seeking moksha i.e. liberation; and those, who sing Naam with any material desires, have all their wishes fulfilled.

Q. What is Sattva-shuddhi?
A. The three gunas: Sattva Rajah and Tamah cannot be separated. Any one of them cannot exist without the others. When Sattva guna is strong, Rajah and Tamah gunas are in a feeble state. But when Rajah and Tamah become strong, Sattva lies in a dormant state. So, these three gunas always stay together. One guna may be awakened, the second one may be asleep and the third may be half-asleep; but in this way the three gunas carry on their functions on the world stage. With the singing of Naam, Sattva guna gets transformed into pure Sattva; with the appearance of pure Sattva, Rajah and Tamah gunas are not awakened again. They fall asleep forever. Then the sadhaka becomes Gunatita i.e., beyond all gunas.

Q. How does Naam give jnana? As far as I have been able to learn, I think jnana is acquired by hearing (from Guru), thinking, regular and sustained practice and analysis. How can Naam do this?
A. God gives the path of dharma to the man of good character, the path of jnana to the man who sings Naam, the path of vairagya to the man who practises dhyana and wealth to the man who worships him.

Q. Though it is true that the shastra has said this, but I cannot believe that one simply utters ‘Ram’ and automatically acquires jnana. I cannot understand this. Will you please explain it to me properly?
A.With the constant repetition of Ram Naam, the radiant Omkar appears. By illuminating the heart, Omkar dispels the darkness of ignorance. Sruti says — Though Omkar is radiant, in the heart of the a-jnani (i.e., man without jnana) it stays with its head down.

— Omkar remains with its head up in a jnani and with head down in a person without jnana.

— In the jnani, Omkar remains with its head up in form of Anahata Nada. Ram Naam first transforms itself into Omkar and drives away all darkness from the heart and the mind. Later it gives the jnana that ‘Everything is Vasudeva’ and takes the bhakta to Vaikuntha while on this earth. For the bhakta at that stage — “Wherever his eyes go, he sees Krishna”. He then swims day and night in the water of Krishna sagar. Just as for a fish there is nothing but water, similarly the mind-fish of the bhakta takes its permanent abode in the Krishna sagar. The fisherman in the form of karma cannot any longer get at that fish in spite of all efforts. So long as the bhakta exists in this body, he plays about swimming and dipping in this sea of love, and when he leaves this body, he becomes one with the eternal Paramananda-maya leela of the leela-maya i.e., God.

Q. Shall I ever be able to attain this state?
A.Certainly you will. When you have the tongue functioning and when you can sing Naam, then why do you worry? Chant, chant constantly.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Jai Ram, Jai Ram.