The Mother Divine
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Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath answers in Sri Sri Namamrit Lahari

Q. Can a man conquer death in this Yuga?

A. Certainly he can.

Q. Does it really happen?

A. Of course, it does.

Q. Is it very difficult to conquer death?

A. Not at all; the path is easy and straight and pleasant to traverse.

Q. Please show me that path.

A. Go on repeating ‘Naam’ constantly; you will certainly conquer death.

Q. How can I conquer death only by repeating ‘Naam’? I have no faith or devotion; I am prone to anger and lust; I have hundreds of serious faults; I am a great sinner. How can I gain salvation by simply uttering ‘Naam’?

A. Yes, you can. If you go on repeating ‘Naam’ constantly, your anger and lust will disappear and so also your sins and sufferings. Floating in the great flood of Love, you will attain the state of ‘Ananda’ (Bliss).

Q. Do I take it that even a man without any faith and devotion can save himself?

A. Yes, I shall tell you a story. A prostitute had a parrot. She made the parrot repeat ‘Ram Naam’ constantly.

— ‘Ram Naam’ is ‘Param Brahma’, it gives higher rewards/ merit than even the study of all the ‘Vedas’.

The prostitute had no love for ‘Ram Naam’. But she had to teach the parrot some sound; so, she taught it to utter ‘Ram’, ‘Ram’, ‘Ram’. She used to hear ‘Ram Naam’ from the parrot not because she had any reverence for ‘Naam’ but because the parrot could utter this sound so well. But, ‘Ram Naam’ is very potent. Its effectiveness does not depend on the singer having reverence or the understanding of its import. So —
— By the very utterance of ‘Ram Naam’ all the grave sins of the prostitute and the parrot were destroyed.

Q. Some say that the Sastras attribute such greatness to Naam only to attract people to the path. Once the sinner has taken the turn, he should be taught other forms of Sadhan and Bhajan. Only then can he gain Mukti (i.e., blissful peace)

A. Only those who have not traversed the path of Naam say this. They have followed other paths. If only one can hold on to the two lettered word ‘Ram’, all forms of ‘Sadhan’ and ‘Bhajan’, ‘Bhakti’ and ‘Mukti’ will, of their own accord, flock to hold him fast on their chests and carry him straight to God.

Q. I am often tempted to try other centers (of concentration), such as the base of the mind, the tip of the nose, and the space between the eyebrows. What does Bhagavan think about it?

Bhagavan: When the Heart center is there (is present), why not go directly to it instead of going through other centers? To come to Tiruvannamalai from Madras (in South India), why should you go to Banaras (in North India) first and come down all the way, or why go to Rameswaram (another city further south in India) and come up here. Why not come straight?

Q. If that be so, why then do Bhaktas read and hear the Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagwatam and other religious books?

A. They do it in order to gain strong attachment to Naam. The unsettled mind cannot stick to one thing for long. Hence the Shastras and the saints advise people to engage themselves also in study and worship.

Q. If one goes on uttering ‘Ram’, ‘Ram’ will he be saved the trouble of practising Dhyana?

A. For attaining Dhyana he will not have to take recourse to imagery. Naam will cross through the uttered and the silent modes of chanting, induce a state of meditation and start playing in his mind. Mental Japa is itself Dhyana; for this, one does not require any imagery or blind faith. If one goes on repeating Ram Naam constantly, the Naam gets inextricably mixed in his bones and marrow, his blood and flesh. The current of Naam passes through every vein and artery in his body. Naam starts playing in his seven hundred seventy-two million and odd veins. Five hundred and forty million and odd hairs on his body start dancing. Then God appears before him in person and blesses him. In order to make the Sadhaka directly perceive the truth that He is both Nirguna (i.e., without attributes) and Saguna (with attributes). He is the Atma and the Avatara, that He is One in all, God takes away the ‘Ram Naam’ from him and gives him Omkar in its place. If he can but hold on to this Omkar in the form of Nada, then, nothing further remains for him to know or to do.

Q. Do you mean that the Sadhaka need no longer meditate on Omkar or think about it?

A. Do you mean that the Sadhaka need no longer meditate on Omkar or think about it?

Except ‘Ram Naam’, there is nothing else in my life. In the ‘Kali Yuga’, for the sinful people, blinded by their attachment to life, there is no other path, none else, none whatever.