The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Of all the names of Sri Vishnu, the Jagannatha Naam is the greatest. There is no greater Naam than Jagannatha — this is sung in all the three worlds.

On one side is the flame-like two lettered ‘Hari’ Naam and on the other side are all the sins like a huge heap of cotton wool. Just as the heap of cotton-wool is reduced to ashes as soon as flame touches it, in the same way if the two lettered Naam ‘Hari’ enters the ear-drums (i.e. is heard) or if the two letters are sung with the tongue, no trace of sin remains.

One can feel in this very life that his sin has been destroyed. It is of course different with grave sinners. Otherwise Naam bestows its kindness soon on even a person not well disposed towards Hari. I shall narrate a true story:

In a village in Burdwan district, some young men started singing Naam-kirtan regularly. On some occasions they used to carry on the kirtan for twenty-four hours and on other occasions for seventy-two hours. Some would do kirtan every day. In that village there was one young man who did not like Naam-kirtan. He would deridingly call the kirtan singers fox hunters. But the singers did not pay any heed to him and continued with their kirtan.

If a person shows hostility against anything, then he has to think about that thing even unconsciously. He would often remark that these fox-hunters were shouting Hare Krishna day and night and it was impossible to live in this village because of them. So, these words used to dance in his heart. Even though he used to utter Hare Krishna with malice and think of it with hostile feeling, Naam bestowed its kripa on him. Naam came to him in his dream in the form of the Guru of the fox-hunters, and gave him instruction on Naam.

The wheel of his karma turned. Ultimately this hostile youth took diksha from the Guru of the kirtan-singers and derived great bliss by surrendering himself at the Guru’s feet. He is still living happily with a smile on his face though tossed about by diverse pulls. His previous evils and sins were all destroyed by uttering Naam, even though maliciously.

Q. Is it not strange that this man got Hari’s kripa even though would speak ill of Sri Hari?
A. He would utter Naam though it was done in derision or in joke; he used to think of Naam also in the same spirit, but its result had to come. In whatever way Naam is sung or heard, that Naam completely purifies the sinners. On being purified, they get Mukti.

Q. If a person is a great sinner, will he also be purified if he utters Naam even with malice and derision?
A. Is there any doubt about it? A person may be outside the pale of all religions and may be engaged in all kinds of sinful acts; even he will be liberated if he constantly sings Vishnu’s Naam; there is no doubt about it.

Q. What are all the religions?
A.Patience, forgiveness, control of oneself, not to steal, observing both internal and external cleanliness, control of senses, intelligence which can understand God, knowledge of God, truth and no anger, these ten are the signs of Dharma. Manu has said that if one is devoid of these qualities, and has neglected his caste, religion and ashrama, even he is liberated if he sings Hari-Naam kirtan.

Q. When I hear your words, new hope comes to my heart, I get a desire to sing Naam-kirtan and I begin singing Naam, but I do not know which prarabdha (action collected in previous life) draws me away from Naam.
A. Let it happen; yet you must not cease in your efforts. Let your sins remain, let your sorrows remain, let even your lust and anger remain, let obstacles come in your way repeatedly; yet you must not give up Naam.

Those who do not start any good work lest there be difficulties on the way, are poor third rate people: those who begin a good work but desist from it when some difficulties arise, are second-rate people; but those who, even though they are repeatedly confronted with difficulties, do not give up a good work once started, are good or first-rate people. Let obstructions come, like the Vindhya Hills, obstructing the path to the South, let difficulties obstruct your way of ‘Bhajan’, but undaunted you carry on your ‘Naam-Kirtan’ and do not abandon it. Like dry leaves before a storm, these mountains of difficulties will also be blown away forever. ‘Naam’ is not a simple thing. In Naam lies hidden enormous power.

Q. Is that so? Does all this strength lie hidden in the two letters Rama or Krishna?
A. Please hear this: — Walking or siting, eating or breathing or even speaking, if a person does Hari Naam samkirtan, he conquers Kali with ease and gains his real self. After gaining bhakti, he ultimately attains parmatma who is solidified sat-chit-ananda.
Sing, oh please sing:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.