The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Q. Will you please tell me more about ‘Ram Naam’? 
A. “In the 'Sruti', ‘Smriti’ and the ‘Puranas’, ‘Ram Naam’ has been very well described. By the repeated ‘Kirtan’ of this ‘Naam’ all the three types of ‘Tapa’ (difficulties) are destroyed.” 

Q. Does ‘Ram Naam’ occur in all the ‘Puranas’? 
A.“That is not a ‘Purana’ where Rama does not exist. That is not a ‘Samhita’ which does not contain Rama. That is not history which has no mention of ‘Rama’. That is not poetry in which there is no Rama. 

Q. What are the three ‘Tapas’ (difficulties)? 
The difficulties and dangers that are caused by ¨dhi-Bhautik sources e.g., men, animals, birds, snakes, scorpions etc., are called ‘dhi-Bhautika Tapa’. Those that are caused ‘dhi -Daivika’ sources (that is supernatural sources) e.g. spirits or due to the constellation of stars are called ‘dhi-Daivika Tapa’. And those that are caused due to 'adhyaatmika’ reasons (i.e. due to one’s own mind and body), are called ‘dhyatmika Tapa’. The ‘Shastras’ have laid down various methods of nullifying these ‘Tapas’. ‘Sakhya’ has discussed the difference between ‘Purusha’ and ‘Prakriti; ‘Patanjal’ has prescribed ‘Ashtanga Yoga’; ‘Vedanta’ has given the knowledge ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (I am Brahma); ‘Nyaya’ has explained the sixteen objects and ‘Bhakta’ has shown the path of ‘Bhakti’. If one adopts any of these paths according to his merit, he can get relief from these three ‘Tapas’ forever. 
“Ram-Naam Kirtan’ is considered to be the atonement for all sins. In the three worlds, there is nothing of greater purity than ‘Ram-Naam”. 

Q. Well, you are repeatedly asserting that by doing ‘Ram-Naam Kirtan’ one can see ‘Pranava’ and ‘Jyoti’. Are you imagining these things or are they mentioned in any ‘Shastra’?
A. There is no imagination on my part. On the basis of the ‘Shastras’, I am telling you the great Truth which has been realised by those ‘Sadhakas’ who, by the dint of their ‘Sadhana’, have gained ‘Pranava’, ‘Jyoti’, ‘Nada’ etc. 

Q. But there may be a mistake in the realisation? 
If the realisation tallies with the words of the ‘Shastra’ & the Guru and if that realisation continues for a long time, then it must be correct. In such a case, even if ‘Brahma’ comes and says that your conception is wrong, you may courteously show him the door and tell him that he need not bother about you. 
The answer to your question has been given in the Sloka that by Naam Kirtan one can see Tarak Brahma.
“If one sees, hears it, thinks about it and meditates on it, then one can get ‘Atma-Jyana’ (knowledge of self”. But by ‘Naam Kirtan’ alone one can see ‘Taraka-Brahma’.

Q. What is Taraka Brahma? 
 “Om’, this letter is ‘Para-Brahma’, it should be worshipped and meditated upon. These are very fine eight syllables. 

“Because it protects you, therefore it is ‘Taraka’ i.e. Protector. Know this that ‘Om’ itself is ‘Taraka-Brahma’. So, you should worship it and meditate on it.”

Q. You have called ‘Pranava’ the ‘Taraka-Brahma’ have you not?
 It has been said in Advayta-Taraka-Upanishad that ‘Brahma’ is of two types (1) ‘Mirta’ that is visible and (2) ‘Amrta’ that is invisible. That which is perceived by the senses is visible. That which is the ‘Jyoti’ that exists beyond the junction of the eyebrows is not visible”.One should constantly practise concentrating one’s mind in the thought of that which is inside. 
“With the help of the ‘Taraka’ one can see the substance at the top (i.e. sky); then with mind concentrated in the sky, ‘Brahma’ in the form of ‘Satchidananda’ is seen. 

Q. Does ‘Taraka’ signify ‘Pranava’ and ‘Jyoti’? 
 Yes; one can see ‘Taraka-Brahma’ by simply singing ‘Ram Naam’. This ‘Sadhan’ of ‘Ram Naam-Kirtan’ is not dependent on the success of other forms of ‘Sadhan’. In other words, it does not depend upon hearing, thinking, repeated concentration, or Japa’, ‘Dhyana’ and Prayer. It is self-sufficient unto itself. By ‘Kirtan’ alone, the man attains all that he desires. 

“Those, who consider other forms of ‘Sadhan’ equal to ‘Ram Naam’, are like ‘Chandalas’ and they are consigned to ‘Raurava hell.”

“The unanimous decision of the four Vedas is that the only source of all happiness, Ram Naam Param Brahma, gives ‘Prema’ (love) to all. Hence leaving aside all evil tendencies, you should, with great care, do ‘Bhajan’ of ‘Ram Naam’ by body, mind and deed. 

Q. That ‘Ram Naam’ is ‘Param Brahma’, I do not understand properly? 

Q. You and your Name are not the same — are they?
 It is true that my Name and myself are not the same. But God and his ‘Naam’ are the same thing. When there is nothing else in this ‘Brahmanda’ other than Himself, then His ‘Naam’ cannot be anything outside Him. 

“Whatever can be perceived by the mind, whatever can be seen or heard by the senses like eyes and ears, whatever can by analysed by the intellect, all that is your ‘Rupa’ (form or beauty).” 
Whatever is ‘Murtam’ (visible form) or ‘Amurtam’ (invisible or without form) or anything else that exists all that is your ‘Rupa’ (form and beauty). Whatever there is that is poetry, music, song etc. that is also your ‘Rupa’. All songs are - “The form of the sound of song is the body of Mahatma Vishnu.” 

“Naam’ is the giver of all desired fruits; ‘Naam’ is Krishna Himself who in the embodied form of ‘Chintamani-Chaitanya-Rasa’; ‘Naam’ is complete in itself, pure, everlasting and free because ‘Naam’ and the ‘Naami’ i.e. the named are not different.

Q. Because there is no substance other than God, so ‘Naam’ is also God. In common parlance there is difference between the thing indicated and the indicator. But in case of ‘Naam’ it is not so. Is this not what you mean?
 Yes, Sri Rupa Goswami, the greatest of all Vaishnava Acharyas said — 
“You have two forms — ‘Vacya’ (that which is indicated) and ‘Vacaka’ (that which indicates). You are ‘Vacya’ and ‘Vacaka’ is your ‘Naam’; Of these two I know the latter i.e. ‘Vacaka’ as the kinder. God is not so kind as His ‘Naam’.

Q. Why is it so?
 In order to see God face to face, the ‘Bhakta’ has to undergo hard penance, give up everything and to create in himself an irrepressible desire to see Him. But ‘Naam’ is very kind. Whoever has tongue can utter this ‘Naam’. It is not necessary for him to give up all desire for possession, to do austere penance or to develop a strong desire. In whatever condition he is, if a man sings ‘Naam’, sitting or standing, eating or lying, ‘Naam’ does ‘Kripa’ (blessing) to him.

Q. How will one realise that he has received blessing from ‘Naam’?
 “Naam’ gives ‘Prema (love)”. Shivers, tears, feeling of pleasure are all companions of ‘Prema’. On hearing ‘Naam’ these feeling come trooping in and occupy the body, speech and mind. ‘Prema’ starts dancing both inside and outside the body of the singer. ‘Prema’ takes away all the old ‘Indriyas’ (senses) of this loving ‘Bhakta’ and gives him new senses. That person, who is bereft of all earthly possessions, finds that whatever he sees is God, whatever he hears is God, whatever he eats is God and whatever he utters is God. Everything becomes God to him. Nothing but that God full of ‘Prema’ (love) remains within his cognizance. He says ‘thou’, ‘thou’, ‘thou’ and at last no one remains to be called ‘thou’. He has become one with God. 

Ram, Ram, Sitaram