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Name, Faith and Love

by Swami Sivananda


What is that thing which is superior to Rama even? It is RAM NAM. How? Sri Hanuman told Sri Rama: "O My Lord, there is something superior to Thee. " Sri Rama was quite astonished. He asked Hanuman: "What is that thing, O Hanuman, which is superior to Me?" Hanuman replied: "Hey Prabho, Thou hadst crossed the river with the help of a boat. But I crossed the ocean with the help of (and the power and strength of) Thy Name only. Name is indeed superior to Thee. "

Mahatma Gandhi says: "You must learn to take the name of Rama with full devotion and faith. When you study the Ramayana, you will learn from Tulsidas the divine power of that blessed Name.

"You might ask me why I tell you to use the word RAMA and not one of the many other names of the Creator. True, His Names are as many as and more than the leaves on the yonder tree and I might for instance ask you to use the word God. But what meaning, what associations would it have for you here? In order to enable you to feel anything when repeating the word God, I should have to teach you some English. I should have to explain to you the foreign people's thoughts and associations.

"But in telling you to repeat the name of RAMA, I am giving you a name worshipped since the beginning of time by the people of this land, a name familiar to the very animals and birds, the very stones of Hindustan through so many thousands of years. You all know the story of Ahalya? No, I see you don't. But you will soon learn it when you study the Ramayana. You will learn how a stone by the roadside sprang to life at the touch of Rama's foot as he passed by. You must learn to repeat the blessed Name of Rama with sweetness and such devotion that the birds and beasts will pause for a moment to listen to you; the very trees will bend their leaves towards you, stirred by the divine melody of that Name. And when you are able to do this, I tell you, I will come all the way on foot from Bombay as on a pilgrimage to hear you. In His sweet Name lies a power which can cure all our ills. "

Kamal got a severe scolding from his father Kabir for prescribing RAMA NAM for a rich merchant to be repeated twice for curing leprosy. Kamal asked the merchant to repeat RAMA NAM twice and yet he was not cured of this dire disease. Kabir was very much annoyed and told Kamal: "You have brought disgrace on my family by asking the merchant to repeat Rama Nam twice. Repetition of Rama Nam only once is quite sufficient. Now beat the merchant severely with a stick on his head. Ask him to stand in the Ganga and repeat RAMA NAM once from the very bottom of his heart. " Kamal followed the instructions of his father and gave a good thrashing on the head of the merchant who began to bleed profusely. He then repeated Rama Nam once only with Bhava from the very core of his being and was completely cured of his disease.

Kabir sent Kamal to Tulasi Das. Tulasi Das wrote Rama Nam on a Tulasi leaf and sprinkled the juice over five hundred lepers. All were cured. Kamal was quite astonished. Then Kabir sent Kamal to Surdas. Surdas asked Kamal to bring the corpse that was floating in the river. Surdas repeated 'Ra' only once (not the full name Rama) in one ear of the corpse and it was brought back to life. Kamal's heart was filled with awe and wonder. Such is the power of God's Name. My dear friends, my educated college youths, my dear barristers, professors, doctors and judges, don't be puffed up with false, worthless college learning. Repeat the Name of the Lord with Bhava and Prem from the very bottom of your hearts with all your beings and realise the supreme bliss, knowledge, peace and immortality right now, this very second.

Kabir says: "If any one utters RAMA NAM even in dream, I would like to make a pair of shoes out of my skin for his daily use. "

Who can describe the glory of God's Name? Who can really comprehend the greatness and splendour of the holy Names of the Lord? Even Lord Siva's consort, Parvati failed to describe in adequate terms the very true significance and grandeur of God's Name. When one sings His Name or hears It sung, he is unconsciously raised to sublime spiritual heights. He loses his body-consciousness. He is immersed in joy and drinks deep the divine nectar of immortality. He gets divine intoxication. Repetition of God's Name enables the devotee to feel the Divine Presence, the Divine Glory and the Divine consciousness within himself and also everywhere. How sweet is Hari's Name! How powerful is God's Name! What an amount of joy and peace and strength it brings to one who repeats His Name! Blessed indeed are those who repeat God's Name for they will be freed from the wheel of birth and death and attain Parama Ananda and immortality.

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