Namasmarana. The Supreme Sadhana
(Written and Published by Mohan A
Bhagavan Baba on Namasmarana
Namasmarana is the best Sadhana; it is the most beneficial
Sathpravarthana. That is the highest Japam, tbe most profitable
Thapas. Kuchela won the Grace of the Lord through the same means.
Fill the Name with your Love, whenever you repeat it, saturate it
with devotion. That is the easiest path for all of you.
Japam and Dhyanam are means by which you can compel even the
concretisation of the Divine Grace in the Form and with the Name
you yearn for. The Lord has to assume the Form you choose, the
Name you fancy; in fact, you shape Him so. Therefore, do not
change these two, but stick to the ones that please you most,
whatever the delay or the difficulty.
The Ice peak of Karma- consequence accumulated by you, will be
reduced by the avalanches and glaciers caused by the warming
effect of Namasmarana. The sun melts the snow cap on the peak;
but, during the hours of night, the snowfall restores the cap and
makes up the lost of height. So too, Namasmarana melts the snow,
but unless virtue holds back and overcomes sin, the snow falls
again in the darkness of vice and ignorance. Repentance and
prayer will certainly prevent further snowfall; the sun of God's
Glory shining through the smarana will level the snow-peak to the
The Need For Sadhana
Every human must primarily question himself as to the aim and
purpose of this human life. When one meditates seriously on this
topic, the realisation will dawn, that sense gratification is not
be all and end all. The Creator had a more subtle design in Mind.
The goal of man's life is self-realization. Man has to endeavour
during his lifetime to elevate and evolve his soul to more sublime
heights. It is only then that one can consider his or her life as
a worthwhile one Undoubtedly, effort is the basic law of all human
life. everyone is what he or she is, due to his or her own past
Karma Their future is the citadel being built on the foundation of
their present Karma Though man is full of weaknesses, yet he has
inherent in himself immense strength and potential. Everything is
within his grasp if he would but strive for it. Divinity exists in
all, though generally dormant. The Lord who is Omnipresent, is the
Inner Atma – the inner Motivator of all. It is only when we secure
contact with that source of strength and inspiration, purity and
bliss within us, that our lives will become an offering, a
dedication at the altar of the Lord. As Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba says - "Life is a pilgrimage to God; the holy spot is there,
The question is how are we to start this unique pilgrimage to God?
How should we secure His Grace in the shortest period of time? As
in the past eras, it is no longer possible for man to engage
himself in arduous and intense austerities and practises. At the
same time, the sadhana should be such that it removes all barriers
and impediments in the flow of Grace.
THE BEST SADHANA
Not only have our men of God and our scriptures. but also all the
religions of the world, universally acclaimed one infallible
sadhana to secure the Highest. This sadhana is that of
Namasmarana. Indeed they consider it the panacea to cure man (and
therefore society also) of all his ills - be they physical, mental
Namasmarana is second to none in its ease and efficacy. It
involves the constant repetition (either orally or mentally) of
the Lord's Name and meditating on His Form, His Glory and His
Grandeur. Chanting of the Name however, must not become a
mechanical process. The dynamics of this sadhana involves the mind
in the remembrance, with love and devotion, at all times and under
all conditions, the Name (and the Form) of the Lord.
The reasoning and rationale behind this instrument of God
realisation has been repeatedly stressed on, by the saints and
seers of our glorious land. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai has explained
in lucid and precise terms the effects the Name has on the hard
layers of materialism and wordliness covering the soul. He says
that the recitation of the Name is like the operation of boring,
to tap underground water; it is like the chisel stroke that will
release the image of God which is imprisoned in the marble. Once
the encasement is broken the Lord will appear, even as churning
brings the butter, latent in the milk, into view. The vibrations
set up each time the Name is chanted to lead to the revelation of
the Godhead, for the Name moulds the consciousness.
In the initial stages, it might appear a formidable task to cut
the mind away from wordly attachments and unite it with the Name.
But gradually it becomes as natural as breathing. One will realise
at this stage, that the subconscious is chanting the Name even
IMMEASURABLE POTENCY IN NAMAJAPA
That Namasmarana is considered 'King of all Sadhana' is no
exaggeration. This exalted position that the Name has is because
it secures for the sadhaka, the fruits of all other sadhana.
Indeed it is impossible to measure the greatness and glory, power
and potency of Nama Japa. The benefits one enjoys through the
remembrance of the Lord's Name are as infinite as He is,
Sswami Ramdas declares that he alone is the greatest hero who has
controlled the vagaries of the fickle mind, For achieving this, he
points out, that the Name is an invincible means. Constant japa
arrests the restless nature of the mind. When one repeats the
Name, one is in tune with the Infinite One. It is an accepted
psychological truth, that our mind dwells on the object we love
most So if we fix our mind, with an intense love for the Name -
perhaps forcibly and mechanically initially Ä the Name will
constantly remain in our minds.
Goswami Tulsidas points out that Ramanama on the tongue lights up
both what is within and without. Brahman, is both Nirguna
(Formless and Attributeless) and Saguna (with Form and
Attributes). The Name is a link with the Nirguna through the
Saguna. It thus controls both. Indeed the Name is considered
greater than the Named as the physical form of the avatar
disappears or disintegrates but the blame immediately evokes the
memory of the Form. The physical Rama could save only a handful of
fallen souls like Ahalya etc, but the Name has saved millions and
millions who have called on Him, and will continue.
One priceless advantage which Namajapa or smarana grants is indeed
unique. The term 'Hari-Nama' when analysed literally means "The
Name that Saves". Hari means "Saviour" Thus Hari Nama is that Name
which when taken or meditated on annihilates all sin. The Named
saves us from our sins, not the least of which is egoism and
pride. Not only does He (it) destroy all sin but goes further by
destroying all vikaras, all germs of evil in us. Bhagavan Baba bas
likened the Name to a thunderbolt which destroys mountains of sin.
He says - " The consequences of Karma can be wiped out only
through Karma, as a thorn, which can be removed by means of
another. Do good Karma to assuage the pain of the bad Karma which
you have done and from which you suffer now. The best and simplest
Karma is (repeating) the Name of the Lord; be ever engaged in it.
It will keep out evil tendencies and wicked tboughts. It will help
you radiate love all around you."
All this greatness existent in the Name is no bait to man to lure
him into its practise. It has been practised and its efficacy
confirmed time and again. Tukaram, Narsi Mehta, Janabai,
Chokhamela. Kabir, Mira, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramdas are but a
few of those who realised God by chanting His Name. In recent
times, Mahatma Gandhi who had practised and tasted the efficacy of
Rama Nama. tells us that Ramanama alone helped him pass through
the struggles in the political, social, economic and religious
spheres which he underwent. He also discovered that the Name was a
remedy against physical ailments. There is no limit on the amount
of times the Name is to be remembered or chanted. The deeper one
drinks of it, the more the thirst for it grows. It is like
ambrosial nectar. For 'ananda' exists in us. And the Name releases
that Ananda stored up in us. The ecstasy, the peace, the calm, the
bliss, which once released, fills up our hearts is inexpressible.
The Lord is Yours ...
Indeed the Power of the Name is such that it verily converts the
Lord into your bond-slaves.
The Lord becomes your companion, your guide. your mentor. He
yearns for you as much as you yearn for Him. He will be at your
beck and call, if you constantly take His Name.
Numerous stories and incidents are related in our religious texts
regarding the Infinite potency in the Name. One of the most
inspiring and thrilling stories relates to the devotion of
Droupadi, for Krishna. Lord Krishna saved Droupadi, the consort of
the Pandavas, from ignominy and disgrace, numerous times.
Why was it that Droupadi was blessed with so much Grace from
Krishna? Verily, this was the question troubling Satyabhama and
Rukmani. They used to wonder, why Krishna was constantly talking
of and visiting Droupadi often.
One day Krishna asked Satyabhama and Rukmani to accompany Him to
Droupadi's place. When they arrive, Droupadi had just finished her
bath and was brushing her hair. Krishna tells Satyabhama and
Rukmani to brush Droupadi's hair. Though indignantly, Satyabhama
and Rukmani obey. They were shocked to hear the constant chanting
of 'Krishna, Krishna' emanating from each strand of hair. They
realised that Droupadi, rightfully deserved all the Grace, Krishna
showered on her. The Name of Krishna had permeated every pore of
Droupadi's body. Her yearning, her love, her devotion for Krishna
had saturated into the very core of her being. Krishna could not
but respond to whole-hearted devotion of this devotee of His.
Droupadi had achieved the highest stage of securing the constant
companionship of the Lord, through the simple sadhana of Namajapa.
This is not a legendary story but an experience which can be
verified by everyone personally.
But, even our scriptures, have laid tremendous emphasis on the
sadhana of Namasmarana as mean of securing all that is worthwhile
in the here and hereafter.
The Aditys Purana declarers :- "Singing of the Name of Hari will
fetch in this life virtue, destroy all sins, bestow all one's
desires, in this life and in after life lead to Moksha."
The Brahamanand Purana explains the Power of the Name:- "All the
fourteen Lokas cannot commit as much sin as what a single Name of
God can destroy."
The Vishnu Purana considers the people of Kali Yuga luckiest, for
through Namasmarana they can attain what people in Krita could get
through contemplation, in Treta through Yaga and in Dwapara
In the Padma Purana Lord Shiva Himself Promises:- "The direct
vision of God Himself to any sadhaka who incessantly repeats the
In the Adi Purana Lord Krishna says :- "I do not dwell in
Vaikuntha, or in the hearts of Yogins. I stand there where my
devotees sing My Name.”
Tbe Upanishads have stated :- 'Poojakotisamam stotram, strotrs
kotisama Japah'. That is equal to crores of strotras, which are
themselves crores of times more potent than the Pooja of the Lord.
Even the Sukhmani - the holy book of the Sikhs considers the
praising of the Name as the highest of all practises for it
simultaneously slakes the desires of the restless mind and imparts
an all seeing vision. Death loses its terror and Nama helps the
soul through the valley of death.
Sri Chaithanya Mahaprabhu, that harbinger of Light and Love, that
greatest exponent of Bhakti, in a beautiful poem says Ä "O
Children of men ! I too searched from end to end I searched; I
did not find ! Then with Nama, the Nama alone, I went into the
heart and then I saw the Beloved."
PRACTICAL POINTS TO SUCCESS
Sadhu T. L Vaswani points out that there are certain practical
points which if we follow, we can progress faster towards our
goal of constant Namasmarana:
(i ) Every morning, as you rise, let your eyes fa11 on the photo
of your Isht Devta and utter His Name
(ii ) Make it a point that during the day, when we are free to
recite His Name orally or mentally.
(iii) lf possible do Namalikatha Japa.
(iv) Initially take the aid of the rosary.
(v ) Most important of all Ä as the Name is uttered try to create
in your heart a longing for the Named; cry out to Him through the
depths of your heart.
(vi) Do Dot involve yourself in such activities in your daily
living which form a barrier to your progress.
Namasmarana - Its Importance for Women
Namasmarana as a means of upliftment and as a sadhana has added
importance for women. The woman is an ornament of the home. It is
she who lays the foundation to the happiness of a home. It has
been said, and rightly, that a nation is what its mothers are.
India is destined to become once again the spiritual leader of the
world. It will lead the whole world Godwards. Indian women have to
regain their rightful place and share in the glorious future which
is beckoning us. They have to cultivate their souls and thereby
secure the necessary strength and beauty of character which Sita
and Droupadi, Savitri and Andal, Mira and Janabai had.
The Manusmriti says:- "Whatever thoughts occupy the mind of a lady
during the period of pregnancy she begets a child of that type."
How great will the future of a country be whose mothers have the
Name constantly on their tongues and His Form in their minds. The
children born of these mothers will be of the calibre of Lav and
Kush, whose mother Sita had the Name of Ram constantly on her lips
and the Form in her mind's eye.
Apart from this, Namasmarana will convert the home into a haven of
peace and joy, of happiness and goodwill and the wheels of the
chariot of life will run smoothly.
Namasmarana, also lends the sadhaka, a metaphysical charm, the
type of which no cosmetic howsoever costly will provide. It will
provide a soft peta1 like grace and attraction, for beauty is
basically soul deep. Many a time, one sees a plain woman, who yet
radiates an indescribable warmth and other wordly beauty, due to
goodness of heart and purity of mind.
Death - Inevitable Event of Life
Death loses its sting for one who has linked an unbreakable bond
with the Lord. The Name helps man to lose all fear of death and at
the same time reduces his attachment to the temporary and
transient allurements of this world. The realisation dawns that
everyone is but a pilgrim. Death is but the process of
discarding old clothes for new ones. The soul is eternal, Even in
the Gita, Lord Krishna states :
"Whosoever, in the final moments of his life, Having fixed his
mind upon me, Leaves this body, Without any doubt, merges with
Thus whatever thought a mortal nurses, at the final moment, to
that image does he go. However, man is unaware at which moment
death is going to strike. Moreover, even if one is aware of
approaching end, without previous practise and attachment to the
Name, calling on it would be hardly possible. But One who is ever
merged with the Lord through the sublime sweetness of the Name,
can be sure of his ultimate victory.
A Sadhana in itself.....................
The advantages of Namasmarana, of Namasankirtan of Namajapa are
indeed vast and varied. One could go on and on speaking of this
key to the gateway of self i.e. God-realisation, Bliss and
Beatitude will become a part and parcel of the life of the
Some may question whether such a small word could take us across
the ocean of Samsara. But as Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba has
explained, "one can cross vast oceans on a tiny raft; one can walk
across dense and dark jungles with a tiny lamp in our hands.
Similiarly, the Name, or even the Pranava which is smaller, has
vast potentalities. The raft need not be as big as the sea."
Some others may complain that they have been doing Namasmarana for
years, but without much beneficial results. In the earlier
stages, the sadhaka might not see any visible change in his
spiritual development. But the change is going on in his inner
consciousness. The metamorphosis has started. In a simile, Swami
Ramdas explains that if we want to break a big stone with a
hammer, every stroke helps. The stone might break with the
twentieth stroke. But this does not mean that the other nineteen
were of no value Each stroke played its part in breaking the
stone. For each stroke helped in separating the particles. Thus
the Name is never taken in vain The results depend upon the
effort. If the Name, suffused with intense Love and Devotion, is
chanted, the effect of the mind will be immediate.
Thus, we can see that the Name is not only as an instrument, or a
means of sadhana but an end in itself. This is the beauty of this
Nama - Source of all Strength
The name of Hanuman evokes instantly thoughts of devotion, of
dedication, of valour and service. The source of Hanuman's
strength and devotion was his constant Namasmarana.
On the occassion of Rama's coronation, Vibhishana presented Rama
with a priceless necklace of brilliant gems - which itself was an
offering of the Lord of the Sea to Ravana. Sita accepted it. Rama
asks Sita to gift it to anyone who deserved her grace. Sita's
compassionate glance immediately fell on Hanuman, who had done so
much for Rama and herself. Hanuman comes forward and receives the
The unique brilliance and radiance emanating from the necklace had
left the entire gathering breathless. But to their utter dismay
and surprise, they saw . Hanuman break off each gem, put it
between his teeth then kept it next to his ear and finally with an
expression of disgust, throw away the gem. All were shocked at
the brazen behaviour of this devotee of Rama. One ruler who could
not control himself came forward and asked Hanuman the meaning and
significance of his strange behaviour. Hanuman replied that he had
examined each gem to discover the Sacred Name to it, but finding
no trace whatsoever, he had discarded them. To him they were no
better than stones or pebbles. The ruler tells Hanuman that be
could not expect the Name in every article that he wore. He had a
body too which did not have the Name resounding in it.
Hanuman pulls out a single hair from his forearm and places it
beside the ear of the ruler. The ruler could hear the Name -
'Rama, Rama, Rama' being uttered from that single hair. He
immediately fell at Hanuman's feet.
Rama who was a silent spectator to all this, then warmly embraces
him and tells him that He was offering Himself to Hanuman as he
had no other gift worthy of such unflinching devotion and
This was a Unique Act of Grace which a devotee had secured by a
simple practise - the practise of constant love-filled
It is an accepted fact that the source of all Hanuman's strength
and which he used in the service of Rama itself, was the name of
Rama. He had unparalled faith in it. The faith in that small name
that helped him cross oceans.
It is rightly said that by taking the Holy Name, you become Holy.
By thinking of the Lord constantly, you become an Image of His.
The practise of Japa of the Name, swiftly helps one into higher
realms. Meditation comes naturally to one whose mind is no longer
agitated by conflicting and disturbing thoughts. And meditation is
the core of all spiritual sadhana In the process, the mind does
not become an empty storehouse but a powerhouse where thoughts of
the Creator and His Glory have free play.
So do Namasmarana... to secure unalloyed tranquillity and
bliss... to secure everything worthwhile here and hereafter to
win the Grace of God.
Sai Bhaktas are indeed the most blessed of all those who have
taken birth in this universe. For they have that Incarnation of
Beauty and Goodness, the Lord Himself in the Form of Bhagavan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba, present among them. His physical form, so
redolent and radiant, is so easy to meditate and contemplate on.
On top of that, all they have to do is to do Nama Japa, to release
them from the bondage of samsara - in no other age has man been so
lucky. So take up Namasmarana from now and Grace will flow
incessantly on all.
OM SAI RAM !