Thursday, April 17, 2014

Power of Bhagawan Nama

Name of the God (Irai Namam or Bhagawan Namam), if uttered consciously or unconsciously, with or without devotion, it will definitely protect us. Such is the power of the Name. If somebody calls out our name, we will look back at them right? Same is the case for God. If we call out His name, He will definitely look back at us. This is the simple concept behind name.

Ajamila charitram of Srimad Bhagavatam tells about the power of bhagawan namam. Ajamila, who lead a life full of materialistic desires attained salvation because of Narayana namam. Let us see his story. Ajamila was leading a life that was full of mundane desires. He had many children. His last son's name was Narayanan. Ajamila had a special love for this son Narayanan. When Ajamila was on his death bed, he was calling all of his children one by one. When he called his lovable son Narayanan, his soul departed. He died while calling "Narayana". So he was taken to vaikuntam by attendants of Maha Vishnu, after posting a win over the Yama's attendants.

Narayana, Hari and more.. there are many names for Lord Vishnu. If we say "Hari", all our sins will be washed away. It is good to say "Hari" 7 times in the morning immediately after waking up.

Even a robber, who was asked to chant "mara mara .." by Narada, was born as a great sage - valmiki -  in his next birth and gave the world Ramayana. Though he uttered the rama nama in reverse order, he was given a good position.

Heated coal will be red in colour. After some time ash will cover it. But if we touch, still we feel the heat. Retaining heat is the property of coal. Such is the Bhagawan name. If we start saying the same, the fruit of it will be keep on accumulating and we can feel that whenever we want.

Sastras say, if we chant 1000 names (sahasranama) of god, 1008 times, we will attain all good things. But that is not possible for most of us. But keeping on chanting a single nama is possible. Even Yama (the lord of death) will  fear if one utters the bhagawan nama.

With a small story I will finish this post. A man rose up from his seat in his home and took a bag. his wife asked him where he had started. He said "Arisi vanga poren" (meaning he is going to buy rice). No sooner did he said, than he collapsed and died. He was immediately surrounded by attendants of Shiva and Vishnu. How come?? See what he told before collapsing. ari siva nga poren (the same sentence split like this). Now the meaning is he is going to tell hari,siva... He attained mukthi. This is just an imaginative story. Why I told this is we will get good and only good merits if we tell the name of God with or without our notice. So only  we keep God's names for our children. Atleast by calling their name, we can call God. But pity is we don't call their names fully. We abbreviate it and lose the chance of uttering the Nama.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Rama Namam

With prayers to Lord Rama on the day after Sri Rama Navami of Vijaya Samvatsaram (2014 April 08), I am writing this blog.

Rama is a two letter mantra derived out of the ashtakshara (Aum Na mo Na ra ya na ya) and Panchakshara (Na ma Shi va ya) as we all know. Many saints have spoken about the power of this RaMa nama.

Goddess Parvathi asked Lord Shiva which is told in Sri Vishnu Sahasranama of the Mahabharata epic. "Keno Payena lakuna vishnoor naama sahasrakam - Patyathe pandithair nithyam srothumicchyaamyaham Prabho". She asked, "how a lay man can achieve the fruits of reciting vishnu sahasranama that can be read by learned person?". Lord Shiva answered, "Just tell rama rama rama. Rama nama has the essence of Vishnu sahasranama or 1000 names of Lord Vishnu". This is told in the sloka "sri raAa rAma rAmEthi ramE rAmE manOramE sahasranAma thathulyam rAma nAma varAnane".

In my childhood days I have heard a bhajan "Rama namame kalkandu" i.e. Rama nama is sugar crystals. This is the taste of nama. Bhadrachala Ramadasa, an ardent devotee of Rama sings, "Entha ruchira rama yemi ruchira - sri rama ni namam yemi ruchira - O rama ni namam entha ruchi". How sweet is rama namam... aaah.. so sweet... he says.

A composer Tanjore Shankara Iyer, sings in his composition -
Maduram maduram sri ramanamam
Manadhirkku inbam alithidum namam
Yedhu vandhu nammai yedhirtha podhum
Innarul purindhu rakshikum namam
Yenniya karumangal inidhe mudiyum
Rama nama mahimai adhuve aagum
Vinnavarum Pottrum tharaka manthram
Veeramum alithidum avan thiru namam

Rama namam is so sweet as a nectar. It gives happiness to the mind. Whatever comes in our way as an obstacle, Rama namam will protect us. What we desire to have, we get it. That is the prowess of the nama. The celestials too sing the pride of this taraka mantra and it installs bravery in one's heart.

After performing several crores of Ramanama, even in 19th century, one great soul got the vision of Sri Rama with his Bow. He is Saint Tyagaraja. He has composed numerous songs on Lord Rama. Who is equal to you Rama?, he asks in his kriti Rama Ni samanam evaru. Also he says Rama nama will give such a comfort to one who says it in another kriti Sukhi evvaro rama nama. In another kriti "rama katha sudha", he says Listening to Ramayana is so soothing and one will get dharma, artha, dhairya and ananda and more good deeds. Above all, rama bhakti (devotion to rama) will fetch you kingdom (Rama bhakti Samrajya).

The power of Rama nama is depicted by Hanuman (Ever living - chiranjeevi). He crossed the ocean by chanting the Rama nama. Rama built a bridge across the ocean to reach Lanka, but hanuman just like that crossed the Ocean by just chanting Rama nama. So this means, Rama nama is mightier than Lord Rama himself.

A small song (composer unknown) depicts the characteristics of rama nama.

Ramanin namame tharaka namam
Vendum varangalai thandhidum namam
Anjanai maindhan aanjaneyanukku
alaikadal thandida udhaviya namam
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram

Narayana enum ashtaksharathil
Ra venum aksharam olithidume - adhu
Namasivaya enum panchaksharathil
Ma enum jeevanil inaindhidume
thondriyadhe rama namame
thudhithiduvome rama namame
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram

Hariyum Sivanum ondre endru
anaivarum unarndhu thudhippome
Igaparam irandilum inbam alithidum
Inai yilla namam thudhippome
Adiyavar idargalai pokkidum namam
Arumarundhagiya annalin namam
Amudhamanaya sri ramanin namatthai
anudinam paadi avanarul peruvom
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram
Jai jai ram ram jai seetha ram

Ramanamam is the tharaka namam, that gives all you want. It helped Hanuman to cross the ocean. It was born out of the ashtakshara and panchakshara mantras. Let us all chant it. Hari and siva are one and Rama nama gives happiness both in this birth and in the next birth. It erases the difficulties of the deveotees, cures the illness. Let us all chant the nectar like Rama nama daily and get His blessings.

Nanmaiyum Selvamum naalum nalgume
Thinmayum Papamum sidhaindhu theyume
Janmamum maranamum indri theerume
Immaiye Ra Ma yendra irandu yezhuthinal

As quouted by Kambar in his Kamba Ramayanam, if one says RaMa in this birth, it will give him goodness, money for ever. His sorrow, sins will all be evacuated. He will be free from births and deaths. Let us all chant Rama Nama whenever possible (atleast 12 times a day) and get His blessings.

One more note: Samartha Ramadas (who was guru of Chatrapati Sivaji) was an ardent devotee of Rama. He has asked Rama to go in front of a person who has chanted RamaNama 13 crore times in his life. Also he asked Rama to keep the count himself as human may make mistakes while counting. So Rama's Bow (Kodhandam) which has a bell will hit once if a devotee completes 1 crore name. With this the devotees work is easy. He need not have to keep count. He need not bother about that. His only work is to chant Rama nama. Let us start from today.

Rama Rama Rama Rama..........