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Saints

OM GANESHAYA NAMAHA

According to ancient Indian through each Yuga has its special features as designed by the cosmic intelligence. Kali Yuga is characterized by unbounded desires, extreme pulling pressure towards worldly existence, breaking down of Brahma Tej (Value System) and dilution of Kshatriya Tej (King's Dharma) bringing about chaotic conditions for the common man. Yet, all is not lost in this Yuga.

It is opined that in Kali yuga, the path to "liberation" (Nirvana) is the easiest as compared to other Yugas. If one's final destination is to reach Him; with virtually minimal efforts, Kali Yuga offers the best opportunity. Great minds that have examined the nature of this Yuga have come up with a simple remedy for the common man to push ahead in Kali Yuga.

A remedy that is easily accessible and capable of being practiced by every one. Leading to joy in living amidst disturbances and taking one towards the goal of Godhead. This remedy is popularly known as the Namasankirthana Marga.

This webpage highlights the details of this method and how it is being re-introduced for us all to benefit form, to help us to face the challenges that lie ahead. For, now we stand at the portals of 21st Century, where the effects of Kali Yuga perhaps may reach the flash point.

WHY NAMASANKIRTHAN?
Easy way to Adopt

Unless the mind is at peace, no thought of God would enter the portals of one's heart. Meditation calls for concentration, which requires a deliberate effort on the individual. Yoga marga calls for physical fitness and control of the senses. These methods are verily possible ; but not for many steeped mundane concern and worry. Yet, amidst all such concern and worry the natural activity of breathing goes on and on.Namasankirthan is akin to such a natural process of our daily living. Thus, it does not call for any initiation nor training and could be carried on. Naturally. Easily.

Like a Rhyme

When a child is disturbed, to pacify, the mother starts of with a lullaby. As the child enters the school, the child is introduced to nursery rhymes to sing and dance along with other children. This enables the child to cope with the new environment away from home and to feel secure. Only when the child feels secure does it start absorbing what is being taught. The lullaby and the nursery rhymes by no means are great pieces of literature or music. Yet, could any society do away with them? The pressure of living has left us all insecure like young children away from home. The need of the hour, therefore is nursery rhymes i.e. Namasankirtan.


Reminder of Home

Theologically speaking, it is believed that taking birth is a difficult choice; and that the innate desire of every individual is to get back to the comfort of the home. Yet as a child who is absorbed in it's escapades, oblivious to the home, only when the thought of home crosses its mind, the danger of staying our crosses it's mind. Namasankirtan is a gentle reminder of the home so that we do not overdo the adventure in our wordly existence.

Guru to the Rescue

Having stayed out and lost our way in the wilderness of the world, though the thought of the home has come to us, many have already lost their way. Gurus come along to guide us back to where we belong; His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God.

The Role of Guru

God's Incarnation

All of us are familiar with the celestial song Bhagavat Gita and particularly the stanza on God incarnating every yuga to restore balance.

Paritraanaya Sadhoonam Vinashaaya Cha Dushkritham Dharmasamsthapanarthaya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge.

Everytime one finds adharma for which no remedy is available one tends to wait for the arrival of the Lord to incarnate. however, he does not incarnate at our will. Instead, in His infinite wisdom He sends messengers in the form of Gurus who are charged with the onerous task of changing the negative tendencies among people and to lead them through the journey of terrestrial among existence. For, He is the Director of the play of life and only on rarest of rare occasions does He take on the role of an actor. When it is demanded that he should incarnate to save the universe from cataclysmic catastrophy.

Who is guru ?

The word guru means one who removes darkness; darkness from our minds. In our everyday life among our friends we find some one different from others. Oftentimes, it happens he has a greater sense of wisdom, perception and clarity. He might have indulged along with us in all our pranks; yet our inner sense always told us that he is different. Such people evolve faster and take on the mantle of spiritual leadership.

There are sets of individuals who belong to religious order and trained to become leaders. Like in a Business school, such individuals are scouted for and initiated into the order to become religious heads to guide humanity towards Godhead.
Also, there are men who have had the wisdom from childhood, who on their own volition turn their efforts towards "inward search" and become enlightened.

Amidst such people one also finds a host of men who are yet to evolve and are still insecure like us all but who out o ignorance assume the role of Gurus, even before they are ready for the task.

Who Seeks Whom?

One has, therefore to exercise extreme caution before one accepts a Guru. Indeed the truth is, the Guru searches after his disciples and not the otherway around. Thus, until the time arrives for us to know our Guru whom else to turn to, other than Lord Narayana,- the ultimate Guru for us all. Thus, through Namasankirthan, the Adi Devata Sri Panduranga vittala, is ready to guide us in our search for a Guru. Namasankirthan is the way to find our guide who would lead us back to our original abode. The Kingdom of God.

Recommendation by all Gurus

All Gurus of renown have preached and practiced the same universal truth. The vehicles they have adopted might have been many to fulfil their mission to bring about order in the world as per His bidding. Most of us cling on to the vehicle and do not travel to the destination shown. Despite such limitations in our minds all these great men have advocated in a singular voice the benefit of Namasankirthan. The easy way to evolve. Thus in this marga, there is no theology; no class distinctions; no merit of learning or scholarship. All are equal. For the evolved as well for those evolving. Thus the universal Advice of Gurus is same : take to Namasankirthan to attain joy and peace.

NAMAM AND NAMI
Which is powerful, Lord, "Thy name or Thyself" queried Narada.

The Lord replied:
Naham Vasami Vaikunte
Na Yogi Hridhaye Ravow
Madh Bakthaha Yathra Gayanthi
Tatra Thishtami Narada

"I lie neither in vaikunta nor in the heart of Yogis. I stand before my Bakthas when they call me (sing) in love for me"

Sri Suka Maharishi, the cvenerable son of Veda Vyasa proclaimed that:

Kalow Sankeerthya Kesavam

"Singing the glory of Lord Kesava is perhaps the easy way to attain emancipation in the age of Kali".

THE TRINITY OF NAMASANKIRTHAN

Number Three

The number three has a special significance in matters relating to the divine. In numerology this number represents Jupiter - known as Gurugraham - the absolute benefit planet.

Trinity of Cosmic Play

The cosmic play is enacted by the Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva - for their three fold role of creation, preservation and rejuvenation.

Music Trinity
Similarly, when we talk of music we recall the trinity - Thyagayya, Muthuswamy dikshidar and Shyama Shastri. One always goes back to their contributions to get enriched in music.

Trinity of Namasankirthan

Namasankirthan, similarly has a trinity of wisemen who codified the system. Reverentially known as the Sathguru Sri Bodhendra Swamigal, Sathguru Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval and Maruthanallur Sri Sathguru Swamigal.
If Namasankrithan has no format as per definition, then to talk about the trinity of men who condified it, might appear as a contradication. A little reflection would prove the contrary.

Padhadhi

Language has limitations - as one tends to indulge in semantic differences. If one could read the word codification as an equivalent of padhadhi the cinfusion disappears.

Trynity of Great Renaissance

The trinity of great men brought about a renaissance in the practice of Namasankirthan. In this lies their signal contribution. Meeting the needs of humanity they had to serve.

Sathguru Bodhendra Swamigal
Sri Bodhendra Swamigal adopted the simplest format of Ramanama sankirthna as the only necessary step. His padhadhi was know as the Rama Nama Siddantham. The concept he adopted was simple. If Saint Valmiki, who by even chanting MARA instead of RAMA could achieve such great heights of evolution, then there was no need to search for any other nama. Sri Bodhendra Swamigal's life's mission was to spread the two syllable name of RAMA to be chanted with all its possible variants to express different emotive communication with the creator in various ragas and in classical styles. He believed and rightly so, that when the Taraka Mantra is available, why search for more namas. The repetition of the same nama in different styles appeals to both the learned, musically inclined and to the commoner. This is called the Rama Nama Siddantam meaning achieving Siddi through Rama Nama. In Support of this claim, non other than Iswara proclaims in Vishnu Sahasranama thus:

Sri Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranama Thathulyam Rama Nama Varanane.

"One who is sweet to mind.
Called endearingly Rama Rama,
In Him I reside.
And Rama Nama is equal
To His thousand other names"

Sathguru Sridhara Ayyaval

Sathguru Sridhra Ayyaval, the next in line did not differ from Swami Bodhendra. However, in tune with the expanding need for Namasankirthan he adopted a neo-classical style for this movement and claimed "call whatever name you want to; but never cease to call" This is a deliberate departure as people even belonging to other sects, who strongly believed in theur Ishta Devatas could be drawn to this movement. His style was not rigid but the concept of emotive appeal in call was the dominant proposition.

Sri Sathguru Swamigal

Sri Sathguru Swamigal went on step further. He toured the length and breadth of the country; collected both rustic and other forms of Namasankirthan and compiled them into compendiums; the virtual store house for this movement, for others to emulate and to refer to. He claimed that each on could call the several Namas of God and dance around in unison in whatever way each one was used to and as taught to them in their nativity. As long as the purpose was served of calling Him was fulfilled, the movement would pick-up momentum. The Abhanga form of North India could be classified under Sathguru Padhadhi.

With cummunication expanding, the world has become narrower. Thus, today Namasankirthan is being followed as recommended by Sri Sathguru Swamigal in contemporary style throwing open the flood gates as it were, for all to take to it not only in India but around the globe.

The World Movement
Sri Sathguru Swamigal's padhadhi had all features to make it a world movement. The honour of engaging in this divine task feel on the lot of Swami Sri Haridhos Giri, the chief disciple of Seami Gnanananda Giri of Tapovanam.
On initiation into sanyasa, the young Sri Haridhos Giri Swamigal had nothing else to seek except the lotus feet of his Guru Maharaj. His guru bakthi knew no bounds. Truly he practiced in his own life the padhadhi categorized by Sri Sathguru Swamigal as Guru Vandanam - viz., sining the Guru's praise with love, devotion and dedication.
Knowing intuitively that Swami Haridass Giri was going to make a mark in the world arena in the field of Namasankirthan, Sri Gananananda Giri Swamigal after giving him the Deeksha, charged him with the task of spreading this master got all that there was to know, so also it happened to swami Sri Haridhos giri. From his master - through the touch of his master's lotus feet on his head. Energised thus, the last three decades had seen Namasankrithan being spread all over the globe, by Swami Haridhos Giri who is endearingly called by his devotees as GURUJI.

SIGNS AND GREETINGS

A world movement needs its own visual means of recognition. Also when the fraternity meets to bring about a sense of camaraderie, special greetings will have to be exchanged.

The Namasankithan movement piloted n\by Swami Sri Haridhos Giri has adopted the sign of the index finger and the middle finger of the right hand streatched making a formation of the alphabet "V" with other fingers turned inside towards the plam. This symbol does not denote the theological concept of dualism. Nor does it indicate the alphabet V to denote victory.

The two fingers represent symbolically the prakrithi represented by Radha and the Parampurusha represented by Krishna. All of us are parts of prakrithi - the female principle in creation. The only true purusha in Krishna. The gopikas represent in Krishna Leela the Dasya Marga adopted by the Rishis to reach the Parampurusha. Namasankirthan is a branch of Bakthi Marga in Dasya Bahva(looking upto Krishna as the dominant male) to love Him, as a female would pine for her lover to bring about the union with the Parampurusha.

In Bakthi Marga four different ways to communicate with the Lord are prescribed viz., The Matru Bhava (God as Motehr) Vatsalya bhava (God as a child) Sakya Bhava(God as a friend) and Dasys Bhava (God as one's husband). In the Namasankirthan route the calling out the divine names should lead one to ecstatic height of joy and to forget the temporal care and concern. To raise one to such emotive empathy would be possible only under the Dasya Bhava. Therefore, Swami Sri Haridhos Giri chose the sign as explained and designated the Greetings among his followers as Radhe Krishna.

HOW NAMASANKIRTHAN WORKS
The human mind keeps generating thoughts. It is like the waves in the ocean. It is like the waves in the ocean. Constant. Everpresent. However, in side the waves it is calm. Thus, instead of trying to control the thought process which in any case would be a futile exercise, accept that the thought waves like the waves in the seas would exist always. Yet , if one wants to keep away the effects of the ways, one should transcent it. Go under the waves.
It would be common experience that when one gets under the water, no waves are perceived nor felt. Since we hold our breadth, the concentration is intense on the "breadth". In a similar fashion, in ecstatic mood of signing or dancing in love for the lord, one transcends the mind, for one's concentration is on the Lord and steeped in Dasya Bhava when all other things around disappear. Including the care and concerns of our mundane life.
In a therapeutic sense, Namasabkirthan would bring about the benefit of a better sense of purpose existence leading to a more attitude towards life. The mind would be charged with the faith that the Lord is ever present with us to solve our problems. Thus, a sense of well being and security descends. One is thus prepared now well to face the world.
By and by the involvement with god takes over. Transcending other bondages and desires. Thus, Heaven is perceived in one's environs-inside. The impact of the outside world gradually tapers down leading to a sense of neutrality to all things. One does not pass judgement nor express rancour.
Sense control becomes automatic as the joy experienced through Namasankirthan becomes a preferred pursuit for satisfaction replacing the gratification through senses. Mind becomes alert and one also develops a sensitivity towards the right and wrong and the travel through life becomes an enjoyable experience.


Namasankirthan as has been explained is a free for all mode of reaching an ecstatic state of union with God through verbal expressions with feelings thrown in as the music component of this practice. All of us have in us the innate capability to express rythm, layam, raagam etc. All these are nothing but the manifested form of our emotions and feelings. Thus in namasankirthan one does not have to learn anything. One has to only tap the resourses from within.

 

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