More sweet than all other sweet things; more auspicious than all other auspicious things;
the greatest purifier of all purifying things—————-
———————-The holy name of Sri Hari alone is everything…………..
There was a temple of Lord Krishna in a village . The temple was always flooded with several devotees. The mood in the temple used to be festive always . Continuous Hari naama sankirtan made the place vibrating with devotion .The devotional Hari nama tunes took one into a serene mood asking for more . It was a continuous flow of elixir .
The continuous chants made the mind swoon into devotional fervor and nothing else was remembered .There was no hunger or thirst .No desire except for just being there and feeding the soul through these ears the elixir that was abundantly poured . It was sheer bliss .
A young man lived near the temple who had no belief in God . He considered devotion to be waste of time and felt that they were mere superstitions and the ones going to temples were in false illusions . He used to object them during their extended stays and condemn the non stop hari naam sankirtan program in the temple .
One day , one elderly person among the devotees in a composed mood advised the youth to realize the importance of ” Namasankeertanam” and explained the enormous power of chanting the Holy names .
The youth a rationalist asked ! OK old man does chanting your gods name fetch me food ? Does the Holy Name take care of my well being ?? He was rude with his questions …
Yes !!! said the old man confidently !!!The youth being an atheist demanded proofs but finally ended up in a challenge.
The old man said ,
Look Young man ..
You chant the Holy name for at least 12 hrs and see for yourself the change . Be assured …. You would be getting food served . And in case this does not happen I am prepared to stop this practice of devotional service in the temple. It was a bold statement among several devotees assembled there ….
Looking at the confidence of the elderly person the youth confided with the agreement and said ..Ok … ..
Just 12 hours I will chant sunrise to sunset …. and thus he started chanting Lord Krishna’s Nama as advised .He was not very keen to see the old man winning the bet .He knew He will anyway win the bet and make them understand it was a waste of time .
Time was ticking ….
He thought if he had stayed along with them or at home or at his friends place or within the limits of the village he would have been coaxed and fed saying please have prasad etc .
He decided to go to such a place where he would not be noticed by anyone thus ensuring no habitat can see him and provide him with any food .
He went into a forest and thus settled himself on one of the branches of a huge tree confident of not being noticed by any one . He was no doubt chanting mentally the Holy name but without faith . The time swiftly passed .He had almost engaged the mind in the Holy name synchronized to the temple tunes. Used to always hear the devotional tunes residing near the temple and thinking of the bet continously his mind was fixed and started relishing it unknowingly .
The sun was about to set . He was not at all feeling hungry .Suddenly he happened to see few men with weapons under the tree . They were looking ferocious.They were carrying some booty along with them .
One thief happened to look above and found a man relaxing He cautioned his friends . They dragged him down from the treetop much to his resistance ..
The thieves who had dragged the youth from the treetop roughed him up and asked him … So you are so smart and think we will foolishly fulfill your plan ?
The young man was shocked . He took courage and asked .Who ..? Me … Plan ? What plan ??? The thieves dragged him to the nearby tree and said .. What made you leave that delicious food there ?
The young man was blank when he was questioned .He stammered … What Food ….Which food / where …. I am unaware ..I just came here to avoid the villagers ..please …please believe me. He revealed his purpose of entering the outskirts and the bet with the old man . The thieves refused to accept the young mans version.
One Elderly Thief intervened and said ..
This food which looks to be too delicious seems to contain poison and this young man wants to see we are dead so that he can run away with our looted jewellery .
I suspect his moves .
Let us teach him a lesson ..
Come on !!! Please get me that food kept over there …. Saying this two of the thieves held the youth’s hands, one of them opened his mouth and the other one dumped the food inside his mouth by force . The youth was helpless and was forced to eat the food.His repeated pleas were ignored and they laughed seeing his reluctance in having the food ….
After the thieves had left the place, the youth started memorizing the whole incident that had taken place in his life for the past 12 hrs . He started remembering the words of that elderly person.
It was at this point of time the youth realized that while he was doing Namasankeerthanam even thirst, hunger and other things did not affect or disturb him .
The youth had neither any sincerity, dedication, devotion nor any desire to do Namasankeerthanam. Inspite of this Namasankeerthanam proved its result.
Even on doing Namasankeerthanam in the outskirts of a village comfortably seated on the top of the tree without any fear, tension, and disturbance had provided him with food without any personal efforts…
This entire event made the youth realize the power and greatness of Namasankeerthanam and the truth in the words of that elderly person. This developed within him a strong belief that Lord provides a helping hand to all those who seek HIM.
He understood that although he had lost his bet to the elderly person who arrived in the form of Sathguru,he had made him victorious in his spiritual life. He rushed to meet the elderly person and with tears revealed what all had happened in the 12 hours time .
The old man pleased with the youth , addressed the gathering ,
my dear children,
It is said in Srimath Bhaagavatham 12-3-52
“KruthE yadh vishnum ththrEthaayaam yajathO makai:
dhvaaparE paricharyaayaam kalau thath harikeethanaath”
The result that one yields in kritha yugam by doing dhyanam (meditation),
the result that one yields in thretha yugam by doing yagnam,
the result that one yields in Dwapara yugam by doing archanai (pooja) ,
the same result is derived in this kaliyugam just by chanting Lord’s Holy Name.
Everyone here is leading a very busy life.
One does not find time to progress in spiritual life .
The only way out is chanting the Holy name wherever you are will take you near HIM …
He continued to quote Azhwars pasurams from Divya Prabhandam ,thus making them aware the glory of Holy name
‘Aadi aadi agam karaindu isai paadi paadi kanneer malgi’…………………..
‘Naadum nagaramum nangu ariya namo narayana yenru paadu’………………..
‘Harer namaiva namaiva namaiva mama jeevanam … na gatir anyata’……………..
madhuraḿ madhurebhyo ‘pi |
mańgalebhyo ‘pi mańgalam |
pāvanaḿ pāvanebhyo ‘pi |
harer nāmaiva kevalam ||
More sweet than all other sweet things; more auspicious than all other auspicious things; the greatest purifier of all purifying things—
The holy name of Sri Hari alone is everything…….
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Adapted from a discourse from a advanced devotee
Pics credits : Google images and pictures shared by advanced devotees..