savithri_devaraj at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 31 21:22:09 CST 2003
--- Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Savitriji, when Ch.U says "Name indeed is Rgveda,
> Name is yajurveda, Sama
> veda and Atharva veda the fourth...., Name is
> Brahman, meditate on Name",
> the idea is we should try to understand the concept
> of Name. I doubt Ch.U.
> intends japam, but I hate to create another dualism
> now. Japam is the common
> man's way of understanding the Names. A scholar
> studies the names more
> seriously, that is all. If we limit our intellect to
> japam when we are
> capable of thinking, we are back to Shri
> Nisargadatta Maharaj's comment.
I am not able to get your drift here.
Duality is inevitable here. We live and breathe in
vyavahAra. I believe there are more or less just 2
paths here - the method of discrimination or jnAna
marga, and the method of bhakti or surrender. Only
mature souls are eligible for the first method, and in
most cases they are already on the path of
renunciation (samyAsa). For the rest of us, Karma yoga
and then some form of upAsana is the only way, be it
mantra japa, nAma sankIrtana, dhyAna, call it what you
There are no words to describe the nirguNa paramAtha,
hence we see shruti use "neti, neti.." to describe
that tatva. Now this is not a name that can be
repeated to reach paramArtha, it is method to
understand the tatva. Many upanishads talk of "Om" as
the essense of all vedas, origin of all existence.
While doing nAma sankIrtana, I think it is important
to remember that He is beyond all names and forms, and
is much more superior to his name. If His name is
taken with this awe for him, any name will lead us to
Him. It is an upAya to reach Him.
Since everyone has individual preferences, it is
customary to use names of ishTa devatas to reach the
nirguNa brahman. If this understanding is not there,
this is not much of an advaitic path, in my opinion.
In an article on nAma sankIrtana,
Sri.Sacchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji says the
The pIThike of viShNu sahasraNama has the following
paramam yo mahattejaH paramam yo mahattapaH
paramam yo madbrahmam parama yaH parAyaNam.h ||
pavitrANAm pavitram yo mangalAnAM ca mangalam.h
daivatam devatAnAm ca bhUtAnAm yo.avyayaH pitA ||
yataH sarvANi bhUtANi bhavantyAdi yugAgame
yasminshca pralayam yAnti punareva yuga kshaye ||
tasya loka pradhAnasya jagannAthasya bhUpate
viShNornAma sahasram me shruNu pApabhayApaham.h ||
One who surpasses all in splendour, who is ultimate in
tapas, who is greater than the greatest, who is
ultimate of all paths, more sacred than the most
sacred, more auspicious than the most auspicious, the
God of Gods, Father of all jantus, from whom all forms
emerge at ShR^ishTi and into whom all vanish at
pralaya, the thousand names of that Lord or Lords is
capable of destroying all sins and fears.
As is seen from above, the glories of the Lord and the
feelings that should come to our mind when we chant
his name is clear. He whose name is sung is not that
of god viShNu (as against that of Shiva, etc.), but
that of the ultimate principle that permeates all
life. The Atman which illumines the mind which in turn
illuminates the sense and the external objects, is the
light of all lights - He is indeed mahattejaH. Just by
samkalpa he is able to project the world in the
wakeful state and without any effort able to withdraw
it in the sushupti and other states. What indeed is
the glory of this nitya (ever) shuddha (pure) mukta
(totally free) swaroopa (form)!
This certainly sparks advaitic feelings in the reader
and the chanter. I think this is the goal of nAma
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