Tuesday, 10 July, 2007

The Greatness of Japa

A devotee asked, “Swami, what is the easiest way to attain moksha?”

Bhagavan said with a smile, “As and when the mind goes astray, it should be turned inward and made to steady itself in the thought of the Self. That is the only way.”

Another devotee said, “To do so, the repeating of the name of Rama is good, is it not?”

“Certainly, it is good,” said Bhagavan. “What could be better? The greatness of the japa of the name of Rama is extraordinary. In the story of Namadeva he is reported to have told one devotee, ‘If you want to know the greatness of the name of Rama you must first know what your own name is, what your real nature (swarupa) is, who you are and how you were born. Unless you know your own origin, you will not know your name!’ This idea is found in the Abhangas of Namadeva written in Marathi language and in the Malayalam Adhyatma Ramayana.” Thereupon Bhagavan related a story from the latter.


IT IS STATED in that book that when Anjaneya (Hanuman) went in search of Sita, he seated himself opposite to Ravana in the Darbar Hall on a high pedestal and fearlessly spoke to him thus:
‘Oh Ravana, I give you a teaching (upadesa) for attaining liberation (moksha). Please listen to me carefully. It is certain that the Self (Atma) gets purified by intense devotion to Hari, who is in the lotus of the Heart at all times. The ego gets destroyed and then the sin gets destroyed. Afterwards, in its place, the knowledge of the transcendent Self emerges. With a pure mind and with the Bliss (Ananda) generated by a firm knowledge of the Self, the two letters ‘Ra’ ‘Ma’ which are like mantras, will repeat themselves within you automatically. What more is required for a person who has this knowledge, however little it might be? Hence worship the lotus feet of Vishnu, which will remove all worldly fears, which are dear to all devotees and which shine as brightly as the light of a crore of Suns. Give up the ignorance of your mind’
.

This has been mentioned in two or three slokas in the Sanskrit Adhyatma Ramayanam but not as elaborately as in the Malayalam text.
Is the greatness of the name of Rama ordinary?

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