Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Rama Naama Mahamantra Japa.

“Rama Naama Mahamantra Japa” … Meditation / Chanting of Lord’s name continuously, A Spiritual Practice, the easiest path to follow in the current Era (Kaliyuga) to attain peace and calmness of mind and body ....

Rama Naama Uchara ... Janmache Sartaka Kara ... 
Nama Smarane Munijana Karale …Taraka Mantra Dhara … 
|| OM Sri Rama Jay Ram Jay Jay Ramu 
Sri Rama Jaya Ram Jay Jay Ram || 

Pranams at the Lotus Feet of “LORD RAMA AND MATA SITA” 

We GSB’s / Konkani Gowda Saraswat Brahmins of Kashi Matt Samstan (Varanasi) will always remain indebted to our Our Beloved Dhrama Guru … 
Sadguru Srimad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji (31.03.1926 - 17.01.2016) 
... A Sage who will live in our hearts forever, who have always followed the path and teachings of Lord Rama our Ishta Devata and instilled in Samaja Bhandavas the guidelines to be followed for spiritual attainment. 

Also offering salutations at the lotus feet of our present Dharma Guru … 
Kashimatadish H H Shrimad Samyamindra Thirtha Swamiji. 

** Ramayan is a beautiful Dharmic Epic, read and loved by almost all Hindus all round the world. It defines the ideal dimensions of human values in a beautiful way. Lord Rama ~ manifestation of Lord Vishnu as Son of King Dasharath and Kaushalya of Ayodhya kingdom, as the human avatar has been beautifully written by Sage Valmiki. Swami Vivekananda follower of Shri Rama is believed to have said that “No language can be purer, none chaster, none more beautiful, powerful and simpler than the language in which the great poet has depicted the life of Shri Rama. 

** It is strongly believed that chanting “Ram Naam (Tarak Mantra)” with devotion benefits human beings by giving a deep sense of relaxation to mind. “Ram Naam” has immense power with positive vibes in this cosmos and it is advised by saints that chanting or reciting “Ram Naam” enhance the benefits of Meditation phenomenally. 

** Lord Rama is Antaryami (means - The one who knows everything) and the one who has many names, some of them being, Maryada Purushuttam, Dasharatanandan, Kausaleya, SiyaRam, Ramachandra, Adipurusha, Raghava, Raghuveera, Rajeevalochana, Trivikrama, Vishwamitrapriya to name a few. However, it is this simple four letter word name “RAMA” that is the most powerful of them all. 

** There are several benefits of chanting “Rama Naam Mantra” and it is very difficult to describe the same in a few words. One has to experience it with consistently performing the japa with great devotion to attain that Bliss. “Japa” is constant repetition of Lord’s name or any mantra said aloud or silenty preferably with a “Japa Mala”. The same should be performed with great attention and the mind should not be diverted or disturbed with other activities. 

** Japa can be performed with any mantra by the devotee towards his / her Ishta Devata. There are many mantras that are meditated upon like Gayathri Mantra while performing Sandhya Vandan. However, it is “Rama Nama” which is called 'Taraka Mantra'. The word 'taraka' means the one that helps us cross. Thus it means “Rama Nama” meditated upon helps us cross the ocean of 'samsara'. It helps us cross the cycles of birth and death. If it is chanted, as 'Rama', then it is a Nama, while if it is chanted 'Ram', then it is a Mantra. 

** It is believed that Lord Vishnu who manifested as Lord Rama on earth is the favorite form of Avatar of all universal Lords. Lord Shiva and Lord Rama are believed to have great devotion for each other. Lord Shiva worshiped on Rama and Rama worshiped on Lord Shiva. The deity of Kashi, Lord Vishwanatha (Ishwara / Shiva) initiates all to meditate of Rama Nama for attaining the final moksha. 

** The Lord Dhakshinamurthy who is actually an aspect of Hindu God Lord Shiva itself but as Guru (Teacher) of all types of knowledge actually observes silence many times, because He doesn't want to waste any time without chanting the Rama Nama. Again the Sun God “Surya Deva” ever chants the Rama Nama as he is proud that Sri Rama came in his dynasty. Lord Rama was born as Surya Vanshi. 

** A small story goes that Sage Vishwamitra who was a king who then renounced kingdom and followed the path of sanyas dharma performed abundance of austerities. He penanced for many years and wrote for those 33 crore Devatas each a mantra. When he intiated the same to Sri Rama, it is believed that the devatas appeared before Rama when Lord Rama Chanted the Mantras. 

** It is believed In Hindu Shastras that when a devata is invited for the performance of pooja, it is installed in any one of the three forms ie. Kalasha filled with water; Fire as in homa and into one’s own body like while performing Sandhyavandan Goddess is invited within the body by saying the “Gayathri mantra” 108 times. 

** Lord Rama is believed to have invited all the 33 crores of Devatas one by one chanting the holy mantra for each one of them and it is believed that all the Devatas gladly descended on earth before Lord Sri Rama. Lord Rama then took them into his body, which established all Gods in one. Thus by chanting one “Rama Nama”, one gets the benefit of invoking all the Devatas. 

** One can also write “Rama Naam” which is called likitha Japa meaning written meditation. A well bound book is started by placing before God and then the holy japa “Shri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama” is written on it using any colored ink except black. It is usually written atleast 108 times in a day. Again, one should engage in this activity with devotion without having any disturbance and constantly saying the japa as you write on with devotion. 

** It is believed that as the Sun dispels the darkness in every way, so does the chanting of “Rama Naam” dispel all evils and obstacles from one’s life. If one feels that all roads are blocked or keeps facing repeated problems in life, or is constantly in the receiving end of failures, then saying or writing “Rama Naam” gives one the most needed clarity of thoughts to find a way out of odd situations. 

** “Rama Raksha Stotram” is a small but powerful stotra that is believed to give you peace of mind and actually gives you strength to move ahead in life when troubles appear from all sides. It is now scientifically also believed that japa / chanting / saying of stotras promotes mental peace and increases the concentration power and stabilizes the mind. Ayurveda in which Indian’s believe has been establishing it for ages now. 

** One such well-known example of Bhakti can be witnessed from that which is portrayed by Lord Hanuman towards Lord Rama. It is believed that there is no one stronger devotee than Lord Hanuman, who is always in Bliss with constant meditation of Lord Rama. He is a devotee who sees Lord Rama in everything and continuously chants on the Lord’s name. It is believed that it is easier obtain Lord Rama’s blessing if one attains Lord Hanuman’s blessings priorly. Such is the strength of true devotion / bhakti. 

** Also during modern times Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, one of the strongest leader who fought successfully for India’s Independence, in his final lecture before the independence is believed to have said, 'We have tried our level best for the country. Now let us all chant the Divine Name “Rama” together. Only that has the power to sail us through this tough times and get us independence. It is also believed that “Rama Nama” was always passed on as kirtan by Gandhiji. And on his death the last words he whispered were “Hey Ram”. 

** Modern times, methods, and standard of living have been making us constantly seek out for peace and happiness many a times. The stressed living that people go through now trying to make ends meet leaves them baffled and helpless at times. Worries and tensions have become a part of life. Children who are tomorrow’s nation builders are the most effected by this constant unsteady transformation of life. The kid’s are almost round the clock learning, writing, and filled to brim with school activities and studies unlike olden days. 

** We Indian’s are lucky to have such a wonderful holy heritage within our means that guides us the path through spiritualism. “Rama Naam Japa” (Tarak Mantra) has given many of us that spiritual strength in mind and body and I have written this solely on my very own experience. I myself say “Rama Raksha Stotram” once a day and when disturbed in life at least 5 times a day along with “Rama Nama” Japa. My Mother does 10 rounds of the Japa Mala twice a day and so did my Grandmother. 

** Constancy in worship of God is called Nishtha. The devotee gets himself well-established in his devotion to the Lord. The devotee gets Aasakti or attachment to the Lord when he progresses in his devotion and consequent depth of meditation. When you have made a strong resolve to do Japa or meditation, you must do it slowly with devotion. You must not hurry up quickly with an agitated mind thinking of some other work. Remember, you cannot deceive God. You will only be deceiving yourself in the process. You will not get the full benefit of Japa and Dhyana (concentration). 

** Traditionally “Japa Malaas” made from tulsi stems or roots are used for meditation purpose by Hindus. Tulsi mala is referred to be auspicious for the wearer / user and believed to put them under the protection of Sri Hari / Lord Vishnu. The Japa Mala consists of 108 beads with a divide of one bead to end the same. When performing the japa with this japa mala you start from the first one rolling the bead using thumb finger and middle finger sliding the mala towards you and once you reach the end point where there is extra bead just roll over the mala direction and proceed towards the second and round and so on. You do not corss the center bead. Is it not simple … This I learned from my husband’s Aunt. Who saw the mala in my home and tought me the right method of doing the japa. 

** Japa cana be practiced any time of the day, it is the devotion that counts, but see to it that you cleanly wash your hands and feet and offer obligations to God in the temple of your home before you start with the japa. The best time however is after your bath in the morning or in the eveining. Many chant a round of japa at night before retiring to bed, like me. And yes you can also chant any mantra you prefere or Guru mantra too. 

** “Sri Rama Rama Rameti Rame Rame Manorama; Sahasranama Tattulyam Rama Nama Varanane.” This shloka is recited at the end of the Vishnu Sahasranama and also towards the end of “Rama Raksha Stotram”. Lord Shiva explained this to his consort Goddess Parvati that while chanting “Sri Rama” just three times is equivalent to reciting the entire list of the Lord’s thousand names, chanting the above shloka is like reciting the entire Vishnu Sahasranama. 

** This same sacred mantra was given by Maharishi Narada when he was confronted by the wayward dacoit, Ratnakar telling him that the sacred name would wash away all his sins and give him new life. The same dacoit after going through lots of penance and worshiping Lord Rama became the great Sage Valmiki, who wrote the great epic of Ramayana. He also gave shelter in his ashram to Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana when they were sent into exile into the forest. Again he offered sanctuary to Sita who was pregnant while Lord Rama sent her into exile listening to a dhobi / washerman’s words to keep the sanctity of the kingdom though in his heart he knew Sita was holy as River Ganga and pure as agni. Sita Mata gave birth to her sons, Luv and Kush in Valmiki Ashram and they grew up under his care and became his disciples thus upholding dharma and traditions taught to them. 

** Religion : Religion has nothing to do with Japa. Like you do not have to be a Hindu to peform japa. All religion teaches meditation using 108 beads. Just follow your beliefs and chant on your Ishta Devata. It is this performance of chanting the holy names that are of utmost importance. 

** All said and done, one has to have Faith when doing any activity and it has to be out of one’s own will, desire and choice, otherwise it is absolutely no use. It is rightly said, “Faith can move mountains”. Like shastras say … if you believe in an Idol installed and pray with nishta taking it as your God, then that is God, if not it is just a statue as for some. Again, God is everywhere, in every noble cause, in every honorable action of help and in every helping hand offered. Therefore, it is not alone the mater of saying prayers, but one’s actions and deeds also that go a long way. 

** If, I have inspired even one person to pick up the Japa Mala for perfoming of “Rama Naam Japa” then I will consider myself fortunate and blessed. Thank you for going through the article. Once again, I repeat with all humbleness … the powerful mantra … for all … 

|| Shri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama || 
|| Shri Rama Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram || 

** Here is a beautiful bhajan sung on Ram Naama Japa … 
Ram Naama Uchara (Taarak Mantra) by Pt. Upendra Bhat 

|| Siyavara Ramachandra Ki Jay || 

** Disclaimer : I have adapted and written this to the best of my knowledge from net, friends and various other sources. I read through a lot of matter on Japa and Rama Nama, condensed and wrote this small article on my own way to the best of my ability. I have also included Google pictures and the picture credits goes to them. If I have hurt anybody’s sentiments in the process, It is not intentional and in no way meant to offend anybody or any religion. Plz. do excuse me for the same. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Gayathri for this great article. Very insightful writeup. Definetly meditation and chanting is a way towards spiritual world.