The Celestial Sound of ‘RAM NAAM’

by Dr. Gautam Chatterjee

 

It was 1925 Swami Satyanand Saraswati, then as an Arya Samaji devout, started meditating in a secluded place of Dalhousie. He decided not to get up from ‘ashan’ unless he meets ‘Param’ or enlightenment. After one month on the Vyas Purnima day, he wrote, while meditating deeply he heard the sonorous sound ‘Ram’ . Swamiji felt some beings were chanting ‘Ram-Ram’ all around. But after opening his eyes he could not see anything. Ignoring the ‘happening’ he again closed his eyes and he could then hear the melodious sweet sound of ‘Ram Ram’. It followed a celestial instruction as akashvani: ‘Ram Bhaj, Ram Bhaj Ram Ram’. (Chant the name of Ram,Ram Ram). Swamiji first thought it was an interruption or ‘Bighna’,but again he thought that ‘Ram’ as the name was no ordinary name! Suddenly he realized and got up from his ‘ashan’(seat) with great reverence as if some great soul has appeared and he started trembling.

Swamiji heard the voice again and then with folded hand Swamiji requested to the voice to appear. The voice asked in which form HE should appear! Swamiji requested HIM to appear in his original form ! Then appeared the glittering jyoti studded two letters RA and M. Likewise, Swamiji received the bliss of eternity called Ram. It was Vyas Purnima--the day dedicated to the teachers or param-guru of the world! And interestingly, for Swamiji ‘Ram’the celestial figure who visit the universe in every yug,appeared as Guru and as the goal or destiny as well! This magnificent realization was the initiation of Swamiji who thereafter preached the philosophy of ‘Ram’ the eternal sound to the common man so that people could get an attainable spiritual direction without the dogmas or ritualistic peripheral worship concept. Today this sacred name besmear millions around the world, from United States of America to the tribal population of India, under the auspicious banner of ‘ Shree ShreeRam Saranam’ which literally means taking refuge in Ram.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born in 1918 on Shukla Purnima in Rawalpindi(modern Pakistan). Beforelong, he lost his parents and Maternal Grand Father ,Uncle brought him up with care. By the time he was 17, Lakshman, his the then name, got opportunity to mix up with Jain Munis. Empowered with sharp memory and dedication, he mastered the literary tradition of Jain Philosophy. His oratory and convincing power got him name and fame. But with the passage of time he was disillusioned about the ‘god-less’ philosophy and entered ceremonially into Arya Samaj who preached ‘back to the Vedas’. Again on understanding ‘Ram’ has no place in their world of ‘AUM’ he walked out of Arya Samaj fold with grace!

Being a learned man with proper exposures in global school of theosophies encompassing all religion, he propounded the school of thought where formless ‘Naam Japa of Ram’remains the epicenter of universal nada(sonic) concept.

The central theme is worshipping the name of RAM and the utterance is the method of attainment of enlightenment. Swamiji propounded the theory of ‘Naam Japa’ on a scientific line of ‘sound’ phenomenon within and outside of every human being. He looked into it more as ‘research scientist’ of name theosophy where the end result remains a matter of ‘experiencing’ the bliss and living through it to attain enlightenment.

Swamiji initiated ‘Naam Daan’ or (donating the celestial name) and it has no ritualistic punctuation. There is no puja(flower,fruit or any ritualistic utensil) or donation, there is no other method than ‘Japa Yoga’ and ‘Sat sang Sadhana’. In return one has to be disciplined one with no amoral inclinations and should dedicate to the name and the formless ‘Ram’. Anybody can get the ‘naam Diksha’ no matter one is a poor beggar or a wealthy man. Swamiji propounded that through this name anybody would get the ‘bliss’ and sail through life and without becoming dogmatic.

In the doctrine of ‘Naam Yoga’ one has to install the celestial sound in one’s heart as the ‘sound idol’ and which should through the process of loud and silent chanting within envelop the whole body and mind. Then it works as a system of ‘Thesophical Medication’,and cures the ailment caused by the chaos within and restores peace and tranquillity of the self. Once the heavenly ‘silence and tranquillity’ is installed in the body one sways through the waves ‘Tarang’ called ‘Bliss’ undermining the materialistic and mortal pathos of life. Again this school never promises a ‘miracle’ and warns that to receive the bliss one has to have proper ‘idealistic’ utensil to receive the shower of bliss of Paramatma Shree Ram. And the ‘Ram’ remains the seed mantra to achieve ‘Vaikuntha’ or the place in the celestial abode of Ram.

From theosophical perspective Swamiji in his discourse which was compiled in the book titled ‘Pravachan Piyuush’ said that whosoever worship the name and submits totally to HIM then one should not bother about siddhi(spiritual attainment) and Shree Ram would take care of refinement of soul and take to the heights of ‘Param’ without any hindrance.

Interestingly enough in the ShreeRam Saranam School of thought the importance of chanting the name for certain ‘number of times’ is not prescribed as 108 or 1001 which is prevalent in other contemporary systems of Hindu way of life. Rather it proposes to chant the name as many times as possible and the process of ‘Japa’ is not restricted to the ‘meditation’ ashan or seat and one is free chant and run the ‘woolen’ mala even one is working. And there is a concept of ‘Ajapa Jaap’ which can be achieved by anybody! This is a state of mind where internally the name continues to resound even one is deep asleep. Likewise,by chanting name for unlimited times leads to creation of ‘sacred space’ within which throws away the ‘evil’ of the mind and body and thus automatically purifies the soul. Thus it provides the method of ‘sound’bathing and ill intentions wither away and corrective feelings are planted automatically. Thus sound ‘Ram’ works as creative sonic energy within and wipes-out the human ‘weaknesses’ to strive for the attainment of Param and provide linkages with Paramatman.

Propounding the basic philosophy of ‘Shree ShreeRam Saranam’ Swami Satyanandji attained pari-nirvana on 13 November,1960. Thereafter Premji Maharaj, a close disciple,a homeopath,a spiritual healer as well,took up the lead to expand the philosophy of ‘ Naam Daan’. Premji Maharaj continued his healing touch and thousand all around got baptized and found solace amidst the chaotic materialistic world of growing India. When Premji Maharaj attained Vaikuntha the Trust requested a disciple of ‘ShreeRam Saranam’ Dr Viswamitra, a renowned Ocular Micro-Biologist,only one in Asia in those days, who after 22 years of serving the physically ailing world at All India Institute of Medical Sciences was attaining spiritual emancipation at Manali the abode of Manu which is also known as Manualaya. After conceding to the request Swami Dr Viswamitra came back to the world of healing again,this time with spiritual fervour. Today his disciples running into millions from all strata and creed and colour amalgamate to take the celestial bathing of ‘Ram Naam’.The healing touch has even encompassed prisoners who have vouched to desist from the path of sin and regularly chants ‘raam raam’.

Once some disciple said to Swami Dr Viswamitraji that he wanted to have some discussions. Then Swamiji smilingly said ‘We are here to reduce the shor or noise...’. Thus the naam japa is a sound within and goes on to silence the chaotic sound all around. Thus within the silence the sound of Ram charges a disciple’s life-style and definitely creates the celestial bridge to the Paramatman.

Explaining the mysticism of Shree Shreeram Saranam Swami Dr Viswamitraji explained, in an exclusive interview at Manali to Discover India ,that there are three primary Ss which are fundamental of naam- japa. The first S is Simran or taking the name of lord passionately for innumerable times and in ceaseless fashion. Through the process attributes or Guna of Lord Rama besmear the soul of a devout and papa or ill-doings fades away. Thus Rama is called all merciful and dwells in the hearts of a devout who takes refuge in Him.

The Second ‘S’ is Samyam’ or self-control which envelopes ethical and moral refinement of life. This self-discipline remains the cue for any devout for his/her emancipation. This concept of Samyam is also part of strong undillutable character building process as stressed by Swami Satyanandji Maharaj in 60s.

And the last of Ss is Sewa or service. This service does not include the materialistic donation of money or the mortalistic offering or service like ‘Deha Daan’ etc. But Sewa in Shree Shreeram Saranam means service to the God by means of Japa or counting the beads. Here putting others in the right track remains the stress point. Praying for others to relive them from pathos of life be in ‘Ram Durbar’ or elsewhere and that too silently is the service to the God. Thus Shree Shreeram Saranam propounds the theory of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’(whole world is one family). So praying for other beyond the ‘relations’ remains the catch word. Se we see Ram Naam works as theosopic medication and medication as well.


In the summing up it can be said Shree ShreeRam Saranam propounds the philosophy of journey of Atman to the Paramatman through the method of Ram Ram. This is a newer dimension of Advaita(non-dual) path with a touch of deep love or Bhakti and again without hindering the Karma Yoga at the materialistic plane.

 


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