TALK delivered by
during his visit to the
Kanhan Gad, North
Kerala (South India)
SWAMY RAM DASSJI
on 8th May, 2001
"We face problems all the time in the world. Everyone’s life is beset with problems. What is the solution to these problems? How do we solve the problems? Do these ever get solved? No, Samasya i.e. problems will always remain, and do not come to an end. One should learn to live with Samasya. We draw the necessary strength from Ram Nam – it is our sole strength, and inexhaustible strength. Tulsidasji says: Problems cannot be solved. Take the umbrella of Ram Nam in your hand; even if rains do not stop, you will not be drenched, you will be safe. Ram Nam is that umbrella. It must be chanted with love and not just a mechanical chanting; you must pour your heart and soul into it. It then becomes devotion – Bhakti. If knowledge is combined, then it becomes Parabhakti.
What are the salient features of devotion? Devotion does not look at your past – a dacoit, a murderer, a prisoner, it doesn’t bother. One you have reached the feet of Mother Devotion, she accepts you as you are. This is one of the very important features of devotion. Just as the worldly mother, she doesn’t look at how dirty the child is. She accepts the child, takes it in her lap, cleanses it and makes the child fit for the Lord’s lap. Every child is so dear to the mother, however ugly it is! Devotion doesn’t see your past. One day a Tahsildar, given to all vices, rendered a service to a saint. After his meeting with the Mahatma, he swept himself clean of all the vices and resolved to take to a very honest life and later became a saintly person. Bhakti nindaneeya ki vandaneeya banai dheti hai – Bhakti transforms the condemned person into a blessed person. When you take to devotion, to Ram Nam, it makes you venerable.
There was a notorious thief. One day, in order to escape the police he reached a secluded place. He found a small hut and a hermit sitting inside. The saint looked noble and divine, and his face was glowing with divine love. The dacoit immediately put his head in his lap and appealed to him to accept him as his disciple. The saint put both his hands on his head and said, " you are most welcome". The dacoit was amazed and said, "Don’t you want to even know who I am? I am a murderer and a cruel dacoit." The saint said, "It makes no difference. Once you have come to me, I accept you because I am sure the Lord knows what you are. If he has not yet rejected you, not yet killed you, who am I to reject you?" the dacoit was initiated into Ram Nam. The saint appealed to him, "Look my dear son, you have been given the Ram Mantra, please keep on reciting the Mantra when you go back. Whenever you feel like doing an ill-deed or sin, please remember that the Lord is watching with innumerable eyes. From today, the Lord is watching all your activities." The dacoit did Pranam to Swamiji Maharaj and went away. He thought, "What does it matter to me if He sees me or he does not see me; I have to do what I have to do. I will keep chanting Ram, Ram as he bid me. How can I live without ill-deed. I am a sinner." But he came back after a fortnight and said: "What have you done to me, Swami! Despite my best efforts, I am not able to do a single ill-deed." That is Satsang, glory Ram Nam that has brought about the big transformation in the dacoit. He became a renowned saint later. Glory of Ram Nam! Glory of Bhakti! – Bhakti ki mahima hai nindaneeya ko vandaneeya banai dheti hai. Bhakti transforms a condemned person into a revered person. Do it honestly and see for yourself. Bhakti doesn’t look into your past.
There are two important features, which Bhakti doesn’t like. One is doership. In Bhakti, if the devotee thinks he is doing something, he is not a devotee. For him, the Lord is the doer. Bhakti doesn’t like anyone to say that he has doen so much work, so much Swadhyay, so much Seva, so much Satkarma. Bhakti doesn’t want to listen to these words. She immediately rejects that person. The second is exhibiting devotion.
What Bhakti likes – ‘Come to me as you are. Don’t project yourself to me otherwise.’ Don’t you remember what honour is given to Maricha in Ramayan. You all know Maricha – a cheat, a Mayavi – who becomes an illusory golden deer. Normally we run after the Lord, is it not? Here, the Lord is running after Maricha ! In our eyes, he is a cheat, but the Lord says, ‘No, he is not a cheat; he is very honest person – being a cheat he is projecting himself as a cheat; he is not projecting himself as otherwise. Look at the generosity, magnanimity of the Lord! If you project yourself what you are not, Lord says you are not a cheat, you display yourself i.e. what you are within.
Bhakti is Paramprem. In his definition of Bhakti, Devrishi Narada says, ‘the Roop of Bhakti is Paramprem, the Swarup of Bhakti is Amrit’. He claims, "A devotee's very soul becomes Komal, Madhur, Amrit - 'Siddho Bhavati, Amruto Bhavati, Trupto Bhavati' - No doership, no show. Third point which is equally important and very much related to doership - 'Siddho bhavati' - Bhakti becomes ripened. Does he perform miracles? No, he is not fond of Chamatkar; yet the Lord performs miracles through him. He is fully aware, 'I am not the doer; the Lord does everything.' Someone asked Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, "Narada says, 'Bhakti Siddha ho jata hai - Bhakti becomes ripe. What is the Siddhi or the fruit of Bhakti - rising in the air, walking on the water? Ramakrishna Dev gave a nice answer: You have seen rice. It is hard. When it is boiled it becomes soft and elongated. This is the Siddhi of Bhakti. 'I am something' - the ego, pride, Abhiman-dies, just as hard rice becomes soft. The hardness of the ego is transformed into softness. Ego thinks itself superior, making others feel inferior. 'What I have done, I have done well.' This is called Abhiman, ego. Ramakrishna Dev says, 'A devotee of Ram Nam becomes egoless. This is the Siddhi of Bhakti.'
May the Lord bless us with His Love! Take his Name with all love, from heart and soul, not mechanical. Without Bhav nothing happens. 'Even if a whole lot is given without Bhav, I don't accept it.' - this is what the Lord says. You must put your heart and soul into the chanting of Ram Nam, May God bless us all!!
Copyright © Shree Ram Sharnam, International Spiritual Centre,
8A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar - IV, New Delhi - 110 024, INDIA