Nama Alone Annihilates Passions and Desires
Passions and desires are the root cause of birth. Desires can be summed up as wishing that the pleasures we have should continue forever, and fresh ones should be added. As a first step towards obtaining emancipation from this state, let us modify our desire and say to God," Grant the continuance of the happiness we have today, and give such additional happiness as You please to." We shall thereby be conscious that whatever we get in addition has come from Him; and about what we do not get, we shall always feel that He does not will it. There will gradually arise the conviction that everything comes from God, both what we have and what He grants. This will, in its turn, mitigate hankering and uneasiness for fresh things and attachment for what we already have. Likes and dislikes, as well as the feeling 'this I want' and 'that I don't want', will gradually wane.
It is impossible to vanquish and transcend passions and desires on one's own strength and determination; utter surrender to God and His will is the only remedy. Keeping appropriate company will also go a long way. If, for instance, we associate with a recluse, our desire for fine clothes will gradually die down; but living in the company of the rich may foster love for foppery. We should, therefore, keep such company as will gradually create a spirit of self-surrender.
Complete surrender to God means complete dedication of ourselves and all we have, to His service. This, in other words, means renouncing all upadhi. For this we must adopt a sadhana which is absolutely free of all upadhi. Nama-smarana is the only such sadhana. Time and space, good circumstance and bad, wealth and poverty, scholarship and ignorance, sickness and health, status, sex, age-none of these can be an impediment to the chanting of nama. Nor does nama require any appliance, whatever. The only essential thing is the will to chant it. It can be carried about in the heart, always and anywhere. Without penance or hardship, it will absolve the mind from desire and passion. Have faith that the Lord is at your help and support, and then vritti will not yield to passion and desire. While practising nama we should maintain an awareness of God's presence. Time and space are subservient to one who practises nama.
* * * * *