Nama-smarana with Genuine Sincerity
Usually we find it easier to repeat nama while we are in happy circumstances. If anything goes wrong, however, our attention is distracted, and it repeatedly reverts to whatever has gone wrong. The reason is that our chanting lacks genuine sincerity. Repeating nama with true faith is only possible if we have an intense conviction that God is our all in all; then, and then alone, shall we be able to maintain steady nama-smarana despite ill health, pain, reverses, set-backs. We read in the Mahabharata that Lord Krishna rushed to Draupadi's rescue only when she called out to Him with the conviction that it was He that was her last and true resort, her sole supporter and protector. We, too, must think of Him with the same sincere conviction, the same singleness of heart with which a child calls on his mother for help. It is only adversity that reveals on whom we really rely for help.
The practice of nama consists of three stages: one, chanting nama superficially, casually, in happy circumstances; two, remembering nama in adversity, with the unflinching trust that God is the sole support; and three, ceaseless remembrance of nama, after that trust becomes ingrained. In the first stage, one prays that calamities be averted. Saints, on the other hand, pray God to send calamities, because they know that it is in adversity alone that God is remembered with ardency.
We should feel as sure of the existence of God as we are of our own. We get only occasional glimpses of the presence of God; the idea will only become translated into practice if the mind is thoroughly convinced that God dwells everywhere. Only then shall we come to do nothing but what He likes or approves of.
We should get up early every morning, bow to God in submission, visualize Him in the mind, and pray, "O Lord, please caution me whenever I happen to forget You, for You are my only resort."
Whatever and wherever a man may be, he will surely get peace of mind if he remains absorbed in contemplation of God. One who lives for God will never get bored with life.
The joy of sensual pleasures is like the euphoria produced by an intoxicant, and has an aftermath of enhanced misery. Real joy can be experienced only by one who lives in God.
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