Ardent Longing Necessary for Love of Nama
Most aspirants wonder why they are unable to develop real fondness for nama. A little thought will, however, show that the question is itself incorrect. It is like a question by a woman who has not yet borne a child, "How can I experience maternal love?" Maternal love, as everyone knows, comes naturally to a woman who bears a child. The correct question to ask would therefore be, how the woman will bear a child. Similarly, an aspirant should ask how a desire to chant or meditate on nama will be created. Who, really, prevents us from chanting it? None, indeed, but we ourselves. Really speaking, all that we have to do is to resolve to chant nama and begin to do it. It is our duty to practise nama, and love for it will naturally follow. Just as, for a woman, her child and natural maternal love are inseparable, so, too, love for nama is inherent in the practice of it. If we do not experience love for nama, the evident reason is that we do not repeat it with the requisite earnestness.
"But", a sadhaka may argue, "I do repeat nama and yet do not experience love for it. Why is this so?" If we honestly and thoroughly search within ourselves, we discover that we do not repeat nama with real sincerity. We do it only superficially, not at all from the heart. We repeat nama solely because the sadguru or the saints ask us to do it, or even merely as a recreation or occupation for an idle mind. Of course, even so, nama will do its job. We should have intense yearning for nama, as a mother has for her firstborn after years of childlessness.
An earnest sadhaka should keep himself aloof from women. Even a siddha should remain away from women, although he is mentally detached. Spiritual development should be natural and unconscious, like that of the body. In the spiritual quest, to preserve and maintain what is achieved is even more difficult than the achievement itself. A sadhaka should never entertain the idea that he has achieved something; one who entertains that notion has, in reality, achieved nothing.
A woman should not give up nama-smarana even if the husband does not favour it, nor need she fear that she is thereby transgressing the limits of marital duty.
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