Nama-smarana is a Must on the Path of Action
Performance of vedic rituals aims at purifying the heart; but unless it is based on firm faith in God, with all doership ascribed to Him, it will amount to merely ritualism, bigoted fundamentalism. Besides, life today is so widely different from what it was in the past, that vedic rites just cannot be performed with rigid compliance with their requirements. Nevertheless, I have the highest respect for the disciplined life of the orthodox.
In order to obtain the true benefits of vedic performances nama should be constantly borne in the mind. Gradually, when the heart becomes thoroughly purified and the soul is absolved of the binding effect of all action, nama alone abides, and finally, the individual soul merges with the Cosmic Soul.
nama is not just one of many spiritual formulae or incantations it has been established and made potent by selfless sages and saints. It takes one unfailingly to God; nay, more; it attracts God to the person who chants it incessantly and with staunch faith. I say this with the assurance of personal experience, and its veracity may be tested. It is a fire which consumes the 'body-am-I' feeling. It is a form of Omkar itself. It is the very soul of all religious rites and performances. All the great persons who have accomplished the task of attaining the Cosmic Soul have had recourse to nama. Persons of the highest grade, such as Lord Shiva and Shree Samartha (Ramadas Swami) have attained their goal only through recourse to nama.
On the other hand, to assume that nama-smarana puts the adherent beyond the pale of all moral and social restrictions and discipline is also totally erroneous and indefensible.
A genuinely generous heart is a sine qua non for one who aspires for success in paramartha, and to attaining to sainthood. It is certainly not suggested that the common man should gift away all his money and belongings. What is far more important is giving up all aspects of 'self' or ego. This naturally includes the abandonment of all proprietorship.
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