Nama-smarana for Constant Awareness
The practice of the divine nama is not for making family and worldly life more congenial and happy but, rather, for reducing our love and attachment for them. Even so, it will not affect that life adversely. One should trust in God and believe that whatever happens is for one's good.
I met a person once, who said," I devote all my idle time to nama-smarana". I said, "Really speaking, time spent in repeating nama is the only time employed usefully; how do you call it 'idle' time?" He later said," All saints say that the effect of our past actions is inescapable, and it has inevitably to be suffered. What good can, then, accrue from remembering the divine nama ?" The query is doubtless a proper one. It is quite true that one must suffer the consequences of past actions; the difficulty is that we become uneasy when bearing unpleasant consequences. If, however, the mind is busy with remembering God, the impact of the situation is softened and becomes less disturbing, more bearable. In our present state, it will make things easier to think that "Everything takes place at His will", or that "Whatever He does must be for our ultimate good."
Simple as this sounds, it contains a very important point. This faith will arise if a continuous awareness of Him is maintained. The sadguru's exhortation is: keep contented in the present, and maintain awareness of the Supreme Being. If such awareness is disturbed when some one causes us pain, the fault is with us, not with him.
One may not know how to get rid of the distractions of the mind, or how to concentrate the mind. It is better to think of what is to be learnt than of what is to be unlearned. So one should rather practise awareness of God, for that will bring in its wake all the desirable virtues just as all parts of the body grow in proportion, or just as watering the root is enough to nourish a tree. Indeed, as Lord Krishna Himself said to Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita, "While you grope and suffer in the darkness of ignorance, remember Me constantly, and you will in due course see light." We keep on feeding oil to a lamp to keep it burning; similarly, to maintain awareness of God, keep remembering nama.
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