BABA and the Name
(From The Harmonist, Dol Purnima issue 2001)

By Pabitra Kumar Ghosh

At Braja, Brahma was in a playful mood. He was at his simplest and the sublimest. He played with the cowherds and the gopis. He played on His flute.

At Navadwip, He preached the Lord’s name. He Himself being Hari preached the Name of Hari. He, being the Krishna of Braja, wept for Krishna. He embodied love for God at it highest intensity.

At Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Delhi He loves to hear His own name being sung. The kirtaniyas sing Hari’s name constantly in Hari’s presence. Hari did not keep aloof from His loving people at Braja and Navadwip. Neither does He keep Himself away from his own ones in Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata or Delhi, the new places of His new lila. In the present incarnation, His lila encloses Vrindavan and Navadwip as well.

He is known as Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami. The clue to the special nature of the present incarnation of God is to be found in the name He has adorned. He is Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Maharaj. He is Bhakti personified. He is Sravan Tirtha, always loves to hear the names of Hari, Krishna and Gauranga.

Mahaprabhu gave the saviour Name to the people. The Name liberates the jiva from avidya which keeps him away from God. Avidya is darkness surrounding the soul. It is ignorance which prevents the jiva-atma from realising the truth of his own being. Mahaprabhu gave the liberating Name.

But if giving is to be effective, it needs receiving. Giving is honoured by receiving. Mahaprabhu gives and Sravan Tirtha Maharaj receives. Mahaprabhu shows how to sing the Name and Sravan Tirtha Maharaj shows how to listen to it; how to receive and how to integrate it with one’s whole being – both inner and outer.

What is the Name? What is its glory? Why should we sing it and hear it? What is its efficacy? Why does Baba ask us to place ourselves always under the shelter of the Name? He Himself has clarified these points.

He says that the Vedas, the Puranas and the epics have sung the glory of the Name. If you do not know the intrinsic merit of the Name or the theory of it; if you have no respect for it; if you have no intention to utter the Name and yet you have just uttered it; even if you have uttered it with the intention of vilifying the person behind the Name, you will still get beneficial results.

If somehow your tongue touches the Name you will get the benefits which the Name brings. When any part of your body touches the burning coal, it gets burnt. It is like that.

Baba narrates a story. Sri Sanatan Goswami was then at Puri. As Mahaprabhu was one day invited to take Prasad at the temple of Tota Gopinath, he asked Sri Sanatan to join him at that place. Sanatan Goswami was wild with joy at Mahaprabhu’s invitation. He was so overwhelmed that he lost even his physical senses.

He went to Gopinath by the sandy path of the sea beach. It was the month of Jeshth, the hottest month. It was noon. The sands under the sun became as hot as fire. But Sanatan Goswami did not even feel the condition of his feet. When Mahaprabhu drew his attention to it, only then he became aware.

The heat of the sand worked on Sri Sanatan’s feet though he was not conscious about it at that time. Heat works irrespective of your being aware of it. Similarly, when one utters the Name without being concerned about the Person behind the Name, it showers its grace on one.

If you utter the Name without having any thought about the Person, it is called Naam-abhaas – that is, taking the Name without any aim or object and without bothering about the Person (the Namee). Even this naam-abhaas is fruitful. Such is the glory of the Name.

The Name and the Namee, the name and the person whom the name indicates are the same. These cannot be separated. God is the Namee. He is Sat-Chit-Ananda, absolute existence-consciousness-bliss itself. His name is also just that. The Name, like the Namee, is self-expressive. It does not depend on anything to manifest its glory. It does not depend on the conditions of the mind of the individual who is uttering the Name, and it does not care whether the man is aimless or not. It is all about the Name touching one’s tongue.

Mahaprabhu has said that you can take the Name anytime, anywhere even when you eat or go to sleep. Any other mode of sadhana is not free of any requirement. Taking of the Name need not wait for any place, time or rule. That is why it is called the Great Way.

The Name brings down God as well as the singer of the Name. The jiva identifies himself with the body; he thinks the ego is he. For this reason, he cannot realise God. The Name brings him down from the height of that ego-centrism, removes the ego-sense and cleanses the mind. The Name is so powerful that it brings down God to the singer of His Name. The Name enables the singer to have a glimpse of God; awakens mercy in the heart of God so that the aspiration of the singer is fulfilled.

The mind of man is engrossed in materialistic thoughts. It cannot concentrate itself on God. Intense and regular efforts are required for that. The mind will flicker or run hither and thither. But you have to sit down daily and utter the Name for sometime. You should form a habit in this way. In the beginning you should keep a count of the numbers you have taken the Name.

Sri Haridas was an intimate associate of Mahaprabhu. He was a siddha, a realised soul. Yet he had taken a vow to keep count of the numbers. This was his daily practice. Everyday he took the Name 300,000 times. Mahaprabhu himself observed this practice in order to set an ideal for us.

If we follow this path, our minds will be cleansed by the grace of the Name. Then we shall be able to taste the sweetness of the Name. Sugar candy tastes bitter to a bile-affected tongue. Yet sugar candy is the medicine to cure the influence of the bile.

Even if you are free of the bile-effect, you will fail to enjoy the sweetness of the sugar candy in case your tongue is covered with a portion of a banana-leaf. Because the sweetness is neither in the sugar candy nor in the tongue. It lies precisely in the connection of the sugar candy with the tongue.

The sense organs, including the tongue of a jiva who is under the grip of maya are encrusted with maya-dirt. So even if the sweet name of Sri Krishna touches his organs, he cannot feel the sweetness. Yet singing the Name is the only way to remove the dirt. When it is removed, the sweetness of the Name is felt at once.

The grace of the Name can be observed in another way. The Name is not an earthly thing. But human sense organs are earthly. So mundane sense-organs cannot grasp the Name. Yet if anyone wants to sing the Name, it descends on his tongue and begins to dance thee. Such is the grace of the Name.

The Name is self-manifest. It can descend on anyone’s tongue, irrespective of his/her desire. There are fortunate persons who utter the Name even when they are asleep. So much is the grace of the Name. No other form of sadhana can bestow such grace.

Baba has revealed many other aspects of the glory of the Name of the Lord. He Himself is the Lord incarnate in a human form. So He can reveal the truth of the Name in all its aspects.

When naam-sankirtan or the singing of the Name goes on in His presence, one feel the very Vaikuntha or the supreme abode of Hari has come down on earth. Or that we have been lifted up there.

Such is Baba’s grace that very ordinary people like us get a glimpse of God just by sitting near Him. His presence is divine. No sadhana is required to feel it.

Baba has come to bring a revolution in the world. He has come to lead humanity Godward. His purpose is to prepare humanity for the advent of Satya yuga when the reign of Truth will be established on earth.

Baba is ushering in a great global movement. This movement will encompass the whole world. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached selfless love of God throughout India. His method was to sing the Name of Hari. Baba is working along the same lines. Only this time, Baba’s divine mission will not be confined within the shores of India. It will spread among the people of the world like wildfire.

Mahaprabhu cast the seeds. Baba is bringing up a full-blown flower garden. Mahaprabhu gave the Name. Baba received it on behalf of humanity. The power of the Name will be felt by all. It will awaken the real, but sleeping self in us. God’s grace will flow down on humanity. The glory of the Name will outshine all other things.

Jai Guru !!
Jai Sri Radhey !!