We are amidst a heavy war of words between the Vishnu-Dhootas and the Yama-Dhootas on the context of how significant the chanting of Bhagawan’s divine and sacred names is. On one hand, the Vishnu-Dhootas put forth their argument by saying that even if a person chants Bhagawan’s names unknowingly or without understanding its significance or for any other purpose apart from Spiritual practices, still gives the same effect as it is for chanting regularly with focus. They emphasize their point with an anecdote that if a child touches a burning lamp with its finger, not knowing that touching the fire is going to hurt, it is still going to burn the child’s finger. Does the lamp know whether the child is knowingly or unknowingly touching the fire? Hence, irrespective of whether we know the significance or not, even if we chant Bhagawan’s divine name “by mistake”, it is going to give us the effect of washing away all our sins.
This argument doesn’t go down well with the “Yama-Dhootas”. They pose their argument as to how can people escape from all their sins “just like that”? Isn’t this so unfair? What it means is that, people will commit all possible sins all through their lives, enjoy their life with all unwanted worldly pleasures, chant Bhagawan’s name once or twice and attain Moksha! Thus the “Yama-Dhootas” pose a serious question here – Is attaining Moksha such an easy task? As the Yama-Dhootas ask thus, the Vishnu-Dhootas establish their point that chanting Bhagawan’s divine names is of extreme significance by narrating another anecdote – If a person washes a piece of cloth with heavy dirt amidst the fast flowing Ganges, will even a single piece of dirt stick on to it after that? Will the river argue at that time that “Oh! This cloth has not been washed now for ten days and I will not wash away the 10-day-old dirt!”? Irrespective of whatever dirt is there on the cloth and for how much ever longer that dirt was sticking to the cloth, how does it matter for the water? Similarly, in our lives too, irrespective of whatever sins we would have committed all through our lives, if we chant the divine name of Bhagawan even once, all of the sins are going to be washed away, no matter when and how they were committed! This is the reason why it is advised that we chant the Vishnu Sahasranaama, which is nothing but a compilation of all the sacred names of Bhagawan Vishnu!
In fact, let us think of it in a different angle now – How many of us would be interested in chanting the Bhagawad Gita together, as compared to chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranaama? Many a times we would be interested in Vishnu Sahasranaama chanting, rather than Bhagawad Gita chanting! Why? The simple reason being, Bhagawad Gita is a tough text for us to understand and comprehend! Whereas the Vishnu Sahasranaama is comparatively easier for us to chant and enjoy! On a lighter note, if Bhagawan has to explain something about Himself to all of us, He makes it very complicated for us to understand! Whereas, if somebody else has to take up the responsibility of explaining about Bhagawan and His significance, it becomes very easy! Therefore we feel that the Bhagawad Gita, Vedas and Upanishads to be extremely tough and the Vishnu Sahasranaama to be very easy! 😊 The Bhagawad Gita, Vedas, etc. came from Bhagawan Himself and the Vishnu Sahasranaama came from Bhishmachaarya amidst the Mahabhaarata battlefield! It seems as if Bhagawan first tried explaining about Himself to all of us, so that we would get some interest to approach Him for Moksha! However, nothing worked in Bhagawan’s favor! Till today, we are finding it extremely tough to comprehend what Bhagawan Krishna has explained in the Bhagawad Gita, isn’t it? This is why, many people even today are doing extensive research on the Bhagawad Gita, but are still unable to comprehend the whole thing! The fact of the matter is that, only Bhagawan Krishna knows what He has explained in the text, and even after thousands of years, we find it virtually impossible to understand head or tail of it! 😊 Realizing that His Bhagawad Gita is going nowhere and meeting a dead-end,
Bhagawan Krishna thus thought of a different plan – Rather than Bhagawan Krishna talking all about Himself to the world, it might be better if someone else talks about Him! Even at our home today, if our immediately close people like our parents or wife or husband tell us something, we wouldn’t be very interested in listening to them! Whereas, if a third person tells us the same thing, we would immediately listen to them, isn’t it? 😊 This is the same conclusion to which Bhagawan also came to here! If He’s directly going to tell us about His significance, do’s and don’ts in our life, none of us are going to listen to Him! Thus, Bhagawan called out for Bhishmaachaarya and asked him to explain all of His significance and thus the Vishnu Sahasranaama was born! Thus, this is the origin of the great and sacred Vishnu Sahasranaama and of course, many of our readers might be knowing about this already! It is important for us to know that the Vishnu Sahasranaama is very much part of the Mahaabhaarata!
Thus the point here is that, chanting Bhagawan’s sacred names is of extreme significance! In fact, many contexts of our Sanaatana Dharma literature explains that Bhagawan’s divine names are more powerful than Bhagawan Himself! It is like 24 and 22! Now what is this 24 and 22? When we go to a jewellery shop to buy gold, do we buy 24-carat gold for making ornaments? No, isn’t it? It is because, 24-carat gold is the purest form of gold and if we try making ornaments with it, it is going to be extremely brittle in nature! However, if we reduce the purity from 24-carat to 22-carat by adding some silver to it, the strength of the ornament increases! Similarly, Bhagawan is like the 24-carat purest form of gold! Bhagawan’s divine names are like the 22-carat- ornamental gold! Now which one do we use regularly? Of course, the 24-carat-gold is pure and we can put it in a box and preserve it. But, it is the 22-carat one that we use regularly isn’t it? Similarly, it is the Bhagawan’s divine names that we can keep chanting at any time of the day at our own convenience! However, if we’ve to go to a temple to worship Bhagawan, can we do it at any time of the day? We can’t! There are specific timings at which we can worship Him! However, we don’t need to get an “appointment” from Bhagawan to chant His names! We can chant them at any time as per our convenience! This is the significance of “Naama-Sankeertanam”!
Hence, Sage Sukhaachaarya is trying to bring out the importance of “Naama-Sankeertanam” through the Ajaamila episode! So for today, let us also try and understand the significance of this important aspect of our Sanaathana Dharma and let us put it to practice! We shall wait till the next episode to continue with the next point! Stay tuned! 😊