In the previous episode, we had witnessed the twenty-fourth aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit, which is nothing but “Shravanam”. This simply means, we should be ready to listen to Bhagawan’s divine stories, incidents, “Leelas” (Miracles) that He had performed, His divine names, etc. As discussed in due course of yesterday’s episode, “Shravanam” forms the first step towards “Bhakti” or “devotion”. When we were amidst the previous “Skandha”, we had witnessed how Prahlaada was an epitome of this aspect of “Dharma”. Even when he was in his mother’s womb, Sage Naarada made sure that Prahlaada listens to all the important aspects and significances of Bhagawan Vishnu. Thus, the devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu, which Prahlaada stands out uniquely for, started from this very step called “Shravanam”. Hence, it becomes important for all of us to listen to various significances of Bhagawan, and if we successfully cultivate this aspect of “Dharma” within us, all other steps would automatically fall in place.
To start with, whenever we find some free time at home or during our travel time up and down from office to our residence, we can start listening to some slokas like Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalitha Sahasranama, etc. There are many recordings available on the internet today and we shall make use of them. Of course, now all of us are at home 24*7 and this is the right opportunity given by Bhagawan to commence this aspect of “Dharma” in our homes. Moreover, if we’re making sure that the sounds of Bhagawan’s slokas or phrases of the Vedas are reverberating in our homes, we are filling our homes with lot of positive vibrations. Our home itself becomes a temple of Bhagawan and eventually we needn’t go to any temple in search of Bhagawan!
This is where we move into the next aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya called “Keertanam”. This is the “follow-up” step for the previous “Dharma” called “Shravanam”. So here, “Keertanam” means, “singing in praise of Bhagawan and talking about His significances”. This is also extremely important as we take giant strides towards “Bhakti”. At any point in time, we should make sure that we keep chanting Bhagawan’s divine names, slokas, etc. even at a sub-conscious level. In other words, even when we’re busy performing other important tasks at our workplace, our mind and heart should internally keep chanting our “Mantra”. This is perhaps the highest level of this “Dharma” called “Keertanam”. It needn’t be openly done to attract public audience. It can be done within ourselves and by doing so, we develop something called “Adrishta Shakti” (Internal spiritual power) within ourselves, which would protect us from any kind of catastrophes or dangers that we might have to come across in our lives at any point in time.
Thus, it is very important for all of us to chant our “Mantra”. I’ve already discussed this aspect several times before as well. We should make sure that we chant Bhagawan’s divine names repeatedly without a break. It can be of any deity or any divine name of Bhagawan like Rama, Krishna, Ganesha, Shiva, Devi, Muruga, or whatever. Every “Mantra” or sacred name of Bhagawan has its own unique powers and hence, it is important for all of us to chant our “Mantra” all the time, irrespective of whatever task we perform at any point in time. Many of us might have a question here – How is it possible that we keep chanting all the time and especially when we’re amidst an important board meeting or any task at our organization? Won’t it affect our concentration at our work and thereby lessen our productivity? This is where we should understand that constant practice of chanting is required. Yes – During the initial stages of chanting, we might not be able to focus on the “Mantra” and our work at the same time. There would be hiccups. But we should not let ourselves down at these stages. We should keep chanting our “Mantra” meticulously without a break. Once we start doing this, we are slowly and gradually “internalizing” the “Mantra” within us. Once we internalize the “Mantra”, our lips would automatically keep chanting it, irrespective of whatever activities we are involved in at any point in time. This is the stage which all of us should strive to achieve and this is where, “Keertanam” gains lot of prominence.
Thus, the point here is that, along with “Shravanam”, we should also make sure that we chant and recite Bhagawan’s divine names. It might be in the form of a “Mantra” as explained above, or can be in the form of music too. If some people are blessed with the ability to sing, we should use this ability to the maximum extent possible to sing in praise of Bhagawan as much as possible. Of course, singing is a noble art and not many of us might be gifted by Bhagawan to do so! If some people have this gifted ability, my humble request to all such people is that, please do not commercialize Bhagawan’s gift. Rather, use it to sing for Bhagawan whole-heartedly. If Bhagawan gets pleased by your singing, He’s automatically going to give you all what you want, isn’t it? Instead of that, why should we run behind money, name and fame by using Bhagawan’s name and gift? Hence, musicians should importantly note this point here – Please consider this as a suggestion and not as something to hurt your sentiments or professional growth. If you sing with all your heart, Bhagawan would definitely take care of all your money, name and fame. Let us practice this meticulously thus!
So for today, let us understand and appreciate the important aspect of “Dharma” called “Keertanam”. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next aspect of “Dharma” as narrated by Sage Sukhaahcaarya! Stay tuned! 😊