Sanathana Dharma is the oldest faith in the world. The Vedas, which are the foundation of our Dharma and is supposedly the intellect of the Lord Almighty Himself, have all the wealth of knowledge to guide is in leading a happy and prosperous life in this world as well as beyond.
Srimad Bhagavad Gita, which is considered as a concise extract of the Vedas and the Supreme advice of God to mankind, speaks of four broad 'Yogas' (paths) to reach Him - namely Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. While all of these Yogas are equally powerful in giving the same merit, each of them enforces a specific way of life and expects the Sadhak to abide by the rules and regulations laid down for the Yoga.
Today, it is a busy world. We have no time to think about God, religion and spirituality. Even if we do, we do not have the time and inclination to carry out the prescribed tasks for the path that we care to adopt. Even if we do, the environment and society is not conducive enough. Over and above this, we are surmounted by pressures of work, family, children, business, health, relatives and society. It seems just next to impossible to allot time in our everyday schedule for Sadhana. Sadly, there is no one to blame! That is how Kali Yuga is!
The Sages, Rishis, Munis and Mahans have been people of foresight. With boundless compassion, they have pitied about our plight, long back --
prAyENaAlpAyusHa: sabhya kalAvasminyugE janA: |
mandA: sumandamathayO mandabhAgyAhyupadrutA: ||
In Kali Yuga, man will possess shorter lifespan, qualities of laziness, weak mind and easily susceptible to negative qualities and ills.
Thus, the modern day man needs an easier path -- something that can be accommodated in his busy life. That path should be such, that it does not involve a lot of rules and restrictions. it should not have time-bound restrictions; it should not involve much expenditure; it should be something which can be easily followed – In short, it should be perfectly relevant in the current day context, and absolutely practical; and yet yield us to the same goal.
The Sages prescribe the solution, which is advocated verily by the Vedas, and yet tailor made for our times.
dhyAyan krutE yajan yajnaihi trEtAyAm dwAparE archayan |
yadApnoti tadApnoti kalau sankIrtya kesavam ||
That supreme good which could be attained by the performance of meditation in the Age of Kruta, sacrifices in the Age of Treta and worship of the Lord in the Age of Dwapara can verily be attained, in the Age of Kali, by the mere chanting of the Divine Names of the Lord!
Further, our scriptures go to say,
kalau kalmasHa chittAnAm pApadravyOpa jIvinAm |
vidhikriyA vihInAnAm gathir gOvinda kIrtanam ||
In this Age of Kali, where the mind is impure and the living is earned through sinful means and where living by prescribed rules is difficult, the only way to liberation is singing the Holy Name of God!
Srimad Bhagavatam, in Ajamila charitra, explains that while expiation for
sins fails to eradicate the ‘vasanas’ (lateral impressions) that are the root cause for instigating a person to commit unrighteous acts, chanting the Divine Name uproots the very ‘vasanas’ that are the basis for committing sins and leaves no alternative for the Lord but to receive us into His wide open arms!
All the great Saints right from the Azhwars and the Nayanmars to Thiagaraja Swami, Panduranga Bhaktas, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa have all shown that one CAN attain liberation through mere chanting of the Divine Name. Even today we find Sadhus who have attained the highest state through mere chanting of the Divine Name. This is the glory of 'Nama Kirtan' -- An absolutely easy, simple path suited to the Age of Kali. The chanting of Divine Names is a free path. It has no ‘binding’ of rules and regulations. Namasankirtan can be done by anybody, anytime and anywhere. It involves no cost. It is a path that requires no paraphernalia but leads one to the very Lotus Feet of the Lord.
While mental repetition of the Divine Names leads to the good of the individual, chanting the Divine Names loudly purifies the singer the listener (the scriptures say “Shrotrunapi punati cha”) and the very place where the chanting is done.
It is verily for this reason that Sri Sri Swamiji advocates group chanting of a single Divine Name - The Maha Mantra. Chanting a single Divine Name of the Lord (‘eka Nama’) helps the chanter deepen his concentration and also helps in sustaining the chanting for long hours effortlessly.
The Satsang members at Nama Dwaar inspired by Sri Sri Swamiji's loving spiritual guidance, with unwavering faith in the power of Nama Kirtan, inextinguishable zest to spread Nama Kirtan for the well being of the world at large and the ever growing taste for singing the Lord's Divine Names, go from place to place knocking at every door to securely fix the Divine Name in the hearts of people, for, this is the only way to world peace at large and liberation of each and every individual, in this Age of Kali!