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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Sep 2019

     

Swami, would You kindly accept our invitation to attend the function of repeatedly reciting the name of God Datta (Naama Saptaaham)?

[Several devotees from various places, ranging from illiterate to highly qualified, came to Swami, seeking the clarification of their doubts in spiritual knowledge. Some of the prominent questions, along with the clarifications given by Swami, are given here.]

Swami replied: Usually, I look forward to attending any function where God is worshipped, especially when it is a function dedicated to the worship of God Datta. But I am sorry to say, I will not be able to attend this specific function. The reason is that, in this specific function, you will be repeatedly reciting the name of God Datta for seven days continuously. If I call out your name in your ear continuously for seven minutes, will you not get a headache? Will you be able to bear that headache for seven days? Not only you, but I, the Person repeating your name will also get a terrible headache! Therefore, not only you, but also, the people in the neighboring houses will get a terrible headache. You will be afraid to accept this fact because you fear that by accepting it, God might be displeased with you. Then He might not give you your desired worldly boons. After all, you are conducting this function, bearing all the strain, only to get those boons from God! Somebody has advised you that God will grant your worldly desires, if you conduct such a function. Therefore, it is the attraction for your worldly desires this is forcing you to worship God in this way! You are able to hold your patience continuously for seven days only due to your attraction for your worldly desires and not due to your attraction for God!

Hanumān always remembered the name of Rāma and Rādhā always remembered the name of Krishna because they had developed the climax of attraction towards Rāma and Krishna respectively. They did not have any worldly desires. In your case, no such attraction for God has already developed. How can you then claim that you are repeating the name of God due to your climax of attraction for God? Actually, when there is not even a trace of attraction for God in you, where is the place for the climax-attraction? You are only imitating Hanumān and Rādhā externally. But internally, there is lot of difference between you and both those climax-devotees. You have the climax of attraction towards worldly bonds whereas they had the climax of attraction towards God. You are repeating the name of God due to your attraction for fulfilling your worldly desires using God. You have faith that such worship will please God and that He will grant you your desired worldly boons. But God is omniscient and He knows whether you are worshipping Him in this manner due to your real climax of attraction for Him or not. You cannot fool the omniscient God by such artificial worship. Do you really think that God will be fooled into thinking that your are worshipping Him due to your climax of attraction towards Him? Pleased with such artificial worship, will He really grant your desired worldly boons? Only a human being with limited knowledge could be fooled in this manner. But God is not a human being to only see your external pretence of worship. He very well understands your internal motive behind the worship. He is omniscient and knows all that is present in your mind. He can never be fooled! The climax of attraction for God should be free of any aspiration. When God very clearly knows your aspiration for worldy boons hidden behind the tedious pretence of worship, will He be pleased with you or will He hate you?

In order to do such continuous worship of God, the essential prerequisite is having the climax of attraction for God. The continuous repetition of His name should only be due to your unlimited love and attraction for Him. How can one achieve this climax-attraction for God? The only way is by knowing more and more about the divine personality of God. This beginning stage of knowledge is jñāna yoga. It can be attained by reading the life histories of various Incarnations of God Datta. First, you should conduct this function, in which His life histories like the Guru Charitram, Satcharitram etc., are continuously read. Such reading will develop great interest in you for God Datta, which itself is the attraction towards God. The various incidents in the lives of devotees, in which God responded to them, will develop immense attraction to God Datta in your mind. This is the climax of love for God. When you hear about the behaviour of God Datta and the background of His behavior from a Satguru, all your doubts regarding the personality of God get clarified thoroughly. It confirms your climax-devotion. This completes jñāna yoga, which generates intense theoretical devotion or bhakti yoga in you. With the help of jñāna yoga, you can recognize the contemporary Human Incarnation of God Datta because God comes in the form of a Human Incarnation in every human generation to avoid being partial to only a certain generation. You will find the same spiritual knowledge in the Human Incarnation of God Datta in your time. You will identify Him and surrender to Him by serving Him and practically sacrificing to Him. This service and sacrifice is karma yoga. Service and sacrifice done to statues and images of God certainly helps in developing theoretical devotion in you. But such karma yoga done to the representative models of God, is not received and enjoyed by God directly. Only the karma yoga done to the contemporary Human Incarnation of God is received and enjoyed by God directly and hence, it alone is the real karma yoga.

These three yogas are sequential and their correct order was clearly established by the three divine spiritual preachers, Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja and Madhva. Śaṅkara, who came first, emphasized jñāna yoga. Rāmānuja, who came later, emphasized bhakti yoga and Madhva, who came last, emphasized karma yoga. Karma yoga consisting of service (karma saṃnyāsa) and sacrifice (karma phala tyāga), stands as the proof of your real theoretical devotion for God. The proof is not needed by the omniscient God. It is only needed for the devotee, who realizes the true extent of his devotion.

Therefore, convert such nāma saptāha functions into pārāyaṇa saptāha functions by continuously reading the life histories of Incarnations of God. That way, people living in neighboring houses, your fellow-devotees participating in the function and you yourself will not get a headache, repeating the name of God. Instead, you will develop more and more interest in God. After becoming the climax-devotee of God, you will continuously utter the name of God, in a spontaneous and natural manner, due to your love for God and not due to the force of your worldly desires. We have an impression that devotees performed penance by repeating the name of God continuously and that God appeared before them to grant them any boon they desired. Do you know that God appeared before them, not due to His love for them, but because He was unable to bear the headache caused by the devotees’ continuous repetition of His name! Also, those boons given by God destroyed those devotees, in course of time. Real penance is the real interest in God. It is the love or devotion to God, which is based on the climax-attraction towards His divine personality, without aspiring for any fruit for oneself. The only fruit desired is God’s happiness. People say that japam means repeating God’s name continuously. But it is a totally wrong interpretation. Śaṅkara gave the correct interpretation by saying that japam means remembering His divine personality by repeatedly speaking (or reading) His stories (Aviśrāntaṃ patyurguṇagaṇakathāmredanajapā—Saundarya Laharī). Sage Nārada also mentioned this as the initial stage of devotion in his book, called the Bhakti Sūtram (Tat kathā śravaṇādiṣu...).

Naama Saptaaham Avishraantam patyurgunaganakathaamredanajapaa Tat kathaa shravanaadishu Narada Shankara karma Samnyasa Karma Phala Tyaaga paaraayana Ramanuja

 
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