MISCELLANEOUS

Sanctity of God’s name

CHENNAI: According to Yuga Dharma, each Yuga is assigned a specific religious practice for salvation — penance in Krita Yuga, Yagas in Treta Yuga, worship in Dwapara Yuga and chanting of the Lord’s name in Kali Yuga. The story of Ajamila in the Bhagavata Purana highlights the saving power of God’s name by endorsing the invaluable benefits that Ajamila gained by uttering the name of his son Narayana in his death bed. The emissaries of Vishnu protected him from those of Yama and explained that though he had committed sins, Ajamila had atoned for them by uttering the Lord’s name. Religious worship, observance of vows, etc. may absolve a person from sins, but they do not eradicate the sinful tendency. It is only service to the Lord that puts and end to both and gives liberation.

In a lecture, Sri B. Sundarkumar drew attention to the fact that the emphasis on the efficacy of the divine name does not permit one to commit sins and hope for redemption in the promise thus offered. What is implied is that the name of the Lord is capable of removing the ill effects and evil tendencies in people when they chant His name with sincerity and faith. For those who aspire for liberation, there is nothing so effective as the chanting of the Lord’s name for destroying the bad impressions of past actions and for purifying the mind. Once the love of God is developed, the mind never goes after self centred activities or for fulfilment of personal gains. Otherwise the mind gets sullied with the qualities of Rajas and Tamas.

To remember God at the time of death is also divine grace. In the case of Ajamila, it was perhaps the good karma in previous births that brought about the turning point in his life at the time of death. It is said that Ajamila survived this incident and lived the rest of his life in holy devotion after getting reconverted.

Like the efficiency of a potent medicine, regardless of whether a man is aware of its inherent power, the Lord’s name is capable of conferring benign effects on the person who chants the name. When one utters the name, he attracts God’s attention and this is capable of bringing about an inner transformation in the person.

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