Lord Shiva tests the power of Rama Nama

Lord Shiva’s faith in Rama Nama

Tulsidas Goswami has especially used the word ‘Neeko’ for Lord Shiva- नाम प्रभाउ जान सिव ‘नीको’ |

Lord Shiva knew the potency of the name like nobody else. In Lord Ganesha’s case, he circumambulated the name. Even if he had lost the contest, he had nothing to lose. Anyway, he was going to report late sitting on Mushakraj. But what was Lord Shiva’s test?

To highlight the glory of Rama nama, goswamiji says-

कालकूट फलु दीन्ह अमी को ||

When poison emerged from the ocean, Lord Vishnu told Lord Shiva to drink the poison.

Sage Narada curses Lord Vishnu

When Sage Narada was bitterly upset with Bhagavan, he rebuked Him with many words. He said-“When Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean, you made her your wife. When the Kaustubha gem emerged, you wore it for yourself. But, when poison appeared, you sent it to Lord Shiva, how selfish you are! How treacherous you are!!”

असुर सुरा बिष संकरहिं आपु रमा मनी चारु |

स्वारथ साधक कुटिल तुम्ह सदा कपट व्यवहारु ||

Think. Why did Bhagavan do this? We feel that Bhagavan had been unjust. However, there is a reason behind his ways. Earlier when the churning happened, Lord Shiva had gulped all the nectar by himself. So he better drink the poison too.

It is said that earlier when the ocean of Vedas was churned, the nectar of Ram Nam emerged from it.-

ब्रह्माम्भोधिसमुद्भवं कलिमलप्रध्वंसनं चाव्ययं |

Rama name is the sweetest extract of the vedas. When everybody saw two simple alphabets as the Vedic extract, they ignored it. There are so many other Mantras available in the scriptures. Two alphabets ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’ appear to be too less. Lord Shiva was happy to see nobody’s mind go towards the name.

People dislike short mantras

Those who believe in long mantras, find Ram nama to be very short. They feel how it is going to benefit in any way.

Many people visit sadhus to find a solution for their miseries. If the sadhu tells them to perform Yoga sadhana they will immediately term it to be “difficult”. If the sadhu says simply chant the Ram Naam, then too they have a problem. They will say, what new thing have you said now, We already know it. Looking at the shortness of the name, many people pay no heed to it. However Lord Shiva knew that though the ocean is infinitely vast, the nectar must finally arrive in a small pitcher. Similarly Ram Nama is the extract of the vedas.

Which is why Goswamiji said-

ब्रह्माम्भोधिसमुद्भवं कलिमलप्रध्वंसनं चाव्ययं,

श्रीमच्छम्भुमुखेन्दुसुन्दरवरे संशोभितं सर्वदा |

संसारामायभेषजं सुखकरं श्रीजनकीजीवनम ,

धन्यास्ते कृतिनः पिबन्ति सततं श्रीरामनामामृतं ||

Lord Vishnu justifies his decision

Lord Vishnu said “I have not been unjust. Lord Shiva will certainly understand why I have sent him this parcel.”

When the Devas turned to Lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva was very happy. This is the time to test the greatness of Rama Nam over the deadliest poison called Kalkuta. Which weapon is more powerful? When the name ‘Rama’ was attached to ‘Vish’ (poison), it became ‘Vishrama’ (rest). But when the same name Rama is separated from ‘Vishrama’ it becomes poison again.

Through this episode, Lord Shiva’s intense faith towards the name became evident. The power of Ram Nam deified death itself. Lord Shiva was immortal even after consuming the venom.

Shiva Ganas attend a marriage

During Lord Shiva’s marriage procession, he took all his ganas or ghostly creatures as his associates. All the Devas immediately warned him. “Atleast during your marriage procession, pay heed to auspicious and inauspicious omen. Your ganas are all inauspicious.

कोउ मुख ही बिपुल मुख काहू |

Will you continue with these undesirable-omens?” Lord Shiva said- “According to me, inauspicious is more desirable than auspicious. During auspicious times we engross ourselves in good happenings. We see the auspicious fire burning, Brahmins chanting, distribution of Dairy items etc. But during inauspicious times, the first thing that comes unfailingly to our mouth is the name ‘Rama’.

जिन्ह कर नामु लेत जग माहीं |

सकल अमंगल मूल नसाहीं ||

करतल होहिं पदारथ चारी |

तेइ सिय रामु कहेउ कामारी ||

“I have my Lord’s name on my tongue. How can anything inauspicious harm me? Only good shall happen.” Lord Shiva transforms poison into nectar. Lord Shiva is the very personification of faith or Bhakti.

भवानी शंकरौ वन्दे श्रद्धाविश्वासरूपिणौ |

याभ्याम् विना न पश्यन्ति सिद्धाः स्वान्तः स्थमीश्वरम् ||

You may also want to read- Lord Ganesha realizes the power of Ram Nama

Comparison between Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva’s approach

Lord Ganesha is the lord of Viveka or discrimination. He understood the cosmic principle behind the name. But Faith is even greater. Lord Shiva’s faith on the name is so intense that even death is defeated. This is the side of Lord Shiva.

So taking Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Sage Valimiki’s example, even the sincere, the wise and utterly surrendered can chant the name.

Sage Valimiki’s approach

Sage Valmiki had many vices in him. He was told to chant the name in the reverse order due to his inability to chant the name. Even spelling the name in the reverse order can purify one’s heart.

Kindergarden and graduation level in chanting

Sant Kabir says-

माला तो कर में फिरै, जीभ फिरै मुख माहिं |

मनवा तो दस दिसि फिरै यह तो सुमिरन नाहीं ||

What is the use of chanting if your fingers move the beads, tongue spells the name but your mind wanders everywhere?

However, Tulsidasji says the complete opposite thing-

भायँ कुभायँ अनख आलसहूँ |

नाम जपत मंगल दिसि दसहूँ ||

“You can chant with love, without love, with anger or slumber. Nama will do wonders anyway.” Both Kabir and Tulsidas ji are great saints. Who says the correct thing? According to me both are right in their way.

Kabirdasji’ truth follows the rules of grammer. If you don’t know how to write and pronounce words correctly, you will certainly fail in your exam. To pass, you must learn the right pronunciation and formation of sentences.

Tulsidasji’s mood while chanting

Suppose a grammer teacher tells you the meaning of the word “Ma”. A little baby doesn’t know anything of this sort. Yet when he calls “Ma”, his mother comes running to him and lift him on her lap.

Kabirdasji is a university student. He warns you to chant religiously, with one-pointed attention. But Tulsidasji says “I did not fit into that category.” A child stammers when he speaks, he speaks unclearly, yet his mother comes running to him on hearing his call.

Somebody asked Tulsidasji Goswamiji- “Some say Ram nama is the supreme, fundamental principle, some say it is the divine name of Bhagavan. What is your outlook?” Goswami gave a very beautiful reply in the Vinay Patrika-

मेरे तो माय-बाप दोउ आखर, हौं सिसु-अरनि अरो |

“For me, Rama nama is neither a mantra nor an object of contemplation. ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’ are simply my parents. I am their child who keeps calling out to them.” The truth understood by a child is of the supreme order.

A child sits in dirt, yet, when he call his mother, his call is so heart-wrenching that his mother leaving all tasks aside solely attends to him.

If the mother reaches late, the child has the right to get angry. Still, his mother loves him. Valmikiji’s story gives us this teaching. Even, if we are that incapable of pronouncing Bhagavan’s name, Bhagavan understands our mood and attends to our call.

Is it fine if our chanting is unclear?

Shri Udia Baba keeps recounting this episode.

A devotee once accepted initiation. He was less educated and so was unable to pronounce words correctly. He mugged-up the wrong mantra and started chanting it incorrectly.

It was a Devi mantra. Devi appeared before him and slapped him. She said- Atleast chant the mantra correctly! What wrong mantra are you chanting?” The Bhakta immediately grabbed Devi Ma’s feet and said- “Ma, I will listen to whatever you say, but you are telling me to chant the mantra correctly, that I cannot do.” Devi asked “Why?” The devotee said- “The effect of this incorrect mantra has brought you here. I don’t’ want a better mantra than this. There are many who chant the mantra correctly.”

Which means Nam-sadhana is so unique that however one chants one shall always benefit. You can chant it from a jnani’s perspective, a bhakta’s perspective or like a sheer innocent child. By remembering the Ram nama, a surge of divine emotion fills our hearts. The glories of Nama are infinite.

जासु नाम भव भेषज हरन घोर त्रय सूल |

सो कृपाल मोहि तो पर सदा रहउ अनुकूल ||

|| Boliye Siyavar Ramachandra ki Jay ||

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