My grandmother in her simple wisdom used to say that every time you utter the word Rama, one line of fate or karma is erased for you. This is a simple way of expressing the fact that the word Rama, reverberates in the mind in such a powerful way as to affect one’s consciousness. The names of God in the Indian tradition have been chanted for thousands of years by sages and saints and do certainly have a power to elevate human consciousness.
As Tulsidas, the great 16th century poet and devotee of Rama and author of the poem Ramcharitramanas said:
Lifespan is short and in that short lifespan, jivas (souls) wander here and there with various concerns and thoughts (in their mind), and waste their (precious) human birth. Many things have been recommended (by scriptures and saints) but it is impossible to do them all (isn’t it?)
There is no end of scriptures and arts and poetries are also infinite; they are all melodic and nectarine, however it is extremely difficult to drink (relish) all of them (isn’t it?)
There is no end to learning of the Vedas and the purports (and imports) of the Puranas are deep and secret (interpreted by scholars in different ways); and teachings so many, so where to focus the mind and heart?!
So listen O souls, finally I am telling you one most important thing in millions (the supreme secret) if you really wish ultimate welfare of your soul in this birth, then start singing ‘Ram’ naam (drink the nectar of the name Rama).
As Swami Sivavanda explained through the example of the prostitute Pingala who was transformed into an enlightened being:
You may be aware how the Ganika (prostitute) Pingala was mysteriously transformed into a saintly lady by the power of Name (repeating the Name of Sri Rama), through her Guru the parrot, which she obtained as a lovely present from a thief and how she easily obtained salvation. The parrot was trained to utter the Name “Sri Rama, Sri Rama.” Pingala knew nothing of Rama-nama. She heard the sound Rama-Rama through the mouth of the parrot. It was very melodious and charming. Pingala was very much attracted. She fixed her mind on Rama Nama uttered by the parrot and mysteriously entered into Bhava Samadhi (union with Rama). Such is the power of Name of the Lord.
Some popular chants of Rama that can be repeated a few times (generally 3, 5, 7, 21) or over and over (japa with repetition of 108 times generally):
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Om
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Sri Rama Rama Rameti Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasra Naam Tatulyam Raam Naam Varanane
राम राम रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे ।
सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने ॥
Sita Ram Jai Jai Ram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Raam
Patit Paavan Sita Raam
(Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite chant)
See also: Understanding Rama
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