Which aspect of God do you get more attracted to?
Lotus-like mouthed Veda Vyasa
It is necessary that worldly transactions have to be kept to the bare minimum, if life on the planet is to be led in peace. Other than for Bhakti and Jnana, there should be no transactions in the world. The Azhvars of South India were the proponents of this way of living. This is regarded as a practical and idealistic way of living, even in current times. Sri Veda Vyasa has, in this very mood given the Hari Vamsha for the welfare of every living beings on the planet. Just like honey flows out from the mouth of a Lotus, in the spiritual world, Sri Veda Vyasa spoke the Hari Vamsha honey, from his lotus like mouth.
Calling out the Names of the Supreme Being
The Shastra says that one has to chant the names of the Lord at least seven times a day. The first time it should be rendered is at the Brahma Muhurta (ब्रह्म मुहूर्त time between 3:30 AM and 6:00 AM). It is said that at 5 junctures of time in the entire day of 24 hours, one should only think and serve the Lord. This is the opinion of Shastra. The modern man may ask, but then nothing is been spoken about going for a job and earnings for the family? This appears to be a sensible question, according to the modern population.
Rid oneself from jobs not directed towards the Lord
To this the knowers of Shastra, the pure devotees say that, any work that is not associated to the Lord is Vikarma (विकर्म done in an opposing mood to the Lord, done for the sake of the sinful mind and the impure senses). Since one is born in such circumstances, it is not easy to sacrifice this activity, how can then one survive. But the devotees say, that keeping the Lord in heart, praying to be freed from this Karma or activity, dedicating this activity too for the pleasure of the Lord, one should continue to perform these activities, praying constantly for one’s relief from such actions and dedicating oneself full-time for the Lord’s direct service. Then the Lord takes pity on such a Jiva and takes it upon Himself to relieve the living entity of his so-called job or occupation making enough arrangements so that he could dedicate himself in the direct service of the Lord. This is not theory, but a very practical means to fall out of all worldly obligations, if only one is sincere enough.
Foolishness of Socrates
Socrates was about to be executed through poisoning. Just an hour before his execution, he heard the sweet voice of his fellow prisoner in the next cell, who was singing country songs. Socrates had never heard these beautiful songs. He looked sideways through the grills and called out to the singer. He asked him to teach him those songs so that he could also sing. To this the singer prisoner said “What is the point of learning to sing now, when in an hour you are going to be executed.” To this the so-called brilliant philosopher said “At least the world will remember me, saying, Socrates was also knowledgeable in country singing.” Mapping this story to the common man, who is caught-up in the stress of a job, fighting for his survival, he should also know about the Lord and sing His glories. Unlike Socrates, where the singing was to have no effect on the soul of Socrates post his death, knowing about the Lord and singing the glories of the Lord, while alive, will go a long way in giving light, splendor and peace to a soul after death.
Being Mindful about the Lord at all times
On the matter of waking up at Brahma Muhurta it is said by the Azhvars that one should not wake up and sit down all of a sudden. One should turn to one’s side and wake up and sit peacefully, without jerking otherwise it may shock the Supreme Being who is also peacefully sleeping in your heart. The Shastra expects one to be mindful of the Lord, the Paramatma who is ever present in each Jiva’s heart. One has to maintain one’s body understanding well that it is a temple that houses the Supreme Personality, seated within our hearts. The Lord considers a Jiva’s heart as the most auspicious city, within which he desires to live. How then, can the Jiva be so unconscious, so ignorant and continue to keep his heart suffused with filthy intentions. The Azhvars say that if one is mindful of the Lord’s presence in one’s own heart as well as the hearts of other living entities, how could the Jiva become violent? Violence could automatically come to an end by contemplating on the Lord in this way.
The Benefits of Hari Nama
Hari Nama was recommended as the names for young ones in Vedic India. At least, people would call out to their sons and daughters and yet their names would directly represent the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Shastra says that by taking the names of the Lord, even without the intention of calling the Lord will give transcendental results. Calling the name of the Lord in anger, in a comical way, in skepticism, in humor, even in a belittling way shall accrue benefits to the caller of the Divine Name.
Foolishly naming one’s children
It was with a reason that our ancestors recommended the naming of children, following the Names of the Supreme Personality. However, in modern days, even in India, people do not care to name their children after the Supreme Being’s name. This reduces the chances of their calling out the Lord’s names, even by mistake. Even if children are named after the name of the Supreme Being, their names are shortened so as to enable easy calling out. For example a man named Narsimhan (Named after the Supreme Lord Sri Narasimhadeva) is called “Nacchu” in short, which means “poison” in a certain Indian dialect. This means that one does not get the benefit of calling out the Lord’s name even by accident, instead he accrues sin, because he has been addressing somebody as “poison”, although without intention.
Evoking specific moods of the Supreme Being
True Bhakti revolves around remembering the Lord with certain attributes. This gives the depth dimension to our glorification. This is also liked and appreciated by the Lord. Although in spirit the Supreme Personality is one, one has to refer the Lord on different occasions, differently, apt with certain attributes. For example, Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However the same Lord is described at some places as the Lord who is the protector of cows, Sri Krishna, the amorous lover of the Gopis, Sri Krishna: The lifter of the great Goverdhana hill. Such adjectives, when used by the devotees, when spoken of with intimacy, arouses a certain mood even in the heart of the Lord and forces Him to let go of His equanimity and adorn the ornamented flavor of mellows, which makes the Lord more sweeter to taste. Hence, while addressing the Lord in Bhakti, devotees relish the Lord, revolving around His various moods that He adorns during the course of His infinite pastimes.
Who is the Purusha?
The Lord represents the Sanskrit character “A” (अ the starting character), which represents the beginning of all that is, the Adi (आदि the most ancient, the beginning). AA represents Brahman, the Lord. Each Jiva is considered to be eternal, just like the Lord. Jiva is ignorant about His past and future but the Lord knows everything, His past, present and future. The Hari Vamsha uses the term Purusha to describe the Lord. Here Purusha does not stand for male, as is used normally in Indian dialects. Purusha breaks as “Puru”, (पुरु region) + “sha”, (श lying down), the body is likened to be an inverted Lotus flower, the region, the city in which the Paramatma is lying down (resting). Lord Vishnu is always represented in the reclining position. Normally the Lord in the lying position, also represents that the Supreme Consciousness, is in a dormant state, not fully woken up, as is the case of a common Jiva.