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Namasmaran: The healing and blossoming ambrosia: Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar
Namasmaran: The healing and blossoming ambrosia: Dr. Shriniwas Kashalikar

Namasmaran (From Sanskrit: Nama = a (divine) name; smaran = remembrance); means remembering the name of God, either loudly or silently. This is called jaap, jap, jikra in Hindi and Urdu respectively.

Namasmaran is a traditional practice of Stress Management; that is beyond exploitative, mercenary, commercial, professional and even philanthropic transactions. It is practiced in many religions including Hindu, Christian, and Muslim etc. Namasmaran; by virtue of its almost universal acceptability, simplicity, non-technicality and inexpensiveness has the potential to be beneficial in stress management, to majority of people in the world, irrespective of age, sex, occupation, socioeconomic stratum, race, religion, culture, ideology, nationality. This is especially so, because; namasmaran does not involve any stringent rules, coercive regulations or crippling bindings such as; conceptual, intellectual, emotional, social, cultural and traditional. It does not interfere with the customs or belief systems. Namasmaran is said to reorient us to our own selves, empower us and reenkindles our potential to blossom together! It is said to revitalize and rejuvenate us and catalyze the evolution and implementation of holistic perspective, policies, plans, programs and achieve individual and global blossoming; inside and outside!

Conceptual and procedural details of namasmaran:
Namasmaran usually embodies; remembering the name of God, Guru, great souls such as prophets; and whatever is considered as holy e.g. planets and stars. It is remembered silently, loudly, along with music, dance, along with breathing, in group or alone. Further, namasmaran is either counted by some means such as fingers, rosary (called SMARANI or JAPAMALA), or electronic counter; or practiced without counting. The traditions vary from region to region and from religion to religion.

The principle (hypothesis) underlying namasmaran; is to reorient our physiological and social being; with our true self and establish and strengthen the bond between; our physiological and social being; with our true self; and finally reunification or merger with our true self! Since individual consciousness is the culmination of every activity in life; and namasmaran is the pinnacle of or culmination of individual consciousness; namasmaran; is actually; opening the final common pathway to objective or cosmic consciousness; so that individual consciousness in every possible activity gets funneled into or unified with our true self!

Thus namasmaran is said to be the YOGA of YOGA in the sense that it is the culmination of consciousness associated with every possible procedure and technique in the yoga that we are familiar with. It is the YOGA of YOGA; also because it is the culmination of consciousness associated with all the activities in the universe, which it encompasses as well! It is YOGA of YOGA because everybody in the world irrespective of his/her tradition and the beliefs; would eventually, ultimately and naturally reach it; in the process of liberation. Even so called non believers also would not “miss” the “benefit of namasmaran as they may remember "true self" through one symbol or another”!

It is said to be meditation of meditation; because the natural and ultimate climax of every form of meditation; is remembering true self or merging with cosmic consciousness effortlessly!

It is said that namasmaran would certainly enlighten, empower and enlighten billions to evolve, guide and consolidate; the global conscience and empower the global perspective, policies, plans and programs; and thereby usher in global unity, harmony and justice.

We should not merely believe, disbelieve, imagine, conjecture, or theorize casually about namasmaran. We should not develop presumptions, prejudices, liking, acceptance, disliking, rejection or respect; and go into uncertainty, dilemma, indecision, wavering, and vacillations! In stead; we should provisionally accept, study and practice namasmaran; and verify.

Some arguments against namasmaran:

1. Namasmaran does not seem to produce tangible results; if compared to scientific research, socio-political activities, agricultural activities, handicrafts etc. In view of this; there is no basis that namasmaran can lead to global blossoming.

True. There is no basis. Nobody can provide the "experimental and quantifiable" proof. We have ourselves to to practice, experience and verify.

2. There is no demonstrable cause and effect relationship to say that namasmaran evolves us into objective or cosmic consciousness or imparts global perspective.

True. We can not prove that namasmaran evolves us into objective or cosmic consciousness; or imparts global perspective! This is matter of verification.

3. Namasmaran has no demonstrable influence on individual or social life. Namasmaran is wastage of time. In fact; One may feel that namasmaran has benevolent role, because of erroneously attributing the good changes in him or her; to namasmaran; when in fact; it could actually be the other way round; that is; good changes in him or her; have lead to him or her to develop interest in namasmaran.

This argument is because of inability to “see” anything tangible and rather the addiction to believe in a thing; only if it is tangible! It can not therefore be refuted. It can only be satisfied if the questioner exercises his or her freedom to blossom his or her capacity to “see” and "experience" the benefits of namasmaran.

It is said that namasmaran can influence the social life, because the blossoming is irresistibly manifested in society; impossible to be ignored. There are many illustrious examples such as scholarly saints Dnyaneshvar, Tukaram, Ramadas, Eknath, Waman Pandit, Meera, Kabir; including Mahatma Gandhi.

It is also said that if we have doubt about whether namasmaran blossoms us into cosmic consciousness, or cosmic consciousness absorbs us into namasmaran; or cosmic consciousness some how is related to namasmaran, or whether namasmaran has anything to do with cosmic consciousness; then also there is freedom to blossom and experience rather than condemned to get buried in the sterile semantics! All in all, practice of namasmaran and the experience associated with it; are innate and beyond linguistic comprehension and communication; though the glimpses of its supremacy can be described. We have freedom NOT to believe in namasmaran blindly; and provisionally accept, study, experiment out and experience!

4. What is the sense in the claim that there is "active peace" in namasmaran; as suggested by some?

The “Active Peace” is a concept to suggest desireless (absence of subjective desire) desire i.e. objective desire. This is a stage in life reached by many; through namasmaran. It can not be and need not be arbitrarily imposed on oneself, because, even as it is pleasant to those who achieve it; it is not usually imaginable and hence agreeable to those; who are engrossed in sensual pleasures.

In fact we find it quite dreadful to be “freed” from these “pleasures”! This is a kind of “fear of loss”! We become miserable even with the thought of such “dreaded freedom”! However if we think keenly, then we can (in the course of namasmaran) imagine how sublime and towering is this stage, why it is acclaimed in books like Bhagavad Gita; and why knowingly or unknowingly; we all tend to move towards it.

5. Is it not true that namasmaran has nothing to offer in material terms?

It is true that namasmaran does not ensure any concrete material gains as such. But it actually “converts” us from our “seeker” status into a “master” status! We become masters of our petty selves! In fact this is the hallmark of progress in any culture; anywhere in the world.

However; what sort of conversion we undergo; what sort of masters we become; has no tangibility. Practitioners of namasmaran say, "Having delivered a child and having become a mother; need not be proved to others; or need not be proved by getting certified from others. The mother knows it more than anyone else! It is her privilege! The change within us through namasmaran is accessible to experience and not dependent for its validation on any words and proofs!"

6. Why is namasmaran ridiculed by many of us?

Namasmaran binds us in “something” non sensuous; and due to our immaturity; appears to force us away from our likes and dislikes i.e. our ego. Since this is painful; we ridicule it as foolish, escapist, nihilistic, nonsense and erratic activity.

7. Is it not true that namasmaran is a kind of paranoid behavior or slavish behavior?

Initially; namasmaran gives us the feeling of submission, prostration, defeat, surrender, prostration by negation of ourselves. But actually this negation is of ego, and victory of our true self. But since we do not realize this initially, we feel that this is an unpleasant and discomforting paranoid activity, which is not true.

8. What is the use of practicing namasmaran right from childhood?

If we practice namasmaran right from childhood even without much understanding; this subconscious learning experience remains in our subconscious and is pivotal in setting us free from our lower self. Because of namasmaran; we become oriented to our higher selves and conquer the stress resulting from the dragging by the lower self. This is why we should provide or impart (by including in all the curriculums and daily routines) the practice of namasmaran right from childhood.

9. Is there any reason to believe that the world would unite and blossom?

No. There is no reason to believe in anything. There is no reason to disbelieve; or waver and vacillate either! It is however a golden opportunity and privilege to practice namasmaran and be free to “see” the world re-exploring the hitherto imperceptible unity and blossoming together!! This is analogous to appropriate linking of the bogies of a train; or assembly of various parts of a car; or even connection of various types of cells in a body!

In view of above arguments against and in favor; namasmaran appears to provide a completely radical and holistic yet totally nonviolent, inexpensive and universally acceptable tool of stress management. Stress as such can be managed; but only temporarily and symptomatically by many ways such as; shopping, taking shower, swimming, skating, skiing, singing, slimming and many such measures; which serve as at best; adjuvant measures.

Selected Sources and References:
1. Bhagavad Geeta: Preached by Lord Krishna on Kurukshetra about 3000 BC to his esteemed disciple Arjuna as compiled by Maharshi Vedavyas (the great seer and philosopher poet Vyas)
Author: Krishna and Vyas; chapter 9, chapter 10.
2. "Dnyaneshvari" (A commentary on Geeta written by the author between 16th an 21st years of his age; between 1285 to 1290 in Marathi, this edition published in 1986; by Swanand Prakashan, Pune);
Author: Shri Dnyaneshvar; Chapter 9, page 252, verses 200 to 210.
3. "Dasabodh"; (A Philosophical tratise of 17th century in Marathi);
Author: Shri Samarth Ramadas Swami; Dashak 4, Samas 3, Pages 141 to 143.
4. Biography of Sadguru Brahmachaitanya Shri Gondavalekar Maharaj, in Marathi published by Prasad Prakashan Pune, on October, 3 1957;
Author: Prof K. V. Belsare, pages 460 to 479.
5. Namacha Nandadeep; (A book published in Marathi on namasmaran)
Author: Sadguru Shri Vamanrao Pai.
6. Namachintamani: A Marathi treatise on namasmaran and its benefits
Author: Ramachandra Krishna Kamat.

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