What is Naam?

A name….any name….of the Lord is called Naam.

The practice of repeating any of these names is called Naam japa or Naam kirtan. So if you repeat Ram, Ram, Ram…or Durga, Durga, Durga, or Hari, Hari, Hari …you are taking recourse to Naam. Japa is silent and kirtan is singing aloud, alone or in a group. If you are familiar with Hindu mythological stories, you’ll recall that sage Narada moved around saying Narayana, Narayana all the time …so did many other saints and holy men like Kabir, Namadeva, Guru Nanak, Anandamayi Ma, Sitaramdas Omkarnath constantly repeat the Lord’s Name.
The best among the Naams is the Taarak Brahma Naam:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

This is a sixteen-worded, thirty-two-syllabled mantra. These sixteen words make up one unit for repetition.
Naam & Naami

The Name of Lord that you say or meditate upon, is called Naam. The Deity represented by that Name is called Naami. The saints made a great discovery about the relation between the Naam and the Deity or Naami:

Naam & Naami are one and the same.

Lord Ram is the same as the name ‘Ram’. Lord Krishna is the same as His name ‘Krishna’. The same can be said of other names of the Lord. The wise ones know and have experienced that the Deity actually lives inside the Name. As you keep on repeating the Name, the 'truth' of that Name bursts forth. This truth has been explained in the section, ‘Philosophy of Naam’.

Whether the Naam is sung loudly or in low tones, Sitaram purifies him by attracting the molecules of Naami to His essence. His body is rendered pure. – Omkarsahastravani

Naam - The Choice Spiritual Instrument

The masses of people in Kaliyuga don’t observe celibacy, purity in food habits and purity in daily actions. They are given to gross over-indulgence in food and sex. The Gita prescribes the observance of trikaal sandhya, i.e., worship of the Lord three times of the day. It is impossible for most persons in the Kali Yuga to perform such worship. Other modes of worship, such as fasting or performing various austerities, are hard to follow. The best ascetic practice in Kaliyuga is Naamsankirtan i.e. group-singing of the Naam, especially the Taarak Brahma Naam.

Tatha chaivottamam loke tapah sriharikirtanam
Kalau yuge visheshen vishnupritye samaachaaret

The Shastras (scriptures) recommend singing of Naam Kirtan. The fruits that one can obtain through
Meditation in Satyuga,
Sacrifice in Treta,
Worship in Dwapar,

can very easily be obtained by merely singing
Naam in Kali Yuga.

In these times, meditation cannot yield fruit because the minds are not pure or strong and one-pointed as they probably were in another age. It is only a painfully small minority that can successfully meditate. Most spend an entire lifetime only trying to learn the method. Many come across hurdles of varied sorts, varying from the downright physical to the psychic. Sacrifice as a mode of worship demands pure materials and a bona fide priest, who understands Vedic mantras. It is impossible to fulfill these conditions in the present age. Worship (as in temples), is unattainable due to the absence of authentic agama texts and priests to conduct the rites of the elaborate pujas. The only thing that can actually deliver results in spiritual practice in the present age is Naam.

Let us see why!

Philosophy of Naam

The repetition of the Lord’s Name is a simple but profound practice. The philosophy of Naam is based on the philosophy of Sphota or Shabda. Sphota or Shabda means sound in a narrow sense. However in the broader sense it means ‘naad’ or vibration with its mystic energy potency. Sphota or Shabda happens of course when you speak aloud. If you observe yourself with concentration, it happens also when you think a certain word. When you repeat the same word, inwardly or outwardly, Sphota or Shabda happens----there occurs a continuous flow of vibrations corresponding to the word. Because of the mystic potency, the constant repetition of the Name of a Deity manifests the form of that Deity. Which means, if you keep saying Durga, Durga, Durga…Mother Durga will appear. Similarly if you keep repeating Krishna, Krishna, Krishna… Lord Krishna will appear. And so on…

Does the Deity appear in dreams, in visions or in ‘objective’ reality? Any of these, and all….sooner or later…. You can temporarily suspend your judgment, conduct an experiment and verify the results for yourself. You will see the Deity in certain colours and forms. And as having assumed various postures or stances, which may be termed as asanas and mudras! It is more than likely that you would not have seen pictures or statues of the Deity in those particular forms. What will challenge your scientifically trained mind is that these are not the product of pre-conditioning. You may at a later date see pictures or statues of the Deity in places of worship, in exactly the same form, reminding you of your vision. Is it not possible that these visions arise out of an expectation? At least some of these visions will completely surprise you! You will be forced to wonder at their origin! It is thus that these forms are said to be revealed.

On the same lines, the practitioner of bija mantras (seed mantras) experiences the awakening of specific chakras and sees visions of specific deity-like forms embedded in geometrical patterns. Possibly he may never recognize any of these forms revealed to him. Where is the question of preconditioning giving rise to visions? The one who concentrates on the chakras visually as mandalas may realize these deity-like forms as also the bija mantras.

How do you understand this?

There is the theory of the aksharic records. The aksharic records are a storehouse of every vibration that has ever happened, in a subtle and indelible form. In fact all creation is nothing but the paramanu in different modes or vibrations in the Universal Field, which is ‘prana’. These vibrations are only partially sensed by the limited capabilities of the senses of the organism. The thing is the same- it gets seen as a form with the eyes. Ears hear it. Skin touches it. Tongue tastes it. It’s the same thing. —Omkar Sahastravani. The Vedas have in the hoary past explained all this. In the venerable treatise, “Sri Sri Naadleelamrit Lahiri”, Sitaram Omkarnath has explained this theory beautifully. The Vedas clearly declare that the creation of the world originates from the 'shabda' or the word. The Shrutis call this word a form of soul's vibration, a spasm of life. And it is this word that plays in the human body, situated in four vital centres, in the form of paraa, pashyanti, madhyamaa and vaikhari.

Now an important question arises: Is this theory merely speculative? The answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. Rishis or seers in deep meditation have been able to bypass the limitations of the senses through ‘pratyahara’. When they are transcended, a different knowledge may be accessed. Seers (those who see) have been able to see ‘mind’ as ‘naad’ or vibrations. They have been able to see how a specific thought may result in a ‘karma’ or ‘sanskara’.

Drawing on this storehouse of knowledge, the seers may look into the past, present and future. They have perfected their being for receiving and transmitting ‘naad’. We have all at some time or other obtained certain and extraordinary knowledge as a result of intuition. The extra-sensory perceptions draw on this field. Sounds far-fetched? This is not as far-fetched as you may think. It is an extension of an accepted idea - namely, that the entire blueprint of an organism resides in the code or DNA of every tiny, invisible cell of the organism! Would this idea not have been considered to be in the realm of pure science fiction in another age?

Because of these stored-up, indelible records (aksharic records), language is not a conscious creation of the humans. It already existed and was only discovered. Any truth, any object, can be denoted only with a fixed sound form. The truth of an object and its verbalization are 'already' linked. The word ‘horse’ is linked to a real horse; the word ‘cat’ is linked to a real cat, the word ‘God’ is linked to a reality and so on for everything. When the man chooses to name something, as in the event of linguistic creation, he invariably and unconsciously happens upon only those ‘word forms’ to represent the particular object which are directly and immediately linked to the real object corresponding with that word. One may argue that different civilizations have different languages and use different words. This is indeed true but all the variants used to denote a particular object are in a sort of sonic unity.

Naam Yoga

The term ‘yoga’ means ‘union with Divinity’. Every spiritual practice that helps you to realize God is Yoga. Thus Sitaram Omkarnath has told us of Naam-Yoga among other forms of yoga, like Laya yoga, Karma yoga, Raja yoga and so on. If doing yoga means yoking the self with Divinity, then the direct means is to do Naam Yoga. ‘The splendour of My Name transcends even that of Veda and Vedanta.’ — Omkar Sahastravani. While any Naam, or name of God would do, the one that will be most efficacious is the Taarak Brahma Naam of sixteen words.

The Naam is described as the first Primordial Spandan (vibration) of the Divine. Thus it is Pranava or ‘AUM’. It is Shiva-Shakti. Put differently, it is the Primordial Purusha along with its attribute as Primordial Prakriti. It is described as the very fruit of the Vedas. Thus naturally, it carries also the seed of the Vedas.

Naam is the shodash kalas (sixteen differentiations):

Pran Shraddha Akash Vayu Tej Jal Prithvi Indriya
Hare Krishna Hare Krihna Krihna Krihna Hare Hare

Man Anna Virya Tapasya Mantra Karma Loka Naam









These sixteen differentiations, according to Sitaram Omkarnath, make up the Kala Chakra. This can only be the chakra or lotus of Primordial Prakriti, the inseparable attribute of Purusha. The Prashnopanisad says that Purusha created Prana, and from Prana created Shraddha (Faith), Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Senses of Knowledge, Mind, Food, Strength, Tapas (Penance), Vedas, Karmas (Sacrifices), different planes of Creation, and in these latter, Names. These sixteen phases of the Purusha, on being reverted, lose themselves into Purusha, like so many rivers losing themselves into the sea. Purusha then becomes phaseless and eternal. Purusha here means the Absolute, the One, the Advaita. You may refer to ‘Devatma Shakti’ authored by the venerable Sri Vishnu Tirth.

The Naam is the gateway to the Absolute or the Divine. The gate opens both ways, and one who stands at it may receive a glimpse of the Absolute. If the soul has glimpsed the Absolute it may also glimpse how the Bliss of the Absolute converts into pluralistic forms.

Incessantly resorting to Naam cleanses you speedily of the karmas or sanskaras that act as blockages. These karmas are often called ‘sins’. The word ‘sin’ may put you off. However ‘sin’ is that conditioning which causes, and is caused by, a sense of separateness from the Lord.

He who is a great sinner, if he sings Naam, his sins burn away slowly, like the haystack. He who is a common sinner, his sins burn away rapidly, like the heap of cotton wool. As for the virtuous men, if they do Naam Samkirtan, the dark cave of their heart is instantly filled with brightness. It is Naam alone that works in mild, medium and strong variation depending upon the differences in individuals. — Omkarsahastravani

However, Sitaram Omkarnath cautions,

Repentance, austerities, reading holy texts and giving charities during times beset with difficulties, even these can exhaust one's sins. Therefore it is inappropriate to take refuge with Naam for the purpose of destroying one's sins. 'God, be thou pleased with me!' this is the sentiment a devotee must harbour in mind while adopting Naam. One doesn't need to summon an elephant in rut to kill a mosquito! —Omkarsahastravani

The deceptively simple Naam profoundly affects the physical, psychic and causal bodies. The sound of Naam descends through vaikhari to madhyama in the heart chakra, through pashyanti in the manipura chakra to para in the mooladhara chakra.

The journey of Naam through para, pashyanti, madhyamaa and vaikhari centres:

Para GUHYA Lower Vitals
Pashyanti NABHI Navel
Madhyamaa HRIDAY


Vaikhari JIHVA


Sitaram Omkarnath has described four states of 'vaakya' or verbal statement: para, pashyanti, madhyamaa and vaikhari. Everything we speak abides in these four states. The first one, para is the inspiration of speech arising from the lower vitals. The second, pashyanti, arises from the navel. Third, madhyama, is in the heart. Fourth, vaikhari, arises from the mouth. It is paraa vaani itself that progressively becomes vaikhari. The spoken word travels upwards from the vitals to navel to the chest and then through the throat it reaches the mouth and is exhaled. Which means the 'Ram-Ram’ or ‘Krishna-Krishna’ that is spoken is closely linked to the paraa vaani and it is there the 'paraavaak'. Hence that which is spoken deeply affects the Kundalini. When the tongue and the throat are purified through vaikhari-vaak naam sankirtan (singing) the vaak is awakened in the madhyamaa, in the lotus of one's heart and the whole body is filled with vibrations. It feels as though the body has expanded. And the body sways left and right, a current suffuses through the spinal column and one feels pinpricks sensation all over. Many other symptoms are known to manifest here to accompany the progressive appearance of jyoti and naad, which ultimately lead to consummation in omkar and bhagvad darshan.

Every single letter of Naam is Jyotirmaya, Jyotirbindu. Naam enters from the eyes, nose, from every pore of one’s body. It’s like an injection; Naam helps search out the debt owing to the Rishis. — Omkarsahastravani

Sitaram Omkarnath explains all this in a most complete manner in His writings. His exposition on Naam may be read in ‘Works of Sri Sri Sitaram Omkarnath’, a compilation of essays or in the booklet ‘Chanting of the Name’. He describes Naam as the best sort of ‘yajna’ (sacrifice or offering).

Kriya Yoga is a technique by which you deliberately stimulate in a systematic manner all parts of the psychic body. The psychic body is made up of the chakras and the nadis. Various powerful mudras and bandhas are performed as per instruction. It is essential to first perfect pranayama. One of the objectives of pranayama is to secure sahaja kumbhaka or casual suspension of breath. This is a state in which the prana begins to abide within the nostrils. The individual becomes a master of the inner breath. Amazingly, if you train the mind’s monkey chatter towards Naam, sahaja kumbhaka dawns.

One must sing the Naam and conquer prana; jiva-bhava is nothing but the restlessness of prana. As the prana progressively becomes still, to the same degree man attains divine objects beyond this world, when the prana begins to abide within the nostrils and is internalized, liberation is attained. — Omkarsahastravani

If you practice Naam, the chakras get stimulated to the required degree by the naad of Naam. Certain mudras happen of themselves, unsolicited. Kriya yoga happens to you; you do not have to do Kriya yoga.

Continuing with Naam, you are readied for the experience of anahata naad (unstruck sound) and jyoti (light seen without a sensory input from outside). The dawning of these mark the arrival of a devotee to new level….now it is possible to get a heretofore unseen glimpse of the grandeur to unfold. Samadhi of the various types may begin to occur. In order to make the body-mind complex ready for samadhi, much observation is done of the state of the ida and pingala nadis. Samadhi cannot happen unless they are in a state of balance (which happens naturally during sandhya-kaal or twilight). If you practice Naam, you need not observe the nadis. Shunya swara (ida and pingala in balance) will dawn of its own, and so also samadhi. Yoga loses its effortfulness. Raja yoga happens to you; you do not have to do Raja yoga.

The dawning of Shunya swara is sometimes marked by trauma. The relaxed and casual singing of Naam strengthens the vehicle, which your soul has become identified with. Certain stages of samadhi are characterized by symptoms that are difficult or impossible to handle. At such times, Naam serves as the last resort. Naam retrieves the practitioner from the difficult experience and restores normal consciousness.

If you are already initiated into any other form of yoga, you will find the path becoming smooth, when you adopt Naam as a complementary practice. If you meditate, read and cogitate over sutras in the Shashtras, twist your body into asanas, fine-tune your psychic body and perform your daily duties with detachment, you are decidedly on the path. Naam yoga will provide just the right degree of devotional fervour to propel you further.

“The means to attain Bhakti is Naam; Naam helps grant salvation to individual selves in Kaliyuga, that is why the virtuous as well as those adept in perceiving the essence highly revere Kaliyuga. The beings of the other yugas desire to be born in Kaliyuga.”
— Omkarsahastravani

It is more than likely that you have not yet attained to the final beatitude. If you have been asked to observe certain yama and niyama, i.e. rules regarding mode of conduct (e.g. observance of celibacy), diet and ethics you will find it very easy to fall in line as a practitioner of Naam.

"Those who take recourse to Naam do not eat anything except the remains of offerings made to God, that is why their diet is automatically rendered saatvik and as they continue to sing Naam all the time they do not desire for the company of women, thus both eating of satvik diet and brahmacharya are automatically achieved." —Omkarsahastravani

Try Naam Yoga without giving up what you been initiated in. If you have never been initiated, you need not worry. Naam even makes up for lack of formal initiation or diksha. Sitaram Omkarnath firmly tells us anyone may do Naam at anytime with powerful benefit.

How do you do Naam?

You may simply sing the sixteen-worded Naam in any tune, slow or fast in tune with your temperament! You may sing alone or collectively, with or without instrumental accompaniment. You may sing along with or simply listen to someone singing. You may sing in you mind with no sound emanating! You may do mental japa of the Naam. Of course collective singing has a multiplier effect. Sitaram Omkarnath assures us that the rule of secrecy regarding the mantra is not violated when you sing the Tarak Brahmanaam aloud. Who can guess your mantra, when the Naam is both the principal as well as a complementary practice?

In shravana [listening to Naam] only shravana is achieved but in kirtan both shravana and kirtana are achieved, therefore kirtana is considered superior — Omkarsahastravani

The root lies in shravana. The tongue of the sinner is incapable of singing Naam. After doing shravana [listening to Naam] repeatedly, when the sins are destroyed, then the tongue gains power to sing Naam. — Omkarsahastravani

There are no scriptural injunctions as to the eligibility, time, place and manner of doing Naam. Naam is for everyone.
Naam & Ananda

Sitaram Omkarnath promises ‘Anand’ to the practitioner of Naam.

Naam Ananda

Ananda is in one's own fist. Naam of Bhagawan is nothing but bundled mass of Ananda; as much Ananda is in store for the Naami as he sings it.

Shastras have proclaimed it loudly – there is a great joy on earth other than the inferior pleasure of the senses, it can be experienced by this very body, it is to be obtained in this yuga only through Naam Kirtana.

It is possible for a supplicant to get the desired object through Naam. But those who sit beneath the wish-yielding tree of Naam and seek worldly pleasures they are deprived of the ultimate good. Because Naam satisfies their desires, it does not reveal its supremely blissful nature of truth to them.

What is ‘Anand?

Anand means bliss. The word anand or bliss is not understood correctly by most. In the worldly sense, you feel bliss or ecstasy because of a stimulus, physical, emotional, intellectual etc. There is always an awareness of the nature of the joy. There is also an awareness of the stimulus. The association between the stimulus (or at least its memory) and the blissful response is evident. We speak of ‘unalloyed bliss’ when we very much enjoy music or watch a beautiful sunset. Then again, we say we have been blissful when we have experienced ‘satori’. ‘Satori’ is a trance-like state that comes upon a person while performing a task requiring a high input of skill. It happens due to a perfect attunement of all factors involved in the activity. However there is nothing ‘unalloyed’ about this bliss. Naam takes you to the realm of bliss on a scale that is so huge that you have to admit to a total paradigm shift having occurred. You cease to exist. There is no quarrel with mind and ego. The mind and ego stand obliterated. The words ‘trance’, ‘satori’, ‘ecstasy’, ‘absorption’ etc pale before the cosmic magnificence of ‘anand’. There is no stimulus you may attribute it to. This is the unalloyed bliss that you have actually been hankering after. Physically and psychically, the vehicle you possess may be too weak to countenance such experience. However, it is again Naam that prepares the vehicle! In stages!

The Upanishads try to give a yardstick for measuring this ‘anand’. One unit of ‘anand’ is the amount of well-being possessed by a youth enjoying health, wealth and power. The ‘anand’ obtained due to realization of Satchidananda is supposed to be a certain multiple (very, very large, of course) of this single unit. Such comparisons are meant to set the would-be devotee thinking. No one can presume to measure this ‘anand’.

Tarak Brahma Naam For Kaliyuga

Thakur, our param Gurudeva Sri Sri Sitarmdas Omkarnath has preached the 'Tarak Brahma Naam'. A separate Tarak Brahma Naam is suited to different yugas. The one meant for the particular yuga alone is productive of merit, and is therefore said to be the Taarak Brahma Naam for that yuga or age.

In the four Yugas, Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kali, there are four distinctive Tarak Brahma Naams:

In Satya Yuga:

Narayana paraaveda Narayana paraaksharaa
Narayana paraamukti Narayana paraagati

Narayana is above the Vedas, Narayana is beyond words, Narayana is supreme salvation, and Narayana is the ultimate recourse.

In Treta Yuga:

Rama Narayana Ananta Mukunda Madhusudan
Krishna Keshav Kansaare Hare Vaikuntha Vaamana

In Dwapar Yuga:

Hare Muraare Madhukaitabhaare
Gopal Govind Mukund Shaure
Yajnesh Nararayana Krishna Vishno
Niraashrayam Ma Jagadishrakshae

O Hari, Narayana, Murari, the slayer of demons Madhu and Kaitabha, Gopal, Govind, Mukund and Shauri, Yajnesh, Narayana, Krishna, Vishnu and lord of the world, do thou protect me who has no refuge.

In Kaliyuga (the present Age):

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

From ‘Omkar Sahastravani’:
Kaliyuga Remedy

In this Yuga, there is no other way than taking refuge in Him and chanting Naam. ‘I take refuge in you.’ ‘I am at your mercy, protect me.’ Reciting this mahamantra and doing Naam while sitting and standing, eating and lying down- this alone is the supreme remedy.

In Kaliyuga one of the most accessible, simple, easy, joyous and incomparable means of welfare of the world is to steadfastly take refuge in Naam-Sundara. Naam and Bhagawan are one and the same.

Keep singing this Mahamantra continuously. You will not have to worry about anything; God will take care of your entire burden. He will look after all your needs; you will be free of all tensions. Just keep doing Naam Kirtan. Don’t let a single breath waste away.

With the cannon of Naam blow away all your deficiency, disturbance, grief, unhappiness, disease, and distress; carry on ahead. Sitting or standing, eating or sleeping sing Naam- Jai Naam! Jai Naam! Charaiva iti charaiva iti, march on, march ahead, Jai Sitaram!

Are you crying due to the grief of lack of food, clothes and money? Sing Naam, sing Naam! Whether you desire it or not foodstuff will be heaped at your doors, you will be able to feed thousands of people. Without seeking it lots of money will fall at your feet. You will not have to worry about clothes, in fact you will be able to distribute clothes to people. Even if you want to renounce it, the objects and wealth you are indifferent to, will follow you. I am in no way exaggerating to you. Should you require a proof, come to me, I can give you a testimony of this.

Meaning of Tarak Brahma Naam

Tripura Devi has explained the meaning of 'Hare' in Radha Tantra as Shiv-Shakti. The 'hra' dhatu stands for ‘haran’; hence the wise men define 'Hari' as he who does 'paap haran'. Thus he who dissipates the burden of sin, blemish, rebirth etc. is 'Hari'.

He who does the haran of 'samsara' (worldly existence) is Harinarayan.
He who does haran of ‘ajnana’ (ignorance) is Shiva.
He who does haran of ‘durgati’ (misfortune) is Durga.
He who does haran of ‘vighna’ (obstacle) is Ganesha.
He who does haran of ‘andhakara’ (darkness) is Surya.

Thus the term 'hare' applies to all the five types of upasaks (devotees of five principal sects): Shaiva (Shiva), Shakta (Devi), Ganapatya (Ganesh) , Saura (Surya) and Vaishnava (Vishnu, Ram or Krishna) in their individual sense of the Ishta bhavana (attitude towards chosen Deity).
Hare Krishna Naam is for everyone.

Naam Works Irrespective Of Faith

Our param Guru (Sitaram Das Omkarnath) quotes from Sri Bhagwat Gita:

'shraddhayaa helayaa naam ratanti mam jantavah
teshaan naam sadaa paarth vartatey hriday mam'

O Arjun! Whether with belief or with disdain,whoever recites my Name, he finds a place in my heart.

Thus one sees that Thakur challenges the Shastra with the Shastra. But not many in this yuga endear themselves to the Holy Writ. Many believe that all spiritual practices are psychological devices and work on faith. They find it difficult to believe that 'ashraddhaa' i.e. lack of faith, and 'avahelanaa' i.e. critical atheism are no hindrances to Naam Sadhana!Thakur makes it simple by saying –one doesn't need to believe in the deleterious effects of fire or scorpion bite or nitric acid to suffer its consequences. Their effects come about irrespective of your attitude. If you put your hand into fire without believing in the power of fire, it still burns you. Similarly, no matter with what attitude you dip your hand into Nitric acid; it will inevitably bring harm. This is because it is the natural property and power, which is beyond our faith. It is the case with Naam too. Naam has its power and it will work even if you lack faith.

As long as there is no spiritual experience, the devotion may not be appropriate. But even if devoid of belief, trusting in Guru's words one must pursue Naam; it is Naam that bestows experience eventually. — Omkarsahastravani

The power of Naam is not in the need of belief or disbelief. It is absolute and it must produce result no matter what. The name of the Lord of billions of brahmandas must work and it does. Its power is to be seen by anyone who cares to practice naam-japa even for a few days. Then as the Naam-Japa continues, with time Jyoti (divine light) and Naad (divine sound) are revealed for certain.

Thakur used to exhort people to start the japa with disbelief just to test whether it works, and it did work for many a simple-minded disciple. But the smarter ones remained skeptical to such invitation and it was for them Thakur had to take recourse to the intellectual disputations from the scriptures.
Omkarnath's Chief Contribution

Our param Guru, Sitaram Omkarnath had an explanation of the tenets of Hinduism that could satisfy both the intellectuals and the devotionally-inclined. His books bear testimony to the comprehensive nature of His philosophy. His disciples came from diverse educational, economic and religious backgrounds.

He taught His students different practices according to their capacity permitted.However, He believed in administering the swift and efficacious remedy…the universal panacea…of Naam, which is not contra-indicated for even a single soul! As He put it, disciples may interminably discuss how to make sugar, or opt to taste the sugar or become sugar themselves! To taste sugar or to become sugar (sugar is a metaphor for bliss or ananda) the simple and direct method of resorting to Naam is enough. To know more about this you may read in the ‘Eternal Festival’, an account of the conversation He had with Daya Ma of the famed Yogoda Satsang (set up by the renowned Paramhansa Yogananda). ‘The Eternal Festival’ an illuminating work written by our Guru, Sri Vitthal Ramanuj, details the life and philosophy of Sri Sitaram Omkarnath. If a disease strikes you, would you seek a remedy or enroll yourself in a medical college? Intellectual knowledge (discussing how to make sugar!) is barren in the absence of experiential knowledge.

Ramkrishna Paramhansa has said, “though you reason all your life, unless you are established in Samadhi, you cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of Shakti.” ‘Shakti’ may be understood as the ‘illusory universe’, as the ‘manifested form of the Lord’or as the ‘creative potential of the Divine’. Intellectual knowledge is not barred to anyone. It should be preceded by or supplemented by experience. In the absence of experiential knowledge, the very first sutra of Patanjali’s Yoga Shashtra becomes a gold mine for mystery-mongering as also endless and fruitless discussion. One may read the ‘Gita’ for an entire lifetime and still be unable to grasp the essence. Still worse, one may make facile interpretations that defeat the very purpose of the scriptures. Are these sutras to be treated as tersely written poetry with fine figures of speech to tickle the intellect and the aesthetic sense? You remain a novitiate till you discover that these are merely an unembellished statement of the truth .

It may be argued: 'the path of reciting the 'Naam' has been long in existence, then what is the point in its 'prachara' i.e. preaching, by our revered Guru?’ Yes, it is conceded that the truth is eternal and so is the path that leads to such truth. It is for the same reason that the words of a mahatma, the knower of truth, are also eternal. Our Gurudeva Sitaramdas Omkarnath revived the same truth with a fresh insight. He rediscovered it and brought about a renaissance of the sanatana (eternal) dharma.

In a way, every claim to the newness of discovery of truth is merely an illusion for it is always pre-existent. But seen from a different angle, it is discernible that the discipline of 'Naam' as preached by Sitaramdas Omkarnath is novel in many ways. His words, though a part of a ceaseless tradition, are different.

You see, so far the preachers of 'Naam' proclaimed that the fruit of 'Naam' was to be obtained only if the Name was recited with shraddha (faith). Without shraddha, the efforts of Naam sadhana were considered to be a waste. Further, it was said that Krishna is obtained by dint of faith alone, and the prattle of logic would only help move him away from the sadhak (devotee). Of course, in absence of faith, the sadhak (devotee) was expected to meet with no luck. This was the first long held premise. The second premise was that the japa should be done incurring no 'naam aparadh' (offence or sin of improper observance). Any lapse would erode into the merit of the japa. Thakur (as the devotees of Sitaram Omkarnath call Him) challenged these two premises and assured that the fruit of Naam Japa did not depend on the purity or the merit of either the sadhak (devotee) or the act of japa, it depended for all its success on the power of Naam alone. He boldly condemned the concept of an obstacle such as the 'naam aparaadh'.In this context is related the example of unlettered bandit Ratnakar (rishi Valmiki) who couldn't even say Rama. He stuck to the erroneous japa of 'mara-mara' and obtained the fruit of enlightenment.

Sitaram das Omkarnath made another great contribution. He, being a worshipper of Shiva, was considered to be a Vaishnavite, as indeed a Naamavatar (the very personification of Naam). How is this possible? Are not the Shaivites and the Vaishnavites on two different paths? In Thakur’s writings we discover that Vishnu is nothing but Shiva-Shakti. The path of Naam is peculiar insofar as it refuses to be contained in the narrow confines of any specific sampradaay (tradition). It is a truly universal discipline that welcomes with open arms all the types of sadhakas. The naam-japa practise is misapprehended to be an exclusively vaishnava cult. In reality there is no such limitation.

Did Sitaram Omkarnath simply assume the authority to preach the Naam? How and when did He receive the mandate to preach Naam? We furnish you with details of some events in His haloed life:

April 24, 1937.

Naam Dau :

Go, go, go and gift the Name (Hare Krishna Mantra) to the people of this world.

His Guru Dasharathi Deva had already given him the name 'Sitaram', and 'Das' was the designation he chose to indicate that he was his Guru’s slave. The name ‘Omkarnath’ descended from above during his meditation and solicited the favour of his acceptance. On 13 th January 1937, he ceremoniously put on the koupin and assumed the name ‘Sitaramdas Omkarnath.’ From this day, Prabodh Chandra of Kashyap Gotra got obliterated and Shri Vaishnava Sitaramdas Omkarnath of Achyuta Gotra began to live a life of a saint.

Before this, through the influence of constant access of tearful state and samadhi, teaching had stopped. Gurudeva Dasharathi Deva had completed his leela (had passed away). Before leaving the mortal coil he received, while he was in a swoon for three rays, an indication through a divine dream set in celestial regions, that Hare Krishna Mahamantra of sixteen words and thirty-two syllables was the only means of relieving miseries in this age of Kali suited to people of all nations the Indians and foreigners, as also of all castes including the untouchables.

This dream of Guru Dasharathi Deva commissioning the preaching Naam throughout the world was sown as a seed in the disciple Sitaram. Gradually, the Naad ‘Jaiguru, Jaiguru’ intoned from within in the form of unheard sound. Accordingly, He named the Sampradaya as “Akhil Bharat Jaiguru Sampradaya” at a later day. After leaving the body Gurudeva appeared in dream and told him that in spite of all rituals of Shraddha and offerings, he was still hungry. The disciple (Sitaram Das) understood that it was the hunger for Naam that was still not satiated. Even then Sitaram was not prepared to take up the role of a preacher without a commission that came expressly and visibly from God. He thus went into mauna on 3 rd March 1937 at Puri. He took a vow- “Till I see (God) in person, I will not leave this seat!”

On the night of 24th April 1937, while he was in samadhi, Jagannath Deva appeared holding the flute, aureoled in transcendent light, accompanied with sweet sound of the bell. “Go, go, go and gift the Name (Hare Krishna Mantra) to the people of this world,” saying this, He disappeared.

Tale Of Vyasadeva Extolling Kali, Woman & Shudra
One day, a question sprang in the minds of the Sages: ‘In which age can the least of religious practices yield more fruit?’ When they could not find an answer amongst themselves, they went to the Ashram of Veda Vyasa. Vyasadeva was not in his Ashram then, he had gone to the river to bathe. On hearing this, the hermits went there forthwith.

Vyasadeva took three dips saying, “Kali is blessed!” “Kali is blessed!” “Kali is blessed!” Again he took three dips saying, “Blessed is woman!” “Blessed is woman!” “Blessed is woman!” And again he immersed his head thrice saying, “Shudra is blessed!” “Shudra is blessed!” “Shudra is blessed!” Then he came up and seeing the sages asked, “Why have you come here?” The saints made their obeisance to Vyasadeva and said, “We will tell you later why we have come here. But first, you kindly explain why you repeated thrice each of the phrases: “Kali is blessed”, “Woman is blessed” and “Shudra is blessed!”

Vyasadeva said:

Yatkrite dashavirvarshair tretaayaam hayanena yat
Dwaapare yaccha maasen ahoraatrena tat kalau

The result one obtains in ten years performing all the sacrifices, charity and ‘tapasya’ (penance) in the Satyayuga, one gets the same result in doing these for one year in Treta Yuga, and in Kaliyuga, a person gets the same result in just one day.

Krite yad-dhyaayato vishnum, tretaayaam yajato makhaih
Dwaapare paricharyaayaam, kalau tad Haarikirtanaat

Dhyaayan krite yajan yajnaistretaayam dwaapareharchayan,
Yadaapnoti tadaapnoti kalau sankirtya Keshavam.

The same result one obtains by meditating in Satyayuga, by Yajna (sacrificial undertalking) in Treta Yuga, by Worship in Dwapar, in Kaliyuga however, is obtained by doing Naam Kirtan of Shri Bhagawan Hari or Keshava alone.

And this result is the great bliss hankered for by all! To get Shri Bhagawan, full of infinite bliss, one has to take recourse to Naam Kirtan in Kaliyuga!

The Sages asked, “Why did you say blessed are the Shudras?” In reply Vyasdeva said, “The Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas have the right to injunctions ordained by the Vedas. In Kaliyuga if they cannot carry out these injunctions they become sinners. But since Shudras have not to carry out any work according to the Vedas, they attain their end by mere service to these three castes. That is why I said: “Shudras are blessed!”

The Sages then asked again, “Why did you say blessed is the woman?” Vyasadeva replied, “The fruits that the three castes get by working according to the Vedas, the women get by just serving their husbands.”

Na asti strinaam prithak yajnah– The women have no separate Yajnas, no separate charity and no separate tapasya; they are only to vow to serve their husbands as gods. This vow alone can help attain perfection for woman.

Satinaam padrajasaa sadhyahpoota vasundhara – The dust of the feet of a chaste woman quickly purifies the earth. This ‘Pati Narayana Vrata’– the doctrine of ‘serving husband as God' is not found in other countries and in other races! It’s the distinguishing feature of Bharat, the capital of spiritualism, governed by the Vedas. India has the special distinction of emphasis on chastity in woman and dedication to the husband. Chaste women can achieve the impossible. A sati, chaste woman, becomes capable of remembering her past life.