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Remembrance of God is the vital aspect of japa. Without remembrance the sweetness of the Name cannot be experienced. Moreover without remembrance the practice will become mechanical. You should love God. You should remember His eternal presence within your heart. You should call upon Him with a mood of prayerful supplication. You should have the faith that the Merciful Lord will respond to your prayers and japa. All these should be combined and then alone you commune with the God through His Name and enjoy the nectarean bliss that the Name yields.
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"CHARANAM SHARANAM RAMAMBIKE
CHARANAM SHARANAM TRAYAMBAKE"

 

The gist of the esoteric meaning of the Manthra is utter surrender and taking refuge at the Lotus Feet of this Adhi Shakti Divine Mother.

Charanam means Holy Lotus Feet, and
Sharanam means surrender or taking refuge at.

Taken together, it may be interpreted as:-

a) Surrendering our ego, we in all humility take shelter at the Lotus Feet,
b) Having come to realize that none else can protect us, we have come Thee and with humble salutations at Thy Lotus Feet, we implore Thy protection.
c) Knowing fully well that all this is evanescent and impermanent, we without reservations unconditionally surrender at Thy Holy Feet, which alone are permanent, and beg of Thee Protection, Knowledge and Wisdom.

The Deity of this Manthra, addressed as 'Ramambika' and 'Trayambaka' is Para Shakti, the Supreme looked upon as one's own loving mother. The motherhood of God, when invoked through prayer, at once brings about a bhava of loving devotion and a childlike dependence upon the Supreme, in the mind of the Upasak. Devi, the Mother Divine, is both Shiva and Shakti, the immanent Power as well as the Transcendental Consciousness. SHE is Brahman itself. SHE abides in the heart of all as the undivided Self, the Atman.

The Mantropasana, the devout and persistent practice of the Divine Name, is in fact, an invocation of one's own divine nature, sattwic qualities and dormant powers. So long as man is deluded by the notions of 'I' and 'mine', so long as his mind is a whirlpool of thoughts, cravings and passions, he cannot be conscious of his own affinity with the Antharatman or Divine Mother. The mind must become pure, calm, free of cravings and absorbed in the pursuit of God. This is the purpose of the repetition of the Manthra.

On the material and mental planes of existence, man should be able to remain linked to the Supreme. It is estrangement from God that has hurled man into an abyss of sorrow and darkness, called Samsara. To establish one's harmony within and to be at peace with one's own surroundings, man must discover his inner link with God. The Manthra helps man to forge this link with God.

Every Manthra signifies a truth, a light and a power. The truth underlying the Manthra is God Himself. The truth should manifest itself to one's consciousness 'prajna'. That is the mystic revelation. By this mystic revelation alone can one know one's relation to God.

The Light inherent in the Manthra signifies, knowledge, divine illumination. Where there is light, darkness cannot remain. Avidya, is the inner darkness. It is avidya, ignorance of one's own true nature, that creates the mental phenomena, 'manasic prapancha', constituted as the personal ego, 'I', the sense of mine, the materialistic outlook and the six passions. Avidya also means moral darkness, a state in which a person does not know what is right and what is wrong, what he ought to do and what he ought not to do. In this state, one yields to the urges of one's own lower nature and treads the path of adharma.

When the Upasak, the votary of the Manthra, through regular practice of the Manthra, opens himself to Guru's grace, knowledge dawns on him. He knows his mistakes. He gains an insight into the nature of his own mental functions and mental modes. He knows the nature of the gunas. He perceives the unreal as the unreal. The delusive identification with the unreal, disappears and he awakes to the consciousness of his relation to the Supreme Being. Along with the practice of spiritual sadhana, there should be ethical purity in conduct. The Sadhaka should mould his life in the light of the Guru's Teaching. Then alone the Manthra leads to fulfillment.

The power inherent in the Manthra is the power by which the Upasak overcomes the impulse of cravings and the lure of the sense world, remains detached from the passions that arise in his mind, and performs his duties without getting entangled in the web of Karma. Evocative powers of the Manthra are tremendous. They come into operation, only if there is perfect faith on the part of the Upasak. There is nothing impossible of attainment through the favour of the Manthra. The Manthra is the protective talisman, the inner shield of the Sadhaka, the boon-bestower, the mediator between man and God. It unites the Jivatman with the Paramatman.

As regards the power and efficacy of the Divine Manthra, let us recall to our minds the authentic Teaching of our Divine Mother. Mother says:

"Manthra, or the Divine Name, is Nada. The original sound is Pranava, the mystic sound-body of God. Every Manthra represents the primeaval Pranava, which is the first manisfestation of God. Hence rightly it is said, Name itself is God."

"To hold on to God, means to hold fast to the Name or the Manthra. To get the knowledge of God and the protection of God, the Sadhaka should hold fast to the Manthra and practice the Manthra with faith and devotion. One should become fond of the Manthra and should be in such a state that he cannot live without the Name of God. Such love, liking and fondness for the Name is called 'Abhiruchi'. It is the Abhiruhci for the Name that gives a foretates of the bliss of God and ultimately links the mind with God.

"When the Manthra is chanted, the sound is activated. The activated sound becomes vibrations and these vibrations spread over and penetrate the whole body of the chanter. Eventually, by the continued practice of the Manthra with absorbing devotion, the vibrations possess every limb, flesh, blood, bone, marrow, and brain. The whole being should vibrate with the Manthra. Every pore of your being should come under the grip of the Manthra-radiations. Fill yourselves with the vibrations of the Manthra so that the mind will not find a single outlet towards the world of sense-objects.

"When the power and radiations of the Name interpenetrate your body and mind, when you are drawn to God through devotion, bhava and childlike dependence, you will get the vision of Light within and without. Gradually, Light expands into an ocean of the homogeneous mass of divine effulgence. The vision of Light then develops into experience of the Boundless Consciousness, God within and without. The One Supreme Self pervading all existences, is realized." (Bulletin No. 147).

Evidently, this 'Nama Sadhana', is not a lower sadhana, not even a preparatory discipline, but the self-sufficing means to Realization of the Supreme. Saguna and Nirguna meet in our Beloved Mother. It is She who has imparted to us the Divine Manthra; hence it carries tremendous awakening power, blessing and benediction. Let us fix our minds on Her in deep spiritual ardour and chant the Manthra with devotion and shraddha. Therein is the secret of strength, of spiritual growth, of enlightenment and of the realization of the final purushartha, namely, Moksha.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MANTHRA

The word "Trayambaka" means the Three-eyed Goddess. The three eyes of the Goddess are the Sun, the Moon and the Fire. Evidently this refers to Devi in her cosmic aspect, as "Virat Roopini". The whole universe is the manifestation of the Primal Power. The ignorant see before them only a material universe. But the Enlightened Souls see the world as the manifestation of God's Power, as Brahmachaitanya itself. The cosmic form of the Supreme Shakti can be perceived only through the divvya drshti. It is only when Bhagawan Sree Krishna granted to Arjuna the divine vision, divvya drshti that the latter could behold the indescribable splendor of the Lord's Cosmic Form. The universe is instinct with Divine Presence and Glory.

Devi is not only the "Virat Roopini", She is also the supreme overlord of countless universes, 'Akhilanda Koti Brahmanda Nayaki'. She is therefore designated as Parameshwari. The power that guides, controls, rules and sustains, is the Infinite Shakti. Trayambaka signifies this aspect of the overlordship of the Supreme.

The Supreme Power is a Benevolent Power. SHE is all love. Hence She is looked upon as the Universal Mother. Trayambaka also signifies the Motherhood of God. The Supreme in the aspect of Mother, is the Mother of the Trinity of Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva; the Mother of the three Shaktis, Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Kali; and the Mother of the three worlds, 'Bhur', 'Bhuvar' and 'Swar'.

Three definitions mentioned above of 'Trayambaka' refer to the Saguna Aspect of the Supreme. Trayambaka also signifies the Nirguna aspect. It points to the One who abides as the changeless Consciousness in all the three worlds, in all the three states and in all the three periods of time. This abiding Consciousness is the ground and substratum of all manifestations' and is beyond all manifestation. It is beyond the 'Father-Mother' concepts of the Supreme Being. It is the immutable Reality beyond Triputi (Seer, seeing and the seen). It is the illumining Principle, the all-seeing Witness. It is the Formless, Nameless, Attributeless Absolute.

Thus, all aspects such as: Devi as the Virat Roopini (Cosmic Being), as Akhilanda Koti Brahmanda Nayaki (Supreme Overlord of countless universes), as the Universal Mother of all jivas, and as the all-illumining Pure Consciousness, are indicated in this single term "Trayambaka".

The Manthra establishes the identity of Trayambaka with Ramambika. Ramambika signifies Devi in Her incarnated splendor, the Parashakti who assumed the sweet Name Ram?, a delectable and auspicious divine form, 'divvya mangala swaroopa' and the attributes of the all-merciful Motherhood of God, and appeared amidst mankind for the mission of reinstating dharma. She is the Satchidananda Guru of the world, the deity of thousands of devotees who had the privilege of coming in contact with Her when She was in Her embodied Saguna glory. She now shines radiant in Her 'Archa' splendor in the consecrated shrines, drawing the ever-expanding community of worshippers to her divine presence.

The musical couplet of this Manthra, addressed to Devi in Her two Names 'Ramambika' and 'Trayambaka', bring to the Upasak's mind the oneness of the Saguna and the Nirguna, the oneness of the Atman and the Paramatman, and the identity of the Guru Tattwa and the Brahma Tattwa, resolving thereby all sentimental conflicts and Ideological clashes and emotional divisions, that are likely to arise in spirituality immature minds, and enabling the Upasak to offer his undivided mind, and loyalty and allegiance to his Guru and the Deity.

Thus, having set the supreme Goal before the intellectual vision of the Upasak, the Manthra indicates the path and the perspective, leading to the realization of the Supreme.

The perspective that spontaneously comes to the Upasak, is that of a child towards its mother. This is the most sublime bhava recommended even by Divine Incarnations like Sree Ramakrishna and Adi Sankaracharya. In the 'child-mother' relationship, there is a deeper intimacy which helps cultivation of pure love towards God. When such love deepens, all worldly attachments fall off and the Upasak is able to rise to spiritual summit even without having to undergo the rigors of penance associated with asceticism. A path of velvety smoothness is laid before the Upasak from the very beginning of his spiritual career.

The path indicated in this Manthra, is the path of 'Prapatthi', total self-surrender to the Supreme Shakthi, whom the Upasak looks upon as his own loving and gracious mother. In fact, the Manthra as a whole, is purely the 'Sharanagatha Manthra'. The Upasak has to establish himself in the awareness that other than Divine Mother, his Deity and the Guru, there is none else in this world or in the next, who can be called as his own. This bhava of 'ananya sharanagati' is the tone and truth of this Manthra. The Upasak has to take refuge at the Lotus Feet of Devi and implore Her redemptive grace. He has to be conscious of his own limitations, of his bondage, of his helplessness to get redemption from the chains of ego, cravings and vasanas, through personal effort alone. He has to realize the paramountacy of Divine Grace. He has to know that all forms of sadhana are meant for the perfection of self-surrender and for invocation of the redemptive grace of the Almight Devi.

When the surrender becomes perfect, Devi's grace manifests itself in the consciousness of the Upasak. Divine Mother becomes the charioteer of his life and mind and lead him along the path of Righteousness, Dharma. She bestows upon him the boon of fearlessness 'Abhaya'. So long as separative ego persists, so long as consciousness is vitiated by dualistic idea (dvaita bhava), there is room for fear. Destroying this dvaita bhava and ahankara, Devi elevates the Upasak to the truth of Advaita, to the supreme state of non-dual Consciousness. Thereafter, the Upasak ceases to have a separated existence. His life becomes one with the Universal Life. His consciousness is fused into the infinite God-Consciousness. His body becomes a tool in the Hands of Divine Mother. Being the bestower of fearlessness, Devi is called "Abhayadayini". Abhaya (fearlessness), Advaita (non-dual State) and Moksha (deliverance from samsara) all mean one and the same state of union with the Supreme.

This Manthra is therefore the 'Moksha Manthra' or the 'Taraka Manthra'.

May this Manthra become the sheet anchor of all jivas suffering untold miseries in samsara, and may it lead everyone to the shore of eternal beatitude.

 
 
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