In the present age, nama itself is the manifestation of the Supreme Being. The Lord says in the Bhagavadgeeta, “I reincarnate myself to protect the righteous and destroy the sinful.” This shows that the righteous as well as the sinful both inhabit the earth; and it is when the sinful get the upper hand and persecute the righteous that the Lord appears in an appropriate incarnation, and rids the earth of the sinful. What we see in the present day world, however, is that the right-minded have dwindled in number to a virtual non-entity. How, and for whom, then is the Lord to manifest Himself in concrete form? This does not mean that an avatar cannot, or positively will not, take place, but we should realise what the situation is.
There is a vital difference between the conditions obtaining today, and those of the ancient past, the Purana times. Formerly, righteous desire did exist, though latently; only, it could not shape into concrete action for the disapproval and intolerance of the wicked. Today, on the other hand, righteous desire has become virtually extinct; that is, the very basis of character has been undermined, and therefore the question of action does not arise at all. In the past, the subtle goodwill in the heart of the righteous only needed to be fortified to help it turn into concrete action; God did the needful by assuming a physical form and annihilated the obstructing individuals.
The present problem, however, is how to refine the defiled, polluted, corrupted inclinations of mankind as a whole. This belongs to the field of mind, and is subtle in form. Consequently, the remedy also must be subtle in nature, as advised by the adage “like disease, like medicine,” or, “ set a thief to catch a thief.” Basic inclinations are very strong; the remedy, therefore, must also be very powerful; such is the Lord’s nama. If there is any divine form that can meet the challenge of the present crisis, it is nama. Indeed, every utterance of nama is divine incarnation, and it is our primary and sacred duty to chant it. If we do our part, nama will show its effect.
Adorably sweet is the form and person of Rama, and so, too, every act of His; how sweet, then, must be His nama! The whole of Ramayana is epitomized in that nama.
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