PADMA PURANA

Padma

Mahima of Bhagavans Kirtanas, Bhajans and Stutis

Having learnt the highlights of the Sacred Tirthas in Bharata Varsha, the Rishis asked one pertinent question to Suta Maha Muni:

Yeteshaam khalu Tirthaanaam Sevanaadhyat phalam bhavet,
Sarveshaam kila kruttvaikam karma keva cha lahyatey,
Yetathro bruhi Sarvagna karmaivam yadi vartatey/

( Is there one good altervative task which might replace the fruits of performing various Tirtha Yatras? Maha Muni Suta! Do kindly enlighten us if there is such a possibility.) Maha Muni replied that in Shastras various ‘Sat Karmas’ or Noble Tasks were no doubt prescribed for Brahmanas, but one unique Karma was available open to one and all:

Hari bhaktih krutaa yena manasaa karmanaa gira,
jitam tena jitameva na samshayah/

(Who ever exercises devotion to Sri Hari by way of ‘man-vaani and kriya’/ manasa, vaachaa, karmana or mind, voice, and action would have the ultimate victory without doubt; in other words, ‘bhajan’ involving thinking, singing and playing cymbals all targetted to Narayana would be the unique way of bhakti). This kind of ‘Aradhana’ and recital of ‘Hari Mantra’ would indeed devastate the sinful Piscachas and Evil Spirits instantly.
One single and most devoutful ‘Pradakshina’ or circumambulation of the ‘Pratima’ or idol of Bhagavan Srihari would equate the fruits of Tirtha Yatras. One sincere ‘darshan’ (View) of Srihari’s idol is stated to fetch the ‘Sarava Tirtha Phala’ or the fruits of visiting all the Tirthas and one Vishnu naama japa is as sacred as Sarva Mantra Japa or the recital of all the possible Mantras. One mere but hearty Tulasi leaf offered to and glorified by Vishnu Idol could frighten away the scaring face of Yama Raja. Once Sri Krishna’s Pratima is greeted with high dedication there would be no repeat birth to that person again. Even a Chandala or a Mleccha would get become worthy of consideration or even greetings if that person is saturated in the service and worship of Srihari’s feet. If that were the case of a Chandala, why ask about the example of a Brahmana or a Rajarshi as he would indeed never experience ‘Garbhavaasa’ or pregnancy difficulties once again.
Those devotees who recite the names of Bhagavan in high pitch and dance in ecstacy assume the example of purity and clarity of Ganga water. If a Bhakta of proven merit were met, or touched or conversed to with by any person with similar impulses, then the latter would qualify for redemption of the worst kind of sins. As a devotee performs Pradakshina of the Idol of Srihari by clapping, playing instrumental music and songs / hymns in commendation of Srihari, the sonorous music and voice would chase away hefty sins by such claps, music and song. Even the sight or hearings of persons who preach or read the Essence of Puranas and Scriptures ought to clear the conscience of such viewers or listeners. Indeed there was no doubt that the expression of very name of Sri Krishna was the most potent and pious ‘Parama Tirtha’ than all the Sacred Tirthas put together. That was why Munis, Siddhaas and Yogis had ever visualised any Tirtha better than Lord Krishna Himself. Those who consumed the Prasad of Sri Krishna or kept the ‘Nirmaalya’ on their heads are akin to Sri Krishna Himself and would be rid of the fear or grief of facing Yama Raja. Those who visualised Lord Sri Krishna and Bhagavan Maha Deva in a similar manner would be free from the schackles of Samsara again.
However, those who do not consider Hari and Hara in the same manner but consider them as distinct entities would indeed get trapped in Naraka and not counted as Bhaktas!

Yesamaanam prapashyanti Harim vai Devataantaram,
tey yaanti Narakam Ghoraatra taamstu ganayedhwarih.

 Whether it is a Pandita or a Murkha (Ignorant), Brahmana or a Chandala, once Bhagavan endeared him, He would assume the responsibility if only that person were to be an unflinching devotee. ‘Nama kirtana’ is one of the easiest ways of pleasing Bhagavan as the hard work involved is minimal but returns are immense; this is why critics wonder whether this route is so easy and such arguers fall preys into hells again and again. What is significant is faith and dedication that pays; Bhagavan prefers those who perform Naama-Japa with trust and conviction and gives a secondaty seat to the ‘Pujaris’ of His Temple! ‘Hari-naama’ is the ‘Vajrayudha’ to break the hard mountain of Samsara into pieces!

Taameva dhanyavaakhyatou yau tu puja karou karou,
Uttamaangamutthamaangam thadhharou namra meva yat

(Those are the worthy hands which are put to use in the Puja and Bhajan of Narayana and indeed those are the noble heads which automatically bend down at the thought of Narayana);

Saa jihvaa ya Harim stouti tanmanastatpadaanugam,
taani lomaani chochyantey yaani tatraamni chyostthitam/
Kurvanti tacchha netraambu yadacyuta prasangatah/

(It is that tongue which is the best as it readily softens into Stutis of Narayana; it is that heart which readily melts at the name of Narayana; the feet which rise at the very thought of reverence to Narayana and the eyes which instantly fill up with moisture when one discusses about the compassionate ways of helping out a devotee.)
Alas! How unfortunate are those persons who neglect the easy way of performing ‘bhajan’ and recital of Sri Hari’s name in the quest of temporary attractions and anxiety to earn evermore. How unfortunate that a person craves for a feminine touch and is engaged in futile discussions about women instead of learning the ways and means of accomplishing Mukti.How unfortunate in running after unwanted, momentary and endless  attractions of life instead of controlling senses and thoughts!)

Jihvam labdhvaapi lokesmin krishna naama japetarhi,
 Labdhvaapi Mukti sopaanam helayaiva chyavanti tey/
(Those who possess a tongue do not perform Sri Krishna naama japa; they do have a ladder to attain Mukti but tend to fail in scaling it and fall down invariably).

Tasmadyatnena vai Vishnum Karmayogena Maanavah/
Karmayogaarchito Vishnuh Praseedatyeva naanyathaa,
Tirthaadapyadhikam Tirtha Vishnorbhajana muchyatey/ 

(This is why; human beings ought to make earnest endeavours to observe Karma Yoga and engage themselves in Vishnu Aradhana. Bhagavan Vishnu is pleased by Karma Yoga only and not otherwise. Indeed Vishnu bhajan is far superior to Tirtha Yatras even!)

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