Repeat Nama with Deep Feeling
We do not feel the need for God at present, but we should consider how such need will be created. We shall feel it by meditating on God and repeating nama. The feeling should be so acute that we even lose thought of food and drink. The greater the conflagration the more the water required to put it out; similarly, the firmer the body-consciousness the more intense should be the chanting of nama. If we have no love for it we should persist in it all the more tenaciously. You will develop love by and by, even if you repeatedly tell yourself that you have it. You cannot help chanting nama when you have the conviction that it is the only sadhana, the only truth; and if repeatedly chanted, it will definitely develop love for it.
The saints assert that God exists, and we repeat the assertion parrot-like; but while, for them, it is direct, first-hand experience, for us it is pure inference. The saints have transcended the body-consciousness; we, too, shall gradually overcome it by association with them. This association need not be physical; it may be emotional, provided it is sincere, and this may actually be more effective. After all, the sanctity of a holy place, the divine in an icon, the mastership in a guru, all depend upon the emotion we bear towards them. If we go to a holy place with a conviction that a bath there will absolve us of all sin, then alone it acquires sacredness; else, it is just bathing with water! Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. Nama creates faith. Nama repeated with faith will achieve its object quickly.
The common man can recognize a saint from the effect experienced by him. You are in the presence of a saint, if his company gives some degree of peace of mind, if the ego is subdued a little, if the mind is freed of desire for sense-objects or at least, the mind feels inclined towards that state. A saint sees God, or his own self, everywhere, and therefore he loves all. Universal love means doing everything selflessly. The saint sees unity all around. We on the other hand experience duality everywhere, because we feel kinship with only a few. We should treat all with artless, selfless love. Our talk, even our look, should be marked by such love.
* * * * *