The Power of the Name
Once there were two brothers, Hari and Nama. Now Hari had no interest in chanting while Nama was very fond of chanting the God's Name. Also, Hari had many bad habits like smoking, drinking, gambling, etc., while Nama was quite religious and the exact opposite of Hari in habits and behaviour. One day, Nama and his friends gathered and started urging Hari to chant the God's Name at least once. To get away from their constant urging, Hari chanted the God's Name once.
Many years later when Hari died,Deity yama (the God of Death) took Hari's spirit or subtle body to the subtle world. While the decision was being made whether Hari was to go to heaven or hell they came across a record of chanting the God's Name once in Hari's lifetime. So, Deity yama asked Hari, “What is the importance of chanting this Name?” On that Hari replied, “Sorry, but I don't know the importance of this Name.” Deity yama then asked Hari to come with Him to Shrīvishnu, to gain an understanding of the importance of the Name. But in an effort to delay the decision about his fate, afraid that he was likely going to hell, Hari said, “Till it is decided whether I am to go to heaven or hell, I should be treated as a good soul and should be taken by a special vehicle (palkhi) to meet Shrivishnu that you are referring to.”
Deity yama humoured Hari and indeed took him in a special vehicle to Shrivishnu. Upon reaching Shrivishnu's abode, Deity yama asked Hari to come out of the vehicle to meet Shrivishnu. But Hari, desperate to put off the decision about his fate, refused to do so, hoping that Shrivishnu would not take the trouble to come to the vehicle. He added, “I don't know who this Shrivishnu is; if He wishes let Him come to meet me, but I will not come out!” Upon hearing this commotion outside His abode, curious of this newly arrived jīva's (soul) ignorance, Shrivishnu Himself appeared in His full glory, which encompasses all universes (Virātrupa). Seeing the God in His full glory instantly transformed Hari into a Self-Realised soul; he thus came to gain complete knowledge of the Universe. Prostrating himself in obeisance to the God, he prayed, “By Your grace, I have come to understand the true nature of this world that I was so madly after. As this materialistic world is nothing but a dream, please allow me to stay next to Your Holy Feet. Please don't let me depart from Your blissful presence.”
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