Making the Right Connection
One of the great aids for pacifying and purifying the mind is the repetition of a holy name—a name denoting ultimate reality in either personal or impersonal form.
The practice is often overlooked because of its simplicity, and also due to a certain scepticism which pervades the modern mind, but its efficacy is indicated by Rumi: ‘When the holy name of God comes into the mouth, neither impurity remains nor sorrow.’
For Rumi the pre-eminent name was Allah; for Swami Rama Tirtha it is OM. He tells us: ‘Repetition of the holy name is the one spiritual remedy for all ills. Convert every cell of the brain into a vibrating nucleus of power and peace through such repetition’—be it OM, Jesus, Rama, Krishna or any other suitable name.
To repeat such a name is to make a connection with the realm of all perfection. The practice can be done at any time when the mind is free—repeated silently and inwardly with attention. It serves as an armour to the soul, and draws the mind into the spiritual current.
There was once a young monk who felt anxious about the salvation of his father. The father was a miser, whose main thought was to acquire and retain money. The monk sought the advice of his abbot, who said: ‘Ask him to come and see me.’ The old man came, and the abbot said, ‘I want you to begin to recite the holy name, and I will give you a penny for every time you do it. Come each evening and tell me how many pennies are owing, and I will pay you on the spot.’
‘What an easy way of accumulating money,’ thought the miserly old man. He now began to spend his spare time in this new occupation. Every evening he went to the monastery to collect his due until, suddenly, the visits ceased. ‘Go and see if your father is ill’, said the abbot. But he was not ill. The old man had become so absorbed in reciting the name of the Lord that he could no longer keep count, and so he could not come to claim the money. When the abbot heard what had happened, he advised the young monk to do nothing more, but just to wait. One day, sure enough, the old man arrived at the monastery returning all the money he had accepted from the abbot, and more in gratitude for the great blessing it had brought him.