“Since with intelligence I have always been speaking the words ‘Rama’ ‘Rama’ and thinking of Him, in that manner I am seeing and hearing His story corresponding to that.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.11)
rāmeti rāmeti sadaiva buddhyā vicintyā vācā bruvatī tameva |
tasyānurūpaṃ ca kathāṃ tadarthā mevaṃ prapaśyāmi tathā śṛṇomi ||
What should the mind focus on? What is most important? If the mind is consumed with thoughts of a particular subject, will only things of that subject remain manifest? If there are thoughts only of pizza, does that mean pizza will be all that I eat? If I think only of my beloved, will they always be by my side? It seems to be that way with the mundane, though not in actuality. While consciousness of something will keep it on my mind, it will not necessarily bring it to my vicinity. The case is different with the Supreme Lord, whose association is most cherished.
Success is difficult. This is because it requires effort. If you quit, then automatically you’re a failure. You can’t succeed in crossing over the bridge if you stay on the other side. If you give it a try, then at least you have a chance. Obstacles may get in your way, the bridge may have trouble holding you up, or you may get tired en route. Anything can happen, so the desired result is not guaranteed.
The more complex the task, the more potential obstacles exist to thwart success. Therefore people who have succeeded can do quite well for themselves trying to teach their secrets to others. One of the recommendations is to envision success.
“Get rid of negative thoughts. See yourself in a position of victory. Stop imagining defeat. Shed your pessimism. Whatever you want to happen, see it manifest in your mind first. Picture everything going the right way. Then you will have a better chance at success.”
Psychologically, this is easy to understand. If you’re predisposed to defeat, it will be easier for you to give up when things get tough. If you’ve imagined failure, you’ll recognize the first signs of it.
Success for the human life is getting God’s association. That association is already there; it’s just difficult to see. There is separation in terms of consciousness, not in physical proximity. He is there resting within the heart as the Supersoul. This is an unmanifest form to the eyes; hence it is often described as nirguna in Sanskrit.
sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁsarvendriya-vivarjitamasaktaṁ sarva-bhṛc caivanirguṇaṁ guṇa-bhoktṛ ca
“The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all modes of material nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.15)
As the Supersoul is in my heart, I can try to think about it all day and hope to see it, but that will be difficult. How am I supposed to contemplate something which I think doesn’t have a form? It’s like trying to concentrate on the wind or the air. It’s like trying to keep the mind blank. The saguna form, which has features distinguishable to the eyes conditioned by material nature, is easier to remember. If you see it, it is easier to keep it in your mind.
The name addressing both the saguna and nirguna forms is so powerful that it can bring the desired association in consciousness very quickly. If you know what God looks like, that same name can help you remember Him. And as Sita Devi playfully speculates here, by saying that name over and over and thinking of the person it represents, the story of that person comes to life in front of you.
Sita here is in distress, physically separated from the actual form of the Supreme Lord in His incarnation as Shri Rama. She has just heard stories about Him told very nicely by Shri Hanuman, whose visible form is that of a monkey. In this situation it’s natural to wonder if you are hallucinating. She wonders here whether or not she has actually heard about Rama or if it is due simply to her constant thinking of Him.
In fact that constant thinking does bring the result shown here. Hanuman or one of his representatives will arrive on the scene to describe Rama further. And Rama is dear to everyone. With some the appreciation is indirect. The person who loves their bottle of whiskey indirectly appreciates Rama; they have affection for an aspect of His external energy, the material nature. The person who loves the vague concept of God has a more direct appreciation, and someone who is always conscious of Rama Himself or one of His non-different expansions like Vishnu or Krishna has the most appreciation.
When asked of the person successful in life’s mission, the guidance offered will be along these lines:
“Always think of Rama. Then He will come to you. Don’t think that you are separated from Him or that He doesn’t exist. If you say His name with intelligence on a regular basis, then you will get to hear more and more about Him. If you sincerely desire to never be separated from Him, He will send someone to help you make that happen. Those people will help you to understand that the name of Rama is the same as the person Rama. The name Krishna is Krishna, and so the wise souls reach for success in life by always repeating the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
How God in mind to see,
When without form is He?
How in my heart can He stay?
So small area, no possible way.
Better if on the form you concentrate,
Distinguishable features your ignorance to penetrate.
With intelligence repeating always the name,
Story of husband Rama to Sita came.