About 500 years ago, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhorted all his devotees and disciples to go around in the streets – not to propagate Nama, not to argue with people and convince them to chant Nama, but to actually beg people to chant Nama; thus ushering in a unique concept of “Nama bhiksha”, Nama as alms. All of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s disciples used to go street after street, village after village, city after city, state after state, to actually beg for Nama.
On Friday, March 17th morning, Sri Swamiji went to Thondivilagam village in Kallidaikurichi (in southern Tamil Nadu) along with devotees from Ambai Namadwaar and also local Kallidaikurichi devotees. There a unique event took place. Sri Swamiji actually sought alms of Nama from the people of the village! As soon as Sri Swamiji came in, the whole street was agog with people coming out, showing harathi, and being moved with tremendous love and melting hearts, seeing such a great Sadguru Maharaj asking for Nama bhiksha! They wrote sheets and sheets of Mahamantra, Rama Nama and waited to offer it to Sri Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji held a small bowl for seeking the alms of Nama. As he walked, people – with tears in their eyes seeing such a great Master taking to the streets to seek alms of Nama – offered the sheets of Nama that they had written, with mixed feelings. They were filled with joy on being blessed to offer Nama directly to this great Master, but at the same time were touched with a sense of melancholy that such a great Master had to come and seek alms. They all offered Nama.
It was a grand event. Sri Swamiji then went to a nearby Math and gave a lovely talk on the importance and the relevance of Nama sankirtanam in today’s life and how Nama sankirtanam is 100% in tune with our scriptures and Veda mata.
In short it was a very moving and memorable day in the lives of all those who were present there. We pray that this Nama bhiksha spreads like benign fire, burning all the sins and negativities in people, while bringing the cool showers of divine grace on all!