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25. Shiva and Parvati

Hearing the purity of Parvati reciting the name of Rama just once, Lord Shiva made her half of his being. This great Lord Shiva knows the power of this name better than any, for him even deadly poison can be easily consumed as nectar.
I was in Rishikesh with KD where we discussed many spiritual topics, but particularly the power of mantras. He said Maharaji said every word of the Hanuman Chalisa was like the Hare Krishna mahamantra. There are many levels to think about a statement like this, but I like to think that a mantra that has been chanted with so much energy as the by so many saints and holy beings carries their love too.
It is not that any particular mantra is better than any other, it is the energy and love the practitioners brings to the chanting. This mantra was chanted and worshipped by Guru Nanak, Tulasidas, Kabir, Jnaneshwar, Tukaram , Jalaram, Ramananda, Vinoba Bhave, the list is endless. Mahatma Gandhi said it was the staff of his life. Maharaji constantly chanted the Rama nama. Many years ago, when Ram Dass named me Hanuman Dass, he instructed me in the chanting of this holy name of Rama, for me, it is so much more than a word, it is an incarnation of the divine and the highest form of meditation.
Tulasidas below refers to the Padma purana where Lord Shiva invites Parvati to dine with him, she said she could not as she decided to chant the Vishnusahasranama (Thousand names of Vishnu), Lord Shiva then responds by saying chanting the name of Rama just once is equal to chanting the entire thousand names of Vishnu. As Maharaji always said “By taking the name of Ram, everything is accomplished.”

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