Taraka Mantra

The names ‘Rama’ or ‘Krishna’ are powerful mantras that

can alleviate the suferings of humanity. When Vasishta in

Ayodhya and Gargi in Ayarpadi are entrusted the privilege to name the divine incarnations of the Lord, they are

overwhelmed by the impossibility of this task, said Srimati

Jaya Srinivasan in a discourse.

How could one name the One who is indescribable and

whose names are infinite? Rama Nama is called ‘Taraka

mantra’ as it is the very cure for the disease of samsara. It is derived from the roots of the two great mantras, the

Asktakshara, ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ and the Panchakshara,

‘Nama Sivaya.’ The Stala Purana of Kasi states that Siva

whispers the Rama Mantra in the ears of all those who

breathe their last in this sacred place.

In the Kamba Ramayana, when Vali is slain by Rama, he

accuses Him of gross injustice in the way he is killed. But

Vali also experiences the moment of realisation when he

extols Rama as the very Supreme Lord incarnate who is

willing to give Himself to His devotees.

Parikshit asks Suka the very pertinent question, how one

can redeem oneself from the suferings that one’s karma

brings along with it. Is it possible through the acts of

redemption prescribed in the sastras? How efective are

these anyway? Suka then explains the eicacy of uttering the

Lord’s divine name through the story of Ajamila. There is

hope for even the sinful to be redeemed from their

propensity to commit sins. Though sastras prescribe acts of

atonement to eliminate the effects of particular sinful acts,

these cannot purge the sinful tendencies. Only by invoking

the grace of the Lord by chanting His names can one hope to purify oneself in thought, word and deed.