Now the boy would want to know how to coronate this All-Attractive form in his heart. So Nārada explained, “Prince, now hear me tell you the most confidential japa. Anyone who carefully recites it for seven nights will directly realize its sound vibration.
Comment 1: Nārada previous defined the rūpa (form) of Hari, but said that the means of visualizing this form in the heart depended on a worshipful coronation. The means of that coronation is the mantra.
Comment 2: Nārada is going to give Dhruva a powerful and confidential mantra, even though he was a kṣatriya and had no upayana, dīkṣa, etc.
Comment 3: Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments that even recitation will be so effective, what to speak of silent enunciation or entirely mental meditation on the mantra – those methods are even more effective.
Then Nārada revealed the mantra, “oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya,” and said, “A wise person should worship the All-Attractive divinity with this mantra, and supplement it by worshipping a physical representation of Hari with materials and systems appropriate in consideration of the specific time and place.”
Comment 1: Nārada revealed a sacred mantra beginning with Oṁ. The rule is that such mantras may not be given to people who are not twice-born (recieving dīkṣa). But this action of Nārada demonstrates that Vaiṣṇava mantras are not restricted by this rule.
Comment 2: Meditation on the form of Hari is founded on chanting a Vaiṣṇava mantra and worshipping a physical representation of Hari. It’s interesting that the means of worshipping (or constructing) this deity is not absolute, it is relative to time and place.
To explain the materials to use in deity worship, Nārada said, “Worship with water, forest-necklaces, roots, fruits and so on, grasses and sprouts, cloth, and especially with Hari’s beloved Tulasī leaves. All the things should be pure and clean.”
To explain how to create the physical representation, Nārada said, “Create the worshipable physical representation from materials you can obtain, especially from moist clay.”
Nārada explained how to live while conducting this worship and mantra meditation, “Be self-sufficient, sage-like, and tranquil. Speak and eat minimally. Eat what grows in the forest.”
“Meditate on the Subject of the Greatest Poetry,” Nārada continued, “whose adventures unfold his own desires, by his own inconceivable power. Let that meditation occupy your heart. Try to realize that he is the very personification of the mantra upon which you meditate. Use that mantra to serve him in your heart, in a way similar to how great devotees serve him.”
Comment: The final paragraph above is a description of the principles Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī termed “Rāgānugā-Sādhana.” Firstly we should meditate, with feeling (“let the meditation occupy your heart”, hṛdayaṅgama), on Krishna with desires and adventures. Next, we should meditate on serving Krishna “in a way similar to how great devotees serve him.” This establishes Śrī Rūpa’s principle of rāgātmikām anuśrita, as well as his concept of seva done not only in sādhaka-rūpa but also in siddha-rūpa.
We should note that the mantra is the central focus of the practice, and the service and object of service exists within the heart of the mantra.
“Keep your mind on the All-Attractive by engaging your body, mind, and voice in this devotionally surcharged worship. He nourishes divine emotion and grants the ultimate goal to anyone who unpretentiously and wholly worships him. He grants the morality and other goals desired by embodied souls.
Comment: The way to keep the mind fixed in meditation is to also engage the body and words in the object of meditation.
“Indifferent to sensual affections, worship him by serious bhakti-yoga with incessant, unyielding affection. This worship will grant you a unique liberation.”
— Śrī Bhāgavata 4.8.53 ~ 61
Vraja Kishor dās