In today’s day and age, it is very common for people to seek counseling and therapy from psychologists and other trained professionals. The idea behind such a practice is that a counselor can act as a neutral party and thus provide guidance and reassurance during troubled times. Since counselors are not people that we know very well, we feel more open towards the idea of sharing our problems with them.
In general, seeking this sort of help is a last resort for people who don’t have any close friends that they can turn to. The Vedas tells us that Lord Krishna, God, is our Supreme Friend and is always there to help us. God can be realized in three distinct features. In His first feature, Krishna acts as the impersonal Brahman, which is a sort of energy that pervades all of creation. The impersonalist philosophers and yogis worship this feature of God, for they wish to merge into Brahman. In the second feature, the Lord expands Himself as the Paramatma, or Supersoul, residing in the hearts of all living entities.
Every living entity has two souls within them: the individual soul which represents one’s identity, and the Supersoul which is God’s expansion. The Paramatma acts as a witness to all our activities and getting in touch with this feature enables us to finally realize God’s third feature as Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We all have consciousness that pervades our body, for that is the very essence of being alive. The Paramatma is the Supreme Consciousness. If we dovetail our consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness, then all our problems will be solved. We will no longer require any help from uninterested counselors or therapists. So this begs the question, “How do we get in touch with the Supersoul?”
For the benefit of the devotees, Krishna expands Himself into innumerable forms such as His various avatars, deities, and Paramatma. Even a picture of the Lord is a representation of one of His forms. In this current age, the Lord is so merciful that he incarnates in the form of His holy name. So just by saying the word Krishna, or even reading it, we come into direct contact with Him. There is no difference between God and His names. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam contains the famous story of Ajamila, a devotee who went astray but was saved from going to hell due to uttering the name Narayana at the time of his death. Narayana is one of Krishna’s names, and Ajamila had the good fortune of naming his son after Him. Ajamila was a great devotee in his early life, but he fell down from his exalted position due to association with a prostitute. In his old age, as his life breath was leaving him, Ajamila called out for his son, and since it was the also the name of God, he was saved from going to hell by Lord Vishnu’s agents, the Vishnuduttas. Instead of suffering for his sinful actions, Ajamila eventually ascended to Krishna’s spiritual planet.
By reciting God’s names in a loving manner, we gradually come closer to His Paramatma feature that resides inside us. If we are sincere in our chanting, God’s Paramatma feature will lead us to one of His authorized representatives, a spiritual master, who will guide us in such a way that all our problems will be eliminated. The spiritual master is the most expert counselor. He is a pure devotee of Krishna, making him kind, compassionate, and intelligent enough to give us the proper prescription for our ailments. Unlike counseling which can go on for years and years without ever coming close to solving anything, the spiritual master’s instructions from the very beginning aim to tackle the root of our problems, which is our forgotten relationship with God. As soon as we take the necessary steps to reconnect with Him, the healing process will commence.