Effects of the Holy Name

By editor - 28.9 2016

The Transcendental Effects of the Holy Name

Sri Namamrta

1. The Holy Name Revives One’s Dormant, Eternal Krsna Consciousness
2. The Role of the Holy Name in the Progression of Devotional Service
3. The Holy Name Frees One from the Reactions to Sins
4. By Chanting the Holy Name, the Mind Becomes Controlled
5. The Holy Name Protects One from Pride
6. By Chanting, One Develops Forbearance
7. The Holy Name Eradicates Material Desires and Sinful Activity
8. The Holy Name Cleanses the Heart and Frees One from Material Contamination
9. The Holy Name Brings Faith in Krsna Consciousness
10. The Holy Name Liberates One from the Miseries of Material Existence
11. By Chanting the Holy Name One Becomes Enlightened
12. If One Chants His Holy Name, Krsna Becomes Pleased and Obliged
13. Krsna Helps the Sincere Chanter
14. By Chanting His Holy Name, One can Remember Krsna
15. By Chanting, One Associates with the Lord Directly
16. The Holy Name Attracts One to Krsna
17. The Holy Name Invokes an Attitude of Service to the Lord
18. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Achieves Direct Service to the Lord
19. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Comes to Understand / Realize / See Krsna
20. The Holy Name Evokes Love of God
21. The Holy Name Evokes Ecstasy
22. Chanting of the Holy Name In the State of Ecstasy
23. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Returns Home, Back to Godhead
24. Even Improper Chanting of the Holy Name Yields Beneficial Results
25. A Devotee Can be Satisfied in Any Condition of Life Simply by Chanting
26. The Holy Name Protects the Devotee from Falldown
27. The Holy Name Protects One from Danger and Fear
28. Other Instructions on the Transcendental Effects of the Holy Name
B. The Transcendental Effects of the Holy Name

NAM 2b1: The Holy Name Revives One’s Dormant, Eternal Krsna Consciousness

1. The Holy Name Revives One’s Dormant, Eternal Krsna Consciousness

As a snake-bitten man is brought back to consciousness by the chanting of certain mantras, so one in the unconscious state of material life can be revived by hearing the maha-mantra:

In the Garuda Purana the stress on hearing is expressed very nicely. It is said there: “The state of conditioned life in the material world is just like a man Iying unconscious, having been bitten by a snake. This is because both such unconscious states can be ended by the sound of a mantra.” When a man is snake-bitten he does not die immediately, but first becomes unconscious and remains in a comatose condition. Anyone who is in the material world is also sleeping, as he is ignorant of his actual self or his actual duty and his relationship with God. So materialistic life means that one is bitten by the snake of maya, illusion, and thus, without any Krsna consciousness, he is almost dead. Now, the so-called dead man bitten by a snake can be brought back again to life by the chanting of some mantra. There are expert chanters of these mantras who can perform this feat. Similarly, one can be brought back into Krsna consciousness from the deadly unconscious state of material life by hearing of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

The Nectar of Devotion

The spiritual consciousness of the sleeping conditioned soul can be relieved by the transcendental sound of the maha-mantra:

Spiritual existence is eternal, whereas the body is not. It is said that the spiritual atmosphere is avyakta, unmanifest. How, then, can it be manifest for us? Making the unmanifest manifest is this very process, of Krsna consciousness. According to Padma Purana,

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
[Cc. Madhya 17.136]

“No one can understand Krsna as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him.”

In this verse, the word indriyaih means “the senses.” We have five senses for gathering knowledge (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin), and five senses for working (voice, hands, legs, genitals, and anus). These ten senses are under the control of the mind. It is stated in this verse that with these dull material senses, we cannot understand Krsna’s name, form, and so forth. Why is this? Krsna is completely spiritual, and He is also absolute. Therefore His name, form, qualities, and paraphernalia are also spiritual. Due to material conditioning, or material bondage, we cannot presently understand what is spiritual, but this ignorance can be removed by chanting Hare Krsna. If a man is sleeping, he can be awakened by sound vibration. You can call him, “Come on, it’s time to get up!” Although the person is unconscious, hearing is so prominent that even a sleeping man can be awakened by sound vibration. Similarly, overpowered by this material conditioning, our spiritual consciousness is presently sleeping, but it can be revived by this transcendental vibration of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

The Path of Perfection

By chanting the holy name, one’s heart is purified and one’s original Krsna consciousness is awakened:

The understanding of Krsna consciousness is innate in every living entity, and it is already developed to some extent when the living entity takes a human body. It is said in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.107):

nitya-siddha krsna-prema ‘sadhya’ kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

“Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.”

Since Krsna consciousness is inherent in every living entity, everyone should be given a chance to hear about Krsna. Simply by hearing and chanting-sravanam kirtanam [SB 7.5.23] — one’s heart is directly purified, and one’s original Krsna consciousness is immediately awakened. Krsna consciousness is not artificially imposed upon the heart, it is already there. When one chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the heart is cleansed of all material contamination.

The Nectar of Instruction Text 4

Chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra revives one’s dormant, eternal Krsna consciousness:

The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness. As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now adulterated by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is called maya, or illusion. Maya means “that which is not.” And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion. We are trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore, although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are ever more dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can be stopped at once by revival of our eternal Krsna consciousness.

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare is the transcendental process for reviving this original, pure consciousness. By chanting this transcendental vibration, we can cleanse away all misgivings within our hearts. The basic principle of all such misgivings is the false consciousness that I am the lord of all I survey.

Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original, natural energy of the living entity. When we hear this transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived. This simplest method of meditation is recommended for this age…. No other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

The Science of Self-Realization

Ms. Nixon: How does Krsna consciousness develop in the practitioner?

Srila Prabhupada: Krsna consciousness is already there in the core of everyone’s heart. But because of our materially conditioned life, we have forgotten it. The process of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — revives the Krsna consciousness we already have. For example, a few months ago these American and European boys and girls did not know about Krsna, but just yesterday we saw how they were chanting Hare Krsna and dancing in ecstasy throughout the whole Ratha-yatra procession [an annual festival sponsored by the Krsna consciousness movement in cities around the world]. Do you think that was artificial? No. Artificially, nobody can chant and dance for hours together. They have actually awakened their Krsna consciousness by following a bona fide process.

The Science of Self-Realization

NAM 2b2: The Role of the Holy Name in the Progression of Devotional Service

2. The Role of the Holy Name in the Progression of Devotional Service

Regulative and spontaneous hearing and chanting in the development of pure devotional service:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “If, by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krsna, he begins to associate with devotees. When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing. When one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens. After taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises, and from that attachment the seed of love for Krsna grows in the heart. When that ecstatic emotional stage intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. Such love is life’s ultimate goal and the reservoir of all pleasure.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 23.9-13

If, due to some righteous activities which provoke devotional service, one is influenced by the service attitude and takes shelter of the good association of pure devotees, he develops attachment for hearing and chanting. By developing chanting and hearing, one can advance further and further in regulative devotional service to the Supreme Lord. As one so advances, his misgivings about devotional service and his attraction for the material world proportionately diminish. By advancing in hearing and chanting, a devotee becomes more firmly fixed in his faith, and gradually his initial faith develops into a taste for devotional service, and that taste develops into attachment. When attachment becomes pure, it exhibits the two characteristics of bhava and rati. When rati increases, it is called love of Godhead, and love of Godhead is the ultimate goal of human life.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Hearing and chanting of the maha-mantra waters the seed and creeper of devotional service:

Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana, the supreme planet of Krsna. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-caritamrta. It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.9

The progressive development of the chanting of the holy name:

A bona fide spiritual master chants the holy names — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — and the transcendental sound vibration enters into the ear of the disciple, and if a disciple follows in the footsteps of his spiritual master and chants the holy name with similar respect, he actually comes to worship the transcendental name. When the transcendental name is worshiped by the devotee, the name Himself spreads His glories within the heart of a devotee. When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Simply by chanting, one becomes free from sinful life, steady in devotional service, and elevated to the platform of mahatma:

To cultivate knowledge for worshiping Krsna culminates after many, many births and deaths when one actually becomes wise. When one becomes wise in this way, he surrenders to Krsna, recognizing Him at last to be the cause of all causes and all that is. That sort of great soul is very rare. So those who have surrendered to Krsna life and soul are rare sudurlabha mahatmas. They are not ordinary mahatmas.

By the grace of Lord Caitanya that highest perfectional status of life is being distributed very freely. The effect is also very encouraging; otherwise, how are boys and girls without any background of Vedic culture quickly occupying the posts of rare mahatmas simply by vibrating this transcendental sound, Hare Krsna? And simply on the basis of this chanting, the majority of them (those who are very sincere) are steady in devotional service and are not falling down to the four principles of material sinful life, namely (1) meat-eating, (2) illicit sexual connection, (3) taking of intoxicants, including coffee, tea, and tobacco, and (4) gambling. And that is the last sutra of the Vedanta-sutra, i.e., anavrttih sabdat [“By sound vibration one becomes liberated”].

One has to learn by the result (phalena pariciyate). Our students are ordered to act like this, and they are not falling down. That they are remaining on the platform of pure spiritual life without hankering to culture the above principles of avidya, or sense gratification, is the test of their proper understanding of the Vedas. They do not come back to the material platform, because they are relishing the nectarean fruit of love of God.

The Science of Self-Realization

Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra brings one to the point of full surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna:

[Haridasa Thakura to the reformed prostitute]: “Chant the Hare Krsna mantra continuously and render service to the tulasi plant by watering her and offering prayers to her. In this way you will soon get the opportunity to be sheltered at the lotus feet of Krsna.”

At least five thousand years ago, Lord Sri Krsna expressed His desire that everyone surrender to Him (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]). Why is it that people cannot do this? Krsna assures us, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah: “I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Everyone is suffering from the results of sinful activities, but Krsna says that if one surrenders unto Him, He will protect one from sinful reactions. Modern civilization, however, is interested neither in Krsna nor in getting relief from sinful acts. Therefore men are suffering. Surrender is the ultimate instruction of Bhagavad-gita, but for one who cannot surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna, it is better to chant the Hare Krsna mantra constantly, under the instruction of Haridasa Thakura…. Although Krsna wants everyone to surrender to His lotus feet, because of people’s sinful activities they cannot do this. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah: [Bg. 7.15] rascals and fools, the lowest of men, who engage in sinful activities, cannot suddenly surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna. Nevertheless, if they begin chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and rendering service unto the tulasi plant, they will very soon be able to surrender. One’s real duty is to surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna, but if one is unable to do so he should adopt this process, as introduced by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His most confidential servant, Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura. This is the way to achieve success in Krsna consciousness.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.137

When one revives his loving service to Krsna, he automatically advances in spiritual progress by the mercy of the holy name:

Love of Godhead is the original function of the spirit soul, and it is as eternal as the soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This eternity is called sanatana. When one revives his loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it should be understood that he has been successful in achieving the desired goal of his life. At that time everything is automatically done by the mercy of the holy name and the devotee automatically advances in his spiritual progress.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.84

NAM 2b3: The Holy Name Frees One from the Reactions to Sins

3. The Holy Name Frees One from the Reactions to Sins

General instructions

The holy name vanquishes the results of all sinful activities:
“‘The holy name of Lord Krsna … is the annihilator of all sinful reactions…'”

Padyavali (29), by Rupa Gosvami
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.110] [The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: Ajamila has already atoned for all his sinful actions. Indeed, he has atoned not only for sins performed in one life but for those performed in millions of lives, for in a helpless condition he chanted the holy name of Narayana. Even though he did not chant purely, he chanted without offense, and therefore he is now pure and eligible for liberation.

The Yamadutas had considered only the external situation of Ajamila. Since he was extremely sinful throughout his life, they thought he should be taken to Yamaraja and did not know that he had become free from the reactions of all his sins. The Visnudutas therefore instructed that because he had chanted the four syllables of the name Narayana at the time, of his death, he was freed from all sinful reactions. In this regard Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura quotes the following verses from the smrti-sastra:

namno hi yavati saktih
papa-nirharane hareh
tavat kartum na saknoti
patakam pataki narah

“Simply by chanting one holy name of Hari, a sinful man can counteract the reactions to more sins that he is able to commit.” (Brhad-visnu Purana)

avasenapi yan-namni
kirtite sarva-patakaih
puman vimucyate sadyah
simha-trastair mrgair iva

“If one chants the holy name of the Lord, even in a helpless condition or without desiring to do so, all the reactions of his sinful life depart, just as when a lion roars, all the small animals flee in fear.” (Garuda Purana)

sakrd uccaritam yena
harir ity aksara-dvayam
baddha-parikaras tena
moksaya gamanam prati

“By once chanting the holy name of the Lord, which consists of the two syllables ha-ri, one guarantees his path to liberation.” (Skanda Purana)

These are some of the reasons why the Visnudutas objected to the Yamadutas’ taking Ajamila to the court of Yamaraja.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.7

[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: Authorities who are learned scholars and sages have carefully ascertained that one should atone for the heaviest sins by undergoing a heavy process of atonement and one should atone for lighter sins by undergoing lighter atonement. Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, however, vanquishes all the effects of sinful activities, regardless of whether heavy or light.

One should take shelter of Krsna-Balarama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose protective power is so great that it cannot be equaled in the material world. However powerful the reactions of one’s sins, they will immediately be vanquished if one chants the name of Hari, Krsna, Balarama or Narayana.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.16

[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: At the time of death, this Ajamila helplessly and very loudly chanted the holy name of the Lord, Narayana. That chanting alone has already freed him from the reactions of all sinful life. Therefore, O servants of Yamaraja, do not try to take him to your master for punishment in hellish conditions.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.13

[The sages to Lord Indra]: One who has killed a brahmana, one who has killed a cow or one who has killed his father, mother or spiritual master can be immediately freed from all sinful reactions simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Narayana. Other sinful persons, such as dog-eaters and candalas, who are less than sudras, can also be freed in this way.

It is said in the Brhad-visnu Purana:

namno hi yavati saktih
papa-nirharane hareh
tavat kartum na saknoti
patakam pataki narah

Also, in the Prema-vivarta by Jagadananda Pandita it is said:

eka krsna-name papira yata papa-ksaya
bahu janme sei papi karite naraya

This means that by once chanting the holy name of the Lord, one can be freed from the reactions of more sins than he can even imagine performing. The holy name is so spiritually potent that simply by chanting the holy name one can be freed from the reactions to all sinful activities. What, then, is to be said of those who chant the holy name regularly or worship the Deity regularly? For such purified devotees, freedom from sinful reaction is certainly assured….

These verses name the performers of various sinful deeds. In the Manu-samhita the following names are given. A son begotten by a brahmana and born from the womb of a sudra mother is called a parasava or nisada, a hunter accustomed to stealing. A son begotten by a nisada in the womb of a sudra woman is called a pulkasa. A child begotten by a ksatriya in the womb of the daughter of a sudra is called an ugra. A child begotten by a sudra in the womb of the daughter of a ksatriya is called a ksatta. A child begotten by a ksatriya in the womb of a lower-class woman is called a svada, or dog-eater. All such offspring are considered extremely sinful, but the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so strong that all of them can be purified simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.

The Hare Krsna movement offers everyone a chance to be purified, regardless of birth or family. As confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.4.18):

kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa
abhira-sumbha yavanaa khasadayah
ye ‘nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah
sudhyanti tasmai prabhavisnave namah

“Kiratas, Hunas, Andhras, Pulindas, Pulkasas, Abhiras, Sumbhas, Yavanas, members of the Khasa races, and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of devotees of the Lord, for He is the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.”

Even such sinful persons can certainly all be purified if they chant the holy name of the Lord under the direction of a pure devotee.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.13.8-9

[Lord Brahma to Narada Muni]: The leader of the elephants, whose leg was attacked in a river by a crocodile of superior strength, was much aggrieved. Taking a lotus flower in his trunk, he addressed the Lord, saying, “O original enjoyer, Lord of the universe! O deliverer, as famous as a place of pilgrimage! All are purified simply by hearing Your holy name, which is worthy to be chanted.”

The elephant addressed the Lord as tirtha-sravah, or “as famous as a place of pilgrimage.” People go to places of pilgrimage in order to be delivered from the reactions of unknown sinful acts. But one can be freed from all sinful reactions simply by remembering His holy name. The Lord is therefore as good as the holy places of pilgrimage. One can be free from all sinful reactions after reaching a place of pilgrimage, but one can have the same benefit at home or at any place simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.15

When Subuddhi Raya consulted the learned brahmanas at Varanasi, asking them how his conversion to Muhammadanism could be counteracted, they advised him to drink hot ghee and give up his life. When Subuddhi Raya consulted some other brahmanas, they told him that he had not committed a grievous fault and that consequently he should not drink hot ghee and give up his life. As a result, Subuddhi Raya was doubtful about what to do. In his state of perplexity, Subuddhi Raya met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when the Lord was at Varanasi. Subuddhi Raya explained his position and asked Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu what he should do. The Lord advised him, “Go to Vrndavana and chant the Hare Krsna mantra constantly.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu further advised Subuddhi Raya: “Begin chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, and when your chanting is almost pure, all your sinful reactions will go away. After you chant perfectly, you will get shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. When you are situated at the lotus feet of Krsna, no sinful reaction can touch you. This is the best solution to all sinful activity.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.195-200

By chanting the holy names Krsna and Hari, one is certainly liberated from sinful activities, such as killing cows or insulting brahmanas and Vaisnavas. The karma incurred by such activity is very great, but one can immediately nullify all this karma by surrendering to Lord Krsna and chanting His holy name.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.189

Specialized instructions

The chanting of the holy name is the best means to atone for sinful activities because it attracts the attention and protection of the Supreme Lord:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: The chanting of the holy name of Lord Visnu is the best process of atonement for a thief of gold or other valuables, for a drunkard, for one who betrays a friend or relative, for one who kills a brahmana, or for one who indulges in sex with the wife of his guru or another superior. It is also the best method of atonement for one who murders women, the king or his father, for one who slaughters cows, and for all other sinful men. Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Visnu, such sinful persons may attract the attention of the Supreme Lord, who therefore considers, “Because this man has chanted My holy name, My duty is to give him protection.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.9-10

By always chanting the maha-mantra, Krsna will protect us from sinful reactions:
One cannot commit sinful activities and at the same time advance in Krsna consciousness. But Krsna says, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami: [Bg. 18.66] “Surrender unto Me, and I shall rescue you by giving you liberation from all kinds of sinful reactions.”

Every one of us, life after life, is knowingly or unknowingly committing sinful activities. I may knowingly kill an animal, and that is certainly sinful, but even if I do it unknowingly, it is also sinful. While walking on the street we unknowingly kill so many ants, and in the course of our other ordinary dealings — while cooking, while taking water, while using a mortar and pestle to crush spices — we kill so many living beings. Unless we remain Krsna conscious, we are liable to be punished for all these unknowingly committed sinful acts.

If a child unknowingly touches fire, does it mean that the fire will excuse the child and not burn? No. Nature’s law is so strict, so stringent, that there is no question of an excuse. Even in ordinary law, ignorance is no excuse. If we go to court and say, “I did not know that this action was criminal,” this plea does not mean that we shall be excused. Similarly, ignorance is no excuse for transgressing nature’s laws. Therefore, if we actually want to be free from the reactions of sinful life, we must be Krsna conscious, for then Krsna will free us from all sinful reactions. It is therefore recommended, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31] — one should always chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare so that Krsna will save us.

Teachings of Queen Kunti

Thinking of Krsna, by chanting His holy name, cleanses one of all sins:
In the material planets there are different grades of sinful activities, of which disrespecting a brahmana or Vaisnava is the most sinful. Here it is clearly stated that one can overcome even that grave sin simply by thinking of Visnu, not even favorably but in anger. Thus even if those who are not devotees always think of Visnu, they become free from all sinful activities. Krsna consciousness is the highest form of thought. Lord Visnu is thought of in this age by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. From the statements of the Bhagavatam it appears that if one thinks of Krsna, even as an enemy, that particular qualification — thinking of Visnu or Krsna — cleanses one of all sins.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.16.31

A single uttering of “Krsna” wipes away the results of all sinful activities:
In the Visnu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting: “My dear King, this word ‘Krsna’ is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births.” That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritamrta: “A person who chants the holy name of Krsna once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of “Krsna.”

The Nectar of Devotion

By chanting the holy name, one is freed from the sinful reactions of many millions of lives:
[Lord Caitanya to a Muhammadan holy man]: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Please get up. You have chanted the holy name of Krsna; therefore the sinful reactions you have accrued for many millions of lives are now gone. You are now pure.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 18.205

Simply by hearing the holy name chanted by a pure devotee, one is purified of all sinful activities and becomes eligible to render devotional service:
[Haridasa Thakura to a prostitute]: “Tomorrow I will surely finish, and my vow will be fulfilled. Then it will be possible for me to enjoy with you in full freedom.”

Haridasa Thakura never wanted to enjoy the prostitute, but he tricked her to deliver her by giving her a chance to hear the holy name of the Lord while he chanted. Pure devotees chant the Hare Krsna mantra, and simply by hearing this chanting from a purified transcendental person, one is purified of all sinful activities, no matter how lowborn or fallen one may be. As soon as one is thus completely free from the reactions of sinful activities, he is eligible to render devotional service to the Lord. This is the process for engaging the fallen souls in devotional service. As Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (7.28):

yesam tv anta-gatam papam
jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta
bhajante mam drdha-vratah

“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.126

Chanting frees one from sinful reactions if the chanting is offenseless:
[Lord Caitanya to Satyaraja]: “Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna, one is relieved from all the reactions of a sinful life….”

One can be freed from all sinful reactions by chanting the holy name without committing offenses.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.107

[Chand Kazi to Lord Caitanya]: “After hearing their complaints, in sweet words I told them, ‘Please go back home. I shall certainly prohibit Nimai Pandita from continuing His Hare Krsna movement.’ I know that Narayana is the Supreme God of the Hindus, and I think that You are the same Narayana. This I feel within my mind.” After hearing the Kazi speak so nicely, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu touched him and smilingly spoke as follows. “The chanting of the holy name of Krsna from your mouth has performed a wonder — it has nullified the reactions of all your sinful activities. Now you have become supremely pure. Because you have chanted three holy names of the Lord — Hari, Krsna and Narayana — you are undoubtedly the most fortunate and pious.”

Confirming the potency of the sankirtana movement, these words from the very mouth of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu express how people can be purified simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna. The Kazi was a Muhammadan mleccha, or meat-eater, but because he several times uttered the holy name of Lord Krsna, automatically the reactions of his sinful life were vanquished, and he was fully purified of all material contamination….

Here the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, confirms that anyone who chants the holy names Hari, Krsna and Narayana without offense is certainly extremely fortunate, and whether Indian or non-Indian, Hindu or non-Hindu, he immediately comes to the level of the most pious personality.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17.214-18

If one chants the holy name without offenses and without further sinful activities, he is freed from all reactions of sins:
Simply chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra without offenses vanquishes all sinful activities. Thus pure devotional service, which is the cause of love of Godhead, becomes manifest.

One cannot be situated in the devotional service of the Lord unless one is freed from sinful life. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:

yesam tv anta-gatam papam
jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta
bhajante mam drdha-vratah

“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination.”

(Bg. 7.28) A person who is already cleansed of all tinges of sinful life engages without deviation or duality of purpose in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this age, although people are greatly sinful, simply chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra can relieve them from the reactions of their sins. Eka krsna-name: only by chanting Krsna’s name is this possible. This is also confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (kirtanad eva krsnasya [SB 12.3.51]). Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also taught us this. While passing on the road, He used to chant:

krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna raksa mam
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna pahi mam
rama raghava rama raghava rama raghava raksa mam
krsna kesava krsna kesava krsna kesava pahi mam

If one always chants the holy name Krsna, gradually one is freed from all reactions of sinful life, provided he chants offenselessly and does not commit more sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. In this way one is purified, and his devotional service causes the arousal of his dormant love of God. Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and not committing sinful activities and offenses, one’s life is purified, and thus one comes to the fifth stage of perfection, or engagement in the loving service of the Lord (prema pumartho mahan ).

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 8.26

Even the lowest class of men is delivered from sinful activities simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord:
[King Citraketu to Lord Sankarsana]: My Lord, it is not impossible for one to be immediately freed from all material contamination by seeing You. Not to speak of seeing You personally, merely by hearing the holy name of Your Lordship only once, even candalas, men of the lowest class, are freed from all material contamination. Under the circumstances, who will not be freed from material contamination simply by seeing You?

As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.5.16), yan-nama-sruti-matrena puman bhavati nirmalah: simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord, one is immediately purified. Therefore, in this age of Kali, when all people are very contaminated, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is recommended as the only means of improvement.

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]

“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” (Brhan-naradiya Purana)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced this chanting of the holy name five hundred years ago, and now through the Krsna consciousness movement, the Hare Krsna movement, we are actually seeing that men who are considered to belong to the lowest class are being delivered from all sinful activities simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord. Samsara, material existence, is a result of sinful actions. Everyone in this material world is condemned, yet as there are different grades of prisoners, there are different grades of men. All of them, in all statuses of life, are suffering. To stop the suffering of material existence, one must take to the Hare Krsna movement of sankirtana or Krsna conscious life.

Herein it is said, yan-nama sakrc chravanat: the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so powerful that if once heard without offenses, it can purify the lowest of men (kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasah). Such men, who are called candalas, are less than sudras, but they also can be purified simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord, not to speak of personally seeing the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.44

One can become free from all contamination, especially that due to animal killing, by chanting the holy name:
[Narada Muni to the hunter]: “Narada Muni continued: ‘All the animals that you have killed and given unnecessary pain will kill you one after the other in your next life and in life after life.’ In this way, through the association of the great sage Narada Muni, the hunter was a little convinced of his sinful activity. He therefore became somewhat afraid due to his offenses.”

Those who kill animals and give them unnecessary pain — as people do in slaughterhouses — will be killed in a similar way in the next life and in many lives to come. One can never be excused from such an offense. If one kills many thousands of animals in a professional way so that other people can purchase the meat to eat, one must be ready to be killed in a similar way in his next life and in life after life. There are many rascals who violate their own religious principles. According to Judeo-Christian scriptures, it is clearly said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Nonetheless, giving all kinds of excuses, even the heads of religions indulge in killing animals while trying to pass as saintly persons. This mockery and hypocrisy in human society bring about unlimited calamities; therefore occasionally there are great wars. Masses of such people go out onto battlefields and kill themselves. Presently they have discovered the atomic bomb, which is simply awaiting wholesale destruction. If people want to be saved from the killing business life after life, they must take to Krsna consciousness and cease sinful activity. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness recommends that everyone abandon meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication and gambling. When one gives up these sinful activities, he can understand Krsna and take to this Krsna consciousness movement. We therefore request everyone to abandon sinful activity and chant the Hare Krsna mantra. In this way people can save themselves from repeated birth and death…. This is a chance to become purified by associating with this Krsna consciousness movement and strictly following the rules and regulations. By chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from all contamination, especially contamination brought about by the killing of animals. Lord Krsna Himself requested:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (Bg. 18.66)

We should take this instruction from Krsna and follow in the footsteps of Narada Muni in the disciplic succession. If we simply surrender unto Krsna’s lotus feet and take this Krsna consciousness movement seriously, we can be freed from the karma incurred by sin. If we are intelligent enough, we shall engage in the loving service of the Lord. Then our lives will be successful, and we shall not have to suffer like the hunter life after life. By killing animals, not only will we be bereft of the human form but we will have to take an animal form and somehow or other be killed by the same type of animal we have killed. This is the law of nature. The Sanskrit word mamsa means “meat.” It is said: mam sah khadatiti mamsah. That is, “I am now eating the flesh of an animal who will some day in the future be eating my flesh.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 24.251-52

A sinful person destined for hell can be delivered by the holy name of the Lord:
[Durvasa Muni to Lord Narayana]: O my Lord, O supreme controller, without knowledge of Your unlimited prowess I have offended Your most dear devotee. Very kindly save me from the reaction of this offense. You can do everything, for even if a person is fit for going to hell, You can deliver him simply by awakening within his heart the holy name of Your Lordship.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.4.62

Chanting the holy name is more effective than Vedic ritualistic ceremonies for eradicating sin:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: By following the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or undergoing atonement, sinful men do not become as purified as by chanting once the holy name of Lord Hari. Although ritualistic atonement may free one from sinful reactions, it does not awaken devotional service, unlike the chanting of the Lord’s names, which reminds one of the Lord’s fame, qualities, attributes, pastimes and paraphernalia. The ritualistic ceremonies of atonement recommended in the religious scriptures are insufficient to cleanse the heart absolutely because after atonement one’s mind again runs toward material activities. Consequently, for one who wants liberation from the fruitive reactions of material activities, the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, or glorification of the name, fame and pastimes of the Lord, is recommended as the most perfect process of atonement because such chanting eradicates the dirt from one’s heart completely.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments that the chanting of the holy name of the Lord has special significance that distinguishes it from the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of atonement for severe, more severe or most severe sinful actions. There are twenty types of religious scriptures called dharma-sastras, beginning with the Manu-samhita and Parasara-samhita, but herein it is stressed that although one may become free from the reactions of the most sinful activities by following the religious principles of these scriptures, this cannot promote a sinful man to the stage of loving service to the Lord. On the other hand, chanting the holy name of the Lord even once not only frees one immediately from the reactions of the greatest sins, but also raises one to the platform of rendering loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described as uttamasloka because He is famous for His glorious activities. Thus one serves the Lord by remembering His form, His attributes and pastimes. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that this is all possible simply by chanting the Lord’s holy name because of the Lord’s omnipotence. What cannot be achieved through the performance of Vedic rituals can be easily achieved through the chanting of the Lord’s holy name. To chant the holy name and dance in ecstasy is so easy and sublime that one can achieve all the benefits of spiritual life simply by following this process. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declares, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: “All glories to Sri Krsna sankirtana!” The sankirtana movement we have started offers the best process for becoming purified of all sinful reactions and coming immediately to the platform of spiritual life….The statements in this verse have been confirmed previously in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17):

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam

“Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”

It is the special mercy of the Supreme Lord that as soon as He knows that one is glorifying His name, fame and attributes, He personally helps cleanse the dirt from one’s heart. Therefore simply by such glorification one not only becomes purified, but also achieves the results of pious activities (punya-sravana-kirtana). Punya-sravana-kirtana refers to the process of devotional service. Even if one does not understand the meaning of the Lord’s name, pastimes or attributes, one is purified simply by hearing or chanting of them. Such purification is called sattva-bhavana.

One’s main purpose in human life should be to purify his existence and achieve liberation. As long as one has a material body, one is understood to be impure. In such an impure, material condition, one cannot enjoy a truly blissful life, although everyone seeks it. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.1) says, tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyet: one must perform tapasya, austerity, to purify his existence, in order to come to the spiritual platform. The tapasya of chanting and glorifying the name, fame and attributes of the Lord is a very easy purifying process by which everyone can be happy. Therefore everyone who desires the ultimate cleansing of his heart must adopt this process. Other processes, such as karma, jnana and yoga, cannot cleanse the heart absolutely.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.11-12

The chanting of the maha-mantra is a special concession in the Kali-yuga to save people from the reactions to known or unknown sinful activities:
Anyone in this material world, however careful he may be, must commit some sinful activities, even though he does not want to. For example, one may trample many small ants and other insects while walking on the street and kill many living beings unknowingly. Therefore the Vedic principle of panca-yajna, five kinds of recommended sacrifice, is compulsory. In this age of Kali, however, there is a great concession given to people in general. Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah: [SB 11.5.32] we may worship Lord Caitanya, the hidden incarnation of Krsna. Krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam: although He is Krsna Himself, He always chants Hare Krsna and preaches Krsna consciousness. One is recommended to worship this incarnation by chanting, the sankirtana-yajna. The performance of sankirtana-yajna is a special concession for human society to save people from being affected by known or unknown sinful activities. We are surrounded by unlimited sins, and therefore it is compulsory that one take to Krsna consciousness and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.16.23

For one who always chants the holy name, unintentional sins are excused:
[Yamaraja to the Yamadutas]: Considering all these points, therefore, intelligent men decide to solve all problems by adopting the devotional service of chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart and who is a mine of all auspicious qualities. Such persons are not within my jurisdiction for punishment. Generally they never commit sinful activities, but even if by mistake or because of bewilderment or illusion they sometimes commit sinful acts, they are protected from sinful reactions because they always chant the Hare Krsna mantra.

A pure devotee is one whose intelligence is clear; he is truly thoughtful because he engages in the service of the Lord — not as a matter of show, but with love, with his mind, words and body. Nondevotees may make a show of religion, but it is not very effective because although they ostentatiously attend a temple or church, they are thinking of something else. Such persons are neglecting their religious duty and are punishable by Yamaraja. But a devotee who commits sinful acts, which he may do unwillingly or accidentally because of his former habits, is excused. That is the value of the sankirtana movement.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.26

Even a faint light from the holy name eradicates sinful reactions and brings liberation:
[Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya]: “Even a faint light from the holy name of the Lord can eradicate all the reactions of sinful life…. Because of even the faintest rays of the effulgence of the Lord’s holy name, one can attain liberation. We can see this in all the revealed scriptures.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.63-65

In any condition or for any reason, if one chants the holy name of the Lord, he is freed from all sins:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: Even if he be distressed or degraded, any person who chants the holy name of the Lord, having heard it from a bona fide spiritual master, is immediately purified. Even if he chants the Lord’s name jokingly or by chance, he and anyone who hears him are freed from all sins.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.25.11

Whether one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the holy name will free one from all reactions to sinful activities:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: As a fire burns dry grass to ashes, so the holy name of the Lord, whether chanted knowingly or unknowingly, burns to ashes, without fail, all the reactions of one’s sinful activities. If a person unaware of the effective potency of a certain medicine takes that medicine or is forced to take it, it will act even without his knowledge because its potency does not depend on the patient’s understanding. Similarly, even though one does not know the value of chanting the holy name of the Lord, if one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the chanting will be very effective.

Fire will act, regardless of whether handled by an innocent child or by someone well aware of its power. For example, if a field of straw or dry grass is set afire, either by an elderly man who knows the power of fire or by a child who does not, the grass will be burned to ashes. Similarly, one may or may not know the power of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but if one chants the holy name he will become free from all sinful reactions….

In the Western countries, where the Hare Krsna movement is spreading, learned scholars and other thoughtful men are realizing its effectiveness. For example, Dr. J. Stillson Judah, a learned scholar, has been very much attracted to this movement because he has actually seen that it is turning hippies addicted to drugs into pure Vaisnavas who voluntarily become servants of Krsna and humanity. Even a few years ago, such hippies did not know the Hare Krsna mantra, but now they are chanting it and becoming pure Vaisnavas. Thus they are becoming free from all sinful activities, such as illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. This is practical proof of the effectiveness of the Hare Krsna movement, which is supported in this verse. One may or may not know the value of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but if one somehow or other chants it, he will immediately be purified, just as one who takes a potent medicine will feel its effects, regardless of whether he takes it knowingly or unknowingly.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.18-19

Even chanting that is indirect, frivolous, neglectful, (etc.,) frees one from sin:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.14

Even if the holy name is chanted for the sake of blasphemy, the holy name is so powerful that it frees one from reactions of sinful activities:
[Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami to Lord Caitanya]: “Jagai and Madhai had but one fault — they were addicted to sinful activity. However, volumes of sinful activity can be burned to ashes simply by a dim reflection of the chanting of Your holy name. Jagai and Madhai uttered Your holy name by way of blaspheming You. Fortunately, that holy name became the cause of their deliverance.”

Jagai and Madhai chanted the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by way of blasphemy, but because they simply chanted His name, they immediately became free from the reactions of sinful activities. Thus later they were saved.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.194-95

Even blasphemers can be freed from sinful activities by chanting the holy name:
Jaya and Vijaya inwardly knew that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they purposely became His enemies to be delivered from material life. From the very beginning of their lives they thought of Lord Krsna as an enemy, and even though blaspheming Lord Krsna, they chanted the holy name of Krsna constantly along with their inimical thoughts. Thus they were purified because of chanting the holy name of Krsna. It is to be understood that even a blasphemer can be freed from sinful activities by chanting the holy name of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.26

A devotee should always appreciate his fortune in having been delivered from sinful activities by the chanting of the holy name:
Ajamila continued: I am a shameless cheater who has killed his brahminical culture. Indeed, I am sin personified. Where am I in comparison to the all-auspicious chanting of the holy name of Lord Narayana? I am such a sinful person, but since I have now gotten this opportunity, I must completely control my mind, life and senses and always engage in devotional service so that I may not fall again into the deep darkness and ignorance of material life.

Those engaged in broadcasting the holy name of Narayana, Krsna, through the Krsna consciousness movement should always consider what our position was before we came and what it is now. We had fallen into abominable lives as meat-eaters, drunkards and woman hunters who performed all kinds of sinful activities, but now we have been given the opportunity to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. Therefore we should always appreciate this opportunity. By the grace of the Lord we are opening many branches, and we should use this good fortune to chant the holy name of the Lord and serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. We must be conscious of the difference.between our present and past conditions and should always be very careful not to fall from the most exalted life….

Every one of us should have this determination. We have been elevated to an exalted position by the mercy of Krsna and the spiritual master, and if we remember that this is a great opportunity and pray to Krsna that we will not fall again, our lives will be successful.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.34-35

NAM 2b4: By Chanting the Holy Name, the Mind Becomes Controlled

4. By Chanting the Holy Name, the Mind Becomes Controlled

One should control the mind by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, which engages the mind at the lotus feet of Krsna:

One should not trust his mind, which is so fickle that it can give way to enemies at any moment. The mind is always accompanied by six enemies — namely, kama, krodha, mada, moha, matsarya and bhaya — that is, lust, anger, intoxication, illusion, envy and fear. Although the mind may be merged in spiritual consciousness, one should always be very careful in dealing with it, just as one is careful in dealing with a snake. One should never think that his mind is trained and that he can do whatever he likes. One interested in spiritual life should always engage his mind in the service of the Lord so that the enemies of the mind, who always accompany the mind, will be subdued. If the mind is not engaged in Krsna consciousness at every moment, there is a chance that it will give way to its enemies. In this way we become victims of the mind.

Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra engages the mind at the lotus feet of Krsna constantly; thus the mind’s enemies do not have a chance to strike.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 11.10

The chanting of the maha-mantra fixes one’s mind upon Krsna:

Narada Muni mentions this sadhana-bhakti in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, First Chapter, verse 32. He says there to King Yudhisthira: “My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Krsna by any means.” That is called Krsna consciousness. It is the duty of the acarya, the spiritual master, to find the ways and means for his disciple to fix his mind on Krsna. That is the beginning of sadhana-bhakti.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us an authorized program for this purpose, centered around the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. This chanting has so much power that it immediately attaches one to Krsna. That is the beginning of sadhana-bhakti. Somehow or other, one has to fix his mind on Krsna. The great saint Ambarisa Maharaja, although a responsible king, fixed his mind on Krsna, and similarly anyone who tries to fix his mind in this way will very rapidly make progress in successfully reviving his original Krsna consciousness.

The Nectar of Devotion

The easiest way to control the mind is to chant Hare Krsna in all humility:

[Arjuna to Lord Krsna]: For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.

The mind is so strong and obstinate that it sometimes overcomes the intelligence, although mind is supposed to be subservient to the intelligence. For a man in the practical world who has to fight so many opposing elements, it is certainly very difficult to control the mind. Artificially, one may establish a mental equilibrium toward both friend and enemy, but ultimately no worldly man can do so, for this is more difficult than controlling the raging wind. In the Vedic literatures it is said:

atmanam rathinam viddhi
sariram ratham eva ca
buddhim tu sarathim viddhi
manah pragraham eva ca

indriyani hayan ahur
visayams tesu gocaran
atmendriya-mano-yukto
bhoktety ahur manisinah

“The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers.”

Intelligence is supposed to direct the mind, but the mind is so strong and obstinate that it often overcomes even one’s own intelligence. Such a strong mind is supposed to be controlled by the practice of yoga, but such practice is never practical for a worldly person like Arjuna. And what can we say of modern man? The simile used here is appropriate: one cannot capture the blowing wind. And it is even more difficult to capture the turbulent mind. The easiest way to control the mind, as suggested by Lord Caitanya, is chanting “Hare Krsna,” the great mantra for deliverance, in all humility. The method prescribed is sa vai manah krsna- padaravindayoh: [SB 9.4.18] one must engage one’s mind fully in Krsna. Only then will there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.34

One can control the mind by fixing it upon the sound of Krsna’s name:

The mind is always flying to this and that, but one must always practice concentrating the mind on the form of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna or on the sound of His name. The mind is naturally restless, going hither and thither, but it can rest in the sound vibration of Krsna. One must thus meditate on paramam purusam, the Supreme Person, and thus attain Him.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Intro

Chanting Hare Krsna controls the wild horses of the mind:

When the mind is finally trained to the point where it will think of nothing but Krsna, it will attain peace and will become very tranquil.

prasanta-manasam hy enam
yoginam sukham uttamam
upaiti santa-rajasam
brahma-bhutam akalmasam

“The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest happiness. By virtue of his identity with Brahman, he is liberated; his mind is peaceful, his passions are quieted, and he is freed from sin.” (Bg. 6.27)

The mind is always concocting objects for happiness. I am always thinking, “This will make me happy,” or “That will make me happy. Happiness is here. Happiness is there.” In this way the mind is taking us anywhere and everywhere. It is as though we are riding on a chariot behind an unbridled horse. We have no power over where we are going but can only sit in horror and watch helplessly. As soon as the mind is engaged in the Krsna consciousness process — specifically by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — then the wild horses of the mind will gradually come under our control.

On the Way to Krsna

It is only by transcendental vibration (chanting, etc.) that the mind can be stabilized:

“When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in Transcendence — devoid of all material desires — he is said to have attained yoga.” (Bg. 6.18)

The perfection of yoga means keeping the mind in a state of equilibrium. Materially speaking, this is impossible. After reading a mundane novel once, you will not want to read it again, but you can read Bhagavad-gita four times a day and still not tire of it. You may chant someone’s name a half an hour, or sing a mundane song three or four times, but before long this becomes tiresome. Hare Krsna, however, can be chanted day and night, and one will never tire of it. Therefore it is only through transcendental vibration that the mind can be kept in a state of equilibrium. When one’s mental activities are thus stabilized, one is said to have attained yoga.

The Path of Perfection

NAM 2b5: The Holy Name Protects One from Pride

5. The Holy Name Protects One from Pride

To avoid pride, one should chant the Hare Krsna mantra incessantly:

When Vasudeva, the leper brahmana, was lamenting due to not being able to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord immediately returned to that spot and embraced him. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu touched him, both the leprosy and his distress went to a distant place. Indeed, Vasudeva’s body became very beautiful, to his great happiness…. Being meek and humble, the brahmana Vasudeva worried that he would become proud after being cured by the grace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. To protect the brahmana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised him to chant the Hare Krsna mantra incessantly. By doing so, he would never become unnecessarily proud.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 7.140-41, 146-47

NAM 2b6: By Chanting, One Develops Forbearance

6. By Chanting, One Develops Forbearance

By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, the quality of forbearance automatically develops:

A devotee engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord should practice forbearance like that of a tree. Even if rebuked or chastised, he should not say anything to others to retaliate. For even if one cuts a tree, it never protests, nor even if it is drying up and dying does it ask anyone for water.

This practice of forbearance (trnad api sunicena) is very difficult, but when one actually engages in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, the quality of forbearance automatically develops. A person advanced in spiritual consciousness through the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra need not practice to develop it separately, for a devotee develops all good qualities simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra regularly.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17.27-28

NAM 2b7: The Holy Name Eradicates Material Desires and Sinful Activity

7. The Holy Name Eradicates Material Desires and Sinful Activity

By chanting the maha-mantra, one can remove the seeds of desire from the heart:

Sukadeva points out that austerity, charity and the performance of ritualistic ceremonies for counteracting sinful activities are recommended processes, but that by performing them one cannot remove the sinful desire-seed from the heart, as was the case with Ajamila in his youth. This sinful desire-seed can be removed only by achieving Krsna consciousness. And this can be accomplished very easily by chanting the maha-mantra, or Hare Krsna mantra, as recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

The Nectar of Devotion

By associating with the Supreme Lord by chanting His holy name, one becomes free from material desires:

Even those who are obsessed with material desires may also come to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead so steadily that they go back to Godhead. The fact is that if one comes to Krsna consciousness, although he may have many material desires, he becomes increasingly attracted to the lotus feet of Krsna through associating with the Supreme Lord by chanting His holy name. The Supreme Lord and His holy name are identical. Thus he becomes uninterested in attachment to material enjoyment.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.39

We must chant Hare Krsna in order to cleanse the heart of lust and greed:

The whole world is revolving due to kama and lobha. Kama means “lusty desire,” and lobha means “greed.” People cannot have enough sex or money, and because of this, their hearts are filled with contaminations, which have to be cleansed by hearing, repeating and chanting. Human life is meant to get rid of anarthas, unwanted things, but where is the university or college where this science of purification is taught? The only institution is this Krsna consciousness society. Krsna is within the heart, and the contaminations are also there, but Krsna will help us cleanse them. Nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya (S.B. 1.2.18). We must regularly hear Srimad-Bhagavatam and chant Hare Krsna; these are the two processes recommended by Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

The only method of controlling the agitated senses is to chant and hear the holy name of the Lord:

The human form of life is meant for God realization, but this process, which begins with sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23] — hearing and chanting of the holy name of the Lord — is disturbed as long as our senses are materially attracted. Therefore devotional service means purifying the senses. In the conditioned state our senses are covered by material sense gratification, and as long as one is not trained in purifying the senses, one cannot become a devotee. In our Krsna consciousness movement, therefore, we advise from the very beginning that one restrict the activities of the senses, especially the tongue, which is described by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as most greedy and unconquerable. To stop this attraction of the tongue, one is authoritatively advised not to accept meat or similar uneatable things nor to allow the tongue to hanker to drink or smoke. Even the drinking of tea and coffee is not permitted. Similarly, the genitals must be restricted from illicit sex. Without such restraint of the senses, one cannot make advancement in Krsna consciousness. The only method of controlling the senses is to chant and hear the holy name of the Lord; otherwise, one will always be disturbed.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.40

If one can control the tongue by engaging it in tasting prasada and chanting Hare Krsna, all the other senses can be controlled:

Self-control means that one should not accept anything which is detrimental to the path of spiritual progress. One should become accustomed to this and reject anything which is against the path of spiritual progress. This is real renunciation. The senses are so strong that they are always anxious to have sense gratification. One should not cater to these demands, which are not necessary. The senses should only be gratified to keep the body fit so that one can discharge his duty in advancing in spiritual life. The most important and uncontrollable sense is the tongue. If one can control the tongue, then there is every possibility of controlling the other senses. The function of the tongue is to taste and to vibrate. Therefore, by systematic regulation, the tongue should always be engaged in tasting the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krsna and chanting Hare Krsna.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 13.8-12

Those who have tasted the nectar of chanting the holy name do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts:

The personified Vedas said:] “The most intelligent devotees do not take to any means of self-realization except devotional service and constant engagement in the nine different processes of devotional life, especially hearing and chanting. When hearing and chanting about Your transcendental pastimes, Your devotees do not care even for the transcendental bliss derived from liberation or from merging into the existence of the Supreme. Such devotees are not interested even in so-called liberation, and certainly they have no interest in material activities for elevation to the heavenly planets for sense gratification. Pure devotees seek only the association of paramahamsas, or great liberated devotees, so that they can continually hear and chant about Your glories. For this purpose the pure devotees are prepared to sacrifice all comforts of life, even giving up the material comforts of family life and so-called society, friendship and love. Those who have tasted the nectar of devotion by relishing the transcendental vibration of chanting Your glories, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts, which appear to the pure devotee to be less important than the straw in the street.”

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

By remaining fixed in chanting the holy name, one may protect himself from the sensual allurements of this age:

While traveling along the public way, Ajamila came upon a fourth-class man and a prostitute, who are vividly described here. Drunkenness was sometimes manifest even in bygone ages, although not very frequently. In this age of Kali, however, such sin is to be seen everywhere, for people all over the world have become shameless. Long ago, when he saw the scene of the drunken sudra and the prostitute, Ajamila, who was a perfect brahmacari, was affected. Nowadays such sin is visible in so many places, and we must consider the position of a brahmacari student who sees such behavior. For such a brahmacari to remain steady is very difficult unless he is extremely strong in following the regulative principles. Nevertheless, if one takes to Krsna consciousness very seriously, he can withstand the provocation created by sin. In our Krsna consciousness movement we prohibit illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. In Kali-yuga, a drunk, half-naked woman embracing a drunk man is a very common sight, especially in the Western countries, and restraining oneself after seeing such things is very difficult. Nevertheless, if by the grace of Krsna one adheres to the regulative principles and chants the Hare Krsna mantra, Krsna will certainly protect him. Indeed, Krsna says that His devotee is never vanquished (kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31]). Therefore all the disciples practicing Krsna consciousness should obediently follow the regulative principles and remain fixed in chanting the holy name of the Lord. Then there need be no fear. Otherwise one’s position is very dangerous, especially in this Kali-yuga.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.58-60

The test of the real change of heart from chanting the holy name is one’s detachment from material enjoyment:

[Saunaka Rsi to Suta Gosvami]: “If one’s heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, nor his hairs stand on end as he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord’s holy name.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, commenting on this verse, which is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.24), remarks that sometimes a maha-bhagavata, or very advanced devotee, does not manifest such transcendental symptoms as tears in the eyes, although sometimes a kanistha-adhikari, neophyte devotee, displays them artificially. This does not mean, however, that the neophyte is more advanced than the maha-bhagavata devotee. The test of the real change of heart that takes place when one chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is that one becomes detached from material enjoyment. This is the real change. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca [SB 11.2.42]. If one is actually advancing in spiritual life, he must become very much detached from material enjoyment. If it is sometimes found that a kanistha-adhikari (neophyte devotee) shows artificial tears in his eyes while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra but is still completely attached to material things, his heart has not really changed. The change must be manifested in terms of one’s real activities.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 8.25

By chanting the maha-mantra offenselessly, one may be saved from the allurement of women:

A grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasi, and brahmacari should be very careful when associating with women. One is forbidden to sit down in a solitary place even with one’s mother, sister or daughter. In our Krsna consciousness movement it has been very difficult to disassociate ourselves from women in our society, especially in Western countries. We are therefore sometimes criticized, but nonetheless we are trying to give everyone a chance to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and thus advance spiritually. If we stick to the principle of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra offenselessly, then, by the grace of Srila Haridasa Thakura, we may be saved from the allurement of women. However, if we are not very strict in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, we may at any time fall victim to women.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.6.3

By chanting, one gives up sinful activities:

If one is sincere, he is initiated, and this stage is called bhajana-kriya. One then actually engages in the service of the Lord by regularly chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, sixteen rounds daily, and refraining from illicit sex, intoxicants, meat-eating and gambling. By bhajana-kriya one attains freedom from the contamination of materialistic life. He no longer goes to a restaurant or hotel to taste so-called palatable dishes made with meat and onions, nor does he care to smoke or drink tea or coffee. He not only refrains from illicit sex, but avoids sex life entirely. Nor is he interested in wasting his time in speculating or gambling. In this way it is to be understood that one is becoming cleansed of unwanted things (anartha-nivrtti). The word anartha refers to unwanted things. Anarthas are vanquished when one becomes attached to the Krsna consciousness movement.

The Nectar of Instruction Text 7

By chanting Hare Krsna constantly, Srila Prabhupada’s disciples are able to give up all sinful sense gratification:

If we chant the holy names of God, we cannot lose anything; on the contrary, we gain greatly. My disciples practice chanting Hare Krsna constantly. They could also go to the cinema, or do so many other things, but they have given everything up. They eat neither fish nor meat nor eggs, they don’t take intoxicants, they don’t drink, they don’t smoke, they don’t partake in gambling, they don’t speculate, and they don’t maintain illicit sexual connections. But they do chant the holy name of God.

The Science of Self-Realization

Even if one cannot give up sinful life immediately, by chanting the maha-mantra with faith and devotion he will be freed from sinful activities:

Anyone, anywhere, can easily take to this Hare Krsna movement; one need only chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, observe the rules and regulations, and stay free from the contamination of sinful life. Even if one is sinful and cannot give up sinful life immediately, if he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra with devotion and faith he will certainly be freed from all sinful activities, and his life will be successful.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.10.51

Chanting of the holy name frees one from all undesirable habits:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna, one can be freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awakening all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for Krsna.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.11

NAM 2b8: The Holy Name Cleanses the Heart and Frees One from Material Contamination

8. The Holy Name Cleanses the Heart and Frees One from Material Contamination

The holy name cleanses the mirror of the heart:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing flre of material existence….”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.12

One is purified by hearing the holy name of the Lord:

[Durvasa Muni to King Ambarisa]: What is impossible for the servants of the Lord? By the very hearing of His holy name one is purified.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.5.16

For internal cleanliness, one should chant the holy name:

One should always be careful to keep his body clean by bathing, brushing teeth, changing clothes, etc. As far as internal cleanliness is concerned, one should always remember the holy names of God and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 16.7

Cleanliness is essential for making advancement in spiritual life. There are two kinds of cleanliness: external and internal. External cleanliness means taking a bath, but for internal cleanliness, one has to think of Krsna always and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This process cleans the accumulated dust of past karma from the mind.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 13.8-12

One can directly perceive the results of chanting — transcendental pleasure and purification:

It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Krsna (Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) in course of time feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.2

Whether pure or impure, one should begin the chanting process which elevates one to purity:

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu further advised Subuddhi Raya: “Begin chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, and when your chanting is almost pure, all your sinful reactions will go away. After you chant perfectly, you will get shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna.”

The chanter has to purify himself so that the holy names will be perfectly effective. Chanting the holy name of the Lord inoffensively will help one get immediate shelter at Krsna’s lotus feet. This means that by chanting purely, one will immediately be situated on the transcendental platform. We should note, however, that according to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions, one should not wait to purify himself before chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. Whatever our condition may be, we should begin chanting immediately. By the power of the Hare Krsna mantra, we will gradually be relieved from all material contamination and will get shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna, the ultimate goal of life.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.199

Whether one has pious credit or not, by chanting Hare Krsna, he will immediately be purified:

Krsna is present in the form of His transcendental name, and we can contact Him immediately by hearing His name. Simply by hearing the name Krsna we immediately become freed from material contamination.

As stated in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita (7.28),

yesam tv anta-gatam papam
jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta
bhajante mam drdha-vratah

“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated, and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination.”

It is herein stressed that one must be completely fixed in Krsna consciousness, devoid of duality, and must execute only pious activities. Because the mind is flickering, dualities will always come. One is always wondering, “Shall I become Krsna conscious, or should I engage in another consciousness,” These problems are always there, but if one is advanced by virtue of pious activities executed in a previous life, his consciousness will be steadily fixed, and he will resolve, “I will be Krsna conscious.”

Whether we acted piously in this life or a previous life really doesn’t matter. This chanting of Hare Krsna is so potent that through it we will immediately be purified.

The Path of Perfection

The holy name removes the darkness covering the heart:

It is due to a lack of knowledge that people say that God is dead, that there is no God, and that we have no relationship with God. These thoughts have been compared to the thoughts of a man haunted by a ghost. Just as a haunted man speaks all nonsense, when we become covered by the illusory energy of God we say that God is dead. But this is not a fact. Therefore, we need this chanting process to cleanse our heart. Take to this simple process of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. In that way, in your family life, in your club, in your home, on the road — everywhere — chant Hare Krsna, and this darkness covering your heart, covering your real position, will be removed. Then you’ll understand your real constitutional position.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended: ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Marjana means “cleanse,” and darpana means “mirror.” The heart is a mirror. It is like a camera. Just as a camera takes all kinds of pictures of days and nights, so also our heart takes pictures and keeps them in an unconscious state. Psychologists know this. The heart takes so many pictures, and therefore it becomes covered. We do not know when it has begun, but it is a fact that because there is a material contact, our real identity is covered. Therefore ceto-darpana-marjanam: one has to cleanse his heart…. Simply chant Hare Krsna. It is the easiest and most sublime process. This is recommended, practical, and authorized. So take it. Accept it in any condition of life. Chant. There is no expenditure, there is no loss. We are not chanting a secret. No. It is open. And by chanting you will cleanse your heart.

The Science of Self-Realization

By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra offenselesely in the association of devotees one becomes pure in heart and loses interest in everything external:

[Lord Siva to Lord Visnu]: The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc.

As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anakramisyati

Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendental name, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:

‘sadhu-sanga’: ‘sadhu-sanga’-sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.54)

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and by acting for Krsna. Specifically, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Krsna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one’s heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah (S.B. 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.

One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy, which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure heart of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a purehearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti-yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the maha-mantra and the sixty-four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity. When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevi becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external…. The conclusion is that when one’s heart is purified by the association of devotees and by the avoidance of the offenses committed when chanting and worshiping the Lord, the transcendental name, form and activities of the Lord are revealed by the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.59

Lord Caitanya introduced the congregational chanting of Hare Krsna so that the minds of the people in general may be cleansed:

Material existence is caused by dirty things within the mind. If one can cleanse his mind, he immediately comes to his original position of Krsna consciousness, and thus his life becomes successful. Therefore all the great saints in the devotional line very strongly recommend the process of hearing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra to give everyone a chance to hear Krsna’s holy name, for simply by hearing Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, one becomes purified (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]).

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.11

In order to cleanse the heart of all contaminations (such as karma, jnana and yoga) and enthrone the Supreme Personality of Godhead there, one must chant the holy name:

Outside the gateway of the temple, all the roads were also cleansed, and no one could tell exactly how this was done.

In commenting on the cleansing of the Gundica temple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was personally giving instructions on how one should receive Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within one’s cleansed and pacified heart. If one wants to see Krsna seated in his heart, he must first cleanse the heart, as prescribed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Siksastaka (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). In this age, everyone’s heart is unclean, as confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani ) To wash all dirty things accumulated within the heart, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised everyone to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. The first result will be that the heart is cleansed (ceto-darpana-marjanam). Similarly, Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17) also confirms this statement:

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam

“Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”

If the devotee at all wants to cleanse his heart, he must chant and hear the glories of the Lord, Sri Krsna (srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah [SB 1.2.17]). This is a simple process. Krsna Himself will help cleanse the heart because He is already seated there. Krsna wants to continue living within the heart, and the Lord wants to give directions, but one has to keep his heart as clean as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu kept the Gundica temple. The devotee therefore has to cleanse his heart just as the Lord cleansed the Gundica temple. In this way one can be pacified and enriched in devotional service. If the heart is filled with straw, grains of sand, weeds or dust (in other words, anyabhilasa-purna), one cannot enthrone the Supreme Personality of Godhead there. The heart must be cleansed of all material motives brought about through fruitive work, speculative knowledge, the mystic yoga system and so many other forms of so-called meditation. The heart must be cleansed without ulterior motive. As Srila Rupa Gosvami says: anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krsna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.111.1.11]. In other words, there should not be any external motive. One should not attempt material upliftment, understanding the Supreme by speculative knowledge, fruitive activity, severe austerity and penance, and so on. All these activities are against the natural growth of spontaneous love of Godhead. As soon as these are present within the heart, the heart should be understood to be unclean and therefore unfit to serve as Krsna’s sitting place. We cannot perceive the Lord’s presence in our hearts unless our hearts are cleansed.

A material desire is explained as a desire to enjoy the material world to its fullest extent. In modern language, this is called economic development. An inordinate desire for economic development is considered to be like straws and grains of sand within the heart. If one is overly engaged in material activity, the heart will always remain disturbed. As stated by Narottama dasa Thakura:

samsara visanale, diva-nisi hiya jvale,
judaite na kainu upaya

In other words, endeavor for material opulence is against the principle of devotional service. Material enjoyment includes activities such as great sacrifices for auspicious activity, charity, austerity, elevation to the higher planetary system, and even living happily within the material world.

Modernized material benefits are like the dust of material contamination. When this dust is agitated by the whirlwind of fruitive activity, it overcomes the heart. Thus the mirror of the heart is covered with dust. There are many desires to perform auspicious and inauspicious activities, but people do not know how life after life they are keeping their hearts unclean. One who cannot give up the desire for fruitive activity is understood to be covered by the dust of material contamination. Karmis generally think that the interaction of fruitive activities can be counteracted by another karma, or fruitive activity. This is certainly a mistaken conception. If one is deluded by such a conception, he is cheated by his own activity. Such activities have been compared to an elephant’s bathing. An elephant may bathe very thoroughly, but as soon as it comes out of the river, it immediately takes some sand from the land and throws it all over its body. If one suffers due to his past fruitive activities, he cannot counteract his suffering by performing auspicious activities. The sufferings of human society cannot be counteracted by material plans. The only way suffering can be mitigated is by Krsna consciousness. When one takes to Krsna consciousness and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord — beginning with chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord — the cleansing of the heart begins.

Impersonal speculation, monism (merging into the existence of the Supreme), speculative knowledge, mystical yoga and meditation are all compared to grains of sand. They simply cause irritation to the heart. No one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead by such activities, nor do we give the Lord a chance to sit in our hearts peacefully. Rather, the Lord is simply disturbed by them. Sometimes yogis and jnanis in the beginning take to the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra as a way to begin their various practices. However, when they falsely think that they have attained release from the bondage of material existence, they give up chanting. They do not consider that the ultimate goal is the form of the Lord or the name of the Lord. Such unfortunate creatures are never favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for they do not know what devotional service is. They are described in Bhagavad-gita in this way:

tan aham dvisatah kruran
samsaresu naradhaman
ksipamy ajasram asubhan
asurisv eva yonisu

“Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.” (Bg. 16.19)

The demons are always envious of the Lord and are therefore most mischievous. By His practical example, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has shown us that all the grains of sand must be picked up thoroughly and thrown outside. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also cleansed the outside of the temple, fearing that the grains of sand would again come within.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kuti-nati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire.for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the sastra), kama (desire for material gain) and puja (hankering for popularity). The word kuti-nati means duplicity. As an example, one may attempt to imitate Srila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place. One’s real desire may be for name and fame — in other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a solitary place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well — women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation).

The word jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities) actually means stopping the preaching of Krsna consciousness. Preaching work is described as paropakara, welfare activity for others. Those who are ignorant of the benefits of devotional service must be educated by preaching. If one stops preaching and simply sits down in a solitary place, he is engaging in material activity. If one desires to make a compromise with the Mayavadis, he is also engaged in material activity. A devotee should never make compromises with nondevotees. By acting as a professional guru, mystic yogi or miracle man, one may cheat and bluff the general public and gain fame as a wonderful mystic, but all this is considered to be dust, straw and grains of sand within the heart. In addition, one should follow the regulative principles and not desire illicit sex, gambling, intoxicants and meat.

To give us practical instructions, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cleansed the temple twice. His second cleansing was more thorough. The idea was to throw away all the stumbling blocks on the path of devotional service. He cleansed the temple with firm conviction, as is evident from His using His own personal garments for cleaning. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to see personally that the temple was thoroughly cleansed as clean as marble. Clean marble gives a cooling effect. Devotional service means attaining peace from all disturbances caused by material contamination. In other words, it is the process by which the mind is cooled. The mind can be peaceful and thoroughly cleansed when one no longer desires anything but devotional service.

Even though all dirty things may be cleansed away, sometimes subtle desires remain in the mind for impersonalism, monism, success and the four principles of religious activity (dharma, artha, kama and moksa). All these are like spots on clean cloth. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also wanted to cleanse all these away.

By His practical activity, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu informed us how to cleanse our hearts. Once the heart is cleansed, we should invite Lord Sri Krsna to sit down, and we should observe the festival by distributing prasada and chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to teach every devotee by His personal behavior. Everyone who spreads the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepts a similar responsibility. The Lord was personally chastising and praising individuals in the course of the cleaning, and those who are engaged as acaryas must learn from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu how to train devotees by personal example. The Lord was very pleased with those who could cleanse the temple by taking out undesirable things accumulated within. This is called anartha-nivrtti, cleansing the heart of all unwanted things. Thus the cleansing of the Gundica-mandira was conducted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to let us know how the heart should be cleansed and soothed to receive Lord Sri Krsna and enable Him to sit within the heart without disturbance.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 12.135

The easiest way to cleanse the mind of material contamination in this age is to chant the Hare Krsna mantra:

When the mind is completely washed of all material contamination, the pure consciousness acts. The sound vibration from the spiritual sky can automatically cleanse all material contaminations, as confirmed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. We need only take the advice of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and chant the Hare Krsna mantra to cleanse the mind of all material contamination … As soon as the whole material contamination is washed away by this process of chanting, all desires and reactions to material activities become immediately vanquished, and real life, peaceful existence, begins. In this age of Kali it is very difficult to adopt the yogic process mentioned in this verse. Unless one is very expert in such yoga, the best course is to adopt the ways and means of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, sri-krsna-sankirtanam. Thus one can gloriously become freed from all material contamination by the simple process of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Just as life in this material world has its beginning in material sound, similarly spiritual life has its beginning in this spiritual sound vibration.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.23.17

Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra cleanses one of all material contamination:

Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. This is the process of devotional service. Anyone can be purified by following the principles of devotional service in Krsna consciousness, for Krsna consciousness is so powerful that it can purify even the dirtiest class of men and transform them into the topmost Vaisnavas. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement aims at this purpose. Narottama dasa Thakura says:

vrajendra-nandana jei, saci-suta hoilo sei,
balarama hoilo nitai
dina-hina yata chilo, hari-name uddharilo,
ta’ra saksi jagai-madhai

The appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this Kali-yuga is especially meant to deliver the fallen souls, who are always planning something for material enjoyment. He gave the people of this age the advantage of being able to chant the Hare Krsna mantra and thus become fully pure, free from all material contamination. Once one becomes a pure Vaisnava, he transcends all material conceptions of life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.18.43

No one can be more pure than devotees. Anyone who once utters the name of Visnu immediately becomes purified, inside and outside (yah smaret pundarikaksam). Since a devotee constantly chants the Hare Krsna mantra, no contamination of the material world can touch him. He is, therefore, actually purified. Muci haya suci haya yadi krsna bhaje. It is said that even a cobbler or person born in the family of a cobbler can be elevated to the position of a brahmana (suci) if he takes to Krsna consciousness. Any person who is purely Krsna conscious and who engages in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra is the purest in the whole universe.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.12.37

After [the prostitute offered] her obeisances to the tulasi plant and Haridasa Thakura, she sat down at the door. Hearing Haridasa Thakura chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, she also chanted, “O my Lord Hari, O my Lord Hari.”

Herein one can clearly see how a Vaisnava delivers a fallen soul by a transcendental trick. The prostitute came to pollute Haridasa Thakura, but he took it as his duty to deliver the prostitute. As clearly demonstrated here, the process of deliverance is very simple. With faith and reverence the prostitute associated with Haridasa Thakura, who personally treated her material disease by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Although the prostitute had an ulterior motive, somehow or other she got the association of a Vaisnava and satisfied him by occasionally chanting in imitation, “O my Lord Hari, O my Lord Hari.” The conclusion is that associating with a Vaisnava, chanting the holy name of the Lord and offering obeisances to the tulasi plant or a Vaisnava all lead one to become a transcendental devotee who is completely cleansed of all matenal contamination.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.122

By chanting the maha-mantra, one is purified of material contamination and becomes eligible to engage in devotional service:

Because the people of this age are so fallen, they can simply chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. In this way they can rid themselves of the bodily conception of life and become eligible to engage in the Lord’s devotional service. One cannot engage in the devotional service of the Lord without being purified of all contamination. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:

yesam tv anta-gatam papam
jananam punya-karmanam
te dvandva-moha-nirmukta
bhajante mam drdha-vratah

“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion engage themselves in My service with determination.” (Bg. 7.28)

Sometimes people are surprised to see young men and women take so seriously to the Krsna consciousness movement. By giving up sinful activity — illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling — and strictly following the injunctions given by the spiritual master, they have become purified of all contamination. They can therefore fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 6.242

NAM 2b9: The Holy Name Brings Faith in Krsna Consciousness

9. The Holy Name Brings Faith in Krsna Consciousness

Faith in Krsna consciousness is attained by chanting the holy name:

[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time. A faithful man who is absorbed in transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.

Such knowledge in Krsna consciousness can be achieved by a faithful person who believes firmly in Krsna. One is called a faithful man who thinks that, simply by acting in Krsna consciousness, he can attain the highest perfection. This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service, and by chanting “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” which cleanses one’s heart of all material dirt. Over and above this, one should control the senses. A person who is faithful to Krsna and who controls the senses can easily attain perfection in the knowledge of Krsna consciousness without delay.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.38-39

NAM 2b10: The Holy Name Liberates One from the Miseries of Material Existence

10. The Holy Name Liberates One from the Miseries of Material Existence

To escape the ocean of material miseries and illusion, we must chant the maha-mantra:

We are all pure spirit, part and parcel of the Supreme. God is pavitram, pure, and we are also pure. Somehow or other, however, we have fallen into this material ocean, and as the waves toss, we suffer. Actually we have nothing to do with the tossing waves of material miseries. We must simply pray, “Krsna, please pick me up.” As soon as we forget Krsna, the ocean of illusion is there, and it at once captures us. The chanting of Hare Krsna is most important in order to escape from this ocean.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

Chanting the holy name is the universal remedy for all the miseries of materialistic life:

Chanting the holy name and glorifying the Supreme Lord are the universal remedy for all the miseries of materialistic life. Persons who desire to be freed from this material world are called mumuksu. Such persons can understand the miseries of materialistic life, and by glorifying the activities of the Lord they can be released from all these miseries. The transcendental sound vibrations concerning the Lord’s name, fame, form, qualities and paraphernalia are all nondifferent from the Lord. Therefore the very sound vibration of the Lord’s glorification and name are pleasing to the ears, and by understanding the absolute nature of the Lord’s name, form and qualities the devotee becomes joyful.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.1 “Additional notes”

The holy name eradicates the miseries of material existence:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence….”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.12

The only remedy for burning in the fire of material existence is chanting the maha-mantra:

Material affairs have been compared to an ocean of poison. They have been described in a similar way by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura in one of his songs:

samsara-visanale, diva-nisi hiya jvale,
judaite na kainu upaya

“My heart is always burning in the fire of material existence, and I have made no provisions for getting out of it.”

golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana,
rati na janmila kene taya

“The only remedy is hari-nama-sankirtana, the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, which is imported from the spiritual world, Goloka Vrndavana. How unfortunate I am that I have no attraction for this.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.1.2

Chanting extinguishes the blazing fire of material miseries:

Due to our manipulation of material activities, a great deal of dust has collected over our mind’s clear mirror, and as a consequence we are unable to see things in perspective. This vibration of transcendental sound (the Hare Krsna mantra) will cleanse away this dust and enable us to see clearly our real constitutional position. As soon as we come to understand “I am not this body; I am spirit soul, and my symptom is consciousness,” we will be able to establish ourselves in real happiness. As our consciousness is purified by this process of chanting Hare Krsna, all our material miseries will disappear. There is a fire that is always blazing over this material world, and everyone is trying to extinguish it, but there is no possibility of extinguishing this fire of the miseries of material nature unless we are situated in our pure consciousness, in our spiritual life.

On the Way to Krsna

How the chanting of the maha-mantra extinguishes the blazing fire of material existence:

Maharaja Yudhisthira was asked by Yamaraja, “What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you explain?” So Maharaja Yudhisthira answered, “Yes. The most wonderful thing is that at every moment one can see that his friends, his fathers, and his relatives have died, but he is thinking, ‘I shall live forever.'” He never thinks that he will die, just as an animal never thinks that at the next moment he may be slaughtered. He is satisfied with the grass, that’s all. He is satisfied with the sense gratification. He does not know that he is also going to die.

My father has died, my mother has died, he has died, she has died. So I will also have to die. Then what is after death? I do not know. This is the problem. People do not take this problem seriously, but the Bhagavad-gita indicates that that is real education. Real education is to inquire why, although we do not want to die, death comes. That is real inquiry. We do not want to become old men. Why does old age come upon us? We have many problems, but this is the sum and substance of all of them.

In order to solve this problem, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu prescribes the chanting of Hare Krsna. As soon as our heart is cleansed by chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, the blazing fire of our problematic material existence is extinguished. How is it extinguished? When we cleanse our heart we will realize that we do not belong to this material world. Because people are identifying with this material world, they are thinking, “I am an Indian, I am an Englishman, I am this, I am that.” But if one chants the Hare Krsna mantra, he will realize that he is not this material body. “I do not belong to this material body or this material world. I am a spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme. I am eternally related with Him, and I have nothing to do with the material world.” This is called liberation, knowledge. If I don’t have anything to do with this material world, then I am liberated. And that knowledge is called brahma-bhuta [SB 4.30.20].

The Science of Self-Realization

Chanting the holy name is the ultimate solution to the perplexities of material existence:

In his state of perplexity, Subuddhi Raya met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when the Lord was at Varanasi. Subuddhi Raya explained his position and asked Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu what he should do. The Lord advised him, “Go to Vrndavana and chant the Hare Krsna mantra constantly.”

This is a solution to all sinful activities. In this age of Kali everyone is perplexed by so many inconveniences — social, political and religious — and naturally no one is happy. Due to the contamination of this age, everyone has a very short life. There are many fools and rascals who advise people to adopt this way of life or that way of life, but real liberation from life’s perplexities means preparation for the next life. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. One should be situated in his spiritual identity and return home, back to Godhead. The simplest method for this is recommended herein by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We should constantly chant the holy names of the Lord, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Following in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this Krsna consciousness movement is recommending this process all over the world. We are saying, “Chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, be freed from all the complexities of life and realize Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Engage in His devotional service and perfect your life so that you can return home, back to Godhead.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.197-98

To become free of the pangs of material existence, one must chant the maha-mantra:

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, samsara-visanale, diva-nisi hiya jvale, judaite na kainu upaya: “We are always suffering from material pangs, and our hearts are burning, but we cannot find any way out of it.” The materialistic person can also be called a tapasvi, which means someone who is always suffering from material pains. One can get rid of all these material pains only when he takes shelter of the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra…. all persons in this material world are suffering from material pains, and if one wants to get rid of them, he must associate with saintly persons, pure devotees of the Lord, and chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That is the only auspicious way for materialistic persons.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.15

The Hare Krsna maha-mantra is the medicine to cure the disease of material life:

As Murari Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy both their bodily and spiritual diseases subsided.

Murari Gupta could treat both bodily and spiritual disease because he was a physician by profession and a great devotee of the Lord in terms of spiritual advancement. This is an example of service to humanity. Everyone should know that there are two kinds of diseases in human society. One disease, which is called adhyatmika, or material disease, pertains to the body, but the main disease is spiritual. The living entity is eternal, but somehow or other, when in contact with the material energy, he is subjected to the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. The physicians of the modern day should learn from Murari Gupta. Although modern philanthropic physicians open gigantic hospitals, there are no hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The Krsna consciousness movement has taken up the mission of curing this disease, but people are not very appreciative because they do not know what this disease is. A diseased person needs both proper medicine and a proper diet, and therefore the Krsna consciousness movement supplies materially stricken people with the medicine of the chanting of the holy name, or the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and the diet of prasada. There are many hospitals and medical clinics to cure bodily diseases, but there are no such hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The centers of the Krsna consciousness movement are the only established hospitals that can cure man of birth, death, old age and disease.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 10.51

Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra frees one from the disease of material life:

The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Krsna are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidya [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root.

When a man in the material world takes more interest in the materialistic way of life than in Krsna consciousness, he is considered to be in a diseased condition. The normal condition is to remain an eternal servant of the Lord (jivera ‘svarupa’ haya-krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’ [Cc. Madhya 20.108]). This healthy condition is lost when the living entity forgets Krsna due to being attracted by the external features of Krsna’s maya energy…. Although Krsna consciousness may not be very palatable for a diseased person, Srila Rupa Gosvami nonetheless advises that if one wants to be cured of the material disease, he must take to it with great care and attention. One begins his treatment by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra because by chanting this holy name of the Lord a person in the material condition will be relieved from all misconceptions (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). Avidya, a misconception about one’s spiritual identity, provides the foundation for ahankara, or false ego within the heart.

The real disease is in the heart. If the mind is cleansed, however, if consciousness is cleansed, a person cannot be harmed by the material disease. To cleanse the mind and heart from all misconceptions, one should take to this chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. This is both easy and beneficial. By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is immediately freed from the blazing fire of material existence….The conclusion is that in order to get freed from the material disease, one must take to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra.

The Nectar of Instruction Text 7

By constantly chanting the holy name of the Lord, one transcends the distresses of the world of duality and thus becomes happy:

The distinctions between happiness and distress in the material world of duality are simply mental concoctions, for the so-called happiness and distress are actually one and the same. They are like the happiness and distress in dreams. A sleeping man creates his happiness and distress by dreaming, although actually they have no existence…. In this connection there is a statement by Prabodhananda Sarasvati: visvam purna-sukhayate. Everyone in this material world is distressed by miserable conditions, but Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati says that this world is full of happiness. How is this possible? He answers, yat-karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah. A devotee accepts the distress of this material world as happiness only due to the causeless mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By His personal behavior, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed that He was never distressed but always happy in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. One should follow in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and engage constantly in chanting the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then he will never feel the distresses of the world of duality. In any condition of life one will be happy if he chants the holy name of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.17.30

By constantly chanting Hare Krsna, one can be forever freed from the cycle of birth and death:

[The child in the womb to Lord Visnu]: Therefore, without being agitated any more, I shall deliver myself from the darkness of nescience with the help of my friend, clear consciousness. Simply by keeping the lotus feet of Lord Visnu in my mind, I shall be saved from entering into the wombs of many mothers for repeated birth and death.

The miseries of material existence begin from the very day when the spirit soul takes shelter in the ovum and sperm of the mother and father, they continue after he is born from the womb, and then they are further prolonged. We do not know where the suffering ends. It does not end, however, by one’s changing his body. The change of body is taking place at every moment, but that does not mean that we are improving from the fetal condition of life to a more comfortable condition. The best thing is, therefore, to develop Krsna consciousness. Here it is stated, upasadita-visnu-padah. This means realization of Krsna consciousness. One who is intelligent by the grace of the Lord, and develops Krsna consciousness, is successful in his life because simply by keeping himself in Krsna consciousness, he will be saved from the repetition of binh and death…. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that one’s intelligence is his friend, and the same intelligence can also be his enemy. Here also the same idea is repeated: suhrdatmanaiva, friendly intelligence. Absorption of intelligence in the personal service of Krsna and full consciousness of Krsna always are the path of self-realization and liberation. Without being unnecessarily agitated, if we take to the process of Krsna consciousness by constantly chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, the cycle of birth and death can be stopped for good.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.31.21

Chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra frees one from the miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease:

[Lord Caitanya]: “Distribute this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. Let people eat these fruits and ultimately become free from old age and death.”

The Krsna consciousness movement introduced by Lord Caitanya is extremely important because one who takes to it becomes eternal, being freed from birth, death and old age. People do not recognize that the real distresses in life are the four principles of birth, death, old age and disease. They are so foolish that they resign themselves to these four miseries, not knowing the transcendental remedy of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from all miseries, but because they are enchanted by the illusory energy, people do not take this movement seriously. Therefore those who are actually servants of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu must seriously distribute this movement all over the world to render the greatest benefit to human society.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 9.39

The Hare Krsna mantra is especially suited to deliver us from material existence in the Kali-yuga:

Only the dvijas (the brahmanas) and the devas (the demigods) can be delivered from material existence by the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a mantra and is suitable for delivering the conditioned souls from mental speculation. The conditioned souls are engaged in a struggle for existence (manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati [Bg. 15.7]). Deliverance from this struggle constitutes the highest benefit, but unless one gets a mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, deliverance is impossible. The beginning mantra is the Gayatri mantra. Therefore, after purification, when one is qualified to become a brahmana (dvija), he is offered the Gayatri mantra. Simply by chanting the Gayatri mantra, one can be delivered. This mantra, however, is suitable only for the brahmanas and demigods. In Kali-yuga, we are all in a very difficult position, in which we need a suitable mantra that can deliver us from the dangers of this age. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His incarnation as Lord Caitanya, gives us the Hare Krsna mantra…. In His Siksastaka, Lord Caitanya says, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: “All glories to the chanting of sri-krsna-sankirtana!” The maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — is directly chanted by the Lord Himself, who gives us this mantra for deliverance.

We cannot invent any means to be delivered from the dangers of material existence…. Sparks are beautiful as long as they are in the fire. Similarly, we have to remain in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always engage in devotional service, for then we shall always be brilliant and illuminating. As soon as we fall from the service of the Lord, our brilliance and illumination will immediately be extinguished, or at least stopped for some time. When we living entities, who are like sparks of the original fire, the Supreme Lord, fall into a material condition, we must take the mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as it is offered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, we shall be delivered from all the difficulties of this material world.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.6.15

The fallen souls of Kali-yuga will be delivered by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra:

Just before the beginning of Kali-yuga — or, in other words, at the end of Dvapara-yuga — Lord Sri Krsna appeared and left His instructions in the form of Bhagavad-gita, in which He asked all living entities to surrender unto Him. Since the beginning of Kali-yuga, however, people have practically been unable to surrender to the lotus feet of Krsna, and therefore, after some five thousand years, Krsna came again as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu just to teach the entire world how to surrender unto Him, unto Sri Krsna, and thus be purified….

Kali-yuga is full of contamination. This is described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.51):

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

This age of Kali is full of unlimited faults. Indeed, it is just like an ocean of faults (dosa-nidhi). But there is one chance, one opportunity. Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet: simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one can be freed from the contamination of Kali-yuga and, in his original spiritual body, can return home, back to Godhead. This is the opportunity of Kali-yuga.

When Krsna appeared, He gave His orders, and when Krsna Himself appeared as a devotee, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He showed us the path by which to cross the ocean of Kali-yuga. That is the path of the Hare Krsna movement. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the sankirtana movement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue. This means that simply by accepting the sankirtana movement and chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, the fallen souls of this Kali-yuga will be delivered. After the Battle of Kuruksetra, at which Bhagavad-gita was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Krsna consciousness movement, chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead.

Chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is potent always, but it is especially potent in this age of Kali. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami, while instructing Maharaja Pariksit, stressed this chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra.

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (S.B. 12.3.51)

Those who have accepted the task of spreading the Hare Krsna maha-mantra in full Krsna consciousness should take this opportunity to deliver people very easily from the clutches of material existence. Our duty, therefore, is to follow the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and preach the Krsna consciousness movement all over the world very sincerely. This is the best welfare activity for the peace and prosperity of human society.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.23

The transcendental sound of Hare Krsna can end material entanglement:

It is stated in the Vedanta-sutra that sound is the origin of all objects of material possession and that by sound one can also dissolve this material existence. Anavrttih sabdat means “liberation by sound.” The entire material manifestation began from sound, and sound can also end material entanglement, if it has a particular potency. The particular sound capable of doing this is the transcendental vibration Hare Krsna. Our entanglement in material affairs has begun from material sound. Now we must purify that sound in spiritual understanding. There is sound in the spiritual world also. If we approach that sound, then our spiritual life begins, and the other requirements for spiritual advancement can be supplied. We have to understand very clearly that sound is the beginning of the creation of all material objects for our sense gratification. Similarly, if sound is purified, our spiritual necessities also are produced from sound.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.32

The holy name brings liberation:

“‘The holy name of Krsna is the controller of the opulence of liberation….'”

Padyavali (29), by Rupa Gosvami
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.110]

For one who chants the holy name, the paths to liberation and heavenly happiness are at once open:

In the Padma Purana there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.”

The Nectar of Devotion

Even if uttered once, the holy name awards liberation:

Srila Sanatana Gosvami has praised the chanting of the holy name as follows in his Brhad-bhagavatamrta (Chapter One, verse 9):

jayati jayati namananda-rupam murarer
viramita-nija-dharma-dhyana-pujadi-yatnam
katham api sakrd-attam muktidam praninam yat
paramam amrtam ekam jivanam bhusanam me

“All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Sri Krsna, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the holy name awards him liberation. The holy name of Krsna is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 4.71

By chanting the holy name, one attains the perfection of nirvana, liberation from material existence:

The bhakti-yoga system is the topmost yoga system, and in this system the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the foremost performance of devotional service. By chanting the holy name one can attain the perfection of nirvana, or liberation from material existence, and so increase one’s blissful life of spiritual existence as described by Lord Caitanya (anandambudhi-vardhanam). When one is situated in that position, he no longer has any interest in material opulence or even a royal throne and sovereignty over the whole planet. This situation is called viraktir anyatra ca. It is the result of devotional service.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.13.8-9

The devotee attains liberation by chanting the holy name:

Bhakti is in a far higher position than mukti because a person’s endeavor to get liberation from the material encagement is automatically served in devotional service…. A devotee does not have to try separately to attain liberation. That very service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the process of his liberation because to engage oneself in the service of the Lord is to liberate oneself from material entanglement….

For a devotee, liberation is no problem at all. Liberation takes place without separate endeavor. Bhakti, therefore, is far better than mukti or the impersonalist position. The impersonalists undergo severe penances and austerities to attain mukti, but the bhakta, simply by engaging himself in the bhakti process, especially in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, immediately develops control over the tongue by engaging it in chanting, and accepting the remnants of foodstuff offered to the Personality of Godhead. As soon as the tongue is controlled, naturally all other senses are controlled automatically. Sense control is the perfection of the yoga principle, and one’s liberation begins immediately as soon as he engages himself in the service of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.33

The only way of liberation from material existence is chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord:

In the process of evolution from the lower to the higher grade of living, the human form of life is a great boon. But maya is so strong that in spite of achieving this great boon of the human form of life, we are influenced by temporary material happiness, and we forget our goal of life. We are attracted by things which will cease to exist. The beginning of such attraction is the temporary body. In this horrible condition of life there is only one way of liberation — to engage in the activities of transcendental chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Supreme Lord: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare…. The illusion is that the conditioned soul does not try to understand his spiritual identity. He is more interested in his external body, which is only a flash and which will be finished as soon as the time is designated. The whole atmosphere will change when the living entity has to transmigrate from one body to another. Under the spell of maya, he will again be satisfied in a different atmosphere. This spell of maya is called avaranatmika sakti because it is so strong that the living entity is satisfied in any abominable condition. Even if he is born as a worm living within the intestine or abdomen in the midst of urine and stool. still he is satisfied. This is the covering influence of maya. But the human form of life is a chance to understand, and if one misses this opportunity, he is most unfortunate. The way to get out of illusory maya is to engage in the topics of Krsna…. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is operating for this purpose. We do not ask anyone to first change his position and then come to us. Instead we invite everyone to come with us and simply chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama Rama Rama, Hare Hare, because we know that if one simply chants and hears the topics of Krsna, one’s life will change; he will see a new light, and his life will be successful.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.7.44

Chanting of the holy name is sufficient in itself for achieving liberation:

[Yamaraja to the Yamadutas]: My dear servants, who are as good as my sons, just see how glorious is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The greatly sinful Ajamila chanted only to call his son, not knowing that he was chanting the Lord’s holy name. Nevertheless, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, he remembered Narayana, and thus he was immediately saved from the ropes of death. Therefore it should be understood that one is easily relieved from all sinful reactions by chanting the holy name of the Lord and chanting of His qualities and activities. This is the only process recommended for relief from sinful reactions. Even if one chants the holy name of the Lord with improper pronunciation, he will achieve relief from material bondage if he chants without offenses. Ajamila, for example, was extremely sinful, but while dying he merely chanted the holy name, and although calling his son, he achieved complete liberation because he remembered the name of Narayana.

In the assembly of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s father, Haridasa Thakura confirmed that simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord one is liberated, even if he does not chant completely inoffensively. Smarta-brahmanas and Mayavadis do not believe that one can achieve liberation in this way, but the truth of Haridasa Thakura’s statement is supported by many quotations from Srimad-Bhagavatam.

In his commentary on this verse, for example, Sridhara Svami gives the following quotation:

sayam pratar grnan bhaktya
duhkha-gramad vimucyate

“If one always chants the holy name of the Lord with great devotion in the evening and in the morning, one can become free from all material miseries.” Another quotation confirms that one can achieve liberation if one hears the holy name of the Lord constantly, every day with great respect (anudinam idam adarena srnvan)…. Furthermore, he quotes from Bhagavatam (6.3.31):

tasmat sankirtanam visnor
jagan-mangalam amhasam
mahatam api kauravya
viddhy aikantika-niskrtam

All these quotations prove that one who constantly engages in chanting and hearing of the holy activities, name, fame and form of the Lord is liberated. As stated wonderfully in this verse, etavatalam agha-nirharanaya pumsam: [SB 6.3.24] simply by uttering the name of the Lord, one is freed from all sinful reactions.

The word alam, which is used in this verse, indicates that simply uttering the holy name of the Lord is sufficient. This word is used with different imports. As stated in the Amara-kosa, the most authorized dictionary in the Sanskrit language, alam bhusana-paryapti-sakti-varana-vacakam: the word alam is used to mean “ornament,” “sufficiency,” “power” and “restraint.” Here the word alam is used to indicate that there is no need of any other process, for the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is sufficient. Even if one chants imperfectly, one becomes free from all sinful reactions by chanting.

This power of chanting the holy name was proved by the liberation of Ajamila. When Ajamila chanted the holy name of Narayana, he did not precisely remember the Supreme Lord; instead, he remembered his own son. At the time of death, Ajamila certainly was not very clean; indeed, he was famous as a great sinner. Furthermore, one’s physiological condition is completely disturbed at the time of death, and in such an awkward condition it would certainly have been very difficult for Ajamila to have chanted clearly. Nevertheless, Ajamila achieved liberation simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Therefore, what is to be said of those who are not sinful as Ajamila? It is to be concluded that with a strong vow one should chant the holy name of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — for thus one will certainly be delivered from the clutches of maya by the grace of Krsna.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.23-24

Even a faint light from the holy name brings liberation:

[Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya]: “Even a faint light from the holy name of the Lord can eradicate all the reactions of sinful life…. Because of even the faintest rays of the effulgence of the Lord’s holy name, one can attain liberation. We can see this in all the revealed scriptures.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.63, 65

To establish ourselves on the spiritual platform, beyond the modes of nature, we must chant the maha-mantra:

Sri Krsna encourages us to transcend the bodily conception of existence and attain to our actual spiritual life.

gunan etan atitya trin
dehi deha-samudbhavan
janma-mrtyu-jara-duhkhair
vimukto ‘mrtam asnute

“When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes [goodness, passion, and ignorance], he can become free from birth, death, old age, and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.” (Bg. 14.20)

To establish ourselves on the pure brahma-bhuta spiritual platform, above the three modes, we must take up the method of Krsna consciousness. The gift of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the chanting of the names of Krsna — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — facilitates this process. This method is called bhakti-yoga or mantra-yoga, and it is employed by the highest transcendentalists.

Beyond Birth and Death

By constantly chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one remains in a liberated position, even within this material world:

[The demigods to Lord Krsna in the womb of Devaki]: Even while engaged in various activities, devotees whose minds are completely absorbed at Your lotus feet, and who constantly hear, chant, contemplate and cause others to remember Your transcendental names and forms, are always on the transcendental platform, and thus they can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

How bhakti-yoga can be practiced is explained in this verse. Srila Rupa Gosvami has said that anyone who has dedicated his life to the service of the Lord (iha yasya harer dasye) by his activities, his mind and his words (karmana manasa gira) may stay in any condition of life (nikhilasv apy avasthasu) and yet is no longer actually conditioned but is liberated (jivan-muktah sa ucyate). Even though such a devotee is in a material body, he has nothing to do with this body, for he is transcendentally situated. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati: because a devotee is engaged in transcendental activities, he is not afraid of being materially embodied. (SB 6.17.28) illustrating this liberated position, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prayed, mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi: [Cc. Antya 20.29, Siksastaka 4] “All I want is Your causeless devotional service in My life, birth after birth.” Even if a devotee, by the supreme will of the Lord, takes birth in this material world, he continues his devotional service. When King Bharata made a mistake and in his next life became a deer, his devotional service did not stop, although some slight chastisement was given to him because of his negligence. Narada Muni says that even if one falls from the platform of devotional service, he is not lost, whereas nondevotees are lost entirely because they are not engaged in service. Bhagavad-gita (9.14) therefore recommends that one always engage at least in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra:

satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate

“Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, the great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.37

Even if one chants the holy name imperfectly, he still easily attains liberation:

[A disciple of Prakasananda Sarasvati to an assembly of disciples]: “In this age of Kali, one cannot attain liberation without taking to the devotional service of the Lord. In this age, even if one does not chant the holy name of Krsna perfectly, he still attains liberation very easily.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.30

By chanting the holy name, one is liberated and attains love of Godhead:

As a result of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy name of Krsna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one very easily achieves these transcendental riches.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 8.28

In spite of enjoying material facilities, people can be liberated in this very life by chanting the holy name:

[Maitreya to Vidura]: Thus Svayambhuva Manu was a saintly king. Although absorbed in material happiness, he was not dragged to the lowest grade of life, for he always enjoyed his material happiness in a Krsna conscious atmosphere.

The kingly happiness of material enjoyment generally drags one to the lowest grade of life, namely degradation to animal life, because of unrestricted sense enjoyment. But Svayambhuva Manu was considered as good as a saintly sage because the atmosphere created in his kingdom and home was completely Krsna conscious. The case is similar with the conditioned souls in general; they have come into this material life for sense gratification, but if they are able to create a Krsna conscious atmosphere, as depicted here or as prescribed in revealed scriptures, by temple worship and household Deity worship, then in spite of their material enjoyment they can make advancement in pure Krsna consciousness without a doubt. At the present moment, modern civilization is too much attached to the material way of life, or sense gratification. Therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement can give the people in general the best opportunity to utilize their human life in the midst of material enjoyment. Krsna consciousness does not stop them in their propensity for material enjoyment, but simply regulates their habits in the life of sense enjoyment. In spite of their enjoying the material advantages, they can be liberated in this very life by practicing Krsna consciousness by the simple method of chanting the holy names of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.34

To get freedom from death one should invite Yamaraja to kirtana of the holy name:

[Saunaka Rsi to Suta Gosvami]: O Suta Gosvami, there are those amongst men who desire freedom from death and get eternal life. They escape the slaughtering process by calling the controller of death, Yamaraja.

The living entity, as he develops from lower animal life to a higher human being and gradually to higher intelligence, becomes anxious to get free from the clutches of death. Modern scientists try to avoid death by physiochemical advancement of knowledge, but alas, the controller of death, Yamaraja, is so cruel that he does not spare even the very life of the scientist himself. The scientist, who puts forward the theory of stopping death by advancement of scientific knowledge, becomes himself a victim of death when he is called by Yamaraja. What to speak of stopping death, no one can enhance the short period of life even by a fraction of a moment. The only hope of suspending the cruel slaughtering process of Yamaraja is to call him to hear and chant the holy name of the Lord. Yamaraja is a great devotee of the Lord, and he likes to be invited to kirtanas and sacrifices by the pure devotees, who are constantly engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. Thus the great sages, headed by Saunaka and others, invited Yamaraja to attend the sacrifice performed at Naimisaranya. This was good for those who did not want to die.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.17

Mayavadis cannot tolerate scriptural statements indicating the ease of attaining liberation through pure chanting of the holy name:

At the house of Hiranya and Govardhana Majumadara, a person named Gopala Cakravarti was officially the chief tax collector. This Gopala Cakravarti lived in Bengal. His duty as chief tax collector was to collect 1,200,000 coins to deposit in the treasury of the emperor. He had handsome bodily features, and he was learned and youthful, but he could not tolerate the statement that simply by glimpsing the awakening of the Lord’s holy name one can attain liberation. This young man, Gopala Cakravarti, became very angry upon hearing the statements of Haridasa Thakura. He immediately criticized him. “O assembly of learned scholars,” he said, “just hear the conclusion of the emotional devotee. After many millions upon millions of births, when one is complete in absolute knowledge, one still may not attain liberation, yet this man says that one may attain it simply by the awakening of a glimpse of the holy name.” Haridasa Thakura said, “Why are you doubtful? The revealed scriptures say that one can attain liberation simply by a glimpse of offenseless chanting of the holy name. For a devotee who enjoys the transcendental bliss of devotional service, liberation is most insignificant. Therefore pure devotees never desire to achieve liberation. ‘My dear Lord, O master of the universe, since I have directly seen You, my transcendental bliss has taken the shape of a great ocean. Being situated in that ocean, I now realize all other so-called happiness, including even brahmananda, to be like the water contained in the hoofprint of a calf.'” Gopala Cakravarti said, “If one is not liberated by namabhasa, then you may be certain that I shall cut off your nose.” Then Haridasa Thakura accepted the challenge offered by Gopala Cakravarti. “If by namabhasa liberation is not available,” he said, “certainly I shall cut off my nose.” All the members of the assembly who had heard the challenge were greatly agitated, and they got up, making a tumultuous sound. Hiranya and Govardhana Majumadara both immediately chastised the brahmana tax collector. The priest named Balarama Acarya chastised Gopala Cakravarti. “You are a foolish logician,” he said. “What do you know about the devotional service of the Lord? You have insulted Haridasa Thakura. Thus there will be a dangerous position for you. You should not expect anything auspicious.” Then Haridasa Thakura got up to leave, and the Majumadaras, the masters of Gopala Cakravarti, immediately dismissed Gopala Cakravarti from their service. With all the members of the assembly, the two Majumadaras fell at the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura was smiling, however, and he spoke in a sweet voice. “None of you are at fault,” he said. “Indeed, even this ignorant so-called brahmana is not at fault, for he is accustomed to dry speculation and logic. One cannot understand the glories of the holy name simply by logic and argument. Therefore this man cannot possibly understand the glories of the holy name.”

Vaisnavas strictly follow the directions of the sastras regarding how one can be liberated simply by a slight awakening of pure chanting of the holy name. Mayavadis cannot tolerate the statements of the sastras about how easily liberation can be achieved, for as stated in Bhagavad-gita, kleso ‘dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam: [Bg. 12.5] impersonalists must work hard for many, many births, and only then will they perhaps be liberated. Vaisnavas know that simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, one achieves liberation as a by-product. Thus there is no need to endeavor separately for liberation. Srila Bilvamangala Thakura has said, muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ‘sman: liberation stands at one’s door, ready to render any kind of service, if one is a pure devotee with unflinching faith and reverence. This the Mayavadis cannot tolerate. Therefore the arinda pradhana, chief tax collector, although very learned, handsome and youthful, could not tolerate the statements of Haridasa Thakura.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.190-206

NAM 2b11: By Chanting the Holy Name One Becomes Enlightened

11. By Chanting the Holy Name One Becomes Enlightened

The holy name frees one from false bodily identification

Chanting Hare Krsna frees one from the bodily concept of life:
[Ajamila said]: Simply because I chanted the holy name of the Lord in the association of devotees, my heart is now becoming purified. Therefore I shall not fall victim again to the false lures of material sense gratification. Now that I have become fixed in the Absolute Truth, henceforward I shall not identify myself with the body. I shall give up false conceptions of “I” and “mine” and fix my mind on the lotus feet of Krsna.

How a living entity becomes a victim of the material condition is lucidly explained in this verse. The beginning is to misidentify the body as one’s self. Therefore Bhagavad-gita begins with the spiritual instruction that one is not the body, but is within the body. This consciousness can be possible only if one chants the holy name of Krsna, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and always keeps oneself in the association of devotees. This is the secret of success. Therefore we stress that one should chant the holy name of the Lord and keep oneself free from the contaminations of this material world, especially the contaminations of lusty desires for illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. With determination, one should vow to follow these principles and thus be saved from the miserable condition of material existence. The first necessity is to become freed from the bodily concept of life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.38

The chanting of the holy name cleanses the heart and frees one from misidentification of the body as the self:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement consists of spreading krsna-sankirtana. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: “All glories to the sri-krsna-sankirtana!” Why is it so glorious? That has also been explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one’s heart is cleansed. The whole difficulty is that in this age of Kali there is no sattva-guna and no clearance of the heart, and therefore people are making the mistake of identifying with their bodies. Even the big philosophers and scientists with whom we deal are practically all under the impression that they are their bodies. The other day we were discussing a prominent philosopher, Thomas Huxley, who was proud of being an Englishman. This means that he was in the bodily conception of life. Everywhere we find this same misunderstanding. As soon as one is in the bodily conception of life, one is nothing but an animal like a cat or a dog (sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]). Thus the most dangerous of the dirty things within our hearts is this misidentification of the body as the self. Under the influence of this misunderstanding, one thinks, “I am this body. I am an Englishman. I am an Indian. I am an American. I am Hindu. I am Muslim.” This misconception is the strongest impediment, and it must be removed…. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. To cleanse the core of the heart, which is full of misunderstanding, is possible only through sri-krsna-sankirtana. The leaders of the Krsna consciousness movement should very seriously take this opportunity to be kind to the fallen souls by delivering them from the misunderstanding of matenalistic life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.23

By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one realizes that he is not the material body:
When we cleanse our heart we will realize that we do not belong to this material world. Because people are identifying with this material world, they are thinking, “I am an Indian, I am an Englishman, I am this, I am that.” But if one chants the Hare Krsna mantra, he will realize that he is not this material body. “I do not belong to this material body or this material world. I am a spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme. I am eternally related with Him, and I have nothing to do with the material world.” This is called liberation, knowledge. If I don’t have anything to do with this material world, then I am liberated. And that knowledge is called brahma-bhuta [SB 4.30.20].

The Science of Self-Realization

Knowledge that we are not these bodies is made easily attainable through the process of chanting Hare Krsna:
We may be proud of our academic education, but if asked what we are, we are not able to say. Everyone is under the conception that this body is the self, but we learn from Vedic sources that this is not so. Only after realizing that we are not these bodies can we enter into real knowledge and understand what we actually are. This, then, is the beginning of knowledge…. This kind of knowledge may not seem to be so easily attainable, but it is made very easy by the mercy of Krsna and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu who made this knowledge easily available through the process of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

Chanting Hare Krsna is part of the treatment to cure one of the bodily conception of life:
Suppose you have a disease and you want to be cured. You have to follow the instructions of a physician. If he says, “Don’t eat this; eat only this,” you have to follow his prescription. Similarly, we also have a prescription for being cured of the bodily conception of life: Chanting Hare Krsna, hearing about Krsna’s activities, and eating krsna-prasada. This treatment is the process of Krsna consciousness.

The Science of Self-Realization

By chanting Hare Krsna one is freed from false identification with the body and thus freed from suffering:
As soon as one understands his identity, his relationship with God, then immediately he becomes happy. We are so full of miseries because we have identified ourselves with the material world. Therefore we are unhappy. Anxieties and fearfulness are due to our misidentifying with the material world. The other day I was explaining that one who identifies with this bag of bones and skin is like an animal. So by chanting Hare Krsna this misunderstanding will be cleansed. Cleansing of the heart means that one will understand that he does not belong to this material world. Aham brahmasmi: I am spirit soul. As long as one identifies oneself with England, with India, or with America, this is ignorance. Today you are an Englishman because you were born in England, but in your next life you may not take your birth in England; it may be in China or Russia or some other country. Or you may not get this human form of body. Today you are a nationalist, you are a very great follower of your country, but tomorrow if you stay in your country you may be a cow being taken to the slaughterhouse.

The Science of Self-Realization

The effect of chanting the holy name is to become free from false egoism:
The effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord is perceived by the chanter as liberation from the conception of false egoism. False egoism is exhibited by thinking oneself to be the enjoyer of the world and thinking everything in the world to be meant for the enjoyment of one’s self only. The whole materialistic world is moving under such false egoism of “I” and “mine,” but the factual effect of chanting the holy name is to become free from such misconceptions.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.11

The devotee constantly chants Hare Krsna and remains aloof from the material body:
A devotee is not hampered by the material body, although he is situated in a physical body that runs according to so many material conditions, just as there are five kinds of air functioning within the body, and so many organs — the hands, legs, tongue, genitals, rectum, etc. — all working differently. The spirit soul, the living entity, who is in full knowledge of his position is always engaged in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and is not concerned with the bodily functions…. As far as the material body is concerned, there are six “waves,” or symptomatic material conditions: hunger, thirst, lamentation, bewilderment, old age and death. The liberated soul is never concerned with these six physical interactions.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.17.29

By chanting the holy name, one comes directly to the spiritual platform and realizes his spiritual identity:
Mr. Faill: Do you think the great mystics down through the ages have actually seen the spiritual spark you mentioned earlier?

Srila Prabhupada: What do you mean by “mystic”?

Mr. Faill: It’s just a name given to people who have had an experience of another level of reality.

Srila Prabhupada: We don’t use the word mystic. Our reality is God realization, which occurs when we come to the spiritual platform. As long as we have a bodily concept of life, our understanding is sense gratification, because the body is made of senses. When we progress from the bodily platform and we see the mind as the center of sense activity, we take the mind as the final stage of realization. That is the mental platform. From the mental platform we may come to the intellectual platform, and from the intellectual platform we can rise to the transcendental platform. Finally we can rise above even the transcendental platform and come to the mature, spiritual platform. These are the stages of God realization. However, in this age, because people are so fallen, the sastras [scriptures] give the special recommendation that people come directly to the spiritual platform by chanting the holy names of God: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If we cultivate this practice on the spiritual platform, then immediately we can realize our spiritual identity. Then the process of God realization becomes successful very quickly.

The Science of Self-Realization

The Holy Name dispels the illusion of maya

The medicine to awaken all living entities from the sleeping condition of material existence is the holy name:
The conditioned soul is actually sleeping on the lap of the illusory energy. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung, kota nidra jao maya-pisacira kole: “O living entity, how long will you sleep in this condition on the lap of the illusory energy?” People do not understand that they are actually sleeping in this material world, being devoid of knowledge of spiritual life. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says:

enechi ausadhi maya nasibaro lagi’
hari-nama-maha-mantra lao tumi magi’

“I have brought medicine to awaken every living being from perpetual sleep. Please receive the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and awaken ”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.13.9

Even a slight appearance of the holy name drives away ignorance due to sin:
“‘O reservoir of all good qualities, just worship Sri Krsna, the purifier of all purifiers, the most exalted of the personalities worshiped by choice poetry. Worship Him with a faithful, unflinching mind, without duplicity and in a highly elevated manner. Thus worship the Lord, whose name is like the sun, for just as a slight appearance of the sun dissipates the darkness of night, so a slight appearance of the holy name of Krsna can drive away all the darkness of ignorance that arises in the heart due to greatly sinful activities performed in previous lives.'”

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.1.103)
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.62]

Lord Caitanya introduced the chanting of the holy name to dispel the illusion of maya:
[Lord Caitanya]: “Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Krsna consciousness movement and distribute it everywhere.”

In this connection there is a song sung by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

enechi ausadhi maya nasibaro lagi’
hari-nama-maha-mantra lao tumi magi’

bhakativinoda prabhu-carane pa
se harinama-mantra la-ila magiya

The sankirtana movement has been introduced by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu just to dispel the illusion of maya, by which everyone in this material world thinks himself to be a product of matter and therefore to have many duties pertaining to the body. Actually, the living entity is not his material body; he is a spirit soul. He has a spiritual need to be eternally blissful and full of knowledge, but unfortunately he identifies himself with the body, sometimes as a human being, sometimes as an animal, sometimes a tree, sometimes an aquatic, sometimes a demigod, and so on. Thus with each change of body he develops a different type of consciousness with different types of activities and thus becomes increasingly entangled in material existence, transmigrating perpetually from one body to another. Under the spell of maya, or illusion, he does not consider the past or future but is simply satisfied with the short life span that he has gotten for the present. To eradicate this illusion, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has brought the sankirtana movement, and He requests everyone to accept and distribute it. A person who is actually a follower of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura must immediately accept the request of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu by offering respectful obeisances unto His lotus feet and thus beg from Him the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. If one is fortunate enough to beg from the Lord this Hare Krsna maha-mantra, his life is successful.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 9.36

The holy name rises within one’s heart like a powerful sun and dissipates the darkness of ignorance:
Vidura, while trying to detach his elder brother, Dhrtarastra, from his familial attachments, said, “My dear brother, you just fix your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, who is worshiped with beautiful, erudite verses by great sages and saintly persons. Krsna is the supreme deliverer among all deliverers. Undoubtedly there are great demigods like Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, but their positions as deliverers depend always upon the mercy of Krsna.” Therefore Vidura advised his elder brother, Dhrtarastra, to concentrate his mind and worship only Krsna. If one simply chants the holy name of Krsna, this holy name will rise within one’s heart like the powerful sun and will immediately dissipate all the darkness of ignorance. Vidura advised Dhrtarastra to therefore think always of Krsna, so that the volumes of contaminations due to sinful activities would be washed off immediately.

The Nectar of Devotion

The devotees are protected from the actions and reactions of material nature by taking shelter of the holy name:
[The demigods to Lord Krsna in the womb] “The action and reaction of the external energy of material nature (creation, maintenance and annihilation) are being carried on automatically. But simply by taking shelter of Your holy name — because Your holy name and Your personality are nondifferent — the devotees are sufficiently protected.”

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Constant chanting of the maha-mantra keeps one aloof from maya:
As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Without Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no one is able to overcome the action of the illusory energy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also given us a nice weapon for this age, as stated in the Bhagavatam: sangopangastra — in this age, the narayanastra, or weapon to drive away maya, is the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra in pursuance of the associates of Lord Caitanya, such as Advaita Prabhu, Nityananda, Gadadhara and Srivasa….

Krsna is like the sun, and maya, or the illusory energy of Krsna, is like darkness. Darkness means absence of light; similarly, maya means absence of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness and maya are always there, side by side. As soon as there is awakening of Krsna consciousness, all the illusory pains and pleasures of material existence are vanquished. Mayam etam taranti te: [Bg. 7.14] constant chanting of the maha-mantra will keep us always aloof from the illusory energy of maya.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.11.1-2

By chanting, one is freed from the darkness of maya and becomes fully enlightened:
Niharam iva bhaskarah. Bhaskarah refers to the sun. The sun immediately dissipates mist or fog as well as darkness. As stated before, we should try to make the sun of Krsna rise within our hearts. In the Caitanya-caritamrta also it is stated that Krsna is like the sun and that maya, the illusory energy, is darkness. Yahan krsna, tahan nahi mayara adhikara: as soon as the sun of Krsna is present, the darkness of maya immediately disappears. Without following this process, it is very difficult to overcome the ocean of darkness, maya. If we simply teach people to surrender unto Krsna, God, all the fog and mist of illusion will disappear. The method is very simple: chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

The more one goes on chanting, the more the darkness of many lives is dissipated. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting, one can cleanse the dust from the mirror of his mind and perceive things very distinctly. Thus one will know what he is, what God is, what this world is, what our relationship with God in this world is, how to live in this world, and what our next life is.

Krsna Consciousness: The Matchless Gift

The holy name enlightens one with
Perfect, transcendental knowledge

By vibrating the transcendental sound of the Hare Krsna mantra, the meaning of everything, both material and spiritual, is revealed:
[Lord Siva to Lord Visnu]: My dear Lord, by expanding Your transcendental vibrations, You reveal the actual meaning of everything…. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto You.

Vedic evidence is called sabda-brahma. There are many things which are beyond the perception of our imperfect senses, yet the authoritative evidence of sound vibration is perfect. The Vedas are known as sabda-brahma because evidence taken from the Vedas constitutes the ultimate understanding. This is because sabda-brahma, or the Vedas, represents the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, the real essence of sabda-brahma is the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. By vibrating this transcendental sound, the meaning of everything, both material and spiritual, is revealed. This Hare Krsna is non-different from the Personality of Godhead. The meaning of everything is received through the air through sound vibration. The vibration may be material or spiritual, but without sound vibration no one can understand the meaning of anything…. Lord Siva is therefore praying to the Personality of Godhead to be kind to us so that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we can understand everything in both the material and spiritual worlds.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.40

By chanting the maha-mantra, one will understand Krsna, and thus everything will be understood:
Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. For example, if one learns one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and zero, then he has studied the entirety of mathematics because mathematics means simply changing the places of these ten figures. That’s all. Similarly, if one simply studies Krsna, then all his knowledge is perfect. And Krsna is easily understood simply by chanting this mantra, Hare Krsna. So why not take this opportunity?

The Science of Self-Realization

All knowledge is revealed by the chanting of Hare Krsna:
We cannot doubt that the transcendental is there. Bhagavad-gita is being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself; therefore we should not doubt His word. The only problem is feeling and understanding what He is telling us. That understanding must be developed gradually, and that knowledge will be revealed by the chanting of Hare Krsna. By this simple process, we can come to understand the spiritual kingdom, the self, the material world, God, the nature of our conditioning, liberation from material bondage, and everything else. This is called ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], cleaning the dusty mirror of the impure mind.

The Path of Perfection

By chanting, the heart is cleansed and one can understand transcendental knowledge:
Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “Maya, this external energy, is very, very strong. No one can surpass it. It is almost impossible.” Then how can one get free from this material nature? Krsna says, “Simply by surrendering unto Me one can get relief from the onslaught of material nature.” That is a fact. So we have to cleanse the heart to learn what is our relationship with God.

In the Katha Upanisad it is stated, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead, or the Absolute Truth, is eternal. God is eternal, and we are also eternal. But the Vedas indicate that He is the supreme living creature. He is not dead. If He is not living, how is this world working? In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, “Under My supervision things are going on.” In the Bible also it is said, “God created.” That is a fact. Not that at one time there was a chunk and then this happened and then that. No. The Vedas tell us the actual facts, but we have to open our eyes to see. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. That is the process of cleansing our hearts. When we cleanse our hearts, then we will be able to understand what Krsna and the Vedas say.

The Science of Self-Realization

By chanting Hare Krsna, one becomes enlightened with spiritual understanding:
When you can understand Krsna’s and your own position in a nice analytical way, then at once you become free from sinful reactions. This process will help you. Chant Hare Krsna and cleanse your mind, and you will receive the message. One has to be qualified. If you chant and hear, for no payment, you will approach God. All things will become clear and illuminated.

The Path of Perfection

Chanting cleanses the mind and enables us to clearly see our constitutional position:
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is transcendental sound vibration. It will help us to cleanse the dust from the mirror of the mind. At the present moment we have accumulated so much material dust on the mirror of the mind just as on Second Avenue (New York City) there is dust and soot over everything due to the heavy traffic. Due to our manipulation of material activities, a great deal of dust has collected over our mind’s clear mirror, and as a consequence we are unable to see things in perspective. This vibration of transcendental sound (the Hare Krsna mantra) will cleanse away this dust and enable us to see clearly our real constitutional position. As soon as we come to understand “I am not this body; I am spirit soul, and my symptom is consciousness,” we will be able to establish ourselves in real happiness.

On the Way to Krsna

By chanting Krsna’s names, we associate with Him and He enlightens us from within:
Everyone wants to see God immediately, but we can see God when we are qualified and in perfect knowledge. We can see God eye to eye, just as we are seeing one another, but qualification is required, and that qualification is Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness begins with sravana, hearing about Krsna through Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic literatures, and kirtana, repeating what we’ve heard and glorifying Krsna by chanting His names. By chanting and hearing of Krsna we can actually associate with Him, for He is absolute and nondifferent from His names, qualities, forms and pastimes. As we associate with Krsna, He helps us to understand Him and dispels the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge. Krsna is sitting within our hearts acting as guru. When we begin hearing topics about Him, the dust which has accumulated on our minds due to so many years of material contamination becomes gradually cleaned. Krsna is a friend to everyone, but He is a special friend to His devotees. As soon as we become a little inclined toward Him, He begins to give favorable instructions from within our hearts so that we can gradually make progress.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

Perfect knowledge (and thus perfect activities) is derived from chanting the maha-mantra:
Cetah means “knowledge.” Without perfect knowledge, one cannot act perfectly. The real source of knowledge is the vacah, or sound vibration, given by Vedic instructions. Here the word vacah, or vibration, means the Vedic vibration. The origin of creation is sound vibration, and if the sound vibration is clear and purified, perfect knowledge and perfect activities actually become manifest. This is enacted by the chanting of the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.43

Chanting Hare Krsna is the easiest process for purifying the intelligence and understanding spiritual knowledge:
Mike Robinson: What about the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna…

Srila Prabhupada: Chanting Hare Krsna is the easiest process by which to become purified, especially in this age, when people are so dull that they cannot very easily understand spiritual knowledge. If one chants Hare Krsna, then his intelligence becomes purified, and he can understand spiritual things.

The Science of Self-Realization

NAM 2b12: If One Chants His Holy Name, Krsna Becomes Pleased and Obliged

12. If One Chants His Holy Name, Krsna Becomes Pleased and Obliged

Krsna is pleased when one chants His holy name:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead exists everywhere (andantara- stha-paramanu- cayantara- stham [Bs. 5.35]). Therefore when one chants His transcendental names — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — the Supreme Personality of Godhead is automatically pleased by such sankirtana. It is not that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is absent; He is present there. And when a devotee utters the transcendental name, it is not a material sound. Therefore, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is naturally pleased. A devotee knows that the Lord is present everywhere and that one can please Him simply by chanting His holy name.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.17.24

Anyone who addresses the Lord by chanting His holy name attracts His attention and obligates Him:

Any person who is conscious of his friend’s beneficent activities and never forgets his service is called grateful. In the Mahabharata, Krsna says, “When I was away from Draupadi, she cried with the words, ‘He Govinda!’ This call for Me has put Me in her debt, and that indebtedness is gradually increasing in My heart.” This statement by Krsna gives evidence of how one can please the Supreme Lord simply by addressing Him: “He Krsna! He Govinda!”

The maha-mantra (Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) is also simply an address to the Lord and His energy. So to anyone who is constantly engaged in addressing the Lord and His energy, we can imagine how much the Supreme Lord is obliged. It is impossible for the Lord to ever forget such a devotee. It is clearly stated in this verse that anyone who addresses the Lord immediately attracts the attention of the Lord, who always remains obliged to him.

The Nectar of Devotion

NAM 2b13: Krsna Helps the Sincere Chanter

13. Krsna Helps the Sincere Chanter

If Krsna sees that one is chanting Hare Krsna sincerely, He helps internally and externally:

We should try to avoid the ten offenses in chanting the holy name, but anyone who chants Hare Krsna sincerely is purified. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] (Siksastaka 1). This is the easiest process by which the mirror of the mind can be cleansed. If Krsna sees that someone is sincerely chanting Hare Krsna, He will help. He is within everyone, and He can understand whether one is sincere or not. Krsna helps a sincere devotee internally and externally. Internally He helps as Paramatma by giving intelligence from within. Dadami buddhi-yogam tam. Externally He helps as His representative, the spiritual master.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

Revival of love of God does not depend on mechanical hearing and chanting, but on the Lord’s causeless mercy:

[Devotional service] is a great transcendental science and begins with the process of hearing and chanting the name, fame, glory, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Revival of the dormant affection or love of Godhead does not depend on the mechanical system of hearing and chanting, but it solely and wholly depends on the causeless mercy of the Lord. When the Lord is fully satisfied with the sincere efforts of the devotee, He may endow him with His loving transcendental service.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6

NAM 2b14: By Chanting His Holy Name, One Can Remember Krsna

14. By Chanting His Holy Name, One Can Remember Krsna

To always remember Krsna and never forget Him is possible by constantly chanting the holy name:

“‘Krsna is the origin of Lord Visnu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and regulations mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles.'”

This verse is a quotation from the Padma Purana. There are many regulative principles in the sastras and directions given by the spiritual master. These regulative principles should act as servants of the basic principle — that is, one should always remember Krsna and never forget Him. This is possible when one chants the Hare Krsna mantra. Therefore one must strictly chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra twenty-four hours daily.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.113

Those who are intelligent … are not concerned with the four-fold miseries of material life, but with elevation to the spiritual planets. One who is continuously in trance (nitya-yuktasya yoginah) does not divert his attention to anything else. He is always situated in trance. His mind is always filled with the thought of Krsna, without deviation (ananya-cetah satatam). Satatam refers to anywhere and anytime.

In India I lived in Vrndavana, and now I am in America, but this does not mean that I am out of Vrndavana, because if I think of Krsna always, then I’m always in Vrndavana, regardless of the material designation. Krsna consciousness means that one always lives with Krsna on that spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana, and that one is simply waiting to give up this material body. Smarati nityasah means “continuously remembering,” and for one who is continuously remembering Krsna, the Lord becomes tasyaham sulabhah — easily purchased. Krsna Himself says that He is easily purchased by this bhakti-yoga process. Then why should we take to any other process? We can chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare twenty-four hours daily. There are no rules and regulations. One can chant in the street, in the subway, or at his home or office. There is no tax and no expense. So why not take to it?

Beyond Birth and Death

“The first-class yogi is he who always thinks of Me.” One should always remember that Krsna is within his heart and think of Him. This is the proper system of meditation. If we always chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, we will always remember Krsna, and immediately the form of Krsna will be awakened within our hearts. The process of always thinking of Krsna is the process of Krsna consciousness. The first-class yogi is he who is always conscious of Krsna. One can be conscious of Krsna by hearing about Him submissively.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

One can remember the Lord in constant devotion by the great blessing of the process of chanting the maha-mantra:

[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: For one who remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.

Bhakti-yoga is very simple and pure and easy to perform. One can begin by simply chanting Hare Krsna. Krsna is very merciful to those who engage in His service, and He helps in various ways that devotee who is fully surrendered to Him so he can understand Him as He is. The Lord gives such a devotee sufficient intelligence so that ultimately the devotee can attain Him in His spiritual kingdom.

The special qualification of the pure devotee is that he is always thinking of Krsna without considering the time or place. There should be no impediments. He should be able to carry out his service anywhere and at any time…. A pure devotee constantly remembers Krsna and meditates upon Him. These are qualifications of the pure devotee for whom the Lord is most easily attainable…. The pure devotee is always constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord and cannot forget the Supreme Lord, and so for him the Lord is easily attained. A pure devotee cannot forget the Supreme Lord for a moment, and similarly, the Supreme Lord cannot forget His pure devotee for a moment. This is the great blessing of the Krsna conscious process of chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 8.14

Lord Caitanya says that one can practice remembering Krsna by chanting His names always:

[Krsna] does not advise Arjuna to simply remember Him and give up his occupation. No, the Lord never suggests anything impractical. In this material world, in order to maintain the body one has to work…. The Lord therefore tells Arjuna that he need not give up his occupation, but while he is engaged in his occupation he should remember Krsna. If he doesn’t practice remembering Krsna while he is struggling for existence, then it will not be possible for him to remember Krsna at the time of death. Lord Caitanya also advises this. He says that one should practice remembering the Lord by chanting the names of the Lord always. The names of the Lord and the Lord are nondifferent. So Lord Krsna’s instruction to Arjuna to “remember Me” and Lord Caitanya’s injunction to always “chant the names of Lord Krsna” are the same instruction. There is no difference, because Krsna and Krsna’s name are nondifferent. In the absolute status there is no difference between reference and referent. Therefore we have to practice remembering the Lord always, twenty-four hours a day, by chanting His names and molding our life’s activities in such a way that we can remember Him always.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Intro

Hearing and chanting of the holy name in the process of krsna-smarana:

The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one’s full time — twenty-four hours a day — in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one’s tongue and mind.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented as follows upon this verse: “…In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called sravana-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krsna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krsna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krsna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.”

The Nectar of Instruction Text 8

When one is perfect in chanting and hearing, he will always remember Krsna:

The more one chants the names of Krsna, the more he becomes attached. Thus service by sravana and kirtana, hearing and chanting about Krsna, is the beginning. The next process is smarana — always remembering Krsna. When one is perfect in chanting and hearing, he will always remember Krsna. In this third stage, he becomes the greatest yogi.

Krsna Consciousness: The Matchless Gift

By constantly chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one can be fully in Krsna consciousness and perfect his life:

The example of the gopis is very instructive to persons who are trying to be absorbed in Krsna consciousness. One can very easily associate with Krsna simply by remembering His transcendental pastimes. Everyone has a tendency to love someone. That Krsna should be the object of love is the central point of Krsna consciousness. By constantly chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and remembering the transcendental pastimes of Krsna, one can be fully in Krsna consciousness and thus make his life sublime and fruitful.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

While chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one is reminded of the Lord’s activities:

A devotee always thinks of the Lord continuously. While chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, the words Krsna and Hare immediately remind him of all the Lord’s activities.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.1.6

NAM 2b15: By Chanting, One Associates with the Lord Directly

15. By Chanting, One Associates with the Lord Directly

We can associate with Krsna through His vibrational presence:

Some people complain that when they pray to God they do not feel His presence. We should know that this is due to our incapacities, not God’s. There are two conceptions of presence — the physical conception and the vibrational conception. The physical conception is temporary, whereas the vibrational conception is eternal. When we enjoy or relish the vibration of Krsna’s teachings in Bhagavad-gita, or when we chant Hare Krsna, we should know that by those vibrations He is immediately present. He is absolute, and because of this His vibration is just as important as His physical presence. When we feel separation from Krsna or the spiritual master, we should just try to remember their words of instructions, and we will no longer feel that separation. Such association with Krsna and the spiritual master should be association by vibration, not physical presence. That is real association. We put so much stress on seeing, but when Krsna was present on this earth, so many people saw Him and did not realize that He is God; so what is the advantage of seeing? By seeing Krsna, we will not understand Him, but by listening carefully to His teachings, we can come to the platform of understanding. We can touch Krsna immediately by sound vibration; therefore we should give more stress to the sound vibration of Krsna and of the spiritual master — then we’ll feel happy and won’t feel separation.

Elevation to Krsna Consciousness

The devotee associates with the Lord through His sacred representation, the holy name:

Sound is the representation of the actual object, as the sound produced speaking of the object gives an idea of the description of the object. Therefore sound is the subtle characteristic of the object. Similarly, sound representation of the Lord, in terms of His characteristics, is the complete form of the Lord, as was seen by Vasudeva and Maharaja Dasaratha, the fathers of Lord Krsna and Lord Rama. The sound representation of the Lord is nondifferent from the Lord Himself because the Lord and His representation in sound are absolute knowledge. Lord Caitanya has instructed us that in the holy name of the Lord, as sound representation of the Lord, all the potencies of the Lord are invested. Thus one can immediately enjoy the association of the Lord by the pure vibration of the sound representation of His holy name, and the concept of the Lord is immediately manifested before the pure devotee. A pure devotee, therefore, is not aloof from the Lord even for a moment. The holy name of the Lord, as recommended in the sastras — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — may therefore be constantly chanted by the devotee aspiring to be constantly in touch with the Supreme Lord. One who is thus able to associate with the Lord is sure to be delivered from the darkness of the created world, which is a product of false ego (tamasi ma jyotir gama).

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.5.25

We can realize the presence of Krsna through sound:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is a sound (sabda) that is nondifferent from Krsna. The sound Krsna and the original Krsna are the same. When we chant Hare Krsna and dance, Krsna is also dancing with us. Of course we may say, “Well, I do not see Him,” but why do we put so much stress on seeing? Why not hearing? Seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and hearing are all instruments for experience and knowledge. Why do we put such exclusive stress on seeing? A devotee does not wish to see Krsna; he is satisfied by simply hearing of Krsna. Seeing may eventually be there, but hearing should not be considered any less important. There are things which we hear but do not see — the wind may be whistling past our ears, and we can hear it, but there is no possibility of seeing the wind. Since hearing is no less an important experience or valid one than seeing, we can hear Krsna and realize His presence through sound. Sri Krsna Himself says, “I am not there in My abode, or in the heart of the meditating yogi, but where My pure devotees are singing.” We can feel the presence of Krsna as we actually make progress.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

The Lord can be realized and worshiped through His transcendental sound representation:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: Thus he is the actual seer who worships, in the form of transcendental sound representation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who has no material form.

Our present senses are all made of material elements, and therefore they are imperfect in realizing the transcendental form of Lord Visnu. He is therefore worshiped by sound representation via the transcendental method of chanting. Anything which is beyond the scope of experience by our imperfect senses can be realized fully by the sound representation. A person transmitting sound from a far distant place can be factually experienced. If this is materially possible, why not spiritually? This experience is not a vague impersonal experience. It is actually an experience of the transcendental Personality of Godhead, who possesses the pure form of eternity, bliss and knowledge….The transcendental form of eternal bliss and knowledge can be experienced by our original spiritual senses, which can be revived by chanting the holy mantras, or transcendental sound representations.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.38

By chanting the holy name, we can have the Lord’s association:

One should ask that the grace of the Lord always be present on earth so that we may be favored with His causeless mercy and be happy, having all necessities of life. One may ask how we can detain the Supreme Lord on this earth after His mission is fulfilled and He has left this earth for His own abode. The answer is that there is no need to detain the Lord. The Lord, being omnipresent, can be present with us if we want Him at all. By His omnipresence, He can always be with us if we are attached to His devotional service by hearing, chanting, remembering, etc.

There is nothing in the world with which the Lord is disconnected. The only thing we must learn is to excavate the source of connection and thus be linked with Him by offenseless service. We can be connected with Him by the transcendental sound representation of the Lord. The holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical, and one who chants the holy name of the Lord in an offenseless manner can at once realize that the Lord is present before him. Even by the vibration of radio sound, we can partially realize sound relativity, and by resounding the sound of transcendence we can verily feel the presence of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.32-33

Krsna gives us His association through His holy name:

We should always remember that if we can keep ourselves always in company with Krsna, we shall attain all perfection. And especially in this age, Krsna has incarnated as the holy name (kali-kale nama-rupe krsna avatara, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17.22). Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah

“My dear Lord, You are so kind that You are giving me Your association in the form of Your holy name, and this holy name can be chanted in any situation.”

There are no hard and fast rules for chanting Hare Krsna. One can chant Hare Krsna anywhere. Children, for example, also chant and dance. It is not at all difficult. While walking, our students take their beads with them and chant. Where is the loss? But the gain is very great for by chanting we associate with Krsna personally. Suppose we were to associate personally with the President. How proud we would feel. “Oh, I am with the President.” So should we not feel very much proud if we were to associate with the supreme president, who is able to create many millions of presidents like those of this world? This chanting is our opportunity to do so. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi: “My dear Lord, You are so kind to me that You are always prepared to give me Your association.”

Teachings of Queen Kunti

By chanting the holy name one associates with God, acquires godly qualities, and becomes an associate of the Lord:

Because God is absolute, His name, His form, and His qualities are also absolute, and they are nondifferent from Him. Therefore to chant God’s holy name means to associate directly with Him. When one associates with God, one acquires godly qualities, and when one is completely purified, one becomes an associate of the Supreme Lord.

The Science of Self-Realization

By chanting the maha-mantra, one can associate with Krsna directly:

Krsna tells Arjuna to always remain in Krsna consciousness. This is possible through the chanting of Hare Krsna. Since Krsna and His spiritual kingdom are nondifferent, being absolute, Krsna and His sound vibration are the same. Simply by vibrating Krsna’s name, we can enjoy Krsna’s association. If we are walking down the street chanting Hare Krsna, Krsna is also going with us. If we walk down the street and look up at the sky, we may see that the sun or the moon is accompanying us. I can recall about fifty years ago, when I was a householder, my second son, who was about four years old at the time, was walking with me down the street, and he suddenly asked me, “Father, why is the moon going with us?”

If a material object like the moon has the power to accompany us, we can surely understand that the Supreme Lord, who is all-powerful, can always remain with us. Being omnipotent, He can always keep us company, provided that we are also qualified to keep His company. Pure devotees are always merged in the thought of Krsna and are always remembering that Krsna is with them. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has confirmed the absolute nature of Krsna in His Siksastaka (verse 2):

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah

“My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as Krsna and Govinda, by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard-and-fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.”

We may take the effort to spend a great deal of money and attempt to build or establish a temple for Krsna, but if we do so we must observe many rules and regulations and see properly to the temple’s management. But herein it is confirmed that simply by chanting, any man can have the benefit of keeping company with Krsna. Just as Arjuna is deriving benefit by being in the same chariot with Lord Sri Krsna, we can also benefit by associating with Krsna through the chanting of His holy names — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This maha-mantra is not my personal concoction but is authorized by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is considered to be not only an authority but the incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna Himself. It was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu who said, “O Lord, You are so kind to the people of this material world that You expand Yourself in Your holy name so that they can associate with You.”

The Path of Perfection

While performing devotional service, the devotee remembers the supremacy of the Lord and associates with the Lord by repeating His transcendental names:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: While performing duties according to the order of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one constantly remembers Him, His names and His qualities.

An expert devotee of the Lord can mold his life in such a way that while performing all kinds of duties either for this or the next life, he can constantly remember the Lord’s name, fame, qualities, etc. The order of the Lord is distinctly there in the Bhagavad-gita: one should work only for the Lord in all spheres of life. In every sphere of life the Lord should be situated as the proprietor…. No one else but Lord Sri Krsna can claim to be the proprietor of everything within His creation. A pure devotee remembers this constantly, and in doing so he repeats the transcendental name, fame and qualities of the Lord, which means that he is constantly in touch with the Lord. The Lord is identical with His name, fame, etc., and therefore to be associated with His name, fame, etc., constantly, means actually to associate with the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.36

The performer of offenseless kirtana has positive association with the Lord:

[Sukadeva Gosvami prays]: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the all-auspicious Lord Sri Krsna, about whom glorification, remembrances, audience, prayers, hearing and worship can at once cleanse the effects of all sins of the performer.

The devotees need not be disappointed in the physical absence of the Lord, though they may think of not being associated with Him. The devotional process of chanting, hearing, remembering, etc. (either all or some of them, or even one of them), can give us the desired result of associating with the Lord by discharging the transcendental loving service of the Lord in the above manner. Even the very sound of the holy name of Lord Krsna or Lord Rama can at once surcharge the atmosphere spiritually. We must know definitely that the Lord is present wherever such pure transcendental service is performed, and thus the performer of offenseless kirtana has positive association with the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.4.15

By chanting, one associates with Krsna:

The same thing is confirmed in the Adi Purana by Krsna. While addressing Arjuna He says, “Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.”

The Nectar of Devotion

Being deeply touched by a strong desire for Krsna’s association, a pure devotee always chants the maha-mantra:

It was Sanatana Gosvami who later composed this verse:

na prema sravanadi-bhaktir api va yogo ‘thava vaisnavo
jnanam va subha-karma va kiyad aho saj-jatir apy asti va
hinarthadhika-sadhake tvayi tathapy acchedya-mula sati
he gopijanavallabha vyathayate ha ha madasaiva mam

“I am poor in love of Godhead, and I have no asset for hearing about devotional service. Nor do I have any understanding of the science of devotional service, nor any cultivation of knowledge, nor any righteous activities to my credit. I am not even born in a high family. Nonetheless, O darling of the damsels of Vraja, I still maintain hopes of achieving You, and these hopes are always disturbing me.” Such a devotee, being touched deeply by such strong desires, always chants Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

One can come into contact with Krsna immediately by hearing His holy name:

Krsna consciousness is a method for connecting directly with the Supreme. This is the special gift of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not only is this method direct and immediate, but it is also practical. Although many people entering this Society have no qualifications, they have become highly advanced in Krsna consciousness simply by coming in contact with the Society. In this age, life is very short, and a yoga process that takes a long time will not help the general populace. In Kali-yuga, people are all so unfortunate, and association is very bad. Therefore, this process of directly contacting the Supreme is recommended — hari-nama. Krsna is present in the form of His transcendental name, and we can contact Him immediately by hearing His name. Simply by hearing the name Krsna we immediately become freed from material contamination.

The Path of Perfection

Because Krsna’s name is nondifferent from Himself, when one chants he immediately comes into contact with Krsna:

Lord Caitanya prayed:

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
(Siksastaka 2)

Krsna, the transcendental holy name of God, has all potencies, Lord Caitanya said. Krsna has unlimited potencies, and similarly in the holy name of Krsna there are unlimited potencies. Krsna has thousands and thousands of names, of which the name Krsna is the chief, and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting. It is not that one must chant at a certain time. No. At any time one may chant. Furthermore, Krsna’s name is identical with Krsna Himself. Therefore the holy name of Krsna is Krsna.

We should not think that Krsna is living in His abode, Goloka Vrndavana, and that His name is different from Him. In the material world, of course, in the material conception, a name is different from the fact it represents. But in the absolute world there are no such differences. The name is as potent as Krsna is. We have a tongue, and if we use this tongue to chant Hare Krsna, we shall immediately come directly in touch with Krsna, because the name Krsna and the person Krsna are not different. We may think that Krsna is far, far away, but in fact Krsna is within us. He is far away, but at the same time He is the nearest. But even if we think that Krsna is far, far away, His name is present. We can chant Hare Krsna, and Krsna will immediately become available. Krsna is available in this easy way, for which there are no hard and fast rules. We can chant at any time and immediately get Krsna. Just see the mercy of Krsna!

Teachings of Queen Kunti

Because the Lord and His holy name are identical, when a pure devotee chants, the Lord is immediately present:

After due consideration, all the devotees began chanting the holy name congregationally. Lord Caitanya’s mind was thus pacified by the ecstasy of the chanting.

Being absolute, Lord Jagannatha is identical in person, form, picture, kirtana and all other circumstances. Therefore when Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, He was pacified. Previously, He had been feeling very morose due to separation from Jagannatha. The conclusion is that whenever a kirtana of pure devotees takes place, the Lord is immediately present. By chanting the holy names of the Lord, we associate with the Lord personally.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.126

By hearing the maha-mantra, one can always feel the presence of the Lord:

There is a statement about hearing and chanting the maha-mantra: “It is said that saints have been able to hear the vibrating strings of the vina in the hands of Narada, who is always singing the glories of Lord Krsna. Now this same sound vibration has entered my ears, and I am always feeling the presence of the Supreme Personality. Gradually I am becoming bereft of all attachment for material enjoyment.”

The Nectar of Devotion

Krsna is easily attainable by chanting Hare Krsna:

Krsna consciousness means always living with Krsna in His spiritual planet. Because we are conscious of Krsna, we are already living with Him. We simply have to wait to give up this material body to go there. For one who remembers Krsna without deviation, He is easy to obtain. Tasyaham sulabhah partha: [Bg. 8.14] “I become very cheap for them.” For one who takes to Krsna consciousness, the most valuable thing becomes very easy to obtain. Because one is engaged in bhakti-yoga, Krsna becomes easily available. Why should we try so hard to attain Krsna, when Krsna Himself says, “I am easy to obtain”? We have only to chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare twenty-four hours daily. There is no fast rule and regulation. We can chant in the street or on the subway, in our home or in our office. There is neither expenditure nor tax.

The Path of Perfection

Krsna, being attracted, appears Himself in His glorification:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: The Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities.

The Absolute Personality of Godhead is not different from His transcendental name, form, pastimes and the sound vibrations thereof. As soon as a pure devotee engages himself in the pure devotional service of hearing, chanting and remembering the name, fame and activities of the Lord, at once He becomes visible to the transcendental eyes of the pure devotee by reflecting Himself on the mirror of the heart by spiritual television. Therefore a pure devotee who is related with the Lord in loving transcendental service can experience the presence of the Lord at every moment. It is a natural psychology in every individual case that a person likes to hear and enjoy his personal glories enumerated by others. That is a natural instinct, and the Lord, being also an individual personality like others, is not an exception to this psychology because psychological characteristics visible in the individual souls are but reflections of the same psychology in the Absolute Lord. The only difference is that the Lord is the greatest personality of all and absolute in all His affairs. If, therefore, the Lord is attracted by the pure devotee’s chanting of His glories, there is nothing astonishing. Since He is absolute, He can appear Himself in the picture of His glorification, the two things being identical. Srila Narada chants the glorification of the Lord not for his personal benefit but because the glorifications are identical with the Lord. Narada Muni penetrates into the presence of the Lord by the transcendental chanting.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.33

Lord Krsna is personally present in offenseless chanting:

[Suta Gosvami to the sages at Naimisaranya]: Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.

Messages of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna are nondifferent from Him. Whenever, therefore, offenseless hearing and glorification of God are undertaken, it is to be understood that Lord Krsna is present there in the form of transcendental sound, which is as powerful as the Lord personally. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in His Siksastaka, declares clearly that the holy name of the Lord has all the potencies of the Lord and that He has endowed His innumerable names with the same potency. There is no rigid fixture of time, and anyone can chant the holy name with attention and reverence at his convenience. The Lord is so kind to us that He can be present before us personally in the form of transcendental sound.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.17

When a devotee chants Hare Krsna, Krsna and His internal potency are dancing on his tongue:

One who is engaged in Lord Krsna’s devotional service lives in a direct relationship with the Supreme Lord, so there is no doubt that his position is transcendental from the very beginning. A devotee does not live on the material plane — he lives in Krsna. The holy name of the Lord and the Lord are nondifferent; therefore when a devotee chants Hare Krsna, Krsna and His internal potency are dancing on the tongue of the devotee.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 12.8

NAM 2b16: The Holy Name Attracts One to Krsna

16. The Holy Name Attracts One to Krsna

By hearing the holy name, one becomes attracted to Krsna:

From the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Caitanya gives an example of pure devotion: it is said in the Bhagavatam that Krsna is situated in everyone’s heart. Therefore, just as rivers flow and their natural tendency is to reach the sea, so as soon as one hears the glories of the Lord, his soul is at once attracted toward the Supreme Lord. This is the beginning of pure devotional service. As soon as there is the chanting vibration, Hare Krsna, immediately Krsna’s paraphernalia, Krsna’s name, Krsna’s fame, Krsna’s abode, Krsna’s associates — everything — all of a sudden become manifested within because He is present. This is the beginning of one’s Krsna consciousness. To remember by reference to a context means that as soon as one hears a code word, one at once remembers all the information behind that code. Similarly, when our minds are attracted to Krsna and everything about Krsna simply by hearing a little glorification of His qualities, that is the beginning of pure Krsna consciousness.

The Science of Self-Realization

By chanting the holy name, the devotee becomes attracted to Krsna:

The Supreme Lord can only be appreciated by devotional service. Therefore, one should be fully devoted. One should fix his mind fully on Krsna in order to achieve Him. One should work only for Krsna. It does not matter in what kind of work one engages, but that work should be done only for Krsna. That is the standard of devotional service. The devotee does not desire any achievement other than pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His life’s mission is to please Krsna, and he can sacrifice everything for Krsna’s satisfaction, just as Arjuna did in the Battle of Kuruksetra. The process is very simple: one can devote himself in his occupation and engage at the same time in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Such transcendental chanting attracts the devotee to the Personality of Godhead.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 12.6-7

NAM 2b17: The Holy Name Invokes an Attitude of Service to the Lord

17. The Holy Name Invokes an Attitude of Service to the Lord

The test of successful chanting is eagerness to render service to the Lord:

[Muhammadan governor to Lord Caitanya]: The Muhammadan governor then said, “Since you have so kindly accepted me, please give me some order so that I can render You some service.” The Muhammadan governor then prayed for liberation from the unlimited sinful actirities he had previously incurred by being envious of brahmanas and Vaisnavas and killing cows.

If one is purified by following Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s orders — that is, by chanting the holy name of Krsna — one must certainly be eager to render service to the Lord. This is the test. When one engages enthusiastically in the Lord’s service, it is to be understood that he is reaping the results of chanting the names of Krsna and Hari…. After being released from one’s sinful reactions (karma), one becomes eager to serve the Lord. This is the test. Since the Muhammadan governor was immediately purified in the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he could utter the names of Krsna and Hari. Consequently he was anxious to render some service.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.188-89

One engaged in chanting the holy name becomes freed from the bodily conception and attached to serving the Lord:

A person properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and engaged in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare gradually becomes freed from the conception of “I” and “mine” and becomes attached to the Lord’s transcendental loving service in one of the five transcendental relationships. Such transcendental service is not a subject matter for gross and subtle bodies. Only when one can understand that there is no difference between the Supreme and His name can one be situated in Krsna consciousness. At such a time one no longer needs to make grammatical adjustments. Rather, one becomes more interested in petitioning the Lord: “Hare Krsna — O my Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service!”

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

NAM 2b18: By Chanting the Holy Name, One Achieves Direct Service to the Lord

18. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Achieves Direct Service to the Lord

By chanting the holy name, one achieves liberation from material existence and direct engagement in the service of the Lord:

[Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya]: “‘Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord.'”

In the Anubhasya, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami says that the actual effect that will be visible as soon as one achieves transcendental knowledge is that he will immediately become free from the clutches of maya and fully engage in the service of the Lord. Unless one serves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, one cannot become free from fruitive activities under the external energy. However, when one chants the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, he can realize a transcendental position which is completely aloof from the material conception of life. Rendering service to the Lord, a devotee relates to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one of five relationships — namely, santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya — and thus he relishes transcendental bliss in that relationship. Such a relationship certainly transcends the body and mind. When one realizes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Supreme Person, he becomes completely eligible to chant the holy name of the Lord. Such an ecstatic chanter and dancer must be considered to have a direct relationship with the Lord.

According to the Vedic principles, there are three stages of spiritual advancement, namely, sambandha-jnana, abhidheya and prayojana. Sambandha-jnana refers to establishing one’s original relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, abhidheya refers to acting according to that constitutional relationship, and prayojana is the ultimate goal of life, which is to develop love of Godhead (prema pum-artho mahan). If one adheres to the regulative principles under the order of the spiritual master, he very easily achieves the ultimate goal of his life. A person who is addicted to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra very easily gets the opportunity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. There is no need for such a person to understand the grammatical jugglery in which Mayavadi sannyasis generally indulge. Sri Sankaracarya also stressed this point. Na hi na hi raksati dukrn-karane: “Simply by juggling grammatical suffixes and prefixes one cannot save himself from the clutches of death.” The grammatical word jugglers cannot bewilder a devotee who engages in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Simply addressing the energy of the Supreme Lord as Hare and the Lord Himself as Krsna very soon situates the Lord within the heart of the devotee. By thus addressing Radha and Krsna one directly engages in His Lordship’s service. The essence of all revealed scriptures and all knowledge is present when one addresses the Lord and His energy by the Hare Krsna mantra, for this transcendental vibration can completely liberate a conditioned soul and directly engage him in the service of the Lord.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.73

By offenseless chanting, one attains God realization, develops mystic powers and, ultimately, becomes a confidential devotee of the Lord:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: Thus he is the actual seer who worships, in the form of transcendental sound representation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who has no material form. O brahmana, thus by the Supreme Lord Krsna I was endowed first with the transcendental knowledge of the Lord as inculcated in the confidential parts of the Vedas, then with the spiritual opulences, and then with His intimate loving service.

Communion with the Lord by transmission of the transcendental sound is nondifferent from the whole spirit Lord Sri Krsna. It is a completely perfect method for approaching the Lord. By such pure contact with the Lord, without offense of material conceptions (numbering ten), the devotee can rise above the material plane to understand the inner meaning of the Vedic literatures, including the Lord’s existence in the transcendental realm. The Lord reveals His identity gradually to one who has unflinching faith, both in the spiritual master and in the Lord. After this, the devotee is endowed with mystic opulences, which are eight in number. And above all, the devotee is accepted in the confidential entourage of the Lord and is entrusted with specific service of the Lord through the agency of the spiritual master. A pure devotee is more interested in serving the Lord than in showing an exhibition of the mystic powers dormant in him. Sri Narada has explained all these from his personal experience, and one can obtain all the facilities which Sri Narada obtained by perfecting the chanting process of the sound representation of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.38-39

Chanting Hare Krsna not only frees one from false ego, but elevates the soul to its eternal, constitutional position of pure devotional service:

Simply understanding ahankara means no more than understanding the false identification. Simply understanding that I am not matter, I am soul, is not perfection. The impersonalist, the void philosopher, simply thinks of the negative, that I am not this matter, I am not this body. This will not stay. You have to not only realize that you are not matter, but you have to engage yourself in the spiritual world. And that spiritual world means to be working in Krsna consciousness. That spiritual world, that functioning of real life, is Krsna consciousness…. Chanting the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — is the process not merely of putting an end to this false conception of the self, but it goes beyond that, to the point where the pure spirit soul engages in his eternal, blissful, all-knowing activities in the loving service of God. This is the height of conscious development, the ultimate goal of all living entities now evolving through the cycles and species of material nature.

Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System

NAM 2b19: By Chanting the Holy Name, One Comes to Understand / Realize / See Krsna

19. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Comes to Understand / Realize / See Krsna

By chanting, one comes to understand Krsna:

“‘Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.'”

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234) [cited:
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 17.136]

Krsna says that out of many thousands of people, one may try to make perfection of this life; and out of many millions of such persons on the path of perfection, only one may understand Krsna. So understanding Krsna is not very easy. But it is also the easiest. It is not easy, but at the same time it is the easiest. It is the easiest if you follow the prescribed forms…. Krsna says that out of many millions of people, one may understand Him. But, by chanting of this Hare Krsna, as introduced by Lord Caitanya — chanting and dancing — you can understand Krsna within a very short time.

Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System

That is the qualification to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is and Krsna as He is — one must become Krsna conscious.

And what is this Krsna consciousness? That is the process of cleansing the dust from the mirror of the mind through the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. By chanting this mantra and by hearing Bhagavad-gita, we can gradually attain to Krsna consciousness. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam [Bg. 18.61] — Krsna is always present within our heart. The individual soul and the Supersoul are both sitting in the tree of the body. The individual soul (jiva) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the Supersoul (Paramatma) is witnessing. As the individual soul begins the process of devotional service and gradually begins to develop his Krsna consciousness, the Supersoul who is seated within begins to help him dust all the impurities from the mirror of the mind. Krsna is a friend to all saintly persons, and the attempt to become Krsna conscious is a saintly endeavor. Sravanam kirtanam [SB 7.5.23] — by chanting and hearing one can come to understand the science of Krsna and thereby come to understand Krsna…. Sri Krsna Himself comes to deliver Bhagavad-gita and to help us to become God conscious. Indeed, this very material creation is given to us to utilize for this cultivation. But if after receiving this chance and this gift of human life we do not utilize them to develop Krsna consciousness, we shall be missing this rare opportunity. The process for cultivation is very simple: sravanam kirtanam — hearing and chanting. We have nothing to do other than listen, and by listening carefully, enlightenment is sure to come. Krsna will surely help, for He is seated within. We only have to make the effort and spare a little time…. This chanting of Hare Krsna is a process by which all contaminations due to material association are removed from the mirror of the mind. There is no need for external help in reviving our Krsna consciousness, for Krsna consciousness is dormant within the self. In fact, it is the very quality of the self. We have only to invoke it by this process.

On the Way to Krsna

Krsna is available under any circumstances, if we want to catch Him. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

“To those who are constantly devoted and who worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

If one is actually very serious in searching for Krsna, Krsna is everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami (Bs. 5.35). Krsna is present within the universe, within our hearts, and even within the atom. So it is not difficult to find Him, but one must know the process by which to do so. This process is very simple, and by the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we are distributing this process to everyone, without charge. The process is to chant Hare Krsna. As soon as one chants Hare Krsna, one will immediately understand Krsna.

Teachings of Queen Kunti

Understanding God begins with understanding His name:

Although this material world is nothing but darkness, people are very proud of their eyes. They are always saying, “Can you show me God?” The answer to that is: “Have you the eyes to see God?” Why is the emphasis placed on seeing? Certainly, God can be seen, as stated in Brahma-samhita (5.38), premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: “Govinda [Krsna] is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed by the pulp of love.”

If we are devotees, lovers of God, the ointment of love will clear our eyes. In order to see God, we have to cleanse our eyes by wiping away the cataracts of material contamination. Although we may be eager to see God, we cannot see Him with these material eyes. Not only can we not see Him, but we cannot understand Him, although His name is there. Understanding God means first of all understanding His name. Therefore from the beginning we should chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. God is not different from His name. Krsna’s name and Krsna’s person are the same.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

The process of understanding Krsna begins with chanting the holy name:

The transcendental nature of Krsna is not possible to understand with our blunt material senses. Krsna’s name, form, qualities and pastimes are all divya, divine. Our present material senses have to be purified by engagement in the Lord’s service, and our first engagement begins with the tongue. It is with the tongue that we can chant the transcendental names of the Lord.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

One can understand Krsna only by devotional service, beginning with chanting the holy name:

In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that the Personality of Godhead cannot be understood simply by study of the Vedanta literature. Only by the mercy of the Supreme Lord can the Personality of the Supreme be known…. The fact is that no one can understand Krsna without rendering devotional service and without developing Krsna consciousness. The Gita confirms this.

One cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, or His form, quality or name simply by mental speculation or by discussing Vedic literature. One must understand Him by devotional service. When one is fully engaged in Krsna consciousness, beginning by chanting the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — then only can one understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 7.24

One must chant the holy name to cleanse the mind and heart so that one can become sober, understand his higher duty, and understand the Lord:

Prahlada is always situated in the Vaikuntha planets of the spiritual world, but on behalf of the fallen souls he asks how, when his mind is always disturbed by material things, he can discuss the transcendental position of the Lord…. especially in this age of Kali, the mind must be cleansed; and this is possible only by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. In this age, the process of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is the only method by which to cleanse the sinful mind. When the mind is completely cleansed of all sinful reactions, one can then understand his duty in the human form of life. The Krsna consciousness movement is meant to educate sinful men so that they may become pious simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra…. To cleanse the heart so that one may become sober and wise in this age of Kali, there is no value to any method other than the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Prahlada Maharaja has confirmed this process in previous verses. Tvad-virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna-cittah [SB 7.9.43]. Prahlada further confirms that if one’s mind is always absorbed in thought of Krsna, that very qualification will purify one and keep one purified always. To understand the Lord and His activities, one must free his mind from all contamination of the material world, and this one can achieve by simply chanting the Lord’s holy name. Thus one becomes free from all material bondage.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.39

The process of Krsna consciousness is the process of purifying the senses through the chanting of Hare Krsna so that one can understand God:

God cannot be seen by material senses, therefore the bhakti-yoga process is the process of purifying the senses so that we will be able to understand what and who God is. We have power of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and so on, but if these senses are blunt, we cannot understand God. The process of Krsna consciousness is the process of training these senses through regulated principles, specifically through the chanting of Hare Krsna.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

By chanting of the holy name, which is the basis of devotional service and bhagavata-dharma, one comes to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

[Yamaraja to the Yamadutas]: Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society.

The Bhagavatam says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: [SB 1.2.6] the supreme religion is that which teaches its followers how to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of experimental knowledge. Such a religious system begins with tan-nama-grahana, chanting of the holy name of the Lord (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]). After chanting the holy name of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, one gradually sees the form of the Lord, the pastimes of the Lord and the transcendental qualities of the Lord. This way one fully understands the situation of the Personality of Godhead.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.22

By chanting the maha-mantra, one will understand Krsna, and thus everything will be understood:

Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. For example, if one learns one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and zero, then he has studied the entirety of mathematics because mathematics means simply changing the places of these ten figures. That’s all. Similarly, if one simply studies Krsna, then all his knowledge is perfect. And Krsna is easily understood simply by chanting this mantra, Hare Krsna. So why not take this opportunity?

The Science of Self-Realization

In this age, the chanting of Hare Krsna will deliver the people of the world from their forgetfulness of God:

Today people have forgotten their relationship with God, but this incarnation of Krsna in the form of His holy names, this chanting of Hare Krsna, will deliver all the people of the world from their forgetfulness. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that if we chant or associate with the chanting of the holy names of Krsna, we will reach the highest perfectional stage of life.

Elevation to Krsna Consciousness

In order to attain God realization and spiritual happiness in this age, we have only to chant the names of Krsna:

Krsna is within, but due to our material conditioning, we do not realize it. Those who are of the nature of fiends and demons (raksasim asurim) think that this material life is all and that it is the purpose of human life to squeeze out as much pleasure from matter as possible. They try squeezing, but they are constantly baffled. Squeezing material nature is not the process for finding out real pleasure. If we are searching for real pleasure, we have to take to Krsna consciousness. All happiness in the material world has a beginning and an end, but happiness in Krsna is unlimited, and there is no end. In order to get this happiness we simply have to sacrifice a little time and chant Hare Krsna. In former ages, the great sages and demigods used to sacrifice their whole lives for realizing the Supreme, and still they would not attain success. For this age Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given an easy process for God realization. All that is necessary is careful listening. We have to listen to Bhagavad-gita, and we have to chant the names of Krsna and listen to them carefully. We should not be puffed up, falsely thinking that our knowledge is great or that we are very learned. We need only become a little gentle and submissive to hear the messages from Krsna.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge

One can realize Krsna by hearing and vibrating the Hare Krsna mantra and tasting prasada:

The word mahatma means “broad-minded.” One who cannot understand Krsna is not broad-minded, but cripple-minded. If one becomes broad-minded, then by the grace of Krsna one can understand Krsna.

The process of understanding Krsna is sevonmukha — by rendering service. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau [Brs. atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krsna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)1.2.234]. Realization of Vasudeva is possible by rendering service, beginning with the tongue. The tongue has two functions — to vibrate and to taste. So if one repeatedly hears and vibrates the Hare Krsna mantra and tastes prasada, food offered to Krsna, by this very simple method one will realize Vasudeva, Krsna. Krsna will reveal Himself. It is not that by our endeavor alone we can understand Krsna, but our endeavor in loving service will make us qualified, and then Krsna will reveal Himself (svayam eva sphuraty adah).

Teachings of Queen Kunti

By offenseless chanting, one attains God realization, develops mystic powers and, ultimately, becomes a confidential devotee of the Lord:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: Thus he is the actual seer who worships, in the form of transcendental sound representation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who has no material form. O brahmana, thus by the Supreme Lord Krsna I was endowed first with the transcendental knowledge of the Lord as inculcated in the confidential parts of the Vedas, then with the spiritual opulences, and then with His intimate loving service.

Communion with the Lord by transmission of the transcendental sound is nondifferent from the whole spirit Lord Sri Krsna. It is a completely perfect method for approaching the Lord. By such pure contact with the Lord, without offense of material conceptions (numbering ten), the devotee can rise above the material plane to understand the inner meaning of the Vedic literatures, including the Lord’s existence in the transcendental realm. The Lord reveals His identity gradually to one who has unflinching faith, both in the spiritual master and in the Lord. After this, the devotee is endowed with mystic opulences, which are eight in number. And above all, the devotee is accepted in the confidential entourage of the Lord and is entrusted with specific service of the Lord through the agency of the spiritual master. A pure devotee is more interested in serving the Lord than in showing an exhibition of the mystic powers dormant in him. Sri Narada has explained all these from his personal experience, and one can obtain all the facilities which Sri Narada obtained by perfecting the chanting process of the sound representation of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.38-39

By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra offenselessly in the association of devotees one becomes pure in heart and realizes the transcendental nature of the Lord:

[Lord Siva to Lord Visnu]: The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc.

As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
tad josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendental name, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:

‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’-sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.54)

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu-sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and by acting for Krsna. Specifically, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Krsna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one’s heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah (S.B. 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.

One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy, which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure head of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a purehearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti-yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the maha-mantra and the sixty-four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity. When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevi becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external. A devotee is also called a muni. The word muni means “thoughtful.” A devotee is as thoughtful as a nondevotee is speculative. The nondevotee’s speculation is impure, but a devotee’s thoughts are pure. Lord Kapila and Sukadeva Gosvami are also called muni, and Vyasadeva is addressed as Mahamuni. A devotee is addressed as muni, or thoughtful, when he purely understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conclusion is that when one’s heart is purified by the association of devotees and by the avoidance of the offenses committed when chanting and worshiping the Lord, the transcendental name, form and activities of the Lord are revealed by the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.59

Offenseless chanting leads to realization of the form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord:

By offenseless chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Lord, one becomes acquainted with the transcendental form of the Lord, then with the attributes of the Lord, and then with the transcendental nature of His pastimes, etc…. Hearing of the holy name gradually promotes one to the stage of hearing about His form, about His attributes, His pastimes and so on, and thus the necessity of the chanting of His glories develops successively.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.11

By chanting the holy name, one is cleansed of the material concept of life and awakens in realization of the Lord’s transcendental form, qualities, etc.:

As enunciated by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ceto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is cleansed of the material conception of life, which is due to the dirty modes of material nature. When the dirt is cleansed from the core of one’s heart, one can realize the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead — isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Thus by hearing the holy name of the Lord, one comes to the platform of understanding the personal form of the Lord. After realizing the Lord’s form, one can realize the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and when one can understand His transcendental qualities one can understand the Lord’s associates. In this way a devotee advances further and further toward complete understanding of the Lord as he awakens in realization of the Lord’s holy name, transcendental form and qualities, His paraphernalia, and everything pertaining to Him.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24

Simply by keeping a picture of Lord Caitanya and chanting Hare Krsna one can worship God and realize Him:

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that [Lord Caitanya] is the incarnation of God in this age. And who worships Him? The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.

The Science of Self-Realization

Hearing the vibration of the sound Hare Krsna is nondifferent from seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly:

In bhakti there are nine different activities: sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam/ arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam [SB 7.5.23]. Because all these devotional activities are absolute, there is no fundamental difference between worshiping the Deity in the temple, seeing Him and chanting His glories. Indeed, all of these are ways of seeing Him, for everything done in devotional service is a means of direct contact with the Lord…. Contrary to the laws of the material world, there is no difference between seeing the Lord, offering prayers and hearing the transcendental vibration. Pure devotees, therefore, are fully satisfied by glorifying the Lord. Such glorification is called kirtana. Performing kirtana and hearing the vibration of the sound Hare Krsna is actually seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. One must realize this position, and then one will be able to understand the absolute nature of the Lord’s activities.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.4.25-26

By constantly chanting the maha-mantra, one makes progress in spiritual life and ultimately sees Krsna face to face:

Srila Sridhara Svami quotes that to do what is good and to reject what is not good is called mangala, or auspicious. To do what is good means to accept everything favorable to the discharge of devotional service, and to reject what is not good means to reject everything not favorable for discharging devotional service. In our Krsna consciousness movement, we accept this principle by rejecting four prohibited items — namely illicit sex life, intoxication, gambling and flesh-eating — and accepting the daily chanting of at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and daily meditation three times a day by chanting the Gayatri mantra. In this way one can keep his brahminical culture and spiritual strength intact. By following these principles of devotional service strictly, chanting twenty-four hours a day the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — one makes positive progress in spiritual life and ultimately becomes completely fit to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Because the ultimate goal of studying or understanding the Vedic knowledge is to find Krsna, one who follows the Vedic principles as described above can from the very beginning see all the features of Lord Krsna, the Absolute Truth, very distinctly, as one can see one’s own face completely reflected in a clear mirror.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.21.42

Krsna reveals Himself to one who performs devotional service, beginning with chanting:

When it is not possible to understand even the material things which we daily see with our eyes, what can we say of the spiritual world and Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He is the supreme spiritual form, and it is not possible to understand Him by our limited senses. Then why are we bothering so much for Krsna consciousness, if it is not possible? If these imperfect senses cannot realize Krsna as He is? The answer is that if you become submissive, if you develop the spiritual attitude of following Krsna, and you are as a servant or a friend, as a parent or as a lover — if you begin to give service to the Supreme Lord then you can begin to know Him.

Your service begins with the tongue. How? By the tongue you can chant Hare Krsna, and by the tongue you can taste krsna-prasada, spiritual food. So, the beginning of the process is very nice. You can chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — and whenever prasada is offered to you by Krsna, by His kindness, you accept it. The result will be that if you become submissive, and if you begin this service — chanting and eating prasada — Krsna will reveal Himself before you.

Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System

Krsna reveals Himself to the devotee who faithfully chants His holy name:

When one fully engages in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, he gradually realizes his own spiritual identity. Unless one faithfully chants the Hare Krsna mantra, Krsna does not reveal Himself: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234). We cannot realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by any artificial means. We must engage faithfully in the service of the Lord. Such service begins with the tongue (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau), which means that we should always chant the holy names of the Lord and accept krsna-prasada. We should not chant or accept anything else. When this process is faithfully followed, the Supreme Lord reveals Himself to the devotee.

The Nectar of Instruction Text 5

The Lord reveals Himself to the offenseless chanter:

Chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra is the easiest process of meditation in this age. As soon as one chants the Hare Krsna mantra, he sees the forms of Krsna, Rama and Their energies, and that is the perfect stage of trance. One should not artificially try to see the form of the Lord while chanting Hare Krsna, but when the chanting is performed offenselessly the Lord will automatically reveal Himself to the view of the chanter. The chanter, therefore, has to concentrate on hearing the vibration, and without extra endeavor on his part, the Lord will automatically appear.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.53

NAM 2b20: The Holy Name Evokes Love of God

20. The Holy Name Evokes Love of God

Liberation and freedom from sinful reactions are merely by-products of chanting the holy name. The real result is ecstatic love of Krsna:

It was mentioned in the assembly that Haridasa Thakura chanted the holy names of Krsna 300,000 times a day. Thus all the learned scholars began to discuss the glories of the holy name. Some of them said, “By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is freed from the reactions of all sinful life.” Others said, “Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, a living being is liberated from material bondage.” Haridasa Thakura protested, “These two benedictions are not the true result of chanting the holy name. By actually chanting the holy name without offenses, one awakens his ecstatic love for the lotus feet of Krsna. ‘When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.’ Liberation and extinction of the reactions of sinful life are two concomitant by-products of chanting the holy name of the Lord. An example is found in the gleams of morning sunlight. ‘As the rising sun immediately disslpates all the world’s darkness, which is deep like an ocean, so the holy name of the Lord, if chanted once without offenses, can dissipate all the reactions of a living being’s sinful life. All glories to that holy name of the Lord, which is auspicious for the entire world.'” After reciting this verse, Haridasa Thakura said, “O learned scholars, please explain the meaning of this verse.” But the audience requested Haridasa Thakura, “It is better for you to explain the meaning of this important verse.” Haridasa Thakura said, “As the sun begins to rise, even before visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest, and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord’s holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krsna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.176-86

The holy name brings love for Krsna:

The holy name of Krsna is so attractive that anyone who chants it — including all living entities, moving and nonmoving, and even Lord Krsna Himself — becomes imbued with love of Krsna. This is the effect of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.268

The Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna, and loving devotion to Sri Krsna exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.

Cc Adi-lila 1.96

As a result of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy name of Krsna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one very easily achieves these transcendental riches.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 8.28

By chanting offenselessly, one attains love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 4.71

When one is on the transcendental stage of chanting the holy name, he attains love of God:

By chanting the holy name of the Lord one can directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration. As one practices this sound vibration, he passes through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage. In the offensive stage one may desire all kinds of material happiness, but in the second stage one becomes clear of all material contamination. When one is situated on the transcendental stage, he attains the most coveted position — the stage of loving God. Lord Caitanya taught that this is the highest stage of perfection for human beings.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

By chanting, one is freed from material activities and develops love for Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Satyaraja]: “By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one dissolves his entanglement in material activities. After this, one becomes very attracted to Krsna, and thus dormant love for Krsna is awakened.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.109

By constantly chanting the holy name, one easily attains liberation and love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Prakasananda Sarasvati]: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, “Always discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam and constantly chant the holy name of Lord Krsna. In this way you will be able to attain liberation very easily, and you will be elevated to the enjoyment of love of Godhead.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.154

Chanting the holy name initiates the flow of waves of love for Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna, one can be freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awakening all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for Krsna.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.11

If one is expert in chanting the holy name, he will, without fail, attain love of Godhead:

The Lord then told Sanatana Gosvami that the association of good devotees, engagement in the transcendental service of the Lord, the understanding of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, and residence in a holy place like Vrndavana or Mathura are all very important for elevation to the transcendental plane. One need not attain all five of these items; if one is expert in just one of them, he will, without fail, be elevated to the stage of love of Godhead.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

The great fruit of love of Godhead is distributed through the medium of chanting the maha-mantra:

The fruit of love of God is so tasteful that wherever a devotee distributes it, those who relish the fruit, anywhere in the world, immediately become intoxicated.

Here the wonderful fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described. We have practical experience that anyone who accepts this fruit and sincerely tastes it immediately becomes mad after it and gives up all his bad habits, being intoxicated by Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s gift, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The statements of Caitanya-caritamrta are so practical that anyone can test them. As far as we are concerned, we are most confident of the success of the distribution of the great fruit of love of Godhead through the medium of chanting of the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 9.48

How chanting the holy name elevates one to the position of ecstatic pure devotional service to Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “By performing congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, one can destroy the sinful condition of material existence, purify the unclean heart and awaken all varieties of devotional service. The result of chanting is that one awakens his love for Krsna and tastes transcendental bliss. Ultimately, one attains the association of Krsna and engages in His devotional service, as if immersing himself in a great ocean of love.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.13-14

By associating with pure devotees engaged in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one’s heart is purified and one develops pure love for Krsna:

An example of rising to the stage of ecstatic love by executing the regulative principles of devotional service is given in the life story of Narada, which is described to Vyasadeva in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Narada tells there of his previous life and how he developed to the stage of ecstatic love. He was engaged in the service of great devotees and used to hear their talks and songs. Because he had the opportunity to hear these pastimes and songs of Krsna from the mouths of pure devotees, he became very attracted within his heart. Because he had become so eager to hear these topics, he gradually developed within himself an ecstatic love for Krsna. This ecstatic love is prior to the pure love of Krsna, because in the next verse Narada confirms that by the gradual process of hearing from the great sages he developed love of Godhead. In that connection, Narada continues to say in the First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 28, of the Bhagavatam, “First I passed my days in the association of the great sages during the rainy autumn season. Every morning and evening I heard them while they were singing and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, and thus my heart gradually became purified. As soon as I heard them with great attention, the influence of the modes of material ignorance and passion disappeared, and I became firmly fixed in devotional service to the Lord.”

These are practical examples of how one can develop to the stage of ecstatic love simply by the association of pure devotees. It is essential, therefore, that one constantly associate with pure devotees who are engaged morning and evening in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. In this way one will get the chance to purify his heart and develop this ecstatic pure love for Krsna.

The Nectar of Devotion

By chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one’s heart becomes cleansed, one’s love for Krsna and eternal relationship with Him is revived, and one goes back to Godhead:

In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Rupa Gosvami said:

namo maha-vadanyaya
krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya
namne gaura-tvise namah
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]

In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as maha-vadanya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Krsna so easily that one can attain Krsna simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]), we shall be able to understand very easily that Krsna is the only object of love (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]).

Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Krsna and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah [Brs. atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krsna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)1.2.234]). Then one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Instead of bringing the Lord here for some material purpose, to have a son or whatever else, if we go back home, back to Godhead, our real relationship with the Lord is revealed, and we eternally engage in our eternal relationship. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, we gradually develop our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person and thus attain the perfection called svarupa-siddhi. We should take advantage of this benediction and go back home, back to Godhead. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has therefore sung, patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara: Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as an incarnation to deliver all fallen souls like us and directly bestow upon us love of Godhead. We must take advantage of this great benediction of the great Personality of Godhead.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.3.37-38

Anyone who has attained transcendental affection for Krsna by constantly chanting His holy name remains satisfied in any condition of life simply by remembering the holy name:

There is a statement by a person fallen in a hellish condition of life. He addressed the Supreme Lord thus: “My dear Lord, Yamaraja has placed me in a situation which is full of filthy and obnoxious smells. There are so many insects and worms, surrounded by the stools left by different kinds of diseased persons. And after seeing this horrible scene, my eyes have become sore, and I am becoming nearly blind. I therefore pray, O my Lord, O deliverer from the hellish conditions of life. I have fallen into this hell, but I shall try to remember Your holy name always, and in this way I shall try to keep my body and soul together.” This is another instance of ecstatic love for Krsna in an abominable situation.

It is to be understood that any person who is constantly engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — has attained a transcendental affection for Krsna, and as such, in any condition of life, he remains satisfied simply by remembering the Lord’s name in full affection and ecstatic love.

The Nectar of Devotion

Whereas the holy name of Lord Rama gives liberation, the holy name of Lord Krsna gives one ecstatic love of Krsna:

[Mayadevi, in the form of a prostitute, to Haridasa Thakura]: “The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna.”

In an indirect way, this verse explains the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — includes both the holy name of Lord Krsna and the name of Lord Rama. Lord Rama gives one the opportunity to be liberated, but simply by liberation one does not get actual spiritual benefit. Sometimes if one is liberated from the material world but has no shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna, one falls down to the material world again…. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra, however, gives liberation and at the same time offers shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. If one takes shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna after liberation, he develops his dormant ecstatic love for Krsna. That is the highest perfection of life.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.257

Revival of love of God does not depend on mechanical hearing and chanting, but on the Lord’s causeless mercy:

[Devotional service] is a great transcendental science and begins with the process of hearing and chanting the name, fame, glory, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Revival of the dormant affection or love of Godhead does not depend on the mechanical system of hearing and chanting, but it solely and wholly depends on the causeless mercy of the Lord. When the Lord is fully satisfied with the sincere efforts of the devotee, He may endow him with His loving transcendental service.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6

NAM 2b21: The Holy Name Evokes Ecstasy

21. The Holy Name Evokes Ecstasy

Offenseless chanting of the holy name brings ecstasy:

[Lord Caitanya to Prakasananda Sarasvati]: “After describing the potency of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, My spiritual master taught Me another verse, advising Me to always keep the name within My throat. ‘In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.’ Since I received this order from My spiritual master, I always chant the holy name, but I think that by chanting and chanting the holy name I have been bewildered. While chanting the holy name of the Lord in pure ecstasy, I lose Myself, and thus I laugh, cry, dance and sing just like a madman. Collecting My patience, therefore, I began to consider that chanting the holy name of Krsna had covered all My spiritual knowledge. I saw that I had become mad by chanting the holy name, and I immediately submitted this at the lotus feet of My spiritual master. ‘My dear lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? I have become mad simply by chanting this maha-mantra! Chanting the holy name in ecstasy causes one to dance, laugh and cry.’ When My spiritual master heard all this, he smiled and then began to speak. ‘It is the nature of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra that anyone who chants it immediately develops his loving ecstasy for Krsna.'”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays in His Siksastaka:

yugayitam nimesena
caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me

“O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.”

It is the aspiration of a devotee that while he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra his eyes will fill with tears, his voice falter and his heart throb. These are good signs in chanting the holy name of the Lord. In ecstasy, one should feel the entire world to be vacant without the presence of Govinda. This is a sign of separation from Govinda. In material life we are all separated from Govinda and are absorbed in material sense gratification. Therefore, when one comes to his senses on the spiritual platform he becomes so eager to meet Govinda that without Govinda the entire world becomes a vacant place…. In this verse [83] it is explained that one who chants the Hare Krsna mantra develops bhava, ecstasy, which is the point at which revelation begins. It is the preliminary stage in developing one’s original love for God. A neophyte disciple begins by hearing and chanting, associating with devotees and practicing the regulative principles, and thus he vanquishes all of his unwanted bad habits. In this way he develops attachment for Krsna and cannot forget Krsna even for a moment. Bhava is almost the successful stage of spiritual life. A sincere student aurally receives the holy name from the spiritual master, and after being initiated he follows the regulative principles given by the spiritual master. When the holy name is properly served in this way, automatically the spiritual nature of the holy name spreads; in other words, the devotee becomes qualified in offenselessly chanting the holy name. When one is completely fit to chant the holy name in this way, he is eligible to make disciples all over the world, and he actually becomes jagad-guru. Then the entire world, under his influence, begins to chant the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Thus all the disciples of such a spiritual master increase in attachment for Krsna, and therefore he sometimes cries, sometimes laughs, sometimes dances and sometimes chants. These symptoms are very prominently manifest in the body of a pure devotee. Sometimes when our students of the Krsna consciousness movement chant and dance, even in India people are astonished to see how these foreigners have learned to chant and dance in this ecstatic fashion. As explained by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, actually this is not due to practice, for without extra endeavor these symptoms become manifest in anyone who sincerely chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra…. While chanting and dancing or hearing the holy name of the Lord, one automatically remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and because there is no difference between the holy name and Krsna, the chanter is immediately linked with Krsna. Thus connected a devotee develops his original attitude of service to the Lord. In this attitude of constantly serving Krsna, which is called bhava, one always thinks of Krsna in many different ways. One who has attained this bhava stage is no longer under the clutches of the illusory energy. When other spiritual ingredients, such as trembling, perspiration, tears, etc., are added to this bhava stage, the devotee gradually attains love of Krsna.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.75-83

One who chants offenselessly develops symptoms of ecstasy and becomes eligible to enter the kingdom of God:

[Lord Brahma to the demigods]: Persons whose bodily features change in ecstasy and who breathe heavily and perspire due to hearing the glories of the Lord are promoted to the kingdom of God, even though they do not care for meditation and other austerities….

When one is free from all ten offenses in chanting the holy name of God, he develops the ecstatic bodily features called pulakasru. Pulaka means “symptoms of happiness,” and asru means “tears in the eyes.” The symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes must appear in a person who has chanted the holy name offenselessly. Here in this verse it is stated that those who have actually developed the symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes by chanting the glories of the Lord are eligible to enter the kingdom of God.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.25

By hearing the holy name, the devotee is merged in transcendental bliss:

[Lord Caitanya to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya]: “In conclusion, dealings in affection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead bring happiness many millions of times greater than dealings with Him in awe and veneration. Simply by hearing the holy name of the Lord, the devotee is merged in transcendental bliss.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 10.140

The holy name enables one to taste the full nectar of transcendental life at every step:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: “… The chanting of the holy name of Krsna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.12

One who chants the holy name is blessed by Krsna and experiences devotional ecstasy:

[Lord Caitanya to Amogha]: “Therefore, Amogha, get up and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra! If you do so, Krsna will unfailingly bestow mercy upon you.” After hearing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and being touched by Him, Amogha, who was on his deathbed, immediately stood up and began to chant the holy name of Krsnu. Thus he became mad with ecstatic love and began to dance emotionally. While Amogha danced in ecstatic love, he manifested all the ecstatic symptoms — trembling, tears, jubilation, trance, perspiration and a faltering voice. Seeing these waves of ecstatic emotion, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to laugh.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.277-79

Chanting brings one to the spiritual platform of ecstasy:

By practical experience also, one can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the Great Chanting for Deliverance, one can at once feel a transcendental ecstasy coming through from the spiritual stratum.

In the beginning, there may not be the presence of all transcendental ecstasies, which are eight in number. These are: (1) being stopped as though dumb, (2) perspiration, (3) standing up of hairs on the body, (4) dislocation of voice, (5) trembling, (6) fading of the body, (7) crying in ecstasy, and (8) trance. But there is no doubt that chanting for a while takes one immediately to the spiritual platform, and one shows the first symptom of this in the urge to dance along with the chanting of the mantra. We have seen this practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting and dancing. Of course, for one who is too entangled in material life, it takes a little more time to come to the standard point, but even such a materially engrossed man is raised to the spiritual platform very quickly.

The Science of Self-Realization

A small attachment for chanting Hare Krsna (etc.) can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte:

Rupa Gosvami has stated that the five kinds of devotional activities — namely, residing in Mathura, worshiping the Deity of the Lord, reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam, serving a devotee, and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra — are so potent that a small attachment for any one of these five items can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte.

The Nectar of Devotion

If materialistic persons would use their dry tongues to chant the holy name, they would taste sweet nectar and enjoy life:

O my merciful Lord Caitanya, may the nectarean Ganges water of Your transcendental activities flow on the surface of my desertlike tongue. Beautifying these waters are the lotus flowers of singing, dancing and loud chanting of Krsna’s holy name, which are the pleasure abodes of unalloyed devotees. These devotees are compared to swans, ducks and bees. The river’s flowing produces a melodious sound that gladdens their ears.

Lord Caitanya’s movement of Krsna consciousness is full of dancing and singing about the pastimes of Lord Krsna. It is compared herein to the pure waters of the Ganges, which are full of lotus flowers. The enjoyers of these lotus flowers are the pure devotees, who are like bees and swans. They chant like the flowing of the Ganges, the river of the celestial kingdom. The author desires such sweetly flowing waves to cover his tongue. He humbly compares himself to materialistic persons who always engage in dry talk from which they derive no satisfaction. If they were to use their dry tongues to chant the holy name of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — as exemplified by Lord Caitanya, they would taste sweet nectar and enjoy life.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 2.2

By the simple process of chanting, one’s transcendental bliss simply increases:

[Krsna consciousness] is called avyayam. Vyaya means “exhaustion.” For example, one may have a hundred dollars, and if they are spent one after another, the next day it will come to zero. That is vyaya, exhaustible. But Krsna consciousness is not like that. If you cultivate this knowledge of Krsna consciousness, then it will increase. That is certified by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anandambudhi-vardhanam. Ananda means “pleasure,” “transcendental bliss,” and ambudhi means “ocean.” In the material world we see that the ocean does not increase. But if one cultivates Krsna consciousness, then his transcendental bliss will simply increase. Anandambudhi-vardhanam. And I shall always remind everyone that the process is very simple. Anyone can chant, anywhere, without taxation or loss, but the gain is very great.

The Science of Self-Realization

The word rasa means “taste,” or “mellow.” We enjoy sweets or candy because of their taste. Everyone is trying to enjoy some taste, and we want to enjoy sex because there is some taste there. That is called adi taste. Material tastes are different because they are tasted and quickly finished. Material tastes last only a few minutes. You may take a piece of candy, taste it, and say, “Oh, that is very nice,” but you have to taste another in order to continue the enjoyment. Material taste is not unlimited, but real taste is without end. Spiritual taste cannot be forgotten; it goes on increasing. Anandambudhi-vardhanam. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “This taste is always increasing.” Spiritual taste is like the ocean in the sense that it is very great. The Pacific Ocean is always tossing, but it is not increasing. By God’s order, the ocean does not extend beyond its limit, and if it extends, there is havoc. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that there is another ocean, an ocean of transcendental bliss, an ocean that is always increasing. Anandambudhi-vardhanam pratipadam purnamrtasvadanam/ sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. By chanting Hare Krsna, our pleasure potency increases more and more.

The Path of Perfection

A pure devotee absorbed in chanting the holy name of Krsna merges into the ocean of love of Krsna:

To realize our relationship with Krsna, we have but to follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya and His chief associates, the six Gosvamis — Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Sri Jiva, Gopala, Raghunatha dasa, and Raghunatha Bhatta. These Gosvamis were always engaged in chanting Hare Krsna and dancing in ecstasy. They taught that when one is merged in krsna-kirtana, or the chanting of the holy names of Krsna, he merges into the ocean of love of Krsna. As soon as the sound of Krsna’s name is vibrated, one can immediately merge into the ocean of love. That is the sign of pure devotion. Thus at kirtanas the six Gosvamis would merge immediately into the ocean of love of Godhead.

The Science of Self-Realization

A devotee should long for the day when, by chanting the holy name, symptoms of ecstasy will appear in his body:

The fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu is such a great intoxicant that anyone who eats it, filling his belly, immediately becomes maddened by it, and automatically he chants, dances, laughs and enjoys…. The great gardener, Lord Caitanya, personally eats this fruit, and as a result He constantly remains mad, as if helpless and bewildered. With His sankirtana movement the Lord made everyone mad like Himself. We do not find anyone who was not intoxicated by His sankirtana movement.

While chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes fainted and remained unconscious for many hours. He prays in His Siksastaka:

yugayitam nimesena
caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me

“O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.” (Siksastaka 7)

This is the perfectional stage of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and eating the fruit of love of Godhead, as exhibited by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One should not artificially imitate this stage, but if one is serious and sincerely follows the regulative principles and chants the Hare Krsna mantra, the time will come when these symptoms will appear. Tears will fill his eyes, and he will be unable to chant distinctly the maha-mantra, and his heart will throb in ecstasy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that one should not imitate this, but a devotee should long for the day to come when such symptoms of trance will automatically appear in his body.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 9.49-52

A devotee’s aspiration to chant in ecstasy:

“O lotus-eyed one, when will I be able to always chant Your holy name, and being inspired by that chanting, when will I be able to dance on the banks of the Yamuna?”

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2. 156)
[cited: Teachings of Lord Caitanya]

“My dear Lord, O lotus-eyed one, when will that day come when on the bank of the Yamuna, I shall become just like a madman, and continue to chant Your holy name while incessant tears flow from my eyes?”

Narada-pancaratra
[cited: The Nectar of Devotion]

The whole universe becomes ecstatic by the influence of the transcendental vibration of the holy name:

The goodness of the great sage Narada Muni is described herewith. He always chants about the pastimes of the Lord and delivers the fallen souls back to Godhead. In this regard, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung:

narada muni, bajaya vina,
‘radhika-ramana’-name
nama amani, udita haya,
bhakata-gita-same

amiya-dhara, varise ghana,
sravana-yugale giya
bhakata jana, saghane nace,
bhariya apana hiya

madhuri-pura, asaba pasi’,
mataya jagata-jane
keha va kande, keha va nace,
keha mate mane mane

panca-vadana, narade dhari’,
premera saghana rola
kamalasana, naciya bale,
‘bola bola hari bola’

sahasranana, parama-sukhe,
‘hari hari’ bali’ gaya
nama-prabhave, matila visva,
nama-rasa sabe paya

sri-krsna-nama, rasane sphuri’,
pura ‘la amara asa
sri-rupa-pade, yacaye iha,
bhakativinoda dasa

The purport of this song is that Narada Muni, the great soul, plays a stringed instrument called a vina, vibrating the sound radhika-ramana, which is another name for Krsna. As soon as he strokes the strings, all the devotees begin responding, making a very beautiful vibration. Accompanied by the stringed instrument, the singing seems like a shower of nectar, and all the devotees dance in ecstasy to the fullest extent of their satisfaction. While dancing, they appear madly intoxicated with ecstasy, as if drinking the beverage called madhuri-pura. Some of them cry, some of them dance, and some of them, although unable to dance publicly, dance within their hearts. Lord Siva embraces Narada Muni and begins talking in an ecstatic voice, and seeing Lord Siva dancing with Narada, Lord Brahma also joins, saying, “All of you kindly chant ‘Hari bol! Hari bol!'” The King of heaven, Indra, also gradually joins with great satisfaction and begins dancing and chanting “Hari bol! Hari bol!” In this way, by the influence of the transcendental vibration of the holy name of God, the whole universe becomes ecstatic. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, “When the universe becomes ecstatic, my desire is satisfied. I therefore pray unto the lotus feet of Rupa Gosvami that this chanting of harer nama [Cc. Adi 17.21] may go on nicely like this.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.5.22

Nama-sankirtana makes the world dance in ecstasy:

[Lord Krsna, thinking to Himself]: “I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age-nama-sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 3.19

To taste the nectar of the holy name, great demigods and sages, and even Krsna Himself, descended in human form:

During the incarnation of Lord Caitanya to inaugurate the Krsna consciousness movement, even such personalities as Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and the four Kumaras took birth upon this earth, being allured by ecstatic love of Lord Krsna. All of them, including the great sage Narada and devotees like Prahlada, came here as if human beings, chanting the holy names of Lord Krsna together and dancing and floating in the inundation of love of Godhead. The goddess of fortune and others, allured by love of Krsna, also came down in the form of human beings and tasted the holy name of the Lord in love. What to speak of others, even Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, personally descends to taste the nectar of love of Godhead in the form of the chanting of Hare Krsna.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.262-65

Those who have tasted the nectar of chanting the holy name do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts:

[The personified Vedas said:] “The most intelligent devotees do not take to any means of self-realization except devotional service and constant engagement in the nine different processes of devotional life, especially hearing and chanting. When hearing and chanting about Your transcendental pastimes, Your devotees do not care even for the transcendental bliss derived from liberation or from merging into the existence of the Supreme. Such devotees are not interested even in so-called liberation, and certainly they have no interest in material activities for elevation to the heavenly planets for sense gratification. Pure devotees seek only the association of paramahamsas, or great liberated devotees, so that they can continually hear and chant about Your glories. For this purpose the pure devotees are prepared to sacrifice all comforts of life, even giving up the material comforts of family life and so-called society, friendship and love. Those who have tasted the nectar of devotion by relishing the transcendental vibration of chanting Your glories, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, do not care for any other spiritual bliss or for material comforts, which appear to the pure devotee to be less important than the straw in the street.”

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Bhava results from understanding that Krsna’s person and name are identical:

The transcendental ecstatic attachment for Krsna which results from perfectly understanding that Krsna’s person and name are identical is called bhava. One who has attained bhava is certainly not contaminated by material nature. He actually enjoys transcendental pleasure from bhava, and when bhava is intensified, it is called love of Godhead. Lord Caitanya told Prakasananda Sarasvati that the holy name of Krsna, called the maha-mantra (great chanting), enables anyone who chants it to attain the stage of love of Godhead, or intensified bhava.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

The bliss derived from chanting the holy name is far greater than the happiness of impersonal Brahman realization:

[Lord Caitanya to Prakasananda Sarasvati]: “Compared to the ocean of transcendental bliss which is tasted by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman realization [brahmananda] is like the shallow water in a canal.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.97

Impersonalists’ apparent ecstatic reactions to chanting the holy name are merely reflections of ecstatic love:

Sometimes impersonalists who are not actually in devotional service may also exhibit such symptoms of ecstatic love, but this is not accepted as actual ecstasy. It is a reflection only. For example, sometimes in Varanasi, a holy city for impersonalist scholars, there may be seen a sannyasi crying from hearing the glories of the Lord. Impersonalists also sometimes chant the Hare Krsna mantra and dance, but their aim is not to serve the Lord. It is to become one with the Lord and merge into His existence. Rupa Gosvami therefore says that even if the reactions to chanting are manifested in the impersonalist’s body, they should not be considered to be symptoms of actual attachment, but reflections only, just like the sun reflected in a dark room through some polished glass. The chanting of Hare Krsna, however, is so nice and transcendental that it will eventually melt even the hearts of persons who are impersonalists. Rupa Gosvami says that the impersonalists’ symptoms are simply reflections of ecstatic love, not the real thing.

The Nectar of Devotion

NAM 2b22: Chanting of the Holy Name in the State of Ecstasy

22. Chanting of the Holy Name in the State of Ecstasy

In the stage of bhava, the devotee is strongly attached to the process of chanting:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “Due to having a great relish for the holy name, one is inclined to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra constantly. ‘O Govinda, this youthful girl named Radhika is today constantly pouring forth tears like nectar falling from flowers. She is also singing Your holy name in a sweet voice.’ At this stage of bhava, a devotee has awakened the tendency to chant and describe the transcendental qualities of the Lord. He has attachment for this process…. ‘O Lord Pundarikaksa, while chanting Your holy name with tears in my eyes, when shall I dance in ecstasy on the bank of the Yamuna?’ These are the symptoms of a person who has developed attraction [bhava] for Krsna.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 23.32-34, 37-38
[The quoted statements are found in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.3.38 and 1.2.156 respectively.]

Strong attachment to chanting as a characteristic of ecstatic love:

Rupa Gosvami next describes the characteristics of a person who has actually developed his ecstatic love for Krsna. The characteristics are as follows: … 7) He is very much attached to the chanting of the holy names of the Lord…

The Nectar of Devotion

Taste for chanting the holy name as a subordinate sign of ecstatic emotion:

“‘When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one’s behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides — that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify.'”

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.25-26
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 23.18-19]

An advanced devotee experiences ecstasy in chanting the holy name:

[Kavi to Maharaja Nimi]: “‘When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.'”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.40
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 9.262 and Madhya-lila 23.41]

While chanting the holy name, a pure devotee manifests symptoms of ecstasy:

[Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya]: “‘It is a characteristic of love of Godhead that by nature it induces transcendental symptoms in one’s body and makes one more and more greedy to achieve the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. When one actually develops love of Godhead, he naturally sometimes cries, sometimes laughs, sometimes chants and sometimes runs here and there just like a madman. Perspiration, trembling, standing of one’s bodily hairs, tears, faltering, fading, madness, melancholy, patience, pride, joy and humility — these are various natural symptoms of ecstatic love of Godhead, which causes a devotee to dance and float in an ocean of transcendental bliss while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.'”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.87-90

A pure devotee, whose consciousness is absorbed in the Supreme Lord, chants the holy name in ecstasy:

[Prahlada Maharaja to his schoolmates]: When a devotee becomes like a person haunted by a ghost, he laughs and very loudly chants about the qualities of the Lord. Sometimes he sits to perform meditation, and he offers respect to every living entity, considering him a devotee of the Lord. Constantly breathing very heavily, he becomes careless of social etiquette and loudly chants like a madman, “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna! O my Lord, O master of the universe!”

When one chants the holy name of the Lord in ecstasy, not caring for outward social conventions, it is to be understood that he is atmamati. In other words, his consciousness is turned toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.7.35

Ecstatic chanting as a symptom of actual love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “Now hear from Me what actual love of Godhead is. It is the prime object of life and is symptomized by bodily trembling, tears in the eyes, chanting and dancing.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.139

Physical symptoms of ecstasy produced by chanting the holy name:

[Lord Caitanya said]: “My dear Lord, when will My eyes be beautified by filling with tears that constantly glide down as I chant Your holy name? When will My voice falter and all the hairs on My body stand erect in transcendental happiness as I chant Your holy name?”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 20.36

Effects of the ecstatic chanting of the name of Krsna:

“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Krs-na’ have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”

Vidagdha-madhava (1.15), by Rupa Gosvami
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.99]

Narada Muni’s ecstatic symptoms due to chanting the Hare Krsna mantra:

When there was stretching of the body of Narada Muni from chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, he chanted so loudly that it was apprehended that Lord Nrsimha had appeared. Thus all the demons began to flee in different directions.

The Nectar of Devotion

The spiritual master experiences ecstasy in chanting the holy name:

mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita
vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena
romanca-kampasru-taranga-bhajo
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

“Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing, and playing musical instruments, the spiritual master is always gladdened by the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.”

Sri Sri Gurv-astaka (verse 2), by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura

Those who chant Hare Krsna in ecstasy are unconcerned with the derision of outsiders:

“We shall not care for any outsiders. If they should deride us, we shall still not care for them. We shall simply enjoy the transcendental mellow of chanting Hare Krsna, and thus we shall roll on the ground and dance ecstatically. In this way we shall enjoy transcendental bliss.”

Padyavali, by Rupa Gosvami
[cited: The Nectar of Devotion]

Those who chant the holy name in spontaneous ecstatic love can taste the sweetness of Krsna’s pastimes:

[Lord Caitanya to Rupa Gosvami]: “The transcendental mellows generated from the dealings between the gopis and Krsna cannot be tasted by fruitive activity, yogic austerities, speculative knowledge, regulative devotional service, mantra-yoga or meditation. This sweetness can be tasted only through the spontaneous love of liberated persons who chant the holy names with great ecstatic love.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 21.119

Hearing and chanting in the stage of love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “When the permanent ecstasies [neutrality, servitorship, and so on] are mixed with other ingredients, devotional service in love of Godhead is transformed and becomes composed of transcendental mellows.”

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the following definition is given:

athasyah kesava-rater
laksitaya nigadyate
samagri-pariposena
parama rasa-rupata

vibhavair anubhavais ca
sattvikair vyabhicaribhih
svadyatvam hrdi bhaktanam
anita sravanadibhih
esa krsna-ratih sthayi
bhavo bhakti-raso bhavet

Love for Krsna, Kesava, as previously described, reaches the supreme state of being composed of mellows when its ingredients are fulfilled. By means of vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari, hearing and chanting are activated, and the devotee is able to taste love for Krsna. Then attachment for Krsna, or permanent ecstasy (sthayi-bhava), becomes the mellow of devotional service (bhakti-rasa).

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 23.47

NAM 2b23: By Chanting the Holy Name, One Returns Home, Back to Godhead

23. By Chanting the Holy Name, One Returns Home, Back to Godhead

In Kali-yuga, one can attain liberation and return to the spiritual kingdom by chanting the holy name:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to Maharaja Pariksit]: “‘My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.'”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51
[cited: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 20.344]

By chanting, one becomes liberated and returns home, back to Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Satyaraja]: “…One simply has to vibrate the holy name with his lips. Thus even a man in the lowest class [candala] can be delivered.”

Although chanting the holy name is good for both the conditioned and liberated soul, it is especially beneficial to the conditioned soul because by chanting it one is liberated. When a person who chants the holy name is liberated, he attains the ultimate perfection by returning home, back to Godhead…. Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 15.108

By chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one’s heart becomes cleansed, one’s love for Krsna and eternal relationship with Him is revived, and one goes back to Godhead:

In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Rupa Gosvami said:

namo maha-vadanyaya
krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya
namne gaura-tvise namah
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]

In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as maha-vadanya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Krsna so easily that one can attain Krsna simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]), we shall be able to understand very easily that Krsna is the only object of love (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]).

Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Krsna and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah [Brs. atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krsna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)1.2.234]). Then one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Instead of bringing the Lord here for some material purpose, to have a son or whatever else, if we go back home, back to Godhead, our real relationship with the Lord is revealed, and we eternally engage in our eternal relationship. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, we gradually develop our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person and thus attain the perfection called svarupa-siddhi. We should take advantage of this benediction and go back home, back to Godhead. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has therefore sung, patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara: Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as an incarnation to deliver all fallen souls like us and directly bestow upon us love of Godhead. We must take advantage of this great benediction of the great Personality of Godhead.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.3.37-38

By chanting Hare Krsna one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead:

Generally people are not aware of their interest in life — to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuntha planets, and the topmost planet is Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana…. One should be intelligent enough to return to Godhead. One should be interested in information about the spiritual Vaikuntha planets, and in particular the planet known as Goloka Vrndavana, and should learn the art of going there by the simple method of devotional service, beginning with hearing (sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]). This is also confinned in Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.51):

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

One can go to the supreme planet (param vrajet) simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. This is especially meant for the people of this age (kaler dosa-nidheh). It is the special advantage of this age that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead. There is no doubt about this.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.48

If one constantly thinks of Krsna by chanting His holy name, he will return to Krsnaloka at the time of death:

[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

In this verse the importance of Krsna consciousness is stressed. Anyone who quits his body in Krsna consciousness is at once transferred to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord. The word smarana (remembering) is important. Remembrance of Krsna is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Krsna consciousness in devotional service. To remember Krsna one should chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Krsna and so attain the supreme goal.

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.

The process of changing one’s nature at the critical moment of death is here explained. How can one die in the proper state of mind? Maharaja Bharata thought of a deer at the time of death and so was transferred to that form of life. However, as a deer, Maharaja Bharata could remember his past activities. Of course the cumulative effect of the thoughts and actions of one’s life influences one’s thoughts at the moment of death; therefore the actions of this life determine one’s future state of being. If one is transcendentally absorbed in Krsna’s service, then his next body will be transcendental (spiritual), not physical. Therefore the chanting of Hare Krsna is the best process for successfully changing one’s state of being to transcendental life.

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.

This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krsna by chanting Hare Krsna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krsna. By chanting Krsna’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, without a doubt.

He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha [Arjuna], is sure to reach Me.

In this verse Lord Krsna stresses the importance of remembering Him. One’s memory of Krsna is revived by chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one’s ear and tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord…. The devotee can constantly think of the object of worship, the Supreme Lord, in any of His features, Narayana, Krsna, Rama, etc., by chanting Hare Krsna. This practice will purify him, and at the end of his life, due to his constant chanting, he will be transferred to the kingdom of God. Yoga practice is meditation on the Supersoul within; similarly, by chanting Hare Krsna one fixes his mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is fickle, and therefore it is necessary to engage the mind by force to think of Krsna. One example often given is that of the caterpillar that thinks of becoming a butterfly and so is transformed into a butterfly in the same life. Similarly, if we constantly think of Krsna, it is certain that at the end of our lives we shall have the same bodily constitution as Krsna.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 8.5-8

One who chants the holy name of the Lord constantly during one’s life can, at the time of death, return home, back to Godhead:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: While suffering at the time of death, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, and although the chanting was directed toward his son, he nevertheless returned home, back to Godhead. Therefore if one faithfully and inoffensively chants the holy name of the Lord, where is the doubt that he will return to Godhead?

At the time of death one is certainly bewildered because his bodily functions are in disorder. At that time, even one who throughout his life has practiced chanting the holy name of the Lord may not be able to chant the Hare Krsna mantra very distinctly. Nevertheless, such a person receives all the benefits of chanting the holy name. While the body is fit, therefore, why should we not chant the holy name of the Lord loudly and distinctly? If one does so, it is quite possible that even at the time of death he will be properly able to chant the holy name of the Lord with love and faith. In conclusion, one who chants the holy name of the Lord constantly is guaranteed to return home, back to Godhead, without a doubt.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.49

Those who chant the maha-mantra escape continual rebirth and go to the spiritual planet of Krsna, even in this life:

[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated.

The less intelligent jivas try to remain within this material world and are accordingly elevated and degraded in the various planetary systems. During the daytime of Brahma they exhibit their activities, and at the coming of Brahma’s night they are annihilated. In the day they receive various bodies for material activities, and at night these bodies perish. The jivas (individual souls) remain compact in the body of Visnu and again and again are manifest at the arrival of Brahma’s day. When Brahma’s life is finally finished, they are all annihilated and remain unmanifest for millions and millions of years. Finally, when Brahma is born again in another millennium, they are again manifest. In this way the jivas are captivated by the material world. However, those intelligent beings who take to Krsna consciousness and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Rama in devotional service transfer themselves, even in this life, to the spiritual planet of Krsna and become eternally blissful there, not being subject to such rebirths.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 8.18

Better than performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies to go to higher material planets is to chant the holy name and return home, back to Godhead:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: One who constantly hears and chants the holy name of the Lord and hears and chants about His activities can very easily attain the platform of pure devotional service, which can cleanse the dirt from one’s heart. One cannot achieve such purification merely by observing vows and performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Devotees who always lick the honey from the lotus feet of Lord Krsna do not care at all for material activities, which are performed under the three modes of material nature and which bring only misery. Indeed, devotees never give up the lotus feet of Krsna to return to material activities. Others, however, who are addicted to Vedic rituals because they have neglected the service of the Lord’s lotus feet and are enchanted by lusty desires, sometimes perform acts of atonement. Nevertheless, being incompletely purified, they return to sinful activities again and again.

One may very easily practice chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord and thus become ecstatic in spiritual life…. There is no profit, however, in executing the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. By performing such activities one may go to the higher planetary systems, but as stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.21), ksine punye martya-lokam visanti: when the period of one’s enjoyment in the heavenly planets is terminated because of the limited extent of the results of one’s pious activities, one must return to earth. Thus there is no use in endeavoring to travel up and down in the universe. It is better to chant the holy name of the Lord so that one may become fully purified and eligible to return home, back to Godhead. That is the aim of life, and that is the perfection of life….

A devotee’s duty is to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. One may sometimes chant with offenses and sometimes without offenses, but if one seriously adopts this process, he will achieve perfection, which cannot be achieved through Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of atonement. Persons who are attached to the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, but do not believe in devotional service, who advise atonement, but do not appreciate the chanting of the Lord’s holy name, fail to achieve the highest perfection. Devotees, therefore, being completely detached from material enjoyment, never give up Krsna consciousness for Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Those who are attached to Vedic ritualistic ceremonies because of lusty desires are subjected to the tribulations of material existence again and again. Maharaja Pariksit has compared their activities to kunjara-sauca, the bathing of an elephant.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.32-33

The purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement is to teach the people in general how to enter the kingdom of God in the next life through the chanting of the names of God:

It is not possible in our human condition to understand the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead completely, but with the help of Bhagavad-gita, the statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and of the spiritual master, we can know Him to the best of our capacity. If we can know Him in reality, then immediately after leaving this body we can enter into the kingdom of God. Krsna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna: “After leaving this body, one who is in knowledge does not come again to this material world, for he enters into the spiritual world and comes to Me.” (Bg. 4.9)

The purpose of our Krsna consciousness movement is to propagate this advanced scientific idea to people in general, and the process is very simple. Simply by chanting the holy names of God — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — one cleanses the dirt from his heart and gains understanding that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and that it is his duty to serve Him. This process is very pleasant: we chant the Hare Krsna mantra, we dance rhythmically, and we eat nice prasada. While enjoying this life, we are preparing to enter into the kingdom of God in our next life. This is not a fabrication — it is factual.

Easy Journey to Other Planets

By chanting the holy name, the soul is attracted by Krsna to go back to Godhead:

Recognizing Krsna to be the Supreme Brahman, Arjuna addresses Him, sthane hrsikesa….”The world becomes joyful hearing Your name, and thus do all become attached to You.” [Bg. 11.36] The process of chanting is herein authorized as the direct means of contacting the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. Simply by chanting the holy name Krsna, the soul is attracted by the Supreme Person, Krsna, to go home, back to Godhead.

The Science of Self-Realization

Even if performed without knowledge or education, chanting the holy name (and dancing and taking prasada) will lead anyone, even an animal, back to Godhead:

When all the devotees came to the place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they saw that the same dog was sitting a little apart from the Lord. Furthermore, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, “Chant the holy names Rama, Krsna, and Hari.” Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting “Krsna, Krsna” again and again, all the devotees present were very much surprised. When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of Krsna, Sivananda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it. The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuntha, the spiritual kingdom. Such are the transcendental pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Saci. He even delivered a dog simply by inducing it to chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna.

This is the result of sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83], consequent association with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaisnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasada, not to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone could be promoted to Vaikunthaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaisnavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikunthaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasada and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Krsna and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.28-33

Even unintentional chanting of the holy name, if offenseless, will take one back to Godhead:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: While suffering at the time of death, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, and although the chanting was directed toward his son, he nevertheless returned home, back to Godhead. Therefore, if one faithfully and inoffensively chants the holy name of the Lord, where is the doubt that he will return to Godhead?

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.49

NAM 2b24: Even Improper Chanting of the Holy Name Yields Beneficial Results

24. Even Improper Chanting of the Holy Name Yields Beneficial Results

General instructions

Even if one chants the holy name imperfectly, he still easily attains liberation:
[A disciple of Prakasananda Sarasvati to an assembly of disciples]: “In this age of Kali, one cannot attain liberation without taking to the devotional service of the Lord. In this age, even if one does not chant the holy name of Krsna perfectly, he still attains liberation very easily.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.30

Even imperfectly uttered, the holy name frees one from sin:
[Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya]: Namacarya Haridasa Thakura continued, “lf one offenselessly utters the holy name even imperfectly, one can be freed from all the results of sinful life.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.61

In any condition or for any reason, if one chants the holy name of the Lord, he is freed from all sins:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: Even if he be distressed or degraded, any person who chants the holy name of the Lord, having heard it from a bona tide spiritual master, is immediately purified. Even if he chants the Lord’s name jokingly or by chance, he and anyone who hears him are freed from all sins.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.25.11

Even chanting that is indirect, frivolous, neglectful (etc.), frees one from sin:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.14

Conditions of effectiveness of partial or improper uttering of the holy name:
[Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya]: “The letters of the holy name have so much spiritual potency that they act even when uttered improperly.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that the word vyavahita (“improperly uttered”) is not used here to refer to the mundane vibration of the letters of the alphabet. Such negligent utterance for the sense gratification of materialistic persons is not a vibration of transcendental sound. Utterance of the holy name while one engages in sense gratification is an impediment on the path toward achieving ecstatic love for Krsna. On the other hand, if one who is eager for devotional service utters the holy name even partially or improperly, the holy name, who is identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, exhibits its spiritual potency because of that person’s offenseless utterance. Thus one is relieved from all unwanted practices, and one gradually awakens his dormant love for Krsna.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.59

Whether vibrated properly or improperly, the holy name will liberate the chanter providing it is not done to facilitate sinning:
“‘If a devotee once utters the holy name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that holy name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, and properly joined or vibrated in separate parts. O brahmana, the potency of the holy name is therefore certainly great. However, if one uses the vibration of the holy name for the benefit of the material body, for material wealth and followers, or under the influence of greed or atheism — in other words, if one utters the name with offenses — such chanting will not produce the desired result very soon. Therefore one should diligently avoid offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord.'”

This verse from the Padma Purana is included in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (11.527) by Sanatana Gosvami. Therein Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives the following explanation:

sarvebhyah papebhyo ‘paradhebhyas ca samsarad apy uddharayaty eveti satyam eva; kintu nama-sevanasya mukhyam yat phalam, tan na sadyah sampadyate. tatha deha-bharanady-artham api nama-sevanena mukhyam phalam asu na sidhyatity aha-tac ced iti.

The holy name has so much spiritual potency that it can deliver one from all sinful reactions and material entanglements, but utterance of the holy name will not be very soon fruitful if done to facilitate sinning.

tan nama ced yadi dehadi-madhye niksiptam- deha- bharanady-artham eva vinyastam, tadapi phala-janakam na bhavati kim? api tu bhavaty eva, kintv atreha loke sighram na bhavati, kintu vilambenaiva bhavatity arthah.

The holy name is so powerful that it must act, but when one utters the holy name with offenses, its action will be delayed, not immediate, although in favorable circumstances the holy names of the Lord act very quickly.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.60

Even unconscious, unintentional,
Or accidental chanting is effective

Even unconscious chanting of the holy name liberates one from birth and death:
[The sages at Naimisaranya to Suta Gosvami]: Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krsna, which is feared by fear personified.

The transcendental name of Krsna, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.16

Even if one chants the holy name of the Lord unintentionally, he is fully purified:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: That old man Ajamila had ten sons, of whom the youngest was a baby named Narayana. Since Narayana was the youngest of all the sons, he was naturally very dear to both his father and his mother. Because of the child’s broken language and awkward movements, old Ajamila was very much attached to him. He always took care of the child and enjoyed the child’s activities. When Ajamila chewed food and ate it, he called the child to chew and eat, and when he drank he called the child to drink also. Always engaged in taking care of the child and calling his name, Narayana, Ajamila could not understand that his own time was now exhausted and that death was upon him. When the time of death arrived for the foolish Ajamila, he began thinking exclusively of his son Narayana. Ajamila then saw three awkward persons, with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands, they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamaraja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, who was playing a short distance away, Ajamila began to call him loudly by his name. Thus with tears in his eyes he somehow or other chanted the holy name Narayana. My dear King, the order carriers of Visnu, the Visnudutas, immediately arrived when they heard the holy name of their master from the mouth of the dying Ajamila, who had certainly chanted without offense because he had chanted in complete anxiety.

Since the old man was very attached to the child, he enjoyed the child’s activities, and because the child’s name was Narayana, the old man always chanted the holy name of Narayana. Although he was referring to the small child and not to the original Narayana, the name of Narayana is so powerful that even by chanting his son’s name he was becoming purified (harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [Cc. Adi 17.21]). Srila Rupa Gosvami has therefore declared that if one’s mind is somehow or other attracted by the holy name of Krsna (tasmat kenapy upayena manah krsne nivesayet [SB 7.1.32]), one is on the path of liberation. It is customary in Hindu society for parents to give their children names like Krsnadasa, Govinda dasa, Narayana dasa and Vrndavana and get the chance to be purified….

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is kind to the conditioned soul. Although this man completely forgot Narayana, he was calling his child, saying, “Narayana, please come eat this food. Narayana, please come drink this milk.” Somehow or other, therefore, he was attached to the name Narayana. This is called ajnata-sukrti. Although calling for his son, he was unknowingly chanting the name of Narayana, and the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so transcendentally powerful that his chanting was being counted and recorded…. Somehow or other, Ajamila consciously or unconsciously chanted the name of Narayana at the time of death (ante narayana-smrtih [SB 2.1.6]), and therefore he became all-perfect simply by concentrating his mind on the name of Narayana.

It may also be concluded that Ajamila, who was the son of a brahmana, was accustomed to worshiping Narayana in his youth because in every brahmana’s house there is worship of the narayana-sila. This system is still present in India; in a rigid brahmana’s house, there is narayana-seva, worship of Narayana. Therefore, although the contaminated Ajamila was calling for his son, by concentrating his mind on the holy name of Narayana he remembered the Narayana he had very faithfully worshiped in his youth.

In this regard Srila Sridhara Svami expressed his verdict as follows: etac ca tad-upalalanadi-sri-narayana-namoccarana-mahatmyena tad-bhaktir evabhud iti siddhantopayogitvenapi drastavyam. “According to the bhakti-siddhanta, it is to be analyzed that because Ajamila constantly chanted his son’s name, Narayana, he was elevated to the platform of bhakti, although he did not know it.” Similarly, Srila Viraraghava Acarya gives this opinion: evam vartamanah sa dvijo mrtyu-kale upasthite satyajno narayanakhye putra eva matim cakara matim asaktam akarod ity arthah. “Although at the time of death he was chanting the name of his son, he nevertheless concentrated his mind upon the holy name of Narayana.” Srila Vijayadhvaja Tirtha gives a similar opinion:

mrtyu-kale deha-viyoga-laksana-kale mrtyoh sarva-dosa-papaharasya harer anugrahat kale datta-jnana-laksane upasthite hrdi prakasite tanaye purna-jnane bale panca-varsa-kalpe pradesamatre narayanahvaye murti-visese matim smarana-samartham cittam cakara bhaktyasmarad ity arthah.

Directly or indirectly, Ajamila factually remembered Narayana at the time of death (ante narayana-smrtih [SB 2.1.6])….

A person who performs sinful activities performs them with his body, mind and words. Therefore three order carriers from Yamaraja came to take Ajamila to Yamaraja’s abode. Fortunately, even though he was referring to his son, Ajamila chanted the four syllables of the hari-nama Narayana, and therefore the order carriers of Narayana, the Visnudutas, also immediately arrived there. Because Ajamila was extremely afraid of the ropes of Yamaraja, he chanted the Lord’s name with tearful eyes. Actually, however, he never meant to chant the holy name of Narayana; he meant to call his son.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks, hari-kirtanam nisamyapatan, katham-bhutasya bhartur nama bruvatah: the order carriers of Lord Visnu came because Ajamila had chanted the holy name of Narayana. They did not consider why he was chanting. While chanting the name of Narayana, Ajamila was actually thinking of his son, but simply because they heard Ajamila chanting the Lord’s name, the order carriers of Lord Visnu, the Visnudutas, immediately came for Ajamila’s protection. Hari-kirtana is actually meant to glorify the holy name, form, pastimes and qualities of the Lord. Ajamila, however, did not glorify the form, qualities or paraphernalia of the Lord; he simply chanted the holy name. Nevertheless, that chanting was sufficient to cleanse him of all sinful activities. As soon as the Visnudutas heard their master’s name being chanted, they immediately came. In this regard Srila Vijayadhvaja Tirtha remarks: anena putra-sneham antarena pracinadrsta-balad udbhutaya bhaktya bhagavan-nama-sankirtanam iti jnayate. “Ajamila chanted the name of Narayana because of his excessive attachment to his son. Nevertheless, because of his past good fortune in having rendered devotional service to Narayana, he apparently chanted the holy name in full devotional service and without offenses.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.24-30

Whether one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the holy name will free one from all reactions to sinful activities:
[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: As a fire burns dry grass to ashes, so the holy name of the Lord, whether chanted knowingly or unknowingly, burns to ashes, without fail, all the reactions of one’s sinful activities. If a person unaware of the effective potency of a certain medicine takes that medicine or is forced to take it, it will act even without his knowledge because its potency does not depend on the patient’s understanding. Similarly, even though one does not know the value of chanting the holy name of the Lord, if one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the chanting will be very effective.

Fire will act, regardless of whether handled by an innocent child or by someone well aware of its power. For example, if a field of straw or dry grass is set afire, either by an elderly man who knows the power of fire or by a child who does not, the grass will be burned to ashes. Similarly, one may or may not know the power of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but if one chants the holy name he will become free from all sinful reactions….

In the Western countries, where the Hare Krsna movement is spreading, learned scholars and other thoughtful men are realizing its effectiveness. For example, Dr. J. Stillson Judah, a learned scholar, has been very much attracted to this movement because he has actually seen that it is turning hippies addicted to drugs into pure Vaisnavas who voluntarily become servants of Krsna and humanity. Even a few years ago, such hippies did not know the Hare Krsna mantra, but now they are chanting it and becoming pure Vaisnavas. Thus they are becoming free from all sinful activities, such as illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. This is practical proof of the effectiveness of the Hare Krsna movement, which is supported in this verse. One may or may not know the value of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, but if one somehow or other chants it, he will immediately be purified, just as one who takes a potent medicine will feel its effects, regardless of whether he takes it knowingly or unknowingly.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.18-19

The holy name acts even when chanted without reference to the Supreme Lord by those bereft of Vedic culture:
One day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met Haridasa Thakura as usual, and in the course of discussion He inquired as follows. “My dear Thakura Haridasa, in this age of Kali most people are bereft of Vedic culture, and therefore they are called yavanas. They are concerned only with killing cows and brahminical culture. In this way they all engage in sinful acts. How will these yavanas be delivered? To My great unhappiness, I do not see any way.” Haridasa Thakura replied, “My dear Lord, do not be in anxiety. Do not be unhappy to see the condition of the yavanas in material existence. Because the yavanas are accustomed to saying, ‘ha rama, ha rama’ [O Lord Ramacandra], they will very easily be delivered by this namabhasa. A devotee in advanced ecstatic love exclaims, ‘O my Lord Ramacandra! O my Lord Ramacandra!’ But the yavanas also chant, ‘ha rama, ha rama!’ Just see their good fortune!”

If a child touches fire, the fire will burn him, and if an elderly man touches fire it will burn him also. Haridasa Thakura says that a great devotee of the Lord exclaims, “ha rama, ha rama,” but although yavanas do not know the transcendental meaning of “ha rama, ha rama,” they say those words in the course of their ordinary life. For the yavanas the words “ha rama” mean “abominable,” whereas the devotee exclaims the words “ha rama” in ecstatic love. Nevertheless, because the words “ha rama” are the spiritual summum bonum, the fact is the same both for a child and for an elderly man. In other words, the holy name of the Lord, “ha rama,” always acts, even when the holy names are chanted without reference to the Supreme Lord. Yavanas utter the holy name in a different attitude than devotees, but the holy name “ha rama” is so powerful spiritually that it acts anywhere, whether one knows it or not. This is explained as follows.

Namacarya Haridasa Thakura, the authority on the chanting of the holy name, said, “The chanting of the Lord’s holy name to indicate something other than the Lord is an instance of namabhasa. Even when the holy name is chanted in this way, its transcendental power is not destroyed. ‘Even a mleccha who is being killed by the tusk of a boar and who cries in distress again and again, “ha rama, ha rama” attains liberation. What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with veneration and faith?'”

This refers to an instance in which a meat-eater being killed by a boar uttered the words “ha rama, ha rama” again and again at the time of his death. Since this is a quotation from the Nrsimha Purana, this indicates that in the Puranic age there must also have been mlecchas and yavanas (meat-eaters), and the words “ha rama,” meaning “condemned,” were also uttered in those days. Thus Haridasa Thakura gives evidence that even a meat-eater who condemns something by uttering the words “ha rama” gets the benefit of chanting the holy name that the devotee chants to mean “O my Lord Rama.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.49-56

Even unintentional chanting of the holy name, if offenseless, will take one back to Godhead:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: While suffering at the time of death, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, and although the chanting was directed toward his son, he nevertheless returned home, back to Godhead. Therefore, if one faithfully and inoffensively chants the holy name of the Lord, where is the doubt that he will return to Godhead?

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.49

Either deliberate or accidental chanting of the holy name immediately frees one from sinful reactions:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: If one who is embarrassed by hunger or who falls down or stumbles chants the holy name of the Lord even once, willingly or unwillingly, he is immediately freed from the reactions of his past deeds. Karmis entangled in material activities face many difficulties in the practice of mystic yoga and other endeavors to achieve that same freedom.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.24.20

Even if chanted in separate parts,
The holy name is effective

The holy name is effective even if vibrated in separate parts (provided there are no offenses):
“‘If a devotee once utters the holy name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that holy name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether … properly joined or vibrated in separate parts.'”

This verse from the Padma Purana is included in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (11.527) by Sanatana Gosvami. Therein Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives the following explanation:

vaci gatam prasangad van-madhye pravrttam api, smarana-patha-gatam kathancin manah-sprstam api, srotra-mulam gatam kincit srutam api; suddha-varnam vasuddha-varnam api va; ‘vyavahitam’ sabdantarena yad-vyavadhanam vaksyamana-narayana-sabdasya kincid uccarananantaram prasangad apatitam sabdantaram tena rahitam sat.

This means that if one somehow or other hears, utters or remembers the holy name, or if it catches his mind while coming near his ears, that holy name, even if vibrated in separate words, will act. An example of such separation is given as follows:

yadva, yadyapi ‘halam riktam’ ity ady-uktau hakara-rikarayor vrttya hariti-namasty eva, tatha ‘raja-mahisi’ ity atra rama-namapi, evam anyad apy uhyam, tathapi tat-tan-nama-madhye vyavadhayakam aksarantaram astity etadrsa-vyavadhana-rahitam ity arthah; yadva, vyavahitam ca tad-rahitam capi va; tatra ‘vyavahitam’-namnah kincid uccarananantaram kathancid apatitam sabdantaram samadhaya pascan namavasistaksara-grahanam ity evam rupam, madhye sabdantarenantaritam ity arthah, ‘rahitam’ pascad avasistaksara-grahana-varjitam, kenacid amsena hinam ity arthah, tathapi tarayaty eva.

Suppose one is using the two words “halam riktam.” Now the syllable ha in the word “halam” and the syllable ri in “riktam” are separately pronounced, but nevertheless it will act because one somehow or other utters the word “hari.” Similarly, in the word “raja-mahisi,” the syllables ra and ma appear in two separate words, but because they somehow or other appear together, the holy name rama will act, provided there are no offenses.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 3.60

Even if chanted jokingly,
The holy name is effective

Because the holy name is absolute, it is effective whether one chants sincerely or jokingly:
Krsna consciousness is not at all to the liking of the demons of the present age. As soon as they see a Vaisnava dressed in saffron garments with beads on his neck and tilaka on his forehead, they are immediately irritated. They criticize the Vaisnavas by sarcastically saying Hare Krsna, and some people also chant Hare Krsna sincerely. In either case, since Hare Krsna is absolute, whether one chants it jokingly or sincerely, it will have its effect. The Vaisnavas are pleased when the demons chant Hare Krsna because this shows that the Hare Krsna movement is taking ground.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.7

Even chanting for the sake
Of blasphemy is effective

Even if the holy name is chanted for the sake of blasphemy, the holy name is so powerful that it frees one from reactions of sinful activities:
[Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami to Lord Caitanya]: “Jagai and Madhai had but one fault — they were addicted to sinful activity. However, volumes of sinful activity can be burned to ashes simply by a dim reflection of the chanting of Your holy name. Jagai and Madhai uttered Your holy name by way of blaspheming You. Fortunately, that holy name became the cause of their deliverance.”

Jagai and Madhai chanted the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by way of blasphemy, but because they simply chanted His name, they immediately became free from the reactions of sinful activities. Thus later they were saved.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.194-95

Even demons who utter Krsna’s name only for blaspheming Him attain liberation:
The conditioned soul, being envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, may accuse Him, saying, “Krsna is bad, Krsna is a thief” and so on, but Krsna, being kind to all living entities, does not consider such accusations. Instead, He takes account of the conditioned soul’s chanting of “Krsna, Krsna” so many times. He sometimes punishes such demons for one life by putting them in a lower species, but then, when they have stopped accusing Him, they are liberated in the next life because of chanting Krsna’s name constantly.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.25

Even if uttered to chastise Krsna, the holy name brings liberation:
[Svarupa Damodara to a Bengali poet]: “Sometimes it so happens that one who wants to chastise Krsna utters the holy name, and thus the holy name becomes the cause of his liberation.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 5.155

Even blasphemers can be freed from sinful activities by chanting the holy name:
Jaya and Vijaya inwardly knew that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they purposely became His enemies to be delivered from material life. From the very beginning of their lives they thought of Lord Krsna as an enemy, and even though blaspheming Lord Krsna, they chanted the holy name of Krsna constantly along with their inimical thoughts. Thus they were purified because of chanting the holy name of Krsna. It is to be understood that even a blasphemer can be freed from sinful activities by chanting the holy name of the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.26

NAM 2b25: A Devotee Can Be Satisfied in Any Condition of Life Simply by Chanting

25. A Devotee Can Be Satisfied in Any Condition of Life Simply by Chanting

A pure devotee can be satisfied in any condition of life simply by chanting Hare Krsna:

For the spiritual master, a pure devotee, heaven and hell are both the same if there is no Krsna consciousness. In hell people are suffering in so many ways, and in heaven they are enjoying their senses in so many ways, but a devotee of the Lord can live any place where there is Krsna consciousness, and since he brings this consciousness with him, he is always self-satisfied. If he is sent to hell, he will be satisfied simply chanting Hare Krsna. In fact, he does not believe in hell but in Krsna. Similarly, if he were put in heaven, where there are so many opportunities for sense gratification, he would also remain aloof, for his senses are satisfied by Krsna Himself. Thus for the service of the Lord a devotee is prepared to go anywhere, and for this reason he is very dear to Krsna.

The Science of Self-Realization

Anyone who has attained transcendental affection for Krsna by constantly chanting His holy name remains satisfied in any condition of life simply by remembering the holy name:

There is a statement by a person fallen in a hellish condition of life. He addressed the Supreme Lord thus: “My dear Lord, Yamaraja has placed me in a situation which is full of filthy and obnoxious smells There are so many insects and worms, surrounded by the stools left by different kinds of diseased persons. And after seeing this horrible scene, my eyes have become sore, and I am becoming nearly blind. I therefore pray, O my Lord, O deliverer from the hellish conditions of life. I have fallen into this hell, but I shall try to remember Your holy name always, and in this way I shall try to keep my body and soul together.” This is another instance of ecstatic love for Krsna in an abominable situation.

It is to be understood that any person who is constantly engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare — has attained a transcendental affection for Krsna, and as such, in any condition of life, he remains satisfied simply by remembering the Lord’s name in full affection and ecstatic love.

The Nectar of Devotion

Even in a hellish condition, the devotee may chant Hare Krsna and be happy:

[The Kumaras to Lord Visnu]: O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful [by speaking of Your activities] just as tulasi leaves are beautified when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities.

The holes of the ears are very small and can be filled with any insignificant sound, so how can they receive as great a vibration as the glorification of the Lord? The answer is that the holes of the ears are like the sky. As the sky can never be filled up, the quality of the ear is such that one may go on pouring in vibrations of various kinds, yet it is capable of receiving more and more vibrations. A devotee is not afraid of going to hell if he has the opportunity to hear the glories of the Lord constantly. This is the advantage of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. One may be put in any condition, but God gives him the prerogative to chant Hare Krsna. In any condition of life, if one goes on chanting he will never be unhappy.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.49

In spite of the ups and downs of material life, one must engage himself in Krsna consciousness by chanting the maha-mantra:

The whole population of the world should glorify Lord Krsna, and for their best interest they should take to this Krsna consciousness movement. The process is easy and helpful. It is simply to chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya has therefore recommended that one should be callous to the material ups and downs. Material life is temporary, and so the ups and downs of life may come and go. When they come, one should be as tolerant as a tree and as humble and meek as the straw in the street, but certainly he must engage himself in Krsna consciousness by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

NAM 2b26: The Holy Name Protects the Devotee from Falldown

26. The Holy Name Protects the Devotee from Falldown

If one keeps himself pure and steady by constantly chanting the holy name, one will be saved from falldown:

Ajamila’s exalted position as a brahmana was vanquished by his association with the prostitute, so much so that he forgot all his brahminical activities. Nevertheless, at the end of his life, by chanting the four syllables of the name Narayana, he was saved from the gravest danger of falling down. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat: even a little devotional service can save one from the greatest danger. Devotional service, which begins with chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is so powerful that even if one falls down from the exalted position of a brahmana through sexual indulgence, he can be saved from all calamities if he somehow or other chants the holy name of the Lord. This is the extraordinary power of the Lord’s holy name. Therefore in Bhagavad-gita it is advised that one not forget the chanting of the holy name even for a moment (satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah [Bg. 9.14]). There are so many dangers in this material world that one may fall down from an exalted position at any time. Yet if one keeps himself always pure and steady by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, he will be safe without a doubt.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.63

The chanting of Hare Krsna protects a devotee from all accidental falldowns:

Generally, a devotee who is engaged in the nine kinds of devotional activities is engaged in the process of cleansing all material contamination from the heart. He puts the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, and all sinful contaminations are naturally washed away. Continuous thinking of the Supreme Lord makes him pure by nature. According to the Vedas, there is a certain regulation that if one falls down from his exalted position, he has to undergo certain ritualistic processes to purify himself. But here there is no such condition because the purifying process is already there in the heart of the devotee, due to his remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly. Therefore, the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare should be continued without stoppage. This will protect a devotee from all accidental falldowns. He will thus remain perpetually free from all material contaminations.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.31

NAM 2b27: The Holy Name Protects One from Danger and Fear

27. The Holy Name Protects One from Danger and Fear

To be free from danger, one should chant the Hare Krsna mantra:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing [sravanam kirtanam visnoh SB 7.5.23], there cannot be any danger from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung: namasraya kari’ yatane tumi, thakaha apana kaje. Everyone is thus advised to seek shelter in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remain engaged in his own occupational duty. There is no loss in this, and the gain is tremendous. Even from a matenal point of view, everyone should take to chanting the Hare Krsna mantra to be saved from all kinds of danger. This world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]). Therefore we should be encouraged to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra so that in our family, society, neighborhood and nation, everything will be smooth and free from danger.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.6.3

When chanting the maha-mantra, one is completely safe, even in this dangerous material world:

When chanting the maha-mantra, we are completely safe, even in this most dangerous position. We should always be aware that in this material world, we are always in a dangerous position. Srimad-Bhagavatam confirms: padam padam yad vipadam na tesam [SB 10.14.58]. In this world, there is danger at every step. The devotees of the Lord, however, are not meant to remain in this miserable, dangerous place. Therefore we should take care to advance in Krsna consciousness while in this human form. Then our happiness is assured.

The Path of Perfection

Prayer for protection by the holy names:

[Visvarupa to Lord Indra]: May the glorification of the transcendental name, form, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us from the influence of bad planets, meteors, envious human beings, serpents, scorpions, and animals like tigers and wolves. May it protect us from ghosts and the material elements like earth, water, fire and air, and may it also protect us from lightning and our past sins. We are always afraid of these hindrances to our auspicious life. Therefore, may they all be completely destroyed by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra…. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s holy names, His transcendental forms, His carriers and all the weapons decorating Him as personal associates protect our intelligence, senses, mind and life air from all dangers.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.8.27-30

By remembering Visnu (by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra) one can be protected from many dangers and bad elements:

[The elderly gopis to Lord Krsna]: The evil witches known as Dakinis, Yatudhanis and Kusmandas are the greatest enemies of children, and the evil spirits like Bhutas, Pretas, Pisacas, Yaksas, Raksasas and Vinayakas, as well as witches like Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana and Matrka, are always ready to give trouble to the body, the life air and the senses, causing loss of memory, madness and bad dreams. Like the most experienced evil stars, they all create great disturbances, especially for children, but one can vanquish them simply by uttering Lord Visnu’s name, for when Lord Visnu’s name resounds, all of them become afraid and go away.

While decorating tho body with tilaka, we give protection to the body by chanting twelve names of Visnu. Although Govinda, or Lord Visnu, is one, He has different names and forms with which to act differently. But if one cannot remember all the names at one time, one may simply chant, “Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu,” and always think of Lord Visnu. Visnor aradhanam param: this is the highest form of worship. If one remembers Visnu always, even though one is disturbed by many bad elements, one can be protected without a doubt. The Ayurveda-sastra recommends, ausadhim cintayed visnum: even while taking medicine, one should remember Visnu, because the medicine is not all and all and Lord Visnu is the real protector. The material world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]). Therefore one must become a Vaisnava and think of Visnu constantly. This is made easier by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31], param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam and kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.6.27-29

Mother Yasoda chanted different names of Visnu for Krsna’s protection:

The gopis, headed by mother Yasoda and Rohini, chanted twelve names of Visnu to give Krsna’s body full protection from all evil influences. They washed their hands and feet and sipped water three times, as is the custom before chanting mantra. They chanted as follows: “My dear Krsna, may the Lord who is known as Maniman protect Your thighs; may Lord Visnu who is known as Yajna protect Your legs; may Lord Acyuta protect Your arms; may Lord Hayagriva protect Your abdomen; may Lord Kesava protect Your heart; may Lord Visnu protect Your arms; may Lord Urukrama protect Your face; may Lord Isvara protect Your head; may Lord Cakradhara protelt Your front; may Lord Gadadhara protect Your back; may Lord Madhusudana who carries a bow in His hand protect Your eyesight; may Lord Visnu with His conchshell protect Your left side; may the Personality of Godhead Upendra protect You from above, and may Lord Tarksya protect You from below the earth; may Lord Haladhara protect You from all sides; may the Personality of Godhead known as Hrsikesa protect all Your senses; may Lord Narayana protect Your breath; and may the Lord of Svetadvipa, Narayana, protect Your heart; may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind; may Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence; and may the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect Your soul. While You are playing, may Lord Govinda protect You from all sides, and when You are sleeping, may Lord Madhava protect You from all danger; when You are working may the Lord of Vaikuntha protect You from falling down; when You are sitting, may the Lord of Vaikuntha give You all protection; and while You are eating, may the Lord of all sacrifices give You all protection.”

Thus mother Yasoda began to chant different names of Visnu to protect the child Krsna’s different bodily parts…. Mother Yasoda was firmly convinced of the Vedic injunctions about the importance of cows and the holy name of Visnu; therefore she took all shelter in the cows and the name of Visnu just to protect her child Krsna. She recited all the holy names of Visnu so that He might save the child.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Ghosts and evil spirits cannot remain where there is chanting of the holy name:

Mother Yasoda was firmly convinced that she should protect her child from different kinds of evil spirits and ghosts — namely Dakinis, Yatudhanis, Kusmandas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Vinayakas, Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana, Matrkas, Unmadas and similar other evil spirits who cause persons to forget their own existence and give trouble to the life — air and the senses. Sometimes they appear in dreams and cause much perturbation; sometimes they appear as old women and suck the blood of small children. But all such ghosts and evil spirits cannot remain where there is chanting of the holy name of God.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Demons and ghosts are vanquished by the holy name:

The devotee of the Lord, because of manifesting godly qualities, is called a demigod, whereas the atheist is called a demon. The demon cannot stand the presence of Visnu, the Personality of Godhead. The demons are always busy in trying to vanquish the Personality of Godhead, but factually as soon as the Personality of Godhead appears, by either His transcendental name, form, attributes, pastimes, paraphernalia or variegatedness, the demon is at once vanquished. It is said that a ghost cannot remain as soon as the holy name of the Lord is chanted.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.19.34

The holy name vanquishes the fear of material existence:

The material existence of our present status is full of fear. Out of the four problems of material existence, namely the food problem, the shelter problem, the fear problem and the mating problem, the fear problem gives us more trouble than the others. We are always fearful due to our ignorance of the next problem. The whole material existence is full of problems, and thus the fear problem is always prominent. This is due to our association with the illusory energy of the Lord, known as maya or external energy, yet all fear is vanished as soon as there is the sound of the Lord, represented by His holy name, as it was sounded by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the following sixteen words:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

We can take advantage of these sounds and be free from all threatening problems of material existence.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.11.2

By crying out the word “Krsna” one can at once transcend a fearful situation:

The calves that were pasturing nearby entered into the deep forest, allured by new grasses, and gradually went out of sight. When the boys saw that the calves were not nearby they became afraid for their safety, and they immediately cried out, “Krsna!” Krsna is the killer of fear personified. Everyone is afraid of fear personified, but fear personified is afraid of Krsna. By crying out the word “Krsna,” the boys at once transcended the fearful situation.

Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

By chanting the holy name, one becomes fearless of death:

[The] principles of vaidhi bhakti are also described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 35, where Sukadeva Gosvami instructs the dying Maharaja Pariksit as to his course of action. Maharaja Pariksit met Sukadeva Gosvami just a week before his death, and the King was perplexed as to what should be done before he was to pass on. Many other sages also arrived there, but no one could give him the proper direction. Sukadeva Gosvami, however, gave this direction to him as follows: “My dear King, if you want to be fearless in meeting your death next week (for actually everyone is afraid at the point of death), then you must immediately begin the process of hearing and chanting and remembering God.” If one can chant and hear Hare Krsna and always remember Lord Krsna, then he is sure to become fearless of death, which may come at any moment.

The Nectar of Devotion

8. The Holy Name Is All-auspicious

The sankirtana movement of chanting the holy name is the most auspicious activity in the universe:

[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King; the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is able to uproot even the reactions of the greatest sins. Therefore the chanting of the sankirtana movement is the most auspicious activity in the entire universe. Please try to understand this so that others will take it seriously.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.31

The chanting of the holy name spreads all good fortune:

[Aditi to Lord Visnu]: The goddess Aditi said: O master and enJoyer of all sacrificial ceremonies, O infallible and most famous person, whose name, when chanted, spreads all good fortune! O original Supreme Personality of Godhead, supreme controller, shelter of all holy places, You are the shelter of all poor, suffering living entities, and You have appeared to diminish their suffering. Please be kind to us and spread our good fortune.

The chanting of the holy name of the Lord — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rarna Rama, Hare Hare — is pleasing to the ear, and it expands good fortune to the audience who hears it chanted.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.17.8

The holy name as sravana-mangala and punya-sravana-kirtana:

The Lord’s holy name is called sravana-mangala. This means that one receives everything auspicious simply by hearing the holy name. In another place in Srimad-Bhagavatam, His holy name is described as punya-sravana-kirtana. It is a pious act simply to chant and hear all about the Lord.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.15

The Hare Krsna mantra is the greatest benediction:

It is said that once a poor brahmana worshiped Lord Siva for a benediction, and Lord Siva advised the devotee to go to Sanatana Gosvami. The devotee went to Sanatana Gosvami and informed him that Lord Siva had advised him to seek out the best benediction from him (Sanatana). Sanatana had a touchstone with him, which he kept with the garbage. On the request of the poor brahmana, Sanatana gave him the touchstone, and the brahmana was very happy to have it. He now could get as much gold as he desired simply by touching the touchstone to iron. But after he left Sanatana, he thought, “If a touchstone is the best benediction, why has Sanatana Gosvami kept it with the garbage?” He therefore returned and asked Sanatana Gosvami, “Sir, if this is the best benediction, why did you keep it with the garbage?” Sanatana Gosvami then informed him, “Actually, this is not the best benediction. But are you prepared to take the best benediction from me?” The brahmana said, “Yes, sir. Lord Siva has sent me to you for the best benediction.” Then Sanatana Gosvami asked him to throw the touchstone in the water nearby and then come back. The poor brahmana did so, and when he returned, Sanatana Gosvami initiated him with the Hare Krsna mantra. Thus by the benediction of Lord Siva the brahmana got the association of the best devotee of Lord Krsna and was thus initiated in the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.7.6

By the chanting of Krsna’s name, everything becomes white and pure:

When the great sage Narada was chanting the glories of the Lord, the bluish line on the neck of Lord Siva disappeared. Upon seeing this, Gauri, the wife of Lord Siva, suspected Lord Siva of being someone else disguised as her husband, and out of fear she immediately left his company. Upon hearing the chanting of Krsna’s name, Lord Balarama saw that His dress had become white, although He was generally accustomed to a bluish dress. And the cowherd girls saw all of the water of the Yamuna River turn into milk, so they began to churn it into butter. In other words, by the spreading of Krsna consciousness, or the glories of Krsna, everything became white and pure.

The Nectar of Devotion

The chief worshipable object is the holy name of Radha and Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Ramananda Raya]: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “Among all worshipable objects, which Is the chief?” Ramananda Raya replies, “The chief worshipable object is the holy name of Radha and Krsna, the Hare Krsna mantra.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.256

NAM 2a9: The Holy Name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Is All-auspicious

9. The Holy Name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Is All-auspicious

A brahmana tells Prakasananda Sarasvati that the name “Krsna Caitanya” is all-auspicious to the world:

“His name, Krsna Caitanya, is all-auspicious to the world. Everything about Him — His name, form, and qualities — is unparalleled.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 17.113

Simply by remembering or chanting Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name one can be delivered from material existence:

[The representative of the Orissan government, the maha-patra, thinking to himself!: “It must be Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself who has changed the Muhammadan’s mind. Due to His presence and even due to His remembrance, the world is liberated.”[The maha-patra to Lord Caitanya]: “Simply by hearing Your holy name, a candala, lowest of men, can be purified.”

One can be delivered from material existence simply by remembering Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name or by visiting Him. This Krsna consciousness movement is being spread throughout the world, but not even one yavana or mleccha addicted to drinking could have changed and accepted Krsna consciousness without Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s grace. People are often astonished to see many thousands of Westerners converted to Vaisnavism. Generally Westerners are addicted to meat-eating, drinking, gambling and illicit sex; therefore their taking up Krsna consciousness is astonishing. In India, especially, there is much astonishment at this. The answer, however, is given here: darsana-smarane yanra jagat tarila. This change is made possible simply by the remembrance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Western devotees are very sincerely chanting the holy names of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates: sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, people are being purified and their consciousness directed from maya to Krsna.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.175-184

Simply by chanting the holy name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, people throughout the world are becoming devotees:

Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not manifest His natural ecstatic love, everyone became a pure devotee simply by seeing and hearing Him.

Srila Rupa Gosvami has described Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as maha-vadanya-avatara, the most munificent incarnation. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not physically present now, simply by chanting His holy name (sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda) people throughout the world are becoming devotees.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 17.51

One who chants the mantra “Gauranga” and one who chants the names of Radha and Krsna are on the same level:

[Nakula Brahmacari to Sivananda Sena]: “You are chanting the Gaura-gopala mantra composed of four syllables. Now please give up the doubts that have resided within you.”

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains the Gaura-gopala mantra in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya. Worshipers of Sri Gaurasundara accept the four syllables gau-ra-an-ga as the Gaura mantra, but pure worshipers of Radha and Krsna accept the four syllables ra-dha krs-na as the Gaura-gopala mantra. However, Vaisnavas consider Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu nondifferent from Radha-Krsna (sri-krsna-caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya). Therefore one who chants the mantra Gauranga and one who chants the names of Radha and Krsna are on the same level.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 2.31