The Supreme Lord is the Root of all Religion



dharma-mulam hi bhagavan sarva-vedamayo harih

smrtam ca tad-vidam rajan yena catma prasidati


            The Supreme Person is the root of all dharma, the essence of all the Vedas,

and the meditation of all those great authorities who know the truth about the

Supreme Lord, and whose opinions becomes scripture. This is evidence, O King,

and by accepting this religious principle, everyone will attain the highest satis-

faction of the soul, mind, and body. (Bhag. 7.11.7)


Krsna is the Only Way



tapastu tapaih prapatastu parvata-datantu tirthani pathastu cagaman

yajastu yagairvivadantu vadair harim vina naiva mrtim taranti


            You may perform mountains of austerities, visit many holy places, study

all the Vedas, and perform all kinds of Vedic sacrifices, but without devotion to

Krsna, none of these things can save you from death.

(Bhavartha Dipika 10.87.27)


Chanting the Holy Name is the Eternal and Highest Dharma for all Souls



etavan eva loke 'smin pumsam dharmah parah smrtah

bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-nama-grahanadibhih


            It is recognized that the highest religious principle in human society is de-

votional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, beginning with the

chanting of the holy name of the Lord, nama-sanakirtana. (Bhag. 6.3.22)


The Holy Name is the Essence of the Srutis



nikhila-sruti-mauli rama-mala-dyuti nirajita-padapankajanta

ayi mukta-kulair upasyamanam paritas tvam harinama samsrayami


            O holy name, the tips of the toes of your lotus feet are eternally worshiped

by the glowing effulgence of the Upanisads, the crest jewels of the Vedas. You

are eternally adored and chanted by great liberated souls like Narada and

Sukadeva Gosvami. O Harinama, clearing myself of all offenses, I take com-

plete shelter of You. (Srila Rupa Gosvami, Krsna-namastakam 1)


The Constitutional Nature of the Holy Name



nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah

purnah-suddho nitya-mukto'bhinnatvan nama naminoh


            The holy name of Krsna is a transcendental wish fulfilling gem it be-

stows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself. It is the personification

of divine mellow, the fountainhead of all pleasure. The holy name of Krsna is

eternally liberated and spiritual. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna

Himself are nondifferent. (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-Vibhagaga 2.233)



ekam eva sac-cid-ananda-rasadi-rupam tattvam dvidha-virbhutam


            The Supreme Absolute Truth is one reality whose form is eternal, fully

cognizant, and ecstatic. That Absolute reality who is the origin of all rasa ap-

pears in two forms, as Krsna Himself and as the holy name of Krsna. These two

forms are nondifferent manifestations of the same eternal reality Krsna. (Sri-

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-Vibhaga 2.233, Jiva Gosvami's Durgama-

sargamani commentary)


The Vedas Sing the Glories of the Holy Name



om asya jananto nama cid-viviktan mahante visno sumatim bhajamahe

om tat sat


            This mantra means, "O Lord Visnu, Your name is conscious (cit) and -

self-effulgent (mahas) and so even one with partial knowledge of the eter-

nal nature of Your name, and incomplete understanding of the glory of proper

chanting, can attain knowledge of You merely by repeating the syllables, be-

cause You, who are known by Om, are self-existent (sat)." Thus it is seen that

the name liberates a person from fear and envy even if alluded to.

(Bhagavata-Sandarbha 47)



he vinro te tava nama cita cit-svarupam ata eva mahau sva-prakasa-rupam

tasmat asya namna a inadapi janantau ha tu samyak

uccmra-mahatmayadi puruskarera.

tathapi vivaktan bruvarau kevalam tad-aksarabhyasa matram kurvanah

sumantia tad-visayam vidyam bhajamahe prapnuyauh.

Ata eva bhayadvesadau sri mhrteu aphurter iva smnketya-davapasya

muktidatvam sruyate.


            O Visnu! Your holy name is of the nature of divine consciousness it is

transcendental reality par-excellence. It is a manifestation of Your own divine

form, even if someone utters the holy name without knowing the names complete

glories. To utter the name without being fully aware of its glories means

namabhasa, or uttering the syllables of the holy name which are only the outer

reflection. Even in such a position we shall attain divine knowledge of the Lord,

by such worship. Because this line contains the word om it indicates that the

use of the word "sat" means svata-siddau. Therefore the divine form

upon one's having uttered the name (even when there is namabhasa because of

sanketya and so forth), and thus one attains liberation from the postion of

and envy. (Bhagavata Sandarbha 4)


The Glories of the Holy Name in the Smrti-sastras



vede ramayane caiva purane bharate tatha

adavante ca madhye ca harih sarvatrah giyate


            Throughout the Vedas, the Ramayara, the Puranas, and the Mahabharata,

from beginning to end, only the glories of the Supreme Lord Hari are sung.



The Holy Name Grants All Perfection in Kali-yuga



kaler dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah

kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet


            My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one

good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra,

one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcen-

dental kingdom. (Bhag. 12.3.51)



krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih

dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat


            What was attained in Satya-yuga through meditation, in Treta-yuga through

sacrifice, and in Dvapara-yuga through Deity worship is realized in Kali-yuga

through hari-kirtana. (Bhag. 12.3.52)



dhyayan krte yajan yajnais-tretayam dvapare 'rcayan

yadapnoti tadapnoti kalau sankirtya kesavam


            Whatever results was attained in Satya-yuga by meditation, in Treta-yuga

by yajna, and in Dvapara-yuga by arcana, can only be attained in the Kali-yuga

by hari-nama-kirtana, chanting the glories of Krsna, who is known as Kesava.

(Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, 42nd Adhyaya)



kali-kale nama-rupe krsna-avatara

nama haite haya sarva-jagat-nistara

nama vinu kali-kale nahi ara dharma

sarva-mantra-sara nama, ei sastra-marma


            In the age of Kali, Krsna advents Himself in the form of the holy name. By

the holy name, the entire universe is delivered. There is no other dharma in the

age of Kali. The holy name of Krsna is the essence of all mantras and the pur-

port of all revealed scriptures. (Cc. Adi 17.22 and 7.74)


Sridhara Svami on Glories of the Holy Name



amhah samhara dakhilam sakrdudayadeva sakala-lokasya

taraniriva timira-jaladhim jayati jagan-mangalam harer nama


            Let the all-auspicious glories of the holy name, which benedicts the entire

universe, be victorious. Just as when the sun rises, it dispels the ocean of dark-

ness, in the same way, when the holy name has only slightly risen within one's

heart, all one's sins are completely destroyed. (Padyavali 16, Sridhara Svami)



jnanamasti tulitam ca tulayam prema naiva tulitam tu tulayam

siddhir eva tulitatra tulayam krsna-nama tulitam na tulayam


            Knowledge and yogic perfection can be compared to one another, but prema

and krsna-nama have no comparison to anything within this world. They can-

not be weighed on the scales of mundane consideration. (Padyavali 15, Sridhara



Rupa Gosvami on the Glories of the Name



akrstih krta-cetasam sumahatam-muccatanam camhasam

acandalamamukaloka-sulabho vasyas ca moksasriyah

no diksam na ca daksinam na ca purascaryam managiksate

mantro'yam rasana sprg eva phalati sri krsna namatmakah


            The holy name of Krsna is an attractive feature for many saintly, liberal

people. It is the annihilator of all sinful reactions and is so powerful that save

for the dumb who cannot chant it, it is readily, available to everyone, including

the lowest type of man, the candala. The holy name of Krsna is controller of the

opulence of liberation, and it is identical with Sri Krsna. Simply by touching the

holy name with one's tongue, immediate effects are produced. Chanting the

holy name does not depend on initiation, pious activities, or the purascarya

regulative principles generally observed before initiation. The holy name does

not wait for all these activities. It is self-sufficient. (Padyavali 29, Rupa Gosvami)


The Efficacy of Gayatri and the Holy Name



krsna-mantra haite habe samsara-mocana

krsna-nama haite pabe krsnera carana


            Through the gayatri mantra one attains liberation from material existence.

Through the holy name one attains the lotus feet of Krsna. (Cc. Adi 7.73)


The Glories of Hari-katha



srutam-apy-aupanisadam dure hari-kathamrtat

yan na santi dravac-citta-kampasru-pulakadayah


            The Upanisads have ascertained nirvisesa brahma as the subject of the

sruti, whereas they only take a distant view of hari-katha. This is because through

hearing and chanting about Brahman, one's heart is not moved, tears do not

pour from the eyes, and the bodily hairs do not stand on end. (Padyavali 39)


The Glories of the Holy Name Surpasses that of Impersonal Brahman



yad brahma-saksat-krti-nisthayapi vinasamayati vina na bhogaih

apaiti nama-sphuranena tatte prarabhda-karmeti virauti vedah


            O holy name! The seeds from which sin sprouts within the heart are not

burned to ashes by realization of Brahman or by constant meditation on eternal

consciousness. But, O holy name, as soon as You appear on the tongue of a

sincere chanter, all the karmic seeds of sin are burned to ashes. Thus all sinful

reactions, past, present and future are finished. This is proclaimed by the Vedas.

(Krsna-namastakam, Rupa Gosvami 4)


Kirtana of the Holy Name is Best of All



aghaccit-smaranam visnor-bahvayasena sadhyate

austhaspandana-matrena kirtanatu tato varam


            The remembrance of Visnu certainly cuts sin to pieces, but it is very diffi-

cult to attain perfection through remembering Visnu. Only after great effort is

such remembrance possible. However, simply by moving the lips, there is the

kirtana of the holy name of Visnu, and therefore kirtana is the topmost process

of devotional service. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa, 11.453)


The Holy Name Surpasses Worship and Meditation




jayati jayati namananda-rupam murarer


kathamapi sakrdattam muktidam pranina yat

param-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 in my life and my only

 treasure. (Bnhad-Bhagavatamrta 1.1.9)



yena janma sataih purvam vasudevah sanarcitah

tan-mukhe hari-namani sada tisthanti bharata


            O descendant of Bharata, one who has previously worshiped Lord Vasudeva

in hundreds of lifetimes can now chant the holy name eternally. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.454)


The Holy Name is not Regulated by Time, Place, and Circumstance


17.22 and 23

na desa niyamo rajan na kala niyamas tatha

vidyate natra sandeho visnor-namanu-kirtane

kalo'sti dane yajne ca snane kalo' sti saj jape

visnu-sankirtane kalo nastyatra prthivitale


            O king, there are no rules governing the time and place wherein the holy

name of Visnu can be chanted. Of this there can be no doubt. Charity and sac-

rifice are governed by various rules regarding time and place, as are the taking

of one's bath and the silent uttering of different mantras. But the holy name of

Visnu can be chanted in sankirtana at any time in any place on earth. (Hari-

bhakti-vilasa 11.412, 413)



na desa-niyamas tasmin na kala-niyamas-tatha

nocchisthadau nisedho 'sti sri harer-namni lubdhaka


            O hunter, there are no restrictions on when or where the holy name of Sri

Hari may be chanted and no prohibitions regarding the uncleanness of the mouth

from which the holy name comes forth. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.408)



etavatalam agha-nirharanaya pumsam

sankirtanam bhagavato guna-karma-namnam

vikrusya putram aghavan yad ajamilo 'pi

narayaneti mriyamana iyaya muktim


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 activi-

ties. 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 gets

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 re-

membered the name of Narayana. (Bhag. 6.3.24)


The Bhagavatam on Loud Kirtana



namany anantasya hata-trapah pathan

guhyani bhadrani krtani ca smaran

gam paryatams tusta-mana gata-sprhah

kalam pratiksan vimado vimatsarah


            [Narada Muni said] Thus I loudly chanted the holy name of Krsna in kirtana,

not caring for any social formalities. Such chanting and remembering of the holy name

benedicts everyone. In this way, I traveled across the earth, fully satisfied, humble, and

non-envious. (Bhag. 1.6.26)



Loud Kirtana is the Best



japato hari namani sthane sata-gunadhikah

atmanan ca punaty-uccair-japan srotrn-punati ca


            Compared to that person who is attached to chanting japa, the person who

performs loud chanting of the holy name of Sri Hari is one hundred times bet-

ter. This is because the person who chants japa purifies himself, whereas the

person who chants the holy name loudly in kirtana purifies himself, all those

who are with him, and everyone else who hear the holy vibration.

(Sri Naradiya, Prahlada-vakya)


Loud Kirtana Benefits the Chanter of the Holy Name and Those Who Hear it



pasu-paksi-kita-adi balite na pare

sunile se harinama ta'ra saba tare

japile se krsna-nama apani se tare

ucca-sankirtane para-upakara kare

ata eva ucca kari' kirtana karile

sata-guna phala haya sarva-sastre bole


            The animals, birds, and insects cannot chant the holy name, but by hearing

the holy name chanted they can benefit. Chanting the japa of the holy name of

Krsna purifies oneself, but the loud sankirtana of the holy name of Krsna benefits

all living beings. Therefore, loudly chant the holy name of Krsna in kirtana,

and you will get one hundred times the benefit of chanting japa. This is the

verdict of all the sastras. (C.Bhag.Adi 11.275-277)


Mahaprabhu Loudly Chanted the Holy Name



hare krsnety uccyaih sphurita-rasano namaganana-

krta-granthi sreni-subhaga-kati-sutrojjvalakarah

visalakso dirghargala-yugala-kheloncita-bhujah

sa caitanyah kim me punarapi drsoryasyati padam


            Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu loudly chants the Hare Krsna mantra,

dance upon His tongue, as His radiant lotus hand counts the name by fingering

the beads on the beautiful knotted counting string tied to His waist. His beauti-

ful lotus eyes stretch to His ears and His arms reach to His knees. When will Sri

Caitanya Mahaprabhu again appear before my eyes?

(Caitanyanthakam 5, Rupa Gosvami)


The Opinion of Baladeva on the Form of the Maha-mantra



hare krsneti mantra-pratika-grahanam.

Sodasa-namatmana dvatrimsa-daksarena mantrenoccair-uccaritena

sphurita krta-nrtya rasana jihva yasya sah.


            When the sixteen names and thirty-two syllables of the Hare Krsna mantra

are loudly vibrated, Krsna Himself dances on ones tongue. (Baladeva

Vidyabhnara, Stava-malm-vibhunara-bhanya)


Hare Krsna is the Maha-mantra for the Age of Kali



hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi

kalau yuge maha-mantrah sammato jivatarane

varjayitva tu namaitad durjanaih parikalpitam

chandobaddham susiddhanta viruddham nabhyaset padam

tarakam brahma-namaitad brahmana gurunadina

kalisantaranadyasu sruti-svadhigatam hareh

praptam sri brahma-sisyena sri naradena dhimata

namaitad-uttamam srauta-paramparyena brahmanah

utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram ye tvanyat kaepitam padam

mahanameti gayanti te sastra-guru langhanah

tattva-virodha-sanprktam tadrsam daurjanam matam

sravatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare


            Hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama

rama hare hare: This sixteen-name, thirty-two syllable mantra is the maha-

mantra in the age of Kali by which all living beings can be delivered. One should

never abandon chanting this maha-mantra and take to other so-called purificatory

processes which are practiced by rascals, or engage in chanting other metrical

compositions of the name of Krsna that are against the pure conclusions of the

scriptures, or are filled with rasabhasa. About this divinely spiritual maha-man-

tra, which delivers one from material existence, the original guru, Lord Brahma,

has said, kali-santaranadi srutite, "The srutis have declared this mantra to be the

best means of deliverance in the age of Kali". Having all heard this from Brahma,

the sons and disciples of Brahma, beginning with Narada, all accepted the

Krsna maha-mantra and, having meditated on it,  attained perfection.




The Upanisads on the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra



hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam

natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate


            The sixteen names of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra-- hare krsna hare

krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare-- destroy all

the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. This is the conclusion of all the Vedas.

(Kali-santarara Upanisad)


The Puranas on the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra



hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

ratanti halaya vapi te krtartha na samsayah


            Hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare: Whoever chants this mantra,

even neglectfully, will attain the supreme goal of life. Of this there is no doubt.



Chanting the Holy Name Qualifies One for Deliverance



madhura-madhuram-etan-mangalam mangalanam

sakala-nigamavalli-sat-phalam cit-svarupam

sakrdapi parigitam sraddhaya helaya va

bhrguvara naramatram tarayet krsna nama


            The holy name of Krsna is the sweetest of the sweet and the most auspi-

cious of all auspicious things. It is the self-effulgent and beautiful fruit of the

Vedic desire tree. O best of the Bhrgus, when the holy name is uttered once

without offense, either attentively or in attentively, it immediately ensures the

deliverance of all human beings from the bondage of illusion. (Hari-bhakti-

vilasa 11.234, Skanda Purana)


The Holy Name is to be Chanted in the Stage of

Practice and in Perfection



etan nirvidyamananam icchatam akuto-bhayam

yoginam nrpa nirnitam harer namanukirtanam


            O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the way of

the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, includ-

ing those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all

material enjoyment, and those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental

knowledge. (Bhag. 2.1.11)


Things Unfavorable for Nama-kirtana



janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir edhamana-madah puman

naivarhaty abhidhatum vai tvam akincana-gocaram


            Those who are intoxicated by false ego on account of their good birth,

wealth, learning, and beauty, cannot cry out Your name with sincere feeling.

Only those who are materially bereft can chant Your name in purity.

(Bhag. 1.8.26)


The Characteristics of the Principal and Secondary Name



namnamakari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis

tatrapita niyamitah smarane na kalah

etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi

durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah


            O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to the living

beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krsna and

Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcen-

dental energies and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting Your name. O

my Lord, out of kindness, You enable us to easily approach You by chanting

Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.

(Siksastaka 2)


The Secondary Names of God and Their Symptoms



jada krtira paricaye nama yata

prakrtir gune gauna vedera sammata

srsti kartta paramatma brahma sthiti kara

jagat samharta pata yajnesvara hara


            According to the Vedas, the secondary or inferior names of the Supreme

Lord, Sri Krsna are those which are in connection with the material world. For

example: "God," "Creator of the Universe," "Paramatma," "Supersoul," "Brah-

man," " Maintainer of the Universe," "Destroyer of the Universe," "Savior,"

and "Lord of Sacrifice," and "He who takes away," are some inferior or second-

ary names of Godhead. (Hari-nama-cintamari)


Fruits of the Principal and Secondary Names of the Lord



ei rupa nama, karma-jnana-kanda-gata

punya moksa dana kare sastrera sammata

namera ye mukhya-phala krsna-prema-dhana

tara mukhya name matra labhe sadhugana


            These inferior names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna

are called upon by those who are on the paths of karma and jnana. According

to the scriptures, one who calls upon these names gets piety and liberation. On

the other hand, the result of chanting the principal names of the Lord [Govinda,

Gopala, Rama, Nandanandana, Radhanatha, Hari, Yasomati-pranadhana,

Madana-mohana, Syamasundara, Madhava, Gopinatha, Vrajogopa, Rakhala,

and Yadava] is krsna-prema. In this way, the saintly attain love of Godhead by

chanting the principal names of Godhead [while those attached to karma and

jnana get mere piety and impersonal liberation by chanting inferior and second-

ary names because their conception of Godhead is also secondary and inferior.]



The Principal Name



aghadamana-yasodanandanau nandasuno


pranata-karuna-krsnav ity aneka-svarupe

tvai mama ratir uccair vardhatam namadheya


            O killer of the demon Agha, O son of Yasoda, O son of Nanda, O lotus-

eyed, O moon of the gopis, O Lord of Vnndmvana, O merciful to the submissive,

O Krsna, You have manifest Yourself in innumerable forms out of Your infinite

mercy. Let my devotion to You go on increasing without any impediment.(Krsna-

namstakam, Rupa Gosvami 5)


The Fruit of Offenselessly Uttering the Principal Name



tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye

karna-krodha-kadamvini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham

cetah prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim

no jane janita-kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varnadvayi


 "I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krsn-ra' 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 1.12)


The Sevenfold Results of Chanting the Principal Name



ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha--davagni-nirvapanam

sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam

anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam

sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam


            Chanting the holy name of Krsna cleanses the mirror of the heart an extin-

guishes the fire of misery in the ocean of birth and death. At that time, real

auspiciousness begins for the soul. Just as the evening lotus blooms in the moon's

cooling rays, the heart begins to blossom in the nectar of the name, and at last

the soul awakens in full knowledge of its real inner treasure a life of love with

Krsna in the highest mellows of devotion. Again and again tasting nectar, the

soul dives and surfaces in the ever increasing ocean of joy. In this way, all phases

of the self are fully satisfied and purified by bathing in the nectarean mellows of

the holy name of Krsna. Therefore, let the sankirtana of the holy name be

victorious. (Siksastaka 1)


The Principal Result of Chanting the Holy Name is Krsna-prema,

Not Dharma, Artha, Kama or Moksa



bhaktistvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad

daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih

muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate'sman

dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah


            O Lord when a devotee, by good fortune, develops unflinching devotion

to Your transcendentally beautiful, youthful form, then liberation herself waits

with folded hands to be his maidservant. And right behind liberation, piety,

economic development, and sense enjoyment will wait for the chance to serve.

(Krsna-karnamrta 107)


Nama-kirtana Fulfills all Aspects of Bhajana



mantratas tantratas chidram desa-kalarha-vastutah

sarvam karoti nischidram anusankirtanam tava


            [In the various kinds of Vedic sacrifice and worship mentioned in the Vedas]

There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative

principles, paraphernalia, but when Your Lordship's holy name is chanted,

everything becomes faultless. (Bhag. 8.23.16)


The Pure Name Arises Within the Association of Devotees



mamaham iti dehadau hitvamithyartha-dhir matim

dhasye mano bhagavati suddham tat-kirtanadibhih

iti jata-sunirvedah ksana-sangena sadhusu

ganga-dvaram upeyaya mukta-sarvanubandhanah


            {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 sense gratification. Now that I am fixed

in the Absolute Truth, I shall not identify myself with the body. I shall give up

the false conception of "I" and "mine" and fix my mind on the lotus feet of

Krsna. Because of a moment's association with devotees [the Visnudhtas],

Ajamila detached himself from the material conception of life with -

Thus freed from all material attraction, he immediately started for Hardwar.

(Bhag. 6.2.38-39)



sarvabhauma-sange tomara 'kalusa' haila ksaya

'kalmasa' ghucile jiva 'krsna-nama' laya


            Because of the association of [a devotee like] Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya,

all your contamination is now vanquished. When a person's heart is cleansed of

all contamination, he is able to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

(Cc. Madhya 15.276)



asadhu-sange bhai "krsna nama" nahi haya

"namaksara" bahiraya bate nama kabhu naya


            O brothers, the holy name of Krsna is never to be found in the association

of those who are un-saintly. The external sound of the holy name is never the

name proper. (Prema-vivarta)


The Holy Name Cannot be Realized Through the Material Senses



atah sri krsna namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

sevon-mukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuratyadah


            Therefore the material senses cannot appreciate Krsna's holy name, form,

qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna con-

sciousness 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. In other words, the holy

name of Krsna can never be grasped by the material senses. Only by rendering

devotional service, beginning with vibrating the Lord's glories upon the tongue,

can one realize Krsna, for he will reveal Himself directly to the sincere soul.

The formula for perfection in chanting  the holy name. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)



trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna

amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih


            One should chant the holy name of Krsna in a humble state of mind, con-

sidering oneself to be lower than a blade of grass. One should be more tolerant

than a tree, devoid of false prestige, and offer all respect to others, without

expecting any respect in return. In this way, one should always chant the holy

name of Krsna. (Siksastaka 3)


The Formula for the Favorable Culture of the Holy Name



syat krsna-nama-caritadi-sitapy avidya-

pittopatapta-rasanasya na rocika nu

kintv adarad anudinam khalu saiva justa

svadvi kramad bhavati tad-gada-mula-hantri


            The holy name, character, pastimes, and activities of Krsna are all tran-

scendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by

the jaundice of ignorance cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that -

by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens

within this tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root.

(Upadesamrta 7)


Determination for Chanting the Holy Name



khanda khanda hai' deha yadi jaya prana

tabu ami vadane na chadi harinama


            Even if you cut my body into pieces, I should not give up chanting the holy

name. (C.Bhag. Adi 11.91)


Kirtana of the Holy Name Gradually Awakens the Form,

Qualities, and Pastimes of the Lord




krsna-nama dhare kata bala

visaya-vasananale mora citta sada jale

ravintapta maribhumi sama

karna-randhra patha diya, hrdi majhe pravesiya,

varisaya sudha anupama

hrdaya haite bale, jihvara agrete cale

sabda-rupe naca anuksana

kanthe mora bhange svara, anga kanpe thara thara,

sthira haite napare carana

cakse dhara, dehe gharma, pulikata saba carma,

vivarna haila kalevara

murccita haile mana, pralayera agamana,

bhave sarva-deha jara jara

kari'eta upadrava, citte vars sudhaadrava,

more dare premera sagare

kichu na bujhite dila, mora ta batula kaila,

mora citta vitta saba hare

lainu asraya yanra, henu vyavahara tan'ra

varnite napari ei sakala

krsna-nama icchamaya, yahe yahe sukhi haya

sei mora sukhera sambala

premera kalika nama, adbhuta rasera dhama

hena bala karaye prakasa

isat vikasi' punah, dekhaya nija rupa-guna

citta hari' laya krsna-pasa

purna vikasita haina, vraje more yaya laina,

dekhaya more svarupa-vilasa

more siddha-deha diya, krsna-pase rakhe giya,

ei dehera kare sarva-nasa

krsna-nama-cintamani, akhila rasera khani,

nitya-mukta, suddha, rasamaya

namera balai yata, saba la'ye hai hata

tabe mora sukhera udaya


            My heart is just like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my

internal mental condition. The desire for mortal things cannot satisfy me be-

cause by nature they are death-producing. And not one or two, but thousands

of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subcon-

scious region is always burning. This is my condition. But somehow, by

grace of the sadhu and guru, the holy name of Krsna with its infinite prospect

has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart.

And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it

touched my heart with a new kind of nectar.

             New hope is aroused by that sound. Then by force it comes form the heart

towards the tongue. Not that by the endeavor of my tongue I am producing that

sound no. What came from the heart of a saint through my ear, entered my

heart, and that forcibly appeared on my tongue, and began to dance.        

            That is the holy name proper. It descends from above. It cannot be -

by the material tongue. It's source is above. And through an agent of the

absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gathers some

sympathy, then the holy name of Krsna forcibly appears upon the tongue and

begins to dance. With great force it comes to the end of the tongue, and that

sweet sound begins its dancing.

            The real effects of the divine name have been described here. If it is a real

and living name, the voice will be choked up, there will be shivering in the

body, and the legs will be unable to stand. Sometimes tears will flow in a -

on the body, and one's hairs will stand on end. Sometimes changes of color

will be found in the body, and we will be unable to find any trace of the mind or


            We may fall in a swoon, the whole body and mind will appear as if it is

being attacked, shivering, and influenced in different ways.

            Apparently it may seem that so many troubles are created in the body and

the mind, but the real heart is overflowing with a particular kind of strange,

sweet juice. Sometimes the devotee thinks, 'I am in an ocean of nectar. My

whole existence is within an ocean of nectarean liquid. I am beside myself. I

can't understand where I am. Where am I? What is this? What is all about me?

It has almost made me mad. Am I a madman? Where is my past experience,

my seriousness, my gravity, where are they? What am I? I have been converted

wholesale by a foreign thing. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is

also so affectionate to me. I can't ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I

have entered this great, unknown environment, not experienced before. And

at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been

captured by a particularly sweet force. I can't help being prey to such a sweet

power. I can't give any proper description of this. I came to take shelter of Him

and accept Him as my guardian; now at His hand I am being dealt with in such

a merciless and despotic way.

             Still, I feel that everything is very pleasing , beyond my experience. What

is this? I can't resist anymore. I am fully captured. Let my fate go anywhere. I

can't come out. I am a captive in the hand of a sweet friend; my whole indepen-

dence is gone. There is no way left to me but to surrender. I am unable to

describe my real position.

            I find that He's an autocrat. Whatever He likes, He will do. Since it is not

possible for me to give any resistance, I must surrender. Let me also cooperate

with whatever He is pleased to do. Otherwise I find that the sweetness of the

name is condensed like a blossoming flower, and very wonderful streams of

sweet current are flowing from it. The holy name contains so many sweet

variegated forms of current within Him, and He is wonderfully expressing Himself

in different ways. Sometimes He emanates a peculiar type of color and figure,

and disappears.

            So many charming aspects are shown as if to my eyes within, and He forc-

ibly takes me to surrender at the foot of that altar. He shows Himself in His full-

fledged form, in Vrndavana, in His Braja-lila, with Radharani, and He takes me

there. I find that I am in the midst of His peculiar, very sweet and loving para-

phernalia. And He says, 'You see! I have so many wonderful things. This is

your home. I am not merely imagination, but concrete reality. You will find

here that the environment is very favorable and sweet. You are to live here.' I

see there that He is dealing in different ways with His associates, in different

rasas. And I find that I have another body that has emerged from my previous

one, and that has a permanent place here in His service.

            Such a new life I find here. And then I find ultimately that all consider-

ation of my past life and experience has vanished. And it is true: my real life is

here. This is proper, and that was a sham, that life has vanished. Then I find

that chanting the holy name gives me new encouragement, a new prospect, and

new hope. Whatever we want, whatever is our internal demand, it is supplied

by the name. If we take the name, all our internal hankerings will be fulfilled.

It is eternal, it is the purest of the pure, and it is full of ecstasy.

            Now I find I have been completely converted. How, my innermost hanker-

ing is this: Let whatever is against this sweet name vanish eternally from the

world. If anything is in opposition to this sweet life, let it vanish, and if neces-

sary, I will give my life to make it disappear from the world forever. Then

others will be able to enjoy it at their free will. No hindrance should come to

that fulfillment of life. It has no other second. So, everyone may come here,

and if necessary, I will sacrifice myself to finish any opposition, so that all can

smoothly, peacefully, and without any danger, enjoy this absolute, sweet, and

blissful life. (Saranagati, Bhaktivinoda Thakura)


The Four Kinds of Namabhasa



sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va

vaikuntha-nama-grahanam asesagha-haram viduh


            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, (as in using the holy name to count drumbeats on a mrdanga, or to pace

oneself while running), jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglect-

fully. This is accepted by all scholars of the scriptures. (Bhag. 6.2.14)


The Results of Namabhasa



tam nirvyajam bhaja guna-nidhim pavanam pavananam


udyan anantah-karana-kuhare hanta yan-nama-bhanor-

abhaso'pi ksapayati mahapataka-dhvantadharam


            [Vidura said to Drthrastra] My dear brother, O ocean of good qualities,

just fix your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, and worship Him with great faith.

He is worshiped with poetic hymns by great saints and scriptural authorities.

Krsna is the supreme savior amongst all other saviors. In the same way that

even a slight glimpse of the sun's rays dissipates the darkness of night, even a

dim dawning of the holy name of Krsna, will immediately dissipate all the dark-

ness of ignorance and free one from even the blackest contamination of sinful

-activity. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Daksina Vibhaga, 1.103)



yad abhaso' pyudyan kavalita-bhavadhvanta-vibhavo

drsam tat tvandhanam api disati bhakti-pranayinim

janas-tasyodattam jagati bhagavan-nama-tarane

krti te nirvaktum ka iha mahimanam prabhavati


            O divine sun of the holy name, even a slight reflection of You can dispel

the darkest ignorance from the minds of those who are sunk in worldliness and

grant the spiritual vision upon those who are spiritually blind. Who, then, can

find the end of Your infinite glories? Who is there expert enough to completely

sing the limits of Your greatness? [Just as the twilight before the sunrise dispels

darkness and all kinds of fears and troubles, so the dim reflection or the dawn-

ing of the holy name (namabhasa) removes all sorts of evils or anarthas arising

from forgetfulness of the true nature of the self and the Supreme Lord. (Krsna-

namastakam, Rupa Gosvami 3)



haridasa kahena,—"yaiche suryera udaya

udaya na haite arambhe tamera haya ksaya

caura-preta-raksasadira bhaya haya nasa

udaya haile dharma-karma-adi parakasa

aiche namodayarambhe papa-adira ksaya

udaya kaile krsna-pade haya premodaya


            Haridasa Thakura said, "As the sun begins to rise, even before being vis-

ible 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 -

visible everything is manifest, and everyone begins performing his religious

activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the faint dawning of the holy name

(namabhasa) dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one

chants the holy name purely, the complete dawning of the pure holy name takes

place, and one awakens to devotional service in krsna-prema at the lotus feet of

Krsna. (Cc. Antya 3.183-86)


The Results of the Pure Holy Name and Namabhasa



namaikam yasya cihnam smarana-pathagatam srotra-mulam gatam va

suddham vasuddha-varnam vyavahitarahitam tarayaty eva satyam

tac ced deha-dravinajani-talobha-pakhanda-madhye

niksiptam syan na phala-janakam sighram evatra vipra


            [Sanat-Kumara told Narada] If a person only once hears, chants or re-

members the holy name of Krsna, he will certainly be delivered from the ocean

of birth and death and attain liberation whether the holy name is pronounced

properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, and whether it is

properly joined or only vibrated in part. O brahmana, such are the glories of

the holy name. If one chants the syllables of the holy name for personal benefit,

however, for material wealth and followers, or out of greed, or in the assoc-

iation of atheists, such offensive chanting will not soon produce the supreme goal

of life [krsna-prema]. (Padma Purana, Brahma-khanda, 25.24)


The Results of Namabhasa and Namaparadha



yatha nama-bhasabalenajamilo duracaro'pi vaikuntham prapitas-tathaiva

smartadayah sadacarah sastrajna api bahuso nama grahino'pyarthavada-

kalpanadi-namaparadha-balena ghora-samsaram eva prapyante


            Note: In Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.9-11, the Visnudutas say: "The

chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna is the best process of atone-

ment 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 Krsna,

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.'

            By following the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or undergoing atone-

ment, 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 chant-

ing of the Lord's names, which reminds one of the Lord's fame, qualities,

attributes, pastimes, and paraphernalia."]

            Commenting of this section of Srimad Bhagavatam , Sri Visvanatha

Cakravarti Thakura remarks as follows on the different results attained

by namabhasa or offenseless chanting as opposed to namapradha, or

offensive chanting.]


Although Ajamila was great sinner, by chanting the holy name of Krsna in

namabhasa that is, offenselessly the ultimately attained Vaikuntha. But all

the good deeds of the smartas, their knowledge of the sastra, and even their

chanting of the holy name many times will not bring them to the same end,

because they chant the holy name offensively. They may continue chanting in

that way for many millions of year, but because of namaparadha, offenses to the

holy name, the holy name does not appear in their impure hearts, and they do

not attain the goal. Rather, they simply suffer again and again repeated birth

and death in the ghastly material world. (Bhag. 6.2.9-10, Sarartha-darsini com-



The Proper Mentality for Chanting Without Offense.



tad asma-saram hrdayam batedam

yad grhyamanair hari-nama-dheyaih

na vikriyetatha yada vikaro

netre jalam gatra-ruhesu harsah


            Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the

holy name with concentration, does not melt when ecstasy takes place, tears do

not fill the eyes and the hairs do not stand on end. (Bhag. 2.3.24)



asrupulakaveva cit-tadravalingamityapi na sakyate vaktum;

yad uktam srimad rupa gosvami caranaih:

"nisargapicchila svaste tad abhyasaparo pi ca

sattvabhasam vinapi syuh kvapyasru-pulakadayah"

(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 2.3.89)


...tatas ca bahir asu-pulakayoh satorapi yaddha dayah na vikriyeya, tad

asmasarimiti vakyarthah tatasca hrdaya-vikriya laksmananya-sadharanani

ksatinamagrahanasakty adinyeva jneyani... kanisthadhikarinam samat

saranastu saparadha-vittatvan-nama-grahana-bahulye'pi tan-madhury-

anubhavabhave cittam naiva vikriyeta, tad vyanjakah ksatyadayo 'pi na

bhavanti, tesam eva asup-pulakadimattve 'pyasma-sara-hrdayataya nindaisa.

kinca, tesam api sahu-sangenanartha-vivrtti-nistharucyadibhumikarudhanam

kalena ciccadrave sati cittasyasma-saratvamapagacchatyeva. yesastu

cittadrave 'pi sati cittasyasmasaratatisthadeva, te tu duscikitsya eva jneyah


[This is from Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's commentary on Bhag. 2.3.24 quoted as 17.67]


            In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Rupa Gosvami analyzes the appearance of

the symptoms of divine ecstasy in non-devotees. He refers to these symptoms

as sattvabhasa, or a dim reflection of ecstasy. Sometimes it is seen that staunch

logicians, without any trace of devotional service and without actually under-

standing the transcendental glories of the Lord, sit down to hear the glories of

the Lord, they appear to be melting and shedding tears. In this connection

there is a statement by a devotee who is addressing the Lord as follows:

            "My dear Mukunda, I cannot properly express the glories of Your pas-

times. Even when non-devotees hear of Your glorious pastimes they become

affected and shed tears and start to tremble." Rupa Gosvami comments on

this by saying.] "Such non-devotees are not actually melted; they are hard-

hearted. But the influence of the glories of the Lord is so great that even the

non-devotees sometimes shed tears.

            Sometimes it is found that a non-devotee who has practically no taste for

Krsna and who follows no rules or regulations can, by practice, make a show of

devotional symptoms, even crying in an assembly of devotees. This shedding of

tears is not actually an ecstatic loving expression. However, it is done simply by

practice and is only a dim reflection of true ecstatic symptoms. For example

impersonalists may sometimes show symptoms of ecstasy while chanting the

holy name Krsna, but this is not accepted as actual ecstasy, but only a dim re-

flection (Sattvabhasa).


            Note:Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has very critically discussed

all these displays of ecstasy in connection with some unscrupulous

neophyte's imitating the above symptoms for cheap appreciation. Not

only Visvanatha Cakravarti but also Rupa Gosvami has treated them

very critically.

             Sometimes all the above eight symptoms of ecstasy are imitated

by the mundane devotees, but the pseudo symptoms are at once de-

tected when one see the pseudo-devotee addicted to so many forbidden

things. Even though decorated with the signs of a devotee, a person

addicted to smoking, drinking or illegitimate sex with women cannot

have all the above mentioned ecstatic symptoms. But it is seen that

sometimes these symptoms are willingly imitated, and for this reason

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti accuses the imitators of being stone-hearted.

They are sometimes even affected by the reflection of such transcen-

dental symptoms, yet if they still do not give up the forbidden habits,

then they are hopeless cases for transcendental realization.

            When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met Srila Ramananda Raya of

Kavaur on the bank of the Godavari, the Lord developed all these symp-

toms, but because of the presence of some non-devotee brahmanas who

were attendants of the Raya, the Lord suppressed these symptoms.

            So sometimes they are not visible even in the body of the first-

class devotee for certain circumstantial reasons. In Bhakti-rasamrta-

sindhu (1.3.11) Sri Rupa Gosvami explains that real, steady bhava is

definitely displayed in the matter of cessation of material desires (ksanti),

utilization (avyatha-kalatvam), eagerness for glorifying the Lord con-

stantly (nama-gane sadm ruci), attraction for living in the land of the

Lord (pritis tad-vasati sthale), complete detachment from material hap-

piness (virakti), and pridelessness (mana-shnyatm). One who has devel-

oped all these transcendental qualities is really possessed by the bhava

stage, as distinguished from the stone-hearted imitator or mundane devo-


             The whole process can be summarized as follows: The advanced

devotee who chants the holy name of the Lord in a perfectly offenseless

manner and is friendly to everyone can actually relish the transcenden-

tal taste of glorifying the Lord. And the result of such realization is

reflected in the cessation of all material desires, etc., as mentioned above.

            The neophytes, due to their being in the lower stage of devo-

tional service, are invariable envious, so much so that they invent their

own ways and means of devotional regulations without following the

acaryas. As such, even if they make a show of constantly chanting the

holy name of the Lord, because they commit offenses to the holy name,

they cannot relish the transcendental taste of the holy name.

             Therefore, the show of tears in the eyes, trembling, perspiration

or unconsciousness, etc., is condemned. They can, however, get in touch

with a pure devotee of the Lord and rectify their bad habits; otherwise

they shall continue to be stone hearted and unfit for any treatment. A

complete progressive march on the return home, back to Godhead, will

depend on the instructions of the revealed scriptures directed by a real-

ized devotee. (Bhag. 2.3.24, Sarartha-darsini commentary)


The Ten Offenses to the Holy Name



satam ninda namnah paramam aparadham vitanute

yatah khyatim kathamu sahate tad-vigaraham

sivasya sri visnorya iha guna-namadi sakalam

dhiya bhinnam pasyet sa khalu harinama-hitakarah

guroravajna sruti-sastra-nindanam tatharthavado hari-namni kalpanam

namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhir na vidyate tasya yamair hi suddhih

dharma-vrata-tyagahutadi-sarva-subha-kriya-samyamapi pramadah

asraddha-dhano vimukho'py-srnvati yas copadesah sivanamaparadhah

srutvapi nama-mahatmyam yah pritirahito 'dhamah

aham mamadiparamo namni so'py aparadha-krt

jate namaparadhe tu pramade tu kathancana

sada sankirtayan-nama tad eka sarano bhavet

namaparadha-yuktanam namanyeva harah-tyagham

avasranti-prayuktani tany evartha karani yat


(1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propa-

gating the holy name of the Lord.

(2) To consider the names of demigods like Lord Siva or Lord Brahma to be

equal to, or independent of, the name of Lord Krsna.

(3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master.

(4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in pursuance of the Vedic


(5) To consider the glories of chanting Hare Krsna as an exaggeration.

(6) To concoct interpretations of the holy name of the Lord.

(7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name of

the Lord.

(8) To consider the chanting of Hare Krsna to be on the same level as the

ritualistic karmic activities mentioned in the Vedas.

(9) To instruct the faithless in the glories of the holy name.

(10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and thus

maintain material attachments. Even if in the beginning one chants the

Hare Krsna mantra with offenses, one will become free from such of-

fenses by chanting again and again [and faithfully serving the pure devo-

tee]. (Padma Purana, Brahma-Khanda, 25.15-18, 22-23)


The Principal Offense to the Holy Name



nascaryam etad yad asatsu sarvada mahad-vininda kunapatma-vadisu

sersyam mahapurusa-pada-pamsubhir nirasta-tejahsu tad eva sobhanam


            It is not wonderful for persons who have accepted the transient material

body as the self to engage always in deriding great souls. Such envy on the part

of materialistic persons is not very good because that is the way they fall down.

They are diminished by the dust of the feet of great personalities. (Bhag. 4.4.13)




ye go-gardabhadaya iva visayesvevendriyani sada carayanti ko bhagavan, ka

bhaktih ko gurur iti svapne 'pi na jananti, tesam eva namabhasadir itya grhita-

hari-nam-nam-ajamiladinam iva niraparadhanam gurum vinapi bhavatye

oddharah. Harir-bhajaniya eva, bhajanam tat-prapakam eva tadupadesta

gurur eva, gurupadista bhakta eva purve harim prapuriti viveka-visesavatve

'pi "no diksam na ca sat-kriyam na ca purascaryam managiksate.

Mantro'yam rasana sprga eva phalati sri krsna namatmakah" Iti (Padyavali

18 Ankadhrk Svamikrta-sloka) pramana-drstya ajamiladi-drstantena ca kim

me guru-karanasramena nama-kirtana-adibhir eva me bhagavat-praptir-

bhavin iti manyaman astu gurvavajna laksana-mahaparadha-deva

bhagavantam sati sri guru-caranasrita eva prapnotiti."


Those persons who are like cows and asses, who wander about always engaged

in chasing the objects of the senses, who have no idea even in dreams of what is

Bhagavan, what is bhakti, or what is guru, can all be delivered if they chant the

holy name of Krsna offenselessly in namabhasa, as did Ajamila, even if they

have no association of devotees, or any contact with a genuine spiritual master.

            One may attain the worshipable object, Sri Hari, by practicing the means

to worship him in pursuance of the instruction of the guru. By carefully follow-

ing the orders of Sri guru, many devotees in the past have attained Sri Hari. It

has , however, been said: "no diksam na ca satkriyam na ca purascaryam

managiksate. mantro 'yam rasana-spag eva phalati sri krsna-namatmakah."

             For one who knows reality and the real nature of the Hare Krsna maha-

mantra and actually realizes the fruit of taking the holy name upon the tongue

(sevon-mukhe hi jivadau), the holy name is not at all dependent upon diksa,

initiation, religious activities, the rules and regulations of the scriptures, or

purificatory procedures. About this the scriptures have given many different

examples as evidence. For instance, Ajamila without benefit of a guru chanted

the holy name of Krsna in namabhasa and attained liberation.

            Seeing all these conclusions, a person might ask, "Why should I go to such

great trouble to carefully follow the orders of the guru while performing kirtana?

[if by chanting neglectful, without regard for any rules and regulations or the

order of the guru, Ajamila attained perfection, why should I work so hard? Let

me follow the example of Ajamila and neglectfully chant the holy name, and so

attain liberation.]" Those who cultivate this sort of mentality commit the great

offense of disregarding the orders of the gurudeva. As a result of this offense

they are cheated out of any hopes of attaining Bhagavan, Sri Krsna. But if in

this birth or the next they beg pardon from gurudeva, take shelter of his lotus

feet and gain forgiveness for such a great offense, then it may be possible for

them to attain the Lord. (Bhag. 6.2.9, Sarartha-darsini commentary)


Who Offends Devotees Does not Chant the Real Name



hena vaisnavera ninda kare yai jana

sei paya duhkha-janma jivana-marana

vidya-kula-tapa-saba viphala tahara

vaisnava nindaye ye ye papi duracara

puja o tahara krsna na kare grahana

vaisnavera ninda kare ye papistha-jana


            One who commits offenses against Vaisnavas attains only misery, life after

life. His learning and austerity bears no fruit. Blasphemy of Vaisnavas is the

worst kind of sinful behavior. One who engages in blasphemy of Vaisnavas will

find that Krsna does not accept his worship. A person who blasphemes Vaisnavas

is therefore the worst kind of sinner. (C.Bhag. Mad. 4.360)



sulapani-sama yadi vaisnavere ninde

tathapiha nasa yaya, kahe sastra-vrnde

iha na maniyaye sujana-ninda kare

janme janme se papistha deva-dose mare


            It is the conclusion of all the revealed scriptures that one who blasphemes

a devotee is doomed. For such a person, everything is torn to pieces by the

powerful trident of his sinful reactions. A sinful person who disregards this

principle and insults great souls will suffer birth after birth for his offense.

(C.Bhag. Madhya 22.54,56)


Vaisnava-aparadhis are Punished Forever



prabhu bale, vaisnava nindaye yei jana

kustharoga kon tara satiye likhana

apatatah sastri kichu haiyache matra

ara kata ache yama-yatanara patra

caurasi sahasra yama-yatana pratyekse

punah punah kari" bunje vaisnava-nindake


            Mahaprabhu said, "It is written that one who blasphemes the Vaisnavas

will suffer from leprosy, after which he will be punished by the agents of Yamaraja

again and again, in thousands of births. (C.Bhag. Madhya 4.375-377)


Six Kinds of Vaisnava-aparadha



nindam kurvanti ye mudha vaisnavanam mahatmanam

patanti pitrbhih sardham maharaurava-samjnite

hanti nindati vai dvesthi vaisnavan-nabhi-nandati

krudhyate yati no harsam darsane patanani sat


            A fool who blasphemes Vaisnavas goes to the worst kind of hell along with

generations of his ancestors. One who kills a devotee, as well as one who blas-

phemes devotees, or one who is envious of devotees, or one who fails to offer

obeisances to Vaisnavas upon seeing them, or one who becomes angered at a

Vaisnava, or who does not become joyful upon seeing a Vaisnava these six

classes of men are all considered to be candidates for falling down into hell.

(Skanda Purana)


Vaisnava-aparadhis Should Have Their Tongues Cut Out



karnau pidhaya nirayad yad akalpa ise

 dharmavitary asrnibhir nrbhir asyamane

chindyat prasahya rusatim asatim prabhus cej

 jihvam asun api tato visrjet sa dharmah


            [Sati said] If one hears an irresponsible person blaspheme the guardian of

devotion (dharmavitarya or dharma-raksaka), one should block his ears and go

away if unable to punish him. But if one is able to kill, then one should by force

cut out the blasphemer's tongue and kill the offender, and after that one should

give up his own life. (Bhag. 4.4.17)


The Great Fault of Hearing Blasphemy of Vaisnavas



"vaisnava ninda sravane 'pi dosa uktah" (Bhag. 10.74.40)

nindam bhagavatah srnvan tat parasya janasya va

tato napaiti yah so 'pi yatyadha sukrtat cyutah

tato'pagamas casamarthasya eva; samarthena tu nindakajihva chettavya;

tatrapy asamarthena svapranaparityago 'pi kartavyah


            The Srimad Bhagavatam says that it is a great fault to hear blasphemy of

Vaisnavas. It states: "He who does not leave the place where devotees of the

Lord are blasphemed, but continues to hear such blasphemy, is guilty of a great

sin. He is deprived of all his piety and falls down into hell." It is enjoined that

one must leave the place of blasphemy. But that is for a person who is not a

capable person. If capable one should cut out the tongue of the blasphemer. If

unable to do that one should give up his life rather than continue to hear such

blasphemy. (Bhakti Sandarbha 265)


The Way to Overcome Vaisnava-aparadha



ye vaisnava-sthane aparadha haya yara

puna se ksamile a paradha ghuce tara


            If one offends a Vaisnava, the only way to get free from the offense is to go

back that Vaisnava and beg his forgiveness. (C.Bhag. Madhya 22.32)



kanta phute yei mukhe, sei mukhe yaya

paye kanta phutile ki kandhe bahiraya


            Just as it takes a thorn to remove a thorn, the offense committed by the

mouth [against a Vaisnava] must be cured with the mouth [by begging forgiv-

eness]. (C.Bhag Antya 4.380)


The Second Offense to the Holy Name



sivah sakti-yutah sasvat tri-lingo guna-samvrtah

vaikarikas taijasas ca tamasas cety aham tridha

harir hi nirgunah saksat purusah prakrteh parah

sa sarva-drg upadrasta tam bhajan nirguno bhavet


            Lord Siva is always associated with his sakti. He is invested with the three

modes of nature sattva, rajas, and tamas and is the presiding deity of the three

kinds of cosmic ego characterized by sattva, rajas, and tamas. Lord Hari, on the

other hand, is unaffected by the three modes and hence devoid of the attributes

of material nature. He is omniscient and is a witness to everything. A person

who worships him becomes free from all material qualities. (Bhag. 10.88.3,5)


The Third Offense to the Holy Name



rajas tamas ca sattvena sattvam copasamena ca

etat sarvam gurau bhaktya puruso hy anjasa jayet

yasya saksad bhagavati jnana-dipa-prade gurau

martyasad-dhih srutam tasya sarvam kunjara-saucavat


            One must conquer the modes of passion and ignorance by developing the

mode of goodness, and then one must become detached from the mode of

goodness by promoting oneself to the platform of suddha-sattva. All this can be

automatically done if one engages in the service of the spiritual master with

faith and devotion. In this way one can conquer the influence of the modes of

nature. The spiritual master should be considered to be directly the Supreme

Lord because he gives transcendental knowledge for enlightenment. Consequently,

for one who maintains the material conception that the spiritual master

is an ordinary human being, everything is frustrated. His enlightenment and

His Vedic studies and knowledge are like the bathing of an elephant.

(Bhag. 7.15.25,26)


The Fourth Offense to the Holy Name



sraddham bhagavate sastre 'nindam anyatra capi hi


            One should have firm faith that he will achieve all success in life by follow-

ing those scriptures that describe the glories of the Supreme Personality of

Godhead, Bhagavan. At the same time, one should avoid blaspheming other

Vedic scriptures. (Bhag. 11.3.26)



namah pramana-mulaya kavaye sastra-yonaye

pravrttaya nivrttaya nigamaya namo namah


            We offer our obeisances again and again to You, who are the basis of all

authoritative evidence, who are the author and ultimate source of the revealed

scriptures, and who have manifested Yourself in those Vedic literature's -

sense gratification as well as in those encouraging renunciation of the

material world. (Bhag. 10.16.44)


The Fifth Offense to the Holy Name



prayena veda tad idam na mahajano 'yam

 devya vimohita-matir bata mayayalam

trayam jadi-krta-matir madhu-puspitayam

 vaitanike mahati karmani yujyamanah


            [If chanting the holy name is sufficient for liberation, then why haven't the

Vedic sages stressed this in their teachings?] Because they are bewildered by

the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yajnavalkya and

Jaimini and other compilers of the religious scriptures cannot understand the

transcendental value of performing devotional service or chanting the Hare

Krsna mantra. Because their minds are attracted to the ritualistic ceremonies

mentioned in the Vedas especially the Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Rg Veda--

their intelligence became dull. Thus they are busy collecting the ingredients for

ritualistic ceremonies that yield only temporary benefits, such as elevation to

Svargaloka for material happiness. They are not attracted to the sankirtana

movement; instead, they are interested in dharma, artha, kama and moksa.

(Bhag. 6.3.25)


Other Processes of Purification are a Waste of Time



prayascittani cirnani narayana-paranmukham

na nispunanti rajendra sura-kumbham ivapagah


            My dear King, as a pot containing liquor cannot be purified even if washed

in the waters of many rivers, non-devotees cannot be purified by processes of

atonement even if they perform them very well. (Bhag. 6.1.18)


The Sixth Offense to the Holy Name



taj janma tani karmani tad ayus tan mano vacah

nrnam yena hi visvatma sevyate harir isvarah

kim janmabhis tribhir veha saukra-savitra-yajnikaih

karmabhir va trayi-proktaih pumso 'pi vibudhayusa


            Narada said, "When a living entity is born to engage in the devotional

service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme controller,

this birth, all his fruitive activities, his life-span, his mind and his words are all

factually perfect. A civilized human being has three kinds of births. The

birth is by a pure father and mother, and this birth is called birth by semen.

next birth takes place when one is initiated by the spiritual master and this birth

is called savitra. The third birth, called yajnika, takes place when one is given

the opportunity to worship Lord Visnu. Despite the opportunities of attaining

such births, even if one gets the life-span of a demigod, if one does not actually

engage in the service of the Lord, everything is useless. Similarly, one's activi-

ties may be mundane or spiritual, but they are useless if they are not meant for

satisfying the Lord. (Bhag. 4.31.9-10)


Auspicious Activities Other than Chanting the

Holy Name in Full Surrender are Useless



avismitam tam paripurna-kamam svenaiva labhena samam prasantam

vinopasarpaty aparam hi balisah sva-langulenatititarti sindhum


            Free from all material conceptions of existence and never wonderstruck

by anything, the Lord is always jubilant and fully satisfied by His own spiritual

perfection's. He has no material designations, and therefore He is steady and

unattached. That Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only shelter of every-

one. Anyone desiring to be protected by others is certainly a great fool who

desires to cross the sea by holding a dog's tail. (Bhag. 6.9.22)


The Seventh Offense to the Holy Name



manye dhanabhijana-rupa-tapah-srutaujas-


naradhanaya hi bhavanti parasya pumso

 bhaktya tutosa bhagavan gaja-yutha-paya


            [Prahlada Maharaja prayed to Lord Nrsimhadeva] One may possess wealth,

an aristocratic family, beauty, austerity, education, sensory expertise, luster, -

physical strength, diligence, intelligence, and mystic power, but I think

even by all these qualifications one cannot satisfy the Supreme

of Godhead. However, one can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service.

Gajendra did this , and thus the Lord was satisfied with him. [In other words,

the real qualification to worship the Lord is faith.] (Bhag. 7.9.9)


The Eight Offense to the Holy Name



kvacin nivartate 'bhadrat kvacic carati tat punah

prayascittam atho 'partham manye kunjara-saucavat


            Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victim-

ized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning

and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant

cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body

as soon as it returns to the land. (Bhag. 6.1.10)


The Ninth Offense to the Holy Name



tasmat sarvatmana rajan harih sarvatra sarvada

srotavyah kirtitavyas ca smartavyo bhagavan nrnam


            O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify,

and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere,

with all one's attention, committing heart, mind and soul in dedication to the holy name.

(Bhag. 2.2.36)


The Tenth Offense to the Holy Name



yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke

sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih

yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij

 janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah


            One who believes this body, which is composed of mucus, bile, and air, is

the self, who thinks of his wife and children as his bodily expansions, and who

considers the land of his birth worshipable, who visits the holy places simply to

go swimming, without seeking shelter of the holy saints who live there, is no

better than a cow or an ass. (Bhag. 10.84.13)



'krsna-nama' kare aparadhera vicara

krsna balile aparadhira na haya vikara


            There are offenses to be consider while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.

Therefore, simply by chanting Hare Krsna, one does not become ecstatic.

(Cc. Adi 8.24)



tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtana

niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana


            Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to al-

ways 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. (Cc. Antya 4.71)



bahu janma kare yadi sravana, kirtana

tabu ta' na paya krsna-pade prema-dhana


            If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krsna

maha-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he

will not get the love of Godhead which is the ultimate goal of this

(Cc. Adi 8.16)



'eka' krsna-name kare sarva-papa nasa

premera karana bhakti karena prakasa

anayase bhava-ksaya, krsnera sevana

eka krsna-namera phale pai eta dhana


            Simply by chanting one name of Krsna [purely] all one's sins are destroyed.

Thus bhakti, which is the cause of krsna-prema, is manifest. (Cc. Adi 8.26,28)



hena krsna-nama yadi laya bahu-bara

tabu yadi prema nahe, nahe asrudhara

tabe jani, aparadha tahate pracura

krsna-nama-bija tahe na kare ankura


            If one chants the exalted holy name of the Lord again and again and yet his

love for the Supreme Lord does not develop and tears do not appear in his eyes,

it is evident that because of his offenses in chanting, the seed of the holy name

of Krsna does not sprout. (Cc. Adi 8.29.30)


The Real Holy Name of Krsna Can Never Awaken in Mayavadis



ataeva tara mukhe na aise krsna-nama

'krsna-nama', 'krsna-svarupa'—duita 'samana'

'nama; 'vigraha', 'svarupa'—tina eka-rupa

tine 'bheda' nahi,—tina 'cid-ananda-rupa'

deha-dehira, nama-namira krsne nahi 'bheda'

jivera dharma—nama-deha-svarupe 'vibheda'

ataeva krsnera 'nama', 'deha', 'vilasa'

prakrtendriya-grahya nahe, haya sva-prakasa


            [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Mayavadi impersonalists are great of-

fenders unto Lord Krsna; therefore they simply utter the words Brahman, atma,

and Caitanya.] The holy name of Krsna is not manifest in their mouths because

they are offenders to Krsna, who is non-different from His name. The Lord's

holy name, His form, and His personality are all one and the same. There is no

difference between them. Since all of them are absolute, they are transcenden-

tally blissful. There s no difference between Krsna's body and Himself or be-

tween His name and Himself. As far as the conditioned soul is concerned,

everything is different. One's name is different from the body, from one's origi-

nal form and so on. (Cc. Madhya 17.130-132,134)


Through Chanting the Holy Name of Krsna and Dancing One Gains Life.



gita-nrtyani kurvita dvija-devadi tustaye

na jivanaya yunjita viprah papabhiya kvacit

kvacit kadacid api jivanaya nijavrttyartham na yunjita

na kuryat: tatra hetuh papadbhiya, tatha sati papam syadityarthah


             A twice born, dvija, should sing and dance for the satisfaction of the Lord.

But he should do not do so for his livelihood fearing sinful reaction.


Commentary: Kvacit never; jivanaya for his own maintenance; he

should never do so. The reason stated in papabhiya. The meaning is if

he does so he will be implicated in sins. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 8.265 and

Srila Sanatana Gosvami's commentary)



dhana-sisyadibhir-dvarair yam bhaktir upapadyate

viduratvad uttamatahanya tasyas ca nangata


            If one relies on one's disciples or wealth to attain bhakti, his devotional

practice will certainly become slackened. One cannot claim that one is engaged

in devotional service simply on the basis of engaging one's money or disciples in

bhakti. To rely on money and disciples to perform devotional service in one's

place is not considered to be a branch of pure devotion. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,

Purva-Vibhaga 2.259)


One who Eagerly Dedicates Mind, Body, and Soul in Krsna-bhakti

Experiences the Topmost Mercy and Auspiciousness



etavaj janma-saphalyam dehinam iha dehisu

pranair arthair dhiya vaca sreya-acaranam sada


            [The Lord said] That a person should sacrifice his life, wealth, intellect,

and speech for doing what is beneficial to others, is the farthest limit of the

usefulness of embodied beings for their fellow creatures. (Bhag. 10.22.35)



praninam upakaraya yathaiveha paratra ca

karmana manasa vaca tad eva matiman vadet


            Through one's work, mind, and words one should act in such a way that it

will bring benefit to all living beings such is the behavior of the

(Visnu Purana 3.12.45)


The Qualification for Being Jagad-guru



apane acare keha, na kare pracara

pracara karena keha, na karena acara

'acara', 'pracara',—namera karaha 'dui' karya

tumi—sarva-guru, tumi jagatera arya


            Some practice, but do not preach; some preach but do not practice you

both practice the chanting of the holy name and preach it as well. Because you

practice what you preach, you are the jagad-guru, the guru of the entire -

for you are the most advanced devotee in the world. (Cc. Antya 4.102-103)


Gaurasundara's Followers Preach the Holy Name.

By Doing so, They Attain the Eternal Association of the Lord,

who is the Father of the Sankirtana Movement.



yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna' upadesa

amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa

kabhu na vadhibe tomara visaya-taranga

punarapi ei thani pabe mora sanga


            Instruct whoever you meet in the science of Krsna. Teach them the in-

structions of Krsna in Bhagavad-gita, and the teachings about Krsna in Srimad

Bhagavatam. In this way, on my order, become a guru and liberate everyone in

the land. If you follow this instruction, the waves of materialism within this

world will not affect you. Indeed, if you follow my order, you will soon attain

my association. (Cc. Madhya 7.128-129)


Those who Have Taken Birth in the Land of India

Should Show Mercy to Others by Eagerly Preaching

the Glories of the Holy Name of Sri Krsna



bharata bhumite haila manunya janma ya'ra

janma smrthaka kari' kara para-upakara


            One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should

make his live successful and work for the benefit of all other people by preach-

ing nama-sankirtana, the chanting of the holy name of Krsna. (Cc. Adi 9.41)


Thus ends the Seventeenth Jewel of Gaudiya-Kanthahara, entitled Nama-tattva.

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