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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Hari Naam Cintamani > Cahpter-XI

Chapter Eleven

Anya-shubha-karmer Sahita Namake Tulya-jnana

To Consider the Chanting of Hare Krishna One of the Auspicious Ritualistic Activities Offered in the Vedas as Fruitive Activities (Karma-kanda)



     shubha-kriya-samyam api pramadah


     "To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities (karma-kanda)."*


     1. Glory, glory to the holy names of Lord Chaitanya, which have now descended to this world! Glory, glory to the holy names of Lord Krishna, which are the highest of all spiritual truths!

     2. Haridasa said, "O Lord, please listen carefully. Other pious deeds are not equal to the holy name.


The Nature of the Holy Name


     3. "O Lord, You are like a spiritual sun. That is Your nature. You are perfectly spiritual. Your nature is wonderful.

     4. "Your form is completely spiritual in every way. You holy name, abode, and pastimes are all completely spiritual.

     5. "Your primary names are not in any way different from You. Your holy name is not material.

     6. "Descending from the world of Goloka, Your holy name enters Your devotees' mouths.

     7. "Your holy name enters the spirit soul, fills the material body, and dances on the tongue and in other parts of the body also.

     8. "This is the truth about Your holy name. Anyone who thinks Your holy name is material will be burdened by many sufferings. (1)


Lord Krishna's Feet Are the Goal of Life. People With Different Qualifications Attain Them By Different Means


     9. "O Lord, the sciptures describe different ways to attain You. The different ways exist because people are qualified in different ways. (2)


The Nature of Karma. Other Material Pious Deeds. The Spiritual Goal


     10. "O Lord, material-minded people who take shelter of material things and material situations worship You when they are called by fear.

     11. "O Lord Krishna, no one is like You. Your feet grant fearlessness. Simply by taking shelter of Your feet, the people cross the ocean of birth and death.

     12. "To attain Your feet the material-minded people have invented many material means.

     13-14. "Ishtapurta, yajnas, pious deeds, ritual bathing, homa, charity, yoga, varnashrama-dharma, travel to holy places, vows, worship of the pitas, meditation, study, worship of the demigods, austerities, and atonement are among the activities they perform.

     15. "Taking shelter of these material pious deeds, they try to attain their goal.

     16. "However, by these means they attain only temporary results. They have turned away from true perfection. (3)

     17. "Now please hear about the best of all goals. The goal that brings perfection, that brings spiritual bliss.


Auspicious Pious Deeds As the Way to Attain the Goal of Life


     18. "Material things and material situations have no spiritual bliss. Still, they may be auspicious for the conditioned soul, for they may gradually lead him to perfection. (4)

     19. "Therefore auspicious pious deeds may be a means to attain the final perfection that is pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna.


That Means Brings a Delay in Attaining Perfection


     20. "When pious deeds are employed the attainment of perfection is delayed. That is because of the distance that stands between the means and the goal. (5)


Why Is the Holy Name the True Means When One Strives For Perfection?


     21. "O Lord, You mercifully gave to the world the holy name of Lord Krishna. Intelligent souls will chant the holy name to attain perfection.

     22. "The holy name is the primary way to attain perfection. That is the scriptures' conclusion. Other pious deeds are counted as secondary ways to attain perfection.

     23. "They are primary and secondary in the same way as Lord Vishnu is the primary controller of everything in the three worlds, and the demigods Brahma and Shiva are secondary controllers after Him.


The Holy Name Is Made of Spiritual Goodness. The Mayavadis Offensively Think the Holy Name is Like Other Pious Activities


     24. "Theholy name is made of pure spiritual goodness. Even the scent of matter never touches the pure holy name.

     25. "Souls who tend to think in material terms assume that chanting the holy name is a material pious deed. (6)

     26. "From the mayavada philosophy this offense to the holy name has come. Anyone who accepts this wicked idea finds his progress is devotional service is blocked.


The Holy Name Is Both the Means and the Goal


     27. "Lord Krishna's holy name is perfect and blissful Lord Krishna Himself. Therefore the holy name is itself the goal. Attaining the glory of the holy name is the attainment of perfection.

     28. "Manifest on the surface of the earth, the holy name is also the means to attain perfection. It is both the means and the goal. This all the scriptures say.

     29. "According to their qualification, different souls understand the holy name differently. For some the holy name is the means to attain perfection. For others the holy name is the beautiful, wonderful goal. (7)


Material Pious Deeds Are the Srcondary Way to Attain Perfection. The Holy Name Is The Primary Way


     30. "The glorious ways to attain perfection are of two kinds. Material pious deeds are the secondary way, and the holy name is the primary way. (8)


The Holy Name Is Beyond the Touch of the Material Senses


     31. "In the scriptures it is said that material pious deeds are not equal to the holy name. That truth is at the heart of all the scriptures.

     32. "Anyone who with a sincere heart chants the holy name of Lord Krishna finds spiritual happiness, happiness beyond the touch of the material senses, dances within his heart.

     33. "That spiritual happiness is part of the holy name's nature. Nothing is more wonderful than the holy name's pastimes and bliss.


That Happiness of Impersonal Liberation Is A Shadow of That Happiness


     34. "Thw happiness of impersonal liberation is only a shadow of the happiness of chanting the holy name.

     35. "I know that the happiness of impersonal liberation is very small and trifling, but the bliss of chanting Lord Krishna's holy name is very great and glorious.


Chanting the Holy Name Is Different From Material Pious Deeds


     36. "At the time of performing sadhana, the holy name is the means to attain perfection. At the time when one attains perfection, the holy name is the beautiful and wonderful goal.

     37. "The holy name is both the means and the final goal. Material pious deeds are not the final goal.

     38. "Ordinary pious deeds all take shelter of matter. The holy name is spiritual. It is eternal and self-perfect.

     39. "At the time of performing sadhana, the holy name is always pure and free of any defect, even though the aspiring devotee (sadhaka) may have many anarthas, many unwanted defects and impurities.

     40. "By chanting the holy name and associating with devotees, the aspirant chases away his material misconceptions. When his anarthas are no more, the pure chanting of the holy name comes to him.

     41. "Abandoning material pious deeds, at the end he takes shelter of ecstatic love for Lord Krishna.

     42. "However, a person who takes shelter of the holy name never abandons the holy name. When he attains perfection he attains pure chanting of the holy name.

     43. "In this way the chanting of the holy name is different from material pious deeds. The holy name has wonderful transcendental qualities.

     44. "By the spiritual master's mercy, even at the time of sadhana one may understand the wonderful glory of the holy name. This the Vedas confirm. (9)

     45. "If at the time of sadhana one does not understand the holy name's glory, one is a great fool, an offender.

     46. " `The holy is is highest of all. The holy name has no equal.' He who has firm faith in these words may properly chant the holy name.

     47. "Soon he attains pure chanting of the holy name. He takes shelter of the perfect blissful nectar of the holy name.


The Remedy For This Offense


     48. "If one thinks the chanting of the holy name is one of the many material pious deeds, one commits an impious deed. (10)

     49. "One should take care to extinguish that impious thought. Then one will understand the holy name's purity. Eventually one will attain a great treasure of pure love for Lord Krishna.

     50. "One should anoint one's body with dust from the feet of an outcaste grihastha who is devoted to pure chanting of the holy name. (11)

     51. "One should eat the nectar food that has touched his lips and one should drink the water that has washed his feet. Then one's heart will become pure and one will attain pure chanting of the holy name.

     52. "Kalidasa is an example of such a devotee. Breaking intop pieces their misconceptions, by Your mercy the people of the world may chant the holy name.

     53. "O Lord, my intelligence is dull, stunted, and materialistic. I pray that I may once properly chant the holy name. I have never really attained the cintamani jewel that is Lord Krishna's holy name.


Haridasa Thakura's Faith in the Holy Name


     54. "O Lord, please be merciful to me. Assuming the form of the holy name, please always dance on my tongue. I grasp Your feet.

     55. "Keep me here, or take me there. Wherever You place me, please give me the nectar of Lord Krishna's holy name. (12)

     56. "To giver the holy name to the people of this world You have descended to this place. Please accept me as one of those people.

     57. "I am the most fallen. But You are the deliverer of the most fallen. O purifier of the fallen, that is our relationship.

     58. "Our relationship can never be broken. Now this fallen person begs from You the nectar of the holy name.


Why Is the Chanting of the Holy Name the Yuga-dharma for Kali-yuga?


     59. "In Kali-yuga ordinary pious deeds become ineffective. Therefore the holy name is the only yuga-dharma in Kali-yuga. (13)

     60. "Penniless Bhaktivinoda, who is a servant of Haridasa's servants, sings this Hari-nama-cintamani.



Chapter Eleven Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     (1) Anyone who thinks Lord Krishna'S holy name is made of maya, the dull and inert material energy, will suffer in hell for a long time. If one sees the face of such a person one must immediately remember Lord Vishnu and bathe, still wearing one's clothing.

     (2) People possess different levels of qualification to attain Lord Krishna. The primary levels are karma, jnana, and bhakti (devotional service). This the scriptures say. One group is the karmis. They are very materialistic. Their hearts should be purified. Another group is the monist jnanis. They are very attached to an illusion. Pure devotional service should be preached to every spirit soul.

     (3) At the time when one attains the perfection of pure devotional service, material karma and other nondevotional activities spontaneously flee far away.

     (4) The conditioned souls have no power to renounce ordinary material activities. All their thoughts and deeds are mixed with material things. A person who uses material pious activities (karma) to find pure devotional service, which is beyond the touch of matter, is expert.

     (5) The goal is pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna. The means described here is material pious activities. A considerable distance separates this means and goal.

     (6) The words "Souls who tend to think in material terms" refer to the spirit souls who, bewildered by ignorance, think that they themselves are material in nature.

     (7) Here "different qualification" means that as long as the soul is not attracted to spiritual life the soul will consider the chanting of the holy names as a means to an end. Thus he engages in blissful spiritual activities as the means to attain a goal.

     (8) The chanting of the holy name is the primary spiritual means and the performance of material pious deeds is the secondary means. They who know the truth say that chanting the holy name is better than performing material pious deeds.

     (9) From faith comes association with devotees. From association with devotees come the activities of devotional service. Again and again performing the activities of devotional service, one becomes free from anarthas. When anartahs are gone one attains pure chanting of the holy name. This is the sequence of events beginning with faith and concluding in spiritual bliss. When engaged in devotional service by the spiritual master's mercy, one should have faith. One who does not have faith commits an offense to the holy name. His anarthas increase.

     (10) This impious deed is an offense to the Vaishnavas. The result of this offense is that one becomes attracted to the mayavadis' mistaken ideas about the holy name.By associating with devotees one destroys this offense. Then one attains faith in the holy name.

     (11) Rejecting the idea that a Vaishnava is a member of a certain caste, one should devotedly smear on one's body the dust form the feet of a saintly person devoted to the pure chanting of the holy name.

     (12) "Here" is the material world. "There" is the spiritual world.

     (13) The chanting of the holy name is always the best spiritual activity in every yuga. However, in the Kali-yuga the people have no faith to properly execute material pious activities. Becoming the yuga-dharma (religion of the age), the holy name descended to the material world and rescued the people of the world from their sufferings.