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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Hari Naam Cintamani > Chapter-I

Chapter One

Shri Nama-mahatmya-sucana

The Glories of the Holy Name


     1.Glory to Lord Chaitanya, to Lord Gadadhara, and to Lord Nityananda, the life of Jahnava-devi! Glory to Advaita, the husband of Sita! Glory to Shrivasa and all the devotees of the Lord!

     2. On the shore of the salt-water ocean, in Nilacala, in a beautiful temple, the Supreme Personality of Godhead descended to this world and assumed the form of a wooden Diety to deliver the conditioned souls. He gives both happiness and liberation.

     3. In this holy abode Lord Chaitanya stayed in Kashi Mishra's home to bless the human race and to teach the heart of the true religion meant for the Kali-yuga.

     4. Taking His liberated devotees with Him, He became like a kalpa-vriksha tree. To everyone He taught the science of love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema). He happily heard the science of devotion from the mouths of many different devotees (1), and He carefully taught the conditioned souls.

     5. One day, after bathing in the sea, Lord Chaitanya met Haridasa Thakura under a siddha-bakula tree. Happy at heart, He earnestly asked, "How may the conditioned souls be easily delivered?"

     6. Weeping and weeping, and the hairs of his body erect, and humbly grasping the Lord's feet, saintly Haridasa said, [Master, Your pastimes are very deep.

     7. "I am very poor. I have no wealth of knowledge. Your feet are my only wealth. O master, what good result will You gain by suddenly asking this question of such an unfit person?

     8. "You are the Supreme Lord Krishna. To deliver the conditioned souls You have descended to Navadvipa. Please be merciful. Please be kind. O Lord Gaura, please protect me. Please make my heart blossom with happiness.

     9. "Your names have no end. Your transcendental qualities have no end. Your form is an ocean of bliss. Your pastimes have no end. Please be merciful and allow this sinner to relish the sweetness in them. (2)

     10. "You are the spiritual sun. I am a single ray of Your sunlight. You are the master. I am Your eternal servant. The nectar of Your feet is my wealth of pleasure. My desires rest on the nectar of Your holy names.

     11. "O master, I am fallen. How will I know what to say? Still, I must obey Your command. The words You place in my mouth I will happily speak. i will not try to judge their virtues or faults.


The Truth of Lord Krishna


     12. "Lord Krishna is the one Supreme Personality of Godhead. (3) There is no other. His every desire is always fulfilled. He is eternal. He is the master of all potencies. He is greater than the greatest.


Lord Krishna and His potenices


     13. "The potencies are never independent of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is identical with His potencies. "This the Vedic mantras say. "

     14. "Lord Krishna is all powerful. His potencies are His powers and glories. Lord Krishna is one person. His powers and glories have no end.


Three Kinds of Potencies


     15. "His potencies manifest His powers and glories. Those powers and glories enable us to see Him. (4)

     16. "Lord Chaitanya has three kinds of powers and glories. They are: 1. spirit, 2. matter, and 3. the individual souls. This the scriptures say.


His Spiritual Powers and Glories


     17. "The limitless realsm that begin with Vaikuntha are Lord Krishna's abodes. The names that begin with Govinda, Shri Krishna, and Hari are His names.

     18. "The forms that begin with His two-armed form where He plays the flute are His forms. The qualities that begin with His delighting His devotees are His wonderful qualities.

     19. "In Vraja He enjoys pastimes of the rasa-dance. In Navadvipa He enjoys pastimes of sankirtana. Lord Krishna's wonderful pastimes are like these. (5)

     20. "All of His spiritual powers and glories are not material. Even though they may be manifested within the material world, they are not themselves material.

     21. "Lord Krishna's powers and glories are Lord Krishna Himself (vishnu-tattva). Again and again the Vedas use the word "Vishnupada" (Lord Vishnu Himself, or Lord Vishnu's feet) to describe these powers and glories


Lord Krishna's Spiritual Powers and Glories are Situated in Pure Goddness (Shuddha-sattva). They are Lord Krishna Himself (Vishnu-tattva)


     22. "Lord Krishna (vishnu-tattva) is not a transformation of matter. He is situated in pure goodness (shuddha-sattva). He is beyond matter.

     23. "Pure spirit (shuddha-sattva) is not mixed with even the slightest scent of the mode of passion. Goddess mixed with passion or ignorance is called mishra-sattva (mixed goodness). (6)

     24. "Lord Krishna manifests His form as Govinda, Vaikunthanatha, Karanodakashayi Vishnu, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, and Kshirodakashayi Vishnu

     25. "He also manifests many other amsha-avataras (incarnations), which are all Himself (vishnu-tattva), and which are all situated in pure goodness (shuddha-sattva).

     26. "Appearing in Goloka, Vaikuntha, the Karana-sagara (Causal Ocean), or the material world, the Lord is known as Vishnu.

     27. "When He enters the material world, Lord Krishna remains the controller of matter. The name Vishnu still refers to Him. He is still all-powerful. He is still the master of all the demigods. (7) He is still the controller of maya. Maya is still His property. He is still situated in pure goodness (shuddha-sattva).


Mixed Goodness (Mishra-sattva)


     28. "Brahma, Shiva, and all the demigods are situated in mixed goodness.


The Manifestation of His Spiritual Powers and Glories


     29. "O Lord, Your vishnu-tattva forms, Your vishnu-dhama abodes, and Your transcendental pastimes are all manifested by Your spiritual powers and glories (cid-vaibhava).


The Material Powers and Glories, or Maya-tattva


     30. "O Lord, on the farther bank of the Viraja river is Your material power and glory, which consists of fourteen worlds.

     31. "These words are the power and glory of Maya. They are called Devi-dhama. They are made of the five gross material elements and the subtle material elements of mind, intelligence, and false-ego. (8)

     32. "In this realm are Bhrloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka, and Brahmaloka.

     33-34. "Below those worlds are seven lower worlds, which begin with Atalaloka and Sutalaloka. O master of all these worlds, please hear of Your material powers and glories. Your spiritual powers and glories are all perfect and complete. Your material powers and glories are shadows of Your spiritual powers and glories.


The Individual Spirit Souls (Jivas)


     35. "The individual spirit souls are tiny fragments of Your spiritual potency.

     36. "Because they are spiritual in nature, the individual souls possess free-will. There is no end to the number of individual souls. They are motivated by the desire to find pleasure.


The Liberated Souls (Mukta-jivas)


     37. "The souls who seek pleasure by associating with Krishna are liberated souls. They are Krishna's companions.


The Imprisoned Souls, or Souls Who Have Turned Their Faces Away From Lord Krishna


     38. "A soul who thinks he will be happy independently will yearn to stay by the side of Maya (material illusion).

     39. "Turning their faces away from eternal Lord Krishna, these souls enter the realm of Devi-dhama, where they attain material bodies fashioned by Maya.

     40. "They fall into the wheel of pious deeds and sins. Residing in gross and subtle material bodies, they continually wander in that world.

     41. "Sometimes they rise to Svargaloka, and other times they fall into hell. They wander and wander in sixteen-thousand species of life.


Even so, Lord Krishna Gives His Mercy to Them


     42. "You are the Supreme Lord, and the individual souls are all Your potencies. (9) You always think of Your servant's welfare.

     43. "You kindly bestow whatever happinesses Your servants seek.


Auspicious Material Activities, Karma-kanda


     44. "By Your mercy the souls who desire temporary material happiness easily attain it.

     45. "You created dharma, yajna, yoga, homa, and vratas (vows), which are the auspicious activities (shubha-karma) that bring material happiness.

     46. "These auspicious activities are all material. They are not spiritual. (10)

     47. "By performing them one attains material benefits. By their power one attains material pleasures and residence in the higher material worlds.

     48. "Enjoying the results of these material actions, one does not attain spiritual peace. The struggle to attain material goals is a great mistake.

     49. "By performing these auspicious material activities one attains only temporary material pleasures. (11)


The Way to Rise Above That Condition


     50. "If, by associating with devotees, he understands, `I am a pure spirit soul, Lord Krishna's servant,' then the soul can cross beyond the world of maya.

     51. "That rare result is attained only by performing very pious deeds. The petty pious deeds prescribed in the karma-kanda part of the Vedas will not bring it.


Jnana-kanda, The Happiness of Merging into Brahman


     52. "A person who becomes aware that maya brings only sufferings, and who therefore struggles to attain liberation, is a jnani (philosopher).

     53. "For the sake of these people merciful Lord Krishna gives the philosophy of Brahman in the jnana-kanda part of the Vedas.

     54. "The souls who take shelter of that mayavada philosophy merge into Brahman. They attain a stunted kind of liberation.


What is Brahman's Nature?


     55. "O Lord, Brahman is the effulgence of Your body. It shines on the farther bank of the Viraja River. The impersonalists merge into it.

     56. "The demons killed by Krishna also cross to the farther bank of Maya and merge into Brahman.


The Souls Who Have Turned Their Faces From Lord Krishna


     57. "The karmis (materialists) and jnanis (impersonalists) have both turned their faces away from Lord Krishna. They never taste the pleasures of service to Lord Krishna.


Pious Deeds Performed by One Eager for Devotional Service


     58. "Devotional activities performed by one eager for devotional service are the best of pious deeds. Their fruit is that the soul attains association with devotees. (12)

     59. "A faithful person who associates with Lord Krishna's devotees attains a taste for the holy name. He becomes merciful to other souls. He walks on the path of devotional service.


Out of Mercy to the Karmis and Jnanis, the Lord Creates the Path of Indirect Devotional Service


     60. "O Supreme Lord, You are an ocean of mercy for the fallen souls. You are very eager to deliver the karmis and jnanis who have turned their faces from You.

     61. "You make a great effort to deliver the souls who walk on the paths of karma and jnana.

     62. "Thinking of how to benefit the souls who walk on these paths, You created the path of indirect devotional service. (13)


For the Karmis, the Path of Devotional Service Mixed with Karma


     63. "Staying in varnashrama-dharma and associating with saintly persons, a karmi walks on the path of indirect devotional service, devotional service mixed with karma.

     64. "By performing the pious activities of karma, he purifies his heart. When the impurities have gone, the seed of faith is planted within him.


The Path of Devotional Service Mixed with Jnana


     65. "By s devotee's mercy, a pious jnani easily attains faith in pure devotional service. (14)

     66. "O Lord, You say, `My servant has now fallen into the sufferings of maya. Turning away from Me, he now desires petty unimportant things.

     67. " `I know what is truly good for him. I will make him turn away from sense gratification and impersonal liberation. I will give him devotional service.


The Way to Walk on the Path of Indirect Devotional Service


     68. " `Following his desire, I will guide him on the path of indirect devotional service. Then I will give him faith in the path of direct devotional service.'

     69. "O merciful Lord, this is all Your mercy. If You do not give Your mercy, how can the souls become purified?


In the Kali-yuga, the Path of Indirect Devotional Service is Difficult


     70. "In the Satya-yuga how many sages diligently practiced the yoga of meditation (dhyana-yoga)? O Supreme Lord, You purified them and gave them the treasure of devotional service to You

     71. "In Treta-yuga many souls became purified by performing yajnas. In Dvapara-yuga they walked on the path of Deity worship. O Lord, You freely gave them devotional service.

     72. "O Lord, when Kali-yuga came, the conditioned souls became unfortunate. Seeing this, You made them lose faith in jnana, karma, and yoga.

     73. "Their lives were short. They suffered many troubles. Their intelligence and strength were reduced. These obstacles devoured the conditioned souls.

     74. "Varnashrama-dharma, sankhya, yoga, and jnana have no power to deliver the conditioned souls in Kali-yuga.

     75. "In the Kali-yuga the path of indirect devotional service, devotional service mixed with karma or jnana, becomes a difficult path, a path overgrown with thorns. (15)

     76. "By following this path the soul finds many obstacles in his life. (16)


The Holy Name Is the Direct Path


     77. "O Supreme Lord, thinking how to benefit the conditioned souls, in Kali-yuga You descended to this world with the holy name.

     78. "You taught that nama-sankirtana (chanting of the holy name) is the yuga-dharma (religion of the age). By following this direct path of chanting the holy name, the conditioned souls attain a great treasure of love for Lord Krishna.

     79. "Simply by chanting or remembering the holy name the conditioned souls will become delivered.


The Goal and the Way to Attain It Are Not Different. They Are Both the Holy Name


     80. "In chanting the holy name the goal and the way to attain it are not different.

     81. "In this path there are no obstacles in the way to attain the goal. O Lord, by Your mercy the conditioned souls easily attain the goal.

     82. "I am fallen. I am plunged in an ocean of material sense objects. O Lord, I am such a fool that I did not worship Your holy name."

     83. Sighing and tears streaming from his eyes, Brahma-Haridasa fell before Lord Chaitanya's feet.

     84. May this book, Hari-nama-cintamani, become the very life of the souls whose only joy is devotional service to Lord Krishna His devotees.




Chapter One Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     (1) From Shri Ramananda's mouth came the description of the rasas. From Shri Sarvabhauma's mouth came the description of liberation. From Shri Rupa Gosvami's mouth came the analysis of different rasas. From Shri Haridasa's mouth came the glories of the holy name.

     (2) You mercifully manifested Your spiritual name, form, qualities, and pastimes in this dull material world. Please allow the conditioned souls like me to relish the sweetness in them. With their material body and material senses the conditioned souls cannot perceive Krishna's name, form, qualities, and pastimes, which are all made of pure goodness. By Lord Krishna's mercy these are all manifested in the material world to bring auspiciousness to the conditioned souls. Because they are spiritual in nature, they are all self-manifest.

     (3) Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is supremely independent. His desires are always fulfilled. He possesses inconceivable potencies. He is supremely conscious. His desires are always fulfilled. He possesses potencies. Nothing is independent of Him. His potencies are His glories and powers. His powers and glories are limitless. Lord Krishna is the one non-dual Supreme Truth. The impersonalusts see Krishna as the undivided, qualityless Brahman. The truth is that the Brahman is the effulgence of Lord Krishna's body. The followers of ashtanga-yoga see Krishna as the all-pervading subtle Supersoul present everywhere in the universes and in the hearts of all. In truth Lord Krishna does manifest Himself in an amsha-avatara as the Supersoul. Therefore Brahman and Paramatma are both partial manifestations of Lord Krishna. Therefore Krishna has all desires and all powers. He is fully conscious of everything. He is the independent Supreme Person. His desires are always fulfilled.

     (4) Lord Krishna's powers and glories are of three kinds: spirit, matter, or His maya potency, and the individual spirit souls.

     (5) Lord Krishna's spiritual powers and glories are counted among His spiritual potencies. Lord Krishna's spiritual potency is His superior potency. His perfect spiritual potency manifests His spiritual powers and glories. From Lord Krishna's spiritual potencies are manifest His spiritual abodes, spiritual holy names, spiritual forms, and multitude of spiritual pastimes. These are His spiritual powers and glories. From His spiritual sandhini potency is manifest eternal spiritual existence. From His samvit potency is manifest spiritual knowledge. From His hladini potency is manifest spiritual bliss. Relationships and rasa are manifest from these. Yogamaya is counted among these spiritual potencies. Yogamaya is beyond material place, time, and qualities. It is always pure and blissful.

     (6) Goodness is of two kinds: pure goodness and mixed goodness. All goodness in the Lord's spiritual powers and glories is pure goodness. All goodness in the dull material world is mixed goodness. In pure goodness passion and ignorance are not present. From passion comes birth. Spiritual existence is beginngless and has no passion, which would bring births and beginnings. Spiritual existence has no ignorance either. Ignorance brings death and destruction. Therefore, absent of passion and ignorance, spiritual existence is characterized as an eternal present (nitya-vartamana). The Supreme Lord's amsa-avataras, who are all non-different from Him, are always situated in pure goodness. The touch of Maya makes goodness become mixed with passion and ignorance. Shiva and the demigods are more virtuous than the conditioned souls. Proud of their superiority, the demigods have goodness that is considered mixed with passion and ignorance. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is situated in pure goodness. When, employing His inconceivable potencies, He descends to the material world, He remains always in pure goodness. He remains always the master of Maya. Maya always follows His commands.

     (7) When they descend to the material world, the Lord's powers and glories do not become material. They remain always spiritual. They are manifested by the Lord's inconceivable potencies. They are always spiritual and always situated in pure goodness.

     (8) The earthly planets are made of the five material elements. The gross material bodies of the conditioned souls are also made of the five material elements. These are all made of gross matter. The conditioned soul's mind, intelligence and false ego are his subtle material body. It is also made of matter. The individual soul, which is a spiritual spark, is by nature situated in pure goodness. In his original form he has a mind, intelligence, and ego that are made of pure goodness. These are spiritual. They are different from the subtle material body.

     (9) In whatever condition the individual soul may find himself, the Supreme Lord is always his friend and always fulfills his desires. The relationship between the Supreme Lord and the individual soul is eternal. Lord Krishna is the controller, and the individual soul is the controlled. Lord Krishna is the giver of laws, ad the individual soul must follow His laws. Lord Krishna is independent, and the individual soul is dependent on Krishna. Lord Krishna is the master, and the individual soul is His servant. Lord Krishna gives the fruits of work, and the individual soul desires the fruits of work.

     (10) Here dharma means varnashrama-dharma. Yajna means sacrifices like the agnishtoma-yajna. Yoga means ashtanga-yoga and other yogas. Homa means havana-yajna and other like ceremonies. Vrata means Darsha-paurnamasya and other like vows. Shubha-karma means ishtapurta and other like auspicious activities. All these auspicious activities are meant to be performed at specific times, in specific places, and using specific implements. Although Lord Vishnu is said be the master of all these activities (yajneshvara), these activities are not directly spiritual. Without performing directly spiritual activities, the living entities cannot understand the Supreme.

     (11) Here the word "material pleasures" (loka-sukha) refers to the pleasures of Svargaloka and other higher worlds, pleasures that are all temporary. Spiritual pleasures are different.

     (12) Pious deeds are of three kinds: karma, jnana, and bhakti (devotional service). The first two bring the fruits of work and the attainment of impersonal liberation as their results. The last kind of pious deed brings faith in pure devotional service. To the unknowing the activities of pure devotional service seem to be ordinary pious deeds.

     (13) By following the activities of varnasrama one pleases Lord Krishna. In this way the path of karma (pious work) is the path of indirect devotional service.

     (14) Following the path of jnana, where one may sometimes have the association of devotees, is another path of indirect devotional service. Discussing with Ramananda Raya the way to attain pure devotional service, Lord Chaitanya called these paths of indirect devotional service "external". He did not like them.

     (15) Because when one follows the path of philosophical speculation to understand the truth one may sometimes meet sincere devotees, and because by following the path of karma one may sometimes act selflessly and also offer the results of His work to the Supreme Lord, jnana and karma, the two indirect paths of devotional service lead one to the temple of Bhakti-devi (the goddess of devotion). However, in Kali-yuga these paths of indirect devotional service have become corrupted. Instead of sincere devotees, hypocrites who wrap themselves in the flag of religion are now prominent. Instead of activities to purify the heart, activities that make one yearn for sense pleasures are now prominent. Therefore, by following the path of indirect direct devotional service one does not now attain auspiciousness. In Dvapara-yuga Deity worship was the primary spiritual path. By various kinds of wickedness even that Deity worship is now also often corrupted.

     (16) The method by which one attains a goal (upeya) is called "upaya". "Upaya" is a synonym for “sadhana". "Upeya" is a synonym for “sadhya". By the Supreme Lord's mercy the individual souls attain the final goal (upeya or sadhya). Karma and jnana are not the direct way to attain this final goal. Why not? They cease to exist when they approach that final goal. The chanting of the holy name is not like them. The holy name is not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Therefore the holy name is both the goal (sadhya or upeya) and the means to attain the goal (sadhana or upaya). By understanding this truth one attains great good fortune.