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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Sanmodana Bhasyam > Sloka 2




namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis

tatrapita niyamitah smarane na kalah

etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi

durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah


          namnam - of the holy names of the Lord;  akari - manifested;  bahudha - various kinds;  nija-sarva-saktih - all kinds of personal potency;  tatra - in that;  arpita - bestowed; 

niyamitah - restricted;  smarane - in remembering;  na - not;  kalah - consideration of time;  etadrsi - so much;  tava - Your; krpa - mercy;  bhagavan - O Lord;  mama - My;  api - although;  durdaivam - misfortune;  idrsam - such;  iha - in this (the holy  name);  ajani - was born;  na - not;  anuragah - attachment.


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


Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam


          The chanting of Krishna's holy name has four aspects, consisting of the glorification of the Lord's name, form, qualities and pastimes. Krishna's holy name is the original seed of all joys,because the holy name and He who is designated by that name are one and the same, being non-dif¬ferent in principle. 


          Chanting the holy name is most beneficial for one and all in every respect;  therefore Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Himself de­monstrates the super-excellent qualities of the holy name.  In order to evoke genuine faith in the holy name, Lord Chaitanya prays, "O Lord!  O most munificent One! Becoming compassionate seeing our destitute situation as souls conditioned by matter, You have of Your own accord manifested Your holy name, which is non-dif¬ferent from Yourself. 


          "Your holy name is of two types, principal and secondary.  Among Your principle names are Hari, Krishna, Govinda, Acyuta, Rama, Ananta, and Vishnu; Brahma, Supersoul, Supreme Controller, Main¬tainer, Creator, and Mahendra are secondary names.  You have invested all Your internal spiritual potencies and Your transcen­dental qualities in Your principal names."  Innumerable scrip­tural statements substantiate this fact; a few are cited below.


Hearing the holy name once is as good as seeing Krishna directly


     "My Lord, one can be im¬mediately freed from all material contaminations just by seeing You.  But if seeing You personally is not possible, then by simply hearing only once the holy name of Your Lordship even Candalas, dog-eating men of the lowest class, are freed from their impurities, just as if they had seen You."


There is no need to recite Vedic mantras


"If the amount of time a dvija-brahmana expends in the study and recitation of the Vedic mantras would be utilized in chanting even just the Lord's secondary names, that brahmana would incur more benefit; of this there is no doubt.  But one who just chants the two syllables of the holy name Hari is understood to have already mastered the four Vedas - Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Therefore it is not advisable to spent time in studying the   Vedas; instead the holy name of Govinda should be chanted continuously, for His name is glorified eternally."


The holy name is the way to perfection  for everyone


"O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all  material desires, those who are desirous of material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge."


The holy name reveals His glories even to the uninformed chanter


"O Lord Vishnu!  Your holy name is fully spiritual and self-manifested.  So even if one not thoroughly informed of its glories chants the holy name, he will gradually acquire perfect understanding just by chanting. Lord Brahma was the first to disseminate the transcendental sound om; the mere utterance of this sound dispelled his ignorance and fear of death.  Therefore the vibration om is also known as tarak Brahma."


Chanting without offense fixes one in devotional service


"Any person who says the name Hari just once without offense immediately becomes resolved to serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord unconditionally and thus strives for liberation from the clutches of illusion."


The offender's heart is steel-framed


"Certainly that heart is steel framed which inspite of  one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and  hairs stand on end."


The holy name is the ripened fruit of the Vedas


"O respected Bhrigu!  The holy name of Krishna is more nectarean than the sweetest honey; most beneficial amongst all auspicious activities; and is the eternal, mature and tran­scenden¬tal fruit of the desire- fulfilling tree of the Vedas. If any person utters this holy name even once, casually or in full sincerity -but without offenses- then the holy nameinstantaneously liberates the chanter."


Krishna becomes the chanter's property


"O Arjuna!  I declare to You truly that anyone can purchase Me just by chanting My name and abiding by Me. I become his property, fully dependent on him."


The holy name is like a touchstone gem


"The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. Like touchstone gem it bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself.  Krishna's name is complete, and it is the form of transcendental mellows.  It is not a material name under any conditions, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature.  This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical."


The name is not understood by materialists


"No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Shri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritual­ly saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord  revealed to him."


From the above quotations of different revealed scriptures  we can conclude that the holy name is endowed with unlimited  spiritual potencies.  In the practice of karma, jnana, yoga, etc. the sadhaka is bound by the strict rules of scripture and the  factors of time, place and circumstances.  But in chanting and remembering the Lord's name there is no such consideration of time, place or circumstances -this indeed is an example of Lord's fathomless mercy upon us.


          Yet in spite of all this it is truly a matter of great regret that we cannot develop even a drop of attraction for this most magnanimous holy name. The word durdaiva or misfortune is synonymous with offenses to the holy name (namaparadha). A concise resume of these offenses is given below.


The ten offenses against the holy name


     1) Criticizing and finding faults in devotees or sadhus is  a serious offence against the holy name.  How can the name tolerate criticism of devotees who have dedicated their lives  to propagating the glories of the Name? Therefore offending  sadhus or saintly person is the first namaparadha.


     2) Those who try to comprehend spiritual subject matter with material intelligence falsely conclude that Lord Vishnu's name, form, qualities and pastimes are different from the Lord Himself. In other words, they impose material characteristics and limitations on spirituality. Thus they equate demigods like Siva and Brahma with the Supreme Lord Vishnu, or even think that these demigods are independent of Lord Vishnu. The chanting of such persons is offensive.


     3) It is an offense against the holy name to consider the spiritual master (who is self-realized and perfect in the chanting of the holy name) to be an ordinary mortal who possesses a material body, and to thus disobey and disregard him.


     4) It is an offense to criticize and find fault with the Vedas, Puranas and other corollary scriptures.


     5) It is an offense to think the glories of the holy name are exaggerated.


     6) It is an offense to consider the holy name to be fictious or concocted.


     7) One who commits sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name can never be exonerated from this offense by any process, including the disciplines of yama, niyama, dhyana, meditation and so on in the yoga system. 


     8) Only a person in illusion thinks that mundane ritualistic activities such as charity, fasting, vows, abnegation, austerity and so on are on the same level as the transcendental activity of chanting the holy name.


     9) It is also an offense to instruct a faithless person who is adverse to hearing the name on the glories of the holy name.


     10) After hearing the wonderful qualities of the name, it is offensive to maintain material attachments of 'me' and 'mine'. This means one has not developed a genuine attraction or interest for chanting.


It is imperative that a devotee avoids these ten offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord. He must never try to counteract his sins or accrue piety through ritualistic observances, because he is neither required nor even eligible to perform karma-kanda rituals.  If perchance a devotee commits a namaparadha, then with an anxious heart he should go on chanting continuously. Such continuous chanting will protect him from committing further offenses as well as uproot his previous offenses. The scriptures clearly state that chanting alone can absolve all offenses and sinful reaction. 

Hence chanting the holy name is the best shelter for everyone. Chanting removes the very desire to commit namaparadha and gradually elevates one to the highest spiritual platform of Krishna-prema.


When one is free from offenses, his attachment for the Name increases; he will soon attain all perfection. Here‘all perfec­tion' is synonymous to Krishna-prema. This is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's second instruction. 


Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.17-19:


"Because people vary in their desires, You have distributed  various holy names by Your mercy.  Regardless of time or place, one who chants the holy name, even while eating or sleeping, attains all perfection. You have invested Your full potency in such individual holy name, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attachment for chanting Your holy names."




"O Lord!  Out of Your causeless mercy You have manifested innumerable names and have empowered these names with all Your own potencies.  You have not imposed rigid rules for chanting and remembering Your names, i.e., You have not laid down conditions barring anyone to chant or remember Your name even during eating, declining, sleeping etc.  But I am so wretched that I am not attracted to Your names."


          The word bahu or many indicates the two types of the Lord's names, principal and secondary.  The principal names include Krishna, Radha-ramana, Gopi-jana-vallabha, etc. that convey the loving conjugal mood of the Lord; and Rama, Vasudeva, Narasimha,  etc. that convey His awe inspiring opulent mood. 


          Brahman, Paramatma etc. are His secondary names; they are incomplete, separated and partial names.  The Lord's principal names are non-different from the Lord and possess all His energies; the secondary names are also impregnated with His pastime potencies but in partial degrees only.


The jiva brings about his own misfortune


The jiva was imprisoned in the illusory, ephemeral kingdom of maya due to his turning away from Lord Krishna.  Thus the conditioned soul has brought great misfor¬tune upon himself; that misfortune is first and foremost his reluctance to serve the Lord.


          Anyabhilasita means the base material desires which, when engaged in the karma and jshana processes, lead to different levels of material enjoyments. Thus his base desires for sense gratification, karma and jnana have deluded the jiva into forgetting his real svarupa (transcendental identity); they have propelled him into a whirlpool of misery.


          Under the spell of anyabhilasita he is intoxicated by immediate sen¬sual pleasures.  Pious activities goad him to  yearn for heavenly pleasures; his enjoyment of matter leads tofrustration, and so he becomes engrossed in striving to realice the impersonal, non-differentiated Brahman. 


          The jiva's own eternal desire is to engage in Lord Krishna's service, but the residue of the practice of these three paths has smothered this proclivity and hidden his good fortune.  Now he is caught up in the endless pursuit of religiosity, material wealth, and sense gratification; thereafter, being harassed by the frustrations of his own sins, anarthas and lust, he pursues liberation. 


By the same misfortune, he chants offensively


          In this way he has become the choice candidate for commitªting namaparadhas. If  he takes up chanting, he is unable to avoid the ten offenses.  Due to his offenses, he cannot chant purely.


He first gets the opportunity to chant when he soberly  reviews the hopeless chaos of the never-ending conflict in his life; such introspection forces the jiva to deeply consider his own good.  The yearning for a peaceful solution to the endless torment of the un¬quench¬able thirst for enjoyment draws him to the shelter of the holy name of the Lord.

          Thus he begins to chant, initially indifferent to the proper understanding of sambandha-jnana (knowledge of the relationship between God, His sakti, and the jiva).  Such chanting is known as namabhasa or the semblance of the pure name.  Namabasa is not the holy name proper, but it results in the severance of the jiva's ties with the material mentality: he no longer sees everything materially.  Gradually he becomes eligible to render transcenden­tal devotional service to the Supreme Lord.  But only very  elevated souls who have become completely immune to the onslaught of misfortune and offense can obtain pure love of Krishna by inoffensive chanting. 


Mahaprabhu's mercy


          Lord Chaitanya, knowing the ill fate of the conditioned souls of this age, descended to spread the message of the chanting the holy name of God. He saw in the jivas their apathy to the holy name, and gave voice to it in this verse. Yet even in such depths of human misfortune the Lord's causeless mercy is avail­able.


There is indeed a way to escape the steely clutches of namaparadha.  First one must recognize and isolate his offenses; he must conscientiously avoid them, simultaneously chanting  continuously.  This will keep namaparadha at bay, allowing one to reap the benefit of namabhasa chanting. 


          Namabhasa chanting elevates one to actual mukti or liberation, meaning freedom from the influence of and dependence upon matter; only thereafter does one become competent to chant the pure name.


          The opportunity afforded to us by namabhasa chanting is but an indication of the Lord's unlimitedly flowing compassion.  Thus, the simple chanting of the principal names of God brings about the best and only real benediction to humanity.


When the jiva attempts to grasp at insignificant, evanescent material fruits, he is enmeshed in stringent regulations, the factors of time, place and circumstance, and the struggle with the limitations of his own ability to perform the complicated rituals.  But one who chants the holy name of the Supreme Lord faces no such insurmountable obstacles, by the Lord's causeless mercy. In the Chaitanya Bhagavat we find this statement: "Always  remember to chant the holy name in the sleeping, eating or waking hours. There are no hard and fast rules of chanting, so chant all the time." The same instruction is repeated in the Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita. 


Scriptural statements relevant to this sloka:



"All transcendental potencies Ãare invested within the holy name."


          In the Skandha Purana it is stated:


          "The potency to destroy sin, the all-auspicious potency,  the potencies residing in pious acts of charity, vows, penances etc., the potencies of all the places of pilgrimage, the potencies in the asvamedha and raja-suya yajnas, the potency in knowledge of the Absolute-these potencies have been asembled together by the Supreme Lord Hari and channeled into His holy  name, making it all powerful."


niyamitah smarane na kalah:

“There is no fixed time or rule  for remembering the Lord."


          From the Vaisvanara Samhita:


          "There are no fixed times or considerations of cleanliness and uncleanliness regarding the chanting of the holy name.  Simply  the  repeated utterance of Rama, Rama is enough to liberate the jiva from his material bondage."


durdaivam-idrsam-ihajani na anuragah

"As unfortunate as I am, I have no taste."


          Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.9.3) states:


          "O my Lord, persons who are bereft of the all-auspicious  performance of chanting and hearing about Your transcendental activities are certainly unfortunate and are also bereft of good  sense. They engage in inauspicious activities, enjoying sense gratification for a very little while."