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What is the most excellent form of spiritual practice (sadhana)?
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri krishna-sankirtanam
ceto-darpana-marjanam—cleansing the mirror of the heart; bhava—of material existence; maha-davagni—the blazing forest fire; nirvapanam—extinguishing; shreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam—spreading the moonshine of bhava for the blooming of the white lotus of good fortune for the jivas; vidya-vadhu-jivanam—the life and soul of the wife in the form of transcendental-knowledge; anandambudhi-vardhanam—expanding the ocean of transcendental bliss; prati-padam purnamritasvadanam—enabling one to taste complete nectar at every step; sarvatma-snapanam—cleansing and cooling the self (atma), one's nature (svabhava), determination (dhriti), and the body both inside and out, by a thorough bath; param—only, or supreme; shri krishna sankirtanam vijayate—may shri krishna sankirtana be especially victorious.
"Let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna alone, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence. Shri Krishna sankirtana diffuses the soothing moon rays of bhava which causes the white lotus (kumudini) of good fortune for the jivas to bloom. The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is here compared to a wife (vadhu). It continuously expands the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to taste complete nectar at every step. The holy name of Shri Krishna thoroughly cleanses and cools the self (atma), one's nature (svabhava), one's determination (dhriti), as well as the body both internal and external."
Mangalacarana (opening invocation)
by Shrila Narayana Maharaja
namah om vishnupadaya gaura preshthaya bhutale
shrimad bhaktiprajnana keshava iti namine
namo bhaktivinodaya sac-cid-ananda-namine
gaura-shakti-svarupaya rupanuga-varaya te
namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te
krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-namne gaura-tvishe namah
“In spite of being exceedingly poor and wretched, and thoroughly incompetent, I am engaged in translating this Shri Sanmodana Bhashya by the mercy of my most revered Shri Gurudeva, Nitya Lila Pravishta Om Vishnupada Ashtottara Shata Shri Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami; Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the eternal associate of Shri Gaurasundara and writer of the Shri Sanmodana Bhashya; and the original author of Shri Shikshashtaka, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation who delivers the fallen conditioned souls of Kali yuga (Kali Yuga Pavanavatari), and who is the very self-same Personality known as Shri Nandanandan. Holding in my heart their lotus feet which grant all desires, I am engaged in this work in order to fulfil their inner heart's longing."
Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam
panca-tattvanvitam nityam prani-patya mahaprabhum
namna sanmodanam shikshashtaka-bhashyam praniyate
Offering my humble obeisances at the lotus feet of the original Supreme Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the bestower of Krishna nama and Krishna prema, and who is eternally associated with the panca-tattva, I am writing a commentary named `Shri Sanmodana' of the Shri Shikshashtaka which issued from the lotus mouth of the Lord.
bhagavan brahma kartsnyena trir anvikshya manishaya
tad adhyavasyat kuta-stho ratir-atman yato bhavet
—Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.2.34—
How can there be any benefit for the living entities who are averse to the Lord, having fallen into the cycle of repeated birth and death in material existence? Pre-occupied with this question, Shri Brahmaji, the knower of the absolute truth, thought long to find its solution. With one-pointed attention, he scrutinized all the Vedas three times and by his intelligence, he concluded that the topmost perfection of religion is that by which one can obtain exclusive devotion (prema) unto the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna who is the Supersoul of all existence.
This conclusion of Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.2.34) clearly establishes that only devotional service unto the Supreme Lord is the topmost process of religion bestowing ultimate good for the living entities. Karma (fruitive activities), jnana (acquisition of knowledge), yoga (meditation), tapasya (austerities), and other processes do not bestow the ultimate good and therefore they are not the topmost religious process. But this devotional service is extremely rare. It is obtainable only by transcendental faith (paramarthika Shraddha).
Transcendental faith is of two kinds: (1) Shastrartha avadharanamayi shraddha—faith which is inspired by the governing principles of scripture, and which thus brings about engagement in devotional service, and (2) Bhagavat Lila Madhurya Lobhamayi shraddha—faith, arising on account of some extreme good fortune, which is based on intense longing (lobha) to hear the sweet pastimes of the Lord, and which thus brings about engagement in devotional service.
Even if one of these two kinds of shraddha arises, unalloyed devotion (shuddha bhakti) can develop only by continous engagement in hearing and chanting pure descriptions of the Lord (shuddha Hari katha) in the association of unadulterated pure devotees. If one does not regularly engage in such hearing and chanting in the association of saintly persons, his shraddha will gradually dwindle and then vanish altogether.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.25.25), the Lord Himself has said: satam prasangan mama viryasamvido bhavanti hrit karna rasayanah katha—“In the association of saintly persons, the descriptions of My glories is very pleasing to both the ear and the heart. By such engagement in hearing and chanting saturated with love, ignorance is immediately destroyed and shraddha (faith), rati (bhava bhakti), and prema bhakti develop one after another." Therefore, by faithfully hearing and chanting the transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord in the association of pure devotees, pure sankirtana is possible—otherwise not.
The glories of pure sankirtana are the very first thing spoken of in the teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Because Shri Krishna kirtana is all auspicious, the word `param' has been used in the fourth line of the verse under discussion. The word `param' here specifically indicates pure Shri Krishna sankirtana, which is obtained in progressive stages beginning with shraddha (faith), followed by sat sanga (saintly association), and leading to bhajana kriya (execution of the items of devotional service). It does not refer to the reflection (pratibimba) of pure chanting which is within the jurisdiction of a semblance of bhakti (bhakti abhasa).
In this Shri Shikshashtaka, the ocean of mercy Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, appearing like a practitioner of devotional service (sadhaka), is singing the glories of Shri Krishna sankirtana, which is non-different from the person Shri Krishna (Shri Krishna Svarupa), in order to enlighten the living entities with the truths of sambandha (one's relationship with the Supreme Lord), abhidheya (the means by which that relationship can be revived), and prayojana (attainment of the ultimate goal-love of God). In this commentary, the very same truths of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana are being discussed in summary fashion.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the Supreme Lord of all and whose lotus feet are constantly served by pure devotees, says, "Param Vijayate Shri Krishna Sankirtanam." In other words, let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the Holy name of Shri Krishna. The question may be raised here whether or not there can be all victory for the chanting of the transcendental name of Shri Krishna in this material world created by the external energy (maya shakti). The answer is that even in this illusory material world, Shri Krishna sankirtana can be thoroughly victorious. Please hear how this is possible.
(A) The Absolute Truth:
(i) Prominence of the Personal feature of the Absolute Truth
From the statement of the Shrutis (Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1)—"Ekam evadvitiyam" (oneness without duality)—the oneness (ekatva) of the absolute truth is established. From another statement of the Shrutis (Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad 4.4.19)—"Neha nanasti kincana" (other than the one non-dual absolute truth, advaya brahma, there is no existence of any separate forms)—the impersonal feature (nirvisheshatva) of the absolute truth is established. From yet another statement of the Shrutis (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1)—"Sarvam khalvidam brahma" (this entire creation is the form of the absolute truth)—the form of the absolute truth possessing eternal attributes and qualities (savisheshatva) is established.
Therefore, according to the Shrutis, the absolute truth is simultaneously personal (savishesha—possessing attributes) and impersonal (nirvishesha—undifferentiated). The impersonal feature, however, is imperceptible. Due to the complete absence of perception of the impersonal feature and the eternal perceivability of the personal feature, it is the personal feature which is prominent and superior.
(ii) Four features of the Absolute Truth
Shrimad Jiva Gosvami, our acarya on such philosophical conclusions, has stated (Bhagavat Sandarbha, Anuccheda 16.16) that by the influence of His inherent inconceivable potency (svabhaviki acintya shakti) the one absolute truth eternally exists in four features: (1) His original form (svarupa), (2) His personal splendour (tad rupa vaibhava—this includes His abode, His eternal associates, His expansions such as Lord Narayana, etc.), (3) the living entities (jivas), and (4) the unmanifest state of the three modes of material nature (pradhana).
These four features are compared to the four aspects of the sun; namely, (1) the effulgence situated at the very core of the sun planet (suryantar mandala sthita teja), (2) the sun globe (mandala), (3) the atomic particles of sunlight emanating from the sun planet (rashmi paramanu), and (4) the reflected rays of the sun (pratibimba rashmi). Although the sun is one, it exists in these four forms.
(iii) The Absolute Truth as the Supreme potent (Sarva Shaktiman) and His potencies (Shakti)
In the above mentioned description, the absolute truth is being further explained. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna, who possesses all opulences, is the absolute truth. He is the possessor of all potencies (sarva shaktiman). According to the statement of the Brahma Sutra—“Shakti Shaktimator abhedah"—there is no difference between potency (Shakti) and the possessor of potency (Shaktiman). But the same superior potency (para shakti) is perceivable in different forms—Parasya shaktir-vividhaiva shruyate" (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.8).
From this Vedic mantra it is proved that the Lord's inconceivable potency (Acintya shakti) is adept in the accomplishment of the unattainable (aghatana-ghatana patiyasi). In other words it makes possible even that which is impossible. Therefore the eternal difference between potency and the possessor of potency is also inevitable. This conclusion establishes that the opinion of the monists (Kevaladvaita-vadis) that the absolute truth, Brahma, is impersonal, formless, and divested of potencies, is contrary to scripture and reasoning.
(B) The Lord's potencies:
(i) Antaranga Shakti
The one superior potency (Para shakti), above stated, is manifest in three forms: as the internal potency (antaranga shakti), as the marginal potency (tatastha shakti), and as the external potency (bahiranga shakti). By the Lord's internal potency (antaranga svarupa shakti), the Supreme Absolute Truth eternally exists as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His fully accomplished original form, which is faultless, supremely auspicious, and the basis of all transcendental qualities. In addition to this, the Lord's personal splendour (tad rupa vaibhava) or, in other words, His transcendental abode, Vaikuntha dhama, His eternal associates, and His various manifestations such as the expansions of Lord Narayana are eternally established by the same all accommodating internal potency for the accomplishment of His transcendental pastimes.
(ii) Tatastha Shakti
The same Absolute Truth, when endowed with the marginal potency (tatastha shakti), exists as the innumerable spiritual atomic particles (cid paramanu), the living entities (jivas), who are separated expansions of the Lord (vibhinnamsha svarupa). Just as innumerable tiny molecular particles of light continuously shimmer in the rays of the sun, similarly in the rays in the form of the Lord's marginal potency (tatastha shakti) or, in other words, in the tatastha shakti in its transformed or developed state (parinata), the aggregate of living entities (jivas) eternally exist as innumerable spiritual atomic particles.
The tiny molecular particles within the rays of sunshine have no independent existence from the sun, nor can they ever be equated with the sun. Similarly, the spiritual atomic jivas have no separate existence from the Lord—neither can they ever be addressed as the Lord, nor become the Lord.
(iii) Bahiranga Shakti
Again, the Supreme Absolute Truth, Bhagavan, has manifested this entire material world, the display of His external splendour (bahiranga vaibhava rupa), by His external potency (bahiranga maya shakti). This material world is a transformation of the external potency (maya shakti) or, in other words, a transformation of the sum total of material existence (pradhana). Just as the rays of the sun, when reflected, create a colorful rainbow, the Lord's external potency (maya shakti) or pradhana manifests this fascinating material world. The material world is a shadow of the spiritual world which is manifested by the Lord's internal potency. As such, the material world is also not separate from the Absolute Truth.
(iv) Simultaneous oneness and difference of the Lord and His potencies
From the above discussion, it is proved that the living entities (jivas), the material world (jada jagata), and the Lord's personal splendour as regards His Vaikuntha existence (tad rupa vaibhava) are inconceivably one and different from His original spiritual form (svarupa). The spiritual atomic living entities, on account of being dependent on the Lord, are His separated parts and parcels (vibhinnamsha)—in this is found their non-distinction from the Lord (abheda). However, due to a deficiency in knowledge of the Supreme Lord, they become indifferent to Him—in this lies their difference (bheda).
(C) The process by which Hari Kirtana becomes successful for the Jiva:
(i) The meaning of the Jiva as marginal potency
Just as the sun's rays are covered by the clouds, the living entities are covered by the influence of maya (ignorance). In this we see application of the principle of the impossible being rendered possible (aghatana ghatana patiyasi). The atomic jiva, manifested by the tatastha shakti of the Lord, becomes covered by maya on account of being an instrument for the Lord's pastimes. Otherwise how can the conscious (chinmaya) jiva be covered by inert matter?
Because he is manifested by the tatastha shakti, the nature of the jiva is also tatastha. In other words, he is situated in the marginal position. On one side is the Lord's internal potency (svarupa shakti). When the living entity comes under the shelter of the internal potency, he can obtain the happiness of serving the Supreme Lord in the liberated condition. On the other side is the external potency (maya shakti). When the living entity desires material enjoyment, he becomes covered by maya.
The living entity, bewildered by maya, suffers the pangs of material existence. But when he establishes his relationship with the internal potency, the ignorance associated with the external potency is dissipated. Consequently, he is liberated from the material condition and becomes situated in his pure constitutional nature (shuddha svarupa).
(ii) The process of conquering maya
The living entity, bewildered by maya, is crushed again and again by the miseries of material existence. When he becomes exasperated with these miseries, and becoming compelled by some great good fortune, he engages in the service of saintly persons. At that time his faith awakens toward devotional service as being the exclusive goal of the scriptures. Alternatively, he may awaken intense longing for the Lord's sweetness (Bhagavan Madhurya lobha). (This is a reference again to the two types of faith that one can develop, as mentioned on page 5). At that time, he attains eligibility for bhakti, the inherent characteristic of which is that it is predominated by the pleasure giving aspect (hladini) of the Lord's internal potency (svarupa shakti).
On the awakening of shraddha, he first of all takes shelter of the lotus feet of a spiritual master by accepting Hari nama diksha from him. Thereafter, in the association of the spiritual master and pure devotees, he obtains an excellent opportunity to hear the truths of the scriptures. When he begins to recite the glories of the holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Shri Krishna, the process of conquering maya begins. In other words, ignorance and worthless contaminations within the heart (anarthas) begin to vanish. Simultaneously, the pure form of the jiva (shuddha svarupa) begins to become clear.
This is the process by which Hari kirtana becomes victorious within the phenomenal world of matter. By this process, Hari kirtana makes its descent into this illusory world. By performing Hari kirtana according to this system, one obtains seven excellent results. These seven kinds of results are spoken of in the first verse by the words `cetodarpana marjanam', etc. These will now be discussed in various ways.
Seven excellent results of Shri Krishna Sankirtana:
(1) Ceto darpana marjanam (cleanses the mirror of the heart)
By the words `cetodarpana marjanam' etc., the truth of the original transcendental form of the jiva is disclosed. The conclusion of Shri Jiva Gosvami regarding this subject is that the jiva is the minute part and parcel of the Absolute Truth who possesses the aggregate of energies known as the jiva. Like the atomic particles of sunlight which have emerged from the accumulated effulgence within the sun, the aggregate living entities are spiritual atomic particles emanated from the absolute truth who is eternally situated in His original identity as the personification of undivided spiritual bliss.
(Akhanda chinmaya rasa vigraha-the word rasa here refers to bhakti rasa. It is the condition when the sthayi bhava or permanent emotion is transformed into transcendental bliss by combination with the elements of vibhava, anubhava, sattvika bhava, and vyabhicari bhava. Shri Krishna is the personification of such transcendental rasa).
Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana, who wrote the Shri Govinda Bhashya of the Vedanta Sutra, has also analyzed the Supreme Lord as the all-pervading consciousness (vibhu chaitanya) and the jiva as the infinitesimal consciousness (anu chaitanya). Unlimited transcendental qualities which bestow all good-fortune eternally exist in the Supreme Lord. In Him pure ego exists both as absolute knowledge and as the knower (pure ego is here defined as the sense of I-ness). Similarly, the jiva also has transcendental qualities in minute quantity and a pure ego which manifests both as knowledge and as the knower. This is not contrary to logic because qualities such as heat and light which can be seen in the sun are also observed in the particles of sunlight.
Out of the two (the Lord and the living entities), the Lord is one, independent, and the embodiment of all potencies (Svarupa Shaktiman). He enters into material nature and regulates it. He creates the material world and maintains it. He is the concentrated form of spiritual bliss. Being eternally situated in Himself and being the bestower of prema rasa through the medium of devotional service, He causes it to be tasted by others.
But the jivas are innumerable. They are situated in many conditions of life, both conditioned and liberated. When they are indifferent to the Lord, they become bound by material nature. When they become inclined toward the Lord once again, the covering of maya, which obscured the qualities and original form of the jiva, is withdrawn. Thereafter, they directly perceive their own original form (sva-svarupa).
From this conclusion it is clear that the jivas are atomic spirit (anucit). They have a spiritual identity (chinmaya svarupa) which consists of pure ego (the sense of I), pure consciousness, and a spiritual body. When the living entities become indifferent to the Lord and engrossed in illusory material enjoyment, their pure ego and pure consciousness become contaminated with the filth of ignorance.
Here the heart has been compared to a mirror. Just as one's face cannot be seen in a dirty mirror covered by dust, the living entity cannot see his actual form in the heart which is contaminated by the filth of ignorance. When the practice of devotional service predominated by the Hladini potency of the Lord begins, then after engaging in the process of shravanam (hearing the descriptions of the Lord's transcendental name, form, qualities, and pastimes), Shri Krishna sankirtana automatically appears and thoroughly cleanses the filth of ignorance.
At that time the pure consciousness, which is possessed of pure ego, arises. From this, he begins to see factually in the mirror of his pure consciousness the following five truths: (1) the Supreme Lord (Ishvara), (2) the living entities (jiva), (3) material nature (prakriti), (4) time (kala), and (5) fruitive activities (karma). When the the mirror of the heart is completely cleansed and purified, the vision of one's own identity and, consequently, his constitutional occupation (svadharma) is made possible. The inherent duty of the jiva is to be a servant of the Supreme Lord and to engage in His service.
(2) Bhava mahadavagni nirvapanam (extinquishes the forest fire of material existence)
By engaging steadily in the service of the Lord, the materialistic demeanor is transformed into the inclination for rendering service to Lord Krishna. The purport of the word `bhava' (mundane existence) is that the jiva has to take birth in this material world again and again. Repeated birth and death is compared to a great forest fire (mahadavagni). This blazing forest fire cannot be extinguished by any means other than Shri Krishna sankirtana.
The question may be raised here that upon attainment of the knowledge of one's constitutional duty (sva dharma), does one cease to chant the holy name? The answer is that this never happens. Chanting of the holy name of Lord Hari is the eternal occupational duty of the jiva. The phrase `shreyah kairava candrika vitaranam' has been used in a qualifying sense to point out that the holy name is eternally the natural and characteristic function of the living entity.
(3) Shreyah kairava candrika vitaranam (diffuses the moonrays of bhava bhakti for the highest good of the jiva)
For the living entities ensnared by maya, material enjoyment alone is desirable, and it is on this account that they have to rotate in the cycle of repeated birth and death in this material world, suffering the three-fold miseries. In complete opposition to this, aversion toward maya and constant engagement in the service of Shri Krishna is the highest achievement (shreyah). This highest achievement (shreyah) is compared to the white water lotus (kumudini). Just as the soothing rays of the moon cause the white lotus to blossom, Shri Krishna sankirtana, diffusing the moon rays of bhava bhakti, causes the white lotus of good fortune for the jivas to bloom.
According to the statement of Shrimad Bhagavatam, `bhaktya sanjataya bhaktya' (S.B. 11.3.31)—devotion is born of devotion—one must first continuously engage in the process of sadhana bhakti through hearing, chanting, etc. At this stage one's devotion is said to be an abhasa (shadow) of real bhakti. By such practice, shuddha bhakti makes its appearance in the heart of the faithful jivas. Here Shri Krishna sankirtana has been compared with the moon. Just as the nectarine light emitted from the moon causes the white lotus to bloom, Shri Krishna sankirtana causes bhava or rati, which is predominated by the hladini potency, to appear within the heart of the jivas. All kinds of benedictions arise as a consequence of this.
(4) Vidya vadhu jivanam (it is the life of all transcendental knowledge)
The question may be raised here about when those who have already attained shuddha bhakti will attain their pure spiritual form (shuddha svarupa). In reply to this question Shri Shaci Nandana Gaurachandra says, “vidya vadhu jivanam." In reality the Lord has but one shakti. Its two functions are vidya (knowledge) and avidya (ignorance). The Lord's internal potency known as yogamaya svarupa shakti is called vidya. The external potency (maha maya), which is responsible for the creation of the material world and which covers the original spiritual form of the living entities and the qualities associated with that form, is called avidya.
When shuddha bhakti arises in the heart of the sadhaka jiva by continual practice of hearing and chanting, Bhakti devi, dispelling all desires other than that for the service of the Lord, removes the above mentioned ignorance (avidya). By the function of the knowledge potency (vidya vritti), Bhakti destroys the gross and subtle body of the jiva. Simultaneously, Bhakti devi manifests the original pure spiritual form of the jiva, to the extent that he receives the purely spiritual form of a gopi, if by qualification he is fit to taste the madhura rasa.
(One may attain a form in any of the four transcendental relationships of dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhura in accordance with one's eligibility or, in other words, in accordance with the sthayi bhava.)
Thus, it is proved that the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna is the life of all transcendental knowledge which has been compared to a wife (vadhu). The svarupa shakti's being compared to Shri Krishna's wife is especially notable in context of the description of His sportive amorous pastimes (Lila Vilasa).
Bhakti is a function of the Lord's svarupa shakti. Shuddha sattva is the essence of the combination of the hladini and samvit potencies of svarupa shakti. When shuddha sattva is obtained, bhakti is also present. By executing the various practices of sadhana bhakti (shravanam, kirtanam, etc.), shuddha sattva arises in the heart. Shuddha sattva is eternally established in the hearts of the Lord's eternal associates. By performing devotional service under their guidance, shuddha sattva manifests in the heart.
This shuddha sattva is also known as rati or bhava. By further execution of devotional service in the stage of rati, bhava bhakti is transformed into prema bhakti. The essence of prema bhakti is bhava (not to be confused with bhava bhakti, but rather a stage which comes in the systematic development of prema, i.e. rati, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava) and the essence of bhava is mahabhava. This mahabhava is the form of Shri Radha, or, otherwise stated, Shri Radha Thakurani is the embodiment of mahabhava.
Therefore, where mahabhava is present, the form of Radharani is present. Since time immemorial, Shri Radha is the svarupa shakti of Lord Krishna. Thereafter, the two personalities became one. For the purpose of lila -vilasa, they again manifest as two personalities. Shri Radha further manifests as all the gopis (in other words, they expand from Her). Bhakti as the essential function of svarupa shakti is always present within the hearts of the gopis. In particular, Shrimati Radhika is the personification of the svarupa shakti and, consequently, the personification of bhakti. Therefore, the svarupa shakti has been compared to the beloved wife of Shri Krishna. Similarly, bhakti has also been compared to the wife of Shri Krishna. ·
(5) Anandambudhi vardhanam (increases the ocean of bliss)
When the gross and subtle bodies of the jiva have been completely destroyed, his infinitesimal nature becomes evident. At that time, on account of the jiva's svarupa being infinitesimal, it may be assumed that his constitutional happiness is also infinitesimal. In order to dispel this apprehension, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructs that the holy name is an ever increasing ocean of bliss, “anandambudhi-vardhanam." In other words, Shri Krishna sankirtana, performed in the liberated condition (upon the jiva's attainment of his pure spiritual form), unlimitedly expands the inherent transcendental pleasure of the jiva by virtue of the hladini potency.
(6) Purnamritasvadanam (enables one to taste complete nectar at every step)
In that condition, the jiva, being eternally situated in one of the transcendental mellows of dasya (servitude), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental affection), or madhura (conjugal love), relishes complete nectar at every step by virtue of the ever increasing freshness of his attachment to Shri Krishna (nava-navayaman anuraga). The Lord's captivating transcendental form (rupa madhuri), qualities (guna madhuri), and pastimes (lila madhuri) are eternally fresh. The jivas who, having awakened their prema toward Shri Krishna, continuously drink the nectar of the Lord's sweetness (madhuri), remain yet unsatisfied and hanker for more. Therefore they unceasingly drink that sweetness in endlessly new varieties.
(7) Sarvatma snapanam (Premananda is completely pure)
The apprehension may arise here whether the happiness the jiva experiences in the ever fresh bliss of prema (premananda) is motivated by a desire for personal enjoyment. Since the longing or endeavor for one's own happiness is opposed to pure love of God (vishuddha prema), how could such a condition be called premananda? In order to dispel this apprehension, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the crest jewel of all sannyasis, has used the qualifying statement “sarvatma snapanam"—the holy name thoroughly bathes the living entity both internally and externally, leaving him very clean and cool.
The bliss that arises in the state of Krishna prema is completely pure, being devoid of any selfish motives for personal enjoyment. In one's original form, the jiva becomes a maidservant of Shrimati Radharani who is the embodiment of the Hladini potency and who is always absorbed in the ecstacy of mahabhava. Obtaining the service of the Divine Couple in their conjugal pastimes, he tastes unlimited spiritual bliss. Therefore, there is no possibility of even the faintest trace of material desire (kama) being present in him, which is completely opposed to the condition of prema.
From the use of the two words “sarvatma snapanam," supreme purity is indicated, completely devoid of the faults of merging into the impersonal existence (that is found within sayujya mukti) and personal sense enjoyment.
The holy name is thus decorated with seven transcendental qualities. It is the embodiment of eternity, bliss and knowledge. May Shri Krishna sankirtana be thoroughly victorious especially in revealing the astonishing pastimes of love (prema-vicitra-vilasa) exchanged between the Divine Couple, Shri Shri Radha Krishna.
The holy name is like a new bud of a lotus flower. By constant chanting of Hari nama, the name first makes its appearance within the heart of the practitioner. Thereafter, Krishna's form, His transcendental qualities, His pastimes and associates (the gopas, gopis, etc.), all become manifest within the heart. The devotee directly perceives all of these within his heart. He also perceives the amorous sports (vilasa) of the Lord. In the end, he gives up this material body and, obtaining his eternal form, enters into the pastimes of the Lord. It is, therefore, said that the holy name which reveals the prema-vilasa of Shri Shri Radha Krishna should be especially glorified. ·
Shri Chaitanya-Caritamrita (Antya-lila,Ch.20.11,13-14):
nama-sankirtana haite sarvanartha-nasha
sarva-shubhodaya, krishna-premera ullasa
sankirtana haite papa-samsara-nashana
krishna-prapti, sevamrita-samudre majjana
“By the performance of Shri Krishna sankirtana, all kinds of anarthas are destroyed and the heart becomes purified. The reactions to many lifetimes of sinful activities are eradicated and along with them, material existence consisting of repeated birth and death which is a by-product of those sins. All kinds of benedictions arise from Shri Krishna sankirtana. All varieties of devotional practices (sadhanas) giving rise to prema bhakti are instigated by it. Krishna prema arises and one begins to taste the nectar of Krishna prema. Shri Krishna is then obtained. Finally, one obtains spotless purity and is thoroughly cooled and refreshed by complete immersion in the nectar ocean of service to Shri Krishna."
Shikshashtakam: Song 1 (Gitavali)
Pita varana kalipavana gora
gavai aichana bhava-vibhora
citta-darpana parimarjana kari
krishna kirtana jaya cittavihari
hela bhava dava nirvapana vritti
krishna kirtana jaya klesha nivrtti
shreyah kumuda vidhu jyotsna-prakasha
krishna kirtana jaya bhakti-vilasa
vishuddha vidya vadhu-jivana rupa
krishna-kirtana jaya siddhasvarupa
ananda payo nidhi vardhana kirtti
krishna kirtana jaya plavana murtti
pade-pade piyusha svada pradata
krishna kirtana jaya prema vidhata
bhaktivinoda svatma snapana vidhana
krishna kirtana jaya prema nidana
Adopting the sentiment (bhava) and golden lustre of the limbs of Shrimati Radhika, Shri Shaci-nandana Gaura Hari, the supreme deliverer of the fallen conditioned souls of Kali-yuga, would chant the holy name of Shri Krishna absorbed in a deep emotional state. By the potency of His kirtan, not only the sinful and materially afflicted people of Kali-yuga were delivered, but the birds, beasts, insects, and worms as well. While describing the glories of the holy name, He spoke as follows:
“The chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna thoroughly cleanses the mirror of the heart. It very easily extinquishes the blazing forest fire of material existence and dissipates, once and for all, the three-fold miseries—adhyatmika (miseries arising from one's own body and mind), adhibhautika (miseries arising from other living entities), and adhidaivika (miseries arising from material nature or the demigods).
As the moon, by its nectarean soothing and cooling rays, causes the white lotus to bloom, the holy name causes the white lotus of prema bhakti to bloom, which is the highest benediction for the jiva souls. May there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna which is the embodiment of the pastimes (vilasa) of bhakti.
Unalloyed devotion (vishuddha bhakti) is the embodiment of the highest knowledge and it is like a new wife (vadhu). Shri Krishna sankirtana is the life of transcendental knowledge in the form of bhakti. May there be all victory again and again for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna which manifests the eternal constitutional form of the living entities.
Shri Krishna sankirtana expands the unfathomable, unlimited ocean of transcendental bliss. May there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna which is an inundation of transcendental bliss. Shri Krishna sankirtana enables one to taste ever-increasingly fresh nectar at every step.
May there be all victory again and again for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna which bestows Krishna prema. The holy name forever bathes and immerses the chanter in Krishna prema. May there be all victory again and again for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna which is a storehouse of love of God."
Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's Vivriti (commentary)
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Shri Krishna kirtana. May there be all victory to Shri Gurudeva, who is constantly engaged in the performance of Shri Krishna sankirtana, and to Shri Gaurasundara, who is the personification of Shri Krishna kirtana.
Out of innumerable different kinds of sadhana bhakti, many limbs of devotional service have been described in Shrimad Bhagavatam and Shri Hari Bhakti Vilasa. In the practice of sadhana bhakti especially, a description of sixty-four limbs of devotional service is given under the headings of vaidhi bhakti (devotional service according to rules and regulations) and raganuga bhakti (spontaneous devotional service). In the statements of Prahlada Maharaja as well, found in Shrimad Bhagavatam, we find reference to unalloyed devotion (shuddha bhakti). Shri Gaurasundara has said, “Shri nama sankirtana is the topmost performance out of all the various limbs of bhakti. "
Learned scholars of the absolute truth have described the supreme non-dual substance (advaya jnana vastu) in three different stages. When that non-dual substance is realised exclusively by knowledge, or in others words through the function of the cit potency, it is referred to as 'Brahma'. When realised through the combined functions of the sat and cit potencies, it is referred to as 'Paramatma', and when realised through the functions of all potencies—sat, cit, and ananda—that supreme truth is referred to as 'Bhagavan'.
When the absolute truth, or in other words Bhagavan, is viewed in terms of His opulences or majesty (aishvarya), He is perceived as Vasudeva Krishna, and when viewed in terms of His sweetness (madhurya), He is perceived as Vrajendra Nandana Shyamasundara Shri Krishna, the topmost relisher of transcendental pastimes. Shri Narayana is the worshipable object of two and a half rasas. He is served in shanta, dasya, sakhya and vatsalya, but in sakhya and vatsalya, because the natural feelings of intimacy are somewhat crippled by the sense of the Lord's majesty, they are only counted as half. Shri Krishna is served in all five principal transcendental rasas (mukhya rasa).
Vrajendra Nandana Shyamasundara Shri Krishna is the supreme truth, the original source of all manifestations. His vaibhava prakasha expansion, Shri Baladeva Prabhu, manifests the abode of maha-Vaikuntha. He is situated there in His eternal catur-vyuha expansions—Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha.
When a mantra is uttered only within the mind it is called japa. At that time the chanter attains the perfection of the goal upon which he has fixed his mind. When chanting is done audibly with movement of the lips, it is called kirtana. Kirtana is superior to japa within the mind, because one derives great benefit by hearing the sound vibration. Simultaneously, others who hear such kirtana, also derive benefit. Thus there is benefit both for the chanter and for the hearers.
The word sankirtana means `sarvatobhavena kirtana'. (Sarvatobhavena kirtana means complete kirtana, or in other words, kirtana that is performed in full knowledge of sambandha jnana and free from all anarthas and aparadhas.) This refers to that kirtana, the performance of which requires no assistance from any other method of devotional service. Partial kirtana of the holy name of Shri Krishna is not called sankirtana. When there is partial or imperfect chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna, the jiva does not attain the full effect. As a result, many people fall into doubt about the potency of the holy name. Therefore, let there be all victory for the perfect and complete chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna.
By dicussing material topics, one obtains fragmentary happiness. In the transcendental realm, Shri Krishna is the only object of attainment. No material objects are to be found there. Therefore, by chanting the holy name of Shri Krishna, one obtains all kinds of perfections, which are transcendental to material nature. Out of the various types of perfection, seven in particular are certainly obtained by the chanting of the holy name. These seven types of perfection are being described here.
(1) Ceto Darpana Marjanam: (Cleanses the mirror of the heart)
The chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna cleanses the dust from the mirror of the heart of the living entity. The mirror of the heart of the baddha jiva is thoroughly covered by the dust of material contamination. This material contamination is of three types: (1) anyabhilasha—the living entity who has become averse to the Lord is filled with desires separate from the interest of the Lord, (2) enjoyment of the fruits of wordly activities, and (3) renuncation which is not undertaken for the pleasure of the Lord.
The chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna is the most effective instrument for cleansing the dirt from the mirror of the heart of the jiva. As long as the dirt of material contamination is present, the pure spiritual form of the living entity is not reflected in the mirror of his heart. Therefore, the three kinds of contamination mentioned above are all forms of deceit (kaitava) which obscure the true vision of the self. They are obstacles which completely cover the heart of the jiva.
By the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna, all these obstacles are removed. Finally, when the mirror of the heart is cleansed by complete chanting of the holy name, one's pure spiritual form is reflected in the mirror of the heart and one understands, “I am the servant of Lord Krishna."
(2) Bhava Mahadavagni Nirvapanam: (Extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence)
Externally, this material world appears very beautiful, charming, and pleasing. But in reality, it is just like a blazing fire within a forest. This material world is blazing with innumerable sufferings which come under three headings: (1) adhyatmika (miseries arising from the body and mind), (2) adhidaivika (miseries arising from the demigods or material nature), and (3) adhibhautika (miseries arising from other living entities).
As a blazing fire thoroughly destroys all the trees and animals of the forest, the forest fire of material existence in the shape of repeated birth and death constantly burns the living entities who are averse to Shri Krishna. But when one takes up the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna under the expert guidance of a qualified guru and Vaishnavas, then even while residing in this material world, one becomes competent to extinguish the blazing fire of material existence. This is due to one's adopting an attitude which is favorably disposed toward Shri Krishna. By Shri Krishna nama sankirtana, all these miseries are driven away.
(3) Shreyah Kairava Candrika-Vitaranam: (Spreads the Highest Benediction)
Complete chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna diffuses the radiance of supreme auspiciousness. The word 'shreyah' means auspiciousness; 'kairava' means white lilies (kumuda); and 'candrika' means the rays of the moon. Just as the soothing rays of the rising moon cause the white lilies to bloom and thus enhance their whiteness, the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna expands the good fortune of the living entities. Good fortune can not be had by separate desires (anyabhilasha), karma or jnana. But the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna promotes the highest welfare of the jiva.
(4) Vidya Vadhu Jivanam:
(The Life of all transcendental Knowledge)
Two kinds of knowledge have been described in the Mundaka Upanishad: (1) Laukiki Vidya (material knowledge) and (2) Para Vidya (transcendental knowledge). Indirectly, Shri Krishna sankirtana is the life of material knowledge, but it is primarily the life of transcendental knowledge. By the influence of Shri Krishna sankirtana, the jiva is liberated from the false ego arising from mundane knowledge, and the knowledge of his relationship with Shri Krishna (sambandha jnana) is nourished. The chanting of the holy name of Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara Shri Krishna is the goal to be obtained by transcendental knowledge. By this, Krishna Himself is obtained.
(5) Anandambudhi Vardhanam: (Increases the Ocean of Transcendental Bliss)
Shri Krishna sankirtana expands the ocean of transcendental bliss for the living entities. The word ocean cannot be applied to a small reservoir of water. Therefore, the unlimited bliss which arises from the chanting of the holy name is comparable only with a boundless ocean.
(6) Prati Padam Purnamritasvadanam: (Enables one to taste nectar at every step)
Shri Krishna sankirtana causes one to taste complete nectar at every step. In the relishing of transcendental rasa, there is neither difficiency nor incompleteness—only ecstasy. By the performance of Shri Krishna sankirtana, one relishes the complete and uninterrupted bliss of rasa at every moment.
(7) Sarvatma Snapanam: (Completely bathes the body, mind, and atma)
Even transcendental objects obtain to a softened state by the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna. In the material realm, the body, mind, and the soul are not only purified by Shri Krishna sankirtana, but are undoubtedly softened as well.
The living entity who is engrossed in bodily designations becomes covered with the dirt of the gross and subtle body. By the power of the holy name, all these contaminations are cleansed away. When attachment toward mundane existence is vanquished, the living entity turns his attention toward Shri Krishna and obtains the cooling and soothing service of His lotus feet.
Shri Jiva Gosvami has written in the Bhakti Sandarbha (273) and in the Krama Sandarbha (quoting from the seventh canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam):
ataeva yadyapyanya bhaktih kalau kartavya
tada kirtanakhya bhakti-samyogenaiva
This means that although in Kali yuga it is necessary to perform the other eight limbs of devotional service (i.e., shravanam, smaranam, pada sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, and atma nivedanam) they must be performed in connection with the chanting of the holy name (kirtanam). By this method, bhakti is fully accomplished.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Shri Bhajana Rahasya
In material existence, the heart is covered by attachment for mundane enjoyment, lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy. The mirror of the heart is cleansed from all these impurities by the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. This is possible because the holy name is the embodiment of eternity, bliss and knowledge, as described by Shri Rupa Gosvami in the seventh verse of Namashtaka:
suditashrita-janarttirashay ramya-cidghana sukhasvarupine
nama gokula mahotsavaya tekrishna purna-vapushe namo namah
“O holy name! O Krishna! You destroy all the sufferings (arising from offenses to the holy name) of those who have taken shelter of Your holy name. You are constituted of supreme beauty and transcendental happiness, and You are the embodiment of bliss for the residents of Gokula (the gopas, gopis, cows, calves, and all other life forms of Gokula). Therefore, I offer repeated obeisances unto You, who are the personification of the complete manifestation of Vaikuntha."
The blazing forest fire of material existence in the form of repeated birth and death, and the three-fold miseries arising thereof, is effortlessly extinguished by the chanting of the holy name. This is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.2.46):
natah param karma-nibandha-krintanam
na yat punah karmasu sajjate mano
rajas-tamobhyam kalilam tato'nyatha
“Therefore, for persons desiring release from material bondage, there is no method superior to the chanting of the holy name of the Supreme Lord at whose feet all the places of pilgrimage reside. Such chanting destroys the root cause of sinful activity. Consequently, by the performance of nama sankirtana, one will never again become implicated in fruitive activities (karma khanda). This is not the case, however, with material methods of atonement, because even after such performances, the heart again becomes contaminated by the modes of passion and ignorance."
The holy name of Shri Krishna emits nectarean rays which cause the white lily (kumudini) of supreme fortune to bloom. As the moon, by its rays, causes the white lilies to blossom and become very fragrant, the holy name, by the transmission of its potency, causes all kinds of good fortune to arise for the jivas. The following verse from the Skanda Purana has been cited as evidence of this in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.234):
madhura-madhuram-etan mangalam mangalanam
sakridapi parigitam shraddhaya helaya va
bhriguvara nara-matram tarayet krishna-nama
“Of all that is auspicious, the holy name of Shri Krishna stands supreme. Of all that is sweet, the holy name is sweeter still. It is the eternal, fully-spiritual fruit of the wish-fulfilling tree of the entire Vedas. O best of the Bhrigus! If anyone even once chants the holy name of Lord Krishna, either with faith or indifferently—but free from any offense—the holy name immediately delivers him from the ocean of material existence."
The holy name is the life of all transcendental knowledge (which is here compared to a wife [vadhu]). This is supported in the Garuda Purana as follows:
yad icchasi param jnanam jnanad yat paramam padam
tadadarena rajendra kuru govinda kirtanam
“O best of Kings! If you desire to obtain that topmost knowledge by which the supreme goal (param padam) is attained, then with great respect and devotion, chant the holy name of Shri Krishna."
By chanting the holy name of Govinda, one easily attains the supreme destination [param padam]. Param padam does not refer to mukti. Beyond mukti, beyond Vaikuntha, beyond even Ayodhya and Mathura—the attainment of the service of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna in Vraja is what is here referred to as param padam. This fruit is obtained by the chanting of the holy name of Lord Govinda, not by any ordinary knowledge.·
It is further stated in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.5.40):
dhatar yad asmin bhava isha jivas
tapa-trayenabhihata na sharma
atman labhante bhagavams tavanghri-
cchayam sa-vidyam ata ashrayema
“O father! O Lord! Being averse to You, the living entities in this material world are always overwhelmed by the three-fold miseries-adhyamika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. Thus they are unable to find any happiness or peace. Therefore, O Lord, equipped with transcendental knowledge (vidya), I am taking shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet."
Equipped with transcendental knowledge here means equipped with bhakti. Out of all types of knowledge, bhakti is the best because by it, the Supreme Lord becomes known.·
In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.29.49) it is stated, sa vidya tan-matir-jaya: “That by which one's attention is concentrated upon the Supreme Lord is called `vidya' (knowledge)." Only by bhakti can one's attention be drawn upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Therefore, the knowledge being referred to here is bhakti. This knowledge (i.e., bhakti) dissipates ignorance (avidya). The holy name of Shri Krishna is the life of transcendental knowledge by which the consciousness becomes firmly situated at the lotus feet of the Lord, and one is engaged in devotional service.
The chanting of the holy name of the Lord expands the ocean of transcendental bliss within the heart, as it is stated in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.3.20):
ekantino yasya na kancanartham
vanchanti ye vai bhagavat prapannah
aty-adbhutam tac-caritam sumangalam
“The one-pointed devotees (ekantika bhaktas), who are fully surrendered unto the Lord, become immersed in the ocean of transcendental bliss by chanting and reciting the transcendental pastimes of the Lord which are astonishing and supremely auspicious. They have no desire other than to obtain the lotus feet of the Lord. They are always merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss. I pray unto that supreme brahman (parabrahma), who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
When the mirror of the heart is cleansed by chanting the holy name of the Lord, then all types of good fortune arise for the chanter. Thereafter, he attains perception of his constitutional identity (svarupa). For one who chants the holy name in that stage of attainment, the ocean of transcendental bliss is enlarged, and he tastes complete nectar in newer and newer varieties at every step.
An ordinary conditioned soul will not experience ananda when he chants the holy name. When, however, one chants the holy name according to this process, in other words after having freed oneself from all misgivings (anarthas) and having attained one's svarupa, one who then chants the holy name with love and spiritual emotion (bhava), will taste the nectar of the name at every step.·
It is therefore said in the Padma Purana:
tebhyo namo 'stu bhava-baridhi-jirna-panka-
krishneti varna-yugalam shravanena yesham
“I offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto the lotus feet of that person whose heart trembles with bliss upon chanting and hearing the holy of Shri Krishna, whose bodily hairs stand on end due to ecstacy, and who is expert in delivering the conditioned souls who are sunk in the mud of the ocean of material existence."
The self is thoroughly cleansed by bathing in the holy name. As it is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (12.12.48)
sankirtyamano bhagavan anantah
shrutanubhava vyasanam hi pumsam
pravishya cittam vidhunoty ashesham
yatha tamo 'rko 'bhram ivati-vatah
“By describing the transcendental characteristics or pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Shri Hari, or by hearing of His glories, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna enters within the heart (in the shape of Hari-katha) and drives away all ignorance (andhakara) exactly as the sun drives aways darkness. And as as a powerful wind blows away a mass of clouds, hearing of the Lord's pastimes eradicates all the sufferings of material existence." (The word andhakara above refers to the various contaminations of the heart such as anarthas and aparadhas.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has composed the following Bengali verse in this connection:
shruta anubhuta yata anartha samyoga
shri krishna kirtane saba haya ta viyoga
je rupa vayute megha surya tamah nashe
citte praveshiya dosha ashesha vinashe
krishna namashraye citta darpana marjjana
ati shighra labhe jiva krishna premadhana
"As many varieties of anarthas as have ever been heard of or experienced are all destroyed by chanting the holy name of Shri Krishna. As the wind disperses the clouds or as the sun dissipates the darkness, the Supreme Lord, through the medium of the hearing of His transcendental pastimes, enters the heart and completely destroys the extensive material contamination. By taking shelter of the name of Shri Krishna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed and very quickly the jiva attains the treasure of Krishna-prema."
The holy name of Shri Krishna is fully conscious (chaitanya), and it is the personification of sweetness (madhurya) and of transcendental rasa. As stated in the Namashtaka (8):
sudhormi niryasa madhuri pura
tvam krishna-nama kamam-
sphura me rasane rasena sada
"O holy name of Shri Krishna! You are the life-support of Shri Narada's vina. You are the crest upon the waves of nectar arising from the ocean of sweetness (madhurya). May you, therefore, always appear very prominently on our tongues accompanied by great attachment (anuraga)."
Shri Hari nama is worshipable particularly for liberated persons. Simply by a shadow of pure chanting (namabhasa), all misery and distress are dissipated. As stated in the Namashtaka (2):
jaya namedheya muni vrinda geya
jana ranjanaya param aksharakrite
tvam anadarad api manag udiritam
nikhilogra tapa patalim vilumpasi
"O holy name, O Krishna appearing in the form of the name! Great sages such as Narada and others constantly chant Your glories. For the delight of all humanity, You have appeared in the form of transcendental syllables. Although You are directly the supreme brahman, Shri Krishna Himself, You appear in the form of syllables for the benefit of people in general. Even if one chants the holy name of the Lord indifferently (avahelana), or in other words with the four kinds of namabhasa—sanketya (to indicate something else), parihasa (jokingly), stobha (for musical entertainment), and hela (neglectfully)—the holy name is competent to destroy the most grievous sins and thus nullify all severe material afflictions. Therefore, O holy name, may there be all victory unto You!"
It is, therefore, stated in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata (Madhya 23.76-78):
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
prabhu kahe-kahilan ei mahamantra
iha japa giya sabe kariya nirbandha
iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabara
sarva-kshana bala'ithe vidhi nahi ara
“Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘I have spoken this maha-mantra, now all of you return home and perform japa and kirtana of the holy name with great love and faith, keeping track of the number of rounds you chant. By this practice, all types of perfection will arise. Always chant the holy name, for there are no rules and regulations regarding its performance. At every moment, utter this maha-mantra.’“