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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Divine Name Haridasa > 01 Efficacies







Madhurametan mangalan  mangalanam sakalneegamwalisaftalanm chitaswarupam,

sakrudapee pareegitanShri Navadvipa Dhaam Yatra sradhaya heleya va vruguvara ! naramatrnm tarayat krushnanaam.


"THE Name 'Krishna' is sweeter than all the sweetest sounds,more auspicious than the most auspicious things, the best fruit of the creeper like Vedas and Transcendental Divine Name-        fey nature  Thjs Name if uttcred evcn once,

with faith or without it, will deliver any one,be he just a man and nothing more,   from worldly bondage."1


Inexpressible is the Transcendental Glory of the Divine Name. Who, on the face of the earth can estimate Its efficacy? How many books are written on the subject and how many souls have experi¬enced the thrilling joy and marvellous benefits of the same! How many have even turned divinely mad after the Ever-Blissful Lord on hearing the inspiring results of repeating the Holy Name! Millions and millions, indeed, have crossed this ocean of never-ending mis¬eries, trusting on the Glory of the Divine Name. It is as unfathom¬able as the Glory of the Divine Lord Himself. The All-Merciful Lord, out of His compassion to His fallen children, manifests Himself in this mundane world as the Divine Name. All the Sastras unanimously and emphatically agree on the Infinite Glory of the Holy Name.


harer naama harer naama, harer naamaiva kevalam

kalau naasty eva naasty eva, naasty eva gatir anyathaa

[Brihan Naradiya Purana 38.126, Hari Bhakti Vilasa 11.460, Cc. AAdi 17.21]


"The Name of Hari, the Name of Hari, O! The name of Hari alone and nothing else, nothing else in Kali Yuga, nothing else can lead us to our Final Goal."2


In the age of Kali, Shri Krishna Manifests Himself, as the Holy Name. The whole world is liberated by the chanting of this Holy Name. In the above Sloka, Shri Hari's Name is repeated thnce lor the purpose oi emphasis. The         use of the article 'Eva' in the verse is to con-vince those ignorant of the efficacy of Shri Hari-Nama by positive assertion. The idea is strengthened further by the addition of the word 'Kevala'. It informs us about the futility of the numerous existing methods of religious practices, such as knowl¬edge, Yoga, austerities, Karma, etc., in this age of Kali. Tlie word 'Nasti' by negative assertion, supported by the word 'Eva', has been repeated in the Sloka thrice to signify that the non-believers in the Holy Name will in no case attain salvation-never, never, never.


Aneya krutayuge dhmastratayamparemataa,

dwapare anya ewaktta: kalawanya prakitreetaa..3


The topic-what constitutes service of the Supreme Godhead, is a very tough one. It lies beyond Tarka or man's reasoning. The Sastras declare in unambiguous words that the meth-ods followed in different ases vary from one an- other. "In KritaYugaor Satya Yuga., there was a different set of religious methods to be followed by human beings, inTretaYuga they were changed into another form, the Dharma of Dvapar Yuga is said to be still different form that of the other Yugas and the Dharma of Kali Yuga loo is stated to be a different one."'3


The Supreme Lord Himself has settled the nature of His worship for every age and proclaimed the same for the information of all. For this puipose He comes down into this mundane world in each of the four ages. The establishment of the form of worship ap¬propriate to every age is a Divine Deed. The form of worship laid down in the Sastras and established by the Supreme Lord for the current age Kali Yuga, is the chanting of the 'Holy Name' or 'Nama-Sankirtan'.


krite yad dhyaayato vishnum, tretaayaam yajato makhaih

dvaapare paricaryaayaam, kalau tad dhari-kirtanaat..4

(Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.3.52)


"That which is achieved through meditation of Shri Vishnu in the Satya Yuga. performance of religious sacrifices in Treta Yuga and ritualistic worship in Dvapar Yuga, can be attained in Kali Yuga through mere chanting of the Divine Name."4


Thus there are four different forms of spiritual practices to be followed by the souls in the four different ages. The object of all the forms of worship is the same. Chanting of Shri Hari's Name is the declared Divine Dispensation (Yuga Dharma) for the current age. Hence, in the words of the Sastras, the performance of the chanting of the Holy Name is the only method of worship that is suitable to the people of the present Kali Yuga. Everything is attained by means of this Divine Dispensation. Recourse to the Name of the Lord is the sole efficacious method in this age, suitable for all kinds of people after God-realisation. Tlie other methods, though prescribed in the Sastras, are not effective in this Kali Yuga., One cannot get total deliverance from the influence of Maya in this age, by any other form of worship. By this statement, the Sastras do not denounce other methods. They have got their own place and utility. They can help humanity in attaining many other achievements. They can make one the richest man in the world, a great monarch, an eminent scholar, a leader over a vast number of people, and an enjoyer of various luxuries. The realisation of Transcendental Bliss or 'Prem' to the Supreme Godhead is unattainable by methods other than Shri Hari-Nama-Sankirtan in this dark age of Kali.


kaler dosha-nidhe raajann asti hy eko mahaan gunah

kirtanaad eva krishnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet..5

(Shrimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51)


"O King! Though Kali, being a repository of all evils, is con¬demned as worse than all other ages, it possesses one great virtue not found in other ages, viz., in this age a person can attain free¬dom from worldly bondage and secure Supreme Bliss solely through Kirtan of Shri Krishna's Name (even if he does not pursue any other form of spiritual method)."5


abhyarthitas tadaa tasmai, sthaanaani kalaye dadau

dyutam paanam striyah sunaa, yatraadharmash catur-vidhah

punash ca yaacamaanaaya, jaata-rupam adaat prabhuh

tato ’nritam madam kaamam, rajo vairam ca pancamam..6

(Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.17.38-39)


The condition of man in this age is lamentable. At every mo¬ment he is crushed down under the iron heels of rampant material¬ism. In spite of the various advancements claimed in the field of scientific inventions, he is getting day by day worse in character. All the pomp and show of the workaday world in this age has only made man, a slave of baser ob¬jects. Man has become an unfortunate victim to various unhealthy habits and circumstances, with the result that he is merely hunting after creature-comforts. He is in the midst of many an unnatural want which promote selfishness, and lacks badly in the nobler traits of humanity. Kali Yuga is the black age of all sins, sorrows, torments, tortures, calamities and other sufferings of the like. Scientists have called the present age 'the age of machines'. Science is making rapid progress. Fresh inventions, dazzling the eyes of the people of the world are appearing very often. Marvellous dreadful destructive weap¬ons are one of the prime objects of human research now. Factories and workshops, various locomotives of modern types, high power steamships, submarines, radios, electric trains, telephones, aeroplanes, wireless, talkies, television, x-ray, motor cars, printing machineries, gramophones, atom bombs, rockets, neon-lights, many effective drugs like penicillin, etc., and a host of similar wonderful inventions, are the achievements of science. Being proud of these few triumphs, sci¬ence now boasts that it has made a successful conquest of nature even.


But alas! Really it has not yet pierced even the outer veil of nature. Philosophers have described the present age as 'the age of free controversy'. The word 'controversy' is a synonym for the word


'Kali'. Hence, the authors of the great Puranas have termed the present age as 'Kali Yuga'. Free-do of Speech js a characteristic feature of the present age. It claims numerous philosophies propounding views diametrically opposite to each other. Dry intellectual ranglings or irreligious rivalries are the order of the day. Even a lay man on the road would not hesitate to deliver a sermon to a public audience and pick up an unnecessary and senseless argument with best of brains in the world.


The legacy of hatred, jealousy, disease and starvation is incalcu¬lably on the increase. Kali has mercilessly exercised its influence on the vast population of the world. All its vices springing from the fivefold abodes of Kali, the bosom companions of irreligion, are followed with pleasure by the present day people, young or old, literate or illiterate, Hindu or non-Hindu, without any distinction. Shrimad Bhagavata declares the following places as the abodes of Kali {Kali Sthanasf:- (1) Gambling in any form, such as playing cards even without stakes, dice, speculation, betting, horse race, etc., and also trading in the name of religion, (2) addiction to intoxicants and stimulants, such as drinking, smoking, chewing, snuffing, etc., (3) illicit connection with women or too much attachment to one's own wedded wife, (4) cruelty to animals; this includes the habit of living upon the flesh of animals. Indifference to he attainment of one's own spiritual welfare as this is cruelty to one-elf, proclaiming as truth what one knows to be an untruth, advising eople on all ways and ends, excepting the everlasting and soul-stir¬ring principle of religion and love of God, and (5) improper ways of earning wealth and wasting the same lavishly on materialistic pur¬suits. The last one is the worst amongst the lot. Possession of wealth is often the root cause of many of the evils that occur in the domestic life. A wealthy person becomes blind with the riches and falls an easy prey to all sorts of vices. He carelessly gambles, becomes a habitual drunkard and a chain-smoker, falls a victim to the sensuous passions, freely mixes with members of the other sex, dances to their tunes, turns a moral wreck and finally living upon unholy and objectionable rood, brings ruin to himself, ruled by arrogance, lust, hatred and other baser traits of humanity. Alas! Tlie defects of Kali described in the Sastras, with reference to distant future can be noticed even now, the earlier part of the age.* In spite of these faults or inabilities of Kali Yuga, the one j»ood quality that offsets all its drawbacks is the marvellous efficacy of the Kirtan or the chanting of the Name of the Supreme Lord.


Human beings are weaklings in all respects. Their achievements may be many in the material sphere, but, they can attain very little by their own efforts in the spiritual sphere. Tlie path for God realisation is very difficult to tread and the weak human beings have neither the required strength nor the necessary patience to achieve their goal. At every point, humanity is earned away by strong currents of temptations. A man is often caught in a whirlpool of hardships. Hut, all his hardships and obstacles vanish in no time, if he is fortunate to possess one thing, and that is Divine Grace. A Jiva cannot free himself from the bondage of Maya by his own efforts. It is only the Grace of the Beloved Lord that saves man from the thraldom of Maya.


How could we, pulled up as we are, with the vanities of the world, deserve Divine Grace? An earnest longing in all humility from the depth of our heart is the only course,open to us for the present, to attain the Mercv of tne Lord. We must weep from (he bottom of our heart with absolute self-surrender at the Feet of the Lord and we are sure to be listened to. Let us-little men, forget our ego and feel the vanity of the transitory pleasures of this Heeling world. Let us relinquish all the pride and vainglorious attempts and admit our helplessness. Surely the Merci¬ful Lord will come to our rescue. Did He not rescue a host of His devotees who surrendered themselves to Him and afford eternal shelter to them? Yes! Certainly He did. Our Sastras are lull of such glorious instances. Chanting of the Divine Name is the most efficacious method to invoke the Grace of the Divine Lord.


etan nirvidyamaanaanaam, icchataam akuto-bhayam

yoginaam nripa nirnitam, harer naamaanukirtanam..7

(Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.1.11)


"() King! For those devotees who have lost all their attachments to worldly objects, for those seeking salvation from fear and afflic¬tions, for those desirous of enjoying the various fruits of their actions and also for those men of wisdom delighted in themselves (Atmaram), the only certain course for success declared unanimously by all the sages of yore, is the hearing, chanting, and meditation of the Glory of the Divine Name of Shri Hari."7


Tlie Holy Name of Shri Hari is the only refuge for all types of persons, be he a follower of the path of Karma, Juan, Yoga, Tapasya or Bhakti. For those practising devotion or  Bhakti, it is the most potential factor, the main

source of inspiration. To devotees who have ad-vanced in this path, it is the life of their lives, the most coveted object, the very pith and marrow of their existence. The Divine Name has a unique position. It is both the means as well as the end. It is the greatest benefactor both before and after God-realisation. It enables one to have the attainment of the High¬est Goal, viz., Divine Love or Shri Krishna Prem and It is also the manifestation of Shri Krishna Prem. Though we have often heard about the Holy Name, we know very little of Its Real Nature.


naama chintaamanih krishnas, chaitanya-rasa-vigrahah

purnah shuddho nitya-mukto, ’bhinnatvaan naama-naaminoh..8

(Padma Purana, Vishnu Dharma)


"The Name 'Krishna' is Chintamani - the Bestower of all objects of desire. It is an Embodiment of Divine Intelligence, Spiritual Ecstatic Bliss, All-Pure, Ever-Per-fect, absolutely free from any material nature and fully identical with the form or Svarupa i.e. Bhagavan Himself."..8


In the Transcendental Realm, there is no difference between tthe Lord, His Body or His Name. They are one and the same in all re­spects. The Name is identical and equipotent with the Lord. Likce a philosopher's stone, the Name "rants all the wishes of Its servilorss. It is not an object of the material world, and hence It is entirely outsuue the sphere of all empiric approach and is also incapable of any adlul-teration with Maya. In this material world, however, there is always a difference between an object and its name, form, attributes and actions.


Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Who Hooded the wholte of India by His unique Message of Divine Love and Nama-Sankiirtan and Who is accepted by one and all as the Promulgator of the cullt o\' Sankirtan speaks thus:-


"The Name of Shri Krishna and the Transcendental Forrm of Shri Krishna are identical. The Name, Form, the Holy Image, all the three are exactly the same. All these tlhree  are Transcendental by nature and hence there is not the least difference between Themi. Shri Krishna's Body is Shri Krishna Himself. There is no categorical difference between the lBody and the Being in the Transcendental Plane. So also with resspect to the Name and the Form or Svarup denoted by the Name:."9'


The above theory is not applicable to the material world. Here the word 'fire' is different from the object, i.e., fire denoted by the mame. Hence, even if you repeat the word 'fire' any number of times, iit never burns any portion of the body. The word 'water' is similarly (different from the object water. Repetition of word 'water', lacs of Itimes, does not quench a thirsty man, nor will it serve the purpose of putting out fire, etc. But, the case with the Holy Names of the Su­preme Lord is altogether different. The Name 'Rama', or the Name "Krishna', is not in any way different from the Divine Form denoted lby these Names. The identity of the Name with the Divine Form, i.e., Bhagavan Himself, is not a monopoly of a section amongst the Hin­dus alone. It is supported even by the other religions like Christian-iity, etc. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, <and the Word was God. (John, 4th Gospel, ch. 1, 1)." Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu further adds on this issue thus:- "Therefore, ithe Name, the Body and the Sportive Deeds of Shri Krishna are not subject to the understanding of human senses. They are Self-Effulgent :and Self-Revealing Truths."10


While corroborating the above statement, Shri Rupa Gosvami, in :his celebrated work 'Shri Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu' quotes the follow­ing Sloka from Padma Purana:-"Hence, Shri Krishna's Name, Form, Qualities and Lilas are be­yond the comprehension of human senses. When a Jiva actually realises that in his spiritual nature he is the eternal servant of Bhagavan Shri Krishna, then and then alone the  Transcendental Name, etc.,          spontaneously manifest Themselves in his spiritual sense-organs, such as the tongue, eyes, ears, etc. Shri Krishna's Qualities and His Sportive Deeds, the characteristic traits of His servitors, being eternal, spiritual and full of Transcendental Bliss are not comprehensible by the material forms, pleasures, odours, sounds and touch of fallen livas, slaves of the triple qualities of Sattva,Rajas, and Tamas."11


The Glory of the Transcendental Name and Its practice is inspiringly exemplified in the life of a great saint, who was one of the most favourite devotees of Shri Krishna Lord  ChaitanyaMahaprabhu. His marvellous life was the practice of the chanting of the Holy Name in living form before us. His ideal life in this field has won for him the epithet 'Namacharya' (practising teacher of the chanting of the Divine Name). By follow¬ing the great events of his career attentively, we are enlightened with full details on the above subject. The establishment of the Divine Dispensation for this age of Kali, i.e., 'Nama-Sankirtan' was one of the purposes of the Advent of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu into this world. Though He was the inspiring Fountain behind the activities of all His devotees, He fulfilled many of His purposes through the agency of His favourite agents. Thus, through the career of Namacharya Shri Haridas Thakur, He taught the world the Tran¬scendental Glories of the Holy Name, the way to practise the same and the final realisation of such practices.


The ideal lives and teachings of saints are a precious heritage for guiding the destinies of men and for inspiring them in their march forward to the attainment of Divine Bliss. We all| know that the lives of great men carry with

them, magnetic influence from which we can-s not often escape. Both in the mundane as well as in the spiritual realms, lives of great personalities, the hardships and the selfless sacrifices that they underwent for their respective causes, generate in the minds of men, an impetus to emulate ihem. Our country is flooded with the biographies of many eminent per-sons who have achieved their greatness, both in the physical and intellectual regions. These biographies somehow do not help humanity to achieve peace and happiness, nor do these settle the discord and chaos that are on the increase. Without the lives and teachings of saintly personages, the achievements of humanity must, indeed, be very poor. God-loving saints or Bhaktas who come down and move in this world, not for any selfish purpose of their own, but solely for the welfare of humanity, are none other than the agents of the Lord, deputed by Him for the express purpose of regeneration and uplift of all fallen souls. Thakur Haridas, a celebrated devotee of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, occupies a prominent position amongst the long line of devotees India can boast of.