|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 23. Prameya: Sri-Nama-Tattva|
C H A P T E R 2 3
Bilva-puskarini is a charming village where Bhagavati Bhagirathi
flows in both the northern and western directions. In one
corner of the village, there is a beautiful lake surrounded by bael
trees. On the shore of the lake is the Bilva-paksa Mahadeva Temple,
and Bhavatarana is splendidly situated a little distant from this
temple. The village of Simuliya is between Bilva-puskarini and
Brahmana-puskarini, and all three villages are within the town of
Navadvipa. A wide road leads through the center of Bilva-puskarini,
and Vrajanatha's house is on this road towards the north.
Vijaya Kumara had bidden his sister farewell and walked for some
distance, but on the way he began to think that it would be fitting
to learn shri-nama-tattva from Babaji before he went home. Thinking
like this, he returned to Bilva-puskarini, and said to his sister,
"I will stay here for one or two more days, and then I will return
Vrajanatha became very happy to see his maternal uncle Vijaya
Kumara return. They sat together in the Candi-mandapa and
began discussing the instructions of Dasa-mula. By now,
Suryadeva was preparing to set on the western horizon, and the
birds were quickly flying towards their nests. Just at that time,
two Vaishnava sadhus from the Shri Ramanuja-sampradaya arrived.
They put their asana beneath a jackfruit tree in front of
Vrajanatha's house, collected some sticks from here and there,
and lit a fire. Their foreheads were beautifully adorned with the
tilaka of the Shri Sampradaya, and a sublime peace emanated from
Vrajanatha's mother was very hospitable towards guests.
Knowing that they must be hungry, she collected various kinds
of edible ingredients, and placed them before the sadhus, requesting
them to cook and eat. They were satisfied, and began to prepare
their rotis. When Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara saw these
Vaishnavas' peaceful faces, they came and sat with them. Both
Vaishnavas were very pleased to see tulasi-malas on the necks of
Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara, and the twelve marks of tilaka on
their bodies. Spreading their blanket out more, they very respectfully
had them sit down.
In order to become acquainted with them Vrajanatha asked,
"Maharaja, where are you coming from?"
One of the babajis answered, "We have come from Ayodhya. For
many days, we have wanted to take darsana of Shri Navadvipadhama,
the pastime place of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We are so
fortunate that by Bhagavan's mercy we have arrived in Shri
Navadvipa-dhama today. We would like to stay here for a few days
and take darsana of the pastime places of Shriman Mahaprabhu.
"You have certainly arrived in Shri Navadvipa," said Vrajanatha.
"You should rest here today, and take darsana of Shriman
Mahaprabhu's birthplace, and of Shrivasangana." When these two
Vaishnavas heard Vrajanatha's words, they became very blissful and
recited a sloka from the Gita (15.6).
yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama
When one goes to My abode, he does not have to return to
"Today our lives have become blessed. We have become blessed
by taking darsana of Shri Mayatirtha, which is the chief holy place
of the seven Puris."
Thereafter, both Vaishnavas reflected on artha-pancaka, and presented
Shri Ramanuja's views on these five subjects: sva-svarupa,
para-svarupa, upaya-svarupa, purusartha-svarupa and virodhisvarupa.
Upon hearing these topics, Vijaya Kumara in turn explained
tattva-traya, that is to say, he spoke on Isvara, jiva, prakrti
and their interrelationship. After some time, he said, "What is
the siddhanta in your sampradaya regarding shri-nama-tattva?"
However, Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara were not very impressed
or appreciative of the reply that the two Vaishnavas' gave.
Thereafter, Vrajanatha said to Vijaya Kumara, "Mamaji, after
much deliberation I have concluded that the jiva can only find
his welfare by accepting krishna-nama; there is no other way. The
Lord of our life, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, has descended to this
Mayatirtha to teach suddha-krishna-nama in the world. When Shri
Gurudeva last instructed us, he said that shri-nama is the foremost
of all of the angas of bhakti and that we must make a separate
attempt to understand nama-tattva. So let us go this very day and
try to understand shri-nama-tattva conclusively." Then, after taking
care of the needs of the guests, they departed.
The sandhya had arrived, and darkness was spreading. In
Shrivasangana, Shri Bhagavan's sandhya-arati had begun, and the
Vaishnavas were sitting on the platform of the bakula tree. The
elderly Raghunatha dasa Babaji was also sitting there in their
midst, chanting nama on his tulasi mala and keeping count
(sankhya-purvaka). Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara offered sastangapranama
at his feet, and Babaji Mahasaya embraced them, saying,
"Is the bliss of your bhajana increasing?"
Vijaya Kumara folded his hands and said, "Prabhu, by your mercy,
we are well in all respects. Now, kindly bestow your mercy on us
this evening and instruct us on nama-tattva."
Being very pleased, Babaji Maharaja replied, "Shri Bhagavan has
two kinds of names: His primary names (mukhya-nama) and His
secondary names (gauna-nama). Names such as the Srsti-karta
(Creator), Jagat-pata (Protector of the universe), Visva-niyanta
(Controller of the universe), Visva-palaka (Maintainer of the universe),
and Paramatma (Supersoul) are related to the creation
within the shelter of the material modes. These are called gauna
(secondary), because they are related to the gunas (modes of material
nature). There are many such gauna names, including names
such as brahma. Although their fruit is extremely great, they do
not easily yield a transcendental result (cit-phala).
The names that are always present both in the spiritual and
material worlds are spiritual and primary. For example, names such
as Narayana, Vasudeva, Janardana, Hrsikesa, Hari, Acyuta,
Govinda, Gopala, and Rama are all primary. These names are
present in Bhagavan's abode (bhagavad-dhama), and are one with
His form (bhagavat-svarupa). In the material world, these names
only dance on the tongues of very fortunate people to whose bhakti
they are attracted. Shri-bhagavan-nama has no connection at all
with the material world, and all the saktis of Bhagavan's form
(bhagavat-svarupa) are present in shri-nama. Therefore, the names
also possess all these saktis. They have descended into the material
world and are engaged in destroying maya. The jivas have no friend
in this material world except for hari-nama. In the Brhan-naradiya
Purana, hari-nama is said to be the only way.
harer namaiva namaiva namaiva mama jivanam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
Brhan-naradiya Purana (38.126)
Meditation is the predominant process for perfection in
Satya-yuga, yajna (sacrifice) in Treta-yuga, and arcana
(Deity worship) in Dvapara-yuga. But in Kali-yuga harinama
is my only life, hari-nama is my only life, hari-nama is
my only life. In Kali-yuga, other than shri-hari-nama, there
is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other
Hari-nama has unlimited great and wonderful sakti which can
destroy all kinds of sins within a moment.
avesenapi yan-namni kirttite sarva-patakaih
puman vimucyate sadyah simha-trastair mrgair iva
Garuda Purana (232.12)
A person who performs the kirtana of Shri Narayana with
absorption becomes at once freed from all sins. They fly away
from him just like frightened deer who hear the roar of a lion.
When one takes shelter of shri-hari-nama, all his miseries and
all kinds of diseases disappear.
adhayo vyadhayo yasya smaranan nama-kirttanat
tadaiva vilayam yanti tam anantam namamy aham
I offer obeisances to the supreme Lord, who is known as
Anantadeva. Remembering Him and chanting His name
immediately dispels all kinds of diseases and miseries
One who performs hari-nama purifies his family, his society and
the whole world.
mahapataka-yukto'pi kirttayann anisam harim
suddhantah karano bhutva jayate pankti-pavanah
Even if one is very sinful, if he constantly performs harinama,
his heart becomes pure, he attains twice-born status,
and he purifies the whole world.
One who is dedicated to shri-hari-nama is relieved of all unhappiness,
all disturbances, and all kinds of disease.
santi-dam sarva-ristanam harer namanukirttanam
When one performs shri-hari-nama-kirtana, all kinds of diseases
go away, all kinds of disturbances are appeased, all kinds
of obstacles are destroyed, and one attains supreme peace.
The degrading qualities of Kali cannot affect one who chants
hare kesava govinda vasudeva jaganmaya
itirayanti ye nityam na hi tan badhate kalih
Kali cannot cause any impediment, even for a moment, to
those who perform constant kirtana, chanting "O Hare! O
Govinda! O Kesava! O Vasudeva! O Jaganmaya!"
One who hears shri-hari-nama becomes liberated from hell.
yatha yatha harer nama kirttayanti sma narakah
tatha tatha harau bhaktim udvahanto divam yayuh
If even the residents of hell chant hari-nama, they achieve
hari-bhakti, and enter within the divine abode.
Chanting hari-nama destroys prarabdha-karma (the results of
past pious or impious activity which is now bearing fruit).
yan namadheyam mriyamana aturah
patan skhalan va vivaso grnan puman
vimukta-karmargala uttamam gatim
prapnoti yaksyanti na tam kalau janah
If a human being helplessly chants just one name of Shri
Bhagavan at the time of death, in an afflicted situation, or
when falling down or slipping, all the bondage of his karma
is destroyed and he will obtain the highest goal. But alas!
Due to the influence of Kali-yuga, people do not worship
Hari-nama-kirtana is more glorious and beneficial than studying
ma rco ma yajus tata ma sama patha kincana
govindeti harer nama geyam gayasva nityasah
There is no need to study and teach the Rg, Sama and Yajur
Vedas, and so on. Simply perform constant sankirtana of Shri
Hari's name, Govinda.
Performing hari-nama is better than visiting all tirthas (holy
tirtha-koti-sahasrani tirtha-koti-satani ca
tani sarvany avapnoti visnor namani kirttanat
Kirtana of Shri Vishnu's names gives all the results obtained
by going to millions of tirthas.
Even a dim glimmer of hari-nama (hari-namabhasa) gives unlimitedly
more results than all kinds of sat-karma (pious fruitive activities).
go-koti-danam grahane khagasya
govinda-kirter na samam satamsaih
One may give cows in charity on the day of a solar eclipse;
one may reside in Prayaga on the banks of the Ganga for a
kalpa; or one may perform thousands of yajnas, and give in
charity a mountain of gold as high as Mount Sumeru. Still,
all these cannot even be compared with a one-hundredth
particle of shri-govinda-kirtana.
Hari-nama can yield all kinds of benefits (artha).
etat sad-varga-haranam ripu-nigrahanam param
adhyatma-mulam etad dhi visnor namanukirttanam
Sankirtana of Shri Vishnu's names conquers the six senses and
the six enemies (beginning with kama and krodha) and is
the root of knowledge of the Supreme Self.
Hari-nama is invested with all sakti.
dana-vrata-tapas-tirtha-ksetradinan ca yah sthitah
saktayo deva mahatam sarva-papaharah subhah
akrsya harina sarvah sthapita svesu namasu
There are so many auspicious qualities within charity
(dana), vows (vrata), austerity (tapa), the holy places (tirthaksetras),
the devatas, within all kinds of sin-removing
righteous activities, in the aggregate of all powers (saktis),
in the Rajasuya and Asvamedha sacrifices, and in the goal
of knowledge of the identity of the self (jnana-sadhya of
atma-vastu). However, Shri Hari has assembled all of these
potencies and invested them within His own names.
Shri-hari-nama gives bliss to the whole world.
sthane hrsikesa tava prakirttya / jagat prahrsyaty anurajyate ca
O Hrsikesa, the world becomes delighted on hearing the
kirtana of Your name and fame, and thus everyone becomes
attached to You.
One who chants shri-hari-nama is worshipable in the world.
narayana jagannatha vasudeva janardana
itirayanti ye nityam te vai sarvatra vanditah
Those who always perform kirtana, chanting "O Narayana!
O Jagannatha! O Vasudeva! O Janardana!" are worshiped
everywhere in the world.
Shri-hari-nama is the only method for those who have no way.
ananya-gatayo marttya bhogino' pi parantapah
sarva-dharmojjhitah visnor nama-matraika-jalpakah
sukhena yam gatim yanti na tam sarve' pi dharmikah
Those who simply perform kirtana of Shri Vishnu's name may
do so because they have no other means of support, and
they may be absorbed in sense enjoyment. They may be
troublesome to others, bereft of celibacy and other virtues,
and outside all dharma. Still, the destination that they
achieve cannot be attained by all the combined efforts of
Hari-nama can be performed at all times and under all circumstances.
na desa-niyamas tasmin na kala-niyamas tatha
nocchistadau nisedho'sti shri-harer namni lubdhaka
O you who are greedy for shri-hari-nama, there is no rule of
time and place for kirtana of shri-hari-nama. One may perform
hari-nama-kirtana in any condition, whether one is
purified or contaminated, for example, if one's mouth is
not clean after eating.
Hari-nama certainly gives mukti very easily to one who desires
narayanacyutananta-vasudeveti yo narah
satatam kirttayed bhuvi yati mal-layatam sa hi
The person who wanders about the earth always chanting
the names Narayana, Ananta, Acyuta and Vasudeva will
go with Me to My planet.
kim karisyati sankhyena kim yogair nara-nayaka
muktim icchasi rajendra kuru govinda-kirttanam
O best of men, what benefit can one derive from studying
sankhya philosophy or practicing astanga-yoga? O King, if
you desire liberation, just perform Shri Govinda's kirtana.
Hari-nama enables the jivas to attain Vaikuntha.
sarvatra sarva-kalesu ye'pi kurvanti patakam
nama-sankirttanam krtva yanti visnoh param padam
Even one who has performed sinful activities always and
everywhere attains the supreme abode of Vishnu if he
Chanting hari-nama is the topmost means of pleasing Shri
nama-sankirttanam visnoh ksut-trt-prapiditadisu
karoti satatam vipras tasya prito hy adhoksajah
O brahmanas! Adhoksaja Vishnu remains very satisfied with
those who incessantly perform sankirtana of Vishnu's name,
even when troubled by hunger and thirst.
Hari-nama has the sakti to control Shri Bhagavan.
rnam etat pravrddham me hrdayan nasarpati
yad-govindeti cukrosa krishna mam dura-vasinam
When I was far away from Draupadi, she called out to Me,
"Ha Govinda!" I am very much indebted to her for her
distressed call, and I have not been able to remove that
debt from My heart even today.
Hari-nama is the purusartha (supreme goal of life) for the jivas.
idam eva hi mangalyam etad eva dhanarjanam
jivitasya phalan caitad yad damodara-kirttanam
Skanda and Padma Puranas
Kirtana of Damodara, is certainly the cause of all
auspiciousness, and the source of real wealth. The only
benifit of having life is to perform such kirtana.
Hari-nama-kirtana is the best of all the different kinds of bhaktisadhana.
agha-cchit-smaranam visnor bahv-ayasena sadhyate
ostha-spandana-matrena kirttanam tu tato varam
Shri-visnu-smaranam destroys all sins but is attained only
after much endevor. Vishnu-kirtana, however, is superior
because the same benefit is attained simply by vibrating
shri-nama upon one's lips.
yad-abhyarcya harim bhaktya krte kratu-satair api
phalam prapnoty avikalam kalau govinda-kirttanam
The same entire benefit obtained by performing hundreds
of yajnas in Satya-yuga, can be achieved in Kali-yuga by
performing kirtana of Shri Govinda's names.
krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih
dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirttanat
Simply performing kirtana of Shri Hari's Nama in Kali-yuga
gives the same results as those that are achieved by
meditating on Bhagavan in Satya-yuga, by worshiping Him
with great yajnas in Treta-yuga, and by performing formal
Deity worship in Dvapara-yuga.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I have full faith that hari-nama is completely
spiritual, but still, in order to be free from doubts with regard to
nama-tattva, it is necessary to understand how shri-hari-nama can
be spiritual, when it is composed of syllables (which are apparently
material). Will you please clarify this point?
Babaji: The svarupa (nature and form) of shri-nama has been explained
in the Padma Purana.
nama cintamanih krishnas chaitanya-rasa-vigrahah
purnah suddho nitya-mukto 'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh
Shri-krishna-nama is cintamani-svarupa. This means that it
awards the supreme goal of life and all transcendental good
fortune. This is because shri-hari-nama is non-different
from Him who possesses shri-nama. For the same reason shridivya-
nama is the very form of mellows (chaitanya-rasasvarupa),
and is complete, pure, and eternally liberated
from contact with maya.
Shri-nama and shri-nami (He who possesses shri-nama) are nondifferent
in tattva. Therefore, shri-krishna-nama has all the spiritual
qualities present in Krishna Himself, the possessor of shri-nama. Shrinama
is always the complete truth, and has no contact with dull
matter. He is eternally liberated, because He is never bound by
material modes. Shri-krishna-nama is Krishna Himself, and that is why
He is the personified form of the aggregate wealth of transcendental
mellows. Shri-hari-nama is a wish-fulfilling gem (cintamani),
and thus can award all that one desires from Him.
Vijaya: How can the syllables of shri-hari-nama be beyond the realm
of illusory, material words?
Babaji: Hari-nama has not taken birth in the material world. The
conscious, spark-like jiva is qualified to utter hari-nama when he
is situated in his pure, spiritual form. However, he cannot perform
pure hari-nama with his material senses which are bound by
maya. When the jiva obtains the mercy of the hladini-sakti, then
the activity of realizing his svarupa begins, and suddha-nama arises
at that time. When suddha-nama appears, He mercifully descends
on the mental faculty, and dances on the tongue which has been
purified through the practice of bhakti. Shri-hari-nama is not a form
of letters, but when He dances on the material tongue, He is
manifest in the form of letters; that is the secret of krishna-nama.
Vijaya: Which name is the sweetest of all the primary holy names?
Babaji: The Sata-nama-stotra says,
visnor ekaikam namapi sarva-vedadhikam matam
tadrk-nama sahasrena rama-nama-samam smrtam
Chanting one name of Vishnu gives more benefit than
studying all the Vedas, and one name of Rama is equal to a
thousand names (sahasra-nama) of Vishnu.
Again, it is stated in the Brahmanda Purana,
sahasra-namnam punyanam trir avrttya tu yat phalam
ekavrttya tu krishnasya namaikam tat prayacchati
If one utters shri-krishna-nama once, one obtains the same
result that comes from chanting the pure visnu-sahasranama
The purport is that a thousand names of Vishnu equals one name
of Rama, and three thousand names of Vishnu - that is to say, three
names of Rama - equals one name of Krishna. Chanting Krishna's
name once gives the same result as chanting Rama's name three
Shri-krishna-nama is certainly the supreme name. Therefore, we
should follow the instruction of the Lord of our life, Shri Gauranga
Sundara, and always take shri-nama as He has given it: Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
Vijaya: What is the process of hari-nama-sadhana?
Babaji: One should constantly perform hari-nama by counting the
names properly on a tulasi-mala or in the absence of that, counting
on the fingers. One should always stay far away from offenses. The
fruit of shri-hari-nama-krishna-prema-is attained by chanting
suddha-nama. The purpose of keeping count is for the sadhaka to
understand whether his practice of shri-hari-nama is increasing or
diminishing. Tulasi-devi is very dear to Hari, so touching her while
taking hari-nama means that hari-nama bestows more benefit.
When one is practicing nama, one should understand that shrikrishna-
nama is non-different from His svarupa (eternal, intrinsic
Vijaya: Prabhu, there are nine or sixty-four different angas of
sadhana, but chanting shri-hari-nama is only one form. If one is
always practicing nama, how can one have time for the other forms
Babaji: That is not difficult. The sixty-four different angas of bhakti
are all contained within the nine-fold process of bhakti. The nine
angas of bhakti, whether in the worship (arcana) of shri-murti (the
Deity) or in nirjana-sadhana,1 can be performed anywhere. Simply
by the pure hearing, chanting, and remembering of shri-krishna-nama
in front of shri-murti, one has accomplished nama-sadhana. Where
there is no murti, simply remember the murti, and perform sadhana
to that murti with the limbs of navadha (nine-fold) bhakti, in the
form of hearing and chanting shri-nama, etc. One who is fortunate
enough to have special ruci for nama always performs nama-kirtana.
Thus, he automatically follows all the angas of bhakti. Shri-namakirtana
is the most powerful of all the nine processes of sadhana:
sravanam kirtanam etc. During kirtana, all the other angas are
present, although they may not be evident.
Vijaya: How is it possible to perform continuous nama-sankirtana?
Babaji: Continuous nama-kirtana means performing kirtana of shrihari-
nama at all times, while sitting, getting up, eating, or working,
except when sleeping. In nama-sadhana there is no prohibition
regarding time, place, situation or cleanliness. That is, one
may be in a pure or impure condition.
Vijaya: Oh, the mercy of nama-bhagavan is unlimited, but we have
no hope of becoming Vaishnavas until you give us your mercy and
bestow upon us the power to perform nama constantly.
Babaji: I have already explained that there are three kinds of
Vaishnava: kanistha, madhyama, and uttama. Shri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu told Satyaraja Khan that anyone who takes krishnanama
is a Vaishnava. One who constantly takes krishna-nama is a
madhyama Vaishnava, and the uttama Vaishnava is he whose very
sight makes krishna-nama appear spontaneously in one's mouth.
Since you sometimes take krishna-nama with faith, you have already
obtained the position of a Vaishnava.
Vijaya: Please tell us whatever else we should know about suddhakrishna-
Babaji: Suddha-krishna-nama is krishna-nama that has arisen through
undivided bhakti resulting from full faith. Other than that, the
chanting of shri-nama will be experienced as either namabhasa or
Vijaya: Prabhu, should we understand that hari-nama is sadhya
(the aim and purpose) or sadhana (the means)?
Babaji: When one takes hari-nama in the course of sadhana-bhakti,
that nama can be called sadhana. However, when the bhakta takes
hari-nama in the course of bhava-bhakti or prema-bhakti, that
manifestation of shri-hari-nama is sadhya-vastu, or the aim and
object of practice. The sadhaka's realization of the contraction
or expansion of shri-hari-nama will depend on his level of bhakti.
Vijaya: Is there a difference in the experience of krishna-nama and
Babaji: No, there is no difference in the experience, but one should
understand the confidential secret that krishna-nama is more merciful
than krishna-svarupa. Krishna's svarupa (form) does not forgive
whatever offense is made to Him, but krishna-nama forgives both
offenses committed to the svarupa and offenses committed towards
Himself. When you take nama, you should understand the namaaparadhas
very clearly and try to avoid them, because you cannot
chant suddha-nama until you stop committing offenses. The next
time you come, we will discuss nama-aparadha.
When Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara had learned about the
glories of nama and nama-svarupa-tattva, they took Shri Gurudeva's
footdust, and slowly returned to Bilva-puskarini.
THUS ENDS THE TWENTY-THIRD CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,