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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shikshashtaka with Commentaties > 2. All Potencies in the Name > Purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati


Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati

“O Lord, out of Your causeless mercy You have manifested Your innumerable names and empowered Them with Your own transcendental potencies. You have not imposed rigid rules for chanting and remembering these names, nor laid down conditions barring anyone from chanting or remembering Your name even during eating, reclining, or sleeping. But I am so wretched that I am not attracted to Your names.”


The word bahu, or 'many', indicates the two types of the Lord's holy names: principal and secondary. The principal names include Krishna, Radha-ramana and Gopijana-vallabha, which represent the loving conjugal mood of the Lord; the names Rama, Vasudeva, Narasimha, etc. address Him in opulent, reverential mood. Brahma, Supersoul (paramatma), etc., are His secondary names; they are incomplete, separated and partial. The Lord's principal names are non-different from Him, and possess all His energies; while the secondary names, represent His potencies in partial degree only.

The cause of material suffering

Because the spirit soul has turned away from the Lord, he has become imprisoned in maya's illusory and ephemeral kingdom, bringing down upon himself his great misfortune all due to his reluctance to render service to Shri Krishna. Anyabhilasita or material desires, karma and jnana lead to different degrees of mundane enjoyment, deluding the spirit soul into forgetting his real spiritual identity, or svarfipa, thus causing him to fall into a veritable whirlpool of misery. Under the spell of lusty desires, he becomes intoxicated with sensual pleasures; while pious activities goad him into yearning for temporary heavenly joys. Thus battered about between bhoga and tyaga, or indulgence and renunciation, he searches for release seeking absorption in the undifferentiated brahman. The soul's intrinsic nature and eternal duty is to serve Lord Krishna, but it has been obscured by the three impurities and as a result his good fortune is being slowly chiselled away. He becomes busy with mundane activities of religiosity, accumulating wealth and enjoying the senses. Or else he is: frustrated because he does not derive any satisfaction from committing impious immoral activities. Thus becoming the ignominious bearer of offences, when he attempts to chant the holy name he perpetrates 'nama aparadhas'. He is unable to chant Krishna's name purely, His chanting is offensive, for he cannot chant purely at this stage.


Faced with an awesomely chaotic future, where peace lies beyond his reach, the spirit soul strives for peace but without allowing lusty desires to harass him. He takes up chanting but unfortunately he is ignorant and unmindful of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord and His multifarious potencies. Chanting in this stage is not pure, but he has made a beginning; and he is chanting the 'shadow name' or namabhasa. His chanting is a mere semblance of the pure name. Namabhasa chanting helps sever mundane ties freeing him from the material concept of life. Now he becomes eligible to render transcendental devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Elevated souls, who are liberated and unafflicted by maya's onslaught, obtain pure love of Krishna through unblemished chanting. Seeing the ill-fated destiny of the conditioned souls, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advented, bringing with Him the transcendental process of chanting the holy name of the Lord. Instructing the conditioned souls on the holy name, He noticed their abject lack of interest in chanting. But inspite of this dire condition we find the ubiquitous and causeless mercy of the Lord always ready to give us succour.


There is indeed a way to escape the steely clutches of namaparadha. One must recognize and: isolate the offenses conscientiously avoiding them he most then chant continuously, this alone will keep namaparadha at bay. Namabhasa chanting elevates one to the platform of mukti, or liberation, freeing one from the influence of and dependence upon matter. Thereafter one becomes competent to chant the holy name purely. All these opportunities provided to us by the Supreme Lord indicate the unlimited, perennial flow of His compassion. Simply chanting the principal names of God brings about the highest and the only real benediction to all humanity.


When the jiva strives for insignificant and evanescent material results, he finds himself grappling with the stringent laws of nature and the inexorable influence of time. But for one who chants the holy names, the Supreme Lord removes all insurmountable obstacles by His causeless mercy. In the Chaitanya-Bhagavata [Madhya 28.28] we find this statement:


“Always remember to chant the holy name, whether sleeping, eating or waking.”

Again in Chaitanya-Bhagavata [Madhya 23.78]:

“There are no hard and fast rules for chanting, so chant always.”

This same instruction is repeated in the Chaitanya-caritamrita [Antya 20.18]:


“Regardless of time or place, one who chants the holy name, even while eating or sleeping, attains all perfection.”