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Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam
The chanting of Lord Krishna's holy name is represented in four aspects: name, form, quality and pastime. Lord Krishna's holy name is the seed of all joy; for the holy name and the possessor of the name are non-different. In all respects, chanting the holy name is most beneficial for everyone and all. Therefore, the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Himself reveals all the super-excellent attributes of the holy name. In order to evoke everyone's sincere faith in the holy name, Lord Chaitanya prays: “O Lord! O Most Munificent One! Being compassionate upon seeing the destitute situation of the conditioned souls, of Your own accord You have manifested Your holy name, which is non-different from Yourself. Your holy names are of two types: principal and secondary. Hari, Krishna, Govinda, Acyuta, Rama, Ananta, Vishnu, etc., are Your principal names; while Brahma, Supersoul, Supreme Controller, Maintainer, Creator, Mahendra, etc., are Your secondary names.
You have invested all Your spiritual potencies and transcendental. qualities to the absolute degree in Your principal, a fact that is substantiated by innumerable scriptural statements, like these from the Vedas:
“My Lord, it is possible for one to be immediately cleansed from all material contaminations just by seeing You. What to speak of beholding You in person, merely by hearing Your Lordship's holy name but once, even candalas, the lowest of men, are freed from material contaminations.
“The amount of time that a dvija-brdhmana spends in studying and
reciting Vedic mantras, if utilized in chanting the Lord's name, even
indirectly, would yield more benefit. Of this there is no doubt. One who chants
these two syllables 'Ha' and 'ri' has already mastered the four Vedas: Rig,
Sama, Yajur and Atharva. One is therefore advised, not to spend time studying
the Vedas; he should simply chant the name of Govinda continuously.
And from Shrimad-Bhagavatam :
“O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of great spiritual authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are desirous solely of material enjoyment, those who are totally free from all material enjoyments, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.
“O Lord Vishnu Your holy name is fully spiritual, and it is self-manifested. If one chants the holy name knowing only a little of its vast glories, he gradually acquires perfect understanding of the subject. Lord Brahma, the first to propagate the transcendental sound om, the mere utterance of which liberates one from the dreadful dilema of death and nescience. Hence the vibration om is also known as tarak brahma.
“Any person who vibrates the holy name Hari just once without offence immediately becomes resolved to serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord unconditionally, and strives for liberation.
“Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs of the body stand on end.
“O venerable Bhrgu, the holy name of Krishna is sweeter than the sweetest honey, the most beneficial activity among all auspicious deeds. It is the eternal and mature transcendental fruit of the Vedic desire-fulfilling tree. Any person who utters this holy name but once, whether sincerely or casually, but without offenses, is instantaneously liberated.”
“O Arjuna! Truly I say unto you that anyone who chants My name, being devoted to Me, has certainly purchased Me. I become his property, fully dependent upon him.”
“Lord Krishna's holy name is like a touchstone gem, capable of fulfilling all desires. His name is directly the Lord Himself, and therefore non-different from Him. It is the complete whole, transcendental and eternally liberated, because Lord Krishna and His holy name are. the same in principle.”
“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name,
form, quality and pastimes of Shri Krishna through his materially contaminated
senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service
to the Lord are the transcendental names, form, quality and pastimes of the
Lord revealed to him.”
We can easily understand from these statements of different revealed scriptures that the holy name is endowed with unlimited spiritual potencies. Practice of karma, jnana and yoga always bound by specific rules and restrictions, and by the factors of time, place and circumstance. But in chanting and remembering the Lord's name there is no such consideration. This indeed is an example of the Lord's fathomless mercy.
In spite of what has been said, it is truly a matter of great regret that we cannot develop even a drop of attraction for the holy name, which is most magnanimous. The word durdaiva, or misfortune, is synonymous with offenses to the holy name, or namaparadha A concise summary of these offenses to the holy name is given below.
There are ten kinds of offenses against the holy name:
1) Criticizing and finding faults in devotees or sadhus is a serious offense against the holy name. How can the holy name tolerate criticism of devotees who have dedicated their lives to propagating the glories of the holy name? Offending sadhu or saintly persons is therefore the first offense.
2) Those who try to analyze transcendental subject matters with material intelligence falsely conclude that Lord Vishnu's, name, form, qualities and pastimes are different from the Lord Himself. They try to impose material characteristics upon spiritual matters, or they mistakenly equate demigods like Lord Siva, Brahma, etc., with the Supreme Lord, or even think that such demigods are independent of the Supreme Lord. Their chanting is offensive.
3) To consider the guru who is self-realized and perfected in the holy names as an ordinary mortal possessing a material and thus disobeying and disregarding him.
4) To criticize and find fault in the Vedic scriptures, as well as corollary transcendental literatures, such as the Puranas.
5) To consider the glories of the holy name as imaginary or exaggerated.
6) To consider the holy name to be fictitious or concocted.
7) One who comits sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name can never be exonerated from this offense by any process, including the practice of yoga, meditation, etc.
8) Only a person in illusion will think that mundane ritualistic activities, such as giving in charity, fasting, observing vows, renunciaton, austerity, etc., are on the same level as the transcendental activity of chanting the holy name.
9) It is also an offense to instruct a faithless person, averse to hearing the holy name, about the glories of the holy name.
10) If, even after hear the wonderful qualities of the holy name, one maintains material attachments, it is to be understood that he has not developed attraction or interest for chanting.
aaaaIt is imperative that a devotee avoid these ten offenses, or nämäparädha, in his chanting. One who is chanting should never try to counteract his sins or to accrue piety through ritualistic activities, because he is, in a sense, no longer eligible for, nor required to perform them. If perchance a devotee commits nämäparädha, then with an anguished heart full of contrition he should become eager to chant continuously, for this alone will uproot his previous offenses and also protect him from committing further offenses. The scriptures have unequivocally stated that chanting alone can absolve one of all offenses and sinful reactions. Hence chanting the holy name is the best shelter for everyone, because it removes the very desire to commit nämäparädha and gradually elevates one to the highest spiritual platform of krishna-prema.
When one is thus free from offenses, his attachment and attraction to the holy name will become ever-increasing, and he will soon attain complete perfection, which is synonymous with krishna-prema. This is Lord Chaitanya's second instruction.
As it is stated in Chaitanya-caitämrita [Antya-lila 20.17-19]:
“Because people vary in their desires, by Your mercy You have distributed various holy names. Regardless of time or place, one who chants the holy name, even while eating or sleeping, attains all perfection. You have invested Your full potency in such individual holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attachment for chanting Your holy names.”