Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shikshashtaka with Commentaties > 3. Humble Consciousness > Purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati


Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati

The living entity is by constitution an eternal servant of Lord Krishna, and therefore his eternal dharma is to chant the holy names of the Supreme Lord, whether he simply transits this material world or permanently enters the spiritual sky. There is no better means for humanity's all-round benefit and success other than chanting the holy name. Chanting brings good fortune to others and all-auspiciousness to oneself.


This shloka was spoken for the sole purpose of focusing how to avoid namaparadha and namabhasa in chanting. One whose intelligence shies away from Krishna and rushes instead towards the intoxicants of material enjoyment can never perceive his true infinitesimal stature. By nature, one who tries to be an enjoyer does not realize the reality of his insignificance; nor can he be tolerant. He is not at all inclined to give up his false ego and false prestige. A gross materilist is unwilling, even incapable of acknowledging anyone as an equal. The Vaishnava who experiences ecstasy in the Lord's is unwilling, even incapable of acknowledging anyone as an equal, the Vaishnava who experiences ecstasy in the Lord's name, on the other hand, is humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree, is unconcerned-even unwilling-to receive respect, but is eager to offer respect to others. Such an elevated soul alone is worthy of chanting constantly. When these pure souls offer their praise and worship to the guru and senior Vaishnavas, they do so out of manada. And when they give advice to disciples and sadhakas to chant, they encourage them with words of appreciation. In this case they exhibit their innate quality of amanina-desiring no respect or praise in return.


A pure devotee understands that these words of praise and appreciation are not empty mundane vauntings but acknowledgement of spiritual qualities; and if the foolish misinterpret this as mundane, then he tolerates their railings, thus exhibiting deep forbearance. This is his nature. The unalloyed Vaishnava, who chants offenselessly, considers himself to be lower than the straw in the street that is trampled by the walking masses. A true saint never thinks himself to be a Vaishnava or claims to be a guru. He regards himself humbly as a disciple of the whole world, and as the most meek and fallen soul. Knowing every atom and the infinitesimal spirit soul as the residence of Lord Krishna, he never mistreats anyone as his inferior. He is not wanting anything nor does he require anything from anyone. Even if others are envious and spiteful of him, he never retaliates; on the contrary, he prays for the well-being of his tormentors.

A pure devotee is faithful to his guru

The devotee who chants the holy name offenselessly never rejects the devotional process he received from his guru, nor introduces a new method, replacing the maha-mantra with some concocted and imaginary rhyme. A Vaishnava's humility cannot be doubted or challenged if he preaches the glories of the holy name and writes books, as long as he strictly adheres to the instructions of his guru. One who tries to cheat and deceive others, by making a show of humility although he lacks it just to gain cheap adoration is not truly humble. The maha-bhagavata who is constantly chanting does not see the material world as something for him to exploit for personal gain, but as diverse paraphernalia for rendering service to Lord Krishna His associates and devotees. He does not think that this world is his to enjoy. Although he becomes proficient in chanting he never considers giving up the maha-mantra. He is not interested in propagating new ideas and opinions. He realizes that to regard oneself as a guru of Vaishnava devotees strikes the death knell of his humility.


The plain truth is that one who does not heed Lord Chaitanya's instructions in the Shikshashtaka prayers is chasing after material gains. His sole intention is to satisfy his senses, thereby forgeting his true spiritual identity. He begins to hanker for recognition and the status of an elevated Vaishnava and guru, but the holy name can never be chanted by such offenders. Even an otherwise sincere and faithful disciple cannot become worthy of hearing and chanting the pure holy name if he hears from such an offender.