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How to Greet and Address Devotees
Q: I have seen various forms of greetings while writing or when meeting in person. Kindly tell me what greetings should be followed when we meet physically and greet another devotee.
A. (by Swami Gaurangapada):
All forms of greetings are nice if they are composed of the Holy Names of God because it gives both the greeter and greeted a chance to chant and hear the Holy Names.
In Gauranga Dharma, the basic and standard greeting is Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! because it gives the essence of entire philosophy of Gauranga Dharma.
But since it is a little long, sometimes devotees may tend to shorten it to NG HK, GD etc. This is strictly prohibited because then they loose all the spiritual benefit in chanting the Holy Names. There is no spiritual benefit is saying NG, HK etc. Also we do not want ever that devotees talk about Gauranga Dharma by saying GD in short form or talk about Nityananda Gauranga by saying NG or Hare Krishna by saying HK or talk about us by saying SG. Please always use the full forms of the Names because the original purpose of chanting and making others hear the Holy Names is defeated. The name Gauranga Dharma is so that everyone gets the chance of chanting Lord Gauranga's Holy Name when they say Gauranga Dharma. So it should never ever be abbreviated to GD or similar short forms.
Each and every time when the devotees meet personally or each and every time when they talk to other devotees on the phone:
The devotees who greets first should say "Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!" and the second devotee or a group of devotees who respond to this first greeting should also say "Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!".
All other glorifications and pranams like Jaya Dhrila Gurudeva! Jaya Shrila Prabhupada! Jaya Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta! Jaya Shrila Bhaktivinoda! Jaya Swami Gaurangapada! Jaya Chaitanya Bhagavata! Jaya Navadvipa-Puri Dhama! Dandavats! Pranams! etc. can follow later after this main greeting as per the desire of the devotees but this basic main greeting is compulsory and should be done as many times we meet devotees even if we meet the same devotee a number of times in a day.
This is because without Nityananda Gauranga's Holy Names and Mercy, the offensive souls of Kali Yuga cannot factually utter Hare Krishna. Thus we have to give Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga and Their Holy Names due credit and recognition.