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Title: From Naam To Lila

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-01-20 19:11:51


From Naam To Lila

Article by Swami Gaurangapada


What follows is an attempt to scratch the surface of the deep ocean of the great science of the unfolding of the mercy of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in our hearts.


 The point is that by continuously chanting the Name more & more one gradually gets the qualification to think about Krishna's form, qualities & pastimes while chanting. And all of these merge with the Holy Name. The chanter will merge in an ocean of bliss. The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is like a lotus bud which opens gradually revealing all the secrets one by one. All these realizations are only possible by increasing your chanting quantitatively and qualitatively. At this point one gets qualified for smarana.


 From Vaishnava Ke by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura


  zrI dayitadAsa, kIrtanate Aza,

 kara uccaiH svare harinAma-rava

 kIrtana-prabhAve, smaraNa svabhAve

 se kAle bhajana-nirjana sambhava


....My dear mind, now let us loudly chant the holy names of so we can continuously remain in the ocean of transcendental nectar. The congregational chanting of the holy names awakens the transcendental quality of natural spontaneous loving remembrance of Lord (including the Lord's form, qualities and pastimes)...


 Till the time the form of Krishna appears while chanting the Name, one should not artificially try to think about the form, qualities or lila. One should loudly chant and simply try to hear the sound vibration. Everything will be revealed in the course of time.


 It is not a question of sitting or walking while chanting. It is a question of whether your chanting is offenseless or not. While walking & chanting an advanced devotee may also be absorbed in nama, rupa, guna & lila smarana depending on his advancement. Here we note that lila smarana includes nama, rupa & guna smarana, guna smarana includes nama & rupa smarana and so on.


 Even a small realization in nama or rupa smarana may make the devotee very very ecstatic and he may appear very advanced to other devotees.


   nAma smarile rUpa aiSe sange sange

 rUpa nAma bhinna naya nAce nAnA range


"When one remembers the Name, the form of the Lord appears along with the Name. And when one realizes that the Name and form are non-different then the Name dances on tongue enabling the chanter to taste a variety of ecstatic mellows." (From Hari-nama-cintamani)


There is a beautiful & rare extract from the Krama Sandarbha 7.5.18 by Shrila Jiva Goswami which describes this process in detail:


  tac-ca nAma-rUpa-guNa-lIlAmaya-zabdAnAM zrotasparzaH.


   "Hearing of the name, form, qualities, and pastimes of the Lord and His devotees is called zravaNa."


  prathamaM nAmnaH zravaNam-antaH-karaNa-zuddhyartham-pekSAm.


"The practice of sAdhana-bhakti depends on hearing the holy name. It begins with zravaNa, which purifies the heart of the devotee. This hearing process purifies the heart and gives liberation from the filthiness of sense gratification."


  zuddhe cAntaH-karaNe rUpa-zravena tad-udaya-yogyatA bhavati.


"In this way, by hearing transcendental sound about the form of KRSNa, gradually the complete form of the Lord awakens within the heart."


  samyudite ca rUpe guNAnAM sphuraNaM sampadyeta, sampanne ca


  "Then gradually the qualities of the Lord arise within the heart."


  guNAnAM sphuraNe parikara-vaiziSthyena tad-vaiziSthyaM


  "As His qualities fully manifest themselves, the different specific aspects of His service and pastimes gradually awaken."


  sampadyate tatas-teSu nAma-rUpa-guNa-parikareSu samyak sphuriteSu lIlAnAM sphuraNaM suSThu bhavati.


In this way, the holy name gradually reveals the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes in all their splendor and beauty and in all their different branches.


   Also Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta explains in his Upadeshavali:


24. As mundane thoughts arise while taking Harinama, one should not become discouraged. A secondary consequence of taking Harinama is that these useless mundane thoughts will gradually dissipate; therefore one should not worry about this. By dedicating one's mind, body, and words to serving Shri Nama and continuing to chant with great persistence, Shri Nama Prabhu will grant one darsana of His supremely auspicious transcendental form. And by continuing to chant until one's anarthas are fully eradicated, by the power of Shri Nama realization of His form, qualities and pastimes will automatically arise.


   Also it is explained by Prabhupada in NOI text 8 purp:


Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented as follows upon this verse: ".In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krishna-katha. This is called sravana-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krishna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krishna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering.


 Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krishna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krishna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krishna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life."


 Furthur elaboration on the sravana-dasa, varana-dasa, smaranavastha, sampatti-dasa is done by Thakura Bhaktivinoda in the Hari-nama-cintamani which is also a very detailed analysis.


 So I would personally suggest that if one wants to very quickly realize the above truths about the Holy Name, he should chant one lakh Names (64 rounds) everyday. This is not my suggestion. It is the instruction of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Chaitanya Bhagavata:


  prabhu bole-harinAma ei mahAmantra

 ihA japa giyA sabe kariyA nirbandha

 ihA haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabAra

 sarvakSaNa bala ithe vidhi nAhi Ara




  >From Hari-nama-cintamani:


  cAribAra mAlA phirile eka grantha haya.


  eka grantha niyama kariya kramazah vRddhi

 karite karite 16 granthe eka lakSa nAma nirbandha haibe.


  Samasta purvamahAjanagaNa prabhura ei Adeza pAlana kariya sarvasiddhi lAbha kariyAchilena.




 The laziness or apathy or jAdya in Krishna consciousness can also be eradicated by chanting a minimum of one nirbandha according to BVT in HNC:


  mane habe-Aja lakSanAma ye kariba

 krame krame tina lakSa nAma ye smariba

 mahAgraha habe citta nAmera saMkhyAya

 acire yAbe jADya sAdhura kRpAya


"When one's mind desires to chant one lakh Names daily and furthur desires to slowly increase it to three lakhs and when my mind becomes very attached to the number of rounds (sankhya) and pushes me to complete the sankhya everday then it is understood that very soon the laziness or apathy in chanting the Name will vanish by the mercy of the sadhus."


  Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati also mentions this in his Upadeshavali:


22. Bhagavan will not accept anything which is offered by a person who doesn't chant Harinama one-hundred thousand times daily and such a person is considered a 'patita'.


 23. By sincerely endeavoring to chant Harinama without offences and remaining fixed in chanting constantly, one's offences will fade and pure Harinama will arise on the tongue.


 Shrila Prabhupada made a concession for specifically his Western disciples who could not chant for a long time on their beads. Ofcourse the whole world is becoming Westernized atpresent but sometimes he did prescribe 64 rounds as a remedy to all problems and he never discouraged devotees who wanted to chant 64 rounds.


 "I am very glad to learn you are chanting 48 rounds. Actually it is all right that one should chant 64 rounds, even 16 rounds, so if one is able to chant more than 16 rounds up to 64, it is very good.


  You fix up your rounds. Try to increase it but never decrease it."


  Letter to: Indira (Iris Mendoza), Ekayani (Esther Mendoza), San Francisco 17 December, 1967


"I shall advise you again to chant always, increasing the counting, namely, 16 rounds is generally prescribed, but for the time being you can stop all other activities and increase the chanting to 64 rounds. Follow the rules and regulations strictly. If you want sex life, you are at liberty to get yourself married. But don't have illicit sex with some Maya's representative."


  Letter to: Bhaktijana, Los Angeles, 12 February, 1968


"Also, Bhaktijana is there in N.Y., he may be nicely treated as he has come back, so he will understand the philosophy nicely. I have asked him to chant 64 rounds instead of 16."


  Letter to: Brahmananda, Los Angeles, 15 February, 1968


  "Yes, it is very good if you can chant 64 rounds; this is very nice if you can do it."


  Letter to: Hamsaduta, Hawaii, 23 March, 1969


Title: Re: From Naam To Lila

User: Igor     Date: 2007-01-20 22:31:30


Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna

Dear Gurudeva, thank you so much for this article! It is wonderfull! You so clearly explained this most important subject! So nice! guru-mukha padma vakhya cittete koriya aykya!

:ty:Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna


Title: Re: From Naam To Lila

User: Unregistered   Date: 2007-01-21 15:19:37


Dear Swami Gaurangapada, thank you for this wonderful article which greatly encourages me to keep the ideal of 100,000 holy names and to actively work towards it. Just one question: what is "sarva-siddhi"?


Jaya Nityananda-Gauranga Naam!