Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-01-24 18:42:05
Title: Why is Nityananda Gauranga Naam required User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-13 15:46:06
Hare Krishna Maharaja, please accept my humble obeisances. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
I have one question concerning the chanting of the Nitai-Gauranga-mantra. From the quotations of the acarayas I can understand that it is bona fide to chant it but I don't exactly see the necessity to do so. In his book "Shri Guru and his Grace", Swami B.R. Sridhar is getting asked the question how one can attain the mercy of Lord Nityananda and he answers that by serving Gauranga, His dhama and His servants we can get the mercy. So my question is: Is not every service we do from the heart to Nitai-Gauranga on the absolute platform? Is the chanting not the same, seen on the spiritual level, like for example doing an aratik to Gaura-Nitai or sweeping the floor in Their temple? One argument might be that we are in Kali Yuga and that chanting of the Names of God is the yuga dharma. But still I wonder why Sridhara Maharaja is not mentioning it in the fist place. Thank you already in advance for answering this question. Your servant, Bhaktin Sabina.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Welcome to the first time on the forum. Thankyou for your question. The Acharyas like the Seventh Goswami Shrila Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura see an urgent necessity to chant the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas. Shrila Bhaktivinoda states there is no way for deliverance of the people of Kali Yuga except Gauranga Naam. And Shrila Prabhupada states in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that the chanting of Lord Gauranga's Name is more essential than the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. So we should accept the verdict of the Acharyas that there is an urgent necessity to chant the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra instead of trying to come to our own conclusion through logical analysis.
Shrila Shridhara Maharaja states that Lord Nityananda is pleased by serving Lord Gauranga and he also repeated in his Golden Volcano book that the best way to serve Lord Gauranga is to follow Lord Nityananda's principal instruction...bhaja gauranga, kaha gauranga, laha gaurangera naam re..."Worship Lord Gauranga by chanting and speaking His Holy Name constantly and become my life and soul." He says that Lord Nityananda Himself externally disobeyed Lord Gauranga's order to directly preach the the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in Bengal by first preaching the Holy Name of Gauranga because He knew that without chanting the offenseless Holy Name of Gauranga there is no way that conditioned fallen souls of Kali Yuga will get qualification to perform any other kind of devotional service to Lord Gauranga-Krishna including the chanting of Krishna Naam.
In regards to your actual question:
In the conditioned stage we are not on the absolute platform so all other devotional services are not on par with the chanting process. As Shrila Jiva Goswami says...naam sankirtana paramam prashastham..Chanting the Holy Names is the only specifically and supremely powerful form of devotional service in Kali Yuga and all other processes of devotional service get their strength and purity from the chanting of the Holy Names.
Even Lord Gauranga Himself Himself states in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata that He ideally does not accept any kind of devotional service or offering from any soul who does not chant 100,000 Holy Names in Kali Yuga. So it is clearly evident that the Supreme Lord Himself gives more importance to the chanting of His Holy Names than any other kind of devotional service to please Him. This we have to understand clearly.
Serving with sincere intentions from the heart is a very good and rare thing but till we cross the stage of anartha nivritti and chant offenselessly, the quality of all other devotional services is totally dependant on the quality and quantity of our chanting which is the most primary form of devotional service. Having a genuine desire to serve is good but pure devotional service is only possible when we have fully attained the transcendental platform by the continuous and offenseless chanting of the Holy Names. In the conditioned platform, devotional service rendered even with the best of intentions and sincerity will not please the Lord if it is not accompanied by the constant chanting of the Holy Names.
Shrila Prabhupada in the case of Shrila Haridasa Thakura and Shri Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada in the case of Shrila Akinchana Krishnadasa Babaji explained that because we cannot chant contantly since we do not have that taste, we engage in the other kinds of devotional services so that ultimately we can get taste to chant constantly one day.
Even the eternal residents of Goloka combine their direct devotional services to the Lord with the primary service of chanting and singing His Holy Names constantly to be able to please Him. So in the conditioned stage, chanting the Holy Names is the only means and pure devotional service is the goal. In the perfected stage, both the offenseless chanting of the Holy Names and the pure devotional service become the goals. Thus one is not able to render the pure devotional service unless one attains the stage of offenseless chanting of the Holy Names.
Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Hari Naam Chintamani states that there two kinds of spiritual practioners: (1) Those who simply focus on the constant chanting of the Holy Names like Shrila Haridasa Thakura. They are considered to be more advanced, elevated and qualified. (2) Those who render other kinds of devotional services like Diety worship etc. with the aim to attain taste for the chanting of the Holy Names. They are also sincere but they need the help of the other kinds of devotional services to gradually come to stage of constantly chanting the Holy Names.
Shrila BR Shridhara Maharaja in the Golden Volcano of Divine Love:
"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was merged in tasting the sweetness of Radha-Govinda lila, and diving deep into that reality, however, at the same time, He wanted to deliver all souls whose hearts had been devoured by the false notions of renunciation and exploitation. He ordered Nityananda Prabhu, 'Go to Bengal and try to deliver them-give them divine love for Radha and Krsna.'"
"He ordered Nityananda Prabhu to distribute divine love for Radha-Govinda, but instead, Nityananda began to preach about Sri Gauranga. He thought, 'It will be better for them to worship Gauranga; that will help free them from their offenses in their present position, and by doing so, they will automatically achieve a position in Radha-Govinda lila.' "
"He was ordered to preach the name of Krsna, but instead began to preach the name of Gauranga. So, for our own welfare, we bow down to Nityananda Prabhu with all our humility."