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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > SG Translated and Main Scriptures > Maha Mantra Yoga > Ch 8 Daily Chanting of 64 Rounds (100,000 Holy Names) > Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata

Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata


In Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Antya Khanda 9.121-122, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed everyone on whose worship and service He will accept:

(121) prabhu bale,-“jana, ‘laksheshvara’ bali kare?
prati-dina laksha-nama ye grahana kare”

“Do you know who is a laksesvara? He is someone who chants one laksa or 100,000 holy names (64 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra) everyday."

Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

shri gaurasundera balibena-“jini pratidina laksha-nama grahana karibena, tanharai grihe bhagavan sevita hana.

Shri Gaurasundera spoke as follows-“The Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts service only in the home of those who chant one hundred thousand names daily.

“bhagavan tanharai nikate bhoga-dravyadi grahana karena.

“The Lord accepts bhoga (foodstuffs) and other ingredients only from such personalities.

“jini laksha-nama grahana karena na, tahara nikate haite bhagavan naivedya svikara-dvara seva-
saubhagya pradana karena na.

“Those who don’t chant 100,000 names (64 rounds) daily, are never awarded the great fortune of rendering service to the Lord by offering Him naivedya (bhoga). This is because the Lord never accepts (svikara) their offerings.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

This shows us that it is not a cheap thing to actually render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as you require the appropriate qualification to get admission into an university, the daily chanting of 64 rounds is the qualification required to render direct, acceptable and favourable service to the most merciful Lord Gaurasundera. (End)

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

“bhagavad-bhakta matrei pratyaha laksha-nama grahana karibena natuva vividha vishaye asakta haiya bhagavad-seva karite asamartha haibena.”

The Lord continued-“Those who consider themselves devotees of the Lord must compulsorily chant 100,000 names of Krishna everyday otherwise they will gradually but surely become attached to varieties of sense-objects and thus become incapable to rendering any kind of service to the Lord.”

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

In Kali-yuga, the senses are so strong that they are constantly attracted to the sense-objects. ‘Mantra’ means the transcendental sound vibration which frees (trayate) the mind from its attraction towards sense-objects and fixes it on Krishna. Just like a medicine which is the cure for the disease has to be taken in a particular dosage daily to be really effective, similarly the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra has to done in a minimum of one nirbandha (100,000 names) daily to have its full effect. This is the instruction of the Supreme Lord Himself as well as His pure devotees. They have demonstrated this by their own example.

If one does not fulfill this quota of chanting daily, then there is always the possibility of the mind being overcome by the urges of the senses and make an aspirant fall down from the spiritual path at any point of time, especially in this highly degraded age. Once the devotee falls down, he becomes disqualified in the matter of rendering service to the Lord. This is also confirmed in the Gita (14.26):

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena, bhakti-yogena sevate;
sa gunan samatityaitan, brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

“One who engages in full devotional service, without falling down in any circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of realizing brahma, My spiritual nature.”

An underdose of a medicine may not cure the disease completely and thus there is every possibility of relapse. This is the opinion of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and should be accepted at face value with great seriousness. Ofcourse if one is mechanically chanting 64 rounds daily simply to fulfill the quota without any attachment, then there is a likelihood that he may also face obstacles in his spiritual life. But there is a greater chance that he will be able to overcome the obstacles by the dint of his sincere adherence to the fixed quota of chanting 64 rounds daily.

Chanting and hearing 100,000 holy names of Gauranga daily is the minimum standard (fixed by Lord Gauranga) for hearing the spiritual sound vibration daily to counteract the evil effects of the all-pervasive material sound vibration. Any compromise on this minimum standard will surely make it more difficult for the spiritual aspirant to stay unaffected from the material sound vibration in the present age of Kali. That is why Shrila Prabhupada said that he has minimized the minimum from 64 to 16 rounds daily. Shrila Prabhupada had the choice of sticking to the 64 rounds standard which few would have been able to take up and follow immediately or to introduce many into this process of chanting by giving them a minimized quota of the minimum chanting in the form of 16 rounds (around 27,000 names) daily. Out of these 16-round chanters, sincere ones will be inspired to reach the ideal standard of 64 rounds daily. He chose the latter but he never minimized the importance of the former in any way, following in the foootsteps of his Guru Maharaja, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. (Purport ends)

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

tajjanyai shri chaitanyadevera ashrita sakalai nyuna kalpe laksha-nama grahana kariya thakena. natuva gaurasunderera udeshya pradatta naivedya tini grahana karibena na.

(Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada continues) “Therefore all the devotees who have taken shelter of Lord Chaitanyadeva perform the chanting of a minimum of 100,000 names of Krishna daily as their first and primary duty. Because they know that if they don’t do so then Lord Gaurasundera will never accept the very bhoga (naivedya) which they cook for Him daily.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

Shrila Prabhupada has said that the most important instruction of the spiritual master to the disciple in spiritual life is to complete the prescribed amount of chanting daily. (End)

(122) “se janera nama ami bali ‘laksheshvara’
tatha bhiksha amara, na yai anya ghara.”

“Lord Gauranga continued-I call such a person a laksheshvara. I only accept meals in such a person’s house. I never go anywhere else.”

Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

shri chaitanya bhaktagana abhaktera sahita sambhashana karena na. jini bhaktivyatita karma, jnana o anyabhilashara kathaya pradatta tahara sahita bandhutva karibe na.

“The devotees of Lord Shri Chaitanya never talk with such non-devotees. They never do friendship with those who are engaged in the cultivation of karma, jnana or other desires which are devoid of bhakti.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

By presenting this statement in this context, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura is indirectly hinting that those who do not chant laksha-nama daily have a good chance of getting entangled in karma (fruitive activities), jnana (speculative knowledge), and material desires and thus gradually become non-devotees. The next statement is even more clear. (End)

pratyah laksha-nama grahana na karile patita vyaktiganera vishaya-bhoga pravritti vriddhi paya, takhana ara tahara shri gaurasunderarera seva karite pare na.

“Those who don’t accept this vow of chanting 100,000 names daily, fall down even more although they were fallen in the first place (due to the contamination of Kali-yuga). Thus their propensity for enjoying the senses and sense-objects continually and steadily increases and ultimately they are not able to render any kind of service even to the most merciful Lord Gaurasundera.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

Shrila Sarasvati Thakura has conclusively established again that those who don’t chant laksha-nama (100,000 names) daily are sure to gradually fall down even from the service of the merciful Lord Gaurasundera. Then what to speak of being able to render service to Their Lordships Radha and Krishna, which demands even a more higher standard of purity. (End)

laksheshvara vyatita gaura-bhaktira adarsha
gaudiyajana kehai svikara karena na.

“This is the precise reason why the real Gaudiya-bhaktas do not accept any other ideal (adarsa) in Gaura-bhakti or Krishna-bhakti except the process of chanting 100,000 names of the maha-mantra daily.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

This is such a wonderful statement. The adarsha or ideal of anyone who claims to be a follower of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu should be laksha-nama-yajna or to complete the sacrifice of chanting 100,000 holy names (64 rounds) daily. And they should teach others also to aim for that ideal. This book is precisely meant to fulfill that aim. That is why this book will remain as an unique and everlasting contribution to the Gaudiya Vaishava literature. If this book will inspire even one person to achieve the platform of chanting 100,000 names of the Holy Names daily, then the effort in writing this book will be considered successful. (End)

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

adhapatita va adhapete gana eka-matra bhajana-sabda-vacya shri-nama-bhajane vimukhata-vashata laksha-nama grahana karibara parivarte anya bhajanera chalana korena,
taddvara tahadera kona mangala haya na.

“Those spiritual aspirants who are already fallen or will fall down from spiritual life in the future are averse to this sole means of deliverance called nama-bhajana, which is the worship of the sound incarnation of God in the form of chanting 100,000 names of the the Holy Names daily. Coming under the sway of their averseness to chant laksha-nama daily, they duplicitously invent (chalana) other means of devotional service (bhajana) to justify their not chanting 100,000 names daily but it is to be clearly understood that by this action they will not achieve anything auspicious (mangala) in their spiritual life.”

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

The conclusive statement of the Acharya in this purport is very striking, important and self-explanatory. We should be careful not to avoid the chanting of 64 rounds daily due to our averseness to the process of chanting. Sometimes maya creates an illusion by offering us so many other things to do rather than chanting 100,000 names daily. It may even be in the form of some other kind of devotional service. Maya makes the devotees think that any form of devotional service in the sadhana stage is the equal to the chanting and thus cheats them of the determination to complete the chanting of 100,000 names daily.

Maya is fully aware that if a spiritual aspirant sticks to the platform of chanting 64 rounds daily then such a person will become a pure lover of Gauranga-Krishna very soon by the dint of his constant chanting. After becoming a pure lover of Krishna, that pure devotee will start preaching very powerfully and deliver many others by giving them the pure names of Krishna. This is a big attack on Maya which makes her loose many of her victims. Thus Maya desperately creates heavy obstacles on the path of the sadhaka who is chanting or desires to chant and preach about the importance of chanting 64 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily. To be steadily successful in the laksha-nama-yajna, one has to be very careful to detect these tricks of Maya and completely ignore them. As Shrila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji used to say-“one should not sleep till one finishes chanting 100,000 or 200,000 names daily.” And one should constantly seek association and hear about the importance of chanting from the laksesvaras (64-round chanters) so that one always stays focussed on the real goal. Then and only then complete success is assured. (End)

Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata Madhya Khanda 15.5,

ushah kale ganga-snana kariya nirjane;
dui laksha krishna-nama laya pratidine.

Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:

kathita ache, shri haridasa thakura pratyaha tina-laksha nama grahana karitena. jagai-madhai u pratyaha dui laksha nama grahana karitena. yanhara pratyaha laksha nama grahana karena na, tanhadera nivedita kona vastui shri chaitanyadeva grahana karena na. shri caitany-carananucara-gana pratyaha atyalpa pakshe laksha-nama grahana avasyei kariya thakena, natuva shri krishna tanhadera naivedya grahana na karaya bhagavad-ucchishta-praptira vicare vyaghat ghate.

“It is well-known that Namacharya Shrila Haridasa Thakura used to chant 300,000 names daily. Jagai-Madhai also used to chant 200,000 names daily after being delivered by the Lord. Lord Chaitanyadeva does not accept any kind of offering (or vastu) from those who don’t chant 100,000 names of Krishna daily, The followers surrendered to the lotus of Lord Chaitanya compulsorily chant a bare minimum of 100,000 names daily. If they don’t do so Lord Shri Krishna will not accept any of their offerings and thus they will be obstructed or remain unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain the transcendental remanants (prasadam) of the Lord.”

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

This is a very dangerous position for a devotee. If a devotee is not able to obtain the remanants of the Lord, then his life is useless because he cannot conquer the illusory energy of the Lord (maya). According to Shri Uddhava in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.6.46:

ucchishta-bhojino dasas tava mayam jayema hi.

“Simply by decorating ourselves with the garlands, fragrant oils, clothes and ornaments that You have already enjoyed, and by eating the remnants of Your meals, we, Your servants, will indeed conquer Your illusory energy.”

According to Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, Lord Krishna as well as Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu will not accept any kind of offerings and devotional service including worship (puja), foodstuffs (bhoga), service (seva) etc. from a person who does not chant 64 rounds (100,000 names) of Krishna daily.

On the other hand Krishna says in the Gita (9.26):

patram pushpam phalam toyam, yo me bhaktya prayacchati;
tad aham bhakty-upahritam, ashnami prayatatmanah.

“If a devotee in a purified state offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will certainly accept it.”

So from the above verses and statements one can conclude that real purity and love and devotion to the Lord in Kali-yuga means to first and foremost complete the loud or soft chanting of 64 rounds (100,000 names) of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily. Then one will become qualified to directly offer foodstuffs or any kind of service to the Lord, with the guarantee that the Lord will accept it. This is what is takes to render pure devotional service to the Lord as per the strict instructions of the Lord Himself.

Ofcourse sometimes if a pure and dear devotee of the Lord petitions the Lord to kindly accept the service of less qualified devotees then the Lord agrees to it due to His love for His pure devotees. But still that does not minimize the original qualification required to render service to the Lord.

Similarly Shrila Prabhupada most mercifully engaged everyone in the service of Lord Gauranga and Lord Krishna with a minimum qualification of chanting 16 rounds of the maha-mantra everyday. Shrila Prabhupada always told us to chant atleast 16 rounds. The danger arises when that minimum qualification is considered the maximum and any effort to raise one’s platform to the actual standard is considered a deviation or is minimized or criticized by persons who do not take note of Shrila Prabhupada’s instructions on constant chanting and 64 rounds. This is indeed a very unfortunate situation and brings about great inauspiciousness in the society of devotees.

Also the less-qualified devotees (who are not able to chant 100,000 names daily) but have been engaged in the service of the Lord by the mercy of Shrila Prabhupada should be always aware of their actual position in this regard. They should feel happy and blissful at seeing some sincere devotee who manages to follow the ideal standard of 64 rounds daily & should themselves aspire to achieve that standard one day. In the Nectar of Instruction (Verse 5 purport), Shrila Prabhupada himself accepts the ‘patita’ (fallen) state of the people who are not able to chant 100,000 names daily. He goes on to say that:

“However, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to say that unless one chants at least sixty-four rounds of japa (one hundred thousand names), he is considered fallen (patita). According to his calculation, practically every one of us is fallen, but because we are trying to serve the Supreme Lord with all seriousness and without duplicity, we can expect the mercy of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is famous as patita-pavana, the deliverer of the fallen.”

For aspiring for the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the holy name, each and every devotee should feel that he or she is fallen (patita). Additionally the devotees who are not able to chant 64 rounds daily should have a high degree of respect for the 64-round chanters so that a healthy atmosphere is created in the society of devotees and everyone aspires to reach that standard one day. All kinds of encouragement should be given to those devotees who are trying to reach the ideal standard while discharging one’s preaching and occupational services. Shrila Prabhupada himself encouraged a new devotee Indira to increase the chanting from 48 to 64 rounds when other devotees were telling her to reduce it to 16 and do other services more. Ofcourse chanting of 64 rounds should not be an excuse for not doing anything else or becoming lazy in the name of spiritual life. Infact a sincere 64-round chanter can put in more quality and even quantity of other kinds of practical devotional service.

Especially the gurus, sannyasis, leaders, preachers etc. should very seriously aspire for the standard of chanting 64 rounds daily, so that they can give the taste which they cultivate by constant chanting to their spiritual dependants.

Shrila Prabhupada-lilamrita Chp. 49:

“Then a devotee said, ‘In America they are trying to chant more, twelve hours a day, trying to get a twenty-four-hour kirtana schedule.’ Yes, everywhere,’ Shrila Prabhupada said, ‘this chanting should go on. Instead of meetings, resolutions, dissolutions, revolutions, and then no solutions, there should be chanting.’”

If the leaders are immersed in the nectar of chanting the maha-mantra, it will minimize most of the problems which arise in the society of spiritual sadhakas. It will also prevent the problems from arising in the first place. Even one or a handful of preachers who have reached the platform of offenseless chanting by the process of constant chanting (minimum 64 rounds), are sufficient to flood the whole world with the pure message of Krishna consciousness as taught by Lord Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Shrila Prabhupada. (Purport ends)

In Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata Madhya Khanda 23.77, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu instructed all the people of Navadvipa:

prabhu bole,-“kahilan ei maha-mantra;
iha japa giya sabe koriya nirbandha.”

“Please hear this Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Everyone please chant this maha-mantra daily in ‘nirbandha’*. Then you will surely achieve all perfection.”

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

*Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains the meaning of ‘nirbandha’ in his classic book Hari-nama-cintamani as follows:

caribara mala phirile eka grantha haya. eka grantha niyama kariya kramashah vriddhi karite karite 16 granthe eka laksha nama nirbandha haibe.

[To chant one round (on mala of 108 beads) means to chant 108 times the full Hare Krishna maha-mantra]One grantha = 4 rounds
One nirbandha = 16 granthas = 64 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra = 100,000 Total Holy Names of the Lord.

“All the previous mahajanas (great devotees) without exception have achieved success only through this process of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in atleast one nirbandha (64 rounds) daily.”

So according to Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu is instructing everyone to chant atleast one nirbandha (64 rounds) of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra everyday, to ensure the achievement of perfection in this harinama-sankirtana yajna in Kali-yuga. Complete perfection has been achived by all the great devotees in the past specifically by strictly following this order of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu of completing the chanting of a minimum of 100,000 names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily without fail.