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Title: Hello vs Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-12 15:58:18
Nityananda!Gauranga!Hare Krishna!Jaya Srila Gurudeva Sri Swami Gaurangapa, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Gauranga Dharma devotees.
Please accept my greetings.
In one diary entry(March 2005)you posted an essay by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta:
"The holy name of Krishna means divine sound. It can be compared to a capsule of medicine.The capsule is not the medicine. Externally one capsule may look like another, but within one capsule may be medicine and within another may be cyanide. The capsule itself is not the medicine. It is not the sound of Krishna's name that is Krishna. Krishna is within the sound. The holy name must be surcharged with proper spirit not mundane sentiment."....."The mere physical sound is not the holy name of Krishna. Repeating only the syllables of the name is called mayic sound. It has no spiritual essence."
My question then is what benefit is there in hearing the holy names from someone such as me who is a neophyte that has no real love or realization of the Supreme Lord? Is it not just dead empty hallow sound that emanates from my lips when I when I greet people using the holy names. Is it not the same as saying "Hi" or "Hello"-I do not mean to minimize the potency of the holy names, it is not my intention to do so.
My second question concerns prashad. I understand that prashad cannot be contaminated as it is above the laws of nature it is not subject to decay and contamination like ordinary matter. If someone with contaminated hands-say blood from meat touches ones prashad or a meat eater happens to put a piece of carcass on ones plate on ones prashad then can one still take that prashad- will not honouring that prashad not be an offense?
-Aspiring to be your servant
Amala Gauranga dasa
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Amala Gauranga dasa,
Q. My question then is what benefit is there in hearing the holy names from someone such as me who is a neophyte that has no real love or realization of the Supreme Lord? - Amala Gauranga dasa, South Africa
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Your first question is quite relevant and may arise in the minds of many spiritual aspirants.
If you have no love and realization for the Lord, you will never ask such a question in the first place nor will you take up the daily chanting of His Holy Names or hear His pastimes. So the fact that you are doing both means that you do have some spiritual qualification which has made you to become inclined to chant His Holy Names.
Q. Is it not just dead empty hallow sound that emanates from my lips when I when I greet people using the holy names.
Let us discuss the following quote by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:
"The holy name must be surcharged with proper spirit not mundane sentiment......The mere physical sound is not the holy name of Krishna. Repeating only the syllables of the name is called mayic sound. It has no spiritual essence."
Here Shrila Sarasvati Prabhupada talks about the sound of the Holy Names emanated from the mouth of a person who is envious of God or wants to become God and has no sambandha relationship with the Lord through the medium of the spiritual master. Basically he is talking about an atheist or a demoniac class of person who has no clue to the philosophy and position of the Lord and one who has never sincerely associated with the devotees of the Lord. Even if such a person chants the Holy Names unknowingly or for a different reason, he or she destroys all their sins and may attain some pious sukriti benefit personally, but his or her chanting may not be able to greatly benefit others who hear it as the chanter itself does not have faith in the efficacy of the chanting. The bottom line is that the benefit which you can give to others while chanting the Holy Names is directly proportional to the faith you have in the Holy Names. If you have 5% faith in the Holy Names, you will give 5% benefit to others through your chanting and so on.
But of course this consideration is more applicable for Lord Krishna's Holy Names whereas the Holy Names of Lords Nityananda Gauranga are more liberal and even if they are heard from the lips of an offensive chanter, they will have maximum effect as they do not consider the qualifications of the giver as well as the recipient.
Q. Is it not the same as saying "Hi" or "Hello"-I do not mean to minimize the potency of the holy names, it is not my intention to do so.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Never. The Holy Names chanted by even an offensive person can destroy the sins of those who hear and grant them some auspiciousness though not the highest platform. The only exception is the Mayavadis whose chanting of the Name is pratibimba-namabhasa which means that it has no efficacy but harmful to them as well as those who hear because they chant God's Name to become God by usurping God's position. Their chanting is in fact offensive and what the Holy Name does is that the Nama Prabhu grants the Mayavadis sayujya mukti(impersonal liberation) which is actually a permanent fall down and setback on the path attaining the spiritual Vaikuntha planets. In this way due to their offensive chanting, the Mayavadis get stuck in the impersonal brahman effulgence for trillions of years and thus loosing the opportunity to enter into the spiritual planets and direct associate and serve the Lord face to face.
Q. My second question concerns prasad. I understand that prasad cannot be contaminated as it is above the laws of nature it is not subject to decay and contamination like ordinary matter. If someone with contaminated hands-say blood from meat touches ones prasad or a meat eater happens to put a piece of carcass on ones plate on ones prasad then can one still take that prasad- will not honoring that prasad not be an offense? - Amala Gauranga dasa, South Africa.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: I doubt you will ever face a situation where someone will put a carcass on your plate of prasadam. But even if a meat eater distributes prasadam then it should be accepted. Of course it is understood that a devotee has cooked and offered that prasadam to the Lord not that meat eater otherwise it is not prasadam in the first place because the Lord does not accept any offerings from meat eaters.
sushkam paryushitam vapi, nitam va dura-desatah
prapti-matrena bhoktavyam, natra kala-vicarana
"One should eat the maha-prasadam of the Lord immediately upon receiving it, even though it is dried up, stale or brought from a distant country. One should consider neither time nor place."
The above is the verse from the Puranas quoted by Shrila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya in the direct presence of the Supreme Lord Gauranga in Shri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.6.225)