Mahanidhi Swami

 

If a devotee can think, feel, act and become one with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s success formula, he/she will NEVER COMMIT NAMA APARADHA, and very soon attain Krishna prema.

Raising His beautiful golden arms into the sky, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu loudly declared, “Everyone please hear me! String the following verse on the thread of the Divine Name and wear it on your neck for continuous remembrance, ūrdhva-bāhu kari’ kahoṅ, śuna sarva-loka, nāma-sūtre gāṅthi’ para, kaṇṭhe ei śloka

“And if you take Krishna Nama in this way, I guarantee that pure love for Sri Krishna’s lotus feet will manifest in your heart, ei-mata hañā yei, kṛṣṇa-nāma laya, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caraṇe tāṅra, prema upajaya.” (Cc. 1.17.32; Cc. 3.20.26)

BHAKTI 100 % SUCCESS FORMULA:

Mahaprabhu continued, “One can constantly chant Krishna’s Divine Name, if in all respects one thinks, ‘I am more lowly and helpless than a blade of grass’, while always remaining as tolerant as a tree, free from pride and respectful to one and all.” (Cc. 1.17.31; 3.20.21)

tṛṇād api su-nīcena, taror iva sahiṣṇunā, amāninā māna-dena, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

 

TEN OFFENSES AGAINST KRISHNA’S DIVINE NAMES

In Padma Purana (Brahma-khanda cp.25), Sanat-kumara described the ten offenses (nama-aparadhas) to Narada Muni:

  1. The greatest offense [parama aparadha] is to criticize the devotee/saints who broadcast Krishna’s Divine Name. How can the Divine Name ever tolerate such a thing?

satāṁ nindā nāmnaḥ paramam aparādhaṁ vitanute

yataḥ khyātiṁ yātaṁ katham u sahate tad vigarhām

 

  1. It is an offense to think there is any difference between the names, qualities, etc. of Sri Vishnu and Shivaji. Such a person gets no benefit from chanting.

śivasya śrī viṣṇor ya iha guṇa nāmādi sakalaṁ

dhiyā bhinnaṁ paśyet sa khalu hari nāmāhita karaḥ

Comments: Sri Vishnu and Shivaji in his transcendental Sada Shiva form are both vishnu-tattva. Brhad-bhagavatamrta (1.2.31) says, “Sadashiva is directly Narayana as the vilasa or svamsha of svayam-rupa Sri Krishna. Sadashiva dwells in Shiva-loka (Vaikuntha).” However, Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the para-devata, and supreme aradhya-deva for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

  1. To disrespect the Guru, guror avajñā.

Comments: This includes all gurus and the guru principle itself. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti says (tika: SB 6.2.9-10), “This is the worst Nama aparadha!”

  1. To criticise the revealed Vedic scriptures, śruti śāstra nindana.
  2. To consider the glories of the Divine Name to be exaggerated, tatha ārtha vādo.
  3. To concoct or give imaginary meanings to the Divine Name, hari nāmni kalpanam.
  4. To deliberately commit sin on the strength of the Divine Name. Such a sinful offender cannot be purified by following any rules, nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa buddhir, na vidyate tasya yamair hi śuddhiḥ
  5. It is complete madness [pramada] to consider the performance of ordinary religious duties, vows, renunciation, sacrifices, and all other auspicious pious works to be equal to chanting Hari-nama, dharma vrata tyāga hūtādi sarva, śubha kriyā sāmyam api pramādaḥ.
  6. It is an offense to instruct a faithless person; one averse to God; or one who is unwilling to listen [to the glories of Bhagavan or His Name].

aśraddadhāne vimukhe’py aśṛṇvati, yaś copadeśaḥ śiva nāmāparādhaḥ

  1. One is offensive and considered low and fallen if even after hearing the glories of Nama, one still has no love for the Divine Name, and remains in the illusion of “me and mine”.

śrutvāpi nāma māhātmye yaḥ prīti rahito’dhamaḥ, ahaṁ mamādi paramo nāmni so’py aparādha kṛt

 

Comments: In his tika to Hari Bhakti Vilasa, Sri Sanatana Goswami adds that, (aham mam adi) also means being proud of one’s chanting. As in one saying, “O, did you know that I am chanting one lac a day!”

Prema-bhakti candrika (115) says, one should attain perfection in secret; always be humble and keep secret one’s realizations [or attainments] gupate sadhibe siddhi sadhana dainye sada.

(adapted, Sri Advaita Dasji) Namacharya Thakura Haridasji ki jai!

Hare Krishna maha-mantra ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

Throughout Gita and other sastras, Bhagavan Sri Krishna asserts that, “I am the doer (via gunas & prakrti), I give results, I give knowledge, I give intelligence, I give memory, I give ability, I give strength, and I give Myself to whom I choose!”

Thus the question arises, “Are we chanting Hare Krishna by our own will or power, or is Krishna allowing us to chant, and chanting through us by His will?” Let’s find out the answer…

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the great chiran jiva and mahajana Markandeya Rishi says that Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the Supreme Person and force behind every movement of every embodied soul from the celestials Brahmaji and Shivaji to the the devotees on earth. It is Sri Krishna alone who makes the vital air, the mind, the senses and the power of speech move and act.

Sri Markandeya Rishi said, “O Almighty Lord Narayana! How can I possibly describe You? For it is You who moves the vital air, which impels the mind, senses and power of speech to act. This is true for all embodied souls including Brahma and Shiva and even me. Still, you become the intimate friend of those who worship you, bhajatam asi bhava bandhu.” (SB 10. 12.8.40)”

 

In Bhakti-sandarbha (144), Sri Jiva Goswami says, “The significance of Bhagavan Sri Krishna being referred to as bhava-bandhu (verse above) is that even devotees have no independent power to serve Sri Krishna.

 

“But since Sri Krishna is the friend of His devotees, Krishna gives them the bhava i.e. bhakti so they can serve Him. Furthermore, the speech and other senses with which the devotees serve Krishna are also impelled by Him. Thus, the devotee is like a wooden puppet moved by the strings of the puppeteer.”

 

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika: “Like a loving friend (bhava-bandhu), You my Lord are controlled by the love of those who worship You. It is You alone who enable Your devotees to worship You by enlivening their minds and senses.

 

“Nevertheless,  You feel incapable of repaying the debt of their worship. Thus You become indebted and controlled by their love. That is most astonishing. That is the greatness of Your mercy.“

 

Conclusion:

Devotees are chanting japa and kirtana because the Holy Name, which is non-different from Sri Krishna, allows them to chant it. Not only does Bhagavan Sri Krishna allow us to and empower us to chant His sweeter than sweet Holy Names, but Sri Krishna even allows animals to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

 

King Bharata as a deer chanted “Hari Narayana” at death by the inconceivable mercy of bhava bandhu Sri Krishna. (SB 5.14.45)  The elephant king Gajendra, formerly King Indradyumna, by the loving mercy of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, chanted mantra japa when leaving his beastly body. (SB 8.3.1.)

 

So Sri Krishna’s Holy Names are not actually “chanted by us”. Rather by His independent mercy, Sri Krishna ALLOWS His Holy Names to descend into the mind of the surrendered devotee and manifest in their ears and mouths.

 

The sastras and tikas revealed CLEARLY SHOW US that not only our chanting, but also all our sadhana is NOT DONE BY US. Sri Krishna is doing it all!

 

The mind remembers Sri Krishna’s form, qualities and pastimes, the senses act in Shyama’s seva, and the mouth chants Hare Krishna in japa and kirtana—ALL BEING MOVED AND ACTIVATED BY SRI KRISHNA HIMSELF!

 

In summary, we can now see that all movement on the bhakti-marga, be it progressive, digressive or stalled is fully inspired, controlled and permitted by the will of OUR LOVING FRIEND, dina bandhu Sri Krishna.

 

Always pray for Sri Krishna’s mercy and power, so by His sweet will we can lovingly serve Him, and one day attain perfection in prema dhama Sri Vrindavana. (adapted madangopal.blog)

No free will ki jai! Sri Krishna’s loving mercy ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

Devotees often say, “There are no hard and fast rules in chanting Hare Krishna.” Thus anything goes in the name of nama-japa: chanting on tulsi beads a fixed number of rounds of the maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare—Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

 

Since there are no restrictions, many devotees think it’s okay to chant japa while surfing the I-net, driving a car, listening to a lecture, lying in bed, shopping, watching a video etc. etc.

 

To prove their no rules argument, such devotees cite Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Siksastakam verse 2:

 

Niyamitah smarane na kalah, “there are no restrictions regarding REMEMBERING the holy name of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” Lord Gauranga only says here that there are no rules about remembering (smarane). Gauranga does not say there are no rules in nama-japa.

 

Mahaprabhu comments on this verse saying: khaaite shuite yathaa tathaa nama laya, kaala-desha-niyama naahi, sarva siddhi haya, “There is no regulation (niyama) regarding taking the name (nama laya), even while eating or lying down; it will grant all perfection (sarva siddhi).” (Cc. 3.20.18)

 

Misusing Mahaprabhu’s comment, many devotees conclude, “Just see Lord Caitanya said it’s okay to chant nama-japa while lying in bed, eating prasada, or doing anything…”

 

Sorry, this argument is completely wrong. Mahaprabhu is simply reiterating the all perfect power and efficacy of the Divine Name. Sri Chaitanyadeva is not encouraging one to chant japa while lying in bed or eating maha-prasada.

 

In His comment above and in the entire Siksastakam, Lord Gauranga is glorifying the unlimited power, mercy and benefit of Sri Hari Nama-SANKIRTANA (param vijayate sri krishna sankirtanam!).

 

In these two verses, Sri Caitanya Deva is not describing nama-japa, He is talking about the congregational chanting Sri Krishna’s sweet Holy Names.

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is saying you can remember or take Sri Krishna’s name anywhere, anytime in any circumstance. Of course, we should always remember Sri Krishna, and never forget Sri Krishna for even half a moment (lava nimesha).

 

And to do this we must always remember Sri Nama Prabhu, sing His holy names with every breath, and chant “Hari! Hari!” between every bite of food. Yes, basically there are no rules regarding kirtana or sankirtana.

 

BUT THERE ARE RULES IN CHANTING NAMA-JAPA

If we ignore these rules and chant japa incorrectly, then offenses will arise, and we will never attain our cherished goal of pure love for Radha-Govinda.

 

The mantra shastras, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and the Gaudiya Vaisnava lawbook, Hari-bhakti vilasa no. 17 state many rules regarding chanting Hari-nama japa, the Gopala-mantra and other diksha mantras.

One should try his best to follow the rules below to quickly achieve success in chanting Hare Krishna nama-japa:

 

SIX GENERAL RULES FOR NAMA-JAPA:

  1. Avoid the ten offenses to Sri Nama Prabhu.
  2. Daily chant the same fixed number of malas. (ganitrikaam grhita ca mantram HBV 17.71, 191) “After vowing to chant a certain number of rounds daily (16, 32, 64) one must chant every day without fail, and not chant less than that.” (HBV 17.191)
  3. Chant on 108 tulasi beads mala.
  4. Beads should be ROUND in shape. The mala should be arranged in order from the biggest bead to the smallest. (HBV 17.89)
  5. One should not chant with unclean hands, or in an impure state e.g. without bathing, dirty cloth or in bed. (17.132, 137)
  6. One must not chant japa while talking, lying down, walking or yawning.

 

RULES FOR MAXIMUM JAPA BENEFIT: (HBV 17.121)

 

  1. Concentrate on Nama by withdrawing your mind from ALL other attractions (distractions).
  2. Cleanliness of mind, body, cloth, asana and chanting place.
  3. Chant Nama while continually meditating on the meaning of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
  4. Observe strict silence while chanting japa.

 

Hari-bhakti Vilasa (17.132-3) confirms this point: “If one speaks while chanting nama-japa, his japa will be fruitless. If while chanting nama-japa one engages in speaking, walking, lying down on bed, thinking of something else, sneezing, hiccupping, yawning, or having an agitated mind, one cannot attain perfection in his nama-japa.”

 

In other words, it is best not to speak ONE WORD until you finish your daily quota. If you do this, your mind will become very strong, pure, peaceful and determined. Then you can call yourself a Krishna bhakti-YOGI, a serious practitioner of devotional sadhana.

 

Obviously, any form of “interaction” with one’s mobile phone is breaking this law of silence. Be careful, perfection is not a joke. Will you take your mobile to Goloka Vrndavana?

 

  1. Maintain a peaceful mind, heart and attitude during nama-japa.
  2. Chant japa with intense eagerness, interest and enthusiasm. There are three ways of chanting Sri Krishna’s Holy Names: loudly, softly or silently. Loud chanting means speaking the maha-mantra loud enough that someone can hear it.

 

This is kirtana or sankirtana; IT IS NOT NAMA-JAPA. It is said that Namacarya Thakura Haridasa daily chanted 192 rounds; 64 chanted loudly as kirtana, 64 inaudible whispering japa (upamshu), and 64 silent in the mind (manasic).

 

In ISKCON’s beginning days, Srila Prabhupada set the example of early morning chanting by sitting in the temple with his disciples and chanting ONE round loudly. This anecdote however, does not mean that nama-japa should be chanted loudly. Although there are three forms of chanting Hare Krishna, there are only two forms of chanting nama-japa on beads: inaudible whisper (upamshu) and silent mental chanting (manasic).

 

Sri Hari-sauri Dasa personally told me that Srila Prabhupada chanted very softly to silently in upamshu. In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami describes sankirtana and japa as two distinct practices.

 

Of the sixty-four limbs of bhakti-sadhana, number 32 is sankirtana (uccair bhasha), “loud euphoric congregational chanting of Hare Krishna” and number 33 is japa, “silent meditative chanting on beads.” The specific japa verse says: mantrasya su laghu uccharo japa ity abhidhiyate, “very, very silent muttering or utterance of the maha-mantra is called japa.”

 

In correct upamshu japa, one mentally focuses on the meaning of the maha-mantra while fine tuning his hearing to the silent movement of the maha-mantra inside the mouth. The tongue and lips are barely moving as the mantra almost silently resonates within the mouth.

 

The more one meditates on the meaning and concentrates on the “silent sound within his mouth and heart,” the more and more silent the chanting becomes.

 

Eventually, the mantra meaning and sound merge in the totally absorbed, silent chanting of Hare Krishna within the mind. Soon Sri Krishna’s sweet all-attractive form arises from the concentrated mind, heart and internal hearing. This is manasic japa. The basic point is that japa chanting is a solitary and silent contemplative practice.

 

We say “I am chanting japa”, but here the word chanting really means “silently speaking” or mentally uttering inside the mouth; unheard outside of one’s lips.

 

Nama-japa is a deep, powerful form of meditation requiring seriousness of purpose, sense and mind control, and the utmost absolute concentration. Nama-japa brings one face to face with Radha-Krishna within the silent recesses of one’s pacified and pure heart.

 

Please take your nama-japa very seriously. Attentive, concentrated nama-japa is the best, quickest, easiest and most blissful way to fall in love with Krishna, and enter the eternal realm of joy-filled Vrndavana to lovingly serve Radhe-Syama forever. Om tat sat! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Nama Sankirtana ki jai! Mantra Japa & Dhyana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

The prabhava of Kali Maharaja is awesome and all-pervasive.

In the temple, outside, in the Holy Dhama, in Delhi, Mumbai, Moscow, New York, Beijing, Tokyo and Peru, in the kutira and in the home—everywhere some devotee is speaking negatively about someone or something. STOP!!!

 

Srila Prabhupada established a spiritual mission to propagate pure bhakti, love for Krishna and love for all, be they big or small. In Hindi, the name of his society is KRISHNA BHAVA AMRITA SANGA!!!

 

In English, this means a society or intimate group (sanga) that gathers together to relish the sweet nectar of Krishna’s love (Krishna bhava amrita) by performing Harinama Sankirtana, worshiping Thakuraji and the Vaisnavas, and hearing and serving Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

 

Bhakti means love, gratitude, appreciation, cooperation, encouragement and hope combined in a softened, humble heart offered in service to Sri Hari, Sri Guru and Sri Vaisnavas.

 

Love Radha, Love Krishna, Love Vrindavana, Love ALLLLLLLLL Devotees, and most importantly SWEETLY SERVE THEM.

 

A devotee should be so busy in culturing pure devotion that he/she has NO TIME FOR MAYA—no time for offending devotees or speaking useless criticism.

 

We humbly beg all our friends to make your individual life an “Aparadha Free Zone” by following Sri Krishna’s wonderful description on WHAT IS A DEVOTEE??

 

Please study, imbibe and live from now according to Sri Krishna’s advice given in the following Gita verse (10.9) and the acharya’s tikas:

 

Sri Krishna said, “With their minds absorbed in Me, completely dependent on Me, mutually informing each other about Me and speaking about Me, My devotees continuously experience satisfaction and enjoyment, mac chitta mad gata prana, bodhayantau parasparam, kathayantach ca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca.”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika:

Sri Krishna said, ‘The minds of My devotees are greedy for My form, name, qualities pastimes and the taste of My sweetness (mac-cittah).

 

‘Without Me, they cannot maintain their lives (mad-gata-prana), just as one cannot live without food. In a friendly mood, devotees tell each other about bhakti and Me—describing the great ocean of My very sweet form, qualities and pastimes (kathayantah).’

 

Since smarana/remembering (mac-cittah), shravana/hearing (bodhayantah) and kirtana/speaking/chanting (kathayantah) are the best forms of bhakti, Sri Krishna specifically mentions them here.

 

Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana tika:

Sri Krishna said, “Devotees speak about Me, who am an ocean of affection for them. And they discuss My amazingly variegated pastimes. By worshiping Me in this way i.e. sravana, kirtanam, smarana, My devotees feel very satisfied, as if they were imbimbing pure nectar.” (tikas courtesy Sri Advaita Dasji)

Aparadha free zone ki jai! Krishna bhava sanga ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!