Four Kinds of Namabhasa

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

1. Sāṅketya-nāmābhāsa–is uttering the Lord’s name to allude to something else. For instance, Ajāmila called his son Nārāyaṇa at the time of his death, but Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name is also Nārāyaṇa, so Ajāmila’s uttering “Nārāyaṇa” was an instance of sāṅketya-nāmābhāsa. When Muslims see a pig, they show hatred and exclaim, “Hārāma! Hārāma!” The exclamation ‘hārāma’ contains the two words ‘hā’ and ‘rāma’, so the person uttering the word ‘hārāma’ also obtains deliverance from the cycle of birth and death as a result of taking that sāṅketya-nāma.

2. Parihasa–means chanting jokingly. The sastras proclaim that those who utter Kṛṣṇa’s name jokingly obtain liberation. This includes those who desire liberation, those proud of their learning, mlecchas devoid of tattva-jnana, and demons opposed to the ultimate goal.

3. Stobha-nāmābhāsa–means chanting the holy name antagonistically to hinder or mock others in their chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s name. For example, while a pure bhakta is chanting hari-nāma, an observer may see him, and make faces, saying, “Your ‘Hari-Kest’ will do everything!” This is an example of stobha, and that stobha-nāma can award liberation to that offender. The names have such natural power.

4. Helā-nāmābhāsa–means to utter the holy name disrespectfully. It is said in the Skanda Purana that taking the holy name neglectfully also results in liberation from this material world:

madhura-madhuram etan maṅgalaṁ maṅgalānāṁ
sakala-nigama-vallī sat-phalaṁ cit-svarūpam
sakṛd api parigītaṁ śraddhayā helayā vā
bhṛguvara nara-mātraṁ tārayet kṛṣṇa-nāma

Kṛṣṇa-nāma is sweeter than the sweetest, and the most auspicious of all auspicious things. Kṛṣṇa-nama is the tasty fruit of the flourishing sruti desire-creeper, and the embodiment of knowledge. O best of the Bhṛgu dynasty! Anyone who even once chants either with respect or disrespect (hela) is immediately delivered from the ocean of birth and death. (Skanda P. Prābhāsa-khaṇda)

An excerpt from the book Art of Chanting.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *