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.“
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!