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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

What is the difference between sincerely practicing bhakti and serving Krishna with and without diksha?

Diksha is a ritual involving surrendering of oneself to a spiritual guide to receive divine knowledge, purification and liberation. What counts most, however, is the humble mentality, submissive attitude and loving feelings behind a devotee’s practice. Sastras define diksha as an act of self-surrender, sincerely offering one’s body, mind, heart and very self, atma, to Sri Guru and the loving service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

diksha –kale -bhakta -kore –atma –samarpaëa,
sei -kale –krishna –tare -kore -atma -sama

“At the time of diksha, one fully surrenders his/her very self to Sri Guru. Krishna then spiritualizes one’s body [makes transcendental], and accepts that body and devotee as His very own. (Caitanya Caritamrita. 3.4.192)

Two atmas are mentioned, the disciple and Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The disciple offers and surrenders his/her self, atma-samarpana, to Guru. Sri Krishna then accepts that atma like Himself, atma-sama, in the sense that the new devotee becomes a divine being, very dear to Krishna’s heart.

Though purifying like all rites and rituals, the diksha ritual alone will not purify the heart. Only offenseless bhakti bhajan will purify one’s existence and deliver one to Krishna.

One may just chant Hare Krishna japa and practice Krishna bhakti without diksha. But one’s progress will be slow and full of obstacles. This is not the way of shastra, nor the million-year-old tradition of surrendering to a spiritual teacher, Sri Guru, taking diksha, humbly serving, and learning how to attain spiritual perfection, mukti and Krishna prem.

Such independent practice sans diksha is bound to be offensive and fraught with difficulties. Two major offenses will retard one’s progress, namely Nama Aparadha one and four: Sadhu ninda, offending the instructions and example of the sadhus and previous acharyas who all took diksha; and shastra ninda, offending, disregarding and not following the sacred scriptures which all direct one to surrender to a Guru and take diksha.

In Hari Bhakti Vilasa (II.5-6), Sri Sanatana Goswami quotes shastra on the dire need to take diksha.

The Skanda Purana, Karttika-mahatmya, Brahma Narad samvad says:

te –narah -pashavo –loke, kim –tesham –jivane –phalam,
yair -na -labdha -harer –diksha, narchito –va -janardanah

“Persons devoid of diksha who don’t worship Sri Hari are like animals, and attain no benefit in human life.”

The Vishnu-yamala, Rukmangada Sri Mohini samvada says:

adikshitasya –krtam –sarvam – nirarthakam,
pashu -yonim -avapnoti –diksha -virahito -janah

“Without diksha, all one’s actions are worthless and one takes birth in an animal’s womb.”

In summary, although diksha is not the only requirement, it is absolutely necessary to attain spiritual perfection. Sri Sanatana Goswami says:

yasya -deve -ca -mantre –ca, gurau -trishvapi -nishchala
na -vyavacchidyate -buddhis, tasya -siddhir -aduratah

“Perfection is guaranteed for one who has unflinching faith in Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and one’s diksha mantra [Gopal mantra].”

mantratma -devata –gyaneya, devata -guru -rupini
tesham -bhedo -na –karttavyo, yadicched -ishtam -atmanah

One should know that the diksha mantra is one with and non-different from the mantra devata i.e. Sri Krishna Govinda. The Guru is the form of the mantra devata, non-different from Sri Krishna Govinda. One desiring beneficial results should never distinguish between these three.

The absolute necessity of a diksha Guru is beautifully described in the “Samadhi” chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (IV.9):

durlabho –vishaya –tyago, durlabham –tattva –darshanam
durlabhha –sahaja -vastha, sad -guro –karunam –vina

“Without the compassion of a true Guru, one cannot renounce material sense enjoyment; understand spiritual truths, attain darshan of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna; or achieve spiritual perfection, Krishna prema.”

Thus every fortunate soul should take mantra diksha from a proper Guru. And for those who surrender to and humbly serve Sri Guru, the all-merciful master gives:

– mantras to purify the heart and establish an eternal loving relationship with Sri Krishna, bhagavan –atma –prem -sambandha;

– mercy and love to overcome offenses and negative mentalities;

– a personal example of devotion to follow;

– and realized teachings to remove all doubts, and illuminate the path of proper bhakti bhajan leading to the eternal service of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala in Goloka Vrndavana!

Guru diksha ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

One often hears the question, “How to get free nama aparadhas?

Nāma āparādha cannot be counteracted through some ritual or just by chanting some slokas. One needs to reform or change one’s faulty mentality which caused the offenses in the first place. Be it envy, disrespect or just a faultfinding mind—all this must be consumed by the fire of repentance, nama-sankirtana and Vaisnava seva.

As one can never forget the Tulasi necklace around one’s neck, Mahaprabhu told us to “always wear the necklace of this sloka” [which means constantly remember and imbibe the four saintly traits within it]:

  1. Think I’m lower than grass!
  2. Live with tolerance!
  3. Feel insignificant, undeserving—just one atomic jiva!
  4. Honor all as better, higher, worthy and deserving!

Thus Mahaprabhu commanded, tṛṇād api sunīcena, taror api sahiṣṇunā, amāninā mānadena, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (Chaitanya Caritamrita 1.17.31)

By adopting these four attitudes, one can blast off into continuous nama japa which is the best, fastest and ONLY WAY to remove all aparadhas. Smrti confirms, “For nama aparadhis, the Divine Name itself is surely the only panacea. Incessant chanting of the Name will effectively destroy that sin.” (Padma Purana.; Svarga-khanda 48, 49 & Bhakti Sandarbha 265)

nāmāparādha yuktā nām, nā mānyeva haranty agham,
aviśranta prayuktāni, tānyev ārtha karāṇi ca

Jai Haridasa Thakura ki jai! Nama Sankirtana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Have you ever asked the question, “Will I really get the same Guru in every life? Does this principle only apply to “siddha gurus” and not “regular gurus?”

The answer lies with Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura who says, janme janme prabhu sei: “O Gurudeva! YOU are my Guru life after life!” in his famous “Sri Guru carana padma prayers. According to the Vaisnava conception, the word “sei” means the same one, or “that same Guru” who in this life gave me diksha mantras and transcendental Krishna bhakti knowledge.

It does not matter whether the Guru is a so-called “siddha”, “regular” or whatever Guru—diksha Guru is diksha guru—eternally, bas!

In summary, “sei” means that my diksha Guru today will also be my diksha Guru in every future life and after liberation too. This is the actual meaning of Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura’s realized words, janme janme prabhu sei. This is also confirmed by the fact that me and many other Vaisnavas have experienced an undeniable sense of recognition and acceptance immediately upon meeting a particular Guru for the “first time”.

This transcendental phenomena of birth after birth recognition of one’s eternal Guru is arranged by Sri Krishna within the heart who sends the disciple to exactly the same Guru from the previous life. Diksha establishes AN ETERNAL LINK WITH Guru.

And for the true and sincere disciple, Sri Krishna maintains that sweet loving, beautiful and compassionate relationship forever! Jai Gurudeva!

ACHARYA VANI PRAMAN:

Srila Prabhupada tika:

[Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura’s verse means] “The [diksha] guru should be considered the disciple’s master, life after life. (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.7.21) So where there is separation [from your diksha Guru], he is birth after birth your prabhu. (folio: 750721MW.SF) One [the diksha Guru] who has opened the eyes, he WILL REMAIN MY MASTER LIFE AFTER LIFE.” (folio: 760805BG.NMR)

Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja tika:

“Therefore, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura says that Sri Guru, the giver of love of Krishna and knowledge of Krishna, is my master birth after birth, and I am his servant birth after birth. This clearly indicates the PERMANENT NATURE of the relationship between Sri Guru and the disciple. The wandering jiva is born into various wombs and establishes connections with different mothers and fathers, friends and relatives.

“But the guru-shishya relationship is much different. At a suitable time after many births, the VERY SAME GURU WILL REAPPEAR before the disciple and cause him or her to drink the sweet rasa of bhajana; attain the gift of prema and enter the kingdom of Radha-Krishna lila for the direct seva of one’s beloved Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Ah! Just see the mercy of Sri Guru! Nothing compares with this!” (tika: Prema Bhakti Chadrika 5 Sri Guru shishya nitya seva sambandha ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! Jai Gurudeva!

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!

By Mahanidhi Swami

Om emanates from Krishna’s flute and manifests first as Gayatri, then as the Vedas, the Vedanta-sutras, and finally as the Srimad Bhagavatam. In its beginning, middle and end the Srimad Bhagavatam stresses the efficacy of chanting Krishna’s holy names. Indeed, the concluding sloka of Srila Vyasadeva’s great treatise recommends chanting Krishna’s holy names: nama sankirtanam yasya, sarva papa pranashanam, pranamo duhkha shamanas, tam namami harim param, “The congregational chanting of Krishna’s holy name destroy all sinful reactions. Offering obeisances to Lord Hari removes all material miseries, therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Hari.” (SB 12.13.23)

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which is a yugala-mantra of Radha and Krishna, expands from Vrndavana as the Kama-gayatri. It becomes the Brahma-gayatri upon crossing the Viraja River. Upon entering the material world the cit-sakti, spiritual potency, of this mantra takes the form of a seed mantra. Then it manifests as Om, which expands into bhur, bhuvah, svah. Again returning to the spiritual world, bhur, bhuvah, svah expand into the Brahma-gayatri, which expands into the purusu-sukta. The purusa-sukta expands into the mantras of the four Vedas (Rg, Atharva, Sama, Yajur). Then the Vedas expand into the Agamas that contain the Pancaratrika writings in 108 different books describing various pancaratrika mantras like the Gopala-mantra and Kama-gayatri.

Srila Prabhupada emphasizes the need for diksa, “If by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra one can attain love of Godhead, then one might ask what then the necessity for taking diksa. Even though the chanting of the holy name is sufficient to enable one to progress in spiritual life to the standard of love of God, one is nonetheless susceptible to contamination because of possessing a material body. Consequently, special stress is given to arcana-vidhi which helps to purify the body and mind.” (SB 7.5.23-24 p.)

Is the effect of chanting the Gayatri mantra the same or different from chanting the maha-mantra? It is the same. Gayatri means that which delivers one from material entanglement. Besides offering liberation, the Gayatri mantras chanted by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas specifically award love of God. Therefore, they have the same effect as chanting Hare Krishna. The kama-bija klim alone can give Radha-Krishna prema, and that of course is the perfection of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

But if chanting Hare Krishna is the eternal function of the soul, and the maha-mantra is sufficient to give us Krishna-prema, then why bother with diksa mantras’! Vedic mantras and pancaratrika mantras are only necessary for the conditioned souls. If one were already on the brahma-bhutah (transcendental) platform, then he could easily get all perfection just by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

“To chant the holy name of the Lord, one need not depend upon other paraphernalia, for one can immediately get all the desired results of connecting or linking with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It may therefore be questioned why there is a necessity for initiation or further spiritual activities in devotional service for one who engages in the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.

“The answer is that although it is correct that one who fully engages in chanting the holy name need not depend upon the process of initiation, generally a devotee is addicted to many abominable material habits due to material contamination from his previous life. In order to get quick relief from all these contaminations, it is required that one engage in the worship of the Lord in the temple. The worship of the Deity in the temple is essential to reduce one’s restlessness due to the contaminations of conditioned life.

“Thus Narada, in his pancaratriki-vidhi, and other great sages have sometimes stressed that since every conditioned soul has a bodily concept of life aimed at sense enjoyment, to restrict this sense enjoyment the rules and regulations for worshiping the Deity in the temple are essential. Srila Rupa Gosvami has described that the holy name of the Lord can be chanted by liberated souls, but almost all the souls we have to initiate are conditioned. It is advised that one chant the holy name of the Lord without offenses and according to the regulative principles, yet due to their past bad habits they violate these rules and regulations. Thus the regulative principles for worship of the Deity are also simultaneously essential.” (Cc. Adi 7.77 p.)

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra, the diksa mantras, and the process of worshiping the Deity of Krishna work together to help one quickly attain perfection. As a conditioned soul begins to chant Hare Krishna he becomes cleansed of material contamination and elevated to the platform of goodness. Having attained some internal and external purity, one begins to manifest brahminical qualities. Thus receiving diksa and the appropriate Gayatri mantras, he continues chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra along with worshiping the Deity form of the Lord and associating with advanced devotees.

By these practices one eventually rises to the transcendental platform of visuddha-sattva, pure goodness. In other words, the fruit of chanting Hare Krishna is self-purification and attaining the shelter of a bona fide guru. The guru then instructs one in Krishna consciousness and gives diksa. After taking diksa the fruit of the disciple’s nama sankirtana will come as Krishna-prema.

The diksa mantras give us purity and support and keep us from falling down. The function of the diksa guru is complete and successful when the disciple receives, realizes, and attains his siddha svarupa or siddha deha. Although the principal sadhana is chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, Lord Caitanya Himself took diksa, and accepted a ten-syllable Gopala- mantra from His spiritual master Isvara Puri.

This clearly shows the importance of pancaratrika initiation into Vaisnava mantras. Receiving pancaratrika mantras such as Gopala-mantra and Kama-gayatri enhances a devotee’s purification, stills the restless mind, and enables one to worship the Deities. Thus chanting Krishna’s holy names and receiving pancaratrika mantras from a bona fide spiritual master are fundamental to the Gaudiya Sampradaya.

Both mantra and the nama i.e. the Hare Krishna maha-mantra are the same truth because they both contain holy names of the Lord. One part of the same truth is called nama (Hare Krishna maha-mantra), and the other part is called mantra (Gopala-mantra). After obtaining the maha-mantra one is obliged to receive mantra initiation.

By chanting Brahma-gayatri one understands that he is not the body, and becomes liberated from the material conception of life. The chanting of Hare Krishna, however, takes one to the spiritual world and gives prema, provided diksa has been duly accepted from a bona fide spiritual master.

The Gopala mantra raises one to the stage of liberation and, then retires. Krishna’s holy name continues after liberation and helps one attain ecstatic Krishna-prema. By chanting Gopala-mantra, Kama-gayatri, and Gaura-gayatri one attains sambandha-jnana and loses his attachment for sense enjoyment. The diksa mantras enable the sadhaka to chant suddha-nama, the pure name of Krishna.

The Dandakaranya sages performed sadhana of chanting the Gopala-mantra. This mantra established their relationship (sambandha-jnana) with the Lord, and gradually revealed a permanent devotional mellow (sthayi-bhava) in madhurya-rasa. Thus they achieved svarupa-siddhi, the perfectional limit of this world. Next they were reborn as gopis to serve Krishna in His Bhauma Vrndavana pastimes.

At this point of perfection there is no need of chanting the Gopala-mantra, Kama-gayatri, or any other diksa mantras. The refinement of one’s transcendental identity and service will be done by hearing and chanting about Krishna’s pastimes and by associating with Krishna and His eternal servants like Lalita-sakhi and Sri Rupa-manjari.

Diksa mantras such as the Gaura-gayatri, Gopala-mantra, and Kama-gayatri are necessary in the stage of sadhana because they purify one’s chanting of harinama and establish one’s eternal loving relationship with Krishna. Nama-sankirtana, however, is the best practice both in sadhana and in perfection. Liberated souls will no longer chant diksa mantras, but they will forever rejoice in the ambrosial nectar of nama-sankirtana.

In Raga-vartma Candrika, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has clearly stated that those who chant Hare Krishna and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without first having diksa from a Vaisnava guru, will not attain the Supreme Lord. Their chanting, however, will protect them from entering hell. Then in the next birth they will obtain sadhu-sanga, take diksa, and eventually reach the Supreme Lord.

The sastras and the exemplary lives of the previous acaryas show the need for receiving mantras such as the Gopala-mantra and Kama-gayatri in order to advance steadily in pure consciousness and attain the perfection oiKrishna-prema.

The Narada-pancaratra, Yajnavalkya-samhita, and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu stress the absolute need for all sadhakas to receive diksa from a bona fide spiritual master. Sri Rupa Gosvami mentions surrendering to and taking diksa from a spiritual master (guru pada asraya, Krishna diksa adi siksanam) as the first two of the sixty-four essential limbs (angas) of sadhana-bhakti.

All the eternal associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu have followed this process of taking diksa and chanting Hare Krishna along with various diksa mantras. Even Srila Haridasa Thakura, though crowned the namacarya, took diksa from Sri Advaita Acarya according to Advaita Prakash. The duty of the spiritual master is purify and deliver his disciples to prema-dhama Sri Vrndavana by giving them appropriate mantras, mercy and spiritual instructions (diksa and siksa).

Some points have been repeated in the above article for two reasons: Firstly, to stress the importance of receiving diksa. And secondly, to help everyone clearly understand the harmonious relationship between diksa mantras and the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. May everyone perfect their mantra and nama sadhana at attain the wonderful sweet fruit of Krishna prema, and Radha-Madhava’s eternal seva in the kunja vanas of Vraja Dhama.

(Excerpt from Gayatri Mahima Madhuri by Mahanidhi Swami)

Sri Harinama Prabhu ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

The sastras repeatedly stress the incredible power of chanting Krishna’s holy names. Harinama, even without diksa, or any preliminary rites of purification immediately produces results as soon as it contacts the tongue, “The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is so amazingly powerful that it gives fruit as soon as it touches the tongue. This mantra removes great sins that cannot be destroyed byyajna, tapa, dana, or other means. It is freely available and can be chanted by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Unlike other mantras, the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra does not depend upon diksa, proper behavior, or rituals of purification.” (Padyavali 29)

Despite the astonishing potency of harinama, according to Sri Jiva Gosvami, one must still follow mahajanas like Narada Muni who first took diksa and then worshiped their beloved Deities. Without accepting mantra diksa from a spiritual master one cannot awaken his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a servant, friend and so on. Only Sri Guru can establish one’s eternal relationship with Krishna.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His followers, and all of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas down to the present day have honored this tradition. Besides chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda and Sri Advaita Acarya all took mantra diksa from a bona fide spiritual master. To remain on the path of vaidhi-sadhana one needs only the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

In order to progress on the platform of raga-marga and eventually serve Krishna’s eternal vraja-lilas one must receive diksa mantras such as the Kama-bija, Gopala-mantra and Kama-gayatri. The Hari-bhakti-vilasa explains that these mantras are absolutely necessary for internal worship through meditation and for external worship of the arca-vigraha of Radha-Krishna.

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the nama atmika, the very life of Gopala-mantra and Kama-gayatri. The holy name of Krishna is the original mantra vibrating in the spiritual world of Goloka Vrndavana. These mantras (Gopala-mantra, Kama-gayatri) and other Vedic mantras have life because different names of Krishna are within them. Sripada Madhvacarya explained that the Vedic mantras used in demigod worship have potency because they contain secondary names of Krishna (gauna-nama).

In reality, mantras like om namo sivaya and others which are used to petition various demigods are indirectly glorifying Krishna. The word sivaya for example means “all-auspicious.” Indeed, everything about the Supreme Lord Krishna is completely auspicious. Besides that, it is Sri Krishna alone who invests the demigods with their marvelous powers.

Of all mantras, Krishna’s holy name is the most important. Sri Jiva Gosvami says Gayatri-mantra i.e. Kama Gayatri has value because it contains Krishna’s names within it. Being full and complete (nitya mukto, purna suddho), the holy name can give everything required. The Gayatri mantra, however, is accepted to improve one’s worship of the holy name.

The material world is a perverted reflection of the pure spiritual realm. In the spiritual world the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is at the top, but it becomes reflected in the material world as the mantra Om. The mantra Om is seen throughout the Vedas, and the other Gayatri mantras are found in the Smrtis. Then later in subsequent Vedic literatures the Hare Krishna maha-mantra becomes manifest. Because of the maha-mantra’s seeming obscurity, the smarta brahmanas do not consider chanting Hare Krishna as important as chanting the Vedas and the Gayatri mantras. In reality, however, chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the very essence of all the Vedas.

(Excerpt from Gayatri Mahima Madhuri by Mahanidhi Swami)

Jai Gopala! Jai Sri Krishna!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!