Glory of the Holy Name and Ten Offences
Initiation into the chanting of the Holy Name
By Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
The scriptures told about the religion for different ages—Satya, Dvapar, Treta, Kali. In Satya-yuga, people's religion was meditation, dhyan; the lifetime was 100,000 years, so people practised meditation for 60-70,000 years. In Treta-yuga, the lifetime was 10,000 years and the religion was yajna, or fire-sacrifice. Asvamedha yajna—they would put the horse in the fire; naramedha yajna—they would sacrifice men; rajasuya yajna—they would make big, big ceremonies. That was Treta-yuga's religion. Dvapar-yuga's religion was archan, puja (Deity worship), and the lifetime was 1,000 years.
In Kali-yuga, the lifetime came down to 100-200 years. Krishna Himself thought, "The lifetime in this Kali-yuga is short, so how will they be rescued? They will be rescued from this kind of environment and reach My place by chanting the Holy Name." We are His children—"loving search for the lost service," He is searching for us, "How will our child come back from the illusory environment to our own place?" Only through the chanting of the Holy Name can these kinds of things be attained. Krishna Himself appeared in the form of the Name (Krishna's Name, Beauty, Pastimes, Associates are nondifferent from Krishna) and came as Gauranga Mahaprabhu to distribute this Holy Name, so only He and His associates can distribute it.
Gurudev gives Krishna's Name to the heart, and then it comes to the mouth, tongue. Krishna will dance there Himself ('dance' means chanting). If you ask me, "Maharaj, can you dance?" I will need some level place. If there are holes, and bumps—some place is high, some place is low—I cannot dance there. If you want to dance, you have to level the place. Tongue is necessary—chanting, chanting, and taking prasadam, then the tongue will be level and Krishna Nam will dance on your tongue. Gurudev keeps, puts the Name inside your heart, but the Name will come to your tongue.
There are some rules and regulations for levelling the tongue—not to say bad things, not to talk so much about nonsense things without Krishna consciousness—only chanting the Holy Name, only preaching. Jive daya (জীবে দয়া, be kind to the souls), name ruchi (নামে রুচি, relishing the Name), and Vaishnav-seva (বৈষ্ণব সেবা, serve Vaishnavs). What your Gurudev or a Vaishnav told you, you have to follow that.
There are also four obstacles to the Holy Name, 32 kinds of seva-aparadh, 10 kinds of Nama-aparadh, and 4 types of bad habits where Kali stays in this age and that you must always avoid because they are very bad for spiritual life:
1) dyutam (gambling, playing cards, games, etc.);
Food that is just vegetarian is also not for Krishna consciousness. You must take prasad. Monkeys also eat vegetarian food, cows also eat grass, calves drink milk, etc. They are vegetarian, but do they get Krishna consciousness? No. So, vegetarian food is not necessary: you have to offer what you eat. If you like singara, samosa, buy and give it to the Deity. After it is offered, take prasad.
You must not eat rice on Ekadasi days. Scriptures say that if you take rice on Ekadasi day, it is equal to cow's meat. You can make alu dum, boiled potato, fruits, milk, paneer, some subji, etc. If you are hungry, you can eat 5 kg of boiled potato, it is not a problem. There is no such excuse as "I cannot do that, I cannot follow the rules, so I will not do it," or, "I cannot chant, so I will not chant." No.
This Holy Name has come through the Guru-parampara. It comes from Krishna to Brahma, from Brahma to Narad, from Narad to Vyasadev, from Vyasadev to Madhva Acharya. In this way it comes to Madhavendra Puri, from Madhavendra Puri to Ishwar Puri, and from Ishwar Puri to Mahaprabhu. (Mahaprabhu Himself took initiation from Ishwar Puri. He is the Lord, but the Lord came in the form of a human, so He is showing example to others.) After that, the Holy Name came to Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, then to Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and then our Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, who is the Founder-Acharya of this Math. In his lifetime he told to Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, "If anyone wants to take initiation, you will give it to them." He got this Holy Name from his Guru, and I got this Holy Name from him. In his lifetime Gurudev said to me, "If somebody wants to take initiation, really wants to chant the Holy Name, you can initiate them."
There is a big bead on the beads called Sumeru. Take it into your right hand and first chant the Pancha-tattva mantra,
sri krishna chaitanya prabhu nityananda
Chant the Pancha-tattva's name, ask Them for mercy, pay obeisance to Them—They have brought the Holy Name to this abode, and without Their mercy we cannot chant the Holy Name. Then start chanting the maha-mantra from the big beads of the mala (without chanting on Sumeru),
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
In this way, chant bead by bead, from the big beads to the small beads, then turn and chant from the small beads to the big beads (without crossing the Sumeru bead). In this way. Chant 16 rounds or more every day. Chant without offence, and Krishna will reveal in your heart, you will be successful in your spiritual life. If you do not get time, you must chant at least four rounds every day. If you talk much, gossip, etc. and think you can chant only four rounds, that is not good. You are now in the illusory environment, and if you do not take the medicine, thinking, "Oh, I will take it later," you will not come out. This is your medicine [His Divine Grace points at the mala of the newly initiated devotee].
"Sixteen rounds or more is good, and you can also chant without the mala—when you are cooking, when you are doing another service. You can chant at any time—even when sleeping, bathing, lying down, driving, or sitting in the car. You can chant any time without the beads, the result is the same. Always chant—when you are serving with your hands, you can chant with your mouth.
"They will also give you a book about the offences of the Holy Name. You must read it and avoid these offences. Chant without offence and you will get the result quickly, as soon as possible."
"You are getting the seed, but it is not enough to only get the seed—you must take care of it. You must always chant properly and practise properly. That is my advice. You think you are getting initiation and will go to Vaikuntha, but it is not possible without you practising."
"A chair has four legs, and actually I am your one leg, but a chair cannot stand with one leg only—three more legs are necessary. You must practise and avoid bad things—this is left up to you. If you do not practise properly, your Guru cannot do anything. If you follow your Guru, that is good for your life. Follow everything I am telling you properly and you will prosper in your practising life, you will be successful in your spiritual life. I am giving you medicine, and if you do not take this medicine, your disease will not be cured. Take the medicine and avoid bad things."
"You can also see there is the Nama aparadh book. You can read this book. Many people chant the Holy Name, but they do not get the result because they make so many Nama aparadhas, offences to the Name. Read this book, understand what Nama aparadh is and avoid it. If you can chant without offence, Krishna will reveal Himself in your heart, you will get the result quickly, and you will be successful in your spiritual life."
"You have come to take initiation from me, but actually you are going to get connection with the Lord, you are going to become a member of the Lord's family. From today you are a member of the family of the Lord. Maya, the illusory environment, will always want to remove you from this family, but you have got your membership in Krishna's family and through practising you must always renew that membership. If you only take initiation from your Guru but do not practise properly, you will lose your membership."
"You can stay anywhere, in a forest or a house, it is necessary to chant, only to chant constantly. When you stop chanting, illusory environment can come. Chant constantly! Sometimes you will not get taste, but you should think, "Why am I not getting taste?" You must think, "Something bad has come into my mind, that is why I am not getting taste through chanting." So, you should chant constantly. Those who only talk, talk, talk, their energy goes into talking, and they cannot chant."
"You must follow these rules; otherwise, it is not a question of not chanting or not taking initiation, the question is that if you do not stop these four—dyuta, pana, striya, suna—it is bad for you, and you can be attacked by Kali Maharaj. Kali Maharaj always stays in these four places, so you should preach that we should avoid these places."
"If you practise properly, you will be attracted to chanting, you will feel happiness through chanting. When you get that ananda, pleasure, then you can think that your chanting is working. That pleasure comes from continuous chanting; if, however, you chant two-three rounds, and thinking, 'Oh, my mind is not chanting,' you give it up, it is not good. Chant, chant, chant, and chant more, then you will get the real benefit through chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Chant, keep good association (sadhu-sanga), listen to Hari-katha (sravan), and practise (kirtan), then gradually you will get proper benefit through your chanting—then you will get the real service to your Guru."
"An offence to the Holy Name can be removed through chanting, but if you do not chant, how will it be removed?"
"Do your duty and chant the Holy Name when you do your service. Follow Gurudev's order, and do not think what result is coming or whether Nama-aparadh or Namabhas is coming—that is not your department."
"This is the Age of Kali—it is not Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, or Dvapara-yuga. You cannot do fire sacrifice now: even if you do ten million fire sacrifices, it will not be equal to one chanting of the Holy Name. So, always chant the Holy Name. When you work, you work with your hands—you can still always chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. That is your life."
"Keep practising Krishna consciousness continuously. So many years have passed for us on this planet, so many births and deaths have passed, but we have finally got a human body, we have finally got a bona fide Guru. If you can practise continuously, with tolerance, humility, giving honour to others, removing all material desires, chanting the Holy Name properly, then your real home is ready for you: then Gurudev already has your home made there, and he is only waiting for you. But if you cannot practise properly, if you cannot keep proper desire, cannot do service properly, how will you then get to your real home?"
"It is not necessary to think about so many things. For primary devotion, it is not necessary to have some special mood. Chant first the Pancha-tattva's name and then the Holy Name, chant it easily and you will get result, the mood will come to you automatically. There are no rules, no regulations—you can chant the Holy Name in any place—whether you are on the train, in the bus, walking, or even in the toilet."
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By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
"Our only hope is the words of scriptures—if we chant, chant, and chant, then one day the Holy Name will be merciful to us and give us super benefit. Still, it is good if we try to avoid offences and try to chant the Holy Name properly. I will be even happier if you always remember Mahaprabhu's advice and behave with humility, tolerance, giving honour to others."
"You can practise chanting the Holy Name at any time, at every time. You can not only chant the Holy Name, but think about Him, meditate on Him, remember Him—you can do everything together with this Holy Name."
"When devotees chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra, they think, 'Who am I? What right do I have? Why would Krishna look at me? Krishna is so great—I can only hope for His causeless mercy. Still, I have no other way—I must chant the Holy Name. Whether He sees me or not, it is His matter, my duty is to chant His Name, and one day I must get His mercy. I have no doubt about it.'"
"Actually, only one prayer is necessary to chant the Holy Name, 'Please appear in my heart, please reveal Yourself. I am a very fallen soul, I have no quality or qualification, but I am begging You—You are so merciful, You appear in this material world, so please come, please appear in my heart.' If you want to think about something, then think about this, otherwise just chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra attentively. You can sometimes chant loudly—when you chant loudly, all other thoughts go far away."
"Why we are not qualified? Because we do not follow Mahaprabhu's three directives properly! We have joined Mahaprabhu's mission, we want to progress in our spiritual life, we want to get to our target (transcendental platform of spiritual life), and we must get it, there is no doubt about it, but it is necessary to be serious. I always say one and the same thing—be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others, but be like that, then you will be qualified."
"There are no rules, no regulation, no process—only love and affection, and faith is the basis. I have told it a thousand times. Chant, but it is necessary to chant with love and affection and following Mahaprabhu's procedure—be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others. I also think that it will be better if instead of the Holy Name we will chant, 'Humility, tolerance, giving honour to others. Humility, tolerance, giving honour to others.' If you follow only this mantram of Mahaprabhu's advice, then you will be able to chant the Holy Name of the Lord properly."
trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
"One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree, who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna."
"If you want to chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra, first be this! If you always chant, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna," it is not a fact that this is real chanting or that such chanting will take you anywhere. Actually, He who is Hare Krishna, will reveal Himself in your heart, then you will understand where is Hare Krishna. This is the position of this maha-mantra. This mantra is called maha-mantra. You can purchase thousands of maha-mantras at the market, but it is not a fact that it will take you anywhere. If we want to enter the conception that is given to us within this world by Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Sanatana Goswami, the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then first we must be qualified with these three qualities.
"We like to claim, 'We belong to the disciplic succession group of Sri Rupa Saraswati Sridhar Swami!" but this is only an external claim. How much have we entered there internally? Why is Vrindavan not manifesting itself within our own heart?
"Here we hear the heartbeat, but there you will not hear it—there is only maha-mantra, only kirtan going on in the heart. There, instead of heartbeat, you will hear, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." When this potency comes, the heartbeat will become useless. Heartbeat can move this material body, but it cannot give entrance into the transcendental world. Yet, Harinam can take a conditioned soul from the lowest level to the highest position. Such is the power of the Holy Name, and all scriptures say this, not only our scriptures."
— • : • —
|HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE | HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE|
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