07 The Lord and his holy name are nondifferent

The Lord And His Holy Name Are Nondifferent

The holy name is identical with Krsna:

"'The holy name of Krsna … is identical with Krsna …'"

– Padyavali (24), by Rupa Gosvami
– [cited: Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.110]


The Hare Krsna mantra is nondifferent from Krsna:

[Lord Sankarsana to King Citraketu] All living entities, moving and nonmoving, are My expansions and are separate from Me. I am the Supersoul of all living beings, which exist because I manifest them. I am the form of the transcendental vibrations like omkara and Hare Krsna Hare Rama, and I am the Supreme Absolute Truth. These two forms of Mine−namely, the transcendental sound and the eternally blissful spiritual form of the Deity−are My eternal forms; they are not material.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.51


Krsna's name is identical with His form:

"O Lord," the demigods say, "the impersonalists, who are nondevotees, cannot understand that Your name is identical with Your form." Since the Lord is absolute, there is no difference between His name and His actual form. In the material world there is a difference between form and name. The mango fruit is different from the name of the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting, "Mango, mango, mango." But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of the Lord chants

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

and realizes that he is always in Krsna's company. 

– Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.36


One must have faith that the holy name is identical with Krsna:

One should accept the holy name of Krsna to be identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Transcendence Himself. The holy name of Krsna is also identical with Krsna and is also cintamani. The name Krsna is the personification of sound perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination. One should understand that the name Krsna and Krsna are identical. Having such faith, one must continue to chant the holy name.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.106


In this age, Krsna has descended as Sound vibration−as His holy name:

Sometimes Krsna descends personally, and sometimes He descends as sound vibration, and sometimes He descends as a devotee. There are many different categories of avataras. In this present age Krsna has descended in His holy name,

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also confirmed that in this age of Kali, Krsna has descended in the form of sound vibration. Sound is one of the forms which the Lord takes. Therefore it is stated that there is no difference between Krsna and His name.

Today people have forgotten their relationship with God, but this incarnation of Krsna in the form of His holy names, this chanting of Hare Krsna, will deliver all the people of the world from their forgetfulness.

– Elevation to Krsna Consciousness


Lord Caitanya taught that the holy name of the Lord is nondifferent from the Lord:

Lord Caitanya instructed the mass of people in the Sankhya philosophy of acintya−bhedabheda−tattva, which maintains that the Supreme Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation. Lord Caitanya taught this philosophy through the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. He taught that the holy name of the Lord is the sound incarnation of the Lord and that since the Lord is the absolute whole, there is no difference between His holy name and His transcendental form. Thus by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration.

– Teachings of Lord Caitanya


Unlike the conditioned soul, there is no distinction between Krsna's name and His person:

[Lord Caitanya to a brahmana]:  "The Lord's holy name, His form and His personality are all one and the same. There is no difference between them. Since all of them are absolute, they are transcendentally blissful. There is no difference between Krsna's body and Himself or between His name and Himself. As far as the conditioned soul is concerned, everything is different. One's name is different from the body, from one's original form and so on.… The holy name of Krsna, His transcendental qualities and pastimes as well as Lord Krsna Himself are all equal. They are all spiritual and full of bliss." 

The name of Krsna and Krsna the person are both spiritual. Everything about Krsna is transcendental, blissful and objective. For a conditioned soul, the body is different from the soul, and the name given by the father is also different from the soul. The conditioned living entity's identification with material objects keeps him from attaining his actual position. Although he is an eternal servant of Krsna, he acts differently. The svartpa, or actual identification of the living entity, is described by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as jivera 'svarupa' haya−krsnera 'nitya−dasa.' [Cc. Madhya 20.108]. The conditioned soul has forgotten the real activities of his original position. However, this is not the case with Krsna. Krsna's name and His person are identical. There is no such thing as maya Krsna because Krsna is not a product of the material creation. There is no difference between Krsna's body and His soul. Krsna is simultaneously both soul and body. The distinction between body and soul applies to conditioned souls. The body of the conditioned soul is different from the soul, and the conditioned soul's name is different from his body. One may be named Mr. John, but if we call for Mr. John, Mr. John may never actually appear. However, if we utter the holy name of Krsna, Krsna is immediately present on our tongue. In the Padma Purana, Krsna says, mad−bhakta yatra gayanti tatra tisthami narada: "ONarada, I am present wherever My devotees are chanting." When the devotees chant the holy name of Krsna 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare 
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Lord Krsna is immediately present.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 17.131−32,135


Krsna invests all His potencies in His holy name:

[Lord Caitanya to Svartpa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: "… You have invested all Your potencies in [Your] names …"

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 20.16


Being identical with Krsna, the holy name is fully transcendental and no less powerful than He:

"'The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya, Krsna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical.'"

– Padma Purana
– [cited: Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 17.133]


The holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity, and eternity:

It is said in the Padma Purana: "There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination."

– The Nectar of Devotion


The name of Krsna is as powerful as Lord Krsna Himself:

[The sages at Naimisaranya to Stta Gosvami]: Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krsna, which is feared by fear personified. 

The almighty Vasudeva has empowered His name with the powers of His personal Self.… It is stated herein that the name of Krsna is feared even by fear personified.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.14


There is no difference between meditating on the eternal forms of Radha−Krsna and chanting the maha−mantra:

After rising from bed, Lord Krsna would wash His mouth, hands and feet and would immediately sit down and meditate on Himself. This does not mean, however, that we should also sit down and meditate on ourselves. We have to meditate upon Krsna, Radha−Krsna. That is real meditation. Krsna is Krsna Himself; therefore He was teaching us that brahma−muhtrta should be utilized for meditation on Radha−Krsna. By doing so, Krsna would feel very much satisfied, and similarly we will also feel transcendentally pleased and satisfied if we utilize the brahma−muhtrta period to meditate on Radha and Krsna and if we think of how Sri Rukminidevi and Krsna acted as ideal householders to teach the whole human society to rise early in the morning and immediately engage in Krsna consciousness. There is no difference between meditating on the etemal forms of Radha−Krsna and chanting the maha−mantra, Hare Krsna. 

– Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead


When one is free from maya he can understand that the holy name and the Lord are identical:

The holy name and the Lord are identical. One who is completely free from the clutches of maya can understand this fact.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 7.73


When one is situated on the absolute platform, he can understand the holy name and the Lord Himself to be identical:

The more one is freed from material identification, the more one can realize that the spirit soul is qualitatively as good as the Supreme Soul. At such a time, when one is situated on the absolute platform, he can understand that the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical. At that stage of realization, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna mantra, cannot be identified with any material sound. If one accepts the Hare Krsna maha−mantra as a material vibration, he falls down. One should worship and chant the holy name of the Lord by accepting it as the Lord Himself. 

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.108


Knowing that Sri Krsna is present in His name, pure devotees chant with full respect and veneration:

Devotees of the Personality of Godhead know that Sri Krsna, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Absolute Truth. They do not discriminate between Sri Krsna's name, form, quality and pastimes. One who wants to separate the Lord's absolute name, form and qualities must be understood to be lacking in absolute knowledge. A pure devotee knows that when he chants the transcendental name Krsna, Sri Krsna is present as transcendental sound. He therefore chants with full respect and veneration.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 2.11


Bhava results from understanding that Krsna's person and name are identical:

The transcendental ecstatic attachment for Krsna which results from perfectly understanding that Krsna's person and name are identical is called bhava. One who has attained bhava is certainly not contaminated by material nature. He actually enjoys transcendental pleasure from bhava, and when bhava is intensified, it is called love of Godhead. Lord Caitanya told Prakasananda Sarasvati that the holy name of Krsna, called the maha−mantra (great chanting), enables anyone who chants it to attain the stage of love of Godhead, or intensified bhava.

– Teachings of Lord Caitanya


Mayavadis offend the holy name by differentiating it from the Lord Himself:

A name which represents an object of this material world may be subjected to arguments and experimental knowledge, but in the absolute world a name and its owner, fame and the famous, are identical, and similarly the qualities, pastimes and everything else pertaining to the Absolute are also absolute. Although Mayavadis profess monism, they differentiate between the holy name of the Supreme Lord and the Lord Himself. For this offense of namaparadha they gradually glide down from their exalted position of brahma−jnana, as confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.2.32):

aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho 'nadrta−yusmad−anghrayah

Although by severe austerities they rise to the exalted position of brahma−jnana, they nevertheless fall down due to imperfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Although they profess to understand the Vedic mantra, sarvam khalv idam brahma ("everything is Brahman"), they are unable to understand that the holy name is also Brahman. If they regularly chant the maha−mantra, however, they can be relieved from this misconception. Unless one properly takes shelter of the holy name, he cannot be relieved from the offensive stage in chanting the holy name.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 7.74


Author: ISKCON Desire Tree

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