20 The holy name evokes love of God

The Holy Name Evokes Love Of God

Liberation and freedom from sinful reactions are merely by−products of chanting the holy name. The real result is ecstatic love of Krsna:

It was mentioned in the assembly that Haridasa thakura chanted the holy names of Krsna 300,000 times a day. Thus all the learned scholars began to discuss the glories of the holy name. Some of them said, "By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is freed from the reactions of all sinful life." Others said, "Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, a living being is liberated from material bondage." Haridasa thakura protested, "These two benedictions are not the true result of chanting the holy name. By actually chanting the holy name without offenses, one awakens his ecstatic love for the lotus feet of Krsna. 'When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.' Liberation and extinction of the reactions of sinful life are two concomitant by−products of chanting the holy name of the Lord. An example is found in the gleams of morning sunlight. 'As the rising sun immediately disslpates all the world's darkness, which is deep like an ocean, so the holy name of the Lord, if chanted once without offenses, can dissipate all the reactions of a living being's sinful life. All glories to that holy name of the Lord, which is auspicious for the entire world.'" After reciting this verse, Haridasa thakura said, "O learned scholars, please explain the meaning of this verse." But the audience requested Haridasa thakura, "It is better for you to explain the meaning of this important verse." Haridasa thakura said, "As the sun begins to rise, even before visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest, and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord's holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krsna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 3.176−86


The holy name brings love for Krsna:

The holy name of Krsna is so attractive that anyone who chants it−including all living entities, moving and nonmoving, and even Lord Krsna Himself−becomes imbued with love of Krsna. This is the effect of chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 3.268

The Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna, and loving devotion to Sri Krsna exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 1.96

As a result of chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy name of Krsna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one very easily achieves these transcendental riches.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 8.28


By chanting offenselessly, one attains love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: "Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 4.71


When one is on the transcendental stage of chanting the holy name, he attains love of God:

By chanting the holy name of the Lord one can directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration. As one practices this sound vibration, he passes through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage. In the offensive stage one may desire all kinds of material happiness, but in the second stage one becomes clear of all material contamination. When one is situated on the transcendental stage, he attains the most coveted position−the stage of loving God. Lord Caitanya taught that this is the highest stage of perfection for human beings.

– Teachings of Lord Caitanya


By chanting, one is freed from material activities and develops love for Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Satyaraja]: "By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one dissolves his entanglement in material activities. After this, one becomes very attracted to Krsna, and thus dormant love for Krsna is awakened."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.109


By constantly chanting the holy name, one easily attains liberation and love of Godhead:

[Lord Caitanya to Prakasananda Sarasvati]: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Always discuss Srimad−Bhagavatam and constantly chant the holy name of Lord Krsna. In this way you will be able to attain liberation very easily, and you will be elevated to the enjoyment of love of Godhead."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 25.154


Chanting the holy name initiates the flow of waves of love for Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: "Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna, one can be freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awakening all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for Krsna."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 20.11


If one is expert in chanting the holy name, he will, without fail, attain love of Godhead:

The Lord then told Sanatana Gosvami that the association of good devotees, engagement in the transcendental service of the Lord, the understanding of Srimad−Bhagavatam, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, and residence in a holy place like Vrndavana or Mathura are all very important for elevation to the transcendental plane. One need not attain all five of these items; if one is expert in just one of them, he will, without fail, be elevated to the stage of love of Godhead.

– Teachings of Lord Caitanya


The great fruit of love of Godhead is distributed through the medium of chanting the maha mantra:

The fruit of love of God is so tasteful that wherever a devotee distributes it, those who relish the fruit, anywhere in the world, immediately become intoxicated.

Here the wonderful fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described. We have practical experience that anyone who accepts this fruit and sincerely tastes it immediately becomes mad after it and gives up all his bad habits, being intoxicated by Caitanya Mahaprabhu's gift, the Hare Krsna maha mantra. The statements of Caitanya−caritamrta are so practical that anyone can test them. As far as we are concerned, we are most confident of the success of the distribution of the great fruit of love of Godhead through the medium of chanting of the maha mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 9.48


How chanting the holy name elevates one to the position of ecstatic pure devotional service to Krsna:

[Lord Caitanya to Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya]: "By performing congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, one can destroy the sinful condition of material existence, purify the unclean heart and awaken all varieties of devotional service. The result of chanting is that one awakens his love for Krsna and tastes transcendental bliss. Ultimately, one attains the association of Krsna and engages in His devotional service, as if immersing himself in a great ocean of love."

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 20.13−14


By associating with pure devotees engaged in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, one's heart is purified and one develops pure love for Krsna:

An example of rising to the stage of ecstatic love by executing the regulative principles of devotional service is given in the life story of Narada, which is described to Vyasadeva in Srimad−Bhagavatam. Narada tells there of his previous life and how he developed to the  stage of ecstatic love. He was engaged in the service of great devotees and used to hear their talks and songs. Because he had the opportunity to hear these pastimes and songs of Krsna from the mouths of pure devotees, he became very attracted within his heart. Because he had become so eager to hear these topics, he gradually developed within himself an ecstatic love for Krsna. This ecstatic love is prior to the pure love of Krsna, because in the next verse Narada confirms that by the gradual process of hearing from the great sages he developed love of Godhead. In that connection, Narada continues to say in the First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 28, of the Bhagavatam, "First I passed my days in the association of the great sages during the rainy autumn season. Every morning and evening I heard them  while they were singing and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, and thus my heart gradually became purified. As soon as I heard them with great attention, the influence of the modes of material ignorance and passion disappeared, and I became firmly fixed in devotional service to the Lord."

These are practical examples of how one can develop to the stage of ecstatic love simply by the association of pure devotees. It is essential, therefore, that one constantly associate with pure devotees who are engaged morning and evening in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. In this way one will get the chance to purify his heart and develop this ecstatic pure love for Krsna.

– The Nectar of Devotion


By chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, one's heart becomes cleansed, one's love for Krsna and eternal relationship with Him is revived, and one goes back to Godhead:

In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Rupa Gosvami said:

namo maha−vadanyaya krsna−prema−pradaya te
krsnaya krsna−caitanya namne gaura−tvise namah

[Madhya 19.53]

In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as maha−vadanya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Krsna so easily that one can attain Krsna simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto−darpana−marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]), we shall be able to understand very easily that Krsna is the only object of love (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta−sangah param vrajet).

Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Krsna and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah). Then one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Instead of bringing the Lord here for some material purpose, to have a son or whatever else, if we go back home, back to Godhead, our real relationship with the Lord is revealed, and we eternally engage in our eternal relationship. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, we gradually develop our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person and thus attain the perfection called svarupa−siddhi. We should take advantage of this benediction and go back home, back to Godhead. Srila Narottama dasa thakura has therefore sung, patita−pavana−hetu tava avatara: Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as an incarnation to deliver all fallen souls like us and directly bestow upon us love of Godhead. We must take advantage of this great benediction of the great Personality of Godhead.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 10.3.37−38


Anyone who has attained transcendental affection for Krsna by constantly chanting His holy name remains satisfied in any condition of life simply by remembering the holy name:

There is a statement by a person fallen in a hellish condition of life. He addressed the Supreme Lord thus: "My dear Lord, Yamaraja has placed me in a situation which is full of filthy and obnoxious smells. There are so many insects and worms, surrounded by the stools left by different kinds of diseased persons. And after seeing this horrible scene, my eyes have become sore, and I am becoming nearly blind. I therefore pray, O my Lord, O deliverer from the hellish conditions of life. I have fallen into this hell, but I shall try to remember Your holy name always, and in this way I shall try to keep my body and soul together." This is another instance of ecstatic love for Krsna in an abominable situation.

It is to be understood that any person who is constantly engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

has attained a transcendental affection for Krsna, and as such, in any condition of life, he remains satisfied simply by remembering the Lord's name in full affection and ecstatic love.

– The Nectar of Devotion


Whereas the holy name of Lord Rama gives liberation, the holy name of Lord Krsna gives one ecstatic love of Krsna:

[Mayadevi, in the form of a prostitute, to Haridasa thakura]: "The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna."

In an indirect way, this verse explains the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha mantra. The Hare Krsna maha mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

includes both the holy name of Lord Krsna and the name of Lord Rama. Lord Rama gives one the opportunity to be liberated, but simply by liberation one does not get actual spiritual benefit. Sometimes if one is liberated from the material world but has no shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna, one falls down to the material world again… The Hare Krsna maha mantra, however, gives liberation and at the same time offers shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. If one takes shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna after liberation, he develops his dormant ecstatic love for Krsna. That is the highest perfection of life.

– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 3.257


Revival of love of God does not depend on mechanical hearing and chanting, but on the Lord's causeless mercy:

[Devotional service] is a great transcendental science and begins with the process of hearing and chanting the name, fame, glory, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Revival of the dormant affection or love of Godhead does not depend on the mechanical system of hearing and chanting, but it solely and wholly depends on the causeless mercy of the Lord. When the Lord is fully satisfied with the sincere efforts of the devotee, He may endow him with His loving transcendental service.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.6


Author: ISKCON Desire Tree

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