23 By chanting the holy name, one returns home, Back to Godhead
In Kali−yuga, one can attain liberation and return to the spiritual kingdom by chanting the holy name:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to Maharaja Pariksit]: "'My dear King, although Kali−yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.'"
– Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51
– [cited: Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 20.344]
By chanting, one becomes liberated and returns home, back to Godhead:
[Lord Caitanya to Satyaraja]: "…One simply has to vibrate the holy name with his lips. Thus even a man in the lowest class [candala] can be delivered."
Although chanting the holy name is good for both the conditioned and liberated soul, it is especially beneficial to the conditioned soul because by chanting it one is liberated. When a person who chants the holy name is liberated, he attains the ultimate perfection by returning home, back to Godhead… Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.108
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
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 Krsnamantra, 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
By chanting Hare Krsna one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead:
Generally people are not aware of their interest in life−to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuntha planets, and the topmost planet is Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana… One should be intelligent enough to return to Godhead. One should be interested in information about the spiritual Vaikuntha planets, and in particular the planet known as Goloka Vrndavana, and should learn the art of going there by the simple method of devotional service, beginning with hearing (sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]).
This is also confinned in Srimad−Bhagavatam (12.3.51):
kaler dosa−nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta−sangah param vrajet
One can go to the supreme planet (param vrajet) simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. This is especially meant for the people of this age (kaler dosa−nidheh). It is the special advantage of this age that simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead. There is no doubt about this.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.48
If one constantly thinks of Krsna by chanting His holy name, he will return to Krsnaloka at the time of death:
[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.
In this verse the importance of Krsna consciousness is stressed. Anyone who quits his body in Krsna consciousness is at once transferred to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord. The word smarana (remembering) is important. Remembrance of Krsna is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Krsna consciousness in devotional service. To remember Krsna one should chant the maha mantra,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Krsna and so attain the supreme goal.
Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.
The process of changing one's nature at the critical moment of death is here explained. How can one die in the proper state of mind? Maharaja Bharata thought of a deer at the time of death and so was transferred to that form of life. However, as a deer, Maharaja Bharata could remember his past activities. Of course the cumulative effect of the thoughts and actions of one's life influences one's thoughts at the moment of death; therefore the actions of this life determine one's future state of being. If one is transcendentally absorbed in Krsna's service, then his next body will be transcendental (spiritual), not physical. Therefore the chanting of Hare Krsna is the best process for successfully changing one's state of being to transcendental life.
Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.
This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krsna by chanting Hare Krsna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krsna. By chanting Krsna's names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, without a doubt.
He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha [Arjuna], is sure to reach Me.
In this verse Lord Krsna stresses the importance of remembering Him. One's memory of Krsna is revived by chanting the maha mantra, Hare Krsna. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one's ear and tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord… The devotee can constantly think of the object of worship, the Supreme Lord, in any of His features, Narayana, Krsna, Rama, etc., by chanting Hare Krsna. This practice will purify him, and at the end of his life, due to his constant chanting, he will be transferred to the kingdom of God. Yoga practice is meditation on the Supersoul within; similarly, by chanting Hare Krsna one fixes his mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is fickle, and therefore it is necessary to engage the mind by force to think of Krsna. One example often given is that of the caterpillar that thinks of becoming a butterfly and so is transformed into a butterfly in the same life. Similarly, if we constantly think of Krsna, it is certain that at the end of our lives we shall have the same bodily constitution as Krsna.
– Bhagavad gita As It Is 8.5−8
One who chants the holy name of the Lord constantly during one's life can, at the time of death, return home, back to Godhead:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: While suffering at the time of death, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, and although the chanting was directed toward his son, he nevertheless returned home, back to Godhead. Therefore if one faithfully and inoffensively chants the holy name of the Lord, where is the doubt that he will return to Godhead?
At the time of death one is certainly bewildered because his bodily functions are in disorder. At that time, even one who throughout his life has practiced chanting the holy name of the Lord may not be able to chant the Hare Krsna mantra very distinctly. Nevertheless, such a person receives all the benefits of chanting the holy name. While the body is fit, therefore, why should we not chant the holy name of the Lord loudly and distinctly? If one does so, it is quite possible that even at the time of death he will be properly able to chant the holy name of the Lord with love and faith. In conclusion, one who chants the holy name of the Lord constantly is guaranteed to return home, back to Godhead, without a doubt.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.49
Those who chant the maha mantra escape continual rebirth and go to the spiritual planet of Krsna, even in this life:
[Lord Krsna to Arjuna]: When Brahma's day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma's night they are all annihilated.
The less intelligent jivas try to remain within this material world and are accordingly elevated and degraded in the various planetary systems. During the daytime of Brahma they exhibit their activities, and at the coming of Brahma's night they are annihilated. In the day they receive various bodies for material activities, and at night these bodies perish. The jivas (individual souls) remain compact in the body of Visnu and again and again are manifest at the arrival of Brahma's day. When Brahma's life is finally finished, they are all annihilated and remain unmanifest for millions and millions of years. Finally, when Brahma is born again in another millennium, they are again manifest. In this way the jivas are captivated by the material world. However, those intelligent beings who take to Krsna consciousness and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Rama in devotional service transfer themselves, even in this life, to the spiritual planet of Krsna and become eternally blissful there, not being subject to such rebirths.
– Bhagavad gita As It Is 8.18
Better than performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies to go to higher material planets is to chant the holy name and return home, back to Godhead:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: One who constantly hears and chants the holy name of the Lord and hears and chants about His activities can very easily attain the platform of pure devotional service, which can cleanse the dirt from one's heart. One cannot achieve such purification merely by observing vows and performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Devotees who always lick the honey from the lotus feet of Lord Krsna do not care at all for material activities, which are performed under the three modes of material nature and which bring only misery. Indeed, devotees never give up the lotus feet of Krsna to return to material activities. Others, however, who are addicted to Vedic rituals because they have neglected the service of the Lord's lotus feet and are enchanted by lusty desires, sometimes perform acts of atonement. Nevertheless, being incompletely purified, they return to sinful activities again and again.
One may very easily practice chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord and thus become ecstatic in spiritual life… There is no profit, however, in executing the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. By performing such activities one may go to the higher planetary systems, but as stated in Bhagavad−gita (9.21), ksine punye martya−lokam visanti: when the period of one's enjoyment in the heavenly planets is terminated because of the limited extent of the results of one's pious activities, one must return to earth. Thus there is no use in endeavoring to travel up and down in the universe. It is better to chant the holy name of the Lord so that one may become fully purified and eligible to return home, back to Godhead. That is the aim of life, and that is the perfection of life…
A devotee's duty is to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. One may sometimes chant with offenses and sometimes without offenses, but if one seriously adopts this process, he will achieve perfection, which cannot be achieved through Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of atonement. Persons who are attached to the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, but do not believe in devotional service, who advise atonement, but do not appreciate the chanting of the Lord's holy name, fail to achieve the highest perfection. Devotees, therefore, being completely detached from material enjoyment, never give up Krsna consciousness for Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Those who are attached to Vedic ritualistic ceremonies because of lusty desires are subjected to the tribulations of material existence again and again. Maharaja Pariksit has compared their activities to kunjara−sauca, the bathing of an elephant.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.32−33
The purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement is to teach the people in general how to enter the kingdom of God in the next life through the chanting of the names of God:
It is not possible in our human condition to understand the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead completely, but with the help of Bhagavad−gita, the statements given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and of the spiritual master, we can know Him to the best of our capacity. If we can know Him in reality, then immediately after leaving this body we can enter into the kingdom of God. Krsna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna: "After leaving this body, one who is in knowledge does not come again to this material world, for he enters into the spiritual world and comes to Me." (Bg. 4.9)
The purpose of our Krsna consciousness movement is to propagate this advanced scientific idea to people in general, and the process is very simple. Simply by chanting the holy names of God
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
one cleanses the dirt from his heart and gains understanding that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and that it is his duty to serve Him. This process is very pleasant: we chant the Hare Krsna mantra, we dance rhythmically, and we eat nice prasada. While enjoying this life, we are preparing to enter into the kingdom of God in our next life. This is not a fabrication it is factual.
– Easy Journey to Other Planets
By chanting the holy name, the soul is attracted by Krsna to go back to Godhead:
Recognizing Krsna to be the Supreme Brahman, Arjuna addresses Him, sthane hrsikesa…"The world becomes joyful hearing Your name, and thus do all become attached to You." [Bg. 11.36] The process of chanting is herein authorized as the direct means of contacting the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. Simply by chanting the holy name Krsna, the soul is attracted by the Supreme Person, Krsna, to go home, back to Godhead.
– The Science of Self Realization
Even if performed without knowledge or education, chanting the holy name (and dancing and taking prasada) will lead anyone, even an animal, back to Godhead:
When all the devotees came to the place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they saw that the same dog was sitting a little apart from the Lord. Furthermore, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, "Chant the holy names Rama, Krsna, and Hari." Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting "Krsna, Krsna" again and again, all the devotees present were very much surprised. When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of Krsna, Sivananda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it. The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuntha, the spiritual kingdom. Such are the transcendental pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Saci. He even delivered a dog simply by inducing it to chant the maha mantra, Hare Krsna.
This is the result of sadhu sanga, consequent association with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaisnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasada, not to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone could be promoted to Vaikunthaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaisnavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikunthaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasada and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Krsna and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 1.28−33
Even unintentional chanting of the holy name, if offenseless, will take one back to Godhead:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: While suffering at the time of death, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, and although the chanting was directed toward his son, he nevertheless returned home, back to Godhead. Therefore, if one faithfully and inoffensively chants the holy name of the Lord, where is the doubt that he will return to Godhead?
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.49