27 The holy name protects one from danger and fear
To be free from danger, one should chant the Hare Krsna mantra:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing [sravanam kirtanam visnoh SB 7.5.23], there cannot be any danger from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present.
Srila Bhaktivinoda thakura has sung: namasraya kari' yatane tumi, thakaha apana kaje. Everyone is thus advised to seek shelter in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha−mantra and remain engaged in his own occupational duty. There is no loss in this, and the gain is tremendous. Even from a matenal point of view, everyone should take to chanting the Hare Krsna mantra to be saved from all kinds of danger. This world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam). Therefore we should be encouraged to chant the Hare Krsna maha−mantra so that in our family, society, neighborhood and nation, everything will be smooth and free from danger.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.3
When chanting the maha−mantra, one is completely safe, even in this dangerous material world:
When chanting the maha−mantra, we are completely safe, even in this most dangerous position. We should always be aware that in this material world, we are always in a dangerous position. Srimad−Bhagavatam confirms: padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. In this world, there is danger at every step. The devotees of the Lord, however, are not meant to remain in this miserable, dangerous place. Therefore we should take care to advance in Krsna consciousness while in this human form. Then our happiness is assured.
– The Path of Perfection
Prayer for protection by the holy names:
[Visvarupa to Lord Indra]: May the glorification of the transcendental name, form, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect us from the influence of bad planets, meteors, envious human beings, serpents, scorpions, and animals like tigers and wolves. May it protect us from ghosts and the material elements like earth, water, fire and air, and may it also protect us from lightning and our past sins. We are always afraid of these hindrances to our auspicious life. Therefore, may they all be completely destroyed by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha−mantra… May the Supreme Personality of Godhead's holy names, His transcendental forms, His carriers and all the weapons decorating Him as personal associates protect our intelligence, senses, mind and life air from all dangers.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.8.27−28, 30
By remembering Visnu (by chanting the Hare Krsna maha−mantra) one can be protected from many dangers and bad elements:
[The elderly gopis to Lord Krsna]: The evil witches known as Dakinis, Yatudhanis and Kusmandas are the greatest enemies of children, and the evil spirits like Bhutas, Pretas, Pisacas, Yaksas, Raksasas and Vinayakas, as well as witches like Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana and Matrka, are always ready to give trouble to the body, the life air and the senses, causing loss of memory, madness and bad dreams. Like the most experienced evil stars, they all create great disturbances, especially for children, but one can vanquish them simply by uttering Lord Visnu's name, for when Lord Visnu's name resounds, all of them become afraid and go away.
While decorating tho body with tilaka, we give protection to the body by chanting twelve names of Visnu. Although Govinda, or Lord Visnu, is one, He has different names and forms with which to act differently. But if one cannot remember all the names at one time, one may simply chant, "Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu," and always think of Lord Visnu. Visnor aradhanam param: this is the highest form of worship. If one remembers Visnu always, even though one is disturbed by many bad elements, one can be protected without a doubt. The Ayurveda−sastra recommends, ausadhim cintayed visnum: even while taking medicine, one should remember Visnu, because the medicine is not all and all and Lord Visnu is the real protector. The material world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam). Therefore one must become a Vaisnava and think of Visnu constantly. This is made easier by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha−mantra. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. adi 17.31], param vijayate sri−krsna−sankirtanam and kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta−sangah param vrajet.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.27−29
Mother Yasoda chanted different names of Visnu for Krsna's protection:
The gopis, headed by mother Yasoda and Rohini, chanted twelve names of Visnu to give Krsna's body full protection from all evil influences. They washed their hands and feet and sipped water three times, as is the custom before chanting mantra. They chanted as follows: "My dear Krsna, may the Lord who is known as Maniman protect Your thighs; may Lord Visnu who is known as Yajna protect Your legs; may Lord Acyuta protect Your arms; may Lord Hayagriva protect Your abdomen; may Lord Kesava protect Your heart; may Lord Visnu protect Your arms; may Lord Urukrama protect Your face; may Lord isvara protect Your head; may Lord Cakradhara protelt Your front; may Lord Gadadhara protect Your back; may Lord Madhusudana who carries a bow in His hand protect Your eyesight; may Lord Visnu with His conchshell protect Your left side; may the Personality of Godhead Upendra protect You from above, and may Lord Tarksya protect You from below the earth; may Lord Haladhara protect You from all sides; may the Personality of Godhead known as Hrsikesa protect all Your senses; may Lord Narayana protect Your breath; and may the Lord of Svetadvipa, Narayana, protect Your heart; may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind; may Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence; and may the Supreme Personality of Godhead protect Your soul. While You are playing, may Lord Govinda protect You from all sides, and when You are sleeping, may Lord Madhava protect You from all danger; when You are working may the Lord of Vaikuntha protect You from falling down; when You are sitting, may the Lord of Vaikuntha give You all protection; and while You are eating, may the Lord of all sacrifices give You all protection."
Thus mother Yasoda began to chant different names of Visnu to protect the child Krsna's different bodily parts… Mother Yasoda was firmly convinced of the Vedic injunctions about the importance of cows and the holy name of Visnu; therefore she took all shelter in the cows and the name of Visnu just to protect her child Krsna. She recited all the holy names of Visnu so that He might save the child.
– Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Ghosts and evil spirits cannot remain where there is chanting of the holy name:
Mother Yasoda was firmly convinced that she should protect her child from different kinds of evil spirits and ghosts−namely Dakinis, Yatudhanis, Kusmandas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Vinayakas, Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana, Matrkas, Unmadas and similar other evil spirits who cause persons to forget their own existence and give trouble to the life−air and the senses. Sometimes they appear in dreams and cause much perturbation; sometimes they appear as old women and suck the blood of small children. But all such ghosts and evil spirits cannot remain where there is chanting of the holy name of God.
– Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Demons and ghosts are vanquished by the holy name:
The devotee of the Lord, because of manifesting godly qualities, is called a demigod, whereas the atheist is called a demon. The demon cannot stand the presence of Visnu, the Personality of Godhead. The demons are always busy in trying to vanquish the Personality of Godhead, but factually as soon as the Personality of Godhead appears, by either His transcendental name, form, attributes, pastimes, paraphernalia or variegatedness, the demon is at once vanquished. It is said that a ghost cannot remain as soon as the holy name of the Lord is chanted.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.34
The holy name vanquishes the fear of material existence:
The material existence of our present status is full of fear. Out of the four problems of material existence, namely the food problem, the shelter problem, the fear problem and the mating problem, the fear problem gives us more trouble than the others. We are always fearful due to our ignorance of the next problem. The whole material existence is full of problems, and thus the fear problem is always prominent. This is due to our association with the illusory energy of the Lord, known as maya or external energy, yet all fear is vanished as soon as there is the sound of the Lord, represented by His holy name, as it was sounded by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the following sixteen words:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
We can take advantage of these sounds and be free from all threatening problems of material existence.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.2
By crying out the word "Krsna" one can at once transcend a fearful situation:
The calves that were pasturing nearby entered into the deep forest, allured by new grasses, and gradually went out of sight. When the boys saw that the calves were not nearby they became afraid for their safety, and they immediately cried out, "Krsna!" Krsna is the killer of fear personified. Everyone is afraid of fear personified, but fear personified is afraid of Krsna. By crying out the word "Krsna," the boys at once transcended the fearful situation.
– Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By chanting the holy name, one becomes fearless of death:
[The] principles of vaidhi bhakti are also described in Srimad−Bhagavatam, Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 35, where Sukadeva Gosvami instructs the dying Maharaja Pariksit as to his course of action. Maharaja Pariksit met Sukadeva Gosvami just a week before his death, and the King was perplexed as to what should be done before he was to pass on. Many other sages also arrived there, but no one could give him the proper direction. Sukadeva Gosvami, however, gave this direction to him as follows: "My dear King, if you want to be fearless in meeting your death next week (for actually everyone is afraid at the point of death), then you must immediately begin the process of hearing and chanting and remembering God." If one can chant and hear Hare Krsna and always remember Lord Krsna, then he is sure to become fearless of death, which may come at any moment.
– The Nectar of Devotion