Strenghtening Our Faith: Sri Nama-Mahatmya
When you go on a journey, you need a compass. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s poem Sri Nama-Mahatmya is such a compass for chanting the holy names. It describes the process of chanting and strengthens our faith. The strength of our faith is what determines how quickly we advance. Faith in a process is strengthened when we see that it works. In the Sri Nama-Mahatmya Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes his own experiences with the holy name, he gives us an example of chanting with taste and of what happens when the holy name appears in our heart.
You can sometimes sing this song on your own or read the translation something will rub off in your heart.
Sri Nama-Mahatmya The Glories of the Holy Name
krsna-nama dhare koto bal
visaya-vasananale, mora citta sada jwale,
karna-randhra-patha diya, hrdi majhe pravesiya,
varisoya sudha anupam
What power does the name of Krsna possess? My heart constantly burns in the fire of worldly desires, just like a desert scorched by the rays of the sun. The holy name, entering the core of my heart through the holes of my ears, showers unparalleled nectar upon my soul.
hrdoya hoite bole, jihvara agrete cale,
sabda-rupe nace anuksan
kanthe mora bhańge swara, ańga kańpe thara thara,
sthira hoite na pare caran
The holy name speaks from within my heart, moves onto the tip of my tongue, and constantly dances on it in the form of transcendental sound. My throat becomes choked up, my body shivers again and again, and my feet cannot remain still.
cakse dhara, dehe gharma, pulakita saba carma,
vivarna hoilo kalevara
murchita hoilo man, pralayera agaman,
bhave sarva-deha jara jara
Rivers of tears flow from my eyes, perspiration completely soaks my body, all my skin thrills with rapture, my hairs stand on end, and my complexion turns pale and discolored. My mind grows faint, I begin to experience devastation, and my entire body is shattered in a flood of ecstatic emotions.
kori’ eto upadrava, citte varse sudha-drava,
more dare premera sagare
kichu na bujhite dilo, more to’ batula koilo,
mora citta-vitta saba hare
While causing such an ecstatic disturbance, the holy name showers liquid nectar on my heart and drowns me in the ocean of divine love of Godhead. He does not allow me to understand anything, for he has made me truly mad by having stolen away my mind and all my resources.
loinu asroya ja’r, heno vyavahara ta’r,
varnite na pari e sakal
krsna-nama iccha-moy, jahe jahe sukhi hoy,
sei mora sukhera sambal
Such is the behavior of him in whom I have taken shelter. I am not capable of describing all this. The holy name of Krsna is independent and thus acts on his own sweet will. In whatever way he becomes happy, that is also my way of happiness.
premera kalika nam, adbhuta rasera dham,
heno bala karaye prakas
isat vikasi’ punah, dekhay nija-rupa-guna,
citta hari’ loya krsna-pas
The holy name is the bud of the flower of divine love, and is the very abode of astonishing mellows. Such is the power he manifests that when his holy name starts to blossom a little further, it then reveals his own divine form and qualities. Thus my heart is abducted and taken directly to Krsna.
purna vikasita hoiya, braje more jaya loiya,
dekhay more swarupa-vilas
more siddha-deha diya, krsna-pase rakhe giya,
e dehera kore sarva-nas
Blossoming fully, the flower of the holy name takes me to Vraja and reveals to me his own love-dalliance. This name gives to me my own eternal spiritual body, keeps me right by Krsna’s side, and completely destroys everything related to this mortal frame of mine.
krsna-nama-cintamani, akhila rasera khani,
namera balai jata, saba lo’ye hoi hata,
tabe mora sukhera udoy
The name of Krsna is a transcendental touchstone, a mine of all devotional mellows. It is eternally liberated, and the embodiment of pure rasa. When all impediments to the pure chanting of the holy name are taken away and destroyed, then my happiness will know its true awakening.