05 The chanting of a pure devotee is especially effective
The chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord:
When the mantra is chanted by a pure devotee of the Lord in love, it has the greatest efficacy on hearers, and as such this chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effects can be achieved.
– The Science of Self Realization
Chanting of the holy names by pure devotees is very attractive and effective:
[King Prataparudra to Gopinatha Acarya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya]: The King said, "Upon seeing all these devotees, I am much astonished, for I have never seen such an effulgence. Indeed, their effulgence is like the brilliance of a million suns. Nor have I ever heard the Lord's names chanted so melodiously."
Such are the symptoms of pure devotees when they are chanting. All the pure devotees are as bright as sunshine, and their bodily luster is very effulgent. In addition, their performance of sankirtana is unparalleled. There are many professional chanters who can perform congregational chanting with various musical instruments in an artistic and musical way, but their chanting cannot be as attractive as the congregational chanting of pure devotees. If a devotee sticks strictly to the principles governing Vaisnava behavior, his bodily luster will naturally be attractive, and his singing and chanting of the holy names of the Lord will be effective. People will appreciate such kirtana without hesitation.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 11.94−95
Simply by hearing the holy name chanted by a pure devotee, one is purified of all sinful activities and becomes eligible to render devotional service:
[Haridasa thakura to a prostitute]: "Tomorrow I will surely finish, and my vow will be fulfilled. Then it will be possible for me to enjoy with you in full freedom."
Haridasa thakura never wanted to enjoy the prostitute, but he tricked her to deliver her by giving her a chance to hear the holy name of the Lord while he chanted. Pure devotees chant the Hare Krsna mantra, and simply by hearing this chanting from a purified transcendental person, one is purified of all sinful activities, no matter how lowborn or fallen one may be. As soon as one is thus completely free from the reactions of sinful activities, he is eligible to render devotional service to the Lord. This is the process for engaging the fallen souls in devotional service. As Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad gita (7.28):
yesam tv anta−gatam papam jananam punya−karmanam
te dvandva−moha−nirmukta bhajante mam drdha−vratah
"Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination."
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Antya lila 3.126
Devotional service begins with hearing the holy name chanted by a pure Vaisnava:
Because living entities are minute, atomic parts and parcels of the Lord, devotional service is already present within them in a dormant condition. Devotional service begins with sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting. When a man is sleeping, he can be awakened by sound vibration; therefore every conditioned soul should be given the chance to hear the Hare Krsna mantra chanted by a pure Vaisnava. One who hears the Hare Krsna mantra thus vibrated is awakened to spiritual consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. In this way one's mind gradually becomes purified, as stated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (ceto−darpana−marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). When the mind is purified, the senses are also purified. Instead of using the senses for sense gratification, the awakened devotee employs the senses in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. This is the process by which dormant love for Krsna is awakened.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 22.105
The offenseless chanting of a pure devotee can purify hundreds and thousands of other people:
When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaisnava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Krsna and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled.
The transcendental power or potency of the Hare Krsna maha mantra is herein explained. First, the holy name is vibrated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When someone hears from Him directly, he is purified. When another person hears from that person, he also is purified. In this way the purification process is advanced among pure devotees. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can claim His potency. Nonetheless, if one is a pure devotee, hundreds and thousands of men can be purified by his vibration. This potency is within every living being, provided he chants the Hare Krsna maha mantra offenselessly and without material motives. When a pure devotee chants offenselessly, another person will become a Vaisnava, and from him another Vaisnava will emerge. This is the parampara system.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 17.48−49