01 The Krsna Consciousness Movement and the Holy Name
The Krsna Consciousness movement is based upon the chanting of the holy name
Chanting the holy name is the basis of the Krsna consciousness movement:
The simplest process of purification is to assemble in congregation and chant the holy names of God. This is called sankirtana and is the basis of our Krsna consciousness movement… The age we live in is called Kali−yuga, the age of forgetting God. It is an age of misunderstanding and quarrel, and the people’s hearts are filled with dirty things. But God is so powerful that if we chant His holy name we become purified, just as my disciples have become purified of their bad habits. Our movement is based on this principle of chanting the holy name of God. We give everyone the opportunity, without any distinction. They can come to our temple, chant the Hare Krsna mantra, take a little prasada as refreshment, and gradually become purified.
– The Science of Self Realization
The Krsna consciousness movement is based upon the principle of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra at every moment, everywhere:
The Krsna consciousness movement is based on this principle: chant the Hare Krsna mantra at every moment, as much as possible, both inside and outside of the temple, and, as far as possible, distribute prasada. This process can be accelerated with the cooperation of state administrators and those who are producing the country’s wealth. Simply by liberal distribution of prasada and sankirtana, the whole world can become peaceful and prosperous.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.10
The Krsna consciousness movement is based upon the principles of chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, etc.:
In the house of Advaita Acarya, all the Vaisnavas took pleasure in always talking of Krsna, always worshiping Krsna and always chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra.
On these principles only does the Krsna consciousness movement go on. We have no business other than to talk of Krsna, worship Krsna and chant the Hare Krsna maha mantra.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 13.66
The Krsna consciousness movement is chiefly engaged in chanting the maha mantra all over the world:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra to give everyone a chance to hear Krsna’s holy name, for simply by hearing
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
one becomes purified (ceto−darpana−marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). Therefore our Krsna consciousness movement is chiefly engaged in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra all over the world.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.11
The Krsna consciousness movement is spreading all over the world due to the chanting of the holy name
The Krsna consciousness movement is being distributed all over the world through the chanting of the holy name:
[Lord Caitanya]: “If the fruits are distributed all over the world, My reputation as a pious man will be known everywhere, and thus all people will glorify My name with great pleasure.”
This prediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is now actually coming to pass. The Krsna consciousness movement is being distributed all over the world through the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna maha mantra, and people who are leading confused, chaotic lives are now feeling transcendental happiness. They are finding peace in sankirtana, and therefore they are acknowledging the supreme benefit of this movement. This is the blessing of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His prediction is now factually being fulfilled, and those who are sober and conscientious are appreciating the value of this great movement.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 9.40
Thousands of people are attracted to the Hare Krsna movement by the maha mantra:
The Krsna consciousness movement is especially meant for creating an atmosphere in which people can take to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. One must begin with faith, and when this faith is increased by chanting, a person can become a member of the Society. We are sending sankirtana parties all over the world, and they are experiencing that even in the remotest part of the world, where there is no knowledge of Krsna, the Hare Krsna maha mantra attracts thousands of men to our camp. In some areas, people begin to imitate the devotees by shaving their heads and chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, only a few days after hearing the mantra. This may be imitative, but imitation of a good thing is desired. Some imitators gradually become interested in being initiated by the spiritual master and offer themselves for initiation.
– The Nectar of Instruction Text 7
The Hare Krsna movement began and developed simply by chanting Hare Krsna:
Srila Prabhupada: I started my movement simply by chanting Hare Krsna. I chanted in New York in a place called Tompkins Square Park, and soon people began to come to me. In this way, the Krsna consciousness movement gradually developed. Many accepted, and many did not accept. Those who are fortunate have accepted.
– The Science of Self Realization
Many people are attracted to ISKCON simply by chanting:
By the grace of Lord Caitanya, this movement is already introduced in the Western countries, beginning from New York. Our sankirtana movement was first introduced in New York in 1966. At that time I came and began to chant this Hare Krsna mantra in Tompkins Square. I was chanting there for three hours with a small mrdanga (drum), and these American boys assembled and gradually joined, and so it is increasing. We are attracting many students simply by chanting, and they are understanding the entire philosophy and becoming purified. This Society’s movement started only four years ago, in 1966, and we have so many branches already. The American boys and girls are taking it very seriously, and they are happy. Ask any one of them. Ceto−darpana−marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. They are cleansing the dirty things from the heart, simply by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
– The Science of Self Realization
The Krsna consciousness movement will increase only if its leaders remain firmly Krsna conscious by following the regulative principles and regularly chanting the Hare Krsna mantra:
The Lord says in Bhagavad gita (4.7):
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion−at that time I descend Myself.”
In this age, at the present moment, there are inordinate discrepancies in the discharge of human duties. Human life is meant for God realization, but unfortunately the materialistic civilization is stressing only the senses of the body, not understanding the living force within the body. As clearly stated in Bhagavad gita (dehino ‘smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]), within the body is the body’s proprietor, the living force, which is more important. But human society has become so fallen that instead of understanding the living force within the body, people have become busy with external things. This is a discrepancy in human duties.
Therefore Krsna has taken birth or taken shelter within the womb of the Krsna consciousness movement. Men of Kamsa’s class, therefore, are very much afraid and are busy trying to stop this movement, especially in the Western countries. One politician has remarked that the Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like an epidemic and that if not checked immediately, within ten years it may capture governmental power. There is, of course, such potency in the Krsna consciousness movement. As stated by authorities (Sri Caitanya−caritamrta Adi lila 17.22), kali−kale nama−rupa krsna−avatara: in this age, Krsna has appeared in the Hare Krsna maha mantra. The Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like wildfire all over the world, and it will go on doing so. Men who are like Kamsa are very much afraid of the movement’s progress and acceptance by the younger generation, but as Krsna could not be killed by Kamsa, this movement cannot be checked by men of Kamsa’s class. The movement will go on increasing more and more, provided the leaders of the movement remain firmly Krsna conscious by following the regulative principles and the primary activities of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra regularly.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.20
Dealings with the material world for spreading the Krsna consciousness movement are spiritual, as long as one daily chants sixteen rounds of the maha mantra:
In our preaching work, we deal with so much property and money and so many books bought and sold, but because these dealings all pertain to the Krsna consciousness movement, they should never be considered material. That one is absorbed in thoughts of such management does not mean that he is outside of Krsna consciousness. If one rigidly observes the regulative principle of chanting sixteen rounds of the maha mantra every day, his dealings with the material world for the sake of spreading the Krsna consciousness movement are not different from the spiritual cultivation of Krsna consciousness.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 5.16.3
By chanting sixteen rounds of the maha mantra (etc.) one gets the spiritual strength with which to preach Krsna consciousness all over the world:
[Chand Kazi to the devotees of Lord Caitanya]: “For so long you did not follow the regulative principles of the Hindu religion, but now you are following them with great enthusiasm. May I know by whose strength you are doing so?”
It appears that from the aggression of Vaktiyara Khiliji in Bengal until the time of Chand Kazi, Hindus, or the followers of the Vedic principles, were greatly suppressed. Like the Hindus in present−day Pakistan, practically no one could execute the Hindu religious principles freely. Chand Kazi referred to this condition of Hindu society. Formerly the Hindus had not been straightforward in executing their Hindu principles, but now they were freely chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra. Therefore it must have been by the strength of someone else that they were so daring.
Actually, that was the fact. Although the members of the so−called Hindu society had followed the social customs and formulas, they had practically forgotten to execute their religious principles strictly. But with the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu they actually began following the regulative principles according to His order. That order is still existing, and anywhere and everywhere, in all parts of the world, one can execute it. That order is to become a spiritual master under the direction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by following the regulative principles, chanting daily at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krsna maha mantra, and preaching the cult of Krsna consciousness all over the world. If we adhere to the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we shall get spiritual strength without a doubt, and we shall be free to preach this cult of the Hare Krsna movement and not be hampered by anyone.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 17.126
Persecution of ISKCON’s public chanting of the holy name proves that the movement is pure and genuine:
[Chand Kazi to some devotees of Lord Caitanya]: “No one should perform sankirtana on the streets of the city. Today I am excusing the offense and returning home.”
Such orders stopping sankirtana in the streets of the world’s great cities have been imposed upon members of the Hare Krsna movement. We have hundreds of centers all over the world, and we have been specifically persecuted in Australia. In most cities of the Western world we have been arrested many times by the police, but we are nevertheless executing the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting on the streets of all the important cities, like New York, London, Chicago, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Hamburg. We must remember that such incidents took place in the past, five hundred years ago, and the fact that they are still going on indicates that our sankirtana movement is really authorized, for if sankirtana were an insignificant material affair, demons would not object to it. The demons of the time tried to obstruct the sankirtana movement started by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Similar demons are trying to obstruct the sankirtana movement we are executing all over the world, and this proves that our sankirtana movement is still pure and genuine, following in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 17.127
At ISKCON’s world center in Mayapur, there should be constant chanting of the holy names of the Lord:
When the sankirtana movement thus started, no one in Navadvipa could hear any other sound than the words “Hari! Hari!” and the beating of the mrdanga and clashing of hand bells.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness now has its world center in Navadvipa, Mayapur. The managers of this center should see that twenty−four hours a day there is chanting of the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha mantra, with the addition of haraye namah, krsna yadavaya namah, for this song was a favorite of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But all such sankirtana must be preceded by the chanting of the holy names of the five tattvas sri−krsna−caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri−advaita gadadhara srivasadi−gaura−bhakta−vrnda.
We are already accustomed to chant these two mantras−sri−krsna−caitanya prabhu nityananda sri−advaita gadadhara srivasadi−gaura−bhakta−vrnda and Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, after these, the other two lines−namely, haraye namah, krsna yadavaya namah/ gopala govinda rama sri−madhusudana−should be added, especially in Mayapur. Chanting of these six lines should go on so perfectly well that no one there hears any other vibration than the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. That will make the center spiritually all−perfect.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 17.123
The members of ISKCON should perform nama−sankirtana in Mayapur during Gaura−purnima to attract the attention of important people in India:
The members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness should go to India during the birthday ceremony of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Mayapur and perform sankirtana congregationally. This will attract the attention of all the important personalities in India, just as the beauty, bodily luster and sankirtana performance by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu attracted the attention of Maharaja Prataparudra.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 11.96