19 By chanting the holy name, one comes to understand / realize / see krsna

By Chanting The Holy Name, One Comes To Understand Realize See Krsna

By chanting, one comes to understand Krsna:

“‘Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.'”

– Bhakti rasamrta sindhu (1.2.234)
[cited: – Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 17.136]

Krsna says that out of many thousands of people, one may try to make perfection of this life; and out of many millions of such persons on the path of perfection, only one may understand Krsna. So understanding Krsna is not very easy. But it is also the easiest. It is not easy, but at the same time it is the easiest. It is the easiest if you follow the prescribed forms… Krsna says that out of many millions of people, one may understand Him. But, by chanting of this Hare Krsna, as introduced by Lord Caitanya−chanting and dancing−you can understand Krsna within a very short time.

– Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System

That is the qualification to understand Bhagavad gita as it is and Krsna as He is−one must become Krsna conscious. And what is this Krsna consciousness? That is the process of cleansing the dust from the mirror of the mind through the chanting of

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

By chanting this mantra and by hearing Bhagavad gita, we can gradually attain to Krsna consciousness. isvarah sarva−bhutanam [Bg. 18.61]−Krsna is always present within our heart. The individual soul and the Supersoul are both sitting in the tree of the body. The individual soul (jiva) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the Supersoul (Paramatma) is witnessing. As the individual soul begins the process of devotional service and gradually begins to develop his Krsna consciousness, the Supersoul who is seated within begins to help him dust all the impurities from the mirror of the mind. Krsna is a friend to all saintly persons, and the attempt to become Krsna conscious is a saintly endeavor. Sravanam kirtanam−by chanting and hearing one can come to understand the science of Krsna and thereby come to understand Krsna… Sri Krsna Himself comes to deliver Bhagavad gita and to help us to become God conscious. Indeed, this very material creation is given to us to utilize for this cultivation. But if after receiving this chance and this gift of human life we do not utilize them to develop Krsna consciousness, we shall be missing this rare opportunity. The process for cultivation is very simple: sravanam kirtanam−hearing and chanting. We have nothing to do other than listen, and by listening carefully, enlightenment is sure to come. Krsna will surely help, for He is seated within. We only have to make the effort and spare a little time… This chanting of Hare Krsna is a process by which all contaminations due to material association are removed from the mirror of the mind. There is no need for external help in reviving our Krsna consciousness, for Krsna consciousness is dormant within the self. In fact, it is the very quality of the self. We have only to invoke it by this process.

– On the Way to Krsna

Krsna is available under any circumstances, if we want to catch Him. Krsna says in Bhagavad gita (10.10):

tesam satata−yuktanam bhajatam priti−purvakam
dadami buddhi−yogam tam yena mam upayanti te

“To those who are constantly devoted and who worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

If one is actually very serious in searching for Krsna, Krsna is everywhere.
govindam adi−purusam tam aham bhajami
(Brahma−samhita 5.35)

. Krsna is present within the universe, within our hearts, and even within the atom. So it is not difficult to find Him, but one must know the process by which to do so. This process is very simple, and by the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we are distributing this process to everyone, without charge. The process is to chant Hare Krsna. As soon as one chants Hare Krsna, one will immediately understand Krsna.

– Teachings of Queen Kunti

Understanding God begins with understanding His name:

Although this material world is nothing but darkness, people are very proud of their eyes. They are always saying, “Can you show me God?” The answer to that is: “Have you the eyes to see God?” Why is the emphasis placed on seeing? Certainly, God can be seen, as stated in Brahma−samhita (5.38), premanjana−cchurita−bhakti−vilocanena: “Govinda [Krsna] is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed by the pulp of love.”

If we are devotees, lovers of God, the ointment of love will clear our eyes. In order to see God, we have to cleanse our eyes by wiping away the cataracts of material contamination. Although we may be eager to see God, we cannot see Him with these material eyes. Not only can we not see Him, but we cannot understand Him, although His name is there. Understanding God means first of all understanding His name. Therefore from the beginning we should chant the Hare Krsna maha mantra. God is not different from His name. Krsna’s name and Krsna’s person are the same.

– Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

The process of understanding Krsna begins with chanting the holy name:

The transcendental nature of Krsna is not possible to understand with our blunt material senses. Krsna’s name, form, qualities and pastimes are all divya, divine. Our present material senses have to be purified by engagement in the Lord’s service, and our first engagement begins with the tongue. It is with the tongue that we can chant the transcendental names of the Lord.

– Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti

One can understand Krsna only by devotional service, beginning with chanting the holy name:

In the Brahma−samhita it is stated that the Personality of Godhead cannot be understood simply by study of the Vedanta literature. Only by the mercy of the Supreme Lord can the Personality of the Supreme be known… The fact is that no one can understand Krsna without rendering devotional service and without developing Krsna consciousness. The Gita confirms this.

One cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, or His form, quality or name simply by mental speculation or by discussing Vedic literature. One must understand Him by devotional service. When one is fully engaged in Krsna consciousness, beginning by chanting the maha mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

then only can one understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

– Bhagavad gita As It Is 7.24

One must chant the holy name to cleanse the mind and heart so that one can become sober, understand his higher duty, and understand the Lord:

Prahlada is always situated in the Vaikuntha planets of the spiritual world, but on behalf of the fallen souls he asks how, when his mind is always disturbed by material things, he can discuss the transcendental position of the Lord… especially in this age of Kali, the mind must be cleansed; and this is possible only by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha mantra. Ceto−darpana−marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. In this age, the process of chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra is the only method by which to cleanse the sinful mind. When the mind is completely cleansed of all sinful reactions, one can then understand his duty in the human form of life. The Krsna consciousness movement is meant to educate sinful men so that they may become pious simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra… To cleanse the heart so that one may become sober and wise in this age of Kali, there is no value to any method other than the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha mantra. Prahlada Maharaja has confirmed this process in previous verses. Tvad−virya−gayana−mahamrta−magna−cittah.

Prahlada further confirms that if one’s mind is always absorbed in thought of Krsna, that very qualification will purify one and keep one purified always. To understand the Lord and His activities, one must free his mind from all contamination of the material world, and this one can achieve by simply chanting the Lord’s holy name. Thus one becomes free from all material bondage.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.39

The process of Krsna consciousness is the process of purifying the senses through the chanting of Hare Krsna so that one can understand God:

God cannot be seen by material senses, therefore the bhakti−yoga process is the process of purifying the senses so that we will be able to understand what and who God is. We have power of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and so on, but if these senses are blunt, we cannot understand God. The process of Krsna consciousness is the process of training these senses through regulated principles, specifically through the chanting of Hare Krsna.

– Raja vidya: The King of Knowledge

By chanting of the holy name, which is the basis of devotional service and bhagavata−dharma, one comes to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead:

[Yamaraja to the Yamadutas]: Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society.

The Bhagavatam says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: [SB 1.2.6] the supreme religion is that which teaches its followers how to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of experimental knowledge. Such a religious system begins with tan−nama−grahana, chanting of the holy name of the Lord (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada−sevanam [SB 7.5.23]). After chanting the holy name of the Lord and dancing in ecstasy, one gradually sees the form of the Lord, the pastimes of the Lord and the transcendental qualities of the Lord. This way one fully understands the situation of the Personality of Godhead.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.22

By chanting the maha mantra, one will understand Krsna, and thus everything will be understood:

Simply by chanting, one can have self realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. For example, if one learns one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and zero, then he has studied the entirety of mathematics because mathematics means simply changing the places of these ten figures. That’s all. Similarly, if one simply studies Krsna, then all his knowledge is perfect. And Krsna is easily understood simply by chanting this mantra, Hare Krsna. So why not take this opportunity?

– The Science of Self Realization

In this age, the chanting of Hare Krsna will deliver the people of the world from their forgetfulness of God:

Today people have forgotten their relationship with God, but this incarnation of Krsna in the form of His holy names, this chanting of Hare Krsna, will deliver all the people of the world from their forgetfulness. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that if we chant or associate with the chanting of the holy names of Krsna, we will reach the highest perfectional stage of life.

– Elevation to Krsna Consciousness

In order to attain God realization and spiritual happiness in this age, we have only to chant the names of Krsna:

Krsna is within, but due to our material conditioning, we do not realize it. Those who are of the nature of fiends and demons (raksasim asurim) think that this material life is all and that it is the purpose of human life to squeeze out as much pleasure from matter as possible. They try squeezing, but they are constantly baffled. Squeezing material nature is not the process for finding out real pleasure. If we are searching for real pleasure, we have to take to Krsna consciousness. All happiness in the material world has a beginning and an end, but happiness in Krsna is unlimited, and there is no end. In order to get this happiness we simply have to sacrifice a little time and chant Hare Krsna. In former ages, the great sages and demigods used to sacrifice their whole lives for realizing the Supreme, and still they would not attain success. For this age Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given an easy process for God realization. All that is necessary is careful listening. We have to listen to Bhagavad gita, and we have to chant the names of Krsna and listen to them carefully. We should not be puffed up, falsely thinking that our knowledge is great or that we are very learned. We need only become a little gentle and submissive to hear the messages from Krsna.

– Raja vidya: The King of Knowledge

One can realize Krsna by hearing and vibrating the Hare Krsna mantra and tasting prasada:

The word mahatma means “broad minded.” One who cannot understand Krsna is not broad minded, but cripple minded. If one becomes broad minded, then by the grace of Krsna one can understand Krsna.

The process of understanding Krsna is sevonmukha−by rendering service. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. Realization of Vasudeva is possible by rendering service, beginning with the tongue. The tongue has two functions−to vibrate and to taste. So if one repeatedly hears and vibrates the Hare Krsna mantra and tastes prasada, food offered to Krsna, by this very simple method one will realize Vasudeva, Krsna. Krsna will reveal Himself. It is not that by our endeavor alone we can understand Krsna, but our endeavor in loving service will make us qualified, and then Krsna will reveal Himself (svayam eva sphuraty adah).

– Teachings of Queen Kunti

By offenseless chanting, one attains God realization, develops mystic powers and, ultimately, becomes a confidential devotee of the Lord:

[Narada Muni to Srila Vyasadeva]: Thus he is the actual seer who worships, in the form of transcendental sound representation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who has no material form. O brahmana, thus by the Supreme Lord Krsna I was endowed first with the transcendental knowledge of the Lord as inculcated in the confidential parts of the Vedas, then with the spiritual opulences, and then with His intimate loving service.

Communion with the Lord by transmission of the transcendental sound is nondifferent from the whole spirit Lord Sri Krsna. It is a completely perfect method for approaching the Lord. By such pure contact with the Lord, without offense of material conceptions (numbering ten), the devotee can rise above the material plane to understand the inner meaning of the Vedic literatures, including the Lord’s existence in the transcendental realm. The Lord reveals His identity gradually to one who has unflinching faith, both in the spiritual master and in the Lord. After this, the devotee is endowed with mystic opulences, which are eight in number. And above all, the devotee is accepted in the confidential entourage of the Lord and is entrusted with specific service of the Lord through the agency of the spiritual master. A pure devotee is more interested in serving the Lord than in showing an exhibition of the mystic powers dormant in him. Sri Narada has explained all these from his personal experience, and one can obtain all the facilities which Sri Narada obtained by perfecting the chanting process of the sound representation of the Lord.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.38−39

By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra offenselessly in the association of devotees one becomes pure in heart and realizes the transcendental nature of the Lord:

[Lord Siva to Lord Visnu]: The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc.

As stated in Srimad Bhagavatam (3.25.25):

satam prasangan mama virya−samvido
bhavanti hrt−karna−rasayanah kathah
tad josanad asv apavarga−vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati

Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendental name, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repeatedly said:

‘sadhu−sanga’, ‘sadhu−sanga’−sarva−sastre kaya
lava−matra sadhu−sange sarva−siddhi haya
(Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 22.54)

Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. Sadhu−sanga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Krsna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and by acting for Krsna. Specifically, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto−darpana−marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Krsna, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one’s heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah (S.B. 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat−sanga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.

One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy, which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure head of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a purehearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti−yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the maha mantra and the sixty−four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity. When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevi becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external. A devotee is also called a muni. The word muni means “thoughtful.” A devotee is as thoughtful as a nondevotee is speculative. The nondevotee’s speculation is impure, but a devotee’s thoughts are pure. Lord Kapila and Sukadeva Gosvami are also called muni, and Vyasadeva is addressed as Mahamuni. A devotee is addressed as muni, or thoughtful, when he purely understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conclusion is that when one’s heart is purified by the association of devotees and by the avoidance of the offenses committed when chanting and worshiping the Lord, the transcendental name, form and activities of the Lord are revealed by the Lord.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.59

Offenseless chanting leads to realization of the form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord:

By offenseless chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Lord, one becomes acquainted with the transcendental form of the Lord, then with the attributes of the Lord, and then with the transcendental nature of His pastimes, etc… Hearing of the holy name gradually promotes one to the stage of hearing about His form, about His attributes, His pastimes and so on, and thus the necessity of the chanting of His glories develops successively.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.11

By chanting the holy name, one is cleansed of the material concept of life and awakens in realization of the Lord’s transcendental form, qualities, etc.:

As enunciated by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ceto−darpana−marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is cleansed of the material conception of life, which is due to the dirty modes of material nature. When the dirt is cleansed from the core of one’s heart, one can realize the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead−isvarah paramah krsnah sac−cid−ananda−vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Thus by hearing the holy name of the Lord, one comes to the platform of understanding the personal form of the Lord. After realizing the Lord’s form, one can realize the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and when one can understand His transcendental qualities one can understand the Lord’s associates. In this way a devotee advances further and further toward complete understanding of the Lord as he awakens in realization of the Lord’s holy name, transcendental form and qualities, His paraphernalia, and everything pertaining to Him.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23−24

Simply by keeping a picture of Lord Caitanya and chanting Hare Krsna one can worship God and realize Him:

In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that [Lord Caitanya] is the incarnation of God in this age. And who worships Him? The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates−Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.

– The Science of Self Realization

Hearing the vibration of the sound Hare Krsna is nondifferent from seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly:

In bhakti there are nine different activities:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada−sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma−nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]

Because all these devotional activities are absolute, there is no fundamental difference between worshiping the Deity in the temple, seeing Him and chanting His glories. Indeed, all of these are ways of seeing Him, for everything done in devotional service is a means of direct contact with the Lord… Contrary to the laws of the material world, there is no difference between seeing the Lord, offering prayers and hearing the transcendental vibration. Pure devotees, therefore, are fully satisfied by glorifying the Lord. Such glorification is called kirtana. Performing kirtana and hearing the vibration of the sound Hare Krsna is actually seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. One must realize this position, and then one will be able to understand the absolute nature of the Lord’s activities.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.4.25−26

By constantly chanting the maha mantra, one makes progress in spiritual life and ultimately sees Krsna face to face:

Srila Sridhara Svami quotes that to do what is good and to reject what is not good is called mangala, or auspicious. To do what is good means to accept everything favorable to the discharge of devotional service, and to reject what is not good means to reject everything not favorable for discharging devotional service. In our Krsna consciousness movement, we accept this principle by rejecting four prohibited items−namely illicit sex life, intoxication, gambling and flesh−eating−and accepting the daily chanting of at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krsna maha mantra and daily meditation three times a day by chanting the Gayatri mantra. In this way one can keep his brahminical culture and spiritual strength intact. By following these principles of devotional service strictly, chanting twenty−four hours a day the maha mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

one makes positive progress in spiritual life and ultimately becomes completely fit to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Because the ultimate goal of studying or understanding the Vedic knowledge is to find Krsna, one who follows the Vedic principles as described above can from the very beginning see all the features of Lord Krsna, the Absolute Truth, very distinctly, as one can see one’s own face completely reflected in a clear mirror.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.21.42

Krsna reveals Himself to one who performs devotional service, beginning with chanting :

When it is not possible to understand even the material things which we daily see with our eyes, what can we say of the spiritual world and Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He is the supreme spiritual form, and it is not possible to understand Him by our limited senses. Then why are we bothering so much for Krsna consciousness, if it is not possible? If these imperfect senses cannot realize Krsna as He is? The answer is that if you become submissive, if you develop the spiritual attitude of following Krsna, and you are as a servant or a friend, as a parent or as a lover−if you begin to give service to the Supreme Lord then you can begin to know Him.

Your service begins with the tongue. How? By the tongue you can chant Hare Krsna, and by the tongue you can taste krsna−prasada, spiritual food. So, the beginning of the process is very nice. You can chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

and whenever prasada is offered to you by Krsna, by His kindness, you accept it. The result will be that if you become submissive, and if you begin this service− chanting and eating prasada−Krsna will reveal Himself before you.

– Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System

Krsna reveals Himself to the devotee who faithfully chants His holy name:

When one fully engages in chanting the Hare Krsna maha mantra, he gradually realizes his own spiritual identity. Unless one faithfully chants the Hare Krsna mantra, Krsna does not reveal Himself: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah (Bhakti−rasamrta−sindhu 1.2.234). We cannot realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by any artificial means. We must engage faithfully in the service of the Lord. Such service begins with the tongue (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau), which means that we should always chant the holy names of the Lord and accept krsna−prasada. We should not chant or accept anything else. When this process is faithfully followed, the Supreme Lord reveals Himself to the devotee.

– The Nectar of Instruction Text 5

The Lord reveals Himself to the offenseless chanter:

Chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra is the easiest process of meditation in this age. As soon as one chants the Hare Krsna mantra, he sees the forms of Krsna, Rama and Their energies, and that is the perfect stage of trance. One should not artificially try to see the form of he Lord while chanting Hare Krsna, but when the chanting is performed offenselessly the Lord will automatically reveal Himself to the view of the chanter. The chanter, therefore, has to concentrate on hearing the vibration, and without extra endeavor on his part, the Lord will automatically appear.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 4.8.53

Author: ISKCON Desire Tree

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