28 Other instructions on the transcendental effects of the holy name
One who chants the holy name will be situated in the transcendental disciplic succession:
One must have firm faith in the process of devotional service and the scriptures that support it… In this age a person should … chant the holy names of Hari and Krsna, the maha−mantra. That is the sum and substance of eternal religion, known as sanatana−dharma… If one strictly follows the Vedic literature and chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he will actually be situated in the transcendental disciplic succession. Those who want to attain life’s ultimate goal must follow this principle.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 9.362
A serious devotee absorbed in the holy name cannot divert his attention to any subject matter not associated with Krsna:
[Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami]: “The vibration of His flute is just like a bird that creates a nest within the ears of the gopis and always remains prominent there, not allowing any other sound to enter their ears. Indeed, the gopis cannot hear anything else, nor are they able to concentrate on anything else, not even to give a suitable reply. Such are the effects of the vibration of Lord Krsna’s flute.”
The vibration of Krsna’s flute is always prominent in the ears of the gopis. Naturally they cannot hear anything else. Constant remembrance of the holy sound of Krsna’s flute keeps them enlightened and enlivened, and they do not allow any other sound to enter their ears. Since their attention is fixed on Krsna’s flute, they cannot divert their minds to any other subject. In other words, a devotee who has heard the sound of Krsna’s flute forgets to talk or hear of any other subject. This vibration of Krsna’s flute is represented by the Hare Krsna maha−mantra. A serious devotee of the Lord who chants and hears this transcendental vibration becomes so accustomed to it that he cannot divert his attention to any subject matter not related to Krsna’s blissful characteristics and paraphernalia.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 21. 144
Chanting the holy name even once, one becomes perfect:
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati thakura says that simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna once, a person becomes perfect. Such a person is understood to be a Vaisnava.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 15.106
By chanting the holy name and serving the Vaisnavas, one soon attains the shelter of Krsna’s lotus feet:
As in the previous year, one of the inhabitants of Kulina−grama submitted a petition to the Lord, saying, “My Lord, kindly tell me what my duty is and how I should execute it.” The Lord replied, “You should engage yourself in the service of the servants of Krsna and always chant the holy name of Krsna. If you do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Krsna’s lotus feet.”
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya lila 16.69−70
One who worships Lord Caitanya through sankirtana is recognized and blessed by the Lord:
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya is the initiator of sankirtana [congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord]. One who worships Him through sankirtana is fortunate indeed. Such a person is truly intelligent, whereas others, who have but a poor fund of knowledge, must endure a cycle of repeated birth and death. Of all sacrificial performances, the chanting of the Lord’s holy name is the most sublime.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the father and inaugurator of the sankirtana movement. One who worships Him by sacrificing his life, money, intelligence and words for the sankirtana movement is recognized by the Lord and endowed with His blessings. All others may be said to be foolish, for of all sacrifices in which a man may apply his energy, a sacrifice made for the sankirtana movement is the most glorious. – Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 3.77−78 Chanting of the holy name frees one from hellish conditions: In the Narasimha Purana it is said that as the hellish inhabitants began to chant the holy name of the Lord they began to be elevated from hell toward heaven. Durvasa Muni has also supported this view: mucyeta yan−namny udite narako ‘pi. “Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord all the inhabitants of hell became released from their hellish persecution.”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36
Every devotee should perfect his chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra so that if he takes birth again, he will not forget Krsna consciousness:
[Sukadeva Gosvami to King Pariksit]: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, the King of the elephants, Gajendra, fixed his mind in his heart with perfect intelligence and chanted a mantra which he had learned in his previous birth as Indradyumna and which he remembered by the grace of Krsna. Such remembrance is described in Bhagavad−gita (6.43−44):
tatra tam buddhi−samyogam
yatate ca tato bhuyah
hriyate hy avaso ‘pi sah
In these verses it is assured that even if a person engaged in devotional service falls down, he is not degraded, but is placed in a position in which he will in due course of time remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As explained later, Gajendra was formerly King Indradyumna, and somehow or other in his next life he became King of the elephants. Now Gajendra was in danger, and although he was in a body other than that of a human being, he remembered the stotra he had chanted in his previous life. Yatate ca tato bhuyah samsiddhau kuru−nandana. To enable one to achieve perfection, Krsna gives one the chance to remember Him again. This is proved here, for although the King of the elephants, Gajendra, was put in danger, this was a chance for him to remember his previous devotional activities so that he could immediately be rescued by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is imperative, therefore, that all devotees in Krsna consciousness practice chanting some mantra. Certainly one should chant the Hare Krsna mantra, which is the maha−mantra, or great mantra, and also one should practice chanting cintamani−prakara−sadmasu or the Nrsimha stotra (ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho yato yato yami tato nrsimhah). Every devotee should practice in order to chant some mantra perfectly so that even though he may be imperfect in spiritual consciousness in this life, in his next life he will not forget Krsna consciousness, even if he becomes an animal. Of course, a devotee should try to perfect his Krsna consciousness in this life, for simply by understanding Krsna and His instructions, after giving up this body one can return home, back to Godhead. Even if there is some falldown, practice of Krsna consciousness never goes in vain. For example, Ajamila, in his boyhood, practiced chanting the name of Narayana under the direction of his father, but later, in his youth, he fell down and became a drunkard, woman−hunter, rogue and thief. Nonetheless, because of chanting the name of Narayana for the purpose of calling his son, whom he had named Narayana, he became advanced, even though he was involved in sinful activities. Therefore, we should not forget the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra under any circumstances. It will help us in the greatest danger, as we find in the life of Gajendra.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 8.3.1