(Kindly transcribed by Sheela mataji)
From Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir
Date: March 3rd, 2014
Speaker: HG Dravida Dasa
Subject: S.B. 6.3.22
narayanam namaskrtya naram caiva narottamam devim sarasvatim vyasam tato jayam udirayet [SB 1.2.4]
Before reciting this Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is our very means of conquest, we should offer respectful obeisances unto Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, unto Nara-narayana Rsi, the supermost human being, unto Mother Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, unto Srila Vyasadeva, the author, and unto to Srila Prabhupada, the translator, commentator, and our spiritual master.
nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki [SB 1.2.18]
By regular attendance in classes on Srimad-Bhagavatam and by rendering devotional service to the pure devotee, all that is inauspicious within the heart is destroyed almost to nil, and loving devotion to the Personality of Godhead, who is glorified with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.
On this 3rd day of March, 2014, in Mayapur, we are reading from Srimad- Bhagavatam, Canto Six, chapter 3, text number 22.
etavan eva loke ’smin pumsam dharmah parah smrtah bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-nama-grahanadibhih
Translation: 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.
Purport: As stated in the previous verse, dharmam bhagavatam, real religious principles are bhagavata-dharma, the principles described in Srimad-Bhagavatam itself or in the Bhagavad-gita, the preliminary study of the Bhagavatam. What are these principles? The Bhagavatam says, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra: in Srimad-Bhagavatam there are no cheating religious systems. Everything in the Bhagavatam is directly connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavatam further says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: 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). 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. One can come to this understanding of the Lord—how He descends into the material world, how He takes His births, and what activities He performs—but one can know this only by executing devotional service. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, bhaktya mam abhijanati: simply by devotional service one can understand everything about the Supreme Lord. If one fortunately understands the Supreme Lord in this way, the result is tyaktva deham punar janma naiti: after giving up his material body, he no longer has to take birth in this material world. Instead, he returns home, back to Godhead. That is the ultimate perfection. Therefore Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (8.15): mam upetya punar janma duhkhalayam asasvatam napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah “After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.” HG Dravida Dasa: So I chose this verse spoken by Yamaraja, one of the Mahajanas, because I wanted to stress the point that Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the beginning, middle, and end, really stresses the chanting of the Holy Name, and this idea that bhagavata-dharma begins with the chanting of the Holy Name needs to be understood and also to be preached by every sincere devotee. As we know, Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself came to fulfill the purpose and the purport of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-bhagavatam pramanam amalam, it says in the verse that summarizes His teachings, that He accepted the Srimad-Bhagavatam as the supreme pramana. Pramana means evidence, things or books that we accept as giving us instruction in what is the ultimate goal of life and how to achieve it. So therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Bhagavatam as the natural commentary on the Vedanta Sutra, and therefore He felt no need to write another one or have His followers write another one, although later Baladeva Vidyabhusana did write the Govinda Bhashya. So this verse comes in the course of Yamaraja’s instructions to his messengers. This is within the pastime of Ajamila. Now the pastime of Ajamila is very important for us. If you recall, at the end of the Fifth Canto Sukadeva Goswami described to King Pariksit various hellish punishments that would be suffered by sinners in this world. He gave a very hair-raising description, very sobering, and naturally Maharaj Pariksit, being a soft-hearted Vaisnava, in the very next episode at the beginning of the Sixth Canto, he wanted to know how these souls can be relieved from this misery, how they could be saved from undergoing these hellish punishments. So Sukadeva Goswami tested his disciple. First he described mundane atonement. In the karma-kanda section of the Vedas there are so many rituals to perform, sacrifices, austerities by which one can neutralize some sinful reactions. But Maharaj Pariksit very wisely expressed, “Well, this may work for some time, but it’s just like an elephant’s bathing, manye kuñjara-saucavat [SB 6.1.10].” One may be able to cleanse away those sinful reactions, but still the desire to perform further sin is not uprooted from the heart. Just like the elephant bathes in the river, and then he comes out and dries himself on the land, there is no gamcha or towel big enough for him, and so he rolls around on the ground and he’s dirty again. Isn’t it? So that idea is rejected. Then Sukadeva Goswami says, well, there’s another type of atonement, which is knowledge, austerity, tapasa brahmacaryena [SB 6.1.13], but with a mundane goal, not with a devotional goal. But this also, as explained, does not uproot the deep-rooted desires that we have been cultivating for lifetimes through performing sinful activity. So he rejected that—that’s also rejected. And then comes the pastime of Ajamila. Now you recall Ajamila was a brahmana, a proper brahmana, but because of his exposure to a lusty man and woman in the forest when he was out getting firewood, he lost his composure and fell from brahminical principles, and for his whole life he was basically engaged in sinful activity. But because he had some pious background, he was a brahmana, he named his children after names of Krishna. So his youngest child . . . Ajamaila was eighty years old, and he had a young boy, a little toddler. That in itself, Prabhupada says, is an illustration of his sinful activity. He is having sex into his eighties, late seventies. Anyway, he named the boy Narayana. So at the final moment, when the Yamadutas were coming with their fierce eyes and their ferocious aspect to rip him out of his body, he is very frightened and he calls “Narayana! Narayana!” Prabhupada says one time is enough: “Narayana!” And immediately the Visnudutas come and stop the Yamadutas. The Yamadutas are puzzled. They never heard of this before, and they say, “Why are you stopping us? This man is so sinful! If there are more than one judge in this world, then no one will be punished and everything will be confused.” So in this confusion they went back to Yamaraja, and he explained to them the power of the chanting of the Holy Name, and this is his conclusion or one of his verses here. He explains that when we are talking abut sin and piety, we are talking about the proper way to live, about dharma, and the supreme dharma is what the Bhagavatam is concerned with. Prabhupada refers to it in the purport: at the very beginning of the book it is said, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra, that here in this Bhagavatam all cheating religions are kicked out from the beginning. Don’t expect anything here about getting to the heavenly planets, getting good birth, or even liberation. Even liberation is kicked out as an ultimate motive for your dharma. That’s explained in the commentaries. So then what is real dharma? Normally Yamaraja he is dealing with people who have violated ordinary codes of religiosity and morality. You read the sins at the end of the Fifth Canto: one who has sex with his spiritual master’s wife, one who is very lascivious, has to embrace a hot iron body of the opposite sex, one who is a drunkard—a brahmana who is a drunkard—he has lead poured down his throat. It’s horrific! But that doesn’t involve exactly what the Bhagavatam is ultimately talking about.
The Bhagavatam deals with bhagavata-dharma, which is spoken by Bhagavan Himself. And so therefore a few verses back Yamaraja says, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Now ultimately these other kinds of dharmas are also spoken by Krishna. But the purpose of bhagavata-dharma, as explained here and elsewhere in the Bhagavatam, is to attain pure love for Krishna. Along with that comes liberation and the clearing away of all sinful reactions.
But it’s important that we understanding this—dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam—that only Bhagavan Himself can really establish dharma. But so many other dharmas are around. There are many different meanings of dharma. We find in society today so many codes of behavior, so many codes of ethics and morality. For example, I come from America. Practically they worship the Constitution of the United States written in 1776 by some “enlightened” followers of philosophers from France. Now what kind of dharma is that? It may have helped to organize the United States at a certain point and to run it, but they are always finding that they have to amend it, amend it, amend it, and interpret, interpret, interpret, and even if you follow it perfectly, it doesn’t help you achieve the ultimate goal of life, it doesn’t help you become extracted from the meshes of birth and death. It’s mundane, ku-dharma, cheating religion. But people worship this Constitution practically even more than in many cases even the Bible or other similar texts.
So there are so many different codes of religion or pramanas or evidences that people take. But here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam, this is coming from Bhagavan. The Bhagavatam originates with Krishna: aham evasam evagre [SB 2.9.33]. You have those four essential verses which Krishna is speaking to Brahma, isn’t it? “I am the source of everything. There is nothing in this universe but I and My energies, and when everything is wound up I will remain.” Only Krishna can say that. And from those four seed verses, the whole Bhagavatam is expanded.
But now Krishna is not present personally on the planet in His manifest form. So who is now sustaining this dharma, who is now transmitting it? The Mahajanas. So within this series is the list of the Mahajanas—Svayambhu, Narada, etc. Now one of them, mentioned last, is Yamaraja himself. So he is speaking to his dutas and explaining that this chanting of the Holy Name is so powerful that even just one chanting of “Narayana”—and of course Ajamila was chanting the name of his son even before that, but especially that desperate, helpless chanting, which was inoffensive because it was chanted without any material motive, completely cleared off any remnants of sinful reactions, even though Ajamila had been so sinful.
So I wanted to elaborate on this point. Here is another quote from Srila Prabhupada— this is a few verses hence, and Srila Prabhupada has in his purport said some things which are especially pertinent for us now:
“Especially in this age of Kali, the sankirtana alone is sufficient as the dharma. If the members of our temple in the different parts of the world simply continue sankirtana before the Deity, especially the Deity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they will remain perfect. There is no need of any other performances. Nevertheless, [HG Dravida dasa: and here we have these two lines, and this is want I want to emphasize] to keep oneself clean in habits and mind Deity worship and other regulative principles are required. Srila Jiva Goswami says that although sankirtana is sufficient for the perfection of life the arcana or the worship of the Deity in the temple must continue in order that the devotees may stay clean and pure. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura therefore recommended that one follow both processes simultaneously. We strictly follow this principle of performing Deity worship and sankirtana along parallel lines. This we should continue.”
So this is the bhagavata-marga and the pancaratriki-marga, both are important. Now Srila Prabhupada began this movement with just the chanting. You all know the history. He chanted in Tompkins Square Park for hours, he chanted in the loft on the Bowery, he chanted at the Second Avenue storefront. That was the way he began. People would come and chant and take a little fruit prasadam from Prabhupada and hear him speak, and from that beginning grew this wonderful tree of ISKCON, with so many temples and so many Deities.
When he had a chance, in San Francisco—the first Deities were the Jagannath Deities in that temple—he was very eager to establish Deity worship because that gives us regulation, gives a place to meet, and sanga. And the Deity worship itself, prasadam, and the regulations keep us pure. So both of these must go on, but the emphasis is always on the bhagavata-marga. The chanting is the main thing.
As Lord Caitanya says in the Adi-lila,
tattva-vastu — krsna, krsna-bhakti, prema-rupa nama-sankirtana — saba ananda-svarupa [CC Adi 1.96]
“The Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna, and loving devotion to Sri Krsna exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.”
So these are the kinds of statements, which are there throughout the Caitanya-caritamrta, that really form the, how do you say, the beating heart of this movement. When I first read the Caitanya-caritamrta I thought, “Oh, this is where the inspiration comes from for this widespread preaching, for sacrificing everything for giving Krishna to others. This is the essence of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.”
But Srila Prabhupada was very keen, as you know, to present the Bhagavatam for our edification and for the edification of the world. He only came to America when he had those three volumes with him, the First Canto, which contain everything.
So the idea of dharma—now when we’re chanting in the temple or on sankirtana, we are not thinking, “Oh, I’m performing bhagavata-dharma.” We’re in the state, as we should be—we’re simply chanting for the pleasure of the Lord, for the relish of the name, for the sheer joy of it, which is a very high platform.
But to stay on that platform of simply always relishing the holy name twenty-four hours a day is not easy.
Now, we are meant to be rupanugas. Just think of the Upadesamrta. Rupa Goswami has given so many instructions there before he gets to the verse
tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukikrtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram [Text 8]
Within the Upadesamrta, which is the essence of advice, we have this verse, which he says is the essence of the essence. Simply live in Vrindavana . . . You know, our acaryas explain, as many of our acaryas did not live in Vrindavana, such as Bhaktivinoda Thakura, although he visited it—live there either physically or within the mind, and chant and hear the holy names of Krishna, His pastimes, etc.—in this way simply engage the tongue and the mind. And tad-anuragi-jananugami— and follow in the footsteps of one of the intimate associates of the Lord, and kalam nayed, spend your time this way, twenty-four hours a day.
But that’s verse number 8. He begins with
vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam (Text 1)
He starts with where we’re at: the pushings of the talks and the mind are very powerful, the pushings of anger, and those of the tongue, belly, the genitals—we have to control these, and we have to surrender to a guru who we see is completely in control of these pushings. And then we have the do’s and don’ts: atyaharah prayasas ca [text 2]. This is all part of being a rupanuga, following these instructions by Srila Rupa Goswami. No overcollecting, no overeating, no talking nonsense, you know. No prayasa, ardent desire or effort for material things. No association, more than is absolutely necessary, with materialists. All of these impede and can even block our devotional service. And on the positive side, utsahan niscayad dhairyat [Text 3]. It’s so wonderful here to see the enthusiasm. Prabhupada said that this enthusiasm is your Krishna consciousness—enthusiasm for chanting, for serving, for preaching, for learning, for doing everything in Krishna consciousness.
So there is a dharma, there is a way, there are do’s and don’ts, and all of these are meant to serve the main purpose of helping us to always remember Krishna.
smartavyah satatam visnur vismartavyo na jatucit sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur etayor eva kinkarah [Padma Purana]
“Always remember Krishna, never forget Him. All the other aspects in devotional service are servants of these two.”
Now doesn’t it sound like there is some redundancy there? You know, always remember Krishna, never forget Him. Aren’t they the same? Not exactly! We make efforts to remember Krishna. We’re chanting our rounds, we’re trying to hear, we’re in kirtana, we’re seeing the Deity. It’s natural to remember Krishna when doing these things, you see. But we also have to refrain from all those things that make us forget Krishna. And we know what they are, you see. So both sides have to be there; then we progress very nicely.
Now, Bhagavata dharma—this phrase comes up again and again in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Eleventh Canto there are the teachings to King Nimi by the Nine Yogendras, and the first teaching, which has several very well-known verses in it, is by Kavi. He talks about bhagavata-dharma there, and within his teachings he says,
ye vai bhagavata prokta upaya hy atma-labdhaye [SB 11.2.34]
That teaching is bhagavata-dharma which is spoken directly by Bhagavan and which, even if someone doesn’t know anything else about the Vedas, they follow those teachings, they’ll be successful. For example, take this instruction by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo ’si me [BG 18.65]
Simple teaching. Krishna says, “Think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, bow down to Me. You’ll come to Me, I promise you. You are My very dear friend. Give up all other dharmas and just follow this one dharma. Just surrender to Me and I will protect you from everything.” That’s the whole essence of confidential knowledge.
So Kavi says, añjah pumsam avidusam [SB 11.2.34]. This is bhagavata-dharma, and anyone who follows this will never trip and fall, even if he runs with his eyes closed. It’s a very interesting statement.
dhavan nimilya va netre na skhalen na pated iha [SB 11.2.35]
He won’t slip and fall. Now what does that mean? Sridhara Maharaj has explained. It means that even if you don’t know anything else about the Vedas—the Vedas are what opens our eyes so that we can actually see—but if you simply follow those instructions you’ll be fine. When Krishna says “Just surrender to Me,” simply follow that. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your background is—you can be a dog-eater, even a cow-eater—but if you follow that instruction and surrender to Krishna and His pure devotee, everything is fine.
So Kavi goes on. What’s the main instruction? Whatever you do with your mind, body, words, breath, everything, just consider it an offering to Narayana. Kayena vaca manasendriyair va. [SB 11.2.36] Ok, great, if you can do it. But how do I do that? How do I come to the point of doing that?
So then he describes the source of fear. When the mind starts to see things different from Krishna, this is called dvitiya:
bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih [SB 11.2.37]
This should be a familiar verse for many of us. Fear arises when we see things different from Krsna, when we see anything in this world to be separated from Krishna. We forget all about Krishna. We turn our back on the Lord and become absorbed in the dualities of this world. How? Tan-mayayato: by Krishna’s maya energy.
So the remedy is to turn back toward Krishna, right? And to worship Him with one- pointed devotion, regarding one’s guru as one’s worshipable lord and very self (guru-devatatma).
But Maya is very powerful. So Kavi goes back and forth. He says it’s not so easy. We’re so used to creating this dreamlike world. Actually there is nothing separate from Krishna, but we have been dreaming for so many births that there is something different from Krishna, and these dreams are very deep within our subconscious.
So how do we cure this dreamlike state? Kavi says, by controlling the mind. The wise person controls the mind, which tends to act according to sankalpa and vikalpa, attraction and repulsion.
How do we curb that mind? Guess what he says? By chanting the holy names! Yes, right here in the Eleventh Canto.
srnvan su-bhadrani rathanga-paner janmani karmani ca yani loke gitani namani tad-arthakani gayan vilajjo vicared asangah [SB 11.2.39]
He says that one should hear the all-auspicious names of Rathanga-pani, Krishna carrying that chariot wheel attacking Bhishma on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Rathanga-pani is a name of Krishna. So one should here the names describing Krishna’s birth and activities, and one should sing those and wander around the earth with asangam, without associating with materialists, a very important point.
And then comes the verse that Lord Caitanya said in His conversation with Prakasandana Sarasvati is the essence of the teachings of the whole Bhagavatam. Does anyone know what that is?
evam-vratah sva-priya-nama-kirtya jatanurago druta-citta uccaih hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty unmada-van nrtyati loka-bahyah [SB 11.2.40]
So this verse describes what Lord Caitanya was experiencing when he was beginning to chant Hare Krsna. This is how he describe it to Prakasananda Sarasvati. “I went to my spiritual master and said ‘I am chanting this Hare Krishna mantra, and I don’t know what’s going on. I’m crying, I’m laughing, I’m dancing, I’m falling on the ground. What kind of mantra have you given me?’ And my spiritual master congratulated Me: ‘Very good. Thank you very much. This is the result of chanting.’”
So the meaning of the verse in the Eleventh Canto is: “When a person is actually advancing and takes pleasure in chanting the names of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated, and chants and dances just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.” So this verse, according to Lord Caitanya, is the essence of the whole Bhagavatam.
So the point is to come to this point, to come to the point where we don’t see anything different from the Holy Name, where we see the Holy Name as everything. Just as Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote in his song. Remember that song? We know that song. You’ll hear a lot of it on parikrama. That is Udilo Aruna. So here are just the last two verses.
jivera kalyana-sadhana-kam, jagate asi’ e madhura nam, avidya-timira-tapana-rupe, hrd-gagane biraje
Bhaktivinoda Thakura is quoting Lord Caitanya here: “Desiring to bless all souls, the sweet name of Krishna has descended to the material world and now shines like the sun in the sky of the heart, destroying the darkness of ignorance.”
And then Bhaktivinoda Thakura concludes, “Drink the pure nectar of the holy name of Krishna and thus satisfy the soul of Bhaktivinoda. There is nothing but the Holy Name within all fourteen worlds.”
Now this is quite a vision, to see nothing but the Holy Name. But it makes perfect sense. What is there besides Krishna in this world, when you understand Krishna to be Krishna and His expansions and His energies? Nothing! Everything is Krishna in one sense, isn’t it? Prabhupada says ultimately there is nothing material—it’s all related to Krishna, and Krishna is completely spiritual.
So we know abhinnatvam nama-naminoh: the Holy Name is nondifferent from Krishna. The Holy Name is Krishna. That’s a very high vision. But if the Holy Name is Krishna, and Krishna is everything, then the Holy Name is everything. And therefore there is nothing but the Holy Name within all the fourteen worlds.
And with that I’d like to share with you a wonderful poem. Written by an anonymous author, it’s called the Sri Kevalastaka. Has anyone heard of this poem, Kevalastaka? It has a very famous line as the chorus, harer namaiva kevalam. You’ve heard that?
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
So this devotee, whoever he was—he very humbly didn’t even sign his poem—was inspired by this line and put it into his poem, his astaka. So I would like to share that with you; we have a little bit of time here.
And if you would be so kind, we will do one Sanskrit verse, and then we’ll do the English and you can come in on the chorus.
madhuraḿ madhurebhyo ‘pi mańgalebhyo ‘pi mańgalam pāvanaḿ pāvanebhyo ‘pi harer nāmaiva kevalam
Of sweet things, it’s the sweetest you will taste at any time; Of things that bring good fortune, it’s the perfect paradigm; Of things that purify, it purifies most powerf’lly; The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Everyone: The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
From Brahma’s realm atop the sky down to the lowly grass, Illusion reigns in Maya-devi’s treacherous morass. The truth, the truth, the only truth: the Name of Sri Hari. The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
He’s the guru, he’s the father, he’s the friend most true, And she’s the real mother who most kindly teaches you To always chant and hear the Holy Name of Sri Hari. The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Remember that our final breath may come at any time, No matter if we’re old and sick or in our youthful prime. So young and old alike should chant the Name incessantly. The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Lord Sri Hari forever dwells wherever devotees Whose hearts are fixed on Him and free of all impurities Uplift their voices high and sing His Name in ecstasy. The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Alas! What sorrow! What great pain! The worst calamity— For people to forget the Holy Name of Sri Hari! Although the Name’s a priceless gem, mere broken glass they see. The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Just fill your ears, just fill them with the Name of Sri Hari! Just chant the Name, just chant the Name with all sincerity! Just sing the Name, just sing the Holy Name eternally! The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
It makes this world appear like bits of straw upon the ground; Resplendently it reigns supreme—divinity in sound; It’s filled with transcendental bliss and peerless purity; The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
The Holy Name of Sri Hari is surely all that be!
Now, I wrote a little coda:
Inspired to glorify the Holy Name of Sri Hari, A certain sage composed this hymn in Sanskrit poetry. I pray that those who hear this lowly version made by me Will chant the Holy Name of Sri Hari in ecstasy.
Will chant the Holy Name of Sri Hari in ecstasy.
So Hare Krishna, we have seven minutes before the 8:45 bell rings. Are there any questions? We have a question from Suresvara Prabhu which you won’t be able to hear. Oh, you have a mike?
Suresvara dasa: So the natural fruit of chanting is to taste ecstasy, taste bliss, and harinama sankirtana is one of our signature activities for the public, but at the same time very often we have these concerns about being presentable. So there seems to be a tension on harinama on how to contain that or be presentable at the same time and to taste the fruit of harinama. How do we resolve that?
Dravida dasa: The question is this—that the ultimate fruit of chanting harinama sankritana is to taste the ecstasy of the Holy Name, which tends to make us kind of wild, as we heard. But at the same time we are supposed to be presentable—we don’t want to freak the people out on streets of New York or Paris or Calcutta. So what do we do? Do we bottle it in? Do we bottle in the nectar? This is a good question.
First of all, presentable begins with, you know, dress. We should be presentable in the most obvious ways. [Suresvara: No illicit socks!] Yes, good one. Never heard that one before. So, the idea is that there is a twofold motive in harinama sankirtana. This twofold motive is exactly parallel to Lord Caitanya’s internal and external reasons for appearing. And one is, Lord Krishna came as Lord Caitanya to taste the love of Srimati Radharani, to taste His own beauty through the lens of Her love, to taste the happiness She felt when experiencing His love for Her and Her love for Him. So that’s the internal reason.
But at the same time Lord Caitanya came to spread this love, to spread bhagavata-dharma throughout the world. So we also actually should have those two motives throughout our Krishna consciousness. They actually support each other. If you just try to be internal and do the bhajananandi mode, you find yourself—you can’t really stay within ISKCON, and you find yourself sitting on the banks of Radha-kunda for sometime. But then you don’t know what happens. It may or may not work, right? Probably won’t. Especially if you’re a follower of Lord Caitanya and His mood and Bhaktisiddhanta, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada means to cultivate both of these sides.
So the harinama party should be such that we are attractive to people. There is whole paper written by Indradyumna Swami and Sri Prahlada Prabhu about this. Bhaktimarga Swami and I put it together. Its called the Sankirtana Manual. It was never published en mass, but you are all welcome to it. I will send you the pdf, put it on the site. It goes through all of these things: how to put on a successful harinama party. It’s based on his experiences in Poland, and so many other places. It describes how to put on an effective harinama party so that people actually stop, listen, chant, take prasadam, take a book, and so forth.
But at the same time, devotees should feel blissful when they are out chanting. They should enter into chanting of the holy name as a wonderful festival. And that bliss itself is an attractive element. So generally we don’t have the problem of, you know: “Uh, Prabhu, could you stop crying, stop horripilating?” Mostly it’s “How can we get em out on sankirtana?” When we have that other problem, it will be a great opulence and we can start worrying.
Any other comments? We have two minutes. Hare Krishna.
All right, I’m going to leave you with one final verse. This is a verse from the Krishna Karnamrita, near the end.
jaya jaya jaya deva deva deva tri-bhuvana-maṅgala-divya-nāma-dheya | jaya jaya jaya deva kṛṣṇa deva śravaṇa-mano-nayanāmṛtāvatāra ||108||
“All glory, glory, glory, Lord, all glory unto Thee, Who with Thy Holy Name bless all three worlds and set them free! All glory, glory, glory unto Thee, O Krishnadeva, Whose nectar floods our ears and eyes and hearts in endless waves.”
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Hari Haribol!