śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 11, Issue 11
Posted: 27 November  2018

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Material Advancement Through Kīrtana - Part 2

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda


The people of this world speak of millions of ways of attaining spiritual goals. Some say: “It is foolish to take harināma. Scholars should go without it and seek credit instead.” It is to teach such people, who are posing as learned, the words of His Lordship, Gaurahari, who says: “O Harināma, you have not yet given Me any relish for You; I have not yet developed any attachment towards You.”

But the bound souls are arrogant and say things like, “Let the śūdras and idiots chant harināma. I am a brāhmaṇa, I am learned – I shall study the Vedas, I shall worship deities.” Disguising His supreme identity and posing as a world-renowned teacher, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu declared, “Alas! I have taste for other things than chanting harināma and thus a distaste for the direct worship of God.”

He has further said this about śrī nāma: “O jīvas, do nothing but kīrtana, and do it all along. However, kīrtana is not done well unless the chanter is humbler than even a blade of grass, is free from the arrogance of the sense that he is due some respect, and yet is able to give all respect to others. Do not remain maddened with the thoughts that you are a great expert and very intelligent.” 

I have adopted this instruction of Gaurasundara (fair-complexioned Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu). If anyone attacks me, then I should put up with it and chant harināma; I should know that God has thus given me a chance to be lower than grass. Knowing this, I should be all the more encouraged to chant harināma even more vigorously. But when somebody speaks disrespectfully about a true Vaiṣṇava, my gurudeva, then my expression of being as lowly as a blade of grass should consist of immediately giving that person a proper teaching, with as much vigour as ever. In the practice of karma-kāṇḍa there is no true expression of feeling as lowly as a blade of grass, there is only insincere cringing before others to secure their favour. 

We should ever remain engaged in harikatha – discourses through which our inclination to serve God, Śrī Hari, will be increased. Other topics are calibrated only to incite our enjoying mood. It is only hari-katha by which jīvas attain their true well-being, and that is kṛṣṇa-kīrtanaKṛṣṇa-kīrtana is not to be performed only through melodious musical tunes, chimes, and so on. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has not asked us to be proficient in high-class musical performances or to become well practiced in the airs of expert musicians. His Lordship has told us to perform hari-kīrtana constantly. Hari-kīrtana does not consist of gratifying our own senses, but in the gratification of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s senses. 

In regard to the process of practicing śrī nāma, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has stressed that the chanter of śrī nāma be free from all sorts of fraudulent craftiness or other desires than to develop bhakti. The para-dharma (the highest spiritual practice) or the bhāgavata-dharma of all beings is performed only through śrī nāma-kīrtana, and that is the dharma divested of all tricky artifices (including even the desire for emancipation) as explained in Śrīdhara Svāmīpāda’s annotation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.2). 

We should not make attempts for wealth, power, learning, material gain, adoration, honour, or the like, which are fraudulent, yet hankered after by almost 100% of all mankind. We should not utilize nāma-saṅkīrtana for the purpose of achieving dharmaarthakāma and mokṣa (the four human goals, or caturvarga). No prayer should be made to God through His names for our personal or collective peace and pleasure. We should not make Him play the role of servant for us. Both the karmīs who strive for the first three of the above four, and the jñānīs who strive for the fourth, are busy reducing the Supreme Lord to their own servant. They can never perform hari-bhajana (service to God) and true śrī kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana cannot emenate from their mouths.


Adapted from The Gauḍīya, Volume 8, Number 8 - Part 2
by the Rays of The Harmonist Team

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