sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist Fortnightly Edition

Issue 11, Fortnightly Centennial Edition
Posted: 28 November 2021

In honour of the centennial appearance year of
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja

Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja

Nāma-bhajana and the Mercy of Śrī Hari, Guru & Vaiṣṇavas


Excerpts from the writings of

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja 


Presented in English for the first time

SBVVGM for Fortnightly posting

You must put all manner of worldly tasks aside and chant one lakh daily, perform pūjā and arcana of the deity, study various sacred texts, and go to the maṭha to take advantage of hearing śrī hari-kathā. This is the special purpose of Kṛṣṇa’s saṁsāra, Bhagavān’s saṁsāra. Many believe that one lakh (lakṣa) of nāma means setting one’s lakṣya (focus) and chanting. But that is a one-sided notion. Chanting a fixed amount of śrī nāma means chanting with a steady heart, crying and weeping anxiously. One must complete one’s fixed number of rounds in that manner [with absorption]. 

Śrīman Mahāprabhu gave His devotees the instruction to chant one lakh of nāma daily. Nāmācārya Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura used to chant three lakh of nāma daily. The six Gosvāmīs and the ācāryas under their guidance have all put importance on śrī nāma-japa. This is sādhana-bhajana, a part of abhyāsa-yoga. If one utters śuddha-nāma (the pure holy name) with a tongue composed of pure consciousness, then one obtains direct audience of nāmī Parabrahma Śrī Bhagavān and the qualification to serve Him directly. At first, when the sādhaka and sādhikā still have anarthas, they cannot chant śuddha-nāma as they keep chanting nāmāparādha. But if they keep chanting like that in a manner that is full of attachment, then they obtain nāmābhāsa, and later, śuddha-nāma manifests in their hearts. Whether or not you are chanting śuddha-nāma is something you will be able to realize yourself at some point.

            When eating, it is not appropriate to ask if your stomach is full or not, because by eating, your stomach fills up, and if you do not eat properly, your stomach stays hungry. You don’t need to explain to everyone, though, exactly how you fill your stomach. Just as a person who is eating experiences satisfaction, nourishment, and the alleviation of hunger with every morsel, only the sādhaka or sādhikā can experience and realize within their heart the bliss they are deriving from chanting śrī nāma. It is not possible to explain this to anyone. 

            Besides the mercy of Śrī Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas, there is no other route by which we will attain our ultimate auspiciousness. This is why it is has been said in invocation: “hari-guru-vaiṣṇavatinera smaraṇatinera smaraṇe haya vighna-vināśana – by remembering Śrī Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas, all obstacles are destroyed.” [See Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā 1.21)]  … By any means, we must become illuminated in the service and merciful gaze of Śrī Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas and absorb our minds in bhajana of Kṛṣṇa – “yena kenāpy upāyena manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.1.32)]. This is the quintessence. 

If we gain the mercy of śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas, we gain success in sādhana-bhajana. The qualification for mercy is simplicity, an absence of duplicity. “Yogyatā vicāre kichu nāhi pai, tomāra karuṇā sāra, karuṇā nā haile kā̃diyā kā̃diyā prāṇa nā rākhibo āra – In considering my qualifications, I find nothing. Your mercy is essential. If you are not merciful to me, weeping and weeping, I will no longer maintain my life” [Gurudeva! Kṛpā-bindu Diyā (7) by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura]. This sort of humility is what grants the qualification to attain mercy. 

Knowingly and unknowingly, we commit so many types of mistakes, errors, offences and wrongs towards guruand Vaiṣṇavas. However: “tomā sthāne aparādhatumi karo kṣaya – You expunge offences committed to You” [Nivedana Kori Prabhu! (5) by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura]. Besides this prayer, we have no other recourse. Giving satisfaction to śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas is service, and that is bhajana-sādhana. Only if we obtain their causelessly merciful glance will our condition of material existence dissipate and the attainment of bhagavad-bhakti or bhagavat-prema be possible.

Patrāvalī (English) Letter 54, 5/10/1979

Translated by Rays of The Harmonist team


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