śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 6, Issue 3
Posted: 30 April 2013
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
When Will I Realize that
The Holy Name is Directly Kṛṣṇa?
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Question 1: When will I be able to realize that the holy name is directly Kṛṣṇa?
Answer: The name (nāma – Śrī Kṛṣṇa) and the person (nāmī – Śrī Kṛṣṇa) are non-different. This shall be especially realized when our anarthas have been destroyed. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name is chanted without offences, one can directly realize that through His name alone, all types of perfection can be attained.
While regularly chanting the holy name, as all the anarthas are gradually dispelled, His form, qualities and pastimes shall be naturally realized in one’s heart. One need not endeavour to artificially remember the form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. For those who chant the holy names, step by step, the obstacles of their egoistic gross and subtle bodies are removed and their eternal constitutional form (siddha-svarūpa) is awakened. And, after one’s eternal form manifests, chanting the holy names (śrī nāma) gradually grants one vision of the transcendental nature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form (kṛṣṇa-rūpa).
Thus, śrī nāma alone awakens one’s eternal constitutional form (sva-rūpa), thereby bestowing attraction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form. Śrī nāma alone awakens one’s own eternal constitutional qualities (sva-guṇa), thereby causing attraction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental qualities. And Śrī nāma alone awakens one’s eternal constitutional activities (sva-kriyā), thereby causing attraction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental pastimes.
“Service to the holy name (nāma-sevā)” includes any essential activities the practitioner must perform [such as maintaining the body] in order to continue chanting the holy names.
By regularly chanting the holy names (śrī nāma), everything is made possible by the mercy of those names alone. The taste for chanting the holy names arises out of hearing, reading and following the scriptures accordingly.
Question 2: What is the nature of harināma?
Answer: Harināma is not some unconscious thing or some imaginary thing. It is not some unique object in this plane that can be seen, nor does it belong to this visible manifest world at all. Harināma is the incarnation of the Supreme Lord. It is Bhagavān Himself. The holy name (nāma) is directly Hari, and Hari is directly the holy name. Śrī nāma is transcendental substance, complete in itself. It is the omnipotent Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
The transcendental name (nāma) is non-different from the person who is named (nāmī). Śrī nāma is self-manifest. Śrī nāma has His own initiative. The transcendental name, śrī nāma, is Himself the personality of the name, śrī nāmī, and the transcendental name is Himself the person who has form, qualities, and associates and performs various transcendental pastimes. The transcendental name is Himself that form, those qualities, those associates and those pastimes. There is no difference between the holy name (nāma) and the person (nāmī).
The transcendental name is śabda-brahma. Śrī nāma is Kṛṣṇa Himself. In this age of Kali, Śrī Kṛṣṇa has appeared in the form of His holy name, śrī nāma. Those who chant the holy names are themselves conscious beings; they alone can speak harikathā of vibhu-cetana, the supreme, infinite conscious Being – Śrī Harināma. They say, “O Holy Name! I am your servant and have accepted your shelter.”
Those who engage in chanting the holy names are the servants of Harināma Prabhu. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself has appeared in the form of His name. Therefore we will thoroughly accept the exclusive shelter of harināma. We shall not go to anyone else.
Question 3: Is there no hope for spiritual welfare apart from serving śrī guru?
Answer: No. Śrī guru, has come just to bestow well-being upon us. He is the personification of all auspiciousness and the sole refuge for the jīva. How can one achieve any welfare by superseding one as benevolent as śrī gurudeva? Śrī guru is a mahājana from Vaikuṇṭha. He is the great personality sent by Śrī Bhagavān. How can we reach Vaikuṇṭha if we reject his shelter, give up our service to him, and discard his association? The mercy of śrī guru (guru-kṛpā) is the sole cause of all well-being. What efforts did I perform so as to deserve His mercy? Thinking thus, I am giving up my pride and simply offering my obeisance to him. Namaskara means to relinquish the pride that I am the seer and the doer. For this reason, our [guru-]mantra contains the word namaḥ.
Our erroneous conception of being the doer can be removed only by the mercy of śrī guru. Our true ego that, “I am the servant of Bhagavān”, can manifest only by the mercy of śrī guru. Worldly, false pride, ego, misconception, and so forth can be dismissed by his mercy alone – by the influence of rendering service to him alone.
For years on end, I was not inclined to serve or worship śrī guru, but by his mercy alone I came to understand that my sole duty is to render service to him. It is not my duty to follow the blind but to follow in the footsteps of śrī guru, who has true vision. That is, to perform worship of him is our exclusive duty. By śrī guru’s mercy alone, I have the fortune to understand that he is my only true, intimate friend, my sole kinsmen and protector. Since attaining his darśana, I no longer have the conception that I have any business other than serving him.
Śrī guru is the most beloved servant and dear-most associate of Bhagavān. He informed me about service to Śrī Nandanandana out of his compassion for me and in order to deliver me from the clutches of false pride. It was only then that I could come to know that there is no other duty – no other well-being for a living soul other than satisfying the senses of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Nandanandana is the living being’s only worshipful object, his life, ornament and everything. Śrī guru is most dear to that very Śrī Nandanandana.
A person as unqualified as I am is not able to serve so divine a being as śrī guru by my body, my mind, my words or by any other means. Nevertheless, śrī guru, who is an ocean of compassion and an ocean of affection, infuses me with potency through his divinity, and sees me with eyes of love. Such is the magnitude of his compassion!
If I am able to receive his mercy, if I am able to cultivate this beautiful conception that other than him there is no one who is my own in this whole world, then by his causeless, heartfelt compassion alone, I shall be able to attain the qualification to serve him. He becomes pleased only by service that is full of love. The day he bestows his heartfelt mercy upon me, the day he is pleased with me, I shall finally be able to correctly understand what the topmost welfare is. Then nothing shall be considered greater for me – nothing shall be pleasing to me, apart from serving śrī guru and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, I simply aspire for this benediction from śrī guru: that I may have the ability to receive and retain the potency that he transmits.
Śrī guru’s compassion is incomparable. Even the controller of all controllers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself is controlled by śrī guru’s love. But I am so unfortunate that I cannot realize śrī guru’s greatness. I do not even have the capability to express gratitude for the compassion he has already bestowed upon me. To repay his compassion is out of question for me.
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Śrīla Prabhupādera Upadeśāmṛta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation
Śrīla Prabhupādera Upadeśāmṛta is a compilation of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda’s instructions, in question-and-answer form.
Rays of The Harmonist On-line; Year-6, Issue 3, "When Will I Realize that The Holy Name is Directly Kṛṣṇa?", by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.