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Harinama: Holy Name of the Lord

Based on the Harinama-cintamani by Bhaktivinoda Thakura, chapters 1-2

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam.
(Not glory, Lord, not glory, only Your Name I glorify.)
- Knight Templars motto, derived from Psalm 115:1

Karma, jnana and yoga ineffective in Kali-yuga
The holy name is both the means and the end
The spiritual identity of the holy name
Two kinds of the holy name
Three levels of chanting
The pure name and namabhasa: different results
Vyavadhana or 'disruption' causes offense (aparadha)
Overcoming namabhasa and attaining prema
Only the faithful are eligible to chant the omnipotent holy name
Types of prayers (a simple DOS japa-chanting software ;)
Mantry (česká fonetika a text)

NArada PaJcarAtra 1.10.66-86 - glory of Sri Krsna sankirtan

zrI-kRSNa-rasa-saGgItaM vINA-dhvani-samanvitam
kuru vatsAdhunAtraiva zRNvantu munayaH surAH 66
gopInAM vastra-haraNaM haraM rAsa-mahotsavam
tAbhiH sArdhaM jala-krIDAM harer utkIrtanaM kuru 67
kRSNa-saGkIrtanaM tUrNaM punAti zruti-mAtrataH
zrotAraM ca pravaktAraM puruSaiH saptabhiH saha 68
yatraiva prabhaved vatsa tan-nAma-guNAnukIrtanam
tatra sarvANi tIrthAni puNyAni maGgalAni ca 69
tat-kIrtana-dhvaniM zrutvA sarvANi pAtakAni ca
dUrAd eva palAyante vainateyam ivoragAH 70
tad dinaM saphalaM dhanyaM yazasyaM sarva-maGgalam
zrI-kRSNa-kIrtanaM yatra tatraiva nAyuSo vyayaH 71
saMkIrtana-dhvaniM zrutvA ye ca nRtyanti vaiSNavAH
teSAM pAda-rajaH-sparzAt sadyaH pUtA vasundharA 72
tat-kIrtanaM bhaved yatra kRSNasya paramAtmanaH
sthAnaM tac ca bhavet tIrthaM mRtAnAM tatra muktidam 73
nAtra pApAni tiSThanti puNyAni susthirANi ca
tapasvinAM ca vratinAM vratAnAM tapasAM sthalam 74
vartate pApinAM dehe pApAni tri-vidhAni ca
mahA-pApopapApAtipApAny eva smRtAni ca 75
hantA yo vipra-bhikSUNAM yatInAM brahma-cAriNAM
strINAM ca vaiSNavAnAM ca sa mahA-pAtakI smRtaH 76
bhrUNA-ghnaz cApi go-ghnaz ca zUdra-ghnaz ca kRta-ghnakaH
vizvAsa-ghAtI viD-bhojI sa eva hy upapAtakI 77
agamyAgamino ye ca sura-vipra-svahAriNaH
atipAtakinaz caite veda-vidbhiH prakIrtitAH 78
kRSNa-saMkIrtana-dhyAnAt tan-mantra-grahaNAd aho
mucyante pAtakais tais taiH pApinas tri-vidhAH smRtAH 79
tapo-yajJa-kRtI pUtas tIrtha-snAta-vratI tathA
bhikSur yatir brahma-cArI vAna-prasthaz ca tApasaH 80
pavitraH paramo vahniH supavitraM jalaM yathA
ete sarve vaiSNavAnAM kalAM nArhanti SoDazIm 81
viSNu-pAdodakocchiSTaM bhuJjate ye ca nityazaH
pazyanti ca zilA-cakraM pUjAM kurvanti nityazaH 82
jIvan-muktAs ca te dhanyA hari-dAsAz ca bhArate
pade pade 'zvamedhasya prApnuvanti phalaM dhruvam 83
nahi teSAM parAbhUtAH puNyavanto jagat-traye
teSAM ca pAda-rajasA tIrthaM pUtaM tathA dharA 84/
teSAM ca darzanaM sparzaM vAJchanti munayaH surAH
puruSANAM sahasraM ca pUtaM taj-janma-mAtrataH 85
ity uktvA jagatAM dhAtA tatra tUSNIM babhUva saH
AzcaryaM menire zrutvA devAz ca munayas tathA 86

Brahma said: O child! Now sing songs about the highly interesting Ragas of Sri Krsna, so full of flavour and sweetness, in unison with your Vina (the Indian lute); all the gods and Munis are going to listen. (66)
About the stealing away of the clothes of the Gopis (Vastra harana), about the famous dance called Rasa and the great festivity in connection thereof, and playing with the Gopis in water (Jala krida) and other Sankirtanas of Sri Hari. (67)
The Krsna Sankirtan (praising God in songs), purifies then and there the singers and the hearers both, no sooner they are heard, along with seven generations. (68)
Son! where Hari's name and glories are chanted, there all the sanctifying and auspicious Tirthas reside. (69)
All the sins fly to a great distance away from the place, where Hari's name is chanted, as the snakes run away at the sight of Garuda. (70)
That day is significant and useful, blessed and famous, on which Hari Sankirtanas are held; the time of life does not go in vain. (71)
The dust of the feet of those Vaisnavas, who dance with joy on hearing Hari Sankirtana, sanctifies the earth at once. (72)
Where the name of the Supreme Spirit, Sri Krsna, is sung, that place becomes Tirtha a and gives mukti to those that die there. (73)
There the sins cannot stay; there heaps of punyams (good merits) reign steadily and that place becomes the resort of ascetics and holders of vows to perform their asceticism and vows. (74)
Three-fold sins reside in the bodies of sinners: (1) Mahapapa (great sins), (2) Upapapa (secondary sins) and (3) Atipapa (very great sins). (75)
Those are called Mahapapis (great sinners) who take away the lives of (kills) Brahmanas, Bhiksus, Yatis, Brahmacaris, women, and Vaisnavas. (76)
The Upapatakis (second class sinners) are those who kill embryos (cause abortions), kill Sudras and cows, are treacherous and ungrateful and eat feces. (77)
The Atipatakis (third class sinners) are those sinners who hold illicit connections with those not fit to be approached, who steal away the wealth of the Devas and Brahmanas. (78)
But these three-fold sinners become free of all their sins, no sooner they hold Krsna sankirtans (chant the name and glories of Sri Krsna), meditate on Krsna and take Krsna mantra. (79)
Ascetics, performers of yajnas (sacrifices), bathers in Tirthas, keepers of vows, Bhiksus, Yatis, Brahmacaris, Vanaprasthas, the highly sacred Fire, the pure drinking water etc., cannot compare to one sixteenth part of a Vaisnava. (80-81)
He who daily drinks the padodaka (water after washing the foot of Visnu) and eats Visnu naivedya (offerings of eatables to Visnu) and sees and worships daily Salagram sila (Visnu stone), reaps undoubtealy the fruit of performing horse sacrifice (Asvamedha). (82-83)
There is no one in this world so meritorious who can defeat them. The dust of their feet purifies the Tirthas and Earth. (84)
The Devas and the Munis always cherish desires to see and touch a Vaisnava; no sooner a Vaisnava is born, hundred generations of his become pure. (85)
Saying so, Brahma remained silent. The Devas and the Munis were astonished to hear this. (86)

Similar long passages about harinam sankirtan in Kali-yuga are in Narada Purana 1.41.91-115 and Satvata tantra 5.38-55.

Karma, jnana and yoga ineffective in Kali-yuga

The Satya-yuga sages who took up the process of meditation were personally purified by Krsna and given the treasure of devotional service. In the Treta-yuga, the same spiritual success crowned those who flawlessly performed opulent sacrifices to satisfy the Lord. In the Dvapara-yuga, He granted devotion to those who adhered to the path of perfect Deity worship. With the advent of the present age, Kali-yuga, Lord Krsna saw the dreadful condition of the jivas (living beings) and relinquished all hope in the processes of karma, jnana and yoga. People in the Kali-yuga are short-lived, always harassed by disease, and are born with a weak body and mind. The observance of varnasrama-dharma and the cultivation of sankhya philosophy, yoga, and empiricism will not yield the strength humanity needs to redeem itself.

Indirect devotional paths of jnana and karma are intended to lead one to the shrine of devotional service through either the association of saintly persons during philosophical discussions, or by the ritualistic offering to the Supreme Lord of the results of work performed without desire but in Kali-yuga both paths have become contaminated. Genuine saintly persons, now rarely seen, have been displaced by crass, commercial pseudo-spiritualists. Religious duties are no longer performed for purifying the consciousness but for enjoyment of the material results of the rituals. Therefore these secondary paths are no longer beneficial.

The Lord, considering the jivas' welfare, descended in Kali-yuga along with His holy name to propagate the yuga-dharma (the religion of the age). By taking up the yuga-dharma the jiva attains love of Krsna: he has only to remember the Supreme Lord's name (nama-smarana or japa) and chant the Lord's name congregationally (nama-sankirtana).

The holy name is both the means and the end

The only method or means (sadhana) in this age is the holy name of the Lord. The only goal (sadhya) to be attained in this age is Krsna-prema (love of Krsna). Even in the stage of perfection, the name is not given up but is chanted all the more, for it is intrinsic to the activities of prema. Indeed, the name is not different from the Lord: it is the very embodiment of prema. If the means is the end, then the end and the means never contradict one another. If process is identical to the objective, then it is easy for the jivas to attain the desired goal of life, Krsna-prema. By the mercy of His holy name, Krsna easily delivers the jivas in the age of Kali.

The spiritual identity of the holy name

Lord Krsna and His holy name are not different; They are the one and same Absolute Truth who is the all-pervading yet supremely independent form of dynamic spirituality (caitanya vigraha), fully cognizant and full of bliss, without beginning or end. Eternally free of material imperfection (nitya mukta), always situated in pure goodness (suddha sattva), the holy name, identical (abhinna) with He who is denoted by the name (the nami, or Krsna), descends to this world as the complete incarnation of the highest sweetness (rasa).

Two kinds of the holy name

The holy name can be categorized in two types: principal and secondary. By taking shelter of Krsna's principal names, the jiva obtains the real boon of spiritual life. The holy names of the Lord that describe His transcendental pastimes and which contain all of the Lord's spiritual excellences are defined as principal names. They are, for example: Govinda, Gopala, Rama, Sri Nandanandana, Radhanatha, Hari, Yasomati Pranadhana, Madana-Mohana, Syamasundara, Madhava, Gopinatha, Vrajagopala, Raksala, Yadava, and so on. Anyone who chants the names of the Lord that depict His eternal pastimes can attain the Lord's supreme abode.

The Vedas address the Lord with names that describe His affiliation with His material energy. These are His secondary names, e.g. Creator, Supersoul, Brahman, maintainer and annihilator of the world, Yajnesvara, Hara, etc. Such names of the Lord are invoked by those pursuing fruitive activities and empirical knowledge. In keeping with the Vedic directions, the chanting of such names of the Lord will result in piety and salvation. However, Krsna-prema, the most perfect result of chanting the holy name of the Lord, is attained only by saintly souls who invoke Krsna's principal names.

Three levels of chanting

1. Chanting with offenses (aparadha)
2. Chanting in the clearing stage (namabhasa)
3. Chanting of the pure name (suddha-nama)

The pure name and namabhasa: different results

If the holy name is chanted just once, though impurely so, or if the sound is simply heard, then the living entity regardless of his high or low caste is immediately liberated. This is the declaration of scripture. And furthermore, when the holy name is chanted in the clearing stage (namabhasa Ä the stage when impurities are swept from the heart of the chanter), then the highest goal is attained after some delay.

All other auspicious pious results including liberation can be quite easily achieved in namabhasa, but the attainment of love of Godhead is suspended for a while until the jiva reaches the summit of chanting the pure name or suddha-nama. In namabhasa, sin and unwanted desires in the heart are eventually dissipated; thereafter the devotee chants purely. Suddha-nama offers the devotee the highest spiritual success, love of Krsna.

Vyavadhana or 'disruption' causes offense (aparadha)

Chanting should be free from any form of disruption because this will result in offenses against the holy name, which in turn pose an insurmountable obstacle on the path to success. Vyavadhana or 'disruption' is of two kinds.

The first type is known as varna-vyavadhana or disruption in the syllables. For example, in the Bengali word 'hathikari', 'ha' and the last syllable 'ri' can be put together to form 'Hari', a name of Krsna. But because the syllables 'thi-ka' are inserted in the middle, the repetition of 'hathikari' will not give actual benefit. Yet the Arabic word 'haram' is not perverted by such disruption of the syllables or varna-vyavadhana. The syllables comprising the holy name 'Ram' are uninterrupted; hence, speaking the word 'haram' gives liberation because it is namabhasa.

The second type of vyavadhana is called tattva-vyavadhana or disruption of philosophical conclusions. This offense is much more serious. Lord Krsna's name and Lord Krsna Himself are non-different. But someone who is polluted by Mayavadi philosophy imagines them to be separate. Such an offensive conclusion is clearly against all Vedic teachings and will totally destroy one's spiritual life. It is impossible to obtain Krsna-prema from such chanting. In summary, one should understand properly that the holy name is identical to the Lord Himself. The principal names of Krsna should be chanted as suddha-nama, devoid of namabhasa and the aparadha of vyavadhana. The person who takes these considerations to heart and chants suddha-nama even once is considered a Vaisnava. He is to be served with faith and devotion.

Overcoming namabhasa and attaining prema

Anyone wanting to attain the highest spiritual success of chanting purely must approach a bonafide spiritual master and serve him carefully and sincerely. He must become free from deceit, join Lord Krsna's family of devotees and continuously chant the holy name. He should accept everything favorable for devotional service and at the same time reject unfavorable things. He should seek out the association of devotees and utilize his life in service to the Lord's holy name and the Vaisnavas. He should forgo all other religious practices and pious activities and never worship any other devata. Nor should he think anything to be independent from Krsna.

Gradually, as all the anarthas or unwanted desires in the heart are destroyed, the transcendental name of Krsna appears and dances on the tongue of the devotee. The holy name, now nectarean in taste, cannot but be relished by the devotee at every moment. Thus spiritually intoxicated, the devotee always feels like dancing. As the holy name dances, the devotee likewise dances, and at that moment the ecstasy of love of Godhead also enters dancing into the devotee's heart. Then the entire world will dance and maya will flee away.

Only the faithful are eligible to chant the omnipotent holy name

The Supreme Lord has infused His transcendental name with all of His potencies and offered it to humanity. One who has sufficient faith in Lord Krsna's name is eligible to chant, and only one who chants the name is properly executing the prescribed duties of the human being. He is called an adhikari or possessor of the holy name.

The holy name is so potent that chanting does not depend on conditions of time, place, rules, cleanliness, and so on. Pious activities, such as the giving of charity, the performance of sacrifices, the taking of ablutions, or the recitation of Vedic mantras are all regulated by stringent rules. But for the chanting of the holy name, the only prerequisite is faith. One who takes shelter of the holy name with unflinching faith will attain all perfection.

a depression overcoming by chanting Hare Krsna
"OM The Supreme Combination of Letters Emanating from the Flute of Sri Krsna" by Swami B.G. Narasingha Maharaja
Kirtan by HH Akincana Krishna das Babaji Maharaja, disciple of BSST

Types of prayers

(from Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana)

1. Samprarthanatmika - direct prayer glorifying the Lord. We have many examples of this type of prayer in Narottama Dasa's Prarthana.

2. Svadhainyabodhika - expressing humility and embarrassment, informing the Lord: I am very fallen.

3. Manah-siksa - examples are Bhajahu Re Mana by Govinda das or Manah-siksa by Raghunatha das Gosvami. In this type of prayer the mind becomes a disciple and we teach it how to deal with the senses and relate to intelligence. We consider the mind a separate entity and tell it: Pull yourself together! Meditate on Krsna! The challenging spirit of intelligence becomes manifest. One function of the intelligence is to challenge the mind.

4. Vilapatmika - statements of supreme lamentation. This may be confusing; we hear the devotees are always happy, so how can a devotee lament? But this kind of lamentation is a type of devotional ecstasy - it draws a devotee closer to Krsna.

5. Vaisnava Mahimaprakasika - revealing the greatness of the Vaisnavas. Krsna doesn't want to be considered separately from the Vaisnavas, therefore we can please Him by glorifying them.

6. Sri-Guru-Vaisnava-vijnapti-rupa - statements of submission and glorification of the Vaisnavas, especially of the guru. The example is Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Ohe! Vaisnava Thakura.

7. Sridhama-vase-lipsatmika - expressing the desire to live in the holy places. There are many prayers of this kind, composed by Prabodhananda Sarasvati, glorifying Sri Vrndavana. In one of them he says: Anyone who desires to leave Vrndavana I consider to be a madman.

8. Sadhaka-dehe-lalasa-sucika - expressing the desire to practice devotional service.

9. Siddha-dehe-lalasamayi - desire to attain siddha-deha and serve Krsna in this spiritual body.

10. Aksepabodhika - lamentation again: extreme grief and sorrow that we have fallen to this material world.

We can see that out of the ten types of prayers listed, three express feeling "bad." So these feelings are not useless. They can be incorporated into devotional service. We shouldn't think: First let me become a pure devotee, free from all lamentation, no problems - then I can come before the Lord and offer nice prayers. No. A pure devotee feels his deficiency so he comes before the Lord and prays.

vaiSNavIya tantre:
japAt zata guNAm pUNyAm rAma nAma pralekhane

In the Vaisnaviya tantra it is stated: Writing the Mantra (like Rama Nama Mantra etc.) with full concentration is one hundred times more beneficial and powerful than japa chanting.

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