­sri sanmodana bhasyam bhaktivinoda Thakura

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Bhaktivinoda Thakura

cetah - of the heart; darpana - the mirror; marjanam -

cleansing; bhava - of material existence; maha-davagni - the

blazing forest fire; nivapanam - extinguishing; sreyah - of

good fortune; kairava - the white lotus; candrika - the

moonshine; vitaranam - spreading; vidya - of all education;

vadhu - wife; jivanam - the life; ananda - bliss; ambudhi -

the ocean; vardhanam - increasing; prati-padam - at every step;

purna-amrta - of the full nectar; asvadanam - giving taste;

sarva - for everyone; atma-snapanam - bathing of the self;

param - transcendental; vijayate - let there be victory; sri-

krsna-sankirtanam - for the congregational chanting of the holy

name of Krsna.
"Let there be victory for the chanting of the holy name of

Lord Krsna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop

the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That

chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good

fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all

education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the

blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect

to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step."

­Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam

I begin this Sanmodana Bhasyam commentary on the eight

Siksastaka verses written by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by offering

my humble obeisance at the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and His

eternal associates in the Sri Pancatattva, namely Nityananda

Avadhuta, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandita and Srivasa Thakura.

­The path of perfectionÄ.77Ä„
The path of devotional service is the highest perfection of

life, and it is sought after in all the Vedic literatures.

Applying his superior intelligence to repeated research of the

Vedas, Lord Brahma ascertained that the best method of self

Hari, who dwells within everyone's heart.
Brahma's philosophical conclusion unequivocally establishes

the supremacy of devotional service over fruitive activities,

speculative knowledge, or any other process. However, pure

devotional love of God is unattainable without great faith and

intense eagerness to relish the nectarean pastimes of the Supreme

Lord and without deep understanding of the confidential truths of

the scriptures. And even when profound faith has arisen, it is

impossible without the association of saintly persons to discuss

the transcendental topics of the Supreme Lord. Sadhusangha is

integral to the hearing and chanting process of devotional

Thus the Lord Himself has declared, "It is only in the

association of My pure devotees that discus¬sions about My

transcendental glory become spiritually potent and arouse loving

devotional mellows within the inner core of one's heart."

The Lord's holy name, form, qualities and activities are

particularly glorified in such company. In Lord Caitanya's

teachings He first discusses these glories. In the fourth line,

for example, the word param indicates that chanting Krsna's allªpurifying holy name is the very highest benediction. This

follows the establishment of proper faith and association with

saintly devotees. Thus the process of devotional service begins.

This chanting is never to be confused with sentimental and

pseudo-devotional chanting, however. In these Siksastaka verses

Sri Caitanya explains in His own words the principles of

sambandha (our eternal relationship with God), abhidheya (the

means by which we can revive that relationship), and prayojana

(the ultimate goal of that relationship for every living being).

This commentary, then, will briefly examine each of these

philosophical principles. As Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Per­sonality of Godhead who is lovingly served by all pure Vaisnava

devotees, says: "Let the congregational chanting of the holy

name be especially glorified."

Therefore, please hear just how the chanting of the holy

name is victorious in the mundane world, which is a creation of

the external energy of the Lord.

Scripture certainly evinces the absolute oneness of the

Supreme Truth. "Only the one non-dual substance existed before

crea¬tion", we read. And in another place, "Other than the one

non-dual Brahman no varigatedness exist." In these statements,

the all-pervading impersonal aspect of the Absolute Truth is

Simultaneously, the statement, "Everything is Brahman" x

eternal and supreme Absolute Truth. Though differentiated

personalism and undifferentaied impersonalism coexist in the

Absolute Truth, it is the personal feature that is actually

perceivable; impersonalism is not. Therefore, the personal

feature of the Absolute Truth predominates.

Our spiritual master in the matter of scriptural con­clusions, Srila Jiva Goswami, has therefore declared that the One

Absolute Truth eternally exists in four features: as His original

transcendental form, as His everexpanding all-pervasive potency,

as the living entities, and as the sum total of all matter. This

is analogous to the features of the sun planet: the sun god

himself, Surya; the powerful sunglobe; the sunshine; and the

reflections of the sun's rays on other surfaces.
The point here is that God alone is the Supreme Absolute

Truth, saktiman; He is the only source of all potencies or

energies. The Brahma-sutra does argue the essential oneness of

the Energetic Source (saktiman) and Energy (sakti), yet the Vedas

conclude, "That Supreme Absolute Truth manifests Himself in a

variety of forms. His potencies are multifarious." This proves

that there exists an essential and eternal difference between the

Energetic and His Energy, and that the inconceivable Absolute

Truth acts in ways that are parad¬oxical and contradic¬tory. The

monistic school of Kevalad¬vaitavada cannot successfully op¬pose

with arguments this scriptural principle of simultaneous oneness

and difference.

The Absolute Potent Supreme Truth manifests Himself in three

categories: as His internal potency, as His marginal potency, and

as His external potency.
Through the agency of His internal spiritual potency He

displays the infinite transcendental realm, and He exists there

eternally as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the proprie¬tor

of all His energetic expansions. That He may perform various

personal pas¬times, His internal potency exhibits the spiritual

Vaikuntha planets within the transcendental realm.

The marginal potency is made up of the eternal living

entities (jivasouls) who are like rays or in¬finitesimal sparks

of the sun. They are part and parcel of the Absolute Truth,

non-dif¬ferent from Him in quality and different in quantity.

The external energy (maya) is but the reflection of the

eternal spiritual realm. Maya establishes the hierarchy of

various material conditions that the souls in her power become

subject to.

In each of their own ways, therefore, maya (the material

energy), the living entities (the marginal spiritual energy) and

Vaikuntha (transcendence) are different and non-different from

the Supreme Lord.

As long as the jiva takes full shelter of the Supreme Lord,

he remains a resident of Vaikuntha; but when his innate spiritual

knowledge of the Lord is covered by forgetful¬ness, he is placed
outside the transcendental realm. The jiva is compared to a ray

of the sun, and when under the cloud of maya he becomes condi­tioned to an unconstitutional and hence unnatural type of exis­tence. The jiva was created to support and par¬ticipate in the

Supreme Lord's transcendental pastimes, but due to his marginal

nature he can fall under maya's spell to suffer the pangs of

repeated birth and death. If, however, the jiva awakens to his

original self, the dark mists of ignoran¬ce are dissipated and the

long suffering of repeated birth and death at last comes to an

end. Then he regains his true spiritual identity.

When the jiva meets a saintly person, he gradually acquires

an eager taste for knowledge of scripture and attraction to the

Supreme Lord Himself; when situated in his original constitu­tional position, the awakened soul is eligible to enter into a

conjugal loving exchange with the Lord. One gets the chance to

as¬sociate with real saintly persons and take shelter of a

bonafide spiritual master by sincerity and faith; only in this

way can he hear the true import of the revealed scriptures.
After submissively hearing, one can chant the holy name; and

gradually the real self, the respiritualized jiva, overcomes the

illusory energy as his original nature becomes prominent. Such is

the sublime effect of chanting the Lord's holy name. Chanting

alone cleanses the heart - ceto-darpana-marjanam - and eventually

brings out seven types of perfections in the spirit soul.

The phrase ceto-darpana-marjanam indicates the original

transcendental nature of the living entity. Srila Jiva Gosvami

explains that the living entity is a part and parcel of the

Supreme Absolute Energetic Truth; He is the aggregate of all

jivas. Like rays of the sun, the jivas are of the same spiritual

nature as the Supreme; but they are infinitesimal in size.

Srila Baladeva Vidyabusana has similarly analyzed Godhead as

the infinite Supreme Lord, with the jiva being His infinitesimal

part. All transcendental qualities are eternally present in

perfect fullness in the Supreme Lord. His pure ego is manifest

as both absolute knowledge and knower. The jiva is also in

possession of transcendental knowledge and pure ego, but to a

partial degree. By logic, qualities of the sun like heat and

light present must also be present in the sun's rays.

Of the two, then, it is the Supreme Godhead who is fully

indepen¬dent. He possesses and embodyies all transcendental

qualiti¬es. He is the origin of everything, and He enters into

material nature and as its controller; He alone creates and

maintains the material world. As the reservoir of all spiritual

bliss, He relishes His own spiritual self and distributes the

nectar of pure love of Godhead by the means of His pure devotion­al service. Indeed, He forces all living entities to taste that

sweet nectar.

Innumerable living entities move through varied stages of

existence; some become eternally conditioned, some become

eternally liberated. When the jiva rejects the Supreme Lord, he

is eternally ensnared by matter; but if he again aspires for the

shelter of the Lord, the curtain of maya that separates the jiva

from his own transcendental identity and qualities is forever

removed; he is and immediately restored to his original pure


Therefore, it is clear that the jiva is in¬šfinitesimal.

Though he is of a transcendental nature having pure ego, pure

consciousness and pure form, if he turns away from God and con­templates material energy, his pure nature becomes contaminated

by nes¬cience.

In this way, the soul's consciousness is like a mirror: just

as it is impossible to see one's face in a dusty mirror, it is

similarly impossible to see the real self in the mirror of

consciousness when it is covered by the dust of ignorance. But

if one begins to render loving devotional service (particularly

hearing and chanting the holy names and pastimes of Sri Krsna)

under the influence of the Lord's hladhini pleasure potency, the

material contamination of nescience is completely eradicated.

Then jiva's pure consciousness, which is a function of his

pure ego, manifests itself. He sees reflected on the mirror of

his pure ego the five principles of the Supreme Lord, the jiva,

prakriti (nature), kala (time), and karma (action), with absolute

clarity. He sees the reflection of his original identity without

any distortion, and this helps him to know his inherent nature as

an eternal servant of the Lord. When one becomes truly expert in

serving the Lord, the propensity to enjoy material life is

converted into a loving devotional mood of service.

The word bhava indicates the jiva's forcible subjection to

repeated births in this world. Bhava is a continuous cycle of

birth and death called mahadavagni (blazing fire), a raging

conflagration that cannot be extinguished by any means other than

the congregational chanting of Krsna's holy name.

A question may arise at this point: when one is at last

enlightened about his svadharma or eternal function as a liber­ated soul, does he then cease chanting Krsna's holy name? The

answer is no; the stoppage of chanting never occurs, because

chanting God's name is verily the soul's sva-dharma. The phrase

sreyah-kairava-¬candrika-vitarana confirms this by specifically

conveying the sense of the eternal activity of the spirit soul in

his original spiritual condition.

Jivas who are enslaved by maya prefer to enjoy material

life, and this desire perpetuates their bondage to the cycle of

birth and death. This the root cause of the threefold miseries.

But when the spirit soul becomes disgusted with material

enjoyment and re-dedicates his time and energy to Lord Krsna's

loving service, he reaps the greatest benefit. This benefit is

compared to a the cluster of pristine white lotuses, for just as

the moon's soothing rays cause the white lotuses to blossom, the

rasaladen rays of the chanting of the holy name stirs the en­folded petals of the lotus of the jiva's good fortune, causing it

to open.
As it is said, "devotion gives birth to devotion": the

sincere and faithful devotee must therefore follow the principles

of elementary bhakti by regularly hearing and chanting the holy

name until the first light of pure devotion begins to dawn in the

heart. The closed lotus flower touched by the moon's rays

awakens in full bloom, and similarly, when the congregational

chanting of the holy name spreads the rays of bhava (the essence

of hladini) and impregnates the soul's heart, rati (conjugal love

for Sri Krsna) then lights up his consciousness, bestowing the

highest benediction. This is what is meant by the "rays of the

benediction moon."

When does a person, having attained this level of pure devo­tion, acquire his pure spiritual identity? Lord Caitanya answers

this question by saying, vidya-vadhu-jivanam, "the life of all

transcendental knowledge." The Supreme Lord's sakti has two

aspects, vidya (knowledge) and avidya (ignorance). Yogamaya, the

svarupasakti, is the Lord's internal spiritual potency. This

potency is called vidya, whereas mahamaya, His external energy,

is avidya; it is the latter that creates the material universe

and covers the soul's svarupa.
When, by his sincerely following the process of hearing and

chanting, the first rays of pure devotion finally appear on the

horizon of the sadhaka's heart, then the Bhaktidevi, the

eradica¬tress of all unwanted material desires detrimental to the

Lord's service, eclipses the avidya potency. By suffusing the

soul with spiritual knowledge, Bhaktidevi destroys both the

gross and subtle coverings of the soul. Simultaneously, the

jiva's original spiritual form becomes manifest so that he

acquires the form of a gopi, for example, if his pure devotional

propen¬sities are steeped in the conjugal mood. Thus it stands

proven that Krsna's holy name is the life and the soul of all

transcen¬dental know¬ledge (vidya-vadhu-jivanam.) Svarupasakti is

therefore often said to be Krsna's wife.

When the gross and subtle material bodies of the jiva are

completely destroyed, the infinitesimal soul regains his original

pristine purity. Although the jiva is anu or minutely small, his

capacity for spiritual happiness is not minute. To remove any

doubt about this fact, Lord Caitanya adds, anandambudhi-vardhana,

"It is an ever increasing ocean of bliss."
The Holy Name of the Lord, through the hladini potency,

endlessly expands the natural bliss inherent in the soul; thus

his happiness increases by leaps and bounds, fixing the soul

eternally in one of the spiritual mellows (of dasya, sakhya,

vatsalya or madhurya). When thus established in his eternal

spiritual mellow, he continues to relish the limitless nectar at

every step of the exchange of loving emotions in his transcenden­tal relationship with the Supreme Lord.
Lord Krsna's enchanting beauty, His divine qualities, and

His sublime pastimes are eternal and everfresh in ecstacy.

Inebr¬iated with divine prema, the pure jiva continuously drinks

that ecstatic nectar, yet still the Lord's captivating beauty is

forever new.

Now, one final question may arise: isn't the pursuit of

happiness selfmotivated and hence contrary to the principles x

called unalloyed and transcendental? As the answer, Lord

Caitanya uses the expression sarvatma-snapanam: the bliss

of Krsna consciousness is completely pure, being wholly free of

any desire for self-satisfaction. Specifically, this means that

in the natural course of pure devotional service the devotee

attains the form of a maid-servant of Srimati Radharani, who

embodies the zenith of mahabhava, or divine ecstasy. In in Her

service, the devotee participates in conjugal pastimes with the

Lord and experiences unlimited bliss.

This sublime mood of service is therefore untainted by even

the slightest tinge of lust or self-indulgent craving.

Sarvatmasnapanam also confirms that in this state of perfect

bliss neither the contamination of sayujya-mukti (becoming one

with the Lord's impersonal aspect) nor the impurity of selfªgratification can divert the devotee from his fixed position in

pure Krsna consciousness.

May the chanting of the holy name of Krsna be ever vic­torious, for it is adorned with seven transcendental qualities;

it is the form of eternality, knowledge, and the highest bliss,

steeped in the wonderful and variegated amorous pastimes of Sri

Sri Radha-Krsna.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.11,13,14:
"Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna one can be

freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awaken­ing all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for

"By performing congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna

mantra one can destroy the sinful condition of material exis­tence, purify the unclean heart and awaken all varieties of

devotional service.
"The result of chanting is that one awakens his love for

Krsna and tastes transcendental bliss. Ultimately, one attains

the association of Krsna and engages in His devo¬tional service,

as if immersing himself in a great ocean of love."

There are innumerable engagements in the execution of

devotion¬al service, and Srimad Bhagavatam and Haribhaktivilasa

have described many of them. Broadly, sixty-four limbs of devo­tional service are considered as the main engagements of bhakti.
Vaidhibhakti (devotional service according to rules and

regulations) and raganugabhakti (spontaneous devotional

service) are the two methods of executing these sixtyfour

principle engagements. In Srimad Bhagavatam Prahlada Maharaja

glorifies pure and spontaneous devotional service as the best

method; Lord Gaurasun¬dara has identified the best engagement by

saying, "The congregational chanting of the holy name of Lord

Krishna is the most perfect form of devotional service."


defined the Supreme non-dual Substance as Brahman when it is

preliminarily realized as eternity; when realized as eternity and

knowledge, it is defined as Paramatma; when its transcendental

nature of full knowledge, eternity and bliss is realized with all

potencies, that Supreme Absolute Truth is known as Bhagavan.

That Supreme Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan) is called

Vasudeva when He manifests His supreme opulence; when His

opulence gives way to His loving conjugal mood, He is known as

Krsna. As Narayana, He particularly reciprocates with His

devotees in the rasas of santa and dasya; Lord Krsna is the

worshipable object of all five rasas.

Lord Krsna's vaibhavaprakasa expansion is Lord Balarama,

who rules Vaikuntha in His eternal catur-vyuha forms.

The chanting of mantras that is properly supposed to take

place in the mind is called japa; by japa, the chanter receives

his desired perfection. Audible chanting in which the lips move

is called kirtana; it is more effective than japa and avails the

greatest benefit to the hearer. Samkir¬tana means total or

perfect kirtana; all other devotional activities become unneces­sary if one does samkirtana.
Samkirtana can never be partial or imperfect glorification

of Lord Krsna's holy name, because partial or imperfect chanting

of Krsna's name is unable to cause a wonderful transformation in

the living entities. Partial or imperfect kirtana should not be

accepted as samkirtana, as people would then doubt the potency of


Let samkirtana, the total and perfect chanting of Krsna's

holy name, be victorious. The experience of something mundane

can only be incomplete, but the transcendental plane is never

touched by material nature. Therefore, by the discussion of

transcen¬dental subject matter - Krsna, the supreme subject

one experiences all supra-mundane perfection. Amongst these

perfections are seven that are especially invoked by chanting

Lord Krsna's holy name, as explained in this verse by Lord


The chanting of Lord Krsna's holy name acts as a purifying

agent upon the mirror of the living entities' contaminated

hearts. The heart of the conditioned soul is completely covered

over by three impurities: the desire to lord over matter, the

godless attitude of being the sole enjoyer and/or renouncer of

the fruits of one's actions, and atheism. These three

treacherous contaminations form a sheath that covers the mirror

of consciousness, causing one to reject His true nature as a

Krsna's holy name alone frees the consciousness of these

impurities. By constantly chanting and thus taking complete

shelter of the holy name, the jiva gradually perceives the

reflection of his original form as the servant of Lord Krsna in

the mirror of his consciousness.

This material existence appears to be pleasurable and sweet,

but in reality it is like a fire in the depths of a forest; such

a fire can reduce the entire forest to ashes. The faithless

non-devotees must constantly tolerate the excruciating burning

pain of the flaming forest fire of material existence. But when

Lord Krsna's holy name is congregationally chanted in full

perfection, the devotees, even though they may dwell in the

material world, are never scorched by those flames.

Lord Krsna's holy name imparts the supreme goodness and

munificence. Sreyah means benediction; kairava - white lilies;

candrika - moon rays or white luminescence. Just as the rising

moon illuminates and reveals the whiteness of the white water

lily, similarly the chanting of Krsna's holy name reveals the

greatest benedic¬tion for the entire universe. Human society

cannot benefit from material desires for sense enjoyment,

fruitive work or speculative knowledge. Chanting Krsna's name

blesses all with the greatest prosperity.

The Mundaka Upanishad notes two types of knowledge or

education: material knowledge and transcendental knowledge.

Indirectly, the chanting of Lord Krsna's holy name is the cause

and sustainer of even material knowledge, but primarily

it is the life and soul of all transcendental knowledge.

Chanting induces the jiva to break free from the shackles of

false ego and prestige arising from material education and leads

him to understand his eternal relationship with Lord Krsna. The

ultimate purpose of transcendental knowledge is to simply chant

Krsn¬a's holy name.

The chanting of the Holy name expands the ocean of

transcendental bliss. A limited expanse of water cannot be

described as an ocean; therefore "unlimited bliss" is being

compared to a boundless ocean. Chanting Krsna's name causes one

to relish the sweet nectar of that ocean fully at every step.

Because this transcendental experience is unfettered by imper­fections, one can always relish full spiritual nectar from

the chanting of Krsna's holy name.

The forms and features of Transcendence radiate a tender and

cooling sheen that is perceivable through the chanting of Krsna's

holy name. In the mundane realm, the body, mind and above them

the soul not only become purified by chanting the holy name, but

they too gradually and inevitably are touched by the cooling

tenderness of the spiritual realm. The subtle and gross con­taminations of the material conception of life and the acceptance

of false designations have devoured the spirit soul, but all

these afflictions can be ended by chanting the holy name. When

the soul finds release from material designa¬tions, he becomes

eager to reach Lord Krsna. He thus engages in devotionalx

service, taking shelter in the cooling shade of the Lord's lotus


In Bhaktisandarbha 273 and in the Kramasandarbha of the

Seventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Jiva Goswami writes,

ata eva yadyapyanya bhaktih kalau kartavya, tada kirtanakhya-

bhakti-samyogenaiva, which means: "Although it is required even

in Kaliyuga to practice the other eight limbs of devotional

service, they must be performed in conjunction with the chant¬ing

of the holy name of the Lord."

References and quotes from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's

The contaminations that cover the mirror of consciousness is

swept away by chanting the holy name; the holy name is the

embodiment of profound spiritual bliss. For example Srila Rupa

Goswami writes in the seventh stanza of the Namasthaka -

"O holy name! O Lord Krsna! You dissipate the sufferings

(offenses against the holy name) of Your surrendered devotees;

You possess a transcendental form of ecstatic beauty and bliss

and You appear as the figure of sublime joy for the residents of


"You are therefore a fully spiritual entity of the same

spiritual nature as the Vaikuntha planets. I offer my repeated

obeisances to You."

­The second perfection:

"The blazing fire of material existence is extinguished."
In Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated:

"Therefore one who desires freedom from material bondage

should adopt the process of chanting and glorifying the name,

fame, form and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at

whose feet all the holy places stand. One cannot derive the

proper benefit from other methods, such as pious atonement,

speculative knowledge and meditation in mystic yoga, because even

after following such methods one takes to fruitive activities

again, unable to control his mind, which is contaminated by the

base qualities of nature, namely passion and ignorance."

A quote from Skanda Purana appears in Haribhaktivilasa


"The holy name of Krsna the highest benediction above all

other benedictions for humanity, sweeter than the sweet honey,

the eternal fruit of transcendental knowledge of the tree of

entire sruti scriptures. O best of Bhagavas! If anyone chants

Lord Krishna's name just once without offence, whether he chants

with faith or indifferently, the holy name immediately liberates


­The fourth perfection:


"The holy name is the life of transcendental knowledge

­(the Lord's own wife)."
In the Garuda Purana it is stated:

"O best of kings! If you are desirous of acquiring that

extraordinary knowledge by which the Supreme Goal is realized,

then chant Lord Govinda's name with love and devotion."

Again in Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.40:

"O Father, O Lord, O Personality of Godhead, the living

entities in the material world can never have any happiness

because they are overwhelmed by three kinds of miseries.

Therefore they take shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet,

which are full of knowledge, and we also thus take shelter of

In S.B. 4.29.49, there is the phrase sa vidya tanmatiryaya,

which means: "real knowledge or education is that realization

which increases our attachment for the Supreme Lord."

"That potency which invokes loving attachment for Krsna in

the heart is called the knowledge that destroys nescience. The

holy name of Krsna is the life and soul of all knowledge and it

fastens the heart firmly at Krsna's lotus feet."
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, 8.3.20:

"Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve

the Lord, worship Him in full surrender and always hear and chant

about His activities, which are most wonderful and auspicious.

Thus they always merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. Such

devotees never ask the Lord for any benediction."

From the Padma Purana:

"I offer my respectful obeisances at the feet of that extra-

ordinary personality whose body shivers with sublime joy and

horripilates with ecstasy at the sound of Krsna's sweet name,

and who is expert in redeeming the conditioned souls engrossed in

the mire of the ocean of repeated birth and death."
­The seventh perfection:
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, 12.12.48:

"When people properly glorify the Supreme Personality of

Godhead or simply hear about His power, the Lord personally

enters their hearts and cleanses away every trace of misfortune,

just as the sun removes the darkness or as a powerful wind drives

away the clouds."

"All the unwanted things that were heard and experienced

(pertaining to this world of nescience) are immediately expelled

Just as the clouds that blocked the sunlight are riven by the

winds, so the name upon entering the heart destroys the dark

nescience within. By taking shelter of the holy name of Krsna

the jiva's heart is cleansed very quickly, thus he attains the

highest spiritual experiences of love of Godhead."

In the Namastaka, stanza 8:

narada-vinojjivana sudharmi-niryyasa-madhuripura

tvam krsna-nama kamam sphura me rasane rasena sada

"O holy name of Krsna! You are the lifesustaining elixer

of Sri Narada Muni's vina and the exhilarating waves on the ocean

of nectar. Therefore I beg You to eternally remain ecstatically

dancing on my tongue."

Again in the Namastaka, stanza 2:

jaya namadheya munivrndaeya janaranjanaya paramaksarakrte

tvamanadaradapi managudiritam nikhilograta papataham vilumpasi

"All glory to You, O holy name! The sages have always sung

hymns praising You, You have now appeared in the transcendental

form of the supreme syllable for the pleasure of the entire

humanity. Even if one chants those syllables with indifference

(i.e. the four types of namabhasa - indirectly, jokingly,

derisively, neglectfully) even then You are capable of destroy¬ing

the most dreadful sinful reactions; thus all of one's sufferings

are extirpated. You are always victorious."
In Caitanya Bhagavata, Madhya 23.76-77:

'Lord Caitanya said, "I am giving you this mahamantra:

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama

rama rama hare hare; now go and chant it with earnest enthusiasm.

Since by this chanting you receive all the perfections in life,

you should continue to chant incessantly. There are no rules or

regula¬tions for chanting this mahamantra."'

namnam - of the holy names of the Lord; akari - manifested;

bahudha - various kinds; nija-sarva-saktih - all kinds of

personal potency; tatra - in that; arpita - bestowed;

niyamitah - restricted; smarane - in remembering; na - not;

kalah - consideration of time; etadrsi - so much; tava - Your;

krpa - mercy; bhagavan - O Lord; mama - My; api - although;

durdaivam - misfortune; idrsam - such; iha - in this (the holy

name); ajani - was born; na - not; anuragah - attachment.

"My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy

name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and

therefore You have many names, such as Krsna and Govinda, by

which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies

in those names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remem­bering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon

the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy

names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting

the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for


The chanting of Krsna's holy name has four aspects, consis­ting of the glorification of the Lord's name, form, qualities and

pastimes. Krsna's holy name is the original seed of all joys,

because the holy name and He who is designated by that name are

one and the same, being non-dif¬ferent in principle.

Chanting the holy name is most beneficial for one and all in

every respect; therefore Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Himself de­monstrates the super-excellent qualities of the holy name. In

order to evoke genuine faith in the holy name, Lord Caitanya

prays, "O Lord! O most munificent One! Becoming compassionate

seeing our destitute situation as souls condi¬tioned by matter,

You have of Your own accord manifested Your holy name, which is

non-dif¬ferent from Yourself.
"Your holy name is of two types, principal and secondary.

Among Your principle names are Hari, Krsna, Govinda, Acyuta,

Rama, Ananta, and Vishnu; Brahma, Supersoul, Supreme Controller,

Main¬tainer, Creator, and Mahendra are secondary names. You have

invested all Your internal spiritual potencies and Your transcen­dental qualities in Your principal names." Innumerable scrip­tural statements substantiate this fact; a few are cited below.
"My Lord, one can be im¬mediately freed from all material

contaminations just by seeing You. But if seeing You personal¬ly

is not possible, then by simply hearing only once the holy name
of Your Lordship even Candalas, dogeating men of the lowest

class, are freed from their impurities, just as if they had seen


"If the amount of time a dvijabrahmana expends in the study

and recitation of the Vedic mantras would be utilized in chanting

even just the Lord's secondary names, that brahmana would incur

more benefit; of this there is no doubt. But one who just chants

the two syllables of the holy name Hari is understood to have

already mastered the four Vedas - Rg, Sama, Yajur and Atharva.

Therefore it is not advisable to spent time in studying the

Vedas; instead the holy name of Govinda should be chanted

continuously, for His name is glorified eternally."

"O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord

after the ways of great authorities is the doubtless and fearless

way of success for all, including those who are free from all

material desires, those who are desirous of material enjoyment,

and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental


"O Lord Visnu! Your holy name is fully spiritual and self

manifested. So even if one not thoroughly informed of its

glories chants the holy name, he will gradually acquire perfect

understanding just by chanting. Lord Brahma was the first to

disseminate the transcendental sound om; the mere utterance of

this sound dispelled his ig¬norance and fear of death. Therefore

the vibration om is also known as tarak Brahma."
"Any person who says the name Hari just once without

offense immediately becomes resolved to serve the lotus feet of

the Supreme Lord unconditionally and thus strives for libera¬tion

from the clutches of illusion."

"Certainly that heart is steel framed which inspite of

one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does

not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and

hairs stand on end."

"O respected Bhrigu! The holy name of Krsna is more

nectarean than the sweetest honey; most beneficial amongst all

auspicious activities; and is the eternal, mature and tran­scenden¬tal fruit of the desirefulfilling tree of the Vedas.

If any person utters this holy name even once, casually or in

full sincerity but without offenses then the holy name

instantaneously liberates the chanter."

"O Arjuna! I declare to You truly that anyone can purchase

Me just by chanting My name and abiding by Me. I become his

property, fully dependent on him."

"The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. Like

a touchstone gem it bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is

Krsna Himself. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of

transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any

conditions, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since

Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there

is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna's name is

always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the

laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and

Krsna Himself are identical."

"No one can understand the transcendental nature of the

name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his

materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritual­ly saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the

transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord

revealed to him."

From the above quotations of different revealed scrip¬tures

we can conclude that the holy name is endowed with unlimited

spiritual potencies. In the practice of karma, jnana, yoga, etc.

the sadhaka is bound by the strict rules of scripture and the

factors of time, place and circumstances. But in chanting and

remembering the Lord's name there is no such consideration of

time, place or circumstances - this indeed is an example of

Lord's fathomless mercy upon us.

Yet in spite of all this it is truly a matter of great

regret that we cannot develop even a drop of attraction for this

most magnanimous holy name. The word durdaiva or misfortune is

synonymous with offenses to the holy name (namaparadha). A

concise resume of these offenses is given below.
1) Criticizing and finding faults in devotees or sadhus is

a serious offence against the holy name. How can the name

tolerate criticism of devotees who have dedicated their lives

to propagating the glories of the Name? Therefore offending

sadhus or saintly person is the first namaparadha.

2) Those who try to comprehend spiritual subject matter with

material intelligence falsely conclude that Lord Visnu's name,

form, qualities and pastimes are different from the Lord Himself.

In other words, they impose material characteristics and limita­tions on spirituality. Thus they equate demigods like Siva and

Brahma with the Supreme Lord Visnu, or even think that these

demigods are independent of Lord Visnu. The chanting of such

persons is offensive.

3) It is an offense against the holy name to consider the

spiritual master (who is self-realized and perfect in the

chanting of the holy name) to be an ordinary mortal who possesses

a material body, and to thus disobey and disregard him.

4) It is an offense to criticize and find fault with the

Vedas, Puranas and other corollary scriptures.

5) It is an offense to think the glories of the holy name

are exaggerated.

6) It is an offense to consider the holy name to be fictious

or concocted.

7) One who commits sinful activities on the strength of

chanting the holy name can never be exonerated from this offense

by any process, including the disciplines of yama, niyama,

dhyana, meditation and so on in the yoga system.

8) Only a person in illusion thinks that mundane ritualis¬tic

activities such as charity, fasting, vows, abnegation, austerity

and so on are on the same level as the transcendental activity of

chanting the holy name.

9) It is also an offense to instruct a faithless person who

is adverse to hearing the name on the glories of the holy name.

10) After hearing the wonderful qualities of the name,

it is offensive to maintain material attachments of 'me' and

'mine'. This means one has not developed a genuine attraction or

interest for chanting.

It is imperative that a devotee avoids these ten offenses in

chanting the holy name of the Lord. He must never try to

counteract his sins or accrue piety through ritualistic observan­ces, because he is neither required nor even eligible to perform

karmakanda rituals. If perchance a devotee commits a namaparad­ha, then with an anxious heart he should go on chanting con­tinuously. Such con¬tinuous chanting will protect him from

committing further offenses as well as uproot his previous

offenses. The scriptures clearly state that chanting alone can

absolve all offenses and sinful reaction. Hence chanting the

holy name is the best shelter for everyone. Chanting removes the

very desire to commit namaparadha and gradually elevates one to

the highest spiritual platform of Krsna-prema.

When one is free from offenses, his attachment for the Name

increases; he will soon attain all perfection. Here `all perfec­tion' is synonymous to Krsna-prema. This is Lord Caitanya

Mahaprabhu's second instruction.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.17-19:

"Because people vary in their desires, You have distributed

various holy names by Your mercy. Regardless of time or place,

one who chants the holy name, even while eating or sleeping,

attains all perfection. You have invested Your full potency in

such individual holy name, but I am so unfortunate that I have no

attachment for chanting Your holy names."

"O Lord! Out of Your causeless mercy You have manifested x

own potencies. You have not imposed rigid rules for chanting and

remembering Your names, i.e., You have not laid down conditions

barring anyone to chant or remember Your name even during eating,

reclining, sleeping etc. But I am so wretched that I am not

attracted to Your names."

The word bahu or many indicates the two types of the Lord's

names, principal and secondary. The principal names include

Krsna, Radharamana, Gopijanavallabha, etc. that convey the

loving conjugal mood of the Lord; and Rama, Vasudeva, Narasimha,

etc. that convey His aweinspiring opulent mood.
Brahman, Paramat¬ma etc. are His secondary names; they are

incomplete, separated and partial names. The Lord's principal

names are non-different from the Lord and possess all His

energies; the secondary names are also impregnated with His

pastime potencies but in partial degrees only.

The jiva was imprisoned in the illusory, ephemeral

kingdom of maya due to his turning away from Lord Krsna. Thus

the conditioned soul has brought great misfor¬tune upon himself;

that misfortune is first and foremost his reluctance to serve the

Anyabhilasita means the base material desires which, when

engaged in the karma and jnana processes, lead to different

levels of material enjoyments. Thus his base desires for sense

gratifica¬tion, karma and jnana have deluded the jiva into

forgetting his real svarupa (transcendental identity); they have

propelled him into a whirlpool of misery.
Under the spell of anyabhilasita he is intoxicated by

immediate sen¬sual pleasures. Pious activities goad him to

yearn for heavenly pleasures; his enjoyment of matter leads to

frustration, and so he becomes engrossed in striving to realize

the impersonal, non-dif¬feren¬tiated Brahman.
The jiva's own eternal desire is to engage in Lord Krsna's

service, but the residue of the practice of these three paths

has smothered this proclivity and hidden his good fortune. Now

he is caught up in the endless pursuit of religiosity, material

wealth, and sense gratification; thereafter, being harassed by

the frustrations of his own sins, anarthas and lust, he pursues


In this way he has become the choice can¬didate for commitªting namaparadhas. If he takes up chanting, he is unable to

avoid the ten offenses. Due to his offenses, he cannot chant


He first gets the opportunity to chant when he soberly

reviews the hopeless chaos of the neverending conflict in his

life; such introspection forces the jiva to deeply consider his

own good. The yearning for a peaceful solution to the endless

torment of the un¬quench¬able thirst for enjoyment draws him to the

shelter of the holy name of the Lord.

Thus he begins to chant, initially indifferent to the proper

under¬stand¬ing of sambandhajnana (knowledge of the relationship

between God, His sakti, and the jiva). Such chanting is known as

namabhasa or the semblance of the pure name. Namabasa is not the

holy name proper, but it results in the severance of the jiva's

ties with the material mentality: he no longer sees everything

materially. Gradually he becomes eligible to render transcenden­tal devotional service to the Supreme Lord. But only very

elevated souls who have become completely immune to the onslaught

of misfortune and offense can obtain pure love of Krsna by

inoffensive chanting.

Lord Caitanya, knowing the ill fate of the conditioned souls

of this age, descended to spread the message of the chanting the

holy name of God. He saw in the jivas their apathy to the holy

name, and gave voice to it in this verse. Yet even in such

depths of human misfortune the Lord's causeless mercy is avail­able.

There is indeed a way to escape the steely clutches of

namaparadha. First one must recognize and isolate his offenses;

he must conscientiously avoid them, simultaneously chanting

continuously. This will keep namaparadha at bay, allowing one to

reap the benefit of namabhasa chanting.
Namabhasa chanting elevates one to actual mukti or libera­tion, meaning freedom from the influence of and dependence upon

matter; only thereafter does one become competent to chant the

pure name.
The opportunity afforded to us by namabhasa chanting is but

an indication of the Lord's unlimitedly flowing compassion.

Thus, the simple chanting of the prin¬cipal names of God brings

about the best and only real benedic¬tion to humanity.

When the jiva attempts to grasp at insignificant, evanescent

material fruits, he is enmeshed in stringent regulations, the

factors of time, place and circumstance, and the struggle with

the limitations of his own ability to perform the complicated

rituals. But one who chants the holy name of the Supreme Lord

faces no such insurmountable obstacles, by the Lord's causeless

mercy. In the Caitanya Bhagavat we find this statement: "Always

remember to chant the holy name in the sleeping, eating or waking

hours. There are no hard and fast rules of chanting, so chant

all the time." The same instruction is repeated in the Sri

Caitanya Caritamrita.

In the Skandha Purana it is stated:

"The potency to destroy sin, the allauspicious potency,

the potencies residing in pious acts of charity, vows, penances

etc., the potencies of all the places of pilgrimage, the poten­cies in the asvamedha and raja-suya yajnas, the potency in

knowle¬dge of the Absolute - these potencies have been assembled

together by the Supreme Lord Hari and channeled into His holy

name, making it all powerful."

From the Vaisvanara Samhita:

"There are no fixed times or considerations of cleanliness

and uncleanliness regarding the chanting of the holy name.

Simply the repeated utterance of Rama, Rama is enough to

liberate the jiva from his material bondage."

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.3) states:

"O my Lord, persons who are bereft of the all-auspicious

performance of chanting and hearing about Your transcendental

activities are certainly unfortunate and are also bereft of good

sense. They engage in inauspicious activities, enjoying sense

gratification for a very little while."

"One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more

tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but

is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily

always chant the holy name of the Lord."

four very special qualities. These are: a natural meekness and

humility because of total detachment from matter; pure compas¬sion

unencumbered by envy; a spotless heart free from mundane, false

prestige; a proper respectful attitude towards everyone. When the holy name, the full embodiment of the transcenden­tal rasas, appears in the sadhaka's heart, his attitude of mind

is transformed. He thinks, "I am constitutionally an in­šfinitesimal eternal servitor of Lord Krsna. I have no real need

for materialism. But, alas because of my estrangement from

Krsna's lotus feet, I find myself in my present predicament. H

Being bound to the grinding wheel of repeated birth and death, I

am suffering untold miseries. "Now, by the grace of my spiritual master and the Vaisnavas,

I have come to realize that only by devotional service to the

Supreme Lord can I find release from the distresses of material

existence, be re¬instated in my constitutional position, regain my

spiritual identity, and attain love of God. "But as long as I am not freed from the chains of material

bondage, I am obliged to embrace the path of yukta-vairagya

(renuncia¬tion by actively engaging the senses in the Lord's

service). Relying upon sambandhajnana, I will have to accept

matter for my bare neces¬sities to keep body and soul together. "Misery stemming from paucity, disease, calamity and old

age, and happiness caused by wealth, health, beauty, and educa­tion, are called prarabdha karmic reactions and must be ex­perienced as inseparable features of this present body. I will

not be able to avoid such reactions. In any case, loss and gain,

birth and death, suffering and joy are left behind when one

ascends to the spiritual plane. "Therefore these mundane matters are inconsequential to my

actual life. I will approach the Lord with utmost humility and

pray, 'O Krsna! O Govinda! O Lord of my heart, when will I be

engaged in Your divine service? Kindly be merciful upon this

lowly creature now and quickly accept me as Your servitor.' "In this mood I may either renounce my family or remain at

home living frugally. It doesn't matter, for by Krsna's grace I

will somehow sustain my life. "A dead straw in the street is simply matter; accord¬ingly,

its ego or identity naturally corresponds to its factual exis­tence, for a straw is but a straw. But my present ego is

ahankara, made up of gross and subtle coverings; it does not

tally with my original spiritual self. The straw's abhiman or

ego is factual but my material ego is unreal. Therefore it is

only correct that I become more humble than the straw in the


tolerant than a tree", is as follows. The tree is so tolerant that it cannot even neglect to offer its cooling shade and

succulent fruits to the very person who is going to cut it down. The devotee of Lord Krsna is even more kind because he is compassionate to everyone, friend or foe, desiring only their best. One who chants the holy name without offenses is overwhelmed

with thoughts of the well-being of others. He thinks, "O Lord!

My friends, companions and all other living entities are very

unfor¬tunate. How shall they be able develop love and attraction

for chanting Your all-auspicious name? They are sunken in the

quagmire of familial attachments, wealth and property, petty

successes and reverses, lost and profit, joys and sufferings,x

birth and death and on and on - all because they are blinded by

maya. "I see not the slightest indication that they are disgusted

with this futile material existence filled only with anarthas

(un¬wanted things). They are being slowly strangled by the noose

of their unlimited desires for sense gratification. They spend

their valuable time busying themselves in useless affairs of

karma and jnana. How can these persons be made interested in

self-realization?" Entreating the Lord in this manner, the devotee's heart

becomes flooded with spiritual emotions. He loudly sings: "In the age of Kali, there is no other way, there is no

other way, no other way than chanting the holy name of Lord

Hari!" The word amani reveals the third quality of the devotee

whose chanting is decorated with offenselessness: his heart is

spotlessly free from mundane ego and false prestige. The false designations of the jiva's gross and subtle body

have grown up out of nescience. Yogic mystic powers, opulence,

good looks, high birth, strength, position, influence are all

features of his ahankara; they are incompatible with his real

spiritual iden¬tity; indeed, they are totally alien and false. Having a spotless heart devoid false ego and prestige means

specifically that the devotee completely distances himself from

all unreal designations. But what about the pride that may well

follow the subjugation of false designations? In spite of his

being highly respected, the devotee who demonstrates toler¬ance,

humility and a pure heart is a fit candidate to chant purely. He

will take care to avoid becoming proud of being honored as

brahmana (if he is a householder) or sannyasi (if he is a

renunciate); he concentrates on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and chants His holy name.

eternal servants, so he is never envious or spiteful to anyone.

He pleases everyone with sweet sublime words and exemplary

actions that bring benediction to the world. He offers respect to distinguished personalities such as learned brah¬manas;

to Brahma, Siva and other demigods he offers obeisance with

utmost humility, praying to them for increasing his devotion to

Lord Krsna; and to elevated Vaisnavas and pure devotees he offers

service with heart and soul. The chanting of the holy name that is felicitated with the

above men¬tioned four qualities is the highest success in human

life. This is the declaration of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, thex

most magnanimous avatara and saviour of the fallen souls of Kaliªyuga. Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.22-26: "These are the symptoms of one who chants the Hare Krsna

maha-mantra. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself

lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree he tolerates

everything in two ways. "When a tree is cut down, it does not protests and even when

drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. The tree delivers

fruits, flowers and whatever it possesses to anyone and everyone.

It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still

gives shelter to others. "Although a Vaishnava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Krsna. If one chants the holy name of

Lord Krsna in this manner he will certainly awaken his dormant

love for Krsna's lotus feet."

Lord Krsna, his eternal dharma or religion is chanting the holy

name, whether he is a resident of this material world or enters

into the spiritual sky. There is no better means for attaining

allaround benefit and success for humanity then the chanting of

the holy name, for chanting brings good fortune to others and

allauspiciousness to the self. This sloka was composed for the sole reason of clearly

establishing how to avoid namaparadha and namabhasa in chanting.

One whose intelligence avoids Krsna and rushes headlong after the

intoxication of material enjoyment can never perceive his true

position as but an infinitesimal spark of consciousness. One who

thinks he is the enjoyer can never admit his insig¬nificance. Nor

is he tolerant by nature; he'll not like to give up his false ego

and false prestige. A gross sense enjoyer is thoroughly unwilling and incapable

of ungrudgingly offering respect to another enjoyer like himself;

it is the mate¬rial¬ist's habit to be insincere in his dealings

with others, to the point of being obnoxious. But the Vaisnava

who actually finds ecstasy in the holy name is more humble than a

blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree; he is unconcerned

and even unwilling to receive respect, but eager to offer respect

to others. Only such an elevated soul is awarded constant

association of the holy name in kirtana. When these pure souls offer glorification and obeisances to

the spiritual master and other senior Vaisnavas, they do so because of their quality of manada (respecting others according

to station); when they advise and enthuse disciples and sadhakas

on the process of chanting, showering them with appreciative and

even laudatory words spoken in great affection, their quality of

amani (expecting no respect) is revealed.

position of his elevated status; therefore, he is tolerant of the

anger and dismay of the fools who resent his prominence. In this

way he exhibits deep forbearance. The offenseless chanter sees

himself as lower than the straw in the street that is trampled by

the walking masses. Such a saintly soul never thinks, "I am a

Vaisnava", or "I am a guru." Indeed, he always thinks himself a

disciple of everyone, most meek and fallen. Knowing every atom and every infinitesimal spirit soul to be

the residence of Lord Krsna, he never treats anyone as inferior

to himself, nor does he require anything from anyone in this

world. Even if others are envious and spiteful to him, he never

retaliates; on the contrary, he prays for his tormentors' wellªbeing.

process he received from his spiritual master by introducing new

methods, e.g. by replacing the maha-mantra with some concocted

and imaginary rhyme. A Vaisnava's humility is not to be ques­tioned if he preaches widely the glories of the holy name by

writing new books as long as this is done strictly in accordance

with the instruc¬tions of his spiritual master. But if one tries

to trick people, making a show of humility only to gain the

adoration of the masses, that is not accepted as humility. The pure chanter of the holy name never visualizes the

exploi¬table form of "enjoyable matter"; he sees everything in

this world as parapher¬nalia for the service of Lord Krsna and His

associates and devotees. Enjoying this world is simply never

considered, because the devotee takes the position of a submis­sive hearer and never considers disassociating himself from the

maha-mantra he received from his spiritual master. Thus he is

neither eager or interested in propagating new ideas or opinions. One who regards himself to be the guru of any Vaisnava

devotee rings humility's death knell. The plain truth is that he

who does not heed Lord Caitanya's instructions in this Siksas­taka is doomed to pursue material gain with the sole intention of

appeasing the senses at the cost of his real spiritual iden¬tity.

Even if he is a spiritual master, he will simply hanker for

recognition in that position. The holy name can never be chanted

by such an offender. No matter how sincere and faithful his disciples may be,

they will never become worthy of receiving and chanting the pure

holy name if they hear his offensive chanting. ­kirtaniyah sada harih Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.11: "O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord

after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and
fearless way of success for all , including those who are free

from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material

enjoyment and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge." Mukundamalastotra, sloka 37: "O fool! O you rascal! This constantly changing body is

under attack from innumerable attachments and diseases that are

due it by the law of karma, and death is a certainty; what

remedial measures have you undertaken? Simply drink the medicine

of Krishna's name which is the cure for all diseases."
na - not; dhanam - riches; na - not; janam - followers; na -

not; sundarim - a very beautiful woman; kavitam - fruitive

activities described in flowery language; va - or; jagat-isa - O

Lord of the universe; kamaye - I desire; mama - My; janmani -

in birth; janmani - after birth; isvare - unto the Supreme

Personality of Godhead; bhavatat - let there be; bhaktih -

devotional service; ahaituki - with no motives; tvayi - unto


"Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth,

materialistic followers, a beautiful wife or fruitive activities

described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is

unmotivated devotional service unto You."

­Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam

The sadhaka must attentively receive the sound of the holy

name from the spiritual master; thereafter he may chant the name

devoid of namaparadhas. By this process, the pre¬viously men­tioned four qualities will gradually appear in his heart.

But if the sadhaka's attachment to sensual pleasures is not

severed, his original spiritual identity cannot manifest. Thus

bhakti, the flavor of the hladini potency, cannot be transformed

into the bhava of conjugal attraction.

This verse explains the pure form of sadhana-bhakti (here

sadhana-bhakti means the process of chanting) in two ways. The

direct explanation stresses the principal symptom of bhakti,

which is loving devotional service to Sri Krsna (bhavabhakti);

while the expressions 'na dhanam na janam ...' point to the

attendant symptom of pure bhakti.

The secondary symptom of bhakti has two concomitants -

freedom from all other desires (anyabhilasita sunyam) outside the

path of bhakti, and the absence of the influence of karma and

jnana. As long as loving devotion to Krsna (anukulyam krsna­anusilam) is encum¬bered by anyabhilasitam, karma, jnana, yoga and

so on, bhakti cannot be uttama (exalted); it is visible merely as

shadow devotion or bhakti-abhasa.

This sloka in fact reveals how this shadow bhakti is to be

dissipated. It is stated here, `O Lord! I do not hanker for

dhanam (wealth), janam (following), or sundarim kavitam (beauti­ful poetry or literature).' Here dhanam means the wealth of

piety incurred by strictly following the path of varnasrama

(which includes materialistic karma-kanda activities and so on).

Further clarified, dhanam implies all the paraphernalia, gross

and subtle, required to fulfill a person's desires for sensex

enjoyment in this world and in heaven. The word janam in¬dicates

wife, sons, servants, subjects, friends, rela¬tives, and so on.

Education or learning is correctly defined as the culture

that promotes attraction to and attachment for the lotus feet of

the Supreme Lord. The expression sundarim kavitam does not refer

to narratives of Lord Krsna's pastimes, or conclusive philosophi­cal examinations of scripture, or transcendental literatures or

poetry; rather, it refers to mundane literatures and composi­tions. Such trivia are rejected. And what is desired? The

loving service of Krsna, even in birth after birth; let it be

unwavering devotion devoid of any conditions.
Unconditional devotion means that which is guided by no

consideration other than Krsna's satisfaction.

In the jiva's struggle to be victorious over all the many

miseries suffered in the cycle of repeated birth and death,

ultimate victory lies ever beyond his capacity - it depends

entirely on the Supreme Lord's will. All misery will automati­cally cease when, by the Lord's desire, the jiva is saved from

the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, what is the use of a

Godless prayer for libera¬tion that violates the precepts of pure


This prayer of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu expresses the soul's

urgent need of bhavabhakti over all else: "Without waiting for

the cycle of birth and death to be stopped by the Lord's grace,

let me now have uncondition¬al devotion at Krsna's lotus feet life

after life, regardless of what my present material situation is."

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Antya 20.27,28,30:

"As Lord Caitanya spoke in this way, His humility increased

and He began praying to Krsna that He could discharge pure

devotional service.
"Wherever there is a relationship of love of Godhead, its

natural symptom is that the devotee does not think himself a

devotee. Instead, he always thinks that he has not even a drop

of love for Krsna.

"'My dear Lord Krsna, I do not want material wealth from

You, nor do I want followers, a beautiful wife or the results of

fruitive activities. I only pray that by Your causeless mercy

You give Me pure devotional service to You, life after life.'"

"O Lord of the universe! I have no desire for material

wealth, following, or beautiful poetry. You are my object of

worship and devotional service life after life; I only pray that

I may have unconditional love and devotion at Your lotus feet."

Sundarim kavitam refers to dharma, religious principles

found in the Vedas; dhanam means artha, or wealth; janam means

wife, children, rela¬tives etc., who are the objects of kama (soªcalled love, or lust). The Lord declares, "I am not merely

abhorred by sense gratification derived through religiosi¬ty,

wealth and lust, but I am appalled at the idea of transitory
liberation from the cycle of birth and death. I do not want

these four Vedic goals (dharma, artha, kama, moksha) to be the

cause for My rendering service at Your lotus feet." A prayer by

King Kulasek¬ara has similarly expressed this mood of pure


Persons who strictly adhere to Vedic dharma worship Surya

(the sungod); those who desire wealth worship Ganesa; those

craving carnal pleasures worship sakti (Kali, Durga); those who

strive for liberation or mukti worship Siva; and those who

worship Lord Visnu as the source of Vedas do so for material

motives. All these grades of worshippers are contaminated by

materialism and are never to be considered as pure devotees.

This type of Vedic worship is known as pancopasana or the worship

of five demigods; whether it is performed with or without

material desires hardly makes a difference, for such worship is

in fact impersonal in any case. Lord Visnu can be worshipped

purely and properly only by un¬motivated devotional service.

Srimad Bhagavatam 6.11.25:

"O my Lord, source of all opportunities, I do not desire

enjoy in Dhruvaloka, the heavenly planets or the planet where

Lord Brahma resides, nor do I want to be supreme ruler of all the

earthly planets or the powers of mystic yoga, nor do I want

liberation if I have to give up Your lotus feet."
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.42:

"Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and

detachment from other things - these three occur simultaneously

for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of

Godhead, in the same way as pleasure, nourishment and relief from

hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for

a person engaged in eating."
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.18:

"Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically

inclined should endeavour only for that purposeful end which is

not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet

(Brahmaloka) down to the lowest planet (Patala). As far as

happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned it can be

obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of

time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire šthem."

ayi - My Lord; nanda-tanuja - son of Nanda Maharaja, Krishna;

kinkaram - the servant; mam - Me; visame - horrible;

bhavambudhau - in the ocean of nescience; krpaya - by causeless

mercy; tava - Your; pada-pankaja - lotus feet; sthita -

situated at; dhuli-sadrsam - like a particle of dust;

vicintaya - kindly consider.

"Oh, My Lord, O Krsna, son of Maharaja Nanda, I am Your

eternal servant, but because of My own fruitive acts, I have

fallen in this horrible ocean of nescience. Now please be

causelessly merciful to Me. Consider Me a particle of dust at

Your lotus feet."

­Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam

Is it proper for a sadhaka who has taken shelter of the holy

name to be excessively concerned about the material miseries

afflicting him? To answer this question, Lord Caitanya composed

this sloka, in which He il¬luminates the correct attitude of a

devotee thusly:

"O Lord Krsna! Son of Maharaja Nanda! I am Your eternal

servant; but now as a result of my previous activities I have

fallen into this terrible ocean of material existence. Lust,

greed, anger and envy are my adversaries; they lurk in the waters

like big fish to swallow me up. The rough waves of wasted hopes

and anxiety are tossing me here and there, making my life

miserable. Lashing gales of bad association add further suffer­ing. In this condi¬tion I see You as my only shelter.

"Occasionally a small bunch of seaweed can be seen floating

by; these are the weeds of karma, jnana, yoga, tapasya and so on.

Has anyone ever crossed this ocean of nescience by grasping these

paltry weeds? All I have ever seen is that some persons, while

trying to swim across this ocean, have reached out to hold these

weeds for support only to sink, seaweed and all, like dead

weights. There is no other hope for safety other than Your

unlimited mercy.

"The sturdy vessel of Your holy name is the only means to

cross over this dangerous ocean of material existence. Knowing

this too well, I have acted; I begged passage aboard the ship of

the Lord's holy name from my spiritual master; by His cause¬less

mercy, it was awarded. O Lord! You are known as the protector

of Your devotees who are souls surrendered to Your lotus feet.

Please accept this homeless destitute, cleanse me of all my

faults and consider me a dust particle at Your lotus feet."


accepted by the Lord on the path of bhakti should never return to

the ways of sense enjoyment and liberation, despite material


Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.31,33,34:

"In great humility, considering Himself a conditioned soul

of the material World, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu again expressed

his desire to be endowed with service to the Lord."

"I am your eternal servant, but I forgot Your Lordship. Now

I have fallen in the ocean of nescience and have been conditioned

by the external energy.
"Be causelessly merciful to Me by giving Me a place with the

particles of dust at Your lotus feet so that I may engage in the

service of Your Lordship as Your eternal servant."
Lord Krsna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, is the object of

everyone's devotion. Servitorship to Lord Krsna is inseparable

from the identity or svarupa of the spirit soul.
Now that servant of Krsna has become apathetic to his

service and is drowning in the terrible ocean of material

existence, his only hope of survival is to get the Lord's mercy.

If Lord Krsna out of His fathomless compas¬sion accepts the jiva,

placing him as a pollen particle at His lotus feet, then his

hidden identity and eternal proclivity will be remanifest. The

word pada-dhuli (lotus-feet dust) used here further substan¬tiates

the jiva's original identity as the infinitesimal part and parcel

of Krsna, as stated in the scriptures.
The jiva may intensely desire to acquire a place at Krsn¬a's

lotus feet, but the fact is that only when he becomes subservient

to Krsna's will and cultivates devotional service is he accepted

by the Lord.

Until he is fully situated in his svarupa, a residue of

anarthas cling to his heart; thus his ultimate perfec¬tion and

goal remains hidden by these slight impurities. Sambandhajnana

makes him eligible to chant the holy name purely and render

loving devotional service by clearing these anarthas from his

heart; this is called anarthanivrtti.

At this stage of development, the devotee as known as

jatarat¬i (born of rati or love). The difference between `aja­tarati sadhaka' (not born of rati) and jatarati devotee is all in

the quality of chanting. One cannot be accepted as a jatarati

devotee on the basis of pretense.

After anartha-nivrtti follows nairantarya, or undeviating

steadiness in serving, then sveccha-purvika, voluntary meditat¬ion

on Krsna's pastimes by which one develops spontaneous attrac¬tion

for them; and then svarasiki, the spontaneous revela¬tion of

Krsna's pastimes even without one's expectation. Only after

these three stages comes the final perfection of prema.

Srimad Bhagavatam 6.11.24:

"O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, will I again

be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants who find shelter

only at Your lotus feet? O Lord of my life, may I again become

their servant so that my mind may always think of Your

transcendental attributes, my words always glorify those

attributes and my body always engage in the loving service of

Your Lordship."

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.29.38:

"Therefore,O vanquisher of all distress, please show us

mercy. To approach Your lotus feet we abandoned our families and

homes, and we have no desire other than to serve You. Our hearts

are burning with intense desires generated by Your beautiful

smiling glances. O jewel among men, please make us Your


Srila Rupa Goswami writes:

"If you have not worshipped the dust of the lotus feet of

Srimati Radharani, or the land of Vraja that is marked with Her

lotus feet, or did not serve the lotus feet of Her devotee who is

grave because of meditating on Her, then how will you become

attracted to that blackish ocean of nectar known as Syama or


In Bilap-kusum-anjali, sloka 8:

"O Radharani, beloved damsel of Vraja! I am exhausted

from swimming in the tempestuous ocean of misery; I am but a

derelict. Kindly pick me up on the infallible boat of Your

causeless mercy. Guide me to the wonderful sanctuary of Your

lotus feet."

In Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, sloka 259:

"Become totally absorbed in Krsna, whose crown is decorated

with a peacock plume, and constantly sing His holy name and

glories. Engross yourself in serving His lotus feet and con­tinuously chant the mahamantra to invoke His pleasure. My only

and intimate heartfelt desire is to become a slave to Srimati

Radharani's lotus feet. By Her causeless mercy I may attain

spontaneous love for Her service."

nayanam - the eyes; galat-asru-dharaya - by streams of tears

running down; vadanam - mouth; gadgada - faltering; russhaya -

choked up; gira - with words; pulakaih - with erection of the

hairs due to transcendental happiness; nicitam - covered;

vapuh - the body; kada - when; tava - Your; nama-grahane - in

chanting the name; bhavisyati - will be.

"My dear Lord, when will My eyes be beautified by filling

with tears that constantly glide down as I chant Your holy name?

When will My voice falter and all the hairs on My body stand

erect in transcendental happiness as chant Your holy name?"

­Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam

In the five previous slokas, the following topics have been

explained: sraddha, sadhusangha, bhajanakriya, anarthanivrit­ti, nistha, ruci, asakti and bhava.

From the progression of the subject matter so far, we are

learning how the jiva, with the assistance of pure bhakti which

is the essence of the Lord's hladinisakti, gradually attains his


In this verse, the theme of bhavabhakti is being further

elaborated upon. When the stage of bhavabhakti is attained,

pure devotion¬al service is perfected to the point of becoming

con¬tinuous and unbroken. Bhava is synonymous with the word rati

(spontaneous attraction); bhavabhakti is the bud that soon

flowers into the full bloom of premabhakti, loving devo¬tion.

Out of the nine limbs of devotional services that are

initiated in sadhanabhakti, it is the chanting of Krsna's name

alone that becomes very intensified in bhavabhakti.

The sadhaka in bhavabhakti is marked by nine symptoms: 1)

he is anxious to utilize his time in Krsna's service and does not

like to be idle; 2) he is always reserved and per¬severant; 3) he

is always detached from all material attrac¬tion; 4) he does not

long for any material respect in return for his service; 5) he is

certain of Lord Krsna's mercy; 6) he is always very eager to

serve the Lord faithfully; 7) he is very attached to the chanting

of the holy names of the Lord; 8) he is always eager to describe

the transcendental qualities of the Lord; 9) he is very pleased

to live in a place where the Lord's pastimes are performed, such

as Mathura, Vrndavana or Dwaraka. These symptoms become visible

in a devotee when he is on the threshold of entering into full


ruci or the intense desire to attain the Lord's lotus feet, which

softens and melts the heart, such sadhanabhakti is then known as

bhavabhakti. That bhava consists of the rays of the sun of

prema and the rays of the sun of Krsna's matchless transcenden¬tal

Therefore it is concluded that bhavabhakti or rati is the

dawning of prema. Prema in its the very initial stage can be

called bhava; and in this stage the eight ecstatic symptoms

(asta-sattvika vikara) like crying, horripilating, etc. begin to

slightly manifest. When meditating on the Lord's lotus feet, the

heart melts and profuse tears stream out spontaneously. Descrip­tions of such ecstacies are found in the Vaisnava tantrasastras

and the Puranas, which confirm that the ecstatic symptoms that

are manifest in prema with full intensity make a shy but firm

appearance in the stage known as bhava.
The scriptures list many bodily symptoms of bhava under the

heading anubhava, which include dancing, rolling in the dust,

singing loudly, stretching the body, making loud outbursts,

yawning, breathing heavily, ignoring outsiders, drooling,

laughing like a madman, wheeling the head and belching.

As mentioned, there are eight major ecstatic symptoms called

asta-sat¬tvika vikara; these are paralysis, perspiration, hor­ripilation, pallor, choked voice, trembling, weeping and swoon­ing. Of these, dancing, singing, crying, horripilating, and

choked voice are particularly prominent in the stage of bhava.

In this sloka, we find the supreme teacher Sri Krsna Caitanya has

taken these symptoms into special account. He prays, "O Krsna!

O Son of Maharaja Nanda! When will My eyes be decorated with

tears of love when I chant Your Name? When will My voice choke

up with ecstatic emotions? When will My body be filled with

horripila¬tions? O Lord! Be merciful that these ecstatic¬symptoms

may soon decorate My body at the time of chanting Your Name!"

Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Antya 20.37:

"Without love of Godhead, My life is useless. Therefore I

pray that You accept Me as Your servant and give Me the salary of

ecstatic love of God."
"O Lord Krsna, enjoyer of the gopis, when will the eyes of

this gopi brim over with cascading tears at the recita¬tion

of Your Name? When will my voice choke up with love and my body

tingle with horripilation?"

This is a perfect example of a prayer of love for Krsna. In

the context of this verse another verse from Bhakti-rasamrita-

sindhu may be cited for consideration: "O Lord Pundarikaksa,

while chanting Your holy name with tears in my eyes, when shall I

dance in ecstasy on the bank of Yamuna?" (BRS 1.2.156)
In chanting the secondary names of Krsna (gauna-nama), there

is no question of experiencing prema. Therefore Lord Caitanya

has said, "Although the teachings of the Upanisads may be heard,

they are far removed from the nectarean pastimes of Krsna, and

therefore they are unable to melt the heart and make the hearer

erupt into ecstatic tears and horripilation." The subject of the

Upanisads is Brahman; but that is only remotely connected with

the sweetness of the narration of Krsna's pastimes, which always

produces ecstasy in the hearts of pure devotees.

This sloka does not refer to those who have naturally moist

eyes or who display artificial bhava; when the jiva becomes pure

and spontaneously attracted to devotional service to Krsna, his

body and very life force become completely obedient to the

eternal bhavas that constantly play within the heart. Therefore,

the melting of the heart, the ecstatic symptoms that grip the

body and life force are experienced only to those unalloyed

devotees who are absolute¬ly cleansed of all anarthas.
Those neophyte souls who try to artificially imitate the

ecstatic emotions and symptoms of the mahabhagavata devotees so

as to deceive the general populace are in fact creating a

gigantic hurdle on their path of advancement in Krsna conscious­ness.

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.30-31:

"One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the

Lord by gathering with them to chant the glories of the Lord.

This process is most purifying. As devotees thus develop their

loving friendship, they feel mutual happiness and satisfaction.

And by thus encouraging one another they are able to give up

material sense gratification, which is the cause of all


The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of

the Personality of Godhead among themselves. Thus they constant­ly remember the Lord and remind one another of His qualities and

pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of

bhakti-yoga, the devotees please the Personality of Godhead, who

takes away from them everything inauspicious. Being purified of

all impediments. the devotees awaken to pure love of Godhead, and

thus, even within this world, their spiritualized bodies exhibit

symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the

bodily hairs on end."

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.32:

"Having achieved love of Godhead, the devotees sometimes

cry out loud, absorbed in thought of the infallible Lord.

Sometimes they laugh, feel great pleasure, speak out loud to the

Lord, dance or sing. Such devotees, having transcended material

conditional life, sometimes imitate the unborn Supreme by acting

out His pastimes. And sometimes, achieving His personal audi­ence, they remain peaceful and silent."

yugayitam - appearing like a great millennium; nimesena - by a

moment; caksusa - from the eyes; pravrsayitam - tears falling

like torrents of rain; sunyayitam - appearing void; jagat - the

world; sarvam - all; govinda - from Lord Govinda, Krishna;

virahena me - by My separation.

"My Lord Govinda, because of separation from You, I consider

even a moment a great millennium. Tears flow from My eyes like

torrents of rain, and I see the entire world as void."

When bhava or ratibhakti reaches the stage of sthayibhava

(constancy), it mixes with four other bhavas - vibhava, anubhava,

sattvika and vyabhicari and transforms into bhakti-rasa or the

spiritual mellow of devotional service. Then the ecstatic

symptoms of anubhava and sattvikavikara are fully expres¬sed.
Srila Rupa Goswami, describing prema, writes in the Bhakti-

rasamrita-sindhu, "That bhava-bhakti which from the start so

excessively affects the heart that it melts into a sublime

salve of love, which brings within easy reach the highest

sentiments of divine bliss, which generates an intense desire for

Krsna, is known by the perfected devotees as prema." From this

statement it is obvious that an extreme attraction, affection and

spontaneous dedication to Lord Krsna is synonymous with prema.

The relationship between the visaya (the object of worship,

or Krsna) and the asraya (the devotee) is ex¬changed through the

five principal rasas of neutrality, servitor¬ship, friendship,

parenthood and conjugal love. Sometimes the main rasas in the

relationship subside, allowing the seven secondary rasas of

laughter, wonderment, pity, bravado, anger, fear and horror to be


Among the principal rasas, conjugal or madhuryarasa is the

most exalted. As madhuryarasa increases in intensity, it

manifests all the excellences of prema, which are pranaya (love

that avoids respect), sneha (melting of the heart), mana (hiding

of love by crooked means), raga (attachment), anuraga (further

attachment), bhava (ecstacy) and maha-bhava (great ecstacy),

one after another.

In santarasa (neutrality), there is a kind of affection for

the Lord marked by great exultation. Such affection is displayed

as an attachment for Brahman coupled with an attitude of dis­regard and unconcern for everyth¬ing else, including other rasas.

x When this affection (known as mamata) increases, the attrac­tion deepens to the point of dasyarasa or servitorship. In this

rasa, the intensified affection remains permanent even if the

relation¬ship is seriously tested.

When the affection for the Supreme Lord is fortified with

unflinching faith and trust it is called pranaya, the very

essence of sakhyarasa or friendship. But in the presence of awe

and reverential worship pranaya will not appear.

As affection increases, pranaya develops into a mis¬chievous

and crooked mood of unusual flavor known as mana. In this mood,

the loving resent¬ment of the devotee forces even the Supreme Lord

to compromise, out of His desire to relish this emotional ex­change.

That abundance of love that melts the heart to emotional

liquid is known as sneha. Sneha is symptomatized by profuse un­checked tears; and in this stage the devotee's yearning to see

Krsna never admits satiety. In vatsalyarasa or parental love

this yearning is felt as the devotee's constant anxiety for

Krsna's wellbeing.

Sneha infected by intense craving is called raga. In the

stage of raga a moment's separation from the beloved is

unbearable; while in union the opposite is true even extreme

grief feels like exhilaration. In raga, the object of worship

(Krsna) is made to appreciate His own everyouthful form by the

attentions of the devotee; thus raga itself becomes evernew and

ageless and is transformed into anuraga.

In anuraga the lover and beloved enrapture one another into

obedience. There is even a longing to be born as animals or

other lower species that enjoy a direct connection with Krsna;

this is called premavaicitra, the variations of love. In the

anuraga stage, separa¬tion from Krsna blesses the devotee with

excessive ecstacies.

When anuraga is overflooded by the mag¬nificent ocean of

ecstatic love and the devotee completely loses himself in

transcen¬dental madness, mahabhava is attained. In this stage,

even the dropping of an eyelid that blocks the devotee's view of

the Lord for less than a second is intolerable. In the ecstacy

of separation, a mere moment is stretch¬ed to timeless eter¬nity.

In mahabhava, in both union and separation, all the

symptoms of sattvika and sancari bhavas manifest to the fullest

degree. Lord Caitanya pours an ocean of meaning from the pitcher

of this sloka for a full elaboration on the different grada­tions of loving ecstacy that are hinted at here, one should

consult Srila Jiva Goswami's Pritisandarbha.

The word yugayitam is a simple and direct expression of

timelessness; the phrase govinda virahena conveys deep feelings

of separation (vipralambha). Fully Krsna conscious rasika

devotee have subdivided vipralambha into purva raga (preliminary

attraction), mana (seeming anger) and pravasa (separation by

distance). In this sloka, Caitanya Mahaprabhu reveals that the

sadhaka dwelling within this world need only relish the purva

raga stage of vipralambha ecstacy.


ten conditions in the sadhaka's person. They are: pondering,

sleeplessness, perturbation, emaciation, pallor, in¬coherent

speech, a stricken condition, madness, delusion and death


Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.4041:

"In My agitation a day never ends, for every moment seems

like a millennium. Pouring incessant tears, My eyes are like

clouds in the rainy season.

"The three words have become void because of separation from

Govinda. I feel as if I were burning alive in a slow fire."
"O Govinda, the entire world is but a void in Your

absence; My eyes are raining tears like monsoon clouds, and

each batting of My eyelids seems like a millennium."
This is an excellent expression of vipralambharasa.
This sloka was composed to teach the jata-rati devotee that

it is absolutely essential he take up the vipralambharasa not

caring for sambhoga or enjoyment. In material life, viraha or

separation causes only grief. But on the transcendental plane,

viraha produces extreme ecstacy within, though externally the

inner ecstacy is reflected as acute anguish.

Vipralambha therefore nourish¬es sambhoga or enjoyment

within. In fact, sambhoga is an external feature of the vipra­lambharasa in the state known as prema vaicitra or loving

variegatedness. The devotee incessantly and intensely recollects

Krsna and His pastimes in vipralambharasa, to the point of never

forgetting Krsna. This is indeed the superexcellent stage of


The sambhoga exhibited by the pretentious group known as

gauranga-najari, who do not sincerely practice Krsna conscious­ness but claim to be devotees, is simply a result of their insin­cerity. That sambhoga is a severe impediment on the pure

devotional path. It is factually only selfpleasure; hence it is

bereft of sincere devotion to Krsna.
Just by knowing the meaning of the sloka, "The desire to

gratify one's own senses is kama (lust), but the desire to please

the senses of Lord Krsna is prema (love)" (C.C. Adi 4.165), one

is spared from the urge to sense enjoyment. Unfortunately,

unscrupulous pseudodevotees try to disguise their lusty urges by

presenting Lord Caitanya to the world as a pleasure seeker

(nagari). But the true meaning of Lord Caitanya's pastimes is

that Lord Krsna descended as Lord Caitanya to accept the senti­ments of an asrayatattva devotee who is constantly absorbed in

the vipralambha mood.
As mentioned, vipralambha nourishes enjoyment, but it is

Krsna's enjoyment that is being nourished by the pure devotee in

this mood. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is eternally the embodiment of

vipralambharasa, and He personally propagates this means of

nourishing Krsna's pleasure among the jivas, who must discard

their futile attempts for sambhogarasa.

Sri Krishna Karanamrita, sloka 41:

"O supreme shelter of the destitute, O Lord Hari, You are an

ocean of mercy! Alas! Oh alas! Without seeing Your lovely face

how am I going to live through these wretched days and nights?"

Srila Madhavendra Puri's words as recorded in Padyavali,

text 400:

"O compassionate Lord of the helpless! O Lord of Mathura!

When will I be able to see You? Your absence has made my

stricken heart extremely anxious. O my beloved! What am I to do


In Ujjvala-nilamali, text 64:

"Srimati Radharani is completely smitten. She is experienc­ing the limitless ocean of suffering as the ten conditions of

separation overcome Her. She ponderings without sleeping and

suffers pertur¬ba¬tions, she has become emaciated and pallid, she

speaks in¬coherently, is stricken, mad and deluded and swoons

almost to death."

- Me; adarsanat - by not being visible; marma-hatam - brokenhearted; karotu - let Him make; va - or; yatha - as (He likes); tatha - so; va - or; vidadhatu - let Him do; lampatah

- a debauchee, who mixes with other women; mat-prana-nathah - the

Lord of My life; tu - but; sah - He; eva - only; na aparah - not anyone else. "Let Krishna tightly embrace this servant, who has fallen at

His lotus feet. Let Him trample Me or break My heart by not

being visible to Me. He is a debauchee, after all, and can do

whatever He likes, but He is still no more other than the

worshipable Lord of My heart."

platform of prema is described in this sloka. "That supreme

adulterer and libertine, Krsna, may grant endless bliss to this

servant surrendered to His lotus feet; or he may drive me into

excruciating depths of despair by not being present before me; He

may please to do anything He wants with me - even to the extent

of enjoying with another of His beloved gopis in my presence; yet

He remains always the Lord of my heart; for me there can never be

any other person." We find accounts of the incomparable position of such fully

sur¬rendered souls in Srimad Bhagavatam: "When the mortal living

beings finally decide to relinquish all fruitive activities and

totally surrender to Me, I reciprocate by giving them the nectar

of immortality, elevating them to become My eternal associates." The conclusion is that in Krsnaprema, Krsna becomes the

life, soul and the greatest treasure of the devotee. In this

mature stage of devotional service the sublime exchanges of

mutual attraction between the devotee and the Lord flower into

full bloom.

feet." This statement demonstrates the truth of the eternal bond

between the infinitesimal jiva and infinite Supreme Lord. This

relationship becomes obscured when the jiva gives up Krsna

consciousness. But when, by good fortune, the living entity's

conscious¬ness becomes purified, then the mutual attrac¬tion

between the Lord and His part and parcel is revived. A piece of iron, when clean and shining, is automatically attracted to a magnet; similarly, the consciousness of the spirit

soul, when purified, clean and shining, will automatically

exhibit attraction to Krsna. Besides facilitating this attrac­tion, selfpurification has no function. The path of Krsna

consciousness is called premadharma, the dharma of loving

devotional service; sadhakas of the prema-dharma must know that

save and except for prema, this path of religion neglects all

results desired by those who pursue dharma, artha, kama and


Bhagavatam: "My dear gopis! Severing all family attachments for

My sake, you have achieved what is very rare even for the great

philosophers and yogis. Our meetings with each other are

completely pure and unblemished. If I tried to repay My debt to you for your love, devotion, service and renunciation, even if

I endeavored with My immortal body throughout all eternity I

would be unable to do it. I am obliged to you life after life.

Though you may consider Me absolved of any debt out of your

natural meekness and loving demeanor, I will nontheless always

remain beholden to you." As indicated by the Lord's declaration of indebtedness to

the gopis, to please and attract Krsna, one should love and

satisfy the devotees whom He holds most dear. In other words,

one who desires entrance into Krsna consciousness must have no

interest in selfish socalled pleasu¬res. A devotee serves Krsna,

has affec¬tion for Him, meets Him, or may do anything - the sole

intention is to please Krsna and increasing one's loving service

to Him. Lord Caitanya uses the phrase `deeply afflicted in the

heart' in this sloka; in reality, the devotee does not feel grief

but exultation. To confirm this fact, Lord Krsna tells the

gopis: "For My sake you disregarded social taboos, Vedic injunc­tions, and even cut off connection to your rela¬tives and family

members. In all this, your meditation on Me was single-minded.

You did not even care for your beauty and nuptial happiness. So

in order to increase your love for Me I disappeared from your

sight. Please do not blame Me for this act of love, because you

are extremely dear to Me, as I am to you." Another important point in this sloka is that although the

Lord speaks of `giving Me bliss by Your loving embrace', there is

no trace of self-satisfaction; even here the only thought is of

loving Krsna by giving oneself to Him for His pleasure. Lord

Caitanya's statements very much exemplify the true emotions of

pure love.

significant. Lord Krsna desired to know, "How glorious is

Srimati Radharani's love for Me, She being My internal spiritual

potency? How does She alone fully relish My transcendental

qualities? What is the happiness She feels when She realizes the

sweetness of My love for Her?" Longing to answer these three questions, the Supreme Lord

Sri Krsna revealed His eternal form as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,

Who personifies audarya or magnanimity in absolute fullness. Sri

Caitanya savours to their mys¬terious depths the three states of

Radharani's love as He performs manifold pastimes in an exclusive

region of Goloka known as Sri Navadvipadhama. Adorned with the ecstatic sentiments and lustrous complexion

of Srimati Radharani, Krsna as Sri Caitanya Mahaprab¬hu appears on

this earth once in a day of Brahma. His most recent descent to

the mortal plane occurred in the year 1486 of the Christian era

in the West Bengal district of Nadia, where the divine waters of

Mother Ganga purify the town of Navad¬vipa. Navadwipadhama is

non-dif¬ferent from Vrindavana. He took His birth during a full lunar eclipse on the bright

moon night of the month of Phalguna (March). The whole town of

Navadwipa was reverberating with the chanting of God's name, as

this was the custom during a lunar eclipse. The Lord accepted

Pandit Jaganatha Misra and Srimati Sacidevi as His father and

mother. His childho¬od was filled with childlike restless¬ness and

miraculous pranks; His boyhood days were spent in studies; His

marriage in youth was strictly in accordance with Vedic culture

as was His execution of household life. Thereafter He went to

Gaya and accepted spiritual initiation in the ten syllable Gopal

mantra from Sripad Isvara Puri, a great acarya in the BrahmaªMadhva disciplic succession; thus He taught the living entities

their duty to take shelter of a self-realized spiritual master as

directed in the scriptures. After His return from Gaya He

performed congrega¬tional chanting of the holy name with His

associates and devotees, flooding Bengal with the nectar of the

holy name of God and propagat¬ing devotional service to Krsna. At age twentyfour He received sannyasa initiation from Sripad Kesava Bharati of the Sankara sampradaya and forever

severed all links with home and family life. The next six years

found Him on pilgrimage through Bengal, Orissa, South India, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh (Mathura, Vrindavana, Prayag, Kasi),

and Bihar (Kaukai, Natsala, Rajmahal). In His travels He blessed millions of conditioned souls by

giving them the holy name of Krsna and teaching them the science

of pure devotion. He refuted all philosophi¬cal speculations

contradictory to the conclusions of the authorized scriptures and

firmly established the philosophy of acintya bheda-abheda tattva,

which He Himself taught for the first time as the essence of the

teachings of the other four schools of Vaisnava philosophy. For the next eighteen years He made His residence at Sri Jaganatha Puri. There, in the company of His intimate as­sociates, He relished the nectar of love of Godhead, exploring

fully the three questions. From amongst His followers, He sent

out powerful prea¬chers to lead the conditioned souls along the

path of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord. In this way He drowned entire India in the waves of Krsna

Damodara, Sri Ramananda Raya, Sri Prabhodananda Saraswati, Sri

Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Goswami,

Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami, Sri Kavi Karnapura

and others to write books establishing His teachings; for this

purpose He impregnated their hearts with His divine potency. He has personally condensed these selfsame teachings into

His eight Sikshas¬taka prayers; they reach out and touch all

levels of devotees. At times the Lord would immerse Himself in

the nectar of these eight slokas, tasting their conclusions in

the association of Srila Svarupa Damodara and Sri Ramananda Raya.

Later, these slokas were explained in great detail in important

scriptures like Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. By His own example, Lord Caitanya taught how to lead an

ideal householder life and the life of strict renunciation,

sannyasa. These teachings too are all contained in thess eight

verses. They are superexellent. Surrendered souls who read with devotion these nectarean

prayers from the mouth of the Supreme Lord Gauranga will certain­ly be attracted to the honey of Lord Caitanya's lotus feet. Like

spiritually intoxicated bees, they will swarm to the lilyfilled

lake of Krsna's love. Four hundred and one years after the advent of Lord Gauran­ga, the commentary known as Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam was composed by

Kedarnatha Bhaktivinoda. The Siksastaka prayers particularly distill the essence of

all Vedic scriptures for the taste of the rasikabhakta, the pure

devotee. Having emanated from the lips of the Supreme Lord

Himself, these prayers are the Absolute Truth. They should be

read, recited and worshipped daily by sincere and fortunate

souls. These prayers should be as constant companions, learnt

and taken to heart. Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20.48-52: "I am a maidservant at the lotus feet of Krsna. He is the embodiment of transcendental happiness and mellows. If He likes He can tightly embrace Me and make Me feel oneness with Him, or by not giving Me His audience He may corrode My mind and body. Nevertheless, it is He who is the Lord Of My life. "My dear friend, just hear the decision of My mind. Krsna is the Lord of My life in all conditions, whether He shows Me affection or kills Me by giving Me unhappiness. "Sometimes Krsna gives up the company of other gopis and becomes controlled, mind and body, by Me. Thus He manifests My good fortune and gives others distress by performing His loving affairs with Me." "Or, since after all He is a very cunning, obstinate debauchee with a propensity to cheat, He takes to the company of

other women. He then indulges in loving affairs with them in

front of Me to give distress to My mind. Nevertheless, He is

still the Lord of My life. "I do not mind My personal distress. I only wish for the

always absorbed in serving Krsna's lotus feet. He may embrace

me, He may exploit me, or He may break my heart by not appearing

before me. He is a libertine accustomed to have His way with the

gopi damsels for the satisfaction of His lusty desires. Let His

will prevail; in spite of everything He is the beloved Lord of my

heart, nothing less, nothing more. Lord Krsna is the Supreme

Personality of Godhead, fully independent. My religion is to

obey His command. I have lost my independent whimsy; I could

never recoil from serving His will for any reason." In the perfect stage, the devotee has shed forever his

material designations of body and mind. His only concern is to

satisfy Lord Krsna's every desire in the transcendental realm of

Goloka, which is Krsn¬a's personal playground. In this mood of

unalloyed love, the devotee's only hope for service is in the

role of a female assistant to the gopis; such service is indeed

avail¬able in the devotee's original spirit¬ual form of tran¬sceden­tal senses. The jiva must never consider assuming the position of an

asrayavigraha devotee (i.e. a principle associate of Krsna).

Just the thought of this will make him egoistic. The uncon­taminated state of the pure jiva's existence in the spiritual

world is subservience to the asrayavigraha. The jiva is dear to

Lord Krsna; yet constitutionally, by the Lord's desire, he is in

the marginal category of the Lord's spiritual energy.

sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. Broadly, the first verse

teaches about the process of the congregational chanting of the

holy name; the second about the unfortunate reluctance of the

condi¬tioned soul to take up this best process; the third about

the proper means of chanting the holy name; the fourth about the

renunciation of deception and all adverse desires; the fifth

about the jiva's original spiritual identity; the sixth about

feeling the good fortune of coming nearer to the Lord; the

seventh about the highly elevated mood of separation; and the

eighth about how one gets es¬tablished in his absolute goal of

necessity. In all eight verses, the abhideya principle is shown. Within that context, the first five verses impart sambandha jnana; the remaining three explain prayojana. The first five

verses concern sadhanabhakti, and the next two about bhavabhakti. The sixth to the eighth verse, and especially the

seventh and eighth, deal with premabhakti, but for sadhakas. Selecting the following verse composed by Srila Visvanatha

Cakravati Thakura to convey my feelings, I offer my obeisances to

all the readers and thus end this commentary. "The Supreme Lord Krsna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, and His

are my objects of worship. The topmost service is rendered by

the gopis of Vraja. Srimad Bhaga¬vatam is the absolutely authen­tic scripture, the basis of all teachings and conclusions. Krsnaªprema is the fifth goal, beyond the four goals of the Vedas; it

is also the supreme destination. All this is Lord Caitanya's

opinion, and therefore the opinion most favored by us; other

opinions are neither favored by or even interesting to us."

feet, more beautiful than a lotus, being pricked by the spiked husks of grain and the rough grass and plants." Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.15: "When You go to the forest during the day, a tiny fraction of a second becomes like a millennium for us because we cannot see You. And even when we can eagerly look upon Your beautiful face, so beautifully adorned by curly locks, our pleasure is hindered by our eyelids, which were fashioned by the foolish creator." Sri Krsna Karnamrita, sloka 12: "May the lotus-like feet of the Supreme Lord Krsna, the only

gallant hero who plays eternal pastimes with all the Lakshmi-devis (gopis); whose blooming beauty withers the exquisite beauty

of lotuses; and who is an expert at fully convincing His devotees

of His divine protection, be forever enthroned in my heart,

giving me unfathomable happiness."

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