Bhajana Rahasya

Chapter 1 – Prathama-yāma-sādhana

 

Niśānta-bhajana – śraddhā

(the last six daṇḍas of the night: approximately 3.30 A.M. – 6.00 A.M.)


Text 1

kṛṣṇa-vara tviṣākṛṣṇa
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pāradam
yajñai sakīrtana-prāyair
bhaj
āmi kali-pāvanam

I worship Śrī Gaurāṅgadeva, who delivers the living entities of Kali-yuga (kali-pāvana) through the congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names (śrī-nāma-saṅkīrtana-yajña). He describes the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; He performs kīrtana of the two syllables kṛ and ṣṇa; His complexion is fair; He is surrounded by His aṅgas (associates, meaning Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Advaita Prabhu), upāṅgas (servitors, meaning Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and other pure devotees) and pārṣadas (confidential companions like Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda, Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita and the Six Gosvāmīs); and He is endowed with His weapon (astra) of harināma, which destroys ignorance.

A verse similar in meaning to Text 1 is found in Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam (11.5.32):

kṛṣṇa-vara tviṣākṛṣṇa
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pāradam
yajñai sakīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasa

In the age of Kali, Kṛṣṇa appears with a golden complexion (akṛṣṇa). He is constantly singing the two syllables kṛ and ṣṇa, and He is accompanied by His associates, servitors, weapons and confidential companions. Intelligent people worship Him by performing saṅkīrtana-yajña.

kali-jīva uddhārite para-tattva hari
navadvīpe āilā gaura-rūpa āvikari
yuga-dharma kṛṣṇa-nāma-smaraa kīrtana
sāṅgopāṅge vitarila diyā prema dhana
jīvera sunitya dharma nāma-sakīrtana
anya saba dharma nāma-siddhira kāraa

“Śrī Hari, who is the Absolute Truth Himself, descended in Navadvīpa as Gaurasundara to deliver the living entities (jīvas) of Kali-yuga. Together with His associates, He distributed the treasure of kṛṣṇa-prema through śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana, the religion of the current age (yuga-dharma). Nāma-saṅkīrtana is the living entities’ only eternal religion; all other dharmas are simply secondary means to attain perfection in chanting.”


Text 2

Stavāvalī (Śrī Śacīsūnv-aṣṭaka 5) says:

nijatve gauḍīyān jagati parighya prabhur imān
hare kṛṣṇety eva gaana-vidhinā kīrtayata bho
iti prāyāṁ śikṣāṁ caraa-madhupebhya paridiśan
śacī-sūnu ki me nayana-saraṇīṁ yāsyati padam

When will Śacīnandana Gaurahari appear on the path of my eyes? He accepted the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas in this world, who are like bees at His lotus feet, as His own, and He instructed them to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra by counting a fixed number of rounds.


Text 3

The Viṣṇu-rahasya states:

yad abhyarcya hari bhaktyā
kte kratu-śatair api
phala prāpnoty avikala
kalau govinda-kīrtanāt

Whatever fruit can be obtained in Satya-yuga by devoutly performing austerities and so on for hundreds of years, can be obtained in the age of Kali simply by chanting the names of Śrī Govinda.

satya-yuge śata śata yajñe haryarcana
kalite govinda-nāme se phala-arjana

The result received in Satya-yuga by meditation on Bhagavān, in Tretā-yuga by worshipping Bhagavān through great sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by performing arcana of Bhagavān according to proper rules, is obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting nāma-ābhāsa, a semblance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s names.


Text 4

The Bṛhad-viṣṇu Purāṇa states that other kinds of atonement (prāyaścitta) are not necessary for one who chants the holy name:

nāmno ’sya yāvatī śakti
pāpa-nirharae hare
tāvat kartu na śaknoti
pātaka pātakī jana

Śrī Hari’s name possesses such potency to destroy sins that it can counteract more sins than even the most sinful person is able to commit.

kona prāyaścitta nahe nāmera samāna
ataeva karma-tyāga kare buddhimān


Text 5

The superiority of kīrtana is described in Vaiṣṇava-cintāmaṇi (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (11.236)):

aghacchit-smaraa viṣṇor
bahvāyāsena sādhyate
oṣṭha-spandana-mātrea
kīrtana tu tato varam

Sins are destroyed with great effort by remembering Viṣṇu, but by chanting His name, they are very easily destroyed. Kīrtana is performed simply by using the lips to vibrate the names of Bhagavān and is far superior to smaraṇa (remembrance).

tapasyāya dhyāna yoga kaṣṭa sādhya haya
oṣṭhera spandana-mātre kīrtana āśraya
oṣṭhera spandanābhāve nāmera smaraa
smaraa kīrtane sarva siddhi-saghaana
arcana apekṣā nāmera smaraa-kīrtana
ati śreṣṭha bali śāstre karila sthāpana

Austerities, meditation, yoga and other practices are very difficult to perform in Kali-yuga, but kīrtana is easy; one need only vibrate one’s lips. Nāma chanted without moving the lips is called nāma-smaraṇa. The jīva can attain all perfection by nāma-kīrtana and nāma-smaraṇa. The scriptures have therefore concluded that kīrtana and smaraṇa of the holy name are superior to arcana.


Text 6

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (11.237) states:

yena janma-śatai pūrva
vāsudeva samarcita
tan-mukhe hari-nāmāni
sadā tiṣṭhanti bhārata

O best of the dynasty of Bharata, the holy name of Śrī Hari is eternally present only in the mouth of one who has perfectly worshipped Vāsudeva for hundreds of births.

hare kṛṣṇa olanāma aṣṭayuga haya
aṣṭayuga arthe aṣṭaśloka prabhu kaya
ādi hare kṛṣṇa arthe avidyā-damana
śraddhāra sahita kṛṣṇa-nāma-sakīrtana
āra hare kṛṣṇa nāma kṛṣṇa sarva-śakti
sādhu-sage nāmāśraye bhajanānurakti
sei ta bhajana-krame sarvānartha-nāśa
anarthāpagame nāme niṣṭhāra vikāśa
ttīye viśuddha-bhakta caritrera saha
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa nāme niṣṭhā kare aharaha
caturthe ahaitukī bhakti uddīpana
ruci saha hare hare nāma-sakīrtana
pañcamete śuddha dāsya rucira sahita
hare rāma sakīrtana smaraa vihita
aṣṭhe bhāvāṅkure hare rāmeti kīrtana
sasāre aruci kṛṣṇe ruci samarpaa
saptame madhurāsakti rādhā-padāśraya
vipralambhe rāma rāma nāmera udaya
aṣṭame vrajete aṣṭa-kāla gopī-bhāva
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-prema-sevā prayojana lābha


Text 7

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.15–16) states:

ādau śraddhā tata sādhusago
’tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ’nartha-nivtti syāt
tato niṣṭhā rucis tata
athāsaktis tato bhāvas
tata premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām aya prema
prādurbhāve bhavet krama

[This verse describes the gradual development of the sādhaka’s devotion.] Sukṛti that gives rise to bhakti generates transcendental faith (paramārthika-śraddhā). Faith in the words of the scriptures and a desire to hear hari-kathā are the symptoms of this śraddhā. Upon its appearance, one gets the opportunity for sādhu-saṅga, and then bhajana-kriyā (devotional activity) begins. Anartha-nivṛtti is also initiated at this time, and thereafter niṣṭhā arises in bhajana. This is followed by ruci, and then āsakti arises for both bhajana and the object of bhajana. When this stage ripens it is transformed into the state of bhāva, and thereafter prema arises. This is how prema gradually manifests in the heart of the sādhaka.

bhakti-mūlā sukti haite śraddhodaya
śraddhā haile sādhu-saga anāyāse haya
sādhu-saga phale haya bhajanera śikṣā
bhajana-śikṣāra sage nāma mantra dīkṣā
bhajite-bhajite haya anarthera kaya
anartha kharvita haile niṣṭhāra udaya
niṣṭhā-nāme yata haya anartha-vināśa
nāme tata ruci-krame haibe prakāśa
ruci-yukta nāmete anartha yata yāya
tatai āsakti nāme bhakta-jana pāya
nāmāsakti krame sarvānartha dūra haya
tabe bhāvodaya haya ei ta niścaya
iti madhye asat-sage pratiṣṭhā janmiyā
kuṭīnāṭī dvāre deya nimne phelāiyā
ati sāvadhāne bhāī asat-saga tyaja
nirantara parānande harināma bhaja


Text 8

The Kātyāyana-saṁhitā (quoted in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.51)) states:

vara huta-vaha-jvālā
pañjarāntar-vyavasthiti
na śauri-cintā-vimukhajana-
savāsa-vaiśasam

Whether I am burned by fire or remain encaged forever, I will never, ever desire the association of those who are averse to Kṛṣṇa.


Text 9

The Viṣṇu-rahasya (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.112)) states:

āligana vara manye
vyāla-vyāghra-jalaukasām
na saga śalya-yuktānāṁ
nānā-devaikasevinām

It is better to live with or embrace a snake, a tiger or an alligator than to associate with those whose hearts are filled with varieties of material desires and who worship various demigods.

agnite pui vā pañjarete baddha hai
tabu kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha saga nāhi lai
vara sarpa-vyāghra-kumbhīrera āligana
anyasevi saga nāhi kari kadācana


Text 10

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.103) states that nāma-ābhāsa destroys all sins and liberates one from material existence:

ta nirvyāja bhaja gua-nidhi pāvana pāvanānāṁ
śraddhā rajyan matir atitarām uttama-śloka-maulim
prodyann anta-karaa-kuhare hanta yan-nāma-bhānor
ābhāso ’pi kapayati mahā-pātaka-dhvānta-rāśim

O reservoir of good qualities, just faithfully perform bhajana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa without duplicity. He is the supreme saviour among all saviours, and the most exalted of those worshipped with poetic hymns. When even a slight appearance of His name, which is like the sun, arises in one’s cave-like heart, it destroys the darkness of great sins that are present there.

parama pāvana kṛṣṇa tāṅhāra-caraa
nikapaa śraddhā-saha karaha bhajana
yāṅra nāma sūryābhāsa antare praveśi
dhvasa kare kahāpāpa andhakāra rāśi
ei śikṣāṣṭake kahe kṛṣṇa-līlā-krama
ihāte bhajana-krame līlāra udgama
prathame prathama śloka bhaja kichu dina
dvitīya ślokete tabe haota pravīṇa
cāri śloke kramaśa bhajana pakva kara
pañcama ślokete nija-siddha-deha bara
ai śloke siddha-dehe rādhā-padāśraya
ārambha kariyā krame unnati udaya
chaya śloka bhajite anartha dūre gela
tabe jāna siddha-dehe adhikāra haila
adhikāra nā labhiyā siddha-deha bhāve
viparyaya buddhi janme śaktira abhāve
sāvadhāne krama dhara yadi siddhi cāo
sādhura carita dekhi’ śuddha-buddhi pāo
siddha-deha peye krame bhajana karile
aṣṭa-kāla sevā-sukha anāyāse mile
śikṣāṣṭaka cinta, kara smaraa kīrtana
krame aṣṭa-kāla-sevā habe uddīpana
sakala anartha y
ābe pābe prema-dhana
catur-varga phalgu-prāya habe adarśana


Text 11

The first verse of Śikṣāṣṭaka describes the sequence of bhajana. First the mirror-like heart is cleansed by the chanting of the holy name:

ceto-darpaa-mārjana bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaa
śreya-kairava-candrikā-vitaraa vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhana prati-pada pūrṇāmtāsvādana
sarvātma-snapana para vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-sakīrtanam

Let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence. Śrīkṛṣṇa- saṅkīrtana diffuses the moon rays of bhāva, which cause the white lotus of good fortune for the jīvas to bloom. The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is herein compared to a wife. It continuously expands the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to taste complete nectar at every step, and thoroughly cleanses and cools everything, both internally and externally, including one’s body, heart, self (ātmā) and nature.

sakīrtana haite pāpa-sasāra nāśana
citta śuddhi sarva-bhakti-sādhana udgama
kṛṣṇa premodgama premāmta-āsvādana
kṛṣṇa prāpti-sevāmta-samudre majjana


Text 12

The seventh verse of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Nāmāṣṭaka describes the holy name as the embodiment of concentrated transcendental bliss and knowledge:

sūditāśrita-janārtir-āśaye ramyacid-
ghana sukha-svarūpie
nāma gokula-mahotsavāya te kṛṣṇa
pūra-vapue namo nama

O destroyer of the numerous sufferings of those who have taken shelter of You! O embodiment of delightful transcendental bliss! O great festival for the residents of Gokula! O all-pervading one! O Kṛṣṇa-nāma, time and again I offer respects to You, who are replete with these qualities.

āśrita janera saba ārtināśa kari
atiramya cidghana svarūpe vihari
gokulera mahotsava kṛṣṇa pūrna-rūpa
hena nāme nami prema pāī aparūpa
nāma kīrtane haya sarvānartha nāśa
sarva śubhodaya kṛṣṇe premera ullāsa


Text 13

The path of aṣṭāṅga-yoga is always full of fear. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.6.35) states:

yamādibhir yoga-pathai
kāma-lobha-hato muhu
mukunda-sevayā yadvat
tathātmāddhā na śāmyati

The mind that is disturbed by the enemies of lust, anger, greed and so forth does not become subdued or peaceful by practising yama and niyama on the path of aṣṭāṅga-yoga, as it does by performing service to Śrī Mukunda, which completely controls it.

yoge śuddha kari’ citte ekāgraha kare
bahusthale e kathāra vyatikrama kare


Text 14

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.12) jñāna and karma are condemned:

naikarmyam apy acyuta-bhāva-varjita
na śobhate jñānam ala nirañjanam
kuta puna śaśvad abhadram īśvare
na cārpita karma yad apy akāraam

Even pure knowledge (jñāna), which is the direct sādhana to obtain liberation, has no beauty if it is devoid of bhakti to Bhagavān. How then can selfless action (niṣkāma-karma), which is not offered to Bhagavān, and fruitive action (kāmyakarma), which is always inauspicious in both its practice and perfection, be beautiful?

nirañjana karmātīta, kabhu jñāna suśobhita,
śuddha bhakti vinā nāhi haya|
svabhāva abhadra karma, haleo nikāma dharma,
kṛṣṇārpita naile śubha naya


Text 15

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.4) condemns the path of non-devotion:

śreya-sti bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
teṣām asau kleśala eva śiyate
nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām

O Lord, devotional service unto You is the main source of all kinds of auspiciousness. Those who give up this path only to cultivate jñāna will simply undergo hard work, suffer pain and achieve difficulty, just as the only gain of a person who beats empty husks is hard work, not rice.

bhakti-patha chāḍi’ kare jñānera prayāsa
miche kaṣṭa pāya tāra haya sarva-nāśa
ati kaṣṭe tua kui’ taṇḍūla nā pāya
bhakti-śūnya jñāne tathā vthā dina yāya


Text 16

The blazing fire of material existence is extinguished by nāmasaṅkīrtana. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.2.46) says:

nāta para karma-nibandha-kntana
mumukatāṁ tīrtha-padānukīrtanāt
na yat puna karmasu sajjate mano
rajas-tamobhyāṁ kalila tato ’nyathā

For those who desire liberation from the bondage of this material existence, there is no other means than chanting the name of Bhagavān, who sanctifies even the holy places by the touch of His lotus feet. This nāma-saṅkīrtana is able to destroy the root cause of all sinful activities, because when the mind has taken shelter of Bhagavān it will never again be caught by fruitive activities. By taking shelter of any atonement other than the name of Bhagavān, the heart will remain affected by the modes of passion and ignorance, and sins will not be destroyed at the root.

karma-bandha sukhaṇḍana, moka prāpti saghaana,
kṛṣṇa-nāma-kīrtane sādhaya
karma-cakra rajas-tama, pūra-rūpe vinirgama,
nāma vinā nāhi anyopāya


Text 17

Further, the Padma Purāṇa states:

sakd uccārita yena harir ity akara-dvayam
baddha parikaras tena mokṣāya gamana prati

A person who even once chants the two syllables ha and ri easily attains liberation.

yāṅra mukhe ekabāra nāma ntya kare
moka-sukha anāyāse pāya sei nare


Text 18

The holy name is like the moonlight that causes the white water lotus of all-auspiciousness to blossom. The Skanda Purāṇa says:

madhura-madhuram etan magala magalānāṁ
sakala-nigama-vallī sat-phala cit-svarūpam
sakd api parigīta śraddhayā helayā vā
bhguvara nara-mātra tārayet kṛṣṇa-nāma

The holy name is the most auspicious of all that is auspicious, and the sweetest of all that is sweet. It is the fully ripened transcendental fruit of all the creepers of the Śrutis. O best of the Bhṛgu dynasty, if a person even once chants the name of Kṛṣṇa without offence – be it with faith or indifferently – that chanting will deliver him from the bondage of material existence.

sakala magala haite parama magala
cit-svārūpa sanātana vedavallī-phala
kṛṣṇa-nāma ekabāra śraddhāya helāya
yāṅhāra vedane sei mukta suniścaya


Text 19

The holy name is the life of all transcendental knowledge, which is compared to a wife (vadhū). This is supported by the following verse from the Garuḍa Purāṇa:

yad icchasi paraāna
ānād yat parama padam
tad ādarea rājendra
kuru govinda-kīrtanam

O best of kings, if you desire to obtain the topmost knowledge and the supreme goal of that knowledge, prema-bhakti, then chant the holy name of Śrī Govinda with great respect and devotion.

parama jñāna haite ye parama pada pāya
govinda-kīrtana sei karaha śraddhāya


Text 20

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.5.40) the demigods speak the following:

dhātar yad asmin bhava īśa jīvās
tāpa-trayeṇābhihatā na śarma
ātman labhante bhagavas tavāṅghricchāyāṁ
sa-vidyām ata āśrayema

O Vidhātā! O Lord! O Paramātmā! In this material world the living entities, overwhelmed by the threefold miseries, cannot find any peace. Therefore, O Bhagavān, we take shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet, which are full of knowledge.

e sasāre tāpa-traya, abhihata jīvacaya,
ohe kṛṣṇa nā labhe magala
tava pada-chāyā vidyā, śubha dātā anavadyā,
tad-āśraye sarva-śubha phala


Text 21

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.29.49) it is stated:

sā vidyā tan-matir yayā

Knowledge is that by which one’s attention is concentrated upon Bhagavān.

ye śaktite kṛṣṇe kare udbhāvana
vidyā-nāme sei kare avidyā khaṇḍana
kṛṣṇa-nāma sei vidyā-vadhūra jīvana
kṛṣṇa-pāda-padme ye karaye sthira mana

Text 22

The chanting of the holy name expands the ocean of transcendental bliss. It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (8.3.20):

ekāntino yasya na kañcanārtha
vāñchanti ye vai bhagavat-prapannāḥ
aty-adbhuta tac-carita sumagala
gāyanta ānanda-samudra-magnāḥ

The devotees who are exclusively surrendered unto Bhagavān, and who have no other desire than to attain Him, become immersed in an ocean of bliss by performing saṅkīrtana of His wonderful and supremely auspicious pastimes.

akiñcana haye kare ekānta kīrtana
ānanda samudre magna haya sei jana


Text 23

Nāma-saṅkīrtana enables one to taste complete nectar at every step; therefore the Padma Purāṇa states:

tebhyo namo ’stu bhava-vāridhi-jīra-paka
sammagna-mok
aa-vicakaa-pādukebhya
kṛṣṇeti vara-yugala śravaena yeṣām
ānandathur bhavati nartita-roma-vnda

The devotees whose bodily hairs stand on end and whose hearts tremble with bliss upon hearing the two syllables kṛ and ṣṇa, deliver the living entities engrossed in material existence. Clearsighted, intelligent persons who desire eternal auspiciousness surrender to the lotus feet of these rasika-bhaktas.

kṛṣṇa-nāma suni’ roma-vnda ntya kare
ānanda kampana haya yāṅhāra śarīre
bhava-sindhu-paka magna jīvera uddhāra
vicakaa tiho nami carae tāṅhāra


Text 24

Chanting the holy name completely cleanses the self. Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam (12.12.48) states:

sakīrtyamāno bhagavān ananta
śrutānubhāvo vyasana hi pusām
praviśya citta vidhunoty aśea
yathā tamo ’rko ’bhram ivāti-vāta

Bhagavān Śrī Hari Himself enters the heart of a devotee who describes His name, form, qualities, pastimes and so on, or hears His glories; and He destroys all the darkness of the sins present there. Upon entering the heart of the jīva, Bhagavān destroys his offences, impediments, duplicity and material desires, just as the sun drives away darkness or a powerful wind scatters the clouds. This cleanses the mirror-like hearts of those who take shelter of Kṛṣṇa’s name, and very quickly they attain their pure transcendental forms.

śruta anubhūta yata anartha sayoga
śrī kṛṣṇa kīrtane saba haya ta viyoga
ye rūpa vāyute megha sūrya tama nāśe
citte praveśiyā doa aśea vināśe
kṛṣṇa nāmāśraye citta darpaa mārjana
ati śīghra labhe jīva kṛṣṇa prema-dhana


Text 25

The holy name is Kṛṣṇa Himself and the sweet embodiment of transcendental mellows (caitanya-rasa-vigraha). In Nāmāṣṭaka (8) it is stated:

nārada-vīṇojjīvana! sudhormi niryāsa-mādhurī-pūra!
tva kṛṣṇa-nāma! kāma
sphura me rasane rasena sadā

O life of Nārada’s vīṇā! O crest of the waves upon the transcendental ocean of nectar! O condensed form of all sweetness! O Kṛṣṇa-nāma! By Your own sweet will, may You always appear on my tongue along with all transcendental rasa.

muni-vīṇā-ujjīvana-sudhormi-niryāsa
mādhurīte paripūra kṛṣṇa-nāmocchvāsa
sei nāma anargala āmāra rasane
nācuna rasera saha ei vāñchā mane


Text 26

The second verse of Nāmāṣṭaka states:

jaya nāmadheya! muni-vnda-geya!
jana-rañjanāya param akarākte!
tvam anādarād api manāg-udīrita
nikhilogra-tāpa-paalīṁ vilumpasi

O Hari-nāma, the great sages constantly chant Your glories. To delight the devotees You have appeared in the form of transcendental syllables. All victory unto You! May Your excellence forever be splendidly manifest, and may You display it to all. Prabhu, Your excellence is such that even if Your name is chanted only once and without respect – that is, to indicate something else, jokingly and so forth – it completely destroys the most fearsome of sins, and even sinful thoughts. Thus, make me surrender to You without fail, and by my remembrance of Your power, purify me because I proclaim Your glories.

jīva śiva lāgi’ paramākara ākāra
muni-vnda gāya śraddhā kari’ anivāra
jaya jaya harināma akhilogratāpa
nāśa kara helā gāne e baa pratāpa


Text 27

The Vedas (Ṛg Veda 1.156.3) describe the truth of the holy name (nāma-tattva):

o ity etad brahmao nediṣṭa
nāma yasmād uccāryamāna
eva sasāra-bhayāt tārayati
tasmād ucyate tāra iti

One who chants oṁ, which is very close to Brahman (here meaning Bhagavān) and which indicates Brahman, is liberated from the fear of the material world by this name. Therefore oṁ is famous by the name tāraka-brahma (the deliverer).


Text 28

o āsya jānanto nāma-cid-vivaktan mahas te viṣṇo
sumati bhajāmahe o tat sat

O Viṣṇu, all the Vedas appear from Your name, which is fully conscious and all-illuminating. Your name is the personification of transcendence and supreme bliss, and it is the embodiment of easily obtainable transcendental knowledge. I worship You by thoughtfully performing continuous chanting of Your name.


Text 29

tato ’bhūt trivd okāro
yo ’vyakta prabhava svarāṭ
yat tal liga bhagavato
brahmaa paramātmana

Śrī Bhagavān is imperceptible; He is both undivided and divided. The syllables found in the word oṁ are His manifestation, and He is manifest in the three forms of Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. The three syllables in the oṁkāra represent the names Hari, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma. The name of Hari is non-different from Hari Himself.

avyakta haite kṛṣṇa svarāṭa svatantra
brahma, ātmā, bhagavān ligatraya tantra
a-kāra u-kāra āra ma-kāra nirdeśa
o hari kṛṣṇa rāma nāmera viśea
hari haite abhinna sakala harināma
vācya-vācaka bhede pūra kare kāma


Text 30

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata (Madhya-khaṇḍa 23.76–8) states:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
prabhu kahe kahilāma ei mahā-mantra
ihā japa giyā sabe kariyā nirbandha
ihā haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabāra
sarva-kaa bala ithe vidhi nāhi āra

The Lord said, “Regularly chant japa of this mahā-mantra. In this way you will attain all perfection. Chant at any time and in any circumstance; there are no other rules for chanting.”


Text 31

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.103) states:

acirād eva sarvārtha
siddhaty eṣām abhīpsita
sad-dharmasyāvabodhāya
yeṣāṁ nirbandhinī mati

The holy name is the bestower of all perfection, and those who continuously chant harināma with such firm faith and conviction quickly obtain the fruit of prema.

nirbandhinī-mati-saha kṛṣṇa-nāma kare
atiśīghra prema-phala sei nāme dhare


Text 32

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa gives the following injunctions for chanting:

tulasī-kāṣṭha-ghaitair maibhir japa-mālikā
sarva-karm
āṇi sarveṣām īpsitārtha-phala-pradā
go-puccha-sadṛśī kāryā yad vā sarpākti śubhā
tarjanyā na spṛśet sūtrakampayen na vidhūnayet
aguṣṭha-parva-madhyasthaparivarta samācaret
na spṛśet vāma-hastena kara-bhraṣṭāṁ na kārayet
bhuktau muktau tathā kṛṣṭau madhya-māyāṁ japet sudhīḥ

A japa-mālā made of tulasī or precious stones fulfils all kinds of inner desires. A japa-mālā shaped like a cow’s tail or a snake is auspicious. One should not touch the japa-mālā with the forefinger. One should not swing or shake the mālā again and again while chanting. Chant and change the direction of the mālā using the thumb and the middle finger. Do not touch the mālā with the left hand, and do not let it fall from the hand. Those who desire material enjoyment (bhukti) and those who desire liberation (mukti) chant with the middle finger.


Text 33

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states:

mana saharaa śaucamauna mantrārtha-cintanam
avyagratvam anirvedo japa-sampatti-hetava

While chanting, one should be one-pointed and give up talking about mundane topics. With a pure heart, one should think about the meaning of the holy name, and be steadfast and patient in his chanting and remembrance of the holy name.

japa kāle manake ekāgrabhāve laha
citte śuddha thāka, vthā kathā nāhi kaha
nāmārtha cintaha sadā dhairyāśraya kara
nāmete ādara kari’ kṛṣṇa-nāma smara


Text 34

Śrī Gopāla-guru explains the meaning of the holy name as follows:

vijñāpya bhagavat-tattvacid-ghanānanda-vigraham
haraty avidyāṁ tat kāryam ato harir iti smta
harati śrī-kṛṣṇa-manakṛṣṇāhlāda-svarūpiṇī
ato harety anenaiva śrī-rādhā parikīrtitā
ānandaika-sukha-svāmī śyāma kamala-locana
gokulānandano nanda nandana kṛṣṇa īryate
vaidagdhī sāra-sarvasvamūrti-līlādhidaivatam
rādhikāṁ ramyan nityarāma ity abhidhīyate

The Supreme Person Śrī Bhagavān has descended in the form of the holy name, which is the embodiment of condensed knowledge and bliss. While remembering the name of Bhagavān, one should remember that nāma and nāmī are non-different. In the first stage of a sādhaka’s progress, the holy name removes ignorance. Therefore He is Hari, “He who removes”. The rasikaācāryas, however, taste harināma by thinking that, in the kuñjas Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī Śrī Rādhā is stealing away the mind of Śrī Hari by Her service. He who chants Hare Kṛṣṇa with this meditation attains prema-bhakti. Śrī Rādhā is kṛṣṇa-hlādinī-rūpiṇī, the embodiment of Kṛṣṇa’s own pleasure potency. She steals away Kṛṣṇa’s mind, and therefore Her name is Harā. The vocative form of Harā is Hare. Thus, Hare Kṛṣṇa means Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala.

The names Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are sac-cid-ānanda, full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are personally present in Hare Kṛṣṇa. The eternal master of Śrī Rādhā, who is bliss personified, is Śyāma, who has eyes like lotus petals and who desires that Śrī Rādhikā always be happy. Nanda-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the giver of bliss to the residents of Gokula, is always yearning to taste happiness with Śrī Rādhā. Kṛṣṇa is Līleśvara, a clever dhīra-lalita-nāyaka; therefore His name is Rādhāramaṇa. The Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is comprised of names of the Divine Couple. While chanting this mantra one should remember Their pastimes.

cid-ghana ānanda-rūpa śrī bhagavān
nāma-rūpe avatāra ei ta pramāṇa
avidyā-haraa kārya haite nāma hari
ataeva hare kṛṣṇa nāme yāya tari
kṛṣṇāhlāda-svarūpiṇī śrī rādhā āmāra
kṛṣṇa mana hare tāi harā nāma tāṅra
rādhā-kṛṣṇa śabde śrī sac-cid-ānanda rūpa
hare kṛṣṇa śabde rādhā-krṣṇera svarūpa
ānanda-svarūpa-rādhā tāṅra nitya svāmī
kamala-locana śyāma rādhānanda-kāmī
gokula-ānanda nanda-nandana śrī kṛṣṇa
rādhā-sage sukhāsvāde sarvadā satṛṣṇa
vaidagdhya-sāra-sarvasva mūrta līleśvara
śrī rādhā-ramaa rāma nāma atapara
hare kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra śrī yugala nāma
yugala līlāra cintā kara avirāma


Text 35

The Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa states:

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In Kali-yuga there is no other way for the jīva than chanting the holy name. There is no other way, there is no other way.

anya dharma karma chāḍi harināma sāra
kali-yuge tāhā vinā gati nāhi āra


Text 36

The Bhāgavata-nāma-kaumudī states:

nakta divā ca gatabhir jita-nidra eko
nirviṇṇa īkita-patho mita-bhuk praśānta
yady acyute bhagavati sva-mano na sajjen
nāmāni tad-rati-karāṇi pahed vilajja

If your mind is not absorbed in the name of Śrī Bhagavān Acyuta, then day and night without shyness chant those principal names that are endowed with rati (such as Rādhā-ramaṇa, Vraja-vallabha and Gopījana-vallabha). Minimise sleep, eat moderately, and proceed on the path of spiritual truth with a peaceful mind and a disregard for worldly things.

rātra dina unnidra nirvighna nirbhaya
mitabhuk praśānta nirjane cintāmaya
lajjā tyaji kṛṣṇa-rati uddīpaka nāma
uccāraa kare bhakta kṛṣṇāsakti kāma


Text 37

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.22) states:

etāvān eva loke ’smin pusāṁ dharma para smta
bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-nāma-grahaṇādibhi

Only the worship of Bhagavān Śrī Vāsudeva, performed through nāma-saṅkīrtana, is called bhakti-yoga. This alone is the supreme dharma for the living entities.

bhakti-yoga kṛṣṇa-nāma grahaṇādi rūpa
para dharma nāme tāra nirṇīta svarūpa


Text 38

While chanting harināma, one should remember Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. “Niśānte kīrtane kuñja-bhaṅga kare dhyāna, krame krame citta lagne rasera vidhāna – by remembering and performing kīrtana of niśānta-līlā, or kuñja-bhaṅga-līlā, the mind will gradually relish rasa.” Govinda-līlāmṛta (1.10) states:

rātryante trasta-vnderita bahu-viravair bodhitau kīraśārīpadyair-
hdyair api sukha-śayanād utthitau tau sakhībhi
dṛṣṭau hṛṣṭau tadā tvoditarati-lalitau kakkhaṭī-gīḥ saśakau
rādhā-kṛṣṇau satṛṣṇāv api nija-nija-dhāmny āpta-talpau smarāmi

At the end of the night, Vṛndā-devī, fearing the approach of day, indicates to the śuka (parrot), śārī (female parrot) and other birds to make sweet sounds to awaken Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. A cool, gentle, fragrant breeze is slowly blowing. With charming calls, the peacocks, peahens, śuka, sārī and papīhā (cuckoos) glorify Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. They say, “O Vrajarāja-nandana! O Nikuñjeśvarī! When will we receive Your darśana?” Although the Divine Couple have been aroused by the sweet chirping of the birds, They embrace each other in fear of being separated and again fall asleep, weary from amorous play. The more Vṛndā-devī tries to wake Them, the more They drowsily pretend to sleep deeply, for They do not desire to leave one another. At that time, the she-monkey Kakkhaṭī loudly cries “Jaṭilā! Jaṭilā!” and They awaken, filled with fear. (The meaning of “Jaṭilā” is “Morning has come and the sun-rays, which look like matted hair (jaṭā), are about to appear.” But it can also mean “Jaṭilā is coming”, Jaṭilā being Śrī Rādhā’s mother-in-law.) The nitya-sakhīs and prāṇa-sakhīs enter the kuñja. These mañjarī-sakhīs redecorate Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa with clothes and ornaments, concealing the signs of Their amorous pastimes, and then they call the priya-sakhīs and priya-narma-sakhīs. Kiśora and Kiśorī joke with each other, and Śrī Lalitā performs Their ārati. Thereafter They proceed to Their respective residences.

dekhiyā aruodaya, vndā-devī vyasta haya,
kuñje nānā rava karāila
śuka-sārī-padya suni, uhe rādhā nīlamai,
sakhī-gaa dekhi hṛṣṭa hailā
kālocita sulalita, kakkhaṭīra rave bhīta,
rādhā-kṛṣṇa satṛṣṇa haiyā
nija-nija g
he gelā, nibhte śayana kailā,
dūṅhe bhaji se līlā smariyā
ei līlā smara āra gāo kṛṣṇa-nāma,
kṛṣṇa-līlā prema-dhana pābe kṛṣṇa-dhāma

Thus ends the Prathama-yāma-sādhana, Niśānta-bhajana, of Śrī Bhajana-rahasya.