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Friday, August 3, 2012

Difference between chanting the name of Krishna and chanting the word Krishna

Correct chanting of Krishna name by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
The Shikchashtak of Gauranga Mahaprabhu can be delineated according to
the Prem Ras Siddhant of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. 

There are many spiritual groups and organizations in the world preaching philosophy related to Radha Krishna. But there is a lot of confusion in the world today regarding the correct form of devotion and the correct process of chanting the name of Krishna. 

Whatever is required by the spiritual seeker to proceed on his path is all given in the teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and is available at Prem Mandir, Vrindavan. There is such a wealth of both theoretical knowledge and material for meditation available via the holy inscriptions on the walls, the depiction of Radha Krishna leelas and the beautiful kirtan being sung in the mandir. This post is an attempt to clear up the confusion of Krishna chanting with an excerpt from an old publication by a senior devotee of  Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in Vrindavan, India in the 1980s. 

Love for Krishna is something very high. It is related to one's soul, one's original inner being. Compared with worldly love, Krishna's love is uncountable times greater. It is boundlessly great. Then why is not experienced in the beginning? Because, the heart is not pure. It is clouded with mayic defilements. But, when a devotee is in bhao [bhava] bhakti, these experessions occur. Some devotees may feel tears, a thrill in the heart or some other emotional feeling, frequently or occasionally. There must be something. There should not be dry devotion for years and years without emotional feelings. If it is so, there is something wrong. Either your practice of devotion is incorrect or your spiritual teacher is unable to impart to you the real affinity for Krishna. A speech of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is notable in this reference.

Maharabhuji never talked much. Mostly he gave practical satsang of chanting of Krishna name and leelas. Sometimes he spoke on devotional theory. Once while his close devotees were sitting around him he spoke a verse:

[Bengali Verse]

There is a promise in this verse. It is our tradition that if you say a thing three times it becomes a promise. He said three times "In the age of kali, the 'remembrance' of Krishna name is the only way to receive the Divine enlightenment and entrance into the Divine abode".

Correct chanting of Krishna name by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
According to the teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, chanting
the name of Krishna is not the same as chanting the word Krishna

The present age of materialism is called kali, and Harer-nam means 'the name of Krishna'. Krishna name means Krishna phenomena; it means Radha, Krishna, Their associates, Their abode, names, leelas, virtues and associates.

There is a big difference between 'name' and 'word'. For example, a woman longing for a child for years becomes pregnant. She decides to call him Mohan if she gets a baby son. Mohan is a common name in India. Many times she has heard this name, but had never taken any notice. Now this name has a meaning in her life which is closely related to her being, although her son has not materialized yet. Imagining all sorts of playful acts of her unborn child, whenever she utters this name she becomes engrossed in the loving imagination of her child. She imagines first and utters the name of her child afterwards. This is remembrance of the name.

Thus, Harer-nam means the name of Krishna, not the word Krishna. Without loving remembrance of Radha Krishna, the mechanical repetition of Krishna mantra or name makes no sense. There must be a unity of heart and mind with Krishna. If there is no affinity of any degree, there is no love and without love the mere repetition of the word "Krishna" has little spiritual value. Gaurang Mahaprabhuji clearly stressed that devotion, remembrance or chanting must be done with a warm heart filled with love for Krishna, not an empty heart. If you do not feel affinity at least you must long for affinity. Even longing to receive affinity is also the first form of affinity. In one sentence you can say that you have to love and remember your Divine beloved, using any of His names. When your heart is filled with the Grace of a rasik Saint, you will feel a natural growth of affinity bhao within you.

-Excerpt from an old writing by one of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's senior devotees

Correct chanting of Krishna name by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, founder of Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

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