The Author of Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrita II


The Author on the Name

WE learn from Chaitanya Charitamrita that we should incessantly recite the Name of Krishna as He is the essence of all mantras. It relieves the devotees from the bondage of the world and leads him to the Holy Feet of Krishna. In this Iron Age there is no other religious observance than the utterance of the Name. Whoever recites the Name is filled with an ecstasy of love for the all-loving God, this is the special characteristic of the Name. Love for God is the highest object of human achievement. Piety, acquisition, predilection and deliverance are as straws in comparison. The joy derived from love for Krishna is to the joy that the aspirant derives from the knowledge that he is Brahma, is to him as the ocean of nectar to a drop of water, or the resplendent sun to the phosphorescent glow-worm. It is the nature of that love to raise the mind to a divine elevation and generate a desire for the attainment of the Holy Feet of Krishna. It makes the devotee laugh and weep and sing and dance in an ecstasy of joy. He perspires, shivers and becomes discoloured and is merged in the nectarine ocean of love. It is the duty of the devotees to sing the glory of Krishna in chorus and to impart to all the knowledge of the greatness of the Name and thus pave the way for real emancipation from the bondage of illusion. Sri Krishna Chaitanya said that He did not dance of His own accord but the Name of Krishna made Him sing and dance. The Name destroys the very germ of sin and endows the reciter with superb devotion to the God of Vaikuntha. This devotion is converted into love for Him, which in its ecstasy makes the devotee perspire, shiver and shed tears in profusion. Such is the efficacy of the Name that if we utter the Name only once we get rid of worldly bondage and serve Krishna. If the repeated recital of the Name does not make one shed genuine tears it must be concluded that he is indulging in a sinful taking of the Name.

Two non-Hindus uttered the Name in joke and from that moment they continue to recite the Name in spite of themselves.

Chaitanya Deva said to the Kazi, “It is strange that you utter the Name. You are absolved from all sins. You take the three Names of ‘Hari’, ‘Krishna’, and ‘Narayana’. You are indeed very fortunate. In the sloka—

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

the expression


(Hari’s Name) occurs thrice in order to give emphasis; the word ‘eba’ (it is the Name) is used to make the meaning clear to the dull-headed. By the word kebala (only) we are to know it for certain that it is the Name alone and not knowledge, yoga or tapa or any other processes that will do. He who thinks otherwise will not be emancipated. Hence “nastyeba” (certainly none) occurs thrice.

In this Iron Age Krishna comes down to this world as the Name. The Name frees us from the bondage of the world.

Shake off your pride and give honour to others. Be humbler than a blade of grass and take the Name. Even if a man utters His Name in course of villifying Him he is freed from worldly affinity.

While starting for Neelachal, Mahaprabhu advised His followers to go home and chant the Name incessantly. Hear and chant the Name and you will have love for Krishna, the highest object of human achievement. Be free from envy and recite the Name. In this dark Age there is no other religion, as we learn from the Vaishnaba Shastras. (Madhya ch. 9 & 11)

The Lord says that householders should serve Krishna and the Vaishnabas and chant the Name of Krishna in chorus without intermission (Madhya ch. 15).

He who utters the Name of Krishna a single time is an object of veneration. It washes away all sins and creates devotion. He who recites the Name does not require initiation or other religious rites. It redeems all from the highest to the lowest, attracts the mind and fills it with love for Krishna. So he who utters the Name even a single time is a Vaishnava and deserves respect. He who utters the Name incessantly is a Vaishnava of a higher order and that person the very sight of whom makes us utter the Name is a Vaishnava of the highest order (Madhya ch. 16).

The Author on the Form of God.

We derive our knowledge of God from the Vedas and the Puranas. Brahma is of infinite dimensions and is the Lord of all. He is possessed of majesty, prowess, glory, beauty, knowledge and detachment in their fullness and plenitude. The so-called Vedantists call Him Formless. What the Vedas mean by calling Him undifferentiated is that His body is not a tenement of sentient clay but made of spiritual elements. The universe comes out of Brahma, is protected by Him and dissolves in Brahma. Here we have the three cases of grammar, viz., the ablative, the instrumental and the locative. Hence we come to know that Brahma is differentiated.

When God wanted to manifest Himself as many He cast a glance on His Prakrita Shakti (nature as his deluding energy). At that time there was no eye of natural elements; so the mind and eyes of Brahma were supernatural. The word Brahma denotes possession of majesty, prowess, glory, knowledge, beauty and apathy in their entirety and we learn from the shastras that He is Krishna and none else. The meaning of the Veda is not easily ascertainable. The Purana makes the meaning clear.

‘Fortunate are the natives of Braja,’ says the Srimad Bhagavata, “Since the eternal Brahma who is the embodiment of bliss manifests Himself t them as their friend.”

The Vedic saying that He has no hand and foot implies that He has no limbs of flesh and blood. The Vedas also say that He walks fast and holds all; this implies distinctive spiritual activities. Those who do not accept the real meaning but impute some other call Him formless, His form is of majesty and joy in their fulness. Still the pseudo-Vedantists call Him formless. Brahma is possessed of all sorts of power and His Form is of existence, knowledge and bliss absolute; yet these illusionists have the temerity to hold that He has no form and power of His own.

(To be continued.)