~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

Summary

"The holy name is the greatest and yet the easiest obtainable spiritual treasure. This treasure is obtained when the jiva simply chants with faith and devotion, not caring for karma, jnana and yoga. The jiva quickly and easily ascends to the highest perfection by following the method of nama-bhajana already described This method is the best of methods, even better than other methods of bhakti. The basic requirement for successful accomplishment of nama-bhajana is that the sadhaka must totally shun bad association and engage in the practice of devotional service in the company of saintly devotees of the Lord. Pure love of Krsna is the expression of unalloyed devotional service. Only a pure devotee's heart has the inclination and capability of receiving prema; the non-devotee's heart denies it. Prema refuses to enter the heart of one who does not keep the company of pure devotees, the jiva's decision to accept either good or bad association has a powerful and lasting influence on his destiny.

"There are three essential traits that must be cultivated to obtain success in chanting: saintly association, isolation from the disturbances of mundane life, and determined, confident enthusiasm." After saying this, Srila Haridasa Thakura declared himself to be very low and materially engrossed, bereft of good association and always engaged in self-deception. Although Srila Haridasa is himself a nitya-siddha associate of the Lord, he expressed himself in this humble way. Humility is the ornament of prema.

The Lord's special favor upon Haridasa Thakura

Srila Haridasa continued, "O Lord, kindly shower upon me Your causeless mercy (ahaituki-krpa). I pray that You grant me entry into the realm of bhakti-rasa" Saying this, Srila Haridasa fell unconscious in loving ecstasy, fully self-surrendered-at the Lord's lotus feet.

Ahaituki-krpa means 'causeless mercy'. By saying this, Srila Haridasa implied that he was spiritually unaccomplished and therefore had no hope for the kind of mercy Lord Krsna bestows upon His pure devotees. In his mood of utter helplessness he simply prayed for Lord Caitanya's unconditional grace.

Srila Haridasa Thakura is famous for nama-bhajana and teaching the glories of the holy name, yet he is also the recipient

of Lord Caitanya's mercy. He is such an authority on the philosophy of nama-rasa that once, when Lord Caitanya was relishing the topics of Radha-Krsna lila with Sri Ramananda Raya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya in the courtyard of Srila Haridasa Thakura's bhajana-kutira, Srila Haridasa repeatedly expounded at length on the glories of nama-rasa to the rapt attention of the other exalted persons present.

Hearing this, Lord Caitanya was moved by divine loving emotions. He lifted Srila Haridasa up and embraced him. The Lord then spoke in confidence to him. "O Haridasa! Listen attentively to what I have to say. The truth about the holy name will be hidden by mischievous rascals who will create a dark shroud of ignorance over the entire world. At that time, these excellent and unrivalled instructions of yours about chanting in the association of saintly persons shall be understood only by a remaining handful of devotees."

What did Lord Caitanya mean by 'mischievous rascals'? The prime candidates for this appellation are the various upstart sects like the sahajiyas, aulas, baulas and so on, who propagate bogus mundane doctrines disguised as Mahaprabhu's own teachings. Indeed, they conceal from the world the pure philosophy of Krsna consciousness expounded by the Lord Himself in His Sri Siksastaka.

The Lord continued, "The true path of the holy name will be followed by saintly souls who are totally detached from material life. They will chant the holy name with bhava; because of this, they will be known as rasika-bhaktas. Their bhava will be that of separation. By their chanting they will relish the pastimes of Radha-Krsna and Their eight principal gopi girlfriends.

"The jiva is blessed with pure bhakti only on the strength of his sukrti, or piety and faith. Not everyone is entitled to have such devotion. In order to intensify their devotion, I have descended and propagated the chanting of the holy name as the religion for this age. The chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is factually the jiva's inherent and eternal religion.

"O Haridasa! I depend upon you to accomplish this task, and thus I hear from you the glories of the holy name."

The Harinama Cintamani, the touchstone of the Lord's holy name, is an unfathomable mine of divine nectar. Whoever tastes it is truly fortunate and is blessed by Krsna. He is a great soul and, always blissfully serves Lord Krsna in spontaneous loving devotion. I am a fallen soul; I clasp his feet and humbly pray that the remnants of this nectar should be distributed profusely, thus spreading the divine bliss to everyone.

— Thus Ends Sri Harinama Cintamani —