~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

— Chapter Two —

Chanting the Holy Name

All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to Srila Srivas Pandit and to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

Unflinching devotion is superior

SRILA HARIDASA CONTINUED to weep in ecstatic love. Lord Gauracandra encircled him with His arms in a loving embrace and said "O Haridasa, a devotee of your caliber is rarely found. You are well-versed in all spiritual conclusions and you are always unaffected by maya.

"Taking birth in a low family and caste, you have proven to the world that Lord Krsna is not obtained merely by amassing wealth, position, lineage or refinement. Whoever has developed unflinching faith in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Lord is factually superior to the demigods.

"You are learned in all the truths of the holy name of the Lord; your spiritual conduct is exemplary; and you are an expert preacher. So, Haridasa! Kindly reveal to Me the unlimited glories of the holy name. Allow Me to savor your words.

Symptoms of different Vaisnavas

"One who chants the holy name even once is considered a Vaisnava devotee; he should be respected by the householders. The devotee who constantly chants Krsna's name is a more elevated Vaisnava, for he is endowed with all good qualities. The most advanced Vaisnava of all is he who inspires others who see him to immediately chant the Lord's name. When he chants the holy name even once, attraction to rendering continuous devotional service to the Lord is instantly established. Kindly tell Me how the jivas can be made to chant the Lord's name in this manner. Please reveal to Me this all-auspicious prescription."

The spiritual identity of the holy name

Srila Haridasa clasped his hands together. His eyes brimming with tears and voice choked in spiritual love, he began his reply in soft, gentle tones: "Lord Krsna's name is like an eternal and transcendental touchstone. A touchstone can grant all desirable objects; the touchstone of Lord Krsna's holy name can give religiosity, wealth, sense pleasure and liberation to a materialistic person. To a surrendered devotee, it offers pure love of Krsna.

"Lord Krsna and His holy name are identical; They are one and the same Absolute Truth, the all-inclusive yet supremely independent form of dynamic spirituality, full of emotion, without beginning or end. Always situated in pure goodness, the holy name descends to this world in the shape of letters as the complete incarnation and embodiment of the highest sweetness: rasa.

"Any object is known by four characteristic features: name, form, qualities and activities. Lord Krsna is the Supreme Object; thus He is knowable in terms of His unlimited and eternal name, form, qualities and pastimes. The absence of these four features in anything denies its status as object. For example, impersonal Brahman is formless; hence it is not an object unto itself, but simply a distinctive trait of the Supreme Lord.

The holy name is all-attractive

"Lord Krsna is the non-dual absolute object who perfectly manifests Himself in these four features. These features are fully potent and able to express Him in totality; they exist and are sustained by the Lord's sandhini (eternal existence) potency. They are eternal and transcendental. As Lord Krsna attracts all living entities, similarly the holy name, which is non-different from Him, also attracts everyone.