Holy Name in Scriptures

All scriptures  and the saints have openly extolled the glory of chanting the Holy Name. It is Yuga dharma . The only way to be freed from the cycle of birth and death in kaliyuga .  Though the knowledge is preserved from eternity, it is the role of Yuga Avataar to promote the yuga dharma Harinaam sankirtan . Though all the vaishnava acharyas have glorified the Holy name, it was Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the Yuga Avataar who promoted the chanting of Holy Name as predicted in sastras . The whole world is the witness to that.

Some references for example: There are other references also.

Sri Prahlada Mahasaya said: “O Maha-purusa! In this way, You descend as a human being, as an animal, a sage, a demigod and a fish to protect the people and to destroy the demons, who wish to wreak havoc. Thus You protect religious principles according to the yuga. But in the Kali-yuga You are channa, hidden, and (although You are not openly manifest to protect the saints and destroy the demons like in other Yugas) You promulgate the Yuga-dharma [Sri Harinama-Sankirtana]. Hence You are known as Tri-yuga: He who openly descends in the Satya-, Treta- and Dvapara-yuga and who descends in a hidden way in the Kali-yuga.” (S.B.. 7.9.38)

In the Urdhamnaya Samhita is written:

kalau purandarat Sacyaù gaura rupo vibhuù smrtaù
mahaprabhur iti khyataù sarva lokaika pavanaù

In the age of Kali, the Lord will descend in a golden form from  Saci-devi and will become famous as ‘Mahaprabhu’, the purifier of the whole world“.

“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions” (S.B. 11.5.32)

Some envious devotees in other authenticated sampradayasjust trying to promote the teachings of their sampradaya as supreme  try to diminish the glory of Sri Cahitanya Mahaprabhu by stating that the scriptural references can mean even to the other great acharyas . With all respect to the great acharyas , their spiritual identities have been clearly explained in scriptures . Promoting the glories of the holy Name and Harinaam sankirtan (congregational chanting to worship Krishna ) as the  only means in kaliyuga was the special characteristic teachings of the golden avataar Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu(Who showed this by his own example ). Not any of the other acharyas has done it even if they have openly acknowledged the glories of the holy Name in some places .


The glories of Holy Name of Lord (Yuga Dharma ) in scriptures :

In the Brihan-naradiya Purana (38.126), it is very emphatically stated:

harer naam harer naam, harer naamiva kevalam;
kalau nasty eva nasty eva, nasty eva gatir anyatha.

“For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali which is full of quarrel and hypocrisy, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.”

prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin
yuge janah mandah sumanda-matayo
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah

O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. [Sukadeva Goswami] SB 1.1.10

dure vary-ayanam tirtham lavanyam kesa-dharanam
udaram-bharata svarthah satyatve dharstyam eva hi
daksyam kutumba-bharanam yaso ‘rthe dharma-sevanam

A sacred place will be taken to consist of no more than a reservoir of water located at a distance, and beauty will be thought to depend on one’s hairstyle. Filling the belly will become the goal of life, and one who is audacious will be accepted as truthful. He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert man, and the principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of reputation. (Bhag.12.2.6)

kaler dosa-nidhe rajan
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age; simply by doing kirtan of  the Name of Krishna  one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcedental kingdom. (Bhag.12.3.51)

krite yad dhyayate visnu tretaya yajato makhai
dvapare paricaryaya kalau tad dhari-kirtanat (Bhag. 12.3.52)

“The results attained in the Satya-yuga by meditating on Visnu, in the Treta-yuga by offering huge sacrifices and in the Dvapara-yuga by deity worship, are all attained in the age of Kali simply by Sri Hari-kirtana.”
kali sabhajayantyarya gunajna sara bhagina
yatra sankirtanenaiva sarva svartho’bhilabhyate (Bhag. 11.5.36)
“The great sages, who know the essence and qualities of things, praise the age of Kali, for in it the human race can attain all perfection simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord.”

The Rig Veda has stated –

“om ahasya jananto nama chidviviktan mahaste vishno sumatim bhajamahe om tatsadityadi.” – (1.156.3)

Srimat Jiva Goswamipad has explained this verse as follows –
“O Vishno! Your name is conscious and hence self-manifested. If we do not realize the correct way to pronounce it or entirely comprehend its glory – if we know only little bit of its magnificence and continue to chant we shall gain knowledge about You”

Sri Krishna has told Sri Arjun in adi puran –

Dear Arjun, who sing my name and dance before me – I am telling the truth – they buy me (I become their slave). Who sing my name and cry before me I become their slave since I am Janardana . I do not belong to anyone else.

Sri Krishna has told in the Mahabharat –
“Krishna (Draupadi) has called out to me crying “Govinda!” although I am so far from her – this cry rendered from her heart has put me in a debt that is increasing every moment – this debt is refusing to leave my mind (I cannot forget this debt).”

Sri Bali Maharaj told Shukracharya in Brihan-Naradiya Puran –

When the two syllables “‘Ha’ and ‘ri’” are present on the tip of one’s tongue he attains the realm of Sri Vishnu and he never returns to this world.”

Lord Shiva told Sri Narad in Linga Puran –
Harinam destroys the evils of Kaliyug; if someone chants this name while going, sitting, standing, sleeping, eating, and breathing, just to complete a sentence or without any reason or reverence – he attains liberation; and who chants Harinam with devotion goes to His abode and gains the Supreme Being.

Srimad-Bhagavatam recommends chanting of the Holy Name as the supreme means and the topmost achievable goal –

yoginam nripa nirnitam harer-namanukirtanam.” – (S.B.2.1.11)

Shridhar Swami has explained this verse as follows –
“No means is greater than chanting the Holy Name for the sadhak or for a siddha (one who has realized his spiritual goal). Therefore Srimad- Bhagavatam is saying – ‘O King, who wants to fulfill material desires must necessarily chant the Holy Name to accomplish their goal; the ones striving for liberation too have only one option – that is, to chant the Holy Name; when the yogis (the gyanis) practice their path nicely it makes them take to the path of chanting the Holy Name. There is no need to cite any evidence for this – that is why Srimad-Bhagavatam uses the word ‘nirnitam’, meaning, it is an axiom –have no doubt about it.”

We can achieve all our desires by resorting to Sri Harinam Sankirtan alone and although we may not perfect other parts of bhajan, simply by chanting the Holy Name we attain perfection.

We can chant the Holy Name in any place or at any time. Srimat Jiva Goswamipad has written –

Chanting the Holy Name has the same power in all the ages, however in Kaliyug Sri Bhagavan Himself exhorts the living being to chant, hence it has more glory in Kaliyug. In an ordinary Kaliyug, Sri Bhagavan appears as a Yugavatar and spreads the Holy Name, but this is a very special Kaliyug since Swayam Bhagavan Sriman-Mahaprabhu has descended along with His associates. He Himself chants the Holy Name and makes the living beings do so. Therefore Harinam kirtan is more wonderful now. Even though we have to perform other parts of bhajan, we should do them along with chanting.”

When Karbhajan Rishi described the yuga-dharma of Kaliyug he told King Nimi –

In Kaliyug the ones who are very intelligent worship Sri Hari with plenty of Sankirtan-yagna (by chanting lots of Harinam)” – (S.B.11.5.32)

Sri Krishna-Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has revealed the Harinam Sankirtan. Whoever worships Him by chanting the Holy Name is indeed blessed. He alone has good intelligence while the rest of the people are foolish. Chanting the Holy Name is the essence of all yagnas.” – (C.C.adi.3.77-78)

The scriptures highly extol Sri Harinam kirtan and state its colossal power – let us hear some of it. The most sinful person can destroy his sins by taking refuge of the Holy Name –

Just as the roar of a lion drives out the wild animals man can annihilate all his sins by chanting the Holy Name.” – (Garud Puran)

What to speak of destroying sins; the Holy Name can redeem one even from the hell –

Wherever the residents of hell chanted the Holy Name they gained devotion for Sri Bhagavan and attained divine abodes.” – (Nrisimha Puran)

The Holy Name destroys mental as well as physical ailments –

As soon as we remember His Name and glorify Him all mental and physical ailments are destroyed – I pay obeisance unto That Sri Anantadev (Sri Bhagavan).” – (Skanda Puran)

When we chant the Holy Name constantly all our illnesses, troubles, disturbance are destroyed and we are fill with peace.” – (Brihad Vishnu Puran)

Even the most fallen sinner gains a pure heart and becomes a devotee if he chants the Holy Name continuously.” – (Brahmanda Puran)

Who chants the names Hare, Keshav, Govinda and Vasudev – Kaliyug has no mastery (effect) on them.” – (Brihan-Naradiya Puran)

My dear child, you need not recite the Rig, Sam and Yajur Vedas; simply chant the name of Govinda continuously since His Name alone is worthy of praise.” – (Skanda Puran)

We can get the result of serving hundreds of holy places by chanting Sri Vishnu’s name.” – (Vaman Puran)

It is extremely pious to donate one crore cows during the solar eclipse, to reside for one kalpa in the water of Ganga at Prayag, to perform one million yagnas and give gold equal to Moun Meru in alms – however they are not equal to a hundredth fraction of chanting Lord Govinda’s name.” – (Skanda Puran)

If we chant Sri Vishnu’s name we get rid of the cycle of birth and death, our enemies such as lust and anger are destroyed and we gain spiritual knowledge.” – (Skanda Puran)

There are various powers (shaktis) in alms-giving, fasting, austerities and holy places. Some shaktis can destroy all the sins of the devatas and grant well being. Rajsuya, Ashwamedh yagna and spiritual knowledge too have power. Bhagavan Sri Hari has dragged all those shaktis from there and placed them in His Name.” – (Skanda Puran)

The ones who chant ‘Narayan’, ‘Jagannath’, ‘Vasudev’, ‘Janardan’ etc are praised everywhere.” – (Brihan-Naradiya)

The ones who have no other respite, are steeped in sense gratification, are inimical by nature, without spiritual knowledge and material detachment and without any control over sexual desire and devoid of any righteous conduct – they can easily attain a state only by chanting the Holy Name – such that even the sum total of all-righteous people cannot reach.” – (Padma Puran)

The ones who always chant the names such as ‘Narayan’, ‘Achyuta’, ‘Ananta’, ‘Vasudev’ etc. are united with me.” – (Varaha Puran)

The one who always engages in sins, even he can attain the supreme abode of Sri Vishnu by chanting the Holy Name.” – (Nandi Puran)

Dear brahmins, the ones who constantly chant Your Holy Name in spite of being hungry and thirsty – Sri Hari is extremely pleased with them.” – (Brihan-Naradiya Puran)

Chanting the Holy Name of Sri Damodar is the only good thing in life – it is also treasure we can gain and the sole benefit of living.” – (Skanda Puran and Padma Puran)

The connoisseurs of bhakti ras consider the chanting of the Holy Name as the outcome of bhakti, since the Holy Name is the only sure way to arouse precious divine love – it never fails.” – (Srila Sanatan Goswami in Brihad- Bhagavatam.2.3.165)

Srila Sanatan Goswamipad has explained this statement as follows –
“Aho! How much can I extol Sri Harinam-sankirtan that is the greatest of all means? The connoisseurs of bhakti have ascertained chanting of the Holy Name as the highest achievable goal. You may ask – prem is the outcome of devotional practice and chanting is the means to achieve it, why are you calling it the ‘result of bhakti’? My answer is – You are right. However chanting the Holy Name leads certainly to prem (whosoever chants the Holy Name will surely get prem), hence we are calling it the result of bhakti. In fact there is no exception to this rule.”

Therefore the saints call Harinam-sankirtan as the product of bhakti. When we chant the Holy Name we naturally gain the priceless divine love –the result of devotional practice. Hence chanting is the goal.

Sriman-Mahaprabhu has stated with His holy lips –
Chanting the Holy Name destroys all our sins and redeems us from material attachment. It purifies the innermost heart and is the source of all devotional practices. It arouses Sri Krishna-prem, and makes us relish its nectar. It gives us Sri Krishna and immerses us in the nectarine ocean of seva.” – (C.C.Antya.20.10-11)

[Note: There are a lot of other references from vedic scriptures: Some other references  are presented in other articles]

Reference :

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj .



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