Relishing Mahamantra

 


 

Two Types of Chanting:

Whether we are offensive or non-offensive, it is our bounden duty to serve bhakti devi by chanting with love and respect. If we are inoffensive, we shall attain prem and if we are offensive, we shall obliterate our offenses and after that, gain prem.

Srimat Jiva Goswamipad has instructed us to chant with love. He has said –

“We can chant the Holy Name in two manners –
1. just chant
2. chant lovingly
If we ‘just chant’ – that is, chant simply without any emotion, and if we are inoffensive we shall attain the divine abode. However if we chant with love we can get close to Sri Bhagavan and gain His seva. The Gopis had met the Sri Krishna in Kurukshetra. Then He had extolled their love by saying –
‘Dear Vraja-beauties, living beings become immortal because of their devotion unto me. Your love forces me to come near you’ – (S.B.10.81.31)” – (Krama-Sandarbha purport to S.B.6.2.20)

These divine words prove that love is the best way to drag Sri Krishna to us. Similarly if we chant lovingly the Holy Name will surely manifest Sri Krishna before us.


 

How to chant with love:

If we exclusively love the Holy Name then we should call out the Mahamantra with intense longing. With how much passion should we call out our beloved Harinam? Srila Sanatan Goswamipad has given a wonderful example (B.B.2.3.167) –

“With how much longing the thirsty chataks call out when it does not sight any cloud during the monsoon, with how much passion the chakravaki laments out of separation from her lover at night – a devotee, suffering in the pangs of viraha, and with an agitated soul, should loudly and thirstily call out his Beloved”.

If we understand the meaning of the Mahamantra, relish it and then chant the Holy Name, we shall very soon gain the blessings of Sri Nam-prabhu and start loving Him.


 

What does the Mahamantra mean?

Different explanation from different Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas:

Namacharya Thakur Sri Haridas has given a most wonderful explanation of the Mahamantra. The devotees of Lord Goursundar will surely relish it.

“ekdin haridas nirjone boshiya,
mahamantra jope harshe premabishto hoiya.
hashe kande nache gay gorje huhunkar,
acharjya gosai asi kore namaskar.
sankoch paiya hoilo bhalo sambaran,
acharje pranami tiho arpilo asan.
boshiya acharjya gosai kore nibedan,
ek boro samshay mone koroho chhedan.
kalijuge abatar srikrishna-chaitanya,
chaitanya bhajaye jei sei boro dhonno.
tumi hao chaitanyer parshad pradhan,
sri-krishna-chaitanya chhadi keno gao an?
athaba ki marma jani premanande bhasho?
sarba jeebe harinam koile upadesho.
nibedoy haridas kori karajode,
sarba-tatta-betta tumi keno puchho more?
ki ba chhol acharoho pamor shodhite,
nibedan kori shuno jaha loy chitte.
kalijuge sri-krishna-chaitanya gudho abatar,
koti samudra gambhir nam tam leela janr.
guru-bhabe koray tinho apona jojone,
harinam mahamantra dilo sarbajane.
sri-krishna-chaitanya kalijug abatar,
harinam mahamantra juga-dharma sar.
mahamantre sri-krishna-chaitanya bhinno kobhu noy,
nam nami bhed nahi sarba shastre koy.”

Meaning – “One day Haridas Thakur was sitting in a secluded place, absorbed in chanting the Mahamantra. He was chanting joyously with love. He was laughing, crying, singing and roaring with a deafening noise. Just then Adwaita acharya entered and paid obeisance. An embarrassed Thakur Haridas immediately controlled himself. He returned the obeisance and offered the acharya a seat. Adwaita Prabhu sat down and requested Haridas Thakur to solve his doubt. He said – ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya is the Lord God in Kaliyug, so naturally whosoever worships Him is blessed. You are the foremost of all the associates of the Lord. Then why do you forsake the Holy Name of Sri Krishna Chaitanya and sing some other name? And what is your realization that makes you float in blissful prem? When the Holy Name of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the topmost, then why did you instruct all living beings to chant Mahamantra?’

Thakur Srila Haridas humbly folded his palms and replied – ‘You are the -Knower of Truth; then why do You ask me? You are only pretending not to know anything, simply to teach the fallen souls. Anyway, I shall do as You like. It is true that Sri Krishna Chaitanya is the secret avatar in the Kaliyug and His divine pastimes are as deep as innumerable oceans. He takes on the role of the Spiritual Master and makes us worship Him. That is why he has given everybody Harinam- Mahamantra. Sri Krishna Chaitanya is the Lord  in Kaliyug and He has given us Harinam-Mahamantra that is the essence of this age. The Mahamantra is in no way different from Sri Krishna Chaitanya, since all the scriptures declare that nam is non-different from nami.”

Then Thakur Srila Haridas illuminated every word of the Mahamantra for our relish –

Hare – She Who is the daughter of Vrishabhanu and is the crest-jewel of all the beloveds of Sri Krishna, has now descended as Sri Chaitanya, hence He is ‘Hare’.

Krishna – Srimad-Bhagavatam glorifies Him as the ‘Son of Nanda’ – that ‘Krishna’ has now appeared as this Chaitanya Gosai.

Hare – He stole everything from Vraja and descended in Nadia; hence the ‘hare’ for Sri Krishna Chaitanya is most apt.

Krishna – He attracted the hearts of all living beings and sowed the seed of bhakti, hence the ‘Krishna’ indeed belongs to Him.

Krishna – He is ‘Krishna’ within and without, and His entire being is absorbed in the sound vibration of ‘Krishna’ – therefore we decide He is ‘Krishna’.

Krishna – He assumed the garb of a sannyasi and attracted the atheists – thus He is definitely ‘Krishna’.

Hare – He steals the hearts and souls of the devotees with His extraordinary sweetness – this is the significance of His name ‘Hare’.

Hare – He steals the hearts of His devotees so that He can steal their hearts in return – for this reason Sri Chaitanya is named ‘Hare’.

———

Hare – Lord Krishna stole His Own sweetheart and ascended on earth – so Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Who is the essence of Kaliyug is ‘Hare’.

Ram – The Divine Couple unite with each other and thus wander in Nabadweep in supreme pleasure, therefore Sri Chaitanya is ‘Ram’ in this Kaliyug.

Hare – Sri Chaitanya steals all the inauspicious qualities from the living beings, as a result, His name ‘hare’ is most propitious.

Ram – He love-sports in the hearts of His devotees, hence He has the name ‘Ram’.

Ram – He is passionately aroused to relish Himself, therefore Sri Chaitanya has the name ‘Ram’.

Ram – Lord Chaitanya manifested His form of Sri Ram Who is the Son of queen Kaushalya and had appeared in the Treta yug – consequently He is ‘Ram’.

Hare – He stole Haridas Thakur’s heart with His sweetness; hence He got the name ‘Hare’.

Hare – He stole His own heart with His own sweet bhav and became like a tortoise. As a result He became famous in the world as ‘Hare’.

I have revealed the most confidential meaning of Harinam, something that none of the scriptures can even dream about.”


 

Srimat Jiva Goswamipad explains the Mahamantra

sarva-cheto harah krishnasttasya chittam haratyasou,
vaidagdhi saravistarairato radha hara mata.1.

“Sri Krishna steals everyone’s heart, while Srimati Radharani steals His heart with Her intense vaidagdhi – hence She is called ‘Hara’ and addressed as ‘Hare’.”

karshati sweeya lavanya-murali-kala-nihswanaih,
sri-radham mohana-gunalankritah krishna irshyate.2.

“He drags Srimati Radharani with His lavanya and sweet vibrations of the flute – hence That mesmerizing One is called ‘Krishna’.”

shruyate neeyate rase harina harinekshana,
ekakini rahahkunje hareyam tena kathyate.3.

“We have heard that during the Ras-leela, Sri Hari steals Srimati Radharani when She is alone and takes Her in a secluded kunja – because She is ‘the stolen one’ – She is ‘Hara’.”

angashyamalimastomaih shyamalikritakanchanah,
ramate radhaya sardhamatah krishno nigadyate.4.

“He turns the color of gold into dark green with His blue splendor; this means He makes the golden-complexioned Sri Radha look dark green when He makes love to Her – so He is ‘Krishna’.”

kritvaranye sarah shreshtham kantayanumatastaya,
akrishya sarvateerthani tajgyanat krishna irshyate.5.

“With the permission of His beloved Srimati Radharani, He attracted all the holy places in Vrindavan and created a great lake (Shyamkund) – so He is ‘Krishna’.”

krishneti radhaya premna yamunatatakananam,
leelaya lalitashchapi dheeraih krishna udahritah.6.

“Sri Krishna is attracted by Srimati Radharani’s love and laments in the gardens on the banks of the Yamuna in dheer-lalita bhav – therefore the wise call Him ‘Krishna’.”

hatavan gokule tishthannarishtam dushtapungavam,
sriharistam rasaduchchairgayatiti hara mata.7.

“Sri Hari kills the evil Arishtasur in Vraja and She extols Him loudly as ‘Hari’ in a mood full of ras – so She is ‘Hara’.”

hasphutam rayati preetibharena haricheshtitam,
gayatiti mata dheererhara rasa-vichakshanaih.8.

“She glorifies Sri Hari’s activities openly with love, so the wise connoisseurs of rasa call Her ‘Hara’.
rasavesa-parisrastam jahara muralim hareh
hareti kirtita devi vipine keli-lampata

Due to the intense love of Sri Radha, Sri Hari becomes so captivated that His flute falls from His hand. With the desire to enjoy in the forest bowers with Krsna, Radha steals His flute. That goddess is thus famous as Hara.

govardhana-dari-kunje parirambha-vicaksanah
sri radham ramayamasa ramastena mato harih

Krsna, who is expert at embracing, sports with Radha in the forest groves or in the caves of Govardhana. Thus He is known as Rama.

hanti duhkhani bhaktanam rati saukhyani canvaham
hara devi nigadita maha-karunya-salini

That most merciful Radha destroys the miseries of Her devotees and gives them great happiness every day. Therefore that goddess is known as Hara.

ramate bhajato cetah paramananda-varidhau
atreti kathito ramah syamasundara-vigrahah

The minds of the devotees are continuously drowned in an ocean of supreme joy by seeing the beautiful dark form of Krsna. Therefore He is known by the Name Rama.

ramayaty-acyutam premna nikunja-vana-mandire
rama nigadita radha ramo yutas taya punah

Radharani is known as Rama because She enjoys loving pastimes with Acyuta (Krsna) in a secret forest pavilion. Since He is always by Her side, He is known as Rama.

rodanair gokule davanalam asayati hyasau
visosayati tenokto ramo bhakta-sukhavahah

When the residents of Gokula were crying due to fear of the forest fire, Krsna immediately swallowed it and gave His devotees great joy. In this way, He is known as Rama.

nihantum asuran yato mathura-puram ity-asau
tadagamad-rahah-kamo yasyah sa’sau hareti ca

Sri Krsna went to Mathurapuri in order to destroy the demons. However, due to being captivated by the love of Radha, He later returned. Therefore She is known as Hara.

agatya duhkha-harta yo sarvesam vraja-vasinam
sri radha-hari-carito harih sri nandanandanah

When the son of Maharaja Nanda returned to Vraja, He took away the suffering of all the Vrajavasis. By His wonderful exploits, He steals the heart of Sri Radha. Thus He is known as Hari.


 

Srila Raghunath das Goswami’s relish of the Mahamantra

Srila Raghunath das Goswami has revealed a supremely enjoyable meaning of the Mahamantra and Srila Shibananda Sen’s son Sri Chaitanya das has rendered it in the form of a poem in simple Bengali. Since Srila Das Goswaami is in Manjari-bhaav, he has revealed Srimati Radharani’s rendering of the Mahaamantra !!! We present the English
translation here.

O Hare – You reveal Your bewitching form and steal my eyes and heart with Your sweetness,

O Krishna – You are the abode of joy and You are most attractive, I can see none but You.

O Hare – You shatter my self-control, fear of the elders and family-honor,

O Krishna – You drag me with the notes of Your flute and make me forget my body and everything related to it.

O Krishna – You shock me by tugging at my bodice and pulling me close,

O Krishna – You touch my breasts under so many pretexts and are always restless because of Your anuraag for me.

O Hare – You steal me and take me to the flower-grove where You beg to make love,

O Hare – then the very next moment You steal my secret clothes and express Your deepest longing.
———
O Hare – You take pleasure in stealing my clothes and steal all the barriers in my heart,

O Ram – You look so pleasurable, and moreover You express so much vaidagdhi and ultimately fulfill Your desire.

O Hare – No one is more eager or expert then You in stealing the hairline on the midriff, and all my aversion,

O Ram – then you reveal so many arts of love-making and make me float in ras.

O Ram – Your pleasure-sports are most pleasurable and I lose myself in Your joy,

O Ram – Whenever I think of You making love to me, Your handsome ras-form reveals in my mind’s eye.

O Hare – There is no limit to Your stealing, how you steal my very consciousness and make me forget everything!

O Hare – You steal my bosom like a lion and I have none but You.

You are my soul and I do not know anyone else other than You. In Your viraha even one moment appears like hundreds of kalpas. And You, on the other hand, go far from me like one so unfeeling – tell me what do I do? Poet Chaitanya das says – “Do not worry the one who has so much anurag will surely get Her Beloved very soon.” – (Padakalpataru)

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Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj

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