Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




sankirtan

“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remained for some days at Ālālanātha. In the meantime, He received news that all the devotees from Bengal were coming to Jagannātha Purī. When the devotees from Bengal arrived at Jagannātha Purī, both Nityānanda Prabhu and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya greatly endeavored to take Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu back to Jagannātha Purī. When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu finally left Ālālanātha to return to Jagannātha Purī, He was overwhelmed both day and night due to separation from Jagannātha. His lamentation knew no bounds. During this time, all the devotees from different parts of Bengal, and especially from Navadvīpa, arrived in Jagannātha Purī. After due consideration, all the devotees began chanting the holy name congregationally. Lord Caitanya’s mind was thus pacified by the ecstasy of the chanting.“[1]

So, kirtan is the answer to many questions. You know what is kirtan. Kirtan is the happy and loud chanting of the names, sometimes accompanied by dancing and singing and music and jumping. You cannot do that in a morose way. As it is said, you cannot enter the heaven with a sour face. How can we enter Mahaprabhu’s kirtan with some sadness in our hearts? So although He was deeply engrossed in the pain of separation, nevertheless the kirtan, dancing and singing, was an answer, was a solace for that distress.

This secret is especially known in Bengal, that if you call something by the name, it will just appear to you. So, we just call: “Paramananda! Paramananda!” and he arrives. Or you chant “Jay mahaprasad” at the end of the programs and soon it comes. These are magical words. And if you say: “Hare Krishna!” don’t be surprised if He arrives.

But this is only half a joke. This is serious also. One very nice, serious, senior acharya from India, Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj – who is the president of World Vaishnava Association – he used to say that if you chant “Hare Krishna!” this is just like when you put invitation banner on your door. But you are not happy to receive your guest when He comes? It is not nice. “Come, my Lord, I want to serve You, give me some service!” and when He comes and gives you some service, you say: “Right now I am busy.” We should not use empty words, empty invitations. We should always try to chant and say with very deep and sincere emotions this mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and you will see the effects, the results.

So, the science of the name starts with philosophy: the name and the named is not different. In the material sphere there is a difference; you say: „water, water” and you are still thirsty. In spiritual sense there is no difference between the name of God and God Himself. Because as I mentioned earlier, Supreme Lord appears in different realms, different layers of existence. In the realm of sounds He exists as the holy name. This is something very important, please, try to remember. In the world of sounds He exists as the name. So it does not matter if you are blind; you can associate with Him through the sound, through the names. This philosophy that nama and nami is the same comes from this deep spiritual realization. So if we have the spiritual thirst after God’s company, we say “Krishna, Krishna!” and He will come. And some say that those who are very expert in relishing the mahamantra, they are not interested in the object depicted by the name, they are interested in the name itself. Do you understand? It is not God, it’s the name that is important.

And you as fathers and mothers or just by yourself, you can see, you can feel how important the name is. If somebody calls you by the name, you pay attention. Therefore if we call God by the name, He also pays attention. And if you invite Him and you cover half a distance, He also pays attention and covers the other half. So the meeting point is the nama itself. Through the name, by the name you can meet the Supreme.



[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.123-126



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