HH Giriraj Swami Lecture on Chanting Pt 2 of 2

HH Giriraj Swami Lecture on Chanting Pt 2 of 2

 
 
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HH Giriraj Swami Lecture on Chanting Pt 2 of 2
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” Second in a two part series by HH Giriraj Swami. This is a Lecture from the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 16, Text 70-72.

Dallas, TX CC Madhya 16.69: As in the previous year, one of the inhabitants of
Kulina-grama submitted a petition to the Lord, saying, “My Lord, kindly
tell me what my duty is and how I should execute it.”

CC Madhya
16.70: The Lord replied, “You should engage yourself in the service of
the servants of Krsna and always chant the holy name of Krsna. If you
do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Krsna’s lotus
feet.”

CC Madhya 16.71: The inhabitant of Kulīna-grama said,
“Please let me know who is actually a Vaisnava and what his symptoms
are.” Understanding his mind, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and gave
the following reply.

CC Madhya 16.72: “A person who is always
chanting the holy name of the Lord is to be considered a first-class
Vaisnava, and your duty is to serve his lotus feet.”

PURPORT

Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Thakura says that any Vaisnava who is
constantly chanting the holy name of the Lord should be considered to
have attained the second platform of Vaisnavism. Such a devotee is
superior to a neophyte Vaisnava who has just learned to chant the holy
name of the Lord. A neophyte devotee simply tries to chant the holy
name, whereas the advanced devotee is accustomed to chanting and takes
pleasure in it. Such an advanced devotee is called a
madhyama-bhagavata, which indicates that he has attained the
intermediate stage between the neophyte and the perfect devotee.
Generally a devotee in the intermediate stage becomes a preacher. A
neophyte devotee or an ordinary person should worship the
madhyama-bhagavata, who is a via medium.

In his Upadesamrta (5)
Srila Rupa Gosvami says, pranatibhis ca bhajantam Isam. This means that
madhyama-adhikari devotees should exchange obeisances between
themselves.

The word nirantara, meaning “without cessation,
continuously, constantly,” is very important in this verse. The word
antara means “interval.” If one has desires other than a desire to
perform devotional service — in other words, if one sometimes engages
in devotional service and sometimes strives for sense gratification —
his service will be interrupted. A pure devotee, therefore, should have
no desire other than to serve Krsna. He should be above fruitive
activity and speculative knowledge. In his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu
[Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11], Srila Rupa Gosvami says:

[removed] [Madhya 19.167]

This
is the platform of pure devotional service. One should not be motivated
by fruitive activity or mental speculation but should simply serve
Krsna favorably. That is first-class devotion.

Another meaning
of antara is “this body.” The body is an impediment to self-realization
because it is always engaged in sense gratification. Similarly, antara
means “money.” If money is not used in Krsna’s service, it is also an
impediment. Antara also means janata, “people in general.” The
association of ordinary persons may destroy the principles of
devotional service. Similarly, antara may mean “greed” — greed to
acquire more money or enjoy more sense gratification. Finally, the word
antara may also mean “atheistic ideas,” by which one considers the
temple Deity to be made of stone, wood or gold. All of these are
impediments. The Deity in the temple is not material — He is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Similarly, considering the
spiritual master an ordinary human being (gurusu nara-matiḥ) is also
an impediment. Nor should one consider a Vaisnava a member of a
particular caste or nation. Nor should a Vaisnava be considered
material. Caranamrta should not be considered ordinary drinking water,
and the holy name of the Lord should not be considered an ordinary
sound vibration. Nor should one look on Lord Krsna as an ordinary human
being, for He is the origin of all visnu-tattvas; nor should one regard
the Supreme Lord as a demigod. Intermingling the spiritual with the
material causes one to look on transcendence as material and the
mundane as spiritual. This is all due to a poor fund of knowledge. One
should not consider Lord Visnu and things related to Him as being
different. All this is offensive.

In the Bhakti-sandarbha (265),
Srila Jiva Gosvami writes: [removed] “In the verse beginning namaikam
yasya, we find the word pasanda [‘godlessness’]. The word literally
indicates misuse of one’s body or property, but in that verse it
implies the ten offenses against the Lord’s holy name, since each of
these leads to such godless behavior.”

The Mayavadis look on
Visnu and Vaisnavas imperfectly due to their poor fund of knowledge,
and this is condemned. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.46), the intermediate
Vaiṣṇava is described as follows:

[removed]

“The
intermediate Vaisnava has to love God, make friends with the devotees,
instruct the innocent and reject jealous people.” These are the four
functions of the Vaisnava in the intermediate stage. In the
Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.64) Sri Sanatana Gosvami is taught:

[removed]

“One
who is faithful is a proper candidate for devotional service. In terms
of one’s degree of faith in devotional service, one is a first-class,
second-class or neophyte Vaisnava.”

[removed]

“One who
has attained the intermediate stage is not very advanced in sastric
knowledge, but he has firm faith in the Lord. Such a person is very
fortunate to be situated on the intermediate platform.” (Cc. Madhya
22.67)

“Attraction and love for God are the ultimate goal of
devotional service. The degrees of such attraction and love distinguish
the different stages of devotion — neophyte, intermediate and
perfectional.” (Cc. Madhya 22.71) An intermediate devotee is greatly
attracted to chanting the holy name, and by chanting he is elevated to
the platform of love. If one chants the holy name of the Lord with
great attachment, he can understand his position as an eternal servant
of the spiritual master, other Vaisnavas and Krsna Himself. Thus the
intermediate Vaisnava considers himself krsna-dāsa, Krsna’s servant. He
therefore preaches Krsna consciousness to innocent neophytes and
stresses the importance of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. An
intermediate devotee can identify the nondevotee or motivated devotee.
The motivated devotee or the nondevotee are on the material platform,
and they are called prakrta. The intermediate devotee does not mix with
such materialistic people. However, he understands that the Supreme
Personality of Godhead and everything related to Him are on the same
transcendental platform. Actually none of them are mundane.