This Aniruddha Dāsa, who is the most fallen of human beings, and lower than the lowest, offers his sāṣtāṅga-daṇḍavata pranāmas to the lotus feet of the most worshipable spiritual master and the best of the devotees, and prays to continually advance in bhakti
Hari-nāma is the eternal, extraordinary, transcendental seed of loving devotional service (premā-bhakti) One may utter hari-nāma in any manner that one likes. When hari-nāma chooses to bestow full mercy, the heart of the sādhaka (practitioner) will become completely pure. This is a philosophical conclusion which is completely supported by scripture. Whether one touches fire knowingly or unknowingly, one will feel its burn. Whether one drinks poison or heavenly nectar knowingly or unknowingly, one will die or become immortal, respectively. The heat of the sun and the cooling effect of the moon are universally applicable to all living entities. The innate nature of any object does not depend on a person’s knowledge of it. In other words, every object necessarily acts according to its inherent nature. Thus, the sādhaka should have complete faith in hari-nāma. He should clearly and loudly utter the holy name, planting the seed of the holy name in his heart through the path of his ears. The scriptures proclaim the glories of the holy name, as shown below.
sumariye nāma rūpa bina dekhe āvata hṛdaya sneha biseṣe
“Even if one chants the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa without meditating on His form, one shall develop great affection for Him, because the holy name is non-different from the form, qualities, and pastimes of Bhagavān.”
When one chants the holy name with love and affection, Lord Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself as that holy name. When this happens, the pastimes of Bhagavān manifest within one’s heart, like a seed gradually manifests the twigs, leaves, and flowers of a plant. Śrīla Gaura-kiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, who was illiterate, is an example of this principle. The deep meanings of all the scriptures automatically manifested in his heart because he always chanted pure hari-nāma.
rāma nāma kā amita prabhāvā, santa, purāṇa upaniṣada gāvā jānā chahiye gūḍha-gati jeu, jīṁha nāma japa jānahiṁ teu
“The saints, as well as the Purāṇas and Upaniṣads, declare that the potency of the holy name of Lord Rāma is unlimited. Only one who chants the holy name of Lord Hari understands its confidential power.” If one chants the holy name with proper respect and regard, one will reach the state of love of Godhead very quickly. However, if there is no respect, everything is useless and superficial; such chanting indicates duplicity and vanity. A seed which has fallen on fertile soil will gradually grow no matter how that seed came to rest there. Similarly, in whatever way the holy name is uttered it will certainly destroy sins. For example, the great sinner Ajāmila became free from all his sins by chanting the name ‘Nārāyaṇa’.
sādara sumarana je nara karahiṁ bhava vāridhi gopada-iva tarahiṁ
“Human beings who chant and listen to the holy names of Lord Hari with honor and respect can cross the ocean of material existence, like crossing the water accumulated in the hoof-print of a cow.”
The four mundane goals of human life—namely, economic development, religiosity, sense gratification, and liberation—are easily available to one who chants hari-nāma. One who has chanted the holy name of Bhagavān has already attained the results of circumambulating the earth billions and billions of times, visiting all the holy places, performing all sacrifices, reading all the Vedic scriptures, and performing all pious activities. If all these auspicious activities are combined, they still would not yield a hundredth of the benefits bestowed by chanting hari-nāma. One need not worry about purity or impurity, time and place, or rules and regulations while chanting; hari-nāma simply has to touch one’s tongue. A sinful man can counteract the reactions to more sins than he is able to commit by chanting one holy name of Hari. One has to chant the holy name repeatedly because there is the chance that the tendency to commit sins may arise in the future. All sins perish as soon as one chants the holy name even once; however, the desire to commit sins goes away only when one chants hari-nāma repeatedly. The holy name instantaneously destroys the sins that one has committed in the past, is committing in the present, and will commit in the future. It is advised that one should regulate one’s senses; otherwise, one will certainly commit sinful activities in the future. Bhagavān asserts, “One may chant My holy name out of fear, due to being in distress, while sleeping, while yawning, while sneezing, in a state of apprehension, or in any other manner. My holy name is tāraka-brahma, the transcendental sound vibration that delivers the chanter from all miseries and from the repetition of birth and death.” However, love of Godhead manifests only when one chants out of affection.
Seeing Śrī Bhagavān in just two minutes
THREE DAILY PRAYERS
The Śrīmad-Bhāgavata Purāṇa describes a story in which King Khaṭvāṅga had darśana of Bhagavān in only a few minutes. My most worshipable spiritual master Nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti-dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja said that if any person daily offers the following three brief prayers, which takes only a few minutes, he will certainly obtain the lotus feet of Bhagavān in this very lifetime. These three prayers are the essence of all religious books, including the Vedas and Purāṇas.
- The first prayer: at the time of going to sleep, pray to Bhagavān as follows: “O prāṇa-nātha Govinda, my sweet Lord who is more dear to me than my own life, when I am about to die, You should leave my body along with my last breath. At that time, You should make me chant Your holy name. Please do not forget; please do not make a mistake.”
- The second prayer: as soon as you wake up, pray to Bhagavān as follows: “O prāṇa-nātha, Lord of my life, may I consider as Yours whatever activities I do from now until I take rest at night. If I forget to do this, please remind me.”
- The third prayer: after taking bath in the morning and putting on gopī-candana tilaka, pray as follows: “O prāṇa-nātha, Govinda, please favor me with Your merciful glance so that I will see You, and only You, in every atom and within every living entity.”
Important instruction: it is essential to offer these three prayers daily for three months. After this good practice, offering them will become second nature. Those who print or photocopy these three prayers and distribute them will automatically receive the mercy of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so please do so.
VAISHNAVA PRATHANA! (PRAYER)
Doing this prayer 11 x times every day will help in removing obstacles in life & will help in increasing faith in Holy names.
ananta-koṭi vaiṣṇava-jana, ananta-koṭi bhakta-jana anata-koṭi rasika-jana tathā, ananta-koṭi mere gurujana main janma janma se āpake, caraṇoṁki dhūla kaṇa mujhako le lo apanī śaraṇa, mere mana kī haṭā do bhaṭakana
Translation: O innumerable devotees, realized souls, and spiritual masters, I am a dust particle at your lotus feet life after life. Please give me shelter and stop the wanderings of my mind.
lagā do mujhako kṛṣṇa-caraṇa, lagā do mujhako gaura-caraṇa yadi aparādha mujhase bana gaye, āpake caraṇāravinda mein jāne mein yā anajāne mein, kisī janma mein yā isī janma mein kṣamā karo mere gurujana, main hun āpakī śaraṇa
Translation: Please affix me at the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Gaura. If I have committed any offense at your lotus feet, knowingly or unknowingly, in this lifetime or some other lifetime, O spiritual masters, please forgive me! I am under your shelter.
pāpī hun, aparādhī hun, khoṭā hun yā kharā hun acchā hun yā burā hun , jaisā bhī hun, main to āpakā hun merī ora nihāro! kṛpā-dṛṣṭi vistāro, he mere prāṇa-dhana, nibhālo aba to apanāpana main hun āpake caraṇa-śaraṇa, he mere janma-janma ke gurujana
Translation: I may be sinful, offensive, dishonest, good, or bad. Whatever I may be, I am still yours. Please cast your merciful glance at me. O wealth of my life, O my spiritual masters lifetime after lifetime, please allow me to maintain my feeling of belonging to you! I have surrendered to your lotus feet.
Few instructions by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupad about Tulasi Maharani:
- “Whether we may prune the leaves of Tulasi, Answer to this is—No, there is no question of pruning. But you can take leaves from the Tulasi for worshiping Krishna. First utilize the dead leaves or leaves which have fallen down, and if more leaves are required for worshiping Krsna, you may take them from Tulasi plant in this way: First approach Tulasi Devi and offer your obeisances, requesting her that for worshiping Krsna you want to take some leaves. Then if she allows you may take. There is no question of pruning in the manner of gardeners just to make nice beautiful plant for ornamental purposes.”
- “You cannot cut Tulasi—that is the greatest offense! You must never cut her. But you can tie back the branches obstructing the entrance.”
- “You may cut the dead branches, but what is the necessity?”